Chapter 223: How Alchemist Fang Carries Himself
Bai Yunlai looked at Meng Hao and said, “Should I find you an apprentice alchemist?” At the moment, Meng Hao’s status was different than before. He was a master alchemist; regardless of whether he walked about in the East Pill Division or the Violet Qi Division, his position was much the same as an Inner Sect disciple. He was extremely important.
According to some of the long-standing rules of the Violet Fate Sect, master alchemists were equal to Inner Sect disciples of the Violet Qi Division. In reality, however, their position was a bit higher.
“There’s no need,” said Meng Hao with a slight smile. He descended the mountain with Bai Yunlai, then headed toward the Violet Qi Division. On the way, Bai Yunlai explained the situation. The person who had requested a pill to be concocted occupied a high position in the Inner Sect. However, despite being Chosen, he wasn’t able to ask for help from a Furnace Lord. Furthermore, his reputation was not very good, so most master alchemists weren’t willing to help him.
The East Pill Division occupied a relatively aloof position; any master alchemist had the right to refuse a request. If they did, the Inner Sect disciples of the Violet Qi Division would be helpless to do anything about it. This particular Chosen had very few other options. Of the master alchemists who were willing to concoct pills for him, none met up to his standards.
Bai Yunlai was aware of this, and figured that it was a good opportunity for Fang Mu. Even if it ended in failure, this Chosen couldn’t do anything whatsoever against the East Pill Division. Therefore, Bai Yunlai had hurried over to find Meng Hao.
After hearing the explanation, Meng Hao thought for a moment and then asked, “What pill does he want concocted?”
“He didn’t say. You can ask when we get there. My status doesn’t afford me the right to ask. In any case, Ding Yong 1 is a Chosen of the Violet Qi Division. He wouldn’t answer me even if I did ask.” Bai Yunlai sighed.
Meng Hao nodded. As they passed through the various valleys, the scene from moments ago played out in his head. The incredible noise had been caused by the meat jelly breaking out. As soon as it appeared in its reborn state, it surprisingly didn’t seem interested in talking. It quickly changed Meng Hao’s appearance back to that of Fang Mu’s, and then flew back into the blood-colored mask to sleep.
Now, it slumbered just as the Blood Mastiff did. After a quick inspection, Meng Hao came to the conclusion that it would wake up in a few months. With that, he paid it no more attention. Then, it was with great excitement that he quickly gathered up the shed skin which had exploded moments before.
The shed skin was extremely tough. Even with Meng Hao’s Cultivation base, he had no way of breaking even a single piece. Since it had come from the meat jelly, Meng Hao considered it to be a magical item. Not having time to examine it in detail, he had put it away and then walked out of the Immortal’s Cave.
It didn’t take long for Meng Hao and Bai Yunlai to reach the valley which connected the East Pill Division and the Violet Qi Division. Waiting for them there was an arrogant looking young man, who currently had his hands clasped behind his back and was looking up into the sky.
This was Ding Yong. He wore a red-colored robe, which flashed in the sunlight, and actually emitted a violet aura. The year Meng Hao had joined the Violet Fate Sect, he had learned that regardless of East Pill Division or Violet Qi Division, violet-colored Qi was to be treated with respect. Therefore, even though this young man didn’t wear the violet robes of a Conclave disciple, the fact that his clothes emitted a violet aura indicated that he had a very high position within the sect. He was Chosen of the Violet Fate Sect.
His Cultivation base was at the peak of mid Foundation Establishment, just a hair from the next level.
When Ding Yong saw Meng Hao, he frowned and said, “So you’re Fang Mu?” In his opinion, the older a master alchemist, the better. To him, Meng Hao was obviously much too young.
Meng Hao frowned coldly, stopping in place. During his time with Li Tao, he had grown accustomed to how the man handled himself in front of the Inner Sect disciples. The position of master alchemist was one that inherently demanded respect. However, it also required a bit of personal effort to earn that respect. If you set the bar too low, then others would assume your skill was lacking.
Therefore, he stood in place, then flicked his sleeve and let out a cold snort.
“Bai Yunlai,” he said coolly, “from now on, there’s no need to seek me out for such pill concocting matters as this.” Without another look at Ding Yong, he turned and began to walk off.
Bai Yunlai often worked with master alchemists, and he was also very familiar with Meng Hao. How could he not understand what was happening? Feeling secretly pleased, he allowed horror to cover his face. Then he stared accusatorially at the target of Meng Hao’s little tactic, Ding Yong, who stood there gaping.
“He’s a master alchemist of the East Pill Division, it doesn’t matter if he’s young. He placed number one in the last promotion examination! Think about it! Out of one hundred thousand apprentice alchemists, only one was selected. You… Ai, you don’t know how long I begged Alchemist Fang to come before he agreed. And here you….” Shaking his head, he turned to chase after Meng Hao.
Ding Yong laughed bitterly, then sighed. He was not like Qian Shuihen and Lu Song, who had been able to leave the Sect to gain experience. But how could he not see the way Meng Hao carried himself? When he thought about Bai Yunlai’s words, he realized that this Fang Mu’s skill in alchemy must be significant. After a moment’s thought, a smile appeared on his face, and he walked forward a few steps.
“The grand name of Alchemist Fang has long since reverberated like thunder within my ears,” he said. “Just now when I saw how young Alchemist Fang is, I was so shocked that I made a slip of the tongue. Alchemist Fang, please don’t take offense.”
Meng Hao stopped again, then turned to looked Ding Yong in the eye coldly. “What pill do you need?”
Ding Yong’s eyes glittered. Seeing Meng Hao speak in such a manner led him to believe that he must be a person with a relatively short temper. He quickly said, “Barrier Breaking Pill!”
Meng Hao’s expression was the same as ever, without the slightest bit of change. Seeing this, Ding Yong came the conclusion that he was obviously very worldly wise and eccentric. Actually, Meng Hao was currently frantically searching through his memory. Unfortunately, he had no information regarding Barrier Breaking Pills.
“There are at least seventeen pill formulas for that type of pill,” he said coolly. “Furthermore, there are hundreds of types of medicinal herbs that can be used, along with many complicated variations, three hundred ninety seven to be precise. The refinement process requires delicate adjustments, which further adds seventy percent to the total possible variations. Which particular version do you want concocted?” In truth, his words were a complete fabrication. Next to him Bai Yunlai gasped; actually, he too had been wondering what a Barrier Breaking Pill was. Hearing Meng Hao’s words caused a look of admiration to appear in his eyes.
The way it looked to him, the words seemed to come from a perspective of extreme comprehension. At least, that was the feeling he got.
It seemed even Bai Yunlai had been duped. Naturally, Ding Yong stared in shock for a moment before a bright glow appeared in his eyes. Meng Hao’s words struck him as being profoundly enigmatic. He took a deep breath, then clasped hands and bowed. Avoiding any careless words, he said, “Alchemist Fang, to be honest, I’m not really sure which type. I just have one pill formula, perhaps… you could take a look, sir?” He quickly retrieved a jade slip from his bag of holding which he offered to Meng Hao.
Were Ding Yong not within the Sect, he might not be so easily bluffed. However, they were inside the Violet Fate Sect, and Meng Hao was a fellow Sect member. Furthermore, he knew that Meng Hao was a master alchemist who had the upper hand. Therefore, Meng Hao’s words truly had the desired effect.
Meng Hao accepted the jade slip expressionlessly, and then scanned it with Spiritual Sense. His face was the same as always, but inwardly, he was shocked.
“So, there really is such a medicinal pill. The Barrier Breaking Pill can actually only be consumed twice in a lifetime. If consumed a third time, instant death will result!
“The interactions of various medicinal plants, as well as the addition of various toxic vegetation, will create an explosive mixture that will stimulate the Qi passageways and give the Cultivation base the ability to break through a bottleneck!” Meng Hao was silent for a moment as he thought.
Next to him, Ding Yong watched on nervously. He had previously consumed one Barrier Breaking Pill. Unfortunately, at the very last critical moment, he had failed to break through. Now he only had one chance left. The worst of it all was that over the past years he had somehow managed to offend all the Furnace Lords and master alchemists. Even if one of them agreed, he wouldn’t feel at ease with the results. He was still hesitant. To Fang Mu, this was a simple pill concoction. But to him, it represented his very, very last chance.
If he succeeded, he would be able to enter late Foundation Establishment. Therefore, he couldn’t help but be cautious.
In reality, even after choosing to seek out Fang Mu, he still hadn’t completely made up his mind about the matter. He still wanted to feel the situation out, then make a decision based on his feeling at the time. He desired a reliable master alchemist to concoct this crucially important pill. Ding Yong was no Outer Sect disciple. He knew very clearly that the medicinal strength of any given pill would be different depending on who concocted it. Some people produced pills with high strength, others low. As far as Ding Yong was concerned, the medicinal strength of this Barrier Breaking Pill was crucially important.
The pill he had consumed previously had been of ordinary medicinal strength. Had it not, he wouldn’t be here today, sighing as he was.
A long moment passed, before Meng Hao returned the jade slip. He muttered to himself for a moment before walking up to Ding Yong.
“Raise your hand.”
Ding Yong gaped for a moment, and his eyes narrowed. However, he didn’t refuse. He lifted his hand up, whereupon Meng Hao clasped his wrist and began to send a bit of spiritual power into him.
“Don’t resist,” he said coolly. He poured the spiritual power of Qi Condensation into Ding Yong, who looked hesitant as he stared at Meng Hao. However, he allowed the spiritual power to circulate fully through his body.
Meng Hao quickly became certain which level of medicinal strength was required of the pill that Ding Yong needed to break through his bottleneck. Meng Hao had also detected some other complex medicinal powers within Ding Yong’s body. Those medicinal powers seemed to contain remnants of the Qi of the medicinal plants from the first Barrier Breaking Pill he had consumed.
“You’ve already consumed one Barrier Breaking Pill,” said Meng Hao, retracting his spiritual power.
Hearing Meng Hao’s words caused Ding Yong to take a deep breath. His eyes shined brightly as he looked at Meng Hao, shocked. He had never told anybody that he had previously consumed a Barrier Breaking Pill.
“I will help you concoct this pill,” said Meng Hao calmly. “Prepare six sets of the medicinal plants required to make the Barrier Breaking Pill. In addition, I require thirty thousand Spirit Stones.”
“I already found a few master alchemists who can make this pill…” said Ding Yong slowly. “The most they asked for was three sets of ingredients and ten thousand Spirit Stones.”
“I guarantee that my pill will enable you to break through,” Meng Hao replied coolly. His tone was calm, but there also existed potent air within it.
“Are you serious?!” gasped Ding Yong, his eyes flashing brightly. He had long since come to the conclusion that this Alchemist Fang Mu was very different from the other master alchemists.
“If you don’t believe me, then never mind,” said Meng Hao, turning to leave.
Ding Yong’s heart twisted. It only took a moment for a determined look to break out on his face. Seeing how different Fang Mu was from the others, and how he had been able to detect his previous consumption of the Barrier Breaking Pill, caused him to make up his mind. Without any further hesitation, he produced a bag of holding and quickly put the required medicinal plants and Spirit Stones inside. He handed it to Meng Hao.
“In two weeks, at twilight, you may come collect your pill,” said Meng Hao. With the flick of a sleeve, he left with Bai Yunlai, his black gown fluttering in the breeze. A scholarly aura swirled around him, as did the faint scent of medicinal pills. He seemed otherworldly.
This chapter was sponsored by Joseph Gange
- Ding Yong’s name in Chinese is 丁勇 Dīng yǒng – Ding is a common surname that has many meanings. Yong means “brave” ↩