ISSTH – Book 3 – Chapter 225

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Chapter 225: Rising to the Pinnacle!

“If you consume one type of medicinal pill too often, it will become less and less effective. This is the result of problems with the medicinal plants within the pill. Therefore, a medicinal pill like this with fifty percent medicinal strength, well, its true value can only be imagined!” Now that he had personally confirmed his conjectures regarding Fang Mu, he quickly decided that they needed to become friends.

“It is a foregone conclusion that he will rise to the pinnacle. At the moment, though, his reputation is still growing and lots of people are hesitating. Helping him now will definitely be a way to build up good karma for the future!” Su Zhonglun’s line of thinking was the same as Ding Yong’s. The difference was that he had a much better understanding of Fang Mu’s ability with plants and vegetation, as well as his skill in concocting medicinal pills, and the value thereof.

A new commotion rose up among the Inner Sect disciples of the Violet Qi Division. This was because Su Zhonglun, although he hadn’t made a breakthrough, had made significant progress in his Cultivation base. Furthermore, he repeatedly talked about Fang Mu’s pills within the Inner Sect. In fact, he would even pull out two of the same type of medicinal pill, one concocted by Fang Mu, one concocted by another master alchemist. Then he would compare the two, point by point.

First was Ding Yong, and then Su Zhonglun. Their recommendations, coupled with the waves spread by Bai Yunlai’s promotion, caused all of the discussion within the Inner Sect over the next half month to revolve around Fang Mu.

Finally, more and more Inner Sect disciples began to seek out Fang Mu to concoct pills.

At first, it was just a disciple here and there. They were hesitant, and clearly just wanted to test the waters. They would seek out Bai Yunlai, whereupon he would recommend Fang Mu’s services.

Meng Hao didn’t refuse anyone who came for pill concocting services. When his pill furnace exploded under the strain of such frequent use, he would immediately get a replacement.

The first group of three or four Inner Sect disciples who came to him for pills came back a few days later and took their purchases back to their Immortal’s Caves.

Zhang Shuilai, who was at the early Foundation Establishment stage, was one of them. He wasn’t very prominent among the Inner Sect disciples, and had only sought out a master alchemist once before for pill concoction. After experiencing how impressive they were, he was deeply moved. Unfortunately, he was embarrassingly short of Spirit Stones, and could only afford to acquire pills during the Sect’s Pill Distribution.

The reason he sought out Fang Mu’s services was because he could tell that Fang Mu’s name was on the rise. This might be his only opportunity, so he decided to take advantage of it while he could.

He sat in his Immortal’s cave, holding a pill bottle. Inside were ten medicinal pills useful for the early Foundation Establishment stage. He took a deep breath, and put one of the pills into his mouth. Almost immediately, his eyes grew wide, and filled with the glow of disbelief. He looked down at the rest of the medicinal pills. Just looking at them, they didn’t seem any different from any of the other pills he had consumed in the past.

A long while passed. After absorbing the power of all the pills, Zhang Shuilai took a deep breath. He produced yet another pill bottle. Inside were two pills useful for the early Foundation Establishment stage. After examining them closely, he consumed them. A few moments later more disbelief filled his eyes.

“What’s going on? The pills the master alchemist concocted for me before didn’t do much. They just transformed into spiritual energy. But… but… Fang Mu’s medicinal pills are incredibly potent! They created more than fifty percent more spiritual energy than the others!” He panted, and his eyes shone. If at this point he didn’t realise what was going on, then he didn’t deserve to be an Inner Sect disciple.

Without the slightest hesitation, he leaped up and rushed out of the Immortal’s Cave and headed directly to find Fang Mu. He would take advantage of others’ hesitation to have more pills concocted.

However, as soon as he neared the East Pill Division, he found that the other Inner Sect disciples who had recently picked up pills from Fang Mu apparently all had the same idea as him. They were all returning, excited expressions on their faces. The group all exchanged glances, then wordlessly shot together to the East Pill Division to find Bai Yunlai.

Before, they had been interested in simply trying out the pills; now, things were clearly different.

They did not possess Su Zhonglun’s ability to identify and analyze medicinal pills. However, after consuming them, they immediately realized that Meng Hao’s medicinal pills were beyond ordinary. You could say that if other master alchemists could create pills of one hundred percent strength, then Meng Hao’s were one hundred and fifty percent strength.They were at least fifty percent stronger, which of course made these Inner Sect disciples incredibly happy.

What they didn’t know was that Meng Hao’s medicinal pills were not just fifty percent stronger in terms of medicinal strength. In the world of alchemic Cultivation in all of the Southern Domain, the medicinal pills concocted by master alchemists never exceeded roughly thirty percent medicinal strength. The rest of the strength was lost in the concocting process. In the end, the medicinal pills they created were not complete. On the other hand, Meng Hao could concoct pills of fifty percent medicinal strength. It was instantly apparent who was in the superior position and who was not.

Fang Mu’s imminent explosive popularity among the Inner Sect disciples was obvious.

The news that the first group of Inner Sect disciples returned for more pills quickly spread. Soon Bai Yunlai didn’t need to do any promotion whatsoever. Rumors passed between friends inside the Inner Sect, and soon more and more disciples came looking for pill concocting. It wasn’t long before the spreading word caused Meng Hao’s name to rise above that of the other master alchemists. His reputation grew and grew.

“Did you hear? The East Pill Division has a master alchemist named Fang Mu. The pills he creates are twice as effective as the pills created by the other master alchemists!”

“How is that possible? I don’t cultivate the Dao of Alchemy, but I’ve dealt with a lot of different master alchemists, so I know what I’m talking about. Unless this Fang Mu is a Furnace Lord, there’s no way his pills could be that much more effective in comparison.”

“Hahaha! All you have to do is try them out, then you’ll know whether you’re right or not. Have him make a pill for you, then you’ll know.” Conversations similar to this could be heard throughout the Inner Sect of the Violet Qi Division.

Eventually, people began to seek out Bai Yunlai every single day.

According to the rules of the East Pill Division, outsiders were not allowed to enter. The only way to seek out master alchemists was to use messaging jade slips. However, Meng Hao did not have any direct contact with anyone, only Bai Yunlai did.

More and more Inner Sect disciples arranged to visit Bai Yunlai. Soon, he was starting to get more work than he could deal with. Meng Hao was surprised by this turn of events. Before long, he was spending almost all his time concocting pills. It was getting to the point where he couldn’t keep up. It was a happy sort of pain. Because of the volume of pills he was concocting, his Dao of alchemy advanced by leaps and bounds. Furthermore, he was acquiring a large amount of pill formulas, and was also building up quite a store of medicinal plants which he acquired from the excess ingredients provided.

Things only continued to grow more and more intense. After two months, every single Inner Sect disciple in the Violet Qi Division knew about Fang Mu. The whole place was abuzz. Anyone who had the mind to try one of Meng Hao’s medicinal pills would immediately be astounded, and would return for more.

More than a few acquired sample pills by trading with others. Some relied on the word of others and would without hesitation seek out Bai Yunlai.

Soon Meng Hao had reached the point where he simply had too much work to do. Pumping out so many medicinal pills was driving him to exhaustion. Therefore, he discussed matters with Bai Yunlai and decided to raise prices!

He arranged a pricing system with different values assigned to different types of medicinal pills. The prices were obviously higher than other master alchemists’. This had been Bai Yunlai’s idea, which Meng Hao had approved of. What neither of them had expected was that raising the prices actually caused his popularity to rise. Both of them were stupefied.

More and more Inner Sect disciples came, which was now causing complaints among the other master alchemists. However as soon they took time to study Meng Hao’s medicinal pills, the complaints disappeared….

The reason Meng Hao was so incredibly popular was because of the fifty percent medicinal strength of his pills. To the Inner Sect disciples, the benefits of consuming such pills went without saying.

Most importantly, in the entire East Pill Division, the only other people whose skill in the Dao of alchemy was enough to produce pills of fifty percent medicinal strength, were Furnace Lords.

However, Furnace Lords would not concoct pills for Inner Sect disciples, only Conclave disciples. With the appearance of Meng Hao, suddenly, all Inner Sect disciples had the chance to get medicinal pills of Furnace Lord quality, but at the price of a master alchemist. After all, they could only make requests of Meng Hao, and not the Furnace Lords.

Therefore, even after raising prices, Meng Hao’s medicinal pills were still cheaper than those concocted by Furnace Lords. As such, Inner Sect disciples could accept the higher cost.

Fang Mu was all the rage!

His name wasn’t just popular within the Inner Sect of the Violet Qi Division. The apprentice alchemists of the East Pill Division were all talking about his shocking promotion to master alchemist. Eventually, Fang Mu’s name reached the ears of some of the Elders of the Violet Fate Sect, causing them to take note of the situation.

Many of the master alchemists in the East Pill Division were still not resigned to the situation. Through various methods, they were able to acquire some of Meng Hao’s medicinal pills, which they researched thoroughly. Their research left them astonished. More and more master alchemists participated in the research. In the end, when Meng Hao raised his prices, the orders Bai Yunlai accepted only increased.

Over the course of a few months, Meng Hao had acquired hundreds of pill formulas. The Spirit Stones were rolling in, and his stores of medicinal plants were plentiful. Meng Hao was happy, although now he had almost no personal time. Each day, every day, he concocted pills. When his spiritual power began to dry up, he would consume some medicinal pills to recover. Over the months, his sixth Dao Pillar came to be roughly half complete.

One can only imagine his life during these few months….

Finally, it reached the point that Meng Hao really didn’t think it was possible to complete all the orders. Finally, he made a new decision. He had Bai Yunlai make an announcement that only three orders would be processed per day.

He really had no other option than this. The proclamation of this rule brought instant results. Not a few complaints were voiced, and malicious talk spread. Despite that, the rules of three orders per day stood. There were no rest days. The Inner Sect disciples of the Violet Qi Division came up with various methods to secure spots among the three orders per day.

—–

This chapter was sponsored by Joseph Gange, Jose Lluberes, Christopher Choi, Quentin Nivon, and Warren Horsley

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