Chapter 230: Bury Devils Beneath the Earth
This pill concoction lasted an entire month. From the time Meng Hao had learned to concoct pills until now, this was by far the longest time he had ever spent doing so. For one month, he didn’t rest. All of his energy was focused on the concoction of this pill.
Over ten thousand varieties of medicinal plant variations, all shaped by the will of Meng Hao’s mind. Based on endless adjustments and variations, it slowly transformed into a unique pill that was solely of Meng Hao.
On the last day of the month of concocting, late in the moon-filled night, the Blood Crane pill furnace trembled. It was no longer bright red; it was gradually returning to its original color. This process took several hours. When the moonlight was beginning to grow hazy and dim outside, the furnace finally returned to its original state. Meng Hao’s hair was in a mess, and his eyes filled with veins of blood. His face was pale white. His Cultivation base had been rotating and emitting power for an entire month straight.
Thankfully, he had six Dao Pillars now. If he only had five, like before, then even replenishing himself with medicinal pills, he would have been forced to suspend pill concoction midway.
If alchemic enlightenment ceases before completion, then it cannot be resumed.
Seeing the completely recovered pill furnace in front of him, Meng Hao took a deep breath. He was exhausted from the month of work. During the most critical part of the concocting, he had experienced what felt like a bitter struggle between life and death. He closed his eyes, and as he did, they burned painfully.
A long time passed before he opened them again. Without hesitation, he lifted his right hand up to press onto the pill furnace. It trembled, and two black colored pills flew out. The instant they did, a black cloud suddenly began to form above the pill furnace.
The black cloud wasn’t outside of the Immortal’s Cave. No, it was inside; the bizarre sight caused Meng Hao to stare blankly, his eyes filled with confusion. It took only a moment for the cloud to finish forming. Suddenly, lightning shot out from it, directly at the medicinal pills.
At this critical moment, Meng Hao slapped his bag of holding and the meat jelly flew out. As soon as it saw the black cloud, it stared in shock. Then its eyes glowed, and it flew to meet the descending lightning bolt. It opened its mouth and consumed the entire lightning bolt. It smacked its lips as if it had just eaten something delicious.
“Pill Tribulation Lightning,” said the meat jelly, licking its lips. “So, it turns out that’s the tastiest….” Suddenly, its eyes fell upon the two pills Meng Hao held in his hands. It seemed eager to try them.
“Three bullies!” said Meng Hao resolutely. The meat jelly hesitated for a moment, as if it were torn about something. Finally, it returned to the blood-colored mask, muttering to itself, apparently preparing to vent its frustrations on the Li Clan Patriarch.
Having dismissed the meat jelly, Meng Hao took a deep breath and looked down at his palm. The two black pills seemed to be struggling, as if they wanted to fly away. This was the first time he had concocted what were apparently sentient pills, ones that had provoked Tribulation lightning.
Meng Hao’s eyes shone. He may be tired, but couldn’t stop from staring at the two pills.
They were essentially the same size. However, one was pitch black, whereas the other had a violet hue. It only took a moment for Meng Hao to come to the conclusion that the violet-colored pill was the superior of the two. The other could also be considered a consummate product, just slightly inferior.
Despite the struggles of the pills, they were incapable of leaving Meng Hao’s hand. The two black pills did not emit a medicinal fragrance, and seemed to suck in all the light that touched them. If you looked at them for too long, it seemed as if your soul would be sucked inside.
“I concocted these pills with true will….” murmured Meng Hao. Eventually, his eyes flickered. He waved his left hand and a flying sword appeared. Very slowly, he carved a mark onto the side of each pill. It was a simple mark which depicted… a cauldron!
It was the same cauldron he had seen in the Blessed Land of the Black Sieve Sect, the cauldron which had desired to defeat the Heavens.
It wasn’t a completely accurate depiction, but very close. Strangely, after inscribing the pills with the mark, they stopped struggling. The cauldron mark flickered, as if it had branded itself onto the hearts of the pills. Now, the cauldron mark suddenly seemed as if it were alive, real.
Meng Hao took a deep breath, and then a smile broke out on his face. At the same time, a wave of exhaustion swept through him. He hadn’t rested for an entire month. He was a Foundation Establishment Cultivator, but this was too much even for him; he simply didn’t have enough energy.
“This is a pill of bedevilment, the very peak of bedevilment. The brand of the cauldron represents the Earth, and has suppressed it. Bury devils beneath the Earth, in accordance with the name of the pill.” Meng Hao retrieved a pill bottle and put the first Bedevilment Pill inside. He sealed it with wax, and then placed the violet-colored Bedevilment Pill into another pill bottle.
After this, he pulled out a jade slip which he used to summon Bai Yunlai. Soon, Bai Yunlai appeared outside the Immortal’s Cave. He didn’t have to wait long before a pill bottle flew out to land on his hand.
Meng Hao’s tired voice echoed out from the Immortal’s Cave. “Put this up anonymously in the Pill Auction. It’s called Bedevilment Pill. Come for me when the auction is about to begin.” He sat cross-legged, his eyes closed, seemingly half asleep, immersed in restoring his energy.
Bai Yunlai clasped hands in salute, then left with the pill bottle.
Three days flashed by. During that time, the entire State of Eastern Emergence bustled with activities as one Sect after another arrived in Violet Moon City 1. There weren’t just Sects from the State of Eastern Emergence, but from other places as well.
In fact, all of the other four great Sects, as well as the three great Clans, all dispatched disciples to the Violet Fate Sect to participate in the yearly Pill Auction. Actually, for an event to take place yearly made it a somewhat frequent event; nonetheless, it still attracted the attention of Cultivators throughout the entire Southern Domain. That was because all of the items in the auction were concocted by master alchemists of the East Pill Division.
Furthermore, Furnace Lords would usually participate as well, and would provide a unique variety of medicinal pills. The medicinal strength of their pills would be considerable, enough to cause a sensation in the Southern Domain. Occasionally, stunning, one-of-a-kind creations would appear.
Every year, different master alchemists’ names would rise and then spread throughout the outside world. You could say that the Pill Auction was a platform for master alchemists to gain fame. Of course, the East Pill Division encouraged this, and urged the master alchemists to concoct pills to sell at the auction.
Not only were the master alchemists encouraged to provide medicinal pills so that their fame would grow within the Southern Domain, but also, for material gain. After all, the profits from the sale of the medicinal pills all went back to the master alchemists.
This was a set rule, which caused virtually all of the master alchemists to participate.
Furthermore, the Violet Fate Sect strictly controlled its medicinal pills. The only way for outsiders to acquire them was by participating in the Pill Auction. There would always be a few types of pills that would give rise to frenzied bidding. Usually, this was not because of the medicinal strength of the pill alone, but also the concoction method used.
After all, despite not acquiring the pill formula, research of the pill would reveal much about the methods which had been used to concoct it. The master alchemists of the Violet Fate Sect had no way to prevent this from happening. Anyone with sufficient skill could perform such research on medicinal pills.
In short, it is easy to imagine the stir caused by the yearly Pill Auction.
The location of the Pill Auction was, of course, Violet Moon City. In the southeast corner of the city, was an enormous circular edifice, a stadium which could seat a hundred thousand Cultivators.
Generally speaking, during every Pill Auction, because of the influx of Cultivators from all regions, the seats would be completely filled.
The Pill Auction usually lasted for seven days, and could be rated as a grand occasion hosted by the Violet Fate Sect.
This particular day was the first day of the auction. The auction stadium was already full. The eyes of the Cultivators from all the various Sects and Clans were focused on the stage in the middle of the stadium.
Standing there was a middle-aged man who smiled and clasped hands respectfully to the audience.
“Fellow Daoists of the Southern Domain, Ladies and Gentlemen, you all know the rules of the Violet Fate Sect’s Pill Auction, so I won’t go into all the details. We have a total of 789 types of medicinal pills up for auction, including pills appropriate for Qi Condensation, Foundation Establishment, Core Formation, and even Nascent Soul stage Cultivators! Furthermore, there will be poison pills and magic pills available as well.
“According to the rules of the Violet Fate Sect Pill Auction, before auctioning each pill, a small shaving will be taken to test the medicinal strength of the pill, as well as to clearly demonstrate its effectiveness.” Having said that, the man waved his hand, causing a gigantic curved portal to open up behind him.
Bright ripples spread out, after which everyone could see a group of seven hundred Cultivators standing on the other side, their faces expressionless.
These Cultivators had Cultivation bases of various levels, and their ages were different. There was one similarity between all of them, however. All of their eyes glowed with a violet light. Outsiders might not know what this meant, but Meng Hao would. It would only take one glance for him to determine that these people… had all cultivated the Violet Qi to the West technique! These were puppet disciples of the Sect! 2
“These Cultivators of the East Pill Division have been selected to sample all the pills which will be auctioned today. Ladies and Gentlemen, most likely this is not your first time to attend our Pill Auction, so you must surely already know, the Violet Fate Sect’s Pill Auction is unmatched in the entire Southern Domain!” The man’s voice echoed throughout the stadium, which subsequently filled with respectful laughter.
“Let the auction begin!” the man cried. “Lot one is a bottle of Yang Toppling Pills concocted by Furnace Lord Liu Yong of the East Pill Division! Transform life force into Death Qi, cause enormous transformation! Use this pill in your Immortal’s cave to collect Yin powers. Consume it to cause an abrupt rise of Death Qi. This pill is suitable for any Fellow Daoist who cultivates Spirit Puppet arts.” Even as the man’s voice rang out, Bai Yunlai and Meng Hao were hurrying toward the stadium.
Being a master alchemist, Meng Hao caught the attention of many apprentice alchemists as he entered. He sat down in the pavilion reserved for master alchemists, and then looked down at the auction proceeding below.
He took a deep breath of anticipation. He keenly anticipated finding out if people would be interested in his Bedevilment Pill, and how high of a price it would fetch. After all, since becoming a master alchemist, he had never been more pleased with a pill. Although he had complete confidence in it, he was a bit worried about whether or not it would be profitable.
He glanced over the crowd, a thoughtful expression on his face. Suddenly, a look of shock appeared, which then transformed into a slight smile. His gaze had fallen onto a group of visitors, amidst whom was a certain fat young man, casually grinding his teeth.