Chapter 250: Giving Birth to the Transformations of the Sun and Moon
Meng Hao frowned. He and Zhou Dekun might not like the World Pill Division very much, but just now, they had merely engaged in a discussion during their lecture. They hadn’t done anything particularly aggressive.
Chen Jiaxi’s words just now were far too direct, almost like the stab of a sword.
The World Pill Division had chosen to openly assault Zhou Dekun, to shame not just him, but the entire East Pill Division. They clearly wanted to improve their prestige by destroying Zhou Dekun and Meng Hao’s.
If Meng Hao and Zhou Dekun came out on the bottom today, it was easy to imagine how quickly the news would spread throughout the Southern Domain. The East Pill Division would suffer an incredible loss of face, and Meng Hao and Zhou Dekun would become laughingstocks.
For an alchemist, reputation was of utmost importance.
This was obviously exactly what Zhou Dekun was thinking about. His face was grave as he looked down from the dais at the proud Chen Jiaxi.
Chen Jiaxi glared right back at him. He had been waiting for this day for a long time. Based on his skill in the Dao of alchemy, he could be considered a Chosen in the World Pill Division. Furthermore, in terms of debating, there were few within the Sect who could outmatch him.
Days before, when he’d learned that the Black Sieve Sect had extended invitations to both the East Pill Division and the World Pill Division, he had immediately realized that it was an excellent opportunity.
At that time, he had decided to go to any length to take advantage of this opportunity to elevate himself…. As an alchemist, there was no better method to rise to prominence than humiliating a Furnace Lord of the East Pill Division.
The mere thought of it made him incredibly excited. As he stared at Zhou Dekun, what he saw was not a Cultivator, but a stepping stone to fame.
“After I crush this old fogey and that punk kid from the East Pill Division,” he thought, “the name of Chen Jiaxi will rise to fame both within the Sect and without!”
Standing next to Chen Jiaxi was Li Yiming, who harbored exactly the same idea.
Zhou Dekun looked away from them and began to continue his lecture. “There are three realms of plants and vegetation. The first contains one hundred thousand medicinal plants. The second….” Before he could continue, Chen Jiaxi laughed uproariously. It echoed out gratingly.
He slammed his palm down onto the table and stood up. “Grandmaster Zhou Dekun, Furnace Lord of the East Pill Division, don’t tell me you deny other Fellow Daoists the right to question or doubt the content of your lecture? Are you scared, or simply spouting nonsense? Or… could it be that you’re trying to hoodwink the Fellow Daoists from the Black Sieve Sect?” His words were filled with sarcasm, and the sneer on his face was impossible to ignore. Complacency filled his heart; in his mind, he had already won!
Zhou Dekun angrily spun to face Chen Jiaxi. At this point, there was no way he could pretend to not have heard the words which were blatantly directed, not at him, but at the East Pill Division. Even if the attack was complete nonsense, he had no choice but do address it openly.
Seeing Zhou Dekun’s reaction filled Chen Jiaxi with confidence. Before coming to the Black Sieve Sect, his inquiries had revealed that Zhou Dekun would be coming. The man was quite famous, but Chen Jiaxi’s thorough investigation left him confident that he could defeat him in terms of understanding of the Dao of alchemy.
The Black Sieve Sect disciples in the square observed silently, but seemed to be getting excited. Many present were Conclave disciples, including Han Bei, who watched on with a smile as the conflict between the East Pill Division and the World Pill division intensified.
The three Nascent Soul Patriarchs sat there with eyes closed, apparently meditating. They did not interfere. Apparently they were more than happy at the scene which was unfolding.
“Grandmaster Zhou, glowering at me is useless,” said Chen Jiaxi coolly. “You still haven’t explained exactly what you mean by Ultimate Truth.” His voice seemed completely normal. However, his eyes were filled with ridicule, which made Zhou Dekun even more furious.
“Truth is represented by rules,” he replied, one word at a time. “Regardless of any other countless permutations, rules will always exist in your heart. Utilizing the unchangeableness of rules makes it possible to catalyze the ten thousand medicinal plants. Furthermore, verifying the Truth of the Dao of alchemy makes it possible to beget pill formulas. With enlightenment, one can sense the vast length of that which we call the path of alchemy. Continued exploration is the true goal!”
Chen Jiaxi stared in shock at his words. He had never imagined that Zhou Dekun would be able to respond in such a way. Actually, before meeting Meng Hao, Zhou Dekun wouldn’t have been able to. However, their discussion just now had contained both verification of his previous understandings, and also new enlightenment. Chen Jiaxi and Li Yiming both frowned. The surrounding Cultivators also seemed to have gained new enlightenment.
“Grandmaster Zhou, I really can’t agree with your explanation,” said Chen Jiaxi, his eyes gleaming. As of this moment, he no longer looked down on Zhou Dekun, but actually took him seriously. “If the self is unchangeable,” he said slowly, “then where do transformations come from?! The self is like a river. If the river does not flow, it will die. Moving water ensures the never-ending flow of the river; similarly, a changeable self ensures continued existence!” His words caused Zhou Dekun’s face to flicker. He was about to respond when Chen Jiaxi flicked his sleeve and interrupted: “Can a tree remain motionless amidst the wind? The only tree that doesn’t… is the tree that exists in a painting! The movement of the tree is evidence of the blowing wind, and of its own very existence!
“Grandmaster Zhou, you claim that the self is unchangeable. How laughable! Perhaps this is why you are still not a Violet Furnace Lord. Your understanding of the Dao of alchemy makes it clear that you are like a flower in love with its own fragrance! You’re simply fishing for fame and compliments! The only place you will become a Violet Furnace Lord is in a fairytale!”
The increasingly vicious words caused Zhou Dekun to tremble. He pointed at the man and said, “You… You….”
“I what? Don’t tell me you’re at a loss for words? A motionless river is nothing but dead water. An unmoving tree can exist only in a painting. Grandmaster Zhou, you obviously exist in a world of dead water, belittling the floating clouds. Are you, or are you not… fishing for fame and compliments!? You live in a painting, ignoring Heaven and Earth, blithe to the brilliance of the world outside. I say, you are a flower in love with its own fragrance. Am I wrong?” Chen Jiaxi’s voice continued to grow louder. By the time he reached the end of his tirade, Zhou Dekun’s face was pale, and his eyes seemed on the verge of bursting forth with flame. It was obvious to him that his opponent was twisting his words, and yet, the words somehow also seemed reasonable. His mind filled with words of response, but he just couldn’t get them out of his mouth.
“Nonsense!” he cried furiously. Hearing this, Meng Hao sighed inwardly.
“Nonsense?” said Chen Jiaxi. “Very well. Let me explain to you what Truth really is! Consider the Yin (阴) and the Yang (阳), the moon (月) and the sun (日). In the great world of alchemy, the boundless sun is the Yang, which encompasses everything that melts and burns. This is the pill furnace! The bright moon is the changeable Yin, which is the pill formula! This is Truth! Grandmaster Zhou, if you really stand at the pinnacle of the Dao of alchemy, do you really dare to claim that the pill furnace, which is represented by the boundless sun, can exist in your heart? Are you bold enough to claim that the moon, which represents endless pill formulas, can be formulated in your heart? To say that you are fishing for fame and compliments, a flower in love with its own fragrance, is really going easy on you!”
There was no response but silence. Chen Jiaxi’s words echoed back and forth in the square. All of the Black Sieve Sect disciples looked on in shock.
Patriarch Violet Sieve and the beautiful woman had opened their eyes, and were looking at Chen Jiaxi, their expressions serious.
Zhou Dekun’s body trembled. He wanted to speak, but his mind was in chaos. All eyes were focused on him. To be openly ridiculed in such a way made him so upset that he was speechless.
Just when he was opening his mouth to speak, Meng Hao’s cold voice rang out. “I, Fang Mu, have a few questions.” He stood, flying up to stand next to Zhou Dekun atop the dais.
Zhou Dekun looked at Meng Hao as if he were a blood relative. He knew Meng Hao’s incisive way with words. Breathing deeply, he said no more, instead taking a few steps back, more than happy to let Meng Hao take center stage.
Meng Hao’s cold gaze swept about, eventually landing on Chen Jiaxi.
“Please, elaborate,” Chen Jiaxi said, smiling. His expression was one of indifference, but inwardly, he was composed and ready. He didn’t know much about this Fang Mu, but considering their first conversation outside of the Black Sieve Sect, he knew that he wasn’t someone who could be messed with easily.
However, he had faith in his own Dao of alchemy. Besides, Fang Mu had finagled his way into being a Furnace Lord. Therefore, Chen Jiaxi was supremely confident. A snide smile filled his face.
All the surrounding Black Sieve Sect disciples turned to look at Meng Hao. Han Bei’s eyes narrowed, hiding the glow which filled them. All attention was focused on Meng Hao, even the gaze of the beautiful woman, who sat there cross-legged, looking at him with a quizzical expression.
After hearing Chen Jiaxi’s words, most of the Black Sieve Sect disciples felt that they were quite reasonable.
“I have three questions,” said Meng Hao, his voice cool. “The first question is regarding Truth. You mentioned the sun and the moon. The boundless sun, you say, is the furnace, and the bright moon births the pill formula. Let me ask you, who invented the pill furnace, and who created the pill formula?”
“Grandmaster Fang, have you really learned so little of the Dao of alchemy?” replied Chen Jiaxi with a laugh. “The ancients gazed upon the boundless sun, and were inspired to forge the pill furnace. As for the pill formula, again, the ancients gained enlightenment from the moon and then recorded the countless variations of plants and vegetation. Thus, I say that the boundless sun is the furnace and the bright moon is the formula. The sun and the moon are a forge which bring forth all living things!” A murmur of excitement rippled through the crowd.
Meng Hao responded in a cool voice, speaking neither quickly nor slowly: “The boundless sun is a heavenly body in the sky. Its blinding radiance makes it impossible to see any other star. When the ancients gazed upward, what they looked at was not the sun, but rather, the sky! You claim Grandmaster Zhou is fishing for fame and compliments. Well, Grandmaster Chen, I say that you are a frog in a well, who looks at the blazing sun, but cannot see the sky which contains that very sun!
“The moon is another of the many heavenly bodies, frequently seen in the night sky. Because of the existence of the darkness and the light, people believed that the night sky and the bright daytime moved in rotation. In reality, among all the heavenly bodies, the only thing that does not move, are the Heavens themselves!
“You assert that Grandmaster Zhou is a lone flower in love with its own fragrance. Grandmaster Chen, I say that you are shortsighted. You, a tiny alchemist, dare to claim that the sun and moon are a forge that give birth to all living things! Since you thus reveal how much you overrate yourself, then I, Fang Mu tell you today, if the sun and moon are a forge that gives birth to all living things, then the forge of the Heavens is what gives birth to the transformations of the sun and moon!” By the time he reached his final sentence, his voice rang out like thunder, stabbing into Chen Jiaxi’s heart, whose face immediately fell.