Chapter 283: Goofing Off
Actually, even if Meng Hao hadn’t concocted the various medicinal pills, the miasma wouldn’t have been the least bit harmful to him in any way. The Resurrection Lily had been suppressed, but its nature talent was still within him, which could innately dispel all varieties of poisons.
Meng Hao did not fear poison.
Granted, many years had passed since the Blood Immortal Legacy tournament, which so many Cultivators had witnessed 1. However, anyone observing could easily make a connection between the two. Thus, he had concocted the medicinal pills to make it seem like they were repelling the poisons. However, their true function was to suppress his own aura, which was was affecting the poison bugs and the miasma.
That of course was something about him that was completely different from the other candidates.
There was really no choice but to suppress his aura in this way. If he didn’t do so with the medicinal pills, then as he traveled through the miasma, it would explode away from him immediately, and the entire area would be completely free of it, without the slightest trace.
Even having suppressed his aura, the miasma still spread out away from him. There was literally nothing he could do to make himself walk through the miasma and have it remain still.
As for the poisonous bugs, were it not for the fact that his aura had been suppressed, they simply wouldn’t dare to exist nearby. In fact, Meng Hao was worried that he might lose control of his suppressed aura, and that any bugs which hadn’t fled far enough away from him would spontaneously die. If that happened, it would definitely attract attention from the outside world.
Therefore, the best he could do was use medicinal pills to suppress his aura, be extremely cautious not to allow the miasma to completely disperse, and try to make the poison bugs behave a bit more normally. Despite all of that, he caused quite a stir on the outside world.
However, it was just a stir, not enough to draw any connections to the Blood Immortal Legacy tournament.
Several days later, the first person made it to the second region, and of course, it was Ye Feimu. Behind him was Chu Yuyan, and then in third place, Meng Hao, the newcomer to the top of the group.
As far as the other seven people, two more eventually appeared at the boulder marking the second region. The other five were still stuck back on the path in the miasma, concocting pills and slowly moving forward.
When the candidates arrived at the large boulder, all of them discovered the same thing. Strands of Violet Qi emerged and latched onto their pill furnaces and then merged into them, causing them to change color.
The same thing happened to the Meng Hao. The black pill furnace seemed very opposed to this happening, but considering how it was suppressed by Meng Hao, there was nothing it could do to resist.
People outside immediately began to discuss what was happening.
“The’ve only just passed the first region, and you can already see the difference….”
“It looks like the final candidate will be one of these five people. However, I still think Furnace Lord Ye has the advantage.”
Suddenly, Violet Furnace Lord An Zaihai’s voice rang out. “The Violet Furnace Lord trial by fire promotion is a test of an alchemist’s skill in the Dao of Alchemy. Falling behind doesn’t mean anything. The year I took the test, I came in last in the first two regions. However, I successfully passed the third region, the one in which most people get stuck. You might better spend your time observing how these ten Chosen alchemists concoct pills, than discussing things the way you see them now.” An Zaihai’s echoing voice immediately silenced the discussions of the surrounding alchemists. They grew silent and thoughtfully began to watch what was happening.
What they saw was that the five alchemists in last place were all very calm. All of them were concocting pills in different ways, and not one of them experienced the slightest failure.
Time passed slowly. Meng Hao had already been staring thoughtfully for several hours at the boulder leading into the second region. It wasn’t just him. On their various respective paths, Ye Feimu and Chu Yuyan were also staring with furrowed brows at the boulders.
The boulders completely blocked the various paths. Only by fulfilling the requirements laid out, would a fissure open in the boulder and allow passage through.
Meng Hao murmured to himself as he sat cross-legged next to the boulder. “Concoct medicinal pills for the four great stages of Qi Condensation, Foundation Establishment, Core Formation and Nascent Soul. Each one must have medicinal strength of eighty percent or higher, and must contain variations from among the ten million variations of plants and vegetation. If you can create your own unique medicinal pill, this will be counted as perfection….” A thoughtful look appeared in his eyes.
The four regions of the Violet Furnace Lord trial by fire contained practical tests of an alchemist’s skill in the Dao of alchemy. The first region tested the skill of concocting pills based on the current circumstances. Different situations required different pills to be concocted, requiring flexibility. It seemed simple, but in reality, most Furnace Lords were incapable of doing such a thing.
The second region was even more difficult. It tested fundamental pill concocting ability. Four medicinal pills, one for each of the four great stages. Medicinal strength must be maintained, and mastery of the ten million variations of plants and vegetation was a necessity.
This trial by fire was comprehensive, and as for this second region, someone not at the peak of the Furnace Lord rank would be incapable of passing it. Even for someone with those qualifications, passing was not an easy thing.
Meng Hao sat there thinking silently for some time, as did Chu Yuyan, Ye Feimu, along with the other candidates who made it to the second region boulder.
There were no requirements regarding the medicinal plants which could be used; each alchemist could do however he pleased. In fact, based on one’s mastery of the variations of plants and vegetations, one could simply make a depiction of a medicinal plant on the surface of the boulder, and the power of the Celestial Land would produce an illusory replication, which could be used for illusory pill concoction.
They were only illusory replications, but were actually very realistic.
“There are two options,” thought Chu Yuyan. “One is the easy path, to concoct an existing pill. After all, the only requirements are those regarding medicinal strength and skill with the ten million variations of plants and vegetation.
“The other path, is much harder, and that is to create a new medicinal pill, to make something out of nothing…. Both of these two paths can lead onward, toward the highest pinnacle. However, it is clear that, the road of a Violet Furnace Lord… lies along the second path!” Determination filled her eyes. She was an apprentice of Grandmaster Pill Demon, so in order to become a Violet Furnace Lord, she had to prove herself.
Ye Feimu obviously felt the same way. He stared at the boulder, and as he did, a bright light shone in his eyes, along with a proud, unyielding look.
“If I’m going to concoct something,” he thought, “I will concoct a pill no other person has ever seen, a pill which contains my very self! I will show that I have the will of a Violet Furnace Lord!”
At almost the same time, resolve showed on the faces of Chu Yuyan and Ye Feimu as they chose the second of the two paths.
As for the others, most picked the easy path, although some attempted to concoct original creations. Each one made their decision based on their own Dao of alchemy.
Meng Hao looked at the boulder thoughtfully, sighing as he rubbed the bridge of his nose. He had recently traveled for four days nonstop, had engaged in a battle of will with the black pill furnace, and was now completely exhausted. He looked at the requirements listed on the boulder, and realized that traversing the path of medicinal pill creation would definitely make him more tired.
He began to murmur to himself: “Concocting an existing pill is definitely better than coming up with something new. Creating a new medicinal pill requires good fortune, alchemic enlightenment, and meticulous concentration, otherwise the quality will be inferior…. Yeah, this is the best decision. My analysis is definitely correct. I will not let my quality drop.” The more he thought about it, the more it made sense to him. His mind at ease, he began to concoct medicinal pills. He lifted his right hand and pressed down onto the boulder; immediately it rippled like water. The medicinal plants which floated in his mind, slowly began to appear in front of him.
“A medicinal pill for the Qi Condensation stage. I’ll make the simplest one, a Qi Condensation Pill.” He flicked his sleeve, and an illusory pill furnace emerged from the boulder, into which he fed bunch after bunch of medicinal plants. After another moment’s thought, he began to concoct.
Not too much time passed before Chu Yuyan’s eyes opened and she waved her beautiful hand. A pill furnace appeared and her eyes glittered brightly as she began to concoct.
After enough time passed for an incense stick to burn, Ye Feimu opened his eyes. Filled with self confidence, he began to concoct.
The observers outside on Eastern Emergence Mountain were watching intently as everything happened; their eyes passed back and forth among the ten screens, including Meng Hao, the tenth person.
Of course, the focus was Ye Feimu and Chu Yuyan, who had performed spectacularly in the first region. And of course many were paying attention to Meng Hao, who had attracted such attention with his own performance there.
However, Meng Hao was taking the easy path to pill cultivation. Currently, he was concocting a Qi Condensation Pill; he wasn’t the only one, in total, seven were doing so.
The audience could see the instructions on the boulder, and thus began discussing things in low tones. It was relatively easy to determine what this part of the test was about.
“It turns out Fang Mu is concocting a Qi Condensation Pill…. It seems like he’s falling further and further behind Chu Yuyan and Ye Feimu in this second region.”
“I heard about Furnace Lord Ye Feimu a long time ago. His skill in the Dao of alchemy is at the pinnacle. Based on the look of it, he’s not just concocting some ordinarily medicinal pill. Could he be working on an original creation?”
Lin Hailong gave a slight smile as he turned to An Zaihai and said, “Chu Yuyan is most likely also creating an original medicinal pill…. Simply having the confidence to do that is worthy of praise.”
An Zaihai gave a slight nod. His expression was calm as he glanced at the ten screens. When he saw Meng Hao, and took note of what he was concocting, he felt slightly amused. In his opinion, Meng Hao understood that an original creation would allow him to pass this critical juncture, but had decided instead to save time and effort.
Time passed, and in the blink of an eye, three days had gone by. Meng Hao had produced a Qi Condensation pill of eighty percent medicinal strength, as well as a Foundation Establishment Day of similar quality. Now he was working on a pill for the Core Formation stage, a Spiritualization Pill.
Before, Meng Hao would have had a difficult time concocting such a pill, considering his Cultivation base. However, now that he had ten Dao Pillars, and was of the great circle of Foundation Establishment, concocting a simple, common Spiritualization Pill required a bit of effort, but wasn’t very difficult.
In fact, he was both concocting and resting at the same time. Having been in Violet East Mountain for several days now, he had now recovered quite a bit of energy. He was no longer exhausted, and his pill concocting went a bit faster than before.
However, the moment his Spiritualization Pill emerged was also the exact moment when Chu Yuyan’s original Qi Condensation stage medicinal pill came out. When it did, brilliant light swirled up from her pill; at a single glance, it was obvious this was no ordinary pill. It immediately attracted quite a bit of notice on the outside world.
At the same time, Ye Feimu’s original medicinal pill emerged. A four-colored glow enveloped it, a bit brighter than the glow from Chu Yuyan’s pill. A sudden gasp of astonishment could be heard from the spectators.
As for Meng Hao, however, he produced nothing extraordinary whatsoever. Like most of the others, he had chosen to concoct familiar pills. Furthermore, from his attitude, it seemed as if he were goofing off. It was completely different from the conscientiousness of Chu Yuyan and Ye Feimu.
In fact the clear cut difference between them… made Meng Hao seem even more unremarkable.
Only one person on Eastern Emergence Mountain was different. Grandmaster Pill Demon. When he casually glanced at the screen depicting Meng Hao, an imperceptible shadow of a smile appeared on his face.
This chapter was sponsored by Lukas Arnold, Nightrunners, Valera McDaniel, David Bottlender, and Mitchell Dowling