ISSTH – Book 4 – Chapter 360

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Chapter 360: Zhou Dekun’s Treasured Pill

Zhou Dekun wasn’t the only one to stare in shock. Hanxue Shan also glared at Meng Hao angrily with wide eyes.

The surrounding Cultivators were struck speechless for a moment. Then, however, they burst out laughing.

“Fang Mu? Don’t tell me he’s talking about the famous Grandmaster Pill Cauldron from the Southern Domain?”

“Hilarious. This guy sure is insulting Grandmaster Zhou.”

“He really has some guts, and maybe some skills too. It’s too bad for him that he ran into Grandmaster Zhou. He’ll definitely be outdone.”

As the laughter continued to ring out, Grandmaster Zhou frowned and then gave Meng Hao a cold harrumph.

“Ignorant rapscallion,” said Zhou Dekun, flicking his sleeve. “It’s hard to believe you dare to even speak the name of Fang Mu. He’s my Junior brother, Grandmaster Pill Cauldron!” A proud look shone in his eyes; clearly he felt that his status as Grandmaster Pill Cauldron’s Elder Brother was a very prestigious one. “Originally I merely planned to teach you a thing or two about the Dao of alchemy. However, considering your blathering, you rascal, I will now help you to understand that the grandeur of the Dao of alchemy is not something to be blithely chattered about.” With that, he lifted up his hand to reveal a small bottle.

“Contained in this bottle is blood infected with the poison you used the other day,” he continued, his voice arrogant. “I’ve long since analyzed it, and I have to say, it seems very potent, but is in fact quite simple.” With that, he tossed the bottle over to Meng Hao.

“The first lesson I will teach you is regarding the liquified poison in that bottle. You….” Before he could finish speaking, his eyes went wide.

All of the surrounding Cultivators instantly went quiet, too, as their gazes locked onto Meng Hao. Even the four Grand Elders were watching him closely.

That was because the instant Meng Hao caught the bottle, it shattered. A putrid, black liquid emerged, along with a mist, which floated above Meng Hao’s hand.

A moment later, a burning tongue of flame appeared in his palm, which instantly caused the black mist to dissipate. The liquid began to writhe, and after the space of about two breaths, had transformed into a medicinal pill! Everyone watching could clearly see the entire process!

The black medicinal pill suddenly began to emit strands of red Qi, after which, the pill turned violet in color. It was no longer putrid; instead, a fragrant aroma wafted up from it which lifted the spirits of anyone who smelled it.

“Liquid Congealment Concoction!” thought Zhou Dekun, his heart thumping. He was shocked, but quickly began to rationalize in his head. “It has to be some kind of trick. This guy is simply too young. Liquid Congealment Concoction is something that only Violet Furnace Lords can do.”

Meng Hao coughed lightly, looking a bit embarrassed. He really didn’t want to cause problems for Zhou Dekun. In fact, he was quite happy to be able to see him here. Liquid Congealment Concoction wasn’t anything particularly astonishing to see. It was more of a method of extending greetings to another alchemist. Unfortunately, because of the situation with the Ji Clan, and Meng Hao’s lack of certainty regarding all the circumstances involved, he didn’t want to openly be involved with Zhou Dekun.

“As an alchemist, I won’t denigrate your petty gimmick,” said Zhou Dekun, sounding very much like a Grandmaster. In his best reprimanding tone, he continued, “However, in the process of researching that poison liquid, I imbued it with no small amount of medicinal plants. I never imagined you would dare to treacherously use them to make a medicinal pill! We’ll ignore your Dao of alchemy for the moment. Such tricks are unacceptable!” The onlookers, including the four Grand Elders, suddenly weren’t as shocked as they had been moments before. After all, they had very much faith in Zhou Dekun, from their outsider’s view.

Zhou Dekun was actually somewhat alarmed inwardly. However, he knew that this was the Black Lands, and he was a Furnace Lord of the East Pill Division. Therefore, he was fully convinced that trickery had just been used just now to congeal the pill.

“Come,” he said, setting his jaw. “Concoct a pill for me. Use all the skill you have.” His tone was arrogant, but inwardly he had decided to use this opportunity to determine the true skill level of his opponent.

Meng Hao gave a slight smile. He glanced at Zhou Dekun, then shook his head and slapped his bag of holding to produce an ordinary pill furnace. Then, he produced some medicinal plants, which he tossed into the furnace. After a few moments, a green medicinal pill emerged. The fragrant medicinal aroma was thick. It was really just an ordinary medicinal pill, but it should have been enough to shock the audience.

However, upon the appearance of the medicinal pill, the observers didn’t look surprised at all. In fact, some of them even laughed mockingly. The Four Grand Elders frowned, and the old woman sighed and shook her head.

Hanxue Shan also shook her head, then looked at him as if he had lost and she were trying to comfort him.

Meng Hao gaped at all of this. Something didn’t seem right. The green medicinal pill seemed simple, but it emanated a strong medicinal aroma, and was actually an eighty percent medicinal strength pill for the Foundation Establishment stage.

“That’s your medicinal pill? Fine, I won’t go too hard on you. However, I will now be forced to convince you what a true medicinal pill is!” Zhou Dekun was actually heaving sighs of relief inwardly. Meng Hao’s Dao of alchemy had long since surpassed his by a vast margin. Furthermore, the medicinal pills Meng Hao created were not flamboyant. In fact, without holding the pill in hand, Zhou Dekun would have no way to tell its level. His expression was tranquil and composed as he smacked his bag of holding to produce a pill furnace.

This particular pill furnace was made from jade, and as soon as it appeared, it emanated spiritual energy. Meng Hao looked at it with surprise. Based on what he knew about pill furnaces, it only took a glance to tell that this one was beyond ordinary.

The surface of the jade pill furnace was carved with auspicious animals. These weren’t ordinary depictions, they appeared to be totemic, and obviously served some special function.

Seeing Meng Hao’s gaze caused a self-righteous look to appear on Zhou Dekun’s face. This pill furnace had been gifted to him by the Frigid Snow Clan, and he was quite pleased with it. Despite the fact that his Dao of alchemy was only average, he was still confident in being able to achieve victory because of his consistency. With the addition of this pill furnace, his chances increased even more. As of now, his success rate would be at ninety percent.

The pill furnace appeared along with a glowing red stone. After placing the pill furnace in position, flames leaped up from the stone to emanate out. Next, Zhou Dekun produced some medicinal plants which he catalyzed to various degrees and then tossed into the pill furnace.

The pill furnace began to glow, and Zhou Dekun himself began to shine with a light that gave him a Celestial appearance. He looked lofty, even holy. Anyone who looked at him would instantly be convinced of his grandeur.

At this point, he definitely emanated the aura of a transcendent being.

“No wonder he’s called Grandmaster Zhou. A single glance will tell you that he’s Grandmaster material!”

“This is the second time I’ve seen Grandmaster Zhou concoct pills. Every single time, I’m shocked and filled with admiration.”

The surrounding Cultivators discussed the sight, eyes filled with open veneration. The four Grand Elders looked on with slight smiles, nodding with respect toward Grandmaster Zhou.

A strange expression appeared on Meng Hao’s face. No one else could tell, but it only took a glance for him to see that while the pill Zhou Dekun was concocting was exceptional, what was even more exceptional was the technique the man was using to make his body glow brightly.

“No wonder he’s done so well for himself here,” thought Meng Hao. “That technique is really useful. If I remember correctly, he wasn’t able to do that back in the Southern Domain. He must have picked up this technique here in the Black Lands.”

A buzz of conversation filled the air as Zhou Dekun, his eyes shining brightly, slapped the pill furnace. Blinding rays of light shot out, along with a white medicinal pill.

Immediately, a dense medicinal aroma filled the air, spreading out for dozens of meters in all directions. All who smelled it were immediately energized, and felt their Cultivation bases leaping with power.

People continued to gush with conversation.

“Now that is a medicinal pill! You don’t even have to consume it to feel your Cultivation base jumping! That pill is incredible!”

“It’s definitely extraordinary. In fact it’s even more potent than the last set of pills Grandmaster Zhou concocted. Hahaha. It seems Grandmaster Zhou’s Dao of alchemy is even better than before.”

Even the Grand Elders were smiling and nodding, with the exception of the old woman.

Meng Hao gaped openly at the complacent Zhou Dekun. After a long moment passed, he smiled wryly, finally understanding why the audience had looked at him with such cynicism. Zhou Dekun’s medical pills had always been exceptional. After all, he was a Furnace Lord. However, his final movement in slapping the furnace had seemed to be filled with complacency, but in fact caused the medicinal essence of the pill to begin to emanate out.

After the pill appeared, it was inherently weak; less than half of its original medicinal strength remained. The other half was emanating out into the air.

The dense medicinal aroma caused everyone to feel energized, and even experience tiny leaps in their Cultivation bases. To them, it indicated that this medicinal pill was high quality. However, that just went to show how little Black Lands Cultivators understood about the Dao of alchemy.

Suddenly, Meng Hao came to understand that when dealing with people who didn’t understand the Dao of alchemy, you had to be adaptable.

Furthermore, he also realized that he himself had unwittingly made progress in his own Dao of alchemy. His medicinal pills were no longer as showy, but rather, subdued. This was a realm that exceeded that of ordinary alchemists, let alone ordinary Cultivators.

He put away the green medicinal pill, looked at the glorious Zhou Dekun and, hearing the excited conversations of the surrounding Cultivators, began to chuckle.

It was at this moment that the voice of the Frigid Snow Clan’s Second Elder rang out.

“Grandmaster Zhou, there’s no need to provide further instruction to this self-proclaimed Fang Mu,” he said coolly. “Any agreements previously made with this callow Cultivator are now invalid.” He looked at Meng Hao. “Because of the kindness you showed in saving Hanxue Shan, we will not look further into your trickery just now.” Before the echo of his words could die out, the sound of piercing laughter suddenly filled the entire city.

“So this is your Frigid Snow Clan’s alchemist? Wow, such an amazing Grandmaster. You’ve even outshone Pill Demon! Except, everyone’s laughing at you.”

Three colorful beams of light suddenly appeared in the sky, sending out ripples as they flew down.

Three people appeared, and just as they seemed about to smash into Holy Snow City’s protective spell formation shield, it suddenly opened. When the four Grand Elders of the Frigid Snow Clan saw who these three people were, their expressions immediately changed.

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