Chapter 906: The First Waves
“Impossible! This is Impossible!!” Fang Xuzhong’s heart trembled violently. He had no idea how the medicinal plant had been grafted together and no way of knowing whether Meng Hao was correct or not. However… based on his skill in the Dao of alchemy, he was fairly certain that what Meng Hao had said was true.
Most importantly, the tier 5 alchemist from whom he had acquired this medicinal plant had indeed given him a pill formula to use with it. Furthermore, the words that alchemist had used to describe the plant were exactly the same as the words Meng Hao had uttered just now!
The surrounding apprentice alchemists noticed Fang Xuzhong’s pale face, the fact that he had backed up, and his facial expression. Virtually all of them understood exactly what it meant; Meng Hao had been completely correct in what he had said.
There was no other reason for Fang Xuzhong’s expression to change the way it had.
“Fang Hao was right again!!”
“Not even Alchemist Fang Xuzhong is capable of outdoing Fang Hao when it comes to plants and vegetation!!”
“It’s a good thing I kept good notes from when Fang Hao was lecturing about plants and vegetation earlier. I’m going to go back and review them thoroughly!”
The surrounding apprentice alchemists were abuzz. After all, as mere apprentice alchemists, they didn’t really understand much about alchemy. Even the tier 1 alchemists were panting and looking on with wide eyes. Then they exchanged glances, and saw similar looks of disbelief on each other’s faces.
They were alchemists, and though they might only be tier 1, their knowledge base far exceeded that of apprentice alchemists. Since they couldn’t identify the medicinal plant Fang Xuzhong held in his hand, they initially hadn’t felt that there was anything special about it. However, after Meng Hao spoke, and especially after he revealed the grafting technique, their minds trembled.
“Uh… that grafting technique is a top secret method of a tier 5 alchemist!!”
“Nineteen medicinal plants! I’m afraid only a tier 5 alchemist could create something like that. But… but Fang Hao is so inhuman that he actually… easily identified the grafting method by simply looking at the plant!!”
“Just what is the full extent of his skill in plants and vegetation, and his Dao of alchemy? How frightening! It’s almost like no secrets that relate to plants and vegetation can be kept from him!!”
Because of their advanced understanding, the tier 1 alchemists were thoroughly astonished.
Fang Xuzhong’s face was pale white as he looked at Meng Hao, who in his view had become completely inscrutable and terrifying. He could never have predicted that anyone would be able, with a single look, to see through an alchemist’s top secret technique and reveal the grafting method.
To him, such a thing was vastly terrifying.
As of this moment, he knew that he was absolutely no match for Fang Hao when it came to skill in plants and vegetation. He simply didn’t stand a chance of winning when up against an inhuman like this in a competition.
“Damn you, Fang Yunyi!” he thought. “You just wait until I get back. I’ll teach you a thing or two!” Fang Xuzhong was filled with bitterness, as well as a sudden, bone-deep hatred of Fang Yunyi. As for Meng Hao, he didn’t dare to hate him.
Because the Dao of Alchemy Division had its own way of doing things, he could ignore the fact that Meng Hao was Chosen. However… after getting a sense of Meng Hao’s skill with plants and vegetation, he was frightened to death.
“With skill like that,” he thought, “even if he’s not very good at pill concocting, he’ll still rise to complete prominence…. Furthermore, what if he’s just as gifted in pill concocting? That would be petrifying. He’ll certainly exceed me in the Dao of Alchemy Division. Now, thanks to Fang Yunyi, I’ve offended him. It definitely wasn’t worth it….”
Fang Xuzhong took a deep breath, gritted his teeth, and was just about to admit defeat when suddenly his heart quivered. He suddenly realized that this defeat could actually be turned into an opportunity. He hesitated for a moment, then clasped hands and bowed to Meng Hao.
“Alchemist Fang, your skill in plants and vegetation is profound. I’m no match for you. I was crude and rash earlier, and I hope you can look past that. Please take the spirit stones in that bag of holding as my gift to you upon our first meeting. I admit defeat….” His words sent the apprentice alchemists into an uproar. However, the tier 1 alchemists had already surmised that he would take such action.
There would obviously be something wrong with any of them who would still feel confident enough to continue even when faced with someone so inhuman as to be able to identify a top secret grafting technique.
“However, I would also like to ask for some pointers, if that’s okay. I… I saw a medicinal plant a while back. I’ve asked many people about it, but no one can tell me exactly what it was.” Fang Xuzhong once again clasped hands and bowed. “Alchemist Fang, if you can help me out a bit, I’d be more than happy to give this grafted medicinal plant to you as an expression of my thanks.”
Meng Hao’s expression was as calm as ever. However, inwardly, he sighed, thinking that he should have acted a bit weaker earlier. Showing off so much had only deprived him of a chance to fleece this fat sheep.
“It’s too bad,” he thought. “I have a lot more spirit stones in my bag of holding, and I was planning to con this guy even harder. Now I’ve lost the chance.” Feeling a bit depressed, he waved his hand to collect Fang Xuzhong’s bag of holding. After scanning it with divine sense and seeing how many spirit stones were inside, he felt a bit better.
Then he looked up at the grafted medicinal plant. He knew that the value of such a plant would be significant. Besides, the grafting techniques that had been used were intriguing. As a result, he nodded to Fang Xuzhong.
Fang Xuzhong’s expression brightened, and he immediately produced a jade slip from his bag of holding, which he respectfully handed over to Meng Hao, who accepted it and scanned it with divine sense.
Immediately, an image of a violet flower appeared in his mind, growing on top of a tiny, hand-sized horse, which was galloping at top speed.
That was all he saw before the image vanished.
Meng Hao’s expression became more serious, and he scanned the jade slip again. After a moment of thought, he asked, “Where did you see this?”
“On an island in a sea district here on Planet East Victory. I just randomly happened to see it, and chased after it for a while to no avail. I asked some of the local fisherman about it, and all of them reported seeing it before on occasion.
“However, even after returning to the location on a few times, I was never able to find it again.” Fang Xuzhong had shown this jade to slip to numerous alchemists, but none of them had ever been able to identify it. The best he had gotten were speculations that it was some type of rare medicinal plant.
“I think that horse is actually the root of the medicinal plant,” said Fang Xuzhong.
“You would be wrong,” said Meng Hao, shaking his head. “That’s not a medicinal plant. It’s… a medicinal pill! A sentient medicinal pill!”
“What!?!?” exclaimed Fang Xuzhong, feeling both shock and disbelief. None of the numerous alchemists he had asked about this image had ever come to the conclusion that it was a medicinal pill. No matter how you looked at it, the only answer that made sense was that it was some kind of medicinal plant.
“How is that even possible?” said Fang Xuzhong, mostly to himself. “Medicinal pills are medicinal pills! They’re concocted by people! How could a medicinal pill come to life?”
“Such things do exist,” said Meng Hao. “I’ve seen them.” Without providing any further explanation, he handed the jade slip back to Fang Xuzhong, then clasped hands and bowed to the crowd. Finally, he turned and left.
Even after Meng Hao left, Fang Xuzhong was still in a state of disbelief. The surrounding apprentice alchemists all began disperse excitedly.
Soon after, Fang Xuzhong returned to his residence, whereupon he took out Fang Yunyi’s jade slip and then grimly transmitted a stream of divine will into it.
Meanwhile, Fang Yunyi was in the ancestral mansion, meditating in his residence as he waited for news from the Dao of Alchemy Division.
“Alchemist Fang Xuzhong is a tier 2 alchemist. His skill in the Dao of alchemy is incredible. Once he shows up, that Meng Hao will definitely get put in his place. Forcing him to kneel there for three days will definitely lighten my heart a bit.” He chuckled coldly, and he felt incredible anticipation for the moment when he could visit the Dao of Alchemy Division and personally look at Meng Hao kneeling there.
“Your dad was there on Planet South Heaven, and that’s why you could be so arrogant and despotic. But here, you’re an outsider. Let’s see you try to be pompous here!” A wide smile appeared on his face. It was at this point that his expression flickered as he produced a jade slip from his bag of holding. Then he laughed out loud.
“Alchemist Fang sent me a message!” His expression one of anticipation, he sent his divine sense into the jade slip. After a moment, the jade slip began to glow, and an illusory version of Fang Xuzhong’s face appeared. His expression was grim.
As soon as he saw Fang Xuzhong’s expression, Fang Yunyi gaped in shock. Before he could even say anything, Fang Xuzhong had already begun to speak.
“Fang Yunyi, what enmity is there between us?! You set me up, you bastard! You wanted me to humiliate Fang Hao? His skill in plants and vegetation is inhuman! Fang Yunyi, I’m not going to forget the trouble you’ve caused me!”
Fang Yunyi’s face fell.
“Alchemist Fang, this….”
“Don’t call me Alchemist Fang! From this day forth, when you want pills concocted, don’t come looking for me! Furthermore, none of my alchemist friends will concoct for you either!
“Fang Yunyi, what you’ve done is far too excessive!” Fang Xuzhong glared at Fang Yunyi for a moment, then gave a cold snort and severed the divine will connection.
Fang Yunyi’s face flickered with various emotions, and then suddenly, he shot to his feet and pulled out another jade slip, which he used to connect with the apprentice alchemist he had sent away earlier. After finding out what had happened between Meng Hao and Fang Xuzhong in the Dao of Alchemy Division, his face darkened. He wrathfully smashed the jade slip, and his face twisted with rage.
“Meng Hao!” he howled, and his hatred for Meng Hao grew even more intense.
In the Dao of Alchemy Division, everyone watched Meng Hao leave, and then dispersed. It didn’t take long before Meng Hao’s name began to be spread by all of the apprentice alchemists who had been present. The story of the bet between Meng Hao and Fang Xuzhong was especially popular.
When the apprentice alchemists from the outer mountains learned that Meng Hao had actually defeated Fang Xuzhong in terms of plants and vegetation, it only made Meng Hao all the more mysterious, and the subject of even more debate.
He had a 30,000 meter Bloodline Gatebeam, he had experienced the Seventh Year Tribulation, was the eldest grandson of the direct bloodline, and was a Chosen of the Fang Clan.
Word of all of these things spread, and soon, Meng Hao’s name began to rise to prominence among the apprentice alchemists. There were even some low-level alchemists who took note.
In the ancestral mansion, Fang Wei’s father and grandfather sat in a temple, their faces grim as they listened to a tier 1 alchemist retell the story of what had happened that day at the Dao of Alchemy Division.
After a long moment, the tier 1 alchemist left. Fang Wei’s father, Fang Xiushan, looked incredibly gloomy.
“Dad, if that son of a bitch keeps doing things like this, it’s going to cause waves of disturbance….”
“It doesn’t matter,” the old man said somberly. “He won’t live much longer. Besides, even if he becomes famous in the Dao of Alchemy Division, the rules of the Fang Clan are clear; anyone who practices cultivation must contribute merit points.
“He just arrived, and will be provided with a set monthly allowance of merit points. It doesn’t matter if it’s in terms of cultivation or pill concocting, he won’t be making any waves.
“Besides, if he wants to earn more merit points, he’ll have to accomplish tasks set forth by the clan…. When that happens, it doesn’t matter if he’s avoided death so far, he’ll be on the outside, where accidents can happen at any time.”