Chapter 913: Changes Bring Solutions!
“Hardships prompt changes, changes bring solutions!” Meng Hao’s eyes shone with the light of obsession. This saying was something he had come across in a book he had read when he was a scholar living at the foot of Mount Daqing.
Nowadays, he had not forgotten the true meaning of the phrase. However, because of his personality, he had come to a new understanding. To him, the first character of the expression… referred to being poor! 1
“If I can’t make a profit when it comes to merit points, then it means I’m poor… therefore I need to think of some ways to change the situation. That’s the only way to make it through the impasse. After I make it through, then I can start earning merit points again.”
After stepping into the first level of the Medicine Pavilion, Meng Hao was surrounded by mists. He took a deep breath, and his eyes began to shine brightly.
“In the past, I didn’t have a lot of spirit stones, but with over 100,000,000, it couldn’t count as being in short supply…. But, dammit! The Nirvana Fruits basically consume spirit stones! I barely have thirty percent of my original stockpile….
“It’s like a bottomless pit! Considering I’ve spent so many spirit stones on them, I definitely can’t stop now. I have to keep going! I wonder if the Grand Elder knew all along that I had a lot of spirit stones, and wanted to use this method to force me to go broke!
“A tier 7 alchemist sitting next to me, lecturing about plants and vegetation, cutting off my path to wealth! That’s outright bullying! Unbelievable!” Meng Hao was actually very angry.
Fueled by obsession and anger, he stalked into the first level of the Medicine Pavilion and was surrounding by swirling mists. In the blink of an eye, three incense sticks materialized in front of him.
Black smoke rose up from the first incense stick, swirling through the air to surround Meng Hao. Shockingly, a brilliant light appeared, as well as the images of countless medicinal plants.
At first glance, there appeared to be at least 10,000,000, packed together endlessly. It was only by looking closely that it was possible to clearly make any of them out.
In the space of a single breath, before Meng Hao could imprint any of them with divine sense, the 10,000,000 medicinal plants suddenly flickered with light, and then began to superimpose over each other. In the blink of an eye, they all merged together in the form of an ancient tome.
The book seemed archaic and old, and three characters were written on its cover.
Classic of Plants and Vegetation. (草木经)
Next, an ancient voice echoed out through the first level.
“In the time it takes three incense sticks to burn, identify the first 10,000 medicinal plants in the Classic of Plants and Vegetation. If you make a hundred mistakes or more, the result will be failure.”
“Now that the rules have changed,” thought Meng Hao, “this test is certainly a bit more impressive.” He sent out his divine sense to open the Classic of Plants and Vegetation to the first page. Visible there was a single medicinal plant.
“Quickspirit Flower!” he thought, identifying it immediately, branding it with divine sense, and also providing a quick description of its properties and use in medicines.
The tome flickered, and the second page appeared. Meng Hao made another divine sense imprint with incredible speed. Gradually, it began to appear as if a strong wind were blowing across the tome in front of Meng Hao. The pages flipped rapidly in quick succession.
Meng Hao stood there, not speaking, his divine sense covering the tome. To him, identifying these medicinal plants was a simple matter.
Before the incense stick had even finished burning, it seemed as if the tome’s pages were flipping by so fast they couldn’t go any faster. Dozens of pages would flip by in the blink of an eye. By the time the incense stick had burned to about 90%, Meng Hao had already identified 10,000 medicinal plants without making a single mistake.
However, he didn’t stop there. If his goal was simply to pass the level, then it wouldn’t matter. But if he was going to take this exam, he would do so in shocking fashion. He would make sure his name spread far and wide. That was the only way he could ensure that his lectures on plants and vegetation were profitable.
Therefore, he continued to identify medicinal plants. Soon, hundreds of pages flipped by in every blink of an eye. As soon as Meng Hao scanned them with divine sense, the profiles and information regarding these plants and vegetation appeared in his mind.
10,000. 30,000. 50,000. 100,000.
Faster and faster.
In the time it took an incense stick to burn, Meng Hao had identified 1,000,000 medicinal plants without a single mistake. The mist around him churned, and brilliant rays of light flickered. It was just barely possible to see countless magical symbols swirling around in response to Meng Hao’s miraculous performance.
Outside the Medicine Pavilion, it was impossible to tell what was happening on the inside. Many of the full alchemists and the apprentice alchemists were discussing and speculating about the matter. None of them believed that Meng Hao would fail to pass the level, but then they considered how the rules had been changed, and figured that even he might have to expend some effort.
The three old tier 8 alchemists looked at each other and then began to talk.
“How come the kid is taking so long?”
“If he’s really interested in taking the examination, then he should be able to pass the first level in the time it takes an incense stick to burn. Since he hasn’t come out, does it mean… that the kid is actually going to try to crack the test?”
Back in the Medicine Pavilion, Meng Hao was frowning.
“Time’s running out. It seems I was going a bit slow before.” His eyes flickered, and his right hand suddenly reached out to grab the tome’s right cover. At the same time, his divine sense exploded out, entering the tome. Meng Hao closed his eyes.
In that moment when his eyes closed, his divine sense filled the tome completely. It was as if countless medicinal plants had appeared in front of him, which he immediately began to identify and imprint at top speed.
1,000,000. 1,500,000. 2,000,000!
In the blink of an eye, rumbling sounds could be heard, and the mists surrounding him were churning in a violent and shocking manner. Brilliant light shone out, and more magical symbols appeared, with Meng Hao seemingly at the center of them all.
3,000,000. 4,000,000. 5,000,000!
The second incense stick was almost completely burnt out. Meng Hao’s skill in plants and vegetation was extremely deep and profound, so much so that it had even left Pill Demon shaken back in his days in the Violet Fate Sect. When you added in his later experiences, his mastery had only increased. By the time he went to the ancient Demon Immortal Sect’s illusory world, he had been able to master much of that sect’s Dao of alchemy as well. Due to that, his skill in plants and vegetation had risen even higher, reaching an indescribably terrifying level.
Right now, all of that accumulated knowledge was exploding out, causing the tome’s pages to flip by at incredible speed. It was now impossible to even see the pages moving. Several thousand pages would flip by in the time it takes to blink an eye.
The second incense stick finished burning, and the third incense stick ignited. Meng Hao grabbed the other side of the tome with his left hand. It was at that point that eighty percent of the power of a true Immortal exploded out.
Glittering light shone out in all directions, and the mists were seething. A sound like thunder rumbled, and the magical symbols swirled around him endlessly. As of now, this place didn’t resemble the Medicine Pavilion, but rather, some bizarre world in which Meng Hao was the nucleus of everything.
By now, 10,000 pages flipped by with each blink of an eye. Not a single medicinal plant caused the slightest problem for Meng Hao. Each and every one of them was already encompassed by Meng Hao’s skill with plants and vegetation.
Outside the Medicine Pavilion, expressions of bewilderment could constantly be heard. Although they couldn’t see the shocking scene on the interior of the Medicine Pavilion, they felt that something was amiss. Even though some of the people present had ill feelings toward Meng Hao, everyone felt that it would be a simple matter for him to pass the first level.
And yet, enough time had passed for two incense sticks to burn, and yet Meng Hao still hadn’t emerged from the first level. Everyone was astonished.
However, the three tier-8 alchemists had serious expressions on their faces. As they looked at the Medicine Pavilion’s first level, expressions of shock became visible on their faces. Although they couldn’t see what was happening inside, these three men were gradually coming to realize that the first floor was building up with incredible pressure.
“What’s this kid doing?!”
“That pressure appears when someone identifies more than 1,000,000 medicinal plants. Is it possible that this kid has identified more than 1,000,000 medicinal plants in the time it takes two incense sticks to burn?”
As the old men looked on in shock, Meng Hao had his hands planted firmly on the tome. His eyes shone with brilliant light as he thoroughly identified all of its contents.
6,000,000. 7,000,000. 8,000,000….
The third incense stick was still burning, but still had about halfway to go. Finally, a tremor ran through Meng Hao’s body, and he looked up. His hands slowly released the tome. He had finally reached the very last page!
The entire first level of the Medicine Pavilion was rumbling, and brilliant light shone out in all directions. Magical symbols swirled about, and something that sounded like Immortal music could be heard drifting about.
Usually, when someone passed the first level, a beam of light would appear on the outside. However, when Meng Hao reached the last page of the tome, what people on the outside saw was the entire first level shining with unprecedentedly bright light!
It was as if the first level was completely bathed in boundless, unfathomable light that spread out in all directions, and even up into the Heavens. The Heavenly bodies trembled, and strange colors flashed through the sky.
Each and every person in the Dao of Alchemy Division, in all 10,000 inner mountains and all 100,000 outer mountains, could now see what was happening.
“What’s going on!?!?”
“Why are there such transformations in Heaven and Earth!? What is that pillar of light!?!?”
All of the apprentice alchemists listening to lectures were thoroughly shocked as they looked up into the sky at the boundless light. As for the alchemists, their faces flickered with shock.
“Could it be that some member of the Senior generation is concocting pills?”
“No, that’s not it! Look at that light! It’s rising up from the location of the Medicine Pavilion!”
Even the clan members in the ancestral mansion could see the bright light coming from the Dao of Alchemy Division. Many clan members left their residences and looked in that direction, expressions of shock on their faces.
Everything was shaking, and the countless apprentice alchemists of the Dao of Alchemy Division, as well as numerous full alchemists, were all staring in shock. When they realized that the light was coming from the Medicine Pavilion, they began to fly toward it.
In a brief moment, innumerable beams of colorful light filled the Dao of Alchemy Division.
The crowd outside the Medicine Pavilion was panting, and their minds trembled. They were shocked, and completely ignorant of what exactly was happening. They didn’t understand how Meng Hao passing the first level would cause such a boundless light to appear.
The three tier 8 Elders exchanged glances and could see the shock in each others’ eyes.
“He identified 10,000,000 medicinal plants! Because the rules have been changed, it’s something that nobody has ever done before! The result of his passing the first level in this way is this incredible pillar of Dao Light!!”
“I can’t believe this Fang Hao… has such an incredible foundation in plants and vegetation!!”
“That’s comparable to a tier 4 alchemist! Perhaps even beyond that! However, it’s still not quite at the level of a tier 5 alchemist.”
- In Chinese, the first character of the phrase “Hardships prompt changes, changes bring solutions!” by itself could mean “poor,” but the general meaning of the phrase refers to overcoming an impasse or difficult situation ↩