Chapter 914 (Click to show "spoiler" title) Chapter 914: First in Level After Level
Chapter 914: First in Level After Level
The Dao of Alchemy Division was in a tumult. More and more people were showing up outside the Medicine Pavilion to stare with astonishment at the brilliant light that shone up into the sky. Eyes wide, they immediately began to ask others in the area what was going on, and when they heard that Meng Hao had entered the Medicine Pavilion, giving rise to these transformations, their expressions were that of incredible shock.
“I can’t believe it’s Fang Hao!!”
“So, he’s the one going through the Medicine Pavilion. His… his skill in plants and vegetation actually made the Medicine Pavilion shine with that much light!?!?”
“I listened to one of his lectures on plants and vegetation once…. But, is the person who caused such shocking transformations really Fang Hao?” By now, more than 10,000 people were present. Even as everyone was staring in shock at the bright light, some people turned their attention to the stone stele outside of the Medicine Pavilion.
Hundreds of thousands of names could be seen on the lowest level of the stone stele. As of this moment… all of the names went dim, and then seemed to move backward one space. At the very top of the list… was a new name!
When the onlookers saw the name there at the top of the list, another buzz of conversation rose up.
“It’s really Fang Hao! His name is first on the list!”
“Most people who pass this trial have their names show up in the bottom, and only a few ever make it even to the middle of the pack! And yet Fang Hao is actually in first place!”
“For him to take the first spot means that his skill with plants and vegetation is greater than all of the other hundreds of thousands of people on the list!”
“Of course, all the strong alchemists’ names are higher up on the stele. Who knows whether Fang Hao will actually continue higher in the Medicine Pavilion this time, or whether he’ll try to find a flaw in the system to benefit the apprentice alchemists, just like the rumors said he did last time.”
The conversations continued. Eventually, they realized that Meng Hao had not emerged from within the Medicine Pavilion. That led them to the conclusion that… he was continuing with the examination!
Everyone immediately got even more excited than before. Also, they wanted to know… the exact level of skill Meng Hao had with plants and vegetation, this newcomer who had just recently risen to prominence in the Dao of Alchemy Division.
It wasn’t just them who wanted to know. The surrounding alchemists were also very curious.
Inside the Medicine Pavilion, Meng Hao took a deep breath and waited for the mists around him to slowly fade away. A staircase appeared in front of him, which led to the second level. Meng Hao immediately headed up the stairs.
“If I’m going to shock people, then I might as well do a thorough job of it,” he thought. “I’m also curious how far my level of skill with plants and vegetation will take me in the Fang clan’s Medicine Pavilion.
“In the Fang Clan, plants and vegetation are the most important aspect of their Dao of alchemy. In order to rise among the ranks of the alchemists, one must first earn qualifications in the Medicine Pavilion. Actually, this system makes a distinction between apothecaries and alchemists!” After reaching the top of the stairs, he found himself on the second level.
Bright light filled the second level, and yet again, 10,000,000 medicinal plants appeared, some of them repeats from the first level. They quickly merged together into the form of a tome.
This time, it wasn’t three incense sticks that appeared in front of him, but six.
Yet again, an archaic voice echoed out through the second level.
“You have the time it takes six incense sticks to burn to identify the first 100,000 medicinal plants, in which case you can pass this level. If you make ten or more mistakes, you fail.”
Meng hao frowned, then looked around at the second level for a moment.
“So this is the second level,” he thought. He stepped forward and opened the book, then poured his divine sense into it and began to imprint the medicinal plants.
Three incense sticks of time seemed to pass relatively quickly. Boundless light shone off of the tome; Meng Hao had already imprinted all 10,000,000 medicinal plants. Rumbling sounds filled the air, and another staircase appeared in front of him.
He climbed the stairs to the third level without hesitation. After looking around, an expression of disappointment could be seen on his face. The third level again featured 10,000,000 medicinal plants floating around, which then superimposed to create the same Classic of Plants and Vegetation.
However, the requirement to pass this level was not just to identify 100,000, but to identify 1,000,000, and also to list them in order according to a special method required by the ancient tome. Furthermore, just three mistakes would be considered a failure.
To Meng Hao, that wasn’t very difficult at all. Shaking his head, he stepped forward and opened the ancient classic.
This time, he only needed two incense sticks’ worth of time before the tome began to rumble, and the third level sent bright light outside. Yet again, Meng Hao had passed. When he reached the fourth level, his expression finally brightened.
What he saw on the fourth level was fully ten times as many medicinal plants as he had seen on the third level. There were over 100,000,000 plants, which caused his eyes to glow with a bright light.
“Now things are getting interesting,” he murmured. “Although there are still too few plants.” The 100,000,000 medicinal plants formed together into an ancient tome, which was labelled, yet again, the Classic of Plants and Vegetation.
The requirement for the fourth level was to identify 10,000,000 medicinal plants, without making any mistakes. A single mistake meant failure.
“100,000,000 medicinal plants, huh?” Meng Hao took a deep breath, eager to try. Back in the Violet Fate Sect, he had really enjoyed examinations like this. They reminded him of his scholar’s days back in Mount Daqing, and his experiences with the Imperial examinations.
Without hesitation, he placed his hands onto the book, poured in his divine sense, and immediately began to brand medicinal plants.
By now, over 100,000 people were standing around outside the Medicine Pavilion, having been drawn there by the bright lights. Before the light from the first level had even dissipated, a brilliant light already shone up from the second level, and then the third level.
Although the new light wasn’t as scintillating and blinding as the light from the first level, it was still shocking. Most importantly, as Meng Hao’s name moved up to the second and then the third level, it maintained its position as first in the lists!
Many of the surrounding alchemists were watching with very serious expressions.
“He’s gotten to the fourth level!”
“This Fang Hao passed all the way through the third level in a very short time. I wonder if the fourth level will cause any problems for him!?”
“In the Dao of Alchemy Division’s Medicine Pavilion, the first three levels are simply foundational. From what I’ve heard, no more than 10,000,000 medicinal plants will appear. The fourth level is different. The difficulty level is ten times higher!”
Back inside the fourth level, Meng Hao’s eyes shone with a bizarre light. His divine sense rumbled as he imprinted medicinal plants at an incredible speed. He immediately recognized every medicinal plant that he saw, causing the tome’s pages to flip by rapidly. It turned into a blur that, if any outsider was able to see, would leave them shocked.
Actually, Meng Hao wanted people on the outside to see. If they could watch, it would definitely be a big help in his efforts to earn merit points. After a moment, he retracted his divine sense and then decided to ask the Medicine Pavilion if such a thing was possible.
Everything was quiet for a moment, before an archaic voice slowly spoke out.
“The Medicine Pavilion has no such power now. However, if you can identify all 100,000,000 of these medicinal plants, then I can attempt to do so on the next level.”
Hearing this, Meng Hao immediately nodded his head, took a deep breath, and continued imprinting.
“In order to give the people on the outside more of a reason to listen to my lectures, in order to earn more merit points… I’m going to go all out!
“Just wait until I get out of here! I’ll definitely raise my prices! Two hours, two merit points!” His eyes shone with determination, which seemed to affect his divine sense, making it even faster than before.
1,000,000. 10,000,000. 30,000,000….
Meng Hao continuously imprinted the medicinal plants that appeared in his divine sense. The feeling he was experiencing made him sigh emotionally. If he’d had a skill like this when he’d taken the Imperial examinations that year, then he would surely have become a high official in the State of Zhao.
“Although, not for very long,” he thought. “Several hundred years have passed since then. If I hadn’t started practicing cultivation, I would be long dead.” He shook his head, sighed, and continued to imprint.
The tome couldn’t even be seen clearly. The pages flipped by so quickly that the whole book seemed frozen in eternity, almost unmoving.
40,000,000. 50,000,000. 60,000,000…
Time passed. To Meng Hao, it felt like he wasn’t expending any energy at all. Furthermore, his mastery of plants and vegetation seemed to be growing even more firm.
70,000,000. 80,000,000. 90,000,000….
In the end, Meng Hao let out a sharp breath and slammed the book shut.
The Medicine Pavilion trembled, and boundless light shone out in all directions. A staircase appeared, which Meng Hao climbed, filled with anticipation.
Everyone outside the Medicine Pavilion looked on as brilliant light from the fourth level spread out in all directions.
“He passed the fourth level!!”
“If he passed the fourth level, that basically means he’s a tier 4 apothecary! If his pill concocting skill is just as strong, he’ll be a tier 4 alchemist!”
The crowd was in quite a commotion. Of course, there were some people with looks of disdain on their faces. In their view, any tier 4 alchemist could pass the fourth level, which meant that Meng Hao hadn’t accomplished anything unusual. At the most, he had done something special on the first level only.
However, before the discussions could finish, a beam of light suddenly shot out from the fifth level. It flew into the air and then began to ripple out.
Shockingly, within those ripples, appeared… a screen!
Meng Hao was visible within the screen, walking up a staircase into the fifth level.
This scene caused the surrounding 100,000 spectators to stare in shock. Even the three tier 8 Elders were astonished.
The screen was so huge it seemed to fill the sky. There were many people in the Dao of Alchemy Division who hadn’t come to the Medicine Pavilion but, after catching sight of the huge screen, were suddenly curious, and began to head over at top speed.
One of them was the old woman, the tier 7 alchemist who had disrupted Meng Hao’s lectures. Shocked, she flew in from the outer mountains.
Everyone around the Medicine Pavilion began to discuss the unprecedented appearance of the screen. They were all very excited.
“What’s going on? I’ve never heard of a screen appearing when people entered the Medicine Pavilion.”
“Could it be that that this is a new divine ability manifested by the Medicine Pavilion now that the rules have been changed?”
“Hahaha! This is great! We’ll be able to clearly see how Fang Hao passes through the fifth level. This is much better than before!”
The three tier 8 Elders stared in shock and then exchanged suspicious glances.
It was strictly prohibited to reveal what happened inside the Medicine Pavilion. Even though some people might secretly find out some details, they would keep things low key and not spread the information around. That was especially true of the fifth level and higher.
“Pill Elder is in control of the Medicine Pavilion, could it be that he has some secret plan?” Even as the three old men transmitted a discussion, everything around them went quiet. On the screen, it was possible to see Meng Hao, who had just stepped foot off of the stairs and onto… the fifth level.
At the same time, on the stone stele located outside of the Medicine Pavilion, Meng Hao’s name appeared on the fourth level, yet again first on the list!
Chapter 914: First in Level After Level