Chapter 915: Striving for the Pinnacle of Perfection
In the instant that he entered the fifth level, Meng Hao stopped in his tracks and looked around. Then he took a deep breath, and his eyes began to shine with a brilliant light.
He began to tremble, a trembling that originated from the excitement in his heart, and seemed very difficult to control. Meng Hao would never act like this in a life-or-death battle, but this was an examination, a test of his skill with plants and vegetation.
He truly wished to know the extent of his skill. Therefore, he wanted the examination to get harder, and for there to be more medicinal plants involved.
As of this moment what he saw was… an enormous fifth level, filled with glittering lights and seemingly infinite medicinal ingredients. There were plants of all kinds and types, and even some things that bore the semblance of wild animals.
From the look of it, this level had ten times as many items as the previous level!
“1,000,000,000….” Meng Hao thought, his eyes shining as he looked around. As of this moment, he now had a much deeper understanding of the Fang Clan’s Dao of alchemy. These 1,000,000,000 medicinal ingredients were essentially anything that could be counted as medicinal that had appeared in the Ninth Mountain and Sea throughout tens of thousands of years of history.
These items weren’t just limited to plants and vegetation!
They were not grafted plants either. Everything was whole. Meng Hao glanced over them and saw tens of thousands of items that he didn’t recognize.
He began to breathe heavily. These 1,000,000,000 medicinal resources suddenly superimposed over each other in front of Meng Hao to transform into an enormous ancient tome that was as tall as a person.
Yet again, it was the Classic of Plants and Vegetation.
However, underneath the title of the book were the words ‘volume one.’
“This must be the full first volume of the Classic of Plants and Vegetation!” thought Meng Hao, his heart pounding. “1,000,000,000 medicinal plants. The Fang Clan’s Dao of alchemy truly is boundless and profound!”
The crowds in the outside world were equally shocked.
More and more cultivators were showing up, and when they saw the image on the screen, their jaws dropped.
“Is that… the fifth level?!”
“1,000,000,000 medicinal plants…. The only way to ever be promoted to a tier 5 alchemist is to pass this level! Any tier 5 alchemist in the Dao of Alchemy Division is incredibly famous and powerful in the outside world!!”
As the buzz of conversation filled the air outside, an archaic voice could be heard filling the fifth level.
“1,000,000,000 medicinal plants. Identify the first 100,000,000 in the Classic of Plants and Vegetation to pass this level. One mistake means failure.”
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered with a bright light. Expression solemn, he slowly walked forward. As far as he was concerned, this was the first time the test had actually seemed difficult. Even his first cursory scan confirmed that there were tens of thousands of items that he wasn’t familiar with.
One mistake in those first 100,000,000, and he would fail.
“It seems I’ve underestimated the Fang Clan’s Dao of alchemy,” he thought. Expression serious, he reached out, placed his hand on the ancient book, and sent his divine sense into it.
Immediately, countless medicinal plants appeared within his divine sense, which he immediately began to imprint. The pages of the ancient book began to flip at high speed. In the blink of an eyes, several thousand pages had already been turned over.
None of the observers had ever seen anything like this before. Now, though, the scene was playing out right in front of them, clearly visible on the screen. Tens of thousands of observers on the outside looked on in shock. Deathly silence filled the air, and all minds reeled as they watched Meng Hao and the ancient book.
The apprentice alchemists’ eyes went wide, and as for the full alchemists, they began to pant. Even the tier 5, 6, and 7 alchemists were stunned.
The three tier 8 Elders gasped. The scene playing out left even them truly amazed.
They even began to wonder whether they could make the tome’s pages flip so quickly. From the look of things, Meng Hao was simply a natural born genius when it came to plants and vegetation.
“Just how familiar is he with plants and vegetation? He doesn’t even need to think! He recognizes them the instant he looks at them!”
“His foundation in plants and vegetation really is terrifying. With whom did he study the Dao of alchemy to lay such a foundation!?”
“This is unbelievable!”
As the audience’s reaction swelled into an uproar, Meng Hao was inside, concentrating solely on the contents of the Classic of Plants and Vegetation. Time passed, and he identified more and more of the tome’s contents, faster and faster.
10,000,000. 30,000,000. 50,000,000….
It didn’t take long before he had identified 90,000,000. The spectators observed with rapt attention. It was at this point that, all of a sudden, Meng Hao stopped turning the pages of the ancient book. There on the page in front of him, a heart had appeared.
It was a wooden heart, parched and cracked. A few tiny flowers could be seen growing out of it, and when Meng Hao saw it, he stood there quietly.
The alchemists in the world outside were watching the screen closely. Some of the tier 5 alchemists looked at the wooden heart, then frowned and began to wrack their brains to try and identify it. Some of the tier 6 alchemists hesitated, and were unable to determine with certainty exactly what it was.
Even the old woman who had stolen Meng Hao’s business looked on with flickering thoughtfulness.
Only the three tier 8 alchemists didn’t seem fazed. They exchanged glances and began to transmit a conversation.
“Fang Hao really got unlucky. In the fifth level, there are ten types of medicinal plants that have long since become extinct. They are plants no outsider would ever know about. Even we didn’t find out about them until we reached tier 8.”
“He definitely won’t be able to identify the Woodbear Heart.”
“The test is over. What a pity. However, he can try again in a month. Considering the momentum he built up before, as long as he doesn’t run into a medicine plant he’s never seen before, he shouldn’t have much of a problem passing the fifth level.”
“Although, I find it strange that this particular medicinal plant would appear in the first 100,000,000. Yet, there it is.”
The three old men were then lost in thought, and didn’t converse any further.
Back on the fifth level, Meng Hao looked at the image in front of him, muttering. He didn’t recognize the item, and in fact had never seen it before. At first glance, if you didn’t know it was wood, you would probably think it was an actual heart.
Meng Hao extended his right hand and pointed at the page. Immediately, glittering light rose up, and an illusory version of the wooden heart appeared in front of him, then rapidly grew very clear.
He could even sense a faint medicinal aroma emanating out. After inhaling deeply, he closed his eyes and began to make some mental deductions. Although he didn’t recognize this wooden heart, he was still able to use his skill with plants and vegetation to analyze its medicinal properties.
After enough time passed for half an incense stick to burn, Meng Hao’s eyes snapped open, and he began to make an imprint with divine sense.
“Effective against chills that enter the body. Is filled with rich spiritual energy, and the power of fire and wood. Contains 9,137 variations. Can be grown using Spirit Extract, and when it reaches maturity, it contains the potential to materialize Immortal qi. When using it to concoct medicinal pills for the Immortal Realm, depending on which variations are used, and which of those is the main ingredient, then, regardless of which medicinal pill is created, as long as you add Apefever Flower, its medicinal strength can be increased by ten percent!” Meng Hao quickly finished imprinting the information. Although he didn’t know the exact name of this medicinal item, the name… wasn’t actually important.
After finishing the imprint of information, the wooden heart vanished from the page, to be replaced by a block of text that thoroughly described the plant’s properties and growth characteristics. The description was incredibly detailed, including information about medicinal effects, details vital to using the ingredient to concoct medicinal pills, descriptions about how to harvest it, and other information.
When Meng Hao saw all the information, he took a deep breath. Although he had determined many correct bits of information about the wooden heart, his information had not been as detailed as the final description. He quickly committed the information to memory.
Then he waved his hand and continued to flip through the pages.
When the spectators saw what had happened, they were shocked. Even the three tier 8 Elders gasped, and stared with wide, astonished eyes.
“He most likely has never seen that Woodbear Heart before. And yet, he just smelled it a few times and then was able to explain its medicinal properties!”
“What an incredible Dao of alchemy! What profound skill with plants and vegetation!”
Deep within the Dao of Alchemy Division was a mountain that was considered to be a sacred location. This was where Fang Danyun resided, the Dao of Alchemy Division’s only tier 9 alchemist!
He had a full head of white hair, and as he sat there cross-legged on the mountain peak, his eyes slowly opened. He then gazed in the direction of the Medicine Pavilion, his eyes shining with a gleam of curiosity.
“I wonder which Grandmaster of the Dao of Alchemy trained a disciple like this…. His skill with plants and vegetation has already reached incredible heights. He came from Planet South Heaven…. I haven’t ever heard of any Grandmaster on Planet South Heaven who could develop such a talented pupil.” The old man sighed.
“Although, Planet South Heaven is shrouded in mystery. It’s possible this kid… has had some unique opportunities.” He continued to look at the Medicine Pavilion in silence.
Back on the fifth level, Meng Hao continued to rapidly flip through the tome’s pages. They moved so fast that the entire book seemed like one connected piece. Soon, he had completely imprinted ten percent of the 1,000,000,000 items inside. However, Meng Hao didn’t stop there.
His mind was completely absorbed in the book, to the extent that he forgot his original reason for drawing everyone’s attention to him here. Gradually, the ten percent became twenty, then thirty….
After completing fifty percent, his speed gradually slowed. He would occasionally encounter medicinal plants that he didn’t recognize, but in those cases, he actually got excited.
He wanted to see more medicinal plants that he had never seen before. That was the only way for him to experience the sensation of groping for the correct answer. That was when he could truly unleash his skill with plants and vegetation, analyzing the item from various angles and using his best judgement to determine, not necessarily the name, but rather, enough information to imprint it with divine sense. When the full description appeared, he would commit it to memory. He was now getting the feeling that attempting to pass through the Medicine Pavilion was really helping him to learn a lot more about plants and vegetation.
Meng Hao’s skill with plants and vegetation had reached an incredible level. By now, there were few types of plants or vegetation within the Ninth Mountain and Sea that he was unaware of. Every single new one that he encountered pushed his skill to an even more refined extent.
Sixty percent. Seventy percent. Eighty percent….
Meng Hao wasn’t aware of how much time had passed. However, the closer he got to the end of the book, the more medicinal plants he encountered that he was unfamiliar with, which required even more time. And yet, his excitement only grew.
Outside of the Medicine Pavilion, there were now nearly 200,000 cultivators clustered around, watching the screen with blank expressions. The excitement on Meng Hao’s face was clear, and the more medicinal plants he identified, the more everyone’s minds reeled.
“Inhuman…. When it comes to plants and vegetation, this Fang Hao is a beast!”
“Don’t tell me he was actually a medicinal plant in a past life? Otherwise, how else could he be so inhuman!!”
“The fifth level has 1,000,000,000 medicinal plants, and from the way he’s going, it looks like he’s going to identify them all….”
“I just realized something! The merit points I paid to hear him lecture about plants and vegetation were worth it! Definitely worth it!!”