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Losing to Oneself

“The pill called the Heptarune True Dragon Pill is excellent in quality, and a wonderful pill for the tribulations of breakthroughs…” Pill King Yu explained on behalf on the referees why the Heptarune True Dragon Pill had won Taiyuan Tower the first round.

The fact that Taiyuan Tower had scored first blood caused many onlookers to be inwardly surprised. An obvious murmur circulated quietly among the crowd. It was obvious that no one had thought that Taiyuan Tower would actually possess some skill. This Heptarune True Dragon Pill did indeed seem quite good, and the fact that it scored first blood was to general satisfaction.

However, this was only the first round of the first stage of the match. One had win at least two out of three rounds in order to win the pill battle. House Wei had won the first round, but could they win a second time? For a time, the onlookers who thought that this was going to be a one-sided battle grew a little more hopeful. They were hoping that House Wei could surprise them even more and make this bet more entertaining.

Both sides presented their second pills amidst such expectations. This time, Jiang Chen presented the Tiger Eruption Pill. He wasn’t very sure that this pill would win because he hadn’t expected to fight a pill battle during the grand opening and thus, hadn’t prepared a particularly powerful pill. This Tiger Eruption Pill was a result of his own improvisations in which he created a pill from a rather neglected branch of knowledge in the field. Although it wasn’t bad, there was no telling if it could beat the Majestic Clan’s selection. As expected, his opponent had come prepared. Their second pill was obviously an entire level higher than the Tiger Eruption Pill.

The Majestic Clan had actually produced the True Emperor Pill! The True Emperor Pill was a quasi-emperor rank pill that could increase one’s chances of reaching the emperor realm by ten to twenty percent. Although listed as a true saint rank pill, the market viewed it as an emperor rank pill and priced it accordingly. The True Emperor Pill beat the Tiger Eruption Pill immediately after it appeared.

“The True Emperor Pill is a pill any peak sage realm cultivator must have. It is incredibly sophisticated and difficult to refine. Although Taiyuan Tower’s Tiger Eruption Pill is also good and an interesting improvisation, it cannot close the level gap. Taiyuan Lodge wins this round,” Pill King Yu announced the result of the second round.

Jiang Chen wasn’t that angry to lose to the True Emperor Pill. He could refine this pill himself if he wanted to. He just hadn’t imagined that there would be a pill battle today, so hadn’t prepare a pill that could stun the scene. After all, Taiyuan Tower had just taken its first steps. He hadn’t planned to kick things into high intensity immediately. However, this consideration caused him to suffer quite the disadvantage.

The first stage of the match was now a 1-1 draw. The onlookers were actually disappointed to see Taiyuan Lodge winning the second round. They’d been hoping hoping to see Taiyuan Lodge lose the first stage. House Wei’s pill master was almost fated to lose against the Majestic Clan’s pill king in the second stage. This outcome was almost a sure certainty. Now that Taiyuan Lodge had taken back a round, momentum was obviously back on Taiyuan Lodge’s side. They were disappointed to see the Majestic Clan in control once more. This was because everyone knew that the Majestic Clan had prepared a trump card. Everyone in Veluriyam Capital had more or less heard about the rumors.

House Wei was also feeling a slight bit of anxiety. It was obvious that they were slightly worried at how the situation was progressing. Although they had managed to score a draw after the first two rounds, Taiyuan Tower almost had no chance of victory if Taiyuan Lodge were to produce the Longevity Pill. The situation could change if Jiang Chen produced a Longevity Pill himself, but it was highly unlikely for him to do so.

Jiang Chen himself had thought of this possibility. He was also hesitating whether he should show the Longevity Pill. In the end though, he decided against the impulse. As everyone expected, the Majestic Clan had produced the Longevity Pill amidst a myriad of cheers. The moment the Longevity Pill showed up, every pill king present in the scene was conquered by this outstanding pill. This was a truly unique pill and the only pill to cause a ripple of shock in the pill industry for the past few hundred years or so. It wasn’t that there were no pills that increased one’s lifespan in the market, but their effects were all average and forgettable.

The Longevity Pill’s appearance had immediately filled up this void. Although it only worked for sage realm cultivators, it was impressive enough already. Jiang Chen knew that the third round was looking bad for him the second he saw his opponent produce the Longevity Pill. He was going to bring out the Half-step Immortal Elixir Pill, and would have likely won if his opponent had offered any other pill that wasn’t the Longevity Pill. However, no matter how impressive the Half-step Immortal Elixir Pill was, it was simply not as shocking as the Longevity Pill.

There was no need for a comparison at all. The referees’ opinions were stunning unanimous. Although they were very impressed by the Half-step Immortal Elixir Pill as well, they had all casted their votes for the Longevity Pill. Pill King Yu announced, “I never thought that Taiyuan Lodge would produce the Longevity Pill. I believe all of you have heard of this pill by now. It is most definitely a revolutionary pill. Although Taiyuan Tower’s Half-step Immortal Elixir Pill was also excellent and made with astounding skill, it is ultimately a shade paler compared to the Longevity Pill. Therefore, Taiyuan Lodge wins this round!”

The color on the Wei father and son’s faces immediately drained when they heard this. Meanwhile, a cheer broke out from Wang Teng’s corner. House Tong was especially pleased as they laughed raucously. Even Wang Teng couldn’t hide the smile on his face. However, young master Ji San exclaimed, “Wait!”

The referees looked surprised for a second, then Pill King Yu asked indifferently, “Are you questioning my judgment, my young master Ji San?”

Young master Ji San hastily replied, “I have no questions regarding your judgment, but I do have a question regarding the Majestic Clan’s pill. As we all know, Wang Teng spent 120 million saint spirit stones to win the bid of three Longevity Pills during the Joined Ridges auction. The rules of this stage of the match is that the sect must be able to mass produce and sell the pills they show.”

Pill King Yu thought that young master Ji San’s words had a lot of sense to them, and so he turned towards Wang Teng. “Young master Wang, young master Ji San’s question is reasonable. How do you answer?”

If the Majestic Clan had gone against the rules, then they would be declared the loser instead. If that happens, then House Wei’s Taiyuan Tower would turn the tables and win the first stage of the match with a 2-1 victory instead. Wang Teng smiled faintly and clapped his hands, “Bring over a batch of Longevity Pills and show them to Pill King Yu.”

Someone came over immediately and displayed twenty Longevity Pills at once! Now even young master Ji San was a little tongue tied. Pill King Yu nodded slightly and acknowledged Wang Teng’s proof. He was going to declare Taiyuan Lodge the winner of the first stage. But before he could answer, Jiang Chen suddenly asked faintly, “I would like to ask just one more question: did Taiyuan Lodge really refine these Longevity Pills themselves?”

Jiang Chen didn’t believe that Taiyuan Lodge could refine the Longevity Pills. These Longevity Pills had most likely been refined by the Eternal Celestial Capital before they were entrusted to the Majestic Clan to be sold in Veluriyam Capital.

Wang Teng sneered, “I don’t think we need to prove this to you, do we? Are you saying that we need to report to you our store’s sources?”

Pill King Yu also nodded, “The rules only says that the pill must be a kind that can be mass produced and sold. The number Taiyuan Tower produces is enough to prove this rule.”

Wang Teng smiled and said, “The rules do say that the pill must be able to be mass produced, but it never said that we must be the one to do it. We have our channels and our connections. They represent our abilities too!”

Although this logic was a little shameless, it was still acceptable. Pill King Yu ignored Jiang Chen and declared, “Taiyuan Tower is the victor of the first stage!” Seeing that Pill King Yu had made his declaration, Jiang Chen didn’t say anything even though he was frustrated. The reason he’d even spoke up was because he was a little put off with the Majestic Clan beating him with his own pill. It wasn’t that he couldn’t take a defeat with grace.

Although he lost the first stage, this didn’t mean that he’d lost the war. His first loss was also a suitable reminder to himself that he should treat the next two stages seriously and not underestimate the enemy. This loss didn’t mean that his skills were lacking. He’d lost because he hadn’t planned as far ahead as the Majestic Clan had. He could even say that he had beaten himself, not the Majestic Clan. After all, hadn’t the Majestic Clan won the first stage using the Longevity Pill? And who was the real master of the Longevity Pill? Although Jiang Chen knew that the Majestic Clan had won this stage in a rather dishonorable manner, he didn’t want to dwell further on the topic so as to not leave a bad impression on the judges.

“The first stage of the battle has concluded. The second stage will be a battle between pill kings. Just like before, the stage will be concluded in three rounds. Anyone who wins two rounds off their opponent wins the second stage.”

The entire pill battle had three stages, and they all obeyed the rule of winning by majority. The same went with the three small rounds in each stage.

“Sigh, House Wei’s foundations are ultimately too shallow. They’ll probably lose horribly.”

“I know right? I doubt they can even survive this second stage.”

“Sigh, have you guys heard of this pill king of House Wei’s? He seems pretty young.”

“I suspect he’s a Wang family spy from the start. Why else would he have bet his own store? Oh poor House Wei, they actually made the same mistake twice.”

“Wei Tianxiao’s cultivation is strong, but as a house lord he is a little naive.”

“The Pill King Rong that the Majestic Clan sent out seems to be a sixth rank pill king. He’s only one step away from becoming an upper rank pill king. Meanwhile, I hear that this pill king of House Wei’s a second rank pill king?”

“A second rank pill king versus a sixth rank pill king… where on earth did House Wei get their confidence from? Have they given up already?” For a time, the scene was filled with the rising and falling voices of the crowd’s murmuring.

The competitors on both sides looked nervous, but they were surprisingly silent. Pill King Rong walked over and cupped his fist at the nine referees, “Please forgive me for my performance today, seniors.” He then swept a glance at Jiang Chen with a bit of a nasty smile. “Tell me your name, brat. I don’t bully nameless people.”

Jiang Chen smiled indifferently and answered, “The master and the servant are just the same, eh? If you want to fight then fight already. Save the drivel to yourself.”

Pill King Rong didn’t grow angry and cackled oddly instead. “No wonder the young master told me to teach you better manners. You are as arrogant as you appear.”

“A dressed up animal dares to talk about teaching manners? What a joke,” Jiang Chen’s words were pointed at Pill King Rong, but his eyes had swept briefly and indifferently across Wang Teng’s face.

He cupped his fist at the nine pill kings and said, “Please start the competition, venerable pill kings.” Jiang Chen had a stomach of anger to vent after losing the first round.

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