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The Deviant Pill Faction

The bad news that Wei Jie brought back depressed Wei Tianxiao greatly. It was as if a mighty fist had hit him in the chest. He’d always known Wei Tiantong was up to some petty tricks, but he hadn’t imagined the severity of the situation. Among the six decision-makers in the clan, four was on Wei Tiantong’s side. Setting aside Wei Tiantong himself, two of the three other clan elders had been neutral. Prior to this, they had even leaned towards Wei Tianxiao. Their new leaning towards Wei Tiantong signified a problem.

“Father, there won’t be problems with third great-uncle, right?” Wei Jie asked carefully.

“Your great-uncle is my very own uncle. There is no need to worry. He is absolutely reliable.”

“If the six people are half-and-half, father should have the initiative again, no?” Wei Jie wondered.

“Hmm. Before now, it was always your third great-uncle and me against Wei Tiantong and his confidante. With the other two maintaining neutrality, it was two against two. As the house lord, I could keep things under control.”

“So if we win one of the three other clan elders over, we can turn the tables on them?” Jiang Chen piped up as he listened in.

“That’s right. I will personally visit Elder Zhuo and Elder Feng tonight. They’ve always been dependable and loyal in the past. Why are they joining up with the Majestic Clan now, with whom we’ve never gotten along with?” Wei Tianxiao nodded, smiling.

“Why else could it be? Because of the unexpected passing of Young Lord Fan, everyone thinks the lineage of Emperor Peafowl will fall by the wayside. Considering the rapid expansion of Emperor Asura’s lineage in recent years, his death has tipped the balance quite into the opposite direction. People like to ride on others’ coattails. This is very normal,” Wei Jie snorted softly, his words disdainful.

The Majestic Clan was one of the greatest under Emperor Asura’s banner. Amongst the twenty-eight prominent clans in the Veluriyam Capital, it was one of the top three. Its underlings included not only House Tong, but House Sikou as well, with whom House Wei had a death feud.  House Wei was itself under the jurisdiction of the Coiling Dragon Clan, similarly one of the top three. In the past, it had unquestionably been the foremost clan. As the leading clan aligned with Emperor Peafowl, the Coiling Dragon Clan had walked a troubled path recent years. Its position as the foremost clan was quite precarious.

As challengers, the Majestic Clan and others exerted a large amount of threat and pressure on the Coiling Dragon Clan. As one of the core factions beneath the afflicted Coiling Dragon Clan, House Wei could not help but share in its slight decline. For House Wei, this was most unacceptable and the reason for many members’ change of heart. Though there was peace on the surface of the Veluriyam Capital, the shadows of intrigue and conflict it harbored were quite terrifying. Inter-faction conflict in the Capital held many shoals beneath the waves. Like sailing against the current, lack of progress meant regression. Competition was exceedingly brutal.

Jiang Chen was not in a position to comment on House Wei’s problems. However, from what he could see, as the house lord, Wei Tianxiao bore a significant amount of the responsibility. The house was a Coiling Dragon core ally, but Wei Tianxiao hadn’t received help and attention in his moment of need. It seemed even his relationship with the clan itself was questionable. As the master of the house, he hadn’t fully grasped all of the power in House Wei. This further heightened his problematic control. No matter what the reason was, Wei Tianxiao had undeniable culpability.

Of course, it was ultimately an internal matter for the houseJiang Chen had no right to point fingers. Now that the key to the problem was clear, he had to start from the two neutral elders if he wanted to change the situation. “Uncle, you said the elders haven’t always sided with Wei Tiantong. There must be a reason for their sudden change. If we tackle the source of the change directly, there should be room for us to salvage the situation.”

“Father, between Elder Zhuo and Elder Feng, we only need to convert one to stabilize the situation,” Wei Jie urged. “They still think everything is under wraps, so there should be few precautions. There would be far more trouble if they knew we knew…”

Jiang Chen didn’t say anything more. It was not right for him to interfere overmuch in House Wei’s affairs. If Wei Tianxiao couldn’t even take care of household issues, their business relationship was due for a reevaluation. Unruffled by the events besetting House Wei, Jiang Chen returned to the hideout. He had his own things to do. From researching the stores within Farmer God District, Jiang Chen had gotten a rough understanding of the Veluriyam Capital’s pill market as a whole.

Be it high-end pills or low, the pill market in Veluriyam Capital was mouthwateringly large. However, it would be insurmountably difficult for an outsider like him to carve out a slice of pie as well. Even if he had the support of House Wei, it was difficult enough to achieve a large amount of growth in a short amount of time, not to mention becoming a first-rate store. No, what he needed was specialty and exclusivity. This was plan Jiang Chen hatched after much consideration.

Expanding by-the-book wouldn’t cut it. If he wanted to grow quickly in the market, he would have to do the unexpected and walk his own path, teeter on a knife’s edge. The Longevity Pill would have been a very unique pill to sell, but its production would be a personal identifier. To refine the Longevity Pill now would be to turn himself in. It would be tantamount to suicide.

There were many recipes for legendary pills in Jiang Chen’s memory. However, it was hard for him to find a recipe was suitable for the Veluriyam Capital which he could also openly produce.

It was vital that his identity not be revealed via his pills. He didn’t want to step on the toes of the larger factions in the city, either, at least not enough for the major pill producers to crack down on him. He wanted to survive and flourish between in the gaps. Recalling the Mt. Rippling Mirage Pill Battles inspired him. In the pill decomposition contest that he’d taken part in, there was a pill called the Skyheart Nirvana Pill. It was a representative example of a pill from the Deviant Pill Faction. As a school, the Deviant Pill Faction stood out among others as being extraordinary.

Pill masters from the Deviant Pill Faction favored using medicine in unusual ways, and commonly had rich imaginations. Their work was often unorthodox upon first glance, but made sense after some consideration. Masters from this faction were typically romantics. They pursued eclecticism, and made it a point to differentiate themselves. The Deviant Pill Faction was sometimes described as a cultivation deviation. However, one couldn’t help but accord it respect in the pill world. Though members of the school were rare, each master that rose from the school became a legend in their respective era.

The pill market at Veluriyam Capital had pills from every school but the Deviant Pill Faction. Here, the market for their uncommon pills was still untapped. Thus, they were the style of pills Jiang Chen decided to focus on.

There weren’t many pills that belonged to the Deviant Pill Faction, but each pill that did was unique and irreplaceable. The Skyheart Nirvana Pill was the most widely circulated among them, but its level was still a little low. Perhaps it was appropriate in the Myriad Domain, but the Veluriyam Capital was a much bigger stage. Here, the Skyheart Nirvana Pill could only be described as motley selection. But that was no problem. Jiang Chen chose from memory several other definitive pill recipes belonging to the school.

The Hexarune Black Dragon Pill for example, useful to cultivators in ascending realms. Jiang Chen had helped Elder Yun Nie solve the issues related to its creation shortly after arriving at the Regal Pill Palace. The pill was applicable to sage realm cultivators looking to break through the shackles of martial dao.

There was risk in advancing one’s cultivation at any level. For those not as confident in their abilities, the Hexarune Black Dragon Pill was very useful. Using the pill during a cultivation breakthrough was akin to buying insurance. The risk to the cultivator would be greatly reduced. Naturally, Jiang Chen was not satisfied with merely the Hexarune Black Dragon Pill. He wanted to increase its level, and refine the Heptarune True Dragon Pill. Though it was only the addition of one rune, a major step had to be added to the creation process. It made all the difference to the level of the pill. The improved Heptarune Pill was useful for sage realm cultivators in their breakthrough into the emperor realm. Furthermore, the teachings of the Deviant Pill Faction demanded the use of unconventional materials, resulting in cheaper costs. The school did not solely seek to be contrary. Reductions in the cost of materials was also part of its goal. All else held equal, the pill that was cheaper to make held the advantage.

For any orthodox member of the school, cost reduction was their greatest ambition. Though some nonconformists liked to apply the label to themselves, they did not truly follow the school’s teachings as they pursued innovation for the sake of innovation. In addition to the breakthrough pill, Jiang Chen also planned to make some antitoxin pills with varying levels of strength. Pills that protected against poisons were never unpopular. Since the pills of the Deviant Pill Faction had lower costs, he had a competitive advantage in their pricing, especially against pills of the same level.

Furthermore, Jiang Chen had also set his sights on berserk pillsby rousing one’s potential, these pills could drastically increase combat ability for a short period of time. These pills were basically instant performance enhancements. Though their effect did not sound appealing to the mainstream, in actuality, the pills tended to be quite popular. Yet, the pills were scarce at the Veluriyam Capital. There were few to no stores that offered them. This evidently presented an opportunity.

Finally, there was a fourth category of pills that was equally important and that the Capital happened to lack at the moment: cosmetic pills. Amongst the cultivators at the Capital, men outnumbered women. In fact, it could be said that the entire city was ruled by men. The modest number of female cultivators barely controlled any power. But, this didn’t mean that there was no demand for cosmetic pills. The Four Seasons Eternal Spring Pill only preserved a few decades of youthfulness, and yet the crazy chain reaction it had set off at the Skylaurel Kingdom was unforgettable to Jiang Chen. If he could present a similar pill that lasted for hundreds, even a thousand years, it would be hotly sought after that much more!

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