That person let out a miserable cry as he was slapped into the stone wall behind him. He fainted, causing a burst of startled cries.
Gou Jiba? He was definitely looking for a beating. Otherwise, why would he state such a name? Long Chen was speechless.
“Senior, brother Jiba wasn’t trying to waste your time. His name really is Gou Jiba. His father is the illustrious Gou Ridi,” explained someone hastily.
Hearing that, everyone’s expressions became exceedingly odd. Gou Ridi? Gou Jiba? Were you certain he wasn’t just wasting everyone’s time with nonsense?
“The Jiluo Prefecture’s Gou family?” asked the elder with sudden comprehension.
“Cough, ah, sorry. It was a misunderstanding. As expected, the Gou family’s people really are amazing,” said the elder awkwardly.
At this time, others had long since helped Gou Jiba up and given him a healing pill. He gradually recovered.
“Senior, this junior truly is called Gou Jiba. The Ji refers to Jiluo Prefecture’s blue sea, while the Ba refers to pushing oneself to seek the heavens’ will,” said Gou Jiba extremely sullenly.
“It was my fault. Let’s continue. Name?”
“Jiluo Prefecture’s alchemist guild.”
“Alright, take the test.”
“Age: thirty-one. Excellent. Spiritual Strength: seventh tier Earth class. Excellent. The Gou family’s people really are not bad.”
The elder nodded with praise and wrote down a new rank: Outstanding.
Acceptable. Excellent. Outstanding. Now there was a third rank. This Gou Jiba was truly not bad.
Gou Jiba laughed heartily. But that ended up causing him pain as it pulled on his injury, and tears squeezed out of his eyes as if his extreme joy had turned to sorrow.
The failures all left sadly. The remaining people all had pleased smiles, which contained some ridicule toward those people who were still nervously waiting.
Out of Gou Jiba’s group of eight, four had failed and four had succeeded. The four failures could only leave, but the other four didn’t reveal any mourning. After some fake words of comfort, they said nothing more.
Long Chen turned to see a female alchemist with surprise. She wasn’t tall, but she had a delicate figure. She was extremely unremarkable in the crowd.
Now that she was pointed out, she drew everyone’s attention. Due to the fact that women were on the Yin side but Pill Flame was on the Yang side, female alchemists were rare.
Even the elder was surprised. He examined her and continued, “Origin?”
“Lihua Prefecture’s alchemist guild.”
“Take the test.”
She smiled and confidently walked up to the stairs. Light enveloped her.
When this number appeared, everyone was startled. To have reached the Xiantian realm at just twenty-six was truly terrifying.
Gou Jiba’s pleased smile stiffened upon seeing this. He had been thirty-one when he advanced to Xiantian, and that was already extremely impressive amongst alchemists. But this woman was much younger than he was.
“Spiritual Strength: ninth tier Earth class. Good, very good! With your soul energy, it won’t be long before you can refine sixth tier medicinal pills!” The elder was extremely moved. This was his first time saying so many words.
“Many thanks for your praise, senior. I simply want to devote myself to cultivating in the Pill Tower.” Duan Tianqiao bowed toward the elder modestly.
Although she acted modest, her eyes betrayed her excitement, proving that her inner heart wasn’t as calm as she appeared.
“Haha, good. Young people should not be arrogant to truly make something out of themselves,” praised the elder.
That made Gou Jiba displeased, as he had clearly been a bit arrogant just now. However, he was comforted to see that Duan Tianqiao’s rank was the same as his: Outstanding. In other words, they were still at the same level.
The people after Duan Tianqiao seemed to be influenced by her. Of thirty-plus people, only seven passed. Finally, Long Chen was the last one left.
“Long San,” replied Long Chen.
The elder frowned, looking at Long Chen. This name didn’t sound like anything outstanding.
“Qing Prefecture’s Wild Horse Fat Sheep Pig Butchering Mountain Forest Village,” answered Long Chen.
This location was real. Back when he had encountered the Muxue Mercenary Unit, they had passed by this village. Long Chen still remembered it because this name was too memorable.
“You… are you trying to waste my time?!” The elder almost raised his hand and slapped him. But having made his earlier mistake, he held himself back.
Hearing this, everyone was dumbfounded. The people who arrived here all had to go show their various alchemy guilds’ tokens to enter. How had Long San managed to get in?
As for Gou Jiba, as soon as he heard this nonsense location, he thought that this Long San was doomed. But the slap he anticipated never came, almost making him explode in fury. Why had he been slapped for speaking his real name, while this brat didn’t get slapped when he clearly was just asking for it?!
“Definitely not. I’m telling the truth,” promised Long Chen solemnly.
“How did you get in?”
“I gave the guard my badge, and he let me in.” Long Chen showed his badge to the elder.
When the elder saw the badge, his pupils shrank. “Pill Valley’s badge? Where did you get this?!”
“My master gave it to me. On the eve of his death, he told me I could use this badge to join Pill Valley, and then I’d definitely have food to eat,” said Long Chen.
“Food to eat?”
Everyone was flabbergasted. A grand alchemist actually couldn’t even feed himself? Was that an insult to the Pill Tower?
“Who is your master?”
“He was called Yun Qi. I was raised by him, and he taught me alchemy deep in the mountains. I never left the mountains, but one day, he was heavily injured, and he gave me this badge before he died, wanting me to find a place to make a living. He said with my talent, I’d definitely have food to eat and wine to drink here. I could buy a carriage, a house, and even get multiples wives and concubines,” said Long Chen.
The elder almost laughed. The Pill Tower had been taken as a place to make a living? But this was an authentic Pill Valley badge, and they were very rare.
In truth, the Pill Valley had long since stopped issuing such badges. In fact, most of them had already been taken back. When running into this badge, the Pill Tower had to give the owner a fair chance. Those were the rules of Pill Valley.
“Do you know what we’re doing here?” asked the elder.
“No.” Long Chen shook his head.
“This is the centennial Pill Emperor Competition. It is to determine the true emperor amongst Pill Emperors. Are you sure you want to participate?” asked the elder.
“The true emperor amongst Pill Emperors? Will there be a good reward?” Long Chen’s eyes shone. He hadn’t expected to run into something that good.
The elder didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, feeling like this foolish mountain brat didn’t understand anything.
“Let’s not talk about the reward for now. Let’s see if you have the qualifications to even enter. We’re going to test your age and Spiritual Strength.”
The elder directly left a blank space for Long Chen’s origin and moved on to the next section.
Long Chen walked up the steps. Gou Jiba immediately sneered, waiting to see Long Chen’s embarrassment.
Everyone was stupefied, looking at Long Chen like he was a freak. This dumb mountain brat was only eighteen years old? Had there been a mistake? Even the elder felt like something was wrong and redid the test, only to receive the same result.
“Eighteen-year-old brat and he reached the Xiantian realm. Isn’t this just nonsense?”
“How could an alchemist cultivate so quickly? He didn’t train his soul energy? Is he even an alchemist?”
Clamor erupted. Alchemists couldn’t cultivate quickly, because their cultivation base was secondary. Their Spiritual Strength and Pill Flame were more important.
If they cultivated too fast, their alchemy skills wouldn’t be able to keep up. They would be crippling their future. So alchemists would all spend a great deal of time training their Pill Flame and Spiritual Strength. Duan Tianqiao’s age had already been the limit.
Long Chen couldn’t possibly be a real alchemist. No one would believe such an absurdity.
“Shut up! If you make such an uproar again, I’ll immediately expel you!” shouted the elder.
This elder was a Sea Expansion expert and a powerful alchemist. His Spiritual Strength was extremely powerful, and he sensed that Long Chen was different.
“Now let’s test your Spiritual Strength,” said the elder.
A small portal appeared in front of Long Chen. He felt a powerful pressure that was trying to suppress his Spiritual Strength. It was no wonder those people had been so confident but still failed. The problem lay here.
It seemed this test was completely different from what they had taken before. Long Chen hesitated for a moment, but in the end, he slowly sent in his Spiritual Strength.
When Long Chen’s Spiritual Strength touched the portal, the entire stone bloomed with light.
“This is… Heaven class! First tier Heaven class Spiritual Strength!” cried the elder with wild delight.
Everyone turned wooden. Gou Jiba looked especially amazing. His jaw could not drop any lower, and his eyes were almost circular.
Eighteen-year-old Xiantian expert? Spiritual Strength that had reached the first tier Heaven class? Was this just a story?
The elder directly wrote down a fourth rank for Long Chen’s talent: Genius!
Acceptable, Excellent, Outstanding, and Genius. Long Chen’s rank was the highest until now.
Long Chen smiled slightly. This was just the slightest bit of his soul energy. If he had used his full strength, that stone would have instantly exploded. That would probably frighten a few of these people to death.
But doing so would be too much and not be favorable for his plans. After the registration, Long Chen asked around and found that there was a total of three days for registration. There were still many more people to come, and Long Chen was too lazy to watch them. Saying goodbye to the elder, he left.
Once he returned to the small alley, he suddenly noticed there were many more burly fellows than before. At the same time, he heard a wail from the small courtyard he was staying at. He quickened his footsteps.
“If you’re sensible, you’ll immediately scram!” Suddenly, two large men blocked his path.
 Sounds like something similar to dogshit.