Seeing Long Chen’s sudden change in expression, Fang Chang, Chai Liehuo, and the others became curious. What was Long Chen doing? Were those two names really so shocking?
But all of them guessed that Long Chen was taking this chance to do some boot-licking. Most likely, he would praise their names for being imposing and amazing.
“Long San, what’s wrong?” asked Fang Chang.
What good names! No, excellent names! Long Chen’s head rapidly worked. He definitely had to give these two names a good title.
“Cough, when I encountered those people from the Huo family, one of them shouted a slogan,” said Long Chen.
“What slogan could cause you to be this shocked? And what does this slogan have to do with our names?” asked Fang Chang.
“I remember it was this: screw Chai Liehuo, damn Fang Chang, Pill Yang Prefecture’s sole master is Huo Wufang.” Long Chen frowned, trying to remember the exact phrase.
Hearing this, Chai Liehuo and Fang Chang turned green. Everyone was silent.
“Maybe I misheard? The voice from the Huo family’s man wasn’t very clear. Maybe I did hear wrong. Back then, I was extremely curious. What idiot would make up such a garbage slogan? It doesn’t rhyme, and it doesn’t flow off the tongue. But now hearing your names, it kind of seems…” Long Chen suddenly shut his mouth.
“This Huo Wufang is getting more and more arrogant! Hmph, if only Long Chen had killed him back then!” shouted Chai Liehuo hatefully.
Hearing that, Long Chen almost jumped. They knew his name? How?
“Everyone can continue eating. Chai Liehuo, Long San, and I are going next door to drink some tea.” The three of them found a private room. An attendant came to pour them tea.
“I, Fang Chang, don’t have many strong points. When I handle things, I just do what I like to do. In the same way, I make friends based on my personal preference.
“You can also tell that I treat you differently than the others. They are subordinates I coaxed over. Both sides benefit. They care about my Fang family’s position and the resources we can offer them, while my Fang family cares about their talent. Pulling them in strengthens our power. It could be said to be just cooperation.
“But you are different. In my opinion, anyone skilled in face-slapping is a straightforward man who doesn’t like to conceal his true self. Furthermore… your face-slapping divine ability is something I truly admire.
“Most importantly, the fact that you could teach me its divine essence without even knowing who I was, without seeking fame or profit, makes me think of you as a friend.
“However, now I find you’re actually a genius alchemist. That is extremely unexpected, but I hope this change in your status won’t affect our relationship,” said Fang Chang.
“Brother Fang, the kindness you’ve given me is something I’m well aware of. The reason I’ve joined you isn’t because I care about your Fang family’s strength, but because I admire your character,” said Long Chen.
“Good, that’s the most trustworthy way. Let’s use our tea as wine, and toast.” Chai Liehuo clapped. Long San’s character was truly rare.
Fang Chang and Chai Liehuo were both prodigies who had seen countless people. With a single glance, they could see through a person’s general character. Long San was a typical model of someone who could be coaxed, but not forced. Once someone like that made a decision, it would be extremely difficult for anyone to change it. At the same time, such people were also the most trustworthy.
“Long San, since you can say something like that, I won’t be courteous with you. You’re only eighteen, but I’m thirty-five, and brother Chai is forty-seven-”
“Tch, what’s the difference? Anyways, in the future, you should just call me big bro Fang and call him big bro Chai. We will treat you as a true brother. Let me tell you about our current situation…”
From Fang Chang’s explanation, Long Chen learned that the Pill Tower’s state of affairs was much more complicated than he had imagined.
The Pill Tower was jointly run by the Huo, Fang, and Chai families. Each of them was in charge of their departments.
The Fang family was in charge of researching pill formulas, as well as the growth and recruitment of alchemists. The Chai family was in charge of managing the equipment required for refining pills, such as medicinal ingredients, furnaces, cauldrons, beast flames, secret arts, etc.
As for the Huo family, they were in charge of selling the medicinal pills. Originally, this hadn’t been an overly important business, but the Huo family still managed to become the boss of the three families, firmly suppressing the Chai and Fang families.
The three families competed fiercely with each other. Long Chen learned from Fang Chang that the Pill Tower was merely a means for Pill Valley to stay connected with the rest of the world.
Pill Valley chose to send a few powerful alchemy families to manage the Pill Tower. If those families did well, they would be allowed to return to Pill Valley to be groomed.
Doing well didn’t refer to managing business, but to raising more geniuses. Pill Valley’s disciple selection was extremely stringent.
The Huo family was in charge of selling medicinal pills. By exploiting that position, they created secret ties to countless sects, allowing them to build a wide net. They learned of many talented alchemists at the first moment, and they would immediately draw them over to their side.
As a result, the Huo family was gaining favor with Pill Valley, and they had already begun to stretch their hands outside their department, suppressing the Fang and Chai families. If this continued, it seemed like the two families would be gradually pushed out of the Pill Tower.
“Is the Huo family really so powerful? Even both of your families can’t stop them?” Long Chen was startled. It seemed that he had underestimated the Huo family.
“The main thing is that the Huo family is too despicable. Through selling medicinal pills, they secretly pocketed endless profit. Their financial accounts never add up. But that huge wealth has become their greatest weapon. Furthermore, the Huo family has people in Pill Valley. Last time, even the matter of them selling fake pills was suppressed by them, so you can see how much influence they have,” sighed Chai Liehuo.
Last time, the matter of the fake Bone Forging Pills had initially caused huge waves, and the main offender was the Huo family. But the Huo family’s abilities were truly incredible. Relying on their connections and by paying some money, they managed to settle the matter.
But the matter of the fake pills, as well as the most recent matter of the Meridian Opening Pills being announced by the Huayun Sect, had been grave blows to the Pill Tower. Their profits were rapidly declining.
The Huo family was a bit panicked now. To win the favor of Pill Valley, they had drawn in a large group of alchemy geniuses. They hoped to raise them into amazing alchemists and then send them to Pill Valley. Otherwise, there was danger of them losing their position.
This was a crisis to the Huo family, but it was the best opportunity for the Fang and Chai families. If they could suppress the Huo family this time, then the Huo family would have no geniuses nor money to appease Pill Valley. In this case, it was very likely that Pill Valley might switch them with someone else. And that someone else would most likely be the Fang or Chai family.
“Long San, we treat you like a brother, but keep these words to yourself,” said Chai Liehuo.
“Don’t worry, I understand. Although I haven’t had any contact with the Huo family, I can tell they aren’t anything good from the vile actions of their subordinates,” said Long Chen.
“That’s right. From top to bottom, the Huo family is all trash. The heavens really have been blind to allow the Huo family to have so many talented alchemists,” said Fang Chang.
“What? Does the Huo family have a lot of talented people?” asked Long Chen.
“It’s not that. It’s just that they’re absolutely shameless. Whenever they run into any talented alchemists, they will secretly bring them into their family and raise them. They’ll change that person’s surname to Huo, turning them into a member of the Huo family.
“Once they mature, if they’re sent to Pill Valley, they’ll naturally say that they’re from the Huo family’s main bloodline, and so it will make the Huo family seem very innately talented. In truth, they’re just shameless to the peak,” raged Chai Liehuo.
He clearly looked down on such actions. But the world was like this. There were many shameless people who relied on their shamelessness to succeed.
“The Huo family’s people really are degenerates. They actually intentionally had their subordinates insult you two. How can that be allowed? Although they might not be spreading their slogan yet, I trust that it won’t be long before it circulates everywhere throughout the city. Even the kids on the streets will be singing it. It’s too despicable! Plus, that last phrase, doesn’t it mean that in the future, there will only be the Huo family? Too arrogant!” cried Long Chen through clenched teeth.
Although this slogan was something Long Chen had made up, he trusted the two of them wouldn’t go investigate it. Furthermore, all Long Chen had said was that he thought he had heard someone mutter it. He hadn’t said who.
“Hmph, it seems the Huo family wants to use this chance to reverse the tides and regain all the losses they have suffered recently. I want to see just what game they’re planning this time,” sneered Fang Chang.
“Brother Fang, don’t worry. I’ll definitely help you handle the Huo family. It’s not just for you, but for me, for righteousness! We have to get rid of these despicable people!”
Within Long Chen’s solemn oath, the only sincere part was that it really was for him.
“Good brother! I won’t say any meaningless polite words. This time, let’s have a proper fight with the Huo family!” Fang Chang patted Long Chen’s shoulder.
The reason he had explained all this was to make Long Chen feel like he treated him as a trustworthy aide. He had even been planning on displaying more power to give Long Chen enough confidence.
But Long Chen only listened to half of his planned speech. All he managed to say was how powerful the Huo family was, but it seemed Long Chen wasn’t intimidated. Without hesitation, he stood by his side to fight with the Huo family. Fang Chang was incredibly moved.
Even Chai Liehuo felt envy for Fang Chang’s luck. He had picked up such a treasure through a random stroll, and this treasure was so devoted to him.
“Don’t worry, Long San. My Fang family and the Chai family are allied. The Chai family is in charge of everything required for alchemy. As long as you have enough talent, we can definitely turn you into a generation’s alchemy prodigy. We’ll give the Huo family a vicious punch,” said Fang Chang confidently.
“A punch might be strong, but I feel like a slap would be the most satisfying.” Long Chen laughed sinisterly.
“Hahaha, yes, yes! A slap in the face would be the best! Then we’ll get to see them stamp with fury, hahaha!” laughed Fang Chang.
Long Chen also laughed with him, filled with delight. Things were progressing even more smoothly than he had anticipated.
“That’s right, you said something about Huo Wufang almost dying to Long Chen? What happened there?” Long Chen asked. He wanted to know about Huo Wufang’s situation.
 This is the slogan: 干柴烈火，来日方长，丹阳之州，唯火无方. I’ve highlighted their names. If you were to take this literally, it could mean something like: dry firewood ignites, lighting a bright path. Pill Yang Prefecture’s sole master is Huo Wufang. 干柴烈火: his name is literally ‘firewood raging flames’. The character in front of it can mean dry, but it can also mean fuck. As in fuck Chai Liehuo. 来日方长: Fang Chang doesn’t really mean anything. But it is part of the expression 来日方长, which means there is still a long time to come. As a commentator pointed out, 来日 can mean in the future, which would make it screw Chai Liehuo, and then screw Fang Chang later.