Chapter 783: Will You Be My Master?
Jiang Chen's speech evoked myriad thoughts in his listeners' hearts. Some were envious, others jealous, and yet others harbored malicious designs. Comparison between people was often the source of negativity. Judging from Pill King Zhen's appearance, he likely didn’t exceed a hundred years of age. He was incredibly fortunate to have gained the favor of such a great pill expert. A expert capable of passing down a hundred thousand pill recipes at once was no ordinary pill master. What ninth rank pill king? He was likely unqualified to serve even as a student to such a master!
The Wei father and son however, felt enveloped by happiness. They knew that Jiang Chen was capable, but did not expect this kind of serendipity to happen in Jiang Chen's youth. Jiang Chen had told them before about his childhood, and how he had received tutelage in pill dao from an extraordinary man. His story was very credible. If not from an extraordinary pill master's teachings, how else would Jiang Chen have learned such earth-shattering pill techniques with his identity as someone from the Myriad Domain? However, it wasn't until today that they realized the full extent of the amazing fortune Jiang Chen had encountered.
Pill King Yu sighed softly, looking at the Wei father and son. "House Lord Wei, even I cannot resist saying another few words of congratulations to you."
"House Wei has truly found a treasure this time," Ji San laughed.
Pill King Lu Feng incessantly poured wine into his mouth in excitement. He was more enthusiastic than anyone else present. "Pill King Zhen's master must have been a legendary forefather of the Deviant Pill Faction!" He exclaimed happily as he drank.
Everyone nodded their heads in approval of the pill king's conclusion. During the banquet, Jiang Chen told a few more stories about pill dao tradition, which elicited many exclamations from the pill kings. The banquet lasted more than two hours before it began to disperse.
Upon their departure, the pill kings each left Jiang Chen their contact details. Every one of them emphasized the necessity for Jiang Chen to visit when he had time. Politely assuring them that he would certainly take them up on their offer, Jiang Chen escorted them out. Seeing that the pill kings had filtered out, the other guests could not stay for much longer either and separately bid their farewells. As for the pills, the ones that had been rolled out earlier were all sold out.
Many guests who wished to buy some of Taiyuan Tower's pills after the meal had to leave disappointed. Everyone knew the pills were of the Deviant Pill Faction, and wanted to take them home to study. Moreover, everyone present had seen Jiang Chen refine the pills firsthand. Out of a feeling of felicity, they hoped that they would be able to figure out the method of refining through only one viewing. If that were the case, then the pill would become theirs, an easy way to success.
Jiang Chen more or less knew of their thoughts, but he was keenly aware that it was not possible for even these pill kings to steal his knowledge. If it was as easy as that to steal from the Deviant Pill Faction, then it would not be called deviant. Not to mention the various countermeasures Jiang Chen had implemented during the refining performance… it wasn't that easy to take what was rightfully his.
After the guests all dispersed, Jiang Chen exited the store, only to find that several hundred people still congregated around Taiyuan Tower's entrance. None of them were willing to leave. They broke into loud shouts upon seeing Jiang Chen.
"Pill King Zhen, are you going to give a lecture now?"
"Yes, Pill King Zhen, there aren't many people around in the store. Why not speak for a while!"
"Pill King Zhen, is Taiyuan Tower still hiring attendants?"
"Pill King Zhen, I wish for you to be my master, please accept my worship!"
"Me as well! Pill King Zhen, I am still young, and I am also quite talented, please do consider me…" These people were evidently the most faithful of faithful in terms of their attitude to the Deviant Pill Faction. None of them wanted to leave; they were unified in the singularity of their thought—they wanted Jiang Chen to be their master.
The Wei father and son didn’t know what to say. They felt quite happy, of course, but also a little heartache. House Wei had been unsuccessful in the pill arena for so many years, so much so that they were almost forgotten. Now, in only a day's work, the situation had totally changed. The throng of people at Taiyuan Tower's door refused to scatter, and all of it had been brought about by Jiang Chen.
Jiang Chen smiled upon seeing their enthusiasm. "Friends, it is late in the day, and Taiyuan Tower has yet many things to deal with. There is no time to lecture today. Please feel free to come at daybreak tomorrow morning."
"We will not leave. Even if it's until tomorrow, we are happy to wait here!"
"Yes, we must show Pill King Zhen our sincerity. Not just one night—I would stay even if I have to stay three years!"
"Yes, I’ve made it a goal that no matter what, I must enter Taiyuan Tower. Even as the lowliest of apprentices, I would be satisfied if I could see Pill King Zhen every day!” Thankfully, they’d remained fairly civil, and did not force Jiang Chen to lecture immediately. If they had, Jiang Chen would have been in a pickle. After all, they wanted to listen, and their very presence was in support of Taiyuan Tower.
Glancing across the street, Jiang Chen suddenly had an idea. "I am greatly moved that you've been able to wait until now. The store opposite us is also property of Taiyuan Tower now, and we will set up a branch store there. Anyone interested is free to apply for an interview when the time comes. But, I'm warning you right now—whether you're eligible or not depends on your actual skill. We have a set of qualifications that you must reach."
Everyone was ecstatic upon Jiang Chen's words. "Amazing news, Pill King Zhen! Please believe in us. We will become great students of the Deviant Pill Faction!"
"Long live the Deviant Pill Faction!"
Jiang Chen could only force a smile at such an animated scene. He had initially chosen the Deviant Pill Faction on a whim. That it would have so many loyal adherents in Veluriyam Capital was wholly unexpected. He waved at the crowd before returning inside Taiyuan Tower. As he did so, however, a person stumbled out from inside. It was Pill King Lu Feng from earlier. He tiptoed as he pulled at Jiang Chen's sleeve, his expression playful. "Pill King Zhen, may I have a moment?"
His eyes darted around, and his actions were suspicious. It didn't seem to Jiang Chen that he meant any harm, however. Not quite able to guess his intentions in the moment, Jiang Chen was also loathe to anger an eighth rank pill king. He could only acquiesce, following the other man to a secluded corner. Pill King Lu Feng scratched his face, and his lips moved, but he seemed a little embarrassed still.
"Pill King Lu, there is no problem in being upfront with what you need," Jiang Chen smiled. "If there is a pill you're interested in, I can give you a few more with no problems."
Pill King Lu Feng hastily shook his head. "That's not what I want."
"Then what?" Jiang Chen was somewhat unsure.
Pill King Lu Feng placed a hand to his head suddenly, and a look of great resolve entered his eyes. "Pill King Zhen, will you be my master?"
The words he spoke were utterly shocking. Jiang Chen almost saw stars twinkling around him, as if he’d been struck over the head. Was it possible that he’d misheard? Master? An old man with a white beard, over a thousand years of age, wants me to be his master? Though Pill King Lu Feng was not quite as old or qualified as Pill King Yu, he had lived for at least a millennium. Taking a white-bearded student… Jiang Chen was amused by the thought. However, Pill King Lu Feng didn't look like he was joking. Though the old man scratched at his ears and chin, his expression was genuine.
"Pill King Zhen, in learning, the one who knows more is always the master. Ole Lu has no other talents except a willingness to learn. I have always been a firm admirer of the Deviant Pill Faction. Please take this old good-for-nothing as your student!"
Jiang Chen hurriedly interrupted, "Please, an elder like you should not say such things. It is fine for us to exchange information on the matter of pills, but I cannot be your master. To not respect one's elders so is to cut one's life short."
"It is hardly disrespectful! Your skills are better than mine, and you are my better in pill dao. The heavens and earth would agree that I should seek you as my master! Should the relationship between master and student be decided on age alone?" Pill King Lu Feng pressed anxiously.
The old man was certainly adept at persuasion. The reason why Jiang Chen didn't want to take a student was actually not because of age, but because he didn't know Pill King Lu Feng's background. The old man's nature seemed the impish type, filled with simplicity. He was likely the kind of person that submerged himself in pill dao, but was conversely not good with social niceties. Even so, Jiang Chen didn't want to accept someone whom he had no knowledge of as a student. He preferred to know people's backgrounds thoroughly before entering a relationship with them. "Pill King Lu Feng, I haven't yet made my mark here in Veluriyam Capital. Wouldn't I become the laughingstock of the city if I accepted you as my student? With your eminence, taking me as your master is bad for your reputation as well. I beg you to reconsider."
Pill King Lu Feng's beard bristled, "As you just said, empty fame is useless. Ole Lu has never paid that any mind. Pill King Zhen, are you afraid that I will betray you? That I will defraud you, perhaps? Please rest assured. He who teaches even a day may be considered a father for life. If Ole Lu forsakes my master, let me receive the judgment of heaven and earth, and not be reincarnated for a hundred generations!"
The old man seemed dead set on his choice of master, so much so that he’d made such a grave oath. What was more, his first response after making the oath was to chuckle. "I've made up my mind anyway. Even as an attendant, I must stay at Taiyuan Tower. The guys outside… they're the same as me. They all want you as their master. Heh heh, Ole Lu is a bit cleverer than that! I've made a pre-emptive strike, haha!"
Pill King Lu Feng displayed his satisfaction openly on his face, as if Jiang Chen had already agreed.
Jiang Chen was at a loss for words. This old man was so stubborn, and his skin so thick. From the looks of it, he wasn't planning to leave until Jiang Chen agreed to his demands. Seeing such obstinacy in seeking a teacher was a first for Jiang Chen. In the moment, he was unsure of anything to say. Just as they were at a standstill, the voice of Ji San traveled in from outside. "Pill King Zhen, where are you hiding? I would like to drink some more with you."
Hearing Ji San's voice approach, Jiang Chen gestured helplessly to the old pill king. "Pill King Lu Feng, we can discuss the matter at length later."
Pill King Lu Feng was not at all perturbed by it, chuckling cheerfully. "What is there to be afraid of? Young master Ji San is no stranger. It is good that he’s here! He can mediate for me."
The old man's voice was quite loud, and he made no sign of hiding anything. He felt that having Jiang Chen as his future master was a very honorable thing. Following the sound of his voice, Ji San saw the duo of Jiang Chen and Lu Feng sitting in a corner, and asked curiously, "Pill kings, how come you’re hiding here?"
"Young Master Ji San, how fortuitous of you to arrive just now. I asked Pill King Zhen to become my master, but he doesn't seem interested. Can you help me persuade him? If you help me pull this off, then Ole Lu will owe you big time!"
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