Chapter 784: The Level of Alertness Rises
Ji San was stupefied at Pill King Lu Feng’s sudden outburst. "...You want him to be your master?" The suspicion was clear on his face.
"Yes! What kind of expression are you making? Is finding a master for Ole Lu so off-limits?" Lu Feng was a little displeased.
"It's not that it's off-limits, it’s just …" Ji San smiled wryly. He left the rest of his words unsaid, turning to Jiang Chen instead. "Pill King Zhen, as people go, Pill King Lu Feng is fairly genuine. He has always come and gone alone in Veluriyam Capital, and conducted only his business. He is not subservient to another faction."
Though Ji San was not openly pleading with him, it was nevertheless a subtle request on the pill king’s behalf. Pill King Lu Feng's eyes brightened at his words, and looked appreciatively at Ji San. "Yes, yes, I mean absolutely no malice. Young master Ji San can vouch on my behalf. Besides, with Taiyuan Tower so recently established, you still need people, right? I am a pill-refining fanatic, and I would be just as happy to help you out as an assistant! If you are still not convinced, feel free to order Ole Lu about as you see fit for a decade or so. It won’t be too late for us to hold the master-disciple ceremony until after you are satisfied with your inspection."
The old man was willing to make significant concessions for the pursuit of knowledge. His words would be jaw-dropping to over half of Veluriyam Capital's residents. An eighth rank pill king, in the top 50 among the pill kings of the capital, was willing to be someone's apprentice for free!
A pill king of his caliber was a truly influential figure in this city! Even ninth ranked houses wouldn’t necessarily be able to request his services. The only ones who possessed the size and ability to attract eighth rank pill kings were the great clans, and even then the relationship was more a partnership than employment. Under typical circumstances, it was unheard of for any clan to simply dictate and order an eighth rank pill king about. Moreover, Pill King Lu Feng was a fairly notable pill king among his fellows of the same rank.
"Honored master, Ole Lu has a store here in Farmer God Market as well. Though it is not in such a good location, our business has always been prosperous. If you’d like it, that store will be yours from here on out. You can treat it as a gift of apprenticeship from your future disciple." Lu Feng had put everything on the table in an effort to convince Jiang Chen.
The degree which he was willing to go to surprised even Ji San. Being acquainted with the store in question, Ji San was aware of its booming business. Though it wasn’t among the first-rate stores in Veluriyam Capital, it comfortably sat between first- and second-rate stores in terms of size.
Moreover, its ranking wasn’t for lack of ability, but because of Lu Feng's unfettered and unruly nature. It left him seldom impressed with other people, indirectly preventing him from joining any factions of note. Without a patron, using wits alone to rise to the top of Veluriyam Capital was a particularly difficult endeavor. This was the reason that Pill King Lu Feng had no top tier classification despite his fame. In fact, the Coiling Dragon Clan had once tried to recruit Pill King Lu Feng's services, but had been refused.
"Pill King Zhen, in theory I shouldn’t be interfering in your affairs. However, I will say that this is the first time I have seen Pill King Lu Feng truly give someone his full respect. His sincerity is obvious. Why not think it over? Well, this is merely my thoughts from the perspective of a friend, haha. Whether you wish to take him as your student… that's still up to you." Ji San spoke once more on the pill king's behalf. He had already subconsciously given Jiang Chen the label of being part of the Coiling Dragon Clan's camp. Given that Pill King Lu Feng wanted to seek a master, he too would naturally be grouped with the Coiling Dragon Clan in the future. It was certainly not a bad thing for his clan.
Jiang Chen sighed lightly. From the pill king's stance, he knew that it would be impossible to refuse. It wasn't that Jiang Chen thought himself unqualified as a master. His point of hesitation was, as Ji San said prior, loyalty and reliability. If Pill King Lu Feng was really reliable, what harm was there in taking him as a student? Taiyuan Tower was newly established. At a time like this, it was definitely good for an expert to join.
Reaching a decision, Jiang Chen nodded slightly to the pill king. "Pill King Lu Feng, that you would seek me as your master is indeed a little bizarre. However, your rare candor has impressed me. Why don’t we count you as a student in name first? Let’s have a period of observation in which both of us are free to renege at any time. How do you feel about that?"
Jiang Chen didn’t speak in absolutes, rather leaving a loophole. That way, there was a way out if they were truly incompatible.
"Yes, that's that then!" Pill King Lu Feng was very pleased. "I will not go back on my word! I have a very good eye for people, and I feel that you are absolutely qualified to teach me. At least in the matters of the Deviant Pill Faction, there is ample room for me to learn from you."
Jiang Chen laughed in exasperation. He knew that Pill King Lu Feng sought him as a master because of the "mysterious master" he’d mentioned. Rather than seeking a master, it was more that he was seeking a "master's master". Unfortunately, the mysterious master had been wholly fictitious on Jiang Chen's part. It was hard to say if Pill King Lu Feng would be as sure about taking Jiang Chen as his master if he knew that the latter's master did not exist. Such things didn't need to be mentioned, of course.
"Young master San, you should serve as the witness. Supervise him to make sure the honored master doesn't go back on his word." Pill King Lu Feng was still a little worried, and wanted to drag Ji San into this as well.
Ji San smiled, "There is no need to worry as long as you don’t have a change of heart. Pill King Zhen is a kind man, and will be convinced over time by your goodwill."
Pill King Lu Feng laughed proudly. "Ole Lu is not someone who chops and changes with the wind. From now on, I will only be faithful to the Deviant Pill Faction. It shall not change, not even if a blade lands on my neck!"
Saying so, he turned and knelt to Jiang Chen. "Master, please receive these kowtows  from your disciple!"
Jiang Chen hurried to cut him off, "Pill King Lu Feng…"
"No, honored master, please do not call me that. From now on, Ole Lu is enough. Calling me a pill king is putting me on a pedestal. In front of master, I dare not call myself a king."
"Um…" Jiang Chen was at a loss for words.
And so an absurd master ceremony was completed under Ji San's watchful eye. Elated, Pill King Lu Feng’s face split in a cheeky grin, "Master, if you have any commands for me, just say the word. Ah yes, that kid Wang Teng. He suffered a big defeat today, and will definitely come to make trouble in the future. Master, you must be on your guard." With the ceremony concluded, the old man immediately put himself in the shoes of a good disciple, and began to think on Jiang Chen's behalf.
Ji San nodded in agreement. "Pill King Lu Feng, now that you've admitted Pill King Zhen as your teacher, it is right that you should shoulder some of his burdens. Particularly in the matter of Wang Teng, he will try to avenge himself tenfold on you."
"Let him try!" Pill King Lu Feng was red with enthusiastic anger and cursed loudly. "I didn’t deal with anything before, but from now on, the master's business is Ole Lu's business. If he dares challenge the honored master, then I'll beat him senseless!"
Though Pill King Lu Feng's martial ability could not be said to be the very best in Veluriyam Capital, he was still an emperor realm expert. Compared to members of the younger generation such as Wang Teng, he was markedly stronger. However, to say that the pill king could beat Wang Teng up was an exaggeration. The latter's followers weren’t just for show.
"Pill King Zhen, you have done the Coiling Dragon Clan a great service in crushing the Majestic Clan's plot. I will make a request for some emperor realm experts to keep watch here upon my return, to safeguard against any issues Wang Teng may cause." As a wealthy dandy of the capital, Ji San was familiar with all the methods of his peers.
Wang Teng had failed today, but he was unlikely to just slink away and nurse his wounds. A wave of mad vengeance was sure to follow. Perhaps not with pills, but certain darker acts could not be ruled out. To put it in a less palatable way, if a strong assassin took out Pill King Zhen, then the Majestic Clan would easily recoup both their losses and enact some interest as well. Ji San was keenly aware of this, hence his continued reluctance to depart. He knew better than anyone that Pill King Zhen of Taiyuan Tower was of great importance in the Coiling Dragon Clan's future conflict against the Majestic Clan.
Pill King Lu Feng nodded as well. "Young master Ji San has the right of it. The Majestic Clan has always been narrow-minded and intolerant. There is no way they would just take a loss like that. It’s better to send in some experts to deal with their inevitable response."
Though Jiang Chen was confident in his own skills, he knew the way that these powerful factions tended to act. The Eternal Celestial Capital and the Ninesuns Sky Sect, for example, acted with pure arrogance. Even with the vastness of the Myriad Domain and the numerous sects within, destruction was but a word away. How could a Taiyuan Tower that'd just opened be comparable to them?
Given Wang Teng's overbearing style, Jiang Chen could already imagine the endless acts of revenge. But, he hadn’t gotten to where he was today because of unnecessary fear and caution. Back in the Myriad Domain, he couldn't act as he’d desired because he was afraid of affecting his fellow sect members. Now that the sect had fallen, he no longer had anything to chain him down, and there were far fewer worries in his heart.
What about the Majestic Clan? Using my Longevity Pill, stepping on my Taiyuan Tower, am I supposed to smiling at you after that? Regardless of how pleasant his temperament was, Jiang Chen was no pushover.
"Young Master Ji San, I leave this place in your care. I need to make a few preparations. I shall give open lectures over the next three days."
Pill King Lu Feng was positively aglow after hearing this. "Yes, yes, the lectures! What a thing to look forward to. Honored master, what will you talk about? Why not let me know ahead of time, and let me give the lectures in your place? How about it? It’s said that the students should undergo the toil when the master has a troublesome affair.”
Ji San nodded before he turned to Jiang Chen. "Pill King Zhen, don’t worry about the safety of Taiyuan Tower. Leave it entirely to me."
It wasn’t an idle boast. At the very least, a scion of the Coiling Dragon Clan had this much courage and power. Taiyuan Tower had earned preeminent accolades in the conflict against the Majestic Clan this day. This alone was enough reason for Ji San to petition experts from the clan to act as their back up.
True to Ji San's words, the Coiling Dragon Clan's executives sent a team immediately when they learned about the matter at Taiyuan Tower. A clan elder who was eighth rank in the emperor realm personally kept guard on the premises. Due respect was fully shown.
"Young master San, the clan's leadership know of the happenings here. You did well. Many seniors in the clan are praising you." This elder in particular was named Ji Tianya. Though he wasn’t at the very top in the clan, he was nevertheless a weighty personage.
With him at Taiyuan Tower, not even the most discreet assassin could succeed. After all, it was still Veluriyam Capital. There was a limit to the amount of plotting one could do. Passing this limit would provoke displeasure and ire from the makers of the law - that is, the seven emperors.
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