The secret ingredient is Hundred Flowers honey?
Looking at the calm expression of Kong Wuying, the principal strokes his beard twice. He doesn’t press the issue and leaves.
Next comes a sneered shout, “You showed up, clown.”
Kong Wuying turns to see a man of about thirty-six years old, wearing a yellow robe with a white pill badge on his left chest. He’s the challenger today, Huang Xun. Very rude, but Kong Wuying has a good temper and doesn’t care about it.
Kong Wuying smiles and nods at him.
Huang Xun gets a strange feeling that something isn’t quite right.
It’s almost time to begin, so Vice President Wan of the Alchemy Association moves to the edge of the platform so he can preside over the whole arena. “The Master’s Oath competition is about to start. Please abide by the standard rules of the Alliance. If there is any cheating, you will be disqualified immediately and expelled from Yunyue city. Do you understand?”
Neither party has an objection so Vice President Wan announces the competition rules. “This is a battle of alchemy. The medicinal materials and equipment for this competition were provided by the alchemy Association. A recipe will be determined from these materials and you have a day to complete the refinement. The competitors will be judged by the grades of their completed pills.”
After declaring the rules, he waves his hand and another man brings up a batch of herbs and alchemy equipment.
Young master Yue glances over it and praises, “vice president, how generous.”
The medicinal materials and equipment are low grade so naturally he doesn’t care for them. The interesting aspect is the range of variety available for every species of herb. Even with the ability of the Master’s Oath Association in this city, it couldn’t have been easy to collect so many. However, these two low-level pill masters can not refine for a whole day. Most of these herbs can be taken back after the competition, and the loss is miniscule.
Vice President Wan’s face flashes with a hint of satisfaction when he hears the compliment. For him, the important thing is not the fight for Han Xiu. Instead, he wants to show the strength of his guild and attract more talents to join his association.
Master Huang Xun has already begun to select herbs.
Seeing the herbs chosen, young master Yue raises his eyebrows slightly. “It’s actually the Tiger pill. It seems that the masters of your guild are not weak.”
The Tiger pill is a type of animal vessel pill, refined from the body of spirit animals. It can make people gain the power of the animal, and this particular one is difficult to refine. Even a second division pill master could not dare to say they can succeed a hundred percent of the time.
“Although Master Huang Xun is young, his alchemy talent is not less than mine.” Vice President Wan says easily. In fact, this tiger elixir is naturally difficult for others, but it’s Hunag Xun’s best refining work. It’s a waste to use this to deal with an alchemy apprentice!
But even if a lion fights a rabbit, using their full strength is required. Huang Xun’s cautious attitude was appreciated by Vice President Wan.
Young master Yue tilts his head. “The other alchemist has also started choosing his materials. How odd, what kind of pills does he want to refine? A drop of Linghu’s blood essence, three strains of Huwen grass, one pot of Yuesha, and three stalks of purple Linglan. Tiger pills as well? But what is he doing with a jar of honeysuckle?”
Vice President Wan only looks at it with a quick glance but he can’t help laughing and saying, “Most of the medicinal materials in this workshop are of a higher class. I’m afraid that an apprentice won’t be able to recognise many, let alone refine them. The apprentice has no choice but to copy Huang Xun’s method. It’s a pity that he even joined this competition!”
Young master Yue’s guess is correct. Kong Wuying really intends to refine Tiger pills. He now has recipes for all the first-class pills, but to compete against Huang Xun, he has to refine the same. This is to prevent people from cheating and to keep things fair, it’s not because he hates Huang Xun and wants to insult him. Definitely not.
As for the reason why he needs to add Hundred Flowers honey, it is naturally because of its characteristics. The first volume of the atlas of medicinal materials states: Hundred Flowers honey, which is refined from a hundred and fifteen kinds of flowers, is a rich amber in color, cool in nature and sweet in taste. Absolutely delicious.
Huang Xun sneers at Kong Wuying and refocuses, adjusting his breathing to ready himself for refining pills.
The alchemy furnace provided by the Master’s Oath competition is the purple and gold coloured Xuan furnace, while the fire is the green mountain fire, and the furnace water is the ice lotus snow water. Although it can’t compare with what he usually uses, it is enough for this competition.
Huang Xun wants this clown to know the difference between them, like the distance between heaven and earth. Let him dare to talk nonsense after the competition!
Huang Xun begins to boil water in his furnace. Kong Wuying also steps forward to prepare his materials.
Seeing Kong Wuying’s movements, young master Yue’s eyes light up. “I’ve never seen such alchemy!”
Vice President Wan doesn’t even bother to look. “Just fancy gestures from villagers.”
Young master Yue slightly hooked his lips down, but he feels that this man’s posture is elegant and mysterious, not like a normal refining. How good is this man?
Except, after the conversation finishes, Kong Wuying takes his hand back from the furnace and even puts out the fire. Then he looks at the furnace, bored.
Kong Wuying finishes refining pills and waits for Huang Xun to finish his refining. But he waits and waits. He doesn’t think Huang Xun’s is intending to finish soon, so he turns and asks, “When will you finish?”
Huang Xun just used his wood spirit to stimulate the fire. When asked, he’s stunned. He just started. Is this intermediate apprentice trying to throw in the towel? But Huang Xun’s refining has begun, and he can’t stop now, so he says nothing and continues to devote himself to it.
Seeing that no one is paying him any attention, Kong Wuying starts to ask again.
Vice President Wan glares at him. “Even if you can’t refine pills, just watch and study hard. Why are you making so much noise? Don’t you know that alchemy needs concentration, don’t disturb people!”
Kong Wuying shrugs. Well if he can’t speak… “Han Xiu, bring me a couch.”
In Yeying, Kong Wuying is used to summoning people to do his bidding so the call for Han Xiu is natural for him. On the other hand, a suddenly called Han Xiu is confused but he quickly finds a reclining chair.
It’s the first time the audience has seen someone refining pills, and now one of them has a reclining chair. They couldn’t help chattering to each other in a low murmur.
Vice President Wan snorts coldly. “Sensationalist rubbish!”
Young master Yue still insists on believing the best in people. “Maybe it’s a special refining method? Ah, he seems to be asleep.” Well, never mind, he retracts his earlier words, it’s a joke.
Kong Wuying, who’s already recovering from a serious illness, is a little weak. With the aroma of herbs around him, he soon falls asleep.
When Kong Wuying wakes up, it’s half dark and there are lights set up around him to illuminate the platform.
Huang Xun wipes the sweat on his forehead and sighs at the division leader of the League branch. “Fortunately, the distractions did not disgrace my work.” After that, he opens the furnace cover and an aura of golden light radiates out.
Ten dark gold pills lie quietly in the furnace. Around the pills, there is a golden stripe. Although it’s faint, it is indeed gold-level.
“A golden pill!” The Vice President Wan’s amazed voice resounds through the whole venue.
The crowd swells with excitement. How many years has it been since their city last produced a golden pill!?
“Just a fluke,” Huang Xun says modestly. He’s usually at the level of three red stripes at most, but today his state was good enough to refine for so long that he managed to break through and achieve a golden pill.
“No matter how lucky it is, your pills are still gold,” Vice President Wan preaches. “I declare that the winner of this contest is Huang Xun-“
“Wait a minute!” Kong Wuying cuts in, annoyed. “You haven’t seen my pills yet.”
The vice president looks at him and snorts coldly. “The allocated time is almost up, it’s far too late for you to start refining again.”
“My pills are already done.” Kong Wuying stands up and straightforwardly opens the furnace.
The audience looks around. When did the intermediate apprentice make pills? In his dream? He was blatantly sleeping all day in full view of the public.
The vice president looks into the furnace and there really are pills. What a surprise! “Even so, there is not a single line on your pill, much less a gold one. The winner is Huang Xun-!”
The vice president screams and flinches back, but too slow to avoid the pills that leap out and bite him on the face. The pills bounce off after and roll around in the furnace as if laughing at him.
Everyone is stunned silent.
Young master Yue leans closer. “The essence of alchemy is to produce life. Is this so strange?”
“The pills live?” Vice President Wan is disbelieving. “Isn’t this a gift that can only be possessed by a higher, third level pill? This is just a simple first level!”
What’s more, the man who made it is just an alchemy apprentice. But there are people in the world who can make pills that cross the line between the physical and the spiritual.
Vice President Wan furrows his brows. “Such wonderful and pure alchemy. Did he refine them just then? I didn’t see it.”
Young master Yue is silent, because there was no such thing, he saw the man throw the medicine in and then go straight to sleep.
Vice President Wan doesn’t see young master Yue’s odd expression and ponders. “Is it a change in the recipe? Yes, yes, he seems to have added the Hundred Flowers honey. This is the key!”
Several people share the same idea.
“Tiger pill plus Hundred Flowers honey, quick! Record it!”
“Quick, quick, record it!”
“Buy some Hundred Flowers honey, now!”