Translator: Azo

Editor: CutieBinkie

Pill master examination.

As one of the biggest forces in Yunyue City, the Alchemy Association is luxurious in terms of both venue and decoration.

The staff waiting at the entrance gives a bland, customer service smile. “Hello, what can I do for you?”

Kong Wuying says, “I came for a level assessment.”

The receptionist’s eyes flash in understanding that this must be at least a first division master, and her tone becomes more respectful. “Come with me, please.”

She takes Kong Wuying inside, down a wide hallway, and into a room where another, middle-aged staff member was sitting. “Master Wei Dan, this gentleman wants to assess his division.”

Wei Dan raises his eyes from the herb textbook in his hands and looks at Kong Wuying. He says lazily, “Pass your badge and ID over.”

“Badge?” Kong Wuying echoes, surprised.

Master Wei Dan frowns and his tone becomes more impatient. “Your senior alchemy apprentice badge and your basic identification. Didn’t your teacher tell you what to prepare?”

“And a senior alchemy apprentice one?” Kong Wuying sighs. He didn’t expect such trouble.

He does have an apprentice badge, but it’s intermediate, and he doesn’t know where he left it. He does have identification with him, though.

Does he need to test into being a senior apprentice before he can test into being a first division master? That’s too much trouble.

At Kong Wuying’s silence, Wei Dan waves at him impatiently. “Go, go. Prepare the ID and badge, don’t waste my time.” Then he buries himself in the book.

Kong Wuying doesn’t give up and asks, “If there’s no senior apprentice badge, how do you complete the assessment?”

Master Wei Dan sneers. “Well, you can get two first division pill masters willing to guarantee for you, proving that you have the strength of a senior alchemy apprentice.” 

This is very difficult, because if a person doesn’t have the strength of a senior apprentice, the first division pill master also has to bear the responsibility of lying. It’s not hard to take the assessment to become a senior apprentice first before taking the first division test, as that’s how people normally progress.

But Kong Wuying is obviously not an ordinary person. He looks at the badge on Wei Dan’s chest and says, “Aren’t you a first division pill master?”

This man is really rude. 

Master Wei Dan is speechless and ends up rolling his eyes. Do I know who you are? Would I ever give you a guarantee?

“Get lost! If you can’t make it to senior apprentice then go back to study hard, don’t try and take a shortcut. People who leap into the sky will always fall right back down.”

Kong Wuying is helpless. “Forget it, I’ll look for someone else.”

Wei Dan isn’t happy. “Can you find someone else? You can find my ass!”

Kong Wuying does a double take to the side as someone passes by and smiles. “Master Huang Xun, long time no see, come and be by guarantor.”

Huang Xun turns to him in surprise. “Hello.” He looks at Wei Dan, immediately understands what’s going on, and nods. “I can guarantee him.”

Wei Dan pauses but still argues, albeit with a softer tone, “You need a second.”

Huang Xun nods and says, “I’ll call another one over.”

After Huang Xun leaves, Master Wei Dan turns back to Kong Wuying. “What’s your relationship with Master Huang Xun?”

Although everyone is a pill master here, there are differences in strength among them. Huang Xun is among the best. In the whole Alchemy Association, no one can match him except the president and vice president. Although he lost in a Master’s Oath competition, his reputation was not affected at all. After all, the other side can refine a living pill!

Kong Wuying smiles. “Just met by chance. By the way, my name is Ning Zhao.”

Wei Dan blinks because he’s heard that name before…

Master Huang Xun comes back very fast, with ‘another one’ in tow. In fact a group of people follow after the man like a posse of old men.

Huang Xun offers up a wry smile. “They heard that I wanted to guarantee for you. Everyone’s fighting for the position.”

Wei Dan thinks to himself that it is quite literally everyone. There are twelve first division pill masters in their guild and except for the vice president, everyone is here. Who is this Ning Zhao? Is it actually…

Kong Wuying’s lips twitch a bit as all the masters stare at him with eager smiles. “I’ll have to trouble you to help.”

“No trouble, no trouble.”

“It’s my pleasure to guarantee, Mr. Ning!”

“I wonder if I can ask Mr. Ning for some advice?”

“That Tiger pill, I went back to refine it, but it fried the furnace? Is there a problem with my method?”

“Yes, I blew up the stove, too.”

Hearing this, Master Huang Xun also says, “Yes, I went back and exploded the furnace after adding Hundred Flowers honey. Where might the problem be?” Other people may blow up the furnace because of lack of spirit strength, but he shouldn’t, considering he’s a person who can refine golden striped pills.

“Oh,” Kong Wuying murmurs. “Then don’t add it.”

The crowd shuffles around in confusion. “But how can the pills live without the honey?”

“Honey has nothing to do with it,” Kong Wuying admits.

“What’s the honey for then?”

“Taste.”

“……”

After listening to such a casual answer, the people are stiff and their eyes are wide. If it’s just for the taste, then why did they spend so much time in the past few days focusing on the honey?

At this time, a middle-aged man appears at the doorway and everyone salutes him. The familiar man smiles at Kong Wuying. “I am Wan Qian, vice president of Yunyue city’s Alchemy Association. Let me preside over Mr. Ning’s assessment.”

Ning Zhao nods.

Next to Vice President Wan is young master Yue, dressed in white. “We meet again, Ning Zhao.”

It’s Xiao Yue, who forced Kong Wuying to eat more than ten plates of chili fried vegetables that day.

Kong Wuying’s lips twitch. “Hello again.”

Xiao Yue doesn’t notice his reluctance. Instead, he says with a smile, “I didn’t expect you to be here. We are really predestined.”

Kong Wuying politely laughs with an inward grimace.

The examination for pill masters is very simple, divided into two parts.

One part is to test the level of wood spirit by measuring with special equipment, and the other part is to refine pills on the spot – three different types, in order to show the level of alchemy achieved.

The first part is nothing to most pill masters, but the difficulty of the second part is not low.

First of all; refining three different pills. The types of pills are selected by the examiners. If you get difficult recipes, it’ll be troublesome. Fortunately, the Alchemy Association also knows that it’s not easy and chooses relatively common pills.

Before refining, the selection of materials and equipment is also a test of the master’s level. Some alchemists have good skill, but their judgement is poor and they can’t pick good herbs, which will greatly affect the assessment results.

To begin the test, Wan Qian holds out a crystal to Kong Wuying. “Open your hand.”

Kong Wuying stretches out his hand, and the number on the crystal flickers.

People crane their necks to look. They all want to know how much Ning Zhao’s wood spirit is. Judging from the Master’s Oath competition, it should be in the hundreds, maybe thousands.

The numbers soon stop at seventeen.

The crowd is silent. Upsettingly low? It’s not as good as me?

Huang Xun stares at nothing and says nothing. His wood spirit is close to a hundred now, and soon he’ll take the test to be a second-division master. Originally, he thought that Ning Zhao’s wood spirit could only be higher and didn’t even consider it being barely over a dozen.

Ning Zhao’s strength is so strong at only seventeen. If he continues to improve, it’s impossible for people to catch up.

No matter what many people feel about the detection value of Kong Wuying, if the amount of wood spirit exceeds ten, the first test is passed.

Then on to the second test, Wan Qian announces, “Considering Mr. Ning’s refining of the Tiger pill a few days ago, he can be qualified after only two pills are completed.” He bows his head to think for a while, and then says to Kong Wuying, “Please refine the first level pills; Breakthrough pill and Lost Heart pill.”

The crowd is shocked. vice president, you’re cruel!

Despite reducing the difficulty by stating only two pills need to be made, in fact the difficulty has been ramped up by picking two very complicated pills. 

As the name suggests, this Breakthrough pill can teach martial artists to break through barriers and enter the next stage in cultivation. Barriers between levels have always been the most troublesome thing for martial arts practitioners. 

A Breakthrough pill of first level can cause the highest first division martial artists to hit second division. It’s extremely precious, and the difficulty is not lower than that of a Tiger Vessel pill.

But what’s that Lost Heart pill? vice president, you made it up! How come we haven’t heard of it? You can’t be angry like this, even if Ning Zhao beat our Association down in the Master’s Oath competition, you need to at least pretend to be benevolent and righteous so that people have to thank you.

“Oh,” Kong Wuying says in surprise. “Thank you.”



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