Chapter 176: Apothecary Hong Yun
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: GaiaNove
Lu Xun turned to look at his good friend.
"Un, today, Liu shi and the others paid a visit to Yang shi's mansion along with Emperor Shen Zhui. Shortly, when the three master teachers emerged, their attitudes were extremely respectful. It seems like Yang shi is definitely a master teacher. Furthermore, his tier should be significantly higher than that of Liu shi and the others..."
Wang Chao revealed the news that he had just received.
"Higher than Liu shi... Doesn't that mean that he is a 2-star master teacher?" Lu Xun's eyes glowed brightly. "Let's hurry up and prepare, we should pay him a visit as well..."
He had been waiting for an opportunity like this. If he were to catch Yang shi's sight, he would definitely be able to soar to incredible heights.
"Un!" Wang Chao nodded his head. However, in the next instant, a bitter look appeared on his face, "However, after the news spread, there are countless people who wish to pay Yang shi a visit. I'm afraid that we won't get a chance at all!"
"Furthermore, I'm sure that you've heard of Yang shi's rule. Those who want to pay him a visit has to pay three million upfront. Otherwise, one wouldn't even be allowed to enter... Even my father would find it hard to fork out so much money. I'm afraid that..."
Even though they are star teachers, they earned only two to three thousand gold coins per month. Forking out three million... is nothing more than a dream to them.
Putting aside paying the other party a visit, just this condition alone is sufficient to spell their failure.
"Don't worry, I have already thought the matter through!" Lu Xun flashed a confident smile. "On the surface, everyone has to pay three million to enter Yang shi's mansion. But in fact, in consideration of everyone's dignity, definitely no one would pay it upfront. That's to say... As long as no one says anything, we shouldn't be exposed!"
"You mean that... we should try to sneak in along with the others? I don't think that it is a good idea... The other party isn't a fool. I'm afraid that we will be locked out of the door if we don't pay the sum upfront!"
Hearing the other party's reasoning, Wang Chao was stunned.
"It's not sneaking in with the others. I'm saying that... we should make use of our identities as star teachers to get past this barrier. Given our fame throughout the kingdom, who would dare to disrespect us? As long as we find the correct person to submit our qualifications to, the matter should be able to be settled easily!"
"After all, master teachers are also interested in accepting apprentices. We are the two most famous teachers in Tianxuan Royal City, so it wouldn't be wrong to say we are the most eligible candidates. As long as we compose a proper name scroll and highlight our achievements in teaching, he might just accept us as his apprentices. It doesnt matter whether we have the three million or not! What we have to do is to search for means to submit our name scroll. As for gathering money, that is of secondary concern at the moment!"
"This..." Wang Chao blinked his eyes.
"Fighting prowess isn't the only factor in becoming a master teacher. More important than that, one must be able to nurture his students. Given how many capable students we have under us, we will definitely catch his attention."
As he spoke, Lu Xun got increasingly excited that his eyes began to radiate, "If that doesn't work, we can invite him to the Teacher Evaluation. When he witnesses how I manage to crush Zhang Xuan and how outstanding I am, perhaps he will be impressed and happily accept me as his disciple..."
"What you say makes sense... Given our identity as star teachers, submitting our qualifications shouldnt be difficult. If so, it might work out even without us paying the entrance fee!" Wang Chao finally understood Lu Xun's plan.
The Teacher Evaluation is a good opportunity. If Master Teacher Yang Xuan watches the duel, he will definitely form a favorable impression of Lu Xun and accept him as his disciple. As long as Lu Xun succeeds, he can help to persuade Yang shi to accept Wang Chao as well.
"Alright, let's prepare for a bit before we pay our visit to Yang shi..."
Without much hesitation, Lu Xun started to make arrangements.
Guild Leader Ouyang, Apothecary Chen Xiao, Apothecary Bai Ming, and more than ten other apothecaries were seated in the hall with a respectful attitude.
A violent wind blew and a massive aerial savage beast slowly descended from the sky.
An elder stood on the beast. Before it had even landed, he gently leaped off its back and settled stably on the ground.
"Paying respects to Apothecary Hong Yun!"
Guild Leader Ouyang and his party stepped forward to welcome him.
Apothecary Hong Yun, a famous 2-star apothecary in one of the nearby kingdoms.
"Un!" Apothecary Hong Yun nodded his head. Then, he lifted his eyebrow and asked, "Where's that Zhang Xuan?"
"Apothecary Zhang Xuan... probably isn't in the capital, that's why he didn't come..." Guild Leader Ouyang said with an awkward expression.
The past few days, Zhang Xuan had been spending his time in the kingdom's Book Collection Vault. Upon leaving, he put on his disguise and returned to his mansion immediately. Even Zhao Ya and the others face difficulties finding him, needless to say, him.
"Atrocious!" Apothecary Hong Yun flung his hands. With a steeled face, he bellowed, "Even though the Pill Debate is a tradition passed down from the ancient times, it has a set of unique rules that has to be followed by. This time, other than delivering the Unravel Yin Pill and Colossus Rhinoceros Blood, I am also going to assess this Zhang Xuan. If he is unqualified, I will strip him of his qualifications immediately."
"Yes!" Guild Leader Ouyang nodded his head.
"Bring me the Record Crystal from that day. If I discover any bias in your actions, everyone who was involved in the Pill Debate will be punished!" Apothecary Hong Yun frowned and commanded authoritatively.
"Yes, Apothecary Hong Yun. This way please..." Guild Leader Ouyang hurriedly stepped forward to lead the way.
Soon, they arrived at the location where the Pill Debate was held and took out the Record Crystal.
Apothecary Hong Yun sat down and sipped on a freshly-brewed cup of tea before staring impassively at the others.
Upon hearing the other party's words, Guild Leader Ouyang immediately infused his zhenqi into the Record Crystal. Instantly, the crystal started to shine and the recorded contents began to play before them.
The image of Zhang Xuan stepping into the room appeared.
"Is this Zhang Xuan? Guild Leader Ouyang, you are also a veteran of the guild, how can you be so foolish? How can someone that young succeed in Pill Debate?" After seeing Zhang Xuan's young appearance, Apothecary Hong Yun immediately raised his eyebrows.
Which one of those who had dared to challenge the Pill Debate had not studied pill forging for several decades? At the very least, they were fifty to sixty-year-old. Yet, this fellow isn't even twenty... What can he be possibly capable of?
Clearly, the other apothecaries had intentionally given in to him!
"How about this? As long as any apothecary here dares to forge pills before me, regardless of the method he uses, I am able to point out the name of his forging method and the errors he commits in the process. If any of those here find what I say incorrect, I can admit defeat immediately..."
Zhang Xuan's voice echoed from the Record Crystal.
"Arrogant!" Apothecary Hong Yun sneered coldly. "Even I can't guarantee to be able to see through all of the errors in a 1-star apothecary's forging technique. Yet, as an apprentice, he claims to be able to do so? What a joke... He truly is naive!"
The Record Crystal continued to play. Soon, it displayed the scene regarding Apothecary Meng Yan. Zhang Xuan pointed out that there was killing intent in him, and thus, it was unlikely for his Tranquil Heart Pill to work.
"That Apothecary Meng Yan's movements are hasty and he doesn't look tranquil in the least. It isn't surprising that he can see through this..."
Watching up to this point, Apothecary Hong Yun hesitated for a moment before speaking.
As a 2-star apothecary, his discernment ability isn't something Guild Leader Ouyang and the rest can match up to.
Apothecary Meng Yan's state of mind was clearly unstable and one could tell that he was irritable at that moment. It wasn't difficult to conclude that the pill he forged would be a failed product.
After which, Apothecary Chen Xiao started forging.
"Death aura? This... Apothecary Chen Xiao's pill forging is too quiet. I can only tell that something is amiss with him, but I can't say for sure that he is about to die..."
Apothecary Hong Yun was slightly perplexed.
The other 1-star apothecaries thought that Zhang Xuan had looked into their affairs before working backward to derive the conclusion. On the other hand, Apothecary Hong Yun, as a 2-star apothecary, has much sharper eyes. Even though he isn't able to tell as much as Zhang Xuan was able to, he is nevertheless able to discover a thing or two from Meng Yan and Chen Xiao's state then.
After which, it was Cheng Jiang's turn.
Then, Bai Ming.
"This cauldron has a height of 7 chi and 3 cun and width of 3 cun and 2 chi. It was created by a 3-mo craftsman in the Stone Well Workshop seven years and three months ago..."
"This cauldron is slightly thicker than a cun and it requires an incense's time and thirty-four breaths for the heat to completely permeate the cauldron..."
On the Record Crystal, Zhang Xuan spoke calmly and steadily. Wisdom and self-confidence were displayed clearly in his gaze.
Apothecary Hong Yun's anger had vanished completely. Instead, he was staring fixedly at the crystal with widened eyes.
He has had the opportunity to come into contact with apothecaries of higher tiers and heard them converse with one another. It seems that before forging pills, one should first study the cauldron thoroughly so as to understand how to make full use of it to forge higher quality pills.
All along, he had thought that these are distant concepts inapplicable to him. Never in his dreams would he expect to hear such words from the mouth of an apprentice. Furthermore, the other party had spoken of every single step in great detail.
"Reporting to Apothecary Hong Yun, after the incident, I took the effort to look through the scroll regarding the cauldron and did a comparison to his words. Regardless of the weight of the cauldron, its thickness, when it was forged, how many times it had been transported, and the kinds of pills that were forged through it... Apothecary Zhang Xuan's words are completely correct! There isn't even the slightest bit of error!"
"We specially conducted an experiment as well and indeed, it took precisely an incense's time and thirty-four breaths for heat to permeate the cauldron..."
Guild Leader Ouyang explained.
Actually, even without his explanation, Apothecary Hong Yun, who spends his days forging pills, could roughly tell that the words of the other party are correct.
"...causing a loss of the medicinal effect by thirteen percent. Fail!"
"...As such, its medicinal effect wasn't fully unleashed and fourteen percent of the medicinal effect was lost. Fail!"
"This... This... Impossible!"
Upon hearing the entire string of 'failure' from Zhang Xuan, Apothecary Hong Yun's body stiffened. He couldn't help but clench his fist together tightly.
"After that, we did a series of tests based on the Zhang Xuan's words. The percentages that he gave are completely accurate. This is a log of the tests we did. Please look through it..."
Guild Leader Ouyang handed over a book.
Since it was a Pill Debate, naturally, they couldn't let it end that easily. After Zhang Xuan left the examination hall, Guild Leader Ouyang and the other apothecaries worked overnight to test all of the figures that he provided and the results left them dumbfounded. To think that... it would be absolutely accurate. There wasn't even the slightest bit of error.
Flipping through the logs, Apothecary Hong Yun felt as though he was going mad.
The signature of the apothecaries were all present and the timing between each step was recorded extremely clearly. Thus, it is impossible for it to be falsified.
To remember the sequence in which he added in the 47 medicinal herbs with a single look and to deduce the reaction of every single process thoroughly, as well as the loss of the medicinal effectiveness...
The heck, is that person really a human?
Apothecary Hong Yun tried to see if he could deduce the figures by looking at the forging process on the Record Crystal but soon, he shook his head. Even with his abilities, he isn't capable of such a feat.
Thus, he continued to watch on. What came afterward was the usual Pill Debate process. The various apothecaries came forward to pose questions of their own.
"...It just happens that there is one of it in our basic tier book collection vault. It is on the 27th row, on the upper left corner..."
On the Record Crystal, Zhang Xuan smiled faintly, gestured grandly, and spoke of the names of the books, as well as the position of them in the guild's book collection vault.
"These books... I have read almost them all and it is exactly as he had said..."
Apothecary Hong Yun's breathing hastened.
He might be unable to confirm the authenticity of the words that Zhang Xuan had said earlier just by looking at the Record Crystal, but as a 2-star apothecary, the number of books he had read and his knowledge of pill forging far surpasses that of Guild Leader Ouyang and the others. He had browsed through many of the books that the other party had mentioned and the contents... were identical to what he had said.
Honestly speaking, when he heard that the Tianxuan Kingdom Apothecary Guild had allowed a fellow who isn't even twenty to become an official apothecary through Pill Debate, he was extremely infuriated.
He thought that Ouyang Cheng and the others had gone easy on him.
That was precisely the reason why the headquarters sent him to investigate the case.
On his way here, he had already thought of how he should find flaws so as to fail this Zhang Xuan and strip him of his apothecary qualifications. Yet, he didn't think that he would find himself impressed by the other party even before finishing the contents in the Record Crystal.
If the contents of the Record Crystal isn't a show and happened for real... Then this Zhang Xuan truly holds an inconceivably deep understanding of pill forging...
"...Apothecary Wu Xiao's Cauldron Maintenance, Apothecary Zhao Qian's Important Matters to Note for Pill Forging, Apothecary Niu Xuan's Miscellaneous Things You Have to Know, Apothecary Pang Bo's Protect Your New Cauldron..."
Zhang Xuan continued to speak on the Record Crystal and elegance exuded from his every single action.
"I have read those books as well. His reply is completely... correct!"
Apothecary Hong Yun's joints started to pale and his lips quivered non-stop.
He came here to enforce punishment, but before even looking through the entire Record Crystal, he realized that there isnt a single valid reason to do so...
"Guild Leader Ouyang, Apothecary Zhang Xuan is waiting outside and he requests for an audience..." An apprentice said.
Astonished, Apothecary Hong Yun unintentionally released his grip on the teacup in his hands. It fell onto the floor and shattered into numerous fragments.
Turning around, he saw a listless fellow with bloodshot eyes and heavy eyebags enter.
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 176
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