Chapter 98: I Want to Debate Pills
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Frappe
"Oh? There is such a way too?"
Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.
Without years of practice, he knew that it was impossible for him to successfully forge a grade-1 pill. However, Pill Debate was different. With the Library of Heaven's Path, as long as there were sufficient books and knowledge, learning was an easy task for him!
"This method may seem simple, but even master teachers would rather learn to forge pills than to resort to this method!" Noticing the excitement in the other party, Ouyang Cheng interjected and shook his head.
Zhang Xuan was confused.
If one was able to pass the examination based on theories itself to become an apothecary, there should be no need for them to waste their time to learn to forge pills.
"To tell the truth, it is impossible for one to possess an in-depth understanding into an occupation without trying it hands-on. No matter how much theory one learns, if one doesn't verify them practically, no one can guarantee whether they are right or not! For one who isn't even an apothecary yet to debate with a true apothecary based on knowledge one learnt off the books? Who do you think will win?"
Ouyang Cheng said.
Zhang Xuan nodded his head.
What one could learn from the books was shallow, to understand the essence of which, one needs to experience it first-hand! This was a famous maxim expressing the utmost truth.
How could one ascertain whether something was right or wrong just by theories itself without trying it out? With just a single error, the entire pill forging would end in failure!
One erroneous move would make a great difference!
"Ever since Pill Debate was created, more than thousands of master teachers had undergone it and they were all incredible geniuses. Their knowledge of pill forging exceeds that of any apothecary. However, it is a pity that... most of them ended up in failure. Of the thousands of master teachers, the ones to succeed might not even exceed the number of fingers on a single hand!"
Ouyang Cheng sighed.
"Not exceeding the number of fingers in a single hand?"
Zhang Xuan was taken aback
[Out of a thousand people, not even five of them succeeded? This success rate is way too low!]
"Indeed, there is a huge difference between theories and practical. This is precisely the reason why even though Pill Debate remained a possible way for one to become an apothecary, not many people used it and it was gradually forgotten!"
Ouyang Cheng shook his head.
Pill Debate might seem easier than Pill Forging, but in reality, the difficulty of which was much greater.
Without practical experience, how could one succeed in it with just theories?
If one didn't have a single mistake in his theory, that meant that his practical should be excellent as well.
If so, rather than engaging in a Pill Debate, he might as well just go for the Pill Forging method. It would be much easier that way.
"Others may be unable to... But I can!"
Ignoring the lamentations of the other party, Zhang Xuan's motivation surged and his eyes glowed.
Pill Debate might be much more difficult for others, but for him, it was nothing short of easy!
With the Library of Heaven's Path, he was able to identify errors and flaws directly. Just basing on theories itself, others were unable to tell whether something was true or not. On the other hand, with a single look via the Library of Heaven's Path, everything was clear to him!
Conducting a Pill Debate with this, it was impossible for him to make an error. He could definitely pass the test easily!
"Since there's such a method, I have decided to try becoming an apothecary through Pill Debate!" Thinking such, Zhang Xuan declared without much hesitation.
"Ah?" Initially, he thought that he would be able to persuade the other party to give up after saying so much. He didn't expect his words to cause him to become even more resolute. Ouyang Cheng was speechless. "Do you know the consequences of failing a Pill Debate?"
"Yes. Pill Debate requires the presence of a minimum of ten apothecaries to conduct a debate. All these apothecaries are people of high standing, and if there isn't any price to pay for failure and everyone were to go on and try it, wouldn't they tire themselves to death?" Ouyang Cheng said. "Thus, the guild had set a rule regarding such. If an apprentice who applied for Pill Debate were to pass the test, nothing would occur. On the other hand, if they were to fail, they will have to pay every single apothecary hundred thousand gold coins! On top of that, they will have to suffer a hundred God Slaying Flogs as punishment. Also, they will be banned from taking the examinations to become an apothecary for a decade!"
Zhang Xuan was speechless.
This punishment was truly severe.
Given that a Pill Debate required at least ten apothecaries, if he had to pay each of them hundred thousand gold coins, that meant he would have to fork out a million gold coins in total.
To an apprentice apothecary, such money was an impossibility among impossibilities. Perhaps, they might not even be able to earn that much money in their entire life!
God Slaying Flog was a type of punishment. Depending on the cultivation realm of the person, it would exert a different force. A hundred God Slaying Flogs, even with his current strength, after he was done with the punishment, he would probably be unable to climb out of bed for a month or two.
As for the third penalty, a human's lifespan was only around several decades. To be banned from the examinations for a decade, it was equivalent to keeping one away from medicinal herbs and pills for ten whole years. Basically, this would create an upper limit on a person's future achievements as an apothecary, even if they decided to continue treading on the path.
"Not only are the consequences severe, it is also a daunting task to pass a Pill Debate. This is the reason why no one dares to even try it. Based on what I know, there hadn't been a Pill Debate in Tianxuan Kingdom and the dozen or so kingdoms around it for the past few centuries!"
The dissuasion in Ouyang Cheng's tone was clear. "Given your talents, I think you should just go the conventional route and learn pill forging instead. Pill Debate isn't a suitable option!"
"I have already decided to go ahead with Pill Debate, I hope that Master Ouyang can help me make the necessary arrangements!" Zhang Xuan shook his head in response to his dissuasion.
[What a joke! If Pill Debate can make me an apothecary, I have to go along with it.]
Otherwise, it would take an inestimable amount of time for him to learn pill forging or that sort.
Not to mention how he didn't have sufficient time on his hand, he didn't have the effort to waste on it either!
"Make the necessary arrangements? It can't be that... you wish to carry it out now?"
Master Ouyang staggered.
[You just became an apprentice apothecary. You don't even know what pill forging is yet, and you want to undergo a Pill Debate? Are you for real?
Are you sure you aren't jesting with me?]
"Yes!" Zhang Xuan nodded his head.
"You... Do you know the contents of a Pill Debate? Do you know what the apothecaries will ask you about? You have just barely become an apprentice and you have yet to go through the systematic education, to undergo a Pill Debate now..."
Du Man, who was standing by the side, was also at a loss for words.
"I can go to the basic tier book collection vault now, right? I can study those that I do not know now!" Seeing the anxiety on the other party's faces, Zhang Xuan quickly explained.
Du Man, Ouyang Cheng, and the others were on a verge of tears.
[Brother, to think that you will remember to study!
You have just become an apprentice apothecary. Despite not having visited the book collection vault before, you wish to undergo a Pill Debate. Are you very certain that you aren't pulling my leg?
There are hundreds of thousand of books in the book collection vault, and it is impossible to finish looking through them without three to five years of intense effort. Without even paying it a visit, you wish to undergo a Pill Debate...
Are your guts too inflated or is there a problem with your head?]
"Un, I will head to the book collection vault to study later on. Don't worry, it won't take too much time. As for the Pill Debate, I will be troubling the two of you!" Zhang Xuan said.
"Study later on..."
Everyone felt faint-headed.
[Do you intend to study last minute?
Undergoing a Pill Debate without studying?
To be able to do something so brainless, how did this fellow manage to become an apprentice apothecary?]
"Rest assured, I know the severity of it. I won't do anything I am unconfident of. Just go ahead and make arrangements, I have to start reading now as well!" Seeing the crowd rooted to the spot, Zhang Xuan continued.
"Know the severity?"
"Won't do anything you are unconfident of?"
Do you know what a cauldron looks like? Do you know whether a pill is round of square? Do you know how do apothecaries extract the essence from medicinal herbs?
You don't know a single thing at all, yet you want to take the examination for an apothecary, not to mention, a Pill Debate... Are you sure that you are confident?]
"Alright!" Upon his insistence, Ouyang Cheng and Du Man knew that they were unable to convince him otherwise at this point. Trading glances, they shook their heads. "I will make arrangements now, but it will take some time to gather so many apothecaries. So, I will set the Pill Debate to be at tomorrow afternoon! During this period of time, you better carefully contemplate over the matter. Otherwise, once the Pill Debate starts, you won't be able to back out!"
"Un!" Zhang Xuan nodded his head. Then, he flung his sleeves with a confident expression and took two steps toward the entrance before abruptly turning around. "Ah, I forgot. Where is the basic tier book collection vault?"
"..." Ouyang Cheng.
"..." Du Man.
"..." Sun Tao and Zhu Hua Hua.
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 98
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