Long Chen asked about Huo Wufang’s situation with great concern. Last time, he had given him an exclusive, secret medicine to make him possess neither the will to live, nor the will to die.
In the Jiuli secret realm, it was all because of Huo Wufang that he had been targeted by both the Righteous and Corrupt paths. That had caused Lu Fang-er and Ye Zhiqiu to perish.
In his hatred, Long Chen had given Huo Wufang a specially mixed poison, one that was practically incurable. It had sunk into his broken bones, making it so that they couldn’t heal.
In the secret realm, Long Chen had broken every bone in his body. Now that he couldn’t heal them, he was essentially a slug. He wasn’t even able to move. All day, he would be wracked with pain.
“Fuck, just mentioning it gives me rage. Back then, that idiot insisted on messing around and going on an adventure. As a result, he ended up in the Jiuli secret realm and was beaten into a dead dog by Long Chen. That Long Chen really is a vicious character. It’s just regretful that he died. Otherwise, we’d definitely have to treat him to a drink,” sighed Fang Chang.
Huo Wufang had been in a half-dead state this entire time. Long Chen’s poison was too complicated, and without being given the cure, they could not heal him.
The Huo family had countless people. They had figured out most of the components of the poison, but none of them dared to try an antidote against this kind of poison. The slightest mistake would cause Huo Wufang to immediately die. It was too dangerous.
It had to be known that Huo Wufang was the Huo family’s top junior alchemist. Even as a child, they had pampered him, turning him into his unreasonable, haughty self.
And so, he had dared to ignore everyone else’s objections and secretly entered the Jiuli secret realm for a thrilling adventure. As a result, he had turned into a half-dead man due to Long Chen.
“Just over half a month ago, that idiot actually appeared in front of us alive and healthy. Back then, we didn’t even believe our own eyes. Only afterward did we learn that the Huo family invited a sage doctor skilled in the art of healing to come. They paid an incredible amount for that doctor to extract all that bastard’s bones and transplant a new skeleton into him,” said Fang Chang.
“He replaced his entire skeleton?! That would cost… that would cost a huge price!” Long Chen was just about to say the exact cost when he caught himself. He had to play the role of someone with limited experience.
“Exactly. To completely replace a person’s bones requires the new bones to come from someone with an extremely strong physical body. For such a huge project, just the required medicinal liquids would probably be enough for you to buy half of Pill Yang Prefecture. It really is unknown just how much profit the Huo family has swindled over these years. They were even able to afford such a terrifying transplant,” said Chai Liehuo indignantly.
Half a month ago? That was not long after Long Chen had been sent to the chaos region. In other words, it had happened after Long Chen had refused to give them the antidote. That was why the Huo family had paid the immense price to heal Huo Wufang.
So they wanted to transfer the pain of paying this price to me? Not a bad idea. Regretfully, I’ll make them pay an even more painful price.
“Currently, not only has Huo Wufang completely recovered, but his cultivation base has also broken through to the Xiantian realm. It seems his transplanted bones came from a shocking origin,” said Fang Chang.
“Is Huo Wufang strong? Even the two of you have to be worried about him?” asked Long Chen upon seeing their frowns.
Fang Chang and Chai Liehuo looked at each other and then helplessly said, “Huo Wufang might be trash as a person, but his alchemy arts are exceedingly terrifying. His Spiritual Strength has reached the third tier Heaven class, which is two tiers higher than you. Even worse, your master was merely a Pill Master. But Huo Wufang was raised with the Huo family’s full strength. The difference between the two of you is immense. But don’t be discouraged. With us present, your alchemy arts will rapidly progress,” consoled Fang Chang.
Long San came from a poor background, but he was exceedingly talented. And alchemists cared most about talent. As long as you weren’t over a hundred years old, you could still be properly groomed. Furthermore, Long San was only eighteen.
“I won’t say too many thanks then. Brothers, your enemies are my enemies. This life of mine will be used to fight against the Huo family.” Long Chen patted his chest.
“Hahaha, good brother. Let’s go drink more,” laughed Fang Chang. He pulled Long Chen out of the room, and they continued drinking with everyone.
Seeing how courageous Long San was and how he didn’t have the slightest terror toward the Huo family, Fang Chang was delighted and he drank his fill.
On that very day, Fang Chang set Long Chen up in his own residence. Long Chen was just about to take a rest when a dozen prime women came to wait upon him.
Seeing how revealing those clothes were, seeing how their privates were barely concealed, he immediately understood what was going on. Fang Chang was trying to show him some extra benefits.
This was Long Chen’s first time experiencing such a thing. These women really were not bad, and considering how youthful Long Chen was, there was an immediate reaction.
But then thinking of Tang Wan-er, Meng Qi, and Chu Yao, that fire immediately died down. These women could not be compared to them. If he handed his valuables to an outsider here, even Long Chen would have to look down on himself.
Ignoring their resentful gazes, Long Chen kicked them out of his room. Three days later, he and the other alchemists were summoned.
This time, Long Chen saw Fang Chang’s group had grown a great deal. There were over thirty people now.
“Let’s go. This is the opening round of the competition. Everyone has to participate,” said Fang Chang.
Previously, Long Chen had merely registered. But this was the opening round. All the alchemists who had passed the registration had to come for an appraisal.
This was just an ordinary display of their skills. No one would be knocked out in this round. But it was in the rules that everyone had to attend. It was to allow the competitors to be more mentally prepared for the later rounds, to let them get accustomed to the environment. In other words, even if you failed your refinement this time, it would be fine. You would merely be laughed at by the others.
Following Fang Chang into the treasure tower region, Long Chen saw the soaring tower in the distance.
Even with Long Chen’s calm, he couldn’t help but feel shocked. This Seven Treasure Jewel Tower had a circumference of three miles. It soared so high into the sky that it was impossible to see the peak.
Seeing this enormous construction from a distance was already stunning. Now that he got closer, Long Chen was extremely shaken.
In the plaza in front of the tower, there was an arena with a thousand small stages. Each stage was merely a few dozen meters long. They all had a number on them. These were the stages for the opening round.
The region outside the plaza was already filled with people. Those people were all alchemists who had come to watch the fun. Of course, some had come with a learning attitude.
Anyone who could compete here was an elite alchemist. Just watching them refine pills was a learning opportunity. This was also one of the meanings behind the opening round.
“Oh? Isn’t that junior master Fang? You only managed to get this many people? I almost feel sorry for you.”
Suddenly, a familiar voice rang out in Long Chen’s ears. Long Chen followed that voice to see its owner and laughed inside; it was Huo Wufang.
Huo Wufang looked similar to before. However, it seemed his body had grown larger. He appeared much more muscular. It should be that his new skeleton was bigger than his old one.
His face had also changed a bit. Originally, his face was not bad. But now his face had become square-like. It had the appearance of a butcher.
There were actually over a hundred people behind Huo Wufang. Long Chen saw a few familiar faces from when he had registered. Duan Tianqiao was there.
It seemed she had been pulled in by the Huo family. Fang Chang only had thirty-plus people, but they had over a hundred. The difference was a bit big.
Huo Wufang didn’t notice Long Chen, as Long Chen’s current appearance was extremely unremarkable.
There was an extremely dislikable smile on Huo Wufang’s face. He was still in the habit of looking down his nose on people. Long Chen sighed inside, “The same voice, the same conduct. Huo Wufang, ah, Huo Wufang. Are you looking to have the same ending as last time?”
“Junior master Huo, looks like you haven’t read enough books. Haven’t you heard that numbers don’t matter when it comes to skill? There are so many ants in this world, but do you see an ant that can rule this world?” said Fang Chang indifferently.
“As long as there are enough ants, they can still bite an elephant to death. Have you never heard of that? It seems junior master Fang hasn’t read enough books.” Huo Wufang didn’t have to say anything. A man behind him stepped up for him.
That person had only just finished speaking when Fang Chang slapped him across the face, directly breaking his nose.
“Do you have the qualifications to speak here?”
Fang Chang clasped his hands behind his back. Those slaps had been too refreshing. They even contained the flavor of Long Chen’s slaps.
“I remember you from the registration! Weren’t you the one with the name of the apparatus a kind of animal uses to carry on its ancestral line? Ah, that’s right, you’re Gou Jiba!” Long Chen suddenly pointed at that person.
“You’re the illustrious Gou Jiba? You know, with that appearance, you really do look a bit similar to your name! Slender, long, and a bright head. This name really is accurate.” Someone beside Long Chen took this chance to add his own thoughts.
“You… you… you…” Huo Wufang’s expression suddenly changed upon seeing Long Chen.
Long Chen’s heart shook. Had he been exposed just like this? Perhaps he was doomed.
“No, you aren’t him. You just look a bit similar.” Huo Wufang shook his head.
“Hahaha, it seems a certain someone has been scared out of his mind by Long Chen. Long San, how about I help you change your appearance in the future?” laughed Fang Chang.
Huo Wufang really had been scared for a moment. Looking at Long Chen’s gaze had given him a heart-pounding feeling. They really were similar.
But after a careful examination, this person wasn’t the same as Long Chen. It was just his figure that was similar. His skin and facial features were all different. Furthermore, this person’s eyes contained a red tint that was completely different from Long Chen.
Now that Fang Chang was laughing at him, Huo Wufang was about to retort, when Chai Liehuo suddenly appeared and stood beside Fang Chang.
Long Chen’s gaze shifted back and forth, and then lighted upon Gou Jiba, who had only just crawled up from the ground. An extremely concealed Spiritual Strength reached out.
Gou Jiba’s head was still in a muddled state. For some unknown reason, he suddenly opened his mouth and shouted, “Screw Chai Liehuo, damn Fang Chang. Pill Yang Prefecture’s sole master is Huo Wufang!”