Chapter 475: The Allusion of the Pill Battles of Mt. Rippling Mirage
“Linghu Xian isn’t the first to visit, nor will he be the last.” Elder Yun Nie sighed lightly. “There are approximately twenty elders in the Herbal Hall, and roughly half of them have stopped by. This is the second time Linghu Xian has come. Jiang Chen, he must’ve tried to recruit you for this.”
“Oh? What for?” Jiang Chen was rather curious now.
“All of this has to do with the quota for the Mt. Rippling Mirage Pill Battles.” Elder Yun Nie sighed again. “There a mountain called Rippling Mirage in the Myriad Domain, known for producing spirit herbs. The mountain was previously under royal control, but controversy has arisen over its jurisdiction since the Myriad Domain Empire was destroyed. The various sects have endlessly fought over it, but still couldn’t settle the matter of ownership. It remains unsettled even today, but the spirit herbs produced by the mountain sorely tempted all the great factions in the Myriad Domain. They would often fight over these resources, resulting in many fatalities and injuries. The sects all felt that things couldn’t continue this way, and so came to the agreement that a gathering for pill battles would be held every thirty years, with the results of the battles determining the quota of each sect allowed onto the mountain.”
Jiang Chen had never heard of what Elder Yun Nie was speaking of. It was apparent that the four great sects of the sixteen kingdoms didn’t have the right to participate in such a matter.
“Within the Myriad Domain, the six of us fourth rank sects have always been the strongest and the main force behind the Pill Battles. There are twenty other fifth rank sects with the right to participate, but the quota allotted to them is only half of the fourth rank sects’. As for the sixth rank sects, they have no right to even ask about the happenings, with the same going for those beyond the sixth rank. Therefore, everyone is keeping a nervous eye on the quota for the Mt. Rippling Mirage Pill Battles. And our Regal Pill Palace only has eight slots as well.”
Elder Yun Nie smiled, “Eight slots may seem a lot, but the relationships within the sect are complicated and intersecting. It’s not as easy task to divvy up the eight slots. The Herbal Hall is in charge of pill refinement and spirit herbs cultivation to being with, so it naturally falls to me to decide who fill the eight slots.”
Jiang Chen suddenly understood everything. The list of who would participate was held in Elder Yun Nie’s hands. It was up to his say who went and who didn’t. It wasn’t hard to understand then why the Herbal Hall elders wanted to call upon their personal relationships.
“Eight slots is a good sum. Although there are many Herbal Hall elders, not all of their strength is the same, correct? Just pick the best ones.” Jiang Chen responded.
“Only four of the eight will be given out to the Herbal Hall elders, the remaining four must go to the younger generation. The elders must’ve wanted to bring you along to the Pill Battles to increase their chances of victory. However, they have yet to actually obtain a spot, so wasn’t at leisure to tell you some things. It can be seen from this point that they still think highly of your potential in the dao of pills.”
“This is to say that the Mt. Rippling Mirage Pill Battles are conducted by one elder bringing one younger disciple? Four elders pairing off with four younger pill masters?”
Elder Yun Nie creased his face into a smile and nodded, “What do you say, are you interested? My Regal Pill Palace has always been amongst the top when it came to this, and as the Hallmaster of the Herbal Hall, I’m bound to participate. If you’re willing to go, I’ll leave the spot for my partner open to you.”
Elder Yun Nie spoke excitedly, hints of encouragement and anticipation in his eyes. “Jiang Chen, you must know that if your ranking veers towards the front in the Pill Battles, you’ll be able to enter Mt. Rippling Mirage to pick spirit herbs. You can pick as many as you want in ten days, with half of it going to the sect, and the other half to you. What do you say? Think about it.”
Since Rippling Mirage was the most sophisticated land producing spirit herbs in the Myriad Domain, there was bound to be plenty of treasures in it. Jiang Chen knew that Elder Yun Nie was tempting him, but still couldn’t keep his heart from pounding with temptation.
“Jiang Chen, I had planned on reserving this spot for other young geniuses in the sect before you’d appeared. The spots are limited, hmm?” Elder Yun Nie’s expression was like he was holding a lollipop and trying to tempt a little child.
Jiang Chen sighed. “Alright, Elder Yun Nie, I confess I’ve been persuaded. When will the Pill Battles be held?”
“Once every thirty years, so that makes it another seven to eight months before the next one takes place. Competition for the slots wouldn’t have been so fierce otherwise.”
Seven to eight months? Jiang Chen made some quick calculations and felt that there was no problem to make it to the Pill Battles if all went well with his exploration of the spring with Mu Gaoqi. “Jiang Chen is beyond grateful for the elder’s great favor.” Jiang Chen expressed his intent to accept this spot with his words.
Eldr Yun Nie waved his hand, “I don’t like hearing courtesies. What you are to do is to deploy your abilities to the utmost and bring glory to the younger generation of the Regal Pill Palace. I’ve heard that the other fourth rank sects have recruited and emphasized the training of many pill geniuses over the past thirty years, preparing to make a stunning showing in this time’s Pill Battles. Although our sect has always performed well and taken the lead, many unknown factors exist in the younger generation. If those sects particularly emphasize the cultivation of such young disciples, fierce competition may arise in this time’s Pill Battles. My Regal Pill Palace was established on basis of pills, and if we lose our advantage in this area, that will greatly affect our development plans in the future.”
The Regal Pill Palace’s greatest advantage lay in the dao of pills. If the younger generation of another sect surpassed them in this area, then their advantages would be continuously whittled away until the other sects overtook them. This was what the Regal Pill Palace never wanted to see.
Elder Yun Nie was most worried about this. Because the Regal Pill Palace had always led the pack in the area of pills, many of the senior executives were used to this kind of advantage. The long-accustomed psychological advantage had caused the young disciples in the Regal Pill Palace to constantly think themselves superior in the arena of pills. They no longer had the motivation and drive as they did before, placing more emphasis on martial dao.
Although this wasn’t a bad thing, it also wasn’t a good thing for the Regal Pill Palace to not maintain its advantage in pills. The other sects in the Myriad Domain have greatly valued the development of the dao of pills in the last hundred years, obviously not wanting the Regal Pill Palace to have a monopoly in this field. The development of pills was like other matters, one must forge ahead against of the current or be driven back.
If the Regal Pill Palace remained complacent in its past glory and advantages, continuing to make its daydreams of the top sect in pills, then one day, it would be surpassed.
Jiang Chen understood Elder Yun Nie’s concern as well. He had only just entered the Regal Pill Palace, but he too could tell that the younger generation of the sect was far more infatuated with martial dao than pills.
It wasn’t a bad culture to have, but some things had to be paid attention to in a sect that valued their expertise with pills such as the Regal Pill Palace. But of course, these were all matters for the senior executives to worry about. Jiang Chen knew that he didn’t have to express any opinions on this matter.
However, he was quite interested in this Mt. Rippling Mirage Pill Battle. To be able to have his pick of resources for ten days straight! The very thought set Jiang Chen’s blood boiling. And to think he was worrying about resources. If he could ravage the mountain for ten days, then maybe he wouldn’t have to worry about resources for the next ten, twenty years!
The various sects wouldn’t be so crazy over Mt. Rippling Mirage if its resources weren’t that rich either. Jiang Chen could absolutely imagine that it was a cornucopia for spirit herbs.
“Alright Jiang Chen, keep the Pill Battle slot a secret for now. Let’s go haul your spirit medicines.” Elder Yun Nie was something alright. He didn’t say pick or grab, but used the word haul. That meant that whatever Jiang Chen wanted, he would have it.
A few more traces of respect grew in Jiang Chen’s mind towards the elder when he heard this. Those who could become a great personage like a Hallmaster had uncommon bearing indeed. One could see from this reward and the slot for the Pill Battles that the elder was truly “trusting those he used, and not using those he didn’t trust.”
Jiang Chen was stunned by the heaps and piles of spirit medicines and herbs when he visited the residence’s storage. Even though Elder Yun Nie had told him to take what he would, Jiang Chen wouldn’t have really cleaned the place out. He focused his efforts on taking a portion that would be enough for him and his followers to use for a year.
Having resolved his resource shortage for a year after leaving the Yun Nie residence, Jiang Chen was in great spirits and felt that life in a sect was rather interesting after all.
“Sage Dan Chi, Elder Yun Nie… I can tell that the two are very much alike. The Regal Pill Palace didn’t climb to its current position through luck. With these kinds of characters holding down the fort, the Regal Pill Palace won’t have to worry about its fortunes for the next hundred years.”
One had to say, Jiang Chen had a great impression of the elder after spending less than a day with him. The outside world was rampant with rumors of how mean-spirited and vicious he was, how much he would beat people, but it seemed that those were only baseless rumors after all. One who was able to give him one of the Pill Battle slots the first time they met possessed the kind of demeanor and charisma worthy of Jiang Chen’s admiration.
When he walked out in glory from the Hundred Elders Peak, the guards all looked at each other with skepticism on their faces. He naturally knew the reason behind their reactions, but just smiled and passed them by.
The guards were completely baffled by Jiang Chen’s carefree appearance. “No way! Did this kid not go to Elder Yun Nie’s residence?”
“That’s impossible! If he didn’t enter any residence and just strolled around in such an important place as the Hundred Elders Peak, the patrol would have caught him a long time ago.”
“That’s true. Since he went in and requested Elder Yun Nie’s mission, how could he not have suffered a beating? He even looks really happy?”
Old Li, who’d been on duty when Jiang Chen had first entered the Hundred Elders Peak, smiled with pride. “Look at that, I’ve got the true eye for talent here! I told you guys that Jiang Chen is a pill genius, and that things may be different this time. It turns out I was right! Hahaha, I admire myself more and more!”
The other guards were speechless, they really didn’t understand what was going on. Could it be that Jiang Chen really finished the mission? But why did this all seem so unreal? An eight star mission that no one had completed in twenty, thirty years had been taken care of by a young man who’d just entered the sect?