Chapter 522: The Utmost Pill Battle (II)
Both of them had nine sets of ingredients. This Aeonian Dream Pill wasn’t that obscure a pill recipe. It was primarily used to temper consciousness and strength of heart. Alternatively, if one’s consciousness was damaged from an attack of the mind or soul, one could use the Aeonian Dream Pill to aid in recovery.
However, it was a highly difficult pill to successfully refine. It required a very precise refining method. As a result, no one had been able to refine a supreme rank version of the pill thus far in the Regal Pill Palace. Apart from a few pill masters such as Elder Yun Nie, there were few who could even manage an upper rank version.
The two had an hour to familiarize themselves with the recipe and to consider how to refine it. For a pill masters, this was necessary preparation time. Jiang Chen had never refined it before, so he was at a disadvantage. Since it was Shen Qinghong’s recipe, he must have given it a go before. His confident smile also betrayed that fact.
Shen Qinghong let out a long peal of laughter after an hour. “Time’s up, let’s begin.”
Jiang Chen smiled. “Hold. How are we betting, what counts as a draw, and what counts as a loss? Let’s lay out the rules first!”
“Naturally, the usual rules apply. We’ll compete on the basis of the highest level pill from these nine sets of ingredients. If the quality of the pill is the same, then whoever completed refinement first will be the winner. If the quality is the same and we finish at the same time, then it counts as a draw.”
Compared to winning, Jiang Chen cared much more about how to tie. After all, his only mission in the bet was to finish in a draw, and not actually win against Shen Qinghong.
The Skypeak Cauldron. The Skyweave Cauldron.
The two treasured cauldrons of the Regal Pill Palace appeared in front of everyone. Even the stern Ling Bi’er’s eyes held a hint of thoughtfulness. The five treasured cauldrons were the highest honor in the Regal Pill Palace. They represented the utmost glory for a pill master.
All of their past masters had been tremendous personages of great importance in sect history. Which one of them hadn’t achieved great accomplishments for the sect in the past?
And which of these treasured cauldrons hadn’t had a venerated history in the Regal Pill Palace?
Now, two of them were in the hands of the younger generation. Ling Bi’er had a high self assessment of herself in the area of pills and felt that she was on par with Shen Qinghong. However, due to her background and patron, she hadn’t been able to receive the legacy of one of the five treasured cauldrons. Jiang Chen was but a newly ascended genius, but had already received the gift of the Skyweave Cauldron from Palace Head Dan Chi! Not only was this stunning, but it was also a bit jealousy inducing.
Pill refinement began!
All eyes were focused on this battle.
The Skyweave Cauldron versus the Skypeak Cauldron!
This was a battle destined to go down in history. It represented the highest level of the younger generation and determined the future direction of the sect.
Jiang Chen didn’t use any flashy techniques in preheating the cauldron, merely using an ordinary method. After an hour spent comprehending the Aeonian Dream Pill, he was already well versed in its refinement method. With his current level of training, this level of a pill didn’t stump him at all. The difficulty lay in that he wasn’t sure where Shen Qinghong’s level was. What kind of level of pill should he refine to ensure that he would end in a draw with his opponent?
“Whatever, I’ll try my best to make sure that I have a pill from each level. That way, I’ll be able to respond accordingly no matter what level pill he refines.” This laughable request of a tie was running Jiang Chen ragged straight down to the bone. Even more difficult than grasping the level of pill was making sure that they spent an equal amount of time refining. Jiang Cheng had to split some of his attention to keep an eye on Shen Qinghong’s progress. He had to match his speed to a degree of precision that ensured they finished together. That alone imposed high requisites for his fire control. The slightest deviation would cause a difference in time.
It was a good thing that the observation skills of Jiang Chen’s “Psychic Head’s” were enough to parse the most minute of details. He didn’t feel any pressure at all in observing his opponent’s progress in an open-air environment like this.
In this regard, Jiang Chen’s method seemed too much on the straight and narrow as he followed Shen Qinghong’s progress. He sped up if Shen Qinghong was moving quickly, and slowed down if Shen Qinghong dragged. It was just that he did all this extremely deftly so that no one else could see his control. They were actually rather impressed by how focused Jiang Chen was. After all, it was his first time refining the Aeonian Dream Pill. It was already quite a feat to be on a similar level with Shen Qinghong.
There weren’t that many secrets to this pill for Jiang Chen. He didn’t want to show off any elaborate moves, so he just strictly followed the prescribed routine. As long as he did that and paid attention to all the details, Jiang Chen firmly believed that the level of his completed pill wouldn’t be that low.
A pill master’s foundations would be displayed in multiple aspects. Jiang Chen quietly observed Shen Qinghong’s actions as he refined his pills. In his opinion, Shen Qinghong’s methods focused overly on flashy techniques. He still lacked a bit of reliability in the details. This was the common fault of a young pill master.
Jiang Chen surmised, “It would be impressive if Shen Qinghong’s cauldron could result in even an upper rank pill. However, it’s impossible for him to refine a supreme rank. He’s already made some small errors here and there.” The flaws weren’t large, but in Jiang Chen’s eyes, they were enough to affect the final product.
After roughly two hours, Jiang Chen sensed the signs of a pill forming in Shen Qinghong’s cauldron. As for Jiang Chen’s side, it was about time as well. He adjusted his tempo to sync with Shen Qinghong’s rhythm. Suddenly, the Skypeak Cauldron emitted a sound like a dragon’s croon or a tiger’s howl, with the Skyweave Cauldron doing the same at almost the same time.
This was a sign of a pill forming!
Everyone was taken aback. They’d formed a pill at the same time! How could such a coincidence have happened?
Even the knowledgeable and widely read Ling Bi’er and Jun Mobai looked at each other, incredulity shining in their eyes.
Ling Hui’er patted her surging chest. “That scared me, how come the tone of a pill forming sounded at the same time? Did they plan for it to happen at the same time?”
Ling Bi’er admonished her, “Don’t speak nonsense!”
Shen Qinghong was also looking over with a face of disbelief. As the only one aware of the true undercurrent of the duel, Jiang Chen naturally had to go through the full act now. He too put a look of astonishment on his face. Even Mu Gaoqi was taken in. The two contestants then looked at Ling Bi’er at the same time.
She said solemnly, “The two of you formed a pill at the same time. Time will not determine the victor. As such, the result will depend on the level of your pills.”
Jiang Chen smiled leisurely and looked at Shen Qinghong. “Senior brother Shen, I’d like to keep everyone in suspense first. You’re the guest, so you should take out your highest level pill first.”
It wasn’t that he didn’t want to take his out, it’s just that he really didn’t know which pill to bring out. He’d just discovered a supreme rank pill in the Skyweave Cauldron! This would instantly crush Shen Qinghong if he took it out.
But could Jiang Chen bring it forth? Of course not!
He could only have Shen Qinghong show his pill first so that he could respond accordingly. A draw, this has to be a draw.
Shen Qinghong smiled modestly, flipping over his hand to reveal an upper rank Aeonian Dream Pill. “Jiang Chen, my highest pill is an upper rank pill. Bring yours out. You’ll beat me if you can bring out a supreme rank version.”
Everyone gasped in astonished, an upper rank Aeonian Dream Pill! This was something that even only a few elders in the Herbal Hall could manage! Even Ling Bi’er’s heart suddenly trembled. She’d never known the depths of Shen Qinghong’s potential, but the questions in her heart had been swept away after she saw the upper rank pill. His potential would absolutely not be any worse than hers! Add to that his unique background, backer, and the Skypeak Cauldron, his accomplishments in pill dao were only likely stronger than hers, not weaker. Despondency filled her heart all of a sudden, and she looked involuntarily over at Jiang Chen.
Everyone’s gaze flicked to Jiang Chen.
They all didn’t think much of Jiang Chen now. The Aeonian Dream Pill wasn’t that easy to refine. Even the elder heavyweights of the sect couldn’t refine a supreme rank. My ass he can refine a supreme rank version!
Even Mu Gaoqi was a bit nervous. His palms were sweaty as he mutely looked at Jiang Chen. Nie Chong and Rong Zifeng had already started to swell in arrogance. They were just waiting for the sight of Jiang Chen to make a fool out of himself or see him outmatched.
Jiang Chen looked at each of them and laughed leisurely. “What need do I have for a supreme rank? If I remember correctly, a draw works just as well? I happen to have refined an upper rank Aeonian Dream Pill as well! Please verify it.”
He stored all the other pills into a flask with a flourish of his sleeve, and came up holding an upper rank pill in his hand. When those assembled looked at his pill, they saw a pure, solidly upper rank pill. Even Shen Qinghong was rendered completely speechless at the sight.
The proudly prancing Nie Chong and Rong Zifeng were instantly petrified. As everyone froze, Jiang Chen swept away the ten thousand stones. He grinned, “We did agree just now! Senior brother Shen didn’t win, but neither did he lose. If we tied, then the stones are all mine. Haha, I have no choice but to accept them then!” Jiang Chen’s grating laughter and money hungry style instantly changed the atmosphere.
What kind of person was this?
He cared about nothing in a match of pills but the ten thousand upper rank stones. Is this fellow that possessed by an impoverished ghost?
Shen Qinghong was speechless, but he also felt like he had narrowly dodged a bullet as cold sweat poured down his back. Although he hadn’t won, he hadn’t lost either. He’d retained face and found a way out of this situation. He smiled faintly. “We already talked about this beforehand, Jiang Chen. It’s no big deal to gift you the stones.” Without wasting any more time, he waved his hand and left, trailed by a crowd of followers who had yet to react.