Chapter 779: Jiang Chen’s Full Potential
Pill King Rong perked to attention at those words. Back in the first round of the second stage, they’d been given the task of composing recipes with the provided ingredients. Then, he’d considered the round as good as won, since dissecting and composing recipes was his forte, his favorite and most well versed field of study. But fate had dealt them the Ingenious Decan Enigma, which happened to be something his opponent was highly proficient in. Even though he had acquitted himself well, the opponent had bested him that round by sheer luck, comparable to a blind cat who’d chanced upon a dead mouse.
Now they were being asked to analyze the components of the provided pills. This was simply the first test in reverse. Regardless of the direction, this was still the field he was most confident in. Furthermore, this round didn’t depend on any single judge because all of them would be involved in the test. This greatly reduced the chances of his opponent encountering a fortunate situation. You might know one of them by chance. But what are the odds of knowing two or three?
There were a total of nine pills. The chances of knowing them all by chance were simply too low. Pill King Rong felt that this was a great opportunity for him! It was his time to shine! Since the beginning of this competition, he’d lost two consecutive rounds in the second stage and now the first round of the third stage. He was in a dangerous situation. One more loss meant his fourth consecutive loss, by that token, the loss of the entire bet.
“Humph, that brat relied on the Deviant Pill Faction’s heretical methods and luckily won three tests. Let’s see how far dumb luck can take him!” Pill King Rong was actually still unconvinced at heart. He felt that this mere second rank pill king shouldn’t have been his match at all, considering his own skill and talent as a sixth rank pill king. He’d been greatly humiliated by the previous three losses.
Apart from from the round where his Jade Marrow Pill had lost to the opponent’s Three Elements Pill, he still didn’t quite accept the other two as true defeats. He felt that he’d lost to luck with the Ingenious Decan Enigma. As for the round where they were asked to refine pills previously presented, that loss was purely a result to the rules. “I must take this round by storm! I must let this brat know that a mere second rank pill king is not at the same as a sixth rank pill king!”
Pill King Yu brought out 18 pills and distributed nine to each contestant. “If you would, please take note that the set of nine pills given to you is identical to the other. There is one more rule we’ve put in place in order to preserve the fairness and brilliance of this competition. Each of you will only have to write down six of the ingredients which make up each pill in order to pass the test. It goes without saying, however, that the six answers must be correct. You’ll have failed for that particular pill if any single one is wrong. If the scores are tied, we’ll judge based on the total number of ingredients analyzed. The competitor with the highest number of identified materials will triumph.”
Most pills were refined from at least seven to eight types of ingredients, and some involved a dozen or more. The fact that only six ingredients from each pill needed to be identified somewhat reduced the difficulty of the contest. The catch however, was the requirement for perfection. Failure could come with a single mistake, and restricted the contestants from guessing the materials randomly in pursuit of quantity and speed over quality. One could write down fewer components, but wasn’t allowed to make mistakes.
“Do you both understand the rules?” Pill King Yu’s penetrating gaze enveloped the two contestants. He confirmed once more whether they had clearly understood the rules. Regardless, once the contest began, they would have to play by the rules, whether or not they understood.
“Understood,” Pill King Rong confirmed. This was the field he was most proficient in and the perfect match for him to turn things around. He was exuberant as his spirit began to vibrate with enthusiasm.
Jiang Chen only smiled indifferently and nodded. He glanced at the highly spirited Pill King Rong and sneered inwardly. This Pill King Rong seems to be in high spirits. This must be his preferred field of study. But who in the Divine Abyss Continent is qualified to show off their pill knowledge before me! This wasn’t Jiang Chen being purposely arrogant. Even in the heavenly realm of his past life, few were qualified to discuss and debate theories of pill dao with him, to say nothing of a mere Divine Abyss Continent.
Pill King Yu waved his hand after receiving confirmation from both parties, “Let the competition begin!”
As a judge, Pill King Yu wasn’t biased regarding the rules and regulations despite his admiration for Jiang Chen. The criteria for this round stood testimony to this fact. Analyzing nine pills together reduced the odds of obtaining victory by chance and increased the demand on one’s knowledge and experience. Even Wang Teng found nothing to criticize about this round’s format. On the surface, the competition even appeared to be more or less in favor of their Taiyuan Lodge. But Wang Teng loved advantages. Now that things were looking advantageous for him, he’d kept mum, ready to silently reap in the gains. On the other hand, he would be sure to complain loudly if things were even slightly disadvantageous for him, almost as if he’d suffered the greatest of injustices. This type of advantage-seeking mindset vividly reflected the Majestic Clan’s principles.
“Pill King Rong, I am greatly optimistic about your chances in this round. The credit belongs to you as long as you perform to your utmost and turn the tables on the other party. You’ll be the new chief pill king of Taiyuan Tower once we win this wager and obtain the shop!”
One had to admit, Wang Teng was extremely adept at raising morale and controlling his subordinates. As expected, Pill King Rong immediately became more spirited after hearing this promise. The dejection from the previous losses had all but vanished.
Wang Teng was feeling delighted after realizing the nature of the second round of the third stage. The only thing that made him unhappy was that he couldn’t find any sign of distress or displeasure on the faces of House Wei. It seemed that the Wei father and son did indeed possess the superior grace and composure that Sir Ji San had mentioned. This greatly upset Wang Teng. How can this father and son be so confident? This round is already in Pill King Rong’s pocket Don’t you two feel any anxiety at all? He refused to believe that to be the case. He felt that the father and son were putting on an act.
Jiang Chen had already entered his zone and was completely oblivious to the reactions of the outside world. There was only one thought in his mind: to thwart Taiyuan Lodge and slap Wang Teng resoundly by obtaining a clean victory this round, effectively ending this competition!
Jiang Chen was determined to go all out in order to achieve this goal. Few occasions had ever warranted his all out effort in the field of pills. There were even fewer people living on the Divine Abyss Continent capable of holding their ground against Jiang Chen’s full ability. With the pills in hand, Jiang Chen fully activated his consciousness—analyzing, dissecting…
He was working almost non-stop. He only needed to scan each pill and fiddle with it momentarily to be able to guess its basic composition. After all, he’d done this every day for tens of thousands of years.
Comparatively, Pill King Yu was considered an authoritative figure amongst the pill kings of the Divine Abyss Continent after only a thousand years of life. His experience and age were rather insignificant compared to Jiang Chen. Moreover, it was impossible for these pills from the mundane plane to be more complex than those from the heavenly planes, no matter how intricately designed they might be. In his past life, Jiang Chen had also started out by learning the pills of the mundane plane and then slowly advanced over the course of hundreds of thousands of years. Only then did he reach the level where he could work on heavenly pills with ease.
Jiang Chen quickly formed rough ideas of the composition of each pill as soon as he rolled them in his palm. To make things even easier, the test only required him to identify six components. This was no better than a beginner’s handicap. Jiang Chen immediately identified three out of the first five pills. There was naturally no need to expend great effort to analyze their components since he knew what they were. It took him just a brief moment of recollection to write down all the ingredients.
Jiang Chen was unable to immediately recognize the other two, but it easily came to him after some detailed analysis. He instantly identified the sixth pill. Then the seventh, followed by the eighth… He completed his analysis of all nine pills right before half the allotted time had passed. He was in no hurry to submit his answers and took his time to double check them all in detail. He walked out in a leisurely manner after confirming that there were no mistakes.
His actions stunned the audience. Only half the allotted time had passed. What did he intend to do by walking out at this point? Did he not know that it was against the rules to leave the area during the competition? Leaving would be considered cheating. The competition area was isolated by a restrictive barrier. People outside could see the interior but not vice versa, making it impossible to communicate with the outside world. But once the competitor walked out, he would be able to communicate with the outside world. Cheating would certainly become possible then.
“Can it be that he’s already completed it?” Many spectators were secretly shocked. The Wei father and son glanced at each other. They were also alarmed by Jiang Chen’s actions. But they soon thought of the possibility that Jiang Chen had already completed the test.
Jiang Chen completely ignored the many astonished pairs of eyes on him and proceeded to walk towards the judges’ seats. The nine judges glanced at each other in puzzlement, but then turned to Jiang Chen with a hint of doubt in their eyes. It would be a miracle if he was able to analyze the nine pills in such a short period. Even these high ranked pill kings might not be able to perform this feat so easily.
Wang Teng’s eyes went wide as he stared at Jiang Chen. Astonishment was written all over his darkened face and he was almost crying tears of blood. He was suddenly hit by an extremely bad premonition. It gnawed at his whole body like a poisonous snake and made all his hair stand on end. What if…
Their Majestic Clan would’ve lost this bet if the other party won this round! Taiyuan Lodge would then become another’s property even before the opening ceremony. The most terrifying part was that their clan would lose a fine storefront in Farmer God Market! Wang Teng followed Jiang Chen’s every move with a heavy gaze.
“Honored sirs, I’ve completed my pill analysis. I offer it for your inspection.” Jiang Chen respectfully handed over his answer scroll.
Commotion rose from the audience before those words could hit the floor. He’s really done? He’s already finished dissecting all the pills in half the allotted time? What kind of inhuman speed is that? It’s practically poised to break through the horizon!
Wang Teng felt as if he’d suffered an electric shock. He was petrified. He couldn’t even find a voice to speak up with. The other party was able to submit his answer early, and with such confidence! What were the chances of such a person making mistakes? Who in their right mind would turn in their answer scroll at half the allotted time if he wasn’t completely confident?
The Wei father and son were ecstatic. They felt that victory was near at hand. Even a well composed person like Ji San felt ineffably shocked. Wild joy surged in his heart as he looked at Jiang Chen with fervent eyes. He had a certain feeling at this moment, a feeling that was born of his intuition. His intuition was telling him that this mysterious pill king from House Wei was the key to changing the fate of the Coiling Dragon Clan!