Chapter 842: The Longevity Pill Complete
Pill King Ji Lang had studied the Longevity Pill's recipe intensively before coming to Sacred Peafowl Mountain. He had especially put a lot of effort into learning how to refine it. Both pill masters had entered their respective zones; it was difficult to discern who was superior in that precise moment. For Jiang Chen, this time was different from before. In all his previous pill battles, he rarely revealed the full extent of his ability. Twenty or thirty percent, used in a very offhanded way, was enough in most cases. This time, his opponent was unimaginably strong. As such, Jiang Chen didn't feel the need to hide his true strength. Refining the Longevity Pill didn't give him room to hide much of anything anyway.
Jiang Chen fully exerting his abilities was terrifying in terms of pill dao skill. His talent did not manifest in a single specific detail; rather, he was a well-rounded contestant, excelling at almost every aspect of the pill-refining process. The formidable memories from his previous life had been compounded with the experiences from his current. Though Jiang Chen's pill dao strength was still lacking when compared to his previous life's level, it was enough to deal with any competition on the Divine Abyss Continent. The gap between his current and previous lives was not due to a lack of experience, rather, it was due to his youthfulness—he needed more practical opportunities.
Compared to the millions of years of experimentation he had performed in his previous life, the current Jiang Chen had much more to practice. It hadn't even been ten years since he had transmigrated into his current body. During these past few years, the only time he had spent refining pills had been after he had entered Regal Pill Palace and after he had come to Veluriyam Capital. Jiang Chen had refined the Longevity Pill many times even during his current life. Moreover, he had entered seclusion for the previous two days in order to further prepare.
With the passage of time, Jiang Chen was completely at ease, and no longer perceived the world nor himself—he was entirely focused on the pill. There was a brief lull. All eyes stared at the two pill kings, spinning around in their sockets. The air was fraught with anticipation. By now, the invited judges had different attitudes. They had thought that Veluriyam Capital had literally zero chance of winning, and that the Pill King Zhen they had chosen was only there for show. But now everyone could see that that was no longer the case. Every move Pill King Zhen made was meticulously planned and well thought out. Every request was logical and appropriate, making it difficult for Pill King Ji Lang to refuse. The judges finally realized that the battle wasn't going to be completely one-sided after all, like they had previously anticipated.
Pill King Ji Lang presently held no advantage, at least. Pill King Zhen was young but candid. He also showed no signs of stage fright. In their respective areas, Pill King Zhen and Pill King Ji Lang were both about to enter the most intense part of the refining phase. It was plain for all the judges to see that Pill King Ji Lang wore a solemn expression, his movements full of caution. Pill King Zhen, on the other hand, seemed to have forgotten his very own existence. He almost appeared to be in a state of ecstasy. He was clearly enjoying the process.
As for who was better? That was still unclear.
"Your Majesty, Veluriyam Capital seems to be sufficiently prepared this time around. We may have fallen for their ruse." a confidante transmitted to Emperor Danji.
Emperor Danji was not in a good mood. He had realized as well that although they had prepared as much as they could for the Longevity Pill—one could even say perfectly—there was still a large gap between theirs and Sacred Peafowl Mountain's. Moreover, the emperor was even a little doubtful. "Is the Longevity Pill really the Sacred Peafowl Mountain's original creation? How could this Pill King Zhen have the confidence to propose using a different recipe otherwise? Does the Longevity Pill really have several recipes?"
Emperor Danji didn't believe it at first, but the more time continued to pass, the more he suspected that something was a bit off. If Veluriyam's Pill King Zhen was truly bluffing and being intentionally bluffing, his psychological stability and skill in disguise were beyond exceptional. At the very least, Emperor Danji couldn't see through his bluff. In theory, there was never any confidence behind a bluff. All bluster meant that there was no bite, and there were flaws with such a presentation. But Emperor Danji hadn't observed any such flaws.
"Where did Veluriyam Capital find this young pill king? Whether or not he's bluffing aside, his mental fortitude is still exceptional. This young man's psyche is uncommon in its tenacity." Without realizing it, Emperor Danji had raised Jiang Chen in his esteem.
Some people on Sacred Peafowl Mountain's side hadn't expected much out of Jiang Chen initially. However, they now had the faint feeling that Pill King Zhen perhaps had some real skill after all. Obviously, Pill King Ji Lang was giving it his all in the competition. To be capable of making Pill King Ji Lang do such a thing… finding another pill king who could provoke that same level of effort was impossible at Sacred Peafowl Mountain. Thus, they ceased their pessimism and waited with a hint of anticipation,the four monarchs included. "Maybe this mysterious Pill King Zhen will give us a pleasant surprise?"
The Wei father and son duo were far too insignificant in this kind of environment, having to stand behind the Coiling Dragon clan lord. However, though they acted with prudence, unlimited pride welled up in their hearts. No matter the result, the fact of the matter was that Pill King Zhen was currently representing Veluriyam Capital in a battle against Pillfire City. Pill King Zhen was House Wei's guest pill king; they had been the ones to introduce the young man to Veluriyam Capital. House Wei was the only aristocratic house that was allowed to attend the battle today. This honor alone was enough to grant House Wei a hundred years of fortune.
The other titled emperors from Veluriyam felt unspoken surprise as well. They had recently heard of Pill King Zhen's name in the capital, but the things that Jiang Chen had done weren't particularly important nor earth-shattering. They were, in fact, fairly mundane. After all, he had only intervened in conflicts between clans and houses. His exploits were sensational, but a little gimmicky as well. With the high stakes bet that Jiang Chen had partaken in, his opponent had only been a sixth-level pill king. Someone as insignificant as that wasn't enough to attract the emperors' attention. And so, understandably, the other emperors did not quite understand why Emperor Peafowl had chosen Jiang Chen, an unknown pill king, to represent them. The current situation told them that Emperor Peafowl's eyes were as sharp as ever; they saw further and higher than everyone else's.
Time ticked by, second by second. Both sides of the contest had devoted their full concentration to the task at hand, not daring to be distracted in the least. The Longevity Pill actually required a lot of mental effort. Its nature meant that it was the type of pill that required slow and painstaking work to be put in.
The first time Jiang Chen had refined the pill at the Mt. Rippling Mirage pill battles, he'd spent a lot of mental effort, time, and energy. But the Jiang Chen of the past could not at all compare to the Jiang Chen of the present, whether in pill dao or martial dao. In particular, the level of his consciousness was now on a different level.
At the time, Jiang Chen had only been an earth origin realm cultivator. He had taken a big step up and was now an earth sage realm cultivator. This was a substantial leap. He had found it difficult to refine the Longevity Pill before, but it was now easy for him. The refinement of the Longevity Pill was indeed very complex. Every detail had to be firmly grasped. In particular, the last step of compressing spirit energy was the key to successfully refining the pill. Jiang Chen was currently on this step.
Nine hand seals and nine different forces of spirit energy were gathered together in Jiang Chen's practiced hand. Just because the nine forces had been gathered didn't mean that the refinement process was over, however. The moment that put a pill master's true skill to the test had arrived. Whether the refinement was good or bad determined the quality of the finished pill. A perfect Longevity Pill resulted from a flawless fusion of the nine spirit energy forces. A golden ratio had to be achieved.
Jiang Chen's mind was exceedingly clear. Nine spirit energy forces gathered into a great ocean, like the waters of nine streams. Their paths were etched clearly into Jiang Chen's brain, their twists and turns fully discernible. He had no stray thoughts. As a top-rank pill master, the more important the moment was, the fewer distractions that entered his mind. He abandoned all notions of gain and loss. Only by casting that off could one forget one's own existence and refine a truly perfect product.
Suddenly, the pill caudron shook rapidly. The pill is done, finally… a job well done. Jiang Chen was secretly pleased. Everything went according to plan. This refinement was as impeccable as ever. There had been no breaks, no blemishes, and no flaws. Jiang Chen's cauldron contained six Longevity Pills. In terms of time, he was quite a bit faster than Pill King Ji Lang. The latter was still in the final fusion stage.
The completion of Jiang Chen's refinement elicited visible cheer from Sacred Peafowl Mountain's side. No matter Pill King Zhen's results, his speed was ahead of his opponent's. If the pills' qualities were identical, they would have the advantage.
Emperor Danji's expression was very focused, glancing at Jiang Chen with some interest. The foreboding sensation in his heart heightened. Prior to the beginning of the contest, Emperor Danji had never considered the possibility of Pill King Ji Lang being at a disadvantage when it came to refining. Quality of refinement aside, Pill King Ji Lang was the fastest in Pillfire City apart from Emperor Danji. A man of the emperor's stature naturally could not personally compete. Therefore, Pill King Ji Lang's participation represented Pillfire's highest level of competency. That they had lost to Veluriyam Capital in terms of speed was a great shame for the high-and-mighty Pillfire City.
The good thing was that Pill King Ji Lang wasn't too slow either, having finished the stage in less than fifteen minutes after Jiang Chen did. However, one could make a few conjectures based off of Pill King Ji Lang's frozen expression. This Pill King Ji Lang hadn't really performed well. In truth, Jiang Chen had already spotted the problem from the color of the smoke emanating from his opponent's cauldron. This Pill King Ji Lang must have practiced the Longevity Pill's refinement a lot. Otherwise he couldn't be this fast. But his personal refinement relied particularly on outside equipment. With garbage equipment, a thief like him couldn't fully display the Longevity Pill's true attraction!