Soon, all of them went up on the stage.
According to the rules, all three of them would be given a pot, as well as some simple medicinal herbs.
The process of making medicine involved extracting the essence of medicinal herbs and then fusing them.
It might sound simple on the surface, but in reality, it was a complicated process. There were plenty of steps involved, and the difficulty of extracting the essence varied from herb to herb.
For instance, extracting the essence of a normal herb only took about a few minutes, while a high-grade herb like the Thousand Spirit Grass would take at least a day, not to mention that there was a possibility the extraction would fail.
After the extraction process, the real game began. The druggist had to consider carefully which herbs to mix with the essence to maximize the effectiveness of the medicine. This was a crucial step, and no mistakes would be tolerated. Otherwise, there was a good chance that the medicine would turn into poison.
Right now, there were plenty of sophisticated devices in front of Fu Zhi and the other two participants. They were going to utilize these devices to prepare the medicine.
Since Fu Zhi had said that the herb she had brought was the Senzhi Herb, she had attracted a lot of attention from the crowd.
However, when they saw her casually grab a handful of herbs and dump them into the pot without weighing them first, they all convulsed with laughter.
After all, everyone knew that precision played an essential role in traditional Chinese medicine. Even the most experienced traditional Chinese medicine practitioner had to weigh each herb meticulously according to the prescription, so what about Fu Zhi?
First, she did not weigh her herbs, and second, the herbs she chose were also very common herbs provided by the Chu Family.
How was there any chance she could create a high-grade medicine that could treat a serious condition with low-grade herbs?
She was indeed ignorant!
That said, someone was kind enough to remind Fu Zhi of her mistake. “Fu Zhi, the test is about making medicine, not cooking. It won’t work if you don’t weigh and extract the essence of the herbs in advance. There is still some time left, so why don’t you start over?”
“Don’t worry. It will work.”
The kind-hearted disciple was stumped.
‘How are you going to make it work? With magic? Abrakadabra?’
The male participant beside Gu Yan noticed Fu Zhi’s situation. He frowned and said, “Without extracting the essence, the herbs won’t have any effect.”
Fu Zhi did not say anything. Then, her next stubborn approach was even more confusing.
Normally, one would extract the essence with the pumping technique. However, Fu Zhi just threw everything in the pot, started the fire, and boiled the ingredients.
Nobody had ever seen this kind of extraction technique before, and they thought she was just messing around.
Gu Yan took a glance at Fu Zhi and sneered, “If I were you, I’d stop wasting my time and energy. There’s no way you can extract the essence this way. You’re just bringing…”
Before she could finish speaking, a faint smell of Chinese medicine pervaded the air, and the smell kept getting stronger and stronger with each passing second.
Fitting a filter gauze on the mouth of the pot, Fu Zhi poured everything out into a test tube.
The essence was green in color, clear, and transparent. There was not a single impurity in it, and it looked no worse than the essence extracted with normal instruments.
How was that possible?
Everyone around could not believe their eyes, but that was the truth.
One of the elders from the judging board got excited and ran up to the stage in spite of his image. He snatched the test tube from Fu Zhi’s hand and then said in a shaky voice, “Little girl, this, this, this… This doesn’t make sense. How is there any possibility you can extract the essence without the help of any device? Did you do something to the herbs before you dumped them all into the pot? Otherwise, how can the essence in your pot form two separate layers with the water? Can you teach me how to do it?”
Fu Zhi replied, “Nope. People always say that when the students master the knowledge, the teacher will lose his or her job. Unless you can offer me a price to keep me clothed and fed for the rest of my life, I’m not teaching you.”
The elder was stumped.
The expressions of the crowd turned complicated. They had just been laughing at Fu Zhi not long ago, and now reality had given them a huge slap in the face. Not only had Fu Zhi managed to extract the essence with her bold approach, but her essence was also very pure! Everyone knew that the purer the essence, the better the effect of the medicine.
It was only now that they realized Fu Zhi was not an ignorant fool at all!
Gu Yan and Chu He’s faces turned grim.
Chu He said, “Yes, she has some skills. I’ll give her that, but there’s no way she’s going to win with that unknown grass of hers!”
Everyone then remembered the unsightly “Senzhi Herb” that Fu Zhi had brought, and they shook their heads regretfully.
No matter how skillful she was, there was nothing she could do without a high-grade herb.
Fu Zhi did not care about what other people said about her, as she just focused on making her medicine.
When Gu Yan saw that Fu Zhi had already started to work on her ugly grass while she still had not finished extracting the essence, she became a little restless.
After all, she was the one who knew how to make incense, so no one was more skilled than her when it came to extracting essence… Unfortunately, she was still slower than Fu Zhi.
Gu Yan’s eyes were red around the rims, and she was anxious. She hadn’t found the way to extract the Thousand Spirit Grass, but then she thought of an idea and said, “Fu Zhi, since you’re so great, how about I share a quarter of the Thousand Spirit Grass with you so you can take it to make medicine?”
Everyone nodded in admiration upon seeing Gu Yan’s generosity. The Thousand Spirit Grass was a high-grade herb, and all of them reckoned that only a fool would refuse.
However, little had they expected that Fu Zhi would be a fool. She knew what Gu Yan was planning, so there was no way she would let her get her way. She did not even look at Gu Yan as she rejected the offer coldly. “It’s just a wildflower. You can keep it.”
The crowd was stunned by Fu Zhi’s rejection, and a thought surfaced in everyone’s head. ‘If you don’t want it, then give it to us! We want it!’
Gu Yan wanted to know how Fu Zhi would extract the Thousand Spirit Grass, so she pressed on. “Stop pretending, Fu Zhi. That is not the Senzhi Herb. If you insist on using it to create the medicine, what if it turns into poison and kills someone…”
Making medicine was a sophisticated process. If something went wrong during the mixing process, especially with an essence of such purity, the patient that consumed the medicine would end up dying.
“If you don’t know sh*t, just shut up,” Fu Zhi said. Then, she turned to the elder that was peeking at her and said, “You! Go and ask if that crazy b*tch wants to continue the examination or not. If she’s given up, then get her off the stage. She’s bothering me.”
The elder said, “I heard that she’s a participant who was invited by Master Chu Hao…”
In other words, she had connections, and there was nothing he could do about it. Then, although Fu Zhi did not say anything, he seemed to see the word “useless” form in her eyes.
The elder did not know what to say.
The silver lining was that Gu Yan stopped bothering Fu Zhi after Fu Zhi rejected her.
It was difficult to extract the essence of the Senzhi Herb, and it took Fu Zhi quite some time.
At the same time, Gu Yan put the Thousand Spirit Grass into the pot for extraction. She did not know how much essence she could get out of it, so she went with the most conservative way.
Very soon, one hour had passed, and they were required to present their medicine.
Bracing herself to face the gazes of the crowd, Gu Yan walked up the stage and presented her medicine. It was a bottle of light yellow liquid.
Chu He was the first to go up and take it. He observed the color of the medicine first and then dipped a silver chopstick into the bottle. After he put the chopstick into his mouth to taste the medicine, he commented, “It’s above average. Although there are some impurities, it’s overall good. It should not have a problem curing minor burns.”
Gu Yan curled her lips up gracefully and said, “It’s such a relief that I didn’t let you down, master.”
“See? Gu Yan is pretty good.”
“She’s very good at extracting the essence of herbs. I don’t think I can do it as well as her.”
“It’s so lucky that I decided to come here today!”
“Where’s Fu Zhi? How’s Fu Zhi’s medicine?” Due to the fact that she had used a rather new way to extract the essence, most people were anticipating Fu Zhi’s result more.
Fu Zhi, who was called to the stage, stepped forward with her bottle of medicine.
Gu Yan smirked. “Don’t forget that Fu Zhi simply took a wildflower from the roadside and treated it as the Senzhi Herb to make this medicine. Are you sure you guys want to taste it?”
Chu Guang was surprised. “The Senzhi Herb?”
Chu He chimed in, his voice filled with mockery, “That’s not the Senzhi Herb. There’s no way she would get her hands on that kind of herb. She’s just an ignorant kid who likes to mess with us adults. I’m not going to taste her medicine. I don’t want to get poisoned!”
Fu Zhi shot him a glance.
Chu He immediately remembered the poison she had fed him and fell silent.
Moving her gaze away from Chu He, Fu Zhi took her medicine out and said, “This is the medicine I modified according to an ancient prescription. It might not cure the problem right away, but I’m certain that the condition of the patient will become a lot better after they take it.”
Then, she added, “It’s the highest-grade medicine, and it’s something you guys can’t find in the market. I know you want to praise me, but I’m in a hurry, so make it quick. Just give me the prize and I will take my leave.”
The group of elders did not know what to say.
‘What a shameless girl!’
Gu Yan did not know whether she should be laughing or not. Just as she was about to say something, an angry voice erupted from the crowd. “Gu Yan, Chu He, how dare you! Who gave you guys permission to take the Thousand Spirit Grass? Chu He, I left you in charge of the treasure room, but I didn’t expect you to abuse your power for your own gain!”
Chu Hao appeared from the crowd and slapped Chu He’s shoulder.
He was so angry that his eyes were red around the rims. After all, the Thousand Spirit Grass was his only hope to cure his disciple!
He had nearly passed out upon seeing the bottle of yellow medicine.
The moment Chu Hao finished speaking, everyone fell silent.
All of them were wondering if their ears were playing a trick on them or something.
Gu Yan had taken the Thousand Spirit Grass without permission? Just what the hell was happening?
Chu Hao was not in the mood to explain anything. He gnashed his teeth tightly, fuming with rage.
As for Fu Zhi, she raised her brows when she heard the voice.
Chu He hastily explained, “Listen to my explanation, senior brother. I saw that you had never used the herb before and you suddenly took it out, so I thought you were going to give it to Gu Yan. After all, she received an invitation from you…”
“The herb is for ‘Addiction’!”
‘Oh, now I see it.’
Fu Zhi finally connected all the dots. She poked Chu Hao’s back and said, “It’s okay. You lost the Thousand Spirit Grass, but I have medicine made from the Senzhi Herb!”
Chu Hao clicked his tongue at Fu Zhi, as he felt annoyed.
Sensing his refusal to turn his head, Fu Zhi pulled her phone out, opened her WeChat, and video-called him.
Chu Hao nearly cried out when she called him. He picked up the call and said, “Where are you, boss?”
Fu Zhi replied, “Behind you.”
Chu Hao was stumped.
For a moment, he thought he had seen a ghost in broad daylight!
He had just thought of Fu Zhi, and now she was here!
He suppressed his excitement, turned to Fu Zhi, and asked in a shaky voice, “You… You said this medicine is made from the Senzhi Herb?”
“Oh!” Chu Hao was beyond delighted. He immediately called his disciple over. Then, without waiting for him to say anything, he grabbed his disciple by the neck and forced the medicine down his throat.
“Senior brother! The medicine is poisonous…”
The other elders tried to stop Chu Hao, but they were too late.
Chu Hao’s disciple blinked. After a while that seemed like an eternity, he opened his mouth and a raspy syllable came out. “He…”
He paused for a moment, as he seemed rather shocked as well. Then, he said, “M… Master, my throat doesn’t hurt anymore when I’m speaking.”
Even though his voice was still hoarse and small, there was a marked improvement compared to before, when his throat had felt like it contained a blood clot whenever he’d opened his mouth to speak.
He looked excitedly at Fu Zhi.
A commotion broke out in the crowd.
“He, he… He can speak already? Was the herb really the Senzhi Herb?”
Fu Zhi waved her hand and pointed at Gu Yan, “Where did she get the invitation? I don’t have any invitations. I just have a few bank cards.”
Gu Yan’s expression changed.
Chu Hao could see that they were not on good terms. He then opened his mouth and said, “If you don’t know, then this can only mean that she stole the invitation to ride roughshod over us! Not only that, but she also took the Thousand Spirit Grass and tried to compete with you. It’s ridiculous!”
Gu Yan was devastated. She had lost her usual calmness as she snarled, “There’s no name on the invitation, so by right, I can say it was for me!”
After all, there were no surveillance cameras in the security room, so no one could say she was the one who had stolen it.
The disdain in Chu Hao’s eyes intensified. “Wanting to go far in medicine when your character is not good is like daydreaming! Since you have nothing to do with Zhizhi, I will definitely not allow a student like you to be near my family!”
Gu Yan felt her world begin to crumble apart when she heard what Chu Hao had said. She turned to look at Chu He, hoping that he could help put in a good word for her.
Chu Hao liked her a lot, so he said, “Senior brother, why don’t we just let her go this time? You know, I’m her master, and if…”
“Chu He, don’t forget that you’re also her accomplice. If I hear another word from you, you will get the hell out of the Chu Family along with her!”
Chu He fell silent.
Gu Yan’s brain went blank.
She knew she was done for again.
If the Chu Family expelled her, then her fate would be sealed.
She had lost everything, and the person who had pushed her into her current situation was none other than Fu Zhi!
It was all her fault!
All sorts of negative emotions swarmed over Gu Yan, and her eyes were filled with rage. She grabbed a pair of scissors from the table and thrust it toward Fu Zhi’s eyes.
Then, a second later, as Lu Yumo shouted in fear, Fu Zhi took a step to the right and avoided her.
Gu Yan stepped on the table cloth and slipped forward.
The pair of scissors fell from her hand, and the pointy end stabbed right into her wrist.
“Ah!” Gu Yan let out a pained scream, and everyone was stunned by the bloody scene.
It was only then that Gu Yan’s face mask fell from her face.
A reporter who had noticed the commotion exclaimed, “Isn’t she the one who stole the flash drive from the Chinese team and gave it to the team from Country M during the international competition? Why is she still in our country?”
The crowd exploded into turmoil.
“Oh my gosh, what’s she trying to do now?”
“Is she trying to kill someone?”
“How can we let this kind of person stay in the Chu Family?”
It went without saying that Chu Hao would not let Gu Yan stay in the Chu Family. He looked at her wrist and realized that her tendons were severed. She would not be able to use her hand anymore.
He then ordered his disciple, “Take her to the hospital and call the police. She stole the invitation and the Thousand Spirit Grass. There’s no way we will let her get away just like that.”
If she was sentenced to time in prison, her life would basically be over. She had lost her reputation and medical skills. Even if she was released from prison in the future, there would be no place for her to gain a foothold in society, and this was the greatest punishment for a person like her.