Among the deafening laughter of the crowd, the Young Valley Master, though he remained as poker face as usual, was a little apologetically embarrassed nonetheless . He was a lot more cautious the next time he had to do a roll call, checking both the name and the person's face before he allowed them through .
As the roll call went on and reached the Ling Clan, what was listed was precisely the name Ling Hanwu!
Chu Yang looked over, only to see Ling Hanwu's expression as stiff as a board, much worse than even the few earlier from the Ye Clan and Xiao Clan .
Startled again, Chu Yang paused for a moment before he said tentatively, "Uncle Ling, you're here too . "
Ling Hanwu grunted in response, "Ah . "
Chu Yang was stupefied .
What was going on?
Moreover, the way this Ling Hanwu was looking at him didn't feel right at all .
Looking at him from the side, his face looked like it did not have any rosiness at all…
Chu Yang's words, however, attracted the attention of the Young Valley Master . He also stared in confusion for a brief moment before he suddenly asked, "Do you know each other?"
Chu Yang coughed a little and said, "Something isn't quite right…"
The Young Valley Master paused again, lost in thought for a short moment before he drew nearer . Ling Hanwu couldn't help but want to avoid him but the Young Valley Master bellowed, "Don't move!"
He encircled Ling Hanwu, cursing under his breath, "Something's fishy after all!"
Returning to his original position, he shouted, "Ling Hanwu of the Ling Clan, step out!"
Ling Hanwu did as told .
With a severe expression on his face, the Young Valley Master walked up to him and in one swift motion, ripped the human skin mask off Ling Hanwu, only to reveal someone else's face behind it!
The high priest and second priest's faces turned grim at once .
What was the Ling Clan up to? To actually send an impostor to take the place of their candidate in a grand ceremony only held once every thousand years?
"Why are you here? Where is Ling Hanwu?" the high priest asked forebodingly, trying to suppress the fury in him . This man was the candidate whom the Ling Clan had sent to partake in the Medicine Banquet previously . To think that he showed up again here…
That person faltered as he replied, "Second Master… The Second Master, he… he got drunk last night… and couldn't get up this morning…"
Chu Yang was flabbergasted .
This Second Master Ling was his Teacher's love rival indeed, to drink himself silly at such an important time…
The high priest snorted in pique and went on to declare lividly, "Ling Hanwu of the Ling Clan is absent; it is now time and we shall not wait any longer . Expel this man and cancel the Ling Clan's eligibility in the competition!"
With everyone looking on, the Ling Clan pharmacist was driven out after a hard beating .
The three from the Medicine Valley remained enraged, cursing and swearing without any pause .
This was the first time that such an incident had happened in the past ten thousand years…
The moment they recalled that one word, the two high priests felt an overwhelming sense of abhorrence, as if they had just swallowed a fly…
In actuality, this was of course not what had happened in the Ling Clan .
Ling Hanwu had indeed gotten himself drunk, but that was not the reason he was absent . Ling Hanwu's participation in the competition this time was merely because he had snatched the slot . His real motive was not even the Medicine Banquet but Ye Chuchen .
If Ling Hanwu were to participate in the competition, it would naturally end in a loss .
However, the Dharma Supreme's request was to drive Chu Yang out of the competition .
Ling Fengyun naturally could not bear to peel the skin off his great-grandson's face and perform a Soul Transfer on him . Hence, he grabbed a random pharmacist instead . After transferring the fate energy of that pharmacist, he carefully prepared a human skin mask bearing the countenance of Ling Hanwu, and got the first pharmacist from the previous time to replace him in the competition .
However… this was too much of a rushed job after all .
This human skin mask was not comparable to directly using the Soul Transfer Technique on a live person after all . Even though the Ling Clan had put in a great deal of effort… Originally, the Medicine Banquet would only recognize the candidate based on the tablet and not the actual person . As long as they managed to enter, the matter would have been over after a simple roll call .
But who knew that Chu Yang would speak to Ling Hanwu at this point .
Wasn't this simply out to create trouble?
In all the previous rounds of the Medicine Banquets, which pharmacist made small talk with each other? After all, were they here to compete, or to chat?
But Minister Chu was taking part for the very first time . Moreover, no one had gone over with him what he needed to keep in mind, and it was only courteous to exchange greetings when one met an acquaintance .
Who knew that this one greeting would cause the Ling Clan to be expelled…
Hitting the mark by such a fluke really made one unsure whether to laugh or to cry .
That pharmacist from the Ling Clan had eyes that practically wanted to eat Chu Yang alive when he left the hall .
Outside, the people from the Nine Super Clans were gathered in a spot, some of them still watching . When they saw the Ling Clan pharmacist being driven out, everyone had very colorful expressions .
The face of the Ling Clan Supreme Martial Artist in charge of matters here was as sinister as it could possibly get .
Ye Shiyu of the Ye Clan turned and said mockingly, "This is certainly strange . The Ling Clan, hurhur… How are they going to explain this…"
The face of the Supreme Martial Artist from the Ling Clan was ashen .
This was a plan that the Dharma Supreme had personally taken it upon himself to arrange, yet the Ling Clan had given short measure and sent an impostor instead…
How were they going to explain this to the Dharma Supreme?
Upon questioning the man when he came out and realizing that their plans were foiled by Chu Yang yet again, they almost ground their teeth to the point of disintegration…
Ever since the Ling Clan met him along the way, nothing good had gone their way!
Inside, the roll call was already done . After the high priest gave a few words of instruction, the people of Medicine Valley walked in, a tray each in their hands .
A tray was placed in front of everyone, followed by an unlit incense stick each .
When Chu Yang took a look, an uneasy thump echoed in his heart .
Even though the quantity of medicinal herbs on the tray was not a lot, the variety was extremely wide . There were items of extreme chill, extreme Yin, extreme heat, extreme poison, extreme nourishment… Making up a grand total of 30 different ingredients, but all of conflicting medicinal properties .
Using these to refine elixirs… It was likely that any random two types put together would be able to snuff out a person's life .
"I will now announce the structure of the competition," the high priest surveyed everyone in front of him before he continued, "As you can see, these are 30 types of herbs, each containing properties of a different extreme . There is only enough to refine one pill for each type . "
"Your task is to refine all of these herbs before the incense stick burns out . The requirement is to use two herbs of conflicting properties to refine elixirs, producing a minimum of five Great Nourishment Elixirs and five Great Poison Elixirs . This is the minimum requirement . Whoever produces the highest number of elixirs and with the highest level of medicinal potency will win! For this round, only the top ten in the ranking will be selected!"
"Those who choose the wrong mix of herbs will automatically be disqualified!"
"Those who are unable to complete their task before the incense stick burns out will automatically be disqualified!"
"Those who do not produce at least five Great Nourishment Elixirs and five Great Poison Elixirs will automatically be disqualified!"
"Those who damage any of the herbs will automatically be disqualified!"
"Those who, by any means, disturb another candidate's refining process will automatically be disqualified!"
"Those who employ external aid will automatically be disqualified!"
The whole slew of rules regarding disqualification unsettled even Chu Yang .
These requirements were seriously too harsh, demanding them to use herbs of completely conflicting properties to complete their task within the stipulated timing…
How could one reconcile conflicting medicinal properties? Once the balance was off, consequences could run as light as the cauldron exploding, to something as serious as injuries to the pharmacist . The herbs would no doubt be entirely destroyed too . The degree of finesse required here was equivalent to walking a tightrope along the precipice of a sky-high cliff… and at least 15 times at that!
For a moment there, all the pharmacists looked at each other, unsure .
Suddenly, Chu Yang had a feeling that the pharmacists from the Nine Super Clans… didn't seem to be surprised by this? Their eyes didn't even move?
Could it be that they were cheating?
Chu Yang's thoughts spun lightning quick — Could it be… that they already knew the competition requirements beforehand? And were already prepared for it?
Seeing the seven to eight of them calm and collected, the more Chu Yang thought about it, the more he felt that his guess made absolute sense .
He couldn't help but gnash his teeth — F*ck, so they knew how to cheat, but did they think that he didn't?!
Right at this moment, the high priest declared, "Light the incense now! Begin!"
The pharmacists who had brought the trays over had been standing at attention in front of everyone . When they heard the high priest, they went forward immediately . After they lit the incense, they fell back without a sound and retreated from the competition venue .
The high priest and the other two also retreated to the back, their footsteps as soft as a feather, until they were a distance of 100 meters away, their attention on the competitors the whole time .
All the pharmacists got to work at once — selecting and extracting the essence of the herbs, mixing them together thereafter, and adjusting and watching the heat of the cauldron…
Only Young Master Chu here stood as still as a statue, not moving an inch .
The pharmacists of the Nine Super Clans glanced at the petrified fellow, apparently struck dumb by the numerous rules . They couldn't help but gloat .
Ha, you haven't been through this kind of scene, have you…
To think that they had to offer up their life just because of this dumbass who was completely new to the Medicine Banquet… What an unjustified waste . Although their clans had promised to take ten times the care of their kin and descendants, and let them be the first to enter the Hall of the Elite… Everyone still felt depressed at the thought of just dying like that…
Who wanted to die? Even if their wife got stolen or they got castrated, their suicidal thoughts would probably only last a few days or a few months at best . Once this period of time had passed, they would also eventually get used to it and just lived on like that…
No one in this world would want to die!
Especially not because of such a dumbass…
They swore furiously in their hearts, their hands moving just as furiously .
No one dared to fall behind at this point, because if they didn't fulfill their mission, not only would they have to die, the privileges promised to them by their clans would also be canceled…
On the other side…
Young Master Chu remained completely still, not moving at all .
No one knew that the spirit of this Sword Master Chu had already entered his subconsciousness and was summoning the resident within . "Sword Spirit! It's your turn to shine! They are all cheating, let's cheat our way through too . "
The Sword Spirit rolled his eyes . "It's obviously you who cannot fulfill your mission . Even if they weren't cheating, you would also have to cheat, why act so righteous…"
Completely unabashed, Chu Yang replied, "Of course, cheating is unavoidable . But since they are also cheating, then that makes our cheating even more justified and reasonable . "
The Sword Spirit let out a long sigh . To be able to cheat so openly and uprightly… This Lord Sword Master was certainly one of a kind .
Without a choice, the Sword Spirit could only make his entrance .
Chu Yang's body trembled a little . The degree of it was very slight, just a normal little shiver; but no one could tell that this body was now no longer in the possession of Young Master Chu .
But had already been taken over by an ancient hundred thousand years-old monster .
As for Young Master Chu himself, he was, of course, comfortably taking a soak in the Spirit-cultivation Lake . He muttered under his breath, "Isn't it just cheating… What's the big deal… This Sword Master is going to take a good rest… What Big Bro here wants is the Heaven Nourishing Jade, not to take part in the competition…"An incense stick takes five minutes to burn out completely