Chapter 118: The True Pill Debate (First Half)
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Frappe
"I admit defeat!"
After declaring that he would no longer forge pills, Apothecary Bai Ming bowed deeply to Zhang Xuan.
It had been slightly more than two hours since the beginning of the Pill Debate and there were already four apothecaries who had admitted defeat.
This conclusion was unexpected for all involved. Even Ouyang Cheng shuddered in disbelief.
Previously, he didn't hold high hopes for Zhang Xuan's victory. He didn't expect it to end up like this!
It was completely one-sided!
It was no wonder that he was able to achieve a perfect score on the apprentice apothecary examination, even recognizing medicinal herbs that the examiners got wrong. His abilities were simply way too impressive!
On the other hand, Wen Xue's eyes were full of fear and her body trembled nonstop.
To think that she had mocked a person who could leave these apothecaries speechless. Was there something wrong with her head or was she simply too gutsy?
It was fortunate that the other party had no intentions of fussing over the matter with her. Otherwise, she could've even been expelled from the Apothecary Guild!
Upon seeing Bai Ming admit defeat and the silence that lingered around them, Du Man stepped forward.
"Please go easy on me!"
Forcing a smile onto his face, Du Man walked over to the cauldron.
The pill he forged was grade-1 too. It was slightly inferior to the Acupoint Soothing Pill and Tranquil Heart Pill from before.
His movements were fluid and swift. Soon, he managed to successfully forge the pills all of which were at the level of Satiation.
The other party's attitude was amiable. Besides, they also became acquainted yesterday. As a result, Zhang Xuan didn't say too much and simply pointed out a few of the more obvious mistakes. The latter admitted defeat straight afterward.
At this moment, out of the ten apothecaries, five had already admitted defeat.
The Pill Debate was halfway through.
"Let's continue. Who will be the next?"
With his hands behind his back, Zhang Xuan scanned the crowd calmly. Silence continued to linger around them.
In the Pill Debate of other apprentice apothecaries, the examinee would always look at the examiner in fear, afraid that the other party would intentionally come up with difficult questions. Yet this fellow was the exact opposite. All of the remaining apothecaries cowered back, afraid of their names being called. If not witnessed it firsthand, no one would believe it possible.
After another moment of silence, an elder stood up.
Apothecary Lin Mu!
Apothecary Cheng Jiang had once used the excuse of wanting to view his skills to secretly learn his personal forging technique, Frost Threaded Hands.
"Apothecary Lin, please wait a second! This time, I would like to test him along with you!"
Right after Lin Mu stood up, a middle-aged man stood up as well.
Apothecary Jin Chen!
"Together?" Lin Mu frowned.
How can two people forge pills simultaneously for the other party to point out their flaws?
"The fact that he can see through our flaws means that his ability to discern is impressive and he has undergone good education. It's very likely that he is under the guidance of a master teacher. However, I don't believe that the knowledge he has stored in his head can be as impressive as his discernment ability, especially given his age! So let's not forge pills and instead bring up questions. Let's not be fooled by him!"
Apothecary Jin Chen harrumphed.
Lin Mu was stunned.
"That's right, why didn't I think of this?"
"He isn't even twenty yet. Even if he could read right after he was born, how many books could possibly be read? How much of the content of each book could he possibly recall?"
"A true Pill Debate involves raising questions about pill forging for the examinee to answer. He must have known that he didn't have enough knowledge, so he intentionally heightened the difficulty to perceiving flaws in forging techniques instead. It is true that the difficulty has been raised, but if he had the guidance of a master teacher and came into contact with good education from a young age, it wouldn't be difficult for him to see through our mistakes!"
"That's right, master teachers are extremely knowledgeable while on the other hand we are only 1-star apothecaries. His discernment abilities can't possibly be weak being the disciple of such a figure. If so, it's understandable that he sees through our mistakes!"
Apothecary Jin Chen's words relit the flames in the four remaining apothecaries and they regained their confidence.
The fact that the other party was able to see through their mistakes by viewing their pill forging could only mean that his discernment ability was outstanding. It didn't mean that he had to be knowledgeable.
Since that was the case, questioning him might just turn out to be his weakness. All along, everyone had been fooled by this fellow.
Lin Mu came to realization and nodded his head fervently.
It was no wonder that everyone agreed with Jin Chen's view. After all, accumulation of knowledge required time and effort. This Zhang Xuan, even with an optimistic estimate, couldn't possibly be twenty yet. Even if he read every day, how many books could he have possibly read?
Furthermore, he still had to remember their contents!
"You want to ask me questions instead?"
Not expecting these people to come up with such a conclusion after a long moment of contemplation, Zhang Xuan simply smiled faintly in response. "Alright then, let's begin!"
After reading through the books in the basic tier book collection vault and the teacher's Compendium Pavilion, the knowledge in his head right now was significantly greater than that of these apothecaries. Even if they wanted to test his knowledge, he didn't have anything to fear.
"I'll see whether you can retain your confidence when I stump you later on!"
Upon seeing that the other party held no fear whatsoever, a cold gleam flashed across Apothecary Jin Chen's eyes. "According to the rules of a normal Pill Debate, I can raise three questions. If you are able to answer all of them, I will have to admit defeat! On the other hand, if you fail to answer any one of the three you will have failed. All that you have accomplished beforehand would go to waste!"
There was a complete list of rules and regulations for Pill Debate. The ten apothecaries weren't allowed to bring up as many questions as they pleased. Otherwise, wouldn't the examinee tire himself to death when undergoing Pill Debate?
The examiners could only pose three questions each, and if the other party's answers were correct, they had to admit defeat, However, if he couldn't answer any one of the questions or he answered erroneously, it would be a straight failure, regardless of how many questions he had answered before that!
"Sure!" Zhang Xuan was also well-aware of the rules. He nodded his head.
"Alright then, here is my first question. When forging a grade-1 Body Tempering Pill, even when the pill comes out from the same cauldron and was at the same level of quality, it is possible for one pill to have outstanding effects while another has miniscule effects. What are the reasons behind this?" Apothecary Jin Chen asked.
Upon hearing this question, the other apothecaries' attention was piqued.
Body Tempering Pill was a pill often consumed by Fighter 4-dan. It could temper a person's physical body, allowing one to improve swiftly in the Pigu realm.
This was also the reason why they often forged such a pill. However, just like what Apothecary Jin Chen said, there would often be situations in which the medicinal effects in each pill were different despite coming from the same cauldron.
Consuming the pills that came from the same cauldron, some experienced tremendous effects and advance far in the Pigu realm while others found it completely ineffective for them.
"Apothecary Jin Chen sure picked a difficult question!" Zhang Xuan shook his head. "There is no clear answer to this question in the entire Tianxuan Kingdom. Yet you posed this question to me. How do you expect me to answer it?
"However other people may be unable to say anything about this subject, but I have my own ways!
Smiling lightly, Zhang Xuan said, "As for the matter you said, an apothecary named Cheng Ye had already proposed it thirty-seven years ago. Back then, he gathered twenty-three apothecaries and researched the matter for three days straight. He wrote the conclusion to their discussions in a book titledCheng Ye's Body Tempering Theories. If you have read it, you should know what his conclusion is!
"He thinks that the reason for this difference has something to do with the constitution of a cultivator. Some people are born with a body compatible with Body Tempering Pill while others' physique may be resistant to it. It's just like how some people have a high tolerance for alcohol while others don't!
"Back then, this theory received the approval of many people. However, eighteen years ago, 3-star apothecary Zhang Jian noticed something that disputed this theory. If it was due to the constitution of an individual, then why was the second consumed pill effective for some individuals when the first one wasn't?"
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 118
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