Chapter 307: How Many Moves?
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: GaiaNove
The several 2-star apothecaries at the back glanced at one another in astonishment.
"That's right. Didn't someone request to purchase the Unravel Yin Pill and Colossal Rhinoceros Blood some time ago? Out of all the kingdoms nearby, we are the closest branch who possesses both items. Thus, I was ordered to deliver the medicine!"
Apothecary Hong nodded.
"I know about this matter. Didn’t they say that you were going to the lowest tiered Tianxuan Kingdom? Why would..." The person from before, a 2-star apothecary, felt baffled and asked once again.
Going to the lowest tiered kingdom and meeting an expert? Inducing a huge improvement in his pill forging skills?
"I did go to that lowest tiered kingdom, and during my journey, I found out that the person who purchased the two objects is a 1-star apothecary who passed the examination through the Pill Debate!" Apothecary Hong replied.
"Passed the examination through the Pill Debate?"
The crowd's eyes narrowed into thin slits.
In a small and weak country like Tianxuan Kingdom, not many people knew what the Pill Debate was. However, in the powerful and large Tianwu Kingdom, virtually every apothecary knew about it.
This examination is several times harder than forging a grade-1 pill. One has to have a profound knowledge of pill forging in order to pass. Even in the thousands of years of history of Tianwu Kingdom, there wasn’t anyone who passed the Pill Debate with success!
How fearsome would someone who became an apothecary through the Pill Debate be?
"Indeed. After hearing that news, I was infuriated. I thought that Tianxuan Kingdom Apothecary Guild didn't know the rules and was interpreting it as they please. However, when I arrived and looked at the Record Crystal they left behind, I realized that I was wrong!" Recalling the situation that day, Apothecary Hong was still daunted.
If Zhang Xuan were to see him, he would surely be able to recognize this Apothecary Hong whom Jiang Chen said he would introduce him to. He was Apothecary Hong Yun who made a wager with him in Tianxuan Kingdom and eventually gave him the Unravel Yin Pill and Colossus Rhinoceros Blood for free.
Back then, he was still a 2-star apothecary. In the single month after they parted, he managed to pass the 3-star examination and was successfully promoted.
"Can it be that... the person who passed the 1-star apothecary examination through Pill Debate... is him?"
Realizing the meaning behind Apothecary Hong's words, another 2-star apothecary exclaimed.
"That's right, it's him!" Apothecary Hong Yun smiled bitterly. "After we met, the pointer he offered gave me enlightenment, allowing me to forge a grade-3 pill and advance to become a 3-star apothecary!"
Everyone stared at the young man who emerged with fearful, narrowed eyes.
He became an apothecary through Pill Debate, allowed a 2-star apothecary to forge a grade-3 pill through his guidance, and achieved 130 points in the Supporting Occupation Pavilion...
"How can he possess such profound pill forging knowledge when he isn't even twenty..."
Someone couldn't help but mutter.
No matter how talented a person is, there is a limit to what he can learn in a fixed period of time. It was hard to believe that he could possess such profound knowledge considering his age.
"I was also puzzled at first, so I found someone to specially investigate this matter. It turns out that he has an extremely incredible teacher called Yang Xuan, and he is a master teacher whose rank is likely to exceed 3-star!"
"A master teacher whose rank exceeds 3-star?" The crowd's breathing hastened.
Just like any other jobs, the highest rank that a master teacher can attain is 9-star, and every 3 stars signify a different league. Even Conferred Kingdoms might not necessarily have master teachers above 3-star!
With such a powerful background, it is no wonder why the other party can be so incredible at such a young age.
Members of the crowd were still whispering among themselves when Zhang Xuan walked up to Wu shi.
Zhang Xuan was able to identify numerous mistakes in the puppet's pill forging at a single glance, but due to the limitation of time, he knew that he wouldn’t be able to point out all of them. Even so, when the cauldron was opened and upon seeing the pill, he knew that he would pass for sure.
The pill was round and smooth, and a unique pattern had formed on the surface of the pill. It was a pill that surpassed the level of Perfection, an Inscribed Pill.
It would truly be unbelievable if he were failed after producing such a pill.
He thought that managing to forge such a pill would award him with seventy or eighty points, but never in his dreams did he expect to attain 130. He was also shocked by the score he saw on the door.
"This... is it malfunctioning?" Zhang Xuan uttered.
Hearing those words, Wu shi's body swayed as he explained, "It's because you found the flaws in the pill forging of a 4-star apothecary..."
"Is this the level of a 4-star apothecary?" Zhang Xuan blinked his eyes, and a look of disdain appeared on his face. "Isn't that too weak?"
Members of the crowd vomited blood.
It's not the 4-star apothecary who is weak, you are the one who is too formidable, alright...
It was no wonder why Zhang Xuan thought that way. This time, he didn't resort to the Library of Heaven's Path, relying on solely his own judgment for the test.
After taking in the knowledge of all of the books in Tianxuan Kingdom's Apothecary Guild for his own, his understanding of forging grade-1 pills had reached a different realm.
If he were to instruct another person on forging grade-2 pills without using the Library of Heaven's Path, he might turn out inferior to some 2-star apothecaries. However, for grade-1 pills... Putting aside a 4-star apothecary, even a 6-star apothecary might not be able to match up to him.
This was just like Heaven's Path Divine Art. It was currently limited at merely Half-Zongshi, but in terms of the most basic of foundations, even the most valuable cultivation technique in the world might not be able to create pure zhenqi like his.
Which means, even if a 5-star or 6-star master teacher were to explain the cultivation method for Half-Zongshi and below, they might not be able to point out the essence as precisely as he could.
"Let's begin the third test, Puppet Hall, then!"
Knowing that he would only get increasingly frustrated speaking to this monster, Wu shi ushered him toward the third door.
"Un!" Zhang Xuan nodded.
"There's no scoring system for Puppet Hall. Upon entering, you will meet a red puppet and a blue puppet of similar cultivations. You have to offer pointers to the red puppet to help it defeat the blue one. Once you do so, you will have passed this test."
Wu shi explained the rules.
"Alright!" It was the same as Ling Xiaoxiao explained to him. Without too much hesitation, Zhang Xuan pushed the door open and walked in.
In the room was a circular dueling ring which was about 20 meters wide. Two puppets were in the dueling ring, one dressed in a blue and another dressed in a red.
Upon seeing him enter, the two puppets began their battle.
Peng peng peng!
The duo crossed blows and the shock waves from their fists caused gusts of wind to billow around them.
"Tongxuan realm pinnacle?"
Zhang Xuan was full of astonishment.
To think that the two are able to exert the strength of Tongxuan realm pinnacle cultivators! Furthermore, their movements are nimble and profound, such that even an ordinary Tongxuan realm pinnacle cultivator might not be a match for them.
In Tianxuan Kingdom, a Tongxuan realm pinnacle cultivator is already the regarded as among strongest, on par with its royal elder. Yet, to think that they would not compare to even a puppet here.
As expected of the Master Teacher Pavilion!
"This test is indeed difficult. No wonder people say that it is uphill to pass the master teacher examination if one does not reach Tongxuan realm pinnacle. Seems like this is the reason why!"
Zhang Xuan was awed.
If a person’s strength does not even match the two puppets, it would be difficult for him to see through their flaws in order to offer wise guidance. If so, how can one pass the examination?
Even so, Zhang Xuan was already in the midst of the test. Thus, he swiftly focused his attention on the battling puppets.
He had already achieved Half-Zongshi, and even without the Library of Heaven's Path, he was capable of clearly identifying flaws in those who had not reached his level of cultivation.
It was because his cultivation was a perfect version, and anyone who possessed a different cultivation had to be wrong. It was child’s play for him to identify any flaws.
It didn't take long before he memorized every flaw that the two puppets had.
The battle stopped.
Just like what happened in the Supporting Occupation Pavilion before, a voice sounded, prompting him to guide the red puppet to victory.
"The red puppet's movements are forceful and savage whereas the blue puppet's movements are lithe and nimble. Both of them have their own strengths, making it difficult for one to triumph over the other... Since that's the case, I'll point out the flaws in them both side in a way that grants the red an advantage over the blue..."
Very quickly, Zhang Xuan had formulated a plan. He simulated it once in his mind, and it was only after confirming that it was feasible that he heaved a sigh of relief.
Hu hu hu!
Not long after he finished thinking, the puppets began fighting once more.
"Red puppet, retreat three cun, twist your body to the right by half a body, and strike with your fist..."
Seeing the both sides engaged in a battle once more, Zhang Xuan began issuing instructions.
"Do you think that he'll be able to pass this test? Even though his skills as an apothecary are remarkable, the same might not apply to his ability to impart knowledge relating to cultivation!"
"Looks like you are still unaware. Apothecary Hong Yun said just now that this Zhang Xuan is a student under a master teacher whose rank exceeds 3-star!"
"The student of a master teacher whose rank exceeds 3-star? Then... he will certainly pass the examination!"
Master teachers are adept at guiding others in cultivating. As the student of a master teacher, his ability to guide another person in cultivating is most likely to be far superior to his ability to guide another on pill forging. It would be hilarious if he couldn't pass this test.
"Even though there isn't a score for this test, many people compare the results among candidates through the amount of time they take and the number of moves required to pass!"
Standing before the door of the third test, Wu shi stroked his beard.
The other master teachers nodded as well.
In guiding a specific person to defeat the other when they are of the same cultivation realm, using three minutes and ten seconds are two very different concepts.
Similarly, after receiving the guidance, whether the person used a hundred blows or a single blow to defeat the enemy were also two very different concepts.
"I remember that Mo shi's guidance back then allowed the red puppet to defeat the blue puppet in less than twenty blows, and that went on to become a legend in the Master Teacher Pavilion!" Wu shi glanced at Mo Hongyi in admiration.
Mo Hongyi nodded confidently.
"Indeed, it's seventeen blows! To be able to get one of the two equally powerful puppets to triumph over the other in so little blows, Mo shi's understanding of cultivation must have reached an extremely high level!"
After complimenting the latter, Wu shi turned to the door once more. "Just that, I wonder how many blows would this Zhang Xuan take!"
"I am curious as well!" A gleam flashed across Mo Hongyi's eyes.
The other party has already broken several of his records, so he was interested to see how formidable this fellow who came from Tianxuan Kingdom would be. Can his guidance on cultivation be as incredible as the other skills he had just displayed?
"Given how he is under twenty, I’ll accept that he is phenomenal at pill forging, but I don't believe that he can be so incredible at cultivation as well!"
With eyes fixated on the door, Jiang Chen harrumphed.
He had grown up in a clan of master teacher, and under his father's guidance, he rarely stumbled in his cultivation. At the same time, this gave him a deep insight into cultivation. Even then, he had to take a full twenty-five blows before managing to pass this examination. He didn't believe that this fellow could fare any better than him.
"The first demonstration should take around three hundred breaths, and ten breaths after that, the test will officially begin! Based on the assumption that one blow is made in a single breath, we can roughly calculate how many blows he used..."
Even though he didn't think that the other party could match his record, Jiang Chen felt nervous nonetheless.
This fellow had exceeded all of the expectations that he had of him previously.
Before this, if someone were to tell him that a person has achieved a Trust Level of 85 after casually teaching his students for a few days, he would definitely spit on the other party’s face.
If someone said that an examinee achieved a score of 130 in the Supporting Occupation Pavilion, he would definitely have torn the person’s mouth.
But now... all of these which he had deemed impossible before was happening with this fellow.
Even though he was hostile to him due to Mo Yu, he had to admit that this fellow did possess exceptional abilities.
"312, 313, 314..."
He counted the time, tapping his right forefinger on his left arm.
As more time passed, his eyes grew brighter and brighter.
"333, 334, 335!"
Eventually, when he reached 335 breath, the duration which Jiang Chen took to pass the test, the other party had yet to come out from the room. Only then did Jiang Chen heave a sigh of relief, and a delighted look appeared on his face.
"Haha, looks like his ability to give guidance on cultivation is lacking..."
With a cold harrumph, his eyebrows shot up haughtily.
He thought that the other party would be able to surprise him just like he did with the previous two tests. In the end, it had already exceeded 335 breaths, but he was still inside the room. This meant that under his guidance... the red puppet wasn't able to defeat the blue puppet within twenty-five blows. Even if the other party were to come out now, his result would be considered inferior to his.
While Jiang Chen's eyes lit up, Wu shi and Mo Hongyi glanced at one another and shook their heads.
"Looks like he is still slightly lacking in imparting knowledge on cultivation!"
"Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. While he might be skilled in pill forging, his ability to instruct on cultivation is lacking. However..."
Mo Hongyi's head tilted upward and, with an intimidating brilliance, said, "He has abandoned his fundamentals! There's nothing to fear about such a person!"
You are taking the master teacher examination, and the main responsibility that a master teacher has is to provide guidance on cultivation so that his students can grow stronger.
So what if you are skilled in pill forging? There are many other skilled apothecaries who have devoted their lives to pill forging. There's no reason for them to look for you!
What use is a teacher if he is skilled in flying an airplane instead of teaching?
He had forgotten the core responsibility of his occupation.
In the previous two tests, this fellow achieved such overwhelming results, that Mo Hongyi thought that he would become his greatest rival from this day on. However, from the looks of it now, he had simply been thinking too much.
If he is mediocre at guiding cultivation, then he is nothing to fear as a master teacher.
"Indeed, it's such a pity..."
Understanding this as well, a look of regret appeared on Wu shi's face.
The other party had performed exceedingly well in previous two tests, so Wu shi thought that he would do the same for the third test too. But looking at how things turned out, he had pinned too many expectations on the other party.
How can there be a person in the world who is skilled at all occupations?
He is already a formidable apothecary. Isn't it too much to expect him to be as knowledgeable in cultivation?
Everyone's thoughts continued to wander as another ten breaths passed.
Jiya! At this moment, the door finally opened, and only Zhang Xuan's head could be seen popping out from behind.
"A total of 352 breaths. That means that the two puppets have crossed a total of 42 blows..."
Jiang Chen sneered coldly. Just as he was about to commence his mockery, the young man scratched his head in embarrassment.
"That... During my guidance, the red puppet exerted too much force and bashed the blue puppet’s head off... I tried to fix it but to no avail. May I ask... that... It's not a fail, right?"
"Bashed the head off?"
"Regardless of the resilience of their physical structure or strength, they are of the same level. At the very most, it should only be possible for one side to subdue the other. To bash the other puppet's head off... What in the world happened?"
The crowd fell to the floor in shock. For a moment, the entire examination hall became silent. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far