Chapter 199 “Duel, Battle of the Court Alchemists (Part two)”
“Your Majesty, this seems to be unfair don’t you think? What Lady Yao picked is a fourth grade Dan pill while Princess Yue got a fifth grade. Their difficulty is on a completely different scale.” A frown filled the dowager’s face.
Towards the doubt in her mother’s wording, the king also came prepared with an excuse.
“Mother, a court alchemist isn’t only an important post, their duties also represent the wellbeing of the royal family. What I wrote down just now is the name of ten different Dan pills. Their grades are fairly evened out, meaning the odd are half-half. I did not lean towards anyone. If Princess Yue can’t even refine a fifth grade Dan pill, wouldn’t she then be a topic of ridicule by the alchemists of the other kingdoms?” The king calmly explained his point.
As nice as his words sounded, the king lied. Instead of half being fourth grade and the other being fifth grade, there’s only one fourth grade among the papers. Which was the exactly the one picked by Lady Yao.
If anyone were to so much as to double check all the papers, they would easily see through the king’s lie. Issue was, who’s going to question the man at this moment?
“Your Highness, His Majesty is right. I will do my best.” Though she’s already sneering inside over the unfair treatment, Ling Yue continues to keep up her humility.
As if she can’t see through to their play. The king was clearly singing a chorus with his Lady Yao.
Looking down on me eh? Fine, I will make you all tumble from shock and lose your glasses!
Note: it’s a Chinese idiom so don’t mind the glass part.
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With their respective formula sheets, the two began working on their recipes.
“Longyu, have Ling Yue ever refined a fifth grade Dan pill before?” With a concerned attitude, the dowager asks her old friend.
“This… As far as I know, Ling Yue have only ever done a fourth grade at the most. This ‘Seven Heart Dan pill’ should be her first time.” Like the old queen, Longyue also didn’t know how things will turn out.
If he knew the king would be so bias ahead of time, he would rather personally take on the task of competing instead. However, there’s no such thing as turning back in time. As much as he regrets his decision to let the girl compete, he can’t do much otherwise at this point beside cheering his apprentice on.
An hour later, the first to depart from the cauldron room was Lady Yao. In her hand was ten beady looking objects, which was exactly the Moonlight Dan pill she was supposed to concoct.
Seeing the grade of those pills, even the usually picky Master Longyu was a bit startled by the quality. Eight blue ones and two yellow ones. There’s not a single common one in that batch!
Such a success ratio was more than enough to match a six or seven cauldron alchemist. No wonder the dowager had to call upon the old dwarf for help.
Then after a while later, Ling Yue also came out of the room.
“My precious student, how about it, did you do well?” Dashing over before everyone, Longyu anxiously asks his apprentice.
“I managed to refine it, but…” Confirming her success with a melancholy tone, her face appears to be in a bind for some reason.
Against that sort of expression, the dowager and the old dwarf knew it can’t be good. Immediately, their hearts sank like their mood.
While one side suffers, the other must be happy, which was what’s happening with the king and Lady Yao.
Following her initial statement, Ling Yue then brought out the bottle with her finished product. Uncorking it, the first to come out were five beady looking objects. They are indeed the Seven Heart Dan pills as described on the paper. Sadly, they are simply ordinary items without any pattern.
“Don’t worry about it, this is after all your first time refining something like this. Such a success rate is already very good.” As a proper mentor, Longyu attempts to console the girl with comforting words.
Then before his speech could come to an end, several more beads rolled out of the bottle. This time around, the pills were radiant with color. Like the moonlight in the night sky, these beady objects were engrained with a yellow glowing pattern on the middle.
“Five yellow pills?!” Immediately, the old dwarf became lost for words.
“My apologies teacher, your student here is such a failure to have only managed five yellow ones on her first attempt. I wasted so many precious herbs as a result and shamed teacher in the process. I deserve to be punished.” Grievance was all that could be found on Ling Yue’s face.
“Huh…?” Before he knew it, Longyu was twitching hard in the corner of his mouth like he just got played by this little brat.
This little… she sure knows how to mess with me.
Five yellow ones, and fifth-grade pill at that! To achieve such a magnificent result, it’s likely only the most senior members of the tower can do it like Longyu himself.
If even this sort of success ratio was considered a failure and a waste of ingredients, what does that make Lady Yao’s achievement? A travesty against the heavens?
Without a need to compare, the winner became obvious today.
Being stringed along like that by Ling Yue, Yao Yao didn’t look so well either.
“Your Majesty, the victor and the defeat is clear now. I believe this contest…” Even the dowager’s eye had curved into a smile at this point.
The more she looked at the Ling Yue, the more she liked the girl that it’s coming close to the point of elation.
“Mother, although Princess Yue managed to produce some yellow pills, but Yao Yao also managed to refine some blue ones. If we must compare, I say it should be a draw because they both achieved exemplarity results.” Towards the blatant bias of the king, only dissatisfaction can be found on both the elders faces.
As much as the dowager wanted to burst out yelling in this moment, the king was still her flesh and blood, meaning she’s in no position to slap the man’s face.
It didn’t matter anyways. Ling Yue had already won one and now “tied” the second. Even if she loses the third round, it’s still only a tie. Towards the girl’s final victory, both the dowager and the old dwarf had much confidence in her.
Identifying Dan pills, refining Dan pills, all of those are now done with. As for the third round, neither judges could come up with an idea.
“Your Majesty, when it comes to refining Dan pills, I believe Master Longyu is undeniably the number one person in the capital. Why don’t we have him decide on the topic for the third round?”
Not even the king can deny that claim so he could only silently nod. Murmuring inside his heart, “If Longyu starts coming up with the topic then he will definitely favor the girl.”
Seeing through to the king’s thought pattern, Longyu can only smirk for he can’t deny that either!
“Since I am Ling Yue’s mentor, I’m sure others will be unhappy if I act as the judge in the final round. Let’s do this then. I have an idea. Back when I was young, me and my juniors would always compete with each other by choosing some well-known recipes for each other to refine. Whichever side that can’t produce the named Dan pill will be considered the loser.”
The competing method mentioned by the old dwarf wasn’t new to either Ling Yue or Lady Yao.
In the Alchemists Association, this model of competing was called “Practice Contest”.
Generally, the recipes named by both the participants are limited to anything below the sixth grade. The main reason had much to do with the ingredients involved. They can’t exactly start wasting some extremely rare herbs just for some practice session.
Towards the proposal, neither Ling Yue nor Lady Yao had any objections and agreed to the idea.
Towards this “Practice Contest”, Yao Yao had absolute confidence.
She’s older than Ling Yue by several years, and she followed a famed mentor until recently. It’s not like she’s being overconfident, but time does play a role in the amount of experience one can gain.
Without delay, Lady Yao brings out a little purse from her waist. From it, a beady little pill rolls out after a little shake.
Radiating a golden glow, there’s a charming fragrance that’s constantly wafting out from the object.
Upon first glance, the old dwarf instantly gasped with fright.
That’s a third grade “Hundred Fragrance Dan pill”. The recipe itself wasn’t rare or precious at all. It can be found anywhere, even outside the palace. What made this one so special was the fact that it had a red pattern on the middle!
Red Patterned Hundred Fragrance Dan pill, the rarest of the rare among its class.
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