Chapter 107: Pill Debate Begins
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Frappe
Normally, if one wanted to take the examination for a 1-star apothecary, a 2-star apothecary had to be present to witness the proceedings.
However, Zhang Xuan was taking the Pill Debate examination instead of the traditional Pill Forging examination. As such, his examination only required ten 1-star apothecaries to conduct the examination. Even so, the entire proceedings had to be recorded using a Record Crystal, so that the headquarters could check and verify it. In fact, even some apprentice apothecaries were qualified to look through it and if it was proven that some of the examiners went easy on the examinee or so, all apothecaries involved in the proceedings would be stripped of their position and expelled.
This was precisely the reason why no one dared to go easy on others during a Pill Debate. Regardless of how formidable the power backing the examinee was, they were unable and unwilling to do so.
"Guild Leader Ouyang, you said that someone wants to undergo Pill Debate? It can't be this young brat here, can it!"
Upon sitting down, they glanced at Zhang Xuan and a bizarre expression appeared on their faces. An apothecary took the initiative to pose the doubts of them all to Ouyang Cheng.
Those who undergo Pill Debate were either master teachers or scholars who were well-versed in pills and medicines. Upon receiving the notice, everyone thought that it would be an elderly. Never in their dreams did they expect to see a young man who was barely even twenty.
[Guild Leader Ouyang, are you sure you aren't joking with us? You really aren't pulling our legs?
Forged pills are just like white wine; the older the alcohol is, the more fragrant it is. Age may not mean much, but a veteran with numerous years of research behind him is definitely in a better position than someone who had just started studying the subject.
A fellow who isn't even twenty yet wants to undergo Pill Debate...]
Even if he started to learn from his mother's womb, how much can he learn?
"Zhang Xuan may be young, but he has a deep comprehension of medicinal herbs. He even achieved a perfect score in the apprentice apothecary Written Paper examination!" Upon seeing the doubtful looks on everyone's face, Ouyang Cheng explained.
"That means nothing at all!"
"The apprentice apothecary Written Paper only assesses the student's understanding of the medicinal properties of herbs, their classification, and traits. Scoring full marks can only mean that he has a solid foundation. However, to conduct a Pill Debate based on that, calling all of us over for that, aren't you being a little too reckless?"
"Pill forging isn't just about understanding the properties of medicinal herb and their classification. It is much more profound than that. One has to feel and comprehend the art of pill forging. If he hopes to become an apothecary just because he knows some basic stuff, isn't he being a little way too optimistic?"
The crowd chirped in, their tones filled with contempt and disdain.
Written Paper was just an examination conducted for apprentice apothecary. Official apothecaries often came into contact with medicinal herbs and scoring full marks for them meant nothing at all.
Upon seeing so many people treat him contemptuously before he even got an opportunity to speak, Zhang Xuan felt a little helpless.
If an apothecary's skill was proportionate to his age, you might as well dig a few of them up from the graves!
Pill forging? They would be formidable if they didn't turn themselves to ashes in the midst of doing so.
"Cough!" Zhang Xuan coughed to interrupt the commotion occurring among the apothecaries and spoke, "Guild Leader Ouyang didn't invite you all here to talk about age. I may be young, but that doesn't mean Im unable to match up to the rest of you in terms of forging pills!"
"Match up to the rest of us? You aren't even an apothecary, and yet you are so arrogant that youd look down on us?"
"Youngsters should be humbler. Despite not knowing much about pills, you dare to undergo Pill Debate. You sure are gutsy!"
"Arrogant fellow, when the Pill Debate begins in a moment's time, I hope that you still can talk as casually as you are doing now!"
The moment he spoke up, all their arrows came aiming toward him.
A deep frown was on every single one of their faces as they attempted to tear him apart with their words.
Pill Debate was actually equivalent to challenging the wisdom of ten apothecaries with the knowledge of a single individual.
All the apothecaries who gathered here upon Ouyang Cheng's call were all famous figures in Tianxuan Kingdom and every single one of them were of high standing. If they were to lose to a master teacher or an elder, it was still a result acceptable to them. But for an immature brat who wasn't even twenty yet, if they were to really lose to him, how could they still uphold their dignity?
Thus, they didn't have any intention to treat Zhang Xuan kindly from the moment they saw him. On the contrary, they tried to oppress him from the very start.
It was an attempt to crush his confidence.
As a bachelor in his previous life, he was tortured daily by the loving display of couples every day. Even so, didn't he manage to overcome them and live on?
This kind of attacks no longer worked on Zhang Xuan anymore.
"Alright!" The scent of gunpowder was already apparent even though the Pill Debate had yet to begin. Upon seeing the argument escalating, dark lines streaked across Ouyang Cheng's face. He hurriedly interjected, "There is no use talking about it all, everything should be proven with capabilities instead. After all, capability doesn't differentiate between ages. Since I have gathered everyone here to conduct a Pill Debate, then let's just go straight to the point and begin!
"I'll first talk about the rules of the Pill Debate!"
Afraid that the crowd might come up with even more toxic words, Ouyang Cheng immediately began explaining, "Pill Debate isn't a true debate. Rather, the ten apothecaries will raise questions for the examinee to answer. As long as theres a question he is unable to answer or answers erroneously, the examinee fails! If both parties are unsure of the answers to the questions raised, a test can be conducted on the spot to verify the answer. Whoever's theory is able to produce higher quality pills will win.
"Of course, the questions raised by the apothecaries must be within the sphere of the knowledge of a 1-star apothecary. Also, the examiners are not allowed to pose a question about secrets unknown to others."
At this point, Ouyang Cheng scanned the surroundings and asked, "Are there any other questions?"
The rules were simple and the explanation was clear.
The crowd shook their heads simultaneously.
As an apothecary, even if they had never heard of Pill Debate, they should have done their homework on it beforehand.
There was a limit to the questions they could raise to the examinee. After all, how could an apprentice apothecary possibly answer a question about forging a grade-3 pill or some profound pill forging method?
"Since there are no questions, then let's..." Ouyang Cheng raised his hand grandly and just as he was about to announce the start of the Pill Debate, Zhang Xuan stood up with a frown, "Hold for a moment!"
"Why? Are you scared now? Its too late now!"
"Its too late for you regret your decision! We can either begin the Pill Debate now or you can admit your defeat straight up!"
Upon seeing Zhang Xuan halt the proceedings, they thought that he wanted to resign and sneered coldly at him.
"Regret my decision? You want to make me regret my decision with those standards of yours?" Zhang Xuan activated his aggression-pulling aura.
"What did you say?"
An elder bellowed loudly.
As expected, the apothecaries here immediately erupted upon hearing his words. If looks could kill, he would have been sliced into numerous pieces by now.
"I'm sorry, I'm not saying that your standards are not up to par. I'm saying that... all of you here are unable to make the cut!"
With his hands behind his back, Zhang Xuan emanated a haughty disposition.
You want to bicker with me? Do you believe that I can choke you all to death with a few words?]
Instantaneously, everyone exploded. Everyone flew into a rampage and their beards flew along with their vigorous breathing.
Seeing the atmosphere heating up and that he had become a public enemy for all of them here, Zhang Xuan nodded his head in satisfaction. With a smile, he looked toward the center of the room and asked, "Guild Leader Ouyang, it seems that they look down on me just because on my age. To tell you the truth, I also look down on them. Actually, I don't think that there is much point to a mere debate, so why don't we increase the difficulty of the examination?"
"Increase the difficulty?"
Ouyang Cheng frowned.
[Pill Debate is already difficult by itself, and you want to increase the difficulty? Also, how do you intend to go about increasing the difficulty?]
The others were also bewildered.
[Lad, do you find your death lacking splendor, so you want to find a more exciting way to do so?]
"Simply, Pill Debate is just theoretical and words are empty!"
Ignoring the bizarre expression everyone was shooting him with, Zhang Xuan raised his hands boldly, carrying a majestic disposition with him, "How about this? As long as any apothecary here dares to forge pills before me, regardless of what methods he uses, I am able to point out the name of his forging method and the errors he commits in the process. If any of those here finds what I say incorrect, I can admit defeat immediately!"
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 107
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