Chapter 113: Forging Technique
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Frappe

Telling the references from a complete pill forging technique—using an analogy—was like creating a solution of water from numerous wells and demanding for another to identify the origin of the water. It was an impossible task!
Unless one witnessed him creating the pill forging technique step by step, it would be impossible to identify three references. The difficulty of the task Cheng Jiang proposed, compared to simply finding the flaws in a pill forging technique, was at least five times harder!
Zhang Xuan's eyes narrowed.
As expected of the apothecaries, they weren't as easy to deal with as he expected.
This fellow might be a bundle of smiles and look magnanimous. However, he was truly the most shameless of the group.
Even if Zhang Xuan agreed… identifying the references in a pill forging technique was basically an impossible task! Given how Zhang Xuan raised the difficulty earlier, the privilege should be extended to the other party as well. If he disagreed with it, other people might criticize him because of that in the future, thus leaving a stain on his reputation.
"Why? I know that this is a difficult matter to ask, and it is normal that you will reject me. However… if you reject my offer, can I consider it your loss?" Cheng Jiang grinned widely.
"Loss?" Zhang Xuan shook his head. "It just happens that I would like to see Apothecary Cheng's new forging technique. Let's begin!"
This method of his would normally be effective against other people, making them fly into a panic. However, it was ineffective against Zhang Xuan.
The reason why Zhang Xuan could identify flaws in the pill forging techniques of others wasn't because of his discernment ability. Rather, it was because he possessed the Library of Heaven's Path. As long as the library remained with him, regardless of whatever forging technique—whether it was just created or yet to be created—they would all be clearly displayed in the form of a book. This was no problem for him at all.
"Alright!" Seeing him agree to it, a gleam flashed across Apothecary Cheng Jiang's eyes. The corners of his lips crept upwards as he gathered the necessary medicinal herbs and headed to the cauldron.
The medicinal herbs flew in the air. His every action was fluid and elegant. Looking it from afar, there was a unique sense of aesthetics to it.
"It is indeed a new forging technique. I have never seen it before!"
"If I'm not mistaken, he is forging Juxi Pill!"
"Yes. Juxi Pill is useful to people of cultivation realms below Fighter 7-dan. It is exceptionally useful for those in the Juxi realm. It isn't a valuable pill in comparison to the others, but it is one of the most useful ones to the fighters. Usually, this is the pill apprentice apothecaries will practice for the Pill Forging examination. As such, most apothecaries are extremely familiar with the method to forging it. This is also the reason why Apothecary Cheng Jiang is able to better showcase the uniqueness of his forging technique. Furthermore, his motions are more fluid, making it difficult for others to discern the references!"
"In any case, I am unable to tell the pill forging techniques he referenced from…"
"Me neither…"

The apothecaries watched Cheng Jiang for a moment before shaking their heads.
"Apothecary Cheng sure is vicious!"
Standing by the side, Ouyang Cheng shook his head. "Given his standard as a 1-star apothecary, he is able to forge the most basic Juxi Pill easily with fluid motions, making it difficult for others to discern the forging method easily. Furthermore, given the short time required to forge it, you couldn't analyze it even if you wanted to. Looks like Zhang Xuan will probably fail here…"
Apothecary Cheng Jiang could forge more difficult grade-1 pills, but it would be troublesome for him. He couldn't forge them as easily as he could the Juxi Pill. This was just like how Yang Guo could wield the Heavy Iron Sword, but he was unable to control it as freely as he wished.
On the other hand, if he forged the most basic Juxi Pill, it was like Yang Guo wielding an ordinary sword instead—effortless.
This Apothecary Cheng Jiang may have had a wide smile on his face, but he was actually the most scheming of them all. Not only were his movements fast in forging Juxi Pill, the time required to forge it was also short. A normal grade-1 pill would take at least half an hour to forge. On the other hand, Juxi Pill could be forged in less than fifteen minutes.
Seeing three references in such a short period of time?
How was that possible?
It was clear that he is intent intended to do in Zhang Xuan!
"Is he… going to fail?"
Upon hearing Ouyang Cheng's judgement, Wen Xue clenches her fists tightly.
"It should be difficult for him to pass this test…"
Ouyang Cheng sighed.
Initially, he didn't bear any ill intent for this Cheng Jiang. However, he didn't expect this fellow to be so despicable and use such low-handed methods. Zhang Xuan's gaze turned icy.
As a cultured, knowledgeable, ambitious, and worldly transcender, how could he allow others to bully him without trying to retaliate?
Finally, the Juxi Pill was successfully forged. A total of seven or eight pills rolled out from the cauldron.
"I am done forging. Zhang Xuan, please!"
Apothecary Cheng Jiang looked at him and chuckled with confidence.
It was true that his forging technique had more than three references to other forging techniques. However, his movements just now were extremely fast and fluid. It was almost an impossible task for the other party to see through any of them!
Besides… even if the other party was right, he could deny it!
There are so many forging techniques, and naturally, given how no one here could see through the references behind his forging technique, it was up to him to say whatever he wanted!
[For a brat who came from some remote corner to use me as a stepping stone to achieve victory in the Pill Debate…. Dream on!]
"If I can point out three references in your forging technique, will you admit defeat?"
Zhang Xuan looked at him with a hint of amusement in his eyes.
"Of course. I am an official apothecary. Given my standing, there is no reason I would go back on my words just to deal with an apprentice apothecary!" Apothecary Cheng Jiang flung his sleeves haughtily. Arrogance exuded from his tone.
"Great. Since you have put it like that, then this matter is simple!"
Zhang Xuan nodded his head and walked forward. He circled around the cauldron once before lowering his head to look at the Juxi Pill in his hand.
He pinched one and held it up, placed it before his nose, and took a whiff of its scent.
"This Juxi Pill has vibrant colors and a radiant outer appearance. Going by conventional standards, it should have already reached Perfection!" Zhang Xuan complimented. However, his tone abruptly changed. "However…"
"Due to the limitations of Apothecary Cheng's forging technique, Perfection is already the limit. It is impossible for him to forge an Inscribed Pill!"
"It is just a Juxi Pill, what's the use of forging an Inscribed Pill?" Apothecary Cheng Jiang scoffed.
This Juxi Pill was the most basic pill an apothecary could forge. It increased the rate at which a fighter could gather spiritual energy from the surroundings. It was a waste of an Inscribed Pill to occur in this kind of fundamental pill!
"That's true!"
Zhang Xuan nodded his head, reluctant to tug with him on this matter. Instead, he smiled and continued, "The question I should answer is with regards to your forging technique. There is no point debating this topic. Alright, since it's a request on your part, I will answer your question. Putting aside the forging techniques you have referenced previously, let's first talk about how many forging techniques you know. With this, it should be easier to conclude which are the few forging techniques you referenced from!
"Three years ago, Apothecary Cheng Jiang used 【Rain of Ten Thousand Streams】 to forge a grade-1 【Vitality Rejuvenation Pill】 to pass the apothecary examinations. In the same year, you learned 【Convergence of the North River】 and successfully forged 【Soul Soothing Pill】.
"The spring of the second year, during Apothecary Bai Ming's birthday celebration, you sneaked into his study and coped his 【Illusory Silk Hands】 with which you forged 【Body Nourishment Pill】. From then on, your reputation spread far and wide!
"That winter, when you asked Apothecary Lin Mu to demonstrate his 【Frost Threaded Hands】, you secretly took it for yourself!
"In the summer last year, you spent 50,000 gold coins to bribe Apothecary Jin Chen's butler to duplicate a copy of 【Golden Spring Fleeting Cloud Dexterity】!

"In the third month of last year, you enticed Du Man's apothecary apprentice Zhu Huahua and obtained Apothecary Du's personal forging technique 【Hundred Intertwining Method】...

"Now, if I added them up, Rain of Ten Thousand Streams, Convergence of the North River… Summing together all of these forging techniques, there are a total of twelve of them!"
Zhang Xuan counted slowly as though counting his own precious treasures. After that, he turned around to look at the apothecary whose face had paled at some point. "Apothecary Cheng Jiang, are there any mistakes with what I said?"
Cheng Jiang stumbled backward. His eyes narrowed, as though he had seen a freak.

Yang Guo is a character from Return of the Condor Heroes by Jin Yong.
In the novel, after his hand was chopped off by Guo Fu, he was saved by a condor and chances upon the grave of a great swordsman, Dugu Qiubai. There are four swords there, one of them being the Heavy Iron Sword. The sword is known for being extremely heavy and difficult to utilize in battle. Yang Guo took a long time before he managed to gain control of it.



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