Library of Heaven is Path
120 Not a Thing
Chapter 120: Not a Thing
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Frappe
"Since I've answered the second question already, name your third one!"
Seeing the other party conceding the second question, Zhang Xuan couldn't be bothered to continue lingering about the matter.
"I admit defeat! These are already the two most difficult questions I can think of. I will just be making a mockery of myself if I continue asking!"
Apothecary Jin Chen shook his head.
The other party's action of listing out the names of so many books felled his confidence. He knew that if he continued like this, the only one being embarrassed would be him. He might as well surrender at this point. At least he could retain some dignity.
"You aren't going to ask the third question?"
Zhang Xuan was taken aback for a moment before coming to a realization.
Since he was able to easily answer the most difficult questions he could come up with, he would most likely be humiliating himself if he continued.
Zhang Xuan was impressed with Apothecary Jin Chen's decisiveness.
"It's your turn!"
He turned around to look at Lin Mu.
Upon seeing Zhang Xuan's attention turned onto him, Apothecary Lin Mu gritted his teeth and asked, "I have a question which, honestly speaking, I don't have an answer to either. If you can't answer it, it won't be considered your defeat! However, if you can answer it, I will admit defeat right away. It will be pointless even if I ask any further than that anyway!"
In the Pill Debate, the examiner had to know the answers to the questions they were posing. Otherwise, when you don't even know the answer yourself, how can you determine whether the other party's answer is correct?
Now that Apothecary Lin Mu had confessed that he wasn't able to answer this question either, logically speaking, it was already beyond the boundaries of the Pill Debate. Zhang Xuan could reject to answer his question.
It wouldn't be considered his defeat if he chose to do so.
"Speak!" Zhang Xuan casually said.
'Reject? Are you kidding? Since I can answer two fewer questions, it is obvious that I should answer his question.'
"I have been researching 【Meridian Expansion Pill】for a very long and regardless of the forging method, the medicinal herbs, or the cauldron, I double-check them to make sure there is nothing wrong with them. But for some reason, I am unable to form the pill. I would like you to tell me the reason for my failure!" Apothecary Lin Mu asked, after hesitating for a moment
"What kind of question is this?"
"Aren't you being a little too difficult here!"
"That's right, you should find the reason behind why you're unable to successfully forge a pill yourself. How do you expect him to answer that question out of the blue?"
Upon hearing Lin Mu's words, everyone was dumbfounded for a moment before peculiar expressions crept onto their faces.
When posing a question during a Pill Debate, one had to ask something that the other party could answer. Asking the other party how many moles you had on your body, how many meals you had yesterday, how many women you had relationships with… Even gods would be unable to answer these questions!
Right now, Lin Mu's question was similar to those. You simply said that you were unable to forge the Meridian Expansion Pill, how do you expect the other party to answer your query?
"Cough cough, Apothecary Lin Mu, you have to ask a question with basis behind it. This question isn't suitable, you should switch to another one…."
Ouyang Cheng, who was conducting the Pill Debate, couldn't stand looking at the situation any longer and spoke up.
"I was being too rash…."
Upon hearing the words of the others, Lin Mu realized that his question was inappropriate. Thus, he shook his head and just as he was about to say something else, Zhang Xuan beat him to it. "You weren't really rash. How about this: you try to forge a Meridian Expansion Pill for me first. I can't do anything about it through just your descriptions alone!"
Lin Mu didn't expect the other party to agree. Nodding his head, he walked over to the cauldron.
Actually, he didn't intend to ask this question initially, it simply popped into his mind all of a sudden.
Recently, he had been thinking of forging Meridian Expansion Pills, but for some reason, he was unable to succeed. He had researched many different books, tried many different forging techniques, and everything he could think of, but his forging still ended in failure! Upon seeing Zhang Xuan pointing out the mistakes of the others so easily, he couldn't help asking him.
As long as he was able to find the mistake behind it, he was confident that with his skills he could successfully forge it.
Thinking that it was impertinent to ask this of him on such an occasion, he thought that the Zhang Xuan would reject his question. He didn't expect him to actually accept his question.
The flames burned furiously and all kinds of medicinal herbs flew inside.
Lin Mu's ten fingers looked like they were playing the zither, continuously dancing all about. Peering from afar, it seemed as though he were playing a heavenly tune instead of pill forging.
With a single look, Zhang Xuan could tell that the apothecary before him had immersed himself in the art of pill forging for countless years and was already well-versed in it.
With such skills and a completely flawless forging sequence, he was still unable to successfully form the pills. This perplexed him.
"There is no errors at all!"
"With such skills, he could successfully forge a Strength Enhancement Pill. Why would he be unable to form the Meridian Expansion Pill?"
"Indeed, that's strange…."
Everyone's attention gathered on Apothecary Lin Mu as he started his forging. The more they watched, the more puzzled they became.
It was exactly as he said. Regardless of whether it was the medicinal herb, his movements, or any other significant factors, there wasn't a single error at all. Reasonably speaking, he should at least be able to form the pills. In fact, the pill would likely reach Satiation!
To be unable to form the pills... That was impossible!
Unfortunately, reality glared straight back at them. Soon, the flames died down and upon lifting the lid of the cauldron, a black sludge of medicinal waste presented itself before the people.
"This doesn't make sense!"
Ouyang Cheng's wrinkled his brow to the point it folded into creases.
As the guild leader of the Apothecary Guild and a 1-star intermediate stage apothecary—the highest of the group here—his discernment ability was also outstanding. After looking at the entire process, his conclusion was the same as the others, that pills would be formed. Yet the results were contrary to his expectations. A puzzled expression hung on his face and he contemplated the matter seriously.
Upon seeing the pitch-black medicinal waste in the cauldron, Apothecary Lin Mu sighed and shook his head. He lifted his head to look at the young man. "This is the question I would like to ask you. If you can answer it, I will admit defeat straight away! However, if you can't answer, I will switch to a different question. It won't affect the results of the Pill Debate!"
Zhang Xuan laughed. Stepping over to the cauldron, he circled around it and examined the medicinal waste. After that, he lifted his head to look at Apothecary Lin Mu with a bizarre expression on his face. "Apothecary Lin Mu sure is vigorous despite your age. I never thought it possible!"
"Vigorous despite my age?"
Lin Mu was taken aback.
'What does me being vigorous have to do with whether I am able to successfully forge the pill or not?
'Is there even a relationship between the two?'
The other apothecaries also looked over with doubtful expressions.
Previously, they would have publicly criticized him and doubted his words. However, after witnessing his vast knowledge and his ability, they understood that he had good reason for saying such words.
"Indeed. Upon walking over, I noticed a fragrance unique to women on Apothecary Lin's body. Furthermore, the scent is refreshing, pure and full of life. If I'm not wrong, she should not yet be eighteen years old!" Zhang Xuan said.
"Indeed, I just brought a concubine into my household. She hasn't reached eighteen yet!"
Apothecary Lin Mu's face flushed red.
He was already nearing seventy. He had a foot in the grave, but he had brought a seventeen year old concubine back home. Even though it didn't mean anything much in this world, he was still embarrassed to have the fact pointed out in front of so many other apothecaries.
"Could it be that… the reason why I am unable to forge the Meridian Expansion Pill is because of my concubine?"
Soon, Lin Mu arrived at a conclusion. Puzzled, he stared at Zhang Xuan.
If there was no relationship between the two, given Zhang Xuan's previous actions, he probably wouldn't point it out.
Just that… how was accepting a concubine related to forging pills?
They were two completely different things!
"You're right…. If I'm not wrong, that concubine of yours… isn't a thing!" Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment before replying calmly.
"Not a thing?"
Lin Mu was flabbergasted for a moment before frowning. Infuriated, displeasure showed on his face. "Why did you start insulting her?"