Library of Heaven is Path
Chapter 363: Price
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: StarveCleric
"Liu Cheng... Guild Leader Liu?"
Apothecary Hong and Jiang Cheng trembled vigorously upon hearing that name.
Even though this Guild Leader Liu had become a celebrity in the capital recently—his name was even placed alongside the supreme genius, Zhang Xuan—the duo had never seen his true appearance before.
The duo had thought that he was an apprentice given that he was following behind Apothecary Mu, and his young age did little to change that perception. Never in their dreams could they have imagined that the young man would actually have such an astounding background.
As the guild leader of the Physician Guild, his standing was in no way inferior to their guild leader!
Even Apothecary Hong, as a 3-star apothecary, was beneath him in terms of standing.
Just that... Wasn't the other party supposed to be proficient in the Way of Medicine? Why was he able to guide a 2-star apothecary to forge a grade-3 pill?
"Be it the Way of Medicine or pill forging, one must possess absolute grasp over the medicinal properties of the respective herbs to decide on the most ideal formula to create the most effective medicine! I might not be an apothecary, and I'm incapable of forging pills as well, but my grasp over medicinal herbs allows me to deduce the changes occurring within a cauldron precisely. With this, I’m confident in guiding an apothecary to forge even a grade-4 pill, needless to say, a grade-3 pill!"
Knowing the various thoughts running through other party’s mind, Zhang Xuan replied calmly.
"One could achieve this much just by knowing the properties of medicinal herbs?"
Apothecary Hong Yun felt as though he was losing his sanity.
Even the temperature at which a medicinal herb was simmered could affect the medicinal properties it released. The slightest mistake could easily result in the greatest difference, determining a failure from a success.
Despite his lack of understanding in pill forging, he was able to guide someone in forging a grade-3 pill solely based on his grasp of the properties of medicinal herbs... Could such an existence still be considered a human?
All along, the elites of Tianwu Royal City didn’t think that highly of the famous Guild Leader Liu, believing that he might have prepared the answers to the nineteen questions on the Wall of Dilemma beforehand, thus allowing him to solve them in a single go. But now, they realized that... there wasn’t any need for the other party to do so. His capability was the real deal!
Putting everything aside, just his understanding of the properties of medicinal herbs would surely be unmatched by anyone in Tianwu Royal City!
Even their guild leader couldn’t match up to him!
"The study of medicinal herbs is profound and deep... how can it be summarized with just a few words? In truth, be it the prescription of a physician or the pill formula of an apothecary, they are both centered around the concept of complementing medicinal herbs in the most perfect manner to draw out their medicinal properties effectively. The two paths would naturally converge together upon reaching a certain level of understanding toward medicinal herb!"
As Zhang Xuan spoke casually, his sleeves swayed under the slight breeze. At this moment, his figure looked as though an unparalleled expert of the world.
Even though his words were logical, making it impossible for anyone to refute it, but in truth, such things only existed in theory.
In other words, it was impossible for an ordinary human to be capable of such calculations. Even if one’s understanding of medicinal herbs reached the level of a 7-star physician, it would still be impossible for one to guide another to successfully forge a pill just based on that.
To make an analogy, it was just like how even though scientists knew that one could travel back into time just by exceeding the speed of light, it was impossible in practice, and to date, no one had been able to succeed.
In the end, theories were just theories; they were a long way off from accurately depicting reality. The quality of the cauldron, the heat from the cauldron, the cultivation of the apothecary, the atmosphere, the maturity of the medicinal herbs... All of these were factors that would affect the ultimate product. A difference in one or two of these factors may not amount to anything much, but when all of these differences were stacked over one another, it would result in a huge divergence.
Zhang Xuan had only managed to do so with the help of the Library of Heaven's Path.
"I've been enlightened..."
Knowing how difficult the feat was, Apothecary Hong was impressed.
"Un!" Zhang Xuan nodded in satisfaction. "So, is Apothecary Mu considered a 3-star apothecary now? Does he have the qualification to request for a pill formula from the Wall of Pill Formulae?"
"The reason why Apothecary Mu is able to forge a grade-3 pill is due to your guidance, but with this experience, it shouldn't be difficult for him to succeed in the future. As such, he is qualified to request for a pill formula at the Wall of Pill Formulae!"
After hesitating for a moment, Apothecary Hong replied.
While Apothecary Mu had only succeeded this time due to the other party's guidance, it shouldn't be too difficult for him to replicate this success individually as long as he worked on it diligently.
In other words, it was just a matter of time before Apothecary Mu became a true 3-star apothecary.
Thus, in non-strict terms, it shouldn't be considered as a violation of the rules for him to request for a pill formula anymore.
"If I knew it was this easy, I wouldn't have wasted so much of my time asking for your help..."
Hearing the affirmation, Zhang Xuan shook his head and remarked.
He ended up waiting so long outside, only to be refused in the end. If he knew that it was just the matter of forging a single pill, he would have just done so from the start... What a huge waste of time!
Zhang Xuan was just complaining casually, but when Apothecary Mu heard those words, the edge of his mouth twitched.
Guild Leader Liu was disregarding Apothecary Hong's pride before them, and this was no different from a public humiliation.
He secretly sneaked a peek toward Apothecary Hong and saw the other party's entire body trembling violently. It seemed as though he was just a single push away from spewing blood.
At this moment, Apothecary Hong was truly on the verge of a breakdown.
Guild Leader Liu, you are doing it intentionally, aren't you?
You intentionally hid your identity from us just so that we could make a fool out of ourselves...
If I knew that you had such capability, I wouldn't have dared to boast before you! Now, not only did I fail to pull my weight, I even became a fool instead!
More importantly, I have insulted a genius because of this! How could I ask anything of you in the future like this?
Ignoring the dismayed Apothecary Hong Yun, the duo walked out of the room. Under Apothecary Mu's lead, they soon arrived at a tightly sealed room.
It was similar to the room where the Wall of Dilemma was affixed in the Physician Guild. There was nothing else other than a gigantic wall in the room.
Apothecary Hong and Jiang Chen tagged along as well, curious to see what pill formula was Apothecary Mu going to request for.
"What I need is the pill formula for the grade-4 Frigid Yin Pill!"
Zhang Xuan sent a telepathic message to Apothecary Mu.
Apothecary Mu nodded. Upon placing the apothecary emblem representing his identity into the aperture on the wall, the wall immediately burst into life. With swift movements, he wrote three words on the Wall of Pill Formulae—Frigid Yin Pill!
The procedures to using the Wall of Pill Formulae wasn't too complex. One just had to activate the wall and write down the name of the pill. As long as the pill wasn't too far beyond one's capability, the headquarter would usually agree to the request.
Since there were 3-star apothecaries in Tianwu Kingdom Apothecary Guild, it shouldn't be a problem to request for a grade-4 pill formula, although it would be impossible for them to ask for a grade-5 one!
The same rules applied for other Apothecary Guilds as well.
A moment later, the wall trembled and a line of words appeared...
Payment: Three spirit stones or a Transmogrification Bamboo Grass!
"This is... the price for the pill formula?" Staring intently at the words that appeared on the wall, Jiang Chen asked.
"Un, it is a convention to pay a price when requesting for a pill formula from the headquarter. Otherwise, the Wall of Pill Formulae could be abused, and the headquarter might find itself constantly in a hectic state!"
Apothecary Hong replied. Then, with slight doubt in his tone, he said, "However... usually, a grade-4 pill formula should only cost one spirit stone. For this one to cost three spirit stones or a Transmogrification Bamboo Grass, that's way too overpriced!"
"What's a Transmogrification Bamboo Grass?"
"It's an extremely precious and rare medicinal herb. Even at Xuanyuan Conferred Kingdom, it’s one of the hardest herbs to obtain, needless to say, here!
Apothecary Hong Yun shook his head in pity, "This is way too expensive, it's impossible for Apothecary Mu to afford it!"
Just as Apothecary Hong had guessed, upon seeing those words, Apothecary Mu's complexion immediately turned extremely awful.
Initially, he had thought that if the price wasn't too high, he could help to foot the bill. But three spirit stones... This was simply too expensive! Even as a 2-star pinnacle apothecary, it was beyond his means.
As for the Transmogrification Bamboo Grass, he had only heard of its existence from the books...
"Guild Leader Liu, I'm sorry..."
Apothecary Mu turned to Zhang Xuan and apologized.
The reason why the other party was at the Apothecary Guild was to help raise his daughter's cultivation. He thought that he could at least be of some help to the other party, especially given his identity. Yet, in the end, he found himself unable to contribute anything at all.
"This is the price for the pill formula? How do I pay the spirit stones through this wall?"
Upon realizing what was going on, Zhang Xuan asked doubtfully.
Given how it was possible to communicate via the Wall of Pill Formulae, the pill formula could also be written and, thus, sent to them through the wall. However, spirit stones and Transmogrification Bamboo Grass were tangible objects. How could they send it over through the wall?
"Simple. As long as you promise to make the payment, someone will be dispatched here, arriving within half a month, to claim it. As long as the payment is confirmed, the other side will send the pill formula over!" Apothecary Mu replied.
"Half a month?" Zhang Xuan was speechless.
If that was the case, what was the difference between this and buying a grade-4 pill straight?
It was only because buying a pill would require a minimum of half a month that he chose to request for a pill formula instead. Despite all the trouble he went through, he simply went in a circle and ended up returning back at the starting point.
"It's also possible for the pill formula to be sent over on the spot. One just has to leave his emblem here as a guarantee. However, this would mean that one was putting his position as an apothecary on the line to guarantee the payment. After the pill formula is sent over, someone will come over to claim the items within half a month..."
After a moment of hesitation, Apothecary Mu continued, "I don't mind leaving my emblem here as a guarantee, just that... I really don't have the means to pay for it. Once the other party comes and demands payment..."
If he could produce three spirit stones, it wouldn't be a problem for him to put his emblem on the line. However... he had nothing in his hands now. Once the other party comes to claim the payment and he fails to hand it over, he would be in deep trouble.
His career as a 2-star pinnacle apothecary would come to an end, and all of the hard work he had poured in in the past few decades would be wasted.
"It's just a grade-4 pill formula... How can it be so expensive!"
Upon understanding the entire matter, Zhang Xuan was dismal.
He was still wondering how he could procure spirit stones for his own use when the other party demanded three at once... Putting aside the fact that he didn't have any spirit stones now, even if he had any, he still needed them for his own cultivation. To exchange it for a pill formula... You must be jesting!
"Is there any other way?"
Zhang Xuan asked Apothecary Mu.
"Other than physical objects, one could pay using knowledge and information as well. As long as the other party deems what one offers to be valuable, it can be accepted as the payment as well!"
At this moment, Apothecary Mu shook his head with a bitter smile. "However... the person on the other side of the Wall of Pill Formulae is at least a 4-star apothecary, a figure we can't possibly match up with. The knowledge and secrets we know of are probably worthless to them!"
As a 4-star apothecary, the other party’s understanding of pill forging had already reached an unfathomable level. As a mere 2-star pinnacle apothecary, how could Apothecary Mu possibly offer any knowledge of interest to the other party?
"Knowledge can be used as payment as well?"
Zhang Xuan was dumbstruck for a short moment before a gleam flashed in his eyes. "Is that really true?"
Apothecary Mu and the others were stunned to see Zhang Xuan’s bizarre reaction.
Could he, as a physician, really produce information of interest to a 4-star apothecary?
"Alright, allow me!"
Ignoring the shock the others were experiencing, Zhang Xuan mused for a moment before lifting up a brush to write a line of words on the Wall of Pill Formulae.
Upon seeing the contents of his words, Apothecary Hong Yun staggered. He nearly spewed blood and fainted.
Apothecary Mu was the same as well. Tears streamed down his face.
This Wall of Pill Formulae was activated using his emblem, so his name was on it. Guild Leader Liu, the words that you wrote...
You are truly escorting me straight to my doom.
Wuwu, what did I do wrong to make you hate me so much...