Chapter 793: Beyond the Limit! Are There Only Thirteen Possibilities of Forming a Pill
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Every contestant on stage fell silent.
They all had solemn expressions as if they were facing a great enemy.
They needed to restore a pill formula.
Not to mention an alchemy master, even a Sovereign (Stage) cultivator would not be able to do it easily.
The contestant with the highest mastery on stage was only an alchemy master, and most of them possessed cultivations at the Innate (Stage).
How could they accomplish a task only experienced Elixir Masters could complete Restoring an incomplete pill formula was practically a pipe dream!
“The judges probably dont expect us to restore the pill formula, but rather employ our understanding of alchemy to make up the difference and produce something usable… It isnt so much restoration they are testing, but our creativity!” Zhu Yan thought to himself.
He did not think the judges would set them an impossible task.
After all, they were only Innate (Stage) rookies.
The first test was one on knowledge, the second, a test of their creativity, and the third, a test of their courage.
“The higher the grade of the elixirs, the higher the quality, and the less time they need to use them…”
Zhu Yan seemed to have understood the assessment criteria.
He guessed that the incomplete pill formula that the judge took out should not be of a high rank and might even be lower than the Thirst Generating Pill.
Only in this way could everyone have a chance torestore the incomplete pill formula.
“We need to restore an incomplete pill formula”
Xu Xiaoshou, who was on the stage, fell into deep thought.
AlthoughCooking Expert gave him a strong foundation in the art, it could not make up for creativity.
Xu Xiaoshou did not have the confidence to restore an incomplete pill formula.
To be more precise, if he performed as he usually did, using his alchemical technique to deduce and complete it as if it
were a normal pill formula, then there was a chance he could succeed.
However, to create a new type of pill was far from being as simple as mixing spiritual medicines to produce results.
To restore a pill formula, one needed a certain level of creativity.
Therefore, the test placed high demands on the contestantsimagination.
“Every problem has its solution.”
Still, Xu Xiaoshou could not set aside his worries.
The incomplete pill formula President Dong Ling had taken out for the assessment could not be too advanced or too difficult.
If even he found the test difficult, then 80-90% of those in the arena with him were not likely faring any better.
At the judges seat…
“Tsk tsk, these little brats are probably thinking we brought out some low-grade pill formula.
Theyre in for a surprise!” An old president smiled, baring his yellowed teeth.
“The pill formula we chose isnt wholly incomplete, and 13 pill formulas can be derived, ranging from grades ten to six in terms of difficulty.
I wonder how many of those brats will succeed.”
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“It would be pretty good if someone can create the grade eight Radiant Sun Pill.”
“A grade-6 Elixir Master might have come into contact with the grade-6 Sun Thunder Pill, but they wouldnt know how to refine it.
Its good enough if they manage to deduce the grade-7 Little Thunderbolt Pill.”
“If thats the case, then… hehe!”
The group of presidents hid their smiles, allowing their chatter to petter off.
The incomplete pill formula was a trap.
Once someone attempted to condense the grade-7 Little Thunderbolt Pill, they would realize a fatal conflict would occur because it was incompatible with the incomplete pill formula they had provided, rendering the pill unusable.
By then, they definitely would not have much time left.
“This isnt just a test of their creativity, but also their resilience.
Stability is key.
Those who panic at such a time will certainly fail.”
“Its good to have ambition, but within reasonable bounds.
Even a grade-6 alchemy master would not have the confidence to restore an incomplete pill formula.”
“This old man surmises that if someone manages to produce a grade-7 elixir using the incomplete pill formula, that person will become the champion of the second round.”
Though thatll mean we might have to comment on a large batch of grade-8 or grade-9 elixirs.
Otherwise, these youngsters might lose heart.”
“Boring, really boring, hahaha…” The old foxes chuckled deviously, each worse than the last.
The focus of the test was not any singular factor, be they the grade, quality or efficacy of the elixir produced.
Instead, it demanded the synthesis and combination of all three elements.
As long as they identified a possible grade-8 pill formula and were certain of their abilities to concoct the pill, it was not impossible to produce a winning elixir.
Quality, efficacy and the time required to condense the pills were secondary to the primary goal.
The points obtained through such a result would likely exceed someone who spent all their time trying to create a grade-7 elixir.
Amidst the discussion, Dong Ling stood up and waved her hand, ignoring her contemporaries discussions.
In a loud voice, she announced, “The second round of the competition is about to begin.
Contestants, please enter the formation.
The incomplete pill formula will be distributed shortly by our staff.”
The youngsters in the arena set off, entering the spiritual array with varied emotions.
Only a hundred contestants remained for this second round, and there was more than enough space to accommodate everyone.
There was no need for contestants to enter in batches like the first.
Xu Xiaoshou entered the arena with Xiao Wanfeng in tow.
At this point, no one cared about the existence of Xiao Wanfeng.
Everyone knew that this youth was merely Young Master Xus tea servant; he served no other purpose.
Although he was said to be Young Master Xus assistant, he seemed to know nothing of the art of alchemy and waited upon him as a tea server.
He was supposed to perform alchemy, not the black chicken.
Xiao Wanfeng could not help but question the meaning of his existence.
“Young Master Xu, you can do it!”
“Yu Chuchu, do your best!”
“Zhu Yan, I have high hopes for you.
Rise in rank for the second round!”
The large group of people in the audience cheered for the contestants they supported.
There was no other reason.
The arena hosting the alchemy competition was not as crazed as the heaven geomantic battle, and opening bets was strictly prohibited.
Nonetheless, there will always be those willing to take risks, and small bets circulated frequently.
The spiritual cultivators watching the show naturally cheered more than the other to eam a little extra money.
Inside the spiritual array…
The contestants were ready.
The staff began to distribute the jade scrolls, fourteen copies each.
After receiving so many jade scrolls, the Elixir Masters looked up at the judges seat in astonishment, waiting for an explanation.
Dong Ling stood up and explained with a smile, “The first jade scroll that the staff gave you is the incomplete pill formula.”
“As for the rest… let me give you a hint.
This incomplete pill formula has 13 possibilities.
Contestants, please use your time wisely.”
The alchemists on stage were stunned.
There were 13 possibilities for the incomplete pill formula
It meant that the pill formula did not specify a special main ingredient or supplementary ingredient that could help them determine the kind of pill formula in their hands!
“Its as difficult as ascending the heavens…”
At this moment, even Yu Chuchu, Zhu Yan, and the other grade-6 alchemy masters could not help but swallow their saliva.
‘As expected, the test was not as simple as it seemed.
The contestants immediately scanned the jade scroll with their spiritual senses.
They could only see one main ingredient and seventy-two supplementary ingredients on the incomplete pill formula.
“The presidents have gone crazy!”
Immediately, the faces of some Elixir Masters turned black.
The main ingredient listed in the incomplete pill formula was Boundless Grass.
It was a spiritual medicine with no attributes, and it was also one of the main ingredients of many elixirs.
It was impossible to determine what kind of pill formula with so many possibilities available.
As for the seventy-two supplementary ingredients, 99% were common spiritual ingredients and did not possess any special characteristics.
They, too, did nothing to point the contestants in the direction they ought to pursue.
All those present were young geniuses from the five regions, and they each had considerable attainments in the field of alchemy.
Moreover, none of them was weak.
The only detail they managed to pick up was that the formula listed mostly fire-type spiritual ingredients, numbering 33 types in total.
It suggested that the pill condensed would lean towards the fire attribute and likely correspond to fire-type elixirs…
Unfortunately, this direction was too vague!
Fire-type elixirs were a dime a dozen, possibly reaching the tens of thousands if anyone bothered counting.
How were they supposed to extrapolate 13 possibilities from the tens of thousands that existed
It was as hard as finding a needle in a haystack.
“Judges, is this some kind of joke”
The lone voice expressed the doubts of all the contestants and woke them from their stupor.
‘When they looked towards the judges table, the unfathomable smiles of those eighteen old foxes met their gazes.
President Dong Ling waved her hand and said, “Your time starts now!”
That moment, it felt like a herd of horses were trampling over their heads as if it was a plain of mud and grass.
They were not joking…!
Time was tight, so they lowered their heads and analyzed the possibilities.
One mistake would lead them down the slippery slope of no return.
At this moment, the spiritual array around the first station flashed.
It was an indication that the spiritual array was operating.
Dong Lings mouth twitched, and her face darkened.
She hurriedly looked at the array token in her hand.
The array taken was still in her grasp.
Indeed, no one had robbed her.
It had always been in the palm of their hand.
In other words, the person who closed the array was Young Master Xu himself…
“How are you holding up” Dong Ling suppressed her anger and asked.
How on earth did he do it
Were his attainments in spiritual array formations similarly high
If so, why was not he participating in the spiritual array competition next door What was he doing here
Yu Chuchu, who was closest to him, immediately noticed the commotion and looked in Young Master Xus direction.
Was Young Master Xu causing trouble again
What was he trying to do
In the last round of the competition, she had relied on Young Master Xus black chicken to obtain a score of 97.
‘As much as it went against her code of ethics, Yu Chuchu found herself unable to resist taking a peep in Young Master Xus direction.
The Elixir Masters further away did not notice the commotion save those in the immediate surroundings.
A dozen contestants turned towards Young Master Xus station, wondering what was happening.
Young Master Xu had shared numerous insights earlier in the confinement area.
Perhaps he had discovered a clue!
Xu Xiaoshou chuckled and pointed at the thirteen jade scrolls on the table that Xiao Wanfeng had brought out.
He asked, “President Dong Ling, I have a question.
are all thirteen jade scrolls to be inscribed before we submit them”
Dong Ling was momentarily stunned by Xu Xiaoshous question.
That stupefaction transformed into amusement, and she burst out laughing.
The other presidents in the judges seat could not hold it in anymore, and they burst out laughing in unison.
Lu Chenghui stared with his old eyes, laughing so hard that he turned into a shrimp.
It was not easy for him to stop before he slapped his thigh and said, “If you have the ability, you are free to record all your answers and submit them to us.”
“Yes, if youre really capable, you can record all thirteen possibilities.
Were willing to give you this opportunity to win the championship,” said another president.
Soon, the rest joined in and began mocking him.
“Hahaha! Do you think yourself so capable that you can record all thirteen possibilities Im afraid youre going to make people laugh their heads off!”
“Ignorant child, do you know that even one of those possibilities is enough to buy this whole arena”
“How does he hope to accomplish such a feat Such arrogance!”
Lu Chenghui wiped his tears, realizing something.
He looked at President Dong Ling and said, “The kid is right.
We seem to have forgotten a rule.”
Dong Ling took a deep breath.
She wanted to stop these old men from fooling around.
In the end, she sighed and, using the array token in her hand, shut down all the contestants spiritual arrays.
The dozen or so spiritual arrays, including Yu Chuchu, prevented them from hearing Young Master Xu and the judges conversation, so they were curious to know why the eighteen old presidents were laughing themselves to tears.
With a swish, the entire spiritual array ceased all operations.
The sudden change caused the contestants to look up questioningly.
Dong Ling announced once again, “My apologies.
Young Master Xu has kindly reminded me of a small detail I missed.
To attain a full score in the second round, contestants must record all thirteen possibilities correctly in the jade scrolls provided.”
The full score rule!
President Dong Ling had just announced the most important rule.
For President Dong Ling to inform them of this rule now could only mean that, from the beginning to the end, not a single president felt that anyone could perfectly deduce the possibility of completing the thirteen incomplete pill formulas within two hours.
“He was verifying the full score rule just now” Yu Chuchu thought as she turned to look at Young Master Xu.
Xiao Wanfeng was still serving the latter.
He was sipping his tea and nodding his head to approve the new rule.
Noticing Yu Chuchus gaze, Xu Xiaoshou quirked a brow as though reminding her of their bet.
Yu Chuchu was so angry that she looked away.
“What the heck”
The rest of the Elixir Masters merely rolled their eyes when they heard the new rule.
Some even expressed their annoyance towards her for wasting their time.
It was not as if anyone would get a full score with a rule like that in place.
Not long after, these contestants returned their work.
What kind of mental illness did Young Master Xu have such that he had the confidence to perfectly deduce all thirteen possible pill formulas
Young Master Xu must have hit his head and given himself a concussion!
Why else would he ask such an unrealistic question
If he were so free, his time would be better spent analyzing the incomplete pill formula and coming up with a feasible solution! Who knows Perhaps he would discover a possibility on his first try…
The audience witnessed the entire process and burst into laughter.
“Im willing to call Young Master Xu the strongest in this round!”
“Yes, people who practice martial arts should grasp fate in their hands.
Even if I cant deduce the 13 possibilities of forming a pill, if you take out thirteen jade scrolls and throw it at my face without explaining the rules, then youre insulting me!” “I just want to ask clearly!”
“Young Master Xu, charge! I like your curious spirit… come on, Ill crush you!”
“Pfft, you guys are too disgusting.
How can you mock Young Master Xu like that Hes just confident.
Who knows, he might even burn thirteen jade scrolls for you!”
Young Master Xu is awesome.
Burning thirteen jade scrolls with the incorrect answers should also count towards a full score – one from the bottom, that is!”
The audience laughed until they were high.
A surging wave of voices rose, creating a din.
“Let the competition resume!”
Dong Ling hurriedly held the array token and closed the upper spirit on the field again to prevent the noise from affecting the players performance.
“Young Master Xu…”
Xiao Wanfeng, who was in the first spiritual array, felt that Young Master Xu was humiliating himself and subjecting himself to the crowds abuse.
As for why their spiritual array did nothing to stop the ridicule aimed at Xu Xiaoshou…
Xiao Wanfeng had wanted to ask this question during the first round of the competition, but he was a smart person and chose to keep his mouth shut.
Xu Xiaoshou was happy and did not say anything.
Like the other contestants, he had a rough idea after looking at the incomplete elixirs.
However, unlike everyone else, he relied on his skillCooking Expert to deduce the results, obtaining a rough estimate of the possible combinations the spiritual ingredients represented.
The sheer number of spiritual ingredients listed in this incomplete pill formula pointed to more than thirteen possible answers.
It was why Xu Xiaoshou had asked that probing question earlier.
“Why are there only thirteen jade scrolls and not sixteen”
“Did they give me the wrong number of scrolls”
Xu Xiaoshou stared at the thirteen empty jade scrolls on the table, squinting his eyes.
After a while, he finally understood that it was not because the judges had given him the incorrect number of jade scrolls, but rather those thirteen possibilities was the limit of their knowledge.
But was that truly the limit