The devil clan disciples around Mo Su broke out in mocking laughter, sounding especially harsh to the ears.
The gazes of the cultivators waiting outside the square perimeter inevitably fell on Mo Su and Huang Xiaolong.
"A failed refinement? What is happening over there? Could it be that Huang Xiaolong has failed to refine the Divine Essence Pellet?"
"Who knows, maybe his assessment a few months back is fake, just people trying to exaggerate things. I've already said early on, Huang Xiaolong might have incredible talent for cultivation, but it is impossible for him to also have that kind of flair for alchemy!"
In an instant, everyone in the crowd seemed to be talking about it.
The overseer, Elder Wang Zhe, already received instructions from Sun Yi beforehand, understanding what Mo Su meant by Huang Xiaolong's pill concocting having failed.
Wang Zhe announced: "Huang Xiaolong, refinement unsuccessful, pill forming failed. Time used: thirty-two minutes and fifty seconds."
In Wang Zhe's eyes, since the ingredients were incorrect, no matter how high Huang Xiaolong's alchemy refining skills were, his pill would never form successfully, which was why Wang Zhe didn't even bother to send any disciples to check Huang Xiaolong's chamber.
At Wang Zhe's announcement, the crowd gathered around the square was in an uproar, those in doubt earlier made noises of realization.
"Huang Xiaolong really failed!"
"He can't even refine something simple like the Divine Essence pellet, looks like the stories going around about his alchemist assessment are really fake!"
As the crowd at the edge of the square was clamoring, Mo Su laughed even louder as he looked at Huang Xiaolong, "Thirty-two minutes and fifty seconds; Huang Xiaolong, you've already broken the Grand Competition's record. For billions of years, there has to appear yet any participant who failed in their pill concoction so fast."
Huang Xiaolong completely ignored Mo Su. His sharp gaze was directed at Elder Wang Zhe instead, speaking with an aloof tone, "You're called Wang Zhe, right? You didn't even check my chamber, yet you so easily announced the result, perhaps you already knew the result beforehand? Or can you foretell the future?"
Wang Zhe stiffened, his expression darkened. In terms of status, Huang Xiaolong was merely one of the many average alchemists within the union, how dare he address him by name?
At Huang Xiaolong's words, the crowd quieted slightly, seemingly thinking about what he had just said.
Wang Zhe stared coldly at Huang Xiaolong, "You only managed to pass your alchemist assessment by luck on that day. Huang Xiaolong, are you perhaps trying to tell me that your pill concoction did not fail and, like young master Mo Su here, you successfully refined a top grade Divine Essence Pellet?"
His derisive tone did not escape the notice of the present people.
Huang Xiaolong remained aloof, "Just check and you'll know the answer."
Wang Zhe looked at the closest union disciple, ordering, "Go, check Huang Xiaolong's refining chamber and bring out the evidence of his failure so everyone can see."
The union disciple complied respectfully and hurried away.
Everyone waited. About fifteen minutes later, that disciple returned. Wearing an ugly expression on his face, he extended his hand, in which was held a bottle. If one looked clearly, they would be able to see that his hand was shaking.
Noticing this, Wang Zhe's brows couldn't help but crease into furrows, did Huang Xiaolong really succeed in refining the Divine Essence Pellet?
"...E-Elder Wang, these are the Divine Essence Pellets found in Huang Xiaolong's chamber." That disciple stood in front of Wang Zhe, even his tongue seemed to be quivering as he spoke.
Divine Essence Pellet!
A stunned Wang Zhe quickly recovered, "Is it low grade pellets?" If the ingredients were wrong, an alchemist with extraordinary skills could turn them into low grade pellets, albeit there would only be a slim chance. Of course, low grade pellets were also considered failures.
The union disciple stammered: "N-no."
Wang Zhe was taken aback. 'No?' He took the bottle from the disciple's hand. Then, before Mo Su and everyone's baffled gazes, Wang Zhe released the bottle's restriction. Instantly, thumb-sized pills of jade green color appeared one after another, resembling morning dew on tender leaves.
Medicinal fragrance permeated the air, reaching the edge of the square. Even those at the back of the large crowd could smell the fragrance coming from the pills.
"Tribulation grade pellets!"
"Heavens, they are actually tribulation grade pellets!"
Exclamations sounded from various corners of the crowd, a wave of surprise and shock filled the air. Disbelief was obvious in everyone's expressions.
This was the tribulation grade they had only heard of ah! Every single Divine Essence Pellet exuded a faint tribulation lightning aura.
"Impossible! Impossible!" Mo Su shouted the same words twice, then pointed at Huang Xiaolong, "You cheated! These Divine Essence Pellets weren't refined by you!" The certainty in Mo Su's tone sounded as if he was the overseeing Elder from the Alchemist Grandmaster Union.
"That's right, you cheated! These tribulation grade Divine Essence Pellets were definitely not refined by you!" Wang Zhe regained his wits, biting hard on his statement, almost shrieking as he pointed an angry finger at Huang Xiaolong, "Some big guts you've got, how dare you cheat in the competition! I'm revoking your participation qualification this instant, and you are forever forbidden from participating in the Alchemist Grandmaster Grand Competition!"
The ingredients were wrong, how could Huang Xiaolong have refined any tribulation grade Divine Essence Pellets?!
'This is absolutely impossible!'
Wang Zhe was adamant that Huang Xiaolong cheated, blurting these words by reflex.
The corner of Huang Xiaolong's lips faintly curved at a derisive degree, "Cheated? Where's the evidence? Wang Zhe, as a Union Elder, don't tell me you can't even determine that these tribulation grade Divine Essence Pellets were refined just now."
Wang Zhe flinched.
With his eyesight, of course he could see that the pills were just refined.
"Whether he cheated or not, just look at the chamber's recording and see. We'll know what is what." Mo Su sullenly stated.
"That's right, Elder. We can check the chamber's recording." The union disciple quickly said.
Under Wang Zhe's agreement, a short while later, the union disciple returned with the video recording array from Huang Xiaolong's chamber. Channeling his godforce into the formation, it replayed the process of Huang Xiaolong's refining process."
Watching Huang Xiaolong easily manipulate the herbs with his alchemy refining skills until he attracted pill tribulation lightning, producing tribulation grade Divine Essence Pellets. There was no sign of cheating that could be detected. Wang Zhe's face grew increasing uglier as he watched on.
Were the ingredients inside Huang Xiaolong's chamber not replaced?
Mo Su's expression was just as ugly.
Huang Xiaolong sneered, "Wang Zhe, do I pass the preliminary round now?"
Wang Zhe struggled internally for a while, then he took a deep breath, revising his announcement, "Huang Xiaolong, refinement successful, rank one tribulation grade Divine Essence Pellets; time used: thirty-two minutes and fifty seconds!"
Huang Xiaolong nudged, "And?"
Wang Zhe was confused: "And? There's more?" He didn't understand what Huang Xiaolong was implying.
Huang Xiaolong spoke coldly, "Earlier, you announced that I failed without even checking my refining chamber, and after you did, you were adamant that I cheated, wanting to rescind my qualification as well as forbid me from ever participating in the grand competition! Do you really think this matter is so easily solved just by you announcing that my refinement was successful and that I passed? I want you on your knees, kowtow to me as an apology!"
"What?!" Wang Zhe's face was red with outrage.
Before Wang Zhe could say another word, the spectating crowd was shouting: "Yes, kowtow in apology!"
"Kowtow in apology to Huang Xiaolong!"
The voices grew louder, reverberating like thunder in the square.
Wang Zhe's face looked darker than muddy water, his loathful gaze fixed on Huang Xiaolong, "This matter ends here. If you continue to make trouble, I can still rescind your participation qualification."