Chapter 121: The Difficult First Round
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor:
After Feng Zhenqiu left, a middle-aged woman walked to the middle of the round altar, bowed towards the four directions and said, "I'm Heaven Seeking Palace Pill Pagoda's Ming Ning. I am the chief presider over this Five Elements Pill Competition. Dean Feng was right, there are very few in our five empires who can step into the Heaven Realm's Three Great Heavens. As the saying goes: Heaven never seals off all exits. The Five Elements Desolate Domain is this way out for the people of our five empires, and the opportunity to enter it will be decided in this competition.
In this competition, there will be five Tier 6 Earth Pill Refiners, including myself, as the judges. I believe that as long as you can achieve good results, you will be able to obtain a good placing.
The first round will be an elimination round. May all participants use the jade tokens to guide you to your pill furnace."
"Wuji, it doesn't matter whether you win or lose. Just let loose and don't get too worried. We can always come again during the next competition. Previously, we only managed to get 97th place. So it won't be too much of a drop if we don't get anything this time around," Zhen Shaoke said to Mo Wuji encouragingly.
Mo Wuji nodded, "Mr Zhen can be rest assured. Regardless, I will put in my best effort in this competition.
Even if Zhen Shaoke could come again in the future, it might not mean the same for him. On the other hand, the fact of Nine Moons Pill House obtaining the 97th place in the previous competition didn't really come as a surprise to Mo Wuji. How many big sects and powers were there within the five empires? In truth, Nine Moons Pill House really didn't count for much. Being able to enter the top hundred was already a pretty good result.
Holding the Nine Moons Pill House jade token, Mo Wuji was brought to a pill furnace near the side. Even though the intervals between the pill furnaces were big, the pill furnaces near the sides were still relatively squeezed.
After waiting for the participants to settle in place, Pill Master Ming Ning announced loudly, "Due to the relatively large number of contestants, and to have a more convincing test of ability, our first round will be on purification. It will be graded upon 100 points, and the first 300..."
Hearing that it was about purification, Mo Wuji celebrated in his heart. This was a topic which he had no worries about. He was confident that he would not be worse than typical Tier 4 Earth Pill Refiners even when it came to Tier 4 spiritual herbs.
"The ingredient we'll be purifying is the Tier 4 Iron Core Bodhi Fruit. Everyone will be entitled one fruit and a red firestone. You can find them in the pill furnaces. May all participants now place the jade tokens into the side of the pill furnace to open it. The competition will now begin..."
Hearing Pill Master Ming Ning announce the start of the competition, almost all of the pill refiners immediately placed the jade token into the sides of the pill furnace and retrieved the Iron Core Bodhi Fruit and red firestone.
However, Mo Wuji stood by in a daze, and did not immediately retrieve his items. The initial joy he had when he heard about the purification topic had long disappeared.
The Iron Core Bodhi Fruit was one of the hardest spiritual herbs to purify among Tier 4 spiritual herbs. This fruit had a tough exterior; it would be difficult to extract the essences even with earth fire, much less the lowest grade red firestone?
It could be said that this round was the most difficult for him, as his cultivation was the lowest among all the pill refiners.
To purify this tough spirit fruit, a higher cultivation would naturally make it easier. A low grade firestone could be made up with by using elemental energy and hand techniques. The lower the grade of the firestone, the higher the elemental energy needed. Now, he was using the lowest grade red firestone. What could he do?
Zhen Shaoke's gaze landed on Mo Wuji. Seeing the others starting while Mo Wuji stood unmoving, he could not help but sigh in his heart. As the Young House Master of the Nine Moons Pill House, how could he not know the difficulty Mo Wuji was currently facing? He had already calculated his odds, but he did not expect that the first round of the competition to have an emphasis of cultivation level.
With Mo Wuji's Channel Opening Stage cultivation, purifying the Iron Core Bodhi Fruit was already not a simple thing, much less emerge in the top 300 among these thousands of pill refiners.
The reason he chose Mo Wuji was because Mo Wuji's pills seemed to transcend grades. According to his experience with previous competitions, the final round would definitely be a pill concoction round. It was not impossible to enter the top 100 with a supreme grade Tier 3 Mortal Pill.
In the previous competition, there was exactly a Tier 3 Mortal Pill Refiner who trumped over a Tier 4 Earth Pill Refiner because of the grade of his pill.
But looking at the current predicament, Mo Wuji could very well be eliminated in the very first round.
After being at a loss for a full minute, Mo Wuji finally placed the jade token into the side of the pill furnace and opened it. Despite the difficulty, he was not going to be eliminated in the very first round.
After opening the pill furnace, he could see a fire red firestone, as well as a fist-sized black fruit. Besides those items, there was also a jade vase. There was a number of the jade vase which corresponded to the number on his jade token. It looked like this number was only imprinted after the jade token had been inserted into the pill furnace.
Mo Wuji placed the jade vase to the side before igniting the red firestone. Since he had already started, there was no time to be doubtful and be filled with hesitation.
The fire beneath the furnace raged; Mo Wuji slapped the exterior of the pill furnace consecutively. With these simplest of hand techniques, he cleaned the pill furnace.
Resolutely, Mo Wuji inserted the Iron Core Bodhi Fruit into the pill furnace. Mo Wuji continuously activated the fire below the furnace but the Iron Core Bodhi Fruit continued to melt slowly.
After ten more minutes, the Iron Core Bodhi Fruit only melted by half. By this moment, Mo Wuji could already smell the aroma of the Iron Core Bodhi Fruit essence.
Mo Wuji was clear that this smell wasn't from his pill furnace, but the fruits from others' Iron Core Bodhi Fruit. This meant that others have already started purifying the medicinal essences while he had yet to melt his fruit.
It can't carry on like this. Mo Wuji took a deep breath. Others could afford to lose this round, but he definitely couldn't.
Mo Wuji carefully inserted his hand into the pill furnace and immediately activated his hand techniques. In reality, he had concealed pill techniques within the hand techniques, and was using the pill techniques to start purifying.
In Mo Wuji's initial plan, he did not intend to use his pill techniques from the on go. He was prepared to only his his pill techniques during the essence fusion or pill condensation stage. As for purification, it should have been simple enough to do without pill techniques.
However, the competition had just started but he already had no choice but to reveal his killing ace. This made him extremely helpless; who asked his cultivation to be so low? Among these 1000 pill refiners, he might be the only one still in the Channel Opening Stage.
The pill techniques landed on the Iron Core Bodhi Fruit, the original slow rate of melting sped up. However, the speed was still not fast. After all, the firestone used was a mere red firestone.
This is not good. This might be able to extract the essence of the Iron Core Bodhi Fruit but it won't get me in the top 300. As Mo Wuji thought of this, he gritted his teeth and directly used his hands to stir the Iron Core Bodhi Fruit.
On the surface, he looked like he was stirring, but he was actually increasing the effectiveness of his pill techniques through direct contact. He had no other choice. Who asked his cultivation to be low, and his spiritual will was also not strong enough to sustain for a long time.
Luckily, this round was only the purification of the spiritual herbs. If it also included the fusion of the medicinal essences, he could only stare as others trump over him.
It felt like he was holding the firestone itself, and Mo Wuji's skin was instantly charred. Mo Wuji would not have cared if this was lightning, but this searing heat caused Mo Wuji to groan aloud. Even so, Mo Wuji did not dare release his hand. If he did, he might not have a second chance.
Seeing the Iron Core Bodhi Fruit melting faster, he was reminded of the previous derision he had towards Shi Jun. Previously, he ridiculed Shi Jun's pill concoction as stir frying vegetables, but wasn't he doing the same thing now? At least Shi Jun used a spatula, Mo Wuji was directly using his hands to stir fry.
Mo Wuji suddenly had a form of revelation. Regardless of the time, or the place, he should not look down on other people. It's not because this person might be stronger than you, but because you might end up being like him.
A whole half an hour passed, and Mo Wuji truly could not endure the pain any further as he withdrew his hand from the furnace. Within the pill furnace, the Iron Core Bodhi Fruit had already fully melted, and Mo Wuji had already used his stir fry method to purify a good half of the medicinal essences.
As he had over-utilised his spiritual will, Mo Wuji felt a little groggy. However, he did not dare stop, nor take a break to consume a pill. He was afraid that it might not be within the rules, and everything he did would have gone to waste.
He did not partake in this competition to attain glory, but to save Yan'Er. Thus, he could not make a single mistake.
Mo Wuji had already completely ignored the burning pain he felt on his hand. Now, he was concentrating all his efforts on the Iron Core Bodhi Fruit in the pill furnace.
With his painstaking effort, the Iron Core Bodhi Fruit started to emanate a faint medicinal fragrance. Mo Wuji did not dare to be careless, and he continued to concentrate all his efforts. He did this to the very end when he started to separate the dregs.
He expended all the spiritual energy in his body and used his pill techniques to expel the herb dregs.
"Pata!" A trail of herb dregs was sent out of the pill furnace. At the same time, the essences within the pill furnace was also extracted and sent into the jade vase.
If things were as they were usually, Mo Wuji would have definitely purified the essences for a second time. However, he really couldn't take it anymore. Even if he tried to forcefully purify the essences, he might waste all his previous efforts and turn the essences to dust.
"Yu!" After sealing the jade vase, Mo Wuji exhaled strongly. As he lifted his head to face the surroundings, he discovered that he was among the last to complete.
At this time, the fiery hot sensation pervaded again. Mo Wuji took a look at his right hand; it was already a whole patch of black, as though it wasn't a part of him.
Even though the purification was complete, Mo Wuji did not dare consume any healing pills until his jade vase was collected. This competition was too important to make any mistakes.