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Chapter 220: Pill Tribulation?!

Necropolis Immortal
     Heaven Descent Pill!

    A pill that propelled one to the heavens at birth and contributed to the formation of three immortal emperors back in the ancient times. However, its refinement success rate was pitiably low. Even Qi Hai, the foremost pill master of the time, had created only three throughout the course of his lifetime. Since then, no one had managed to refine the pill, despite the recipe having been passed down.

    There must be a tremendous catch to such a powerful pill and it shouldn’t be allowed to proliferate without limit in the world of immortals. However, Lu Yun didn’t give an inch. This pill was his only hope for gaining the Ten Orientations Stone.

    “Might I inquire what pill you’re refining with my blood?” Qing Xun’s eyelashes fluttered. She already had an inkling of what his answer might be, but it was too outlandish for her to believe.

    “Milady asks when you already know the answer in your heart.” Lu Yun shook his head and didn’t name the pill. Its fame had reached all parts of the world in the ancient times, so naturally there would be records about the pill. Thus, its name and effects weren’t completely unknown even today.

    “As I thought.” Qing Xun nodded. “Sir Lu is indeed a genius of the new generation. I shall not refuse your request.” She closed her eyes, slowly coalescing a drop of crimson blood radiating a faint, but brilliant golden glow.

    “Oof.” The luminous girl grunted and paled.

    “Lu Yun!!” railed an agitated voice from one of the gazebos surrounding the stage. “If you fail to refine a pill with her heart blood, I’ll kill you even if I have to die for it! Do you hear me?!”

    “That’s right! If you fail, I’ll do whatever it takes to kill you!”

    Qing Xun was highly regarded in Xiankan. The young men, especially, idolized her like a goddess, which was why they were so displeased when they saw Lu Yun truly taking her blood. Both Feng Li from the Feng Clan and Jin Hexi from the Jin Clan were among the clamouring men.

    Lu Yun heartily ignored them all and cupped his hands at Qing Xun.

    Thump!

    With a wave of his hand, an enormous cauldron thudded onto the stage, shaking the platform. It wasn’t the cauldron itself that was heavy, but the fire within it. Lu Yun had forgone the three immortal fires and summoned hellfire!

    Hellfire ranked over even the three immortal fires, and was the instrument of extraction for the three immortal fires out of the paintings that housed them. A powerful flame like that could naturally be used to refine pills.

    He wasn’t strong enough to manipulate hellfire for pill refinement yet, but he had the Sal Tree of Life and Death, which was what hellfire burned on. With the tree as a medium, he could dip a toe in using the fire to refine pills and treasures.

    Lu Yun knew from the start that normal fires, even the three immortal fires, wouldn’t be powerful enough for Heaven Descent Pill. Only supreme level fires like hellfire stood a chance of success.

    But he couldn’t help but wonder… if even a pill like Heaven Descent Pill required only 943 ingredients, what kind of pill Panorama Pavilion was trying to recreate? It must far exceed the Heaven Descent Pill.

    The crowd quieted down and fixed their eyes on the center stage. Finally, everyone was undergoing the refining process.

    Bam!

    One of the cauldrons exploded, and a black mushroom cloud rose before the pill master.

    “Ah, I failed!” Dejection crossed a pill master’s expression. He hadn’t been following a pill recipe, but had been experimenting based on his analysis of herb properties and effects. It was no surprise that he would fail.

    What he didn’t know was that the methods he’d used had been secretly recorded by the stage, and not everyone would fail like him.

    ……

    It was now the third day of the auction, with Zhao Shenguang scheduled to take his throne three days from now. Most pill masters on the stage were done. Some had succeeded, others failed, some finally created an end product after multiple adjustments. Those who’d produced a pill began explaining their pill’s rank and effects.

    Only four were still hard at work—Gu Zun, Yue Longsha, Wayfarer, and Lu Yun. All four of them had reached critical points in their refining processes.

    “It is done!” The fire in Yue Longsha’s cauldron retracted after a final flare, allowing a heavily perfumed fragrance to waft from the cauldron. A moon-white pill slowly took shape, brilliant and pure in its milky translucence. “This is a ninth-rank Moondew Pill, refined from 108 herbs and the moon essence of my clan.” With a twist of her wrist, the pill landed in the jade bottle in her hand.

    “The real Moondew Pill would be the gold standard in healing pills,” she explained with a soft voice. “No matter how severe the injury, anyone below the dao immortal realm will recover after consuming this pill, so long as a strand of their soul remains.

    “Unfortunately, the principles of immortal dao within the pill are corrupted,” she continued ruefully. “This particular pill cannot heal anyone, and will instead shatter all souls.”

    “Lady Yue is truly talented!” Many pill masters marveled at her work. “She invented such an impressive healing pill with ingredients she’s never seen before. She will be the final winner unless Master Gu Zun succeeds in refining a Dao Fruit Pill.”

    Yue Longsha nodded and handed the pill to the Panorama Pavilion’s pill master. He would be the one to verify its effects. Although the principles of dao within were corrupted, a dao immortal pill master could still deduce its effects through certain special methods.

    All eyes shifted back to the grave Gu Zun. He made several hand seals that entered the cauldron one after another.

    “Form, I say!!” he suddenly exclaimed.

    Bam!

    The cauldron before him shattered, making way for a pill with a thick, golden glow. As soon as it appeared, the very power within the blessed land seemed to undergo a shift. Gu Zun had truly refined a Dao Fruit Pill!

    “It was a successful attempt,” muttered Qing Xun. The method with which the pill was refined had been fully recorded. From now on, the dao immortal pill masters of Panorama Pavilion would be able to replicate Gu Zun’s success!

    “I am so lucky as to be blessed with success.” Gu Zun wiped off the sweat beading his forehead, a small smile tugging at his lips. He subtly tightened his hand to summon the qi in the environment, energy which converged as a seal over the little ball of sunshine from the ruins of his cauldron. He handed the pill to Qing Xun, whose hands shook as she beheld it, visibly overwhelmed.

    “Master Gu Zun proves to be the best in the end. I heartily admit defeat.” Deference flashed across Yue Longsha’s face, it was only natural for her to lose to Gu Zun, since the pill master was much more experienced than she was.

    “The Ten Orientations Stone is mine,” Gu Zun said proudly.

    “Dao Fruit Pill?” said a derisive voice. “Only weaklings have any use for it.”

    “Oh?” The statement took everyone aback.

    Wayfarer opened his eyes. With a casual wave of his hand, a green pill landed before Qing Xun.

    “The Lifeline Pill,” Wayfarer introduced faintly. “It grants a second soul to dao immortals, one that will die once in their place.”

    “A Lifeline Pill! Those pills are real?! No, impossible, impossible!” Gu Zun shrieked. A crazed look stole into his eyes. “Pills to die in the place of a dao immortal don’t exist in this world! It’s impossible for you to refine one!!”

    “Under any other circumstances, the pill would be repelled by heaven and earth as soon as it formed. A pill tribulation would descend upon the area,” Wayfarer explained faintly. “However, this isn’t a real Lifeline Pill. It’s just poison.”

    Gu Zun’s chest heaved as frustration rose from the bottom of his heart. His Dao Fruit Pill paled in comparison to Wayfarer’s work. After all, there was only a fifty percent chance for the Dao Fruit Pill to aid ascension to the aether dao immortal realm, and the immortal wouldn’t ever be able to take another step further.

    The Lifeline Pill, on other hand, would grant all dao immortals, including the celestial emperors, another life.

    Gu Zun was reluctant to admit defeat, but there was nothing he could do. He held on to a sliver of hope that things would be different after the dao immortal of Panorama Pavilion examined the pills.

    Crackle.

    Silver lightning pierced the sky and crashed onto the stage.

    “What was that?”

    “Isn’t this the Panorama Pavilion’s blessed land? Why would there be lightning?”

    “It seems to be… a heavenly tribulation? Is someone breaking through here?”

    “No!” shouted someone in realization. “It’s a pill tribulation!”

    “Pill tribulation?” Wayfarer tensed and whirled around to look at Lu Yun.

    The young governor stood beside his cauldron while three hundred and sixty-five layers of formations guarded him and the cauldron. An unassuming pill floated above it, rotating continuously.

    Rumble.

    Silver lightning snaked through the sky and hammered down at him, vicious impacts repelled by ripple upon ripple from the formations. Incredibly, the layers of light stood strong against the terrifying pill tribulation.

    No one could believe their eyes, and even Wayfarer was agog with shock. Despite all his wisdom, he couldn’t figure out what was going on. A pill tribulation?! How could a pill that looked perfectly ordinary attract a tribulation? Only pills that defied the heavenly dao would have such an effect!

    They could only exist in the world after overcoming their tribulation, and that shouldn't happen with a useless pill refined with corrupted ingredients. Even Wayfarer’s Lifeline Pill was merely poison.

    Judging from the tribulation that strove to wipe something off the face of the world, however, Lu Yun’s common-looking pill actually worked!