Chapter 029 – Variation
Translated by Gumihou
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Once Wu Xuan and his companion were out of sight, the maid sidled over, “Miss, although the Muscle & Bone Strengthening Elixir was an excellent product, surely there is no need to especially invite that person into Ten Thousand Medicine Hall, right?”
She had been suspicious and wary from the beginning, though the new Muscle & Bone Strengthening Elixir was good, it was still considered one of the lower level elixirs.
Zhao Qian looked at the maid, “My interest doesn’t lie on the effects of the Muscle & Bone Strengthening Elixir. What I’m really interested in is how this person could alter the Muscle & Bone Strengthening Elixir until it surpasses the original product. This Elixir had been around for a long time, and had been perfected to point that it could not be perfected any more. For someone to be able to improve upon perfection, and with such excellent effect; if we could offer them better research facilities and better herbs to research on, it would be a boon to us!”
The Ten Thousand Medicine Hall did not lack regular alchemist, they even have a few really high level ones. On the other hand, alchemists who could innovate existing elixirs were pitifully few. For those who dabbled in elixir modification their research product ended up giving scary results. These weird geniuses might have had their brains kicked in by donkeys at some point in life since they often too crazy to be around normal people.
“C- could it possibly a fluke?”
Zhao Qian rolled her eyes and said a little crossly, “Well then, why don’t you just fluke it for me to see?”
The pretty maid was at loss for words.
There were actually several ways one could make elixirs and magical pills. The most common way to alter an elixir was to add other herbs to stabilize the potion. Alchemists from time immemorial will experiment with their elixir recipes, but it was not an easy task. Most existing recipes were tried and true formulas that had been refined and perfected by masters for years, so it was almost impossible to add or subtract any set magic herbs within the recipe. Unless it’s the addition of some kind of stabilization herb, any other kind of modification would almost certainly ruin the elixir.
If elixirs could simply be alter at will, the Ten Thousand Medicine Hall would be even more famous. Though their existing alchemists encountered many failures, they still continued with their efforts to locate talented alchemist who could alter the very essence of magical elixirs. This was also why the invitation to Wu Xuan to come as a guest alchemist for Ten Thousand Medicine Hall was extended.
“Though the voice was manly enough, their hands betrayed them. Looks like she’s really skilled at masking her voice, but I’m sure the person we spoke to is a woman. Those pretty hands of hers just can’t belong to a man. Her companion is almost certainly a woman too! Their age should also be fairly similar, even if the recipes wasn’t created by them, the possibility that it was created by their master is high.”
Zhao Qian continued to analyse bits and pieces of information with enthusiasm. If Wu Xuan heard her conjecture, he’d probably be tempted to stick his head into the storage bag. I, your father is a manly man, ah! You call me a girl just because my hands are pretty, if a woman has thick eyebrows would you call her a man?
The maid nodded and said, “Then, should we send a tail…”
“Never! If it was ever found out by them, if they were to take offence against it, they might never patronise the Ten Thousand Medicine Hall again. If we lose them to Thousand Pagoda Hall due to this act, it will be a huge loss to us!”
For a moment, a fierce wolfish gleam lit up Zhao Qian’s beautiful eyes, with a low harrumph, she left the room.
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“So this is the Muscle & Bone Strengthening Elixir made by actual alchemist.”
It was late afternoon when Wu Xuan and Yue Xin’er returned to their rooms. After putting his shopping to one side and leaving Yue Xin’er to happily play with her new necklace, Wu Xuan focussed his attention on the elixir that he had just bought.
When he popped open the cork, a powerful medicinal stink immediately assaulted his nose. It was absolutely not appetizing at all. In terms of scent alone, it was soundly defeated by his own product, and the texture was… well…
Wu Xuan held his breath and down the whole bottle in one go. The moment it hit his stomach, spiritual energy spread out to all four limbs. Only, the energy soon dissipated and whatever effects it might have had ended quickly. It was completely different from his own elixir which gave out a continuous stream of spiritual energy.
After a while, Wu Xuan slowly opened his eyes. No wonder Zhao Qian was so impressed with his recipe. The gap between the two elixir was certainly quite amazing, moreover, the texture was way better. Though cultivators tend not to have much appetite, but if given the option, most would certainly go for the better tasting elixir. After all, cultivators were not masochists, right?
Wu Xuan looked down at the storage bag he had just bought. He thought of the 10 sets of Muscle & Bone Strengthening Elixir herbs, this would be more than enough to help him gain more spiritual energy.
When the time comes, he would not have to depend on the standard methods to breakthrough. He could use his own understanding, his elixir making (cooking) techniques and his secret abilities in order to increase his strengths.
It was almost dark now, Wu Xuan once more made up a whole bucket of Muscle & Bone Strengthening Elixir. After drinking it down, he focussed on refining the spiritual energies in his body and absorbing them into his core. Once he had absorbed as much energy as he could from the elixir, Wu Xuan went to the yard to practice his martial skills. He would have to go to the training grounds later in order to properly cultivate the energies surging in his vein.
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The next morning, Wu Xuan felt much better in his own skin. After breakfast, and getting Yue Xin’er to promise to stay home, he left for the training grounds.
There were just as many people at the training grounds, his presence attracted even more attention this time. Quite a few people remembered him from his unusual cultivation speed the last time he was here and most of them must have heard of the fight with Wu Zixin.
This was not a bad thing, hopefully stories of his remarkable improvement would reach the elders and attract their attraction.
He had been quietly focussing on his own cultivation when something caused the other disciples to mutter among themselves.
“Look, look, it’s Wu Zixin. Just look at his arm, it’s wrapped up like a dumpling… That Wu Xuan is certainly merciless, ah!”
“En, and who’s that person next to Wu Zixin?”
“Don’t you know? That’s Wu Zixin’s cousin, Wu Qiang, he’s a Level 8 cultivator, ah! Look at them, they’re all raring for a fight, I bet you anything they’re here to pick a fight with Wu Xuan. We’ll have a good show soon!”
Wu Xuan stopped his cultivation, and turned to look in the direction of the commotion, and there was Wu Zixin, with his armed wrapped up in white gauze like a dumpling, he looked kind of like a mummy. Well his arm at least. Wu Zixin gave Wu Xuan a vengeful glare, as though he was here to kill Wu Xuan for the murder of his father.
The powerful looking man next to Wu Zixin looked like an ethnic Chinese with his dark skin and thick eyebrows. That guy had to be the Wu Qiang everyone was talking about. Aside from those two, there were those two dog friends, Wu Liang and Wu Xian.
“This can’t be good…”
The moment Wu Xuan saw these group of people, he realized that Wu Zixin had no intention of letting past matters go. The lesson from last time have not sink into Wu Zixin’s head, it had only made the man more resentful.
Well, he can’t really blame them. Bone injuries were not something that healed easily, not even with healing energies and elixirs. At the very least, Wu Zixin would have to live with the bandages for half a month. He probably needed help going to the toilet and things. Having to live with such shame, no wonder Wu Zixin hated Wu Xuan!
“What’s your deal injuring my cousin?” Wu Qiang looked Wu Xuan over with disdainful eyes. “I heard that you’ve only started cultivating last month and managed to refine your cultivation up to Level 5 in that time. That’s just too fast, ah! I wonder, if we could swap pointers, my hands have been itching ever since I heard that someone had beaten up my cousin. How about it? After our little discussion, I can pretend nothing happened after that.”
The audience roared at these words, a Level 8 wanting to compete with a Level 5 cultivator, this was clearly bullying, ah! Though the man said that he’ll let things go after a ‘discussion’, anything could happen during a fight, ah. Even if Wu Xuan did not die, he might be crippled for life, ah!
Wu Xuan calmly eyed him for a moment, before saying, “No need, I’m not interested.”
“En… what!” Wu Qiang was furious by Wu Xuan’s rejection. Eyes blazing with fire, he snarled, “I offer to swap pointers out of respect, you dare to reject me outright! Well then, how do you plan to compensate my cousin’s injuries?”
At this man’s ability to flip black and white, Wu Xuan smiled, “I can only say that your cousin have only himself to blame! Just ask yourself what shameless thing your cousin did!”
The details of Wu Xuan and Wu Zixin’s fight was unclear to outsiders, however, as the cousin, Wu Qiang should know what really happened.
Wu Qiang’s face paled, and he said, “What I know is that you are in the wrong. Either you kneel and beg for forgiveness, or we fight!” Clearly, this blockhead was just as stubborn and unreasonable as Wu Zixin, just listen to these unreasonable words. He had clearly skipped over relevant matters and dropped all pretence of being reasonable.
It’s clear to anyone with eyes and ears that he was just here to beat up Wu Xuan.
[Gumihou: I really like this kind of protagonist, though I do hope he didn’t turn too OP too soon]
 Your father – basically the infamous ‘laoze’, a rather crude and masculine way men refer to themselves.