The plan was to be put into action immediately. Jiang Chen had one stubborn insistence: that the pill refiner must be Qiao Baishi himself.
Because, up until now, Jiang Chen hadn’t understood much about the Hall of Healing. He only trusted Qiao Baishi. Relatively speaking, Qiao Baishi was a smart man, and one with morals and loyalty.
Therefore, when it came to the core of the refining operations, Jiang Chen was only willing to let Qiao Baishi participate, and none of the other pill refiners in the Hall of Healing.
Qiao Baishi earnestly wished for such a development.
Even if Jiang Chen didn’t say anything, Qiao Baishi wouldn’t hand over such a good opportunity to someone else. Even if Jiang Chen wouldn’t let him get a handle on all the crucial content.
However, if he, Qiao Baishi, was involved, then it meant that he controlled the right to speak within the Hall.
This was undoubtedly a huge help for Qiao Baishi controlling the greater picture in the days to come.
As long as he and Jiang Chen had this layer of cooperation, how would anyone else within the Hall be able to upset his status as the successor?
In this case, it would be perfectly justifiable for the Lord Hallmaster to cultivate him in the future and pass on the position to him.
After all, opposing Qiao Baishi would be equivalent to cutting off the core competency of the Hall of Healing.
Qiao Baishi was extremely grateful. He felt that he had made an extraordinarily wise decision that day. If it wasn’t for the fact that he sold that Dragonbone Sun Grass to Jiang Chen against all odds, then the current situation in the capital would likely look completely different.
And he, Qiao Baishi, would still be toiling away within the Hall with his tail tucked between his legs.
And now, if he could successfully execute all of these things, and do away with their competitor the pill King Garden in one stroke, then his strength, charisma, and leadership ability, would spontaneously skyrocket.
This way, his position within the Hall of Healing would be stable without a doubt and he would receive countless endorsements.
After all, everyone wanted to see a Lord Hallmaster that could bring revenues and honor to the Hall of healing.
Firmly suppressing the pill King Garden would be an astonishing achievement that the Lord Hallmaster Song Tianxing had striven for, but never accomplished!
Three days later, the Heavenly Karma Pill was successfully produced. The fire had spat out eight complete pills. Three of them were upper rank, four middle, and one lower rank.
When Qiao Baishi felt the concentrated medicinal powers of the “Heavenly Karma Pill”, his eyes teared up at the sight of that flawless exterior that looked like it had been formed by nature itself, and the smell that was enough to make blood boil and surge by itself.
He finally believed that the Heavenly Karma Pill was true after all.
He had shouldered too much pressure in recent days. As the days went by and the Heavenly Karma Pill continued to fail to make an appearance, some skepticism and voices of doubt also sounded from within the Hall of Healing. They suspected that they had been played by Jiang Chen this time.
And now that the Heavenly Karma Pill that had captivated hearts was finally in front of Qiao Baishi, how could he not wash his face with tears?
A pill refiner felt the most accomplishment and thus was most moved at the moment when the fires died down to reveal the fully formed pill.
Qiao Baishi was no exception, the significance attached to this Heavenly Karma Pill was too much and too heavy!
It was as if Qiao Baishi had relieved himself of all the crushing burdens on his shoulders in that moment.
The qi replenishing pill was also produced after another two days. When Qiao Baishi inquired after the name of this pill, Jiang Chen concealed its original name and called it the “Vast Ocean Pill”.
In the last two days, Jiang Chen made some changes to the recipe for the mind calming medicine and named it “One Buddha Powder”.
This One Buddha Powder didn’t need to be refined. It only needed some crushed spirit ingredients, and to undergo a couple more steps, before becoming medicine.
The lack of a refining step meant the absence of material loss and the ability to bypass the costly step of refining.
This would naturally decrease costs to one tenth of regular pill medicine.
After all, eight or nine out of ten pills were lost in the refining process. Out of ingredients enough for a hundred pills, only ten or twenty pills would be able to be successfully refined in the end.
A highly skilled refiner could possibly refine twenty or thirty pills, but it wasn’t a guarantee that that would always be the case.
Qiao Baishi had barely slept over the past six days, but he was still full of very strong vigor. He had the vitality of dragons and ferocity of tigers. It made one suspect that he wouldn’t say that he was tired, even if he engaged in fierce battles for another two months.
Indeed, Qiao Baishi’s professional passion had utterly immersed himself into this business.
The shock that Jiang Chen brought him over the past six days had simply been too great. Although he had been the one in charge of actually refining the pill, Jiang Chen had been the one in control of the core operations and recipe.
Qiao Baishi had no complaints about this setup, this was also what was written into the contract. It would be unrealistic to ask Jiang Chen to fully tell him all the details regarding the core operations and details of the pill.
A dreamlike, fruitful six days passed.
Gazing upon the pill bottles piled in front of him, Qiao Baishi still had a feeling of being in a dream. The feeling of accomplishment and contentment that he’d received over the past six days from being in the profession of a pill refiner was something that he had yet to experience in his life until now.
And this was all thanks to the youth in front of him.
In that moment, a feeling of beholding a high mountain grew within Qiao Baishi as he looked at Jiang Chen.
“Third Hallmaster, I have done all that I should. The rest is up to the operations of the Hall of Healing. I will be very disappointed if we are unable to thoroughly defeat the Pill King Garden.”
Qiao Baishi patted his chest. “Young duke Jiang, I never shoot my mouth off. However, just watch our operations this time. With the aid of such divine pill and the basis of my Hall’s networks and distribution channels, if we are unable to thoroughly defeat the pill King Garden, then we are truly unworthy of our reputation.”
Jiang Chen was satisfied with Qiao Baishi’s declaration and smiled faintly. “That is to say, the Hall won’t be missing the pill medicine exhibit that will take place in the marketplace three days from now?”
“Haha, it’s a given that we won’t miss it. The Pill King Garden is acting with such high profile, if our Hall of Healing doesn’t have any response, wouldn’t it be a bit of a let down of our reputation as the number one spirit medicine heavyweight in the kingdom?” Qiao Baishi was in exceedingly good spirits.
“Remember to notify me to go watch the show then. I wouldn’t want to miss such an interesting display.”
“Young duke Jiang is naturally the first esteemed guest we will invite.” Qiao Baishi smiled.
“Oh right, remember to send an invitation to Princess Gouyu when the time comes. There’s a portion of the One Buddha Powder reserved for Princess Gouyu.” Jiang Chen happened to say.
“Oh? Princess Gouyu also has a portion?” Qiao Baishi blanked momentarily and immediately smiled. “Then we must prepare a gift of gratitude for Princess Gouyu.”
Jiang Chen laughed heartily and thought, ‘that woman Gouyu probably doesn’t want for money…’ But given that the Hall of Healing was giving a gift, they probably would be too embarrassed to give anything below one or two million silver.
After spending a full six days in the Hall of Healing, when he returned to the manor, his father Jiang Feng still remained behind closed doors. Jiang Chen knew that his father’s sealed door training this time could last anywhere between one month to three or four months.
With his father’s martial dao-holic tendencies, he probably wouldn’t come out before he’d broken through ten meridians true qi.
Perhaps, the day that his father opened his doors, would be when the first true qi master appeared in the Jiang Han manor!
Since Jiang Chen had already given his orders before he went to the Hall of Healing, everything was still relatively calm. Panic hadn’t ensued just because Jiang Chen had not appeared for a period of time.
“Jiang Fu, what has happened outside during this time?”
Jiang Fu stood reverently and respectfully in front of Jiang Chen. As he faced the young duke, Jiang Fu had withdrawn the neglectful and contemptuous intentions he’d held in the past.
You had to give it to him, Jiang Chen’s performance during this crucial time had won over the servants in the duke’s household.
“Young duke, all has been more or less calm the past couple of days. Rumors have been flying in the outside world about the duke being poisoned, but no big moves have been made. There is a saying that is most popular in the outside world right now, saying that the duke has… has already fallen victim, but that we haven’t announced it due to some pressures…”
Jiang Fu spoke in halting bursts when he spoke of this. After all, the servants weren’t too sure if the duke of Jiang Han was indeed still alive.
“There’s no need to pay any attention to these rumors.” Jiang Chen was naturally most aware of his father’s current situation.
“Has anyone come to find me over the past couple days?” Jiang Chen asked another question.
“Yes, the duke of Jinshan and the duke of Hubing have been by, and their two young dukes.”
The Jinshan dukedom was fatty Xuan’s home, and the Hubing dukedom was Hubing Yue’s home. Friendship with these dukedoms had gone back for several generations, and it was very normal for them to visit upon hearing that something had happened to Jiang Feng.
“Has anyone else been by?”
“Yes, Princess Gouyu has also come.” Jiang Fu’s tone turned a bit odd when he spoke of this. “And, Princess Gouyu has been by, everyday and has left a message.”
“What message? What are you speaking so haltingly for? Speak candidly.”
Jiang Fu said with an awkward smile, “Princess Gouyu says whenever the young duke comes back is when he needs to get the hell into the palace to see her. She seemed to have said that Princess Zhiruo misses you.”
Jiang Chen laughed involuntarily. “This lass, if you miss me then say you miss me, why use the girl Zhiruo as an excuse? Looks like you’re not a thin skinned lass.”
Jiang Fu was tongue tied and dumbfounded. He had been gobsmacked by Jiang Chen. The two royal princesses had become “a lass” and “a girl” in the young duke’s mouth.
The young duke of his household was truly unwilling to let things be until he had spoken words that astonished all.
“Alright, then I need to go play in the palace. Uncle Ying, I’m afraid you’ll have to accompany me.” Given how things stood in the capital, Jiang Chen didn’t dare be careless.
“Yes.” As the leader of the Jiang family guard, protecting his master was Jiang Ying’s duty. He had berated himself continuously for not adequately protecting the duke previously, and hadn’t found a chance to redeem himself. Now that he took orders from the young duke, he had to naturally be hell-bent on carrying them out. Even if he were to sacrifice his life, he would have to ensure the young duke’s safety.
Princess Gouyu had indeed gone to the Jiang Han manor everyday the past couple of days. Her feelings had been quite complicated. She didn’t know if Jiang Chen was purposefully avoiding her or just didn’t want to see her at all. Or is it that Jiang Chen held a grudge against the royal family because of what had happened to Jiang Feng?
Princess Gouyu had always been a loner and pursued martial dao training, she very rarely paid attention to the feelings of others.
But somehow, that lazy youth – that venom tongued youth – had left a deep imprint on her consciousness, like a brand.
Even if she purposefully avoided thoughts of him, his lazy composure and an expression that seemed to smile, but not really at the same time, would float to the forefront of her mind when it was late at night and no one was around.
When someone came to report that the young duke Jiang had come to visit, Princess Gouyu abruptly surged to her feet, but then seemed to immediately feel that her reaction had been a bit exaggerated.
She took a moment to collect herself, and then walked out.
Jiang Chen was standing next to the fake mountains outside of Gouyu’s chambers, watching the waters trickle down on the artificial mountain. He’d actually lost himself in contemplation during that moment.
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