Chapter 531: Competing at the Grand Medicine Testing ConventionOriginal and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Long Feiye knew that Jun Yixie would have to own up to the evidence no matter whether Han Yunxi stepped out or not. Moreover, Mu Linger was sure to become the scapegoat. He only felt that someone had been watching his and Han Yunxi’s movements throughout this entire affair, using them while putting obstacles in their way. Ouyang Ningnuo was the prime suspect, especially since he had spent an entire night talking with Head Elder Xie only a few days ago.
Yet, Ouyang Ningnuo was on bad terms with Jun Yixie now, after the Fishery Island incident, so just where did he find Poison Roundworm? Of all the poisons he could have picked from the Hundred Poisons Sect, why did he have to choose one similar to Han Yunxi’s Roundworm Birthing Poison? It was obvious the other party had a way to observe Gu Qishao’s movements in the jail cell as well as watching Long Feiye and Han Yunxi. Could it be that they had underestimated the weak-looking merchant?
What was the purpose of both sides using roundworm poison? Was he trying to provoke them?
Whether or not Ouyang Ningnuo was the true mastermind behind the scenes, they had really met their match this time and took a tumble. Despite all of this, Long Feiye remained calm even in the face of his ruined plans. The competition in Medicine City had just begun. No one knew who would be the winner until they had reached the end of this road!
Long Feiye gave Han Yunxi a comforting glance and signaled her to stay put. There was no need for her to show her face up on stage. Han Yunxi’s thoughts matched Long Feiye’s. For now, Mu Linger would have to suffer a bit longer. Though her mind was filled with displeasure at the idea, she refused to let others turn her into a joke. She sat with perfect composure as she lazily replied, “Head Elder Xie, this wangfei knows even less than you about the Hundred Poisons Sect poisons. You even knew that what the victim had been afflicted with was Poison Roundworm, but this wangfei still had no idea.”
Her ridicule made many of the people present chuckle, with Ouyang Ningnuo wearing the most brilliant grin of them all. Head Elder Xie deflated and gave up on Han Yunxi. He had a backup planned long ago, and so called up a poisons doctor from Medicine City. The doctor then gave a definite diagnosis. “Head Elder Xie, this is exactly Poison Roundworm of the Hundred Poisons Sect.”
“Jun Yixie, Mu Yingdong, just what have you to say for yourselves?!” Head Elder Xie demanded in front of the crowd.
Jun Yixie’s fists clenched until his knuckles cracked. He knew that he would face a whole slew of problems again after returning to Northern Li, but the most important thing facing now was that corpse and its poison. No matter who had used the poison, it must have come from his Hundred Poisons Sect. Just who had the skills to dig so deep into my sect?!
If master finds out about this, I’ll be in even bigger trouble!
“Jun Yixie!” Head Elder Xie suddenly shouted, rage dripping from his voice, ripping him from his thoughts. “What do you mean by colluding with Mu Yingdong against my Medicine City?”
Jun Yixie might have lost this match, yet he had none of the attitude of a loser. His arrogance was as it was before as he demanded, “So what if this lord long had an alliance with Mu Yingdong? This lord doesn’t care about your piddling Medicine City or its internal strife. I’ll ask one last time: marriage for Mu Linger in exchange for Northern Li’s snow mountain, does Medicine City agree to the deal or not?”
Of course we agree, ah! These were the sentiments of countless Medicine City disciples in the crowd, but who would dare voice those thoughts out loud now? Head Elder Xie himself couldn’t help but drool at the prospect, but for the sake of knocking down Mu Yingdong, he had long moved past the pain of the loss of the snow mountain.
“My Medicine City will never do deals with the likes of the Hundred Poisons Sect. From this day on, if you dare to take another step within the city walls, Medicine City won’t be polite!” Head Elder Xie cursed him.
Here was a Prohibition from Entering order!
In order to pass such an order, the entire Council of Elders had to reach a consensus. But Head Elder Xie had gone right on ahead without consulting anyone. Still, none of the other elders present dared to object. With the situation like this, even Lady Lianxin was quiet, to say nothing of everyone else.
“Xie Deyi, you--!” Jun Yixie raged.
“Scram!” Head Elder Xie refused to budge.
Jun Yixie forgot all about preserving his face. He gave a cold harumph before kicking aside one of the wedding presents and stalking off with his sleeves billowing in the wind. The last words he tossed back were, “Medicine City had better not have a day when it begs this lord for help!”
In less than three years, Jun Yixie had been barred entry in both Medical and Medicine City, becoming the first person in history to shoulder both dubious honors. It was highly likely Northern Li’s emperor wouldn’t forgive him a second time upon his return. Still, Jun Yixie didn’t go to Northern Li, but made a detour to the Hundred Poisons Sect instead. But these are words for a different time.
Once Jun Yixie was finally gone, Mu Yingdong’s trial began.
“Mu Yingdong, you actually collaborated with Jun Yixie to try to exonerate Mu Linger for her crimes! You sought private gains and advantages and nearly lost Medicine City its reputation and future prospects. If it had not been for this time’s convention, Medicine City would never have seen your ambitious, wicked scheme and had fallen into the Hundred Poisons Sect’s hands instead. Then, the consequences would have been unthinkable!” Head Elder Xie censured him angrily.
Mu Yingdong couldn’t say anything in his defense. Even Jun Yixie had acknowledged their friendly relations. He had been wise and brilliant all throughout his life, bringing the Mu Clan to unprecedented heights in his own lifetime. All they were missing was the last step today to cement their spot as Medicine City’s de facto master. Unfortunately, he had been far too anxious and careless. Now he had lost utterly!
One may very well say that both success and defeat rode on Mu Linger. He had long wished he could tear that damned girl into thousands of pieces. He still could not understand where she had gone wrong to stand on Long Feiye’s side during the empress dowager’s birthday banquet! If it weren’t for that, he would’ve married her off to Northern Li’s crown prince long ago to gain more advantages with Jun Yixie, instead. Still, despite all of his anger, all he could do now was to look helplessly at Lady Lianxin for help.
Lady Lianxin originally planned to get down from her high horse and use her title as a Medical City Elder to ask forgiveness for the Mu Clan’s sake. However, Head Elder Xie’s repeated mentions of the Hundred Poisons Sect made it extremely difficult for her to speak on his behalf. Although she had a platform to speak in Medical City, anything involving the Hundred Poisons Sect was taboo to the medical academy’s head elder. She wouldn’t disturb those restrictions lightly. Faced with Mu Yingdong’s disappointed look, Lady Lianxin was simply a younger sister who wanted to help yet found herself helpless. She ended up avoiding his gaze.
Seeing this, Mu Yingdong’s heart thoroughly died! He lowered his head in silence. He would never beg the Council of Elders for mercy, because that was akin to begging your enemy to spare your life. Rather than respect or sympathize with his views, they would only treat him as a joke. This logic he understood very well.
Never show mercy to your enemies; otherwise, there will come a day when you become the loser. This logic, Head Elder Xie understood as well.
“Someone come, take Mu Yingdong away to await his sentence! Eliminate all of the Mu Clan’s right to compete in the convention. Before the Council of Elders formally bring him to trial, not a single member of the Mu Clan is allowed to leave Medicine City a single step!” Head Elder Xie proclaimed loudly.
All of the Mu Clan members present in the crowd had their heads bowed. None of the other families moved to plea for their sake. Wang Gong glanced at Long Feiye and Han Yunxi only to see that they remained unmoved; he too, kept silent. A perfectly good Grand Medicine Testing Convention, formerly used to display true skills amongst the different clans, had turned into a stage of schemes and intrigues between plays for power. The people offstage couldn’t help but gasp or sob. In the midst of their reactions, Mu Yingdong was led away.
While the crowd was still mired in their thoughts, great changes had already taken place in Medicine City behind the scenes. With the Mu Clan down, the Wang and Xie Clans were now the only opponents left who could match each other in strength. Without a doubt, the battle to control Medicine City would only intensify from now on.
At that moment, Head Elder Xie proclaimed, “Someone come, set up the stage again. We’ll continue on with the Grand Medicine Testing Convention!”
After all that happened, Head Elder Xie still wants to go on with the competition instead of resting? Han Yunxi had assumed that they would postpone things until tomorrow at least, but it looked like the Xie Clan was prepared to win everything with one blow and show off to their utmost.
Most of the Mu Clan had scattered by now, but Lady Lianxin remained sitting in her place as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened, drinking a few sips of tea as she prepared to watch the proceedings. Noting this, Han Yunxi privately admired her tolerance. She also wanted to find the woman and ask her some questions before she left. As the crowd sat down to prepare for the competition, Ouyang Ningnuo remained in his seat beside Long Feiye. He had no intentions to return to his old spot.
“Your Excellency Pill Fiend, do you think that the fourth young master of the Wang Clan will win first place?” he grinned while asking in a low voice.
Long Feiye remained mute.
“Your Excellency Pill Fiend, why didn’t Medicine City invite you to be a judge? You’re quite the authority in this field,” Ouyang Ningnuo asked next.
Long Feiye remained mute.
“Heheh, none of the clans in Medicine City can compare with the likes of a single Pill Fiend.” Ouyang Ningnuo had turned to face Long Feiye as he spoke, his tone sincere. “Your Excellency Pill Fiend might seriously consider cooperating with the Cloud Realm Trade Consortium. You can ask for any terms you like with this one and I’ll definitely fulfill them to your satisfaction.”
Long Feiye...still remained mute!
By now, the Wang Clan’s fourth young master Wang Shuchen had taken the stage anew. Ouyang Ningnuo finally directed his attention onstage instead of annoying Long Feiye. The Grand Medicine Testing Convention was very important to begin with, but now that the Mu Clan had fallen, its significance grew even more critical. The official battle between the Wang and Xie Clans would start from this competition!
Leaving aside the priceless rewards given to the champion, including rights to enter the Council of Elders’ lands and their medicine storehouses at any time, there was public morale to consider as well. The effects on public sentiment would be great, indeed. After the once-in-a-decade Grand Medicine Testing Convention concluded, it would be time for the Council of Elders’ elections for new Elders. Head Elder Xie hadn’t reached the age of retirement yet, so he would keep his position, but the Seventh Elder and a few others were due to leave their posts. Thanks to the Council’s penalty against the Mu Clan, the Mu Clan members would definitely be expelled from the board as well. That meant plenty of positions would open up for the taking. Here too, was another test of public sentiment from the people of Medicine City.
Would they pick the Wang Clan, or the Xie Clan? Medicine City was a world where medicine reigned supreme and people talked with their pharmacy skills. The younger generation was crucial to the conversation. Which family had geniuses, cultivated geniuses, or had more young, talented pharmacists were sure to be the future masters of the city. Why had the Mu Clan gained so much support in the past? Why did so many people curry favor with them? Why, it was all because of Mu Linger’s existence.
That logic still held true now.
Today, the champion of the Grand Medicine Testing Convention would be able to gain their clan, Wang or Xie, a head-start in the battle for favor. The atmosphere grew tense as the competition began, and the crowd watched on with concentration.
Wang Shuchen was the Wang Clan’s trump card and he didn’t disappoint. He stood for four whole hours after taking the stage, defeating all his challengers---among them famous youths from the Xie Clan as well. Yet, in the end, the Xie Clan sent up a little disciple called Xie Peng[1. Xie Peng (谢鹏) - Peng is a type of mythical bird in Chinese mythology.] who was no more than 10 years old. He was the youngest competitor today.
Everyone was shocked by his appearance. Many people had guessed that the Mu and Xie Clans might have hidden talents of their own to deal with Fourth Young Master Wang, but each family had limits on how many competitors they could enter into the contest. How could that child enter the stage unless he was some sort of prodigy?
Han Yunxi and Long Feiye had full faith in Wang Shuchen, but now they were paying even closer attention to the proceedings...
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