When the little boy opened the box, everyone was stunned. That was because the contents were packed full of tiny pills. There were at least 100 pills, each of them the size of a pinky nail. Han Yunxi almost thought she was looking at a box of chocolates instead. But it wasn’t just the number than stunned them, but their scent. A strong medicinal odor rose into the air and filled the caves as soon as the lid came off.
Outsiders to the field like Long Feiye could only recognize this as medicine, but insiders like Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue could tell that it was an extremely complex scent formed from multiple different medicines mixing together. To distinguish one pill form another, smell was an important skill, along with the pill’s color and taste. The little novice had required they stand five paces away, thus forbidding them from interacting directly with the medicine. All they could do was rely on sight and smell to figure it out. It was dim in the cave to begin with, while all of the pills in the box were of the same size and color. A tiny thing like that would be hard to distinguish even up close, to say nothing of five or even three paces away.
In short, this checkpoint was telling them to rely on their sense of smell to distinguish every single pill. But with all the scents mixed together, the fragrance was overpowering. Han Yunxi sighed silently in her heart. If the first trial is this difficult, what about the next two up ahead?
“You still have time to give up. If you do, go back the way you came. Once the trial formally begins, you’ll have no more chances to retreat,” the little novice reminded them.
Han Yunxi didn’t budge, but stared at the box of pills. Long Feiye didn’t know how hard this trial might be for her because he didn’t understand medicine. The most he did was glance at her and remain silent. Gu Beiyue had a complicated look in his eyes. Medical skills and medicine were interlinked, so he was clear on how difficult this test would be. Even if Han Yunxi could distinguish each of the 100 different pills without a single mistake, it was doubtful that they’d succeed.
Because they didn’t have enough time!
The Medicine Requesting Cave contained a total of three trials, each harder than the last. They only had two hours to get through it all. Even the most formidable pharmacist needed at least that much time to successfully pinpoint 100 different pills. If they wasted all their time here, they’d still lose even after passing the checkpoint. Realizing this, the intelligent Gu Beiyue realized that this cave was nothing more than a trap to forcibly keep Han Yunxi at the cottage!
“Esteemed wangfei, let’s turn back. This is a…” Before Gu Beiyue could say ‘trap,’ Han Yunxi suddenly spoke up to the novice.
“We’re not turning back. Let’s start!”
His Excellency Pill King was the happiest man to hear those words. He even began to laugh secretly up his sleeve. He just knew Han Yunxi’s personality wouldn’t allow her to give up here! He liked that kind of temper! Now all he had to do was wait and see how many pills she could figure out. Back then, he’d been able to pinpoint 57 different varieties. Although he failed the first trial, he still broke the records of the Medicine Request Cave. That was pride enough to last him a lifetime! With Han Yunxi’s skills, at best she should be able to distinguish 30 or more types. Although she wasn’t as formidable as him, it was already good enough for someone of her age.
Meanwhile, the little novice had taken out a single pill for Han Yunxi to see in his palm. Gu Beiyue kept shaking his head, and even Long Feiye felt perturbed despite his constant support of his wife. If they were supposed to identify these pills one by one, just how long would the whole box take?
“Once you know what this is, tell me. Look at it clearly first, you can’t take back what you’ve said,” the novice said seriously.
“Alright,” Han Yunxi nodded as she stared at the pill. The cave fell silent as the minutes trickled away. But after all that time had passed, Han Yunxi still didn’t say a word. Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue both wore somber expressions as they secretly worried in their hearts. Hiding on the side, Pill King was more patient that either of them. But after the length of time it took to brew a cup of tea (or approximately 10 minutes) had passed, Han Yunxi still hadn’t identified the first pill.
Both Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue started to panic. At this rate, they were already going to lose. Pill King was disappointed as well. He stroked his beard and muttered to himself, “It looks like this old man overestimated that lass.”
He figured that 10 minutes would be enough for Han Yunxi to speak, but she actually took another 10 minutes to stay silent. Her intent expression seemed to be considering something as she stared. Even the little novice was getting sick of this. After all, only exceptional talents were even allowed access to the Medicine Requesting Cave in the first place. So much time had passed, but this woman hadn’t even identified the first pill yet!
“If you can’t figure this one out, you can choose another pill. Why are you still trying to request medicine when you’re this stupid, heheh!” the novice gave an impatient yawn.
“No need, it’ll be useless to change it for anything else.” So said Han Yunxi, but her words to cryptic to her listeners.
The little novice stopped mid-yawn and stared at her. “Useless? What, you can’t recognize any of them?”
Pill King only shook his head repeatedly. He couldn’t believe his eyes. Had his insight failed this time? Long Feiye remained silent, while Gu Beiyue leaned forward to inspect the pill himself. Since all three of them were here, any of them was qualified to identify the pill. Han Yunxi didn’t have to take on the burden by herself. He wasn’t confident about recognizing all the pills either, but at least they’d get somewhere instead of losing so terribly.
“Esteemed wangfei, I’ll do it!” he declared.
Han Yunxi only waved a hand and said mildly, “No need, I’ve already identified all of them.”
Silence fell upon the cave. Unnoticed by anyone, a handsome smile crept onto Long Feiye’s features. The little novice steadied himself before exclaiming in disbelief, “Han Yunxi, you...what did you say? Repeat yourself!”
“I said, I’ve already identified the 100 plus pills in this box. I’ll say their names now one by one, you better listen up!” Han Yunxi announced.
The novice burst into laughter. “That’s absurd! Don’t you even have a script for your lies? You even have the nerve to make up things here! Sun Zhong, get out! You dare let someone like this into the Medicine Requesting Cave? Are you blind? Hurry and kick her out!”
His Excellency Pill King quickly revealed himself from his hiding place. He never thought things would develop like this. Both him and the novice didn’t believe Han Yunxi’s words. He said, “Han Yunxi, you can’t even identify a single pill?”
Han Yunxi only rolled her eyes and ignored him. She was watching the pill so intently just then to make sure she wouldn’t make any mistakes. The detox system had already scanned and listed the names of the pills in her head three times. Poison and medicine were of the same family. Although the detox system was better at differentiating poisons, it could still do preliminary identification of medicinal ingredients. Forget about 100, even 1,000 types were a piece of cake.
“Han Yunxi, say something!” Pill King was very agitated. He had finally found a disciple worthy of inheriting his knowledge, so he didn’t want to lose her.
Han Yunxi only glanced at him before declaring coldly, “Listen well! Violet Gan, Wind Oak, Four Woods, Birch Leaf, Panacea Pill….” Like this, she rattled off 107 names in one breath, leaving both the novice and Pill King speechless. Although they were familiar with all 107 pills, they’d never hear anyone rattle them off so quickly.
By the time she was done, both Pill King and the novice were completely at a loss. She casually cleared her throat and asked, “A total of 107 pills. Is that right?”
Pill King stared at her speechlessly, while the impatient novice was left stuttering in her wake. “You...y-you, say them one more time!”
“You didn’t hear me clearly?” Han Yunxi asked.
The little novice had heard clearly in the beginning, but lost track of her speed by the end and missed a bunch of names. Whatever the case, his mind was all a mess now. “I...I didn’t have time to catch them all.”
“Then which ones did you miss?” Han Yunxi asked.
“I...let me think,” the novice said seriously.
Han Yunxi instantly burst into laughter. “You’re still stupid, but you still have the nerve to guard the Medicine Requesting Cave. You should kick yourself out instead!”
The little novice still hadn’t figured out where he was stupid before Gu Beiyue broke into laughter as well. He hadn’t been happy since Chu Yunyi kidnapped him. Meanwhile, Long Feiye’s smile was radiant.
Since the novice hadn’t heard clearly, how could he know which names he missed? Han Yunxi had obviously set the novice up for a trap. Who said she was a kind and compassionate woman? See here, she even got people back for calling her dumb. Pill King hadn’t heard a few of the names either, but he didn’t dare ask in case Han Yunxi tricked him too and shredded his dignity.
The little novice was both humiliated and furious. “Repeat it one more time, slower this time!”
“My time is limited. I’ve already said all the names, so it’s your fault for not listening properly. If you stay stupid until the 2-hour time limit is up, then I wouldn’t need to try the other two trials at all,” Han Yunxi said coldly.
Speechless, the novice had no choice but to give way. “Then this won’t count as part of the time limit. Speak your piece slowly.”
He refused to believe that this woman could get 100 percent accuracy. Just then she’d spoken so quickly that she must have jumbled up some of the words on purpose. Pill King thought the same thing, so he stood silently to wait on one side. Han Yunxi examined them both before slowly repeating the pill names word for word. This time, both of them heard each and every one clearly. By the time she reached the end, the two of them were completely floored.
It’s actually...all correct!
Moreover, she’d only used about 20 minutes to determine the entire list! She didn’t even look at the pills one by one! How did she do it? Just by the smell alone? Every person who came to the cave without exception had either left with a curse, or was doomed to stay here forever as a disciple to plant, make, and study medicine.
Han Yunxi was the first person to pass the first trial!
Neither the novice nor His Excellency Pill King could believe their eyes.
“You’ve heard it all clearly, right? Are they all accurate?” Han Yunxi asked.
Finally, the novice recovered his senses, nodding his head with a reverent tone. “Yes! They’re all correct! Congratulations, you’ve successfully passed the first trial!”
Pill King’s gaze grew scorching hot as he looked at Han Yunxi, stunned beyond belief. He was thrilled! He knew that his insight couldn’t have failed him. This was one girl he’d never let go.
So what if she’s passed the first trial? The second trial doesn’t just test medical knowledge. I’m willing to bet my head that they won’t pass that one at all!