Chapter 514: Will he come? Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
The skies gradually grew dark. They would have to start lighting lamps any minute now, yet Gu Qi Sha still hadn’t shown up. Thanks to the work of a few lively instigators, the crowds in front of Pill Fiend Pharmacy were like a seething cauldron now. Various voices urged and accused, questioned and pressed like a wave, almost as if it was Pill Fiend Pharmacy who owed them something.
Finally, Han Yunxi herself walked out, only for the voices to grow louder.
“Esteemed wangfei, is Gu Qi Sha coming or not!?”
“Give us an answer, come on! Gu Qi Sha’s still half the owner of your Pill Fiend Pharmacy.”
“Heheh, esteemed wangfei, why don’t you just go ahead and acknowledge defeat in Gu Qi Sha’s place so we can all go home? We’ve been waiting for an entire day.”
These people were just dying to stir up trouble even though Han Yunxi had never once asked them to show up, much less collect ticket fees for the show. Why all the racket? Han Yunxi was feeling irritable to begin with, so she prepared to retort when Long Feiye suddenly appeared behind her. His icy expression as he stood at the rear of her silenced all the naysayers until they didn’t dare to say a word.
As expected, His Highness Duke of Qin carried a largely different aura from other men. But the crowd was quick to direct their attentions to Mu Linger instead.
“Stop overrating yourself girlie, Gu Qi Sha isn’t coming!”
“Haha, he’s never put you in his eyes at all. A simple ninth young Miss of the Mu Clan insists on attracting attention like some petty, jumping buffoon? If it were me, I would have left long ago instead of losing face here.”
“Lassie, say something already. You haven’t gone stupid from waiting so long, right? Heheh.”
“She had to have been stupid to begin with, or else why would she dare to challenge Gu Qi Sha in the first place? Isn’t that right, everyone~”
While everyone laughed, Mu Linger stood there, unmoving with hooded eyes, her skinny, petite form looking especially lonely when surrounded by the crowd. Still, her back was ramrod straight and filled with an unyielding stubbornness!
She would wait.
Everyone that was here had been waiting for the entire day, but she’d been waiting for years. Whether or not that it was stupid, it was something she chosen willingly. In the midst of all the hubbub, she stole a glance at Han Yunxi and gave her a wink as if telling her to ignore the crowd. The ones who didn’t know the truth were the stupidest ones of all! Han Yunxi couldn’t help breaking into a wry smile at the action. She didn’t know what to say about that girl anymore, but Mu Linger made her feel both helpless and distressed. At that moment, Han Yunxi was even regretting using that move in the first place. What will Mu Linger do if Gu Qishao never showed up?
Finally, the skies grew dark. The lamps were lit and Pill Fiend Pharmacy was blazing brilliantly with all the lights lit. Although there wasn’t a set time for the challenge, Gu Qi Sha still hadn’t shown up after night fell.
“Let’s go on back, what a disappointment! We’ve waited all day for nothing.”
“Heheh, Gu Qi Sha sure is a coward! He didn’t even show his face!”
“Go on, go on, Gu Qi Sha’s even afraid of a little girl. I daresay he doesn’t deserve his reputation.”
Gradually, the crowd broke up until over half of them had left. The remaining scattering of the onlookers made Han Yunxi feel the sadness after a joyful reunion—although she didn’t want to believe it, the truth showed that Gu Qi Sha hadn’t come in the end. A few middle-aged women approached Mu Linger and patted her on the back.
“Lass, go on back. You’ve been standing an entire day, it’ll tire you out.”
“Silly girl, it’s already dark. His Excellency Pill Fiend’s not coming, you should wake up.”
Mu Linger stood there, with her head hanging, not moving an inch or making a peep. The women had no choice but to leave her alone. Surrounded by the crowd, she had looked extremely solitary, but now that they were gone, she looked even lonelier than before. Her petite, skinny form still stood as perfectly straight, as if she was planning to wait until the end of time.
Han Yunxi felt grieved by the sight. She was about to walk over when a strange, horrific cackling filled the air. A black shadow suddenly descended from the skies like a massive bat.
The laughter seemed to have come from the very depths of Hell, eerie and extreme, at times gloomy, bitter, and ghastly. It was an unbridled, wanton cackle whose volume grew in intensity until it rang endlessly in everyone’s ears.
This sound… The crowd was startled; before long all of them turned around or walked back to their places. The next thing they saw was a large black figure looming over Mu Linger in front of Pill Fiend Pharmacy’s gates.
Gu Qi Sha was finally here!
Mu Linger finally raised her head, so thrilled that she almost cried out; fortunately, Han Yunxi gave her a look just in time to calm her down. Han Yunxi exhaled in relief then, while Long Feiye only smiled coldly at Gu Qi Sha, his expression unreadable. Heaven only knows what kind of schemes he’d arranged in his mind; in any case, he wouldn’t do anything now since Gu Qi Sha still needed to accept Mu Linger’s challenge.
It didn’t take long before the space in front of Pill Fiend Pharmacy filled up with throngs of people, milling around again. This time, everyone was absolutely silent, because Gu Qi Sha was arrogantly surveying Mu Linger.
“Lass, how are you planning to challenge this old man?” he asked disdainfully.
Mu Linger had prepared her thoughts ahead of time, so she quickly replied, “I want to compete with you in drug efficacy!”
Both the experts in the medical community and the people who’d just come to see a show exploded into raucous laughter at her words. Did this girl really think things all the way through? Although there’s a world of difference between the challenger and his target, the girl should really take things more seriously. Find an obscure branch of knowledge to compete in, it’ll be less tragic if you lose then!
Moreover, everyone knew that the differences between the two parties were just too great. Most of the people were only here to see His Excellency Pill Fiend or see Mu Linger’s personal skills. But competing in drug efficacy? That meant creating a drug in real-time and seeing which one was more effective after use. This was one of a pharmacist’s basic skills, but also the one most suited to showcase their abilities.
If one took a single pill as an example, then the same quantity of ingredients and manufacturing process could yield pills with similar properties. However, minute differences and adjustments in the amount of ingredients, water, temperature, intensity, and time could create significant differences in the final product. For example, some pills might take effect faster than others, or have differing grades of negative side effects. Such skills were bred through long-term training and experience, not learned. How could Mu Linger hope to compare to Gu Qi Sha?
What’s there to see now? There’s not suspense in this at all!
“Lass, you’re sure?” Gu Qi Sha teased.
“Absolutely!” Mu Linger was determined. “I get to choose the competition method, but Your Excellency Pill Fiend can pick the prescription in case you think it’s unfair!”
Gu Qi Sha burst into laughter. “‘Unfair,’ heheh!”
“That’s right. A competition should be fair. Your Excellency Pill Fiend, please pick the prescription,” Mu Linger was quite serious.
Seeing her so steadfast, the crowd began to talk amongst themselves.
“Could it be that girl has a trick up her sleeve?”
“She doesn’t look like a fool, maybe she really did come prepared.”
“She’s from the Mu Clan, after all. If she didn’t come prepared, that old Mu Yingdong would never allow her to lose face here.”
After waiting for so long, anticipation had built up in the crowd. Whether or not Mu Linger had any unique skills, they were still looking forward to the faceoff between the old and young geniuses. Gu Qi Sha glanced towards Han Yunxi and said, “Poison lass, come give us a prescription!”
Han Yunxi thought it over a bit before taking out a long prescription. “This will do, it’s Hundred Purging Pill.”
Everyone burst into laughter at the revelation. To put it simply, Hundred Purging Pill was a laxative! It had earned its name because it could expel all sorts of poisons from within the body and it was made up of a hundred different ingredients. And yet, despite being a laxative, it was made of up multiple high-grade ingredients that were rather difficult to combine together. In truth, Han Yunxi’s pick still favored Mu Linger. The more complicated the prescription, the easier it would be for Mu Linger to find chances to turn things in her favor. If the competitors only had two ingredients to work with, then it would be difficult for Mu Linger to make any significant changes with such limited means. But because no one could read these thoughts of hers, everyone thought her decision was very fair.
On the other hand, Gu Qi Sha was used to being maltreated by Han Yunxi, so he didn’t think much of her choice. All he wanted to do was to finish this competition quickly. Since he had come, he was determined to clear up accounts with Long Feiye. He had no time to waste kicking up a row with that stinkin’ lass Mu Linger.
“What are you lot laughing about? Who wants to volunteer as a tester?” Han Yunxi asked loudly.
In response, a bunch of people stepped forward. Both Mu Linger and Gu Qi Sha created goods that were in great demand. Who wouldn’t miss a chance to try one of their pills? Gu Qi Sha and Mu Linger were each to select a tester for their opponent. Differences in physique, constitution and health would affect the effects of the pill as well. Their competition had already started when they selected their opponent’s testers. Meanwhile, everyone else watched and waited patiently. Various experts in the field kept a close eye on the competition, not wanting to miss a single step.
Yet, much to their surprise, Gu Qi Sha only casually picked someone out of the group. Mu Linger was even more casual, she simply choose the person standing closer to her.
It was possible for Gu Qi Sha to see through a person’s constitution at one glance, but what about Mu Linger? Nobody knew for sure, but Xie Deyi,1 a member of Medicine City’s Council of Elders, was shocked. Mu Linger has only left Medicine City for a year, but her skills have improved so much? It’s unbelievable!
Most likely, the next gathering of pharmacists will be an exhilarating event. This girl might even give us a grand surprise with her skills then!
Very soon, Pill Fiend Pharmacy had prepared the necessary ingredients for the pill into two equal portions between the competitors, along with the tools required to make the medicine. Both Mu Linger and Gu Qi Sha were now standing in front of their respective tables. The crowd tensed in anticipation of the contest, but before the two could move, Han Yunxi suddenly shouted, “Hold it!”
Gu Qi Sha wasn’t impatient, but he was left at a loss at Han Yunxi’s interruption. Meanwhile, a crafty gleam flickered across Mu Linger’s eyes before she feigned haughtiness and cried, “Qin Wangfei may declare any terms she wishes!”
“Since it’s a competition, there will be winners and losers. What happens if you lose?” Han Yunxi asked loudly.
“What if I win instead?” Mu Linger retorted.
They two of them were simply putting up a fight for Gu Qi Sha to see. Gu Qi Sha already knew the original terms of the competition, so in his eyes Han Yunxi was simply making more overtures to bring Mu Linger into Pill Fiend Pharmacy. Because of that, he wasn’t surprised by Mu Linger’s show of attitude. The girl had always hated being ridiculed, so her reactions were to be expected. But the crowd felt differently. They were stunned by Mu Linger’s arrogant ways and only felt that she had to have hidden depths in store!
“If you win, you can have any terms you want! But if you lose, you can only pledge loyalty to my Pill Fiend Pharmacy in the future!” Han Yunxi stated seriously.
“Alright!” Mu Linger agreed dashingly.
- Xie Deiyi (谢德意) – De is ‘virtue, morals,’ Yi is ‘meaning, significance, wish.’ ↩