Chapter 197 “Alchemist of the Court”
For this matter the dowager could only seek the king out for further discussion. However, her efforts fell on deaf ears because the king had uncharacteristically gone against her will and defended the new consort.
His claim was that Lady Yao’s Dan pills were all inspected by the royal physicians and court alchemists in the palace. Not only that, it appears that aside from Lady Yao, none of the other alchemists could produce the same product as her, giving the woman an extra chip for defense.
Even more shocking was what came afterwards. During their talk, the king also proposed to promote Lady Yao into a “Court Alchemist”. As soon as this news went out, the entire inner palace started to boil over.
The position of a court alchemist was equivalent to a royal physician. From the Dan pills used by the various consorts, to the queen and dowager, everyone relies heavily on this source. Therefore, if Lady Yao becomes a court alchemist, this would be tantamount to handing over the safety of the entire inner palace to the woman for she has access to everyone’s portion.
“Longyu, this time you must help me no matter what.” Left with no other choice, the dowager can only turn to Master Longyu for help.
In the capital of Da Xia, the most qualified to become a court alchemist can only be Master Longyu. But due to the restraint of the palace rules, he had always been unwilling to take up the post. However, this time was totally different for it’s the dowager making a request in person.
According to the rumors on the street, it’s said that the two had a little romance story in their younger years. Whether or not this was true was of no concern to Ling Yue. What she does care about though was the fact that the old dwarf agreed.
Entering the palace at the behest of the dowager, Longyu didn’t forget to bring Ling Yue along for the ride.
Inside the Hundred Phoenix Wing, the announcement of the king’s arrival soon reached their ears: “The king enters! Lady Yao enters!” The eunuch’s high pitched voice was deafening to the ear.
Together, the king and his new concubine enters the hall with arms linked.
Against the stunning appearance of this Lady Yao, Ling Yue couldn’t deny the woman was superior to both Consort Luo and the queen. Whether it be that swinging waist or the clamoring eye, everything about this woman radiated a captivating allure that’s almost surreal.
However, beauty comes in different forms, and this time it’s not sitting well with Ling Yue. Something’s giving her the creeps.
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Like her, this Lady Yao was also a keen person and quickly took notice to Ling Yue’s scrutinizing gaze.
Finding the foe was but a young teen, she didn’t put too much emphasis on it other than the fact that the girl was a natural born beauty without the need of makeup.
Prior to her entry into the palace, Lady Yao already had a perfectly good grasp on the situation of the inner palace. Going by what she knew, she figured the dwarf beside the dowager must be Master Longyu and the young girl Princess Yue.
“Mother, may I know why you called me and Yao Yao over today?” The king wasn’t a total fool and can tell the summoning today can’t be good. What he didn’t expect though was Master Longyu. The old dwarf wasn’t someone easily called upon, not even for him, the king.
“Your Majesty, the matter of the court alchemist is a serious one and must be approached with prudence in mind. As you can see, I invited Longyu today to solve the matter. Amongst the alchemists in the city, there’s no other more qualified than him.” As soon as the dowager’s word ended, a glimmer of dangerous light emulated out of Lady Yao’s iris.
“Queen Mother, Master Longyu, since ancient times the post of a court alchemist had always been elected by one’s skill. I have no doubt in the great master’s ability for his name has been established for many years. However, I still wish to compete to prove my worth. Only then will I be convinced.” Beyond their expectation, Lady Yao not only didn’t back down, she took advantage of the king’s favor and openly challenged Longyu to a duel.
“How presumptuous, how dare you act out of place in front of me. Don’t think just because the king dotes on you that you can indiscriminately offend your elders.” Enraged by the woman’s audacity, the dowager slams the table with her hand and stood up.
“Mother, what Yao Yao said is not wrong. According to the rules of the palace, a newly appointed court alchemist must go through a trial period of one month before they are officially recognized. If during this period anyone becomes dissatisfied with the decision, they are permitted to express their opinion through a challenge.” Of the mind to defend his precious Yao Yao, the king stubbornly defends her even at the cost of offending his own mother.
Giving a helpless glance at her friend, the dowager can see Longyu was starting to get angry at the situation.
It’s common knowledge that the old dwarf had an eccentric personality. If not for the dowager’s presence, there’s no way he would still be standing there taking this insult.
While the elders were busying arguing over the matter, Ling Yue had spent the time observing. Her judgement, this woman called Yao Yao wasn’t an easy foe to handle. Vigilance must be raised.
With Master Longyu’s status and background, there’s no demerit to his opponent regardless of the outcome. This means that if Yao Yao loses, the world will only take it as normal or even claim the old dwarf had bullied the girl with his long years of experience. However, if Longyu loses, his reputation will be ruined!
“Forgive my boldness, but if no one objects then mind letting me compete in my mentor’s stead?” Seeing the dilemma clouding the old dwarf, Ling Yue figured it’s time she stepped in.
“You.. you are General Lan’s second daughter. You are also an alchemist?” Though the king’s not totally familiar with the girl, but there are some impressions in his mind: second daughter of General Lan and someone highly favored by the dowager.
“To inform Your Majesty, Ling Yue is my apprentice and has inherited my mantle. I’m proud to declare she’s already a four-cauldron alchemist at her young age.” Finding the opportunity to step off the stage, Longyu was very happy to throw the ball over to her.
Four-cauldron alchemist? Snickering inside, Yao Yao was laughing at the group for throwing a measly four-cauldron out to challenge her.
After reporting to the alchemist tower, it didn’t take long for Ling Yue’s controls of the spirit force to reach the level of a four cauldron. Sadly, due to the fact that the capital was a land of many talents, her achievement become overshadowed by the overabundance of similar users.
Although a four-cauldron alchemist can’t be called special by any means, but Longyu had a very clear picture of the girl’s true strength. During this period after taking the girl on as his apprentice, he had used Ling Yue as a support for dozens of operations; therefore, he’s very confident in her skills.
If the girl can outdo him in producing more blue pattern Dan pills from a single pot, what more does he need to worry about? Besides, this opportunity to perform doesn’t come often. If successful, it will prove her ability before the entire alchemist tower.
“Are you sure about this Longyu? If she loses, then…” Though the dowager’s impression of Ling Yue was very good, but that’s still a fourteen-year-old girl. Its unavoidable that this old granny would be doubtful of her skills.
“Mother, since Master Longyu has decided then let’s do as he wish. We can both preside over the contest. Whichever side wins will get the post of a court alchemist.” The eagerness in the king’s tone was so obvious even a deaf man can hear through to his intent. A little amateur compared to the great master, who doesn’t want to change?
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