Library of Heaven is Path
362 Who Are You?
Chapter 362: Who Are You?
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: StarveCleric
"Liu laoshi, what pill are we going to forge?"
Knowing that there was no backing out now, Mu Yangfeng put down his cauldron, lit the fire, and turned to look at Zhang Xuan.
There were countless grade-3 pills, and they had to decide on one to forge.
Since the other party dared to spout such words, he must be extremely familiar with a certain type of pill.
Otherwise, he wouldn't have possibly bragged that a pill would be formed as long as he followed his instructions strictly.
"What pill?" Zhang Xuan was taken aback. He had never considered this problem. Thus, after hesitating for a moment, he looked at Apothecary Mu and asked, "Right, what kind of pill must you forge before you can be qualify as a 3-star apothecary?"
Since the 3-star apothecary examination required one to forge a grade-3 pill, there might be some guidelines on the pill. If so, it would be better to follow by the rules.
"Any grade-3 pill will work, but most 3-star apothecaries choose to forge the grade-3 [White Sun Pill]. This is also the pill that Apothecary Hong forged for the examination back then."
Upon hearing the other party asking such fundamental questions, Apothecary Mu rolled his eyes. At the same time, an ominous feeling sprouted in his heart.
"Alright, let's forge this White Sun Pill then... Oh, can you lend me your pill formula so that I can take a look?"
Zhang Xuan scratched his head apologetically. "I've never seen this pill before, so I'm not too clear what kind of medicinal herbs are required for it... I have to look through it before I can guide you..."
Mu Yangfeng staggered, and he nearly burst into tears.
Brother, I trusted you so much that I have already taken out the cauldron and lit the fire...
Yet, you're telling me that... you've never seen the pill formula before...
Why are you treating me like this...
Apothecary Hong Yun and Jiang Chen were also speechless as well.
They thought that the other party might truly be some incredible fellow that would amaze all of them, but it turned out that he was just an oaf!
To say that he would guide someone on his pill forging despite having never seen the pill formula before...
Will you die if you don't brag?
The other party had truly impressed them with this.
"This is the pill formula..."
Apothecary Mu passed the pill formula over resentfully.
As the conventional pill used by most apothecaries for the 3-star examination, the pill formula for the White Sun Pill was no secret. Almost all 2-star apothecaries were aware of it, and it wasn't a big deal to show it to him.
"Alright!" Nodding his head, Zhang Xuan touched it, and its contents immediately appeared in the Library of Heaven's Path.
At the same time, many books regarding the forging of White Sun Pill appeared in his mind.
He had collected almost all of the books in the library of the Apothecary Guild. Even though there were no pill formulae there—pill formulae were invaluable treasures after all—detailed on those books were the reflections of the elders in forging specific pills.
Muttering softly, an entirely new book appeared before him.
"Alright, let's begin the forging!"
Browsing through the book, Zhang Xuan turned to look at Apothecary Mu with a grave expression. "Follow my instructions strictly. You mustn't make the slightest error!"
Even though he felt dismal, Mu Yangfeng had already put the word out. Left with no choice, he could only nod helplessly.
As a 2-star pinnacle apothecary, he would often spend his time attempting to forge the White Sun Pill.
As such, he had quite a few sets of spare medicinal herbs in his storage ring, thus sparing them the trouble of obtaining them.
Soon, the ignition of the flame, the warming of the cauldron, and the preparation of the medicinal herbs were done.
Just by looking at the other party's smooth movements in the preparation, Zhang Xuan was already impressed.
As expected of a 2-star pinnacle apothecary. His movements were much more skilled than any other apothecaries he had seen before, be it Mo Yu or Guild Leader Ouyang.
Zhang Xuan walked up to the cauldron and touched it before retreating back.
"The temperature is around there. Should I add the medicinal herbs in now?"
The flame licked at the sides of the cauldron, and soon, the cauldron was already fiery-hot, and the air in the surroundings distorted under the immense heat.
"Wait a moment!" Zhang Xuan waved casually. "Continue warming the cauldron!"
"Alright!" Since Apothecary Mu had already decided to follow the other party's instructions, he didn't hesitate at all. Under the drive of his zhenqi, the flames under the cauldron continued to blaze furiously.
"The cauldron is already red..."
Apothecary Hong Yun and Jiang Chen glanced at one another in bewilderment.
Did this fellow really know anything about pill forging?
Forging a pill was very different from forging an equipment, where the higher the temperature, the better it was. Harnessing the wood attribute, medicinal herbs tended to lose their medicinal properties easily when exposed to excessive heat, thus rendering them useless.
The cauldron was already burning a shade of bright red, and it looked as though it would burst apart soon. Putting aside forging pills, the medicinal herbs would probably burn to crisp if they were thrown in under such a state.
What in the world was he up to?
"Place the White Wood Grass in!"
Just as they were completely baffled over this matter, the young man's voice finally sounded.
"He's throwing in the main ingredient of the White Sun Pill directly?"
Apothecary Hong Yun's body swayed.
White Wood Grass was the main ingredient of the White Sun Pill. It was highly flammable, and upon contact with flames, it would be immediately set ablaze.
Conventions dictated that it should be placed in the middle of the forging to prevent it from being burned into cinders by the blazing cauldron, as well as to allow it to better fuse with the other medicinal herbs.
The cauldron was already on the verge of bursting from the intense heat and black smoke was puffing out of it... To throw the White Wood Grass in under such conditions...
Without a doubt, the medicinal herbs would be burned to ashes as soon as it entered the cauldron…
"Preposterous! He is truly fooling around! This fellow knows nothing about pill forging. I truly wonder where Apothecary Mu found him!"
Harrumphing coldly, Apothecary Hong Yun's face steeled.
There was no doubt about it—this pill forging would surely end in failure!
Anyone who had the slightest knowledge of pill forging would know not to raise the temperature of the cauldron excessively. That ignorant fellow bragged that he would instruct Apothecary Mu to successfully forge a grade-3 pill, and yet, he made such an elementary mistake...
Where did this cretin come from?
Apothecary Mu must truly be blind to trust a person like him!
An Elder Council should be assembled after this farce to teach these two a lesson! Otherwise, not only would precious medicinal herbs be wasted, the reputation of the the guild would also go down the drain!
Ignoring Apothecary Hong Yun, whose face was darkening by the moment, Zhang Xuan continued instructing Mu Yangfeng. "Twelve breaths later, put in the Two-eyed Beard..."
He issued a series of instructions.
This sequence was completely different from the conventional forging methods detailed in the books for the White Sun Pill, and it even seemed to contradict with the fundamental concepts of pill forging. Even so, since he had already given his word, Apothecary Mu followed the other party's instructions strictly even though he was doubtful of the result. Gritting his teeth, he continued throwing different medicinal herbs into the cauldron while controlling the temperature of the flame carefully, not daring to make the slightest mistake.
"Hm? Something is wrong..."
As more and more medicinal herbs were thrown into the cauldron, doubts started sprouting in Apothecary Mu's mind.
He had forged the White Sun Pill many times in the past, and usually, after placing a few medicinal herbs in, the cauldron would begin to rock violently, as if it would explode at any moment. But this time, despite having thrown in so many medicinal herbs in, there wasn’t any sign of movement at all.
Could it be that all of the medicinal properties had been balanced out?
If that was the case, the other party's instructions must be correct, and this meant that there was a high probability that the pill forging would be successful.
"Wait, that doesn't seem like it..."
Then, he shook his head.
While it was possible for the reason behind the cauldron being calm to be due to the medicinal properties being balanced out perfectly, there was also another possibility... All of the medicinal herbs inside had already been reduced to cinders by the searing heat. If the medicinal properties of the herbs had already been eroded, then naturally, they couldn't possibly react explosively with one another.
Thinking about it, the latter seemed much more probable. After all, even 4-star apothecaries were incapable of balancing out medicinal properties perfectly...
"Forget it, I'll just finish the pill forging first..."
Even though Apothecary Mu didn't think that the pill forging would succeed, he still followed Liu laoshi's instructions strictly and threw in medicinal herbs one after another.
Soon, he threw in the very last medicinal herb.
"Open the cauldron!"
Zhang Xuan instructed.
"Open the cauldron?"
Mu Yangfeng was taken aback.
Normally, after throwing all of the medicinal herbs in, the mixture had to be left to simmer for a moment so that the herbs could be fused together perfectly for the formation of the pills.
To open the cauldron right after throwing all of the medicinal herbs in... Wasn't this being too hasty?
Zhang Xuan didn't expect the other party to hesitate. Anxious, he urged him once more.
Based on the book in the Library of Heaven's Path, the cauldron had to be opened right after all of the medicinal herbs were thrown in for the pill forging to be perfect. The other party’s slight moment of hesitation had caused many mistakes to appear in the book already. At this point, even if a pill were to be formed, its effectiveness would be lowered by several grades.
On the other hand, upon seeing this sight, Apothecary Hong Yun harrumphed coldly and shook his head.
"Do you think that the pills will be formed?" Jiang Chen couldn't help but ask.
The pill that Apothecary Hong Yun had forged for his 3-star apothecary examination was also the White Sun Pill, and his feat of achieving Formation for it had caused a huge uproar in the city back then.
"Do I think that the pills will be formed?" Apothecary Hong Yun harrumphed disdainfully. "While they are lucky that the cauldron didn’t explode, all of the medicinal herbs inside it are surely ashes by now given the overwhelming heat in the cauldron just now. To expect a pill to be formed under such circumstances... That's no different from dreaming!"
"Burned to cinders?" Jiang Chen asked doubtfully.
"If you don't believe me, watch on. If pills can be formed after all that have happened, I'll cut off my head..."
Apothecary Hong Yun gestured confidently.
If a pill could be formed with that nonsensical pill forging sequence... wouldn’t 3-star apothecaries like himself would be truly worthless?
He wasn't the only one to think so. Even Mu Yangfeng himself didn't think well of this pill forging. After a moment of hesitation, he clenched his jaws and opened the cauldron.
Filled with despair, he prepared himself to see an entire floor of black sludge from the herbs when a gush of pill fragrance wafted from the cauldron.
Mu Yangfeng was taken aback. Rushing forward, he stretched his hand into the cauldron and grabbed onto something. Taking a closer look, it was a round and glistening pill. The fragrance it emanated assaulted his nose.
"This is... a White Sun Pill... reaching the level of P-P-Perfection?"
Mu Yangfeng widened his eyes, flabbergasted.
Pills formed had different tiers. Formation, Satiation, Perfection, and Inscribed Pill...
Based on his judgement, given the forging method previously, the pill forging should have ended in utter failure, and the only thing that should appear from the cauldron was black sludge. Never in his dreams did he expect that a pill would be formed... And at the level of Perfection at that!
How... How is this possible?
On the other hand, Apothecary Hong Yun looked as though he was on the verge of fainting. His body shuddered violently, and he nearly bit his own tongue off.
He had just said that if the other party managed to form a pill, he would cut his head off...
In the end, not only did the other party manage to form a pill, it even reached the level of Perfection...
How did this happen?
That young man had started guiding Apothecary Mu on the process right after browsing through the pill formula of the White Sun Pill for the first time...
The other party even went against conventions and warmed the cauldron until it's blazing hot before throwing the medicinal herbs in. Yet, not only were the medicinal herbs not burned to cinders, it even reached the level of Perfection...
This sight overturned everything he knew of pill forging. The laws that he thought were absolute in pill forging for several decades suddenly felt like a huge lie, and just the thought of it left him completely frenzied.
"This... this... What's going on?"
Shuddering, Apothecary Mu turned to look at Zhang Xuan, curious to know what had just happened.
How did he succeed in the pill forging… just like that?
When did a grade-3 pill become so easy to forge?
Seeing the other party's doubtful gaze, Zhang Xuan smiled casually.
"Even though the White Wood Grass is highly flammable, that doesn't mean that it can't come into contact with flames. On the contrary, strong heat brings out its medicinal properties better! Therefore, the first herb that one should place in is this. This way, the medicinal properties of the other herbs can be fused perfectly with it layer after layer, thus bringing out the full effectiveness of the medicinal herbs!"
"On top of that, the opening and closing of the cauldron during the intervals where one places the medicinal herbs in will cause the medicinal energy to escape. Thus, if you put the White Wood Grass from the very start, it'll absorb all of the medicinal properties, fuse them together, and coagulate into a pill..."
"Continuing on, Two-eyed Beard grows in the marshlands. Even though it contains yang attribute energy, there are also traces of water attribute energy within it. Only under extreme heat can the water attribute energy be forced out..."
With his hands behind his back, Zhang Xuan started strolling about the room as he explained the various sequences one after another.
Initially, they were skeptical at the other party's words. However, after hearing his explanations one after another, Apothecary Hong Yun and the others couldn't help but tremble vigorously. Eventually, their face stiffened completely.
Instead of touching on the pill forging techniques, his explanations came from the perspective of maximizing the effectiveness of the medicinal properties of each herb. How one should heat the medicinal herbs and mediate between the various herbs to fully bring out the properties of the medicinal herbs...
It sounded like nothing much, but to analyze a complex a grade-3 pill formula so thoroughly was an extremely fearsome feat!
Firstly, one had to possess an utmost understanding of every single medicinal herb contained in the pill formula. On top of that, one still had to deduce the individual reactions based on their properties precisely to select the most correct method to fuse them together. Not to mention, these deductions were highly prone to errors. As experienced apothecaries, they clearly understood the difficulty in doing so, and as such, the other party's feat had truly left all of them astounded!
"With just his grasp over medicinal properties, he was able to ensure that the medicinal herbs could fuse together perfectly such that no problems would crop up... Y-you aren't an apprentice... Who are you?"
Apothecary Hong Yun stared at Zhang Xuan in fright.
Just by his knowledge of the respective medicinal properties of the herbs, the young man before him was able to ensure that a grade-3 pill was being crafted flawlessly. Even the guild leader was incapable of such a feat!
Who in the world was this fellow? How could he possess such immense understanding of medicinal herbs?
"He's the new guild leader of the Physician Guild who solved nineteen questions on the Wall of Dilemma..."
Apothecary Mu replied.