Library of Heaven is Path
616 Can This Even Be Called Pill Forging? 2in1
"The reason why I built the Mystical Treasure Hall was to have these stone pillars deciphered. Since I've received the answers I sought, I can die without any regrets now. It's time for me to return to my hometown and live my final years in peace."
Gan Yiping chuckled. His face had a serenity like never before.
Attracted to the mystery of the unknown, he had spent fifty years on these stone pillar, attempting to decipher them. When everything was done, he felt as though a burden weighing heavily on his shoulders had disappeared, and he suddenly felt much lighter.
A look of admiration reflected in Zhang Xuan's eyes as he nodded.
It seemed like this person had thought everything through now that his limit was approaching.
Indeed. Since his greatest wish had been fulfilled, there was indeed nothing left for him to regret.
These artifacts might be valuable, but none of them could be taken to the afterlife.
Just as empty-handed as one came, empty-handed will be how one departs!
Knowing that the other party sincerely wished to give these artifacts to him, Zhang Xuan accepted them politely. In exchange, he offered the other party several pointers on his cultivation.
After hearing Zhang Xuan's pointers, Gan Yiping thanked him profusely in excitement.
After chatting for a moment longer, Zhang Xuan left with Yuan Tao and Sun Qiang.
After leaving the Mystical Treasure Hall, Sun Qiang asked, "Young Master, where are we going now?"
"On top of the inner core of a Great River Snake and the Sorrow Severing Grass, we still need more medicinal herbs to mediate the properties before brewing a medicinal solution…"
Zhang Xuan pondered for a moment before adding, "We'll head to the Apothecary Guild. Over there, we'll be able to engage the help of an apothecary too!"
Even though he was an official 3-star apothecary, he only received his rank through the means of Pill Debate. It would be best for him to do leave the job of pill forging to another.
"Yes!" The duo nodded.
The Apothecary Guild was quite a far distance away. The trio searched for a carriage, and after around an hour-long journey, they finally arrived at their destination.
The building of the Huanyu Empire Apothecary Guild was tall and vast. In front of the main entrance was a stone sculpture of a cauldron a dozen meters tall, granting a solemn and grand atmosphere to the Apothecary Guild.
Stepping in, a whiff of fragrant medicinal herbs and spiritual energy gushing through the pores of their bodies left them revitalized.
Taking a slight sniff, Zhang Xuan remarked with a smile, "This is Pill Fragrance. It seems like someone has forged grade-5 pills here, and on a frequent basis at that!"
Upon the successful forging of a grade-5 pill, a deep Pill Fragrance could be produced by chance. Those who smelled it would immediately find themselves re-energized.
Only a place where pills of such grade had been frequently successfully forged could such a deep scent be produced.
"Since there are 5-star apothecaries here, it isn't too surprising for there to be grade-5 pills as well!" Sun Qiang nodded.
The most capable apothecary of Huanyu Empire had reached the level of 5-star pinnacle.
"Un. Let's enquire at the front reception to see if we can get a 5-star apothecary!"
Zhang Xuan nodded.
The inner core of a Great River Snake and Sorrow Severing Grass were extremely valuable, and he only had a set of them. No mistakes could be tolerated. Also, even though it was just a medicinal fluid, its concoction consisted of complex processes that demanded the hands of a 5-star apothecary. Otherwise, there was a high chance it would end in failure.
"Gongzi, may I know what you need?"
At the front reception desk stood an eighteen or nineteen-year-old lady. She greeted Zhang Xuan with a bright smile.
"I need to concoct a unique medicinal solution. May I ask if there's any 5-star apothecaries here that I can engage the help of and what price it would be?" Zhang Xuan asked.
Since one could buy Tutelage Jade Tokens at the Master Teacher Pavilion, naturally, one could also engage the services of an apothecary at an Apothecary Guild too.
The price of engaging the service of an apothecary tended to be much lower than purchasing the completed product, but one would have to gather the ingredients himself.
"The services of a 5-star apothecary?" The lady receptionist was taken aback.
"Why? It can't be done?" Seeing the other party's reaction, Zhang Xuan frowned.
It would be troublesome if he couldn't do so. Given that the Great River Snake had reached a cultivation realm of Transcendent Mortal 7-dan before its death, its inner core was likely to possess immense power, and a 4-star apothecary couldn't hope to suppress is rampaging energies during the concoction.
On the other hand, the minimum requirement to becoming a 5-star apothecary was to achieve a cultivation of Transcendent Mortal 6-dan Cosmos Bridge realm, so it shouldn't pose much of a problem.
After a moment of hesitation, the receptionist replied, "We do provide such services, just that… a formidable 5-star apothecary from the headquarters has come by today to conduct a lecture, and all of the 5-star apothecaries in the guild have gone over to listen to it… In fact, even 4-star and 3-star apothecaries are all there as well. So, for the time being, we don't have anyone available. If it's possible, may I ask you to return tomorrow?"
Zhang Xuan frowned.
They would be deciding on the final distribution of slots for the Cleansing Lake tonight, and it shouldn't be long before they go in. It was unlikely that Zhang Xuan would have much time left.
After a moment of hesitation, Zhang Xuan said, "I can't wait that long. When does the lecture end? Can you help me ask around to see if any 5-star apothecary is willing to take on my job?"
"Ask around?" The receptionist's face darkened. "I am just a receptionist. 5-star apothecaries are too noble for me to approach."
As a receptionist in charge of the front desk, she was only an apprentice. Putting aside 5-star apothecaries, it would be difficult for her to even come into contact with 3-star apothecaries. There was simply too huge a disparity in their ranks.
"Besides, there will surely be a bout of discussion after the lecture to exchange experiences and learn from one another. Everyone will likely be busy for the entire day, so I doubt that you'll be able to engage their service no matter how much you pay!"
This was a precious opportunity to learn. They would never miss this chance just for a small sum of money.
While the apothecary from the headquarters was of equivalent rank to them, he was likely to possess more advanced techniques to pill forging and controlling the cauldron. This, in itself, was more than worthy of their attention and research.
Zhang Xuan's eyebrows shot up.
This was indeed a good learning opportunity for the apothecaries, so it was unlikely that anyone would pass on it for his job. But on the other hand, it was impossible for Zhang Xuan to do it himself.
Putting aside whether it was too late for him to learn pill forging now, even if he could master it swiftly, his cultivation was only at Clarifying Turbidity realm pinnacle, so it would be impossible for him to suppress a rebound from the Great River Snake's inner core.
So… what should he do now?
After a moment of contemplation, Zhang Xuan asked, "Since that's the case, can you bring me over to where the lecture is held?"
It would be impossible to get the concoction of the medicinal solution done if he were to wait for the entire session to end. Since that was the case, he decided to enter the lecture hall and ask them personally. After all, as fellow apothecaries, it should be easier for him to ask for their favor.
"Bring you over?" The lady frowned. "That's a place where only apothecaries can enter…"
"Oh, I'm an apothecary too. It's just that I haven't taken a promotion exam in recent time!"
Flicking his wrist, Zhang Xuan took out his apothecary emblem.
His current rank was still 3-star, obtained back when he was in Tianwu Kingdom. But even so, it was sufficient for him to attend the lecture as well.
Upon seeing the emblem, the receptionist immediately bowed deeply and said, "Master apothecary, this way please!"
While a 3-star apothecary might not rank at the top of the pyramid in Huanyu Empire, he was still not a person that a little receptionist like her could offend.
Nodding his head, Zhang Xuan proceeded along with Sun Qiang and Yuan Tao.
The Apothecary Guild was rather large. They had to walk a long distance before arriving at a huge hall.
Coming to a stop before the door, the lady apologized.
"I apologize but only official apothecaries can enter, so I can only bring you this far…"
"It's fine!" Zhang Xuan smiled. Pinning his emblem on his chest, Zhang Xuan turned to Sun Qiang and Yuan Tao, and instructed, "The both of you should wait here. I'll go in and take a look!"
After which, he pushed open the door and walked in.
As the both of them weren't apothecaries either, they couldn't enter too.
There was a guard standing on the other side, but seeing Zhang Xuan's emblem, they didn't stop him.
This hall was several hundred square meters huge, and a huge crowd was seated in here. Every single one of them was dressed in an apothecary's robe. In a sense, it was similar to the selection round with Ruohuan gongzi and the others back at the Myriad Kingdom City.
Lifting his gaze to the stage, he saw a person standing before a cauldron, forging a pill while deciphering the process step-by-step.
Flames blazed as a pair of fair hands steadily added herb after herb into the cauldron.
'It's a young lady?'
Zhang Xuan was astonished.
He thought that a lecturer from the headquarters would be an elder in his seventies or eighties. To think that it would be a young lady in her twenties instead.
Female apothecaries were rare, and considering how she was qualified to conduct a lesson to even 5-star apothecaries, she was likely to a rather capable one at that. Thus, his interest was piqued.
The other party was dressed in a loose purple robe, and her long, black hair was coiled on top of her head. Her eyes sparkled like the stars, reflecting wisdom. However, her face was as cold as the middle of winter, and not the slightest emotion could be seen on it.
Surprisingly, her appearance was on par with the Sixth Young Mistress from before. In fact, the slight curvature that could be seen under her loose robe accentuated to her beauty.
An emblem with 5 stars was pinned on her chest, indicating her identity as a 5-star apothecary!
'Pill forging requires one to be accompanied with flames for a long period of time, and it can be considered to be one of the tougher occupations. To think that she would actually reach 5-star at such a young age, incredible!'
Zhang Xuan was impressed.
Most of the high ranked apothecaries were all males. It wasn't that females couldn't make it, but the intense heat from the cauldron was usually a huge deterrent factor. On top of that, there were plenty of rare medicinal herbs required for pill forging that grew on top of treacherous terrains, making the occupation a dangerous one as well.
As such, most ladies choose not to take on this occupation.
On the other hand, the lady before him actually reached a rank of 5-star at such a young age. Her forging technique was profound, and her movements were fluid… It showed that she had devoted a lot of effort into her pill forging usually.
Otherwise, regardless of her talent, she couldn't possibly possess such level of skill!
Regardless of what occupation one was in, talent was only one of the many factors to one's success. In comparison, hard work played a much greater role.
Standing not too far away from the young lady was an elder, who was stroking his long, white beard in commendation.
'He must be the guild leader here!' Zhang Xuan deduced.
This elder carried an authoritative demeanor, and his cultivation felt deep like an abyss, revealing that he was likely in a position of power. On top of that, he seemed to be standing behind the young lady to take care of her, interjecting now and then to add on to the young lady's points. Even if he wasn't the guild leader, he was probably an influential figure here.
After looking around, Zhang Xuan found an empty seat and sat down.
At that moment, the young lady's voice sounded.
Her voice was crisp-similar to a jade and a stone knocking on one another-and listening to it, in itself, was a pleasure. However, her tone carried a cold edge that distanced her from others.
"Emerald Jade Grass has a cold attribute, and if you were to put it into the cauldron directly, it might cause a conflict with the Wooden Cypress Flower placed in previously. Thus, it has to be soaked in Hamachi Extract for two hours before it can be used. This can accentuate its medicinal properties while lowering the temperature in the cauldron, thus enhancing the quality of the pills forged!
"As for the Wood Incense Flower, it has to be soaked in Violet Flora Water and basked under the hot sun for five days to maximize its medicinal properties. Otherwise, considering how it is added at the very middle of the forging process when the cauldron is at its warmest, it is highly likely that it would be burned to crisp…"
The lady explained the forging process and the preparation of the ingredients one-by-one. Her words were backed by logical explanations, leaving the listening crowd nodding their heads ceaselessly as though drunk.
"Impartation of Heaven's Will? Could she be… a master teacher as well?"
Seeing the expressions on everyone's face, and noting the unique intonation to the voice, Zhang Xuan shook his head with a slight smile.
Even though the young lady on the stage was lecturing on the Art of Pill Forging, she had infused Impartation of Heaven's Will into her lecture to facilitate the learning process.
Only master teachers were capable of doing so.
From the looks of it, on top of being an apothecary, the young lady before him was also a master teacher.
It was just moments ago that he met two 5-star master teacher in his twenties, and right now, he was meeting yet another one. As expected of Huanyu Empire, it was indeed overflowing with talents.
If they had been within the twenty-eight regional powers as well, Zhang Xuan would surely have been in fourth place in the Master Teacher Tournament.
It was not that he was less knowledgeable than a 5-star master teacher, but his cultivation was simply too lacking. He stood no chance against them in a direct battle.
"Since she's a master teacher, it should be easier for me to communicate with her. I should try to engage her help later on…"
Since the other party was a master teacher on top of being a 5-star apothecary, it should be easier for Zhang Xuan to engage her help.
The core ingredient of the medicinal solution was the inner core of a Transcendent Mortal 7-dan Great River Snake. To maximize its effectiveness, Zhang Xuan's guidance would play a crucial part. However, an ordinary 5-star apothecary wouldn't possibly listen to the words of a 3-star apothecary.
On the other hand, since the young lady was a master teacher as well, it should be easier to Zhang Xuan to win her trust.
"I thank everyone here for your cooperation. This is my comprehension of the grade-5 Spirit Revitalization Pill!"
Just as Zhang Xuan was pondering over how he should negotiate with the other party to have her concoct the medicinal solution for him, 'jiya', the cauldron on the stage was opened, and a dense aroma immediately gushed into the room.
Raising his gaze, he saw round, smooth pills emerging from the cauldron.
"A grade-5 pill at Perfection?"
"As a grade-5 pinnacle pill, the Spirit Revitalization Pill has always been one of the hardest pills to forge for a 5-star apothecary. Even if the guild leader were to forge it personally, probably only two in ten cauldrons of pills would reach the level of Perfection. Yet, she actually managed to achieve such a rank on her first try. Incredible, as expected of an apothecary from the headquarters!"
"On top of that, you might be unaware, but on top of being an apothecary, she's also a master teacher! This is the reason why her explanations are so clear. If I were to study based on the content of this lecture, I would surely make huge progress in my research!"
"Indeed. I've also benefited greatly from this lecture. As expected of an apothecary from Hongyuan Empire. Regardless of whether it's the pill forging or the preparation of ingredients, her understanding of those is far deeper and more accurate than ours!"
"Of course. The Apothecary School of Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy has a much more complete heritage of pill forging than our branch."
Upon seeing the pill emerging from the cauldron, a huge commotion broke out amongst the crowd.
The skill of an apothecary is determined by the quality of the pill he could forge. Even a pill forged through the same pill formula can have differing quality, ranked by: Formation, Satiation, Perfection, and Inscribed Pill.
Reaching Formation in a higher grade would qualify one for a promotion. On the other hand, if one could reach Satiation in the forging of a pill with a grade corresponding to one's current rank, one could be considered to be above most of one's peers already.
Achieving Perfection wasn't easy at all. Even a skilled apothecary might not produce a single cauldron of Perfection pills amidst ten. And yet, this young lady in her twenties, despite explaining the process to everyone while forging the pills, was actually still able to reach this tier. Her mastery in pill forging had reached an astounding level.
"Let's begin the discussion now. If you've any suggestions, feel free to raise them so that I can learn from it too!"
Putting the pill down, the lady on the stage glanced at the crowd.
"Apothecary Luo, I have a question. The Spirit Revitalization Pill has the effect of nourishing one's soul as well, but to achieve this end, one has to fuse a part of his soul energy into the pill in the midst of the forging process. I've tried to do so, but I always end up being burnt by the flames. May I know if there's any solution to that problem?" asked a 5-star apothecary on the front row.
Since it was a discussion, naturally, they could raise any questions they had.
"Considering the searing heat in the cauldron and the cold nature of one's soul, it's natural that one's soul would be burned if one carelessly attempts to infuse one's soul into the pill in the midst of the forging process. But in the first place, there's no need for us to do so. Amidst the ingredients for the Spirit Revitalization Pill, there's a Glacé Heart Grass which, being a spirit herb, possesses spirit."
The young lady on the stage, Apothecary Luo, explained, "As long as one harnesses the spirit contained within the medicinal herb properly before the forging process, it can grant the equivalent effect as well!"
The 5-star apothecary came to a realization and nodded his head in gratitude.
"I have a problem too…"
Following which, another 5-star apothecary stood up.
Before long, seven 5-star apothecaries had already posed their question, but the young Apothecary Luo didn't show the slightest hint of panic at all. She answered their questions calmly with rational arguments backed by logic, impressing the entire crowd.
"Does anyone have any other questions? The reason why I came here was to trade some feedback with everyone. If you've any opinions or advice, feel free to raise them!"
After answering several questions, Apothecary Luo glanced at the crowd.
Her study of pill forging had met a wall recently, and her apothecary teacher had told her that she had to interact more with other apothecaries to share ideas to further her own path.
That was the main reason why she came to the Apothecary Guild.
And honestly speaking, this was working out well as well. Before she started forging the Spirit Revitalization Pill, some of her concepts were still not clearly fleshed out, and there were some parts she was unsure of. However, as she explained it, she found her own understanding of pill forging deepening as well.
However, this wasn't sufficient.
She wanted to hear an alternative opinion to her own to improve.
"Apothecary Luo must be jesting. Your understanding of the subject is deep, and your skills are exquisite. There's no advice we can possibly offer you!"
"Indeed! Your movements are perfect, and not to mention, you even achieved Perfection in your forging of the Spirit Revitalization Pill. Even if we wanted to criticize your work, there's nothing we can raise!"
"Your understanding of pill forging is far deeper than ours. If not for your lacking cultivation, you could have been promoted to a 6-star apothecary by now. We really dare not offer any advice to you…"
Everyone shook their heads.
The person before them had come from Hongyuan Empire, and on top of being a 5-star apothecary, she was a master teacher as well. She was even qualified to be their teacher, so how could they possibly raise any objections against her? Even if they had any, they wouldn't dare to speak up!
Seeing everyone shake their heads, Apothecary Luo sighed deeply.
In Hongyuan Empire, no one dared to criticize her in fear of her identity. She thought that since no one knew of her here, she would be able to garner some feedback. Yet, her hopes fell flat in the end.
"Do you really wish to hear my opinion?"
Just as she was feeling disappointed within, an indifferent voice sounded from the crowd.
"Yes!" Apothecary Luo quickly nodded her head.
"Alright then… Here is my opinion… After wasting so much time and effort, can this even be called pill forging?"