"Lower the temperature required for quenching?" Luo Qiqi was taken aback.
Weren't weapons quenched with water? There was a limit to how cold a water could be before it would turn into ice, so how could the temperature required for quenching be reduced?
Besides, Zhang Xuan was viewing the matter too lightly. The difference in the temperature wasn't all that mattered. More importantly, quenching had to be done within the durability limit of the weapon. Otherwise, the weapon might be unable to endure the abrupt change in temperature and shatter!
There were many blacksmiths who had tried to change the substance used for quenching so as to further raise the tier of their crafted weapon, but more often than not, the quenching fluid ended up reacting with their weapon instead. As a result, the weapon they had forged with great difficulty shattered, resulting in a waste of their effort and precious ores.
Smithing was a very complex art—the proportion of ores, temperature, type of quenching fluid, timing… All of these factors played a crucial role in determining the quality of the ultimate product, and a shortcoming in any of them could easily lead to a subpar product or even failure. As such, the difficulty of smithing could be considered to be on par with pill forging. It was also due to the profoundness behind the art that blacksmith was classified as an Upper Nine Paths occupation.
"Indeed." Zhang Xuan nodded in agreement. "Did you bring your pill cauldron here?"
"Pill… cauldron?" Luo Qiqi repeated in astonishment, thinking that she had heard it wrong.
Aren't we going to forge a weapon? Why will we need a pill cauldron?"
Zhang Xuan looked at her calmly and said, "I want you to forge Ice Soul Pills!"
"Ice Soul Pills?" Luo Qiqi was taken aback. Then, coming to a realization, her eyes widened. "Teacher intends to… use the frigidity from Ice Soul Pill to quench the weapon?"
Ice Soul Pill was a unique medicine that was used to awaken the Ice Soul Constitution. Should an ordinary human consume it, the special frost aura harnessed within it would freeze him to death instantly
"But no matter how cold the Ice Soul Pill is, how could it be used to quench the sword, especially considering its size…" Luo Qiqi was bewildered.
An average Ice Soul Pill was around the size of a grape whereas the Glacier Rain Sword was nearly a meter long. How could a small pill possibly be used to quench an entire sword?
One must know it was imperative for the entire blade to be plunged into the quenching fluid simultaneously so that it would undergo the quenching process simultaneously.
Otherwise, the blade could end up with differing degrees of hardness across it, and the imbalance would end up introducing vulnerabilities to it instead.
Using a pill to quench an entire sword… Why did it sound completely inconceivable to her?
Interrupting the other party's queries, Zhang Xuan asked, "Put that aside for now. You just have to tell me whether you have a pill cauldron and medicinal herbs to forge an Ice Soul Pill now."
After a moment of hesitation, Luo Qiqi said, "Ice Soul Pill is an uncommon pill, and it is rarely forged by apothecaries as well. As such, I don't have the complete set of medicinal herbs to forge it. However, a while ago, I promised someone to forge a Frigid Yin Pill for her, and I prepared three portions of the medicinal herbs for it…"
Ice Soul Constitution was an extremely rare unique constitution that only handful of people of the entire Master Teacher Continent possessed. As such, Ice Soul Pills were rarely forged. Even if one were to search through the entire Apothecary School of Hongyuan Master Teacher Academy, one would probably be unable to find even a single Ice Soul Pill.
"Frigid Yin Pill?"
Zhang Xuan frowned. "The effects of Frigid Yin Pill is inferior to Ice Soul Pill. However, if we were to use the three portions together, we might be able to make up for the qualitative difference through quantity…"
Frigid Yin Pill was a medicament used to treat injuries incurred from fire attribute cultivation techniques. Even though there was the difference of a grade between it and the Ice Soul Pill, if they were to use the three portions of medicinal herbs properly, they should be able to bridge the difference.
"Alright, we'll forge the pill and the weapon simultaneously!"
Zhang Xuan contemplated for a moment to further analyze his plan and refine the details, and after which, he waved his hands, gesturing for Luo Qiqi to start.
Knowing that her teacher must have already worked out the details, Luo Qiqi decided to just go along with him. With a flick of her wrist, she took out her pill cauldron and lit it up. At the same time, she also lit up the Crimson Blaze Cauldron
As an apothecary, she carried the materials she needed to forge a pill everywhere she went, be it the medicinal herbs, cauldron, or coal. As such, it didn't take too long for her to get ready.
Not too long later, the flames surged, and searing heat emanated from the cauldrons.
After laying out the medicinal herbs required for the forging of Frigid Yin Pill neatly on the table not too far away, Luo Qiqi turned her gaze to her teacher.
While she didn't know what Zhang shi was up to, after witnessing the various miraculous feats he had accomplished, she possessed a near equivalent of blind faith in the latter.
Perhaps… with the other party's guidance, she might just be able to upgrade a Spirit intermediate-tier weapon to Spirit pinnacle!
On the other hand, Zhang Xuan took a glance at the cauldrons and instructed, "The cauldrons still aren't hot enough, continue raising the temperature!"
"Frigid Yin Pill is a cold attribute medicine. If the pill cauldron is too hot, I fear that we might deprive it of its cold properties…"
Upon hearing the instruction to continue raising the temperature, Luo Qiqi's lips twitched.
Even the current temperature was already too hot for the forging of Frigid Yin Pill. Any further than that and the Frigid Yin Pill would melt before its formation, thus evaporating any frigid aura it should harness.
But instead of explaining, Zhang Xuan simply reiterated his instruction, "Continue raising the temperature!"
"Yes!" Gritting her teeth, Luo Qiqi drove her zhenqi and infused it into the coals.
Xiong xiong xiong xiong!
Huge flames burst forth from the cauldrons, threatening to melt down the pill cauldron.
"Place the Glacier Rain Sword and Cold Emerald Stone into the Crimson Blaze Cauldron!"
Perplexed as she was, Luo Qiqi decided to just follow Zhang Xuan's instructions. She picked up the sword and Cold Emerald Stone and placed it in the smithing cauldron.
Upon contact with the searing cauldron, the Glacier Rain Sword immediately glowed crimson as the intense heat whittled down its flexibility and durability. If it were to be retrieved from the cauldron right now, it would surely suffer a sharp fall in tier.
At the same time, the Cold Emerald Stone also started to soften. However, the temperature of the cauldron seemed to be too low to melt it entirely.
"In the pill cauldron, add three stalks of Crimsontail Grass. Three breaths later, add a stalk of Frigid Yin Grass. After which, use the Seven Leaves Forging Technique to add in half a stalk of Void Severing Grass and three qian of Purplestar Smoke…" Zhang Xuan instructed swiftly.
Frowning, Luo Qiqi's hands flew around the place as she added the medicinal herbs precisely according to Zhang Xuan's instructions.
As a famous genius of the Apothecary School, her talent in pill forging far surpassed that of her smithing. Zhang Xuan's instructions may have been swift, but she could still follow them with ease.
But as she continued to add medicinal herbs into the pill cauldron, amazement swiftly built up within her.
She found that she actually knew every single forging technique that the other party instructed her to utilize! There were even some of them that she learned coincidentally or secretly, and very few in the academy knew that she was aware of them. Yet, the other party included those in his instructions as well.
She didn't think that it was a mere coincidence or that she was knowledgeable. Most likely, Zhang shi had grasped the full extent of her capabilities and designed a forging method tailored for her!
How profound must one's understanding of pill forging be in order to achieve this?
This feat far exceeded the boundaries of incredible; it was terrifying!
Even her teacher, School Head Lu of the Apothecary School, would be incapable of such a feat!
'To think that the Purplestar Smoke and the Void Severing Grass could be added into the cauldron simultaneously. Based on my previous conjecture, the two medicinal herbs would react violently with one another, inducing an explosion. Yet, there isn't the slightest instability in the cauldron due to it now. If I'm not wrong, this has something to do with the intensity of the flames…'
While Luo Qiqi was astonished, she was also ruminating on the various steps of the forging process.
The sequence at which Zhang shi instructed her to add the medicinal herbs in was completely contrary to the Frigid Yin Pill formula that she learned in the past… On top of that, the speed of the forging this time round was so swift that it was mind-boggling.
Typically, it would take at least three to four hours for her to finish forging the Frigid Yin Pill. However, in less than half a minute, she had already added in half of the three portions of medicinal herbs.
A thought suddenly came to her, and her eyes narrowed in shock.
'Wait a minute… Does Zhang shi intend to forge the three portions of medicinal herbs simultaneously? B-but this is impossible!'
The reason why three portions of medicinal herbs were usually prepared was to serve as a backup should the pill forging fail.
In other words, the medicinal herbs were intended to be used in three separate forging process… And yet, Zhang shi actually instructed her to throw all of them into the pill cauldron…
Putting three portions of medicinal herbs into a single cauldron… To make an analogy, it was similar to a person driving three horses at once.
Was that even possible?
Worried, she quickly turned to her teacher for reassurance, only to see the latter continuing to issue instructions nonchalantly.
"Use the Cascading Silk Forging Technique to add in three stalks of Tricoin Grass and two petals of Red-leafed Flower…"
'Never mind, there is definitely no mistake in listening to teacher's instructions!'
Clenching her jaws in resolution, Luo Qiqi continued adding more medicinal herbs into the cauldron according to Zhang Xuan's instructions.
Back then, in the Apothecary Guild, she was also worried that the cauldron would explode at any moment. However, following the other party's instructions, not only did she succeed, she even managed to forge a grade-6 medicinal solution, gaining precious experience in the midst of doing so.
After witnessing the many eye-widening, tongue-tying means of Zhang shi, surely this should be nothing for her to worry about as well.
The further she progressed into the forging process, the faster the pace at which medicinal herbs were thrown in. As such, it didn't take long before the cauldron was teetering before its breaking point.
She wasn't able to overcome her anxiety the previous time, but after having experienced it once, she learned to let go of her fears.
Just as she was busy adding more medicinal herbs into the pill cauldron, Zhang shi's instructions suddenly sounded again.
"Intensify the flames for the Crimson Blaze Cauldron!"
The rapid pace at which the forging was going at currently had left her a little flustered. Upon hearing that the flames of the Crimson Blaze Cauldron had to be intensified, Luo Qiqi hurriedly drove her zhenqi and infused it over frenziedly through her left hand.
Hu la! The flames immediately intensified with zeal.
Using zhenqi to control the temperature of the flames was the most fundamental skill that every apothecary and blacksmith would learn as soon as they come into contact with the art. As a talented apothecary, Luo Qiqi had no problem doing so. What she was truly struggling with at the moment was multitasking.
With a hand busy with the medicinal herbs while the other infusing zhenqi into the Crimson Blaze Cauldron, it didn't take long for her entire face to be drenched with sweat. The cauldrons before her also kept rocking non-stop, threatening to explode on her at any moment.
Flustered, Luo Qiqi quickly turned to look at Zhang Xuan.
While the explosion of the Frigid Yin Pill would be much weaker than the explosion of the grade-6 medicinal solution they concocted before, given the current cultivation of the duo, it still wasn't a force that they could withstand.
Not to mention, the Crimson Blaze Cauldron was also in an unstable position at the moment.
The explosion of the pill cauldron would surely agitate the Crimson Blaze Cauldron as well, and the combined might of the two cauldron explosions would kill them even before the puppet could.
It could be said that they were in far greater danger than they were back in the Apothecary Hall!
When they forged the grade-6 medicinal solution back then, the head of the Apothecary Guild was around, and the forging was done within the Apothecary Guild as well. Even if an explosion were to occur, the guild leader and the formation within the guild would surely suppress the explosion as soon as possible, thus minimizing the damage. However… there was no such insurance here!
"Don't panic. Add a stalk of Mintaroma Flower into the pill cauldron!" Zhang Xuan continued instructing calmly.
In truth, he was also anxious at the sight of the rocking cauldrons, but he knew that this was the only way they could survive the dire situation they were in.
If the Glacier Rain Sword didn't reach Spirit pinnacle, they would be unable to kill the puppet. Even if they were to find the exit, they would surely be unable to escape!
Having experienced the fearsome might of that puppet firsthand, he knew that they would never be able to outrun it given their current cultivation.
Thus, this was their best and possibly only shot at survival.
Seeing her teacher's nonchalant attitude to the matter; Luo Qiqi felt reassured. Nodding, she continued intensifying the flames in the Crimson Flame Cauldron with her left hand while grabbing the Mintaroma Flower with her right.
Hu la la!
As soon as the Mintaroma Flower was thrown into the pill cauldron, the energies within it seemed to abruptly calm down. Luo Qiqi heaved a sigh of relief. However, at that moment, she suddenly felt a bizarre sensation in her left hand, so she hurriedly turned her head to take a look. With a glance, her eyes immediately narrowed.
"Teacher, bad news! The Glacier Rain Sword… is melting!"
Unknowingly, the fiery-red Crimson Rain Sword had softened, and it was just a matter of time before it would be reduced to mere metallic fluid.



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