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Volume 2, Chapter 22 – Ren Cai Made His Move, Swallowing the Pills inside the Jade
Under Huang Bao’s astonished eyes, Zhang Yan walked along the ship’s edge and returned back the courtesy toward the old man, “Doesn’t dare to accept, myself is Zhang Yan, not a Grandmaster.”
Upon seeing that Zhang Yan was so young, the old man was a little surprised for a moment, but his face soon returned to his usual nature and replied, “Fellow Daoist Zhang doesn’t need to be modest, your Serene Blossom Pills are odorless, colorless, and clear like pearls. It’s clearly reached ‘full integration with nature’, even if this pill was exposed under the sunlight for 100 days, these pills’ efficacy wouldn’t diminish. It’s truly rare pills and medicine.”
Zhang Yan had sent him this type of concocted pills, and under a Pills Master’s view, it was equal to demonstrating one’s achievement and abilities. Usually, this was used to compare notes with each other.
This concocted pill was indeed concocted by Zhang Yan, albeit the refining processes were controlled by Zhou Chongju at his side and was carefully guided on each step. While he also used medicinal herbs ingredients extravagantly in the refining. After having wasted 5 or 6 stoves, only this last stove could be considered as superior-grade concocted pills.
At that time, Zhou Chongju had examined this batch of concocted pills repeatedly for several times before he handed it to Zhang Yan and laughed that this batch was indeed enough to scare others.
The old man swept over at Zhang Yan’s faces for a few times and said, “There are a few concocted pills here. This one would like to invite Fellow Daoist Zhang to appraise it for a bit.”
Upon hearing these words, Zhang Yan couldn’t help but put an earnest and serious expression. He motionlessly looked at the old man with eyelids drooping and then replied, “Well, since Fellow Daoist has invited, how would this one dare not to comply?”
The other had been very polite to send out his request, which could be slightly regarded as an invitation amongst scholars to compare notes with others who also walked on the same learning path. And judging from this old man’s expression, it seemed that he didn’t believe that he was the one who refined these concocted pills. Therefore, he wished to weigh him directly and personally.
However, since Zhang Yan must enter the Water State with a Pill Master identity, he naturally must have enough support to maintain this status, ‘Just when I happen to need some people to rectify my name, this person actually comes and delivers it to my door, this is really convenient.’
In the Demon countries, cultivators with a higher cultivation than him could be found everywhere. Even if he was carrying an Azure Ocean Sect’s diplomatic envoy status, it still wouldn’t give him convenient respect. However, if he simultaneously hung his Pills Master’s brand, that would be greatly different.
This was indeed the kind of talents that the Demons States were truly lacking. Not to mention that most of them were taking the Strength Path that was always in dire need of pills’ support. These ‘pills or medicines’ words meant that this path would need concocted pills, of which, caused a Pills Masters’ status to be highly respected, even above ordinary Demon cultivators in these States. However, on the other hand, this also caused many unpleasant incidents due to a lot of Pills Masters that came from many Sects and mixed in these States to offer their services.
However, most Sects painstakingly cultivated highly skilled Pill Masters and strictly controlled each kind of secret pills’ formulas, never to divulging it to outsiders. Therefore, these people also couldn’t lower themselves to the low standard of pills’ concocting methods in the Demon States.
Zhang Yan then saw the old man wave his hand with an overwhelming imposing manner. The helmsman understood the signal and steered the ship to move over to Zhang Yan’s side.
Huang Bao also understood as he quickly ran and personally steered the ship as to make it closer to the other ship’s side. He also assigned some men to bring two long ladders and put it to connect to the next ship, covering it with two wooden planks, creating a very simple and crude bridge on the collar edge.
The young Demon cultivator on the next ship glanced at Luo Xiao who stood at his side with wariness and vigilance and then whispered to the old man, “Old Ren? How do you know that this person’s origin is not evil?”
The old man thought for a moment and said, “At present, due to the Alchemy Competition held by the Royal Sovereign Ji, it would attract many outstanding alchemists and cultivators from home and abroad just like carps crossing over the rivers. But this person is very young. If he really concocted these pills by himself, it means that his Master must be from a very famous family. This old remnant thought that this youth must have come from one of the 16 great factions in the Great Eastern Continent.”
This place’s earth veins had a very chaotic magnetic origin energy and could make one’s spiritual force disorderly. Thus, flying was very difficult, and it was very possible that one could fall down in a short time due to this. Zhang Yan was unable to imitate what Luo Xiao did in this kind of situation, so he walked along the simple bridge made of these two ladders step by step.
Luo Xiao, who was on the next ship, took the initiative to come forward and put on a maidservant attitude, positioning herself behind him; this move caused that youth Demon cultivator’s eyes to jump.
Zhang Yan cupped his hands over and spoke, “This one also wants to ask Fellows Daoist’s distinguished name.”
The old man’s expression was quite indifferent when he returned the courtesy and replied, “This one is only an old remnant that had learned a breathing practice from an honorable expert from overseas — Ren Cai.” Then, he moved to the side and spoke, “Please go inside and have a seat, Fellow Daoist.”
Zhang Yan stepped into the cabin’s door, and then looked around. The interior was succinctly arranged. However, the furnishings’ racks were very peculiar since all rows were made of white wretched front sharp teeth, giving off a feeling that some evil killing intent was caressing one’s face, reeking of blood.
Upon that seeing Zhang Yan’s attention was attracted by those things, Ren Cai then explained, “It comes from some monsters from the Eastern Sea and is quite popular amongst some clan’s patriarchs. It happens that I have brought some of these here. Fellow Daoist, please come.”
After the both of them had been seated, Luo Xiao and the young demon cultivator respectively stood behind them.
Ren Cai and Zhang Yan then had some courtesy and small talks. After having known that Zhang Yan came from the Azure Ocean Sect, Ren Cai didn’t dare to underestimate him and returned the Serene Blossom Pills. He also pushed a brocade case in front of Zhang Yan first. He handed it over and then cupped his hands and spoke, “Also asking Fellow Daoist to enlighten me.”
Zhang Yan received and opened the case. He found that there were 3 white-clay colored concocted pills. And from its appearances, these pills seemingly were not listed in the Pills Record List. However, this was also not strange since Pill Masters also had their secret methods and formulas, and it wouldn’t be strange to not know about it either. However, these 3 concocted pills were extremely alike either in luster, color, odor, and shape, which in itself was somewhat strange.
“This one calls these three concocted pills Longevity Augment Pills. Of which, this old remnant had refined according to an incomplete ancient prescription. It is said that these pills could prolong life. However, there was also a shortcoming. Only one pill can be in each stove, while the other two are highly poisonous, and only one of them that can increase longevity.”
Having spoken to this point, Ren Cai straightened up his body slightly, “This old man has been concocting pills for more than 30 years and was finally able to work out some methods. Albeit this one couldn’t help but feel somewhat regretful since this one was also unable to fully grasp it. Since Fellow Daoist also comes from a prominent background, I don’t know if it is possible to dispel this old remnant’s doubt?”
Zhang Yan looked at it and said, “Fellow Daoist, could you allow me to carefully examine it?”
Ren Cai lifted his hand and made a gesture like letting an honorable person to appraise it, albeit with a conceited and proud expression on his face.
In Ren Cai’s view, Zhang Yan was too young, and since he was able to concoct pills such as the Serene Blossom Pills, then he should have a good Master. One must know that in some big factions, there would inevitably be some secret methods and homemade formulas to concoct pills that were passed on. As long as one followed the prescribed order in it, being able to concoct one or two high-grade pills was not strange.
However, walking on the alchemy path, one must depend on the Three Opening Arts eventually. Of which, one could then be called a real expert and couldn’t fake in the slightest.
And to identify the differences between these concocted pills, one could only rely on the Three Opening Arts. He also had painstakingly trained for 30 years and could only find out a trifle slight difference. In the past, he had compared some notes with other alchemists and presented these three concocted pills to whoever came to have it examined and pointed out the differences. All of them also admitted defeat.
If they also refused to accept, they could swallow it at once. With this move, the opponents were defeated and left. This could be said that nobody could even win against him in all these years.
And for the Alchemy Competition this time, he was confident that with these pills, he would be able to suppress a lot of Pill Masters.
Zhang Yan looked at it for several times. Before he had entered the Second Stage of the Radiant Qi Realm, he also took the time to practice the Inner Opening Arts. However, the method was but only a method and the refining process was also but only a refining process. Of which, these two points were different. Either in identifying the concocted pills’ quality or refining it, it would pose no problem for him. However, to be able to identify such strange concocted pills was somewhat quite difficult for him.
However, although Zhang Yan had no ways to use the “Three Opening Arts” to clearly identify the concocted pills, he still had a method the opposite party could never think of by any means.
He put his hand into his sleeves and touched the Broken Jade to submerge his consciousness within.
Along with his cultivation’s promotion, the situation within the jade also changed. The previously Broken Jade’s space could only map and reflect a five steps distance of the outside scenery inside it. However, at this time, he could see fifteen steps of the outside scenery being reflected. Apart from living creatures, everything inside was exactly alike with the outside world, while the far distance was still covered with layers of fog.
As he shifted his vision from the distance, this time, an exact brocade case was in front of his avatar along with those three concocted pills that were neatly placed in a row.
A faint smile emerged on his face. Although he couldn’t use the “Three Opening Arts” or the “Inner Opening Arts” to distinguish these three concocted pills, he could use his avatar to swallow and test it.
He no longer hesitated. Picking up the concocted pill in the middle, he swallowed it.
The moment this pill entered his stomach, it was as if he was being burned, as his internal organs corroded in a split second and then tore his stomach. The fierceness of this poison was truly beyond his imagination.
His mind shifted again, and the avatar gradually recovered. He then picked the second pill and put it into his mouth.
After taking the second pill, at first, he felt nothing and everything was just like usual. However, a chilling coldness gradually spread toward all of his limbs and bones. Firstly, his hair fell down, followed by eyebrows, and all the hairs on his body, while his skin molted and cracked. The moment he wiped it with his hand, a thin layer of skin fluttered about.
Not only that happened, but the flesh on his body was also being corrupted and became a lump of hard block, which was completely like a chunk of soil that was about to fall.
His hand formed a fist, and the bone joint then bursted out from the body. He then stood up and it didn’t take two steps when his body, skin, and flesh slid down, as if it was clothing made of soft clay.
Zhang Yan didn’t have any interest to look again. One must know that even though testing it with the avatar posed no danger; however, the sensation was very real. In other words, he could still feel all those pains. If not because he previously had experienced it and already tempered his nerves to become incomparably tenacious, perhaps he wouldn’t have been able to even look at the scene.
These two pills must undoubtedly be poisonous pills.
His eyes couldn’t help but look at the last one.
Upon seeing that Zhang Yan was hesitating to move, Ren Cai couldn’t help but reveal a trace of a smiling expression. This youth was after all only a junior and his foundation was unstable. He only relied on his Master and dared to come forward and play with an old man. How could he have known that the alchemy world was boundless as a vast ocean, which was eternal, without limits? A youngster ah… he has yet to even accumulate thousands of miles of journey in alchemy, he must know that only by having solid foundation would one be able to achieve this stage.
At this time, Zhang Yan raised his head with his smile toward Ren Cai and picked the last concocted pill.
Ren Cai’s eyebrows slightly wrinkled even though his expression didn’t change. However, the next words Zhang Yan spoken shook his whole body, almost making him jump.
“This pill is not poisonous, but it also cannot increase longevity. Only when these three pills are used together would the effect be brought out.”