Translator: Silavin & PewPewLaserGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain
Half a month later, the Dragon Turtle Spirit Fruits were delivered by Ha Li Ka as scheduled. After handing them over to Zong Ao, Ha Li Ka only took a glance over at Yang Kai in the distance before quickly departing.
They had done everything they promised, now whether Lady Xue’er could be awoken safely had nothing to do with them.
They could only wait and pray that Zong Ao really had the ability to refine Pill Clouds!
They didn’t know that it was Yang Kai who would be performing this Alchemy and Zong Ao didn’t bother to explain it to them.
Time passed by and another month later, Yang Kai slowly got up, put away the Seven Coloured Spirit Gathering Flags, and reluctantly walked back to Zong Ao’s palace.
The cultivation environment he had enjoyed these past few months was no worse than the one on the floating continent and his current Third Order Saint Realm cultivation had been completely consolidated. Now all he needed was a steady accumulation over time and he could attempt to break through to the Saint King Realm.
Yang Kai didn’t know if he would be able to obtain such a good opportunity in the future, so he was naturally reluctant to interrupt his cultivation, but with his life on the line, he had no choice.
Zong Ao seemed to be waiting for him to show his hand, and after Yang Kai entered the palace, the old man tossed over a few Space Rings with a smile on his face and said, “The herbs for the Burning Flame Pill are all here. Ha Li Ka and his bunch really went all out to prepare two thousand sets of materials, all of them Saint King Grade. Now, this old master is eager to see how you can refine a Burning Flame Pill with Pill Clouds.”
“Senior, don’t forget about our bet!” Yang Kai glanced at him lightly, his voice completely calm.
“Good, this old master always means what he says,” Zong Ao coldly snorted, “Are you ready to prepared to spend your life as this old master’s errand boy?”
He was still reluctant to believe that Yang Kai could do what he had said.
“Wait and see!” Yang Kai grinned before putting away the Space Rings and walking inside.
Xue Yue was still the same, breathing smoothly, her vitality strong, so there would be no problem for the time being, but since Zong Ao said that in her current state, she could only live for at most a year and a half, Yang Kai knew this wouldn’t last forever.
Calculating the current time, she only had about a year left.
Yang Kai wasn’t anxious though, his life now depended on refining an appropriate Burning Flame Pill, which meant he had to succeed no matter what.
“Old Zong, I’ll need to borrow your Pill Room,” Yang Kai said as he walked into Zong Ao’s usual Alchemy space.
“As long as you can sincerely convince this old master of your words, you’re free to borrow this place,” Zong Ao followed Yang Kai inside, not showing the slightest trace of politeness, obviously intending to observe and emulate Yang Kai’s methods.
If Yang Kai really possessed a method to refine Pill Clouds, he could study and replicate it. Even if he lost half of the Profound Yin Sunflower Water, he would be willing.
Conversely, if Yang Kai was just shamelessly boasting, Zong Ao was happy to watch this joke play out while obtaining a servant he could order around for a lifetime.
Zong Ao was ready for a protracted campaign, and as soon as he entered the Pill Room, he dragged the only chair over and sat down silently, concealing even the sound of his breathing, seemingly unwilling to disturb Yang Kai’s concentration in the slightest, lest it give the young boy an excuse later on.
Yang Kai noticed all this but made no attempt to stop Zong Ao, walking over to the examine the several dozen pill furnaces, reaching out and patting them from time to time, nodding continually, a look of envy appearing in his eyes.
Zong Ao was at least an Origin Grade High-Rank Alchemist, most likely even an Origin King Grade Alchemist. How could his pill furnaces be anything but extraordinary?
There were several dozen pill furnaces here of various sizes, each one of extremely high grade, the lowest still a Saint King Grade High-Rank artifact.
Yang Kai, on the other hand, was still using the small pill furnace left behind by Great Demon God. On Tong Xuan Realm, this small pill furnace was considered quite good, but compared to the ones owned by Zong Ao, it is a person on the ground gazing up at the Heavens, several grades worse at least.
A good pill furnace could greatly improve the stability and fit of an Alchemist’s Spirit Arrays as well as increase the success rate and quality of the refine pills.
Therefore, in addition to their lifetime pursuit of Alchemy, Alchemists would also expend great effort to obtain or refine an excellent pill furnace.
Seeing Zong Ao’s collection of outstanding pill furnaces here, how could Yang Kai not be jealous? He even secretly regretted that he didn’t add these furnaces into their previous bet, wondering if he asked now whether Zong Ao would refuse or not.
After looking around, Yang Kai’s eyes fixed on the highest quality pill furnace, patting it gently and nodding, choosing to use it for the time being.
“Your eyes aren’t bad, little brat,” Zong Ao, who had been watching silently, couldn’t help commenting with a snort upon seeing Yang Kai select his own favourite pill furnace.
Alchemists had special feelings regarding their pill furnaces, many of them even regarding their pill furnaces with the same level of importance as their wife or daughter, something that belonged only to them and who no other was worthy to touch. Whoever dared to covet it, they would be willing to fight all out with.
Probably because he owned so many pill furnaces, Zong Ao didn’t have such an overbearing mentality, but this scene still brought some bitterness to his heart.
Yang Kai pretended he hadn’t heard anything and simply began sorting out the herbs inside the various Space Rings to avoid having to search for them later on when he needed them.
Sitting down cross-legged in front of the pill furnace, Yang Kai’s expression instantly became solemn.
Zong Ao’s eyes brightened and he couldn’t help nodded silently.
This rapid change in temperament and expression alone allowed Zong Ao to understand that Yang Kai was not a novice; this young man had extensive experience in the Alchemic Way. If he hadn’t, he wouldn’t have been able to assume such a state, completely focused, nothing else existing in the world other than the herbs and furnace in front of him.
Zong Ao himself also entered this state when he was performing Alchemy, so he naturally knew of its rarity and mystery.
However… two thousand sets of materials, repeating the same refinement over and over again. Doing this for an extended period of time would cause anyone to become irritated, breaking their concentration. Once such a situation occurred, it would become impossible to refine a proper pill.
Zong Ao’s thoughts turned over quickly and a smile appeared at the corner of his mouth, preparing to watch a good show.
A scorching force suddenly spread from Yang Kai, but this force wasn’t Saint Qi or any other kind of physical force, but instead came from his Spiritual Energy from his Knowledge Sea.
“Conflagrated Knowledge Sea?” Zong Ao’s face changed suddenly, his eyes bulging as he couldn’t help calling out in alarm.
His body, which had been reclining in his chair, suddenly sat up and even leaned forward, his neck stretching out as if doing so would allow him to see more clearly.
The expression on Zong Ao’s face changed dramatically, as if he was excited and panic-stricken at the same time, a look of disbelief and even some jealousy appearing in his expression. He even crushed the armrest of his chair, inadvertently.
It was actually a Conflagrated Knowledge Sea!
Zong Ao’s heart flooded with complicated emotions.
As a skilled Alchemist, how could he not know how valuable a Conflagrated Knowledge Sea was? Even he didn’t possess such special Spiritual Energy. Conflagrated Knowledge Seas were a rarity, some were innate while others were acquired, but as long as one could obtain a Conflagrated Knowledge Sea, it would dramatically improve their Alchemy ability.
With a Conflagrated Knowledge Sea, performing Alchemy would become more efficient and effective. In his life, Zong Ao had met one or two Alchemists who possessed Conflagrated Knowledge Seas, each of whom used their special Spiritual Energy to refine pills at a monstrous level of efficiency, making Zong Ao candidly admit his inferiority.
More than two hundred years ago, after witnessing the astonishing methods of a colleague with a Conflagrated Knowledge Sea, Zong Ao had devoted himself to finding a way to transform his own Knowledge Sea, seeking out various flame essences and attempting to refine them into his own Soul.
At that time, he barely managed to survive and severely damaged his Knowledge Sea.
Only after several dozen years, taking many elixirs and precious treasures, was he gradually able to recover.
Although he had not been able to mutate his Knowledge Sea, during those few decades of cultivation and recovery, he was able to come up with the idea of mass Alchemy in order to increase the appearance of Pill Veins.
But now, a young man less than thirty years of age actually owned a Conflagrated Knowledge Sea. How could Zong Ao not be envious?
As this envy surged, Zong Ao suddenly recalled all the suffering he had experienced in the past, causing him to shiver in fear as well as eliminate any covetous feelings he might have had.
His eyes shining brightly, Zong Ao watched Yang Kai begin condensing the medical liquids, thinking to himself that Conflagrated Knowledge Seas were indeed worthy of their reputation. This boy’s cultivation wasn’t high, just a recently promoted Third Order Saint; however, under the effects of his Conflagrated Knowledge Sea, these Saint Kings Grade herbs were rapidly condensed into pure drops of medical liquid.
Exquisite Spirit Arrays were formed in the air and then inserted into the pill furnace, followed by the condensed medicinal liquids. Although there were some slight flaws in the timing, for someone refining the Burning Flame Pill for the first time it was pretty good.
No Alchemist was immediately proficient in refining pills they had never created before, that required time and experience! Zong Ao was certain this was Yang Kai’s first attempt to refine the Burning Flame Pill, so being able to show this much skill was already beyond his expectations.
Another Spirit Array was depicted and then inserted into the pill furnace, replacing the previous one. The various Spirit Arrays fit perfectly inside the pill furnace and merged with one another, causing the medicinal liquids to undergo subtle and wondrous changes.
“How is that possible?” Zong Ao exclaimed again, unable to understand what he had just witnessed. How could so completely changing the configuration of the Spirit Arrays in the middle of Alchemy not affect the production of a pill?
Although he would sometimes change the Spirit Arrays while in the process of Alchemy, he would do so with extreme care and only chose to do so during moments when the tolerance for error was relatively large.
However, Yang Kai was able to change Spirit Arrays in an unbridled, nearly careless manner, doing so more than a dozen times in quick succession.
Zong Ao wanted to grab Yang Kai immediately and ask him what was happening, but he was also too embarrassed to do so, only able to choke down his doubts and wait while trying to calm his anxious heart.