Translator: Silavin & PewPewLaserGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain
Inside the Pill Room, Yang Kai was sweating profusely as one pill after another was refined from his hands. Zong Ao’s eyes widened and he stared at Yang Kai fixedly.
As the sun set over the mountain valley, today’s Alchemy came to an end and Yang Kai put away the last pill without so much as a glance, placed the jade bottle on the ground, and kept a cross-legged sitting posture, popping a pill into his mouth to restore the Spiritual Energy he had consumed.
Zong Ao flew over in a flurry and unceremoniously grabbed the jade bottle, opening it and pouring out the ten pills refined today to carefully inspect them.
“How can this be? How can this be?” After a while, Zong Ao muttered to himself in a daze, his face filled with disbelief. It seemed that these ten pills had given him a great shock, even threatening to crumble his hundred years of unshaken conviction.
His face suddenly became a little pale as he stared over towards Yang Kai, a bitter smile creeping onto his face as he sank to the ground, as if he had lost all his strength.
Of these ten pills, three had formed Pill Veins!
This kind of success rate was something beyond Zong Ao’s wildest imagination.
He was a supreme Alchemy Grandmaster, and after several dozen years of dedicated contemplation, he had finally come up with an Alchemy method to achieve success in this field through sheer quantity. He had come to Rainfall Star to take advantage of the herbs provided by Heng Luo Chamber of Commerce, then consumed enormous amounts of effort for nearly a hundred years in continuous Alchemy, refining dozens of pills at the same time.
And even with all that, only when his luck was extremely good would he be able to refine three pills which formed Pill Veins at once. Sometimes, when his luck was bad, not even one such pill would appear.
But this little brat, through the method Zong Ao had once discarded, refining only one pill at a time, had actually managed to form Pill Veins with a thirty percent success rate.
This situation had not just occurred once or twice though, it had been happening consistently for nearly a month!
Every day Yang Kai refined ten pills, no more, no less, and among these ten, two or three pills would invariably form Pill Veins!
This gave Zong Ao an enormous shock as well as attack.
It had been two months since Yang Kai started to refine Burning Flame Pills. At first, when Yang Kai refined three hundred ordinary Burning Flame Pills, Zong Ao had mocked him fiercely, thinking he couldn’t even form Pill Veins, let alone Pill Clouds.
However, ever since the second month, this little brat’s actions had thoroughly shredded Zong Ao’s pride.
On the first day of the second month, Yang Kai refined two Burning Flame Pills which formed Pill Veins. Zong Ao praised him slightly, but still held onto his mentality of disdain, thinking he had just gotten lucky.
On the second day of the second month, when Yang Kai replicated these results, Zong Ao’s disdain disappeared.
On the third day, it was still the same, and Zong Ao could no longer sit still.
Finally today, Zong Ao felt as if he was on the verge of going insane.
A hundred years of persistence in his own philosophy felt as if were being struck by thunder and lightning every day Yang Kai refined these ten pills, all traces of confidence and pride evaporating from his body.
If Pill Veins were so easy to form, just what had he been doing for the past century?
Zong Ao’s efforts to develop a unique mass production Alchemy method seemed like a childish waste of time in the face of these Burning Flame Pills formed with Pill Veins.
Holding the slightly warm jade bottle, Zong Ao’s hand trembled and disregarding Yang Kai’s meditation to restore himself, he stroke over in front of him and anxiously said, “Boy, tell this old master what it is he is missing. Why are you able to refine so many pills which form Pill Veins?”
Yang Kai slowly opened his eyes and was greeted by the sight of Zong Ao’s bloodshot gaze, as if the latter had not had a good night’s rest in years.
Zong Ao had been contemplating this very issue for some time now, but no matter how he thought about it, he was unable to understand what Yang Kai had done which allowed him to so easily refine Pill Veins, causing his eyes to literally go red with jealousy.
“No idea, just luck I guess.”
Hearing Yang Kai’s blatantly perfunctory words, Zong Ao snorted, “Don’t think this old master is a fool, how could I not see that this has nothing to do with luck? Boy, don’t try to feign ignorance, explain clearly, this old master will compensate you.”
Right now, Zong Ao wished he could barge into Yang Kai’s Knowledge Sea and spy on his consciousness.
Yang Kai shook his head, “Old Zong, you also know that each school treats its Alchemy skills as treasures and will not divulge them to outsiders…”
“Smelly brat, didn’t you snoop around this old master’s Medicine Garden Spirit Arrays? Didn’t you read many of the ancient books in this old master’s study? When did this old master ever raise any objections while you pilfered those secrets?”
“Old Zong’s words are misplaced, as an illustrious Grandmaster, it is Old Zong’s duty to guide and instruct the younger generation, and besides, what I was able to learn was nothing more than some general knowledge and peripheral techniques, nothing even worth concealing. On the other hand, my method for producing Pill Veins is different, it is the very core inheritance of my school, how could it be compared with those Spirit Arrays? “
“This old master doesn’t care, if you don’t explain clearly today, this old master will open your skull and search your Soul!”
Such shamelessness, totally disregarding face!
Hearing this threat, Yang Kai felt great disdain in his heart.
However, he also knew that Zong Ao was just blowing hot air. With Zong Ao’s identity and strength, if he really wanted to force Yang Kai to explain his methods, there was no need for him to get so worked up or make such a force, he could simply take action.
Zong Ao acting in such a fluster now was because, despite being at his wit’s end, he had determined he could not resort to violence. He was simply extremely jealous of this method of refining Pill Veins, to the extent that he was willing to disregard his face as a Senior.
“At worst… this old master can worship you as his teacher!” Zong Ao snorted, his face completely solemn as if he saw nothing wrong with this statement at all.
Yang Kai gawked at him in shock, never having expected him to utter such shameless words, even feeling a hint of admiration.
Still, he shook his head, “Old Zong, it’s not that Junior can’t make an exception and enlighten you, it’s just that this method can’t be used by others.”
Back in Nine Heavens Holy Land, Yang Kai had freely taught the Alchemy Grandmasters of Tong Xuan Realm his method to refine Pill Veins, and although they had some gains, none of them could even approach Yang Kai’s level of skill. Only when Xia Ning Chang arrived did Yang Kai find a partner he could discuss this method with as an equal.
In the end, this was related to the magical properties of his Conflagrated Knowledge Sea.
“Whether others can learn your methods or not is up to them, this old master will figure something out on his own, you need not worry about my success or failure!” Zong Ao said with great determination, compared to learning this secret, his face was worthless.
Yang Kai felt helpless as he knew such a situation would occur, hesitating for a moment before saying, “Old Zong, how about we do an exchange?”
“What kind of exchange? What else do you want to take from this old master?”
“Your method of mass Alchemy, I want it,” Yang Kai said bluntly.
Yang Kai had never met anyone who could use several dozen pill furnaces all at once. Zong Ao’s Alchemy technique was both skilful and refined, enough so for him to open up his own school of Alchemy, Yang Kai very much wished to learn this method.
Using just his Saint Qi, Zong Ao was able to perform several dozen different Alchemy refinements at the same time.
Yang Kai could use both Saint Qi and Spiritual Energy to perform Alchemy, once he studied Zong Ao’s method, using it shouldn’t be an issue.
“See for yourself!” In a flash of light, Zong Ao extracted a plain-looking book from his Space Ring and tossed it over to Yang Kai without any hesitation.
Yang Kai caught it and flipped through a few pages, quickly determining that this was indeed the Alchemy method that Zong Ao pioneered. There was a detailed introduction to it as well as many explanations, presumably Zong Ao had written this book with the intention to one day pass it on to his disciples.
Now it had fallen into Yang Kai’s hands.
Yang Kai nodded lightly before storing the book into his own Space Ring, scratching his nose as he said, “These pill furnaces…”
“I’ll give you ten!” Zong Ao waved his hand, and although he spoke boldly, his face was still twitching.
It was obvious to anyone he was extremely distressed.
In order to collect these dozens of pill furnaces, Zong Ao had travelled far and wide to collect appropriate materials in order to refine them, nearly dying several times. After he had collected the materials, he had personally found a Grandmaster Artifact Refiner he was acquainted with to create them.
It could be said that each pill furnace was the crystallization of Zong Ao’s blood and sweat, a testimony to years of his hard work!
Now though he actually had to offer up ten of them to this brat, making him feel as if his heart was bleeding.
“Half!” Yang Kai raised a finger and swung it.
Zong Ao stared at him with even redder eyes, his face growing pale, seemingly on the verge of biting his head off, but after a long pause, he nodded, “Fine, half!”
In any case, when this little brat failed to refine a Burning Flame Pill with Pill Clouds, he would become his lifetime servant. When that happened, wouldn’t Zong Ao still own these things? Zong Ao had never been optimistic about Yang Kai’s chances, even if he had received tremendous shock this past month.
Only if Yang Kai’s luck was truly Heaven defying could he somehow manage to refine Pill Clouds, and if that were to happen, Zong Ao wouldn’t have anything to say.
However, such a chance was too slim.
Yang Kai smiled widely, not having expected these negotiations to go so smoothly. He had thought that after living in isolation for so long, and with his pride as a Grandmaster Alchemist, Zong Ao’s personal and negotiation skills wouldn’t be good, but how could Yang Kai have known they would actually be so terrible?
“Old Zong, have you never thought about engraving a Spirit Array into a pill just as it was about to form? To put it plainly, Pill Veins are simply a type of profound Spirit Array, if they weren’t, how would they be able to maintain a pill’s efficacy over vast stretches of time?” Yang Kai said to him with a smile.
“Engraving a Spirit Array into a pill?” Zong Ao’s eyes widened, parroting these words back as a look of shock filled his face. At that moment, the shackles and barriers which had fettered him for so many years were torn asunder, allowing him to gaze upon a wider world he could swim and soar through freely.
Alchemist needed Spirit Arrays to perform Alchemy, Artifact Refiners also needed to use Spirit Arrays in Artifact Refining. Many of the basic Spirit Arrays were even the same, but since ancient times, Alchemists and Artifact Refiners had thought of Spirit Arrays as auxiliaries to the refinement process. During a refinement, various materials were perfectly integrated through the power of various Spirit Arrays to allow them to achieve their peak effect.
No one had ever told Zong Ao that a Spirit Array which was designed to aid in Alchemy could be inscribed into a pill.
“Old Zong, perhaps you consider Pill Veins to be something generated naturally, but when I engage in Alchemy, I try to deliberately form Pill Veins. However, this process requires the use of a Conflagrated Knowledge Sea, only a Conflagrated Knowledge Sea can rapidly and perfectly portray an appropriate Spirit Array at the moment a pill is formed. I don’t know if Saint Qi can be substituted for Spiritual Energy in this process, but with this method, the probability of you refining Pill Veins should be higher than your current method.”