Translator: Silavin & PewPewLaserGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain
Inside the Pill Room, Yang Kai waved his hands constantly, portraying one Spirit Array after another, continuing to destroy and replace the ones already inside the Pill Furnace.
When portraying these Spirit Arrays, his Spiritual Energy fluctuations seemed both strong yet delicate all at once.
The longer Zong Ao looked, the more anxious he became, and it wasn’t long before his indifferent facade collapsed. He even recklessly approached Yang Kai in order to get a better view of the Spirit Arrays he was using.
These Spirit Arrays were all familiar to Zong Ao, some of them even his own original creations. It was abundantly clear that this little brat had stolen these Alchemy skills from him and was now using them for his own purposes.
However, these Spirit Arrays which were so familiar to Zong Ao were actually undergoing some profound and mysterious changes after being inserted by Yang Kai into the pill furnace, allowing the medicinal liquids to churn and condense in subtly different ways. Soon, a rich pill fragrance began to diffuse.
Zong Ao showed a thoughtful expression, faintly feeling like a crack had opened up in the barriers which barred his own advancement; he wanted to peer through this crack more clearly but was unable to immediately force it open, nearly causing him to stamp his foot in annoyance.
He was a true Alchemy Grandmaster, and in terms of true Alchemy skills and techniques, was far beyond Yang Kai.
But now, observing Yang Kai’s completely different methods, Zong Ao’s eyes brightened up. Sometimes, even an inadvertent action by others could bring about unexpected gains to another, allowing them to fall into a state of epiphany.
Therefore, as each new era developed, new Alchemy methods also appeared and developed, and over the countless years, countless Alchemists had created countless branches of Alchemy, each with their own unique Spirit Arrays.
Even someone as knowledgeable as Zong Ao didn’t dare claim to have mastered all Alchemy skills in existence; he still continued to explore his own path in an attempt to pursue his goals.
After a hundred years of near secluded Alchemy, his thinking had become somewhat rigid, so seeing Yang Kai’s actions now had brought him many inspirations related to all aspects of Alchemy, even ones that Yang Kai’s current process had nothing to do with.
“Keep refining, what are you stopping for?” In his agitated state, feeling like he was on the cusp of multiple new discoveries, Zong Ao suddenly found that Yang Kai had actually stopped his movements and couldn’t help speaking up.
“Old Zong, can you be quiet? With you acting like this… I can’t focus on Alchemy,” Yang Kai frowned at him.
Zong Ao’s face blushed bright red, unable and unwilling to say anything.
He then noticed that from inside the pill furnace in front of Yang Kai, a burnt smell was wafting out, and the medicinal liquids which had been tumbling about had all become useless. Apparently, this Alchemy attempt had failed, wasting the batch of herbs.
“Such a result is inevitable for a first attempt,” Trying to cover up his embarrassment for disturbing Yang Kai’s Alchemy, Zong Ao actually took the initiative to speak a few words of comfort before waving his hand, “Good, this old master will sit back down and promises to not disturb you anymore. Go ahead and continue!”
Saying so, he walked back to his chair and sat down, concealing his aura again.
If he didn’t look back now, Yang Kai wouldn’t even be able to notice Zong Ao’s existence, it was clear this old man’s cultivation was far above his own.
Yang Kai shook his head. Through these days of contact, he had discovered that although Zong Ao had a strange temperament, his obsession with the Alchemic Way was incredibly strong. Anything to do with Alchemy could arouse his interest. If this weren’t the case, he wouldn’t have remained in isolation here for a hundred years just to further his pursuit of Alchemy.
As long as he could refine one or two pills that formed Pill Veins, he would be extremely excited.
Such people seem unfriendly and indifferent, but they weren’t difficult to deal with. As long as one could win their favour, they would be easier to get along with than anyone else.
Yang Kai had encountered many such people before so he knew how to cope with them.
Yang Kai wasn’t worried about Zong Ao stealing his Alchemy skills because, in front of Zong Ao, he couldn’t stop him no matter how he tried.
To Yang Kai, he also did not care much about keeping his Alchemy skills secret. However much Zong Ao could learn from observing and emulating was fine with him.
What Yang Kai was concerned about was the Profound Yin Sunflower Water!
After clearing the burnt dregs from the pill furnace, Yang Kai started refining a Burning Flame Pill again.
The first refining failing just now was not because of Zong Ao’s interruption. Even if Zong Ao was shouting loudly, he wouldn’t have been able to break Yang Kai’s concentration. When he was in Nine Heavens Holy Land, every time Yang Kai performed Alchemy, several people would be around him studying his methods and conversing endlessly. Yang Kai would even join these conversations at times and answer questions he was asked. He had long ago gotten used to this.
In truth, Yang Kai failed to refine the Burning Flame Pill just now because it was his first attempt and he had yet to master the necessary control and timing.
During the second refining, Yang Kai had learned a lot, and although it still failed in the end, it did not dampen his enthusiasm.
After the third refining failed at the last moment, Yang Kai’s expression became more confident. He felt that he had understood the full process required to complete the Burning Flame Pill.
Finally, on the fourth attempt, a rich pill scent filled the air and Yang Kai successfully extracted a Burning Flame Pill from the furnace.
Yang Kai placed the warm pill in a prepared jade bottle. Before Yang Kai had enough time to even catch his breath before it was taken away by Zong Ao. After only one glance, Zong Ao threw the jade bottle back, snorting as he commented, “You succeeding after only four attempts isn’t bad little boy, but you couldn’t even form Pill Veins, so how do you expect to refine Clouds?”
“What’s the hurry? This is just the beginning,” Yang Kai smiled, ignored him, and continued onto the next refinement without even a break.
The disdain on Zong Ao’s face gradually converged and was replaced with solemnity as he grumbled in his heart.
When it came to speed, a Conflagrated Knowledge Sea was truly a terrifying tool for Alchemy.
Even if he had taken action personally, Zong Ao estimated it would take him a stick of incense worth of time to refine a Burning Flame Pill, but this little brat’s first success actually only required an hour.
By comparison, an hour seemed quite long, but Zong Ao knew better than anyone that if it only took this long for this little brat on his first time, as he became more adept at refining the Burning Flame Pill, that time would rapidly shrink and may even become indistinguishable from his own.
In terms of cultivation Alchemy level, or even time spent studying the Alchemic Way, Zong Ao far, far exceeded Yang Kai, but very soon it was possible he could refine the same pill in the same amount of time.
What kind of concept was that?
Zong Ao was immediately envious of Yang Kai’s Conflagrated Knowledge Sea again, anxious to take it for his own use, but when he remembered the pain he had experienced all those years ago, he managed to bear it.
Days passed by.
Every day, Yang Kai would refine ten Burning Flame Pills, no more, no less. After refining these ten pills, he would sit in cross-legged meditation immediately and, while restoring his Spiritual Energy, would reflect upon his Alchemy process, improve his understanding.
During this time, Zong Ao didn’t bother Yang Kai and was also often lost in his own contemplations.
Since Yang Kai began, Zong Ao had not performed Alchemy even once, spending each day watching Yang Kai repeat the process of refining the same type of pill over and over and over again, seemingly without end.
But not only did Zong Ao not feel bored, he rather enjoyed watching.
The frequent replacement of Spirit Arrays inside the pill furnace Yang Kai performed had seemingly opened up a new avenue in Alchemy for Zong Ao. He had never before thought of replacing the composite Spirit Array while refining a pill over a dozen times.
Yang Kai’s bizarre and seemingly eccentric methods gave Zong Ao a sense of excitement and he felt as if the clouds obscuring his view were clearing, allowing the bright rays of the moon to shine in.
As a top-level Alchemy Grandmaster, Zong Ao’s thoughts and ideas expanded far beyond what Yang Kai had demonstrated to him and he faintly felt the mental block that had bound him for many years show signs breaking.
This discovery made Zong Ao’s blood boil.
One month passed by, and Yang Kai had now successfully refined three hundred Burning Flame Pills. When each pill was refined, Zong Ao would grab it and inspect it, but to his surprise, all three hundred Burning Flame Pills Yang Kai had produced were just ordinary pills.
Yang Kai’s tone had been so confident before, that Zong Ao had believed he possessed some kind of extraordinary ability that would at least occasionally allow him to refine Burning Flame Pills with Pill Veins.
But among the three hundred pills, not even one was formed with Pill Veins.
Zong Ao couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed and finally asked, “Little brat, can you even refine Pill Veins? If you just want to rely on luck to form Pill Clouds, this old master advises you to give up. During this old master’s lifetime of Alchemy, even if he hasn’t produced a million pills, he has at least produced several hundred thousand, but out of all those, only a handful formed Pill Clouds, and their grades were not high. Do you want to produce Pill Clouds within just two thousand attempts? Wishful thinking!”
“I don’t intend to rely on luck,” Yang Kai smiled, “The first three hundred pills were just for me to familiarize myself with the process.”
“Become familiar with the process?” Zong Ao looked at him suspiciously.
“Now I know how to refine the Burning Flame Pill at the fastest speed and with the optimal Spirit Arrays, so the important part comes next.”
Zong Ao frowned, wondering what Yang Kai was planning.
Over the past month, the speed at which he refined Burning Flame Pills had indeed grown faster and faster. In the beginning, it had taken Yang Kai an hour to make a single pill, now he didn’t even need half an hour, and Zong Ao believed that as long as Yang Kai continued, this time would eventually be shortened to an amazing degree.
What surprised Zong Ao the most however was not Yang Kai’s Alchemy speed, but his success rate.
After the first three pills failed to be refined by him, Yang Kai suddenly seemed to have reached completely mastery, never again failing to successfully refine a pill.
Zong Ao was nearly shocked to death by Yang Kai!
Even if it was him, some unexpected conditions would inevitably occur during Alchemy, causing him to fail and burn the medicinal liquids. Such a situation basically could not be avoided by any Alchemist.
However, this kind of common sense seemed to not apply to Yang Kai. Every batch of herbs become a pill, and although the quality of those pills differed slightly due to adjustments in temperature and timing, as time passed, the quality of the Burning Flame Pills refined was on average improving, nearly fully utilizing the medicinal efficacies of the herbs.
[Is this the true terrifying merit of possessing a Conflagrated Knowledge Sea?] Zong Ao thought to himself absentmindedly.