AST 1467 - Not happy, yet not too sad. The Five Yang Pill is concocted
That was the point of the entire sentence - if it had been in the past, Qing Shui would never have dared to joke about it.
Naturally, Tantai Lingyan was able to see through it. The man was a professional at taking advantage of a situation, but she also felt a bit reluctant to reject him. Hence, she nodded her head.
"Sure, but only occasionally."
If neither made an effort to crack an occasional joke, their life would have just been about two people trying to pass time together.
At her response, Qing Shui revealed a happy smile, "Sure, I will come to collect some rice once a day at most. I guarantee it won't be more than that."
The woman was rendered speechless at how serious Qing Shui sounded when he spoke, and chose to stay silent. She knew that much of what he said was just a joke so, naturally, she wouldn't take it too seriously.
Qing Shui returned to his own courtyard. As it turned out, he lived quite near Tantai Lingyan; in fact, they were only two blocks away from each other, and if they both looked out the window at the same time they would be able to see each other.
He felt he had gained a lot from his experience this time. The moment when the woman put the necklace around his neck he was already aware of how she felt for him. But the woman still had another option in mind: to spend her entire life alone.
He needed to work hard to change this. His aim was to get her to marry someone, and if she was to marry anyone it would be none other than him. Now, all he needed to do was get her to feel like getting married to him.
At first glance it seemed to be straight forward... When growing up, every man should look for a wife and every woman should find a husband. Left alone, everyone was a human being with emotions, and so under normal circumstances the path of marriage was one everyone must take.
The only problem was that Tantai Lingyan was no ordinary person.
Today, he got to hold her hand for half a day. It felt as though both of their hearts had grown closer. Her heart, originally frozen in ice, seemed to be melting gradually. Qing Shui could tell just by looking at her expression.
In spite of this, he simply could not understand what the woman wanted. As a matter of fact, he wondered whether she even had emotions at all.
He entered the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal and started his cultivation like usual, where he was finally able to relax entirely. Here there was less weighing on his mind, while before his countless troubles were like a huge mountain constantly putting pressure on him.
Now that a lot of his troubles had been solved, even if just for a moment, he was more relaxed. Instantly Qing Shui felt as though both his body and mind had strengthened vigorously.
As the saying goes: "drop the butcher's knife and immediately become a buddha". This was exactly how Qing Shui felt right now. As he finally let off the burdens in his heart, his entire body felt lighter. For a moment, his essence, qi and spirit were released and combined together as one, his state of mind boosted once more.
It was the same as how a poor person, once tight and stingy with money, becomes incredibly generous after suddenly coming into great wealth. Although, perhaps that wasn't quite right. It would be tough for a poor person to keep going if they weren't conservative, but a totally different story once they became rich when there was no longer a need to haggle over every penny. This wasn't being wasteful, it was just a way of thought.
It was also a kind of pressure. Pressure was a motivational tool, but the moment that pressure disappears one feels a sense of relief, relaxing their state of mind. It is normal for a poor person to be stressed; they have to fight their entire life just to ensure they have warm clothes to wear and good food to eat. Everyday they live their life in anxiety, worrying about suddenly losing their source of income. But once they no longer have to worry about clothes and food, that pressure is gone and they feel their life has become easier. For an instant, they would feel relieved.
Usually this situation comes in two forms. The first is when a person loses their past enthusiasm to work hard, because once they felt their life had gotten easier, even for a moment, they became lazy. Once that ambition is gone it becomes difficult for them to make any more breakthroughs. Akin to the saying "a beauty's nest was home to the heroes," any enthusiasm they once had for their great ambition has now trickled away.
The second form of situation appears when a person decides to undertake the tough path to reach even greater heights. Just like his past incarnation - the impoverished who suddenly became a millionaire - however he still is not content with what he has. His life is easy, without needing to worry about their clothes or putting food on the table. But this time, they could be thinking about becoming a billionaire, or even a zillionaire…
To best describe the first case scenario, in a kinder way, that person was simply content with what he had. To be harsher, that person was lazy and reluctant to make anymore progress. The same stands for the second scenario - you could say that the person was very enthusiastic and strived to continue improving themselves, or you could say they were not content with what they had and completely sunk themselves in desire for money. Despite being rich, they were under such heavy pressure that they were exhausted everyday. Would there be any fun in their life?
Qing Shui was pondering over his own situation when suddenly he felt a bit lost. Should he find himself in the first or second scenario? As a person who has lived twice, he has seen and heard a lot, but each had suffered in tragedies in the end. Even the World of the Nine Continents was no exception. For example, when a person failed to break through from Third Grade False God to Fourth Grade False God, forcing their soul from their body. From many a perspective, this was not worth it. There was bound to be those who would criticize him for not knowing his limit, not being content with what he had.
The problem was not the criticism. If that person were alive, what would they have thought? Many people regret their decision once it was made, feel that they didn't appreciate what they had at the time. If given another chance, they would definitely chose not to break through instead.
But there were those who would still choose to attempt to break through the Fourth Realm even after they survived it.
This was the kind of decision Qing Shui was facing now. Before this, Tantai Lingyan had it was likely she would stop here, with no intentions of going to look for Immortal Five Sects. After all, they were in Haohan Continent.
If that was the case, for the time being, Qing Shui no longer had anything of great importance at hand. With that in mind, should he be content with what he already had, or should he strive to climb to higher heights?
While in the realm, Qing Shui pondered over a few matters. It wasn't that he was dissatisfied with what he had, it was that he had no intention of making progress. This was easier said than done, or so anyone would think - the degree of self-control one needed for this was not so easily achieved.
Qing Shui was currently constantly improving his strength, but would never be satisfied with his progress. He must not let go of this golden opportunity and drown himself in the desire for power, a situation which would come to be known as a martial idiot and martial fanatics.
'Cleanse your mind and cultivate your spirit'. These words suddenly popped into Qing Shui's head, and he remembered the Taoist school of teaching from his previous incarnation. Deep within one's innermost being was a world, and one must keep this world in balance. It was not a difficult task, nor would it be easy; if it were, there would not have been so many cases of people driven mad with desire, leaving tragedies in their wake.
He felt neutral about it.
Qing Shui decided to put the matter aside for now. In order to find a balance, you had to set yourself a goal first - it was very easy to lose your way when you had nothing to do.
For now, Qing Shui still had his goals in sight. One: to become stronger than Tantai Lingyan and make her his woman, and to do that, he must surpass her. Two: find Yiye Jiange and make Putuo Mountain, Heaven Secrets Academy and Lotus Sect stronger.
Qing Shui had a sharper awareness of dangerous situations than ordinary people. If one day a force like the Immortal Five Tiger Sect was to appear again in the Soaring Dragon, Dancing Phoenix or Western Oxhe Continent, it would be very easy for tragedies to happen. If they wanted a better life they must not be allowed to weaken.
Haohan Continent, a place which Qing Shui really looked forward to going. It's likely that he would go visit that place. But for now, or for a long while, he has made his mind that he wouldn't leave this place.
Five Yang Pills!
Qing Shui began the preparation for the Five Yang Pills. Usually this would not be enough for him to refine the pills, but he had the Grade Eight Spiritual Medicinal Beast, the Dragon Slaying Beast, and the Heaven and Earth Spiritual Qi within the realm, as well as the Flower of Life and other Heavenly and Earthly Treasures to help shorten the time. Furthermore, he also mixed some of the Spring of Life and Buddha Stone in water to pour over it.
With the medicinal herbs in his possession, he was ready to refine the Five Yang Pills. Qing Shui calmed down his mind and to prepare for the process. Since he had experience refining the Four Yang Pills, he was relatively more confident at preparing them now.
Qing Shui followed the instructions and prepared all the precious medicinal herbs accordingly. After that, he began refining them. Thanks to his increased strength, Qing Shui was able to execute all of the instructions smoothly.
Qing Shui looked at the powder covering the Golden Flint Iron Cauldron and shook his head before continuing to refine the pills. It took him a few days to refine just one pill, so he was devastated everytime it failed - all that time and effort was for naught.
Failed again. The sun had risen on the sixth day since starting the process, yet still he failed. At this stage Qing Shui no longer felt as upset as he used to. After a short rest he continued his efforts at refining more pills. Alas, another six days passed. Usually the process took seven to nine days, so he was confident that success was not far from reach.
After hearing the sound of failures so many times Qing Shui felt elated at the sound of success.
It worked. The Five Yang Pill was finally finished. Qing Shui could not still the anxiety rising within him. How exactly would the Five Yang Pill be stronger than the Four Yang Pill? Certainly it would be a world away from the difference between the Three and Four Yang Pills, but it was sure to be even bigger than the gap between the Three and Two Yang Pills.
Qing Shui quickly opened the Golden Flint Iron Cauldron and looked at it with his Heavenly Vision Technique.
Five Yang Pill!
Effect: Significantly improves a person's physique, raising either three sun of the user's raw strength or three hundred sun of their overall strength. It also has the ability to toughen up the user's Dantian, meridians and organs.
Everyone is only allowed to consume one per year, and a maximum of ten pills in their entire lifetime. On the plus side, the One, Two, Three and Four Yang Pills don't clash with each other.
Condition to use it: Warrior's strength must be worth a minimum of a hundred sun.
The effect of the Five Yang Pills was exactly what Qing Shui expected. He was not particularly pleased, but he was not overly dissatisfied with it either - he was simply not surprised by its effect.
Nevertheless, Qing Shui still found the Four Yang Pill to be quite a decent medicine. Now that he possessed the Quadruple Portion Alchemy Recipe, he could increase his raw strength by another one hundred and twenty sun - already considered to be quite formidable - but it would take some time to consume forty of them.
From that moment on, Qing Shui dedicated all of his focus into refining medicines.
He immediately took four of the pills. With the Quadruple Portion Alchemy Recipe he was able to consume four times as many medicinal pills as before, increasing by forty-five Five Yang Pills.
Increasing his strength by more than ten sun might seem insignificant to others, but to Qing Shui it was a luxury.
Usually he could refine only one pill at a time; however once, halfway through the process, two popped up instead of one. Even Qing Shui could not explain how it had happened. But it only happened once.
Suddenly it felt as though any process Qing Shui had made in refining medicines had come to a halt. It had been two years, yet what experience had he gained? Qing Shui could not understand what was wrong. Perhaps there was a specific timing for it, but whatever the trigger was he had yet to find it.
The next day he gave Tantai Lingyan a few of the pills. Now Qing Shui didn't really have many left - understandably, considering it took him seven days to just refine one, not to mention that when he first started he failed a few times.
As for Hua Rumei, Qing Shui intended to give her some in a couple of days. Qing Shui didn't have any of the pills left now, with just enough for two people to take. This was to be expected, once you take into account that the process took fifty six days to refine eight pills, plus the occasional rest, not to mention all the times he failed.
The effect upon swallowing these few pills weren't really significant. But after a while, he would find his strength increasing significantly. By then, his overall abilities would have taken yet another step forward.