The night was long as he slept not more than 5 hours a day, just enough to recover his stamina. His wounds had healed themselves completely within the three days, justifying the effect of that super potion, probably even those premium hospitals in 5 major galaxies could be defeated by the pill.
Too bad he had none of those magical pills left. Night Enchantment was also already a goner during his run.
The three days lapsed with him scouting, observing every single plant around him. He dared not show negligence even to the tiniest sprout of weed on ground, hell knows if the weed was carnivorous as he tried recalling the few lines he captured when he studied the encyclopedia back then. As Lunatic Guan had once taught, the study of alchemy originated from the study of botanic, the study of plants. So the more ancient the branch of alchemy, the more likely it would have vast information on botanical studies.
And Ye Chong actually remembered the few details on each plant there, which meant all these plants were part of the entries in the encyclopedia, also proving that the branch in which Lunatic Guan studied was truly something from the ancient. That was something shocking, although Lunatic Guan had never mentioned anything about the origin of her studies, not even in her chip or from her words.
And regarding what exactly the branch he was learning, it did not seem to matter, even though what he had learned this far was beyond complication while he had literally zero foundation on the study itself. Well, as long as they were useful, they deserved to remain existed.
He distinguished each plant he perceived, whether they were dangerous, how could they be dangerous, of what kind of danger they impose - all for preparation. He did not have tools to perform experiment to test these plants out, he could only try to reminisce that part of the plant in the encyclopedia. What he needed to do was to grasp as much as he could in his he'd at the moment, to a point where the characteristics of these plants felt like at the back of his hand, so his security would be maximized, the likelihood of his survival would increase.
Ninetails, Borneo's Heart, Layered Lavender...
Names of the plants flashed in his mind quickly along with a massive amount of data refreshed constantly. His main focus would be those with high hazard levels and he would spend an extra few minutes on them whenever encountered.
Well, luckily plants as hazardous as the Pines of Spider Web were not that common, while having an easily discerned size. Those smaller plants with lower hazardous level could be potentially more dangerous however, like Dartelion for example, they could hide within the grasses effortlessly. One careless step and you would already be wounded.
Well Ye Chong was cautious enough to live the next few days without any casualty.
After the accumulation period, he finally started to hasten his journey, although he still could not tell where he was and to where he was heading. These plants were hindering his sights everywhere, to a point where they felt suffocating sometimes without seeing an opening.
On the seventh day Ye Chong started to feel at better ease moving within the forest. Certainly, at a presupposition that he was careful enough, since one mistake could cost his life.
His appearance was bizarre. His body was hung with quite a number of Vinesacks, like a Christmas tree. Any part of his body which would not hinder his movement could be a nice hanger for Vinesacks. He did maximize the use of his fleshy hangers with additional vines, but his vining skill sucks, making him look like a package to be delivered from the fish market. He would not mind as long as those vines would not break.
The Vinesacks contained the loots of his foraging daily.
That meant mealtime. The stomach reminded him so, as he stopped walking and took a look around. Okay, the plants were not as dense as the last spot he stayed, there should not be a problem. Perfect for taking a break. He took out his dagger and cleared an opening on the ground.
He got himself seated and withdrew a yellowish fruit. It was known as the Pomegold. It had a high nutritious value and was a pretty rare material for alchemy. Ye Chong made a chomp and chewed slowly. He would not end his only mealtime in seconds before the next few hours of journey. The forest bore lots of edibles but that did not mean he could let every food go to waste.
To be honest, the taste of Pomegold did not live up to its name. It was rather plain... but sufficient to provide Ye Chong the energy to travel. Well, if Lunatic Guan ever knew her apprentice ate some precious food as his daily course, she might be tossing the flasks at him now. Wait, not only Lunatic Guan, probably every professional alchemist would capture such preposterous sight, with their heart aching. What a waste!
After he finished the fruit, he took out Water Bamboo at his waist. As its name suggested, the bamboo could absorb the moisture from the earth and stored within its cavity. The water was pure and perfectly drinkable. To be frank, the fluid inside the bamboo was also a precious material for alchemy reagents since it only grew in tedious environment, which caused harvesting to be more difficult, thus the rarity. Nevertheless, there seemed to be quite a number of Water Bamboos in the forest.
The bamboo he got had 5 levels and each level was like a tiny cup that Ye Chong would use his dagger to slice open, revealing that juicy heavenly green which he would fail to resist after a sip and gargle everything.
It tasted way better than those sugary drinks of the known branches. It had that faint scent while being refreshing at his tongue. The liquid of Water Bamboo was exceptional to the taste of Ye Chong. He kept the remaining stand however, that would be his source of water.
He then closed his eyes and had forty winks. Well at least the dangerous forest ensured no wild animal raiding him when he was asleep.
2 hours passed, well it felt like two hours. He opened his eyes. He stretched his body, which felt replenished at that moment.
It was the 15th day and he started to get used of the place, as he could already tell if the plant was dangerous at one glance. And the Vinesacks were full, of all kinds of things he believed to be useful for his journey. He did not keep those precious plants he saw on his way however.
Preciousness could aid him nothing in survival. Those plants could be wasting a slot in his limited inventory.
The biggest loot he got was on the 18th day.
He forwarded with the more caution. And he flinched, as he felt something hard underneath his feet. The path of the forest before this had always been at soft and fluffy due to the additional layer of the withered leaves. Nothing this hard was felt before, not even a piece of rock.
He squatted after taking a glance at the surrounding. He withdrew his dagger and swept the leaves away.
That one item revealed from the brownish leaves sent him a stunning spell, while giving him an overwhelming joy right after. His hand grew towards the item with extra care.
It's... It's a flask?! There's a flask right here?
He removed the flask from the leaves. The flask seemed to be a portable version of its typicality, with a more limited design, but that was more than pleasing to Ye Chong.
A portable flask? Ye Chong had something in mind as he began digging with a twig, after keeping his dagger away. He could not dig the ground with a sharp blade, the edges could rupture something, assuming there was actually something really helpful underground.
There was something! There was indeed something!
A set of skeleton, once of a rotten corpse perhaps. There was no clothing left. Ye Chong presumed the corpse had been buried underground so long that every bit of it had disintegrated. Right next to the skeletons, there were a few containers typical to the alchemy laboratory, along with a few metallic accessories.
The dead should be once an alchemist. Speculated Ye Chong, the evidences were pretty blatant. His eyes were all glued upon the skeleton while giving zero attention on those accessories laying next to it.
If some jewelry-fanatics were ever along, they would go literally insane the moment they perceived the sparkle within the ground. There was a silver pendant with a piece of Skylee embedded, there was also a ring made out of dark amberjade - every single piece of the accessories was priceless, justifying the social-standing of the dead in the past. Well, to Ye Chong, they were not as valuable as the flasks though.
The containers were tightly sealed, which made Ye Chong hesitate to make his next move.
Like hell knows what the containers stored! Those could be the security measures, the self-defense mechanism by this once-alchemist possibly from the ancient to hurt people. And as far as Ye Chong revealed the reagents he made in the story, all of them turned out to be extremely fatal, the Bluefire chemical was the prime example, which one could never survive once they got ignited by Dimming Blue.
Assuming those were the contents, it would be horrible to open the containers recklessly here...
Nonetheless, the hesitation only lasted for a few seconds, as the need of a proper container demanded Ye Chong to gamble his luck. He made up his mind - he would be opening the containers.
He took the first container, which was tightly sealed, but well the effect of the content could not be guaranteed as it had probably been a century old.
He turned the knob. The inside was some dark red powder half a bottle full, soon a choking spiciness raided the air.
The heck is this? Ye Chong was bewildered, but he could not identify what it exactly was just yet. He gave it a thought... and carefully poured a little bit of the powder at one thick leaf of the Liebig tea sprout nearby.
A chemical reaction occurred?!
His nasal cavity was then choked by the tiny column of smoke. Ye Chong took a look at the sprout. The sprout had withered?! It only took a second for the powder to drain every bit moisture of the tea sprout. The thin trunk had lost its succulent strength and had shattered.
This is an intensive dehydrating agent?! Wait, I had seen something like this in the chip before... Redsand! The Redsand Dehydrator! The name struck Ye Chong's mind.
He then replaced the cap, with extreme caution as if fearing a single particle to be freed into the wind and fall onto his body. His heart tightened, he tried calming himself.
Such terrifying dehydrator!
"The Redsand Dehydrator is used for extremely efficient dehydrating. It is known for its spiciness and is a secret formula exclusive to the Smoke branch of alchemy."
That was the description of Redsand in the encyclopedia entry, although the formula, as the way it was referred, remained unmentioned in the chip. Never once Ye Chong would expect the "dehydrator" - while its name sounded uninteresting as Lunatic Guan briefly mentioned it - turned out to be such brutal horror. He believed, it would only take a little bit of Redsand Dehydrator to completely dehydrate a fully grown adult.
He recalled that there was a list of instructions on using the powder in the entry as well. Apparently, in order to handle the powder properly, the user would have to apply a thick coat of proofing on the hands. The proofing was rather simple to produce, It was technically a mixture of Pagodamadens fluid with Extrafragrans powder and a hint of Chrysanthemum Balm for condensing effects. The end product would be colorless while exuding a gentle hint of aroma. It would form a film over the hands to prevent the powder from contacting the hands. The proofing had a wide range of uses. Most deadly-on-contact alchemy production would require it for general handling.
Ye Chong did see these raw materials somewhere in the forest before.
So was this person from the Smoke branch?
Ye Chong looked at the skeleton, speculation began brewing in his mind as his curious eyes wandered at the few other containers.
He proceeded with his lucky draw as he opened the remaining fortune bottle, only to discover that all of the content had already decayed over the years. And Redsand Dehydrator survived the centuries probably because of its supreme quality seal. Well at least he got a few containers for professional alchemy now.
The flasks might be limited in its functions but the richness of the resources here had already provided him countless blueprints of his exciting production, since there were precious plants everywhere in the woods.
Ye Chong was so joyful that he actually cleaned the containers using the fluid of Water Bamboo extravagantly.
Ye Chong gave one last glance at the skeletons. On proper thought, he should bury it and he did eventually.
Just when he was gong to toss his first handful of dirt, he noticed the accessories.