Chapter 21 Assessment
Within a refining room were over a dozen alchemists sitting in a circle all staring at a youth.
These alchemists were no longer young. Most of them were already over forty years old and even the youngest was in his thirties.
For a fifteen-year-old youngster to now claim he wanted to refine pills, all of them were stunned and had trouble believing it. Some of them were even shaking their heads in ridicule inside.
But they were all smart people and had all long since heard that grandmaster Yun Qi had made exception and given a youth a Pill Apprentice tablet. Although they didn't know if that rumor was true, none of them were foolish enough to display their contempt.
"Long Chen, although I am the head of the guild, even I cannot break the customs. If you want to get medicinal ingredients on credit, you have to refine a pill in front of all these alchemists. We will then use the refined pill's quality to decide how much you can take on credit," solemnly said grandmaster Yun Qi.
"This little one understands."
Long Chen understood that this was the alchemist guild and wasn't owned by any one person; with grandmaster Yun Qi's manner of doing things, there was no way he would give him preferential treatment that went against the rules.
"There are 187 types of first tier medicinal pill formulas here. You can randomly pick one." One of the alchemists brought over a paper. Within his eyes was some hidden anticipation for Long Chen's failure.
All the pill formulas on the page he had brought over were not just ordinary first tier pills. Their difficulty were all above average, and ordinary Pill Apprentices would not have a high success rate with them.
Moreover in a situation where all the alchemists were there watching you refine, in addition to grandmaster Yun Qi himself, it wouldn't be strange for someone to become nervous. In such an atmosphere, trying to refine a successful medicinal pill was extremely difficult.
The person who handed Long Chen that page was also just a Pill Apprentice. He was already over forty years old now; back when he had been attempting to pass the alchemist test, he had failed seventeen times before passing.
Everyone else present were all on the same level as him. All of them had used over ten attempts before passing.
It could be seen that to be able to get medicinal ingredients in advance from the guild was not an easy thing. But if you succeeded, it would become much more convenient for you in the future.
Long Chen read through the entire page and pointed to the last pill formula. "That one."
"What? You're sure?"
That person's expression became a bit strange. That pill formula was for the Qi Eruption Pill. It was an exceptionally domineering pill formula.
For a short time it allowed someone to explode with almost three times the amount of battle power.
The Qi Eruption Pill was something adventurers were very fond of. Although using it would cause someone to enter a weak state after its effect wore of, it didn't leave behind a permanent sequelae.
To people who spent all their days fighting Magical Beasts, the Qi Eruption Pill was a definite life-saving treasure.
But refining it was extremely difficult. There were several ingredients which possessed a tyrannical medicinal energy. Even amongst experienced Pill Apprentices, there were extremely few who would refine it.
After all, refining pills was not without risk. Although medicinal pills could be sold for high prices, their ingredients were not nothing. It required money.
The ingredients for the Qi Eruption Pill were extremely expensive. If you were unable to successfully refine it within three attempts, you would end up losing money.
Therefore there were few people who refined this pill. Too high of a price was also something adventurers were unable to afford. After all, if they had so much money, who would risk their life adventuring into dangerous places for profit?
"Yes, I pick that one," calmly said Long Chen. He didn't seem to bother at all with the anticipation in that person's eyes.
Grandmaster Yun Qi smiled slightly. He got a child messenger to go get three sets of medicinal ingredients. This was the rule; you would only have three portions and as long as you succeeded once it would be considered passing.
Once all the ingredients were placed neatly in front of Long Chen, he didn't have any hesitation. Taking out his pill furnace, a weak yellow flame arose from his hand.
In one breath's time, Long Chen gently brought his Pill Flame's energy over to the medicinal cauldron, slowly starting to heat it up. The next step was starting the cauldron; after heating it up, he had to use Spiritual Strength to urge the Pill Flame to enter into the cauldron.
The benefits from doing this were that it allowed for the entire cauldron to enter the correct state and reduced the chance of a cauldron explosion.
Long Chen actually had higher quality methods, but he had no choice but to use the alchemist guild's most basic techniques.
He didn't want himself to appear too shocking to others. That would not be of benefit to him in the future. If someone were to secretly turn against him, that person could cause a lot of trouble for him.
The people present originally considered Long Chen beneath them, but seeing his very practiced and skilled movements, the contempt on everyone's faces faded by quite a bit.
Once all the preparations were complete, Long Chen didn't hesitate before throwing in an Iron Thread Grass that was the first to be refined.
This action of his caused everyone who had just started to become interested in him to immediately think he was stupid.
The Iron Thread Grass required an extremely long time to refine. It was usually done in the later portion when the medicinal cauldron had completely heated up.
Only grandmaster Yun Qi's eyes flashed with a strange light as he secretly nodded.
What astonished everyone was that as soon as the Iron Thread Grass entered the refinement, before it even turned to powder, it was ejected from Long Chen's cauldron and placed to the side as he started refining a different medicinal ingredient.
Once he finished with the sixth ingredient, Long Chen once more started refining the Iron Thread Grass, but he didn't complete its refinement again before starting to refine a different herb.
This action was something none of them understood, but seeing grandmaster Yun Qi's eyes filled with admiration, they all couldn't help being startled. Could this youth's techniques really have some kind of secret behind them?
Long Chen refined the Iron Thread Grass a total of thirteen times before completely refining it. At this time, all the twenty-something medicinal ingredients had all been refined.
Under normal circumstances, a Pill Apprentice would normally take this chance to take a breath and calm their nerves.
But Long Chen didn't waste even that slightest bit of time. After refining all of them into powders, he directly started refining to form a pill. He started throwing in powder after powder into the pill furnace.
What none of them could understand was why Long Chen waited till the end to put the Iron Thread Grass essence into the cauldron.
With the circulation of his Spiritual Strength, the Pill Flame quickly shot up, and ripples from the heat appeared as Long Chen truly began his pill refinement.
"What a powerful Spiritual Strength!"
Everyone couldn't help being shocked. But at the same time they also shook their heads. If he started wasting his Spiritual Strength to increase the flame's strength now, how could he condense the pill later? It appeared young people really were too impatient.
Grandmaster Yun Qi was completely engrossed with his actions. In this place, only he understood what Long Chen's intention was. At the same time, he also started to like Long Chen more and more; with such a powerful spirit and the ability to do hard work, it was definitely possible for him to have great achievements in life.
What caused everyone disbelief was that even after an hour, Long Chen's Spiritual Strength didn't show any signs of weakening, but was actually becoming stronger and stronger.
The medicinal cauldron started to gently shake, and a powerful undulation came from it. Everyone's gaze focused; they all knew that this was the most critical moment.
With the medicinal cauldron continuously shaking, most alchemists would lower the Pill Flame's power to stabilize the cauldron.
But Long Chen didn't do that at all; on the contrary, he fed in even more Spiritual Strength and the Pill Flame became even hotter. The sounds and shaking from the cauldron became even more intense.
"What is he doing?"
All of their expressions changed. This wasn't refining pills; this was causing a cauldron explosion! He was clearly doing it on purpose!
The medicinal cauldron jumped and Long Chen suddenly used one hand to tightly press down on the cauldron's lid. A sudden burst of powerful Spiritual Strength completely exploded out.
The exploding pill furnace immediately stopped and returned to calm.
What a messy method! It's such a waste of energy.
Long Chen wiped away his sweat. Using this method to refine pills really was exhausting. But it was important that he didn't reveal his true strength. He could only display this basic, bitter method.
Gently lifting the cauldron lid, a dense pill fragrance immediately filled the air. Everyone was completely shocked.
"He actually succeeded!"
Everyone present could be considered experts, so without even needing to look inside the cauldron and relying just on the pill fragrance, they knew that he had succeeded. Most of them were filled with astonishment inside.
"Excellent. At the very least it should be a middle grade medicinal pill."
Grandmaster Yun Qi was looking at Long Chen in admiration. Long Chen had definitely far surpassed his expectations.
He had known that with Long Chen's Spiritual Strength it would not be difficult to successfully refine a pill. But he had wanted to know how good Long Chen's foundation was.
But today he saw that Long Chen's foundational techniques were incomparably sturdy and not at all inferior to Pill Apprentices who had trained for many years.
The most remarkable thing was Long Chen's deep understanding of medicinal essence. He knew the Iron Thread Grass was extremely fierce and required multiple refinements to curb that violent nature. Doing so would allow the pill's effect to increase and increase the chance of refinement.
Such a refining method was something no one within the alchemist guild knew about. Within the guild was a secret warehouse of rare tomes. A couple seniors had made recordings there.
The writings were unfortunately very vague, but it did have this theory: by refining the Iron Thread Grass multiple times, it should be possible to reduce its violent nature.
But those recordings were mostly extremely ordinary techniques or incomplete ideas. When it came to Pill Masters, who would be so kind as to just give away their blood, sweat, and tears?
Let alone the others, even grandmaster Yun Qi who knew about it had never mentioned this method of refining the Iron Thread Grass.
One reason was that he had no obligation to go teach others, and the other was that Pill Masters who weren't capable of innovation would not have any great achievements anyways.
When the others heard grandmaster Yun Qi say that it was a middle grade medicinal pill, they were all in complete disbelief.
Looking at the gazes all focused on him, Long Chen smiled slightly. With a wave of his hand, his spiritual energy pulled out five fully round medicinal pills.
Along two of the pills were some shocking eye-attracting veins - pill lines. This was a characteristic of at least middle grade pills.
For a moment, the entire room was silent. Other than grandmaster Yun Qi, everyone's eyes were filled with shock, admiration, and of course a trace of jealousy.
Seeing the five pills in his hands, Long Chen finally relaxed. Grandmaster Yun Qi took this moment to announce, "Long Chen has succeeded in refining a pill. I reward him a second class credit."
Everyone's expressions changed at that. A second class credit was a privilege that allowed you to buy second tier medicinal pill ingredients. This caused everyone's eyes to turn red with envy.
In front of everyone's complicated gazes, Long Chen followed grandmaster Yun Qi out of the room. But he suddenly turned to Long Chen and gravely said the following:
"Long Chen, be wary of that woman."