News of the battle on Compass Mountain, as well as news of Long Chen killing monastery disciples in the canyon, resounded throughout the entire secret realm.
Quite a few people ran over to confirm its veracity. Seeing the ghastly corpses, they were all horrified.
At the same time, countless criticizers spoke out against Long Chen, believing Long Chen to have a vicious heart and ruthless methods. Having slaughtered members of the same path, he was guilty of terrible crimes.
However, such words could only be said behind his back. That was because after those two huge battles, no one dared run out and provoke Long Chen again.
They could only express their own sense of righteousness behind his back. No matter how great the rewards offered were, no one was willing to go and find trouble for Long Chen again.
As for that hand behind the curtain that had been constantly urging people on, it had become powerless. One reason was because the matter of someone deliberately targeting Long Chen had already become common knowledge. As cultivators, just how many people were so stupid? The majority of people had already seen through what had happened.
The other reason was that while some subordinates were busy trying to instigate people to target Long Chen, most people had already entered seclusion now. So just who would bother with them?
Just how many of them truly cared about who was good and who was bad? Those subordinates were just wasting their time. In just a few months, the secret realm’s exit would finally open.
At that time, there would be a huge battle between the Righteous and Corrupt paths. Those with weak cultivation bases would all die within the secret realm.
These people all considered the first monastery, as well as Long Chen, to be acting idiotically.
Before that huge battle, they were actually busy with inner strife. If that wasn’t idiotic, then what was? So most of the Righteous path’s experts were all just sneering at Yin Wushuang’s attempt to spread her propaganda.
As for the Corrupt path’s experts, they had long since vanished into seclusion. They were focused on that final battle.
They didn’t like inner strife. If the Righteous path wanted to fight amongst themselves, then that was fine. They would focus on increasing their strength, and when the time came, they would slaughter the Righteous disciples. In the end, wouldn’t those treasures that the Righteous disciples had risked their lives for end up in their pockets anyways?
Yin Wushuang had a group of people spreading her propaganda, but everyone was already in seclusion. Just who were they spreading that propaganda to? It wasn’t as if they could just shout as loudly as possible all day. If they ended up disturbing an expert’s seclusion, they would probably be killed directly.
After trying to instigate more people for two days without any results, Yin Wushuang could only helplessly give up. Her people all went into seclusion.
So this was the calmest time of the Jiuli secret realm. Other than some brazen experts or some criminals fleeing deeper into the secret realm, essentially everyone had entered seclusion and begun tempering their bones.
As for those disciples who had come from humble origins and didn’t have Bone Tempering Pills to use, the only thing they could do was focus on increasing their cultivation base, wanting to use their realm to make up for their lack of tempered bones.
Although that wasn’t very effective, it was better than doing nothing. That final battle would have to do with everyone’s life and death. No matter how many treasures they had gained in the secret realm, if they couldn’t leave, it would still be useless.
During this time, Long Chen was still focusing day and night on refining pills. At this time, the only person guarding them was Guo Ran.
Everytime someone would furtively attempt to spy on them, Guo Ran would get rid of them with a single arrow. Those who were still focused on them at this time had to be enemies.
So Guo Ran was now like a hunter patiently waiting for rabbits to take the bait. But after killing several people, a week passed without him making anymore harvests. He began to feel bored.
Although looking at Long Chen refine pills was something very pleasing to the eye, no matter how amazing it was to watch, after seeing it dozens or even hundreds of times a day, a person would still get tired of it.
“Boss, how much more until you finish refining?”
“Not much. Right now we already have six thousand Bone Tempering Pills. After another two days, all the medicinal ingredients will be used up,” answered Long Chen.
After refining day and night, Long Chen had accumulated more and more medicinal pills. However, the medicinal ingredients only decreased.
Some of those living medicinal ingredients had been kept within his life ring. He wasn’t planning on using them to refine pills. After all, living medicinal ingredients were a hundred times more valuable than dead ones. In the outside world, Long Chen could obtain a massive amount of wealth from them. Furthermore, these living herbs were ones that people would fight over to buy, which would make the price skyrocket.
His life ring was packed with precious herbs, but Long Chen didn’t care whether or not they were comfortable inside. In any case, it was fine as long as they didn’t die. Even if their branches snapped or their leaves fell, even if they were on the verge of dying, it was still fine.
In any case, those things were priceless treasures in the outside world. Even half-dead herbs would be treated importantly by sects. Those sects definitely had ways to make them flourish again.
In the outside world, many precious medicinal ingredients had already gone extinct. But there were also some precious herbs that were all in the hands of certain sects and powers. They treated those precious herbs as things even more important than their wives, and sometimes they wouldn’t even let others know they had them.
Even if they were to sell them, they would only sell dried-up herbs. They would rarely ever let people know that they had the living versions which they could breed themselves.
It was only when something was so rare that no one could obtain it that its price would skyrocket. So there were actually quite a few ‘extinct’ herbs that the larger powers possessed and kept secret from the rest of the world.
The price of those herbs was all controlled by those sects. As they steadily drove those prices higher, the smaller powers could only spend an exorbitant amount of money to purchase them. As a result, the larger sects only grew stronger, while the smaller sects always remained weak.
For example, Xu Yang’s sect was so poor that they were unable to even prepare Bone Tempering Pills for him. That wasn’t because they didn’t care for Xu Yang enough. In fact, once Xu Yang left the secret realm, they would go all-out to groom him. Bone Tempering Pills were just too rare, and his sect only had the wealth to raise a single expert.
If they ended up giving their Bone Tempering Pills to Xu Yang, and he died in the secret realm, then his sect would decline even further. Xu Yang’s shoulders were carrying the fate of his sect right now. He was their one chance to rise, and so he couldn’t accept Long Chen’s offer.
This was also why the cultivation world, with its thousands and thousands of sects, still had most of its resources in the hands of just a few people. The smaller sects could only struggle while constantly on the verge of collapse.
As for the larger sects’ disciples, even ordinary disciples could easily fight above realms with the Elders of smaller sects. That was the difference between them.
“Boss, if we completely absorb all these medicinal pills, how many bones can everyone temper?” asked Guo Ran.
“Splitting it equally, each person would get almost eight hundred Bone Tempering Pills, and according to the normal cultivation world’s theory, you would all be able to temper sixteen or more bones.”
The Bone Tempering Pills that Long Chen had refined were not the same as the ones in the outside world. The medicinal formula was several times’ better, and it was capable of fully activating the medicinal energy.
Most importantly, the medicinal ingredients Long Chen were using were either alive or had only just died, which further increased the medicinal energy. Furthermore, due to the fact they were just alive, their medicinal energy was also easier to absorb. At the very least, Long Chen’s Bone Tempering Pills were ten times more effective than the Bone Tempering Pills on the outside world’s market.
He had seen many Bone Tempering Pills in other people’s storage rings. These were made with an inferior formula that was unable to fully bring out the medicinal energy.
However, according to his deduction, the difference between the two shouldn’t have been so large. After an investigation, Long Chen had discovered a certain secret.
That secret made Long Chen sneer inside. He had found that the outside world’s Bone Tempering Pills had had something deliberately done to them to make their medicinal effect lower.
At the beginning, he had thought that whoever had done this must have some mental disorder. What was the point of turning good medicinal pills into trash?
But after thinking about it, he realized that the person who had done this was most likely the seller of these pills. By not changing the price of the pill, but reducing its effect by fifty percent, those who wanted to temper more bones would have to purchase an exorbitant amount of Bone Tempering Pills. This was definitely conning people.
It was no wonder that the Bone Tempering Pill had conned so many geniuses to death. This was definitely done by some immoral merchant behind the scenes.
Furthermore, he had found that this was true of both the Righteous and Corrupt path.
All the Bone Tempering Pills had had their effect cut in half. However, it was impossible to notice this. You couldn’t tell from either looking at it or even from consuming it.
It was only possible for Long Chen with his Pill God memories. He was able to tell something was wrong because according to the medicinal pill’s formula, tier, and quality, the medicinal effect did not match.
All the Bone Tempering Pills sold outside were the same. That was because a certain existence had monopolized the Bone Tempering Pill market. All sects could only get them from the Pill Tower.
And thus, Long Chen had come up with a certain conclusion: under the outer semblance of being a holy land, the Pill Tower was actually a bunch of shady wolves.
But at the very least, they were fair about it. They conned both the Righteous and Corrupt path equally. Otherwise, if they only conned the Righteous path but not the Corrupt path, the Righteous path would definitely be doomed.
When he thought of that, Long Chen realized a certain something. With the Righteous path and Corrupt path constantly fighting, and the Pill Tower taking a neutral position, selling medicinal pills to everyone, then wouldn’t the party benefiting the most be the Pill Tower? Neither the Righteous nor Corrupt path dared to offend them for fear of losing access to medicinal pills. That really was comical.
“Sixteen bones? Wouldn’t that be the level of the sect leader? Heavens! Then wouldn’t we be able to sweep through the entire secret realm?” Guo Ran was filled with disbelief.
Each extra bone you tempered would greatly increase the amount of energy that could be stored within the bones. That would make a person incredibly strong. Tempering sixteen bones was practically something he had only heard of in legend.
“Don’t get excited too early. I said that under the normal bone tempering process, you would be able to temper sixteen bones. But since we’ve all chosen complete tempering, these pills can at most let us temper four bones,” said Long Chen.
“Wh-what?!” Guo Ran stuttered. The difference between four bones and sixteen bones was far too great.
“There’s no way around it. To undergo complete tempering, each time you temper one bone, you also have to go through every single bone in your body. That’s the only way to make sure every bone gets tempered.
“The previous Bone Connecting Pills you consumed created energy channels within every one of your bones.
“Pretend the bone you’re attempting to temper is a beggar, and you’re trying to feed it some bread. But in order to feed that beggar, you first have to feed the two hundred and five beggars that are in front of it. You need to make your rounds through each of them before getting to that last one. Do you understand?” smiled Long Chen.