"I spent my entire life obsessed with alchemy." Liao Cang Qiong reminisced. "As my apprentice, alchemy is something you must not only learn, but also master. As it would be humiliating if you don't."
"Don't worry Master. Apprentice has been a student under an alchemist for six years. Before, I could not absorb spiritual energy from the heaven and the earth, therefore I have been unable to produce any medicine or Dan. But I have a firm grasp on alchemy knowledge; enough to qualify for the Ninth Realm," Ling Xian smiled.
Liao Cang Qiong looked at him in surprise and praised, "not bad! My luck really is not bad! Not only were you born talented, you are also already a Ninth Realm Alchemist at the age of fourteen. This is rare to see even if you searched the entire world."
"You flatter me, Master. Compared to you entering the Ninth Realm at thirteen, I cannot even compare," Ling Xian remained humble.
"There is no need to be meek. As long as you are willing to learn and put in the effort with you training, I am confident that you will enter the Fifth Realm before you turn twenty. When that time comes, you will break my record for being the youngest Fifth Realm Alchemist," Liao Cang Qiong stroked his beard and whispered, "now that I know you are already on the path to becoming an alchemist, then I dare ask, what do you think was the most desirable treasure during my generation?"
Ling Xian thought about it and said, "I think it's a Godly Fire."
"Very good. The biggest dream instrument during my generation was to birth and raise a Godly Fire. This type of flame not only can take down your enemy, but more importantly, the Dans brewed with these flames have superior quality that are drastically different from those made with regular flames. There is also an increase in success rate with the Dan when the flame is used during the brewing process. Sadly, a Godly Fire is beyond rare. You may see it in your lifetime but you cannot possess it. Numerous alchemists are disappointed for life for not having this flame," Liao Cang Qiong looked at Ling Xian and murmured, "the first gift, Master I, plan to give you is a Godly Fire that was naturally created by heaven and earth. Its name is the Burning Flame of Purity. It is a flame that cannot be created on impure grounds, and cannot be used by those with bad intentions."
He waved his long sleeve and a silver flame appeared in mid-air, heating up everything around it. The high temperature of the flame could burn the sky, ignite the earth, and scorch the world.
The silver flame waltzed in the air, other than the heat waves, a hint of pureness and brightness surrounded it.
Ling Xian's entire body shook. Gazing at the silver flame, he was having difficulty breathing.
The Burning Flame of Purity!
It was one of the legendary Godly Fires. This flame not only had a terrifying temperature that burned everything it touches, but it also had the ability to expel everything that was evil. The monks that had a Godly Fire were able to defend themselves from everything that was impure and were immune to all poisons. There were various uses for the fire, and it was a dream possession for many alchemists!
"When I acquired this Godly Fire, I had the same reaction." Liao Cang Qiong was very satisfied with Ling Xian's almost-drooling face. He whispered, "the original flame died with my physical body. This particular flame was reborn in the Painting of the Nine Immortals and I will give it to you as a present. With this flame, I will never have to worry about you departing from Taoism and following heterodox ways."
"Thank you, Master!"
Ling Xian bowed deeply. He could feel Liao Cang Qiong's sincerity. This touched him deeply, as he never had someone to rely on since he was a child.
Liao Cang Qiong waved his sleeve again. This time, a gust of wind lifted Ling Xian into mid-air, "don't thank me yet. This is only the first gift. The next gift is something that's of the same value, if not better, to the Godly Fire. Use your head and think about what it could be."
Something that could possibly be even more compelling?
Ling Xian's eyes brightened in excitement. He racked his brain, searching for possibilities of what this next gift could be. Something on the same level as a Godly Fire. An idea formed in his head, he couldn't help but say, "no way…"
The answer in his head was so shocking he could not believe it himself.
As if he read Ling Xian's mind, Liao Cang Qiong grinned gently, "You're right. It's a Dan Essence."
"A Dan Essence…"
Ling Xian's face was full of shock. There were only two things alchemists could possibly want, one was a Godly Fire, and the other was a Dan Essence. It was unclear which one of the two things were more valuable. If a monk must choose from the two, they would choose the first one because a Godly Fire is extremely helpful in battle. But if an alchemist were to choose, it would definitely be the latter.
A Dan Essence was a mystic instrument that countless alchemists desired. One way to acquire it was to find it during the moment an alchemist surpasses a realm, but most alchemists could not get their hands on a Dan Essene even after reaching the First Realm.
A Dan Essence could also be bred through the brewing of an extraordinary Dan. It's not hard to recognize that the kind of Dan required to birth an Essence must be rare and powerful - thus, not a Dan that can be easily made even if you were a First Realm Alchemist.
This is why Ling Xian was beyond shocked when he learned Liao Cang Qiong was giving him a Dan Essence.
Nobody knew how many types of Dan Essences there were. However, seven types of them had been created and recorded. These seven Essences kept alchemists up at night because the temptation of acquiring one was too strong.
For example, the Essence of Cloning. Similar to how it sounds, the essence allowed the consumer to gain the ability of knowing exactly the ingredients of any Dan the moment they see the Dan itself. Imagine, someone works for decades to perfect a recipe for a powerful Dan, but it could be duplicated in a second by another person. How would that make a person feel?
"Do you perhaps have the Essence of Cloning?" Ling Xian was hopeful.
Liao Cang Qiong laughed and mocked, "in your dreams! Though I actually did have one of those, it died with my physical body. The Essence I want to grant you today is the spiritual Dan I brewed while out training. Because it was struck by lightning for nine days straight, air from the primordial world was poured into the Dan. By coincidence, an Essence was formed. I had never used this Essence; hence I still have it today."
He raised his right hand, and a rainbow-colored Dan appeared on his palm. It transformed into a little dragon and swam around. It then transformed into a baby tiger who leaped and hopped. Finally, it transformed into a pocket-sized heart. A strange aroma swept the air. It was an unusual yet beautiful scent.
"This is what a Dan Essence looks like," Ling Xian was surprised. He inhaled the Essence deeply, and immediately felt rejuvenated and relaxed. It was as if he could start flying.
"Master, what kind of Essence is this?"
"The Essence of Herbalism," Liao Cang Qiao answered.
Ling Xian was over the moon happy. The Essence of Herbalism was the most abstruse Essence out of the seven known Essences. It allowed the user to acquire all knowledge of all nature's creations. As soon as the user saw a herbal medicine, its medicinal effect, ingredients, and date it was made would become known to the user. Once the knowledge was acquired, it was never forgotten by the user."
The knowledge of herbalism was extremely valuable for an alchemist. Not only would it speed up the brewing process of any Dan, it also increased the success rate of brewing. Sometimes, spiritual energy would bless the alchemist and a muse would land. The alchemist would then learn to mix and match ingredients and create a recipe that was innovative and very capable!
Though its ability didnot seem to be against God's rules as much as the Essence of Cloning, for a beginner alchemist, Essence of Herbalism was definitely the best one!
"Look at you! I'm assuming you know all about this Essence. Then I will save my breath and not explain any further. Come, I will infuse this Essence into your heart and teach you how to train your Godly Fire," Liao Cang Qiong had the Essence in his right hand, and the Godly Fire in his left. Slowly, he merged the two together in mid-air.
Then, an amazing scene happened.
The Burning Flame of Purity was a flame that burned everything it touches. However, the moment it came into contact with the Essence, it tightly hugged the Essence like a kid who found his favorite toy. It did not hurt the Essence one bit.
"What…. How can a fire with such high temperature not burn the Essence?" Ling Xian said with a confused expression on his face.
"Is this really strange to you? This is the reason why I dare allow you to train the Godly Fire. A Dan Essence is one of the purest objects in the universe, that's why the Flame of Purity cannot hurt it. When I infuse both of them into your heart, you will easily be able to train these two treasures!" Liao Cang Qiong explained.
"Oh, that explains it. I have learned something new," Ling Xian nodded.
"Sit in a lotus position, hold your breath and your gaze," Liao Cang Qiong became serious. He tapped Ling Xian's chest with his index finger and immediately, Ling Xian's chest split open and his red, beating heart was in sight.
A strong heartbeat became strikingly visible. Ling Xian watched this scene in awe. There were no pain and no discomfort. Nonetheless, looking at his wide-open chest was distressful.
Liao Cang Qiong instructed loudly. The flame that cuddled the Essence slowly entered Ling Xian's heart.
Immediately, his fingers moved into different hand seal positions. A flood of spiritual energy filled the entire cave. This energy seemed to be clingy and sticky. Soon, it flawlessly instilled the two instruments into Ling Xian's heart like they were never separate items in the first place.
Ling Xian's tightly shut eyes opened abruptly. The robe he was wearing danced, though there were no wind. After absorbing the two instruments, his qi suddenly rose to level four, one step away from reaching level five.
Both hands in fists, he felt the energy flowing through his body. Ling Xian smiled. Lifting his right hand, a ray of silver flame rose from his palm.
The moment this flame appeared, the temperature in the cave increased rapidly. Under the heat waves given off by the flame, everything in the cave refracted and spiraled.
It was the Burning Flame of Purity.
"I may have underestimated you. Two treasures that people spent a lifetime pursuing were so easily absorbed and used by you. If this news gets out, I wonder how many people would die of jealousy," Liao Cang Qiong exclaimed.
"It is all thanked to Master you," Ling Xian was brimming with appreciation.
The respectable elderly before him not only lifted his inhibition spells, but gifted two treasures that were legendary level. Godly Fire and Dan Essence… both of them had the ability to cause a bloody war.
"Between a Master and an Apprentice, there's no need to be so contentious," Liao Cang Qiong sighed, "if you really want to thank me, then start training hard on your alchemy path and do not slack off."
"Yes, I already have the determination for it," Ling Xian swore silently. He was determined to find the instrument that could reconstruct his Master's physical body, once his improved his ability.
"I will now grant you one last gift. In my life time, nothing can surpass the meaningfulness of this object."