Liao Cang Qiong had a serious expression on his face. With one finger, he pressed his index finger between Ling Xian's brows.
At that instant, a passage from a scripture circulated into Ling Xian's brain. Large paragraphs of difficult words and concepts slowly sank into his memory. Though he could not fully understand the meaning of the numerous chapters, he could feel the weight and the importance of each and every character in his bones.
Bible of Alchemy.
This was the name of the scripture. A simple three words with a very hefty meaning.
"Master, this is…" Ling Xian found it hard to hide his astonishment.
"Think of it as an inheritance." Liao Cang Qiong whispered, "This scripture recorded everything I have learned in my life. It is divided into two parts. The first part is about the Dan making process. It includes ways to control the flames and many tips regarding Dan brewing. The second part is an alchemy technique that I created myself. Its name is the Eight Cultivation of the Soul Technique. To create this technique, I incorporated my own mana and my whole life into it. This technique allows the user to revive any damaged Dan and turn useless Dan into useful ones. It has countless uses and the user can get very creative with how and when to use this technique. I hope you put in the effort to learn it well."
Ling Xian was truly in shock. Though he knew that as an apprentice, he will one day inherit Liao Cang Qiong's secret techniques. But he never expected the day to come so quickly. It was, after all, a technique created by the legendary Liao Cang Qiong and it was a technique he spent his lifetime developing and perfecting. Whoever learned and used this technique will become a glorious hero himself in the future!
If this news gets out, the entire Taoism community would freak out.
"Happiness came too suddenly for me. Just two days ago, I was at the bottom of the pit, struggling to get rid of the title of being an ordinary human being. But now, I have broken the inhibition spell, was gifted with so many treasures, and I have gotten you as a Master. Everything… just seems like a dream." Ling Xian grinned bitterly, but his expression was full of joy.
"This is what fate is," Liao Cang Qiong smiled, "It was fate that I woke up the moment you walked by. You having inhibition spells on you was also fate. Fate plays so many games with us, it is hard to wrap our heads around it."
"Yes, the most wonderful concept in this world is fate." Ling Xian seemed enlightened.
Liao Cang Qiong looked at the apprentice, he was so proud of, and grinned, "Alright, that is all the gifts I have for you. Now, let me test your knowledge with alchemy."
"How do you want to test me?" Ling Xian was confident.
"You will brew a Dan. I will be observing the entire process and get a good grasp on your knowledge." Liao Cang Qiong said.
"No problem. I know that I now possess two different treasures in me, but even if I had none, I am certain you would be satisfied with my knowledge and skills." The corners of Ling Xian's lips curved up.
Since getting involved with alchemy at the age of eight, Ling Xian had been an alchemy pupil and can only assist Master Fang with the brewing process. Because he could not practice Taoism, he could not summon spiritual energy and crystallize them into a Dan. It has always been a huge disappointment of his.
"Finally, I can practice alchemy by myself instead of jealously stare at Master Fang." He said to himself. In his eyes, there were rays of ambition.
"If that's really the case, then take out your cauldron and let me see what you have got." Liao Cang Qiong was smiling.
"A cauldron? Do you have one, Master?" Ling Xian was startled at the request.
"Of course I have one. My cauldron was a rare and exquisite possession. Sadly, I don't know who has it now." Liao Cang Qiong seemed sad and hateful.
"Um… But I do not have a cauldron."
"You don't have a cauldron?" Liao Cang Qiong laughed as if he just heard a very funny joke. "Are you kidding me? As an alchemist, you do not have a cauldron?"
"Master, I was unable to brew any Dan back then. On top of that, even if it's a cauldron that is bad quality, a lot of stones are needed for it. I'm afraid I can't afford one…" Ling Xian blushed, he was embarrassed. "But…I can rent a cauldron room?"
He can't afford to buy a cauldron, so the solution was to rent a cauldron room?
Liao Cang Qiong was not sure how to respond, so he simply laughed, "if that is a case, then why don't you rent a cauldron room."
Ling Xian smiled. He walked out the cave and marched towards the city.
In the City of Qing there were three alchemists. Out those three, two are Ninth Realm Alchemists and one missing Eighth Realm Alchemist. The two Ninth Realm Alchemists each opened up their own alchemy pavilions. One was the Fang Pavilion, and the other was the Lin Pavilion.
The Lin Pavilion was located on the busiest street market. Different than the Fang Pavilion, you can rent a cauldron room on top of purchasing medicines and Dans. This was the reason Ling Xian chose the Lin Pavilion.
Even though it was already nighttime, there were still many people on the street bargaining and making sales pitches.
Ling Xian wore his black robe and his bamboo hat. He walked into the Lin Pavilion.
As soon as he entered, a young lady welcomed him.
"Can I help you? What are you looking to buy today?"
"I am not purchasing anything. I just need a quiet cauldron room." Ling Xian said calmly.
The young lady introduced, "Our pavilion has three types of cauldron room. We charge by the hour with a minimum of two hours. It is 200 stones for a Heaven cauldron room, 100 for an Earth cauldron room, and 50 for a Mortal cauldron room."
Ling Xian listened in awe. These prices were definitely rip-offs. Then he remembered the astronomical figure he would have to spend buying a cauldron, so he bit his lip and took out 50 stones. "I will rent a Mortal room, two hours would be fine."
"Sound good, follow me please." The lady guided him towards the room.
Ling Xian nodded and followed her to a row of rooms. He randomly picked one and walked in.
Time is money. He did not pause for a single second before he walked to the counter and started working. He even forgot the basic courtesy of enabling the noise blocking function of the room.
"Spirit-absorbing grass… Star blue flower… Seven leaf clover…" he took out different ingredients from his pouch one by one. All of the nine ingredients required for the Dan was given by Master Fang. Over the years, Ling Xian had saved all the left-over ingredients that Master Fang did not want. It has proven to be the right move, as they have become useful and are saving him many stones.
Ling Xian prepared the nine spiritual medicine needed to make an Energy-Freezing Dan. He impatiently looked at the cauldron.
The cauldron was more than a meter tall and it sat comfortably on its three feet. It was completely black, and there were two vents in the shape of a dragon's head on the cauldron's body. These vents ensure that flames can really heat up the ingredients when needed. In the center of the cauldron's lid was a fist-sized hole. This hole is for the alchemists to throw in ingredients and for the final collection step of the Dan.
This cauldron was covered in intricate and complicated pattern carvings, giving it an old but sturdy look.
Looking at this handsome cauldron, Ling Xian nodded in approval. He collected his breath and sat in his lotus pose.
Inhaling deeply, Ling Xian raised his arms with his palms up. After a silent command, two silver flames appeared on his hands and he tightly cupped the vents with his palms.
After an exploding sound, the Flame of Purity began to burn inside the cauldron. Steam started gushing out from underneath as the cauldron heated up to extremely high temperatures.
"Not bad. The first step of brewing a Dan, Urging the Fire, and you did well." Liao Cang Qiong's spirit appeared out of nowhere again.
"Even though I could not brew Dans myself, I often did the steps before the actual brewing process. I am well-familiar with these procedures." Ling Xian picked up the first ingredient needed for his Energy-Freezing Dan, the spirit-absorbing grass, and was just ready to drop it into the cauldron when a message transported from his heart to his brain.
"Spirit-absorbing grass naturally has a huge amount of energy from Heaven and Earth. Its effects are overbearing and cannot be consumed orally. With an expiry range of thirty years, it is the main ingredient in a Spirit-Freezing Dan. However, it is not best to put it in first when brewing the Dan."
"Essence of Herbalism is taking its effect?" Ling Xian was startled at the suddenness of the message. He put down the spirit-absorbing grass and subconsciously picked up the seven-leaf clover.
"Seven-leaf clover, mild effects. It shows great results for internal injuries. With an expiry range of ten years, it is the ideal ingredient out of the nine ingredients required to use first when making Spirit-Freezing Dan." Another messaged flashed into his brain.
Ling Xian grunted deeply and decided to trust the Essence's suggestion. He dropped the seven-leaf clover into the cauldron.
The silver flames burned angrily and engulfed the clover. The oppressive fire did not burn the clover to ashes right away. Rather, the flame cooked it little by little. The clover first lost its protective skin then its precious insides burned away.
"I see that you took the Essence's advice." Liao Cang Qiong complimented after observing Ling Xian's actions.
"Master, I understand that the Essence gave me basic information about the different ingredients, but why did I also get a message that I should not put in spirit-absorbing grass first?" Ling Xian questioned.
Liao Cang Qiong smiled. "That is the power of the Essence of Herbalism. It provides you with more than the basic knowledge of each medicinal herbs. Having it is the same as having a textbook in your head. You will know each ingredient like the back of your hand. Knowing what to put in first and what to put in second is a natural result of having that knowledge."
Knowing each ingredient like the back of your hand…
Ling Xian thought about it carefully and finally realized the meaning of the phrase. Knowing each spiritual medical ingredient like the back of your hand means he will not only brew Dans at a faster speed with higher success rates but he will also brew highly effective Dans that are top quality!
When he realized this, he was short of breath.
As if he could read Ling Xian's mind, Liao Cang Qiong snapped Ling Xian back to reality by saying, "what are you fantasizing? Having the knowledge of ingredients is truly useful, but mere luck and knowledge are not enough to produce the highest quality Dan."
"Master you are right. I got too caught up in my thoughts. The Essence you blessed me with is truly strong but it is not all-powerful." There was an unwavering sense of determination in his eyes, "To brew a truly top quality Dan, the alchemist needs to have a thorough knowledge towards alchemy, to have a complete understanding of spiritual medicine, and to have perfect manipulations of spiritual energy."
"I am very glad you understand that." Liao Cang Qiong praised, "However, having textbook knowledge of the hundred types of spiritual medicines allows you to have a higher than average alchemy skill. Though it's a bit difficult to brew Dans that are ten out if ten, you can easily achieve brewing Dans that are seven out of ten."