Chapter 10 - A storm may arise from a clear sky, refining Gu is full of hardships
Big heavy raindrops fell to the earth, battering the roof of the verdant bamboo house, making brittle sounds.
The surface of the pond in front of the building was full of ripples as the rain fell, the fish in the water swimming lively around, the aquatic plants swaying about at the bottom of the pond. The sky was overcast; a thick rain curtain obscured the field of vision as far as the eye could see.
In the somewhat dim room the window was open, and Fang Yuan quietly watched the heavy rainfall, sighing.
"It has already been 3 days and 3 nights."
On the night 3 days ago he had walked out of the village with two jars of wine, searching around the surroundings. But when it was late into the night it started pouring rain. Put aside him being drenched to the bones, the main point was that in the situation he could not go about searching anymore.
The rainwater would quickly wash away the wine fragrance. At the same time if he forced himself to search under such conditions, it might arouse suspicions. Although previously he pretended to become a depressed drunken person to cover up his real motives, but he knew never to underestimate the intelligence of others around him. Only a fool would think others were stupid.
Thus under this helplessness, Fang Yuan could only stop his search.
Not too mention that the moment it started raining, the rain had went on continuously. Sometimes it became heavier and sometimes lighter, but it never stopped.
"I guess in this way, I won't be able to find the Liquor worm for a short period of time. To be safe I can only choose to start refining the Moonlight Gu. While I refine it, if I can find the Liquor worm during the process it would be the best, but if I can't then this would have to do. But this matter is very common; a storm may arise from a clear sky, something unexpected may happen anytime. In this world who can do everything without obstacles in his way, having a perfect journey?"
Fang Yuan's thoughts were very calm; his 500 years of experience had long washed away the impulsiveness that he rarely had in the first place.
He closed the door and window and sat cross-legged on his bed. He closed his eyes slowly and after breathing a few times, he calmed his state of mind.
In the next moment the vision of his primeval aperture appeared in his mind. The aperture may be positioned inside his body but it was mysteriously unusual, limitlessly big and yet infinitely small. The outer layer of the aperture was a layer of light. The white light gave a thin impression, but it still supported the aperture well.
In the aperture was a sea of primeval essence. The seawater was a green copper color, the surface of the sea clear and calm as a mirror. The water level was about half the height of the aperture. The entire volume of the sea occupied 4 by 4 of the aperture.
This was the green copper primeval sea of a Rank one Gu Master, and every drop of seawater was primeval essence. It was Fang Yuan's life elementary force and the condensation of his essence, vitality and soul.
Every drop of primeval essence was precious, because it was the root of a Gu Master, and was the source of power. Gu Masters need to rely on primeval essence to refine and use Gu.
As he retreated his mind from the primeval sea, Fang Yuan opened his eyes retrieved the Moonlight Gu. The Moonlight Gu quietly sat in the middle of his palm, resembling a curved blue moon, small and crystalline.
With a simple thought, the primeval sea in his aperture tumbled and a jet of primeval essence broke from the sea surface and transferred out of the body, finally rushing into the Moonlight Gu. The Moonlight Gu suddenly radiated fiercely in blue light, slightly trembling in Fang Yuan's palm, resisting the influx of primeval essence.
Gu are the essence of heaven and earth, carrying the secrets of the world, the bearers of the law of nature. They are living creatures that live freely under the sky, each born with a will of its own. Right now with Fang Yuan trying to refine it, it would mean wiping out its will. Feeling the danger looming, the Moonlight Gu naturally resisted.
The process of refining is a very difficult one.
The Moonlight Gu was like a curved crescent moon. As the green copper primeval essence poured into the crescent, the two pointed ends of the crescent turned green. Slowly this green copper essence began to spread to the middle of the crescent moon.
In less than 3 minutes, Fang Yuan's face had become pale. A huge volume of primeval essence continuously poured into the Moonlight Gu, making him feel a weakness that rapidly attacked his heart.
One point, two points, three points… eight points, nine points, ten.
Ten minutes later, Fang Yuan's primeval sea had consumed 10 points of primeval essence. Yet on the blue crystalline Moonlight Gu's surface, the points of green copper essence on the two tips of the crescent had only expanded a tiny little area towards the center.
The resistance of the Moonlight Gu was immensely strong. Fortunately Fang Yuan had anticipated this earlier and did not feel surprised. He persisted and poured in more essence into the Moonlight Gu.
One point, two points, three points.
After another 20 minutes, the primeval sea in Fang Yuan's body was only left with 1 by 4. The green copper essence on the Moonlight Gu had expanded slightly, the two tips of green essence adding up together covering the surface of the Moonlight Gu by about 1/12. The rest of the Moonlight Gu's surface was still the original color of light blue.
"Refining a Gu is so hard," Fang Yuan sighed as he looked at it. He broke the influx of primeval essence, stopping the refining process.
Up until now, he had been refining for half an hour, the primeval sea in his aperture consumed over more than half, with only 1 by 4 of primeval essence left. And the Moonlight Gu was only refined by 1/12 of it.
To make matters worse the Moonlight Gu was still emitting its faint blue halo. Even though Fang Yuan had stopped refining, the Moonlight Gu did not stop resisting; it was still driving out Fang Yuan's green coppery primeval essence.
Fang Yuan could clearly feel that the primeval essence that he poured into the Moonlight Gu was being pushed out, bit by bit by the Moonlight Gu out of its body. On its surface, the green copper essence at the two tips of the moon crescent was slowly shrinking.
Based on this speed of reduction, in about 6 hours later the Moonlight Gu would be able to completely expel all of Fang Yuan's primeval essence. At that time when he needed to refine this Gu it would make no difference from starting over again.
"Every time when refining Gu, it is just like a fight between two armies, a battle of positional warfare, or war of attrition. Even though I refined 1/12 of the Gu, I wasted 3 quarters of my primeval essence. When refining Gu, a Gu Master has to replenish his primeval sea while continuously engaging the refinement process, consolidating his victory. The refinement of a Gu is a test of one's skill in shifting his primeval essence and the patience of an enduring battle."
Fang Yuan took out a piece of primeval stone from his moneybag as he pondered.
A Gu Master had two ways to replenish the consumed primeval essence. The first way was natural recovery. After a period of time the primeval sea would naturally replenish the primeval essence. In the case of a C grade talent like Fang Yuan, it would take about 1 hour to replenish 4 points of primeval essence. In 6 hours it could recover 2 by 4 points of the total quantity primeval essence.
The second way was to absorb the natural essence directly from a primeval stone.
The primeval stone is a treasure from nature itself. As condensed natural primeval essence, while absorbing it the water level of the primeval sea was rising with a continuous speed that could be seen with the naked eye.
After about half an hour the primeval sea had been replenished back to its original volume of 4 by 4. At this level the rising water level of the sea stopped abruptly. Even though there was still space inside the aperture, Fang Yuan could not store any more primeval essence. This was the limit of his C grade talent.
Thus from here one can see the significance of the grade of one's cultivation talent. The higher the talent, the more primeval essence the aperture can hold, and the faster the natural recovery of the primeval essence will be.
In Fang Yuan's case to refine a Gu and solidify his results, he would have to absorb primeval stones because his primeval essence natural recovery rate cannot defeat the rate of the Moonlight Gu expelling it out.
However in the case of the A grade talent Fang Zheng, he could replenish 8 points of primeval essence every hour. In 6 hours he would recover 4 by 8 of primeval essence, and in the same time frame the Moonlight Gu could only expel away 3 points of primeval essence. Fang Zheng did not require the external help of a primeval stone. He could go on refining with a few rests in the process and successfully refine the Moonlight Gu in a few days.
That was why Fang Yuan knew from the beginning that in this test, to refine the Moonlight Gu he never had the chance to obtain the first position. It had nothing to do with a person's actual strength, as the first factor was the grade of talent.
The second factor would be primeval stones. If there was an abundance of primeval stones, without hesitation to consume, a B grade talent could also surpass an A grade talent and obtain the first position.
"In my hands are 6 pieces of primeval stones. I cannot compare to Gu Yue Mo Bei or Gu Yue Chi Chen, these kinds of people who have their elder family members supporting them from behind. My talent is on C grade, and cannot be compared to Fang Zheng who has an A grade talent. I never had a chance of winning in this test. Why not divert my energy and go look for the Liquor worm? If I can make the Liquor Worm into my vital Gu it would be so much better than the Moonlight Gu. Hmm? The sound of rain outside the window has gotten lighter, there seems to be a sign of ceasing. The rain has been ongoing for 3 days and 3 nights, it should be time it stopped."
Fang Yuan kept the Moonlight Gu and got down from his bed. As he was about to open the window, there was a knock on the door.
Outside the door came his servant Shen Cui's voice, "Young master Fang Yuan, its me. It has been raining straight for 3 days, so I brought you some food and wine. Young master can eat and drink and ease some depressed feelings."