None of the three pills’ recipes were a problem for Jiang Chen. Their details were all fresh on his mind, as clear as the day they’d first been imprinted there. Refining them wouldn’t be much trouble either, since he had an excess of experience and know-how.
His most difficult problem lay in an embarrassing question. Was it possible to collect all the materials in Myriad Abyss Island?
The three he’d chosen were relatively easy to source compared to their more arcane fellows. Anything much harder had been entirely out of Jiang Chen’s consideration.
Of those, he firmly believed that it was flat-out impossible to get their materials in Myriad Abyss Island. He wrote out all three pill recipes, simulating them several times before he was sure they were issue-free.
“If I can’t get materials for even these three pills, then I won’t bother with anything more ingenious.” Jiang Chen had hand-picked them for their appropriateness to his situation.
Having completed his selection, he found Ziju Min the next morning. The senior was taken aback by the young man’s early visit.
“You came up with an idea already, Shao Yuan? A bit too efficient, aren’t we?”
“Time waits for no man,” Jiang Chen laughed. “I need the sacred land’s full support as soon as possible, so I need to get the mission done with the same urgency.”
“If you can complete ‘the Flames of Vengeance’, then we will back you up in every endeavor. Even if you make a request of the first prime or the venerated forefather, they will consider it seriously. If your talent is known across the land, we will make every effort to retain you.”
Jiang Chen was overjoyed when he heard this.
He had suggested the Eternal Sacred Land host a pill dao convention aimed at various heavyweights in order to prepare for the campaign against Shi Xuan, but part of it had also been for the sake of bolstering his own reputation. He wanted the faction to recognize his potential and expertise.
He wanted to build up his own chips in a possible negotiation, to ask for their full backing of his quest for Huang’er’s hand. He wanted them to know he had the right and worth for the sacred land to oppose House Xiahou on his behalf.
Roused by the prospect of promotion, he relayed his findings to his superior. “Elder Ziju, I did manage to come up with what we needed. However, the pills are an incredibly precious part of my ancient heritage. I hope that the sacred land can respect that fact, and won’t force me to make any public contributions.”
“Whether you contribute your heritage or not is up to you,” Ziju Min affirmed hastily. “The sacred land will definitely not force your hand.”
Courtesy was of the essence at this juncture. Even if the sacred land had such ambitions, it wouldn’t coerce anyone unless absolutely necessary. It could afford that bit of magnanimity, at least.
“So what did you come up with, Shao Yuan?” Ziju Min waxed inquisitive.
“A pill to help peak great emperors break through to empyrean realm. Mine boasts a thirty percent improvement. Does a pill like that exist in the market?”
“Thirty percent improved chance to break through to empyrean realm?” Ziju Min gasped. “Pills that are touted to help the process do exist in the market, but their results are the furthest thing from convincing. Do you have any concrete proof to help your case?”
“Concrete proof? I’m not so sure that’s possible initially. However, I guarantee that geniuses who have a twenty to thirty percent chance at breaking through will hit over fifty with the pill. Put differently, if among ten geniuses, one or two can break through. If they all take this pill, that number will increase to at least four—maybe as many as six!”
Ziju Min was floored. “Is this pill really as miraculous as you say?”
“Yes. I’m not sure if the Eternal Sacred Land can get together the materials I need though. I haven’t seen any of these, otherwise I would’ve refined the pill already.”
“Tell me, what materials do you need?”
Jiang Chen unceremoniously handed over a shopping list of what he needed to Ziju Min.
“Please take a look, Elder Ziju.”
Ziju Min was overjoyed after perusing the paper. “The Eternal Sacred Land can get together these materials. The Taiyi Dragonscale Fruit is the main component, yes? Aside from this, the others are easy enough to come by.”
“Very astute, Elder Ziju.” Jiang Chen hadn’t marked the materials’ relative importance down on the list. Ziju Min’s pill dao mastery was evident in the sharpness of his off-handed remark.
“The Taiyi Dragonscale Fruit is difficult to obtain. If I recall correctly, the sacred land has three such within our vaults. Elder Zimu had picked them near some lava floes in the deep blue. Because of the fruits’ rarity, we’ve kept them among our other treasures all this time. No one has had the right to make use of them since then.”
“Elder Zimu picked those?” Jiang Chen sighed. “Perhaps this is the will of heaven then.”
“Perhaps.” Ziju Min found it as curious as Jiang Chen did. He wasn’t entirely convinced of the pill’s veracity. “Chance is not something that’s easy to quantify, you know. Thirty percent… please excuse my saying so, but I’m not sure if the general public will believe you.”
“What do you mean by that, Elder Ziju?” Jiang Chen asked.
“Nothing in particular that’s between us. I’m just worried that the pill won’t be attractive enough by itself, since outsiders may not trust you so easily.” Ziju Min raised his primary concern.
“Haha, any kind of new pill would be met with distrust initially, right? That’s completely understandable.” Jiang Chen nodded in acknowledgment. “Time and actual results will prove who’s right in the end.”
“Hmm.” Ziju Min inclined his head in thoughtful agreement.
“Elder Ziju. If you don’t think the Taiyi Skymender Pill isn’t enough, how about a pill that lets an empyrean realm cultivator ascend one level for free?”
“For free? No strings attached?” Ziju Min was baffled once more. His body recoiled like a spring; he affixed his eyes on Jiang Chen with an alien look. “You… you’re not joking, are you? Is there a pill as wondrous as that? A free level, even in empyrean realm?”
“Well, to call it an entirely free level would be an exaggeration. Nonetheless, consuming the pill will allow someone whose limit is at fourth level empyrean realm to push up to fifth level… most likely. An initial empyrean cultivator will see pretty much instant results. A mid empyrean cultivator needs a few months to a handful of years, and a higher rank one, even longer. But it’s definitely entirely a matter of time—the level will be there in the end.”
Ziju Min remained incredulous. “I’ve heard of pills like that for sage and emperor realms. Not so for great emperor, and definitely not for empyrean. Forgive me, but it sounds just a tad farfetched…”
Jiang Chen grinned. He knew what he’d said was too far beyond the realm of ordinary imagination. Pills of this kind were much beyond Myriad Abyss Island’s native level.
“Elder Ziju, the name of the pill is the Crowning Empyrean Pill. It really is that wondrous, at least according to my ancestral memories. Apparently, it was first created by primordial divine cultivators, so it has an even more esoteric list of materials. That’s why I didn’t mention it at first.”
Ziju Min was dazed by a rush of emotion. He glanced at Jiang Chen with great uncertainty.
He was truly curious about exactly how amazing the young man’s inherited bloodline was. Was something like that really possible for a wandering cultivator’s family?
What he was hearing befitted the lineage of a primordial aristocratic house much more.
There was no other explanation for this though. Ziju Min sighed. “Shao Yuan, I don’t know how your family ended up as wandering cultivators. What you’ve inherited alone is enough to begin your own sect or faction. How did it all come to pass?”
Jiang Chen sighed as well. “There was nothing particularly remarkable in my father, grandfather, and great grandfather. But the bloodline has awakened with stunning completeness in me, and more memories came rushing back. Even my forefathers would struggle to explain this. Maybe… I’m just lucky?”
Obviously, he couldn’t say that he had been the son of the Celestial Emperor in his previous life.
He could only weave a white lie to gain Ziju Min’s trust. Whether the other man found it credible or not was not something he could affect.
For his part, Ziju Min implicitly trusted what Jiang Chen had said in regard to his heritage.
“Maybe you were blessed by fortune indeed. You’ve regained everything your bloodline contains in your particular generation. I think this can be called a kind of ancestral reversion, right?
“There might be a different reason as well, I suppose. It may not be your bloodline heritage at all, but the fact that you are a reincarnated divine spirit yourself. Your memories may not come from your heritage, but your previous life. You might not know that yourself at this point, but it’s quite possible.” Ziju Min was an experienced and world-wise man.
He knew that many masters in the world of martial dao chose to embrace the cycle of life and death when encountered with an irresistible danger. They would then be reborn as another.
Though this was an acutely risky choice fraught with danger, it had a pretty good chance of working. If the person the god reincarnated as was reasonably talented, his past memories might very well awaken.
Ziju Min found the second explanation increasingly more convincing.
It didn’t matter which case it was, however. At the end of the day, did the pills and their recipes that Shao Yuan had mentioned really exist?
Jiang Chen presented the material list for the Crowning Empyrean Pill to Ziju Min too.
“Elder Ziju, this is what I need for the Crowning Empyrean Pill. If you can gather the materials, I am a hundred percent certain I can refine the actual pill.”
He needed something more tangible to back him up. The refinement of the pill would convince Ziju Min of everything he had said. Otherwise, there wasn’t much point arguing over the finer points.