Ziju Min was rather surprised to hear the stone door to the secret room open. It couldn’t have been more than ten hours since Shao Yuan started. Had he finished refining the pills? Or had he failed?
It defied logic for a pill of such importance to be refined in less than a day. It had to take more than a couple days, surely!
It didn’t bode well for the process to end so soon. Ziju Min shot to his feet and hurried to the door.
Jiang Chen walked out after refocusing his mind. He was met by a concerned Ziju Min.
“Why have you come out already, Shao Yuan?” the pill sovereign asked without ceremony, his tone anxious. “Did something go wrong?”
Jiang Chen smiled. “No, everything went very smoothly, which is exactly why I came out earlier than expected.”
His words sounded as an explosion in Ziju Min’s head. He felt almost woozy. That was it? The pill had been refined successfully just like that?
The time it took was so short that it surprised and befuddled him.
Seeing was believing. Jiang Chen placed an exquisite pill bottle on a table nearby.
“Please take a look, Elder Ziju. It’s my first attempt, so the efficiency wasn’t particularly high. Only nine pills were yielded.”
Ziju Min was ecstatic. “That’s more than enough. The yield exceeds my expectations! I thought you’d failed when you came out after such a short period of time.”
Jiang Chen smiled slightly, covering his satisfaction. In truth, the refining process had gone unusually well, yielding fifteen pills, but he felt that he deserved some reward for his hard work. He kept six for himself and handed Ziju Min nine. But even that was more than Ziju Min could’ve hope for.
Jiang Chen wondered if he’d been too generous when he saw the wide smile on Ziju Min’s face. The pill sovereign would probably be just as happy presented with five or six pills. He wasn’t going to become greedy, though.
Six pills were more than enough for him. This wouldn’t be the last time he refined the Taiyi Skymender Pill. There had been three Taiyi Dragonscale Fruits in the sacred land.
The other two would be delivered to him sooner or later. He could keep some for himself then. He was partial to the Taiyi Skymender Pill, but he didn’t have the resources to refine any in the human domain.
Aside from the Taiyi Dragonscale Fruit, even the supplemental ingredients would take great effort to collect, and there was no guarantee he would find them.
Such were the perks of staying on Myriad Abyss Island. There were a lot of resources, and they fell into his lap without much work on his part. It’s actually quite nice to let my pill dao talent shine every once in a while, huh!
If he’d kept his talents hidden, he wouldn’t be given the opportunities to refine and keep so many pills.
Ziju Min considered the Taiyi Skymender Pill, his expression growing increasingly serious. The more he looked, the more he believed that the pill was close to perfection.
He sighed. “I didn’t believe that the two pills you mentioned existed, Shao Yuan, but it seems I was the oblivious one here. This pill far surpasses anything I’ve seen in my life. It’s not a scam. Its energy alone is awe-inspiring.”
Even without knowledge of how the pill was refined, he was able to appraise it. The color, runework, and presence it brimmed with were more than enough to convince him that the pill would live up to its name.
Jiang Chen smiled. “I wasn’t exaggerating when I talked about its effects, Elder Ziju. For some geniuses, the effects may turn out even more impressive than what I described.”
Ziju Min’s face lit up in joy. “Good, good. If you don’t mind, Shao Yuan, I’m going to take the pill to the three primes. With their help, it’ll be easier to collect the ingredients for the Crowning Empyrean Pill. They have more connections and resources than I do.”
Jiang Chen chuckled. “Of course I don’t mind. I’m honored that the first prime has been so supportive of me. It’s only right that I should give her something to earn her trust.”
Ziju Min was pleased with Jiang Chen’s tactful response. Without hesitation, he took the pill to the three primes.
The three primes were also surprised that the Taiyi Skymender Pill had been finished in such a short time. Shao Yuan was more efficient than they had ever expected.
The first prime laughed. “That young man sure is driven,” she said before taking the pill from Ziju Min. “What a surprise that the pill’s refined already! Elder Ziju, you’ve seen the pill yourself. What’s are impressions?”
Ziju Min responded honestly, “This subordinate wouldn’t claim to be observant, but in my opinion, the pill’s more remarkable than I expected. Please have a look yourselves, Your Excellencies.”
He presented the pill respectfully to three expectant primes. Their merry eyes turned surprised and thoughtful once they took the pill. Its appearance alone was enough to win their approval.
“Good,” complimented the first prime. “I can see immediately that it’s a fine pill.”
“You’ll be even more surprised when you inspect it closely,” Ziju Min prompted, subtly praising the pill. He could, on good conscience, talk the pill up to his heart’s content. It deserved any praise he could think of.
The three primes reacted the same way Ziju Min had. Solemnity descended and their eyes lit up more and more.
At the end, the first prime slapped the table and exclaimed, “Extraordinary! My pill dao is mediocre at best, but I know a good pill when I see it. This one is flawless, truly flawless. What say you, gentlemen?” added the first prime.
“It’s indeed a remarkable achievement,” said the second prime. “But how could Shao Yuan refine a pill of such energy in such a short time? Isn’t that a little hard to believe?”
“That’s right.” The third prime echoed his worry. “Elder Ziju, are you sure that Shao Yuan was the one who refined the pill?”
“This subordinate can guarantee that it was him. There is a trace of the Taiyi Dragonscale Fruit’s energy left in the pill. I left my unique mark on the fruit. So yes, I am sure. Moreover, I can feel that the pill has just been refined. That’s something no one can fake.”
Ziju Min was an authority figure in pill dao after all. He wasn’t old or decrepit enough that he’d be tricked by a preexisting pill.
The three primes nodded earnestly.
The first prime couldn’t be more pleased. “Elder Ziju, Shao Yuan keeps on surprising us. We can’t possibly not support him now, can we?”
Ziju Min smiled. “I dare not say so, but Shao Yuan’s talent in pill dao is beyond my imagination. Even if I knew the recipe and method for refining the Taiyi Skymender Pill, it would be almost impossible for me to refine it in only a few hours. His foundation in pill dao is much more solid than I expected.”
“Are you confident that he’ll be able to complete the mission?”
“I’ve been confident in him since he took the mission,” admitted Ziju Min. “However, as an elder of the sacred land, I couldn’t show my support too enthusiastically, or my objectivity may be questioned.”
The three primes broke into laughter.
“You don’t have to restrain yourself anymore, Elder Ziju,” the first prime said with a smile, her tone relaxed. “This seat hereby authorizes you to provide any support Shao Yuan asks for. We’ll also spare no effort in holding a pill dao festival. The Taiyi Skymender Pill more than justifies it. Everyone in the Myriad Abyss pill dao community is greedy. Once they see the pill for themselves, it’s impossible for them to turn us down.”
Ziju Min perked up. “What do you mean exactly, First Prime?”
“Give Shao Yuan the remaining two Taiyi Dragonscale Fruits and ask him to refine more pills, Elder Ziju. The more, the better. In two days, I will send out my confidantes to the other divine nations with the pills. Do you think our friends from different nations will be willing to trade a pill with a Taiyi Dragonscale Fruit?”
Ziju Min smield. “Of course they will. The pill is a gamechanger. They won’t be able to resist their curiosity.”
“Yes, we want them curious,” the first prime responded confidently. “Only then will they put aside their pride and come to the pill dao festival. Wouldn’t you agree?”
Ziju Min nodded emphatically. The first prime was being much more thorough than he had been. Her plan was well thought out. They’d be able to promote the pill and attract people’s attention at the same time, making them curious.
No pill dao figureheads from the greatest factions of the Ten Divine Nations could resist such a perfect pill. They’d all come to the festival.
There was one thing the first prime was worried about. “Elder Ziju, I have a concern. If we trade them the pill, will they be able to figure out the recipe?”
Ziju Min contemplated for a short while before shaking his head decisively. “That’s impossible. If people could figure out the recipe of any pill simply by studying it, everyone would be a pill god.”
He was an expert in the field and knew the possibility of that happening was slim. Even if someone did figure out the recipe, it would most likely take them a lifetime to successfully refine it.