Chapter 473: Pill Refinement Pointers
Elder Yun Nie’s words gave Jiang Chen a few ideas, but he was in no hurry to express them. He smiled faintly. “Elder, the success or failure of refining pills is determined by the details. As such, I don’t dare jump to any conclusions before seeing your refining process. However, the act of observing your refining is maybe be suspect if I intend to copy your techniques. Therefore, it is up to the elder’s say if this kid can observe your refinement.”
Jiang Chen was neither hurried or panicked. He wasn’t in a rush now that he’d successfully captured the elder’s attention. There was no more need to go banging on the door. All he had to do was pretend to be demure and wait for the elder to come beg him.
If the elder felt that his refining process was a classified secret, then this kind of paranoid person wasn’t worth working with. Jiang Chen naturally didn’t need to beg this elder for crumbs. Jiang Chen believed that as long as the elder still bore a shred of hope for the Hexarune Dragon Pill, he would absolutely be willing to take this risk. Not to mention that Jiang Chen was a Regal Pill Palace disciple after all. Even if he was to learn something from Elder Yun Nie’s refining process, the benefits would stay within the same house.
Elder Yun Nie’s gaze was profound as he listened to Jiang Chen’s words, looking meaningfully into this young disciple’s eyes. He suddenly smiled brilliantly, “Don’t suspect a man you use, don’t use a man you suspect. Palace Head Dan Chi is willing to bet the future of the sect on you. Even if I am inferior to Dan Chi, what harm is there in betting a mere recipe?”
Elder Yun Nie’s easygoing attitude made Jiang Chen’s heart lighten. He was worried that this elder would have an ornery temper and was suspicious of everyone’s motives. He hadn’t thought that Elder Yun Nie would be so forthright and agree so easily.
“It looks like I’ve rather underestimated this elder’s temperament. Maybe those disciples who were beaten had expressed themselves poorly, disappointing the elder?” Jiang Chen could also see that the importance Elder Yun Nie placed on this pill had exceeded everything.
The pill refining room.
Jiang Chen followed Elder Yun Nie in to find that this refining room was on a completely different level than those in the sixteen kingdom alliance. The ones here were already starting to make use of formations.
“Mm, the Regal Pill Palace is a premier sect in the Myriad Domain alright. They’re already begun to introduce formations into their pill refining. Not bad, not bad.” Jiang Chen’s gaze swept across the room, piercing through the mysteries of this formation. However, his face stayed unchanged as he followed the elder serenely.
The elder was rather surprised to see Jiang Chen’s calm demeanor. A disciple from the sixteen kingdoms isn’t the slightest bit taken aback to see my refining formations? He doesn’t even seem to be pretending to understand. Could he possibly know about this formation?”
Now that his thoughts had reached this point, Elder Yun Nie was seized by the urge to test Jiang Chen. “Jiang Chen, what do you think of this refining room?”
How would Jiang Chen not understand the elder’s intentions? He smiled, responding, “I’ve never seen this kind of refining room in my life before 1. The sixteen kingdoms alliance do not have this kind of resources.” His words were precisely chosen, only saying that he’d never seen it in this life before. Elder Yun Nie would naturally not pick up the key point in Jiang Chen’s response.
“Do you know what the glyphs around the cauldron mean?” The elder continued to probe. Jiang Chen found it funny. You want to test me with such a crude formation? But he knew it wasn’t the time to show off.
He laughed humbly and said, “This is likely a formation glyph used to create a formation that can supplement pill refining. I’ve only heard of this from the elders in the sect. This is the Regal Pill Palace alright! My horizons have been greatly broadened.”
Since you want to probe me, I’ll respond by feeding your ego. In reality, this level of a refining formation was far from satisfactory in Jiang Chen’s eyes. But how could he say something like this?
Elder Yun Nie was naturally overjoyed at hearing this.
“Elder Yun Nie, shall we begin?” Jiang Chen didn’t want to waste any more time.
The elder hesitated for a moment, but nodded, “There’s nothing to gain from dragging this on. Jiang Chen, the materials I have on hand can only refine three pills at the most. If all three of these chances fail, then I have no idea when I might collect all the ingredients for the pill again.”
Jiang Chen knew what the elder meant. He was telling Jiang Chen that he didn’t have many chances to waste! Jiang Chen thought for a moment and nodded, “Elder Yun Nie, if you don’t mind, can you describe the previous steps you’ve taken? Don’t leave out a single detail in the process or switch the order of the steps you took.”
They’d all ended in failures anyway, the elder wasn’t particularly hesitant in sharing his experiences. He summarized what he’d done before, with Jiang Chen interrupting at key moments to clarify things.
Although the Hexarune Dragon Pill was on a completely different level than the Ennearune Pill, the core principles stayed the same. As such, since Jiang Chen had refined the latter in his past life, he wasn’t that unfamiliar with the lesser version of the pill. He had a good idea of the process after listening to Elder Yun Nie’s explanation.
This pill was actually less than a tenth of the difficulty of the Ennearune Pill. Jiang Chen thought for a moment and came to an initial conclusion of the elder’s problem. Whether it was the Hexarune or Ennearune, the key matter lay in carving runes into the pill. The runes would change the effects of the pill within, and the act of carving the runes would stimulate the medicine effects inside and increase the pill’s quality.
Carving the runes required heavenly fire, and the Hexarune Dragon Pill required six kinds of heavenly fire to purify the pill in preparation for rune carving. This was precisely where the elder’s problem lay.
The Hexarune Dragon Pill had six supplemental ingredients that melded with the main ingredient to coalesce the essence into one pill. If there was an error in the order of the fires, it would impact the quality of the pill. When it came down to it, the order of each ingredient and fire was highly crucial to the process.
These details were the key to success.
Elder Yun Nie had paid careful attention to the details but had still overlooked the matter of order. He had put all the supplemental ingredients in at the same time when he should have done so successively. The ordering of the fires would depend on how he’d placed in the ingredients.
If something was awry with the order, then the subtle processes within the pill cauldron would be thrown into chaos as well. Once this happened, it would be very difficult to produce an upper rank pill.
It wasn’t an issue with the ingredients or the fires, but the core techniques of the pill refiner.
“Elder Yun Nie, I have some thoughts after analyzing this recipe and your refining dregs. They might be of some use to you.” Jiang Chen couldn’t very well open the discussion with blatant criticism, so he embarked on a circuitous route to the truth.
“Please, go ahead.” The elder had started using the word “please’ at some unknown point.
“The Hexarune Dragon Pill is formed amidst six heavenly fires in accordance with six supplemental ingredients. There is likely a certain precedence that should be observed to ensure that the combination of materials and pills reaches a perfect level…”
Elder Yun Nie’s body trembled with Jiang Chen’s words, as if a bolt of lightning had cleaved into his consciousness, piercing through the barrier around his thoughts. The only reason he’d been this deeply disturbed by his dilemma was because his knowledge hadn’t reached the requisite level to comprehend his true issue. Jiang Chen’s subtle reminder had caused him to acquire that last spark of inspiration, finally reaching spontaneous enlightenment.
“Right, that’s right! Why hadn’t I thought of this before?” His eyes sparkled with fervor as he hurriedly began his preparations.
“Elder, your mind and heart are not at peace. This is far from the ideal time to begin refining. I would recommend meditating to calm your heart before refining the pill.”
Elder Yun Nie was slightly startled. This young man had such strong observation skills and his every word hid great reason within them. How was this the breadth of mind a young man was supposed to have?
Sitting down cross legged, meditating to calm the heart, lighting the fire for the cauldron…
Elder Yun Nie had actually gone through the motions many times, so he was well versed with these steps. It was only when he added the supplemental ingredients that he felt a bit nervous.
This time, Jiang Chen spoke up at appropriate moments and had the elder place in an ingredient every fifteen minutes, introducing a type of heavenly fire each time. These fires had been collected from their respective sources and was being added through the formation.
When Jiang Chen saw this, he grew more contemplative, “It looks like the pill masters of the Regal Pill Palace aren’t particularly gifted in controlling fire. Although it’s good to transport the fire through the formation, it’s best if the pill master can do so himself. This would allow them to exert more control over the process, perfecting the details. At the same time, accidents can be quickly suppressed.”
These were all just asides. If nothing untoward happened, conducting the fire through the formation and with his own hands were all the same. However, a truly genius pill master would never use a formation for something he could do himself.
Time passed slowly.
Jiang Chen slightly activated his God’s Eye, observing the minute changes in this cauldron. He had a feeling that the elder wouldn’t fail this time. Even if he didn’t succeed in a supreme rank pill, he would at least produce a mid, or even upper rank pill.
Elder Yun Nie seemed to have this feeling as well, that things were a bit different from his previous failures. He couldn’t voice his emotions adequately at all.
Smoke finally started to waft from the cauldron as the fire went out. An alluring fragrance of medicine started to gently drift from the cauldron.
Elder Yun Nie couldn’t wait and yanked the cover off the pill cauldron. A lustrous and resplendent Hexarune Dragon Pill made its long awaited appearance.
“Upper rank.” Jiang Chen immediately made this pronouncement after a flick of his eyes.