Chapter 549: Rich Fruits of Achievement
Jiang Chen was a practical man of his word. He took out the Skyweave Cauldron and meditated for a moment, mentally simulating the process of refining the Longevity Pill a few times until he was utterly confident. He opened his eyes, ready to begin.
He first circulated the fires within himself and once again used the True Fires of Ninety Nine to preheat the cauldron. When the cauldron resonated, Jiang Chen randomly picked up two ingredients and threw them in carelessly.
These two ingredients weren’t actually for refining the Longevity Pill. When he threw them in, he secretly shot out several beams of fire as well, turning them into ash. He then haphazardly threw in some more ingredients, using the flames in his body to repeatedly turn them into ash. He knew that he needed to conceal his true actions from the others, he couldn’t allow anyone to derive the pill recipe and ingredient list of the Longevity Pill from his actions. He was sure that the various heavyweights would be keeping an eye on him. Given the impact that this pill would have on the world, there was no doubt people would go insane trying to copy it.
This was why he was purposefully confusing their eyes and ears by mixing in irrelevant materials in his refining process. It would keep the others from copying him. Although countless people would attempt to discern the original components of his pill and then deduce his recipe after it was made, it wouldn’t be an entirely simple matter. After all, this was a pseudo earth rank pill, and not so easily reconstructed.
If any such pill could be successfully broken down, then there wouldn’t be such a thing as unique pill recipes in this world. It would also invalidate the preciousness of pill recipes. The pill recipe would always be the most useful way to refine a pill. Reverse engineering wasn’t impossible, but many pills had ingredients which couldn’t be separated into their parts after they’d been combined.
The more sophisticated a pill, the more this was so. Of course, there were no absolutes in life. It all depended on one’s prowess. A divine level expert analyzing a pill of the mundane world would be able to parse apart even the most obscure recipe. However, Jiang Chen firmly believed that his sleight of hand would thoroughly obfuscate the recipe for this Longevity Pill.
Furthermore, even if someone had the luck to deduce the recipe, replicating this pill refining would take an identical technique and control over fire. After all, ingredients weren’t the only things that determined a successful pill refining. The pill master’s techniques, idiosyncrasies, control of fire, and all sorts of details would determine the fate of a cauldron of pills.
Jiang Chen put in the ingredients for the Longevity Pill in an orderly fashion only after he had done all he could in concealing his actions. He also knew that what he’d done would more or less affect the quality of the pill, but he had confidence that although there would be some flaws, he would still be able to successfully refine a pill. Since as long as he succeeded, he’d be able to take home full marks even if it was of lower rank, thanks to the innate level of this Longevity Pill.
The organizers may not recognize the pill, but they would definitely be able to detect its level. At pseudo earth level, even the lowest level version would stand out like a crane amongst chickens after Jiang Chen took it out. Thus, its refining process was quite extraordinary and required a great deal of effort. Even Jiang Chen didn’t have complete confidence in his success. After all, his cultivation level was only fifth level origin realm. Refining a pseudo earth level pill was like reaching for the moon. If it wasn’t for his solid foundations from his past life, he wouldn’t have the slightest possibility of success.
It was a good thing that the Skyweave Cauldron and Lotus granted him advantages that no one else had.
The Longevity Pill was one that gathered together materials that could extend one’s lifespan and created an effect that truly fought the heavens for more years of life. After Jiang Chen tossed in all the ingredients, he began manipulating the fires within his body to slowly fill the area around the Skyweave Cauldron. The Longevity Pill was a pill that required long, meticulous work.
If the fire was too strong, then the refinement was doomed to fail. The pill needed a comfortable pace to ensure refining. Jiang Chen focused his attentions wholly on controlling the flames.
If there was the slightest detail amiss in refining the Longevity Pill, the spirit nature of the ingredients would dissipate due to the heat and decrease the chance of actually forming a pill. This was akin to cooking food. Some dishes needed to be quickly stir-fried with screaming hot flames, and others needed to be left to simmer into a delicious broth. The Longevity Pill was precisely the kind that needed to slowly simmer to reach perfection.
All the various ingredients were slowly melting within the Skyweave Cauldron, their spirit power seeping out drip by drip. At this critical moment, it wasn’t just a matter of control over fire, the pill also needed Jiang Chen’s unique techniques to continuously purify and manipulate the spirit power that was being produced.
This pill used quite a number of ingredients, and every drop of the spirit power contained within them had to be fully utilized. Once lost, the chances for successfully refining this pill would drop drastically. The nine ingredients turned into nine streams of vivid spirit liquid within the Skyweave Cauldron, rushing to and fro the cauldron as if dragons gambolling in the sky.
Jiang Chen didn’t dare relax an iota of his focus. This was the most crucial moment for the Longevity Pill. If any one of the spirit flows escaped his control, then all of his previous effort would be for naught. Controlling nine streams of spirit power at the same time was a bit rough even for Jiang Chen. He began perspiring slightly because of his nervousness, and God’s Eye stared down brightly at the depths of the cauldron. It was by far the most taxing refining process he’d undertaken since he’d set out on his journey, and the most difficult pill he’d attempted in this life. The level of the Longevity Pill far surpassed that of the Hexarune Dragon pill, and was far more complex to boot.
Three days passed… then five days… seven days…
As the days flew by, the end of the purification process drew closer. Even with Jiang Chen’s incredible strength of heart, the evening of the seventh day had brought him near the end of his rope. But he knew, it wasn’t yet time to relax. There was still room for mistakes to occur. The last step of this difficult purification process was to combine the spirit flows together. As long as they could be gathered and seamlessly melded together, the following steps would be easy. However, the process of coalescing these nine flows would be the most dangerous. If he’d misjudged their relative proportions, they would start fighting each other as soon as they came into contact.
Under those circumstances, the best case scenario was a refining failure. At worst, the cauldron would vanish in an explosion that would no doubt harm the pill master. Jiang Chen had to admit, this latest stunt of refining the Longevity Pill was risky. After seven days of purification, the ingredients had been distilled to the very essence of spirit power and were particularly lively. In truth, if he’d misjudged the proportions at any time over the past seven days, that would’ve led to an imbalance between the nine spirit powers and resulted in them attacking each other instead. That would have spelled immediate failure.
Palace Head Dan Chi had been observing the proceedings from above and had placed the majority of his attentions on Jiang Chen these past few days. He was greatly astonished to see sweat bead his disciple’s forehead.
Never once had Jiang Chen displayed anything other than pure confidence and complete assurance. But now, he was showing signs of a struggle?
“What’s going on here?” Palace Head Dan Chi was slightly taken aback. With Jiang Chen’s strength, an upper tier saint rank pill would be no trouble at all! Even if he wanted to refine a lower tier true saint rank pill, it would not be so difficult as to make Jiang Chen go to this level of effort. But how would Dan Chi know that Jiang Chen wasn’t refining anything akin to a lower tier true saint rank pill? He was going far beyond the horizon, all the way to a pseudo earth rank pill!
Jiang Chen formed a hand seal and commanded one of the spirit flows to move. Each hand seal was as comforting as the spring breeze, without the slightest bit of error to them. The nine spirit forces were now at their friskiest. If Jiang Chen formed his hand seals too quickly, it would impact the operating speed of the cauldron and cause flaws to form when the ingredients melded together.
The nine flows of spirit power continuously converged on the center of the Skyweave Cauldron at a perfect speed and angle under the command of Jiang Chen’s string of nine hand seals.
“Meld, meld!” Jiang Chen chanted inwardly, his mind completely focused on the task at hand. He didn’t dare spare the slightest thought for anything else, and the thought of the effort of seven days straight coming to a head made his emotions ripple slightly. But he also knew that if he couldn’t control his emotions and let it affect his refining, his efforts over the past seven days would go down the drain. Therefore, Jiang Chen activated Boulder’s Heart and adjusted his mindset to completely wipe out his emotions, like a dried up well devoid of ripples, before thoroughly melding the nine flows together.
The Skyweave Cauldron suddenly began trembling as the nine converged spirit forces resonated with each other. The force of their resonance caused the cauldron to shiver along with them.
Any other ordinary pill master would’ve thought that something had gone wrong, but Jiang Chen knew better. This was the resonance that should occur with the melding of various sources of spirit power for the Longevity Pill. As long as the forces of resonance didn’t exceed a certain degree, that meant that there was no problem with this melding.
The resonance rang out for three breaths of time before slowly subsiding. Jiang Chen’s heart had been in his throat, and slowly started to settle back to its original position. It had been a long, arduous ride, but the nine spirit forces of the Longevity Pill had finally successfully melded together.
The most difficult process had been successfully completed, and all that was left was to control the fires to nudge the spirit power into coalescing into pills. “Almost none of the spirit power from the ingredients had been lost from the cauldron. As such, there should be three or four pills from this batch.”
According to the rules, pill masters could keep the pills produced from this section. This was also a form of reward for the candidates. When Dan Chi saw Jiang Chen’s expression relax, he knew that Jiang Chen must’ve made it past the most difficult stage. “Just what is Jiang Chen refining? I saw him throw in at least twenty ingredients before he started. Just what complex pill is that to need so many ingredients?”
Most pills needed at least five ingredients, and at most around ten. Those which required more than ten were extremely complicated pills. Those that required more than twenty ingredients were a rarity in Regal Pill Palace history.
Jiang Chen’s cauldron of Longevity Pills were officially finished after roughly five more days. The results slightly surprised him; there were actually four pills! He’d thought that they would all be lower tier, but hadn’t thought that there would be two which barely scraped the threshold for mid tier. “Mm! My efforts haven’t been wasted. If it wasn’t for me spending so much time on focusing on the purity of the pills, they likely wouldn’t have reached mid tier.”
Jiang Chen was naturally gratified when he saw his results. This was the highest rank of pills he’d refined since reincarnating!