“The sixty-four stone pillars there aren’t part of an altar, they are pill wells meant for refinement. Each had its own uses and specialized in crafting medicines of different affinities. For example, creating a power-boost pill would require the use of a spirit-consolidation well, reinforced by a spirit-consolidation formation to make sure that the pill wouldn’t lose any energy.”
“Or, creating an essence-cleansing pill would necessitate the yin-yang well. Healing pills? Five-colored well. Anecdote pill? Water well…”
The Grand Tutor was one of the only two Grand Pill Master in the entire dynasty. He was at the third level so his alchemy skill was naturally exceptional with virtually no peers in this region.
Among the forty-eight wells were the scents of different pills. Clearly, some pills were about to come out. Ten more had feeble energy auras, meaning that they have only started recently, still needing another three months or so to take form. As for the remaining six - they were empty, not being used right now.
“These wells can only refine third-ranked pills and below. Anything above would require even more attention and ingredients. Too complicated and need perfect timing and mastery.”
The method of cultivating lower-ranked pills was no secret but no one would tell the secrets of the better ones.
This mansion looked like a daoist shrine but it wasn’t actually that small. There were many pavilions prepared for pill refinement and platforms meant for star-watching in the clouds. Some forbidden grounds were shrouded behind mists.
Ling Yun took a full day taking Feiyun around but they still didn’t finish seeing the whole thing.
“The truth is that my visit this time is meant to find a few rare ingredients. I’m willing to pay a high price.” Feiyun didn’t want to delay this any longer.
Ling Yun smiled and said: “Your Excellency, no need to be reserved. We have a lot of materials and I can be in charge of selling them for a fair price, outside of some really precious ones.”
Feiyun took out a list and wrote down ten medicinal ingredients.
The Heavenly Core Pill required eighteen leading ingredients. He found eight at the Yin Gou Ward but the remaining ten were too rare. Some weren’t recorded in the ancient scrolls at all.
He didn’t have too much hope finding them here if the Yin Gou didn’t have them. Nevertheless, he still needed to make a visit. Just finding one more could improve the quality of the pill.
Ling Yun was quite confident until he read the list. He felt a headache coming with sweat beads forming on his forehead.
He had only heard of five types on this list but they were exceedingly rare, only mentioned on the Grand Alchemist Record. The majority were used to create fourth-ranked and fifth-ranked pills.
“Your Excellency, well… these materials are too rare, we only have two of them here.” Ling Yun furrowed his brows and said.
But Feiyun was quite happy: “Which two?”
“Draconic Knotweed and Serpent Flower.”
The first was a knotweed root in the form of a dragon. The second was a flower that grows on top of a serpent king’s head.
Moreover, they needed to be at least one thousand year old to be a leading ingredient. This was necessary for them to have absorbed enough worldly essence to reach a certain level of medicinal power.
If he could get these two, then he would have ten types of leading ingredients for the pill. The other eight could be replaced with similar ingredients. Though the effect would be far inferior, it was enough for him to break through one level.
“Please name the price for these two ingredients, Brother Ling Yun, money is not an issue.” Feiyun said.
Ling Yun shook his head: “It’s not about money but these two ingredients are stored carefully by my master. The knotweed, in particular, is six-thousand-year old with growing dragon scales. The Serpent Flower is four-thousand-year old. The serpent king is dead but the flower is still connected to it. My master would personally use spirit water to water it each month, afraid that it might wither. He considers them as his own flesh, so not to mention I don’t dare to take charge in this, I’m afraid he’ll refuse you when you ask him in person anyway.”
“I see.” Feiyun said: “If His Venerable values these two ingredients so much, they must be rooted in the place with the densest energy?”
“Of course! They’re in the White Cloud Marsh, next to the master’s abode..” Ling Yun suddenly stopped, realizing that he had revealed too much.
“White Cloud Marsh…” Feiyun muttered under his breath with a flash in his eyes. He then smiled and said: “If these two are so loved by His Venerable, then I can’t take them away from him. See you later then.”
Having said that, Feiyun left right away.
“The guy is indeed special to become the Divine King at such a young age.” Ling Yun watched Feiyun leaving with a contemplative gaze. He called an alchemy student and said: “Go tell Fifth Brother to take a break from his session to reach the Giant realm and watch over White Cloud tonight.”
The student acknowledged the command and left to send the message.
Ling Yun was gifted at judging and reading people, hence his great responsibility of watching over the mansion. Everyone knew what kind of person Feiyun was in the cultivation world. There was no way this guy would give up so easily so extra caution was warranted.
However, the mansion still got things stolen. Not just Serpent Flower and Draconic Knotweed, more than ten different precious medicines there disappeared overnight. The majority of them were more than five-thousand-year old, all priceless.
Their Fifth Brother, a half-step Giant on the verge of breaking through, stayed up the whole night without blinking. Alas, they got stolen right under his nose.
Ling Yun almost vomited blood after hearing this and passed out. Two students had to carry him inside.
Divine King’s mansion.
Feiyun was drinking tea on top of a jade chair in the main hall with eighteen eunuchs and eight maids serving him. This was an entourage worthy of his position.
Feiyun has been waiting for someone since sunrise.
He slightly looked up at the sun and wondered: ‘Why the hell is this Ningshuai guy taking so long? Given his cowardly disposition, he would certainly rat me out if he were captured. I just need to deny everything then.’
Suddenly, he sniffed an elegant fragrance at the tip of his nose.
He looked around and tapped the teacup twice: “Everyone, take leave.”
The eunuchs and maids performed a goodbye ceremony before leaving.
Feiyun picked up his teacup, bringing it near his lips before smirking: “Hongyan’er, come out now.”
A ripple fluctuated in the air to reveal a slender figure. It became clearer and clearer until a girl in white fully came into being with her draping black hair and eyes as bright as two moons. The scene was as beautiful as can be.
Nangong Hongyan said: “My Invisible Cloth should have blocked all auras, even a Giant can’t detect me. How did you?”
Feiyun smiled: “How could I if you didn’t purposely release a strand of aura?”
She indeed purposely made her entry known earlier, albeit in a discrete manner so that he would tell everyone else to leave.
“Hmph. No need to play smart in front of me. Where did Xiaoxiang go?” She scowled.
His expression darkened: “She left, for real this time.”
“Where to?” She asked instantly.
Feiyun shook his head: “Chasing after what she wants, perhaps we’ll see her again, or not.”
Though she didn’t fully understand the answer, she knew that he wouldn’t lie to her about this issue.
He looked up in the sky and added: “Hongyan, the capital is too chaotic. I have the feeling that the emperor will abdicate within half a month. The new coronation will bring about an unprecedented storm. We don’t have control right now, so you should leave early.”
“I won’t.” She said firmly.
“Why should I if you aren’t?” She answered unyieldingly, coming from a place of love.
Feiyun pondered a bit before speaking: “I’ll be leaving too once the new emperor is in place. I’ll hand over the Divine King position then go look for you.”
Hongyan was keen enough to grasp the situation: “Will the new emperor let you leave so easily?”
“I naturally have my own plans and methods, but you need to leave first so I can do it without any worries. Just go wherever you want.” He spoke with absolute confidence.
His tone suddenly became soft: “Hongyan, let’s leave this chaotic dynasty after finding my parents. We’ll show them just how pretty their daughter-in-law is. Surely they’ll be dumbstruck with excitement.”
Hongyan had an embarrassed smile while actually looking forward to it. Alas, her attention shifted to something else - she only had three of the five divine garments right now, missing the Regal Dragon Robe and Nalan Buddhist Robe.
This coronation was the best chance to steal the former, so how could she miss this opportunity?