Chapter 224: Medicinal Pills Can Foster Life, Poison Can Exterminate It!
Bai Yunlai held his tongue for the entire way back. Finally, when they reached the door of the Immortal’s cave, he couldn’t keep his mouth closed any longer. “Fang Mu, your plan….”
“I need Spirit Stones,” he said with a laugh. “I asked for six sets of medicinal plants because I plan to give a Barrier Breaking Pill to you. I can see that you’ve been stuck at the bottleneck of the eighth level of Qi Condensation for years now.” He clasped Bai Yunlai on the shoulder, turned, and entered his Immortal’s Cave.
As the door closed shut, Bai Yunlai stood there alone for some time. Finally, he clasped hands and bowed deeply, then left. His words of thanks were not spoken aloud, but imprinted on his heart.
Time passed. Soon seven days had gone by. Meng Hao sat cross-legged in his Immortal’s Cave, looking at the three Barrier Breaking Pills in front of him. He picked one up and looked at it closely.
“The difference between medicinal pills and poison pills is a matter of will. If murder were on my mind, I could simply adjust the poisonous elements of this Barrier Breaking Pill, and then whoever consumed it would be exterminated. Even if that person was extremely prudent and had someone else test the pill first, I could figure out a way to cause the pill to initiate a self-change. Undetectable killing….”
Meng Hao sat there silently, thinking about all of the medicinal pills he had consumed over the years. At that time, he had no understanding of the Dao of alchemy. Thinking about it caused all the hairs on his body to stand up on end. Now that he knew more about alchemy, a sense of fear slowly filled him.
“From now on, I must only consume pills that I have concocted myself,” he murmured. “As for pills from outsiders, I must employ my full knowledge of the Dao of alchemy to identify them before consuming them. The difference between Dao of alchemy and the Dao of poison is a matter of will. Medicinal pills can foster life, poison can exterminate it. A true grandmaster of the Dao of alchemy is in actuality also a grandmaster of the Dao of poison.” Meng Hao closed his eyes, and within his mind appeared images of medicinal plants. There were endless varieties of plants that had poisonous elements. By combining certain ones together, lethal poisons could be created.
Based on the level of the Cultivation base, poisonous powders for pills could be made with different potencies. After thinking about it for a very long moment, Meng Hao slowly opened his eyes. They glowed with enlightenment. To Meng Hao, concocting this Barrier Breaking Pill had been a sort of baptism. He now had a much more profound understanding of the Dao of alchemy.
“Maybe one day when my skill in the Dao of alchemy reaches the level of Grandmaster Pill Demon, then I can dispel the poison of the Resurrection Lily myself!” His eyes shined brightly.
Slowly the glow faded. Meng Hao’s state of mind gradually grew calm. He had the feeling that even though he was still in the Foundation Establishment stage, with five Dao Pillars, when you added in his understanding of the Dao of alchemy, his battle prowess was now far beyond what it had been before.
In fact, if he created some poison pills now, then next time he encountered Zhou Jie, it would be easy to kill him, regardless of how many techniques his opponent used.
After more thought, Meng Hao took out the broken pieces of the meat jelly’s shed skin. He studied them carefully for a while. His time in recent days had not just been spent in pill concocting. He had also thought a lot about various methods of using the meat jelly skin.
It was exceptionally hard. He had used a variety of methods to attempt to damage it, none of which had been successful. He had even tried to refine it in the pill furnace, to no avail. Thankfully, although most of the skin had broken into pieces, some had exploded into dust, which Meng Hao had also collected.
Meng Hao closed his eyes to think. “I have to think of a way to use this stuff in the future. Also, I can’t just focus on improving my skill in the Dao of Alchemy. I also have to improve my Dao Pillars. I need to gradually increase the level of the Cultivation base I reveal when I’m out in the Violet Fate Sect.” He frowned. “I need some formulas for medicinal pills useful in the mid Foundation Establishment stage.”
With that, he stood up and left the Immortal’s Cave to visit Li Tao. It was dusk when he returned. In exchange for the formula for the Barrier Breaking Pill, he had acquired the formula for a Spirit Platform Pill, which was appropriate for the mid Foundation Establishment stage.
Now that he had the formula, Meng Hao began to consider concocting it himself. He would only need one; there was no need to concoct more than that. As for the required medicinal plants, he was a master alchemist of the East Pill Division, so they could easily be acquired on credit.
Time flashed as seven days passed. On this particular day, Meng Hao’s eyes suddenly snapped open. He had just finished absorbing the Spirit Platform Pill that he had concocted a few days before. Unfortunately, refining the pill had used up several sets of ingredients, and in the end, the medicinal strength wasn’t ideal.
“I guess I have no other options for now, unless there are different formulas for the Spirit Platform Pill,” he murmured. “The rare medicinal plants for this formula can’t be acquired on credit, I have to pay for them up front. My only option now is to grow my reputation. That way, more Inner Sect disciples will come to me to concoct pills. My profits will increase, and of course my pill concocting skill will too. Then I can acquire more medicinal plants to use to concoct medicinal pills for myself.” With that, he waved his right hand to collect together the medicinal pills in front of him, then walked out of the Immortal’s Cave. By this time, it was dusk.
As soon as he left District One Valley One, he ran into Bai Yunlai. Today was the appointed day to meet with Ding Yong. The two of them chatted as they walked to the designated meeting place.
Ding Yong had arrived early. He was nervous, but didn’t show it on his face. He stood waiting; when he caught sight of Meng Hao approaching, his eyes glittered.
Meng Hao was as calm as ever. As he approached, he slapped his bag of holding to produce a pill bottle, which flew toward Ding Yong.
“You must not take this pill under the moonlight,” said Meng Hao indifferently. “It should only be consumed at high noon, when the sun burns brightly. That is when the medicinal strength will be highest.” With that, he turned and walked away, paying no further attention to Ding Yong.
Ding Yong took the pill bottle and stared deeply at Meng Hao for a moment. Without a word, he also turned and left.
The next day at noon, when the hot sun filled the sky, Ding Yong sat cross-legged on a wide stone platform in his Immortal’s Cave. Various restrictive spells were set up around him. He breathed deeply as he produced the medicinal pill Meng Hao had concocted for such an exorbitant price. Ding Yong looked at, and a bit of hesitation flickered in his eyes. However, the hesitation quickly turned to determination.
“Fang Mu, if you pulled a fast one on me, then matters between us are not concluded!” He clenched his jaw, then quickly placed the pill into his mouth. Instantly, a roaring sound filled his mind, and his entire body began to quiver. Furious waves of spiritual energy exploded within him.
Time slipped by. Soon three days had passed. Ding Yong’s body continued to shake. On the evening of the third day, his eyes opened, and as they did, the power of late Foundation Establishment stage rippled out from his Cultivation base, filling the surrounding area. His eyes shone with excitement, and he trembled as he rose to his feet. As he examined his Cultivation base, his heart surged. He lifted his head up and began to laugh with joy.
The laughter spread out, attracting the attention of quite a few nearby Inner Sect disciples. Soon, expressions of shock appeared on their faces.
“Ding Yong finally broke through!”
“He’s been stuck in mid Foundation Establishment for years. He finally broke through!”
News of Ding Yong’s breakthrough caused quite the uproar in the Inner Sect of the Violet Qi Division. Now that he had reached late Foundation Establishment, he had a chance for promotion to Conclave disciple. Considering how many years he had been stuck in mid Foundation Establishment, his breakthrough also caused him to suddenly be viewed as competition by many other disciples.
If the matter were limited to a simple breakthrough, then all eyes would be fixed on Ding Yong alone. After all, a late breakthrough is still simply a breakthrough. However, Bai Yunlai had been keeping an eye on Ding Yong’s Immortal’s Cave. As soon as he sensed that the breakthrough had been made, he immediately used all his skill and resources to spread word of it, and the fact that it was Fang Mu who concocted the pill.
It was in this fashion that he was able to borrow the momentum of Ding Yong’s breakthrough to rapidly spread word of Fang Mu’s skill in alchemy. Word spread like storm winds through the Inner Sect disciples. Within a few days, all of the Inner Sect disciples in the Violet Qi Division were talking about Ding Yong and Fang Mu.
When Inner Sect disciples went to master alchemists for pill concocting services, what was sometimes more important than alchemic skill, was reputation. The greater the reputation of the master alchemist, the more people would seek him out. Thanks to Bai Yunlai’s promotion, as well as Ding Yong’s breakthrough, the resulting ballyhoo immediately caused Fang Mu’s name to spread throughout the entire Inner Sect.
Ding Yong had no reservations about this. In fact, not only was he happy to allow Fang Mu to use his name to promote himself, but whenever people asked him about his breakthrough, he would directly explain that Fang Mu’s medicinal pill was what had led to his breakthrough in Cultivation base.
The reason for this was quite simple. A few words on his part could verify how astonishing Fang Mu’s medicinal pills were. This would prevent any cause of offense on the part of Fang Mu, and would build up good karma for the next time he needed a pill concocted.
It was in this fashion that Fang Mu’s reputation slowly began to build among the Inner Sect Disciples. Soon, everyone knew of Alchemist Fang, one of the thousand master alchemists of the East Pill Division. However, Inner Sect disciples all had master alchemists of whom they personally approved. Mere rumors alone wouldn’t cause them to switch to a new master alchemist for pill concocting, not even when combined with Ding Yong’s breakthrough. Many were still hesitant.
Soon, the news reached the Violet Qi Division’s Outer Sect, and the disciple in charge of pill inspecting, Su Zhonglun. His eyes began to shine. For a month now he had been wondering about the master alchemist surnamed Fang. He had gone to the Pill Affairs Pavilion in the Inner Sect for information but had come up empty-handed. After that, every time medicinal pills arrived in the Outer Sect, he would inspect them very carefully. However, he never saw any more pills marked Fang. This caused him to sigh endlessly.
He had saved the original bottle of pills, and frequently took them out to study. The more he did, the more admiration grew in his heart, and the more curious he grew regarding the identity of this Alchemist Fang. When the news about Fang Mu and Ding Yong reached him, he was immediately eighty percent sure that Fang Mu was the person he had been looking for.
He instantly rushed out of the Outer Sect and headed toward the East Pill Division. He tracked down Bai Yunlai and begged him to recommend him to Fang Mu.
During these days, Meng Hao was well aware of all that Bai Yunlai was doing to spread his name. He sat patiently waiting for requests to come in, yet none did, which caused him to frown.
It was at this moment that Su Zhonglun’s request for a pill came in. Meng Hao was immediately enlivened, and sent his response.
A few days later, Su Zhonglun received the medicinal pills he needed. He immediately returned to his room. After doing some breathing exercises, he thoroughly examined the pill. As he did, his eyes began to shine more and more brightly. In the end, he was panting.
“I provided medicinal plants with fifty percent strength, and this pill also has fifty percent strength. Only a Furnace Lord could mix the various medicinal plants together to create a medicinal pill like this. Ordinary master alchemists could never do it. At the most, they could create a pill with thirty percent medicinal strength. This is astonishing! This Fang Mu… he’s only a master alchemist, but he can concoct the medicinal pills of a Furnace Lord!” Unable to contain his excitement, he held up the fifty percent strength medicinal pill and then placed it into his mouth. A few hours later, he opened his eyes.