Chapter 902: The Fang Clan’s Dao of Alchemy
The Grand Elder didn’t think he had underestimated Meng Hao, but in the end… that is exactly what he had done.
To the Grand Elder, Meng Hao was simply a member of the Junior generation. However intelligent he might be, he was still just a Junior.
He could never have imagined that Meng Hao had cultivated Time magic, and that because of his unbridled persistence, would need only half a month to sift through the vast clan histories and piece together random clues into the truth!
The two Nirvana Fruits were exactly what Meng Hao had speculated; items belonging to the first generation Patriarch that had been left behind as precious treasures. However, one clan member after another had suddenly died while trying to absorb them. Eventually, they became something like taboo objects.
30,000 years ago, the clan had clamped down on all information regarding the two Nirvana Fruits, and they had been put into long-term storage in the Ancestral Treasure Pavilion. Despite being objects from that first generation Patriarch, they were completely useless.
Nowadays, it was possible that there were a few people in the clan who knew that one of the Patriarchs had left Nirvana Fruits behind, but it would be easier to find a phoenix feather or a qilin horn than to find someone who remembered about those clan members suddenly dying.
Not even Meng Hao’s father would be aware of such a thing.
Were it not for Meng Hao’s suspicious nature, and his ability to use his Time magic to determine the true age of the Nirvana Fruits, then even if he did search through the clan histories, he would never have been able to detect all of the random, inconspicuous clues that he had.
“Well then, what about MY Nirvana Fruits,” he thought. “Are they still around… or not?” He looked down at the jade box, a complicated expression on his face. As of now, Meng Hao realized that all of the spectators who had looked on as the Grand Elder handed him the jade box must have thought that the Nirvana Fruits really did belong to him.
Sometimes, if everyone believes something to be true, then the matter basically becomes true, and cannot be changed.
After a long moment of thought, Meng Hao looked down at the two Nirvana Fruits, and his eyes began to glitter.
“In terms of value, these two Patriarch’s Nirvana Fruits are surely priceless…. Based on all the clues I pieced together, those clan members who suddenly died all ended up as desiccated corpses, as if their life force had been sucked away.
“From the look of it, the Nirvana Fruits can’t be restored simply by feeding them some Spirit Elixir as the Grand Elder suggested. Doing that will probably only revive them temporarily. Absorbing them during that period of brief restoration will most certainly lead to death.
“That’s because fundamentally, they are still dry and withered. Unless…. I can truly and completely restore them. Perhaps… then I actually could absorb them.
“Of course, there must have been clan members who came to that same conclusion, and yet they also failed. Perhaps my line of thinking is just as flawed as theirs…. In that case, perhaps it’s simply impossible to gather enough Spirit Elixir to restore them completely!
“If that’s the case, then there are two possibilities. One is that not even the Fang Clan… can afford the terrifying wastage of resources that would be required to get enough medicinal plants. After all, the supply of medicinal plants is not infinite. Perhaps it’s really impossible to restore the Nirvana Fruits completely, even if you use substitute ingredients in the Spirit Elixir.
“Even more likely than that possibility is the second possibility. Perhaps these Nirvana Fruits were withered from the very moment they were created.” Meng Hao’s eyes flickered for a moment, after which he patted his bag of holding to produce the copper mirror.
“There’s always the chance that I really could restore the Nirvana Fruits to a state of completeness!” Meng Hao was panting, and a strange gleam could be seen in his eyes. Then he thought about his beloved spirit stones, and he gritted his teeth in hesitation.
“There are plenty of Chosen in the Ninth Mountain and Sea, and in the future, I should have plenty of chances to bleed them dry of spirit stones. But if I could restore these two Patriarchs’ Nirvana Fruits, then absorb them… then it would be the greatest good fortune I could get here in the Fang Clan!
“Time to go to where they concoct pills around here!” As of this moment, a gleam of determination could be seen in Meng Hao’s eyes.
The next day at dawn, he walked out of his residence to find that Fang Xi was nowhere to be seen.
In the end, Fang Xi felt that he had made great strides in his gift of the tongue, and was ready to graduate to the next level. Therefore, he had decided to test his debating abilities out on the masses.
The meat jelly and the parrot, claiming that it was time to test him out, had gone along to supervise.
The courtyard was silent as Meng Hao transformed into a beam of light and flew toward the direction of the clan’s Pill Concocting Quarter.
The Fang Clan was an enormous clan, so they naturally had their own Dao of alchemy, and had set up their own Dao of Alchemy Division. Every cultivator there was drawn from the Fang Clan itself, and no matter what bloodline they came from, once they were inducted they belonged solely to the Dao of Alchemy Division.
The clan’s Dao of Alchemy Division was set up outside the ancestral mansion, in its own area. It was almost like a sect, with mountains winding about in all directions, dotted with various pavilions and buildings. Radiant light shone up into the air, and the place pulsed with energy.
The Dao of Alchemy Division was made up of more than 100,000 alchemists, ensuring that the aroma of medicinal pills would always waft about and never disperse. It was always possible to see the colorful aura of medicinal pills, which was beautiful beyond compare.
The Fang Clan’s Dao of Alchemy Division had a strict division of ranking among alchemists. It was not like the Violet Fate Sect, which simply divided the higher levels into Furnace Lords and Violet Furnace Lords. In the Fang Clan, the alchemists were organized into nine tiers.
Tier 9 was the absolute peak, whereas tier 1 was the level for novices. Underneath the alchemists were vast numbers of apprentice alchemists, roughly 1,000,000 in total.
When practicing cultivation, medicinal pills were an absolute necessity. That was even more true in the Immortal Realm, in which cultivators cultivated boundless Immortal qi. There simply wasn’t enough Immortal qi in the Ninth Mountain and Sea to support all of the cultivators, which meant that they needed to rely on the assistance of the power of plants and vegetation within medicinal pills to condense the vast amount of Immortal qi that they needed.
Because of that, alchemists occupied a very lofty position. Of course, not every clan member was gifted in the Dao of alchemy; people with such talent were not common. This was especially true of tier 6 alchemists, who were quite rare. When it came to tier 9 alchemists, there was only one in the entire Fang Clan, and he was referred to as Pill Elder.
For the most part, he only concocted pills for the clan Patriarchs who were in secluded meditation for long periods of time.
From the moment Meng Hao flew out of the ancestral mansion, he could see the mountains that made up the Fang Clan’s Dao of Alchemy Division. As he neared, he could sense a terrifying spell formation that had been set up to block the entrance to the mountains, so he produced his jade identity plaque, whereupon the spell formation flickered. After confirming Meng Hao’s identity, bright light spread out over him, stimulating his blood flow. Finally, he was allowed to enter.
The aroma of medicinal pills washed over Meng Hao, and he felt enlivened. It was a very familiar scent, and it instantly made him recall the Violet Fate Sect. He took a deep breath, and immediately began to analyze what different medicinal plants he could detect in the air, and how they had been blended together.
When it came to the Dao of alchemy, even Pill Demon had to admit that Meng Hao exceeded him. His pill concocting skill had reached a terrifying level.
Mountains could be seen in all directions, and Meng Hao could sense the aura of numerous alchemists. There was also the heat of Earthly fire, making the entire place quite hot. He could see alchemists moving about to and fro among the mountains, although it was more common to see apprentice alchemists in their unique jackets, flying back and forth in beams of colorful light between the various regions that comprised the Dao of Alchemy Division.
“I wonder what the alchemists here are like…?” thought Meng Hao, his eyes gleaming with anticipation.
Clearly, the Grand Elder had made arrangements in advance, because as soon as Meng Hao entered the Dao of Alchemy Division, a middle-aged man flew toward him from a nearby mountain. He landed in front of Meng Hao and then looked him over, sizing him up.
“You’re Fang Hao? The one with the 30,000 meter Bloodline Gatebeam?” The man wore a long green robe, and his expression was one of arrogance. The collar of his robe was embroidered with five golden dragons, indicating that he was a tier 5 alchemist.
Meng Hao nodded.
“I really don’t know what the Grand Elder was thinking,” said the man, looking at Meng Hao a bit impatiently. “It doesn’t matter you have a 30,000-meter Bloodline Gatebeam, this is the Dao of Alchemy Division. If you want to study pill concocting, having a strong bloodline won’t help you one bit.
“You need to be gifted in the Dao of alchemy to study pill concocting. Can you concoct pills?”
This question caused Meng Hao to hesitate. The Dao of alchemy was vast and limitless, so he wouldn’t dare to say that he thoroughly understood pill concocting.
“I understand something about it,” he responded.
“Something?” The man didn’t seem too pleased. He himself had been immersed in the Dao of alchemy for many years, and the more he understood about it, the more he realized how boundless it was. Even an entire lifetime of hard work was not enough to grasp a tiny a corner of it. If someone asked him how much he knew, he would never dare to say that he knew ‘something.’ At most he would say that he understood ‘a bit.’
And yet this young man standing in front of him, a Chosen with a 30,000-meter Bloodline Gatebeam, actually dared to say that he understood ‘something’ about the Dao of alchemy. Obviously, he knew nothing!
“How many years did you spend formally studying pill concocting?” the man asked coldly, his expression even more displeased than before.
Meng Hao hesitated for a moment and then said, “In terms of formal studying, I guess a little more than a year….”
The man’s face darkened, and he impatiently threw a bag of holding toward Meng Hao.
“Inside, you’ll find the formula for the Spirit Extract that the Grand Elder wanted you to have, plus ten sets of medicinal plants.” The man then waved his hand and sent a wooden placard in his direction.
“Concocting Spirit Extract is much simpler than concocting pills. Just follow the description in the formula and you’ll be able to concoct it with no problem. If it’s too difficult for you, find an apprentice alchemist to make it for you. If you want to study the Dao of alchemy, you need to start by learning to identify medicinal plants. Take that placard to Alchemy Lodge Peak #7191. Study there for about a hundred years, then come back and find me.” With that, the man turned, took about seven or eight steps, then stopped and looked back.
“Don’t forget,” he said, “the Dao of alchemy is vasty and mighty. In the future, if someone asks you about it, don’t give such a wildly arrogant answer. You think that after studying for a year you can know ‘something’ about the Dao of alchemy?!
“Furthermore, your 30,000-meter Bloodline Gatebeam doesn’t mean anything here. Here, you’re not a Chosen, you’re just a regular clan member. If you don’t have the natural talent, then there’s no need to stick around here wasting the clan’s resources! Just go back to wherever you came from!”
Having finished reprimanding Meng Hao, the man turned and transformed into a beam of light that shot off into the distance.
Meng Hao smiled wryly. He felt that his answer had been quite appropriate, but it had ended up irritating the man. Meng Hao scanned the bag of holding with divine sense, then pulled out the formula. He looked it over, and found that the Spirit Extract really was incredibly simple to concoct. One didn’t need to be an alchemist to concoct it; even an apprentice alchemist could do so.
However, the medicinal plant ingredients were quite expensive, including some medicinal plants that were considered quite rare on Planet South Heaven.. There were enough sets of ingredients to produce ten batches of Spirit Extract.
There was one plant that only had three leaves, and emitted Immortal qi.
“Three Immortals Leaf!” he thought, his eyes glittering. Seeing that particular plant helped him understand exactly what resources were at the disposal of the Fang Clan’s Dao of Alchemy division.
“If I can have access to plants like Three Immortals Leaf, that means this Dao of Alchemy Division is like a Holy Land!” Meng Hao’s eyes glittered, and his breathing sped up a bit. He actually wasn’t sure exactly what level his Dao of alchemy had reached. After all, when it came to many of the medicinal pills that were frequently used to gauge the strength of someone’s Dao of alchemy, he had always lacked some of the key ingredients, and had never had the chance to concoct them.
“Well, I might as well go see how strong my Dao of alchemy is in comparison to the Fang Clan’s Dao of alchemy!” Clutching the wooden placard in his hand, he followed the map toward Alchemy Lodge Peak #7191.