Chapter 926: Daos and Tools!
Meng Hao took a deep breath and headed toward the mountain peak. When he arrived, he saw an old man in white robes, surrounding by swirling mists. He stood on top of the mountain, his back to Meng Hao. As Meng Hao approached, the man turned to face him, and smiled.
Meng Hao’s eyes widened as soon as he caught sight of him.
The feeling he got when he looked at this old man was very similar to the feeling he got from Pill Demon!
It was actually extremely similar. In fact, although their physical appearance was different, in terms of the energy within him, it seemed almost exactly the same.
As he stood there with the mists swirling around him, Meng Hao almost thought he was looking at his master.
Both wore white robes, and both had long white hair. Both were aged, and both were surrounded by a swirling medicinal aroma. They seemed equally kind, and seemed to both be filled with the same feeling of anticipation.
The old man looked over at Meng Hao and said, “Fang Hao, to be able to concoct a Skypalace Sunspirit Pill, especially considering that it was done at a time of year and time of day not specific to the pill formula, means that your Dao of alchemy has already reached the pinnacle.”
From the man’s words, Meng Hao was already able to tell that the rumor about Pill Elder being incapable of concocting the three sacred medicinal pills was likely not true.
The key to understanding the Skypalace Sunspirit Pill was understanding that there was ‘no specific’ time or hour. For Pill Elder to say this indicated that he already had a deep understanding of the Skypalace Sunspirit Pill.
Meng Hao thought for a moment. As he looked at Pill Elder, the drone of the Unicorn Immortals filled his ears. Sometimes, all of them would make noise at the same time, giving rise to an incredibly intense sound. Other times, only a few would make noise. Either way, the sound was continuous.
“Fang Hao, look over there, and tell me what you see.” Pill Elder glanced off into the distance, toward the numerous cloud-wreathed mountain peaks.
Meng Hao suddenly realized that his heart had become very calm after laying eyes on Pill Elder. He felt free and at ease, as if listening to the old man speak had caused him to enter some strange state.
Although he couldn’t explain it clearly, for some reason his heart felt more and more calm as he looked off into the distance at the mountains and clouds.
Instead of answering the question, he asked one of his own. “Senior Pill Elder, may I ask, what do you see, sir? Or perhaps you can tell me what it is you wish me to see?”
Pill Elder laughed at Meng Hao’s slippery words. He didn’t seem to mind, and in fact, seemed to approve. Apparently he hadn’t been looking for an answer to begin with.
“I see mountains, and I see clouds,” said Pill Elder. “I see the cultivators of the Dao of Alchemy Division, and I see the world that belongs to our Dao of Alchemy Division.” He sighed.
Meng Hao remained silent, unsure of what hidden meanings might be contained within Pill Elder’s words.
“These things are tools. They are both tangible and intangible, visible and invisible. They are tools of the Dao of Alchemy Division, or perhaps you could even say, its physical form.
“30,000 years ago was the golden age of the Dao of Alchemy Division. Our Dao and our tools were united, and seemed as if they would exist for all eternity…. However, many of the Patriarchs of the Dao of Alchemy Division passed away into meditation. Then, the last of the Patriarchs from that age turned against our Dao of alchemy, and founded the Medicine Immortal Sect.
“At that time, we were battered by theories from other Daos of alchemy from the outside world. From that time on, the tools of the Dao of Alchemy Division… were shattered.
“For tens of thousand of years after that, one generation of alchemists after another has contemplated alchemy, and attempted to restore us to our previous pinnacle. However… their Dao of alchemy had long since forgotten the existence of our own tools, and was influenced by the Daos of alchemy from the outside world.
“It was as if their Dao of alchemy was soulless.
“As if their souls had fled, leaving behind an empty husk.
“It was as if the Fang Clan’s Dao of alchemy had been walking in a dream. Its soul had been struck too viciously by the outside world, and had been influenced by too many random alchemical philosophies. The body of the Fang Clan had no soul, and therefore rested all its hope in aimless searching… among the philosophies of the outside world.
“If things continue in this fashion, then the Fang Clan’s Dao of alchemy will gradually become a lost part of history, and will fade into nothing.
“Daos and tools must be combined. Pick up the Fang Clan’s Dao of alchemy, and restore it to its pinnacle. That is the true way to cause the Fang Clan’s Dao of Alchemy Division to rise to prominence once again.
“And thus, the three sacred medicinal pills!
“Do you understand?” His gaze returned from the distance to settle on Meng Hao. His eyes seemed to be piercing deep into Meng Hao, to be viewing his very soul.
Meng Hao was silent for a long moment and then nodded at Pill Elder.
“I think I understand some of what you mean, Senior,” he said. “Tools can be tangible or intangible. The Fang Clan’s Dao of Alchemy Division used them for many years, after which they formed a soul. That soul must return to the body, lest the Dao of Alchemy Division be submerged in ignorance.”
Pill Elder stood there quietly, unspeaking.
“However, there is one thing I don’t understand, Senior,” Meng Hao continued calmly. “People who comprehend the Dao, and who also absorb various schools of thought, will eventually form their own Dao. Isn’t such a thing unavoidable when coming to comprehending the Dao?”
“Absorbing various schools of thinking regarding the Dao of alchemy in order to achieve your own Dao, is absolutely a path to comprehending the Dao. However… the premise is that you possess your own Dao to begin with. If you do, then of course you can absorb the ideas of others. However, if you don’t, and simply attempt to tangle with the tools of the other schools of thought, then you won’t be absorbing them, you will be assimilated by them.
“Tools are like a home. The Dao is the heart. When you merge tools with the Dao, then your heart is home! Fang Hao… do you really understand?” He once again looked deeply at Meng Hao.
After a moment, he casually continued, “I heard that the Grand Elder gave you two Nirvana Fruits.”
It was hard to say whether or not it was a coincidence, but as soon as he began to speak those final words, the Unicorn Immortals on the mountain suddenly began to buzz loudly. If Meng Hao hadn’t been standing very close to Pill Elder, he wouldn’t have been able to hear clearly.
As soon as he finished speaking, Pill Elder waved his hand, causing a bag of holding to fly over and hover in front of Meng Hao.
“In there are the rewards for concocting the Skypalace Sunspirit Pill, with the exception of the Immortal treasure. Think about your exact requirements for the treasure, and tell me later. I’ll make the arrangements to have it forged for you.”
Meng Hao trembled. As he thought about the two exhortations just given to him by Pill Elder, he had to ask himself if he truly understand what it all meant….
“Perhaps the deeper meaning in his questions about the Dao of alchemy are a reminder that the Nirvana Fruits are not mine,” he thought. “Or could it be that he’s indicating that there are still secrets I don’t understand about the Nirvana Fruits?” Meng Hao didn’t pursue the conversation topic. Instead, after hearing about the Immortal treasure, his eyes flickered.
After a moment’s hesitation, he said, “Senior Pill Elder, um… I really don’t need any Immortal treasures. Can I exchange that reward for something else?”
Pill Elder looked at Meng Hao for a moment, and then began to chuckle. This was the first time he had actually smiled. “What exact reward would you like to exchange it for?”
“Um….” Meng Hao cleared his throat and decided that he might as well give his idea a shot. “Senior Pill Elder, I think those Unicorn Immortals are pretty incredible. Would you mind teaching me a bit about the Dao of insects, sir?”
“Oh?” Pill Elder replied with a smile. “Well, these Unicorn Immortals have the power of Ancestral Awakening in their bloodline. I raised them for years before they reached the point where they could be trained. The Dao of insects is a top-secret magic. Even though you’re a clan member, you would still need to undergo an assessment before you could start to work with it.”
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered. Considering that Pill Elder hadn’t refused him outright, that meant that there was a bit of hope. As soon as he had neared this mountain, those Unicorn Immortals had drawn his attention. Ever since he’d returned from the Ruins of Immortality, there had been an idea percolating deep within him.
He had long since become quite envious of that cloud of beetles he had seen in the Ruins of Immortality. Ever since, he had thought that if he could wave his hand and cause tens of millions of black beetles to fill the sky, then any opponent he faced would instantly become as petrified as he had been that year. With a mere thought, he could instantly turn his enemies into nothing but ash.
The mere thought of being able to do something like that one day, left Meng Hao very excited.
This was especially true considering that there were several black beetles currently inside his bag of holding. Their life force was incredibly powerful, and they had not died, but rather remained dormant inside his bag of holding after being sealed.
“Senior, look, you know… I’m the kind of old-fashioned cultivator who doesn’t like to rely on external weapons.” As he spoke, his tone continued to grow more somber. “If you start using magical items, then eventually you’ll start to rely on them. The Dao of insects is different! It’s like a divine ability, an academic art, even more so, a Dao!
“Senior, I don’t want any magical weapons. I just seek the Dao.” As he spoke his final sentence, he clasped hands and bowed deeply.
In his mind, he felt quite satisfied with his eloquence, especially in the delivery of that last line.
Pill Elder looked at Meng Hao for a long moment, then waved his right hand. A jade slip flew out to hover in front of Meng Hao. It was emerald green, and one side was carved with the image of a Unicorn Immortal. The creature seemed matchlessly vicious, with a monstrous killing aura.
The other side was carved with another Unicorn Immortal. However, this one was extremely placid, and looked like it wouldn’t even hurt a fly.
“Take a look at the first of the three volumes on the Dao of insects. If you have the talent, I’ll teach you.
“You’ll also find a command medallion in that bag of holding. According to the rules of the Dao of Alchemy Division, anyone who concocts the Skypalace Sunspirit Pill will automatically become a tier 8 alchemist. Your status in the clan is now equal to a Clan Elder. You may also select any mountain in the Inner Mountains to serve as your Immortal’s cave.”
With that, he waved his sleeve, causing a gentle wind to materialize. It swirled around Meng Hao, causing his vision to swim. When it became clear again, he was far away from the mountain.
He looked back toward the mountain peak in the center of all the other mountains. For just a moment, he could make out all of the caves on the peak. Eyes glittering, he took a deep breath, clasped hands and bowed.
Then, he left.
He flew out of the inner mountains, during which time he encountered several alchemists. As soon as they saw Meng Hao, their expressions filled with awe, and they immediately clasped hands in greeting. The story of Meng Hao concocting the Skypalace Sunspirit Pill had already spread throughout the Fang Clan, and everyone knew about it.
There were some people who hadn’t been convinced by Meng Hao charging all the way to the seventh level of the Medicine Pavilion. Now, though… Meng Hao had concocted a legendary medicinal pill. In Dao of Alchemy Division, he was as stable as Mount Tai, and not a single voice of doubt could be heard regarding him.
In the world of cultivation, respect is given to the powerful. It was no different in the Dao of Alchemy Division!
Just as Meng Hao was about to leave the inner mountains, he suddenly stopped in place and turned his head to look at one particularly beautiful mountain peak. The entire mountain was jade green, and its snow-capped peak was surrounded by swirling clouds.
Almost in the exact moment that he turned to look at the mountain, he heard a miserable, bloodcurdling shriek echo out from within the misty mountain.
That scream was not the scream of a cultivator, but rather… it came from the beak of a beautiful peacock.
At the same time, a bellow of rage could be heard that obviously came from the mouth of an old woman.
“You damned mutt of a bird! It’s time we fight! I’m going to refine you into a pill!!”
Next, the arrogant and despotic voice of a parrot could be heard squawking out. “Do you know how many years Lord Fifth has swept across Jianghu? Huh? Look, you old crone, Lord Fifth screwed a hole through the Heavens before you were even born!
“Do you know who Lord Fifth’s master is? Well I’ll tell you, and you’re gonna be scared to death! Lord Fifth’s master is Fang Hao!”