Chapter 118: The Silkworm and Congealing the Pill

Chapter 118: The Silkworm and Congealing the Pill

At the same time the pill elixir fire served as a kinetic source, it was purifying Xu Yangyi’s entire bodily qi. Such circumstance brought a happiness, but even more apprehension. 

“This is still just the outline of initially building the Eternal Alchemy Canon. There’s still a far difference from the theory of ‘refining man’… When it’s completed, what kind of changes… will happen to my body…?” His gaze complicatedly studied the faint-blue talismans that covered the room: “What direction will my future road take me…?” 

Nonetheless, this feeling vanished without a trace after a few seconds and was replaced with a stalwart emotion, that of shattering pots and sinking boats in hardened resolution. [1]

Even like so, what of it? He could already be regarded as possessing a monumental destiny. He fundamentally couldn’t tolerate such a matter as safeguarding his life like a treasure in a mountain while sitting for a century until his bones dried up. Even if a field of thistles and thorns were ahead, he was still willing brave the path and cut his way through to charge forth and survey. How could the unknown be capable of making him abandon the Eternal Alchemy Canon?

“Being like this isn’t me.” Xu Yangyi breathed in deeply a few times and calmed down. Chuckling, he lit a cigarette: “Fearless in assumption, but even more fearless in confirmation. That’s my style.” At the same time, another thought welled up in his mind. This… was still merely his own qi condensed into a pill elixir fire. What if… it was exchanged with that legendary flame?

Azure smoke scattered through the inside of the room. The cigarette butt echoed with a muffled sizzle as it was tossed under his foot, and he forced himself to sever these overwhelming and chaotic thoughts. In the end, his vision settled cautiously on his qi sea.

“Ultimately… it’s you…” The original position of his qi sea was totally dispersed of qi. Originally, the space should’ve been empty without an entity, but now, there was a silkworm. A while silkworm. It was approximately only size of a thumb. It was rather young and seemed soft and squishy. The insect didn’t look as if it had a destructive appearance. 

Xu Yangyi’s spiritual sense kicked the creature without the slightest hesitation, yet the plump body merely trembled and fell back to another side. When kicked again, it retreated once more. Finally, when it was kicked into a corner, the baby silkworm sniveled like it was begging forgiveness. Xu Yangyi rubbed his chin and coolly studied this unexpected guest.

It appeared… his qi sea had always had a renter… Beginning from the start of the small chest to the later stone-like object, and then to...

“Hold on…” His gaze abruptly chilled because he saw several additional objects.

In the silkworm’s surroundings, there were some scattered things, rather minute objects. If one didn’t seriously look at, they wouldn’t be able to make it out clearly at all. The objects… were pieces of stone-like skin. However, he recognized these “stones”. This ought to have been the outer shell of the stone from back then!

Xu Yangyi suddenly recalled during his bloody battle at the Four Great Joint Pools, there had indeed been the sound of some object shattering into pieces within his body that could be heard. Afterwards, he had comprehensively examined his body, but the stone had disappeared. However, he was unaware that this silkworm was unexpectedly hiding at the very bottom of his qi sea in some special location! He had went through several rounds of Innersight, but was unable to detect this creature at all!

Were it not for the Eternal Alchemy Canon drawing dry his qi sea without warning and rebuilding his qi “circuit board”, perhaps he would forever be in the dark regarding this thing concealed at the bottom of his qi sea. This thing had hatched out from that “stone”. It had relied on eating its own “eggshell” to survive, always stationed in his qi sea.

Xu Yangyi didn’t speak. He was uncertain as to where the heck this creature had come from. Did it come from the Emperor Armament? The arcane effort?

“If it’s like that, then things’ll be fine. But if it’s some contingency left behind by Jadewave…” His gaze flickered: “Or a weird back-up of the Ming Clan… It can’t be NOT guarded against.”

“Since you like staying here, then you can stay here. Amidst his mumbling, Xu Yangyi turned around and left. Afterwards, several thousand ribbons of the purest qi besieged and trapped the silkworm layer by layer into a qi cage. Before making certain what this bug was, Xu Yangyi absolutely couldn’t ignore it setting out. Especially since such a thing as a silkworm… could evolve. Presently, it seemed harmless, but who knew? If it was able to evolve later, would it become some monstrosity?

“It’s still no insurance.” Xu Yangyi’s spiritual sense pulled back and departed his qi sea. His hand gently tapping an object, and heavy clanging sounds were produced. He murmured: “I have to tread into late-stage Qi Condensation as quickly as possible. I can utilise a magik artifact later and “subdue” this bug with a top-notch treasure.”

His finger making the wisp of a scorching sound, Xu Yangyi sucked in deeply, his gaze brightly looking towards the pill furnace. Crackle… The black ball seemed to be a magnet and the gelatin formed from three heavenly treasures was like an iron lump. At this moment, a marvelous chemical change occurred, and the two objects began to mutually draw close. 

The inside of the room was absent of wind and bereft of human speech. All that existed was a slightly muffled breathing that carried a stifling trace. In Xu Yangyi’s expecting gaze, within this full minute, the surface of the object bulged and caved in. Even during its melding, the ball had been pulled torn into an irregular state by the collosal medicinal force. However...

It was at peace. And while Xu Yangyi could sense the accumulated spiritual force within, four completely different medicinal powers calmly curled back to four corners at this instant, mutually calming and stabilizing each other. Like the rivers of Jin and Wei, these medicinal forces were clearly delineated in separation. [2]

“Success…?” Xu Yangyi softly pursed his lips, his gaze luminous as he looked at the totally irregular object, so ugly that it couldn’t be given words to. Nonetheless, he only felt it to be very beautiful, by no means a common product.

Since he secluded himself again, almost a year had passed. In the end, he faced towards the heaven and took a long sigh. Following this breath, the gloominess, grievance, and impatience in his heart all transformed into flying ash without exception. There was no loud screeching and there was moreover no excited jumping about, He only looked heavily at the ugly medicinal pill embryo, his heart a tangle of various complex emotions.

Any pioneer was walking lonely in the dark night. It couldn’t be said and it was incapable being said. Added on with the Fire Control Art, he had already cast two years time into the Eternal Alchemy Canon. Finally, Xu Yangyi had gained this fledgling form. Perhaps to an ancient cultivator, this was laughable. A four-part prescription, a medicinal pill without flame variation, was actually able to squander a year. Furthermore, it was then that Xu Yangyi arrived at the second step, but nevertheless, he was quite pleased.

In the End of Days, this was the sole medicinal pill prototype! Next… was the juncture of congealing the pill.

“Soon… Daomaster Floatingcloud.” A smidgen of a bloodthirsty grin played at the corner of his mouth, and he sneered as he licked his lips: “When the time comes, I’ll deliver a great gift to all of you… a gift that you guys simply won’t expect…” Stifling his heart’s excitement, his mind threw itself into studying the Eternal Alchemy Canon once again. 

After a week, Xu Yangyi slowly opened his eyes. “The last two steps…” His revealed the shred of a queer smile: “Are actually so simple.”

“Congealing the pill is to use spiritual sense to take the pill and return it to its initial form. This also it’s most perfect state—spherical. This requires a steady flow of carving.” He recalled the last two steps: “However, forming the pill is a tad troublesome…” Through experiencing the two steps of controlling fire and placing the ingredients, a whole year of “torture”, his patience and self-confidence had gained a titanic upgrade.

“The Eternal Alchemy Canon has it written that there are fifteen kinds of school techniques for congealing the pill, all of them undivulged secrets. It can be said that although 99% of the work has already been done, without this 1%, this object can’t be called a pill.”

“These two steps have detailed explanations. In comparison the two last ones, it really is a lot more convenient.” Without further wasted words, Xu Yangyi had already engrossed himself for a year, eagerly wishing to view the fruits of his labor. Time surged past again like flowing water. It seemed that this cultivation room had vanished from the world.

…...

On a white stone path, people came and went. A delegation of submissive Qi Condensation cultivators, their brows lowered and their eyes obeying, tightly revolved around an old man with a gloomy expression and an overcoat hanging over his shoulders. Their leather shoes made a crisp sound as they walked on the path. 

Thousandedge’s face was couldn’t be regarded as sightly by any measure or pace. He absolutely hadn’t expected that the trip of Court President Skybearer’s avatar would surprisingly exceed three months, with the latter not returning until three and a half months. 

On the path, there was a youthful cultivator lowly discussing some business with a law enforcement officer who had a rushed expression. The sound of conversation and walking were noises so low that the seemed not to be heard, but on the contrary, they even further set off the prestige and tranquility of this place.

The entire journey was absent of words. As Thousandedge arrived ahead of the court entrance which was a full twenty meters tall, three suited men had already heaped on sincere smiles and bowed deeply: “Respectful greetings, senior. Junior presents the Dao Master’s command. Come in…”

The man’s voice not yet fallen, Thousandedge’s body had already surpassed them. The trio were dazed, yet not a bit discontent. They hastened to follow from behind and pointed out the route.

The transparency inside the tremendous court was excellent. It was silent quiet like an empty cemetery; only the crisp sound of leather shoes knocking reverberated within the great hall. Thousandedge was simply without a sliver of mind to evaluate it. Just as he rounded a corner, a familiar voice was heard: “Fellow Daoist Thousandedge?”

“Fellow Daoist Chen.” Thousandedge halted in step for the first time. He absolutely didn’t care for Qi Condensation cultivators, but between fellow Foundation Establishment Daoists, he still had to observe decorum and relations. 

“So it really is Fellow Daoist Thousandedge.” Following the sound of crisp leather shoes, a portly cultivator with graying hair at both sides of his temple and over a dozen initial-stage Qi Condensation secretarial assistants behind him cupped his hand towards Thousandedge: “We haven’t seen each other in thirty years, but Fellow Daoist has impressively advanced to the middle stage. Worthy of felicitations.”

“Congratulations, senior.” Like they had made an agreement, the ten-plus secretarial assistants behind the cultivator surnamed Chen bowed in unison, their voices bright: “We wish the senior immortal fortune and eternal joy, and a lifespan level to the heavens.”

The assistants behind Thousandedge naturally dared not to tarry, and promptly returned this politeness. In a meeting of Foundation Establishment cultivators, they had to serve as proper foil work. If they were in ancient times, a word more or a word wrong, and they would be killed on the spot. The others might even blame them for getting blood splashed on their bodies.

“Fellow Daoist, what’s happened that you’ve come to the highest court?” The cultivator surnamed Chen laughed and shook hands with Thousandedge: “If you have spare time, how about coming to chat with my Chen Clan? Thirty-one years ago, we seven cultivators charged through the secret realm of an immortal’s cave in the Changbai Mountains together. These days, it’s still fresh in my mind… Oh, that’s right. Isn’t Fellow Daoist Silence also at the Mingshui Province Featherwood Guard? And the Fellow Daoist’s subordinates?” [3]

Thousandedge was somewhat lost in thought. Afterwards, he took a long sigh: “Fellow Daoist Silence has fallen.”

“What?” The cultivator surnamed Chen was dumbfounded, a scrap of disbelief revealed on his face. He immediately pursued this questioning: “How? Fellow Daoist Silence was approaching the late stage thirty years ago. Thirty years later…”

[1] “Shattering pots and sinking ships”. This is an idiom used to describe the final battle of an ancient conqueror, Xiang Yu (232-292 BC). Xiang Yu fought against the Qin, and in his last fight, he decided to make a last stand. He ordered his men to break his pots (meant for cooking and sustaining the army) and drill holes into the boats. In the end, he committed honorable suicide after slaying over a hundred in Qin forces. 

[2] Another idiom. In China, the rivers Jin and Wei are tributaries of the Yellow River. On a map, it is clearly visible that they are separate. 

[3] I think already mentioned, but Changbai Mountains is also known as Baekdu Mountains for the Koreans. It borders Jilin Province and North Korea. Remember, Xu Yangyi is very far northeast now in comparison to the far west as before.

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XTB's Thoughts

The next chapter after this one is titled as 118 also. This author struggles with math LOL