Chapter 72: Learning to Refine Medicine
Xiao Yan left the meeting room and returned to his room to make some final preparations to refine some healing medicine. Once he was done with his preparations, he stealthily snuck back to his desolate cave, the one he previously trained in.
As Yao Lao had said before, it was important to not be disturbed during the medicine refinement process and given the great number of clan members, this would be difficult to accomplish at home. If by chance something, like Xiao Yu bargaining on him, was to happen, Xiao Yan would be unable fully bear with the consequences
Sneakily stepping into the cave, Xiao Yan was itching to get started, so he quickly fished out the Storage Ring from his bosom and pushed a stream of Dou Qi into it. The light red ring emitted a flicker of light before a roughly half meter long red medicine cauldron poofed into existence within the cave.
The entire medicine cauldron was a dark crimson red and it gave off a slight glow. There were two malevolent looking snake heads carved beneath the cauldron, their gaping maws forming two connected cavities for air to enter into the cauldron. As the two cavities wound and extended deep into the cauldron, the diameter grew smaller and smaller. If one were to try to look in, they would barely be able to see anything.
At the apex of the medicine cauldron was a dark crimson red cauldron lid forged in the shape of a giant serpent. Besides the lid, there was also a special hole for ingredients to enter.
The top of the cauldron lid was littered with many fine holes made by Ice Silver. These had the effect of dissipating heat to prevent excessive heat from building up, which might lead to an explosion. On one side a transparent screen of Essence Ice was installed at the middle part of the medicine cauldron so that the whole refining process could be clearly seen by the alchemist.
The surface cauldron was engraved with the forms of wild untamed devil beasts that seemed to almost leap off the cauldron.
Observing the beautiful appearance of the medicine cauldron, Xiao Yan nodded his head in satisfaction. Xiao Yan rubbed the ancient black ring, and Yao Lao appeared with a flash of light.
“En, it’s a cauldron with two outlets. For an alchemic amateur like you, it’s not bad at all,” Yao Lao said indifferently as he cast a glance at the orifices of the snakes on the dark crimson red medicinal cauldron.
“A cauldron with two outlets?” Hearing the unfamiliar term, Xiao Yan’s eyes blinked as he looked on doubtfully.
“Medicinal cauldrons also have their own set of tiers. The more outlets for fire a cauldron’s furnace has, the higher tier a medicinal cauldron is and thus the rarer it is. Don’t assume that one can just randomly make a few holes to add another few outlets. Outsiders don’t even have a hint of discernment for the mysteries of these outlets. Outlets are the essence of a medicinal cauldron, and require extreme precision to polish to perfection. If one were made with even the slightest error, the whole medicinal cauldron would be considered junk. As such, the more outlets a medicinal cauldron has, the better the auxiliary effect is for an alchemist when refining. Of course, if you wish to control multiple outlets, you need very high soul perception. For the current you, to control two fire outlets is already the limit.” Yao Lao laughed as he explained.
“For an Alchemist, the importance of a good Medicine Cauldron is akin to that of a good sword to a warrior.”
Giving an almost indiscernible nod, Xiao Yan stared at this big cauldron in front him and asked a bit blankly: “Now what should I do?”
“For now it’d be better if you’d familiarize yourself with the medicinal cauldron. Press one hand against an outlet, and then rouse the Dou Qi within you and channel it inside.” Yao Lao sat cross-legged within the cave as he directed Xiao Yan.
Nodding his head, Xiao Yan placed a hand on the outlet and slowly closed his eyes. Within his body, a revolving, dim and yellowish Qi slightly rippled. Dim, yellow Dou Qi bubbled out strand by strand, consequently making the palm of his hand glow with a yellow light.
Once that dim, yellow Dou Qi reached his palm, it grew still. Then, as if it had encountered an abrupt and violent gravitational pull, it suddenly flooded out of his hand and passed into the outlet, drilling into the medicinal cauldron.
There was a muffled noise, then after the dim, yellow Qi had transferred through the fire outlet and unexpectedly transformed into a dim, yellow flame essence. Within the medicinal cauldron, it flickered and blazed.
The fact that his palm suddenly spit out fire, alarmed Xiao Yan and almost made him reflexively withdraw his hand. However, after sensing that his palm was cool, he panicked substantially less.
“En, not bad. On your first try, you’ve already succeeded in producing a flame.”
Observing the roiling flame within the medicinal cauldron, Yao Lao nodded and said in a low voice: “The flame that you’ve mustered together this time isn’t actually the refining flame. Right now you should concentrate on controlling the trace of Wood Element within your body and pour it into the medicine cauldron!”
Xiao Yan complied by closing both eyes. Bit by bit, his thoughts focused as his outstanding spiritual perception continuously scanned his body for that light trace of Wood Element.
After more than ten minutes, Xiao Yan finally found the Wood Element in his body for the first time. He let out a sigh of relief as he opened his eyes.
“Found it?” Seeing Xiao Yan opening his eyes, Yao Lao asked, astonished. As the former nodded his head, Yao Lao could not help but inwardly praise Xiao Yan. When Yao Lao first found the wood element in his body, it had took him almost half an hour. From this it can be seen how strong Xiao Yan’s spiritual perception is.
Xiao Yan stretched out a finger to lightly press on the other fire outlet. Little by little, a stream of extremely weak green Qi flowed in.
Just as the green Qi entered the medicine cauldron, the light yellow flame within abruptly calmed down, as if there had been a chemical reaction. At this moment, even though Xiao Yan had not yet been able to control the flame, he could feel that the franticness within the flame had been tamed by the wood element. Furthermore, due to the principle that wood gives birth fire, the flame at this time was much more controlled and would last longer than before.
“Good……” Satisfied, Yao Lao nodded his head as he reached out a finger to touch Xiao Yan’s forehead, transferring information directly into the latter's head.
“This is my own healing medicine formula, you can use it for practice. I will guide you through as I warn you about the temperature of the flame and the composition of medical ingredients to refine.”
Xiao Yan squinted as he processed the new information in his head as he slightly inclined his head to acknowledge.
“Blood Clotting Powder: one stalk of Blood Clotting Grass, one Lively Fruit, two Poppy Flowers……”
After Xiao Yan committed to memory the amount of each required alchemy ingredients, his spiritual perception gradually channeled into the medicinal cauldron as he diligently tried to control the mild flame.
Making a flicking motion with his finger over the ring, a dark red stalk of Blood Clotting Grass appeared in his palm. A little while later, Xiao Yan threw the stalk into the maw of the engraved serpent at the apex of the cauldron.
Once the Blood Clotting Grass was thrown in, Xiao Yan did not control the flame in time. The fire simply blazed upwards and in the blink of an eye, the stalk of Blood Clotting Grass turned into a pile of ash and the cauldron’s unique mechanism expelled it out of the cauldron.
Looking at this first failure, Xiao Yan laughed with a bit of embarrassment.
“Continue.” Yao Lao indifferently said.
Swallowing a mouthful of saliva, Xiao Yan once again threw in a stalk of Blood Clotting Grass. This time, the Blood Clotting Grass persisted within the fire for a while but as before, it turned into a pile of ashes.
“The temperature is too high.”
Xiao Yan wiped his sweat away. Now that he personally tried to refine a pill, Xiao Yan finally realized that this type of work, as expected, could not be easily accomplished by just any person.
After continuously burning up a whole twenty or so stalks of Blood Clotting Grass, with some difficulty, Xiao Yan finally had a grasp on the most suitable temperature for Blood Clotting Grass.
Again tossing in a stalk of Blood Clotting Grass, Xiao Yan’s expression grew solemn as his spiritual perception firmly suppressed the temperature of the flame. His eyes passed through the Ice Essence and unwaveringly fixated on the stalk of Blood Clotting Grass suspended within the flame.
The flame seethed about for a period of time and the Blood Clotting Grass finally started to shed its layer of skin and the juice accumulated within its leaves gradually began to evaporate into specks of faint, white powder. The essence of the Blood Clotting Grass had finally been successfully refined by this greenhorn, Xiao Yan.