The Paragon of Pills was silent for a long moment. She then said, “I’m borrowing this suit of armor for half a month, but I will compensate you for it. I can agree to one request of yours, so long as it isn’t too excessive. Think it over. Even if you ask for a golem as strong as a Daolord of the Fourth Step, I can make it happen. Once you decide, simply tell me what you desire.”
Ji Ning felt a surge of joy in his heart. Loaning out the suit of armor brought with it such a high ‘interest’? Senior, why don’t you borrow it for nine or ten years instead? But of course, he didn’t say that aloud.
“You’ll only have a single opportunity to make such a request of me. Choose wisely,” the Paragon said.
“Right.” Ning nodded, lost in thought. What should he ask for? Treasures? But he already had the Hegemon’s armor, fifty million cubes of chaos nectar, and the Hegemon’s Dao-seals… asking for more treasure really wouldn’t make that much of a difference to him. The only thing which really mattered would be something which would have a significant effect on his future growth.
“Senior.” Ning’s eyes suddenly lit up as he stared at the enormous nearby cauldron. “Given the enormous cauldron and this enormous custom-made lake of chaos nectar, I imagine you are highly skilled in the art of alchemy, right?”
“Right.” The Paragon nodded. “In terms of alchemy… there is no one in this entire universe who is a match for me. Even in the art of creating golems, I would definitely rank in the top three.”
Ning was badly startled by this. What a tremendous claim to make! Only someone who felt completely confident in their skills would dare to claim that no one else in the entire universe would be a match for them.
“Senior, if you are skilled in alchemy…” Ning nodded. “Can you transmit some alchemy techniques to me?”
“Alchemy techniques?” The Paragon looked at Ning. “In the world of alchemy, such techniques are generally considered secret and are never taught to outsiders. You wish to study alchemy?”
Ning shook his head, willing his Dao lightning and his Dao water to fly out from his body. “Please take a look at them, seinor. This junior has learned a certain secret art that can allow Dao lightning to join together in a marvelous fashion, almost like the formation of a new pill. When mastered, it will allow me to perfectly merge together nine types of Dao lightning into my ‘Novessence Thunder’! It’ll be so incredibly strong that I will be able to slay even Daolords of the Fourth Step with it. However, actually training in this secret art is incredibly difficult, and my understanding of the art of alchemy is too lacking.”
“To use divine lightning as the ingredients for this secret art… the person who created this secret art can be considered as having gained a basic level of insight into the true art of alchemy.” The Paragon of Pills nodded.
Ning was speechless. Daolord Allgod had only gained a ‘basic level of insight’ into alchemy? And the scary thing was… compared to this woman, who proclaimed herself to be the most talented alchemist in this entire universe, Daolord Allgod probably truly had indeed only gained a ‘basic’ understanding of alchemy.
“I almost never teach my alchemy techniques to others.” The Paragon of Pills hesitated momentarily. She once more gently brushed her fingers against the armor in her lap, then said, “And to date, I’ve only taught it to my three disciples. Today, you shall be the fourth to receive my alchemy techniques. Remember – without my permission, you are not to teach it to outsiders. Anyone who spends even a little bit of time training in this technique will become an expert in alchemy, and will be at least as skilled as the person who created this secret art of yours. If you were to spend a bit of time and effort on my technique, you would be able to easily surpass him.”
Ning was speechless once again. Surpass Daolord Allgod in the Dao of Alchemy?
“Memorize this.” The Paragon of Pills waved her hand. Instantly, a deep-green rune that was shaped almost like a bamboo leaf flew out of her and towards Ning. As soon as it touched Ning, it instantly began to burrow its way into Ning’s memories.
A long time later, the process finally came to an end. Everything was memorized.
A new technique was now present within Ning’s mind. Its name was the [Seven Leafpill Chapters], and when Ning looked at it he felt as though he had been enlightened with perfect wisdom. The purest truths and the greatest of Daos could be described very simply. Just by reading through the technique once, Ning’s insights into the Dao of Alchemy began to skyrocket. Most likely, he was now already comparable to World God Pillsaint in alchemy!
The reason for this was mainly because the [Seven Leafpill Chapters] were simply incredible. But of course, it was also because Ning himself had reached a high level of comprehension in his own Daos.
“B-but…” Ning stared at the Paragon of Pills, somewhat at a loss for words. “All this junior wished for was a few pill-making techniques.”
“Just accept what you have been given,” the Paragon instructed. “If you wish, you can spend the free time you have training in alchemy. It might help inspire you with regards to your swordplay as well.”
“Understood,” Ning said respectfully.
The [Seven Leafpill Chapters] constituted a very complete and perfect alchemy system. It included detailed explanations regarding countless marvelous objects, as well as many different ways by which one could concoct alchemical medicines. Pills like the Pseudo Samsara Pill were actually considered fairly common, low-level pills. The types of pill-making techniques which Ning had wanted for his [Novessence Thunder] technique merely constituted a small portion of what the [Seven Leafpill Chapters] contained.
The Paragon of Pills continued, “Now that you have accepted my techniques… in the future, if you meet people who are extremely skilled in alchemy, if you so choose you may transmit the very first chapter of the [Seven Leafpill Chapters] to them on my behalf! If they are able to completely master the first chapter, you may then transmit the second chapter. If this person is able to master all three of the first chapters, send that person here to me. Remember – when you help me choose future disciples, you are only permitted to teach them the first three chapters. Although the first three chapters are profound and abstruse, they aren’t as valuable as the other four. I have to meet any potential disciple in person and be the one to decide whether or not I will teach them those chapters.”
“Understood,” Ning said respectfully. “This junior has already sworn a lifeblood oath on it.”
The Paragon of Pills slowly shook her head. Due to her connection to the deceased Hegemon, she treated Ning very differently from the way she treated anyone else. She didn’t want to force Ning to swear any lifeblood oaths.
However… although she hadn’t requested it of him, Ning knew what was the proper way to act. This was a truly shocking, earth-shaking technique. If he one day was to encounter a powerful foe who was able to forcibly soulscour him and steal this technique, then Ning truly would have done wrong by her! But of course, Ning also believed that there weren’t many who would be capable of soulscouring him, especially since he would quickly break through to become a Daolord once he returned to the Endless Territories. By then, he would become even more powerful than he was now.
“Take this Dao-seal. This seal was gifted to you by Emperor Maniseal.” The Paragon of Pills tossed a black-white seal made from jade over to him.
Ning accepted it, rather startled. “Emperor Maniseal asked you to give it to me? B-but… I don’t even know him...” Ning was so startled that he forgot to respectfully address her as ‘senior’.
“He doesn’t know you, but he does know me,” the Paragon of Pills said calmly. “This Dao-seal is fairly valuable. It is of no use to me, but it will be of great use to you. By giving you this Dao-seal, he has sown the seeds of good karma with me.”
Ning felt even more puzzled. If he wanted to sow the seeds of good karma with you, why would he give a Dao-seal to me? What exactly was the connection between himself and this mysterious alchemist? Still… for even this woman to refer to this Dao-seal as ‘fairly valuable’ meant that it had to be truly extraordinary.
“Once you send your senses into this Dao-seal, you will know how it is used,” the Paragon said.
“Oh. OH!. T-this…” Ning was shocked by what he uncovered. What a terrifying Dao-seal!
This Dao-seal was named the ‘Lifeblood’ Dao-seal. All one had to do was store a drop of blood within it, then hide it in a safe place. Once you perished, you would instantly be reborn from the Dao-seal and the drop of blood within it, no matter what how far away you had died! This… this was equivalent to an extra life!
Right now, Ning had multiple clones of his true body, true, but once he became a Daolord all of his true body’s clones would have to merge together. By then, he would only have his true body and his Primaltwin. If his true body died after that, it would truly be dead. There would be no way to bring it back at all.
This Dao-seal represented a second life for a Daolord. If you died, you would be able to immediately come back to life. However, the inconceivable power hidden within this Dao-seal would be completely consumed after a single usage.
“This Dao-seal is simply incredible. It can actually offer a Daolord a second life!” Ning couldn’t help but sigh in amazement.
What he didn’t realize was that this was merely one of the early prototypes which Emperor Maniseal had created. Emperor Maniseal himself had Lifeblood Dao-seals which could give even Eternal Emperors a second chance at life! However, those Dao-seals were incredibly valuable; there was no way Emperor Maniseal would simply hand them out as gifts! All he wanted to do this time was to give Ning a gift and thus befriend the Paragon of Pills.
In the future, if he needed to ask her for help, it would be a bit easier for him. It must be understood that the Paragon of Pills truly had poured tremendous amounts of effort into learning the intricacies of reversing spacetime. In this respect, she truly was one of the most skilled experts of all.
“Whoosh.” Suddenly, a golden-robed figure flew over towards them.
“Master.” The golden-robed figure called out respectfully.
“This is my retainer.” The Paragon glanced at Ning, then instructed, “Yuhong, lead Darknorth in finding a residence for himself. Also – you are not to reveal to anyone the relationship between the two of us!”
“Understood,” the golden-robed elder said respectfully.
“Darknorth.” The Paragon looked at Ning. “The Trileaf Realm has a total of five Eternal Emperors within it, and all five of them are my retainers. Spend some time exploring this realm. I trust it will be of some benefit to you! When you wish to leave, simply let Yuhong know and he will escort you away from here. As for the armor, I’ll return it to you within half a month.”
“Understood,” Ning said, but he couldn’t help but feel secretly stunned. Five Eternal Emperor retainers? Even the almighty Hegemon of the Brightshore Kingdom only had a few Eternal Emperors under his command, right? Was this person before him someone who was on the same level of power as the almighty Hegemon himself?