The ancient castle felt like a giant beast emitting a desolate aura. Once Zhao Xiang led Long Chen into the palace, they weren’t checked or questioned. Zhao Xiang simply greeted the guards and walked in with Long Chen.
Once they were inside, Long Chen saw that the entire castle was supported by a huge formation. The spiritual qi inside was several times denser than outside, which made Long Chen once more sigh at Pill Valley’s wealth.
Long Chen saw that this place, which was a holy land to alchemists, was bustling with activity. He saw quite a few young disciples walking around. But they all seemed to be in a rush and ignored him.
The thing that shocked him was that some of them were extremely young. Some only looked to be sixteen or seventeen, and their cultivation bases were only in the Meridian Opening realm.
“Pill Valley cares about alchemy, not cultivation base. The younger the disciple, the more potential that can be unlocked while they’re in Pill Valley. And the lower their cultivation bases, the more room for their Spiritual Strength to grow. So it’s normal for you to see disciples with low cultivation bases. However, the competition between disciples is intense. Those who can enter Pill Valley are all alchemy geniuses. But even geniuses become ordinary people here.
“Geniuses are all used to being arrogant existences worshipped by others, so when they come here, they all go all-out cultivating. There’s practically no need to encourage them. You see how busy they are. Even friends will only nod toward you in passing. That’s because they feel that speaking is a waste of time. They need to spend all their time on cultivation,” explained Zhao Xiang.
“Wow, is there a need to go all-out like this?” Long Chen was stunned. They didn’t even want to waste the time to speak?
Long Chen felt like he had been training hard, but now in comparison, it seemed that he was a slacker.
“Hehe, they have no choice. Sometimes, just honor and glory are enough to drive a person to do their best. Everyone wants to stand above others and not be trampled on. Within Pill Valley, alchemy is everything, so they have no choice but to cultivate their alchemy arts to the peak. As long as your alchemy arts are great enough, you can get whatever you want. Furthermore, alchemists walk a different path from ordinary cultivators. They don’t need to remain hasty. As long as you become strong enough, you can get as many resources and beauties as you want. You won’t even need to ask; they’ll simply flock toward you. Hehe, you understand!” Zhao Xiang winked at Long Chen.
The benefits were this great? It seemed living in Pill Valley would be amazing.
For normal cultivators, once they reached the Xiantian realm, they could theoretically start producing progeny. And that wouldn’t stop them from advancing in the future.
But the majority of cultivators wouldn’t start doing so immediately after reaching the Xiantian realm. That was because the higher the realm of the parents, the greater the purity of their Spirit Blood, and the greater chance their progeny would inherit their bloodline and be termed geniuses.
That was why most cultivators would cultivate until they reached their peak before they considered getting a partner and creating progeny.
For male cultivators, they would usually find one or more Dao-companions after reaching the Xiantian realm, but they wouldn’t have progeny.
For males, becoming Dao-companions with someone else wouldn’t cause any problems for them. But female cultivators normally wouldn’t choose to become Dao-companions.
This related to problems of the heart. For many men, women were like wealth to be gained, and this satisfied their desire to conquer others. But they didn’t have that many real emotions toward this act.
But for women, when it came to these matters, especially during their first time, it caused large ripples in their hearts. Normally, they would only dual cultivate with the one they loved.
This was different from the attitude of male cultivators. As for what was different, it was that one cared about the heart, while the other cared about appearances.
For a woman to love a man represented a large change in their mental realm. Losing their virginity would definitely cause their mental realm to become chaotic for a while.
Cultivation was like rowing against the tide. If you weren’t moving forward, you were going back. So for men, dual cultivation wouldn’t normally cause that big of an impact, but it would cause quite the impact for women.
Unless the woman simply didn’t love the man and was also simply doing it for his looks, in which case she could also get the same benefits. But normally, the gains didn’t make up for the losses.
But alchemists were different. Even women didn’t need to care that much about that aspect. As long as their talent and comprehension were high enough, they didn’t need to necessarily maintain a perfectly clear heart.
That was why Pill Valley didn’t prohibit their disciples from doing such things. Zhao Xiang was telling Long Chen this to give him motivation. After all, he was a man.
Zhao Xiang explained Pill Valley’s rules and restrictions on the way. It was about the same as any sect.
They quickly arrived at a stately building. This was the Pill Management Department, a place where all the new disciples went to register themselves. They were also in charge of all the missions inside Pill Valley.
With Zhao Xiang leading the way, the process was very simple. Long Chen simply handed over his badge, and the rest was left up to Zhao Xiang. It was quickly handled.
Long Chen obtained a new badge, a true disciple badge.
“This is an inner disciple’s badge. It’s not that useful and just part of the process. Your goal is the Divine Pill Hall, a place where the elite disciples cultivate. The treatment they get there is a thousand times better than what an inner disciple will ever get!
“Pill Valley has millions of outer disciples and over eighty thousand inner disciples. As for the Divine Pill Hall, they only have three thousand disciples.
“This number never changes. The Divine Pill Hall expels the lower ranking disciples when new disciples join. Take a look. The next competition for inner disciples to get into the Divine Pill Hall is in ten days. This competition only occurs once every two months, and only the top thousand inner disciples are qualified to compete. I was thinking that you should only compete in the competition after this one, but Protector Zhuo said time is pressing. Only by entering the Divine Pill Hall will you receive the best treatment.
“You’re just an inner disciple right now, and Protector Zhuo is only able to give you a few resources. After all, there are those ancient bastards holding us back. But if you join the Divine Pill Hall, all kinds of precious resources will be provided to you, and they won’t dare to say a thing.”
“Yes, this disciple understands Protector Zhuo’s kindness. Ah, speaking of which, Elder Zhao, have you heard of the second volume of the Nirvana Scripture? Will disciple have a chance to train in it?” asked Long Chen.
“That… that might be a bit troublesome. The first volume is freely available to any disciple and isn’t top-secret. But the second volume requires a certain status and position in order to train in it. Most of the time, you have to reach the level of a Tower Master to learn it.” Zhao Xiang shook his head. Even he wasn’t qualified to learn the second volume of the Nirvana Scripture.
“Really? Disciples can’t learn it?” Long Chen couldn’t help being disappointed. He had come entirely for the second volume of the Nirvana Scripture. If he couldn’t learn it, then he would have come for nothing.
“In truth, disciples can also learn it. But it depends on how outstanding you are. As long as you can put on a stunning enough display, I trust Protector Zhuo will definitely help you obtain it,” comforted Zhao Xiang, afraid of him losing motivation.
Long Chen passed the next few days in a private room. In it, there were several stacks of jade plates as tall as a grown man, numbering in the thousands.
Each of them contained ancient alchemy canons. They recorded alchemy theories or even lost summaries. Some theories were left behind by ancestors and were the result of their life’s experience.
“Idiots, if a person read too many of these, they probably wouldn’t even be able to refine pills after!”
Long Chen was secluded in his room on his own, studying these things. That was because this was related to the competition to join the Divine Pill Hall.
The competition had two parts, theory and practice. He didn’t just need to know how to refine pills, but he also needed to be able to discuss the theory behind the refinement as well.
And yet, these things were all personal viewpoints and theories of different people, all based on their own lives and experiences. Yes, it was true that their alchemy arts and theories were novel and innovative.
But these things were only suited to themselves. It was like everyone was learning how to paint, and he was trying to paint an image of a landscape. Did showing him paintings of beautiful women help him at all?
The most irritating thing was that he needed to know this, and he had to be able to write out his impression and what he learned from reading them. Otherwise, they wouldn’t let him pass.
Just because he wanted to cook a chicken, did he need to know how a chicken existed? Did they really care about which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Unfortunately there was no way around this. The competition would be testing on this. If he didn’t pass the theory aspect, he wouldn’t even get to go to the refining portion.
After ten days of studying, Long Chen had an urge to vomit. Even with his immense Spiritual Strength, memorizing all these things gave him a headache.
Furthermore, some of these theories were fundamentally flawed, but he still had to memorize them. He had to be wrong with them.
That was because the competition would test this, and he had to reply within the scope of these texts to get his answer marked correct. This was Long Chen’s first time having to study such irritating alchemy ‘knowledge’.
Zhao Xiang was a bit worried to see Long San come out in just ten days.
For most cultivators, memorizing all these theories in two months would be impressive. But ten days? That was a bit unbelievable.
Zhao Xiang was in charge of Long San, and so his station would rise and fall according to Long San’s result. Looking worried, he asked, “How do you feel?”
“I feel alright, and I’ve pretty much memorized them all. It should be no problem.” Long Chen rubbed his weary face. For the second volume of the Nirvana Scripture, he had no choice but to go all-out.
“Good. Don’t feel too much pressure. Even if you fail this time, you’ll definitely pass the next one,” comforted Zhao Xiang.
Zhao Xiang led Long Chen toward the Pill Management Department. Once they were in, Long Chen saw that the inside was packed with people already.
He had only just walked in when a stunned voice rang out.Previous Chapter Next Chapter