Chapter 148 – Refining Pills and Forging Artifacts
Qian Rongzhi found Li Qingshan to be just too strange. He did not seem like a teenager at all, and the more she understood him, the more she found his thought process to be different from regular people. She thought about it before explaining with a smile, “Regarding Qi Practitioner methods that can be practised until the tenth layer, there are five that are the most famous.”
“Which five?” Li Qingshan gathered his attention for this important information. Qian Rongzhi originated from a small clan, but according to the official documents, Qian Yannian had once joined a large sect to cultivate, so he must have seen a lot.
Qian Rongzhi said, “Do you know that every person possesses all five elements?”
“The five organs, heart, liver, spleen, lungs, and kidneys1?”
Qian Rongzhi said, “It’s not as simple as just the five organs. The study of the five elements is extremely profound. I can’t explain it in a short amount of time, but every single person can choose to cultivate one of them. By focusing all of their efforts on a single one, their speed at practising qi will increase significantly. There are many cultivation methods for practising true qi of the five elements. The five most renowned methods are the Geng Metal Method of Sharpening Qi, the Yi Wood Method of Living Qi, the Gui Water Method of Condensing Qi, the Bing Fire Method of Burning Qi, and the Wu Earth Method of Unyielding Qi.”2
Besides a few special sects, such as the Sect of Clouds and Rain, many of the actual, large sects would make their disciples choose one of the five cultivation methods to practise.
Li Qingshan had originally been considering just which cultivation method to choose after completing the Innate Method of Practising Qi, but now he had a vague direction, no longer carried away by those make-believe divine arts or secret techniques. Although it was not absolute, he believed this world followed the survival of the fittest.
If a cultivation method could become renowned, it would mean that countless people had actually used and experienced it themselves. As a matter of fact, who knows just how many generations of people had improved it, making it universal. And, when it came to cultivation, they could use the experience of predecessors as a reference. It really was true that all’s well when everyone’s well.3
Li Qingshan said, “Is it possible to practise whatever true qi you want?”
Qian Rongzhi said, “Of course not. Everyone is biased towards different elements. The large sects all have their methods to test this, which they will then use to choose the most suitable cultivation method for you to practise. However, I’ve heard that talented geniuses can practise two or even three types of true qi at the same time. Their quantity of true qi exceeds cultivators of the same level who only practise a single true qi, and it’s easier for them to break through.”
“Since when did you become so nice?” Li Qingshan was surprised by how Qian Rongzhi demanded nothing from him.
Qian Rongzhi smiled. “I was never a bad person!”
Li Qingshan said nothing.
Qian Rongzhi said, “If you don’t believe me, I can teach you how to refine pills as well.”
Li Qingshan asked, “You don’t want anything in return?”
Qian Rongzhi replied, “I don’t want anything in return.”
Li Qingshan answered, “That sounds great!” However, he did not seem particularly happy at all.
Qian Rongzhi actually began to teach him in detail. “Alchemy requires three most basic things. The first one is materials, whether it be the most common medicinal herb or the most precious medicinal herb. There is a limitless assortment of them, spanning an enormous range. The second is the formula. Every pill has a set formula, which has an extremely detailed requirement for materials and time of the day. The third is the cauldron, or should I say, the fire. Refining materials according to the formula is alchemy…”
Li Qingshan listened closely, and before he knew it, four hours had passed, and he only managed to gain a basic understanding of the art of refining pills, alchemy. This art was just too extensive and profound. Even if he devoted his whole life to it, he might not necessarily reach the peak. Right now, he had basically only learned about it slightly. He could not even be considered as having grasped the basics.
Qian Rongzhi said, “This is roughly all I know regarding alchemy. If you want to study it further, you’ll have to ask someone more competent.”
Li Qingshan nodded.
Qian Rongzhi pointed at the cauldron beside her. “Do you want to try? There are still a lot of medicinal herbs left.”
Li Qingshan was slightly taken aback. He wondered whether she had changed. However, after hearing so much about alchemy, he was itching to give it a try, so he sat down before the caldron. He personally controlled the cauldron and refined pills under Qian Rongzhi’s guidance. However, as the fire was slightly too intense, he destroyed a batch of Qi Gathering pills.
Qian Rongzhi did not show any pity, nor did she scold him. Instead, she encouraged him to keep trying.
Li Qingshan said nothing either. He continued to try. His true qi was extremely pure, and he could control it as freely as his own arm. During the process of alchemy, his control over it deepened. After wasting another two batches, he finally succeeded. He pulled both hands back, let out a deep breath, and smiled.
Qian Rongzhi also praised him very much.
Li Qingshan saw the horizon light up. Knowingly, a whole night had already passed. She stood up and placed a few bottles of Qi Gathering pills on the ground as compensation for the destroyed batches and as fees for her guidance.
Qian Rongzhi watched Li Qingshan leave through the door, and she picked up the Qi Gathering pills. Just like how Li Qingshan did not rejoice over her generosity earlier, Qian Rongzhi showed no joy right now either.
The information regarding the Qi Practitioner methods of the five elements and the rudimentary alchemy was not actually a secret at all. And, the pills that Li Qingshan had left behind were far more than the number he had destroyed. Moreover, even if she had been the one making them, it would be impossible for her to say she would succeed every time, so she made quite a profit from this transaction.
Ordinary people would be very happy, but she felt something enough to turn people cold inside. That was an extremely cold sense of alienation. He would never owe people, nor would people ever owe him. At any time, as long as she tried her schemes against him, he would throw her on his kill list without any hesitation at all. He would never just put up with it.
She tasted failure once again. This was not a man who could be controlled by his emotions. Did he really not have a single point of weakness on him?
Li Qingshan did not think as much as her. He only felt happy over learning something new. The path of cultivation was so broad and deep. There were endless mysteries waiting for him to explore. Learning from others was not a bad thing.
The flames roared in the pit. Currently, the Pale Flames of Bone Smelting had already occupied almost half of the entire space.
Xiao An’s skeleton became glassy like jade. Compared to before, his bones were even more powerful and tough now.
The white bones in the pit had smelted his skeleton, which he had completed now. There were still several hundred white skeletons in the pit.
However, Xiao An continued smelting the white bones.
The Blood Flames of Corpse Incineration and the Pale Flames of Bone Smelting were only the most basic techniques from the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty. Their greatest use was not to harm people, but for cultivation. The Blood Flames of Corpse Incineration were for completely absorbing the essence in flesh and blood such that not a single shred of it went to waste. On the other hand, the Pale Flames of Bone Smelting could melt the bones into fluid, which could be used to strengthen himself.
Besides that, it had one more use, which was for forging artifacts.
Practitioners of the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty were different from other cultivators. The weapons they used were extremely special. There was a special part of the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty devoted to forging weapons, which recorded several dozen special artifacts.
The Blood Sea Banner, the Trisepultural Robes, the Skull Prayer Beads…
Xiao An decided to use these several hundred skeletons to forge his first white bone spiritual artifact, the Skull Prayer Beads.
2. It’s the ten heavenly stems once again, which I mentioned when the Geng Metal Method of Sharpening Qi appeared for Qian Yannian. You can read about it here. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavenly_Stems)
3. The last sentence is a reference to an advertisement for a shampoo brand called 好迪 (hǎodí). It’s basically a motto that they say at the end of the advertisement as a play on their brand name.