Beneath the glow of a deep blue light, dark gray gas could be seen drilling out from all over Zeng Chingming’s limbs and gathering to his finger.
Soon, as the last trace of gray gas disappeared, Qin Yu slashed his finger and a few drops of black blood dripped out.
A sweet fragrance entered his nose. Qin Yu’s eyes turned cold and he flicked his finger, forming a spark that burned it away into nothing.
After a careful inspection and making sure that all of the poison within Zeng Chingming’s body was gone, Qin Yu revealed a smile.
With the little blue lamp, curing poisons was this simple!
He put the little blue lamp away and sat down. The night passed quietly.
The next day, as the sun rose up, Zeng Chingming opened his eyes. After a brief daze, he hurriedly sensed the changes in his body.
Soon, his eyes popped open and filled with excitement!
Qin Yu smiled. “I luckily succeeded!”
The old ancestor’s poison had been cured and it wouldn’t be long before he fully recovered. The news rapidly traveled through the Zeng Family, raising spirits through their ranks. As it did, Qin Yu had become the most honored guest of the Zeng Family.
After the banquet, Zeng Zhongxiu guided Qin Yu into the Zeng Family’s secret chamber.
Zeng Chingming opened his eyes, a solemn and respectful light shining deep in his pupils. “Today, fellow daoist Qin has become the eternal friend of my Zeng Family.” He flipped over his palm, producing a jade document. It emitted an aura of passing time, and it was clear that it had been handed down for many generations. “This is the pill forging art passed down from my Zeng Family ancestors. By utilizing this technique in your alchemy, it can increase the quality of a pill by 30%. My Zeng Family has no other way to repay you, so I hope to share this technique with fellow daoist Qin.”
Qin Yu’s complexion turned strange.
Zeng Chingming misunderstood his expression. “Fellow daoist Qin, my Zeng Family doesn’t have any other meaning. This is purely a gesture of us expressing our gratitude.”
Qin Yu waved his hand. “This is a technique passed down in the Zeng Family, so how could I take it? Senior Zeng, please take it back and never mention it again.”
“This…” Zeng Chingming hesitated. But, as he saw Qin Yu’s firm resolve, he sighed in admiration. “Fellow daoist Qin is truly a character of integrity and honor. In fact, I have never seen anything like it in my life.”
Qin Yu shook his head. “Senior Zeng overpraises me.” With the little blue lamp in his possession, purifying and enhancing pills was just far too easy, and he could increase the quality of a pill several times over. The pill forging art might be extremely precious to others, such as that treacherous and dastardly Yun Family who had painstakingly tried to wrest it away, but in Qin Yu’s eyes, it was just far too weak.
With a light cough he said, “Senior Zeng, there shouldn’t be anyone else causing trouble for you from now on. I will bid my farewells.” Zeng Chingming tried to have Qin Yu stay a little bit longer, but he was decisive in his actions. Qin Yu also refused to be sent off, so it was arranged for Zeng Zhongxiu to lead him out.
After leaving the chamber, Zeng Zhongxiu asked Qin Yu to wait a moment. After a little while he returned with a storage bag. “There are 10,000 spirit stones in here; I ask that Brother Qin accept them.” He revealed a bit of awkwardness and explained, “With my Zeng Family’s many years of inheritance, 10,000 spirit stones is far too little. But after the sudden changes that occurred after East Stream Town, the Zeng Family’s industries have suffered tremendous losses and we were also oppressed a great deal after coming to Yang Peak City. And with the old ancestor’s injuries afterwards...this is truly embarrassing.”
Qin Yu smiled. He accepted the 10,000 spirit stones without declining but returned the storage bag. “I have many of these so I’m not greedy for your Zeng Family’s. Brother Zeng, you should rest here peacefully and recover from your wounds. We will soon meet again in the future.”
He shot up into the skies and disappeared without a trace.
Zeng Zhongxiu was filled with gratitude. Qin Yu had even refused the priceless pill forging art, so why would he bother with a measly 10,000 spirit stones? He had only accepted them so that the Zeng Family felt more at ease.
“Brother Qin, if there is a chance in the future, I will make sure I repay this grace even if my bones are turned to ashes!”
Magic power surged. Qin Yu howled forwards. He lightly frowned and revealed a thoughtful expression. To be fair, he was just an ordinary man, not some great and noble figure that performed good deeds where he could and fought against evil. With the Zeng Family, he could at most be considered old acquaintances. As for the original troubles with Zeng Mo’er, he could already be called extremely broad-minded to ignore that.
But this time, not only did he help the Zeng Family pass through their tumultuous period but he even helped Zeng Chingming cure the poison in his body. Was there some reason that he did all of this?
Qin Yu deeply mulled over this question, trying to look at it from angles. After a long time, he came to realize that the root reason he helped the Zeng Family was because of a person. This person wasn’t Zeng Mo’er. Even though she was a beautiful woman, Qin Yu could face her without being moved.
It was Zeng Zhongxiu!
When he first saw him at East Stream Town, he felt an inexplicable familiarity. Even after several years of not seeing each other, he hadn’t hesitated to save him when he saw him in a perilous situation at Immortal Eclipse Valley. This had nothing to do with friendship. Rather, it seemed to be some instinctual reaction. It seemed that this Zeng Zhongxiu was extremely important to him, or, perhaps it could be said that it was something connected to the future him.
This thought disappeared as quickly as it came. A solemn expression crossed Qin Yu’s face. For cultivators, as their cultivation rose and their sympathetic connection with the world became closer, they could begin to faintly sense their own fate and destiny. This was a feeling that couldn’t be any more ethereal and intangible, but it was a phenomenon recorded in many ancient texts.
Taking a deep breath, he tamped down all these thoughts. A light flashed in his eyes and he muttered to himself, “Perhaps I should deliver him another stroke of good fortune…”
When he returned to Immortal Eclipse Valley, he paused for a moment before directly soaring towards Pill Crucible’s dwelling. And as he thought, this cheap senior-apprentice brother’s so-called ‘seclusion’ was just him hiding away from his duties and being lazy.
When Qin Yu arrived, Pill Crucible was holding a pot of wine and drinking from it with great satisfaction.
“Greetings, senior-apprentice brother.”
Pill Crucible opened his eyes. “You returned? That Zeng Family junior’s injuries weren’t simple at all. For you to heal him in a single day and night, I really must give you some praise!”
Qin Yu was shocked.
Pill Crucible winked. “Without some skills, how would I dare be the ruler of Immortal Eclipse Valley? There isn’t any trouble that occurs within 1000 miles of here that can escape my eyes.”
Qin Yu spoke with admiration, “Senior-apprentice brother’s methods are wonderful. Praise, praise!”
Pill Crucible laughed out loud, trying to hide his smugness. After a long time he waved his hand, “Alright. Just tell me what you’re here for. Since you spent so much time trying to make an old man happy, I’ll try to help you as long as it’s not too excessive.”
Qin Yu smiled. “I wanted to recommend a disciple for senior-apprentice brother.”
Pill Crucible’s face stiffened. He repeatedly waved his hand, “No need, no need, I really have no patience to do something like taking in an apprentice. Just ask me for something else.”
Qin Yu seriously said, “Senior-apprentice brother, cultivators like you and I live long lives but there will eventually come a day when we return to the earth. Are you really resigned to having your lifetime of knowledge and skills disperse into fog in the future?” Without waiting for Pill Crucible to argue, he continued, “This disciple that I want to recommend has a clear background and his heart toward alchemy is incomparably earnest. And most essential of all, he is extremely talented. If you were to miss out on him, I fear you would regret it in the future.”
Pill Crucible hesitated for some time. Then, he hesitated again.
Qin Yu’s eyes flashed. “Senior-apprentice brother, how about I introduce him to you first? If you are not satisfied with him then you can ask him to leave and that will be the end of it.”
Pill Crucible subconsciously nodded.
Qin Yu cupped his hands together. “Great. After some more time passes, I will arrange for him to come here.”
Pill Crucible was startled for a moment before immediately frowning. “Hey, how come I feel as if I was tricked by you!”
Qin Yu shook his head. “Senior-apprentice brother is a master that takes every possibility into account. If your heart wasn’t moved, then no matter what I said or what I did, would you really have agreed? I also have some matters to attend to, so if there isn’t anything else, I will leave first.”
The fog parted and merged, covering up Qin Yu’s figure. Pill Crucible began to tap his fingers together, trying to read the flow of events. His expression gradually turned dignified. After a long time, he gently sighed. “As I thought, anyone related to you has their thread of fate interrupted and it is no longer possible to calculate them. Well, I guess it's fine. With your inborn good luck, I want to see just what sort of person you would recommend to me.”
Qin Yu returned to the Eighth Furnace station and started to meditate upon the Samsara inheritance and teachings of Daoist Wang. Of course, to do this he had to betray the Fleeting Flame Furnace a little. But as he looked at her arrogant manner and how she wasn’t truly annoyed no matter how many times she smacked the Eighth Furnace away, she was actually quite happy inside.
In the blink of an eye, half a month passed. Someone brought in a report that Zeng Zhongxiu had returned to Immortal Eclipse Valley.
Qin Yu left seclusion and personally led him to Pill Crucible’s dwelling. Zeng Zhongxiu was incomparably shocked. He fell to his knees, bowing in respect.
“Senior-apprentice brother, this is my recommended candidate.”
Pill Crucible frowned. What sort of cultivation was this? With just a glance he could immediately tell that Zeng Zhongxiu’s cultivation was average, his talent was average, and he was older than expected. Besides a decent appearance, there didn’t seem to be anything special about him. He glared at Qin Yu, as if saying, ‘is this the recommendation you made for me?!’
Qin Yu didn’t bat an eyelash. He smiled, “How about allowing him to refine a furnace of pills? Everything should be clear by then.”
Pill Crucible waved his hand, “Do as you like!”
He originally had seven points of interest, but that had mostly vanished by now.
Qin Yu had already made preparations. He laid out a pill furnace and a pile of spirit grasses. All of these were items of Immortal Eclipse Valley. With his status as the Junior Uncle, naturally no one dared to refuse him.
“Brother Zeng, there is no need for you to ask anything. All you need to do is refine a furnace of pills. The materials are all here and you can choose whichever pill you want.”
Zeng Zhongxiu looked at Qin Yu. Seeing him nod, he didn’t ask anything. He took a deep breath and stood in front of the furnace.
Pill Crucible’s eyebrows arched up.
Before this, Zeng Zhongxiu had been cringing and shrinking away from him. His actions were simply mediocre. But now that he stood in front of a furnace, he quickly composed himself.
His gaze turned earnest and the atmosphere around him seemed much more restrained. Faintly, there was the aura of a great alchemist to him.
Zeng Zhongxiu began to choose his starting materials. He moved steadily and his choices were decisive; it seemed he already had a plan in mind.
Essence Augmenting Pill!
Preparing the furnace, adding in the materials, refining, fusing, forming the pill!
The entire process seemed common without anything extraordinary to it. But if there was anything unique about it, it was his stability.
That’s right. It was his stability.
From the moment that furnace started to the point that the pills came out, Zeng Zhongxiu’s expression hadn’t changed at all. Every movement of his had been correct.
Classic and steady like a textbook.
Pill Crucible’s eyes brightened. Without waiting for anyone to speak, he flicked his sleeves and grabbed an Essence Augmenting Pill. He looked at it and then calmly said, “Refine an Essence Soul Pill.”
Zeng Zhongxiu respectfully nodded and continued to choose materials. Qin Yu had used the testing methods from Immortal Eclipse Valley’s Grand Alchemy Meeting and had included many fake and poor quality materials in the bunch. However, they clearly weren’t able to confuse Zeng Zhongxiu as he soon found all the materials he needed for an Essence Soul Pill.
The furnace lit.
The pill formed.
This was stable, a terrifying stability!
When he recommended Zeng Zhongxiu he had naturally made some investigations into him. After inquiring, he found that Zeng Zhongxiu actually had a considerable reputation in his department and was nicknamed the Pill Lunatic.
If he didn’t have this talent, then even if Qin Yu wanted to give him some good fortune by recommending him, what would come of it?
Pill Crucible had a faint expression. But, as Qin Yu carefully observed, he could see that his cheap senior-apprentice brother’s heart was beginning to stir.
“Refine another one. I don’t care what pill it is, but use your highest standard to refine the best pill possible.” Pill Crucible slowly said.
Zeng Zhongxiu fell deep into thought. Standing near the pill furnace, he seemed to have lost any sense of awe he had and was able to freely face Pill Crucible. Time slowly passed. No one spoke. Only the flowing fog around them reminded them that time was quietly passing.
After a long time, Zeng Zhongxiu lifted his hands and grabbed several materials.
Qin Yu frowned. Minor Spirit Pill?
That was right. This was the first pill that Qin Yu had ever refined, the Minor Spirit Pill that increased the magic power of Energy Refining cultivators.
Amongst spirit pills, it couldn’t be considered the lowest ranked, but was among the bottom three.
With movements like flowing water and clouds, Zeng Zhongxiu shouted out loud and five Minor Spirit Pills flew out.
Pill Crucible grabbed them. After looking at them, he flicked his sleeves. “Junior-apprentice brother, you can leave first. There are some words I need to say alone.”
Qin Yu’s surroundings flashed and in the next moment he appeared outside the fog. He thought for a moment, a bit of praise in his features.
Zeng Zhongxiu’s talent in alchemy wasn’t just astonishing, but his thinking was also exquisite.
The highest standard, the best pill, that didn’t necessarily mean the highest ranked or the one with the strongest effects.
The only pursuit was quality.
Although the Minor Spirit Pill was of a low rank, it was actually one that all alchemists encountered. Rather, it could be called the first pill that all alchemists studied upon stepping on the road of alchemy. Through studying and refining this first pill, one could sense the very foundation of alchemy.
The problem was wonderfully crafted, but the solution was even more wonderfully solved.
It seemed that these two people were destined to be master and disciple.