Chapter 27: Willow Woods
Lu Mingshu pondered for a long time before deciding on trading the various components of the wolf she had procured earlier.
Such a demonic beast's hide could be used to make leather, while its teeth and sharp claws could be used to make weapons. But since she did not have the means to make them now, she decided to trade them for something useful.
Therefore, she put up a request for trade of items on the Heavenly Wheel.
After a day's wait, someone contacted her.
[ I have a book on Basic Alchemy here, do you want it? ]
Lu Mingshu's eyes lit up, as alchemy was from the world of Xianxia*. Brother Six once told her that each world had their own system of cultivation and practice at which they excelled. For example, the world she was in walked the path of practicing Martial Arts and was the most valiant in strength. For a magic world that uses a magic precision system, their devil talismans that depicted demonic patterns were the most useful. For the world of Xianxia, alchemy definitely occupied an important position.
The most fundamental pursuit of cultivators was not power but longevity; they would always place more importance on a rebirth rather than the acquisition of strength by cultivating steadily. Practitioners pursuing strength alone, on the other hand, had no regard for their longevity. Mages needed to go through all sorts of rituals to increase their lifespans, whereas cultivators were always tempering their body through their cultivation. Therefore, their lifespan increased hand-in-hand with every milestone in their cultivation.
One of the skills they depended on the most was alchemy. When they drank one of their elixirs, it would immediately apply the effect on their body. Therefore, the art of alchemy tolerated no oversights whatsoever.
Lu Mingshu immediately initiated a private chat with the other party.
A voice traveled out as the circle of airflow blew out of the leaf, "Fellow Daoist, are you willing to trade?"
The voice was quite light, indicating that it belonged to someone quite young.
2Lu Mingshu answered, "Can you give me a rough description of the content?"
"Eh," the other party was startled for a moment. "So it's a little sister. Of course."
The focus of the book on Basic Alchemy was in the word ‘basic'. Starting from the herbs, it detailedly introduced the reader to the basics of the alchemical world.
"Which is to say, there isn't a pill recipe?" The recipes were undoubtedly the most precious part of alchemy.
The other party paused for a moment before replying, "There is only one pill recipe, which is the Congeal Constituent Pill …"
Lu Mingshu hesitated once she heard that. With two different worlds came two different types of Spirit Medicine. Would it not be a waste if that one Pill Recipe required an ingredient that was unavailable in my current world? Entering and leaving the Heavenly Wheel involved the consumption of a large portion of the item's mystic force, which didn't make for a worthwhile exchange for either party.
"Fellow Daoist," The youth continued, "I needn't speak anymore of how useful alchemy is, but it is also not easy to find such a detailed book on the introduction of alchemy."
Lu Mingshu was aware of this, but something still bothered her …
When she spoke of her concerns, the youth immediately replied cheerfully, "There's no need to be worried about this, as the Congeal Constitution Pill is the most basic pill over here. Anyone with a bit of skill in pill refining will be able to refine this pill. This same recipe has myriad variations. Not only does each sect have its own unique recipe, but every alchemist would also have their own secret recipe too. Basically, you could refine this pill by throwing any kind of substitute in. Although my Congeal Constituent Pill only consists of a single pill recipe, it contains more than ten kinds of combinations to mix and match the components. There should definitely be a version you can refine – otherwise, you can just refine based on its principle."
Lu Mingshu was a little dumbfounded.
"Rest assured, you would not be at a loss if you trade!" the youth said. "I am anxious too. I have to go on a training expedition in ten days and need to make a whole body of protective leather. Were that not the case, I could have exchanged for a finished product right away if I were to take my time and bargain for a better price."
Lu Mingshu believed this point. A book on alchemy was a scarce resource, whereas the hide and claws of a demonic beast were not. The two had similar worth, but the book on alchemy still sold better.
"Well, okay." Lu Mingshu paused for a moment of thought. "Right, can I ask how the mystic ores in your world are generally used?"
"Mystic ore?" The youth quickly understood, "Oh. My world should call it spirit ore? It depends on what kind of ore it is. It is generally used to refine a Device Array, as the simplest use for it is to extract spiritual energy for cultivation …"
Lu Mingshu noted it down seriously. The two then opened a special channel to carry out the trade.
After the trade, Lu Mingshu left the Heavenly Wheel.
She carefully opened the semi-old book adorned with lines.
1This one look and she was unable to stop.
After Lu Mingshu read the whole book on Basic Alchemy in one go, she let out a long breath and rubbed her dizzy head.
No wonder Brother Six had told her that the alchemy of the world of Xianxia was the most miraculous, given their excellent medical knowledge, unlike the magic world where people were restricted by rules and regulations.
That youth had not lied to her. The Congeal Constituent Pill recorded in the book could be said to have no known limit in derivatives for the ingredients. As long as she grasped the key, the pill recipe was irrelevant. It would at most result in her refining a pill of lower efficacy.
She put away the book and confidently began practising her sword technique.
After the fight with the demonic wolf, her internal mystic force had increased and her strength had improved vastly.
When dinner was over, Liu Jizhen suddenly said, "Go and play at Willow Woods tomorrow."
Lu Mingshu was stunned for a moment, nodding, "Mhmm …"
On the second day after breakfast, Lu Mingshu left for Willow Woods.
Willow Woods was a little distance away from Green Jade Valley. Without any means of transportation, she had reached Willow Woods by foot when the sun already stood at its zenith and glared down at her.
Willow Woods did not inhabit a single willow tree despite the name, and the topography in the area consisted of one large, gentle slope. The Willow Woods residence itself was built on a gigantic rock on the other side of the said gentle slope.
At this moment, the Willow Woods residence was very quiet with no signs of life insight. Lu Mingshu felt a little helpless as she stood underneath the gigantic rock.
How am I to climb up such a high rock without anything in my surroundings that could assist me in climbing up?
Without a choice, she could only call out, "Gao Xiang! Gao Xiang, are you around?"
After she had called out three times, someone ran out from Willow Woods.
Gao Xiang waved excitedly towards her when he spotted her below, "Lu Mingshu, it's you! I am around!"
With that, he jumped down from a – not sure where he got it – rattan rope and dropped down in front of her. "You finally came, I thought you had forgotten!"
If not for her Master's reminder, Lu Mingshu would have truly forgotten. She was a busy girl, spending a majority of her time reading books in order to understand the various worlds described in the Heavenly Wheel. That included books from Heavenly Ascension Pavilion as well as the books from the other worlds that she had acquired through various exchanges. She still had to practice her techniques and even do chores – she couldn't always let Master cook his meals, right?
"Come, let us go up!"
Gao Xiang grabbed the rattan rope, climbing up with a whoosh! like a monkey.
Lu Mingshu pulled on the rope, and after finding it solid, she followed behind him with a pattern.
"Walk this way." Once she entered the Willow Woods residence, Lu Mingshu discovered a different view in the back. Past the residence itself, the sight of a large flat grassland, a small meandering stream, and the shade under the leafy canopy of a green willow tree entered one's vision.
Tables and chairs were arranged under the willow tree with someone seated on the chair.
With hair as white as snow and the appearance of a young man, this someone was Zhuo Jiangui.
Lu Mingshu went over to bow, "Martial Granduncle Zhuo."
Zhuo Jiangui, who had his eyes closed, slowly opened his eyes when he heard the sound. He looked towards her and nodded once.
The sensations of a cold intent enshrouding her in mist struck her again.