Chapter 500: Ancient Divine Chests
After the fight, Venerated Pill seemed to have gained a lot of insights. When he had finished giving commands to his elders, he sincerely thanked Ning Fan for his help and hurriedly returned to the island to start his secluded cultivation, trying to sort out the new insights he gained about battle soul techniques.
The elders of the Pill Island including Huang Tingzi and Yang Gu followed Venerated Pill's orders and brought Ning Fan and his people into the island to let them rest.
There were seventeen pill palaces on the island. All of them had been built on the areas with the best spiritual veins. In the past, only the island's important guests could stay in these places.
Ning Fan and his group were arranged to stay in the Primordial Heaven Palace which was the best of the seventeen palaces. Clearly, the Pill Island viewed Ning Fan as one of their most important and distinguished guests.
The Primordial Heaven Palace was located on the peak of a mountain. Clouds and mist covered it. Red-crowned cranes could be seen flying around the palace, emitting shrills from time to time. On the summit, the other mountains and hills looked rather small and insignificant.
By gazing into the mountain range far from the Primordial Heaven Palace, one could see a ten thousand zhang* tall pond covered with divine light on the layers of the mountain.
That pond of water was none other than the most famous pond of the Pill Island – the Soul Washing Pond. As for the divine light, it was the famous Soul Bathing Light.
In order to prevent the Soul Bathing Light from dispersing, the Soul Washing Pond was sealed throughout the years. Only the first few floors were regularly opened for the island's pill refinement masters to aid in their cultivation. On the other hand, the last few floors were strictly sealed off.
At this moment, many experts of the Pill Island were outside the Soul Washing Pond. They were working around the clock to lift the seal on the fifth floor of the Soul Washing Pond. The fifth floor would be opened in half a day.
The divine light coiling around the Soul Washing Pond carried with it a faint dark color which had a tinge of purple light.
"So that's the Soul Bathing Light, huh…?"
Ning Fan stood at the peak of the Primordial Heaven Palace, looking down at the Soul Washing Pond in silence.
Su Yan who was standing behind him had a smile that reached her apricot eyes and complimented him.
"I didn't expect that the battle of medicine souls between you and Venerated Pill would actually end in a tie. It's really unbelievable."
"Did you think I would lose?" Ning Fan smiled faintly.
"No. Of course, I believed that you wouldn't lose. However, it's still somewhat surprising to really see you being on the same level as Venerated Pill. After all, the battle of medicine souls is similar to a competition between your pill refinement techniques. Since you have already won against Venerated Pill in terms of medicine soul, you probably won't lose to him when it comes to concocting pills… I guess you are already capable of concocting Sixth Revolution Pills, right?"
"Yan Er really is smart. There is nothing I can hide from you. Indeed, the difficulty of concocting Sixth Revolution Pill far exceeds that of Fifth Revolution Pills. I haven't really tried refining Sixth Revolution Pills before and it's impossible for the current me to directly concoct a pill of that grade. However, I have thirty percent certainty that I will be able to successfully create a Low Grade Sixth Revolution Pill by first concocting a Peak Grade Fifth Revolution Pill and enhance it using the Grade Raising Technique!"
"Thirty percent, huh? It's already high… Other than you, I think there's not a single Fifth Revolution Pill Refinement Master in the entire Rain World who is confident in concocting a Sixth Revolution Pill. Well, you truly give justice to your title of 'Eighth Pill Refinement Master of the Rain World'… If you attain the Sixth Revolution Pill Refinement Realm, I think you might even be able to become the sixth or even the fifth pill refinement master of the Rain World, much less the seventh…"
There were only four individuals whose pill refinement realm had reached the Mid Grade Sixth Revolution and above in the Rain World. In Su Yan's mind, if Ning Fan's pill refinement realm advances to the Sixth Revolution, even those veteran Low Grade Sixth Revolution Pill Refinement Masters would certainly be unable to be Ning Fan's match.
Ning Fan did not continue their conversation and merely gave her a smile instead.
Su Yan quietly looked at Ning Fan's back, convinced in her own judgement. After all, despite his considerably skinny physique, he could actually make others trust him and feel safe.
"Brother Biscuit, can I take a walk around this Biscuit Island on my own…?" Little Ming Que asked with a pleading look on her face.
"Take a walk? You probably want to sneak into the Pill Island's forbidden areas and secretly eat their pills." Ning Fan directly exposed Ming Que's plan.
"*Giggle*.." Ming Que mischievously stuck out her tongue, feeling a little embarrassed after Ning Fan revealed her true intentions.
"There are forty-two thousand pill refinement masters on this island. Thirty-four thousand of them are First Revolution Pill Masters, seven thousand of them are Second Revolution Pill Masters, four hundred of them are Third Revolution Pill Masters, 74 of them are Fourth Revolution Pill Masters and only 5 of them are Fifth Revolution Pill Masters… They have a lot of pills stockpiled.. However, most of them are pills previously concocted by disciples and elders but a majority of them are low grade pills. Third Revolution Pills account for a great portion of them. As for pills that are at the Fourth Revolution and above, aside from the pills set aside for use in the cultivation of the cultivators of the island, most of them are sold to the cultivators of the Endless Sea in exchange for immortal jade or medicinal ingredients to subsidize the Pill Island's expenses on pill refinement…"
Ning Fan's words made Little Ming Que gradually feel dejected. What's the use of Third Revolution Pills even if there were a large number of them on this island? Pills of this kind could barely raise her cultivation base even if she were to eat all of them. She had to eat Fifth Revolution Pills at the very least in order to raise her strength.
Even though there was a great number of pill refinement masters on this island who could concoct a great deal of satisfactory pills, a high grade pill would be sold as soon as it came out of the pill cauldron.
Well, it could not be helped. Concocting pills was a money-burning job in the first place. Try imagining this: forty thousand pill refinement masters concocting pills every single day. How massive would the amount of medicine ingredients be needed daily and how much money would they have to burn every single day?!
For high grade pill refinement masters in particular, they would constantly attempt to concoct pills that were beyond their pill refinement capabilities. Nine out of ten attempts they made would go to waste. Thus, their production would without a doubt run behind their expenses.
That was why the Pill Island needed to constantly sell their pills in order to get sufficient money to raise all the pill refinement masters on the island.
In Ming Que's fantasy, the Pill Island was a place filled with high grade pills everywhere. However, reality turned out to be the complete opposite. Even if she emptied the storehouses of the Pill Island, there was no way she could get a lot of Fifth Revolution Pills…
"At first, I thought I could eat as many pill biscuits as I wanted after coming to this Biscuit Island…" Ming Que's little face was full of disappointment. She even lost the interest to run around the Pill Island.
"However, there is one place which might be able to let you eat to your heart's content… Follow me." Ning Fan smiled mysteriously. Instead of resting in the Primordial Heaven Palace, he brought Su Yan and Ming Que directly to a medicine valley on the island.
It was a small and narrow medicine valley. The area was fenced, making the place resemble a natural treasure bowl. There was only one elder of the Pill Island guarding the valley. The valley was named Waste Pill Valley. Just like what its name suggested, this valley was meant to store defective pills.
As long as you are a pill refinement master, there would be times you would concoct defective pills. It applies to every pill refinement master without exception.
All the defective pills that the cultivators on the Pill Island produced would be delivered to this medicine valley. They were thrown around and piled up randomly. The elders who guard this valley would dispose of those pills once every ten years.
There were still two more years before the current defective pills in this valley would be disposed of. In other words, all the defective pills which the pill refinement masters on the island had concocted in the past eight years had piled up in the valley!
Well, the reason why Ning Fan brought Ming Que to the Waste Pill Valley was pretty simple and obvious – to take away all the Fifth Revolution Pills!
Ming Que could then use her purifying ability to purify all the pills. In this way, she would have enough pills to eat and it would only be a matter of time for her to achieve the Void Refinement Realm!
Of course, purifying defective pills would exhaust a large amount of her magic power and time. Thus, it would be good enough for her to just purify the Fifth Revolution Pills. If she has to purify the low grade defective pills as well, it would be wasting too much of her time and power.
Ming Que was not stupid. As soon as Ning Fan brought her to the Waste Pill Valley, she immediately understood what he was trying to do. She patted her forehead and said, embarrassed.
"How can I forget about this method in the first place. To me, spoiled biscuits are also edible, aren't they?"
Su Yan still had no idea about Ming Que's ability which allows her to purify defective pills and turn them into complete ones. She did not understand what Ning Fan had in mind by bringing them to this valley.
The elder watching over the Waste Pill Valley was a middle-aged cultivator who was at the Late Gold Core Realm. His name was Wang Cheng.
With a cultivation base at the Late Gold Core Realm, he could be regarded as an old ancestor in a low grade cultivation country. However, on the Pill Island, someone like him was insignificant and was only qualified to guard the valley for defective pills.
Looking after the Waste Pill Valley was a simple and boring job. Besides, it wasn't lucrative as well. Even so, Wang Cheng was still pleased with the peace and quiet which this job had provided him.
The defective pills did not have any value. Their only use was to use their miniscule amount of medicinal qi to slightly improve the spiritual veins of the island after they are buried into the ground once every ten years.
Thus, except for the deacons and disciples who regularly come to send the defective pills, it was rare for someone to come to this valley.
Wang Cheng was leisurely standing guard at the gazebo located at the entrance of the valley. He was twiddling and moving black and white chess pieces back and forth, playing a game of chess against himself. He seemed pretty carefree in his duty.
When Ning Fan and the others arrived at this valley, he did not even raise his head to look at them. He merely thought that they were some deacons or disciples who had come to send in some defective pills. Afterward, he complained with a casual tone of voice.
"Defective pills! Defective pills again! There have been three batches of defective pills for this month. Can't you all pay a little more attention when refining pills?! It's a shame to waste things, do you all understand?! You know what they say: those who recklessly waste natural resources will certainly be cast aside by Heaven. Each pellet of defective pills here isn't free! All of them were produced using medicine ingredients and immortal jade…"
After voicing out some complaints, Wang Cheng continued playing chess.
At this moment, a young man's voice suddenly resounded from afar, praising Wang Cheng.
"Well said. Those who take natural resources for granted will certainly be cast aside by Heaven. Be it concocting pills or cultivation, we must give our best effort in doing everything in the world and must not be lazy…"
Upon hearing this young man's voice, Wang Cheng's hand which was about to put down the chess piece in his hand suddenly froze in midair.
He raised his head in disbelief. When he saw that it wasn't a disciple of the Pill Island but Ning Fan and his group instead, he was scared half to death. His entire body began to tremble. Instantly, he came out of the gazebo and welcomed Ning Fan.
"R-Revered Ming! What made you come to our Waste Pill Valley? Please come in… Er… Please forgive me for my foolish remark…"
All of a sudden, Wang Cheng realized that inviting Ning Fan into the Waste Pill Valley seemed to be very wrong.
The Waste Pill Valley was a place used to store useless items. Since he was inviting Ning Fan into the valley, didn't it mean he was implying that Ning Fan was useless trash?
Wang Cheng, of course, recognized Ning Fan. To put it more appropriately, who else on the Pill Island still did not know about him?
Venerated Pill's orders had already passed to the entire Pill Island. He was even allowed to enter the forbidden areas, much less the Waste Pill Valley.
However, Wang Cheng just could not understand why Ning Fan would come to this place but he did not have the courage to ask him about it.
He had been staying on the Pill Island his entire life. He had never experienced or witnessed any significant incidents but he had heard too much of Ning Fan's notoriety.
Since he was interacting with Ning Fan, the number-one devil lord of the internal sea at such a close distance, he was naturally extremely nervous.
"Calm down. You don't have to be nervous. The reason why I came to the Waste Pill Valley is just to take some defective pills for my research. I harbor no evil intentions. What's your name and what's your position on Pill Island?" Ning Fan explained.
After hearing that Ning Fan had no intention of doing him any harm, Wang Cheng heaved a sigh of relief. Then, he answered politely.
"This junior is Wang Cheng. I am a third-rate elder of the Pill Island and my responsibility is to look after the Waste Pill Valley."
"Mm. I want to take some defective pills for my research. How about this? You go and pick out all the defective pills that are at the Fifth Revolution and above from the valley. After that, send them to the Primordial Heaven Palace. The faster the better. It would be great if you can accomplish it within a day."
"W-What?! You want me to pick out all the defective Fifth Revolution Pills from the valley!? And you even said the faster the better!?"
Wang Cheng's jaw dropped. The defective pills in the valley were not even worth a single straw. Besides, Ning Fan was an important guest of the Pill Island. It wouldn't be a problem no matter what he takes. Thus, Wang Cheng undoubtedly had no objections.
But what he found difficult to swallow was that Ning Fan wanted him to pick out all the defective Fifth Revolution Pills…
It was extremely difficult to identify the grade of the defective pills. Moreover, most of them were black and charred. There were not many differences in terms of their appearances. It would be really hard to assess the grade of the defective pills except for pill refinement masters who possessed Fifth Revolution medicine souls.
God knows how many millions of defective pills were stored in the valley. There was only one Fifth Revolution pill in every one hundred thousand pills. Searching for a few hundreds of defective Fifth Revolution Pills from several tens of millions of defective pills was similar to looking for a needle in a haystack. The difficulty was pretty high…
Even if Wang Cheng was given ten years, he might not necessarily be able to pick out all the Fifth Revolution Pills much less in one day…
"R-Revered Ming, please forgive me… O-One day is really not enough for me…" Wang Cheng trembled uncontrollably. He did not know what consequences he would face by defying Ning Fan's orders.
"Not enough? Could it be that the defective pills in the valley aren't stored according to their grades?"
Ning Fan spread out his spirit sense and scanned across the valley. Then, he broke into a hearty laughter.
The defective pills in the Waste Pill Valley had been thrown around like trash. They were not categorized and arranged in an orderly manner.
Asking Wang Cheng who was merely an insignificant Gold Core Realm cultivator to pick out the defective Fifth Revolution Pills was indeed giving him a hard time.
"It's fine… Yan Er, you'll accompany Ming Que in looking for Fifth Revolution Pills in the valley. Her nose is sharp. She will be able to tell where the Fifth Revolution Pills are by just sniffing around."
Ning Fan let Su Yan and Ming Que stay in the Waste Pill Valley. With Ming Que's keen sense of smell which could serve as a radar to detect heavenly ingredients and earthly treasures, it would not be too difficult for them to find defective Fifth Revolution Pills from the valley.
Su Yan was confused. Up until now, she still had not figured out why Ning Fan would want to get his hands on defective Fifth Revolution Pills.
Ming Que, on the other hand, was extremely excited. She could not wait to find all the Fifth Revolution Pills at once and purify them so that she could start eating them.
Wang Cheng heaved deeply. He did not expect Ning Fan to be so friendly. He actually did not kill Wang Cheng when he defied his orders.
"It seems like Revered Ming isn't as brutal as the rumors say… Speaking of which, why does Revered Ming want defective pills for his research?" Wang Cheng muttered to himself, finding it hard to understand.
After leaving the Waste Pill Valley, Ning Fan headed over to the Pill Island's libraries alone. He browsed through the pill recipes, pill techniques and many insights and thoughts written down by others.
Whenever he saw a Fifth Revolution or Sixth Revolution pill recipe, he would make his own copy of them. The elders who were looking after the libraries naturally did not dare to stop him.
In just half a day, Ning Fan had already visited all the libraries of the island.
Half a day later, Venerated Pill came out of his seclusion. He had already assimilated all the insights he had obtained from his battle with Ning Fan and achieved a considerable improvement.
"I heard that Fellow Daoist asked for defective Fifth Revolution Pills. Is that true? What kind of use would those defective pills have for Fellow Daoist??" Venerated Pill had already received the news and asked Ning Fan casually.
"Just for research purposes. Knowing how it failed will help in how to make it succeed." Ning Fan gave a random answer. Of course, he could not tell him the truth.
"I see. So Fellow Daoist wants to understand the reason why the pills became defective and use them as references to improve your Dao of Alchemy…" Venerated Pill nodded without asking anything more.
Afterward, he raised his head and smiled.
"On my Pill Island, we still have another treasure in addition to the Soul Washing Pound. It's the 'divine chests' left behind by ancient pill masters. Is Fellow Daoist interested in having a look at it? How about having a try on lifting its seal?."
"Divine chests?" Ning Fan was slightly surprised.
The so-called divine chests were the unique storage method of the ancient divine race. They used their divine techniques to store items which could isolate them from Heaven, allowing these treasures to remain intact for eons.
Some divine chests contained secret treasures. Some had cultivation methods. Some had pills. Some even contained ancient living creatures…
Is it possible that there are actually divine chests left behind by ancient divine cultivators on the Pill Island?
Besides, judging from what Venerable Pill said, it seems like they haven't been opened before!
Translated by Tommy, edited by Roel