Ch3 - A Long Road Ahead
According to Qi Tianyou's memories, on Tianwu Continent, pharmacists were separated into two categories: certified and uncertified. Those who could refine medicinal pills were certified, and those who could only create potions and not medicinal pills were uncertified.
The pills that passed inspection were called human-level pills, and were divided into three grades. Humanlevel pills of all grades were utilized by martial artists.
Gu Zuo nodded his head.
Great, so the market for human-level pills shouldn't be small, huh?
Moving on, martial artists were also separated into two categories: Houtian and Xiantian. There existed a realm above Xiantian known as the Immortal Realm - As the name implied, one was able to ascend beyond the category of common humans. A martial artist's lifespan would double.
The average lifespan of a person here was about a hundred fifty years. In short, by rising above this threshold, one could live for three hundred years. In this timeframe, by finding rare medicinal ingredients and receiving the help of a certified pharmacist, one could live even longer.
Moreover, the longer a martial artist lived, the longer they would be able to sustain a family and nurture budding talents. Generation by generation, a martial artist could build a force to be reckoned with.
So to say, the three grades of human-level pills not only corresponded to the three grades of certified pharmacists, but also to the martial artists among the three realms.
Low-grade pharmacists could refine low grade human-level pills. These low grade pills were suited to Houtian martial artists. Mid-grade pharmacists could refine mid grade human-level pills; these pills were used by Xiantian martial artists. Finally, high-grade pharmacists produced high grade human-level pills; only they had the opportunity to refine pills for the Immortal Realm "celestial beings".
Like Gu Zuo, Qi Tianyou was also fifteen years old. However, he was already an uncertified pharmacist who could create potions and had begun attempts at refining pills. Although the pills he synthesized were just barely failures, there was no doubt that within one or two years, he would definitely succeed and become a low-grade certified pharmacist.
Although Qi Feng also had an aptitude for refining medicine, compared to Qi Tianyou, the differences were like night and day. Presently, Qi Feng often failed at refining simple potions, whereas Qi Tianyou would find success seven or eight times out of ten.
This disparity in skill was another reason why Qi Feng hated Qi Tianyou.
Just like that, another problem arose.
Qi Tianyou could reliably refine potions, but as Gu Zuo carefully observed the refining process, he found that it was complicated and slow. It could sometimes take a whole day before a single potion could be refined. Not to mention that watching a memory and putting it into practice were two completely different things. Gu Zuo had no experience in refining medicine like this. Furthermore, when he thought about it, the system also said that the refining process generated medicinal qi. Something like that would certainly not be a trifling matter.
How was he going to get out of this mess?
Gu Zuo was somewhat affronted and couldn't help but argue with the system: So we've bonded, but how do I complete this mission? The body whose identity I'm supposed to replace had his medicinal beads removed. There aren't any medicinal ingredients available. How am I supposed to refine medicine? With only a month, you're really just asking me to lie down and die!
[May the host earnestly study his cultivation method and make full use of the mission items. Qi Tianyou's technique was amateurish at best. The host should consult the <<Primary Medicine Refining Hand Seals>>.]
Gu Zuo calmed down and replied: All I need to do is study those items and the cultivation method you gave me? Qi Tianyou's memories were only to give me an understanding of this world's general knowledge?
[That is right, host.]
Gu Zuo was simply lacking strength.
Okay, okay. At any rate, he wanted to utilize Qi Tianyou's identity...
Then, he asked: You said before that you could only operate for half an hour. Now that we've bonded, do you still need to enter sleep mode?
[One month. If the host can complete this mission, this system will continue to function. If not, this system will self-destruct.]
Gu Zuo: "..."
So that's what it meant by obliteration.
This system was really ruthless. It was basically saying, "If you can't complete a mission, let's die together"...
Did it have to be so fucked up? Who would want to die together?!
Forget it. He would just study.
Indeed. He just didn't want to die! He still had to go back and find his dad!
Gu Zuo facepalmed in resignation: System, give me the items.
Let's put off the cultivation method and all the rest to figure out later.
At that moment, four books appeared in Gu Zuo's hand. They looked ancient and the script inside was written vertically. If Gu Zuo didn't have a basic understanding of medicinal herbs, he would start to go bald early like his dad while trying to decipher this text that didn't even have any punctuation.
Fortunately, this book was no problem...
Gu Zuo was very astute, especially when it came to reading medical books. One could say that his memory was nearly photographic. But now, with the system and its benefits, he found that his memorization was even stronger. After reading through a few books, every word in its entirely was stored in his brain, not a single one was forgotten.
He quickly parsed out all the useful information.
First, the concept of a pharmacist.
The thoughts and impressions of Qi Tianyou and that of the general populace of Tianwu Continent were different. According to <<Primary Medicine Refining Hand Seals>>, medicine refinement was divided into three parts: The medicinal pill, the medicinal decoction, and the medicinal cuisine. The three were complex, but all were equally important.
Medicinal cuisines were used to recuperate the body and to nurse one's health. Medicinal decoctions were used to fight illnesses and cure diseases. Medicinal pills were used to aid in martial arts cultivation... And no matter which was selected, different refining techniques needed to be used to produce the greatest effects.
Concerning the Tianwu pharmacists, their so-called potions and inferior pills were both alchemy of the same type. Those potions were merely a part of the refining process, and were still full of impurities. With curing illness or aiding in cultivation, there was no comparison in the effectiveness between inferior products and the real deal.
Thus, these so-called pharmacists were nothing but lowly alchemists.
At this time, the <<Primary Medicine Refining Hand Seals>> detailed three hand seal manuals. For refining pills, it was <<Minor Seal: Plucking Nine Stars>>. For refining decoctions, it was <<Minor Seal: Winter Plum Flower Viewing>>. And for refining cuisines, it was <<Minor Seal: Supple Bones and Beautiful Petals>>,
Gu Zuo could tell at a glance that each technique was complicated. Yet, they were reportedly the simplest of their kind — He couldn't help but doubt himself: Can these really be learned in such a short timeframe?
As for the other three item books, they weren't bad. Basically, they were codexes of prescriptions and medicinal recipes for pills, decoctions, and cuisines. Once he mastered those hand seals, he could use them for training purposes.
But what depressed him was that he needed to use these three hand seals to refine medicine. The <<Divine Medicine Cultivation Method>> required that he mastered these techniques to even grasp the introductory chapter. Otherwise, if his constitution was lacking, even if he put forth his full effort, his attempts at refining medicine would amount to nothing.
There was no other way. In the end, it still fell to this cultivation method.
Gu Zuo spoke: Take away these books first.
In a flash, the books vanished from Gu Zuo's hand.
Gu Zuo was a little curious: Where did you put those books?
[This system has a storage space that can hold non-living things and living things that lack sapience. This system asks that the host learns by trial and error.]
Gu Zuo stared blankly.
After bonding, he felt that this connection was pretty straightforward and nothing could be hidden from him. Unexpectedly, he didn't discover any new secrets to this arrangement... After the system's announcement, he put himself in the right frame of mind and initiated contact.
Sure enough, he slowly perceived twelve empty sections in his mind. Was this his storage space?
He tried to imagine what these sections looked like and, as expected, he could "see" them. All those ancient books were set in the first one. The sections were very large and there was still plenty of empty space left. There wouldn't be any problems with adding more books. In that case, that first section would be his personal bookshelf. If the system rewarded any more texts in the future, they would all be put in there.
Gu Zuo prepared to give it a go: System, enter standby mode.
[As the host commands.]
Then, Gu Zuo imaged taking out <<Minor Art: Winter Plum Flower Viewing>>. His mental acuity was tremendous and the hand seal manual instantly appeared in his hand. Then he thought of putting it back and, as that same perception came forth, the hand seal manual returned to the first section.
He was satisfied.
In other words, he would never have to carry anything when he left the house. Everything he would ever need could be placed in his storage space.
After Gu Zuo spent enough time getting a decent enough grasp of the system's capabilities, he didn't want to waste any more time. He wanted to promptly find a suitable place for his cultivation method and to sit down and start already!
While he hadn't comprehended the correct methodology, his mindset was already good.
It was just that, ever since Gu Zuo travelled here, it had been chaotic nonstop. It really wasn't an environment quiet enough for studying.
Suddenly, there was the sound of heavy footsteps outside. When the footsteps stopped at his door, there came a knocking: "Young Master Tianyou, your dinner is here. Come on and open up!"
That sounded like a servant, but she could have spoken a little bit more politely. While that saint Qi Tianyou didn't concern himself with such matters, Gu Zuo pulled this impression from those memories.
Since the beginning, Qi Tianyou was addressed as “Young Master Tianyou". The Qi Family branch heads would normally designate young masters by seniority as a sign that those talented individuals were part of the family... But foolish Qi Tianyou failed to grasp the meaning behind it.
Thinking about it made Gu Zuo a little mad, but he didn't have the time to be worked up
He glanced over Qi Tianyou's corpse and felt that he couldn't fix up that body to look presentable at all. And it seemed that if he didn't open the door, that servant would just barge in anyway. But what was he going to do with the fucking corpse?
Gu Zuo held his breath, and subconsciously thought about sending the body away.
In the blink of an eye, the bed was empty and a body was quietly floating in the twelfth section in his mind.
At the same time, the door was pushed open.
Gu Zuo let out a sigh.
What a close call...
He turned his head and saw a girl wearing a jade-green skirt.
Based on Qi Tianyou's memories, this girl was the personal maid of the female head of house. Her name was Cui'e. She was always polite and gentle to Tianyou and her behavior didn't seem to change even after his "accident". She continued delivering food with a smile.
But Gu Zuo could clearly see the true nature of people, and he could only quietly chuckle in his heart.
Her countenance was very charming. It was just a pity that her beautiful eyes were pulled taut with a hint of disgust. Now, her eyes only gleamed with contempt.
...Qi Tianyou really needed to get some prescription glasses.
However, Gu Zuo still maintained his cover as Qi Tianyou and smiled weakly: "Cui'e, you came."
Cui'e was filled with distain, yet entered with the poise of a cultured, young lady. She quickly set out a heavy platter of five or six dishes on the table, which let out a loud clacking sound.
Gu Zuo felt that, in this era of martial arts, his weak muscles couldn't even be compared to a that of family's serving maid.