Chapter 384 – One Year Later
One year later.
As martial artists cultivated, time passed quickly when the process was smooth and steady. However, due to varying identities, talents, and fortunes, there were usually many different circumstances that took place.
Since the moment Gongyi Tianheng entered Ten Ultimates Sect, he apprenticed himself under the Blood Transformation Palace Master, and became the palace master’s ninth personal disciple. In the beginning, he acted together with several prodigies to slay an origin-level flood dragon. Later on, he travelled with another prodigy to a secret cave abode, and explored a mysterious leyline with a young Celestial Realm powerhouse.
His subsidiary forces rapidly developed. In a short period of time, stores were opened throughout all bronze-ranked cities within the borders of Ten Ultimates Sect. As for his subordinates, a new atmosphere was unveiled with strict obedience, unwavering loyalty, and passionate devotion.
Apart from this, although he often painstakingly cultivated within the sect, he also went out several times. With the strength of one man, he beheaded a rank one origin tiger. He travelled to the outskirts of Ten Ultimates Sect and, at the request of that place’s city lord, slaughtered a small clan of evildoers. He had gone to many more locations with fortuitous encounters, and reaped bountiful harvests one after another… In any case, he quickly rose to fame, and the members of many other sects came to know the might of Ten Ultimates Sect’s all-star prodigy!
On the other hand, there was someone who still wasn’t that famous — Tianheng’s personal pharmacist, Gu Zuo. However, this lack of reputation just meant that there wasn’t any publicity. In the privacy of some familiar organizations, some well-informed people were vaguely aware of some things.
To give a few examples, flawless pills with exceptionally good qualities would suddenly appear in Medicine Heart Pavilion at certain intervals. Tianheng’s subordinate forces would very rarely go out to other places to obtain special pills. Several experts who once roamed among the lower ranking martial artists for many years would become Tianheng’s subordinates, and sometimes, they would bring along new faces when out adventuring… All of these points would make people guess certain things.
Merely, when all was said and done, no one wanted to offend Tianheng within the territory of Ten Ultimates Sect. As a result, this vague awareness remained unconfirmed. At most, when there was an urgent need for any medicinal pills, the people who entrusted Medicine Heart Pavilion to bring back information could usually obtain good results.
Thus, there were some pieces of information that everyone was even more reluctant to make known — Otherwise, wouldn’t the chances of it being their own turn someday be greatly reduced?
It was also due to this specific reason among many other matters that even more people kept an eye on Tianheng.
This seedling’s luck was like an unending rainbow. In the future, if his luck wasn’t seized by a similar prodigy and he didn’t perish halfway, the veteran Ten Ultimates Sect might really have the opportunity to become a gold-ranked organization!
Naturally, this was also only an “optimistic perspective”.
No one knew how the future would unfold.
Close to the summit, inside a cavern.
A tall figure was sitting cross-legged in the middle of a blood pond. The bloody qi that hung in the air caused that figure’s skin, which was originally as white as jade, to become a canvas of crimson.
However, even though it was like this, his facial features lacked the slightest blemish. On the contrary, it made him look like a blood-jade sculpture. This sight beheld a unique aesthetic.
A long time after, he suddenly exhaled a mouthful of bloody qi. The liquid inside the blood pond began to churn as it was absorbed by him in a steady flow. Before the end of an hour, the entire blood pond had already dried up!
Immediately following which, the blood-red luster that covered this person retreated into his body like a tide. Once again, he shone with a glittering and glossy light. When his pair of eyes opened, it was as if twin moons had rose up from the ocean. The resplendent brilliance reached the peak of beauty.
This was the prodigy praised by the outside world — Gongyi Tianheng!
At this moment, he was completely naked. He stood up, reached out a hand to grab a changpao, and draped it over his body.
Although many disciples in the Blood Transformation Palace Hall liked to emulate the palace master by wearing blood-red clothes with strange qi emissions and bloody qi lingering around their faces, Tianheng’s aura was still clear and bright. His temperament was natural, graceful, and poised like that of an aristocratic family’s noble young master.
In the past year, he had gone through many experiences, and he went to the Path Comprehending Pavilion quite often. From within its vaults, he would choose the Endless Blood of the Divine Body’s derivative martial skills for practice. He also browsed through countless martial disciplines. After gaining a clear understanding of them, he turned these insights into accumulations. Amid such harsh studies, he mastered the Heart Sutra of Divine Blood. Many of its essentials were integrated into his own Blood Palm, which caused this attack to become even more agile and flexible. Whenever this strike was launched, it could outplay or suppress its opponents. Less energy was used up, but even more strength was brought out.
The bloody light of the Blood Palm could also be transformed into claw marks. Every time he took action, it could practically tear the sky and split the earth, blanketing every possible space with claw shadows. For anyone captured by the Blood Palm, they would either be ripped apart or barely escape. However, those claw marks would remain on their bodies. From beginning to end, their wounds would never completely heal, and would bleed out until they died.
Furthermore, his Blood Clouds governed the sky, his Blood Spear could kill in a single strike, and so on and so forth. His techniques were too numerous to mention one by one.
In addition, there were lots of other martial skills that Tianheng didn’t deliberately go to study, but having browsed through so many, he naturally came to know them as well. The times that he could casually use these martial skills were not few. It was incredible.
However, this was also because Tianheng had learned so much and his power of comprehension was quite powerful. After several attainments, that original blood pond had already weakened quite a lot. Later on, it was soon used up completely, which inhibited Tianheng’s studies. Consequently, Tianheng came up with all sorts of means to exchange for resources within the sect. Yet, the Blood Transformation Palace Master often paid attention to the situation of this little apprentice. Seeing that he was troubled by the grade of this blood pond’s resources, the palace master waved his hand in a show of wealth, and bestowed a blood pond of an even higher grade.
As expected, Tianheng went to pay his respects and gratitude.
The Blood Transformation Palace Master had been in a very good mood &#k2014; In fact, because he received so many good things from his apprentice, and couldn’t give any corresponding gifts in return, he felt twinges of guilt. He only felt satisfied when he noticed that his apprentice had some needs and promptly sent presents to fulfill them.
Tianheng saw through his master’s considerations, and his heart warmed slightly.
Between this master and disciple pair, there was naturally an even stronger bond of a compassionate teacher and filial apprentice. The feelings of familial affection grew.
Over time, this blood pond allowed Tianheng to smoothly break through to the high Immortal Realm. Today, he had another breakthrough, and became a peak Immortal Realm martial artist. He wouldn’t be able to use it any longer.
All of the liquid in the blood pond had been absorbed by the insatiable blood-red qi ocean. Although Tianheng certainly succeeded in this breakthrough, he still needed to take some flawless pills to stabilize his own realm.
Hence, Tianheng left the cavern. After he adjusted his robes, he turned his steps toward the mountain summit.
He had been in secluded cultivation for a month. Who knew how his Ah Zuo was doing right now?
At the peak.
Gu Zuo sat cross-legged inside the medicine refining room. To the side was a furnace of medicinal pills that he had just finished refining. Before he could use the Pill Receiving Seal to draw the pills out, he already had no choice but to perform some deep breathing exercises to calm his fluctuating qi emissions.
It was rather coincidental.
Originally, he had been occupied with research and medicine refinement for the past year. His own spiritual path realm and internal qi realm didn’t undergo any further breakthroughs, but due to his fruitful research, some of the shackles in his mind had faded away. Moreover, just now, he had successfully refined a furnace of pills. Unexpectedly, under such joy, both realms had breakthroughs!
Within Gu Zuo’s Tianfu Acupoint, it seemed as if that psychic core, which originally had been slowly expanding, suddenly had a heartbeat. It was now producing rhythmic, thumping sounds. In addition, a type of mental connection that linked with him had come into being. After that, his qi ocean surged and churned, sinking down below. In a split second, its depths abruptly doubled!
Just like this, his Core Psyche Realm had transformed to the Nurturing Psyche Realm, and his mid Immortal Realm had advanced to the high Immortal Realm.
Both sides had simultaneous breakthroughs, and both of these breakthroughs were successful!
Elation flowed through Gu Zuo’s heart.
It went without saying that, because his family’s big brother had been in secluded cultivation, he also simply went into seclusion to refine pills. Right now, there had been great progress in several aspects, which was a pleasant surprise.
Soon after, Gu Zuo arrived in front of that pill furnace, and quietly examined the medicinal pills inside.
In here, there were dual-colored medicinal pills of gray and white.
Altogether, there were two pills that were exactly alike. Both were flawless pills. The luster was emotionally moving and absolutely beautiful. However, the total number of pills that this furnace ought to have produced was actually three. Gu Zuo only just succeeded. Therefore, if he really refined three pills, he definitely would’ve had to sacrifice the pills’ product grades — As far as other pharmacists were concerned, it was difficult to achieve such meticulous control. It was a small price to guarantee the product grades of two pills. Moreover, even if the quality had fallen a bit, it would’ve still been within the top three grades, which was enough. But with regards to Gu Zuo, he had used that many precious medicinal ingredients. If they weren’t flawless pills, it wouldn’t have satisfied him. As a result, in his subconscious mind, Gu Zuo already utilized many methods, and risked the loss of one medicinal pill to refine the other two pills at the flawless product rank.
And these two pills were ones that Gu Zuo researched on his own.
The entire experimental process was recorded in Gu Zuo’s Research Reports. He carefully studied each and every step, and didn’t dare to neglect anything in the slightest. In the end, he named it the Realm Breaking Pill.
The composition of the Realm Breaking Pill was source sand, wondrous medicine, and several rare and precious medicinal ingredients. It required the use of the Violet Bedrock Flame to heat the furnace for refinement. The finished product would be a furnace of three pills. The effects… Well, it could be considered both simple and complicated.
Since no one had tested the specific effects, Gu Zuo didn’t dare make any detailed statements, but he could guarantee that this medicinal pill was harmless to the human body. Its biggest use was to improve the quality of internal qi within a martial artist’s qi ocean. The scope of application were martial artists at the Celestial Realm and above. It belonged to the category of profound-level medicinal pills.
As for how it improved the quality of internal qi?
This pill was created by extracting the source energy from within the source sand. A neutralization and dissolution reaction was conducted with other medicinal ingredients, which caused the internal qi of Celestial, Noble, and Royal Realm martial artists to carry a trace of the source energy’s nature. While this could strengthen their attacks, when they were at the peak of the Royal Realm, this pill allowed them to react with the source energy and break through with greater ease. Furthermore, because they would’ve experienced the nature of some source energy beforehand, after breaking through to the Cosmic Realm, the adaptation time to any source energy would shorten and they would be able to display the strength of the Cosmic Realm even faster!
If it was only this, Gu Zuo wouldn’t have named it the Realm Breaking Pill. If he said that it could break realms, then it naturally had the ability to do so.
Perhaps, it was also the effect of some source energy inside. If a peak Ascendant Realm martial artist failed to break through to the Celestial Realm, then so long as they took this type of pill, they could increase their chances to smoothly break through. In addition, after breaking through, due to the effects of the source energy, they would possess internal qi that carried the nature of source energy from the start! Merely, this kind of breakthrough also had certain dangers… According to Gu Zuo’s reckoning, if the pill was taken and the martial artist still failed, the source energy would clash inside the qi ocean. When that moment came, not to mention that the internal qi would be contaminated with the source energy’s nature, because profound qi had no way to accept source energy, the qi ocean would collapse. At that point, the martial artist would be out of luck.
Gu Zuo carefully put away these two medicinal pills.
Under normal circumstances, his big brother wouldn’t be able to swallow this type of pill. However, when all was said and done, his big brother had six qi oceans. Moreover, several qi oceans had manifestations. Perhaps, they could give it a try? At any rate, even if it couldn’t be attempted for the time being, he could just store them away. In the future, it could definitely be done.
Afterwards, Gu Zuo continued the refinement of the next furnace of pills.
It was best to strike while the iron was hot. Right now, both of his realms had twin breakthroughs, so refining would be much easier — In fact, he understood that this type of pill’s degree of difficulty wasn’t low. At the final juncture of the refinement, if it wasn’t for the fact that he had practically broken through to the Nurturing Psyche Realm, he wouldn’t have been able to succeed at all.
But now it was different. He already had complete faith in himself!
Soon after, Gu Zuo took out some source sand. First, he placed it inside a vessel on the side, and mixed in some medicinal ingredients to soften it. Then, it was the most important part! He slowly took out a jade box. Inside was an unusual plant, which looked like a Cotton Rose Hibiscus. The layers upon layers of petals made it look like a flower ball. As for the number of petals, it was probably in the dozens.
Gu Zuo gently plucked a petal.
That’s right. This was the wondrous medicine that could coordinate with the other ingredients to dissolve the source sand and integrate the medicinal properties into refined pills. It was an Evergreen Cotton Rose that had come from a stone ovum.
Following this, Gu Zuo immediately closed the jade box and put it away. Then, he delivered this Evergreen Cotton Rose petal into that vessel… In the blink of an eye, those medicinal ingredients and the source sand completely combined, transforming into an ashen-white liquid. Both colors blended into each other, and the substance was as viscous as glue.
After that, Gu Zuo swiftly brought out the wondrous fire. He warmed the furnace, and poured the liquid inside. Then, there was a series of hand seals and medicine refinements as his psychic power was quickly unleashed…
With the experience of the first furnace of pills, his next few attempts went exceedingly smoothly. Every furnace produced three medicinal pills. It was just that he used up quite a bit of his internal qi.
After three furnaces in a row, Gu Zuo slowly exhaled. He didn’t have any intentions of continuing.
Presently, the product grades of the eleven Realm Breaking Pills were all flawless.
It was only a pity that none of the pills could form sunset clouds.
After all, a prismatic pill didn’t only signify that the pill fragrance was locked inside, it also required that the pill itself possessed enough good fortune to sustain the Pill Note Mantra Echo or was closely adjusted to certain cadences. Otherwise, even if the pharmacist’s skill and talent were sufficient, during the moment that sunset clouds were about to take shape, due to all sorts of reasons, what ultimately formed would still be a flawless pill.
As a result, although the Realm Breaking Pill was good, due to the forceful refinement of source energy, while the formed pills were exquisite, it was also impossible to produce sunset clouds.
Though, flawless pills were pretty good, too.
Gu Zuo considered things. He already decided on the destination of these eleven flawless Realm Breaking Pills.
But right now, he needed to leave the medicine refining room and take care of himself before anything else.
After leaving the medicine refining room, Gu Zuo went to wash up. After that, he leisurely walked out of the room.
He was feeling relaxed and alert. While lifting his head, he just so happened to see his big brother climbing up the mountain with loose robes and wide sleeves.
His entire person appeared to float through the air as if he was flying. This temperament could really cause a person to…
At once, Gu Zuo revealed a smiling expression: “Big brother!”
Gongyi Tianheng smiled in return: “I had been in secluded cultivation for many days without seeing Ah Zuo. How are you?”
Gu Zuo’s mood was exceptionally good: “I’m doing fine. It seems big brother also had a breakthrough?”
Tianheng raised an eyebrow: “Also?” Soon after, he carefully looked at Gu Zuo. He laughed and said, “Ah Zuo’s internal qi realm is already at the high rank. And it seems that your spiritual path realm has also undergone some success?”
Gu Zuo mischievously chuckled: “Ah, that’s right. My spiritual path realm has advanced to the Nurturing Psyche Realm! In the future, profound-level medicinal pills won’t pose any problems to me anymore!”
Tianheng had drawn closer long ago. At this moment, he lightly pinched Gu Zuo’s cheek, and spoke in a soft voice: “Congratulations, Ah Zuo.”
Gu Zuo replied: “And congratulations to big brother for reaching the peak Immortal Realm! It probably won’t be long before you can advance to the Atomic Realm!”
The two of them talked and laughed like this for a while. The atmosphere was happy and entirely free from worry.
Gu Zuo recalled the matter just now, and pulled Tianheng to sit down on the side. In an exaggeratedly mysterious voice, he said: “Big brother, can you guess what pills I previously refined?”
Tianheng slightly pondered. There was already a smile on his face as he stated: “Since Ah Zuo is this happy, could it be that the source sand research has produced results?”
Gu Zuo: “…”
Tianheng faintly laughed.
Wearing a defeated look, Gu Zuo said: “Couldn’t big brother just pretend that he doesn’t know…”
Tianheng’s expression became upright and straightforward: “Okay!”
With exasperating slowness, he appeared to be in the middle of guessing: “Could it be the Cloud Blossom Pill, the Vitality Purification Pill, the… Oh, this elder brother doesn’t know. Ah Zuo, please dispel my doubts.”
Gu Zuo: “Big brother’s performance isn’t the least bit believable.”
Soon after, he dejectedly said: “Whatever.” But he cheered up quickly, “It doesn’t matter that you guessed it. A successful pill refining is a happy occasion.”
While speaking, he rapidly told Tianheng about the many effects of the Realm Breaking Pills that came from his own research.
Having heard what was said, Tianheng’s gaze faintly moved. He gave heartfelt praise: “Ah Zuo’s level of mastery on the path of medicine refinement is unparalleled among his peers. Even for some old seniors… With the passage of time, perhaps they will also become the defeated generals under Ah Zuo’s command.”
Gu Zuo was a little embarrassed, but he wasn’t excessively modest either. Instead, he spoke with confidence: “I will definitely become the best!”
Tianheng’s smiling expression deepened.
At this moment, Gu Zuo said: “Right, big brother. Last year, after we retrieved the wondrous medicines, we said that we were going to give our senior brothers and sisters a batch of medicinal pills. Now that I’m refining Realm Breaking Pills, and big brother temporarily can’t utilize them, would it be better to give one pill to each senior brother and sister? I’ll give master two pills, and we’ll leave one pill for ourselves until I make more… How about that?”
Tianheng softly said: “Ah Zuo is considerate.”
Once he finished speaking, he summoned nine members of the shadow cat race.
T/N: Thanks for the corrections, Charysa.
Please don’t forget to support the original author.