It was quite some time before Yang Kai began his second attempt.
Due to his previous failure, the Spirit Array Yang Kai had drawn on the inside of the pill furnace had also been destroyed, so he first had to re-draw it.
Meticulously using his True Qi he once again engraved the pill furnace with his desired Spirit Array.
However, this time he did not succeed so easily. Due to a slight bit of carelessness, one of the True Qi lines Yang Kai drew when portraying the Spirit Array was distorted, causing the half-completed Spirit Array to burst.
Inside the pill furnace, a burst of chaotic energy quickly erupted and blasted out like a wild bucking horse.
Yang Kai suddenly felt a throbbing headache, quickly realize that understanding the theory behind Alchemy and actually using it were completely different matters.
Having understood this point, Yang Kai also realized just how envious Little Senior Sister’s aptitude was. With her Sacred Spirit Medicine Body, she was naturally talented in all things related to Alchemy. Any amount of herbs she touched could be perfectly refined and combined just by waving her hands.
After three consecutive failures, Yang Kai finally managed to engrave a stable Spirit Array inside the pill furnace.
Because of the nature of these Spirit Arrays, one needed to dedicate all their attention while portraying it as it had to be done in one complete motion. If there were any mistakes or deficiencies during this process, the Spirit Array would instantly collapse.
This task was quite draining on one’s True Qi and nerves.
Only a complete Spirit Array with no flaws would be of any use during Alchemy.
It was easy to say, but when one tried to do it, they would quickly come across a number of difficulties, and becoming impatient or impulse would only compound these problems. Fortunately, Yang Kai’s will was firm and demeanor resolute; he would not be discouraged by one or two failures.
To him, every failure only added to his experience.
When the Spirit Array stabilized, Yang Kai once again placed the herbs into the pill furnace in order and then began pouring his True Qi into it. The herbs were quickly refined into medicinal liquids and began blending together.
Various medicinal essences emerged and began amalgamating, each one having its own unique properties that when combined led to new effects.
This time, Yang Kai controlled his True Qi even more carefully, but he still ultimately failed.
While he was attempting to remove the impurities from the herbs and condense them into pure medicinal liquids, there was a sudden explosion inside his pill furnace and a familiar burnt smell once again permeated the room.
Sitting in the same spot, unmoving, Yang Kai quietly reflected on this latest failure for a while before returning to his senses.
Adjusting his mood and returning himself to his peak condition, he started again.
Failing over and over again would normally cause one to feel a sense of helplessness, but Yang Kai maintained his calm, repeatedly dumping the refuse materials from his pill furnace, pondering over where he went wrong, and then trying again.
He knew that every time he failed, he would make some progress.
Practice makes perfect, this saying was not just empty talk! Alchemy was not something one could learn or perfect in a single night; Yang Kai was just getting started.
The amount of destroyed materials in the room continued to pile up and the smell of burnt ash grew stronger by the hour, yet Yang Kai’s determination never wavered
Time passed slowly.
By now, eighty percent of the low-grade herbs Yang Kai had purchased for fifty Crystal Stones had been consumed, but Yang Kai still hadn’t produced a single finished pill.
He was now in an almost obsessed state, so meticulously focused on the task in front of him he ignored everything else.
Taking a deep breath, Yang Kai had long ago lost track of how many attempts he had made.
However, this time was different from the past, a kind of innate confidence welled up inside him, and his instincts were telling him that this time he would surely succeed.
He already couldn’t be more familiar with engraving the Spirit Array into his pill furnace so it only took Yang Kai ten breaths to do so.
Placing the herbs into the furnace one at a time, he once again began injecting his True Qi and refined them up. Pushing his True Qi through this raw medicinal liquid, he quickly burned away the impurities and purified the medicinal essences.
There were no mistakes made during this entire process. Yang Kai gave off the appearance of a skilled veteran and the pill gradually began taking shape.
Soon, a faint scent began leaking from the pill furnace.
Yang Kai’s spirit shook, and he became even more careful about controlling the output of his True Qi during these last crucial moments.
A short time later, when all the medicinal liquids had been purified and refined to their limits, Yang Kai suddenly took back all of his True Qi.
The Spirit Array inside the pill furnace immediately contracted like a great net, binding all of the medicinal liquids together and condensing them into a round pill.
A crisp sound emerged out of the pill furnace.
Yang Kai was exhausted and sweating all over, but that did not dampen the joy in his heart, quickly opening his furnace and removing the finished pill.
An attractive, delicate fragrance lingered at the tip of his nose as he stared at the small pill in his hands. After painstakingly refining all of those herbs, all of their medicinal essences had been condensed into this thumbnail sized pill.
Carefully inspecting his word, Yang Kai quickly discovered that the first pill he had ever successfully refined was actually just a Low Quality Common Grade Pill.
The materials he had used were all Earth Grade materials because no one sold Common Grade herbs in the Tong Xuan Realm. If one wanted those they could just pick them like wild flowers by the roadside.
Only Earth Grade materials and above had any value.
Using Earth Grade herbs to refine a Common Grade pill was a complete and total waste of materials, but Yang Kai was still extremely satisfied, because this was the first pill he had ever personally refined.
Holding this pill, Yang Kai carefully recalled everything he did and felt during the refining process.
Yang Kai thought to himself that if he could further extract the medicinal essences from the herbs, remove more of the impurities, and control the heat distribution better, the grade and quality of the pill would rise again.
After this first success, Yang Kai deeply realized the profoundness of the Alchemic Way and gained a much greater appreciation of the mysteries Alchemy hid.
In order to become a qualified Alchemist, having vast knowledge was not enough, Yang Kai also had to accumulate massive amount of practical experience through repeated trial and error.
The road leading to this first success had given Yang Kai his first taste of this experience.
After a short break, he continued working hard.
Time passed by quickly and soon, ten days had elapsed.
The fifty Crystal Stones worth of herbs Yang Kai had purchased had now been completely consumed.
Just as he was about to exit, Yang Kai heard some light footstep outside his room. From the sound of these footfalls, Yang Kai immediately identified his visitor.
Smiling lightly, Yang Kai waved his hand to dispel the barrier surrounding his room and opened the door.
In the hallway outside stood Shui Ling, a slightly complex look upon her face.
After sniffing the smell wafting from Yang Kai’s room, she quickly waved her hand in front of her nose and frowned, “What is that?”
In response, Yang Kai could only scratch the back of his head awkwardly.
Not far away, Yun Xuan and the big bearded man also appeared and walked over.
Seemingly knowing that Yang Kai had been practicing Alchemy these past few days, the bearded man rushed forward towards Yang Kai and grinned, “Brother Yang, how’d it go? Did you manage to refine any good pills? Quickly show us.”
“Ji Hong!” Yun Xuan gave him a harsh glare.
Yang Kai had admitted to her that he had never performed Alchemy before and had only bought those herbs in order to casually experiment. Without anyone to guide or teach him, it would be strange if he had managed to refine anything.
If Alchemy was really so easy to learn, the title ‘Alchemist’ wouldn’t be so honorable.
From the smell that drifted from his room, and the big pile of burnt waste piled up inside, Yun Xuan already knew just what kind of setbacks Yang Kai must have suffered.
“Haha, I was just asking,” The bearded man laughed casually, apparently not having any malicious intent.
Yun Xuan shot Yang Kai an apologetic glance and hesitated for a moment before saying, “If you really want to study Alchemy, I can get you an apprenticeship with one of the Union’s masters. If you have someone teaching you, your chances of becoming a qualified Alchemist will be much better than if you just experiment on your own.”
“Thanks, but there’s no need, I really just wanted to give it a try,” Yang Kai smiled and shook his head.
Yun Xuan gently nodded, not pressing the issue any further, simply thinking that Yang Kai was a bit odd. Obviously he was interested in studying Alchemy, but he was not willing to be taught, preferring to seclude himself in his room and fumble through things on his own.
Yun Xuan sighed secretly. If he continued on like this, he would likely never successfully refine a single pill for the rest of his life; however, this was his own private matters so it wouldn’t be appropriate for her to continue inserting herself.
“Yang Kai, the people from the Temple are here to pick me up,” Shui Ling said.
“Oh? Congratulations,” Yang Kai smiled warmly.
“En, I wanted to tell you in person before heading out,” Shui Ling continued.
A group from Water Spirit Temple had arrived in Bold Independent City a couple days ago, but since Yang Kai was in secluded retreat practicing Alchemy, Shui Ling felt it was inappropriate to leave without saying goodbye.
After all, it was Yang Kai who had brought her back.
Now that the time of their parting was at hand, Shui Ling didn’t feel too sad and instead was quite relaxed, chatting happily with Yang Kai and the others as they walked outside.
Outside Yun Xuan’s team’s house there was a luxurious carriage drawn by several Monster Beasts waiting. Beneath the feet of these beasts one could see a small swirling stream of wind.
Seeing this, Yang Kai couldn’t help showing some admiration.
“Young Lady!” Outside the carriage, a Transcendent Realm master stood waiting, calling out respectfully upon seeing Shui Ling come out, his expression remaining solemn.
Shui Ling nodded lightly to this master before turning to look at Yang Kai once more, “No matter what, I still must thank you. Here, take this Blue Water Jade Pendant, if there ever comes a day when you need help, bring this with you to Water Spirit Temple and look for me. Also, I’ll do my best to find the whereabouts of your friends. If I obtain any news about them, I’ll find a way to inform you.”
“Thank you,” Yang Kai reached out and took blue jade pendant and gave his sincere thanks.
Watching this scene, the Transcendent Realm master couldn’t help taking a quick look at Yang Kai, seemingly wondering just what it was about him that caused his Sect’s Young Lady to pay so much attention to him, even to the point where she had given him her Blue Water Jade Pendant.
Yun Xuan’s beautiful eyes also flashed as she glanced suspiciously towards Yang Kai.
Although Shui Ling had lived together with them for several days and the two of them had built up some small friendship, Yun Xuan has still not yet figured out what the true nature of the relationship between Yang Kai and Shui Ling was.
“Well then, I’m off,” Shui Ling smiled, turned, and walked over to the carriage.
From beginning to end, the Transcendent Realm master remained calm and composed, not sparing Yang Kai or any of the others a second look before taking a seat in the driver’s position and injecting his True Qi into the carriage. The Monster Beasts also responded at the same time and bursts of wind erupted from around their hooves, the entire carriage lifting off the ground in the next moment and ascending into the sky.
“Worthy of Water Spirit Temple’s Little Princess, her private carriage is really impressive,” The bearded man said, an envious light flashing across his eyes.
This elegant carriage was actually a special kind of flying artifact and its grade was definitely not low. Refining such an artifact was neither cheap nor easy so only forces as powerful as Water Spirit Temple possessed them.