Chapter 1048: Reason for failure
Ning Cheng didn’t dare continue refining the second furnace of Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills. Before figuring out the reason, even if he refined a hundred batches, they would still fail. It was also the first for him to not find a reason for failure after a failed refining.
Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills were precious, but the pill recipe wasn’t worth much, as most of the sects in the Grand Essence Domain had a copy of it. As such, Ning Cheng didn’t think that the problem lay in the pill recipe.
His Alchemy skills probably had already reached the peak of the entire Grand Essence Realm. Now that he encountered problems he couldn’t solve, apart from trying the recipe several times, the only way might be to ask the legendary Sichen Qiutian. After all, he was currently the only known Dao Essence Pill Sage in the Grand Essence Realm.
Sichen Qiutian felt delighted when Ning Cheng came to look for him again. It showed that Ning Cheng still had a place for him in his heart; otherwise, he wouldn’t have come here as soon as he encountered an alchemical problem.
“Ning Cheng, what do I owe the pleasure of you coming to my place? The Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition is just a month away. Wait, don’t tell me you are here to discuss alchemy with me?” Sichen Qiutian happily led the way for Ning Cheng into his guest room.
Ning Cheng gave him a respectful greeting first and said, “Union Master, I encountered a problem while refining a batch of pills and wanted to seek your advice.”
“Oh, tell me about it.” Sichen Qiutian’s expression turned serious. He had seen Ning Cheng’s alchemy skills before. He couldn’t refine the Six Yin Soul Pills, but not only could Ning Cheng refine it; he even produced superior-grade pills in that batch. Thus, whatever problem Ning Cheng faced, it must be a serious one.
After sitting down, Ning Cheng said, “I promised Dao Friend Cen Ruxuan from Profound Aquatic Palace to refine her five batches of Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills. However, after I tried refining the first batch, it resulted in complete failure. But that’s not vexing me; the thing is, I can’t figure out where I failed.”
After listening to Ning Cheng, Sichen Qiutian remained silent for a long time before letting out a long sigh. “Ning Cheng, everyone knows that I’m a Dao Essence Pill Sage, but everyone also knows that I never refine pill for others. Do you know why?”
Ning Cheng shook his head, “I don’t know.”
Sichen Qiutian sighed again, “I don’t refine pills for others because of the Celestial Origin Heavenly Pill.”
Seeing Ning Cheng’s perplexed expression, Sichen Qiutian continued in a whisper, “I have refined a total of 51 batches of Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills……”
“Ah….” Ning Cheng felt truly shocked this time. How could he not know the value of Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills’ primary dao fruits or the auxiliary divine herbs? The Profound Aquatic Palace spent countless years and expended an unknown amount of manpower, yet they could only come up with just enough ingredients for five batches. Of course, this was only what Cen Ruxuan said, and he couldn’t be sure if the Profound Aquatic Palace had only enough materials for five batches of Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills. Regardless, the one thing that he was certain of was that the materials for the Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills were extremely precious.
Yet, Sichen Qiutian refined 51 batches alone. The wealth of this pill sage was simply beyond imaginable. Fortunately, Ning Cheng knew Sichen Qiutian was a Dao Essence Pill Sage. If he was not, he couldn’t have obtained the heap of ingredients for refining so many batches of Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills.
Sichen Qiutian’s tone turned even more despondent, “But. I never achieved success in any of them.”
“How’s it even possible?” Ning Cheng exclaimed in surprise. “As far as I know, the Celestial Origin Heavenly Pill’s recipe is passed down from ancient times. There shouldn’t be any mistakes. How could the Union Master refine 51 batches and not succeed in even one?”
There is also a sentence that Ning Cheng didn’t say aloud. As a Dao Essence Pill Sage, if you couldn’t successfully refine even one batch out of the 51 identical batches, then having the title of a Dao Essence Pill Sage didn’t make any sense.
“There is no problem with the recipe, as I have seen the pills a few times. It proves that someone had refined those Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills. Plus, these pills are relatively easy to obtain in the Grand Change Realm.” Sichen Qiutian said with certainty.
Without waiting for Ning Cheng to respond, he continued, “When one’s Dao of Alchemy reaches our level, failing to refine the same recipe 51 times will make anyone doubt their Dao. From then on, I dared not refine Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills anymore. But also because of this, cracks had started to form in my dao heart. The ingredients for all those batches had been collected painstakingly by the many sects, yet I couldn’t give them an answer. Luckily, they didn’t blame me or ask for the ingredients they had given to me. But regardless, I felt very guilty about it.”
“After losing confidence in my alchemy skills, I put my entire energy and efforts into the Pill Union. You might have already guessed it, but the five Celestial Origin Fruits I used as rewards during the Alchemy Discourse were leftovers from those failed batches. After all, even if the Celestial Origin Fruits couldn’t turn into Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills, they can still use them to enhance one’s perception of the Dao Essence Realm. I dare not waste such a fruit that’s almost impossible to find, so I decided to use them as a prize.”
Ning Cheng finally understood why five Celestial Origin Fruits were the reward for the last Alchemy Discourse. It turned out that it had quite a heavy story behind it. Whether martial arts, cultivation, or alchemy, losing confidence in one’s ability was terrifying to anyone. No wonder he always felt that Sichen Qiutian was somewhat depressed whenever he saw him. Suppose he failed 51 times while refining something as precious as the Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills. In that case, it might also shake his dao heart.
“Then, were you able to find the reason for failing 51 times while refining the Celestial Origin Heavenly Pill?” Ning Cheng couldn’t help but ask nervously.
He had come here because he couldn’t come up with any reason. He understood that, even as an ordinary pill sage, one could always identify a reason for the failure or at least speculate it. Even if they couldn’t figure out everything, he would eventually succeed as long as he slowly corrected his mistakes.
Sichen Qiutian’s face turned a shade paler. He just shook his head silently without saying a word.
Ning Cheng took a deep breath. Sichen Qiutian was a genuine Dao Essence Pill Sage, so how could his attainments in Alchemy be simple? Even if given a Dao Fusing Dao Pill to refine, a Dao Essence Pill Sage would still find many reasons for failure after failing 51 consecutive times. So how could Sichen Qiutian continuously fail 51 times to refine the Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills but couldn’t find a reason?
Someone had refined Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills before, and Sichen Qiutian had also seen these Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills personally and concluded that there wasn’t a problem with the recipe or the ingredients. Did it mean that only Dao Fusion Pill Sages could refine this pill? But after coming to the Grand Essence Realm, he had gone through many Alchemy books and even a few legacies. As such, he knew that the complexity of refining the Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills was far behind the Six Yin Soul Pill.
Ning Cheng’s heart sank. Although he had only tried to refine one batch of Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills, if he couldn’t find a reason for failure, he would likely end up like Sichen Qiutian and lose confidence in his skills one day.
His Dao of Alchemy had already fused and integrated with his Returning-to-one Grand Dao. Therefore, if he lost his confidence in his Dao of Alchemy, his Returning-to-one Grand Dao would also be affected. At the very least, it would no longer be as perfect as before.
After a long silence, Sichen Qiutian finally spoke, “For many years, I have been thinking about the same problem. Why did I fail to refine the Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills? At first, I did doubt the recipe, but no matter how many times I tried to derive this recipe, I couldn’t find a single mistake. I have also researched many ancient books on the Dao of Alchemy, but the pill recipes in circulation for the Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills weren’t a secret at all and were pretty much identical. Even the minute differences in the existing recipes wouldn’t change anything….”
Ning Cheng knew he couldn’t reach Sichen Qiutian’s level to deduce the Celestial Origin Heavenly Pill recipe. Not because his understanding of Alchemy was inferior to Sichen Qiutian’s but because his cultivation had not reached the Dao Essence Realm. After all, his cultivation must also be at the Dao Essence Realm to deduce a recipe for a pill that helps one advance to the Dao Essence Realm. At the very least, his Grand Dao’s dao rhythm should be comparable to that of a Dao Essence cultivator.
“In recent years, however, I’ve come up with a possible reason……” Sichen Qiutian whispered.
“What’s this reason?” Ning Cheng couldn’t wait to ask.
Sichen Qiutian said, “I had repeatedly looked through records to find when Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills appeared and found that the pills that did appear were those preserved before the worldly laws of the Grand Essence Realm crumbled. Since the worldly laws shattered, there have been no more Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills. Moreover, even before the worldly laws shattered, among the many sects and cultivators wanting to comprehend the Dao Essence Realm, many would choose to directly use Celestial Origin Fruits rather than Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills.”
“Union Master, are you implying that the incompleteness of laws of the Grand Essence Realm is why we can’t refine the Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills and not because of an insufficiency in our alchemy level?” Ning Cheng asked in surprise. He subconsciously felt that this statement might be the reason. Otherwise, there was no reason why he or even Sichen Qiutian couldn’t come up with a reason for failure.
Sichen Qiutian hesitated before solemnly nodding, “This is what I have speculated, but I haven’t tried or confirmed it yet.”
“But Union Master, you have been to the Grand Change Realm before; why didn’t you try to refine it there?” Ning Cheng asked eagerly.
Sichen Qiutian shook his head, “I may have the title and the reputation of a Dao Essence Pill Sage, but in fact, I can no longer refine any Dao Essence Dao Pills now.”
Ning Cheng fell silent. He understood what Sichen Qiutian meant. It was because Sichen Qiutian lost confidence in his Dao of Alchemy. What could be more pathetic for an alchemist than losing confidence in their abilities?
Ning Cheng didn’t ask Sichen Qiutian why he didn’t bring the ingredients to the Grand Change Realm to let some other Dao Essence Pill Sages refine it for him, as even he wouldn’t do that. As the Union Master and the head of the delegation representing the entire Grand Essence Realm in the Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition, asking another Dao Essence Pill there to refine pills would be more depressing than losing confidence in one’s alchemic abilities.
“Union Master, is this why the Grand Change Realm is always chosen to host the Five Grand Realms’ Alchemy Competition? Because the worldly laws there are complete?” Ning Cheng asked.
Sichen Qiutian looked at Ning Cheng and said, “I have thought about this too, and it does seem to be the reason now. I didn’t know that a Dao Essence Pill Sage like you would appear at the Alchemy Discourse; otherwise, I would have left a few furnaces of Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills’ ingredients for you to take to the Grand Change Realm to refine.”
“Don’t worry about it, Union Master. I still have a few furnaces of Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills’ ingredients on me. I will find Cen Ruxuan later. If she is willing, I will take them to the Grand Change Realm to try. If not, I believe there will be opportunities to try it in the future.” Ning Cheng comforted him. He had to find the real reason and restore Sichen Qiutian’s confidence in alchemy.
After leaving Sichen Qiutian’s residence, Ning Cheng didn’t immediately go out to search for Cen Ruxuan. Instead, he returned to Jian Sanshan’s residence. He decided to refine another furnace of Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills, not for anything else, but because he felt Sichen Qiutian’s reasoning was correct. The reason why they couldn’t refine Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills was most likely because of the incomplete worldly laws of the Grand Essence Realm.
Besides, there was another reason for him to try refining another batch. He had the Five-elements Primal Chaos Aura, a special type of Primal Chaos Aura that formed after pure Primal Chaos Aura merged with the five elemental auras of the world. Suppose the failure to refine the Celestial Origin Heavenly Pills was truly due to the incomplete laws of this realm. In that case, the Five-elements Primal Chaos Aura should be able to compensate for this deficiency. Or at least shorten the gap.