Chapter 10: The Grand Scheme to Get Rich
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The Jiang Clan rules were strict, and the number of clan members who were beaten to death for breaking these laws was not small. Jiang Yi’s mind was focused on the events that happened in the Alchemy Lab that he had forgotten his issues with the command token. Despite this, at the moment he could only pretend to be calm and composed.
Turning his head, he shamefully said, “Chief Rong, I am sorry. I left it at home and forgot to bring it out…”
Beyond Jiang Yi’s expectations, Chief Rong waved his hands with magnanimity and replied, “No problem. Just remember to send it over within the next two days. Jiang Yi, leave quickly and don’t keep Elder Liu waiting. Do a good job at the alchemy lab, and remember to not make Elder Liu upset!”
Jiang Yi promptly replied in the affirmative, before hastily leaving the housekeeping chamber and walking towards the direction of the small courtyard of his own home. He was inwardly distressed in his mind, however. Should Chief Rong return to demand the return of the command token over the next two days, or should he directly head to his house to request for it, his secret would immediately be revealed…
“Forget about it! I’ll just drag dealing with the problem first! I’ll see how long I can put it off!”
By the time the miserable Jiang Yi returned to the small courtyard of his own home, Jiang Xiaonu had already finished making breakfast and was sitting on the entrance stairway, propping her chin on her hand and waiting for him to return. Her delicate face was filled with worry.
When she saw Jiang Yi enter, she hurriedly and nervously asked, “Young Master, where have you been? You’ve worried me sick! Chun Ya heard someone say that Jiang Ruhu had led people to the Western Hills since dawn to intercept you! Don’t you think of heading up to the Western Hills…”
“Oh? True enough…”
Jiang Yi’s heart sunk. If only my power level was at the second stage of the Cast Tripod Realm…
Should he combine that power with black essence force, he could definitely beat that group of people to a pulp. Unfortunately for all the magical powers of this black essence force, it just could not be used to accelerate his essence force refinement…
Magical powers… right! I shall quickly finish my food and continue testing it! Yesterday, I managed to discover its ability to improve healing. Perhaps this black essence force has other abilities too!
Jiang Yi silently felt exhilarated. He consoled Xiaonu with several words and informed her that he did not need to go up the Western Hills any longer as he was presently working at the alchemy lab.
So long as he did not leave the central courtyard over the next few days, Jiang Ruhu and his cronies would have no way to intercept and catch him. The Jiang Clan condoned their sons to “learn from one another,” but now that he was working for the alchemy lab, surely Jiang Ruhu would more or less have some misgivings and not dare to give him trouble in the courtyard…
After gobbling down his breakfast, Jiang Yi checked on Xiaonu’s wounds. On finding that her wounds had healed well after applying medicine, he decided to no longer feel too much concern. Returning to his own room, he retrieved the Yellow Ginseng Elixir he had taken from the alchemy lab and swallowed it. He decided to wait for the medicinal power of the elixir to take effect before circulating black essence force to facilitate the healing process.
He did not leave his room for the entire day. While he was at home, he tended to his injuries and studied the black essence force. The result, however, left him somewhat depressed. Two new abilities of the black essence force were revealed: his hearing and sense of smell could both be made sharper.
Despite this, after researching for a single day, no matter what ideas he could come up with, the upper limit of the black essence force he could refine was only ten strands!
Both his hearing and sense of smell had gotten stronger, but these two senses were not of much use; on top of that, when the black essence force was circulated to his ear, the side of his ear immediately became uncomfortably noisy, as a loud booming noise left him abnormally unwell.
Additionally, once his sense of smell became stronger, he was able to smell even the foul stench coming from the lavatory nearby, leaving him feeling nauseous. As such, he wasn’t exactly overjoyed with these two new abilities.
Besides those, he failed to discover any other abilities of the black essence force. Upon some analysis, he concluded that this black essence force probably had a very unique capability: that of the power of augmentation. It was capable of intensifying the power of blue essence force, capable of intensifying the sharpness of the five senses, and capable of increasing the efficacy of elixirs.
“Why can’t it increase my cultivation speed? My growth is still as slow as a snail. Additionally, I can only refine ten strands of black essence force, which is simply too little. No matter how obscene the power of this black essence force, I can only deal with an opponent at the second or third stage of the Cast Tripod Realm. I’m clearly still useless…”
After studying till midnight, Jiang Yi’s injuries had entirely healed. Confirming that he could no longer discover any other abilities, he went to sleep with deep disappointment. He finally could not take it anymore, after having not slept at all last night.
The next day, Jiang Yi was already up before daybreak. He meditated for two hours practicing the Jiang Water Art. After breakfast, he instructed Jiang Xiaonu to hide at Chun Ya’s house for the next few days if she was not busy, in case Jiang Ruhu came looking for trouble. He then made his way to the Alchemy Lab.
He planned to use his black essence force to secretly produce some superior-grade elixirs at the alchemy lab and sell them to make money. With this money, he could pay off his debts to the Fengyue Brothel.
Jiang Yi’s mood immediately improved significantly when he realized this. So long as he could quickly earn money, he could even head out to purchase all sorts of superior-grade elixirs to facilitate his training, which would in turn help him elevate him to the second stage of the Cast Tripod Realm. That way, he would no longer have to fear Jiang Ruhu and his cronies!
The interior of the alchemy lab was extremely silent.
Is Elder Liu actually not around? Jiang Yi was happy on the inside and immediately thought of how he could secretly start refining elixirs.
Besides, should Elder Liu return, he could just say that he was trying to learn to refine elixirs. With him being so keen on learning, surely Elder Liu would not fault him!
Riches came from danger, after all!
There was no way to know what day Chief Rong would suddenly come to demand the command token. Jiang Yi was tight on time. He decided not to worry so much. Instead, he started pondering on how to refine elixirs.
After wandering around the room once, he suddenly thought of something.
He slapped his forehead and exclaimed, “What I am thinking? Refining elixirs? I don’t even know how to refine elixirs…”
The tools for refining elixirs were readily available. The central hall of the alchemist lab contained several elixir-producing cauldrons of various sizes. Likewise, the ingredients to refine elixirs were readily available, with one room filled with big bunches of medicinal ingredients. However, Jiang Yi knew next to nothing about refining elixirs.
Should I treat it like brewing vegetables in cooking, and simply throw all the ingredients into the cauldron and be done with it?
Looks like I should carefully observe how Elder Liu refines elixirs for the next couple of days. I must first learn the art of refining elixirs before I can think of doing anything else…
After silently making up his mind on the matter, with nothing better to do he picked up a broom and started sweeping the floor. Just as he completed cleaning up the entire alchemy lab from inside and out, he saw a giant figure rush in with quick steps. The figure had a head of grey-white hair that was messy like weeds and a pair of bulging, bloodshot eyes.
“This doesn’t make sense,” the figure muttered. “It doesn’t make sense at all! What is the mysterious unknown ingredient that is in this earth-level elixir? What on earth could it be? Perhaps it is angelica dahurica powder? Or could it be tumeric…”
“Ah?” Jiang Yi was sweeping the floor with his head lowered. When he suddenly raised his head to take a look, he got a shock from the appearance of this person. Getting a good look, he hastily cupped his heads, bowed, and greeted, “Greetings, Elder Liu.”
“Huh? It’s you! ”
Elder Liu was similarly surprised by Jiang Yi. He glanced around the room before slightly nodding and saying, “Not bad, you’re much more hardworking than that useless good-for-nothing Jiang Song. Right… What did you say your name was?”
“Elder Liu, I am Jiang Yi.”
“Oh, Jiang Yi! ” Elder Liu nodded his head and waved his hand and instructed, “You go prepare these immediately: one hundred grams of china root, one hundred and fifty grams of alum, seventy-five grams of plantago seed, two hundred grams of … I want to start refining elixirs immediately! I must successfully refine some earth-grade elixirs today!”
After instructing Jiang Yi, Elder Liu immediately went into the side room. Yet Jiang Yi stood dumbstruck. How could he possibly know what china root was? And what on earth was alum? However, he did not dare to ask further. He had no choice but to walk into the room where the ingredients were stored.
Looking at the room full of medicinal herbs, Jiang Yi helplessly retreated. He walked into the side room, wishing to ask Elder Liu how one could differentiate between the various medicinal herbs. However, he saw Elder Liu deeply engrossed in configuring the medicinal ingredients, to the point that he did not even notice Jiang Yi despite having entered and stood there for quite a long time…
“Eh? Are there any manuals over here?”
He swept a glance across the side room and saw many booklets on the bookshelf next to the left-side wall. He quickly walked over to check them out. He quickly found a book containing summaries and brief introductions to various medicinal herbs, as well as some simple-to-understand pictures inside. Delighted, he immediately carried the book over to the ingredient storage room, prepared to cross-reference with the book and retrieve the medicinal ingredients required by Elder Liu.
“This boy is promising and worthy of being taught. This son of the Jiang Clan is definitely much smarter than Jiang Song…”
Elder Liu had ignored Jiang Yi earlier, but once Jiang Yi had left, he turned his head and silently nodded, before continuing to configure his elixir formula.
“Yes, this is china root, one hundred grams…”
At the other corner of the building, Jiang Yi referenced the book and carefully identified the various medicinal herbs. It took an entire hour before he managed to find all nine medicinal herbs that Elder Liu requested. He used a small scale to accurately measure the right amount of each ingredient.
“Eh… this should be correct, right?”
After preparing all the medicinal herbs, Jiang Yi wiped off the sweat on his forehead, stood up and walked outside. However, he saw an old man with disheveled hair standing behind him and staring at him. The horrible feeling he got was akin to discovering a scary ghost on one’s side while one was in deep slumber…
When you want to be frightening, you might frighten somebody to death!
Jiang Yi shuddered. Without waiting for him to speak, Elder Liu, whom Jiang Yi had no idea when he entered the room, spoke with a stern face, “How long do you want to take to retrieve a few herbs? Hurry up and bring them over here! Hmph… useless good-for-nothing!”
Jiang Yi’s face changed to show his bitterness. However, on second thoughts, he realized that since Elder Liu had been observing behind his back, it was clear that going to pick up the medicine himself was the right move.
“Idiot, quickly get me some coal and start the fire!”
“Stupid, you’ve added too much coal…”
“Quick, add some essence force! Melt them down…”
“Idiot! It’s because of you that this cauldron of elixirs is ruined! Quickly retrieve the same ingredients as before and continue refining…”
“Good-for-nothing, be quicker and more efficient!”
“Another cauldron is ruined! Stupid swine, it’s all because of you again…”
For an entire morning, Jiang Yi had been hustling and bustling under Elder Liu’s orders and was scolded the entire time in the process. It was clear that Elder Liu had not slept an entire night, but when it came to refining elixirs it was as if he had been possessed by the devil. Jiang Yi saw that it was already noon and his stomach was rumbling loudly with hunger, yet Elder Liu did not seem to have any intention to stop.
On top of that, having melting down the ingredients multiple times, one-tenth of the essence force in his body had been consumed. However, he did not dare to use his black essence force, lest Elder Liu got a clue of his secret…
After observing for an entire morning, Jiang Yi could understand more or less the steps involved in refining elixirs. The refinement of elixirs had three steps: smelting, forming, and melting down. What made him despair was that the first step of melting down the ingredients and the third step of reheating the elixirs were easy to do, but he could not understand the second step of forming the elixirs at all.
Every time they reached the second step, Elder Liu took up the mantle himself to form the elixirs, by using powerful fiery-red essence force to melt down and process the medicinal juices in the cauldron into elixirs. Seeing Elder Liu, with his immensely strong power, produce buckets of sweat on his head as he refined a cauldron of elixirs, Jiang Yi realized he should temporarily forget about doing the same with what little power he had…
If he could not even refine any elixirs, how could he inject any black essence force into the elixirs?
Seeing the grand scheme to get rich go down the drain, while at the same time feeling so ravenous that he could eat a horse, the frustration in his heart reached close to breaking point.
“It’s the wrong color. I’ve made yet another useless pot. I’m not refining any longer… Where on earth does the problem lie at? Could it be that medicinal compounds were added incorrectly? What did I accidentally add in yesterday that allowed me to refine that Earth-tier elixir?”
The last cauldron of elixirs was freshly done. Elder Liu retrieved a pill and took a look, his face instantly revealing a look of disappointment and fatigue. He swore several times as he walked with big steps towards the door of the alchemy lab.
He only remembered Jiang Yi when he reached the main door. Turning around and taking a glance at Jiang Yi, he instructed, “Jiang… what? You go throw away all those useless elixirs. After that, go back and have a meal first. Take the afternoon to carefully read through that compendium of medicinal herbs several times, so you don’t take so long to find the medicinal herbs next time… Additionally, if anyone comes to retrieve elixirs, do not give it to them… My god, where on earth did it go wrong?”
“The problem… lies in my black essence force! Hmph, if I don’t inject some black essence force when I’m conducting the reheating process, you can forget about ever producing more earth-tier elixirs again for the rest of your life!” Jiang Yi mumbled to himself.
He listlessly started to collect all the discarded useless elixirs refined moments before, ready to take them out and throw them away.
Looking at the few white and yellow pills, Jiang Yi’s eyes suddenly lit up. At the moment, it was true that he could not develop any elixirs by himself, but did he not have any ready-made elixirs in front of his eyes? Although they were deemed useless, if he reheated and injected some black essence force, surely he could turn these useless elixirs into good, useful elixirs…