Chapter 8 - The Exploding Elixir
Chapter 8: The Exploding Elixir
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The slight sensation of pain coming from his left shoulder jolted Jiang Yi, who was deep in thought, back to his senses. He could only force himself not to think too much for the moment and focus on getting his injury healed first.
He took out a new yellow tablet from the small porcelain vase and gulped it down with some water. This was the lowest-grade healing medicine the Jiang family refined and produced themselves—the Man-tier inferior-level product Yellow Ginseng Elixir.
Systems related to martial arts research and development were advanced on Stellarsky Continent. Elixirs, weaponry, cultivation techniques, and martial arts techniques all had distinct grading levels. All of them were divided from weak to strong and classified as Man-tier, Earth-tier, or Heaven-tier, with each grade being further divided into three sub-grades of superior, medial, and inferior.
For instance, the Jiang Water Art practiced by Jiang Yi was classified as Man-tier superior grade; the highest level martial art technique “Phantom Fist” that he had learned from the Jiang family was also classified as Man-tier superior grade.
As a young master from a branch family, according to Jiang family laws, Jiang Yi could redeem three Man-tier medial-grade “Essence Soul Pills”, which could help in his refining training; as well as two Man-tier medial-grade “Black Ginseng Elixirs”, healing elixirs that could be easily and quickly taken should he injure himself during refining and training.
Unfortunately, as he had been increasingly disfavoured by the Jiang family over the past two years, not only had his monthly salary been cut again time and time again, even the elixirs had been replaced with the lowest of grades—the human-grade inferior-grade “essence force elixir” and “yellow ginseng elixir”. Worse still, the quantity had even been reduced to just one pill.
The medicinal power of this yellow ginseng elixir was very weak—it was refined from the grass ginseng grown in the medicinal plantations in the Western Hills combined with some medicinal herbs, and only had the effect of improving blood circulation. Jiang Yi had no intention to rely fully on such a low-grade elixir—after taking the pill he immediately started circulating the Jiang Water Art technique to begin the healing process.
After sitting cross-legged for two entire hours, Jiang Yi finally opened his eyes with a look of helplessness. When he was just circulating the Jiang Water Art, he had used his inner vision and discovered that three bones on his left shoulder had cracked. This was an injury which, relying on the Jiang Water Art, would take at least a full day and night of meditation to fully heal.
This is to say nothing about the efficacy of that elixir. The grade of the elixir was too low, its medical efficacy too weak and the speed of its healing effects slow—it had already been two hours, yet the medicine had only just penetrated into the blood and was just slowly making its way to the wound…
“Who can say for certain that Jiang Ruhu won’t come tomorrow? I think I should start researching that black essence force for a bit; after all, this inner injury has temporarily been suppressed. I think trying to heal it later would be better…”
Jiang Yi pondered for a while and gave up on healing his injuries. He started practicing the nameless cultivation technique instead, to extract some black essence force.
Two hours later…
He opened his eyes once again and could feel, in the corner of his dantian, the six strands of black essence force currently stored there. The more he “looked” at them, the cuter they seemed. After all, they were his babies, and if not for this black essence force, there would be much worse things happening today.
“How should I research? This afternoon, I’ve already tried it with my fists, legs, elbows, and eyes. How about I try with my ears?”
With that thought, since… the black essence force could improve one’s sight, could the same strengthening happen for one’s sense of hearing? Right, and the nose. Who knew if one’s sense of smell could be strengthened, too?
If Jiang Yi said he’d do it, he would definitely do it!
Jiang Yi circulated a strand of black essence force and combined it together with some assembled blue essence force, before slowly controlling its movement towards his head. This black essence force was lacking in quantity. If it was not combined with the blue one, he feared that on its own the black essence force was not enough to produce any effect.
“Eh… The medicinal power of this Yellow Ginseng Elixir is starting to take effect and is automatically healing the wound—it’s just too bad that the medicinal efficacy is too weak…”
When the merged essence force passed through the meridians near his left chest area, Jiang Yi subconsciously stopped and used his inner vision to observe his wounds.
He was unprepared for the unexpected change. That black essence force actually separated from the blue essence force and suddenly merged with the nearby elixir powers…
Jiang Yi felt his body tremble and he shuddered. Evidently, his healing speed had accelerated, to the point that the healing speed reached approximately five or six times the original speed. The effects were now on par with Man-tier superior-grade healing elixirs.
“How weird! To think that this black essence force could actually increase the medicinal power of an elixir…”
Jiang Yi’s heartbeat increased as he focused all his attention on observing his wound. Unfortunately, in some twenty or thirty seconds, the black essence force was completely used up and the wound-healing speed likewise slowed down. Even with blue essence force nearby, the increase in healing speed was minimal.
Jiang Yi immediately summoned a strand of black essence force, before once again sending it near the wound area, to amalgamate with the medicinal power and speed up the wound-healing process.
Feeling the broken bones speedily mending together, Jiang Yi felt much euphoria. He waited for the black essence force to be used up completely before once again continuing to summon more black essence force to speed-up the wound-healing process.
What made him dismal was that his black essence force was too little—in only a matter of seconds, the six strands of refined black essence force had been completely consumed.
He used his inner vision to check on his wound and his emotions quickly improved. In such a short amount of time, the wound-recovery speed had already overtaken the amount he had healed through meditation by four to six hours. If at that moment he had enough black essence force, he estimated that within two and half minutes he would be able to heal his wounds by seventy to eighty percent…
At the moment he did not care about anything else, and immediately sat cross-legged to meditate and circulate the nameless cultivation technique to extract more black essence force. The consumption of this black essence force was way too fast, and there was never enough to use during critical moments.
This time he prepared to store extra—by not sleeping and instead extracting for eight to ten hours until the sky turned bright. He aimed to extract as much as possible so that he could once and for all get his wounds fully recovered the next morning.
Six hours later, while the sky was still dark, Jiang Yi stopped the extraction process. He opened his eyes, revealing a look of non-comprehension and melancholy. Because… after extracting ten strands of this black essence force, no matter how much he circulated the nameless cultivation technique, his dantian no longer produced any more black essence force…
“How can this be? This doesn’t make sense!”
Jiang Yi’s face was full of shock. Originally he had thought that when he had increased his black essence force in the future, he could try to work the essence force in a full-powered attack and see if the power was enormous. If he could confirm that his power had increased greatly, he wanted to slowly change and practice this nameless cultivation technique instead, even if the speed of cultivating black essence force was much slower than that of the original blue essence force.
Now he did not need to consider this, as there were only ten strands of black essence force. This was completely not enough to even use in an independent attack, nor release any power without merging with blue essence force.
“Ten strands? What can I do with so little?”
Jiang Yi was discontent and once again sat cross-legged to meditate and operate the nameless technique. Yet one short hour later, he had no choice but to open his eyes—the black essence force in his dantian had not increased by a single strand!
“Hmm… Let’s see if I can continue extracting after consuming them.”
He muttered to himself for a short moment before collecting a strand of black essence force to facilitate the healing of the wound. Only after consuming that strand of black essence force did he hastily sit cross-legged to work on the nameless cultivation technique again.
The result was that his dantian once again started producing black essence force; yet once the ten strands of this essence force had been collated, the numbers did not increase again…
“What kind of stupid cultivation technique is this? Are the heavens trying to mess with me?”
Jiang Yi was so melancholic that he wanted to vomit blood. When he opened his eyes and used his vision to sweep the room, he realized that the sky outside was already bright and rustling sounds of Xiaonu waking up were coming from the nearby room.
“Forget it, I’ll think of a plan next time. It’s not early anymore. Let me heal my wounds first. I have to go to Field Number Five to take stock later. Hopefully I won’t be blocked by Jiang Ruhu and gang…”
Jiang Yi remembered the briefing by Chief Rong the day before and did not dare to delay any further. If he did not fix his injuries, even with the black essence force, his fighting abilities would still be greatly reduced.
It was just that when he had collated a strand of black essence force and moved it near the wound area and prepared to merge with the medicinal power, he discovered that, when more than six hours had passed, the medical efficacy had been completely consumed. This Yellow Ginseng Elixir had proven itself to be the lowest-grade elixir with a pitifully weak medical efficacy…
“No, wait! Since blue essence force can help heal wounds and my black essence force is so obscenely powerful, surely it can speed up and facilitate my healing process? Why would I ever need to merge it with the elixir medical power?”
Jiang Yi suddenly thought of something and his heart skipped a beat. It was two separate matters altogether between the black essence force increasing the strength of the medical effects and being able to directly speed up the healing process. If it were the latter, how obscene powerful would that be! In the future, he would no longer have to heal his wounds with the help of healing elixirs…
What left him perplexed was that, when he circulated the combined essence force near his wounds to facilitate healing, he found out that the healing speed was exactly the same as that of the original blue essence force. The speed would not increase no matter what.
This black essence force could only increase the medical healing power of elixirs, and not heal wounds on its own.
Jiang Yi was inwardly anxious. It was no longer early—should he delay taking stock in the herb fields, he might get scolded by Chief Rong again. The problem was that, with his unhealed wounds, he did not dare to go to the fields at all, for he was scared of being harassed by Jiang Ruhu and his gang.
“Right, off to the Elixir Room to retrieve an elixir!”
He remembered that the elixir for that month had not been received. He hurriedly got out of bed and absent-mindedly tidied up his robes before heading outside. As he walked, he moved his left shoulder, noticing that, while the conditions of his wound were not as serious as the day before, it was still stinging with pain.
“Young Master, where are you going?”
Upon hearing Jiang Yi’s footsteps, a small head emerged from the next room. With yellowing fluffy loose hair and a pair of puffy big eyes that still had some tear stains hidden underneath, the face showed a look of unease as she saw Jiang Yi heading out early in the morning.
“Xiaonu, I’m just heading out quickly and will be back in a jiffy.”
Jiang Yi casually briefed her with two instructions, asking her to stay at home and not go out; additionally, should someone come to the door, she had to hide in the backyard. He hastily walked in the direction of the Eastern Court to immediately retrieve an elixir and heal his injuries.
At a fast speed he left the Western Court, Jiang Yi walked in the direction of the South Court, where the Elixir Room was located. As it was already daybreak, the Jiang Residence was getting lively and bustling, but no one concerned themselves with the down-and-out disfavored collateral descendant Jiang Yi.
After five minutes, Jiang Yi arrived at the Elixir Room. He flinched at the door, cowering as he looked into the room, wondering if the elder of the Elixir Room was there. This man in charge of producing elixirs for the Jiang family, Elder Liu, had a bizarre temperament.
In the end what left him truly speechless was an old man in the inner part of the room, wearing a long brown robe with disheveled hair like a madman, standing around a cauldron and staring into it with his eyes wide open. As for the Jiang family collateral descendant who was normally in the Elixir Room helping, Jiang Song, he was not in the Elixir Room.
Elder Liu was famous in the Jiang family for his weird temper, thus Jiang Yi and other Jiang family descendants preferred to avoid him and instead find Jiang Song when they came to collect elixirs, to avoid insulting or angering this weird old man that had an influential position in the family.
“What should I do? Come back later?” Jiang Yi muttered to himself, lowering his head.
However, at that moment, Elder Liu suddenly shouted from inside the room, “Jiang Song, what are you doing suspiciously standing outside? Faster! Get in here and temper the flames! Useless boy, all you know how to do is to laze around all day.”
Jiang Yi awkwardly scratched his nose, walked out from where he was hiding, and cupped his hands as he greeted, “Greetings, Elder Liu. I… am not Jiang Song. I, Jiang Yi, am here to retrieve elixirs.”
“Retrieve elixirs my ass!”
Elder Liu’s face turned dark, blew his beard and stared at Jiang Yi as he replied, “You useless sons, all of you never ever attend to your daily duties, yet during medicine collection time you guys become so efficiently quick! Elixirs? None!”
Jiang Yi’s face showed his awkwardness—standing his ground on the original spot where he was at, neither entering nor leaving.
“What are you still standing here for? Get out! Don’t disturb me from refining elixirs… This Jiang Song evidently wants to die—why is he taking so long in the toilet? I even have to temper the flames myself…”
Elder Liu stared at Jiang Yi as the single hand he placed on the cauldron walls started glowing with red essence force. However, he shifted his pupils and turned his head towards Jiang Yi as he waved his hand, ordering, “You, get over here! Help me temper the flames of this cauldron of elixirs; I am going to check the elixir formula.”
Jiang Yi was just ready to leave in shame, but upon hearing the elder’s orders he was immediately stumped for words. He hurriedly gestured his hands and shook his head in the negative, replying, “No way, Elder Liu, I don’t know how to refine elixirs. I can’t do it…”
Angered, Elder Liu scowled fiercely and reprimanded, “Damn it, this is not difficult at all—this cauldron is almost done anyway! All you need to do is to apply essence force towards this spot; it’ll be done once the elixir solidifies and takes shape! Hurry up and get yourself over here! If you screw this up, don’t ever think of collecting even a single elixir pill from here ever again! Hmph!”
Finishing his scolding, Elder Liu walked with big steps in the direction of a side room. Jiang Yi hesitated for a moment, knowing that he had to grit his teeth and do this task, before sticking both his hands on the cauldron walls and applying blue essence force.
What befuddled Jiang Yi was that the essence force, which he had just been applied to the cauldron, was being absorbed speedily and automatically by the cauldron like a sponge—with the absorption at a shocking speed, so fast that the essence force in the meridians in his hands was completely absorbed in an instant.
Jiang Yi did not know how to refine elixirs and was naturally scared of ruining the task at hand. As such, he hurriedly and chaotically worked his essence force, using all his might to apply them on the elixir cauldron. In the haste, he accidentally… released two strands of black essence force, merging them with the blue essence force and applying them straight into the cauldron.
At the moment when the black essence force was injected into the cauldron, the entire cauldron released a muffled explosion sound as it shook violently, almost overturning and falling to the ground.
“The elixir exploded?”
From the side room immediately came a furious roar: “Damn it! This cauldron contained Man-tier superior-grade Spirit Pills! I’m going to kill you, Jiang Yi!”