According to Qi Tianyou's memories, on Tianwu continent pharmacists are separated into two categories: certified and uncertified . Those who can refine dan pills are certified, and those who can only create potions  and not dan pills are uncertified.
Dan pills that have pa.s.sed inspection are called Rendan, and are divided into three grades. Rendan of all grades are utilized by martial artists.
Gu Zuo nodded his head.
Great, so the market for Rendan shouldn't be small, huh?
Moving on, martial artists are also separated into two categories: those with innate talent and those with acquired talent. There exists a threshold above those with innate talent known as the Threshold of the Mortal Coil  — as the name implies, one is able to ascend beyond that of common humans. A martial artist's lifespan would double.
The average lifespan of a person here is about one-hundred fifty years. In short, by rising above this threshold, one could live for three hundred years. In this timeframe, by finding rare medicinal ingredients and receiving the help of a certified master pharmacist, one could live even longer.
Moreover, the longer a martial artist lives, the longer he would be able to sustain a family and nurture budding talents. Generation by generation, a martial artist could build a power to be reckoned with.
So to say, the three grades of Rendan not only correspond to the three grades of certified pharmacists, but also to the the martial artists among the three threshold realms.
Low grade pharmacists can refine low grade Rendan. These low grade dan pills are suited to martial artists who possess acquired talent. Mid grade pharmacists can refine mid grade Rendan; these dan pills are used by martial artists who possess innate talent. Finally high grade pharmacists produce high grade Rendan; only they have the opportunity to refine dan pills for the “Celestials” who've transcended beyond the Threshold of the Mortal Coil.
Like Gu Zuo, Qi Tianyou is also fifteen years old; yet, he was already an uncertified pharmacist who could create potions, and had begun attempts at refining pills. Although the pills he'd synthesized were just barely failures, there's no doubt that within one or two years, he'd definitely succeed and become a low grade certified pharmacist.
Although Qi Feng also had an apt.i.tude for refining medicine, compared to Qi Tianyou, the differences were like night and day. Presently, Qi Feng often failed at refining simple potions. Whereas Qi Tianyou would find success seven or eight times out of ten.
This disparity in skill is another reason why Qi Feng hated Qi Tianyou.
Just like that, another problem arose.
Qi Tianyou could reliably refine potions, but as Gu Zuo carefully observed the process of refining, he found that it was complicated and slow. It could sometimes take a whole day before a single potion could be refined. Not to mention that watching a memory and putting it into practice were two completely different things. Gu Zuo had no experience in refining medicine like this. Furthermore, when he thought about it, the system also said that the refining process generated soul force. Something like the soul force would certainly not be a trifling matter.
How was he going to get out of this mess?
Gu Zuo was somewhat affronted and couldn't help but argue with the system: So we've bonded, but how do I complete this mission? The body whose ident.i.ty I'm supposed to replace had his yao beads removed. There aren't any medicinal ingredients available. How am I supposed to refine medicine? With only a month, you're really just asking me to lie down and die!
[May the host earnestly study his cultivation method and make full use of the mission props. Qi Tianyou's technique was amateurish at best. Host ought to consult the
Gu Zuo calmed down and replied: All I need to do is study those props and the cultivation method you gave me? Qi Tianyou's memories were only to give me an understanding of this world's general knowledge?
[That's right, host.]
Gu Zuo was simply lacking strength.
Okay, okay. At any rate, he wanted to utilize Qi Tianyou's ident.i.ty…Then he asked: You said before that you could only operate for half an hour. Now that we've bonded, do you still need to enter sleep mode?
[One month. If the host can complete this task, this system will continue to function. If not, this system will self-destruct.]
Gu Zuo: “…”
So that's what it meant by obliteration.
This system was really ruthless. It was basically saying “If you can't complete a task, let's die together”…Did it have to be so f.u.c.ked up? Who would want to die together!
Forget it. I'll just study.
Indeed. He just doesn't want to die! He still has to go back and find his dad!
Gu Zuo facepalmed in resignation: System, give me the props.
Let's put off the cultivation method and all the rest to figure out later.
At that moment, four books appeared in Gu Zuo's hand. They looked ancient and the script inside was written vertically. If Gu Zuo didn't have a basic understanding of medicinal herbs, he'd start to go bald early like his dad while trying to decipher this text that didn't even have any punctuation.
Fortunately, this book was no problem…
Gu Zuo was very astute, especially when it came to reading medical books. One could say that his memory was nearly photographic. But now, with the system and its benefits, he found that his memorization was even stronger. After reading through a few books, every word in its entirely was stored in his brain, not a single one was forgotten.
He quickly pa.r.s.ed out all the useful information.
First, the concept of a pharmacist.
The thoughts and impressions of Qi Tianyou and that of the general populace of Tianwu continent were different. According to the
>, medicine refinement was divided into three parts: the dan pill, the decoction , and the medicinal cuisine. The three were complex, but all were equally important.
Medicinal cuisine were used to recuperate the body and nurse one's health. Medical decoctions were used to fight illness and cure diseases. Dan pills were used to aid in martial cultivation… And no matter which was selected, different refining techniques must be used to produce the greatest effects.
Concerning the Tianwu pharmacists, their so-called potions and inferior pills were both alchemy of the same type. Those potions are merely a part of the refining process, and were still full of impurities. With curing illness or aiding in cultivation, there is no comparison in the effectiveness between inferior products and the real deal.
Thus, these so-called pharmacists were nothing but lowly alchemists.
At this time, the
> detailed three hand arts manuals. For refining dan pills, it was
Gu Zuo could tell at a glance that each technique was complicated. Yet they were reportedly the simplest of their kind — he couldn't help but to doubt himself: Can these really be learned in such a short timeframe?
As for the other three prop books, they weren't bad. Basically, they were codices of prescriptions and medicinal recipes for dan pills, decoctions, and medicinal cuisine. Once he mastered those hand arts, he could use them for training purposes.
But what depressed him was that he needed to use these three hand arts to refine medicine. The > required that he master these techniques to even grasp the introductory chapter. Otherwise, if his const.i.tution was lacking, even if he put forth his full effort, his attempts at refining medicine would amount to nothing.
There was no other way. In the end, it still fell to this cultivating method.
Gu Zuo spoke: Take these books first.
In a flash, the books vanished from Gu Zuo's hand.
Gu Zuo was a little curious: Where did you put those books?
[This system has a storage s.p.a.ce that can hold non-living things and living things that lack sapience. We ask that this host learn by trial and error.]
Gu Zuo stared blankly.
After bonding, he felt that this connection was pretty straightforward and nothing could be hidden from him. Unexpectedly, he didn't discover any new secrets to this arrangement… After the system's announcement, he put himself in the right frame of mind and initiated contact.
Sure enough, he slowly perceived twelve empty regions in his mind. Was this his storage s.p.a.ce?
He tried to imagine what these regions looked like and sure enough he could “see” them. All those ancient books were set in the first region. The regions were very large and there was still plenty of empty s.p.a.ce left. There shouldn't be any problems adding more books. In that case, that first region would be his personal bookshelf. If the system rewarded any more texts in the future, they'd all be put in there.
Gu Zuo prepared to give it a go: System, enter standby mode.
[As the host commands.]
Then Gu Zuo imaged taking out
He was satisfied.
In other words, he'd never have to carry anything when he left the house. Everything he could ever need could be placed in his storage s.p.a.ce.
After Gu Zuo spent enough time getting a decent enough grasp of the system's capabilities, he didn't want to waste any more time. He wanted to promptly find a suitable place for his cultivation method to sit down and start already!
While he hadn't comprehended the correct methodology, his mindset was already good.
It's just that since Gu Zuo travelled here, it had been chaotic nonstop. It really wasn't an environment quiet enough for studying.
Suddenly, there was the sound of heavy footsteps outside. When the footsteps stopped at his door, there came a knocking: “Young master Tianyou, your dinner's here. Come on and open up!”
That sounded like a servant, but she could have spoken a little bit more politely. While that saint Qi Tianyou didn't concern himself with such matters, Gu Zuo pulled this impression from those memories.
Since from the beginning Qi Tianyou was addressed as “young master Tianyou.” The Qi Family branch heads would normally designate young masters by seniority as a sign that those talented individuals were part of the family… but foolish Qi Tianyou failed to grasp the meaning behind it.
Thinking about it made Gu Zuo a little mad, but he didn't have time to be worked up.
His gaze “brushed over” Qi Tianyou's corpse and felt that he couldn't fix up that body to look presentable at all. And it seemed that if he didn't open the door, that servant would just burst in anyway. But what was he going to do with the f.u.c.king corpse?
Gu Zuo held his breath, and subconsciously thought about sending the body away.
In the blink of an eye, the bed was empty and a body was quietly floating in the twelfth region in his mind.
At the same time, the door was pushed open.
Gu Zuo let out a sigh.
What a close call…
He turned his head and saw a girl wearing a jade-green skirt.
Based on Qi Tianyou's memories, this girl was the personal maid of the female head of house. Her name was Cui E . She was always polite and gentle to Tianyou and her behavior didn't seem to change even after his “accident.” She continued delivering food with a smile.
But Gu Zuo could clearly see the true nature of people, and he could only quietly chuckle in his heart.
Cui E's countenance was very charming. It was just a pity that her beautiful eyes  were pulled taut with a hint of disgust. Now, her eyes only gleamed with contempt.
…Qi Tianyou really needed to get some prescription gla.s.ses.
However, Gu Zuo still maintained his cover as Qi Tianyou and smiled weakly: “Cui E, you came.”
Cui E was filled with distain, yet entered with the poise of a cultured, young lady. She quickly set out a heavy platter of five or six dishes on the table, which let out a loud clacking sound.
Gu Zuo felt that in this era of martial arts, his weak muscles couldn't even be compared to a family's serving maid. (TAT)
 入品 - Ru pin, from what I understand, it is the action of submitting something to be recognized and ranked in a standardized and universally accepted method. In the case of pharmacists, it would be like getting a certificate of authenticity. For wares like dan pills, it would be a verification as well as a grading (what category of medicine it'd place in). Or I'm just pulling this out of thin air and I'm wrong.
 药液 - Yao ye, medicinal liquid. I'll use potion for now, unless this term has some greater significance later in the story and requires a modified translation.
 脱凡, short for 脱离凡俗 tuo li fan su. Basically describes breaking free from one's mortality.
 药汤 - Yao tang, refers to the method of extraction by boiling herbs to dissolve chemicals in a liquid, which is then called a decoction.
 小摘星九诀 - Xiao zhai xing jiu jue. I took the bracketing characters xiao and jue to create Minor Art. And the rest was interpreted as Plucking Nine Stars.
 小寒梅悠露诀 - Xiao han mei you lu jue. I took the bracketing characters xiao and jue to create Minor Art. Han mei becomes Winter Plum (Flower) and I interpreted you lu as flower watching/viewing.
 小柔骨分花诀 - Xiao rou gu fen hua jue. I took the bracketing characters xiao and jue to create Minor Art. 柔骨 might come from 柔骨功 rou gu gong, which belongs to Shaolin teachings/chants. 分花 comes from another saying, 分花拂柳 fen hua fu liu, which describes the beautiful posture of a woman walking. Altogether, this one was difficult to adequately translate. I wanted it to be poetic but still convey the author's intentions. So I'll be using Strength and Beauty as a dichotomy. If someone has a better idea, please let me know. Right now the name is so ugly.
 翠娥 - Cui (Blue-green jade) E (good, beautiful). Does anyone know how I can write her name so it looks more aesthetic? “Cuie” or “Cui E” doesn't look too good. Should I change it to “Cui Ah” or something like that?
 三角眼吊梢眉 - San jiao yan diao shao mei. Cla.s.sical beauty standards for the eye, similar to “phoenix eyes.”
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A/N: So many technical terms this chapter, it makes me want to cry. If anyone has a clearer understanding of any mistakes I made, please let me know so I can fix it.