Chapter 7 - Pill Concoction
"Old man, your home is not bad." Leon examined the villa from outside and commented.
"Hmph! Only not bad?" The old man was obviously not satisfied with the comment. His family was able to remain wealthy due to their great success in the real estate business.
They had the best architects on the job during the villa's construction. To say it was very beautiful and one of the finest homes in the kingdom was not far-fetched.
Leon was not trying to look down on the villa, but he had after all, lived in a mountain palace in his past life.
As they arrived in front of the entrance, a young lady was coincidentally walking out.
"Ah! Grandpa, you're home. Oh, and who is this?" The lady exclaimed as she examines Leon, while hugging the old man's arm.
"Haha, you're here, Lynne. This is a very arrogant young man, who claims to be an alchemist." The old man chuckled and introduced Leon sarcastically.
"Huh? If he likes tooting his own horn, then just ignore him, grandpa. How you can you bring home random strangers? What if has ill intentions?" Lynne stamped her feet and complained.
Leon began to sweat. 'You're right. I do have ill intentions on your family's pill cauldron, but I plan to cure your grandpa after. This is considered an equivalent exchange, right? A woman's intuition is fearsome.' He thought.
The old man was also a bit startled at his granddaughter's words, but he immediately recovered his calm appearance. "Hahaha, I may be old, but I haven't gone senile just yet. Your grandpa is still a 3rd step awakener after all. There's no need to worry. I just want to see this kid lose face when he fails to concoct a pill.
Leon didn't mind them looking down on him. The alchemists in the kingdom all seem to be old, while he is still very young. There's no need to speak up for himself. His actions will speak louder than any words, when he concocts the pill. Leon just shook his head and smiled.
"Then, will you be using the underground pill room again?" Lynne was concerned about her grandpa's health.
As an awakener, her grandpa's health should have been very good despite his old age. However, her grandpa had isolated himself in the underground pill room, practicing pill concoction for decades. The room was murky and lacked ventilation. The smoke and herbal impurities had accumulated in his grandpa's system and caused his health to deteriorate. The doctors had advised him to stop practices and go for daily walks to get fresh air as a means to improve his health.
"Yes, I'll just be watching from a distance. The young man will be the one pill concocting." The Old man said.
In the underground pill room, there was a chair, a simple stone table and only laid a small pill cauldron, a small portable fire stove and some scattered herbs and pill recipes. The ceiling has already been dyed black by the smog.
Leon understood the source of the old man's illness.
"As an alchemist, you have your own herbs to concoct pills with, right? Or are you expecting us to provide for you?" Lynne said provocatively.
Leon looked at her speechless. He had already set his expectations low but he was still left disappointed when he saw the pill cauldron.
He was expecting the pill cauldron to at least be a low-mortal grade treasure, the lowest grading, a treasure could receive but it was not even a graded treasure. It was a completely ordinary object.
Spirit treasures have 4 main grades; mortal, earth, heaven and divine. It is further divided into 4 sub-grades; low, middle, high and peak.
'I'll forge my own if I can't find a better cauldron in the future.' Leon decided.
Leon took off his schoolbag and reached his hand inside before he circulated his energy and brought spirit plants out from his Divine Book's world space.
Lynne and the old man could not see what's inside the bag and thought the herbs had already been inside the bag. If they could see the herbs magically appearing in his hands, they would be shocked. Spatial storage were something that didn't exist in Gaia.
Leon was planning to concoct a Tier 1 Toxin Cleansing Pill to expel the impure substances in the old man's body.
Leon checked his Grandmist energy level and knew he had more than enough to aid him in pill concoction. There were 10 strands revolving in his glabella.
After the initial breakthrough in the technique, it had become easier to progress through the technique until the next bottleneck. Leon was able to gain an extra 9 strand after a night's worth of practice.
Leon started the fire as he heats the cauldron. After it was heated, Leon threw in the ingredients directly and mentally controlled the fire with his Grandmist energy. The fire's temperature drastically increased when it contacted the Grandmist energy.
Leon continued with practiced ease as he burns away the impurities in the ingredients, leaving only the herbal essences behind. Moments after, the herbal essences started to coagulate and formed a pill.
The process only took 15 minutes.
'Hmm not bad, a Mid-Tier 1.' Leon said as he took the pill out of the cauldron.
Lynne and the old man were shocked speechless during the entire process and only recovered after Leon's comment as they stared at the pill in his hand with wide eyes.
Leon was pleased with their reaction. Although he made the entire process look easy, he was a bit mentally tired as his Divine practice was still low and the process required full mental focus.
Seeing that the duo did not say anything, Leon decided to say something first. "Well then, thanks for the pill cauldron, old man." Leon said as he reached for the pill cauldron.
"Slow down, young man. You misunderstood something. I said I would gift you the pill if you can really concoct one with the pill cauldron." The old man said.
"Nonsense. The ingredients were provided by me and the pill was concocted by me. How can you gift me something that is already mine? Where is the logic in that?" Leon refuted.
The old man had left a loophole in his words before and was taking advantage of it to keep his pill cauldron now.
"Well that was what my intention was. It's not my problem if you misunderstood me and thought I was gift you my pill cauldron." The old man said shamelessly.
The old man didn't admit nor deny when Leon had said he would be taking his cauldron and told him not to say he was bullying the old, giving him the assumption that it was the cauldron and not the pill.
"Old man, you are bullying the young. Well whatever, I don't want your trashy pill cauldron anyway." Leon said with a mischievous smile.
"I can even give you this pill." Leon continued as he threw the pill to the old man.
The old man was startled as he tried to catch the pill like his life depended on it. In fact, he said so much nonsense to negotiate buying the pill from Leon. Although he did not know what the pill was, he thought it was most likely something special.
'A man's rubbish is another man's treasure.' Leon thought.
Leon had seen through his intention and just decided to play along even though he was going to gift them the pill anyway and didn't care about the cauldron the moment he saw it.
The pill cauldron was completely ordinary. There wasn't much difference between concocting pills with it than a cooking pot and the kitchen stove.
"By the way, old man. You are sick." Leon suddenly said.
"Huh? You are sick! Your whole family is sick!" Lynne interrupted, thinking Leon was cursing her grandpa.
Leon stared at her, speechless then continued talking to the old man, "That pill is called the Toxin Cleansing Pill. It can cure you of the ailment you are suffering."
After hearing Leon's words, the old man swallowed the pill without hesitation.
"Grandpa!! How could you trust his words so easily!?" Lynne shrieked as she stared daggers at Leon, fearing something might go wrong after her grandpa swallowed the pill. Apparently, she seems to distrust Leon very much and viewed him as a big bad wolf.
'Did I offended you in a past life or something to be treated like this?' Leon didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
"It's fine, the pill is real." The old man could feel himself getting better as he tried to calm his granddaughter down.
"Really?" Lynne doubted.
"Rea-." The old man was going to assure his granddaughter but before he did, he started coughing violently.
A large amount of black blood was expelled from his body.
"Grandpa!! I knew it! You are a bad guy!" Lynne screamed at Leon as she was supporting her grandpa.
Placing her grandpa on a chair, she charged at Leon. She was already a 1st step awakener and closed the distance in an instance.
A punch thrown straight at his chest. Leon easily sidestep the attack, grabbing her wrist in the process, pulling her into his embrace and seizing her other wrist. She was caught in an arm lock and her physical strength was insufficient to break free from Leon, who is now comparable to a 2nd layer tempered body.
"Why are you jumping to conclusions? Have a look at your grandpa!" Leon directed.
While struggling to escape from Leon's clutches, she saw that her grandpa seems to be slightly glowing with a brilliant expression.
"Grandpa….?" Lynne probed.
"Hahaha, I haven't felt so good in a long time. I coincidentally made a breakthrough to the 4th step." The old man chortled. "Young man, you have my thanks."
"Gratitude aside, how will you repay me?" Leon asked.
Startled at the question, the old man thought about it for awhile then had a glance at Leon and his granddaughter who are still tangled together.
"How about I give my granddaughter to you?" The old man smiled.
"Thanks not funny, old man." Leon coughed at the unexpected suggestion.
"How long are you planning to hold me!?" Lynne was still captive.
"My apologies." Leon released her and apologized.
After being released, she tried to get back at him by stepping on his foot, but it was dodged. How can Leon let her step on his foot so easily?
Having failed in her attempt, she stamped her feet in displeasure.
"Hahaha Lynne, you are already 18 years old but still so childish." The old man chuckled.
"Grandpa~ Your granddaughter has been bullied, how can take his side." Lynne shook the old man's arm and said coyly with teary eyes that seems to say she had suffered grievance.
"Hahaha let that be a lesson for you to not jump to conclusions so quickly." The old man said as he tried to console his granddaughter.
"By the way, I haven't quite learnt your name yet, old man." Leon suddenly said.
"Oh, you are right. We have not introduced each other yet. I am Dwight Cromwell. You are…?"
The two finally introduced each other as they shook hands.