“Violet Qi from the East….” The faint violet aura flickered in his eyes. He lifted his right hand and extended his fingers. They glowed with a violet light.
“This technique is the same as that in the Qi Condensation manual. It’s not magic, but rather, a cultivation technique. However, it seems the Violet Fate Sect has created some divine abilities based on the techniques in Violet Qi to the East.” He closed his eyes for a moment, then reopened them. In his mind, the text from the fragment of the manual floated in his eyes. He had memorized two passages which described techniques that could be used by Furnace Lords.
“Violet Pupil Transformation and Violet Qi Guillotine.” He gazed for a moment at the five fingers of his outstretched hand. Suddenly, he waved his hand, and violet smoke drifted out from his fingers. It congealed in the air into a violet, crescent moon. With a thought, Meng Hao sent it crashing into the wall of the Immortal’s Cave.
The cave shook, as did the entire mountain peak, and a massive curved impression appeared on the wall of the cave.
“That was only ten percent power.” Meng Hao’s eyes filled with a thoughtful look. After some time passed, the violet glow in his pupils flickered, then spread to completely cover his pupils, and then his eyes. Then, lines of violet streaked out onto the skin surrounding his eyes. These were the veins that, in an instant, had turned from bluish to bright violet in color.
At the moment, Meng Hao looked like some sort of evil spirit. A suppressive aura roiled off of him. His expression was the same as ever as he lifted his right hand and cut his left arm with his fingernail. A wound opened up, but even as the blood began to well up, the wound started to heal. In a moment, it was gone. Meng Hao wiped away the blood that remained behind. There was no mark on his skin at all.
He sat there quietly for the time it takes half an incense stick to burn. Finally, his body began to return to normal.
“Violet Pupil Transformation: what an amazing art! It doesn’t increase the battle prowess of my Cultivation base, but my recovery is far beyond normal.” To employ the full potential of these two techniques would require a bit more practice.
There were other restricted techniques of the Violet Qi Division that could only be practiced by Conclave disciples. The East Pill Division occupied a very high place within the Violet Fate Sect, but as for their restricted techniques, it was impossible to even look at them.
Unless… he became a Violet Furnace Lord. That rank was not just illustrious in the East Pill Division. It was the pinnacle of the entire Violet Fate Sect. They were qualified to read the greater part of all the ancient records in the Violet Fate Sect, with no restrictions whatsoever. After all, in all of the Southern Domain, there was only one Sect who could ever hope to have Violet Furnace Lords, and as such, they were given special treatment.
Meng Hao took a deep breath. Putting the magical techniques out of his mind, he sank into thought. Equipped with his superior Furnace Lord resources, he began to concoct medicinal pills. He didn’t just need to create pills for his own usage. He would use his status as a Furnace Lord to acquire more ingredients, and more formulas, to ensure that his skill in alchemy continued to grow.
Time flashed by. Soon half a year had passed. Meng Hao spent most of this time in seclusion, submerged in Cultivation and pill concocting. Every month he would visit the Celestial Land, where he would acquire a good collection of medicinal plants. He concocted various medicinal pills according to his previous arrangement of three batches per day for Inner Sect disciples. Of course, the prices were now significantly higher. Despite that, his pills were as popular as ever throughout the Sect.
By this time, he had begun to collect quite a few of the medicinal plants he would need to concoct the Perfect Core Pill. Currently, he was only missing a few. As for his own pills, when he created good ones which had a medicinal strength of eighty percent or higher, he would not put them up for sale, but would brand them with the cauldron seal and store them away.
Every time he marked a pill with the cauldron image, an image would appear in his mind of a vast amount of Spirit Stones. He was very passionate about that aspect; whenever he looked at the large collection of cauldron-marked medicinal pills in his bag of holding, he could only imagine the vast amount of Spirit Stones he would acquire if he sold them.
It was impossible for anyone but Meng Hao to know how many medicinal pills he concocted in total during the more than half a year’s worth of time. He grounded himself completely in the world of alchemy. The amount of time, coupled with the deep stores of information available within the East Pill Division, caused his skill in the Dao of alchemy to grow significantly.
Now, he didn’t need to waste much. It was much easier for him to extract sixty percent of the medicinal strength of the plant ingredients into his pill. He was even able to concoct quite a few at eighty percent strength. After having been raised to Furnace Lord, Meng Hao was nothing like the other normal alchemists, especially considering how he had access to such precious medicinal plants.
Even more importantly, after becoming a Furnace Lord, he acquired the second level catalysis technique. Actually, it wasn’t really a technique for catalyzing plants, but a pill concocting method.
It was called Alchemy Dao Transmutation Incantation!
It allowed him to refine a pill that he had previously concocted. Meng Hao instantly fell in love with the technique. After thinking about it for a long time, he tested it out a few times, and gradually became quite proficient.
Because of the gradual amalgamation of his nature talent of plants and vegetation, as well as the Alchemy Dao Transmutation Incantation, Meng Hao advanced by leaps and bounds.
Using this technique to transmute an ordinary medicinal pill enabled him to produce even more powerful pills. This was definitely one of the most advanced techniques in the East Pill Division.
It was also one of the reasons there was such a vast difference between Furnace Lords and master alchemists. It was also why Furnace Lords received such a warm welcome whenever they traveled outside of the Sect in the Southern Domain.
In addition to the Alchemy Dao Transmutation Incantation, Meng Hao also learned a few dozen methods for creating plant and vegetation interactions which would make it very difficult for anyone to ascertain what methods he had used to concoct any given pill.
This was something Meng Hao very much needed. Combined with this nature talent of plants and vegetation, he was able to combine all the various methods together to produce the most straightforward, and also most difficult, method to commingle the plant and vegetation ingredients together.
It was simple, but it involved adding extra ingredients into the mix. Therefore, it was both simple and complicated. The fundamental skill wasn’t difficult, but the more complex of a result he wanted, the more ingredients he needed to add. And of course, because of the variations encountered in different medicinal pills, it required careful work to prevent such interactions from affecting the basic function of the medicinal pill in question. There was little room for error.
If the process wasn’t performed perfectly, it might be possible to make a mistake and not even notice!
But to Meng Hao, this was the best technique to hide the secrets of his pill concocting. His skill in plants and vegetation was already firmly within the third realm of ten million variations!
Meng Hao was very happy throughout these days. Both his Cultivation base and his skill in alchemy gradually grew higher. His seventh Dao Pillar was now more than half formed. Based on his calculations, he would need to spend at least ten years as a Furnace Lord. He would work hard to improve his skill in the Dao of alchemy, and completely master the Alchemy Dao Transmutation Technique. By the time he became a Violet Furnace Lord, his Cultivation base would be at the great circle of Foundation Establishment, with nine Dao Pillars. The next step would be Core Formation.
Chu Yuyan never came looking for Meng Hao. When he did venture out, he heard that recently she was obsessed with her search for the mysterious Grandmaster Pill Cauldron. She spent all her days trying to figure out who he was.
After hearing this bit of news, a strange look appeared on his face. During the past five years, he had gotten used to this new identity of his.
Just now, Meng Hao had finished concocting a batch of medicinal pills. He rubbed the bridge of his nose, then walked out of his Immortal’s Cave. It was midday, and the sun burned hot overhead. There was a slight breeze, but all it did was blow hot wind against his face. He looked out at the valley, the entirety of which belonged to him.
Over the past half year or so, he had planted quite a few varieties of medicinal plants. The current heat wave caused them to emit a faint medicinal aroma which filled the valley. Being in an environment like this, it was little wonder that alchemists always smelled like medicinal pills.
He walked down into the valley and began to tend to some of the medicinal plants. As a Furnace Lord, he could call apprentice alchemists to come plant and care for his gardens. He could also summon master alchemists to assist him in pill concocting.
However, Meng Hao liked the quiet, so therefore hadn’t called for any help. As for Bai Yunlai, every time he met Meng Hao, he would treat him with the ultimate level of respect. Meng Hao had thought of asking him to come live in the valley. If he did, though, the man would never be able to rest, and would be extremely out of sorts.
There was nothing Meng Hao could do about it. It was exacerbated by the fact that while no one on the outside knew anything about Grandmaster Pill Cauldron, Bai Yunlai did. Whenever he looked at Meng Hao, his eyes would fill with fervent ardor and respect. Meng Hao could only laugh bitterly at this.
He was there in his garden tending to medicinal plants when suddenly his expression flickered. Behind him, two apprentice alchemists, each about thirty years of age, hurried into the valley.
As soon as they entered, they saw him, and their eyes filled with respect. Clasping hands, they bowed and said, “Greetings, Grandmaster Fang.”
Meng Hao thought for a moment as he reached down to pluck some withered leaves off of a medicinal plant. After becoming a Furnace Lord, he had given one lecture about plants and vegetation. After calculating for a moment in his mind, he realized that it was about time for him to give another. “Time for another lecture?” he asked indifferently.
This was one of the responsibilities of Furnace Lords. They were like Masters to the master alchemists and Patriarchs to the apprentice alchemists. By means of their lectures, it was ensured that the junior generation of the Sect would continue to advance and grow.
These two apprentice alchemists had been assigned to Meng Hao as servants to handle various trivial matters for him. “Grandmaster Fang, it was actually two days ago…. However you never came out, and we didn’t want to disturb you.”
Meng Hao nodded. He finished tending to the medicinal plants, then followed the two apprentice alchemists out of the valley. As they walked through the East Pill Division, each and every apprentice alchemist he ran into was extremely respectful. They saw his long black robe, interlaced with violet trim, and immediately knew his rank.
There were only around one hundred Furnace Lords in the entire Violet Fate Sect, as opposed to the over one hundred thousand disciples in the East Pill Division alone. It was impossible for one hundred people to remember one hundred thousand people, but for one hundred thousand people to remember one hundred people was very easy.
As soon as Meng Hao appeared, everyone recognized him. This was Fang Mu, who had risen to Furnace Lord just half a year ago. It didn’t matter how he had been promoted, his black and violet robe clearly announced his status. In the East Pill Division, he might not have supreme power, but his illustriousness was incredible.
Even the master alchemists who caught sight of Meng Hao treated him with utmost respect.
He walked the entire way, and was saluted the whole time.