Meng Hao had returned to his Immortal’s cave residence. He already had some idea as to what would be happening right now back in the Dao of Alchemy Division, and some of those things were exactly what he wanted.
“My cultivation base isn’t good enough to help me rise to prominence in the Fang Clan, but since they have their own Dao of alchemy, why not rise to prominence there? That can make me just as popular and famous.
“The higher my status in their Dao of Alchemy Division, then the higher my status will be in the clan in general.
“The Dao of alchemy…. If I could become the most powerful alchemist in the Fang Clan, then I would definitely be super famous. When I control the entire Dao of Alchemy Division, then finding out what happened to my two Nirvana Fruits won’t be very difficult!” His eyes gleamed, and a cold smile appeared on his face.
After a moment, Meng Hao closed his eyes and rotated his cultivation base, as well as his Immortal meridian. The portion of it which remained illusory was slowly becoming solid.
“I still need more time before my Immortal meridian is full and complete. When that happens, I’ll be a true Immortal!” He took a deep breath. Outside, it was gradually growing dark, and the moon had risen. Meng Hao’s eyes finally opened, and he waved his hand, causing the ten sets of ingredients for Spirit Elixir to emerge.
Meng Hao looked them over carefully, then examined the formula for a while.
“This formula is pretty simple,” he thought. “Also, the Spirit Elixir it produces won’t be very high quality.” Eyes glittering, he produced the jade box and took out the Nirvana Fruits. After examining them for a bit, he tried his hand at concocting the Spirit Elixir.
First, he made one batch using the method described in the formula. To Meng Hao, that method was simply too basic. After concocting the first batch, he decided to use his own method. He altered the formula a bit, then produced a total of nine batches of Spirit Elixir, each one slightly different than the others.
Then, he carefully dripped them onto one of the Nirvana Fruits one batch at a time, and observed the various reactions.
He was immediately able to see signs of restoration on the fruit. By the time the ninth batch of Spirit Elixir had been absorbed, the Nirvana fruit was no longer cracked and wrinkled, and in fact looked wholly recovered. It even emanated a splendorous light that strongly stimulated the blood in Meng Hao’s veins.
He even had the mistaken feeling that he should immediately absorb the Nirvana Fruit into his body. He quickly closed his eyes and suppressed the impulse to try it out. After four hours, the Nirvana Fruit slowly began to wither back up. By the time six hours had passed, it had returned to its original dried-up shape.
“If I had actually tried to absorb it,” he murmured, looking at the withered fruits, “then I would have been turned into a desiccated corpse just now. A sudden and unexpected death.
“If I want to absorb these Nirvana Fruits, then I need to truly restore them so that they aren’t dangerous. Of these nine batches of Spirit Extract, the seventh was the strongest. It was around twice as strong as any of the others.” He looked down at the final remaining set of ingredients. After a moment of hesitation, a gleam of determination appeared in his eyes.
“This formula still isn’t good enough. The medicinal plants used to concoct the Spirit Elixir can actually be substituted with other medicinal plants.” Meng Hao sank into contemplation regarding the combination of medicinal plants. After enough time passed for an incense stick to burn, he gritted his teeth and pulled out a Sun Blossom and a Reincarnation Leaf, legendary medicinal plants that were extinct in the outside world. After adding them to the formula, he began to concoct more Spirit Elixir.
This time, it took him two full days to complete the concoction. When the medicinal plants were finally refined into a liquid, he ended up with a glob of emerald-green fluid about the the size of a fist, which he then placed into a small bottle.
It was filled with dense Immortal qi, and because it contained Sun Blossom and Reincarnation Leaf, it meant that this bottle was shocking in terms of both quality and value.
Enduring the pain in his heart, Meng Hao produced the copper mirror and duplicated it, then very carefully poured a single drop from the bottle onto one of the Nirvana Fruits. It instantly returned to life, and began to glow with scintillating light.
However, Meng Hao knew that the fruit had not truly recovered. He continued to pour one drop after another onto the fruit, a total of one hundred. When the liquid was completely absorbed by the Nirvana Fruit, it gradually began to transform. Although it was difficult to describe the exact nature of the transformation, Meng Hao was just barely able to detect some sort of life force from within.
“It’s working!” he thought, his eyes flickering. However, his heart then began to twinge with pain. Duplicating that single bottle of Spirit Elixir had removed a distressing amount of spirit stones from his bag of holding.
He clenched his jaw.
“It’s just a bit of money, right…?” he said through gritted teeth, and then duplicated another bottle. Time passed. Five days.
“Dammit! Do you absorb Spirit Elixir or spirit stones!?!?
“Y-y-you’re… you’re still absorbing the Spirit Elixir!?!?
“It-it… it’s like I’ve fallen into a bottomless pit!!
“Argh, my spirit stones!!”
Meng Hao’s eyes were bloodshot as he stared at the Nirvana Fruit. During these five days, he had depleted the number of spirit stones in his bag of holding by half. He had duplicated an ocean of Spirit Elixir, all of which had been absorbed by the Nirvana Fruit. The life force inside of it was growing stronger, but there seemed to be no end in sight. Meng Hao could clearly sense that it was thirsty to absorb more Spirit Elixir.
If you calculated exactly how much Spirit Elixir the Nirvana Fruit had absorbed, anyone in the Fang Clan would have been shocked. Furthermore, that Spirit Elixir was of the finest quality. A few bottles might not have been a big deal, but for most people, it wouldn’t just be a problem of spirit stones; they simply would never be able to gather that many medicinal plants. Especially not the Sun Blossoms and Reincarnation Leaves.
“Only when it reaches the point that it can’t absorb any more Spirit Elixir, will I know that it’s fully restored!” Meng Hao’s heart dripped with blood, and he ceased duplicating the Spirit Elixir. He quickly packed the Nirvana Fruit up and then closed his eyes.
After a moment, he opened his eyes again and then frowned.
“This isn’t the right method. I need to increase the Spirit Elixir’s power. To do that, I need to replace all of the current medicinal plant ingredients. If I can create an even more powerful Spirit Elixir, that would be the best thing. Although it might cost more spirit stones to duplicate on an individual basis, overall, I’ll be able to save a lot of resources.”
Meng Hao took a deep breath and then rose to his feet, ending the current madness of duplication and concoction. He was now preparing to make another trip to the Dao of Alchemy Division, and figure out a way to get the medicinal plants he needed.
“Unfortunately, I don’t have the clan merit points I need…. However, that problem is solved easily enough.” Eyes shining brightly, he turned into a beam of light that shot toward the Dao of Alchemy Division.
People recognized him almost as soon as he arrived. That was especially true when he reached Alchemy Lodge Peak #7191. The apprentice alchemists there, including the old alchemist Fang Qun, immediately rose to their feet excitedly, clasped hands, and invited him onto the platform.
Meng Hao didn’t decline, but instead took his place and began to lecture about the Dao of alchemy, and even asked the apprentice alchemists to go invite others to come listen.
“All of this is for the clan,” Meng Hao announced in a profound voice. “I hope that, even with my meager skills, I can help to advance our clan’s Dao of alchemy.” His voice seemed to be full of loyalty and righteousness toward the clan.
The apprentice alchemists were getting excited, and immediately took out jade slips to inform their friends, who quickly hurried over, and also spread the word.
Over the course of the following four hours, the mountain peak came to be surrounded by tens of thousands of onlookers, who packed together to listen to Meng Hao lecture about plants and vegetation. Many among the audience were people who had heard of the events that had previously occurred, and were skeptically listening to Meng Hao for the first time. However, after listening for only a short time, their eyes went wide, and they were quickly absorbed in the information, seemingly entranced.
Meng Hao lectured for an entire day, after which he started to look a bit tired.
“Ladies and Gentlemen of the clan, it’s not that I don’t wish to continue, but I really don’t have enough time. I have to go do some tasks for the clan. Next time I’m free, I’ll be sure to come back.”
No matter what the crowd said to try to get him to stay, Meng Hao refused, and immediately left the Dao of Alchemy Division.
Later, for no apparent reason, Fang Xi suddenly became interested in the Dao of alchemy. He pulled some strings to get a chance to become an apprentice alchemist, and went directly to Peak #7191, quickly becoming familiar with some of the apprentice alchemists there.
In the following days, whenever Meng Hao returned, Fang Xi was in the crowd. Every time Meng Hao showed up, it was evening, and he would only talk for four hours before leaving.
Of course, each and every time, he would stop right at a critical moment in the lecture, which made the apprentice alchemists even more excited to hear what was next. He would always appear to really wish to keep lecturing, but be unable to because of Clan assignments, and would leave.
On one particular occasion, he lectured for about six hours before preparing to leave. It was at this point that one of the apprentice alchemists called out in a loud voice.
“Fang Hao, isn’t the point of performing clan assignments to get merit points? How about I give one of my merit points to you, and you keep talking for two hours! What do you think?!” This apprentice alchemist was none other than Fang Xi. From the look on his face, he was prepared to go all out, to pay any price necessary to gain more knowledge of plants and vegetation.
As soon as the words left his mouth, the surrounding apprentice alchemists hesitated for a moment. However, there were a few others who immediately voiced their approval, calling out to Meng Hao, who stopped in his tracks.
“Oh, I don’t think that’s a good idea….” he said hesitantly.
“What’s not good about it!?” hollered Fang Xi at the top of his lungs. “Fang Hao, your skill in plants and vegetation is so high that even a tier 2 alchemist is no match for you! If you’re willing to sacrifice your own merit points for the clan, and for us, then we’re willing to do the same thing for you! If we weren’t, it would be a huge shame for us!”
Other apprentice alchemists began to chime in.
“That’s right! Fang Hao, during these days, we’ve personally witnessed the sacrifices you have been making for the sect, and for us. We’re all very grateful….”
“Fang Hao, you’re a Chosen, and yet, you’re not arrogant at all! No matter what questions we come up with about plants and vegetation, you patiently answer them all! You deserve to get merit points from us!”
“That’s right! Anyone who refuses to part with their merit points should just get the hell out of here! The most valuable thing in the world isn’t bullying other people! It’s knowledge!!”
As the atmosphere in the area grew more passionate, Meng Hao’s face filled with emotion. Finally, he took a deep breath and stood tall on the platform, nodding his head.
“Very well,” he said, sounding determined. “Thank you for your support, everyone. Since all of you demand this, then I will forgo any service to the clan, and will instead personally impart all of my knowledge of plants and vegetation to all of you!
“For two hours, I’ll charge only one merit point per person! Don’t offer any more! If you do, I won’t accept!”
The surrounding apprentice alchemists all had strange looks on their faces. Some were actually looks of disdain; how could people not have at least some idea of what had just happened?