We use our treasures to pave the road
That’s impossible! Has it even been a minute since the new host started refining the Invigoration pill? The system checks and – it’s only been thirty-six seconds!? Did the pills fail…
As the furnace cover is opened, a mellow medicinal smell wafts out. Twelve black spherical Invigoration pills are clustered together at the bottom of the furnace, each of them smooth and shiny with an even colour.
Perfect, high grade pills. In thirty-six seconds.
System: Well fuck me then, I need an upgrade. Or Kaspersky.
The system looks up at the host, trying to check the spirit level. The wood spirit is only level five, how did he make a pill instantaneously?
Wood spirit is the most important and fundamental attribute for pill masters. The lowest wood spirit level is the first division at 10 to 99, the second division ranges from 100 to 499, with the third division between 500 and 19,999, and so on.
The host, as an intermediate alchemy apprentice, has a wood spirit of five. That’s nothing – that’s a pittance – how did he achieve instant pills?
What’s more, the amount of herbs put into the furnace can only make ten pills, so how did twelve come out? That’s breaking the laws of the universe! The gods are crying!
The eyes of the system are wide in shock but the host just picks up one of the Invigoration pills and pops it into his mouth.
Kong Wuying frowns as he chews and swallows with difficulty. “Hard to eat.”
The system almost spits out blood from the attack on its sensibilities. Your mother is hard to eat! This is a pill, not candy, why are you paying attention to the taste?
After Kong Wuying eats the candy -wait, it’s a medicinal pill- the taste isn’t very good but the effect is excellent. His body warms up to a comfortable temperature, the heat rising from the Dantian where his spirit rested.
This is Kong Wuying’s first time making pills but when he saw the herbs laid out, the original owner’s memory seemed to kick in and provided the recipe.
The system wheezes but pulls itself together. “Congratulations on the host’s successful refining. For your achievement, you are rewarded a basic first level pill recipe.”
Blue light appears once more and Kong Wuying receives information about a pill called Wooden Essence. It’s a basic but important pill in the lowest level that increases wood spirit in the alchemist’s body.
The system solemnly issues the announcement, “Task 1: Successfully refine a furnace of Wooden Essence pills. Reward: Unlock all first level pill recipes and the first volume of illustrated medicinal materials.”
Kong Wuying carelessly accepts the task. One furnace of these pills means ten in total. He doesn’t have the materials to make it now, so he’ll go down to the Fang market and sell the Invigoration pills to buy more material.
Kong Wuying has read and studied Mingguang culture, so along with the original body’s memories, it shouldn’t be difficult to find his way.
As soon as Kong Wuying steps out of the house, he jerks to a stop in shock. The road is dark and translucent. Even under the strong sunlight, there’s no reflection on the stone bricks.
Isn’t this the greatest treasure of their Yeying continent, the Night Shadow stone? The system said; not even enough to pave a road. It’s not a metaphor, it’s a real complaint!
They actually used treasure to pave the road! Too much! That’s too much! Kong Wuying grit his teeth in anger. Who does he have to kill for this travesty! Who dares take responsibility?
Of course, he is the Lord of Yeying. Although the Night Shadow stone is precious, it’s not much in his eyes, but – paving the road? Even he isn’t so luxurious and wasteful.
Night Shadow stone is the main material for refining soul puppets. How many people can only dream of touching one?
Kong Wuying is furious but calms himself down and decides to focus on what’s at hand first. He can always kill people later.
He storms off to Fang market to find a big pharmaceutical company. Invigoration pills are low level but Kong Wuying’s quality is high grade. The store gave him 50 Mingguang coins for one pill according to market price, so after selling ten pills, the total added up to 500 coins.
This is indeed a lot of wealth. The people living in poverty today have only a few gold and copper coins on them.
Kong Wuying accepts the trade and asks for the list of materials needed for the Wooden Essence pill. “A twenty-year-old Ivy branch, a kilogram of white sand fruit, half a kilo of Tung flower, then a kilo worth of Xingmu grass.”
The man at the front desk has a gentle smile. “The customer wants to buy the herbal medicine of Wooden Essence pills. We have a special on at the moment; a set of materials is 10% off. How many sets would you like?”
The system starts clamouring in Kong Wuying’s mind, “Three packages! Get three!”
The host’s wood spirit is too low and it’s the first time refining this pill. Even with system assistance, the success rate is hovering at 30%, which is already very good compared to the average of 10%. More materials are necessary.
Kong Wuying holds up three of his fingers. “I’d like three sets.”
The staff member’s smile became gentler. “The price of one set is 438 coins, so for three sets it would be 1314 gold coins. Guest, our store has launched a new style of jade box packaging, which can enhance shelf life of materials and minimize loss of herbal energy. Three jade boxes are only 10 gold coins each.”
Kong Wuying: “…”
Kong Wuying clears his throat. “It’s fine to have one set. If I make too many pills, I can’t eat them all.”
The staff nods. “And the packaging?”
“I will carry it,” Kong Wuying says firmly.
The man is still smiling as he speedily finds the materials and lays them out on the counter for Kong Wuying to inspect. After, he wraps them up in paper and accepts the money. “Thank you for shopping, have a good day.”
Kong Wuying picks up the paper parcel and walks a few steps before pausing and looking back. “Also, give me a couple of licorice roots.”
Kong Wuying pays for and accepts the second package before heading out to the store next door for a kilogram of sugar before carrying his things home. There is someone waiting for him at the front door.
A tall young man steps up to Kong Wuying, dressed in a robe of the style as him and with a smile on his handsome face. “Mr. Ning Zhao,” Yue Bin greets. The smile on the youth’s face is brilliant, but there is a trace of arrogance in his eyes. “I was entrusted by the president to give you a message.”
Kong Wuying raises an eyebrow. “Yes?”
Yue Bin’s expression turns scornful as he says, “Give up the competition. I’m a teacher so I can understand your feelings about the matter, but Han Xiu has a dual gold and wood body, he has an unlimited future. You can’t teach Han Xiu properly as you’re just an intermediate alchemy apprentice, while Master Huang Xun is an excellent pill master for many years. If you compete with him, you’ll make a fool of yourself. “
Kong Wuying doesn’t care about the body’s honor or disgrace so he wouldn’t fight on Ning Zhao’s behalf, but the Master’s Oath contest was a greatly popularised event throughout the whole city because if one master lost then their whole school lost.
Kong Wuying nods. “How much money?”
“It’s natural that you don’t want to but have you ever thought about Han Xiu’s opinion-” Yue Bin pauses. “I beg your pardon? What money?”
Kong Wuying put down the medicine bag and solemnly calculated the account. “There is no doubt about my victory so if the Dean wants me to take the initiative to admit defeat, he must pay compensation. If I admit defeat, I will not only lose a gold and wood student, but it will also damage my reputation. The compensation must be three times the prize money.”
Yue Bin blinks in shock and then grimaces in disdain. “Teacher Ning…”
Kong Wuying huffs in contempt. “You really think he can beat me? Your IQ is a little bit…”
Fuck, his line was stolen! Yue Bin grit his teeth and says, “If you can really win against Master Huang Xun, I’ll cut off my head and make it a stool for you to sit on!”
Kong Wuying shakes his head. “I don’t need a stool.”
Yue Bin feels a burning fury in his chest and blurts out, “If you win, I’ll call you my master for the next ten years!”
Kong Wuying contemplates this. “Alright. I’m in need of a housekeeper.”
“But if you lose, you’ll kneel in front of me at the college and admit that you are a waste! Leave Yunyue city forever!” Yue Bin harrumphs and storms off.
Kong Wuying rolls his eyes. Some people can be so dramatic. He then returns to the alchemy lab and begins preparations.
The system perks up and decides that it must observe very closely to understand the secret of how the host was able to refine pills so quickly! The first step is to follow the instructions in the alchemy manual by putting in Wisteria wood, Tung flower, white sand fruit, Xingmu grass, licorice-
“Host, you put it in wrong…” The system reminds Kong Wuying, only to then watch as the host calmly pours in sugar.
The flames plumed up and the furnace began to shake violently.
The system panics. “It’s going to blow up! Host, take cover!”
But this is such a small room, there’s nowhere to hide! How can this man be so stupid, adding herbs arbitrarily? Everyone knows that conflicting drug properties can cause furnaces to explode!
The furnace stops trembling.
“Smells nice,” Kong Wuying muses and opens the cover to take a peek.
System: Alright, never mind. Who even cares anymore?