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Inside the Flying Cloud Summit’s mountainside, there were many large stone chambers that could be seen. Multi-colored gems were inlaid on the wall, illuminating the whole room as bright as daylight.
Although they were in the mountainside, it didn't look dark at all. Air flowed everywhere, together with the dense spiritual Qi.
Strange and miraculous herbs were present in the stone chambers, kept in special containers. There were some tools holding the fresh, green leaves, and they seemed to be still growing.
There was a s.p.a.cious room as big as a basketball court, matted with thick rugs, where an incense burner was exuding fragrant smoke. The room had its wall carved with many magical spiritual formation and spells. Different colored flows of spiritual Qi were moving slowly inside the formations, looking like some snakes slithering.
Shi Yan and Cherry were seated in this large stone room.
Lin Ya Qi gave them some good tea with a smile, "Hey, you, why do you want to visit the Dead Soul Mountain? I heard that your Endless Sea has had a big change. Why don't you stay there?"
"The threats in the Endless Sea were solved. Within one hundred years, members of the Fourth Demon Area and the Seven-layered Underworld won't come back to the Endless Sea. The Sea Tribes are fine, too. I don't need to worry about them." Shi Yan smiled as he sipped his tea, "And you, when we were in the middle of the Dark Magnetic Noxious Mist, why did you disappear?"
"I was going with my teacher, so I didn’t have time to visit those two exotic lands." Lin Ya Qi’s beautiful eyes brightened as she said suddenly. "I heard that you had a big catch in the exotic lands of the Dark Magnetic Noxious Mist. Could you show me some? Let me get the profit at your expense too."
"Well, elder Li takes a good care of you. Why do you bother with my small toys? Don’t tease me." Shi Yan shook his head, his face serious. "Hey, please notify Elder Li. Tell him that I want to ask him for a favor."
Hearing him say so, Lin Ya Qi didn’t continue to be lengthy. She nodded and said, "Make yourself home. I’m going to report to my teacher."
Lin Ya Qi swayed her body, entering a bright-lit channel which led into the mountain wall. She disappeared shortly.
Shi Yan took in his tea while watching the walls with great interest. Sometimes, he shifted his eyes to Cherry, looking pensive.
After they got in this room, Cherry hadn’t spoken a word as she put all of her attention to the spiritual formation on the walls. Her eyes brightened, as if she had found the hidden treasures. She was trying to memorize them all, not wanting to leave even a single formation.
Shi Yan let out a light cough. After he successfully received Cherry’s attention, he beamed a faint smile and then probed. "You seem to be interested in those formations a lot. Do they give you any clues for your medicine refining job?"
Cherry’s soft body shivered. Her blue eyes twinkled beautifully as she nodded earnestly. "Of course. Those spiritual formations are the ways the alchemists transport their Soul Consciousness, and that’s how the medicine revolves during the process. They include the most mysterious Intent Domain of an alchemist. If I can comprehend the subtle features of this magical formation, my attainment will enter a new stage immediately."
Shi Yan was amazed.
Cherry explained him quickly. "When the alchemists refine pellets, we have to pour our Soul Consciousness into the cauldron, using it to carve the spiritual spell that activates the herbs and promotes their efficacy. A magical formation or spell is the most important link in refining medicine. If this link doesn't work or fails, even if you have good ingredients, you are just wasting them. When an alchemist understands the formation or the spell thoroughly, not only can he save the herbs, but also increase the power of the medicinal efficacy of the pellet. Thus, an excellent alchemist should have a deep understanding about the marvelous formations with a high realm."
"So, what’s your realm?" Shi Yan asked with surprise.
"Me?" Cherry forced a smile, shaking her head. "I'm bad. Even my teacher Zha Lin doesn't know many formations, and he couldn't understand them thoroughly either. The alchemists like Elder Li are familiar with the spiritual formations and spells, which helps them promote the effect of the pellets to the peak."
After Cherry finished her explanation, she continued gazing at the spiritual formations on the wall, not caring about him anymore.
People who could meet Li Zheng Rong were all the peak warriors of the Grace Mainland or the excellent alchemists. Even Zha Lin hadn't had the chance to visit this place.
It was hard for Cherry to have this chance. She was willing to let Lin Ya Qi misunderstand her so she could have a chance to look at those formations.
To alchemists who were pa.s.sionate in refining medicines, the spiritual formations on the walls here were the biggest treasure. It was similar to the martial techniques of the warriors. As long as she could understand them, her career would be widened and brighter. If she could make it smooth, she could enter a new realm as well.
Shi Yan wasn’t an alchemist, so it was hard for him to understand her persistence. Seeing her focus on studying the magical formation, he didn’t bother her more, just letting her absent-mindedly look at the wall.
One hour later, Lin Ya Qi got back to the room. She stood at the entrance of the channel, waving at Shi Yan to signal him to come alone.
Shi Yan stood up, and he noticed that Cherry didn't realize his activity as she was still paying her full attention to the wall.
While smiling, he tiptoed towards Lin Ya Qi as he was afraid that he would bother the girl. Then, he walked with Lin Ya Qi into the quiet stony cave.
After they had left for a while, Lin Ya Qi c.o.c.ked her head and rolled her eyes at him. "You, you really care about that woman, right? Not only you took her here, but also don’t want to disturb her. Spit it out honestly, what is the relationship between you two?"
"She’s my woman. I told you, right?"
"Devil buys it! When you took her hand, she was startled. It isn’t natural at all. Do you think that I didn’t see that?"
"So, why didn’t you comment at that time?"
"Because I had to give you face. B*stard, you don’t appreciate me at all, do you?"
"Ah, no no. Thank you, thank you."
"Then tell me, what’s the relationship between you two?"
"Nothing. The Spirit Hall a.s.signed her to take me to the Flying Cloud Summit. She took care of me along the way. She wanted to visit the place, so I played the good guy’s role and gave her a hand."
Lin Ya Qi was naïve and innocent. It seemed she was interested in the affectionate relationship between men and women. Along the way there, she continually asked him about it. She even probed Shi Yan’s private affairs, asking him how many women he had been with. This irritated Shi Yan.
As they had just finished halfway, Shi Yan decided to zip his mouth. No matter what she inquired, he kept his mouth shut.
Lin Ya Qi clenched her teeth, rolling her eyes at him angrily. "I’m just curious. Can’t you satisfy my little curiosity for a while? You know, my evil master controls me tightly. That brat Ye Chang Feng often has chances to get out. But I don’t have his big guts. I’m lonely here. It’s so boring…"
Shi Yan was surprised for a while. "Your teacher doesn’t allow you to go out?"
"In my realm, when he doesn't ask me to go out, I'm forbidden." Lin Ya Qi drooped her head, her face dispirited.
"Wait until you reach the Third Sky of Sky Realm, and your alchemist attainment reaches the Profound Level. I'll let you go out for three years." A leisurely, friendly laughter came from behind the wall in front of them. The wall then split open, revealing a tunnel decorated with gems. All of them were sparkling dazzlingly.
"Hurry up. The evil old man heard us." Lin Ya Qi tucked her tongue out, speeding her pace swiftly forward.
Shi Yan followed her.
Inside a s.p.a.cious cave, he saw more than ten caldrons with different sizes and colors. Mysterious patterns were carved on the cauldrons that looked more like the tadpole scripts. More than ten cauldrons occupied half of the s.p.a.ce in the cave. Outside the place, there were piles of bottles, jars, and containers which were full of spiritual herbs.
In the center of the cauldron area lied a fat man with a lazy appearance. He was fat like a small mountain of meat. The man squinted his small eyes, beaming a smile that seemed to be of no harm to any creature. He smiled at Shi Yan, then slightly raised his arm. "Little buddy, you are Shi Yan? Thank you for your drop of Life Original Fluid. Haha, you came from the Endless Sea. You're my distinguished guest."
Li Zheng Rong moved his body, reluctantly leaning against a big cauldron to sit up. He smiled awkwardly. "I’m too fat. It’s hard to move, and I’m lazy to exercise, too. If I can sit, I won’t stand. If I can lay down, I won’t sit. Many years ago, I used my body to test the drugs I refined. At that time, my realm wasn’t high enough, so among the medicines I refined, many of them didn’t meet the standard. I took them too much and got sick. Now, I’m getting fatter over time. Big headache."
"Elder Li, just make yourself comfortable. No need to mind me." Shi Yan smiled friendly. He then walked leisurely to each of the cauldrons to take a look. After that, he asked the fat man with great surprise. "These cauldrons show your progress of refining, right?"
Light shimmered from Li Zheng Rong’s small eyes while his fat face trembled. He laughed cheerily. "Why you ask so?"
He seemed to study Shi Yan, as if the young man had just touched his interest. His small eyes became livelier.
"When Elder Li refined pellets those old years, I guess you had used the biggest cauldron." Shi Yan said with a solemn face, walking to that cauldron. "At that time, your realm wasn't high enough, which made you dependent on the tools. And, your knowledge of refining pellets wasn't sufficient. That's why you needed a big cauldron to carve the formation to promote the efficacy of the herbs.
"As your Realm improved, your understanding of spiritual formation and the attainment became more brilliant. Later on, you realized that the cauldron was just a container during the medicinal refining process. Then, you didn’t use the big cauldrons anymore, but started to comprehend a higher Upanishad of refining method. Since that time, you’d started to use the smaller cauldrons.
"When Elder Li's realm reached the peak, you didn't need the cauldron anymore. You only used the fiery flame in your body to refine the earth-shaking pellets. At that moment, Elder Li was no longer dependent on using cauldrons. You've become a great master. Naturally, you don't need to use the external tools anymore. Now, you are using your body as the cauldron, your Soul Consciousness to be the leading medicine to gather and condense the heaven and earth aura, which could promote the efficacy of the herbs to the acme. This is the top realm of medicinal refining."
"Kid, you do have good knowledge!" Li Zheng Rong’s small eyes brightened. He nodded continually, trying to clap his fat hands. He seemed to rea.s.sess Shi Yan. "No wonder why that buddy Chang Feng told me you aren’t ordinary. Although our little a*shole’s a bit stubborn, he still has good knowledge. As I’ve met you today, I finally get it."
Shi Yan smiled modestly. "I’m not going to go around the bush. I’m coming here today to ask you to help me take a friend of mine back from the Pure Land. I can use the Life Original Fluid to exchange."
Li Zheng Rong was astounded for a while. Eventually, he sat upright and said seriously, "No matter what you offer, the Pure Land won’t return your friend. I’m sure about this."