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Chapter 62 – Alchemy

 

Luo Xiao completely ignored the many people who were gossiping around him and followed behind Overseer Zhu.

They quickly reached the herb fields. A few sparse people were there, weeding the fields, but only a handful could be seen – clearly, it was very unpopular to weed the fields for points.

Luo Xiao could not help but wonder how exactly all the herbs were being harvested and delivered to the herb hall so that students could pick them up in exchange for points.

However, he was soon getting an answer. Overseer Zhu went to one of the fields that was filled to the brim with a herb known as Crimson Starflower.

It was shaped like a star, but the color was like crimson blood. It was another very common herb for alchemists and medicinal cultivators to use in producing medicine, and it had the properties of increasing one’s ability to absorb heaven and earth essence for a period of time.

Looking at the field, Luo Xiao saw that a surplus of the plants was already mature and needed to be harvested soon, but at the same time, most of the space in between was filled with weeds, making it a hassle to actually pick each of the mature herbs.

“We are going to harvest now,” Overseer Zhu said with a smile on his face, but his words caused Luo Xiao to frown slightly. If he had to harvest now, it would take a long time, as he would be in need of weeding out the other plants at the same time.

Just as Luo Xiao sighed and started rolling up his sleeves to start working, Overseer Zhu stepped forward. Spiritual energy started pouring out of his body and it soon it shrouded the entire field in front of them.

Every weed was pulled out by the root as if an invisible hand had pulled it out, taking them so gently that even their roots were pulled out, and then they were stacked by the side of the field.

It took Overseer Zhu a mere twenty seconds to weed an entire field which would have taken Luo Xiao three days.

After finishing the weeding out the unwanted plants, Overseer Zhu then focused on the mature herbs. Once again they were removed gently from the field.

Overseer Zhu had taken a large jade box from his storage pouch and the mature herbs all landed within the box before he closed it.

The previously messy field was now completely cleared and the herbs that were mature had been harvested.

Luo Xiao was deeply shocked upon seeing the actions of Overseer Zhu. He had never before known that soul power, or spiritual energy, could be used in this way.

“Let us go to the next field,” Overseer Zhu said with a slight smile on his lips as he moved to the field next to it. Here he did the same thing while harvesting Misty Fog fall Flowers. Misty Fog Fall Flowers were a kind of herb that allowed for one to hide their aura.

After the Misty Fog Fall Flowers, they went for Silk Safflower, which had body strengthening properties. Then they went to harvest Blue Dill Seeds, which was used to create cleansing medicines – medicines that cleared one’s meridians and body.

They did not stop before they had also harvested the Violet Storm Root, which was used for healing medicines and finally the Sun Roses and the Tiger Vines.

Suddenly many of the fields which had seemed completely filled with weeds were now tidy and the right herbs were proudly standing on their lines, growing and waiting for the next time Overseer Zhu came to harvest herbs.

It only took around a minute for each of the fields, but Overseer Zhu seemed incredibly bored after harvesting the herbs, and he quickly returned to the herb hall to hand over the harvest to the clerk behind the desk.

Although Overseer Zhu had harvested a lot of herbs, he could not be bothered splitting them up in individual jade boxes, and he just dumped the large boxes on the counter before returning to the pill room.

Luo Xiao quickly followed behind, but he was deep in thought about how Overseer Zhu had managed to harvest the plants. To be able to spread his energy so far and simultaneously pull out so many weeds required insane control over one’s soul power.

While moving up the stairs, Luo Xiao was spreading out his soul power, trying to spread it to see how far a distance he could cover, only to sense that he could only spread it four meters in every direction.

Sensing the soul energy of Luo Xiao spreading around, the lips of Overseer Zhu twitched. One has to know that spreading one’s energy was not easy, but Luo Xiao was capable of doing so after only seeing him doing it a few times.

“A way to make your control over soul power improve is to become an alchemist,” Overseer Zhu said to no one in particular, but since Luo Xiao was the only one around, he listened intently.

“Only soul cultivators are capable of creating medicines, just like only Qi cultivators can make armaments.”

“To become an alchemist, one has to first be an apothecary. Apothecaries are the ones who make pastes and salves. Their ranks are split into beginner, advanced and master apothecaries. What determines one’s rank is the strength of one’s salves and pastes.”

“When one can make pills, there are different ranks of alchemists too. First, are the beginner, then the advanced, the master and the grandmaster.”

“As a grandmaster and before, one is capable of producing a white glow when refining medicines, but when one becomes a grandmaster there is one more rank above, the rainbow alchemists.”

“Rainbow alchemists are split into a further seven ranks, and these ranks are the colors of the rainbow.”

“A one colored rainbow alchemist will be able to use a red glow when refining pills, a two-colored rainbow alchemist can use a red and an orange glow. Then on top of them comes yellow, green, blue, indigo and lastly violet.”

Luo Xiao listened intently. He had never planned on being an alchemist before, but now he was quite curious. He had to admit that being an alchemist had quite some benefits, not to mention if only soul cultivators could become alchemists, did this not mean that they were incredibly rare? Maybe he could be of use to Jiang Yao if he learned the trade.

Sensing that Luo Xiao had been caught by curiosity, Zhu Tian snickered, but he said no more as they arrived at the pill room. Instead, he began concocting a medicinal paste, a paste that was very simple, something that beginner apothecaries would learn.

Luo Xiao was able to comprehend that the Overseer was doing this for his sake. Although he had said nothing, he had no reason to make such a paste if it was not to show Luo Xiao how it was made.

The paste was incredibly simple, it only required two herbs, the Tiger Vine and the Sun Roses. Added together, these two herbs were capable of strengthening one’s body.

Luo Xiao observed with interest how the herbs were refined by a flame made purely from soul power, and then they were mashed together to create a paste.

This paste was very useful to low ranked Qi cultivators, and although they also had some usage for soul cultivators, they were not able to strengthen their bodies as much.

Luo Xiao’s eyes were capturing every single movement that Overseer Zhu was doing, and he remembered all of them, stored the memory in his mind.

When he had finished, he put the paste on the table and returned to the cauldron and began refining herbs and made a batch of pills.

The cauldron had eleven pills within it, all of them were white like pearls, and their size also looked like smaller pearls.

“Pills also has different grades of quality,” Overseer Zhu continued as if he was speaking to himself, yet the words landed in Luo Xiao’s ears and he was very curious.

“The herbs can be distilled multiple times. The more times the herb has been distilled, the more impurities have been removed, and thus the quality of the pill will also rise.”

“Before you become a rainbow alchemist, all your pills will be white, but the whiteness can vary from grey to pearl white, depending on how many times it is distilled. The whiter it is the better quality it is.”

Luo Xiao spent the next couple of days listening to Overseer Zhu explain about the pills, the theories behind alchemy and see him display it for him. Even if Luo Xiao was not as intelligent he would have long since realized that Overseer Zhu was intentionally helping him.

After four days of going to visit Overseer Zhu every day, a new week had begun. “You should take a few days off,” Zhu Tian said with determination, “you have to go to the lessons, not to mention you have gained two hundred points from me, and twenty from the first day you were weeding the herb fields. It is about time that you start using these points in the facilities that are made to improve your cultivation base.”

Luo Xiao nodded his head seriously. “When should I come back then?” He asked, not sure if he was welcome back in the future, but Zhu Tian quickly doused his doubts, “Come back after next week’s lesson is over, so you have a full week for yourself,” he said, “you should be able to handle a week with two hundred and twenty points.”

Luo Xiao nodded his head in relief, he was welcome back, that was great. “In that case, I will take my leave now,” he said with a bow to Zhu Tian, before he left he cast a last glance at the room and felt warmth in his heart. Throughout the entire academy where everyone treated him either as a thorn in their side, or an interesting pastime, it was quite enjoyable that there was someone who treated him well.

The rest of that day, Luo Xiao was relaxing at home. After the incident where someone had his tendons cut off, no one came to cause problems for him.

The following morning, Luo Xiao woke up early, washed his face and brushed his teeth before he dressed in another set of white clothes from Royal Cloth, this time with a pale purple border on the clothes, these were his favorite clothes, and he tied up his hair in a bun on top of his head.

He was excited about another lesson at the academy, everything he was learning was new to him and he wanted to understand the things happening around him.

As he left the house he came across quite a few people who looked at him with peculiar expressions, but no one caused problems. Although Luo Xiao has been keeping a low profile the rumours about him were anything but silent.

When he reached the class he saw that today there were a full twenty-three students in the class apart from himself.

The moment they saw him, the previously bustling atmosphere turned silent. Everyone were looking at Luo Xiao, and no one dared speaking.

By now he was completely used to these glances and although he was against it he could do nothing about it so he quietly found a place where he could sit down and observe the lesson, far away from the others.

“I heard he is the pet of some rich old lady who has ties to one of the princes,” a voice suddenly cut into the silence. 

It was clear that the expert who spoke wanted Luo Xiao to hear him, and he snickered when he saw that Luo Xiao looked at him with a frown.

“What? You don’t want to admit it?” The young man taunted when he saw Luo Xiao’s displeased expression.