Chapter 25: Distracted in the Eleventh Hour
Extracting a sufficient amount of Tiger Paw Grass medicinal liquid was just a small part of the initial step. Next up was to extract the medicinal liquid from three other medicinal herbs.
After taking a small break, Xiao Chen retrieved a saffron and held it in his hands. He tried to use his Spiritual Awareness to establish a mental connection with it.
He focused his attention and the green sphere in his sea of consciousness took on the shape of a brook-like, long, and jade-green line. It traveled through the meridians in his arms and exited his body. The green line, which was invisible to the naked eye, made a connection to the brightly-colored saffron.
Instantly, a bright red space appeared within Xiao Chen's consciousness, as though it was right in front of his eyes. This time, Xiao Chen gained a deeper understanding of this medicinal herb's inner space.
Those flowing red threads should be the medicinal properties of the saffron. The area that had the densest amount of threads was the place with the most medicinal properties. Thus, he could afford to be careless when it came to the other areas.
After a while, Xiao Chen opened his eyes and rescinded this strange state. After experiencing this mental connection, he now had a rough understanding of the sphere in his sea of consciousness.
The green sphere could be a Spiritual Core consolidated after he awakened his Spiritual Awareness. However, he did not know what level of aptitude this Spiritual Core, which was as small as a green pea, was considered to be at.
Gathering his thoughts, Xiao Chen circulated the Purple Thunder Divine Incantation once again, condensing the Purple Thunder True Fire. He began to extract the medicinal liquid in the saffron, extracting a total of fifty drops of red medicinal liquid. Following that, he extracted the medicinal liquid of the star anise and spearmint, both of them yielding fifty drops of medicinal liquid each.
Looking at the four porcelain bottles on the table, Xiao Chen took a breather and wiped the sweat off his forehead. The first step in refining the Fasting Pill had finally been completed. That alone had actually already exhausted half of all the Essence in his body..
The second step was to form the pill. It required the supplementation of an enormous amount of Essence. If he came up deficient in Essence whilst in the midst of this step, everything would be for naught. Xiao Chen could only temporarily give up on proceeding with the second step and circulated his cultivation technique to slowly restore the exhausted Essence.
At this moment, Xiao Chen desired nothing more than a larger capacity for Essence. If he had a sufficient reserve of Essence, then this would never have been an issue in the first place. He was only attempting to refine the most basic medicinal pill. If he were to try refining a pill of a higher grade, he would not even be able to last through the first step.
After half an hour, Xiao Chen stopped cultivating. The Essence in his body had been fully restored, which was now sufficient for him to carry on with the second step of cultivation.
Picking up the Azure Dragon medicinal cauldron, Xiao Chen condensed the Purple Thunder True Fire and thrust it into the opening for fire on the Azure Dragon medicinal cauldron. The purple fire burned ferociously in the cauldron. First of all, he poured the Tiger Paw Grass medicinal liquid in.
Under the purification of the Purple Thunder True Fire, the viscous liquid continued to churn, giving off a 'Zi Zi' sound. The medicine cauldron began to give off a faint fragrance. Xiao Chen mentally kept track of the time and poured the second medicinal liquid in after a minute.
After four minutes, all the medicinal liquids in the four porcelain bottles were emptied into the medicinal cauldron. Xiao Chen placed the cauldron lid on and continued to supply Essence to the Purple Thunder True Fire in the medicinal cauldron.
An invisible thread connected to the Purple Thunder True Fire in the medicinal cauldron made the Essence in his body flow out in a steady stream, which kept the purple flames alive
This was the disadvantage of not having Spiritual Sense. If Xiao Chen could cultivate his Purple Thunder Divine Incantation to the 2nd layer and attain Spiritual Sense, he could directly use it to control the strength of the Purple Thunder True Fire. He would not have to wastefully spend his Essence as he did at present.
Within the Azure Dragon medicinal cauldron, the four medicinal liquids of different colors continuously churned before slowly fusing together, turning into a viscous liquid that was continuously spinning. At this moment, the smell of medicine started to turn denser in the room.
Xiao Chen, who was without Spiritual Sense, was not able to see the situation inside the medicinal caldron. He could only judge based on the fragrance that came out from the medicinal cauldron that the four types of medicinal liquid had already fused together.
At this moment, he could no longer use a fierce flame to purify it. He had to follow the direction of the spinning ball of medicinal liquid, controlling the Purple Thunder True Fire to wrap around it from a distance. The Purple Thunder True Fire also had to slowly rotate in sync with it, and the temperature had to be adjusted.
Sweat continuously trickled down from Xiao Chen's forehead, as this was a delicate step that exhausted more Essence than simply brute-forcing a fierce flame to purify the medicinal liquid. Each time the flames made a complete revolution, Xiao Chen felt the reserve of Essence in his body wither significantly. If he ran into a situation where he ran out of Essence, then everything he had done so far would be for naught.
The medicinal fragrance within the house took on another change. Xiao Chen could finally breathe easy. There was about a tenth of his Essence left in his body. The situation that he was the most worried about, running out of Essence, did not occur, fortunately. This bit of Essence was enough to complete the final step in refining this pill.
Under the purification of the warm flames, the medicinal liquid in the cauldron had already condensed into a rough sphere-shaped pill embryo. A faint fragrance wafted out from the cauldron. As long as the final step of solidifying it was completed, then this Fasting Pill would be completed.
Xiao Chen opened up the cauldron lip, in which an even thicker fragrance wafted out and assaulted his nose. Looking at the rough pill embryo in the medicinal cauldron, Xiao Chen felt extremely content. For him to be able to make it all the way to this step without committing any major mistakes during his first refinement was very gratifying.
If he could perfectly complete the final step, then it would be ideal. Xiao Chen's eyes seemed to burn with excitement, but his heart remained extremely calm. This final step was the most important step. There was no room for mistakes.
Xiao Chen guided the Purple Thunder True Fire to slowly rise into the air, and the rough pill embryo similarly followed the purple fire and rose up into the air. He stretched out his right hand and the pill embryo surrounded by purple fire slowly descended onto his palm.
It was time to solidify it and shape it!
With his attention fully honed in on it, Xiao Chen's eyebrows were tightly knit into a frown. This would only happen in a situation where someone was concentrating extremely hard.
The pill embryo spun rapidly within the flames, and Xiao Chen did not even dare to let go of his breath. The sweat glistened on his forehead as it incessantly poured down his face, trickling downwards. The uneven pill embryo started to smoothen out and turn into a perfect sphere, and even a faint glow began to surround the pill.
Only once this step was completed could the Fasting Pill be considered a true pill. Xiao Chen pushed down ferociously with his hand, sending the pill back into the cauldron. After closing the lid, he began the final heating.
At this moment, Xiao Chen still did not dare to relent in his focus. Until the pill came out of the cauldron, he had not succeeded. However, there was not much risk anymore. Before this Fasting Pill could be considered complete, it simply needed another half a day to simmer.
"Second Young Master, supper is already ready, do you want to eat yet?"
Right at this moment, the sudden appearance of Bao`er's voice caused Xiao Chen to lose focus. In the instant he lost focus, he did not control the flames in the medicinal cauldron properly. Thus, the medicinal pill that was almost completed shattered into pieces.
From the other dragon head of the Azure Dragon medicinal cauldron, a stream of debris from the medicinal pill began to flow out...
"Damn! What are you doing here at this moment!" Xiao Chen shouted angrily in the direction of the door, at Bao`er.
All his efforts were squandered just like that. It was not easy for the refining process to proceed all the way to this final moment. Xiao Chen's mood was soured to an extreme. His sweat-filled face coupled with his livid expression made him look very terrifying.
When Bao`er, who was outside, saw Xiao Chen angrily shouting at her, and then seeing the situation on the table, she knew that she was in trouble. Her tiny face had turned extremely pale from fright, and the tray of supper trembled in her hands as she held onto it.
Tears began to trickle down from her eyes as she replied like a little mouse scared witless: "Second Young Master, I... I did not do that on purpos"
Xiao Chen, who had exhausted all of his Essence and had entered an extremely weak state of mind, merely waved his hands impatiently, "Go out, there is nothing for you to do here."
After half a day, Xiao Chen recovered some of his strength. He then felt regret. What's wrong with me... it was just a failure at refining a pill. Why did he lose his temper at a little girl? Had he really begun to fancy himself as a Young Master?
With this little bit of strength and status, he had already started losing his temper in such a manner. In that case, how was he different from the Zhang Clan and their prodigal sons? It was just a failed attempt at the refinement of a medicinal pill. If he failed the first time, he could just attempt it again. He had no need to vent his anger on a little girl.
The more Xiao Chen thought about it, the more he felt that he was in the wrong. He got up and headed towards Bao`er's room. The light in her room was not out yet. Xiao Chen, as he stood in front of the door, could hear the gentle sobbings coming from inside.
He gently pushed the door open. Maybe because she came back in a hurry, but the door to her room was not locked and was opened with just a gentle push.
When Bao`er, who was sitting at the bedside, saw Xiao Chen push open the door and enter, she hurriedly wiped away the tears in her eyes and shivered as she inquired carefully, "Second Young Mast... why are you here? Just now... I really did not do it on purpose..."
Oh, Xiao Chen, Xiao Chen, such an innocent young lady and you scared her to such a degree. You really are horrible. Xiao Chen scolded himself in his heart.
He was not able to speak the words of apology he had thought of earlier on the way here. After he saw the supper that was placed on the table, a bowl of squid porridge, he replied, "I am here for supper, as well as to check up on you."
When Xiao Chen finished saying that, he picked up the squid porridge on the table and began to eat with gusto. It tasted pretty good. Normally, the kitchens would not provide supper, so this should have been made by Bao`er personally.
"It is very tasty... did you make it yourself?"
"En, I can cook pretty well. I have learned from my mother when I was young." Bao`er said in a soft voice.
Looking at Xiao Chen, who seemed happier after eating the porridge, Bao`er asked tentatively, "Second Young Master, are you still angry at me?"
Xiao Chen slammed down the bowl on the table. His face seemed extremely stern. Bao`er's heart started to thump very hard in response.
"Just kidding with you. I am angry that you made too little squid porridge today. I'm punishing you by making you make more tomorrow." Xiao Chen suddenly softened his expression into a smile.
Bao`er's tear-stained face immediately lit up with a smile as she said in disbelief: "Really?"
Xiao Chen got up and walked over to Bao`er, wiping away the tears on her face. He replied in a sincere tone, "Really, the squid porridge tastes very good. I should not have lost my temper at you earlier. Don't think too much of it and have a good sleep."