Chapter 3: One Pill Recipe
The sun hung high in the sky. It was precisely noon.
Since his roommates knew that Song Shuhang had not yet recovered from his cold, they had already asked for another day of sick leave for him so that he could rest well.
"Why do I feel like my illness is getting more serious? Is it because I haven't been exercising much lately, which led to my body's condition worsening?" Song Shuhang wondered.
Beside him, there was a bowl of century egg porridge. His roommates had brought this for him during lunchtime.
"What a nice bunch!" Song Shuhang unhesitantly placed them in his friend zone.
After he'd slept for god knows how long, he was so hungry that his chest stuck to his back. He then raked the century egg porridge into his mouth before he switched on his computer again.
When he habitually opened the group chat software, he saw the red dot that specified the number of latest messages in the 'Nine Provinces (1) Group'.
Song Shuhang curiously extended his hand to open the Nine Provinces (1) Group tab, wanting to see what the Xianxia aficionado chunnibyous had talked about throughout the night.
The chat logs of the early morning surfaced before his eyes.
North River's Loose Practitioner's questions related to the 'newcomer', Mad Saber Three Waves' death-seeking ways, the interesting senior from the Spiritual Butterfly Island. There's also Mt. Yellow's True Monarch who had claimed he had divined that they were brought together by fate just by using a divination technique once.
As he looked at the chatlogs, the images of these few people began to fill Shuhang's mind.
"So it's because they added the wrong person. Like I said, I don't even recognise this Mt. Yellow's True Monarch."
Judging from the chatlogs, it seems like not just anyone could freely join this group? A member's recommendation was needed to enter.
Moreover, the age of this bunch of xianxia aficionados all didn't seem to be young. There was even someone who had a daughter.
To add-on, from his tone, it seemed that his daughter was no longer young? Then with some calculations, perhaps he was already forty to fifty years old. Already so old but still stuck in chuuni. His daughter must have suffered a lot.
Skimming through the chat logs, Song Shuhang maintained his lurking mode, unconditionally remaining silent.
Seeing the group members act foolishly was a very interesting thing, but if he joined in, what would it then be considered as? He doesn't act foolishly anyways.
Therefore, his plan was to just lurk, read the chat logs and get a few laughs everyday.
If there's one day that he felt that this chat group has become boring, he would just quit Nine Provinces (1) Group.
This was how he had always thought.
Unknowingly, ten days had already passed.
June 1st. Saturday, Children's Day.
[TL: Holiday in China]
Shuhang's roommates were all half-boarders and half day-schoolers. What that meant was that they stayed in the dorms from to Monday to Friday and went home on weekends. So whenever the weekend came, only one lonely person, him, would be left in the dorms.
Song Shuhang had already recuperated from his cold, but he was still suffering from a stuffy nose and a cough. These coughs from the cold were more troublesome to recover from. If it was not well taken care of, these coughs could last a couple of months.
As he rested on Saturday, Shuhang slept till 8AM before waking up. Then, he went to the cafeteria and ate some lightly flavored food.
With nothing to do, he returned to the dormitory.
After opening his computer, he had already become accustomed to visiting the chat logs of the Nine Provinces (1) Group. This was now his main way of passing the time.
Unknowingly, he had joined this group for 10 days already.
While lurking these past 10 days, he saw that the majority of the people in the group were chatting about which secret realm to intrude, and how much rewards they'll reap. Other than that, there were also talks about where the evil ghosts and demons had appeared, and whether to tame or behead them.
They talked like all of this was real. Song Shuhang was thinking, if he were to take the contents of this chat log, polish it up a bit, then post it online as a Xianxia Novel, he could make quite a bit of money from royalties.
Within these past 10 days, Song Shuhang recognized quite a number of people from the group.
For example, the rarely seen group master, Mt. Yellow's True Monarch.
Furthermore, the two moderators who had never appeared since he joined this group, Daluo Sect's Rainmoon True Monarch and Seven Path's Respected Sage.
The frequently online included 'intelligence reporter' North River's Loose Practitioner, death-seeking Mad Saber Three Waves, Su Clan's Ah Qi who wanted to fight with or without speaking, and Medicine Master whose words were as hard to come by as gold.
In addition, there was also the constantly lurking Roaming Cloud Monk Tong Xuan who only posted emoticons even when he surfaced in the chat. It was rumoured that this High Monk has been training in silent meditation. He was not only unable to speak but also even unable to type. At most, he could send an emoticon.
Finally, amongst this somewhat chunni group, there was Spirit Butterfly Island's Soft Feather who spoke normally. Her number was only one digit away from Song Shuhang's. Only by riding on her good fortune did Shuhang receive the opportunity to enter this Nine Provinces (1) group.
These reports were obtained by him when North River's Loose Practitioner passionately introduced the group's members to Spiritual Butterfly Island's Soft Feather.
Today, upon opening the Nine Provinces (1) Chat, the first thing he saw was a message from the Medicine Master.
The Medicine Master, whose words were as hard to come by as gold, sent: "Improved a foundation pill formula."
Including the punctuation mark, this was a six word sentence! From the moment he joined the group, Song Shuhang had never seen the Medicine Master post such a long message. So he continued to read on.
The Medicine Master's news was posted in the early morning.
"Simplified Pill Recipe for Body Tempering Liquid: Ginseng 3 liang, Goji Berries 4 liang 3 qian;Morning Dew Mysterious Grass; Rising Sun Stone 3 liang, Maiden's Fragrance 1 liang 3 qian..... Fresh Overlord Branch 1 liang, thinly sliced Nine-Yang Scarlet Flame Bamboo 4 liang....."
[TL: 1 liang = 50g; 1 qian = 5g]
Listing 45 types of medicinal ingredients in succession, amongst them, there were familiar looking ingredients like Ginseng and Goji Berries, but there were also the rarely heard Rising Sun Stone and the unheard-before ingredients, Morning Dew Mysterious Grass, Fresh Overlord Branches, the Nine-Yang Scarlet Flame Bamboo and such.
"Follow the proportion of the recipe and put them one by one into the pill furnace, simmer it for five minutes, insert the next herb, then simmer for five minutes, insert next herb and repeat. Pay attention to the fire's temperature! By using this process, the medicinal liquid would turn into a paste. A successfully completed Body Tempering Liquid should be black in colour, transparent, and with a strong smell.."
Easy to understand!
Out of the 40-over ingredients, there were many that Song Shuhang did not recognize. Curiously, he went only to look them up.
In the pill formula, there were 30 ingredients from common chinese medicine, all for improving your qi, blood and such.
There were still 15 ingredients such as Morning Dew Mysterious Grass, Fresh Overlord Branch, and Scarlet Flame Bamboo which he had never heard of, it can't be that this 'Medicine Master' from the group is making up things right?
"These people have sunk too deep into this delusion, they even made up medicinal formulas! It can't be that someone would really follow this formula and consume that medicinal paste right?" Song Shuhang wondered.
He was a bit anxious, because as rice could be eaten in any way you like, but medicine could not be randomly taken!
Wouldn't indiscriminately eating medicine lead to death? How about advising this group of chuunibyou not to? No matter how you put it, Song Shuhang had already been in this chat for 10 days.
If someone in this group happened to die from recklessly eating medicine, he too would feel a bit guilty
Continuing on, upon checking the chat, he realized that some people had already followed the instructions!
It turns out that it was the one that seemed the most normal in the chat, Spiritual Butterfly Island's Soft Feather, that responded at around 2 in the morning.
Spiritual Butterfly Island's Soft Feather: "Compared to the old formula, this one is lacking in alot of rare medicinal ingredients. The process is also simplified by a lot. Medicine Master, what temperature should the fire be? I just tried, but the result was it had failed midway. Also, how much of the medicinal effectiveness is decreased in comparison to the original?"
"Effect 2:1." Said Medicine Master.
Medicine effectiveness was only half from before, after all many precious herbs were lessened. But with such normal mass-oriented medicinal ingredients, to still be able to form a Body Tempering Liquid, it would be considered a profit even so.
"The temperature and specific timings has to be grasped yourself, it cannot be explained." Medicine Master once again sent a rare long line of words, only when it came to questions about pill concoctions would he clench his teeth and enter a few more words, "Also, if your fire control arts aren't good enough, I recommend you utilize a treasure for fire control."
"Thank you senior, I will try again." Spiritual Butterfly Island's Soft Feather sent a smiley, then returned to lurking.
Spiritual Butterfly Island's Soft Feather's final message was at 2:30AM in the morning, if she went to concoct pills after that, judging from the time she should already have concocted a few furnaces of pills right?
It could kill right? From the start, this bunch of chuunibyous were already very silly, if they ate the wrong medicine too, wouldn't they become super silly? Originally, they could probably be saved, but right now if they ate that medicine then there would truly be no hope for rescue!
His conscience finally took over, and he couldn't help but enter into the chat window, "Medicine cannot be randomly taken!"
Right as he was about to knock on the Enter key, and send his first sentence in this group......The chat window vibrated.
A large smiley popped out from the group chat's avatar.
It was the moderator who hadn't appeared from when Song Shuhang entered the chat group Seven Path's Respected Sage, "This recipe is great, I just tried simultaneously concocting it in seven furnaces, and all of them easily succeeded. The success rate is very high. I've tried some and the effectiveness of the medicine is slightly more than half of the old version of Body Tempering Liquid. But the cost of manufacturing this recipe is only a tenth of the old recipe.
The Body Tempering Liquid may be the lowest level of pills, but as of today, the spiritual Qi in this realm is becoming thinner and thinner. To us for whom expensive medicines and herbs are rare, this truly is a good thing. Medicine Master, continue to work hard. If you can improve pill recipes of level three and above, then your contributions and efforts will truly be invaluable."
"To add-on: What's most important is, the concocting difficulty has been greatly reduced, this can even be passed on to medicinal students to concoct."
Seven Path's Respected Sage was a famous senior in the group, and in terms of strength he was even one level higher than Mt. Yellow's True Monarch. He also had high attainments in terms of pill concoction. In this group, he could be said to be the authority in terms of pill concocting, his praises naturally let a junior like Medicine Master feel extremely heartened.
"Thank you senior, I will work hard!" Medicine Master excitedly entered these many words in a single sentence, moreover with high speeds.
Song Shuhang's mouth started twitching, there was actually someone who had already concocted and taken that 'body tempering liquid'?