Chapter 32: Loose cultivators and sects
"An induction stove, ...not a pill furnace? The kind used to cook vegetables, that induction stove?" North River's Loose Practitioner felt his blood pressure soaring.
Embarrassed, Song Shuhang replied, "Yes."
"Haha, as expected of Senior Song." Soft Feather chuckled.
"What about the pill cauldron? What kind pill cauldron did you use?" North River's Loose Practitioner immediately followed that up with yet another question.
"Erm, if the pill cauldron must be mentioned, it should be the hot pot." Song Shuhang felt a little ashamed. What he did was miles apart from the "normal" Xianxia style, he felt self-conscious.
"Hot pot? What model of pill cauldron is that? No...... wait, first, let me calm down. Don't tell me that the hot pot is the same pot that is used for steamboat?" North River's Loose Practitioner forcefully typed out these words.
"Yep, that's the one." Song Shuhang confirmed.
"......" North River's Loose Practitioner could only send an ellipsis.
In North River's Loose Practitioner's opinion, all these years of pill concoction experience he had accumulated was nothing but a god damn waste. This was this guy's first attempt at pill concoction, yet he managed to refine the Simplified Body Tempering Liquid using an induction stove and a hot pot. Meanwhile, he would still fail an attempt or two for every ten tries.
After a long while, he managed to type out, "Can I use foul language?"
"What the fuck!" Mad Saber Three Waves used it a step earlier.
"What the fuck!" Copper Trigram's Immortal Master immediately followed suit.
"What the fuck!" Drunk Moon Resident Scholar maintained the formation. About Drunk Moon Resident Scholar, he seemed to be someone who often appeared in the chat group, and thus should be a very active senior. But for some reason, everytime Song Shuhang saw this person's message he would feel that the style was very familiar, yet he would forget about it as soon as he turns away.
"Bastards, the three of you have all fucked, now how am I supposed to shout fuck?" North River's Loose Practitioner gloomily continued, "Take a look at my trump card! @Medicine Master, it's about time you step out, Brother Medicine Master!"
"Here." Medicine Master appeared, he had been reading the chat log all this time.
After a long time, he deleted and wrote repeatedly before finally entering a sentence, "Little friend, can you describe your process of refining? Especially the forty-first medicinal ingredient where you said there was a mishap."
Soft Feather's eyes shined, "Oh oh oh! Senior Song, I really want to know about this step too, I failed at this step quite a number of times!"
With Soft Feather around, Song Shuhang easily became a part of Nine Provinces (1) Group without any awkwardness. But of course, this also had a lot to do with the fact that he had been lurking in the group for over ten days, and his understanding of the people in the group.
"No problem, I can describe it." Song Shuhang then said, "I first inserted the ginseng slices, then added a ladle of water."
"Wait, wait, you added water?" Medicine Master's hand speed was off the charts, he asked, "Why did you add water?"
"Because if water wasn't added, the ginseng slices that were inserted into the pot would be burnt to a crisp, right?" Song Shuhang answered, yet in his heart he finally figured out one thing. As he had expected, people in the group don't add water when refining the Body Tempering Liquid.
"Oh, that's true. You're using an induction stove and a hot pot." North River's Loose Practitioner lamented. Why was it that ever since I learned the truth, my liver has been hurting more and more?
Medicine Master quietly nodded, "Makes sense. You may continue, adding water at the first step shouldn't have much of an effect towards the end."
As Song Shuhang began to narrate, all of the seniors in the chat group had a scene playing in their minds.
A man with a scholarly temperament named 'Mt. Books Huge Pressure' sat upright beside a... induction cooker, placed a hot pot on top of it, then earnestly inserted the medicinal ingredients for Body Tempering Liquid, and began refining the Body Tempering Liquid.
Why was there a strange feeling in their hearts?
What relationship does pill concoction have with an induction cooker and a hot pot!?
Song Shuhang didn't think about things too deeply, he briefly narrated his refining procedures, and added in his understanding and experiences regarding heat control and time. At the same time, he took the opportunity to bring up several problems he faced when he was refining the Body Tempering Liquid.
Listening to Song Shuhang's narration, and watching him slowly analyze the pill recipe he modified, Medicine Master felt deeply gratified, this gave him a feeling as if he made an intimate friend.
"When I inserted the forty-first medicinal ingredient, the Body Tempering Liquid in the pot suddenly released a horrid stench and burning smell, the medicinal liquid in the pot rapidly evaporated. In the blink of an eye it was one-fifth of what it was before." Song Shuhang then said, "At that point, I was unable to understand the reason why that was happening. I could only guess that it was some kind of medicinal reaction?"
"I've also come across this situation, the medicinal liquid very quickly dried up afterwards." Soft Feather called out.
"This heavenly master is the same." Copper Trigram's Immortal Master nodded as he said. They weren't pill masters, but as a cultivator, it was still no problem for them to refine some ordinary low-ranked pills.
"Because this medicinal ingredient is a catalyst, once it is inserted, it represents the final purification process. Also, if from the earlier stages your control of heat and time are lacking, then when this forty-first medicinal ingredient is inserted, this situation would occur. In order to avoid this, experience must be accumulated, there can be no shortcuts." Medicine Master replied.
Likewise, if something like that occurs, it can only be solved by experience and discerning judgement.
"Little friend Song Shuhang, how did you pass this obstacle?" Medicine Master curiously asked.
"I saw the medicinal liquid rapidly evaporating, so I first added a ladle of water, hoping to ease the evaporation speed." Song Shuhang recalled as he said.
"Adding water again? Oh... perhaps this is a good method of slowing the process. What did you do next? Adding water may slow down the process, but it only temporarily treats the symptom and not the root cause." Medicine Master asked. At the same time, he pondered over the practicality of adding water, however after some thinking he realized that if he met a situation like that, perhaps adding some special medicinal liquid would instead have a better effect at combating the evaporation of the medicinal liquid.
"Then I simply threw in the last four medicinal ingredients in together, and increased the heat to rapidly cook. In the end, the pot lid was blown off, and half a pot's worth of Body Tempering Liquid turned into approximately five spoonfuls." Song Shuhang replied.
"Five spoonfuls, if your spoon isn't the type used for babies, then five spoonfuls is already a lot." North River's Loose Practitioner exclaimed. In ordinary circumstances, refining the Body Tempering Liquid results in only three spoonfuls or so.
"How does the medicinal effectiveness compare with before? Oh... I forgot that this was your first time refining the Body Tempering Liquid." Medicine Master depressedly said, "I will first attempt refining your way, and will express my opinion after getting some results."
With that said, Medicine Master went offline.
"Haha, when it comes to concocting pills, Brother Medicine Master is always easily excited. Let's talk about this after he's done refining, if it is as he said, your way of refining may become the new Simplified Body Tempering Liquid, then whomever uses your way of refining will owe you one. This favor they owe you is simply too wonderful for words for you." North River's Loose Practitioner sent a smiley.
Song Shuhang made an appearance in this group, which represented the fact that he wanted to come into contact with 'cultivation'. Fact was, from the moment he ate the Body Tempering Liquid he refined, he had already taken a step into the world of cultivation.
"Well then, little friend Shuhang, welcome to Nine Provinces (1) Group." Said North River's Loose Practitioner, "Originally, these things should be explained to you by the group master Mt. Yellow's True Monarch, after all he was the one who added you, and he was also the one who chose to keep you because he felt that there was fate between you and him. However, the Great Devil Dog in his home is throwing a tantrum again today, so let me take his place."
Mt. Yellow's True Monarch's home's Great Devil Dog seems to have character, huh? Song Shuhang thought to himself.
"Since you've chosen to embark on the path of cultivation, then there are some things I must inform you of. The path of cultivation isn't as relaxed as you may think. Within there are countless dangers, and you may encounter a calamity any time."
"I understand this to some extent, I saw the Lightning Tribulation at H City from afar." Song Shuhang replied.
Soft Feather reinforced this by explaining, "The place Senior Song stays at is very close to H City, and also very close to J City."
"For you to even know about Ah Shiliu's Lightning Tribulation, seems like you've been keeping an eye on us ever since you entered the group?" North River's Loose Practitioner jested.
"Haha." Song Shuhang laughed awkwardly. He couldn't possibly say that he regarded everyone here as people with chuunibyou, and that he acquired pleasure from watching them, right?
"Since you're already mentally prepared, then I will move on to the main point." North River's Loose Practitioner said, "Since little friend Shuhang remains in this group, you evidently want to attain a way of cultivating from us. Therefore, according to our Nine Provinces (1) Group's tradition, you currently have two choices. Loose cultivation, or join the sect or school of one of the seniors in the group."
Since Nine Provinces (1) Group had so many people added, they naturally would have a code of conduct. But, a genuine newcomer like Song Shuhang, who had zero understanding of cultivation, was a first to them.