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NETS - Chapter 121 – Alchemist

Two years had passed since Lu Ping had left Huang Li Island. He had now consolidated his Fourth Layer Blood Condensation Realm cultivation base.

Initially, he had planned to return immediately after finishing his closed-door cultivation session and then secretly investigate who had leaked his whereabouts to the Fallen Cultivators.

Lu Ping had long suspected the identities of the people involved. However, these people were all from powerful clans that had strong influence and intricate networks within the sect. Therefore, without any solid evidence, there was no way he could get justice. Not only that, but he might even alert them and force them to scheme against him again.

Fortunately, Lu Dagui’s identity as a monster beast was a nice cover here in the monster race waters. Furthermore, this area was only occupied by Early Blood Condensation Realm monsters, so their safety was assured here.

As a result, Lu Ping was given the peace of mind to practice his alchemy here.

Lu Ping's alchemy proficiency had seen another leap after his cultivation base reached the Mid Blood Condensation Realm. Now, his success rate of concocting Late Blood Refining Realm medicinal pellets had reached fifty to sixty percent.

In other words, he now reached the requirements to concoct Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets.

But first, Lu Ping planned to raise the success rate of refining Late Blood Refining Realm medicinal pellets to seventy percent, before concocting any Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets.

This was because based on Lu Ping’s past experience, whenever he tried to concoct a new type of medicinal pellet, the amount of wasted pellets was always extremely high.

Unfortunately, his plan didn’t work out as he intended, as he ran out of spirit herbs for Blood Refining Realm medicinal pellets.

In the alchemist profession, alchemists were divided into five ranks.

The first rank was Trainee Alchemists, who were only taught how to identify spirit herbs and learn how to manage the cauldron fire settings. When their alchemy teacher thought that they were ready for the next rank, Trainee Alchemists would practice to concoct medicinal pellets under the guidance of their teacher.

When Trainee Alchemists succeeded in concocting Blood Refining Realm medicinal pellets, they would then become Apprentice Alchemists. But reality was harsh, since more than eighty percent of Trainee Alchemists would never succeed in concocting their first Blood Refining Realm medicinal pellet and advance.

Moreover, even if they could concoct Blood Refining Realm medicinal pellets, Apprentice Alchemists weren’t really recognized as true and genuine alchemists.

Only when an Apprentice Alchemist successfully concocted Blood Condensing Pellets could they be considered a true alchemist, and were given the title of Alchemist. However, Blood Condensing Pellets were far more difficult to concoct than Late Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets.

When an Alchemist was able to concoct Core Forging Realm medicinal pellets, they would be known as a Master Alchemist.

The next rank above Master Alchemist, was a legendary rank known as the Grandmaster Alchemist. These legendary alchemists could concoct the medicinal pellets needed by Avatar Realm Great Ancestors.

Regardless of their identity, race, or cultivation base; every Grandmaster Alchemist was treated with great respect even by Avatar Realm Great Ancestors. Their status was no less than the Avatar Realm Great Ancestors in the cultivation world, and were talents that every sect would die for.

Lu Ping had quite a lot of spirit herbs used to concoct Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets. They were mostly harvested from Fei Ling Island, and could finally be put to use.

In two years, after wasting an enormous amount of spirit herbs at the beginning, Lu Ping finally managed to maintain a success rate of thirty percent when concocting Early Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets. However, this came at the cost of using up half of the almost four thousand 500-year spirit herbs Lu Ping had in his possession.

If alchemists were to learn of this, they would cough up blood in anger hearing how many spirit herbs were wasted.

Such was the downside of not having any guidance from a teacher.

Although Lu Ping had received an alchemist's inheritance, and also gained a big collection of medicinal pellet recipes, he still needed to figure out everything on his own. He had to discover and learn from his failures through trial and error, which inevitably made him pay a far greater cost than other Apprentice Alchemists. 

The only one that benefited the most from his extravagant waste of spirit herbs to practice alchemy was Lu Dagui.

Lu Ping was already in the Mid Blood Condensation Realm, so these Early Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets couldn’t provide any significant medicinal efficacy to him anymore, given his profound arcane energy.

On top of that, Lu Ping still had sufficient Mid Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets with him. Hence, he was able to afford the luxury of feeding these Early Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets he concocted to Lu Dagui, who was devoted to its duties.

As a result, Lu Dagui, who only had ordinary talents, managed to reach and consolidate its cultivation base at the Second Layer Blood Condensation Realm in just two years' time.

Lu Ping’s other spirit pets also saw great improvements in their cultivation base.

Lu Dabao finally broke through into the Late Blood Refining Realm and was now in the Eighth Layer; whereas the three spirit snakes’ improvements were worthy of being Emerald Sea Spirit Snakes. In just two years, they also broke into the late Blood Refining Realm and were now in the Seventh Layer.

Among the spirit pets, Lu Dabao and the Snake Trio were the most active ones. Initially, Lu Dabao was still able to take the lead when playing with the Snake Trio, but now, Lu Dabao wasn’t even a match for any of the spirit snakes anymore, even though its cultivation base was higher.

However, Dabao’s strength was not fighting. Instead, it was incredibly good at escaping. Even when the Snake Trio have worked together to stop it, Dabao would still always be able to escape from their encirclement.

Lu Ping didn’t control his spirit pets except upgrading their cultivation base. After all, they were monster beasts who were inherently wild and unrestrained in nature. If he controlled them too tightly, he was afraid he might affect their growth.

Right now, Lu Ping was finally attempting to concoct Blood Condensing Pellets.

He placed four mid-grade spirit stones on the spirit gathering chassis which contained the Azure Spirit Fire. At the same time, he made a set of hand seals to control the fire settings. This set of hand seals was a fire control technique recorded in the [Sheng Tao’s Book of Alchemy], which could make it easier for the alchemist to control the cauldron’s fire settings.

Above the fire was a mid-grade cauldron which was already preheated. Lu Ping placed twenty-four 500-year spirit herbs in the cauldron according to the order given by the medicinal pellet recipe.

With a change in hand seals, a pure arcane energy was injected into the spirit pellet; along with the help of his divine sense, Azure Spirit Fire’s flame suddenly burned vigorously. Its blue flames blazed along the bottom of the cauldron with a raging heat wave spreading out in all directions.

At the same time, he used part of his divine sense to probe the cauldron, carefully observing the changes of the 24 spirit herbs' medicinal properties.

Three days passed. Lu Ping could only rest and recover from his exhaustion whenever the fire and medicinal properties were stable. But because of the significance of these medicinal pellets, which were related to Lu Ping’s qualification to become a true Alchemist, it was difficult for him to truly rest his mind.

On the afternoon of the third day, the final moment to concoct the medicinal pellets arrived.

Lu Ping sat in front of the cauldron, with his divine sense radiating out to watch the cauldron's situation at all times.

Suddenly, Lu Ping looked solemn. The medicinal properties of all 24 spirit herbs had been stimulated, turning into liquid form and were slowly fusing together.

The Snake Trio, Lu Dabao, and Lu Dagui were already waiting outside the cave, salivating and restless.

As Lu Ping has never stopped cultivating the [Divine Furtherance Technique], his divine sense had slowly increased to about ninety feet, even under the influence of the [Divine Separation Technique]. This range was already at the level of Late Blood Condensation Realm cultivators.

Lu Ping divided his divine sense into three parts. The first part continued to work with the fire control technique to slowly put out the Azure Spirit Fire's fire.

The second part probed deeper into the cauldron to observe the medicinal properties of the spirit herbs’ spiritual liquid.

The third part of his divine sense was kept ready. After the medicinal properties in the liquid were completely fused together, the liquid would be condensed into medicinal pellets with Lu Ping's [Pellet Concoct Technique].

This step was the final hurdle. If it failed, the spiritual liquid would evaporate when the cauldron cover was opened and lose its effectiveness. Only by condensing the spiritual liquid into pellets would the medicinal properties be retained without any reduction in medicinal efficacy.

Lu Ping's face was serious, the time had come to concoct the medicinal pellets. His divine sense worked together with the hand seals as he condensed the mass of spiritual liquid together to form medicinal pellets.

His face was overflowing with sweat. This time, it wasn’t because his arcane energy was lacking, but rather it was the excessive use of his divine sense which became too much for Lu Ping to bear all of a sudden.

Lu Ping gritted his teeth and made the last hand seal. The cauldron suddenly shook and a strong fragrance was emitted along with the hint of a burnt smell.

Lu Ping looked very happy and waved his hand to open the cauldron. Two purple medicinal pellets the size of a lychee flew out of it; they were the Blood Condensing Pellets which Lu Ping was very familiar with. Besides those, there were also eight black medicinal pellets left in the cauldron which emitted a burnt smell, which were the wasted pills.

He was concocting a new type of medicinal pellet for the first time and had already achieved a twenty percent success rate. How could this be possible?

Lu Ping's ecstasy was mixed with a touch of disbelief. He knew that he had always lost all the medicinal pellets the first time he tried to concoct any new type of medicinal pellets. Most of the time, he would either concoct ten wasted medicinal pellets, or lose the spiritual liquid even before the concocting process.

Just as Lu Ping had gotten used to his failures in concocting new medicinal pellets, he suddenly found that he had successfully concocted two Blood Condensing Pellets, which had never happened before. Lu Ping couldn’t believe his eyes all of sudden.

It took Lu Ping a whole day to free himself from the excitement. After calming down, Lu Ping concocted four more cauldrons of Blood Condensing Pellets in a row. This used up all the spirit herbs in his possession, needed to concoct Blood Condensing Pellets.

Except for the third cauldron, where he only concocted one Blood Condensation Pellet due to carelessness, the fourth and fifth cauldron each produced three Blood Condensing Pellets.

Looking at the eleven Condensed Blood Beads in his hand, Lu Ping went into a trance again. He could now officially call himself an Alchemist, he was now a noble alchemist!

This also meant that Lu Ping could finally stop being unable to make ends meet on the path of alchemy.

Lu Ping didn’t know the reason why his alchemy took such a huge leap forward. It was clearly not a fluke, since when Lu Ping was concocting the Mid Blood Condensation Realm pellets, he quickly managed a success rate of around forty percent

Perhaps it was Lu Ping's long hours and countless practice, or maybe it was his strong divine sense; in the end Lu Ping attributed it to his unrelenting hard work, costless investment and persistence.

With sufficient Mid Blood Condensation Realm medicinal pellets, Lu Ping, who had just consolidated his Fourth Layer Blood Condensation Realm cultivation, was at the right time to further his cultivation base through the medicinal pellets.

Hence, Lu Ping decided to cultivate here for a longer period of time. He simply couldn’t let this opportunity slip from his fingers.

Lu Ping also learned about the situation in the monster sea waters through Lu Dagui's brief description. In the information, the surrounding territory was the most detailed.

Unfortunately, Lu Ping was chased by the Ocean Overturning Gang and lost his direction in the process of fleeing. So even now, he still didn’t know where he was within the monster race sea.

RD's Notes:

Editor: Immortal BloodRogue


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Currently translated up to Chapter 160.
Written by SleepingAutumn. Translated by RD. Edited by Milkbiscuit, Immortal BloodRogue.