Ye Xiu's progress in his Qi Control had progressed at a relatively insane pace according to what Lao Lan had told him. He was capable of doing the advanced exercises which Lao Lan had told him about. He had reached what could be called perfect Qi Control. This had taken a year.
Lao Lan had deemed his skilful enough in Qi Control for him to be sent elsewhere. "I've taught you as much as I can about Qi Control, it's time for you to move on to something else and it won't be the continuation of the Medical Arts for now. You'll be going over to the Pill Master. I'll follow you so you don't get lost along the way."
They walked for over half an hour before arriving at their destination. The building was slightly bigger than the Medical Hall, it was a single story building with no grand adornments on it. It was a simple brick building with what possibly looked like a window in every single room.
Lao Lan briskly walked into the building without bothering to care about any formalities or whatnot. He called out the moment he was inside, "Get your ass out of the room! I know that you know that we are here. The formations informed you of our arrival so there's no point in hiding from us! You are so lazy."
A figure could be seen walking out from one of the doors on the right. "There's no need for you to get all worked up Lao Lan. I was just taking my time to get here. After all, I'm not the one who is always late now am I?" The figure quipped back at Lao Lan for his comment.
"It's good to see you anyway, you look the same as usual. Sloppy and clumsy." Lao Lan observed the figure.
"You can't say anything else since the both of us look the same, retard." The figure came into full view and Ye Xiu immediately saw the resemblance of the man.
"Ye Xiu, this here is my identical twin, Lao Xiu. He's the Pill Master for the clan and he's one of the best Alchemists in the entire country." Lao Lan introduced the two of them to each other.
"As if you aren't one of the best Alchemists in the country, we both took the examinations for each Alchemist level at the same time. The only reason why you aren't the Pill Master in the Clan is due to the fact that you are so lazy! You shoved the responsibility of the role to me when you found out the high demand for the Alchemists in the Clan and you ran away." Lao Xiu wiped a fake tear off his face.
"Heh, you've always been the more hard-working one out of the two of us. I don't get how you aren't bored with completing all the requests from the others anyway. It's such a tedious job when I could be using my time to do other things."
"Accepting and fulfilling the requests do give something in return. It does pay well and I also get to keep my Alchemy skills up to scratch. I can bet that your Alchemy skills have started to fall off after not doing much Alchemy in the recent years." Lao Xiu started to taunt Lao Lan.
Ye Xiu just watched them both converse with each other on a chair he had spotted nearby. "As if I could lose to you in Alchemy, and who said that I've not been practising. Even I don't slack off that much!"
"Well enough banter. Let's see here, do you have any questions to ask the both of us before we begin Alchemy lessons?"
Ye Xiu thought for a moment before asking a question that had been on his mind for the past year, "I'd like to ask whether Mental and soul cultivation techniques are common."
Lao Xiu answered this question very quickly, "No, those types of techniques are probably the rarest ones out of all the others. Cultivating a technique such as that would improve your mental and soul strength by a large margin, this allows them to be a force to be reckoned with. Usually, you'd only be able to improve your mental and soul strength through long-term meditation but the cultivation technique reduces the time needed for improvement in those areas."
"You wouldn't even need to be in deep meditation to activate the cultivation technique and you'd be able to be stronger than others who have trained for years. There are only 7 known powerhouses in the Outer Region who have been alive for a long period of time, and all 7 of those powerhouses have found a cultivation technique for their soul and mind. Their rise in strength was sudden and caught everybody off-guard with their techniques."
"If you have any more questions then be my guest." Lao Lan prompted Ye Xiu.
"If it takes so long to improve your soul and mind then why are there so many young alchemists in the history books? Wouldn't the older generations be the ones who have the better strength for Alchemy?"
"There are ways to improve the soul and mind extremely quickly but they are extremely expensive. That's not the only downside though, some of these methods are sinister and evil and requires the sacrifice of life." Lao Xiu said solemnly.
Lao Lan interrupted the explanation, "Enough of such a topic, I'm just here to introduce Ye Xiu to you anyway. He'll be starting his Alchemy Lessons with the both of us."
Lao Xiu nodded and spoke in an elderly tone, "I'll start with my explanation on Alchemy then. Alchemy is the discipline of the formation of pills through the usage of ingredients. We practice a branch of Medical Arts that is the art of Infusion. Don't confuse the Medical Art's style of infusion with a normal Cultivator's infusion. We infuse living things with our qi during the creation of the pill and it the pills we have formed through infusion are alive."
"The pills that are alive can grow for over thousands of years. The rank and type of pill determine the amount of growth it can experience before reaching its full effect. Alchemists can reduce the time needed for the growth of those pills through infusion. The Qi that must be inserted into the pill has to be the same Qi that formed the Pill originally. If the wrong person infuses their Qi into the pill, it will become obsolete."
"Fine Qi control is extremely important because a single misstep in the guidance of our Qi results in the formation failure of a pill or the explosion of the Pill when infusing it. " Lao Xiu's lips started to get dry so he went to fetch a glass of water. "Mind taking over the explanation for me for awhile, my throat is parched."
Lao Lan agreed and picked up from where Lao Xiu left off, "Infusing Qi into a Pill is an extremely delicate manner because if your Qi is contaminated by any other types of Qi which wasn't used during formation then it would fail. The control of your Qi allows you to separate the different types of Qi and allows you to infuse safely with any problem."
"An Alchemist of high enough level or skill is capable of infusing Qi into a pill even if they were not the one to make it as long as they were able to extract and direct the Qi from the person or source that it was from in the first place. This is extremely difficult and tiring to do so not many Alchemists would try it because it's not as efficient as infusing your own pills."
"Formation of the Pills require intense concentration and the slightest lapse of concentration will result in failure. Formation of Pills mainly requires the usage of Pill cauldrons however some pills can be made without them."
Lao Xiu took over the explanation after he relieved his thirst, "Alchemists can be trained from the Body Refining Realm when their Qi is first activated however they require the use of fire from outside sources. When Alchemists break through the Body Refining Realm, they can form their own inner flame for usage. These flames can also be used for combat."
"Your own inner flames that you form are not the strongest flames that you can find, however. The stronger flames that can be found are usually found in places of danger. There is an index for rare flames that can be found in the world. This index changes the moment a new type of flame is discovered even if the person who has discovered it has not publicised the finding."
"Rare flames can be obtained from others by killing and extracting it from their soul where they house it. Obviously, this is considered an evil method but this is a dog eat dog method so anything goes out there. The grades of flames are Mortal, Earth, Sky and Heaven. Heaven flames are unheard of and only one known heaven flame is known to be in existence."
"Every different type of pill has a different way of refining, infusing and forming. Pills are usually formed in batches so that the quality is the Alchemist can see their formation rate. Pills are usually formed in batches of 10. Alchemy is similar to the Medical Arts because of the amount of rote memorisation and comprehension needed for a pill. You'd need to be able to adapt to any situation because when your Pill formation starts to go awry, there are still ways to stabilise it however you'd need to know the proper ways to save it."
"Now the most important thing about Alchemy is obviously the pills. Pills can have all sorts of mysterious and miraculous effects. A slight alteration to a pill's recipe or formation might actually lead to a creation of a pill with a different effect. This is how Alchemists come up with new Pills to add to the Pill Compendium. After the first accidental creation, most Alchemists test out several batches of pills to replicate the effect. Adding a new and useful Pill to the Compendium will grant rewards. Useless Pills have a place to the compendium but no reward will be granted to it."
"For a pill to be added into the Compendium, the Alchemist must register it with an Alchemy Association branch in the capital of a country. The Alchemist Association will test the pills and record the method to make it. Most higher ranked Alchemists keep their rarer pill recipes away from public eyes. There are probably many pills that have been made but never submitted to the Alchemist Association." Lao Xiu started to stand up from his sitting position and walked towards one of the windows.
"I think that's enough of an explanation for today. I don't want to bore you before we even start the actual Alchemy lessons. Here take this book to at least look at Pill effects. This book won't have any information on forming those pills because I don't want to take the chance of you testing it out. Alchemy is dangerous and it is rightly so as your mentor for me to keep you safe. Come back tomorrow."
Lao Lan walked out to send Ye Xiu off on his way home.
Lao Lan just looked back at his twin, "The kid's talent is insane. He mastered the control exercises in a year's time. It's possible that he'll surpass the two of us at a young age. With his learning speed, he'll probably be able to complete the first Alchemy exam in a few years."
Lao Xiu didn't bother looking at his brother. "It depends if he's impatient or not. If he is impatient, his success rate for forming pills will be low. It also depends on how much effort he's going to put into the studies. Talent makes not the master, but hard work."
The two sat down drinking tea before heading off to do their individual business.