Elder Wen stroked his beard. "The Cub's Den? Oh right, that should be elder's Guguai's place. It's definitely reliable but Elder Gugai, the man holding the store, can sometimes be a bit of a handful… He has already refused to sell something to a customer he deemed unworthy. As for what you should aim for? Let's see… Anything upgrading talent would have a minimal impact. It's not worth your investment and the chances you'll end up with a grade 5 talent are virtually inexistent.
Also, taking a medicinal herb or pill to obtain an affinity isn't very useful. In truth, affinities are classified in levels because cultivators just want to classify anything. There are no fundamental differences in affinity levels, unlike talents, so a higher level only means a better affinity, but it doesn't have any additional benefits.
Still, affinities you could gain from Elder Guguai's place would only be of the lowest level, which wouldn't even be that useful later on if you don't focus on it during cultivation.
Obviously, forget about poisons and other exterior helps. You want to focus on yourself first. Cultivation pills are the best way to make some progress.
Ah right, you could try pills or herbs that focus on strengthening directly the body, without changing your cultivation.
And finally, don't bother about Condensation pellets to breakthrough to qi condensation. You will have the opportunity to win some good ones during the year. And if your cultivation has reached completion of the Body strengthening stage, you should be able to breakthrough without a hitch, especially with your comprehension. If you truly need one, I'll just provide it to you but I don't believe you will face such a situation."
Han Lingyun mentally noted down dutifully the different points Elder Wen provided. These where valuable information that could save him crystals and prevent him from wasting them on investments with lower returns.
"Thank you once again, elder Wen, for the precious advice."
Before leaving, Han Lingyun suddenly remembered something else.
"By the way, elder, do you have any other math problems for me today?"
Elder Wen laughed heartily. "I have a good list ready. You can take those with you and we will discuss them the next time you visit."
The elder added another small pile of pages to the book on the table. It was a good harvest for Han Lingyun.
As he left, Han Lingyun thought back to Elder Wen's words. He had a couple things in mind he could purchase at the Cub's Den. He calculated that he would make around 25 000 Ps per month with his little scheme of missions. This figure will decrease after a couple of months when missions with higher rewards outside the sect get posted and the missions Han Lingyun is hoarding become less popular.
'I won't be making the same scheme with those missions outside the sect; too much could go wrong. Not to mention my risk tolerance, it wouldn't sit well with me to make money while some disciples are actually risking their lives.
Anyway, In the next 4 months, I should be making 100 000 Ps if nothing goes wrong.
I will need some Ps for banal cultivation resources like crystals. Let's leave at least another 30 000 Ps for emergencies. So, my budget for the Cub's Den shouldn't be above 60 000 Ps. Still, that leaves a lot of choice.
First there is the Fallen Rainbow pill that provides a jump in cultivation.'
Han Lingyun thought back to its description.
Fallen Rainbow Pill.
Contains a great concentration of qi to clean deeply the body. If consumed at the early stages of body strengthening, will increase drastically the process of absorbing trace amounts of qi. A Cultivator can directly breakthrough to the next level of body strengthening. Is Best used when cultivator has reached the peak of body strengthening to wash the body one more time.
Caution: should only consume this pill once.
Price: 10 000 Ps.
'This fallen rainbow pill seems quite attractive. But there are also cultivation pills specialized for every level of body strengthening. For example, at my 2nd stage, the viscera strengthening stage, there was the Fresh Rainbow Pill.'
Fresh Rainbow Pill. (2nd rainbow pill)
Use: For the viscera training stage only.
A strong burst of qi washes the lungs, giving a breath of fresh air. Best used when at the end of the 2nd stage.
Caution: should only consume this pill once.
Price: 5 000 Ps.
'Similar pills are available for the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th stages of body strengthening.
What I am most interested in however, is the stuff that could directly improve the body. I have 3 ideas in mind in that regard.
First there was the Bull Muscle pill.'
Bull Muscle pill.
Classification: Body. Strength.
A burst of energy that destroys and regrows body muscles. Muscle mass +50%
Caution: should only consume this pill once. Process is very painful. Recommended to be consumed near an Elder.
Price: 15 000 Ps.
'This one is quite straightforward. Packing more strength would always be useful. I am not so sure it would be going in line with my style though.'
Bone Eating Flower.
True name: Osedaxus mandicantus.
Classification: Body. Bones.
Consume with a glass of hibernating oil. Shatters and regrows bones. If consumed before bone strengthening stage, cultivation at this stage will be slower. If consumed after, the process will be 10 times more painful. The result after Bone tempering + Flower would be the same no matter the order.
Caution: should only consume this flower once. Process is very painful. Recommended to be consumed near an Elder.
Price: 10 000 Ps +1000Ps/glass of hibernating oil.
The last item in Han Lingyun's mind was:
Classification: Body. Vision.
Use one drop on each eye. Improves vision in dark environments greatly.
More drops are useless.
Caution: Process is very painful. Recommended to be used near an Elder.
Price: 5 000 Ps / drop.
After mulling over it, Han Lingyun decided to purchase both the Bone Eating Flower and 2 drops of clear liquid. Stronger bones were definitely useful. A violent contact breaking your arm or not could decide your life, not to mention cranial bones… Because Han Lingyun always put his survivability as a number one priority, this felt like a necessary choice. As for the Clear liquid, it would be less and less useful as the cultivation progresses, as seeing under dim light would become the norm with a higher cultivation. However, Han Lingyun assessed that it complimented well his Blackbird art and it would be very useful in the short term and perhaps for the next couple of years.
He still wanted some confirmations for the cultivation pills though, so he headed to the best place he could think of: The White Pill Pavilion. The pills here wouldn't correspond to his level but he only sought advice from a knowledgeable person.
As Han Lingyun explained his situation at the counter. A middle-aged woman with a pointy nose looked at him dismissively.
"Consultation from an Elder would cost 1000 Ps, and from 50 to 200Ps for pill trainees. Just leave if you can't afford it."
Han Lingyun found this attitude quite irritating but reined his thoughts in. "I'll use a trainee at 200 Ps then, here is the change."
Han Lingyun rapidly paid the fee before the woman could find him any fault. He knew well not to waste time with sad people like her. He received instructions from his badge just like with mission notifications and headed to a small room where a handsome 20ish male was moving ingredients around.
"Good afternoon senior, I'm disciple Lingyun and I wanted some advice for cultivation pills from the Cub's Den. Are there some side effects and what should I do?"
Han Lingyun went on to describe the Rainbow pills and his choice to make between the individual level specific variants or the all-inclusive one.
The disciple listened quietly to this little fellow, the great amount of details Han Lingyun provided amused him but he maintained a professional appearance.
"These are quite luxurious pills for your level. There won't be any side effects by consuming them once each. That's already the case for the cheaper pills, so no worries about the higher tiered ones. At most, you will emit slightly more of black goo when breaking through. In truth, it would be an imperceptible amount. You probably accumulate more impurities simply by eating.
As for the pills. The most potent effect would be by consuming the rainbow pills for the 1st level to the 5th. After this, the Fallen Rainbow Pill would have no additional effect so no need to consume it as well. The 5 pills would be more effective than the Fallen Rainbow. At the end of the process, the effect of the pills would have stacked up substantially. Your body will contain substantially more qi, nearly as if you cultivated one more level of body strengthening. That's why even if it is more costly, I would recommend the 5 pills more than the fallen one."
Han Llingyun acquiesced. "Senior, should I still consume the rainbow pill for the 1st level of body strengthening even though I already reached the next stage?"
"Indeed, if you have the means, it would be best."
Han Lingyun also mentioned the Bone Eating Flower and the Clear liquid. The disciple confirmed there was no problem. Only that he should consume those products near an Elder just in case, as the backlash are often severe. He gave some additional tips to Han Lingyun. "You might want to buy more than one glass of hibernating oil to ease the pain and hasten the process."
"Thank you for the advice senior." Han Lingyun bowed and promptly left the White Pill Hall; his objectives having been accomplished.
He definitely didn't waste his Ps there. He felt that it was a shame that information remained quite compartmented in the sect though. He always had to search for what he needed with the right people.
In the end, Han Lingyun decided that in the coming months he would be buying at the Cub's Den:
-10 000 Ps of Clear Liquid.
-10 000 Ps for a Bone Eating Flower + 5 000 Ps of hibernating oil
-25 000 Ps for the 5 rainbow pills (one per level of body strengthening)
His total would reach 50 000 Ps. Now he just had to wait for the money to come from his scheme with the missions.
Sadly, right now, he didn't have the Ps to buy anything from the Cub's Den.
With all that out of the way, it was time to get back to the 1st years residence area.