Chapter 116: Apothecary Bai Ming's Breakdown (First Half)
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Frappe
"Only Apothecary Bai Ming possesses such capabilities, to think that he could successfully forge a Acupoint Soothing Pill under such circumstances!"
"It is extremely difficult to forge an Acupoint Soothing Pill. Even more so, Apothecary Bai Ming's forging technique is so complex that I have never seen it before. Now I am curious to see what Zhang Xuan will say!"
"Hehe, let's wait for the show then!"
Upon seeing Apothecary Bai Ming forging an Acupoint Soothing Pill, most of the apothecaries present laughed.
The higher grade a pill was, the more complex the method required to forge it. Acupoint Soothing Pill could be considered one of the higher grade pills among the grade-1 tier and its forging method was incomparably complex. Even the rest of them were unable to perceive any mistakes in his forging technique, so how could an apprentice possibly see anything?
"Alright, I'm done forging the pill. Tell me, what's the name of the forging technique and the flaws in it!"
Sneering, Apothecary Bai Ming brought his breathing back to normal and gestured grandly.
'Even though I don't know where you got the information on us, but if you wish to successfully pass a Pill Debate depending solely on that, dream on!
'Without true capability to point out the flaws in a forging technique, you will never earn my respect!'
"Are you sure you want me to say?" A peculiar expression appeared on Zhang Xuan's face as he said those words.
"Quit trying to mystify things here. If you can't find the words, just admit defeat!" Apothecary Bai Ming harrumphed.
Zhang Xuan shook his head. With his hands behind his back, he slowly walked to the center of the room.
"The forging technique you used is calledThousand Mountain Handsand is said to have been created by a 2-star apothecary named Feng Xuan. You must put the medicinal herb into the cauldron based on a special sequence, similar to the mountainous regions, one mountain after another like you're traversing the lands. Similarly, you throw the medicinal herbs in wave after wave. The way you control the fire is also based on such a sequence, strong at one moment, weak at the other. By forging pills in such a method, it is easier for the medicinal properties to fuse together and thus makes it likelier that a pill is formed! However, its flaws are also clear to see. It's difficult to raise the quality of the pill itself!
"Therefore, even though you managed to forge three Acupoint Soothing Pills successfully, they are of the lowest level. It is nearly impossible for you to reach Satiation. Such forging techniques are only suitable for the mass production of pills by low-skilled apothecaries. Put bluntly, none of the slightly better apothecaries would learn such a skill, because it means putting a barrier in front of their future path. No matter how many times you practice the skill, it is impossible to raise the quality of the pill in the slightest. As a result, there is no reason for them to learn it.
"Unless you don't think that you have any potential left in you, that's why you are giving up on yourself!" Zhang Xuan smiled and shot a meaningful glance at him. "Apothecary Bai Ming, may I know if what I said is true?"
Upon hearing the words of the other party, Bai Ming gritted his teeth, embarrassed and angry.
As the de facto head of the Bai clan, as well as a 1-star apothecary, he possessed exceptional standing in the capital. Yet, by the words of the other party, he became an apothecary with low standards no more potential left.
However, he was unable to refute his words.
The flaw of the Thousand Mountain Hands was exactly as the other party said. Even though he was able to produce the Acupoint Soothing Pill easily, it was difficult for him to further refine its quality.
"You don't need to feel gleeful over this. So what if you can point out these? You need to point out the errors in my movements previously before it can be considered your victory!" Taking a deep breath, Bai Ming suppressed his anger.
Instead of arguing with him, Zhang Xuan stepped forward and walked toward the cauldron. "Then allow me to start from the very basics!
"As long as you are an apothecary, you know that you require incredible control over the flame and the cauldron to produce high-quality pills. Earlier, Apothecary Bai Ming started forging his pills right after picking up the medicine. How much do you know about this cauldron? What about the flames?
"You don't need to refute my words by saying that the specifications of these cauldrons are roughly the same. I can clearly tell you that even with the same medicinal herb, flames, and cauldron, the medicine you forge can be different. This is due to a miniscule difference or a tiny mistake made by the apothecary that the pills forged will be a quality lower than what it should be!"
His hands stroking the cauldron, Zhang Xuan continued, "If you don't believe me, I can show you now.
"This cauldron has a height of 7 chi and 3 cun and width of 3 cun and 2 chi. It was created by a 3-mo craftsman in the Stone Well Workshop seven years and three months ago. A total of 147 pills have been forged using and of it, of which 88 were grade-1 pills and 59 were pills lower than grade-1! During the transportation of the cauldron, it suffered three impacts. There are a total of thirteen slight scratches throughout the entire cauldron. It won't cause too much trouble when forging ordinary pills, but it will scatter the medicinal effects and spiritual energy within the pill. As such, due to the insufficient medicinal effects harnessed within the pill, the quality of the pill will drop!
1 chi -> 30.3cm, 1 cun -> 3.03cm
"This cauldron is slightly thicker than a cun and it requires an incense's time and thirty-four breaths for the heat to completely permeate the cauldron. Also, the thickness of the cauldron walls on the left and right are slightly different, around three hair strands off. Don't underestimate the difference in this thickness! With the same flames, there will be a five percent difference in the temperature between both sides. The medicinal effects of Scattered Floral Grass and Lone-eyed Dragon Grass of the Acupoint Soothing Pill will be completely different when placed on either side!"
"Are you for real?"
"There is even such a thing for a cauldron?"
Upon listening to Zhang Xuan's casual explanations, the jaws of the apothecaries fell to the floor and they felt like they were going insane.
Even though they knew that a difference in the cauldron could result in the formation of different pills, never did they imagine that there was such wisdom behind a cauldron.
This was a cauldron that the Apothecary Guild brought in specially for this Pill Debate. How did he know so much about it? To even know where it was made, how thick the walls were, its size and how many pills it had forged?
The heck, you are about to bash through the heavens!
To see all these with a single glance, are you a monster?
"Alright, I will continue to talk about the flames then!"
Ignoring the astonished expression on everyone's faces, Zhang Xuan pointed to the flames burning beneath the cauldron and continued, "This is where the heat of the Heavenly Coal originates from, as well as the hottest part. With the heat here, even metal could be easily melted. By propelling it with a fighter's zhenqi, you can easily control the strength of the flames and thus the temperature of the cauldron."
"However the flames do not come into direct contact with the medicinal herbs. They are placed in the cauldron, and in there, they form pills. How much heat from the flames permeates through the cauldron walls and how much of it is left in the cauldron is what we need to grasp clearly in our minds."
"Heavenly Coal is a coal exceptionally suited for forging pills. Not only is it capable of reaching high temperatures, the permeability of its heat is also incredible. For normal coal, after permeating through a cun of cauldron walls or so, only thirty-seven percent of the heat will be retained. On the other hand, the Heavenly Coal retains forty-six percent! Only by knowing this much can you ascertain the temperature the medicinal herbs inside are under, how long it will take for the medicinal properties of the herbs to be best unleashed, and how you can forge the highest quality pill!"
"Of course, these are only the bare basics that an apothecary needs to know, so they can't be considered as flaws. I am just casually introducing them!"
Zhang Xuan smiled and glanced at Bai Ming standing off to the side. "However, I would like to ask Apothecary Bai Ming: before forging the pills did you notice these?"
Apothecary Bai Ming felt his hair standing on end and he almost fainted on the spot.
'Notice? Notice your head!
'I am just forging a normal pill! Given how complicated these things are, how the heck would I know?
'Besides, even if I had been concerned with them, there was nothing I could do. You can't expect me to find a ruler and start measuring the entire cauldron before testing the temperature of the coal bit by bit!
'If I started doing so, it would be two days before I could start forging!'
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 116
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