Chapter 117: Apothecary Bai Ming's Breakdown (Second Half)
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Frappe
He felt stifled within, but Bai Ming also knew that he was unable to refute Zhang Xuan's words.
It was the basics to check the cauldron and flames of the cauldron before forging pills. Even apprentices were aware of it. His action of going straight to forging was clearly a huge mistake.
Using the words in Zhang Xuan's previous world, if a person didn't buckle their seat belt, check the tires, and scan the surroundings before starting to drive, they couldn't refute anything if an accident occurred.
Right now, that was the emotion Bai Ming was experiencing. Lectured by an apprentice apothecary in public, yet unable to refute anything at all. It was clear just by thinking of how stifled he was at this moment.
"Alright, now that I have touched on the cauldron and the flames, I shall talk about the fusing of the medicinal herbs!"
Knowing that the other party would be unable to reply to his words, Zhang Xuan could not be bothered to continue interrogating him over those mistakes of his. Instead, he walked over to the medicinal racks. "Acupoint Soothing Pill requires a total of 47 types of herbs. Given the number of herbs that are involved in the forging process, there are herbs that complement one another, as well as herbs that clash with one another. As such, if you don't control the process properly, it is very easy for the medicinal herb to clash with one another and the pill will be ruined!
"Let me first talk about Apothecary Bai Ming's forging sequence!
"The first herb he put in was Heart Grass! Heart Grass has calming properties and is resilient to high temperature. As such, it requires strong flames to extract its essence. It is correct to place it into the cauldron first so that it can come into contact with the flames earlier to incite its medicinal properties. However seven breaths after placing Heart Grass in, he placed in the second herb, Split Palm Flower!
"If I'm not wrong, that Heart Grass he took was only half a year old. As such, its medicinal properties are not strong enough and most of it was concentrated on the leaves instead of the meridians. For such a herb, the medicinal effects will be swiftly released upon meeting strong flames. Under normal situations, he should have placed Split Palm Flower in after four breaths. Yet, he delayed it three entire breaths, causing a loss in the medicinal effect by thirteen percent. Fail!
"On the other hand, Split Palm Flower has a maturity of five years and the medicinal effects of it is relatively stronger. He should have slowly released the Split Palm Flowers by the left wall of the cauldron, and the duration of its descent should be roughly half a breath. During this time, the heart of the cauldron would unleash the medicinal effects of it, allowing it to better mix with Heart Grass. However, Apothecary Bai Ming threw the medicinal herb straight it, depriving it of the opportunity to be heated by the cauldron in advance. As such, its medicinal effect wasn't fully unleashed and fourteen percent of the medicinal effect was lost. Fail!
"The medicinal effects of these two herbs clash with one another, so he should have quickly placed in Scattered Floral Grass, which has a pacifying effect for the two. Yet he threw in the violent Lone-eyed Dragon Grass, worsening the clash between the two herbs. As such, eleven percent of the medicinal effect was lost! Fail!
"The Lone-eyed Dragon Grass is a herb with yang properties. After placing it into the scorching cauldron, he should have added Cooling Grass to counteract its effects. Yet Apothecary Bai Ming added Wisdom Mother Grass instead. Wisdom Mother Grass is able to neutralize all medicinal herbs, and as such, it is the best choice to serve as a medium between herbs. However, it is precisely because of that that it completely neutralized the yang properties of the Lone-eyed Dragon Grass, greatly reducing the medicinal effect of the Acupoint Smoothing Pill. Fail!"
Zhang Xuan spoke faster and faster, akin to a machine gun. His every word was logical with evidence to back them up. Every single failure struck like a hammer on Apothecary Bai Ming's face. His face grew paler and paler and his body trembled uncontrollably.
Pill forging was by no means simple. Even with the same herbs, if the maturity was different, it could have different medicinal properties. Not to mention, an apothecary needed to pair them together in a way that complemented them to mix them together and such. Even for a single Acupoint Soothing Pill, three days wouldn't be enough if Zhang Xuan were to go in depth.
This was also the reason why apothecaries were one of the front-runners in the Upper Nine Paths.
"Everything he said is true!"
"To recall the sequence in which Apothecary Bai Ming added the forty-seven medicinal herbs with a single look? What kind of memorization ability does he possess?"
"The most shocking thing isn't him remembering the sequence in which the medicinal herbs were placed in. It is that he was able to tell the maturity of every single medicinal herb and come up with a method to complement them so as to best unleash its medicinal effects. Is he really human?"
"Now that I've heard his words, an apothecary really has to take a lot of factors into account. It is no wonder that my pills are unable to reach Perfection or Inscribed Pill. So this is the reason."
Upon hearing Zhang Xuan's words, everyone became mute. It was as though their heads had been smashed with a bat, their mouths agape and their eyes wide.
This is what you call pill forging!
What we were doing before was simply wasting herbs and insulting this occupation!
Most probably, if they were to use the method he spoke of to forge this pill, the pill would be able to reach higher heights. Perfection and even Inscribed Pill wouldn't be problems!
This was no longer a theory that a 1-star apothecary could come into contact with. Only the more advanced apothecaries would pay attention to such minute details!
Everyone was dumbfounded. At this moment, the thought of suicide even ran through Apothecary Bai Ming's head.
Listening to the words of the other party, his entire pill forging sequence was a failure. How could this be considered pill forging? He must be forging feces instead!
Furthermore at least when one forges feces, they don't waste any materials. Yet, when he forged a pill, he wasted all of the medicinal herbs used in it.
The stifling sensation in his chest grew heavier and heavier, and he puked a mouthful of blood.
All along, he thought of himself as talented in pill forging, and that he was truly a highly-skilled apothecary. Yet, upon hearing the words of the other party, he realized that his standards couldn't even match up to that of a child's!
All of the confidence he held in the past was completely shattered. The current him feared to even approach a cauldron now.
His body trembled violently. Just a moment ago, he stood up proudly and determinedly to punish Zhang Xuan for his humiliation. Yet, at this moment, his complexion was turning more and more awful, as though he were going berserk.
A moment later, he gritted his teeth.
"That's right. Given my standards, what kind of pills can I possibly forge? All I'm doing is wasting medicinal herbs! From today onward, I, Bai Ming, will not forge a single pill anymore. If I break this vow, let the Heavens tear me apart!"
A vow resounded in the hall.
"He vowed not to forge a single pill anymore?"
"Apothecary Bai Ming"
Upon hearing the vow he made, everyone was flabbergasted. They couldn't help but shudder, upset at the thought of the loss of a comrade.
For an apothecary to vow to never forge a single pill anymore was equivalent to bidding the world of pill forging farewell. The effort he had put in for his entire life had all gone to waste.
And the reason for that was a mere apprentice apothecary pointing out the flaws in his pill forging process!
"Isn't he being too rash." An apothecary couldn't help but comment.
"If you were criticized like that, what would you do?" another apothecary responded.
"I" The former paused halfway through, unable to find a word to say.
What the other party said was true. If he were in the place of Apothecary Bai Ming, upon realizing that his forging technique was nothing but flaws and the hard work he had devoted into it was nothing but rubbish, the confidence he had held for countless years would probably collapse in an instant!
The moment he lost all his confidence, the trauma he received from it would cause him to be unable to forge a single pill for the rest of his life. Rather than suffer in anguish over it, he might as well simply make a vow to never forge a single pill anymore!
Pill forging wasn't a joke. Mental state, skill, confidence all of these factors were absolutely required. Without confidence, how could one be called an apothecary?
"To make an experienced apothecary lose all of his confidence and fear forging just by pointing out his mistakes"
Such a thought flashed across their minds in an instant. Taking another glance at Zhang Xuan, their hearts skipped a beat.
It was no wonder that he was reluctant to speak of their flaws in pill forging. It was not that he was unable to discern anything from it and resorted to other methods to make up for his weakness. Only now did they know the other party wasn't in the least as ignorant as they thought. Rather, it was because he knew too much that he feared he would shatter the last bit of confidence they had!
Brother, we would like to ask you: Are you the apprentice apothecary or are we?
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 117
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