A Record of a Mortal’s Journey to Immortality

Chapter 155: Depression

Han Li picked up the jade cylinder and blew it, exposing its true emerald-green glisten.

He pressed the cylinder against his forehead and slowly submerged his mind within it. An astonishing medicine pill refining formula appeared in his head. Unexpectedly, it was the Foundation Establishment Pill refining formula that Han Li had longingly yearned for. The process had quite a few steps: spanning from gathering raw materials to condensing the pill. This discovery gave him a delightful surprise!

For a while, he didn’t go see the other jade cylinders. Then he hastily skimmed through its entirety. However, when his spirit read the words “Must be refined with Innate True Fire for success”, Han Li stared blankly for a moment with a feeling of great foolishness.

Innate True Fire was a Daoist astral fire that only Foundation Establishment experts possessed. It was a basic magic that only one possessing the cultivation of Foundation Establishment could perform. Its power could be gradually strengthened when refining Qi during meditation to the point where, after one achieves Core Formation, the true fire could become a Samadhi fire from legend, capable of charring everything under the heavens.

However, how could Han Li, a Qi Condensation cultivator, possibly draw out this Innate True Fire? Only after he entered Foundation Establishment would he be able to ignite it.

However, if Foundation Establishment Pills were required to become Foundation Establishment, and refining them required Foundation Establishment’s Innate True Fire, then they were truly interlocked in a vicious, unbreakable circle.

This made Han Li depressed to the point of wanting to knock his head against the wall!

To find a Foundation Establishment Expert to help him refine pills was completely unacceptable. This was equivalent to exposing the secret of the small bottle to them. That assistant he asked for help would be likely to become his very own murderer.   

Distraught, Han Li stood anxiously in front of the desk for a long while, before returning it to its original spot. Then he absent-mindedly picked up another jade cylinder and wiped it clean, exposing a fiery color.

“The matter of Foundation Establishment Pill can only be reconsidered in the future! Let’s first take a look at what’s inside here. Perhaps there is a wondrous medicine pill formula within!”  Han Li was a bold and decisive person, having immediately put away the Foundation Establishment Pill cylinder to the side. He then turned to examine the red-colored jade cylinder, hoping for a pleasant surprise.

“Face Setting Pill.” Just as Han Li pushed his consciousness into the jade cylinder, those three words entered his mind, causing him to immediately feel a trace of disappointment. However, Han Li reassured himself for a moment. “Although this may be its name, this medicine pill effect might not necessarily be what I believe it to be. Perhaps it has some strange effect!”

However, the following words completely crushed Han Li’s extravagant hopes: It can cause one’s appearance to remain young forever. The descriptions of the pill’s effect was of no use to him.

Han Li stood there motionless and said nothing. His mind still continuously suppressed the scathing threads of an evil flame’s smoke as he inwardly cursed without restraint.

‘What kind of trashy book collection is this? It doesn’t have any recipes that it should. It’s actually just a hideous mess of a collection! How could they wrongfully treat us cultivators to these acupuncture needle secret technique, these Face Setting Pills and such! They even arrogantly arranged all this here….”

When Han Li felt that this trip was nearly a complete waste, that loathsome voice spoke.

“Your time has ended. If you want to extend….”

“I am heading down!”

Han Li did not feel like wasting another spirit stone and prepared to leave, taking the jade cylinder containing the Foundation Establishment Pill refining formula with him.

However, just as he walked to the stairs, he hesitated. He felt that although the ‘Face Setting Pill’ was of no use in progressing one’s magic power, it could still be sold to other cultivators. Most importantly, this Face Setting Pill did not require the so-called Innate True Fire. It was something he could create right now.

With this thought, Han Li returned to the front of the table and took the red jade cylinder. He then quickly returned to the stairs and climbed down.

“How was it, Young Friend? Have you made any gains?” When the old man saw Han Li, he asked Han Li with a smile on his face. However, why did Han Li find those words so false?

“Elder Xu, is the floor above truly the sect’s medicine pill formula storage? How could there be so much rubbish and trash? Is there some other collection room?” Han Li didn’t care about mocking the old man and instead asked the question he had been holding back for quite a long time with a depressed face.

Seeing Han Li’s expression, he could not help but laugh with an evil smile.

“Ever since this old man began taking care of this place, Young Friend was not the first to ask this question. Almost every disciple who arrives at Yue Lu Hall for the first time and looks upstairs asks this old man that same question. However, if you want to know the entirety of this matter…” This Elder Xu deliberately dragged out his sentence, but the meaning of his words could not be more obvious.

He had a rigid expression that demanded payment, truly rendering Han Li speechless. This person before him, a Foundation Establishment Expert, was clearly a profiteer from the secular world with the appearance of stingy cheapskate.

Currently, Han Li finally realized why he did not want him to call him “Martial Senior” and instead address him as “Elder”. If he were to perform those actions as a Martial Sect Senior then, he would not be able to brazenly profit from these small tricks with his superiors pretending not to notice.

Han Li’s raised his eyebrows for a moment. Without saying anything further, Pa-pa, he placed the two jade cylinders in front of the old man’s table.

“This Junior originally thought to copy these jade cylinders. However, it seems that I currently do not have enough spirit stones! Since its like that, this Junior will only copy one. As for the other, this Junior will save it for the next trip.” Having lived in the secular world for so long, Han Li slightly struck back to avoid his appetite from growing larger.

“Young Friend wants to duplicate two of them?” The Elder Xu greatly smiled and widely opened his eyes.

“Originally, yes. However, this Junior wishes to learn the answer to the previous question, and he doesn’t have enough!”

“Hehe, Since Young Friend is this frank and straightforward, I will naturally answer that previous question free of charge. Let this old man first give copies to this Young Friend!” The old man hastily grabbed the two jade cylinders and took two white jade cylinders from the shelf behind him. He hastily duplicated them, fearful of Han Li going back on his word.

“The duplication is complete, take care of them well!” The old man’s movements were incomparably quick, leaving Han Li dumbstruck until he received the jade cylinder copies.  After Han Li received the duplicates, the old man then looked at him with a ‘why are you still not quickly taking out the spirit stones?’ expression.

The corner of Han Li’s mouth twitched, then he opened his mouth to say something. However, he didn’t say anything. After a moment of silence, he neatly took out twenty low-grade spirit stones from his storage pouch and wordlessly handed them over to the old man.

The old man took the offered spirit stones with a happy grin, and for a short while, he was unable to conceal his happiness. Only after he counted the spirit stones three to four times did he notice Han Li waiting to his side for a reply.

At this moment, Elder Xu was perfectly content with the spirit stones he received and sized Han Li up with a gaze like Han Li was a rich man.

“You truly cannot judge a person by their appearance! Young Friend’s background was unexpectedly this profound and was truly to this old man’s surprise. Although this old man is greedy, he is a man who keeps his promises. Today, if Young Friend has a question, do not hesitate to ask. This old man will definitely satisfy and repay Young Friend!” After the old man returned his gaze toward him, he solemnly said this with an unexpectedly serious and proper image,

Han Li was slightly surprised, but without a trace of politeness, he requested the answer to the previous question.

“The answer is quite simple. The majority of medicine pill recipes were lost long ago. Not only for our Yellow Maple Valley Sect, but also for the other sects…even the entire cultivation world is like this!” The old man leisurely answered.

When Han Li heard this, he was startled and looked at the old man with a puzzled gaze.

“Young Friend, calm down. It will be clear once you think about it. Why are medicine pill recipes valuable?  Naturally it is because they are capable of using heavenly materials and earthly treasures to create medicine pills for us cultivators to consume.”

“However, Young Friend did not think about this before. In this world,  heavenly materials and earthly treasures are quite limited. In addition, each plant requires hundreds if not thousands years to mature and be of use. During this time, the amount of cultivators do not decrease but instead increase year after year. As a result, the materials used in these pill recipes gradually grow sparse, eventually becoming completely extinguished. By the time the people of the cultivation world took noticed of this grave problem, the heavenly materials and earthly treasures of this earth were long gone. Only a few particular regions still have a few of these ingredients remaining. These regions are incomparably dangerous even for us cultivators and are not easily braved.”   

“Thus, we were thoroughly severed from a source of raw materials, and the medicine formulas became worthless. Who would attach value to them? After an extremely long period and several great calamities upon the cultivation world, these medicine pill recipes gradually disappeared from history. The few that remain could be counted upon one’s fingers, and the Foundation Establishment Pill was merely one of those that remained.”

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