10 Trying To Make Pills Or Something
Jam thanked the elder and entered the door, after passing through the door he was teleported to an isolated room. There was a table in the middle of the room, which held a small red cauldron. Additionally on the wall opposite the door, there were some instructions scribbled down. For some reason Jam could only see the first step of the instructions.
"Step one: Pick up the cauldron and insert your fire to determine the fire's suitability for alchemy." There were many types of fires that existed in the cultivation world, some were better than other in purification, the attribute of a fire that contributed the most during the process of pill concocting or artifact creating.
Jam walked up to the red cauldron and tested two fires. He used his Stellar fire, and with the help of Divinity, he also conjured some Purification fire.
After the cauldron tested each fire, the red cauldron projected a screen above itself to let Jam know the results. Purification Fire registered as a fire suitable for up to Tier 3 pills, while the Stellar Fire also registered as suitable for Tier 3 pills. Presumably, the reason his stellar fire could make Tier 3 pills, was because Jam reached Dao Contact with the Stellar Dao.
However, Jam was restricted by his cultivation and could only make Tier 1 artifacts and pills; at least until he reached the Palace Creation Stage.
After thirty seconds passed, next to the cauldron several sets of herbs appeared, along with a bigger cauldron. Below the first step in the instructions step two could now be seen.
"Step two: concoct the Energy Gathering Pill. The number of attempts it takes you to successfully concoct pills, as well as the quality of pills you concoct will be rated to determine your talent for pill concoction. Should you fail to make a single pill after exhausting 30 sets of herbs, you will be blacklisted from ever taking this test and be labeled as someone with absolutely no talent for alchemy." Below Step two there wasn't a step three, rather the instructions to concoct the Energy Gathering Pill.
Based on the instructions for creating the Energy Gathering Pill, Jam learned that he was given about 30 attempts. If worse came to worst, Jam would just use Purification fire, but he didn't think would need to as his stellar fire was currently at the same level.
There were three steps to creating any type of pill. Jam would need to extract the medicinal essences inside the herbs, purify them, then fuse them together to form the pill.
Jam had absolutely no experience with alchemy, so, to no one's surprise, he failed. Several times, actually. In the first step, Extracting the medicinal essences, Jam had to use his fire gently, as the essence inside the herbs could easily disintegrate. On this step alone he failed twice.
The second step was much more difficult than the first, as it required Jam to make split second decisions accurately. Jam needed to purify the impurities from within the extracted medicinal essences; to do this Jam had to switch from a gentle flame to a much stronger heat, while at the same time controlling the fire to not flare up and destroy all his previous hard work.
The third step caused Jam the most trouble. The margin of error allowed was just too small for an absolute beginner. However, unbeknownst to Jam, he was unintentionally striving for perfection, something even veteran alchemist wouldn't carelessly chase.
Most alchemists taking these kinds of tests would extract and purify the minimum amount of medicinal essence required to pass. Jam was literally going for perfection on each step, which required him to extract 100% of the essence within one batch of ingredients, then purify the essences to 1/10th their initial volume, followed up by fusing the medicinal essences to have a synergy rate of 500%.
The instructions on the wall specified what the best results were, not the minimum requirements, so Jam thought that if he didn't reach the standards of the instructions he wouldn't pass.
Lucky for him, even though it wasn't luck as this was a skill based occupation, he successfully concocted a batch of Energy Gathering pills before running out of ingredient sets. In total, Jam failed twice at the Extraction phase, five times at the Purification phase, and fifteen times at the Fusion stage.
After Jam successfully concocted his first batch of pills, he drew them out of the cauldron and began to admire them. Jam stared at the ten pure white pills in his hands for a solid thirty seconds, before placing them on the table next to the remaining ingredient sets. The remaining ingredients and the newly concocted pills vanished, leaving Jam alone in the room with nothing to do until, either the exit appeared, or more instructions appeared on the wall.
After five minutes with no response Jam was starting to get annoyed, when all of a sudden a teenaged-looking woman entered the room. The woman stared at Jam before asking him "Are you the one who made these pills?" Then she showed Jam the pills he finished creating.
"Yes? Why? Is there a problem?"
"Uh… no, there's no problem… show me your alchemy fire."
Jam stretched out his hand and a small ball of stellar fire could be seen hovering over his hand.
"Are you trying to troll me? Who would believe that someone taking the test for potential in alchemy would achieve perfect pills in just 23 tries with stellar fir..." Before she could finish her sentence the woman noticed that Jam's fire was emanating small Dao Runes. It goes to show how advanced her cultivation was, since even Jam himself could not see these runes yet.
"WHAT?! How did you manage to initiate Dao Contact at the Qi Collecting Stage?" The general rule for people detecting cultivation levels was, that as long as one cultivator had a more profound level in cultivation, they could detect the levels of those who were lower, by scanning the other person's Dantian, with the exception of Meridian Connecting and Body Refinement; at those two stages, cultivators had yet to open their Dantian.
"Didn't you notice the commotion I raised yesterday?"
"Uhh… No! I didn't! I don't have all day to just laze around! I was too busy connecting pills to notice any commotion raised yesterday. I'll have you know i'm the head of the Alchemy Division for the academy, and as long as the academy isn't in a crisis, no one will bother me while i'm concocting pills!"
"Mhmm? You sure must be focused on your work then! Yesterday, I broke through to the Qi Collecting stage and as I was cultivating with Stellar energy, a very eye catching beam shot out from my body and connected to the heavens. I guess that's how I reached Dao Contact?" Jam's way of speaking came out as sarcasm, even though he was honestly feeling that the Head of Alchemy really was too focused to not notice such an attention grabbing phenomenon.
The Head of Alchemy had too many things to question to even register Jam's sarcastic-like tone. "You guess? The only people to have ever been recorded causing a display of Ultimate Dao Contact are those with superpowers at the level of Dao Domain! Do you understand? Not to mention, these domains aren't trashy like the ones that only Saints have. They are superpowers on the level of Complete Dao Domains! Only Sages have Complete Dao Domains!"
"?" Jam's look of complete confusion made the woman explain his case a bit better.
"You understand that there are different Dao Accomplishments right?"
"Ok then; Dao Accomplishments come with Dao Degrees. Most Dao Accomplishments only have one Dao Degree. For example, the Dao degree for Dao Contact is Dao Aspect. " The Sect Head mention something about a Dao Degree back when Jam initiated the Ultimate Dao Contact for the Stellar Dao, but Jam didn't really know what he was talking about, and before he could ask, the Sect Head had already left his house.
"Dao Degrees are a more specific naming system to connect superpowers, also known as innately connected Daos, with Dao Accomplishments. There are five Dao Degrees for the four Dao Accomplishments.
After Dao Contact there is Dao Infusion which has a Dao Degree of Minor Dao Accomplishment. After Dao Infusion there is the Dao Domain, which has two Dao Degrees: Lesser Dao Mastery, and Greater Dao Accomplishment.
Lesser Dao Mastery corresponded to the Domain of a Saint, while Greater Dao Accomplishment corresponded to the Domain of a Sage.
The highest stage of Dao Accomplishment is Dao Mastery, and it's Dao Degree has the Same name as its Dao accomplishment; Peak Dao Mastery."
Jam was kind of confused as the terminology was rather complex and he wasn't really understanding what the woman was talking about. He thought to himself 'Why does this shit have to be so fucking complex?'
The woman continued speaking "Anyways, all you need to know is that displaying Ultimate Dao Contact means that your stellar class superpower must be at least at the level of Greater Dao Accomplishment."
"Mhmm?" Jam couldn't hide his confusion well and at this point the woman started to lose patience. She told Jam "Whatever, now that i've seen you in person and I know a bit about you, I guess I'll give you an invitation. Would you like to become a member of the Alchemy Division?"
The woman tried to play it off as if she didn't care if Jam accepted her invitation or not, but Jam could more or less read the clues from her tone, which conveyed that she really wanted him to join. In any case, Jam didn't want to restrict himself, so he asked her about any restrictions he would have placed on himself for joining the Alchemy Division.
When Jam learned that there were only benefits to joining the Alchemy Division with no restriction that he could find, he agreed immediately. By joining the Alchemy Division, Jam now had the identity of a Disciple Alchemist or Rank 1 Alchemist, and could use his identity to sell pills in the academy or to the academy itself. Additionally, Jam would also receive a discount for herbs bought from the academy, and could attend many of the Alchemy events around the academy.
The woman was about to leave when Jam stopped he and asked "So… what's my potential for alchemy?" The woman, during no point in her conversation with Jam mentioned the score he got on the test, so Jam had to remind her before she left.
"Potential? You made 10 perfect Energy Gathering Pills after using 23 batches of ingredients! To put it lightly, you probably… no you definitely have the best potential for alchemy that I've ever seen."
The Head of Alchemy had seen some people beat Jam's record of creating ten perfect pills using less batches, but all of those people she thought about had Purification fire. If you factored in that Jam had to work with Stellar Fire, while he might come up short on the purification side of pill concocting, in the extraction and fusion of essences Jam truly had the best talent that the Head of Alchemy had ever seen.
Before she left, the Head of Alchemy told Jam that her name was Latoya, and returned to Jam his ten Energy Gathering Pills. After Latoya left the testing room, the door from where Jam entered opened up.
Jam, after passing through the door, discovered that he was at the Hall of Affairs. As soon as Jam appeared inside the Hall of Affairs, one of the attendants ran up to Jam and gave him his alchemy medallion.
The medallion Jam received was shaped like a cauldron, colored purely white, and had one star hovering above it. Jam's medallion, after absorbing a drop of his blood, would belong only to him.