73 What Can I Say? I’m An Alright Alchemist...
Jam stood up, eyes shining with expectation as the last herb fused perfectly with the rest in the Pill Cauldron. He waited a couple seconds before the pills finished their synthesis and emerged with a slight tug from his spirit energy. Five perfectly spherical dark blue pills appeared in Jam's hand.
Along with Jam's joy came Tzatziki crying out in disbelief "What. The. Fuck? HOW?" He been watching in silence since the battle ended, waiting to see how Jam would deal with the aftermath himself. Originally he had been proud of Jam's decision and efforts to secure a rival in Dai Mingzi, but looked down on Jam for being childish after he saw him try to save Xie Ming. Sometimes… no matter what you did people would die. And in this case, Xie Ming would absolutely have to die.
This wasn't a matter that Jam could prevent! At least it shouldn't have been. Tzatziki thought back to all the variables that led up to this moment. Where were they? Who was Xie Ming, and what of Jam? What was this situation?
A Tier 4 Alchemist and Rebirth Stage Cultivator, Jam, created a Tier 5 consummate level pill on his own. He had no outside help and used his own insights into the Canon of Suppression and Augmentation Dogma to accomplish something most Alchemist, double his rank, wouldn't succeed doing. If this wasn't bullshit, what was?
Jam ignored Tzatziki's outburst. He took one of the pills from his stack and carefully examined it for imperfections. He had five entire pills, so losing one to testing wasn't that bad. Jam first examined the pill with his divine sense and gave an approving nod before crushing the pill. Thereafter, he watched as an Icy Yin breeze carried a medical fragrance around the room and finally ate one himself.
Yeah, yeah… anyone would stare and laugh at such an idiotic action. Testing your own newly created pill on yourself? Even the most confident Tier 8, and even Tier 9 Alchemists, would use wild Demonic Beasts for their first test run. But Jam had unshakable confidence, the pills were after all consummate tier. Sure, they might be poisonous, but Tier 5 Pills, even those created to be poisonous would barely harm Jam after he used Divinity.
Jam sat down and absorbed the medical effects of his own pill, eventually trembling so violently that he had to breath out a Yin filled cold breath. He concluded the pill worked as he envisioned and consequently threw the three remaining three pills he had at Xie Ming. He was a "bit" worn out from this pill concocting marathon, not to mention he had just come out of a war…
"Eat one pill for now and revolve the Yin essence within, around your blood vessels. If you feel the pill's power start to decline before all..." Jam wanted to continue but Xie Ming hurriedly spoke up.
"Uh… I'm going to die in a couple minutes. You know, right? So why are you giving me these pills?" Xie Ming was confused, he never thought that the pills Jam was concocting were for him. As a Metal Dao cultivator, he knew better than anyone what the consequences were for eating a Silver Blood Pill at the Saint Realm.
Jam just looked at him like he was retarded, he said "Yeah. You will die, if you don't start the purging process. Now as I was saying… if you feel the pill's power decline before all the Silver Blood is expunged, eat another pill. You should be fine with just two or three pills, but, if you need more just give me a holler and I'll make another batch."
"Um… Sorry if I come off as rude but… don't I need a Tier 7 Cooling Yin Pill to reverse the effects of the Silver Blood Pill? You are just a Rebirth Stage cultivator, so… isn't it impossible for you to create Tier 7 pills?"
"Correct~ But I concocted a new pill just to see if you can be saved! Now hurry up and eat them! If you look around the cave, all this destruction and chaos came from my attempts at creating a new pill for you! Luckily, I'm an alright pill master, and I succeeded quite quickly~" Jam's words would infuriate the cultivation world if they were heard… If a Tier 4 Alchemist was considered just "alright" even after they created a new pill, and one tier above their level at that, there would be no decent alchemists besides Jam.
Xie Ming held the pills in his hands and felt ill at ease. Should he take these "new" pills? Well, he would be dying otherwise, so even if they were filled with the world's worst poison, death would be the result either way. He cast away his doubts and followed through with Jam's instructions. He ate a pill and immediately felt the raging demon blood cool down significantly; so much so, that controlling it was now possible.
Unlike Jam, Xie Ming didn't feel cold from the inner Icy Yin now present in his system. Rather, that Icy Yin melted into the Silver Blood and temporarily made it as tame as regular blood. Now, all Xie Ming had to do was expunge the corrosive and dangerous Silver Blood. He could excrete the nasty blood many ways, but his prefered method was through a self inflicted cut to an artery on his neck.
Though he was cut, very little blood shot out from the wound on his neck as Xie Ming only commanded for the Silver Blood to leave his body. Surprisingly, the process was completely devoid of pain. As Xie Ming spurted more and more blood out of his system, he became increasing human-like; losing out on that wicked metallic demon form.
He used all three pills, but only managed to draw out 20% of the Silver Blood in his body. As was the case, Jam got back on task and made several more batches of his personal Tier 5 Cooling Yin Pills. He had severely overestimated the effects of his pills, but it made sense that so many pills were required. Jam's consummate pills would always be comparable to a Tier above their true level, so it made sense that dozens of Tier 6 pills were needed to accomplished what a single Tier 7 pill could do on its own.
His recipe had been completed once, which meant that all subsequent pills would also turn out. So, within minutes, Xie Ming could be seen back to normal. Well, mostly… Xie Ming managed to expunge 99% of the Silver Blood in his system, but that last percent managed to intrude on his Dantain and there was nothing Jam could do with Tier 5 Cooling Yin Pills. Even Tier 7 Cooling Yin Pills would not be able to do much against that sort of damage…
Xie Ming would live but his cultivation… "You… you'll be a Saint God for a couple hundred more years. But, the Silver Blood will slowly corrode away at your cultivation and the rate will be exponential by the end..." Jam felt bad, he didn't cure Xie Ming only delay his inevitable death.
At Jam's sudden depression and cloudy expression, Xie Ming laughed. He gave Jam a pat on the shoulder and said "Why are you depressed? It's not like your going to die."
This was the happiest Jam had ever seen Xie Ming. Granted they had only known each other for less than a week, but still. Xie Ming continued "Plus, you've saved me. SAVED ME! Do you understand? I was supposed to die, ok? It's already a heaven-defying miracle that I'm going to stick around for a couple hundred more years."
Xie Ming looked through the outside of the cave and at the sunny skies outside, still talking "I'll get to be with my wife. And we might even have kids!" He turned to Jam, the sincerity and good will within his eyes were impossible to hide "You have no idea what you've done for me."
"But… you'll never be an Immortal! You can't continue with cultivation! Eventually you'll die!" Jam couldn't help but blurt out. Was it really that easy? To give up on cultivation? The pursuit of power?!
Xie Ming wasn't at all mad at Jam, he took a sort of father-like disposition and carefully explained "Power? Immortality? Cultivation? Is that what I should be depressed about?"
"No?" Jam was even more confused…
"Why did I take the Silver Blood Pill in the first place? Go ahead I want to hear your answer." Xie Ming said.
"Well, I wasn't exactly paying attention to you in particular when you took it, but I guess it was to turn the tides of the war when a critical moment appeared. Maybe someone on your side of the formation was about to die, or you yourself were about to die."
Xie Ming sighed. He said "Yes and no. You are right, I did take the pill when a critical moment presented itself. BUT! I didn't take it to turn the tides of the war, at least that wasn't my sole intention for taking the pill.
You see, many others in formation could have taken the pill. Our Junkie Tribe has three cultivators proficient in the Dao of Metal. Anyone of us could have bitten the bullet and accomplished the same thing. Furthermore, I actually would have been the last person expected to make the sacrifice since I had just come back from the torture camp. Remember, when I took the pill I wasn't at my peak, so there was a chance just taking it would have killed me.
It was actually brother Xie Tian that would have taken the pill instead; But, I volunteered and I never regretted it." At this point Jam was gobsmacked. Volunteered? For suicide? Why?!
"Those heartless bastards… They tortured me, injured my wife, and even started a massive war. To me, suffering any other loss wouldn't have been worth it. Seeing a world where someone else died for the Tribe's sake… I don't want to see that. Sure, at the time I was emotionally unstable, dying to killed them all off.
I would've killed myself in exchange for their lives at the drop of a dime, if it meant that I knew everyone else got to live. Well, I kinda did, right? Do you understand?"
"You wouldn't care about the power, prestige, or life of greater cultivators, if it meant protecting what's dear to you..." Jam said, still struggling a bit. He more or less understood the point Xie Ming was trying to get across; it was after all, something Tzatziki kept trying to get Jam to understand.
"Right. I mean, what would having the power of an Immortal get me, if I survived the war, but a dear brother of mine died for it? I don't think I would be able to live with the guilt of knowing I could of died for his stead instead."
"Mhmm… Well, I better get to work on healing your Dao Companion." Jam tossed these foreign concepts to the back of his mind and focused on dealing with his next patient. Honestly, at this point, he was starting to be more like a doctor than cultivator.