Volume 1, Chapter 23 – The Dragonstar Sand Cauldron and Flower Jade Essence Spring
Zhang Yan had only seen a small amount of Five Elements Divine Sands, usually a pound. This time 1000 pounds were being sent to him. He almost didn’t believe it, was what he heard really true?
Actually, each Lower Courts’ outer disciple had an imperial family member as a follower. The Five Elements Divine Sand may perhaps be rare, but it was actually scattered all over the Great Eastern Continent. As long as one was able to gather manpower, collecting the sand was not too difficult.
In the past, when the great sects were greatly in need of this Divine Sand, they also relied on the mortal world’s powerful and wealthy figures to gather a large number of civilian labors to collect it.
For example—Princess Cao Ying. Her father was a Duke who ruled over quite a large territory. With only one word, he could summon several hundreds of thousands of people. And although her influence and power were not too big due to having a few brothers in her household, she was still able to mobilize tens of thousands of people for any task.
When she saw that Zhang Yan was still silent for a long time, she thought that he was not satisfied with the offerings. She braced herself, continuing to explain, “This year is very cold, and the upstream of the rivers has completely froze up. Making it very difficult to travel by boat. Thus, collecting the Divine Sand is very difficult. When the next spring comes, I will also present an additional thousand pounds, totaling to two thousand pounds of Divine Sand. How is Immortal Master Zhang’s thought?”
Zhang Yan realized that she misunderstood him. He didn’t say anything as he only lightly replied, “It’s alright.”
Cao Ying sighed. She didn’t take the time to look at Zhang Yan’s appearance before. But this time, when she was looking at him, she couldn’t help but praise him secretly.
Zhang Yan’s appearance was very attractive, a hanging tall nose, smooth and pursed-up lips, with wide and broad shoulders. Even when he was sitting, she could see that his height was higher than that of an ordinary person’s. In addition, after he had successfully gained the True Primordial Qi, there was a faint celestial being’s aura emitted from him due to the increase of his qi and spiritual force.
“Well, aside from that, what else is there?”
Seeing that Zhang Yan’s eyes carried a profound and bottomless pressure, Cao Ying hurriedly lowered her head as her heart was thumping crazily. She anxiously replied, “If Immortal Master has any trivial matters to manage, His Excellency may exhort me and the others.”
Originally, she also brought along fifty servants to give to Zhang Yan. However, Zhao Yuan previously reminded her that Zhang Yan didn’t like to have any servants. Moreover, this was only her first meeting with Zhang Yan and she was afraid to leave a very bad impression. Thus, she cannot mention about it rashly. Also, it seemed that Zhang had sent a faint intention to see the visitors out, making her not dare to stay longer. After she looked at Zhao Yuan’s eyes, she respectfully saluted and withdrew.
“Senior Brother Zhao, what’s this Princess Cao’s true intention in looking for me?” After Cao Ying left, Zhang Yan turned to Zhao Yuan to inquire the reasons.
Zhao Yuan wryly smiled, “In the recent years, an outer disciple from the North Star Sect had been nagging Cao Ying, declaring that he must take her as a concubine, and saying that he would teach her Dao cultivation in exchange. Her several brothers also agreed to his request because they were seeking for a patron to protect them. If Fellow Daoist Zhang is willing to accept her as a follower, this person wouldn’t dare to pester her again.”
Zhao Yuan didn’t have the courage to deceive Zhang Yan about the whole story. Besides, Zhang Yan would also find out about these matters sooner or later. Thus, telling him earlier would be better than later. Moreover, the North Star Sect was not a big sect; it was considered as a second-class sect, which could not be compared to the Blue Ocean Sect. So, he presumed that this matter wouldn’t bring any disadvantageous impacts to Zhang Yan.
In fact, Cao Ying’s true intention in visiting the peak where Zhang Yan lived was not only to become his follower. She was also particularly optimistic about Zhang Yan’s bright future. On the other hand, Zhang Yan had just become an outer disciple and was not from an ancient family, of which, did not have a big appetite.
When Zhang Yan heard the name of the North Star Sect, he no longer asked, “Since Senior Brother Zhao has personally come, I’ll handle this matter.”
Zhao Yuan was overjoyed. He got up and cupped his hands, “Many thanks, Fellow Brother.”
“Senior Brother Zhao, you don’t need to be this courteous, it’s only a small matter.”
They had small talks for a short while before Zhao Yuan finally stood and left with a bright and joyful expression.
The Demon Serpent, Luo Xiao, poked it’s head from the cauldron, proudly saying, “Isn’t it like what I have said? You are the Blue Ocean Sect’s outer disciple, once you speak a word, you can gather tens of thousands of people to work for you. When you enter the Upper Court, even the country’s rulers would also heed your command, whatever it is. Having this kind of power and influence is very wonderful, isn’t it? Unfortunately, even though my Three Lake’s demon race has tens of millions of water demons, it cannot even be compared to your Great Sect.”
Zhang Yan previously regarded the importance of an outer disciple’s status as to only being able to aid him improve his cultivation. However, it seemed that he actually ignored the other aspects. He nodded, “It’s like what you said, Fellow Daoist Luo.”
Luo Xiao smiled, “Wait for these Divine Sands to be delivered first. You then can exchange these goods with some medicinal herbs from some ancient families’ juniors…”
“Medicinal herbs?” Zhang Yan quickly looked back at Luo Xiao as he spoke in astonishment, “Fellow Daoist Luo, you can refine pills?”
Luo Xiao proudly replied, “Of course! Although I cannot refine superior grade concocted pills, but refining some restorative pills is very easy. As long as the ingredients and the equipment are available.”
“Since Fellow Daoist Luo says so, could it be that the refining tool to refine the pill presumably is my bronze cauldron?”
Seeing that Zhang Yan could see through it’s thought, Luo Xiao didn’t flinch or got embarrassed, “Yes, your big cauldron can also be considered as a best-quality Daoist tool. However, this cauldron was not made from bronze but refined from Dragonstar Sand. However, the method used by the cultivator who crafted this cauldron is quite excellent. Had I not been steamed by you last time, I wouldn’t have realized this cauldron’s effect to transform spiritual qi. I think that the person who gifted you this cauldron doesn’t know about this cauldron’s true origin. Pah! You really acquired it cheaply! Using such a precious cauldron only for cooking food is truly the most stupid way to bring out its true usefulness. This cauldron’s best use is for refining pills.”
Zhang Yan was truly surprised, Dragonstar Sand?
This was one of the things that could only be heard from rumors. Although he didn’t know about its true value, he also knew the materials needed by a refiner to craft a top-grade tool such as this big cauldron. How much Dragonstar Sands would it take to craft it?
Could it be that ancient cultivator had such a godly ability?
Luo Xiao glanced at Zhang Yan, “You don’t need to be that surprised, I can refine some restorative pills, moreover, it would also give you many benefits. You will need many concocted pills, and I can help you refine some.”
Seeing that Luo Xiao seemed to be afraid that he would refuse, it pleaded and made haste to promise benefits to him made Zhang Yang quite amused, “This one certainly has no such intention, I don’t have any use for this cauldron for the time being. If Fellow Daoist really needs it, you can use it first.”
In his opinion, it would be more useful to Luo Xiao than to him.
Opening his meridians was one of the most essentials steps, so he had to be extremely cautious.
But he didn’t have a master to direct him. Although he could rely on the broken jade to familiarize himself with the cultivation law. However, he also realized that he still couldn’t figure out some profound words and the necessary things he would need in the process.
Although Luo Xiao was not a human cultivator, it was a Profound Light Demon Serpent cultivator; it had quite a deep bank of knowledge. Of which, was qualified enough to direct a junior cultivator like him, who had yet to open his meridians.
Zhang Yan took the opportunity to ask many things that puzzled him again and again. It was unknown why Luo Xiao didn’t refuse to answer all Zhang Yan’s question and even answered in great detail.
“For my demon race’s cultivation, after we can transform our body, we would naturally learn more advanced laws, plus we don’t need to open our meridians.” Luo Xiao’s replied from the cauldron. Its body was still in the cauldron and only stretched out its serpent’s head, “But I also know that human cultivator’s meridians class could be ranked in the top three. This is related to the sect’s method to open the meridians and Flower Jade Essence Spring. Had you succeeded in opening your meridians, you must quickly search for a place that has the best quality Flower Jade Essence Spring. But this Flower Spring is also divided into six ranks. Only with a superior cultivation technique and the best quality Flower Spring could you achieve the best meridian grade.”
A Flower Jade Essence Spring was a spring that was naturally formed inside a cave which was located in an earth vein and was constantly nurtured with thick spiritual qi essence. The fusion between spiritual qi essence and the earth vein’s essence would then form this spring, which could be used to nourish the meridians inside the human body through qi circulation and strengthening one’s primordial qi. Of which, was the most important step for cultivators.
With such rare conditions, it’s only natural that there would only be a few Flower Springs in this world. However, the earth essence was the most pivotal of things. So, ancient families’ members usually used several hundred or even over thousands of year old earth essences to make this Flower Jade Essence Spring. From this aspect only, one could realize the ancient families’ power and deepness.
However, most direct disciples who took the path of apprenticeship under a certain master could only rely on their masters or elders to find a Flower Jade Essence Spring. If not, they could only borrow the ancient families Flower Jade Essence Spring, forcing them to become their servants.
Zhang Yan knew that the Lower Court must also have this Flower Jade Essence Spring. However, those grandmasters would never allow him to use it. So, he must try to find another solution.
“Since Fellow Daoist Luo says that the Demon race doesn’t need to open their meridians, then, could it be that there are earth veins in the Three Lakes territory that have a Flower Spring?”
Luo Xiao grinned, “Yes, there is. However, only my Demon race could get to it. Do you think that they would curry a favor and sell it to you, a human cultivator? Besides, it should be under the protection of its owner. Even if you want to take it, it would simply be impossible.”
Zhang Yan shook his head. Going on a journey to the Three Lakes Demon’s territory only to buy a Flower Spring? Not only did he have no financial resources, even if he had the money, he would be dead first before he could use it.
At this time, he suddenly remembered something, “I heard that in ancient times, cultivators didn’t need the Flower Spring to open their meridians. Does Fellow Daoist Luo know the reason?”
“Gee, you even know about this. It seems that you were not boasting when you said that you have read most of the Dao books,” Luo Xiao was slightly surprised as it’s eyes turned wide. Shaking its head, it sighed, “The method is by using Spirit Shellfish Liquid instead of a Flower Jade Essence Spring. But, I’m afraid that Fellow Daoist Zhang would never give up to obtain that field, would you?”
Zhang Yan clearly understood what Luo Xiao meant about the question, that he wouldn’t give up to practice this problematic cultivation method. Even if he had a Shellfish Field, it was also impossible for him to give it up.
It’s because amongst hundreds of Spirit Shellfish, there was possibly only one that contained Spirit Shellfish liquid, of which, was equal to a drop of Flower Jade Essence. He roughly calculated that to fill up a jar of liquid, it would take at least three or four hundred million Spirit Shellfish. This was simply an astronomical figure, which, for even the richest sect, could never withstand such a loss, let alone him.
However, he really didn’t believe that ancient cultivators opened their meridians with this method.
With such a method, perhaps all the Shellfish Fields in the world would have long been emptied. How wouldn’t it have been extinct by now? Therefore, there must be some other method and Luo Xiao certainly didn’t tell him the whole truth.
At that moment, he let out a faint smile and didn’t show any disturbed expression.
Luo Xiao had been eagerly waiting to see Zhang Yan’s depressed look. When it saw that Zhang Yan didn’t even get disturbed by its words, it felt bored. It then grunted, “Pah, okay… I will tell you. Listen well. The place where the Spirit Shellfish grows, there should be a hole about 300 meters deep where the Shellfish King resides. Of which constantly draws and absorbs spiritual qi essence. Even if one only learns a mediocre method to open his meridians, he would still be able to have a top ranked meridian.
Luo Xiao glanced at Zhang Yan, adding, “I heard that this was the normal method that had always been used by various sects’ direct disciples.”
Zhang Yan nodded, “Fellow Daoist Luo told this Zhang Yan everything about this method. You surely has no other intention, but also hoped for me to get well informed.”
Luo Xiao stared at Zhang Yan’s eyes, and deeply said, “I can take you to that place, and I could even give you all the Spirit Shellfish. But you must take an oath, that once after you have succeeded in opening your meridians, you must release me from this Soulblood Contract and give my freedom back.”