Gongyi Tianheng took the bowl and looked down.
This bowl was only a little bit bigger than the palm of his hand and could hold about eight spoonfuls.
The medicinal cuisine inside was a.n.a.logous to a soup base. It had a strong flavor, and its color was full and vibrant. All the ingredients had dissolved together and a person wouldn’t be able to distinguish their unique characteristics.
Taking in a breath of its fragrance, it made one feel a warmth circulating through them, quickly making the body feel very comfortable.
Without hesitation, Tianheng drank the soup in one gulp.
After, he looked at Gu Zuo whose eyes were br.i.m.m.i.n.g with expectations, whom eagerly waited for his response. Tianheng looked like he was pondering how to respond for a bit: “It’s a little flat.”
Gu Zuo: “…”
He wanted to ask if the flavoring was actually too light, yet — Ehhh!  You can’t just say that there isn’t any at all.
In the end, gloomy Gu Zuo didn’t know what to think. You say that there ain’t any flavor at all? For his first time refining medicine, he didn’t put in any salt. The recipe specifically said that he couldn’t add any salt! Such a weak flavor, there’s nothing to be done about it… Right?
But that’s not right. There were many ingredients that were naturally salty. Next time, he’d meticulously think things over. He’d use the Supple Bones and Beautiful Petals hand art to better effect and bring out stronger flavors.
Gu Zuo forced a laugh: “Haha, I’ll work hard. Young master Tianheng, today you’ve taken the first dosage of medicinal cuisine. You can only eat this and nothing else. You must carefully watch yourself and remember to tell me if you feel unwell.”
The corner of Tianheng’s mouth bent: “Okay.”
Gu Zuo thought about it and still didn’t feel at ease: “First, I’ll go and refine pills. Later I’ll check young Master Tianheng’s pulse.”
Tianheng’s smile deepened: “Ah Zuo will be busy. I’ll be able to keep track of my health on my own.”
Gu Zuo also thought that his patron wouldn’t treat his own body’s health lightly. He waved him off and went back to pick medicinal ingredients.
Gotta strike while the iron was hot! If he could collect medicinal qi from refining medicinal cuisine, he could certainly do the same from refining pills. Plus, he used so many of his patron’s medicinal ingredients, so shouldn’t he refine pills to cover the losses?
Suddenly, something came to mind. He pointed to the pot that was more than half full with medicinal cuisine and said: “Young master Tianheng, the dosage I’ve already given you was the most important part. Although the leftovers won’t give you that much of a boost, for ordinary people, it’ll strengthen and invigorate the body. If you need it, then preserve it. If not, you could sell it at a reduced price.”
Tianheng listened and nodded: “Don’t worry.”
Gu Zuo heard this and didn’t mind it anymore.
Soon after, Gongyi Tianheng softly clapped his hands.
In the shadows of the room, a figure flashed out. It was the leader of the Tianlong Guard: Dragon One.
He genuflected: “Young master.”
Tianheng restrained a smile: “You heard everything?”
Dragon One lowered his head: “Yes, young master.”
Tianheng indifferently commanded: “My troops who’ve suffered damage to their meridians or have deficient bodies shall take this medicine per your distribution. Every time after that, the
methods will be the same.”
Dragon One lowered his head again: “This subordinate understands.”
After speaking, Dragon One flashed into the pharmacy, took the large pot with both hands, and flashed back out.
When he got to the door to the hallway, his throat rumbled and his mouth faintly opened and closed. Another shadow quickly appeared, took the pot, and departed.
Finished with this task, Dragon One once again returned to his corner. Not knowing what else to do, he simply vanished from sight.
Gongyi Tianheng originally wanted to watch through the doorway for a while, but he sensed a faint heat overcome him. It seemed like very slender coils of heat were flowing from his internal organs through his body and finally into his meridians.
Happiness flashed through his eyes and he turned around. He slowly walked to the side of his couch and sat crossed-legged on the cushions.
Because Gu Zuo was successful in refining the medicinal cuisine, his confidence doubled. In a short time, he gathered twenty medicinal herbs according to the Qi Generating Pill’s prescription.
In Qi Tianyou’s memories, refining pills was a challenging endeavor. Ordinary certified pharmacists would fail hundreds of times to possibly succeed. Even the famous pharmacist of legends failed ten times on his first try.
Through his ancient texts, Gu Zuo found that Qi Tianyou’s understanding of refining to be simple and crude. Also, he was convinced that the method in his hands would definitely be squandered much less, but he couldn’t be certain that he wouldn’t lose… En, it didn’t matter how many times he failed. In any case, preparedness averts peril! 
The Qi Generating Pill was a very common medicinal pill. When pharmacists of the Tianwu continent refined this pill, they would sequentially add distinct medicinal herbs to their cauldrons. First, they had to smelt the herbs down into liquid form as potions, then allow them to cool. Using their hands to sort out the medicinal properties, the potion would be separated into h.o.m.ogenous medicinal boluses of equal size. Once again, they were heated until they transformed into medicinal pills. However, not all boluses could become pills. Some would inevitably be scorched black, while others had the potential to become genuine medicinal pills.
After Gu Zuo learned the Primary Medicine Refining hand arts and recalled Qi Tianyou’s understanding, he felt like he was a failure of a G.o.d. 
Tianwu continent was in actuality…a place to refine pills.
After rolling his eyes out of his head, Gu Zuo decided to trust his system.
How could he have studied > and gain only a small idea of how to refine pills?
After thinking about it, Gu Zuo didn’t hesitate. He walked straight up to his small pill cauldron and sat down cross-legged.
This cauldron was one third of a meter tall and beneath it was a furnace chamber. He put a single, highly pure fire stone inside. If it was given a small spark, the stone would immediately ignite into a raging fire. And to regulate the heat, he only needed to fiddle with something called a fire stone part.i.tion, which allowed for convenient adjustments.
However, Gu Zuo didn’t need to use a part.i.tion.
The first pattern of the minor art Plucking Nine Stars was a technique to control fire. He only needed to strike out with this technique and he’d automatically seize control over a flame’s heat.
Igniting the fire stone, Gu Zuo submerged his mind, quickly activated his cultivation method, and struck the center of the flame!
In a moment, the flame burst and rippled in waves, then became intermittent. To an ordinary person’s eyes, one could see that a change occurred such that the flame rolled and played between his fingers. Thinking big, the flame would grow, and thinking small, the flame would shrink.
Gu Zuo had no experience, and only relied on his intuition. The flame was controlled to a height of about one hundred fifty centimeters and quickly warmed up the cauldron. After that, he grabbed a bundle of herbs and used the “Scattered Flowers Art” to cast them into the cauldron. Then something unusual happened. Each individual herb separated as they floated down and occupied its own position inside. Like magnets of similar poles, the herbs repulsed each other through some fantastic force being drawn out.
Only the sound of “high pitched squeaks”  could be heard. At high temperatures, the herbs quickly dissolved; yet, there were only some herbs that broke apart quickly, others were dissolving slowly.
Gu Zuo knew this was due to the different characteristics of the herbs. Right now, Gu Zuo wasn’t reckless, and not at all nervous. Once again, he put his fire controlling technique to use, and cleaved the cauldron’s flame into more than ten separate bands. Each strand of fire had a different temperature and targeted the specific locations of the herbs to brightly cook them.
This time, all the herbs began dissolving at the same speed. After about fifteen minutes, they turned into more than ten liquid b.a.l.l.s.
Following that, Gu Zuo activated the “Fusion Art.”
These b.a.l.l.s suddenly began spinning around a central point, and rapidly began converging. At the same time, the flames underwent a change and flowed together into a single fire, which allowed the b.a.l.l.s to merge and form a single large liquid ball. Within this ball, the majority of the fluid was unparalleled in purity, yet it still held some turbidity, which gradually settled at the bottom… Undoubtedly, it was the impurities of the herbs.
Gu Zuo wasn’t fl.u.s.tered at all, and activated the “Medicine Purifying Art.”
Under this technique, the particulates that sank to the bottom abruptly rose up. Through an invisible force, the impurities turned into ribbons of black qi and vaporized into the air.
Again, Gu Zuo activated another art called the “Flowing Wind Art.”
With this technique, there seemed to be a breeze blowing through the area above the cauldron. In an instant, the black qi was blown away by the wind so that it wouldn’t interfere with the pill refining process.
Immediately following that was the “Medicine Division Art.”
After Gu Zuo’s actions, the purified ball medicinal liquid in the cauldron was scattered into sixteen well-proportioned, small medicinal boluses. They appeared to be incomparably pure.
Next, was the “Pill Transformation Art.” This technique caused the sixteen little b.a.l.l.s to rapidly compress and congeal into a solid state. The color gradually turned into a kind of faint cyan. Above, a cloud of moisture billowed out of the cauldron.
By appearances alone, it was already a success.
This made Gu Zuo very excited. In the course of his successful pill making, not a single liquid ball turned black. In other words, every bolus had the possibility of becoming a pill!
He didn’t dare to act negligently and used the Pill Transformation Art to carefully finished them one by one.
At last, the medicinal pills were nearly done forming, and they were releasing a sweet fragrance.
Gu Zuo quickly used the “Pill Launching Art!”
Instantly, the sixteen medicinal pills were plumply shaped. They spun within the cauldron, shooting off in all directions like bullets in order to escape.
If they fell to the ground, the force of impact would certainly cause damage to the medicinal pills!
How could Gu Zuo let such a thing come to pa.s.s?
Gu Zuo restrained his qi, and activated his final technique: the “Pill Receiving Art.”
All of a sudden, it seemed like many large, invisible hands caught the rampant medicinal pills and brought them back. The image of the floating pills looked like a vast sky full of stars. Gu Zuo directed the flight of the pills and the sound of bells rung out as they knocked against the interior of a jade bowl.
All sixteen were present and a smile stretched across his face. Paying detailed attention to those pills, he could only feel that they were all exceedingly plump and round, and that they looked like precious gems. Their surface was pure and l.u.s.trous, and brimmed with a glossy finish.
If it was him, how could he bear to eat them…
At this time, a rather low and magnetic voice could be heard through the doorway: “Is Ah Zuo finished refining?”
Gu Zuo heard his patron’s question and happily scampered over with the bowl clasped in his hands. He presented his treasure and held it up for inspection: “Young master Tianheng, please look! I really did it!”
Gongyi Tianheng plucked a medicinal pill from the bowl and a smile appeared on his face: “Probably…you can still refine three more cauldrons worth?”
In the process of refining medicine, the cultivation method worked incredibly quickly, and he seemed to have improved.
Tianheng laughed and continued to size up the medicinal pill.
In his heart, he was somewhat amazed.
The pharmacists attracted to the Gongyi Clan were considered high grade. When they refined the Qi Generating Pill, it would take two hours to refine nine pills. If they had difficulty, the number of successful pills would be even lower. Reportedly, because nine was the highest number, one couldn’t achieve satisfactory results beyond that.
Gu Zuo’s pill refining method was not only completely bizarre, but refining sixteen pills took him only half an hour.
In addition, the pills he refined…emitted a medicinal fragrance that seemed exceedingly pure.
 呃 – E or eh, an exclamation or hiccup.
 有备无患 – You bei wu huan, an idiom. To be prepared, just in case.
 The original line is: 囧囧有神, which roughly translates to a humiliated G.o.d. This line is a h.o.m.ophone to 炯炯有神, which means eyes bright and full of expression. So, while Gu Zuo reached an epiphany that his cheat hand arts are amazing, it was at the cost of proving his perceptions wrong concerning how difficult it would be to refine medicine.
 嗞嗞 – Zizi, the sound of mice squeaking. In this case, it is the sound of water evaporating at high temperatures.
T/N: Haha, I’m glad I could finish another chapter so quickly. This translation went rather smoothly.
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