From that day onwards, the lives of two people, Gongyi Tianheng and Gu Zuo, developed a routine together.
Every morning, Gu Zuo would refine pills: four cauldrons of qi generating pills and one cauldron of rejuvenation pills. Gongyi Tianheng would ponder over Gu Zuo’s writings on the divine medicine cultivation method and the spirit piercing awl.
At noon, Gu Zuo would rest to restore his energy, and Tianheng would take a half hour break to recuperate his mental state.
In the afternoon, Gu Zuo would quickly refine baby tortoise hardened meridian decoction and a meal of organic harmony. Tianheng would soak in the decoction and eat the cuisine. The two people would spend just about three hours together.
At night, Tianheng would teach Gu Zuo how to practice the divine medicine cultivation method. However, he’d yet to make any headway in the spirit piercing awl for the time being.
At the same time, Gu Zuo would frequently take part in handling Tianheng’s economic affairs. Although Gongyi Tianheng hadn’t given Gu Zuo any authority over decision making, he would listen to Gu Zuo’s a.n.a.lysis on difficult business matters. In addition, Tianheng would point out any deficiencies.
Gu Zuo knew that this was his dear patron teaching him certain business practices. Under this kind of instruction, he also had a better understand of the world — There were many things that simply couldn’t compare to Qi Tianyou’s memories.
In this way, Tianheng was even more patient with Gu Zuo. While Gu Zuo became even more dependent on Tianheng.
In the blink of an eye, a month pa.s.sed.
One day, Gongyi Tianheng was soaking his body in a medical decoction, when suddenly, his body became blood red. Unexpectedly, there appeared malevolent earthworm-like veins on his l.u.s.trous white skin, which seemed sort of like meridian patters!
The doubled effects of the baby tortoise hardened meridians decoction and the meal of organic harmony pincer attack seemed even more critical at this point in time. The pain continuously rose, but it never seemed to reach its peak.
Even if Tianheng’s willpower was resolute up until now, he couldn’t stop from releasing a smothered groan.
Gu Zuo saw this and his heart skipped a beat . He didn’t know if his patron could hear his voice, but he still opened his mouth in a great flurry: “Young master Tianheng, endure it! This is the final juncture! Victory or defeat depends on this one move! If you pa.s.s out and lose control over yourself, we have to start over from the beginning!”
Tianheng’s gasps of breath were slightly heavy, but the side of his mouth exposed a bit of a smile.
Now, he weakly opened his mouth to speak, but it was very obvious he didn’t have the tiniest intentions of giving up.
Gu Zuo saw this and an intense confidence for his patron welled up.
He would succeed…No problem!
This was the first difficulty. So long as he endured it, the matters in the future would be much simpler!
Gu Zuo didn’t know how long it took. He was so nervous he forgot to breathe. While Gongyi Tianheng, who was in the middle of suffering, was even more incapable of responding to the pa.s.sage of time.
Suddenly, Tianheng opened his mouth and vomited a mouthful of black sludge.
Instantly, the meridians, which covered the skin over his whole body like spiderwebs, seemed to shatter. In a split second, they changed back to their original appearance and settled back into his flesh.
There was happiness in Gu Zuo’s heart. A cheerful smile couldn’t help but be carried on his face: “Young master Tianheng, you did it!”
Gongyi Tianheng exhaled slowly, his breath drawn-out. There was a glimmer of light in his eyes. He moved his palms, and only felt that he was more nimble than ever before. Even if he was weak, it wasn’t like before where every step and every movement was like stepping on a knife’s edge.
His meridians were already opened.
Qi weakly flowed through his eight extraordinary meridians and twelve princ.i.p.al meridians. Even if it was just a hair-thin wisp now, it was already capable of circulating his qi and blood. It also allowed him such that he wasn’t at the brink of exhaustion nor paralysis.
Tianheng couldn’t help but sigh in his heart.
Fighting for his life against the heavens and suffering all kinds of pain and suffering. At last, he saw the light of a new day.
Currently, even though his thin and feeble meridians were too weak to allow natural qi to enter and acc.u.mulate within him, his lifespan was no longer restricted to twenty years.
At this time, Gu Zuo threw himself at the edge of the bathtub. His rapid-fire speech was due to his joy: “Young master Tianheng, from tomorrow on, I can give you an additional two servings of medicine. Baby tortoise hardened meridian decoction is needed, and the meal of organic harmony must also be eaten. Those two utilize the largest medicinal effects. Apart from those, the ‘Serpent Fish Unyielding Muscle Decoction’  will strengthen your meridian’s flexibility, and the ‘Five Gra.s.s Ape Bone Meal’  will broaden your meridians. Wait and after a while, I can refine a Five Essence Pill  to cause your organs to develop vital energy and promote the circulation of your qi and blood. It’ll make your originally blocked meridians even wider… Right, the Tianlong guards can start gathering the five essence pill’s medicinal ingredients…
“Young master Tianheng, you can carefully think about practicing a cultivation method. The reason for the Tiandu Body’s blocked meridians is due to your birth and Xiantian body. However, the meridians were frail, causing the Xiantian qi in your flesh to not circulate and gradually deposit within your meridians. Now, after opening them with medicinal power, vital energy will dissolve the Xiantian qi so that pieces will follow the normal qi and blood into your flesh. Though, the other pieces will still go to waste… When the meridians are able to support natural qi, you can try running through a cultivation method by using the Xiantian qi. But take your time at the initial stages. Once you feel that you can’t continue, then stop immediately…”
Hearing Gu Zuo’s long-winded speech, chock-full of his deep concern, Gongyi Tianheng’s gaze gradually softened.
After he listened carefully, he faintly nodded: “Ah Zuo’s words are reasonable. I’ll instruct Dragon One to go arrange everything. But even if it’s for the sake of treating my illness, Ah Zuo mustn’t work to the point of exhaustion.”
Gu Zuo reacted, blushing a little. He immediately said: “Rest a.s.sured, young master Tianheng. I’ve recently made progress with practicing the divine medicine cultivation method and the qi  within my body has become even stronger. After a couple days, I should be able to condense a bone pearl within my earthly fiend acupoint .
Tianheng praised him: “Ah Zuo’s apt.i.tude is considerably good. That divine medicine cultivation method really is a top-notch cultivation method. Compared to my Gongyi Clan’s numerous cultivation methods, it’s even more remarkable.”
Gu Zuo blushed: “I’ve never cultivated before, but young master Tianheng is a good teacher.”
He didn’t hesitate, “Since the divine medicine cultivation method can be considered pretty good, then wouldn’t it better for young master Tianheng to study?”
Gongyi Tianheng broke into laughter: “I’m afraid this cultivation method only suits pharmacists. I appreciate Ah Zuo’s kind intentions.”
Gu Zuo heard this and didn’t continue the topic.
Tianheng spoke again: “I’m going to take a bath and rest. Ah Zuo can go do his own thing.”
Gu Zuo nodded, and turned around to return to the room. He sat on the couch and began to work on the divine medicine cultivation method.
The present Gu Zuo knew many more things. His originally relaxed mental state was stretched taut once more.
Before, he felt that it was enough to refine medicine to preserve his life. However, now he felt that he could learn more if he kept studying; raising his strength was the best way to increasing his lifespan, or achieving his original desire.
Moreover, he also thought about upgrading his medicine refining skills. Of course, he couldn’t separate himself from the supplementary cultivation method.
It seemed Gu Zuo could only refine a couple cauldrons worth of medicinal pills, but after the natural qi in his body increased, he could refine more than ten cauldrons each day.
During the process of refining pills, from the start he could only rely on instinct. But now, he was already exceedingly familiar with each step.
In fact, when refining medicinal pills, pharmacists relied on a special ability of their eyes — In actuality, it was their psychic power  observing the medicinal properties. Through the medical beads  in their hands, pharmacists manipulated the medicinal properties, and through their hand arts, they controlled the medicine refining process. And to put these hand arts to use, required one to expend the true qi within their bodies.
That’s right. Whether martial artist or pharmacist, they all practiced cultivation methods to absorb natural qi. After it was circulated within their bodies, it would be called “true qi.”
True qi flowed inside the meridians, but the regions where it was stored were actually something called “bone pearls.”
Here, one must mention the way martial artists cultivated.
Strictly speaking, from Houtian to Xiantian, anything below the Immortal Threshold, was the process of opening the acupoints and condensing bone pearls.
The human body had many acupoints. Some would say more than four hundred, and others would say more than seven hundred. There were all kinds of acupoints that were on the surface and hidden within. It was hard to count them, but they were mysterious and incomparable as a self-made universe.
However, to differentiate martial artists, even though the cultivation methods used and the sequence of acupoints opened were never the same, the grand total and type of acupoints were still fixed.
These acupoints numbered one hundred eight: seventy two earthly fiend vital acupoints and thirty six heavenly spirit fatal acupoints.
They were found throughout the twelve princ.i.p.al and eight extraordinary meridians. All of them were blocked in Xiantian , and only by first opening them could a martial artist condense bone pearls.
And as for the bone pearl, through the course of a martial artist’s cultivation, one would simultaneously absorb natural qi and use a cultivation method to extract one’s bone marrow, then blend them together to form a crystal sphere. Natural qi could be stored within these spheres as the qi flowed through the meridians.
In the small realm of a Houtian martial artist’s nine stages, each stage required the opening of eight acupoints for the condensing of eight bone pearls. Thus, after seventy two earthly fiend acupoints contained bone pearls, one would be enlightened to the Xiantian mystery and become a Xiantian martial artist. Then, to upgrade one’s rank, one must open thirty six heavenly spirit acupoints. Similarly, for the small realm of Xiantian nine stages, each stage required the condensing of four bone pearls.
Gu Zuo’s method of practicing the > was very eccentric. After practicing, it not only absorbed natural qi, but also “opened his eyes” instantly. It made him capable of gathering his psychic power in his eyes to observe the flow of medicinal properties and fragrancies as they came into being.
Through Gongyi Tianheng’s research, they discovered that this kind of cultivation method was unprecedentedly gentle. It was initially possible to absorb only very little natural qi, but within that timeframe, the impurities within the pract.i.tioner’s body — That is, the impurities within the meridians, flesh, and the blocked acupoints were all eliminated.
At that time, the impure gases Gu Zuo spat out were those things.
Afterwards, through two months of refining medicine, Gu Zuo hadn’t stopped utilizing his cultivation method and constantly refined medicine. In this course of events, it made his body very pure. When he truly dedicated himself to cultivation, Gu Zuo unexpectedly discovered that he could completely skip the process of opening his acupoints!
Currently, among the minimum seventy two earthly fiend acupoints, Gu Zuo had close to half that were clear of obstructions. The only discrepancy was that he had to gather sufficient natural qi before he could condense his bone pearls.
Gu Zuo was so energetic because his first bone pearl’s seed  was already complete.
 心惊肉跳 – Xin jing rou tiao, the heart is alarmed while the body leaps. An idiom for fear and trepidation in the face of disaster. I wanted to incorporate the words “gut-wrenching,” but couldn’t find a good place for it.
 鱼蛇强筋汤 – Yu she jiang jin tang, direct translation.
 猿骨五芝膳 – Yuan gu wu zhi shan, direct translation.
 五精丹 – Wu jing dan, direct translation. The five essences likely refers to the five elements.
 气息 – Qi xi, can either translate to breath or atmosphere/feeling. In context, it should refer to a noun instead of an adjective. Thus, breath becomes a synonymous qi.
 地煞穴 – Di sha xue, direct translation. On another note, in Chinese astrology, there are seventy two 地煞 stars (demons) and thirty six 天罡 stars (spirits), which coincides with how many bone pearls a cultivator must condense within his body to advance in Houtian and Xiantian, respectively.
 精神力 – Jing shen li, as mentioned by user Charysa previously, this is a reoccurring term that will continue to pop up in the future as a qualitative stat of pharmacists.
 I will be retroactively changing yao beads to just medical beads.
 I’m not sure if the author made another typo and meant to write Houtian instead.
 雏形 – Chu xing, embryonic stage or fledging form. The initial process of creating pearls in real life is called “seeding.”
T/N: h.e.l.lo, everyone. I have an important announcement.
This is the first VIP chapter from the original author. In other words, one would have to pay money to read this story from this point onwards. I’ve already stated that this translation is free to read. However, this is unfair to the author. I humbly request that those of you who enjoy reading these translations to please go to the author’s original site and donate to them. Please do not donate to me or this translation blog.
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