Nevertheless, what others may consider as madness, to Shun Long it seemed completely logical after having understood every single aspect of these medicinal ingredients he was handling.
Shun Long added the 'Blue stripped grass' first and he noticed that it instantly started to 'wither'. Before all of the essence had left the grass though, Shun Long threw in one leaf from the '5-leafed flower'.
The shocking result was that after throwing in the leaf, the 'Blue stripped grass' had a reaction as the half-withered grass coiled itself around the leaf while it was being refined.
Shun Long smiled proudly as he said
''Ha, I knew it that this was the correct way to refine the 'Blue stripped grass'. By adding one leaf from the '5-leafed flower' the medicinal essence of the 'Blue stripped grass' that would have been lost in the air is now all focused around the leaf. The refinement is faster and the efficacy of the 'Qi barrier-breaking' pill will be higher in the end. But I have to throw the rest of the flower inside soon or its quality will quickly drop after it has lost one of its leaves.''
When he finished speaking, 5 breaths of time had already passed and Shun Long threw the rest of the '5-leafed flower' inside the cauldron.
When a medicinal ingredient was purified, a sizzling sound could be heard as its body would wither and it would leave behind its medicinal essence in liquid form.
The '5-leafed flower' was quickly being refined and Shun Long used his spiritual energy to lower the flame's temperature.
''The 'grisly growing root' has to be refined slower than the previous two ingredients or its essence would evaporate with only a very small amount remaining in the cauldron in the end.''
However, even though Shun Long had already lowered the flame's temperature, when he threw in the 'grisly growing root', more than half of the root's essence was instantly lost and his first attempt to refine the 'Qi barrier-breaking' pill was a failure.
Shun Long sat down with his legs crossed as he pondered for a bit
''Ahh, although the recipe was perfect, I should have adjusted the temperature of the flame even more. If I had lowered it just before the '5-leafed flower had finished its refinement process then I wouldn't have failed like this.''
Even though Shun Long had absolute knowledge regarding the materials he was currently using, alchemy was in the end a process of trial and error. Even if your theoretical knowledge was perfect, you still had to adapt to any sudden changes during the actual refinement of the pills.
Although Shun Long had failed, he wasn't demotivated in the least. Instead, he was eager to find out if his guess was correct this time.
He rested for an hour to recover the spiritual energy he had expended, before starting the refinement process again from the beginning.
This time Shun Long followed the same steps that he took during the first time, but he lowered the temperature of the flames before the '5-leafed flower' was completely turned into essence.
It took 20 breaths of time for the 'grisly growing root' to be refined after he had thrown it in. Now there were 3 different colors moving inside the cauldron. Blue from the 'Blue stripped grass', light green from the '5-leafed flower' and a dark brown from the 'grisly growing root', each of them guided by Shun Long's spiritual strength to rotate inside the cauldron in a circular motion.
''All I need to do now is extract the 'Honey fruit's' juice before adding it inside the cauldron. Ah, I guess that's why other alchemists need helpers. It really is a tricky situation since you can't remove the juice before you start the refinement process or the fruit will wither and die before a few breaths of time have even passed.''
Shun Long was having a really hard time right now. If he stopped the refinement to extract the juice from the 'Honey Fruit', the rest of the essence inside the cauldron would become useless without the support from his qi flames and the support from his spiritual power, eventually dissipating in the air. If he didn't do this though, the entire refinement process will still go to waste eventually without the 'Honey Fruit's' needed support to complete the pill.
''Can I perhaps..?''
Shun Long had a crazy idea in his mind. And yet, although it sounded crazy, once it was stuck in his mind, he couldn't get rid of this feeling. It seemed like something inside him was pushing him to try this idea.
Shun Long took a deep breath, his eyes shining brightly. He circulated the qi inside him as he activated the 'Monarch's Hourglass'. Then he shouted inside his mind
The indistinct figure of an hourglass expanded from his body and covered the entire room as time went still.