If Fairy Zi Xia wanted to follow, Chen Ming had no way to stop her, although there wasn’t that much of a power gap between them.

On the way, she said, “Did you know? There’s a rumor that says the Soul Returning Water is a teardrop of the most beautiful creature here. Each of her tears was a drop of Soul Returning Water.”

Chen Ming shook his head,

Only a woman could believe such nonsense!

Deeper and deeper they went until an immense skeleton, with bones larger than a house, made itself known in their sight.

Fairy Zi Xia said, “From what Snow Mountain Sect once said, the skull of this immense skeleton nurtures Soul Returning Water inside. They say that this skeleton belongs to the legendary Flood Dragon. A creature that ate countless beings, souls and all. The souls were trapped within its body and finally turned into Soul Returning Water.”

As Chen Ming listened, he didn’t even wait as he said, “Hold on!”

He waved his four claws, swimming with great speed, just like an arrow, straight for the skull. Even with Zhuo Qingyao’s cultivation, there was one time she almost fell off.

Something sparkled, just like a crystal, and Chen Ming’s eyes flashed, Is this Soul Returning Water?

When he stretched his claw to get it, a lithe figure flashed by and blocked his view taking the crystal, thwarting his chance.

He asked, “How is it? How many drops of Soul Returning Water?”

Fairy Zi Xia opened her dainty hand, and six drops rested within.

Fairy Zi Xia said, “We didn’t need to fight this time, so each person gets two drops.”

Chen Ming’s thought, Wild, but fair.

Chen Ming took four then let one drop in his mouth. He closed his eyes and operated dozens of Dao Palaces. In less than ten breaths the drop of Soul Returning Water was absorbed and his consciousness strengthened. But not by much!

With this, I should be able to control a tenth of a flying sword.

He has been here for seven-eight days already, yet only got two drops. Just when will I ever get to control ten thousand swords at this rate?

Do I have to drink a vat of Soul Returning Water?

Everyone outside would skip hand in hand to their deaths by then!

And getting being lucky enough to find a tub of Soul Returning Water was utter fantasy.

He saw his auras, yet no Luck Aura there. I’m no frickin’ Main Character. There’s no way I’ll ever have such dumb luck for as long as I live! I need to find another more viable solution.

Recalling the absorption process of the Soul Returning Water, he found how a part dissipated, and another part was only absorbed partially but didn’t trigger its full effect.

Hold on, isn’t this process similar to pill refining?

The Soul Returning Water is also an ingredient. It has to work!

Luck would have it that his storage ring had a hill of ingredients from the recent deal with the ancient immortal sects, and he also had a pile of pills on the side. I won’t know until I try!

Fairy Zi Xia said, “Why so absent?”

“I just had a revolutionary idea. Can’t the Soul Returning Water also be used in alchemy? Just like normal ingredients, once refined into pills, can have their effects amplified several times. In this case, the Soul Returning Water can also be refined into pills, then we can use these pills in exchange for the other cultivators’ Soul Returning Water! This translates into having a part of everyone’s Soul Returning Water and my consciousness will be greatly strengthened!”

Fairy Zi Xia: …

You can do that?

It was true, no alchemist was normal. With her thinking, Isn’t it all based on personal luck that one can find Soul Returning Water and treasures? And when many drops of Soul Returning Water are found and revealed, a great struggle erupts. Many cultivators would fight tooth and nail for a chance to advance, to defy Heaven and strive for a longer life. Sow how come when Chen Ming shows up, this scene is smashed to pieces.

How come this guy’s head is filled with ways to peel everyone’s skin?

Chen Ming said, “Yep, it rings true. A grand leader once said, United we stand, divided we fall! Let me dissect the Soul Returning Water effect, medicinal property, and potency, then I will think of a way to refine it into pills.”

Chen Ming laid sprawled on the skull and began to reflect on the problem. After a careful analysis, he fished out hundreds of spirit stones and set up an array that kept the water at bay. With that done, he let Zhuo Qingyao in. He stood on the dry skull and a wave from him sent a flame beneath the furnace in front.

Fairy Zi Xia marveled at him taking out a flame in a single move. Weren’t you a turtle? How can you make a fire?

But she didn’t ask, as the cultivation world didn’t lack weirdoes. Since Chen Ming was an alchemist, the issue didn’t raise many questions.

Chen Ming took out a table then placed bottles and pots on it from the storage ring. His hands held ingredients and set up for the task at hand, “I can surmise from Soul Returning Water’s medicinal property that it needs a hundred and thirty-eight ingredients. Twenty-three of them have to be spiritual herbs. It cannot be refined with fire, as it is an extremely cold ingredient, and will dissipate in contact with it. It must be refined with water, then merge fire and water together. Yin and yang will combine, all in accordance with the Grand Dao of heaven and earth! It seems that I need to set up another array!”

Chen Ming let loose two-nation weapon, one fire, one water, clearly turning into Yin Yang Array.

Chen Ming fluttered Dao Empyrean Bamboo, and a Taiji symbol took shape at his feet, and with a stomp, it turned into the Eight Trigrams Array. He waved the horsetail whisk and one after the other, nation weapons came out of it and taking the eight position of the Eight Trigrams. Chen Ming achieved Unity on the spot, granting total control over the changes in his surroundings. There was no room for errors!

Fairy Zi Xia gawked like a fish at Chen Ming’s Eight Trigrams Array, I’m not dreaming, am I? This refining needs arrays!? She could also reach the Unity stage, and couldn’t be clearer on the state Chen Ming was in. But never for the life of her could she remember seeing alchemy at Unity stage. This was insane!

To top it all of, he’s only at the Dao Initiation realm!

She witnessed the stable pace of Chen Ming gait, entering the center of the Nine Palaces, “The Nine Palaces(1) are paired, four as extremes and Yang fire the strongest. This should be it!”

Chen Ming waved his hand and the furnace came on the black dot(2 water palace) in the Yin Yang Array. A flame then came into being with great intensity!

Fairy Zi Xia met Chen Ming’s eyes by pure chance and saw the unshakable will and confidence hidden there, This guy’s serious manner is really fascinating. I wonder what that mask hides.

(1) The Nine Palaces is an arrangement of nine posts in a special pattern. It is used to develop stability and speed of stepping. Eight of the Nine Palaces are related to the Eight Trigrams. The Center Palace (Zhong Gong) is also called “Yin Yang Fish” (Yin Yang Yu), since from this center your strategy, movements or techniques can vary from Yin to Yang or vice-versa. To use the Nine Palaces, you walk swiftly around the posts, changing directions and striking the posts with various techniques. This practice is called “Nine Palaces Stepping” (Jiu Gong Bu), “Flying in Nine Palaces” (Fei Jiu Gong), or “Yin Bagua.”