Author note : Hi guys, GSD Reddy here and I am back with another chapter.
Edit – Self edited.
This is the second promised regular chapter of this month.
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Enjoy and thank you.
Imparting Knowledge :
“What is alchemy?” This was a question which had haunted people since ancient times.
Some called alchemy, the science of making medicines. Some called it a mysterious art which can make elixirs. Some called it a mad science. Some called it wizardry. Some called it evil. No matter what it was, one thing was for sure, people were always interested in alchemy and thus in alchemists.
Rigel was sitting beside a pond and was observing the calm pond as if trying to find some mystery hidden within those clear waters.
Rudra was observing the situation and said in a low voice, “What do you see Rigel? Why is this pond so calm? Why aren’t there any ripples on its surface even though there are plenty of fish within it?”
Rigel frowned lightly as he sat there. The pond was crystal clear so he could see many fish swimming underneath the surface of water and yet, the pond stayed calm except for occasional trembling. This was a natural phenomenon. Many would see it in everyday lives except no one would wonder how it is achieved.
Rudra continued to explain and said, “The movement of the fish is an active action. Thus it is ‘Yang’. The ripples in water is the result or the receptive side. Thus it is ‘Yin’. Together they are the ‘Yin-Yang’.
Rigel, the concept of Yin-Yang is the foundation for Taoism. The concept of cultivation comes from Taoism. Upon practicing the teachings of Taoism, one is called a Taoist. We call them cultivators.
There is Yin and Yang everywhere around us Rigel. The wind is the Yang, the ripples are the Yin. The Sun is the Yang, the moon is the Yin.
Yin and Yang always coexist. They are always in equilibrium. However, that changes when the Yin or the Yang is disturbed. Now touch the water.”
Rigel listened carefully to Rudra and touched the pond. The calm waters now were no longer calm. Ripples upon ripples could be seen on its surface.
Rudra nodded his head and said, “Now, you are the excess Yang that has invaded this system which was in equilibrium. The Fish have learned to be as sutble as possible. The water has adjusted itself to the movement of fish. However, you are the foreign element who has changed that equilibrium.”
Rigel nodded his head in deep thought. Even though he had seen the pond and such phenomenons often, he had never thought about the underlying principles behind it.
“Now, as for the reason why I am telling you this, it should be obvious Rigel. The Yin-Yang is present everywhere in nature including alchemy. In fact, the Yin-Yang is the most basic and the most important concept which will determine your alchemic skills.” Rudra explained with a serious voice and continued, “The alchemic fire is the Yang. The medical ingredients are the Yin.
Neither Yang nor Yin can dominate the other. A strong Yang will crumble the balance and vice versa. Now, who is an alchemist? What is the difference between the various alchemists? Why do we differentiate them when the underlying principle is the same for all levels of alchemy?”
Rigel narrowed his eyes in serious thoughts and said, “Because of the difference between their understanding of alchemy.”
“Correct yet, incorrect.” Rudra said with a laugh. “Correct as in, each alchemist has a different level of understanding. Incorrect as in, it is not the alchemy that he needs to have an understanding of, it is the process which happens with it.”
“Rigel, the result of any alchemical process is obtained when the Yin and Yang form a complete circle, “The Taijustu or the Yin-Yang circle.” At the border of the Yin will be the Yang and at the border of the Yang will be the Yin. At the point where they meet will be the result.”
“The more powerful your Yin and Yang are, the more tougher it is to reach the result. That is the difference between the various alchemists. Unless you have skill, strength, senses and ability, you will fail to process a high level pill.”
Rigel listened to everything with all his heart. To him, this lore was a treasure trove. The art of alchemy though not very rare was still kept secretive for obvious reasons. A grandmaster who was willing to share his lifetime of insights was rarer than the elixir itself.
Why would anyone share all his insights? For money? For fame? In fear of their life. None of these would be able to alter a grandmaster’s will. Besides, any grandmaster would also be a master practioner with many experts owing him favours.
Why would anyone in their right mind try to get on his bad sides? What Rudra spoke made perfect sense to Rigel. In just under a few minutes, he was able to see the world in a different light. He was able to understand the basis of alchemy. The science of the alchemy.
Rudra then smiled lightly and said, “Rigel, now tell me what is this pond?”
Rigel stared at the pond. The pond wasn’t very large. Just over thirty metres wide and over seven metres in depth. It was just a small ditch which had accumulated water and would most probably dry up in summer.
Rudra laughed and said, “It is the container. The Yin-Yang of the nature here is contained by this pond. Thus, it is the barrier which bears the pressure of containing the reactions.
In alchemy, the cauldron bears the Yin-Yang of reactions. Thus, it is an essential part of the alchemy.”
Rigel nodded his head and asked, “I don’t really have a cauldron. How can I learn alchemy without a cauldron? I doubt I can get one with my current resources.”
Rudra laughed and said, “Rigel, possessing a cauldron should be your last worry for now. The current you who haven’t even learned to catalyse substances shouldn’t worry about a cauldron or pill concoction.”
Rigel frowned and said, “That’s not true. I do know how to catalyse substances. Frank taught me how and I have refined poisons before.”
Rudra nodded his head and said in a calm voice, “I am aware of that fact. However, what you learned wasn’t alchemy. It was simple concoction.
Let me tell you, if you able to prepare the Poison lady using alchemy then it’s potency will increase by three times. Do you know why? It is mainly because of catalysis.
Using your cultivation base as a source and your divine will as your senses, you try to extract the properties hidden within each substances. That is catalysis.
Remember Rigel, no substance in this world is pure. Every substance has something within it which makes it impure because there can be no pure Yin or Yang in nature. Such a substance can’t exist unless it is a Heavenly treasure.
By catalysing, you bring out the pure Yin or Yang within the substance which will increase the reactions potency.”
Rigel listened with rapt attention and remembered every sentence. Rudra laughed and said, “Alright, enough of learning the lore. You will learn more about alchemy by personally experiencing it. I doubt you have ever seen an alchemist at work.”
Rigel’s face was filled with confusion as he asked, “Where will I find an alchemist who will let me see his work?”
“You won’t.” Rudra said with certainty. “All alchemist try to hide their skills unless it is necessary to show them.
You will be watching me. I will concoct for you.”
“What? How? You, you……… you can come out of the Black pearl?” Rigel asked in a shocked voice.
Rudra laughed and said, “Not with my physical body but I can use a spiritual form.”
Rigel’s face turned grave as he asked in a low voice, “What if Tal finds out?”
Rudra laughed and said, “Oh! I didn’t tell you yet right. Tal isn’t really the guardian of the Locker. He is my trusted servant who has served me since my early years.
He was just acting according to my orders. So you need not worry about him.”
“But he tried to kill me.” Rigel said with a cold voice. He then continued and said, “You tried to kill me.”
A sudden wind blowed in the forest as a divine Will surged out from Rigel’s body and took the shape of a young man. The Young man had pitch black eyes and white hair. He looked as if he was in his mid twenties but his eyes, they were wise beyond his years. As he looked at Rigel he smiled lightly and said in a light voice, “Did I?”
Rigel looked at the spiritual figure flying before him and stuttered, “Rudra.” He was finding it hard to believe that he young man before him was the one who was imparting him the lore of alchemy just a few minutes ago.
As if he had sensed Rigel’s uneasiness, Rudra smiled lightly and said, “Don’t be fooled by my appearance kid. I have lived longer than you can imagine.
Tal saved your ass while you were sleeping like a log. Don’t be fooled by the way the world let’s you see things. When you are able to see past the illusion of falseness the world projects before you, you step into the realm beyond simple truth which is known as Dao.
Rigel immediately calmed his mind and asked in a somewhat cold voice, “Alright, I was hasty but that doesn’t change the fact that you put me in a dangerous position. How are you going to redeem my trust in you?”
Rudra began to laugh loudly and said, “Stop acting tough kid. We both know who is currently incharge. It is impossible for you to even try of control me. So don’t think about such nonsense.
Bring our all the medical ingredients you have in your bag of holding. Let me see if I can find some thing I could use.”
Rigel groaned in dissatisfaction. No matter how he tried to take advantage of the situation, Rudra always managed to see past his front. Rigel wanted to establish an order of authority between them but every time, it ended with Rudra showing him the difference in their experiences.
Rudra wouldn’t get angry, he wouldn’t fall for provocation. He wouldn’t fall for anything. In front of him, Rigel felt exactly as he called him, a kid.
As Rigel was thinking, Rudra digged through the small pile of medical ingredients and selected a odd looking root. He then laughed and said, “Boy, your luck isn’t bad. Do you know what this is?”
Rigel looked at the root and casually answered, “It’s a asparagus root.” Asparagus was a commonly found medical herb and he did indeed have a few roots.
Rudra however smiled and said, “No, this is not an asparagus root. This is a Gamalgam root. It is a rare herb and is usually thought as Asparagus root due to the similarities. I must say you are lucky since you found this root.
With this I can refine a third level pill but before that I need one more ingredient. The spirit core of a level three spirit beast.”
Author note : Hi guys, I am tired. I did at least five hours of research before writing this chapter. You should understand why. The concepts I said in this chapter aren’t entirely made up. The Yin-Yang concept is true. The Taoist concept is true.
I did mix up the fantasy alchemy with the original Taoist alchemy. However, I did develop my own lore and I am satisfied with it.
I spent the entire day thinking and writing this chapter. Hope you liked it.
Please support me on Patreon. Guys, we are just nine dollars away from reaching the second sponsored chapter and the sixth chapter of the month. Let’s hope I get lucky.
Enjoy and thank you.