Jing Yi looked up at the gate of the estate and couldn’t help feeling awed. Even from where he stood the whole place smelled like herbs and medicine. Since the outer sect of the Yun Zou Sect only had a small building for those who were interested in alchemy and since he wasn’t allowed onto the peaks of the inner sect he had never experienced something like that.
“Jing He?” Nian Hai stopped and turned around when he noticed that the sound of steps behind him had ceased since stepping through the gate. “What is it? Have you reconsidered? Do you want to join our division of blades instead?”
Jing Yi shook his head. “No, I just wanted to take a moment to have a look around. It’s really a nice place.” In fact, he couldn’t help but feel excited. Originally, he had only come here because of the mission because he wanted to make it possible for him and Qiu Ling to marry and because he didn’t want to disappoint Sect Master Yuchi or make trouble. Now though, he had something else to look forward to. If only he could learn everything about alchemy upon entering! “Let’s go!” He caught up to Nian Hai and followed him further inside, wanting to rush if he could.
Since he couldn’t make Nian Hai suspicious, he looked around curiously. The alchemy division was surrounded by a wall and many different buildings stood inside. Each of them had a plaque placed above the door with several characters. Most likely, these were the names of the buildings?
Jing Yi smiled wryly to himself. Unfortunately, he hadn’t learned how to read yet so he had no idea what these buildings were. He walked slower and then pointed at one of the buildings at random. “Senior martial brother Nian, what is that over there?”
Nian Hai followed Jing Yi’s gesture with his eyes. “You mean the building for Supporting Alchemy? Are you interested in that branch? Do you want to go over?”
Jing Yi shook his head. “No. I mean, it’s not that I’m not interested. I just don’t know that much about Alchemy yet. You called this one a branch. Does this mean there are many types of Alchemy?” Jing Yi curiously blinked his eyes, making Nian Hai stare at him in a daze.
“Well …” He actually wasn’t that well-versed in Alchemy either but he still had a general understanding. “That’s the case, yeah. I think there is a bit more than half a dozen? Basically, each branch focuses on a specific use of their alchemical products. Like, the support branch makes pills and potions that can support others. They can give that person a boost for their strength or their speed. Some can also be used for quick attacks like a potion that will give off a blinding light when the vial bursts. If somebody throws it and closes their eyes, their enemy will be blinded, and they have a chance to attack.”
“I see!” Jing Yi’s eyes lit up. He mostly wanted to learn Alchemy for the sake of helping Qiu Ling. He had thought that the best idea would be to learn how to heal him if he was ever injured. But now, it seemed like there were other options too. “Can I only join one branch?”
Nian Hai shook his head. “No. Although usually, that’s what a lot of people do. For example, take our blade division: Of course, you can learn about all types of blades but will you really get good with any of them if you always have to split your time between them? It’s the same with Alchemy.
“I know a few disciples from this division and it takes a lot of time to learn. You have to learn about all the ingredients, the right way to process them, and all that stuff. Some will have similarities and those are usually taught in the same branch. So it’s more cost-effective to just focus on one branch. But you actually join the whole division so you can learn whatever you want.”
“Oh.” Jing Yi didn’t quite know what to make of this. Being able to heal somebody seemed especially important. But then again, if he was able to support Qiu Ling in a fight, he might not even need to heal him because he would have better chances of winning overall and thus, might not get injured at all. It really was a tough question. “I don’t have to decide immediately, do I?”
Nian Hai shook his head while continuing to lead him through the division. “No, and you can always change your mind later. So don’t sweat it if you don’t know yet.”
Jing Yi nodded and smiled. “Thank you, then I’ll take my time. Right, what other branches are there?” He first needed to find out more about them before he could make a decision. Then, he should probably also talk it over with Qiu Ling as well.
“Well, there’s the Healing Alchemy which is for curing illnesses, and wounds, and these things. Then there’s … the Furthering Alchemy. It’s something that helps people get further.”
“Further?” Jing Yi couldn’t help but be confused. He was curious though. All these things might be taught in the Yun Zou Sect as well but since he wasn’t an inner sect disciple yet, his knowledge really was shallow. After they came back from this mission, would he be able to continue learning Alchemy there after he had already started here? He sure hoped so.
While Jing Yi was already worrying about the future, Nian Hai went on to explain. “Ah, well, it’s a bit like the Supporting Alchemy just that the effects last. Like, they make stuff that can help cultivators advance to the next level or help practitioners to strengthen their body.”
Jing Yi’s eyes lit up. There was actually a type of alchemy that could help cultivators get to the next level? Could he maybe learn about that? Then, he would be able to become stronger sooner and the Sect Master and Grandmaster wouldn’t feel as bad to let him become an inner sect disciple.
Ah, the more he heard, the more he wanted to learn. This really wasn’t helping him with deciding what to learn. But what could he do? It seemed that the Alchemy division really had a bunch of different branches and all of them were extremely useful.