Chapter 21 – Brandon Jiang already has a way to take his own life!
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Upon hearing Brandon Jiang's flattering words, Patricia Qing smiled with satisfaction.

She stepped forward and gently patted Brandon's shoulder, speaking softly:

"Junior Sister Jiang, although your aptitude isn't top-notch, you have wisdom and comprehension. In the future, you might surpass those cultivators with better aptitudes."

"I have high hopes for you. Follow me closely, observe well, and when your skills improve, you might even assist me in alchemy."

Brandon immediately showed great joy, excitedly and flatteringly saying:

"Thank you, Senior Sister Qing, for your guidance. I will definitely work hard and not disappoint your expectations."

Patricia nodded slightly, feeling that Brandon was now under her wing.

Moreover, this young girl had a sweet tongue and knew how to speak, a rare trait among the new disciples.

In the future, this girl would surely serve her well.

In contrast, Ashley Taibai seemed a bit clueless. Couldn't she understand the meaning behind her words?

Although her aptitude was good, she lacked comprehension.

Initially, Patricia had higher hopes for Ashley, who had top-grade aptitude. But now, it seemed she needed to change her mind.

After pondering for a long time, Ashley asked:

"Senior Sister Qing, you mentioned that three newcomers reached the first level of Qi Refining yesterday. Brandon and I are two of them. Who is the third?"

Upon hearing this, Brandon felt an urge to facepalm.

Patricia's point wasn't about this. This Junior Sister Taibai really didn't understand human interactions.

As expected, Patricia's face darkened, and she spoke coldly with a hint of displeasure:

"The third person is Dorothy Lin from the Lin Family, who joined the same batch as you. She has a lower top-grade aptitude and the support of the Lin Family, so her achievement isn't surprising."

"Ashley Taibai, don't think that just because you have a top-grade aptitude, you can be arrogant."

"Cultivation requires wealth, companions, Daoist arts, and land. Aptitude is secondary. You have neither wealth, companions, Daoist arts, nor land. What use is your aptitude? You're destined not to go far."

"I've said all I need to. It's up to you to comprehend it."

With that, Patricia flicked her sleeve and turned to leave.

Ashley stood there, murmuring to herself:

"So cultivation also requires wealth, companions, Daoist arts, and land..."

Brandon shook his head. Although it seemed like a brief conversation, Patricia likely already held a grudge against Ashley.

Even if she didn't end up like Chu Jun, she would certainly face difficulties.

This made Brandon feel a bit sympathetic towards her, but also filled him with sighs and reflections.

In this world where life and death were controlled by the higher-ups, those at the bottom had to go to great lengths to please the higher-ups, or they would be suppressed and might even die.

The examples of Chu Jun and Ashley Taibai served as warnings, teaching him how to conduct himself.

Before long, all the white-robed disciples following Senior Sister Qing had gathered, including Chu Jun.

Her face was pale as if she had just been injured, and her white robe was stained with spots of crimson, indicating that her injuries had not only not healed but had worsened.

The surrounding people looked at her with mockery, keeping their distance, afraid of provoking Senior Sister Qing.

Only Brandon knew that Chu Jun's current state was mostly an act. With the replenishment of ninety mortal sacrificial furnaces, her injuries had already begun to heal, and there was no risk of deterioration.

But only by pretending could she satisfy Senior Sister Qing and reduce her targeting.

Naturally, Brandon also kept his distance from Chu Jun, putting on an indifferent look, as if it had nothing to do with him.

No one would have guessed that they had secretly formed an alliance last night, and their relationship was almost at the level of Daoist companions.

Patricia glanced at Chu Jun but said nothing, directly starting today's lesson.

"Today, I will be refining the Clear Mind Pill. Watch and learn carefully."

With that, she began the alchemy process.

"It's really the Clear Mind Pill!"

Brandon's heart leaped with excitement. It was exactly as he and Senior Sister Chu Jun had guessed!

He remembered all the key points of refining the Clear Mind Pill clearly. If nothing went wrong, he could at least get a B-grade evaluation today, and even an A-grade wasn't impossible.

However, Brandon didn't relax because of this. Instead, he became even more focused, wanting to learn more about alchemy.

Because he genuinely wanted to learn alchemy.

He had seen the prices of pills in the Cultivation Hall, and they were exorbitant!

If he could become an alchemist, not only could he earn more resources, but he could also use pills to assist in his cultivation, accelerating his progress.

In short, the benefits were numerous.

But to achieve this goal, relying solely on Chu Jun's teachings wasn't enough. Senior Sister Qing's personal instruction was equally valuable.

With the various alchemy key points summarized by Chu Jun, Brandon could see more nuances in Patricia's alchemy process than others. Some alchemy techniques amazed him and he learned a lot.

But suddenly, Brandon noticed that Senior Sister Qing made a mistake in handling one of the main ingredients for the Clear Mind Pill.

The Clear Mind Pill required three main ingredients: one hundred Green Bamboo Snake hearts, one hundred Ghost-Faced Wasp hearts, and one hundred women's hearts.

All three were sacrificial furnaces, from which different life forces and fortunes were extracted for the pill.

Through auxiliary materials and alchemy techniques, they were fused into one, forming the Clear Mind Pill.

The Clear Mind Pill, once completed, looked like a beating heart. Consuming it could temporarily ward off inner demons, sever mundane thoughts, and focus solely on cultivation, making it the best auxiliary pill for cultivators facing inner demon tribulations.

The most crucial part of refining this pill was handling these three hundred hearts.

Any slight deviation would result in failure.

Senior Sister Qing made such a mistake, letting a drop of snake gall juice contaminate a Green Bamboo Snake heart, and she didn't notice.

The snake gall juice was colorless and tasteless, detectable only through special means. If unnoticed when it happened, it would be impossible to detect later.

This small mistake could cause the extracted life force and fortune to be mixed, affecting the final pill.

Even if it didn't fail, the Clear Mind Pill's effectiveness could be greatly reduced.

Brandon instinctively wanted to speak up, but then he thought, wouldn't that be publicly embarrassing Senior Sister Qing?

If she didn't notice and he did, what would that imply? That he was better than her?

The nail that sticks out gets hammered down!

If he said nothing and the alchemy failed, he wouldn't be blamed.

Thinking this, Brandon decided to keep quiet and pretend he hadn't seen anything.

However, a concern surfaced in his mind.

If the Clear Mind Pill failed, Senior Sister Qing would surely be furious. Would she take it out on them?

What if he was unlucky enough to get caught in the crossfire?

No, he had to find a way to prevent the alchemy from failing.

Brandon pondered deeply, and just as the contaminated Green Bamboo Snake heart was about to be used, he suddenly spoke:

"Senior Sister Qing, I have a question."

As soon as he spoke, almost all eyes in the alchemy hall turned to him.

Some disciples immediately showed mocking expressions.

There was an unwritten rule in Senior Sister Qing's class: don't ask questions.

If someone did, Senior Sister Qing wouldn't say anything on the surface, but those who asked would invariably face difficult questions within three days, leading to their demise.

This newcomer named Brandon was courting death.

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