A variety of medicines exist between heaven and earth that allow martial cultivators to increase their cultivation. However, there are no true short-cuts in cultivation. As such, for every benefit there is a downside or restriction. Normal cultivators that consume medicines to increase their cultivation will be able to draw out a bit more of their potential early on, but in turn will diminish their future potential. Cultivators who rely on martial medicines to increase their cultivation will also have less firm foundations, resulting in having lower battle power in combat. For this reason, most cultivators will only use cultivation medicines at crucial points in their cultivation to break through bottle-necks and step into the next realm. Additionally, normal cultivators can only absorb a small amount, between 20% and 40%, of the cultivation medicine's energies when directly consumed.
Cultivation Medicines are plants with spiritual natures, and slowly develop over time. These spiritual plants have a sense of self-preservation, seeking to escape danger and/or defend themselves by fighting.
These spiritual plants are separated by realms corresponding to the energy that they posses, eg: Profound Medicines possess Profound Power. Each cultivation realm has particular medicines that are optimal for advancing ones cultivation in that realm due to possessing the energy of that realm, and thus share the same name as their associated realm.
- Spiritual Medicine
- Origin Medicine
- Profound Medicine
- Heavenly Medicine
- Martial Lord Medicine
- Martial King Medicine
- Martial Emperor Medicine
- Martial Ancestor Medicine
- (Additional realms to be added as discovered)
Medicines are also separated by ranks within each realm, being either Low, Middle, or Top rank. The ranks grade the density and quantity of energy which the medicine contains.
Both Human Cultivators and Monstrous Beasts seek out areas that are rich in these naturally occurring cultivation resources, and will often build schools, sects, and other organizations around them to control the resources. Once the spiritual plants have sufficiently matured, they are harvested by uprooting them from the ground or sufficiently damaging the main body. Once harvested, they will dramatically shrink in size. A large Profound Medicine may be several meters taller than a person while alive, but shrink to a few inches tall once harvested.
Medicine Pearls and Beads:
When harvested, spiritual plants have a small chance to produce a medicinal pearl, which is much easier for cultivators to use as 100% of the energy can be easily absorbed, (as opposed to the usual 20% - 40% when consuming the normal medicine itself). Additionally, cultivation medicines can be refined by alchemists into Medicine Beads for each cultivation realm. Like the naturally occurring pearls, 100% of the energy of beads can be absorbed by the cultivator which makes them far more valuable than the medicines themselves.
As opposed the the nature born cultivation medicines, Forbidden Medicines are created through Alchemy by World Spiritists. Forbidden medicines allow those that consume them to immediately increase their cultivation by anywhere between 1 rank to 4 ranks. Forbiden medicines are separated by realms to indicate which realms they benefit, and grades to indicate how many ranks they increase. They are distinguishable by their color. Cultivators gain too little benefit for too much suffering when using lower realm forbidden medicines, and are unable to withstand the power of higher realm forbidden medicines which would result in instant death.
The sudden power increase places a tremendous strain on a cultivator's body, resulting in internal injuries. Any injury existing when consuming forbidden medicines, or while under the effects of the medicine, will be amplified once the medicine wears off.
Once the positive effects of forbidden medicine wears off, the cultivator will begin to suffer negative consequences. Injuries will be amplified, possibly resulting in death. In addition to the amplification of injuries, there is also a backlash period once the amplification wears off. The cultivator will experience excruciating pain alternating between extreme hot and extreme cold for varying amounts of time. During the backlash period, the cultivator is defenseless and unable to even pass-out to sleep through the pain. It is common for normal cultivators to die during a severe backlash period, especially if they sustained already serious injuries during the fight.
The backlash for consuming forbidden medicines can include a permanent reduction in cultivation rank. Anywhere from a single rank of cultivation, to an entire realm, or even the entirety of one's cultivation can be lost. Even in cases where only one rank of cultivation is lost, the cultivator may be permanently unable to continue advancing, or become a vegetable (mentally retarded) from suffering the pain of the backlash period. In addition to the previously mentioned side effects suffered during the backlash, the pain may also drive the cultivator insane, even directly killing themselves to end the pain.
Forbidden Medicine Creators:
Each realm of forbidden medicine can only be created by a corresponding level (or higher) World Spiritist.
- Spirit Realm Forbidden Medicine - White Cloak World Spiritists
- Origin Realm Forbidden Medicine - Grey Cloak World Spiritists
- Profound Realm Forbidden Medicine - Blue Cloak World Spiritists
- Heaven Realm Forbidden Medicine - Purple Cloak World Spiritists
- Martial Lord Realm Forbidden Medicine - Gold Cloak World Spiritists
- Martial King Realm Forbidden Medicine - Royal Cloak World Spiritists
- Martial Emperor Realm Forbidden Medicine - Immortal Cloak World Spiritists
Note: World Spiritists appear to only be able to create Forbidden Medicine one realm (or more) bellow their own. Example: (Chapter 441) Eggy explains to Chu Feng that only a World Spiritist of -at least- the Purple Cloak rank can create a forbidden medicine of the Heaven Realm. However, normal World Spiritsts only reach the Purple Cloak rank once they reach the Martial Lord Realm, (one realm above the Heaven Realm).
Forbidden medicines that benefit the Heaven Realm and above are also classified as Taboo medicines. With each increasing realm of Forbidden / Taboo medicine, the backlash for consuming the medicine is increasingly devastating to the cultivator. The appearance also becomes increasingly ominous and grotesque, at times even appearing to be a living creature, squirming and screeching.