Tuesday, March 7, 2017
The First Alchemist - Chap 43
Chapter 43 - Ba Rre
“So these are the pills that the little village boy was shouting about?” Lord Ba Shen said after seeing the pills that his servant was presenting to him.
“Yes, City Lord,” the servant man said.
Lord Ba Shen looked through the pills, but he couldn't tell much from them. The only thing he knew was cultivation and governing a city. He wasn’t someone who studied medicine, so he called for Jia Yixue, his personal medical man, into the main hall to take a look.
The medicine man came. "You called for me, City Lord?"
"What do you think of these?" Lord Ba Shen tossed him the pills.
Jia Yixue examined them. Hmm, these must be the pills he had been hearing about. In less than a day, rumors of them have spread like a whirlwind throughout the city. Frankly, he didn’t really believe it.
There wasn't anything really special about these pills. Most of them were small and in a variety of colors, plus they had a nice smell that tugged at him, but other than that, they didn't look like anything exceptional.
Jia Yixue couldn’t really discern anything from these pills, but he didn’t want to admit his ignorance. Add that to the fact that he completely refused to believe that someone from a village could make better medicine than him, was the reason why he said, "I think these are fakes."
"Really? They seemed pretty effective when I saw them in today's tournament," Lord Ba Shen said.
"Hmph, I'm sure there must be some sort of trick involved. Poor villagers would do anything for money."
"So you think that there is nothing to these pills?” Lord Ba Shen said, and then his voice became threatening. “I was hoping that they would be able to help heal my son, since so far you have failed.”
Jia Yixue gulped. He knew that the City Lord had been thinking of getting rid of him for these past few months for failing to do what he had promised: healing the City Lord's only son.
And if the City Lord got rid of him like how he got rid of the last medicine man, then he would no longer be breathing.
"C-City Lord! Please wait a minute! Just because these pills are fake doesn't mean that I can't make the right medicine to heal your son. Just give me more time, please! Six months! Just give me six more months and I'll be able to succeed!" The medicine man thought that would be enough time to gather his things and run away.
Lord Ba Shen thought about it, then nodded. "Fine. Six more months. But if you fail me like the others before, you had better wear something protective around your neck."
Jia Yixue should have felt a little relieved, but a jolt of panic still ran up his spine. "Thank you, City Lord! Thank you! I will not fail you."
Lord Ba Shen dismissed the medicine man, who groveled while walking backwards all the way out the door. Once he was gone, the City Lord let out a disappointed breath. He had hoped that these pills could be the answer to helping his son, but it looked like that was not to be. He laughed, feeling foolish to believe for one second that something miraculous could come from a poor village.
“What should I do with these pills?” the servant man said.
Lord Ba Shen was about to tell him to toss them out, but his mind flashed to today’s tournament. If these pills were merely a trick, then they were very convincing. After thinking about it, he decided to wait. “Keep them somewhere safe for now. I will not give my son medicine that I don’t trust, but I’m willing to wait and see if these are really fakes. Let’s keep an eye on how that warrior from that poor village makes it through the tournament to see how effective these pills can be.”
The servant man bowed, then left with the pills.
As for the City Lord, he got up from his throne and made his way towards his son’s bedchamber. He paused, then went inside where he found that his son was sitting up in bed. “Ba Rre, what are you doing up? You should be resting."
"I've rested enough, Father."
His father started to protest, saying that he won’t get better if he doesn’t get more rest, but this just caused Ba Rre to sigh. “Father, let’s be honest, no amount of lying in bed will help me get better.”
Lord Ba Shen wanted to refute that but couldn’t. “How are your legs today, son?”
Ba Rre moved his blanket to the side. His legs didn’t look malnourished, but they seemed weak, almost spindly. The muscles had shrunk and the skin was pale. In other words, they looked the same as they always had for the past three years. And so far, no amount of rubbing cream or disgusting medicine he had to swallow made them any better. Ba Rre sighed. “Same as always.”
“Don’t lost hope, son. I will find someone that can heal you.”
Ba Rre collapsed back on the bed. He didn't hold as much hope as his father. The last few medicine men couldn't help him at all. What made him think that the newest one could? "Just leave me. I'll get the 'rest' that you want me to get. But please, just leave."
Lord Ba Shen walked away with slumped shoulders, thinking how he would give anything to the person who could heal his son.
As night fell, throughout the city, the nobles have been receiving reports from their servants. One such noble was the Patriarch of the Dian clan, Dian Guang. “Is this accurate?” he asked.
His servant nodded. “Yes. The spy we’ve placed in the City Lord’s castle guarantees it. The pills that the City Lord’s servant had bought weren’t used, and instead were stored away. It seems like the City’s Lord personal medicine man concluded that they were fakes.”
Dian Guang’s face grew stormy. The report held in his tightening fist was suddenly destroyed by yellow lightning. “Ha, that village kid thought he could trick me? I didn’t believe in those so called pills for one second! Throw them away! I will not feed such strange things to my son!”
The same was happening throughout the city. This new medicine was bizarre. They didn’t trust it. It could even be poison. The nobles have spent a lot of resources raising their sons into fine warriors. Why would they risk all that on some strange, fake medicine? A lot of pills were thrown away for the rest of the night.
Soon the sun rose and the market became busy again.
It was time for the semi-finals!