Chapter 55 - The Fate of Jia Yixue
After everyone celebrated the alliance between Vera City and the Alchemist Association, Chem Al spoke to the City Lord. “By the way, whatever happened to that personal doctor of yours, Jia Yixue?”
The City Lord froze, remembering. He then turned to his guards. “Bring Jia Yixue to me this instant!”
“Yes, City Lord!” The guards saluted, then left.
An incense stick's worth of time later, the guards returned with Jia Yixue between them. “Sir, here he is. We caught him trying to escape.”
“C-City Lord, that’s not true. I was just preparing for a short trip to gather materials to make medicine,” Jia Yixue said.
The City Lord looked down at him. “Do you take me for a fool? You’re not the first doctor who had failed me, then tried to escape. I’ve had my guards watching your movements for the past few days now with specific instructions on what to do if you made your own attempt. Now… have you cleaned your neck for me?”
“City Lord! Please! I was honestly trying to find a cure for your son! I just needed a few more days, that’s all.”
“That’s what you’ve been saying for the past few months, and yet this little boy beside me had fulfilled my wish in merely one day.” The City Lord smiled at Chem Al.
“I... I don’t know how he did it, but he must have tricked you somehow. Yes, that’s it. He just used some sort of....”
“Enough! Take him to the castle’s executioner!”
“Wait!” Chem Al said. “Before you haul him away, I wish to ask him a few questions first.”
The City Lord paused, then nodded for his guards to halt.
Jia Yixue was just about to wail for his life, but then he stopped short when Chem Al spoke up. Perhaps this little kid was his savior! “Anything! Ask me anything!” he groveled.
“I would like to learn about your knowledge of medicine.” Chem Al was curious about the medicine of this era. The only other reference he had to go on was Sheng Yi. What knowledge does this city doctor know?
Jia Yixue felt relieved at Chem Al’s question. He must be trying to compare notes between practitioners of medicine. After all, even though he wasn’t able to cure the City Lord’s son, his knowledge of medicine was still extensive. If he shares what he knows, perhaps he could still get out of this with his life.
“What do you wish to know?” Jia Yixue said.
“How did you try to cure the City Lord’s son? What were your methods?”
“I used the most divine methods available to me. Knowing that Ba Re’s legs were being held down by earth-type spirits, I spent....”
Chem Al sighed, then pointed at one of the guards holding Jia Yixue. “You!”
“Me?” The guard looked flustered.
“Yes, you. Slap his face, please.”
The guard looked over at the City Lord, who nodded back to him. So the guard did what he was told.
A red hand print appeared on one of Jia Yixue’s cheeks. “What? Why? Why did you tell him to slap my face?”
“Because you said something stupid,” Chem Al answered. “Now continue….”
“Uh….” Jia Yixue had never been so humiliated before, but it was either this or losing his head. “To prevent any further spirits from invading, I drew some sigils on the walls using pig’s blood.”
Another red hand print appeared on his other cheek. “...I placed feathers on Ba Re’s legs to lighten them while dancing in a circle.”
“The celestial stars had to be aligned before using my next poultice.”
“I used my piss….”
By the time Jia Yixue finished speaking, his face looked like an inflated, red pig. Chem Al could only sigh. It looked like there was nothing to learn from this sham of a doctor.
Seeing the little alchemist satisfied with his questioning, the City Lord again relayed the order to have Jia Yixue executed.
Jia Yixue was dragged across the floor while wailing and groveling for his life, but seeing him like that brought some sympathy from Chem Al. Even though he knew from the history books that this was an era where even slighting a noble was a justifiable reason for death, he had come from a less chaotic future where there were less harsher punishments.
It wasn’t like he hadn’t seen death before. During his past life, working his way up to become the most powerful alchemist of his time, he had tried to save plenty of people from the jaws of death, only to fail. Death wasn’t a stranger to him, but what Jia Yixue did wasn’t bad enough to warrant execution.
And Jia Yixue wasn’t completely to blame. This was a time where most medicinal knowledge was based on guesses and luck. He was raised with idiotic so called knowledge about medicine. And killing someone for being an idiot didn’t sit right with Chem Al.
Of course, if Jia Yixue did something truly horrendous like attacking Chem Village or the body of The First Alchemist, then that was a justifiable reason for his death, but this….
“Wait,” Chem Al said with a sigh. “Instead of having him executed, how about just banishing him instead?”
Jia Yixue looked up, hope in his eyes.
“Banishment?” the City Lord said. Although it could be considered a lighter sentence, by no means was it a kind one.
“Yes. After all, your son has been healed, so there’s no need to go so far as having his head chopped off.”
The City Lord thought about it. This shitty so called doctor who had raised his hopes for the past few months, only to shatter them constantly; he hated this man. However, it was true that his son was now better, so he wasn’t as angry as the past few times this had happened. “Hmm, fine. I am in a good mood. It looks like the castle’s executioner will be bored today.” He waved his hand. “Guards! Give him thirty lashes and then banish him from the city!”
“Yes, City Lord!” The guards dragged Jia Yixue out.
Once he was gone, the other people in the room came forward. “Truly, the City Lord is magnanimous to let him off with a lighter sentence.”
“Not just him, but The First Alchemist is kind-hearted as well.”
“Yes, he truly values life, just like anyone who practices medicine should.”
Praises were heaped on Chem Al. Although he was a little annoyed by them, he allowed it to continue because people praising The First Alchemist could only be a good thing.
However, one of the Patriarchs asked, “Although that doctor was someone who couldn’t do anything, he was still someone who tried to pursue the profession of healing. Why didn’t you take him in and teach him alchemy?”
Chem Al sighed. “Because he was an idiot. It would have taken a long time to erase all the dumb knowledge he had and replace it with medicine that truly works. I would rather teach alchemy to fresh minds.”
At that moment, the Patriarchs resolved themselves to send young people from their clans to learn alchemy. After all, there were some disappointments from their clans that didn’t have the talent to practice cultivation to fight. Maybe learning alchemy would be more suited to them, and then they would be an asset to their clans.
Eventually, the City Lord stepped in. “Now that we’ve gotten rid of that sham doctor, tell me, since we’re all allies now, what can be done so that our plans can progress faster. Shall I have someone escort you around the city to find a building where you can one day sell your pills?”
Chem Al shook his head. “That can wait until later. I would first like to talk about what you’re going to give my big brother.” He waved his hand towards Chem Au, who was standing to the side.
“Give your big brother?” the City Lord made a questioning face as he looked over.
“Uh, did you forget that he won the tournament? Isn’t he suppose to get the championship prize?”
“Oh, oh right, of course.” The City Lord coughed into his fist to try to hide his embarrassed look. He had completely forgotten.