Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The First Alchemist - Chap 50

Chapter 50 - Cure My Son

The surrounding audience was speculating on what was going on. For some reason the City Lord had gone down to the field to talk to that little village . What were they talking about?

"Is he fine?" the City Lord asked, referring to the unconscious Chem Au.

"Don't worry, he just needs some rest. With the help of a few more pills, he'll be okay in a day or two," Chem Al said.

In only a day or two? The City Lord was surprised. An injury like this, even if you used all of your profound energy to help accelerate your body's healing, it would take at least more than a month.

The City Lord was completely convinced now. These pills are a wonder. "I need your help."

"You want me to cure your son of his disease. I heard about it while I was in the city," Chem Al lied.

"Can you do it? Can you cure him?"

"I'll need to examine your son first." Again, Chem Al lied. He already knew what was wrong with him. "No promises."

"Please, if you can cure my son, I will fulfill any wish. If there's something you want...."

Chem Al cut him off. "Like I said, no promises. As for things that I want in exchange, we'll talk about it after whether I can cure your son or not."

These words stunned the City Lord. How many doctors has he talked to that promised him a cure for his son, only for every single one of them to fail? Usually they would say gratiating words while promising that they could perform miracles. In exchange, he would give them money to study the disease.

Yet, this kid was different. He wasn't asking for anything and he didn't promise anything. And even though the kid said that he couldn’t promise a cure, there was something about his voice that felt like he was confident enough to find one.

After so many years of having his hopes crushed, the City Lord started to wonder if he was allowed to hope again.

The City Lord ordered his attendants and guards to bring, oh wait, what was the boy's name? He asked and apparently it was Chem Al. So the attendants brought little Chem Al and carried his unconscious brother into a carriage headed towards the castle.

The audience could only watch as this all took place.

After the City Lord and his attendants were gone, they all could do nothing but speculate on what just happened. It seemed like the tournament was over just like that. It was certainly anticlimactic unlike previous years. There wasn't any announcement of prizes for the winner.

Then one of the City Lord's attendants returned and headed over to the area where the people of Chem Village were gathered.

"Which one of you is, um, Sorka Jiu?"

"...That's me." Sorka Jiu stepped forward nervously. An attendant of the City Lord had a much higher status than a former village chief.

"The one called Chem Al left this for you." The attendant handed over a slip of paper.

Sorka Jiu accepted the slip. Having accomplished his task, the attendant left, while everyone from Chem Village gathered around Sorka Jiu to look at what he was holding.

It seemed to be a betting slip.

Right now with the tournament over, almost everyone was currently heading out back to the city, though some were still confused about how they should react to the surprising ending. As for the Chem villagers, they went to the gambling booth.

"I'm cashing in this betting slip." Sorka Jiu wondered when their little village chief slipped away to make this bet, and how much he had won.

The man tending to the booth saw the slip, and was shocked. It was a long bet on Chem Au. This was one of the few who gambled on that weak villager. He could count on one hand how many people did so.

With shaking hands, he took out bags full of jade stones after calculating how much the winnings multiplied to.

In the end, a giant pile of high jade stones were piled up on the booth.

The eyes of the Chem villagers nearly fell out of the heads. This... this amount of money was even more than what their village had made selling those pills. Heavens! You can make this much money with gambling? How lucky was their village chief?

"Is… is this real?" one of the villagers asked.

"Quickly." Sorka Jiu commanded the village guards. "Grab the bags and protect them. We're going to head back to the market."

"But what about my sons?" Chem Mai asked.

"Don't worry, they'll be fine. It's not like the City Lord will do anything to them," Sorka Jiu said. And he really believed that. Ever since that little cripple became their village chief, things had gotten better and better, whether it was strength or money. That little cripple could definitely handle himself.

While the people of Chem Village headed back to the market, Chem Al and his unconscious brother was riding in a carriage with the City Lord.

It wasn’t long before they made it to the castle.

Chem Al didn’t even bother looking out the window. To most people in the outskirts of the Continent, this castle would look impressive, but Chem Al had seen better. To him this castle was just short, rough, and boring.

The City Lord took note of Chem Al's lack of reaction. For some reason, the little one’s eyes looked ancient like they belonged to a wise man who had seen all the world has to offer. This kid looked more mature than he had first thought.

Once they were inside, the City Lord assigned one of his finest rooms to allow Chem Au to rest. Chem Al was allowed a few minutes to further help his unconscious brother before he will be taken to see the City Lord’s son.

During these few minutes, the current City Lord’s personal doctor, Jia Yixue, visited the City Lord to complain. “City Lord! Bringing some filthy villagers here into your castle? I’m against this, sir! I don’t care why they’re here. There is no way some poor villagers is able to make the medicine required for your son.”

The City Lord glared at him. “I have no other choice but to trust them. It’s not like you have been doing any better,” he said, then left in a huff.

Jia Yixue, while staring at the City Lord’s departing back, started to wonder if now was a good time to skip town.

When Chem Al was finished settling down his brother, he met up with the City Lord.

“Are you ready?” the City Lord asked.

Chem Al nodded.

They made their way up to Ba Re’s room. The City Lord opened the door. “Son, good news. I found a new doctor for you.”

From inside, a tired voice came out. “Another one? Why do you keep doing this, Father? No one can help me."

"Oh, but I can." Chem Al barged in, finding a large room with markings on the wall and a strange smell.

Ba Re was surprised at the sight of Chem Al. A child? What was going on? Usually, the doctors that his Father brought were wise looking old men. Why would he bring a child here?

"Now let's see what we've got here." Chem Al acted without any pleasantries. He merely went up to the bed and pulled off the blanket, revealing Ba Re's sick legs.

They looked malnourished and at the same time solidified like stone.

Chem Al poked at the legs while making "hmm..." noises, and every once in awhile he would stroke his chin like how a bearded wise man would while showing off a questioning and thoughtful expression. Of course, it was all bullshit. He already knew what was wrong after having read The First Alchemist journals. And even if he hadn't read them, he could already tell what the disease was with a mere glance.

Barre Legs disease.

It merely makes one's legs as hard and immovable as stone, and since the legs can't move, the musculature would deteriorate through lack of use, giving it a malnourished look. This wasn't a lethal disease, but for those who cultivate to practice martial arts, it was practically life ending. One day training to get stronger, and the next laying in bed for the rest of your life. A bad end for cultivators.

The City Lord had a nervous expression on his face as he watched the little village boy poke at his son's legs. Did only a few minutes pass? It felt like an eternity of waiting.

Finally, Chem Al revealed an excited expression like he had figured out the answer to a difficult problem.

Seeing this, the City Lord asked, "Did you figure out something? Can you cure my son?"

"Difficult, very difficult. But I think I've figured out a treatment that can help."

"Really? How sure are you?"

"Ninety percent sure." Chem Al made up a number.

This... wasn't this practically saying that he can do it? The City Lord grew excited, but then he dampened his feelings. He has had his hopes crushed before. After the previous doctors promised that they could heal his son, they would usually say it would take time, mostly over a year, in which they ultimately fail to do anything. Was this child the same?

"How long do you think this treatment will take?"

“One day.”

“W-What? O-One day?” The City Lord couldn’t believe his ears. “You only need one day?”

Chem Al nodded. “Though I will need a few things to make the medicine.”

“Name it!” The City Lord nearly shouted. This was completely different from the previous doctors. To be so confident as to say he could cure his son in merely a day, maybe he can do it. The City Lord suspected that the previous doctors had said that it would take them over a year to cure his son in order to prolong the good life they were going to be living. But nevermind that now. He had to listen to what this boy had to say.

“I’ll need some Green Mountain Roots that’s at least seven years old, some Welcoming Aroma Petals dipped in alcohol, five blades of one thousand year old Grey Veil Grass, and … you have no idea what I’m talking, do you?” Chem Al said when he saw the confused look on the City Lord’s face.

That was when Chem Al realized his mistake. He had forgotten what era he was currently in.


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