Library of Heaven is Path
273 What“s Going On 2in1
Not expecting the other party to knock himself out before he could finish his words, Zhang Xuan became speechless.
"Cough cough, what I meant to say was... I can solve your problem, but you'll have to increase the compensation. How can I negotiate with you now that you're unconscious?"
Zhang Xuan's condition for removing the Contract Gu from the other party's body was to bring him to the Poison Hall. Zhang Xuan had fulfilled his end of the deal, but the other party was now requesting for him to treat his wounded body. This was an entirely different matter, and Zhang Xuan couldn't possibly expend his own zhenqi for nothing.
Yet, before he could say anything, the other party had already fainted.
No matter what, I am a physician. Aren't you being too disrespectful to me?
Hearing Zhang Xuan mutter to himself, Butler Lu hurried up to Zhang Xuan and coughed awkwardly, "The old master wishes for you to treat him as soon as possible. If Physician Bai has any requests, feel free to speak to me of it. I'll do my best to satisfy them!"
"That's more like it!"
Zhang Xuan nodded, "How about this, you're selling this [Soul Numbing Powder] as well right? If so, you should have an inventory of it. Help me prepare three doses... No, ten doses."
If Zhang Xuan had this, he wouldn't have to resort to knocking anyone out by force again.
Since he had learned of this object, it was only natural for him to want more of it. Who else would he exploit if not the rich tycoon in front of him?
"Ten doses of Soul Numbing Powder?"
Butler Lu blinked.
"Indeed. Don't tell me that your Great Herb King Manor can't even afford this meager amount of medicinal herbs?" Zhang Xuan frowned. At the same time, he was pondering whether he had asked for too much and that the other party was incapable of bringing out that much.
"No, it's... it's that..." Butler Lu seemed conflicted by the request and he looked as though he was suffering from constipation. "It's that this object is too inexpensive..."
The Soul Numbing Powder was one of the most fundamental prescriptions in a physician’s arsenal. A single dose costs only a few hundred gold coins, and ten of it was worth mere thousands. To think this little amount of money could save the old master's life...
Aren’t you thinking to cheaply of the Great Herb King’s life?
Zhang Xuan was taken aback. He immediately turned to Mo Yu, only to see her nodding her head with a speechless expression. Only then did he laugh awkwardly, "That... right. Do you have any Half-Zongshi and Zongshi realm cultivation technique manuals in your manor? The tier of the manual doesn't matter, and all I need is quantity. If you can manage to gather more than a thousand of them, I will accept it as the compensation."
Zhang Xuan's cultivation had already reached Tongxuan realm pinnacle, and to achieve a breakthrough, he would have to gather higher-realm secret manuals.
Tianxuan Kingdom was too backward, and excluding the old ancestor, the strongest cultivators were merely at Tongxuan realm pinnacle. As such, there was only a handful Half-Zongshi realm manuals in its territory. Red Lotus City was the city of a Tier 1 Kingdom, as well as a medicinal herb trading hub, so it might be possible for the other party to gather a sizeable quantity amount of cultivation technique manuals for him.
"Half-Zongshi and Zongshi realm secret manuals? More than a thousand of them?"
Not having expected Physician Bai Chan to ask for something so peculiar, Butler Lu contemplated for a moment before answering, "Our Great Herb King Manor controls the flow of all medicinal herbs in Tianwu Kingdom and the twelve surrounding nations. Many cultivators do not possess sufficient money to purchase herbs, so they could only trade in their unique secret manuals."
"Thus, we have accumulated several hundreds of Half-Zongshi secret manuals over the years. With the rallying ability of our Great Herb King Manor, we should be able to gather more than a thousand books swiftly. As for Zongshi realm cultivation technique manuals... If you have no requirements on the tier, it isn't a problem for us to gather a few hundred books for you. However, gathering above a thousand of it would be difficult."
"Alright, I'll take these then!"
Hearing that the other party could gather more than a thousand Half-Zongshi realm cultivation technique manuals and a few hundred Zongshi realm manuals, Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up. He nodded in agreement hurriedly.
As expected of a city of Tianwu Kingdom, resources flowing through this single city weren't what that the entire Tianxuan Kingdom could compare up to.
With sufficient manuals, Zhang Xuan would be able to reach Half-Zongshi or even Zongshi realm effortlessly. By then, he should at least possess the ability to protect himself in the Poison Hall.
"Alright, you should go on and make arrangements. I'll treat the old master now!"
Contented with the compensation, Zhang Xuan instructed Butler Lu before grabbing the Great Herb King's arm and beginning to transfuse a surge of Heaven's Path zhenqi into his meridians.
Actually, why the Great Herb King looked lifeless and withered was because of the blockage in his meridian, causing the flow of his zhenqi to stagnate. As long as Zhang Xuan cleared up the blockages, the other party's dense and powerful Zongshi zhenqi would naturally rejuvenate his spirit, energy, and soul, thus inducing a complete recovery.
The pure zhenqi gushed through the blocked meridians one after another. The damage left behind by the Contract Gu, as though snow meeting with the radiant sun, disappeared completely.
The dry and loose skin on the Great Herb King regained its elasticity and liveliness. In an instant, he seemed to have turned several decades younger.
Mo Yu, who was standing by the side, blinked her eyes furiously, unable to believe her sight.
She thought that Zhang Xuan's treatment, like any other physicians, would require the complement of medicinal herbs, and would be over the course of numerous months. She hadn’t expected the Great Herb King to recover instantly just by having his wrist grabbed...
Is this really something a physician can do?
Why haven't I heard of it?
All of her preconceptions of the world seemed to be overthrown one after another.
Soon, the Heaven's Path zhenqi circulated a full round around the other party's body, clearing all of the blockages completely. Zhang Xuan stood up and exhaled deeply.
It was much easier than he expected.
The Great Herb King, who had his trauma resolved, slowly awoke from his slumber. Feeling the softness and elasticity of his skin and the overwhelming strength surging through his body, even though the Great Herb King was impressed, he wasn't as surprised as Mo Yu.
The physician before him had managed to cure him of his Contract Gu, a feat which countless physicians and poison masters were incapable of. Rather, it would be bizarre if he couldn't do something as easy as treating his wounds.
"Physician Bai Chan, you have my gratitude!"
The Great Herb King's face flushed in agitation as he knelt onto the floor once more.
If not for the physician before him, he would have been dead by now.
The gratitude he felt wasn't something that could be measured using money.
"It's merely a deal! However, I'm curious why a person of your standing would accept a Contract Gu and allow yourself to be manipulated."
Zhang Xuan waved casually before turning to look at the Great Herb King doubtfully.
Mo Yu was baffled as well.
The Great Herb King's status and influence were so great that even the Tianwu Kingdom's royal family didn't dare to offend him. Yet, such a great person actually chose to take on a Contract Gu. This was something beyond their imagination.
"Sigh, this is a long story. If you knew the person whom I formed a contract with, you would not be thinking like that!"
Seeing the doubt in the duo's eyes, the Great Herb King flashed a bitter smile.
The other party had saved his life, and he felt that his life belonged to the other party. Thus, he didn't think that there was anything inappropriate to say before the other party and didn't intend to hide anything from him.
"The person I contracted with is... the Hall Master of the Poison Hall!"
"Hall Master of the Poison Hall?"
"Un!" The Great Herb King nodded his head. With a complex expression, he explained, "The Great Herb King may seem like an awe-inspiring and powerful figure whom no one in the Red Lotus City dares to offend, but the truth is that we're merely the spokespersons for the Poison Hall! I'm not the only one; every single Great Herb King of previous generations had established a contract with Poison Hall Masters and became their puppets."
"Every single generation?"
Zhang Xuan and Mo Yu was stunned. However, as they thought further, they realized that it was logical.
The Red Lotus City was the only intermediary to the Poison Hall, and it was hard to believe that the Poison Hall didn't establish any power within the city.
Without the support of the Poison Hall, how could the Great Herb King of every generation control the gigantic medicinal herb market and earn massive profits? Similarly, they wouldn't have been able to kill princes and princesses of the various kingdoms without fear either.
It was only because of the Poison Hall's support that the Red Lotus City was powerful.
Otherwise, how could a declining ancient city be able to stand against powerful countries like Tianwu?
After all, Tianwu Kingdom had the backing of several 2-star master teachers.
With the guidance of a master teacher of such tier, even though it would be pushing it to say that everyone was an expert, the average level of cultivation within the city was much higher than that of Tianxuan Kingdom. Its army was capable of splitting the ocean and collapsing mountains. If not for the backing of the Poison Hall, how could a mere Red Lotus City escape the Tianwu Kingdom’s jurisdiction?
Otherwise, it would have long been destroyed.
"The only reason why a Contract Gu would act up is that a contractee is dead. Could it be that...
Upon realizing something, Zhang Xuan turned to look at the Great Herb King.
"That's right!" The Great Herb King nodded. "The Hall Master is dead!"
"Butler Lu wasn't lying when he said that an internal conflict has broken out within the Poison Hall, and it is turning away all guests! The Hall Master died abruptly without declaring his successor, and three candidates are currently vying for the top seat, resulting in chaos. Even I myself am trying to keep away from the Poison Hall or else, I might not even know how I die."
The Great Herb King smiled bitterly, "To them, I am only a puppet. As long as the Poison Hall exists, they can always raise a new Great Herb King."
Even though he did not want to admit it, Zhang Xuan knew that it was true.
With the strength of the Poison Hall, it was merely a walk in the park to make someone the Great Herb King.
For the prestigious and powerful Great Herb King to be an inconsequential puppet, it would be hard for anyone to believe it to be true if not hearing it from the person himself.
The Great Herb King glanced at Zhang Xuan with a grim expression. "Physician Bai Chan, you saved me, and in return, I'll bring you to the Poison Hall. However... There are currently three candidates vying for the seat, and the Poison Hall is filled with uncountable dangers. Death is the only thing that awaits any visitor. If you have time to spare, you can stay here in my manor for the moment, and I'll help you look into the matter. If we go after the Hall Master is confirmed, we'll be spared from unnecessary danger."
The fight over the position of Hall Master was no different from princes vying for the throne; it would be filled with schemes and assassinations.
If outsiders were to enter, it was highly likely that they would be taken as pawns, and they wouldn't even realize how they had died.
It wasn't wrong to say that the Poison Hall at present was at its most chaotic and dangerous.
However, once the Hall Master was confirmed, the situation would settle down, and the place would become much safer.
"I can't wait that long!"
Even though Zhang Xuan knew that what the other party said was valid, he couldn't wait that long.
The poison aura in his body was suppressed by Heaven's Path zhenqi, but no one could guarantee when it would counterattack.
If it was just three to five days, he could still wait. However, a year or two was too long for him.
"Actually... If Physician Bai does have a pressing urgency, there's another way."
Seeing that his benefactor seemed to be in a rush to head to the Poison Hall, the Great Herb King contemplated for a moment before speaking, "The three main disciples of the old Hall Master each possess support from a faction of the Poison Hall, and their influences are roughly equal. Under normal circumstances, it would be impossible for a victor to emerge without a year or two of grinding it out. However, there is an exception."
"Tell me about it!" Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.
The Great Herb King continued, "Just like the Apothecary Guild and Blacksmith Guild, the Poison Hall has a headquarter and numerous branches. The Poison Hall in our Red Lotus Range is a minor branch of the lot!"
Zhang Xuan nodded his head.
After reading through books of all kinds, Zhang Xuan knew that the Tianwu Kingdom and the other countries surrounding it formed just a small part of the world.
While the Poison Hall of the Red Lotus Range was famous, its reputation was limited to the area around Tianwu Kingdom.
Much more incredible branches could be found in higher tier kingdoms.
"Based on what I know, the old Hall Master died suddenly, and he didn't appoint a successor beforehand. Thus, the elders in the hall have reported this matter to the headquarter! If the headquarter decides to interfere, it will send an envoy to calm the chaos and decide on the new Hall Master. If so, the entire process can be resolved quickly!"
The Great Herb King said.
"Oh? There's such a matter as well?" Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.
All branches had to follow arrangements by the headquarter.
No matter how chaotic the situation was after the death of the Hall Master, the envoy from the headquarter should be able to resolve the issue swiftly.
"In such situations, how long does it usually take for the Poison Hall to send an envoy? Also, how soon will the internal conflict be resolved? Are there any precedents?"
Zhang Xuan could not help but ask.
"There are indeed precedents in the history of the Poison Hall, but..."
The Great Herb King hesitated for a moment before smiling bitterly, "This time, I can't confirm this matter. While the Poison Hall of the Red Lotus Range sounds impressive, it is just an unimpressive countryside branch to the headquarter. If an envoy is sent over, the conflict should be settled in less than half a month. However... If the headquarter feels that it is a waste of personnel and decides not to send anyone over, it will take at least one to two years!"
Even though an envoy could settle the issue easily, the Red Lotus Range Poison Hall branch was an unimportant branch, and the headquarter might think that there was no need to waste any effort on it. Thus, it wouldn’t be unordinary if they did not send any personnel.
There were similar cases in the past.
As such, it was difficult to guess the headquarters’ decision.
Even the Great Herb King was unable to determine when the internal conflict would end.
"Even so, I can't simply keep waiting like that!"
After hearing the other party's explanation, Zhang Xuan felt even more dismal.
He needed to gather sufficient books on poison to learn how to rectify the hidden poison aura in his body. He couldn't possibly wait mindlessly for news which might not arrive.
"The best way is to keep waiting. However, if Physician Bai hopes to head there now, I can bring you there. Just that... I can't guarantee your safety!"
The Great Herb King hesitated before speaking.
"Allow me to consider for a moment!"
Zhang Xuan's main purpose of heading to the Poison Hall was for the books. As long as he didn't interfere in their fight for the position of the Hall Master, he should be able to stay out of danger.
But of course, he didn't know much about the poison masters, so he couldn't say for sure.
He could only go with the flow.
"After you're done collecting the books, let's head to the Poison Hall!"
Zhang Xuan hesitated for a short while before making up his mind.
It wasn't easy for him to come to the Red Lotus City, and he couldn't wait endlessly for the conflict to cease. Thus, he decided to brush aside the internal conflict and do what he had to do.
But before that, it was imperative for him to raise his cultivation.
As long as he achieved Zongshi realm pinnacle, with the Library of Heaven's Path and his pure Heaven's Path zhenqi, he would be able to match even a Half-Zhizun. Even if those from the Poison Hall wanted to kill him, it would not no easy task.
"Collecting the books?"
The Great Herb King asked doubtfully.
When Zhang Xuan was negotiating the terms with Butler Lu, the Great Herb King has already knocked himself unconscious, so he wasn’t aware of the deal.
"It's like that..." Zhang Xuan explained.
"Oh, so Physician Bai wants those books. That isn't a difficult task, I'll supervise them personally. Within three days, we should be able to gather all of the Half-Zongshi and Zongshi realm cultivation technique manuals in Red Lotus City!"
Upon hearing that Physician Bai Chan wanted these books as compensation, the Great Herb King was taken aback. Then, he smiled, and intense confidence shone through his eyes.
He had managed Red Lotus City for many years, and it was under his complete control. Those books might be precious, but if he were to demand them personally, it would be an easy feat.
"That's great, I'll be relying on you then!"
Hearing that the matter could be settled in three days, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief and nodded.
"Physician Bai, feel free to stay here for the time being. I'll go and urge them right now."
The Great Herb King stood up and called for a guard, arranging for the duo’s accommodation before heading out in a rush.
It was a request from his benefactor, he didn't dare to dawdle.
"We'll stay here for the time being then!"
Zhang Xuan knew that there was no rushing the issue. Thus, he decided to stay in the manor with Mo Yu for the time being.
"Do you think that the fellow's diagnosis is correct?"
Outside the Great Herb King Manor, the numerous physicians who left earlier were gathered together. Every single one of them had a deep frown on their foreheads.
Ever since they departed from the manor, they had been keeping vigil outside discussing Physician Bai.
For 2-star and 3-star physicians with astounding reputations to be outdone by an unimpressive 1-star physician, they found the matter hard to accept.
"Do you think that a mere 1-star physician can make an accurate diagnosis on the Great Herb King? What a joke! He was probably just spouting bullshit!"
"That might not be the case, his words have generated a huge reaction in the Great Herb King. Why else would be Great Herb King get so agitated if the other party's words aren't right?"
"Assuming that he is right, then what in the world is that [Contract Gu]? Why haven't we heard of it?"
The more they discussed, the more confused they got.
If this fellow was spouting rubbish, it is impossible for the Great Herb King to have such an intense reaction, even causing him to drive us away.
But if what he said is true, then what in the world is a Contract Gu? Why haven’t we heard of it?
Is there such an illness in the world?
Besides... How can a 1-star physician notice something that we couldn't discern?
"I've known Bai Chan for several years, but I never knew that he has such abilities!"
Of the crowd, Physician Cheng Feng felt so stifled that he was about to lose it.
He was the most familiar with Physician Bai Chan, and his original intention was to mock the other party and embarrass him. He didn't expect the other party to outdo him and slap him hard so on the face.
"There's no need for us to debate. Our questions will be answered soon enough!"
"If he had indeed diagnosed the condition of the Great Herb King successfully, he would be to strut out of the manor openly. Otherwise, the only fate that awaits him is to become a corpse!"
Mu Hong and the other 3-star physicians interrupted the crowd's discussion.
Everyone nodded in agreement.
That arrogant fellow had overstepped his boundaries, knocking out the Great Herb King with a single fist. It was one thing if he could treat him, but if he failed, he would definitely be killed.
Knowing this, the others decided not to make a fuss. If that fellow were to walk out, it would simply mean that his diagnosis was spot on. On the other hand, if he were to be carried out, it would mean that he was spouting nonsense and had paid for his arrogance.
"There's no need to think about it, he will definitely be carried out..."
Physician Cheng Feng gritted his teeth. However, before he could finish his words, 'jiya!', the doors to the manor opened.
"Look, someone is coming out..."
Upon hearing the loud creaking, the physicians turned toward the door and with just a single glance, all of their eyes widened, and they nearly passed out.
The one who walked out was an elder, and Butler Lu followed behind him respectfully.
"Is he... the Great Herb King?"
After getting a clear view of his appearance, every physician present swallowed a mouthful of saliva simultaneously.
They had examined the other party for an extended period of time, so how could they not recognize him!
Even though he looked so much younger, given how Butler Lu was acting respectfully to him, who else could he be?
Just a moment ago, the other party was lying motionless on the reclining chair and was on the verge of death... And in less than twenty minutes, he is now walking with large strides. His movements are filled with vitality, and he now looks several decades younger...
Can anyone tell me what happened?
Even if the other party's diagnosis was spot on, it isn’t possible for the treatment to be so quick, right?
To be fully treated in twenty minutes... and for him to walk about without assistance...
The heck, my eyes must be playing tricks on me!
Physician Cheng Feng's body swayed, and he nearly vomited blood.
He had just mentioned that the other party would definitely be lifted out and, instead, it turned out that... the Great Herb King came out on his own two feet.
Can anyone tell me what's going on?
"Distinguished physicians, you’re still here?"
Seeing that the crowd had not yet left, the Great Herb King walked over with a smile.
"Great Herb King, this..."
Physician Mu Hong could no longer hold himself back, and he walked forward with a bewildered expression.
"Physician Bai Chan has treated my affliction. His medical skills are incredible!"
A hint of reverence flashed across the Great Herb King's eyes. Then, he clasped his hands and said, "Alright, I still have affairs to attend to, so I will not hold you up. Farewell!"
After which, he walked away with light footsteps.
"Was it really Physician Bai Chan who treated him?"
"In less than twenty minutes, he returned a person who looked to be in his nineties to his fifties?"
Even though they had guessed so the moment they saw the Great Herb King, they could not help but feel faint-headed upon hearing his personal affirmation.
There were so many of them and they had spent a significant amount of time examining the other party but weren't able to identify his illness. Yet, Physician Bai Chan was able to treat him in such a short period of time... The difference in their standards was clear.
Is he really a 1-star physician?
"Looks like... we have all misjudged him. That Physician Bai Chan is probably not just a 1-star physician!"
After a long moment of silence, one of the 3-star physicians spoke up.
The emblem isn't representative of one's true abilities.
"Indeed. How can a 1-star physician treat the Great Herb King so easily... With his skills, he is probably at minimum a 4-star!" Another 3-star physician commented.
Even though he was unwilling to admit it, Physician Mu Hong nodded in agreement.
"4-star physician... When he comes out, I'll have to pay my proper respects and make up for my impertinence!"
"That’s right. I would like to consult him as well..."
Upon hearing the three 3-star physicians’ judgment, everyone's faces froze.
Back then, when they were in the lounge, they had mocked Physician Bai without restraint.
Now that they knew that he was likely to be an incredible 4-star physician, they started to panic.
"Damn it, don't let me see you. Otherwise, I will beat you to death..."
Just as everyone made up their minds, a furious bellow sounded from the manor. Turning around, they saw a fellow who wasn't even wearing a coat in this cold weather standing not too far away, shaking his fists angrily.
"Physician Bai Chan?"
Obtaining a clear view of his appearance, all of the physicians were dazed for a moment. After which, a gleam appeared in their eyes, and they dashed forward.
The pitiful Physician Bai had just regained his consciousness and he realized that his physician emblem and coat had gone missing. Thus, he howled furiously and was about to search for the culprit when he saw a mob of 2-star and 3-star physicians charging toward him, as though they had seen their idol.
Frightened, he clamped his bottom and his body went limp...
These fellows usually act so haughtily upon seeing me, disregarding my presence. Why would they be bowing to me as though they had seen their senior?
Can anyone tell me...
What the heck is going on?