Chapter 39: Medicinal Bath!
“Great! Thanks, Old Dame!” Xuanyuan Ying bowed respectfully.
You probably won’t be thanking me after three days! Ha ha!” Old Dame Zhu tilted her head back as she laughed loudly. Suddenly, her laughter cut off. “Right! I’ll take out a list of medicine ingredients in a bit. See if any of them can be found in the village. If all of the ingredients aren’t here, then we can only wait until tomorrow!”
Only after he watched Old Dame leave did he put Gu Yunlan down on the bed and sat by her side. He stared, fixedly, at Gu Yunlan’s closed eyes.
Her eyelashes were really long, leaving long shadows on her pure white eyelids. More than ten hours of lost consciousness gave her face somewhat of a deathly, ashy hue. He gently brushed away a strand of hair on her forehead. He thought to himself, forget it, it’s better if he left.
He gently covered her with a blanket before standing up to walk out. He had a shred of self-blame in his heart. All her suffering this time had actually been avoidable. If he hadn’t been so conceited, perhaps… forget it. Blaming himself wouldn’t fix anything. He could only hope that the corpse poison was removable. The only problem was her memory; that would be hard to deal with.
A soon as Xuanyuan Ying left, he directly went to find Old Liu. The bell of the village clock soon rang. Everyone gathered at the village square. Hearing that Mister Xuanyuan was looking for precious medicinal ingredients, had with him a list of ingredients, and would even buy them for a fair price, everyone returned home to retrieve their treasured collections. Amazingly, Xuanyuan Ying had quite a bit of influence
Barely half an hour had passed before Xuanyuan Ying had gathered all of the medicinal ingredients. He hurriedly rushed back and personally handed them over to Old Dame Zhu.
In a morning’s worth of time, Xuanyuan Meng, An Jiaona, and Bai Nightspring had dropped by at least five times. Unfortunately, they were shooed out the door by Old Dame Zhu. Noon came very quickly. Xuanyuan Ying followed Old Dame Zhu to the kitchen, carrying medicinal water. The full pot of medicinal water was very dense and dark. But seeing how Old Dame Zhu spent an entire morning boiling it, his thoughts were squashed down with effort.
However, after ladling the medicinal water into the wooden cask and seeing what floated within the dense medicinal water, his heart started racing nonstop.
Bugs of all different colors floated in the medicinal water; there was even a disgusting earthworm. They were dense and numerous, mixed in with the concentrated smell of medicinal herbs. Inwardly, he rejoiced over his decision to not call Xuanyuan Meng over to help, otherwise, she definitely would’ve thrown up.
“Don’t look down on these bugs. All of them possess attributes of both extreme Yin and Yang. Once I complete the medicine by adding in black lingzhi mushrooms, plant spores, and the various types of poison, it will become incredibly valuable!” Old Dame Zhu was very happy with her masterpiece. It was fortunate that he was able to easily find all the ingredients within the village. This youngster seemed to be quite famous. He actually managed to find everything in half an hour.
“Old Dame wants to cure poison with poison?” Xuanyuan Ying lifted the cask by his feet. It wasn’t heavy. The big wooden cask should be full after adding a few more ladles of medicinal water.
Old Dame Zhu turned around, taking the initiative to leave. “What you said is only half right. It’s not just fighting poison with poison, it’s also meant to nourish her… Everything will be mended. This Old Dame wants to fill her body with various types energy, flushing out the corpse poison’s momentum, then using hexcraft to absorb it!”
Xuanyuan Ying carried the pail as he sped up to follow along. “Then, I shall bother Old Dame to do so!”
“You’re saying ‘bother’ now? Humph! This Old Dame never fears anything becoming bothersome when she does things. In a bit, completely submerge the girl into the water, leaving only her nose above the surface. You must pay attention to the water’s temperature, make sure to add firewood if it drops!” Old Dame Zhu turned towards where Gu Yunlan lay resting.
The kitchen was very close to where Gu Yunlan rested. While talking, Xuanyuan Ying carried the medicinal water back. Only when the water was poured into the big wooden cask did he notice that there was actually a stove under the it. Inside the stove was burnt out ashes.
“That’s enough! Begin once it’s full! This Old Dame will go wander in the mountains. All good things are given to this girl for free. Tche tche, if she doesn’t become my disciple, that would truly be a waste!” Old Dame Zhu chatted as she turned around and slowly walked out. Hai! What a pity for such a great seedling, however, to have such a great man care for her is the karma earned in her previous incarnation.
Xuanyuan Ying went back and forth a few times before the medicinal water rose up to three meters. The rest of the medicinal water was put aside to be used for replenishing later.
Xuanyuan Ying walked to the bedside after preparing for a bit. He slowly supported Gu Yunlan into a sitting position, then slowly took off her clothing and undergarments. He then accidentally glanced at the scar on her back, which was ghastly to see.
A china-like, spotlessly white back was clawed across by five claw marks. Although it had already scabbed over, one could still see it slowly rotting inside. The wound had already degraded to such an extent in the span of a few days, yet he hadn’t heard her say anything about it.
Xuanyuan Ying’s heart throbbed. He took a deep breath, then hurried up his working hands. He never peeked at her exposed body, completely focused on the frightening wound and the rotting flesh underneath the skin.
He carried her after removing her clothing and shoes, gently placing her into the wooden cask. Her brows creased suddenly after entering the cask. Thin lines of sweat started to appear. Xuanyuan Ying felt pain in his heart. The water temperature was at a comfortable level, so it was the medicinal water that brought her pain. She could feel the pain even when she’s unconscious. There is as much poison in the medicinal water as it appears!
He gently submerged her entire body, setting her down to the bottom. The medicinal water went up to her neck. He then tilted her head backwards. The wooden cask was designed really well, for there was a place for a pillow in the back. A person would be looking upwards, their body almost completely submerged with just a nose remaining above.
Just as Xuanyuan Ying released his hand, Gu Yunlan’s hand flailed about as if her life depended on it. The medicinal water flew out of the cask onto the floor, “Splash!”
He grabbed her hands and held her in place. Her massive strength made the casket sway. Xuanyuan Ying could only hold her in place firmly.
She couldn’t move. Sweat beads the size of beans seeped out as she clenched her teeth firmly. Drops of black-colored blood seeped out. Like before, she struggled to throw off Xuanyuan Ying’s grip.
Sweat also started to seep from Xuanyuan Ying’s forehead. Seeing how she kept on struggling nonstop, he couldn’t seem to understand. Why was his heart aching? Was it pity or was it reluctance? He did not know. He had never felt this emotion before. Even when seeing her die for the first time, his heart stayed unmoving. If it wasn’t for her skyrocketing resentment, he wouldn’t have even wasted his magic power to help her.
Then what about now? Seeing her suffering and struggling, he started to feel regret and fear. He regretted his carelessness and was frightened by how this emotion was growing more and more deep. He was frightened by how it may end up being hard to pull away from.
“Yunlan! Persevere, you must not give up! Don’t forget why you came back! Don’t forget how your Gu Family was destroyed!” His tone was very heavy, almost as if he was angry at his own shortcomings. How come she had courage when she died and was reborn, yet decided to give up now?
But Gu Yunlan, with her eyes closed, seemed to not have heard him. She continued to struggle on. Black-colored blood started to flow out of her eyes and mouth.
“She’s bleeding. It’s starting to work. There really is no need to worry. After walking halfway, I thought for a bit and still didn’t feel at ease, so I turned back to take a look!” Old Dame Zhu’s voice sounded from inside the room. She crouched down in front of the wooden cask’s stove. “The water temperature has dropped. This Old Dame will add some firewood. You hold onto her. Don’t waste any of the medicinal water. That is really expensive, you know!”
“Old Dame, she won’t be struggling like this every time, will she?” Sweat from Xuanyuan Ying’s forehead dripped down into the water. In these last few moments, he had experienced a period of stress he had never felt before.
“More poisonous herbs will be added in tomorrow.” Old Dame kindled the fire in the stove. She thought for a moment before saying, “This Old Dame didn’t think that her flesh would be rotting. This corpse poison is really strong! Who knew that just a few streaks of a scar would endanger the girl’s life. How could you have known it was a thousand-year-old white bone demon?”
Xuanyuan Ying felt the struggling under his hands begin to weaken. He loosened a breath and said, “A porcelain-like white bone demon. There’s even a legend of a mad woman who killed her husband, there is no one else besides her!”
“Mad woman who killed her husband? This, I have actually heard of before.” Old Dame Zhu’s hand froze as she explained, “We Miao Territory’s ancient books have mentioned this before. We of the Miao Territory quite admire her personality!”
“We still aren’t very clear about whether she appeared by coincidence or was let out by accident!” Xuanyuan Ying lowered his head to look at Gu Yunlan, who remained soaking in the pitch-black medicinal waters. She had finally calmed down. The struggling just now made his entire body sweaty.
“It doesn’t matter how it appeared. If this girl was bleeding, she would definitely have sniffed out her physique. You guys must be careful, a pure yin physique is a big source of yin supply!” Old Dame Zhu stood up and tested out the water temperature. Just right.
“It’s good now! She won’t move anymore, so just maintaining this water temperature will work. Make sure the water doesn’t lack. When the soaking is done, there’s no need to wear clothes. Just directly put her on the bed, and tuck her in the blankets is fine. This Old Dame will go into the mountains at ease!” Old Dame Zhu’s sand-like eyes held hints of a smile as she turned around to leave.
Xuanyuan Ying released her and pulled back from the waters. HIs hands were pitch black and wrinkly. He finally understood what that smiling expression Old Dame had meant. He glanced at Gu Yunlan in medicinal water. His eye twitched. In that few moments he soaked in the water, his hand had already looked so ugly. Then what about her?
One period is two hours of time. After bringing Gu Yunlan after two hours, the medicinal waters were no longer black, but a dim grey color. He shifted his eyes away unnaturally. It was different than what he had imagined. Spotlessly white, jade-like skin without the slightest sign of a wrinkle. His heart seemed to thump out loud.
He wiped her dry and tucked her into the blanket with some difficulty. Unconsciously, he noticed that her back looked as clean and pure as jade. One could faintly see lines of black moving under her skin. Undeniably, Old Dame Zhu’s method is truly exceptional. To master this skill of medicine is enough to walk under the heavens.
The second day’s medicine were even more difficult. Gu Yunlan struggled violently, struggled for a full hours worth of time. A piece of cloth was stuffed into her mouth., in fear of her biting off her own tongue. The blood that flowed out of her bitten open lips weren’t as black as before. Xuanyuan Ying released a breath.
“Tomorrow wouldn’t have as much struggling. Ze ze, after half of a period, the medicinal waters weakened a lot. “ Old Dame Zhu stood up and glanced at the color of the waters, then watched him with interest, “How is it? Aren’t my medicine waters greats?”
Xuanyuan Ying stretched out his pitch-black hand and smiled helplessly, “Old Dame, does this hand count as ruined now?”
“This medicine water was for the girl, so it wouldn’t provoke her and would even heal her. These three days of medicinal bath is to help her get rid of the infection, to purify the corpse poison within her body. The most troublesome is the last step!” Old Dame’s brows creased tightly, “If the corpse poison can’t be controlled and where to be slightly provoked, then it could potentially become deadly. That includes this sorcerous old woman! So you go have a chat with Little Bai, we will go to the restricted grounds!”
“Yes!” Xuanyuan Ying nodded his head, “I have worried the Old Dame!”
“Ha ha! Old Dame is doing this for a disciple! To toil so much is totally fine?” Old Dame Zhu tilted her head back and laughed out loud before turning around to leave. Recently, her mood has been getting better and better.
Surely enough, Gu Yunlan was rather calm on the third day. Two hours passed very quickly. The next and final step is to enter the restricted grounds and start expelling the corpse poison.