There was an air of gloomy dismay in the room.
The other healers did not think themselves better than Qin Wang. If even his antidote had failed, what chance did they have?
The poison remained stubborn, and time was running out. Cai Wei and the others were looking more concerned than ever now—if this kept up, some of the resonance artificers would die, lending even more power to the wings of the rumors flying around.
Li Luo's expression was serious but not defeated. "The antidote was not completely useless. It simply lacked sufficient healing power to overcome the poison at the end."
It had used the right combination of ingredients, and its effectiveness had been proven before their eyes. But the healers could not imbue that last punch of power to the antidote that would help it outlast the poison.
Qin Wang looked at Li Luo with a frown. "The Young Lord understands the healing arts, I see. But your understanding is probably not sufficient. The antidote I made was perfect in all accounts. However, the poison still beats that."
The other healers concurred with nods.
"Young Lord, Miss Jiang, it seems like there is nothing we can do about this poison," a healer said regretfully. There was resignation in his tone.
Qin Wang's failure had leached away their confidence.
Jiang Qing'e's frown was so deep that her eyebrows were almost touching. These were the best healers available already. If they left, all hope was lost.
She shared a look with Li Luo. There seemed to be something off about this Qin Wang. He had fought so hard to produce the first sample of the antidote, and yet had given up so quickly. Was he planted here to influence the other healers to give up?
"Young Lord, I'm afraid we cannot be of any help."
Qin Wang sighed regretfully. "However, my master will soon be back in Xia City. You can ask him to come around then. Perhaps there is hope."
Li Luo ignored that. “Hope? The Suncreek Villa will be Screwedcreek Villa by the time your master comes back.”
Jiang Qing'e already knew that Qin Wang was preparing to leave. And when he did, the other healers would do so too. If the healers gave up, they would truly be in trouble.
But right now, not even she had any ideas. Their best healer, Qin Wang, had created his best antidote, and it had been useless. Checkmate.
Just as the feeling of resignation was swelling among the healers, Li Luo suddenly spoke up. "I wonder, what grade is Master Qin's wood resonance?"
Qin Wang was surprised by the question, but he answered, "Lower seventh-grade."
"And this is the highest among all of you?"
The other healers looked around confused, but they nodded.
"And the Awakening... the higher the resonance grade, the better, correct?"
"It is indeed a factor," Qin Wang answered with some irritation. "Just like with refining spirit liquids and purifying lights, the higher the grade of the user, the better the final product. But what are you trying to say, Young Lord? The poison is beyond us." Li Luo ignored his attitude and turned to the healers, who were already beating the mental drums of retreat in their minds. "Gentlemen. This poison is hard to deal with. If you declare yourselves unable to help, I cannot force you to do the impossible. But I ask for one last favor, which is to create batches of half-finished antidotes for me."
The healers stared at him uncomprehendingly.
"You mean, up till before the Awakening?" one healer asked hesitantly.
Li Luo smiled and nodded.
That was even more confusing. Without Awakening, the antidote was not even an antidote. It would be weaker than ever. What circus was Li Luo running?
Qin Wang was equally confused. Had the Young Lord lost his mind and decided to play doctor?
"That is all I would ask of you. Regardless of the outcome, you have House Luolan's thanks," Li Luo said, cupping his fist in respect.
The healers muttered doubtfully among themselves, until Qin Wang laughed. "Well then! If the Young Lord requests this, then we will see it done, since you invited us here.
"But let us be clear. After we make the half-finished products, the Young Lord will leave us alone. Is that fair? After all, there really is nothing else we can do." Li Luo smiled and nodded.
With this agreement out of Li Luo, the healers roused themselves into action, still shaking their heads in puzzlement. Without the final step, the process was quite quick. In less than an hour, the half-finished antidotes were lined up neatly before him.
Li Luo ushered them out into the hall, then closed the door after them.
Now it was Jiang Qing'e, Cai Wei, and Yan Lingqing left with him, staring at him perplexedly. They knew that Li Luo was not a reckless person, however, and believed that he had a plan.
"That Qin Wang is a bad egg." Li Luo snorted.
"Probably Pei Hao's mole. One, to monitor our progress, and two, to influence the healers to leave,” Jiang Qing'e said calmly.
Li Luo sighed. "That ingrate is meticulous to a fault. He's already gotten us cornered and is still throwing obstacles our way..."
Jiang Qing'e cocked her head at him in amusement and anticipation.
"So, Li Luo...
"What is it that you intend to do?"
She gestured at the half-finished antidotes. "If you had them stop before the Awakening... a half-baked healer like you wouldn't be thinking of attempting it, would you?"
Cai Wei and Yan Lingqing stared at him.
Li Luo sighed.
"Well, actually, I just wanted to live among you as a commoner. But now I've no choice but to show you just what a genius y'all have been living with..."Previous Chapter Next Chapter