Chapter 76: Evanescent Lotus

Zu An was stunned. What rank is this fellow at? From the way he speaks, he seems to be quite an incredible fellow. He must be pretty strong.

However, the matter concerning ‘little Zu An’ was more important at the moment. So, he struggled up from his bed and rummaged through his cupboard. At the bottom of a pile of clothes, he took out a silk dudou. It was the one which he had ‘borrowed’ from Snow’s room that other day.

After how Snow tried to take his life, he had no qualm giving away her personal possessions to the perverted physician.

On the other hand, seeing that Zu An still had the strength to get off the bed, Divine Physician Ji remarked in wonderment, “You have quite a unique constitution over there. Despite being so severely injured, you’re still able to move on your own. It looks like you have managed to fool the entire Chu clan.”

Zu An rolled his eyes. Of course. This concerns the latter half of my life’s worth of bliss. Even if I can’t walk, I would have still crawled my way over.

“Here, I got the thing you wanted. You should be able to treat me now, right?”

Divine Physician Ji subconsciously accepted the dudou, but after taking a closer look, he suddenly frowned. “Whose is this?”

“It’s Qin Wanru’s.” Zu An knew that Divine Physician Ji was no fool. If he were to say that the dudou belonged to what Shang Liuyu or Qiu Honglei, the latter would surely doubt him. After all, there was no way he could have gotten his hands on their personal possessions. The only one that he really stood a chance with was Qin Wanru.

I’m sorry, mother-in-law, but for the sake of the happiness of your daughter’s marriage, I’ll have to wrong you this once.

Divine Physician Ji narrowed his eyes doubtfully. “Are you sure you didn’t buy the dudou off the street to fool me?”

Zu An’s heart skipped a beat, but he didn’t allow his nervousness to show on his face. He hardened his determination and carried on with the lie. “Look at the material. Do you think that it’s possible to buy such well-made good outside easily?”

Divine Physician Ji took a careful examination of the dudou before nodding in agreement. “I guess so. The material is all top-quality, and it’s indeed something that came from the Chu clan.”

Zu An was bewildered. This fellow can actually tell whether a piece of underwear came from the Chu clan or not? You pervert! Just how many dudous have you stolen from the Chu clan over the years for you to be able to differentiate among them?

“I’ve already done what you asked for. It’s time for you to fulfill your end of the promise.” Zu An looked at Divine Physician Ji expectantly as he spoke.

The matter that he was the most concerned about at the moment was no other than this.

Divine Physician Ji slipped the dudou into his own embrace before he said, “I’ve already found a way to remove the seal, but I’m still lacking the main medicinal herb.”

Zu An’s face immediately darkened. “Are you toying with me? I’ve already brought the item you needed, but you’re telling me that you aren’t ready yet?”

“Do you think that it’s that easy to release the Great Yinyang Pulse Severing Palm? Even with my skills, I still had to look up over a hundred ancient manuals before I managed to find a reliable way to resolve your issue. The formula to forge the Spirit Root Unsealing Pill requires 81 rare medicinal herbs, and I’ve already found 80 of them for you. However, there just happens to be one that I’m having difficulties sourcing for,” replied Divine Physician Ji.

In truth, he did exaggerate matters by quite a bit. Most of the medicinal herbs were common ones that could be easily bought off the apothecary. The key to the treatment was actually the formula itself, which fused the essences of these common herbs in an ingenious manner to create something incredible.

He didn’t think that Zu An would be able to complete his mission so quickly, and it was due to him being caught off guard that he said those words. Of course, the matter about him lacking the main ingredient was the truth.

Spirit Root Unsealing Pill?

Zu An’s eyelids twitched at the name. Wow, its name sure is straightforward, huh? “What’s the main ingredient you’re lacking? No matter how much it costs, I’ll buy it for you!”

He had 150,000 silver taels with him at the moment, as well as a debt note that was worth 7,500,000 silver taels. With such wealth, he could definitely be considered a tycoon.

Yet, Divine Physician Ji shook his head and said, “You won’t be able to buy the herb even if you have the money.”

“What is it called? I don’t believe that there’s anything in the world that money cannot achieve!” exclaimed Zu An anxiously.

“The medicinal herb is called the Evanescent Lotus. It’s said to only flower once every thousand years, and its flower petals are rumored to possess the ability to raise a person’s cultivation by a step. Do you think that something as precious as that can be valued with money?” Divine Physician Ji shot ‘noveau riche’ Zu An a disdainful look.

“Something like that exists in the world?” Zu An was stunned. “That doesn’t make sense. There should be a difference in the amount of ki needed for a high-rank cultivator to make a breakthrough as compared to a low-rank cultivator, right?”

“That’s what that makes it so mystical,” replied Divine Physician Ji. “It’s almost like some sort of law is at work here. The effect of the flower petals doesn’t conform to the rules we know of. Regardless of whether one is a high-level cultivator or a low-level cultivator, a flower petal can indeed raise one’s cultivation by a step.”

“Then shouldn’t cultivators keep the flower petal until they’re strong before consuming it? No one would be so foolish as to waste such a precious treasure when they’re still weaker,” asked Zu An.

“What you said isn’t wrong, but the world isn’t always that convenient. Many cultivators die prematurely before reaching their peak, and the items they have often end up benefiting others instead,” said Divine Physician Ji. “It’s a dangerous world we live in, and there are many stumbling blocks in the path of cultivation. What’s most important is still the present.”

Zu An was surprised to hear those words. Is the world really that dangerous?

“On top of that, the Evanescent Lotus only flowers for several hours. Once the perfect timing is missed, the lotus will wither, losing its miraculous effects. So, anyone who obtained it would always consume it right away. They wouldn’t save it for the future,” added Divine Physician Ji.

“Can’t you have just said that right from the start?” Zu An scoffed disdainfully. “Then where can we find the Evanescent Lotus? Aren’t there merchant associations out there who would get you whatever you needed as long as you’re willing to pay them accordingly?”

In the cultivation novels he had read in his previous life, there would always be some mysterious merchant association that would get you what you needed as long as you had the money. These mysterious merchant associations would often be incredibly powerful, not fearing the oppression of any of the other powers.

“There are indeed such merchant associations,” replied Divine Physician Ji. However, he soon shook his head before continuing on, “The problem is that the Evanescent Lotus is simply too rare. It only flowers once in a thousand years. Even I’ve only read about it in the old records; I haven’t seen it in person before. I don’t think it’s likely that merchant associations would have them either.”

Zu An immediately frowned upon hearing those words. “Wait a moment. You’ve never seen it before? Then how do you know that the treatment will work? Is this a scam? Are you trying to get me to find the Evanescent Lotus for you so that you can use it to raise your cultivation?”

Divine Physician Ji immediately flew into a fit of rage. “Go to the streets and ask around then! I, Ji Dengtu, am the very hallmark of professionalism here. Do I look like the kind of person who would do something like that?”

Zu An couldn’t help but recall how he caught Divine Physician Ji flipping through an erotic magazine, and he subconsciously nodded in response. “You do.”

Those words choked Divine Physician Ji up with anger. In the end, he turned his head away and harrumphed snappishly. “I wouldn’t have bothered treating you if not for Xiaoxi begging me to help you! I’ll be frank with you, the Spirit Root Unsealing Pill is something I came up with after browsing through many old records. I might have never seen the Evanescent Lotus in person, but there are others who have. It’s through using the notes they had left behind and the sharp intuition I have regarding medicine that I was able to come up with the formula.”

“In other words, the pill hasn’t been proven to work yet?” asked Zu An sharply.

Divine Physician Ji was really angry this time around. “You don’t trust in my medicinal skills? If that’s the case, you should find someone else whom you trust instead!”

Then, he turned around and stomped off. 

Seeing this, Zu An quickly lurched forward to grab his hand before apologizing sheepishly, “It was just a passing remark. Divine Physician Ji, how could I possibly not trust you? Here, this is a small gift I’ve prepared for you. Please quell your anger.”

As he said those words, he secretively slipped a small booklet over.

“What’s this?” Divine Physician Ji shot a disdainful glance at the booklet, seemingly not too interested in it. 

Zu An shot him a secretive smile as he nudged him lightly. “Just take a look.”

Ever since he saw Divine Physician Ji getting bought over by an erotic magazine, he immediately prepared one of his own in case he ever needed it in the future. He felt that there was no harm in getting close to Divine Physician Ji, especially since he was relying on the latter to treat ‘little Zu An’.

Divine Physician Ji uninterestedly flipped the booklet open, only to see the following words written on the first page: Everyone has their own misfortunes… 

He initially thought nothing about it, but as he read on, his breathing soon began to hasten. He swiftly kept the booklet into his robes. It’s too wasteful to read good material like this early in the day. I should slowly appreciate it later at night.

“You’re quite a talented one, lad!” Divine Physician Ji patted Zu An shoulders with an approving nod.

Zu An heaved a sigh of relief before chuckling gleefully in his mind. You’re already impressed with just this much? Hah! You’ll be surprised if you know of the huge collection I have stored in my mind right now. It looks like people in this world are really lacking in entertainment choices.

“Where did you manage to get such good stuff?” asked Divine Physician Ji secretively.

“I heard it from a traveling monk.” Zu An dared not claim that he was the one who wrote it. He wouldn’t dare to raise his head on the streets anymore if it were to be known that he had written such stuff down.

“That monk sure is…” Divine Physician Ji nodded in awe. Looks like monks haven’t been spending their days meditating in vain after all. I sure have underestimated them. “For a moment there, I thought that you were the one who wrote this story. I would have really been impressed if you were able to write such an exciting story despite being unable to use your thing.”

Zu An’s face darkened. If not for the fact that I still need you to treat my affliction, I’d have made sure to squeeze every single Rage point out of your body!

“If the Evanescent Lotus is really as rare as you put it out to be, wouldn’t that mean that it’s a hopeless case for me?” Zu An felt like his heart was falling into the abyss of despair.

“You need not get so down. Since you’ve offered me something good, I’ll give you a clue.” Ji Dengtu stroked his goatee leisurely, putting on the airs of an expert.

“Yes, I’d be deeply grateful if you could offer me some guidance.” Zu An’s attitude was so subservient that even he wasn’t able to stand himself.

“I recently heard rumors that a stalk of Evanescent Lotus has been found in the Ursae Dungeon. Whether you’ll be able to lay your hands on it or not, that would depend on your own capability,” replied Ji Dengtu.

“Ursae Dungeon?” Zu An was dumbfounded. He had no idea what that was.

Ji Dengtu frowned. “Aren’t you from Brightmoon Academy? Why don’t you know about it?”

“Am I supposed to know everything just because I’m from Brightmoon Academy? I only enrolled there two days ago!” exclaimed Zu An.

Seeing that there was some sense in what Zu An said, Ji Dengtu finally began explaining, “As you can imagine, there are many formidable cultivators over there in the world. Over time, they have conquered new land and expanded human territories. However, the world is huge, and there are still many secrets that we have yet to uncover.

“Every prefecture has some dungeons in its territory. No one knows where these dungeons come from, but their existence can be traced back to the oldest human records. It’s almost as if they have been there since the inception of the world.” There was an expectant look in Ji Dengtu’s eyes as he spoke.

“Rumors have it that these dungeons are small worlds created by ancient deities. Some of these small worlds look just like our world, but there are also those which are filled with danger but contain many fortuitous encounters.”

Zu An nodded in response. Basically, it’s just the same as the dungeons in games, right? 

“However, as time passed, most of these dungeons fell under the control of the royal court, who then use them to nurture new batches of cultivators loyal to the royal court. In other words, only the students of official cultivator academies have the right to enter these dungeons,” said Ji Dengtu.

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