Chapter 531: The Thorny Problem of the Divine Befuddlement Miasma
There was an incontrovertible sense of confidence in Jiang Chen’s tone. Although Ling Bi’er acted as frosty as ice, she wasn’t a cold-hearted person. Even though Jiang Chen had set her at ease, anxiety was still written over her face.
Although she wanted to cure her father’s illness, she didn’t want to implicate innocents in the process. Particularly a good man such as Jiang Chen who had said nothing of payment gone straight to work diagnosing the patient. After all, even Elder Yun Nie hadn’t dared use his consciousness to probe the Miasma.
Ling Bi’er remained where she was when she saw Jiang Chen already extending his consciousness. She wanted to stop him, but was afraid that she’d ruin everything if she made a disturbance. Anxiety and worry filled her charming face as she froze in place. But when she saw him standing there, looking completely at ease, her fretting heart began to slowly calm down. She ended up standing off to the side, warily focusing her attentions on the proceedings. She’d never stood so close to a man before in her life, or observed a young man with such gravity. In that moment, she suddenly realized that although this young man was only one year older than her, there was a steadiness within his movements that was rare for their age. He had the bearing of a great master, something that she’d only ever felt from sect heavyweights such as Elder Yun Nie.
She was incredibly astonished, and even the frozen mountain that was her emotions showed signs of melting, as an almost undetectable wavelet rippled over it. If it’d been any other young pill master who decided to so rashly probe with his consciousness, Ling Bi’er might’ve thought that he was trying to curry favor with her and her sister, and would’ve immediately stopped him. But as time passed, she felt that Jiang Chen was truly confident in what he was doing.
Jiang Chen opened his eyes fifteen minutes later and retracted his consciousness.
“Junior brother Jiang Chen…” Ling Bi’er called out and suddenly remembered, this Jiang Chen was one year older than her. Wasn’t it placing herself on a pedestal if she still called him junior brother?
Jiang Chen nodded with a slightly furrowed brow. “Senior sister Bi’er, your father’s Miasma is indeed complex. There are many kinds of Miasma, and it would be easy to handle if there was only one. However, there are four different kinds of Miasma in your father’s body, and they have interacted and assimilated with each other over the years. They seem to have developed thousands if not tens of thousands of links between them, and it will be exceedingly difficult to peel them back, layer by layer.”
He wasn’t trying to scare Ling Bi’er or be an alarmist. If this diagnosis had been made right when the patient had been struck by the four Miasmas, before they’d started to meld with each other, than a cure would’ve been easier to divine based off the symptoms. But now that things had developed to this point, while it couldn’t be said that there was no hope for a cure, the process would be exceedingly complex.
The poison of the Miasma was like a silkworm’s cocoon, each strand intertwining with one another. The same held true for how the Miasmas interacted with each other. The difficulty level for curing this poison had just skyrocketed, and just like unraveling silk from cocoons, it brooked no mistake. If even the slightest detail was overlooked, the Miasma would react and possibly push the patient to the point of no return.
Ling Bi’er’s face dimmed when she heard Jiang Chen’s words. “Does that mean there is no hope to cure the Miasma?”
Jiang Chen shook his head. “There is hope, but it’s incredibly difficult and the process is highly complex. Dangerous conditions could develop at any second.”
He didn’t draw out the suspense as he solemnly explained the situation in great detail. Ling Bi’er was extremely intelligent and quickly regained her calm after his explanation. Firstly, her father’s Miasma was difficult to cure, but there was still hope. The process would be difficult and could fail at any time, resulting in a worse situation. In addition, a tremendous amount of time and effort, as well as extreme precision was needed for the cure. Not even the slightest mistake would be tolerated.
“Jiang Chen, if I were to try to cure my papa, what do you think my chances of success are?” Ling Bi’er felt that it was too much to ask of Jiang Chen to spend so much time and effort to cure her father, so she wanted to do it herself. Although she felt that there was a gap in ability between her and Jiang Chen, she was still a pill dao genius of the younger generation after all!
Jiang Chen smiled ruefully. “If I were to speak truthfully, your chances are almost zero.”
Ling Bi’er started. “Why is that?”
“Because you cannot use your consciousness to enter your father’s mind and observe the Miasma. You won’t be able to peel back the layers of poison this way.”
This wasn’t a scare tactic, but the honest truth. If it wasn’t for Jiang Chen’s double layer of insurance in the form of the Golden Cicada bloodline and unique method of avoiding poison, he would’ve never dared to rashly extend his consciousness. As for actually curing the poison, the time and effort needed would be at least a hundred times, or even a thousand times what he’d spent in diagnosis.
Jiang Chen hadn’t anticipated that Ling Su’s poison would be this complex either. Most Miasmas would be able to cured via targeting the symptoms after a proper diagnosis was made. But Ling Su’s Miasma was the product of four different poisons. He could’ve still targeted the symptoms had they not melded together, but now that they had, the difficulty involved had just risen to a different league.
It’s just like looking at several strands of rope. They were easy to organize if gathered in singular strands. But once their fibers and threads were messily tangled into a ball, it would become no easier to untangle than the Gordian Knot. Unraveling poison also had the added challenge that any mistake could put the patient’s life in danger.
With Ling Bi’er’s cultivation, she might have twenty to thirty percent chance if she knew how to avoid being poisoned herself, but the Miasma was not something she could get away from. The only outcome if she tried to treat her father would be her getting infected too.
Ling Bi’er knew that this wasn’t Jiang Chen trying to scare her. Even Elder Yun Nie hadn’t dared probe this poison. If she tried, she’d likely be infected as soon as she extended her consciousness. Only someone with a unique method to keep themselves safe like Jiang Chen could even attempt it.
She bit her red lip lightly and didn’t bother maintaining a demure bearing at the moment. “Junior brother Jiang Chen, I know my request is intrusive, but might you be able to teach me your unique methods of evading poison?”
She seemed greatly afraid that she was overstepping the bounds and immediately emphasized. “Don’t worry, I won’t ask you to do it for free. You can raise whatever conditions you’d like. Although I can’t offer you much in terms of spirit stones and pills, I can pay them back slowly in the future.”
Jiang Chen sighed inwardly to see Ling Bi’er act thus. This resolute girl has borne much too heavy a burden on her frail shoulders for her father. This made him inwardly snap to respectful attention as well. “It’s not a problem to teach you how to evade poison, but the method I teach you will only give you a 50% chance in evading infection from the Miasma.”
Again, this wasn’t to scare Ling Bi’er, but that Jiang Chen’s poison evasion methods was partially a result of the Cicada’s bloodline of being impervious to poison. This was his most critical insurance and obviously something he was unable to take out to share with Ling Bi’er, since it had to do with the Golden Cicadas from ancient times. “In addition, even if you avoid infection, your chances of success are only thirty percent.”
Ling Bi’er’s tone was resolute. “I’m willing to try even if there’s only a hint of success. Papa has been suffering with this condition for so many years that if he knew I was facing this decision, he would support my actions as well. Even if I fail, it’s better than dragging out this suffering.”
Jiang Chen deeply respected this firm attitude. No man would be likely be as determined or decisive than Ling Bi’er when facing this kind of dilemma. “Senior sister Bi’er, I can teach you the method of evading poison, but I must emphasize that this will only halve the chances of you being attacked by the Miasma. If you make the slightest mistake, the Miasma will consume you and you will succumb to the same condition as your father.”
Ling Bi’er’s body trembled slightly, but resolve still filled her charming face. It was then that the door banged open and Ling Hui’er came running in. “No, sis! Hui’er won’t allow this! It should be Hui’er taking this risk! Sis can take care of Hui’er if something happens to me, but if something happens to sis, what will Hui’er do with no support and shelter?!”
“Hui’er, don’t make a fuss!” Ling Bi’er was both saddened and resigned to see that her younger sister, supposedly in closed door cultivation, had snuck out and was fighting with her to save their father.
Ling Hui’er turned around and stared at Jiang Chen with a pair of pure, wide eyes. “Senior brother Jiang Chen, don’t leave tonight. Hui’er will keep you company if you teach me how to avoid the poison. I’ll trade for it with my body! Hui’er doesn’t want sis to have to repay you stones and pills every year if something happens to me…”
Jiang Chen couldn’t help but recall what happened the last time he saw Ling Hui’er and smiled ruefully. “When did I ever say I want you two to repay me? I can pass on this method to you free of charge, but Hui’er, with your personality, the chances of success are less than ten percent.”
Although Jiang Chen knew that it was quite cruel to speak in this manner, he still had to give them a kindly reminder for the sake of their safety.
Ling Hui’er started, seemingly disbelieving that Jiang Chen would be so generous, but also a bit unaccepting of his words. “Why is it only ten percent for me and up to thirty for sis? How high are the chances if you do it yourself?”
Jiang Chen smiled wryly. Ling Hui’er’s questions were always shrewd, such that he was unable to respond. He’d actually made some internal calculations before speaking. Even if he took the field himself, he’d need at least ten days to half a month to cure this poison, and he only had roughly an eighty percent chance of success as well. The most critical caveat was that he had to find the items that acted as antidotes to these four different kinds of Miasmas, create the perfect liquid medicine as the cure, and then induce it into the patient through consciousness.
The entire process was exceedingly complex. If Jiang Chen had been able to recover back to the peak condition of his past life, he’d naturally have the fullest of guarantees. But now, he only had seventy to eighty percent assurance to work with.
The two sisters seemed to be in great accord with each other. Ling Hui’er was staring at him piteously, and Ling Bi’er’s sprightly eyes were shifting around, looking at him helplessly. They were like two little girls lost on the road, making Jiang Chen sigh continuously with their plaintive gazes. He reflected that Ling Su possessed quite great fortune to have such a pair of wonderful daughters.
“If I do it, I should have more than a fifty percent chance of success.” He didn’t quite paint himself into a corner and left a bit of wiggle room.
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