Pill of Unknown Origins
“Come to the dispensary and give me a hand. We need new drugs.”
I had to tell the blatant lie because the room was no longer shared between only Yan Jiangnan and I. My excuse for sharing a room with him was to heal him quicker and, more importantly, elevate his skills quicker for my own ends. For the latter reason, I borrowed a guard from Zero to be Yan Jiangnan’s sparring partner. He needed to be able to apply his knowledge and skills in real combat, after all.
The guard I borrowed from Zero was a blonde, tall, green-eyed agile fighter hailing from the Western Region’s Asa. Asa was the strongest state among the seven states as well as the state in which Divine Moon Cult’s headquarter was stationed. Because the majority of Divine Moon Cult’s elites gathered there, Asa was blessed with plenty of elite fighters. This man was one of them.
He was a better boxer than Yan Jiangnan and possessed more raw might, so it shouldn’t have been hard for him to defeat Yan Jiangnan, yet he couldn’t land a single punch on Yan Jiangnan. When he thought he’d finally caught Yan Jiangnan, and Yan Jiangnan didn’t show any signs of dodging, he missed as if his body altered the trajectory of his punch without his conscious input.
Yan Jiangnan launched his first counter, palming the guard flush on the face as though he knew exactly where his target would be and locked it in place. With his victory decided and silence restored, he retreated back to his bed.
The guard broke out in cold sweat, not out of fear or regret, but out of admiration.
“Master Yan, you truly are a prodigy at martial arts. This humble one can no longer match you. Eh? Doctor Wu, when did you arrive?”
Ten-odd days ago, the guard was even with Yan Jiangnan, but that was in the past now. “Sinister Soul Break Palms” had a unique ability to distort the enemy’s senses to the point of totally disabling them. That was reason the guard didn’t hear me until now.
I saw the guard off, shut the door and double checked for eavesdroppers prior to asking, “How many exchanges did it take for you to beat him?”
Sitting on his bed, Yan Jiangnan seemingly ignored me for a good while before laughing. “Seven.”
“I thought I told you to hold back.”
Yan Jiangnan swiftly moved from his bed to my back. I slowly looked over my shoulder to meet with his conceited gaze. He held his gaze against mine for a while and then, in a low voice, replied, “Haha, I did not need to use my full strength against him; I only used 30% of my power. I pretty much did not use the palm skills you taught me. Elder, you truly possess unmatched wisdom.”
Initially, I had no plans to strike that agreement. However, I had to enforce that rule once he started running through Zero’s guards with ease. Nobody in their right mind would classify his progress rate as “normal”.
The secret manual I gave Yan Jiangnan was the original copy of his clan’s discipline. I understood the internal training part, but I wasn’t educated in palm techniques. As a result, he produced results I couldn’t predict. Credit to him, though, for being able to raise his level by several folds in the limited time we had. Don’t get the wrong idea and assume he was some genius. His aptitude was honestly just “passable”. Tang Ye and Su Xiao’s aptitudes far surpassed Yan Jiangnan’s, let alone Grandmaster or Young Shiyi. In comparison to my shifu… There was no point in trying to compare to freaks.
I had contemplated slowing down Yan Jiangnan’s progress because, I mean, look at his attitude. He was drunk on his own power. He wouldn’t be at the level he was now if I deliberately stunted his growth; however, for him to progress at the rate he did after all the injuries and qi deviation he suffered, his growth rate still would’ve been categorised as significantly faster than the average rate. Growth that couldn’t be explained was the most dangerous risk, so I intended to step in. That, howbeit, was when I found out the catalyst behind his growth. He didn’t mutate, and the discipline didn’t trigger some special effect. The formulations I had him drink were the catalysts.
I didn’t expect the stinky mixture of hair dye and pot of healing herbs to sooth meridians, heal, strengthen essence and expedite internal energy development. While the internal energy boost wasn’t big, the unclogging of his clogged meridians healed his internal injuries and grew his ego.
“Though you’re stronger now, there are plenty of other strong people in this base. Don’t let anything slip.”
“That goes without saying. I am still hoping to learn how to revive Yulian from you, Elder.”
Yan Jiangnan turned his face into a blank smile, the sort that told me he was losing his human rationality. There was nothing I could do about that, nevertheless.
“Here, have this ‘unknown pill’.”
Yan Jiangnan’s visage instantly went from sinister to terrified. “Again? More drugs?!”
I pulled out a chest from underneath the bed. Inside the chest was a big vase used as a bottle cork. Inside that was another flower vase to seal that bottle. Inside that… Inside a teeny-tiny flower vase was a small porcelain vial. As soon as Yan Jiangnan saw the porcelain vial, his face had, “Farewell. Let us meet again. I’m out of here!” written all over his face.
I swiftly pulled out the cork and poured out a pill. The rancid stench permeated the room within a second as if an explosion just went off. I locked Yan Jiangnan’s shoulders up and smashed the pill into his mouth. He swallowed it with a look of despair, then passed out.
I didn’t waste a second tucking the vases back in and sliding the chest back under the bed.
For all I knew, the pills could’ve been classified a weapon already. Ever since I realised the miraculous effect of the formula, I concocted ten pots of ingredients to concoct one pill. I fed him a pill a day, and, without surprise, his progress rate increased drastically. Unfortunately, due to the stench, he passed out every time he consumed a pill.
The first thing Yan Jiangnan wanted to upon waking up was answer his desire to puke, but he didn’t dare to. Thus, he did his best to digest it as far as he could through training.
See what I mean? Give them a drug that was strong enough, and everyone would train diligently.
It was a while before Yan Jiangnan finally exhaled through his mouth, only for me to smack him to ensure none of the pill contents were wasted.
“Elder… I really want to know what ‘unknown pill’ means.” Yan Jiangnan was back to the non-sinister normal Yan Jiangnan that I knew.
“As in ‘Immovable Unknown Power Pill’.”
I couldn’t tell him “unknown” was a shortened version of “crap-tasting-smelling-nonsense-formula-produced-shady pill”, right? Sometimes, being mysterious was the kinder thing to do.
“Stop spacing out now. We have work to do.”
“Elder, who are you plotting to harm now?”
Don’t learn from this kid. Don’t speak facts like that.