You’ve Been Poisoned
Mu Yu took his time looking up at the stern youth. Mu Yu assumed the youth was a Primordial Infant Realm cultivator even though the youth had suppressed his cultivation. Jokes definitely weren’t going to fly with the youth. Below the emblem on his chest were four stripes, indicating he was a Rank Four alchemist. His tone when he posed the question read, “Be honoured I demanded your seat.”
Mu Yu’s table provided the widest view of the inn and was the brightest spot. Because of how extoled alchemists were, people would give up their seats for them. To add, the trio was from Pill Cauldron Sect. As luck would have it, the intimidation tactic was fruitless on Mu Yu since he had no clue who they were.
“I’m not done,” Mu Yu answered, unwilling to give in to pressure.
“Do you also intend to eat the bones?” The youth asked with a discontent undertone.
The youth straightened his torso to show Mu Yu the emblem on his chest, yet Mu Yu called, “Waiter, bring me a serve of stir-fry greens.”
“Must you insist on doing this the hard way?”
Mu Yu’s neighbour kindly warned, “They are not people you can afford to offend. He is an alchemist from Pill Cauldron Sect. You do not want to be on their bad side.”
“Why don’t you give him your seat in that case?”
Frustrated, the kind neighbour turned back to continue his meal.
“Have you any idea who is asking for your seat?” The youth asked in a frigid voice.
“Have you any idea who is sitting in this seat?” Mu Yu sarcastically asked, refusing to play the hierarchy intimidation game.
The youth speculated Mu Yu might’ve been the young master of some prominent sect, but he didn’t want to back down after just that. At the end of the day, he didn’t want people thinking Mu Yu scared him. Thus, he inquired, “Who are you?”
“Why should I tell you?”
“Xiaohua, what’s going on?” the elder with the walking stick asked in a gentle voice.
“Xiaohua? Little Flower? That’s a cute name,” Mu Yu laughed at his own homophone joke.
“You asked for it.”
Xiaohua mustered up qi to levitate a chicken bone and smacked Mu Yu in the mouth with it. Mu Yu snatched over the drumstick in Xiaoshuai’s mouth and threw it at the incoming bone, reducing both to cinders on the table.
Xiaohua subtly flinched. Mu Yu was confident he could handle Xiaohua since he was on the verge of ascending to Primordial Infant Realm.
“Stop,” calmly intervened the elder. “We shall sit somewhere else since the spot is taken. Don’t make things hard for people.”
“I’m done. Xiaoshuai, let’s go.”
Mu Yu decided to play nice since the elder played nice, but Xiaoshuai jumped onto Mu Yu’s head and demanded, “Compensate me with another drumstick. I’m not going to let you off the hook just because you’ve been poisoned. Old Man, you’re with him, right? Being poisoned doesn’t give you the right to be unreasonable. Compensate me.”
Mu Yu furtively focused his senses and detected the two were plagued with a plethora of wood residue in their bodies.
When one consumed herbs, the ingredients circulated around their body in search of the problem to address. The body then excreted any extra ingredients. If they couldn’t excrete it from their body, it stayed in their nerves and meridians as wood residue. If ordinary folks didn’t have that volume of wood residue in their bodies if they ate herbs daily, something was clearly off in the case of the two. If the residue sat in the body chronically, it caused harm and impacts one’s flow of spiritual energy.
Feng Haochen informed his disciples that alchemists had trouble progressing their cultivation speed because they often needed to melt or refine various spiritual qi components of herbs using their spiritual qi. As a result, some of the ingredients wound up stuck in their body. Over time, it blocked meridians and nerves. Those unaware of the consequences thought the life of an alchemist was all roses and rainbows. It only came to one’s attention when they became an alchemist. Eventually, the victim’s cultivation regressed due to the residue. Seldom did anyone manage to progress their cultivation and alchemy prowess simultaneously. That was the reason Rank Five and Six alchemist cultivators were rare.
The people in the inn laughed. “They’re poisoned? They’re alchemists. Don’t jest. They could easily concoct cures for themselves if they were poisoned.”
“Don’t believe me?” Xiaoshuai pointed at the elder. “You have the worst case. You have the most wood residue at your chest. I bet you suffer breathing issues and chest pains every cloudy and rainy day. You have pain on the left of your stomach daily for brief periods and y-”
Mu Yu yanked Xiaoshuai down and covered the latter’s mouth. Nobody wanted their secrets divulged and reputation ruined.
“Sorry. It ate too many drumsticks and is feeling drunk. It spouts nonsense whenever someone fights it for drumsticks. You can have my table. Goodbye, hehe.” Mu Yu headed to the stairs.
Nobody was convinced. Well, perhaps the elder’s glance meant something.
The waiter came out and called, “Your dish of stir-fry gr-.”
“They ordered it,” Mu Yu replied, heading back to his room.
The bill? It wasn’t Mu Yu’s problem anymore.