“This is really interesting,” Wang Yao said . “I think we should check it out . What do you think, Zizai?”
“Great idea,” Jia Zizai replied with a grin .
Wang Yao and Jia Zizai headed down south to check out the situation for themselves .
Meanwhile, the 32-foot big fish in the Valley of Thousands of Medicines gulped down on a goat and then a pig .
“What do you think?” Guo Zhenghe asked .
“We have no records of such a fish in our database, which probably makes it some special breed,” Xu Xinyuan said . “From the looks of things, luring it out would be an easy feat, but capturing it would require massive doses of harmless anesthetics . ”
“Get to it, Uncle Xu,” Guo Zhenghe said . “And, be quick!”
“No problem . ” Xu Xinyuan nodded .
Truthfully, this was the first time he had to take down such a huge aquatic animal . He had no idea of his chances of exceeding . The key problem was that there was no way of procuring bigger boats to be used on that lake, which would have made the job a lot easier .
Guo Zhenghe started coughing again .
“It seems like things are worsening for me . ” He stuffed another Blood Orchid into his mouth, but the effects were limited .
“The flower is getting worse at suppressing degradation . ” His body was now much weaker . He was incredibly frail . He panted just from walking for a bit . He felt his entire body was lethargic and constantly felt sore all over . The constant grind wore down his body considerably .
He panted laboriously .
The professionals had been probing continuously for three days .
On a peak near the village’s lake…
“Damn, that really is a big fish!” Wang Yao was shocked to see the big fish in the lake .
“It is a big one alright,” Jia Zizai said . “Just look at the size of that head . I wonder if that’s a whale . ”
“Aren’t whales creatures that live in the sea?” Wang Yao asked . “Where we are now is at least 300 miles away from the sea . ”
“Hey, what’s that?” Jia Zizai asked .
“Wait here,” Wang Yao said . “I’ll go check it out . ”
“Alright, you be careful, Master,” Jia Zizai replied .
Wang Yao leaped from the cliff, which was tens of feet high, in a flash .
“Tsk, tsk, tsk, Master sure is something,” Jia Zizai admiringly said as he watched the impressive feat .
After getting off the peak, Wang Yao quickly arrived at the side of the lake . He watched the other people’s efforts trying to capture the fish from afar .
The lake was huge, but there were few people around . Wang Yao was standing far enough to prevent anyone from seeing him .
When he watched at a closer distance, he was only able to make out the overall appearance of the fish . The fish was almost pitch black and had tightly packed scales . It looked somewhat like a barracuda but had sharp teeth .
“Locked and loaded . The amount here is more than enough to knock out 10 elephants . ”
After repeated tests, they finally nailed down the plan to catch that big fish . They resorted to using strong anesthetics to knock the fish out, but the anesthetics could not be too potent . Otherwise, they would have had no use of the fish’s innards .
“Let’s begin . Mr . Guo is really running out of time,” Xu Xinyuan said . Anyone with eyes was able to see the physical changes Guo Zhenghe had been undergoing the past few days . His entire face looked eerily ashen, and there was no need to even comment on the other aspects .
“Alright . ”
A pig and a goat were tied on bamboo and sent out into the lake .
As expected, the big fish showed up .
After a loud crack, blood splattered on the lake .
The fish was able to gulp down a goat in a single bite .
The next bite it took chomped down the whole pig .
The surface of the water quickly turned blood red .
The fish circled for a bit before disappearing into the water . It was nowhere to be seen .
“Is it gone?”
All of them anxiously looked at the surface of the lake .
“I do hope the fish isn’t going too far away . ”
“The wait feels awful . ”
Nothing had come from a whole morning of effort .
“It looks like we aren’t using enough . ”
When they were about to leave, something suddenly happened to the water . A huge fish was floating up to the surface .
“It’s coming up! It’s coming up!”
They cautiously closed in on the fish . They confirmed that it had been tranquilized before piercing its thick, hard scale and injected greater doses of anesthetics . They tied the fish up using steel ropes and pulled it to shore using diesel-powered equipment . It was the first time everyone was able to see what the fish looked like up close .
It was indeed a big fish . It was almost 50 feet long .
“We finally caught the fish . ” Xu Xinyuan breathed a sigh of relief .
Many villagers had come to witness the scene . Most of them feared and revered the fish, but some resented and hated it since they had lost family members to that fish .
Miao Zhaoxing went out to disperse the crowd . The spectators gradually returned to what they were doing .
Guo Zhenghe dragged his extremely frail body to the side of the lake . He looked at that huge fish .
“Hurry up,” he said .
The people around began to cut up the big fish . They cut and dissected the fish using chainsaws . While they were cutting it up, the fish suddenly awakened . It almost ended up breaking free from the steel ropes . One of the professionals died and another was injured in the accident .
It took an entire day for that big fish, which was said to have been around for hundreds of years, to be killed and completely dissected .
Wang Yao and Jia Zizai watched the entire process taking place from a mountain not far away .
“What are they doing, Master?” Jia Zizai asked . “Don’t tell me that they intend to make fish soup out of this thing . ”
“They might be using the fish’s flesh to cure Guo Zhenghe’s body,” Wang Yao said .
“Tsk, tsk, tsk, that’s a bold thought,” Jia Zizai replied .
That was how it was . Miao Zhaoxing had learned from Miao Xihe’s notes that the big fish they offered sacrifices to every year might have had something called “internal alchemy” inside it . The legends said that it yielded mystical effects when ingested . Miao Xihe had attempted to catch that godly fish solely because of that . He had made more than one attempt, but he apparently never succeeded . That was because he had yet to be cornered and the fish was one of his methods of punishing villages at times . That was unlike Guo Zhenghe’s situation, who had to succeed or die .
The heart of the big fish was as large as a goat .
It was worth noting that the hearts of blue whales were said to weigh over 110 pounds and were the size of a small car . When compared to blue whales pound for pound, that was the ratio of this big fish’s heart .
“So, should we cut it open?” Xu Xinyuan asked .
“Collect the blood in the heart,” Miao Zhaoxing said .
The people Xu Xinyuan had brought knew little of such matters despite being professionals, which meant that they needed to be guided by people who were actually into such matters .
“Do it slowly . ”
When the heart was cut open, a huge amount of blood sprayed . It emitted a unique fishy smell .
“Gosh, this is disgusting . ” Several of them were drenched in blood .
They took the heart apart carefully after cutting it open . Miao Zhaoxing kept a close eye on the entire operation .
“Hang on, what is that?”
They found a ball-shaped collection of flesh in the fish’s heart, which was about the size of a fist .
“Cut it open . ”
They cut the meaty flesh on the outside open and found an oval ball of bone in it, which was smooth and felt like jade .
“This is it!” Miao Zhaoxing excitedly exclaimed .
This was the thing Miao Zhaoxing speculated to be the treasure in the fish, which had been mentioned in Miao Xihe’s notes .
“Did you find it?”
“Found it . ”
Guo Zhenghe placed the ball of flesh, was about the size of an egg, in his hand .
“What should I do with this?” he asked .
“According to what Miao Xihe said, just gulp it down as it is,” Miao Zhaoxing said .
“Just gulp it down? Are you sure that I won’t choke to death?”
“You won’t,” Miao Zhaoxing said . “I have some special medicine that can stimulate your esophagus, allowing it to become wider than it usually would be . ”
“Well, let’s get to it . ”
Guo Zhenghe took the special medicine before ingesting the culmination of internal alchemy in one go .
“How do you feel?”
“Ugghh!?” Guo Zhenghe instantly began shuddering all over .
He felt as if his stomach had been ignited . The flames started to burn throughout his entire body .
He shrieked in pain as he slumped to the ground .
“What is happening?” Xu Xinyuan, who was by his side, immediately asked in fright .
“This is probably a normal reaction,” Miao Zhaoxing said . “That thing was where the essence of the fish, which had been living for centuries, was collected . Taking it all in at once means having to withstand a certain measure of pain . ”
“Will he be fine?”
“Everything comes with its own risks,” Miao Zhaoxing replied .
Ingesting something like that had considerable risks like how one blew a balloon and had no idea when the balloon might actually burst .
Guo Zhenghe suddenly shouted before passing out . His body was frighteningly hot . The veins in his face expanded . His clothes looked bloated from the expansion . Almost every part of his body had bulging veins popping out .
“Do something about it, now!” Xu Xinyuan immediately ordered .
“Submerge him in cold water and keep him monitored at all times,” Miao Zhaoxing hurriedly said . “Keep his head above the water to prevent him from suffocating . ”
A few of the people around got cold water prepared and lowered Guo Zhenghe into it carefully . The water quickly turned hot . It looked reddish as the water began to steam .
“Change the water,” Miao Zhaoxing immediately said .
The process was repeated until that night . Guo Zhenghe’s bodily appearance gradually returned to normal .
“There is actually internal alchemy in there, Master!” Jia Zizai was shocked to find that out from surveillance equipment he had brought with him .
Wang Yao went into the village that day and set up cameras at certain areas where Guo Zhenghe was staying in . No one else detected him or what he did . It enabled them to see what was going on in there .
“Truth to be told, this is my first time seeing something like this,” Wang Yao said with a smile . He was just as shocked at the development of events, but he was curious as to how that culmination of internal alchemy affected Guo Zhenghe .
“Will he gain hundreds of years’ worth of powers from training in one go and become a god on earth or something like that?” Jia Zizai asked .
“You read too many novels,” Wang Yao said with a laugh .
“One needed to go about cultivation step by step, and cutting corners like that was risky . ”
After being in a coma for two days, Guo Zhenghe finally awoke . His eyes were bloodshot .
“Sir . ”
“Haahh . ” Guo Zhenghe responded, taking large breaths as he did .
He suddenly stood up and went outside .
“Sir?” Xu Xinyuan immediately chased after Guo Zhenghe, yet he was unable to keep up . Guo Zhenghe was running too fast .
“Where is he?”
A woman’s shriek was suddenly heard .
“Sh*t!” Xu Xinyuan’s heart skipped a beat .
When he found where Guo Zhenghe had ended up, he saw the wall of the house of that household had a large hole in it . All three other family members were lying in a pool of blood . The clothes on the woman were torn .
“Oh my god!”
Another shriek was heard from the woman .
“Y-Your master has gone crazy!” When he found Xu Xinyuan, Miao Zhaoxing’s expression was one of terror .
Guo Zhenghe was looking for an outlet of release .
Xu Xinyuan grabbed that elder and asked, “Why, why did it turn out like this?”
“It must be the internal alchemy from the fish bringing out the worst in his mind . ”
I need to release! I need blood! I need a woman!
Guo Zhenghe was running all over the village . He was looking for prey . The villagers started gathering to hunt down the killer demon . His body saw significant changes in just two days . He had gotten very strong and was able to move extremely fast .
“Master, he’s gone nuts!” Jia Zizai was shocked to see all of that as he stood at the mountain .
“Stay here,” Wang Yao said . “I’ll head down for a bit . ”
Wang Yao leaped off of the mountain .
He needed to kill Guo Zhenghe .
Shouts and shrieks of terror were heard from the village time and again .
A gust of wind blew .
Wang Yao appeared close to Guo Zhenghe, who had his upper body bared . He was drenched in blood and steaming hot . His eyes remained bloodshot .
He opened his mouth, which was filled with blood . Some bit of flesh was seen in it . It was human flesh .
He had become a crazed demon .
He instantly arrived in front of Wang Yao .
As soon as he fought the man before him, Wang Yao was shocked . Some power indeed! It’s more vigorous than even Miao Xihe!
Wang Yao unleashed his most powerful move without holding back .
Sonic booms were heard as he moved extremely fast . He threw out over a hundred punches in an instant .
Guo Zhenghe slumped to the ground . His bones were shattered, and his internal organs were destroyed . However, instead of immediately dying, he was recovering at a frightening rate .
“What a sight . This is no longer even human,” Wang Yao said as he looked at the sight before him .
Someone suddenly emerged from the crowd . They stabbed Guo Zhenghe’s heart and cut off his head . Guo Zhenghe’s body and head were separated at blitzing speeds . The one who acted immediately retreated to the crowd .
When they realized what just happened, the villagers were unable to find the attacker, who seemed to have appeared out of nowhere . There was only a dead body left on the ground .
Guo Zhenghe ended up dead just like that .
He had not been a demon for long before he was killed .
“Brother, I’ve killed him . Time to go . ”
“Who said you killed anyone?” Miao Qingfeng asked . “There were 16 villagers who died . You could just make a scapegoat out of any one of them . ”
“You said someone just appeared out of nowhere and left just as soon as he showed up, taking the culmination of internal alchemy with him . ”
“Yeah . I didn’t see what that attacker looked like, but he reminded me of someone,” Zhao Yinghao said .
“Never mind . Don’t bother bringing the matter up, and don’t dwell on it,” Miao Qingfeng said . “Regardless of who he was, it has nothing to do with us . It’s all over . We need to start new lives . ”
He knew that with the end of an era in the village, came a new life for everyone .
The future will probably be brighter for all of us . No, it definitely will be .
“Let’s go . ”
“Alright, Master . This is it . ” Jia Zizai looked at the red thing, which was about the size of a pigeon egg, in his hand . It felt like jade .
“Well, you can have it if you like it,” Wang Yao said .
“Ah, forget it . I’m afraid that I wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation and end up swallowing it one day,” Jia Zizai said . “Things would probably turn disastrous for everyone . It’s best that you keep this, Master . ”
Although 17 dead villagers was something huge, it was intentionally covered up .
Guo Zhenghe’s father reassigned from his post to become yet another leadership position in another county . While it looked as if he managed to maintain his status in that reassignment, he had lost the chance to be at the heart of things . There was no telling when the next opportunity would come .
The investigation into the Nanshan Pharmaceutical Company was practically left hanging .
The company’s products had become explosively popular in just one year .
The Primordial Spirit Soup, Heat Clearing Powder, Antidote Pill, Heart Stabilizing Pill, and a series of medicines were very effective . High-end medicines from Nanshan Clinic were practically miracle medicines, especially the ones in maintaining cardiovascular health, which was considered by many large hospitals to be a miracle drug . Furthermore, it had no side effects to speak of . The only downside was that it was difficult to procure .
Wang Yao remained where he was in his clinic . The southern mountain remained lush and serene as it had always been .
Su Xiaoxue eventually graduated .
A wedding was held in Jing, which was low-key, warm, and happy .
Wang Yao and Su Xiaoxue seemed like a match made in heaven to everyone around them .
They traveled throughout the country as a couple .
They went to the Valley of Thousands of Medicine in southern Yunnan .
“So, this is the Soothing of Gods Lake . ” Su Xiaoxue opened her arms as she looked at the serene lake .
“It’s beautiful . ”
“It really is . ”
A young man was walking on the creaky wooden path . He wore a warm smile on his face . Wang Yao felt the man seemed rather familiar .
“Greetings, faraway visitors,” the young man greeted them .
“Good day, may I know what your name is?”
The young man was stunned, but he smiled and replied, “Me? My name is Miao Xiaohe . ”
“Xiaohe . That’s a good name . ” Wang Yao nodded after he heard that .
That young man was rather dumbfounded . He smiled and walked away .
“Do you know him?” Su Xiaoxue asked .
“He kind of looks like someone I know . ” Wang Yao smiled .
“Where will we be going next?”
“How about heading back to the southern mountain?”
“Sure . ”
“We’ll have lots of kids . ”
“Sure, what happens after that?”
“After that, we spread medicine and provide medical care all over the world!”
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