Three days passed in the blink of an eye.
The sun rose, shedding warm and bright lights through the window onto the motionless youth lying on the bed.
As he awoke from eternal darkness, Ling Xian's fingers quivered softly as he gradually opened his eyes, aimlessly checking out his surrounding.
The first image he saw was an old, simple stone room. Heavy herbal fragrances were bleeding through the door, causing him to cough. The slight movement made him realize he shouldn't move. Any attempted movement, as small as lifting a finger, agonized his entire body, threatening to send him into unconsciousness.
There was also no strength in his four limbs. Soft and spongy, they felt like they were broken into many pieces.
"I… Where am I… is this the afterlife?"
Ling Xian's brows were tightly knit together. Enduring the unbearable pain, he sat up straight. The amount of strength he exerted shot pain all over his body, burning away his determination. He gasped and fell back onto his bed.
"I guess I'm not dead. Someone must've saved me after I fell off the cliff," Ling Xian mumbled to himself. Peeking at his own body, he realized his condition was a lot worse than he had imagined.
Most of his meridians were either tangled together or ripped in half. There were blood clots all over his organs. Even his chest, the origin of his spiritual energy, was smashed, leaving him with absolutely no mana.
The most severe damage was that all four of his limbs were completely broken. After all, he fell from a one thousand feet high cliff. To not die was already lucky of him. Having these injuries were reasonable.
[No wonder every slight movement hurts me.] Ling Xian frowned. Looking at his distorted body, he laughed at himself. [I definitely will not jump off a cliff again. I was lucky to have survived this fall. But looking at the way I am, I am half dead.]
[This doesn't make any sense. To fall from such a high place, there is no way I could've survived…] Ling Xian was curious. He checked out his body again and then realized something.
He was only alive now because his majestic blood protected his heart, allowing him to live despite his broken bones and tangled meridians.
Right now, the majestic blood was circulating his body, slowly and gently healing his broken body.
"Phew…" Ling Xian exhaled greatly, realizing that there was hope for him to recover. The heavy rock on his heart lifted. Groaning, he mumbled to himself, "At this rate, no matter how strong the majestic blood is, I will need two to three months to recover fully. After all, only a quarter of my majestic blood is awakened."
As Ling Xian moaned in his bed, a beautiful young lady walked in through the door. Seeing that Ling Xian has woken up, she smiled brightly. "Ah! You are awake?"
"You are?" Ling Xian was slightly startled.
Su Zi's dimples deepened. Pointing at herself, she said, "Me? I'm the one who saved your life."
"The one who saved my life?" checking out the girl before him, Ling Xian noticed her bright red lips and her pearly white teeth. Her brows were soft like tree leaves, and all her features were delicate. Her clothes were made out of beast skin, exposing her calves and arms. Her skin was wheat colored and glowing, challenging normal beauty standards.
"Yes, I am Su Zi," the girl introduced herself. Seeing Ling Xian's questioning look, she raised her brows and remembered that because Ling Xian has been unconscious this whole time, he has no idea what has been happening. Her dissatisfaction with his reaction dispersed right away, and she explained, "Three days ago I found you at the foot of a mountain when I went out to collect herbs. Seeing that you were heavily wounded and near death, I brought you home."
Ling Xian's eyebrows relaxed and his suspicion scattered like smoke. Instead, he became deeply thankful. Staring at the elegant young girl before him, his lips quivered in happiness. "I see. I sure should thank you, Su Zi. If your good heart didn't bring me here, I would be dead by now."
Seeing Ling Xian's kind smile, Su Zi lost her composure. Gazing at the smiling, handsome young man, her thoughts were simple. He was good looking, seemed amiable, and gave off a very warm vibe. She liked his company.
Realizing that the girl was not talking but was only staring, Ling Xian slightly frowned and called out, "Su Zi? Miss?"
"Ah, yes, I'm here."
Su Zi woke up from her daydream as redness smeared across her face. Subconsciously, she grabbed onto the corner of her clothes, and like a mosquito, she whispered, "Um… about that… there is no need to thank me. I didn't do much. I only brought you here from the mountains, brewed you some medicine, and took care of you for three days."
"Even so, you still saved my life," Ling Xian's expression was serious. He has always been very kind and grateful. Though he knew that he survived the fall due to his majestic blood, the fact that Su Zi took him into her home and made him medicine was important to him.
One could say that if this girl weren't there, even with his majestic blood, he would not have woken up.
"It's nothing. Initially, I asked my grandpa to save you. However, during the healing process, a mysterious force exerted out of your body and refused external treatment. So… It's not really us that saved you." Su Zi's face was as red as a peach at this point. Looking at the handsome young man, she became very shy.
"Miss, there really is no need to say more. I am in debt to your kindness, and I will remember and repay you for what you did for me." Ling Xian warmly grinned. Enduring the strong pain in his body, he was getting ready to get off of the bed.
"I don't need you to repay me. I just need you to be well," Su Zi whispered to herself. Seeing that Ling Xian was getting off the bed, she gasped and ran to him, "Don't. Grandpa said your legs and arms are all broken. You must lie down and rest. You are bedridden."
"I…" Ling Xian helplessly shook his head. He knew that what she said was true, "Alright, I won't go anywhere. But please tell me, where am I?"
Now that Ling Xian has given up on getting off the bed, Su Zi sighed in relief. "This is the Barren Village. It's a small village within the Vast Mountains."
"Barren Village… Vast Mountains…" Ling Xian frowned and pondered. He couldn't find any memories that would connect the two places. Based on his deduction, however, the place he is at now is very far from the Wan Jian House. When he was running away from the Red Robed Elder, he chose to run Southward.
"Oh right, I still don't know your name," Su Zi asked timidly.
Ling Xian smiled. "I'm Ling Xian."
"Ling Xian… what a pretty name," Su Zi grinned from ear to ear.
"Your name is pretty too," Ling Xian said casually, but Su Zi took it very seriously. Happiness flashed across her eyes, and she felt like she just drank sweet honey.
"Oh, I almost forgot. Here, drink this medicine," Su Zi suddenly remembered her purpose of being here. She pushed a stone bowl full of black liquid in front of Ling Xian.
"This is… decoction?" Ling Xian took over the stone bowl, but he was a little suspicious. Based on his knowledge, decoction was used as medicine in the cultivation community a long, long time ago. Its effectiveness was very low compared to spiritual medicine, and it's only 20-30% effective. After the birth of Liao Cang Qiong and his creation of medicinal Dans, decoction was completely replaced and soon disappeared from the cultivation community.
He never would've expected to see this here. How behind in time was this village?
"Yes. You've been drinking this for two days. Is there a problem?" Su Zi asked.
Ling Xian shook his head and requested, "There isn't a problem. But do you not have medicinal Dans here?"
"Medicinal Dans? What are those? I don't know." A questioning look flashed across Su Zi's face. Growing up, she's never heard the two words, medicinal Dans.
[Never heard of medicinal Dans?]
Ling Xian was speechless. Not only was this village very behind its time, but it was also very restricted from the outside. Where did he get himself to? Did he travel through time and come to the past?
With Ling Xian being speechless, Su Zi became very curious. She urged, "Tell me. What is a medicinal Dan?"
"This is what it is," Ling Xian moved his spiritual energy and a dragon-eye sized purple Dan floated into mid-air. It spun and emitted blinding lights while diffusing a strong aroma.
It was the Dan of Life and Growth.
"It's very fragrant." Su Zi wrinkled her nose at the smell, drowning in its scent. "This is the medicinal Dan you are talking about? It looks very magical."
"That's right. Like decoction, medicinal Dans work the same way. However, decoction only has 20% of the effectiveness of a medicinal Dan. Therefore, it was replaced by Dans a long time ago. The quality of a Dan is dependent on the alchemist's skills. If brewed well, it can exponentially be more effective than a decoction. It is an item that every cultivator carries," Ling Xian explained patiently.
Su Zi was not comprehending all the information she was receiving. What did he mean when he said decoction was replaced by medicinal Dans? Having grown up in the wildness, she was raised to believe and learn whatever knowledge that was passed down by the prior generations.
Today's information was too new to her. It was not a surprise that she didn't understand. The only takeaway she had was that medicinal Dans were exponentially stronger than decoctions.
"So it's true, you are from the outside society."
A voice suddenly appeared, followed by the entrance of a white-haired skinny elder. Gawking at the Dan in mid-air, he exclaimed, "I was lucky enough to see a medicinal Dan when I was young, but that was years ago. I cannot believe that I would be able to see it again in my lifetime."
"Su Zi, this is…?" Ling Xian asked.
"This is my grandpa, he is the leader of the village," Su Zi introduced.
"Village Leader, thank you for saving my life." Ling Xian beamed lightly.
"You're too kind. I didn't do anything other than taking care of you." The Elder waved his hand. With a very slight smile, he proclaimed, "With such grave injuries, you woke up after merely three days. You sure have an invincible physique."
Ling Xian shook his head, "I am awake, but to completely heal, it will take me two months minimum."
"That's normal. With the damages your body received, anyone else would've died." The Elder lovingly smiled, "Don't worry too much. You can stay here for as long as you want. That is not an issue."
Ling Xian contemplated for a while before beaming. "That would be a good idea. Thank you, Village Leader, for allowing me to stay."