Chapter 850: Terrifying Poisonous Parasites
Life was the only thing precious to a person nearing death. Everything else was as transient as the fleeting clouds. He Hongshu didn't even frown after seeing Jiang Chen preparing to state his conditions. "Pill King Zhen, please state your terms. No matter what they are, I won't hesitate to fulfill them as long as they're within my power."
Ole He was willing to part with anything other than the lives of him and his son at the moment. He'd realized on death's door that only life was the most valuable possession and that all forms of material wealth were expendable.
"I don't want any payment from you. I only want a map, a detailed overview, and a promise." Jiang Chen replied in all seriousness.
He Hongshu was startled. "Pill King Zhen, are you planning to search for the Requiem Tree?"
Jiang Chen didn't deny this and nodded softly. He Hongshu spoke with great concern, "Pill King Zhen, Ole He has absolutely no doubts regarding your pill dao talent, but I suggest you stay away from that place. The Requiem Wood is a valuable item, no doubt, but that place is simply too eerie in far too many aspects. It's hell on earth. Any living being that goes in will find it difficult to escape with his life."
"Didn't you escape just fine?" Pill King Lu Feng suddenly cut in.
"I was able to walk out alive but I currently have one foot in the grave, as you can see."
"Nonsense! With my master here, you'll be hard pressed to die even if you wanted to."
He Hongshu repeated with a pleading look in his eyes, "Pill King Zhen, I'm not simply saying this because you're about to save my life—I'm saying this from the bottom of my heart. That place is simply too dangerous, an absolute nightmare for human cultivators."
Jiang Chen smiled faintly, "Ole He, I understand your good intentions. But my conditions for saving you remain unchanged. Do consider them." He didn't insist on this matter, but neither did he want to go to great lengths to persuade He Hongshu.
He Hongshu sighed helplessly after seeing Jiang Chen's stance, "Pill King Zhen, you're a person of great skill and courage. You're also Ole Lu's master by right. I fear I'd be harming you by giving you this map."
"You'll have harmed yourself if you don't give it to me," Jiang Chen smiled indifferently. "Since I have a method to treat you, I naturally have methods of overcoming the dangers you speak of. The person dearest to me will die without this Requiem Wood. Ole He, what would you do in my stead?"
He Hongshu was stupefied. Indeed. Would he go there if his own son was in mortal danger and required the Requiem Wood for survival? He knew he would still go without hesitation despite being aware that it was the place of nightmares.
He Hongshu immediately nodded at this point, realizing that there was no way to dissuade the other party, "Pill King Zhen, I'll give you a map and a detailed written record of my experiences. But, please do heed my words. That place is far too terrifying. If Pill King Zhen insists on going, I suggest you bring some helpers and venture there only after sufficient preparation."
Jiang Chen nodded, "I'll be sure to make the necessary arrangements."
"Very well. I assume that the promise you spoke of is for me to keep quiet about the Requiem Wood. You can rest assured regarding this aspect. I swear to the heavens and earth that, apart from the three of us, Ole He won't reveal the location of the Requiem Wood to anyone, not even to my son. May the heavens strike me down should I violate this oath."
Swearing a heavenly oath was the most efficient method. Pill King Lu Feng glanced anxiously at Jiang Chen after witnessing Ole He's pledge, obviously looking forward to Jiang Chen displaying his abilities.
"Ole Lu, bring me brush and paper. I'll list a few spirit herbs. You go and prepare them with haste. I'll also need a spacious location to lay down a formation. This treatment procedure isn't one to be trifled with. Any mishaps will lead to endless trouble."
"Endless troubles?" Pill King Lu Feng appeared puzzled. "Why is that?"
Jiang Chen replied solemnly, "Incorporeal poisonous parasites crawl through Ole He's blood vessels. An epidemic would ensue if we let them scatter after they break out of his body."
"Poisonous parasites?" Pill King Lu Feng's facial muscles twitched hard. "Such a thing really exists?"
"These things aren't normal parasites either. When removed from their host, the normal ones die after losing their breeding grounds. But these formless parasites grow within blood and are virtually invisible to the naked eye. They're smaller than a speck of dust while their numbers are nearly countless. The bugs will continue to rapidly increase in number once their growth cycle reaches maturity as one gives birth to ten and ten to a hundred. The first parasite will continuously absorb the essence of its descendants and eventually become a queen parasite. Once such a parasite evolves, its replication abilities will increase by thousands of times. The outcome would be inconceivable at that time…"
Pill King Lu Feng and He Hongshu felt their hair stand on end after hearing this explanation. That terrifying?
"The most terrifying aspect of these bugs isn't their replication rate, but rather, their ability to hide. It's quite difficult for a normal person to detect them growing in their blood. The victim might not even know it was the work of parasites even after all his essence had been sucked dry and his life extinguished. The growing bugs would then search for new hosts and the disaster would spread continuously." Even Jiang Chen would have no way to know of this, were it not for his experiences from his past life. He had seen old records of such parasite infestations during his past life, the symptoms of which were all clearly exhibited in He Hongshu's body.
Pill King Lu Feng felt his skin crawl with horror as he stammered, "Master, according to what you just said, wouldn't it be very difficult to control them once the bugs break out?"
"Indeed. There have been ancient records of human powers at their peak deteriorating into ghostly domains in a matter of months."
"And these parasites are the cause of all this?"
"Yes," Jiang Chen nodded. "The heavenly law is fair. Cultivators think themselves the rightful rulers of the world just because they can contend with the heavens and earth for life. They never realized that many stronger species exist amongst the numerous living beings of this world. Any one of them could potentially become a natural predator to the human race."
In fact, many planes weren't ruled by human cultivators. But he couldn't tell them such things at this point. Such information would likely be too terrifying for them. After all, the scope of the Divine Abyss Continent's knowledge simply stopped there. Speaking of the other planes would surely exceed the limits of their comprehension.
"These bugs… master, you do have methods to deal with them right?" Pill King Lu Feng's normally wacky behaviour had been replaced by a cautious demeanor.
Jiang Chen replied grimly, "The best method is to destroy them along with the host."
At the mention of this, He Hongshu's body twitched and his expression froze involuntarily. It never occurred to him that he had inadvertently invited such a potential calamity. He'd thought that death would be the end of it. But it appeared that the scourge would spread and harm many others, even after his death. So much so that, the whole of Veluriyam Capital might be thrown into disorder because of him. He Hongshu felt anxious at the thought of this. He was worried that Pill King Zhen would choose to euthanize him out of consideration of the greater good. Pill King Lu Feng also asked timidly, "Master, we… we're not planning on being so ruthless, are we? With master's brilliance and might, you surely have another way, right?"
"I asked you to prepare brush and paper. Why haven't you gone yet?" Jiang Chen replied unhappily. "The more you delay, the greater the risks."
Pill King Lu Feng's expression changed after hearing this and he immediately tore off in search of writing utensils. Jiang Chen made a list with due haste after brush and paper were prepared, "Gather all of these items within two hours."
Pill King Lu Feng replied hurriedly, "I'll set out immediately."
He also knew that this wasn't a trifling matter. If he didn't hurry, they might not be able to save Old He and would likely be forced to euthanize him instead. Pill King Lu Feng didn't dare tarry as he thought of this. Firstly, he didn't want He Hongshu to encounter a mishap and secondly, he would have to take in Ole He's son should the latter pass away. From then on, he'd have to walk the inevitable path of a foster father. His scalp went numb when he thought of this, and he wanted nothing more than to have Ole He live tens of thousands of years like a turtle.
Ole He felt a large knot of emotions in his heart after he saw Pill King Lu Feng depart. He stole glances at Jiang Chen through the corner of his eyes, hoping to glean some clues from his expression, but Jiang Chen's expression was wooden, as if he were pondering something. Suddenly, his eyes flicked towards Ole He and said indifferently, "Ole He, stop being so surreptitious. Just say what you want and ask what you will."
He Hongshu laughed ruefully, "Pill King Zhen, if I can't be saved then please put me down. I, Ole He, am not afraid of death. I just don't want to be cursed by everyone after my passing."
"I'll certainly follow this method if I truly fail to save you," Jiang Chen’s tone was insipid. "Ole He, whether your words are sincere or just those of someone putting on an act, I'll have to take such an action should things reach that point. I hope you understand."
He Hongshu nodded, "I completely understand. Oh yes, I'll go draw the map and record my experiences now. I hope it'll be of some assistance to Pill King Zhen." He was quite humble at present.
Jiang Chen didn't stop him. He wasn't intentionally trying to frighten the old man. Although he was confident, he wasn't one hundred percent certain. He'd be forced to thoroughly destroy Ole He along with the parasites inside him if he couldn't control the situation. It was obvious that the matter had more or less affected Ole He. His expression was changing constantly as he drew the map. This period of waiting was clearly quite tormenting for him.
"Ole He, don't think too much. I don't dare ensure complete success but I'm still seven parts confident. I'm just telling you these things in advance to prepare you for the worst case scenario."
He Hongshu nodded repeatedly, "I understand, I understand."
Jiang Chen had no idea if he really did understand or not.
Pill King Lu Feng hurriedly returned with the prepared materials before two hours had passed and proclaimed, "This time, it can be said that Ole Lu has gone all out! I cleared out the larger half of all the stores at the Farmer God Market. I didn't bring shame to the mission!"
Bring on culture! A MC who actually b*tch-slaps enemies, and realistic characters! and I might hold an event for some extra SOTR chapters this Friday for it as well!