"Wait a minute, Mr. Ren. This is the formula for the black mud cream, and these are seeds. You still need some ingredients from a few different animals, but you can prepare those yourself."
"Aren't you afraid that I might lie to you regarding the penicillin?" Ren Baqian chuckled and asked.
"Given Mr. Ren's magnanimity, I am sure you won't lie to me," Chen Zisheng replied solemnly, "Just your life-saving method today alone will save God knows how many people in the future."
"Thank you so much." Ren Baqian smiled and took over the paper from Chen Zisheng. It felt good to be trusted by someone. He lowered his head and scanned the paper. Alright… he did not understand a single word...
"Mr. Chen, why not you tell me the formula and I write it down?" Ren Baqian said helplessly.
After getting someone to find a charcoal-made pencil, Ren Baqian listened to Chen Zisheng and wrote down the formula on a piece of paper.
The front part of the formula was alright. It was mainly about some plants which Chen Zisheng had already prepared the seeds for him.
The back part of the formula, however, left Ren Baqian in a daze.
One ingredient involved drying hexagonal dragons in the sun and ground them into powder. Hearing this part, Ren Baqian's head was filled with question marks.
What's a hexagonal dragon? Don't tell me it's really a dragon?
Another ingredient involved grinding earth dragons into powder. Ren Baqian knew what an earth dragon was. An earth dragon is an earthworm, right? But, he did not know how different the earthworms in this world were from Earth's. However, they shouldn't too hard to obtain.
At most he could bring some back to Earth and find someone to rear them.
The final ingredient was the saliva of green toads.
"Is there any other thing?" Ren Baqian raised his head and asked.
"No, that's all."
"Mr. Chen, are there any substitutions for the ingredients?" Ren Baqian asked.
Chen Zisheng brushed his mustache and asked, "Which ingredient needs to be substituted?"
"Other than earth dragons, what can the other two ingredients be substituted with?" Ren Baqian used his fingers to gesture to green toads and hexagonal dragons.
"These ingredients aren't hard to find. It's just that they take very long to cultivate and their survival rates are very low. Another thing is that they are very troublesome to produce," Chen Zisheng said with doubt.
Ren Baqian still felt that it was better to ask Chen Zisheng about the substitutions for the two ingredients. After all, he did not know how different the organisms in this world and Earth's were. If he had more backups now, he would have more options in the future.
"There are indeed substitutions but the efficacy of the medicine will decrease significantly," Chen Zisheng explained.
"It's okay," Ren Baqian replied. He wasn't afraid of the efficacy decreasing. Using black mud cream, a wound that usually took half a month to heal could heal in less than ten minutes. Even if the efficacy was reduced and it would take a few hours to two days for the wound to heal, it would still be acceptable.
Chen Zisheng came up with two substitutions for the two ingredients and Ren Baqian wrote them down. Then, he carefully kept his notes in his clothes.
"I can see that the words you wrote and the words on the books you gave me are somewhat similar. I have never seen such words before. May I know where is Mr. Ren from?" Chen Zisheng asked with curiosity. He had been pondering over this question for nearly a whole day and he only asked this question now.
"China, you definitely never heard of it before," Ren Baqian replied casually.
After thinking about it, Chen Zisheng indeed could not remember any country called China.
"Mr. Chen, do you have earth dragons, hexagonal dragons, and green toads with you now?" Ren Baqian asked. Since black mud cream was produced by Chen Medicinal Shop, it was very likely that its ingredients would be readily available here.
"I indeed have some," Chen Zisheng replied just like what Ren Baqian expected. Then, he followed Chen Zisheng to the backyard.
Just like what Ren Baqian had expected, earth dragons were actually earthworms. Chen Zisheng had dried them with the sun and Ren Baqian did not need to bring them back as well. He wanted to see if Earth's earthworms would work or not first.
Meanwhile, the hexagonal dragon was kept in a jar filled with water. It is golden yellow in color, and had four limbs, six horns on its heads, and a tail. It looked like it was a dual-gendered creature. After staring at it for quite some time, Ren Baqian felt they it somewhat like a fire-bellied salamander but he wasn't sure.
The green toad was the size of two palms. It was rather huge in size and its back was protruding. When Ren Baqian first heard its name, he thought it was green in color. It turned out it was brown in color. Before it matured, it would be green in color. It would only turn brown after it matured.
"Can you give me the hexagonal dragons and this green toad?" Ren Baqian asked.
Chen Zisheng brushed his beard and replied, "No problem. However, Mr. Ren, you have to know that if any part of your skin touches the green toad, you will develop red spots on that area and it will be unbearably painful and itchy. If that really happens, grind some ninewood flowers into juice and apply it to the affected area. It will heal faster that way. Otherwise, you will have to wait for a month before they disappear by themselves. If you want to collect the green toad's saliva, smear some honey onto a wooden stick and let it lick. After it have finished licking the honey, you can then obtain its saliva."
"Understood, thank you so much." Ren Baqian's face was filled with joy.
He did not expect to obtain the formula and ingredients for black mud cream so easily.
All he needed to do now was to pass it to Chen Qing when he went back to Earth.
The remaining work would have to depend on their research.
"Alright, it's getting later, we have to go back now. I will come over another day to teach you everything on those books. You can try to develop the penicillin and test its effect first. The earlier you develop it, the more people you can save." Ren Baqian made Teng Hulu and Tie Dao carry the ingredient jars, asked for some ninewood flowers from Chen Zisheng, and asked Teng Hulu and Tie Dao what they wanted to eat for dinner.
"I have nothing but admiration for Mr. Ren's benevolence," Chen Zisheng said.
"I just want to save as many lives as possible, human lives are precious after all," Ren Baqian replied. He did not notice the look of admiration on the faces of Teng Hulu and Tie Dao.
They had witnessed everything that happened today. Naturally, they knew the entire process of development.
After knowing Ren Baqian taught his knowledge to someone just so that he could save people whom he did not know, both of them had nothing but respect for Ren Baqian.
On the way back, Teng Hulu and Tie Dao, who were holding a jar of ingredient each, looked at each other and then yelled, "Caretaker Ren!"
"What's the matter?" Ren Baqian was feeling pretty good. Not only did he manage to obtain the formula for the black mud cream, he also saved someone's life.
An ordinary person would never imagine that he or she would save a life one day. When Ren Baqian thought of how he saved a life and a family today, he felt a sense of contentment and joy.
"If you need help with anything in the future, just tell us about it and we will definitely do a good job," Tie Dao said.
"Just for what I did at the medicinal shop today?" Ren Baqian asked with his head tilted.
"We are not good with words but we know Caretaker Ren is a capable man that cares for strangers' lives. We are willing to work for someone like Caretaker Ren," Tie Dao nodded his head and continued.
"Yes, Caretaker Ren is a good man," Teng Hulu agreed.
"Haha, alright then," Ren Baqian replied cheerfully. He patted the both of them on their shoulders. He would talk about the exact details in the future.
Along the way, Ren Baqian looked at the short sword in his hand.
Is this sword that kind of divine weapon? Maybe that guy has given me a sword that can cut through metal like butter?
When Ren Baqian thought of this, he unsheathed the sword. The sword was black in color, half a finger thick, and had some rust on it. No matter how Ren Baqian looked at it, it did not like a divine weapon at all.
Carrying his last bit of hope, he headed to a tree nearby and hacked it with the sword. Unlike what he had expected, the tree did not break into half. There was nothing but merely a sword mark. Immediately, he knew he thought too much.
Other than being thick and black, it looked no different from a cleaver that could be bought at ten yuan on Earth.
Whatever that was mentioned in the fairytales was indeed a lie.
When three of them arrived back at the beast park and went to the kitchen, there was no longer anyone there.
Teng Hulu and Tie Dao sent the jars of ingredients back to Ren Baqian's house while Ren Baqian went to wake the cook up from his bed. "Come, wake up, I want to show you something good."
"What thing?" The cook was in a daze as he followed Ren Baqian out of his house.
"Go to the kitchen and prepare some meat first, I need to go and grab something." Ren Baqian patted the cook's back and went to his room and took out a bag of spices.
Then, he went to the kitchen and placed it on the table.
"Take a look, these are good stuff."
"These are the spices that Caretaker Ren used in the imperial kitchen?" the cook said with surprise when he opened the bag and saw what was inside it.
"Oh, you are quite well-informed huh," said Ren Baqian as he patted the cook's back.
"Heh, I have a friend working in the imperial kitchen and he even asked me about you today," The cook laughed sheepishly while touching the back of his head.
"Alright, let me teach you how to use these spices. This is anise, it's for stewing vegetables. This is cumin, it's for roasting meat. This is pepper, it's for…" Ren Baqian taught the cook how these spices could be used. Then, he reminded the cook again, "Use them sparingly. It will take a long time before we can cultivate more ourselves. Once they are used up, we have no more of them."
"Cultivate them ourselves?" the cook cried out involuntarily.
"Of course, these spices can't be bought anywhere. If we don't cultivate them ourselves, how are we going to obtain them?" Ren Baqian replied.
"However, after I have succeeded cultivating them, I will leave some of them for the imperial kitchen and you. The rest will be mine as I still need to sell them for money."
"Hehe… hehe…" the cook laughed sheepishly to himself. He would not mind anything as long as some were given to him.
After finishing his sentence, Ren Baqian said to Teng Hulu and Tie Dao, "Do you hear that? I am preparing that two plots of land to cultivate spices. When both of you are free, keep an eye on them. Make sure the odd-job workers are working hard."
"Caretaker Ren, don't worry. Even if you never remind us, we will make sure everyone is working hard," two of them patted their chests and replied.
Ren Baqian believed thier words. After spending some time with them these few days, he had yet to meet one that was sly or lazy.
He had to admit that Dayao people were indeed diligent and honest.
After half an hour, the pot gave off an overwhelming fragrance even before the meat was done. Just by smelling the fragrance, everyone became hungrier.
"Caretaker Ren, where have you been? I haven't seen you for the entire day," Caretaker Shi said as he walked into the kitchen.
"I have been busy the whole day. What are you doing here anyway?"
"I am here to look for something to eat. What are you cooking? Why does it smell so nice? I can smell it from afar." Caretaker Shi's eyes fixated on the steaming pot.
Ren Baqian chuckled. He could not believe that Caretaker Shi was here to look for food. "You're in luck this time."
Everyone was waiting anxiously for the meat in the pot to finish cooking. Soon after, everyone scooped a bowl of the stew. Smelling the fragrance, none of them waited for the stew to cool off before stuffing it into their mouths.
Even though they were scalded by the stew and yelling in pain, they still kept on fighting over the stew.
Upon seeing them behaving like this, Ren Baqian's appetite was greatly boosted. The meat today smelled exceptionally delicious.
After they had finished their dinner, Ren Baqian and Caretaker Shi sat at the doorstep and chatted.
When Ren Baqian saw Caretaker Shi still holding onto a bowl of stew and eating, he could not help but admire him. For this meal, the few of them had eaten at least 3 catties of meat. Just the few of them had finished an entire hind leg.
No wonder Dayao people had such great physiques. Clearly, their great physiques were attributed to their great appetites.
"Brother Ren, if anyone dares to damage your plots of land, I will chop his or her head off and let you kick it," Caretaker Shi glared at Ren Baqian and told him after knowing he was going to cultivate spices. His deafening voice caused Ren Baqian's ears to buzz. Ren Baqian could only cover his ears with his hands and lean his head away from Caretaker Shi.