Several of his little brothers came up to greet him and Chu Yang welcomed them smiling. After them, two cute little girls followed.
"This is Le'er, the daughter of your third uncle. This is Xiaoxiao, the daughter of your fourth uncle," Yang Ruolan said with some sorrow in her eyes.
Chu Yang looked at them. He saw that Chu Le'er was about eleven or twelve years old, while Chu Xiaoxiao was only about five or six.
Chu Xiaoxiao was nicely dressed and had a lovely, fair complexion. After receiving a red packet from Chu Yang, she jumped up joyfully. Her big eyes were also narrowed into the shape of crescent moons.
But Chu Le'er…
Chu Yang didn't know how to describe her.
She had yellowish hair. Her eyes were lustreless and she was also shockingly thin. Pale blue blood vessels were visible through her skin. She took some while to walk the little distance between them and even gasped exhaustedly when she finished walking.
She almost fainted after bowing down.
Chu Yang hurriedly caught her and said, "Please stand." Then he asked, "Le'er… are you okay?"
Chu Le'er smiled weakly and said, "I'm fine… Big brother, don't worry."
Chu Yang wanted to ask more, but Yang Ruolan secretly gave him a wink. Chu Yang could only swallow his question.
Up came a middle-aged woman who carefully held Chu Le'er's back. Sadness was written all over her face.
As Chu Yang looked at Chu Le'er's he lost himself in his thoughts.
Though Chu Le'er was still young, her eyes looked as if they were completely filled with despair. She looked very similar to Mo Qingwu, whom he had known in his previous life and had rejected.
It was that same feeling of utter desperation and grief.
Chu Yang's heart ached faintly.
On the way back, Yang Ruolan sighed and said, "Le'er's life has been too bittersweet. She could have been a charming little girl, but she got this weird disease.
"Weird disease?" Chu Yang asked.
"Yes," Yang Ruolan said, "When your third aunt was pregnant with Le'er, she was ambushed by assassins, while on the road. She fought back, thus hurting the fetus. No one could tell anything was wrong then. When Le'er was born, she had a high fever which didn't subside and cried the whole night. It was only later, when they consulted a doctor, that they realized that the baby was sick."
"Congenital deficiency," Yang Ruolan spoke these few words after a moment of silence.
"But if it's purely a congenital deficiency, it shouldn't be that serious!" Chu Yang had recently been struggling to work through the memories of the first master of the Nine Tribulations Sword. They contained some knowledge about medicine. Furthermore, he had already acquired considerable medical knowledge from the medical book given to him by Du Shiqing. Naturally, he deduced that Yang Ruolan had concealed some information from him.
"Congenital deficiency… Yes, she experienced concussions in her mother's womb. They somehow injured her brain. She now has headaches and body-aches all the time. Sometimes, she suddenly collapses and doesn't wake up after a long time. She spends her time sleeping. Such torture that good darling girl has to go through! Alas…"
Yang Ruolan gave a long sigh.
"There are so many 'divine doctors'. Don't they have any idea?" Chu Yang frowned.
"They're useless!" Yang Ruolan was a bit annoyed, "That bunch of phoneys couldn't even find out the cause of her disease. They were only able to stand by, confused, while the child suffered in pain. They didn't even know how to alleviate her pain. Alas, your third uncle is now out all-year-round searching for elixirs. He only comes back when he thinks he's found one. Your third aunt… is younger than me, but she already looks much older."
"Even when she doesn't have a fit, she also has headaches. During a fit, the pain worsens tenfold. Le'er… she's turning eleven this year. Over the past eleven years, she has almost constantly suffered unbearable pain."
"I see," Chu Yang answered with a frown.
No wonder Chu Le'er had that expression. She was constantly suffering. Her age is equivalent to the length of time she withstood that pain!
Chu Yang sighed. How could such a small girl ever bear that kind of pain? Chu Le'er not only withstood it, but she had even endured it for as long as eleven years!
How did she get by for eleven years?
Could this disease be treated with Nine Tribulations Pill?
"Normal pills won't work," the sword spirit said to him in his consciousness, "This illness is a congenital one. In addition, her meridians were warped before she was born. Her brain has also suffered. Normal medicine will be useless."
"Normal medicine is useless?" Chu Yang pondered, "That means there's still a way to treat her?"
"That's right, but this method is also quite difficult. For a cure, you'll need the Double Nine Olio," the sword spirit said.
"Double Nine Olio?" Chu Yang asked.
"Double Nine Olio refers to the combination of: Superb Nine Vine, Nine-Colored Lotus, Nine-Leaves Flower, Nine-Clover Jade-Ganoderma, Nine-Leaves Pangolin, Nine-Deaths Water, Nine-Heavens Jade-Ichor, Nine-Earths-Soul Ginseng, in addition to the ingredients needed for the Nine Tribulations Pill but without the Nine Great Herbal Medicines. These will produce three incomplete versions of the Nine Tribulations Pills. By consuming one pill every month, this disease can be completely cured!"
Chu Yang gasped in astonishment at the words of the sword spirit.
All of these remedies were incredibly potent. Not to mention that those eight ingredients weren't easy to find. Besides the Nine-Clover Jade-Ganoderma and the Nine-Heavens Jade-Ichor, the rest were all highly toxic! They were some of the most toxic poisons in the world!
Out of the ten most toxic elements in the Nine Heavens, the said medicine required six of them!
Mixed together, these six poisons could fatally poison even a Supreme Martial Artist. How can they be used to treat a little girl?
"'Nine is an exceptional digit. It is essential for survival, but it also causes death. It is between life and death that the lives of the sick and the dying can be reclaimed! This sister of yours has a congenital illness, which is even harder to treat. It, therefore, requires the Double Nine Olio!" The sword spirit said, "If she can't be cured within the next two years, I'm afraid…"
"Two years…" Chu Yang's eyes sparkled.
Some of these remedies should be purchasable…
"Are there any ways to temporarily relieve her pain? To stop her head-ache?" Chu Yang asked.
The sword spirit hesitated and said, "For the now, there is no way, unless… I can personally use the force of my 90 000-year-old spiritual qi to forcibly suppress her pain. But it will only last three months. I will need to stifle her pain again after three months!"
Chu Yang said, "That's perfect! What about suppressing her pain now?"
The sword spirit rolled his eyes. "Do you know that if the medical ingredients cannot be gathered within two years, she won't be able to endure her illness any longer? Even if I suppress her pain now, I can only continue doing so for two years. This means that her life can only be prolonged for two years! After two years, if the medical ingredients aren't gathered, even God won't be able to save her life!"
"Why is it only two years?" Chu Yang was puzzled.
"It's because her yang has a longevity of only two years! I can only dim the pain for two years! If I don't stifle her illness now, I'll have to wait for her to be on the verge of dying before I can suppress it and extend her life! She'll only have two years of life left after I see her!"
The sword spirit said, "You have to decide what to do. Even if I suppress it, I would need a little spiritual qi. Moreover, your spirit is permanently fixed and so is mine, though this doesn't worry me."
You're not worried but I am!
Chu Yang was in a dilemma. Of course, spiritual qi wasn't of his concern, but he was worried about… What if he couldn't find all the ingredients in two years? What to do then?
He sighed. He could not make up his mind.
As he returned to his parents' small backyard, he was informed that his fourth uncle, Chu Feiyan, was around to pay him a visit.
Immediately, Chu Yang felt energized. "Please come in!"
Chu Feiyan scurried in, laughing hollowly. "Big brother, sister-in-law, and nephew, you're all here! Hahaha…"
Chu Feiling frowned.
Yang Ruolan was flabbergasted.
"Fourth elder! Are you ill?" Chu Feiling frowned and looked at his little brother. "You're not that young and you have your own children already. Why do you have no bearing at all in front of your nephew?"
Chu Feiyan nodded and vigorously agreed with Chu Feiling's words. He said to himself, "All my damn sins are now in your son's hands. If he reveals anything, my skin and flesh will immediately be torn to shreds… How can I act as an elder?"
"Big brother and sister-in-law… Can you give us some space… Uh, leave us alone for a while?" Chu Feiyan laughed, "I have some things to discuss… discuss… with my nephew."
"You two know each other?" Yang Ruolan looked at Chu Feiyan suspiciously.
Cold sweat crept up Chu Feiyan's back and he rattled his head. "Nononono… we don't!"
"If you don't know him, why would you want to chat with him?" Yang Ruolan inspected him thoroughly.
"I'll chat… I want to chat… Uhh, chat…" Sweat beads the size of beans trickled down Chu Feiyan's forehead, "Can I not chat with him about random stuff?"
Chu Feiling's and Yang Ruolan's faces blackened.
They felt that everyone in the family had been behaving differently ever since their son came back… Why?
"I want to chat with your son. It's pretty inconvenient if both of you are here…" Chu Feiyan dragged the couple out of the room and slammed the door shut. He then heaved a long sigh of relief.
Chu Yang was shrewd. With a glance, he immediately knew that this man would never dare to say that they had met before. But why?
Hmm, I understand. The whole family had been looking for me anxiously for eighteen years, but Chu Feiyan didn't even tell them about me even though I followed him for such a long time.
Not even mentioning the clan, Chu Yang's father and mother would also tear Chu Feiyan apart if he spoke about it!
Once he figured this out, Chu Yang settled his thoughts. His heart spurred. Chu Feiyan would make a worthy assistant. If only… hmmm, everything he needed help with could be given to Chu Feiling.
Turning around to look at Chu Feiyan, Chu Yang gave a superficial smile, "I see, it's you, uncle… We haven't met for a long time. Hahahaha…"
Chu Feiyan looked bitter and spoke softly, "Nephew, I came to discuss something with you. Ah… This… You must help me..."