Chapter 748 – Observations on the Medicine
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The small bag was long and slender. When it was still in the body of the expert from the Great Zhou Army, the bag's upper half was probably in the esophagus, the opening at the throat, and there also seemed to be some sort of mechanism concealed at the opening. The Wenshui Tangs had been able to make the Yellow Paper Umbrella, so they probably also had methods to cut off anything that was placed in the bag from the outside world.
The inn manager did not immediately open the bag. Instead, he very seriously and meticulously washed his hands until they were so clean that they seemed new. He then used four towels to wipe his hands dry, ensuring that there was no lingering moisture. Finally, he opened the bag and took out the item within.
It was a pill about the size of a pea. It had a dark red sheen akin to blood. Perhaps because it had been affected by the moisture in the corpse, its surface was slightly puckered. Upon seeing this, the manager seemed slightly distressed and the Tang Seventeenth Master's face became gloomy.
"It should be fine," the manager said in a shaky voice, then hurriedly placed the blood-red pill in a pot that had been prepared in advance.
The pot was filled with wheat husks, and certainly no ordinary wheat husks. They had been filtered and dried many times, and were now ivory-white. They were absolutely dry without the slightest bit of moisture.
The manager covered the pill with the wheat husks and then used his hand to lightly rub the husks against the pill. His fingers moved with particular gentleness, as if he was caressing his lover. The pill rolled about the wheat husks, and with the passing of time, it gradually became completely clean, its dark red color growing increasingly vivid, arousing and entrapping the soul.
The Wenshui Tang clan's understanding of this pill was not complete. They only knew that it would melt upon encountering water and become very difficult to preserve. At this point, the manager finally confirmed that there was no problem with this cleaning method, so the gaze he aimed at the pill also turned gentle and warm. Of course, it was still inferior to the gaze he aimed at the Tang Seventeenth Master.
Beaming, he said, "Seventeenth Master's wisdom is truly outstanding. This method really does work."
The Tang Seventeenth Master ignored this flattery. He extracted a new, snow-white towel from his sleeve and padded his hand with it, taking the pill. After examining it for a very long time, his eyes gradually began to glow with fervor. He suddenly noticed this change in mood and slightly frowned. He grimly said, "Is this pill truly so wondrous?"
The manager had not noticed the subtle change in the Seventeenth Master's emotions as he replied, "It really is, or else we would not have troubled the esteemed Seventeenth Master to personally come."
He was currying favor with his master, but as he spoke, he could not help but stare at the pill in the master's palm and lick the corner of his lips.
This subconscious action revealed that he was somewhat nervous and also revealed the greed and longing in his heart.
The Tang Seventeenth Master noticed this and his lips perked into a smile. "Do you know what this is?"
The manager's expression slightly shifted as he thought, is this not the legendary Cinnabar Pill?
"This is neither pill nor wealth, but power."
The Tang Seventeenth Master intoned, "The power to decide life and death is the greatest power in the world."
The manager praised, "Seventeenth Master's words are extraordinary."
The Seventeenth Master impassively said, "If someone were to covet this power but lack the corresponding strength, they would only be seeking their death."
The manager's body went stiff, and then he lowered his head, no longer daring to even glance at the pill.
A succession of people entered the secret room and encircled the black table. One of these people was a Guardian from the Pavilion of Heavenly Secrets who specialized in medicine, two of them were the most renowned doctors of Fengyang County, one was a cleric of unknown background which the Tang clan had hired for an enormous amount of money, and there was also a physician who treated the Tang Old Master's meridians.
Regardless of their status, they all had the same expression on their faces.
It was an expression that was calm on the surface but actually extremely nervous, and thus seemed rather stiff.
They were all looking at the red pill on the table, and it wasn't just a glance. They had already glanced at it many times, and for a very long time.
They were nervous because they knew what this pill was, so they naturally developed a desire to snatch it away, but they knew that they absolutely could not do this.
One of the doctors from Fengyang County, afraid that he would not be able to resist this temptation, forcefully lowered his head.
To look, smell, ask, and cut were things that doctors needed to do to treat illness. Right now, the subject of their observation was not an illness, but a medicine, yet they still could not escape these methods.
They had looked at this medicine for a very long time, so next, it was naturally time to smell it.
The physician from Wenshui glanced at the Tang Seventeenth Master.
This old physician was specifically meant to treat the Tang Old Master's meridians. If this matter today had not been so urgent, the Tang Seventeenth Master would have been powerless to request him to come over from Wenshui City.
The Seventeenth Master was naturally more courteous to this physician, saying, "Please, Doctor Yang, do as you wish."
Upon hearing this, the old physician surnamed Yang from Wenshui immediately lowered his head, bringing it above the red pill, and took in a deep sniff.
In the next moment, Doctor Yang's face instantly turned red and his eyes blurred, as if he was intoxicated. It was like he was amongst a wealthy and pleasant party and had gotten so drunk that he didn't know where he was.
The Guardian from the Pavilion of Heavenly Secrets slightly frowned and gave two coughs.
Doctor Yang came to his senses and said, "The primary ingredient truly is cinnabar. There is also golden eye grass, cinnamon, angelica, gouji berry, cloves, crystal sugar…"
With a single sniff, he had been able to distinguish so many ingredients. This physician's skill as a doctor was truly extraordinary.
Upon hearing these ingredients, the Tang Seventeenth Master creased his brow, thinking, is this for making beef stew? Why does it need crystal sugar?
He had no idea that these relatively common ingredients that the common people would use in making beef stew, with their moderate nature, were also perfect for serving as complementing ingredients in medicine. They could be found in the vast majority of the world's medicines. As for crystal sugar, it was like frying rice, catalyzing the effectiveness of the herbs and also…counteracting the bitterness.
The Guardian from the Pavilion of Heavenly Secrets and the two doctors from Fengyang County were both medical professionals, so they were naturally not perturbed by this. They also sniffed the pill, reporting that there were yams, cloves, and cistanche.
As they gazed at the still-wet ink on the paper, the doctors muttered for a while, then chatted amongst themselves. Finally, they said to the Tang Seventeenth Master, "We still have to work on it directly."
Until now, they had only looked and smelled, but no one dared to touch it. They all knew how precious this pill was.
All the doctors agreed that they needed to work on it directly, but the one speaking for them all was Doctor Yang. He was a part of the Wenshui Tang clan, so it was more convenient for him to speak.
When the Cinnabar Pill first appeared, the rules laid down by that person had still not been complete. The Great Zhou Army and the Hall of Illustrious Persons had secretly worked together to intercept a few pills so as to analyze them for the composition of the pill. Yet, they wasted three whole pills but were still unable to produce the complete recipe. The doctors present in this secret room were all extraordinary individuals, but how could they perform this feat by just looking and smelling?
The Tang Seventeenth Master had long since mentally prepared himself, but he still couldn't suppress his disappointment, as he knew that this Cinnabar Pill was very quickly going to be ruined.
"Be careful not to waste it," he warned with a gloomy expression; "this is the lives of two people."