Chapter 754 – In the End, Red Stew Is Still Just Meat
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The setting was a dark and snowy night, a pavilion on the lake, green plums and an earthen stove, with two people sitting across from each other, drinking tea. All in all, it imbued the scene with an elegant and unearthly quality.
Over the past several days, An Hua had imagined that person to be like an aloof noble that disdained worldly things. Now when she saw the scene on the snowy lake, she felt that all was as it should be.
At this moment, the young man in the pavilion raised the cup in his hand and took a sip.
The night breeze had lifted up the curtains, and it had also carried the scent of the liquid within the cup. The crowd was somewhat surprised, because they could smell that the cup was not filled with tea, but wine. To drink wine on a snowy night is still rather elegant, An Hua thought to herself. She bowed deferentially to the pavilion and then raised her head, intending to say something, but she discovered that the young man had disappeared.
The black-clothed girl had also left the table and was now standing near the railing.
Her gaze rested on the lakeshore, as if she was looking at An Hua's group, but also like she was looking even farther away. In the dim light of the snowy night and the mists rising from the lake, her appearance seemed both more vivid and more indistinct. Her face was childish yet also striking in its cool elegance. She seemed like a dream or illusion, or a mountain spirit.
Upon encountering such a beautiful and ethereal girl and such a splendid garden so deep within these remote mountains, anyone would think of a few legends or stories. Even An Hua, who had grown up in the Thirteen Divisions of Radiant Green and possessed a brightly lit Dao heart, also could not help but fall into a momentary daze. She even felt an inexplicable sense of dread.
But she would not leave, because the young array master was still on the stretcher and might die at any moment.
The others would not leave either, as they had not obtained what they wanted to obtain yet.
"Let's go over first," the general said with a frown.
This journey to seek out medicine was never meant to succeed too smoothly. After all, it was obvious that the master of the Cinnabar Pill was not willing to let other people learn of their true identity.
The squad from the Mount Song Army headquarters stepped on the wooden bridge crossing the lake, their somewhat disorderly steps breaking the silence.
The black-clothed girl seemed unaware. She looked at some point in the night sky, her cold and sublime face utterly devoid of emotion.
Borrowing the dim light of the stars and lanterns, An Hua noticed that the lake beneath the bridge was boiling with tiny bubbles. When they popped, they would condense into the mist that covered the lake. The mist was moist and warm, and it was obvious that the lake's waters came from the hot spring. There was even a chance that there was a crack in the ground at the very bottom of the lake.
When the group entered the pavilion, the black-clothed girl still did not turn around. She continued to look out as if these uninvited guests had not disturbed the mood she had gained from drinking wine on a snowy night.
Or perhaps these people simply didn't exist in her eyes, even if those people were already right in front of her.
An Hua was preparing to bow to her again, but then she smelled something. She subconsciously turned to the earthen stove, and her body went stiff, her face revealing an expression of disbelief.
The earthen stove was very delicate, not more than a foot tall. Even when placed on the table, it did not seem too tall. A clay pot was placed on top of the stove, the pot bubbling and gurgling about like the lake surrounding the pavilion.
The wine was in a little pot decorated with carved plum blossoms. Anything would be thoroughly chilled by the wind and snow, so the stove was not heating wine, nor brewing tea, but rather making stew.
The pot on the stove was making stewed lamb meat.
Compared to brewing tea on a snowy night, this was admittedly less elegant, but it was not enough to shock An Hua so.
What shocked her, and what had even caused her to reveal a little heartache on her face, was that she could very clearly smell the scent of many medicinal ingredients in the lamb stew.
Angelica, gouji berry, cloves, golden eye grass, goat weed…
From this lamb stew, she could smell quite a few ingredients, and these were ingredients that she had smelled from a certain pill.
That Master Yang, who was newly arrived to the Sacred Hospital, had an even more unsightly expression.
Because his true identity was Doctor Yang, the doctor from Wenshui City who was employed by the Tang clan, and he had once personally analyzed this pill.
He was incredibly sure that the thirty-four ingredients mixed into this pot of lamb stew were the ingredients used to make the Cinnabar Pill! He turned once more to the black-clothed girl standing at the edge of the pavilion, and his eyes narrowed into cold blades, carrying a deep-rooted malice and fury, just like the words oozing out from between his teeth.
"Truly an extravagant way of doing things!"
To possess such a beautiful garden and pavilion so deep in the mountains and in the winter meant the owner was naturally unusual, not some ordinary wealthy scion.
But none of these facts was as shocking as this pot of lamb stew.
"What's wrong?" the general grimly asked after seeing the strange expression of the two.
Before An Hua had time to say anything, Master Yang lunged to the table, took up a pair of chopsticks, and rummaged through the leftover lamb stew in the pot. He then poured out a cup of wine, brought it to his nose, and sniffed it.
With just a single sniff, Master Yang's face went as red as the lamb stew in the pot.
He was not drunk, but furious. His angry body was trembling all over, causing the wine in the cup to spill out, just like the furious question spilling from his mouth.
"This is a reckless waste! You actually used these things that can save lives to stew meat and make wine!?"
The rest of the group finally understood and couldn't help but be shocked. The general turned gloomy while some people stared at the stew and wine pot on the table, their eyes aglow.
An Hua had already shaken off her shock, but she still felt her heartache, felt disappointment and sadness.
After learning of the Cinnabar Pill, she had made many speculations on that enigmatic master doctor. She felt that this person must be an aloof noble who disregarded the mundane world and cared not for fame, but…did such precious herbs that could help the soldiers on the frontlines escape from death and pain mean so little to this person? Was the Cinnabar Pill not a miracle that this person had painstakingly created to save all lives but some game they were playing with this world? Were they just a child playing house that ended up being mistaken for the real thing by bystanders? Did the high regard the common people gave to the Cinnabar Pill and her worship of this person not seem particularly laughable in that person's eyes?
Fine, even if it was all just a game to that person, to ordinary mortals like her who lived in the mundane world, this was still a matter that concerned life and death. An Hua gave a helpless sigh, burying her anguish, and asked the black-clothed girl, "Might I ask, is my lady the master of the Cinnabar Pill?"
The black-clothed girl turned around, but did not answer the question, instead looking at Master Yang. Master Yang, upon realizing that this lamb stew and pot of wine might have contained the Cinnabar Pill, was completely caught up in the emotions of fury and incredulity and didn't even notice her stare.
No one could tell what the black-clothed girl was feeling. That young and elegant face of hers was forever devoid of emotion, an ancient slab of ice. Her voice was similarly chilling, but the meaning in her words was completely opposite of ice, brimming with passion, even rage. Of course, there was also a sense of absolute incredulity.
"Those filthy hands of yours actually dared to touch my sacred and inviolable wine and meat…this is truly a praiseworthy deed."
Everyone, An Hua included, was flabbergasted at these words, not understanding what she meant. Master Yang finally came to his senses and looked at her in astonishment.
The black-clothed girl's eyes became exceptionally bright as she said, "I haven't eaten human meat for a very long time. Thank you for giving me such a perfect reason."