Pill King said before that anyone who passed the three trials successfully could go and take the medicine they wanted. Now should be the time for Han Yunxi’s group to get their due. Even so, the female examiner hadn’t explained a thing, leaving their hearts uncertain. After passing through the door, all they saw was another dim passageway. Besides the Yao (药), or “Medicine” character etched into the stone wall, there were no other pointers. All they could do was keep walking forward.
It was only after they vanished into the darkness that Pill King showed himself again. He was glad that nothing had happened to them, or else he’d regret it for a lifetime.
“What do you think it’s like in there?” Pill King asked quietly.
Because no one had ever passed the three trials before, this door had never been opened. Even as the master of the medical cottage, Pill King had no idea what was behind it. The Medicine Requesting Cave might belong to the medical cottage, but it was a special and unique existence all its own.
“If you don’t know, how am I supposed to know?” the female examiner was curious too. She had been sent here in her youth to study medicine after successfully passing an exam to stay. Then she was fortunate enough to enter the service of guarding the Medicine Requesting Cave when she grew up. Despite this, she knew even less about the cave than Pill King. All she did was watch over the third trial.
“Shall we go take a look?” Pill King suggested.
The examiner immediately burst into laughter. “Old Pill King, you’re joking. You know the rules of the Medicine Requesting Cave. Please, spare me!”
The female examiner had already broken the rules by colluding with Pill King to cause trouble for Han Yunxi’s group. If she kept going like this, she could hardly imagine the consequences. She was about to leave when she stopped to toss back a grin. “Old Pill King, Han Yunxi did accept you as her master in public. You shouldn’t lose such a good disciple.”
Although she didn’t want to admit it, the woman still admired Han Yunxi for her identification skills. The three trials of the Medicine Requesting Cave were actually arranged in order of decreasing difficulty. If experts in the field really considered the tests, they would discover that the first trial was far more difficult than the second or the third. If Han Yunxi hadn’t passed the first test, even Gu Beiyue’s medical skills and Long Feiye’s inner energy reserves would have been for naught. The ancestor of the medical cottage had set out these three trials to put medical skills at the forefront. If the tester could pass that, then they’d truly have the right to enter the cave.
Pill King heard the mockery in the female examiner’s words, but he didn’t have time to fret. Right now his heart was filled with nothing but melancholy! How was he supposed to face Han Yunxi’s group after they got their Muscle Growing Ointment? If he told her he was willing to teach her all he knew without forcing her to stay, would she pretend that none of today ever happened?
Pill King didn’t dare to barge inside. He remained where he was to wait, feeling nothing but worry and regret!
At the same time, Han Yunxi’s group was still walking. Unlike the short passageways before, this one was long and leisurely. It was currently springtime, so the temperatures inside the cave were lower than outdoors. But despite this, it grew warmer the deeper they walked, as if a hot breeze were blowing against their faces.
“Is there a fire burning down there?” Long Feiye was still on guard.
“If that was the case, we would have caught sight of it by now instead of everything being so dark,” Gu Beiyue said. Judging by the level of heat, flames or sparks would have been evident at this point.
“If it’s not fire, could it be some sort of generator?” Han Yunxi asked curiously.
“Generator?” Gu Beiyue echoed. Meanwhile, Long Feiye had long grown used to Han Yunxi’s foreign non sequiturs.
“Like an object designed to generate heat,” Han Yunxi explained. Aside from fire, there were plenty of other objects that generated heat in the modern world. The only equivalent she could think of in ancient times was natural heat from the ground. Things like steam and hot springs were one source, but Han Yunxi only feared that they’d run into lava instead!
They had already passed through the three trials. The Medicine Requesting Cave wouldn’t have decided to cause them more trouble without warning now, right?
“It’s hard to tell without a clear flame in sight. The world is wide and full of mysteries,” Gu Beiyue remarked.
That reminded Han Yunxi that Cloud Realm Continent was an impossible place to explain with science. Any more analyzation would be useless, so she decided to wait until they saw for themselves. The road stretched on, and in the silence that followed she was first to speak up again.
“Doctor Gu, your medical skills aren’t just fifth rank, right?” She’d wanted to ask as soon as she saw him treat Halfday Cough.
“This one has never gone to the medical academy for further testing and is unsure of my current level. But it should be no more than sixth rank,” Doctor Gu said modestly.
“Doctor Gu, does the medical academy head know you’re this modest?” Han Yunxi teased. Even Academy Head Gu was helpless against the cough, yet Gu Beiyue had recited the prescription for its treatment right off the top of his head. That had to make him at least seventh rank.
“I suppose the academy head has never tried testing the illness with his own body. Otherwise, something like this would be a minor case for him. Esteemed wangfei should know that while the prescriptions was complicated, the ingredients were all commonplace.”
Han Yunxi accepted Gu Beiyue’s explanation. If they had to use strange or rare ingredients, there was no guarantee her detox system would have had them in stock. If that was the case, the second trial wasn’t necessarily harder than the first.
“Esteemed wangfei, this one is curious to know how you happened to have just those 17 exact ingredients for the medicine?” Gu Beiyue had been wondering about that for a long time as well.
Those in the medical community always carried medicine with them. All doctors had treatment pouches or surgery boxes, while pharmacists carried around their own medicine chests and bags. But all of those 17 ingredients were used for curing coughs and fell under the same category. Typically speaking, no one would use all 17 at once, so rarely anyone would have all of them on hand. More curious than that was the fact that Han Yunxi had already produced them crushed, ground, and ready for boiling. Although Gu Beiyue was no pharmacist, he knew many principles of medicine. Not all ingredients were meant to be crushed up before cooking. Some needed things added in before they were reduced to powder, while others were treated after the grinding process finished. Moreover, each ingredient had different specifications depending on the prescription in question. But while drinking the medicine, he had tasted that Han Yunxi’s ingredients had all been pre-treated for the proper formula. How could that be a simple coincidence?
Gu Beiyue didn’t give voice to his true suspicions, but Han Yunxi knew what he was aiming at. It was impossible to hide everything at this point. Then again, she had no choice but to produce all those ingredients miraculously in public! She glanced at Long Feiye’s expressionless face and knew that he was waiting for an answer too.
She didn’t want to hide her transmigration status on purpose. It was just too hard to explain. Even she herself couldn’t figure it out, so how could she describe it to them? Meanwhile, her high-tech detox system was even harder to extrapolate. She bet that even three days and three nights of explanation would only leave them with more questions than answers. The last thing she wanted was to give herself more trouble. In the end, she said, “This wasn’t a coincidence, but a secret!”
Long Feiye immediately looked over at her words. Han Yunxi scratched her palms before she beckoned him to come closer. “Secrets have to be whispered.”
Long Feiye’s face was cold, but he did as he was told and immediately leaned in close. Han Yunxi pulled him to Gu Beiyue’s side and murmured, “Because I’ve inherited the Poison Sect’s poison storage space.”
She gave a short but comprehensive explanation of the space, but she attributed the detox system’s functions to that dimension as well. In truth, the poison storage space was only capable of storing poisons, while the detox system was the true depository for medical ingredients and other medicines. Still, her explanation was enough to let Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue both understand the basics. They were simultaneously surprised and pleased. Long Feiye stroked her hair and said, “You’ve grown wings of your own, haven’t you? Hiding such a good secret without telling your lordship a peep?”
Han Yunxi’s smile grew awkward. “I only fully opened up the space just recently and came to understand it. Before it was all guesswork. I should make sure I know what I’m doing before I tell you, right?”
“How recent was recently?” Long Feiye asked.
“When we went to the Poison Sect’s sacrificial altar,” Han Yunxi answered.
“You call that recently?” Long Feiye’s voice changed.
Han Yunxi gave an appeasing smile. “I was afraid you wouldn’t believe me. Actually, I could hardly believe it myself…”
Seeing Han Yunxi so pressured, Gu Beiyue couldn’t help but exclaimed, “Esteeemed wangfei, does this mean Lady Tianxin was from the Poison Sect?” He was obviously diving in to rescue her from an awkward conversation. Long Feiye dropped the topic as well and stopped questioning Han Yunxi.
Han Yunxi was waiting for a chance like this. She quickly answered, “I’m not of the Han Clan at all. My mother married Han Congan while she was pregnant with me. She’s Mu Xin from Medicine City’s Mu Clan. My father’s the one from the Poison Sect.”
From a long time ago, she had always implicitly trusted Gu Beiyue. She rarely hid anything from him then, and only trusted him further now. Gu Beiyue was definitely a talented actor. First he acted astonished, then quickly moved to bow with his hands clasped in front of his chest. “Don’t worry, esteemed wangfei. This one won’t reveal a hint of this secret!”
Long Feiye only smiled coldly from the side. He had no idea why an intelligent woman like Han Yunxi would have such blind faith in the honesty of a man like Gu Beiyue. Han Yunxi really did trust the doctor, because all she did was nod.
“This one has heard that pharmacists can cultivate a storage space for their medicine, but I never knew the Poison Sect had such abilities as well. Esteemed wangfei can even inherit it directly without needing to cultivate at all. This is a great fortune,” Gu Beiyue sighed with feeling.
Long Feiye could agree with that. The relationship to the Poison Sect could bring Han Yunxi a lot of trouble, so at least she had some blessings to compensate. Now that both Gu Beiyue and Han Yunxi’s questions had been answered, it was Long Feiye’s turn to ponder over his own. He didn’t know how Gu Beiyue had managed to expell his vital energy from his body. With a shattered dantian, that should have been impossible. But he couldn’t ask that question in front of Han Yunxi, so all he did was keep it to himself.
As the trio walked forward for another stretch of time, they finally saw hints of light before them. Meanwhile, the heat in the air intensified while the illumination remained faint. If anything, it seemed like a lamp. They hurried towards the source and eventually passed through a wide-open stone door. A wave of heat hit them and made them instinctively shut their eyes. Still, they had to stare at the sight before them, because it was absolutely shocking!
What did they see?