Chapter 46: Returning To The Mortal Realm (2)
After she found herself back at the spot where Nine Ballads had killed her with Mascot in her arms, Shen Jingbin was left in a bit of a trance. At that moment, two white carrier pigeons holding letters in their beaks landed on her shoulders.
Shen Jingbin recalled Mascot and retrieved the letters from the carrier pigeons.
They were from Quiet And Steadfast and Shen Jingchen.
“Where hell did you run off to! Didn’t you receive any of our mail?!”
“Reply once you’ve received my mail. There’s something I need to talk to you about.”
After reading the letter, she summarized the incident where Nine Ballads had killed her and recounted it to the two of them. Before a few minutes had even passed, Shen Jingbin saw their carrier pigeons come flying back.
“Stay where you are and don’t move!” Their replies were oddly in sync.
Shen Jingbin obediently remained at her current location and waited for them. After a few minutes, both Quiet And Steadfast and Shen Jingchen could be seen riding over on their mounts. Shen Jingbin’s sharp eyesight also spied what seemed to be a girl sitting on the back of Shen Jingchen’s dragon.
Shen Jingbin only managed to discern who she was after they got off their mounts. She turned out to be Slight Chill.
“Slight Chill learned how to refine medicine. This Apothecary Master has a very eccentric personality, he refuses to teach anyone who isn’t introduced by a fellow Apothecary.” Shen Jingchen explained. “Honestly, each NPC you meet in this game is stranger than the last.”
Slight Chill gave him a look of disdain and said, “Don’t tell me you’re expecting all of them to have upright morals? In that case, what’s the point of playing the game?” She then shifted her gaze to Shen Jingbin and said, “Come with me, I’ll take you to meet Unparalleled Medicine.”
Unparalleled Medicine was the Apothecary Master’s name.
Thus, Shen Jingbin followed behind Slight Chill as the four of them made their way towards Unparalleled Medicine’s wooden house. While looking at Slight Chill’s back, Shen Jingbin felt that the Slight Chill she knew of from before didn’t seem to be the real Slight Chill.
Shen Jingbin thought that maybe, just maybe, everything might have all been just one big misunderstanding between the two of them.
A short while later, the four of them arrived at Unparalleled Medicine’s doorstep. Slight Chill signalled for the other three to wait before taking a step forward. She then raised her hand, and gently knocked on the door.
“Who’s there?” The slightly impatient voice of a man came from within the house.
“Master, it’s Slight Chill.”
Shen Jingbin softly asked Quiet And Steadfast who was beside her, “Does he really remember the names of all his disciples?”
Quiet And Steadfast leaned a little closer to her ear and replied, “Giving her name is just a symbolic gesture. Only he knows whether or not he really remembers it.”
While they were whispering to one another, the door to the wooden house was opened and a man with an unkempt appearance stuck his head out. He sized up the four of them for a moment, before he settled his gaze on Slight Chill and said, “Why have you come looking for your Master?”
Slight Chill revealed a fawning smile and replied, “Master has outstanding skills, and I have a friend who’s admired you for a long time. She hopes to apprentice herself to you.”
It had to be said that NPCs in the game were truly designed to have human qualities. They even included traits like appreciating flattery. Upon hearing Slight Chill’s praise, the look of impatience on Unparalleled Medicine’s face eased up a little.
“Let’s talk more inside.” Unparalleled Medicine harrumphed haughtily and opened the door completely, before he then turned around and walked back into the house.
Unparalleled Medicine was found sitting on a bamboo chair when they stepped into the house. His hand went to his chin and he asked, “Which one among you wants to become my apprentice?”
Shen Jingbin stepped forward and said, “I do.”
Unparalleled Medicine cast a sidelong glance at her before he spoke to Slight Chill once again, “You’re my disciple, so I have faith in the people you introduce to me.” He then stood up, walked over to Shen Jingbin’s side, and stretched open his hand before saying, “An apprenticeship costs 5 taels. On top of that, it’ll be another 10 taels as a show of respect towards me.”
F*ck, what a troll! Shen Jingbin couldn’t help but criticize him in her heart.
Over the past two days, Shen Jingbin had bought Shen Nong’s secret medicine, and some information from Marco Polo Bun. Some other random purchases took place during that time as well, which meant that all the money she’d saved up had almost been completely spent. Now, she lacked the means to even pay 15 taels of silver.
She turned to Shen Jingchen and said, “Hurry up and give me 15 taels, I don’t have any money.”
Shen Jingchen looked as if he’d seen a ghost, “What happened to all of your money?! Oi oi oi, you’re someone who's triggered a number of hidden quests!”
“I used it all! Enough with your nonsense, are you going to give it to me or not!”
“Tut tut tut, everyone in the guild knows that this fella’s stinginess is godlike. Asking him for 15 taels is like asking him for his life.” Slight Chill swiftly dealt the finishing blow, “And here I thought that you guys were close, looks like your relationship isn’t even worth 15 taels of silver, hmph.”
Shen Jingbin immediately glared at Shen Jingchen upon hearing that and said, “No wonder you only bought me a few items from the system’s shop when we first met. Apart from that, you didn’t even give me a single cent!”
Unparalleled Medicine clearly wasn’t interested in hearing their back and forth. He interrupted them and said, “Hey, it’s only 15 taels. Don’t tell me you can’t even fork out that much! Refining medicine requires a lot of money. How do you expect to refine any medicine if you can’t even pay up 15 taels of silver? You might as well go home and drink some milk instead.”
The four of them felt like vomiting blood.
NPC, do the developers know how boorish you are?!
Slight Chill had a look of unease on her face as she pulled out 15 taels of silver, and handed it to Shen Jingbin, “I’ll lend this to you on account of our Leader’s face. Return to me 20 taels once you’ve got the money!”
Shen Jingbin turned to look at Quiet And Steadfast and Shen Jingchen, before she took Slight Chill’s money and said, “Thank you.”
Slight Chill snorted and looked away without saying anything.
What a tsundere. Shen Jingbin sighed and handed over the money to Unparalleled Medicine.
After receiving payment, Unparalleled Medicine fished out a yellowed book and handed it over to her, “Read up on your own. Come look for me again when you’ve attained the basic level of an Apothecary.”
The moment she opened the book, a notification appeared in her mind.
“Congratulations, you have learned ‘Basic Apothecary’.”
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