Qin Mo gently stroked him, “Will you die?”
“Of course not! Although we’re bound by the contract, we only need to cooperate with each other in a sort of joint relationship. Our lives aren’t connected like that,” he explained.
“Then what are you worried about?”
“But if you die, then I have to wait another five hundred years to meet my next host. Five hundred years! I’ll suffocate!” Shi Qing quickly let the truth spill out of his mouth, and then instantly regretted it…why did he admit to it so quickly? It was such a good chance to make a good impression and he wasted it. He should have shown that he had the feelings of a saint, even caring for a psychopath. He could have shown Qin Mo that he was a good person who would care about the life and death of others, and then taken the opportunity to guide him towards a more positive life and good deeds!
It is a pity that water, once spilled, cannot be cleaned up again.
However, contrary to the expectations of Shi Qing, Qin Mo seemed very satisfied with his answer—his mouth actually curved into a pleasing arc…
Shi Qing did not understand what could have made him so happy, but happy was always better than angry. The most important thing was that Qin Mo had finally stopped flipping through that damn herbal medicine text!
He held the jade pendant in one hand, closed the book, stood up, and said calmly, “Rest assured, you will not be suffocated.”
Shi Qing: …You always focus on the wrong thing!
BLUE JADE PALACE
Chiffon curtains fluttered lightly in the breeze, and a feminine aroma wafted through a room that contained a meticulously carved dressing table that was bestrewn with exquisite jewelry. Sitting on top was a crystal clear bronze-framed mirror that was currently reflecting a beautiful face with almond eyes, red lips, and a bright and friendly look. However, a closer look at the corners of the eyes revealed the presence of fine lines, and exposed the signs of advancing years.
Imperial Concubine Li stared, unblinkingly, at the mirror. She slowly reached up and pushed her hand against it, but no matter how much she pushes against the mirror, she cannot wipe the wrinkles on her face smooth.
She was now 37 years old. No matter how well she maintained herself, she could no longer compare to 17-18 year old girls. The luster of her skin was worsening, and the colour was also growing dull. In recent days, a few fine lines had begun to stubbornly take root in the corners of her eyes, and she was finding it difficult to endure.
Especially in the recent past, the Emperor had not come to the Blue Jade Palace. It was beginning to cause her concern, and the feeling grew like an unstoppable fire within until it exploded out, “Maid! Where the hell are you?”
Her palace maid, Yuxiang, who had been waiting outside the room, hurriedly opened the bead curtain, took one small step inside, and then bowed respectfully, “Mistress, do you require assistance with dressing and makeup?”
Concubine Li looked at her through one eye and then grumpily replied, “No kidding!”
Yuxiang approached submissively, and began adjusting her hair with deft movements. She has been taking care of Concubine Li for many years, so she naturally knows all of her preferences. She carefully coated her eyelids with powder, and then pulled back her hair elegantly—everything was good. When she was done, Concubine Li finally relaxed her knit brows, and revealed a look of satisfaction.
However, because of her nonchalant smile, the wrinkles in the corners of her eyes appeared again, and Concubine Li immediately showed a hostile face.
Yuxiang just relaxed and stood up; Concubine Li never listened to the advice others. As her attendant, she knew her mistress’s temperament, and that she could not say much. She could only wait on her here, silently, although she would likely still be angry. Yuxiang was anxious in her heart, but still quickly said, “Imperial Concubine, Madam Li Er has been waiting to see you in the side hall.”
The change of topic worked, Concubine Li stood up, threw out her chest proudly, adopted a very elegant posture, and said “Go.”
Madam Li Er is Concubine Li’s sister-in-law. The Li family helped enthrone the first ruler of the Daqing dynasty, and in turn were granted great power by the Emperor. Since then, five generations have passed, and none have contributed anything since. Although it was a challenge due to her family’s diminishing reputation, Concubine Li has become highly favored, and their Li family, for the moment, is back in the limelight.
Madam Li Er may have married into the Li family, but her origins were not noble. She comes from a merchant family, and Concubine Li does not even believe they are worth standing in her sight. However, Madam Li’s family wealth was great—no one should underestimate the value of successful money operations. So, although she does not place Madam Li Er in her sight, Concubine Li still wants to stay on her good side.
Another important point was that since Madam Li Er’s family’s business had royal endorsements because of her parents, they often travelled to the south, and brought back very strange and unique products. Concubine Li was not very concerned about material goods, but extremely obsessed with her looks. She was anxious to get her hands on anything that could improve them.
Last time, Madam Li Er brought some creams that could dissolve fat. She said it was obtained from overseas, and that it was very rare, and that the effects were also very good. Madam Li Er knew exactly how to pander to her, and recently their company had spent large amounts of money to acquire these types of products. It was all for the sake of making Concubine Li happy and gaining her favour.
Concubine Li saw Madam Li Er, received her in the customary manner, and then asked a few token questions about her home. The two women spoke frankly, their conversation a steady back and forth, as the madam coaxed Concubine Li happily.
Concubine Li raised her eyebrows questioningly, and Madam Li Er understood that it was time to move on to the highlight of today’s visit.
“Imperial Concubine, I, your servant, truly had good fortune to find such a valuable treasure,” she spoke deferentially, while carefully pulling out a palm-sized box. The box was simple and unadorned, but the design was very imposing.
Concubine Li’s eyes were riveted on the box. Madam Li immediately opened the box, which revealed a bottom half that was inlaid with red silk, and nestled in that was a brown medicinal pill. The pill was smooth, and it released a refreshing cold scent—anyone with knowledge in this area knows that this means it has high quality.
Concubine Li was very cheerful as she asked, “What is that?”
Madam Li Er quickly exploited the opportunity, and began to tell a story, “This was not easy to get ah, my brother had to use such a great amount of time to acquire it from that pill maker…”
Realizing she was going to demand great merits for this, Concubine Li waved her hand and said, “Okay, you’ve done well, talk about what it is, do you think the palace won’t remember your excellent work?”
Madam Lee smiled, cut in half what she had intended to say, and finally said the key message, “This is called a Zhu Yan Pill1. As its name indicates, after taking it not only will it restore you to your youthful appearance, but you will also maintain those looks forever!”
After listening to these effects, Concubine Li’s eyes suddenly brightened, and she quickly asked, “Can I really take these claims seriously?”
Madam Li Er hurriedly answered to reassure her, “It’s really real, absolutely true, and the Imperial Concubine is truly fortunate. There is only one Zhu Yan Pill and it has been reserved specially for the Imperial Concubine,”
Concubine Li was excited, but although she was born with her IQ in arrears2, after living in the palace for two decades she had still managed to progress. Although her heart was greatly moved, her brain was telling her that it may not be wise to eat it immediately.
So, she asked cautiously, “This source, can I rest assured it is trustworthy?”
Madam Li Er hastily assured her, “The people have long been investigated, there were no problems, it seems that it is everything it claims to be.”
Concubine Li nodded with satisfaction, and casually asked, “This person is alone?”
Madam Li Er understood, and immediately added, “There are old and young individuals that make a family of six, they even just welcomed a new baby boy…I, your servant, have properly looked after it. ”
When she heard Madam Li Er say so, Concubine Li calmed down. If this man dared to testify when they knew about his whole family, then he must have some ability.
She had Madam Li Er set the medicinal pill down for the time being, swallowed some tea, and said, “I have accepted it, and will take it later, but you can rest assured that I will bestow an appropriate reward on you and your family.”
Madam Li Er beamed with joy, and then got up to leave after expressing her loyalty, “We pray for good health to the Imperial Concubine, and on our whole family as well…”
Once the woman had left, Concubine Li immediately called in Yuxiang and told her to quickly fetch the imperial physician.
Although the family of this pill maker was in her hands, Concubine Li still had some worries. By first asking the imperial physician to look at the ingredients of the pill, she felt that it would give her more confidence in its safety.
The physician came, took the pill out and smelled it, and spoke discreetly, “Imperial Concubine Li, the smell of this medicinal pill indicates it is of the highest quality. According to the different scents that can be identified, it should contain coix lacryma-jobi, angelica dahurica, colla corii asini3…”
Concubine Li displayed a rare show of patience and listened to him from start to finish, and then immediately asked, “Will taking this harm my body in any way?”
The imperial physician carefully sniffed once more, and then said, “No serious side effects. This is a pill that is made to nourish your Yin4 energy, and it will repair your vital energy. If the Imperial Concubine does not trust this medicine, then perhaps you should first let one of your servants take one. They can be observed after to determine the effect, and then you can decide if it is worth taking.”
Concubine Li frowned. There was only one Zhu Yan Pill, so if she let someone else take it…If it really worked, then she would only be left with regrets.
The imperial physician left since he was finished. Concubine Li sat in her room staring at the pill, her heart completely tangled…
Shi Qing was almost in tears…
Look! The table was covered with amazing dishes: spiced soy chicken, salted pork tenderloin, fried duck with chili oil, hot and sour ox tongue soup, tomato pig’s feet, braised mushrooms, pepper oil fungus5…there were even crisp cake rolls, soft sticky rice cakes, pure white lotus seed cakes, as well as yellow and orange peas!
Shi Qing felt that his saliva would flow so swiftly that it could actually go against a river’s current.
Tragically, he was a jade pendant. He can only see, can only smell, can only hear, but what’s so fucking special if he cannot eat?!
Since they had arrived, Qin Mo had refused to put him down. Shi Qing has been in the palm of his hand—even while eating he wanted to have this life with him…Shi Qing: QAQ. No matter what, he must get himself a good body so that he can assuage his appetite. He must enjoy his life well, eat happily, and eat everything that he never had the chance to eat before.
Under a burning gaze of jealousy and hate, Qin Mo leisurely enjoyed his dinner. Afterwards he retired to the study, and only then was Shi Qing released from the torture of delicious smells wafting up from the various dishes.
He already knew Qin Mo’s plan, and understood that he had already started planning immediately after crossing into this world. Even reading through the herbal medicine text was done as part of his plan.
Although Qin Mo’s cultivation has been destroyed, he truly deserved to be the chosen son of the Lingyun continent when you observed his astonishing accomplishments. He was not only cultivated to a very high level, but he was also a very successful alchemist with high achievements in pill refining.
Although high-end alchemy techniques required cultivation abilities for support; some of the lower level pills, where the effect was not too big, do not need support from cultivation. As long as you have the formula, you can achieve the proper results.
Qin Mo read the text in order to verify that the herbal medicine in this world was the same as what he was familiar with from his own world. After he had verified that this was the case, he took a little time and created a certain medicinal pill.
Although Qin Mo did not say anything to Shi Qing,he looked around and knew that it was finished. He could not help but ask, “Do you think Imperial Concubine Li will take that pill?”
Qin Mo was practicing calligraphy; he showed no signs of hearing him. He was only focused on the rice paper, and his hand holding the pen was very steady. He sat with an elegant and comfortable posture, but the movements of his pen were decisive and firm from the start, and they ran smoothly like passing clouds and flowing water—together it formed a coherent whole.
Shi Qing was instantly riveted, so he worked very hard to move around; just to see the words he wrote.
Just like flying dragons and dancing phoenixes6, two large characters dominated the paper. They looked as if they could not wait to take off.
“Shi Qing,” Qin Mo clenched the jade pendant, gently rubbing it, “It is a good name.”
When Shi Qing looked at his name, he only thought that the characters looked good, but let someone who understands these things judge them. Once he had collected himself, he wanted to revisit the issue from before—too bad Qin Mo just ignored him…
Shi Qing sighed. His host was so bad at communicating!
So, Concubine Li…in the end did you eat it or not? This young student has a tendency to worry.
Soooo many footnotes. I was playing in my volleyball final tournament so this took longer. Also, we had a big snowfall so we had the kidlets outside a lot. That wins over this. But–it’s here now! And I’m going to see if I can randomly start throwing some pictures into this. For fun. If you think it takes away from reading please let me know…in a nice way.
- This literally translates as halt face pill. You can work out in your mind how that relates to its functions. ↩
- Arrears: money that is owed and should have been paid earlier. Basically calling her stupid/low IQ. ↩
- If you’re interested these are, respectively – Job’s tears: ancient grain that can either be made into beads or cooked as a grain. Used in Chinese medicine for various reasons I’m lazy to type. (Wiki it lol) – Dahurian angelica: was believed to purge the body of toxins in ancient Chinese medicine, but it’s actually toxic and can be very dangerous in high doses – donkey hide glue: made from donkey hides, used in Chinese medicine. Too complicated to explain here. Was supposed to help bleeding, dizziness, insomnia. ↩
- Yin: of yin and yang, yin is the female. That’s what this particular yin is referencing. ↩
- If you look this up, you can actually find a recipe. It uses edible fungus from trees. I initially thought it was a failure of MTL. I was wrong. ↩
- This is actually part of an idiom referring to flamboyant/bold cursive calligraphy ↩