Records of the Dragon Follower
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 53: Refining Medicine
Xiaodong respectfully rejected Senior Brother Ning’s goodwill.
No matter how delicious it was, it was still medicine. Why would someone who wasn’t sick eat medicine? It might instead make him sick.
Of course, the most important reason was that Xiaodong was afraid of ruining things.
Last year when his high fever did not subside, Eldest Senior Brother gave him a Nourishing Nascent Pill to cure his illness. This was something he only found out after the incident. That pill was rare and expensive, something that Master bestowed to Eldest Senior Brother in case something were to happen to Eldest Senior Brother outside. In the end, not only did Eldest Senior Brother not eat it, it was used on Xiaodong the moment he came back. This time, since Senior Sister Linglong had to go into seclusion training, before Master left, he left behind Grain Staving Pills for her.
If it was another famous large sect with incredible wealth, pills like these were not considered much. However, Returnflow Mountain was not that famous, nor did it have much reserves built up. Even Grain Staving Pills had to be used sparingly. The pills that Senior Brother Ning had were all to cure his illnesses and nourish his body, so the ingredients were definitely expensive. If Senior Brother Ning was really going to chew on them as if they were sweets, then that would really be too rebellious.
Seeing Xiaodong was not going to accept his request, Ning Yu was a little disappointed. “It’s really muskmelon flavored this time, I’m not lying to you.”
Who cared if it was muskmelon flavored or bitter gourd flavored? In any case, Xiaodong was determined not to eat it.
When Ning Yu was no longer with them, Jiang Fan seized Little Junior Brother and threw all the reactions he’d suppressed at Xiaodong. Jiang Fan was talkative by nature, and in the past, he had no one to talk to. Eldest Senior Brother was so serious, he did not dare to have such idle chatter with Eldest Senior Brother. Linglong was impatient and could not sit still, and even when Chen Jingzhi was still here, with that temperament of his…
Oh right, he shouldn’t be mentioned.
That was why it was good to have Little Junior Brother around. Not only was he patient, he wouldn’t feel irritated even after being spoken to for a long time. Occasionally he would respond and add some of his own thoughts that would scratch right where Jiang Fan itched, spurring himi to talk even more.
“It was right of you not to eat earlier!” Jiang Fan greatly praised Little Junior Brother for his wise decision. “Otherwise something might have happened to you if you really ate it. Master isn’t here either, you would truly have been up a creek without a paddle!”
Xiaodong began to wonder when he heard Senior Brother Jiang’s words. “Senior Brother Ning isn’t eating poison anyway… it can’t be that serious, right?”
“Haah. You’re still so young, how could you possibly know how powerful it is?”
Jiang Fan spoke as if he was already seventy to eighty years old.
However, Xiaodong had already gotten used to Senior Brother Jiang’s manner of speech and continued to patiently listen to him talk.
“Refining pills is not an easy matter. Otherwise, wouldn’t everyone be able to refine their own pills by planting herbs and gathering stone essences and spiritual springs on their own? Then how are the sects and clans renown for refining pills able to make a living?”
Senior Brother, it’s not right for you to casually mention how people make a living, right?
“Furthermore, various pills have their own fixed recipe. How could it be easy to succeed in refining by changing up the recipe? Senior Brother Ning isn’t willing to eat those medicinal pills that gives a very strong smell, and so he decided to make his pills more palatable. You don’t know just how many strange formulas he has used to do so. In the beginning, he felt that his medicine was too bitter, and so when he refined the medicinal pills, he experimentally added in some honey…”
Xiaodong felt that this thought process was pretty good. He vaguely remembered he despised eating medicine because of how bitter it was when he was younger. His uncle then had to mix in some sugar. Actually, the taste became weirder when sugar was added in. Not only was the bitterness not covered by the sweetness, it was set off by the sweet taste and became even more bitter. Even the back of his tongue became unbearable from the overwhelming bitterness, and he had only managed to prevent himself from puking the herbal soup out by enduring the sensation with all his might.
After that, his uncle thought of another method, and that was to make him swallow the medicine in one gulp. That was no longer a simple “feeding” of medicine, but pouring. After pouring all the herbal soup in, he would hurriedly stuffd a candy into Xiaodong’s mouth to suppress the taste.
“Then, did Senior Brother Ning succeed?”
“How could he possibly succeed? After he put honey inside the pill furnace, somehow the pill flames inside suddenly grew bigger. The flames instantly surged upwards, almost burning off his eyebrows. The medicine pill that he refined halfway became pitch-black and sludgy. They were burnt.
“The pills being burnt wasn’t the problem. The problem was, when Spiritual Master Hu inspected them and said that the medicinal effects hadn’t really weakened much. In order to prevent any wastage, he had Senior Brother Ning eat those burnt pills as usual.”
Ugh, fine then.
It could be imagined that those burnt pills must have tasted even worse than they were supposed to.
“After that, Senior Brother Ning experimented with various additions into the pill furnace. One time, he suddenly had a strange idea and actually put in some fresh meat… Because he had a weak physique and Spiritual Master Hu did not allow him to eat meat, he began to crave the taste of meat. So he thought, could he possibly refine a medicinal pill that could taste like meat…”
This sounded even more unreliable than the time he added honey.
“What was the result?”
Jiang Fan chuckled, “I’m not sure, he wasn’t willing to tell me. However, I heard that after that incident, he no longer craved meat.”
Xiaodong secretly began to pity Senior Brother Ning. He wondered just how tragic the results of that pill refining had been.
A book really could not be judged by its cover. Senior Brother Ning looked like someone that was carved from ice, and not a single speck of dust and dirt could be seen on his body. Xiaodong really could not imagine that he would be the type to crave meat.
Wasn’t it said that cultivators should be ascetic? Mere hunger should not be something worth bringing up. Not to mention, cravings were all habits of little children. Senior Brother Ning was already quite an adult, yet he still behaved like a child.
“However, after countless failures, he gradually began to figure things out. Though I have never tried his newly refined pills, seeing how good they smell, they must be much tastier than before.”
Xiaodong admired Senior Brother Ning for his indomitable spirit and being capable of finding joy amidst his bitter circumstances. As the saying goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Senior Brother Ning’s efforts… could be said to have not been wasted, right?
However, to put in so much effort just to make the medicinal pellets a little bit tastier, Xiaodong could not help but feel that Senior Brother Ning was really misplacing his attention and efforts. Wouldn’t it be great if he had spent all that time and effort on something else?
Xiaodong curiously asked about another matter.
“Senior Brother Jiang, does Spiritual Master Hu really give people divinations the moment he sees them? Is the divination he gave Eldest Senior Brother true?”
“That’s right.” The moment Spiritual Master Hu was brought up, Jiang Fan could not suppress the smile on his face. “You will know about Spiritual Master Hu’s temperament when you see him in the future. He always carries around that divination board of his, and if there’s someone that catches his eyes, he would give that person a divination. No matter if the divinations are good or bad, he would announce the results straight to their faces. Because of this, many people call him Lunatic Hu behind his back. There are even some who became enemies with him because of the terrible fortunes they received from him. Let’s talk about Eldest Senior Brother. The outcomes were all inaccurate and all his divinations for him have always been unfortunate. If it was someone else doing the divination, that person would definitely say the divination was inaccurate and never bring it up again. Spiritual Master Hu on the other hand would be even more fired up. Everytime he sees Eldest Senior Brother, he will definitely give him another divination no matter what. Eldest Senior Brother really has a good temper. If it’s someone narrow-minded, most likely that person would have already begun to hate him.”
Xiaodong hurriedly said, “Eldest Senior Brother isn’t someone like that.”
“Of course, if not, he wouldn’t be our Eldest Senior Brother.”
The two martial siblings praised Eldest Senior Brother one after another, with each praise more generous than the previous. Thus, though Jiang Fan actually had something else he wanted to talk about, he actually forgot all about it.