Communal sponsored chapters (1/2) by Jennifer Mace and Anonymous on ko-fi. Thank you for your support!
The tavern owner wiped her hands on her apron. Her tense expression relaxed this time, and she smiled, “Take your time. If you need anything, just let me know.”
“Alright.” Meng Qi nodded to her. “Thank you.”
“A moment, please.” Yan Xuan suddenly spoke, “Madam, hasn’t your son been ill for some days? I remember you said that his condition hasn’t improved even after seeing many doctors.” He pointed at Meng Qi and said, “She is a medical cultivator. You can try asking for her help.”
“Oh?!” The tavern owner hurriedly came back, her face full of surprise. “Is this young lady really… really…” She seemed somewhat embarrassed. Despite Yan Xuan’s words, she nervously wiped her hands on her apron again, opened her mouth, closed it, and for a moment, didn’t know how to speak. In the eyes of regular people, cultivators were people from a completely different world. She might be familiar with Yan Xuan, who was a frequent visitor to her tavern, but she and Meng Qi were meeting for the first time today.
“Y-young lady cultivator…” After hesitating for a moment, the tavern owner finally spoke again, “My… my son, he…” she stammered, her gaze involuntarily shifting towards Yan Xuan, hoping he could help speak for her.
“Can you take me to see him first?” Meng Qi put down her chopsticks, stood up, and asked.
“Ah? Oh, yes, of course!” The tavern owner was overjoyed and eagerly responded, “Right this way, please.” As she spoke, she led Meng Qi towards the back of the tavern. The front of the tavern served as the storefront, and the back was where the owner and her family lived. It wasn’t too small, neatly arranged, similar to the tavern, though everything was a bit old. However, the owner obviously cared for this home, as every detail was meticulously taken care of.
“Over here, please.” The tavern owner said, leading Meng Qi into a room. As soon as the door opened, a strong medicinal scent hit them. The windows in the room were tightly closed, and in the corner of the room lay a child on a small bed.
“Young lady…” The tavern owner had already walked to the bedside, turned around, and nervously looked at Meng Qi with anticipation.
“My surname is Meng.” Meng Qi said, “You can call me Doctor Meng.”
“Yes, yes, Doctor Meng.” The tavern owner hurriedly responded.
Meng Qi walked to the bedside and looked at the child lying quietly on the bed, eyes tightly closed, cheeks sunken. His hair was withered yellow, the skin on his face waxen, and his lips were almost completely devoid of color. There was a strong medicinal smell on him, indicating that he had been taking medicine continuously.
While the tavern owner was full of smiles when dealing with customers, her face turned red now, and tears welled up in her eyes. “Doctor Meng…” She called Meng Qi with a sob, then burst into tears.
Meng Qi stood by the bedside and reached out to check the child’s wrist. The child’s wrist was thin, the skin cold and dry. If it weren’t for the slow rise and fall of his abdomen, he would look almost indistinguishable from a dead person. As she touched the wrist, Meng Qi could feel the pulse, irregular and powerful, quite abnormal compared to the child’s critically ill appearance. “Before he got sick, did he leave the city?” Meng Qi asked.
“Doctor Meng, my son is only eleven years old this year.” The tavern owner said, “Although he’s a bit naughty, he’s generally obedient. I told him not to go outside the city, and he shouldn’t have.”
Hearing this, Meng Qi turned her head and looked towards the door.
Yan Xuan also followed but didn’t enter the room. He just leaned against the doorway, lazily watching Meng Qi. “What’s the matter?” He raised his eyebrows, “It’s complicated?” He didn’t doubt that Meng Qi could cure the tavern owner’s son. After all, she was already in the Nascent Soul with a fourth-rank medical cultivation. It wouldn’t make sense for her to be unable to cure a common person’s illness. At most, it might be a bit troublesome.
Yan Xuan wasn’t a medical cultivator himself, but being a sect with a millennium-long legacy, he, as the young master, knew more than the average person. Cultivators, in terms of both physique and abilities, were generally stronger than ordinary people. This also meant that the methods medical cultivators used to treat cultivators might not be suitable for ordinary people, as they might not be able to withstand it.
Yan Xuan looked at Meng Qi, and Meng Qi looked at him. He raised his eyebrows and remained silent. The Ten Absolutes Mountain would open in ten days, and Meng Qi had declared his intention to enter the mountain with him. Her determination was apparent, even preparing so many sixth-realm artifacts, but the time left until the opening was not much. If it was too troublesome to save the tavern owner’s child, she might not be willing to help. After all, she was a prominent talent recognized even by the legendary Lin Yan. An ordinary person’s life should be worth nothing to her.
Yan Xuan looked at Meng Qi, and the corners of his lips curled up, his smile gradually becoming somewhat ironic.
Sure enough, she didn’t want to help save a life, right?
Because the most important thing now is the Ten Absolutes Mountain.
“He was injured by a devil cultivator,” Meng Qi said softly. “If he has truly never left Jingyue City, then there may be cracks on the boundary barrier near the city.” Devil Cultivators couldn’t come to the Three Thousand Worlds on their own; they could only seek cracks in the barrier. Alternatively, someone powerful could open a passage, but that would come at a great cost and cause a significant disturbance. Jingyuetian wouldn’t fail to notice it unless it was during a major inter-realm war when powerful beings might undertake such actions.
Yan Xuan’s expression became more serious.
Meng Qi released the hand she had on the child’s wrist and gently lifted his upper eyelid. The sclera should be white, but now it was full of bloodshot veins, appearing particularly ghastly. Meng Qi gently turned his face and saw faint bloodlines at the corner of his eyes. They traced down his cheek, passed by his ear, and finally disappeared into his neck. She reached for the child’s jaw, unbuttoned his collar, and turned him to the side. The bloodline continued from his neck, disappearing under the collar.
No wonder ordinary healers were helpless — even a first or second-rank medical cultivator might have their hands tied, especially since the patient was just a child in his early teens.
“Doc-doctor Meng.” The tavern owner watched Meng Qi in silence, extremely nervous. “Can my child still be saved?”
Meng Qi nodded.
“Thank goodness…” The tavern owner breathed a sigh of relief, tears rolling down her face.
“Doctor Meng.” She suddenly looked more nervous, her gaze on Meng Qi becoming more serious. She swallowed nervously and asked, “Is it… Is it going to be difficult? Is it…?” She stumbled a bit to the side, opened a cabinet, and took out a small wooden box. “I, I have some spirit stones.”
The tavern owner held the box containing the spirit stones, approached Meng Qi nervously, and opened the lid, asking cautiously, “Are these enough?” Without waiting for Meng Qi to speak, she quickly added, “If it’s not enough, I can borrow more, or… or… my tavern is also worth some money. Doctor Meng…” She held Meng Qi’s hand and was about to kneel. “Please, please save my son. I beg you, please…”
Meng Qi sighed softly, helping the tavern owner up. “I will do my best.” She turned to Yan Xuan and then looked at the wooden box. There were quite a few spirit stones in the box, but they were all first-grade.
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