Chapter 124: Differences
Hello everyone here's a new chapter of Ds hope you all like it, also must say that life literally hates me T_T a few days ago when I promised to sit down and finish up this chapter of Ds and chapter 9 of Ascending The Heavens I was hit with an overdose on caffeine :/ and nearly had to go to the hospital. I ordered what I regularly ordered at this one coffee shop but the lady making it put in the wrong type of coffee which when was extra dark coffee from Africa. I figured it was a minor mistake and took it, but later I would totally regret this :/ because of how much caffeine that was in it, the sweetener, that cup of tea i drank before, and a few other things, I had an overdose on caffeine and boy was that a terrible experience. After two-three days of recuperating from that, my left eye got an infection and it stings every time I blink sigh T_T. I'll try to finish up the chapter of Ascending next after this but no promises T_T
Proofers/Editors: nick0 (Pascal)
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The roosters crowed as the sun ascended behind the mountains, but after a long night of fun, no one responded to its calling. It was not until the sun rose above, that a familiar figure crawled out of bed.
Although Lingqi was still a tad tired from a long night out, she was filled with excitement from obtaining a box of Spring Autumn roots, so she was the first to wake up and crawl out of bed.
“Now to find a good place to make those elixirs.” She thought as a beautiful dress was withdrawn from her interspatial ring. After dressing herself, she creaked open the hotel room door and walked out.
Once her head peaked out of the door, four well-built men could be seen standing guard in the corridor.
“Shhhhh.” Lingqi signaled to the guards to not salute her, so that they aren't disturbing the others.
Silently the guards saluted Lingqi as the door behind her closed without making a single sound.
As she walked through the corridors that led to the brothel lobby, a spark appeared in Lingqi’s eyes.
“How could I forget…” She murmured as she face palmed herself.
“There was another formula that required the autumn roots… The Spring of Youth Dan.” Lingqi mumbled to herself in a low tone as her eyes lit up.
“Luckily I suddenly remembered.” She thought.
Lingqi had stumbled upon this particular formula in an ancient text that she found in her father's personal library.
The Spring of Youth Dan is a medicine that perhaps only women would want to use because of its side effects.
“Can I get a room for one, please.” Lingqi said once she arrived at the check in counter, to a receptionist.
“Miss please follow me.” A young woman said as she grabbed a set of keys that were hanging on the walls and walked out from behind the counter.
Soon enough Lingqi was lead up to the third floor and to a small room with a single bed.
One could say that this was one of the cheapest rooms within the brothel, for it only had the necessities and not the degree of luxury that the other room had.
But Lingqi did not need a fancy room, all she required was a space where she wouldn't be disturbed, so she can concoct.
Once the brothel staff departed and the door was shut and bolted, with a wave of her hand, Lingqi made a large variety of things appear on the ground. Things such as a grinding stone, a pill cauldron, various vials and jars, a large quantity of herbs and even a large table.
Before long, she immersed herself in preparing the herbs for concoction. Some of them had to be soaked, while others had to be grinded to paste, requiring a vast amount of knowledge pertaining to the nature of each herb.
“This one here needs to be burnt to a char and then mixed with water.” Lingqi mumbled as she did one task after the other. If she misses or messes up even one of these tasks then the pill that results from her hard work would be an entirely different pill, one that she more than likely does not want.
Soon dozens of neatly placed bowls could be seen on the large table that was withdrawn from Lingqi’s interspatial ring. The contents in these bowls would soon poured into an ancient looking pill cauldron that was placed beside Lingqi’s work table. With a total of ten dragons made of gold, wrapping themselves around the cauldron, with each of their mouths being a place to deposit medical herbs into the cauldron, this cauldron could be said to be on of a kind.
This of course was to allow the concoction to add more herbs into the cauldron without having to open the lid, thus letting out the hot air inside. From the char marks on the cauldron’s lid and the mouths of the dragons and the medical smell that was given off, anyone could tell that this cauldron has been used many times before.
But it was common knowledge that the more a pill cauldron was used, the more medicinal aura it collects, increasing the success rate of concocting rare pills.
“Alright so the Spring Autumn root goes in first and after half an hour it should turn into a murky purplish liquid.” Lingqi said as she placed the Spring Autumn roots into one of the golden dragons and let it slide down into the cauldron.
“Ignite!” She said as she continually channeled essence into the cauldron and began the concocting process. For cultivators it is a common practice to use essence to concoct pills. Every cultivator’s pill cauldron would have a built in mechanism that would ignite once it was fed some essence. Unlike Zhang’s fire made purely out of essence, these mechanisms used an ore that most call Sun Stone, to create and maintain the flames inside the cauldron.
Thanks to the Sun stones inside the cauldron, people such as Lingqi who do not have high affinity with fire, can make fire with their essence. However, Sunstones don’t have very many uses besides to ignite flames for concocting pills or perhaps starting campfires. This is of course because the essence consumption when using these stones is exponentially high, and would be very impractically in a battle. For example, for the same amount of essence that it took Zhang to ignite ten flames for ten hours, the sun stone could perhaps only ignite four flames for ten hours. Hence its impracticality because most if not all people would opt to use the elements they have the highest affinity with, since every bit of essence expended could mean the difference between life and death when in a battle.
So once the Sun stones within the pill cauldron were ignited, dazzling flames could be seen in the eyes of the ten golden dragons, giving off a majestic air. Within the cauldron, the Spring Autumn’s root was immersed in flames and turned from its average looking shade of brown into a bright orange color, indicating its age.
As the flames continued to shower the roots within the cauldron, a flood of purple colored droplets began seeping out of them, evaporating up into a small chamber at the top most section of the cauldron. After the Spring Autumn roots, a few other herbs and medicinal plants were added one by one, in succession to each other, in a particular order.
The aroma of the mixture of herbs, cooking within the pill cauldron soon wafted throught the entire room and streamed into Lingqi’s pores as she concentrated on fueling the flames with her essence. When concocting pills, a portion of its potency is lost due to steam escaping from the pill cauldron, the portion lost depends on the type of pill and the skill of the concoctor but there is a hidden benefit to this loss of potency.
Because the concoctor in turn would be able to absorb a portion of the lost potency into their body when concocting. Over time, the concoctor would have absorbed a large amount of beneficial medicinal aura into their body, often times strengthening their bodies and increasing their life spans.
Of course this worked vice versa for poison concoctors, since they would be continually absorbing poisons into their bodies, over time this could either have a positive effect or a negative effect, depending on if they could gain immunity to poison or expel the poisons collected in their bodies.
Legend has it that a certain man had concocting so many pills that his body itself became immune to poison and by simply touching other people he can cure any illness that they were afflicted by. Of course this is a thing of legend, but all legends have a hint of truth in them.
After Lingqi had snuck out of the bedroom, Yuying was the next to wake up.
“I should let them rest some more.” Yuying thought as she slid out of the bed and went to clothe herself. Moments later the bedroom door creaked open and Yuying’s slim body swiftly squeezed through. Seeing Yuying, the guards stationed in the corridor in front of the room silently saluted her.
With a smile and a nod of acknowledgement, Yuying briskly walked through the long corridor. But unlike Lingqi, she did not head down to the lobby, rather she headed for the roof of the brothel. Last night while roaming the brothel and engaging in various games and fun, she happened to hear about a flower garden being on the roof of the brothel and figured she should have a look at it.
“If it’s as beautiful as they say then I’ll visit it again with him.” She thought as she ascended a small wooden staircase that is somewhat hidden and kept out of view. It could be said that this garden was a hidden treasure of the Wolfden Brothel and only frequent visitors or people lucky enough to hear about it know of it.
Soon enough Yuying arrived in front of a simply looking paper screen door which slowly swung open with a gentle push. Once the screen door opened the midday’s light made its way inside and embraced Yuying and showered her in warmth.
With the sun gracing her with its warmth, a thousand roses of various colors entered into Yuying’s vision. The morning dew could still be seen on some of the roses and once the sun struck them, it only served to make the scene even more surreal.
Besides the thousand roses, there was even a lotus pond that was built into the roof of the building. Koi fish with the size of cats could be seen swimming about within and from time to time they could be seen peaking up out of the water.
But what captivated Yuying the most was not the garden nor the pond, but the view that was offered. She could overlook the rest of the city from the roof of the brothel, such a view could only be described as breathtaking.
“Although it can’t compare to home, the view here isn’t too bad.” She said softly as she was reminded of when she often climbed one of the spiraling towers within the Yama’s Palace to look over the City of the Dead.
When Yuying was a child there weren’t many opportunities for her to leave the palace, so she would often go to one of the spiraling towers and look outside. Like a bird in a cage, she longed to spread her wings. As the years went on and thanks to her diligence and personality the Yama gave in and would allow her to go out into the city once a while, of course once someone is given a taste of freedom they would never be willing to return to the state that they were in before.
Thus began Yuying’s frequent escapes from the palace, on one such occasion she ran into a certain young man, one that would help her achieve what she had longed for, true freedom. But of course there are often times when she still reminisces about the past, about her father, and about life in the palace, because there is always a place in one’s heart for a place that was called home.
Although it was a somewhat boring place, filled with many rules, it was still a place that she called home for many years and she would often miss the little things that would often occur there. From the beautiful view of the city, to the various maids that she grew up with and the familiar halls and places that she often frequented.
“One day I’ll go back, on my own accord.” She thought was she reminisced, while looking out into Wolfden City. But unlike everyone else, in her eyes, she did not see Wolfden City at all, rather she saw the place that she called home.
Brothels were replaced with ancient looking homes, hotels and restaurants were replaced with magnificent villas and majestic palaces. Spiraling towers that pierced into the skies sprang up as her gaze drifted across the city.
Lost in thought and immersed by the past, Yuying sighed and continued to look out into the distance.
After Lingqi and Yuying, Ai was the next one to awaken and after some cuddling, she slid out of bed and went outside. It had been decided yesterday that Ling would be given the day to hang out with Zhang and for the others to not to interfere, so Ai quietly made her way outside.
Like the others she received a silent salute before making her way through the corridor. But unlike the other two, she did not stay inside the brothel and made her way onto the busy city streets.
“That looks like a good spot.” She said as she walked toward a small food stand at the corner of the street that is selling meat buns.
“One meat bun please.” Ai said to the middle aged woman who was selling meat buns as she sat down at one of the tables that were set out for diners.
Moments later the middle aged lady placed a plate with a steaming meat bun in front of Ai.
“Enjoy.” She said as Ai gave her some copper coins.
Once the lady was back at her stand, Ai picked up the steaming meat bun and began nibbling away at it. Of course her reason for coming here was not to eat a meat bun but rather it was so she could watch people interact with one another.
Unlike the rest of the group, Ai who had no memory of her past had always felt distant from others beside Zhang, Yuying, Ling and only recently Lingqi. Thus she had set out to learn more about human interactions.
She would watch how others interact and then try to match her experiences with these interactions.
Sometimes she would watch how friends treated each other, sometimes she would watch how family members interacted and other times she would observe how lovers expressed their love.
Perhaps one day she will truly come to understand humanity and be able to choose whether to keep herself aloof or integrate herself into it.
But for now all she is doing is observing and trying to understand all there is out there regarding people.