“Silly child. Your grandfather is just going to bring medicine to my benefactor. I’m not going to fight in the war. What’s there to be worried about? Look at you. Crying. Your sister’s going to laugh at you!” Gu Xiao was reluctant to part with the two children as well. Thankfully, the sage apothecary was home to take care of them. The two children weren’t delicate either. He didn’t mind leaving them for a few days.
Gu Ye held in his feeling of reluctance and waved at his grandfather. “Grandfather, come back soon. Big brother and I will be waiting at home for you.”
Seeing his granddaughter’s cute smile and the reluctant look in his grandson’s eyes, Gu Xiao finally understood what it meant to feel reluctant to part with someone else. He had a family now too. He couldn’t be unruly like how he was in the past. No matter what happened, he needed to love himself. He couldn’t let the two children cry and feel bad for him.
After Gu Xiao left, Gu Ming felt a bit depressed. However, he followed his grandfather’s instructions and got out of bed before dawn to practice the fundamental skills. Then, he’d help his sister cook and go up the mountains to chop wood and hunt…
Gu Ye continued to learn how to make medicine with her master. The biggest bonus she obtained from this was mastering both this world and the previous world’s two types of medicine manufacturing. She was able to make a medicine pill that had the same effect as the drug itself. The heart-reliever pill that she created was actually better than the sage apothecary’s! He smiled and exclaimed that there’s nothing else he could teach her a year from now. Gu Ye knew that her master was just being humble. His medical skills were wide-ranging and profound. It was enough for her to learn for the next decade or so.
Besides learning how to manufacture and concoct medicine, Gu Ye also needed to take an hour out of her day each day to guide Zhang Lihu in rehabilitation. Since forty days after the surgery, she had a plan to help him in physical therapy and rehabilitation.
The process in rehabilitation was simple but painful. Whenever Zhang Lihu couldn’t persist anymore, Gu Ye would scare him. “If you don’t toughen up, the injury I’ve sewn together for you will end up being glued together and you’ll become a cripple!”
With the faith that he didn’t want to become a “cripple,” Zhang Lihu held in his pain and persevered with the pain that came along with the rehabilitation time after time. Whenever he finished with the session, he’d be welcomed with a body of cold sweat. It was unclear how much Zhang Lihu’s mother cried in secret. However, she still smiled and encouraged her son whenever she was in front of him. Even more, she’d cook the dishes his son liked as a reward.
It was sunny today. The gentle sunshine sprinkled across the courtyard which settled halfway up the mountain. A skinny young lady wearing rough cotton-padded clothes sat inside and tried her best to cut the medicinal ingredients. Her knife work was exquisite and she was able to cut the ingredients into equal pieces as if they were done from a machine.
Gu, gu… Gu, gu…. Suddenly a pigeon’s cry interrupted the silence in the courtyard. Gu Ye looked up to see gray chubby pigeons perched on the wall. She exclaimed happily, “Wild pigeon! I was worried that we wouldn’t have meat to eat today and ‘this pigeon soup’ kindly showed up in front of my door!”
She suddenly took out a slingshot and quickly pulled the rope, aiming it at the pigeon and preparing to shoot. At the same time, the sage apothecary heard some voices and saw his disciple’s action. Cold sweat drenched him. He hurriedly stopped her. “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot!”
Gu Ye maintained her position and turned around to look at her master confusedly. The sage apothecary lifted his hands gently and the pigeon flew and gently landed on his wrist.
“Woah! It’s a carrier pigeon.” Gu Ye tossed her slingshot away and walked over to the sage apothecary excitedly. “Master, did you raise this carrier pigeon? Is it easy to train? Can I catch some wild pigeons and train them for fun?”
“Go, go. Go somewhere else.” The sage apothecary rolled his eyes at his steady disciple who was sometimes too lively. He exclaimed moodily, “You think that carrier pigeons are that easy to train? And you want to capture wild pigeons?...Why don’t you capture a sparrow and have it carry messages for you?”
“Hehe…” Gu Ye knew that she was also just imagining the impossible. She saw the little bamboo pipe tied to the pigeon’s legs and curiously reached over for it, but her master slapped her hands away.
“It’s a personal letter. Don’t meddle in my business.” The sage apothecary pulled out a sheet of paper from the bamboo pipe and ordered his disciple to feed the carrier pigeon some water and grain. Then he entered the room to read.
“Psh...so mysterious. Could the letter be from the master's paramour and she sent him a message through the carrier pigeon?” Gu Ye revealed a vulgar smile and thought about what the two had to say to each other.
The sage apothecary glanced at the words on the paper and muttered to himself, “You just want me to discipline her and not ask about the strange things happening to the girl nor look into it either? Do you really need to tell me this? She’s my precious disciple. Of course I’ll help keep her little secret. I even need to cover for her. My good disciple. You have to be filial to your master in the future!”
Then, talking in a gossipy tone to himself, “This glacier-like hall master actually cares about someone? If my disciple wasn’t too young for him, I would’ve thought he has some ulterior motives towards her. However, how did the hall master take a fancy to my little Yezi? He actually went through all this effort. First, he coerced me to accept her as a disciple but then he didn’t allow me to seek out her secret...mn, there must be an inside story!”
“Since he’s that nervous over my little Yezi, I’ll use him to get some benefits of my own. I’m not being too excessive am I?” The sage apothecary revealed a devious smile and wrote a letter back, tying it on the pigeon’s foot before letting it fly.
“Master, if the poachers intercept the carrier pigeon, won’t you end up writing the letter for no reason?” Gu Ye looked worried at the pigeon flying far away.
The sage apothecary flicked her forehead. In a moody tone, “Can’t you say nice things? Don’t jinx it!”
“Actually, I can train an eagle to be a carrier as well. It can fly high and further!” Gu Ye thought back to the novels she read earlier. There was a scene where the eagle was trained to deliver letters.
The sage apothecary glared at her and exclaimed, “Do you think eagles are that easy to train and feed? Just be happy you have carrier pigeons. Don’t think about training eagles!”
People really did train eagles. The current general king of Yan Country was the first to try and succeed. It was used towards delivering urgent messages within the military. Of the three major countries, only he knew how to discipline the eagle. Others could only dream on!
Gu Ye pursed her lips. “I was just making a suggestion. Just because it’s easy to train doesn’t mean we can’t do it. We need to have a dream. What if it comes true?”
“Stop dreaming! We have an urgent matter to attend to first. Here. Tell me if your master’s process in making the heart-reliever pill is correct or not.” The sage apothecary placed his hands behind his back and walked to the medicine manufacturing room.
Gu Ye followed closely behind and murmured, “Why are you always pestering me to teach you my unique secret medicine manufacturing recipe? Who’s the master and who’s the disciple?”
“What are you muttering about? Come inside!” Although the sage apothecary was over seventy, he wasn’t blind or deaf. Naturally, he saw her little movement.
The sage apothecary wanted to reach the level of the manufacturing medicine great scholar. That’s all he pursued in his life. Although the outside world praised him and addressed him as the generation’s manufacturing medicine great scholar, he knew that he was far away from his level. This was the reason why he had been wandering around for the past two decades. He wanted to break through. Unfortunately, he got nothing all these years.
But from the disciple he was forced to accept, he learned a lot, especially her unique and novel manufacturing medicine methods. It gave him a lot of inspiration. His instinct told him that he’d find a way to break through on his disciple.
As a result, when Gu Ye was manufacturing medicine, he stopped avoiding her. He’d ask her if he didn’t understand some things. Of course, if Gu Ye has a secret she keeps to herself, he wouldn’t press her. But so far, his precious disciple didn’t hide from him when manufacturing medicine.
The sage apothecary was really touched. He secretly made up his mind. He’ll bury the methods to manufacture medicine deep inside his heart. Once he obtains more advanced manufacturing medicine methods, he will only pass it to her only.
He didn’t get the title as a sage apothecary for no reason. He was able to manufacture a heart-relieving pill just looking at the process once as it was a prepared prescription. Plus, he was also able to obtain and measure the exact quantity for the prescription. He didn’t have a precise instrument or accurate measuring tool, yet he was able to do this precisely. Gu Ye admired him in her heart.
In order to practice, the sage apothecary had manufactured dozens of bottles of heart-reliever pills. Gu Ye was secretly delighted. She didn’t need to personally manufacture Landlord Ding’s medicine anymore.
While the sage apothecary was immersed in manufacturing heart-reliever pills, Gu Ye turned her gaze deep in the mountains, having some free time. Normally, her grandfather and brother would look after her so she didn’t get a chance to explore deep inside the mountain. Now that her grandfather wasn’t here and her brother was preparing firewood for winter every day and coming home late, did that mean she could go explore the mountains?
She went to explore the next day! Gu Ming just left the house with an ax and Gu Ye carried her bamboo basket, putting on the embroidered pouch that was filled with substances to expel beasts.
The wild boar valley was about ten kilometers from the back mountain. Far away, she saw a sturdy wild mother boar with a few younglings who were looking for food in the forest. The hazelnuts, mushrooms, and chestnut white-bellied rats were all their foods.
Today, the wild boars weren’t her target. Gu Ye walked around them and went deep into the mountains. The deeper she was, the taller the trees were. The trees were like sturdy warriors standing up straight.
Gu Ye brought out the machete from her storage space. Although it wasn’t as strong as steel, she could still use it to open up the road for her. She climbed the rocks and passed through the dense forest, crossing over mountains and mountains before arriving at a vast valley.
Because the surroundings were surrounded by mountains, she couldn’t feel any coolness at all. The temperature in the valley was much warmer than outside. The trees were still fresh and green and the grass was still lush as well. There was a clear brook that passed through the valley, making babbling sounds. The birds let out a crispy chant and the deers strolled through the grass. Even the wild rabbits slowed down and gently hopped past her.
Gu Ye took a deep breath. The faint fragrance assaulted her nostrils. In this valley, she noticed lots of precious herbs. She couldn’t help but pick them up. Unconsciously, she walked to the steep mountain cliff. She noticed a thick and solid vine which was wrapped around the mountain cliff.
Gu Ye recognized it as a Chinese knotweed through the leaves and wine. The vines were as thick as the arms of a person which meant that the Chinese knotweed was quite old. She carefully dug this with a shovel.