Chapter 26 – Iron Badge of Tang
The young lord Hua Wan was easily defeated within 3 moves!
Silence spread across the arena while Lord Hua Tian stood in awe and stared at his fainted son in dismay.
“He really won!”
Tang Xiao Xi stood excitedly. The corners of her mouth raised into a smile as she said, “Old Qu, your teaching can really change a person.”
Qu Chu could not retort, because he knew deep down that the reason why this kid improved so much was all because of himself. As such, he just said, “That’s because he practiced hard.”
After nearly two whole minutes, the crowd finally erupted into a sea of cheers. Everyone knew that Lin Mu Yu was a commoner. Nobody could believe that a mentor-less commoner had defeated the young lord Hua Wan. However, when they remembered the proud and arrogant antics of the young lord, they were truly happy with this outcome.
“Lord Hua Tian, it’s about time to announce the winner.” Qu Chu urged. If he had not spoken up, perhaps Hua Tian would have been reluctant to hand over the Discount Token over to the winner, Lin Mu Yu.
“Don’t worry. Let’s wait and see if there are anymore challengers.”
As a result, they waited another hour, but still no one was willing to come on-stage and challenge Lin Mu Yu.
Tang Xiao Xi also urged, “Lord Hua Tian, let’s announce the results soon. I still have to rush back to Lanyan City!”
Hua Tian leapt off the viewing terrace and removed the Discount Token from Hua Wan’s waistband. Respectfully walking on-stage with the token in hand, he announced in a clear voice, “Lin Mu Yu, the Discount Token is the Imperial Panacea Division’s holy item and a prized treasure of the medicinal-alchemy world. I hope you will promote spirit of alchemy to the world, and make full use of this Discount Token.”
“Thank you, my lord.” Lin Mu Yu thanked as he accepted the Discount Token.
Hua Tian had an appreciative gaze in his eye as he patted Lin Mu Yu’s shoulder and praised, “To be so capable at such a young age is definitely quite something. I hope you will continue to work hard and become a great Medicine King, or even a Medicine God, and let Silver Fir and the whole Empire to be proud of you!”“Thank you!”
After a few courtesy exchanges of thanks, Hua Tian commaned the guards to carry out the unconscious Hua Wan and to awake him with some Mind Cleansing Flowers.
Lin Mu Yu walked downstage to the crowd where Chu Feng, Chu Yao, and the rest of the Bai Ling apprentices all gleefully congratulated him. Chu Yao, in particular, was happier than if she had won the Discount Token herself.
When he looked up once more at the viewing terrace, he was disappointed to find that Qu Chu and Tang Xiao Xi had both disappeared.
After receiving a congratulation from the crowd, Lin Mu Yu left the Lord’s manor. However, because he did not see Tang Xiao Xi anywhere else, he asked a nearby guard, “Where are Princess and Elder Qu?”
“They’ve already left.” The guard smilingly answered, “Congratulations kiddo. To beat the young lord like that, the young generation are truly promising!”
“Oh, they’ve already left…”
Lin Mu Yu looked at the empty streets before him and felt a little lonely. Tang Xiao Xi was seemingly intent on hiding from him, going so far to not even say a farewell. Right at that moment, the sound of hoof-beats came from the distance. He turned to see a guard with an Imperial Purple Yin Flower emblem rushing to him with a white handkerchief in his hand. The guard called out, “Lin Mu Yu!”
“Here, and you are?”
“I’m Princess Xi’s Imperial guard, did you forget me already?” He respectfully held the handkerchief in his palm and explained, “Princess Xi was in a hurry to leave but she ordered me to give you this.”
Opening up the silk bundle, he saw a fiery-red iron badge. In the center, the character “Tang” was carved with a rustic style.
“The Iron Badge of Tang!” The bodyguard shuddered in shock, “I can’t believe that Princess Xi would actually give you her own Iron Badge. There are only 3 in this world!”
Lin Mu Yu held the hefty token in his hand and could not help but feel guilty. Tang Xiao Xi must have gone through great pains in order to give this badge to him.
“She… Did she say anything else?”
The bodyguard lowered his voice and whispered, “She said, if you ever run into trouble one day, you can bring the Iron Badge to Lanyan City to find her. If she is not at the Capital, then she must be at Seven Seas City, so you can find her there if so.
“Thanks a lot!” Lin Mu Yu bowed.
The bodyguard executed a military salute with his right hand splayed before his chest. He was a soldier!
At that moment, Luo Kai’s voice came from behind, “Ah Yu, why did you run outside? The Lord is looking for you. He said he is going to be hosting a dinner for the city’s top alchemists. You and Ah Yao are both invited!”
“Oh, I’ll be right there.”
When he slipped the iron badge into his shirt, a feeling of warmth seeped out of the rustic metal piece, as if Tang Xiao Xi’s body was embedded onto the token. This made Lin Mu Yu think back to the event at the lake but he retorted in his mind, Couldn’t it have just been the soldier’s body heat instead?He quickly became flustered.
Outside the city, Tang Xiao Xi looked back at Silver Fir City with longing eyes.
On her side, Qu Chu sternly said, “Princess, if possible, just forget about him.”
Tang Xiao Xi’s cheeks flushed red. She mumbled, “Why did you say that, Old Qu?”
“There is a demon sleeping within that kid’s body.”
Tang Xiao Xi stood there stunned and did not know what to say in response.
After sunset, the Lord’s manor was still ablaze with lights.
There were about 40 or so people who attended the dinner. Lin Mu Yu, Chu Yao, and Chu Feng were all invited, but Wang Ying and the others were not. Hua Wan’s arms were bandaged in two places but it did not stop him from sending death gazes at Lin Mu Yu. In contrast, Lord Hua Tian was more generous and gave a toast, “I will be announcing a great news today.”
“What new would that be, Lord?” Everyone asked.
Hua Tian cleared his throat and explained, “One hour ago, I received a flight message from the Capital’s Panacea Department. We will be selecting one well-respected alchemist from Silver Fir to send to the Capital to serve the position of an alchemy elder.”
“Heavens!” An old alchemist was startled, “Taking up a position at the Imperial Panacea Department? This… This is an extraordinary honor! Which alchemy master will be having this kind of special honor?”
Hua Tian responded, “Everyone can suggest candidate. Anyone can be a candidate as long as he meets the sole requirement. He must be someone of Medicine Elder level and must be capable of alchemizing level 6 potions.”
The elderly medicine man nodded, “So it’s like that. It’s a shame that I’m too old and weak, so I’m afraid I can’t even go that far.”
Hua Tian smiled, “Elder Wang, do you have a candidate to recommend?”
The old alchemist couldn’t help but laugh and say, “I believe Bai Ling Pharmacy’s Elder Chu is a suitable candidate. He had researched alchemy all his life and had also recently alchemized some level 6 potions. Furthermore, his apprentice Lin Mu Yu won the Discount Token against all odds. That’s why I believe Elder Chu would be the one most fit to go to the Capital. What do you think, my Lord?”
Hua Tian pondered for a second, then asked, “What is your opinion on this, Elder Chu?”
Chu Feng hesitated, “My granddaughter Chu Yao along with my other disciples are all in Silver Fir City… Although the old me wants to go, I… I can’t leave these disciples behind!”
Hua Tian let out a chuckle and explained, “Eld Chu is worrying too much. Lin Mu Yu and Chu Yao are both outstanding alchemists in Silver Fir. I was already planning to send them to the city’s Panacea Department for them to continue their studies. Everything is paid for with Silver Fir City’s treasury, so Elder Chu won’t have to worry. As long as I, Hua Tian, am here in Silver Fir, they will never suffer any mishaps.”
Chu Feng had specialized in alchemy for all his life, so when presented with the chance to enter the famed Imperial Panacea Department, there was no way he would not be happy. He hesitated for a moment as it was an extremely difficult choice to make.
“Grandpa, don’t worry. I’ll take good care of Ah Yu!” Chu Yao assured smilingly.
Lin Mu Yu smiled, “Grandpa, rest assured that I will take good care of Chu Yao as well. So just be at ease and go to the Capital. That is the place where you belong!”
Finally, Chu Feng made the decision. Hands clasped, he answered, “Thank you very much for the nomination, my Lord!”
Hua Tian nodded, “Well then. When you return home today, be sure to ready your luggage. I will send Silver Fir City’s General Ning and a hundred cavalry to accompany you to the Capital. They will guarantee your safety along the way!”
Chu Feng bowed, “Thank you, Lord!”
Back home, Chu Yao was helping Grandpa pack his luggage while reciting, “Grandpa’s old pipe… Hm, let’s not pack it for him. Smoking too much at his age won’t be good for his health. His cough has not improved at all because he smokes so much! This… is Grandpa’s Meridian map, so he’ll need this one. Grandpa will need his leg guard as well, since he broke his leg that time when he hiked and fell. He will need this or else it will ache when the weather is humid. Then he will need this…”
Lin Mu Yu was also helping by her side.
After a while, Chu Feng appeared from the bedroom with a heavy iron chest in his arms. He whispered, “Ah Yao, Ah Yu. Come here, the two of you.”
The two juniors sat opposed to Chu Feng with stern expressions on their faces.
Chu Feng couldn’t help but laugh, “Grandpa will be leaving for the Capital tomorrow and I don’t know when I’ll be able to come back. Bai Ling Pharmacy is the Chu family’s legacy, so from now on, it is in the hands of you two. This is the money the pharmacy managed to save up all these years, so you should try to save money where you can and spend the rest wisely.”
He continued, “Originally… I was planning to set this money aside for Ah Yao’s dowry, but now I’m going along to Lanyan City…”
Chu Yao’s heart ached as the corners of her eye welled up, “Grandpa, stop saying that. I don’t want to marry anyone…”
“What kind of crazy talk is that?” Chu Feng laughed, “How can you not get married? Your parents are both watching you from heaven. Ever since we lost contact with your brother, our family’s hopes are all on you now.”
Chu Yao’s face flushed as she pleaded self-consciously, “Grandpa! Stop talking about it…”
Lin Mu Yu snickered as he pretended to not hear anything.
Late at night, Chu Feng had already gone to bed. Lin Mu Yu and Chu Yao were still picking herbs in the yard.
“Ah Yu, Grandpa will be leaving for the Capital soon. What should we do for the future? Have you made any plans?” Chu Yao suddenly asked.
“Chu Yao, you want to enter Silver Fir’s Panacea Department for training? As far as I know, the department is located inside the Lord’s manor. Even the guards are the Lord’s men.” Lin Mu Yu’s eyes glowed with wariness, “Although the Lord seems to have a trustworthy character, his son Hua Wan definitely won’t leave us alone.”