Chapter 242: Active Energy
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The pot of dew seeds was finally done. Jubilant, Tang Ling removed the pot from the fire and wanted to get himself a bowl using the tough shell of a fruit of sorts, but Ro Xin stopped him.
“There’s a rule to follow before you eat. Have some soup first before you drink, even more so when you’re starving.”
“Why?” Tang Ling scratched his head nervously.
“You must take care of your stomach. A person’s strength comes from many different aspects, and if a person’s stomach is damaged, digestion and absorption will be affected. How would you become stronger from that?” Ro Xin rolled her eyes at Tang Ling.
She grabbed another pot and put it on the fire before she poured drinking water into the pot and explained, “Cook a pot of soup using these vegetables and two eggs to warm up your stomach. It’s just like how you shouldn’t suddenly throw a frozen man into a lake of hot water. You must warm the body up slowly using a hot towel.” She sounded very righteous. After all, she was the type of girl who would voice out her opinion whenever she came across problems that were related to her field of study.
However, Tang Ling did not dislike her for being straightforward. He could even feel the concern and sincerity from Ro Xin’s attitude.
Soon, the pot of vegetables and egg soup plus a little salt emanated a magnificent fragrance. It must be because the vegetables Ro Xin collected were very fresh.
After taking a sip, Tang Ling started to warm up, so he commenced his meal. Succulent salted meat was carefully smeared across a burning hot stone. Then, a sauce mixed with all types of spices was smeared across the surface of the evenly sliced meat.
Pssst! When it was flipped over, the sizzling got louder. Despite the quick searing, the meat was cooked. It was soft, fragrant, piping hot, and filled with flavor. Cured with spices, the meat was enhanced by a little bit of spiciness and dash of numbness, plus a tinge of sweetness.
“Delicious!” Tang Ling’s eyes shone. Although he had planned to simply roast the mutated beast meat, he was thrilled that he agreed to try Ro Xin’s way of eating.
Why is he so happy? Ro Xin could not help but giggle when she saw Tang Ling’s shining eyes. “Here, have some dew seeds.”
Tang Ling nodded and scooped the dew seeds into his mouth. The seeds were soft and mushy but had a chewy aftertaste. It was refreshing. When he chewed more, the slight saltiness and the mild sweetness filled his mouth. There was also a crunchy texture that came from the nuts.
“This is delicious!” Tang Ling shoved half a bowl of seeds into his mouth and chewed with puffy cheeks, making him look like a Miro-tooth snow hamster.
Ro Xin laughed as she also filled a bowl of dew seeds for herself and ate it with the seared meat slices. She had insisted on hunting with Tang Ling earlier because of her doubts about his identity, but she knew she should not judge a book by its cover.
During the hunt for meat, Tang Ling’s decisiveness and power were on full display in front of her. The power that she witnessed was not how he hunted a Level 1 mutated beast, but in every slash that he delivered, every precise punch that he threw, and that sharp gaze that he fixed on his target which was unique to those with power.
Anyhow, Tang Ling was nothing out of the ordinary as a strange young teen.
Tang Ling, on the other hand, did not think that much. He could not let the food in front of him down and he must have table manners when eating, hence thinking about anything else during a meal was an insult that violated the tastiness of the food.
The meal satisfied Tang Ling’s cravings and appetite but not his body’s needs. He required a huge amount of energy every day to maintain constant growth. With that thought in mind, Tang Ling pulled out a strip of vicious beast meat in front of Ro Xin brazenly and sliced it into a smaller strip of 50 grams. According to his current state, he would at least need 150 grams a day to maintain his growth. He was the definition of a resource-draining monster.
“Vicious beast meat?” Ro Xin looked at Tang Ling in shock, but on second thought, her reaction was uncalled for because the person in front of her was Tang Ling.
“Do you know what is this?” Tang Ling dangled the strip of meat in his fingers.
From the moment they met until now, Tang Ling only knew the name of the girl in front of him. He did not know where she came from, what she did for a living and why she appeared in the safe zone of the Santos Branching Ridge that was devoid of human presence.
Nonetheless, he knew she was knowledgeable.
“Of course, I know what it is.” Ro Xin rolled her eyes at Tang Ling. The drifter group that she was from was actually quite strong, and with some teamwork, they could hunt a couple of Level 1 vicious beasts at times. It was considered one of the most important resources for her group and was the foundation to make the strong even stronger. Why would she not know about it? Her question was why would Tang Ling take it out now?
“Do you want to have some? If you can eat it, I still have a lot with me.” Tang Ling liked Ro Xin a lot and he was never stingy when it came to sharing with people he liked.
Without answering, she snatched the strip of meat from his hand and scanned it carefully. “Is this Level 3 vicious beast meat?” She was sincere and careful when she sized the strip of meat. Once, her group spent a lot to exchange a small strip of Level 3 vicious beast meat just for a member of the group to break through the limits, so she knew how precious a slice of vicious beast meat could be.
“Yeah.” Tang Ling nodded.
“I can’t have it. I can’t even have Level 1 vicious beast meat.” Ro Xin shook her head and gave the strip back. She did not seem moved even when Tang Ling was trying to share the Level 3 vicious beast meat with her.
“Okay then, if I have any high mutated beast meat in the future, I’ll keep them for you. A girl should be strong as well. Look at you. You don’t even have muscles on your arm.” As he spoke, he contracted his biceps. His physique did not seem stellar when he relaxed, but when he flexed, the bulging muscles were filled with explosive power.
Ro Xin was rendered speechless, she could not imagine how she would look like with a body full of muscles. Must one even have muscles to be strong?
Tang Ling did not elaborate as he took the strip of vicious beast meat back. After he sliced it, he wanted to stuff it into his mouth.
“What are you doing?!” Ro Xin held Tang Ling back.
“Uh…eating meat?” Tang Ling was confused. He believed Ro Xin was smart though she would respond stupidly at times.
“Aren’t you full yet?”
Tang Ling had actually eaten almost half of the 50 kg Level 1 mutated beast and also more than 15 kg of dew seeds, yet he was not full?
“Yeah, that food can’t replenish my energy. It won’t be enough to replenish my energy even if I eat 150 kg of those and my stomach explodes. Furthermore, the mixed energy from the food would go to waste.” Tang Ling looked innocently at her.
Your stomach will explode? The hell you will! Ro Xin was once again rendered speechless. She started to realize how luxuriously Tang Ling lived and the reason he was so strong.
However, her OCD was acting up and she could not control herself. She snatched the vicious beast meat away from Tang Ling again and said, “You can’t waste it like this. You must cook it with some herbs to bring out its full effects.”
“You have a recipe?” Shocked, he seemed to understand the meaning of having a recipe to cook the meat.
Su Siao’s note did mention some recipes, but those were only useful at relieving pain and aiding digestion. It was unable to function like the good wood core that he got from Kun, which increased his digestion and absorption rate. Therefore, in order to save the trouble, Tang Ling usually just swallowed the meat.
“Yes, but not now.” Ro Xin was a little disappointed. How could she watch Tang Ling waste a strip of precious vicious beast meat by swallowing it?
Tang Ling did not care about Ro Xin’s bleeding heart. He swallowed the meat gluttonously and steadily practiced the eating technique that Su Siao had taught him.
He was getting better at the eating technique since he could better stimulate his muscles to aid the digestion and even continuously stimulate his muscles twice in a row, hence increasing the digestion rate, much to his delight.
The familiar pain came, but he was strong enough to neglect it. He told Ro Xin, “I have to start cultivating. Keep watch, will ya?”
“Oh, and get me a recipe!” he added before he shut his eyes and started his daily cultivation routine of the Thousand Satin Skill.
“You little bastard, why do you have to make it sound like it’s the right thing to do?” Ro Xin grumpily pulled some grass and tossed it at Tang Ling, but she unconsciously moved closer to him and started to keep watch.
How long is he going to cultivate for? Do I have to keep watch the whole night?
Right after the thought popped in her mind, she heard painful moans from Tang Ling. It was the strange blue toxin attacking him again. The blue toxin attacked every time he finished eating or started cultivating without missing. The intense pain enveloped him whole immediately, and a heavy grunt later, he fell onto the ground.
First, it was freezing cold, then the cold turned into stinging burns. Tang Ling instinctively wanted to remove his clothes. It was so hot that it almost drove him crazy, but he was quickly immobilized by the pain to the point that he could not even unbutton his shirt. He helplessly lay on the ground and panted heavily.
Ro Xin was stunned when she saw him react like that, but she responded like how a professional herbal healer should. She went up to him and flipped him over. The uncontrollable stiffened state could cause breathing difficulty if he lay straight on the ground.
She then unbuttoned his shirt and sourly realized that the strange blue color had started to spread under his skin. It was just getting started. Judging from Tang Ling’s condition, his body was freezing and was not as hot as he claimed.
Ro Xin quickly searched her memories of medical and herbal knowledge in her mind. Decisively, she boiled a pot of water, then searched for a bottle of medicinal powder from her animal pelt backpack.
Although the medicinal powder might not help Tang Ling’s condition at all, it was a universal painkiller. Regardless of condition, it has its own effect of relieving pain because it was made from a type of anesthetic and numbing the body could relieve all kinds of pain.
Ro Xin was busy as she prepared the powder. She carefully adjusted the dosage and spooned a little bit of powder into Tang Ling’s mouth. She split the fire into four and moved Tang Ling to the middle, surrounding him in the sign of a cross.
Then, she unbuttoned his clothes and tore a strip from it to soak in hot water. After wringing it, she started to rub it over his body and limbs repeatedly.
‘A healer was a parent to all.’ That was a saying and the moral code of a healer that her grandfather had taught her. During treatment, there was no embarrassment or awkwardness between man and woman; only life and death mattered.
“It’s fine. I may not be able to cure your poison now, but I’ll help you relieve your pain. As long as your pain is relieved, there’s nothing to be scared of anymore. Your consciousness will no longer suffer and as long as your will remains, you’ll be able to defeat it!”
Several drops of sweat dripped off Ro Xin’s sharp nose while she offered him comfort and stayed by his side to help him overcome the pain.
Actually, given Tang Ling’s tenacity, his will would never be defeated by mere pain, but under the dim firelight, Ro Xin’s sweaty face provided a strong sense of warmth to him. His eyes were wide and somehow he stopped feeling the burning sensation as he started to cool down while being wrapped in comfortable warmth.
He even felt his senses start to recover as Ro Xin rubbed his body and limbs, and his viscous blood started to flow once again. It was the first time he felt so comfortable after the strange blue toxin attacked him. She would also feed him some powder to relieve the pain from time to time, and it was the best he could ask for.
Tang Ling started to fade out of consciousness with the comfort. He shut his eyes and allowed Ro Xin to take care of him. Soon, he fell asleep once again.
The refreshing morning breeze swept across Tang Ling’s body with a light drizzle.
After a dreamless, burdenless deep slumber, Tang Ling suddenly opened his eyes. His chest felt a little heavy, so he tilted his head up and realized that Ro Xin was asleep on his chest. She seemed to be exhausted.
As for himself, he realized he was already dressed properly. The black mantle was draped over him like a blanket and a layer of dried leaves had been laid on top of it, providing warmth to his body throughout the night.
Tang Ling wanted to wake up, but he lowered himself again when he saw the exhausted Ro Xin.
Let’s just leave her be for a while.
He looked up into the drizzling sky as a strange feeling rose in his heart. Other than his grandmother, Ro Xin was the first girl to take care of him.
“Are you already up?” Ro Xin was having a cat nap, and the slight movement from Tang Ling woke her. She lazily glanced over at him. Thankfully, the attack from the blue toxin had passed, and Tang Ling looked a lot better.
“Thank you.” Tang Ling had actually prepared many words in his mind for Ro Xin, but it turned into a plain “thank you” when they escaped his mouth. As a matter of fact, since their encounter, he had been thanking her a few times now.
Ro Xin got up and washed her face with the leftover water in the pot before she said calmly, “I’m a herbal healer, and my biggest wish is to become a scientist or a doctor.”
“Unfortunately, I lack study material and systematic learning opportunities.” Ro Xin smiled and seemed relieved as she added, “But I have a lot of chances to practise in the Drifter’s camp and every experience is precious to me. I didn’t heal you. I just relieved your pain, so there’s no need to thank me just yet.”
Tang Ling did not respond verbally, but he remembered what Ro Xin said about needing study material and systematic learning opportunities.
“However, I have a hunch about your condition. I thought about it repeatedly the whole night and I can safely say that you’ve not been poisoned, but strong energy has been injected into your body,” Ro Xin stated.
“Strong energy?” Affected by what she said, he bolted up. He knew Ro Xin was telling the truth because he knew better than anyone how he got the blue toxin in the first place.
“Yes, external energy or active energy injected from external sources,” she said affirmatively, “And as for that, I have both good and bad news for you. You don’t have to choose because I’ll tell you the bad news first.”