Chapter 13: Divine Physician Ji
Zu Ans expression darkened once more at this thought. A curse had been put on this lousy body of his, such that he could do nothing even if a beautiful woman were to leap into his embrace.
Recalling Old Mis words, he turned back to the young man beside him and asked, “Shouping, are you familiar with the Master stage”
“Everyone in the Zhou Dynasty knows about it. Is young master unfamiliar with it” Cheng Shouping threw Zu An a quizzical look.
Zu An nearly choked. He quickly replied, “Of course I am familiar with it! I was just testing you!”
“I see!” Cheng Shoupings eyes widened with realization. “Masters are able to draw raw ki from the world freely, allowing them to soar through the sky. They are top-notch figures in this world.”
Zu An was astonished to hear that. “How many Masters are there in our Brightmoon City”
“How many” Cheng Shouping laughed as though Zu An had told a great joke. “None at all!”
“What” Zu An was stunned. Brightmoon City looked pretty big to him, so how could there not be even a single Master here
“Leaving Brightmoon City aside, I doubt that there are any Masters in our entire Linchuan Commandery!” Cheng Shouping exclaimed. “You should know that in the Zhou Dynasty, only the Three Dukes, the Grand Marshall, the General of Swift Steed, and a few Kings are Masters. There are so few Masters around. How could we have any in our Brightmoon City”
Cheng Shouping launched into a lengthy explanation about how ones position corresponded to ones cultivation level in this world. The more Zu An listened, the more shocked he grew. Old Mi was making fun of me! There are only that many Masters in the world. Even with the help of the Keyboard, I would be a withered old man by the time I reach the Master stage. Not to mention, he doesnt even know about my trump card. Just where did he get the confidence that I would be able to reach Master stage
As Zu An brooded, he noticed Cheng Shouping watching him with strained patience, as if he were struggling to deal with a simpleton. He seethed inwardly. “You sure know quite a lot, dont you”
Cheng Shouping was smiling so brightly that his facial features all squished together. “Young master, youre flattering me.”
“You are a cultivator too”
Cheng Shoupings smile froze momentarily before he lowered his head gloomily and replied, “Thats not it. I have no talent in cultivation or in sensing raw ki.”
Zu An nodded slightly. “Idle people like you sure know how to live life well. Youre so knowledgeable despite your inability to cultivate.”
You have successfully trolled Cheng Shouping for 33 Rage points!
Zu An pondered for a moment. “Are there any extremely skilled physicians in Brightmoon City The kind whose reputations have spread far and wide” This wont do. Ill be an old fossil before I reach Master stage if I took the conventional way! I need to find some other means instead.
Since this was a world of cultivation, there had to be miraculous physicians around, those who could pull off the impossible. Perhaps they would be able to solve the problem he was facing.
“Extremely skilled physicians Ah, there is one!” Cheng Shouping seemed to delight in enlightening others. “Divine Physician Ji is Brightmoon Citys... No, to be more accurate, hes the most skilled physician in the entire Linchuan Commandery. Theres no illness that he cant treat!”
“Ji He cant possibly be Ji Xiaolan, right” Zu An asked.
“Ji Xiaolan” Cheng Shouping scratched his head in confusion. “He isnt.”
Zu Ans interest was sparked. “Lets go then! Bring me to him!”
Cheng Shouping dithered, frowning slightly “Young master, werent you whipped by the Second Miss just a moment ago No matter how I look at it, you should...”
Zu Ans eyes swam about as he searched for a lie. “Im visiting Divine Physician Ji to have those wounds treated!”
“But our estates physician has already tended to young master. Youll recover with a few days of rest. Theres no need for you to look for Divine Physician Ji,” Cheng Shouping replied.
Black lines streaked across Zu Ans face as he replied, “Are you the young master or am I the young master Why do you have so much nonsense Just take me there!”
“Young master, please be at ease. Ill bring you there right away!” Cheng Shouping quickly put on a fawning smile once more.
Zu An was a little surprised by Cheng Shoupings composure. Now that he thought about it, he also hadnt earned many Rage points by insulting the lad earlier. Perhaps the years he had spent in the Chu Estate had thickened his skin.
Zu An quickly changed his clothes and instructed Cheng Shouping to lead the way. He had worried that he would be barred from leaving the estate, but the gate guards let them through with barely a glance.
He thought about the incident that happened the previous night and asked, “Where is the First Miss”
“The First Miss appears to have gone out,” Cheng Shouping replied.
Zu An heaved a sigh of relief. He did not relish the thought of facing that master-and-servant pair again. “Speaking of which, do you know Snow”
Cheng Shoupings eyes lit up. “Who doesnt know Sister Snow Shes the personal attendant of the First Miss! Not only is she beautiful, but she has a sweet voice as well. Countless people in the estate consider her their dream lover. Young master, if you dont mind, can you help bring us together”
“Youre talking nonsense again.” Zu An was speechless. Where did this fellow get the confidence to court Snow “Put your mind to better use. Do you have any information concerning her For example, has she been working in the Chu Estate from a young age”
“Ah, no she hasnt.” Cheng Shouping was deflated by Zu Ans contemptuous dismissal of his romantic aspirations. It looks like the young master is interested in Snow too. I heard that the personal maidservants of large clans are usually given to the groom as concubines. “Sister Snow was saved and brought to the Chu Estate three or four years ago. Shes obedient and intelligent, so she quickly won the First Miss favor and was appointed as her personal maidservant."
“Obedient” Zu An could not reconcile that sharp-tongued lass with that word. However, the fact that she had only been in service to the Chu clan for three to four years occupied his mind.
“How about the second branch and the third branch How are their relationships with my father-in-laws branch” Zu An thought about what had transpired in the ancestral hall. He sensed an inexplicable enmity coming from Chu Tiesheng and Chu Yuepo.
“Still fine, I guess,” Cheng Shouping replied thoughtfully. “The Second Master spends his days managing the arms trade whereas the Third Master manages the salt trade. They are the close aides to our Master.”
“Arms Salt” Zu An was taken aback. This was the world of cultivation! Even if they werent managing the spirit stone trade, they should at least be rearing demonic beasts or doing other fantasy stuff. Why were they dealing with such... ordinary commodities
As if sensing Zu Ans thoughts, Cheng Shouping explained, “Young master, you shouldnt underestimate these two commodities. They can bring about massive profits for the family. Its through these two commodities that our Chu clan accumulated wealth equal to that of a country. You should know that there are only a small number of individuals who are privileged to be able to cultivate in our world. The rest are ordinary mortals like us, unable to sense the raw ki in the air. Arms and salt are daily necessities that we cannot do without.”
Zu An clicked his tongue in annoyance. “What do you mean bywe Dont lump me together with ordinary mortals like you. I am someone who can cultivate!”
Cheng Shouping blinked his eyes at Zu An, a retort sticking in his throat. The young master was really as the rumors put him out to be—utterly inept yet incredibly boastful.
It doesnt matter. Hes the young master after all. Ill help him win the First Miss heart. Theres no gratitude greater than to one who delivers charcoal in a snowstorm. If I help him while hes still down, hell view me as his confidant when he finally makes it big. Once that happens, Ill naturally rise through the ranks. Perhaps, I might even be able to get together with Snow... Teehee~
“Why are you laughing foolishly to yourself” Zu An smacked Cheng Shouping on the back of his head. “Wheres Divine Physician Jis residence”
Cheng Shouping recoiled and fussed with his hairdo. “Young master, you mustnt hit my head. It took me a lot of effort to do up this hairstyle!”
Zu An looked at the twosteamed pork buns sitting atop Cheng Shoupings head, and wordlessly shook his head. “Enough! Hurry up and lead the way.”
He had already gained a rough understanding of the situation in the Chu Estate. He still hadnt uncovered the culprit plotting his death, but resolving the problems below his belt was still the most urgent task at hand.
“Young master, I think you need not look for Divine Physician Ji anymore,” Cheng Shouping said as he ran after Zu An.
“Why is that so” asked Zu An, bewildered.
Cheng Shouping explained, “Divine Physician Ji has established a rule that anyone who seeks consultation with him has to pay 100 silver taels as a consultation fee.”
“100 silver taels just for a consultation Thats daylight robbery!”
From what Zu An had observed over the last two days, the currency in this world was similar to that of ancient China. A thousand copper coins was equivalent to one silver tael, and ten silver taels was equivalent to one golden tael.
There was another currency that was more valuable than gold, and that was ki stones. However, ki stones were hard to come by, so he had yet to determine their value.
The units of measurement in this world differed from that of ancient China; it was similar to the modern world instead. One tael was equivalent to 50 grams. The purchasing power of silver here was still fairly high as it remained a rare resource. A silver tael was worth around 1800 RMB.
To pay 100 silver taels—which was equivalent to 180,000 RMB!—just for consultation was ridiculous. It was no wonder Zu An kicked up a fuss!
Zu An pondered for a moment then draped his arm around Cheng Shoupings shoulders. “Lil Pingping, Im a little short on cash at the moment. Can you do me a favor and help me just this once Ill pay you back with interest once I get the money.”
Cheng Shouping quietly felt for the money pouch hanging by his waist. “Young master, Im a mere servant. If you dont have money, then how could I have any”
Zu An had noticed Cheng Shoupings subtle movements, but he ignored them. Even if Cheng Shouping had had some money on hand, it was unlikely that he would have 100 silver taels. “Do you know a place in Brightmoon City that sells slaves”
“Young master, are you referring to the slave market Thats where nobles trade their servants and maids, and they are usually worth between a handful to a few tens of silver taels...” Cheng Shouping trailed off, and Zu An could feel him tense up. He turned stiffly to look at Zu An and swallowed. “Young master, you cant be thinking of selling me, are you”
Zu Ans expression immediately turned solemn. “How is that possible What kind of person do you take me to be”
Zu An had already determined that Cheng Shouping was worth a handful of silver taels at most. Besides, he was a servant of a Dukes estate, so it could be difficult to broker his sale.
Despite Zu Ans reassurances, Cheng Shouping was still a little unnerved. He quickly said, “Young master, theres actually another way around this. Besides paying 100 silver taels, you can also get a consultation by accomplishing a task for him.”
Those words put Zu Ans heart at ease. He slapped Cheng Shoupings shoulders and remarked heartily, “You should have said that earlier! I nearly sold you just now!”
Cheng Shouping could only stare.
Despite Zu Ans obvious excitement, Cheng Shouping was glum. The tasks set by Divine Physician Ji were not easily accomplished. Nevertheless, out of fear of getting sold, he held his tongue.
A few more turns led them to a well-appointed residence. Zu An felt his jaw drop as he took in the crowd gathered outside. “Why are there so many people around”
Cheng Shouping laughed sheepishly. “Didnt I tell young master earlier Divine Physician Jis place is always swamped with people.”
Zu An recalled how difficult it was to secure appointments with top specialists in elite hospitals back in the modern world; some had to be made months in advance. He supposed it was only natural that it would be similar in Divine Physician Jis case.
Wait, this isnt right either. Doesnt a consultation cost 100 silver taels Are the people of this world that rich But these people gathered around are dressed quite shabbily. They cant have that sort of money..
“Where is Miss Ji Why is Miss Ji not here” Someone in the crowd shouted, triggering a commotion.
“Thats right, we want to meet Miss Ji!”
Zu An was stunned by what hed heard. He turned to Cheng Shouping and asked, “Is the Divine Physician Ji you were referring to a girl”