The children of Families were educated at a young age; Qi Tianyou's situation was no different and naturally received the same education. For example, being able to recognize certain people. The various Families of Cangyun country, regardless of their size, must take these matters to heart so that when they conducted themselves in public they wouldn't offend those who absolutely shouldn't be offended. The most important of these were the Five Clans of Cangyun City.
The rumors surrounding Gongyi Tianheng circulated among the peerage, who secretly ridiculed the sickly young master of the Gongi Clan. Yet, his reputation was irrefutably good and had a solid base; even with ups and downs, his enduring image was like that of a hero from a legendary novel.
Of course, the young masters of the other four Clans were also very famous. Each of the Clans had many martial artists who could crush their younger contemporaries. In this world where martial arts was respected, there was Gongyi Tianheng who could only watch on the sidelines. Contrarily, when the people refer to the country's “sons,” they recognized five, not four, young masters. The general impression of this person shifted from ridicule to amazement; while their hearts contained disapproval, on the surface they publicly admired him.
Qi Tianyou held Gongyi Tianheng in high esteem, and looked at him like an idol. Although Gu Zuo didn't go that far, he still deeply respected him.
This guy had an indomitable will ! Still hadn't given up, it wasn't easy!
Gu Zuo had always been fond of such people.
Although the Gongyi Clan had spent years searching for a capable pharmacist, none could cure him. But Gu Zuo felt that there was a chance he could do it — his prop book contained so many ancient and rare medicinal remedies that could nourish the body. Don't even suggest that there wasn't even one that would work. Most of all, in the latter chapters of the three medical texts, there were many case studies of unusual and hard-to-treat illnesses. Gu Zuo felted dazzled. As long as he met Tianheng in person, he was convinced he could find a way.
After so many setbacks and dead ends …having reaching this point, why not give him a try? He would try his best, of course. But at worst, if he failed the first time, so long as he could rely on Gongyi Tianheng's resources, what about the second or third try? Who can say he wouldn't find a solution?
If he agreed to being his patron, Gu Zuo would certainly take responsibility.
In his heart, Gu Zuo had been comforting himself for a long time. Plagued with thoughts that he couldn't make a difference, he clenched his teeth: System, do you have a way to make sure that Gongyi Tianheng can't harm me?
He needed some way to defend himself. If, if he really couldn't cure him and he took out his anger on him…
The system was very frank.
[You can turn him into your drug slave.]
Gu Zuo's face fell .
Drug slave? That doesn't sound like a good thing.
But the system was not human, so it probably didn't have any human sentiment. Nevertheless, he still listened to all of the system's explanation to find out what a drug slave was.
[After the host learns
Gu Zuo's face stiffened as he listened to all that.
…That is definitely not a good thing!
Gu Zuo shook his head: I don't even have to say it, turning Gongyi Tianheng into my drug slave is impossible.
[This is the easiest way.]
Gu Zuo didn't know what to think and his face looked like he was struck dumb. Then he muttered: Gongyi Tianheng was able to accomplish a lot even while sick. He definitely had a lot of stubborn pride. If I want to make him my drug slave, don't even say that my telepathy can suppress him and succeed — don't say that me creating a drug slave and that person's mental strength are unrelated. Even if I succeed, it's unlikely that he'll listen to my commands… He'd probably want to die than let things be.
[If not a drug slave, then a guardian.]
Gu Zuo looked distracted.
That's a new concept. What sort of “demon” is a guardian?
Not nearly as deceptive as a drug slave, right?
[A guardian protects people. Host is a pharmacist; a guardian will follow you wherever you go and grant you his favor and ensure your safety. There are many rules, but the two sides can act of their own free will.]
Gu Zuo listened with his head swimming: Speak plainly!
The system became less long-winded.
[It's a bodyguard with a contract.]
Gu Zuo instantly understood: I help heal him and he protects me. Our relationship would be like a business transaction, right?
[Both sides cannot harm the other.]
Gu Zuo was satisfied. When the system explained the specifics of the guardian and his function, he was sold — they would be equals!
Although Gongyi Tianheng couldn't practice martial arts, there would certainly be someone who could protect him. So long as he was with him, the people who guarded Tianheng would also conveniently guard him. That'd be good enough.
He only wanted to find a place to cultivate as a pharmacist and return to find his dad. Nothing more.
— Wait a minute.
Gu Zuo suddenly remembered something.
He grimaced and asked: System, you said that later on I could return home, but to what extent can I go back? When I finally get powerful enough, how many years would have pa.s.sed? In this fantastical world, if it takes hundreds of years to meet these conditions, by the time I get back my dad and father would be long gone. What's the point!?
[The Void Pill grant's one the ability to travel through time. The concurrent pa.s.sage through time is arbitrary.]
Gu Zuo's eyes opened wide: You're saying that no matter how long I've been cultivating, I can travel back to the right point in time regardless of the time spent here?
Gu Zuo finally sighed: The Void Pill, as in a remedy?
[When the host's rank has improved enough, this system is gradually unlocked. The Void Pill would be one of the rewards for the host's accomplishments.]
“Listening” to this, Gu Zuo's face revealed a relaxed and open smile for the first time since coming here.
This was great… He was at ease.
When he heals Tianheng, it'll be smooth cultivation from there on out!
However, in a moment, Gu Zuo's relaxed expression fell.
Wrong! There's still a serious problem!
— How was he supposed to approach Gongyi Tianheng and settle a contract?
On the official road of the capital, more than fifty carriages carrying merchandise moved onwards. Bracketing the fancy carriages were squads of armed escorts riding horses.
The leader of the armed escort was fifty years old. He was a martial artist of the third stage of blood refining. Although he wasn't as youthful as the well-bred young masters of the aristocratic Families, his experience in life and death combat was superior.
For a fleet of this size, the “pack animal” pulling the carriages was a grade three wild beast called an earth lizard . This was the least an aristocratic Family could do to flaunt their high status.
At the same time, because of the armed escort, there were some small merchants following behind. So long as they paid some protection fees, they were allowed to stay close and take refuge. Compared to those who traveled alone, they enjoyed greater security.
At the very end of this train, there were some handcarts carrying travelers. These carts were attached to the small merchant vehicles to keep pace.
Just as the small merchants paid the main carriages, these unrelated people feigned ident.i.ties like shop a.s.sistants and pooled their money together as payment. This open dealing was another unspoken rule.
On one cart, there was a ten year old youth. His face was splotched with ash and his hands were hidden in the folds of his sleeves. At this time, the youth avidly listened to the gossip of a yellow-toothed man, his eyed earnestly locked on.
This yellow-toothed man spoke enthusiastically; spittle would launch with each word, and he would shout wildly.
At this moment, he talked about the hottest news in Cangyun City…
The young master of the Sima  Clan partic.i.p.ated in a large martial arts tournament. This youth received a lot of fame when he defeated twenty opponents.
The young master of the Duanmu  Clan traveled into the depths of the Weeping Ghost Mountain Range to find a treasured eternal youth herb for his mother's birthday.
The young master of the Huangfu  Clan beheaded eighteen thieves and took their heads for trophies.
The young master of the Helian  Clan killed a wild beast whose grade was one level higher than his own…
That young master of the Gongyi Clan fell ill recently and went to a hospital to recover. His authority was handed over to his younger brother in the meantime.
When it came to the matters of the Clan's young masters, ordinary people never got tired of listening and gossipers never got tired of talking.
This yellow-toothed man was one such gossiper. Today, he was especially talkative because he hit it off with a small little brother . Other people disliked him and didn't want to hear him talk. Instead, this kid stuck with him to chat endlessly; truly it gave him some confidence.
But the yellow-toothed man naturally didn't realize that when he talked about that Gongyi fellow, the little brother's eyes flashed with antic.i.p.ation. Nor was he likely to discover that his hands hidden in his sleeves were incessantly practicing hand motions over and over again.
Gradually, this journey came to an end.
The yellow-toothed man satisfied his desire to gossip, until he reluctantly parted from the youth. After giving his thanks, the young man aimlessly wandered through the crowd and disappeared.
This youth, who didn't know the roads and followed a caravan to Cangyun City, was undoubtedly Gu Zuo. While on this journey, he gathered many useful bits of news from the yellow-toothed man.
At long last, he finally deepened his understanding of Cangyun City and Gongyi Tianheng.
 身残志坚 - Shen can zhi jian, broken in body but firm in spirit.
 退一万步 - Tui yi mo bu, literally retreating one thousand steps.
 囧 - Jiong, use as an emoticon to express exasperation or comedic grievance.
 土蜥 - Tu xi, Earth lizard, where xi is from 蜥蜴 xi yi, lizard.
 司马 - Si (To take charge, manage) Ma (Horse), together it means minister of war.
 端木 - Duan (End, extremity, origin) Mu (Tree, wood)
 皇甫 - Huang (Emperor) Fu (Begin, man, father)
 赫连 - He (Awe-inspiring) Lian (To link, join)
 Between people who share no familial bonds, referring to them like brother or uncle is used to convey good feelings and familiarity.
T/N: Hmmm, I couldn't figure out a good way of incorporating “gold master” or “golden thigh” into the translation. It just doesn't fit very well. (TT^TT) Also, shout out to an Unknown user for the suggested word “patron.”
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