Chapter 20: Ling Lan is a Glutton
Translator: ryuxenji Editor: mjn0898
Lan Luofeng and Ling Nanyi stood beside Ling Lan and anxiously observed her expression and body condition. This medicinal liquid needed to be bathed in while conscious for maximum effect — the effects would be greatly weakened if the bather lost consciousness, and the first soak was the one with the greatest impact.
Ling Nanyi saw that although Ling Lan's little forehead was all scrunched up, her facial expression did not show any signs of the savage struggle that other children had during these baths. She nodded approvingly — as expected of their master's child, this tolerance level was extraordinary. If their master was still around, he would probably be greatly heartened that he had such a reliable descendant.
Every time Ling Lan's face twitched, Lan Luofeng subconsciously wanted to pull Ling Lan back into her arms. The pain in her eyes eclipsed the pain that Ling Lan was enduring — she really did not want to see her own child going through this sort of crushing pain. She had never forgotten what Ling Xiao had once said about the medicinal liquid — he had said that it was very effective, but it also inflicted tremendous pain in the process.
Lan Luofeng's gaze shone with boundless sorrow, and tears glimmered in the corners of her eyes.
Ling Nanyi sensed Lan Luofeng's reluctance and tried to comfort her. "Mistress, you need to bear it and let it happen. This will help build up the young master's foundations so he can live a better life in the future. In the end, this world is still a world where the strong triumph ... without true strength, we will not be able to protect what the master left behind."
Lan Luofeng nodded. "I know. It's alright, I can bear this. I believe that Ling Lan can continue holding on too." Ling Nanyi was right. A strong foundation was necessary for her child to be able to live freely in the future.
"I need to go research this formula. It's too miraculous! If I can understand the medicinal properties and how they work together, perhaps I may be able to develop a new agent! Lord, I'll be going now, take your time soaking ..." Without any remorse whatsoever, Little Four abandoned Ling Lan and ran off to his research lab to pursue his next great invention.
Hells, this heartless bastard! Ling Lan, who had been hoping that Little Four would continue talking with her to share her pain, was full of contempt for his selfish actions. Later, she would definitely teach Little Four a lesson and would make sure he understood that nothing was more important than his lord.
The intense pain caused Ling Lan's body to spasm uncontrollably, low moans spilling in an endless stream from her mouth. Suddenly, she recalled that her Qi exercises could somewhat alleviate this sort of pain, and quickly began practising them. It actually worked — the pain was greatly dampened and became bearable again.
The violent spasms of Ling Lan's body just now made Lan Luofeng and Ling Nanyi even more anxious, but while Lan Luofeng was purely heartsick over Ling Lan's suffering, Ling Nanyi was concerned over what would come next. She knew that the next half hour would be the most critical period of the medicinal bath, and it was also the part that was most difficult to bear. Most of the children would faint then — even their master had become comatose, though still aware, for half a day back when he had endured this coming half hour.
Perhaps the Qi exercises Ling Lan practised had been deeply ingrained into her body memory since she had been practising them since she was in the womb, for Ling Lan entered into a deep meditative state very quickly. She could no longer feel the pain wracking her body, but merely felt as if she was submerged in a miasma of heat.
Seeing Ling Lan's slack face, Lan Luofeng relaxed in turn. It looked like Ling Lan had managed to overcome yet another hurdle.
On the other hand, Ling Nanyi was confused since she knew the true properties of the medicinal liquid. Could it be that the herbal contents had been absorbed entirely? She peered at the inky-green water — the saturation of the colour indicated that there was still plenty of herbal content left.
If so, then the pain should still be present and should have even intensified at this point. It seemed like their Young Master Ling Lan was either a child with abnormally high pain tolerance, or else had deficient pain receptors, being less sensitive than the average child.
Ling Nanyi was leaning more toward the latter possibility, since it was rather inconceivable that a one and a half year old child would have such a high pain tolerance. This misconception of Ling Nanyi would bring even greater suffering to Ling Lan in her future training, as the Ling family tried to compensate for her deficient pain receptors by intensifying their training, so that she could know what true pain was like.
After an indeterminate amount of time, still groggy from her trance, Ling Lan sensed that she had been picked up from the tub and placed on the bed. Someone started massaging her gently, and Ling Lan felt so comfortable that she could stand it no longer, and ... fell asleep.
After sending away the military personnel, Ling Qin had been standing guard outside the room all this while. Seeing them come out of the room, he asked intently, "How was the effect?"
Ling Nanyi could not contain her elation. She nodded vigorously as she reported, "The effect was much better than expected, all areas have been improved by 30 to 80 percent."
Ling Qin almost broke down at these words. "Really?!" It should be known that throughout the history of administering these medicinal baths, Master Ling Xiao had recorded the best effects so far. That year, the recorded improvements had only been between 10 to 50 percent.
Seeing Ling Nanyi nod decisively in confirmation, Ling Qin couldn't stop his tears from falling as he muttered fervently, "God bless our Ling family, God bless our Ling family."
Ling Nanyi surreptitiously grabbed hold of her old companion's hand. She knew how much this news meant to her husband. Although Master Ling Xiao had been the master of the Ling family, he had been raised at the knee of her husband. Ling Qin had loved Ling Xiao like a son, and his passing had been as hard on her husband as it had been on the mistress.
"Looks like the young master has inherited the physical qualities of Master Ling Xiao. Being able to absorb ten tubes of gene stimulating agent, and even being able to get a better effect from the medicinal bath ..." Ling Nanyi said, wondering.
Ling Qin was still overwhelmed by his emotions, and could only nod emphatically in agreement with tears in his eyes. The old Ling couple could only interpret it this way — they could not know that effects of the bath were so remarkable because of the Qi exercises. The shifting of the body's energies during the exercise had greatly increased its absorption ability, allowing the medicine to permeate even deeper into the body, hence resulting in improvements like never before.
Just like that, Ling Lan began her life of medicinal baths. That aside, she continued to contort herself into bizarre poses that stretched the limits of the human body every day. Of course, she practised those poses in secret, lest her mum grow frantic with concern.
One year passed after another as Ling Lan slowly grew up. Before she knew it, she had become a bona fide glutton, able to eat her mum's full day of meals in one sitting.
Heavens, she was only four years old! Was she destined to grow sideways?
That won't do! Today, she must diet. After all, she had a dream to be a child with 'four greats' — great ideals, great morals, great discipline, and great goals — she must not lose to her own stomach.
Ling Lan was just cheering herself on when she noticed that the large serving of fried noodles before her had vanished. With a constipated expression, she muttered to herself at the insufficiency of the noodles. They hadn't satisfied her hunger much at all! Rubbing her flat tummy, she mentally cautioned herself not to eat any more ...
A sudden shift in facial expressions, and Ling Lan slapped a sure hand onto the table, shouting, "Give this young master an extra-large serving of beef steak!"
Dammit, hunger pangs were the worst. Ling Lan would much rather suffer pain than hunger pangs.
Oh well. She was already planning to live as a man this life after all — if she ended up becoming a cool and stylish, elegant and poised, unparalleled handsome gentleman, and caused the women of the world to fall for her and fight over her, that would be a catastrophe. So ... for the sake of those clueless women and to minimize her sin, and also so that other men will be able to wed and graduate from bachelorhood, she should just go ahead and become a little fatter!
Ahem, ahem, she was such a soft-hearted person!
Ling Lan, moved by her own self-sacrificial attitude, resolutely took a large bite of the freshly served steak before her.
It should be noted that Ling Lan was very quick to adjust her world view just so she had an excuse to indulge in her gluttony.