Nine Astra Skies

Chapter 2 - Nexus Pill?

Chapter 2: Nexus Pill?

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

“Chen, it’s fine to stop for the day and rest your body if you’re worn out. Don’t force what can’t be helped. The welfare of your body takes priority,” Ye Zhanxiong advised.

The middle-aged man had long given up on the idea that damaged meridian channels could ever recover on their own. The only way to repair them was to use a Nexus Pill which was simply out of reach for the Ye’s Family due to the hefty price it fetched. Even if every asset in the House of Ye was liquidated, they still would not be able to afford it.

“I have faith that I’ll not remain a crippled man forever, Uncle. My meridians will recover,” Ye Chen replied firmly.

Ye Zhanxiong froze before the pangs of heartache coursed within his chest. He ruffled the young boy’s hair and gave a forced smile. “You’re a good kid, Chen. It doesn’t matter if your meridians ever recover. Your uncle and the entire Ye Family will always be here for you.”

“I know.” Chen nodded. It’s been three years since his meridian channels had been punctured yet some clansmen had continued to be scornful and laughed at him. Most of his kins had treated him with utmost compassion, gathering as much resources as they could salvage to trade for countless medicinal pills to make sure Ye Chen’s meridian channels would not degenerate. All in the hopes that the family would one day be able to obtain a Nexus Pill for the body to reconnect his damaged meridian linkages.

“You should visit your old man more often when you can, you know.” Ye Zhanxiong muttered as he sighed.

The thought of his father wrung Ye Chen’s heart. For the sake of his recovery, his father had shouldered a colossal burden alone for three years, greying his hair prematurely and aging himself physically until he looked a decade older than he really was. Ye Chen could not think of any way to repay his father’s deeds.

“I will.”

Ye Zhanxiong returned to where the acolytes were training, leaving the young lad sitting cross-legged on the boulder still, lost deep in thought. A lilting voice came about close to his ears, rousing him from his trance.

“What’s in your mind, Big Brother Ye Chen?” A little twinge of convivial airiness heard underneath the voice.

Ye Chen turned. Before his eyes was a face of elegance and demureness belonging to a fifteen or sixteen-year-old maiden. A smile curled on her lips as she laid eyes on him. Today, she had donned a lavender dress, with her eyes and the arches of her eyebrows exquisite, and her pupils luminous akin to the surface of a clear lake. She looked heavenly with supple skin as fine and fair as snow. A mild lovely scent drifted from the young maiden’s body and drifted toward him, lifting up his mood instantly.

Ye Chen’s heart swelled a little with affection for the girl before him. “Why are you here?”

“Do you not like me around?” She giggled.

“That wasn’t what I meant! It’s just rare to see you in the training ground, you know?” Ye Chen could not help breaking into a grin. Little Rou was simply the only person he could be at complete ease with.

Nobody knew if Little Rou was even an actual scion of the Ye Family, and nor did anyone else in the entire House of Ye knew if Rou was her real name or merely a nickname that stuck. Unsurprisingly, no one had any idea who Ye Rou’s parents were supposed to be. The most everyone knew of this enigmatic girl was that she was left in the care of the House of Ye by a stranger when she was young.

Ye Rou joined the clan as a waif, and understandably, she was not considered an actual member of the clan. Very soon, torments and bullying caught up to her from her peers. Fortunately, Ye Chen was a precocious child who protected Ye Rou on his own accord. He treated her like how a brother would to a sister. Hence, the girl had naturally been tailing him ever since.

It was too late when the bullies regretted their actions. The little ugly duckling had grown into a belle of captivating beauty. They were suddenly struck with an intense mournfulness. It did not matter if reparations had been attempted as their undesirable impressions now left no mark in Ye Rou’s mind.

Indeed, she had consciously kept every other Ye clansmen on a wide berth, which naturally meant she avoided from appearing in somewhere as densely-crowded as the training ground. The only time Ye Rou would ever let her unapproachable façade down was around Ye Chen. It was a relationship that had only become more intimate since Ye Chen’s damaged meridian channels.

The other acolytes stood afar, watching the two friends chat with a stormy expression filled with jealousy. After all, every time they tried to talk to Ye Rou, the most generous response was a flash of a courteous smile. Her countenance of sublime starkness seemed to translate into a refusal to connect with anyone. So when the girl was beaming with a rare grin of genuine cheerfulness at this very moment, the lads could not help but feel completely tantalized. It was simply the definition of exquisite beauty. They could not fathom that her smile had been real. They must have been dreaming instead.

“It’s been three years, hasn’t it?” Ye Rou said softly, her voice resigned and mournful. Her gaze rested gently on Ye Chen’s face. Once a bold brash lad, the Ye Chen now was one who had been humbled by the trials in his life. All these years, Ye Rou had done all she could to help in his recovery but to no avail.

“Yes, three years.” A bitter smile surfaced on Ye Chen’s face. Surely nobody knew how he managed to live through the tormented three years.

“Please don’t give up, Big Brother Ye Chen. There are hopes for punctured meridian channels to return to good health. Your father and uncles are always searching for remedies you know, and I’m sure they will find a way to nurse your damaged meridian channels back to health one day,” Ye Rou replied reassuringly.

“If it was that easy, they would have long mended my meridians in the first place! It wouldn’t have still been in this state until now. Is there still hope for an affliction that had gone untended for three years?” Ye Chen sighed piteously. Ye Chen had felt awful that despite being a good-for-nothing crippled, so many of his clansmen still cared for him deeply. He wished to repay their deeds in kind but he was unable to do so and had become a burden instead.

The only hope he had was the Flying Dagger in his mind.

“Big Brother Ye Chen, you had once told me that destiny would always reward those who continued ahead with indomitable resolve. I promise you, I’ll do everything I can in my power to obtain a Nexus Pill to return your meridian system to return to good health,” Ye Rou said with determination reflected in her ambitious eyes.

Only the Nexus Pill could regenerate broken linkages in one’s damaged meridian channels. It was the exact remedy needed for Ye Chen’s affliction.

“C’mon. The Nexus Pill is a pill of utmost value, something only a Master Apothecary could make. I doubt that we could afford one even if we traded away all the assets in the family, let alone through other methods,” Ye Chen chuckled mirthlessly.

It was not easy to obtain a Nexus Pill at all! Alchemical pills were a few of the most expensive objects in the world. Even a single Chi-amassing Pill that was supposed to be the least uncommon of pills would cost about fifty-two silvers which is equivalent to the expense of a normal household over a few years! With that, one could only imagine the price of a Nexus Pill made with the expertise of a Master Apothecary. In fact, the value of a single Nexus Pill would be equal to a million Chi-amassing Pills! The Ye Family would not be able to afford one even if the castle was sold.

Throughout these three years, Ye Chen had exhausted at least a dozen of Chi-amassing Pills to nourish his damaged meridian channels and the expenses were taking a toll on the House of Ye despite the fact that the clan was considered better off compared to an average household. For Ye Chen’s sake, the clan had already sold off many of their properties.

To make matters worse, the House of Ye was losing substantive power steadily among the Eighteen Houses of Lianyun due to the newer generations falling behind their seniors in terms of martial prowess. If this continued for a couple more years, the only foreseeable future for the House of Ye was to become a benchwarmer with little to no influence among the houses.

Even so, Ye Chen’s father and most of the clansmen harbored no ill will against the young lad. Instead, they doubled down their concerns for his welfare. Ye Chen knew he would forever be in their debts. He may be an orphan in his past life but he now found a place called home.

Ye Castle was his home.

Ye Chen himself had tried many methods throughout the years to repair his broken meridians but had failed miserably time and again. The only hope he held was the enigmatic Flying Dagger that had brought him to this world.

He could not help but feel a spark of hope. As of late, the Flying Dagger had been vibrating on its own quite frequently…

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