xIf the Jing shaman was so concerned with this patient, then they must have an unusual connection.
The Jing shaman’s house was very big although it was in the centre of the quagmire. Even though it was only one story tall, rooms of different sizes inside his house totalled up to more than twenty.
Shao Xuan followed the Jing shaman to a room in the corner of the house. It was a large room. When Shao Xuan went there, a woman walked out from inside, carrying a sullen expression.
Seeing the Jing shaman with Shao Xuan, she was surprised. Something popped up in her mind, and her eyes were suddenly lit with excitement. She wanted to ask the Jing shaman questions, but the shaman lifted his hand to stop her.
The door of the room opened and Shao Xuan looked inside.
The only wooden bed in the house was covered with a beast hide, and a person was laying there with a linen blanket over him. Seeing those complicated netting patterns on the blanket, it probably came from the Gu tribe.
When Shao Xuan went in, the person was looking out the window, but he turned his head around to look.
He was probably a young man, but he didn’t look too well. He was skinny and had no energy. Even a small turn of the head seemed difficult for him. He was like a rusty machine with scraps stuffed in its mechanisms, and every movement seemed like he was trying hard to break free from something.
Shao Xuan even noticed green veins surfacing on the person’s face, neck, and arms as he turned his neck. These veins looked like worms squirming on his skin, but besides this, these veins were unnaturally dark in colour. He was different from all the Jing people Shao Xuan had seen on his way here.
When that person looked over, his eyes were glazed and unfocused, as if he couldn’t see anyone there.
So this was the patient the Jing shaman told him about?
“Dad?” the person on the bed called out.
His voice was weak, and he looked like he only opened his mouth slightly. If it wasn’t for Shao Xuan’s extraordinary hearing ability, he couldn’t have discerned what the person had said.
He was the Jing shaman’s son. No wonder the shaman was so emotional when he mentioned him.
“It’s nothing, dad is just here to see you. Just rest well.” The Jing shaman walked over and carefully fixed the slightly messier hair on the patient’s head. Then, he adjusted the linen clothing the patient was wearing so it covered him properly. “It’s getting late. Don’t catch a cold.”
In this season, the temperature was still high even in the nighttime, so many tribespeople slept naked, but not only was this patient sleeping on a furry beast hide, he was also covered in a thin blanket.
It was quite severe.
Shao Xuan changed his vision and looked again at the person. Through the linen cloth and clothing, he saw the other person’s bones. Now, Shao Xuan could even see the person’s meridians, but it was a lot lighter in colour than bones. Normally Shao Xuan only focused on the bones.
But this time, Shao Xuan noticed that this person’s bones were actually not the big problem. There were faint traces of fractures but they were all past their recovery period. They just weren’t all fully grown. Even so, these injuries were not the main cause for such a serious sickness.
Something was wrong with this person’s orderless meridians.
Inside the human body, qi and blood flowed through the meridians. They penetrated deep into the organs and out to the skin. When a totem warrior summons his totemic energy, most of this energy relied on the meridians to circulate inside the body.
With a faulty meridian, he could no longer summon his totemic power, and without totemic power, he was no different from others who had not awakened. But this person was different. Not only could he not use totemic power, he couldn’t even maintain a normal lifestyle.
When the Jing shaman walked out from inside the house, his eyes were still red. He only expressed such emotions in front of his own son.
When he left the house and walked for a while, he turned back to question his wife who wanted to speak but held her tongue, “How is his condition today?”
The woman spoke with downcast eyes, “He only had some water.”
Last year when the disaster hit them, the Jing tribe also suffered severe casualties. It was back then when the Jing shaman’s son Miu was injured. He got hurt while trying to save a few kids in their tribe. Because of this, the Jing shaman had not met with any of those children’s parents. He didn’t even speak a single word to them.
Miu’s injury was caused by overexerting his totemic power. Just like how overloaded trucks travelling on a road would cause damage to the road’s surface, and even completely destroy some parts of the road.
The parts that were not destroyed could still be used like before. He could walk and eat just fine, but very soon, as Miu’s injuries grew worse, to the point that he even lost the ability to walk.
Under such conditions, he couldn’t recover at all, so his condition only worsened.
At first he lost his ability to walk. Then his internal organs became faulty. His food intake continued to decrease. Even if he tried to force down more food, he would only end up vomiting. Once he even almost choked to death. Not long after, both his arms lost their ability to move.
“Now, he could only manage to move his head a little. He has been eating less these days. Ten days ago he could still drink some fish soup, but now he can’t even have soup. He can only drink water,” the woman spoke through sobs.
Although the Jing shaman wasn’t as emotional as the woman, he was also utterly depressed. It was obvious how much he cared for his son.
The Jing shaman knew that the Gu shaman wished for them to have more food and tools through their trade with the Flaming Horns, but those goods were not the most important thing on his mind now. The only thing he truly cared about was his son who was still lying on his bed. His bright future was ruined by a disaster. Now he could only lay on his bed every day. He’d rather sacrifice other people in his tribe than let his own son suffer such a severe injury. The Jing shaman was never generous in his love for others. He was selfish and only cared for those closer to him, and he never tried to conceal his character.
Under normal conditions, the Jing tribe would never give away any True Eyes to other tribes, but for the sake of his son’s recovery, the Jing shaman didn’t care about what others thought, and no one in the tribe dared to object to his decision. Even if his ancestors were to appear in front of him to stop him, he would still follow what he planned to do. His decision was final.
“Elder Shao Xuan, is there any way you can help?” The Jing shaman suppressed the sorrow in his heart and stared straight at Shao Xuan. He was not willing to let go of the subtlest emotion on Shao Xuan’s face.
Shao Xuan didn’t speak but lowered his eyes and kept thinking.
If this was caused by a pandemic or poison, he could try curing it with the medicine Gui Ze gave him but Miu’s condition was caused by damage in his meridians and vessels. Shao Xuan didn’t dare to promise anything, but he could guarantee that the injuries done to his meridians could be cured.
There were many amongst the Flaming Horns who severely damaged their meridians during the previous disaster. For these cases, most tribes would dismember the limbs that were severely injured. In severe cases, it could even be a threat to their lives, but ever since they had the Veins of the Sky, it was much different. Not only could it help them preserve their limbs, it could also protect their lives.
However, since the Veins of the Sky was transplanted twice after the disaster, they had been taking good care of it. When it was first transplanted, the plant wasn’t doing very well, so they all agreed to not touch the plants for the next two years and wait for the transplanted Veins of the Sky to grow firm roots and adapt to the new environment before they touched it.
Last year the people who were injured were cured by this, and the plant used to cure them was actually the first one Shao Xuan did an experiment on. Since his experiment, a part of this plant was consumed by the tribespeople and another part was kept for the shaman and Gui Ze to experiment on. After all, the shelf life of a Veins of the Sky after harvesting wasn’t long, and they were trying to preserve the medicinal properties of the plant.
Inthe end, they only made five pills. The current chief and shaman each had one. The two hunt leaders also had one each. The last one was with Shao Xuan, and he brought it along with him this time.
But there was only one.
Seeing Shao Xuan’s look, the Jing shaman’s eyes gleamed with hope. “If you can cure him, I’ll help you search for the Eye!”
Shao Xuan lifted his head and looked at the shaman. “You can really find it?”
“Yes!” the Jing shaman stood up excitedly. He guaranteed, “If you can cure Miu, I’ll help you search for it!”
“How many can you find?” Shao Xuan asked.
“...... one.” Afraid that Shao Xuan might misunderstand, the Jing shaman quickly explained, “The True Eye is really hard to find. We would be lucky if we even found one each year. It is impossible for two of these to appear at the same time.”
So that’s what it was called. “True Eye”.
Shao Xuan asked again, “Since it’s so hard to find one every year, how can you be so sure that you will find it this year?”
“I haven’t started my search for the True Eye this year, but I can try. The day of the full moon is almost here. That’s most likely when it would appear!” the Jing shaman explained.
“I see.” Shao Xuan nodded. “I have a type of medicine that might help Miu with his injuries, but we only have one in our entire team.”
“I understand!” the Jing shaman interrupted. “If you want the True Eye, I’ll help you search for it. If I can’t find one this year, I’ll keep looking for it next year. I vow by the name of the Jing shaman: If you can cure my son’s sickness, I will definitely help you search for the True Eye!”
“......I’m not sure if I can use it on your son’s injuries.”
“You can give it a try! Don’t worry, Elder Shao Xuan. Even if you can’t help Miu fully recover, if he can walk like a normal human again and continue to live, I’ll also help you search for the Eye!” the Jing shaman said seriously.
Shao Xuan contemplated for a moment, and then said, “The medicine is not with me now. I’ll go get it first.”
“Sure!” the Jing shaman was full of enthusiasm. “Do you need me to send people over?”
“No need. I’ll be back soon.”
The Jing shaman hurriedly led the way and guided Shao Xuan out of the room and escorted him for a while. A person walked over and reported to the shaman, saying there were people from the Ya tribe here for a visit. If it wasn’t for this report, the shaman would have followed Shao Xuan all the way to the river to get his medicine.
“The Ya people? What do they want?” The Jing shaman watched Shao Xuan walk to the other side near the riverbank, and then turned around and walked in the other direction unhappily.
The Ya tribe also had a hole that opened up here. They were all old friends.
The two Ya members who came today were brothers, known as Di Pi and Di Pa.
When the Jing shaman went there, the two of them were surprised and had incredulous expressions. “The Flaming Horns arrived before we did?!”
“Why are you guys here?” the Jing shaman said.
“We’re scared that you might fight the Flaming Horn tribe.” Di Pi tossed a linen scroll over. “This is from Zhen.”
“Didn’t he write one already?” the Jing shaman caught the linen scroll and looked at it. His mouth curved upwards. “What’s the use of this now?”
It turned out that the Gu shaman recalled not having mentioned anything about the “True Eye” in the previous linen scroll he wrote for the Flaming Horns, hence he was worried that the Jing shaman might lose his temper if he heard the Flaming Horns mention it. After all, the Jing shaman’s temper had grown worse after Miu’s condition. He had never been in a good mood for the past year. If he heard this, he might’ve even exploded on the spot.
That was why the Gu shaman sent the two Ya members here to deliver a second message, but unfortunately they came a little later than the Flaming Horns.
“Alright, I got it. I have already discussed this with the Flaming Horn Grand Elder.”
“Can’t believe you guys didn’t fight,” Di Pa muttered. He sounded a little sad it didn’t happen. The Jing shaman took it as a joke, so he didn’t care at all.
“Wow, you let the Flaming Horns into your tribe this easily even before we brought the letter over? What if it was a trick? I heard the Flaming Horns are very powerful. You guys are no match for them,” Di Pi asked.
“You think I’m stupid?” The Jing shaman glanced at them scornfully. His words carried an underlying message, ‘I have eyes. I can see.’
“We have eyes too!” the two brothers said simultaneously.
The Jing shaman smiled. “Let me tell you guys a joke: the Ya people’s eyes.”
Di Pi and Di Pa were lost for words.
“You think you’re so much better because you have good eyesight? You think you’re better because you have three eyes?!” After an unhappy “Hmph”, the two brothers left and dove into their holes. The underground world was a more suitable place for them. They didn’t need to see clearly under the sun. As long as they had sharp senses in the dark underground, that was enough.