A few days had passed since the devastating battle. During these days, wild and exciting gossip started to circulate throughout the continent!
”Did you hear? Xue Duan is giving Princess Yifei to that mysterious alchemist as a wife! Can you believe it? ”
”Wife? I heard it was concubine! Also, she had to bear his child within a year at least! That ’s what my brother said. ”
”Pfft? Bear his child? Concubine? I heard she must swear a Spirit Oath on the day of the wedding and never see or touch another man again! This is a forced union, plain and simple. But she has to do it because the King is forcing her! How unfair is that?! ”
”While that alchemist might be a little skilled, he ’s only a Lord Alchemist. Is he really worthy of having Princess Yifei as his concubine? I don ’t think so, especially after hearing what my Aunt said. He ’s extremely lustful and old, already having at least three thousand concubines so far! She ’s definitely unwilling to be another number! ”
These rumors were like rampaging bulls and kept becoming more colorful, but the terms wife, concubine, unwilling, and forced union was ever-present. It circulated like mad, as if someone was fanning this flame throughout the country. Furthermore, these discussions were even happening outside the country. It was like a contagious infection that could only be talked about to alleviate the symptoms.
This was further exacerbated by the fact no one knew who this mysterious alchemist was. There were a few guesses, believing him to be a reclusive Lord Alchemist with a facial deformity, or a very old Alchemist seeking young flesh, or even Wei Wuyin, the Heavenly King himself! While the last rumor felt laughable to many, it was still a rumor that spread nonetheless.
It was a very controversial time.
Duke Zhao ’s death became nothing more than a quiet murmur to many as their focus was shifted elsewhere. While an illustrious expert of the ages met his untimely end, and hundreds of kilometers were devastated in the conflict, those unaffected cared very little. They merely offered some prayers and went about their lives. The cold and callousness of intelligent lifeforms were somewhat on display here.
While this was mostly ignored, there was someone fully making use of this time. Numerous independent architects and building materials from the outside started arriving, seeking to rebuild the damaged territory. Those who survived received the appropriate care and compensation, with all sorts of recovery products, and resources provided from an unknown source.
The rebuilding efforts were quite energetic. It even garnered a little attention. However, everyone knew that these were not the actions of the Bloodforge King but some affluent and wealthy individual with the heart of a saint.
An old man was standing in an area that was devastated almost entirely. It was formerly a mid-sized village and its protective formations were obliterated due to its close proximity to the battle. His hunched back and frail eyes swept the strong men who carried building materials on their backs and worked hard to build a foundation for buildings, repairing various irrigation and plumbing networks.
He was standing near a particularly large foundation of a building that seemingly would reach at least ten stories and span at least two kilometers. Those eyes of his revealed a ceaseless quiver, and even a little wetness within.
A masked figure silently flashed beside him. Calmly standing and looking on without speaking.
After several minutes, the old man asked: ”Is it really true? ” Those words were fueled with raw, heart-gripping emotions. If words could gain human form, these words would be on the brink of crying.
”The Ying Medicinal Sage Institute; It ’s the first of many that ’ll be set up with you as the founder across the starfield. It ’ll teach numerous gifted youths, orphans, and other individuals on how to save lives, learn proper apothecary skills, and even a little bit of alchemy. It ’ll also double as a free clinic, accepting any and all patients, free of charge. This is especially the case for children and infants. ”
”… ” Ying ’s wrinkled hand that gripped his cane trembled without end.
”As long as you stay as my shadow, this will only be the beginning. But if you stop acting as my shadow, if you dare die before either satisfying me or finding me a successor to act as my shadow, I ’ll destroy it all. Know that your existence is the only reason it exists and its continued existence will forever rely on you. ” A frigid, heartless set of words resounded without a hint of emotion. However, from that tone, one could see the absolute truth within.
In fact, he added: ”I swear an oath on my spirit that my words will remain true. ” A strange, unfathomably mysterious power seemed to link Ying with Wei Wuyin. It was a form of invisible karmic connection.
Then, Wei Wuyin vanished.
Ying stayed there, shrouded in silence. His heart was in chaos for a brief period. It took a while before a renewed and invigorated light seemed to enter those frail eyes of his. Wei Wuyin had stated that he would one-sidedly establish this non-profit institute and clinic that accepted others with the goal of helping others. It was a way for him to make amends, wash away his sins. A way that didn ’t require a single drop of blood being spilt to save others.
If it was anyone else, he wouldn ’t, no, couldn ’t believe it.
The resources and wealth required were extremely high, but after learning who Wei Wuyin was, his history, his potential, he knew that it was all possible. Within his heart, his purpose was solidified for life. Until the day he died or could find someone capable of replacing him, he would act as the most loyal, most exceptional shadow in this world.
Wei Wuyin returned to the Chen Manor. He was slightly exhausted after organizing all of the specifics in regards to the Ying Medicinal Sage Institute. He had to hire established Medicinal Sages to teach and instruct the young and talented as well as provide adequate materials for cultivation and study.
It was a lot harder than he originally thought. And forming hundred-year long contracts reinforced by Spirit Oaths was a difficult struggle. That didn ’t even include the true difficulties that laid in the intent and execution. The concept of a free clinic was like an impossible dream in the cultivation world. The sheer selfishness others had, including the requirements to be a success and not devolve into a mess of corruption was beyond the word ’difficult ’ could describe.
For example, he had to ensure each member swore upon their Spirits an Unavoidable, Unbreakable Oath. It had to contain values such as willingness to treat any and all patients equally without prejudice. He wanted to avoid an issue with selective treatment, hoping to snuff at racism and speciesism before it could begin. It also included a privacy mention, so information couldn ’t be sold directly or indirectly for profit or ill-intentions. Furthermore, while within the Institutes or clinic, one can not bring intentional harm to others that don ’t mean to intentionally bring harm to them.
As for outside? He didn ’t really care what they did in their free time. He knew there were limitations to devising a seamless oath, and he would never subject them to being unable to protect themselves.
In the future, this Oath would be widely known as the Oath of Saintitude. If it wasn ’t for the massive benefits in joining, very few would agree. Or the willingness to accept anyone with a desire to become a Medicinal Sage, be it without backing or talent in cultivation.
”Medicinal Sages…those who cultivate Hearts of Life Qi. ” Medicinal Sages is a very niche occupation. It wasn ’t very popular due to its similar yet not as direct issues it has with offensive power. While Life Qi was pure vitality-based energy capable of rejuvenating the body, mind, and spirit, it wasn ’t the best for self-preservation or strength. The only fortunate circumstance it had over Alchemic Hearts was that its elemental energies and Qi can be used to harm others, instead of being entirely useless due to its intrinsic changes.
This still was an issue that needed to be addressed. So, this meant he had to hire others to protect the academy while he developed a sub-division of cultivators that ’s entire purpose was to ensure the protection of the resident Medicinal Saints, students, its patients while in treatment or observation, and the Institute ’s building and reputation. All of this while remaining anonymous and detaching the influence and authority of the Myriad Monarch Sect.
”Truly frustrating…and expensive. ”
In the end, he could only push forward. After all, he had major plans for Ying, and he was a man of his word. While he wasn ’t a saint, he had no aversion to helping others if it suited his needs.
”But making an orphanage and shelter service is going to be a little bit difficult… ”
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