Chapter 32: A Familiar Feeling
“If this goat meat could be developed as a resource, it would have a high commercial value,” said Cang Xu. He raised his index finger. “Firstly, the magic power contained in an ordinary goat is far more than the amount in a normal Bronze magic beast. The cost of raising these ordinary goats compared to the cost of raising the same number of Bronze magic beasts is enormous, completely different concepts.”
Then he raised his middle finger. “Secondly, although the composition of the goat meat’s magic power is dangerous and strange, when cold, the magic power is subdued and stable. It means the goat meat has a natural advantage for storage. Under normal circumstances, once a magic beast is killed, the beast’s accumulated magic power will dissipate as time passes. Usually, a magician or an alchemist is needed to process the magic beast’s body on-site to seal in the magic power to stabilize it for as long as possible.
“Consider the largest magic beast hunting group in the Sheng Ming Continent—the Giant Mouth Hunting Group. After they kill a magic beast, they would have the specialized staff at the scene dismember it, seal it, transport it to the camp, and then use magic formations to enhance the seals. Even with powerful seals, the magic power would still dissipate and their value would also fall as time passes. As such, in the case of extremely precious magic materials, the Giant Mouth Hunting Group would not hesitate to use a teleportation formation to transport it.
“The cost of processing and transportation is enormous. And the more powerful the magic beast was, the costlier it would be. As such, as long as the conditions were right, the Giant Mouth Hunting Group would try to capture magic beasts alive. They would transport the magic beasts alive back to the cities and kill them there to sell the magic materials fresh. But this method has its own problems. Magic beasts are expensive to feed and it takes powerful Practitioners to monitor and suppress them, requiring much manpower, which also has high costs to maintain.”
Finishing, Cang Xu returned to the main topic, the goat meat. “However, our goat meat is different. As long as we construct a low-temperature container, the ice-type magic power in the goat meat would be stable, with few leaks. This is a huge advantage that could save us a lot of the storage and transportation costs.”
Zhen Jin felt a rush of excitement as he listened. He had had a plan for these goats. It was to turn these goats into mounts and develop a cavalry unit. In the future, when he became the City Lord of White Sands, if he had an elite cavalry unit, it would be of great aid to control the state of affairs. Therefore, Zhen Jin was not afraid of trouble and had personally subdued four Bronze head goats and captured many of the kids to attempt to tame and raise them.
In the end, while the four Bronze goats had survived, the kids died. It could be said that Zhen Jin’s goat calvary plan was a complete failure. But now, he found another possibility—it was to sell the goat flesh directly.
Such was life. Plans could never keep up with changes. Cold reality brings disasters, smashing dreams and plans, while often bringing gifts at the same time, allowing men to hold on to hope. Hope was everlasting. The key was whether a person could find it. Many would fail to find hope in their lives and sink into despair. For, to find hope, one did not only need a pair of bright eyes but also a good mindset or deep wisdom.
Zi Di’s eyes glowed as she agreed with Cang Xu, saying, “If we can find Practitioners who can digest this goat meat, it would indeed be a huge business. Since ordinary goats are very easy to capture, we could even conduct large-scale rearing. The feeding and transportation costs are far lower compared to Bronze or Iron magic beasts. This business could be quite lucrative. Besides, there is another wonderful aspect to it—as long as we sell in bulk at low prices, this business could allow us to build relations with the top nobles of the Empire!”
“Looking at it like that, these goats are walking, bleating piles of gold coins,” said Lan Zao, his voice feverish and eyes wide open.
Zi Di looked at Zhen Jin and said, “Lord Zhen Jin, if we can develop and control this business, it will, no doubt, be a great help to you. Regardless of competing to become the City Lord of White Sands or after you become the city lord, you will need a great amount of capital. This business is like giving yourself wings! It could also bring us the support of top nobles!”
Zhen Jin nodded, knowing the future prospects and benefits, but his demeanor was still calm. “This matter needs to be considered for the long-term, but the matter at hand is to solve the chaotic magic power in our bodies.”
The atmosphere in the tent then calmed down a little. The ice magic power could not be allowed to remain lurking in their bodies. Even if the magic power had little activity, it would still secretly eat away at the body. In the short term, it seemed harmless. But, in fact, the magic power was damaging their vitality. Moreover, if their body temperature ever rose, it would become a deadly killer.
Zhen Jin did not want this. He needed to resolve his own problems while saving everyone’s lives. He still wanted to take these people with him to the beastman continent to compete for the lordship of White Sands City. So how could he resolve this conundrum?
Gazes gathered on Zi Di. It all depended on the pharmacist’s performance now. Zi Di was solemn as she felt the heavy burden on her shoulders. She muttered, “I need to experiment first. For the time being, I cannot give you an answer.”
Zhen Jin nodded. “What do you need? We will do our best to help you.”
And so Zhen Jin gave his tent to Zi Di. Lan Zao once more led a group out to hunt goats, with Cang Xu personally conducting the dissections. Zhen Jin also hunted a Bronze head goat to help. The goat flesh, bones and fur which contained magic power were transported to the tent in batches.
Lights in the tent were lit from the gloaming till close to dawn. Zi Di had dark circles under her eyes when she opened the tent flap. “I need grass.”
“Grass?” asked Zhen Jin, who was keeping watch outside the tent.
“The food of the goats. The more grass the better. Note that it must be plucked out by the roots,” instructed Zi Di.
Zhen Jin nodded and gave the orders. Fortunately, he had these subordinates and ample manpower. On his own, he would not have been able to meet Zi Di’s urgent needs.
He did not know how much progress Zi Di had made and was worried, but his face revealed none of it. He continued to stand by the tent, his hand resting on the crude wooden hilt of his blade, and his body ramrod straight. Whenever the exploration team members passed by, they would see Zhen Jin’s silhouette, and their restless hearts would be calmed and their hopes would swell.
Everyone dug out the grass by the roots, and after the dirt was removed, the grass was sent to the tent in heaps. The tent was like a bear that had woken up from hibernation, endlessly devouring food with an insatiable stomach. Zhen Jin could smell all kinds of strange smells wafting out from the tent.
When the sun was up in the east and the sky was filled with the rose tint of the morning, Zi Di’s voice came, “Lord Zhen Jin, are you still there?”
“I am,” replied Zhen Jin.
“Please come in.”
Zhen Jin’s spirit was roused. He turned around, opened the flap, and entered. The smells were even more pungent inside the tent, lingering about as a faint mist.
Zi Di’s face was haggard, but her wide-open, crystal-clear eyes revealed her excitement. “Luckily, I have not failed,” said Zi Di, raising the glass vial in her hand which was filled with an azure liquid.
“It turns out,” she continued, “the goats are also victims like us. What actually contained the accumulated ice-type magic power was this grass. The life aura of this grass is very ordinary. However, it contains rich ice-type magic power. When the goats eat this grass, the magic power would enter their bodies. Then, when we ate the goats, we also became contaminated by this unusual magic power.”
The truth revealed by Zi Di surprised him. “Based on what you said, does that mean that these grasses are comparable to magic plants and have astonishing value?” asked Zhen Jin.
Zi Di nodded. “This grass is extremely rich in sap, especially the roots which are comparable to fruits. However, I still suggest we sell goat meat. This kind of grass is very easy to copy, whether by a druid master or the Temple of Life. As long as they can acquire a certain amount of the grass, they could cultivate this in large quantities. And that is not considering beings like Grand Duke Sen Xu.”
The potion was made, but its actual effects still needed to be tested. Of course, Zhen Jin would not be the first to drink it. He ordered for a small group to gather.
When Huang Zao heard this, he immediately volunteered to be first. This drew the berating of Lan Zao, and Huang Zao had to give up. As the younger brother, he dared not resist his older brother.
Thus before everyone’s gazes, Lan Zao swallowed the first potion in one gulp—“Blech!” Immediately after drinking it, his face turned blue. He grabbed at his throat, opened his mouth, and gagged with wide-open eyes. But to his distress, he could not expel anything.
“Big brother!” shouted Huang Zao in alarm. The others were also bewildered.
“Don’t worry. This is a normal reaction,” said Zi Di in a level tone, reassuring them.
Just as her voice fell, Lan Zao suddenly bent over and vomited a mouthful of blood. The red blood had a blue hue mixed into it. In particular, there were a few thumb-sized ice chunks. These ice chunks exuded a dense cold air and had a strange blue-purple color. After vomiting these things, Lan Zao instantly felt lighter and relaxed, and the blue on his face quickly receded.
Zi Di checked the vomited substances and said with a smile, “Good, you should have thrown up all the ice-type magic power inside your body. The purpose of the potion I made was to absorb the ice-type magic power, coagulate it, and expel it via vomit. As long as you do not eat any more of the goat meat, the poison will not appear again.”
In order to confirm it, everyone accompanied Lan Zao a certain distance from the camp. Not only did they walk to where they had found themselves poisoned before but went even further away than that, and Lan Zao was still energetic and did not have any unusual conditions. Everyone was exalted and started taking the potions.
Zhen Jin drank the sixth potion. This was Zi Di’s special arrangement. With the previous tests, there was sufficient proof of the medicine's efficacy. Therefore she was at ease when Zhen Jin took the potion.
After taking it, Zhen Jin had a similar reaction to Lan Zao. He vomited out blood and ice chunks, expelling all of the ice-type magic power that was in his body.
“This is‽” In a split second, Zhen Jin’s complexion changed.
“Is there something wrong?” Zi Di rushed over with concern.
“It's nothing,” said Zhen Jin, shaking his head. However, his heart was still reeling from the shock brought to him. Just after he vomited, he felt an indescribable feeling of emptiness. This feeling had left a deep impression on him, so much so that he had recalled it many times.
He was extremely familiar with it! Not long ago, when he killed the Silver blade-legged spider, his hands had transformed into sharp claws. When his hands returned to normal, he had felt this exact same feeling of emptiness. What is going on? thought Zhen Jin with doubts growing in his heart.