Chapter 8: Berserk Potion
Inside the cave, the two had faces of incredulity. They were unexpectedly still alive! Zi Di got up first and looked at the footprints. The fierce beast had created a shallow pit with every step. Luckily, the two were not stepped on.
“Lord!” Zi Di exclaimed as she attempted to get Zhen Jin up on his feet. However, moving the combined weight of Zhen Jin and his armor was not something a lean magician like Zi Di could do. In the end, she could only drag him a small distance and lean his upper body against the cave wall.
At this moment, Zhen Jin was in a sorry state. When Zi Di touched him, she found his body almost as hot as the ores around them. The effects of the potion had worn off and the stench from his body was more fetid than before, nearly suffocating Zi Di.
Zhen Jin said weakly, “Go, Zi Di, leave this place.” He could not even move his head as swaying his head slightly might render him unconscious. As he raised his hands before him, he saw numerous illusionary arms. As his eyelids swelled, his eyesight was severely affected.
Zi Di, upon realizing the circumstances, almost drowned in despair. She knew how terrible the fire-venom was. Some of the bodyguards of the search and rescue team had died from it. They had suffered greatly before death. At the time of death, their eyes were so swollen they became blind, their throats and noses also inflamed, making breathing extremely difficult, and the cause of death was asphyxiation. Although Zhen Jin was likely to be a Silver lifeform, it was not enough to resist the fire-venom. There was too much of it in his body!
Faced again with Zhen Jin’s urging to escape, Zi Di shook her head and said, “I will not go. I will not abandon you, my Lord. I might be able to concoct a medicine. Surely I can create the correct medicine! We still have hope, please don’t give up!”
Zhen Jin’s vision began to blur. It was as if his eyes were glued shut and no matter how hard he tried, he could not tear them open. In his blurred vision, he saw Zi Di sitting and crying as she took out every single potion from her small waist pouch. She quickly poured a potion on the ground and corroded away a small hole. Soon after, she began to mix many of the potions together, then she took out many dried herbs and roots from her bosom and crushed them into a powder. Afterward, she poured them into the hole.
Gurgle… The mixture in the hole began to bubble and she gazed at it, constantly mixing it and occasionally wiping her eyes as if she was irritated.
Zhen Jin wanted to persuade her again but he soon discovered that he was unable to speak anymore. His throat felt like it was on fire and swelling so much he had difficulty swallowing saliva. His tongue was extremely numbed and he could not feel it at all as if his body did not have one. His consciousness began to fade. He was in a half-awake, half-asleep state, losing his ability to perceive any of what was happening around him.
Amidst his daze, he sensed a cool liquid pouring into his mouth and sliding down his throat. His throat was like a channel clogged with rocks piled up but as this cool liquid washed over, they quickly melted away and cleared the path. The cool liquid gradually spread throughout his body and with it, his consciousness rapidly returned.
Zhen Jin opened his eyes and saw the vague figure of Zi Di lying against his body. The girl’s hands were covered with medicinal mixtures, which were smeared all over his body. Because of the fire-venom, his skin had swollen and his clothes and mail had tightened around his body. With the help of the potion’s medicinal effects, his red and swollen skin quickly shrunk to its original form. The following bone-piercing chill made him shiver.
In the hot and stuffy cave, Zi Di, who busied herself with smearing the potion, was sweating profusely and her originally loose robe now clung tight against her body. After she finished smearing the medicine, the girl’s purple eyes glowed with hope as she stared unblinking at Zhen Jin.
Zhen Jin felt as if he were a drowning man who had reached land, coughing water out of his lungs, opening his mouth, and gasping for breath. He inhaled the searing-hot air in the cave but he felt blissful like a man who had come across sweet rain after a long drought. As he gradually became conscious, he discovered he was drooling, his saliva trickling all over the floor.
Zi Di who was watching saw clearly: The swelling all over Zhen Jin’s body was rapidly contracting and his condition was dramatically improving. “My Lord, you’re awake!” Upon seeing Zhen Jin’s eyes open and clear of haze, Zi Di was pleasantly surprised. To be frank, she did not have much confidence in the medicine she had configured.
“How long was I out?” Zhen Jin inquired.
“Only a few minutes,” Zi Di replied.
Zhen Jin was immediately relieved. “We need to leave the cave now.” Without a doubt, this was a dangerous place. Previously, the bee swarm had run away upon seeing the cave monster and it was likely it would win in a confrontation against the bees. Once it won and returned to the cave, the two were sure to be prey for the monster. Going deeper into the cave was very risky, who knew if the path forked in there? If it did not, then this was a dead end.
Zi Di pulled Zhen Jin up and as he stood up, he held on to the cave wall for support. His gauntlet gave off a foul odor as it burned on the cave wall but he was happy because regardless of whether it was feeling hot or smelling the burning odor, these were all normal bodily senses.
Previously, he could not feel anything. Now, to his surprise and suspicion, he sensed that within his body a new power was brewing, making him feel stronger and stronger with every passing moment. Noticing his doubt, Zi Di explained with a look of terror and guilt, “My Lord, I am sorry, I mixed in too many berserk potions.”
After drinking a berserk potion, one could temporarily draw a huge amount of potential from their body, giving a massive boost to combat power, however, in exchange, it could greatly harm their body.
“You did the right thing. No need to blame yourself.” Zhen Jin said and patted her shoulders, easing her anxiety. “Let’s go,” he urged as he attempted to take a step forward. Although he was still dizzy, it had alleviated to a lesser extent now and he soon discovered he could walk and even run on his own.
As the power within him grew further stronger, he felt that even his mail was as light as a feather. It seems the berserk potion has fully stimulated my lifeforce. But what will happen once its effects wear off? This was a hidden danger encroaching on his heart with gloom.
Under normal circumstances, once the effects of a berserk potion wore off, the person would fall into a state of extreme weakness. Zi Di’s hastily created medicine did not solve the root of his problem. The combined effects of the berserk potion and others only served to stimulate and heighten his lifeforce, allowing his body to resist the fire-venom.
No matter how it was done, I will use this opportunity to escape. Even if I can’t, then at least try my best and save Zi Di. Zhen Jin already had one foot in the grave, and though his time awake was not long and his memories were crippled he knew: Zi Di is my fiancée and our relationship seems somewhat complicated, and who knows what ax she has to grind. However, she stood by me from the beginning and even tried to sacrifice herself for me, no matter the risks she faced. How can I repay such a girl? How can I be called a knight if I can’t even protect my own fiancée? He swore inwardly he would give his all to protect this girl.
The two rushed through the cave and they quickly arrived at the cave mouth. From outside came the roaring of beasts, tearing away at each other's lives. Based on the sounds, the battle was extremely intense. Zhen Jin and Zi Di looked at each other in bewilderment, then sneaked to the cave mouth and peered out. It appeared the fire-venom bees had long since left. Now, there were two other parties in battle.
One party was the monster that drove the fire-venom bees out of the cave. It was stout and resembled a brown bear but with the pink tail of a monkey, and it stood upright like a human. It had bear paws, but its arms were not of bears but of gorillas, and each of its hands had four fingers with sharp, long, and dark fingernails that resembled pitch black iron.
The other party was a group of beasts that looked like black leopards but their bodies were not covered in fur but scales. In addition, they had a sharp horn like that of a rhino on their forehead. While there was only one monkey-tailed brown bear, there were about a dozen of these scaly, horned black leopards.
Judging from its aura, the monkey bear was a Silver magic beast. In comparison, most of the scaled leopards were Bronzes with only the leader and a few others having an Iron aura.
The leap surrounded the bear in the center as the two sides fought. The bear was powerful and none of the leopards could match it alone. The leopards charged in, almost always only to be slapped back by the bear, however, the leopards would quickly get back up on their paws. They seemed to have a strong, hard body that could easily shrug off such heavy blows.
As Zhen Jin and Zi Di watched the two sides become deadlocked, they glanced at each other with worry in their eyes. If they went out, the leopards would surround them and tear them to pieces!
“My Lord, if there is a chance, rush out. No need to care for me,” Zi Di whispered. Zhen Jin shook his head and did not have the leisure to rebut his fiancée. Even alone, he did not have the confidence in breaking out of a siege by this leap, what was worse, he had to escape with Zi Di. This was too difficult! Moreover…his own situation was full of hidden worries. Once the potion’s effects wore off, the suppressed fire-venom would flare up and pose a great threat to Zhen Jin’s life.
What could he do?
If only I had my battle qi, if only I could use my battle qi… Zhen Jin felt depressed and distressed. He had a weapon within his body but had no way to use it.