Chapter 36: A Brave Movement: Going to the Hill in the Mid of Night
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Wang Yao took some herbs out of the cottage, then tried to distinguish them using his knowledge of herbs.
Angelica: too dry—no good!
Astragalus: hard skin, hollow inside—no good!
Salvia: too long and thin, light color—no good either!
After going through all the herbs he bought, he found those herbs all seemed to be low quality. Although they could be used for brewing decoctions, the quality was much lower than those good ones. With herbs of high quality, one decoction would probably have better effects. With herbs of low quality, at least three decoctions were required to make an effect. In addition, even herbs had side effects. So it was essential to pick herbs of good quality.
There are so many things to be considered when brewing decoctions!
Task: Make ten different formulas within seven days. No repeats.
“What do you mean by no repeats?” asked Wang Yao.
No repeats of those you’ve made previously.
“How about brewing one decoction ten times?” asked Wang Yao.
Don’t be silly!
Shit! Got something to do again. Seven days, ten formulas, time is limited.
Wang Yao didn’t waste any time. He went inside the cottage to do some research online and using his books. Plus, the knowledge he already had, he spent the whole afternoon deciding which ten formulas he was going to make. He also listed the herbs required to make the ten formulas. Fifty-seven herbs were required. Some of them could be used in different formulas so this was not the most difficult part.
With the existing herbs Wang Yao was able to make one of the ten formulas.
After he had made up his mind, he picked, weighed, washed and soaked the herbs before he starting brewing. He was efficient and careful.
Ephedra, Cassia Twig, Almond, Licorice…
Wang Yao worked until 2 am. He finally made it after three trials.
Ephedra decoction: acrid-warm herbs relieving superficies.
After packing his things away and resting for a few hours, it was dawn already. He got up to work in the herbal field as usual. He removed the weeds and watered the herbs with ancient spring water.
He then called home after checking the time. He asked his mother to look after the herbal field for him as he was going to town. Wang Yao rode to town after talking shortly with his mother.
“Don’t rush, Yao,” said his mother before he left.
“Hey, young man, here you are again!” said the shop assistant when he saw Wang Yao, “What are you going to buy this time?”
“Here you are, this is the list.” Wang Yao handed the list over to the shop assistant.
“Gosh, this is a lot!” The shop assistant was surprised.
“Sorry to trouble you,” said Wang Yao.
“Don’t worry about it. Please wait here,” said the shop assistant.
“Can I go with you inside?” asked Wang Yao who wanted to take the chance to learn herbs.
“Sure, come with me,” said the shop assistant.
Following the shop assistant, Wang Yao entered the place where the herbs were stored. There were dozens of lines of shelves inside. On each shelf, there was a labeled box for easy identification.
This Ginseng is not old enough…the color of the glossy ganoderma is gray and white—no good…this sealwort is nowhere near what I have grown.
Wang Yao found that all the herbs stored here were of low quality after assessing them using his knowledge he learned from the system. Even with artificial cultivation, the quality of herbs came out differently. In some cases, the herbs were planted in an uncultivated environment, like free range. Those herbs came out in lower amounts but higher quality. The herbs stored here were all from large-scale artificial cultivation. It was cheaper to do it that way, but the herbs came out in higher amounts but lower quality.
It took the shop assistant two hours to get all the herbs ready, which filled two large bags to the brim.
“Thank you very much!” said Wang Yao after he paid the money.
“This is my contact number. Call me directly before you come next time.” The shop assistant gave Wang Yao his mobile number. After a few encounters, they started to get to know each other.
“Sure, I’ll see you next time!” said Wang Yao.
It took Wang Yao a lot of effort to bring the two bags of herbs up the hill.
“Yao, what did you buy!?” asked Zhang Xiuying as she saw her son carrying two big bags. He was sweating all over his head.
“Herbs,” said Wang Yao.
“I see. Are you gonna brew decoctions again?” asked Zhang Xiuying.
“Yes,” replied Wang Yao, “I’ll take over from here, you can go home to rest now.”
“Okay, don’t forget to come home for dinner!” said Zhang Xiuying.
“I won’t!” said Wang Yao.
Wang Yao started to work as soon as Zhang Xiuying left. He sorted through the herbs and picked out the ones he needed, then started to brew the decoction.
It was a boring process to brew decoctions, and Wang Yao had to keep an eye on the fire all the time. But even with the multifunctional pot for herbs, Wang Yao didn’t dare to be slack.
In fact, Wang Yao felt bored when he was brewing decoctions at the beginning. He simply wanted to complete the task. But gradually, he found it to be interesting. Maybe it was related to his personality. Wang Yao was a quiet person and he enjoyed doing research on topics he was interested in. There was a lot of knowledge about brewing decoctions. Every time he came across something new, he made notes about it.
Wang Yao made a formula successfully again at night. This one was similar to the ephedra decoction with the same effect of relieving superficies. But the components were different.
Wang Yao was relieved after he made the formula. He noticed it was only a couple minutes after eight at night. He still had time to make another formula, but he decided to pack up and have a good rest tonight so that he would have the energy to brew decoctions the next day.
Wang Yao fell asleep right away after a busy day.
In the middle of the night, he suddenly heard San Xian barking. He got up immediately.
After putting his clothes on, he walked out of the cottage with a torch and a short stick. He saw someone over ten meters away from him. He went after that person for a while before he stopped. The person didn’t return to the village. Instead, he went deeper in the hill.
“San Xian, come back!” called Wang Yao.
San Xian limped back. He was very loyal to Wang Yao.
Who was it in the middle of the night running so fast! He’s got the guts to be running around the hill; isn’t he afraid of running into ghosts!?