Chapter 28 – The Apricot Clinic

Over the next few days, Su Yi lived according to a set rhythm. 

In the early morning, he’d walk along the Great Azure and practice martial arts in the mulberry grove.
At noon, he’d return to the city and purchase herbal medicines, then go home to prepare a medicinal bath to refine his body.

Just three days had passed, but he’d already refined all the energy contained within the sesame-seed-sized Spirit Obsidian pieces.

In the process, his cultivation had already reached the peak of the Refining Muscle stage.

The next step was beginning his “Refining Sinew” stage cultivation.

This cultivation speed was already shocking, and his breakthrough came over ten days faster than Su Yi’s initial estimate. 

However, this rate of improvement was also entirely reasonable.

After all, he was expending fifteen hundred taels worth of medicinal ingredients per day, and the Spirit Obsidian he’d just refined was incomparably precious.
Add that to the profundity of the Pine and Crane Body Refining Art, and it would have been difficult not to improve.

“Just two thousand taels left….” Su Yi slumped in a rocking chair beneath one of the courtyard’s jujube trees, enjoying the sun.
Mottled sunlight passed through the leaves, forcing him to squint.

He’d just finished an extreme cultivation session, and his body needed time to rest and readjust.

In just ten days, he’d already spent eight of the ten thousand taels Zi Jin had given him.
Soon, he’d have no choice but to consider how he’d go about earning more.

But then, there’s no need to panic about making money. Su Yi stretched out his hand and picked up the cup of ginseng tea beside him, then drained it in a single gulp.

Instantly, a refreshing warmth flowed down his throat, then coursed through him like the tide, spreading to every bone in his body.
His blood and qi flared in response, and his exhausted flesh began to make a rapid recovery. 

In an instant, his full-body exhaustion vanished!

This was a medicinal tea he’d brewed with the Nine-Leafed King Ginseng’s leaves.
He’d also added blood poria, fleeceflower root, and other ingredients.
The resulting liquid contained abundant life force and spiritual energy. 

If I brew tea from the leaves, use the root hairs to make soup, and chew the fruit raw, this single piece of Nine-Leafed King Ginseng can sustain my cultivation for several days, thought Su Yi.

It was, after all, a tier-two spiritual medicine; it could satisfy even a Qi Accumulation expert with room to spare.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll go forge myself a sword! He exhaled, and his eyes brightened.

In the past, he’d used his sword to prove his Dao.
In the end, his sword suppressed the starry skies, and he reigned supreme over the Wilds.
The people respectfully called him “the Swordmaster of Abstruse Force.”

His choice to reincarnate was similarly for the sake of pursuing the Dao of the Sword to even higher realms!

It was fair to say that Su Xuanjun’s life was centered around the Dao of the Sword. 

As a sword cultivator, how could he walk around without a weapon?

Suddenly, the voice of a servant girl resounded from the gates.
“Sir, the lady of the house requests your presence in the atrium.
She says there’s something she wishes to discuss with you.”

After a moment’s surprise, he called back, “Alright.”


The atrium.

When Su Yi arrived, his mother and father-law were both seated at the dining table.

A sumptuous lunch, the dishes still piping hot, was laid across the table.

Wen Changtai glanced at Su Yi, then said, “Sit down and eat with us.”

“Wait! Qin Qing glared at him in displeasure.

Wen Changtai immediately shut up, lowered his head, and kept eating in silence.

Su Yi was long accustomed to this.
His father-in-law, Wen Changtai, was an honest sort, good-natured and unambitious, who wanted nothing more than to live out his days in peace.

Qin Qing set down her chopsticks and said, “Su Yi, have you heard that Lingzhao is about to become the direct disciple of a Heaven’s Origin Academy vice palace master?”

Su Yi nodded.
“I heard.”

The day after the matriarch’s birthday celebration, word spread that Wen Lingzhao had been chosen by Heaven’s Origin Academy’s vice palace master, Zhu Guqing as her direct disciple.

Within Cloudriver Prefecture, Zhu Guqing was a rare Martial Dao Grandmaster, famed far and wide.
To ordinary martial artists, she was like a distant god or soaring dragon. 

For Wen Lingzhao to win the good graces of a Grandmaster like her was an unexpected stroke of fortune, and the entire Wen Family was in uproar. 

When word spread, it stirred up great waves and shook the entire city.
Who knew how many people were in uproar over this?

But to Su Yi, it was just a bit unexpected, that’s all. 

It had been less than half a month since Wen Lingzhao joined Heaven’s Origin Academy, yet she’d already won the favor of a Martial Dao Grandmaster.
Not even Su Yi would have anticipated that.

But at the same time, he wasn’t exactly “shocked.” 

She was to become the disciple of a Martial Dao Grandmaster, an Inner Furnace expert.
What did that amount to?

Qin Qing’s beautiful features shone with delight.
“This is an enormous stroke of fortune for the entire Wen Family.
This very morning, the family head personally promised our family a thousand taels of gold, ten clusters of pearls, and the deeds to nine buildings.
Furthermore, he’s decided to place Bluefinch Street’s ‘Apricot Clinic’ under our management!”

As she said this, she looked entranced.
She was practically beaming; it was obvious how pleased she was. 

The past few days had undoubtedly been among the best of her life.
No matter who saw her, they greeted her with a smile and spoke with enthusiasm and flattery.

Even the family head and matriarch treated her with noticeably more respect than before!

This left Qin Qing somewhat dazed; it didn’t feel quite real.

“That really is wonderful news,” Su Yi said perfunctorily. 

Qin Qing was instantly on guard.
“None of this wealth is for you.
Don’t even think about it!”

Su Yi didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
He lacked money, but he had countless ways to earn more.
What need was there to covet such a paltry sum? He didn’t know what Qin Qing was thinking, either; her beautiful face flitting between different expressions unpredictably.

Finally, she seemed to reach a decision.
“It’s been a year since you married into the family.
You can’t just sit around mooching off us forever, so I plan to send you to take over the Apricot Clinic’s management!”

Su Yi was stunned.

Although Bluefinch Street wasn’t in the most prosperous part of Guangling City, it was densely populated and a gathering point for people of all trades.

Apricot Clinic had been in business there for years, and they had no shortage of customers.

What piqued Su Yi’s suspicion was that the mother-in-law who’d always loathed and detested him was giving him benefits out of nowhere.
Was she really doing this out of the goodness of her heart?

He didn’t have to wonder for long.
Qin Qing’s expression turned serious, and she said sharply, “I’m warning you, although you’re going to go manage Apricot Clinic, I expect you to turn in a thousand taels of silver a month! Any less, and don’t blame me for being heartless!”

Su Yi finally understood. That’s more like it! This is the mother-in-law I remember.
She’d never do something nice for me without a reason. 

Wen Changtai couldn’t help but interject, “A thousand taels a month?” 

Qin Qing said triumphantly, “I stayed up all night last night, and I finally got the Apricot Clinic’s ledgers in order.
If business continues at its current rate, it’ll earn a thousand taels a month, give or take three hundred!”

Su Yi was stunned.
It seemed that in his mother-in-law’s eyes, he was nothing but free hard labor, and unpaid labor at that…

What’s even happening here? In my past life, I was the sovereign of the Wilds, the Swordmaster of Abstruse Force.
Now, post reincarnation, even my shrewish mother-in-law can exploit me as she pleases?

“What happens if he can’t earn a thousand in a month?” asked Wen Changtai.

Qin Qing snorted, then said deftly, “I’m not unreasonable! He can just pay the rest off later.
It’s fine so long as he makes up the difference within three months.”

She paused, then continued leisurely, “But in that case, he’ll have to pay a little extra in interest.
The more he owes us, the higher the interest will be.
If he can’t pay off his debts within three months, he’ll have to pay interest on his interest, and his total debt will grow non-stop, multiplying without end.”

Just listening, the mild, good-natured Wen Changtai couldn’t help but gasp.
He was starting to feel sorry for Su Yi.

Qin Qing took a sip of tea to wet her throat, and her sharp gaze bore into Su Yi.
“You won’t default your debts, right?”

Instead of answering, Su Yi asked a question of his own.
“And what if I earn over a thousand taels per month?”

Qin Qing burst into laughter.
“You might be a moocher, but you’ve still got some ambition! Even you understand that the more money you earn, the better,” she said approvingly.
“Then I’ll go right ahead and tell you that if you earn over a thousand taels, you can keep the rest.” 

It’s settled,” Su Yi agreed without a second thought. 

Qin Qing was stunned.
She never would have guessed that he’d agree so forthrightly, and it left her uneasy.

She thought about it, then warned him again.
“If you dare try any funny business, don’t blame me for my poor manners!”

Not long after, Su Yi left. 

Qin Qing was sending him to the Apricot Clinic tomorrow.
He’d live there from now on.

This was actually good news for him.

Remaining in the Wen Family estate made everything inconvenient, but it would be different outside.

Soon, only Qin Qing and Wen Changtai remained in the atrium.

Wen Changtai couldn’t help but ask, “Why did you send Su Yi to manage the clinic? Second Brother’s been in control there for a long time, and everyone there is on his payroll, from the physicians to the servants.”

He sighed despite himself.
“If you send Su Yi on his own, they’re sure to bully him! How much is he going to suffer there?” 

“If you were as capable as your second brother, how could the matriarch have let Su Yi marry into our family in the first place?” snapped Qin Qing.
“Do you have any idea how deeply this arrangement has wronged our daughter?

“Now look at your oldest brother.
He’s the head of the family, with all the power and authority that entails! He’s in control of the entire family’s assets.
How impressive is that? Now look at you! You’ve failed at both studying and martial arts, and you never strive for anything! All the good stuff has wound up in your elder brothers’ hands!

“If not for me personally taking charge of our family’s affairs, with your meager capabilities, the rest of the family would have long since bullied us to death!”

Qin Qing rebuked him so viciously that Wen Changtai dared not say a word.
He could only grimace.
But then, he’d always been like that.
He knew full well that compared to his brothers, he was indeed quite mediocre.

Furthermore, Qin Qing’s strong disposition and shrewdness only offset his own ineptitude.

Some time passed before Qin Qing finally seemed to calm down.
“I know the Apricot Clinic has always belonged to your second brother, but that’s in the past.
From now on, it belongs to us!

“As for whether Su Yi will get bullied… Hmph, don’t look down on that son-in-law of ours.”

Wen Changtai was stunned.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I heard that a few days ago, Su Yi taught Huang Qianjun a lesson over at the Immortal Gathering House.
I initially assumed that the Huang Family wouldn’t let him off, but look at him! He’s still alive and well; they didn’t so much as harm a hair on his head.” Qin Qing laughed coldly.
“Although I can’t figure out their reasoning, my instincts tell me that something strange is afoot!”

She paused, then sighed.
“It’s a pity.
Were he still Blueriver Sword Manor’s outer sect Sword Chief, he might have just barely been a good enough match for Lingzhao.

“But now she’s about to become a Grandmaster’s disciple! Compare her to Su Yi! He has no strong points at all!” Her tone was full of dense resentment.

“If he hadn’t lost his cultivation, he never would have become our son-in-law in the first place,” said Wen Changtai in an attempt to comfort her.
“After all, at the time, Lingzhao had yet to enter Heaven’s Origin Academy.”

“You shut your mouth!” Qin Qing slammed the table in fury, cutting him off.
“Are you comforting me or just poking fun at Lingzhao? Or have you been so ‘frustrated’ lately that you need someone to teach you a lesson?”

Wen Changtai was visibly uneasy.
He smiled sheepishly, but said nothing. 

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