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TL: FoodieMonster007; ED: TheGreatT20 If you see this, you are at the wrong site!
Jin Mu-Won took a stroll around the backyard of the Peace Inn. A gentle breeze ruffled his hair, and he closed his eyes in pleasure, thinking, Han-Seol, if only you could feel this nice breeze too…
Suddenly, a voice interrupted his reverie.
“Hello, Master Jin,” Tang Mi-Ryeo greeted, carrying a basin of water.
“Hello, Miss Tang.”
“My uncle told me that you’re going to Heaven’s Summit. Is that true?”
“Can I go with you? Please take good care of me on the trip.”
“I’m the one who will be taken care of. Are you on your way to treat Young Master Yoon?”
“Yes, my uncle told me to bring him fresh water.”
“Would you mind if I joined you?”
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“Of course not.” Tang Mi-Ryeo blushed. Fortunately, it was still dark outside. It would have been very awkward if Jin Mu-Won had seen her.
Jin Mu-Won walked side by side with Tang Mi-Ryeo, keeping pace with her. From time to time, she would steal a glance at him. She wished that this walk would last longer, but alas, they soon arrived at the outbuilding where Yoon Ja-Myeong was being treated.
Yoon Seo-In and Gong Jin-Sung, who were watching over the patient, stood up and greeted them.
“Greetings, Master Jin.”
“Thank you for coming.”
Their attitude towards him had changed a great deal. Previously, they had only been polite to him out of respect for his strength, but he was now the famous Northern Blade as well as Yoon Ja-Myeong’s savior.
Jin Mu-Won returned their greeting and asked, “How is Young Master Yoon’s condition?”
“He hasn’t improved much. For now, we’re just thankful that Master Tang has managed to prevent his madness from worsening,” Gong Jin-Sung replied, looking crestfallen. In spite of Tang Gi-Mun’s best efforts, there hadn’t been much progress. Nevertheless, the Tang Clan’s poison master was their only hope.
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“Where’s Master Tang?”
“He went out for a bit and said that he’d be back shortly, but I haven’t heard from him yet,” Yoon Seo-In said anxiously. Yoon Ja-Myeong was her favorite brother. She loved how upbeat and positive he usually was, so her grief was multiplied.
Suddenly, the door opened and Tang Gi-Mun walked in. The four rose to greet him, but Tang Gi-Mun held out his hand to stop them.
“All of you, please take a seat,” he said, joy written all over his face.
Jin Mu-Won asked, “Have you figured out a cure?”
“I’m not sure if my new approach will work yet, but I think it’s worth a try.”
Gong Jin-Sung and Yoon Seo-In immediately jumped to their feet. ““Really?”” they asked.
“Yes. Don’t get your hopes up though, I’m still in the theory stage,” Tang Gi-Mun stressed. In his right hand, he held the deerskin pouch that Jin Mu-Won had given him, and in his left hand, he held a small purple rock.
“I spent the last few days analyzing the poison you provided, but unfortunately, I was unable to determine its composition. However…” He gestured with the purple rock and asked, “Do you know what this is?”
Jin Mu-Won shook his head.
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“This is a mineral called magnetite. It has an uncanny ability to attract iron, but it’s not easy to find, so most people have never even heard of what magnetite is,” Tang Gi-Mun explained, smiling even though the past few days had been an absolute nightmare for him. Faced with an unknown poison that defied all common sense, he realized how helpless he was. He tried everything he could think of and ran all kinds of tests, but to no avail. In fact, the moment he let his guard down, he would have been poisoned himself.
The creator of this poison was either a genius or a monster. Finally, in a fit of rage, he threw the poison pouch against the wall, where it landed next to a piece of magnetite. It was only then that he noticed something strange.
“The poison did not react to any of my other tests, but it was attracted to the magnetite. That can only mean one thing: the poison is a type of metal. Now, this type of poison can’t be detoxified, but it can be flushed out from the body. That’s why, a few days ago, I got a famous craftsman in Yuxi to make these for me,” Tang Gi-Mun reached into his breast pocket and pulled out a wooden box filled with acupuncture needles. Interestingly, the needles were purple instead of silver.
“Are those made of magnetite?”
“Yes, I’ll be using these to attract and remove the magnetic poison. It’s my first time trying something like this and I need your help, so stay vigilant.”
“Thank you, Master Tang,” Gong Jin-Sung said.
“We’ll do our best to help you,” Yoon Seo-In added.
Tang Gi-Mun looked to Jin Mu-Won for confirmation, as he trusted the young man more than the two of them. Jin Mu-Won nodded, and Tang Gi-Mun sat down looking relieved.
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“I’m going to perform the Forbidden Crystal Activation Acupuncture Technique (禁靈活晶針術). You’ll be my assistant.”
A glimmer of nervousness appeared on Tang Mi-Ryeo’s face. The Forbidden Crystal Activation Acupuncture Technique that Tang Gi-Mun was talking about was an advanced form of acupuncture that required the cooperation of at least two people. Acupuncture needles first had to be inserted at different speeds and depths into the thirty-six major acupuncture points of the body in one go. This was followed by the injection of the Tang Clan’s unique qi to draw out the poisonous qi in the body.
Tang Gi-Mun leaned over Yoon Ja-Myeong and inserted the acupuncture needles while Tang Mi-Ryeo injected her qi and separated the poison from the blood. Yoon Seo-In and Gong Jin-Sung watched nervously. When the two Tang Clan members finished their individual roles, they synchronized their breathing and drew out all the poison at once.
Yoon Ja-Myeong’s reaction was immediate. His body started to convulse as if he was having a seizure.
“Quick, subdue him! Before he hurts himself!” Tang Gi-Mun shouted.
Jin Mu-Won and Gong Jin-Sung sprang into action, strengthening themselves with qi to pin down Yoon Ja-Myeong. At the same time, Tang Gi-Mun and Tang Mi-Ryeo sped up their work, thick beads of sweat pouring down their faces like rain. Even though the process looked simple, it required a great deal of control. Not to mention, Yoon Ja-Myeong was so heavily poisoned that the procedure drained a great deal of their qi.
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At first, their efforts seemed to have no effect. Then, suddenly, blackened blood vessels popped out of his skin.
Seeing the black protruding blood vessels, Tang Gi-Mun and Tang Mi-Ryeo gave one last push. Finally, the black blood slowly inched toward the purple acupuncture needles.
It worked… Tang Gi-Mun’s face lit up with joy. As he predicted, magnetite needles were effective at attracting the poisonous mineral.
DRIP, DRIP, DRIP.
Black droplets trickled up the magnetite needles and leaked out through microscopic holes too small to see with the naked eye.
“Miss Yoon, please wipe off the poison on the needles with a wet towel, and be careful not to touch it.”
“Yes!” Yoon Seo-In did as Tang Gi-Mun instructed.
“KEUAK!” As the poison drained from his body, Yoon Ja-Myeong’s pain seemed to intensify. However, he could only groan and howl due to Jin Mu-Won and Gong Jin-Sung restraining him.
The sun set and then rose again. Yoon Seo-In changed the water and towel used to collect the poison for the umpteenth time, while Tang Gi-Mun and Tang Mi-Ryeo repeated yet another cycle of poison extraction. All of them were exhausted to the bone, their faces pale from the exertion. The good news was, Yoon Ja-Myeong’s pitch black blood was now a dark red.
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Another two hours passed.
Finally, the last drop of poison was drained from Yoon Ja-Myeong’s body.
“Huff, huff…” Tang Gi-Mun and Tang Mi-Ryeo relaxed their tensed muscles and sank to the floor, totally spent.
Tang Gi-Mun leaned against a wall for support and said tiredly, “Please help me do a final check. I suspect there may be some poison left.”
“Sure,” Jin Mu-Won replied, then placed his palm against Yoon Ja-Myeong’s Gate of Life Acupoint.1 He let his Shadow Qi stealthily flow through Yoon Ja-Myeong’s veins, searching for traces of poison.
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There! In the Qi Sea Acupoint!2 Tang Gi-Mun’s guess was correct. A tiny bit of poison remained hidden in Yoon Ja-Myeong’s body, waiting for its chance to strike.
Jin Mu-Won encapsulated the poison with his Shadow Qi, but the poison struggled desperately as if it were making a last stand. To counter this, Jin Mu-Won used the Art of Ten Thousand Shadows to analyze the poison and evolve his Shadow Qi into a form that could perfectly neutralize it, just as he had done for the Chaos Demon Tae Mu-Kwang ten years earlier.
When the last of the poison was expelled from Yoon Ja-Myeong’s body, Tang Gi-Mun pulled out all the magnetite needles and sighed in relief, “Phew!”
Yoon Seo-In nervously asked, “Is my brother cured now?”
“Please wait while I examine him,” Tang Gi-Mun said, placing his finger on Yoon Ja-Myeong’s wrist and checking his condition. After what seemed like a long time, he smiled. “All the poison has been eliminated, but your brother’s body has been severely damaged by the poison and he’ll need a lot of nourishment to recover.”
“Please tell me what he needs. I’ll get it immediately, no matter the cost or rarity.”
Tang Gi-Mun wrote down a prescription and handed it to Yoon Seo-In. Most of the medicinal herbs on it were worth thousands of gold, but with the financial power of the White Dragon Merchant Association, it wasn’t too hard to get hold of them.
““Thank you. We really appreciate your help.”” Yoon Seo-In and Gong Jin-Sung said, bowing their heads to Tang Gi-Mun in gratitude.
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Tang Gi-Mun and Tang Mi-Ryeo smiled back at them, and Jin Mu-Won laughed. Like the White Dragon merchants, they too felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from their hearts.
Translator’s Note: Magnetic nanomaterials in the brain do cause neurodegenerative diseases, Author-nim did his research. And if you live in an urban area, there are probably some nanomagnetite particles in your brain from air pollution…
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