Lin Jie’s smile stiffened. What the heck?
Dragons for their medicinal properties? Did Li Shizhen have such an unorthodox philosophy?
Did I pass her the rule book for Dungeons and Dragons by accident instead of Compendium of Materia Medica?
Or is this young lady trying to pull a prank on me?
Lin Jie watched on as Prima blinked innocently several times. He marveled at the beauty of those pure, immaculate eyes craving for knowledge.
A thirst for knowledge wasn’t deceiving, so she certainly wasn’t pulling his leg.
Considering the cultural differences, she must have misinterpreted something.
While maintaining his slightly stiff smile, Lin Jie started to recall relevant content from Compendium of Materia Medica, which he had perused many years back.
Lin Jie’s memory of Compendium of Materia Medica had gotten hazy over the years as he had used it for some light reading back in his high school days. Fortunately, he still retained some of the content in his mind.
The corner of his lip twitched as he realized that there really was “Dragon” as a category of medicine.
So that was it.
Li Shizhen’s philosophy was indeed unorthodox.
Compendium of Materia Medica was a very well-organized book.
For instance, there were categories of the five elements such as water, fire, earth, etc. And of course, most importantly, there was a section for herbs.
There was also a category for plants which was broken down into sub-categories like grain, leaves, and fruits, while the category under animals branched out into finer categories such as insects, scales, and others…
And this ‘Dragon’ fell under the category of ‘scales.’
However, it was neither a mythical European Dragon nor the Huaxiaosaurus (Of course, no one would know Li Shizhen’s thought process). Rather, it referred to fossils of mammals such as elephants, rhinoceros, horses, etc.
Lin Jie was slightly dejected. He had really given himself a false alarm. Having spent so much time in this other world, the first image that had come to his mind was a winged dragon.
It was indeed merely a misinterpretation.
Lin Jie had found the crux of the problem, but the issue still remained.
How was he going to explain to the kid?
The Huaxiaosaurus was probably a hypothesis of the ancient people based on their understanding of vertebrates. Of course, Lin Jie could lecture on and reference books after books from literature as well as research examples for hours to finally conclude that the ‘dragon’ in this case referred to the fossils of mammals.
But to the mortals of this world, dragons were tetrapods with horns on their head, wings on their back, and a tail behind them.
It was an unexplored area for research, rendering it difficult for Lin Jie to explain his theory.
Prima waited patiently for an answer as she noticed the young man in a state of recollection.
It’s as if the term ‘Dragon’ reminds him of something, thought Prima.
Ancient dragons date back to the time of the Primordial Witches, during that age of chaos. Mr. Lin must have been through a lot.
Having been preoccupied with deep thoughts, Lin Jie eventually returned to reality in shock. He glanced at Prima sheepishly and cleared his throat, “I’m sorry, I was reminded of some stuff from the past.”
Deep down, Lin Jie was determined to devise an explanation to bluff his way through.
After all, how could the great Teacher Lin, dealer of chicken soup, be intimidated by a mere child? That would surely tarnish his reputation.
All of a sudden, Lin Jie eyebrows went up as he blinked a couple of times.
Wait a minute…
Although he was unable to explain this theory, he did in fact have in his possession a dragon fossil!
The fossil of the dragon heart from Cherry was still well kept in his basement.
This novel is _hosted_ by h0sted n0v3l.
After Lin Jie had absorbed the special power within, the heart had shriveled up and turned into a rock.
Why not just make the best out of bad misunderstanding!
Since it has already become a rock, let’s just have it ground into powder and decocted. At most, it would just cause a stomachache if consumed and wouldn’t have many other serious implications.
Furthermore, Prima was well versed in medical research and definitely more knowledgeable than him, so she probably wouldn't act recklessly.
And if it ended up ineffective, Lin Jie could conveniently claim that the specimen hadn't been preserved properly.
Lin Jie cleared his throat and explained, “Indeed, the real dragons have ceased to exist, but their fossils still exist even today. That is the portion that can be utilized for its medicinal properties.”
Prima could sense something in his tone and decided to get to the bottom of it as she stared at him with excitement and intent.
Indeed, Lin Jie let out a calm smile and said nonchalantly, “In fact, I have in possession a rare dragon heart fossil. If you’re keen on studying it, I would gladly give it to you. It so happens that it has no other use apart from collecting dust in the basement.”
“Thank you very much! I, I don’t even know how to repay you. I, If I am able to uncover any major discovery, I would definitely hand over the elixir to you if you need it!” Prima flushed, brimming with delight.
Lin Jie noticed that the usually shy and reserved girl got exceptionally excited when medical research was involved.
Haa… She’s bound to be a mad scientist when she grows up.
“I’ll have to trouble you then,” Lin Jie chuckled.
Prima reverted back into her shy, reserved self like a mimosa as she lowered her head and murmured, “No, it’s no trouble…”
“Alright, problem solved, back to the book. Focus on recovery and leave the investigation of your sister’s incident to me,” Lin Jie said cordially.
Prima was momentarily stunned before a pang of gratitude washed over her and she buried her reddened face into the book. She inhaled a deep breath of the book’s unique scent as she calmed herself down before resuming her study.
After a while...
Prima raised her hand boldy.
“Yes, Student Prima. Go ahead.” Lin Jie reacted naturally.
Prima blurted out the question that had been on her mind since she began reading the book. “Would using the likes of human skulls, placentas, and ashes for elixirs lead to any implications?”
She was evidently hesitant as it was an extremely sensitive topic.
It was as if she was questioning the moral ethics of Lin Jie.
But Boss Lin was way too affable. And on top of it all, he had the utmost trust of Walprugis’ successor, Mu’en, and therefore Prima decided that she would trust him as well.
By trusting wholeheartedly, one had to be open and not hide anything.
Was there really such a thing?
Lin Jie picked at his memory, trying to recall what these parts in Compendium of Materia Medica entailed.
Cranium (skull), human cells (or known as human placenta), and soil above a cremation (ashes).
They were recorded as medicine, and even the taste and ailments that they could help cure were documented… For instance, the cranium replenishes vitality, and it’s based on the Chinese medical rationale that one supposedly nourishes a body part by consuming the corresponding part of an animal...
Lin Jie had always upheld the academic integrity of not blabbering on any topic he didn’t have expertise on and thus said earnestly, “Let’s say they were used for elixirs and really possessed the claimed medicinal properties… There wouldn’t be anything wrong with that if they were acquired morally. However, if these items do not have any tangible properties and are merely used to satisfy immoral causes such as curiosity and the desire to hunt, then we should insist on abstaining from these ingredients. Is that clear?
“Most importantly, you must have a clear conscience. Are you able to make a positive contribution to the world and create more effective elixirs to create your own value?”
Boss Lin reverted to his usual preaching and changed the topic with a heavy heart. “You have to understand that the value of everything is always ever changing. An ordinary herb may turn into a priceless treasure in your hands. And the difference lies in all the effort you've put in up till now.”
Prima nodded her head as the confusion she had started to disappear.
She finally understood!
An ever-changing mysticism bestowed immense power upon higher beings, and their flesh, blood, and bones would, in the ever-changing flow, become of a greater value.
This was the contribution higher beings had to the masses.
And they, the apothecaries, were the ones to abstract this power.