Chapter 109 Li Mu’s OriginIn the back yard of the county government…
“There is no hope for his legs,” sighed Zhao Ling.
By that time, Qing Feng already fell into sleep.
After taking a thorough examination of the little attendant, the young and attractive pharmacist came to that dismal conclusion.
Li Mu quickly turned to look at the doctor from the Medical Center who was known as the savior.
When Zhao Ling was checking on Qing Feng’s injuries, that doctor was standing aside observing the process, exchanging some words with her at intervals.
Catching Li Mu’s quizzical gaze, the doctor gave a bitter smile and said, “Your Honor, I’m so sorry. In fact, the injuries of the boy are more grave than I assumed at first. His legs have already swollen up and started to decay. This Doctor Zhao’s medical skills are much better than mine. I think I’m with what she said.”
Li Mu nodded grimly.
Obviously, he found the result of the diagnosis rather disappointing, dashing the hopes that just rose in his heart.
“But what about that bowl of blood? It didn’t work at all?” asked Li Mu, not resigned to accept the cruel reality.
“If it hadn’t been for that bowl of blood, he would have been dead already!” clarified Zhao Ling directly in spades.
Li Mu scowled, “Are you getting back at me with your rudimentary medical knowledge?”
Zhao Ling instantly got all steamed up and snapped, “I beg your pardon? You surely can have doubts about me, but please don’t be suspicious of my ability and dignity as a pharmacist. If you don’t trust me, you shouldn’t have let me treat your men.”
“Wow, this chick is tough!” Li Mu moaned in his head.
But he was not bothered by her harsh contradiction at all. Again, he questioned, “Is it really impossible? As long as he doesn’t lose his legs, I will figure something out to secure any magical healing medicine necessary for the treatment. What do you need? You name it!”
“You’re going to blackmail more cultivators?” Zhao Ling threw him a disdainful look.
Now, she could not be more clear about the manoeuvers of the devil, Li Mu. With the many experts of the Sky Dragon Faction and Huya Faction confined in the cold and damp county prison, with the elders who came to pay their ransom also hold hostage and forced to write the letter for more ransom in the front yard, she knew Li Mu was the kind of man who rooked everyone he could get his claws into. The so-called ‘figure something out’ must be extorting benefits from those poor Jianghu experts in the northwest.
“That’s none of your business. Just tell me is there any method?” Li Mu glared at the young girl and added, “If you can save his legs, I’ll set you free, let you go back to your faction.”
Zhao Ling’s eyes lit up for a second but soon dimmed.
“Buddha helps only those who deserve his help, and medicine heals only medicable illnesses. Even if you get a hold of the most wonderful herbs or elixirs, you can’t make his legs the same as before,” said Zhao Ling grumpily. With her cheeks plumped out as if she had swallowed a hamster, she pondered over the question again and did another examination before drawing the conclusion, “Perhaps I can manage to let him live without his legs amputated, but it’s absolutely impossible for him to stand up again, let alone walking like a normal man.”
After hearing that remark, Li Mu stared at her.
But the girl stared back.
“Well then, do your best.” Li Mu compromised.
“Hum, that goes without saying. A pharmacist always does his or her best to treat every patient,” countered the haughty swan, who held her head up, trying to sport the dignity and bearing of a pharmacist.
“And what about the other three?” Li Mu inquired again, referring to Ma Junwu, Feng Yuanxing, and Zhen Meng.
Zhao Ling replied with assurance, “The one who got his arm cut off certainly has no hope to put his arm back. He has lost tons of blood, so he needs to rest and accept treatment for one month. As for the other two, I promise you they will recover in half a month and be scar free.”
Li Mu nodded.
That answer was more accurate than what the doctor from the Medical Center had told him, and the recovering periods she offered were shorter as well.
It also indirectly verified that the medical skills of the swan were more consummate.
“Great. Now that you promised me, you shall not eat your words. If you fail to do all that, the consequences are… Well, you must have known it,” taunted Li Mu as he gave her a devious grin.
Zhao Ling forcibly gave a shudder as if she just saw the smile of a demon.
Then, Li Mu left the room.
He went back to his own resting place.
“Oh? The room got refurbished? Huh, the new decoration looks pretty good. Is this the work of that Zheng Cunjian?” asked Li Mu. He felt quite refreshed the moment he stepped into the room.
The living room was almost unrecognizable now. Comparing with the old style, the new one seemed more classic and aesthetic. There were a few new bookshelves, display cabinets, and several pots of green plants. The old desk was replaced by a new one, too. The tea set was also changed into the blue and white porcelain. Even the arrangement of his bedding was changed…
The servant next to Li Mu told him that the room was renovated under the order of Zheng Cunjian when he settled down in this place a few days ago.
“In terms of material comforts, that old snake was sure an ace.”
Li Mu exclaimed.
Then, he ferreted about in the drawers only to find out that his personal objects were all gone, including the vest, the sweatpants and the sneakers he wore as he was teleported to this planet from Earth.
“When Mr. Zheng decided to live here, he made us destroy all the useless things in this room.” The servant answered him.
“That fucking old dog!”
Li Mu could not help but curse.
Although the objects were not valuable, they were the only items he brought here from Earth. Since he still had twenty years to go before he could leave this planet, those objects were the only things that could give him some comfort when he was homesick. But now, those memorable and invaluable belongings were all destroyed. What a pity!
“Change the bedding to a brand new set, but no need to change the other decorations, plants, or furniture.”
Li Mu told the servant.
In fact, he had some sort of mysophobia. If possible, he would not sleep in the quilt that others had used.
Hearing that command, the servant bustled out to purchase new sheets and quilts.
Since Li Mu became the county magistrate, he had rooted out the Shennong Faction and confiscated the fortunes of the Zhou Family and the Dianshi janitor in a row. That resolved the long-standing financial difficulty the county government had been struggling with. Therefore, unlike the previous days when they had to spend every penny cautiously, they now could totally afford the ordinary expenses.
Having no care about spending, Li Mu left the servant to the job and then went to the training room.
As Zheng Cunjian had no interest in martial arts, he did not bother to make changes in the relatively seclusive and dark training room after he took over the place. Thus, the settings of the room and the weapons Li Mu stored there were exactly the same as before.
However, the only difference was that there were two people in the room at the moment.
The two were precisely Li Bing and Zheng Cunjian.
The latter, of course, did not really die.
In order to get to the bottom of the story of that real Li Mu who fell down the cliff, the county magistrate could not let Zheng Cunjian die so early. Given that his current control over force was incredibly accurate, that previous Blade Punch he launched upon Zheng Cunjian merely put the scholar into a coma instead of killing him, though from the view of the others it looked like rather deadly.
When Li Mu entered the room, Zheng Cunjian and Li Bing were still unconscious.
The latter actually passed out in terror.
But Li Mu swiftly gave him an extra punch in the head in case he woke up unexpectedly. Then, he drew Zheng Cunjian out of his coma with several hard slaps.
“Ow…” groaned Zheng Cunjian, who gradually came to his senses.
His eyes were unfocused at first. But as they landed on Li Mu, he instantly began to shiver. Despite his pain in the cheeks, he obediently got onto his all fours and said greasily, “Your… Your Honor…”
Li Mu, however, did not show him any sympathy. He simply commanded, “Finish what you were going to say. Tell me all about it. Why did you call me Second Young Master? And where is my mother at the moment?”
“Erm… Your Honor, you are the second son of the magistrate of Chang’an. Since I work for the Chang’an government, I am supposed to call you Second Young Master. Though it’s been years since you left your family in Chang’an, I never forgot your real identity…” Zheng Cunjian strived to pick the right words, for he was too afraid of agitating Li Mu.
“What?” Li Mu was taken aback.
That was quite a jaw-dropping explanation.
That unlucky guy named Li Mu, who fell off the cliff and allowed him to be the imposter of the county magistrate, turned out to be one of the sons of the magistrate of Chang’an! How dramatic… The whole was getting really interesting.
Still, he found the story didn’t fit with what he had experienced.
His little attendant Ming Yue had never mentioned it to him. Moreover, according to the fractions of information that Li Mu had gathered through tactful prying, the real Li Mu in this world was merely a poor scholar who had no impressive background at all.
And given that Zhou Wu and Zheng Longxing had belittled him from the very beginning and even attempted to unseat him, they must have been convinced by their private investigations that this Li Mu was just a powerless scholar, hadn’t they?
But if Li Mu was truly the second son of the magistrate of Chang’an, Zhou Wu and Zheng Longxing would certainly not have dared to do all that.
Plus, when that new Deputy county magistrate called Chu Shufeng pleaded for mercy before his death, he let slip that this time it was actually due to the order of the magistrate of Chang’an that Zheng Cunjian and his lot had come to Taibai County, and their aim was to undermine Li Mu’s power and then quietly took him out. If he was the second son, why would the magistrate of Chang’an try to kill him?
After musing for quite a while, Li Mu sensitively heaved with a sigh and said, “The past is now fuzzy to me. But you remember it, right? Tell me, what the fucking heck has happened all these years?”
Zheng Cunjian bought his words without hesitation.
That was because, for one thing, he had been beaten up today and was still seized with panic while his ears buzzing incessantly after those fresh slaps; for another, he had realized that today’s Second Young Master was no longer the cowardice yes-man he was eight years ago. Adding that such a long time had passed by since Li Mu ran away from home, it was fairly natural that something in the past had slipped his mind.
With undivided attention on how to butter Li Mu up for the sake of his own life, Zheng Cunjian hastily began, “Eight years ago, you, the Second Young Master, defied His Honor to protect your mother. You two had a fight and then you declared that you would sever all the ties with your father and stormed out the mansion. Later on, we lost your track and you never came back. Since that fight, your mother’s status in the mansion suffered a disastrous decline. She endured loads of snide remarks and terrible abuse. The maids loyal to her also did not end well. At last, your mother was cast out from the mansion and now is making a living by doing the needlework…”
Zheng Cunjian recounted a story similar to the Lady Precious Stream.
As he finished, Li Mu finally made the head and the tail of the whole thing.
It turned out that the real Li Mu was truly a son of the magistrate of Chang’an.
The story did go way back.
Back then when the magistrate of Chang’an had not risen to power, he was just a penniless scholar of a little reputation. On the contrary, Li Mu’s mother was the daughter of a noble family in the Western Qin Empire with military merits, a famous beautiful lady from the upper class. The young magistrate of Chang’an was also very good-looking and supremely gifted. Soon, he came first in the imperial examinations and made his name across the empire. Thanks to some lucky coincidences, he encountered Li Mu’s mother and fell for her. Then, he wooed her with all the possible means before he finally gained the recognition of the prestigious noble family. After Li Mu’s mother married him, he rapidly climbed up the social ladder with the help of her family and eventually became the governor of Chang’an, a crucial region which ranked fourth of all the provinces of the Western Qin Empire and was titled as the ‘granary of the empire’.