Chapter 114: Ants

Song of the day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TWr2pj6kqM
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“Why haven’t these peasants moved out of our way yet?” The sickly looking man said in an impatient tone while gazing down from atop his sedan chair.
 
“I’ll have them move right away, master Tao Qian.” The bald man with the scar running across his scalp replied respectfully.
 
“All of you scram? Didn’t you hear what our boss say? Move or else.” The bald man with the scar yelled at the people waiting in line in front of him.
 
As if the man wasn’t intimidating enough, the men behind him moved forward and stood behind him, shooting intimidating glares at everyone around. From the looks of it, these men had grown accustomed to having their way and if other did not comply to them then violence would be employed.
 
It was evident that their methods worked too because once the bald man and his fellow hooligans shot glares at everyone, the people and the path in front of them slowly opened up. Most of the people present were seeking medical treatment, meaning that most of them were ill and didn’t wish to be assaulted. Well most people would prefer to not get assaulted but in the current case, no one had the will to stand up for themselves in part due to their illnesses and such.
 
Back in the front of the line, Zhang was examining an elderly man who could only be described as skin and bones. The man’s son had carried him all the way to where Zhang was and pled all of the people to let them cut in line. Due to the sincerity that the man’s son showed and from how serious the elderly man’s condition seemed, they were allowed to cut. The elderly man kept complaining about experiencing painful headaches throughout the night and having trouble hearing recently as he was laid out onto the ground for examination. Apparently, the elderly man had been experiencing such painful headaches that he hadn’t been able to eat any meals or get any sleep, resulting in his frail looking body.
 
“Hmmm, I checked his pulse and vital signs but nothing seems to be wrong with him.  That being said by simply from looking at him anyone can tell that there is something seriously wrong with him.” Zhang said with a perplexed look on his face as he placed his hand atop the elderly man’s forehead and blue layer of essence enveloped the man’s body. At first Zhang had thought that the elderly man was suffering from a clogged blood vessel or something but he did not pick up any signs of that when checking the man’s vitals.
 
Zhang’s essence traveled through the elderly man’s body, trying to figure out what was wrong with him. Soon a hint of amazement creeped onto Zhang’s face as he figured out what was wrong with the elderly man lying in front of him.
 
“Hold him down.” Zhang said as he looked at the elderly man’s son who was anxiously by his father’s side, his wife and kids had also arrived and were beside him with equally anxious expressions.
 
“Doctor is my father alright?” The man’s son asked.
 
“Just do as I say and he will be fine.” Zhang replied with a smile as to reassure the man’s son. Listening to Zhang’s instructions, the elderly man’s son held down his father.
 
While the elderly man was being held down, Zhang walked to where Lingqi was and whispered into her ear. Upon hearing Zhang’s words, an intrigued expression appeared on Lingqi’s face as she stopped what she was doing and arrived in front of the elderly man with her husband.
 
Crouching down as Zhang gently held the elderly man’s head, Lingqi produced a small vial from her interspatial ring. Unsealing the veil Lingqi began pouring a few drops of clear slick looking substance into the elderly man’s ear. It was then that a painful scream was emitted from the elderly man’s lips as he wriggled about trying to break free.
 
“What’s wrong! What’s wrong with my father!?” The man’s son yelled frantically as his father’s pained screamed reached his ears.
 
“Just hold him still or else he might die.” Zhang said in a stern voice.
 
“Almost done…” Lingqi said as she produced another vial from her interspatial ring and poured a few drops of bluish liquid into the man’s ear. Moments after the blue colored liquid entered the man’s ear a yellow trail flowed out. Upon closer inspection one would see that this yellow trail consisted entirely of yellow ants.
 
At first no one but Zhang and Lingqi knew what the yellow trail was and had thought it was just pus or something, until an ant that was equipped with a pair of wings and was three times larger than the rest, crawled out from the inside of the man’s ear.
 
Mere seconds after leaving the man’s ear the ants all liquefied and ceased to exist. This of course was due to drops of liquid that Lingqi dripped into the elderly man’s ear.
 
“All done.” Lingqi said with a smile as she saw that the elderly man was no longer in pain and a face full of relief was visible on his face.
 
“What was that?” The elderly man’s son asked.
 
“A queen pharaoh ant had somehow made its way into his ear and was forming a colony in there. The pain was due to the ants trying to eat through his eardrum, to expand their colony. Any longer then they would have punctured the eardrum and make their way into his brain where they would build a colony of ants that would slowly but surely fed off of him until only an empty skull was left.” Zhang explained in a somewhat horrifying manner that made many of the people around cringe as they imaged a colony of ants eating the elderly man from the inside.
 
As the elderly man’s son was helping his father up and thanking Zhang and Lingqi, a clapping sound could be heard. Looking toward the direction where the sound originated, a bald man with a scar that ran across his scalp to his forehead could be seen. Behind this man was a group of man who looked like they belonged in Ran Kaitou’s underworld organization.
 
But these men were not where the clapping sound was coming from, rather the sound originated from a sickly looking man who was perched up in a sedan chair.
 
“Amazing! To be able to assess what was afflicting him and then being able to relieve him of his ailment, despite how peculiar and odd his ailment was.” The sickly man who was earlier referred to as Tao Qian said while clapping. At first Tao Qian was looking as Zhang with a smile but once his gaze swept to Lingqi who was returning to the patient that she had been helping earlier, a glint appeared in his eye as he looked at her for a bit before shifting his vision to Zhang once more.
 
“Thank you for the praise, senior.” Zhang said as he clasped his hands showing respect for someone who was his elder, before walked back to the table he had set up to see patients. Zhang knew from the look in the Tao Qian eyes that no good could come from associating with him so he decided to go back to what he was doing before instead of conversing.
 
“I’ll take the next person in line now.” Zhang said, not long after a young man who had been waiting patiently in line walked forward. From how the young man was limping as he walked forward, Zhang could tell that most likely this young man was suffering from a leg injury or something.
 
But before the young man could reach the examination table and take a seat, his path was impeded by the bald man with a scar.
 
“What are you doing? He said he would be taking the next person in line and clearly my master had been here much longer than you.” The bald man said with a menacing look on his face, as if threatening to beat the young man.
 
“I believe he was next.” Zhang said with a sigh as he pointed to the young man who was walking with a limp.
 
“The one day I decide to do charity work and someone has to come and cause trouble…” He thought unhappily. One could say that what Zhang was doing was unprecedented considering that he is a prince and Lingqi is a princess and they were giving out free medical treatment, so for someone to come and spoil the atmosphere made him very unhappy.
 
“Doctor I believe you have mistaken; we’ve been waiting here much longer than this guy.” The bald man said correcting Zhang.
 
“Ain’t that right?” He then said to the young man with the limp while his sausage sized fingers rested on the young man’s shoulder.
 
Shaking his head Zhang got up from his seat and walked over to the young man with the limp and grabbed his arm.
 
“Come with me…” He said as he tugged on the young man’s arm. However, the young man was stopped by the bald man and was kept from walking forward.
 
“What is this? Didn’t I say we were here first?!” The bald man roared as his veins bulged and his body tensed, ready to brawl if he didn’t get his way.
 
“Enough! Enough of these charades. Tell me how much you want. I’ll pay you handsomely if you can treat my alignment.” Tao Qian who was atop the sedan chair said as he grew tired of the back and forth that was happening.
 
“If I don’t want to treat someone, NO AMOUNT OF MONEY CAN MAKE ME.” Zhang said loudly, emphasizing his words.
 
“HA! Everyone has a price. Don’t pretend that you’re some sort of saint. I can tell that only reason you’re offering free medical treatment to these lowly people is so you can gain fame. Now quit the act and I might even give you a thousand gold coins for your service.” Tao Qian said as he tossed a small pouch of coins onto the ground.
 
Seeing this Lingqi couldn’t help but chuckle. “A thousand gold coin?” She thought as her chuckle soon broke out into loud laughter. To think someone was trying to tempt Zhang with a thousand gold coins was something that was simply hilarious.
 
“You there what’s so funny huh? Something wrong with your head? My master if only offering to give you a thousand gold coins because he is being generous, do you know how many men you’d have to sleep with to make that much money?” The bald man said mockingly while looking at Lingqi.
 
Hearing the man’s words, creases appeared on Zhang’s brow. If you want someone to help you, insulting their wife was definitely not the way to go about it. As for Lingqi, her laughter became even louder as she thought about how ignorant the bald man was.
 
“Ding Feng, shut up…Do not be rude…” Tao Qian said as he saw the displeasure in Zhang’s face. The bald man’s face sank as he quickly fell silent after hearing Tao Qian.
 
“Now young miss, I can tell that you are quite skill in field of medicine also. I find that very impressive considering you’re a very young and beautiful woman, so impressive that I would like to offer you a job as my personal physician after everything settles. I can offer you a very handsome salary if you’re willing to be a stay in doctor at my home.” Tao Qian said as he shot a lecherous gaze as Lingqi.
 
“Chapped lips, pale skin that most likely result from lack of blood flow, and balding scalp. If my guess is right, then the illness you’re suffering from is impotence.” Lingqi stated with a mischievous grin. It was obvious that she was mocking the Tao Qian, regardless if her diagnosis was true or not Tao Qian’s reputation would surely take a hit.
 
“Insolent… How dare you make up lies about my master. If you dare say such a thing again, I’ll sell you into brothel.” The bald man said threateningly.
 
“You’ll what?” Zhang said angrily as he appeared out of thin air, beside the bald man and with a kick made the man’s leg bent at an odd angle.
 
“What will you do to my wife? You were going to sell her to where?” Zhang asked as he grabbed and twisted the bald man’s arm.
 
Seeing Zhang’s incredible speed and strength made everyone that had witness him treating patients gasp in amazement. The kind doctor who looked much like a scholar, the doctor who had gently taken care of the children and the elderly had now just caused a hulking man’s leg to bend at a weird angle.
 
“Ha…Ha… you’re messing with the wrong people kid. Do you know who my master is? He is the master of the Tao clan!” The bald man yelled in a loud voice so everyone present could hear.
 
“Wait isn’t the Tao clan one of the five aristocratic families of the province?” Someone in the crowd asked.
 
“Yea I heard they and the other four aristocratic families are all aligned together and that they all have private armies or something.” Another person in the crow said.
 
“Then where were they when all hell broke loose in the city?” Someone else asked.
 
“Who knows, probably too busy protecting their own hides.”
 
Soon a frenzy of conversation broke out as things about the Tao clan was told one after the other. Of course all of this meant very little to Zhang who happened to be the ruler of the new ruler of the province. Being the boss’s boss meant that if he wanted to he could have all five of these aristocratic families executed on a whim.
 
Tao Qian sat atop his sedan chair in silence while many of his men who accompanied him surrounded Zhang as the babbling continued on.
 
“You there go back to our camp and bring more men… I want these two taken back to our tents…” Tao Qian said, after a moment of thought.
 
“Now now, doctor. Calm down, my servant here is simply bad with words. If you’ll just let him go, I’ll have him apologize to you and your lovely wife. And to top it off I’ll give you three thousand gold coins as a sign of apology after you accompany me and help me treat my illness.” Tao Qian said to Zhang, but of course if he didn’t have his way, all he had to do was wait for more of his men to arrive.
 
The four aristocratic families each possessed a private army of about two thousand or three thousand soldiers, and since the New Moon Army was nowhere to be seen, if the armies of the aristocratic families combined they would outnumber Ran Kaitou’s men who were keeping the peace. Meaning that currently if they wished to they could seize control from Ran Kaitou at any moment.
 
While Tao Qian was talking to Zhang, the crowd opened up and two rows of beautiful women dressed in matching uniforms marched forward.

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