Six weeks have passed since the kidnapping of the boys. The boys had started to learn close combat training with their fathers. There was no specific style taught to the boy because their fathers believed that building the foundations would be much better than starting a style immediately. They had them practice punches, kicks and ways to take down their opponent quickly by using their weight against them. This was because the boys were still young and did not have defined muscle tone.
Mei Ling had a great time at the reunion event with all her friends. The event had become a fiesta after the two boys were introduced to her friends. The women were all pinching the cheeks of the two boys and some had wanted to dress them up like a doll. Though before it had got to that point, Yu Er came to take the boys elsewhere so she could prevent her boys from being harassed for too long. After the event ended, the visiting group decided to stay for a week longer so they could spend more time with the hosting family.
The trip back to the city was uneventful and had been passed with everybody in a routine so the journey was much faster than it was before. Ye Xiu thought back on his experiences in the world and vowed to get stronger. With the kidnapping experience, the knowledge that the world wasn't safe as his original world had finally sunk in. He had thought that with the strength he could gain in this world would protect him but now knowing that there was always somebody stronger than him in the world made him feel uneasy.
To stop the unease from unsettling him any further, he sunk himself into training with even more vigour. His father had noticed the increased effort being put into the training from his son and was worried that the kidnapping had been traumatic for him. So he decided to speak to Ye Xiu during one of their training sessions.
"What's bothering you Ye Xiu? I can see that something is on your mind. You didn't put so much effort into training until after the kidnapping incident. Are you traumatised? Do you need to speak to somebody about it because I'm always here for you." Ye Qiu patted Ye Xiu's head as they were sparring.
Ye Xiu's attacks started to become more ferocious the more his father asked him about his mental state. "I'm not bothered! Stop asking me these questions and just continue on with the training!" His petulant voice tried to sound angry but failed, only adding to his cuteness levels.
Blocking Ye Xiu's assault he caught his last punch and kept it still. "Ye Xiu, I'm just trying to help. It's best for you to get past traumatic experiences. Yes, traumatic experiences can give you the motivation to improve but at the same time, it starts to become an inner demon inside of you. Do you really want that? To be consumed by a traumatic experience simply because you couldn't get past your grief?"
"If training is a way for you to release your stress from the situation then go ahead and attack me with everything you have. I'll receive your attacks and won't do anything back to you so you can get everything out of your system. Would that be okay with you? After you're done releasing that stress you can talk with either me, your mother or anybody else that you trust. I want you to get over this by this time next week.
"Now go rest and wash up, we'll have dinner soon." Ye Qiu patted his son's back before pushing him in the direction of the house.
Ye Xiu entered the dimension to clean up his sweat from his training, as he laid on the rocky wall of the pool he thought back to the kidnapping experience. 'Did it really affect me that much?' He started to sigh as he knew he wouldn't get anywhere with these thoughts today.
He finished cleaning up and exited the dimension to go to the dining room for dinner. He looked at his father as he spoke, "I'll talk to someone by the time it is next week, don't worry."
His father just smiled at him and patted his head, "That's good."
Yu Er just looked at the exchange quietly with a smiled fixed onto her face.
After the head rubbing stopped, Ye Qiu continued speaking, "Tomorrow, you'll be going back to the Medical Hall. Lao Lan has been waiting for you to come back and he seems excited for some reason. I was planning to send you to him to learn about the Medical Arts when you are older but I think is a good time to take your mind off training."
"How early do I have to get there, father?
"When the sun rises. Lao Lan doesn't mind too much about punctuality because he's late half the time.
"Alright, I'll get there a bit earlier though."
- The Next day -
Ye Xiu had woken up even earlier than expected and instead of immediately going towards the Medical Hall at such an early time, he decided to train because he knew that going to the Medical Hall today would probably messing up his training schedule. He took out his timing device to look at the time, he decided that before going to the Medical Hall, he would freshen up in the Locket Dimension.
Ye Xiu had arrived at the Medical Hall just as the birds started to chirp. He entered the Medical Hall and went to the room he had awoken from before. He decided to look around the room to see if anything interesting could be found similar to his old world or if there were new things. He had looked through the room and wasn't able to find anything besides a locked storage room filled with herbs he could see from the window.
He sat on a chair that he had spotted in the room and waited for Lao Lan to arrive.
He waited and waited.
"... where is he?' Ye Xiu started pacing around the room whilst checking his timepiece.
"It's already 8 o'clock." Ye Xiu grumbled just as he spotted Lao Lan walking down the corridor towards the room. Lao Lan greeted him with a genial smile on his face.
"Ah, you're already here that's good. Well, let us get started on your education of the Medical Arts. Tell me what you know about from what you've read, heard or can tell from the name of the discipline." Lao Lan immediately started the lesson without delay
"I believe that the Medical Arts are mainly focused on the skill to treat and cure injuries, sicknesses and diseases. From what I've read, I know that the Medical Arts are linked closely to Alchemy and are proficient in the use of qi that can heal. People who practice the Medical Arts are not only proficient in the usage of their qi but they are also well-known for having a vast knowledge on herbs, plants and animals so that they can use it in conjunction with their healing to boost their prowess in the discipline." Ye Xiu rambled on with his ideas of what the Medical Arts were.
Lao Lan stroked his beard in a thoughtful manner, "You're certainly well-read about the discipline that's for sure, however, you've missed some of the critical points of what the Medical Arts can do. Besides using our extensive knowledge for healing, we are also well-known for using poisons in battle. Knowledge of how to heal somebody also results in the knowledge of how to kill somebody. We also learn everything about the body so we are able to heal specific parts of the body without causing any problems in other parts and the same could be said for fighting."
"Alchemy and the Medical Arts are closely linked due to the fact that many Alchemy Masters are actually proficient in a branch of Medical Arts as well. You'll learn about the branch when you begin your Alchemy lessons so I won't teach you about it."
"Our control of our Qi has to be extremely proficient due to the fact that most of the time when you are using our Qi to heal somebody, we are actually inserting the Qi into the person's body. Without control, the Qi would just run rampant in the body and tear it apart."
"Now one of the more important aspects of Medical Arts is the so-called Healing Qi that we can use. Healing qi is actually just a different way of using Wood-affinity Qi. We change the wood-affinity qi's properties to become more focused on cleansing, purification and healing. It's a difficult process to change the qi the way we want and that is why it will take you a long time before you even have the proficiency and qi control to even begin healing anybody."
"The Qi can also be manipulated in a way to make it poisonous to anybody who absorbs it or is close to it. It is of a similar process to how we change the Wood-affinity qi. The way we improve our Qi control is simple yet complicated at the same time. We form Qi threads and use them to do daily tasks. Controlling them for fine details is hard and everytime you improve you'll form my Qi threads and control them to do certain tasks. I'll teach you the method for forming these Qi threads next time you come back."
Lao Lan handed Ye Xiu a massive book, "Here, I want you to memorise everything in this book about plant and herb identification. Don't come back here before you do." He started to kick Ye Xiu out of the room in a hurry.
Ye Xiu returned home carrying the massive book with him. He entered the house and his father saw the book he was carrying before he started laughing. "He's done it again, hasn't he? Did Lao Lan ask you to memorise the whole book before going back to him?"
"Yes, he has. Is there a problem father?"
"It's going to take you at least a few months before you even finish memorising it. After that, he asks you questions about different herbs. He also asks questions about on how if you take several different plants and use them together what would be the expected outcome. If you give him a satisfactory answer, then you'd be able to continue learning with him, if not then there would be no chance."
"I'd just suggest you take your time and think of an answer to the question."
"Alright father, I'll be going to my room to start the book now. I'll be back for training later so see you then!" Ye Xiu called out as he walked towards his room.
Ye Xiu watched him, leaving him in his thoughts, 'He looks like he's gotten happier since I've talked to him yesterday, I hope he gets over his trauma.'
- Ye Xiu's Bedroom -
He was busy thinking to himself of how he was going to approach the memorisation of the book, 'Okay, I'll have to make a plan for the memorisation. Do I just memorise the entire book and recite it or should I try and understand every single page and be able to come up with ideas for the combinations myself? Father did say that Lao Lan asks questions on combinations of herbs and plants and their effects, so I'll go with the latter method.'
After coming up with his plan, Ye Xiu decided to enter the Dimension to see if there were any more extensive encyclopedias for plants and herbs in the library so that he could surprise Lao Lan with his knowledge base.
This carried on until his training session where his mood was visibly improved in contrast to his mood from yesterday.
The day carried on as usual until Ye Xiu fell asleep.
Ye Xiu went to sleep dreaming. His dreams evolved into a much more sinister nightmare and he was sweating all over from it.