No wonder he always felt uneasy and vague when he spoke; it turns out he had an injury on his tongue.
Jiang Chu looked up to see what was happening and then looked away.
“Ah, how scary.”
“How did this happen?”
“Was it caused by eating this medicine?”
“This medicine is not only ineffective, but it’s poisonous!”
The onlookers exclaimed in shock.
“Yes, my tongue was injured by this medicine. As soon as I finished taking it, my tongue rotted, and now it even hurts to talk. You say this medicine isn’t yours, it’s mine? I wouldn’t ruin my own tongue for just 100 crystal stones!” the man yelled.
Everyone had initially thought the man had switched the medicine himself, but now they were unsure. . . . . .even if it was for the sake of extorting money, wasn’t this cost too high?
“I never expected that Treasure Medicine Pavilion would be such a shady shop, pah!”
“Exactly, the business is getting more and more sinister! Who does that?”
They were arguing, and Jiang Chu was testing for herself.
Shopkeeper Gu was a strong character; what big or small matter hadn’t he seen? Although this troublemaker came suddenly, Shopkeeper Gu was still able to handle it.
Jiang Chu only wanted to know if the fraudster had accidentally come to her shop or if there was some other scheme.
After consulting the divination, Jiang Chu looked at the signs for a while and then calmly put them away.
“. . . . . .Ladies and Gentlemen, please listen to me. The injury on this man’s tongue is just superficial, meant to scare, but in fact, it is only caused by applying numb palm juice. To cure it is easy; drinking a glass of plain water will do.” Shopkeeper Gu smiled at the man. “Moreover, numb palm juice has a strong smell, and one can tell by smelling it. You say it was caused by this pill, but as far as I know, there is no numb palm juice here! So this fake injury, with your fake pill, has nothing to do with Treasure Medicine Pavilion at all!”
“If anyone doesn’t believe, you may smell this pill he brought.”
As soon as Shopkeeper Gu finished speaking, the man’s eyes began to dodge.
“Let me smell it. . . . . .indeed, there is a smell of numb palm juice.”
“Hey, you say you were injured by eating their pill; dare you drink some water?”
“That’s right, if you dare to drink water, we’ll believe you!”
The bystanders questioned the man.
“Perhaps I was mistaken.”
The man showed no inclination to “fight on,” and once he realized he couldn’t deceive Shopkeeper Gu, he hung his head and left, leaving a crowd pointing fingers at him.
Shopkeeper Gu’s profound-level alchemy skills were not low, and his knowledge of medicine was considerable. This small issue couldn’t trouble him. Seeing the man leave, he just shook his head, “Sorry for the inconvenience, everyone. Treasure Medicine Pavilion has always been honest and fair in our dealings. Please don’t believe in someone’s false words.”
“Not at all, it’s us who were almost deceived, believing that man’s lies.”
“The shopkeeper is impressive, scaring the thief away with just a few words. Good thing I need to buy some medicinal materials; I’ll buy them from your shop.”
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Treasure Medicine Pavilion turned a misfortune into a blessing, and that person also spurred a wave of consumption, which is both funny and lamentable.
After the guests bought their things and left, Jiang Chu finally spoke, “Uncle Gu, do you recognize that person?”
“I don’t recognize him; he has never bought anything from me, and he seems very unfamiliar to me.” Shopkeeper Gu shook his head, looking down at the medicine bottle that the man did not take away, “I also don’t know who gave him this bottle.”
“Treasure Medicine Pavilion has been operating honestly for many years, and our customers are quite stable. We should not attract attention and be targeted by competitors.” Jiang Chu tentatively asked, “Uncle Gu, do you think. . . . . .could he have been sent by someone with a grudge against you or my father?”
“An old enemy?”
Uncle Gu was taken aback, “Even if we have enemies, they would be from when we were bounty hunters. It should not. . . . . .”
He stopped halfway, realizing something.
Since his abilities stagnated and could no longer improve, he had contentedly become the shopkeeper, occasionally practicing alchemy.
Over the years running the shop, he had no enemies. Treasure Medicine Pavilion was neither big nor small, and no one would bother to consider them as competitors.
So if it really were an enemy, it would only be from before he was a shopkeeper.
Thinking this, Shopkeeper Gu realized something.
But he could not tell Jiang Chu; he would have to wait for her father to return and discuss it with him.
Jiang Chu saw his expression and knew he had thought of something, and she felt relieved.
Knowing who was behind it, they could prepare, and they would not be targeted without knowing why.
She did not ask further, taking the medicine and leaving.
On her way home, Jiang Chu was focused on the effects of the medicine and did not notice her surroundings. When suddenly stopped, she was somewhat bewildered.
“Who’s calling me?”
She looked up, her face blank.
“Young lady, it’s me, Shopkeeper Liu.”
The man in front of her stopped her on the street, smiling apologetically, “I did not recognize your greatness before. I never thought you would be so impressive!”
Jiang Chu was still blank, “Who are you? Do we know each other?”
As she spoke, she looked at Hua Lan.
Hua Lan shook her head.
She didn’t know him either.
“Cough, young lady, you are quite forgetful. Just a few days ago, didn’t you warn me about the strong wind and advise me to take in the talismans? It was my mistake not to listen to you, resulting in heavy losses.” Shopkeeper Liu said, forcing a bitter smile.
Oh, now she remembered.
This was the unlucky stall owner whose talismans were blown all over the place by the wind, causing most of them to be picked up by passersby.
She had even advised him to put them away, but he would not listen. Later, her brother Jiang Ting said that the man fell ill afterward and closed his shop for several days.
Jiang Chu looked at Shopkeeper Liu, her face showing sympathy, “Shopkeeper, you look much thinner.”
In just a few days, the man had lost weight, looking like he hadn’t eaten in days!
No wonder Jiang Chu didn’t recognize him at first glance.
“Sigh, it’s a long story. If you’re free, young lady, would you like to come in for some tea? I have something to ask you.”
Jiang Chu looked at the man and the shop behind him, and nodded, “Alright.”
Hua Lan followed Jiang Chu into the shop with a blank face —
What were they talking about? Why didn’t she understand?
“To be frank, I need a favor.”
After inviting Jiang Chu in and pouring her tea, Shopkeeper Liu spoke his mind:
“Currently, I’m facing a dilemma. I’m a little tight on funds, but I still have to keep the shop running, as my whole family relies on me for their livelihood. However, the Talisman Master I’ve been working with for several years wants a raise, or he’ll leave. I’m used to working with him and don’t want to let him go. But if I agree to his demand, it might cripple my current living situation.”
(End of Chapter)