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∇ ∇Volume 2 - Chapter 39: Price
It was nearing late evening when the group left the forest. Before night descended, they finally saw the cliffs of Albert Castle. Compared to the original twenty plus group, there were now only nine exorcists remaining.
Seven had lost their lives, which included five exorcists, Frank, and the werewolf. The four, who were seriously injured, made up the rest of the missing. The seriously injured and corpses of the dead exorcists were directly moved to Odia Town. The nine individuals that were left, including Qin Lun, had some degree of injury, but not bad enough to endanger their lives.
In front of Albert Castle's stone bridge, the old butler, Jason, led some servants to greet them. With the overlooking view from Albert Castle, they had long taken note of their arrival.
"Lady Nova, Dr. Stein, welcome back." The old butler respectfully bowed, then ordered the servants to attend to the injured exorcists. "We have already prepared hot water and food for everyone. Once we arrive at the castle, everyone can immediately feast."
"Is the baron in right now?" The Flower Overlord waved her hand somewhat tiredly.
"Yes, the baron is waiting for everyone in the castle." The old butler turned to face Qin Lun, who was still on the carriage, and spoke in a very good mood, "Dr. Stein, I have good news for you. Young Master Miller woke up two days ago. Your magic medicine was effective, and he is recovering."
"Oh? That is great news!" Qin Lun smiled and nodded, genuinely pleasantly surprised.
After the old butler left, Lady Nova fell back a few steps until she was walking next to Qin Lun's carriage. Her face was uneasy as she looked at the doctor.
"Dr. Stein, you cured my nephew, Morrison, at Odia Town before, and now you have cured Little Miller. Do you really not have a way to control Odia Region's epidemic?"
Qin Lun expressionlessly looked at the Flower Overlord and responded dully, "Through my recent research of this plague, I have a general understanding of the virus. Even without the immunity substance obtained by the Albert Family, there are still ways to prevent the epidemic from spreading. However, it would need the exorcists to pay a very large price."
"What kind of price?" Nova's eyes brightened, and she hastily asked.
"Dr. Stein, if we can control the epidemic from spreading without forcing the Albert Family, I believe that everyone here would be willing to help." Meyer and the other exorcists nearby heard their discussion and were all shaken, all staring at Qin Lun, waiting for him to continue.
"Give me thirty or more bottles of Holy Medicine within three days." Qin Lun indifferently rose three fingers, "Once I have that, I have full confidence in controlling Odia's epidemic."
"Dr. Stein, are you extorting us?" Meyer's face darkened and turned taut.
"Meyer! I'm sure Dr. Stein doesn't mean that!" Nova calmly stopped the furious Meyer and heavily asked, "However… Dr. Stein, you only came in contact with the Holy Medicine this morning. So why are you so sure it can be used to drive away the plague?"
Qin Lun swept a glance at the people around him. He saw how they all had furious expressions and sighed. He took out an empty, thumb-sized bottle from his bosom and tossed it to the Flower Overlord.
"This is the main component of the magic medicine I used to save Morrison and Little Miller. Take a sniff."
"There seems to be… the smell of something similar to the Holy Water of Longevity!" Nova placed the small bottle under her nose, her eyes widening in amazement.
"Let me smell that!" Meyer frowned and took the small bottle. He only needed one whiff to confirm it. He nodded and spoke, "The scent remaining in this really is very similar to the Holy Water of Longevity."
The thing Qin Lun handed to them was, naturally, the small bottle that held the World Tree Flower Nectar, except it was empty now. The World Tree Flower Nectar contained great vitality, so its attribute was very similar to Holy Medicine. These exorcists were very familiar with the power of the "life" attribute, so, naturally, they were able to immediately identify it by smell.
Qin Lun's request for them to bring out thirty Holy Medicines wasn't spoken without thought, nor was it simple extortion. If these exorcists really did take out thirty Holy Medicines, he will renounce the otherworld mission without question and wait until the time was up, returning to Shattered Starry Sky.
The reward for the mission was two thousand shattered crystals and one Fused Shattered Law Crystal. Two thousand shattered crystals was the equivalent of the selling price for two Holy Medicines, while one Shattered Law Crystal was valued at five to ten Holy Medicines.
Qin Lun was not randomly placing values on them, the Shattered Law Crystal was going to be used on the Maiya Crystal Ball.
The Maiya Crystal Ball contained Frank's soul, and the time Qin Lun had left in this world was only a few days. It was very hard to find a suitable body for Frank in such a short time, so he could only bring the Maiya Crystal Ball back with him to Shattered Starry Sky. And to do that, he needed to get a Shattered Law Crystal and turn the Maiya Crystal ball into special equipment usable by apostles.
If he could not get a Shattered Law Crystal, it meant that Qin Lun had to use a large force of manpower to find a suitable body for Frank in a very short time. At the present stage, only the exorcist organization could fulfill this condition. In other words, Qin Lun needed a large number of points, which was why he valued the Shattered Law Crystal at the same price as five to ten Holy Medicine.
To put it simply, to make Qin Lun give up on his mission, the minimum price was seven to twelve Holy Medicines.
But that was not taking into account the additional reward for world exploration. It was possible to promote the rank of the storyline to planet level or even star level. However, there was also the chance of getting thirty soul vitality points deducted for failing a mission, and the danger of not being able to get a body for Frank at all despite risking it all.
As such, Qin Lun wanted the exorcists to offer thirty or more Holy Medicines to make up for his loss from giving up on the otherworld mission. It really was not extortion, but rather, a very rational exchange.
"The plague has the undead attribute, so although I can create a cure, a requirement is that it must include something of the longevity attribute. I have already used up the magic medicine I have, and the Holy Medicine can fulfill this condition." Qin Lun looked at the people around him and calmly explained.
"According to the current state of the epidemic, only after the thirty Holy Medicines are diluted and mixed into more magic medicine is it possible to control the plague and prevent it from infecting more patients. But I would like you guys to take note that that is the bare minimum, more Holy Medicine might be needed later. Otherwise, Odia will turn into a corpse region, and the plague will eventually spread throughout the entire duchy."
Nova and Meyer's face turned ashened, the exorcists around Qin Lun were also silent. Using the Holy Medicine as context, they finally realized just how serious the epidemic situation was.
"I know that everyone respects Baron Albert very much and are very against questioning the Albert Family." Qin Lun coldly spoke, "But you are all exorcists and have sworn an oath to protect the human world. If you guys shield the members of the Albert Family that have done wrong and cause tens of thousands of ordinary people to lose their lives, then you guys would be even more unworthy of showing your faces to the Albert Family's ancestors that have sacrificed their lives for their duty."
"If the Albert Family really has medicine that can resist the plague, then I will have Father hand them over!" Tony's voice appeared from behind the crowd. With his head still wrapped in bandages, the blond, young man bowed to the other exorcists. "So please don't make things hard for Dr. Stein."
Tony's face had lost the resentment it had that morning, instead, determination replaced it. Qin Lun's words just now resonated with him. The Albert Family received the respect of many, not because of the work of this generation, but the entire generations of Albert ancestors.
If Baron Albert really did something wrong, then the other members of the Albert Family should naturally stand out to correct the wrong. Blindly hiding it will only cause greater harm.
Nova, Meyer, and the other exorcists all turned silent. Since even Tony believed so, then what else could they say? After that episode, the exorcists' bad opinion of Qin Lun had mostly dissipated. At least, instead of the hostility from before, they were just indifferent to him now.
Qin Lun's mouth twitched, suddenly becoming aware of his inexperience in manipulating with words. If it weren't for the Flower Overlord asking about it, and if not for using the Holy Medicine for context, he would have been on the opposing side of these exorcists.
Furthermore, his current conduct was actually advantageous for Odia Region and should not conflict with the exorcists' values. Yet he was still being misunderstood while trying to do a good deed, which was simply an insult to the psychology master's skill.
The group crossed the stone bridge and entered Albert Castle, where Baron Albert had been waiting in the lounge for quite a while.
"Lady Nova, Sire Meyer, Dr. Stein… you all have finally returned. Please return to your rooms for a break, I will have the servants bring food to your rooms. When you guys have recovered some energy tomorrow, let's talk about the results of this operation."
Perhaps it was due to Little Miller waking up, Baron Albert was in a very good mood. He did not notice that the exorcists' face all had a trace of strangeness, and even Tony did not cater to the baron.
Baron Albert did not notice anything strange, he only took note of how there were only nine exorcists that returned and believed everyone was in grief from the sacrifices of their comrades, so they did not respond to him.
The exorcists quickly scattered back into their rooms. They have not rested since yesterday, in addition to their injuries, they were really at their limits already.
Qin Lun also returned to his own room under the guidance of a female servant. After he went in, he threw himself on the large bed and went into deep sleep.
However, what he didn't know was that the guest room's windows, facing cliff-side, had opened themselves at that moment. A white, illusory figure lightly floated in and stood in front of the bed, silently staring at him.
The fast asleep Qin Lun suddenly opened his eyes, expressionlessly staring at the white figure.
"My lady, how should I address you? Witch Mary… or Nina Albert?"