279 Golden Aloe

    Anyone who had interacted with Zoogs before knew that they were extremely cunning, or at least cunning enough to know that human beings match their cunningness. The younger Zoogs were already itching with excitement at the prospect of 'luxurious gifts'. After all, this offer came from the nightmare man who had just dealt with the House of Worm. However, as interested at the Elder Zoog was, he knew the virtue of caution, "We might not be able to do much with infectious disease but physical wounds like broken limbs or torn stomach... well, we might have a solution."

    He patted his stomach sadly as he lamented, "Mr. Nightmare Man, as you know, we Zoogs are often toyed by those horrible cats. Whenever they feel like it, tragedy will befall us. Thankfully us Zoogs are a persistent and clever face. Through our wisdom, we've mastered how to cure physical traumas. In fact, I am confident we will be able to heal the scars on your face."

    'My scars?' Gu Jun's heart skipped. Even though that was not the most important thing now, if it could be done, why not? He asked the Elder Zoog at the Enchanted Woods about it before but the Zoog told him they could not help him. Now it looked they were just not motivated enough to help him, these bunch of greedy rats...

    "What is this solution?" He asked.

    "Our settlement is far from Ulthar but close to the House of Worm." The Elder Zoog continued like he did not hear Gu Jun, "Without such healing mastery, we wouldn't dare to settle here."

    "Sir." Gu Jun's voice darkened. "Time is important in saving lives, just get to the point." Finally, the Elder Zoog felt like he had the upper hand, "What do you mean by the 'luxurious gifts'?"

    "We have 8 wounded members with us. If you can heal all of them and work on my face, you'll be given 10000 fowls for each person healed, so 90000 fowls in total."

    "Only fowls?" The Elder Zoog had the younger ones quiet down. "How could the value of lives be equated to simple fowls?" Lou Xiaoning and the rest had been listening in. At this juncture, Lou Xiaoning could not help but chime in, "What, you want another 90000 fowls?"

    "Even that will not be enough, we're talking about human lives here..."

    Seeing the impertinence on the Elder Zoog's face, Gu Jun's face dropped. These Zoogs responded to force but not persuasion, some threats were needed to put them in their place. "Sir, don't you forget why you need to offer sacrifices to the cats at Ulthar in the first place. Since I've promised you luxurious gifts, they will be luxurious but now saving people's lives is more important." His eyes chilled, causing the previously cheering Zoogs to cower.

    "Of course, of course! Life is priceless, saving them is more important." The Elder Zoog quickly patted. Compared to the Elder Zoog at the Enchanted Forest, he was still too inexperienced, he had pushed too far. He sighed. "I hope your promise of 'luxurious gifts' are not just some wild geese and hens but a promise that will involve treasures and jewels..." Seeing the chilling glint in the Nightmare Man's eyes, the Elder Zoog immediately slithered away. "Quick, time is not to be wasted, follow me!"

    Earlier, the group chopped down the branches of the nearby trees to create a few rudimentary stretches. The wounded were placed on them and carried away. They packed up their stuff and followed the Zoogs deeper into the plains. Gu Jun walked at the front of the group. As he focused on movements in the fog, he listened to the solution offered by the Elder Zoog.

    "To be honest, this thing is half the reason why we have chosen to settle here." The Elder Zoog explained that there was a plant that was unique to Kaar. Its name could be translated as 'Golden Aloe'. Due to the treacherous nature of these plains and obscure growth condition of the plant, only the Zoogs knew how to find them. The team of 16 followed the Zoogs for 2 hours. Ma Feng's consciousness started to waver, this worried Gu Jun and Uncle Dan deeply. Thankfully, they reached their destination soon. By then they had wandered quite far away from the House of Worm, the barrenness of their environs faded away. If anything, they found themselves surrounded by verdance and life. After hiking past some rough boulders, they came across a small lake. By the shore was the patch of golden aloes.

    Gu Jun turned to study them. Through just a glance, he could feel the vibrancy of the plant's life force... The small patch had about 10 aloe plants but each of them was about 3 to 4 metres tall. The petals of giant leaves bloomed outwards.

    "That is it. You only need to place the wounded inside the plant." The Elder Zoog explained, "And let it envelope them. The juices of the plants will help recover and heal the physical wounds." Viewing it from a medical perspective, the plant truly lived up to its name. Aloe vera gel was a natural external-use medicine, it could help with inflammation and analgesia, it could also speed up the closing of wounds by activating cell activities. Of course the effect would not be instantaneous, but this was the Dreamworlds, they worked under a different set of rules. The Elder Zoog confirmed that this had nothing to do with magical spell energy, if anything, the healing would help to cleanse mental corruption and not cause it.

    "The Golden Aloe gains its nutrients from the essence of the Dreamlands itself." The Elder Zoog explained, "Therefore, they cannot be transplanted to another world or even another location in Dreamlands. Mr. Nightmare Man, don't waste your time on attempting that, we've tried it before and it always failed." At least the Elder Zoog got that right. Gu Jun was indeed contemplating that very thing. If he could harvest the plant and bring it back to Earth, it would be a great help in the advancement of medical science...

    "Once it is plucked from the ground, it'll turn into a normal plant." The Elder Zoog said, "We've tried picking some individual leaves for consumption and application, but the healing effect was non-existent. However, they make great raw material for the breweries. We're a race who likes their drinks."

    The Elder Zoog was nervous once he noticed Gu Jun's eyes wandered greedily over the plants. The patch of Golden Aloes was their saving grace. If they were taken away, they would die out here.

    "Mr. Nightmare Man," he stressed again, "Other than to help with external wounds, the golden aloes really have no other uses, it cannot bring the dead back to life." He was afraid that the Nightmare Man would claim all of the aloe. He should not have hungered for the man's promise of luxurious gifts, greed had tripped him again.

    "We better focus on saving the wounded first." Gu Jun did not give any other promise. These Zoogs could not be trusted fully. If the plant really had miraculous property, then he would study it further.

    Since the Zoogs had only used the plants on their own people in the past, the Elder Zoog did not dare guarantee that it would work on humans. However, Ma Feng was too heavily injured, if not for the emergency rescue earlier, he would not have survived until now. With no other option, Ma Feng volunteered to be the clinical experiment.

    Gu Jun and Gold moved Ma Feng into one of the golden aloes. Ma Feng's right hand dangled outside the leaves, and the bracelet of the rationality assessment stone hung around his wrist. The Elder Zoog said that the effect would not be instantaneous like spells. After Ma Feng was settled in place, Gu Jun and Gold walked away to join the rest and observe the golden aloe.

    The giant leaves slowly wrapped Ma Feng inside the plant. The stone on the man's right wrist did not glow red.


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