93 Have you not Learned from your Previous Generation?

    Xue'er quickly left and walked around the town, asking a few along the way for more information to anyone who may know something pertaining to the disappearances. Because of her appearance, she was able to get some useful information, they just believed that she was a very worried younger sister and recounted some things they saw on the night of lunar's eve to send her on the way.

    All the information she gathered, no matter how minuscule or unrelated it may seem would be sorted in her mind, and placed into categories. Soon, the outline of that night came into play.

    It seems that on that specific night, of lunar's eve, a group of merchants came from out of town and settled down. As to where they were from, that was not too clear, there were some who thought they were from the north because of their skin clothing, while some recounted here was a southern accent when they spoke. Xue'er admitted that she did not know too much about the regions where these people could be from, but she was quite certain they were either in disguise, or they were many people of the same profession who just happened to be in a group.

    Though there was one place she was certain she had to go. She had gotten information that there were two of the merchants who had fallen ill and had to stay at a clinic to recuperate.

    The clinic was a place that rested in a dead-end street, boarded up with old wooden planks with faded vermillion paint slowly chipping away revealing the brown wood and splinters beneath. The surrounding shops were also boarded up in the same dilapidated looking boards, none of these establishments were opened at this time of day.

    Xue'er glanced at the non-existant plaque above, normal clinics would at least write the word medicine or clinic above so someone would at least know what they did.

    [Did this clinic spread by word of mouth.] It was highly probable, Xue'er did not reject this idea.

    Her hand extended to lightly knock on the wooden planks of this establishment. What came out was a slight rattling sound. Xue'er feared that if she were to knock any louder, the entire plank may be smashed into smithereens, reminding her of that time when her body slammed into a tree, smashing it into little splinters.

    There was no answer.

    She knocked again this time, slightly harder. The rattling sounds of the wooden plank vibrated harder until the sound could no longer be ignored.

    As soon as footsteps were heard, Xue'er ceased her knocking.

    A plank was carried out of the way to reveal a narrow but dark hallway that was filled with the stench of boiled herbal dregs and smoke that came from preparing the medicine with firewood. Her sensitive nose took a whiff and there was no doubt that this place was a clinic, though the place next door had a combination of scents that were slightly more interesting.

    "Can I help you?" The person who took the plank off the entrance asked. Xue'er took a close look at him, he was much taller than her by nearly two heads, dressed in dark green robes with an outer robe that was white, he looked young perhaps about seventeen, but she could see the weariness that was beneath his eyes, making her remember the sayings of an old man trapped in a youth's body.

    "I'm looking for someone." Xue'er began, her words were to the point, perhaps too much.

    "I'm sorry if you're looking for someone than you have come to the wrong place." The young man said as he prepared to put the plank back in the front of his shop.

    "Wait." Xue'er said as she moved into the way of the planks, preventing the young man from closing them in her face, "I need to buy something." She quickly searched for an excuse.

    "Than what do you need?"

    "Rat poison." Xue'er swiftly stated, thinking back to the fire. Most likely the rat poison was made from arsenic, making it easy for commoners to get their hands on such poisonous substances. It shouldn't be that difficult to acquire right?

    "We don't sell that here." The young man said, preparing to chase the girl out on her way.

    "How about vermillion, don't tell me you don't have any." Xue'er gave a wide grin that showed her pearly whites.

    "Right this way." The young man said. Once Xue'er was no longer blocking the entrance, he placed the plank back on, casting the entire hallway back into its usual gloom. The smell of medicine became even more pungent, as the smoke built up in the air.

    Seeing the young man closing the entryway, this time making sure there were zero gaps, Xue'er became curious, he could not be thinking of trapping her in this place could he, but if he did harbor such thoughts, how interesting would that be?

    She walked to the end of the hall when she turned around again. Her head tilted slightly as she watched his back working to put the plank in place.

    Suddenly feeling a chill behind him, he turned his head to meet with the girl's deep and dark eyes.

    She gave an innocent smile, straightening her head and walking into the main chamber of the clinic. Inside, it was much more spacious, with some natural light flowing in from a window. The window was lined by rice paper, making the light appear more gentle and less harsh. There were many wooden cabinets that lined the wall were filled with all different types of herbs, each one emitting its own distinctive smell as Xue'er took a deep breath.

    The scents that she was familiar with, though the person she once lived with was never so organized.

    Carried along within the many scents was the smell of death, but this smell wasn't coming from the wall where the herbs were stored. Instead, it came from behind a plain curtain.

    As Xue'er lifted the curtain and caught a glimpse of two dying men lying there listlessly, their faces were discolored and hanging around them an aura of death, the muscles in their fingers and bodies horribly constricted, it was similar to that of those who had recently died

    She did not get to look too long, before a hand reached over, and threw the curtain back into place. Xue'er looked over at him as though she had been wronged, her eyes seemed to be at the verge of tears as she turned her head to face him.

    "Do not touch my patients." He said in a loud whisper as to not disturb the two from resting, not caring for the pitiful expression upon her face.

    Listening to his tone was quite amusing, he had treated a young girl like her with utter disdain, while those dying men were treated with respect. She wondered whether he knew what kind of people they were, or if he could not care about the injustice in the world, merely treating those with the oddest afflictions.

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    She looked at him carefully, pondering what she could start the conversation with. Having seen the many drawers of herbs, she knew what to say.

    "I see you're still on the path of becoming a physician, have you not learned from your previous generation?" Xue'er suddenly said with a crafty smile, the change from the girl on the verge of tears was quick, and there was not the slightest trace of anger in her low voice.
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