After killing that small army and clearing out the Dark Sect base with my new group of friends, I was left with the dilemma of what to do with them.
Of course there was no way they could be accepted into normal society even with my assurance, so I can perish the thought of bringing them back to the Sect with me. Not that I would do it anyway, I've got enough problems on my plate already and there's no way I'm going to add more to it.
My initial thought was to just let them go wherever they wanted, but after spending five decades locked away from the world, they weren't sure they could even integrate themselves back into their own ecosystems, if it even still exists.
In fact, a few of them had claimed that this was not their original world in the first place.
I tried to make sense of that particular discovery but even they didn't know how they ended up here in the first place so that ended up as a complete mystery. I have no idea if they came from a different Plane, Realm or an entire dimension.
In the end, we decided that they'll just take over the Dark Sect's base as their new home, as long as they keep themselves out of trouble.
And by that, I mean they'll help cull the Dark Sect and bandit population in the area along with managing the monsters too.
I'm not sure why, but all of them acted like I was going to just get rid of them after the battle and visibly relaxed when I told them I wasn't going to.
Seriously, what did they take me for? I'm not that heartless.
Both the Lich and the squid head guy told me they will make something for me in return for allowing them a place of refuge. I'm not sure what they were going to make, but it was hard for me to reject them when both of them were prostrating so sincerely on the ground.
I just told them to go ahead with it and I'll return in a few days to check up on them.
I left both the red and white foxes behind with the group since they wanted to do something with the other monsters in the region too. When I asked what they were going to do, they just told me it was a secret and left it at that.
Not really a big deal since I can't show up at the Sect with two mountain-sized foxes either, so I just told them to stay out of trouble.
I'll need to give them names and make them smaller when I come back.
The most important thing to me right now is to go back and make sure Kiyomi and Manami are well.
With a backwards wave to the new residents of this Dark Sect hideout, I stepped through the portal I made to reappear back within my disciples' room.
I fully expected to see both of my disciples still unconscious on their beds, so you can imagine how surprised I was to see both of them standing in front of a Brendan that was currently bound and gagged while being suspended upside down from the ceiling.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noted the cauldron that sat in the corner, showing signs that someone had been brewing some potions while I was absent.
Brendan's eyes widened and immediately started wriggling around, his screams muffled by the cloth tied around his mouth.
Noticing his gaze, the two girls turned around to see me standing behind them with a shocked expression on my face.
"What What are you two doing?" I asked skeptically.
Manami and Kiyomi looked at each other, as though unsure of what to do.
The older fox sister took a small step forward before taking a sniff at me. Not satisfied with what she smelt, she stepped closer again and took another whiff.
That whiff quickly escalated into her diving straight towards me and burying her face into my chest, breathing in deep lungfuls of air.
"Ahhhhn~ Master! We've missed you so much! Fufu~ Master! Fufufu~ Ufufufu~ Masteeeer!!"
A little bewildered by her sudden display of affection, I could only gently pat her head and make soothing noises to calm her.
Kiyomi came up beside her sister, prompting Manami to scoot a little to the side to give space for her to hug me as well.
Both of the fox sisters started purring in contentment, rubbing their faces against my chest.
Well Since we've reached this point, what else can I do except to fulfill my obligation of petting them on the heads.
Now it's my turn to give Brendan an apologetic smile while I indulged in my disciples' fancies.
Only after they were satisfied did they let go of me, allowing me to address the issue once more.
"What were you two doing to Brendan?"
"Ara? Master knows this tra Ummm This person?" Manami asked.
I nodded, "He's one of the students in the special class I am currently in charge of educating."
Kiyomi's ears drooped slightly, "That Forgive us Master When we had awoken and found this young man sitting inside our room, we had assumed the worst So we had tied him up in case he was here for malicious purposes..."
I sighed, flicking my finger at Brendan to cause his bindings to untie itself, depositing him on the floor.
"Thank Thank you Master Lin" He gasped. "Apologies for the misunderstanding I've caused"
"Well then, did you do something to them? I'm guessing you made them drink something you made using that cauldron?"
He nodded shakily, "I I recognised that they've been inflicted with Draugr poison that freezes up their Quark Veins. Since I know the cure for it, I went ahead to make it first."
I frowned, Draugr poison? This is not something commonly used even amongst the underworld. At least to my knowledge.To make even enough poison for a man requires the essences of at least a hundred Draugrs, and those monsters aren't common around here.
"How did you know it was that particular poison?"
"Ah I remembered the symptoms. Light blue veins along the limbs, cold sweat, pupils being less responsive to light stimulation than normal and breathlessness."
"And the cure to this?"
"A hundred grams of snowberries crushed and boiled in a bowl of clear spring water, two Purple Mountain Flowers and the petals of the Dragon's Tongue plant. Since today is rather warm, boil all of them in a cauldron at low heat for half an hour before letting it simmer for five minutes."
I scratched my chin, "Hmmm You've made this before?"
"No Not at all Master Lin."
"Oh? And you are familiar with this because?"
He scratched his cheek, "I er That's because I... I memorised your book, Master Lin"
My book? Oh.
Oh, right. I wrote an alchemy book in the past, though there were some things in it that I've come to realise were rather inefficient after learning more in the upper Planes.
Alchemy itself isn't easy after all, it is considered an extremely niche art that few practice since it doesn't aid much in Cultivation.
Sure there were pills that helped Practitioners cultivate faster, but the quality of them is just not good enough to warrant people actually diving deeply into alchemy. The potions usually benefit non-Practitioners more in the first place, so Alchemy is seen more as a way for Practitioners to earn quick money.
Even when I had dabbled lightly in it in the past, I've only mostly researched about poisons and cures instead of cultivation pills. It wasn't when I reached the higher Planes did I actually take it more seriously since I needed to create something that could heal me.
But it's still not a simple thing to perform alchemy since there's always a difference between theory and practicality.
On a particular day, the air might be warmer or colder which would offset the amount of time you need to burn something. You also need to take into account the material's quality since some might be grown differently than others, which would require their own method of preparations.
So for Brendan to craft such an intricate potion here on his first try without aid Is he another heaven sent genius?!