Chapter 1 – System recognizes host
Gu Zuo hugged a bag of vegetables as he trotted home. His family’s house wasn’t near; it would take another 10 minutes before he reached home.
His heart was a bit anxious. His dad should be waiting at home for quite a while now, he wouldn’t eat without Gu Zuo and his stomach wasn’t any good, to begin with. Right now his father wasn’t around so he could only take care of his dad… 
Thinking of this, Gu Zuo sped up.
But just as he began to cross the road, an extremely fast truck swerved into the intersection. The driver was clearly drunk out of his mind!
Shocked, Gu Zuo quickly dodged backward but there wasn’t enough time and the truck was upon him. He only felt a sharp pain before his vision went black, whatever happened afterward, he wasn’t aware.
Before losing consciousness Gu Zuo failed to notice a strange twinkling object that entered his body through his brows. As the twinkling object entered Gu Zuo, his body disappeared into thin air.
At the same moment, another body replaced him and was crushed under the oncoming truck.
Soon a crowd gathered around the scene…
Gu Zuo’s body crashed to the ground and he frowned from the pain. However, he was still quite thankful for the pain. Whatever the outcome may be, at least he still had his life after colliding with the truck, right?
Patting the dust on his bottom he bounced back up. As he looked around for the bag of groceries he had carelessly dropped, he was stunned by the scene around him.
Carved wooden window and antique furniture…what was this place?
Gu Zuo felt anything but rea.s.sured. He had just been hit, but hit by what? There was nothing that could hit him in this room!
Then as he looked around, he found a young man lying on a bed to the side.
Gu Zuo immediately walked over to ask about his current situation.
His heart was feeling a bit weak; the man’s appearance as he slept rubbed Gu Zuo wrong somehow… As soon as he reached the bed, looking at the man’s appearance, he froze on the spot.
Who was this person… why did he look exactly like him?!
The person on the bed was a teenager. His face was extremely pale and eerily still like a pool of stagnant water.
Gu Zuo’s face went pale as well.
This man, he shouldn’t be dead, right?
Composing himself, Gu Zuo gathered all his courage and reached out to wave his finger under the juvenile’s nose. Immediately his entire body weakened—he really is dead ah! If someone entered the room now, he wouldn’t be able to explain this situation even if he had ten thousand mouths! Moreover, he had come upon a dead body that had his face, it felt like he was looking at his own corpse!
Gu Zuo immediately retreated a few steps. He walked over to the window and looked outside to see a relatively remote little courtyard without any people, but further away he could still see some people flickering by.
In a split second his mood had become even more complicated.
According to his exceptional vision, those flashing silhouettes were clearly wearing ancient costumes!
So to say…
Gu Zuo was reluctant to believe it himself, but he had come up with a shocking guess.
When he was. .h.i.t by the truck, he had crashed into ancient times! Everything had happened too fast. His dad was probably still waiting for him back home; he really wasn’t in the mood to play time travel!
Thinking about his interdependent dad he couldn’t help but think about how sad he would be when he found his son missing. His heart felt worse. 
It shouldn’t be like this… Wasn’t he just asked to process some drug ingredients today at the Huichun Hall? How could this happen to him? Dazed, Gu Zuo collapsed onto a stool. Even breaking his bones after hitting the truck would have been better than this….
Wait a minute.
Gu Zuo’s face paled further.
He was. .h.i.t.
Yes, he remembered that he was clearly hit by the truck. He felt an intense pain, but now his body, apart from a little numbness, was practically unscathed. This isn’t scientific!
It couldn’t be… did he pa.s.s over because of magic powers?
Gu Zuo couldn’t make sense of anything. With his chaotic mind, he was at a loss at what to do.
The body on the bed that looked like him, was it a coincidence or was it deliberate? Was it like those novels where he was supposed to take over the body’s ident.i.ty?
At this time, suddenly a line of text flashed inside Gu Zuo’s head.
【Medicine Refining System says h.e.l.lo to the host. Will the host allow the system to bond with host?】
Gu Zuo stared blankly.
System? What system? What was this thing inside his head?
Another line flashed.
【After recognizing a host, Medicine Refining System will help them become a master medicine refiner. The system program is currently is in host’s mind s.p.a.ce, but it is not yet activated. When host was faced with imminent death, the system directly moved the host to Cang Yun country located on Tian Wu continent and restored the health of host’s body. Will the host allow the system to bond with host? 】
Gu Zuo was a bit confused.
He kneaded his fingers to calm down as much as he could before he proceeded to talk to the thing in his head.
He thought in his mind the questions he wanted to ask: How do you recognize a host and what do I obtain if I become your host? Can I still go back home? And what if I don’t accept you?
【After bonding with host, the system will provide a step by step methods on how to refine medicine. Host will then complete corresponding tasks and gradually become the world’s most remarkable apothecary. If host works hard enough, you can return back to your home with your own strength. In the case that host chooses to bond, host will only need to consent, everything else will be taken care of by the system. In the case that host chooses not to bond, system will automatically separate itself, host will then have to survive alone.】
Gu Zuo stared blankly again.
The consequences for declining the system weren’t very clear-cut. Who knows what would happen if he had to survive in this place by himself…
Although he didn’t know what kind of thing this Medicine Refining System was, he did know that it had the power to transport him through time and s.p.a.ce and it claimed to have the power to turn him into an expert. It could serve as a golden finger… naturally, he had to accept!
However, Gu Zuo still warily asked: What restrictions do I have if I choose to bond? Do I face danger if I don’t complete my duties?
【If the tasks are not completed within the given time frame, system will obliterate host.】
Gu Zuo: “…”
As expected, it is quite dangerous.
Then he shouldn’t accept the system… the thing he was most afraid of in this world was death.
【Disaster and happiness are interdependent. Host, please think it over carefully, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Furthermore, the mainland isn’t safe by any standard.】
Gu Zuo hesitated.
【Insufficient energy, in another half an hour system will fall asleep. Please make your decision as soon as possible. If an answer isn’t provided within half an hour, system will remove itself from host by default.】
Gu Zuo hesitated once again.
So if he bonded with the system and failed a task he would die, but if he doesn’t acknowledge the system, the world would be unsafe for him.
But in the end, how unsafe was the mainland? Could he survive on his own? And how difficult are the tasks? He doesn’t know anything about the mainland or the system, there isn’t enough information for him to make a decision ah!
He doesn’t have a grasp on either side; he feared to make the wrong decision in haste.
【If host makes contact with the body on the bed, you will be able to obtain its memories. You can make a decision after watching.】
Gu Zuo felt his mouth twitch.
In this world, people are able to steal memories by touching dead bodies?
Gu Zuo relaxed.
In other words, this was the system a.s.sisting him? He warily moved towards the body.
The body wasn’t rotting and nor would the corpse get up all of a sudden…
For his own sake, Gu Zuo strengthened his bladder. He quickly ran past the corpse and smacked it with the back of his hand.
Sure enough, in the next moment, countless bits of information frantically poured into his head. A painful headache erupted and Gu Zuo staggered back a few steps. But soon enough, all the information melded into his brain, as if it had belonged to him all along.
As soon as he looked over the information, a blue vein showed on his forehead.
… This is how unlucky he was in the end.
This world was practically a tragedy; it barely had any laws to speak of. Although wuxia tales also speak of martial criminals, at least the ‘xia’ (knight) is still present there. This place, however, was bare, everything was run based on the laws of the jungle. The strong are respected and if you’re weak, might as well go and die in a corner.
If civilians are killed in this place, there is no place for redress. Only by using their martial skills could one take revenge. Those with higher strength receive respect and attention, they have the power to protect their family and provide for them. Along with the rise of one’s strength, one’s lifespan also increases.
The only thing worth celebrating is that though the strength of the martial artists was strong on this continent, it was still a humane empire nonetheless. Although the world existed in feudal times, most cities had some degree of law in order to allow continuation of the human lineage.
But still, this continent had an awfully strong martial spirit. If one was incapable of practicing martial arts, with good luck they can mull their days over in mediocrity. With bad luck, they die. They won’t have personal freedom; any wealth would be exploited by those with strength. If they object, they die.
Simply put, it’s awfully easy to die.
However, in addition to martial artists, there’s one other cla.s.s of people who receive more respect, the apothecaries. On the martial road, martial artists face many bottlenecks when they breakthrough to the next level or stage. In order to overcome these hurdles, one needs Dan pills which only apothecaries can refine. 
But becoming an apothecary is not easy. A prerequisite for becoming an apothecary is that one must possess something called a Yao bead in the acupuncture point of both hands. Otherwise, one will be incapable of producing Yao Qi, causing their medical furnace to explode. The Dan pill that is created in this manner would be useless to a martial artist. 
However, people with Yao beads are few in number, perhaps not even one in ten-thousand. Their status can be imagined.
If Gu Zuo chose to accept the Medicine Refining System, he would be able to become an apothecary. As long as he had a skill that he is proficient in, he should be able to make a place for himself in this continent, no one would dare to casually come up and kill him. It would serve as a great form of security.
Gu Zuo wasn’t stupid. Although he didn’t know how to check, the fact that the Medicine Refining system wanted to bond with him meant that he must have Yao beads. Even if he didn’t have Yao beads, he was sure that the system would help him acquire them… There really wasn’t much of a reason to turn down the system.
Rubbing his hands over his face, he resigned himself.
He needed something that would allow him to survive on Tian Wu continent.
He spoke, “I agree to become your host.”
The next moment, a strange feeling enveloped his body. All of a sudden he was able to feel something inside his mind.
Moreover, though he was unable to control that thing, he could feel that he was somehow connected to it… miraculously.
Was this the real system?
-> If you are reading this anywhere other than the Cherry-clan wordpress or wattpad account, it’s been stolen.
 – I think that Gu Zuo comes from a household of two fathers, ie: his parents are two gay men. The parent referred to as father seems to be absent at the moment for some reason, he might be dead or just away on a trip. Gu Zuo is living with the one referred to as dad.
 – It’s an idiom: 相依为命, meaning mutually dependent for life. It means that Gu Zuo and his dad would rely on each other for the rest of their lives. I didn’t know how to fit that into the sentence without making it awkward so I just went with interdependent. It basically means the same thing but sounds much more formal and clean cut.
 – Cang Yun country: Dark Blue Cloud country. Tian Wu continent: Sky Martial continent. Either that or its Heaven Cloud country and Heaven Martial continent
 – Dan pill: medicine pellet. It was originally Dan (pellet) Yao (medicine), but I made it Dan pill because it’s usually called that in Xianxia books.
 – Yao bead: medicine bead, Yao Qi: medicine Qi, I kept the Yao in for the feeling.