While the two of them were outside, Jinde and Zheng Yin actually finished up their preparations ahead of time. They had been working without break and — very much to Jinde’s delight — Zheng Yin hadn’t needed much time to get used to creating the scales. As such, they were now ahead of schedule by a few hours. The result would definitely be much better than he had hoped for.
Jinde got up and stretched, taking out a set of potions and handing one to Zheng Yin. “Here, take this. I made it last night. It’s to replenish some energy before we actually start working on Xin Lan’s face. I have a few more prepared that I’ll put down at the side. If you feel that your strength is waning, don’t hesitate to take one. This won’t be easy.”
Zheng Yin nodded and downed the potion without a second thought. He knew that they would have to rely on something like this. Being fast on the first step and not needing as much practice on his part meant that he had been able to preserve a bit more energy but it still wasn’t enough. This kind of procedure was much bigger than anything he had ever done.
Still, he was grateful. He wanted to help Xin Lan but, at the same time, he also had to admit that this was something that would help him tremendously on his journey of being a refiner. After all, when it came to refinement, while knowing the theory was important, experience was even more so. Without, you couldn’t make progress. So this was like a gift to him as well. Especially with somebody more experienced like Jinde guiding him.
Jinde drank his potion as well, throwing the empty bottle back into his spatial ring while he walked over to the door to the courtyard and opened it. “We’re already done with the preparations so we can start immediately if you feel up to it.”
Xin Lan had been sitting at the edge of the pond. He couldn’t help but look up when Jinde suddenly appeared. Looking at him, he slowly got to his feet and then walked over, stopping right in front of him.
Staring at his face, he couldn’t help but wonder just how Jinde was doing. “Are you alright?” He had seen Jinde work on refining pills and potions a lot when he was younger. And he knew that sometimes, he would go further than his strength actually allowed. That wasn’t a good thing. Especially not with something this big.
Jinde grabbed his shoulder and pulled him into the room, closing the door behind them. “Don’t worry about others. Worry about yourself. If this goes wrong, you will never be able to change your form again. I hope you have really thought this through.”
Xin Lan gave a hum and then went to sit down on the chair in the middle of the room, resting his hands on his legs and just relaxing. “I have. Anyway, this was a long time coming. As for the result … just do your best. I don’t care either way.”
Jinde wasn’t sure how much of that he actually believed but he still nodded and went to step in front of Xin Lan.
Meanwhile, Leng Jin Yu already carried over the small table he had prepared. He put the plate with the scales on top before retreating to the side and just watching in case his husband needed him again.
At that, Xin Lan couldn’t help but turn to look at them. He had been outside the whole day so he hadn’t seen them yet. Now, he realized that they were actually pretty close in color to his own scales. “These aren’t bad.”
Jinde nodded. “I made them as close as possible to your own scales. Even if this works out perfectly and you are able to change forms, they will still be a bit different though. After all, these aren’t actual dragon scales. They are just the closest I could make to resemble them. I can’t promise that they will perfectly fit the looks of your own, and I also can’t promise that they won’t break in the future. There are limits to what I’m able to do.”
Xin Lan looked up and then reached out to take his hand, squeezing it for a moment. “I trust you. But I also know that you can’t work miracles. I merely want my face back, nothing more than that. It doesn’t need to be perfect. So don’t stress yourself out.”
Jinde really wasn’t sure how much he should believe of that but he still nodded. “Alright, the potions have started to work so I guess our energy is as up for this as it will ever be. Let’s go then.”
He gently grabbed onto Xin Lan’s face, using his spiritual energy to clean that side of his face first before gently drying off the water and picking up the first scale. “I can’t promise it won’t hurt.”
Xin Lan merely gave a hum and then closed his eyes. Pain, he was already used to that. He didn’t believe that he wouldn’t be able to take it.
Seeing him like this, Jinde also didn’t think too much. He leaned closer and used his spiritual energy while pressing the scale against the edge of the old wound, inserting it between the uninjured skin and the edge of the bone they had newly created yesterday.
As soon as he pulled back his fingers, Zheng Yin took over, adding his spiritual energy on top while smearing the scale with a thin paste that would make the skin regenerate on top.
He couldn’t take long. The scales needed to be tightly packed, so he had to be fast and not make any mistake. When Jinde leaned back, Zheng Yin retracted his hands, watching him insert the second scale before he repeated his own step, making sure that the skin grew on top of where the two scales met.