The drug was turning him sluggish, but Xie Yi clenched his jaw and moved his arm. The first thing would be trying to find out what he was drugged with. If you had an idea about what was poisoning you, you could work against it! It wasn't certain that he could find a clue about the drug, but it was better than not trying at all.
Reaching the knife in his boots was already a considerable piece of work but nothing that needed careful movements and thus manageable even with his strongly shaking arm. The greatest problem was that, to avoid the knife slipping out of its sheath in the boot, it wasn't very easy to draw and Xie Yi could hardly muster any strength.
After trying for several seconds, the knife finally slipped out and revealed its sharp edge. Unceremoniously, Xie Yi poked it into his thigh. Not deeply - that wouldn't help anyone, he thought, unaware that he was going to regret thinking exactly that - but just enough to create a bleeding wound.
He let the knife fall to the ground next to him and leaned forward, breathing in deeply. With a bit of energy circulation, he could force just a minimal amount of the drug out of his system. Once exposed to air, the drug immediately emitted a strongly floral scent added to the rusty stench of blood.
Xie Yi was confused. He recognized the smell and knew the herbs for the numbing drug from Master Chen's lessons. They were barely considered uncommon for a cultivator who could reach all kinds of places (much more uncommon for normal humans that didn't just randomly climb mountains or cliffs) and the recipe wasn't hard, either. It was quite weak and only worked for a few hours, but even children shouldn't have too many problems with it. Why did he? He even had the strengthened body of a young cultivator!
It was too bad that it was scent- and tasteless, causing him to overlook it being used to season the rabbit. The only thing it was actually good for was for capturing animals alive - at least herbivores or smaller carnivores could be immobilized by it. That it was working on him at all was very, very surprising. Well, maybe Yao Ming had added something he couldn't quite distinguish with his current powers yet.1He didn't. Xie Yi is just very, very, veery susceptible to drugs...
There was no real way to lessen its effects other than waiting, using special potions or having a medic clean out your body. Maybe easier ways would have been found if anyone had cared to search, but no one had cared because no one would use this drug on humans!
...For some reason, Xie Yi felt offended.
"Okay, let me think", Xie Yi whispered and closed his eyes for a second. His body was getting continously heavier.
"Shi Yue won't be back for another while", he murmured to keep his sluggish tongue moving. "No other cultivator is going to randomly walk past here. I've got the bracelet from Shi Yue, but that will only react to me being mortally wounded. Since I can't even protect myself for a second, there's a chance that I would be dead before Shi Yue gets here."
That meant that external help was crossed out for the moment. Xie Yi opened his mouth again to continue murmuring, but his lips were starting to tremble so he instead decided to let his jaw hang loosely.
The array around the camp wasn't activated - after all, they weren't sleeping - and thus goddamn useless. Just the scent of cultivators wouldn't keep the enraged, stupid beasts away. Once they found the place, they'd just rush straight at it and probably tear Xie Yi apart in the process, just like Yao Ming had planned.
Irritated, Xie Yi struggled. It was incredibly annoying to feel his body enter a state like being filled with lead when his mind was perfectly awake. He wanted to move but his body was disobeying. His legs weree already so numb he could barely feel them.
The pair of short arms shook heavily as Xie Yi twisted his torso and tried to drag himself a bit more to the tent's entrance. That was where Shi Yue's scent was the strongest and where he had the highest chance of being lucky enough that the beasts would hesitate. It was just that the short distance had turned endlessly large and before he truly managed to drag himself farther than just a bit more towards the rock a bit closer to it, his arms gave away.
Xie Yi swallowed a curse when his chin hit the ground. His arms screamed in complaint as he pushed them against the ground once more, pushing himself up far enough to lean against the stone. His fingers refused to close around the hilt of the knife just next to him. Trying to pick it up was completely useless.
Xie Yi breathed in and out slowly. The drug wasn't going to harm his organs at least and neither would it affect his cultivation. He could try to maybe lessen its effects so that he would have the strength to struggle a bit. He would just need a few seconds to survive an attack of the boar horde, then Shi Yue would arrive.
The child froze in the middle of his thought.
God, he was so stupid! He should have seriously stabbed himself while he still had the chance! Wouldn't that have alerted Shi Yue?! Stupid, stupid, stupid!
Mentally scolding himself, the black-haired boy pressed his eyes shut and concentrated on his core. Maybe he could still get his body to move enough to pick up the knife once more.
Sitting in the camp, leaning against a stone, Xie Yi seriously regretted not having listened to more of Master Chen's lessons on curing your own body. He had never had a problem with poison and even if he was hurt, he could drink the most precious potions like water or bathe in the rarest ointments. Not having access to something that would heal him in a short amount of time was an experience he really didn't need to have.
He could sense where the drug was working on his nerves. It was a bit like your hair being covered in honey. He could feel it and he knew it was there, but that didn't mean that he could just get rid of it. Even when trying to pull out the honey with his fingers - errr, energy -, you couldn't just clean every single hair. He was more likely to hurt himself by tugging too strongly.
Stubborn, he tried it anyway. Tugging softly didn't do anything at all and tugging strongly...
Xie Yi kept himself from yelping. The only thing his arm did was jolt heavily, then burn like it was on fire but otherwise not move. That wasn't an option.
Feeling his teeth with his tongue, Xie Yi was brought back to the thought of getting his vital signs to act up.
Holding his breath was useless - his body wouldn't let him do that - but maybe biting his tongue off? Of course, that would be annoying - people usually died because the tongue would slide into their throat and block their windpipe but he couldn't move his head that much. He would bleed slowly, but surely he would have lost enough blood in time before the boars would reach him? Maybe? On the other hand, even if he didn't, it would have been worth a try.
With a heavy jaw, Xie Yi tried to press his teeth down, only to notice that once again, he had waited too long. He couldn't muster enough strength to cause more than a small, bleeding wound that just filled his mouth with the annoying taste of rust.
Somewhat surprised by his own idiocy, Xie Yi stopped trying to do anything for a moment.
Alright, he had to admit he wasn't used to being cornered anymore. He knew he had been more resourceful during his training with the elders, but he had gotten used to the comfort of being a strong cultivator. He was going to forget about this, again and again, just like a goldfish, wasn't he? He should ask Shi Yue for some tips on how to deal with life-threatening situations when you were as weak as a newborn fawn.
Xie Yi stared at the stony ground in a daze. He could hear the birds sing comfortably and the trees rustle in the wind. The forest wasn't troubled by his problems at all. It still smelled nicely like the roasted rabbit and the fire was crackling peacefully.