Chapter 5: Leaving the Mountain
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
"Who let you do this?"
Seeing an opportunity while Old Tian was crying, Fang Yuan questioned him.
The Questioning Heart Tea had the ability to cleanse the soul, but could not turn an evil person into a kind one.
Old Tian had a good heart and was able to feel guilty. Therefore, he could come to his senses under the effects of the tea. If he had an evil heart to begin with, he would have simply found that the tea tasted good, and would not have felt any guilt.
"I am not human... boohoo..."
On the floor, Old Tian was crying, "I understand it now, I have lived as a coward my whole life. Now that I have aged, I have acquired some sort of status. But yet I let myself be pressured into hurting my benefactor’s disciple. I am not human... I have thought through it. The stupid Spirit Returning Sect, even if I don’t do anything, I will not let my benefactor down..."
"Spirit Returning Sect?"
Fang Yuan was shocked.
’Could it be that they are unwilling to let the matter rest? Wait a moment, this is wrong! If they weren’t willing to let the matter rest, they would have killed me straight away. Now the situation is neither here nor there, like kids playing a fool...’
At this point, he enquired, "Did the Spirit Returning Sect instigate this? Who threatened you?"
"One more thing. I’m not sure where I’d heard this from, but I do know that I have some relations with your people... Young Master, why don’t we leave this place, since the Spirit Returning Sect dominates the surrounding 100 miles of land. Once we are beyond this 100 miles, we won’t have to give a hoot about them! I have some savings with me, as well as some experience in the outside world. The journey should not be a problem..."
Old Tian had found his conscience, and he actively advised Fang Yuan to leave. He began to look for a route.
Fang Yuan looked at Old Tian’s shabby appearance and remained speechless, "No rush! No rush! We can wait..."
He then sat down and enjoyed the tea by himself.
A moment passed, and Old Tian’s newfound conscience slowly faded. His sly personality resurfaced. He immediately regretted his words and thought, ’What have I done? Why did I offer to give up my savings to help this Young Master challenge the Spirit Returning Sect?’
To be honest, it was entirely possible for him to warn Fang Yuan and allow him to leave quickly by himself.
But to throw in his life savings and escape together with Fang Yuan? Old Tian scratched his own head and had never felt more foolish.
Fang Yuan stared at him and Old Tian was afraid that he would regain his conscience and run away with Fang Yuan.
Fang Yuan observed that Old Tian looked uneasy and awkward, and he found it amusing.
’Old Tian has a good heart, but he has too many worries in this world, which makes him indecisive...’
Fang Yuan said, "Old Tian, don’t you worry. I have no intention to escape, and will not bother you for help!"
"It is of no trouble."
Old Tian responded weakly, but deep down, he heaved a huge sigh of relief.
Old Tian was still baffled at how he had found his conscience today, but since he had already agreed to help, Old Tian reminded Fang Yuan, "Civilians who know what is good for them do not challenge officials. The Spirit Returning Sect might not be made up of officials, but they are in fact more powerful. In what way has Young Master offended them? You should quickly look for someone to help you. If not, then you should hurry and leave!"
"Many thanks to your good intentions, but I will miss this place sorely..."
Fang Yuan spoke the truth.
This was where he had grown up and he had definitely developed feelings for the place, feelings that were hard to replace.
Furthermore, he had the spiritual tea and spiritual rice. It was impossible to transfer these goods to somewhere far in such a short notice.
Additionally, Fang Yuan had faith in his own judgement. Since he had annulled the marriage, and accepted the gifts, there was no reason for the other party to stoop this low and behave ruthlessly.
Perhaps it was one of the lower ranking sect members who initiated this, hoping to curry favour with the upper echelons.
’Could it be Leiyue that caused this?’
Fang Yuan flinched for a moment. In his memory, Leiyue was not that pretty, and the image of her face was blurred.
On the contrary, in his dream world, this was a common plot development in the novels, in which love rivals could suddenly appear out of nowhere and cause trouble.
"Also, an embargo of goods isn’t such a big deal!"
He looked at Old Tian and smiled.
"Next time you won’t have to suffer that much!"
Old Tian glanced at Fang Yuan, feeling disturbed.
"I am alone, with no attachments, and have nothing to my name. But you, Old Tian, if you follow their orders, they won’t cause trouble for you!"
Fang Yuan calmly analysed it for Old Tian, and took out a platter of herbs, "Here is the medicine, our last deal is done."
"Eh... Young Master, take care!"
Old Tian did not approve of Fang Yuan’s decision, but seeing his determination, had no choice but to leave.
After sending off Old Tian, Fang Yuan flipped the bamboo basket on the floor.
Old Tian had brought along enough goods this time, and inclusive of his current stash, the amount of stock should be enough to sustain him for the next few months.
"One of the ingredients required to create Still Fire Liquid can only be acquired from the outside world. I had thought initially that I could use Old Tian’s assistance... Looking at how things are now I guess I’ll have to go personally!"
Fang Yuan sighed, "And as for me being a target of the Spirit Returning Sect, this is a matter to be investigated..."
In truth, since Fang Yuan had always lived within the secluded valley and rarely stepped out, he was actually looking forward to seeing the outside world for himself.
Having decided on leaving the valley, Fang Yuan had to prepare himself.
Firstly, he selected some exquisite and aged herbs to fund his trip expenses and changed into a new set of clothing. The most important thing, of course, was to bring enough food.
The normal rice from the outside world could never compare to his self-cultivated Pearl Jade Crystal Rice.
Being used to consuming his own produce, food from the outside world might as well be pigs’ feed.
After Fang Yuan was done with his preparations, he equipped himself with a machete for self-protection and proceeded with his journey.
Clear Spirit Mountain was vast and stretched across several counties.
Qinghe County was the nearest to the secluded valley.
Fang Yuan rarely left the mountains, but he had accompanied Master Wenxin on his trips out a few times before, and therefore knew his way.
There were a few villages along the way and Fang Yuan approached one of them. Fang Yuan was relieved, "If the Spirit Returning Sect really wanted to deal with me, with their vast capabilities, it would be difficult for me to move around... It seems like my guess was correct, was it the initiative of one of the low ranking sect cronies?"
The thought of being seen as a love rival and having to deal with this mystery opponent gave Fang Yuan the shudders.
"This will not do. I should look for Minister Lin and find out if it really is the Spirit Returning Sect making trouble for me. After all, they were the ones who created the problems. I doubt that he’ll just stand by and watch the show."
After paying the entrance fee to the town, Fang Yuan walked around aimlessly and did some deep thinking at the same time.
To him, he was willing to forgo his reputation in exchange for less trouble.
But to constantly trouble others was not a long-term solution. Furthermore, the meeting would definitely be an awkward one. It would be for the best if he could solve the problem by himself.
"Cosmetics and accessories!"
"Superior gold jewellery..."
Although it was a small town, there were many shops along the streets, and the noise created from all the shouting and bargaining made the town a lively one. It was a sight to behold for Fang Yuan, and there were people who looked at him like he was an alien, but all these did not bother him.
"The creation of the Still Fire Liquid requires some Leaving Fire Wood, water that comes from the sky, and Realgar powder... The first two ingredients can be found in the valley, but the Realgar Powder, I will need to buy it in bulk!"
Fang Yuan considered this for a moment and went into a grocery store.
"What would you like, Sir?"
A middle-aged cashier was at the counter, with a very warm smile.
"I want Realgar Powder of the best quality! By the way... do you accept mountain herbs as payment?"
Minister Lin had given some money to Fang Yuan, but he preferred to use his own medicine, and safekept the money for future use.
After all, if the situation escalated and worsened, and if he needed to run, then bringing money along instead of the miscellaneous stuff would be much more practical.
Fang Yuan was reluctant to leave the valley, but he was also not a fool and knew the obvious choice.
"We do accept medicines!"
The cashier smiled and said, "Whatever mountain herbs you have, bring it to me, young boy!"
Fang Yuan knew that even though the cashier seemed friendly, the moment he handed over expensive medicine, the cashier would likely develop an ulterior motive.
Having the appearance of a poor boy, Fang Yuan looked like he did not have any backing.
After much consideration, he took out a cloth bag, which caught the attention of the cashier. Layer by layer he opened it and when the cashier saw that it was just Red Ginseng, disappointment was written all over his face.
"Red Ginseng, 20-year-old, of rather good quality! Let me take a closer look..."
Fang Yuan took out an inexpensive good, but it was still above average. The cashier wanted to look out for flaws in the red ginseng so as to lower its price but to no avail.
This Red Ginseng had no flaws in its appearance, preservation and colour... so the only thing he could say was, "What a pity, its age is too young, I can only give..."
"Wait a moment, I want this!"
The cashier couldn’t complete his sentence, and a stretched arm snatched the red ginseng from him, "A pity... it isn’t aged enough!"
The voice was like an Oriolus bird, high-pitched and tender. Fang Yuan turned around and saw this young lady dressed in a yellow dress. With unhappiness in his voice, he said, "Lady, this is my Red Ginseng!"
"How much do you want for it?"
The lady was around 17 to 18 years old, around the same age as Fang Yuan.
"This isn’t about money, instead I have been preparing to barter this with the cashier for something else. Your action is like extortion!"
Fang Yuan shook his head, and this angered the young lady, "You!"
"Young man, this sister of mine is worried about her father’s condition, which led to her being disrespectful, please do not hold it against her!"
At this moment, behind the young lady appeared an apologetic young gentleman clad in a green gown.
"It’s nothing to worry about, your sister’s filial piety will definitely touch the gods!"
The young gentleman seemed to be influential, as the cashier rubbed his hands and forced a smile.
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