Chapter 8: The Exchange
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
It was a quiet morning.
A thick fog gathered around the emerald-green leaves, condensing into water droplets as large as a pearl.
Fang Yuan paced around the garden, and carefully scattered the Realgar Powder on the soil, especially around the Questioning Heart Tea Tree and Vermillion Jade Rice plants, as these were the spiritual plants he wanted to protect.
"I can’t imagine, such an agile and strong beast would have so much fear for a normal Realgar? Could it be true that one item would be the perfect counter to another?"
After finishing up, he wiped his sweat, sat on a large rock and started to ponder.
"Ferrets are afraid of Realgar? Wait a minute, this ferret is no ordinary ferret, it’s possible that its fears are different from the usual ferret. Ferrets like to eat snakes, could it be that it ate too many snakes and evolved certain special traits?... Luckily I still have quite a lot of Realgar Powder left over!"
In order to make enough Still Fire Liquid, Fang Yuan bought not only the highest quality Realgar Powder, but also got a large quantity of it, and so did not need to worry about not having enough of it for the time being.
"But I’ll still have to be careful, as the White Ferret may react differently once it becomes desperate."
Fang Yuan plucked a few fresh fruits for breakfast, went to the river and collected some pure spring water. He then took out his tea set and some Questioning Heart Tea leaves.
These leaves were roasted before they were sealed, which kept the essence of the Questioning Heart Tea leaves, and since they were stored away and well hidden, the White Ferret did not manage to get its paws on it.
If the White Ferret took these last leaves, Fang Yuan would definitely be speechless and depressed.
Boiling water, washing the pot, setting the tea leaves...
Within the peace, every single movement seemed effortless and tranquil.
Not long, the fragrance of the tea leaves rose.
Even though he had drank this tea countless times, the comfort this tea brought to Fang Yuan was still able to earn his praise.
He noticed his qualities and saw a change at the top,
"Name: Fang Yuan
Skills: [Medicine (Level 1)], [Botany (level 3)]"
"A normal person should have an average magic value of 1, but I have already exceeded that by about half... Although the effects of Questioning Heart Tea has decreased, before it loses all its effectiveness, maybe it can increase my magic level by more than twice of the average?"
More than twice of the average human, how would that feel like?
What Fang Yuan didn’t know was that although he had only increased by 0.4 in magic, he would feel much wiser, and memorising books would take a much shorter time than usual, as though the gods were helping him.
Take now for an example, At the corner of his eye, he quickly spotted a white flash.
"Keke... Have you not given up? Come out!"
With the Realgar Powder in one hand, Fang Yuan waited patiently without fear and exclaimed loudly.
From the previous encounter, he knew that the White Ferret was a spiritual being, and could not be dealt with using normal ways, and it seems that it could understand what Fang Yuan was saying.
His voice echoed throughout the valley, but the white shadow was nowhere to be seen.
"That’s true, it’s daytime now..."
Fang Yuan looked at the sunrise, "Wasn’t it night time? Eh... This fellow only appreciates spiritual plants, and the only thing more superior than the Questioning Heart Tea here is the..."
He smiled to himself and brewed another pot of Questioning Heart Tea, the fragrance of the tea spreading far.
As expected, a loud hissing followed by a white flash appeared. It circled the Realgar Powder but did not dare to approach it.
"Seeing how the Questioning Heart Tea Tree was damaged, the essence of the brewed tea leaves would attract it even more right?"
Fang Yuan took a teacup, walked a few steps forward and stopped one and a half metres from the White Ferret.
Behind the line marked out by the Realgar Powder, as White Ferret tried to approach, its fur stood and he made a sound of fear but dared not to approach.
The fragrance of the tea made the White Ferret even more desperate as it scratched its head like a monkey.
"Haha... you are a ferret, not a monkey!"
Fang Yuan became intrigued and the kid in him took over. After a round of fooling with the White Ferret, he exclaimed, "If you don’t ask and take, that makes you a thief! This tea tree and tea leaves have an owner, and only if I am willing to give it to you, then will it be yours. Understood?"
Within the secluded valley, he was always living along and had already been used to himself mumbling to himself. He laughed at himself, "How would I expect for you to understand such complicated teachings..."
At this moment, Fang Yuan’s eyes grew wide.
The White Ferret clasped its paws together as though a human apologising, its jet-black eyes staring at the cup of tea, as though it was begging for the tea.
"This White Ferret is magical!"
Fang Yuan mumbled to himself, looked at the cup of tea in his hands, and suddenly he realised, "Yes... this Questioning Heart Tea has magical properties and would be even more valuable to the wild animal. Could it be that the tea leaves made it smarter?"
Fang Yuan told the White Ferret, "If you want to drink this cup of tea, you will have to understand... It is hard to obtain this tea, and I do not have much of it left. If you really want this tea, you will have to exchange it with the fertilizer that you brought the other time!"
Fang Yuan was still thinking about getting his hands on the crystal droplets, as they were spiritual fertilizer.
This was because he noticed that by using the crystal droplets as fertilizer, the Vermillion Jade Rice grew very well, and even the broken branches of the Questioning Heart Tea Tree began to heal and shoots began sprouting.
This led Fang Yuan to realise that the translucent crystal droplets that the White Ferret brought were a superior spiritual fertilizer, and it enhances the growth of all spiritual plants in ways no one could imagine.
Because of his limited experience, Fang Yuan could not tell what were the crystal droplets.
About 100 miles from Clear Spirit Mountain, much of it remained unexplored and only a spiritual beast like this White Ferret could have explored the uncharted territories and knew where to look for such a precious item.
"Do you understand?"
Fang Yuan noticed that the White Ferret was a little confused, so instead, he took out some of the spiritual fertilizer, "This is the one I’m looking for! I shall treat you to this cup of tea first, treating you as a guest. Next time if you want another cup of tea, bring me this spiritual fertilizer!"
The White Ferret looked at the spiritual fertilizer in his hands and appeared to understand a little of what Fang Yuan said.
"Alright, now take a step back, otherwise if I topple this cup of tea, don’t blame me!"
Fang Yuan took two steps forward.
The White Ferret could understand and immediately backed away.
Fang Yuan approached the line made by the Realgar Powder, and placed the cup of tea beyond the line, "Enjoy!"
The white flash appeared like lightning.
As the White Ferret approached the boundary of Realgar Powder, it slowed down and circled the cup of tea, and sounded delighted.
"Mmm, it seems that it is enjoying the cup of Questioning Heart Tea! After all, I used the Meditative Tea Ceremony to brew this cup of tea..."
Fang Yuan observed it, nodded his head and opened his eyes wide.
He thought that the White Ferret would lick the cup of tea. However, he never expected that it would stand up, sit down like a human, then used two paws to lift the cup up and took a sip.
After taking a small sip, the White Ferret smiled, took another sip as though it appreciated the cup of tea.
"What the! I must be seeing things! This isn’t a ferret..."
The appearance of the White Ferret led Fang Yuan to think about Master Wenxin. Master Wenxin also had the same expression when drinking the tea Fang Yuan brewed.
"Did the White Ferret learn these actions from a human?"
Although he took small sips, a cup of tea was still a small amount of tea.
After drinking, the White Ferret stared at Fang Yuan, as though he was an abandoned dog, and it appeared as if he wanted another cup of tea.
"You are quite clever..."
Fang Yuan scoffed, "Now you know how hard it is to obtain and brew these tea leaves?"
Questioning Heart Tea had always been a spiritual object, and combined with the Meditative Tea Ceremony, the effects were remarkable. Other than Fang Yuan himself, even Old Tian could never have enjoyed such a tea previously.
"If I gave him enough tea to drink, would it be possible for this White Ferret to become as smart as a human, and enable him to talk?"
Fang Yuan looked at the seemingly smarter White Ferret, with an idea evolving in his head.
"Alright, alright, looking at you, such a poor thing, how about another cup!"
"Ah? Do you want more?"
"No... I can’t give you more, that’s all the tea leaves I have for today!"
Within the secluded valley, divided by a line of Realgar Powder, sat a human and a ferret enjoying tea. It was an interesting sight to behold.
At the end, the White Ferret sniffed the spiritual fertilizer that Fang Yuan threw, confirmed that the teapot had no more tea, before leaving in a white flash.
"One should always hold his guard against other people... animals!"
Fang Yuan looked at the shadow of the White Ferret, and mumbled to himself, "Although wild animals have a purer mind than humans, I still have to guard against it, and only when it brings me the spiritual fertilizer, will I give him a few raw tea leaves, so that it knows that if it wants the real Questioning Heart Tea, he will have to obey me, then I can feel slightly relieved."
Since the tea was finished, he stood up, satisfied, stretched a little and began the day’s work.
"Spiritual fertilizer, oh spiritual fertilizer!"
Within the Vermillion Jade Rice farm, Fang Yuan poured the last of Still Fire Liquid. From the corner of his eye, he noticed one of it growing exceptionally large and therefore felt resentment.
Because based on his calculations, even if the Vermilion Jade Rice was able to grow smoothly, it would still take a few months before the first harvest.
But if he was able to supply the spiritual fertilizer every day, then he probably would be able to taste the Spirited Red Corn in the following month.
"Originally, the spiritual tea will only grow new tea leaves in the next season, but today new shoots are sprouting... This spiritual fertilizer is amazing!"
Fang Yuan thought of following the White Ferret, but the only problem was that it ran as quick as lightning, and so he gave up on that thought.
Anyway, he just needed to have faith in his own Questioning Heart Tea.
As long as the White Ferret want the Questioning Heart Tea, It would have to obediently bring the spiritual fertilizer.
That night, Fang Yuan dreamt of something.
In the dream, he took out large quantities of the spiritual fertilizer, and covered the Questioning Heart Tea Tree and Spirited Red Corns with it. The harvest he managed to get was so plentiful he was not able to store it in the storage, and even though it was in his dream, he smiled to himself.
The next morning, Fang Yuan was woken up abruptly.
"Ferret Brother! The sun has not risen yet!"
Hearing this sound, Fang Yuan knew who had arrived. He sneezed, went to the garden and saw the White Ferret.
The moon had set and the stars were dim, but its white fur still shone brilliantly. He waved his paw and pulled out a green bag from behind.
Fang Yuan took the bag, smelt the fragrance and exclaimed, "Spiritual fertilizer! So much of it!!!"
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