“Kill him, kill this demon. Avenge the clan leader!”
“He has been inflicted by the Moonshadow Gu, he can’t just simply use his primeval essence anymore, over a time even his primeval essence will be threatened.”
The elders who were watching at the sidelines all roared in fury and swarmed the area.
“Ha ha ha, all those who are looking for death, come!” The Flower Wine Monk cried into the air. Facing the elders charging at him, he rushed at them headfirst.
A fierce battle ensued and the Flower Wine Monk quickly had the upper hand. Very soon all the elders had collapsed onto the ground, some of them injured and the rest dead. Just as the Flower Wine Monk was about to finish off the surviving elders, his facial expression suddenly changed and he covered a hand over his abdomen. “Damn!”
“I’ll come back in future to deal with you lot,” said the Flower Wine Monk. He stared daggers at a few of the elders and his body moved like electricity as he fled into the mountain woods, disappearing without a trace in the blink of an eye. Chapter 16: Taking as much as possible that one can take
Translator: Skyfarrow Editor: Skyfarrow
“Try touching it?”
“You have already been poisoned by my Single Gate Poison Gu. Without my other Gu that acts as the counterpart to it, after seven days you will turn into pus and blood and die.”
“To compare myself to Sir Flower Wine, I’m just a fart! I must have been unwell in the head, to actually not recognize such a great person and offended Sir Flower Wine. Sir Flower Wine, please remember my clan’s generous hospitality earlier and spare my life!”
The scene replayed itself over for the second time on the wall. Fang Yuan remained silent; when the motion picture started to repeat itself for the third time he finally sighed faintly and said, “I see.”
This method of leaving a moving picture with sound on the wall was probably the Flower Wine Monk’s doing with the help of a Photo-audio Gu. This Gu was able to record down imagery and project it out later.
The Photo-audio Gu fed on light and sound to survive. For some unknown reason this secret cave emitted red light, while at the same time the stone crevice was connected to the outside world, so it would not completely isolate the sounds outside. Right now Fang Yuan could still hear the roaring of the smaller waterfalls. Thus the Photo-audio Gu was able to live on in this secret cave.
A moment ago when Fang Yuan ripped away the withered vines, he had probably alarmed the Photo-audio Guhiding in the stone wall. As long as one is not stupid, with mere guesswork one could tell that this moving image was authentic.
Back then, the fourth generation clan head tried to plot against the Flower Wine Monk but he failed. After he lost in the battle he tried a sneak attack; even though it repelled away the latter, he eventually died because of it. This part of history was considered disgraceful, and the remaining surviving clan elders decided to tamper with the truth.
They reversed the roles of the fourth generation clan head and the Flower Wine Monk.
The Flower Wine Monk became the one who was defeated in battle and tried a sneak attack, and later died on the spot. On the other hand, the fourth generation leader was turned into the justified and perfect hero.
But this story itself had a big loophole – The Flower Wine Monk had clearly died on the spot, so his corpse should be in the hands of the Gu Yue clan, but why was another pile of remains found?
In his previous life, the Gu Master who found it had probably been terrified after seeing the moving image. Those surviving elders had long been dead, but to prevent the truth of the Flower Wine Monk from returning, this truth was probably kept secret by the top brass of the clan.
That Gu Master realized that if he single handedly took the treasure it would be a huge risk. If people investigated and found that he was involved with the Flower Wine Monk in future, the top brass would naturally execute him. Thus after making his choice, he did not dare to hide away this treasure, but instead make a decision to notify the top brass.
By doing so it would prove his loyalty to the clan. His subsequent circumstances would also show that he made a wise choice.
However even if he did that, it didn’t mean that Fang Yuan would do the same.
“I went through a pretty rough time searching for this treasure, so I should take everything for myself. Why should I share it with others? So what if I’ve been found out? Without braving the risks, where would you get profit? That Gu master is really cowardly,” Fang Yuan smiled coldly, no longer caring about the moving image that kept repeating on the stone wall. He turned around and stretched his hand, using his strength to pull apart the dead vines and roots.
The Flower Wine Monk’s remains were also affected. It was originally intact, but right now it was being broken into several pieces. Fang Yuan could hardly care; he kicked away a piece of leg bone that was in the way and squatted again, searching through the remains.
Firstly he found a bag of primeval stones. When he opened them he only found fifteen pieces.
“Old miser,” Fang Yuan spat. The Flower Wine Monk’s outer appearance looked flashy, but unexpectedly he only had so little money put aside.
However he quickly thought of the reason – The Flower Wine Monk went through a fierce battle, add on to the fact that he got tainted by the Moonshadow Gu, so he would definitely have used primeval stones to heal his injuries. To be able to leave behind fifteen pieces was actually not bad already.
After that he found a few dead Gu remains. Most of them were flower and grass variety, and had all completely withered away. Gu are also living creatures, so they also need food to survive, and most of them are picky. Though the grass Gu and flower Gu need less food, but in this secret cave there was not even a single ray of sunshine.
And after that…
After that, there was nothing.
The Flower Wine Monk was on the same level as the fourth generation clan leader. After fighting a fierce battle, he fought with around ten elders right after. His own Gu were mostly consumed, and up to this stage as he wanted to heal his injuries, he grew the Wine Sack Flower Gu and the Rice Pouch Grass Gu here. Yet in the end because of the Moonshadow Gu he was dragged to death.
After three hundred year, the Gu in his possession also died away. The only ones left were the Photo-audio Guon the wall and the Liquor worm.
This Liquor worm was probably reliant on the Wine Sack Flower Gu and barely lived through until today. But as the Wine Sack Flower Gu withered away one by one, it also lost its food supply.
This prompted the Liquor worm to go outside and look for wild Wine Sack Flowers. Then in this night, it was attracted by the aroma of the green bamboo wine and came before Fang Yuan.
“The Photo-audio Gu can only record once, since it’s a one-time use Gu. Looks like the Liquor worm is my greatest gain here, no wonder that Gu Master decided to report to the clan. Looks like it was because the profit was too small, and not worth such a huge risk.” A sort of understanding rose into Fang Yuan’s heart.
In his memories, that Gu Master was already Rank three, while the Liquor worm was just a Rank one Gu. To Fang Yuan it was more precious, but to that Gu Master it was pretty much nothing.
However it was clear that due to his report, the clan gave him a big reward.
“Should I also tell the clan?” Fang Yuan thought for a moment, then he pushed away this idea.
The Flower Wine Monk’s treasure seemed to be just the Liquor worm and the primeval stones, but that was not the case. The most valuable thing was actually the wall that hid the Photo-audio Gu. In other words, it was the moving image that did not stop repeating on the wall.
This image could entirely be sold to other villages. Trust in the fact that the top brass of the two other villages on Qing Mao Mountain must be very interested in this sort of evidence that could strike hard onto the conviction of a clan.
You said something about a sense of loyalty and honour to the clan?
I’m so sorry, Fang Yuan does not have one bit of that.
Moreover this moving image isn’t even some kind of strong force that can destroy the entire clan; it won’t do much substantial damage. The indifferent nature of the clan will also not look at Fang Yuan with importance. He needed to rely on his own hard work and find cultivation resources, in the early stage of cultivation he needed to borrow the powers around him more.
“Count on the clan? Heh heh.” Fang Yuan sneered in his heart, “How can I be so naïve like my past life.”
Do not depend on anyone; you must rely on yourself on everything in this world.
After making sure that he had ransacked every corner of the cave, Fang Yuan began his way back following the original road home.
Holding against the water pressure and squeezing past the boulder, he returned outside the mountain. Looking back at this huge boulder, Fang Yuan suddenly thought of his past life. It was said that the remains were found in an underground secret cave. But how was this place underground? It was clearly in the inside of the mountain wall.
No wonder he couldn’t find it for seven days straight even though he wasted so much effort. Looks like in his past life after the clan found out about this place, the first thing they did was to destroy the wall with the image, and then go about spreading a truth riddled with lies to mislead the clanspeople.
To be able to find this place tonight was partly due to luck, partly due to hard work, and the biggest reason would be the green bamboo wine.
This green bamboo wine was really rich, it could be said to be the best in Qing Mao Mountain. Perhaps in his past life, after that Gu Master lost his lover, the wine that he had been drinking was this wine.
But all of this was no longer important. The Flower Wine Monk’s treasure had been unearthed and ransacked by Fang Yuan; although in the end it was rather disappointing, it was also reasonable. The most important was that Fang Yuan’s original goal (Liquor worm) was in his hands, and the item he needed the most (primeval stones) was also gotten.
“Next up, I will need to set my heart on holing myself in the inn refining this Gu. As long as I have a vital Gu I can return to the academy and be qualified to stay in the academy dormitories. I’ll also be able to borrow the clan resources to cultivate. I can only stay in this inn for one or two times; if I stay too long the cost is too much.” Fang Yuan pondered, his footsteps never ceasing as he hurried back to the village.
He was originally left with two primeval stones, but now he gained fifteen pieces, so the total is seventeen pieces. But to a Gu Master, this small amount of primeval stones mean nothing. Chapter 17: Starting to refine the Liquor worm
Translator: Skyfarrow Editor: Skyfarrow
“With my C grade talent, the amount of my primeval sea in the aperture is only 44%. The speed of Gu using up primeval essence is way faster than my own recovery rate. If I want to refine a Gu I would need to borrow external help, which means I need to waste primeval stones.”
“The weaker the Gu’s will, the smaller the resistance, the easier it becomes for me to refine it. However any living creature will always have the will to live. To refine the Moonlight Gu I would at least require five primeval stones, at the most I’d need eight pieces.”
“Right now to refine the Liquor worm, I would need at least eleven pieces, at the most I would need sixteen pieces.” Although the Liquor worm was also a Rank one Gu like the Moonlight Gu, but it was definitely rarer. Thus the difficulty of the refinement process also increased.
In other words, even though right now Fang Yuan had seventeen primeval stones, but just to refine the Liquor worm he would at most be left with six pieces, or at least one primeval stone.
In the night, the bright crescent gave off clear and pure moonlight. The moonlight was like the lady saint’s gentle hand, lightly stroking over the Gu Yue Village. Along the way the bamboo houses were like jade, standing in great numbers. The night breeze blew slowly.
Under this moonlight, Fang Yuan found his way back to the inn. The inn door had already closed. Fang Yuan banged on the door.
“I hear you! I hear you! Who is it, knocking on the door at this late time…” The inn worker grumbled as he opened the door, his eyes puffy from sleep.
But when he saw Fang Yuan standing at the door, all the displeasure and sleepiness from his expression changed, and he bent his waist and said with a flattering smile,” “Ah, it’s his young lordship. This little one is very lucky to be able to open the door for his lordship.”
Fang Yuan nodded his head, his expression cold with indifference, and walked into the inn.
His expression made the worker laugh in a more humble manner, and he took the initiative to ask, “My lord, are you hungry? Would you like me to notify the kitchens and make some small dishes for you as supper?”
“No need,” Fang Yuan shook his head and only ordered, ” Go and prepare some hot water for me, I would like to wash myself.”
“Yes!” The worker immediately nodded, “My lord, go on to your room first. I guarantee you, the hot water will be sent over immediately.”
Fang Yuan let out a noise of approval and went up the stairs, heading towards the second floor. The worker watched Fang Yuan’s back, his two eyes glittering in the light, revealing an expression of jealousy.
“This is a Gu Master, oh if only I had the talent to cultivate, how good that would be!” He shook his fists, sighing deeply. These words floated into Fang Yuan’s ears and he smiled bitterly in his heart.
A Gu Master had the power to transcend mortals, becoming a man above men, but in this process the price that was to be paid was also very high.
The first difficult problem was financial resources. A Gu Master needed primeval stones to cultivate, battles also required primeval stones, refining Gu also needed primeval stones, trading was also not an exception.
Without primeval stones, how could cultivation be possible?
This point was a difficult position that, being an ordinary mortal who watched from the sidelines, the inn worker would not understand.
Just like earlier in the evening, the young Gu Master Jiang Ya vented his anger and displeasure on the hunters when he dropped their wine jars. His meaning was – He himself could not bear to spend primeval stones to drink this green bamboo wine, yet these hunters who were just ordinary men actually had such money to spare!
To take a glimpse at the whole picture, just that meaning alone could tell a lot about the cultivation situation of a Gu Master. The strength of a Gu Master was great, they achieved more than a common mortal, but the price was also great. Many a time using every single piece of primeval stone needed great consideration, especially when it came to lower ranked Gu Masters. Do not be fooled by the glorious surface; in reality the life of a Gu Master is constantly strained by money.
“Not to mention, as the realm of a Gu Master increases, the resources they require also increase. Without proper backing it is very difficult for a Gu Master’s road to cultivation.” Fang Yuan thought of his previous life and had deep understanding of this reality.
He returned to his room. Just after he lit the lamp, the inn worker came up with a basin of hot water. Of course, there were cloth towels and other toiletries.
Fang Yuan let the worker leave and closed the room door. He put down the door latch, washed himself and got up to his bed.
Although his body was feeling a little tired, his heart still flared with a surge of excitement. “I finally got my hands on the Liquor worm. The Liquor worm is rarer than the Moonlight Gu, because in a sense it is a Gu that increase a Gu Master’s latent talent!”
Fang Yuan sat cross-legged on the bed and took out the Liquor worm. The Liquor worm was still sleeping soundly. Its body size was slightly bigger than the Moonlight Gu, soft and white like a silkworm.
Under the light its body was shrouded in a layer of faint wavering light, just like a pearl’s mellow luster. Two little eyes resembling two black sesame seeds were mounted on its chubby white head, making it appear charmingly naïve.
Placed in his hand, it was not heavy. Its weight was about half a chicken egg. When smelling it carefully, its body exuded a whiff of wine aroma. This fragrance was not the aroma of green bamboo wine but the Liquor worm’s own fragrance. The smell was faint and misty, as if it was not there. Fang Yuan’s nose twitched as he inhaled the fragrance of the Liquor worm.
The wine fragrance moved straight downwards into the aperture, entering into the green copper primeval sea. The primeval sea surged and rippled for a moment, quickly absorbing in the wine. A gleam of pure and refined primeval essence was produced.
The other primeval essence had an emerald green color, shining with a metallic copper luster. However this primeval essence was a pale green, and it was more condensed than the original primeval essence. This was the primeval essence that a Rank one middle stage Gu Master could produce.
Aware of this gleam of pale green primeval essence in his green copper sea, Fang Yuan revealed a satisfied smile. “Right now my cultivation base is just that of a Rank one initial stage. But with the Liquor worm’s condensing, after the primeval essence is refined I will be able to have Rank one middle realm primeval essence. The beauty of this benefit is something that cannot be said in one or two sentences.”
But very soon, he took back his smile. “However right now I have yet to fully master the Liquor worm. It is only when I refine the Liquor worm and turn it into my vital Gu, then I will be able to freely use it and later on with maximum efficiency, refine my primeval essence.”
Thinking up to this point, he no longer hesitated and began to draw out a jet of green copper primeval essence from his primeval sea. The primeval essence tightly wrapped around the Liquor worm, bringing it into the air before Fang Yuan, and started to invade its body.
The Liquor worm felt its life at danger and woke up immediately. It began to struggle violently, using its own power to drive out Fang Yuan’s primeval essence.
“This Liquor worm has a really strong resistance.” Fang Yuan’s complexion turned grave as he felt the consumption rate of his primeval essence go beyond more than double of what the Moonlight Gu had consumed.
“No matter what, I have to refine the Liquor worm.” His two eyes flashed with a firm light as he continued pouring primeval essence into the Liquor worm.
In the room, the candles on the table quietly burned, shining a bright light in the middle of the room while the far corners of the walls were dark. The candlelight radiated on Fang Yuan’s face but he had already closed his eyes, gathering all his focus onto the Liquor worm.
A continuous jet of green-copper coloured primeval essence that resembled a jet of mist emitted out from Fang Yuan’s whole body, then it gathered together and firmly wrapped around the Liquor worm. The Liquor worm hovered in the air, its distance less than a feet away from Fang Yuan’s face. It struggled with all its might in the midst of the green copper primeval essence.
Time slipped away quietly.
As the candles burned they became smaller and the light grew dimmer. The crescent outside the window had slowly gone down, and then a new day arrived.
The morning light squeezed through the narrow crack in the window and shone into the room. It was like the window had a light edge.
Fang Yuan opened his eyes and looked at the Liquor worm in front of him. The Liquor worm’s white body had a shade of green colour. This was the result of Fang Yuan’s effort after half a night. However it was clear that this volume of green colour was not even 1% of the Liquor worm’s body.
Fang Yuan’s face looked grave. This Liquor worm’s will was way too tenacious and its resistance was incredibly strong; simply put this was beyond a Rank one Gu’s boundary.
“This Gu was most probably the Flower Wine Monk’s vital Gu. The Flower Wine Monk was a Rank five master, so this Liquor worm was originally Rank five, but because it went through all those years without enough food, pretty much full in one moment and starving in the next, so its grade also fell. Right now it is left at the level of Rank one, yet its will is still as tough as a rock!”
Fang Yuan had guessed the truth.