In Old Ma’s heart, this tavern is much more important than a bowl of noodle. So, when Lu Chen opens the tavern’s door once again to leave, he touches his stomach and burps.
Today, Clear Stream Village is much more rowdy than usual. As the day of the harvest approaches, everyone starts to get busier. This village specialises in the production of Spirit Tea Leaves and Spirit Grains. Although there is a ‘spirit’ word in their names, they aren’t really nature’s treasures that would be very useful for a cultivator’s cultivation to become an immortal.
A true nature’s treasure, similar to the treasures of cultivators, have spirit grades. On those spirit herbs, there would be unique and complete spirit marks. This is the concentration of the world’s five elements and the mystical effects of those spirit materials originates from it.
For a spirit material, regardless of whether it is a spirit herb, spirit beast or spirit pill and medicine, the more spirit mark there is on it, the higher the grade of the spirit material. This is often coined in the world of cultivators as one-mark spirit object, two-mark spirit material and so.
Usually, even the most ordinary one-mark spirit object possesses extraordinary effects and is valuable. Lest needs to be spoken about the spirit materials with even more spirit marks. Not only are they rare, their value cannot be measured. Often, they are searched for and fought over by cultivators all over the world.
As for the Spirit Tea Leaves and Spirit Grains produced by the Clear Stream Village, the reason why it is bought by a cultivator sect like Thousand Autumn Doors is because they possess spirit marks. However, the spirit marks on them aren’t complete. The spirit power that is contained in it is sub-par. There are actually a lot of materials like that, above that of ordinary materials yet below the minimum requirement to be considered one-mark spirit material. Some of them are useless whereas a portion of them are beneficial to cultivators. Thus, cultivators sect would send personnel down to purchase those which they set their eyes upon.
Lu Chen has lived in the Clear Stream Village for many years. All along, to the others, he has been making a living through selling Spirit Tea Leaves. On top of that, he does possess 2mu of tea field. He bought those when he first came to the village.
2mu -> 1333m^2
Of course, Lu Chen doesn’t know how to cultivate a Spirit Tea Tree. The only harvest he could collect from his plot of land is a field of wild grass. However, the true purpose of that plot of land is to conceal the Spirit Stones he claims from Old Ma every month for his daily expenses until his death.
Thus, when Lu Chen looks at the excited and hopeful look on those who are working diligently on the fields, he couldn’t help but feel a little sentimental. Pondering over it, it seems that compared to these people, a little deduction on his monthly Spirit Stones doesn’t seem like something he should get too upset over.
Regardless of whether he is deceiving himself or he is simply using it as an excuse to make himself slightly happier, Lu Chen’s feels his mood lifting slightly. As he walks around, he unknowingly moves towards the end of the village.
By the time he realises it, he can already see the road leading to the exit of the village before him. The corpse from yesterday has disappeared, only leaving behind a dried dark-beige bloodstain. In a few days, as people move to and fro from the village, perhaps, this bloodstain would disappear as well.
Lu Chen stares at the bloodstain for a moment before turning back to the village without a trace of emotions on his face. Along the bluestone pavement, when he is around 10 zhangfrom the large chinese scholar tree, he sees the old fisherman fishing beneath it yet again. He chuckles and just as he is about to move over to take a peek, he suddenly hears a commotion on the opposite bank of the stream.
10 zhang -> 30 meter
Lu Chen is a little surprised. He turns to look towards the opposite bank of the stream.
A clear stream flows through the Clear Stream Village and there are people living on both banks. However, the people living on the east bank, where Lu Chen is living at, is more prosperous. 70% of the people in the village live here and there are many taverns, inns and convenience shops here. On the other hand, there are only unremarkable houses on the west bank. Usually, there wouldn’t be much sound over there.
Today is a little queer, for a commotion to break out in the opposite bank. Glancing over, he finds a group of people gathering under the green bamboo. There are both male and female over there but what is surprising is that the number of females gathered there aren’t few. There are few women who he had seen before in the village over there as well.
“Hm?” This time, Lu Chen’s curiosity is piqued. He walks over via the rock bridge not too far away so as to get a better glimpse at the situation.
After crossing the rock bridge, he is just a short distance away from the crowd. Before he manages to walk closer, he hears praises from the crowd. Of which, there are many cries of astonishment by the females, as though they have seen something incredible.
Lu Chen is even more curious now. He hurries over and peers over from the corner where it isn’t that crowded. He stuns. Surrounded in a semicircle arc by the crowd, under a cluster of green bamboos, a scholarly-looking young man stands with a smile on his face. There is a wooden canvas in front him, and a white paper is glued to it. There is a brush on his hands and he is in the midst of painting.
That scholar looks extremely handsome. He looks rather young, probably not even reaching 20. His appearance with the brush gives him an elegance that surpasses the others. Lu Chen could see peculiar tender affection in the eyes of those aunties who aren’t young anymore.
However, what that brought astonishment to the crowd isn’t just the youth’s elegant appearance. On the paper that the youth is drawing on is a lady!
His brush strokes are light and carefree as he controls the thickness of the strokes with ease. Although it is only black ink, his drawing is lifelike. That charming woman in the painting stands under the flowers. Her gaze is filled with emotions. A kind of unspeakable sentiment seems to be expressed through the paper. The workmanship of the drawing is high.
Lu Chen may not understand much about drawing, but he could tell that it is impressive. In the midst of his surprise, he suddenly stuns. He suddenly finds the lady in the drawing familiar. Looking closely, the lady in the drawing is clearly Ding Dang.
His heart skips a beat. He immediately sweeps the surrounding with his gaze. In a short moment, just opposite of the youth and the canvas, he spots Ding Dang standing there with an unreadable expression on her face. Her face is slightly red, an expression of anger or perhaps, uncontrollable joy.
The looks of envy of the few ladies in the surrounding when they look at Ding Dang cannot be concealed.
In a few moment, the youth finishes the painting with nimble movements. Then, he removes the painting and displays it to the crowd with a smile, evoking cries of praises.
Painting may not be a big affair, but everyone could tell whether the painting is good or not. Besides, this youth is warm-hearted and polite, which won him the fondness from the crowd.
In the crowd, Ding Dang humphs, “The painting is not bad. However, you aren’t a very honest guy. Why do you insist on drawing me?”
That youth smiles, “This elder sister here seem to be mistaken. I am just drawing casually. Seeing the beauty of elder sister over here, I couldn’t resist drawing you. If elder sister doesn’t like it, you can feel free to take it and tear it. Actually, there isn’t a scenery or person who shouldn’t be drawn. If you all are interested, when I am free, I can draw a portrait for everyone.”
Alright, for the past chapters, I have been converting Chinese measurements commonly accepted ones but for the sake of the story tone, I will keep the Chinese terms. But, I will keep a note below each time the Chinese measurements are used to reflect their size/lengths etc.
Spiritual Stones -> Spirit Stones
It is a little hard to express, but the youth’s tone is actually extremely polite.