Chapter 15: A Person’s Heart
Su Tingyun became depressed and unhappy, so much so that she didn’t even have the mood to coax these Purple Costus Roots anymore. However, the Purple Costus Roots were growing pretty well, they were growing even faster than the growing cycle described in the spirit plants archive. In just half a month they had bloomed and started to bear fruit. In three more days, she would be able to pluck all of them. During this time, Su Tingyun also noticed that the female cultivator’s third rank Nix Orchid Grass was already unsalvageable. What was even more frightening was the fact that the medicinal field of the neighboring Uncle Farmer was also starting to face a calamity.
Today, the middle-aged man rushed into the female cultivator’s field. The two started to argue and even came to blows. Su Tingyun watched dumbstruck. She did want to intervene and try to calm things down, but she couldn’t go over ah. Perhaps the two over there felt that simply exchanging blows was not delightful enough because they actually started to use dao technique chants. For a while, lightning flashed, thunder rolled and wind and rain clashed. Su Tingyun immediately dropped her desire to mediate. If she headed over, she’d definitely be pelted down right away.
Not long later, she saw Manager Song rush over with two young men. They spoke too fast for Su Tingyun to read their lips, so Su Tingyun didn’t know what they said. She only saw that once the debate was over, Manager Song inspected the field, then went to the middle-aged man’s field. Afterward, his brows knitted.
The three carefully and attentively squandered quite a lot of time flipping things over here and there but still couldn’t see any results. At last, the party of people came to Su Tingyun’s field. This time, not only could she see them, she could also hear them talk. After having held back for so long, she could finally speak to someone again. Wonder if Xiao Mei has gotten better by now? Did she manage to become that Ning Xuzi’s disciple? Did anyone bully her?
“Old Madam Wei, the Purple Costus Roots in your field still haven’t been infected, right?”
Even though it was a question, the tone was certain. Manager Song crouched down and reached out to pluck a leaf off a Purple Costus Root, “The spiritual energy is abundant and its growth is very good. This spiritual energy is actually almost about to reach the level of a second rank. Old Madam Wei is only at the first stage of Qi Condensation, yet you were actually able to raise such a superb first rank spirit herb.” Manager Song clicked his tongue in admiration, “No wonder Spiritual Master Ling Wu let you come here. He definitely knew that you had an innate gift towards this direction. As expected, Spiritual Master Ling Wu truly has a pair of all-seeing eyes.”
Su Tingyun was also surprised for a moment, she had already reached the first stage of Qi Condensation? All she did was practice that basic cultivation method to replenish her spiritual energy every day. Afterward, on a certain night, she suddenly felt particularly alert. As if she was a bottle that was filled with water, she felt as if her entire body was filled with power. So it turns out that was the feeling of breaking through. Without a master to teach her, she could only blindly grope about on her own. She didn’t even know when she advanced, it was really quite sad.
“The medicinal grass in the neighboring fields of Niu Hanshan and Qi Suzhen both got inflected. But there were arrays separating them so they’re all isolated spaces, why would the same infection situation appear in both fields?”
The medicinal fields inside the valley were kept separated for the sake of maintaining isolation from one another, in order to prevent problems from occurring over large expanses. Yet right now, the exact same situation as Qi Suzhen’s field had appeared in Niu Hanshan’s medicinal field. If they were just ordinary Spirit Herbalists it wouldn’t have been a big deal, but the two of them counted as the best Spirit Herbalists in the outer areas of the valley. Not to mention, the current medicinal herbs Niu Hanshan were planting were also the ones the Alchemy Master had urgent need of. When the time came, if these medicinal grasses couldn’t be handed up and the Alchemy Master got angry, they’d all have to suffer the calamity.
“It’s all because of this bitch!” Niu Hanshan was currently breathing heavily like an ox. He was glaring so hard at Qi Suzhen that the rims of his eyes were practically about to split, “She caused this! She couldn’t resolve it herself and even dragged me down into the water!” After these words, Niu Hanshan flung another palm over. Qi Suzhen was currently in restraints so she couldn’t resist at all and had to receive the full force of this slap. The right side of her face instantly swelled up and she even spat out some blood.
“How could you hit a woman ah!” Su Tingyun exclaimed unhappily. Her voice had just fallen when all their gazes uniformly shot over. From the start, Niu Hanshan was already about to be angered to death. Then, there was fact that he didn’t have any good feelings towards this damned old woman from the very beginning. So now, with all the anger rushing towards his head, he didn’t care anymore and just lifted his hand again to fling a slap over, “Lao zi* isn’t just going to hit her, I also need to hit you! Barely at the first stage of Qi Condensation yet you’re taking up such a good field, I’ll to beat you this damned old woman to death!”
”lao zi” – father, daddy, “I, your father” (in anger or contempt), I (used arrogantly or as a joke). Sometimes, I’ll probably use ‘this daddy’
Niu Hanshan’s strength was at the Spirit Condensation stage, Su Tingyun simply wouldn’t be able to withstand his strike at all. Luckily, Manager Song knew of her identity and immediately stopped Niu Hanshan, “Do you know what kind of situation we’re in? Yet you’re still causing trouble! Hurry up and think of a solution! When the time comes and we aren’t able to hand over the medicinal herbs, we’ll all have to face the consequences!”
After he berated Niu Hanshan, he turned to glower at Qi Suzhen, “You’re the one that caused Niu Hanshan’s medicinal grass to become this way? Don’t you know that the Alchemy Master is currently lacking this type of medicinal grass? And right now, there’s also no way to buy it on the market, yet you actually dared to do this!?”
Qi Suzhen’s hair was disheveled and her face was also swollen from being slapped; she looked quite pitiful. However, she suddenly started laughing wildly and the expression on her face was unusually sinister. She glared at Niu Hanshan with a pair of scarlet bloodshot eyes, “You’ve slept with me for free for so many days and yet you didn’t even help me think of any ideas! So what if I want to drag him down!?” After that, she even spat a mouthful of spittle. Niu Hanshan didn’t pay attention for a moment so that spit landed straight on his face.
Niu Hanshan wanted to continue to beat her again but was suppressed by Manager Song’s spiritual pressure to the point where he couldn’t even move a single step. And at this time, Qi Suzhen suddenly madly tore apart her own clothes. After tearing open her clothing, her skin was exposed and it could be seen that her snow white skin was covered with lash marks. She had actually suffered abuse.
“I endured for this many days, only hoping that I could save the medicinal herbs. Yet you? You simply push it from today to tomorrow, from tomorrow to the day after… you never had any intention of helping me at all! You’d rather all my medicinal grass die!” Qi Suzhen mournfully started screeching, “Niu Hanshan, you defiled me and humiliated me. I won’t allow you to have an easy life either!”
Su Tingyun felt nauseous. From his appearance, Niu Hanshan looked like an honest man, the very image of an Uncle Farmer. She never expected him to turn out to be such a villain, his moral quality was simply too lacking!
“How did you do it?” Manager Song didn’t have the slightest interest in their emotional dispute at all, “These are all isolated spaces, how were you able to damage Niu Hanshan’s medicinal field?”
Qi Suzhen started giggling with ‘hehe’s, giggling so much she had to bend over, “I don’t know ah. I didn’t know why the Nix Orchid Grasses were dying ah, would turn black would all die. So I thought, maybe there was a bug? A bug that we can’t even find? So I rubbed the almost dried up Nix Orchid Grasses on my body ah. I was also just making a bet, who would’ve thought it’d hit the mark? Hahahaha…”
When she spoke to here, her eyes suddenly started shining, “Niu Hanshan has come over here, so maybe this place will also get infected ne? And and, before, Manager Xu also looked at his field, then Manager Xu went to inspect other medicinal fields… Hahaha…”
No one knows exactly how it’s transmitted but the worse fear is not the thousand but the one in a thousand…
Qi Suzhen hadn’t even finished speaking when everyone’s faces turned even more grave.
Su Tingyun wasn’t an exception either. At present, she immediately waved her big hands and directly drove these people outwards, “You guys get out. Get out first! Don’t bring disaster to my Purple Costus Roots!” She had enormous strength, so while the couple was still too stunned to react, they really were pushed out by her. After they left, Su Tingyun turned to hastily looking at her own field.
Manager Song currently also didn’t have time to blame the old woman for being lacking in manners, he had an even more important matter to handle. What the hell was that? No matter what it mustn’t ruin all the medicinal fields in the entire valley! If the Alchemy Master left Heaven Jade Pavilion in a fit of rage, they’d seriously be done for!
After they left, Su Tingyun started to inquire about her own family’s Purple Costus Roots and asked them if there were any problems.
Working the Meeting of Minds, Su Tingyun’s spiritual consciousness caught a large amount of information. These consciousnesses were all extremely faint; for the most part it was just very comfortable, very full, that sort of sense of satisfaction. They didn’t really form into genuine speech or thoughts. It was just that, during Su Tingyun’s careful search, she discovered an abnormal mood.
She searched following that mood and finally discovered the Purple Costus Root that was emitting that strange mood.
“Hurts hurts hurts…”
“Where does it hurt?
The spiritual consciousnesses of first rank medicinal grasses were weak so Su Tingyun only knew that this plant had a problem. From the looks of it, this was the only one that had a problem for now. It seems earlier they were standing around here. Su Tingyun looked it left and right but didn’t notice anything. She was afraid of it infecting the rest so she carefully and gently uprooted this Purple Costus Root and brought it back to the penthouse where she lived.
There was soil outside the penthouse, so she filled up a stone bowl with soil and planted the sick Purple Costus Root inside it. Afterward, she compared it with the analysis contained within the spirit herbs archive on plant diseases and insect pests but met a dead end. She couldn’t find any abnormalities. But that’s also normal. If even they couldn’t find the problem, how could she possibly hope to find the root the matter so easily?
At night, Su Tingyun fell asleep very muddle-headedly and her consciousness floated out again. It entered that mysterious state with an omniscient view. This time, she didn’t use Meeting of Minds and also didn’t feel the Purple Costus Root’s uncomfortableness. Su Tingyun carefully examined this problematic Purple Costus Root and was actually able to find the difference.
At this time, there were no problems apparent on the outside of the Purple Costus Root, but inside its veins, there were gold and black little dots. And those gold colored little dots were actually moving. Su Tingyun was stunned. Being able to see such a minute object, she felt like the situation she was observing was practically microscopic. She was now able to clearly see the individual plant cells when she previously had to borrow the power of microscopes to observe them during biology class.
Focusing her attention on a little gold dot, Su Tingyun discovered that she was able to see it even more clearly. The little gold dot really was a bug. It was moving about, following the circulatory system of the leaf. As for those little black dots, it was probably the gold bug’s excrement. Spirit herbs like this Purple Costus Root all have spiritual energy, and that spiritual energy became these little gold bugs’ nourishment. Because the Purple Costus Root didn’t have a lot of spiritual energy, soon enough, the bug had devoured all the spiritual energy and was now starting to gnaw on a different part.
Originally, the Purple Costus Root’s appearance contained no abnormalities, but now the leaves were starting to become black. This was the later stage symptom of Qi Suzhen’s third rank Nix Orchid Grass.
It indeed was caused by insect pests!
But how was she supposed to kill this sort of bug?
Credits: Translated by Chiyomira, Proofread by Sigil
Usually, the title of a chapter is a quote from the chapter, but this one isn’t. Plus, there’s no clear meaning to it either… The title of this chapter is 人心, which translates literally to ‘person’s heart’, but can refer to the will of the people or popular sentiment/opinion.
I chose “A Person’s Heart” because it relates to the reasoning behind why Qi Suzhen went semi-insane and the fact that no one realized what a bastard that Niu Hanshan was. Not to mention, I can’t think of a reason for how ‘Will of the People’ might fit.