Chapter 17: Puppet Mother
What exactly were those gold colored bugs? Should she tell the rest of them? Just as Su Tingyun was wavering amidst her indecision, the left side crowd became really noisy. A woman wearing a white cheong sam stood up and said, “I have to try,” and left with a resolute expression. Everyone else seemed stunned for a moment, then all of them followed behind the woman.
“That’s Lady Bai. She’s already a fourth rank Spirit Herbalist and can grow fourth rank medicinal plants.”
“Her field is to the left of Qi Suzhen. Right now, the medicinal plants in her field are probably only a breath away from death.”
“What are they heading off to do?” Su Tingyun wanted in on the excitement as well. But in the end, a sixty or seventy looking uncle in their group grabbed her and said, “Newly arrived old woman, are you not afraid of death at all? That Bai girl is heading over to beg for the Alchemy Master’s help. Our fields are fine, so what would we head over for? Even if they beg and the Alchemy Master agreed to take a look, there’d still definitely be punishment. Don’t involve yourself in such a mess.”
En. When they couldn’t resolve the matters in the fields themselves, they could only go beg that Master in the array.
Really, just how vicious was the Alchemy Master to be able to inspire such fear in these people?!
That crowd disappeared in a blink. This was rather good, cause now, Su Tingyun didn’t have to feel conflicted over whether to tell them or not anymore. She sat on the stool and chatted with the others, achieving relative success at getting a feel of her temporary comrades-in-arms.
There were a total of nine people here including her. The person with the highest cultivation was the middle-aged missus, Xu Niangzi, who was currently at the Sixth Stage of Spirit Condensation. Second would be the youth, Xu Zhen, who was at the Fourth Stage of Spirit Condensation. Aunt Li and Uncle Zhang were a cultivation pair, so their cultivation level was also fairly similar, at the Third Stage of Spirit Condensation. The four people left were all only at the Second Stage of Spirit Condensation. Originally, the position of being the worst belonged to that seventy-ish old uncle: he had just broken into the Second Stage of Spirit Condensation. But now, with Su Tingyun cushioning the bottom, he gloriously rose to the position of number two from the bottom.
The old uncle didn’t even remember his own name anymore. Everyone called him Old Wax Head. His skin was wax yellow, giving him the appearance of a malnourished man, which is probably where his name came from. For some unknown reason, Su Tingyun felt like this Old Wax Head was constantly glancing at her, intentionally or otherwise. In his gaze, there were even traces of ambiguity. When he got caught by Su Tingyun, a bit of red flush would even appear on his wax yellow face. This caused Su Tingyun to feel indescribable horror and several layers of goosebumps popped up.
Aiyo-ey! Even though her body was that of an elderly lady right now, her heart was still that of a young girl ah. Did things have to be this pathetic? Whenever other people transmigrated, they’d be surrounded by beautiful men, yet all she could attract was a wretched old man like this?
Just as she turned away and gazed into the distance in order to avoid Old Wax Head’s provocative gaze, a sky trembling bellow came from outside. “Useless trash! An entire pack of useless trash! It’s just a fourth rank poisonous insect, the Gold Puppet Mother, yet you guys got stumped? And you even allowed the entire medicinal field to be damaged to this point? In a few days, Master(in terms of teacher) will be refining the Ten Thousand Fleur Pill. Just wait and see your fates when you can’t hand up the ingredients!”
“Fourth rank!” Xu Zhen’s body trembled as he murmured, “It’s a fourth rank poisonous pest, how would it even be possible to discover without your cultivation reaching the Foundation Establishment Stage?”
“Manager Song and the others are precisely at the Foundation Establishment Stage ah, but weren’t they incapable of discovering it just the same?” After Aunt Li finished speaking, she put her palms together in prayer, “It truly is the Old Heavens’ providence. We definitely would have been helpless if our medicinal fields were infected as well.”
“Where’s the Puppet Mother?” That voice then spoke again.
“What’s a Gold Puppet Mother ah?” Su Tingyun asked curiously, completely ignorant as to the fact that all her comrades-in-arms were just as clueless. “Our spirit plants archives are supposed to record fourth rank stuff, but there’s no Gold Puppet Mother in it ah?”
“We’ll only be provided with mid level spirit plants archives once we become fifth rank Spirit Herbalists. The mid level on probably has it!”
Could it be that this spirit plants archive is some rare plaything? If they told everyone earlier, they probably wouldn’t have been so terribly tormented by some Gold Puppet Mother. Su Tingyun was annoyed, but all she could do was silently curse.
“What? You guys actually killed the Puppet Mother? Bring me to her corpse, you bunch of imbeciles!”
Puppet Mother? Killed? Corpse?
For some unknown reason, Su Tingyun’s mind immediately jumped to the absent Qi Suzhen. Her heart shook, and she asked with a trembling voice, “Could it be that the Puppet Mother they’re talking about is Qi Suzhen? Qi Suzhen died?”
“I don’t know if it is Qi Suzhen, but Qi Suzhen is dead.” Xu Zhen’s voice was undisturbed as he said, “It could be said that everything happened because of her. Even if the managers didn’t kill her, the other people who were harmed by her definitely wouldn’t let her off.”
“Haa…” Someone gave a heavy sigh. Su Tingyun only felt that her heart was abnormally heavy. She thought that in any case, staying in this Heaven Jade Pavilion valley would be the safest, but unexpectedly, human lives were just as worthless here.
She switched to another topic and asked, “Say, if, if one doesn’t complete the task or offends the Alchemy Master. What would be their fate?”
“That depends on his mood. If they have bad luck, they might end up becoming medicine wights*.” When Xu Niangzi spoke to here, even she with her valiant personality shuddered. “Becoming a medicine wight is too terrifying. That’s why everyone is so nervous ah.”
The actual literal translation is ‘medicine person’, but I’m using an old archaic term, wight (person of a specified kind, especially one regarded as unfortunate) for it. A ‘medicine person’ is someone that grew up soaked in poison. Even what they eat are things like poisonous snakes or poisonous bugs. So they either become totally poisonous or immune to all poisons.
Su Tingyun: “…”
She wished she could just go scratch the wall. Fuck, her brain must’ve gotten sandwiched by planks. Instead of taking her nice position of an esteemed mother in a wealthy family, she actually ran to this cultivation world to throw away her life ah. Heavens ah, and she still needs to endure for nine more years. Would she even be able to survive until the void sea’s wind season ends?
What happened afterwards, Su Tingyun and the rest of them didn’t know. The fields of the people here were fine for the time being, so they all left, worrying about their respective fields. Before leaving, Old Wax Head’s mysterious smile caused Su Tingyun to be covered in another layer of goosebumps, and in the end even caused her to forget about one matter of topmost importance.
Only after everyone left did Su Tingyun abruptly recall it.
She’s done for.
Spring Water Pavilion was in the skies thirty feet from the ground. She didn’t know how to fly, how was she supposed to get down!?
For her, this bunch of old bones to freefall down, not to mention that her tonnage wasn’t remotely close to light, her bones will probably break into pieces, won’t they!? Su Tingyun helplessly waited in Spring Water Pavilion, hoping that someone would pass by. After roughly four hours, hope finally arrived.
The person that came was the Manager Song that was looking for her.
Manager Song handed Su Tingyun a small jade tablet. “Your accumulated contribution points are recorded in here. I’ve helped you hand up your one hundred Purple Costus Roots and exchanged the remaining for a low level spatial universe bag and some herb seeds. You should go ahead and plant them.” Manager Song’s facial color wasn’t very good. He looked extremely exhausted and weak. Could it be that he got injured?
“Manager Song, is the medicinal fields issue resolved?”
“It’s under control now.” Manager Song’s expression was dispirited. “We all received penalties… but, never mind.” As he spoke to here, he suddenly lifted his head, his gaze lit like a torch. “Old Madam Wei is able to speak to Spiritual Master Lingwu. If this Song could transfer out of Heaven Jade Pavilion, this Song’s gratitude would definitely be eternal.”
Manager Song was also out of ideas and could only try and save a dead horse like it was still alive. He clearly knew, based on the fact that this old woman was sent here, that she probably wasn’t liked by Spiritual Master Lingwu. However, when he recalled what Lady Chu exhorted earlier, he couldn’t help but harbor hope for a lucky fluke. Those alchemists were seriously hard to serve. Even though he was a small head in Heaven Jade Pavilion, he was still bullied terribly. Every day he was busy to no end, having to worry about this and that. Aside from the fact that his training was delayed, there weren’t even any benefits to be had. It was truly too painful.
“Eh…” Su Tingyun rubbed her forehead, then forced out a smile. “If there’s the chance, I’ll do my best.”
Though he received a definite reply, Manager Song still sighed gloomily. He turned around and was just about to leave when he heard Su Tingyun cry out, “Manager Song, wait a minute. Bring me along.”
“I can’t get down, haha.”
“Old Madam Wei is already at the first stage of Qi Condensation, yet still doesn’t know how to fly at low altitudes?” Manager Song asked with extreme astonishment. Seeing the old woman’s entire face filled only with confusion, he polished his strategy, then said, “Old Madam came from the secular world and is truly completely ignorant of this place. It was my carelessness. How about this? I’ll bring you back, then find some basic secret arts for you later.”
Because Old Madam and Spiritual Master Lingwu were acquaintances and Lady Chu had meticulously instructed him not to let her die, he planned to sell some favors. Those basic secret arts weren’t very valuable anyways. There’s no better use for them than to use them to buy some good feelings!
Su Tingyun also became pretty happy after hearing what Manager Song said. After she returned, she waited impatiently. Once the things arrived, she gave her thanks and started hastily looking through them.
Credits: Translated by Chiyomira, Proofread by Sigil
Translating this novel really makes me want to throw aside translating and binge play harvest moon while watching Korean dramas for a couple weeks. But I don’t have enough stock chapters to risk taking a break. 🙁