Chapter Sixty Six - Awakening
Zuo Mo slowly opened his eyes and couldn't help but groan because of his sore body.
"Shixiong, you're awake." An unfamiliar female stood beside the bed, her expression respectful. Zuo Mo noticed a hint of awe in her eyes. Based on her clothing, she should be an outer sect female disciple, but Zuo Mo didn't know her.
"Where is this?" Zuo Mo struggled to sit up.
"This is Fragrant Ginger Yard. Because you were injured, the mistress took you here." The female outer sect disciple answered hurriedly.
Zuo Mo relaxed and thought, Oh, so it had been Master. Feeling the hunger in his stomach, he raised his head to ask, "Is there something to eat?"
The outer sect female disciple nodded, "Please wait." She then turned and left. After a while, she carried a bowl of rice and several dishes in.
Smelling the dense ling energy coming from the food, Zuo Mo felt his mind become alert, and felt even more hungry. Without a second wasted, he started to feast. The rice in the bowl wasn't the normal rice that he usually ate but rather cooked with ling grains. The small dishes were all prepared using ling vegetables. The ling energy was abundant. Thus extremely appropriate for people like Zuo Mo who had just been wounded to recover.
To someone poor like Zuo Mo, when had he ever eaten such food? He had a ration of ling grains each month, but he didn't know how to prepare it.
The preparation of ling food needed extremely specialized techniques. This process was called food cultivation. All kinds of raw ingredients filled with rich ling energy, after being especially paired, and then meticulously prepared, the ling energy in the food would be completely released and it was very easy to absorb. Absorbing ling energy from ling food was much gentler than absorbing it from jingshi.
However, that was something only those who had enough jingshi could experience.
Compared to other high level ling foods, ling grains were the most basic and widespread ling food. However, Zuo Mo sold the ling grains he received each month to turn it into jingshi . Having the ling vein in the stone room, the effect of ling grains were not major for him.
This was the first time he was able to experience such luxury. The skill of the person who cooked was high and the ling energy thick. Just smelling it, Zuo Mo felt his mind lighten. When the food entered his mouth, he almost swallowed his tongue as well.
Like a storm, the ling food on the table was swept clean, not a speck remaining.
Zuo Mo stretched, still wanting more. At this time, the female outer sect disciple reminded him, "Shixiong can meditate which will help in the absorption of ling energy."
Hearing this, Zuo Mo rushed into the lotus position to meditate.
Seeing this, the female disciple quietly cleaned up the dishes and then closed the door as she left.
Waking up from the meditation, Zuo Mo felt his mind was completely refreshed and unspeakably comfortable. Thinking about the ling food he had just eaten, he couldn't help but sigh at the effect of the meal which was even more effective than meditating for four hours in the stone room. But the ling vein in the stone room was completely free and while there hadn't been that much food, the price of the ling food definitely wasn't cheap. If it wasn't a reward from the sect, he certainly couldn't afford it.
Pushing open the door, he walked outside the room.
It was a small yard outside the door. At this time, Zuo Mo knew where he was. This place was a small out of the way yard in Fragrant Ginger Yard. He would pass by this place everyday. It seemed familiar upon further observation.
He decided to go see his master.
Walking out of the little yard, he saw quite a few female outer sect disciples along his way.
Zuo Mo instantly felt the completely different change in their attitude.
Previously, they had been respectful of him. Now, there was a hint of awe in this respect. This awe that came from the heart, it caused their spines to bend more, their attitude more careful and respectful. Zuo Mo wasn't used to it.
Xu Qing saw Zuo Mo and hurried to bow, Shixiong! Master is waiting for you !"[i]
Even Xu Qing was using the formal "you." Zuo Mo felt very uncomfortable. He shook his head and said, "It's not good that Shimei calls me this, it's too formal!"
"Shixiong is right, Xu Qing was wrong!" Xu Qing smiled warmly.
Previously, she had helped Zuo Mo but she didn't think he would end up doing so well. Who could have known that Zuo Mo could fight to a standstill with Luo Li Shixiong. When she had seen it, she was dumbstruck. Even now, she still felt disbelief. This incident caused the entire Fragrant Ginger Yard to take a new look at this zombie Shixiong. Xu Qing was smart and knew that this fight had completely decided Shixiong's position in Fragrant Ginger Yard and the sect.
Before, Hao Min Shijie had been arrogant and despotic in Fragrant Ginger Yard. In the future, she would definitely be more restrained. If she still didn't control herself, then she would be too stupid. Zuo Mo Shixiong might look slow but no matter if it was cunning, power, or talent, he surpassed Hao Min.
Xu Qing knew of the battle between the inner sect disciples. As an outer sect disciple, she naturally felt closer to Wei Sheng and Zuo Mo who had once been outer sect disciples as well.
However, Xu Qing was still careful and aware of herself. Many people, when they prospered, their temper and personality became drastically different. Prudence would never be a mistake. However, Zuo Mo Shixiong's personality seemed much better than she had imagined.
Zuo Mo's zombie face still was expressionless. He nodded at Xu Qing and then walked towards Master's dan room.
Pushing open the door to enter, he saw Master Shi Feng Rong.
"Now you know to act brave!"When Shi Feng Rong saw him, she discourteously started scolding, "Just admit defeat earlier next time. Did you have to injure yourself like that?" She completely forgot she had sent a death order for Zuo Mo to not lose.
Zuo Mo perceptively didn't mention it and muttered in compliance. To argue with this person, he didn't have the guts.
Shi Feng Rong's tone relaxed, "But, you didn't lose face for me. Very good." Zuo Mo heard this and rolled his eyes inside. This is probably what you really thought inside.
Shi Feng Rong was very satisfied with this disciple. Even though he had only been a ling plant farmer, but she had been shocked at his talent at dan-making. He could make the golden crow pill even when he just started to learn dan-making. The first time Zuo Mo made the golden crow pill, it could be explained by luck. Afterwards, when he found the basic method, she hadn't said anything, but she had been very shocked inside. This wasn't something that could be accomplished by luck. Seeing his exceptional talent, Shi Feng Rong had made even stricter demands of him.
She didn't have any hope for the fight between Zuo Mo and Luo Li. Regardless that she had ordered that he could not lose, she was clear that the two weren't on the same power level. Yet Zuo Mo once again gave her a surprise. Even though he didn't win, but he truly didn't lose.
In a short three months, he was able to comprehend sword essence! This kind of sword talent, even the cold Second Shixiong was surprised. The sect leader and Third Shixiong had gaped. She had been very smug inside.
"Three months, and you were able to comprehend sword essence. Your talent at the sword isn't weak. If it was buried, it would be a pity." Shi Feng Rong slowly said, "In the future, you can go to your Second Shibo to learn about the sword. I'm telling you, if you go to your Second Shibo, don't dishonour me. If I learn that you are slacking, humph!" The snort was very cold.
Zuo Mo silently grimaced. To go to Second Shibo's place to learn the sword, this treatment, it was extremely high in Wu Kong Sword Sect. It was something that every disciple dreamed about. If it was in the past, Zuo Mo would have nodded and agreed but now......
He thought that there was still an idle and steady Pu Yao in his consciousness, and then thought about Second Shibo's sword-like gaze......
Zuo Mo felt he had dropped into ice.
He still remembered the snow white sword essence of Second Shibo slicing through the black sea the night he met Pu Yao for the first time! Even the kind of strong yaomo that was Pu Yao, he still wasn't Second Shibo's opponent. If Second Shibo found Pu Yao in his consciousness, his own ending would be of the utmost miserable!
What was a reward in other people's eyes, Zuo Mo wanted to avoid it.
"This disciple just wants to learn dan-making from Master......"
Before Zuo Mo could finish, Shi Feng Rong interrupted, "Dan-making is dan-making. Cultivating the sword is cultivating the sword. No one said that making dan means not being able to cultivate the sword! Stop talking and go where I tell you!"
"Hm!" Shi Feng Rong looked suspiciously at Zuo Mo, "You have a question?"
Being pierced with Master's gaze, Zuo Mo's heart jumped rapidly. Don't let Master see anything fishy! He hurriedly shook his head, "No! No!"
"If you don't have any, then go!" Shi Feng Rong impatiently waved her hand to rush Zuo Mo out.
Coming out of Master's dan room, Zuo Mo felt very uncertain. Of the four elders, the one he was most afraid of meeting was Xin Yan Shibo. Whenever Xin Yan Shibo looked at him, Zuo Mo felt that the other could see him clearly, and that all secrets were revealed in Second Shibo's eyes.
But this obstacle could not be avoided.
Zuo Mo cautiously went to Second Shibo's residence. Second Shibo was skilled in two areas. One was cultivating the sword. The other was forging. Wei Sheng Shixiong had personally been taught by him. Luo Li had once received his teachings. Other than that, Xu Yi Shixiong was the only disciple of Second Shibo and learned forging from him.
Zuo Mo could only walk towards Second Shibo's residence.
Second Shibo resided alone at Sun Lookout Peak. This was a place that Zuo Mo had never stepped in before. Following the winding mountain road, Zuo Mo was extremely careful and furtive. When he reached the peak of Sun Lookout Peak, he was shocked still.
The peak was very large but there was only a small grass hut. Other than that, no other living thing was on the ground.
Zuo Mo was about one hundred and fifty steps from the grass hut. These one hundred and fifty steps, he walked with his heart beating fast. A few times, he almost turned and ran away.
Under his feet, not one foot of ground was whole. Actually, not just under his feet but the entire top of Sun Lookout Peak, there wasn't a whole piece of ground. There were intersecting cracks. The ground of Sun Lookout Peak seemed to have been heavily ploughed countless times.
When he stepped on the upturned soil, Zuo Mo's heart shrunk!
The broken soil on the upturned ground under his feet contained extremely strong sword essence! They followed out as though they wanted to cut off Zuo Mo's legs, or as though they wanted to burrow inside his body from the soles of his feet. The cold killing intent made Zuo Mo's hairs stand on end.
He unconsciously swallowed, controlling his impulse to take out the ice crystal sword and gritted his teeth as he walked forward.
One step one step!
It was like his feet were stepping on countless sword tips. Each step was extremely careful.
Zuo Mo felt the impulse countless times to take out ice crystal sword. It was an instinctive response, but each time, he would stop it!
This patch of broken ground concealed countless sword essences. If he really summoned the ice crystal sword, that was really poking the hornet's nest! Those hidden sword essences would swarm and rip him to shreds.
This ghastly place!
[i], formal way of saying "you". The pinyin is nin as opposed to the informal you "ni".
Translator ramblings: Shi Feng Rong tries, she really does. She's old and experienced and so the rest of the elders. The way they see it, it's just a harmless little disagreement. No one would die. Of course, things look different from Zuo Mo and Luo Li's point of view.
The story is going to start heating up soon. We're past the first "hump" and the outer world comes into play.