Chapter 26: Acquiring Qi-Sensing
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Maggie
*Inside a bedroom at Shi Mu's suburban manor.*
Shi Mu sat on a chair, thoughtfully gazing at a small bottle on his desk. Someone knocked on the door several times.
"Come in," Shi Mu said briefly, without raising his head.
The door was pushed open, and a pretty girl came in with a wooden tray. She then put a bowl of hot meat porridge on the desk, seeming to be proficient at her job.
"Miss Zhong, why are you here again? I've told you many times to leave the work to the servants," Shi Mu looked up and shook his head at the girl. This girl was none other than Zhong Xiu.
Ever since she had come to live in the manor, she had been trying to show her gratitude to Shi Mu for taking her in. Bringing tea and food to Shi Mu's room had become her way of showing it.
"Brother Shi, you haven't eaten anything today. Please rest for a short while and eat something. I stewed the porridge especially for you," Zhong Xiu said in a compassionate tone. Her bearing was gentle and soft, despite the startling blue birthmark on her forehead.
"I haven't eaten anything for a day? I didn't even realize so much time had passed! Okay, let me taste the porridge," Shi Mu said with a bitter smile since he was quite surprised. He took the bowl which was filled with meat porridge, and ate up the contents like a wolf. He then let out a sigh of content.
"Miss Zhong, the porridge is so delicious! I never thought you would be so good at cooking. Your future husband is very lucky."
"Now you are making fun of me. Who would want me after they see my ugly face? But if you really liked the food, I'll cook more for you later on," Zhong Xiu said with a sense of pleasure. She was blushing at Shi Mu's compliment, her fair skin turning pink.
"If you really will, I..." Shi Mu smiled faintly at the girl and was about to say something when he heard fast footsteps from outside the room.
Zhang Suo burst into the room and said, "Young master Shi, Butler Cheng of the Jin family is here and is asking to see you."
"Old Cheng? Well, let's not make our guests wait," Shi Mu narrowed his eyes and answered without hesitation. He then took the little bottle from the desk and put it into his sleeves.
He strode out of the room, with Zhang Suo following behind him. Zhong Xiu paused for a moment and hesitated, before deciding to follow them.
Shi Mu reached the gate of his manor a moment later. He was looking at the silver notes that Jin Cheng had given him in contempt, wearing a sullen look on his face.
"So, I'm not getting my Qi Ling pill, and am now offered thirty thousand liang of silver instead. Excellent, one pill costs a ten thousand at most, so I'm still profiting."
"Well young master Shi, madam has done all that she could. She even went to the Jin Family's manor personally and made a scene there just so she could obtain your pill. But it was the patriarch, madam's father, who had ordered the decision. Madam therefore had no more ways of refuting it. Even the thirty thousand liang have been offered by madam herself. Also, she asked me to tell you that though she failed in getting you a Qi Ling pill, she can still offer you the first choice she had given you at your father's funeral," the blue-robed old man explained to Shi Mu, coughing slightly.
The butler had always considered Shi Mu to be a nice young fellow. He too had felt sad for him when he found out that the blood he had inspired was worthless.
"Ah, so it was the patriarch's order. That's good to know. I'm sorry I brought trouble to Aunt Zhen," Shi Mu said. The news had come as quite a shock to Shi Mu, and he only took the notes after sitting there for a moment.
"I hope young master Shi understands the situation. Also, madam has predicted that some of the younger Jin Family members may do something to embarrass you in the near future. So it would be better if you stayed here and didn't go to the city," Jin Cheng gave Shi Mu a warning after some thought.
"Alright, I understand. Please send my best regards to Aunt Zhen," Shi Mu said, giving a brief nod.
"I'll retire now. Oh, by the way, if young master Shi still wants to pursue his dream of being a warrior, I have an idea for you," said the blue robed old man. He smiled at Shi Mu's unchanging calmness, and then unexpectedly took out a paper note from his sleeve. He handed it over to Shi Mu and then left the manor with graceful steps.
Meanwhile, Shi Mu remained at the gate and gazed at the old man's figure until it disappeared. He was still holding the three silver notes, and the paper in his hand.
Zhong Xiu and Zhang Suo stood beside him the entire time, listening to the conversation. Zhong Xiu wore a worried look on her face, and Zhang Suo stood there looking concerned and serious.
That night, Shi Mu sat cross legged on his bed as he studied the little bottle in his hand, with his eyes gleaming.
"The wasted blood of the stone monkey?"
"Ha! I refuse to believe that my blood is wasted!"
"Mother, please don't worry. Because I've already decided to be the most powerful warrior in the world, there is no way that I will quit midway. What difference does wasted blood make? I'm not a cripple!" Shi Mu shouted in the air and opened the lid of the bottle without hesitation.
A white pill rolled out and he immediately put it in his mouth.
The pill had seemed to be as hard as iron, but it changed after Shi Mu put it in his mouth. Immediately it became soft and sweet, as though it were sugar. After taking a few breaths, the pill turned into a fluid that could be easily swallowed. Suddenly, burning energy began to circulate in his stomach and the area beneath it.
After hearing a thunderous noise in his head, Shi Mu felt his physical senses turn much more acute than before. Simultaneously, his body began to unbearably itch all over.
He instantly sat cross-legged on his bed, closed his eyes and tried to relax his face.
*At the same time, in a secret room in the Jin Family manor.*
A middle-aged man was swearing at a young man who looked quite like himself.
"You hopeless wretch! You wastrel! You call Shi Mu a fool? In my eyes you are even worse than a fool! You're good-for-nothing! This is the second time you've taken a Qi Ling pill. Didn't you say you were fully confident of acquiring Qi-sensing this time? So what happened? Are you even my son? If I had known this earlier, I wouldn't have paid so much money to get the pill from my sister! It would've been better if I had left it for that bastard Shi Mu! I could have at least saved my money!" the middle-aged man shouted, growing increasingly angrier. He slapped the young man's face and rushed out of the room, furious.
"Shi Mu!" Jin Tian gritted his teeth and shouted, stroking his swollen face.
Half a day later, Shi Mu pressed one of his hands to his stomach. He could faintly feel the warm Qi beneath his hand.
He now knew what Qi-sensing was! If it weren't for the help offered by the Qi Ling pill, he wouldn't have been able to sense his Qi at all.
Now, as long as he could obtain a book on Hou Tian Arts, he would be able to move on, and begin training his real Qi to the Hou Tian Warrior level, and above!
To some extent, this was the moment he could begin being called a real warrior.
After a while, Shi Mu directed his attention to the paper that Jin Cheng had given him. He took it out from his sleeve, unfolded it, and began to read the words.
"Frontier Fortress in the 3rd Perfecture! A military school!" the youngster muttered to himself after a long while.