Chapter 165: The Serpent-Men's Medicinal Herb Farm
Translator: OnGoingWhy Editor: Vermillion
"Elder brother Ah Ni!"
"Elder brother Ah Ni, good day! Are you here to check on the herb farm?"
"Elder brother Ah Ni's cultivation is getting stronger and stronger! His true energy level is really impressive!"
With his chest held high, Ah Ni slithered over the moist ground of the swamp. His upper body was bare, exposing his powerful muscles as well as strange markings which made him appear slightly fiercer.
As Ah Ni moved along, the serpent-men nearby respectfully greeted him. Some of them had respectful expressions on their faces while others looked at him with envy in their eyes. Ah Ni was not the person with the highest cultivation in the serpent-men tribe but he was viewed by the tribe leader and the elder as the most promising tribesman because of his youth.
As a sixth grade Battle-Emperor, Ah Ni frequently went hunting for fifth grade Spirit Tail Crocodiles and could tear them into pieces with his bare hands, which was an incredible feat for a serpent-man.
Since the serpent-men were capable of forming societies within the perilous Illusory Spirit Swamp despite the constant threat from the countless amount of powerful spirit beasts roaming about, they naturally had their own rules of survival.
In order for the serpent-men to safely survive in such a hostile environment, they must first deal with the spirit beasts. Therefore, the serpent-men used the capability of slaying Spirit Tail Crocodiles, which were the greatest threat to them, as the benchmark for determining the strong among them.
Those capable of slaying the Spirit Tail Crocodiles were the true warriors of the serpent-men.
Ah Ni's tribe was considered small among the serpent-men but its population was surprisingly large. Compared with humans, the amount was comparable to a small town.
Even though their dwellings were crudely made, they were still buildings. With rows upon rows of buildings, it gave off the feeling of a small town.
Ah Ni had once heard from the elder that a large city built by the serpent-men existed somewhere within the Illusory Spirit Swamp. The neatly ordered buildings in the city were extremely magnificent and even comparable to cities built by humans. The serpent-men residing in the city were able to live happy lives under the reign of the Serpentine Sovereign.
In that place, there were neither Spirit Tail Crocodiles nor other terrifying spirit beasts to constantly threaten their lives. There, their offsprings could lead stable lives from the moment they hatched from their eggs and grow up without a care in the world... That was the sort of world that Ah Ni and the other tribe members all longed for.
Slap! Ah Ni struck the ground with his tail and caused the icy water to splash everywhere.
A pair of serpent-men warriors armed with spears immediately bowed toward Ah Ni in a respectful manner.
These two serpent-men warriors were standing guard in front of an area surrounded by a crude bamboo fence. This was the most important area within the tribe, the medicinal herb farm. There were many valuable spirit herbs growing in here. Even though most of them were only third or fourth grade, there were some fifth and sixth grade spirit herbs. There was even a seventh grade Ice Soul Monarch Lotus that was about to bloom.
"Good work, don't let your guard down. Make sure to pay attention to any signs of trouble near the herb farm. Those crafty humans have dog-like noses. Once the spirit herbs are ready to be harvested, they will definitely come running after the smell. We must definitely not let those damned humans profit from our hard work," Ah Ni said while patting a guard's shoulder.
That serpent-men warrior immediately puffed out his chest and solemnly nodded.
The corners of Ah Ni's lips curled into a smile. He then slithered past the guards into the herb farm.
When Ah Ni entered the herb farm, his nose was immediately assailed by the rich herbal fragrance in the air and he was mesmerized with the strong scent.
"Ah Ni, why are you back here again?"
While Ah Ni was taking in a deep breath and revelling in the herbal fragrance, a bewitching voice suddenly reached his ears. A group of serpent-women was slithering out from the inner parts of the herb farm.
These serpent-women had serpentine lower bodies just like Ah Ni but their upper bodies were just like any human woman. Their well developed chests were wrapped in linen cloth which they obtained from trading with the humans.
The leader of the group was an extremely beautiful serpent-woman. Her face appeared to have been meticulously sculpted by the heavens themselves and her voluptuous figure was unmatched among the serpent-women.
"Yu Fu, you're really getting more and more beautiful! One day, you'll definitely become my wife!" Ah Ni said as he looked at the serpent-women leading the group with a mesmerized expression.
A slight frown immediately appeared on Yu Fu's face as she coldly looked at Ah Ni and asked, "Why are you here today? The herb farm has always been our responsibility. Are you questioning our ability to perform well?"
Ah Ni licked his lips and said with a smile, "Yu Fu, please don't misunderstand, you have my utmost trust. It's just that since the Ice Soul Monarch Lotus is close to blooming, the elder wanted me to be here to prevent those crafty humans from stealing the herb."
Yu Fu's complexion immediately became much better after hearing his reply. She nodded and said, "In that case, come with me."
Then, the group of serpent-women went ahead and led the way. Ah Ni, who was watching Yu Fu with a mesmerized expression, hurriedly wiped away the saliva running down from the corner of his mouth and followed after them.
"Hmm... It's only a third grade spirit herb, too bad."
With an abundant amount of true energy gathered on his soles, Bu Fang squatted down and plucked a blade of aquamarine leaf sticking out from the soil. The long and thin leaf had a single black vein running across its surface.
Bu Fang had already been wandering about in the vast Illusory Spirit Swamp for over half a day. During this time, he found many spirit herbs but they were basically only second or third grade. Once in a while, he would find fourth grade spirit herbs as well, but fourth grade spirit herbs were still worthless in Bu Fang's eyes.
He needed a spirit herb that could be mixed together with the Phoenix Blood Herb as well as the Three Stripes Path-Understanding Fruit to brew wine. Fourth grade spirit herbs... were insufficient.
As the bottom of his feet was covered with true energy, Bu Fang appeared to be hovering above the water. However, he would still produce noise as he walked on the water's surface.
After walking for a while, Bu Fang found another fourth grade spirit herb along the way. With a better than nothing attitude, Bu Fang killed the snake-like spirit beast that was guarding the spirit herb before storing it in the system's storage space.
"Hmm? What's that?" After walking for a while more, Bu Fang puzzledly looked toward a large mass of shadow in the distance, which appeared to be buildings.
"There's actually buildings here? Did someone really set up a village on this mushy swamp?" Bu Fang was extremely surprised. Logically speaking, the soft ground of the swamp was completely unsuitable for constructing buildings.
Even though Bu Fang was somewhat perplexed, he was still feeling quite pleased. At least... it was a sign of human presence.
Therefore, Bu Fang increased his pace and headed in the direction of the buildings.
As Bu Fang gradually moved toward those buildings, something rapidly approached from a distance and went past him, causing water to splash toward him. Fortunately, Bu Fang's cultivation level was not weak. With a true energy barrier, he managed to keep himself from getting drenched.
Bu Fang expressionlessly gave the wooden boat that sped past him a glance and pursed his lips.
As he had expected... There were people living here and it was suddenly becoming lively.
"That boat-like thing seem to be rather convenient for travelling within the swamp," Bu Fang thought.
The spirit boat came to a halt and three figures stepped off the boat. The soles of their feet were also covered with true energy, allowing them to firmly stand on the wetland.
With a wave of his hand, the spirit boat was put away by the young man with a fair complexion standing in the middle.
"Young master Wu... Wasn't there someone standing there just now?" One of the man could not help but ask as he recalled the scenery as the spirit boat sped past. He seemed to have caught a glimpse of a human figure back there.
The woman who was being called young master Wu... Oh, the woman who was currently disguised as a man indifferently gave the man a glance and said, "Who cares if there was someone there or not? Our objective is the Ice Soul Monarch Lotus. As long as he doesn't interfere in our business, it has nothing to do with us. After all, this isn't our White Cloud Villa, we're in the territory of the serpent-men."
That subordinate nodded with a grave expression. The serpent-men tribe was not to be underestimated. He did not dare to be careless either, especially with the young master around. The young master's identity was special. His job was to ensure that she did not suffer even the slightest injury.
"Let's go, our target destination is the rear area of the serpent-men tribe. That should be the location of their medicinal herb farm. We'll look for an opportunity to sneak in," young master Wu said while revealing a hint of excitement on her face.
That subordinate immediately forced a wry smile and could only nod in response.
Leaving behind one person as a lookout, young master Wu and the other subordinate headed in the direction of the rather dilapidated fence in the distance.
That was the direction of the serpent-men tribe's herb farm.