Chapter 191: Only For Afforestation
Translator: E.3.3. Editor: Vermillion
"You said this tree is called the Five Stripes Path-Understanding Tree?" Bu Fang gazed at Ni Yan, and asked.
"Surely you aren't unaware of the name of this tree, right?" Ni Yan's lovely eyes widened, an air of astonishment across her face. Her dedicated cherry lips pursed, red and shiny, extremely adorable.
"You don't even know what this tree is called, then why are you growing it in your store?"
Bu Fang curled his lips, "I only wanted to enhance the afforestation of the store."
Bu Fang seemed composed, but Ni Yan was speechless, thinking, "Do you know how valuable is the Five Stripes Path-Understanding Tree? Enhancing the store's afforestation... way to go my dear owner." Perhaps only someone as peculiar as Bu Fang would plant a Five Stripes Path-Understanding Tree without ulterior motives, for reasons none other than improving the store's afforestation.
"I have a Three Stripes Path-Understanding Fruit, could there be any relations between the two?" Bu Fang asked in confusion. This was the first time he learned of the sapling's name.
The old man from yesterday... even though he also seemed to know the name of this tree, by the looks of the old man, his intentions were not pure, and maybe he even wanted to have this sapling.
This goddamned... this was his store's afforestation!
"This tree is called the Five Stripes Path-Understanding Tree. The fruits it bears are naturally called the Five Stripes Path-Understanding Fruit. It is not comparable to the Three Stripes Path-Understanding Fruit, as they are simply not on the same level," Ni Yan muttered.
"The Three Stripes Path-Understanding Fruit can at most increase the probability of a sixth grade Battle-Emperor reaching seventh grade Battle-Saint. But the Five Stripes Path-Understanding Fruit can enhance the probability of a seventh grade Battle-Saint reaching eight grade War-God... There is a world of difference between their values."
Bu Fang was startled. In this sense, this sapling seemed quite out of the ordinary.
"If anyone catches news that there is a Five Stripes Path-Understanding Tree growing in your store, not after long, your store will be surrounded by a hoard of frenzied, manic seventh grade Battle-Saints," Ni Yan explained.
"Oh, not a problem," Bu Fang coolly replied.
Ni Yan was taken back. "Where is your self-assuredness coming from? We're talking about a swamp of seventh grade Battle-Saints... not a crowd of first grade warriors! Dear brother, can we take this seriously?"
Having learned of this tree's name, Bu Fang no longer enquired Ni Yan. Under the latter's bewildered gaze, he immediately turned around to head back to the kitchen.
Ni Yan was rather speechless. Perhaps Bu Fang really felt like he had nothing to fear, but a hoard of seventh grade Battle-Saints... Just envisioning this scene gave her the chills.
Reluctant to part with the Five Stripes Path-Understanding Tree, Ni Yan gave it another glance before returning to her seat. Not after long, a meaty fragrance emanated from the kitchen, out of which a plate of plump, fragrant Red Braised Meat was brought out.
When it came to food, any of Ni Yan's lingering attachment to the Five Stripes Path-Understanding Tree was tossed into the winds. What was left in her eyes was the glossy, flushed Red Braised Meat.
She poured a cup of Ice Heart Jade Urn Wine. Eating meat while drinking wine, now this was the life.
The only blemish in an otherwise flawless moment was that the Ice Heart Jade Urn Wine could not surpass the old drunkard's Dragon's Breath. If the wine could be switched to Dragon's Breath, then that would truly be perfection.
Just as Ni Yan and the others were enjoying their gourmet delicacies, the sound of footsteps echoed from the alleyway.
Xiao Meng held his body erect as he approached the store and strode in with wide steps.
"Uncle Xiao." Ouyang Xiaoyi perkily greeted him. Her eyes betrayed a sense of confusion. Why would Xiao Meng come here? He really was a rare guest.
"Where is Owner Bu?" Xiao Meng nodded at Xiaoyi and then asked.
Ouyang Xiaoyi pointed at the kitchen. Xiao Meng did not speak another word, found a seat next to the Five Stripes Path-Understanding Tree, and examined it from a close proximity.
"Uncle Xiao, what would you like to eat?" Xiaoyi asked.
"A jar of the Ice Heart Jade Urn Wine." Xiao Meng's gaze was still fixated on the Path-Understanding Tree as he carelessly blurted out an order.
"Uncle Xiao... Today's three jars of Ice Heart Jade Urn Wine have been sold out."
"Huh?" Xiao Meng was stumped, then slowly lifted up his head, glanced at Ouyang Xiaoyi, then peered at Ni Yan, who was drinking wine and eating meat from afar. His pupils suddenly shrank.
Members of the Celestial Arcanum Sect were there already?!
Xiao Meng took in a deep breath and ordered the Rainbow-Colored Water Dumpling.
Ni Yan felt as if someone was observing her and promptly lifted her head to give Xiao Meng a glance, but wasn't bothered by him and thus went back to devouring her gourmet delicacies.
"This is the second seventh grade Battle-Saint..." Xiao Meng thought quietly in his heart. "The Third Elder of the Celestial Arcanum Sect, a strong warrior within the seventh grade Battle-Saint echelon, in addition to the Ghost Chef Wang Ding, similarly a hard match among the seventh grade Battle-Saints. At present, the number of seventh grade Battle-Saints in the Imperial City is steadily growing. "
Bu Fang walked out of the kitchen carrying a plate of Rainbow-Colored Water Dumplings. Xiao Meng merely cast a deep glance at Bu Fang, but did not utter a single word. He did not ask about the Five Stripes Path-Understanding Tree.
Once done with his meal, Xiao Meng left in a haste.
Ni Yan, on the other hand, would not leave Bu Fang alone. She took out her dish for advice seeking, yet the results were not surprising, as she got harshly criticized by Bu Fang.
Once Bu Fang turned on the switch for critiquing, he became extremely chatty. Words kept on jumping out of his mouth as he meticulously listed out every single fault on the dish.
Ni Yan ultimately took away her food container in a huff and left with Tang Yin.
Bu Fang watched as their shadows left, and then calmly stood by the entrance. He let out a short breath as he gazed at the whirling snow falling from above.
Time was passing in a flash.
The temperature of the Imperial City was rising, less snowflakes drifted in the air, and on some days one could even feel the warmth of the sun.
The wailing wind also became much more gentle. Even though it still felt like cuts through the skin when it breezed by, it wasn't half as bad as during the late winter times.
The Imperial City didn't change much during this month, except for the number of guards in the city, which increased, especially those in armor.
There was a horde of strange faces entering the Imperial City, many of whom came from different parts of the Light Wind Empire. Each of them had a strong level of true energy, and most were fifth grade Battle-Kings or sixth grade Battle-Emperors...
This surge of warriors induced the Imperial City to enhance its defensive measures. As the head of Imperial City security force, Xiao Meng felt deeply anxious.
Xiao Quarters, the study.
Xiao Yue leaned by the door frame and played with the sharp sword in his hands. He said in a hoarse voice to Xiao Meng, who sat at the desk reading a confidential report: "Given reliable information, the Elder of the Liu family from Yuzhou city has arrived at the Imperial City last night. Apparently, he battled with the Thirteen Thieves from Mozhou city right outside of the Imperial City..."
"The Elder of the Liu Family, the seventh grade Battle-Saint who has one foot in the grave?" Xiao Meng put down the confidential report, rubbed his eyes, and lightly remarked.
"Em, correct, the Thirteen Thieves have passable cultivation levels. But once they joined hands, they could repress the Elder of the Liu Family." Xiao Yue softly flicked the long sword in his hands, it produced a light crispy sound that echoed through the entire study.
"With one foot in the grave, his conditions are no longer comparable to the times of his peak. The Elder of the Liu Family now is perhaps only slightly stronger than a typical sixth grade Battle-Emperor. It is then quite normal that he was repressed by the Thirteen Thieves. Anything else suspicious?" Xiao Meng asked.
"The Elder of the Void Sword Pavilion is back... This is news that I recently received, not yet verified, but it has a high chance of being accurate," Xiao Yue announced solemnly.
The Elder of the Void Sword Pavilion... Xiao Meng meditated for a while. This was a classic seventh grade Battle-Saint. He shook heaven and earth at a young age, but later seemed to have demonized whilst undergoing cultivation. Everyone thought he had already fallen, so it was unbelievable that he reentered the picture now. This Elder of the Void Sword Pavilion was one of the few remaining Battle-Saint elders who did not belong to the Celestial Arcanum Sect.
"Including this elder, it should be the fifteenth Battle-Saints that we know of?"
Xiao Yue smacked his lips. Seventh grade Battle-Saints... seemed rare when they rested in seclusion, but once they popped up there were so many of them. It was as if all of the seventh grade Battle-Saints in the Light Wind empire had gathered together.
In the Imperial City nowadays... one wouldn't dare to be too arrogant toward anyone whilst walking down the streets, because it was likely that person just might be a sixth grade Battle-Emperor.
The rich dandies of the Imperial City have learned their lessons after suffering a few losses, and have decided to stay indoors these days.
"Alright, you can continue the investigation. Whenever there is news of a seventh grade Battle-Saints, notify me immediately," Xiao Meng said to Xiao Yue, then stood up and emitted a long sigh.
Xiao Yue nodded his head. The tip of his foot tapped the floor, and suddenly, with a flash of the sword, he disappeared from sight.
In a luxurious manor within the Imperial City, the Ghost Chef Wang Ding sat by the table, on which there were a few plates of appetizers and a jar of wine he made himself. He poured a cup and drank to himself.
After the Ghost Chef drained the wine in the cup, the deep wrinkles on his face trembled.
"It's been a month, the strong forces of energy within the Imperial City have multiplied... just as this old fellow had expected. Once the news of the Five Stripes Path-Understanding Tree was out, not one seventh grade Battle-Saint could keep their cool. It is still unclear how much time is needed for the Five Stripes Path-Understanding Tree to grow, but it should be soon. If that store is able to accelerate the growth of the Path-Understanding Tree, then it won't be long before it is ripe."
Slowly pouring another cup of wine for himself, the Ghost Chef peered at the opaque wine nectar, and his lips curled.
"The fish has arrived, but the water isn't muddy enough yet."