Chapter 16: Leave some soup for Lian Chengyu
“Hand in your herbs! Hand in your herbs!”
As it grew dark, Zhao Tiezhu started shouting at the village entrance.
Five members from the warrior preparation camp had set up a long table. On the table sat five circular pans.
These pans were woven from bamboo, and they were usually used for sunning dates or herbs.
Three of the five pans were already filled.
People lined up to hand in the herbs they picked. A long-bearded elder identified each herb’s age and rarity. He used a small scale to weigh the herbs before recording it down.
When it was Yi Yun and Jiang Xiaorou’s turn, Yi Yun slowly handed his harvest over.
The bearded old man took a look and his eyes lit up, “Dan Guo! Black Fungus! Liquorice root! Wild Ginseng! These are good herbs!”
The elder looked at these expensive herbs as if they were his babies, and started stroking them the moment they entered his hands.
Yi Yun stood by the side and heaved a sigh of relief. This old man may be a herb expert, but he was unable to tell that the herbal essence had long been sucked dry by the Purple Crystal.
This was understandable. The herbs that were sucked dry by the Purple Crystal did not look any different from a recently picked herb.
“Hehe, kid you sure got lucky. You can keep your rations today!”
Zhao Tiezhu was very pleased seeing the herbs.
They were in charge of collecting the herbs, and they would received rewards from Lian Chengyu if the quality was high!
When Lian Chengyu began his meteoric rise in the future, his lackeys would have something to gain. He could enter the big city, and might even get a job in the city!
“I acknowledge the fact that you are a suitable medicine boy who possesses the natural talent to pick herbs. For me to send you picking herbs was due to my foresight, matching you to your best potential!”
“Surviving your previous accident has improved your herb picking skills. According to this standard, hand in another ounce of herbs tomorrow!” said Zhao Tiezhu as he smiled casually.
Jiang Xiaorou was enraged. Picking 16 oz of herbs was already extremely difficult, yet Zhao Tiezhu added more!
Jiang Xiaorou knew Yi Yun’s herb picking speed was fast, and a tiny bit more would not matter to him. But knowing Zhao Tiezhu, it would be him “taking a yard when they gave him an inch”. An accident would eventually happen!
“Warrior Zhao, you must be joking. These herbs were picked extremely arduously from my hard work all day. It’s my all.”
Yi Yun’s intonation was extremely slow. As he moved his lips, his eyes were glancing at the three pans filled with herbs.
A layer of light dots had begun floating on the surface of the three pans.
These light dots were obviously drawn out by the Purple Crystal. They were like fireflies in the night, and floated slowly to Yi Yun.
An unnoticeable smile suffused on Yi Yun’s face. The Purple Crystal needed some time to absorb the herbal essence. Zhao Tiezhu’s bullshit was to Yi Yun’s delight.
“Damn it You think I’m negotiating with you!?” Zhao Tiezhu slammed the table, giving the bearded old man a shock.
“You cheap folk only know how to eat. It’s rare that there’s something you trash could be used for, and here you are coming up with all sorts of excuses! The Lian tribe doesn’t rear freeloaders. The people either be warriors, or do honest labor work! Hand over one more ounce of herbs tomorrow. Scram!”
Being scolded in the face by Zhao Tiezhu, Yi Yun’s face scrunched up and his body froze.
The people around him understood that for a twelve year old child to be scolded so harshly in public, it would be an extreme blow for Yi Yun.
Zhao Tiezhu saw Yi Yun’s face turn white. He wanted to tease further.
Jiang Xiaorou could not bear it anymore before pulling Yi Yun away. However, Yi Yun’s feet were rooted in the ground and was immovable. It was as if he had turned to stone from Zhao Tiezhu’s harsh words.
“I’m almost done absorbing…If I were to absorb anymore, Lian Chengyu will be suspicious.”
Yi Yun was unfazed by Zhao Tiezhu. He was treating his words as a mad dog’s barking. He was only concentrating on how much herbal essence he should absorb.
“Absorbing about 80% would do. I need to leave some soup for Lian Chengyu. Even a fool would be able to spot something amiss if such a large amount of herbs lacked any herbal essence.”
Yi Yun could not go into conflict with the upper echelons of the Lian tribal clan. He may be able to get rid of Zhao Tiezhu, but he was still no match for people like the Patriarch or Lian Chengyu.
The herbal essence absorbed by the Purple Crystal quickly entered his bloodstream, circulating through Yi Yun’s body, warming his channels. His body grew warmer and his face turned a hearty pink.
Yi Yun felt his body light with euphoria.
Yi Yun’s appearance looked pathetic to the crowd. His face was red, and his limbs were limp. It must have been a result of Zhao Tiezhu’s reprimanding.
“Poor kid. He’s so young. He’s being singled out because he opposed Zhao Tiezhu on the day of the ration distributions”
“This kid sure has a bitter life. His mother died shortly after they arrived in the Lian tribe. He’s weak and prone to illnesses. He has no strength, he won’t be able to resist Zhao Tiezhu.”
“What’s up with the people from the warrior preparation camp using the village. You guys think Young Master Lian Chengyu will really bring us into the city?”
“Shh, don’t speak nonsense. If the people from the warrior preparation camp hear it, you’ll be in shit luck!”
“I think this kid will get fixed to death sooner or later…”
It was common for people to fall to their deaths when picking herbs up in the mountains. The more expensive a herb, the higher it was. Yi Yun must have climbed up high, risking his life to hand over such high grade herbs. He was doomed to fall to his death going forward.
But so what if someone died in the Lian tribal clan? The lives of the people here were worthless.
Late at night, the moon hung in the sky like a silver hook.
In the Lian Patriarch’s drug room, a few men were fanning the flames made from a large pile of timber under a big pot.
A few old men from the drug room were carefully arranging the herbs. They began brewing the herbal medicine made of several combinations of herbs and supplementary drugs.
The supplement drugs and heat were passed down confidentially in the Lian tribal clan. It was not to be known to the commoners. For if they knew how, they could secretly pick herbs and brew it for themselves.
The upper echelons of the Lian tribal clan felt that using herbs on the commoners was the same as using good grain to feed the pigs. It was useless.
Even the members of the warrior preparation camp did not have a chance to soak their body in herbs.
The herbal stew that was meticulously brewed was meant for Lian Chengyu.
“Good! Good! You did well this time. There were several good herbs collected!”
The Patriarch was very satisfied after looking at the herb roster.
“This is expected of little me,” said Zhao Tiezhu nodded with a fawning smile. “It was ordered by the Patriarch and it concerns the future of Young Master Lian, little me would never dare to fail to comply. The moment I left the training grounds, little me ran to the herb mountain to supervise the picking of herbs. Even the cowardly ones had to climb up the cliffs. As such we had good luck finding the Black Fungus and Dan Guo.”
Zhao Tiezhu took all the credit from Yi Yun.
“Not bad! You worked hard. Go to the warehouse and collect a catty of meat,” the Patriarch patted Zhao Tiezhu on his shoulders.
“Thank you Patriarch!” said Zhao Tiezhu happily.
“Yes, do well. When Chengyu becomes a kingdom warrior, he will be in need of errand runners. If you are wise, you can get the appreciation of Chengyu. If you can be by his side, when Chengyu soars, you will definitely reap some of the benefits.”
“Patriarch, thank you for your kind words!” Zhao Tiezhu knelt down kowtowing. He was inexplicably excited.
That kid Yi Yun was his lucky star. He didn’t expect that little minion to be that good at picking herbs. In the future, he’d give him benefits like a tiny bit of herbal dreg and some rations. That poor kid would be so thankful receiving that tiny amount and would do everything as his slave horse!
Zhao Tiezhu walked off as he dreamed of his bright future in which he commanded the masses in the big city.