Chapter 19: Meng Hao
As I moved about, I received awkward and disgusted glances from the disciples of the sect. not that I cared, but I needed to be careful, I'm currently wearing the sect's purple clothes, though I didn't have the opportunity to wash up, it's better to have them on than the other ones. Still, their disgust mostly came from what's wrong with my body, and most of the disciples decided that it was best to move out of my way.
Getting to the herb mountain took a pretty long walk, especially with my condition, but never the less it was amazing. The whole mountain had a sweet smell to it, refres.h.i.+ng and soul southing. There was a good amount of spiritual Qi here, too bad I can't cultivate it as it is as useful to me as those Qi condensation pills, useless.
I walked up the mountain where dozens of other disciples were, they all must have been searching for herbs to submit. But seeing how barren the mountain base was, it was obvious that it was picked clean with all the people coming in here and doing their monthly ch.o.r.es.
The herb scent was still strong however, only it came from the upper part of the mountain.
"s.h.i.+t, there is nothing here, I'll have to give up more of my Qi condensation pills. This is unfair!" one of the kids shouted.
I turned to look at him, he looked to be a boy around the age of fourteen, he had unkempt hair and a few bruises on him. Yet his eyes were s.h.i.+ning with the energy of youth. He was alone, unlike the rest who were grouped up together.
"Then why don't you climb up? There are more herbs there," I replied.
"Old man, I don't know if you're taunting me or you're truly ignorant, but it's not easy to climb up. The more steps you take the heavier it gets; I'm surprised you're still able to stand even with your old bones."
"I don't feel any of the stuff you're talking about."
The kid was stunned and immediately came rus.h.i.+ng toward me, though I say rus.h.i.+ng, it was more likes struggling with every step.
"If you have a treasure that helps you walk up the mountain don't make a scene about it, there are people here who'll do anything to get their hands on stuff you have if it proves useful to you, old man!" the kid said.
"Oh, thank you, I didn't know that," I replied, and so it appears, the law of the jungle is back in play.
"Now, I don't know who you are, but you must be either strong or have a powerful object to protect you, just don't show it, mention it or even act as if you have it. Old man, at least pretend that walking up here is exhausting. Your mere appearance makes people feel disgusted and not look a second time at you, but the moment you go past the three hundredth step, everyone will notice you."
I looked up the mountain, there was still a great steep climb to get to where the herbs were, and if this kid is saying the truth, then I can't draw attention to myself.
"Kid, tell me, when does this place have the least activity?" I asked.
"Usually at night, when everyone is back in their rooms. Why?"
"Right, do you want to make a deal?" I asked him.
"What sort of deals?"
"I want you to do my ch.o.r.es for me," I stated.
"Are you insane? I could barely finish my own, and also, I can't even get the herbs."
"Well, I'll reward you. How about this, I'll give you one pill for gathering the logs and another pill for getting the water on my behalf, and also give you a portion of the herbs I get from this mountain."
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"It seems like a good deal, too good to be true. I'm more than willing to get the logs and water filled on your behalf for the pills, but why are you offering to give me herbs?"
I stood up and headed up. The mountain was pretty huge, and with every step I took I risked falling to my death, but thankfully, with so many people going up the mountain every day, they made a path in the mountain that eased access to the upper parts of it.
Soon, I was well in the clouds, and the smell was amazing, the herbs on this side of the mountain were numerous. My book vibrated in my chest, signaling me to take a few turns and twists within the mountain top.
There was an herb hidden behind a small rock, I pulled the rock and discovered a purple flower. I didn't know what this was but I yanked it with its roots and placed it in the pouch I got from the sect.
I continued moving about, picking herbs left and right, there were so many of them that I couldn't believe my eyes.
How come the sect never got up and cleaned this whole place up? It's a wonder.
I continued picking the herbs, and at a point, I didn't have enough s.p.a.ce in the small pouch, so I began putting them in the book, something I discovered while I was experimenting in the cave.
The book can actually work as a storage s.p.a.ce, it held the pouches from the cultivators of the Poison G.o.d's cave, and now the herbs I placed in it was all sucked in. This thing is quite handy.
Thankfully I made sure to place all the herbs inside my robes before the book took them in, otherwise, if I had to physically pull out the book, someone might see it.
After several hours, I climbed down, there was no need for me to keep picking up herbs. I could clean up the whole thing and that will definitely be suspicious. What's worse is, this mountain could definitely be monitored by some powerful cultivator. There is a huge risk to it also. If there was a powerful man keeping watch over this mountain, they would easily discover me and keep tabs on me, to see how I could get these herbs unhindered by the pressure that Meng Hao had told me about.
I was down to the base of the mountain a few minutes before the first sunlight broke the darkness of the cold night. I headed back to my cave to cultivate a bit and also to learn a bit about the herbs I have gotten.
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