Having experienced the mysteriousness of listening to all things through the rain, Ji Yuan was now very confident in his listening ability. Although he didn’t have any distractions just now, at such a close distance, the sound of a person’s footsteps would definitely not be missed.
Remembering what Jin Shunfu had said, Ji Yuan couldn’t help but feel chills in his heart.
On such a cold night on the barren mountain, a scholar of unknown origin suddenly appeared, no matter how he thought about it, it was not normal.
But this scholar’s demeanor and actions were all in place, plus his identity as a scholar and his weak appearance. He had successfully gained the trust of the merchants.
Though this temple was not the private property of merchants. Everyone had the right to come and rest. After all, they were not vicious and unreasonable people. Even if they were wary of the scholar, they could not chase him away.
Though the merchants were not entirely unwary. They still politely question the scholar.
“Dare I ask sir surname, where does sir live, and where did sir attend school?”
Zhang Shilin at least had read some books, so when he asked the scholar, he seemed to be more refined, which made the youngest Wang Dong couldn’t help but glance at him several times.
When the scholar heard this, he didn’t dare to be negligent, and bowed to Zhang Shilin.
“This student’s surname is Lu and single name is Xing. I lives in Paiman lane of Daffodil Town. I’m a student of Qingsong Academy in Desheng Prefecture. This time I went to the mountain with my friend from the academy…”
Probably because of the way Zhang Shilin asked, the scholar regarded him as half a scholar, changing the way he proclaimed from “I” to “student”.
The scholar had both memories and fear. He was able to narrate every detail from which friends he had gone to the mountain with, why he had accidentally gotten separated in the mountains, where his home was, and which college he had studied in, and from time to time he spits out a line of poetry, all of which was coherent and does not seem to be nonsense.
The scholar’s expression was neither meek nor pretentious, his words and manners were appropriate.
When the merchants heard that the scholar was a student of an academy, they instantly felt a deep veneration toward him. Compared with those who studied at home, the students of the academy were much better in terms of status, family background, and talent. As the saying goes, gold weighed above all.
Scholars have always been treated with respect, not to mention a student of Qingsong Academy.
Slowly, even Zhang Shilin put down his guard, and not only that, everyone also treated Scholar Lu with respect.
The scholar was not prideful, he would accept food and water and repeatedly thank the merchants. However, he did not start eating as he was not hungry.
Ji Yuan’s heart had sunk to the bottom. This so-called scholar was too good at acting. If Ji Yuan had not already conclude in his heart that this fellow was not a human being, he would have believed him long ago….
This was too scary!
If Ji Yuan had the option to choose between continue staying here or going home immediately, he would have no hesitation in choosing the latter, but unfortunately he didn’t have that choice.
Though Ji Yuan still had a chance, because the scholar still needed to put up with this act, which meant that this thing shouldn’t be able to wipe out all the people here. Moreover, the other party did not seem to have noticed him.
Scholar Lu and the merchants continued to chat; it was rare for a student from a large academy to not have any prejudice against them, so the conversation naturally became harmonious.
As if the scholar suddenly thought of something, he patted his head and said mysteriously to Zhang Shilin and the others.
“That’s right! This student doesn’t have much money with me, so I can’t repay all of your kindness. But I found a valuable thing on my way to the temple, I’m sure it would bring you all some benefits.”
And it immediately got everyone’s interest.
The scholar lowered his voice.
“It’s a decade-old Mountain King Ginseng!”
Ginseng is a precious medicinal ingredient, and adding the word ‘Mountain King ‘ before ginseng, means that the ginseng was of the highest quality.
They were merchants who traveled all year round crossing mountains and rivers. If they encountered suitable medicinal materials, they would carefully excavate away and sell for a significant profit.
When everyone heard of this Mountain King Ginseng, their expression became a little excited.
Zhang Shilin frowned and looked at Scholar Lu.
“Sir Lu , as a scholar, you could distinguish the Mountain King Ginseng apart?”
“Hahaha, what Brother Zhang says is true, although I did read about the characteristics of the ginseng in the miscellaneous book, ‘The Essential Herbs and Trees’. Although I could not discern the Mountain King Ginseng at a glance, but others could!”
When Scholar Lu said this, he looked around carefully and then lowered his voice.
“I’m from Daffodil Town, so I’ve talked to this group of ginseng hunters who come to town to sell medicinal ingredients a few times. So, I have learned a little insider knowledge.”
“This ginseng has nine leaves, with crimson flower buds on top. The most important thing is that ……”
At this point, all the merchants, including Zhang Shilin, involuntarily thought about the ginseng.
“The most important thing is that there are three small red ropes tied to the stem of the ginseng. This is a native method passed down by the wise leader of the ginseng hunters to prevent the ginseng from escaping!!”
This way of wording left many merchants feeling interested and excited.
“That’s right, I’ve heard from an elder that when a Mountain King Ginseng reaches a certain age, it will know how to escape through the soil, and only the most powerful ginseng hunters will be able to catch them!”
Jin Shunfu recounted what he had heard before.
“It’s true! What Brother Jin said is true!”
Scholar Lu clapped his palm together and nodded in agreement.
“Those ginseng hunters only tied the ginseng and didn’t dig it right away. They must have waited for the Mountain King Ginseng to mature, but you all didn’t have to wait. The Mountain King Ginseng can still be sold for a considerable amount of money. If it wasn’t for the fear of hurting the ginseng, I would have dug it up myself.”
“Brother Shilin, let’s go dig!!”
“Sir, where can we get the Mountain King Ginseng?”
The merchants were so excited that they could not wait to go and dig up ginseng..
Money moves people and with the chance to earn money hanging by their nose, they couldn’t help but put more trust in Scholar Lu’s words.
The chill in Ji Yuan’s heart grew, his only thought —— This was getting worse!
Facing the eagerness of the merchants, the scholar thought for a while before answering.
“That place is not far from where I used to shelter from the rain. It doesn’t take me two incense sticks to get there and back. If you really want it, you’d better come with me before dawn.”
“Why? It’s dark and slippery. Wouldn’t it be unsafe?”
Zhang Shilin asked doubtfully.
“Brother Zhang, you don’t know this but the ginseng hunters are heading into the mountains before dawn. I think the Mountain King Ginseng is ready to bloom. If they come to dig the ginseng in the next day or two, wouldn’t we miss it if we don’t go tonight?”
“That makes sense! !”
“Brother Shilin, I’m nimble. I’ll go! !”
“Yeah, let’s go dig!!”
Nowadays, the ability to support the family was the most important. Getting the Mountain King Ginseng would provide them a lifetime worth of money. Moreover, the ginseng that was tied to the red ropes didn’t belong to the ginseng hunters. As long as they did not bump into each other, they would be fine.
“You all don’t need to go. Just let a few with nimble hands and feet go while the rest of you stay and watch the things here.”
Zhang Shilin no longer hesitated, and began to take out the torches, tarpaulins and other items from the bask
“Old Jin, Xiao Dong, Liu Quan and Li Gui, the four of you are going with Sir Lu. The road in the mountains is slippery. Be sure to ensure Sir Lu’s safety on the way.
“You can count on me!” “Don’t worry, Brother Shilin, I won’t let Sir Lu fall!”
“Thank you for your trouble”
Scholar Lu bowed and thanked them, and on the side of the fire that no one was paying attention to, his lips curved into a pale and eerie smile…
Ji Yuan only felt a chill go straight to his scalp, he roared in his heart.
‘Don’t go!!! Don’t go with him!!!
A dried up mushroom currently addicted to translating novels. Totally not on caffeine!