Chapter 20: The Approach
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Fang Yuan practised his breathing, while the sun rose.
"With the help of the Vermillion Jade Rice, my improvements are tremendous!"
Lately, he had become addicted to practising his martial arts. After all, the feeling of gaining experience and becoming stronger was an addictive one.
"Maybe…...It would be much easier to master the Eagle Claw Technique and Rough Breathing Technique now!"
He used to be afraid of not being able to handle many skills at once, but now, he had no more considerations.
When one was at the highest level of a certain martial art, he would experience very fast improvements if he chose to practise other martial arts, like the speed of a rocket.
"Maybe I should wait till I have broken the 5th Golden Gate before attempting it…"
Fang Yuan took a look at his stats:
"Name: Fang Yuan
Cultivation: [Martial Artist (3rd Gate)]
Techniques, [Black Sand Palm (Grade 3)]
Skills, [Medicine (Level 1)], [Botany (Level 3)]"
"The increment to my Essence and Spirit is 0.3 after breaking the 3rd Gate, the rest must be the credit of the Vermillion Jade Rice..."
"But my Magic has not increased since consuming the Questioning Heart Tea, and still remained stagnant after breaking three through 3 gates..."
Fang Yuan placed more importance on Magic as it was the hardest to increase.
After all, having more Magic than the average person already made Fang Yuan feel different.
If he could increase his Magic even further, what would the unimaginable effects be?
Fang Yuan was excited to know.
"The Questioning Heart Tea is about to germinate soon... and the Vermillion Jade Rice too, I have assigned a larger plot of land to sow the rice... The only thing lacking is the spiritual fertilizer!"
The droplet-like fertilizer that the Flower Fox Ferret brought had extraordinary capabilities to boost the growth of spiritual plants.
And now that Fang Yuan was undergoing martial arts training, he would require large amounts of Vermillion Jade Rice, which increased his dependence on the spiritual fertilizer.
"I need the spiritual fertilizer! And lots of it! Otherwise, the Vermillion Jade Rice and the Questioning Heart Tea would be useless..."
The Flower Fox Ferret had already described to Fang Yuan how dangerous it would be to obtain the fertilizer, and it was best not to attempt to obtain it based on his current skills.
"I am already a martial artist who broke through 3 gates and can even know the whereabouts of the Flower Fox Ferret if I focus... It seems that the level of danger is equivalent to in between the 2nd and 3rd Gate!"
No martial artist could escape the 12 Golden Gates.
Fang Yuan had already broken through the 3 Prosperous Gates. If he could break through the Restriction Gate, he would enter a new realm.
Based on the Rough Breathing Technique, if the martial artists within the first 3 gates were considered beginners, then those who managed to break through the Restriction Gate and View Gate would have just realised their potential.
As for those who managed to break through Pain Gate, Shock Gate and Death Gate, the 3 Perilous Gates, they could lift their heads up high and would be the ones worthy to be elders in the Spirit Returning Sect.
Song Zhigao's backer, Song Zhong, was an example of a successful martial artist who cleared the 3 Perilous Gates.
Furthermore, at his age, it seemed impossible to cross the 3 Perilous Gates and enter the 4 Heavenly Realms.
The Flower Fox Ferret appeared, nibbled at Fang Yuan's robe, and ran out of the valley.
"Hmm? There's someone!?"
Fang Yuan started to feel annoyed but had no choice but to take a look.
In front of him was a large group of people. Minister Lin stood in front of everybody, and even the Zhou Siblings were there.
There were another 4 strong bodyguards behind, carrying a carriage, with what seemed to be a silhouette within the carriage.
"Virtuous young man!"
Minister Lin stood at the entrance and waved, "Do you really have the confidence?"
Fang Yuan was confused.
"Of course, about saving a life! The Zhou Family took a gamble and brought Old Zhou here!"
Lin Benchu seemed serious, "Days ago you sent Old Tian to pass me a letter, saying that you had a plan to save his life, on the condition that he was brought to the secluded valley… Ahh, you must have forgotten!"
Fang Yuan's heart sank and was left speechless. He took the letter and read it. The letter was exactly what Minister Lin described, and the main idea was that he had a plan to save Old Zhou's life, but would need him to be physically here.
The funny thing was that the handwriting on the letter was exactly the same as his own.
Fang Yuan knew exactly where the problem was.
As the only person who traded with Fang Yuan, he would have many of Fang Yuan's letters for him to copy.
Furthermore, Minister Lin met Old Tian before, knew of his background and therefore trusted him.
He wasn't even sure of himself, and knew nothing about Old Zhou's condition!
"That sly fox!!"
Fang Yuan felt fear, "What a perfect scheme, I have nothing to defend myself now!"
Old Zhou was at his dying breath and was tricked to travel a long way to the secluded valley. Old Zhou might just pass away within the valley, and he would be blamed for his passing!
Even if he argued that the letter was not written by him, no one would believe.
Seeing how helpless the Zhou Family was, Fang Yuan remained silent.
He thought to himself, if he was the mastermind behind this plan, his final step would be to kill Old Tian to make it perfect!
"It may even be plotted perfectly since Old Zhou was an old enemy of Song Zhong. But Song Zhigao would not have such guts to do this..."
"Why, virtuous young man, don't tell me..."
Minister Lin was wise and seemed to be able to guess, as he became increasingly worried.
It was likely that the Zhou Family were at their wits ends that they decided to listen to Minister Lin, do the unconventional and send Old Zhou into the secluded valley.
In all of this, Minister Lin swore and gave assurance to the Zhou Family that this was the right choice.
If he were to back out now, the consequences would be unimaginable!
"Let me take a look at him first!"
Fang Yuan took another glance at Minister Lin and knew that he could not blame him.
After all, it was true that he did use Old Tian as a messenger a few times before, as it was very hard to communicate with the outside world within the valley.
"This of course!"
Minister Lin felt a little scared and brought Fang Yuan to the carriage.
"Master Fang, he's all yours now!"
Around the carriage, Zhou Wenwu together with Zhou Wenxin and a few members of the Zhou Family greeted him. A few more highly skilled martial artist stood their ground.
Fang Yuan observed and laughed to himself. It made no sense because if he was really that skilful and could save Old Zhou, that was the best. But if he failed…...The number of expectations on him would likely lead to his death.
Was there a need for any more explanation?
Would the Zhou Family members heed any advice now?
"What a big graveyard, the mastermind must be Song Zhigao!"
Now that everything was prepared, he had no choice but to go ahead.
Fang Yuan took a step forward, opened the curtains, and a rotten stench filled the air.
"What the heck! What's the difference between Old Zhou and a dead man?"
Fang Yuan felt a chill down his spine, as he forced himself to see.
In the carriage laid an old man, as though he was in a deep sleep. He had a very weak breath, and it felt like he might go any moment.
Any professional physician would conclude that there was no cure for him.
The injury was at the chest of the old man, and it was no light injury. It seemed to be recovering under bandages.
"Eh? This is weird!"
Fang Yuan observed and unknowingly said.
"Young master, how's my father? Is there any cure?"
Zhou Wenwu frantically asked, and the Zhou Family members were all staring at Fang Yuan.
Fang Yuan set too high an expectation for himself!
His arrogance made the entire family traverse within the forest and valley, many of which had already cursed and sworn at Fang Yuan. If he was a normal person, they would deal with him!
"I already have some idea, but for the details, I'll have to observer further!"
Fang Yuan returned to the valley, and not long after returned with a box of silver needles. He casually took one of Old Zhou's arms and inserted a needle in.
After a short while, he removed the silver needle, and it looked unchanged. Fang Yuan focused on the needle tip, took out a torch and heated the silver needle. He sniffed the needle and could smell a refreshing fragrance.
"Old Zhou was not hurt, but poisoned!"
Fang Yuan looked at the weak old man, and thought, "Could it be…...the Drunk Lover Poison that Master mentioned before..."
Master Wenxin was an expert in medicine, with plenty of experience in saving lives. He briefly mentioned to Fang Yuan before on a few medical cases, and the Drunk Lover Poison was one that was etched in his memory.
This poison had no colour and taste, and even no symptoms at the beginning. It would only make the affected person feel skinnier, less focused, and end up with depression, like a heartbreak, making it extremely unusual.
When affected by this type of poison, it would be hard to observe the poison, and only by heating a silver needle would the light fragrance give away the presence of this poison.
Since Fang Yuan felt interested in the Drunk Lover Poison, he took down notes from his Master, and never would he have guessed that he would personally encounter a person affected by the Drunk Lover Poison.
Fang Yuan appeared stressed for a moment, then relaxed, and the Zhou Family did not dare to disturb his thoughts.
"I can heal Old Zhou!"
Fang Yuan nodded to himself.
If he encountered other serious illnesses, then he would not have been qualified enough to help, but this was different.
The next moment, Fang Yuan shouted, "But, I have one condition!"