Chapter 3: Mortal Roots
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Mo Wuji calmly told Hu Fei, "I am still part of the Northern Qin Prefecture royal clan. Even though I did not manage to succeed the throne, I still have my aristocratic title. Do you dare hurt a noble like me? Hu Fei, I’m warning you, even tearing your body from limb to limb by five horses or cutting you up into a thousand pieces would be too light a punishment for you.”
Hu Fei startled as he realised that even the weakened duke like him still belonged to the royal clan and that he was not someone a lowly personnel like Hu Fei could mess with.
Whether or not Mo Wuji was still considered to be part of the royal clan was not for someone like Hu Fei to find out. However Mo Wuji was right in stating that if someone were to hurt a noble, punishment such as tearing the body from limb to limb by 5 horses would indeed be going easy on the offender.
Hu Fei realised the consequence of hurting a noble and quickly responded, “My King, I am just joking with you, I would never dare to lay a finger on you.”
There was no rush to get rid of Mo Wuji, Hu Fei had nothing but time on his side to do a thorough check on whether Mo Wuji’s title was still valid.
Mo Wuji calmly walked over to Hu Fei and took the knife from his hand.
“What a good knife…” Mo Wuji knew this knife was exceptionally sharp the moment he got his hands on it.
Having let go of the knife in his hands, Hu Fei subconsciously took a few steps back and cautiously observed Mo Wuji.
Yan’Er watched over the two of them nervously. Even though the knife is with Mo Wuji now, Yan’Er still could not help but panic. Having served Mo Wuji for a long time, she clearly knew that Mo Wuji was just a civilian like the rest and no longer held any aristocratic title.
In other words, since Mo Wuji attacked Hu Fei first, even if Hu Fei were to indeed kill Mo Wuji, Hu Fei would at most be punished with a small fine.
Looking at the knife in his hands, Mo Wuji stared at Hu Fei’s eyes and said, “Hu Fei, I am not trying to use my position to threaten you. Even if I am no longer part of the royal clan, my ancestors were once dukes and you would not get away by hurting their descendant. Hurting the descendant of a royal blood, isn’t it equivalent to not showing any form of respect for the Cheng Yu State?”
Mo Wuji gave a cold smirk as he finished his sentence.
Hu Fei kept pondering if Mo Wuji was really part of the royal clan. Because if he was not, Hu Fei was confident of finishing him off even though the knife was with Mo Wuji. Upon hearing what Mo Wuji just said, this thought of his disappeared quickly without a trace and he replied, “My King, a lowly personnel like me was just joking with you earlier.”
Hu Fei also wondered how Mo Wuji’s change in attitude could be so drastic.
“I am no longer the King now, scram before I change my mind,” Mo Wuji kept Hu Fei’s knife in his boot tube.
“Yes, yes Master Mo please take care,” Hu Fei’s heart ache as he watched Mo Wuji keep his knife and walk away.
That knife had always been with Hu Fei and little did he expect someone to take it away from him today. He would be lying if he said his heart did not ache.
“Master, you are no longer…” As Hu Fei left, Yan’Er cautiously walked over and whispered to Mo Wuji.
Mo Wuji interrupted and said, “I know, let’s talk when we get back.”
Even without Yan’Er’s reminder, Mo Wuji would have already guessed he was no longer part of the royal clan.
They lived in a very cramped space and there was only an old cloth separating the two wooden beds. There was nothing valuable in the house. Mo Wuji knew that anything with worth, even a penny, would have been sold by Yan’Er to buy sweets to play with the children.
Mo Wuji saw himself in the scratched mirror hanging in front of his bed. He resembled himself in the past life and his long dry hair was tied very neatly by Yan’Er. Even though his face was pale, it was much better compared it to Yan’Er’s yellowish skinny face. Other than the tired eyes, his slick eyebrows and sharp nose made him look decently handsome.
“Master, I will go to Aunt Lu’s house to borrow some rice…” Yan’Er said the moment she stepped into the house. She still felt that Mo Wuji should have taken and kept the packet of pig head meat from Hu Fei instead of the knife.
“Hold on…” Mo Wuji stopped Yan’Er.
Mo Wuji asked Yan’Er the moment he saw her turned her head curiously looking at him, “Yan’Er, Hu Fei seems to be trained in martial arts as he was much stronger than me. He’s a hooligan, but where did he learn them from?”
From what Mo Wuji could remember, this world was not a place full of top martial artists. What rights did Hu Fei had that he could learn martial arts when the descendant of a noble like himself could not?
Yan’Er revealed an expression of disdain and replied, “Hu Fei barely learned a few moves from others, and he cannot even open his spirit. How can he be considered to be true martial artist? I’ve heard from your grandfather that your great grandfather was a true spiritual martial artist.”
"What is opening of the spirit?" Mo Wuji anxiously asked because in his memory, other than his previous country, there was absolutely nothing else. Could it be that he was wrong and that this place was still a place where one can master martial arts?
At this moment, he felt excited and fired up to go all out to learn martial arts if it is really possible now. This was so that if one day he could return to Earth, he could ask her in person: “Why?”
Yan’Er was not surprised at Mo Wuji not knowing what the opening of spirit is. What surprised Yan’Er the most is that the young master previously could not care less about such things, why is he so curious about it now?
She still decided to tell him all that she knew, “Opening of the spirit is helping someone with spiritual roots excite their spiritual roots and open up their spiritual channel. Only those who have excited roots and opened channels would be able to cultivate and master martial arts. I’ve heard that opening more channels during the first try would indicate a greater quality of spiritual roots.”
Mo Wuji immediately caught two main points from what Yan’Er said. The first is that to learn martial arts, one has to have spiritual roots. Secondly one must be able to open up their spiritual network.
“Yan’Er, why did the old master not bring me to open up my spirit?” Mo Wuji asked excitedly.
Yan’Er tone became deeper and said, “When old master first came to Rao Zhou City, he was too busy trying to succeed the throne. When he realised that it was not possible anymore, he wanted to let you learn martial arts. Old master accumulated enough money for you to test your roots and open your spirit. However after the tests, it was discovered that you possessed mortal roots just like old master. People with mortal roots under normal circumstances cannot excite their roots and hence are unable to learn martial arts.
“What are mortal roots?” Mo Wuji’s heart sank but asked anyway.
Having gone through death, what else can he find unacceptable?
Yan’Er could feel Mo Wuji’s disappointment, sighing as she said, “I’ve heard from old master that one’s roots will affect one’s martial arts future. Normally, those without spiritual roots are called mortal roots, also known as useless roots. Those with mortal roots are just like everyone else.
Those with spiritual roots could cultivate and the grade of one’s spiritual roots could be further divided into different levels. There are the low level, medium level, high level and the top level. I’ve heard people saying there are some with grades even higher than the top level but I’m not too sure what are those levels.”
“So I only have mortal roots…” Mo Wuji could no longer hide his disappointment after hearing Yan’Er.
Yan’Er tried to comfort Mo Wuji saying, “Young master, even in Cheng Yu State itself there are only a small number of people with spiritual roots. The rest of the people like us only have mortal roots but they are all living just fine, I am sure we will too.”
Mo Wuji clenched his fist and said, "Yan’Er, I will go and find some work tomorrow. I want to accumulate some money and get ready to try and open my spirit once more.”
"Ah..." Yan’Er seems to be shocked by Mo Wuji’s decision but understood what he was trying to do. “Young master, please don’t do it. Back then, old master saved up money to test for your roots and despite knowing you have mortal roots, he still tried to open up your spirit only to realise mortal roots will never turn into spiritual roots. After this attempt, old master passed away with an illness not long later…”
Yan’Er’s words might be a little obscured but Mo Wuji understood what she was trying to point out. Back then, if the old master did not try and open Mo Wuji’s spirit, even if he might be poor, he would probably not die of illness. This also proved that the amount of money needed was not a small sum. However having lived in two different worlds, Mo Wuji was not as innocent as Yan’Er. Mo Guangyuan died coincidentally after he tried to open Mo Wuji’s spirit, it probably isn’t something so straightforward like an illness. From the looks of it, if he were to open his spirit, he had to be extra careful.
“Do not worry Yan’Er, I have confidence I will be able to earn the money. Tomorrow onwards, you do not have to go borrow rice from Aunt Lu because I will take care of you,” Mo Wuji said as he walked over to Yan’Er and gently touched Yan’Er’s undernourished yellowish hair.
Yan’Er was so young, could you imagine how much she sacrificed when Mo XingHe’s parents died and she had to take care of a mad Mo XingHe?
Aunt Lu was only their landlord, and she had been very accommodating to them all this while. Aunt Lu was a widow and hence her life had not been exactly very good either. Therefore, to always request for rice from her was a form of burden to Aunt Lu too.
Mo Wuji was still a top notch botanist in this rather advanced country, how could providing three meals a day be an obstacle to him?