Book 5 Chapter 22 - When Near the Sea, Eat From the Sea

East Port Town’s riverfront building was the most suitable for living during summer and fall.

This was especially the case during summer. When the refreshing river wind passed through the windows, a larger half of the summer heat would be erased. Just a few dozen steps further from the shore, and one would feel many times hotter than at this river bank.

However, during wintertime, this riverfront pavilion would be full of humidity, instead extremely cold and gloomy. Compared to other places, it was even easier for one to get wind-dampness and rheumatism in the legs.

However, this small building Fourth Grandpa Zhu fancied really was original and ingenious. Leaning against the river facing wall was a pretty stove made by  piling up different colored crushed rock, the top covered by some lotus leaf-like bronze sheets. Several bronze chimneys were embedded into the wooden wall. While walking next to the walls, one could see that their surfaces were covered in poetry and literature, as if they were bronze inscribed tablets.

At both sides of these bronze chimneys was naturally colored ironwood, during wintertime, the stove could not only be used to brew tea, warm wine and melt ink, as smoke moved through these chimneys, it became the best fireplace. At that time, even though snow would be scattering across the river surface outside, the inside was definitely still as warm as spring.

Pine Bamboo Chamber was the innermost room of this small building’s second floor west side. The three windows could all be opened, so when the weather outside was beautiful, when all three windows were opened, all of the outside beauty would fill up this chamber.

A delicate and exquisite flight of stairs led into the attic upstairs.

The attic, apart from not having much vertical room, was extremely spacious, many things could be stored here. Moreover, outside of a window that could be opened, there was even a small balcony.

When it was almost sunrise, Lin Xi opened his eyes, currently sitting on the room’s bed.

After retrieving water from the stone vat and washing up, he began to examine the stove by the river facing window.

This stove that still had some slightly red wood charcoal was heating a large tile pot.

When Lin Xi opened the pot, a wave of strong fragrance immediately spread through this room.

Several plump dark brown sea cucumbers were being cooked in viscous soup, large pieces of meat, roots, and other things could also be vaguely made out.

This pot of food, when including the soup, was at least a dozen or so jin in weight.

“This really is like a pot of ‘Buddha Jumps Over the Wall’!”[1]

While looking at this pot of food, the corners of Lin Xi’s lips curled upwards as he said this to himself. He picked up the bowl and chopsticks that had already been prepared on the side, picking up a plump sea cucumber and taking a bite.

When the delicious and fleshy taste spread through his mouth, Lin Xi’s face even more so produced a bit of a proud expression. After eating the rest of the sea cucumber, he then climbed into the attic, starting to produce different stances one after another.

After doing this for an hour, when the sky’s color was already bright, his entire body soaked in sweat, only then did Lin Xi stop and descend from his room. Then, bowl after bowl, he began to devour the contents of this large pot.

If an ordinary person saw this, they would definitely be completely stupefied.

It was because the large pot had more than ten jin of contents, but it was actually completely eaten by Lin Xi, not even a bit left behind.

Lin Xi ate until his entire body was covered in sweat, body releasing heat. After washing himself with warm water, Lin Xi patted his slightly swollen body. He released a belch, and then opened up the large wooden chest at the center of the attic, producing the items Xu Shengmo left him -- a set of heavy clothes that had a large amount of mercury flowing within it to train the body’s balance, as well all types of other weights.

He cleaned the large pot, put on a set of green silk clothes, and then pushed open the door of his Pine Bamboo Chamber.

The grizzle-haired Elder Mo was already sweeping the terrace in front of the small building. When he saw Lin Xi come down, he nodded towards him, saying, “The three thousand taels of silver, I’ve already donated it all to fund education.”

Lin Xi returned the greeting. “In the future, the scholars who come out will definitely remember elder’s benevolence.”

“I’m already old, and even when I was young, I wasn’t particularly outstanding in my studies, unable to obtain a single scholarly honor. There was only trade left, yet this old one couldn’t even do that, completely relying on respected sir. In the future, even if there is a false reputation left behind, it will be one granted by respected sir.” The elder shook his head, as if it was embarrassing to say any more, focusing on sweeping the terrace.

Even though they didn’t chat much yesterday, Lin Xi sensed a true rigidness and stubbornness of this world’s scholars from this elder. Meanwhile, the elder also saw a desire to live a simple life from Lin Xi’s eyes, enough strength of character to reside in Pine Bamboo Chamber.

That was why when he heard the elder’s words just now and saw his current actions, Lin Xi wasn’t all that surprised. After a faint smile, he then said his goodbyes and left the building.

On the boardwalk outside the small building, Wang Buping had already gotten up early, making umbrellas.

Lin Xi waved his hand, indicating for Wang Buping to continue with his work, that there was no need for excessive ceremony. He saw that the framework of a bamboo umbrella had already been completed, and that Wang Buping was now coating the umbrella surface.

The oil paper umbrellas of this world, for the past Deerwood Town’s Lin Xi, were also quite new and interesting, so even though East Port Town and the surrounding two towns didn’t have anyone who made paper umbrellas, the Deerwood Town Lin Xi previously resided in did have a shop called ‘If It Rains’ that was rather well-known. Out of curiosity, Lin Xi watched the manufacturing process for two afternoons, knowing a bit about the process itself.

That was why right now, Lin Xi only gave it a look, and then he became a bit curious, unable to help but ask, “Brother Wang, this umbrella of yours seems a bit different from the others, your umbrella doesn’t need ‘green shaving’?”

“I didn’t expect Sir Lin to even know a bit about the manufacturing of umbrellas.” Wang Buping looked at Lin Xi in shock, and then said with a smile, “I said that this umbrella would be made for you, so of course it’ll be a bit different from others’.”

“Normal bamboo needs a layer of green to be shaved off before it can be processed, but this is a special green jade bamboo from Vast Green Mountain, extremely strange. When it is soaked in water, the bamboo material will become more tender, easy to cut and work with, but once it is exposed to strong sunlight, and then soaked in tung oil for several days, there is no way any water will get in. Moreover, the bamboo material will also become extremely durable, hard for normal sharp weapons to damage it. In the past, the military even used this type of bamboo to make green jade armor, but because this type of bamboo grows extremely slowly, later on going completely extinct, they could only stop this process. However, my family still has a small amount of it stored.” Wang Buping looked at the curious Lin Xi, pointed at the umbrella core and said, “You can see that this bamboo material is green from inside to outside, not like ordinary bamboo material where the inside is white. When the weather becomes better in a few days, when it completely dries, the bamboo material will become as beautiful as green jade.”

Lin Xi looked over, and sure enough, the inside and outside of the bamboo was the same green color, immediately leaving him a bit amazed. “This umbrella is a bit too precious, right?”

Wang Buping gave Lin Xi a look, saying seriously, “Sir, your respected self’s heart, is the true precious umbrella of this East Port Town.”

“Then I’ll have to thank Brother Wang ahead of time.” Lin Xi was full of amazement as he looked at the umbrella core in Wang Buping’s hands. He suddenly thought of something, his brows slightly furrowed as he asked, “Brother Wang, this umbrella shaft seems long enough, I wonder if it can be modified again, might as well turn it into a sword scabbard, store a longsword?”

Wang Buping stared blankly for a moment. He understood Lin Xi’s intention, nodding and saying, “This is naturally possible.”

“Then I’ll have to trouble you.”

Lin Xi smiled happily, and then didn’t say anything else. He cupped his hands towards Wang Buping, and then said his goodbyes, heading towards the riverside’s west.

The day before he left Green Luan Academy, Xu Shengmo already directly used blood to teach him that when one needed to be careful, they still had to be careful, carrying a soul weapon with him normally was naturally a bit ostentatious. In this East Port Town’s rainy season, if he could hide it in an umbrella, then it was naturally convenient and safe. Moreover, if there were any opponents who wanted to act against him, they would know a bit about his background just from his blade.

The sky already brightened, there were many people roaming East Port Town’s streets.

Lin Xi’s first objective today was precisely one of the three western side markets, the fish market.

The towns near East Port Town normally ate fish as their main course. Right now, Lin Xi didn’t go to the fish market to meet the fish market manager Fatty Xu. For him, no matter how rude and unreasonable they were, as long as they didn’t break the law, it had nothing to do with him. The reason he was going to this fish market was still because of cultivation.

For most cultivators, what was most important was naturally cultivation, let alone for Lin Xi who knew that even Principal Zhang was always on guard, carrying great respect for most cultivators of this world.

Lin Xi always placed cultivation as his highest priority.

From when he left Four Seasons Plains until he arrived in this East Port Town, during the endless trip, Lin Xi practiced the ‘Glorious King Destroys Restraints’ by day and meditation cultivation at night, not stopping a single day.

Once he settled down in East Port Town, Lin Xi already planned things out. In the mornings, he would practice Green Luan Twenty-Four Forms and the methods Luo Houyuan passed onto him, find a place with no one around him to practice his archery at dusk, and then use the fine small bronze chest Xu Shengmo left him with in the evening to practice his sword skills. After that, he would do meditation cultivation to train his soul force, increase his cultivation.

Meanwhile, if he had any leisure time during the day, he prepared to practice the new course ‘Body Forging’, cultivate ‘Glorious King Destroys Restraints’ in the afternoon.

He now reached initial stage Soul Expert level cultivation. Most Green Luan Academy first year students only passed one or two courses, those who reached initial stage Soul Expert level not many. Even in the previous years, this was the average level of ordinary second year students, while in the outside world, he was already a cultivator with quite respectable strength.

The biggest difference between initial stage Soul Experts and Soul Knights was that their soul force was already strong enough to be brought to the surface of the body.

The vigor and patience of cultivators were both extremely shocking, because soul force changed the overall composition of one’s constitution.

This ‘Body Forging’ and ‘Glorious King Destroys Restraints’ were the same, cultivation methods that used and guided soul force in a way that maximized the benefits brought to the body’s functions.

Glorious King Destroys Restraints guided soul force in a specific way, making it swim through the body, and then stop, as if soul force was used to massage and cleanse the energy channels and internal organs.

Meanwhile, this required ‘Body Forging’ course for Green Luan Academy second year students was a special breathing method. Soul force would be gathered, condensed into a ‘hammer’, used to strike the body’s flesh bit by bit.

This ‘Body Forging’ should be able to make the body more sturdy, more powerful.

When cultivating through this ‘Body Forging’ method, wherever the soul force struck, a pigeon-sized bump would appear on the surface of his skin. Then, as the soul force disappeared, that area would give Lin Xi the feeling of becoming a bit sturdier.

As for what kind of benefits Glorious King Destroys Restraints had, Lin Xi didn’t sense it too clearly along the way, but a clear change that it brought was… Lin Xi felt like he became more and more of a glutton.

All cultivators ate quite a bit.

This, for Principal Zhang and Lin Xi who came from a different world, wasn’t that hard to understand.

If ordinary people were motorcycles, then cultivators were like cars with huge horsepower, the fuel that was burned naturally who knew how many times greater. Moreover, as the body’s quality became better, the body would need even more nutrients to replenish it. Even if we didn’t talk about consumption, the muscles and bones of cultivators were definitely much different from ordinary people’s.

Previously, if Lin Xi ate twenty something jin of food for his daily three meals, if these meals had some meat included, then he at least wouldn’t go hungry.

However now, Li Xi could eat around twenty something jin of food from a single meal.

Just like when he filled his belly this morning, even Lin Xi himself couldn’t help but sigh in amazement at how he could store so much stuff. If he returned to the previous world, then becoming the hamburger champion definitely wouldn’t be too difficult.

Previously, when he was in Green Luan Academy, students didn’t have to worry much about food at all, the academy would prepare everything each day.

However now, cultivating outside was different, it would all depend on himself.

This was something all students had to face sooner or later, because cultivators also had to eat, and most cultivators won’t remain in the academy forever, let the academy raise them. Once they left, they had to solve the issue of food each day.

For cultivators, eating their fill was obviously not difficult, but the crucial point was bringing benefits to their cultivation as much as possible.

That was why the other course Lin Xi studied was ‘Dietary Supplementation’, which taught which foods were the most nutritious, how to eat them in order to bring out the greatest benefits to cultivation.

From this course’s teachings, basically, those pill medicines were nothing more than extracts of the most nutritious supplements. This meant that one’s normal meals were equivalent to bits of accumulation.

On the trip to East Port Town, he could only improvise, but he still always remained mindful along the way. He saw some good stuff, purchasing all of it.

The pot of ‘Buddha Jumps Over the Wall’ were precisely things he gathered along the way while crossing half of Yunqin.

The ‘Vast East Cucumbers’ inside were more precious than any sea cucumbers of his previous world. Because Yunqin Empire didn’t have any seas around its borders, this ‘Vast East Cucumber’ arrived on a caravan from Great Mang Dynasty’s coast, extremely rare in Yunqin Empire.

Just from the amount of food they ate, one could already tell that cultivators were created through the accumulation of a tremendous amount of wealth.

The purchasing power of a single tael of silver was a concept Lin Xi already understood clearly even when he was back in Deerwood Town, normally able to purchase eighty jin of pork. 

Back then, Lin Xi felt like since a single tael of silver could buy this much, this tael was already quite valuable. But later on, when he thought about how one jin of good pork, in his previous world, was twenty or so yuan, a tael of silver’s value in this world was pretty much equal to a thousand six hundred yuan. [2]

Because this enforcer position was rather dangerous, the official’s salary was still rather high among major tenth rank, but even with this, it was still less than forty thousand yuan.

For cultivators, this twenty something taels of silver wasn’t even enough to cover food costs.

However, right now, Lin Xi was still a Green Luan Academy student. Before the students of the three great academies officially graduated, they would receive a stipend of thirty-two silvers each month. To put it more simply, this was food expenses for these cultivators who would become the future pillars of the empire.

That was why just the amount of silver invested on just the food and drink of cultivators each year was already not a small number. As such, the three great academies together could only produce three to four hundred students each year. This was why during all these years, because of the battles with Tangcang and Great Mang’s cultivators, Yunqin was slowly exhausted to the point of barely making any progress.

When near the mountains, eat from the mountains, when near the sea, eat from the sea. For cultivators, this had two different meanings.

The first was that without enough wealth to sustain their cultivation, cultivators had to hunt some prey that would be helpful towards their cultivation themselves.

The other important meaning was just as the words implied, whatever was good around the place they were cultivating, that would be what they would eat.

This East Port Town’s Breath River was a large river. In a fish market where most fisherman households gathered, there should be some great mending seafood which was on the academy’s list.

1. Chinese dish that uses many non-vegetarian ingredients

2. Currency exchange at time of translation: 1 USD = 7.08 CNY, 1 Euro = 7.69 CNY

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