Qianye saw the old man lifting his basket, just about to go back inside, and couldn’t help but ask, “Elder Lu, are there any more places that produce star cherry trees?”
“You can sometimes see wild star cherry trees in the forest and on the Ashen Mountain Range, but they’re more potent and dangerous. There would also be beast lairs around these trees. Hence, the yield out in the wilds isn’t quite stable. Sometimes more than the pasture, sometimes less.”
Chatting along the way, the two soon arrived at a fenced medicinal garden. The soil in this garden was black with stones of various colors buried within it. There were a number of shrubs growing inside the garden, and they didn’t look that different from the wild grass in the forests and mountains.
The old man knew Qianye wasn’t well versed in this subject. “The grass here is different from the ordinary wild grass, it’s called graysteel thread grass. Check the edges of the grass blades, you’ll see traces of rust, and you can differentiate it from ordinary grass by the grey line running down its spine. As far as the Great Maelstrom is concerned, of course, it’s just a wild grass.”
The grass naturally had extraordinary uses since it was given such a large plot of land. According to the old man’s introduction, it was one of the main ingredients of top-grade military recovery medicines. Qianye had obtained one top-grade recovery and regenerative medicines just before his showdown with Luo Bingfeng.
The Graysteel Wire Grass wasn’t irreplaceable, but sufficient amounts of it in the concoction would increase its effectiveness by a great margin. This was how the top-grade versions came to be. Because recovery medicine possessed a greater scope of use than regenerative medicine, its consumption rate was also much higher. From a certain perspective, it could be said that the strategic value of graysteel wire grass wasn’t too inferior compared to star cherry trees. It was just that the latter was a life-saving item for top-experts, and it was also much rarer.
Qianye had indeed seen a fair bit of these plants, but that was in the area with ten times the gravity. It was largely nonexistent by the time they had arrived in the region with eight times the gravity. Being able to move the plants here went to show just how capable the founder of the Heavenschild Pasture was and that the environment of the pasture itself was special.
The old man strolled around the medicinal garden, plucking herbs here and there as he did so. He then bundled everything up and tossed it to Qianye.
This small bundle could still fit inside Andruil’s space.
Things were fine up until this point, but next up was where the real pain would begin—the agony of seeing treasures and not being able to fit them in. The star cherry tree and graysteel thread grass could be considered—if just barely—commodities that could be mass-cultivated. There would surely be many highly-valuable resources with odd effects in the future.
For instance, the big beehives hanging on some of the trees could produce a special type of honey. Eating it regularly would improve one’s eyesight. Ingesting the product for a couple of years might awaken abilities like dim-light vision. Not seeing in the dark had always been a weakness of the human race. Qianye wasn’t quite interested because he possessed the Eye of Truth, but this was a fairly useful power for ordinary experts.
There were some ancient vines wrapped around certain giant trees, reportedly having existed since the founding of the Heavenschild Pasture. These ancient vines could be tapped for their sap, which served as an ingredient for numerous medicines. In truth, this sap was also an antidote for most of the poisons found in the Great Maelstrom.
The poison in this realm left a deep impression in Qianye’s mind—from the purple poison used by the bow-wielding woman back when they were picking silk lotuses to venomous insects on the Ashen Mountain Range and the tyrannical poison of the star cherry fruit. Even the white mist produced by the four-armed women could be considered a type of poison. Experts from both the Empire and Evernight were quite weak to these dangers.
Outside of the Great Maelstrom, experts would have origin defenses protecting them against natural poisons. Only the venom produced by the arachne could be considered an extreme toxin. In the Great Maelstrom, however, one could encounter potent venom everywhere, and even Qianye wasn’t entirely immune to most of them.
With this ancient vine sap, the Great Maelstrom would be so much safer.
Beside the cliffside spring, there was a patch of wildflowers that looked like hanging bells. After air-drying, these flowers could be made into a special catalyst that would improve the effects of imperial recovery medicines and stimulants.
There were all kinds of valuable herbs.
Qianye became acquainted with a couple dozen herbal resources just from this one walk. There was an open mine as well inside the Heavenschild Pasture, but it wasn’t for mining. Instead, it was being utilized for its magnetic field and special auxiliary ores, which allowed certain medicines to be grown here instead of their natural habitat.
Seeing so many resources, even someone like Qianye who knew nothing about herbs understood how valuable this place was. The Song clan’s unrivaled fortune wasn’t without reason. Most importantly, it wasn’t during every opening of the Great Maelstrom that the Song clan’s people would be able to enter and leave successfully. The last time, the Song clan’s people had failed to reach the pasture alive. Even if they were to arrive, the amount of produce they could bring with them was quite limited.
Hence, the Heavenschild Pasture had accumulated vast amounts of resources throughout the century. It wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration to say that the place was a priceless treasure trove. Some of the medicinal farms were left unharvested until the herbs had withered and regrown generationally—who knows how much medicinal essences had accumulated in the soil. Even wild grass would probably turn into valuable medicine at this point.
What dumbfounded Qianye the most was a type of purple-scaled fir. Its bark could be made into medicine and, just like most plants in the Great Maelstrom, its effects were quite fierce. The most valuable part of it, however, was the wood. The material wouldn’t lose out to the ones in the high-gravity regions in terms of sturdiness, yet it was also extremely light, perfect for building airships. In addition to that, the wood possessed vitality-activating effects, which meant that those in an airship constructed from purple-scaled fir would recover quicker from their injuries.
The value of this purple-scaled fir was naturally quite high, but what shocked Qianye the most was the number of it. Just now, the old man had pointed at a forest stretching all the way to the outer mountains, saying, “This is the purple-scaled fir forest. Take as many as you want.”
Only after reaching the Heavenschild Pasture did Qianye realize how small Andruil’s space was. He wanted nothing more than to take a little bit of everything, but he could no longer fit anything else after collecting the star cherry tree and graysteel wire grass. The other things inside the spatial gear had their own uses.
After taking Qianye around the Heavenschild Pasture, the old man pointed at East Peak, saying, “This sword looks very familiar to me, can I take a look?”
Qianye had no reason to refuse, so he passed East Peak to the old man.
The elder’s hands sank down as the sword entered his grasp. His expression shifted several times as he tried to stabilize the weapon. Heavenschild Pasture was located within the Ashen Mountain Range, and the gravity here was twice that of the empire. It went without saying that East Peak was extremely heavy here. This weapon was no longer something an ordinary expert could wield. The old man was powerful in his origin power cultivation, but his strength wasn’t at a level where he could utilize East Peak at will.
The man glanced at Qianye and then lifted East Peak to eye level for careful observation. This time, he didn’t have the calmness of his usual all-knowing self. “If my eyes aren’t clouded yet, this blade should’ve come from an old friend, but this casting method is quite novel, and there are parts I don’t quite understand. If it’s not too much of an inconvenience, can you tell me about its origins?”
With a nod, Qianye began explaining the process of how East Peak came to be.
The old man became silent for a good while after listening. “It has been so many years, but he still can’t overcome the trial of love. Let it be, everyone’s old now and there’s not much time left to live anyway. What’s the point in talking to him about it?”
Qianye was curious, but he didn’t press the matter because it might be a private matter of the elder generation.
The old man sat down on a piece of rock and pointed at the one beside him. “Come, sit.”
After Qianye had sat down, the old man removed the gourd bottle from his waist and drank a couple of large gulps before passing it to Qianye. “There’s not much left of this stuff, and it’s not easy to get your hands on it outside, try some.”
The moment the cork was removed, a strong alcoholic scent wafted out from the container. Qianye already felt a bit tipsy just from the fragrance, proving just how strong the wine was. He took the bottle and, after some thought, took a big swig. The wine flowed down his throat quite smoothly, and it felt quite comfortable.
Qianye glanced at the gourd, not knowing whether he should take another mouthful, because he could feel himself drifting just from a single mouthful. The spirit was like wildfire, spreading all throughout his body. Wherever the warmth touched, wisps of origin power would appear and merge into Qianye’s own. This newborn energy was fairly pure and could be directly converted into Venus Dawn. The quality was so much better than the void origin power absorbed by the Profound Combatant Formula.
The old man laughed. “It’s fine to finish it. It took me fifty years to brew this wine, and that’s the last mouthful. I’m too old for it to have any effect. If you don’t drink it now, there won’t be any more in the future.”
Carefully observing the effects of the wine, Qianye asked, “It can increase origin power cultivation?”
The old man replied, “All it does is accelerate the rate at which one absorbs origin power. The only difference is that the energy absorbed after drinking this wine is quite pure, and it will save you quite a bit of time.”
The effects of the wine were amazing. Qianye no longer held back and finished whatever remained of the alcohol.
After two large mouthfuls, Qianye could feel a familiar floating sensation as his consciousness wandered about.
The old man sighed. “That girl needs time to recover, anyway. If you don’t mind, why not listen to this old man speaking about random matters. If I don’t say it now, there might not be another chance in the future.”
“The one who forged this sword is my brother. We grew up together for several decades. I was proficient in medicine, while he was skilled in forging weapons. When we were in our fifties, he met the girl he had admired as a youth. It was just that the girl from back then was already Duchess An. He fell into a hopeless situation after that meeting, going so far as to joining the Song clan despite my dissuasion, all so that he could be close to her.”
At this point, the old man sighed. “His talents were actually above mine, but his progress came to a standstill after encountering love problems. He made even less progress on the path of blacksmithing. I thought he had become stupid or perhaps he had reached the end of his talents. Mired in love and deprived of his ambitious spirit, how could he produce any unprecedented masterpieces?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie