Chapter 267 - Toad Craving for the Swan

Nu’er Hong was a fermented yellow wine that used ingredients such as glutinous rice and brown sugar. It contained a large amount of amino acids that the human body needs. Since the weather was getting cold, they could heat the alcohol with warm water before adding a few pieces of ginger in it. It would be able to warm up the body after just a few cups.

Even Shui Junzhuo had drank a few cups with a rosy tint on her cheeks that made her look even more charming.

Although it was only a meal for four people, there were a dozen dishes on the table. With a smile, Shui Junzhuo said as she looked at Su Tao, “Grandpa is sincerely trying to thank you. We usually ate frugally with only a few dishes, but it is an exception today for you.”

Raising the bowl, Su Tao smiled. “Thank you, old man, for your warm hospitality!”

Seeing Su Tao gulping down the alcohol in the bowl, Sire Shui waved his hand and took a mouthful, then laughed, “I naturally have a request after treating you so well.”

Straightening himself, Su Tao knew that the main topic was finally here. He asked, “May I know if there are any instructions for me?”

Glancing at Shui Junzhuo, Sire Shui smiled and kept silent.

Shui Junzhuo knew that her grandfather wasn’t in the right position to talk about it. Thus, he was pushing the task to her. “Grandpa wants you to take a look at someone!”

Su Tao was briefly stunned before he straightforwardly agreed, “Sure!”

However, a bitter smile soon rose on the corner of Shui Junzhuo’s lips. “But that person is a little… special. He doesn’t like doctors.”

“Then, it will be somewhat troublesome.” Su Tao sighed.

“If it’s easy, would you be needed?” Sire Shui laughed.

Su Tao nodded his head. Sire Shui was pretty good to him, so he naturally had to do his best. Thus, he asked, “I will give it a try, then. May I know who that person is?”

“A good friend of my grandpa  Sire Cao Dingjun.” Shui Junzhuo replied.

Although Su Tao had no impression of that name, he knew that it must be an influential figure, since it was an old friend of Sire Shui.

“Cao Dingjun and I have shared a friendship of over fifty years. Starting from last year, he has been suffering from a stomach illness, and he has refused treatment, albeit to the persuasion of his family.” Sire Shui weakly said before he continued, “His weight was initially 108kg, but it is just slightly more than half of that now.”

Nodding his head, Su Tao replied, “How about I pay a visit to Sire Cao after I’m done with everything on hand? I have plans to go to Sichuan Province in a few days.”

Nodding his head, Sire Shui smiled. “That’s good. After all, I still have to make arrangements so that he won’t dislike you upon meeting one another.”

“Why are you going to Sichuan?” Jin Guoxiang curiously asked.

After a brief pondering, Su Tao decided to reveal his Mountain Herbs Project, “I’m preparing to protect the mountains and forests in Sichuan that are suitable for wild herbs as a manufacturing ground for medicinal herbs.”

Sire Shui was pretty intrigued by this, so he said, “The term ‘protect’ is used ingeniously here.”

Su Tao continued to explain, “Wild medicinal herbs are hard to find in the market nowadays, and it’s mainly due to development, which resulted in the damage of the environment. Wild herbs have a harsh requirement to grow, and they are more valuable than artificial ones. So we will protect the place from damages and provide a better environment for those wild herbs after we find a suitable one.”

Although Sire Shui shared the same viewpoint, he couldn’t help sounding his doubt, “It’s a good idea, and it’s suitable for the national policy of sustainable development. But it won’t be easy for business investments, since returns are hardly seen. After all, if you don’t plant the herbs artificially, you won’t have high production. So it won’t be easy to create any profits, and it won’t be easy to attract any investments. So how is the project going to sustain itself?”

With a confident smile, Su Tao replied, “That’s because many people don’t see the worth in wild herbs. Even if herbs are being artificially produced to cater to the market, many physicians will face an awkward situation. They would often find that the medicinal effects in artificial herbs aren’t strong enough. Thus, the lack of wild herbs greatly impacts many prescriptions handed down from ancient times. Secondly, physicians will also lose their confidence in research, which leads to their helplessness when facing new diseases. Thus, wild herbs are way more valuable than artificially-produced ones.”

However, Su Tao kept another reason to himself. He wanted to protect the environment for those near-extinct herbs like the Cloud Grass. If they’re not well-protected, they would really go extinct after a few years due to the damage in the environment from development.

Nodding his head, Sire Shui smiled, “It’s indeed a bold move to walk on something that no one has tried.”

“As for the visibility of it, we will have to wait a few years.” Su Tao modestly replied.

Jin Guoxiang left the manor after dinner, but Su Tao was made to stay by Sire Shui and the two of them chatted. Sire Shui would share his past stories with Su Tao, since old folks would often like to reminisce about the past. Because of Sire Shui’s ample life experience, his stories would make Su Tao’s emotions stir. The two of them chatted until Shui Junzhuo reminded them that it was getting late. Su Tao then left Sire Shui’s room.

While Shui Junzhuo led the way to the guest room, she said in a complicated tone, “You’re the first person that has managed to stay in grandpa’s room for over an hour.”

“Perhaps I’m good at listening attentively? It’s one of the basic skills of a physician!” Su Tao smiled. As he looked at Shui Junzhuo’s silhouette, he could see her slender waist and long legs that looked like willow branches swaying in the wind, making his heart flutter.

Some women looked more elegant when they were silent, and Shui Junzhuo was someone of that category. Her temperament was akin to an orchid flower, quiet and tranquil, while leaving a strong impression in the hearts of others.

All of a sudden, Shui Junzhuo stopped. Su Tao was caught by surprise and he nearly bumped into her. Shui Junzhuo initially wanted to turn around to talk to Su Tao, but she never expected that he would follow her so closely. With his heart clenched in this situation, Su Tao could only grab onto Shui Junzhuo’s waist to prevent her from falling.

It was also because of this that she laid in Su Tao’s embrace while looking at a man from the side view for the first time. From this angle, Su Tao was pretty dashing with sharp brows, bright eyes, and even his skin was beautiful. If she hadn’t put any makeup on, her skin definitely wouldn’t be so smooth.

On the other hand, Su Tao felt a soft sensation entering his arm. Shui Junzhuo’s waist was slender without any unwanted fat. Even if she was wearing winter clothes, it was a superb sensation. After supporting Shui Junzhuo, he sourly asked, “Why did you suddenly stop?”

With an awkward smile, Shui Junzhuo replied, “Well, I’m afraid that you might lose your way if I walk too fast.” However, she didn’t know if it was a suitable reason.

“Alright, I’ll give you 100 marks for that answer.” Su Tao smiled as he continued, “I also have to thank that coincidental setup.”

“Why?” Shui Junzhuo asked as she felt her face burning.

As Su Tao chuckled, he replied, “For having another intimate experience?”

The first intimate experience was the car crash, which Su Tao pounced towards Shui Junzhuo to save her. Naturally, Shui Junzhuo wouldn’t forget about that experience.

Glaring at Su Tao, Shui Junzhuo asked, “Is this how you tease other girls as well?”

Sure enough, Shui Junzhuo was romantic and serious.

Her words left Su Tao stunned. He realised that Shui Junzhuo seemed to be more sensitive than he had imagined. Thus, he swiftly explained, “I was just casually joking around, don’t treat it seriously!” He naturally had to reply righteously when conversing with a serious woman. Thus, he instantly pushed all the wretched and passionate sides of him down.

Shui Junzhuo sighed. She was a little depressed. She felt that she was a little too narrow-minded with her earlier words.

Actually, Su Tao could tell that Shui Junzhuo was an innocent girl. He could tell that she didn’t have much experience interacting with men from her clumsy actions. One can tell if a woman has ever fallen in love, or if she was someone experienced from the tiny details, and Shui Junzhuo clearly belonged to the former.

However, it was understandable. Shui Junzhuo was born into a wealthy family and received an elite education since young. Thus, there wouldn’t be many males around her age in her life, since she was beyond their reach. In this world, how many people could bear the infamy of a toad craving the swan?

After sending Su Tao to the guest room, Shui Junzhuo left.

Closing the door, Su Tao looked around the room. The room was decorated in Chinese-style with red paint on the chair and desk. Even the lamp hanging on the ceiling was in an ancient black and white palace-style. This room had already been thoroughly cleaned, but it shouldn’t have been used often. Lying on the soft bed, Su Tao swiftly went into his dream. Perhaps he knew that the Shui Manor was the safest place in the entire Huainan Province, because he slept comfortably that night.


The next morning, Su Tao woke up early and came to the courtyard to practice the Pulse Art. After he finished, he noticed that Sire Shui was standing to the side and smiled. “Morning, old man!”

“That technique of yours seems pretty unusual. Can I practice it too?” Sire Shui smiled.

“Naturally, but this technique is mainly used to nurture one’s health, and it’s a little harder to learn since the movements feel somewhat awkward.” Su Tao gave a warning beforehand.

Rolling up his sleeves, Sire Shui immediately became excited. “I must learn it, then!”

Standing before Sire Shui, Su Tao demonstrated a set of it. With Sire Shui’s foundation in the Five Animals Form and Taichi, he swiftly picked it up and learned 20% of it after finishing a set. After that, Su Tao proceeded to teach him how to decompose the movements, and in just two sets, Sire Shui could feel warm energy coursing through his body. He smiled. “This technique is powerful.”

With a smile on his face, Su Tao explained, “This is called Pulse Art, and it’s unlike other fist techniques. It’s meant to nurture one’s health. Just practicing it once a day will allow the flow in your body to be smooth.”

Nodding his head, Sire Shui suddenly slapped his head and laughed, “I know how to deal with Old Cao now. He likes to research martial arts, and I can first pique his interest before letting the two of you meet. This way, he won’t have any negative feelings about you.”

“I will follow your arrangement.” Seeing the excellent relationship between Sire Shui and that Cao Dingjun, Su Tao felt that he must be another formidable figure.

Using prospects of him using his medical skills to enter the officials’ circle has started to clear up.

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Thyaeria's Thoughts

Damn, another powerful backer for Su Tao now? When will the day come where Su Tao's words can change politics and move mountains? :D


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