10 The Trade

    " Let me get straight to the point, virtuous young man. I am here today to request a favour from you!"

    Minister Lin glanced towards a frustrated Zhou Wenxin, hesitated for a moment, then looked at Fang Yuan.

    "My father is sick, and I have long heard of Young Master's impeccable medical skills. I have come to request for medicine!"

    The second son in the Zhou Family had a good upbringing and was humble in requesting for the favour, "I hope Young Master would help us out, and the entire Zhou Family will be grateful to you!"

    At his side, Zhou Wenxin wanted to say a few words of her own but thought twice after seeing her brother's strict expression.

    'Never would I have thought that the incident at the town would come back and hound me...'

    Fang Yuan remained silent.

    He noticed the expensive clothing donned by the Zhou siblings, and also their servant with a large build. If Minister Lin was not here today, these people would never be so polite.

    As for Minister Lin, the previous incident of annulling the marriage resulted in their friendship becoming weaker.

    Unless Fang Yuan recruited the help of Flower Fox Ferret to kill all of them and run away, he could not avoid this situation.

    'Until now, they are still oppressing me...'

    Fang Yuan mulled silently, but instead said, "Brothers, you have arrived late. My Master, Master Wenxin is the true master of Medicine skills. And as for me? I only learnt a few basics from him, and before seeing your father, I cannot assess his condition..."

    "You little mucker..."

    He only thought of planning an escape route for himself, but unknowingly, Zhou Wenxin felt so unjust that she started to cry.

    To her, the bullying act by Fang Yuan back at the town was the biggest insult she had received.

    And now, even when they have approached him and humbly requested for his help, he still rejected them!

    This made Zhou Wenxin very angry and pushed her to the brink of crying.

    "Keke... You are too humble. Even though Master Wenxin is not around anymore, I could recall that you should have kept plenty of good quality herbs right? If only I could have one portion to aid my father in his recovery, that would be enough..."

    Minister Lin smiled and rubbed his hands together.

    On the other hand, Fang Yuan frowned and felt that he could not trust him.

    Minister Lin and Fang Yuan's friendship was the strongest as if they understood each other perfectly well.

    Fang Yuan was thankful that he was not Master Wenxin himself, otherwise if Minister Lin knew about the Questioning Heart Tea Tree, Fang Yuan would get into trouble.

    "Eh? In our previous encounter, Young Master was selling Red Ginseng. Even though the Red Ginseng was not aged enough, the medicinal properties were shocking! After my father consumed it, his conditioned improved!"

    Zhou Erge nodded his head as though he thought of something, and looked happy.

    Fang Yuan rolled his eyes but did not want to sound untrustworthy in front of Minister Lin.

    Fang Yuan was put in a spot. Half a day later, he responded, "Minister Lin knows that Master Wenxin and I have lived in the secluded valley for less than 20 years, therefore the aged mountain herbs we have are all harvested by my Master from the deep mountains. There is a limited supply, and this is all we have now..."

    "I also understand..."

    Minister Lin felt embarrassed because he knew that Master Wenxin was a legend that could traverse the deep mountains and forest as though it was flat ground, but Fang Yuan? He could not have such abilities yet.

    And therefore to eye on Fang Yuan's limited supply of mountain herbs was a little too much...

    For the sake of Leiyue's future, he had no choice but to ask, "Virtuous young man, if you may have any request or anything that I can help you with, spill it out!"

    "That's right, the Zhou Family announced that if Young Master is able to heal my father, whatever request you may have will be acceded to." Zhou Erge added.

    "Then I shall say..."

    Fang Yuan was delighted because this was what he really wanted. He was afraid that he would not get anything in return for the herbs that he would provide. A human favour was the most unreliable because one could forget about it any other day. Minister Lin was right to realize this and promised something in return.

    "As for the precious herbs, I have the last stash here with me. It is a 60-year old aged Red Ginseng and is definitely real. But I cannot confirm that it will improve Old Zhou's condition, and therefore I will not request for anything. But because I am living in the deep mountains and forest, I would like to learn a few martial arts for self-defence. Therefore I hope that it would be possible to get a martial arts manual or something similar..."

    "You want to learn martial arts?!"

    Minister Lin appeared shocked, took a moment to observe the surrounding mountains and forest, and seemed to empathise a little.

    As for the Zhou siblings, their facial expressions turned sour.

    Seeing their reactions, Fang Yuan realised that they wrongly thought of him as the one who wants to secretly steal the Zhou Family's set of martial arts. He immediately waved his hands, "Of course, I only request the basic types of martial arts, only for self-defence. I would never hope for the most profound martial arts. If only Minister Lin gave me the most widely circulated, easiest-to-learn set of martial arts manual, that would be enough!"

    "Oh, this... This is simple..."

    Minister Lin stroked his beard, and deep down felt relieved.

    If Fang Yuan requested for the Spirit Returning Sect's most profound set of martial arts, even if the Zhou Siblings agree, the Sect might not agree.

    Only the most basic martial arts, with no specified type?

    Considering how affluent the Zhou Family was, several skilled martial artists were recruited to protect their house. Putting together all their martial arts manual, they might have a few books.

    Furthermore, these are the widely circulated ones, and therefore would not be any trouble to obtain.

    "This request is simple, I shall agree to it on behalf of the Zhou Family! Just look for me whenever you want it!"

    Minister Lin smiled to himself.

    "Good, then that's a promise. A 60-year-old Red Ginseng, for a martial arts manual, not including others... Of course, this does not include Zhou Family's reward! This is only between Minister Lin and me!"

    Seeing how much effort Minister Lin put in, Fang Yuan understood that giving a favour to others would establish their relationship very clearly.


    The Zhou Siblings looked at one another and realised that they were in no position to talk, and could only witness the both of them agreeing to the deal.

    For Zhou Wenxin, she unhappily mumbled a sentence, "Aren't you a little old to be learning martial arts? Keke... You don't even know about the 12 Golden Gates, and you still want to achieve something in martial arts?"

    Her tone was a condescending one.

    Fang Yuan remained calm as though he did not hear her. He secretly took a mental note of '12 Golden Gates' to find out about it in the future.

    "Please follow me, Minister Lin!"

    Fang Yuan open his the door of his storage and invited Minister Lin in. He did not attempt to stop the Zhou Siblings from following.

    As long as the Questioning Heart Tea and Vermillion Jade Rice remained a secret, it does not matter if his stored medicine was being seen by others.

    By letting them in, it would also dismiss any greedy thoughts that they might have.

    Otherwise, in the future, wouldn't it be impractical if everyone who fell sick came over here to ask for herbs?

    "Hmm, you kept the storage neat and tidy."

    Within the storage room, a strong scent filled the air. Zhou Wenxin held her nose, but Minister Lin kept his hands at his back, "This Jade Crystal Rice is the most special, and cultivated with the best methods.The last time I ate this rice, I did not have to worry about food and even the smell of meat could not entice me..."

    "If Minister Lin likes it, then please help yourself to a few bags before leaving..."

    Fang Yuan replied without looking back.

    This scene reminded Zhou Wenxin of the first time she met Fang Yuan and made her feel embarrassed and angry at the same time.

    All the way at the end of the storage room were rows of wooden racks, with many empty boxes at the top.

    Fang Yuan walked to the right side of the room, took out a box and handed it over, "Minister Lin, please have it!"

    Minister Lin received the box and opened it. It was a large ginseng, of deep red jadeite colour. It was preserved to perfection and of top-notch quality, and the best part of the ginseng was that none of its roots was flawed.

    "Mmmm, very good! Very good!"

    His eyes darted around the floor, and shook his head in disappointment, 'Looks like Master Wenxin's storage is indeed going to be empty soon......'

    "Good! Good! Good!"

    Zhou Ergu took a quick look at the Red Ginseng and was ecstatic, "Its medicinal powers would be at least 60 years old since the medicinal value of a Red Ginseng goes up with its age. Red Ginsengs aged above 50 is a rarity! Father has hope now!"

    "Mmm, please keep it properly..."

    Seeing this Red Ginseng, Minister Lin felt reluctant, but still passed it to Zhou Erge for safekeeping, and told Fang Yuan, "Don't you worry, the martial arts manual that you requested will be delivered to you."

    "Many thanks, Minister Lin!"

    Fang Yuan clutched his fist and paid his compliments.

    "Mmm, I shall take my leave!"

    Staying after the deal would make things more awkward. Minister Lin, together with the Zhou Family, walk out and disappeared outside the valley.


    Fang Yuan let out a long sigh as he watched them walk away.

    At this moment, a white flash appeared and Flower Fox Ferret appeared again. It pointed its paws around and in its eyes, it seemed confused.

    "This time you don't have to fight..."

    Fang Yuan stroked Flower Fox Ferret's head, and mumbled to it, "Next time, without my presence, if anyone approaches the garden, go for the kill. Understood?"

    Flower Fox Ferret was able to understand Fang Yuan's intentions, and like a human nodded his small head.

    "I'm not sure if one Red Ginseng is able to cure Old Zhou's illness, and if it cannot be cured, then what happens afterwards would be a little troublesome..."

    Fang Yuan took a look at the column of his own qualities:

    "[Medicine (Level 1)] - Can heal simple wounds, including mild wounds, and with the aid of medicinal plants can achieve even better results."

    "[Botany (Level 3)] - You are undoubtedly the professional in this field, harnessing unlimited potential. Through your plants, there is a slight chance that they might evolve to have special traits!"

    "Mild wounds, I don't even know if Old Zhou's illness can be classified as mild... but with the aid of medicinal plants to achieve better results, that is worth seeing if it will work..."

    Fang Yuan now wanted to attain a higher level for his [Medicine].

    Through experimenting in [Botany], it became clear to him that to attain a higher level, one needed to be proficient and undergo intense training.

    His own [Botany] levelled up to Level 2 through numerous cultivation of plants, but without the help of the spiritual plants, he could never have attained Level 3.

    To improve his [Medical], he would have to begin with a large number of patients.

    "Hmm... the Zhou Family? Keke..."

    Fang Yuan shook his head and remained silent.
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