Even though Han Li didn’t know what Martial Uncle Ye and the Old Man Wu talked about after he left, he felt extremely upset!
Ever since he went through with what happened with Doctor Mo, it was the first time he encountered a situation where he knew there would be trouble ahead but had no choice but to jump into the mess. This made Han Li very annoyed, but also reinforced his opinion that the weak were also the prey to the strong in the cultivating world.
“If you have a need for them in the future, do not hesitate to come and collect them!” The thought of this made Han Li laugh coldly. In the future, he would make sure to let Martial Uncle Ye know that his belongings would not be taken away that easily!
He stood on the ground and looked afar as the Honor Disciple turned to the Hundred Opportunities Hall. Because the Hundred Medicine Garden was not far ahead, the owner of the medicine garden set up some small restrictive formations on the small valley in between the two hills to keep outsiders from intruding.
Han Li came across some of the nearby restrictions after walking for a small distance. His path was blocked by a white light.
However, he didn’t panic. Instead he raised a piece of jade tablet and shined it in front of him. A green light immediately shot out from the tablet and into the restrictions. Han Li then waited patiently.
“Come in!” A dry voice came from inside, but it sounded if the source was right by Han Li’s ears. Then, the restrictions in front of him all disappeared, melted away like snow.
Seeing this, Han Li didn’t dare to linger and walked inside with haste.
Following the small path in front of him, Han Li stopped at a courtyard with a plaque that read “Hundred Medicine Garden.” The courtyard was at least a few acres large. Before he even entered the courtyard, a thick smell of medicinal herbs came from inside and aroused Han Li’s spirit.
“What are you doing standing outside like an idiot? Hurry up and come inside, I still need to go out for errands!” Han Li was startled, but immediately followed the order and walked in.
Standing inside, Han Li was then able to clearly see the situation inside the garden.
In the center of the garden stood a few cottages built from hay and bamboo. The garden itself was surrounded by trenches that were squared out evenly. Each field were filled with greens, and there were many medicinal herbs that Han Li knew of or was familiar with, and some that looks like strangely-shaped plants, making the entire garden’s Spiritual Qi overflow. Even when a cultivator like Han Li took a deep breath, it felt extremely refreshing.
“Come into the house!” The owner of the voice saw him dawdling and seemed to become a little impatient.
Han Li smiled lightly, and didn’t take it to heart as he walked into the cottage.
Inside the cottage stood a short, skinny old man. He looked at Han Li, who had just come in, with dissatisfaction. From the old man’s looks, he seemed to be around fifty years old. He had a withered and yellow small mustache and a pair of cloudy, small eyes that were rolling around. At first glance, he truly looked like a big rat that had successfully become human.
“You’re the disciple that the Hundred Opportunities Hall sent to take care of the garden? You’re too young, and your skills are too poor! Is the fellow surnamed Ye brushing me off? How come the people he sent are worse and worse every time?” The small, skinny old man’s face darkened when he saw Han Li’s appearance, and he started ranting.
“Disciple Han Li greets Senior Martial Elder Ma!” Han Li already knew from the records about the small, old man’s strange temper, so he wasn’t too surprised about it, and immediately went up and bowed.
“Hmph! Do you know how serious you will be punished if you cannot complete your mission? It’s not too late to go back and tell my Junior Martial Brother to send another person!” The small, old man rolled his eyes and snapped.
“The medicine garden must be maintained, the medicinal herbs must not die, and every month a certain amount of medicinal herbs must be delivered! If that’s all, Junior is quite confident!” Han Li doesn’t seem to be shakened.
Hearing what Han Li said, the old man was a bit surprised. It was the first time he met a garden-managing disciple who confident from the start. He looked and judged Han Li once again, but the doubtful expression in his eyes didn’t lessen.
“You, come with me!” The small, old man suddenly barked coldly and walked out of the cottage. Han Li followed him without any hesitation.
“How many of these medicinal herb can you recognize?” The small, old man pointed at the plants in the garden and stared at Han Li with slanted eyes.
“One of of ten.” Han Li quickly swept his eyes across the garden, and replied softly.
Hearing Han Li’s words, the small, old man hesitated a little but laughed coldly right away,
“Little fellow, if you truly can recognize one out of ten of the medicinal herbs, I will let you manage the garden and will not utter another word!”
With that said, Han Li smiled slightly and left the side of the small, old man.
“Midnight Flower, Yellow Ball Grass, White Crane Flower, Full Moon Grass…” Han Li took a walk in the garden while casually calling out the names of the medicinal herbs that he was familiar with.
At first, the small, old man was looking at him mockingly, but after listening for a while, his face expressed amazement. Han Li mentioned a lot of medicinal herbs that were not well-known, and for some of them, even he had to put a lot of work to know the efficacy of the remedy. Han Li’s response surprised him.
“Enough!” Han Li had just finished telling less than half of the plants he knew when the small, old man spoke and stopped Han Li’s ‘performance.’
“Very good, looks like you’re not completely bragging! This medicine garden will be in your management for now. This is the restrictive medallion. Take care of it!” The old man’s expression showed satisfaction as he dexterously took out a dark-green wooden tablet and threw it to Han Li.
“Inside the house are some notes on my years of experience years with growing medicinal herbs. You need to take a good look at them since you’re still not familiar with most of the herbs. Don’t kill them!” The old man touched his mustache and exhorted.
“Thank you for Senior Martial Elder’s reminder. This disciple will keep it in mind!” Han Li said respectfully.
“Cough! I hope your ability is as useful as your mouth, that way I can truly be free from this medicine garden, and not delay this Elder’s cultivation any longer. This medicine garden is Elder’s private garden, so if you really can take on this job, Elder will not mistreat you. But I must warn you beforehand, if you can’t do it, then get out as soon as possible and have someone replace you. Do you understand?” The old man said with both kindness and severity.
Hearing his blunt words, not only did Han Li not get mad, he also grew more fond of him. He thought that the old man was a lot better than that Martial Uncle Ye. At the very least, the old man wasn’t a hypocrite. So he quickly nodded and said ‘yes.’
After briefing on a few things that needed attention when managing the garden, the small, old man then went back into the cottage, packed up in a hurry, and left the garden by flying without looking back.
Watching Senior Martial Elder Ma as he left, Han Li randomly picked a cottage, cleaned it up, and made it his room.
Because he had been busy the whole day and didn’t had the chance to rest, even a cultivator like Han Li would feel tired, so he climbed onto the bed and went to sleep.
To him, even if something huge were about to happen outside, it would not be too late to solve it after he regained his energy. The sky went dark just in time.
The first day Han Li joined the Yellow Maple Valley as a new disciple passed without any twists and turns. On the second day, when Han Li finally woke up feeling energized, his path to cultivation officially began.
During the following days, Han Li spent the mornings studying the notes the old man left for him. At night, he secretly buried the mysterious little bottle in a corner of the medicinal herb field and covered it up with destroyed magic treasure fragment that he exchanged for a high price to conceal the prodigious sign of it absorbing the Spiritual Qi.
And just like that, besides that corner having a thicker Spiritual Qi than other places, there was nothing else that would catch people’s attention. This put Han Li’s cautious heart at ease.
Martial Uncle Ye brought the so-called ‘compensation items’ for the Foundation Establishment Pill a few days later to Han Li, but he only gave Han Li less than one fifth of what they originally agreed on. As for what happened with the pill, this Hall Master Ye seemed to have forgotten already, and Han Li also pretended like it never happened.
But even so, Han Li still became rich all of the sudden over one night. He received two mid-grade spirit stones, dozens of low-grade spirit stones, three well-made magic tools, and several talismans.