Mu Linger really was at the snow mountains' medicinal fields.
These three peaks of Northern Li were all interconnected in a line facing north and south, just like a wall. They straddled the border between Northern Li and Wintercrow. The entire mountain range was called the Jiashen Range, getting higher as one went north.
Jun Yixie and the Mu Clan cooperated to reclaim a large area of snow ice medicinal fields, but only the first mountain had been planted for a season while the other two were still deserted. When Han Yunxi joined forces with Pill Fiend Valley, they monopolized all medicinal herbs sold out of Medicine City. Jun Yixie planned to team up with Cloud Realm Trade Consortium to develop the medicinal fields instead, but everything was over before they started.
Mu Linger had stayed on the mountainside for half a month already, accompanied by the missing Big White. Originally, she wanted to take a trip back to Medicine City and come back in the summer, but seeing Big White following her around, she grew restless. Thus, she resolved to take him up the snow mountain three days later. She had already learned from the Mu Clan that their main goal in collaborating with Jun Yixie was to grow Snow Jade Wormwood. This was an extremely rare herb that was practically extinct. It was the best type of wild tonic herb and wildly pursued by countless rich and noble people. Sadly, its quantity had decreased in the past decade so even harvesting ten a year was considered plenty.
Snow Jade Wormwood was rare because of its formation. Yes, it wasn't just planted and grown, but "formed." Every winter, the snow mountains would grow a kind of Snowman Ginseng buried deep in the snow. It was very tiny, so that the largest variety were only the size of a little child's pinky finger. When spring came, a group of beautiful butterflies would fly to the peak, each as big as a palm with white jade-like bodies. They were extremely clean and thus called Jade Butterflies. These butterflies laid their eggs in the snow, who hatched and burrowed underground to eat the ginseng roots. However, many would freeze to death in the snow in the process until their corpses grew together in one piece with the Snowman Ginseng. By the beginning of next winter, this half-plant, half-animal organism became the Snow Jade Wormwood.
No one in the world had discovered how the young butterflies and ginseng grew into one. However, Jun Yixie and the Mu Clan had spent three years researching the cause. Now that Jun Yixie was dead and the Mu Clan fallen, the secret had fallen into Mu Linger's hands. For the sake of gaining more Snow Jade Wormwood, Jun Yixie and the Mu Clan created the medicinal fields and artificially planted large quantities of Snowman Ginseng in the winter to attract more Jade Butterflies to lay their eggs. They wanted to raise the butterflies to encourage crop production, but the alliance broke down before it got anywhere.
Mu Linger was very curious to know what Jade Butterflies looked like. It'd be great if she could capture a few to raise herself. Thus, under Big White's protection, she decided to risk a trip atop the mountain. Jade Butterflies only showed up for a few days in the beginning of spring, just when the snow was beginning to melt. It was impossible to climb the mountain then, so she could only spend the winter here.
She couldn't count as impulsive. With the experience of Jun Yixie and the Mu Clan before her, she understood the situation of the medicinal fields. In addition to bringing along Big White, she also had plenty of grain and necessary items for survival. The high and mighty Big White became her workhorse, not only carrying her but also her things. Mu Linger brought a large pile of food, big bedding, multiple pieces of clothing and shoes, and even pots and pans. One could imagine how much Big White had to work.
But he was very willing and happy the entire way. He also turned a blind eye to small beasts they encountered along the way, sparing their lives. There were multiple abandoned stone houses at the medicinal fields, so Mu Linger found the warmest one and cleaned it up before moving in with the tiger. She only stayed one night before realizing she forgot to bring charcoal and almost fell ill from the cold. Luckily she was used to bringing along pills, so she was fine after taking some medicine. She searched around and found a large pile of charcoal and firewood in the most remote stone house as well as plenty of living supplies. These were probably left by the previous medicine farmers. The charcoal was used for warmth and the wood for cooking, so Mu Linger settled down alone just like that.
After adapting to the place for a few days, she dug up a few Snowman Ginseng for study and even a Snow Jade Wormwood that hadn't been harvested. Thrilled, Mu Linger started shouting in the fields. "Big White! Big White, hurry and have a look!"
Big White was sprawled on the side, seemingly lazy but highly vigilant of their surroundings. He knew there were plenty of wolves, tigers, and panthers prowling this peak. He originally planned to just follow Miss Linger around to discover her destination before reporting back to his master, but didn't expect the girl to treat him as a horse and bring him up the mountain. Miss Linger was the girl his master had risked his life saving, so his master must like her very, very much. Thus, he would protect her no matter what.
Big White shook off its body of snow and happily padded over. Mu Linger placed the tiny Snow Jade Wormwood in her hand for him to see. "Look, I dug up a treasure! It's good stuff, oh!"
Big White had no idea what Miss Linger was doing here, nor did he understand how precious that tiny thing was. But he knew Miss Linger was very happy and nudged his nose against her palm to reply.
"For you to eat! You've worked hard," Mu Linger said.
Big White looked with disinterest at the Snow Jade Wormwood. It wasn't until Mu Linger placed the plant by his jaws that he used his tongue to roll it into his mouth and swallow it without even chewing.
After the cooperation between Jun Yixie and the Mu Clan ended, both the cultivated and original wormwood were all gone because no one dared to climb the mountains again. If Mu Linger sold this on the black market, it would fetch a sky-high price. Even if she didn't and ate it herself, it was excellent for her health. But she foolishly treated Big White, who equally foolishly ate it up. Since she was happy, so was he, and the two of them enjoyed it simply without any concept of price, gain, or profit in their heads. Nor was there any need to tell outsiders.
A few days later there was a big snowstorm. The winds and snows raged while Mu Linger and Big White took shelter in the stone house and didn't go out. Mu Linger knew Big White was a carnivore and specially prepared some bacon. She set up an iron rack over the stove and hung bacon on it to roast. Soon enough, it was oozing with oil and emitting an incomparable fragrance. Big White was so greedy he wanted to jump over and eat it all, but he held back and patiently waited for Miss Linger to finish roasting.
While roasting, Mu Linger asked, "Does that villain roast meat for you often?"
Big White's thoughts were all on the meat and simply nodded though he didn't understand.
"That villain likes to eat meat a lot too, right?" Mu Linger asked.
Big White continued to nod.
"That villain is so bad! I curse him to get meat stuck in his teeth every time he takes a beat!" Mu Linger muttered to himself. "No no, I curse him to grow cavities so he can never eat meat again. For the rest of his life, he'll be vegetarian!"
Big White nodded vigorously, his soul hooked by the fragrance of bacon. At last he couldn't stand it anymore and drooled while getting up and lunging for the stove despite Mu Linger's ranting. Just before he swallowed the bacon in one bite, he froze. His lazy eyes suddenly grew cold and fierce.
He sensed movement outside!
Jumping down, he immediately ran to the door and indicated to Mu Linger that there was danger. Heart chilling, she felt that anything that put Big White on guard couldn't be minor. The whole way up the mountain, many beasts had automatically gotten out of the way at the sight of Big White. Typically speaking, wild beasts wouldn't come knocking at their door. Did a person show up instead?
But she couldn't think of anyone who would show up now. Carefully, she opened the curtain and peeked out before getting a shock.
There was a huge pack of snow leopards outside, at least 50 strong. All of them looked ferocious as they stared at her stone house. Unbelievably, there was a female standing in their midst with deep, good-looking features. She was dressed as a hunter, standing with her feet spread shoulder-width apart and her arms crossed, looking very dominant. Mu Linger looked closer and saw a dagger at her waist. Obviously, she had brought the leopards here and trained them, for they were standing neatly in formation.
"Who is she?" Mu Linger wondered. She looked at Big White and saw that he was already baring his fangs. She couldn't help but wonder: could he defeat 50 snow leopards if the woman had bad intentions?
Mu Linger was worried. Even if he can, it'll take a lot of energy. Otherwise, Big White wouldn't be showing this kind of expression.
What to do?
While Mu Linger was panicking, the woman outside shouted, "Hey! Person inside, listen up. These medicinal fields belong to me. If you don't want to die, get out and pay me compensation so I can spare your measly life!"
Mu Linger was still worried, but lost her temper at the words. She opened the door and walked out with Big White!
As the king of beasts, Big White's aura stunned the fifty snow leopards who all backed up. Surprised, the woman quickly regained her composure and said coldly, "It's only an old tiger, but you still have the guts to show off in front of me. You're simply seeking death!"
Mu Linger was really baffled. Who's the one who came threatening someone's doorstep?
She was about to retort when the woman suddenly blew a sharp whistle. Soon enough, a large pack of wolves emerged from the forests surrounding the medicinal fields. There were at least a hundred of the animals, who surrounded them on all sides!
Mu Linger gaped. "Big White, she wants to make trouble!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter
it's always, always a bishy female who comes to ruin the fun, sigh.
hang in there guys, it'll be frustrating for a while but...blessedly brief. hmph, cannon fodder methods...!