Chen Mo followed Miaoling to her home. Along the way, the Eight Receptions Miao Village’s resident showed her reverence one after another. It appeared that Miaoling’s status in the village was not low.
Crossing over a gray stone bridge spanning a river flowing clear, he saw a large tree that stretched into the sky. Its leaves were like an imperial canopy. The trunk was wrapped up in vines, and rungs of wooden ladders covered it as densely as cobwebs, very spectacular.
Miaoling’s explanation gave Chen Mo a bit of curiosity towards Ancient Miao culture.
The girl’s residence was within the Tree of God. The two of them walked up the tottering wooden steps. The Ancient Miao’s workmanship was spectacularly fine to turn this enormous tree practically into a residential building. Nianyou was powerlessly carried up the steps by Chen Mo.
“Wait here a sec for me.” Miaoling tiptoed quietly to the edge of the lodge. Seeing no one was around, she motioned to Chen Mo for him to bring Nianyou inside.
The room inside was very simple and unadorned, cultivating many flowers and grasses, a multitude of bright and unique colors. Another room had a terrarium. Spiders, scorpions, centipedes, toads, and a myriad other monstrous gu were all present and accounted for.
Chen Mo had just thought of touching a Spirit Grass that looked very much like a mimosa.3
Miaoling immediately yelled: “Don’t touch that, that’s the Life-taking Grass.”
The name was a bit overbearing.
“This is one of Nan Jiang’s very malicious poison grasses. Its fluids are toxic, able to melt a person or an animal’s skin and digest it afterwards.”
“These are all things that Teacher is researching. Some hide gu. Don’t go around touching stuff. If you get infected with gu, I won’t be able to save you.” Miaoling warned.
“Your teacher is so amazing.” Chen Mo looked at the rooms of dazzling flora and bugs, which made him recall a word – major, like a university physics experiment laboratory, that sort of thing. In his mind, the image of a strict and serious woman appeared.
Miaoling complacently said: “Of course, Teacher is but one of our Nan Jiang’s strongest ‘Great Gu Masters.'”
Unlike how cultivators were clearly split into different levels, Nan Jiang’s Ancient Miao Clan all were experts in raising gu. There was no clear ranking. The only judgment between weak and strong was based on the gu, however, should some Gu Masters be preeminent and famous in the Miao Village, they would be respectfully granted a title.
A title like Great Gu Master clearly demonstrated that Miaoling’s teacher was one of the strongest people in all of Nan Jiang.
Hearing her words, Chen Mo tactfully kept a safe distance from these plants and bugs. If he inexplicably was stricken with a gu, then he would be very depressed,
Miaoling entered a room and turned the room upside down. In a cupboard, she finally found a sealed jar. This jar was very much like the medical elixirs Chen Mo was familiar with. A variety of herbs and reptiles were steeped inside.
Chen Mo’s gaze was drawn to a bookshelf.
This shelf displayed many books. Some introduced Nan Jiang’s customs, gu arts, or the variety of unique bugs and plants, however, Chen Mo only looked. He did not dare disturb anything, so as to avoid being poisoned.
“It’s a good thing you didn’t disturb any of Teacher’s stuff.” Miaoling came out to see Chen Mo staring jealously at the bookshelf and giggled to herself.
“Are there gu in there?” Chen Mo was secretly glad.
“Of course, duh. Not even I can touch these books.” Miaoling still remembered the first time she stole a touch on these books. She ended up infected with a “Heart-piercing Centipede Gu,” the pain of which seemed to rip apart her heart and lungs. “If I had enough reads through these books, you could ask me anything you wanted to know.”
“Sure.” Chen Mo nodded.
Miaoling walked over and took out a glass bottle. There was yellow wine inside, with a few herbs floating within. “Yo, this is called Life-taking Pellet Yellow Wine. It’s concocted using Life-taking Grass and some other ingredients. I don’t know what this is, but Teacher said that for ten days after you drink this, normal gu and bugs will die if they are inside your body.
“Normal gu and bugs?” Chen Mo was not too fond of this description.
“Of course, Teacher is but a Great Gu Master. Even your Central Plains Thunder Tribulation cultivators would die to her gu and bugs. How could you understand this kind of wine. But relax, Teacher has raised gu for several decades now. She’s nurtured them all meticulously and generally won’t use them.”
Stronger gu required raising stronger materials, using up more than a decade of time. One use would waste one gu. This was practically the painstaking effort of a Gu Master. They would never use it arbitrarily unless they were forced to.
The average gu that Miaoling spoke of included some of Nan Jiang’s prevalent gu arts, such as the “Head Drooping Gu,” “Companion Gu,” “Void Gu,” and others that were very practical. Cultivators were unable to defend against some of these gu arts.
Chen Mo did not take it. Looking at this turbid yellow liquid, he was somewhat skeptical.
If the girl’s thoughts were dishonest, if she had slipped a gu in there, he would be a lamb in the tiger’s den.
“You Central Plains people are cautious. I disdain to do this kind of thing.” Miaoling pouted. She opened the lid and drank a mouthful for herself.
Seeing her complexion was rosy without any abnormalities, Chen Mo finally eased his guard.
“You have to realize, there is some enmity between your Nan Jiang and the Great Chong Dynasty There are some things that we have no choice but to be cautious.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, you always have a reason, anyways.” Miaoling twitched her lips.
Chen Mo took the wine and drank.
Upon seeing this detail, Miaoling’s heart was slightly moved. She had originally thought that given Chen Mo’s careful nature, he surely would have made that little girl drink first. Only if she was fine would he relax. She never imagined that he would actually be the first to drink.
The Pellet Yellow Wine flowed down his throat. A warm feeling slowly coursed through his whole body, and he felt somewhat hot. Chen Mo already cultivated to Three Flowers Overhead, his control over his organs already reaching high levels. He could even sense that there was not one bit of poison in this wine.
After a while, this warmth concentrated in his dantian to form something like a golden pellet, making his entire body warm and fuzzy.
Only now did Chen Mo give Nianyou a mouthful.
“Once that warmth in your dantian fades, the effects cease. If the warmth weakens, so too, will the effects.” Miaoling warned.
“I understand.” Chen Mo affirmed.
“Let’s go for now. Master will be back soon.” Miaoling urgently said.
Descending the tree stairs, Chen Mo chatted with her about what he wanted to do. At this moment, a crowd of warriors clad in silver armor and silver leg manacles ran towards them.
“Ah, let’s go now.”
When Miaoling saw them, her expression immediately turned serious.
That crowd very quickly surrounded the pair.
These warriors were not like the Ancient Miao. Their builds were burly, clearly having cultivated Qi-blood, and they all had Nine Turns strength. They had proficient training. From a glance, it was obvious they were soldiers.
“Saintess Miaoling, today I finally run into you.” A slender and impeccably fair man suddenly smiled.
“Hmph, to think of asking something of me, you all are still a bit unskilled.” Her silver bell rang. Miaoling somersaulted, an several white lines shot out from her hand.
Several of the soldiers were struck, their expressions promptly becoming agonized as they fell to their knees.
“Why must you make This Subordinate be rough on you.” The man moved his finger. The incoming white strings were quietly cut down, and several creatures fell to the ground. Chen Mo’s eyes widened, finally discerning that these were tiny white spiders no bigger than grains of rice. Without a close look, one honestly would not notice them.
Seeing the gu spiders she raised were killed, Miaoling was a bit aggrieved. “You bastard.” She somersaulted, leaping onto a tree.
The sound of a silver bell moved like a windchime.
Another dozen soldiers fell over.
“Seize her.” The man ordered.
The Ancient Miao soldiers received his command. They drew silver blades. This was the characteristic weapon of the Ancient Miao. The entire body was a bit short, like a crescent.
The soldiers activated their Qi-blood and rushed forth.
That man glared coldly at Miaoling. From his pocket, he brought out a black whistle. When he blew it at Miaoling, several black spider webs immediately spread through her surroundings, sealing Miaoling’s escape routes.
The other soldiers immediately encircled and were about to capture her.
Just at this time, a man appeared beside Miaoling. He unleashed a punch, his fist-intent overflowing, nonchalantly spreading in all directions.
The Qi-blood Nine Turns Miao warriors were sent flying.
“Fist-intent? Saint Of War?”
The fair-looking man creased his brow as he stared fixedly at the interloper.
“Wow, you’re amazing, eh.” Miaoling exclaimed when she saw Chen Mo. To surprisingly knock so many Qi-blood Nine Turns warriors flying with a single punch, this was much more convenient compared to her gu arts.
“What’s going on here?” Chen Mo carried the sleeping Nianyou in one hand while he whispered the question, so as to avoid waking the little loli.
“Aiya, who made me the Saintess.” Miaoling showed a helpless expression.
“Your Distinguished Self, you must be a warrior of the Central Plains. Why do you interfere with the affairs of the Great King of the Eight Receptions Miao Village.” The man stepped forth, hinting to his subordinates to stand down.
“Yeah, I just can’t stand so many men bully one single girl.” Chen Mo shook his head.
“Warrior of the Central Plains, these are orders from our Great King. Do you mean to contend against our Great King?” The man quietly asked, as if he was not afraid at all.
Chen Mo actually did not want to provoke trouble all that much, after all, he was helping Qin Shaoxu with his business. If he did actually stir up trouble, that would inconvenience him. However, since he had just received the girl’s favor, he could not possibly stand by and watch. “It would be better for everyone to talk this out. There’s no need to draw your weapons.”
“Granny, it’s up to you.” The man hinted. A withered old woman holding a wooden cane shuffled forward. Her figure was stooped, wearing a black robe. Silver decorations hung over her from head to toe, as if bearing that silver had arched her back. If one was not attentive, this old woman would hardly stir any interest.
“Granny Bee.” Miaoling gasped.
It seemed that this old woman was quite well-known.
The girl had just finished speaking.
This Gu Master shook her wooden cane. Several beehive-like things hung upon her cane, and a swarm of bees flew out from these hives.
The black bees were like a cloud, rolling forth.
“These are Bee Mind Gu.” Miaoling warned.
All gu arts required a gu bug of some sort, and they required the warrior to be infected and for the gu to attach itself. However, powerful Gu Master often would unleash gu at the least expected time to make the target completely unaware.
Against that dense swarm of hornets’ assault, Chen Mo raised his True Qi and brandished his fist.
This punch was the Li Center Empty of the Bagua, but of course Chen Mo dispensed with the yielding part, directly striking with Clinging Fire.
A fire cannon exploded in the air, blowing the swarm of hornets asunder.
When that Granny Bee saw this, she instead showed a sinister smile. “Brat, watch This Old Woman’s Bee Mind Gu!!” She rapped the cane, and Chen Mo felt a droning sound in his ears. All of a sudden, his entire body hurt and go numb, and then he was unhurt.
“How is This Old Woman’s Bee Mind Gu useless?” Granny Bee involuntarily cried out.
Chen Mo glanced at Miaoling.
The girl snickered, complacently saying: “I told you, didn’t I. Teacher’s Life-taking Pellet Yellow Wine is unique to this family. They don’t know about it.”
“…” Chen Mo nevertheless felt chills in his heart.
Which meant that if it was not for the fortune of having the Pellet Yellow Wine inside his body, he would have been infected?
These gu arts.
They were too amazing.