Grandpa NPC from Novice Village
Magistrate Xue drinks a glass of wine at noon every day.
——it’s medicinal wine made with the poisons of scorpions and vipers.
Many villagers in Zhushan County have such prescriptions to treat rheumatism. Magistrate Xue is also an elderly person, so these problems are not uncommon. The medicinal wine was packed in a big black jar, and when the lid was opened, there was a tangy smell, not at all like wine. Even those who are greedy for alcohol will frown when they smell it.
When the officer ran over to deliver the greeting post, he could smell it before entering the door. He rubbed his nose, then took a deep breath. After knocking respectfully, he said in a low muffled voice: “Minister Xue, Physician Mo sent a post.”
Magistrate Xue had just eaten and had a wine cup in his hand. He slowly drank the wine in the cup before saying: “Put down the post and ask Physician Mo to wait in the second hall.”
The officer responded, bowed his head, and entered the door. He put down the post, and when he was about to leave, he heard Magistrate Xue say: “Let Elder Li go to the second hall and entertain the guest on my behalf.”
After the officer left, Magistrate Xue slowly picked up the post.
The handwriting was clear, the font slightly longer, the shape gorgeous and there’s no lack of bone strength.
Magistrate Xue stroked his beard as he appreciated the six or seven words for a long time. Then he took out a key, opened a small mahogany box on the desk in the study, and reverently put the post inside.
When he closed the box, he even patted it with satisfaction, and only then did he begin to remove the poison from the cup of wine just now.
After his inner qi made one big cycle, it’s already been half an hour. Magistrate Xue adjusted his sleeves and robe, before slowly stepping out of the study door.
The courtyard where Magistrate Xue lives is not big. When you enter the door, you’ll see the main hall. Passing through the hallway is the second hall. There are wing rooms on both sides.
There used to be water jars with a few water lilies in the yard, but now that it’s cold, the jars might freeze and crack, so there’s no water in it.
The grape racks were also bare. Only the pine tree bonsai besides the stone steps was still a little green. Magistrate Xue deliberately went around to look at the bonsai, lest it froze outside.
This position happens to hear the movement in the second hall.
“…the people from Holy Lotus Shrine didn’t die. Last night, they broke the wall and tried to escape from the prison.”
Mo Li noticed that someone was outside, so he stood up and saluted. Elder Li, who was talking to him, heard that and hurriedly greeted.
As soon as Magistrate Xue saw Elder Li, he remembered the expenses for repairing the county prison that Elder Li drafted this morning, and gave his staff a dissatisfied look. It’s not a glorious thing for the people from Holy Lotus Shrine to destroy a prison cell, but do they need to tell the others?
Elder Li gave a dry laugh, thinking that the Holy Lotus Shrine people is a difficult generation. In the future, there will definitely be people who will come and ask for trouble. If they come here and accompany you, wouldn’t you also count on Physician Mo and Elder Qin for help?
Magistrate Xue: What do you know, this old man has his own opinions.
Seeing the two of them winking back and forth, Physician Mo silently picked up his teacup and looked down at the floor tiles. Elder Qin said that at times like this, it’s best to look at the calligraphy and painting on the wall, or to appreciate the bonsai in the room. He just had to pretend to do nothing as this is a gentleman’s way. But there’s nothing in this room, so only the floor tiles could be appreciated.
“Physician Mo is here today, is there something important?”
Magistrate Xue motioned for his staff to accompany him. He took the lead and said with a smile, “This is the first time this old man has received your post.”
It’s a very formal etiquette to send a post before paying your respects. Although Mo Li often comes to the county government office, it’s all for business.
In these years, any young man with a little status, even if they’re just meeting relatives, would send a post in advance. It’s very impolite to send your greetings without telling them that you’re coming.
The Magistrate generally lives in the official residence behind the county government office. Zhushan County is a remote village, so even the official residence was rebuilt after Magistrate Xue arrived. This is the first time Mo Li came to this small courtyard.
“Minister Xue is being polite. I came to interrupt this time because of teacher’s guidance.”
Magistrate Xue laughed so hard that his eyes became slits, but his mouth humbly said: “This old man wasted dozens of years. Although this old man is not as knowledgeable as Elder Qin, this one still has some skills.”
After that, he looked at Mo Li like looking at his nephew, with a look of expectation.
Elder Li, who was next to him, suddenly felt his teeth ache. He felt that the Magistrate’s old problem came out again.
——he wants to grab someone’s disciple.
So far, the target of this illness is only Mo Li.
Who made Mo Li the disciple of Edler Qin, with good talent and good quality that are hard to come by?
Looking for a disciple himself is impossible since everyone is bad. Then suddenly, an outstanding person came, but it was someone else’s disciple. It’s like walking on the street, seeing that someone’s woman looks better than your own, and when talking about their sons, discovering that they’re more promising than your own.
But he can’t grab it. Even Elder Li, a person who doesn’t know martial arts, knows that Magistrate Xue’s martial arts are far behind Elder Qin. More than ten years have passed, and it’s still unknown whether he can beat Physician Mo.
Mo Li fidgeted for a while, then sighed helplessly.
“…I’m afraid I’ll disappoint Minister Xue.”
Magistrate Xue was taken aback. In fact, many years have passed and he’d had no desire to accept a disciple since long ago. Now, he just wanted to show him what Qin Lu couldn’t do.
“I’m not here to ask medical questions.”
Mo Li was very euphemistic, but Magistrate Xue knew what he meant. He asked inexplicably: “Qin Lu is proficient in the art of medicine. If there’s something he doesn’t understand and wanted you to ask this old man, isn’t there only poison left? If you didn’t come to visit for this, why are you here?”
Because Minister Xue, you’re also a court official. Although you’re staying in this remote countryside, you can still know the general trend of the world from various channels!
Mo Li didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. In Magistrate Xue’s heart, is he just a physician who’s devoted to studying medicine and doesn’t want to go anywhere?
“Minister Xue is joking. I want to take up teacher’s ambition, travel around the world, and save others.” Physician Mo thought for a while and decided to use Elder Qin as an excuse.
Magistrate Xue was startled and Elder Li, who was sitting next to him, quickly shook his head and said: “Physician Mo, it’s not that I want to stop you, but now, the world is full of soldiers and chaos, government orders are unreasonable and bandits are everywhere. Take the Holy Lotus Shrine as an example. Except for those who are unpredictable, the blind followers are all hardworking people. If you meet them, killing them is wrong, but not killing them is also wrong. In those villages that believe in the Holy Lotus Shrine, the villagers won’t distinguish right from wrong, and the good from the bad. They only know to worship ZiWei XingJun. The villagers will either burn or hack to death whoever dared rebel, ai!”
After hearing this, Mo Li naturally asked: “Speaking of which, the Holy Lotus Shrine people are imprisoned in the county government office. Will anyone come after the beginning of spring and the freezing mountain roads melt?”
“That’s for sure…”
Before Elder Li finished speaking, Magistrate Xue stopped him: “They’re just some scoundrels. As long as we create a facade and let the Holy Lotus Shrine think that Zhushan County is impoverished with no water or oil or dragon vein, they will naturally never come again.”
“Dragon vein?” Mo Li frowned.
“This old man personally interrogated them last night.” Magistrate Xue said indifferently, “According to the so-called Saintess, the alchemist under the Celestial King whom they worshipped, deduced that there’s a dragon vein in the northwest of Pingzhou Prefecture. And so, they sent many people to investigate. We Zhushan County is one of the nine counties in the northwest of Pingzhou Prefecture.”
This stupefied Mo Li. What’s the use of finding dragon veins? Do they want him to help them dress in the ruler’s yellow robe, climb the throne, and call them Emperor?
He can’t do this job, so it’s better to find the Great Capital’s dragon vein!
Elder Li cautiously said next to him: “Minister Xue, I’m afraid we really have dragon veins here…”
A black dragon was flying in the sky yesterday.
“Many people have seen it, and there are different opinions. You can’t block this news,” worried Elder Li.
“Let the elders of each village pass on the message. Tell the people that they can’t talk about seeing the dragon king’s true body. To save the people of Zhushan County, the dragon king hurriedly cast a spell and accidentally exposed its true body. The rain and blizzards are our destiny, but the dragon king went against that destiny. Therefore, temples can’t be built and nothing can be said about it. If a stranger asks, they cannot admit to it. If there’s no proof, the dragon king can escape. Since the dragon king rescued the people in this place, we must think of its kindness and sincerely help it.”
Elder Li nodded repeatedly and praised: “This method is great, Minister is truly our superior.”
Magistrate Xue stroked his beard and shook his head, pretending to be humble.
Mo Li: “…”
Seeing this, Minister Xue really hit the truth, and even expertly hid it.
Mo Li calmed down and continued to ask: “Since the alchemist said that the dragon vein is in Pingzhou Prefecture and it cannot be found elsewhere, will they be willing to let it go?”
Magistrate Xue waved his hand and said: “Don’t worry. There are many sects these days and they don’t give way to each other. The dragon vein itself is only a legend, and there’s no standard method for locating it. Each family has its methods. They’re all scammers, so it’s common for them to be ineffective.”
“There are nine counties in the northwest of Pingzhou Prefecture. The Holy Lotus Shrine alone sent a Saintess to our Zhushan County, aren’t they already suspicious of this place?”
As soon as Mo Li’s voice fell, Magistrate Xue and Elder Li both laughed.
“There are thirty-six saints in Holy Lotus Shrine, this Saintess is really nothing.”
Mo Li breathed a sigh of relief. He didn’t continue to ask Magistrate Xue how he’d deal with the captured Holy Lotus Shrine clergy, nor did he ask how they’d control these people to pass on the false news——Magistrate Xue didn’t know how to treat illnesses and save people, but he’s very good at poisons.
The Holy Lotus Shrine priests were locked up in prison. Unless they died on a hunger strike, it would be impossible to escape Minister Xue’s means. The more greedy they are to live, the more they fear death, and the better they can be controlled.
Now that there’s nothing wrong with Zhushan County, Mo Li wanted to go out even more intensely.
“Thank you Minister Xue for your kind intentions, but I’m determined to read thousands of books and travel thousands of miles. I’ve always wanted to go see the world outside Zhushan County.” Mo Li stood up and said respectfully. “Because I don’t know much about the outside world, I’m asking Minister Xue to please teach me.”
Magistrate Xue pondered for a while then sighed: “Since Elder Qin agrees, I won’t stop you anymore. Elder Li, go and get the map on the shelf in the study. This old man has been the Zhushan County Magistrate for 22 years. According to the regulations of the Official Ministry, this old man will be assessed every three years before I can remain in office. Zhushan County is located in a remote area, and no one wanted to come, so this old man asked for a bargain. Later, the world became more and more chaotic, and no one made any ideas in the remote villages, so this old man sat steadily in office until today, during which two dynasties passed.”
Mo Li listened carefully without interrupting.
“Nowadays, the country’s name remained the same. Fifteen years ago, the former dynasty’s General Lu Zhang conspired to rebel and ascended the throne. At that time, several kings of the previous dynasty raised their troops in the south, but nothing happened. Now it’s becoming more chaotic and they’ve separated into factions. These people failed to regain the country and they became hostile to each other, all pretending to be the main one. If you go south, pay more attention and don’t be treated like someone from another country.
“There is also the Heavenly Consecrated King entrenched in the southwest. The villages there are under the control of the Holy Lotus Shrine. Don’t stay there and don’t trust the local people.
“North of the yellow river is the land of Qi. Though there’s no war, the bandits are rampant. Powerful families tend to raise private soldiers, who are lawless and abuse lynching.”
Magistrate Xue said this in one breath.
Hearing this, Mo Li asked seriously, “Is there any place that produces elixirs? Or somewhere with good luck?”
Magistrate Xue’s mouth twitched: “After you go out, you can ask a merchant who sells medicinal materials.”
“What about dragon veins? It’s said that dragon veins are present where elixir grows. How many dragon veins did those alchemists find?” Mo Li asked curiously.
“Well, there are different opinions, true and false, all not valid.”
Magistrate Xue touched his beard and thoughtfully said, “However, there are dragon veins in the Great Capital XianYang, which is something that everyone agreed on. But there are no abnormal birds and beasts and no elixirs there. Even if there is, it’s made up just for flattery. The Emperor’s very auspicious.”
Mo Li was humble and listened, then Magistrate Xue said: “As for the many sects and martial artists, Elder Qin must have told you. In Jianghu, every three years is a generation, with the big waves washing away the sand. This old man had been here for a long time and don’t know the current situation like Elder Qin. Once you leave, you have to be careful. Anyway, with your martial arts, there is nothing to fear. There’s just one person. If you meet him, be careful not to face him.”
“The previous dynasty’s State teacher, Meng Qi.”