Dragon Vein: Real dragon blood? Can you say that again?
There’s a gap behind the tree hole for an earthen stove.
Perhaps Lin Dou planned to use this place as a hiding place, so an earthen stove was placed on the thick roots a few feet from the ground. The flue was very concealed, so the heat and smoke would just disperse into the roots. Once the smoke meets the air, it has already dispersed. As long as that flue isn’t closed, you won’t smell any smoke.
When Meng Qi first saw the flue, his expression changed drastically, and he immediately followed it to find the earthen stove.
Hu Zi was squatting by the stove and fanning the fire when Meng Qi picked him up. He was so frightened that he dropped his fan.
“Put out the fire!”
“But, the medicine hasn’t finished boiling yet…”
Hu Zi stammered, but before he could finish, Mo Li followed.
“What’s wrong?” Mo Li still didn’t understand what happened.
Meng Qi questioned with a bad expression: “Have you not seen the swamp formed by rotting branches and leaves in the mountains? What happens if an open flame is lit there?”
There’s usually marsh gas in the swamp, and the mountain people can often see bubbles continuously emerge from the surface of the mire. If a candle falls in, you can instantly see sparks, like firecrackers. The mountain people don’t know what this is and usually called it the spiritual beings haunting the place.
Because it involves spiritual beings, Mo Li naturally went to see it.
These swamps usually have an unpleasant smell.
Mo Li gave firewood to Hu Zi to make medicine, precisely because he didn’t smell anything after entering this ancient forest. Moreover, Hu Zi said that they can heat water and when he checked, it wasn’t directly on the ground, so he didn’t care.
As a result, he was reminded by Meng Qi and Physician Mo only then saw the flue from the earthen stove. He was taken aback for a moment, then shocked, before directly putting out the fire in the stove.
“What’s the matter with this flue? Why do you want to exhaust smoke like this?”
As soon as Mo Li spoke, he thought of Lin Dou’s thoughts. This person was probably afraid that the smoke would be discovered, so he covered it up like this, but isn’t this courting death?
There’s no smell in the forest, probably because of the snow and ice.
But below the roots are old rotting mud, so the heat and smoke will melt the snow and ice.
“How deep is the rotten swamp on the ground?” Mo Li asked.
“N-not too deep.” Hu Zi stood up and gestured that it’s probably to his knees.
Mo Li wasn’t relieved and just told Hu Zi: “Don’t use this stove anymore.”
If the gas from the swamp mixed with the smoke and accumulates, once it heats up and encounters an open flame, let alone a child like Hu Zi, even a martial arts master would choke.
Mo Li picked up Hu Zi and retreated to another tree.
Hu Zi looked confused and didn’t understand how a fire could cause trouble. They even used it for several days!
Meng Qi walked around the earthen stove and found that although the flue was pierced into the tree roots, the other parts were still exposed, only covered up. After pulling away the dry vines, the flue was not well sealed as smoke leaked in some places.
“How is it?”
“There’s no danger for the time being and there’s no obvious smell near the roots.” Meng Qi regained his leisurely appearance and calmly smiled, “Maybe it’s luck since there isn’t much gas here, or maybe stupid people have heavenly luck.”
Physician Mo was a bit puzzled, but when he saw the unqualified and unsealed flue, he was speechless for a while.
Meng Qi seemed interested as he emotionally said: “There are always some people who are blessed by God, stupidly looking for death but escaping because of their poor abilities. They passed by the Gates of Hell several times but still know nothing. In this world, confused people have no troubles, while sober people live in pain. Physician, should I just give up and let go?”
Physician Mo didn’t even think about it and asked in amazement: “Why do you think confused people are not troubled?”
“They just eat and sleep every day, what troubles can they have?”
“That’s not a foolish person, but a pig.” Mo Li retorted solemnly, “Lin Dou is a foolish person in your mouth, but you dare say he has no troubles?”
Carrying a legacy from the previous dynasty, living in hiding from the enemy, and finally settling down in Qinghu Town. Then he encountered the Holy Lotus Shrine, but he gritted his teeth, and stayed, unfortunately, the epidemic happened. Who can change this situation?
“Don’t talk about Lin Dou, just talk about Hu Zi, doesn’t he have troubles?” Mo Li smoothly wiped off the ashes on Hu Zi’s face.
Hu Zi blinked and awkwardly lowered his head.
The child was still young, and Mo Li didn’t know if he understood what Lin Dou said just now.
But even if he didn’t know his real identity, he surely found many unusual things, such as why he had no parents, why he’s being hunted down, and why everyone around him was gone with only Lin Dou left. This was enough to distress a child.
“The farmer is worried about this year’s harvest, the merchants are worried about the loss of their goods, and even fools who don’t know anything are afraid of being beaten on the road. People have no long-term worries, but they must have short-term worries. How can there be anyone with no worries in the world? Those who envy the common people who work from sunrise to sunset must be the rich who had never tasted the hard work of farming. And those who envy the foolish for living their lives freely must think of themselves as smart people.” Mo Li said, warning Meng Qi expressionlessly, “If you want to boast, just say it directly, don’t be so roundabout.”
Meng Qi was dumbfounded.
In his heart, he truly saw himself as different from ordinary people, but he really wasn’t boasting about how smart he is just now. Did the physician misunderstand something?
Did he need to explain it to the physician?
Meng Qi struggled for a while and suddenly realized that the other party was being deliberate.
——to stop him from wasting time on an insignificant problem.
Meng Qi raised a brow. His gaze became deeper and deeper, thinking about how could he meet such a person.
Mo Li picked up the earthen jar on the stove. The medicine hadn’t been boiled yet, but a strong bitter smell had already emerged.
The earthen jar was very hot, but Mo Li didn’t care at all.
“If physician doesn’t mind, I can help.” Meng Qi took the initiative to take the medicine jar.
Mo Li was a little worried, looked at the tree hole in front of him, then motioned: “You don’t know how long it’ll take. I’ll find some firewood elsewhere and cook the medicine. Once Lin Dou’s illness recovered, he could leave Qinghu Town with Hu Zi as soon as possible.”
Meng Qi thought that this was indeed the case, so he agreed to stay here and take care of the others while waiting for Mo Li to return.
Hu Zi saw that the good-tempered physician was gone, so he quietly moved away from Meng Qi.
“Afraid of me?” Meng Qi raised a brow.
Hu Zi curled his neck, didn’t quibble, and nodded honestly.
Meng Qi couldn’t help squinting his eyes, thinking that this kid was very smart and very good at looking into people’s eyes.
A noble bloodline who was forced to flee, not only didn’t appear pretentious but will also look at people’s eyes, what does this show?
That means the life of this child wasn’t easy. Although the guards did their best to protect him, they didn’t respect him as a superior person. What they protected was only the blood of Prince Zhao Hua.
So Lin Dou didn’t tell Hu Zi the truth and restrained the child a lot. He was not allowed to communicate with outsiders and was not allowed to take food from outsiders. Lin Dou and the others sacrificed their lives to protect this child, so the child must have the “right attitude” to survive. The two are actually accomplishing tasks of the same nature.
The difference was that Lin Dou volunteered while Hu Zi has no choice.
“You can make a fire and you can use a stove.” Meng Qi looked at the child and said to himself: “Interesting, really interesting.”
Hu Zi didn’t know what he’s talking about, so he could only hide in the corner.
The child touched the goosebumps on his arm, and looked down, thinking that this good-looking person was really scary. When he looked at him, it was like having a sword to his neck and his whole body chilled as if all his clothes were gone and all his secrets were exposed to the other’s eyes.
The more scared Hu Zi was, the higher Meng Qi’s interest. He suddenly felt that teasing this child was also a good way to pass the time.
“Tell me, what are you thinking right now?”
“Do you want to try the consequences of not telling or telling the truth?” Meng Qi directly threatened, not having a guilty conscience at bullying a child.
Hu Zi hurriedly shook his head and whispered: “I’m thinking about when the physician will come back.”
It’s not that he hoped that Uncle Lin’s medicine will be cooked up soon, but with the physician’s presence, this person will restrain himself.
Meng Qi saw through the child’s mind at a glance and smiled: “Yes, the physician is a good man and he can control me. It’s a pity that he can’t come back for the time being. Go on and say something, don’t try to evade, I’m waiting.”
Hu Zi was embarrassed and couldn’t help but lean back against the tree truck, saying in a voice as thin as a mosquito: “…I, I was thinking, in fact, you are the State Teacher that Uncle Lin said.”
“…you are just afraid of trouble and don’t want to take over my trouble.” Hu Zi lowered his head and repeated, “I know that I am trouble. Uncle Lin is always dissatisfied with me and I can’t do anything well.”
Meng Qi was noncommittal: “What else?”
Hu Zi was stunned for a while, then suddenly pulled off the jade pendant on his neck and handed it to Meng Qi.
“Leaving this thing by my side will only cause trouble for me and Uncle Lin.”
Meng Qi was a little surprised this time. He thought that this child was just retreating by advancing just to keep him.
Hu Zi held the jade pendant and whispered: “In fact, Uncle Lin told me his dream. He hoped that I can be a great person, but I can’t even memorize poems, nor can I learn martial arts…”
Without waiting for him to finish, Meng Qi picked him up and went into the tree hole.
Lin Dou was lying on the bed with all thoughts grayed out. When he saw Meng Qi bring Hu Zi in, his eyes suddenly brightened.
“Do you know what stupid thing you did?” Meng Qi didn’t give Lin Dou a chance to speak and cursed at his face.
Lin Dou was at a loss and secretly annoyed by the scolding. When he realized that his flue almost blew up the tree hole, his expression turned to horror, and his whole person was terrified.
Meng Qi didn’t give him any face and continued to yell: “You don’t know who I am but you still dared to entrust this child to me? Even if I was the former State Teacher Meng, would I definitely protect this child? Do you know what your face was saying when you said you were about to die? At that time, you seemed to have thrown off a heavy burden that even the child knew it!”
Lin Dou looked at Hu Zi in shock, but the latter pouted and said nothing.
Meng Qi sneered and said, “Not to mention, if you want to keep the bloodline of Prince Zhao Hua, why don’t you throw away this jade pendant? The world is in chaos and there are rebels everywhere. The court isn’t strictly controlling people now so if you want to hide, how can you be found so many times that you’re the only one left in the end? Are you going to contact the previous dynasty’s former subordinates and look for a good opportunity to restore the previous dynasty?”
Lin Dou instinctively retorted: “I haven’t thought so since long ago. I just want to protect Hu Zi and let him grow up safely.”
“I can tell, otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to make a fire just like a normal child. But even so, you still didn’t give up and entrusted the tiger seal to me. The burden you should throw out is not a troublesome legacy but the idea of restoring the previous dynasty.”
Meng Qi held his hand and ruthlessly exposed Lin Dou, “You don’t want to give up, but you are afraid that you’ll lose face when you die…think about it, maybe it’s your father or maybe your colleagues, you even feel shameless to see Prince Zhao Hua.”
Lin Dou couldn’t speak, and it took a long time to get up as he painfully said: “I know what State Teacher is saying. But they’re all dead, and they put their hopes on me before dying. It happened that I lived in the end. If Hu Zi becomes an ordinary person, I…for what did I live in the end? If it didn’t matter to me, I can also speak such pompous words!”
“Why, are you still not convinced?” Meng Qi sneered and said sarcastically, “The Qi Dynasty only ruled the north of the Yangtze River, and there are several kings in the south, all of which belonged to the blood of the previous dynasty. The Chu dynasty has yet to completely fall. Why do you have to use this child to restore the previous dynasty?”
Lin Dou shook his head and said with difficulty: “The few kings in the south of Yangtze River can’t do anything to make waves. To fight for the head position, they fought each other first.”
Meng Qi caressed his palm and smiled: “Really? But you’re all the same, talking about the main position. You now have the main bloodline in your hand, so as long as you have a hundred thousand army and land, this child can be king. Then, when all the land under heaven come to pay respects, how many kings will turn back and admit that he’s the Emperor with true dragon blood?”
“So what’s the use of orthodoxy?” Meng Qi looked indifferent and said, “If you have the skills, and the kid is capable, you can start from scratch and work hard, build up power and fight against the world. If you can’t, just live incognito. For people like you who are superstitious about the orthodox blood, isn’t the most important task to guard this child, raise him, and let him start a family who’d inherit his blood?”
After Meng Qi finished speaking, he went out of the tree hole without looking at Lin Dou’s reaction.
Mo Li was standing outside holding the medicine jar, and the two happened to run into each other.
“…State Teacher is so majestic.” Physician Mo quietly said.
“Ah, I just think that child is pitiful.” Meng Qi straightened, but his eyes drifted away.
Mo Li laughed and said: “You seem to be in a much better mood after this scolding? Why don’t you scold Lin Dou a few more times, I’ll treat him which will also treat you, killing two birds with one stone.”
Meng Qi quickly said: “This wouldn’t work well. Although I don’t remember the past, I don’t want to touch the old things of the Chu dynasty at all! I don’t know how the former Emperor offended me, but when I think about him, I felt sick, as if I saw flies while drinking soup.”
“Sounds about right.”
Mo Li looked at Meng Qi and thoughtfully said, “My teacher said that Li Yuanze, the founding Emperor of the Chu Dynasty, was just a small general at the border in his early years. He helped people and never expected compensation. He helped the needy so he appeared very grand to the people. It just so happened that the officials of the Chen Dynasty were corrupt and the people couldn’t make a living, so when he rallied people to rebel, the people responded. Li Yuanze was a man who looked like a hero but has the ambition of a lord. He knew people and used them well. He’s also an expert in military strategy as he conquered many opponents and gathered civil and military officers all around to ultimately dominate the world. Within a few years of becoming the Emperor, he began to reduce the military. In his later years, he became even more mediocre and intensely persecuted war veterans, paving the way for his descendants to take the imperial power alone. He killed three Marquis one after another, creating conspiracy charges against them, like Marquis Jing Yuan who died unclearly. If you think of Li Yuanze as a fly in the soup, that’s a good analogy, so you may indeed be State Teacher Meng. Didn’t General Liu say that Meng Qi is also Li Yuanze’s hero? It’s not surprising that you find the Emperor disgusting since he turned his back and killed his loyal ministers and good generals.”
Meng Qi went silent for a while, then pointed at his face: “Physician, do you think I have memories of my past life? Otherwise, I can’t live forever and I can’t rejuvenate, so why am I so young…”
“I suspect that you’re not a human being at all. For example, a spiritual being that will never grow old.”
Mo Li left this sentence behind, leaving Meng Qi look struck by thunder and standing there stupefied.
So his past…was like how spiritual beings went down the mountain to help others conquer the world?
Why does this sound so ridiculous?
The author has something to say:
Lin Dou: This child is of orthodox blood. His grandfather is Prince Zhao Hua, and his great-grandfather is the founding Emperor of the Chu Dynasty! He’s of real dragon blood!
Dragon vein: Say that again!
Qin Lu: Envy of ordinary people’s lives meant that they never tasted the hardships of ordinary people. Envy of the foolish meant that they’re smart people…this old man’s chicken soup, drink quickly.
Mo Li: Every Chinese New Year, I envy people who gathered together to celebrate and are connected by blood.
Author: This shows that you don’t have a partner.
Mo Li: …
Author: I envy people who travel for the New Year.
Mo Li: This shows that you are poor.
The author and the protagonist hurt each other on the scene.
Qin Lu: …what are you doing, where is my chicken soup? Why did it change?
Uhm, so here’s a quick summary of the dynasties mentioned in this chapter:
Chen Dynasty (became corrupt) => Chu Dynasty (former Emperor Li Yuanze, good but became corrupt) => Qi Dynasty (current Emperor: Lu Zhang, former general)
And I guess I mistranslated it before. Hu Zi is Prince Zhao Hua’s grandson, I guess.