AST 0061 Salivating
Shaking his head, Qing Shui threw caution to the winds, as he released all the remaining little fishes and river turtles into the crystal pond. He hoped that the mystical properties of the crystal water which was infused with boundless spiritual energy would somehow be able to evolve them.
With a huge grin plastered on his face, Qing Shui cackled while rubbing his hands in glee. He knew that in the near future, these little fishes and river turtles would be his source of income.
Qing Shui cultivated inside the spatial realm, while observing the growth of the little fishes and river turtles, after about three days, he noticed from his experiments that not only the sizes of the fishes and turtles grew a lot bigger, they seemed to be brimming with vitality, even emitting a imperceptible black shine in their eyes, as if they had somehow gained intelligence. This discovery caused Qing Shui to be dumbstruck. If this was the truly the case, after 10 years in the spatial realm, wouldn’t they evolve into demonic beasts?
However, he suddenly paused as he felt that something was off. “Hmm not right, after all, how could the lifespan of fishes and prawns exceed that of 100 years? Only turtles would be able to have such a long lifespan.”
As he stepped out of the spatial realm, the neurons in his brains were rapidly firing. Qing Shui needed to think of a way to maximise his profits, and to keep this a secret. The best way to do so, was to actually rear fishes, prawns, crabs and turtles in the pond inside the Hundred Medicinal Garden.
Now, there was a fiery blaze in Qing Shui’s heart. Only when there was a goal, would there be motivation. The glow in Qing Shui`s eyes shone brighter and brighter as he envisioned various scenarios as he try to find a solution to his problems. Unknowingly, it was already night time when he returned back to the Qing Clan’s Medicinal Store.
“Qing Shui, you are back, we were all waiting for you to have dinner together. Today, aunty Qing Yi cooked her best dishes – grilled fish, as well as your favourite turtle nourishment soup!” Qing Shi excitedly exclaimed, not noticing that Qing Shui’s face turned a shade paler at the mention of his favourite soup.
However, at this exact moment, it was as though a switch flipped on in his mind. “This was it! An opening that I can use, damn it I’m a genius!”
“Mother, are the ingredients expensive?” Qing Shui asked while gesturing to the grilled fish and turtle soup.
“Yes, they are even more expensive compared to some of the prices for beast meat. It is not ideal to rear species of fishes in the Hundred Miles City, and as such, most of the supply came from external sources. As for turtles, they grow too slowly to be sold as a commodity, even if you want to hunt them in the wild, turtles are relatively rare. “
“Perhaps the environment in Hundred Miles City is unable to support rearing of species of sea creatures?”
“No, not unable to support, but the time it takes to rear them is too long, hence, the supply for Hundred Miles City come from external sources.”
“Mother, I wish to try rearing some fishes in the pond in our Hundred Medical Garden.”
Qing Yi was puzzled, didn’t she just explained the difficulties of rearing fishes? Why would Qing Shui still be interested in the prospect? Her son was getting increasingly mysterious indeed.
“Hehe, Mother, don’t you worry, I can guarantee that the fishes I rear, would definitely be better than those you bought outside.” Qing Shui smiled, looking straight at Qing Yi, with a very honest expression in his eyes.
The following day, Qing Yi passed banknotes worth 300 taels of silver to Qing Shui, giving him the authority to do what he deemed necessary. Qing Yi grinned happily, it seems like Qing Yi was still the one who knew him best.
As he wandered the streets, looking for more live fishes to buy, he suddenly thought of the words Ni`er said to him. Qing Shui’s eyes gleamed with excitement as he rushed off to the creekside which Ni`er had mentioned.
The golden dusk creek, was the creek near the valley of a nearby mountain. Although it was very wide, the water level was shallow. It was relatively near the outskirts of Hundred Miles City. Travelling on foot, the distance was still reachable after 15 minutes of brisk walking.
The water level was only knee deep, and the water was extremely clear. One could see numerous water species such as little fishes, shrimps, crabs and even turtles. However, they were not homebred, and the largest size of the creatures, was even smaller than the size of a palm.
“Ai! Isn’t that Ni`er?” Qing Shui spotted Ni`er together with two other kids that were similar size to her, holding on to their small little fishing nets.
“Ni`er!” Qing Shui shouted.
The little girl turned her head back, as an adorable smile broke out as she ran over.
“Big brother, why are you here?” Ni`er stared at Qing Shui as she blinked her eyelashes curiously.
“Big brother, do you need more fishes and turtles? Is that why you are here today?” Ni’er excitedly pulled on Qing Shui’s hand as she led him towards the two other kids.
“Let me ask more of my friends to help fulfil big brother’s request! This way, the speed would be faster.”
Qing Shui was moved after hearing how enthusiastic Ni’er was in helping him.
“Okay little sister, just ask all your friends to help, I will pay 10 copper coins per bucket of water is that okay?” Qing Shui offered a price that was about 5x time higher than the normal cost.
“Big Brother, the price is too high, just a copper coin or two would do.” Ni’er frantically refused Qing Shui’s offer.
“Be obedient, listen to big brother, even though big brother is not rich, I won’t ill treat you guys.”
After hearing Qing Shui’s assurance, Ni’er smiled happily as she ran off, gathering her friends.
After a short while, Ni’er brought along 10 others, and spent about half a day catching countless little fishes,prawns and turtles.
Qing Shui felt his heart soften looking at how hard these poor kids are working. In the end, he gave them a tael of silver for each water bucket that was filled with sea creatures
Now that Qing Shui was more accustomed the concept of money in this world, he knew that a tael of silver was roughly equivalent to $100 in his previous world!
After half a day more, over 20 buckets of water were filled with sea creatures that the children caught. Entering into his spatial realm, Qing Shui poured in the contents of more than half of the 20 buckets into the crystal pond.
The children should really be rewarded for their efforts. Qing Shui was extremely pleased with the results of the catch. For the species of fishes, there were many varieties. Blackfish, grass carp and catfish were the majority while other fish species constituted a minority. For the turtle species, there were only a single variety – black turtles.
Qing Shui took a long wooden shaft, and balanced the remaining eight buckets of water on it, before rapidly exiting his spatial realm, hurrying back to the Qing Clan’s Medical Store. Balancing four buckets on each side, Qing Shui hurried to the pond located inside the Hundred Medicinal Garden. Contained within each bucket, was water from the crystal pond. To increase their rate of growth, Qing Shui had replaced the sea water with water from the crystal pond before slipping the sea creatures back into it.
On the way there, Qing Shui met Qing Shi, who giggled uncontrollably after witnessing how anxious Qing Shui looked. His laughter drew the attention of Yuan Ying and Qing Yi, who looked over smiling kindly at Qing Shui.
Qing Shui, ignoring Qing Shi, hurriedly made his way to the pond before awkwardly releasing all the sea creatures from the eight buckets into it. He hope that his guess was right, the spiritual qi-imbued water would be able to somehow stimulate the growth.
Only after he completed that, did he feel secure in his heart. The next step, was to look for a business partner to sell them the live ingredients. Involuntarily, memories of Yu He Inn floated up in his mind. That turtle soup and that cheeky young woman. Especially that cheeky young woman, Qing Shui found himself wanting to interact with her.
As he lost himself in his fantasies, he could almost see Yu He. That look on her elegant looking face, that lithe and graceful body, decked out in the bikinis of his previous world, and that smile, filled with tantalizing promises, inching closer and closer to him. His heartbeat increased as he gulped, when suddenly…
“What are you thinking of you smelly brat, why are you salivating?!”