It took Yang Yang more than 40 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the trading market, and it was very rewarding ——thanks Mr. Monta for being the ATM.
There was only one floor in the trade market, and the whole place was divided into three areas: “plants”, “animals” and “others”. All shops were temporarily set up in these three areas.
Even though that the trade market has opened, because the tourist season had not yet arrived, there were not many people in the market. In addition, many goods have not yet been coded, and the borders between stores were not obvious, which made it seem very crowded.
But there were fireworks everywhere*.
*here it should be referring to hustle and celebration that’s accompanied by fireworks, seems like it’s even a poem?
Yang Yang really liked this kind of environment, and he even felt that he has returned to the pre-apocalyptic world in a daze.
All three with Yang Yang stood at the door, attracting a lot of attention—especially from Archibald.
Archibald was not only popular on the Starnet, but also quite popular in reality. Although he had a very aggressive face, and as long as his face was expressionless, he looked very murderous, but along the way, he had gained a lot of admiration.
Of course, no one dared to come up and take a photo with him. However, Yang Yang indeed has received discounts from several stall owners.
Yang Yang was a little happy when he saw this sight—it seemed that the Duke’s “discount face” skill could be very effective in the market.
But Archibald’s face turned colder. He really doesn’t like to go shopping and being constantly watched.
Although Yang Yang couldn’t see Archibald’s tail, but he could see the arc of Archibald’s cloak shaking, Yang Yang could completely imagine how the big tail was moving anxiously.
Yang Yang sighed and softened his heart: “Duke, if you’re uncomfortable, you can wait for us outside the store.”
Archibald was not moved after hearing this, but instead looked vigilant: “You want to let Monta accompany the child?”
Yang Yang: “…”
Yang Yang: “Okay, then you follow.”
Saying that, Yang Yang looked up at the beams of the market, there were three signs hanging on it, Yang Yang pointed at the one with a plant painted on it, and asked Monta: “Are we going there?”
“That’s right.” Monta nodded and led the way.
The plant area had the most people, but it also looked the most orderly—after all, there were many soul essence plants here. If a leaf was broken, the soul power of the entire plant would degrade. So no matter the host or the guests, their movements were very reserved.
Yang Yang took a look at it first. The entire plant area was dominated by green, with colourful flowers and even a few trees. It looked lush and exuberant, like a small jungle.
But Yang Yang found that there were very few people who actually bought things, and most were watching.
Yang Yang was a little curious, and turned to ask Monta: “How do you pick up good deals? Isn’t this just looking for a needle in a haystack?”
Monta came a little closer and replied to Yang Yang: “There is an auction area inside, which back then was used to deal with inferior products, and the starting price was very low, but there has also been sold top-quality items—the 800 million expensive soul-essence grass was auctioned there.
So later, this kind of auction has been transformed, no longer selling only low-quality products, but also adding some high-end products. If you are lucky it is very possible to hit a jackpot.”
Yang Yang thought for a while and asked: “Is there a way to judge the grade of soul essence plants?”
Monta: “There are instruments that can detect, but it is only a very rough detection method, and it’s also very easy to fake. The second one can only detect the amount of soul power contained in it. ——The more soul power, the higher the grade of soul essence plants, but many medicinal soul essence plants only require a part of the plant, so if the soul power of that part is high, the rank of the soul essence plant would also increase.
And the high-grade spirit plant tested by the instrument will be sent to the trading center, and the pharmacist will judge the accurate grade before auctioning it. Therefore, the trade market is full of preliminary screening of the remaining ‘inferior products’. The auction here relies only on one’s own eyesight and experience.”
Yang Yang suddenly understood that it was gambling on stones* of the plant world.
*referring to gambling on uncut, rough jadeite stones and betting on those that the buyers think will have the best jades inside. Basically gambling game deluxe. There’s even a whole danmei novel about it.
Yang Yang frowned, “This sounds a bit unreliable.”
“That’s why it’s called picking up treasures*. And—”
*捡漏 – lit. translates to picking up leaks, a jargon for antiques collectors looking for real antiques amidst fakes
Monta brought his head closer and said in Yang Yang’s ears: “Don’t we have your eyes? I heard from my mother, you played us before, it’s not a soul power out of control at all.”
Yang Yang raised his eyebrows, then smiled: “So that’s why you brought me out to play with such enthusiasm today?”
Monta: “Goods things should be shared with everyone.”
Yang Yang gave him a look, and was about to say something, but he felt another force pull his hand, and his body swayed.
Yang Yang turned back and looked at Archibald helplessly.
Archibald looked unhappy, with condemnation in his eyes: “Don’t get so close.”
Yang Yang: “…”
Monta was a little stunned, his little friend really seemed a bit wrong today.
Yang Yang was also helpless. He underestimated the importance Archibald put on children, and underestimated the power of a silly father.
So Yang Yang could only surrender, he pushed Monta a step away, and then said to Archibald: “I’ll go see those soul essence plants, you wait outside.”
Archibald frowned: “I want to follow you.”
Yang Yang sighed, then gestured behind Archibald with his eyes. Archibald looked back, and saw that his cloak was shaking, and it was obvious that the tail hidden under it was restless.
He didn’t realize that he had been wagging his tail.
Yang Yang sighed and said: “Don’t enter the store in this state. I don’t care if the tail accidentally swipes down something, but Monta may lose money and cry.”
Archibald released his hand reluctantly. Yang Yang smiled, turned around and walked towards the nearest store.
Archibald and Monta followed, but both stayed outside the store area and did not enter.
Monta stood for a while and his gossipy heart finally couldn’t hold back.
He bumped into Archibald with his arm and asked in a low voice: “Byrd, what do you mean with Yang Yang?”
Archibald looked confused: “What do you mean?”
Monta had a look of ‘I’ve seen through everything’ on his face: “Hiya, anyways we’re not so young, so you don’t have to pretend to be innocent in front of me.”
Archibald “What the hell are you trying to say?”
Monta: “You didn’t realise it? It was just your attitude towards Yang Yang today. I can’t get close at all. You wish you could make a separation zone between me and Yang Yang. I have seen you interact with others, and I have never seen you stick to anyone like this. Be honest, are you interested in Yang Yang?”
Archibald looked at Monta with the eyes of looking at a mentally retarded. “Is there something wrong with your brain or is there something wrong with my brain? Why would I like him?”
Monta “If you don’t like him, why do you keep pulling him? Yesterday, I saw that you didn’t treat him like this. You don’t give face to enemies. Today I saw the reality, it’s obviously you who took the initiative to pull him and didn’t want to let go all the way.”
Archibald glanced at Monta with disgust, and then said: “Don’t overthink, I’m doing prenatal education.”
Monta was visibly sceptical: “By holding hands?”
Archibald: Yang Yang’s has a special body constitution. Through his body, the child’s soul can perceive the outside world to the maximum extent. The parenting expert of StarNet also said that skin contact can make the female’s fetus more intuitively familiar with the father’s soul power. “
Monta: “… No, but even then you don’t have to do this? Aren’t you staying in front of him all day long?”
Archibald: “Yang Yang said that the child is very lively, and its the most active when he comes out to play, so it’s better for me to accompany him at such times.”
Monta: “Okay, then why are you defending him from me like I’m a thief?”
Archibald: “When this kind of child is actively aware of the outside world, with you sticking to Yang Yang, what if the child mistakenly thinks you are its father?”
Monta: “…Are you serious?”
Archibald was strangely silent for a moment, and then he said: “I’d rather believe it.”
Well, he understood. One is wants to beat and the other is willing to suffer, why should he care about it.
Monta rolled his eyes and said nothing.
On the other hand, after Yang Yang entered the store, he felt as if he had entered another world.
The store seemed to have just received the goods and did not have time to take care of them yet. The ground was full of dirt and gravel, and there was even a stove. When Yang Yang was wondering about its purpose, he saw the store staff put a plant directly into the stove.
Yang Yang’s eyes widened, only to see that the wilted plant had regained its vitality under the licking of burning flames.
Yang Yang: “…”
You can still play like this? ?
In addition to the flower planted in the stove, there were also some other strange plants. Yang Yang looked around for a while, and suddenly a flower appeared in front of him, with a leaf swaying in front of him.
Yang Yang was startled, straightened to looked over, and saw that with a “clatter” a small sapling that was more than one meter high came out of the pile of freshly delivered plants.
C, a, m, e, o, u, t.
Yang Yang: “…”
This small sapling was about one meter tall, the trunk was only the thickness of a thumb, but its root system was well developed. At this moment, its root system was twisted into three strands, and it crawled out of the plant pile, and then its thin branches and leaves swayed a few times, searching for a direction.
A few seconds later, the sapling walked towards Yang Yang’s right hand, and then stood in front of a pile of relatively moist soil. Then, it arched one of its roots in and dug a hole, and slowly planted itself in it.
Oh, and it also watered itself with its roots.
Yang Yang: “…”
Yang Yang: “…”
Yang Yang turned around and walked to Archibald and Monta, with a dazed look on his face: “I seem to have hallucinations. I saw a tree walking and watering itself just now.”
Archibald also saw it and replied: “That’s a subspecies, it will move on its own to find a suitable environment to take root, and it won’t move again when it grows to a certain extent. But I don’t know its medicinal or edible value, Monta is more knowledgable about it.”
Archibald glanced to the side after speaking, but there was no Monta, he looked back and found Monta three steps away.
Archibald: “…Why are you standing so far away?”
Monta: “Lest your cub call me daddy in the future.”
Seeing Archibald’s eyes becoming more “friendly”, Monta accepted his fate, and come forward to explain to Yang Yang: “This is a treasure-hunting tree. Although it has no medicinal or edible value, it likes to grow in an environment with sufficient nutrition and strong soul power, and it can easily lead to some better quality soul essence plants.”
Yang Yang: “Is it an animal or a plant? I think its movements just now seemed very spiritual.”
Especially when moving the leaves to find the direction and water itself, it looked especially humane.
Monta: “Of course it’s a plant, and many people like these subspecies, so there are quite a few on the market.”
Yang Yang still had a stunned look on his face, still feeling it’s really amazing.
When Monta saw Yang Yang’s expression, he remembered Yang Yang’s amnesia, because of which it all probably looked very strange. So Monta suddenly showed a mysterious look, stepped forward and put his hand on Yang Yang’s shoulder, and said in a lowered voice: “But it may not be a plant.”
Yang Yang immediately looked over: “Why is that?”
Monta: “Plants, animals, minerals, taking in account all these things, the most precious thing is the soul power they contain. And if the soul power of these things reaches a certain high level, they could even generate their own souls – although I have never seen it with my eyes, all scholars say so.”
Yang Yang’s eyes widened: “When a soul is born, would it attain self-awareness? Can it speak?
Monta: “There is self-awareness, but it’s not clear about speech. There is actually a record of speech recognition. In any case, my mother and me have never seen it in this generation, oh, Old Liang has seen it, but his brain is not so good now, and you can’t take him seriously.”
Yang Yang only heard “someone has seen it”, so, isn’t this the legendary spirit plant*!
*actually what’s said here is 成精 that essence/spirit of something, as in an animal or plant that attained spirituality.
Yang Yang wanted to ask for more details, but suddenly heard Archibald say: “Are you finished?”
Monta looked away from Yang Yang and saw Archibald’s expressionless face, but his eyes were falling on Monta’s arm on Yang Yang’s shoulder, as if he was looking at something superfluous.
Monta silently retracted his hand, and took a step back consciously, keeping a safe distance from Yang Yang.
Archibald retracted his gaze, looked at Yang Yang again, and asked: “Are you still going shopping?”
Only then did Yang Yang remember his original intention of entering the store—he wanted to see the difference between various grades of soul plants.
Yang Yang: “I want to go shopping. Monta, do you know which stores are more reliable? I’ll go and see their soul plants.”
Monta caught Yang Yang’s purpose and said: “This one is good, and there are a few others ahead.”
With that, Monta called the boss over and asked him for many pots of soul essence plants of different grades he wanted to show Yang Yang.
The boss has been waiting by the side for a long time—Archibald and Monta, forget about Monta, they are already familiar with each other, but Archibald is a rare visitor here!
The boss came over with a look of joy, and after hearing what Monta said, he immediately said: “No problem, I still have the treasures of the town store. Do you want to see it, Lord Duke?”
Monta: “…Wasn’t I asking you for them?”
Boss: “Don’t pay attention to these details. —Is the Duke interested? I can give you a 30% discount.”
Monta: “30% off?? Why did you only give me 15% off before??”
Boss: “Oh, don’t worry about these details. Lord Duke?”
Archibald: “….No need, just find some soul plants of different grades for Yang Yang, he is curious about them. Thank you.”
The boss heard Archibald’s thanks, he was flattered, and said quickly: “No problem, just wait a moment.”
After speaking, he personally called the staff in the store and after a while, a lot of things were took out, and even the treasures of the town store were taken out.
Yang Yang was stunned, looked at Archibald, and asked: “Duke, so you hate going out for shopping because everyone is so enthusiastic?”
Archibald’s face changed, as if he remembered bad memories, and he denied it “no.”
But he did not say what was the real reason.
Yang Yang raised his eyebrows. Although he was curious, he didn’t ask any further questions—the boss had already brought plants over.
“Thank you boss.”
Yang Yang walked over and thanked the boss with a smile.
Although the boss didn’t know what was the relationship between the three of them, he could see that their relationship was not ordinary. In addition, Yang Yang had a cute and innocent face, with a pleasant smile.
The boss was coaxed in a short period of time, Yang Yang asked what he wanted to know, and almost pocketed the low price of the purchase.
After repeating this procedure, Yang Yang has been through a total of five stores. Based on the bosses’ classification of soul plants, and their instructions on how to distinguish the difference, he also found some common logic to follow.
——Low-grade soul essence plants were easy to distinguish, it’s enough to look at the concentration of soul power in the plants.
But the soul power of high-grade soul essence plants was somewhat similar to that of humans. Their soul power did not fill the whole plant, but condensed into meridian-like lines instead.
Moreover, the distribution of soul power in high-grade soul essence plants was not as uniform as that of low-grade plants, some were concentrated in the fruit, some were concentrated in the leaves, and some were concentrated in the roots. But no matter what kind, the entire plant is covered with soul power as a whole.
Yang Yang thought that this “integrity” and “meridian shapes” should be the common characteristics of high-grade soul essence plants.
“How’s it going?”
After Yang Yang saw the fifth store, Monta came over: “After a while, the auction will end.”
Yang Yang straightened up and nodded: “Okay, let’s go.”
The auction hall was a small temporary platform in the plant area. The platform was raised by mere 30cm with wooden boards. There was only one host and auctioneer and the owner of the goods was the one displaying them, after the transaction the money and goods were received on the spot.
When Yang Yang and the others arrived, the auction was in full swing, and the surrounding crowd exclaimed from time to time because of disappointment or joy, causing others to be excited as well.
Yang Yang needed to see the soul power with a naked eye, so he plunged into the crowd as soon as he arrived.
Although there were many people, Yang Yang moved forward effortlessly—where Archibald passed, it was as if Moses was dividing the sea.
Yang Yang went to the front of the crowd unimpeded, and then saw a person who did not move in the middle of the passage made out of the sea of people.
It was an old man, with white hair and beard, and furrowed brows on his face, but his eyes were full of energy, and he was staring at a plant on the stage.
However, the auction was passively suspended due to the arrival of Archibald, so the old man watched for a while before realizing something was wrong, he then turned around and found Yang Yang and the others behind him.
Yang Yang was a little embarrassed, and was about to say something, when he heard Archibald and Monta speak at the same time.
Old Liang, sounds a little familiar.
Yang Yang thought about it for a while and remembered——wasn’t he the one that saw the spiritual plant with his own eyes, and Monta said that his brain was a little bad nowadays?
Yang Yang looked at Monta, but Monta had a look of awe, even covering a bit like a quail. He took a step forward respectfully and asked: “Old Liang, why are you* here?”
Hearing Monta’s voice, Mr. Liang glanced at Archibald and Monta again, and then remembered who they were, his eyes immediately widened: “Hmph, you know how to play, have you finished your homework?”
Monta scratched his head, did not dare to speak loudly, and explained weakly: “Old Liang, We’ve all graduated a long time ago. —No, why are you here alone? Who asked you to come? Why don’t you even have someone to accompany you?”
The old man continued glaring at them: “Can’t I take care of you after graduation? I can still make you copy the ancestral lesson “Diligence and Frugality” a hundred times!”
No, who did I provoke?
Monta looked helpless, but he didn’t dare to refute, and obediently listened to him rattle on.
Yang Yang was curious and asked Archibald in a low voice: “Who is this?”
Archibald “Old Liang, he was my father’s and Aunt Gu’s teacher, as well as our teacher, and was also a very famous scholar in the empire. He’s 200 years old, and he doesn’t recognize people occasionally, but his mind is still very clear.”
200 years old.
Even though Yang Yang was stunned, he also felt admirable: “It’s amazing.”
Archibald nodded, smiled, and said: “But the old man’s temper is not very good, he likes to punish us by copying, and Monta was punished almost every week to copy old lectures. My dad has also been punished many times.”
Yang Yang laughed and asked: “What about you?”
Archibald: “…only a dozen times.”
Yang Yang couldn’t hold back and laughed out loud.
Over there, Monta has figured out the situation —Old Liang came to the Old Emperor Star a month ago. He was only travelling for retirement, and now he planned to settle here. He lived in a science research base, working as a consultant, and wandering around when he had nothing to do.
There was a smart housekeeper who came out with him today, but because he disliked the smart housekeeper’s troublesome nagging, he turned it off.
Yang Yang “…”
It didn’t sound like he was too reliable.
The unreliable Old Liang recognized the people after Monta’s explanation.
He looked at Monta and Archibald with relief, sighed muttering something like “the child has grown up”, and then suddenly changed the subject and looked at Monta: “Since you’re still so interested in soul essence plants, I will test you, these two plants above, choose one for me to see.”
Why is it always me who gets hurt? ?
But Monta dared not say no.
So Monta looked at Yang Yang—comrade, you know what to do!
Yang Yang smiled and said “ok”. Monta was about to feel moved when he saw Yang Yang mouthing 300,000 yuan.
Are you a bandit? What about the friendships and bonds between members of the organization?
Yang Yang smiled back, raised his chin and gestured to the stage —the auction has started again.
Monta gritted his teeth and nodded —deal.
Yang Yang smiled with satisfaction, and then looked at the stage. The person on the stage was an acquaintance—the owner of the first shop Yang Yang went to.
And the goods held by the shopkeeper were also familiar, one of which was the treasure hunting tree.
Yang Yang released his soul power, and the scene in front of him suddenly changed.
After seeing the distribution of the spirit power of the two plants, Yang Yang was surprised—although they were both low-grade spirit plants, the treasure hunt tree was obviously of a higher grade than the other.
However, Monta said that the treasure tree has no medicinal and edible value, so it is better to choose the other one?
While Yang Yang was hesitating, a white silkworm cocoon suddenly appeared in front of him, so dense that it blocked all his vision.
Yang Yang was startled, quickly withdrew his soul power, and then met Old Liang’s bright eyes.
Yang Yang: “…”
Old Liang smiled and said lightly:”You focused all your soul power on your eyes just now, are you trying to distinguish the soul power of plants?”
Yang Yang was surprised, how did Old Liang see it?
When Yang Yang was about to ask, he heard Old Liang continue: “You wanted to help Monta cheat, do you think I’m blind? Monta, go back and write the four words “Diligence and practice” a hundred times!”
Yang Yang: “…”
Can only say he’s very sympathetic.
Author has something to say:
Monta: Blue thin, shiitake mushrooms*
*蓝瘦香菇 it’s a pun because it sounds like: “uncomfortable, want to cry”