Written by Tinalynge & Blue Jay
Edited by ONI_ghost
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Chapter 58 – Love or Hate?
The following morning Luo Xiao awoke together with the sun. It was summer, so the sun rose early in the morning and Luo Xiao was filled with energy and excitement as he left his bed and took a quick bath.
Although he had slept fine through the night, he felt empty in his heart when he woke up and didn’t feel the familiar warmth of Jiang Yao surrounding him. Though, he quickly shook his head. He shouldn’t feel too bad about Jiang Yao not being there, he had sent him here for his best interests.
Still, the feeling of being lonely made him sigh and he quickly ate some dumplings after his bath. After eating, he left the house and headed to the central square again where he looked for the mission house.
Not many students had risen yet, and as a result, not many were walking around the streets, and the mission house was almost completely empty, only two other people could be seen in the massive building.
Luo Xiao already had a good idea of what he wished to do, and he quickly found the mission for helping the alchemists in tending to the herbs in the herb gardens.
This was a task that not many were interested in doing as the task only gave twenty points a day, and the work was rather tedious. One had to constantly remove weeds and water the herbs, it was manual labor and most cultivators felt that they were above such work.
Though Luo Xiao didn’t care about such things. He had spent so much time within a bed that he was quite excited about doing manual labor, he was even excited about the fact that his body was simply able to handle the hard work.
Luo Xiao completely ignored the fact that he was supposed to be a part of Jiang Bai’s entourage, and instead, headed towards the fields with the mission sheet he had gotten from the mission house. He couldn’t help but feel some satisfaction and excitement.
The Divine Nebula Art was quite astonishing as well. It made it possible for Luo Xiao to cultivate while moving, so although it was hard work, his body was constantly absorbing the essence of the heavens and the earth and refining it into soul energy.
Although it was not as fast as when he sat down and focused fully on cultivating, it was still better than nothing. One had to say that when Jiang Yao found something for Luo Xiao, he would find the best of the best.
Arriving at the herb gardens, Luo Xiao quickly looked around and found that there really was no one tend to the gardens. Many of the fields were filled with weeds. Although the herbs were growing well, so were the rest of the weeds and they almost drowned out the herbs.
Luo Xiao frowned when he saw this, but then he shrugged his shoulders. It didn’t matter if there were many weeds or few, all of them had to be removed in the end.
“What are you doing here young man?” an aged voice sounded out behind Luo Xiao. When he turned around, he saw an elderly man wearing a sky-blue robe. He had a long white beard which swayed in the wind together with his white hair, clearly white from age.
His eyes were gentle and friendly, and his expression held a slight smile. He seemed like an elderly grandfather as he looked at Luo Xiao who quickly collected his thoughts.
“I’m looking for the overseer of the herb gardens,” he said while looking around, hoping to see the overseer somewhere. “I’ve taken the task of working here in the fields,” he continued to introduce himself, “but I am unsure what steps to take after appearing here.”
The elderly man raised an eyebrow in surprise, “You want to work here, voluntarily?” he asked, and Luo Xiao nodded his head honestly.
“Good, good, then come with me,” the elderly man smiled as he started walking away, and Luo Xiao quickly ran after him, keeping up with him while looking around curiously.
The elderly man took him to a house that was located to the side of the herb gardens. Inside there was a clerk behind a desk, clearly, this was where one was supposed to come when students came to buy herbs for points.
When the clerk saw the elderly man, he instantly stood up and cupped his fists, “Overseer Zhu, good morning!”
Hearing the elderly man addressed like that, Luo Xiao instantly understood that he was the overseer of the herb gardens, and he felt a lot more reverence towards the gentle older man.
“This youngster will take over the work of weeding out the fields,” Overseer Zhu said as he looked at Luo Xiao who was behind him, and the small child stepped forward and bowed to the clerk.
The clerk was quite surprised but still managed to nod to the younger man. He didn’t overlook the Royal Cloth fabric on his body, so why would such a child with such a background be at the herb gardens to earn points? This was the hardest place to earn points, the worst pay possible and also the place where one had to work the hardest.
If he had the background to get clothes from Royal Cloth, then he should also have the background to get his hands on points without having to work for them.
Even if he had to work, he should be surrounded by people who would happily enter the forest with him to hunt. That was a much more profitable way to gain points.
This thought crossed the clerk’s mind but he wasn’t stupid enough to ask any questions, instead, he just found a thick book.
“Go to the fifth field. That field is filled with Thousand Jade Sunflowers,” the clerk stated and found a small jade slip from a large shelf behind him. He then handed the jade slip to Luo Xiao.
“Use this to recognize the herb. There are only supposed to be Thousand Jade Sunflowers in that field, so anything else has to be removed.”
Luo Xiao looked at the jade slip, unsure of what to do, and only after five minutes had passed did the clerk understand that he was confused.
His eyes furrowed into a frown as he looked at the youngster. How could he wear such clothes when he didn’t even know how jade slips worked?
“Place it on your forehead and pour some energy into it,” he ordered, and Luo Xiao did as told. He then felt information about the Thousand Jade Sunflower in his mind. He now knew what the herb looked like in every single stage of maturity, and at the same time, he knew what usages the herb had and what kind of medicinal pastes, salves, and pills the herb was used for.
The Thousand Jade Sunflower had a medicinal property that helped blood clot. It was used in medicine that facilitated the healing of wounds. When consumed, as a herb, before refinement, it would be able to stop bleeding, but when combined with other medicines and made into pastes and pills it would even be able to treat wounds.
The Thousand Jade Sunflower was quite important throughout the entire academy. It was not a high graded herb and it didn’t require much to grow.
It was used by trainee alchemists and medicinal cultivators and a lot of them were used every day.
There were a total of three fields with this herb, but the one he had been sent to was one where most of the herbs were mature. It was obvious that no one had weeded out the plants on this field from the moment they had been planted.
This field was large and it would be impossible to fully weed it out by the end of the day, but this didn’t make Luo Xiao lose hope.
He went to the field and started weeding. It was summer and before he knew it, the sun had already moved to the highest point in the sky, his clothes soaking in his own sweat as he worked harder and harder.
While Luo Xiao was busy working, Jiang Bai was lazing on a couch back in his mansion. As a prince, he wasn’t living in one of the ordinary accommodations, but in a mansion that was much larger.
His friends were all there, doing various things, and all of them were casual and relaxed. Finally, after a while, two people returned. It was the same two who had been out gathering information the day before, and once more they went to get information about Luo Xiao for the Ninth Demon Prince.
“That kid, Luo Xiao, has gone to the herb fields and is weeding. He has only been in contact with two people today, one is Zhu Tian, the other was the clerk that assigned him the task.” The one who spoke was the same who had spoken yesterday.
The day before he had thought that Jiang Bai had an interest in this child, and as a result, he had been excited to announce the things about Luo Xiao, but after understanding that this was not the truth, he was much more condescending when talking about him.
“So he is at the herb fields?” Jiang Bai furrowed his brows momentarily but quickly smoothed them out again. He knew that his brother wanted him to take care of him, but he never mentioned anything about points. Since he had not mentioned it, why would Jiang Bai ever give him some? Even if he had so many that he would never use them all, he wasn’t going to share them with this annoying brat.
“He is indeed at the herb fields,” the other guy who had gone for information confirmed what the first guy had said. Jiang Bai started chuckling when he heard this.
“Serves him right,” he muttered before raising his voice, “let him work hard on his own and earn his own points. No one is to go easy on him, in fact, no one is to treat him properly, just treat him as if he is air.”
The friends quickly acknowledged that they had heard the order, and then one of the friends in charge of gathering information finally sighed and whispered in Jiang Bai’s ear, “There is a rumor right now about you being his backer, and that you are backing him because he is your lover. Should we do something about this?”
“What?!” Jiang Bai was petrified when he heard the rumor, his eyes widened in surprise, and he felt a chill down his spine for various reasons.
First of all, he disliked this stupid kid. Being matched with someone he disliked made him rather uncomfortable, but more than that, he was worried about his seventh brother. If Jiang Yao got wind of this, even if it was incorrect, he could already sense the beating he would encounter from looking at his possessions. For whatever reason it was that Jiang Yao treated this brat differently, it was clear that he was special to him.
“End that rumor immediately,” Jiang Bai ordered. “I do not feel comfortable being mentioned together with a man as a couple, much less such a little doll-like kid.”
Hearing this, the other friends nodded their heads. They didn’t doubt him because he seemed completely petrified when he heard of the rumor, and they all excused themselves entering the rest of the academy. They started spreading the information that Jiang Bai had taken in Luo Xiao because he disliked him, because he wanted to teach him a lesson.
Rumors were spreading throughout the entire academy. The slower ones still believed in the fact that Jiang Bai had taken him as a lover, but moments after others corrected them.
“So this kid is being bullied by the ninth prince? In that case, is it not a good idea to bully him as well and curry favor with the ninth prince? Although, he is not strong enough to make a faction he is still a direct lineage prince.”