Lady Cultivator - Chapter 171 - Lotus Pickers[Updated at: 2021-01-11 13:40:58]
Chapter 171: Lotus Pickers
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations.
While she flew and braved the blizzard, Mo Tiange also ran the spiritual aura inside her body. Sure enough, she no longer felt cold.
Mo Tiange thought to herself. This being the case, did this mean cultivators in the northernmost glacial zone needed to run their spiritual aura at all times? From a certain point of view, wouldn’t this mean their practice time would be longer than ordinary cultivators? That couldn’t be right; Aura Refining cultivators definitely couldn’t resist this cold wind. They had to have some kind of secret technique.
Just as she was engrossed in her own thoughts, her divine sense suddenly picked up traces of living beings. Mo Tiange stopped then changed direction and rushed northwest.
Her divine sense was locked on the source of those traces. After flying for only a while, she saw a group of walkers wandering on the glacier—they were unexpectedly mortals!
A wrinkle emerged on her brows. With a wave of her sleeve, she began to descend.
The power emitted by a Foundation Building cultivator alarmed the mortals. Once they saw her, they prostrated on the ground one after another to salute her. “Respect to Master Immortal! Respect to Master Immortal!”
As they worshipped her, Mo Tiange landed on the icy ground. She asked, “Who are you?”
Among the mortals, a thick-bearded middle-aged man, kneeling at the frontmost position, raised his head then said respectfully, “Turns out it’s a Fairy. We must’ve been blind to not recognize Fairy; may Fairy forgive us.” His attitude was polite but he was overly humble.
Mo Tiange couldn’t help but frown. “There’s no need to act like this. Stand up and speak.”
“Yes, yes.” The man repeatedly said yes and soon crawled up from the ground. He then shouted loudly to the people behind him: “Fairy said we may stand up. Everyone, stand up, stand up!”
The people crawled up in twos and threes. Mo Tiange noticed there were men and a few women who were all young, and they seemed quite strong.
“Fairy, we’re part of the Seal Tribe. These are the Snow Lotuses we picked up this time—Fairy may take a look at them.” As he spoke, he took out a small jade case from inside his robe and offered the case to her with both hands.
Mo Tiange was dumbfounded. This jade case was the kind of case cultivators normally used to store spiritual plants, and the Snow Lotus inside it was indeed a spiritual plant. What were they doing?
“Did you recognize the wrong person?”
Noticing that she wasn’t taking the jade case, the man looked secretively at her. All of a sudden, he seemed to understand something and said, “Fairy, did you maybe come from the south?”
“… Yes.” Mo Tiange looked at the man with raised eyebrows. “What’s the meaning of asking this?”
The man revealed a kind smile. “So Fairy came from the south; it’s no wonder Fairy doesn’t know our northern traditions. We’re lotus pickers. Every time master immortals in our northernmost glacial zone see us lotus pickers, they always exchange their spirit stones with our Snow Lotuses, so…”
“I see…” This northernmost region and Kunwu were indeed as different as night and day. Soon after, Mo Tiange recalled what she wanted to ask them. “You’re mortals, so how are you able to resist the cold wind and snow? This blizzard isn’t normal!”
“Ah! Fairy doesn’t know?” the man said in astonishment, “Could it be that Fairy didn’t come through Da’an Town?”
“Da’an Town?” Mo Tiange paused for a moment. She remembered the Jade Slip given to her by Ye Clan said that both cultivators and mortals who wanted to go to the northernmost area needed to go through Da’an Town. This was the last big town in the heartland of the Celestial Pole that would lead to the northernmost area; replenishing one’s supplies or asking around for news was very convenient in that town, so it eventually became the mandated path to pass through for anyone who wanted to go to the northernmost area.
“Had Fairy gone through Da’an Town, there would’ve been people telling Fairy about the customs of our northernmost area when you replenished your supplies.”
Mo Tiange said faintly, “I came here directly from the heartland, so I didn’t pass through Da’an Town—how about you tell me what things are like here? If you can tell me in detail, I’ll reward you.”
Upon hearing the last part of her speech, a very wide smile blossomed on the man’s face. He said repeatedly, “Yes, yes. I’ll definitely explain to Fairy…”
As it turned out, the mortals in the northernmost area and the mortals in the heartland and Kunwu were completely different. There was neither country nor town here; the inhabitants were only divided into tribes. The sizes of each tribe were different; the largest had more than 10,000 people, and the smallest had only about several dozen people. There were several thousand tribes that varied in size living in this vast northernmost glacial zone—the total number of people was comparable to the number of people in a big country in the heartland.
However, not all those tribes were on friendly terms with each other. Some of them had marriage alliances between them, but some of them hated each other. Before Zhengfa Sect was established, each tribe had their own cultivator who was known as a shaman. In most cases, the tribe’s shaman was also the tribe’s chieftain. In the event a tribe didn’t have any shaman, they would have to offer tribute to tribes who did. Shamans… used to be the deities of the tribes that lived in the northernmost area.
In fact, these shamans were only low-level cultivators. Even shamans in large tribes only had cultivation levels in the Foundation Building realm—these were the conclusions she deduced from what the man told her.
When cultivators from Kunwu came to the northernmost area and founded the Zhengfa Sect, they subdued the shamans from big tribes and forcibly transitioned shamans of all tribes into Zhengfa Sect’s subordinates. In return, Zhengfa Sect would take their respective tribes under their wings.
In the beginning, the tribes weren’t at all willing to submit, because they felt Zhengfa Sect had broken their traditions. However, after experiencing the way Zhengfa Sect did things, they realized they were getting by better than before with protection from Zhengfa Sect, so they gradually came to accept them, thus Zhengfa Sect became their new deity.
Several thousand years had passed, and Zhengfa Sect had firmly taken root in the northernmost area now, causing the tribes there to abandon their own traditions. They no longer called their cultivators shamans; instead, they followed after the people in the heartland and Kunwu and called those cultivators master immortals or fairies. Their previous shamans now wore Daoist robes and wore their hair in Daoist topknots. Their unique language was also no longer in use as their main language—they now spoke in the same way as people in the heartland and Kunwu. Even the way they lived now was completely different from how they lived several thousand years ago.
Previously, the tribes made their living by hunting fish or other animals under the glaciers, which was extremely arduous and had a very high risk of death. After the emergence of Zhengfa Sect, however, each tribe under its protection received a type of spirit tool which could help them catch animals, but spirit stones were required to use this spirit tool, so they organized teams of lotus pickers. On this boundless glacial zone, they picked Snow Lotuses to exchange them for spirit stones. Although picking Snow Lotuses was also arduous, it was far less dangerous than catching animals.
Because of Zhengfa Sect’s formidable strength, the mortals of the tribes in the northernmost area were very respectful towards cultivators. Every time a cultivator passed by, they were received enthusiastically and showed how to reach their destination. If they were lucky, the mortals obtained some spirit stones as a reward.
The group Mo Tiange came across was a team of lotus pickers from the nearby tribe known as the Seal Tribe. They thought she was a cultivator from Zhengfa Sect, so they offered her their Snow Lotus.
Upon hearing that, Mo Tiange merely nodded then tossed in another question: “You’re mortals, so why aren’t you affected by the cold wind here when even cultivators have a very hard time coping with it?”
The man leading the group explained, “Maybe Fairy doesn’t know, but this is precisely the point of the Snow Lotus. Us people who live in the northernmost area boil Snow Lotuses and use the water to clean our bodies all year round. Because of that, we’re not afraid of the cold wind.”
“Oh?” Mo Tiange took a look at the Snow Lotus inside the jade case, feeling a bit intrigued by it. “Although these spiritual plants aren’t that old, they’re full of spiritual aura. Are the cultivators here really okay with letting mortals use these?”
“Allow me to answer Fairy’s question. There are a lot of ordinary Snow Lotuses here, so they’re not that precious. However, the Snow Lotuses offered to the master immortals are all of a rare breed and aren’t easy to find.”
“Oh, I see…”
“Fairy…” After that man finished speaking, he raised his head again and looked at Mo Tiange anxiously. “Is Fairy maybe interested in this Snow Lotus?”
What he said made her feel bewildered. “Aren’t you going to offer this to cultivators from Zhengfa Sect? Are you allowed to offer them to outsiders too?”
With a respectful smile, the man said, “Fairy must not have known; Zhengfa Sect never expects us to only offer Snow Lotuses to them. If southern cultivators come, we can also exchange Snow Lotuses for spirit stones with them. I once heard the master immortal of my tribe say that Snow Lotus could be used to concoct a type of medicinal pill that’s effective only for cultivators who can practice water magic, so southern cultivators wouldn’t come and fight for them with us. At most, they might buy some from us for their personal use, which doesn’t influence Zhengfa Sect.”
“…” It was no wonder Zhengfa Sect became the dominant force here. It was built on a foundation of unique spiritual roots and magic. It deterred mortals with their power and also granted them favors. Nevertheless, mortals were never treated harshly, so after a long time, the mortals naturally came to respect Zhengfa Sect and sincerely honored it as their deity.
With that thought in mind, Mo Tiange reached out to take the Snow Lotus inside the jade case. She examined it for a while then asked, “How many spirit stones do you want in exchange for this Snow Lotus?”
After hearing her question, that man immediately bowed. “Whatever number of spirit stones Fairy’s willing to give is a reward to us.”
Mo Tiange couldn’t help but smile after she heard that. Everyone loved respectful flattery; although he might not have spoken sincerely, his words were still pleasant to hear. Besides, the man looked earnest and didn’t seem like he was being perfunctory. Zhengfa Sect had really achieved a feat in this northernmost area; they actually groomed the mortals to sincerely respect cultivators like this.
Mo Tiange fumbled around in her Qiankun Bag. She took out a handful of spirit stones then gave them to the man. “The excess can be considered your reward for answering my questions.” This Snow Lotus was approximately ten-odd years old, so it wouldn’t be considered precious to cultivators. She made a rough estimate based on the price of spiritual plants in Kunwu, so this Snow Lotus was probably worth around ten spirit stones.
Upon seeing the dozen multi-colored spirit stones she was handing over, the man was both surprised and delighted, causing him to smile so widely that his eyes couldn’t be seen. He nodded repeatedly and said, “Many thanks to Fairy for the reward.” After he said that, he and his group once again knelt and kowtowed to her.
Mo Tiange flung her sleeve back, and a thread of spiritual aura suddenly propped them up and stopped their movements. These people knelt at the drop of a hat—she really couldn’t stand it!
“Say… The water from boiling this Snow Lotus will allow me to resist the cold wind? Do cultivators from Zhengfa School also use this method?”
Now that he’d obtained spirit stones from Mo Tiange, the man became even more respectful towards her. As he bowed, he answered, “Us mortals use this method. However, according to the master immortal of my tribe, there’s another method inside Zhengfa Sect that cultivators use. Not only can it help them resist the cold wind, but it also can increase the spiritual aura inside the user’s body.”
“Oh?” Mo Tiange’s interest was piqued. “Is the method allowed to be shared with outsiders?”
“This… I’m not sure.” After he said that, he promptly added: “If Fairy isn’t in a hurry, Fairy can come to our tribe and be our guest. As it happens, our master immortal just came back a few days ago.”
Mo Tiange contemplated the matter. In any case, she didn’t have any purpose now, so heading to this tribe to take a look around wasn’t a problem. It’d be even better if she developed a deeper understanding about this northernmost area through their master immortal.
Harboring this idea in mind, Mo Tiange was all smiles when she nodded. “That being the case, I’ll have to trouble you then.”
Her agreement to his proposal came as a surprise to him. Nevertheless, he was delighted and immediately returned her polite remark respectfully, “It’s no trouble at all. It’s our honor to have Fairy as a guest in our tribe. Fairy, this way please.”
Mo Tiange looked at the blizzard that was present everywhere then said, “Let me take you guys.” As she spoke, she raised her hand to summon the White Silk Handkerchief. She then used an art and in an instant, the White Silk Handkerchief swelled. Following a wave of her sleeve, spiritual aura gushed out and gathered more than a dozen mortals onto it.
It was apparently the mortals’ first time experiencing this. The man leading the group trembled in both shock and excitement as he stood on the White Silk Handkerchief. “Fairy, this…”
“What’s wrong? You don’t want to?”
The man hastily shook his head. “Of course we want to. We’ll be a lot safer with Fairy taking us back. Many thanks to Fairy.” After he said that, he looked ready to kneel again.
Mo Tiange felt helpless. These people were overly respectful towards cultivators; they knelt almost at every turn!
She raised her hand, thus putting a stop to their movements. “Stand up. You, come and show me the way.”
“Yes, yes. Fairy, our tribe’s in that direction…”
The Seal Tribe wasn’t too far away. Although Mo Tiange didn’t dare to fly too quickly because she was taking these people along, a short while later, she could already see the huddled, snow-white roofs below.
As it turned out, the northernmost area was short of materials. The only thing they didn’t lack was ice, so the mortals here used ice to build their houses. The temperature in the northernmost area was very low; it was so low that even dripping water turned into ice. Their ice-based houses could block the wind, so not only did they not feel cold, but they even felt warm instead.
Mo Tiange learned all of this when the man gave her an introduction to his tribe. The man, who’d been leading the lotus pickers group, was the Chieftain of Seal Tribe, Hai Bo. The people of the northernmost area initially didn’t have surnames. It was only after Zhengfa Sect was founded that they began using surnames. All the tribesmen in the Seal Tribe used “Hai” as their surname.
From above, the huge cluster of ice houses seemed to be glittering and translucent. Scattered among the heavy snow swirling in the air, they looked extremely beautiful.
“Fairy, over there.”
Following Hai Bo’s finger, Mo Tiange landed on an open space between the houses.
There were a lot of people on that open space; each was occupied with their own affairs. The women were either sewing things or drying things under the sun. The men were repairing all kinds of tools or handling various kinds of animals’ carcasses. Upon seeing them descending from the sky, those people started to gather around them.
Once they landed on the ground, Mo Tiange put away the White Silk Handkerchief. In the next second, she felt her head aching—she was again surrounded by a group of kneeling people!
Helpless, she turned towards Hai Bo and said, “I don’t like this kind of behavior. Tell them to stop kneeling.”
Hai Bo nodded, stepped forward then said loudly, “Everyone, stand up. Fairy doesn’t like people kneeling to her. Go about with your business!”
Upon hearing their chieftain, they finally stood up one after another. Some of them went back to their respective work while some others came over to talk to their families.
Hai Bo turned around and said to Mo Tiange, “Fairy, this way, please. Our master immortal’s over here.”
Mo Tiange nodded then followed after Hai Bo towards the tallest ice house in the cluster of houses.
As they walked, Hai Bo explained, “Our master immortal is a formal disciple of Zhengfa Sect. If you have anything to ask, he’ll definitely know the answer! Come, come! Fairy, here please.” He lifted open an animal skin curtain that acted as a door to an ice house and invited Mo Tiange in.
With a smile, Mo Tiange took the invitation to enter. When she was flying above their tribe, she already felt the presence of a Foundation Building cultivator. At that time, she really never thought that a tribe with only several hundred people would actually have a Foundation Building cultivator among them.
Inside was a small sitting room, but the way it was furnished was completely different from rooms in the heartland and Kunwu. The differences were in the materials used. The furniture, for the most part, was made of ice, although the curtain was made of animal skin. There were also some teacups and the like, which were all made of wood carvings.
Once they entered the small sitting room, Hai Bo went to stand in front of another curtain door. He called out loud, “Master Immortal, Hai Bo is requesting to meet!” Right afterward, he stood there respectfully and waited.
After a while, a voice came from inside. “What happened?”
Hai Bo respectfully answered, “A fairy’s requesting an audience with Master Immortal.”
Once Hai Bo finished speaking, Mo Tiange released a bit of her Foundation Building cultivator momentum. Sure enough, noises of someone moving rang out from inside and soon after, someone lifted the curtain open and came out.
It was a lean, tall young man with strong facial features wearing Zhengfa Sect’s Daoist Robes.
Mo Tiange had her hands raised, ready to greet him, but after taking a clear look at that person, she was completely dumbfounded. “It’s you!”