Chapter22 Thaumaturgic Flower on the CliffLin Luoran looks around on the hilltop with fixed attention and tries to find out the source of the overflowed aroma spread by the wind, but she fails.
She has never smelt such kind of aroma that is like the fragrance of a flower mixed with that of fruit and herb-medicine, which is so attractive that it enhances people’s sense of smell layer upon layer. Lin makes a choice within a few minutes between going downhill and seeking the source of the fragrance.
“Lingering here for a while may not delay my arriving at the spot if I hurry up when I descend later”, thinks Lin. Then she begins to hunt for the aroma around the hilltop.
The fragrance of flowers is vague and indistinct due to the blowing of wind so that it is difficult to fix its position. Therefore Lin fails to find out the source within such a small place on the top.
Lin just gives up her visual sense to feel it with her heart by closing her eyes.
The sweet fragrance circles around her nose and then flies away. Lin tries her best to hunt for the route of aroma by vibrating her wings of nose.
Finally, the speed of the wind lowered so the sweet aroma is not that messy, but she can still smell it. Then she closes her eyes and focuses attention. Consequently, Lin finds the direction of the smell!
She suddenly opens eyes and goes straight confidently to the cliff edge with confusion disappearing from her face.
Looking downward to the valley, as expected she sees a platform of bluestone of three feet long on the steep precipice three meters lower than the top, which is very eye-catching alone hanging on the wall.
The small plant clings the only dirt on the bluestone; the stem takes on dark green with small and stretched branches and leaves.
The flower is black that includes four or five petals, which looks like night-blooming cereus. Now the petals compact together and not yet bloom; only a bud among the dark green leaves swings her body in the wind emanating burst of special fragrance.
Lin Luoran manages to find out the source very hard, but she feels awkward now.
For one thing, it must take a lot of effort to pick since the bluestone hangs on the cliff. For another, she doesn’t know the flower at all and hasn’t even heard of it, so Lin doubts whether it is poisonous for the creepy color’s being.
However, there’s one thing Lin is sure of that the special dark flower is not usual.
She can identify the Reiki of this plant. At the beginning of her hunting, there was nothing special, but now she pays attention to the cliff and finds that the flower is still there while there is no frog.
The black flower is either a dead thing so it has lost vigor long ago or a stunner that knows how to rein in its breath. No matter it is a dead thing with such special fragrance or a curious flower who grasps the hint of restraining its Reiki, it attracts Lin.
Does black represent poison?
This is a serious question! An idea occurs to Lin Luoran when she observes the surroundings carefully: it is said in the novel that strange flowers and exotic grass are usually guarded by eerie beasts; while there is even no hair or feces of birds and beasts but a bare bluestone hanging over there.
Lin Luoran is not reconciled so she picks up a boulder and throws it to the bluestone, but there is no so-called “flower guarding beast” after waiting for a long time. At this moment, she ridicules herself for taking descriptions in the novel for granted.
As for how to go down there, a flash of wit comes to her: she bends and picks up a rattan that is two fingers thick and strong enough, then she ties one end to a big tree on the edge of the cliff and holds on the other end tightly next she fixes the position and jumps down gently.
The wind blows on her face harshly when she creeps down the vine. Fortunately, it is just an approaching distance so Lin Luoran lightly and accurately falls on the bluestone just like a fallen leaf.
It is obvious that such a three-foot square turquoise is just a tip of the stone exposed from the mountain. When Lin stands there the stone doesn’t even quiver so it is evident that the rest part of it is embedded in the mountain.
At this moment when closing the flower, the sweet smell of it suddenly rushes to her nose which tickles the wings of the nose. This gives a rather uncomfortable feeling like the mind fluttering and the whole body immersed in the cotton pile.
All of a sudden, Lin becomes alert and feels that the flower can poison people and bewitch the mind, so she must pick it up as soon as possible. Being scared of the poison, she doesn’t pick up directly by hand, but rather she pulls down a section of the rattan and swings it toward the flower. The rattan brings up a burst of wind and there’s a voice of the golden stone after hitting it on the bluestone.
Originally, the dark green plant was raised by the soil washed by rain water to the green stone, so it didn’t strike root deeply. Lin Luoran exerts great effort on the stone, then the dirt was loosened by nothing but dozens of lashes. Seeing this Lin lashes directly to the root and the end of the mountain vine deftly makes a circle firmly enclosing the root of the black flower. Lin shakes her wrist, strength along the rattan passed over, completely separated the root system and the stone!
Lin Luoran makes a great effort to close lashing form toward her and then the dark green plant with the soil flying to Lin. But she doesn’t dare to pick it up directly. Rather she puts away the exotic plant into her space.
Lin Luoran breathes a sigh of relief. Her present skill cannot be regarded as cultivating herself to become immortal but a martial arts master. This is not a suitable place to observe this special flower. Lin Luoran remembers the sound of the golden stone when the rattan hit the bluestone, guessing that the stone, too, might be a little odd, so she wants to take it away together.
Lin Luoran stamps her feet on the stone, but the stone stands still. Maybe the part stuck to the mountain is huge which makes it hard to dig it out without tools.
Lin Luoran hesitates for a while thinking that her Dad may worry about her if she doesn’t appear at the appointed spot, so she decides to get rid of this turquoise when there is another chance.
She grabs the rattan taking a deep breath, thrusts her foot tips against the bluestone jumping up lightly and scratches the surface of the cliff turning over herself to the top of the mountain.
Since lingering for a period of time, Lin Luoran moves faster when descending for being afraid of being worried by her Dad. As the saying goes, it’s easier to go up than to go down. Thinking about Dad Lin rushes and jumps through the mountains and doesn’t stop until she gets to the col. Waiting there she doesn’t notice that the clothes have been cut up by the branches of the tree until she tidies herself.
“Guess mom’s gonna nag again.” thinks Lin Luoran while she utters a sound to her Dad who is waiting for her at the col.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. I found a few of monkeys just now and ran away after them…” says Lin Luoran. Her father will worry about her if she tells the truth.
It is a dry season in fall, so they should be careful to be on guard against mountain fire. Mr. Lin snuffs the smoke in his hand and takes out the solid food (prepared for the journey) as lunch.
Mother has personally made the rice balls with some leftover beef and dishes from last night. Father may eat without heating in normal times while now he won’t for his dear daughter. So he picks some large leaves wanting to heat the rice roll.
There is no doubt that a picnic is fun, but Lin Luoran feels a little restless after getting the special cliff flower worrying that something dangerous may happen.
She may turn her nose at such kind of intuition before. However, she doesn’t dare to look down upon this feeling after getting the beads that have raised her spiritual sense.
We’d better leave early. Lin Luoran pouts to her father for not heating the meal saying that she wants to experience the hardship of life. Father Lin has no choice but to share the cold rice balls with his daughter, and the two go back as they eat.
Along the way, Lin Luoran not only picks some rare herbs for herself, but also collects many common medicinal materials for her father. They fill not only their back baskets but also an additional bag.
One hour after they left the col, they hear a rustle from the brushwood where a stout red body partly hidden and partly visible in the bushes.
The bushes and brushwood cover most of its body. The part exposed can be seen with a delicate pattern on the surface.
The thing doesn’t reveal its large triangular head until it crawls to the mountaintop where there is much few bushes—a red boa constrictor that is as thick as a human thigh. It breathes and sends out stinking smell to the grass. A few minutes later the grass turns to sallow.
The closer to the mountaintop, the more anxious the red snake is, so it speeds up.
In a moment, the boa moves to the cliff where Lin Luoran stands. Its large head looks down on the edge of the cliff.
The turquoise was littered with debris without the special flower that can help it to rise in rank.
The red snake is so angry that a flame may blow out from its eyes. However, there is no imprint of other clans. Consequently, it is impossible for it to track down the gatherer.
The serpent sticks out its tongue and raises its tail fan on the big wood of the mountain, which agitated detritus on the cliff, and a tree that is big enough for one person to hug with both arms.
Meanwhile, Lin Luoran feels a little bit nervous. At this moment, she has passed over the mountain that is much far away from here, and picks up her speed with her father.