Chapter 116 Launching a Farming ProjectLi Mu bustled back and forth in the formation to further improve some details.
This was the first time he had tried to set up a formation. Due to the lack of experience, sometimes he had to rely on his creative analysis. Thus, it was better to double check everything.
Very soon, as the Earth Evil Polaris Formation functioned more and more smoothly, Li Mu finished the final adjustment.
Just like a new car, the formation also needed some running-in time before it could reach the perfect state.
A moment ago, an odd phenomenon was triggered when the power of the 36 Polaris stars was activated. And Li Mu was well aware of it. But after the power of the earth evil stars followed in, the two powers of opposite nature began to blend in, causing the abnormality to ebb away. As the powers calmed down and became restrained, the area was gradually recovering its ordinary looks.
Especially after Li Mu conducted a series of adjustment upon the Earth Evil Polaris Formation, the previous weird phenomenon completely disappeared.
This way, even if certain skilled expert passed by the county government, he would notice nothing absurd on the outside.
The mountains, rivers, and trees and flowers all returned to their old looks.
That would spare Li Mu tons of unwanted attention and trouble.
But indeed, if someone did not toe the line and broke into the formation, the view he saw would change in an instant.
The power of both the 36 Polaris stars and the 72 earth evil stars would burst out as dense killing intent surged up. Immediately, his world would be turned upside down.
With that kind of defensive power, even thousands of soldiers could not escape if they barged in.
Moreover, as long as Li Mu felt like, he could manipulate the formation to create a variety of changes. Then, the formation would be like a constantly changing labyrinth, in which experts, even if they were at the master level, would be trapped or killed in no time.
“It… It became normal again?”
Wang Chen was astonished once more.
So was Qin Zhen, who was standing beside him.
To their total bewilderment, the two just found that they could see the county government clearly again. The plants, the hills, the canals, and the red walls and green tiles were distinctively visible as before. The white mist that had been looming around the buildings quickly evaporated when it came to the sunlight, which took away the sense of mystery of the county government as well.
By then, the place already looked the same as it always was.
As if everything that happened a moment ago was an illusion.
Nonetheless, neither Qin Zhen or Wang Chen would believe nothing happened at all.
Because their intuition told them that something had changed about that county government.
“Your Highness, with all due respect, that Li Mu’s background is really a mystery. He had marvelous strength and probably the support of some super influential institution. If Your Highness draws him to our side, maybe…” Wang Chen could not help but try to persuade the princess again.
After being surprised and shocked by Li Mu over and over again, he had to rate the county magistrate higher once more. This time, the magic power conjured in the county government told him plainly that a warlock in the Great Master Realm must have been hiding there. Such a powerful warlock could be a strategic-level figure in any of the three great empires. And it was highly possible that the warlock shared a master with Li Mu. Given the magic the figure cast, there was one thing Wang Chen was sure of: if that figure chose to side with the princess, Her Highness and her brother might be able to rise to power in a flash, or at least they would have the power to protect themselves.
Qin Zhen smiled before saying, “Sir, have you ever considered that those who stand behind Li Mu might have a much more ambitious agenda that makes them out of our league?”
Wang Chen went dazed at those words.
He did neglect that.
Certainly, in this world crammed with amazing cultivators, no warlocks in the Great Master with no background would cross path with him out of no reason. But since he had been focusing on how to win Li Mu over, he failed to notice it.
Before, Wang Chen merely reckoned Li Mu as a county magistrate, an official of the empire. With the status and power of the princess, he thought he could rope that talent in. But now, after giving the whole a little thought, he began to feel suspicious. Anyway, why would Li Mu, a man with a warlock in the Great Master Realm backing him up, want to stay in a remote county and be the county magistrate?
Could it be that Li Mu was just a pawn of a faction in the empire?
In that case…
Wang Chen swiftly realized he had actually simplified the matter through conventional thinking.
It was no wonder Li Mu did not respond to any of his kind gestures.
“Mr. Wang, I think you have been a little rash recently,” said Qin Zhen, her peerlessly exquisite face displaying her sincere concern and gratitude. “I know you are worried about me and my brother. But don’t forget that haste does not bring success. If we put all the things together, we can see that Li Mu is only a pawn of a mysterious force. Now that the pawn is exhibited openly, he certainly is not very important and has no say in crucial matters. For such a small potato, you don’t need to mind him at all. Just keep an eye on him in order to find a way of contacting that warlock in the Great Master behind the scene or any other figures with more power.”
“Yes, Your Highness. I got it.” Wang Chen nodded at the princess.
He was already planning how to ferret out the truth about the mysterious force behind Li Mu.
That naturally should start off with digging up information from Li Mu.
Since the princess was too lofty to have any dealings with a small potato like Li Mu, it should be him to do it.
As to Qin Zhen’s euphemistic criticism, he was not bothered by it at all, for he found he was growing used to it.
Wang Chen, the Wind Gentleman, was regarded as the princess’s brain truster. The authorities of the Western Qin Empire and many others thought it was attributed to Wang Chen’s support that Qin Zhen managed to survive all the trials and tribulations in the eventful Qin City and hang in there till today with a younger brother who was not favored by the emperor and a shattered force.
However, what they did not know was many of the significant decisions and schemes made back then that could still be considered ingenious today actually came from Qin Zhen, the young and beautiful princess herself.
And that remained as a secret between the princess and Wang Chen.
No one else knew that the real wise strategist was Qin Zhen.
That woman, that was deemed as the most stunningly gorgeous princess the Western Qin Empire ever had, actually had the intelligence more amazing than her beauty. It was just that for all those years she had used to stay away from the spotlight.
After Qin Zhen reminded Wang Chen of his hasty behavior, he quickly adjusted his attitude.
“Sister, and Mr. Wang, have you noticed the Spiritual Qi on the attic is much thicker than usual times?” Qin Zheng suddenly spoke to them with excitement.
The little prince had been practicing the Ming Yu Skill, so he was very sensitive to the change of Spiritual Qi.
Qin Zhen nodded and replied, “Yeah, it’s at least three times denser.”
As a highly achieved expert, she certainly had sensed the difference.
But she did not find it strange at all.
She believed it was apparently resulted by the dissipation of the residue of the supernatural power produced by the unknown warlock in the Great Master Realm when doing the Thunder Magic in the county government, which was pretty normal. After all, the power contained in the magic that frightening must be quite strong. Even though the performance was over, the power that was used to direct and control the Spiritual Qi could not vanish in an instant. Instead, it would drift in the air, and that would increase the density of Spiritual Qi around the county government.
Therefore, there was nothing special about it.
Holding the same thought as Qin Zhen did, Wang Chen also paid no attention to the sudden spike of the thickness of nearby Spiritual Qi.
He thought perhaps when the power of the thunder magic thoroughly died down in half a day, the Spiritual Qi around the place would slowly become thinner again.
Inside the county government…
Zhao Ling, the haughty swanlike girl, was standing in the back yard, totally petrified.
She, of course, had experienced the usual thunder and lightning. But that was not what made her so astounded.
She was unable to see the bigger picture because she was standing too close to it.
Staying inside the county government, she could not get a comprehensive view of the phenomenon as those on the outside did. With the cloud and lightning covering the place, she failed to see the sight out of the mansion. Thus, she thought the whole Taibai County was under such fierce change and merely deemed it as a wide-ranged meteorological anomaly.
In fact, the thing that startled Zhao Ling was the Spiritual Qi in the county government that was ten times thicker than usual.
To her knowledge, only in the places where the underground spiritual veins converged on the Taibai Peak had such rich Spiritual Qi.
But the places of that kind were so rare that even the Taibai Sword Faction only had about ten. And only the seniors and very elite inner disciple, such as her brother, Zhao Yu, could be allowed to enter those places for practicing. Zhao Ling, though as genius as she was, had not been qualified yet since she had not reached the Master Realm.
“In this environment, I can yield twice the result of practicing with half the effort!” exclaimed Zhao Ling.
She started to take deep breaths avidly.
“If I can practice in such a place abundant with Spiritual Qi for a whole year, how lucky I will be!”
She was struck by that hopeful idea.
But she was also clear that it was very unrealistic.
Although she had no idea why the abnormal storm had leveled up the density of the Spiritual Qi in the vicinity, she did know the place was not a special gathering spot of the Spiritual Qi. Thus, as time ticked by, the richness of the Spiritual Qi would diminish until it returned to normal.
At that precise moment, a voiced sounded from behind.
“Are you loafing on the job? How are those patients I asked you to take care of?”
Li Mu appeared behind Zhao Ling without a sound.
“When… When did you come here? You are snooping on me?” yelped Zhao Ling. She spun round in surprise and glared at the county magistrate.
“Snooping on you? You wish!” Li Mu directly gave the little proud swan a flick in the forehead. Then, he continued, “I am the prestigious county magistrate. Everything in this county government is mine, and that includes you. So, why do I take the trouble to peek at you, a maid who has not even had her puberty?”
“Bah! You…” shrieked Zhao Ling, who was so fuming that she could not find the right words to curse Li Mu. With a bump on her forehead, she ground her teeth angrily and drew out her sword impulsively. “You jackass, if you ever get physical to me again, I’ll kill you…”
“Humph.” Li Mu causally gave her a pat, which instantly sent Zhao Ling’s sword back to its sheath.
Staring at the girl with a disdainful look, he said, “Don’t be a drama queen here. You’re so ugly. Even if I am really turned on, I won’t pick you to flirt with… Hey, I’m asking you, how are Secretary Feng and the other patients doing under your treatment? Don’t forget the promise you made comes with a deadline.”
“Are you blind?”
Zhao Ling almost went berserk. But she could do nothing about it.
Because she already had a deep understanding of the terrifying power that devil had.
She was not his match at all.
In front of Li Mu, her peerlessly remarkable sword skills that she had been proud of were like a joke. Undoubtedly, she had no chance against that devil. No wonder that day Elder Zhou chose to give up without a fight.
“Mr. Feng and Mr. Zhen are already able to walk around without help. In three days tops, their scabs will fall off. Within three months, the marks of the wounds will completely disappear. And Mr. Ma has regained his senses. He can get out of bed in five days. As to that little attendant, well, thanks to that bowl of blood, his legs are fine. But the muscle atrophy is grave, and his bones are extremely fragile. Unless some miracle happens, it’s almost impossible for him to walk again.” Zhao Ling reported the conditions of the patients with clenched teeth.
She paused briefly before adding, “Well, if the Spiritual Qi here can stay this rich, in six or seven years, maybe that little attendant will be able to use his legs with some difficulty. But… Well, I bet you can’t make it always like this, can you?”
“Are you saying the richness of Spiritual Qi can be helpful to their treatment?” Li Mu was so delighted to hear that he even forgot to make fun of the little swan.
Zhao Ling’s fine features immediately displayed her despise towards Li Mu as she said, “You didn’t know that? Gosh! Of course, the Spiritual Qi is good for healing wounds. Because it not only can facilitate the development of internal qi and enhance the supernatural power but also nurtures natural creatures. It is the most awesome power in the world. You know, even the green onion from a land rich of Spiritual Qi tastes better than common ones.”
Upon hearing that remark, Li Mu broke into a roar of laughter.
“You’re right! I can’t agree more! Haha, first thing tomorrow, I’ll ask the servants to get me a vegetable garden at the back. We’ll grow the green onion, the peppers, and the cabbages. Oh, yeah, we’ll raise chickens, ducks, pigs, too. Hahaha…” Li Mu had a new plan.
In fact, it was the swan’s angry words that reminded him of it.
Vegetables and livestock that lived in places with adequate supple of the Spiritual Qi always contained more life vitality and energy. Such energy could be captured by him through eating, for his body that had been reshaped by the Xiantian Skill and the Zhenwu Boxing could digest it. In that case, he would be progressing faster on his road of martial arts practice. And that was also one of the functions of the formation.
Back in the good old days, the old faker had mentioned to him that the immortals had their specially developed vegetable farms and herb gardens. When they fed themselves the food that grew out of those lands over a long period of time, their body would be strengthened so much as to resemble the Body of Congenital God, allowing them to practice all kind of Cultivation Method with half effort. It could be said that those cultivators had a head start in martial arts practice.
At that time, such a description was basically a mere legendary story to Li Mu.
However, now, Li Mu firmly believed it was true.
He had successfully set up a formation and changed the density of the Spiritual Qi inside the county government. Although the Spiritual Qi here was not nearly rich as what the immortals had according to the old faker, the amount was absolutely more sufficient than that of any other factions in this world. Therefore, the crops and vegetables that grew here would definitely be rich in the Spiritual Qi, though they were not comparable to those the immortals had. If the common folks had the food, they would be stronger and healthier; if cultivators ate them, their levels would be upgraded faster. In the long run, everyone would benefit from it.
Since Li Mu had to get out of the Divine Martial Stars if he hoped to save Earth from being removed, he was willing to try anything that might be conducive to his strength boosting.
But when Zhao Ling heard Li Mu’s new plan, she laughed a derisive laugh.
“Nice try. But the sudden increase of Spiritual Qi brought by the strange storm will certainly dissipate in a couple of days. It’s already too late to convert the county government into farmland. Psst! Stop daydreaming!” Obviously, the girl had not accepted the fact that she was a maid and was still unwilling to let go of any chance to taunt Li Mu.
Without any hesitation, Li Mu landed another flick on her forehead before asking, “What if the Spiritual Qi here maintains like this forever?”
“You…” Zhao Ling covered her forehead with both hands and snarled, “No way!”
“Hahaha…” Li Mu turned around and left one more remark behind. “You ignorant little girl, I will show you if that’s possible.” Then, he set off in the opposite direction.
Staring at his back, Zhao Ling rubbed her temples as she swore with detestation, “You darn stupid devil, like you can make that happen!”
In truth, she was no longer that hateful towards Li Mu. These days when she treated the little attendant and the others, she figured out the rough story of what happened here. As a woman born with a strong sense of justice, she loathed what Zheng Cunjian and his lot did to the extreme and felt for the injured deeply, especially Qing Feng.
She might look quite reluctant to follow orders in the presence of Li Mu, but she was actually very ardent to treat Qing Feng. After racking her brains for treating methods and taking care of the little attendant for several days without rest, she miraculously managed to save his almost decayed legs from being amputated.
Since she had learned about the whole thing, especially the part that Li Mu cut his wrist to save the little attendant with his blood, Zhao Ling started to see Li Mu in a different light. She knew, at least, the county magistrate was not the ruthless and mad killer as she had imagined. Given her kind-hearted nature, she was already thinking about how to soften Li Mu with her efforts and make him correct his errors and make a fresh start.
But after taking his two flicks in the forehead, the good vibes Zhao Ling had for him instantly vanished. Now, she just wished she could stab Li Mu with her sword and create a dozen holes in his body.
“I can’t see why Qing Feng, a smart and kind boy, has that wrenched Li Mu as his master! Is there some kind of coercion?”
Zhao Ling’s imagination began to run wild. She was now considering how to rescue the little attendant from Li Mu’s horrible control.
“Oh, right, why does the blood of that contain so powerful vigor of life?”
The question that had puzzled her for days crossed her mind again.
If without Li Mu’s blood, she could not have guaranteed Feng Yuanxing and the other two a scar-free recovery in half a month, nor could she have kept Qing Feng’s legs in a fine condition for the moment. The vigor of life in that bowl of blood was so strong it dashed all the long-held beliefs she had since she became a pharmacist.
If it had not been the fact that she was way less powerful than Li Mu, she would have already captured him and extracted some of his blood for her research.
But even Zhao Ling herself did not notice her anger had dissolved, while her curiosity towards Li Mu was growing steadily.
She might need to be reminded of a saying on Earth: curiosity killed the cat.
Li Mu did not go back to the training room.
Instead, he came to the resting room to visit Feng Yuanxing and the other injured men.
When he found out that they were truly getting better as Zhao Ling just told him, he felt much more relaxed.
Qing Feng, though had lost control over his legs and still could not get to his feet, looked quite spirited under the care of two servants. And his other injuries were nearly all healed. That put Li Mu’s dangling heart back to its position.
“Don’t worry. I’ll figure out something to treat your legs.”
Li Mu promised the little attendant again.
At those words, Qing Feng managed to give him a bright smile. Li Mu immediately felt the boy’s inflexible will was awe-inspiring.
“Your Honor, Ming Yue…” asked the little attendant. At that time, all he cared was that adorable little girl.
It had been a while since the blind Taoist attacked the county government. Yet, Ming Yue still had not returned. Li Mu had sent people to search for her and even offered a reward for finding her in Jianghu. He also announced that those who found any clues about Ming Yue’s whereabouts could take their men held hostage in the county prison without paying any ransom. However, up to now, there was no one providing him any clues.
“She is okay. I’ve got her tracks. And a friend of mine is taking care of her. Soon she will be back.” Li Mu assured Qing Feng beamingly.
But truthfully, he was cursing within.
“That fu*k old beggar. How could he be so treacherous! He took the flood dragon blood and ran away with adorkable Ming Yue!”
“He promised me to join me in the county. But look, with so many days already passed, I still can’t see a trace of him!”
Li Mu’s teeth started to ache out of exasperation. He wanted to kick himself for trusting that old bastard.
If he ever met that old beggar, he swore he would fry that talking dog of his right away.
But Li Mu also knew that the old beggar was truly hoping to take Ming Yue as his disciple and help her repel the demon inside her. Thus, there was one thing for sure: Ming Yue was in no imminent danger, and all he should do was searching for her with patience.
Li Mu then left the resting room to go back to the training room.
By now, he no longer had the need for rest. Whenever he felt tired, he would launch the Xiantian Skill to relax his body and mind. Then, he would plunge into his work again.
These days, apart from practicing martial arts to improve his cultivation, the work Li Mu spent the most time doing was to call to his mind for every technique and Cultivation Method the old faker had introduced him. He even pondered over every single word the old faker said to him in an attempt to discover a deeper meaning.
By now, Li Mu had thoroughly understood how freaking wise the old faker was. Thus, he must reorganize everything he taught him and create a framework for all the knowledge. Only when he had a clear system to put everything into perspective could he make a comprehensive study and fully digest the knowledge.
The night soon gave way to another sunrise.
After breakfast, Li Mu gave an order of taking out all the plants in the back yard and emptying all the unused rooms. He also asked the servants to uproot the lawn that he just created beside the thick woods at the cliff before building up huts for livestock and opening up lands for farming. Clearly, the county magistrate was going to convert the county government into a small farm.
That order made many officials mystified, including Feng Yuanxing and the other two who were already back on their posts.
The flowers and plants in the gardens of the county government were all rare and exotic, which could totally be a scenic spot of Taibai County. Turning such beautiful flowers gardens into vegetable farms was practically wasting God’s good gifts.
Nonetheless, no one dared to contradict Li Mu.
Therefore, the farm transformation was unveiled.
During the meantime, Li Mu kept a curb on the power of the Earth Evil Polaris Formation to make it activated but not destructive. As long as those who went in and out of the county government followed the specially designed trail, no accident would happen.
In the next three days, Li Mu locked himself in the training room to practice martial arts.
However, his achievement was a little disappointing.
Because he still failed to produce any internal qi even though the Spiritual Qi was ten times thicker.
But thankfully, the effect of the Xiantian Skill on his spirit was massively improved, and the body strengthening function of the Zhenwu Boxing was much more pronounced in the new environment. So, that was sort of a comfort to Li Mu.
Five days later, the county magistrate released all the imprisoned Jianghu experts.
Then, he handed the little attendant ten jade badges in secret before asking him to drop some of his blood on them so as to make Qing Feng the owner of those jade badges. He also taught the little attendant the way to control Earth Evil Polaris Formation through the badges. Thus, Qing Feng could be able to safeguard the county government by himself for some days. Even if a master-level expert came to attack them, they would have no problem in fending off the enemy.
After doing all that, Li Mu departed from Taibai County.
Taking Zheng Cunjian with him, he headed for Chang’an for the purpose of bringing back the real Li Mu’s mother.
This was also a golden opportunity for him to expand his horizon and see the world out there.