Chapter 158 – Times have changed
Gu Yue Yao Ji had longed after Fang Yuan’s Nine Leaf Vitality Grass, and thus, she exploited her authority to set a policy for the transfer of Nine Leaf Vitality Grass.
However, Fang Yuan advanced to Rank three and became an elder, responding with a powerful counterattack which caused Gu Yue Yao Ji to faint on the spot and let Gu Yue Chi Zhong take the stage.
A new officer in power has to display his authority, Gu Yue Chi Zhong took the initiative to find Fang Yuan and persuade him to hand over the Nine Leaf Vitality Grass.
“Handing over the Nine Leaf Vitality Grass, it’s not that it cannot be done,” Fang Yuan said after muttering to himself for a bit.
There was a saying: what was true then isn’t true now.
And now, the situation was different from before….
Previously, Gu Yue Yao Ji wanted Fang Yuan to hand over the Nine Leaf Vitality Grass; that was an order, you had to hand it over whether you wanted to or not.
However, Fang Yuan was already an elder now and his status was equal to Gu Yue Yao Ji and others, and only lower than clan leader Gu Yue Bo. Thus, Gu Yue Chi Zhong asking Fang Yuan to hand over the Nine Leaf Vitality Grass was not an order, but instead it was a type of transaction with equal benefits.
Nine Leaf Vitality Grass was indeed very precious; with its ability to produce vitality leaves, it was by itself a micro-scale source of revenue and was in high demand. Fang Yuan was now raising many Gu worms and a large part of their food expenses was supported solely by it.
However, this world didn’t have anything that couldn’t be sold. It was only a matter of the profits being too small to move the heart.
Nine Leaf Vitality Grass was precious but if an appropriate price was provided, why couldn’t it be sold?
Gu worms were only tools; methods to achieve one’s desires and ambitions. So what if it was the Spring Autumn Cicada? As long as the circumstances were suitable, why couldn’t one give it up to exchange for an even larger benefit?
If one wants to obtain benefits, they need to learn to give up first.
Naturally, Fang Yuan had the awareness of this and looked at Gu Yue Chi Zhong.
Gu Yue Chi Zhong understood and smiled, “If sire is willing to hand over the Nine Leaf Vitality Grass, I will willingly compensate you with this command token.”
Saying so, he took out a token.
This token’s design was simple; it was triangular-shaped with smooth corners. There were words written on the front, pilling up in a pyramid shape — ‘Prize Token’; similarly on the back said — ‘Reward Contributions’.
Prize Token, Reward Contributions.
“Sire is a newly promoted elder, and may not be clear on some matters. This Prize Token is issued to the Gu Masters who have made great contributions to the clan. Even among elders, few possess it. With this token, you can go down to the clan’s underground Gu cave and choose any Gu worm you like. The underground cave holds many rare, precious Gu worms. Among the top ten Gu worms in the exchange board, four of them have been selected from the underground Gu cave,” Gu Yue Chi Zhong explained.
Fang Yuan was instantly moved.
He wasn’t surprised about this, for Gu Yue Clan had stood high for centuries and it was impossible for there not to be any trump cards and accumulations.
In fact, any long-established clan would also have secret places to store Gu like the Gu underground cave.
But to obtain such Gu worms, one needed to have made great contributions and also should be loyal to the clan.
Fang Yuan only recently became an elder, so he was very far away from having such qualifications.
“I want to leave the clan so I need a storage Gu. This token is a good choice, but….” Fang Yuan had some worries.
If he had to give up the Nine Leaf Vitality Grass, so be it; it was a great help to Fang Yuan, but he wouldn’t have any use for it in the future.
Its healing ability was not outstanding and one couldn’t continuously use the vitality leaves to heal.
Fang Yuan’s worry was that there might not necessarily be his ideal Gu worm in the Gu underground cave.
Gu Yue Chi Zhong had been observing Fang Yuan’s expression and he misunderstood the latter’s hesitation, saying, “The underground cave holds not only Rank three Gu worms but also Rank four. Elder Fang Yuan, you won’t be at a disadvantage. But, if somehow you regret it, we could re-exchange them. That can be done after some time, secretly.”
Fang Yuan raised his eyes, unable to refrain from looking at Chi Zhong again.
“This is an outstanding guy,” he sighed inwardly.
A new officer in power has to display his authority, Chi Zhong clearly understood why he was promoted; he had to strike a balance with not only the clan leader but also Chi and medicine faction. And at the same time, he needed to display his ability.
Fang Yuan transferring the Nine Leaf Vitality Grass over, held a special significance to him and he was willing to pay a high price for it.
“The world is vast, countless outstanding talents are everywhere! Under the wolf tide, the old timers are being sacrificed and newcomers are advancing. From a certain point, this can also be said to be a reform which allows the clan to preserve its vitality and stand high without falling,” Fang Yuan thought inwardly.
Too many old timers will only create a rotting organization. Thus the process of elimination is the only way for an organization to continue working.
Gu Yue Chi Zhong was a representative of this.
The world was all about the survival of the fittest. A human body continues to live through the process of metabolism. A Gu Master shouldn’t stick with the same Gu worms, only with change could they progress.
At this thought, Fang Yuan accepted the token from Gu Yue Chi Zhong and then handed over the Nine Leaf Vitality Grass. As he had transferred it himself, Chi Zhong could quickly refine the Nine Leaf Vitality Grass.
Only after keeping this grass Gu into his aperture did he let out a big sigh of relief.
He had his own ambitions and being able to act as the temporary medicine hall elder was an extremely important opportunity to him. If he could grasp this, he might even assume the official post instead of temporary.
However, he would have to make compromises with the three sides if he wanted to achieve this. After all, politics was an art of compromising.
Yao Ji couldn’t do anything to Fang Yuan while she was reigning. But after taking the seat, he was able to get Fang Yuan to hand over his Nine Leaf Vitality Grass. This not only showed goodwill to the medicine faction, being able to handle the political matters left behind by Yao Ji and subtly display his own ability.
Thus, he didn’t hesitate to give up the prize token which he had got with great difficulty.
“Lord Chi Zhong, it’s really delightful to chat with you. I wonder if you still have some time now?” Fang Yuan asked as he stored the token.
Gu Yue Chi Zhong’s eyes flashed; he was puzzled.
After a while.
In a hall.
“We pay respects to the two elders!” Fang Yuan’s uncle and aunt bowed and greeted. They were very respectful and even a little afraid.
After the news of Fang Yuan becoming an elder was announced, he became a model example for young Gu Masters, whereas it brought astonishment and panic to the uncle and aunt pair.
He was clearly a C grade talent, how could he advance to Rank three and become an elder so fast?
Even Gu Yue Fang Zheng who was an A grade talent was only at Rank two upper stage currently.
After the astonishment was fear.
They couldn’t help but be afraid.
When they thought of how they had bullied and been so hard on Fang Yuan, their hearts trembled with fear.
What goes around comes back around!
It was not the same once he had an elder’s identity.
They were afraid of Fang Yuan taking revenge on them after achieving success.
But still, in the end Fang Yuan came to their door, and also brought another elder with him.
“They came with bad intentions, bad intentions!” Gu Yue Dong Tu sighed in his heart.
Fang Yuan chuckled, “Uncle, Aunt, no need to be so courteous. Although I have become an elder, I am still your nephew. Come, let’s all take a seat.”
Saying so, he sat down on the main seat.
Gu Yue Chi Zhong sat beside him.
These two positions were usually where Uncle and Aunt sat; the seats of the family heads.
Uncle and Aunt, however, weren’t the least bit discontent with the seatings. They were even full of hesitation and fearful when sitting in the lower seats.
This was the power of the clan elders.
Uncle and Aunt glanced at each other, they were on tenterhooks as they sat stiffly; only sitting near the edge of the chairs.
The servants came in with some tea.
Gu Yue Chi Zhong maintained his silence and didn’t drink. Fang Yuan, however, took a sip calmly and asked, “How has Uncle and Aunt been these days?”
Fang Yuan was smiling as he asked, but in Uncle and Aunt’s eyes it felt even more terrifying than him flying into a rage.
It was especially so for Aunt; when she thought of how she had insulted Fang Yuan, she started trembling with fear.
“Sigh, life had been in upheaval due to the wolf tide. The tavern was forced to close down and the rent of the bamboo houses has been decreasing. In fact, we are so poor that we’re reaching the point of starvation,” Uncle said, and then tears fell down from his eyes unexpectedly.
He used to maintain his health very well before, but now his face was no longer ruddy, while the hair near his temples had gone white and the wrinkles on his face had increased. His predicament was even more obvious due to the forceful enlistment.
However, Fang Yuan knew his uncle had managed the tavern for many years, so he definitely had some savings. The miserable appearance he was putting on now was because he was afraid of Fang Yuan’s revenge, and wanted to use his pathetic look to gain Fang Yuan’s sympathy.
“Uncle is usually so astute, but how could he be so stupid when the matter involves himself? If I had come to take revenge, why would I bring Gu Yue Chi Zhong with me?”
Fang Yuan sneered in his mind. He greatly disliked and had no respect towards his uncle and aunt, but this didn’t mean they had no use.
“Uncle, Aunt, you have taken good care of me for so long, all my current accomplishments are due to your nurturing. I have just received the elder payout from the clan; these three hundred primeval stones, please take them.” Saying so, Fang Yuan handed the money bag to uncle.
“What? This….” Gu Yue Dong Tu’s expression was really wonderful at this moment.
His astonishment contained unease, the unease was close to fear, and under the fear was incredulousness.
Aunt who was at the side was also dumbstruck as she blankly looked at the money bag in Fang Yuan’s hand.
What in the world was going on?
There was none of the revenge they had imagined, but instead, they were being gifted three hundred primeval stones?
Fang Yuan’s words were ear-piercing, no matter how they looked at it. The words ‘taken good care’ and ‘nurturing’ were full of sarcasm which made them feel the whole situation was even more bizarre.
“What is he scheming?”
“What the heck does he want to do? How does he want to torment us!?”
Uncle and Aunt glanced at each other. Both were hesitating and didn’t dare to receive the money bag.
“It is Elder Fang Yuan’s filial piety, do accept it,” Gu Yue Chi Zhong expressionlessly spoke from his seat.
“Yes, yes, yes.” Uncle repeatedly nodded his head and hurriedly accepted the money bag. Even if he was called the hidden elder, that was nothing in front of the medicine hall elder.
He used both hands to hold the bag full of three hundred primeval stones. He normally loved money, but right now, he felt like the money bag was scalding hot and wanted to immediately throw it!
“Since uncle has received it, I will take my leave,” Fang Yuan said and started leaving.
Uncle and Aunt immediately tried to see them off, but were stopped by Fang Yuan.
“Don’t look anymore,” At the corner, Mother Shen let out a breath of relief and said to her daughter Shen Cui.
Shen Cui’s expression was gloomy, and she looked at Fang Yuan and Chi Zhong’s figures from behind until they were completely gone.
“Mother, did I make a wrong choice?” She said.
An elder could take in a wife and two concubines; if she had been faithful from the start, who is to say that she couldn’t be Fang Yuan’s concubine at this moment.
“I really hadn’t expected this. This Fang Yuan advanced to today’s stage with only a C grade aptitude!” Mother Shen helplessly shook her head, “Daughter, cheer up. Fang Zheng has an A grade aptitude, his accomplishments won’t be any less!”
“Yes,” Shen Cui responded, and some luster emerged within her dark pupils.
In this world, the status of a common mortal was so petty and low!
How many things did she have that could move the great Gu Masters’ hearts?
She had already given her body to Fang Zheng, that was the gamble of her life and she couldn’t turn back anymore.