Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
When Lin Yuan opened the store, it was just a few minutes before 7 a.m.
Presently, Lin Yuan was standing beside the flower racks and felt he was more tired than normal. This was the reason why he looked frail.
The feeling of fatigue when he was opening the store every day was something that Lin Yuan was already used to. However, he could feel a spell of dizziness in the depths of his head, and it was seemingly getting more intensive.
“Meow, Yuan, go to the chair and sit for a moment.”
The ash-black cat immediately started to walk on Lin Yuan’s pants and clothes before climbing up to his neck. The cat then trembled as it stood up and used its paws’ soft pad to give Lin Yuan’s head a gentle massage.
The Sound Bird was also flying around anxiously as though it was asking why Lin Yuan looked weaker than normal.
Lin Yuan then forcefully invigorated himself before hugging the Hundred Questions Beast, Genius, in his arms. His fair fingers had very obvious and distinct bone lines as they stroked across the Hundred Questions Beast’s fur.
“Genius, Chimey, you don’t have to worry about me. I probably didn’t sleep well yesterday.” While Lin Yuan was speaking, he started to ponder whether he had really caught a cold again.
His finances to maintain his family’s store were very tight, and it was barely enough to support his younger sister’s school fees. During normal times, he would be frugal on his own meals to save up money.
Poor people were most fearful of falling ill.
After a century since the Spirit Qi Awakening, all of the previously terminal illnesses were now curable with ease. As long as one could find a spirit qi professional, who had contracted a high-grade healing-type fey, treatment could be completed in a single session.
However, the fees for hiring spirit qi professionals with high-grade feys would be more than three months of operation fees for his store.
Lin Yuan might have said so, but Genius and Chimey’s anxiety didn’t reduce at all. It was as though they were afraid of losing their most precious treasure.
To Genius and Chimey, they were two inferior housekeeping pets that had been neglected and rejected, and Lin Yuan was their entire world.
When it was at exactly 7 a.m., a forthright and shrewish voice echoed punctually at the entrance.
“Little Yuan, I have told you so many times not to open your store so early. You just have to open it after 8 a.m. so you can have more rest too.”
The one speaking was a middle-aged lady who had placed a wooden square box on Lin Yuan’s reception counter. She then looked at Lin Yuan with a gentle glance before saying, “Same old thing. Give me ten Usnea vines.”
When Lin Yuan heard this rather passionate and shrewish voice, his face immediately put on a warm smile. Lin Yuan’s face looked extremely amiable from afar when he had this warm smile, just like the summer breeze.
“Auntie Zhang, I have told you so many times that you shouldn’t bring me breakfast when you come over to buy something!” While speaking, Lin Yuan had already gone to harvest the Usnea vines in a quick and efficient manner.
A pot of Usnea would grow around 13 or 14 vines, which were around 1.5-meter long, per day.
One portion of the Usnea vine was exactly one meter long. Lin Yuan’s scissors snipped off ten vines, which were all exactly 1.5 meters in length. He then used a piece of cloth to tightly wrap all ten of the 1.5-meter vines together.
Lin Yuan packed the well-grown and fresh Usnea vines nicely.
As Auntie Zhang was watching how Lin Yuan crouched down and proficiently packed the Usnea vines, her eyes flashed with benevolence while feeling heartbroken.
As an old neighbor, Auntie Zhang had been watching as Lin Yuan had no choice but to become independent at the age of 12 to support this store in order to provide for himself and his younger sister. He could barely support his younger sister to study, and Auntie Zhang could no longer remember if this was the sixth or the seventh year.
When Lin Yuan brought the Usnea vines to the reception counter, he just happened to see Auntie Zhang looking at him.
“Auntie Zhang, if I were to open my store at 8 a.m., you wouldn’t be able to buy such fresh Usnea vines, right?” he asked.
Auntie Zhang quickly withdrew her emotional eyes and laughed while saying, “That is true. Why don’t you learn from how the other stores are doing? These are just Usneas, and you are still putting energy ores in them. How much can you earn with each Usnea vine?”
Lin Yuan smiled and shook his head without saying anything as he listened to Auntie Zhang’s suggestion. At that moment, Lin Yuan was doing his best to support his body as the spell of dizziness plaguing his mind was so intense that he felt he might collapse at any moment.
Auntie Zhang understood that this youth had his own principles. Be it the opening of the store at exactly 7 a.m. each day or how he stubbornly insisted on putting energy ores in the Usneas’ soil.
While feeling heartbroken, Auntie Zhang still felt a vague admiration for this child that she had been watching grow up. It felt just like how a senior watched the junior grow into a responsible person.
Auntie Zhang left behind 75 Federation dollars before turning and walking to the entrance. She said before leaving, “Little Yuan, your Uncle Li specially baked the flat sesame bread and mung bean milk for you. If you want your Uncle Li to be sad, then don’t eat them.”
When Lin Yuan saw the extra 25 Federation dollars on the table, he took the money and was about to call out to Auntie Zhang. All of a sudden, his dizziness intensified, and his eyes turned blurry before he fainted.
When Auntie Zhang walked away, she felt rather pleased. Every time when she wanted to give Little Yuan extra money, he would never accept it. This time, since she had walked away fast enough, Little Yuan would probably accept it.
However, just as she was at the store’s entrance, she heard a clatter as though something had fallen onto the ground. Just before the clattering sound echoed, the Sound Bird and the Hundred Questions Beast let out anxious cries.
Auntie Zhang quickly turned around and noticed that Lin Yuan had collapsed on the ground with the 25 dollars in his hand. His eyes were silently closed, and his face looked calm, as though he was sleeping.
Auntie Zhang hurried over with worry to help up Lin Yuan.
The moment before Lin Yuan closed his eyes and fainted, his ears could vaguely hear the anxious cries of Genius, Chimey, and Auntie Zhang. Immediately after, his consciousness became murky.
In this murky state, it felt just like a swamp that would trap a person’s feet, making it hard to move. It was viscous and deathly still.
After fainting, Lin Yuan gradually awakened in a strange environment. His mind flashed with the face of his younger sister, Genius, and Chimey.
These three individuals were his closest kin and his greatest worries. If he died, he didn’t know how heartbroken his young sister would be, nor whether anyone would take care of Chimey and Genius.
It was fortunate that he had already saved up enough to pay for his young sister’s school fees for next year.
Lin Yuan’s consciousness started walking around in this chaotic place. It was unknown how long he had been walking. All of a sudden, at the end of the chaotic place, Lin Yuan saw something that he was extremely familiar with.
It was a simple and unadorned copper-colored bracelet.
This bracelet had been Lin Yuan’s secret for all this time. In fact, this life was actually Lin Yuan’s second life.
His previous life had been high-spirited, and he had been in his prime. Unfortunately, he had died early at the age of 30. Upon opening his eyes, he was a newly born infant one century after the Spirit Qi Awakening. When he had been reborn, this copper bracelet had accompanied him.
Since then, he had been wearing this bracelet on his wrist. However, when he was eight years old, it had accidentally gotten smeared by his own blood and mysteriously vanished.
He would never have expected to discover the copper-colored bracelet in the depths of this place. The copper bracelet was currently flickering with a faint light. It caused the depths of his consciousness to be brimming with a tea-like ripple with jade luster.
This bracelet was just like a door that was waiting for Lin Yuan’s consciousness to step across it.