Superintendent Huang left defeatedly. He wanted to get on good terms with Tang Hao but was rejected.
Hu Dahai crouched on the ground, dejected, while touching his swollen face.
The crowd of villagers cheered and crowded around Tang Hao.
“Good showing, Lil Hao! Luckily you’re here today!”
“Lil Hao, so you’re really acquainted with Secretary Lin?”
The villagers were chattering eagerly.
“I guess you can say that I know him.” Tang Hao nodded.
“Whoa!” The crowd roared.
“You really know him! That’s great news, Lil Hao. If you’re acquainted with a VIP like him, you’ll achieve great heights in your future! Caifeng gave birth to a good son!”
“Lil Hao really changed. Not only he’s acquainted with a VIP, but he also knows kung fu!”
The villagers talked about him with an equal mix of admiration and pride.
Shi Yan’er stood beyond the crowd and looked at him with puzzlement.
When they met earlier, she thought that they were in the same predicament. She did not expect that he had become a great person. She felt happy for him, but at the same time, she felt inferior.
After Tang Hao dealt with the villagers, he squeezed his way through the crowd. He noticed the bunch of hooligans helping Hu Dahai get up and prepare to escape from the scene.
“Boss Hu!” Tang Hao yelled.
Hu Dahai trembled. He replied fearfully, “What… What more do you want?”
Tang Hao broke into a cheeky grin. “Don’t you want your money?”
“I… I don’t want it anymore!” Hu Dahai’s head was shaking like a rattle as he prepared to leave.
Three cars appeared at the village entrance. The one leading the way was a luxurious Rolls Royce Phantom.
The cars drove past the bridge and stopped. Liu Dajun got off the car. In his hand was a briefcase. He led a group of people in business suits and went over to the crowd.
Hu Dahai was shocked when he saw that.
The Rolls Royce Phantom was famous in Westridge District. It was the ride of the president of Brilliant Property.
‘That’s President Liu? He shouldn’t look this thin though? Why would he be at this run-down mountain village anyway?’
Hu Dahai was puzzled. He was about to open his mouth to greet him when he saw Liu Dajun waving toward their direction and shouting, “Lil Tang, your big brother is here. I’ve brought your one hundred and fifty thousand yuan.
“By the way, who’s the hooligan that’s giving you trouble? Let’s see how I’ll deal with him!”
Hu Dahai’s vision went blank when he heard that. He nearly fainted.
‘Oh my god! Are my ears deceiving me? The president of Brilliant Property calling a village kid his little brother?
‘Who is this kid anyway? Not only he knows Secretary Lin, but also President Liu?’
He lowered his head even more as he tried to sneak away from the side of the road.
“There he is, Big Bro Liu! Just hand the money to him,” Tang Hao pointed a finger at Hu Dahai. Then he added, “Right, his name is Hu Dahai.”
President Liu was surprised. “Hu Dahai? Where have I heard this name before?” He thought about it for a while. “Oh, so it’s you! I’ve met you once before. Ha! You sure have guts to cross my sworn brother!
“Here, take this money… From today on, you’d better tighten your belt. All your businesses will be closing down soon. You have no idea who you were dealing with.” Liu Dajun leaned close and whispered threateningly into his ear.
Then, he handed the briefcase to Hu Dahai, clapped on his shoulder and walked away happily.
Hu Dahai trembled. His face was pale as a sheet, only managing to walk into his car after being propped by the bunch of hooligans. The car then left as fast as it could.
The villagers exclaimed in admiration once more.
“He’s a big boss too! Tang Hao must be really talented to be acquainted with him!”
“Big Bro Liu,” Tang Hao greeted him.
“Lil Tang, I’ve brought my elite employees with me. They can help you with drafting a proposal for your plantation.” Liu Dajun pointed at the group of people standing behind him.
“Thank you, Big Bro Liu. I’ve only just made my decision. I haven’t discussed this with the villagers yet!” Tang Hao said.
“What’s to discuss about, Lil Tang?” His uncle asked.
“It’s like this, Uncle. I plan to develop a medicinal herb plantation here at Dragonrock Village,” Tang Hao explained.
“A plantation? That sounds like a brilliant idea. If it’s a success, it will also bring good to the village!” His uncle said, “Right, where’s the village elder?”
“The village elder went to town!” Someone replied.
“Quick, call him and ask him to get back here! Lil Hao, I and these few people here are all in the village council. You should know them. Let’s discuss the issue first.” Uncle pointed at a few people in the crowd.
“Alright!” Tang Hao nodded.
Then, as though he had just thought of something, he walked next to Yan’er and said, “Yan’er, I’ll go discuss the issue with them first. I’ll come look at your dad’s leg later.”
“Alright! You go ahead then, Brother Hao!” Yan’er nodded.
Liu Dajun’s eyes sparkled when he saw Shi Yan’er. He nudged at Tang Hao while speaking to him in a low voice, “Ho! Not bad at all, Lil Tang! You’re a chick magnet!”
“What are you talking about, Big Bro Liu!” Tang Hao blushed.
“Don’t worry, I won’t tell Qin the Femme Fatale!” Liu Dajun joked.
Tang Hao felt that any attempt to explain would be futile.
Next, the group of people went into the village council office for further discussion.
Uncle and the others were extremely excited at this proposal and so the discussion concluded positively. Tang Hao planned to acquire the entire mountain to the east of the village. Not only would he bear all costs of development and maintenance, but he would also prioritize hiring villagers to work in the plantation and tend to the herbs.
The people then went to survey the land in preparation for infrastructure.
“Lil Tang, the scenery here is excellent. How about if we also build a few mansions here? Also, the road to enter this place is too bumpy. I nearly threw up in the car. We’ll have to build a proper asphalt road too.”
Tang Hao nodded. “Right. The road is crucial.”
“So it’s decided then. After I go back, I’ll get them to draft several proposals so that you can decide on the best one. I’ll also pull a few strings about the asphalt road.
“Don’t worry about the capital needed. Ol’ Li and the others can’t wait to take a slice of this pie. I’ll just have to tell them and the money will come rolling in.”
“Sorry to trouble you, Big Bro Liu!” Tang Hao said.
The sky was already darkening when the first preliminary survey was done.
Liu Dajun and the others left, and Tang Hao went to Yan’er’s house.
“Lil Hao is here!”
Zhang Hongfang greeted Tang Hao hospitably when she saw him arrive. “You’re a great benefactor, Lil Hao! I don’t know how to repay you! Don’t worry, I will gather the money and return it as soon as we can.”
“Don’t worry, I’m not short of money anyway. You can pay me back any time. Here’s another fifty thousand yuan for you, Auntie. Let’s just say I’m lending this for Yan’er to return to school!”
Tang Hao opened his backpack and retrieved fifty thousand yuan from it.
The money was stored in his pocket dimension. He did not take out the money earlier because he did not have his backpack with him, and it would be awkward if he took out big stacks of cash from his pocket.
“I… I can’t accept that!” Zhang Hongfang said.
“Yes, Lil Hao! We’ve already owed you a big debt of gratitude. How can we accept your money? Aren’t you planning on setting up a plantation? That will need a lot of money, right?” Shi Xuefeng sat in the wheelchair while Yan’er pushed it.
“Don’t worry about it. This money won’t affect my plans at all. Yan’er has skipped school for so long. She won’t be able to catch up if she doesn’t attend classes soon.”
Yan’er was stunned. Suddenly, tears welled up in her eyes.
“Take it!” Tang Hao shoved the money into Zhang Hongfang’s hands.
“Now let me look at Uncle’s leg! I’ve picked up some medical skills in these couple of years, they might come into use.” Tang Hao looked at Shi Xuefeng’s leg as he said that.
“Well… Lil Hao, it’s not that I doubt your skills, but there’s no cure to my leg! We’ve gone to many different hospitals and none of them worked!” Shi Xuefeng sighed dejectedly.
All that happened today was because of his leg.
“Ah! If I hadn’t entered the mountain that day because I was blinded by that treasure, all this wouldn’t have happened,” Shi Xuefeng sighed.
“Treasure? What treasure?” Tang Hao asked.
“Oh! It’s a stalk of lingzhi. A very big stalk of natural lingzhi. It’s at least a century or two. I accidentally saw that lingzhi and my impulse drove me to pluck it, but something pierced my leg. I was paralyzed from the waist down at that time. It took me great effort to crawl out to safety.”
“A century-old lingzhi?” Tang Hao was incredibly excited. A century-old old lingzhi was a medicinal ingredient of incredible potency and would drastically improve his cultivation.
“Where’s the lingzhi? Is it still there?”
“Yes! I didn’t tell anyone else.”
“So.…Uncle, what pierced your leg?”
“It’s a strange flower. I don’t know its name. It has a lot of thorns and I was pierced by one of them. I’ve plucked a flower and showed it around, but not even the doctors know what it is.”
“Do you still have the flower? Let me take a look,” Tang Hao said.
Zhang Hongfang entered the house and retrieved a box. Inside the box was a dried-up flower with seven petals. Its color was as red as blood.
Tang Hao picked up the flower and carefully inspected it, then recalled the texts in his brain and identified it.
The flower was known as the Flower of Rotting Poison!
Its poison was not deadly, but it was extremely complicated to deal with. It was one of the essential ingredients in refining certain poisonous potions.
‘That’s weird. The Flower of Rotting Poison isn’t a normal flower. It only grows at places with a strong flow of qi. It should have gone extinct in present times, or at least be extremely rare.
‘Don’t tell me… there’s a patch of land with intense qi flow in the mountains?’
Tang Hao was piqued.
‘That’s not urgent. The most important thing now is to cure Uncle’s leg,’ he thought.