Tang Hao lay there. He dared not move a muscle.
Yan’er’s face was bright red. Her eyes radiated charm with a hint of seductiveness, while at the same time, she was a little flustered.
She hesitated for a little while longer, then gathered enough courage and finally told Tang Hao, “Brother Hao, you… you can claim my body!” Her red face looked like it was burning.
Tang Hao was shocked, he did not know whether he should laugh or cry.
“What are you talking about, you silly girl?”
“I’m not joking, Brother Hao!” Yan’er spoke softly, “We owe you too big of a debt of gratitude. I don’t know how else to thank you. Also… Also… I… I like you…”
Her gaze on Tang Hao was daring and passionate.
“Mom already told me. You’ll definitely be pursued by many other girls in the future. She told me to seize my opportunity fast… so… I…” Her voice became softer as she spoke.
Tang Hao listened to all that in silence.
To be frank, any boy of his age would be happy to be liked by someone as pretty as Yan’er. He was also silently happy about her confession.
He had some feelings for Yan’er, but that was about it.
Also, he thought that Yan’er was still young, and he should not be irresponsible.
He smiled, then raised his hand to pat Yan’er’s head.
“Silly girl, you’re still young.”
“I’m… I’m not young. I’m already seventeen!” Yan’er pouted and grumbled when she heard that Tang Hao said she was young. “Some girls in school, I’ve heard that they’ve… they’ve… already did it when they were even younger.”
She paused when she finished the sentence. “So… how am I too young then!” She said bashfully.
Tang Hao tried to hold back his laughter. “Seventeen years old is still young! Listen to me, Yan’er, even if you want to repay me for helping your family today…. This isn’t how I would want it.”
Yan’er remained silent.
Suddenly, her eyes were filled with tears. “Brother Hao, is it because you don’t like me?”
“No, how can that be! You’re so pretty, Yan’er, why wouldn’t I like you?” Tang Hao smiled.
“I know, right?” Yan’er grumbled. “Well, Brother Hao, you’re so kind to people. Surely you already have a girlfriend, right?” She looked gloomy as she spoke.
Then, she looked excited again. “Brother Hao, Yan’er likes you too. I definitely won’t lose to whoever she is.”
She pounced on Tang Hao then pecked his cheek.
Then, she flipped the blanket over and left the room.
“Phew!” Tang Hao breathed a sigh of relief after she left.
This girl’s body was maturing. In a year or two, she would not lose to Sis Xiangyi.
Tang Hao felt flustered in his heart for a long while. He eventually calmed down and fell asleep.
He woke up very early the next morning.
Yan’er was blushing through breakfast. She did not dare to look at him in the eye. Zhang Hongfang was chuckling to herself when she looked at the young couple.
The condition of Shi Xuefeng’s leg improved a lot over the night. Tang Hao estimated another ten days before his leg fully recovered.
Shi Xuefeng mentioned that the mountains were not safe. Sometimes, venomous snakes or wild beasts could be seen roaming around. He departed alone for the mountains with a machete.
He passed by many villagers on his way out. They greeted him passionately.
Once he entered the mountain, he stretched his legs and ran at full speed. The two-to-three-hour journey on mountain paths was shortened to half an hour before he arrived at the area with the lingzhi.
Tang Hao stood at the valley of a stream and looked at the crisp green mountains in front of him. He furrowed his brows.
The area where the lingzhi and Flowers of Rotting Poison grew was right ahead. That area should have an intensely strong qi flow, but now that he tried sensing it, the qi flow in the area was no different than the surroundings.
“That’s strange!” Tang Hao mumbled as he rushed toward the area.
He found the stalk of lingzhi in under twenty minutes. Its cap was as big as an umbrella and looked like it was two or three centuries old.
“This is good stuff!” Tang Hao said happily.
Lingzhi accumulated qi as it grew, so the older a stalk of lingzhi was, the more qi it would contain within. If he were to use it to concoct Liquid of Spiritual Condensation, his qi cultivation would increase greatly and he would soon reach the middle period of the State of Qi Channeling. This would allow him to practice sorcery.
He plucked the stalk of lingzhi and stashed it in his pocket dimension.
Then, he found the Flower of Rotting Poison nearby.
“That’s strange… the qi flow in this region isn’t strong at all!” Tang Hao was frustrated as he took another spin around the area.
He looked around and spotted a pond next to the Flower of Rotting Poison.
“Hm? I think there’s something strange about this pond…” Tang Hao could feel qi pulsing as he neared the pond.
“Why is there an aura of qi coming from inside?” Tang Hao was puzzled. He walked around the pond and did not find anything out of the ordinary.
He suddenly had an idea as he peered into the pond. There might be something amazing hidden underwater.
He took off his clothes and took a deep breath, then dove into the pond.
The water was ice-cold and swallowed him whole.
Once in the water, he opened his eyes to look at his surroundings. The light in the pond was scarce and he could faintly see the condition in the pond.
The pond was about eight or nine meters deep. The light was far dimmer down there. If not for his sense of sight being far better than normal humans, he would not have been able to see anything.
He carefully looked around, then noticed a faint light emanating from beneath the muddy bottom.
“What’s that?” Tang Hao swam across. With a flick of his hand, he swept away the mud.
Two pure-white jade stones appeared within sight. One of them was as big as a chicken egg, while the other was only the size of a marble.
The jade stones were as white as snow and emanated a soft glow. They seemed like items out of a fantasy story and pulsated with a strong flow of qi.
He carefully inspected the objects in his hand, then he suddenly realized what they were.
“Spirit stones! These are spirit stones!”
Spirit stones were created by cultivators in ancient times by an esoteric technique that concentrated qi from the heavens and the earth in solid form.
They were one of the most important resources that a qi cultivator could own.
Back then, qi permeated the heavens and the earth, and so spirit stones were relatively easier to come by. In the present day, qi flow was scarce, and spirit stones were incredibly rare.
“I’ve hit the jackpot this time!” Tang Hao was ecstatic. The qi from the spirit stones and the lingzhi could sustain his cultivation up until the middle period, or even the late period of the State of Qi Channeling.
He stashed the spirit stones, then carefully searched the area but did not find any more.
A short while later, he surfaced from the pond.
Sitting next to the pond, he fondled the spirit stones in his hand and felt happy. “Looks like these two spirit stones had imbued the water with qi… This water is also extremely precious. I shouldn’t waste it.”
Tang Hao produced a container and filled it to the brim. Then he removed the stalk of Flower of Rotting Poison, stashed it, and left the place contentedly.