In early summer, the mountain forest was lush and delightful. A creek flowed merrily by the base of a mountain.
With a splash, a wooden prong emerged from the water, with a wriggling fish on the other end.
"The fish isn’t big. It must have just been born," commented Lei Zhonglian to Miss Jun, who was arranging a plush cushion underneath a tree.
The little stove gurgled as it emitted heat. At the moment, it was being used to steep tea. In a moment, it would be used to steep medicine.
Fang Chengyu was not sitting down like before. Instead, he was propped on crutches and standing beneath the tree.
"Let go of the crutches, and support yourself with the tree and exercise slowly." Miss Jun was arranging the food they had just bought from the small town onto the cushions.
Fang Chengyu showed some hesitation.
"But that doesn’t look good," he protested.
Miss Jun laughed and turned to look at him.
"You have sat in the carriage for too long. You need to move," she said. "Also, this is the wilderness. Who can see you."
And as for her, she has seen you ugly plenty of times. What is hugging the tree and exercising to her?
Of course, even if they weren’t chatting, she wouldn’t say this.
Fang Chengyu made an ‘oh’ sound.
"It really has been so long since I’ve done this kind of thing," he said with a smile, letting go of his crutches.
Suddenly, losing his support, he started to sway. He grabbed for the trunk, but his legs had no strength and they started to slide. He could only grip the tree trunk tighter. His face was pressed to the bark, and he just barely managed to avoid falling to the ground.
"This position is unsightly as expected," he said dryly.
She smiled but didn’t look at him. Lei Zhonglian also smiled, and squatted by the fire with his cleaned fish and started to roast it slowly.
The smell of tea, food, and now the roasting fish, spread through the fields.
Fang Chengyu, pressed against the rough bark, viewing the green hills and clear waters before him.
Other people have often said that the spring outings in the books were like this, but his appearance now was not beautiful.
While on a journey in the outside world, he was clinging to a tree. This sort of situation must have no predecessors or successors.
He felt a stinging in his face, and he slowly slid down.
"I can’t hold on," he said. He used his arms to prop himself on the tree trunk and flip himself over, preventing his face from being scratched.
He rolled on the ground, smelling the grass and mud and earth. He spread his arms and legs wide, a smile curling his lips as he watched the azure sky.
Once, his greatest desire was to go out, to go to the back alley and buy something to eat.
He never imagined that he would journey, and journey so far.
But this couldn’t be considered journeying. It was done with the use of carriages, that’s all. But one day, he would walk .
That day wasn’t too far off.
"Young Master, come and eat," urged Lei Zhonglian, walking over to support him up.
Fang Chengyu used him to stand up.
Miss Jun picked up and passed over his crutches to him.
"You eat first. When I come back from picking medicine, you’ll be digesting, so it will be a perfect time to take medicine," she said.
Fang Chengyu eyed the hillside next to them. The forest was thick and dense, the mountain rocks craggy.
"You be careful yourself," he returned.
Miss Jun and Lei Zhonglian lowered Fang Chengyu onto the cushion together.
"I will be back soon. This medicinal herb is very common and is very easy to find. Because it is too common, for some time it was not considered for medical use," commented Miss Jun. "Don’t worry, I am very familiar with finding herbs on mountainsides."
How can you be familiar with finding herbs on mountainsides?
Fang Chengyu and Lei Zhonglian stared at her.
"There are many mountains in Funing," said Miss Jun. "When I was young, I would go with my grandfather in Runan."
Fang Chengyu smiled but didn’t say anything.
"Young Lady you should go. I will watch over Young Master," said Lei Zhonglian.
Miss Jun smiled.
"With you looking after him, I can be at ease," she said.
She can be at ease because he was looking after him?
Lei Zhonglian looked to Fang Chengyu who was seated on a cushion.
This young boy’s face was very similar to Lady Fang’s, but the outline was all Master Fang’s.
It had already been fourteen years. He had almost forgotten about what that Master Fang looked like. He only remembered him riding to him on a horse, twenty, thirty years old, full of vigor.
"This is Dual Spear Lotus." He cupped his hands in greeting and smiled broadly. "This time, I’ll be in your care."
In the end…
When he carried him away on his back, his face was badly mangled and he was no longer smiling.
Lei Zhonglian could only feel sourness in his mouth. He lowered his gaze.
She can be at ease because he was looking after him?
Did Young Lady not know who he was? Did she know her uncle died under his care?
"Uncle Lei, you should eat too," said Fang Chengyu, giving him a look.
Lei Zhonglian made a sound of affirmation. He retreated several paces and sat down on the ground. He ate silently, his head lowered.
Just as Miss Jun said, she quickly found the useful herbs on the mountainside.
Halfway up the mountain, underneath the scattered mountain rocks, grew groves of chastetree.
Miss Jun used a small trowel to dig up the roots.
This was enough for several days of use. She put away the trowel and stood up, her eyes sweeping over the wildflowers.
There weren’t many wildflowers blooming at the moment, but they weren’t rare.
Her figure paused as she looked out to where the wildflowers were.
There was a small, goose-yellow flower blooming by the cliff. Amid the rugged stones, it was not eye-catching ort breathtaking.
Miss Jun violently straightened up, shocked.
So this was actually Immortal Ziying’s Plant.
According to legend, the female immortal Ziying transformed into an herb. It could replenish blood and spirit and could raise people from the dead. It was extremely hard to come by.
Miss Jun did not feel happiness at seeing such a rare herb. Instead, her shock was replaced by disappointment and frustration.
So it was Immortal Ziying’s Plant.
Master had lost his life because of it.
It was something she still didn’t understand.
Although this herb was extremely precious and could fetch a high price in the market, Master was never someone who needed money. If he really needed money, he would just need to announce his name. Even without announcing his name, if he diagnosed illness on the street, he could garner any amount of money he wanted. Even more then what this herb was worth.
But Master was always searching for this herb. In the only volume he ever wrote was pressed a stalk of the Immortal Ziying Plant.
And seeing this flower once was not enough, simply not enough.
After he died from tumbling off the cliff, in his hands was clutched this Immortal Ziying Plant.
That Immortal Ziying Plant was like the volume of scattered writings that she had put into the box with all of Master’s belongings.
She didn’t understand it, but she knew that this medicinal herb was very important to master.
Since he was always saying it was not enough, as his disciple, she should go in his stead and pluck it.
Miss Jun stared at the Immortal Ziying Plant and advanced forward.
Immortal Ziying Plant grew at the edges of precipices. Miss Jun knelt down and carefully dug up the rocks. The mountain breeze blowing caused her to sweat. She pulled the plant upward slowly, and the long roots began to shake in the breeze.
This Immortal Ziying Plant was quite old.
Master definitely would be happy. Its roots spread through the cracks in the rocks.
Miss Jun smiled, then she heard a snapping sound. The rock beneath her feet actually fell.
Miss Jun only felt herself hang in mid-air for a moment, before she responded by grabbing at the rock behind her. The rocks beneath her rolled down, and half her body hung in mid-air.
Miss Jun immediately broke out into cold sweat. She slowly reached up with her dangling right hand.
In her hand was the Immortal Ziying Plant.
The legendary plant did not like to be plucked by humans. If it was plucked, you would fall down the from greed.
This of course was not because it truly had a spirit. It was because it liked to grow in the cracks of loose cliff rocks. When it was being plucked, it would loosen the rocks.
This is why Master lost his life.
Miss Jun carefully placed the right fist with the Immortal Ziying FLower on the walk. She stepped onto the escarpment, intending to climb up, but she heard the sound of mountain rocks being loosened again. She felt the rock she was climbing on start to shake.
Miss Jun stiffened.
It couldn’t be that she was going lose her life like master over a single Immortal ZIying Plant.
Was she going to die?
Without having done anything, she was going to die?
Would she be reborn again after dying?
Miss Jun did not know what she should think at this time. All kinds of strange thoughts seemed to explode in her head. And at the same time, she felt empty.
She heard the sounds of the stones becoming loose. The stone under her hands trembled, making her feel sharp despair.
Suddenly there was the sound of a man’s alarm, and the sound of footsteps.
Miss Jun subconsciously followed the sound and looked. She saw a man walking over on the hillside. At noontime, his back was to the sun, and she could not see past the harsh glare.
After his shout, this person seemed to be standing just two to three paces away from her in the blink of the eye. He carefully squatted down and grabbed the hand holding the Immortal Ziying Flower.
With a great show of force, Miss Jun felt the trembling and loose feeling immediately disappear. At the same time, she heard the man’s voice again.
The voice was clear and curious.
"Young lady, what are you playing?" he said.
What are you playing?
This person really was endowed with talent bestowed by Heaven, to see this and think it playing.
‘Is this considered playing with her life?’ Miss Jun asked herself inside, looking at the man before her.
He did not pull her up, instead, he pressed on the hand that pinched the Immortal Ziying Plant.
Volume 1 - Fin
 The words ‘journey’ and ‘walk’ use the same character in Chinese, so Chengyu is playing with words. Can’t call this journeying, since he’s not doing so with his own two legs.