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0003 ———————————————-

Millennium Snow Ginseng (千年雪参)

“Koff Koff”

Coming into consciousness, the cold wind nipped me. I kept the wind at bay with the straw, but the wind blew early in the morning and a cough puffed out a little.

“…?”



What is this?

I was suddenly embarrassed when I could not understand the reason after losing consciousness. I hurriedly looked down at my chest, but the gaping wound was gone. No, the clothes I wore are totally different, and the size of my body is also completely different.

It became smaller.

I raised my upper body and looked around. In the dark, I felt a stream of cold air and whiffed a smell of cow dung; the shadow of a decent tree surrounded me in a bed made of straw. I sat idly for a while, but I knew this sight very well.

"Am I dreaming now?"

I know…
I know what the situation is now.
It is obviously when I was about thirteen years old, roughly about the time I just lost my beloved parents to the plague, I was left in the care of the village chief. I did not live in the house of a chief but instead I slept in an empty barn near the stall, living like a mere servant. With my trembling hands, I carefully removed the pile of straw that partially blocked the wind.

I see.
It is the stall.

“Ah ah…!”

I almost screamed.
There is only one word that can explain this situation right now.
I returned to the past!
It’s my childhood from forty years ago!

"Could this actually happen in the world?"

I was puzzled by all this while trying to make sense of it, and I must admit panic started to set in but eventually I had to force myself to stay calm.
I decided to move my body once. My arms and legs moved well, and the brisk coldness of dawn reminded me of my current reality. It was so realistic to see this as an illusion.

I slightly sat with my legs crossed in a Buddhist statue position and started Xiaozhoutian (小周天: small heavenly circuit respiration done by a mental cultivation method) and studied the stages of how it was progressing. Then I realized an amazing fact.

"Well…!"
"My Neigong is exactly the same."
"Oh my god…."

Surprisingly, even though I've reverted back to a child’s body, the Neigong of Sancaituhui Mental Cultivation Method I had accumulated for over forty five years was still the same. Of course, the shallow effect of the basic Mental Cultivation Method is not going anywhere, but I am sure it will be of great help to my future. This is because I know better than anyone else that having Neigong piled up makes a huge difference.

“Koff Koff…."
"Uh… fucking guys”

I exhaled my nausea and swore.

Of course, the target I swore about was the village chief and his family.

He picked up an orphan, and I was left to the village chief and treated more as a servant, until I was independent three years later. The harassment of the children in the neighborhood was never ending, even the chief's son seemed to be giggling while watching me suffer, but he had not even once thought of helping me at all.

Now, from memory this is one of the situations. My main job was to take care of three cows, and to remove cow dung. I also had to feed the cows. The place where I ate and slept is not a place where people could even live in, but a pile of stinky straw that was made left over from repairing the barn. I lived in this place and felt like becoming crazy.

"Ha… damn it."
It is good to survive, and it is good to revert back to the past, but I stepped right back into this hell of a life.
I felt bitter.
Once I became a bodyguard, my life held some manner of normality as a fifteen-year-old. At the age of eighteen, I became a third-grade bodyguard and learned the martial arts.
From now on, I must taste this hellish life for at least five more years.
It was so annoying and frightening at the same time that I felt my hand trembling.

For a while I sat down and recalled the memories of my past life.

It was the kind of life that was not really worth mentioning. After being the lowest bodyguard at eighteen years old, I had managed to eat and drink comfortably, but it was never easy to obtain it. Sometimes I nearly died while struggling with bandits, and a nobleman of Wulin (武林) had insulted and slapped me. In addition, since it was basically bloody, it was the life which always felt too tired to sleep with at least a drink of alcohol every day.

"Why am I mad at the state of it now?"

Naturally, my childhood was much worse rather than the life of such a poor third-grade bodyguard! I hate this kind of meagre existence because I must live again like a dog. My bodyguard life was substantially better where I truly had the freedom to spend my own money.

"What do I do now?"

I was worried for a long time.
I finally concluded.

“It’s okay for one day. I’ll have to check to see if this is the real past.”

The next day, after about six hours, I woke up and looked at the stall once again. The cows did not suffer from the cold winds, nor did they have incur bad health. It was the barn work I did for decades, but at first I was bit gloomy. After a while I remembered the work as it should be done.

I swept away the stall of a big cow.

“Your name was Gold, if I recall correctly.”

When I think about it, I seem to have used the cows as my friends when I ate in the stall.

Among them, I named this big bull 'Gold' and took after him especially well. The nature of the cows was good and pleasantly quiet. As he listened to my words, he snapped his head in my hands. I felt a little strange just with that simple act.

"Better than people."

I have been living for decades and learned enough about what human nature is like. I have lived a life without family or friends, and I witnessed many strong and merciless people.

If profits are seized, it is a common practice to be held as a friend. If not, they ruthlessly attack people at any given time. It is very natural to think that animals who cannot speak are better than humans.

It was then.

"Flying!"

I quickly flipped and slipped away.

"Chackkk…."

“….”
“Uh …?”

I heard an embarrassed voice. He sprinkled the water with the intention of hazing me, and he felt awkward because I easily avoided it. Of course, Sancaituhui Mental Cultivation Method is weak; however, if you build your Neigong for forty five years, you will have a much more developed sixth sense as well as better reflexes compared to ordinary people. Even if I have a child’s body, it is not difficult to avoid a mere sprinkling with the water.

I looked straight at the person who was trying to shed water. As soon as I saw him, the nausea became stronger and the anger inside me gripped the blood vessels of my whole body. I clenched my fist tightly and barely managed to dissolve my anger.

“What is it, young master?”

Unlike the boiling outrage inside, a voice of utter calmness flowed out of my mouth.
Then, 'the young master,' he stood up and answered in vain.

“Hum! Hum!"
"I made a mistake trying to spread moisture in front of the stall this morning."

“…yeah.”

I heard the same excuse in the previous life, but I nodded only once. Right now, I wanted to rush up and thrash this so called 'young master,' but I was tolerant. Because I have been through a lot of organization in my life, I have learned for decades how to endure with the heart and understand with the soul while minding my frame of mind. I should not be provoked in anger, but should be calm before the storm, judge and organize this situation that I have returned to in the past.

The young master, the fat kid with his pockmarked face in an unsightly pit.
He is the son of the village chief.
His name is Jin Wancai.
He is a big guy, but he is also just like me, having no talents. His age is the same with mine.

When I was an adult, I was later told that he had lived in the village for the sole purpose of accumulating wealth that the chief had gathered, while searching for wine, sex, gambling, and women.

“Umm.”

Jin Wancai attempted to walk around the stall as he tried to locate any faults with my work. Then he said, “I cannot seem to find a fault with you.”

“You, store away all the dung until I come back from school today.”
“Yeah?”
“Do it as I command you. Don't you understand?"

It was abusing his authority.
My anger surged up towards the brain and I suddenly forgot saying anything.

"Bastard!"

Even now, I want to go to the kitchen, grab a kitchen knife and slaughter the chief's family members.

My hands were shaking, but I stifled down my anger. I remembered that it was a routine in the past, and I replied in a polite manner.

“Do not worry, I’ll do it.”

“…?”

My tone was so subdued that he felt a sense of discomfort. But he did not ponder about it anymore because he was still only a child. He was nervous and quickly moved off somewhere. I spat on the floor as soon as Jin Wancai disappeared.

"Ptui Ptui"

Spit.

“Fucking bastard… let’s just wait and see.”

If I gain strength later, I will obtain revenge in addition to the humiliation of the previous three years. I was thrilled at musing about killing the chief's whole family or making Jin Wancai as a limp cripple.

In other words, now is not the time.

I had many thoughts yesterday…
After much consideration, I have come to the conclusion that it is best to stay in the chief's house for a while. If I would just run away into the world beyond I would indeed be carefree, but I could not eat and there is no way to earn a living. It is better to maintain what this meagre existence offered in some manner of food and at least a place to sleep.

Instead, I decided to avoid choosing to enter the courier company.

"I cannot live this life again as a bodyguard."

Anyway, if I leave for the courier company and become a bodyguard, I will be taught only Liuhe Swordsmanship and Sancaituhui Mental Cultivation Method. It is better to find another way to learn a high level martial arts.

I held this notion in my previous life, but at that time I had to give up on it due to the urgency of escaping from the chief's house. In fact, it was also lucky that I was accepted as the lowest bodyguard at such a time.

But, now it is different.
I have the Neigong of forty five years in Sancaituhui Mental Cultivation Method which I practiced in my previous life, and I know that the quality of my sword is on second-grade.

It would not be hard to kill an adult right now. However, if I met a first-grade martial artist, I would die at a single stroke, even if I am still stronger than a third-grade martial artist.

"However, If I show my accomplishment to the masters, they will accept me as a disciple.’"

I want to be a disciple of a reputable master! In addition to solving the problem of eating and living, I am able to live the life of first-grade I have dreamed of.

I realized that this way is the best in my current predicament, and I laughed a little satisfied. At the same time, I felt the need to gather a little bit of information away from living in this barn for a whole day.

Firstly, I do not know where martial artists live and how they travel, and I cannot start planning.

“Uh… I have to get rid of cow dung first.”

I grumbled and entered the stall with a rake and a shovel. There was a stench of cow dung on the floor. Because the cows were so unruly, it was impossible to clean it every time, and I had to clean it once every three days, but the nasty Jin Wancai ordered me to clean it again.

Of course, the cows' health must be protected by removing the dung, but it was also the intention of Jin Wancai to abuse his authority, so I could not really see any benefit in this. Besides, after all, it is me who clean the dung, but Jin Wancai will be proud of that in front of the chief.

“Yuck….”

It was when I was shovelling away the dung that the stench covered my body. The smell was so bad that I stumbled out to the bushes succumbing to dizziness and vomiting. There was nothing to eat, but the stench of the manure curbed my stomach pangs while it tickled the tip of the nose. I sat on a tree for a while, rested, and looked up at the blue sky.

“…!”

At that moment, a lightning like enlightenment penetrated my thoughts.
My mouth trembled.

“Yeah, that was it!”

I’m an idiot.
Why did I leave the easy road and go back towards the difficult road?

Millennium Snow Ginseng!

If I take it, I will obtain the wondrous Neigong with which I can look down on the whole world. It is a legendary and miraculous medicine. The way of how I can find it comes to mind instantly.

Translator: Khan
Editors: T0ngan, Calvis

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