Chapter 47: Mystic Arts Temple (2)
After the party entered the grand hall, the confucian scholar beamed benevolently at the three men and said, “So there are friends who made it first. Do excuse us.”
He turned and shouted while he walked along to a dark corner at the other side of the grand hall, removing the basket he carried on his back. “Cook, quickly grow a fire for us.”
“Alright!” The man who came in first replied and began to take down the mess of items on his body. He held onto a butcher knife as he went off to find firewood.
The soft palanquin shrouded by light muslin was also moved to a dark corner on that side. Although it could be said to be a soft palanquin, in actuality it was a lightweight and portable chair bed. From the light of the fire, the three of them could see a woman lying down on her side inside it, looking relaxed and at ease. However, they couldn’t clearly see her appearance.
Miao Yi and the other men cast a look of dismay at each other. Never would they have expected to encounter a group of weirdoes at a worn temple within the barren mountain ranges. They looked like shop traders.
The cook quickly dragged two large pagoda tree branches into the shrine. After chopping them into pieces in a corner, he rapidly grew the fire.
The middle-aged confucian scholar shouted out again, “Cook, quickly make dinner.”
He took out a few pieces of firewood from the bonfire and started up another fire on the side. He then removed the long robes he wore on his body, wringing it tightly to remove the water, before sitting on the side to heat it dry. The other two laymen who’d lifted the soft palanquin also huddled over, doing the same thing.
The cook, nimbled-handed and fleet-footed, set up the pot, bowls, ladle and basin, including a chopping board. He again took out the ingredients from the large bag he carried beforehand, complete with vegetables and meat, before chopping them with a clatter in the grand hall. Miao Yi and the rest watched on, stunned.
Soon after, they once again saw the cook untie his belt, tying it around a wooden bucket before running outside to brave the rain. He then fetched a bucket of water from the temple courtyard’s aging well, before returning back.
A layman went over to assist him, using the basin to catch some water. He poured rice in and proceeded to wash it. Soon after that, he again felt out a couple of fresh bamboo tubes from the cook’s large bag, cut an opening in them, then poured the rice along with the clear water into the tubes. Afterwards, he took the tubes to the side bonfire, roasting them inside the flames.
Miao Yi and the rest watched on till their teeth hurt. They were unsure as to what else the cook still kept inside that massively full and bulging bag of his. Why did they feel like it could hold more things than a storage ring?
After the cook washed the iron pot and racked it over the fire, the sizzling sound of sesame oil entering the pot resounded. He threw in the dish and stirred the ladle around, stir-frying the ingredients. Not long after, the fragrant smell of a stir-fried meal spread out inside the grand hall.
It need not be mentioned that their actions immediately dispersed the temple’s eerie and frightening atmosphere.
Soon, four dishes, two of meat and two of vegetables were ready, along with a bowl of soup. Miao Yi and the rest could clearly see with their eyes and could confirm there were indeed four dishes, two of meat and two of vegetables, along with a bowl of soup.
The dishes may have looked simple, but in this kind of place with this kind of environment, to be able to come up with a warm and steaming meal, it could only be described with the word ‘blessed’.
The heavy downpour was still going on outside, along with the quaking sounds of thunder. Yet the cook inside the grand hall had covered the water bucket, placing the chopping board on top of it before arranging the four dishes and the soup over it. A simple table was formed.
The confucian scholar walked over to the front of the chair bed and said, “Lady boss, it’s time to get up and eat.”
From the inside of the light muslin tent came the sound of an indolent yawn. One could faintly see the person lying inside was stretching herself before slowly getting up.
The scholar stretched out his hands to unfasten the cloth knot on the muslin tent before parting it. A pair of yellow embroidered shoes extended out, both embroidered with a simple cloud pattern on top. Immediately following suit were a pair of exposed calves that stretched towards the ground. A woman, bright and beautiful, with an amorous appearance, walked out from inside the muslin tent, causing the entire gloomy grand hall to suddenly seem brighter.
Jet-black, thick hair was loosely pulled to the back of her head. A lock of the fine black hair drooped from the side of her ears onto her shoulders. She was without any additional form of accessories. Her face resembled a lotus, while her brows were like the willow.
There was only a close-fitting corset on her upper body, which was red in color and very transparent. Her stiffly bound bosom could be distinctly seen, and her soft, smooth exposed shoulders were draped with a light green-colored muslin robe.
The corset was very short. Below the ribs, the soft waistline had nothing covering it whatsoever, tempting people to touch what was barely hidden. On her abdomen, the hint of a curved, smooth belly button was intermittently visible from the green colored muslin robe, making it difficult for people to tear away their gazes.
Her rather perky derriere was wrapped in a green-colored folded muslin skirt, the fringe of the skirt corners were unevenly matched. Hanging from them was a stream of small golden beads that gleamed under the fire’s light. That little bit of weight dragging the side of the skirt further accentuated the perkiness of her backside with each step she took. As she walked, the outline of her thighs was also discernible from the skirt.
The green-colored folded muslin skirt stopped at her smooth and full lustrous small calves. The skirt seemed to be half-transparent yet when facing the light from the fire, the luscious view from within was barely visible. With the addition of reverie amidst the haziness, it was inevitably a little regretful.
The shapely figure was one exceedingly worthy of pride. With an S-shaped curve-line, without flab on the areas that should be thin, ample flesh on the areas that should be well-rounded, her overall appearance caused people’s heart to palpitate unceasingly. Her skin was smooth and exquisite, yet wheat colored. Her brazenly-revealing clothes were painted in strongly distinctive colors. Her charming appearance seemed woven with a bold and unrestrained wildness, richly graced with the feeling of a foreign country.
Within Miao Yi’s heart, there was already a woman he deemed beautiful over all others, that red-clothed woman with her ethereal lightness he’d seen on top of the city walls of the Ancient City. But now, if he were to compare her with this amorous-looking woman before his eyes, then the woman from before seemed too cold in appearance.
For this creature called women, they were thirty percent appearance, seventy percent temperament—the differences in beauty was based on their different temperaments.
Miao Yi and the rest were already dumbfounded just from staring at her, feeling that this woman was too eye-catching.
The two laymen who lifted the palanquin removed the bamboo tubes from the bonfire and hacked them into halves, abruptly causing the sweet scent of cooked rice to permeate the whole place. They then quickly grabbed some bowls to hold the servings.
But that confucian scholar took the basket he carried on his back and placed it on the simplistic, small table in an inverted manner. He even draped a cloth on top, pointing to it as he smiled at the woman. “We’re limited by the current circumstances, Lady Boss, so just put up with it.”
The woman lightly swept her delicate, sultry eyes, nodding her head. She moved towards the bamboo tube and was about to sit down, before her clear pupils caught sight of Miao Yi’s group. She smiled slightly, and generously extended her hand in invitation as she beckoned, “If the three of you don’t mind, you might as well come and join our meal.”
In unison. the group of people also looked towards their direction.
Miao Yi and the rest exchanged looks with each other. The invitation appeared to be a bit alluring.
Mo Shengtu had already subconsciously licked his lips. He wasn’t thinking of eating dinner per say. Instead, he wanted to eat the woman extending her invitation.
Although it wasn’t allowed for cultivators to act recklessly towards followers, but inside the realm of Changfeng Cave, playing with one or two women on their own territory would not cause much of a fuss.
He was about to move closer to get intimate with her but he then heard Zhang Shucheng’s voice transmitting directly in his ears. “Old Mo, don’t forget the mission. After this is done, you can do whatever you want with that woman. Now is a good time to borrow their pot and use the Drunken Immortal!”
He was reminding Mo Shengtu to borrow the other’s cookware to get hold of it himself, then conveniently slip the drug in to poison Miao Yi.
But who knew Miao Yi wouldn’t give them this opportunity to do so. He cheerfully and laughingly stood up, walking over with his hands cupped before their astonished eyes. “Okay. If you insist.”
The two laymen, the cook, the confucian scholar, and even the woman appeared to be somewhat startled as they looked on at the approaching Miao Yi.
Actually, the woman had only given the invitation casually. By right, in this barren mountain and field where they did not know one another, the other party would definitely be at an disadvantage to rashly eat their food. This was a form of common sense whenever people are away from home. It was only because she was accustomed to being a lady boss, so the cordial habit of entertaining guests made her act in that manner, but who could have known this slip-up would cause the unexpected to happen?
However, Miao Yi was not an old traveller. Thus, his knowledge and experience was limited. At this point he had not been corrupted yet, so he still held the commoner’s rustic side. Such a fragrant meal, and being invited by such a beautiful woman, why act coy about it?
This is what was known as having no worldly experience. Those who normally left home to travel would not behave this way.
Miao Yi walked towards them, suddenly stopping midway in puzzlement. Why did it feel like the way they were eying him didn’t seem right, no matter how he looked at it?
He immediately read and understood the meaning they conveyed. Realization suddenly dawned on him that they were just being modest and he had actually believed their courteous words. Then, he awkwardly scratched his head, saying, “My appetite is massive. Your food doesn’t seem to be enough, so I won’t bother.”
He turned and went off, inwardly thinking how embarrassing that was.
Zhang Shucheng and Mo Shengtu looked at the awkwardly returning Miao Yi. They turned away, trying to control their faces which were already a deep shade of red. In any case, they knew he had brought shame to himself, and they could barely contain their laughter.