“Fangshanji?” Yu Yuankai asked with a green face.
“Yes, Fangshanji.” Yu Qiu nodded. “So don’t feel bad about eating. Of all the things I bought today, that took up the most money.” Yu Qiu extended his chopsticks and pointed to the thing behind the wall, saying, “Half a liang of silver.”
When Yu Yuankai saw it, it turned out to be a longbow and a quiver, where arrows were densely packed. “What are you buying those for!”
Yu Qiu looked at him with a smile.
Although he didn’t hear his son’s answer, Yu Yuankai could see the answer from his eyes; naturally, he bought these things to go to Fangshanji.
“What a joke!” Yu Yuankai firmly opposed it. “What could I do in a place where birds don’t lay eggs and dogs don’t shit1鸟不生蛋，狗不拉屎 – idiom for remote and desolate; a god-forsaken place!”
The so-called Fangshanji was surrounded by four mountains located in the east, south, west, and north, forming a square in the middle. That is why it was called “Fang2a square.” And the four mountains were called Dongshan, Nanshan, Xishan, and Beishan3Literally, East Mountain, South Mountain, West Mountain, and North Mountain. Moreover, when the Chinese talk about all directions (东南西北), it’s always in the order of East, South, West, and North.. The place was just north of Yulian county.
The small village surrounded by these four mountains was called Fangshanji.
If you wanted to go to Fangshanji, you must cross Fangshanji’s southern mountain. However, Nanshan was not a place where birds would sing and flowers give forth their fragrance. Fierce birds and wild animals were all over the mountain’s forest, not to mention there were also poisonous vines and weeds. Even the oldest hunters dare not rush in. Nine out of ten, ordinary people couldn’t go out. What’s more a party of a youngster and and an old man?
“If you want to make money, you have to take risks.” Yu Qiu filled his stomach slowly, and then carefully put away the dishes and chopsticks.
Yu Yuankai agreed. Although there was lots of danger, if he could earn five hundred liang of silver afterwards in one fell swoop, he would not oppose it. He’d even rush forward to give it a try.
But Fangshanji, as Yu Yuankai just said, was really a place where birds don’t lay eggs and dogs don’t shit. In such a small village, the population was less than one-tenth of Yulian county. It also didn’t have any local specialties. There were mountains all around. What was the point of going there?
If it was a good place to make a fortune, then how could it be so desolate!
Yu Yuankai did not know that, although Fangshanji was desolate, it was only desolate in the eyes of ordinary people. Fangshanji, ever since it was named after the four mountains, was a market. For the many cultivators in the Qi Refining period, who had inadvertently walked on the path of cultivation and wasn’t part of any sect, Fangshanji was the only place within hundreds of miles where they could communicate with each other.
And the importance of Fangshanji was not only that. Going north from Fangshanji and passing through the northern mountain, you can see another beautiful and lofty mountain range–Xuanyang mountain.
The Xuanyang sect on Xuanyang mountain was the only immortal cultivation school within a thousand miles.
For the low grade cultivators who want to join Xuanyang Sect, Fangshanji was their first stop. Because of the unique location, Fangshanji was not only a market, but also a place where many low grade cultivators settled down to farm and support their families.
But Yu Qiu couldn’t explain these things to Yu Yuankai. Even if he did explain it, Yu Yuankai may not necessarily believe it; perhaps he’d even think that Yu Qiu had been swindled by someone else’s bullshit.
“Okay…” While Yu Qiu was racking his brain to find the right words, Yu Yuankai suddenly compromised. “Since you’re determined to go, then let’s go. Let’s go together. I will accompany you.”
“Father?” Yu Qiu was both surprised and delighted.
Yu Yuankai waved his hand and didn’t talk to him much. He went back to the house with his stuffed stomach in his arms and left Yu Qiu alone outside to clean up. Before entering the room, Yu Yuankai looked at the longbow and arrows in the corner.
Looking at these things that cost half a liang of silver, it was like seeing the fighting spirit and hope in Yu Qiu’s eyes.
Yu Yuankai realized he was already old–an old person with an old heart. He was too old to have any ambition. Such an old life was just like that. However, Yu Qiu was different. He had his own ideas, and he was willing to fight, to make a living, and to take risks.
Since Yu Qiu wanted to temper himself, why not go with him? Yu Yuankai only had such a senile life after all.
An hour later, Yu Qiu carried the medicine and presented it before the old man’s eyes. After the old man finished drinking, he took him to the brokerage. He didn’t bargain too much for it. At last, he sold the broken house for five liang of silver.
Then, they packed their stuff and carried it on their shoulders. With the longbow and arrows in hand, Yu Qiu and the old man set off under the midday sun.
Before stepping outside the gates of Yulian county, both father and son looked back.
In Yu Yuankai’s eyes, he saw the decades of his life spent in this place.
But all Yu Qiu saw was… a pile of debt, debt, and debt. Debt to the Ji Family bank, debt to Tianmu casino, and debt to Xiao Chunmian. It was only debt all over his eyes.
Afterwards, the two swore together: They will definitely come back.
If they don’t pay off all the debt, they will be restless in the future.
But as long as they get smoothly to Fangshanji, that debt is nothing! Five hundred liang of silver is already terrible to ordinary people, but for cultivators, even their lowest currency, the inferior spirit stone, can already be exchanged for dozens of liang when it was in the mortal world.
Five hundred liang of silver was only equal to about ten lowly spirit stones,
As long as Yu Qiu reached the third level of Qi refining, find white deer paper and cinnabar, and draw a fire seal of the lowest level, then he could get himself three inferior spirit stones once he sold it in Fangshanji. And at the fifth level, he could draw a gathering spirit talisman, and ten inferior spirit stones can be reached in an instant.
In this way, Yu Qiu felt paying off his debt would be easy.
But first, they had to cross Nanshan…