Chapter 37: Autumn Rain, Quiet Hill
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Wang Yao checked the herbal field using the light of the torch. The damage was not major, only a few leaves of radix gentianae were taken. Wang Yao guessed the thief was very cautious. He must have run away after hearing the noises in the cottage.
Wang Yao looked into the distance and could see the corner of the village. The village was quiet and peaceful under the moonlight.
For some people, if there’s no coffin then they’ll shed no tears! Wang Yao thought.
It started to rain the next morning; autumn rain was cold.
Wang Yao still watered the herbal field using ancient spring water although it was raining. Afterwards, he returned to his cottage to prepare herbs and started brewing.
East mulberry leaves, Licorice, Campanulaceae, Mint, Forsythia, Reed Rhizome…
Inside the cottage, there was one man, one pot, one set of fire, and the smell of herbs. Outside the cottage, the autumn rain continued to come down on the quiet and peaceful Nanshan Hill.
A lot of special things can be done in this kind of weather, such as having a cup of coffee in a quiet corner, reading a book at home, meditation, or having a nice nap. It was usually quiet on a rainy day.
Wang Yao was sitting in his cottage and looking at the fire. He could smell the herbs coming from the pot. It was so much fun and it was a very meaningful thing to do to brew decoctions.
Arctium, Nepeta Ear, Honeysuckle flower, Bamboo leaves…Atracdylodes, Poria Cocos, Chinese yam, Lotus seeds, Licorice…
Maybe it was because of the rain that Wang Yao was quiet and calm. He successfully made three formulas by the end of the day. Wang Yao was so relieved after the success. He put out the fire, cleaned the multifunctional pot and did some stretches.
Let’s call it a day, Wang Yao decided.
Wang Yao had successfully made four formulas in less than two days. The process was much smoother than he had expected, so he didn’t need to rush anymore.
He sat on the chair and took out the book Natural Classics and started to read it. Although he didn’t quite get the meaning of the book, he could feel it was a profound book. What made Wang Yao thrilled was that he started to understand the methods of self-renewing to induce Qi which he didn’t know about for a long time.
“The essence of Tao is secretive and unseen. The extremes of Tao are dark and quiet—no vision and no hearing. Embrace the spirit with rest, your figure will shape itself. The means of nature will stay clear; the means of Yin and Yang will stay calm and the means of being a human will last forever. As the name of the book: Natural Classics, the great Tao is invisible. The sky and earth are fertile; the great Tao is ruthless. The sun and the moon come and go as always. The great Tao has no name. Everything in this world is being nourished—humans, law and Earth—Earth, law and sky—sky, law and Tao. The method of Tao is all about nature.”
The book, Natural Classics was not thick. It didn’t take long to read through one chapter, so Wang Yao took his time. On one hand, the content was not easy to understand. On the other hand, Wang Yao wanted to thoroughly understand the philosophy it contained. It started to get dark, but Wang Yao was unaware of it—he was still reading the book.
Suddenly his phone rang. Wang Yao closed the book and packed it away in the system. What a shame! he thought.
He had just started to get the meaning out of the book as if he touched something wonderful, saw something miraculous, and felt something different. But the phone ringing stopped everything.
This book is truly extraordinary! Wang Yao thought.
“Hello, mom?” Wang Yao picked up the phone.
“Come home and have dinner. I haven’t seen you for a whole day!” Zhang Xiuying sounded concerned.
“I know mom,” said Wang Yao.
He then locked the door of the cottage and went down the hill with an umbrella.
The hill in the rain was quiet, especially when it was dark. The hill was quiet and spooky. But Wang Yao had gotten used to it. He went down the hill and returned to his home. His mother had prepared dinner; she cooked four dishes and one soup, including fish and meat.
“What a superb meal—special day today?” asked Wang Yao with a smile.
“Don’t be silly, go and wash your hands,” said Zhang Xiuying.
“Okay!” said Wang Yao.
Wang Yao and his parents were having dinner happily together.
“Do you still need to go to the hill at night?” asked Zhang Xiuying.
“Yes, I need to keep an eye on the field,” said Wang Yao.
“I’m a bit worried about you being alone on the hill at night!” This was not the first time Zhang Xiuying said this.
“I’ve got San Xian keeping me company,” said Wang Yao with a smile.
“Maybe you can get your dad to go with you?” suggested Zhang Xiuying.
“Are you kidding? There’s just one small bed in the cottage. I will be fine. Don’t worry about me!” said Wang Yao.
It took Wang Yao some effort to convince his mother that he would be fine. After dinner, Wang Yao talked a bit with his parents, then went back up to the hill.
“Fenghua, why didn’t you say anything to stop him!” Zhang Xiuying blamed her husband as soon as Wang Yao left.
Wang Fenghua was smoking and didn’t say a word. After a long time, he said, “Just let him do what he wants.”
“What? It was you who didn’t allow him to grow herbs a few weeks ago,” said Zhang Xiuying.
Wang Fenghua didn’t respond. He just had dinner with the village secretary a few days ago. Wang Jianli, the village secretary talked a lot after a few glasses of drink and Wang Fenghua kept some of his words in mind.
“Your son, Wang Yao is such an extraordinary young man! He knows the way of people and the world. All the villagers were wrong about him!” said Wang Jianli.
In the village, Wang Jianli had praised a lot of people but not sincerely. Everybody who knew him well knew that he only sincerely praised people after drinking a couple bottles of beer. In addition, he rarely praised young people. At that time Wang Fenghua realized his son had truly changed.
Maybe I should leave him alone, thought Wang Fenghua.
Wang Yao went up Nanshan Hill with a torch in his hand. He soon arrived at his cottage to hide from the rain and wind outside.
He turned the light on and started to read Natural Classics aloud. The rain continued outside and it didn’t stop until after midnight.
It was much cooler the next day.
After watering the herbal field, Wang Yao went further up on the hill and sat down next to a rock. He started to practice a method of inducing Qi according to Natural Classics.
He had done some research online. Rumor had it that the book was written by a Taoist called Guang Chengzi. But the version he found online was different from the book given to him by the system. A lot of information was missing in the online version and there was no mention of the method of inducing Qi. It was like an abridged version.
Wang Yao closed his eyes to practice inhaling and exhaling. Suddenly, he felt light through his eyes as it was dawn already. Mornings were the best time of the day to practice breathing as the air was fresh and the sunshine was mild.
After sitting on the rock for about one hour, Wang Yao went back to the cottage to continue brewing decoctions. He saw people starting to show up on the hill.
Baa, Baa. Moo, Moo. A herd of cattle and sheep came along the road of the hill.
“Hi uncle, you are so early today,” Wang Yao said hello to a man following the herd.
“Hello,” the man waved back.
“What is that smell?” a villager asked.
“It’s the smell of herbs. I don’t know what Fenghua’s son has been doing again,” another villager said.
“He’s been on Nanshan Hill all this time, never looking for a proper job!” the villager added.
“Well, it’s not bad to do farming!” said an old man who was smoking.
“Not bad? Can he actually make any money?” a middle-aged man said with contempt.