Chapter 150: Rain must be accompanied with a cup of wine (3)

Monsoons.

Long periods of consistent rainfall, followed by a drastic increase in humidity. From sunrise to sundown, the sky would pour down rain without pause onto the unsuspecting ground below.

Winds would gale around wreaking havoc and ruining any hastily constructed or improperly built structures, allowing the water to flood through the now defenseless abodes and wash everything away in a merciless torrent.

The temperature within the area would become susceptible to drastic change whilst the rain continued to dash through the area, introducing a general shift in climate once the monsoon culminates and ceases its action.

Monsoons for a forest were lethal enough for the average inhabitant, but for An Fei, it represented the peak of her nightmare.

The mirrors within the Sanctum displayed a slightly murky projection of the clearing of which she had bridged through to enter the realm of sky-blue crystal.

From the plainly decorated platinum mirror, the young girl could not see the soil regardless of how much she squinted her eyes.

Near the fringe of the mirror’s perspective of the scene in the Wu Ji Forest, An Fei noticed the thoroughly cleaned roots of trees glare in the hazy atmosphere, their channels nearly choking to death from forced overconsumption of water.

The rain howled and slapped onto the backs of the trees, ripping apart a section of the newly grown bark with a mere gust of wind.

The redwood tree that acted as the unwilling host of the little raven suffered no different a fate from its peers.

The roots had been washed clean of their supporting soil, causing the tree to stand afoot deep within a large pond of water.

It had been stripped of all of the accumulated bark on the second day, and had it not been for the little creature yanking the drawstrings closed and rolled up within the hollow, it would have drowned from the incoming rain.

In a mere two days, the Wu Ji Forest had transformed into a sea of freshwater.

An Fei was not aware of any of the animals’ circumstances within the forest, as the mirror only provided a visual projection.

However, the constant presence of a low, dense cloud of grey mist made the young girl sufficiently wary and stray away from the notion of checking on the condition of the little raven brusquely stuffed in her leather bag.

The moment she left the Sanctum, wouldn’t the cloud of mist rush over and swallow her alive?

Crunch.

The young girl bit on the tip of a carrot smeared with a sauce of soy, ground peppers, and garlic, her small lips contently chowing down the well prepared snack.

An Fei then placed the mirror onto the low table to her right, looking up at the ceiling of sky-blue crystal with a wry smile.

“At the end, I ultimately fled here with my tail behind my legs, ah…”

The young girl had moved herself into one of the medicinal gardens housed within the first corridor.

An Fei had gathered a large stack of paper, brush and ink, and a towering mass of books from a large variety of the Archives the instant she had entered the Sanctum to escape from the rain.

With the assistance of a few hours of grunts, pants, and heavy work, the young girl had transported them into the medicinal garden, of which she had constructed a makeshift workstation.

A workstation consisting of a drawing table obtained from the third Archive, a reclining chair from the fifth, and a bookstand from the eleventh platform.

The entire structure remained protected from the soft and warm earth by the means of a large square of fabric that An Fei had spread underneath.

As for the large book splayed across the wooden surface and had been neglected for the past few hours… was the <Eternal Sanctum>.

The young girl had completely ignored the book on the drawing table, instead deigning to engage herself in tomes of different subjects.

Compared to attempting to decipher the book that either caused her to be overcome with exasperation and disbelief, An Fei would rather immerse herself in other subjects, even if it entailed having to undergo the same process of deciphering blurred characters on a page.

After all…

“The nature of a good heart… is not to repudiate evil nor the injustice of the world… but to maintain the appropriate boundaries of man and never… court calamities from those above.”

What wasn’t better than a theological discussion on the nature than evil when one needed to pass time?

“To seek self-advancement; to propagate one’s wealth and lineage; to seek heavenly enlightenment and transcend the mental barriers; that is to cultivate a mind of good faith and compassion,” a young girl read, leaning against a leg of the drawing table.

“The divergence into extending influence over another; to diminish another’s resources or abilities; or sever the opportunity of heavenly enlightenment from others; that is to dilute good faith and compassion into evil and sinister intentions. However…”

The discordant lights blooming from the numerous herbs and plants growing within the medicine garden allowed for the entire location to be bright as though it were day, causing the young girl to blink her eyes and rub them after a long time had passed.

An Fei rolled her neck as she stretched whilst maintaining her sitting posture, her eyes quickly reverting to the white pages of the book.

“Good and evil… are mere sides of a coin… The definitions of society constrain actions into good or evil, and thus taints to character. Be it good intentions or evil intentions, neither determines the heavenly enlightenment of man…?”

The young girl tenderly placed the book onto the fabric cover, before standing to stare at the ceiling of sky-blue crystal.

As she stared at the crystalline surface that flickered with the reflections of a myriad colors blended into a mottled mixture, a whisper escaped An Fei’s throat.

“Good and evil… it only matters on the recipient’s perspective… but how does this relate to spiritual techniques again?”

The young girl flashed a perplexed glance towards the book stamped with the title of <Ghost’s Cage>, before slumping onto the cover with a belated sigh.

An Fei allowed her vision to blur whilst absentmindedly staring at the garden of radiant light, her lips moving on their own to produce mindless words.

“How nice it would be to have wine… Grandfather always used to drink wine when it rained…”

Huh?

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The young girl blinked as she abruptly froze in place, the pair of scarlet irises flashing with an indeterminate light as she glared at the sea of herbs.

An Fei pursed her lip, the occasional mumble escaping her notice as she began to formulate a simple plan.

“Wine… wine…”

Wine was made from fermented fruits and vegetables… she didn’t know about fruits, but there were indeed numerous vegetables. At the foundations, wine was not much more than… a combination of ethanol, fermented sugar, and carbon dioxide…

“I probably won’t know how to ferment fruit wine, but rice wine… rice wine!”

An Fei leapt to her feet, blindly rushing towards the sea of herbs and plants with an unforeseen vigor.

The young girl wove between the blistering lights and unique sensations radiating from the herbs, wading through the eternally complex maze until she stood before a clump of brown grains swaying absentmindedly to a nonexistent wind.

The appearance similar to that of brown wheat, with the numerous pellets clustered alongside the stalk, with the long fibrous shells protecting the exterior from damage.

The grains emitted a light orchid radiance, accompanied with a tingling warmth and a refreshing bittersweet fragrance.

Though its appearance was grossly different compared to the final product, the young girl was capable of identifying it with a single glance.

Rice.

The cluster of rice grains hosted a hundred stalks looped into a circular region of land, enclosed by a ring of black, enriched soil.

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With a gulp, the young girl slowly unsheathed the left butterfly sword, sliding the infinitesimally sharp blade across a handful of grains.

Shi!

The steel edge cleanly severed the elected stalks at the base without resistance, and An Fei carefully disengaged the roots from the soil.

With the severed roots in one hand and severed rice stalks in the other, the young girl hesitated for a brief moment, before extracting a few pods from a stalk and embedding them into the soil.

She carefully rubbed the pods in her hands, sprinkling the seeds into the cavity, cleaning up her task with a satisfied smile. An Fei then rubbed her stomach with a wry smile, her grin revealing a tinge of delightful gluttony.

“I need to get the wok out again…”

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