Chapter 18 The Talisman
“Mom!” Ye Kong felt warm when he arrived at his own yard. He never thought he would experience familial warmth in this world.
Although Cheng Jiuniang was ugly because of the black scar, Ye Kong believed that he could make it disappear in the future. That was his biggest wish.
Chen Jiuniang didn’t hear the sounds outside. She was busy with embroidering. The second wife had asked for this embroidery urgently, so she had to be quick. Ye Kong only came back for a few days in the month, so she never expected he would back today.
“Mom, I’m back.’ Ye Kong opened the door and shouted with a smile.
“Ah!” Chen Jiuniang turned her head in surprise and smiled when she heard Ye Kong, “Go to take a bath and have a good sleep. You have to go to suffer again tomorrow.”
Ye Kong smiled, dragged a bench to sit and said, “I have two pieces of news, which do you want to hear first, the good or the bad?”
Chen Jiuniang smiled, and was still busy, “The good.”
Ye Kong said, “The good news is I have been released, I won’t have to go back this time.”
“Really?” Chen Jiuniang was also very excited. She always worried that Ye Kong would get sick because of the cold.
“How about the bad news?” Chen Jiuniang frowned again. She worried that Ye Kong got into trouble again.
Ye Kong said, “The bad news is that I need some money. I am going to buy some good things.”
Chen Jiuniang patted Ye Kong’s palm and said, “What do you want to buy, and how much do you need?”
“It will not cost too much; I only want to buy some yellow paper and cinnabar.” Ye Kong had never been on the street since he arrived here, so he didn’t know the price. Then he said, “How about you go out with me? You have not gone out in a long time.”
“Go out? “Chen Jiuniang frowned, bowed her head and said, “I am busy with the work, how much do you need?”
Ye Kong didn’t notice her expression, he said, “We are not here to work for them.”
“You are always like this,” Chen Jiuniang smiled and said, “I don’t like to go outside. ”
Ye Kong suddenly understood. Looking at his mother, he said solemnly, “Don’t worry, mom, it is just a problem with your skin, I will become a miracle doctor and find the way to cure your face sooner or later.. ”
Chen Jiuniang didn’t know what the problem with her face was. She only knew that the black scar could not be cured, even by the best doctor in Nandu City. Ye Kong was probably trying to comforting her.
“Ok, I will wait for you,” Chen Jiuniang was happy because her son was smart and full of affection despite the fact she thought a cure was impossible.
“Don’t worry, there is a way.” Ye Kong nodded his head.
He wasn’t lying. He was going to be a miracle doctor using the book in his soul. He had only opened part of it, so he could only read about spiritual talismans and paper talismans. The spiritual talisman was written in spiritual Qi. The paper talisman was written using normal ink and could even have been used on Earth.
Ye Kong only managed to open a few pages of the book, and he couldn’t read much about the spiritual talismans right now. The pages he opened were all paper talismans used for curing diseases or driving away ghosts.
There was the nerve-calming talisman, the eyesight improving talisman and the heart-fire removal talisman, etc., which were not very useful to Ye Kong, his goal was not to be a doctor. What he really expected was that the spiritual talismans would be powerful and useful in a fight.
He didn’t know if there was those kinds of talismans in the book, but he believed there would be.
Even though he didn’t want to be a doctor, he wanted to try it to use a few of the paper talismans, but first he needed the materials.
“Come back soon, ” Chen Jiuniang gave him some money, “Take care of yourself, and keep stable, you look like a rascal when you shake your arms.”
“No, I am more of a rogue or scoundrel than a rascal.” Ye Kong put the money into his sleeve and walked out.
Chen Jiuniang grumbled, “Neither of those are good things.”
Then, she went back to work on the embroidery.
“A good person can’t survive outside!’ Ye Kong murmured as he walked to the gate. Li Laosi was on duty.
“Young master, where are you going?” Li Laosi bowed to meet him.
Ye Kong thought it was funny that others would bully you if you were kind, but they would respect you if you beat them.
“To go out and buy something.” Ye Kong didn’t look at him.
“When the master left, he warned that the family should behave well. Don’t make trouble. Usually…”
“I am going shopping!” Ye Kong raised his voice and stared at Li Laosi.
“Please, go ahead,” Li Laosi was frightened. He felt that Ye Kong was much more powerful than a year ago.
Ye Kong stood in the sun after he walked out. Looking back at the gate of Ye family, he saw a large plaque on the high gate and stone steps leading down from the gate with stone lions decorating each side of the steps. In front of the gate stood a group of domineering guards. The most striking words on the plaque were “Zhennan General’s Mansion” which were written personally by Emperor An Rushan.
“Even though it is gorgeous, it is not the place where I will stay for long.”
He headed out to the bustling streets.
He was curious, as if he was a country bumpkin going to the city for the first time, everything was interesting to him.
“There is a shop that specializes in mending broken bowls. There was a place with many people watching and gambling as fierce insects fought. The insects both looked like praying mantis.”
Ye Kong walked through the bustling business district, and there were new things to be seen everywhere like sugar snacks, figurines of monsters and various weapons on display.
Different from the Earth, there was a square platform taller than a meter made of blue bricks in the middle of every busy street intersection.
This was not a police station. It was a challenge arena. In Cangnan, people paid more attention to martial arts than literature, especially in the south that shared a border with the barbarians. The folk custom was fighting.
To keep people from being hurt and property being damaged, privates operated the challenge arenas. Each fight had to be approved and cost fifty coppers to provide medicine to the injured party afterwards..
A hundred coppers was one Liang of silver in Cangnan. It wasn’t cheap. Ye Kong was waiting as a fight was starting between a pair of strong looking men. Ye Kong was not in a hurry and stayed since it was free to watch.
“I am Lu Fei from Yuntai Mountain. I will show you the Fallen Leaves Boxing.”
The other said with a bow, “I am Sun Sanli from the Green Leaf School, let me show you the might of our lightness skill – Flying Thousands Of Miles.”
Then, they started the fight. One was experienced in using light palm strikes, and the other was using quick and varied punches. It was hard to tell who would come out on top.
This was the first time Ye Kong saw a fight in Cangnan, and he was fascinated by it. A keen eye and an extremely good memory developed from his cultivation. After watching the fight for a while he had an understanding of the essence of their techniques.
‘Practice is the best way to learn. I don’t need to find a martial arts teacher to teach me. I can come here to learn when I have spare time. My reflexes should be fine to deal with ordinary people.’
Ye Kong made up his mind, he stopped watching and squeezed his way out of the crowd.
Ye Kong didn’t notice when he squeezed through the crowd that a tall and strong bald man also exited the crowd. The man nodded and then a group immediately followed Ye Kong.
There was a calligraphy and painting shop near the arena. Ye Kong adjusted his shirt as he crossed the threshold and walked into the shop.
A thin shopkeeper greeted him, “What do you want? We have the latest collection of stereotyped works and the famous paintings of Tang Boniu.”
“Well, I’ll take a look first.” Ye Kong was not sure if there would be any yellow paper for sale in this world, so he ignored the shopkeeper to look around.
The shopkeeper was very enthusiastic, “We also have good Huangzhou brush and the inkstone of Baishi Mountain, the price is fair.”
Ye Kong waved his hand, “I am not for a brush or an inkstone.”
The shop owner looked like he understood suddenly, dragged Ye Kong to the corner of the shop with an obscene smile, and took out a stack of thin books from his sleeve.
“This is the latest pornography. Each costs twenty coppers. It is worth every copper.”
Ye Kong almost fainted, “I am only thirteen years old. This is not good for the young.”
“It’s ok. I started to read this stuff when I was ten. How about fifteen coppers?”
“But these are too rough in black and white. I’d think about if there were better ones,” Ye Kong said casually.
The owner seemed to like those kinds of books very much and asked, “Shall we talk about this?”
“Let’s get back to business. Do you sell the yellow paper they use to cover books?”