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As An Immortal, I Only Learn Forbidden Skills

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Chapter 4

Life is Not Easy

Early in the morning, the sky was dark, and the cold wind was bone-chilling.

In the small bamboo-fenced courtyard at the foot of the mountain, Jiang Ming’s upper body was bare, and his pants were rolled up to his knees. He was practicing fist techniques in the dark.

Beads of sweat kept dripping down, wetting the yellow soil.

It was not until the sky gradually brightened and there were sporadic human voices coming from the fields in the distance that Jiang Ming finally stopped, panting heavily. His whole body was steaming, and the lines of muscle between his shoulders were vaguely visible.

It had been two days since he had returned from the mountain. Jiang Ming kept practicing his fist technique every morning. There were still remnants of the medicinal effects of the fire cloud gra.s.s and the poisonous mushroom, which made him yield twice the result with half the effort, and his body was much stronger.

Jiang Ming was no longer in a weak state. His strength was probably not inferior to that of an adult who had practiced for some time.

“I still have to persist in my cultivation. Although I’ve gained immortality, the unknown troubles won’t disappear just because of this. I need to be prepared for danger in times of peace,” Jiang Ming muttered to himself. “In a strange world, I must always be vigilant.”

He scooped some water from the water tank and took a cold bath. The rice porridge was almost done on the fire. Jiang Ming filled a big bowl and ate it with pickled vegetables.

After eating his fill, Jiang Ming leaned on the bamboo chair and looked at the distant mountains and forests. The faint mist had not yet dispersed and shrouded the peaks. The soft sunlight reflected in the fog like a layer of golden gauze.

“I’ll buy some tea leaves, brew tea at the foot of the mountain, and cultivate. When I’m free, I’ll go up the mountain to pick herbs and flowers. It’s really a paradise.”

Jiang Ming enjoyed the beautiful scenery in front of him and then sighed, “It’s a pity that I have to bend over for the sake of daily necessities.”

His predecessor did not leave any money behind. If Jiang Ming wanted to practice martial arts, he had to find a way to make money.

Whether it was learning martial arts from a master or buying fist techniques and pills, they all required a large amount of money.

Martial arts was not a game for the poor!

Jiang Ming got up and carried out a basket of fresh medicinal herbs that had been picked in the past few days. He spread it on the ground to dry it.

There were also some roots and stems that were difficult to dry. Jiang Ming still needed to produce charcoal and dry them carefully.

Some of the herbs left behind by his predecessor needed to be processed further. They were poured into a pot and stir-fried with a low fire to prevent mold from growing.

When he finally finished, the sun was already setting.

Jiang Ming munched on a biscuit and thought while chewing with great effort, “We can make a trip to the medicine market tomorrow morning.”

His predecessor left behind quite a few medicinal herbs, and with the ones he had just picked, he should be able to sell them for some money.

After drinking a large cup of cold water and clearing his throat, he began to pick out the medicinal herbs that could be sold. He then tied them up with gra.s.s ropes and carefully put them into the herb basket.

* * *

The next day, Jiang Ming opened his eyes at dawn and practiced the fist technique twice. Then, he pulled out the hidden herb basket from the bedside, covered it with polished animal skin, and carried it out of the door.

The medicine market was located in an open s.p.a.ce on the other side of Peace Town. A simple bamboo fence surrounded it. Even in the early morning, many people had already gathered there.

Jiang Ming walked in, found an empty s.p.a.ce, and spread out the animal skin. He put the herbs one by one, then squatted on the ground and began to set up a stall.

However, before any guests arrived, a burly middle-aged man with a hideous knife mark on his face came over with a few punks. “Oh, Ming, so many goods are out today. Are you saving up to get a wife?”

Jiang Ming looked up and immediately cursed the man in his heart, but his face still showed a look of awe, “Good morning, Uncle Ba!”

As he spoke, he took out five copper coins from his pocket and placed them in the man’s hand.

Uncle Ba was the head of the Old Snake Gang in the prefecture. The Old Snake Gang set up this medicine market.

In Peace Town, every herb gatherer had to come to the medicine market to sell herbs.

Everyone who sold medicine in the medicine market had to pay the venue fee.

This was the rule!

Someone once sneaked into the town to sell medicine without paying, but his legs were broken immediately.

“It’s almost impossible for these herb gatherers to make a profit.” Jiang Ming sighed in his heart. The officials in the prefecture were extremely shrewd.

Medicinal herbs were such a big business; how could they let these b.u.mpkins get rich?

Behind the Old Snake Gang, there were many families and officials who were making up their minds.

With a fake smile, Uncle Ba used the tip of his foot to scratch around on the medicinal herbs. It looked like he was about to damage a few.

“There are so many goods this time. Rent is also going up.”

“Uncle Ba is right!” Jiang Ming quickly smiled and handed over three more copper coins.

“It’s good I didn’t bring the fire cloud gra.s.s back. Otherwise, forget about making money; I might even die!” Jiang Ming thought in his heart, but his face was full of smiles as he watched the scarred man leave the market.

* * *

After sending Uncle Ba off, it was only after a while, when the sky was bright, that people walked into the medicine market to purchase.

Jiang Ming looked around and saw that most of the people who came to buy medicine were neatly dressed and had soft skin. At first glance, he could tell that they were from the city. Many of them even brought their attendants.

This was the herb business. Herb gatherers were only at the bottom of the herb chain and could only be exploited by the herb merchants and gangs.

Jiang Ming watched the people from the city walk around and pick and choose. Finally, an old man in a gray robe came to him.

“Hmm? How much are you selling pig’s ear mushrooms for?”

Jiang Ming quickly straightened his back and said, “You look familiar. If you want them all, I will charge you 25 copper coins. Pig’s ear mushroom is not easy to find now. This price is also pretty low. What do you think?”

Picking pig’s ear mushrooms required a lot of experience and were very difficult to find. However, if you found the right place, you could dig up several. His predecessor was lucky to find a place where pig’s ear mushroom grew, and it was considered a treasure trove.

In order to sell the goods quickly, Jiang Ming also lowered the price.

The old man raised his eyebrows. “Kid, you know how to drive a bargain. Alright, ring them all up.”

He gave a look to the people behind him, and an attendant immediately came forward to pay for the medicine.

Before the old man left, he told him, “Black tea medicine and watergold vine are things I’ll buy for double the price. Also, you’ll be heavily rewarded if you find fire cloud gra.s.s!”

Jiang Ming did not say much and just nodded.

This was also one of the rules. The people who came to purchase some medicinal herbs would sometimes ask the herb gatherers to find some medicinal herbs that were in urgent need. It was considered a bounty mission. The reward of such a mission was generally higher, but the medicinal herbs were also relatively difficult to find.

Especially fire cloud gra.s.s.

Jiang Ming’s heart moved slightly. Fire cloud gra.s.s was even rarer than a thousand-year-old ginseng.

This year, however, there were suddenly more of them. Although they were still difficult to find, it was said that two or three people had already found them.

“This doesn’t even include the one I ate!” Jiang Ming’s eyes flickered.

“The families and gangs in the city have increased the price of their bounties, especially the w.a.n.g family. I heard that the price of their bounties is already sixty taels.”

If Jiang Ming had sixty taels of silver, it would be enough for him to find a good martial arts school in the city and study for several years.

Jiang Ming thought of the town’s officials, Uncle Ba, and those old men who bought medicine with fake smiles, and his heart suddenly became calm.

This windfall was not something he could make at the moment.

“Little brat, do you still have more pig’s ear mushrooms?” A rough shout made Jiang Ming come back to his senses.

He raised his head and saw a familiar customer. He quickly smiled apologetically and said, “I’m really sorry, they’re all sold out.”

A trace of impatience flashed in the man’s eyes as he flicked his sleeves and left.

Jiang Ming shook his head speechlessly. Other than the pig’s ear mushroom, his other herbs were not rare. It would be hard to sell them after this.

Sure enough, by noon, most of the people who bought the medicine had left, but Jiang Ming still had half his goods, and no one was interested.

He had made sixty copper coins. Alas, Uncle Ba and a minor official forcefully charged a fee; therefore, he was left with fifty copper coins.

And this was with the inventory from the previous life.

“Sigh, life isn’t easy!” Jiang Ming sighed, put the remaining herbs into the herb basket, and bought some rice and noodles before going home for a walk.

“Perhaps it’s time to try that prescription.” On the way home, Jiang Ming lowered his head and thought to himself.

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