Chapter 2: Lie Low and Train
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“Your job is just to be available and sweep the floors in Jingning Palace. Your meals will be taken care of, and Concubine Jing has court ladies to look after her. Remember this: do your job as best as you can and think of nothing else.”
The old eunuch gave Li Mu the lowdown when they got to the gates of the Jingning Palace.
“Yes, sir,” Li Mu answered with his head hung low.
“Get inside then.”
The old eunuch left as soon as he’d finished giving him his instructions.
Li Mu was left alone, looking around with a dazed expression.
“So, you’re the new floor-sweeping eunuch, eh? Come on in then.”
An old court lady appeared at the gates and showed Li Mu inside.
Li Mu could literally feel how desolate the place was as soon as he stepped foot inside.
The palace was completely quiet and seemingly devoid of life.
Their footsteps echoed as they walked down the corridor, and all their surroundings were eerily silent.
“Concubine Jing’s bedchamber is right at the front. You’re forbidden inside unless requested by Concubine Jing herself. The eunuch’s quarters are at the back, just pick whichever room you fancy. From here on out, you’ll be in charge of cleaning everywhere but in the concubine’s bedchamber.”
The old court lady walked into the bedchamber as soon as she had finished speaking.
Li Mu was the only one left in this vast compound of a palace.
So, this is what a “cold” palace feels like, huh?
“System, check in,” Li Mu murmured to himself.
Ding! “The host has checked in from the “cold” palace. Zaohua Sutra rewarded.”
Li Mu was at first dumbfounded, but soon he flashed a beaming smile.
Zaohua Sutra was a top-grade method commonly found in Xianxia novels, which allowed one to reconstruct one’s body to a higher grade at the end of one’s training.
The body reconstruction part was especially enticing to him.
Who the hell would want to be a eunuch for the rest of their lives anyway?
He at least saw some hope right there and then.
He went to the area that the old court lady had told him about and began to look at the rooms.
The stench of ammonia washed all over him right away.
He picked a room that was comparatively remote and less pungent, cleaning it up a bit before settling himself inside.
Night came before long.
The entire Jingning Palace was quiet as a tomb.
He speculated that both the concubine and the old court lady were already fast asleep.
He then took out a jade scroll from his pocket after confirming that there wouldn’t be anyone around to disturb him.
The jade scroll was the item known as the Zaohua Sutra.
“System…how do I go about learning how to use this thing?”
There weren’t any readable scripts found on the item, just some odd patterns.
Li Mu’s excitement was extinguished right away.
Couldn’t at least I have gotten something I could read?
“You only need to hold it against the center of your brow.”
Wait, it’s that simple?
Li Mu held it against the center of his brow right away.
The jade scroll disappeared, and he felt as if his head had gotten very heavy. It felt as if someone had just stuffed something inside it.
Information flooded into his brain.
The true shall be immortal, existing and not existing at the same time. No matter shall harm you, no wall shall become a barrier for you. No thunder shall loom over you, no floods shall harm you…
It took quite a while before he opened his eyes again: a sign that he had taken in all the information from that Zaohua Sutra.
It was fortunate that he had been an expert in Chinese medicine back where he had come from, which meant that he had a certain amount of knowledge regarding metaphysics.
The many ambiguous, seemingly incomprehensible parts of the Zaohua Sutra were not actually difficult for him.
“Time to train then, but before that, it’s best if I enhance my constitution for the training.”
He willed it, and a pill materialized in his hand.
The room was filled with a herbal fragrance right away.
There were nine golden runes on the small brown pill.
That was a sign that the pill was a grade nine medicine.
That pill was none other than the Marrow Cleansing Pill that he had acquired back in the Imperial Household Department.
A grade nine medicine was something that one couldn’t even find in the royal palace.
If the existence of a grade nine medicine like that were to be known to the world, havoc would be wreaked because of it.
He popped the pill into his mouth right away.
Heat began to spread from his midsection moments later.
It felt like the sun had exploded in his stomach.
The heat then rampaged all over his body, expanding the meridians that it passed through, shattering the underlying bones and mending them anew.
It was excruciating.
Li Mu felt nothing but intense pain all over his body.
The intensity was like nothing he had ever felt before.
It was indescribable.
He rolled off his bed and writhed around on the floor.
He clenched his teeth so hard that he was worried he’d crack them.
He then bit down on a chair as the pain was just too much for him.
The wood of the chair was shattered from his bite.
He eventually grabbed a blanket and stuffed it into his mouth.
It was fortunate for him that he was in a “cold” palace and that his current location was also very remote.
No one knew what was happening in that room at that moment.
The pain that had rent his body began to subside half an hour later.
A soothing sensation began to wash all over him.
The pain completely disappeared another half an hour later.
Heat was still coursing through his body, but instead of pain, he felt increasingly comfortable instead.
He breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that the ordeal was finally over.
“D*mn, it stinks!”
A putrid stench filled his nostrils as soon as he drew in a breath at that moment.
He held the nausea in and ran out of his room.
The stench came from his body.
He felt his entire body was sticky at this moment.
He knew that it was a result of the detoxification he’d gone through after ingesting the Marrow Cleansing Pill, forcing all the impurities and toxins out of his body from all his pores.
He fetched a bucket of water from the well behind the courtyard and began to quietly wash himself back in his room.
It took five buckets of water before he had finished cleaning himself.
He got into his bed and sat cross-legged, beginning to train in the Zaohua Sutra.
He found the sense of qi on that very night, thanks to the residual effects of the pill, becoming a true warrior.
He was able to tell from the memories of the body he inhabited that the world he was in was a world where martial arts flourished, where formidable warriors could be seen everywhere. The flourishing was to such an extent that the legendary ones were every bit the equals of the mystical beings commonly found in cultivation novels.
Mystical beings, man!
Beings that could move mountains and live for thousands of years.
It was entirely possible for warriors to reach such heights as well.
“Well, this world is indeed a terrifying one.”
Li Mu shuddered.
His excitement and glee from having become a warrior were quickly extinguished.
No, I have to lie low.
Lie low, man!
No matter what, never go outside and cause trouble!
The night passed.
The old court lady found Li Mu the next morning. His work as a janitor began.
There were more than a dozen rooms of various sizes in the Jingning Palace, and there were two other compounds as well.
There had once been four eunuchs in charge of cleaning the place.
Now, Li Mu was the only one in charge of everything.
He was lucky to have become a warrior and had his physique enhanced.
Otherwise, he would have collapsed from exhaustion working the whole day cleaning all these rooms.
In the evening, after he’d finished his work, Li Mu murmured to himself.
Ding! “The host has successfully checked in. Five months of powers are rewarded. Would you like to proceed with collection immediately?”
He looked around him and returned to his room.
He then confirmed that no one was around to disturb him.
“Collect reward now.”
Heat flowed through his insides and his limbs right away, washing away his exhaustion from the whole day’s work.
Explosive bursts could be heard from his body, and he felt his strength being enhanced significantly.
He went on with these check-ins for two consecutive days.
He finally resembled a warrior.
“Dinner is ready,” the old court lady called.
It was just like the old eunuch had put it—there would be eunuchs delivering meals when necessary.
The old court lady made Li Mu take the first bite when he was delivering meals.
Li Mu knew that she was worried that someone was going to try to poison Concubine Jing, so he was used as a poison tester.
Despite being condemned to a “cold” palace, the concubine’s meals were nonetheless still far more lavish than what the eunuchs ate.
He saw no reason to hold back at such times and ate to his heart’s content.
It hadn’t been long since Concubine Jing had been condemned, and the emperor was still watching.
That meant that no one would dare to poison her yet.
The eunuch who delivered the meals would test the meals for poisons first as well.
Li Mu was the second stage of poison testing.
If he were to refuse to do the poison testing and the concubine was actually poisoned to death, he would be killed all the same.
Having been informed of all this and thanks to his increased appetite due to his training, he made sure to eat a lot all the time.
“All right, cut it out already. Concubine Jing still has to eat.”
The old court lady rolled her eyes at Li Mu, who had rice all over his mouth. Then she walked inside with whatever was left on the plate.
Li Mu picked up his broom and swept the compound again.
Ding! “Congratulations to the host. One iron broom acquired.”
What the h*ll?
Is the System giving me a broom because I’m sweeping the floor right now?