Jing Yue rolled out of bed abruptly and heard blue phoenix cry out, “Jing-jing, come and save me! Ji-ji is scared!”
Jing Yue’s eyes constricted as he looked for the voice. As soon as he saw the blue phoenix, he smiled.
He saw a little blue chicken tied to a tree trunk with a rope, and the rope went around three times. It was difficult to even lower the head, and with no way to use spiritual energy, what else could it do but cry for help?
“Jing-jing, let me down quickly!”
With shaking shoulders, Jing Yue rescued blue phoenix. The latter complained aggrievedly, “Someone must want to harm the phoenix! I don’t know who knocked me out and tied me to a tree!”
Jing Yue was taken aback when blue phoenix added, “Is it that old man with the big mole? The one who lent you the duster! He kept looking at Ji-ji! Also, the fat aunt who lent us the quilt also praised Ji-ji’s beautiful feathers!”
Jing Yue was not as dumb as blue phoenix. He had guessed the culprit and glanced behind. “Ji-ji, what do you think of him?”
Qin Yanzhi who followed didn't know what blue phoenix and Jing Yue were talking about, but he noticed Jing Yue's gaze and saw blue phoenix glaring at him in horror and resentment. He froze instantly.
Blue phoenix, “Hmph, not sleeping early in the morning. Are you here to see me make a fool out of myself?”
Jing Yue, “… No, your main focus…”
Forget it, it was better for it to remain ignorant. Jing Yue picked JI-ji up, looked askance at Qin Yanzhi, and deliberately said, “Ji-ji, this illusory realm is very dangerous. You will sleep with me every night from now on, got it?”
Blue phoenix said happily, “Okay, sure, Ji-ji likes Jing-jing the most. Ji-ji wants to sleep with Jing-jing.”
Qin Yanzhi, “…”
On this day, under Jing Yue's order, Qin Yanzhi reluctantly cleaned up another room.
Every night thereafter, he could see his brother returning to his room with the little blue chicken in his arms. Every morning, when his brother got up, the little blue chicken would still be lying on his brother's bed under his brother's quilt, snoring in its sleep.
In this regard, Qin Yanzhi expressed his desire to die.
In a blink of an eye, a week has passed, and the two of them gradually figured out some of the rules of this world. Since men could stand on their own when they reached their twenties, they even went to the county government to change their household registration and disassociated themselves from the Wan family.
Far away in the Wan Manor, someone heard about this news.
“Master, I heard that your two good sons have changed their household registration and are now called Chen Jing and Chen Qin.”
A beautiful woman was acting coyly in front of a middle-aged man with a potbelly, who said angrily, “As expected of the white-eyed wolves born of the Chen family, so ungrateful! Hmph! They can change it all they want. I'll remove them from the clan tomorrow. In the future, even if they regret it and want to come back, don’t even think of getting a single cent from my Wan family.”
The man was none other than Wan Changpeng. He was furious when he heard the news. What the two rascals did was like several slaps to his face. After all, it was always the father who didn’t want the sons, so how could the sons not acknowledge the father instead? He was thinking of picking them up again in a few years and give them a few shops to manage, but now, he had completely held a grudge against them!
The woman immediately became happy and said, “Don't worry, Master, you still have Sanlang. He’s a filial child.”
Wan Changpeng's black face looked better. “Yes! Now A-Mian is my first wife, and Sanlang is my first son, my only son.”
The woman smiled sweetly. “Oh yes, I heard that Chen Jing and Chen Qin are making wine themselves.”
Wan Changpeng, “Pooh, what can they brew?”
Woman, “Do you think they got some secret recipe?”
Wan Changpeng was taken aback. “I don’t think so, right? My father-in-law was so scared at that time, and he didn’t reveal any other recipe.”
The woman thought so too. If there was really a recipe, the Chen family trusted Wan Changpeng so much before the incident happened, so why didn’t they hand it over?
“Hehe, in that case, let’s wait for them to make a joke out of themselves. In my opinion, since they are so unfilial, they should lose all their money.”
Wan Changpeng, “Yes, let them disgrace the Chen family instead.”
No matter how much Wan Changpeng and the others cursed, Jing Yue and Qin Yanzhi couldn't hear them. Even if they did, they wouldn’t care. By this time, their first batch of wine was almost ready.
Jing Yue found a wine recipe in the Chen family's old house. He could tell that it was a good recipe but he decided to improve on it a little to win by surprise.
Although he didn’t drink, he still knew of some wine recipes. A recipe common in the cultivation realm was very different when placed in the mortal world. Jing Yue studied several wine recipes and replaced some of the ingredients in the original recipe. Although the brew was still mortal wine, the taste was like immortal wine.
He used to see people making wine by boiling snow, looking for plums and lingzhi fruits, inducing wind, and collecting dew by the moonlight, with 120,000 points of poetic artistry. When it was his turn, he had to steam the grain, blend the yeast, fermentation, and distillation, all tedious and tiring tasks. But when paired with Qin Yanzhi, things became really interesting.
After doing these things, the two of them also spent all the silver, but Jing Yue also wanted to set up a tavern, and the tavern needed renovation. Because a truly good wine not only required standards for the wine itself but also called for attention to the appliances and environment.
To earn enough money for renovation, Jing Yue and Qin Yanzhi disguised themselves as martial world heroes several times. Although they had no spiritual power, they still knew martial arts. Thus, they could go around to ‘relieve anxiety and solve problems’, and ‘remove violence and restore peace’. Afterward, they would collect reward money for that. The two even pretended to be bandits and robbed certain people who were wealthy but unkind.
All the ruffians and villains in Jin County were obliterated by them and the security became very good.
On the opening day, a white-bearded old Taoist came to the front of the tavern. He tweaked his fingers, drew a long sword, and waved it in the air. The empty plaque of the tavern was engraved with the five powerful characters “Sai Shen Xian Tavern’.
Many people who saw this scene found it interesting. Some even suspected that the tavern had hired a troupe of actors to perform a gimmick.
A wealthy merchant passing by said happily, “Haha, Sai Shenxian? What a big tone! I’d like to see how they compete against immortals.”
(TN: 赛神仙酒楼 = ‘Sai’ here refers to ‘racing’ or ‘competing’ with shenxian/immortals, meaning that this tavern is comparable or better than immortals.)
He swaggered over the door rail. As soon as he entered the hall, he felt that his spirit was lifted. It was not just a visual enjoyment but it seemed that even his body was lighter and he felt a sense of ecstasy.
The rich merchant thought it was his delusion. After all, he had been to so many taverns in Great Zhao, and this one was the most uniquely decorated. Although they look like ordinary landscape ornaments, where and how each item was placed and displayed were just perfect, and no one could find any fault with it. Moreover, after being accentuated in the surrounding display of the backdrop, the originally ordinary objects also featured unexpected exquisiteness.
For example, the fish pond in the corner of the hall was just a normal rockery with lotus and koi, but the shape of the rockery would change according to the position he stood. It was not an exaggeration to say that it was a different scenery with every step. Not to mention the few lotuses that floated on the water, the tender cores full of dew, and the fresh lingering scent was full of Zen.
The wealthy merchant originally came in to watch the excitement, but now, he was a little bit more expectant. He randomly picked a window seat and a handsome young man approached him with a smile and asked, “Customer, how may I help you?”
The wealthy merchant looked at the wooden sign hung above the counter, all ordinary dishes to go with alcohol. He casually ordered some of his favorites and said, “Since this is a tavern, of course we should drink wine. What do you have here?”
Youth, “We only have one type, named Apricot Blossom Village wine. Those who drink it will get drunk in worldly affairs, and the taste is comparable to immortals.”
The rich merchant didn't really take it seriously and smiled lightly. “Let’s have a pot then.”
Youth, “Since you are the first customer of our tavern, you can enjoy one special service from us.”
The wealthy merchant became interested. “Oh?”
The young man snapped his fingers and a blue bird flew over with a plate of melon seeds on its head. The little blue bird placed the plate carefully on the table, peeled out a full melon seed by pecking with its mouth, and stared at the rich merchant fawningly with its beady eyes.
The rich merchant laughed, “This bird is very spirited.”
As he said that, he touched the little blue bird's head. The little blue bird immediately rubbed its head on his hand obediently.
Thus, when the young man went to the back kitchen, it was the blue bird that was responsible to greet the customers in the hall, and everyone couldn’t help teasing it a little.
The dishes that went with alcohol in the tavern were mostly cooked and cold dishes. Jing Yue had already prepared it earlier and now only needed to serve it on a plate. The person responsible for loading the plates was none other than Qin Yanzhi who just removed his old Daoist disguise.
When Jing Yue came to the hall again with plates and bowls, he heard the rich merchant jokingly said, “Boss, how come all the dishes here are not as expensive as a pot of wine?”
Jing Yue smiled and said, “Dishes are ordinary food while the wine is immortal wine.”
The rich merchant was delighted. “Okay, I'll have a taste of immortal wine.”
At first glance, he noticed that the flask containing the wine was a transparent azure color. It looked like jade but not quite, and not of glazed material either. When he picked up the wine flask, he again felt a refreshing coolness passing from his fingers to his limbs, making him feel pleasure in every pore.
The wealthy merchant, who traveled far and wide, had never seen this material before and curiously asked, “What material is this wine flask made of?”
Jing Yue, “Just some ordinary mountain rocks.”
The rich merchant just assumed the boss didn’t want to say and asked no more questions, but in fact, it was indeed ordinary mountain rocks, just that it was refined and polished by ‘jack of all trades’ Jing Yue.
Jing Yue, “Please go ahead.”
The rich merchant poured a cup of wine and the aroma filled the hall. Everyone's eyes lit up and couldn't help looking at the wealthy merchant.
He first closed his eyes in intoxication, took a deep breath, put the cup between his lips, and took a small sip. A faint flush appeared on his face before he finished the drink in one gulp.