Was it a dream, or had she really been to the waterfall?
She looked towards the table, where she had laid the coins to dry. They had dried properly, now she had fifty oyster shell coins that she did not know what to do with.
As Gan Tian Chi had always said 'Everything will have its own use' Xue'er believed that one day, these beautiful oyster shells would have some form of use to her.
She decided that she would keep the coins where they were and not put them away just yet. She decided to leave them an extra day, but closed the window, in case a strong wind came in and blew everything away, destroying her hard work.
It was better to be safe than sorry.
Xue'er went to the main room of the cottage, where she saw Gan Tian Chi fiddling around with mosquito nets and a bamboo hat. It seemed as if he was trying to make a veiled bamboo hat, attaching the mosquito nets to the bamboo hat.
She went to the rows of shelves filled with books that lined the walls in the cottage and picked up a random book to read. The books were worn and old and there were many of them, the book she picked was on fortune telling deviation. She sat down by the study desk, opening the old cover.
She decided that she would explore the forest after the dew had evaporated, so most of the plants would be free from the water formed overnight. It would usually be around midday when the grass would be completely dry. She had plans to try her delicacy making experiments, in which dry grass was essential for making a fire that would last.
In her book, written there were the basics of fortune telling and deviation, which included: Astrology, face reading, palm reading, the four pillars of destiny and five elements.
The book was very interesting, Xue'er who enjoyed filling her head with knowledge had gotten lost within this book of wonders. She sets a goal that she shall one day finish reading his entire library collection.
Xue'er soon realized that midday had come when she felt the sun's rays at one of its strongest points.
She turned to the last page of her book, finishing it before she put it away. To be fair, she was a fast reader, but there were times when she enjoyed sitting in one place and relaxing while reading. It was one of the best feelings in the world, after swimming in the waterfall, gaining knowledge, making concoctions and finding herbs.
[Now that the dew has evaporated, it should be about time to go.]
Xue'er returned the book to where she found it, preparing to leave. As she was about to go outside, something caught her eye.
She found that in glass containers on the floor, there were some processed herbs that would be useful for seasoning. But who knew how long they had been there, she had already noticed it when she was cleaning the cottage but had not thought much importance of it.
Xue'er opened the container and took a long look at it, the glass containers were small and could only hold a small amount of seasoning, but its aroma was extremely concentrated, one could tell that it was a very good quality.
[Quality should not degrade with time.]
After all, in the practice of medicine, herbs usually got more valuable with age, moreover, these seasonings were also made with herbs.
"Gan Tian Chi, can I take this?" Xue'er asked, holding up the container towards the man who was fiddling with thread. It was always better to ask, what if he was planning to use them somewhere and it was gone.
"Uh…" He looked up towards the container in Xue'er's hand.
[When did I have something like that at in this cottage?]
"Yes." He answered. He was unconcerned with the small container, he couldn't even remember when he placed such a thing there.
"Thanks." Xue'er said as she placed the seasoning into her bag.
As she prepared to walk out the door, she heard Gan Tian Chi call "Xue'er, wait."
"Yes?" Xue'er turns around to see Gan Tian Chi walking towards her with the veiled bamboo hat that he had been working on in his hands.
She stared at that odd hat, it was made of bamboo that was soft and sturdy. The hat had been woven together very well, there were no gaps, she was sure that it could effectively keep out rain and shine. The veil around it was also nice, it was black in color she could not see what was inside it, of course, this may be because there was indoors.
"Take this." Gan Tian Chi said as he put the hat on her head.
His movements were quick, that Xue'er only felt a gentle tap, as the black veil fell down around her. She had to admit that the bamboo was very comfortable and the black veil did not obstruct her sight the least, it felt as if there was nothing in front of her, but she knew that people would not be able to see her.
"What is this for?" Xue'er asked, adjusting the hat to her preferences.
"It's for the mosquitoes, and bugs out there, don't let them get to you." Gan Tian Chi said, his tone was very caring, carrying traces of a doting parent.
[But bugs are unwilling to bite me.] She wanted to say.
"I don't really need this." Xue'er prepared to take off the veiled bamboo hat and return it to Gan Tian Chi.
"Wear it, there are a lot of people in the forest lately." He said seriously.
Xue'er's hand that was about to remove the veiled bamboo hat stopped. Right, if she wanted to remain unknown, then she should not allow her face to be seen by others.
"Thank you." Xue'er said as she left the cottage.
Once she was at a clearing, she closed her eyes, allowing her spiritual senses to flow into the ground, branching off to touch every inch in the forest, it was as if she had eyes everywhere and knew what every single person was doing.
Xue'er felt the presence of a few extra people who were not part of the countless villages or towns within the forest. She could tell that there were a few trained martial artist and the people that were fleeing from them.
She reopened her eyes, as her spiritual senses returned to her body.
[Why do people always run into forests to hide?]