The young novice monk, Dong Sheng walked along the road diligently. As he saw the street sign with the words [Lower Groove], he slowed down and adjusted the backpack on his back.
In it were many kinds of produce from the mountains, and among them, mushrooms were the ones that held the most variety.
Twelve Fountains Mountain, where Twelve Fountains Temple was located, occupied a vast area and possessed flourishing forests. With the number of young and middle-aged men decreasing in the nearby small villages, produce from the forest increased.
It was usually the best time to pick mushrooms the day after there was rain. The master and his disciple walked a little deeper into the depths of the forest, and they were able to pick up a lot of wild mushrooms.
The basic principle of mushroom foraging was to identify the mushrooms. In other words, one only picked mushrooms one could identify. If the mushroom was unknown, and the picker was uncertain or doubtful, the picker would leave the mushroom alone and even avoid touching it. This was to avoid polluting the mushrooms that had already been harvested. Probability was the main determining factor for judging the toxicity of mushrooms according to the brightness of their color. For example, if there was an 80% chance of starvation, the probability of death from eating an unknown, dull-looking mushroom may only be 65%. It would be worth a try.
Dong Sheng came to know many kinds of mushrooms growing up in Twelve Fountains Temple. Plus, he was very popular in the nearby villages. Therefore, he knew the types of mushrooms around multiple villages.
Not only could he identify mushrooms, but he also knew where many mushrooms grew. As long as the products of the soil were not picked until they were bare each time, there would be a great chance for them to grow back.
In recent years, almost 30% of Twelve Fountains Temple's income came from mushroom foraging led by the disciple and his master.
Every time Dong Sheng descended the hill, he would bring dried mushrooms, which were high in value and not too heavy to carry. Each time he encountered mushrooms that had a good appearance, he would leave some for the Ling family.
Dong Sheng wanted to rush to the Ling family before dinner time to let them taste a few fresh mushrooms.
He was just about to reach Lower Groove Clinic when he saw that there was a slight congestion at the entrance.
There were several old ladies sitting on the bench in the yard and outside the door. They were chatting while waiting for their turn.
"This... Has something happened?" After Dong Sheng greeted them, he enquired in a soft, quiet tone.
"Hey, you're the young novice monk from that temple." An old lady met him and touched his head. She smiled and said, "Nothing happened. Everyone's queuing up for Doctor Ling's osteopathic massage."
"Doctor Ling knows how to give osteopathic massages?" Dong Sheng was amazed.
"I kid you not. His osteopathic massages are incredible." The old lady touched her shoulder and smiled. "I was in pain the last few days. I don't feel it anymore today."
"That's amazing!" Dong Sheng exclaimed in an exaggerated manner. He was wondering if he should ask his master to come down from the mountain and give it a try.
The living conditions in Twelve Fountains Temple were tough, especially during winter. The fire was always not warm enough, and his master's waist and legs would feel sore very soon...
The young novice monk, Dong Sheng pondered as he entered Lower Groove Clinic. He heard a stern yell even before he found Ling Ran.
When Dong Sheng followed the sound, he found Ling Ran grabbing a person's arm and pulling it back with force. The color on the person's face changed, and it was naturally inevitable that he screamed in pain.
Dong Sheng could not help but turn pale and feel a little afraid. 'What's happening there?'
"Okay, it's done." Ling Ran put down the other person's arm. The latter then rubbed his shoulders and arms. After he felt that they were no longer in pain, he expressed much appreciation and thanks.
After all, it was a free-of-charge massage. Once it showed effect, the people would be very happy.
Ling Ran nodded. He just received the Contract-Relaxation Manipulation of the Four Limbs after he provided thirty thousand hours of pain relief. Once he received the reward, the timed mission was almost complete.
Ling Ran was quite happy with obtaining four skills in one breath, even though they were all chiropractic manipulation techniques.
Although there was no reward at the moment, Ling Ran was still in very high spirits to be able to display these skills.
"Dong Sheng, you're here." As Ling Ran changed the direction of his operation, he saw Dong Sheng.
Dong Sheng greeted him and said, "I brought some dried mushrooms."
"Just hand me the mushrooms. I'll put them in the kitchen." Ling Jiezhou smiled and came out. He then shouted, "Everyone, there are only twenty minutes more, so we can only massage another ten people. As for the rest, we truly apologize. You'll have to return home first for today."
"Can't it be done if we pay?"
"It can't be done today. Please make an appointment in the future." Ling Jiezhou knew that it was not suitable to collect money today. It was not about the people who were willing to pay. The previous batch did not have to pay, and if the later batch were to be charged, they would be dissatisfied. It would be better to let Ling Ran rest.
Lower Groove Clinic did not charge any fees for the massage. When it was time to close, the people behind were also embarrassed to make further requests. However, not many of them left. They stayed behind to watch those who were getting massaged.
Dong Sheng stared continuously at Ling Ran's actions, never looking away.
He was not trying to see how Ling Ran massaged people until they screamed, instead, he was observing Ling Ran's technique.
Dong Sheng wanted to learn a little of it, perhaps even copy the style so that he could give his master a massage when he returned.
When Ling Ran got to the fifth person, he noticed Dong Sheng's expression. Hence, he deliberately changed his technique and used the Chiropractic Manipulation for the Cervical Spine on the sixth person.
Dong Sheng was a bit lost when he saw that the trick he was just starting to get the hang on change. But he quickly caught up again.
His life on the mountain was very simple and monotonous. In addition to the daily cleaning of the Buddhist temple, Dong Sheng used the rest of his time reading and making incense.
Either way, it fostered Dong Sheng's ability to self-learn, and most importantly, his ability to concentrate.
Ling Ran performed Chiropractic Manipulation for the Cervical Spine on the next few people and received a good rating.
Dong Sheng observed him in an extremely serious manner.
Ling Ran also did several rounds of massages because of this as well. He extended his session, which was originally supposed to only last for another twenty minutes, by another ten minutes.
"Have you grasped the technique yet?" Ling Ran suddenly asked Dong Sheng.
"Ah... I'm not trying to learn it deliberately." The young novice monk was very nervous.
Ling Ran laughed and said, "If you want to learn, you can stand behind me."
"Of course. Chiropractic manipulation for the cervical spine is actually very simple, but the methods are diverse. I've currently mastered thirteen kinds of osteopathic manipulation methods..." Ling Ran said as he used his neighbor's neck as a prop.
The young novice monk listened attentively as his eyes subconsciously began to scan for the right neck to work on.
"Use your own," Ling Ran said. He used the neck in his hand as a model, and demonstrated each section.
He was a Master in chiropractic manipulation and ranked 42nd in chiropractic manipulation for the cervical spine. His ranking had increased by one ever since he first acquired the skill. It was simply too easy to teach a young novice monk such high level osteopathic manipulation skills.
The young novice monk squeezed his own neck and learned the technique seriously.
After Lower Groove Clinic closed shop for the day, Ling Ran finished dinner and offered his own cervical vertebra to the young novice monk for some chiropractic manipulation training.
"Hmm... a little bit more to the left."
"Apply some force."
Ling Ran narrowed his eyes slightly, ordering Dong Sheng as the monk massaged him. In the process, he also started accumulating the energy he would need as the first assistant for next day's work.