Not long after he walked out of the door, Lin Xi saw Liang Sansi hurry up to him.
Lin Xi knew that Liang Sansi was definitely scared that it would be difficult for him to get around by himself, which was why he already waited nearby early today.
Since he only intended to go shopping in the fish market today, having a bailiff at his side not too convenient, after Lin Xi said a few things to Liang Sansi, telling him to not follow him for now, he then headed towards the fish market alone.
The reason why this fish market could become one of East Port Town’s three great markets was because this fish market not only provided what the town’s residents needed, it was also a large-scale distribution center for the entire Breath River’s fisherman families and fish sellers.
From the distance, the layers of oil covered rain canopies looked just like sailboats, the number of permanent stalls alone numbering over a hundred and twenty. Apart from this, the small-scale natural harbor below also had a water market, at least fifty to sixty small fishing boats stopping here from morning until dusk.
The random fish caught the same day in these small fishing boats were a bit cheaper than the ones in the shops, but the species were all different and not organized, which is why some of the local restaurants and pubs’ workers would often ride a small boat between these small fishing boats, choose some things that were suitable for them.
Lin Xi walked along the limestone path that had been washed rather clean by yesterday’s rain. When he was still a bit of distance from the fish market, a strong fish smell rushed directly into his nasal cavity, even the surrounding air becoming a bit more viscous.
However, this instead made Lin Xi happier.
It was because now, he was close, already clearly seeing that the fish market’s terrain wasn’t level, instead like a hill. This made the shops above look like they were piled on the shops below, the entire market looking extremely crowded. Rain canopies even more so rested there layer upon layer, giving one a sky covering feeling.
Most of the shops had garish and showy signboards and banners hanging from them, only a few businesses having black painted real wood inscribed tablets. However, in front of these shops, apart from arranging wooden casks of varying depths, there were also ponds made of stone inside and outside the stores.
Some of the ponds were clearly large, able to store even a thousand jin of fish. A fish market of this scale, for Lin Xi who was ‘near the water, so ate from the water’, was obviously excellent.
The main types of fish Lin Xi searched for were two types, Black Sturgeon and Snowflake Fish, both of these exclusive to this Breath River.
Breath River was extremely deep, which was why the water at the bottom was quite cold, within these waters was a unique Black Sturgeon fish. This type of fish was not only large in size, able to grow above twenty to thirty jin in size, according to what was recorded in Green Luan Academy’s books, the nutrients of this type of fish meat were three to five times better than other ordinary river carp, black carp, and other fish meat. However, for cultivators, the most precious were the Black Sturgeon mother fish who had roe within. The roe of Breath River’s Black Sturgeons were all half a muang bean in size, entirely black and crystalline, commonly referred to as ‘Black Gold Seeds’. These fish roe were precious flavoring for some great restaurants to begin with, but for cultivators, it was even more so a precious great mending food.
The Snowflake Fish was a type of mosquitofish in the river. These small white fish that were often only the length of a finger in size, their greatest value for cultivators was actually the snow-white backbone. When used to simmer soup, it would completely dissolve, and then after being frozen, would become white and slippery jelly.
These two fish were both expensive in price, and after being targeted by fishermen through various methods, their numbers long became extremely sparse.
For Lin Xi, the larger the fish market, the more abundant the varieties of fish, the higher the chance of finding these precious things.
Without stopping much, Lin Xi sized up this fish market as he walked in.
While Lin Xi walked into this fish market, one of East Port Town’s three great markets, in the distance towards the river bank, a black covered fishing boat was currently catching fish.
The ones working on this ship were a young fisherman and his wife, the two currently bringing up their nets.
The two both wore rough cotton clothing, their faces scorched until they were dark, both of them looking healthy and sturdy, as well as honest and sincere.
At the bow of the ship crawled a little boy who was currently learning how to speak, a rough wooden duck clasped in his hands. His black and innocent eyes were currently staring out of the boat’s cover into the river, not a bit of fear visible in his eyes.
The water surface near the back of the ship had large amounts of froth, quite a bit of vegetable leaves and oil floating within it, most likely left behind by some large ship when it passed by. For a fisherman family’s child who was born on the river, it seemed like it was long no longer new and amazing.
However, suddenly, the eyes of this boy who still didn’t know how to speak were full of curiosity.
In the large amounts of white froth where leaves and other things drifted, floated a green and white dead object, looking rather out of place. This little boy couldn’t help but release ah ah sounds, his small arms and legs starting to strike the deck of the boat to get his parents’ attention. However, right now was the time when the young fisherman and his wife were retrieving their nets, so they didn’t have any leisure time to tend to what was happening at the back end of the ship. The tapping sounds of the deck instead made the two of them feel more at ease.
The large amounts of froth and the floating dead object passed by their sides, getting further and further away from this small boat.
The little boy couldn’t see it anymore, so he also calmed down.
The young fisherman couple didn’t see this thing, so within the water froth, their boat slowly floated along, heading downstream towards East Port Town’s largest pier.
“Black Sturgeon? This stuff isn’t easy to find… Freckled Wang over there found one a few days ago, but it had long been bought by someone. As for Snowflake Fish, they’re still common enough, if you look around the water market’s fishing boats, finding a bowl’s worth isn’t too hard.”
In front of a shop, Lin Xi chatted with a wizened elder with a palm leaf fan in hand.
Most of the shops here were the same, between the barrels and ponds was a big counter. If a customer wanted a fish slaughtered on the spot, the shop’s workers would directly butcher the fish, the removed scales and innards would be tossed into a large barrel below.
This fish market was large, there were many fish that were bizarre and exceptionally large in Lin Xi’s eyes. After just walking past a few shops, Lin Xi saw many mackerel fish that were at least thirty jin in weight, as well as even some large black fish that were much longer than a person's arm.
After just casually asking around a few shops, it seemed like the Black Sturgeons he was looking for were still rare, one only appearing every five or six days in this entire fish market.
However, asking around those who seemed a bit more talkative wasn’t completely without benefits, at the very least, he learned that all of the stores in the fish market that hung a thirteen docks sign were Fatty Xu’s shops. Meanwhile, these shops’ methods were a bit greater, more willing to purchase things as well, which was why the things from the river that were a bit rarer, some large ‘fish kings’, most of them would appear there.
One of these shops produced a crab king these past few days, the green shell river crab that was caught actually the size of a small washbowl. It was rumored that not only were a few wire nets cut through, a fisherman even had two fingers snipped off.
What left Lin Xi rather amused was that Fatty Xu had one shopkeeper in each of these dozen or so shops.
This was clearly to have these shopkeepers do their best, that way, at the end of the year, it was clear which shopkeeper’s store had the greatest harvest, using this to stimulate every store’s enthusiasm.
“Yi… this is?” Lin Xi wanted to head straight to Fatty Xu’s shops, but after walking by a rather unremarkable store, he suddenly stopped. He turned around, entering this small store, carrying a bit of shock as he looked at a lump of green inside the small stone pond by the entrance.
When he caught a glimpse while walking past, he originally thought it was some type of stepping stone, but when he walked over, he felt like it was alive. Now that he was right at the pond’s side, he understood that this was actually a stepping stone sized old freshwater soft-shelled turtle, the shell full of ash green water moss.
He immediately became filled with pleasant surprise.
Deepwater Round Turtle!
This was another great mending food mentioned in the book he brought out from Green Luan Academy.
There was a special name for this type of round soft-shelled turtle that had long lifespans in the book, calling them ‘Old River Lumps’!
An Old River Lump of this size was at least a hundred and fifty years old. Moreover, the Old River Lump’s digestive abilities were extremely great, able to swallow shells and sand, so its stomach was full of sand and stones. In addition, the meat was especially tough, even if it was cooked for several days, it still wouldn’t become soft, the smell also hard to get rid of, normal people unable to eat it at all. However, from his Green Luan Academy book’s dietary methods, he learned that he could use some medicines to make this Old River Lump vomit all of the sand and stones, and then with some other methods, the stench could be removed, thus cooking the meat until it became soft.
This type of Old River Lump might be enough for Lin Xi to eat two meals, it really was an unexpected pleasant surprise.
The owner of this shop was a rather large boss lady dressed in black cloth clothes, around her a waterproof apron. When she saw Lin Xi look at this Old River Lump by the edge of the pond, she immediately walked over with a smile on her face. “Little mister here, are you interested in this old turtle? This type of old soft-shelled turtle is most suitable as mending food, after being cooked for a few days, just the soup would be excellent for one’s health.”
“However, this Old River Lump’s smell is a bit hard to get rid of, I fear that I won’t be able to eat it.” Lin Xi smiled and said.
The boss lady’s expression became a bit rigid, but then, her smile became even more brilliant. “Since little mister here knows his stuff, are you buying this old turtle to release it?”
“How many silvers?” Lin Xi’s dad in Deerwood Town was a merchant, so he naturally knew that the more reasonable he seemed, the easier it was for him to be ripped off. That was why he didn’t say anything unnecessary, nodding towards this Old River Lump while asking the boss lady.
When the boss lady heard him ask about the price, her mind immediately shook. She reached out four fingers. “Four taels of fine silver.”
Lin Xi shook his head. “Two taels.”
“My goodness, you can ask around, there is only one lump turtle this year that is bigger than mine. Even though this one isn’t a River Lump King, it is already the second best. This…”
“Even if it is a River Lump King, it doesn’t matter. The key is that it needs to be useful.” Lin Xi directly cut off the boss lady’s words.
The boss lady’s face became a bit bitter. “Three taels, I can’t go any lower.”
Lin Xi gave the boss lady a look, and then turned around. “Then forget it.”
“My goodness! You really are something! Two taels it is then, two taels!” When she saw Lin Xi take a few steps out, the boss lady finally called out.
She looked like she was suffering greatly on the outside, but this rather large boss lady was inwardly pleased. She took it in for one tael just yesterday, this Old River Lump was something that could only be used for religious releases at most, yet today, she got two taels for it.
Meanwhile, Lin Xi was also smiling inwardly, not saying anything.
Only in this type of small place would it be like this. If it was in a provincial great city with more cultivators, this Old River Lump’s price would have increased by who knew how many times, how could he possibly purchase it for two taels of silver?
According to Lin Xi’s requests, this Old River Lump that was at least seventy jin in weight was bound in straw rope, and then stored in a ventilated straw sack.
When he handed over the silver, starting the binding process, Lin Xi who was waiting in this shop looked around in interest. When he looked around, he saw another large problem.
In a shop a floor below to the left, a store that had a black wood thirteen docks sign, there was a bald, bare upper bodied robust man who was slaughtering fish.
On his back was a black fish tattoo. There was no large barrel for storing fish scales and innards, all of the innards and other parts he removed were directly tossed into a pond not far behind him.
Whenever a pile of bloody innards and other things were flung in, the water inside the pond would surge, become exceptionally violent. Then, all of those innards and other things would be completely devoured.
Inside the slightly red waters, two massive black figures were moving about.
However, the moment his attention was completely drawn to that place, a ragged clothed female beggar walked over from behind him, her dirt-covered slender fingers silently reaching towards his clothes.