Fishing the Myriad Heavens

Fishing the Myriad Heavens

Fishing the Myriad Heavens
Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Golden Silk Blood Eel!
Translator: AstralGhost Editor: KurisuAs a whistling wind blew through its walls, the slightly dilapidated mansion seemed like a bleak old man on the verge of death. In some places, the tiles had already fallen off.
Such a scene really caused one to wonder whether this mansion would crumble apart in the near future.
But Bei Feng knew that the mansion was already like this since he was young. The only difference was that it was occupied at that time, and much of the tiles were still intact back then.
“Click, screech!”
Bei Feng took out a key, turned it in the slightly rusted lock and pushed the door. The paint on the previously scarlet red door was now flaking and peeling off. It was almost all gone. Due to the many years of neglect and disrepair, the influence of rot and decay could be heard in the sounds made when the door was pushed.
After entering the old mansion, a spacious garden opened up before his eyes. Due to his absence and neglect, the entire garden was overgrown with weeds. Other than a few wild tea trees, which were in decent condition, only a huge banyan tree stood erect at the center of the garden.
The tree’s trunk was so wide that it would require three people to hold their hands to surround it. A few hundred years had passed since it was planted, and yet it continued to flourish. Its branches and luxuriant foliage spread out in all directions, casting a huge shadow over the area, just as it had for hundreds of years.
Below the banyan tree, there was a stone table and a few stone stools. One could easily spend an entire humid summer afternoon after a satisfying lunch, just sitting beneath the shelter of the banyan tree with but a pot of good tea.
Bei Feng carefully measured everything in the yard, a hint of nostalgia in his eyes. Even if it was just a blade of wild grass, everything gave Bei Feng a sense of familiarity.
Pushing open the door to his bedroom, the heavy smell of ash, mold and dust it had been so long covered in surged from inside towards him.
The furniture in the room was all covered with white plastic sheets. The plastic sheets themselves, were similarly blanketed by a thick layer of dust.
After putting away his luggage, Bei Feng began to busy himself.
Going toward the storage area first, Bei Feng saw that it was piled high with all kinds of miscellaneous items. There were things like a stone mill, a hammer, and even a wooden plough that could be pulled by an ox.
Bei Feng picked up a little black bucket and walked out. The small bucket wasn’t too heavy, its maximum capacity allowing only around 20 to 30 catty [1] of water.
A coarse rope was attached to the bucket, its other end attached to a bamboo pole.
Carrying the bucket, Bei Feng proceeded toward the area neighboring the garden. Here, two thin pieces of green stone plates were placed together, side by side.
Bei Feng put the bucket down and pushed at the green stone plates. With a little effort, the stone plates were pushed apart, sending the multiple centipede-like arthropods below them to scatter off in all directions in panic.
Bei Feng was not worried in the slightest. Although these bugs’ appearance may seem menacing and would cause people to associate them with the venomous centipedes, they were actually harmless.
With the stone plates pushed apart, a hexagon-shaped well was revealed. It measured a meter and a half in width, and it was propped-up by numerous stone supports.
The well water was sparkling and clear. If one peered closely past the surface, one can only see the shiny water wreathed in inky black shadows. Without adequate lighting, nothing more could be seen. The exact depth of the well could not be determined. At the moment, the water level was only around two meters away from the mouth of the well.
The water from this well was extremely cool and refreshing. It had a strangely pleasant taste which at the very least, of all the places Bei Feng had visited in recent years, there was none with water whose quality could be compared to that of this well water.
‘Eh? What’s that?’
Bei Feng was dazed for a moment. Deep within the well, a golden head the size of a baby’s fist could be seen, slowly shrinking back into a crack in the wall of the stone well.
Bei Feng was a bit startled. There were actually creatures living in this well?
Intrigued, Bei Feng did not throw the bucket down to collect water. Instead, he stayed on the side quietly and observed the water’s surface.
However, there was no sign of the creature appearing despite his vigil of half a day over the well.
Reconsidering his approach, Bei Feng finally grabbed a centipede-like bug which was minding its own business nearby, and unceremoniously tossed it into the well.
The creature struggled violently after landing in the water. It may enjoy living in dark and damp environments, but that does not mean that it can swim!
After struggling in the water for a long time, it finally lost its strength and slowly started to sink.
As it looked at the drowning centipede-like bug, the golden head from before curiously peeked out of the crack. Moving with lightning speed, it shot out of the stone crack and was upon the bug in an instant. Opening its mouth wide, it swallowed the centipede-like bug in one gulp!
Following that, it swam back lazily into the stone crack. The only thing left was the slightly rippling water.
‘Golden Silk Blood Eel!’ Even though everything had happened in an instant, Bei Feng was able to identify the creature.
This mansion was situated at the bottom of the mountain. There were no fields here, which was the natural habitat of the eel. So just how did this Golden Silk Blood Eel end up inside the well?!
Golden Silk Blood Eels and Yellow Eels were actually of the same species. However, Golden Silk Blood Eel was considered a mutated version of the Yellow Eel. Its entire body, however, was more golden rather than just yellow in hue, and on its back, there were numerous red patterns the thickness of silk. That was how it got the name “Golden Silk Blood Eel”.
The blood and meat of the Golden Silk Blood Eel was very beneficial to the human body, and it was especially nourishing for men.
During the period of the Ming and Qing dynasties, the Golden Silk Blood Eel was considered a royal tribute-level item. It was a capital crime for commoners to conceal and eat it. Any offenders caught were all executed by beheading!
After China was established [2], the Golden Silk Blood Eel became even more renowned throughout the world, its price reaching as high as 500-600 yuan for 1 catty!
At that time, everyone in Qing Ling Town made a big fortune. Anyone who lacked money could easily go to their fields and casually catch a few catties of Golden Silk Blood Eel.
Unfortunately, good times did not last for long. With such extravagant and unrestrained hunting, the Golden Silk Blood Eel’s population rapidly dwindled, almost to the point of extinction.
The last time the Golden Silk Blood Eel was seen was a few decades ago. When it appeared, it was immediately sold for an exorbitant price of 8000 yuan, and that too despite weighing less than 3 taels [3]!
Now, after a few decades have passed, this Golden Silk Blood Eel with its weight of at least 1 catty should be able to reach a price of 20,000-30,000 yuan!
Considering the rarity of the Golden Silk Blood Eel, this price was already a very humble estimate! Bei Feng’s interest was immediately piqued. To the current him, tens of thousands of yuan could be considered a huge sum of money!
Discarding all thoughts of cleaning the house, he turned around and almost ran to the storage area.
‘Found it! Who would have thought that, after so many years, it’s still usable!’
A silly smile plastered on his face, Bei Feng emerged from a pile of objects covered in dust. In his hands was a roughly 3-meters long bamboo rod. A bright red fishing line was attached to one end of the bamboo rod.
Quickly leaving the storage shed, he proceeded to dig around in the garden for a short moment before returning with a few squirming earthworms in his hands. After running the fish hook through an earthworm, Bei Feng ran excitedly to the well again.
Without any hesitation, he cast the fishing line into the well, aiming it at the area right next to the stone crack the Golden Silk Blood Eel was residing in. Sensing that it had fallen into a dangerous situation, the fat earthworm began squirming furiously.
Naturally, the Golden Silk Blood Eel also detected the tremors in the water. Cautiously poking its head out, it observed the surroundings for a few seconds. After confirming that there was no danger, it opened its mouth wide and swallowed the earthworm in one gulp.
Bei Feng felt a powerful force pulling at the fishing rod. Not hesitating in the slightest, he pulled hard at it himself. If he let this Golden Silk Blood Eel escape back into its hole, it would be nigh impossible to drag it out again!
The Golden Silk Blood Eel struggled with all its might, attempting to burrow back into its hole. However, in terms of strength, Bei Feng naturally had an edge over it.
After struggling for a while, the Golden Silk Blood Eel was successfully reeled in by Bei Feng.
‘Please do not slip off the hook!’ Bei Feng prayed fervently. It was very common for fishes to somehow get off the hook whilst struggling in mid-air. Once it escaped, catching it again would become a matter of luck.
Fortunately, the situation which Bei Feng feared did not occur. The Golden Silk Blood Eel had been successfully pulled out of the well.
Holding it in his hands, Bei Feng realized that he had still underestimated its size. This Golden Silk Blood Eel was around 1.2-meter long when stretched out! A huge net-like blood-red pattern ran along its entire back.
Bei Feng held onto the furiously struggling Golden Silk Blood Eel as he prepared to carefully remove the hook.
This process had to be done with caution. A dead Golden Silk Blood Eel was not worth any money. Fortunately, the hook didn’t pierce deeply, only piercing through one side of the Golden Silk Blood Eel’s gill.
With one hand pinning the Golden Silk Blood Eel’s head down, Bei Feng used the other to remove the hook.
This step ended up being much more complicated and took much more time than he had expected, due to him using a reverse hook. Reverse hooks were unsuitable for fishing eels and as such, it was much more difficult to remove it without hurting the Golden Silk Blood Eel.
“Si!” Bei Feng gasped in pain.
Just as the hook was removed from the Golden Silk Blood Eel, it jerked violently, causing the hook to hit and prick his finger.
‘Sss! Luckily, the reverse part of the hook did not pierce into my skin. Otherwise, this would become a really ugly situation,’ Bei Fen hissed and he sucked in a breath of cold air as he pulled the hook out.
A bright red drop of blood appeared on his finger’s tip right away. Not wanting to dirty his clothes, Bei Feng flicked his hand, causing the drop of blood to fly off. As though it were carried by the hands of fate, the drop of blood soared through the air before finally landing on the mouth of the well.
[1] 1 catty = 0.5 kg
[2] ED: I think author refers to P.R. China, maybe the Republic of China from before WWII
[3] 1 tael = 50 grams, which makes it 1/10 catty