AIP - Chapter 36: Taming
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Tang Jie placed a small bowl of lotus seed porridge on the grass and then backed away a few steps. "Alright, stop being so upset. It's because I was rude and forgot that you already had intelligence. How could I group you with those ignorant plants? Since you're a sprite, you naturally want to eat cooked food, so you ignored the raw food I brought you. I stole this lotus seed porridge from the kitchen. Servants like me normally don't have the right to eat something like this. Take it as an apology from me."
The green rose sprite appeared behind a stone, her arms on her waist as she harrumphed and turned her head away, ignoring him.
Tang Jie smiled. "Still angry? Don't be so petty. Didn't I just say a few wrong things? Alright, alright, if you don't want to eat this, just say something. If you can't talk, just wave your hand so that I can return it to the kitchen. If you want to eat it, don't be polite."
The green rose sprite rushed over and thrust her head into the bowl. Gulp! Gulp! She slurped down the soup. It turned out that she really did eat such things.
In the blink of an eye, she had drained the small bowl. Though there hadn't been much porridge, she also wasn't very big. Drinking so much caused her little tummy to swell so that she seemed like a woman who was ten months pregnant. She thumped down next to the bowl, unable to get back up.
Tang Jie giggled at the sight. He reached out to grab her, and the little thing tried to flee in fright. Alas, she had eaten too much and couldn't move.
Tang Jie placed her in his palm and petted her on the head. "Alright, alright, no need to be nervous. It's not like I'm going to hurt you."
The little thing trembled a little before finally accepting Tang Jie's petting. But her large eyes continued to move around as if she was thinking about something.
Tang Jie found her cute. Raising her up to his face, he asked, "Are you still angry?"
The little thing placed a hand on his face and licked him, but then it made a strange face and made a 'yaya' sound that was crisp and pleasant to the ear.
Tang Jie was startled, and then he shook his head and smiled. "It seems like you really don't know how to talk, perhaps because it was only a short while ago that you became a sprite. Now, since I've apologized and you've accepted my gift, things should be fine between us, right?"
But the little sprite shook her head.
Tang Jie didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. "Still not satisfied? Then what else do you want?"
The sprite looked at Tang Jie and then suddenly grabbed Tang Jie's finger and savagely bit down.
"Ah!" Tang Jie gasped in pain and instantly shook his arm, flinging the sprite away.
Tang Jie looked down and saw his finger had been bitten rather badly and was bleeding copiously.
Tang Jie was rather angry. This little thing really doesn't know what's good for it. I was trying to tease, but she turns around and bites! Just when he was about to teach that green rose sprite a lesson, he saw that the sprite's originally round tummy had shriveled away again.
"What's going on here?" Tang Jie curiously wondered.
The sprite had already crawled up from the grass. Standing next to a bush that was about as tall as she was, she angrily glared at Tang Jie. She stomped her feet, put her left hand on her waist, and pointed at Tang Jie's nose with her right hand as 'yiya' sounds came out of her mouth. Of course, Tang Jie didn't understand a word of what she was saying.
Tang Jie saw that she was licking the bloodstains on her lips as she was talking, and as that blood entered her belly, that still somewhat swollen belly went completely flat.
He was amazed by this sight. "Blood… So you want to drink blood!"
Tang Jie hurried to the kitchen and got the sprite a bowl of chicken blood. But to his surprise, she only took a sip before putting it back down and ignoring it.
Tang Jie thought that she was full, but instead, the little one pointed at Tang Jie and started jabbering again.
Tang Jie seemed to get it this time, saying in shock, "You like human blood?"
The sprite earnestly nodded, even sticking out her tongue and licking, clearly appearing unsatisfied. It was like she was saying, "Your blood is much tastier than chicken blood."
Tang Jie was speechless. All he could do was offer his finger. "Take it easy. Don't drink too much."
The sprite hugged Tang Jie's finger and took a bite, causing him to gasp in pain. It felt like this sprite's bites were particularly painful. With his current constitution, this sort of wound should have been nothing at all, as he could even take lashing, but when she bit, it felt like the pain went straight to his heart.
Fortunately, the little one knew what was proper. After taking a big drink, she voluntarily let go. However, given the contented look on her face as she savored the aftertaste, it was clear that she wanted more.
"At least you understand that a trickle of water will take a long time to be exhausted," Tang Jie said as he waved around his finger. Actually, it was rather strange. After she let go, his finger didn't hurt. Tang Jie curiously asked, "Is it that you like human blood, or is it that you like my blood?"
The sprite pointed at Tang Jie and mewled.
"You like my blood?" Tang Jie said in surprise.
It had just been a random question, but he had received a surprising answer.
Tang Jie once more looked down at the wound. The drop of blood had a crystalline luster in the sunlight, flashing like a jewel and infused with a faint spiritual light.
"Spirit blood!" Tang Jie finally got it.
Sprites were born from the spiritual energy of the world and were not true living beings. Thus, throughout their lives, they would need blood, flesh, and energy to nourish themselves.
This was the opposite of humans. Humans had bodies of flesh and blood, and needed to take in spiritual energy. Meanwhile, sprites, as natural beings of spiritual energy, needed to take in blood energy.
In this aspect, sprites and cultivators complemented each other.
This was why there were many folktales about sprites, monsters, fiends, and ghosts harming people. While there were some parts that weren't true, they were not complete fabrications. The vast majority of these spiritual creatures dined on blood and flesh. It was just that they usually fed on wild beasts and livestock. At times, a particularly savage one might hurt a person, but not take their life. Humans, on the other hand, loved to hunt down spirit creatures and harvest their body parts in the name of slaying fiends and devils.
For these spirit creatures, the amount of help brought by ordinary flesh and blood was limited. The best was still flesh and blood infused with spirituality. But spiritualized blood could normally only be found in those of the Mortal Shedding Realm, and ordinary spirit creatures had no chance at getting it. Thus, in normal circumstances, a weak spirit creature like the green rose sprite would have to rely on hunting beasts in the wilderness for food, absorbing the minuscule amounts of spirituality in their blood. But eating one hundred wild beasts couldn't even match one mouthful of Tang Jie's blood.
For the little sprite, Tang Jie's blood was like a massive supplement, a kind of spirit medicine for spirit creatures, a mother's milk for an infant, or a heavenly treasure for cultivators.
Seeing the sprite stare at him, Tang Jie guessed at what she was thinking. Smiling, he said, "If you listen to me, I'll feed you in the future."
The sprite didn't suck much blood, and so long as he didn't allow the sprite to think of his blood as an everyday meal, Tang Jie could still raise it. His words made the sprite do a flip in the air in excitement. In a flash, she climbed up to Tang Jie's shoulder and began to lick him.
"Okay, okay! Oh, this is for you, but you're not allowed to bite me again." Tang Jie passed over that drop of blood on his finger, and the little one immediately drank it down. She felt dizzy in the head, and her body swayed a few times before falling over.
In alarm, Tang Jie hastily scooped her up. He discovered that she was snoring away in his hand, silver slivers of perfume trickling down her mouth.
"This is… Gosh, she's drunk!" Tang Jie didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
He had heard about being intoxicated by alcohol or smoke, but this was the first time he had seen someone get intoxicated by blood.
Taming the green rose spirit had gone surprisingly smoothly.
Spirit creatures were actually extremely cautious lifeforms. Thousands of years of being hunted down by humans had made every spirit creature know to avoid humans.
Tang Jie had probably only managed to successfully tame the sprite because she had just been born and wasn't as suspicious yet, coupled with the allure of his spirit blood.
But even though he had tamed it, dealing with it was still a problem. She was still young and didn't know the dangers of the human world. If she remained in the garden, she would be found eventually.
The problem was that there were only twenty green roses. Someone would undoubtedly notice if one went missing, at which point Tang Jie would be at fault.
"It seems like I'll have to find a way for the young master to crush one to death. Hey, let me ask you: you'll be fine if someone steps on you, right?"
Tang Jie asked this question to the sprite after she woke up.
But when she heard about the young master stepping on her, she repeatedly shook her head, unwilling to go through with it.
Tang Jie was at a loss. All he could do was try his utmost to explain to her the dangers of remaining here.
When she heard that Tang Jie wanted to move her away from here, she blinked a few times and then grabbed a bluewater orchid on the side. The orchid began to transform into a green rose—a sight which left Tang Jie stupefied.
As sprites were born from spiritual energy, they often had a few natural talents.
Tang Jie had thought that this sprite could only use the most basic illusion formations, but it turned out that she could also modify plants. But now that he thought about it, it was only natural. She was a green rose sprite that had gained spirituality, so turning a plant into a green rose wasn't strange at all.
Tang Jie took that orchid-turned-green-rose and looked it over, confirming that it wasn't an illusion. Full of appreciation, he hugged the sprite and said, "We've struck it rich! A green rose goes for one tael of silver! If you change a few more flowers into green roses when you have free time, we'll never lack for money."
Surprisingly, the mention of making money had the sprite shaking her head. She pointed at her tummy, indicating that creating that green rose took a lot of her energy, and making her do it again would mean feeding her.
From her attitude, it seemed like she would need to drink quite a lot this time.
Tang Jie sighed. "After all that trouble, in the end, I would just be selling my blood… Forget it."
Regardless, with this green rose, he could take away the sprite and prevent any further incidents.
But… he still felt like something wasn't right.
After thinking it over, he suddenly realized, "Shit, what do I do about the missing bluewater orchid? That thing also costs a lot."
The sprite was dumbfounded for a moment, then she giggled and turned herself into a bluewater orchid.
Tang Jie was on the verge of tears. "If you become an orchid, won't you still have to get stomped on?"
The sprite was at a complete loss. She looked at the orchid she had turned into a green rose and then looked at Tang Jie, her eyes constantly blinking. It was clear that she didn't know what to do.
Tang Jie pointed at some grass. "Can you turn this weed into a green rose?"
The sprite spread apart her hands, indicating that she couldn't.
After wasting a great deal of time, Tang Jie finally understood that this one could turn herself into any flower and could also turn any flower into a green rose and back, but she could not turn one flower into another kind of flower, and she could only do this on flowers that were similar in nature. Turning a weed into a flower was not possible.
"Fine." Tang Jie helplessly offered his finger so that she could drink his blood. "Turn that green rose back, and then find one that's not worth a lot of money to– hey, hey, not that one! That one's also expensive… Find one that's worth less, idiot… Fine, it's not like you know which ones are worth money… Gently, ouch! I know, I was wrong! Isn't that good enough? I'm the idiot…"
It took a great deal of messing around to finally settle things. That night, Tang Jie went out to buy a flower pot. After filling it with dirt, he put the sprite inside and carried the pot to his own room.