"Yes. If we could tend and cultivate it successfully, we should be able to grow Dragon-Blood Fruit. They bear mutant-class pet beast souls, called Dragon-Blood Snakes. They could all be sold for riches," Qu Lanxi said.
"Selling just one of those would make us rich." Qu Lanxi paused for a brief while before continuing, "But such thoughts are pointless, even if the tree was alive. It requires the blood of ordinary beasts, each and every day. I have heard that the blood of Blood-Scale Snakes is the most beneficial. But unfortunately, Qing Ming Shelter does not possess any such snakes. The old spirit that once lived here perished in the Thorn Forest in search of them."
"That is a shame," Han Sen said, feeling sorry in his heart.
"Even if such blood was available for sale, we couldn't afford it. This tree is a lost cause on us," Qu Lanxi said.
Han Sen smiled and looked at her.
She was an elegant woman. Although she was not stunning, she was beautiful and fair. Her appearance was delicate and comforting, and her company was something many people would want for.
Even amidst such dreary circumstances, she looked after herself well and kept herself tidy and neat. Even though the color of her clothes had long since faded, she didn't look ragged; despite her apparel and surrounding environment, she looked natural and fair.
She might not have been the prettiest woman to look at, but she had an inviting appeal. She exuded a sense of comfort, and Han Sen found himself quite attracted to her.
"Where is Chu Ming?" Han Sen looked past her, but did not see him.
"He went to buy food in the shelter; he'll be back soon." She then observed Han Sen with a stare, and went on to say, "Your wounds have healed quickly."
"My hyper geno art can heal." Han Sen had a prepared response for her curiosity.
He had healed almost too quickly. His body had been broken, with organs damaged and bones snapped. Yet, after but a few days, he was back on his feet. No one would believe he had healed this quickly via natural means.
"Healing powers? You can heal people?" Qu Lanxi asked Han Sen with shock.
"If I am fully recovered, I can impart healings on others. But that would depend on who or what; while it is fairly strong, I don't imagine my healing ability would prove sufficient for a wounded super creature," Han Sen said, modestly.
"It is rare to find people who can heal others of the same tier. When you have recovered, you might be able to find a job over on the ranch. Healing abilities are cherished at such a place, so you'd be paid handsomely," Qu Lanxi told Han Sen.
Han Sen was interested in this prospect, so he asked, "Ranch? What ranch?"
"Well, it's more of a colosseum, really. Spirits trap creatures that are unable to be tamed and pit them against each other, for the entertainment of humans." Qu Lanxi sounded as if she did not think fondly of such venues. After her brief explanation, she returned to the house and tidied up.
Han Sen remained near the Dragon-Blood Tree, evaluating what his next move should be.
With his power, he should have been able to kill ordinary creatures without any hassle. But now that he had learnt the creatures of this area were owned, he couldn't kill as freely as he might have wanted to.
Heading to Thorn Forest would be too dangerous in his current condition, as well, and if he ended up squaring off against a mutant creature, he could very well be killed.
Han Sen had thought repaying the debt would be a trivial task, but there were a few complications involved that would make it much harder than he initially thought.
"Oh, black crystal. Why would you absorb the lifeforce of that Ink-Sword Tree? Why-oh-why, troublesome black crystal? You used to be quite helpful, so why are you working against all of us here?" Han Sen was a little upset over his predicament.
As these feelings of sadness came over him, he felt the black crystal in the Sea of Soul tremble. One of the bountiful waterdrops it had excreted earlier, now exited the Sea of Soul and dropped onto the root of the tree.
Han Sen was shocked at this sudden turn of events. He witnessed the dying, crooked tree absorb the waterdrop without delay. And almost immediately, the weakened lifeforce of the tree was ignited. It was coming back to life.
Han Sen's mood made a quick turn-around, and he exclaimed to himself, "These waterdrops can raise old, dead wood back to life?"
The tree didn't recover its life immediately, however. It was still slowly absorbing the waterdrop.
As Han Sen observed the tree, Chu Ming returned home with a filled sack. Seeing Han Sen sunbathing near the old tree, he was quickly brought to anger. He marched forward and said, "How unfortunate it was for us to meet you! You destroyed our Ink-Sword Tree, and to top it off, we have to babysit and feed you! I'm warning you. You better get well soon and pay us back!"
"Stop yelling and come in for lunch." Qu Lanxi had prepared food, and called them both in to eat.
Chu Ming frequently complained to Han Sen, but Han Sen understood why and thought it was reasonable. But now, Han Sen was curious about what state the old tree would soon be in, after receiving the waterdrop.
If all was successful, and it was indeed brought back to life, it'd be a mutant geno tree. The Dragon-Blood Fruit could be sold for a high price, solving all the problems Han Sen currently had.
The black crystal's waterdrops were incredibly powerful. If it could continue producing such waterdrops, they'd provide Han Sen a lot of help in the times to come.
Han Sen did not know what it took to produce those waterdrops. All he knew was that the black crystal absorbed the lifeforce of the Ink-Sword Tree and was able to produce three such waterdrops.
"Three waterdrops for a tree that had been growing for three years. Is that a coincidence?" Han Sen thought to himself.
After eating lunch, Qu Lanxi went back to working in the yard. Han Sen returned to the tree and watched for any further changes intently.
Although it was slow, Han Sen could feel the tree greasing the cogs of its existence. Slowly but surely, it was coming back to life. He wasn't sure when it'd be back to full health, but he did indeed feel it coming.
The next day, Han Sen woke up on the wooden board he had been given for a mattress. He woke up to the sound of Chu Ming shouting.
"Lanxi! Come out and take a look! The Dragon-Blood Tree is growing."
"This is a mutant geno tree?" Han Sen said, as he looked at the old tree.