“Ming Xi’s right. It is passing strange. Regardless who posted the mission, the day of the wedding will be eventful I’m sure. We should be on the lookout.” Tian Ya said.
In the end Ming Xi’s party had to forsake their plans to gain more experience in the badlands and focus on the person trying to wreck their friends’ wedding. How could they justify abandoning their friends and walking away?
After the meal Feng Wu’s party went to find cheap lodgings. The got three rooms: one for the girls, one for Wind and Pei Qing, and a single for Jier. Like hell he was going to share a room with two stinky guys.
Well he was the captain so he could decide. Plus he was also footing the bill for the trio, so they had no right to complain. The more they spent, the less of the prize money they’d be able to keep. Jier would surely confiscate everything if they weren’t careful.
They rested for the night and the next morning gathered in Jier’s room to go over their plan.
Rain was the first to talk. “What should we do? Should we kidnap the bride or should we kidnap the groom on the wedding day?” Her speech was slow and lazy after sleeping so much.
“No. There’ll be guards that day. Plus I’m sure there’ll be other teams with the same plan. It’ll be difficult to kidnap the bride with so many strong parties in the picture.” Rain shook her head, vetoing her own plan.
“Stupid. Do you think I’d have us come here two months in advance just so we’d kidnap one of them on the wedding day?” Jier looked down on her for her low IQ. There was just no hope for some people.
“Captain, do you have an idea?” Pei Qing sidled over to Jier.
“Stop that. You’re making me sick.” Jier rudely swatted Pei Qing away.
Jier posited, “The mission was to sabotage the wedding. It didn’t say we had to kidnap anyone. Messing with the couple enough so the wedding has to be cancelled can also be considered a successful sabotage.”
“Mess with them? Wait, should we assassinate one of them then?” Wind offered a horrible idea.
“Stupid! You don’t have to kill anyone to force a wedding to be cancelled! You can just try to ruin their relationship. If they don’t like each other anymore, then they won’t go through with the wedding and it’ll be cancelled.” Pei Qing, this guy’s knowledge of harming people was more insidious than either of the twins.
“Oh, hey then what about using a honey trap?” Wind suggested as he eyed the two girls.
“That’s a great idea! Little Rain, you and Xiao Wu would work. One is adorable and cute; the other is pretty and vivacious! You’d definitely be able to attract Sir Germaine!” Pei Qing was keen on the idea.
There was a twinkle in Wind’s eyes as he thought about it.
Rain embraced Feng Wu. “What?! How heartless can you be to try to use two weak girls like us to lure Sir Germaine in. What if he’s a beast. What would we do?!”
Rain was opposed to the plan. (Use my body to entice some scumbag knight? I think not!)
Pei Qing, with eyes full of hope as though the two girls were his entire world, said “Rain, come on. Think about it. It’s two hundred thousand gold. Plus there’s the team debt we still owe. Xiao Wu please? Our happiness depends on you.”
“Shut up. Xiao Wu is out of the question. Rain can go.” Jier’s face was dark. The idea of using a pretty girl to entice Sir Germaine to bed was a good idea. All they’d have to do was catch him in the act.
Lady Minerva was a beauty with reputation, wealth , privilege, and pride. She would surely cancel the wedding and refuse to marry a man caught cheating on her before the wedding. Jier didn’t imagine these guys would offer up one of their own instead of just paying a lady at the bar. But then again Rain was pretty so maybe it would work?
“No! I don’t wanna! How can you even bear to have such a pretty, delicate girl like me walk into the tiger’s mouth like that?” Rain looked at the men in her group pitifully, hoping they’d have mercy on her.
“Why do we have to seduce Sir Germaine? Why can’t we seduce Lady Minerva?” Feng Wu was curious why they were focused on seducing the groom. Wasn’t it OK to seduce the bride as well?
“That’s right! That’s right! Xiao Wu I love you!” Rain pointed at the three guys in the room. “You three are also gorgeous. Your beauty meter, when you combine them, would be off the charts! This mission, it should be yours! If you act as the honey trap, it will definitely succeed!”
The more Rain talked the better she felt. In contrast, the more she talked the worse the boys felt! To think the day would come where they would have to rely on their attractiveness to complete a mission.
“You three look so good, Lady Minerva will definitely like you.” Feng Wu added completely without emotion. She had eyed them objectively and came to the same conclusion.
They didn’t want be liked by Lady Minerva, but they were no match for Feng Wu’s serious and simple eyes. Admitting defeat the plan was changed from a beauty trap for men to a honey trap for ladies.
“Well this ended well didn’t it?” Now that she was in the clear, Rain was relaxed and in the mood to joke around.
“How about the captain go? The captain is so beautiful, the ladies won’t be able to help but faint. The plan will be a total success!” Pei Qing looked at Jier with complete belief in the other’s abilities.
Bloody hell, Jier really wanted to beat the crap out of Pei Qing.
“I feel that Wind is better. I hear Lady Minerva is twenty; she’ll like them young. When she sees how tender and sweet looking Wind is, I’m sure she’ll just want to eat him right up.” Jier came up with this argument at the last minute. He didn’t mind losing face in this instance and letting Wind win.
“No that won’t do. That won’t do.” Wind shook his hands vigorously left and right. “If we’re talking about age, you guys are better suited. Lady Minerva is only twenty, she’s not that old. Wouldn’t Brother Pei Qing be a better match?”
The three tried foisting the task off on each other. They were all good and honest men in their teens. How could they let a lady they didn’t know defile their purity?
This went on into the night with no clear loser in sight.
The next day the five of them went around asking about Lady Minerva’s whereabouts. Fortunately she was the kind to keep a low profile. She rarely frequented expensive restaurants or went to exclusive clubs. Instead she tended to visit the library to read books.
The library wasn’t a place just anyone could go though. There was an entrance fee of two gold coins per hour. Other than the rich, who could afford such a leisure activity? Certainly not ordinary people.
“One hour for two gold. That’s too expensive. How much will it cost for all of us stay there all day? How about we just watch for her outside the library instead?” Wind thought about the debt they would accrue with their loan shark. It was best to limit it as much as possible.
“No, spending everyday outside the library would make us too conspicuous.” Jier vetoed the idea.
“I know the kind of person that can enter the library without paying.” Pei Qing said.
“Who?!” Everyone asked in unison.
“The disabled.” Pei said seriously.
“What?! Disabled? You’re disabled!” Wind yelled at Pei Qing.
Rain knocked her brother on the head for being so dense. “Ai-yo. Stupid! That’s not what Pei Qing meant. We just have to pretend to be disabled so we can get in.”
“What a good idea!” Everyone agreed.
Feng Wu tilted her head to the side and asked, “How do we pretend?”
Jier explained. “Xiao Wu, you just have to pretend to be dumb and mute. It shouldn’t be a problem for you.”
Feng Wu nodded.
After a few seconds Jier said, “As for the rest of you guys, maybe pretend to be lame. Like you’re paralyzed on one side.”
To complete their disguise and deceive the librarian they even acquired appropriate accessories. There were bandages, crutches, and even a wheelchair. They were very prepared.
They showed up at the library the next day, deaf, dumb and maimed. The library wasn’t busy so the librarian actually took quite a bit of notice of them.
It was true, laws did provide for the disabled to read for free at the library, but in reality it was only the rich who ever came to read. What kind of rich person would want to read with disabled people around?
The librarian was a middle-aged uncle who had worked at the library for a few months. In all the time he’d been there, he had never seen an actual disabled person visit the magnificent library. Jier’s group was the first encounter he had.
He got the impression the group weren’t there to learn and improve their self-knowledge. Regardless the rules were there and he was not going to kick them out just because they weren’t reading properly. He would just keep an eye on them in case they were up to no good.
Just because the librarian was OK with it didn’t mean some of the other young aristocrats were. They didn’t expect the uncle would take notice of the group but not do anything. The group of gimps was polluting the air. It wasn’t right. These young aristocrats were unaware of the law that allowed disabled people to freely use the library.
How could they respect a law they didn’t know? It was obvious to the young nobles the group were commoners. Why were they allowed to sit and breathe in the same air as nobility?
They went to the librarian and requested the group be kicked out. Of course the librarian wasn’t going to do that. He bluntly refused their request. What was to be done?
Well of course the young lords and ladies decided to take things into their own hands. The young ladies hatched a plan.
“Oh my goodness! Where is that stench coming from?! Those wretched beggars! Their stench is deathly. Quickly leave. You’re making the ambiance go down!” A gorgeously dressed noble youth walked over to Jier’s group.
Another dressed in school uniform piped up. “I know right? Tomorrow’s the college admissions test too. How are we supposed to study properly with such stench in the air?” said he as he walked over.
“We’re not leaving. We’re disabled. If you dare drive us out we’ll send a letter to the imperial palace about how you’re forcing disabled people out of the library so they can’t study. It’s a law that’s been in effect for generations. You dare question the wisdom of our ancestor rulers?” Pei Qing, on behalf of the group, severely rebuked the two youths who came over.
Good job Pei Qing! He had somehow managed to escalate the situation and shift the focus to something even more preposterous, suggesting the youths were questioning the wisdom of the kings and queens of bygone eras.
The two youths slunk away when they saw that the disabled group weren’t so easy to intimidate.
Upon seeing that the group was not easily bullied, the other young nobles gave up on the idea of harassing them.
Jier and Feng Wu found some books and brought them to a table to read.
The nobles all gave group a wide berth. None of them wanted to inadvertently catch anything contagious. Instead of reading in the library, they checked the books out, opting to read in the safety of their own homes.
Jier’s group spent the next ten days like that at the library: sleep then library, sleep then library.
They were bored stiff! If it weren’t for the two hundred thousand gold coins, they would not have been able to persevere.
Feng Wu was an exception; she looked like she was diligently studying every day. She read quietly, unlike the others in her group who either chatted or gossiped about Lady Minerva.
Wind and Rain reached their limits five days later. Any more and they would turn in actual bookworms!
“Xiao Wu, you read so seriously every day. Are you really into it?” Rain was feeling blue so she chatted with Feng Wu.
“Yes. I like it very much.”
“Wow. I really admire you. You can be interested in such boring books.”
“They’re not boring. They’re very good.” Feng Wu genuinely liked reading in the library. It reminded her of the old librarian’s library.
Very good? Really? Wind leaned in to get a better look at what Feng Wu was reading. The title was The Complete Guide to Herbal Medicine. This kind of book was “very good?”
Wind’s lip quirked a little. He and Feng Wu definitely did not live in the same world.
There were so many books. Wind and Rain felt like they were being buried alive. They got up and moved around.
Jier and Pei Qing were of the same mind. Reading occasionally was fine, but reading hour after endless hour… it was too much! They weren’t nerds. They couldn’t take this lifestyle!
They weren’t the only ones gloomy and depressed, the librarian was feeling it too. Since they showed up, foot traffic had dramatically decreased. The number of checkouts had also halved. He was quite eager for them to leave!
What was more, they were ruthless in their dedication in visiting every single day. But the thing of it was they weren’t even reading! It looked like they were just using the library as a hang out. They would sleep and chat, but rarely read. The only one who read was the cute one. She was genuinely diligent in her studies.
“Why don’t we use the time to discuss our plan. Which one of you will be seducing Lady Minerva?” Rain was bored to death; she needed some stimulation. She didn’t care that her topic made the boys glare at her.
Pei Qing had a romance novel in his hand when he heard the question. “Didn’t we decide on Wind?”
“What?! We never decided that! Stop talking rubbish! You’re the one obviously going!”
“Whatever! One of you needs to go because I’m not,” declared Jier.
“What - Why?!” The two turned to Jier, unwilling to be the sacrifice.
“Because I’m the captain.”
Such a good reason. They couldn’t argue.
Just then a commotion erupted at the entrance of the library and a beautifully dressed lady with four guards appeared.
“Motherfucker! Who is that?! Did he draw the wrong lot at birth?!” Wind cried out in alarm and fright as he pointed his bandaged finger at the figure by the entrance.
“I think that might be a man dressed as a… woman?” Jier guessed after examining the person some more.
Pei Qing propped his book in front of his face hiding his mouth. “No, can’t say for sure, but some girls just look like guys.”
Not far away were two other girls. They had also seen the new entrant and were pointing as well.
“It’s Lady Minerva. I heard she and Sir Germaine are getting married. I would have thought she’d be busy planning the wedding. How unexpected to see her here.”
“You forget what house she belongs to. Lady Minerva is the queen’s cousin. Stuff like planning the wedding, there are other people to do that. All she has to do is show up on the wedding day.”
The two girls were whispering softly to each other but Jier was a master, so of course he heard every word.
“No way! That’s not a man or a woman. It’s the famed beauty Lady Minerva?!” Rain was aghast. The other guys nearly peed in their pants; they were so shocked.
“No way! I don’t have the guts to seduce that!” Wind cried out, truly intimidated. He spread his arms out and grabbed the edge of the table, hugging his body tight to the top, unwilling to let go.
“Hey you scoundrels! You dare pretend to be disabled and read for free?! You must not want to live anymore! Come here so I can take care of you!”
“You big idiot! Your hand is supposed to be injured! How are you going to explain hugging the table like that?!” Rain grabbed a book and chucked it at Wind. The big book smacked into him like a brick.
Jier and Pei Qing were also angry; this fool just ruined their plan! Both of them threw a book at him.
While Wind was dodging the attacks, Jier grabbed Feng Wu and ran. Rain and Pei Qing were right behind them. Wind was a little slower.
Naturally the moment they made a move the guards gave chase.
“Hey! Stay still! Stop running!”
“You sons of a bitches! You think you can get away?!”
Even the librarian got in on the chase. He and the four imperial guards from Lady Minerva made a fierce team. They were catching up, getting closer and closer.
Jier and the guys weren’t stupid. After running around the library some, they made for the entrance. Who made a library with only one entrance?! Not even a single back door!
The only way out was the entrance, but Lady Minerva was blocking the door.
This wasn’t a problem for Jier. He unhesitatingly shoved her out of the way and ran straight through. Lady Minerva teetered left and right, clearly about to fall over. Pei Qing had no choice but to reach out and grab her so she wouldn’t fall.
“Be careful miss.” After uttering this sentence he immediately made to continue his escape. Unexpectedly, despite looking like she had no fighting abilities, she managed to grab Pei Qing’s hand and hold on to him.
“Hold on moment! Stay with this lady!” With a simple gaze, Lady Minerva directed a strong, powerfully built man to come forward.
He immediately stepped up and grabbed Pei Qing, who was now very frightened, and promptly tied him up. Any opening for escape vanished.
Jier and the others took advantage of Pei Qing’s sacrifice and escaped.
“Well that worked out. Lady Minerva saved us the trouble of deciding who’ll be the guy in the “male honey trap.” Wind spoke out from his hiding place behind the library doors. He patted his chest in relief. Lucky. Now his heart could relax.
“Pei Qing is truly amazing. Only just met and he managed to make her head over heels.” Jier phrased Pei Qing for his efficiency.
“We don’t have to save him?” Feng Wu had heard Pei Qing shout for help. She looked at everyone’s indifferent faces as she seriously pondered a rescue plan.
“There’s no need to save him. The mission still needs to be completed. He’ll understand. Let’s leave; we don’t want to interrupt their bonding.” The captain had made his decision.
Three days later a notice caught the attention of all the adventurers who were in Souya for the mission. It said Lady Minerva and Sir Germaine’s wedding was cancelled. She would be marrying Pei Qing.
The adventures who missed their chance complained to each other.
“Damn! Whoever they are, they’re badasses! We were all going to wait for the wedding day to kidnap the bride!”
“Right?! I was also going to make a scene at the wedding. I even brought my brothers. Can’t believe they cancelled it already! What do you think happened?”
Yifu had taken the notice and rushed to Zi Cheng’s room. “Xiao Cheng. Take a look. This is the task you refused. Look how fast it was completed.”
Zi Cheng and Yifu had of course seen the mission back at Zhongyang. But the premise made Zi Cheng uncomfortable so Yifu didn’t press her and they had left without registering for the mission.
“Someone completed it?” Zi Cheng stopped combing her hair and looked up at Yifu.
“So vicious! Destroying a relationship for money! What scoundrels!” Yifu had a low opinion of the adventurers who completed the mission.
“I heard Feng Wu took the mission. Do you suppose it was her?” Jasmine had entered the room while Yifu and Zi Cheng were talking.
Jasmine had nursed a deep grudge against Feng Wu ever since that day at the girls’ dorm. She hated Jier too, but he was too strong and out of her reach. When she snooped around she had discovered he was nobility from the kingdom of Yanai. As a result Jasmine had to shift all her hatred to Feng Wu. In her heart, Feng Wu was the culprit and the instigator of everything.
Yifu had been around Zi Cheng for so long she had picked up many of Zi Cheng’s personality traits. Yifu voiced her opinion. “No, does she really have the ability? I heard a lot of people took the mission. Those who accepted it really have no sense of decency or moral character.”
Jasmine sat down and sneered. “Feng Wu picked up the mission. Her and anyone else who picked it up are all absolute scum.”
“Let’s not talk about that anymore. We should go see Sir Germaine. He must be so broken-hearted right now. We are comrades who’ve shared fate.”
Zi Cheng had been on the road to Souya when a young master decided it would be a good idea to harass her. Sir Germaine happened to pass by and helped her. Although they were unlikely to cross paths again, in the short time they had forged a bond and parted as friends.
Feng Wu had no idea Jasmine was in Souya. Her team had rushed to the branch guild as soon as they saw the notice. While their registration was at the main branch in Zhongyang, they could check in at any branch location.
The clerk handed them the two hundred thousand reward once he verified their team was the one that completed the mission. The four people were very happy. They divided the gold amongst themselves. As for Pei Qing, well he was with Lady Minerva. He had to be very well loved and coddled by her. With that kind of wealth and attention, how could he begrudge them the measly ten thousand that was formerly his share?
An unexpected visitor arrived just as they were about to make their way back to Zhongyang.
“Were you guys going to leave your companion behind?” The voice was cold and bitter.
“No, no. We were going to go back and wait for you at Zhongyang. Rest assured we have your share right here.” Wind was quietly crying in his heart. (Goodbye extra ten thousand. Seriously Pei Qing, why did you have to come back now? This Lady Minerva. How could she not have the ability to hang onto you properly?!)
“Yeah we have it right here!”
“Yeah welcome back.”
Rain and Jier also welcomed him back without missing a beat. Their sadness at the lost ten thousand gold coins completely hidden.
Pei Qing knew them too well to be deceived though.
“Pei Qing, you’re back.” Feng Wu said with a faint smile on her face, genuinely welcoming him back. She hadn’t seen him in a few days.
“You lot, the only one happy to see me back is Xiao Wu.” It was clear from his face he wasn’t fooled for a minute.
Rain suddenly came up with a clever plan. “Brother Qing, sit down. You’re probably tired and hungry. Escaping must have been hard. I’ll go right now and have the kitchen whip up a few dishes for you.” She would use the excuse of getting food to go out and bring Lady Minerva. Pei Qing would surely be taken away and the ten thousand would be theirs again.
“If you dare rat me out to anyone, I will break your legs. So I’d recommend you sit down.” Pei Qing said with a completely straight face.
(Motherfucker! This guy!)
“Lady Minerva will be looking for me so we need to get out of here fast.” Pei Qing tapped his finger on the table trying to think.
“Alright. Let’s pack up and leave immediately.” Jier had a no-nonsense approach. No use in crying over lost money.
Pei Qing put on a disguise as everyone packed up. Shortly afterwards they left for the transportation array.
Unfortunately the array was heavily guarded. Everyone who tried to get in were closely examined before they were allowed to enter.
Wind stopped a random passerby and asked. “Big brother, how come there are so many guards for the array? Did something happen?”
“Oh you didn’t hear. Lady Minerva’s lover ran away. Don’t know what that guy is thinking. The beautiful Lady Minerva takes a liking to him and instead of rejoicing, he runs away. How can he even call himself a man? Running away, now that’s the kind of move a silly girl would pull. My wife does that once every year. To reject such a good marriage, what’s wrong with him? He even made Lady Minerva angry.
“They’re here to catch him. Lady Minerva will overlook the matter of him running away if he returns home. She is such a good woman! That abominable lover of hers, how dare he not properly treasure her!” said the man with obvious scorn towards Pei Qing.
“Right! I almost forgot. There’s a three hundred thousand gold reward for anyone who returns him. But he must not be harmed in anyway. I really want to catch that guy. I can make three hundred thousand gold!”
Little did he know; Pei Qing was standing right in front of him.
“Do you know what he looks like?” Wind asked.
“Who doesn’t?! There are posters of him all over town!”
The stranger resumed walking around after their chat. He, like everyone else, was intent on catching Pei Qing!
Pei Qing silently thanked his lucky stars that he put on a disguise before leaving the hotel. He even dyed his hair black like Feng Wu. With his already dark eyes and eastern dress it made him look like someone from the ancient eastern countries.
Unless Lady Minerva came in person, no one was likely to recognize him, at least not based on the posters.
They decided to go to a restaurant and regroup after this new information. The waiter left them alone in their private room after taking their orders.
Feng Wu looked around the restaurant while the other three, Wind, Rain and Jier looked incredibly pleased with themselves.
“You want to turn me in for the reward huh?” Pei Qing didn’t beat around the bush. He hadn’t moved since they sat down and was unexpectedly calm about the whole affair.
“You know it. But don’t feel like we’re wronging you; it’s for the good of the team.” The gauntlet was thrown.
“That’s the thing though, I do feel wronged. You guys intend to turn me in for the reward. But you’re forgetting something. Lady Minerva likes me a great deal. What if I say something to her? You guys could easily become other people’s prey.” Pei Qing was a strategist and he knew what made his companions tick.
“You’re ruthless.” Jier and the others let the matter drop. There was no way they would convince Pei Qing to voluntarily turn himself in.
Though the atmosphere wasn’t good, the meal was delicious. They didn’t dare try the transportation array again because of all the guards there.
After talking it over, everyone agreed to go to the badlands until things calmed down.
The badlands, where ancient conflicts between gods and demons were waged, were formally known as Demonic Battlegrounds. There were many such battlegrounds throughout the world.
Back then the two races often warred with each other and used the human world as a stage for their battles. The human world would be thrown into chaos every time they fought.
Remnants of their battles remained even to this day. There were artifacts, magical beast eggs, and other mysterious items. It wasn’t just easy treasure however. There were also corpses of the fallen and the grievances they left behind. Though time dissipated their intensity, they still lingered enough to harm those who entered. In fact countless masters lost their lives in the badlands every year.
This unique place full of opportunity and danger was perfect for building experience.
With her current strength, Feng Wu would only be able to move around the periphery of the badlands.
“It’s been so many days already. How much farther is it?” Rain complained as she sat on a rock.
They had been travelling for the past week since they left the restaurant. The badlands weren’t too far from the Souya Kingdom, so despite the danger many royals went there to find treasures and to gain experience.
Wind also complained. “How can people say this is nearby?!”
Pei Qing pulled out the map. “Let’s check where we are on the map.” After checking their location he said, “It looks like we’re still two days away. But there is a town up ahead. We can stop there and rest.”
“Alright. We’ll keep going. We’ll eat something good once we reach the town.” Jier took Feng Wu’s hand and gave everyone a meaningful glance. (You guys better keep up.)
Three hours later…
They still hadn’t reached the town but they did reach a hotel.
“Thank goodness! Captain, can we stop here?”
The trio looked to Jier with hope in their eyes. The hotel was a godsend.
“Dear customers, are you here to rest or have a meal?” A waiter greeted them the moment they stepped inside.
Those who stopped at the inn were either going to or returning from the badlands, not the kind of people to be trifled with. They put the waiter on edge and he was always careful when serving them.
“Meals and lodgings. Two double rooms, one single room. For food, whatever your house specialties are. And make it fast; we’re starving.” Wind rubbed his belly as he considered what to order.
All they had had on the journey were steamed buns, steamed buns, and more steamed buns. He was sick and tired of them! He didn’t understand how Xiao Wu could eat them with such a happy expression on her face.
The waiter said, “I will prepare them right away,” as he brought them over to a table.
“I can finally eat a decent meal!” Rain said as she slumped into her seat weakly.
“Aren’t these our junior classmates? Didn’t expect to see you all here.”
Feng Wu’s team turned at the voice.
It was Ming Xi and his team! There were some new additions though. Sitting with them were Zi Cheng, Jasmine, and Yifu.
Zi Cheng and Ming Xi’s team were together because they had run into each other while visiting Sir Germaine. The two groups quickly realized everyone was a student at Xingguang Holy Academy. Somehow the conversation turned to the badlands; Ming Xi explained they were heading there to gain experience. This interested Zi Cheng and she asked if they minded travelling together for a bit. Zi Cheng was charming and easily gave a good first impression, so of course Ming Xi and his group were fine with it. If she was coming along, so too would her group, thus the present situation.
It was an unhappy coincidence for both Ming Xi and Jier. Who would have guessed they would run into each other so soon after just parting at the restaurant?
On the other hand Feng Wu was quite happy, as evinced by the glow of happiness shining like sparkles from her eyes.
Ming Xi coughed awkwardly as he turned his head away. Although he experienced her gazes before, he was still uncomfortable. The pressure was too intense.
“Hey! What a surprise. It’s the seniors from captain and Xiao Wu’s school. Are you all going to the badlands too?” Pei Qing exclaimed.
“Yeah we are. What a coincidence,” replied Luis.
“Come, come. Let’s put the two tables together.” Elena walked over to Feng Wu and enthusiastically pulled her along.
Wind and Pei Qing moved to obey and shifted the tables together.
Once everything was settled everyone sat down. Elena sat next to Feng Wu. She was like a molester, rubbing Feng Wu’s hair and pinching her cheeks.
“Sister Elena you’re being unsightly! Please stop bullying Xiao Wu!” Jier had to say something; he couldn’t take it anymore. She was clingy like this too when they first met. (Isn’t she supposed to be a vixen? Wait hold on… she’s never actually been linked to a guy romantically. Don’t tell me it’s all a lie and she’s actually into girls?!) Jier began to seriously wonder if perhaps Elena preferred girls.
The more he thought about it, the darker his face became.
“I say, for first-years you guys have a lot of guts going to the badlands on your own.” Gerasi gulped down a large mouthful of drink. He sounded disapproving.
“No worries. We don’t intend to actually go inside. We’re going to just walk around the perimeter and pick up the things we find there.” Rain said as she laughed cutely while staring starstruck at them. (Wow. Every one of them is looks so amazing. Really worthy of being students at Xingguang Holy Academy.)
Gerasi was not soothed by Rain’s reply. “I don’t think you guys understand. Even if you are just walking the perimeter, it’s still very dangerous. You can lose your life there.” He thought the freshmen this year were too crazy and audacious. They clearly didn’t understand how dangerous the area was. Only first-years and they wanted to waltz around the badlands.
Even Zi Cheng and her friends, his group had only allowed them to tag along because they were afraid for the girls’ safety. Otherwise they would never have willingly carried such a burden.
They had a gross overestimation of their own abilities. Gerasi deeply resented them, but at the same time he couldn’t abandon them and let them endanger themselves.
“Ah forget it. You guys are just like Zi Cheng. You can come with us but you have to follow our orders. OK?” Elena fiercely smushed Feng Wu’s cheeks with her palms, moving her head left and right, making Feng Wu’s lips purse like a fish. Her own plump melons jiggled back and forth with the effort. However it was wasted eye candy as present company didn’t know how to appreciate the view.
“We can really tag along with you guys?” Rain was excited. She turned to Feng Wu and Elena and enthusiastically commented. “This’ll be so great! Xiao Wu, now you and Senior Ming Xi can practice and gain experience together!”
“Yes.” Feng Wu nodded happily. There was the faint thread of a smile on her usually expressionless face.
Yifu thought Feng Wu was a pretender who liked to act innocent and naïve. Her dislike for Feng Wu hadn’t changed since the school assessment weeks ago. If anything, Feng Wu had only risen to become her arch nemesis, so of course she immediately spoke out against the idea. “Senior Sister Elena, do you really want them to come with us? We don’t know how strong they are. What if they hold us back?”
Tian Yu, who had been silent the entire time, opened his mouth to cut Yifu’s argument down. “And you think you’re qualified?”
“Pfft!” Gerasi and Luis had to try really hard not to laugh out loud.
Zi Cheng was such a beautiful and charming, graceful junior who didn’t hesitate to help the poor people they bumped into along the way. Her two companions on the other hand…
Yifu always had something critical to say; she had no charm whatsoever. The other one, Jasmine, liked to act aloof and snooty. Even when she was helping Zi Cheng with the people they met, she managed to do so in a condescending way.
Gerasi and Luis couldn’t understand how Zi Cheng could be friends with Yifu and Jasmine. They could only admire her mental fortitude in being able to put up with the two girls.
“Please forgive Yifu, Senior Tian Ya. She didn’t mean any harm by it.” Zi Cheng pulled Yifu’s hand to stop her from saying any more.
Zi Cheng easily read the atmosphere and apologized on Yifu’s behalf. She had lived a lifetime and was skilled at reading people’s expressions. Things would turn sour if Yifu kept talking.
The seniors were kind enough to travel on the journey thus far with them. Zi Cheng had said at the start her group would part ways with them once they reached the badlands, but secretly she knew it wouldn’t happen.
She was banking on the seniors’ kindness to not abandon them to roam on their own, and therefore bring them into the deeper parts of the badlands. This was important. She needed to go deep into the badlands.
A month ago she had found a strange metal sheet on the streets. She decided to investigate by dripping a drop of her blood on it. A map of the badlands appeared when she did so. It marked the tomb of a fallen god from ancient times.
Originally Zi Cheng hadn’t intended to pursue it, but then she bumped into the seniors. If she could accompany them, then finding the treasure became possible. She kept the existence of the map and treasure a secret.