Bai Rui slept for a day and night before he woke up. During this period, Cheng Nuo couldn’t help but check his breathing twice and he also told Liu Guang to be quieter when he moved around.
Because Bai Rui was sleeping on the bed, Cheng Nuo laid a pallet on the floor that night and squeezed into it with Liu Guang. Cheng Nuo thought that Liu Guang and Bai Rui should sleep together on the bed but when he suggested it, Liu Guang scowled. He clenched his fists and glared at Bai Rui, wanting to throw him out into the street. Cheng Nuo gently stroked him on the back to coax him to sleep. He was like a little firecracker that was about to explode.
It was already afternoon of the next when Bai Rui woke up. Cheng Nuo watched his clear and bright eyes open and couldn’t help but smile: “Bai Rui, you’re awake? You must be hungry, right?”
Because Bai Rui was staying with them, Liu Guang felt uneasy and stayed at home with Cheng Nuo, never stepping foot outside. When he heard those words, he rolled his eyes to show his dissatisfaction.
Bai Rui was a little embarrassed. He had never slept in someone else’s bed before. It was unusual for him to actually be able to relax and even sleep in front of other people. But no matter how uncomfortable he felt, he didn’t want to show it in front of Liu Guang, so he just nodded his head calmly.
Cheng Nuo smiled and hurriedly lit a fire to cook something. Liu Guang glared at Bai Rui in a provocative manner. When Cheng Nuo wasn’t looking in their direction, Liu Guang slid his hand across his neck in a threatening gesture. Bai Rui just watched him calmly, with a look in his eyes that clearly showed that he thought this was “boring.” The lack of reaction and indifference made Liu Guang hate him all the more.
Cheng Nuo finished cooking the food very quickly. As they ate in silence, the atmosphere was quite strange and strained. Normally, whenever Liu Guang ate, he gobbled the food up rapidly until his cheeks bulged. While he was gorging himself, he would excitedly use his hands to gesture while telling Cheng Nuo about how his hunting that day had gone. Right now though, he was just eating. Now he was just eating without speaking. When Bai Rui’s chopsticks moved to the right, Liu Guang deliberately stretched his hand to his left to block his movement.
Cheng Nuo had been wondering how to ask Bai Rui about the Ice Snake while she was filling Liu Guang’s bowl with some food. Aware of Bai Rui’s germ phobia, he didn’t give him any food directly. As a result, he was in a daze for a while before noticing that the two people in front of him were battling each other with their chopsticks! This immediately gave him a headache. How come these two, who normally acted like miniature adults when started acting like kids the moment they were together?
Bai Rui threw his chopsticks on the table and said: “I don’t eat other people’s saliva.”
Liu Guang suddenly jumped up and threw his chopsticks a great distance outside the door. He sneered: “I don’t give a ****!”
Cheng Nuo’s lips twitched. He quickly got two more pairs of chopsticks for both of them and adjusted the position of the dishes on the table. The vegetarian ones were placed on Bai Rui’s side while the meat was placed on Liu Guang’s side.
With the air of a person who was acting righteously, Liu Guang pushed the rice bowl in his direction: “Cheng Nuo, I want to eat that meat roll.”
Cheng Nuo placed one on his rice bowl and smiled at Bai Rui: “Bai Rui, eat something.”
Bai Rui’s chopsticks paused for a moment before putting a bit of Chinese cabbage into his bowl.
Cheng Nuo saw that he was eating very little and always took from just the two dishes in front of him. He smiled and said: “Bai Rui, eat some meat dishes, too.”
Bai Rui quickly scanned the table and said with an expressionless face: “That meat roll looks good.”
The plate was far from where Bai Rui was sitting so Cheng Nuo picked one up with his chopsticks then, seeing that Bai Rui didn’t look like he was disgusted, put the meat roll in his bowl. Bai Rui slowly lowered his head and his ears became slightly hotter.
Liu Guang angrily grabbed the plate and put the remaining two slices in Cheng Nuo’s bowl: “Eat quickly! Always giving other people food, aren’t you hungry?”
Cheng Nuo looks at Liu Guang with some gratification. The child really knew how to treat his elders with consideration.
After dinner Cheng Nuo tidied up the bowls and chopsticks and pushed Liu Guang into the yard to practice writing the latest poetry he had taught him, leaving Cheng Nuo alone in the room with Bai Rui.
He had spent some time with Bai Rui so Cheng Nuo felt that he knew him quite well. This child had a lot of serious matters on his mind and if Cheng Nuo asked him some question, he probably wouldn’t answer if Liu Guang was there. However, even if they were alone, he still wasn’t sure if the child would choose to confide in him.
The room seemed suddenly too quiet and Bai Rui seemed to be uncomfortable. His eyes slid away from Cheng Nuo a bit then he suddenly untied the short sword from his waist and threw it to Cheng Nuo: “Here, this is for you.”
Cheng Nuo’s conditioned reflexes made him catch the weapon automatically. He said, puzzled: “What?” The sword looked small but it was quite heavy so the hand that he had used to catch it was dragged down by its weight.
“I’m leaving this place,” said Bai Rui calmly. “You don’t have to worry about the ice snake.”
Cheng Nuo was shocked: “Are you leaving because of what happened to your house? You really went looking for that snake alone!”
Bai Rui explained it as simply as he could: “I lead the Ice Snake to a river thousands of miles away. I sealed its vision and it was washed away by the river. There’s no way it can return to this place. I’m leaving here because I want to go to other places to cultivate. Those people have nothing to do with it.”
Cheng Nuo was shocked to hear that he had led the Ice Snake a merry chase thousands of miles. He guessed that Bai Rui must not have slept for several days. No wonder he was so exhausted! He gave the silver-haired child a look full of distress then glanced down at the sword in his hand. Why did Bai Rui give him his sword?
In fact, it would be good if Bai Rui left this slum since there was a lot of trouble brewing here. Cheng Nuo planned to prepare for two years and then take Liu Guang with him to look for more opportunities outside the slums.
Bai Rui lowered his eyes. His silver hair covered his eyes and his speech sped up a little: “It looks like you have the wood elemental ability. The wood element’s attacks are not very powerful. Anyway, a nosy person like you is always courting death. This short sword won’t be of much use to me. It would be better to supply you with a means of self-defense.”
Cheng Nuo was speechless. Who’s a nosy person? He thought Bai Rui wasn’t quite telling the truth, so he handed the short sword back to him and said, “There’s a lot of danger out there. This short sword won’t be of much use to me. You have to take care of yourself.”
“If you don’t like it, throw it away. I don’t want it anyway.” Bai Rui’s tone was slightly stiff. He turned around and walked outside.
Cheng Nuo hurriedly grabbed him and said helplessly: “You’re leaving just like that? Where the hell are you even going? Do you have any money or food on you?”
Bai Rui, who was grabbed by him, said coldly, “I’m a wanderer. Those things don’t pose a problem for me.”
Cheng Nuo couldn’t have said why, but he felt that there was anger in Bai Rui’s seemingly expressionless tone of voice. Helplessly, he stroked his forehead. This noble and virtuous child was so awkward. He’s the type who is outwardly cold but passionate inside. How could he survive in this cruel world?
He smiled and said: “Since you’re leaving, we should divide the food that we got together.”
Anyone could see that the short sword was very expensive. It just goes to show that in Bai Rui’s heart, he already regarded Cheng Nuo as a friend. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have taken the trouble to come and say goodbye or manufacture an excuse to give him the sword…
Cheng Nuo took the interspatial storage bag full of food and pulled out some flour, rice, and vegetables from it, leaving most of it behind. Then he put some energy coins in it then tied it firmly to Bai Rui’s waist.
He couldn’t help but sigh and say a few more words: “Be careful when you go outside, don’t always talk so cold and offend people. Don’t harm other people but also be on guard against other people’s bad intentions…”
Bai Rui’s calm facade almost cracked. Frowning, he said: “You don’t have to lecture me; you should worry about yourself.” Suddenly he looked up at Cheng Nuo. His eyes were clear and bright and his golden pupils seemed to glow.
Cheng Nuo couldn’t help but reach out and put his hand on the top of Bai Rui’s head. Seeing that Bai Rui didn’t dodge, Cheng Nuo stroked his head twice. It felt different from the soft hair on Liu Guang’s forehead. Bai Rui’s hair was smooth and straight and very nice to the touch. Cheng Nuo’s smile showed his two tiger teeth. “Alright, be careful and have a good trip.”
Bai Rui went stiff. Never in his life had anyone spoken to him in such a gentle tone. His ears instantly turned red. He turned around, saying: “I’m leaving.”
Cheng Nuo wanted to see him off, but Bai Rui was too fast for him. By the time he got to the door, Bai Rui had already left. Cheng Nuo sighed. In this crazy, dangerous world, the weak are lucky to be able to take care of themselves and can’t look after other people. He could only pray that Bai Rui will be lucky and can stay safe and sound while he trains.
Bai Rui walked to the village entrance. His heartbeat was still a little faster than normal. When those black eyes looked at him with concern, he suddenly felt a strange, unfamiliar tension that he had never felt before. He reached out and touched the storage bag on his waist. Although he knew it was from Bai Zhi, he felt no disgust and wondered why.
A sharp whistling sound cut through the air. Bai Rui looked around cautiously then used both his feet to jump high up into a tree to avoid the attack. The arrow from a crossbow hit the place where he had been.
Liu Guang sat lazily on another tree a few feet away. Swinging his legs, he put away the crossbow, sneering: “You dodge fast.”
Bai Rui said indifferently: “Regarding sneak attacks, I’ve always been fast at dodging them.”
Liu Guang slowly stood up, arms crossed over his chest, his expression threatening: “There’s something I have to make clear to you. Cheng Nuo is mine. Get too close to him and I’ll kill you.”
He knew that Bai Rui didn’t know that Cheng Nuo was female, but he was still very upset. Cheng Nuo didn’t notice it, but he did. Just now this kid deliberately prodded Cheng Nuo to serve him a meat roll… He gnashed his teeth.
Bai Rui examined Liu Guang carefully then spoke in his voice that was always calm: “You’re too weak.”
Liu Guang’s glare was as fierce as a wolf’s as he sneered: “Then try it!”
Bai Rui quickly used the light element to create a bow and shot five or six arrows. Liu Guang vigorously jumped among the trees to avoid them but the light arrows followed him and the last one struck the crossbow in his hand, cutting it in half.
Bai Rui slowly retracted the light arrows then said with no expression on his face: “Wait until you’re able to use your abilities then you can compare your strength with mine. There’s no comparison between us now.”
Watching Bai Rui’s figure slowly receding in the distance, Liu Guang’s body trembled slightly with anger but, at the same time, he felt a little discouraged.
Indeed, he was completely ignorant of the uses of power, just as Bai Rui had said…
He must become stronger, much stronger!
He wants to protect Cheng Nuo, Cheng Nuo is his!
- 白菜心 – it’s literally “Chinese cabbage heart.” It looks it’s a fresh, crisp Chinese cabbage stir-fried side dish. I think “heart” means the middle part but from what I searched the recipes do use the whole cabbage. Do you dislike images? Should I continue to put images of the food and weapons/items?
- 肉卷 – meat roll. Traditionally a sort of pork meatloaf. An image search shows a lot of different varieties now such as bacon-wrapped meat rolls, garlic meat rolls, etc. Looks delish!
- “I’m a wanderer.” – Bai Rui described himself as 四海为家. Literally, it means “to regard the four corners of the world all like home.”
- This noble and virtuous child was so awkward. – 清高 means both “noble and virtuous” as well as “aloof from politics and material pursuits.”
- This chapter marks the end of volume one. Thank you for reading! See you in volume two.