Note: Everything above this is an announcement by Creative Novels. It’s not written by me (Reika). So if you read something like “I’ve been sick” that isn’t me. That’s the owner of Creative Novels.
Chapter 33 – Never Marry A Man With Two Tintins
When Cheng Nuo walked out of the Qinghua Sect’s gates, he was startled to see Liu Guang rushing in from the side where he had been waiting.
Cheng Nuo complained, “It’s getting dark… Didn’t I ask you to wait for me at the restaurant? You have a test tomorrow!”
The two of them walked back to the restaurant together. Cheng Nuo showed Liu Guang his waist token. Liu Guang was happy at first but then frowned and said, “Level four? Bai Cao Yuan doesn’t sound like such a great place.” Of course, he would prefer it if Cheng Nuo lived with him since he was afraid that Cheng Nuo would be bullied.
Cheng Nuo laughed and said, “Don’t underestimate Bai Cao Yuan. Although the work is harder here, their cultivation techniques are good.”
Then Liu Guang explained the rules of the test the applicants would be taking the next day. They were given twenty-four hours to find one of the 150 black iron tokens hidden in an area of a forest that was marked off for the test.
There were two hundred applicants but only 150 tokens. This means that only a maximum of 150 people will be able to pass the test.
The rules of the test were quite dangerous. It’s not as simple as just finding the hidden tokens. Based on the attitude of the people of this world, they would definitely fight each other for the tokens and many wouldn’t hesitate to kill during the test!
The applicants would have to make their way through an area that was 35 to 40 kilometers wide. In other words, Liu Guang wouldn’t just need to find a token, he would also have to be on guard against ferocious beasts and other people. He was going to have to fight for his life!
The more Cheng Nuo thought about it, the more his heart ached with worry, and the tighter his hold on Liu Guang’s hand became. He almost wanted to ask him to give up now.
Liu Guang patted his chest carelessly, “Don’t worry, this isn’t difficult.” He just needs to treat those people as enemies and the tokens as prey.
Cheng Nuo still didn’t feel at ease and repeatedly told Liu Guang not to get too excited and transform. Also, he emphasized that Liu Guang shouldn’t act recklessly since he could always try again next year. Cheng Nuo had been pleased with being accepted into the sect but now he regretted that he wouldn’t be able to accompany Liu Guang during the test.
Liu Guang listened for a while then shouted impatiently, “I know! Stop fussing!”
Cheng Nuo looked around first then lowered his head towards Liu Guang and said, “Be careful.”
The two of them were so close that Liu Guang could feel Cheng Nuo’s gentle, warm breath on his face. Liu Guang’s face suddenly turned red as a tomato. He looked down shyly and said, “I will.”
Weapons are allowed in the competition area but nothing else can be brought in, including food. Liu Guang slept soundly in Cheng Nuo’s arms that night. The next morning, Cheng Nuo, with dark circles under his eyes, got up early to cook some dishes for Liu Guang in the restaurant’s kitchen to make sure that he could eat until he was full.
In order to reassure Cheng Nuo, Liu Guang took the short sword even though he didn’t like it.
Cheng Nuo felt like a parent sending his child off to the college entrance exams. He watched Liu Guang follow the crowd into the test area then went back in a despondent mood.
He has to report back to Bai Cao Yuan tomorrow so he wouldn’t even be able to wait for the test results to come out.
Despite his worries, Cheng Nuo had to keep his spirits up. He bought some snacks and gave them to the bookkeeper to thank him for taking care of him and Liu Guang. He also bought two sets of clothes that were slightly better than the ones Liu Guang had now, folded them neatly, then placed it on his bed. Thinking of Liu Guang’s current appearance, it was unlikely that it was good to look at.
Liu Guang has snuck into the depths of the forest. The other people who entered the test area were also in hiding. He carefully kept watch over his surroundings as he traveled across the test area. Soon he discovered some footprints in the moss that had probably been left by the disciples who had prepared the test area.
He carefully examined rocks and grass around him and climbed more than 10 tall trees. Finally, he saw a flash of light reflecting off a piece of metal in a huge nest— it was the black iron token!
The young birds in the nest were the size of an adult chicken. They had needle-sharp beaks and beady eyes. Liu Guang wasn’t familiar with this type of bird. After pondering what he should do, he climbed up carefully. The young birds’ hearing was very sharp and when they noticed Liu Guang climbing up, they immediately screeched loudly.
Liu Guang’s heart sank. He quickly jumped towards the nest and pulled out the black iron token. Three young birds rushed towards him to try to peck him with their pointed beaks but Liu Guang only looked at them disdainfully as he slid down the trunk of the tree.
Unexpectedly, he hadn’t yet landed on the ground when he heard the sound of wind whistling behind his back and the calling of a bird. Knowing that danger was near, he gracefully and skillfully leaped onto another branch as quietly as he could. Thus, when the bird flew to the branch he had been on, Liu Guang was no longer there.
It was an adult Luan bird, a level two spirit beast. Its wingspan was more than one meter long and its claws were as sharp as hooks.
Liu Guang stood steadily on the branch with his fists clenched. Bending down, he stared at the Luan with his wolf-like green eyes. The Luan was reluctant to screech at him. Eventually, it flew away.
Liu Guang snorted and carefully put the black iron token away close to his body. He knew that Cheng Nuo must be worrying about him so he decided to leave right away to end this boring test as soon as possible.
He settled on a piece of soft ground to land on and jumped down. While his body was still in the air, he suddenly heard a sound. He quickly drew the short sword that was strapped on his leg to block the approaching arrow. The force of that arrow’s strike was quite strong. He landed jumped back and landed solidly on his feet.
“Little imp, you’re pretty fast.” Two males in their 20s who were dressed in expensive robes came out from behind a tree. One was holding a bow and arrow while the other was wielding an exquisite saber.
The archer looked at Liu Guang and smiled, “Little imp, hand over the black iron token and we will let you live.”
Liu Guang snorted. There was no fear in his eyes as he looked at the two men and said, “You don’t have the ability to threaten me.” A quarter of an hour later, Liu Guang had a corpse lying on the ground under his feet. He slowly lifted the short sword and walked towards the other person.
The man coughed up blood and cried out in horror. “Sir, please forgive me! I beg you to spare this unworthy person!”
Liu Guang looked at him in disgust. This cowardly idiot was clearly the scion of a noble family. Liu Guang was afraid that killing him would stain his hands. His face expressionless, he sheathed his short sword. He smiled and pointed at something above them. “I won’t kill you. I’m guessing these birds need food.”
He had a slight injury but it did not hinder his movements so he was ready to leave and set off at a brisk pace.
The man looked up in horror. He hadn’t noticed when they appeared but now he saw that there were now dozens of Luan birds around him. Their wings blocked the sunlight and they were staring at him with their yellow-green eyes. He didn’t know how long the birds had been watching him. He looked at their sharp claws and suddenly remembered that just one of those birds could catch a wild boar!
“You’re a devil!” The man shouted at the top of his voice, “You bas***d! You’ll surely come to a bad end!”
Liu Guang heard countless flapping wings and screams behind him but he didn’t look back. He walked on briskly. He was very glad that Cheng Nuo had not come with him, otherwise, Cheng Nuo would have been frightened and Liu Guang wouldn’t have been able to act so mercilessly.
When he thought of Cheng Nuo, his heartfelt warm and he started walking a bit faster.
Liu Guang didn’t plan to look for trouble which would only cause him to delay his exit. He carefully avoided both people and beasts as he traveled. Looking at the sun’s height in the sky to check the time, he rubbed his belly that had started growl and decided to go find something to eat.
This forest was rich in spiritual energy, unlike the lands near the slums. Liu Guang would normally feel unhappy at a purely vegetarian meal but he was worried that roasting meat would attract both beasts and people so he gathered fruits and vegetables.
Based on his current speed, he should be able to exit the test area today. Maybe he would be fast enough to see Cheng Nuo who had to report back to Qinghua Sect tomorrow morning.
Liu Guang kept his ears open while he ate some large, red berries that were both sweet and sour at the same time. He picked a few more of the berries and wrapped it up in some leaves to give to Cheng Nuo later.
The wind brought some slight noise towards him. Liu Guang listened carefully for a while then frowned. He gathered the fruit into his shirt and slowly crept towards the source of the sound, hiding in the tall grass.
He quietly crouched down and carefully parted the grass to look at the source of the noise. What he saw almost made his hair stand on end.
Two big men were tearing the clothes off a thirteen to fourteen-year-old blue-haired female. There were two corpses behind them. Those were presumably the female’s companions.
The blue-haired teenager’s hands were tied to a tree and was struggling very hard to break free. The female pleaded, “Please, let me go. I’ll give you the token and everything else I have…”
The two men just continued to touch the female and talk dirty. One laughed and said “What kind of competition does a female from a noble family like to participate in? It should be the type where the two of us can have a good time, right?”
The other laughed, too: “This one seems like a young female. I’ve never done it with a female this young. Brother, I’ll do it first and make sure he’s happy to open his legs. If you went first, your big thing might kill him right away…”
The young man had bright black eyes, a beautiful face that was streaming with tears, and his whole body was trembling. He looked like he was about to faint.
For Liu Guang, killing other people was normal in this kind of test, but treating a female like this was unbearable. What’s more, this female’s eyes reminded him of Cheng Nuo. If someone dared to try this with Cheng Nuo, he would certainly chop that person up and feed him to the dogs!
Liu Guang made up his mind and no longer hesitated. His footsteps silent, he crept closer then sprang up and stabbed a man in the back.
The big guy screamed but, after all, he did have some martial arts training. He quickly moved forward then rolled sideways to prevent Liu Guang from stabbing him again. The other man was also quick to respond. Not bothering to pull up his pants, the other man ran over to Liu Guang, sword in hand.
Liu Guang’s sword skills relied on his power of observation and his keen instincts, but the big guy had obviously had many years of real sword training. The other person’s defense was impenetrable. Liu Guang had to dodge his strikes and couldn’t hit the man for some time.
The injured man covered his chest with one hand and lay there panting for a while before getting up. The two men fought Liu Guang together, striking him left and right.
Liu Guang couldn’t dodge a sword strike. The front of his shirt was cut open, leaving a shallow wound. The fruit that he had wrapped up rolled to the ground.
Liu Guang was furious. With a loud yell, he jumped up and, holding the short sword in a two-handed grip, struck a mighty blow from above. He actually cut one of their swords in half. He followed this up with a kick and when the man fell on the ground, Liu Guang swiftly decapitated him with one blow. As the other man stared in shock, trembling, Liu Guang quickly stabbed him in the heart.
The young female was stunned. Shivering, he curled up into a ball.
Liu Guang was gasping for breath when he finished. He noticed that all the fruit had been either trampled or splashed with blood, no longer fit to be eaten.
He slowly walked over with his short sword in hand. The female was as frightened as though he had seen a demon and shouted, “What are you planning to do?”
Liu Guang didn’t answer. He cut the female’s bindings, awkwardly looking to the side so that he wouldn’t see the female’s bare legs. Then he sheathed the short sword and walked away. This wasn’t really any of his business and he doesn’t want any delays.
“Wait, wait…” The young female quickly put his torn pants back on. Crying, he looked towards Liu Guang’s back and begged, “Please take me out of here!”
Liu Guang hesitated. The female’s black eyes made it difficult for him to refuse. He waved a hand impatiently and turned around. “Fine, but don’t fall behind or cry! Otherwise, I’ll leave you right away!”
The youth quickly wiped away his tears and closed his mouth. Picking up his weapon, he silently followed behind Liu Guang. However, he couldn’t walk fast because of his injured leg that made him limp. Liu Guang impatiently cut a branch and threw it at him. At the speed they were going, when would they be able to exit the test area? Liu Guang estimated that they would have to stay inside overnight.
After walking for more than half an hour in the forest, the boy was finally emotionally stable. He whispered, “My name is Nan Cheng, what about you?”
Liu Guang was busy looking around for that kind of fruit he had found before and didn’t answer. Nan Cheng’s head drooped down dispiritedly.
That night, Liu Guang found a stone cave. He let Nan Cheng sleep inside it while he kept watch at the mouth of the cave, staring at the moon in a daze. If he had been alone, he would already be outside and would be sleeping with Cheng Nuo now, with their arms wrapped around each other. They were so comfortable sleeping like that, not to mention that he particularly liked Cheng Nuo’s scent…
Nan Cheng’s stomach growled a few times but he didn’t dare to complain. Liu Guang heard the noise and threw him a few fruits in a very impatient manner.
They spent the night silently and continued traveling the next day. Finally, they were able to finish the test a few hours shy of the time limit.
Liu Guang let out a sigh of relief. He found the disciple in charge and gave him the black iron token. After finding out that the third test would be in two days, he ran towards the restaurant, although he knew Cheng Nuo probably wouldn’t be there.
However, that was okay since he had some small injuries. Cheng Nuo would have fussed over this for a long time and it would be faster for him to take care of it.
Nan Cheng limped towards the disciple in charge and handed in the token. He made his way out of the crowd and wanted to thank his savior, only to find that the red-haired boy had already run off quite a distance. Nan Cheng hung his head down, disappointed and frustrated.
Meanwhile, Cheng Nuo returned to Bai Cao Yuan. Qinghua Sect’s entrance test was still in progress so everyone was very busy. Many of the Bai Cao Yuan disciples, including Ran Yang Shixiong who had shown them inside previously, had gone to take care of things regarding the venue so the newcomers didn’t have much to do.
Cheng Nuo absentmindedly cleaned his room, exchanged names with several other newcomers, and reported to Bai Cao Yuan’s steward.
The steward was a middle-aged man in his thirties named Li Qing. His cultivation wasn’t high but he was good at managing the place. He smiled at the new disciples “You can call me Brother Li and you don’t need to be too formal when you speak to me. As long as you finish the tasks assigned to you, you are free to cultivate the rest of the time. Bai Cao Yuan’s library is in the innermost room. Tonight, I will arrange for the kitchen to prepare a welcome feast for you. Ah, by the way, Cheng Nuo is fifteen years old, right?”
Cheng Nuo hadn’t expected to be singled out. He was surprised but quickly nodded his agreement. Li Qing looked Cheng Nuo up and down. “Hmm, actually you have beautiful eyes and fine features but that’s about it. Alright, I’ve recorded it. Only Nai Jui and Wang Hui are under fifteen, right?”
The other two teenagers nodded. In this world, a fifteen-year-old was an adult.
Li Qing said a few more words with a smile then told them they could leave.
Cheng Nuo was somewhat puzzled. What does his age matter? Is it because the younger you were, the more promising your future prospects are?
That evening he found out what it meant because someone climbed into his bed.
- Happy New Year, everyone!
- “35 to 40 kilometers wide” – The raw said 70-80 li. Li is an ancient unit of measurement so I converted it to km so that readers can understand it better.
- “They had needle-sharp beaks and beady eyes.” – 尖嘴利眼 (jiān zuǐ lì yǎn) Literally “pointed/needle beaks, sharp eyes.”
- “It was an adult Luan, a level two spirit beast.” 成年的二级魔兽鸾燕 (chéngnián de èr jí móshòu luán yàn) In cultivation novels, a spirit beast is a type of animal that can cultivate or an innate spiritual veins/talent. A luan is a mythological creature that looks like a bird. It’s similar to the Phoenix but while the Phoenix is red or flame colored, the Luan has blue plumage.
- “This cowardly idiot…” – 胆小如鼠 (dǎn xiǎo rú shǔ) “chicken-hearted; gutless” 草包 (cǎo bāo) “idiot; straw bag” A literal translation would be “this chicken-hearted straw bag” which is funny but weird.