Synopsis: A fast-paced story about a youngster who loses everything and everyone he holds dear. Through the only family that still remains with him, his uncle, he gets to choose to dedicate his focus and attention to blacksmithing rather than to fall into depression and street life...
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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 35 – Never Marry A Man With Two Tintins
Liu Guang’s opponent for the second match was obviously stronger than the one before. Cheng Nuo, still holding a tray, stood at one corner and watched nervously, his heart in his throat.
Up on the stage, Liu Guang was like a bright beacon that attracted everyone’s attention. He knew when to advance and when to retreat. Even when he was frustrated for a time, he was never too rash or impatient. He kept his eyes on his opponent, accurately judging his strong and weak points until he finally found an opening and kicked his opponent out of the arena.
Liu Guang could feel countless people staring at him but he knew which one was Cheng Nuo. He couldn’t help but allow the corners of his mouth to turn up in a smile as he retracted his right leg that he had used to kick his opponent out of the ring. He bowed to the people at the highest seats then casually walked down the platform.
Cheng Nuo felt distressed when he saw Liu Guang’s shoulder and arm wounds. Seeing that Liu Guang had suffered some minor wounds in the fight, Cheng Nuo quickly put his tray down and took out the medicine for wounds that he had prepared in advance.
There was a medical team responsible for treating the wounded applicants but since there were five fights held simultaneously, they naturally took care of the most badly wounded ones first. Some had broken arms and legs so Liu Guang was ignored at first. However, since Liu Guang didn’t like it when strangers touched him, he went straight to Cheng Nuo.
The two of them sat in the corner as Cheng Nuo carefully lifted Liu Guang’s clothes around his wound which, fortunately, wasn’t too deep. Liu Guang sat upright, muttering indifferently: “It’s just a scratch.”
Cheng Nuo ignored him. After checking for poison and seeing that there was none, Cheng Nuo applied the wound medicine. He only sighed in relief after the wound stopped bleeding. His mood was both happy yet sad. Liu Guang’s fights were finally over but, based on this ****ing world’s messed-up ways, this child would undoubtedly be expected to face more dangerous situations in the future.
This ****ing world!
Now that the trials were over, the results would be announced the next day. The applicants were assigned temporary accommodations. Liu Guang reluctantly bid farewell to Cheng Nuo, whispering: “I will find you when I’ve settled down.”
Cheng Nuo couldn’t help but smile. He hugged Liu Guang and rubbed his head. Later on, when Liu Guang was formally accepted as a disciple, he would already be considered too old for this type of thing.
Cheng Nuo did not meet Liu Guang again for the next three or five days, but his heart was calm. He expected Liu Guang to perform well and become at least a second level disciple.
It was currently Bai Cao Yuan’s busiest season. Hundreds of valuable medicinal herbs needed to be planted. Everyday Cheng Nuo worked hard and at night he was so tired that he didn’t even have the energy to dream. The rules of Bai Cao Yuan were quite strict. Disciples weren’t allowed to leave so he couldn’t find an opportunity to see Liu Guang.
Today’s task was to go to the forest behind Bai Cao Yuan to harvest fairy mushrooms, one of Qinghua Sect’s special products. It can only be planted at the root of a special tree and it was a very expensive delicacy that was popular among the nobility. Seven people, including Cheng Nuo, were tasked with harvesting it today.
That kind of tree was very tall and the fairy mushrooms grew around three to four meters up its trunk. Thus, they had to climb up and tie a rope to the trunk. To harvest the fairy mushrooms, they climbed up and down the trees all day long.
Cheng Nuo learned how to tie a rope around his waist to pick the mushroom. He used a sickle to carefully cut the mushrooms off then throw it into a basket. After a short time, he had already half-filled a basket.
Half an hour later, all of a sudden Wang Hui screamed, let go of the rope and fell down. All of them were surprised. The person closest to him exclaimed: “Crested snake! It’s a crested snake!”
Cheng Nuo looked over and saw a white snake with a red crest like a chicken’s comb biting Wang Hui’s finger. The snake sucked his blood quite fast. The snake’s white body quickly became redder and redder at a speed visible to the naked eye. Wang Hui had already fainted.
Everyone was shocked. Cheng Nuo, still holding his sickle, wanted to jump down to help.
An older disciple yelled at them: “This snake is extremely poisonous. We can’t save that boy. Don’t go near it. If you disturb it, we might suffer, too! Let’s leave now and inform manager Li of this first.”
Cheng Nuo glanced at him angrily. If he was bitten, would he want these people to leave him to die? Wang Hui was a fellow disciple who was still under the age of fifteen. Cheng Nuo took a deep breath, untied his rope and slowly slid down. The others were nervous when they saw what Cheng Nuo was doing.
Cheng Nuo poured the fairy mushrooms out of his basket. Holding the empty bamboo basket in his left hand and the sickle in his right hand, he moved forward slowly.
The crested snake was very alert. It immediately let go of Wang Hui’s finger and stared at Cheng Nuo with its red eyes.
Cheng Nuo’s palms were sweaty. He hated snakes, especially the kind that are cold and slippery. The last time he fought an ice snake was like a waking nightmare. He hadn’t expected to face a strange crested snake so soon.
The crested snake coiled itself up then sprang up. Cheng Nuo quickly and reflexively blocked the snake with the bamboo basket, trapping it on the ground. He hadn’t expected the snake to be able to jump up so high. He broke out into a cold sweat.
Seeing that the crested snake was trying to get out, Cheng Nuo swiftly cut it with his sickle. The crested snake’s head was cut off and its blood suddenly sprayed out.
Cheng Nuo staggered back. The blood almost got into his eyes and his heart was beating wildly.
When the others saw that he had finished the snake off, they were slow to react and jump down from the trees.
Cheng Nuo hurried to Wang Hui. Wang Hui’s finger had two distinct bite marks in the form of a big circle and his lips had already turned black and blue. The crested snake’s poison had obviously invaded his body but, fortunately, there was still a faint trace of breathing.
The older disciple just sighed again: “We can’t save him!”
Cheng Nuo remembered that the disciples of Bai Cao Yuan had the wood ability and could heal people. During the entrance test, he had seen disciples use their wood elemental abilities to treat the injured. Some of the disciples had been in Bai Cao Yuan for some time so they must have learned a few things.
He quickly asked: “Who among you can heal him?”
The expression on the faces of the people around him became embarrassed. One of them sighed and said: “If we had that sort of skill, would we have to do this kind of work? We are half an hour from the foot of the mountain. He won’t last that long.”
Cheng Nuo said angrily: “You should at least try to help! Let’s look for herbs that can help with the poison.”
Most of the others were still stunned out of their wits but Cheng Nuo’s words made them take action. They scattered to look for herbs. Cheng Nuo gritted his teeth and made a small cross-shaped cut on Wang Hui’s finger then squeezed it until the blood flowed out.
Herbs grew abundantly in the forest so a disciple quickly found one that could help with the poison. He chewed it then stuck it on Wang Hui’s wound. Once it was finished, a burly disciple picked up Wang Hui and Cheng Nuo went with him down the mountain. The others stayed to harvest the fairy mushrooms.
As they walked Cheng Nuo constantly gathered the wood elemental energy in his body into his palm. Holding on to Wang Hui’s hand, he transmitted the energy to the boy. He didn’t really know if that would help but he wanted to do his best to save the child.
When they arrived at Bai Cao Yuan some third level disciples responsible for cultivating precious herbs quickly treated Wang Hui. Cheng Nuo stayed beside him throughout the night and helped boil water for his treatment. In the early morning, Wang Hui’s condition finally stabilized and his breathing became stronger.
That morning, Li Qing came over and asked the others what had happened. He looked thoughtfully at Cheng Nuo and didn’t say anything about the fairy mushrooms. He also allowed Cheng Nuo to rest for half a day.
Cheng Nuo breathed a sigh of relief then smiled and returned to his room. In this d***ed world, he had seen many bloody scenes. This time he felt happy because he had saved a life.
He had been very busy all night long so now he felt tired and sleepy. Since he had missed breakfast time, all he could do was to return to his room on an empty stomach and sleep.
At this time of the day, everyone was working outside so the disciples’ rooms were empty. Cheng Nuo saw a short and familiar figure with red hair looking around on the corner and suddenly exclaimed in surprise: “Liu Guang!”
Liu Guang quickly turned around, unable to contain his joy when he caught sight of Cheng Nuo. Sunshine shone down on Cheng Nuo’s face, making his smile appear even more dazzling than normal. Liu Guang’s face inexplicably became hot. Liu Guang had been very busy these past few days but as soon as he completed his assigned cultivation practice, he had immediately run over to find Cheng Nuo. Liu Guang’s current status allowed him to go wherever he pleased, except for some forbidden areas.
Cheng Nuo carefully examined Liu Guang. Unexpectedly, he was wearing an elegant silver robe. Liu Guang must have been accepted as a level one disciple of Qinghua Sect! It was said that there were only three level one disciples at any given time.
Liu Guang could guess what Cheng Nup was thinking and said dismissively: “It’s easy, so you don’t have to worry about…” He looked at Cheng Nuo carefully, frowned and said, “Why are you too thin again?”
Cheng Nuo rubbed his hair affectionately and laughed, “No, I’ve had a lot of meals lately, and I’m afraid I’m still fat.”
The two of them entered Cheng Nuo’s room and Liu Guang looked around. Although the small room was very clean and tidy, it had a familiar atmosphere. He hadn’t been with Cheng Nuo for many days now so he really wanted to rush into his arms and hold him tight.
He desperately tried to tamp down this urge by speaking to Cheng Nuo about his cultivation these past few days. He asked Cheng Nuo about his situation here. Of course, he didn’t mention that he had already found out about Lu Zhen and the others. He would just quietly find ways to take of these people at the right time.
Cheng Nuo smiled as he described his work in this place. Although his tone of voice was casual, Liu Guang was clever enough to pick up a few discordant clues. He frowned then grabbed Cheng Nuo’s hand. Liu Guang was angry when he saw the blisters.
He was reluctant to let Cheng Nuo live with other people. Does Cheng Nuo have to stay in this place to do manual labor every day?
Cheng Nuo hastened to appease this little ancestor: “It’s very good here. I have learned a lot of herbal knowledge and I’m going to study medicine. It’s very suitable for someone with wood elemental abilities…”
Liu Guang looked up at him suddenly and said, “The house where I live is very big. There are two females who work there to clean and tidy it up. I suspect they find the work troublesome so why don’t you live with me instead?”
Cheng Nuo burst out laughing and said, “How could I do that? Don’t worry, I’ve adapted very well here.”
He patted Liu Guang on the shoulder. Suddenly, he remembered Ningzi crawling into his bed and the corners of his mouth twitched twice.
Liu Guang was now a high-ranking disciple. The females who were assigned to him wouldn’t be the ones who specialized in… that sort of thing, right? When Liu Guang was three years older, would he want a man to climb into his bed? He suddenly felt confused and wanted to caution Liu Guang about it but this kind of thing was too embarrassing to discuss with a child.
Liu Guang knew that Cheng Nuo was right and felt depressed. In three years’ time, he will be a powerful adult. The two of them can get married then! He will buy a big house outside for Cheng Nuo to live in. When Liu Guang imagined that, his face felt hot.
Cheng Nuo yawned, took off his boots, and lay down on the bed. He smiled and said: “I’m tired because I stayed up all night to save someone.”
In a daze, Liu Guang said: “What happened?”
Cheng Nuo was afraid that Liu Guang would worry about it so he simply said that he was helping to save someone’s life. As Cheng spoke he allowed his eyes to drift down and his words came slowly. Liu Guang hesitated for a while then took off his new boots and lay down on the bed, huddling close to Cheng Nuo.
Liu Guang said: “Alright, then sleep well. I won’t quarrel with you.”
As was his habit, Cheng Nuo reached out and hugged Liu Guang. His breathing gradually became more even until he fell asleep.
Liu Guang knew he was asleep so, like a puppy, he raised his nose and sniffed Cheng Nuo’s breath. His hands also embraced Cheng Nuo like they had in the past.
He looked up at Cheng Nuo’s face. It was the first time they had slept this close together during the daytime. Sunlight shone through the window, softly illuminating Cheng Nuo’s face. Liu Guang was so close he could see the fine hairs on Cheng Nuo’s face. His rosy lips looked moist.
Liu Guang’s heart suddenly beat violently and he couldn’t help but touch Cheng Nuo’s lips with his fingers. The soft and warm touch made his heart tremble and he wanted to bite it.
His face flushed a bright red and he called out Cheng Nuo’s name softly. Cheng Nuo slept soundly without answering.
Liu Guang held his breath then reached up and licked Cheng Nuo’s lips gently with his tongue. He quickly retracted his head and his face became even hotter.
With just a gentle touch he felt as though he had been hit by an electric shock. He felt extremely dizzy and his brain magically kept replaying that moment again and again.
He really likes Cheng Nuo. This thought was very sweet.
When Cheng Nuo woke up, Liu Guang had already left, but there was an exquisite storage bag on the small table in his room.
He knew that it was something that Liu Guang had left for him and he immediately laughed. This strange child was sometimes very violent but also sometimes terribly shy. He had obviously used this method because he was too embarrassed to give Cheng Nuo the gift directly.
When Cheng Nuo saw what was inside, he felt very happy because it was actually money! There were a thousand primary energy coins inside. He reckoned that Liu Guang and the other level one disciples each got a large amount of money.
“Was this what they called ‘sending money to your parents’?” the grateful Cheng Nuo wondered wistfully. He found a safe place to hide the storage bag. Of course, this money was reserved for Liu Guang to use later.
That afternoon, after work, Cheng Nuo heard another piece of good news.