Chapter 709 – You Don’t Mind Eating People, Right?
His statement that held other meaning made Goldie A’bao shiver inside. He walked over slowly, silently catching his breath at the same time before suddenly coming to a stop. He sighed. “Please don’t underestimate me a little too much, sir. I’ve lived to such an age, so I still understand paying back debts of gratitude. Not only have you saved my life, but you gave me revenge too. Even if I owe you my life, it would make perfect sense!”
“Heeheehee!” A childish giggle rang out from the basket. Li Qingshan smiled. “You can say I’ve met quite a few people as well. There have been clever ones and foolish ones, deceitful ones and loyal ones. Before I knew it, I developed some ability to judge people. If I really get you to lay down your life from me, I’m afraid you’ll refuse no matter what!”
Goldie A’bao’s face stiffened, becoming rather awkward. He had indeed considered everything before he had said that. No matter what his choice would be in the future, he had to do everything he could to earn the trust of this “strange baby”. If it really would lead to a dead end, he would never choose that path. In this sea of forest, survival had always been the top priority. In comparison, things like revenge or paying back a favour ranked towards the back.
Li Qingshan said, “Since you’re a merchant, then let’s make a deal. If you succeed with this deal, the benefit will outclass a hundred taels of silver a hundred, a thousand fold. It’ll guarantee you that you won’t have to work for another day of your life. If it doesn’t work out, then even if you don’t want to lay down your life, it won’t be for you to decide anymore!”
“In other words, we’ll be partners? May I ask for your name, sir?”
Goldie A’bao laughed dryly, but he was intrigued.
“You can just call me A’yue!” Li Qingshan considered it. Originally, he wanted to come up with a fake name, but he really did not have much naming sense, so he simply used his real name and changed it slightly.
“Yes, sir A’yue. Speaking of which, we also have a Goldie A’yue from our fort!” Goldie A’bao thought, This name sure is ordinary. You can tell immediately it’s fake!
Barbarians did not have much naming sense either. They often took the name of their village as their surname and their names would be A’bao, A’lan, and so on. There was a whole heap of A’yues too, both male and female.
“That sure is a coincidence. We’re almost there. I don’t want to see anyone, so you deal with it!”
Goldie A’bao could already see the flickering firelight between the trees. Feeling that some of his strength had recovered, he strode over.
“Who is it?”
A person growled and drew the blade from his waist with a swish. Everyone by the fire woke up too, grabbing their weapons immediately.
“I’m Goldie A’bao. Is it Huangliang Fei of Huangliang beach up ahead?” Goldie A’bao heard the voice and beamed inside. It just happened to be someone he knew.
“Is it uncle A’bao of Goldie fort? Please come over. We just heard you made a huge sum in the Fragrant Flower market, so why are you here?” Huangliang Fei stowed his blade away and invited Goldie A’bao over to the fire. Seeing how he was in rags, spattered with blood and even missing an ear, he could not help but become surprised. “What happened? Where are the others?”
“Sigh, we got robbed!” Goldie A’bao glanced around. There were eight people in total, but no pack animals unfortunately. After all, they were not a group of travelling merchants.
“Who’s bold enough to rob merchants from Goldie fort?”
“The Bone Eating tribe!”
The four words that Goldie A’bao spat out made everyone change in expression. Huang Liangfei asked, “The Bone Eating tribe is up ahead!?”
Goldie A’bao told him what had happened, but he skipped over the details regarding Li Qingshan. He only said that a powerful, vicious beast had caused a disturbance, which allowed him to escape by luck.
“That’s retribution against those monsters, as well as the good karma you’ve accumulated from all the good deeds you’ve done, brother. You’re protected by the bodhisattva. C’mon, let’s get some food!”
Only then did Huangliang Fei stop worrying. He did not doubt his story. If it were not for a coincidence like that, how was it possible for him to escape from the mouths of Bone Eating shamans alive? He glanced at the basket on A’bao’s back. Even when he fled for his life, he refused to throw it behind, so who knew what precious things it contained.
“Thank you. I’ll definitely pay you back when I visit Huangliang beach!”
“No, we’re the ones who should thank you, or we’d probably all just run into the mouths of Bone Eating people!”
A lad suggested turning around immediately and returning to the Fragrant Flower market, but Huangliang Fei turned down the suggestion instantly. Not only was travelling at night dangerous, but it took up energy, and they could not travel particularly far. After all, not everyone possessed the same martial arts and experience as Goldie A’bao. They were better off resting up and setting off in the morning.
But after hearing such a thrilling and exciting story, none of them felt sleepy anymore. They huddled around the fire, chiming in with the various, chilling legends regarding the Bone Eating tribe they had heard about.
The flickering firelight poured through the cracks between their figures and landed on Li Qingshan’s intrigued face. He never expected this group of strange people were actually all humans. However, tribes that cultivated through cannibalism could only exist in a place of wilderness like this. If it were the Green province instead, the Hawkwolf Guard definitely would have destroyed them already.
At this moment, he sensed an inquisitive gaze being cast at the basket. As it turned out, it was that Huangliang Fei. More gazes followed.
Even as Goldie A’bao sat beside the fire, he did not take the basket off his back. This attracted a lot of attention.
Huangliang Fei was still deliberating over how he would ask the question when the lad from earlier who suggested turning around asked, “Uncle A’bao, what’s in your basket?”
“Oh, nothing. It’s just some goods!”
Goldie A’bao sensed the surrounding gazes begin to change. He thought, Oh no, I actually miscalculated this! If he were to say right now that the basket contained nothing important, probably no one would believe him apart from the naive lad who asked him about it, unless he could get “sir A’yue” to show himself. However, “sir A’yue” clearly had no intentions of doing that.
Li Qingshan sat in the basket quietly and sneered slightly, This labourer of mine just happens to not be strong enough!
Huangliang Fei exchanged glances with his companions. They had heard that Goldie A’bao had sold a wondrous item for a hundred taels of gold during his visit to the Fragrant Flower market last time. Coupled with the minerals, it was quite the profit. Was it all perhaps in the basket? Only the lad failed to notice the change in the atmosphere, asking about the appearance of the Bone Eating people fearfully and excitedly.
Normally, not a lot of people would consider robbing merchant groups. Even if they succeeded in an ambush, the retribution from Goldie fort would not be a joke. With Goldie A’bao’s current miserable state, Huangliang Fei was confident he could kill him alone, and absolutely no one would know he had been here. The people from Goldie Fort would only think that the Bone Eating people had picked him clean! He could obtain the items in the basket without taking any risk. An opportunity like this was extremely rare.
Malice pervaded the surroundings of the fire. Goldie A’bao suddenly fell silent, lowering his head and trembling.
A sliver of disdain flashed through Huangliang Fei’s eyes. He never thought an old merchant would actually become so terrified. He bent over and kept up the farce. “Uncle A’bao, are you alright?”
Goldie A’bao said nothing, not because he did not want to, but because he could not. Currently, a tiny hand had extended out of a crack in the basket and pressed against his back gently. Warmth flowed out, making his blood bubble as if endless power was surging through his body and filling every nook and cranny.
Huangliang Fei had already reached towards the hilt of his blade. Goldie A’bao suddenly raised his head, his face completely red and slightly twisted. He grabbed Huangliang Fei by the throat in one fell swoop and was about to crush it when a childish voice rang out from the basket, “Don’t kill them!”
Goldie A’bao struck Huangliang Fei in the chest with his other hand, and with a thump, Huangliang Fei’s ribs cracked. He had already been sent flying. Only then did he return to his senses, overcome by shock. Since when did his martial arts become so powerful? Who is the child in the basket!?
“Uncle A’bao, what are you doing?” The lad cried out, but the shouts of his companions drowned out his voice.
Clang! The barbarians all drew their blades and swung them wildly at Goldie A’bao. They kicked up a gust of wind, which made the fire flicker. Their shadows danced about like ghosts.
Goldie A’bao punched out with both hands and sent another two barbarians flying, but he was unable to evade the other weapons. Suddenly, a few fire snakes leapt out from the bonfire and shot towards the eyes of the barbarians.
The barbarians were fierce, but their vital points had been suddenly attacked, so they covered their eyes instinctively and howled out. How could Goldie A’bao let an opportunity like that slip away? He swung his legs and fists, beating these barbarians of Huangliang beach until they keeled over. Although he followed Li Qingshan’s order and did not kill them, they all suffered from broken bones and heavy injuries.
In a heartbeat, the battle had already ended.
Goldie A’bao gazed at his hands. He struggled to believe that this was his strength. He felt like he had not even used all of it yet!
“Don’t celebrate too early. You might end up shortening your life!” Li Qingshan leapt out from the basket.
“Ah! Shortening my life?”
“I’ve completely unleashed the potential of your body. When this strength subsides, you might die!” Li Qingshan chuckled.
“You-” Goldie A’bao’s face changed. His excitement immediately turned into fury, but when he met the scarlet eyes, he dropped to the ground with a plop and cried out, “Please save me, sir A’yue!” Since he was bold enough to say it openly, he clearly was not afraid of him knowing.
Li Qingshan smiled in satisfaction. If he dared to rise up from a single statement, then he would have to consider replacing his labourer. He walked over to the side of the bonfire and extended his finger. The flames assumed various shapes.
“You don’t mind eating people, right?”
Goldie A’bao gazed at the barbarians on the ground. You didn’t want me to kill them because you want me to be like the Bone Eating tribe…
He gritted his teeth and said reluctantly, “I don’t mind. Sir A’yue, do you know the shaman magic of the Bone Eating tribe?” As long as he could live, he was willing to do anything!
“That’s good then. I don’t know any shaman magic, but I did receive some inspiration. Bring that Huang guy over!”
Goldie A’bao brought Huangliang Fei over to Li Qingshan and pressed him against the ground. Li Qingshan placed his hand on his forehead. Huangliang Fei, who was already on his last breath, began to struggle violently before suddenly collapsing limply.
Li Qingshan cupped a bright-red ball of fire in his hands. This was all of the life force in Huangliang Fei’s body, or in other words, this was his flame of life. The whole reason behind Bone Eating tribesmen eating people was to devour this life force. This power was overly impure to him, where it would bring no benefit, but it was without a doubt the perfect supplement to mortals.
With a gentle flick, the flames flew towards Goldie A’bao’s mouth. Goldie A’bao opened his mouth in a hurry and felt a warmth flow into his belly and expand. He riled up with vigour. “Thank you, sir A’yue!”
Li Qingshan nodded. Danger was getting closer, so he would nurture this only subordinate of his a little, just in case he was useless when he needed him.
“The next one!”