Chapter 28: Are You Sick Or Something
“You should have seen it then. He just let out a shout and that rock just went bang and exploded.”
Back at the Flying Tiger Camp, Gao Feibao was describing what had happened that day.
“Truth be told, all of us were scared stiff. That Cheng Dalei really can call down thunder. It’s way too amazing.”
Gao Feihu’s expression turned serious as he looked toward a middle-aged man sitting nest to him.
“Strategist, what do you think?”
The middle-aged man just laughed and pointed at a rock on the table before them. That rock had traces of black on it.
“I picked this rock from the canyon. There are still marks remaining from the explosion. Take a look, what do you see?”
The Gao siblings moved in to take a closer look. After staring at it for a bit, both of them shook their head simultaneously.
“This is the remains from a gunpowder explosion. There is no Art of Five Thunders at all. Both of you were tricked.” The strategist smiled.
“Gunpowder?” Gao Feihu showed his confusion.
“It’s something like the explosive powder mix in firecrackers, only more powerful. It’s fairly rare to see outside. Given how rural the Blackbull Mountains are, it’s not strange that you don’t know of it.”
“Damn it. I’ll take some guys and conquer Toad Camp right now for daring to trick me like that”
“Calm down now vice boss, calm down.” The strategist held Gao Feibao back with a smile, “That Toad Camp is right there. It’s not about to run away, so what’s the hurry?”
That strategist’s name is Qiu Ran. He joined the Flying Tiger Bandits three years ago, is well read, and is full of strategies. Within the Flying Tiger Camp, the Gao siblings would basically do everything he says. For the past while, Qiu Ran wasn’t in the camp, and so the Gao siblings were hesitant on making decisions for a number of subjects.
“It’s seriously a downer to keep this anger pent up though.” Gao Feibao was still mad.
“It’s only a matter of time, that’s all.” Qiu Ran spoke, “Right now, there’s a major job for us to do. The matter of the Toad Bandits can be left until later.”
“What major job?” Those words had caught Gao Feibao’s attention.
Cheng Dalei looked at the two system messages that he had just gotten and was somewhat speechless. The reward was an acre of matured chili peppers… By now, he had already gotten a good read on how the system worked, so that acre of chili is probably growing on some hill. However, this reward really is kind of weak. Weak to the point where Cheng Dalei wasn’t even in the mood to go find it.
The newly received quests on robberies are a bit more interesting though, it’s just that he has no idea just what reward he might get for completing it.
As he considered it, Cheng Dalei opened up the system menu to check his currently in progress quests.
Quest 1: Steal a wife, second phase. Reward unknown.
Quest 2: Recruit total camp population of 100. Reward: Lottery drawing x1.
Quest 3: Complete 10 robberies. Reward unknown.
Cheng Dalei understood now. If he wants to quickly develop the camp, he’ll still need to rely on the system and the quests he get from it. Just continue completing quests and receiving rewards.
Right now, he has three quests. He doesn’t have any way to advance the recruitment quest right now. The robbery quest he can leave to Qin Man and Lin Shaoyu to do. In that case, there’s only one quest left: To win over Su Ying without using force. This will finish the second phase of his wife stealing quest.
This is also the first multi-stage quest that Cheng Dalei received. If he can complete all of it, the rewards are sure to be rich indeed.
Of course, this wasn’t the main reason why Cheng Dalei wants to finish this quest first. The main reason is because Su Ying is super pretty.
With the alternative being huddling in the shrubs while enduring the heat, humidity, and bug bites, it’s obvious that it’s way better to face a beauty instead.
This quest looks difficult, but it isn’t actually in reality. By Cheng Dalei’s reckoning, this is a quest to earn affection points. It’s like many of the games that he had played before, where if you pick a flower from a certain valley and give it to an NPC, you can gain a point of affection. Thus, when you give away 100 flowers, you’ll end up getting 100 points of affection. So long as you reach a certain point, that NPC will then tell you, “Young hero, I have a secret manual to give you. I leave you the job of returning peace to the world…”
Of course, the Heart of the Bandit won’t be giving him any actual numbers, but so long as he continue grinding, he’ll end up activating a secret quest sooner or later.
As for winning Su Ying over, Cheng Dalei’s actually pretty confident. He’s not some otaku shut-in after all, he’s a literature otaku. Alright, this doesn’t actually seem all that helpful, but he had at least seen tons of movies, so he knows plenty of romantic developments capable of moving people to tears.
Cheng Dalei treated this like a battle. He sent Qin Man and Lin Shaoyu down the mountain to commit robberies while he himself made the preparations to work on finishing this quest.
Truth be told, in these past few days, Cheng Dalei had stopped restricting Su Ying’s freedom, allowing her to freely move about within the camp. Cheng Dalei wasn’t worried that she might try to escape either. There are a lot of bandits on the Blackbull Mountains after all. If she end up kidnapped by some other bandit camp, Cheng Dalei had faith that no other bandit would be nearly as gentlemanly as he was.
At this point, Cheng Dalei started enacting his affection grinding job.
For example, suddenly jumping in front of Su Ying and loudly declaring, “Su Ying, I proclaim you!”
Su Ying just ignored him and passed by Cheng Dalei. Cheng Dalei was somewhat speachless at her reaction. That’s not how it should have gone. When he loudly said those words, she should have asked, “W-who proclaims Su Yin.”
Then, he would have told her, “Cheng Dalei proclaims Su Yin.”
(T/N: Yeah, I’m not sure what this is a reference to or if it’s some kind of wordplay that I’m unfamiliar with, so just have it directly translated I guess.)
Plan A failed. No worries, Cheng Dalei had countless more plans and developments in store still.
“Hey, I’ll take care of you.” When Su Ying passed by Cheng Dalei, he suddenly stopped her with those words.
“Oh? Have we met before?” Suddenly jumping in front of Su Ying and pretending to be uncertain.
“There are many good people in this word, but you’re the most important one. If you’re willing to accept me, I’ll love you forever. If you’re unwilling, then I’ll think of you from afar.” Saying that so Su Ying with a loving expression with a flower in hand.
“I hear wind and rains out in the night as I lie in my bed. The iron horse is you, and so is the icy river.” Sneakily stuffing papers into Su Ying’s room. (T/N: Some ancient Chinese love poem reference maybe?)
“When I woke up, I felt like I love you.” Knocking on Su Ying’s door early in the morning while pretending to be half asleep still.
Cheng Dalei was like a train off the rails, madly racing down the path of grinding affection points. However, Su Ying never reacted at all. Her only reaction was to open her innocent eyes widely and watch Cheng Dalei’s performance. At the start, Cheng Dalei just felt like Su Ying was a frozen lake surface, and that so long as he just keep on smashing down, he’ll open up a hole in the ice sooner or later.
However, now he understood. Su Ying was like a bottomless chasm. No matter how many rocks he tossed down, there still won’t be any reactions whatsoever.
It was only until one day when Cheng Dalei gazed at Su Ying with a gentle, loving expression, “I once had true love presented to me, but I didn’t properly appreciate it…”
Su Ying blinked her clear and shining eyes and seriously asked, “Are you… Sick or something recently?”