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Chapter 7: The First Meeting Between Youths
Cheng Dalei had never considered that Lin Shaoyu could be so cute. He was even cuter than the absolute failure that is Xu Shenji. He was cuter than cute even.
“That guy’s bother us again? Let’s just kill him!” Xu Shenji turned vicious.
“You piece of shit!” Cheng Dalei remonstrated him, “Young Sir Lin is our Toad Bandits’ savior. He’s our super savior, so anyone who dares to kill him is my enemy.”
Xu Shenji was utterly befuddled. How the heck is this guy the savior of the Toad Bandits? What has he done for us exactly?”
“Young Sir Lin, are you hungry? Want to eat something first? Our base’s cooking is actually pretty good you know?” Cheng Dalei spoke with a grin.
“Abominable thief. I have no words to waste on you. Sent out that man over here. This time, since you’re not riding a horse, I won’t either. If you’re not wielding a weapon, I won’ either!” Lin Shaoyu stabbed his spear onto the ground.
Cheng Dalei spoke to Xin Man, “Qin Man, make absolutely sure not to injure Sir Lin there. Be gentle. Absolutely make sure to be gentle.”
Qin Man grunted an affirmation and stepped forward. Lin Shaoyu just managed to put his arms up before Qin Man had already grabbed his collar, lifted him into the air, and tossed him down the slope.
“Ah! Gah… Wah…”
“Sir Lin, are you alright? We’ll wait for you here, so try to climb back up as soon as you can…” Cheng Dalei shouted down the slope.
Beep. Second Base Defense completed. Reward: Mountain spring x1.
Beep. Reward: Blood replenishment pill x10 (normal medicine. It strengthens the body, capable of healing most normal injuries and sicknesses)
Beep. Reward: Camp skill: Unity (Bandits loyalty level increased)
Beep. Reward: Sickles x10
Beep. Reward: Wooden chests x5
Beep. Quest received [Third Base Defense]
The rewards for the second time was obviously much lesser than that of the first time. Near the end, it was even giving out sickles. Plus, the new quest didn’t even give a difficulty warning. Oh System, you scamp.
A figure had climbed back up the hill using a stick as an aide. His clothes were torn, there were dried grass in his hair, and his face was dirty.
“Sir Lin, are you really alright?”
“I won’t give up until you release Miss Su!” Lin Shaoyu spoke adamantly.
Cheng Dalei just shrugged helplessly, “Be gentle.”
Beep. [Third Base Defense] quest completed. Reward…
Beep. Quest received [Fourth Base Defense]
Beep. Completed… Reward…
From morning until night, Cheng Dalie had managed to grind the BUG ten times. By the end, Cheng Dalei was getting numb to it all to the point where he didn’t even bother reading through the rewards anymore. Of course the amount of rewards that the system gave him continuously shrank, and by the 10th time, the quest only gave him a single wooden chest.
Cheng Dalie didn’t even have the time to go looking for all the rewards. Right now, it’s probably about 3-4 in the afternoon, so Cheng Dalie kind of wanted to grind the quest a few more times while it’s still light out. However, Lin Shaoyu was taking quite a lot of time after he was chased off the mountain for the 10th time. Given his personality, he didn’t seem like the kind of person to give up easily though.
“Boss, let’s go back. I’m hungry.” Xu Linger spoke.
“Wait for it. We can’t go and disappoint Sir Lin.”
Cheng Dalei went through all the quest rewards in his mind as he waited. Then, a special message drew his attention.
Beep. Completed 10 base defenses without a single casualty. Reward: Hidden setting: A good person.
By now, Cheng Dalei had somewhat figured out a few things regarding the system. System quests are all triggered after having satisfied certain conditions. The conditions for hidden quests are even more strict. And, for some quests, the system won’t even give out a quest for. Only when it’s been completed will the system send a notification about it.
Actually, this time, Cheng Dalei had stumbled into a loophole. If it was a real base defense, he’d be facing over 10 attackers at least and up to several hundreds at most. In such a case, there’s no way that it would end without casualties. Yet, this time, Lin Shaoyu came by himself, and he repeated that 10 times. Thus, there’s no way that Cheng Dalei could bear to let him die. No, he’d be desperate to treat Lin Shaoyu like a treasure to be kept safe and sound.
He didn’t know what kind of effect his hidden status had though. Thus, Cheng Dalei checked the message.
A good person.
[Oh youth with a just heart. Truly, justice is all the more valuable in these chaotic times. Please remember that those who stand for justice will be blessed with fortune. Your justice will attract more youths of similar convictions]
Cheng Dalei knew that nothing good could come of it the moment the system started trying to act cute. This status… Is this the system basically calling him a nice guy? Hey, it’s a crime to look down on singles, alright? By now, Cheng Dalei had reasons to suspect that the system was purposefully trolling him after all having grinded the BUG so many times.
As for the status given by the system, it requires careful deduction in order to figure out its effect. Take the [attract more youths of similar convictions] for example, it should mean that there’s a charisma buff effective toward men. As for women… It’s useless.
Really, it’s pretty much calling him a nice guy!
Cheng Dalei angrily gave it the middle fingers. This was obviously the system trolling him.
By the time Cheng Dalei came back to himself, he discovered that Lin Shaoyu still hasn’t returned. Given his personality, he shouldn’t have given up so easily. It can’t be that he encountered a ruffian or something…
“Hey, you guys wait here. I’m going down to take a look.”
Cheng Dalei gathered up his courage and took up his axe. Anyone who dares to harm my Sir Lin shall incur an unending grudge from me!
A man, a stick, and a cliff.
Lin Shaoyu was leaning on the stick as he stood before the cliff. His hair was unbound and messy. His face was bruised all over. His while robes were also torn and ruined much like the rags of a beggar.
Looking down the cliff at the bottomless ravine below, Lin Shaoyu let out a long sigh as tears fell from his eyes.
“Here this Lin Shaoyu attempted to live as a wandering hero. I had tried to go out into the world relying on my spear, intending to sweep away all injustice in the world, spear in hand. But, today, I was humiliated over and over at the hands of bandits, and now, I’ve lost even my horse and spear. So be it. I might as well just die. Twenty years from now, in my next life, I’ll be another man of courage and attempt to once again charge out into the world.”
While saying that, his voice was cracked and tears flowed unceasingly from his eyes as he took another step toward the edge of the cliff.
Two light coughs rang out, and Lin Shaoyu suddenly turned and saw Cheng Dalei standing behind him with his hands behind his back. Lin Shaoyu hurriedly wiped the tears from his face and coldly asked, “Abominable bandit. Are you here to laugh at me? Even if I lost fairly in battle, I would still rather die than be shamed by the likes of you.”
“I heard everything you said just now. It was well spoken.” Cheng Dalei spoke, “However, there’s one saying that I feel is even better. I wanted to share it with you.” Cheng Dalei stared into Lin Shaoyu’s eyes as he spoke, “A youth might die for his cause, but a real man will live for his cause, no matter how unsightly.”
That sentence exploded in Lin Shaoyu like a blast of thunder. His heart thumped madly and his face paled.
“You think what you’re doing is courage?” Cheng Dalei suddenly shouted, “No, this isn’t courage, it’s cowardice. You’re a coward, a deserter. Look at yourself. Do you look even a little like a good student or a young hero?”
That spiel had accurately struck Lin Shaoyu. Although he didn’t understand what [good student] meant, he still felt like every one of Cheng Dalei’s words had stuck him in the heart. It was practically a lighthouse shining through the mist, a sign on the road to maturity.
But those words came from the mouth of a bandit.
“Humph. What does a mere bandit know!”
“I know you might look down on me as a bandit, but if I had a choice, I would have rather been a good person.” Cheng Dalei spread his hands in a shrug, “Actually, I too was once a man with ideals of my own.”
“You actually have ideals?”
“Want to hear what my ideals are?” Cheng Dalei smiled. He suddenly felt like it might be a good idea to get Lin Shaoyu to join his camp.
“… These hand of mine had once held the tomes of the sages and the sword of righteousness. I too have wished to learn both the scholarly and martial arts and serve the emperor. I too have once spoken that men should take to the battlefield, hook swords in hand, and retake the lost 50 provinces of Mount Guan. But after having traveled the world, having seen refugees treated like mere livestock and the nobility acting like predators, I was taken by a righteous fury. I wished to ask why the world is the way it is. Then, I took up an ideal, to save those in need, to solve the problems plaguing the people. I have an idea, to shatter the old world and rebuild a new one in its place. I have an idea, to let all have home to call their own, for all who toil to have fields of their own…”
Lin Shaoyu was completely dazed. Those words out of Cheng Dalei’s mouth should be carved onto stone so that they may be recorded for future generations. In his stunned state, he saw Cheng Dalei extend his hand out toward him while gazing at him with deeply emotional eyes.
“Right now, these hands of mine only wishes to hold the hands of a comrade. Sir Lin, are you willing to complete this ideal with me?”
Violent emotions were rampaging within Lin Shaoyu’s chest. In his eyes, Cheng Dalei’s figure has become incomparably large. In his dazed state, Lin Shaoyu started falling backward toward the ravine behind him.
Cheng Dalei rushed forward and grabbed onto Lin Shaoyu. Only then did he discover that Lin Shaoyu had already fainted, and his body was unbelievably hot. There were wounds and bruises all over his body, and his skin was terrifyingly inflamed.
That idiot! So he was pushing himself even with such terrible injuries and sickness.
No way around it then. Cheng Dalei carried Lin Shaoyu onto his back before grabbing his axe and started heading toward the camp one step at a time.
Shit he’s heavy.
Cheng Dalei gritted his teeth. With the crushing weight on his back, every single step was unbelievably hard.
Well, that’s the effect of being a nice guy.
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