Dominion’s End Volume 5: Zhanjiang Garrison
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 2: Dàgē and Xiaomèi Leave the House—translated by Michimochi (proofread by Faren; C/E edited by lucathia)
For the next couple of days, if I wasn’t in the courtyard house abusing… I mean, training the Ice Spears, then I was in my room doing my own things. That was until the third day, when Shujun knocked on my door saying that she and Dàgē were heading out.
I hastily stepped out of the room. I was in the middle of trying on a recently finished uniform.
Shujun looked at my uniform. She wrinkled her brow. “Èrgē, your uniform doesn’t look that nice.”
For the top, I wore a sleeve-less jacket and oversized longline shirt. It looked as if there were two layers, but it was actually fake. And of course, I wore a pair of pants. Arguably, leggings would have looked better with this outfit, but I wore a simple pair of pants. Don’t even mention shoes. I flat out wore a pair of silver white flip-flops.
Not bothering to explain myself much, I said, “Being too stylish is troublesome. My clothes are not important. Is Dàgē’s uniform finished?”
Shujun nodded. “Dàgē already put it on and is getting ready to leave. He told me to let you know and to drag you out of your room.”
I rubbed my nose. I would go take a look at the courtyard house every day. I’m not that much of a shut in, okay? I mean, I would go out to give a lecture on each day’s training before returning to my room.
Obediently, I followed Shujun out. People were already waiting in the hall.
My eyes lit up just at the sight of Dàgē. A newly-made solid black trench coat with golden trim hung from his body. The golden trim of the collar even formed the shape of the “弓” character, like a bow from the left side of our name Jiang (疆). A leather holster rested on his waist. The long army boots that I had brought home were fastened on his feet. He was as fierce as a lion, impossible to overlook. One look could make every single strand of your hair stand straight.
Standing next to Dàgē were Xiao Sha, Yunqian, and Guan Weijun. All three were wearing their uniforms as well. I had really put Shujun in a tight spot. Within two days, she had quickly managed to finish making so many sets of clothes.
The three wore black uniforms with silver trim. Xiao Sha wore a sleeveless top and men’s leggings, perfect for mobility. Yunqian wore a short-sleeved top and a pair of shorts. Guan Weijun wore a top with elbow length sleeves and crop pants. No matter if it was golden trim or silver trim, there was a streak of blue somewhere on all the clothing.
I glanced back at Junjun. The same shade of blue was on her pleated skirt as well.
Does Junjun like blue now? But she used to like pink more. My little sister has grown up now… Well, this is fine. If there was a streak of pink on every uniform and Dàgē had to wear it, I would probably want to gouge my eyes out.
Besides those four people, Ding Jun also stood right behind Dàgē. Although he wasn’t wearing a uniform, Ding Jun carried a backpack on his back, so he was probably going with them.
I didn’t recognize any of the others. They were all wearing military uniforms. They were probably from the group of soldiers that Ah Nuo had brought with him. There are actually more than fifteen of them.
Looking at that crowd, I couldn’t help but ask, “Dàgē, where are you going with this many people? Their abilities are not that strong, right? You’re going to attract a ton of aberrants if you start firing guns in Lan City.”
Dàgē indifferently said, “They are in charge of moving supplies.”
No wonder. I looked at the soldiers in front of me. Despite being forced to be baggage carriers, they didn’t seem to show any resentment. More like the opposite; each and every single one of them were looking at Dàgē with conviction. I wondered whether it was because they had become entranced by Dàgē’s dominance or by whatever they had been forced to do in these past few days. Whatever. In any case, they were a group of well-trained soldiers. As long as they were convinced, it shouldn’t be a problem.
I looked at Xiao Sha. Out of curiosity, I asked, “Why not Cain? Didn’t Xiao Sha enter Lan City not too long ago?”
Xiao Sha looked at me. He explained solemnly, “I’m going to look for Chenyang and see if he is still there.”
Oh yeah. I totally forgot about that cousin of his. I really don’t know how powerful the Shangguan family is, but I hope Shangguan Chenyang can shed some light on this.
Last but not least, I looked toward Guan Weijun. Dàgē was already willing to take her with him. That was unexpected. I’m a bit jelly, just a tiny bit!
She smiled and said, “I’m a local. I’m in charge of leading the way!”
I rolled my eyes and said, “You don’t even know where the department store is.”
“Ugh, that’s a place I don’t usually go. I’m familiar with everywhere else. I know where the supermarket and the hospital are. Shutian said that’s good enough!”
She already calls him “Shutian” so smoothly, huh? I looked at Dàgē suspiciously. Don’t tell me they already…
Dàgē said coldly, “Call me ‘Leader’ or ‘Boss’.”
“How about I use ‘Patriarch’?” Guan Weijun attempted to negotiate.
“…” Ice Emperor, did you know that the skin on your little brother’s face is as thick as an aberrant’s hide?
After receiving Leader’s icy stare, Guan Weijun chuckled and said, “Okay, okay. ‘Leader’ it is. Your word is law.”
Dàgē no longer cared about her presence. He ruffled my head and said, “Cain and Zheng Xing will stay here at the base. If anyone bullies you, go find them. Okay?”
Sure. If I want to bully anyone, I will remember to find them.
Even after Dàgē finished talking, he wouldn’t leave my hair alone and continued to rub and rub and rub. I was so annoyed that I almost wanted to ice him in front of the crowd. Too bad I was disguising myself as fragile, pretty boy. Turning the leader into a popsicle was definitely a no-go… Wait a second. Don’t tell me that Dàgē took advantage of this fact to ruffle my hair continuously?
I secretly glared at Dàgē, but I could only let him continue as he pleased. That angle was just right to catch a glimpse of Ding Jun’s ugly stare at me. Once our eyes met, he immediately put away his ugly expression and returned to his poker face.
He opened his mouth. “Leader, it is about time.”
Dàgē made a noncommittal sound. Without even turning his head back, he commanded, “Go make arrangements for people to get in the car and get ready to depart.”
“Yes, sir.” Ding Jun tossed a look my way. Although it was still a frigid face, I could tell that he was gloating.
Don’t tell me that this brat is trying to compete with me for Dàgē’s favor? Is there a hole in his brain? Even if I was truly a jerk, I am my brother’s dear brother. You really think he would cast me away? Not to mention I’m not even rotten at all!
Dàgē led everyone out of the mansion. Beyond the mansion’s gates, Cain led a group of people and was assigning tasks to them. Those people were all wearing military clothes. They were silently listening to instructions. Such discipline was worthy to be praised.
Looking at the current scene, I really felt stupid. Back then, I hadn’t wanted to take in these soldiers and had even almost driven them away. Such a reckless waste of good resources; it seemed the hole in my brain was no smaller than Ding Jun’s. It was better to leave all the future incoming human resources for Dàgē to handle. I, myself, should just obediently be the secret weapon.
Besides Cain and the soldiers, there were even more people around them, common people. As they watched my brother walk out, their eyes sparkled as if they had seen the messiah. They were utterly moved, completely captivated by his presence.
I felt the scene was odd. Not long ago, didn’t Dàgē terrify a bunch of people with a single move? How did he become their messiah in just a few days? Did I miss something? Can we replay it? I swear I won’t be a shut-in ever again!
Dàgē scanned the crowd, mainly looking at Cain and the soldiers on duty. The general public that was watching on the side wasn’t of any importance to him. Dàgē said to Cain, “If anyone doesn’t listen to you during the time that I’m away, show them no mercy.”
“Yes, Boss.” Cain smiled stupidly as he answered. “Even if my heart holds back, my hand won’t.”
Dàgē tossed a glance my way, then reached out to ruffle my hair again. I had no choice but to swallow down my annoyance. I put on a smile like a child who couldn’t live without his big brother. “Dàgē, you have to come back home as soon as possible. Don’t let Junjun stay out for too long.”
Yeah. The most important thing is to have Junjun come home as soon as possible.
To be honest, I didn’t need to worry about Dàgē at all. Within half a year into the apocalypse, he could already use ultimate techniques. Plus, he had Shujun, Xiao Sha, and Yunqian with him. They wouldn’t need to retreat even if they encountered a tier three aberrant. If they really couldn’t beat it, they could always find ways to escape.
The one that made me worry the most was Shujun. Even though I knew that Dàgē would protect Shujun with his life and that Shujun was skilled herself, I couldn’t help but worry about Mèimei for life. Even if she leveled up to Thunder Goddess, I wouldn’t stop worrying.
It’s not like I can help it! I had raised my little sister since I was a kid, and I hadn’t been a simple kid either. I had also somewhat carried the memories of a thirty-something-year-old woman. Watching over Junjun was like watching over my own daughter, so Shujun was a little sister and a daughter at the same time. So, if anyone dares to hurt her, then that someone is dead meat!
I looked at my mèimei-like-daughter. Junjun blinked and said, “Èrgē, I will definitely follow Dàgē as closely as possible.
A little sister always knows her big brother best. My heart relaxed just a teeny tiny bit.
Dàgē reached his hand out. The target was Dìdì’s head. I shot him a glance. He retracted his hand, then said, “I will take care of Shujun. Don’t run around. Behave yourself and look after the house.”
“Okay. I will stay here in the garrison.” The garrison would almost be emptied of Jiang members. How would I dare to leave too?
Finally, Dàgē was satisfied. He led a team of twenty or so out the door. A Hummer and a medium-sized bus rolled out the gate.
“Where did the Hummer come from?” I let out a breath. If there was a list of the best cars during the apocalypse, this car easily ranked first!
A tank would have been sturdier and better, but this type of vehicle was too rare. Plus, if one simply relied entirely on a tank for transportation, it would not be practical. Speed, fuel consumption, and a narrow compartment were all issues one would have to face.
Cain explained, “That car belongs to the soldiers. A couple of them showed us the way to the car so we could drive it back. They hadn’t left it far from here.”
“They were actually willing to leave it there?” I was shocked. In this age, people would rather discard the living over a Hummer. This monster may consume a ton of gasoline, but at the beginning of the apocalypse, this kind of vehicle could run over any bumps or obstacles on the road, even squashing most types of aberrants. Overall, the advantages far outweighed the disadvantages.
“They encountered a group of aberrants. One of them drove the Hummer to lure those aberrants away, and that person never came back.”
I fell silent. Once again, I was vexed because I had almost cast away these people myself.
Suddenly, Guan Weijun’s voice rang crisp and clear. I raised my head to look. She was actually the one responsible for driving the Hummer! Dàgē, Shujun, Yunqian, and Ding Jun sat in that Hummer. Xiao Sha and everyone else were on the bus.
Cain clicked his tongue. “Xiao Guan, that brat, is really good. She’s polished her skills very well. Yunqian even gave her a passing score. It’s really amazing for her to praise an amateur. Unfortunately, she is not my type.”
It’s useless even if she was your type. Guan Weijun’s eyes are stuck on Dàgē. She probably couldn’t even tell you apart from Yunqian!
After watching the Hummer and the bus drive away, Cain and I went back into the mansion. The gate closed behind us. I asked immediately, “Why did Dàgē decide to bring Ding Jun? What happened when I was gone?”
Cain scoffed. “That brat loves to hang around Boss, especially when you were away. He’s just short of calling him ‘Big Brother.’”
He has probably been calling him “big brother” in his heart already! I snorted. “When I returned, he must not have been very happy. He had been giving me a cold look like a stepmom all day.”
“Really?” Cain hesitated. “He hid it well. We couldn’t tell. Although he is a bit obsessed with Boss, he has been pretty obedient. Boss often asks him to do some trivial things. I didn’t expect him to act so boldly. He even dared to mess with you? Let’s wait until Boss gets back and kick him out of the mansion!”
“Would that actually be okay?” I didn’t feel that would be quite right. He had already settled down here. If we deliberately kicked him out now, wouldn’t Ding Jun feel aggrieved?
Cain brashly said, “What’s so bad about that? What rights does he really have to be able to stay here?”
I thought about it for a while. He really didn’t have any strong reason to be allowed to stay here. He was just someone we had picked up and wasn’t part of the main team. Based on that reasoning, he shouldn’t be allowed to live here in the mansion, but then Su Ying also lived here. I didn’t want to kick her out, so Ding Jun stayed as well.
A good idea suddenly came to me. “My courtyard house is almost ready. Let’s have Su Ying move in with my team and kick Ding Jun out of the mansion.”
Cain looked at me in the eye. “You’re Boss’s little brother, the best fighter in the JDT. You could chase out whomever you want, and no one would question it. You don’t need to conceal it by chasing out Su Ying, too. Your courtyard is filled with soldiers. Having a girl living there is too dangerous!”
“Dangerous? Who dares to touch her when I’m here? Do they want their shaft to become a popsicle?”
Cain’s lower half twitched. His face paled.
“… Are you interested in Su Ying?”
He smiled with his glistening white teeth and said, “With how she’s scared all the time, don’t you feel she’s like a trembling puppy? Isn’t that fascinating?”
You’re actually interested in puppy-like women. Now this fact is more fascinating, indeed…
Cain was a tall, robust foreigner. I really didn’t feel that timid Su Ying would choose such a man. She would be scared to death! For the sake of peace and harmony within the Ice Spears, I decided to give Su Ying a helping hand.
“Let me remind you, they’re under my protection. Su Ying is a member of my team. If you want to pursue her, I don’t care. But if you force her at all, you’re dead. I hate cheating and faithless shits even more. If you dare to treat Su Ying this way, you’re dead.”
After hearing so many “you’re dead,” Cain’s smile froze. He then carefully asked, “Can I try going out with her? If it really doesn’t work, and we break up, can you just punch me? Please don’t use your ice power! Please don’t freeze me down there!”
I looked Cain in the eye. I hadn’t expected to hear him mention “going out.” He still looked as airheaded as usual, and I couldn’t tell how serious he was being.
I shrugged. “You should confess first and see if she even agrees.”
Cain wilted and complained, “I want her to agree, but she runs as soon as she sees me. Last time, when I tried to pull her back, she actually screamed so loud that even Boss came out to look. Because of that, Lily and Yunqian ganged up on me. Two versus one, okay!”
“Haha!” So I’m the demon king in her eyes, and even Cain is a mini boss.
“So?” Cain revealed his glistening white teeth again and said, “Let’s not kick Su Ying out of the mansion?”
I nodded. I wasn’t really worried about Su Ying. Whatever was said, Cain was one of the main members of the JDT. His personality wasn’t bad, and he looked all right. Although he was a bit frivolous, didn’t he have me to keep an eye on him?
For women in the apocalyptic era, Cain was definitely one of the few good men. I bet there would be plenty of women who will target him in the future. Based on the principle that fertilizer and water must not be left in a stranger’s fields, let’s try to leave him in Su Ying’s yard.
Though going back to the main topic, could I still kick Ding Jun out like this? If he was the only one who was driven out, his hatred for me would surely grow. Knowingly increasing the number of enemies in the shadows by one left a bad aftertaste. Could we silence him directly… No, we can’t. I wasn’t some demon king. I couldn’t silence him just because he hated me. Once I open this door, wouldn’t there be no shortage of people to kill in the future?
I just want to live peacefully with my family in the days of the apocalypse and not to become a bad guy who ruthlessly kills people. I really don’t want to turn into the demon king that Su Ying thinks I am!
Cain spoke suddenly, “Didn’t you want to hide your strength? Once you kick Ding Jun out, he will help you a lot.”
“Hah?” I’m confused. How will he be able to help? More like the opposite, right?
Cain spoke matter-of-factly, “He will remember his hatred for you, but he knows that he can’t beat you. He can’t seriously cause you trouble. In that case, all he can do is spread rumors behind your back, but you’re still young, and you haven’t done anything bad. At most, he can only talk smack about you having a pretty face and nothing else. Stuff like how you have an overbearing personality like the boy who cried wolf. Isn’t that what you want?”
What the hell do you mean by boy who cried wolf? Don’t you mean to say a dog biting his master’s hand instead?
I thought it over but didn’t feel like overthinking it. Let’s just do it. In the end, there would be plenty to worry about in the future. I didn’t need to spend so much effort worrying over Ding Jun.
“Well, okay then. Let’s not worry about him anymore. Cain, when Dàgē asked you to stay behind, did he tell you what to do in the meantime?”
Cain spoke slowly, “Boss said that Zheng Xing, your aunt, and your uncle are in charge of building the base. Lily is in charge of deploying manpower. I’m in charge of beating up any dissenters until they’re not dissenting anymore.”
“What about me?” Am I supposed to just sit there and look pretty?
Cain shrugged. “Boss said you were busy. If there’s nothing, we shouldn’t bother you and should let you do your own thing. Unless there’s someone qualified enough to endanger the entire garrison and we can’t handle it, then we should seek you out.”
I nodded. Dàgē really understands his little brother. This kind of “idle” status suits me perfectly.
“Be honest, what are you really working on?” Cain asked curiously. “It doesn’t look like you’re busy training your troop. You only go over there at most two hours a day, then lock yourself in your room for the rest of the day. Don’t tell me, you’re training behind our backs? Xiao Yu, that’s not right. If you are going to train, you have to help us train as well!”
I said honestly, “These days, I’ve been working on making clothes in my room.”
Cain froze. He glanced at the clothes I was wearing. Then, he questioned, “It took you that long to alter just one set of clothes? Couldn’t you get Junjun to help you with that? She’s in charge of all those ladies. She would have made the clothes much nicer and faster.”
I shook my head. “It’s too difficult. I had to take a ton of clothes apart in order to piece this set together. It would have taken Junjun even longer. Plus, I’ve made a second set.”
Other than the JDT’s uniform, I also needed a completely different set of clothes made from the silk of the butterfly aberrant. This set had to be made from scratch. It also had to fit snuggly. Therefore, this had been much harder to do than simple alterations. Junjun wouldn’t have been able to make it, so I had to make it myself.
Cain had no interest in making clothes, whatsoever. He shook his head and sighed as he walked away.
“Young folks these days just love to dress up. Do you even need to dress up in anything with that face of yours…”
I know that I have such a pretty face that even if I go naked, I would be a work of art. Which is why when I was working on the clothing, I didn’t really care too much about its outward appearance. The silk thread was white. I would have left it alone if it were not for the fact that wearing all white would make me look like a ghost and scare other people. Otherwise, I would have been too lazy to even stitch a collar or add a couple ice fragments as decoration.
I wore that set of white garments under the uniform. Afterall, the butterfly silk was very thin, so it could be worn as undergarments as well.
Besides, it was almost January. The weather was already very chilly. Unlike the previous winters, the temperature had dropped a couple more degrees. Although it wasn’t dreadfully cold, most people had already put on a thick puffer jacket.
The mercenaries of the JDT just wore a couple layers. In the eyes of others, that was way powerful. Since I, on the other hand, was pretending to be weak, it made sense if I put on a couple more layers.
As I had finally finished making my clothes, it was about time to turn my focus on training my troop. We would need to rely on them to gather food supplies in the future, so I got to train them up as soon as possible.
I walked toward the courtyard house. Just as I stepped up to the entrance, I heard an explosion. Too bad, the sound was not that loud.
I pulled the doors open. A shadow of a person suddenly appeared in front of me. Reflexively, I karate kicked, and he flew a couple yards away. He stayed on the ground, moaning.
In the courtyard, there were those that ran, those that lifted weights, those that trained their power, and those that attempted to use all kinds of weird ways to discover the type of ability the soldiers had. Everyone looked over, yet not a single one dared to stop what they were working on. They just took a peek as they trained.
I walked over to the person on the floor, thought for a bit, and asked, “You’re Lin Zuojun, right?”
That person clenched his teeth as he got up. He achingly nodded. Abruptly, he lifted his head. As if he wasn’t able to believe what he heard, he asked, “How did you suddenly remember my name?”
“If you have an ability, then you have a name. If you have no ability, then you’re nobody.”
However, powers that were difficult to uncover tended to be particularly unique. But then again, if I didn’t treat them differently, they wouldn’t work hard to discover their power!
The atmosphere within the crowd grew heavy. Each and every one of the soldiers trained even harder, all longing for the day to shed their just-a-nobody titles and earn back on their own names.
I asked, “When did you discover your power?”
Before Lin Zuojun was able to muster a reply, Ah Nuo rushed over from the mansion and beamed. “Xiao Shu, last night, two people discovered their powers!”
I nodded. “Lin Zuojun, teleportation. I know. Who’s the other?”
Ah Nuo was amazed. When he saw Lin Zuojun right next to him, it finally clicked for him. “So this is called teleportation? That so fits you, man!
These soldiers were truly so serious. Apparently, training and missions kept them so busy that they had no time to breathe. Although they had accumulated a lot of vacation days, it wasn’t like they could ever use them. This of course meant that they rarely ever played video games or read novels, Therefore, they had very little clue of what kind of powers could show up. They wouldn’t even have a single idea of where to start. That was why the chances of them discovering their power was so low.
These past few days, I mainly taught them how to discover their power. In the meantime, I brought Uncle over to help me finish the courtyard house’s blueprint. Then, I had them look for Lily for the materials to get the base for the Ice Spears ready.
“The other one is Boots.”
Ah Nuo motioned for Xue Xi to come over. The latter sped over right away. He couldn’t prevent the corners of his mouth from curling up. Without even waiting for Ah Nuo to finish, he raised a finger. A tiny flame popped up at the tip of his finger, just enough to light a cigarette.
“Not bad.” I nodded my head. Water and fire were the most common power, all right. They were everywhere. It was just that these two types of powers were easily discoverable. I didn’t think there would be any water or fire powers among these soldiers, since they had not been able to figure it out until today. They really were a group of stubborn, muscle-brained soldiers.
Xue Xi beamed.
“We’ll be able to have nice hot meals when we go hunting.”
I patted Xue Xi’s back. “If you don’t want to become a gas stove, you better train your butt off.”
Xue Xi answered with a “Yes, sir.” He then hesitantly looked behind him, meeting the eyes of his little bro──I mean, little sister. Even though this little sister isn’t any different from a little brother, I have to say that my Junjun is a hundred times cuter.
That not-so-cute little sister Xue Huan was currently running the obstacle course. She was very talented and agile. Lily and Yunqian might not be able to overtake her. Of course, I was referring to the time before Lily and Yunqian ate their portions of crystals. The current Lily and Yunqian could beat all the members of the Ice Spears without ever using their powers. Of course, this didn’t include me. After all, the more crystals one ate, the more advanced the quality of one’s body got.
“Your little sister is a muscle-brained soldier, right? The type that never plays video games or reads a novel, the type that trains their body whether or not they have the time, right?”
Xue Xi looked exasperated. “Yeah. I’ve played Contra before, but Huanhuan has never played any video games before.”
I fell silent. Luckily, this brain of mine has the thirty-something-year-old Guan Weijun in it. Even if she had never played any video games herself, she had heard guys chatting about video games. Or else, who would know what the heck Contra is! I’m eighteen this year, and I only know how to play LOL!
“Mister, will you give me the date and time of your birth?” I looked at Xue Xi. He didn’t seem to be that old, right?
Xue Xi solemnly replied, “I was born two score and eight years ago.”
Dumbfounded, I said, “So does two score and eight years ago mean that you are forty-eight years old, old man?”
“…I’m turning twenty-eight this year.”
After saying that, Xue Xi was hit on the head. Wen Jianuo scolded, “I told you to study more and train more. Look at Huanhuan. She trains so diligently. No wonder you have so many shortcomings.”
Then, Xue Xi joined his sister at running, after which Wen Jianuo immediately brought up in discussion, “Xiao Yu, we usually train like this. Even if we follow your advice, increasing the amount of drills by five or ten times, I’m afraid there won’t be any significant growth.”
I also understood this point. There was actually not much to criticize about their skills. These drills were merely for them to familiarize themselves even more with their speed and power; after all, they did survive through the black fog and were fed a couple days’ worth of crystals. Their physique had long changed.
“This is just basic training. Wait until we’re able to enter the city, then we won’t need to spend that much time on doing the basics.”
Even if it was me, I only have an hour in the morning to train my body; then I spend another hour of training on refining my ice power. For example, I would make an ice sculpture of Junjun wearing a princess gown or condense a multi-layered ice crystal bouquet for Junjun’s room. And the rest was an accumulation of actual combat experience.
Wen Jianuo’s eyes lit up. He asked, “When can we enter the city?”
“My big brother just entered the city. I’m staying behind and take care of the garrison. Let’s talk after my brother comes back.”
Wen Jianuo nodded, “I’m afraid that the public will become restless and troubled since the leader is not here. Should we head out to help maintain public safety? Don’t worry. It won’t affect our training.”
My eyebrows furrowed. “Public safety is Cain’s responsibility. You should help Lily, instead. She mostly has civilians on her plate and would need your help more.”
These soldiers would definitely be more suitable for maintaining public security rather than providing public relief. However, if they were sent to help Cain, would the soldiers under Cain end up responding to Cain or to Wen Jianuo?
Wen Jianuo, on the other hand, had not shown much of a reaction. It didn’t seem as if he was unsatisfied, which saved me a lot of worry. It looked like Ah Nuo understood his place. He didn’t seem to have the intention of seizing power for himself, at least not right now. After all, the difference in our strength was laid right before his eyes, a difference he couldn’t overcome at all.
As for the future, let’s wait until he becomes a true member of the Jiang Dominion. If he wants to have his voice heard, he’ll have to earn it himself.
Wen Jianuo looked toward the gate. He murmured, “Ah Qing has been gone for too long.”
Confused, I asked, “Where did he go?”
I was wondering about not seeing him. Then again, there were multiple sections of this courtyard house that were under construction. He might just be inside painting the walls or something. Not much of a problem.
“He took Watermelon and Diao Ming to get some winter clothes and some food.”
Speaking of this, Wen Jianuo reluctantly said, “Xiao Yu, can you find a kitchen lady for us? We’re not that good at cooking. Grilling in the wild is fine, but homecooked meals are just impossible. Especially now with so many missing ingredients, we don’t even know what we can put together to make something we can put in our mouths without wanting to spit it back out.”
I glanced at Xue Huan. She was kicking her twin brother into a half-kneeling position. Fine, the only thing that this woman and a kitchen lady have in common is that both are good at using a knife. It was only that one chops humans, and the other chops livestock. The only thing that Xue Huan could make was probably sashimi.
What about the other woman on the team, Su Ying? Er, she was also an expert at burning the kitchen down. With Junjun present, Su Ying could help with washing and peeling the vegetables. Without Junjun, all she could do was burn the kitchen down.
Although there were many men who were adept at cooking too, such as myself, these soldiers obviously hadn’t had time to polish their cooking skills.
“Do you have anyone in mind?” I looked at Wen Jianuo. Since this guy had proposed the idea, maybe he already had someone in mind, or maybe he took fancy to a girl. If there was nothing wrong with the girl’s identity, I wouldn’t want to get between two lovebirds. At most, I would just keep on eye on Wen Jianuo and make sure he wasn’t taking advantage of her.
This point must be made clear to all the members. If you dared to toy with any girls, I will freeze you into a popsicle down there.
Wen Jianuo nodded. I knew it. I rolled my eyes.
“Bring her over later so I can take a look at her. However, outsiders are not allowed to live within the courtyard house. At most, they can come to cook every day, to avoid them discovering what we are actually doing, as well as my true abilities. Wen Jianuo, remember that you are the captain with the strongest abilities, and I am just a vice-captain who loafs around. I rely on my brother’s rank to boss you around. You are the captain of the Ice Spears, who is furious but can’t voice it since you are being oppressed by the weak prince. Got it?”
Wen Jianuo said jokingly, “But it’s a fact. Aren’t I being oppressed by you?”
I shot him a glance. “So you’re actually angry but don’t dare to say anything, huh?”
“What, no.” Wen Jianuo rubbed his nose and said, “What’s to be angry about? Compared to the days on the road, there’s food, clothes, and even a place to live. It’s like I’m living in paradise.”
True. Good and bad were relative. But what happens after you get used to these good days? Don’t tell me that you’re going to end up “wanting even better days?”
I glanced at Wen Jianuo. It wasn’t so much as not believing in him but more that I didn’t have faith in myself. If it was with someone like Dàgē, maybe people would become even more convinced after a lot of time has passed. But with me?
I tilted my head and thought for a moment. Guan Weijun’s way of thinking prevailed as I began to believe that I was not a very domineering or persuasive guy. But then I felt that was wrong. Since when have I, Jiang Shuyu, feared anyone?
I was not even afraid of a person like Dàgē, so who else is there a need to be afraid of?
Even if there was dissatisfaction, what of it? It was just Wen Jianuo. If he dared to not accept reality, I’ll just exterminate him!
I held my forehead. I suddenly felt that my personality was a bit divided. The personalities between my two lives may have been very similar, but there was a difference in my ways of dealing with interpersonal relations ──or more like, I couldn’t help the difference.
Guan Weijun did not have any true powers. Even if she wanted to be stronger, there was no way to do it, but even so, she still stood up against Xia Zhengu. If I had my current abilities in my last life, I would have long exterminated that scum of a boyfriend!
So, there actually aren’t any differences between the two personalities? Guan Weijun really had the potential of being a demon king OL.
I looked up. Wen Jianuo said with an embarrassed tone, “Actually, the kitchen lady is currently right outside the door. Would you like to meet her?”
I rolled my eyes. I didn’t bother to say anything and nodded my head to let the person in. I couldn’t help guessing what type of person Ah Nuo liked. Is it the gentle, little daisy type or the spicy hot chick type? Don’t tell me, he has the same tastes as Cain and likes those unique types?
On the contrary, the one who came in was an auntie, and she was even dragging two kids with her.
…She’s a bit too old for him. She could be Wen Jianuo’s mother. Is this the so-called Oedipus complex?
Wen Jianuo looked over. He didn’t put on a goofy smile like before but held his face looking like a dignified captain. He made introductions, “Xiao Yu, this is Ms. Wang. Ms. Wang, this is Xiao Yu, the leader’s little brother.”
That auntie looked at me as most of her nervousness subsided. She said gently, “Xiao Yu is so young. Just call me Auntie Wang.”
“Auntie Wang.” I called out casually then asked, “Are these your children?”
They appeared too young to be hers. The girl looked around ten years old and was clenching her little brother’s hand nervously. The boy looked around five years old at most and incapable of keeping up with them on the road. How have they been able to survive until now? I glanced at Wen Jianuo. If I remembered correctly, this guy had once mentioned sending supplies to a pair of siblings.
Auntie Wang quickly shook her head and said, “How is that even possible! I’m over sixty this year. How would I have such little kids? These little ones are the children that Captain Wen asked me to help take care of. The girl is eleven years old. The boy is four years old. Both are very obedient and very sensible.”
I looked at Wen Jianuo in the eye. The other quickly clarified, “The children couldn’t tell me where their parents went. It just so happens that Ms. Wang is by herself, too. I asked them to stay together.”
Don’t know where their parents went? They had probably ended up in someone’s stomach. I couldn’t help but feel pity. It was just so difficult for children so young to stay alive in this world! Wen Jianuo probably thought the same way as me and must have helped take care of them on their way here: As long as he has the leisure to do so, he probably feels he might as well look after them.
“I say. In the future, Auntie Wang and the kids can stay after cooking to eat with us before they leave. This way, they won’t have to worry about others robbing their portions.”
Wen Jianuo immediately responded while nodding his head. “That’s a good idea.”
Auntie Wang was elated. She kept bowing and expressing her gratitude, and even told the kids to say, “Thank you big brother and uncle.” The two kids really were very obedient. Immediately, they used their cute voices to say their thanks. The younger one even bowed. Even though they were dirty all over so their visage was unclear, seeing a small child bow so seriously was still so cute!
I looked at these two children who were so dirty that you couldn’t even see their faces. I simply grabbed them and rushed them to the bathroom. “I’m taking them to bathe!”
Auntie Wang was stunned. Finally, she relaxed and smiled. “He’s still just a child. If it was before, I wouldn’t have guessed he had gone to college.”
Wen Jianuo smiled bitterly but had to respond, “Probably a college freshman.”
Auntie Wang laughed. “Before coming over, I heard he was the leader’s little brother. I was so nervous. I didn’t expect him to be such a polite child, just that his personality is a bit soft. In such a world like this, having such a gentle personality is not a good thing.”
“Uh…” Wen Jianuo didn’t know how to respond.
Straining my neck to tune in, I came to a realization. Maybe acting as a feeble second master would be more suitable than an arrogant second master? After all, arrogance would attract people’s attention. Say if I was weak, then often hiding in my room would be because I was afraid of meeting people!
I walked into the bathroom and let the water flow into the bath. This was one of the advantages this courtyard house had. Even if the water system broke, there was a different system that was used to pump well water in. Although that system was not as clean as tap water, I’d heard of people these days dying from not having any water to drink, from being attacked by water powers,, or from being ambushed by water aberrants. However, I had never heard of anyone dying from drinking water!
“Take your clothes off.”
As I was testing the water temperature without turning my head, I heard scrambling footsteps. I turned my head to look at what was going on. The little girl nervously hugged her brother and backed away. Her whole back was pressed against the wall of the bathroom.
Looking at this situation, I was flabbergasted. Lightning struck inside of my head. An eleven-year-old girl meant she had already begun puberty. I was an eighteen-year-old male stranger who actually told her to take off her clothes. What a pervert!
“I, I’ll help you two look for clothes. You help your little brother bathe. Pay attention to the water temperature and be careful not to burn yourselves!”
With my forehead drenched in sweat, I fled.