GOD —The Beginning of the End— Volume 1: The First Pet is a Swordsman
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 10: Saya-jiějie—translated by lucathia (proofread by Trespasserby & Lala Su)
“Liar Tang Wulie, stupid old fart Tang Wulie, when I return to Stella, I’m gonna rip off a layer of his skin, or else my name isn’t Shooting Star!”
Shooting Star growled for the five hundred sixty second time.
Bai Saya merely smiled wryly and tried to calm him down. “Shooting Star, don’t shout so loudly. It’ll be terrible if there’s an avalanche.”
Hearing the word avalanche truly frightened Shooting Star. He immediately clamped his mouth shut, afraid to keep shouting. The weather was cold enough. If he were to get buried by snow, then he’d be dead meat for sure.
At this time, the two of them were both clinging onto their cloaks for dear life. The cloaks were even coated with a thick layer of white particles. Romantically put, it’d be called snow, but more realistically, it was shattered ice filled with germs.
Beneath their feet, a thick layer of snow had also accumulated where they stood.
If you were to pull your gaze even farther, you would only see tall mountains covered by snow in the surroundings. Snow continued to fall from the sky as well, with a hint of turning into a blizzard. The two easily overlooked black specks against the snow were none other than Shooting Star and Bai Saya.
“It’s freaking cold!” Shooting Star wanted to cry but had no tears, because the moment the tears appeared, they instantly became ice and fell to the earth without a sound, becoming one with the snowy ground.
“B-Bear with it for a bit longer. The map shows that the village attacked by the wolves should be nearby…”
Compared to Shooting Star, who could cast Fireball to keep warm (even though in the middle of a snowstorm, the fireball was more like a tiny, fire-starting flicker of a spell, it at least still had the effect of providing some comfort), Bai Saya wasn’t as lucky. He was so cold that his face had turned blue and his fingers purple. If it weren’t for the battle aura that he spread throughout himself to hold on, he would have long frozen and changed from a live pet into a taxidermic pet. But when he thought of the danger that that village was in, the righteous air within him allowed Bai Saya to hang on by a thread. He wasn’t willing to give up on this mission.
Shooting Star jumped up. He couldn’t bear it any longer and shouted, “What villagers?! I bet the ones who commissioned us are the mountain wolves themselves. They’re specifically luring adventurers here to devour them! No one normal would live in this kind of freaking frozen land!”
With only snow and more snow surrounding them on all sides, Bai Saya had also become uncertain. Is Tang Wulie purposefully trying to trick us?
“I’m so cold. Xiao Bai, I’m hungry again—Ah! I can’t open my eyes!”
Shooting Star had had tears in his eyes while he complained. Unfortunately, in the cold, snowy outdoors, these tears immediately transformed from a liquid state into a solid state. His top and bottom eyelids stuck together tightly, and thus came his cries at the end.
Seeing that Shooting Star couldn’t open his eyes, Bai Saya was shocked too. He hurriedly rubbed Shooting Star’s eyelids for a good long while. Only then did the two golden eyes see the light again.
When Shooting Star opened his eyes, the first words out of his mouth were, “I want to eat hotpot.”
We’re on a snowy mountain. You’re demanding hotpot? Bai Saya suddenly had the urge to glue Shooting Star’s eyes back together.
“Wolf meat hotpot!” It was like Shooting Star couldn’t see Bai Saya’s ugly complexion. His gaze went past Bai Saya’s shoulder, staring straight behind him.
It was only at that time that Bai Saya heard the low growl of an angry creature through the whistling wind. He turned his head. A large pack of wolves were growling and approaching them, showing mouths full of sharp fangs, with saliva dripping from them, as if these two people’s meat was already in their jaws.
Faced with a scene that would scare normal people out of their wits, Bai Saya merely blinked and asked in confusion, “Can wolves be set on fire?”
“Of course, as long as they have fat, they can be set on fire!”
Hearing that, Bai Saya’s gentle amber eyes began to darken.
“Wolf meat hotpot!” Golden eyes gleamed with hunger.
“Burn, fire, warmth!” On the deathly pale face, the two amber eyes had turned as red as blood.
The wolves that had originally been approaching step by step began to slowly back away. The two of them who were almost dying of hunger and fainting from the cold both had dangerous gazes and were emitting low, inhuman growls. Step by step, they approached the lambs… that is, the wolves… that awaited slaughter.
On the dangerous, snowy mountain in the midst of the whistling snowstorm came the whining sounds that small dogs make when kicked.
“So full, so full.” In a rare moment, Shooting Star said that he was very full. In addition to that, his stomach that always stayed flat even after eating a whole table full of food finally had a small bulge.
Bai Saya held a bowl of warm soup and huddled contently by the fire. His amber eyes were gentle and warm. The red eyes from earlier were practically like an illusion. It was pretty much impossible to believe that the fuel this person had used for the fire was actually a bunch of vicious, wild wolves.
“Shooting Star, you might have eaten too much.” Bai Saya frowned.
Shooting Star argued, “Nuh uh! We cooked three wolves for two people. We each get one and a half wolves!”
The problem is, don’t even mention my share being one and a half, I probably only got half a leg? Bai Saya responded silently to himself.
“I’m full. What do we do with the rest of the wolves?” Shooting Star gestured at the ten or so wolves. They had all been punched by Bai Saya, who had gone crazy from the cold, and had lost all power to flee. All of them were sprawled on the ground, half dead.
“Take them with us! We’ll burn them as we go.” Bai Saya clenched his fists.
“I don’t think they can walk anymore.”
He gritted his teeth. “I’ll carry them!”
“Xiao Bai, you’re really afraid of the cold…”
“Where I live, the weather never gets as cold as this.” Bai Saya’s face reddened. Even though carrying a wolf for the sake of burning it to keep warm was a bit ridiculous, he cared little about appearances at this kind of time. He was really too afraid of the cold. Even if he didn’t burn the wolf, carrying a wolf would still keep him warmer with the wolf’s fur and body heat.
Bai Saya blinked. He used his eyes to ask Shooting Star, Watch out for what?
Shooting Star opened his eyes wide. He answered while baffled, “I didn’t say anything.”
No sooner said than done, a streak of battle aura shot out from the corner. Bai Saya and Shooting Star were both taken aback. Just as they were about to dodge, they discovered that the battle aura was not rushing their way. Rather, it smashed toward the wolves to the side.
After a large, explosive boom, the battle aura sent snow flying into the air. The shape of a person rushed out from the corner where the battle aura had originated from, straight into the drifting snow. “Kill,” “die,” and growls along those lines kept coming from the cloud of snow.
Bai Saya held his bowl of meat soup while Shooting Star knelt in front of the fire with both hands in front of it to keep warm. Although their actions were different, their expressions were the same. They both turned their heads to look at that cloud of snow, a blank expression on their faces.
A few seconds later, the drifting snow gradually fell to the ground and revealed a figure with its back to them. It was a tall and robust figure, with a huge sword carried over the shoulder. Paired with the blood and flesh covered ground, it really had an incomparable, imposing presence.
“My fur skins! My fuel!” Bai Saya stared at the pile of minced meat in disbelief.
“You’re welcome!” The figure suddenly moved, turning around and revealing an angular face. He slapped his strong chest and said with soaring gallantry, “When I passed by, I saw the pack of wolves trying to sneak an attack on you two. I was worried for a sec, so I stepped in. You’re very welcome!”
Shooting Star raised an eyebrow and said, “Sneak an attack on us? It would be a miracle if those confounded wolves could even stand up anymore.”
Bai Saya was already so shocked that he couldn’t even speak anymore. He was muttering to himself at a volume that almost couldn’t be heard, “Why’d you kill my fur and fuel?”
“Don’t worry! With me, Agid, here, no monsters will be able to harm you!” The man who called himself Agid slapped his chest, looking as if there’d be no problems even if the sky fell, as he would be there to hold it up.
“Is this guy even listening to what we’re saying?” Shooting Star placed a hand against his cheek, taking measure of the guy in great amusement. He looked like he was having the time of his life pretending to be a hero.
Not too far away came the sounds of soft chatter. Shooting Star’s eyes gleamed and he whispered, “Xiao Bai!”
Bai Saya had also heard it. He lowered the soup made with meat, hand immediately resting against the Sword of Sacred White that was by his waist. He cautiously peered in the direction the voices were coming from. At this time, in the midst of the wind and snow, several figures slowly became clearer. A total of four people were slowly coming closer.
Bai Saya and Shooting Star shared a glance. Both of them simultaneously saw the two words “bad news” in each other’s gaze.
“Agid, you’ve scared someone again!” A girl’s giggling voice sounded.
Agid immediately stamped his feet. “They’re not frightened. They’re so amazed by my heroism that they’ve frozen.”
“…” Bai Saya and Shooting Star both turned to look at Agid, their expressions akin to having witnessed a pile of narcissistic dung.
“Hahaha, l-look at their expressions. Too priceless!”
A girl jumped out. Her smiling, heart-shaped face was rather cute. Her dark-brown hair was pulled into two wavy pigtails, with the length reaching her chest. Her eyes were an emerald green, as clear as the water of a lake. She wore a cleric’s white robes and held a small, dainty magic staff. She was evidently a cleric.
There were three people behind the girl. One was a blond, blue-eyed, handsome guy who was currently sporting a friendly and gentle smile; one was a slim and small guy (no matter if it was his stature or the row of throwing knives hanging across his waist, all told of his identity as a rogue); the last was a reserved woman wearing mage’s robes.
The girl blinked and said cheekily, “Agid, you went from being frozen to death to suddenly jumping up and running about recklessly. I thought you were on the verge of death and were having your last burst of lucidity. I was about to ask Elena-jiějie to use magic to blast a burial spot for you. Yet you actually ran over here to rescue people. Since when did you turn so charitable?”
Agid coughed twice, expression welling with emotion, “This is the will of the God of War! On this desolate mountain, there were actually two hot babes waiting for my rescue.”
Two hot babes? Shooting Star raised an eyebrow.
Bai Saya, on the other hand, glanced around him. Where are the two hot babes?
The rogue slid to Agid’s side and gave Bai Saya and Shooting Star a weird look as he said, “I don’t know if the small one is a boy or a girl—quite cute, that one—but the tall one should be a guy.”
“What? That’s impossible. That face can’t be a guy’s!” Agid rushed agitatedly in front of Bai Saya, his huge face no more than twenty centimeters away from Bai Saya.
The sudden large face in his face gave Bai Saya a fright. He hurriedly took several steps backwards.
“Cough! Sorry, I was too reckless. I’ve scared you, pretty lady.”
Agid put on an act, coughing twice as an apology, and then turned his head to tell the rogue, “Pisce, you liar, this kind of blushing white skin, even Miss Elena doesn’t have that!”
Blushing white skin? Shooting Star looked at Bai Saya. It was true. Bai Saya’s skin wasn’t dark in the first place, and on this damn freezing snowy mountain, he was so cold that he was deathly pale. Plus, he had been baking next to the fire for a long while, so his pale skin had some color again thanks to the warmth.
I-it really is blushing white skin… hahaha! Shooting Star couldn’t help guffawing.
Bai Saya gave Shooting Star a weird look. He didn’t understand what was going on. Just who is that person across from me conversing with? Is he talking with me? But he keeps saying “pretty lady,” so he obviously isn’t talking with me.
“Guys, look at how beautiful the color of her eyes is! I’ve never seen such beautiful eyes. Looking at them makes me feel so relaxed. Her eyelashes are as long as a segment of my finger. That hair is darker than even the night, and the luster of her skin even more beautiful than the light of the moon. Don’t even mention how white her skin is. She can’t possibly be a guy! You’re all blind!”
Agid spoke as if it were a matter of fact. As he was saying that, he also looked at Bai Saya lecherously, and by the end, he actually couldn’t help swallowing his saliva.
As they listened to Agid’s “explanation” and looked at Bai Saya’s face, even the rogue and the female mage displayed dubious expressions, thinking to themselves, Could she be crossdressing as a guy?
Hahahaha! Shooting Star laughed until he was rolling on the ground.
Bai Saya’s expression was even more confused.
“Are you really a girl?” The female cleric with a heart-shaped face finally couldn’t help asking Bai Saya.
Hearing those words, Bai Saya’s eyes widened. Only then did he finally realize that the guy really had been talking about him. Just as he was about to explain, Shooting Star interrupted him.
“I didn’t think you’d figure it out!” Shooting Star immediately jumped up and sneakily pinched Bai Saya behind his waist, warning him not to speak.
“That’s right! We’re crossdressing girls,” Shooting Star shouted with his crisp, androgynous voice. Then, his lips jutted out, and he made an aggrieved expression. Going by his usual routine, he’d definitely even have tears shining in his eyes, but he didn’t dare have that happen right now, or else his top and bottom eyelids would turn into one again. Then, he really would want to cry but have no tears.
He said despondently, “It can’t be helped. It’s too dangerous for two girls to go off adventuring together. We had no choice but to do this. We’re not purposely trying to trick anyone.”
You’re purposely doing it! Bai Saya shouted that in his heart as if his life depended on it, but Shooting Star was pinching his waist really hard, obviously at the peak of his excitement. If he were to uncover the lie, Shooting Star would definitely cause a lot of trouble. Forget it. It won’t hurt to let him fool around a bit for now.
“I see. Don’t be afraid. We’re all good people. We’d never hurt you. What’s your name?”
The moment the female cleric saw Shooting Star’s aggrieved expression, her heart immediately began to ache for him. As she spoke, she rubbed his head. Even though she wasn’t that old herself, Shooting Star was obviously younger than her, and he looked so cute. It was very easy for other people to treat him as a kid.
“I’m Shooting Star. I’m a mage! My companion is called Bai Saya. She’s a warrior. I’m very sorry, but she’s mute, so she can’t speak!” When Shooting Star spoke the last two words, he even purposely raised his voice to stress them.
Bai Saya blinked. He had originally wanted to speak up, thus letting Shooting Star’s lie collapse upon itself through his voice, but hearing Shooting Star emphasize those two words so strongly, he could only swallow his words back down and obediently pretend to be a mute person who couldn’t speak.
At this time, the blond guy who was quietly listening to the back shook his head and said, “Belle, don’t listen to that kid. This Bai Saya should be a man.”
In his own imagination, Bai Saya couldn’t help nodding his head fervently. He put in great effort to use his eyes to show his agreement.
“Then, you mean that you think I’m lying?” Shooting Star immediately jumped in front of the blond man and brashly pointed his finger at the guy’s nose.
Looking at the kid in front of him, the blond man felt a bit distressed. He really didn’t want to make things difficult for a kid, but he also couldn’t allow his teammate to be tricked.
“It’s just that as I see it, he should be a man.”
Shooting Star puffed his cheeks out unhappily. This caused the female cleric to glare at the blond man several times to rebuke him. The latter also frowned, wondering if he had gotten it wrong. But although that man with black hair did have rather gentle features, the shape of his face was slim, his nose high, and his eyebrows dark and dashing. At most, he would be called elegant and definitely not a beauty like what Agid claimed.
Looks like this one isn’t easy to trick! But there wasn’t a trace of shame on Shooting Star’s face. He even boldly said, “If you don’t believe me, just come closer to Bai Saya-jiějie!”
Hearing “jiějie”1 made Bai Saya’s face twitch.
The blond man frowned, said “sorry,” and walked up to Bai Saya so that he was only one step away. He took his spot and scrutinized him.
Bai Saya was at peak helplessness. Seeing that Shooting Star was at peak excitement, and was tossing him occasional warnings through his glances, he could only let himself be observed.
The entire time, Shooting Star was even explaining to the side, “Look at her skin. It’s a blushing white! Let me tell you, if it weren’t for the extreme cold here damaging Saya-jiějie’s skin, then, Xiao Bai… Saya-jiějie’s skin is usually so soft that you’d be able to squeeze water from it!” Yup, if you use battle aura to squeeze, then you can squeeze out bloody water!
The blond man frowned. His expression said that he still didn’t believe them.
Such a hard person to trick! Shooting Star turned to look at Bai Saya. Then, he pulled Bai Saya’s hair tie off in one go. His black hair that had originally been tied at the back of his head cascaded down, reaching past his waist, drifting along with the wind. On such a white, snowy mountain, it appeared pure black, even softer and shinier than before.
What are you doing? Bai Saya used his eyes to berate Shooting Star. At the same time, a bit annoyed, he used his hands to hold the randomly flying strands in place.
“You don’t need me to say anything more, do you? Such beautiful, black haaair—” Shooting Star dragged the last word out. He was very satisfied by the gob smacked expressions of all five people.
The blond man’s expression began to waver.
Shooting Star was almost laughing his guts out inside his heart, but his outer appearance was still an aggrieved one for being doubted. Finally, he added on the final, decisive blow, “Now, look at her eyes. Such a gentle amber. Saya-jiějie is just as gentle as her eyes! Yet you actually claimed she’s a guy. You really have no eye for anything.”
No! You have a great, discerning eye. I am a guy! Bai Saya stared at the blond man, trying to tell him the truth through his eyes, wishing for him to quickly reveal Shooting Star’s lie, so that he wouldn’t have to be called “Saya-jiějie” again.
Being stared at by Bai Saya, the blond man first looked at that pair of amber eyes in a stupor. For some reason, the pair of eyes before him showed a beseeching expression. With that kind of gaze, those eyes had become a lot softer, and really did give a bit of a feminine feel.
But what is the beseeching expression for? Could it be that I have mistaken her for a guy, and she feels terrible about it? Thinking of that, the blond man felt a stab of pain.
The blond man, feeling guilty, apologized very sincerely, “I am sorry, Miss Saya. It was my mistake. I actually thought that such a beautiful lady was a guy. Please forgive me.”
I am a Mr. Saya… Bai Saya cried within his heart.
Success! Xiao Bai, you performed really well this time. That beseeching expression just now has captured so many hearts! Shooting Star chuckled to himself and said with pride, “Saya-jiějie is a super great beauty! If she’s wearing a female outfit, she’ll definitely capture all of your hearts!”
“I definitely believe that.” The blond man, as if wanting to make up for his previous “blunder,” immediately nodded and agreed.
Bai Saya looked at Shooting Star hopelessly. The latter tilted his head over and blinked his large, golden eyes at him. The wicked upturn at the corner of his lips indicated that he definitely wouldn’t easily allow Bai Saya to return to being a guy.
Shooting Star looked at everyone with curiosity and asked, even though he already knew the answer, “Are you an adventurer team?”
“Of course. I’m the warrior of the team.” Agid immediately introduced himself, and he even smoothly thrust the broadsword he had been carrying on his shoulder into the ground, trying to show off in front of the “two beauties.”
Pisce was noncommittal as he shrugged and said, “Rogue, Pisce.”
“I’m a cleric. You can call me Belle.” Belle was all smiles as she looked at Shooting Star. Since there was no one younger than her on the team, she really liked Shooting Star, who looked young and was super cute.
“I am a mage, Elena.” The female mage, who hadn’t spoken the entire time, spoke with neither a cold nor warm tone. She was obviously not very interested in the two people before her.
The blond-haired, blue-eyed man was last. He smiled and said, “I am the captain, Philo. I am a holy knight.”
Seeing that their team was so complete, Shooting Star’s interest was piqued. He turned and said to Bai Saya, “It looks fun being on a team! Xiao Bai, why don’t we form an adventurer team, too?”
So I’m Xiao Bai again? Bai Saya merely gave him a look.
“What, why aren’t you saying anything?” Shooting Star poked him, displeased.
Bai Saya rolled his eyes. He forcefully pointed at Shooting Star, and then he pointed at his own throat. Weren’t you the one who said I’m mute? Now you’re blaming me for not speaking?
Oh no, I really did forget… Faced with five pairs of eyes, Shooting Star rubbed his head “innocently” and smiled stupidly, saying, “Oh right, I forgot you can’t speak.”
“Come on Shooting Star, I can’t believe you forgot that!” Belle giggled and then took the chance to rub Shooting Star’s head.
“It’s ‘cause I’m stupid.” Shooting Star laughed stupidly. Inwardly, he was a bit vexed. He had really made things hard for himself. If he knew it’d be like this, he should have said that Xiao Bai had used a voice-changing potion to make his voice sound like a guy’s. Wouldn’t that be a lot more convenient?
After stating their names, the five members of the adventurer team sat by the fire. In such cold weather, being able to sit by the fire was truly comfortable. Even the coldest, the female mage, relaxed a bit once she sat by the fire.
Following that, Belle and Shooting Star played together, while the rogue Pisce and the captain Philo began to discuss their mission.
“I wonder if we have completed the mission? The villagers clearly said that there are several dozens of wolves in the pack, but we’ve only killed ten or so just now.”
“Logically, wolves stick together.” Philo thought it over and said in confusion, “Maybe, the villagers were too afraid of the wolves, so they exaggerated the number?”
“Wolves?” Shooting Star jumped over, both eyes shining brightly, like a child begging an elder to tell a story, making him impossible to refuse.
Even the rogue Pisce, who was colder, was unable to withstand such an attack. Immediately, he honestly said, “We took on a mission to exterminate wolves. We’re currently searching for them.”
They accepted the same mission as us? Shooting Star’s eyes flashed with a glimmer.
Philo asked, “Have you seen any wolves nearby?”
Shooting Star hesitated. He was wavering between the reward money for the mission and the hilarity of tricking other people. He still had a thick stack of missions on hand, but it wasn’t easy to find a team that would treat Bai Saya as a woman, so he chose to trick others.
“Nope.” Shooting Star shook his head.
“Why are the two of you climbing this mountain?” Elena, who hadn’t said much this entire time, suddenly asked.
“We…” Shooting Star glanced at Elena, who didn’t have much of an expression. He abruptly realized that this woman might be the only person on the whole team who had remembered to bring her brain to go out adventuring.
Lost? On this tall mountain? This answer surprised even Elena. Relentless, she pressed, “Where are you going?”
“Shore City, to get our mastery appraised.” Shooting Star smiled innocently, took out a map, and tilted his head in confusion to look at it. He pointed at the map and said, “On the map, it says that this path is the shortest route from Stella City to Shore City. Isn’t that right?”
“Oh my god!” Pisce shrieked. “It is the shortest path on the map, but the way there is littered with mountains and swamps, tons of dangerous places. No one takes this road!”
“Sob sob, so that’s how it is. I didn’t know. I’m sorry, Saya-jiějie, I’ve endangered you.”
Belle’s heart ached as she said, “Don’t cry, Shooting Star. It’s okay if you’re lost. We can take you to Shore City.”
I don’t dare cry. If I can’t open my eyes again, that would be horrible! Even if Shooting Star had any tears, it would be because of laughing to the point of tears. He pretended to rub his eyes and turned to say, “Really? Isn’t that too much trouble? You know, we could just walk there ourselves. We’re very strong! Me and Saya-jiějie can defeat several wolves!”
With those words, even Elena and Pisce who had originally wanted to oppose having these two tag along frowned and didn’t go against it.
Heh! Shooting Star snickered to himself. Of course he had purposely phrased it that way, making them think that he was a brat who didn’t know his own abilities. This way, as long as they weren’t cold-hearted fellows, then they definitely wouldn’t refuse to bring them along, given that they’d be afraid that he would lose his life over showing off.
In addition to that, Agid was an idiot and thought Xiao Bai and Shooting Star were hot babes. He would definitely insist that they be brought along.
As for the captain Philo, hehehe, even though he didn’t show any particular interest in Bai Saya, he would occasionally glance at Xiao Bai’s eyes and hair several times without meaning to… It’s just so amusing! This team is really too much fun! Shooting Star spent great effort before he could squash down the way too exaggerated grin tugging at the corner of his mouth.
Seeing the smile at the corner of Shooting Star’s mouth, Bai Saya suddenly felt a chill seize his heart. Even the fire beside him couldn’t keep him warm.
Philo said a bit hesitantly, “But we still have several missions on hand. We won’t be returning to Shore City immediately.”
“Us too! Look, we have a lot of missions!” Shooting Star showed off the huge stack of missions.
Philo was stunned, feeling that the amount of missions was abnormally numerous. He extended his hand to take the papers. As he looked at them one by one, his complexion grew worse and worse. Finally, he furrowed his brows and asked, “Why did you accept these missions?”
“The person at the Adventurers’ Guild recommended them to us.” Shooting Star’s eyes shone innocently. “Did you know? The person who recommended the missions to us is a super good person. Even though he asked Saya-jiějie out to eat several times, and Saya-jiějie never accepted, he never got mad. He even recommended all of these missions to us!”
Hearing that, Philo’s expression changed greatly, and he growled, “Don’t tell me he was the one who told you about this path to Shore City as well?
Shooting Star smiled sweetly as he said, “Yeah, he said that we can complete missions as we make our way to Shore City. Once we reach the city, we would have completed those missions, and we’d have tons of money.” He was speaking the truth here! The moment he recalled the route and the missions Tang Wulie had provided, Shooting Star still very much wanted to stomp back to Stella City and hang Tang Wulie up to whip him.
“You were tricked!” Agid realized it, too. He yelled, “That Adventurers’ Guild person is a completely despicable, shameless bastard. Just because he didn’t catch Miss Saya’s fancy, he set you up!”
“Set us up?” Shooting Star showed a confused gaze, but inwardly, he was gleeful. They took the bait! The fish have taken the bait!
The rogue Pisce coldly “snorted” and explained unhappily, “Even though the rank of these missions isn’t high, and the payment looks pretty good in comparison, if you really went for it, you would learn that it’s not worth it at all. Just consider this wolf exterminating mission. Killing wolves isn’t all that difficult, but the mere act of climbing this snowy mountain, finding the village, and then finding the wolves that keep roaming about, have taken us three entire weeks to accomplish. And now, we don’t even know if they have all been taken care of.”
They have, and the evidence is in the bonfire right before you. To the side, Bai Saya silently warmed himself by the fire.
Hearing that they had searched for three weeks already, Shooting Star suddenly felt that he and Bai Saya had pretty good luck. They had run into the wolves soon after climbing the mountain.
“We had also completed several missions before we figured out that these missions are suspicious.” Philo smiled wryly and shook his head, sighing, “The missions you have in your hands, we’ve also accepted around ten. But merely completing two of them took us over a month. The reward money from them doesn’t even cover the costs of the journey.”
Tang Wulie, you better pray that I won’t return to Stella City, or else you’re dead meat! Shooting Star secretly gritted his teeth.
Philo returned the mission papers to Shooting Star and said, out of the goodness of his heart, “Don’t do these missions anymore. Go directly to Shore City.”
Shooting Star jumped up and shouted, “No! We have to do them!”
“Why?” Philo frowned.
Because if we don’t do the missions, just paying for Shooting Star’s meals, all the way to Shore City, don’t even mention having money for the appraisal, we probably won’t even have money for food. Bai Saya reasoned to himself.
“B-because… because my dad always said that people should see things through to the end. Once a promise is made, one should never break it! Since we’ve accepted the missions, we have to do our best to complete them!”
Unable to think of a reason on the spot, Shooting Star randomly made stuff up. After he finished speaking, even he himself felt vexed over how terrible the reason was.
“Is your father a knight?” Philo suddenly asked reverently.
“Eh? Um… I think so. I mean, it was a long time ago. Now, he’s just a normal guy. He doesn’t mention stuff from the past much…”
Philo nodded and said, “He must be. Only knights have such noble spirits.”
Then, Shooting Star’s father definitely can’t be a knight. Someone with a noble spirit wouldn’t be able to raise an evil kid like Shooting Star. Bai Saya pulled on his cloak again.
“Saya, are you cold? You’ve been sitting by the fire and pulling on your cloak.”
Hearing someone call him, Bai Saya lifted his head and once again saw Agid’s angular face too close to his own. Fortunately, he had already been surprised once before, so Bai Saya merely took a step back without reacting much. He hadn’t been too surprised.
Agid tried his best to form a gentle smile on his face—if two eyes changing shape, a mouth breaking open, showing yellow front teeth, could still be called a smile. Then, he draped his own fur shoulder wrap around Bai Saya.
With the addition of the fur shoulder wrap, especially when the shoulder wrap was practically a cloak that covered half his body when Bai Saya wore it, he immediately felt much warmer. He suddenly felt that pretending to be a woman had its benefits… Wait! I can’t feel that it’s okay to trick people!
Can it be that anyone close to Shooting Star will get corrupted? Bai Saya frowned, repenting over his misguided thoughts. He resolved that he wouldn’t copy Shooting Star’s actions again!
Seeing Bai Saya’s frown, Agid naturally explained it away as Bai Saya worrying for him. Immediately, in a showy manner, he said, “Don’t worry, I’m not cold at all. This weather is very warm, hahaha… Achoo!”
Hearing the sneeze, Bai Saya wavered between his conscience and the cold. In the end, he felt that he shouldn’t take advantage of him, so he sighed and took off the fur shoulder wrap. However, halfway through, a sudden, chilly wind blew over, immediately freezing his conscience. Instantaneously, he slipped the fur shoulder wrap back on and grabbed onto it with a death grip.
Seeing that, Agid felt super touched. Miss Saya is actually gripping my fur shoulder wrap so tightly. Can it be that my pursuit will be successful this time? Am I finally going to succeed?
“Agid, Agid, do you want to adventure together with Saya?”
“Damn right, I do!”
Agid clenched his fists and yelled… Wait! The person who just asked me doesn’t seem to be from my team? He turned his head and saw Shooting Star’s goose-egged shaped face and cute smile, so he smiled in response, a smile that was very like a comedian’s. What should I do? This one is super cute, too!
“Agid agrees, Belle agrees too, then what about Philo?” Shooting Star turned his head and asked the captain, his eyes shining.
“I…” Philo was a bit hesitant.
Agree to what? Bai Saya pulled at Shooting Star’s shirt in incomprehension, but because he was “mute,” he couldn’t open his mouth to ask.
Luckily, Shooting Star still understood Bai Saya’s query and how the other person had a habit of blanking out and not listening at all at times. He explained, “Just now, Belle said that since we have the same missions, we should just travel together. So, we’re asking everyone else if they agree to it. Now, we’re asking Philo-gēge.”
Shooting Star gestured at Philo, and Bai Saya naturally focused his gaze on him, completely missing that that was exactly what Shooting Star wanted him to do.
The moment Philo saw that Bai Saya was looking at him, he found that he just couldn’t say a word of disagreement when faced with those amber eyes. He could only toss aside all worries and agree, “Okay.”
“Awesome, we’ll have company.” Shooting Star’s smile was so sweet that honey would soon drip from it. The days to come will definitely be super amusing!
Could it be that Shooting Star wants to capture five pets at once? Bai Saya furrowed his brows in thought. But then he glanced at Agid and immediately tossed aside that thought. Shooting Star, who “lusted after beauty,” would never want that kind of pet.
He probably just wants to prank them? Bai Saya couldn’t help looking at the team with pity.
“Then, let’s go complete the missions!” Shooting Star smiled so much, his eyes turned into arcs.
Hehe! With a free team to use, completing the missions will be a cinch. Since there are a bunch of missions for gathering medicinal herbs and such, as long as we bring some herbs back, the client should accept that.
Just like that, a proper adventurer team, because the female cleric loved cute things, the warrior was lecherous, and the captain sentimental, was forced to bring along two freeloaders.
After they wandered about the snowy mountain for an entire day without seeing any wolves, they went to the village to report the completion of the mission.
However, when they arrived at the village, Shooting Star really wanted to jump out and shout, “I killed the wolves!”
But, between getting the reward and playing a prank, he painfully chose the second option.
Bai Saya also had a pale face as he watched the village chief place a mark of completion on the mission document in Philo’s hand. If it weren’t for Shooting Star grabbing onto him without letting go, he really wanted to rush over, punch Philo, and snatch back his allotted money for buying food.
After completing the mission of exterminating the wolves, they finally left the snowy mountain and continued in the direction of Shore City. Along with the rising temperature, Bai Saya’s mood that had hit rock bottom from the cold also lifted higher and higher. Even when Agid sometimes appeared and scared him with his angular face, even spouting a bunch of disgusting, romantic words, his good mood was not affected.
Of course, he hadn’t discovered how Philo would sometimes glance at him. Otherwise, he definitely wouldn’t have been so relaxed.
To Bai Saya, someone from the Eastern Continent whose nature was reserved, Agid’s exaggerated declarations of love made him feel that the other was just joking around, so Bai Saya wasn’t too bothered by it. Besides, Agid sometimes chased after Shooting Star as well. His half-heartedness made Bai Saya feel that he wasn’t serious about him.
Instead, it was Dan and Philo’s actions, where they liked him but wouldn’t easily voice it, simply secretly treating him well or paying particular attention to him that would alarm Bai Saya more.
Along the way, Shooting Star, that fellow who claimed to be a mage, only had one job, which was lighting the way with the Spell of Light when they were walking at night, lighting the fire with a flame when they needed to start one while making camp, and showing off his skills at using fireballs to cook their food.
In my entire life, I’ve never seen a mage who could use fireballs to cook food! Just as everyone was anticipating whether or not Shooting Star was an amazing mage, the mage Elena asked, “What kind offensive magic do you usually use? We can coordinate.”
“Offensive magic? I only know how to cast a protective shield and light the way,” Shooting Star said with an innocent air.
Everyone fell silent for a long while. Elena forced herself to say, “At least, you know the fireball spell.”
“Hahaha, I only know how to have the fireball hover above my hands to cook food. I don’t know how to throw it out as an attack!” Shooting Star rubbed his head and smiled brilliantly.
When they really ran into danger, Shooting Star maintained that he didn’t know offensive magic, so he shamelessly stayed in the back with the cleric Belle. Out of the two of them with too much free time, one spoiled the other while the other was spoiled. They never got sick of it, always having tons of fun.
It was just that those in the back had great fun, while those battling in the front were apoplectic.
Since Shooting Star had wiped out all of their dried rations to the last one the previous night, Bai Saya felt bad about it and could only draw out the Sword of Sacred White, planning to battle in place of Shooting Star as well. It was just that inwardly, he was crying: Why is it that Shooting Star was the one who ate all their food, yet I’m the one feeling bad about it?
Agid suddenly yelled, “Beautiful Saya, you can’t come over!”
Bai Saya froze with his sword in the air. He didn’t know whether or not he should join the battle.
“Agid, are you crazy?” The rogue Pisce used a piercing voice to berate him, “The swampland bats and the red-eyed metalligators are too tough to deal with. An additional warrior is better than nothing!”
Hearing that, Bai Saya decided to join the battle again.
“No!” Agid shouted, “I’ll take care of those damn swampland bats! Saya, don’t come down for any reason!”
Bai Saya furrowed his brows. Is Agid afraid I’ll get hurt? But red-eyed metalligators are incapable of hurting me. After all, what Shooting Star had used to train him in the very beginning were these alligators. He had long since grown unafraid of alligators.
“The swampland mud will dirty Saya’s beautiful face!” Agid cried out in grief.
So that’s the reason. Bai Saya’s lips convulsed twice.
“Hahaha!” Behind them, Shooting Star laughed exaggeratedly. This can’t be considered dirty! When he had been training Xiao Bai, his entire body had gotten so dirty it was like he was wrapped in a layer of mud.
As Agid was busy preventing Bai Saya from joining the battle, the team’s only other close distance fighter, the holy knight Philo felt the pressure on him greatly increase. Not only did he have to finish off the alligators on the ground, he also had to pay attention to whether or not the bats had approached their mage. In addition to all of that, he also had to keep tabs on whether or not the bats would sneak an attack on Agid.
If it weren’t because he really couldn’t even spare a second, Philo truly wanted to yell at Agid.
Just as he was so busy that his head was spinning, a white cloak fluttered downward, lightly pushing aside Philo. The precious white sword drew a beautiful arc, chopping down a swampland bat that was sneaking an attack on Philo.
In a moment’s lull during the battle, Bai Saya tossed an apologetic expression toward Shooting Star.
Before, because Shooting Star wanted to prank them, he had secretly warned Bai Saya not to take off his cloak to prevent these people from learning his sex through the shape of his body. It was just that Bai Saya was unwilling to allow a reason such as tricking people to cause Philo and the others harm, or even worse, to lose their lives. Therefore, when he saw a bat trying to attack Philo, and Philo hadn’t noticed it, he didn’t hesitate at all to unclasp his cloak, which hindered his motions, flying over to stop the attack.
Since he had taken off the cloak, he could no longer pretend to be a woman. Therefore, he hurriedly communicated to Shooting Star his apologetic feelings, so as to prevent himself from becoming the target of Shooting Star’s prank later. If that happened, he would want to cry and have no tears.
Bai Saya was in his element when Philo finally joined in, his knight’s swordsmanship beautiful with no faults.
Seeing that, Bai Saya tossed Philo an admiring smile. Philo also glanced at him, his gaze rather peculiar, calm on the surface, but burning with passion underneath.
Bai Saya furrowed his brows. He felt that the gaze was very familiar, as if he had seen it on someone else before.
When Agid also joined the battle, the three fighters, with the rogue and the mage’s support, very quickly finished off the swampland bats and alligators.
After everyone stopped fighting, they looked toward Bai Saya one after another.
Now should be the time to explain the complication of my gender. Bai Saya smiled wryly. How should I explain it? Do I just say that Shooting Star tricked them? To a team that had been kind all along, he found it hard to say those words.
“Saya, you’re…” Agid said, a bit stunned.
Yes, I’m a man. I’m really sorry. Bai Saya lowered his head, his heart full of apology. He regretted that he had followed along with Shooting Star’s whims, tricking these kind people, allowing himself to fall into such circumstances.
“Really too beautiful!”
What? Bai Saya froze.
“Strong and beautiful!” The rogue Pisce, who had been fairly unfriendly all along, actually used an impressed tone to say that.
Eh? Bai Saya was even more stunned.
“Your waist is so skinny. Do all girls who practice martial arts have such skinny waists?” Belle used an admiring gaze to look at Bai Saya’s slim waist.
“But it’s just that your chest is too flat!” Agid said in dissatisfaction. At the same time, he glanced at Bai Saya’s chest several times.
Elena coldly retorted, “Men are men. Could you not focus only on that area? Saya’s figure is so slim and tall. That size is perfect.”
Oh my god? Are these people idiots? Bai Saya practically had the urge to scream. Which part of me is like a woman? And what do you mean, that size is perfect? I don’t have that kind of thing at all!
Shooting Star was twitching as he walked over to Bai Saya’s side. He patted Bai Saya’s shoulder several times in consolation. As for the reason he was twitching, it was because he was holding back his laughter nearly to the point of injuring himself internally.
Bai Saya glared at him several times.
Shooting Star quietly got closer to Bai Saya’s ear and used a voice that was trembling from holding back laughter to tell him, “Haha, Bones is hiding in front of your chest, making it look like you have boobs. Hahaha! Damn it, this is just too hilarious.”
At this time, Bai Saya finally remembered that Bones had been lying across his chest, sleeping the entire time. He lowered his head to look. He didn’t know just how Bones was sleeping, as it clearly only had one head, but it had filled out his shirt with two little mounds right in front of his chest. It really did look rather like breasts.
Now, I don’t have to admit that I’m a guy… But Bai Saya really didn’t know if that was good or bad.
“Saya, you’re so skilled at martial arts,” Philo praised.
Finally, someone who isn’t focused on my sex, but rather my fighting skills! Bai Saya’s mood soared, and he was about to play it off modestly. Luckily, in a split second, he remembered that he was mute, so he could only swallow his words back down and nod amicably.
Philo was only smiling at him, so Bai Saya naturally smiled gently in response. In addition, the other person had praised his fighting ability, and that made him smile even more gently and sincerely.
“Wow!” At this time, Belle’s eyes shone even brighter than Shooting Star’s whenever he pretended to be innocent. She said, incomparably touched, “Two people gazing at each other so passionately, what a beautiful painting! Isn’t this a scene that is in every hero story? When the knight saves the princess, the two of them would quietly gaze at each other like this!”
Pft! No, I can’t hold it anymore… Shooting Star couldn’t help bursting in laughter. He laughed so much that he rolled around on the floor.
Bai Saya dropped his smile, turning expressionless. I’m not a princess. A princess should at least be female! Besides, I clearly saved Philo!
“What? I saw Saya first!”
Agid began yelling. He glared at Belle, yet the latter didn’t back down and said, “It’s not like the first one who sees her is the one who wins in these kinds of matters. Besides, Saya and Philo obviously suit each other.”
No! Not at all! Bai Saya ground his teeth.
Hearing Belle’s words, Philo instead put a lid on his smoldering gaze, his handsome face reddening. He stammered a bit as he put a stop to his teammates’ argument, “S-stop fooling around. Belle, stop giving Agid a hard time.”
Belle stubbornly sought confirmation, “Then tell me, Philo, don’t you like Saya?”
Agid also shouted, “Tell us, Philo! Do you like Saya?”
“I, I’m not… I don’t… Um…” Philo was so frantic that his speech was jumbled, and the redness in his face had extended all the way to his ears.
“Why lie to yourself?” Elena said indifferently, “If you’re not firm about not liking her, then that means you like her.”
This time, Philo no longer said anything. He only blushed and hesitated, throwing Bai Saya a glance.
Hearing all this about liking and not liking, Bai Saya finally understood why Philo’s gaze had been so familiar. It was exactly the same gaze that Dan used to look at him!
Agid shouted, “Fine! Philo, let’s have a fair battle!”
Pisce snorted in laughter, his voice strange as he retorted, “Ever since you were born, you have never stood on fair grounds with the captain.”
Agid’s face reddened, but Philo was the one who rebuked, “Pisce, don’t say that.” Then, he turned and told Agid, “I will fight fairly with you. I hope that no matter who Saya chooses in the end, it won’t affect our friendship.”
Agid nodded his head cautiously.
…As the “female” protagonist of a case of fighting for his attention, Bai Saya was frozen to the side. He didn’t know what he was supposed to do at all. He could only toss indignant glances at Shooting Star, who had laughed so much that he was twitching on the ground.
Oh no, I think this is getting out of hand. Shooting Star climbed up from the ground and tried his best to squash down his laughter. He pretended it was not worth considering as he said, “What are you fighting over? Saya-jiějie wouldn’t like either of you. She already has Dan-gěge.”
Philo and Agid, and even Bai Saya, were all stunned.
“Dan?” Philo asked hesitantly, “Is he your husband?” When he said the word “husband,” his entire tone reeked of strong disappointment.
Bai Saya immediately shook his head as if his life depended on it.
Philo and Agid let out a breath at the same time.
Meanwhile, Shooting Star rolled his eyes and pulled Bai Saya over. He left with the words, “We have serious business to discuss,” and then he disappeared in an instant.
The moment Shooting Star stopped, Bai Saya immediately protested, “Shooting Star, why’d you say that Dan and I are, are…”
“Idiot! I’m just borrowing his name. No need to be nervous!” Shooting Star’s voice was even louder than his. “Haven’t you figured out that those two people have actually become serious about you? If we don’t find an excuse to make them give up, then things are going to get out of hand.”
“You actually care that things are getting out of hand?” Bai Saya asked, full of suspicion, “Then, why is it that when Dan liked me, you didn’t stop him?”
“What’s there to stop there? Dan knows you’re a guy, and he also knows that you wouldn’t go out with someone of the same gender. It’s his choice to chase after you and torture himself. What does that have to do with me? Ah, no, it does have a tiny little bit to do with me, hehe! I can use you from time to time to extort money from him.”
Shooting Star declared that with an extreme lack of compassion. Besides, Dan’s situation was fundamentally not as simple as pursuing Bai Saya. It was the unpreventable nature of the demon race’s checkmate. It wasn’t like Shooting Star was bored to the point of losing his mind that he would butt heads with Dan over this matter. In any case, that guy couldn’t possibly hurt Bai Saya, and that was enough.
“But Philo and Agid are different.” Shooting Star frowned and said, “They like you because they think you’re a woman, but this lie will definitely be revealed in the end. The more they like you now, who knows if their love will turn into hatred when the lie is revealed, and then they’d end up chasing after us to kill us?”
So, it’s still for your own good. Bai Saya sighed. “Then, what do we do now?”
“Don’t pay them any attention. Say that Dan is your fiancé, and that you shook your head so vehemently just now because you’re having a little argument with him.”
“I’m mute.” In the entire world, probably only Bai Saya would be saying those words. No one mute could open their mouths to say that they’re mute.
Shooting Star had a defeated expression. He had really dug himself into a hole. Who knows, if Bai Saya had used a guy’s voice to speak, they might have automatically explained it away as Saya being a woman with a low voice, or that Saya had gotten sick recently, so her voice was raspy. Love was truly something that made people blind and deaf.
He said unwillingly, “Okay, I’ll say it.”
Bai Saya nodded. He felt that the excuse of a fiancé was pretty good. It would prevent Philo and Agid from getting in too deep, and ending up even more broken-hearted. Although he felt a bit awkward using Dan’s name, it wasn’t like Dan was here. They were just borrowing his name.
At the moment, the idea indeed seemed like a pretty good one, but when all was said and done, Shooting Star was not a seer who could see the future. He wouldn’t know that soon, they would actually alarmingly run into Dan…
1 “jiějie”: Jiějie means big sister. It can be used to address women that are a bit older than the speaker, even if they are not related.