GOD —The Beginning of the End— Volume 1: The First Pet is a Swordsman
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 9: The Poor Pet Who Makes a Living to Feed His Master—translated by lucathia (proofread by Arcedemius & Trespasserby)
As Bai Saya watched Shooting Star chase after Tang Wulie with a whip, he smiled and shook his head. Then, his gaze turned toward the twisted, burnt corpse on the ground.
At first, he had thought that he would feel great emotion from completing his vengeance, but when Bai Saya looked at the corpse on the ground, his heart was strangely calm, void of both happiness and hatred. All he felt was a sense of relaxation from having finished his task.
“Shifu, your disciple has avenged you,” he said softly.
Bai Saya raised his head. Shooting Star’s large eyes sparkled before him. This expression must mean he’s up to no good again, right? He couldn’t help smiling helplessly. “What is it?”
“What is it!” Shooting Star’s expression was shocked as he asked, “H-have you forgotten?”
“Hm?” Bai Saya began feeling flummoxed. Did I really forget something important?
Shooting Star’s mouth wobbled, and his large eyes welled. He used a rather pitiful voice to mumble, “You promised me earlier, yet now you’ve forgotten it completely. Xiao Bai looks so honest, but it turns out that he’s a big liar. My big bro was right that you can’t judge a book by its cover. I gave you my all, yet you stomped all over my heart…”
Seeing that even Tang Wulie was shaking his head and sighing next to them, and he was even shooting him an “I judged you wrongly” glare from time to time, Bai Saya discovered that he had unexpectedly turned into a big liar according to Shooting Star. He was even deemed a heartless guy who did not honor his words.
He hurriedly stopped Shooting Star, who was still mumbling. “W-wait a moment! I’m not a liar. Why are you calling me a liar?”
“Look. Isn’t that Mannen’s corpse?” Shooting Star pointed at the mound of charred black on the ground.
“Yeah,” Bai Saya answered, confused.
“You dueled with him and defeated him by your own hands, right?”
Bai Saya nodded.
“Then, don’t you feel there’s something you need to do now?” Shooting Star reminded him boldly.
Bai Saya frowned and asked tentatively, “Eat?”
“Eat s***!” Shooting Star howled angrily.
He thought it over again and asked, “Nap?”
“Do you want me to send you off to an eternal slumber?” Shooting Star’s large, golden eyes were already spitting fire outward.
Seeing that Shooting Star had truly gotten angry, Bai Saya finally stopped playing around. He said with a smile, “Want me to be your pet?”
“What did you say…” After Shooting Star shouted and was even stunned for a few seconds did he finally realize what Bai Saya had just said. Did Xiao Bai just use the word pet? He tried his hardest to squash down the urge to shout, “That’s right.” He blinked his eyes, pretending to be innocent, and asked, “Pet? What pet? I only asked you to be my servant!”
“Mhmm, servant.” Bai Saya amusedly watched Shooting Star deny it, yet his face said it all. Who does he think he can keep it from?
Bai Saya nodded. “I won’t go back on my word.”
“Then, from now on, you’ll always be…?” Shooting Star’s eyes widened. He nearly couldn’t believe it. After three months of hard work, to the point of nearly needing to flee, could it be that his toils were finally going to pay off?
“Your servant,” Bai Saya finished.
Shooting Star couldn’t help leaping up and shrieking, “Awesome! First pet, acquired!”
You just said I’m a servant, and now you’ve already slipped. Bai Saya smiled wryly. Oh well, whether I’m a pet or a servant, that’s just a name. Shooting Star is just like a kid. He only wants a playmate.
“Then, let’s go capture the second pet now… I mean, servant!” Shooting Star quickly changed his words to hide what he had said.
Before Bai Saya could answer, Tang Wulie cut in and said, “I think it’s more important for you two to figure out where your money for lunch, dinner, and tomorrow’s breakfast is going to come from.”
“What?” Shooting Star’s eyes were as large as a cow’s. He stressed, “I recall we agreed to split the bet thirty-seventy! Thirty percent is at least enough to feed Xiao Bai and me for several months, right?”
Tang Wulie revealed a pained smile and used his thumb to point behind him. Only then did Shooting Star discover that the crowd that had fled like they had wings on their feet had returned impatiently. Each and every one of them was at the height of their anger, their hands held out with their palms up as they screamed, “Give me my money back!”
Seeing that, Bai Saya relaxed a bit. Although the scene just now had appeared tragic, with a whole floor of fallen spectators with unknown fates, he could now see that many of them had merely lain on the floor and pretended to be dead. After seeing Mannen fall, they had gotten up and fled, and after discovering that all was well, they had returned for their money.
“What! But Bai Saya won!” Shooting Star shrieked in disbelief.
The crowd grew noisy and protested, “Nonsense! There’s no such match where a contestant would go crazy halfway through and injure the audience. You’re already getting off easy that we’re not asking you to foot the medical bills.”
“Besides, it was two against one. How can that count? Give me my bridewealth back!”
“I saved you all!” Shooting Star was so angry that his teeth smarted. He wanted to rush out and bite them several times. What a bunch of ungrateful bastards!
“You want money, there’s none. You want our lives, we have them. If you don’t return the bet money, we’re duking it out!”
“Have it your way. If I kill you all, then I don’t have to return the money!” Shooting Star pulled out the Crimson Snake Whip. Without another word, he actually snapped the whip at the audience. Instantly, the people who got hit cried out at the same time as “smacks” of the whip filled the air everywhere.
“Y-You really aren’t holding back… Take this!” Several people shouted and pulled out all sorts of weapons at the same time.
Shooting Star also steeled his heart and gripped his whip tightly. At first, he had thought there would be no need to work for money for a long while, yet now they didn’t even have money for lunch. How can I not be furious? My tummy is growling already, too!
Seeing that a fight had broken out, Tang Wulie hurriedly stepped between them. He consoled the audience amiably that at least Shooting Star had saved them, and they shouldn’t be so ungrateful, and yada yada yada, but Shooting Star berated to the side, “That’s right! You bunch of ungrateful bastards. You actually want me to return the money. So despicable!”
Witnessing Shooting Star angering the crowd into picking up their weapons again, Tang Wulie hurriedly tried to console them again. He also used his eyes to instruct Bai Saya, who was standing to the side without a clue as to what to do. He whispered, “Bai Saya, hurry and drag Shooting Star away!”
Bai Saya quickly nodded and grabbed Shooting Star. The latter struggled and yelled, “What! I’m gonna take them out. My lunch, my dinner, and tomorrow’s breakfast!”
By then, Tang Wulie could no longer hold the angry crowd back. A huge group surged toward Shooting Star and Bai Saya like a stampeding herd. Bai Saya could only hurriedly toss the struggling Shooting Star over his shoulder, immediately beating a hasty retreat.
Bai Saya ran with all his might, while Shooting Star yelled and attracted hatred and fury with all his might as he was lugged away. Thus, they couldn’t shake off their super long tail of angry people no matter how far he ran. The former had a sudden ominous feeling, “This is going to happen a lot in the future, isn’t it?”
Thankfully, Bai Saya’s agility was rather good. After he ran for awhile, there were no longer that many pursuers after them. Only then did he dare to stop to see where he had ended up.
Although he had stayed in Stella City for more than three months, he had mostly stayed at Shooting Star’s place, which was located at the nearby swamp. Therefore, he wasn’t very familiar with the roads of the city. After randomly running about just now, he had no clue where he was.
“I’ll ask Shooting Star.” Speaking of Shooting Star, he abruptly realized that several minutes seemed to have passed since he had heard Shooting Star speak. Although it was usual for a normal person not to speak for several minutes, it was unusual for Shooting Star not to speak for several minutes.
Bai Saya hurriedly lowered the person from his shoulder and asked in concern, “What is it, Shooting Star?”
All he saw was that head of red hair fall tiredly. Shooting Star lifted his head in exhaustion and said piteously, “I’m so hungry!”
“I see.” Bai Saya smiled wryly. He should have known that would be the reason.
“My lunch! I want lunch!” Shooting Star yelled and complained like a child.
Bai Saya nodded and suggested, “Then, let’s go back to the swamp. I’ll catch metalligators for you to eat.”
“That’s too late! My stomach is rumbling nonstop. I want to eat right now!” Shooting Star sat his butt on the floor as he made a racket.
Bai Saya shook his head and said, “But we don’t have any money on us. We can’t go to a restaurant. We should return to the swamp. Bear with it for a bit.”
“Go borrow from Old man Tang Tang.” Shooting Star pouted and complained, “He made it so I have no food to eat. He has to lend me money.”
Bai Saya thought it over and nodded. Seeing that Shooting Star was so hungry that he had stopped talking, if they waited to return to the swamp to catch, kill, and cook a metalligator, by then it would likely already be dinner time. Borrowing money for food first was more practical. They would just have to make money and return it to Tang Wulie in the future.
“We should also ask Old man Tang Tang for some missions to make money, or else we really won’t have money left even for food soon.” Shooting Star was very vexed. His head hurt so much that he felt anxious.
Bai Saya nodded and asked, “How does it work?”
“Idiot! How is it that you don’t even know how to ask for a mission to make money?” Shooting Star rolled his eyes and snapped, “Without a single ducat on you, unable to even register for an adventurer’s ID, if you hadn’t met me, did you plan to eat nothing but air from now on?”
Bai Saya smiled but didn’t respond.
Shooting Star waved his hand and said powerlessly, “Go ask Old man Tang Tang for money and register for an adventurer’s ID. Then, you’ll be able to accept missions from the Adventurers’ Guild to make money. It’s just that the guild will take twenty percent of the commission fee as their due.”
After he finished explaining, he stood up from the floor and patted his butt. He angrily said, “All right! I’m gonna go eat now. Go borrow money and ask for a mission. Remember to come and pay for my meal later! Ask Old man Tang Tang for the location of the restaurant. Ask where the restaurant I often go to is. He’ll tell you.”
After speaking, the heartless master who was making his pet borrow money turned and walked away brashly. He even decided to eat and drink to his heart’s content to pacify his aching head.
Seeing Shooting Star’s departing figure, only then did Bai Saya finally open his mouth to whisper softly, “Truthfully, I had not planned on being able to live on after taking my revenge.”
At that time, Shooting Star abruptly stopped. He turned and waved his hand exaggeratedly. His large eyes made his intentions very clear. It was as if he were asking, “Why aren’t you borrowing money to feed your master yet?”
Bai Saya’s sliver of sadness immediately disappeared without a trace. He helplessly nodded at Shooting Star and turned to follow the path he had taken to arrive here. Although he had run for a long time like a headless fly, at least his sense of direction was rather good. In addition, the Adventurers’ Guild was a distinct building. He didn’t need to spend much effort to find it.
Bai Saya was new and unfamiliar with the place, so the moment he stepped into the guild, he glanced around, wishing to find the only person he knew—Tang Wulie.
When he found Tang Wulie, the man was standing in the corner of the guild in the middle of a conversation with someone else. Bai Saya didn’t want to cut them off impolitely, so he stood motionless, quietly waiting for Tang Wulie to finish conversing.
When Tang Wulie looked up and happened to catch sight of Bai Saya, his expression immediately changed. He wanted to hint for Bai Saya to leave quickly, but the person he was speaking with had already noticed the situation. He abruptly turned.
Bai Saya suddenly heard his own name, and it was “Saya,” which no one used. He immediately woke up from his stupor and looked toward the person who had called him. Only then did he discover that the person speaking with Tang Wulie was actually Dan!
Dan must have fallen in love with you at first sight. The demon race doesn’t care about the gender of who they like.
What Shooting Star had told him came to mind. All at once, Bai Saya’s expression turned a bit perplexing and he immediately jerked his head away, glancing every which way, pretending with all his might that he hadn’t heard that clear voice or even seen such a tall person as Dan standing there.
“Saya?” Dan thought it rather strange and called out again.
Bai Saya’s eyes drifted around the guild. He looked at the people, the bulletin board, and even the potted plant in the corner. Everything except Dan.
Even if Dan were stupid, he would know by now that Bai Saya was purposely pretending he hadn’t heard him. But, he didn’t take it as a hint, and instead directly approached him.
Seeing Dan walk over, Bai Saya grew anxious. Should I grimace at him? But he at least let me go. If I grimace at him, that’s way too lacking in gratitude. But if I smile at him, he might think I’m interested in him. What should I do?
Bai Saya sighed. He really didn’t know what kind of face he should show this demon who seemed to have feelings for him.
Dan saw Bai Saya’s furrowed brows and heard his sigh. He misunderstood and hurriedly said, “Don’t worry, your duel with Mannen was just and honorable. The merchant guild won’t give you trouble.”
Huh? Bai Saya blinked. Only then did he realize that Dan had misunderstood. He wasn’t at all worried that the merchant guild would seek vengeance. In fact, he had completely forgotten that Mannen belonged to the merchant guild. However, he was rather happy to hear that the merchant guild wouldn’t give him trouble.
Bai Saya hesitated for a moment, but courtesy still won out. He nodded slightly at Dan and said, “Thank you for last time.”
Even with such a cold response, Dan showed a smile and spoke with Bai Saya as if they were friends.
“Saya, what is your plan now? You won’t be returning to the Eastern Continent anytime soon, will you?”
“I plan to take on some missions to make money,” Bai Saya answered honestly.
Dan nodded and said, “That’s a good plan. With the strength to defeat Mannen, you should be able to accept D rank missions.”
“D rank?” Bai Saya’s curiosity was piqued. He hadn’t known missions were ranked.
“You don’t know?” Dan smiled and explained simply, “The difficulty of missions from the Adventurers’ Guild is ranked from A to H. The higher the rank, the more difficult the mission.”
“I can only go up to rank D?” Bai Saya immediately felt a bit dejected. He had thought his strength to be better than that.
Seeing Bai Saya’s disappointed expression, Dan hurriedly explained, “That’s because C rank missions and above often require many people to complete. They’re not something you can complete alone.”
“I see.” Bai Saya nodded.
Dan smiled and casually invited him, “It’s almost noon. Would you like to share a meal together?”
When he heard the invitation, Bai Saya began fretting again. He hurriedly blurted that he still needed to borrow money to pay for Shooting Star’s meal. He was suddenly thankful for Shooting Star’s willful request, or else he really wouldn’t know what kind of excuse he could use to turn down Dan’s invitation.
After listening to Bai Saya’s explanation, Dan frowned and asked, “Is Shooting Star that boy from last time?”
Bai Saya nodded.
Dan tried to advise him, “He doesn’t seem to be a good companion.”
It’s not “seems.” He definitely isn’t a good companion! Bai Saya smiled wryly. Although he very much agreed with Dan’s words, it was too bad that their relationship definitely wasn’t that of companions. They were master and pet—though he was very suspicious as to who the true pet was.
In normal cases, shouldn’t the master think of a way to feed the pet? As the pet, why was it that he had to borrow money to pay for Shooting Star’s meal?
Seeing that Bai Saya had no intention to leave his dangerous companion, Dan could only try helping. “Let me lend you money then.”
“No, how can I let you do that?” Bai Saya began panicking. He knew that if he borrowed money, he would have to return it, but he didn’t want to see Dan again.
At that time, Tang Wulie, who had been watching the show to the side, suddenly cut in to say, “Come on, what’s there to be shy about? Mr. Dan is a famous person from the Goldenstyle Merchant Guild. Such a small sum of money is nothing to him. Let me also tell you that Shooting Star has already borrowed five gold ducats, three silver ducats, and fifteen copper ducats from me. If you return what you borrow, then it’s not a big deal to borrow again. Heh! I’m sure I don’t need to explain more?”
Hearing that, Bai Saya was speechless and furrowed his eyebrows at the awkwardness. He didn’t know what to do.
Actually, if Shooting Star were here, he would definitely scowl, and then he, as the debtor, would even adopt a loftier stance than the debt collector. He would start by arguing with Tang Wulie over the disappearing bet money, bring in how he had defeated Mannen and saved everyone’s lives, and finally call him Big Bro Tang Tang several times. Afterwards, while Tang Wulie was still unable to make sense of the words spewed at him, Shooting Star would snatch his money pouch and run off, disappearing without a trace.
Tang Wulie knew that if Bai Saya didn’t succeed in borrowing money, Shooting Star would personally see to it. When that happened, his money pouch would be in danger again. Since that was the case, of course he would hurriedly encourage Bai Saya to borrow money from Dan. It was better than suffering the blow himself again.
Unable to borrow money from Tang Wulie, Bai Saya could only force himself to tell Dan, “All right. Please lend me some money. I guarantee that when I complete the mission, I will pay you back.”
Dan smiled. As he took out his money pouch, he said, “I have a house in Stella. It’s just the next street over. If I’m not there, you can seek out my butler. He will contact me, and I will return as soon as I can.”
I hope you won’t be home. Then, I can just give the money to your butler. We don’t need to meet again. Bai Saya inwardly responded. Then, he took the heavy money pouch. In his entire life, he had never borrowed money from someone before. He could not help feeling a bit shamed. He pledged to himself that he would make money quickly. He would never again beg for money.
Dan pretended to be nonchalant as he asked, “Oh, Saya, I heard that Mannen suddenly went crazy by the end of the duel?”
Bai Saya nodded and said, “Yes. If Shooting Star hadn’t held Mannen back, we likely would all have died by Mannen’s hand.” He praised Shooting Star a bit. His companion wasn’t that terrible.
“Mannen didn’t seem like someone with mental issues.” Dan mumbled for a bit and raised a suspicion of his, “I heard that he took out a gem then?”
Hearing about the gem, Bai Saya’s heart jumped. He couldn’t decide if he should be forthright with Dan. But remembering how Shifu had likely been killed because of the gem, he grew angry. He abruptly denied it. “Really? I don’t know about it.”
Dan was taken aback. He frowned without saying anything as he watched Bai Saya, as if he were deciding how to phrase his words.
Even Bai Saya, who nearly didn’t have any experience in lying, knew that his lie was full of holes. There were so many spectators during the duel. There was no way he could keep it a secret!
Telling a lie and having it so easily exposed made Bai Saya blush, as he was sensitive. He hurriedly excused himself, “I, I have to pay for Shooting Star’s meal. Farewell.” After he spoke, he immediately turned to leave the Adventurers’ Guild to escape from the awkward situation.
“Wait,” Dan suddenly shouted.
Hearing the shout, Bai Saya struggled for a moment but eventually sighed. He turned and asked helplessly, “May I ask if there is still something else?”
Dan merely reminded him kindly, “Didn’t you say you wanted to take on a mission to earn money?”
“Ah!” Only then did Bai Saya remember that the main reason he had come to the Adventurers’ Guild was for a mission to earn money. He had actually completely forgotten about it and was going to leave just like that.
Bai Saya hurried back. Dan smiled at him and said, “I still have business. I’ll be leaving now.”
Watching Dan leave, Bai Saya truly felt relieved.
When Dan left, Tang Wulie immediately exclaimed, “I never would have thought that you really do know Dan. I thought that the merchant guild wanted to seek you and Shooting Star out for revenge for Mannen, so he made it up to trick me! When I first saw you return, I even nervously tried to hint for you to leave.”
“There’s nothing between us. This is only our second meeting.”
“Nothing?” Tang Wulie raised his eyebrows and said in disbelief, “Why don’t you take a look at how much money is in that pouch that he gave you? Based on the sound and the weight, there has to be at least several dozen gold and silver ducats.”
“He lent it to me,” Bai Saya emphasized.
“Even so, would anyone lend you so much money on a mere second meeting?” Tang Wulie’s expression grew even more suspicious.
No matter how suspicious Tang Wulie grew, Bai Saya would never reveal the reason. He could only awkwardly change the topic. “I want a mission.”
Tang Wulie gave him a strange look and kept his opinion to himself. He said, “Come and register for an adventurer’s ID. I’ll go over a few simpler missions with you so you can familiarize yourself with them.”
Tang Wulie walked back to the counter and offhandedly picked up a pen and paper. He asked leisurely, “First and last name?”
He frowned and asked, “Last name?”
“Last name Bai, first name Saya.”
Tang Wulie made a noise. What a strange Eastern name. As he wrote the information down, he continued to ask, “Job?”
“Unemployed,” Bai Saya answered seriously.
Tang Wulie blinked, snorted, and then burst into heaving laughter. To the side, Bai Saya could only stare at him blankly in confusion over what was so humorous about it.
“I, I’m asking if you’re a warrior, mage, cleric, or the like, not if you currently have a job or not. Unemployed! Hahaha!”
“Oh.” Bai Saya’s face reddened, and he hurriedly said, “I’m a swordsman.”
“Swordsman? What the heck is that? In any case, you use a sword? Then, you’re a warrior. Have you gotten your mastery appraised?”
Tang Wulie raised his head and immediately saw Bai Saya’s confused expression. He mumbled, “I see you haven’t. Take a few simple missions today. Come back in a few days to get your mastery appraised. In such a small place like ours, we can only appraise the average warrior. I bet your ability is definitely master level or above. But to get appraised as a master warrior, you have to go to the big cities.”
After he finished explaining, he raised his head again, only to see that Bai Saya didn’t really seem to understand. He could only sigh and be a free guide.
“Warriors are classified as apprentice warrior, warrior, and master warrior. Above the master level, there’s also flint, steel, silver, dragon, and finally god level. Normally, if someone can use battle aura, they’re likely stronger than the average warrior. Mannen was a master warrior, but I believe his strength was nearly at the flint level. Of course, the strength I’m talking about is before he went crazy. His strength after he went crazy, it’s really hard to say. I have no idea what level his battle aura was, but his tactics were practically at the apprentice level.”
Tang Wulie sized Bai Saya up and judged, “I think you’re just about a flint warrior. Get appraised as a warrior here, and then tell that lazy brat Shooting Star to take you to the big cities to get appraised as a higher level some other day.”
“Okay.” Bai Saya nodded. Then, he suddenly remembered to ask, “What level warrior is Dan?”
“Well!” Tang Wulie rubbed his chin and eyed the money pouch in Bai Saya’s hands. He said, “Revealing someone else’s mastery requires a consultation fee.”
Bai Saya said very practically, “Then, forget about it.”
“You really don’t want to know? Dan is really strong. I’ll tell you in secret. Dan is a half-demon, you know…” Tang Wulie purposely dragged his words out to reel Bai Saya in, angling for some money from that money pouch.
When he heard the familiar term, “half-demon,” Bai Saya’s eyelid twitched, but he spoke with a seemingly unperturbed tone, “Oh.”
“His job is also very unique!” Tang Wulie’s gaze kept sweeping across the money pouch. He tried thinking of all he could say to make this guy who was borrowing money to survive to cough up money to support the guild.
“Is that so?” Bai Saya still didn’t take the bait. Instead, he changed the topic. “How much does it cost to register for an adventurer’s ID?”
“Hmph, three silver ducats.” Tang Wulie made a face and grumbled inwardly. This brat looks so righteous, with an appearance like he was born to get tricked, yet he’s just like Shooting Star and won’t cough up a single ducat. As expected, morality is unraveling by the day, and people’s hearts are not like they were before…
At that time, Bai Saya, who was judged to be someone who was born to get tricked, was also inwardly struggling. Any martial artist would wish to compare his strength against others. At first, he had thought that it wouldn’t matter if he used a bit of money for the information. Besides, Dan wasn’t someone who had nothing to do with him.
However, the moment Bai Saya barely loosened his grip on the money pouch, he immediately recalled how he would have to pay for Shooting Star’s meals for all the days to come. In addition, Shooting Star’s appetite was comparable to that of an ogre’s. He had no idea where Shooting Star was putting all that food. So, Bai Saya unconsciously tightened his grip on the money pouch.
Bai Saya’s hand that was tightly gripping the money pouch began sweating profusely when he thought of Shooting Star’s appetite. Comprehension suddenly dawned. Paying the money back was a pipe dream. There was a higher probability that they wouldn’t be able to make ends meet…
“Fifteen silver ducats.”
“Twenty silver ducats.”
“Sixteen silver ducats and eight copper ducats.”
Bai Saya swayed a bit. He reached inside the money pouch again and took out money to pay the restaurant owner in front of him who was grinning from ear to ear. For the first time in his life, he really wanted to reach out and punch someone who was smiling at him.
Over the past few days, he had completed several simple missions in succession; however, the money pouch in his hand didn’t become fuller. Rather, it grew emptier and emptier.
Bai Saya earned no more than one or two silver ducats per mission, yet a single meal of Shooting Star’s could cost up to a dozen or so silver ducats. Even if this particular restaurant was considered more expensive than the norm, the table next to them that had six customers only paid twelve silver ducats for their bill. Furthermore, they still had leftovers on their table!
“So delicious!” Shooting Star hummed a simple tune and patted his stomach, face full of satisfaction.
But when it came down to it, other than food, Shooting Star didn’t spend much money. Also, he would always completely polish off his plates until not a single morsel was left, so Bai Saya couldn’t even admonish him for being wasteful with food.
But what in the world is going on with his appetite? Bai Saya was nearly to the point of tears.
No matter how he thought about it, there was no way he could support Shooting Star’s lifestyle. Bai Saya could only ask, “Shooting Star, how did you feed yourself before this?”
Put on the spot, Shooting Star recalled his painful past. His large, golden eyes welled up, and his voice quavered like that of a daughter-in-law who was being bullied.
“Before this, I could only order five or six dishes, which didn’t fill me up at all. But I didn’t have money for more, so I could only return to the swamp to catch alligators to fill my stomach. Boo hoo hoo, Shooting Star has already eaten so many months of alligator meat. I’ve eaten it so much that I want to cry.”
The ones crying should be the alligators! Bai Saya retorted to himself.
“Xiao Bai, with you as my pet… servant, I’ve really lucked out!” Shooting Star used shining eyes to gaze at his pet. Other people raise pets. My pet raises me. Lucky!
“It’s not lucky at all,” Bai Saya sighed. “At this rate, even though Dan has lent a lot of money to me, it likely will only last us half a month.”
“Since Dan likes you so much, you can borrow more from him…”
Halfway through his nonchalant words, Shooting Star detected a raging fire burning beside him.
Bai Saya’s expression was stormy as he overruled him, “No, a man among men cannot borrow money again and again from others!”
I bet you’re afraid that taking his money and eating your fill will make you soft toward him, and in the end, if you can’t pay back the money, you’d have to pay with your body, and thus you’d land in the demon’s grasp… No! Xiao Bai is my pet. I can’t let him fall in another’s demonic grasp! But if Dan is willing to pay, I don’t mind lending my pet out for a few days.
Shooting Star tilted his head in calculation.
Actually, Dan isn’t bad looking. Even though there’s nothing particularly special about him, he does have money! If Bai Saya acts as the bait, would he be willing to be my pet together with him? Then, I’d have a new pet, and he would even be a wealthy pet, thus solving the problem of food. How nice.
Shooting Star couldn’t help fantasizing about that beautiful future.
Dan’s entire body was decorated and glittering with gold ducats and gemstones. As he asked Shooting Star which of the treasures he wanted to spend, Xiao Bai held several plates of delicious food, feeding him bite by bite…
“Shooting Star, what are you thinking about?” Bai Saya narrowed his eyes, his tone rather dangerous.
His fantasy was immediately destroyed. Shooting Star blinked his large eyes and saw Bai Saya’s severely suspicious expression. He said somewhat guiltily, “Nothing! Just wondering what to eat for dinner.”
“You only just finished lunch, and you’re already thinking about dinner.” Bai Saya had to take in several deep breaths before he could calm his trembling heart.
Shooting Star puffed his cheeks out and said, “I’m still growing. Of course, I’d eat more!”
Bai Saya looked at Shooting Star’s small figure. Fifteen or sixteen was indeed a time period when boys developed. Since that was the case, it was normal for him to eat more… His face softened, but then he immediately remembered something he couldn’t laugh or cry about—Shooting Star didn’t just eat more. He ate way too much more.
“Sigh!” Bai Saya sighed sharply. In the past, he rarely ever had more than one gold ducat on him, yet he had no worries over not having enough money. Now, he had several gold ducats on him, yet he worried his mind out over money.
Seeing how worried Bai Saya was, Shooting Star finally felt a sliver of guilt. He suggested, “How about getting your mastery appraised?”
“That takes money!” Bai Saya immediately shot him down. He had already spent a gold ducat to get appraised as a warrior. If he knew ahead of time, he wouldn’t have done it.
“But if your level is higher, you could take on more difficult missions, and then you could make a lot of money.”
“Huh?” Once he heard that he could make a lot of money, Bai Saya’s ears perked up.
After having eaten so much food, Shooting Star finally discovered his conscience. He began playing the part of a teacher.
“Warriors are everywhere, so of course you can’t snatch good missions. Since we’ll run out of money in half a month anyway, we might as well take the chance while we still have money and hurry and get your level appraised. If you can get appraised as a flint warrior, and I can get appraised as a mage, then there’ll definitely be a lot of people who will want to hire us!”
“Just a mage? Aren’t you a master mage?” Bai Saya remembered Tang Wulie saying so on the day of the duel with Mannen.
“Hmph! Don’t you remember that I don’t know offensive magic?” Shooting Star puffed his cheeks out and said, “It’ll already be lucky if I can pass for a normal mage!”
“All right, then let’s go to the big city to get our mastery appraised. I’ll ask Tang Wulie if there are any message delivery missions we could conveniently take on.”
Bai Saya thought it over. They couldn’t just rest on their laurels. Even though he was making money, he was only making one silver ducat a day and spending a dozen silver ducats on a single meal. That was the same as doing nothing about the situation. He could only agree.
“You’re going to the big city, and you want a mission on the way?” Hearing their intentions, Tang Wulie flipped through the mission log.
Bai Saya asked with great anticipation, “Are there any bodyguard missions that cover food and accommodations?”
Tang Wulie rolled his eyes and said, “No! Besides, do you think anyone would be willing to keep feeding Shooting Star the entire way? You would definitely get fired after the first meal.”
“That’s true.” Bai Saya immediately felt crestfallen.
“What! It’s not like I want to eat that much,” Shooting Star argued while pouting. I really am in my developmental period!
After flipping through the book, Tang Wulie clapped his hands and said, “Here’s one. Destroy the wolf den on the northern mountains. You can head toward Shore City to the north for your appraisal and conveniently take care of the wolf den on your way. Then, you can get your reward from the Adventurers’ Guild in Shore City. How’s that?”
Bai Saya was just about to agree when Shooting Star suddenly cut in and said, “Old man Tang Tang, you’re too cruel. You’re treating us as cheap labor!”
Tang Wulie’s face froze, but then he smiled brightly again and asked in confusion, “Shooting Star, what are you talking about? This old man doesn’t understand a word!”
“You actually admit that you’re an old man! Now you can’t deny that you’re tricking us.” Shooting Star said cuttingly, “You better not think that I don’t know that this mission has been lingering here for more than two years and the reason why no one wants to complete it.”
Bai Saya looked at the mission log. It clearly indicated that this mission was only an F rank mission, which meant it shouldn’t be difficult. Also, compared to the F rank missions he had completed, the compensation was higher. He couldn’t help but ask, “Why doesn’t anyone want to complete this mission?”
Faced with Shooting Star’s death glare, Tang Wulie could only admit honestly, “Because of the location. It’s only a normal wolf pack, and the reward isn’t too high, so the mission could only be registered as a rank F. However, the location is deep in the mountains and rather desolate. There’s only a small village nearby. The small village was the one to make the commission.”
Shooting Star snorted and complained, “You’re even tricking us to go to Shore City. Even though Shore City looks close, there’s nothing but mountains and swamps on the way there. It’s super difficult to traverse. If we’re going to Shore City, we might as well go to the capital instead to get our appraisal.”
Tang Wulie smiled and said, “Don’t say that. It’s exactly because the path is difficult that there are tons of missions you can do along the way. You can complete missions as you travel, and once you reach Shore City, you might already be super rich men!”
Shooting Star sized Tang Wulie up with great suspicion. The latter behaved as if he were afraid Shooting Star wouldn’t believe him. He immediately tossed before him a bunch of missions. Shooting Star took the papers and perused them, afraid to be tricked by Tang Wulie.
Within the papers, the highest rank was only a rank D, but the reward was rather good. Also, all of the missions were in fact on the way to Shore City. Some of them were gathering missions such as collecting piranha pollen, iron thorns, and the like from the swamp. There were even missions that could be completed together in the same location.
If we complete this entire stack of missions, we might be able to earn several days’ worth of meal fare. Shooting Star couldn’t help but be enticed.
“Besides, the commissioners of these missions are all poor souls who aren’t able to pay high rewards. No one wants to complete those missions, yet they don’t have money to raise the rank of the mission. Just like the village from the other mission. I hear that tons of people get eaten by wolves every year! Poor them.”
As Tang Wulie sighed, he glanced at Bai Saya’s expression. As expected, the latter was frowning, his eyes flashing with sympathy.
He really wanted to take on the missions, but he also felt that Tang Wulie’s smile was deceptive. Shooting Star looked at the missions in his hand, and then he looked at Tang Wulie’s swindler-like smile. The probability of that smiling face hiding no trouble and the likelihood of Shooting Star feeling full after a single bun was probably around the same.
“Let’s accept them, Shooting Star.”
Just as he was indecisive over whether to take on the missions or to throw the papers at Tang Wulie’s smug face that deserved a beating, Bai Saya’s eyes were already shining with righteousness. His entire body was giving off a righteous glow, which forced Shooting Star and Tang Wulie to raise their arms to cover their eyes, so as to prevent themselves from going blind on the spot.
With his blinding, righteous glow, Bai Saya used an expression that “left no room for discussion” to discuss with his companion, “It is the duty of a swordsman to aid the powerless villagers. Shooting Star, we cannot watch on as the villagers are eaten by the wolves. We must go over and help them. No matter how far the distance, we must—”
“Fine, fine! We’ll help, we’ll help. Hurry and put away your glow, or else I’m gonna go blind.” Shooting Star was using both hands to cover his eyes, blocking the glow of righteousness, while incessant persuasion yapped by his ear. He was nearly about to float away to heaven.
“That’s great then.” Bai Saya put away his righteousness and returned to his gentle demeanor. However, as if afraid that Shooting Star would go back on his word, he immediately reached his hand out to take the pile of missions. He gently flipped through them page by page to read the contents, like they weren’t papers but rather his son.
Tang Wulie watched him with a strange expression and mumbled, “Now I know what the difference is between a warrior and a swordsman. It turns out that the latter can also use the specialty of a cleric—holy light. That’s really impressive.”
“I also know what the difference is.” Shooting Star bit out, “It’s no wonder that a warrior has juicy meat to eat, while a busybody swordsman only has bones to gnaw on.”
Bai Saya exclaimed, “Shooting Star, let’s depart. The earlier we arrive, the sooner we can help the villagers.”
Shooting Star made a noise in response. His eyes rolled about. There was definitely something off about Tang Wulie, but since they’d already fallen in his trap, he might as well wring some more stuff out of him to lessen their loss.
Unfortunately, at this time, his overly righteous pet was already unable to wait. Bai Saya grabbed Shooting Star’s hand and didn’t pause for him to respond.
Shooting Star jolted. As he was dragged away, he shouted, “Don’t pull on me. W-wait! Stop dragging me. My entire body is flying up now. Ahhh!”
“Seems like that brat Shooting Star knows that the path is difficult, but he doesn’t know exactly how difficult!”
Once the two of them departed at nearly flying speeds… Well, one of them was actually flying as he left, Tang Wulie’s smile vanished instantaneously. As he mumbled, he rubbed his stiff facial muscles.
Even though smiling was tough, it was worth it! Not only had he gotten rid of all of the guild’s piled up, headache-inducing missions all at once, he could also prank Shooting Star at the same time. In addition, he could also receive commission fees from the missions. It was simply killing several birds with one stone.
As for the innocent Bai Saya… Sigh! Who told you to meet such a bad prospect. Of all the companions you could have had, you’re Shooting Star’s companion. Poor thing, poor thing!
But thinking of Bai Saya’s shining righteousness that had exploded from him, and how he had snatched the missions, unable to wait, Tang Wulie felt that the guy deserved it. As expected, he was the type who was born to be tricked. His judgment had been correct.