Chang An had never dealt with such a situation before. Hua Yi was so serious that he didn’t know how to reply.
Chang An chewed on the fruit for a while in distress. Feeling that it wasn’t good to ignore Hua Yi, he racked his brains for a moment before choking out a few words, “You don’t have to die… umm, you’re welcome.”
But after speaking, he still thought he wasn’t able to express it well. Unable to think of anything better, he dove down and bit off the rest of the fruit in one loud bite, stuffing his mouth to avoid saying anything.
Hua Yi looked at Chang An from above. Travel-worn, the teenager’s hair had long been messed up. His old, white hair band was loosely wrapped towards the end, meeting neither the head nor the tail, yet was unwilling to let loose.
Chang An lowered his eyes, and in the light of the fire, the side of his face looked exceptionally delicate, pretty, and soft.
Hua Yi had been through many tribes, met many chief’s wives and daughters, as well as various gorgeously dressed musicians, but at this moment, he felt that none of them were as good-looking as this pure and simple teenager.
He was very pleasing to the eye.
Thinking of this, Hua Yi suddenly waved to Suo Laimu in the distance. When the “big lantern” saw it, he snubbed it. In no hurry to come over, he first stretched his body widely as if he were sprawling in the wind, then got up bonelessly and leisurely walked over.
However, at the next moment, seeing Chang An behind Hua Yi, his eyes lit up at once, and he suddenly pounced forward with his weird outfit. A colorful face was nearly pasted on Chang An.
Against such an eccentric person, Chang An was caught off guard, and his body instinctively tensed up. His hand on the ground reached for the handle of the saber through his luggage as he stared straight at Suo Laimu.
Fortunately, Suo Laimu was soon grabbed by the back of his neck by Hua Yi. He was picked up like a chicken, and then thrown aside.
But holding onto Hua Yi’s hand, Suo Laimu spun around on his thin feet for half a circle before finally wobbling to a halt, once again turning to Chang An.
Chang An then found that his eyes were quite unusual. They appeared to be not very clear, a layer of fog seemingly floating within them. At first glance, one would think that his eyes were not focusing.
With such misty eyes, Suo Laimu looked at Chang An for a while and said, “Good saber.”
Chang An’s saber had been wrapped in its package and was lying on the ground behind him. Suo Laimu said this, but his eyes were on Chang An.
“Full of bullshit.” Hua Yi grumbled discontentedly as he sat next to fire. At this time, the maiden A’Ye came over and brought a whole deer leg wrapped in a big, strange leaf. She gave it to them, then lowered her head slightly and quietly walked away. Hua Yi thanked her on her way, then sniffed at that large leaf. He asked, “This is a Moke1摩柯 – Something the author made up by combining the characters “to rub” and “stem.” leaf , a hemostatic2Something that can stop the bleeding. Black Eagle still has doctors left?”
Suo Laimu pulled out a knife, nimbly sliced the deer leg into thin pieces, and then skewered them together. Twisting the leaf to squeeze out the juice, he said casually, “That girl you rescued was one.”
Hua Yi was surprised and said, “Really? Such a young person is a doctor?”
Suo Laimu handled the roasting of the meat, turning several large skewers by himself. Unexpectedly, he was quite skillful at it, his movements not at all clumsy. It could be seen that his ability to eat was excellent. After a while, the aroma of meat wafted from his hands. He said slowly, “That girl’s name is A’Ye. She happens to be the daughter of the Black Eagle tribe Chief, and she will come of age in half a year. She is the best doctor in Black Eagle, and she is also engaged to Ka Zuo, the number one warrior of their tribe. So isn’t she significant?”
Suo Laimu shook his head and sighed. “For a big fool, you’re actually quite good at saving people.”
Hua Yi didn’t hesitate to slap him in the face and lift him upside down.
Doctors were indeed important personnel. Those complicated herbs and medicines had to be learned by intelligent people. And there was no way to comprehend it alone. One could only learn from older doctors. If one wanted to learn, they had to find connections.
After a while, Hua Yi suddenly thought of something, and he said oddly, “Wait, how do you know? You’re a man. How could you pry so well into the affairs of another family’s girl?”
Suo Laimu looked at him with utter contempt and said, “I am the envoy of the gods. I know everything. What? Did you know me on the first day?”
Hua Yi dryly said to the “envoy of the gods”: “Pei!”
“Unenlightened stupidity is simply foolish.” Suo Laimu snorted and elbowed Hua Yi. “Take your own skewers. Still want me to serve you?”
Then his face quickly changed into a gentle one. He picked a bunch of the most tender meat skewers and handed them to Chang An. Like coaxing a child, he said with a smile, “Here, take it and eat it.”
The aroma of meat and herbs came over him, and Chang An immediately identified Suo Laimu as a good person.
At this time, Hua Yi suddenly lowered his voice and said to Suo Laimu, “So you knew long ago about the Giant Mountain Great Elder colluding with the ghost tribe?”
Suo Laimu saw that he actually didn’t shy away from talking about this topic in front of Chang An, and so he paused for a moment, thoughtfully looked at the teenager who had discarded the fruit peels and began gnawing on the meat skewers, and then whispered without dodging the topic, “You think I’m like that old fool, Luo Tong, whose only achievement in life was to indulge in a woman? How much property does the Giant Mountain tribe have? Among these, how much is the surplus? And inside whose pockets? This was the first thing I looked into after we split up and I followed Luo Tong back to the tribe. So many weapons were suddenly missing in the armory, and more than half of the sealed jerky was gone. However, not a piece was missing from the pearl stones and treasures. On the contrary, the amount of betas didn’t match with what was in the accounts. Where do you think all these things went?”
Hua Yi frowned.
Suo Laimu sighed, then said, “It’s just that we took over the tribe out of thin air. It was a fair deal, but plenty of people in the tribe still couldn’t accept you. So I thought, instead of dealing with these people every two or three days in the future, it would be better to beat them at their own game and catch them all in one net.”
Hua Yi glared at him and reprimanded him in a lower voice, “Bullshit. Shan Xi and Lu Quan are both injured, yet you weed out half of the Giant Mountain tribe at once. Do you wanna leave me with an empty shell?”
Suo Laimu waved his hand unconcernedly and said, “Aren’t there the men from the Black Eagle? They’re all good fighters. Isn’t it better for them to join in than to keep a bunch of losers who don’t agree with you? Don’t butt in when I speak.”
Hua Yi didn’t care a bit about this sub-beast’s rude words. He frowned and pondered for a moment, then asked: “Wait, hang on. Shengun3神棍 – Literally, “god stick.” In some of the later chapters that are unedited, I still use “god stick.” It’s a way of referring to someone who might be a swindler that uses stories about gods to convince people. They call Suo Laimu a Shengun as a way of teasing him., how did you know that the Black Eagle tribe will… Is that what those gods you worship told you?”
Suo Laimu rolled his eyes to the sky, took a huge bite on the meat, and mumbled, “Don’t you know how to read the terrain? Don’t you know that the Black Eagle tribe in the mountain pass use the skull of the Big Bone Rabbit as a wine barrel every Autumn Hunting festival, so at this time of the year, they’d send out their best hunters to hunt it down? The terrain is convenient, and the tribe is empty. If a ghost tribe came at this time, what do you think would happen?”
Hua Yi really didn’t know—who would be so bored that even the trivial customs of a small tribe would be kept in mind?
Thus, he was immediately rendered speechless by Suo Laimu. Seeing Chang An looking between the two of them, he felt he had lost face. Unable to refute Suo Laimu, Hua Yi decided to just mess around. He smiled at Chang An, whose mouth was all oily, and said, “Let me show you something novel.”
With that, the bored to death man snatched away Suo Laimu’s hat, revealing the uneven hair underneath which had been flattened by it. On his head was even a little ponytail standing stiff, and for some reason, there was a little dirt-colored pheasant feather inserted into it. It was swaying in the night wind, its tip unusually coquettish.
Suo Laimu immediately flew into a rage. He wanted to pounce on him and fight him up close, but knowing that he wasn’t strong enough, he just pointed a finger at him and stomped his feet. “My hat was given to me by the God of the Sky! You have no respect! No respect at all! Tonight you are going to have bad luck!”
Hua Yi laughed. Turning the hat around on his finger, he said, “Oh, come on, who doesn’t know that you had an old tailor make this? The old sub-beast’s eyes were getting blurry with age, and he sewed a broken and asymmetrical hat. What God of the Sky… HAHAHAHA!”
Suo Laimu cried out, “What do you know? The Sky God’s hat is naturally asymmetrical! One clear, and one cloudy; one light, and one heavy, representing day on one side and night on the other. Unbalanced it may be, but as such, the cycle can go on…”
At this time, Chang An looked at his unusual head and suddenly butted in, “Then what god is that pheasant tail feather?”
Suo Laimu choked.
A moment later, the sub-beast’s pleasant voice changed its tone, and he wailed loudly, “You uncivilised savages that can only dance with blades and play with spears!”
That night, the Black Eagle tribe brought wine, taking advantage of the warriors keeping guard throughout the battlefield. Others poured their wine into a river in the valley, and some roasted the heads of their enemies over the fire, offering them as sacrifices to heaven while singing an age-old farewell song. Then they began to drink and eat meat, celebrating the death of their enemies in grief and sorrow as they danced around their heads in the fire.
Hua Yi seemed to be very relaxed—perhaps a little too relaxed. He had drunk several large pots of wine before succumbing to Suo Laimu’s curse, losing his foot and rolling into the river.
He was jolted awake by the cold water and became a little sober. Floating on his back in the river, he gazed at the sky full of satiny stars and suddenly didn’t know what day it was.
At this time, his collar was hooked. Hua Yi looked back and saw Chang An crouching by the river, hooking him with the hilt of his big saber.
The teenager’s meticulous expression strangely warmed up Hua Yi in the icy river water, so he relaxed himself like this as he allowed the other party to drag him bit by bit back to the shore.
Hua Yi closed his eyes and smelled all kinds of smells in the air. Hearing Chang An randomly stirring the fire with a poker, he felt good for a moment, but was then afraid.
He also didn’t know what he was afraid of. For someone tall, cunning, and good at fighting, and who seemed incredibly strong that others would tremble in fear upon hearing his name, he was always afraid.
The path of a mercenary was very difficult, and Hua Yi had always wished for a few more friends. To his friends, he was very loyal, even to this day. His friends included Suo Laimu, the two brothers Shan Xi and Lu Quan, who were still recovering in Giant Mountain tribe from the injuries they got in this task, and there were also people scattered all over the continent that would be willing to work for him if he asked.
And then this person… Although they hadn’t known each other long, his xiao xiongdi had gone through fire and water with him.
He felt relieved and happy.
Yet every time he felt his friend was too good to be true, fear would arise in his heart—as if a sharp blade would emerge from the darkness and stab him in the heart.