Chapter 148: To Be Alone is also To Be Somewhere
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Maybe because Chen Mu’s modification of the card had been too amazing, everyone fell silent along the way. It was a good thing that Chen Mu didn’t like to talk so much himself, so there was nothing for him to get used to. Cheng Ying was immersed in her excitement and elation, always having wished for a powerful battle card. She had never thought that a card like the one Chen Mu had modified was something she could have, having no influence, and being no better-off than any ordinary card artisan.
Bo Wen was wondering about fragrances. Among the materials that he had written down, apart from the comparatively precious linked stone, the other kinds of materials weren’t hard to get, although they were expensive. If he were able to succeed, the huge profits would be exciting. He didn’t really think that much of Cheng Ying’s much more powerful card which had been modified by Chen Mu. Although there weren’t so many exceptional cards like that one, there weren’t so few either. And moreover, he could already use four-star cards, and do it rather well.
With regard to power, the gap between three-star and four-star cards couldn’t be spanned. Of course, there were exceptions, but those were scarce enough to be counted on one’s fingers. As for Bo Wen, he only needed to work hard to round out his familiarity with the four-star card and shouldn’t waste his time on strange three-star cards, even if that three-star card was outstanding. Cards depend on quality not quantity.
Li Duhong was silent as well, sometimes looking toward Chen Mu with a hot gaze. At his age, with a life full of fantasies, and given his curiosity and mischievousness, he felt that Chen Mu had a kind of magical power, seeming to get all kinds of results from just casually moving his pen.
Having been raised in the jungle, Li Duhong was sensitive to power, even though he was still a child. And so he felt a natural longing toward Chen Mu with his ability to create power.
They were shuttling through the jungle afoot, and Li Duhong was very compatibly guiding them, so that the three of them soon arrived at the village the little guy had talked about.
Chen Mu and the rest got a “grand reception” once they arrived at the entrance to the village. There were five youths surrounding an old man standing at the entrance. They seemed to have known in advance that Bo Wen and the rest were about to arrive.
The old man had on a headdress made of colorful feathers and wore a broad brown cloth skirt. He had deep wrinkles on his face, and dark brown skin from long exposure. Because he was so old, he had already started to wither. The several youths beside him all had an unfriendly look in their eyes.
Bo Wen and Chen Mu looked at one another. Li Duhong looked at the old man, and immediately bowed his head.
“Welcome guests from afar!” The old one stood up and smiled, “Thank you very much for returning my child. I’m afraid he’s given you some trouble these past few days.” Then he turned and said, “Wei-ah, take the little kid to his mother.”
A sturdy fellow responded and was about to walk over to Li Duhong.
Li Duhong had been their protective talisman. How could they just take him away before they knew what was going on? Bo Wen stepped forward, blocking Li Duhong.
That move of Bo Wen immediately drew a strong reaction from the already unfriendly-looking youths.
With a hiss, weapons showed up in each of the five youth’s hands, each of them holding an energy knife. They were about 45 centimeters long with curving blades.
Chen Mu was a little startled, not having noticed until then something that looked like a knife-handle tied onto their wrists. He had never imagined that those knife-handle shaped objects could take the form of an energy knife. It was the first time either he or Bo Wen had seen such a weapon. If they hadn’t been so familiar with energy, then they might not have had any way to know on first glance what those youths were holding in their hands.
A card appliance? Chen Mu and the three of them looked cautious. Chen Mu hadn’t seen such a strange card appliance, but he was a card master, and his sensitivity to energy was more refined.
The sharpness of those energy knives wasn’t as good as ordinary three-star wavy blade cards, and their flexibility and range fell far behind.
It was his professional assessment that they were only a kind of low-grade weapon.
But that didn’t mean that he would look down on them. On the contrary, if they had been able to survive in the jungle by means of that kind of simple crude weapon, that would be enough to make clear how powerful the battle strength of those villagers was. Unlike Bo Wen, Chen Mu didn’t think that card artisans were the only ones with battle power in the world. The demonic woman was a classic example. She could have killed him a hundred different ways if she had wanted to, and none of them required cards.
The number of card artisans killed by the demonic woman certainly wasn’t small.
Looking more closely at them, they all looked fierce, with pumped up muscles like human-shaped beasts, each of them menacing.
Although the five of them had all pulled out weapons, Bo Wen was looking calm. Who was he? What hadn’t he seen? Apart from having suffered at Chen Mu’s hands, no one else had ever been able to cause him any trouble.
“Are you making a move?” Bo Wen asked haughtily, having quietly activated the apparatus on his wrist. Upon seeing that, Cheng Ying beside him also activated her apparatus.
In contrast, Chen Mu seemed a lot calmer. His expression hadn’t changed, though of course that was partly because of the disguise on his face, since if it had changed they wouldn’t have seen it. But the most surprising thing was that he wasn’t even in a state of alert, as though he hadn’t seen the five of them light up their weapons.
Cheng Ying and Bo Wen admired Chen Mu even more for remaining so calm in that situation, which showed his excellent psychological qualities. How could they have known that it wasn’t that Chen Mu didn’t want to be alert, but rather that it wouldn’t do any good for him to be vigilant. He needed quite a few minutes to enter the state of breath control, and without entering that state, his fighting strength was pitifully small, and so he simply looked on as the situation developed. A novice had no right to speak up, and so he kept consciously silent.
“Do you want to make enemies of us, young man?” The old man asked without changing his expression, looking again at Chen Mu.
Bo Wen bowed slightly, and said very humbly, “Respected old one, I believe that you can see that we have no animosity. We simply don’t know if what your honorable village is giving us is knives and swords. Or is it friendship? That has been difficult for us to determine from the previous behavior. I think that before we decide, maintaining the current situation would be acceptable to both of us.”
The old man said a little unhappily, “You can only drive away our friendship this way, young man.”
“You can also see that we are in a weak position in your honorable village and require some guarantee of our protection. The philosopher said that blind strength is not the most appropriate attitude. And things may develop that can never be reversed.” Bo Wen said lightly. That was his only bargaining chip, and he didn’t want to waste it.
The five youths showed an angry look on their faces, since as they saw it Bo Wen was threatening them.
Facing the restless youths, Bo Wen maintained his expression, and saw them without looking at them. Although the status of Li Duhong wasn’t clear, the intimacy in the old man’s voice made Bo Wen think that the relationship between the kid and the old man was certainly not simple.
The old man hadn’t been angered by what Bo Wen said, and his expression hadn’t even changed, as took a deep look at Bo Wen, “You are very clever, young man.” Without waiting for Bo Wen to respond, his gaze fell onto Chen Mu.
Bo Wen was the handsome one among the three, with an extraordinary bearing, and Cheng Ying was elegantly heroic; both of them were very striking people, with only Chen Mu not attracting any attention. But the old man’s gaze had fallen onto Chen Mu for the longest, and it seemed to be a little meaningful.
“So, this little brother is the ace that little Three was talking about.” What the old man sad made the gazes of the five of them again all fall at once onto Chen Mu, and their gazes were suspicious, excited, doubtful, and provocative, with none of the five showing the same look. But they were all stunned. They knew about little Three being wounded, but they had thought all along that it was Bo Wen who had wounded him. No matter how you looked at him, Bo Wen had the manner of an ace.
Because of what the old man had said, their gazes had all then fallen onto Chen Mu. Such an ordinary looking youth with nothing outstanding about him had actually been the one to wound little Three.
Little Three? Chen Mu then remembered that man that he had wounded. Could that be him? He didn’t know how to fill the space, so he simply kept silent.
The old man suddenly opened into a smile, “Being able meet such an ace is really an honor for our village. Ai-ya! I am so old, and not so good at managing things. How rude that I still haven’t invited you all into the town to sit. How rude of me! Come, come, come, please come in quickly, come quickly.”
Bo Wen and Cheng Ying looked at one another. They didn’t know how to respond to the old man who had so quickly changed his attitude. To go from ‘swords drawn and bows bent’ just then to such a sudden spring rain, was really a test of the heart.
Chen Mu hadn’t felt that, since the strength of the two sides were at such different levels. Their true fighting strength in that place was really limited to Bo Wen and Cheng Ying, and if a conflict arose, the first one to be killed would certainly be himself. Who would give him three minutes for entering the state of breath control?
So, Chen Mu remained calm, and he didn’t need to think so much. If a conflict really arose between the two sides, what use would a novice like him be? And still more, if they really wanted to make a move against them, it wouldn’t make any difference whether it was in the jungle or in the village.
He faced the situation very calmly, always maintaining his calm expression and his tranquil gaze.
To be alone is also to be somewhere!