Chapter 49: Hiding One's Weak Points
The tree branch that skewered the tiger meat sat rotating over the fire. Sparks flew from time to time as grease dripped into the fire, releasing a tempting fragrance.
The meat of the Rainbow Tiger was extremely fragrant, but it was also quite tough and did not have a great texture. Biting into it was like biting into meat that had been smoked for a long time. Thankfully, Origin Qi Scholars had good teeth. To them, the quality of meat was irrelevant. More important was the amount of Origin Energy that the Vicious Beast contained. Eating it could increase one’s ability to absorb, rotate, and utilize Origin Energy. It was a great supplement.
Because heat had ruinous effects on the nutritious value of beast meat, a few Origin Qi Scholars would even choose to eat Vicious Beasts raw.
Su Chen and Zhang Yuanliao could not do such savage things, but they still began to eat as soon as the tiger meat was cooked.
Origin Qi Scholars had very large appetites. They could eat an entire tiger, bear, leopard, etc. in one sitting. This was mostly because they could exercise an absorption technique to help them absorb anything that was nutritious for them quickly. They did not need to wait for their waste to be discharged before they could continue eating. When there was not much food to be had, they could temporarily hibernate, instead absorbing trace amounts of Origin Energy from the air.
This caused them to be very efficient in using resources, and every time they successfully hunted something, they would have a sumptuous meal.
“Here!” Zhang Yuanliao retrieved a piece of meat from the grill that had just finished cooking and gave it to Su Chen.
“Thank you.” Su Chen received it and bit into it. His mouth filled with oil, and the fragrance spread very rapidly.
“That’s right, why has the Su Clan’s Fourth Young Master run into the Scarlet Mountain Range?” Zhang Yuanliao asked.
“Scarlet Punishment,” Su Chen indifferently replied.
“Scarlet Punishment?” Zhang Yuanliao was stunned. “What did you do to force your clan to give you Scarlet Punishment?”
“Lots of things...... I crippled an underling, beat up an Aunt, and made it so that a cousin of mine couldn’t get out of bed for ten days.”
Zhang Yuanliao let out a low whistle. “I didn’t expect that a blind man would be able to act so viciously.”
“It’s precisely because I’m blind that I need to act so viciously...... Grab their vital points and don’t let go!” Su Chen lightly smiled.
Zhao Yuanliao was startled for a moment before laughing loudly, “Good, well said. I brought some wine with me, as brothers we should drink some together.”
As he spoke, he pulled out a flagon and two cups from within his sack.
He poured a cup for Su Chen, then poured one for himself. Zhang Yuanliao said, “Come, let us have a toast to commemorate our meeting. Meeting each other in this kind of wasteland was fated!”
Su Chen gently took a sip.
The alcohol was very strong. It burned like fire going down his throat.
“How is it, pretty strong, right?” Zhang Yuanliao laughed, downing the wine in his cup in one gulp, then filling it to the brim.
“I am not used to drinking strong wine.” Su Chen shook his head, then lowered the cup of wine. “That’s right, why is Senior Brother Zhang here in the Scarlet Mountain Range?”
“Some people discovered starsilver ore in the Halcyon Gorge. They believe that there may be a vein of starsilver nearby. I came to see if I could encounter some good fortune,” Zhang Yuanliao replied nonchalantly.
“A Starsilver mine?” Su Chen was also shocked.
Starsilver was a rare metal that Origin Qi Scholars commonly used. It was a first-rate Origin Energy conductor that could be used to construct Origin Tools and refine Origin-related items. It could even be used to supplement one’s cultivation.
Starsilver was normally not found in isolated quantities. If some had been found, most likely there would be a mineable vein nearby.
Based on what Zhang Yuanliao said, the person who discovered the starsilver in the Halcyon Gorge was a common hunter. He didn’t understand the true value of starsilver; he only thought that it looked pretty, so he brought it with him. Thus, he had not kept it a secret. Once the rumors spread, many people quickly discovered that there could possibly be a starsilver vein in the Halcyon Gorge. Thus, they all went out in search of an opportunity to strike it rich.
Zhang Yuanliao did the same. Once he received notice, he hurriedly entered the Scarlet Mountain Range, hoping that he could obtain his first substantial sum of money in his life.
Although cultivators never lacked money because they could produce their own Origin Stones, from another aspect a cultivator’s great need made it so that they lacked money more than anyone else. In addition, producing Origin Stones would affect one’s cultivation. A year of hard work would only produce three or four hundred Origin Stones, which was not enough to use. Naturally, Origin Qi Scholars, who were always in need of more wealth, would want to seize any opportunity they possibly could.
The starsilver vein in the Halcyon Gorge was clearly a great, rare opportunity.
“This is also why I wanted to tell you. Although the Halcyon Gorge does not have any master, and anyone who wants to go there can, because of this there is no order or restriction, and there are a lot of disputes. Rules and ethical restrictions do not exist there. Even if one were to do evil things, there most likely would not be any consequences. The evil in one’s heart will become enlarged, and the weak will become prey to the strong there. This is why I want to work together with you. If we combine our efforts, we should be able to establish a place for ourselves there,” Zhang Yuanliao pleaded. He had not given up on his goal of allying himself with Su Chen.
Su Chen didn’t really care. He only responded with an “oh”, then continued to eat meat.
“You’re not interested?” Zhang Yuanliao was somewhat surprised. “We’re talking about starsilver here! A small piece of starsilver is worth tens or even hundreds of Origin Stones!”
“But you need to go there to mine it, right?” Su Chen replied. “I would rather stay here in this forest and battle Vicious Beasts, consuming their flesh and blood, and skinning them for their hides. In addition, I can continue to temper my body and accumulate experience rather than depending on luck while mining.”
“That’s too slow!” Zhang Yuanliao sighed, “People don’t get rich without a windfall!”
“Is that your life’s principle?” Su Chen laughed. “Then I cannot agree blindly. Oh right, where is the spice jar? Can you help me grab it? I want to put some more on this piece of meat.”
Zhang Yuanliao turned his head around to look, muttering, “Strange, it was just here a moment ago. Where could I have put it?”
Zhang Yuanliao looked around, unable to find it.
“If you can’t find it that’s fine. In any case, I am pretty much full.”
“Are you leaving?”
“Okay then, let’s toast one more time, then we can split up.” Zhang Yuanliao lifted the cup in his hand.
Su Chen was not polite either. He similarly forcefully bumped his cup with Zhang Yuanliao’s. The two of them simultaneously gulped down the wine in the cup.
Upon drinking the wine in his cup, Zhang Yuanliao threw down his cup and said, “Su Chen, you are a real character. Although you are physically disabled, your will is strong. Even though you can’t see, you still dare to come into the Scarlet Mountain Range on your own. I respect you very much.”
Su Chen quietly listened to him talk, not continuing the conversation.
Zhang Yuanliao continued, “But unfortunately, although you have ambition and willpower, you are only a youth in the end and are still too naive. You don’t have enough experience yet.”
Su Chen’s expression was calm. “What do Senior Brother Zhang’s words mean?”
Zhang Yuanliao darkly laughed. “Do you want to try and see if you can still circulate your Origin Energy?”
Su Chen lowered his head, his blind eyes gazing at his cup. “You drugged the wine? Why?”
“What other reason could it be?” Zhang Yuanliao spread his hands out. “Of course it’s because of your Origin Tools. Those are extremely valuable, and yet you as a blind person could safely walk in the Scarlet Mountain Range. How could I not be tempted?”
“So you took action against me? Against your savior?”
Zhang Yuanliao raised his head and laughed loudly, lifting the Azure Scales Blade at the same time. “You’re right, you did save me, but so what? After I kill you, who will find out? I reminded you earlier that no man gets rich without a windfall. In these no man’s lands, there are no rules or moral restrictions. The evil in man’s hearts will also be multiplied. But you were too unskilled and didn’t understand what I meant, so how can you blame me?”
As Zhang Yuanliao spoke, his expression revealed a thick killing intent. “A blind person wielding Origin Tools is like a little kid walking in a busy marketplace while holding onto gold. They do not understand how to hide their weaknesses, so how could they not invite disaster on their own head? Since you are going to die sooner or later and others will profit, why shouldn’t I be the one that profits!”
As he spoke, he chopped downwards onto Su Chen’s head.
This blade strike was both vicious and ferocious. He did not leave any mercy with this strike.
However, he had just taken a step when he discovered that he had no way of controlling his Origin Energy. His entire body felt empty and weak.
“Qi Obstructing Powder?” Zhang Yuanliao was scared stiff.
How did the Qi Obstructing Powder that should have been in Su Chen’s stomach end up being ingested by him?
At the same time, Su Chen struck out with a fist. A powerful fist strike laced with Origin Energy slammed onto Zhang Yuanliao’s face, sending him flying.
“You weren’t poisoned...... You switched our wine!” Zhang Yuanliao began to yell fearfully.
Su Chen walked over step by step. It was as if he had walked into Zhang Yuanliao’s heart; Zhang Yuanliao felt an immense pressure wash over him.
“I conveniently switched them out when I told you to look for the spices.”
“You were on guard against me?” Zhang Yuanliao was extremely shocked.
“To tell the truth, I didn’t trust you from the very beginning,” Su Chen faintly replied.
“Why not? I don’t understand.” Zhang Yuanliao lay on the ground, appearing as if he had completely given up, but his eyes were still whirling around.
Su Chen pretended not to see as he continued to reply, “Because you didn’t understand gratitude. After I returned from killing that Rainbow Tiger, I said to you that if you needed my help, half of that tiger of yours would belong to me. Do you remember what your reply was?”
“‘There’s no need’,” Zhang Yuanliao said, dazed.
“That’s right, ‘there’s no need’,” Su Chen laughed. “Do you not think that you are quite greedy? After all, I had just saved your life, but you weren’t even willing to split half of a Rainbow Tiger with me. If the person I had saved had any conscience, their response probably would have been: you saved me, everything here is yours - these kinds of words, right?”
Zhang Yuanliao was stunned. He could not speak.
However, three purplish-black darts silently appeared in his left hand. One glance and it was apparent that those were poisonous darts.
“Of course, what I cared about wasn’t a tiger, but rather what this matter implied. This lack of gratitude meant that no matter what that person did, it would not be surprising.”
“So it was like that,” Zhang Yuanliao bitterly laughed. “I truly am a scoundrel, and I truly did not feel any gratitude. No wonder I was seen through by a blind person. However......”
Zhang Yuanliao dragged out his words. His tone suddenly became violent. “This doesn’t mean that you’ve won!”
Three poisonous darts flew towards Su Chen, headed for various locations on Su Chen’s body.
This attack was extremely fast, and the angle it was shot from was strange. Evidently, Zhang Yuanliao had spent a lot of time bitterly practicing this technique.
Just as the poisonous darts flew into the air, the Cloud-Stepping Battle Boots on Su Chen’s feet flashed with light. He flew into the air like smoke, avoiding one of them, then twisted in midair to avoid another one. The remaining one he could not dodge, but Su Chen suddenly did a 180 in midair, his back facing the dart. The Amethyst Battle Armor shone, and the last poisonous dart landed directly on the barrier, falling to the ground with a ‘ping’.
Zhang Yuanliao’s heart sank into despair. This definitely was not something that a blind person could do.
He suddenly realized the truth and began to shout with surprise and fear, “You aren’t blind! You aren’t blind!”
The corner of Su Chen’s mouth quirked upwards in a contemptuous smile as he gazed coldly at Zhang Yuanliao.
“Four years ago, I encountered an old man. He said that I had a sharp mind, but that I didn’t know how to hide my weak points nor keep a low profile. Thus, he exchanged my eyes, allowing me to see more. At the same time, he helped me to see the world’s true nature. Thus, from that time on, I began to learn what it means to hide my weak points, and what it means to keep a low profile...... Have a good journey!”
“NO!!!” [1. Three exclamation points! Whoa.]
As Zhang Yuanliao screamed in despair, the blade fell.
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