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AWG - Chapter 0002: Be My Subordinate

Yang Wu had been starving for three days. If this kept up, he would die. After finally finding a chunk of Scarlet Steel Rock to trade for food, someone had just stolen it! How could he contain his anger?

Looking up, the boy saw a large, ugly woman before him. Two men trailed behind her, all wearing prison rags and shackles around their ankles. They were obviously other prisoners.

“Drop that rock, you fat bitch!” Yang Wu growled. He did not think much of her due to her appearance.

“Watch your mouth, brat! This is Elder Sister Wang, cellblock 68’s beau. Talk out of line again, and I’ll rip your jaw off!” a skinny man shouted from behind the woman.

“Why waste your time on him? We should just teach the brat a quick lesson, show him who's in charge of block 68!” the skinny man’s short companion said.

The woman examined the new prisoner, lust flashing in her eyes when she realized how young and handsome Yang Wu was. With a wave, she told her lackies to stand down, “Zhu Gan, Shi Dan, there’s no rush. Let me speak with this little brother first.” She moved forward, extending a hand to touch Yang Wu’s face. He quickly dodged, assuming she intended to hit him.

[TL Note: Zhu Gan means bamboo pole. This is likely the name of the skinny man. Shi Dan means stone egg, who is probably the short man. I’m unsure if these are their real names, but I could not find any further details when searching their names in the raws. They may be both nicknames, but I chose to use the pinyin instead of translating them. I also assumed that the first word of the name is their family name. Zhu and Shi are both legit family names.]

“Fat bitch, give the stone back or I’ll take it by force.”

“Oh! Getting the stone back is easy if you want it. Come serve me tonight. If your performance is satisfactory, I’ll send someone each day to give you Scarlet Steel Rock. What do you say?” Wang Yan, the large woman, propositioned, gesturing to the boy by touching her thumb and middle finger, keeping the rest of her fingers extended.

[TL Note: This hand gesture is common in traditional dances and is meant to be a flirtatious move. Here is what one common variation looks like: https://huaban.com/pins/342312639/. Some variations have the thumb touching a lower part of the middle finger instead of the tip.]

Yang Wu instantly felt like he was about to retch. He had seen many ugly women before, but none had been as large or hideous as this. He found the idea of ‘serving’ her unbearable.

He would rather die than humiliate himself by serving as this woman’s plaything.

Yang Wu did not bother responding. Rather, his hand lashed out, trying to snatch back the stone.

Wang Yan may have been fat, but she was quick. She dodged the young man’s attempt, grabbing his wrist and yanking him into her embrace with one, smooth motion. She squeezed the young man’s face between her voluptuous bosom while Yang Wu struggled to breathe.

The two prisoners behind Wang Yan gulped, jealous of the boy’s current predicament.

Even as strong as Yang Wu was, he had not had any food for days and was weak. He did not have the energy to fight back, which allowed the woman to maneuver him easily.

In that moment, he wished for death. He was a bona fide viscount! Even the servant girls he had known in the past were several times more beautiful than this woman, yet she humiliated him in such a way! He was utterly disgusted.

The ex-viscount continued to struggle while Wang Yan held him firmly in place. “Just submit, young man. I’ll treat you well. No one dares to refuse me in block 68. Enjoy your new life with me or give up on claiming any Scarlet Steel Rock.”

Yang Wu refused to suffer this embarrassment, and he struggled as hard as he could, but the larger woman was extraordinarily strong. He could not find the leverage to pry himself free. Finally, the little dog, who had been ignored, growled before leaping up, claiming the stone in its mouth and fleeing.

“Hey, where did that disgusting mongrel come from? Kill it!” Wang Yan had a phobia of small furry animals, and the beast had startled her into releasing the boy as she ordered her minions to eliminate the dog.

The little black dog proved to be quite nimble, easily evading the two inmates. During the chase, it even stopped to growl and wiggle its tiny but. The pup wagged its short tail and taunted the two men as they ran, shouting, after it.

“Stand still, you little rascal! I’ll roast you when I get my hands on you!” the skinny inmate yelled.

“It’s pretty small, but it has enough meat for a meal!” the stout prisoner added.

The black dog didn’t seem to find the two men threatening. It led them in circles around the piles of rock, leaping away every time they got close. Its agility was impressive.

Meanwhile, freed from the large woman’s grasp, Yang Wu kneeled on the ground, vomiting into the dirt. With his stomach empty, he only managed to dry heave. It was as miserable as it looked.

Wang Yan stopped harassing the boy, patting him on the back and saying in a coquettish tone, “Think about what I said, little fellow. Otherwise, you can forget about claiming any Scarlet Steel Rock. Even if you do, I won’t let you trade it in for food.”

With that said, she glanced back toward the little black dog. Seeing her subordinates fail to catch the creature, she spat and walked away, swaying her ample hips.

Yang Wu continued to vomit. By the time he caught his breath, the woman was already gone.

“I can’t believe a woman humiliated me, a viscount. How disgusting!” Yang Wu grunted, dismayed. His fist slammed into the ground, opening fresh wounds across his knuckles.

Yang Wu had been imprisoned because of a woman, and now, such a disgusting woman had humiliated him. His suffering was a calamity of passion.

“Why be like this, brother? That woman is a little ugly, but her bosom is big enough. I’d love to bury my head in her chest, even if it meant a beating. You, on the other hand, got to bury your face for a single piece of Scarlet Steel Rock. I’m jealous,” Skinny Monkey’s voice rang out from nearby.

Yang Wu tilted his head as he asked, “You would accept such a grotesque woman?”

“She is a little big, but she is voluptuous. And, well, her looks don’t matter much once we blow the lamps out at night.” Skinny Monkey’s expression was vulgar.

The idea only made Yang Wu dry heave again.

“Don’t be like that! After a few months in this hell, you’ll treat any woman like a phoenix!” The other boy sighed.

Yang Wu swore. “I intend to leave this place as soon as possible!”

“Yeah, I said the same thing in the first few months, too. Thousands of people in block 68 have.” Skinny Monkey wasn’t unsympathetic.

Disappointed, Yang Wu knew his new friend wasn’t lying. After all, he’d have to turn in a hundred thousand chunks of Scarlet Steel Rock to earn his freedom, and once he left Smoke Signal Mountain Prison, he’d be sent to the battlefield to kill a hundred barbarians to redeem himself.

If Yang Wu had still possessed his martial prowess, he would have had a chance of success. However, his cultivation had been crippled prior to his imprisonment. Now, he could not even deal with a single woman. How was he supposed to mine enough Steel Scarlet Rock and slay the empire’s enemies?

The young man was overcome with rage and despair.

Nearby, the two inmates gave up chasing after the little black dog, abandoning the task to rush after Wang Yan.

With its pursuers gone, the pup returned to Yang Wu, dropping the piece of Scarlet Steel Rock at his feet. Tail wagging and tongue lolling, it looked like it was trying to claim credit for the find.

For some reason, the adorable sight banished the shadow looming over Yang Wu’s heart. Head lowered, he picked up the stone before scooping the dog into his arms and giving it a gentle pat on the head. “Sooty, why don’t you stay with me for a while? As long as I have something to eat, I’ll make sure you do, too.”

[TL Note: The Chinese raws named the dog as Little Black or Xiao Hei. I renamed the dog with a generic name based on its color instead.]

Woof, woof! The little dog barked softly before licking Yang Wu’s hand. It seemed like a sufficient reply.

“What a fascinating pup!” Skinny Monkey exclaimed, praising the dog.

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Soon, the sun began to set.

The inmates congregated to exchange the Scarlet Steel Rock they had collected for food. The more they turned in, the more food they earned. Those who failed to mine any went hungry, and some particularly unlucky prisoners, who hadn’t collected any stones for several days, began to starve. Everyone ignored their cries; no one cared. Prisoners died of starvation every day, and no one batted an eye.

Yang Wu and Skinny Monkey followed the rest, individually turning in the meager Scarlet Steel Rock they had found.

Their food was simple: a cracked bowl of gruel and two moldy buns.

Yang Wu began to lose his appetite at the sight, but his stomach had been growling for the past three days. At this point, he’d choke anything down.

Just as he was about to wolf down his dinner, his food was kicked out of his hand, the bowl shattering on the ground.

Crash!

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Translated by: DragonInWhite
Edited by: FluffyGoblyn
Checked by: DragonInWhite

DragonInWhite's Notes:

I'm sure some of you are wondering what the release rate of this novel would be and whether it would affect EIF's release rate. 
Honestly, I'm still figuring out the workload for this novel and am not sure how fast I can go with this. I have no intention of changing EIF's release rates, so this novel is definitely going at a slower pace. I will try to output at least 2-3 chapters every week for now until I figure everything out.

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Written by I Am Pure 我本纯洁. Translated by DragonInWhite. Edited by FluffyGoblyn.