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AWG - Chapter 0005: Service, my ass!

Unobscured, the sun beat down on the Smoke Signal Mountain Prison.

The prison was a wasteland of rock and stone. With the sun bearing down, most could not handle the heat.

Yang Wu and Skinny Monkey worked hard as they mined, sweat pouring down their backs like rain.

Most Scarlet Steel Rock was buried, requiring one to dig through the rubble to find it. Mining wasn’t an easy task and required quite a bit of strength.

Since he had begun circulating the Supreme Nine Profound Art, Yang Wu felt energized as if he possessed inexhaustible strength. When he would begin to tire, a new wave of energy would build within him. His dantian was warm, and energy flowed through his twelve major meridians freely.

For any prisoner, mining Scarlet Steel Rock was a torturous task. Between the demanded labor and exposure to the elements, exhaustion became a close companion. However, Yang Wu saw this as an opportunity to temper his body and cultivate.

His every movement was rhythmic. This not only tempered his arms, but also his core and lower body. He coordinated every aspect to make the most of his newfound strength, increasing his endurance.

As the sun began to set, he discovered a massive chunk of Scarlet Steel Rock weighing more than one hundred kilograms. His muscles bulged, the veins visible, as he directed his Profound Energy through his arms. Determined, he snarled, “Come free!”

The boulder began to wiggle under the force but wasn’t quite free yet.

With a deep breath, Yang Wu adjusted his rhythm, circulating the Supreme Nine Profounds Art madly. He struck at the stone around the boulder again.

A second failure!

A third!

-------

After the ninth attempt, he was drenched with sweat but refused to give up, visibly stubborn. He planted his feet, and although his arms felt as if they weighed five hundred kilograms, he drove his energy again. Frustrated and determined, he shouted again, his voice reverberating with energy, “I said come free, damn it!”

Crack!

The boulder rolled forward in a shower of debris and a cloud of dust.

Yang Wu thought he could use this chance to manifest the Sweeping Melodious Energy again, reaching two stones of strength, but the attempt failed. Fortunately, he discovered a significantly large chunk of Scarlet Steel Rock in the process.

With a little more digging, Yang Wu freed the boulder, hefting it in his hands. Overjoyed, he said, “This is way more than twenty-five kilograms! It’ll definitely be enough for a meaty meal!”

Elsewhere, Skinny Monkey practiced the Whirling Combat Art Yang Wu had taught him. He spent his time familiarizing himself with his dantian, meridians, and acupoints, sensing the Profound Energy within him that granted far more physical strength. Motivated, he felt the pulsing heat within his dantian that accompanied the gathering energy. He knew it would not be long before he advanced to the Foot Soldier Realm.

Skinny Monkey had also gotten lucky while mining, finding a ten-kilogram chunk of Scarlet Steel Rock. He, too, had earned enough for the day’s meal.

Pleased with themselves, the two boys walked together to trade in their bounty. However, the inmate who had bullied Yang Wu the day before stood in their way once again.

This time, Zhu Gan wasn’t alone. Three ferocious-looking inmates accompanied him, glaring daggers at the two young men.

“You didn’t visit Elder Sister Wang last night,” Zhu Gan announced. “I guess yesterday’s lesson wasn’t enough.” The older inmate stared coldly down at Yang Wu, his arms crossed across his chest.

Before Yang Wu could reply, Skinny Monkey offered the Scarlet Steel Rock he had found with a flattering smile. “This is all of the Scarlet Steel Rock I mined today. There’s no need for my brother to hand his over, right?”

Zhu Gan snatched the stone from Skinny Monkey’s hand, weighing it. “Hah! How selfless of you!” The man then gave Yang Wu a playful look. “Just hand it over obediently, and come with me to see Sister Wang. If you refuse again, I’ll break your other wrist.”

Reminded, Zhu Gan gave the youth a confused look. I know I broke the brat’s wrist, so how did he mine that chunk of Scarlet Steel Rock? The brat must have gotten lucky.

Indignant, Yang Wu snarled, “You’re nothing but a worthless bully!”

“You’re right, but so what, trash?” Zhu Gan walked over and patted the younger man on the cheek gently, showing utter disregard for Yang Wu’s growing anger.

Yang Wu did not try to avoid Zhu Gan’s humiliating gesture. Instead, his fury seemingly vanished, replaced by a charming smile. “Yeah, I am trash. Please, take my Scarlet Steel Rock.”

No one’s emotions shift so quickly ….

“Well, well. If you had been this smart, to begin with, you wouldn’t have suffered. Come with me and service Sister Wang,” Zhu Gan commanded with a cocky grin, patting the youth’s cheek again. “You’re so skinny, though. I wonder if you can handle her.”

The older inmate assumed Yang Wu was a crippled cultivator and didn’t pay him much mind. Besides, the boy was in over his head, wasn’t he?

Patient, Yang Wu waited until Zhu Gan let down his guard. “Service, my ass!” he snarled, landing a solid kick to Zhu Gan’s most sensitive area.

He had never expected the youth to be bold enough to strike and had no time to defend himself. Caught off guard, the kick connected with the very root of a man’s being. Despite being a Foot Soldier, not even Zhu Gan could endure such a powerful blow to his most vulnerable weakness. Even those watching the exchange, including Zhu Gan’s three companions, felt their blood run cold as their hands shot down to protect their own ‘roots.’

“Y-you attacked Zhu Gan!” one of the three lackeys shouted, shocked. “Let’s take this brat down, boys! Elder Sister Wang will take it out on us if we let this slide!”

Unfortunately, Zhu Gan’s companion was too slow, and Yang Wu struck again. With his crowbar in hand, he swung at the prisoner’s head.

A dull thud rang out, and the inmate grunted. The blow tore open his scalp, and blood poured down his face. “I-I’m bleeding!” the man exclaimed, panicking. His eyes then rolled back, and he passed out on the spot.

He hadn’t passed out from the pain but simply from the sight of his own blood.

Of course, Yang Wu didn’t have time to focus on that inmate. With a flourish, he spun the crowbar, treating it as an extension of his arm. He struck both other prisoners, neither of whom had reacted yet. The two had no time to defend themselves, and they, too, passed out from blows to the head, resulting in more spilled blood.

Yang Wu had taken care of all three lackeys in an instant, and Zhu Gan was still crumpled on the ground. Meanwhile, Skinny Monkey stood by, utterly speechless. 

Has brother Yang been hiding his strength this whole time? He wondered. Zhu Gan beat him so badly yesterday, yet he’s taken out multiple opponents with just a few hits today! He wondered if his eyes were playing tricks on him.

After considering the combat art Yang Wu had taught him yesterday, however, Skinny Monkey realized there was nothing unusual about the other youth’s strength.

With the crowbar across his shoulders, Yang Wu approached his bully, who still fought to breathe. With a wicked grin, he said, “When I started fighting, you were squatting in this jail. I already have my hands full with the trouble I’m in. How can I just let a bunch of dogs like you make things harder on me?” the younger man mocked. “Remember today’s lesson. If you cannot accept this, tell that fat bitch to come and find me.”

“Di-didn’t I break your hand? How are you using it as if it’s fine?” Zhu Gan stuttered, staring up at the boy while still clutching his crotch.

“Naturally, this viscount is immortal and indestructible. How could an insignificant, wretched tramp like you possibly imagine such a thing?” Yang Wu snorted, letting the crowbar in his hand drop on Zhu Gan’s head, leaving a bloody gash. Ignoring the wounded men, he turned to his friend. “Let’s go, Skinny Monkey.”

Skinny Monkey gulped and turned to follow, but after two steps, he stopped. Emboldened, he strode back and reclaimed his chunk of Scarlet Steel Rock before giving Zhu Gan a swift kick for his trouble. “That’s what you get for trying to bully us!”

Both young men traded in their stones for significant amounts of food. Yang Wu had enough to trade for a bowl of meat, as well as his steamed buns and porridge. The meat had gone a little bad, but it was better than nothing. 

He shared the meat with Skinny Monkey, eating both buns and the porridge. After eating most of his remaining meat, he saved the rest for Sooty. He felt obligated to reward the pup. After all, it had brought him good luck.

However, once Yang Wu returned to his den and offered the meat, the little dog gave it a disdainful look after a single sniff. Apparently, the pup didn’t want any.

“I specifically saved this for you, you know! Eat it, Sooty,” Yang Wu insisted, annoyed at the dog’s reaction.

Woof, woof …. With two soft barks, a wag of its tail, and a shake of its head, the pup refused.

“You really don’t want it?” the youth asked. “I’ll eat it if you don’t. Don’t blame me if you starve to death.”

After waiting a moment, Yang Wu gave up with a huff. “Fine then. I’ll eat it then. I need to replenish my energy, anyway.”

------

Far from Yang Wu’s den stood a stone hut, Elder Sister Wang Yan’s current residence.

Wang Yan was one of the minor bosses among the cellblock 86’s inmates, a subordinate of Little Ugly Girl, one of the seven big shots in the prison. As a Medial Grade Foot Soldier, forcefully claiming a residence unlike the other prisoners’ wasn’t unusual.

The woman was rather large and grotesque, but she loved strong, handsome young men like Yang Wu. She looked forward to his arrival.

Unfortunately for her, the only thing to arrive was news that Zhu Gan and his companions had been efficiently beaten.

“That youth must be quite skilled to beat Zhu Gan so badly. He is worthy of my high opinion of him,” Wang Yan muttered appreciatively, picking her nose. “Shi Dan,” she barked at the man she had ‘pinned down’ earlier, “I don’t care what you have to do; you will bring Yang Wu to me tomorrow. I can’t wait for that young man to take care of my needs.” 

“But Sister Wang, don’t I satisfy you?” the round man whined softly, clearly resentful.

“You’re little ‘friend’ is no bigger than a toothpick! Aren’t you embarrassed to even ask that?” Wang Yan rolled her eyes.

“You’re so harsh, Sister Wang!” the man complained. “I’ll catch that brat, and we’ll see who stands taller!” Crushed, Shi Dan ran from the stone hut, hiding his face behind his hands.

Wang Yan watched the pathetic lackey flee, murmuring, “Ah, I’m so lucky the squad leader asked me to ‘take care’ of such a handsome catch! Heh.”

------

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

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