AWG - Chapter 0007: Sealing Beads
Shi Dan and Hedgehog fought fiercely. They had equal numbers behind them, and their personal strengths were on the same level. Determining a victor without witnessing actual combat would be difficult.
Both Shi Dan and Hedgehog were Inferior Grade Foot Soldiers, but their subordinates were ordinary inmates. It was not a pretty fight.
Beside Yang Wu, Skinny Monkey whispered, “We should get out of here, brother.”
“Go? But we have minions to perform for us. Watch carefully. If you think they fight well, cheer them on.” Yang Wu dismissed his friend’s concerns with a wave of his hand.
“Cheer them on? Why? Those guys came here to cause trouble,” Skinny Monkey nervously protested, pulling on his friend’s arm.
Yang Wu pulled his arm and Skinny Monkey back. “You’re a cultivator now. What do you have to fear? Watch closely. Could you take them in a fight?”
Hearing his companion’s confidence, Skinny Monkey calmed down. He watched the battle carefully, then replied, “Except for Shi Dan and Hedgehog, I should be stronger than any of them in a one-on-one fight.”
“There we go. Inferior Grade Foot Soldiers have one to four stones of strength. Right now, you have one stone, which makes you stronger than an ordinary person. If you had four, you’d be powerful enough to kill those guys with one punch,” Yang Wu explained. He paused before continuing, “To become a successful cultivator, you need combat techniques, in addition to energy absorption methods, to display your full strength. These guys’ fighting methods are messy and disorganized. They’re only effective as a mob.”
Yang Wu had not kept his voice down, and both Shi Dan and Hedgehog had heard him. They had not been taking the fight too seriously, simply trying to scare the other away, but the young man’s disrespect—treating them like lowly entertainers—made them pause.
“Are you trying to piss us off, brat?” Hedgehog snarled, staring at Yang Wu.
“It seems he’s deliberately trying to mock. Why don’t we crush him now and worry about the consequences later?” Shi Dan suggested.
Hedgehog hesitated before agreeing. “Alright, let’s teach him a lesson. Can’t let him get too cocky.”
“Oh, weren’t you two enjoying your battle? Why don’t you continue? It wasn’t great to watch, but it was better than nothing,” Yang Wu quipped.
“He really is mocking us!” Shi Dan was so furious that smoke nearly drifted from his ears.
“It looks like we’ll have to work together if we want to vent our frustration,” Hedgehog commented coldly.
Unconcerned, Yang Wu turned to Skinny Monkey. “Watch me put these guys in their place.” He then gestured to the two inmates, waving them on. “Come at me together. I have to hurry; it’s time to eat.”
“You little bastard! You only defeated Zhu Gan due to pure luck! Do you really think so highly of yourself?” Shi Dan scolded him before taking a shot.
“Such a sharp tongue; guess I’ll have to shut you up!” Hedgehog shouted, swinging to slap the young man in the mouth.
As far as the two men were concerned, this youth was, at best, as strong as a fresh Foot Soldier. They could easily take him!
Of course, the moment they advanced, Yang Wu was already moving.
“Today, I will use you as practice, lest you continue to believe this viscount is only useful as a victim.”
Yang Wu began to take on the superior air of a viscount. Sensing the change and intimidated, both Hedgehog and Shi Dan hesitated. With a graceful step forward and the crowbar in hand, Yang Wu drew a beautiful arc with his weapon, quickly striking both opponents.
Rainstorm Spear Art’s first move, Dark Clouds Covering the Sky …!
Yang Wu was the son of a noble clan and had already been a Consummate Grade Foot Soldier. He had trained several combat techniques during that time, as well. The Rainstorm Spear Arts were a set of Warrior Class spear techniques, which included five moves in all. Dark Clouds Covering the Sky was the first, though its power was not to be underestimated.
Yang Wu lifted his crowbar, and the ghostly image of a spear overlayed the weapon. Tension crackled like a prelude to a storm. Dark clouds drifted in to cover the sky in a horrifying show of power.
Neither Hedgehog nor Shi Dan knew any combat techniques. Seeing Yang Wu’s stance, their first instinct was terror. They managed to parry two attacks, but the impact from their weapons colliding with the young man’s was overwhelming.
The Smoke Signal Mountain Prison gave its inmates crowbars specifically forged with Scarlet Steel Rock. These tools needed to be durable and dense, or they wouldn’t last long in the quarry. They also happened to make excellent weapons.
By this point, Yang Wu had regained four stones of strength, and he used his full power in this fight. Even a Medial Grade Foot Soldier might struggle to defend themselves against the young man’s blows, much less Hedgehog and Shi Dan, who were both Inferior Grade cultivators with three stones.
Failing against Yang Wu’s attacks, one of the men cradled his hands, while the other clutched his feet and rolled to the ground, screaming.
Yang Wu had command of the battle with two simple strikes, but he refused to give either of these men a chance to retaliate. The crowbar continued to fall on their prone forms, making them cry out for mercy.
“Please stop! Spare me!”
“I surrender! Please! My hand is broken!” One of the men sobbed.
Some passing prisoners paused, shocked, when they saw the scene.
Hedgehog and Shi Dan represented two separate factions within the prison. To see some unknown newbie beat them so severely was surprising, to say the least.
“Who is that young man? He’s so ferocious.”
“Doesn’t he realize those guys are from two different gangs? How brave!”
“Haha! It’s nice to see those guys take a beating for a change! Kick their asses!”
“He might be enjoying himself now, but he’ll pay the price tomorrow.”
Yang Wu did not beat the men to death. After all, he was still a newcomer, and the guards were watching. He would be in for a tough time if he killed them.
Naturally, the lackeys Hedgehog and Shi Dan had brought with them wanted to protect the two, and that was when Skinny Monkey finally decided to join in.
“You small fries will have to get past me, first!” Skinny Monkey informed them, waving his crowbar toward the minions.
He was driven by loyalty and blood. Although his fight was not graceful, he was strong, and he knocked two of the inmates down with two or three hits. But he was outnumbered. A little overwhelmed, he started to falter. Just as the other men were about to pounce on Skinny Monkey, Yang Wu realized what was happening. “Don’t you hurt my brother!” he growled.
Yang Wu carried his crowbar into the crowd of sheep like a wolf, his hand moving like lightning. He repeatedly struck critical areas on the inmates’ bodies again and again. He severely injured them before they had a chance to defend themselves and left them screaming. They had lost any ability to fight back.
Concerned, Yang Wu reached out to his sworn brother. “Are you alright, Skinny Monkey?”
Skinny Monkey touched the blood oozing from his forehead and smiled. “It’s alright. Their weak hits can’t hurt me.”
“Well, let’s go. The guards are coming!” Yang Wu wanted to say more, but noticing several prison guards in the distance, he pulled Skinny Monkey into a run.
Fortunately, the guards did not chase after them, and the two young men were relieved to trade their daily haul in for food.
Both Yang Wu and Skinny Monkey were starving. They had consumed a lot of energy and needed to eat to replenish it. They wolfed down their dinners with no regard for how the food tasted.
Yang Wu, however, saved one of his steamed buns. He intended to take it back to his den and see if Sooty would eat it.
Why hadn’t the little dog eaten the meat I offered last night? Is it a vegetarian? Yang Wu wondered.
Although the thought seemed impossible, he saved the bun for the pup anyway. However, if Sooty refused to eat it, he would not let the food go to waste.
Halfway back to his den, a dark shadow crossed Yang Wu’s path, startling him. At first, he thought it was an ambush, but before he could strike, the shadow fell to the ground.
Upon closer inspection, Yang Wu realized the shadow was an old, disheveled prisoner. The old man was breathing hard as he lay, wheezing hard as his lungs tried to give up his last breath.
“Give … me a bite. I … I don’t want to become a hungry ghost. Please …,” the inmate begged weakly.
[TL Note: The term ‘hungry ghost’ refers to this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungry_ghosttext=Hungry%20ghost%20is%20a%20concept,needs%20in%20an%20animalistic%20way.There is even a Hungry Ghost Festival that runs for one month in southeast Asia. There is a link relating to that: https://www.timeout.com/singapore/things-to-do/the-guide-to-hungry-ghost-festival-in-singapore.]
After a moment of hesitation, Yang Wu shook his head. “I’m sorry, uncle. I don’t have anything to spare.”
People starved to death every day in this prison. Yang Wu had almost succumbed, yet no one had offered a single bite. This old prisoner was certainly dying, but Yang Wu could not afford to be kind, regardless of the pity he felt.
All of these prisoners had been found guilty of some crime. Although some had surely been wronged, as he had, he had no reason to be a good man. He had to look after himself first.
“I-I’ll trade you my family heirloom! I haven’t eaten for several days. Please. I’m dying ….” As the old man insisted, he reached up and plucked out one of his eyes.
Yang Wu was stunned.
But the young man soon realized the old inmate was not bleeding. The man had not plucked out a real eye, but a fake one!
Yang Wu took a serious look at the fake eye, and his own eyes began to shine. Without hesitation, he accepted the offer. “Alright! I accept your trade!”
He immediately handed his steamed bun to the old man, taking the fake eye in exchange.
Sadly, the man did not even have the strength to take a bite. His eyes rolled back, and the old, starved prisoner died.
With a sigh, Yang Wu dragged the man’s body to an empty den and proceeded to bury him.
Once he had finished, Yang Wu quickly returned to his own den. There, he examined the bead that had served as a false eye. Flush with anticipation, he muttered to himself, “It seems my luck has changed. I must be heaven-blessed to find a Sealing Pearl here.”
Yang Wu cradled the black bead in his palm. It did not look special, and any ordinary person would not give it a second thought. However, he had seen a similar bead in the Yang Clan’s treasure house. His father had called it a Sealing Pearl. The little bead had hidden lines across its surface, which sealed within a precious inheritance.
Usually, such an inheritance would be a combat art, technique, or some other secret.
Essentially, this little bead was a precious relic some powerful individual had left behind. Otherwise, no one would have bothered to seal the secret within and pass it down through their family.
I wonder what this Sealing Pearl contains, Yang Wu thought. Just as he tried to open it, however, Sooty rushed into the den.
Yang Wu did not think anything odd about the little dog’s sudden entrance, but when he saw what Sooty held in its mouth, his eyes nearly popped out of his skull.
Translated by: DragonInWhite
Edited by: FluffyGoblyn
Checked by: DragonInWhite
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