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MCAB - Chapter 44

Jun Zishu only needed to deal with one opponent in her previous missions. Yet, this time, she needed to deal with three opponents.

Do I need to get rid of all three of them, Little Fairy?

[You can either get rid of all three or keep one. In short, you need to ensure that the protagonist is together with only one person in the end.]

Will anyone do? Including me?

[Yes. Anyone will do, including you.]

Upon hearing Little Fairy's answer, Jun Zishu suddenly had a bad premonition. However, that suspicion quickly vanished when she thought about how she needed to go against three opponents this time.

The story of this world was relatively simple. Simply put, the protagonist was an unfortunate person whose village was hit by a drought and got killed and robbed by bandits. Fortunately, the protagonist and her little friend successfully escaped from the bandits and arrived in another village.

In the new village, the protagonist came across a worldly expert who accepted her as an apprentice. To grow stronger and take revenge, the protagonist chose to leave with her new master and grew up to become a famous female fighter. On her journey of enacting justice, she came across many young men who fell in love with her. In the end, though, only three had the fortune of being in a relationship with her. Although the three men initially fought tooth and nail to get rid of each other, after experiencing a series of ups and downs with the protagonist, the three men eventually resolved their differences and formed a reverse harem with the protagonist as the center.

[The mission target is in the process of experiencing a plot point.]

Little Fairy reported to Jun Zishu about the new mission target's location, her loli voice filled with the excitement of arriving in a new division.

Has she met with the worldly expert?

[Yes.]

Jun Zishu promptly got out of bed. However, she couldn't help but frown when she looked at her small arms and legs.

Jun Zishu's current identity was the protagonist's little friend who had successfully escaped from the bandits with the protagonist. However, this identity was troubling as it offered her no help in stopping the protagonist from leaving with her new master.

[The fate changers of this division have their identities assigned randomly, so I cannot choose to let you occupy the person closest to the mission target, Host.]

It's fine. Becoming a childhood friend is not a bad idea, either.

However, despite what Jun Zishu said, her current situation was still a little unpromising.

[The mission target has appeared.]

As soon as Little Fairy finished speaking, someone pushed apart the curtains isolating the room from the outside.

The person who entered the room was a girl dressed in coarse linen. The girl looked around eleven or twelve years old, and she wore maturity beyond her age on her beautiful face. At a glance, one could tell that the girl was different from children her age.

"I'm back, Xi'er! We get to eat fish today!" Shen Zheyan said while waving the bamboo basket in her hand. The basket held the fish she had just caught.

The name of the body Jun Zishu currently occupied was Yan Xi. Upon hearing Shen Zheyan calling for her, Jun Zishu quickly replied, "What took you so long today, Big Sister Zheyan?"

Jun Zishu quickly walked over to Shen Zheyan with a smile on her face. Then, she snuck a peek at the fish inside the bamboo basket.

"Something happened while I was at the river," Shen Zheyan said as she thought about the person she met by the riverside. "I'll tell you about it after dinner."

Shen Zheyan brought the basket into the kitchen while Jun Zishu followed her and helped her start a fire.

During dinner, Shen Zheyan remained much quieter than before. Jun Zishu knew that the girl was in the process of considering whether to leave the village or not.

Jun Zishu couldn't help but feel a little depressed. The protagonist was about to leave even before she got to interact with her and deepen their relationship.

"I have something to talk to you about, Xi'er."

Shen Zheyan's gaze stopped on Jun Zishu's face. When she saw the younger girl's curious gaze, a faint smile appeared on her face.

"What is it, Big Sister Zheyan?" Jun Zishu asked, pretending to be curious.

"I'm leaving soon."

"Hm? Are we moving to another place? But isn't this place quite good?" Jun Zishu asked as she looked around the house. Then, she returned her gaze onto Shen Zheyan and blinked her eyes in confusion.

"Only I will be leaving, not us."

"Where are you going, Big Sister Zheyan? Do you not want me anymore?" Jun Zishu asked, portraying a panicked expression.

"I'm leaving to learn martial arts and take revenge for my parents and everyone else in our village. Aren't you hoping for that as well?" Shen Zheyan asked, her beautiful eyelashes trembling slightly as she looked at the little girl sitting across from her. The little girl's watery eyes looked like they would shed tears at any moment.

"Can't you take me with you?"

"No."

Shen Zheyan had asked this question to her master before, but her master said that she wasn't allowed to take anyone with her.

"Where will you be going?"

"The Heavenly Spirit Sect."

"Where is that?"

"Somewhere far away."

Jun Zishu tapped her pinky against her thigh in agitation, her mouth muttering the name of the sect Shen Zheyan mentioned.

"Where will I go then, Big Sister?"

"I will talk to Aunt Liu about it. If everything goes well, you will stay with her for now," Shen Zheyan said as she patted Jun Zishu's head.

"Will you come back to visit me, Big Sister?"

"Of course."

"You mustn't forget about me, Big Sister Zheyan," Jun Zishu said as she held onto Shen Zheyan's hand. She felt incredibly reluctant to part with the protagonist so soon.

"My Little Yan Xi is so cute, so how can I possibly forget about you?" Shen Zheyan said with a smile.

I'm willing to bet a carrot that you'd forget, okay? Jun Zishu thought, inwardly clicking her tongue. Unlike in her previous missions, she didn't get to read the original storyline's summary this time, so she had no idea whether Shen Zheyan would come back to find her little companion or what kind of fate awaited the girl named Yan Xi.

"You must remember your words, Big Sister Zheyan," Jun Zishu said with teary eyes.

"Mhm, I'll remember."

When bidding goodbye to Shen Zheyan, Jun Zishu played the role of a little girl reluctant to part with her friend to utter perfection. Even after Shen Zheyan had vanished into the distance, Jun Zishu would keep on turning around to look for Shen Zheyan's figure on her way back home.

[What should we do now, Host?]

I plan to use that host's method you told me about last time.

[Hm? What method?]

I don't know when we'll meet again, but I don't plan on sitting still as I wait for her to come back. There's no way to complete the mission if I do that. So, I'm going to pick up my old trade again during these few years of separation.

Shen Zheyan was destined to become the warrior of the era. The men that surrounded her were bound to be dragons among men as well. So, Jun Zishu needed to become stronger if she wished to get closer to Shen Zheyan.

[Okay. I'll do my best to assist you.]

Jun Zishu didn't rush out to start her business. Instead, she remained in the village and slowly learned the ins and outs of this world.

"Yan Xi, your Uncle Liu is going to town to sell some stuff! Go and help him!" Aunt Liu shouted from inside the house.

"Okay! Coming!" Jun Zishu quickly responded before rolling up her sleeves and running to Uncle Liu's ox cart.

The town was very lively. Upon arriving at the town's marketplace, Jun Zishu started helping Uncle Liu hawk his crops. The sight of Jun Zishu's little figure standing atop a wooden crate and hawking crops was both comical and attention-grabbing.

"I want to walk around town by myself, Uncle Liu," Jun Zishu said once the number of customers checking out Uncle Liu's cart settled down. She wanted to use this opportunity to look around and survey the market situation here.

"Be careful, then."

"Mhm, mhm."

"Ah, hold on a second, Xi'er. Take these; make sure not to wander around for too long," Uncle Liu said as he handed a few copper coins to Jun Zishu.

In response, Jun Zishu nodded and jumped off the crate. Then, she quickly disappeared into the crowd.

Jun Zishu bought herself a skewer of candied haws, enjoying the sweet and sour treat as she walked around the marketplace. Then, just when she was pondering how she should start her business in this world, someone suddenly dragged her by the arm.

The development happened very suddenly, and it caught both Jun Zishu and Little Fairy by surprise.

[Run, Host!]

Too late…

Jun Zishu felt her arm hurting for a moment before her world went dark.

Even when it was close to evening, and the crowd in the marketplace started dispersing, Uncle Liu did not see Jun Zishu returning to his cart.

"What's going on? Don't tell me she got into trouble?" Uncle Liu muttered worriedly as he paced around his cart.

"What's wrong?" someone from the same village asked when he saw that Uncle Liu still hadn't started packing up his cart.

"Xi'er is missing."

"Could she have forgotten about the time after having too much fun? Did she leave by herself?"

'That's right."

"Let's split up and search for her."

Unfortunately, even after it was time to head back, Uncle Liu and the other villagers failed to find Jun Zishu.

"What should we do? Could she have been abducted? It's all my fault! Why did I let her go by herself…" 

Regret filled Uncle Liu.

Seeing Uncle Liu's distressed state, a villager patted him on the shoulder and said, "Let's head back for now and come back to look for her tomorrow. They'll be closing the gate soon."

"...I guess that's our only choice."

When Jun Zishu regained consciousness and opened her eyes, she found herself on a moving carriage, her hands and feet tied behind her.

Apart from herself, Jun Zishu also saw four other people in the carriage. All four were little girls, their ages ranging from five to ten years old. As for Jun Zishu, her current body was eight years old.

[Your present situation isn't optimistic, Host. You got tossed into this carriage after getting knocked unconscious on the street. The carriage is also heading in an unknown direction right now.]

Jun Zishu naturally noticed that she was in a bad situation as well. Under normal circumstances, nobody would dare abduct children in broad daylight and on a busy street, no less. Judging by how desperate her abductors were, there was a high chance that she and the other girls would be sold to some unspeakable places.

[The carriage has left the town for quite some distance already."

Got it. Keep track of my location at all times.

Jun Zishu quickly dismissed the possibility of her being sold to a brothel. After all, there was a brothel in town, so her abductors did not need to leave town if they intended on selling her to a brothel. She wasn't the child of a wealthy family, either. Neither did her clothes give her the appearance of a wealthy child. Thus, she could also rule out the possibility of her abductors kidnapping her for ransom.

[Someone's coming, Host.]

Jun Zishu immediately closed her eyes and regulated her breathing and heartbeat, doing her best to feign unconsciousness.

Shortly after Jun Zishu closed her eyes, the curtains at the back of the carriage parted, and two men, one tall and one short, climbed into the carriage.

While caressing his chin, the short man said, "Tsk, tsk, tsk. All of them sure look fine. I wonder if any of them will be able to survive? It took a lot of effort to catch these five candidates."

"Hard to say. The youngest one here looks like she's just four years old. She'll probably be the first to go. But there's nothing we can do about it. It's too difficult to find any more suitable candidates in this backwater place."

"Whatever. Let's deliver them back to headquarters and get some rest. If these five end up dying again, we'll head to another place and search there."

"The sleeping drug should be wearing off soon. Feed them another dose first."

Shortly after the tall man finished speaking, Jun Zishu felt someone forcing some liquid into her mouth. Then, when this liquid flowed down her throat, Jun Zishu quickly felt a wave of sleepiness assault her mind.

Goddammit.

Jun Zishu failed to resist the sleeping drug and fell asleep.

When Jun Zishu regained consciousness again, she found herself soaking inside a wooden tub, the red liquid in the tub reaching just below her neck.

No matter how Jun Zishu looked at it, the red liquid was undoubtedly blood.

TL Notes:

Please note that as Jun Zishu is working under a different division this time, her identity is no longer set to be the mission target's cousin.

Hellscythe's Notes:

MCAB's first patreon goal (150$) has been met! So, expect to see two chapters released on Sundays from now on!

If you would like to read ahead and help increase release rates for MCAB, please consider subscribing to my patreon!

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Other novels I translate on Hosted Novel:
Pantsu Hero Alice (PHA)
Reincarnation of the Strongest Sword God (Side Stories)
After Being Bent By Reader (ABBR)(GL)
Written by 小吾君 Xiao Wu Jun. Translated by Hellscythe. Edited by Grammarly.