Chapter 9: Making Things Difficult
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
After each countryside appraisal session, the appraisers are required to submit the results of the appraisal to the association via an appointment. The association’s office was in charge of taking care of daily tasks as such, including the distribution of salary to the appraisers.
Lin Jin and Zhao Ying had met up earlier in the morning and headed to the office together with their logbook in hand. Not long after, they arrived at a large wooden building.
They had just stepped over the threshold when they almost ran into someone. The person looked up at once, astonished, before saying with contempt, “Lin Jin, why are you still at Maple City? Didn’t the chief asked you to go to Everlasting Town for appraisal services?”
The man had a short stature, squinty eyes, and carried a spiteful expression. On his sleeves were a visible embroidery of wave patterns.
Memories surged into Lin Jin’s mind. His recollection of memories informed him that he was the association office’s representative, an apprentice, who ranked number two among the students.
Within Maple City’s Association, Zhou Xiu was definitely an experienced individual in both history and age. His age was about the same as Chief Wang Ji’s.
Because of this, he was able to handle the responsibilities of certain duties he was assigned to, but he was a bitter and mean individual. He treats lower ranks with harshness and showers flattery to those above. It was extremely distasteful.
From his memories, Lin Jin suffered quite a bit in the hands of this man.
For a certified beast appraiser to be bullied by an apprentice, Lin Jin’s predecessor was just too dishonorable.
“What are you zoning out for? I’m asking you a question. Lin Jin, you didn’t go to Everlasting Town, did you?” Thinking he had something on Lin Jin, Zhou Xiu looked elated.
After snapping out of oblivion, Lin Jin spoke apathetically. “I went.”
Zhou Xiu scoffed, evidently refusing to believe him.
“Lin Jin, you should know the consequences of forging a report. If you’re lying, your qualifications as an official beast appraiser can be revoked today and you will be kicked out of the association.”
He was expecting a reply, but Lin Jin couldn’t care less. He turned and shot Zhao Ying a glance. She understood his facial expression and immediately handed in the logbook.
Zhao Xiu took it. There was an official seal by Everlasting Town’s government so it should be genuine, at least this proved that Lin Jin truly went. Zhou Xiu snorted and immediately scanned through it.
After reading, Zhou Xiu sneered once more.
“Evaluated a hundred and sixty-three times? Do both of you think I’m retarded?” Zhou Xiu snapped after looking through it. “The Chief had only arranged for you to go to Everlasting Town yesterday noon. Even if you’ve left immediately and pulled an all-nighter, it’s impossible for you to appraise so many beasts. Lin Jin, if you’re trying to cheat, try putting some effort into it.”
Having said that, he flung the book to the ground.
Zhao Ying was the first to rebel out of anger. “Apprentice Zhou, you only looked at the logbook and said decided that Appraiser Lin was lying. You’re too arbitrary.”
Zhou Xiu was furious. “Who does a brat like you think you are, to dare to lecture me? Get lost!”
In the midst of the argument, a yellow silhouette behind him sprinted out, pouncing onto Zhao Ying. Zhao Ying was shocked and quickly uttered a spell. Her pangolin charged forth from behind her.
A dull sound emitted, Zhao Ying’s pangolin fell to the ground while the yellow silhouette returned to Zhou Xiu.
A yellow dhole. With a piercing glare, the beast bared its fangs, letting out a low growl as wind enveloped its body. It was Zhou Xiu’s blood kindred beast.
Classed as an animal who was dangerous to man and cattle, this jackal was a beast of a ferocious wild type. However, Zhou Xiu’s yellow dhole was a special breed. Not only was it bulkier, it also had two streaks of yellow feathers that looked like wings on its back. It was of a wind attribute, talent specified in speed, and could even summon a tempest. Zhou Xiu had blessed it with a beast taming skill, enhancing its combat abilities.
Zhao Ying watched as her pet beast hit the ground, her eyes were brimmed with tears as her heart ached. She rushed over and noticed a claw scratch on her pangolin’s body. A few of its scales had fallen out as blood poured from its wound. It was heavily injured.
“You little lass, you don’t know your place. Make this a lesson for you, remember it well.” Zhou Xiu was arrogant and presumptuous.
Talk about a newbie apprentice, Zhou Xiu wouldn’t even show Lin Jin any respect. To him, he would bully them all the same.
Zhao Ying gritted her teeth in anger, but she was conscious that Zhou Xiu competence in beast evaluation and beast taming skills were equally profound. More importantly, his yellow dhole was now a level two pet beast, outranking her pangolin by a level. Even if she was furious, she was immobilized to vengeance.
She knew all this but Zhao Ying was still infuriated. She glared at Zhou Xiu.
“Little girl, are you unwilling to surrender?” Zhou Xiu scoffed in a pompous manner.
Suddenly, a voice came from beside, “Zhao Ying, your pet beast is hurt. Let me take a look. Then, you can duel with this shorty. Remember, whoever that hit you, you have to hit them back.”
The voice came from Lin Jin. He was currently caressing the pangolin’s head with confidence.
Zhou Xiu’s face scrunched up. He hated being called short. “This is the funniest joke I’ve heard all day. Lin Jin, with your kind of value, you can barely help yourself, and you said to let you take a look. What can you see? I’ll declare this now, if this lass defeats me, I’ll call her my Master!”
“That’s what you said. Everyone heard it!” Lin Jin looked up. Naturally, the ruckus just now had attracted onlookers to swarm around them. Lin Jin ignored Zhou Xiu and proceeded to lean down and pressed on the pangolin’s body.
Zhao Ying was afraid. Her tears streamed down her face, she said in a tiny voice, “Appraiser Lin, I can’t do it. My pet beast is only level one and Zhou Xiu’s pet beast is level two.”
Pet beast levels ranged from one to nine with the highest number being the strongest.
Lin Jin spoke with his head down. “Don’t worry. Your pangolin has potential. A promotion to level two can activate its attribute’s capabilities. It might just be stronger than Zhou Xiu’s pet beast.”
Zhao Ying smiled bitterly. She thought, ‘Appraiser Lin says it like it’s so easy. That’s accurate in theory but promoting a pet beast’s level is no easy feat. I’ve signed a blood pact with this pangolin three years ago and all this time, I’ve tried everything to promote it only to fail each time.’
For this reason, she had gone all around to request guidance. Just recently, she had sought advice from the other certified beast appraiser in the association, Gao Jiang. He mentioned that for a pangolin to level up, it would require at least one or two years of training. There was no short cut.
Some pet beasts were like this. On the path of their growth, they would meet with different obstacles.
“Appraiser Lin, you need not waste your effort, I…” Zhao Ying had thought it through. So what if she was reluctant to yield? Strength decides everything and what decides strength was the level of a pet beast.
While there is only a level’s difference between level one and two, the strengths stowed in both levels were worlds apart.
Level one was based on strength, while level two was based on spiritual energy.
Meaning, level one beasts could only rely on their physical strength to battle, but at level two, they could utilize their innate attributes. Just like Zhou Xiu’s pet beast, the wind sweeping around its body was a good example.
Before Zhao Ying could finish, she saw a burst of spiritual energy from her pet beast’s body. Simultaneously, her aura grew denser, fluttering her robes, the rocks surrounding their feet quaked and slightly levitated in the air.
Being the pet’s owner, Zhao Ying immediately sensed the transformation of her beast.
Zhao Ying’s heart was thumping madly, her fingers went numb from trembling so hard. This didn’t add up. Wasn’t it said that her pangolin couldn’t possibly level up within a year or two? Wasn’t it said that there was no shortcut?
Then what was this situation?
Everyone around went speechless as if they’d witnessed something incredible. This was clearly the phenomenon of a pet beast evolving. Just then, crisp cracking sounds came from the pangolin’s body and the animal doubled up in size in a split second. Its scales became harder, thicker, and its claws were dangerously sharp. With just slight effort, a deep scratch appeared on the stone slab below. Other than that, soil and rock fragments accumulated around the creature, befitting the pangolin’s earth attribute.
As he witnessed everything, Zhou Xiu’s eyes almost became sockets.
No doubt, the pangolin has evolved, and it had happened a few feet away from him. How was this possible?
Just a little massage could promote a pet beast?
It was unheard of!
“Done!” Ignoring the mortified looks from everyone around, Lin Jin pat the pangolin on its head and stood up. He said to Zhao Ying, “Go and battle with him again!”
Hot blood rushed through Zhao Ying’s veins. Although she had no idea what Appraiser Lin did, it was clear that his capabilities were beyond what she had imagined. He could easily promote a pet beast trapped in a bottleneck situation, something the chief might not even be able to achieve. Yet, funny thing was, there were still brainless fools who spread rumors, calling him garbage, undeserving of his reputation and said he was the shame of all beast appraisers.
Now, it looks like they were all just for maligning’s sake.
Appraiser Lin was noble, benevolent, and never explained himself. He worked quietly and kept a low profile, enduring everything with his competence. He was such a good man and a capable master. Previously, Zhao Ying was oblivious, but now that she knew, she decided to put all her effort into doing him a favor.
That was to clear Appraiser Lin’s name!