Chapter 10: Side quest
Translator: Legge Editor: Legge
At this moment, a rough voice came from outside the shack. It was directed to their new neighbor, Xiaoyu. “Xiaoyu, I only found out you moved here when I went over to visit you just now. I brought you cigarettes.”
Ren Xiaosu and Yan Liuyuan looked at each other and frowned. They heard Xiaoyu say, “I don’t provide that kind of service anymore.”
“Haha!” It was as though that person with a rough voice had heard something funny. “If you don’t do that kind of thing anymore, how are you going to survive? Who will supply you with cigarettes in the future?”
“Let go of me!” Xiaoyu sounded angry. The two of them had apparently come to blows Something ripped. It sounded like someone’s clothes had been torn.
When Yan Liuyuan turned to look at Ren Xiaosu, he saw that Ren Xiaosu was still frowning. Then he said in a whisper, “Bro, go and help her.”
Ren Xiaosu stood up and untied the bone knife from his calf. Raising it aloft, he walked out of the shack.
Right at this moment, the keys of the brass typewriter within Ren Xiaosu’s mind palace started typing words onto the leather parchment. The voice from the magnificent palace intoned at the same time, “Quest: Help—”
He sneered in his mind and interrupted the voice from the palace. “Even without this quest, I’ll still help her.”
From the time that Ren Xiaosu came out of his shack holding the knife, it took just two seconds for him to rush up to that man.
Ren Xiaosu did not say any threatening words like “let her go” or “touch her again if you dare” because he knew that any unnecessary actions could lead to failure.
All he needed to do was to use the simplest solution to solve the simplest problem.
When Ren Xiaosu’s slim but strong figure came sprinting over like a cheetah, the man promptly drew a knife from his waist and slashed at Ren Xiaosu. Everyone in town would carry a self-defense weapon on their person.
The man started to laugh mockingly in his mind because he was almost a head taller than Ren Xiaosu. Further, he was holding an actual metal weapon, not just some bone knife.
However, in the next moment, his ridiculing laughter halted.
It was common knowledge that a metal weapon would reign over a bone knife even though the wild beasts had gained a skeletal structure as strong as steel.
But being as strong as steel did not mean that it was steel.
Melee weapons were not banned in town, but it was almost impossible to obtain a good metal weapon. Even though some industries were slowly catching back up to the standards before The Cataclysm, they were still limited by a lack of resources at present.
Ren Xiaosu appeared before the man in a flash. His sprint had started off with his left leg hitting the ground while the muscles in his right leg tensed up and supported his body weight. Both of his feet now gripped the ground as he concentrated all of his strength there for maximum push off. Then, like an electric current, he let this strength surge through him from his waist up and into his arms.
Ren Xiaosu swung his knife diagonally upwards so hard that he almost slashed a crack right into the darkness of the night, cutting a gully across the land.
Clang! The bone knife and the metal weapon collided with each other. The onlookers who were secretly watching were astonished when they saw the two knives break in half at the same time. They had only expected the bone knife to break!
In that instant, Ren Xiaosu threw the bone knife aside without hesitation as the man was caught by surprise. This action of throwing the knife away was done in a swift motion after the swing. It was as though Ren Xiaosu had expected it to break. It was obvious he had other plans from the start.
He grabbed the man’s wrist and punched him hard with his other hand right in his axillary nerve 1 .
The man tried to break free from his grasp but suddenly realized that the young man was much stronger than him!
How could this be? Wasn’t his opponent young? This young man probably only stood as tall as his neck!
However, when the man noticed the tough muscles around Ren Xiaosu’s neck, he realized that it was pure strength.
The axillary nerve ran about three centimeters around the upper arm and the armpit, but the punch did not need to land precisely because the size of the fist was enough to cover any deviation.
This area is one of the human body’s weaknesses. When the axillary nerve receives heavy trauma 1 , neuropathy 2 can occur. Considering the nerve as an electrical cable, such a trauma can cause the axillary nerve to generate an uncontrolled release of electrical signals that can interfere with accurate signal transmission. When the brain gets overloaded by such signals, it will send out a pain signal. The signal overload also causes the limbs to receive a confused jumble of signals. The body then begins to secrete large amounts of calcium and potassium ions in reaction, and the resulting electrical overload is enough to paralyze the entire body for a second!
The man let out a scream as he fell to the ground, his limbs twitching uncontrollably. When he finally realized what was going on, he did not have any strength left to take on Ren Xiaosu.
Ren Xiaosu stood silently beside him and looked like he was thinking about something. The man panted for a while before begging for mercy. “I won’t bear a grudge. Please let me go. I’ll forget about today’s incident.”
Any smart person would know that their life was in the hands of Ren Xiaosu. So he shouldn’t hoot and holler rudely and unreasonably, but to leave it for later instead.
Ren Xiaosu looked at Xiaoyu. “Who is he?”
“He’s a foreman of the coal mine. He was also the one who led the group that stabbed a person to death in town last night. Since he heard that man had a habit of saving money, he started getting ideas since he had gambling debts.” Xiaoyu revealed what the man had told her last night when he boasted about the incident to her.
Ren Xiaosu walked over to the road and picked up the man’s metal weapon. Then he walked back next to the man. As he stared down at him in contempt, he estimated there to be at most four to five seconds before the man would regain his mobility.
Suddenly, the voice from the palace that had been silent for a while intoned again. “Quest: Set your foe free.”
But just as the voice from the palace started trailing off, Ren Xiaosu crouched down and jabbed the metal weapon into the man’s stomach. The sharp sound of the metal weapon tearing through leather and skin left every onlooker or anyone eavesdropping with a tingling sensation on their scalps. Then the man started bleeding profusely.
“You have around three minutes. If you can reach the town’s clinic in time and get it stitched up, there might still be a chance for you to survive,” Ren Xiaosu said calmly.
When the man heard that, he stopped caring about the pain. He immediately got up and ran towards the clinic without another word.
“Quest complete. Awarded Basic Skill Duplication Scroll.”
“Quest complete. Awarded Basic Skill Duplication Scroll.”
“Due to the loss of your weapon, a special side quest has been activated….”
Ren Xiaosu was stunned even before he finished listening. The first quest should be related to him saving Xiaoyu, so he could understand why it was successfully completed. He did not expect for the second quest to also be considered complete.
How the hell does this palace make judgments?!
Yan Liuyuan asked from beside him, “Bro, you’re letting him go just like that? What if he recovers after getting stitched up at the clinic and comes back to take revenge on you? He’s not a good person at all.”
Ren Xiaosu stared into the night. “As if that shitty clinic in town knows how to stitch someone up.”
“Bro, seeing how you’re still so ruthless, I can rest easy.”
Because of this, Ren Xiaosu was relieved that the quest was considered complete even though that man was definitely going to die. Moreover, even if he did not die, that rusty metal knife was still a potent weapon for causing tetanus. Even if he could survive the injury, he might as well be dead.
Although that man had a metal weapon, he could only afford to get the cheapest type. Ren Xiaosu would probably not have broken the knife otherwise.
A person like Ren Xiaosu had a personal set of principles that he would not stray from. Even though he had a superpower now, it would not change his way of doing things.
If he had to change, it would due to his own free will. No one else could make him do it.
Therefore, it seemed that the criteria for whether a quest was complete was not that strict? What the palace really cared about was…the attitude that Ren Xiaosu displayed?
At this moment, some people in the shacks along the road started whispering. In fact, over the years, they learned how ruthless Ren Xiaosu was. Nonetheless, they were shocked by today’s events.
This was because the physiques of the two combatants today were too different. Besides, the strength displayed by Ren Xiaosu was by no means inferior to the foreman’s. In fact, he was probably even stronger than the other guy.
It was unbelievable.
Someone muttered softly in one of the shacks, “See, I said not to provoke him.”
Ren Xiaosu went to pick up the bone knife that had accompanied him for over a year. Its lifespan had finally come to an end.
He turned around and looked at Xiaoyu. In the night, Xiaoyu looked a little delicate. Xiaoyu was, in fact, eight years older than Ren Xiaosu, but right now, it looked more like she was younger than Ren Xiaosu by eight years.
Ren Xiaosu bluntly asked, “Can you quit smoking?”
Xiaoyu nodded vigorously.
“Those things aren’t that addictive since they’ve only added a tiny amount of poppy pods to it. Old Wang mentioned that the proportion of added substance is very low, so it’s still possible to quit if you really want to,” Ren Xiaosu said as he walked to the door of Xiaoyu’s shack and crouched down. He thrust half of his white bone knife ruthlessly into the mud, leaving only a small portion of it above ground.
The onlookers who had some unscrupulous thoughts for Xiaoyu immediately dropped the idea.
In the town, this half of the bone knife now symbolized a certain someone’s will. No one was willing to make any rash decisions and end up offending the ruthless Ren Xiaosu.
Ren Xiaosu turned around and said to Xiaoyu, “But there’s something I want to make clear. Although I’m very handsome, although I’m… It’s impossible between us….”
Xiaoyu looked stunned. “I’ve only seen you as a little brother.”
It was Ren Xiaosu’s turn to be stunned. “Hahahaha, this is so awkward.”
Ren Xiaosu immediately led Yan Liuyuan back to their shack. He stared at Yan Liuyuan as they walked back. It’s all your fault for always babbling nonsense about that to me!
Yan Liuyuan surreptitiously turned around and winked at Xiaoyu. When Xiaoyu saw Yan Liuyuan’s face, she started laughing. All her unhappy feelings seemed to vanish into thin air.
She squatted on the ground and stared at that half of the bone knife for a long time before heading to sleep with a smile on her face.
Meanwhile, Ren Xiaosu closed his eyes and took a detailed observation of the inside of the palace. He also checked out what the typewriter had typed onto the leather parchment.
A side quest? How interesting!