Chapter 42: Returning Debts
Translator: Mogumoguchan/Zenobys Editor: - -
Before long, Su Ming quickly returned to the spot. He stood beside the unconscious Si Kong and paced around him for a while. He lifted his head and looked at the sky as well as the moon. The moonlight looked gentle and soft as it shone on the land.
'It's not appropriate for me to take such a precious Berserker Vessel away just like that. I don't have a proper explanation and it can be taken back by Dark Dragon Tribe anytime. Besides, I might even be accused of snatching away treasure... Should I kill him or not?'
Su Ming fell into silence for a moment. He looked at Si Kong and arrived at a decision.
He brought out a few herbs from his bosom and crushed it until they became liquid. Then he rubbed the liquid on Si Kong's lips. After that, he squatted down beside Si Kong and patted Si Kong's head rhythmically with his left hand . It seemed like he wanted to wake him up by slapping him.
Soon after, Si Kong's entire body twitched and he opened his eyes abruptly. When he did so, his eyes were still blurry. Even so, he saw Su Ming's smiling face within his faded field of vision.
Si Kong was momentarily stunned,. Then he widened his eyes. There was still bewilderment and bafflement lingering in his eyes. His mind was blank. He felt like he saw something before he fainted, but at the same time, it could have all just been in his mind. In his fuzzy state, he was beginning to feel confused.
Just as he was about to move, Su Ming swung the black spear in his right hand and pointed the tip of the spear three inches away from Si Kong's throat. If Su Ming pushed forward just a little, Si Kong's throat would have been pierced and he would have died on the spot.
In Si Kong's eyes, the golden glow on the tip of the spear looked like a ray of light that was about to take his life. It made him tremble slightly. He stared at Su Ming with fear and shock in his eyes.
"What... what do you want to do?! I am the son of Dark Dragon Tribe's tribe leader! If you kill me, the entire Dark Dragon Tribe will not let you escape! I know that you're from Dark Mountain Tribe. If you kill me, Dark Mountain Tribe won't protect you either!" He still could not fathom how he had lost. He just remembered that the person before him swung his hand and then he fainted in great pain. The more he failed to make sense of it, the more mysterious the smiling teenager before him became. That feeling turned into apprehension and with the spear pointing at his throat, he retreated instinctively in fear.
However just as he was about to move backwards, he tasted something bitter on his tongue. He licked his lips on reflex and the bitter taste grew stronger. It made his face turn completely pale. He had a bad hunch about it and there was fear on his face. He raised his hands and wiped it across his mouth. There was brown liquid on his hand.
"You! What did you feed me?!"
"It's nothing. It's just some normal herbs. They're just a bit poisonous," Su Ming said jokingly. His smile was enigmatic.
Si Kong's eyes were filled with despair when he heard those words. His entire body trembled as he felt the bitter taste grow stronger in his mouth. He even felt his tongue tingling.
"You wouldn't dare kill me!" Si Kong lifted his head and glared at Su Ming.
"You can believe what you want. If you don't believe me, there's nothing else I can do to convince you. But I do have the antidote. So, you're the son of the tribe leader from Dark Dragon Tribe? What's your name?" Su Ming was feeling a bit guilty. Nonetheless, he was the type of person who schooled his face to make sure no one could see through him, the guiltier he felt. He smiled as he spoke to Si Kong.
"You... I ... My name is Si Kong. You can't kill me or else it'll only bring trouble to your tribe, you..." Si Kong's eyes were fierce but he was feeling exceptionally nervous. Not only did he feel his tongue tingling, even his chest was throbbing in pain. This added to the fact that he could not gauge anything from Su Ming's expression. Si Kong felt even more fearful.
"Hey Si Kong, why don't we talk about something?" Su Ming raised his head and looked at the moon as he spoke slowly.
Si Kong's face was pale. He could no longer hide the growing fear in his eyes. He immediately nodded his head.
"I like this stupid spear of yours. How about you sell it to me? I'll buy it for 5,000 stone coins." Su Ming blinked expectantly as he looked at Si Kong.
Si Kong faltered for a moment as he looked at the spear in Su Ming's right hand and the tip pointing against his throat. How could he not have agreed to it? The bitter taste in his mouth and his pursuit for Su Ming's life also forced him to think that Su Ming had definitely fed him some sort of poisonous herb.
He wanted to bet that the person before his eyes did not dare to kill him. After all, he was of high status. If he died, both tribes would definitely go to war.
He was even willing to bet that even if the person before him snatched away the long spear, he still had countless ways to obtain that piece of treasure back with his dad's help.
However, the bitterness in his mouth prevented him from taking the risk. He was afraid. What if... what if...
It was especially so since his head was also hurting because Su Ming had been hitting him pretty harshly earlier. Si Kong only hesitated for a brief moment before nodding his head rapidly.
Su Ming smiled happily. He tore a big piece of fabric from Si Kong's shirt. His action made Si Kong's heart thump loudly against his chest. More blood drained from his already pale face.
"Since this is a trade, we need proof of our deal. Let's write this down. 'I, Si Kong lack money. Hence, I am selling this spear for 5,000 stone coins...'" Su Ming hesitated suddenly as he spoke, then he shook his head.
"No can do. Write it this way, 'I, Si Kong swear on my status as the son of the tribe leader of Dark Dragon Tribe. Due to an emergency, I borrowed 5,000 stone coins from Dark Mountain Tribe and I have pawned off this Berserker Vessel for a period of 10 years. I promise I will return 10,000 stone coins after 10 years to obtain this spear back. During this period of time, I cannot exchange the spear back. If I break my promise, let the statue of the God of Berserkers punish me!'" As Su Ming finished speaking, he looked at Si Kong.
A miserable look settled on Si Kong's face after he finished listening to Su Ming's words, especially the last few lines. As he hesitated, he saw Su Ming produce an herb he had never seen before from his bosom. Then he heard Su Ming's voice next to his ear.
"This is the antidote."
Si Kong stared at the herb and gritted his teeth. He brought his hand to his mouth and bit down on his finger before writing on the piece of sackcloth with his blood. Very soon, the entire phrase was written on the cloth.
Su Ming snatched the sackcloth away from and scrutinized it. Excitement appeared in his eyes. He blew at it carefully until the blood dried up before folding it. He then placed it in his bosom and patted it a few times. He smiled as he looked at Si Kong.
"Si Kong, remember this, you have to return your debts. I'm only going to wait for you for 10 years!" Su Ming's eyes were bright with cunning. He placed the herb on the ground and ran into the distance, leaving Si Kong sitting bitterly on the snow.
He picked up the herb quickly. After a brief moment of hesitation, he was still too afraid to eat it. Instead, he got up quickly and ran back to his tribe.
After he left, a person's vague shadow suddenly appeared out of nowhere on the quiet snow plain. It was an old woman with a dark expression on her face. There was a huge staff made of bone in her hands. Perched on top of the staff was a human skull which emitted an eerie glow.
'Is that the baby from all those years ago...? What Berserker Art was that? Not even I can tell... I've never seen it before.'
The old woman looked towards the direction where Su Ming left. Her eyes glowed as if she was deep in thought. After a long while, she turned and walked towards Dark Dragon Tribe, gradually disappearing.
As Su Ming ran in the forest, he occasionally looked at the spear in his hand and giggled foolishly. There was fondness in his eyes. Even Xiao Hong, who was sitting on his shoulders, regarded the spear curiously as it screeched continuously. It could feel a great power hidden within the spear.
'It's your fault for trying to stop me from seeing Bai Ling. Judging by his behavior, he must like Bai Ling. If that's the case, then quite a lot of people must know that I saved Bai Ling...'
Su Ming faltered in his footsteps as he sank into his thoughts.
'I wonder how much Bai Ling told them... If she told them everything, the cave I use to quench herbs is no longer safe...'
Su Ming suddenly felt annoyed. He frowned and thought about it for a long time. He traveled through the forest silently into the night.
Xiao Hong blinked. As it watched Su Ming seemingly troubled by something, a thought appeared in its head. Realization crossed its face and it grinned. It jumped down from Su Ming's shoulder and with a few leaps, disappeared into the forest.
"Remember, don't go back to Black Flame Mountain! Don't go back to the fire cave either!" Su Ming looked at it and quickly shouted.
The forest was Xiao Hong's home. Su Ming was not worried that it would run into danger. He was also not far away from the tribe already. As Su Ming traveled back, he forced himself not to think about the things that troubled him. Instead, he forced himself to be cheerful as he ran back towards the tribe.
When midnight came and the moon in the sky was at its brightest, Su Ming saw some of the tribe's bonfire light from where he stood. He was about to walk out of the forest when he heard rustling sounds coming from behind him. Su Ming turned and he saw Xiao Hong running towards him with excitement and pride on its face.
There was big bundle of black fur in its hands. Once it caught up to Su Ming, it immediately stuffed the bundle of fur into Su Ming's hands. Su Ming at that moment just looked awkward. Then Xiao Hong took a few steps back and pointed at the bundle, then at its own groin. It made a few odd motions as if it was teaching Su Ming how to use the fur...
It patted its chest as it pridefully screeched a few times. It seemed like Xiao Hong was telling Su Ming about the effects of the thing...
Su Ming looked at Xiao Hong and began laughing loudly. When Xiao Hong saw that Su Ming was no longer frowning, it grinned thinking that it had made the right guess and Su Ming was indeed bothered by this.
"Xiao Hong." Su Ming squatted down and motioned towards Xiao Hong. The little monkey immediately ran towards him.
Su Ming looked at Xiao Hong with a gentle gaze in his eyes. He patted its fur softly as he felt his heart warming up due to the little monkey's actions.
"When I'm not around, remember not to go back to Black Flame Mountain. Don't go back to the fire cave either. Go somewhere else. Once I come back, I'll look for you."
"Also, don't skip those pills I gave you just because you think it tastes bad. You have to eat one every day. Eat them along with the herbs just like how I taught you. Remember that," Su Ming spoke softly as he smiled. He glanced at Xiao Hong, then walked back to the tribe.