Chapter 94: Midnight
Translator: TYZ Editor: Pranav
Li Wei did not know how long he had been in shock for. In any case, the empty bowls in front of Ai Hui seemed to have stacked higher and higher.
For a moment, he did not know what to say.
After a long silence, he opened his mouth. "Being a laborer, it's not easy to return alive."
At this point, Ai Hui was nearly done eating, and his actions had slowed down. He raised his head and gave a sunny smile. "That's right. Only two out of two thousand laborers survived."
A cold shiver ran down Li Wei's spine. He had spent a long time at the front line and was used to death; however, this was the first time he had ever heard of such a terrifying mortality rate. He finally realized what laborers being "easily killed" meant.
He became silent and observed the young man seated across him.
Ai Hui's face did not show any signs of vengeance, self-pity, sadness or suffering. He was just sitting there looking calm and earnest, his gaze limpid.
Unknowingly, Li Wei became somewhat emotional. "Why did you want to come to the Induction Ground?"
"I want to become an elementalist." Ai Hui laughed as he idly stirred the empty bowl with his chopsticks. "There's no future in being a laborer; it's better to become an elementalist."
For some unknown reason, Li Wei could sense that these straightforward and casual words contained much more than what they actually meant.
This was the first time that Li Wei did not know what to say to a young man. He finally understood how Ai Hui had developed a maturity that far surpassed his young age.
The number of deaths that Ai Hui had witnessed far exceeded what he had. Ai Hui had survived the harshest and cruelest of environments, and the situations he had faced were far more dangerous than what Li Wei had ever faced. Yet the three years of extreme hardship still did not destroy the young man's courage and will to live.
Other than age and strength, Ai Hui's experience and character were not inferior to his.
This was a young man who did not need consolation and encouragement. He knew what he was doing and what he was working hard for. There was no uncertainty and hesitation-only a strong and determined heart.
Unwittingly, Li Wei started to treat Ai Hui as someone who was of the same age as himself.
He took out a roll of thumb-sized golden leaf. "This contains some of my usual training tips, but it doesn't include any secret techniques. I'm giving it to you in the hope that it will be of some help! I am metal-attributed, and I have also stayed in the Suspending Golden Pagoda for a long time. That place will suit you well."
"Thank you, Brother Li Wei!" Ai Hui thanked him sincerely. This was something that he needed the most right now, and he did not act hypocritically.
Such a nice senior. If he didn't do anything to repay him, he would feel guilty! Ai Hui turned his head around and was about to order another bowl of noodles to show his respect for Brother Li Wei. Ow...he could not eat anymore...
Sadness and regret rose in Ai Hui's heart. This ending was not perfect at all.
Seeing that it was getting late, Li Wei stood up and patted Ai Hui's shoulder. "Let's go back and have a good rest."
Ai Hui quickly nodded.
"Boss! Bill, please!"
The boss arrived as swift as the wind. "That will be one thousand and five hundred yuan!"
Li Wei was momentarily stunned. "Boss, you must have miscounted."
How could they have eaten one thousand and five hundred yuan worth of noodles? Ten bowls?
"Sir, look at the table." The boss pointed at the table.
When Li Wei turned around and saw the high stack of bowls on the table, he was dumbfounded.
To the side, Ai Hui put on an innocent face.
After bidding farewell to Brother Li Wei, the stuffed Ai Hui dragged himself back to the training hall. Lou Lan wasn't there. Ai Hui, who was already tired and incredibly full, immediately went straight to bed.
Before his body could even warm up the bed, he had already fallen asleep.
On the other side of the wall, there was a room that was dimly lit under the glow of a yellowish-orange light.
"How do you feel? I have made many improvements to the new sand core. The problems that it faced in the past have already been rectified. This is the sand core that I'm most satisfied with for the last fifty years, and I have put in most of my knowledge into this. Lou Lan, you have a matchless sand core. It's a pity that I don't know much about combat and I can't make too many improvements in that aspect."
An old man with ash-grey hair looked directly at Lou Lan, who was comfortably stretching his body. The old man's gaze was tender-it was as if he was looking at his own child.
"It's okay, Master Shao," Lou Lan replied as he touched and felt his own body. "Lou Lan can learn by himself."
"That's right!" Master Shao became excited. "You're very smart. I'm sure there are not many sand puppets in this world that are smarter than you. As long as you keep on learning, you will become stronger. Combat is not a problem for you. You have such a matchless sand core, it's a pity that I don't have enough money to replace your body. If your body's material can be replaced with Yellow Sand Corner's high-grade sand, you will be nearly invincible."
Master Shao's tone was filled with pride.
"Is it because Lou Lan's body can become fluid-like?" Lou Lan asked curiously.
Master Shao laughed out loud. After a while, however, he stopped. "Lou Lan is a good boy!"
Lou Lan did not quite understand what Master Shao meant, but he knew that the latter was praising him and so he was delighted.
"Lou Lan, what do you think of Ai Hui?" Master Shao suddenly asked.
"Ai Hui is Lou Lan's best friend," Lou Lan replied without any hesitation.
"How do you feel when you're together with him?"
"Very happy," Lou Lan replied. "Ai Hui is a good guy, a very good guy."
Master Shao treated and understood Lou Lan like his own child. His face was filled with warmth as he deeply looked at Lou Lan.
"Good boy. Even though your sand core has become so powerful, it's still considered an incomplete product. Yes, I have spent fifty years on your sand core, but there's a limit to my talents. I'm afraid I don't have the capability to perfect it. My child, what I'm going to say next is very important. You have to remember these words. Store them in the deepest part of your sand core."
Master Shao's facial expression became solemn.
"Okay, Lou Lan will start recording now." Lou Lan became serious.
Master Shao went into a deep silence and was somewhat entranced, as if he was thinking of something.
After a long while, he finally returned to his senses and laughed to himself. "I'm indeed old."
"Master Shao, do I need to remember this line?" Lou Lan asked with his eyes wide open.
"No need, no need." Master Shao chuckled.
"Lou Lan, your current sand core is in an incomplete state. That's because your body can't handle all the powers of the sand core, and so I have to seal a portion of the core. Before your body becomes stronger, you are not allowed to remove the seal. As for the information on how to remove the seal and how to transform your body, I have already saved them in your sand core. You need to spend some time studying this information. And the last thing is that if Master Shao is not around in the future, you must follow Ai Hui. He's a rather good guy," Master Shao told Lou Lan with a stern tone.
Lou Lan abruptly asked, "Master Shao, are you leaving Lou Lan?"
"Lou Lan, my life is coming to an end. Before I die, I have to have to go and settle an issue that I have regretted most of my life."
Master Shao suddenly spoke after being lost in thought for a long while.
"Lou Lan, remember this......your sand core is called Midnight."