Chapter 149: No Difference
“How is the situation?” Zhen Jin entered Bai Ya’s residence.
On a grass bed, lay a deathly pale Bai Ya between life and death.
Zhen Jin used ultrasound and a transformed internal ear structure to find that Bai Ya was still breathing somewhat.
The breathing was extremely weak and short, it was on the brink of vanishing.
“His situation is far from good.” Cang Xu turned around.
Zhen Jin sank into silence.
This youngster was once an immense contributor to the exploration team. He was young, innocent, and yearned for knighthood.
Now, he lay with tightly closed eyes, death’s sickle was already on his neck.
Despite experiencing so much, he still collapsed here.
During this time, the ravine camp had many new casualties and no shortages of death.
If it was the past, morale would have dropped. But with Zhen Jin’s supreme prestige and existence, the group still maintained excellent morale.
As far as Bai Ya’s situation was concerned, Zhen Jin was not surprised and even felt regretful.
With a different family background and bloodline, combined with his fighting spirit and willpower, perhaps things would be different.
Bai Ya, he really was too ordinary.
He was only an ordinary person and a mediocre human. His youthful energy and enthusiasm seemed naive and even stupid.
However, this “stupidity” sometimes seemed praiseworthy.
Bai Ya was willing to help others, this was his nature. When the expiration team was poisoned, he looked after the others and gained good relationships with them.
When breaking out of the green lizard encirclement, he stupidly saved Cang Xu, reserving their situations. If Zhen Jin did not return to save him, he would have lost his life on the spot.
At the oasis, he also saved Lan Zao, unafraid of being poisoned himself.
He blindly adored Zhen Jin and was Zhen Jin’s most feverish follower.
“I am very sorry for coming late.” Zi Di’s voice came from behind him.
“Zi Di, diagnose him quickly.” A new hope immediately burned in Zhen Jin’s heart.
But after Zi Di examined him, she only responded with silence.
The hope in Zhen Jin’s heart rapidly waned.
“Oh dear.” Cang Xu deeply sighed, “My Lord, take a look at this.”
Cang Xu found some letters in the grass bed.
“These should be letters he wrote.” Cang Xu quickly skimmed over the contents and slightly pursed his brows, his calm rationally giving way to rarely seen anger.
According to his judgement, Miss Xi Qiu played with Bai Ya and used a false romance to deceive the inexperienced youngster. This made his risks and sacrifices a laughing matter.
Zhen Jin shook his head: “Cang Xu, the truth is not known, nothing is certain.”
The young knight’s heart did not want to see Cang Xu’s conjecture as correct.
Taking the letters from Cang Xu, Zhen Jin quickly ran his eyes over them.
The handwriting in the letters were terrible, messy, and had no sense of beauty, however it was clearly written by Bai Ya. It was clear he had only learned how to write a short time ago.
Many parts of the letters were empty, these were the words Bai Ya could not write.
The characters in the letter also changed color, turning purple, it seemed the ink had deteriorated.
In the letters, Bai Ya expressed his love for Miss Xi Qiu and his adoration for Zhen Jin.
In the final letter, he wrote his regrets.
Seeing Bai Ya’s regrets, Zhen Jin’s heart couldn’t help but tremble.
Without previous life and death crises, it was impossible for him to have such a sincere resonance to this!
Zhen Jin respectfully gazed at the unconscious Bai Ya and seriously said: “I pledge to you Bai Ya. If you are unfortunately sacrificed, I will personally give these letters to your most beloved. If Miss Xi Qiu sincerely loves you, I will inform her of everything, I will tell her she did not misjudge you and that you possessed a knightly spirit. You fought gallantly, did your best, always walked the path of kind heartedness and justice, and never cowered from danger. But if she was merely toying with you, then I will uphold justice for you, she will be tried by a templar knight!”
After finishing this, Zhen Jin solemnly stored the letters in his pocket.
Bai Ya’s end already seemed preordained as everyone left the rock cave.
“My Lord, please stay.” Zi Di suddenly spoke, at the same time, she glanced at Cang Xu. Cang Xu bowed to Zhen Jin and quickly left.
In the passageway, there was only Zi Di and Zhen Jin.
A spell of silence.
“My Lord, let me hold onto those letters for safekeeping. After all, you often charge on the frontlines.” Said Zi Di.
“Please keep them safe.” Zhen Jin nodded and gave the letters to Zi Di.
“My Lord I……” Zi Di replied.
Zhen Jin smiled: “No need to console me. Although indeed, my mood has been gloomy since my comrade collapsed. I do not have the ability to save him, and many times, my abilities really are limited.”
“My Lord, in the end, we are simply humans, not gods. Even some gods are not experts in this field.” Zi Di drew in both of Zhen Jin’s hands, “My Lord, please don’t blame yourself too much.”
“How can I not blame myself?” Zhen Jin bitterly laughed, “I neglected him too much. He was an outstanding contributor, but after more people covered up his abilities, I neglected him.”
“Thinking back now, did I treat him as a tool? When this tool went unused or lost its usefulness, did I throw him to the back of my mind?”
“Am I a qualified leader? I often speak publicly and say I treat everyone equally, but do I really treat everyone equally? What have I really accomplished? If I valued Bai Ya a bit more, would I have discovered his worsening situation earlier and have a different outcome?”
“My Lord!” Zi Di called, she stepped forward, throwing herself into a hug with Zhen Jin at her own accord.
Both her hands embraced Zhen Jin’s waist as she tightly embraced the young knight: “Lord Zhen Jin, you are absolutely qualified, no, you are an outstanding leader. You are a knight, my……knight, please don’t doubt yourself.”
Her soft and tender body definitely encouraged him and mitigated Zhen Jin’s dispirited expression.
The youngster lifted his hand and caressed Zi Di’s shoulder.
At that moment, the youngster felt a warm feeling from Zi Di’s body. This warm feeling constantly flowed into his heart, and the ice cube hidden in his heart seemed to melt.
Intangible misunderstandings seemed to dispel.
Once again, Zhen Jin felt an urge, he wanted to tell Zi Di his secret and everything on his mind.
But at the next moment, his expression changed, his ultrasound discovered there was an emergency on the front line.
The fighters were already escaping to the ravine clearing.
“We need to go. I still need to look after the giant.” Zhen Jin softly pushed away Zi Di.
“Ok.” Zi Di released her hands and deeply gazed at Zhen Jin with her amethyst eyes, she then watched him leave and disappear behind a corner.
When the fighters came to the ravine, they easily found Zhen Jin.
Zhen Jin left, soon after, he routed the magic beast corps again and stabilized the defensive line.
That same night, he moved alone and tried to trouble the magic beast corps.
But he could only cause a limited amount of casualties, the blue dog fox wolves had strong defenses at their sides. The death of each blue dog fox wolf was a bloody lesson that made the surviving ones more experienced.
Although Zhen Jin could also produce perfume, it could not disturb the magic beast corps.
Zhen Jin risked his life and did his best to kill many magic beasts, then he returned his beaten and inflexible body back to camp.
The night guards gazed at him with adoration and respect.
Zhen Jin could not rest for long. Of all the higher ups, he worked the most.
However, these gazes full of love, respect, zealotry, and praise could not give Zhen Jin pure warmth and motivation. They were like a cold light that offended his eyes.
As per usual, the next day, the magic beast corps launched another offensive.
The people relied on natural barriers and their defenses. Under Zong Ge’s command, they did their best to kill or injure the magic beast corps. If this didn’t happen, under the magic beast corps’ constant reinforcements, the situation would have collapsed.
However, the people risked their lives in close quarters combat and caused disastrouscasualties to the magic beast corps. However, as time passed, the magic beast corps instead became more numerous.
The people finally realized how many blue dog fox wolves were on this island.
However, after carefully thinking about it, this island was massive. It was normal the vast jungle and deep forest could sustain many blue dog fox wolves.
The situation was in a temporary deadlock
The earthquakes grew weaker; however they became more frequent. Sometimes, three or four would occur in a single day.
The giant also had constant symptoms.
The giant roared and bellowed.
“Run for it, he has symptoms again!” The people fled in a panic.
Like lightning, Zhen Jin jumped up and hit his nape.
Just as the giant’s roar finished, his eyes rolled over as he fell to the ground.
“Run for it, he……”
Zhen Jin already attacked.
Just as the giant roared, he fell to the ground.
The giant fell to the ground.
The giant just opened his mouth and wanted to roar.
Zhen Jin immediately disposed of him.
As the number of times the giant was knocked out increased, the more skilled Zhen Jin became. Beside practice making perfect, he eventually replaced his attack with a stone, with the right amount of force applied on the giant’s nape, he could use the stone to knock out the giant.
To the extent that every time the giant saw Zhen Jin, he felt a faint burst of pain in his neck.
Each time Zhen Jin suppressed him, in the beginning the giant feared Zhen Jin as a result, but soon after, this fear changed to numbness and then into calmness.
This was the giant’s position: you can knock me unconscious whenever you want, I can’t resist it anyways.
Finally, in his calmness, an unexpected trace of intimacy appeared.
It seems the boat craftsman’s words, “I hit you out of love”, was recorded in his heart.
Indeed, Zhen Jin did not injure him. Every time Zhen Jin promptly stopped the giant’s symptoms and didn’t allow him to harm the ship or the lives of others, the more tolerable the giant became to a human environment.
As the giant continued to fall to the ground, the new ship grew more refined.
The boat planks were flattened well, and the aft and rudder were constructed and reinforced with iron.
Most of the deck was also completed.
Altogether, the ship had two decks. After the two decks were finished, next were the bow deckhouse and the aft deckhouse.
Currently, the people were rushing to build the essential ship hold.
In order to build a ship, everyone used all their strength and did their best.
During this time, the frontal battlefield line constantly retreated in defeat.
At first, the defensive line was mended, but as the situation developed, the people had to abandon it.
The defensive line retreated from the foot of a mountain to a hillside.
At first, in order to protect the ravine, the people suffered great damage.
Mu Ban then came up with an outrageous idea, after obtaining the boat craftsman’s confirmation, the people dragged the boat to the top of a hill.
This way, the defensive area shrunk, and with military power pulling back, the defensive line stabilized.
The reason that caused this was Zhen Jin constantly losing personal while the blue dog fox wolves received constant reinforcements.
The scales of victory were slowly tilting towards the magic beast corps.
On the other hand, the blue dog fox wolves used a few subterranean sandworms. Zhen Jin and Zong Ge could not quickly kill these sandworms, they could only watch as their countless attacks destroyed their defensive fortifications.
Zhen Jin fulfilled his responsibility as a leader.
Despite the front constantly retreating, he continued to boost morale and fight on the front lines.
The new boat continued to be improved, giving everyone something to place their hopes in.
Everyone persevered with clenched teeth.
Like the iron in the kiln, the constant burning and forging gradually condensed the people into a true team, all of them became inseparable close and mutually understood each other. Misunderstandings, hate, suspicions, and so on disappeared, replaced with the camaraderie and trust of comrades-in-arms.
From start to finish, there were no deserters.
It was unlikely there would ever be any deserters, because they had nowhere to desert to.
Finally, after paying fifty casualties, the new ship was finished.
That day, the weather was sunny and cloudless.
An earthquake occurred at noon; thus the magic beast corps did not attack. After the earthquake, the magic beast corps became tranquil for a time.
On the hillside, a simple and crude ceremony was being conducted.
“My Lord, please strike with this hammer.” The serious boat craftsman gave Zhen Jin an iron hammer.
“No, you contributed the most. The final hammer should be yours.” Zhen Jin shook his head.
The boat craftsman still wanted to second guess himself, but Zhen Jin persisted: “Go, that is an order.”
The boat craftsman could only comply, under a thousand staring eyes, he waved the hammer and nailed the last boat plank in.
The boat craftsman's eyes were red with glistening tears, he returned to Zhen Jin’s side and spoke, his tone somewhat choked with emotion: “My Lord, all my life, I wanted to build a ship. I did not expect to achieve my heart’s desire on an island, instead of a dock. Of course, this ship has many defects. For example the masts, we only had short poles. only after being put together can, they meet the height required. Take the sails, our sail faces are too small, they are unable to harness enough wind. In addition, the boat planks and hull sides need to be reinforced with iron, their current structural strength is worrying. Ah, there is also the boat anchor, we still lack a qualified boat anchor……”
“Good, good.” Zhen Jin laughed and clapped the boat craftsman’s shoulder, interrupting his words, “We can make up for these deficiencies while we are sailing.”
“Now is a time for celebration, go, gorge and drink well.”
“Today you are the most brilliant star!”
“Many people are waiting to toast to you.”
Zhen Jin pushed the boat craftsman towards everyone.
Because of Zhen Jin’s honor, the boat craftsman nearly wept on the spot.
The boat craftsman flowed into the crowd, and cheers instantly rose.
Over the last several months, this banquet was a one of a kind.
The new boat was finished, even if only the foundation was finished, and it barely achieved a passable score.
But it held extraordinary significance! From now on, Zhen Jin and the others could attack, retreat, and defend.
Of course, the new ship still needed to slide into the water. The original sliding track had been destroyed by the magic beast corps, however on the other side, there was a secondary sliding track hidden under a shallow layer of ground.
This was Zong Ge’s proposal, and everyone was grateful for his vision and wisdom as a high-ranking military officer.
Besides the sliding track, when the new boat entered the ocean, it would attract the magic beast corps’ attention, causing them to send additional military power there.
A large battle was inevitable!
“Don’t think about those things, today I need to rest.” Zhen Jin also wanted to gasp, during these days, as a leader, the most pressure was undoubtedly on him.
The boat craftsman was in the center of the crowd, it was a glorious moment in his life.
Of course, Zhen Jin was not snubbed.
Xi Suo, in an excited mood, knelt to the ground, put one hand across his chest, and used his other as a wine cup: “My Lord, because of your leadership, we had the ability to persevere. You are a model templar knight and our bright light!”
“My Lord, I ask you to allow this humble person to offer you this insignificant piece of roasted meat.”
Lord Zhen Jin, all of our praise cannot describe you. With your leadership, we have the happiness we hoped for all our lives.”
It seemed the celebratory atmosphere had an influence, in the cave with all the injured, Bai Ya slowly opened his eyes.
However, the praise, admiration, and celebratory atmosphere of the banquet could not influence Zhen Jin.
He sat in the main seat and looked at the laughing people. Despite him also being happy and wearing a smile, he still felt a barrier, a dense barrier. He was placed here and also placed outside, he seemed to be in a different world than them.
Since that time, he was unable to confess his secret to Zi Di, he could not open his mouth.
The banquet continued, taking advantage of everyone celebrating, Zhen Jin silently left the crowd.
He arrived at a distant hillside and looked at a grass shack.
In the shack that could not shield anyone from the elements, the giant curled up in his grass bed.
“Here.” Zhen Jin gave the giant some roasted meat.
The giant silently took it.
Zhen Jin walked a few steps and sat on a boulder.
He gazed at the sky, above him there were dense and black volcanic clouds. Apparently because of them, there hadn’t been any rain recently.
The new hull had one less obstacle.
Zhen Jin gazed at a distant location again.
On the tall hillside, he could see the ocean.
The ocean was not yet covered by the volcanic clouds, the setting sun could still be seen as it descended below the sea.
Under the evening light, the tranquil ocean surface glittered like fish scales.
The new boat was also in the hillside,
When the obstacles were cleared out, it would follow the sliding track down.
After it charged down and cut its way through thistles and thorns, it would break into the ocean and splash the water into the sky.
This beautiful scene was not only Zhen Jin’s dream, it was everyone’s. This dream was their biggest motivation to date.
His ears could hear the giant eating the meat, it was boorish, but it gave Zhen Jin serenity.
Compared to the banquet, he found he liked this place more.
His heart a faint trace of elation.
Zhen Jin was also surprised, at that moment, he did not look for Zi Di, but came to the giant’s side.
Under the setting sun, the young knight’s solitary shadow lengthened and spread over the grass shack.
In the grass shack, the giant had finished eating, crawling out after looking at Zhen Jin’s back.
He crouched in a distant place and imitated Zhen Jin, he too looked at the setting sun.
Sensing the giant’s action, Zhen Jin glanced and faintly smiled at him.
Shortly after, the young knight gazed at the sun again, the scenery before him was magnificent, however his forehead was always creased, he had unresolvable worry in him.
The giant gazed at the sun and quickly became bored.
He glanced at Zhen Jin and slid his buttocks closer to the young knight.
Zhen Jin did not react.
The giant silently looked at the setting sun for a moment, then moved closer to Zhen Jin again.
Zhen Jin still didn’t react.
The giant moved again and again, at first, the time between movements was long, but after some time, he moved more frequently.
Zhen Jin suddenly turned to look at him.
The giant had just pushed his buttocks off the ground with his hands, he was in the process of moving.
Zhen Jin’s glance immediately turned him into a stone statue.
A burst of sea wind blew, slightly moving his hair.
Zhen Jin was amused; he laughed and patted a sitting stone next to him.
The giant immediately grinned, exposing his yellow teeth.
Finally, he finished moving his lower half, placing it on the stone next to Zhen Jin.
“Do you not fear me?”
The giant shook his head and honestly said: “This giant will keep you company.”
“I knocked your unconscious many times, do you not hate me?”
The giant shook his head again: “You are just like this giant.”
Zhen Jin’s heart shook, and he stared blankly on the spot.
Under the setting sun, the two shadows lengthened together.
On the surface, there was no difference.