Chapter 34: I Want You

Thud. With a soft sound, a dagger flew through the air and embedded its tip into a wooden stake. Zhen Jin withdrew his hand and thoughtfully looked at the many wooden stakes before him. 

When he got up in the morning, he issued a command to collect long-range weaponry. Bows and crossbows were the most common. In addition, there were also some specialized throwing weapons like throwing axes and tridents and other weapons that could be thrown such as javelins and daggers. 

All these weapons were now accurately thrown by him into wooden stakes near and far. Zhen Jin examined his performance and evaluated himself, Strictly speaking, daggers are not weapons specially made to be thrown. Yet I threw a dozen daggers without missing my mark. Daggers aside, whether it is a javelin, a throwing ax, or a trident, it is all the same to me. It went without saying that the bow and the crossbow were the same. If I had darts, I should be able to do the same.  

Darts were not common. In the east of the Sheng Ming Continent, there was a unique battle qi art that could make its practitioners light as a swallow and skilful in throwing darts, daggers, and other similar weapons. As a result, darts were quite prevalent in the east of the Sheng Ming Continent while being rare elsewhere. 

It is evident that last night was not a dream but another piece of memory that has returned to me. Heretofore, this skill with throwing weapons was beyond Zhen Jin, and now, he was capable of it like it was instinct. No. This should be the result of my diligent cultivation and training. Only that I was simply unable to use it, and my dream last night unsealed my memory. It's a pity that although I have the memory of the secret art Needle Point Explosion, I am still incapable of using it. If I could fully use this secret art, its power would pose a great threat to the island’s monsters. 

Zhen Jin sighed. The Needle Point Explosion was a battle art requiring the imbuing of battle qi into the special flying needles, and without battle qi, he could not display its true might. Even so, with his memory reappearing, Zhen Jin’s strength gained a small improvement. In the past, he had wielded a longsword, fighting bravely in close combat, but now, with his throwing skill, his range had increased to several hundred paces.   

“This is truly worthy of the Hundred Needle bloodline! In terms of precision, the Hundred Needle bloodline can be ranked in the top five in all of the Sheng Ming Continent. Lord Zhen Jin, you are the hope of the Bai Zhen House, and you will surely bring glory back to your house.”

Amid his contemplation, he heard a familiar voice. He turned around and, as he expected, saw Cang Xu. He slowly walked over, and over his face came a shape of respect as looked at the many stakes filled with thrown weapons.   

 But Zhen Jin shook his head. He had been practicing since dawn, and apart from confirming that the dream was his memory, he wanted to use this golden opportunity to spark other relevant memories and understand how to use his battle qi. Unfortunately, he did not succeed. 

He had previously inquired about his subordinates’ battle qi arts and attempted to use them. Yet regardless of his great efforts, with the island’s restriction in place, he simply could not feel any reaction and nor stimulate the battle qi hidden in his body. 

He would not confide these vexations to Cang Xu. “Tell me, how is our current situation?” asked Zhen Jin, standing still as he regulated his breathing. He knew Cang Xu had come to report to him. 

“Reporting to my Lord, not one person has died.” In one sentence, Cang Xu made Zhen Jin relax and heave a sigh of relief. The scholar continued, “We are lucky to have such a pharmacist as Lady Zi DI! Nearly everyone has benefited from her potions. Currently, more than half of the group has taken the medicine and they are all weak, some unconscious, some feverish. A severe illness is inevitable for them.” 

A sufficient quantity of medicine had already been made. However, for security, Cang Xu arranged for the exploration team to take it in batches. As a result, there was still a portion who had not drunk the potion. 

Zhen Jin nodded. “So, how much did the health of the first batch decline?” 

Cang Xu shook his head slightly. “The situation is still developing, however, so far, it seems all of these people are in weak health and their strength has dropped to varying degrees depending on the person. Some have it mildly while others are severely affected. Overall, it is still fine as no one has been disabled or crippled.” On mentioning this, Cang Xu’s complexion sank. “My Lord, I believe that the danger of magic corrosion has been resolved, and its threat to the team is not great. But there is another difficult problem ahead of us.” 

“Victuals?” Zhen Jin’s eyes flashed with understanding. 

“My Lord’s eyes are clear.” Cang Xu bowed lightly with unconcealed concern. “We do not have much food left.” 

Zhen Jin gestured back to him. He had been paying close attention to the stock of provisions and was not surprised. Cang Xu’s suggestion to hunt the goats, after all, was for meat. Both the exploration team and the group stuck at the beach had a great need for food. The exploration team originally had abundant food, but it had been a long time since they left on their journey and as a result, most of their food had been consumed. 

Zhen Jin and Zi Di had plentiful food, but it was plenty only for two. The share left for each person with their current number was scant. Unless Zhen Jin decided to abandon them to preserve his food. 

“How long will it last us?” inquired Zhen Jin. 

The scholar immediately replied, “Roughly fifteen days.” 

Zhen Jin nodded, satisfied with the report. This is the role of an advisor. And Cang Xu is a qualified advisor. He discovered the problems ahead of time and warned us of them. Many things can seem very trivial, and it can be hard to take care of everything as a leader. At this time, someone needs to check and plug the leaks. 

Fifteen days may seem long but it is in the danger zone. A sense of urgency rose in Zhen Jin’s heart. He had experienced dangers on this island for many days, and he understood how difficult it was to acquire food. Cang Xu must have understood it also. After he joined the exploration team, he went through more trials and tribulations but he had not been able to gain large amounts of food in one swoop. The one opportunity he found in goat hunting had almost led to the death of all of them. 

Zhen Jin thought for a while and asked again, “Do you have any good ideas?”

Cang Xu hesitated once before replying, “I am ashamed to say it but I can do nothing in this matter. Perhaps Lady Zi Di can?” 

When Zhen Jin heard him, his heart was moved and he looked deeply at Cang Xu. His words imply something deeper. Did he figure it out? Actually…the secret of the grass is hard to keep hidden. Perhaps it could fool the others, but Cang Xu had been following closely from beginning to end. He has an extensive breadth of knowledge, and it would be quite normal to understand this secret. 

There is one simple way to solve our difficult food problem. Zi Di could make more potions and give them to the goats. After the goats spit out the chaotic magic power, would the meat not be fine to eat? Cang Xu’s suggestion seems to point to this method, but he did not state it explicitly. After all, this grass is special. It contains dense ice-type magic power and is a high-quality natural resource. Any force would cautiously cover up this secret. 

Mr. Cang Xu is belike feigning ignorance of this matter. Indeed, he has served the nobility for most of his life. Thinking about this, Zhen Jin admired Cang Xu more. The most admirable aspect of Cang Xu was that he knew how to restrain his intellect and not offend others because of his wisdom. He offered his suggestion measured so as to minimize offending others.

But at the same time, he upheld his own principles. Cang Xu knew that to the exploration team, food was extremely important. Currently, the team had plenty of water and a rare replenishment spot nearby. Food was the key. Once there was a food shortage, the body’s energy intake would decrease, strength would continue to decline, and combat ability would fall, and therefore the ability to resist external crises would fall accordingly. 

If the situation did not improve, this vicious cycle would drag the exploration team into the abyss and doom them. As a matter of fact, everyone had a good idea about the food reserves, and once the reserves entered a dangerously low level, the exploration team members would involuntarily be burdened by the stress of it. This kind of mental pressure would increase over time, and it was very possible that no vicious beast needed to attack for the team to collapse as it would come from internal strife over the remaining food. 

While many things had become convenient for Zhen Jin and Zi Di with the added manpower, it also brought with it new pressures and inconveniences. Cang Xu was worried that Zhen Jin would be careless in addressing this aspect and therefore pointed out the vital importance of provisions. 

From his perspective, preserving the exploration team’s existence was preserving his own life. Cang Xu was a scholar and did not cultivate battle qi. To raise his chances of survival, he could only attach himself to others. At the same time, the more people there were in the team, the greater the value of his management skills and learnedness would be. Cang Xu understood how to survive. 

I really wish to put such a talent in my employ, Zhen Jin sighed to himself. Serving as a steward is not suitable for him. He is not a Practitioner so he cannot suppress a situation by himself. However, as an advisor, he qualifies, if not excels.   

Cang Xu left the house he served out of his desire to produce his work. This is his ambition as a scholar and is understandable. An ordinary person would consider remaining by the side of the noble he serves as the best option. Why bother putting yourself in danger for a book?

Zhen Jin was stirred. I had intended to take advantage of Cang Xu’s ambition to slowly draw him to my side, but isn’t the present dilemma a good opportunity to recruit him? As Zhen Jin changed his train of thought, his eyes slowly shone. Before, he thought to slowly scheme. But he was not the only Templar Knight going to White Sands City. There were at least two other competitors. Therefore, the best opportunity was not in the future but in the present. So, it turns out this island is an opportunity for me. For the first time, Zhen Jin felt the loveliness of the island.