Chapter 79: Wanting to Die, Wanting to Live
CHAPTER STATUS: UNEDITED
Coming to the clearing again, Zhen Jin found Cang Xu was already lighting a fire.
Flames were burning under the earthen kiln.
The kiln was being tempered by the flames. The moisture in it would evaporate from the heat and allow the mud to go through a certain degree of qualitative change, becoming harder and sturdier.
Cang Xu saw Zhen Jin: “The earthen kiln did not crack after being fired, with this success, we can fire pots.”
“If it cracks, it will have to be remade. But that is unlikely.”
After saying this, Cang Xu began to make pottery.
He first cleaned up the mud by taking out leaves of grass, small stones, and even by picking out some earthworms, then he constantly kneaded the mud into a ball with an evenly distributed texture.
Afterwards, he put a portion of it into his palm and pinched it with his fingers to make a plate.
The edges of the plate stuck up vertically.
After that, Cang Xu took another ball of mud and rolled it on a flat rock to form a long cylinder of mud with roughly even thickness.
Cang Xu took the cylinder of mud and placed it on the mud plate, he then used his fingers to squeeze them together as an integrated whole.
Cang Xu then constantly repeated this procedure.
Every mud strip added increased the height of the body until it finally formed a necked pot.
The pot was the size of an adult human’s head, it was painted black, and it looked very ugly.
Cang Xu carefully lifted the pot and placed it onto another flat rock. Zhen Jin attentively took note: no matter what rock was used, Cang Xu always sprinkled a layer of charcoal ash over it before placing the pot on it. This was to prevent the pot bottom from sticking to the rock.
As Cang Xu worked with the mud, his aged and wrinkled fingers seemed nimble, his clothes and beard were also stained with mud with only his shabby lenses remaining spotless.
Zhen Jin did not stay to help Cang Xu, he still had more important tasks.
That was patrolling the oasis again.
They had been at the oasis for two days, and Zhen Jin had investigated it thoroughly.
But that did not mean there was nothing dangerous in the oasis.
Beasts could move, and the scope of Zhen Jin’s investigation was limited. He could only try his best to patrol multiple routes.
“If I transformed into a spear scorpion, I could see and hear more.”
But as this notion appeared in Zhen Jin’s mind, the young knight vetoed it.
He was vigilant against the magic core and was determined to only use this mysterious magic core as a last resort.
Zhen Jin carefully observed his surroundings and verified that the oasis was still safe.
Of course, Zhen Jin could not investigate the oasis’ lake.
The cool lake water was an azure color. Without wind, the still lake was like a sapphire mirror that was wrapped up by the yellow desert and contrasted nicely with the blue sky.
After lunch, work continued.
The pottery encountered a setback with almost all of them crumbling after being fired.
“It should be the lack of grog.” Cang Xu knew the reason, but neither him nor Zi Di could do anything in this aspect.
Fortunately, the crumbled pottery residue could be added to newer pottery to increase their rate of success.
Zhen Jin began to regret.
If he had known this kind of situation would occur, he would have taken all of the water bags from the volcanic cave.
Each member of the exploration team carried a water bag, however when Zhen Jin left the cave, he only chose to take some weapons and some empty water bags.
Going back now was not realistic.
On the one hand, going back and forth would use up food, time, and stamina. On the other hand, it was extremely risky. Don’t forget, there was a volcanic eruption in that region. No matter if it was Zi Di or Cang Xu, neither leaving them here nor taking them along was a good choice.
“If only there was bamboo growing here, that would make things so much easier.”
Zhen Jin thought of the time when Huang Zao went hunting, and the bamboo forest they had found and utilized.
Bamboo joints were convenient and natural containers for storing water.
Coconut shells were not bad either.
But coconut water was very nutritious, Zhen Jin and the others wanted to preserve their stock, thus they drank boiled water as much as possible.
As night approached, Zhen Jin returned back to camp.
Zi Di had finished building five tents and was currently making potions. She told Zhen Jin the good news——Bai Ya woke up.
Zhen Jin went to Bai Ya’s tent.
Bai Ya was still weak, his head stuck out as he lay in the tent.
Seeing that Zhen Jin had arrived, he wanted to crawl out and stand up, however he did not succeed after several tries.
“Don’t move, just lie down.” When Zhen Jin saw Bai Ya was still in poor health, he promptly stopped him and sat at his side.
“Lord Zhen Jin, once again you saved my life! You are my savior; I would even sacrifice my life to repay your kindness.”
Bai Ya passionately said.
“Recuperate well, eat more, and drink more. Saving you was not easy.” Zhen Jin laughed.
Bai Ya’s eyes reddened with falling hot tears, choking with sobs, he said: “Lord Zhen Jin, I know you have carried me all this way. You are a noble templar knight, yet you bravely risked your life to save such a lowly person like me. Lord Zi Di and Scholar Cang Xu informed me that you also gave me precious water to drink.”
“Assisting the weak and saving the good is part of the templar knight creed.” Zhen Jin smiled, he put his hand on Bai Ya’s shoulder and stopped him from getting up again.
“Although I do not seek reciprocation, I understand and accept you wanting to repay me.”
“You must survive and recover with all speed.
“Today I had a headache trying to adjust bows, I remember that you are an expert in this aspect, I will wait for your help.
“My Lord, I can……” Bai Ya smiled and became more anxious. He tried to get up, but Zhen Jin softly pushed down and did not budge even a hairsbreadth.
“Don’t be worried, just listen to my orders.” Zhen Jin looked solemn.
Bai Ya immediately stopped struggling and looked up at Zhen Jin with adoration and respect: “I hear you, my Lord.”
As he was getting up, Zhen Jin suddenly remembered something, he took out a few letters: “Ah, here. I will return these letters to you.”
“We have all read the letters. At first, I thought that if you died, I would give these letters to Miss Xi Qiu. But since you are still alive, I will return them to their rightful owner.
“My Lord……” Bai Ya suddenly felt somewhat embarrassed.
Zhen Jin laughed and patted Bai Ya’s shoulder: “Try hard, survive, stand out amongst your peers, and don’t disappoint your beloved lady. When you are caught in a predicament with no way to press on, remember that. Imagine the day when you become a knight, return home in glory, and the spectacle of your marriage to Miss Xi Qiu.”
“Ok!” Bai Ya nodded, choking with emotion.
Tears appeared again in his red eyes. At that moment, he seemed to be filled with the luster of hope for the future.
With regards to the Xi Qiu matter, Zhen Jin was actually more inclined towards Cang Xu’s view.
But after Zhen Jin thought about it, he decided not to warn Bai Ya.
Firstly, the truth was unknown. Secondly, Bai Ya at the moment needed positive encouragement and not a psychological blow.
Bai Ya was full of optimism, as if he was bathing in the glimmering sunlight.
Lan Zao was also in a palm leaf tent; however he emitted a dense melancholy and a deathly stillness.
He was starving himself.
Ever since Zhen Jin and the others destroyed the mirage in his heart, Lan Zao was unable to face reality, he hadn’t eaten anything and hadn’t drunk anything either.
These days, if he was not sleeping, he curled up his body and silently cried.
The contrast and changes between the two people made Zhen Jin’s heart shake, he sighed constantly: “Human nature truly is subtle and a very odd thing.”
“Bai Ya was willing to risk his life to save Cang Xu. Yet he doesn’t want to die, not one bit.”
“When Lan Zao was dying, he sacrificed his younger brother to save himself. But now that he is unexpectedly alive, he wants to die.”
Zhen Jin could not advise Lan Zao, he didn’t know what to say.
With just a quick glance at Lan Zao, one could tell how much this individual wanted to embrace death.
It seems that staying and breathing on this earth tormented Lan Zao. This torment made Zhen Jin pity Lan Zao while at the same time, feeling pleased that justice had been upheld. After all, seeing an evil person getting punished is something to applaud.
If someone wanted to die, what could outsiders really do about it?
A busy day had passed.
The dinner of the same lizard meat and tasteless boiled water made everyone praise the heavens.
The hearts of those that sat by the bonfire were sincere and moved.
To sit on stable ground and fill one’s stomach was a blessed thing!
Being able to sleep in a tent at night made their hearts overflow with happiness.
They didn’t need to sleep in the open anymore.
Although the tents were small, they still protected against the cold. In addition, there was a layer of grass on the bottom of the tent and a temporary pillow, not the ice-cold ground. Even though it was windy at night, the layered palm leaves would shelter them, so they would not wake up from the cold.
As for the tent, wasn’t it too small to turn over in?
Turn over what body?
Was the tiredness from a day of hard work not enough?
Do such good conditions still not satisfy you?
You don’t know anything!
Zhen Jin and the others crawled into the tents smiling.
After smiling, they woke up to the fourth day at the oasis.
Hiss hiss hiss……
They heard a strange sound.
It sounded like a multitude of snake groups.
The light of dawn ripped into the curtain of night and allowed everyone to see the truth——
A large group of acid green lizards were pouring into the oasis.