Chapter 5: Lian Chengyu
Yi Yun’s thin and frail body was even shorter than Jiang Xiaorou’s. Although he looked like a kid, in Jiang Xiaorou’s heart, Yi Yun was the man of the house, a man who would support the family in the future!
While holding Jiang Xiaorou’s hands, Yi Yun felt her agitation as her palm heated up with a slight tremble in her fingers. Facing their impending deaths, and the unfairness of the tribe, Jiang Xiaorou did not expect anyone to stand up for her. She could only do it herself, as a fifteen-year-old girl, against a bunch of stout men.
The atmosphere went silent for a moment as everyone dazedly looked at Yi Yun and Jiang Xiaorou. After a short silence, a few of the men in charge of distributing the grain roared with laughter.
“He is your household’s man? Hahahaha!”
“Young lass, have you not seen a man before? Do you want me to show you what it means to be a man?” said one of the men lewdly
“A kid who doesn’t even need to shave, and is as thin as a monkey at that. I wonder kid, how many days ago did you stop using diapers?
A few of the men guffawed, Jiang Xiaorou turned red from embarrassment as she clenched her fists tightly. Not a single person behind her was willing to stand up for her.
The ruling class of the tribe was filled with all the strong and laborious warriors. As the weak could not defeat the strong, no one bothered to help them as they had their own meals to worry about.
“Eh, I recall something. Didn’t this brat die a few days ago?”
In a small tribe, deaths weren’t uncommon. And because of Yi Yun’s lack of any standing, his death wasn’t very widely known.
“That’s right. I know him. He’s full of illnesses. His body is so weak that the wind can blow him over,” another person agreed.
“Who said my brother died!?” Jiang Xiaorou stared at the man like a leopardess. Their bodies were so disproportionate in size, like a sparrow against a vulture. Even so, Jiang Xiaorou gritted her teeth and stood her ground. There was a hint of killing intent in her eyes, one that could be seen in a beast.
It was hard to believe that a weak, young girl like her could exhibit such a stare. Jiang Xiaorou held on tightly to a long and thin pole-like item she had hidden behind her. She had secretly kept one of the arrows for defensive purposes!
Facing Jiang Xiaorou’s glare, the man frowned because she had angered him. As a deacon in the tribe, and a member of the warrior preparation camp, his position in the tribe was very high. This situation was like a tiger being pinned down by a kitten.
“You foolish lass, what are you staring at!? I’ll dig out your eyes if you keep staring!” The man said angrily, but Jiang Xiaorou continued starting at him while gritting her teeth. She did not stand down because they would not survive if they didn’t receive any additional rations today. The arrow in her hand was gripped even tighter, almost to the point of her drawing it out!
“This lass is interesting!” Situated in a clean and high house, a smirking lad in silver armor had been monitoring the conflict between Jiang Xiaorou and the man through the window.
This silver-armored lad had an overpowering presence. His bright armor only served to enhance the difference between him and the suffering commoners.
“She is still hiding an arrow. All the arrow-making materials have been accounted for, but even a defective arrow must be collected. I don’t know how this lass managed to hide the arrow, but from the looks of it, she might have the courage to use the arrow offensively.”
“If she were to go on the offensive, she would definitely end up in a sorry state,” an elder standing beside the silver-armored lad politely said.
“That’s right. However, if she were to not to go on the offensive, she will probably starve to death,” the silver-armored lad nonchalantly said. “Tell me more about this girl.”
The elder bowed responding, “Yes my lord, her name is Jiang Xiaorou, a girl from the lower castes in our Lian tribal clan. She and her brother were originally not from the Lian tribal clan. She was a refugee who managed to find a foothold in the Lian tribal clan. A few years ago, her brother, Yi Yun’s mother passed away. The siblings became orphans. It was expected that the two children, without their mother, would surely die, but this Jiang Xiaorou, though young, surprisingly managed to take care of both herself and her brother and have lasted for a few years.”
The elder was extremely polite. The Lian tribal clan numbered a thousand, and he knew everything about everyone.
A typical large tribe usually did not take in refugees, only smaller tribes did. In fact, this was one of the ways for a small tribe to sustain their population, however the refugees were always of a much lower status than the natives.
“She’s actually a girl from elsewhere.” The lad mumbled to himself as he slowly smirked.
From the situation before, he realized that Jiang Xiaorou had a different air that he couldn’t describe, for it wasn’t one a poor family’s child would have. Furthermore, Jiang Xiaorou had elegant and refined looks. In a small tribe that endured suffering, such a beautiful girl was a rarity. Such a beautiful and charming girl with a defiant attitude, with an unknown past, kindled the interest in Lian Chengyu.
“Young Master, has she caught your eye?” the elder couldn’t resist asking. Young Master Lian Chengyu had extremely high prestige in the tribe!
The Lian tribal clan had a few warriors, but for an honest count of experts, there were only three. One was the Patriarch who was the yellow-robed elder, the warrior preparation camp’s coach, Yao Yuan was another, and lastly it was Lian Chengyu. He was the grandnephew of the yellow-robed elder. The Patriarch was already in his 60s, but Lian Chengyu was only seventeen, so he had a bright path ahead. Lian Chengyu was undoubtedly going to become the next Patriarch. He was also the person with the highest chance of becoming a “Purple Blood Warrior”.
With Lian Chengyu’s birth stature, he wasn’t supposed to marry a woman from outside, because of her low stature.
“So what if I’m interested? Soon this small Lian tribe will not bog me down. I’ll go out and have a great adventure in the vast wilderness! Are you trying to use the Lian tribal clan rules to stifle me?”
Although Lian Chengyu had said it calmly, the cold words made the elder shudder as he hastily said, “I was joking, Young Master. I was just asking. I spoke too much, please do not take it to heart!”
The elder was about to slap himself as he said that, for although the Lian tribal clan was small, the clan rules were very strict!
In the wilderness, where the strong ruled over the weak, many countries imposed military law. In the tribes however, the warriors held power, so be it the laws or the tribal clan rules, they were all extremely strict!
The strong held the weak people’s lives in their hands. Lian Chengyu, who was a powerhouse in his tribe, had absolute authority to decide over a person’s fate.
Besides, Lian Chengyu showed no mercy. Since he was young, he had gone through numerous tribulations, and had experienced cruel in-fighting, even in the tribe.
Seeing that the elder was about to slap himself, Lian Chengyu coolly said, “Alright. Stop acting in front of me. This girl is still young. I only want her as a maid, or a concubine, so you don’t have to worry. This should not violate the tribe’s rules.”
“Yes… thank you for your forgiveness, Young Master,” the elder nodded hurriedly.
“Well… Let me ask you. This Jiang Xiaorou, why does she have a different surname than her brother?” Lian Chengyu narrowed his eyes as he looked at what was happening on the field. He realized that Jiang Xiaorou was extremely protective of her brother, while her brother was a illness-riddled weakling, Jiang Xiaorou still seemed proud of him.
“This… I heard that when Jiang Xiaorou was in difficulty, she was adopted by Yi Yun’s mother. It is probably for this reason that Jiang Xiaorou is very grateful to Yi Yun’s mother, so she also treats Yi Yun well.”
“Ah, is that so…” Lian Chengyu frowned as he stood up.
“Get lost now!” Seeing Jiang Xiaorou’s legs rooted to the ground, the man was angered. He stepped forward in front of Jiang Xiaorou and was about to slap her!
A weak girl like Jiang Xiaorou could not compare to the man’s large body. This slap if landed would have thrown Jiang Xiaorou into the air!
Jiang Xiaorou was about to draw the arrow when she felt her hand being pressed down. Yi Yun quickly whispered into her ear saying, “Do not be rash!”
With that said, in one fluid move, Yi Yun was standing in front of Jiang Xiaorou.
“Hold on!” said Yi Yun with his hands raised.
“What do you think you are doing?” The man was angered; it was actually this weak skinny monkey. He would send him flying too!
Yi Yun was itching to kick the man in his groin, but he knew that a wise man does not fight when the odds are against him. Having lived two lives, he was calmer, and knew that being rash in this situation would be disastrous.
“A real man doesn’t fight with women. Furthermore, aren’t you from the warrior preparation camp? You must be very strong, so how can you lay your finger on a young lady? Wouldn’t that be a joke to people?” Wary of the man’s violent actions, Yi Yun said it quickly but clearly. Everyone present heard it.
The man hesitated as he looked strangely at the lad in front of him.
Wouldn’t a twelve-year-old kid jump out to lambaste him? Or would he stupidly take the slap in his sister’s stead and be sent flying?
But, him jumping out and saying those words, it was a simple taunt that was extremely effective. He left his hand in mid-air as he hesitated in swiping his hand down.
This man felt like he was punching the air. Indeed, as a member of the warrior preparation camp, and in the eyes of many, to hit two kids would not be something to be proud of. Furthermore there was some conflict of interests between the warrior preparation camp and the ordinary citizens, so it was easy for him to be brought down with words.
The man may be brash, but he did not want to be talked about behind his back.
“Well, at least you know your place!” said the man as he lowered his hand while staring at the siblings. “I’m in a good mood today, so I’ll not bother argue with you. Get lost now!”
“Yun-er!” Jiang Xiaorou said as she pulled Yi Yun’s hand. She felt helpless for she knew that she had nothing to gain by entering into a conflict with the man. But to leave would mean their starvation.
“Sis Xiaorou… do not worry,” as Yi Yun held on to Jiang Xiaorou’s hand, gesturing for her to calm down. “So, I’ll be leaving now, but before that, little me has something to consult you on…”