Chapter 22: Recruitment
Early in the morning as the sun shined and mist rose from the woods…
The ancient vast wilderness welcomed a brand new day.
With the herb picking halted, Jiang Xiaorou was preparing breakfast while Yi Yun was chopping wood in the yard.
He did not use a hatchet, but was chopping them with his bare hands!
“Pa!” A clear loud snap rang. A clean cut separated the firewood into two.
Yi Yun looked at the two pieces of firewood and said to himself, “‘Dragon Rib Tiger Bone Fist’ when mastered can break a tree trunk into thin chopstick like pieces with bare hands in less than a minute. I wonder if I’ll reach that point if I were to practice for another three months.”
Yi Yun was deep in thought when he heard a noisy commotion from far.
Listening attentively, Yi Yun heard Zhao Tiezhu’s voice: “People of the Lian tribal clan! Listen carefully! The Patriarch has issued an order to recruit ten strong men to refine the desolate bone. Those who are interested can sign up for it. They will be accepted on the basis of merit!”
Oh? Recruiting ten strong men to refine the desolate bone?
Yi Yun thought to himself. He had been thinking about the illness the villagers had contracted from refining the desolate bone for the past few days.
A large number of the sick were healed by a “miracle drug”.
Something had to be amiss for them to recruit new strong men for the refinement.
With that thought, Yi Yun threw down his firewood and headed to the grain-sunning ground in the village.
From afar, Yi Yun could see Zhao Tiezhu shouting from an elevated height.
Many villagers were astonishe. The villagers who were responsible for the refinement of the desolate bone had received numerous benefits. Besides the miracle drug and the bacon, they were also given food subsidies.
Because of the desolate bone, there was extremely little food left in the Lian tribal clan. Being able to collect more food was what the villagers dreamed of.
“I’ll sign up!”
“I’ll sign up too!”
The people rushed towards Zhao Tiezhu to sign up, afraid that they were too late to be in line.
“I, Wang Dahu, is willing to refine the desolate bone! I’m a second tier male!”
A stout but sallow-skinned man due to malnutrition stood in front of Zhao Tiezhu. He looked at Zhao Tiezhu with hope in his eyes
“Second tier male…that would barely do…” Zhao Tiezhu scrutinized Wang Dahu with a picky glare.
Zhao Tiezhu did not know that the refinement process was fatal. It was a top secret in the Lian tribal clan, so to prevent the secret from leaking, only very few members of the upper echelon of the Lian tribal clan knew.
The other members of the warrior preparation camp did not know that the set of desolate bones contained a fatal frost Qi that would seep into their bodies and erode their lives away. Their fates would be eventually sealed when they died from organ failure.
So Zhao Tiezhu thought of the refinement process as a wondrous job.
Being given the authority to pick people to do such a wondrous job made Zhao Tiezhu complacent. The authority vested in him made many people look at him with a fawning look. Compliments rained on him.
Zhao Tiezhu was extremely picky with the people, “Wang Dahu, you stand by the side. You will be considered a substitute; it will be you if there’s no one else more suited.”
Hearing Zhao Tiezhu’s words, Wang Dahu was delighted. He thanked Zhao Tiezhu incessantly before standing aside obediently.
“Oh? Liu Er, you’re here to sign up too? For a person with weak legs, a gust of wind would blow you away! You have to know, that the refinement of the desolate bone requires you to chop firewood, man the fire, fan it daily from morning to night. Also the temperature around the cauldron is extremely high. Without sufficient fitness, you will faint straight away!”
Zhao Tiezhu impatiently waved his hand to chase away the scrawny Liu Er.
Lian Chengyu had handed down a mission of picking strong men. Picking weaklings was definitely not wanted.
One by one, the villagers rushed forward to sign up; however, more were chased away than those that remained.
Yi Yun monitored the situation nearby. He felt that there was something wrong with the desolate bone!
But, even if there was a problem, he still had to investigate it thoroughly.
It was because the desolate bone was very important to Yi Yun.
With the Lian Clan Herb Mountain picked dry, he needed plenty of energy and nourishment for his training. The grain porridge was insufficient.
“Oh? It’s you!” Just as Yi Yun was thinking about his next step, he suddenly heard a familiar voice behind him.
The voice was deep and gentle, but Yi Yun’s face changed the moment he heard it!
It was Lian Chengyu!
Wasn’t Lian Chengyu in isolation? Based on Zhao Tiezhu’s words, he was to be isolated for three months. Why was he out so early?
Yi Yun’s original plan was to surpass Lian Chengyu by the time he left isolation three months later. At that point, it was unlikely that he needed to fear Lian Chengyu anymore. But now, Yi Yun had just begun practicing martial arts for seven days, and even if the Purple Crystal could defy fate, Yi Yun would not be able to defeat a Mortal Blood level five Lian Chengyu who had been practicing martial arts for ten years.
Yi Yun thought carefully of the circumstances. They didn’t share any deep-seated hatred for each other. Lian Chengyu’s attempted murder might have just been a matter of convenience. It was analogous to a person seeing a rat in the house. The person would kill it, but if he missed, he would not tear down his walls to chase it to death.
Yi Yun turned around having calmed his expression before meeting Lian Chengyu’s eyes.
But upon seeing Lian Chengyu, he immediately showed fear, unsure of what he had to do.
“Young…Young Master Lian?”
Yi Yun retreated a few steps, as if he had been shocked by Lian Chengyu’s sudden appearance.
Lian Chengyu frowned; this kid did not die?
His original attempted murder was indeed a matter of convenience. The main reason was the hatred he felt Yi Yun had for him. Lian Chengyu was afraid that the combination of the lack of food and the increased mortality during the critical stages of the refinement process would increase resentment in the villagers. He had the impression that Yi Yun, who could easily incite the villagers, would cause a riot due to Yi Yun’s hatred for himself.
Lian Chengyu was pursuing the highest standards of martial arts, so as to be someone who could lord over millions. With this goal, he had the mentality of an emperor. A person of Yi Yun’s stature was negligible. In order to prevent any potential danger; having Yi Yun dead was no big deal. Lian Chengyu had killed numerous after all. Besides, the desolate bone refinement alone would cause many deaths.
Since killing Yi Yun was a small matter, Lian Chengyu did not take it to heart. He had previously not verified Yi Yun’s fate. It was only after he left his isolation that he was left puzzled when he discovered Yi Yun alive.
For a lowly poor person to not die under his attack, what could have happened? Were his own skills not enough?
“What are you doing here?” Lian Chengyu asked.
“Young Master, I heard that Lord Zhao was recruiting strong men to refine the desolate bones. I also heard that we could get bacon, so I was thinking of trying.”
“Oh?” After hearing Yi Yun’s words, Lian Chengyu’s eyes burned with contempt. Yi Yun was only twelve, yet his words on the day of the ration distribution were unlike that of a twelve-year-old child. He also had the ability to incite the people to riot, making him an unstable factor in Lian Chengyu’s calculations.
But now, Yi Yun looked like a kid. What could a person who only had eyes on bacon do?
Lian Chengyu could not be bothered with Yi Yun except for the mysterious failure to kill him.
“Since you want to refine the desolate bones, why don’t you sign up? What are you doing out here?”
“To…To be honest, Lord Zhao only wants people who are at least second tier males, but for me…I…”
Yi Yun’s voice lowered once he said that. It was as if he was ashamed of his tiny strength, and he was unable to say anything further.
Lian Chengyu’s contempt in his eyes became clearer. This idiot, to think I thought so highly of him. That’s right, he’s just twelve, what sort of schemes could he have?
Lian Chengyu forgot that he too wasn’t that old. He was only seventeen. Among the other seventeen year olds, he was the worldliest, but he was still a bit too young. He could never have dreamed that the twelve year old in front of him had the soul of an adult.
“Since you have the heart, and are willing to give your strength to the Lian tribal clan, I will not forbid it. Seeing how ambitious you are, you are a person worthy of grooming. I’ll make an exception and give you a chance.”
Lian Chengyu gave Yi Yun a few words of “encouragement”.
This retard can contribute a bit of strength, although he’s a sickly kid, his fitness does not matter when using him to absorb the Frost toxin.