“Handsome little guy, did you know that yesterday, to the north in the city of Nice, there was an avalanche?”
Xi Wei shook his head—he had no interest in the matter. As long as the people buried by the avalanche were not he, then what relationship did this event have with him?
Nami felt totally depressed, this child had absolutely no curiosity!
However, she did not give up easily, and began pressuring Xi Wei, “Handsome little guy, the important part was not the avalanche. Legend has it there is a huge treasure beneath the mountain that towers over Nice, and the avalanche may have exposed the treasure a bit. The one who finds it will surely achieve meteoric success in their career and life. Even if you only get a little bit, you won’t have to struggle along as a mercenary anymore. Isn’t that great?”
At first glance, it seemed tempting to consider it. But, if you thought about it, it was clear that there were many loopholes. First of all, if anyone finds a treasure, they would be foolish if they advertised the fact. Secondly, if Nami needed someone to work with around this mission, why would she ask Xi Wei? He did not even have martial arts skills.
The most important thing was that the treasure should all belong to the protagonist ah, you bunch of idiots.
Zeno surreptitiously rolled his eyes, cautiously enough that he would not be caught, even by his protagonist.
Since the mountain of Nice’s treasure was not mentioned early in the novel, then this treasure was most likely a false rumour.
Even if it was not a fake, it was completely out of Xi Wei’s character to do something like this. Sure enough, Xi Wei said dryly with the usual calm tone of giving the weather forecast, “My mission.”
Nami’s beautiful eyes narrowed in calculation, and she instantly formed an idea, “Recently the city has been blanketed under a heavy snow. No new tasks are being released, so, I will give you a mission, but you can’t refuse anything if you pick it up.”
Xi Wei and Zeno looked at her blankly with somewhat similar faces. This was the type of trick where only a fool would take the bait!
But there was such a fool in the world.
Xi Wei had only considered for half a second before he nodded.
Nami was pleasantly surprised. She did not know why, but she seemed to have found the trick to dealing with Xi Wei.
However, she practiced some restraint, and then cleared her throat, “So, I received a mission for the Wind Wolf Corps from the employer. The job is to explore the snow-capped mountain at Nice, battling harsh climates, in order to search for treasure. In order to bring all of the equipment that we’ll need, it will probably require three magic storage boxes. Ordinary people won’t be able to go. Handsome little guy, I know you’re very strong. Your task would be to guard the magic boxes during our excursion.”
After saying all of that in one breath, Nami felt a little thirsty, so she poured herself a glass of water and drank it down to wet her throat.
“Wind Wolf Corps?”
Nami nodded, “The Wind Wolf Corps is the mercenary group that Charles is in charge of. Although Charles is a fool, they are undoubtedly Ye Sa City’s best mercenary group. There is no reason to worry about their strength.”
Xi Wei only asked, “When?”
Nami found a stool to sit on, and her slender legs overlapped, as she explained in a leisurely fashion, “We set off tomorrow. Wait at the foot of the mountain where the snow starts to curve up.”
Xi Wei nodded. It seemed that they would not be able to get food in the Mercenary Guild today.
Zeno opened his mouth, unsure of whether or not he should try to stop them from going. According to the law of the novel, any treasure that could be linked to the protagonist would fall into his hands. It did not matter if he looked like a passer-by at first, through some type of force majeure the ultimate treasure would always manage to fall into the protagonist’s hands. Usually this phenomenon was known as the protagonist’s aura.
Zeno found himself very conflicted. This treasure was not mentioned in the novel, so he did not know whether it was a hidden story, or a trap.
Nami drank what remained in her glass of water, got up, and strolled behind the counter. After a moment, she came out with a set of soft armour in her arms and handed it to Xi Wei. “This is one of many items provided by the employer. Every member will be loaned a set since it has the ability to withstand the harsh conditions in the mountains.”
Xi Wei accepted it without any objections.
After settling things, the boys headed back home early. Most of the Mercenary Guild members were out, leaving the building with a depressing atmosphere. There were only two or three old cats left—none of the usual hustle and bustle that permeated the place was there. Almost everyone had gone to inquire about the treasure situation.
Zeno lay on Xi Wei’s back, his warm breath brushing gently across the older boy’s neck. He thought for a moment, and did not hold back his question, “Baba, where are you going?”
If Xi Wei decided to accept this mission, it would be impossible to bring Zeno along. In the snow-capped mountains, the climate was unpredictable and, at times, brutal. Zeno’s presence would be more than just cumbersome; it would be incredibly unwise.
Xi Wei answered coldly, “Nice’s snowy mountain.”
Zeno hesitated for a moment, and then decided to feign ignorance until the end. To prevent Xi Wei from taking unnecessary risks, he wheedled, “Baba doesn’t want me anymore?”
Xi Wei paused for a moment, and then replied dispassionately, “I’ll come back soon.”
Zeno wrapped his arms around his protagonist’s neck. He was once again caught in a dilemma: on the one hand this could be a good opportunity, but on the other hand, it was very dangerous. Should he put his faith in the author’s protagonist halo?
It was while he mulled over this quandary that the aroma of roasted meat wafted over to them, and the two children both found themselves reflexively swallowing their saliva.
The rich scent of this food completely crushed the past barbecue by drunk Bob to dust.
Looking towards the direction of the smell, the faces of both boys changed. Not far off was the little boat they had lived in for many years. A plume of gray smoke wound its way from the cabin, and the scent of grilled meat came from there.
Zeno screamed, motherfucker, 10,000 times in his heart. What kind of person would be roasting meat inside their little boat!?
Xi Wei picked up the pace, and rushed into the small boat’s cabin.
Hill was holding a fan in his hand, leisurely fanning the front of a stove to keep the smoke away. On top of the stove, several different pieces of meat were cooking away, and he flipped them from time to time. The smoked curled along the cabin roof and escaped through cracks and holes that were there—something like a chimney. Occasionally, some sparks would jump from the stove, as Zeno observed apprehensively.
Seeing the boys had returned, Hill greeted them as if he had no awareness of the current situation, “Didn’t you have work? How come you’re back so early? The meat is not fully cooked yet.”
Xi Wei ran out with a pot, filled it with water from the river, and then, “Splash!” He poured it on the stove.
“Ai? Wait!” Hill called out for him to stop, but the next moment the water had splashed into a transparent light curtain. The fire in the stove was still burning—it was not extinguished at all.
Hill was relieved, observing, “Fortunately, this shield is waterproof.”
Zeno was 囧, but at least it looked like their ‘home’ was in no danger of catching fire for now.
When Zeno looked back at Hill, he brightened up. Of course! Hill was definitely not an ordinary person. If he could protect Xi Wei, then there would not be any problems!
In an instant, Zeno’s eyes shone with eagerness.
Hill suppressed his laughter, and questioned with excellent understanding, “So, are you going to the snowy mountains to search for treasure?”
Xi Wei was not surprised by this stranger’s ability to deduce what was happening, and he was actually not concerned about it.
Hill added fuel to the fire. “It’s impossible for a young man to go treasure-hunting with this little boy. So, to thank you for sheltering me, I can take care of this little kid while you’re out.”
Xi Wei was silent, but he eventually shook his head.
Hill seemed a bit regretful, but also curious who Xi Wei could entrust with the little one.
Zeno was also very curious. Xiao Wu had left Ye Sa City, so who else could the protagonist find to watch him?
The meat was soon cooked, and the entire cabin was full of the tempting aroma. Hill took two morsels and passed them to Zeno, “This is my room and board fee, and it has neither been touched nor bitten.”
Zeno felt like his salivary glands were being seriously overworked. He now knew who Hill was, and so he chose not to be polite. He picked one piece up, and then raised the other piece to the edge of Xi Wei’s lips, “Baba, eat meat.”
Xi Wei did not refuse. Since it was considered payment for lodging, he did not need to worry that he would owe something for this meal.
The top of the stove was very full, and the meat had been sprinkled with a spice similar to cumin. This released an attractive fragrance, and Xi Wei swiftly pulled out all of the money he had—five copper coins—and pushed them in front of Hill. Accommodation within their small, dilapidated boat could not compare to the value of the barbecued feast in front of them. Xi Wei was very clear on that matter.
Hill mulled over Zeno’s words from the previous night; he had only one copper coin, yet he gave me everything. He was overcome with a somewhat complicated mood; he did not know whether to sigh because Evelyn had the good luck to choose well, or to lament Zeno’s cruel circumstances.
After dinner, Xi Wei packed Zeno on his back and went out again. This time his destination was Luo Fu Street.
Standing in front of the familiar door with the number seventy-two displayed, Xi Wei knocked forcefully on the door. Zeno suddenly realized that he was looking for Xia An.
Although he was often slow to answer, he would always arrive and open the door eventually. Unfortunately, this time there was no movement. Xi Wei stood in the snow for a long time, but the door did not open.
He waited until dusk fell, and Xi Wei finally dragged his frozen body away. Zeno, still perched on his back, had gone quite pale.
That night, Zeno could feel that Xi Wei was not having a restful sleep—his brow was always tightly knit, and his movements bore a hint of restlessness.
Regardless of people’s wishes, time passed without sparing them a thought. It seemed as if they had just closed their eyes, and dawn arrived.
Hill still did not abide by the rules of high skilled individuals in novels by quietly leaving in the darkness of night. He did not know what he wanted to do, so he even followed the young boys to the Mercenary Guild the next morning. Xi Wei behaved as if he did not exist, and lacked the power to get rid of him anyway.
The Mercenary Guild was far livelier than the previous night. Nami and Wind Wolf Corps had arrived, and so when Xi Wei arrived, she asked in surprise, “Handsome little guy, you won’t be bringing your baby into the mountains, right?”
Xi Wei bowed his head, and queried, “Can the guild take care of him for two days?”
Naomi answered somewhat awkwardly, “Little mother, I’m afraid no one in the guild would take care of children.”
This affair seemed to be quite troublesome.
Many people of all kinds milled about the room, and it gave off a chaotic feeling. Nami pondered the situation for a moment, and then offered, “How about this. I’ll take you to meet our employer first, and we can see what they say.”
The employer stood by the counter with his hands clasped behind his back. He was wearing a long black robe, and his head was adorned with short, golden hair. He overheard Nami’s mention of an introduction, and turned around. His eyes were perplexed and empty, but his face quickly twisted in to a wicked smile, and he greeted, “It’s Xi Wei right? We meet again.”
One of the possible translations for Nami’s nickname for Xi Wei is ‘Little ladykiller’ and I want to put that in so badly, but…it really doesn’t fit or suit this story. So I’m saying it here.
This chapter was slightly shorter than usual, but it didn’t seem to make a difference when it came to translation time or ease. I will be working hard on the next chapter of RAAS, but it’s a doozy. And I really need to rake up all the dead leaves from my lawn. I’m not totally sure when the next SP will be out, but it’s a shorter chapter so it depends on how my lunch breaks go. Thanks for reading!