Chapter 3: Uncle Wu
Tonight was a quiet night. Due to the broken holes in the roof, the moonlight was able to shine down its rays through these holes and illuminate the slightly crooked bed underneath it. From there, the person sleeping on it was positioned at an equally crooked angle.
Then; just out of the blue, there was a faint creaking sound from the shabby-looking door. As quiet like a cat, two silhouettes entered the room.
When they saw the youngster sleeping soundly on his bed, the two of them lowered their guard in relief.
“Is that him?” One of them asked the other.
By borrowing the lighting given off by the moonlight, the other person who had been asked nodded his head. “Yes; that’s him. Let’s get working then.”
Walking up to the bed, one of the two men untied a burlap sack from his shoulder and unfurled it onto the floor next to the bed. Judging by his actions, it looked like the two were ready to stuff the sleeping youngster into the sack.
“Don’t blame us two brothers for this, kid. Just blame your own luck for having angered the young master. In any case, there’s no point in living such a poor life, you’d be better off dying now and reincarnating. Try your best to be reincarnated into the household of a wealthy family next time….”
“Cut the crap and hurry up and stuff him into the bag.”
“Hmm? Why’s he holding a brick? Heh; he’s holding onto it pretty tightly…”
“Forget about it and let him have it. I’ve a plan. When we get to the spot, we won’t give him any weapons. We’ll just let him have that brick; he’s going to die either way. When the young master finds out, he’ll definitely be happy. Who knows, he might just reward us!”
“Haha!! It’s a mean plan, but I like it…”
Working nimbly, the two men worked as if they had done this many times in the past. Loading the youngster into the bag and tying it tightly, they heaved him over their shoulders and left the room to disappear into the night….
Bai Yunfei was having a very nice sleep. Even though his senses were slightly hazy, he felt very warm all over his body. He didn’t know where he was either, but he didn’t want to think about it so that he could continue on sleeping.
“Young lad, wake up, hurry now….”
The sudden intrusion of someone’s voice immediately caused Bai Yunfei to wake up. Feeling that someone was shaking at his shoulders, Bai Yunfei’s eyes opened up and sat himself upright.
Scratching at his foggy head, Bai Yunfei murmured, “Wha–? Where am I?”
It came to him all at once. This wasn’t his house. He was sleeping on straw, and right next to him was an old man with white hair and a look of concern on his face.
“Elder sir, where is this place? Why am I here?” The concerned tone of this old man had helped Bai Yunfei relax a little, but not enough to stop him from asking the old man.
“What? You don’t even know why you were captured and brought here? Oh my…young lad, you’ve offended someone you shouldn’t have offended. I presume it was the animals of the Zhang that brought you here?”
“The Zhangs? Zhang Yang?” Bai Yunfei was speechless at first, but the answer came to him quick enough.
“Ah, so you do know him, how did you manage to anger him! Woe is you….” The old man sighed and shook his head.
Looking around the place, Bai Yunfei asked again, “What are we doing being locked here? How do we get out?”
Aside from the layer of hay that covered the floor, there was nothing else to this room. There was no items, no windows, no nothing. To the left of him, Bai Yunfei could make the sight of several wooden bars–was this a jail cell? The walls to this room were three to four meters tall, and just beyond these bars was a spacious field about a hundred meters in circumference. But just beyond that, Bai Yunfei could see several layers of fancy-looking seats.
He and the old men were together in a corner to this one room. And on the other side some distance away were roughly ten men or so. But compared to the old man, these men all looked exceedingly vicious. One would only need a single look to know that these men were not of the nicer sort. But as vicious as they looked, they were all huddled together in their own corner and whispered to themselves as if to mind their own business.
“Get out?” The elder had a strange look on his face at those words, “Lad, you’ve…dear me! Everyone in Talus City knows that only a few people can live and get away with offending the young heir of the Zhangs….”
“What?! I’m…I’m going to die?” Bai Yunfei cried out with a louder voice than before, causing the unsavory glares of the other inhabitants of the room to focus on him. Frantically, Bai Yunfei asked the old man with a quieter voice than before, “Elder sir, are…are you being honest?”
“My….my dear lad, don’t be afraid….well, to be truthful, being afraid will do you no good here either….” The old man rubbed at his shoulder. “I’ve heard them say before that they’ll have us fight someone. If we can survive, they’ll let us go…” There was a hollow laugh following this.
Clearly, the old man didn’t think that as an old man and a young boy, they had a good chance of surviving.
“Fight….” Bai Yunfei trembled to himself with terror piling up in his heart.
Somehow, the comforting expression on the old man’s face had been enough to calm him down to some degree. Perhaps the kind expression of this elder was similar to that of his own grandfather.
“Elder sir, you…”
“My family name is Wu, so just call me uncle Wu.”
“Uhm, uncle Wu, why are you here too?”
It had been an unexpected thing to see that the kindly old man would suddenly grow distressed. There was but a malevolent look in his eyes and his teeth were tightly gritted together as if he became some sort of vicious beast ready to tear someone apart.
This sudden transformation of the old man caused Bai Yunfei to become startled. Shrinking his body into the corner, Bai Yunfei began to feel afraid for himself.
It took some time before the old man’s anger finally receded away from his eyes. Sucking in a deep breath, he finally spoke out, “My apologies, did I scare you…?”
Seeing that the old man had returned to normal, Bai Yunfei gave a sigh of relief and waved his hand, “No no…you didn’t. Uncle Wu, if you don’t want to talk about it, then there’s no need to talk about it….”
“In truth, it’s not something that should be kept a secret. It was because I had a wood cutter in my hand when I tried to kill Zhang Yang. But halfway through, I was caught by his subordinates and thrown into here.”
“Wha?!” Out of all the reasons Bai Yunfei thought the old man was in here for, this was not one of them.
“That animal, Zhang Yang! He…he’s the reason why my granddaughter is dead!” Uncle Wu’s body was wracked with emotions as he continued to speak, “My poor little Yu’er was only sixteen!
“Three days ago, my dear granddaughter talked about buying a bolt of cloth to make me a set of robes. She said that with winter coming, she wasn’t about to let me freeze…” By this point, uncle Wu’s eyes were filled with a loving devotion to his granddaughter. And from the small smile on his face, Bai Yunfei could tell that this old man loved his granddaughter dearly. Bai Yunfei’s own grandfather once looked at him in the same way too, after all.
“But…but when she went outside, heaven saw fit to separate us two forever!!” Tears sprung freely from uncle Wu’s eyes from the grief he felt.
“The neighbor next door managed to tell me that little Yu’er was taken in by Zhang Yang’s servants, but by the time I got there, she….she was already a stone-cold corpse!”
“My little Yu’er! My dear granddaughter! Unwilling to take Zhang Yang’s insults, she was ultimately killed off by him!”
Once again, the ferocious expression of a primal beast appeared on uncle Wu’s face. This time however, Bai Yunfei wasn’t as afraid as before. Instead, he too felt as angry and sad over uncle Wu’s story.
“My neighbors advised me to swallow my anger after I buried my dear granddaughter. They said that I wouldn’t be able to fight the Zhangs. I knew that. We are commoners after all. Even if the Zhangs kill several of us, the lord mayor would only turn a blind eye to us. Our lives are like ants to people like him.
“But still, my hate remained! If I was unable to do anything, how could I ever apologize to my dear granddaughter? I would die with eternal regret! And so I grabbed the wood chopper in my home and took use of the time he’d be drunk from the brothel. When he came out, I took my chance to rush forward and chop him to pieces! I wanted him to pay for the life of my granddaughter with his own!
“But…but I wasn’t even able to touch even his clothes! I was stopped by those thugs of his and imprisoned here as a result. It’s been an entire day and night already….cough cough….”
Because of his excessive agitation, the old man began to cough as soon as he finished speaking.
For the entire time uncle Wu told his story, Bai Yunfei was quiet. He had no words to console the man, and all he could do was to hold onto the man with a trembling hand. Patting him on the back, Bai Yunfei spoke in concern, “Uncle Wu, please calm yourself. It does your body no good. He is no human, but a beast in human skin. One day, he’ll get what he deserves….”
Uncle Wu looked to be lost in thought when he looked to Bai Yunfei. After a period of silence, the man finally spoke, “Alas! My little Yu’er, she used to hold my hand like this and pat my back and chide me for being too emotional….young lad, I’ve never asked for your name yet, have I?”
“My name is Bai Yunfei, you can call me Yunfei.”
“Ah, yes, Yunfei. I can see that you’re a good child….Children like you are getting rarer and rarer. People nowadays are all the same, no matter if they hide it or not. They only care for themselves and don’t care if anyone dies. If they can do it, they’ll do it. People like them, they’ve thrown away what it means to be human! As long as a person lives on this world, they should always live a life guilt-free and with a clear conscious….”
No sooner did he finish speaking did the old man stare at Bai Yunfei, “What’s wrong? You don’t agree with what I said?”
“No, that’s not it. I was just reminded of my deceased grandfather. He…he once said these words before.”
It was right at this moment several men appeared right outside the bars to the prison. Dropping a bucket of steamed buns and a bucket of water in front of the doors, one of the men called out, “Hey, you lot! Come and eat! Eat as much as you can, you’ll be needing that strength to fight for your lives soon enough!”
Since there was plenty of steamed buns in the bucket, uncle Wu only stood up to get some after the rest of the people in the cell had their fill. Scooping a bowl of water, he returned to Bai Yunfei’s side and handed him some, “Are you hungry? Eat now then, you’ll need that strength to survive.”
As the two of them ate their steamed buns, uncle Wu and Bai Yunfei began to talk to one another. When Bai Yunfei saw the kind expression on the older man’s face, Bai Yunfei could feel his heart tremble just slightly. Ever since his grandfather passed away, Bai Yunfei never thought that he’d be able to come across this ‘warm’ sensation again.
Finishing off their steamed buns, the two continued to talk for a small while. Before long, uncle Wu felt tired and leaned against the wall to get some sleep. Bai Yunfei continued to stay huddled in the corner by himself. It was only now that he managed to recall the events that happened yesterday.
“Why don’t I have any injuries on my body?” Bai Yunfei suddenly realized. Somehow, the thrashing he received yesterday was completely gone! Even his body felt rather comfortable instead of not.
“Did I….pass out yesterday night? Why though…?
“Oh, right! I was upgrading the….the brick!!”
Subconsciously feeling the area around himself, Bai Yunfei’s fingers unexpectedly touched upon something with very distinct edges and corners–it was the brick from yesterday! The brick that he had been holding onto every since he passed out!
“When you were brought in yesterday night, you were holding onto that brick….perhaps there’s some sort of special significance to that brick?” Uncle Wu asked, but there was doubt in his voice.
“Uhm….no, not really. This is just the brick I use to even out my bed…” Bai Yunfei didn’t really know how to explain the situation, but luckily for him, uncle Wu didn’t seem to mind Bai Yunfei’s flustered speech. He chuckled upon Bai Yunfei’s answer, but beyond that, the older man said nothing else.
Looking down, Bai Yunfei looked at the brick in his hand.
|Equipment Grade: Normal
Upgrade Level: +10
Additional Attack: 16
+10 Additional Effect: Attacks have a 1% chance of stunning the target for a maximum of three seconds.
(If attacking the head, the chance of stunning increases to 5%.)
Upgrade Requirement: 12 Soulpoints
“Yea, what happened last night was real then….
“+10 Additional effect? Stunning? What does that mean? So if I beat someone with this brick, I can stun them? Why is there a percentage then?
“Should I try upgrading it again?”
But the thought of upgrading the brick was quickly abandoned. He lost his conscious yesterday evening because of that, how could he try to upgrade it again in this situation as if there was nothing to worry about?
As he held the brick, Bai Yunfei found himself lost in thought.
Time went by in this manner before a sudden clamor brought him out of his thoughts.
Turning his head, Bai Yunfei could see that the fancy seating around the place were beginning to fill up with all sorts of people. They all wore rich-looking robes and all looked as if they belonged to a wealthy family. Each one of them had an expectant look on their faces and talked to one another. Some of them even pointed their fingers downwards at the prisoners and whispered even more about something.
“Ladies and gentleman! I welcome you all to the Coliseum!”
Suddenly, a loud voice resonated throughout the place. Those whispering nobles immediately grew quiet and their faces lit up with excitement; some of them looked even more….crazier.
“These lowly commoners will soon be fighting each other like wild animals for the sake of survival! Today, we shall have an exciting and bloody Coliseum! Let us all enjoy today’s visual feast!”