My Nemesis Has Finally Gone Bankrupt - Chapter 51
“Maybe it’s just a coincidence. It would be a freaking fairytale if dao-gold was so easily earned,” Li Luo said.
“The Golden Dragon Bank might be rich, but they can’t possibly make it so easy, right?”
Lu Qing’er and Qin Zhulu expressed agreement. Logically speaking, dao-gold was like any other currency—if it were too easily obtained, it would lose its value.
Perhaps they were really just plain lucky.
“Let’s continue on. We’ve just gotten started. Harder days will come.” Li Luo grinned, waving them on.
They plodded through the thick snow onwards into the forest.
About 40 minutes later, Lu Qing’er suddenly stepped on something in the snow. She bent down curiously and picked up a crystal-like root. It smelled fragrant too.
She turned it over in her hands. “Is this a rare herb too?”
Li Luo was stunned for a second, then he shook his head. “C’mon, no way. What do you think they are? Cabbages? We can’t possibly be finding them left and right!”
“One way to find out,” Qin Zhulu said in his gravelly voice. He lit the golden incense and then the same process happened. The glass-like root faded away and disappeared, and three shiny gold-coins rolled out of a rift to land in the snow.
The three stared at the coins, nonplussed. “Er,” Lu Qing’er said with uncertainty as she picked up the coins. “Why does it seem like dao-gold isn’t particularly important here at the Dao Fields?”
“Can it be that the amount of dao-gold needed is huge? Like maybe we would need thousands of dao-gold to get one treasured artifact?” Qin Zhulu scratched his head.
Li Luo was completely confused as well. “But surely such rare herbs need time to grow, right? They can’t be all that easy to produce even at the Golden Dragon Dao Fields…
“Am I some sort of bumpkin?” Li Luo wondered aloud. “Do I just… not understand the scale of this holy land of cultivation?”
Lu Qing’er and Qin Zhulu had no reply to him. They had never set foot outside of the Xia Kingdom before, so they had no idea about how the larger world outside worked.
Perhaps they were indeed the proverbial frogs in the well.
They continued forward, occasionally coming across more herbs, and not once meeting any danger. They already had more than 50 dao-gold pieces…
Because they had no basis for comparison, they had no idea if 50 pieces was extremely few or many.
“We might have just stumbled across an herb-rich patch,” Li Luo finally concluded. That was his best guess.
Just when they spoke, a wounded spirit beast charged out of the trees nearby. But before they could act, the spirit beast toppled to the ground and died from its wounds. They stared at each other.
“Something’s wrong, right?” Qin Zhulu swallowed hard. This spirit beast was not easy to deal with. In good condition, the three would have had to combine their full strength for a chance to beat it. But now it was dead at their feet.
It felt like an insult to their intelligence if they were supposed to take this as luck.
It was raining presents everywhere, damn it!
“I got itm” Li Luo said in a low tone of relief, slapping his forehead.
Li Luo patted the carcass of the spirit beast. “You see, there’s a very simple explanation… It means I’m the Chosen One.”
Qin Zhulu stared at him. “What the hell has any of this got to do with you? You haven’t even found a single rare herb along the way, it’s always been…”
They both turned slowly to look at Lu Qing’er.
Her beautiful eyes went round, and she pointed at herself disbelievingly. “Me? How is that possible?”
Neither Li Luo nor Qin Zhulu could see how it was possible, but it had indeed happened. All of their bounty so far had been picked up by Lu Qing’er.
And this beast that had conveniently died at their feet.
Li Luo sighed solemnly. “I have a bad feeling about all this.”
It was too good to be true. And in Li Luo’s experience, that not only meant it wasn’t true, but that something very, very bad was coming.
“That just makes it all the more interesting!” Qin Zhulu declared, his face flushing with excitement.
Li Luo was speechless.
“Brother, you’re really a battle demon. But can you at least look at where you are? Everyone here at the Dao Fields is basically an Evolving Resonance Tier cultivator. We three Pattern Genesis scrubs would be lucky to survive, you know?”
Lu Qing’er tugged at Li Luo’s sleeve. “Let’s just stay here and not go anywhere. Then we might not be targeted.”
She was not too interested in the Golden Dragon Mountain writs anyway. This snowy gorge was quite picturesque and fun to play around in.
And they could get some dao-gold and some good rewards when it all ended.
“If I stay here with you until it ends, your mom will stick my head in the vault and open and close the door on my neck repeatedly,” Li Luo protested.
He could only imagine the extent of her fury. She had paid good money for him to be a qualified bodyguard. Romp in the snow?!!
“I’ll explain it all to her,” Lu Qing’er said hurriedly. “She won’t be mad at you.”
Li Luo was just about to speak when he abruptly stopped. Qin Zhulu had frozen on the spot as well. He pulled out his spear.
Li Luo turned around to the snowy forest on the right side. “Alright, sneaking’s over. Come on out.”
Lu Qing’er had a fright when she heard this, and she quickly channeled her ice resonant power.
Three figures suddenly emerged from the snow. Li Luo and the others watched them warily.
They were all youngsters, and the one in the middle seemed like their leader. He gave them an odd smile. “We accidentally drew too near. You’re sharp. I didn’t expect you to detect us.”
“Seems like you’ve been following us for a while now,” Li Luo noted mildly.
The green-robed leader nodded with a smile. “A while. So, I wonder, could you enlighten us on how you managed to get dozens of dao-gold without doing anything?
“As for us…” He wrung his hands irritatedly. “We’ve been in this area for half a day, and haven’t seen a thing.”
Li Luo nodded sympathetically. “That’s a real shame.”
“So how did you do it? How do you stroll around and just get gold? What’s the deal?”
Li Luo’s face was serious. “The deal’s a deal. But we’ll have to know what’s your deal and if you’re the real deal before we deal.”
“Heh.” The green-shirted leader laughed. “Looks like we got ourselves a real wisecrack here.
“Well, if you don’t want to talk…”
He lazily unsheathed his lancet, its keen blade gleaming with a green energy that they recognized as wind resonant power. As he curled his fingers more tightly around the hilt, a small gust cleared the snow away from his feet.
“…then I guess I’ll have to beg for alms…”
Yue Wen Wen was exposed to the sun on the construction site for a week and finally decided to escape.
But this time, he didn’t dare to hide at Ji Ran’s house.
At this time of the year, Ji Ran would have a bad temper. Moreover, he recently ran into a mess on Weibo. If the construction site was an execution ground, then staying by Ji Ran’s side was probably hell.
Cheng Peng said over the phone, “Can’t you hide in a hotel? You thought your dad didn’t know when you ran to hide in Ji Ran’s house? If he really wanted to drag you back, it’s useless for you to hide even if it’s on the other end of the world.”
“Sigh, isn’t it because the hotel is too boring?” Yue Wen Wen said, “By the way, is Ran Ran… going to visit auntie this year?”
“I don’t know,” Cheng Peng said.
Yue Wen Wen stared at the person in the mirror and lamented bitterly, “My skin has been burnt beyond saving. Peng Peng, when you’re free, let’s ask Ran Ran out to a hot spring.”
“I’m fine with it. You can ask Ji Ran. If he wants to go, we can go together.”
Yue Wen Wen weighed ‘hot spring travel’ against ‘suffering a beating’ in his heart for a long time and finally called Ji Ran.
The other side soon picked up. Yue Wen Wen asked gently, “Ran Ran, what are you doing?”
Ji Ran’s voice sounded the same as usual, “Working, what’s the matter?”
Yue Wen Wen said, “It’s like this… I recently discovered a great hot spring hotel. Let’s go together?”
Ji Ran reminded him, “It’s summer now. It’s thirty degrees outside.”
“So what? We can sweat it out then go sit in the steam room and get a massage. How comfortable is that?”
Ji Ran originally wasn’t that interested. But when he heard it, he suddenly felt his waist seemed a little sore.
Now, he sat in the office for several hours a day, returning home at night only to lie down on the bed. However, that was simply the most refreshing moment of his day.
He no longer hesitated. “When?”
Yue Wen Wen was stunned. He originally wanted to test the waters, but he never thought that Ji Ran would really agree!
Every year, they wouldn’t even be able to see Ji Ran’s figure during this period of time, let alone hang out.
“Choose a weekend!” He held the calendar and decided to strike while the iron was hot. “In that case, let’s do it next week! Can you make it?”
“Yeah.” Ji Ran swept a glance at the person next to him and paused, “Book a twin room for me, a double bed is fine.”
Yue Wen Wen happily finished talking about the plan for the day. Before hanging up the phone, he asked carefully, “Ran Ran, are you going to see Auntie this year? Do you want me to accompany you?”
“No need, just concentrate on moving your bricks.” Ji Ran said, “I’m hanging up.”
Throwing the phone aside, Ji Ran rested his chin on one hand and asked, “Are you free next weekend?”
Qin Man looked up from the document. “Yes, what’s up?”
“I’m going to the hot springs, I need someone to carry my luggage.”
Qin Man smiled. “Okay, I’ll carry it for you.”
Ji Ran lowered his head in satisfaction. Just as he prepared to laze around, the telephone on the desk rang.
Ji Wei was calling him to go to his office.
Ji Ran vaguely guessed what was going on. Before leaving, he specifically told Qin Man, “Don’t follow me again!”
Sure enough, as soon as he entered the office, Ji Wei said with a cold face, “Dad wants you to continue with this project.”
Looking at the Wangxing project that was thrown back to him, Ji Ran sighed. “You have been classmates with Qin Man for so many years, yet you still don’t know him? Do you think he’s stupid enough to sign this kind of contract?”
Who in this world could truly understand Qin Man?
Recalling what he saw on the balcony, Ji Wei found it absurd.
“…Dad said, if you don’t accept this project, you can pack your bags and prepare to go abroad.”
“Sure,” Ji Ran said, “Help me tell that old man that I’m living in the house at Xicheng for this period of time. Let him know to find someone to tie me with a rope.”
Ji Wei frowned. “What’s so bad about going abroad? Don’t you like freedom? No one can control you once you’re abroad.”
“You actually know about freedom?” Ji Ran chuckled. “Freedom means that Laozi can stay wherever I want to. If I don’t want to go abroad, no one can force me to go. Tell him to stop worrying about this matter, it’d be better for everyone.”
Ji Wei asked, “Why do you have to disobey Dad?”
“You should ask yourself this. You have been a filial child for so many years, obeying Ji Guozheng every day. Aren’t you tired of it?”
Ji Wei was startled.
“I’m leaving if there’s nothing else.” Ji Ran turned around. He suddenly remembered something and turned back around. “I need to take leave on Friday. I’m telling you now, so I won’t hand in another request.”
Ji Wei naturally knew what the leave was for.
He still remembered Zhao Qing Tong’s car accident. On the day of the car accident, his mother did not have a trace of joy on her face as she quietly watched the news on TV. It was as if it was not her husband’s lover who had been in the car accident.
She called her assistant and ordered: “Take the child to the hospital and see if he can see her for the last time.”
“Did you hear what I said?”
Ji Ran’s words dragged him back to his senses.
Ji Wei retracted his gaze and remained silent for a while longer. “I heard. You can leave.”
On the anniversary of Zhao Qing Tong’s death, Ji Ran got up very early. He was half lying on the bed while ordering a bunch of white chrysanthemums from the flower shop on his mobile phone.
He turned his head and saw a man’s strong bare arms.
Qin Man was fast asleep on his side and breathing evenly, with one hand hanging off the bed.
He suddenly remembered that during the junior high sports meeting, he passed by Qin Man’s class and saw the other party lying on the desk, taking a nap. The warm light of the setting sun illuminated his face, like a scene right out of a TV drama.
Ji Ran took another look. Just as he was about to retract his gaze, he saw the other’s eyelashes tremble lightly.
Before he could look away, he met Qin Man’s gaze.
Qin Man’s eyes were dark brown, resembling the deep sea under the sun. Once it darkened, it would be like the abyss.
His hoarse voice carried a hint of languidness. “So early?”
He had planned on getting up early to go to the cemetery in the afternoon, when the sun was not too strong and there wouldn’t be too many people at the cemetery.
“Yeah.” He replied, “Going for a morning jog.”
Ten minutes later, Ji Ran looked at the person next to him silently. “…You can continue sleeping if you’re tired, why must you insist on following me?”
Qin Man yawned unconvincingly. “I’m not sleepy.”
Ji Ran seldom ran in the morning, regarding exercise as something for the elderly. He only came today because he woke up early and had nothing to do.
After a short run, two little girls ran towards him.
They froze for a moment and then greeted Qin Man shyly, “Morning.”
Ji Ran turned his head suspiciously to see Qin Man nodding lightly as he gave a greeting.
Ji Ran immediately understood.
Heh, a scum wouldn’t forget to seduce others even while on a morning run.
He never understood something. Qin Man was just a little more handsome, but it wasn’t as if there were no other good-looking people around him, yet he had never seen anyone like Qin Man who could gain a ton of admiration wherever he went.
“Why are you constantly looking at me today?” Qin Man smiled.
“Who is looking at you?” Ji Ran denied, glancing at his watch, “It’s almost time, you still have to go to work. You should go back first.”
Qin Man, “No hurry, I’m not going to work today.”
Ji Ran stopped. “Why?”
“Isn’t today your mother’s death anniversary?” Qin Man smiled, “I’ll accompany you.”
“…How did you know?”
Ji Ran refused without hesitation. “I don’t need your company, go back to work. I didn’t approve of your leave.”
Qin Man answered seriously, “You can count me as being absent. Will I be fined? But I don’t have any money. Can I use my body to repay my debts?”
Ji Ran’s eyes widened in shock.
Where did this man’s shame go?
He looked around and made sure that no one had overheard their conversation before cursing, “Shut up, must you be so shameless?”
“Let me go with you.” Qin Man said, “I won’t bother you, you can just treat me as the driver.”
Ji Ran finally compromised.
The cemetery was some distance away from the city.There is no reason not to use a free driver.
In the afternoon, the two left together. First, they went to the flower shop to pick up the white chrysanthemums Ji Ran had ordered in the morning.
On the way there, Qin Man asked, “Do you visit your mother every year?”
Ji Ran stared at the scenery outside without saying a word.
In fact, he rarely visited Zhao Qing Tong before he became an adult.
He had been shackled by the title ‘illegitimate child’ ever since he was young.
Qin Man didn’t get annoyed by the lack of response. He glanced at the bouquet in Ji Ran’s hand. “You only bought flowers? Would you like me to buy some other things from nearby and burn it for her?”
“No, you’d just pollute the environment.”
The nearer they were to the cemetery, the more uninhabited the road was.
Ji Ran held his chin and looked out the window. He remembered that every time he went to the cemetery alone before, he always felt very depressed whenever he passed through this road.
He even had the illusion that he was not going there to pay respects, but to die.
This time, it was different. Qin Man turned on the stereo and chattered beside his ears.
“After seeing Auntie, let’s go grab something to eat.”
“Have you booked the hot spring hotel?”
“Are we staying together in one room?”
Ji Ran looked to the side. “Why do I think you are particularly talkative today?”
Qin Man smiled. “Is that so? I suddenly remembered that I had left my swimming trunks in my previous house. I have to buy a new one.”
Ji Ran looked at him for a long while, then looked away.
When they arrived at the parking lot outside the cemetery, Ji Ran noticed a few cheap sports cars in a corner.
This cemetery chosen by Mrs. Ji was in a good location. The owners had also invited a so-called “master” to make a special trip to analyse the Feng Shui. It was said that if one’s ancestors lived here, the fortunes of the descendants in their family would improve.
Rich people were usually more superstitious, believing in things like fate and Feng Shui. That was why this cemetery was just built but the space was already filled; Most of the land inside was still empty since it was reserved for the elderly who bought it for themselves while they were still alive.
Ji Ran really couldn’t understand the thoughts of these people.
But it was precisely because of this that it was very quiet here. In the past few years, when he came to pay respects, he hardly bumped into anyone else.
Ji Ran didn’t think much. After the car stopped, he opened the door.
“I can go in by myself, wait for me in the car.”
Qin Man laughed helplessly. This was really treating him as a free driver.
He stared at the cars ahead for a while before replying, “Okay, just call me if there’s anything.”
Ji Ran smiled, “What could happen? Would I be taken away by ghosts?”
He took the flowers and just as he walked into the cemetery, he ran into the caretaker.
He greeted the other person and went straight up the steps. Stopping at a certain row, he turned and walked to the right.
Finally, he stopped in front of a tombstone.
The woman in the black and white photo had a beautiful smile and tender, crescent-like eyes.
Two bunches of chrysanthemums were placed in front of the tombstone.
Ji Ran frowned subtly. In the past few years, he had never seen anyone come to worship Zhao Qing Tong.
He thought about it for a long time, but didn’t have any guesses, so he didn’t think about it anymore. He put his bouquet beside them, then sat cross-legged in front of the tombstone.
Ji Ran’s throat rolled lightly. After looking at the person in the photo for a long time, he whispered.