Chapter 241: Therefore, We Met
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Tang Ling was trapped in a never-ending nightmare.
The temperature fluctuated in his dream. It was cold and hot at the same time, and he was holding San San’s hand.
It had been a decade and San San was all grown up, but her cute face, googly eyes and pinkish lips remained. Although life in the settlement was everything but decent, the constant protection from Tang Ling nourished her well and she grew up rather healthily. Her face was even somewhat puffy when she smiled.
San San was smiling beside him, but the heat and the cold were uncomfortable for Tang Ling to the point that he could not even hear what she was talking about.
Holding her hand, he brought San San back to fulfill his decade-long promise.
He saw Yu, Orston, Andy, and Christina from afar. All of them had grown up into adults, and he barely recognized them anymore. They were standing in front of Vian and Amir’s tombstones, looking dismal as though heavy thoughts were circulating in their minds.
Yu ignored Tang Ling as if he did not know him. His gaze at Tang Ling was nothing but cold and slightly surprised.
Orston looked asquint at Tang Ling as though he did not know him.
Andy? Christina? No, neither of them seemed to know him. Tang Ling felt sad and hurt.
San San held his hand tightly beside him. “Big Brother, let’s go. They don’t seem to know you.”
“They…they know me. They are my friends!” Tang Ling looked down in disappointment.
“You still have me. I’ll always be by your side and hold your hands.” San San looked at Tang Ling cheerfully as her eyes curved like crescent moons.
Then, they walked. In the hot and cold dream, Tang Ling walked away holding San San’s hand.
“Big Brother, you seem tired.” San San suddenly stopped.
“Yeah, I don’t feel too well.” Tang Ling shook his head.
San San sat down and reached out to Tang Ling with her hands. “Come, Big Brother, take a rest on my lap. You’ll feel better.”
“Here?” The exhaustion came from his soul and he really wanted to lie down.
“Yeap, lie down. You are my brother…I’ll always protect you. Take a rest.” San San’s voice was meek and tender.
“I’ll take a quick rest then. Just a while.” Tang Ling lay down on her lap and slowly fell asleep.
Once in a while, he would call out to her, “San San, are you there?”
“Yes, I’m here.”
“San San, there?”
While Tang Ling was sound asleep, the hot and cold slowly went away and an unusual warmth rose from his side.
“San San…” he continued but did not get any reply.
“San San? San San?!” Tang Ling started to get nervous, but he did not even know whether or not he was making any noise.
“San San?” The agitation got to him. His hands started to swim around and search for San San. He remembered that he had been lying down on her lap, so his hands swam up, but a heavy blow suddenly landed on his head, followed by a rather anxious voice, “What are you doing?”
What am I doing?
Tang Ling opened his eyes. He smelled the faint fragrance of herbs and saw an angry and embarrassed face. Even though the face was angry, the expression did not diminish its good looks.
The face had naturally puffy cheeks, energetic eyes, a sharp nose and rigid lips that made the face look strong. The person had thick, black hair coupled with equally thick and black brows that made the face look like a boy’s. It was clean and somewhat valiant to look at, but it did not alter the fact that it was the face of a girl.
What had Tang Ling done to upset her? Why was he looking up at her from such a low angle?
With that in mind, Tang Ling tilted his head and realized he was lying down on the lap of a stranger. The grass-knitted pants were rather rough to sleep on, but the fragrance of the herbs…
Tang Ling’s face flushed as he bolted up. The girl wanted to push him away due to the sudden reaction.
Because both of them moved too suddenly, their foreheads bumped into each other’s.
“What are you doing now?!”
This face-to-face meeting was considered the first meeting between the two.
While he had saved her from the ledge at the mountainside, she had saved him from his poisoned state. They were equal, but they started off knowing each other in a rather awkward scene.
“That’s it. Actually, removing the venom of the blue hemp centipede isn’t that hard. The difficult part is removing the venom from your body. It seems to spread rapidly, carrying the venom from the centipede to your brain. So, I had to lay you down on my lap and slightly support your head to prevent it from reaching your brain directly, and…I had to remove everything before that,” Ro Xin spewed out her explanation in one breath. Then, she looked at Tang Ling and said, “Got it?”
Tang Ling shook his head. He knew nothing! What was reaching his brain? What about supporting his head? How would it be effective? But…it somehow worked, did it not?
Tang Ling felt a lot better as he no longer felt numb and beyond control of his body. He realized that his body had been patched up and the frustrating black lines were gone.
“Thank you.” Tang Ling sat aside with his legs crossed as he acknowledged Ro Xin with a sincere tone.
Ro Xin felt weird. So, this is the person from the newspaper headlines? The one who took the world by storm? And he’s sitting beside me and thanking me?
Despite the thoughts, Ro Xin did not show any unusual expression. As a matter of fact, other than her drifter group, she barely had any interest in the conflicts of the outside world. “No need to thank me. You saved my life as well, so we are equal.”
“Is that it? I don’t think I saved you back there. I was just searching for the centipedes.” Tang Ling smiled and scratched his head.
“Is it because of the blue toxin in your body?” Ro Xin pointed at the strange blue color on Tang Ling’s body.
With her current knowledge, she was unable to identify the toxin in the body, but she may be able to get something concrete from Tang Ling verbally. As a herbal healer, her interest was piqued whenever she came across some strange condition.
“Yeah, but I don’t know whether the blue color in me is poison. But whenever it starts to hurt, letting the centipede bite me will make me feel better,” Tang Ling said.
“You are toying with your own body! You were almost dead because of the centipede venom, do you know that?!” Ro Xin hated this kind of self-diagnosis and simply treating the condition without any care.
“Me too, but…actually…” Unknowingly, Tang Ling started to feel embarrassed and he really felt like he had been messing around with his body after Ro Xin scolded him. However, he believed he had to explain what happened and what caused the blue in his body to her.
The strange blue toxin attacked him with tremendous pain every time. The first attack was spine-chillingly cold, and as the attacks happened more frequent, it started to become hot with unbearable heat. Slowly, his body lost all senses as if he was frozen.
During the fourth attack, a blue hemp centipede appeared where Tang Ling was hiding.
It had bitten him while he was immobilized, but strangely, after the centipede bit him, a tinge of cold flushed away the agonizing heat.
Although the centipede venom would cause one to twitch uncontrollably, in his case, the twitching recovered the senses of his body and lifted him from the frozen feeling.
So, Tang Ling started to capture the centipedes to fight the blue toxin in his body. He knew the centipede venom was also a type of toxin, but the Santos Branching Ridge was flooded with pursuers from the Stardust Council. The soldiers searched for him every second of the day and never stopped. Compared to the danger from the centipede venom, being immobilized every time the blue toxin attacked was a lot more dangerous and lethal.
Ro Xin carefully listened to what Tang Ling said and was in deep thoughts, but in the end, she still criticized his actions, “You are quenching your thirst with poison. Are you that reckless with your body?”
“Quenching my thirst with poison?” Tang Ling smiled. He had a feeling that this girl before him was cultured since she knew such a rare saying from ancient Huaxia. Since he was trying to increase his knowledge as well, he knew how important it was to be cultured and it increased his fondness of Ro Xin.
“Are you listening to me?” Ro Xin said angrily.
What have I gotten myself into? I’ve been hustling around from day to night. I can’t make it back to the camp for now and talking to him is like talking to a wall.
Normal people could never follow Tang Ling’s thoughts.
Noticing how grumpy Ro Xin was, Tang Ling said, “Of course, I have plans, I am not as reckless. I plan to cross the Santos Branching Ridge and head to a safety sector. There, I bet I’ll find a way to cure the toxin. So, it doesn’t matter if I’ve been poisoned by some centipede. I’ll cure all of them together when I get there. I’m actually very rich, you know.” As he spoke, Tang Ling pulled out a string that he wore over his neck. It was a makeshift pendant holding a True Capital coin.
Ro Xin had contacts with merchant groups throughout the years, so of course, she knew the value of a True Capital coin, but as a healer, she had the duty to criticize people for using the wrong way to cure conditions. On top of that, who would brag about their wealth like Tang Ling? Who was that money-minded as him to hang a True Capital coin around his neck as a pendant?
With that in mind, Ro Xin could not hold back her chuckle, stunning Tang Ling for a second. He realized that Ro Xin was really beautiful when she laughed with the oval, puffy cheeks, the skin that was as smooth as an apple’s surface, and the shrunken chin that was round but not sharp.
Her eyes curved gently and she looked very tender. In fact, she shared a resemblance to San San when she smiled with her puffy cheeks.
Tang Ling gazed at her dully and he curled his lips into a smile too. His dead stare made Ro Xin anxious and nervous. Although she was not exactly upset, she punched Tang Ling in the shoulder. “What are you looking at?”
Although she looked fierce, her lowered head blushed and she was a red as a burning iron.
Why did she blush? Tang Ling never understood girls, but since she asked…
“I looked because you are beautiful.” Tang Ling was sincere with his answer. If Su Siao had been around and heard what he said, he would have fallen into a dilemma about whether to give Tang Ling a big thumbs up or mock him as a fool.
“You…” Ro Xin started to wonder about Tang Ling’s true nature. Is he a pervert?
However, when she looked at him in the eyes, she realized his eyes were sincere and clear. They gleamed as they reflected the light from the fire, appearing somewhat pure to look at.
Is he for real? Am I that beautiful? With that in mind, Ro Xin was further embarrassed and nervous, so she hugged her knees and muttered, “W-Whatever.”
Huh?! Tang Ling was stunned again. Did I say something wrong? Then, at the very next second, he thought of something, so he asked her, “Are you hungry?”
“I am saying, are you hungry? Do you want something to eat?”
Ro Xin realized she could not keep up with how Tang Ling’s brain worked.
The night was dark, hence it set off the warm and dim embers of the fire glow.
Tang Ling realized he liked Ro Xin even more. Both of them were made for each other in terms of cooking.
Tang Ling had his Precise Instinct, thus he knew how to control the fire, how to match the taste and how much spice should he put to produce the right flavor.
As for Ro Xin, she had a deep knowledge of flowers and herbs. She knew what mixed well with what and how to enhance the taste.
Tang Ling believed if he could travel the world with Ro Xin, it would be a blessing, and he would be wealthier. If he decided to stop traveling one day, he would want to settle down with a restaurant and earn money with Ro Xin by his side.
Of course, she had no idea that Tang Ling was fantasizing about himself and her in a restaurant, and even if she knew, she might have read it the wrong way.
If she got the idea correctly, she might be disappointed because Tang Ling started off with making money and he would not be her or any girl’s type.
While the embers caressed the pot, Tang Ling squatted beside the fire and waited for the meal like a Harsheen boar.
With Ro Xin’s guidance, he had collected some seeds namely dew seeds. She said when the seeds were boiled with crystal blue leaves, the grassy and muddy scent would be replaced by a faint fragrance and it would taste like rice from the old civilization.
Rice? Tang Ling was drooling.
His bloodline had strong Dongsheng Continent genes, thus he had a natural craving for grains. Back in the Hope Barrier, Yu and the others disliked yellow grains as the main ration, but Tang Ling was okay with it and liked it a lot.
He had been eating meat for a long time, hence his craving for grains increased, let alone rice. What would it taste like?
The fragrance was coming out from the pot and Tang Ling added some salted meat jerky, which he had an abundance of, into the pot of dew seeds. However, he was afraid that Ro Xin would react badly to the vicious beast meat, so he used mutated beast meat instead.
Other than that, some minced crunchy nuts were added in. They were a type of nut that tasted like bamboo shoots.
Besides, the leaves of moon hook grass were added as well. Ro Xin said the leaves had a special fragrance that would grant the pot of dew seeds the fragrance of bamboo.
“In short, this is a recipe that I got and I took reference from the recipe of the bamboo rice of the old civilization,” Ro Xin was serious when she explained.
Tang Ling gulped gluttonously when he heard that.
Looking at Tang Ling drooling beside the pot, Ro Xin propped her cheek on her hand and sized him up quietly. A question popped up in her mind and it was the fourth time tonight. So is this the person who took the world by storm? Why does he look so stupid and hungry like a Harsheen boar?