Outside Of Time - Chapter 39
Chapter 39 Home? (2)
Time flew by and it was three days in a blink of an eye.
In those three days, it was like the blizzard was using up its last remaining power and scattered its leftover chill, causing snow to fall ceaselessly. The snow on the ground hadn’t had time to melt before it accumulated a thick layer.
Even though the weather was bad, for scavengers, survival was more important than the cold.
As such, there were gradually more people at the campsite; some continued to seek treatment for their illnesses, while the others headed toward the forbidden zone.
At the same time, as the Bloodshadow Team didn’t return for a long time, it slowly led to discussions among the scavengers. It wasn’t known where the rumors came from, but they said that the Bloodshadow Team had completely perished in the forbidden zone.
Not many believed this at the start. After all, the members of the Bloodshadow Team couldn’t be underestimated.
Especially the Bloodshadow Captain, who was one of the strongest among the scavengers on the campsite. A person like that had visited the forbidden zone countless times, so the possibility of the entire team being wiped out was slim.
However, two more days went by and there was still no sign of anyone from the Bloodshadow Team. This made the scavengers from the campsite believe in the rumors one after another.
In addition, they recalled the day when Captain Lei returned in his unconscious state.
And they also made the connection with Barbaric Ghost’s disappearance. Everything seemed to have been answered.
No matter if it was true or false, without Bloodshadow, the Thunder Team was now the strongest on the campsite.
Hence, when Xu Qing headed out these days, what he saw most was the respectful gazes from the scavengers all around.
He knew that what these people respected was the Thunder Team and not him personally. But he didn’t mind it. Nowadays, he was puzzled about Captain Lei who always left early in the morning but returned late at night. He didn’t know what the latter was busy with.
However, Xu Qing understood that everyone was independent and so he didn’t see a need to disturb him. Besides, there were a lot of things he had to do as well. For most of the time, Xu Qing stayed alone in the residence and cultivated quietly.
With his diligence, his cultivation base improved slowly, and his strength and speed steadily increased.
Regarding his shadow, Xu Qing looked into it many times as well.
However, it seemed like the shadow still didn’t have any changes apart from absorbing the anomalous substances. Everything was just like before, and it also caused the mutation point on Xu Qing’s arm to vanish completely.
The purity in his body caused Xu Qing to feel that his cultivation progress was evidently much faster than before.
In the afternoon two days later, Xu Qing sat cross-legged and meditated. He prepared to first stabilize his cultivation from the past few days before attempting a breakthrough to the fourth level of Mountains and Seas Art. But at this moment, he frowned slightly and opened his eyes.
The stray dogs were barking outside and someone was knocking on the bamboo gate.
Xu Qing walked out of the residence and noted that Captain Lei wasn’t back yet. He then looked to the other side of the bamboo gate and saw a scavenger with a look of hesitation on his face standing there.
Xu Qing had seen that person before. He was one of the seven or eight people he had rescued before he returned from the forbidden zone.
As the scavenger noticed the appearance of Xu Qing, he promptly clasped his hands.
“Brother Kid, it’s me. I’m Bone Blade.”
“What’s the matter?” Xu Qing donned a poker face and asked flatly.
“This…” Bone Blade had some reservations, but after a quick thought, he still gritted his teeth and then continued.
“Brother Kid, I wish to use five white pills in exchange for your insurance.” With that, he threw a leather bag toward Xu Qing.
Xu Qing didn’t catch it and looked at Bone Blade suspiciously. Hence, the leather bag that the person threw landed on the ground. The stray dogs at the side went to take a look but didn’t dare to approach it.
Sensing Xu Qing’s suspicion, Bone Blade, who was outside the bamboo gate, hurriedly gave his account of what he meant. And after listening to what he had to say, Xu Qing began to understand the meaning of this so-called insurance.
According to Bone Blade, he wanted Xu Qing to head toward the forbidden zone’s Venomous Dragon Swamp area if the former didn’t return in three days and rescue him just like before.
“Brother Kid, I’m not worried about the mutated beasts in the forbidden zone; it’s my fate to die in their mouths. What I’m worried most about is the labyrinth fog. I’m truly not willing to die to it.”
Xu Qing had a strange look on his face, not expecting the other person to make such a request. Hence, he thought about it and asked.
“What if there is no fog in those three days, or if you make an early return?”
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“You don’t have to return the alchemy pills then. I’m just buying for peace of mind.” Bone Blade bowed lowly to Xu Qing with a pleading look.
Xu Qing stayed silent as he regarded the leather pouch. With a hook of the tip of his foot, he picked it up and checked its contents.
There were five white pills in it. Although he did not need it, this was the campsite’s currency. And so, after some thought, he figured that this request was feasible.
Hence, after pondering, Xu Qing nodded.
Seeing as Xu Qing agreed, Bone Blade let out a breath of relief. With gratitude, he cupped his fist and left.
Xu Qing took the leather bag and squinted his eyes. He was naturally vigilant, and it wasn’t like he completely believed the person’s words.
However, he didn’t think that there was a huge possibility of it being a trap.
If the fog didn’t rise, then he could choose not to go. And if the other person could accurately estimate the timing of the fog three days in advance, then with such an ability, there was no need for him to play tricks on others.
Even so, Xu Qing remained vigilant and planned to make a decision only when the time came.
Thus, he turned and returned to the residence and continued with his meditation. A night then passed.
The next morning, Xu Qing had just completed his cultivation when he raised his head and looked out of the room. He heard the dogs outside barking.
When he stepped out, he witnessed a strange scene. Captain Lei was currently packing up. He tied big bags and small parcels on the stray dogs’ bodies one by one, causing them to stick out their tongues. Some of them were about to collapse on their stomachs from the weight.
“You’re done cultivating? Let’s go, I’m bringing you somewhere.”
Captain Lei wiped his perspiration and smiled as he spoke. After that, he patted the stray dogs by the side and opened the bamboo gate. He then waved to Xu Qing.
Xu Qing was confused. He followed over with those stray dogs trailing behind. Just like that, the two people and a pack of dogs strode through the campsite.
From the center-ring region to the inner-ring region. There were a lot of shops here, and the houses were largely made of bricks. All of them looked very solidly built.
They walked until they reached a huge courtyard with four independent brick houses in it. Each one of them was much better than all the places Xu Qing had resided before. They were much sturdier and denser in comparison.
After he looked at this, Xu Qing turned toward Captain Lei.
“This will be our new home from now on,” Captain Lei said with a smile.
“New home?” Xu Qing was stunned. The word, “home”, gave him a familiar sense of unfamiliarity.
“I have been busy for half my life and saved a lot. Since my body is giving way now, I might as well move to a bigger house and enjoy life.”
Captain Lei laughed and walked ahead. After that, he took the baggage from the dogs and began to get busy.
Xu Qing stood there and slowly began to enter only after a while. He looked at the bricks on the floor and at the houses in front of him as he fell into a trance. Even after Captain Lei called him to help out, he still hadn’t gotten used to it.
After that, it was half a day of hustle and bustle. When the night arrived once more, the cold wind still gusted outside. The blizzard was still there, and while the whistling sounds of the gale filled the atmosphere, Xu Qing and Captain Lei sat beside a stove in the house. The warmth gushed toward them and filled the air in the whole room.
There were no cracks in the wall here, so the ice-cold wind couldn’t enter at all. Xu Qing quickly realized this and felt his body was comfortably warm.
“Not cold anymore, right?” Captain Lei had a smile on his face.
“Mm. Not cold anymore.” Xu Qing nodded. Under the light of the stove, there seemed to be a glimmer in Xu Qing’s eyes when he looked over at Captain Lei.
He was indeed not cold anymore. In this warmth, Xu Qing even felt a fluttering in the depths of his heart.
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After a long time, when Captain Lei returned to his room, Xu Qing was sitting near the stove on his own and muttered.
At that moment, in the house by the side, Captain Lei who returned to his room had the remnants of a smile on his face. However, his face soon turned somewhat red.
He covered his mouth and coughed a few times. After a while, he swallowed the fishy taste down his throat. With a soft sigh, he stood beside the window and lifted his head as he looked toward the forbidden zone. Memories surfaced in his gaze as he mumbled.
“I really want to… go there and take a look again.”