SPO Chapter 59

Chapter 59: That Old Watchman Again?

When Yue Qiang took out the tail that was as thick as an arm, everyone around him was stunned.

The people whispered among themselves, “This brightly colored tiger tail is so long and thick. It may really be the tail mentioned in the public bounty!”

Someone could not help but walk forward to ask, “If I may be so bold as to ask, where did this length of tiger tail come from?”

“It is cut off a tiger after I killed it inside a tiger’s den.” Yue Qiang typed leisurely, “Even with my strength, victory did not come without much risks. In the end, it is thanks to the unique poison of my Genesis Bane God Spear that I finally killed it after much difficulty.”

“Did you have another helper, young sir who has killed a tiger?”

Yue Qiang paused for a moment, and before he could reply a row of words suddenly appeared on the screen.

Yin whispered to you: “Don’t mention me.”

Like I need you to tell me that… While Yue Qiang thought, he typed and answered, “Helper? Of course there was a helper.”

When the person who asked the question heard that Yue Qiang had a helper, he instantly let out a sigh of relief. He obviously did not quite believe that a normal person like Yue Qiang could take out a wicked tiger with a notorious, long notorious reputation, “Where might this helper be right now?”

“There was a helper, but it was not my helper!” Yue Qiang purposely paused for a moment before saying, “What, you can’t be thinking that this delicate woman behind me is the helper, can you?”

Yue Qiang purposely kept his listeners on tenterhooks before finally saying, “The one who had a helper isn’t me. It was the tiger!”

“There was not only a male tiger inside the tiger den, but also a female tiger that was just as fierce!”

The surrounding crowd looked extremely surprised. Seeing that the mood was more or less set, he began typing slowly and describing the entire tiger hunting process in a most exaggerated fashion. The main point of the story was how ferocious the tigers were, and how effortless it was for him to take out both tigers during the process. At the end of the story, he did not forget to add, “My strength is what it is. The main reason I won is because of the powerful poison of my Genesis Bane God Spear.”

The whole storytelling was at least the length equivalent of an 800 words essay.

Seeing the surrounding masses’ surprised expression and Deng Yuan’s gloomy expression, he felt that his sales pitch was very successful.

“Therefore, please feel assured and buy my poison powder.”

Yue Qiang’s iron rod might look unremarkable, but it was in fact pretty peculiar in many ways. The layer of black charcoal on the iron rod could not be scraped clean no matter how hard one tries, and after the weapon had merged with the doctor Ming Que’s Goldmaker Pill this black color now had some gray to it. However, this characteristic still remained.

Very soon, he had sold plenty of poison powder and earned a couple hundreds of knife coins.

The people who bought the poison powder left in perfect contentment, and the surrounding crowd gradually dissipated over time.

Deng Yuan was still standing at a distance, and his face – so dirty that it was gray, undernourished and perverted-looking – had blushed into a dark red color. Suddenly, he walked over while holding a large amount of money,

“Young sir Yue, I, Deng Yuan am a man who can accept his defeat! However, I only have about 2000 knife coins with me right now, and I am unable to gather the full sum at the moment…”

“There is no need to act this way, brother Deng.”

Yue Qiang walked to his side, and seeing that there was no one around to hear them, typed to Deng Yuan and said, “I am ashamed. Although you and I are here both to earn dirty money, I do in fact feel pretty bad to rob your business like this. It is just that I am seriously in need of money right now, and if you look behind me you will notice that my girl did not even have clothes to wear. This is why I have no choice but to employ such an unwise plan. Please empathise with us.”

Deng Yuan was actually unable to react for a time when he heard Yue Qiang’s words. It was only after a while had passed when he finally said, “What I earn may be dirty money, but there is nothing more important to a merchant than a promise! Since I made a bet, then I must be held responsible for it! Please wait for a moment, my brother Deng Fang still has some knife coins with him…”

“No need, no need.” Yue Qiang took the 2000 knife coins off Deng Yuan’s hands without any hesitation before turning him down gracefully, “No one has an easy time in this trade. We shall part here then.”

Once he finished typing, he took Yin with him, turned around and left just like that, leaving behind Deng Yuan with a complicated look on his face.

There was a reason behind Yue Qiang’s refusal of the additional 2000 knife coins. The main reason he did it was to show the other party goodwill. While his actions might not necessarily bring forth immediate benefits, it could turn out to be something during future activities. As the saying goes, don’t burn your bridges since you’ll never know when you’ll need them, and in this infinitely realistic world, there was no harm in being as careful as possible.

Moreover, he was no longer lacking in money right now. He had won 2000 knife coins from the bet, earned almost 1000 from selling the poison powder, and a 1000 knife coin quest reward which he didn’t know where to conclude and receive just yet. No matter how he looked at it, he was now a well off person with 4000 knife coins with him, so he might as well earn 2000 knife coins less in exchange for a favor.

While pulling Yin with him, Yue Qiang hurriedly walked towards the front. He was very interested in that eloquent scholar earlier since he had the ‘Memory Unlock Rate’ that he was curious about.

While following behind Yue Qiang, Yin suddenly said, “Do you know what you did was very immoral?”


“I am talking about the way you treated Deng Yuan just now.” Yin explained, “What you did was like… you went on a road to rob someone, and not only you robbed every coin off his body, you wanted to rob his underwear as well. Then, when the victim had taken off his underwear and handed it to you, you said, ‘I am a robber with standards, so put your underwear back on and leave’… Do you really think the victim is going to feel grateful to you for doing this? That Deng Yuan guy’s feelings are probably what I just described.”

“It’s still better than running around bare-assed without an underwear, right?” Yue Qiang said.

The duo continued to chase after the scholar.

It was at this moment a small commotion happened on the streets. A number of soldiers clad in armor were searching everywhere for a beautiful woman. Their uniforms were indistinct, and it was impossible to make out the soldiers’ nationality. Whenever they saw a young woman, they would approach them and examine them closely, hence causing quite a bit of confusion on the streets.

Yue Qiang turned around and stared at Yin’s beautiful face for a long while. Then, he wiped a handful of black charcoal from his clothes and wiped it on her face and stuffed all of her long hair into the oversized uniform. Finally, he grabbed a dirty rag off the streets and wrapped it around Yin’s head. After a series of messy cover ups, the girl’s beauty was finally not as obvious as it was before.

“Lower your head when you walk.”

Yin lowered her head and asked softly, “Where are we heading now?”

“Let’s chat with that old man at the market entrance. He may be just a watchman, but he is pretty unusual. I’m sure that you’ve sensed it as well. Also, Deng Fang said that he can appraise the treasure in my possession, so we definitely have to visit that old man at least once.” Yue Qiang said.

“Do we go now?”

“We’re not in that much of a hurry. Now that I am rich, let’s buy some clothes and equipment and get ourselves ready first. Of course, the most urgent thing right now is to catch up to that scholar.” Yue Qiang walked swiftly while typing, “I can see other people’s stats, and although the system seems to be gradually blocking off this function, I can still see quite a bit of things. That scholar, you, and the other person I met earlier all had stat ‘Memory Unlock Rate’. It is not easy to run into someone with this stat, so we must meet him and ask him about it. Moreover, don’t you think the way he speaks is a little… incompatible with this game?”

The duo spoke as they walked, and they soon caught up to that scholar. Yue Qiang patted his shoulder once, and the scholar turned around to find that it was Yue Qiang. He greeted him, “So it is the young sir Yue who had killed the tiger. What enlightenment has you come to shed, young sir?”

Yue Qiang pressed the backspace button. He suddenly wasn’t sure what to say.

He couldn’t ask directly if the scholar had lost his memory, could he?

After thinking for a moment, he ultimately decided to ask the less significant questions first, “The reason I stopped you, brother, is to check something with you briefly. Do you know where I can receive the reward for this tiger killing public notice?”

“Ah, so you want to receive a reward. You should seek out the old man at the market entrance.”

SPO Chapter 58

Chapter 58: Street Stall, Notice Board

Yue Qiang only had one objective, and that was to earn some money. On one hand he wanted to buy clothes for Yin, and on the other there were many simple equipment in the market that could only be purchased with knife coins. While the effects of these equipment might be lacking, it was still a lot better than running around naked. The first thing he needed to do was to buy a simple armor for both him and Yin. That was why he thought to earn money.

By coincidence, he saw Deng Yuan’s way of business, and when an idea flashed across his mind, Yue Qiang decided that he would undercut Deng Yuan’s business for himself.

A careful selection process happened behind the chosen location of Deng Yuan’s stall. First, he needed to put some distance between his current and his previous location to avoid running into the same customers. Moreover, he needed to wait until all the circumstances felt right before restarting his business once more.

Just like before, he put up the white cloth with the words, ‘The Venomous Yuchang Blade That Surpasses Zhuan Zhu’s’, took out a huge fish bone, and even found a feebler old dog than the one before. However, when everything was set to commence, Yue Qiang appeared.

It must be said that Yue Qiang’s act of stealing one’s stall space was very provocative.

It was obvious he was undercutting his competitor.

When the surrounding crowd saw that two weapon selling stalls were laid out at this place, they slowly gathered over and began gesticulating at them.

“Hey there, old chap. Who do you think sells the better weapon between these two?”

“Ah, brother, your observation skill still needs a little bit of training. It is obvious that that blackish iron rod is far better than the other.” A scholarly looking person said while swaying his head back and forth.

“How can you be so sure?”

“You may listen closely to my words. To know if a seller’s goods are of quality, one must first observe their shop sign. Look, the sign of the left stall selling fish bone writes, ‘The Venomous Yuchang Blade That Surpasses Zhuan Zhu’. We will ignore how much truth lies behind this claim, and observe these words alone. Just based on the fact that the words are chicken scratch, the syntax is wrong, and the comparison is biased, I will give him a solid 0 star rating. Now we look again at the right stall selling an iron rod. He writes, ‘Genesis of Bane, God of Spears’. His syntax is fine, and his reconciliation is fair. The calligraphy of these six words are straight and parallel, mellow and full; thin but not flattering, strong but not stiff. I will go as far as to say that this is a rare top grade calligraphy. From these two advertising signs alone we can see clearly who is the better among the duo.”

The scholar gesticulated and commented at the two stalls with clear and logical arguments. Setting aside whether he was actually right or wrong, his performance was enough to attract a huge crowd of ignorant people to stand and watch.

Yue Qiang was pretty amused. Now he even had someone advertising for him for free.

Seeing that his insights were agreed upon by others, the scholar grew even prouder of himself.

“‘Buy not, before judging the seller’. This is the indisputable words of wisdom the sage of the ancient past have imparted us. Look, my friends. This fish bone seller at the left looks perverted, shifty, slumped and hunchbacked. It is obvious at first glance that he is no decent person. Moreover, he is even followed by an old dog that’s about to starve to death. The ancient sage once said, ‘what dog there is, what man there is’. You may imagine the moral standing of this fish bone seller just from this old dog’s appearance alone.”

“Now, let us look at this iron rod seller once more. His stature is lofty, and his appearance is powerful. He may be of average countenance, but he has a sweet and virtuous lady behind his back. The ancient sage once saw through the mystery known only to heaven and said before they levitated heavenwards, ‘A man’s worth can be measured by the beauty index of his woman’. Based on this alone, it can be proven that this iron rod seller is much more reliable than the fish bone seller.”

The surrounding crowd nodded their heads repeatedly. They all felt that this scholar’s words were rather sound.

One person asked, “If I may be so bold as to ask, the term ‘beauty index’ sounds rather profound. May I ask how it should be solved?”

Another person asked, “I wonder who is this ancient sage of such ability, speaking truths and gems at every turn? Can you enlighten us on this, scholar?”

Seeing that everyone was flattering him highly, the scholar put even greater effort into making a show of himself.

He took out a a bamboo slip from his lap and said, “Do you want to know how ‘beauty index’ is explained? Do you want to know what other words of blood, sweat and tears the ancient sage have to offer? Then hesitate not and buy my ‘Quotes of The Ancient Sage’ right away! This book is originally priced at 500 knife coins, but now it is only sold for 198! 198! 198 knife coins is not expensive at all, and if you don’t buy it, you’re a fool and a loser who can’t become a king or marry a bride! If you buy my ‘Quotes of The Ancient Sage’, then a meteoric rise to become scholar officials is no longer a dream!”

Ever since Yue Qiang set down his stall, he had been watching the scholar perform from the start to the end.

At the beginning, Yue Qiang could almost believe that the scholar was a helper that he hired after hearing him talk so many good things about him. But in the end, he was yet another person out to market his product. That being said, this script and method… he can’t help but feel that the style was similar to ‘Jiangnan Leather Factory’s Boss and His Sister-In-Law’.

Seeing that this scholar was harmless, and his own curiosity was at its peak, Yue Qiang hovered over his cursor and clicked the man’s avatar to check his stats.

Character Name: Hui Shi

Class: Scholar

Stats: (Stats are hidden and can no longer be seen)


?? : ??

Duel of Words Against the Group of Learned LVL 1: A silver tongue with a strong grasp of knowledge, capable of quoting classics and articulate eloquently with no effort at all. Stats required to read book type items is decreased.

Heart of Name and Reality LVL 1:

Memory Unlock Rate: 2%

On the other side, the local trader Deng Yuan was in a rather awkward situation.

This was the place he had chosen for himself, but he was first taken advantage of by Yue Qiang, then had his popularity completed robbed away by a scholar. When he saw the current situation, he hastily shouted in a loud voice, still using the same promotion script as before.

However, the professional marketing script that was still very useful just now had lost its effectiveness. No one in the crowd were even looking at him. A small minority of the crowd were curious about the scholar’s ‘Quotes of The Ancient Sage’, and the large majority were attracted by Yue Qiang’s Genesis Bane God Spear a.k.a blackish iron rod.

“If I may be so bold as to ask, where have you gotten this spear?”

Yue Qiang said, “A blacksmith in a small village gifted it to me.”

“This blacksmith must be a mastersmith who has retired himself from the world. Young sir is truly fortunate.”

Another person asked, “Since your God Spear is called the ‘Genesis of Bane’, then it must be extremely poisonous. Is it possible to ask for an immediate demonstration?”

Yue Qiang agreed on the spot and scraped some dull and gray, black-and-white mix of dust from the iron rod. Then, he grabbed the old dog at the back and fed the dust down its throat. Before long, the old dog perished on the spot. (Deng Yuan: That’s my dog!)

The surrounding crowd clicked their tongues in wonder.

“There is indeed truth behind the one that dares calls itself the genesis of bane. This toxicity is oh-so-acute.”

“It looks ordinary, but it hides its secrets inside. This is truly a great weapon.”

Another person asked Yue Qiang, “May I know how much your Genesis Bane God Spear will fetch?”

Yue Qiang typed unhurriedly, “The poison dust is for sale. The spear, isn’t.”

Hearing how imposing Yue Qiang’s words were, the surrounding crowd immediately discussed among themselves spiritedly once more.

Deng Yuan’s face was blue with anger when he noticed that all of the crowd’s attention were sucked away elsewhere. Even more infuriating was that the dog he prepared for his own demonstration was snatched away by Yue Qiang as well. He no longer shouted, and instead took out a public notice from his lap and roared once at Yue Qiang, “Hey iron rod seller! Do you dare accept this public notice?”

Public notice?

Deng Yuan continued, “I’ll stop my business today, but would you dare agree to a gamble and see who can finish the quest listed on this public notice first? If you managed to finish the quest first, then not only would I pack and quit right away, I will gift you with 2000 extra knife coins as compensation. But if I finished the quest first by luck then, huhu, I’d like to see if you can leave this market alive!”

When Yue Qiang heard this, he clicked open the public notice curiously. The public notice was actually a quest.

Quest Title: Tiger Hunting.

Quest Background: It is said that there is a ferocious tiger doing evil in the mountains a few dozen of miles away and has heard countless villagers and hunters. Braves are hereby called to hunt down this ferocious tiger. If the hunt is a success, then a thousand knife coins and a piece of equipment will be rewarded.

The man waited until Yue Qiang was finished reading the public notice before saying, “So? Do you dare make a gamble with me? I’d like to see if your iron rod is better, or my Venomous Yuchang Blade is fiercer!”

Yue Qiang grew amused when saw the contents of this public notice. If this wasn’t what you call jumping into the line of fire, then what was? He purposely paused and put on a hesitant look before typing, “This isn’t fair, is it? If you lose, you only lose 2000 knife coins. If I lose, I have to lose my own life. Unless, you add another 2000 knife coins…”

“Why not!” Deng Yuan roared.

The man hardly finished speaking before Yue Qiang snatched over the public notice* and accepted the quest at top speed.

*although the author didn’t write it, Yue Qiang probably returned the public notice to the guy after reading it.

System Message: You have accepted the quest: Tiger Hunting.

System Message: You have completed the quest: Tiger Hunting.

The feeling of accepting and finishing a quest instantly was the best.

He took out the tiger’s tail about the size of an arm from his backpack and said, “Tiger, you say? It just so happened I killed something like that along the way.”

SPO Chapter 57

Chapter 57: Earning Money To Buy You Clothes

Yue Qiang led Yin away from Deng Fang’s bracelet store, avoided the crowd and found a slightly secluded place to talk.

“Let’s seek out that old man at the market entrance.” Yin said, “When we passed by earlier I already felt that he wasn’t normal. Coincidentally, this bracelet seller Deng Fang agrees with this, so we should be able to acquire some information.”

“I don’t think we’re in a hurry.” Yue Qiang said, “We can walk around the market for a little longer. Right now I’m actually slightly interested in Deng Fang’s brother, Deng Yuan.”

He wanted to gather a bit more information and make some preparations before meeting the old man at the market entrance once more. The reason for that was the trading market’s name.

Green Cow Village.

This wasn’t the first time Yue Qiang heard the name ‘Green Cow Village’. In fact, he had heard about it several times back at Yue Village. No doubt that the place behind this very backwater name was something that’s beyond his imagination.

The treasure his village had protected for tens of years, and sought after by a powerful Boss like General Zhao Yan himself, was in fact nothing more than just a nose ring once used by a cow in Green Cow Village. Originally, he thought that he would not be able to come in touch with such an extraordinary existence at his current level, but he did not think that his destination would have a name that’s called ‘Green Cow Village Trading Market’.

“I think we can walk around the market for a little longer and gather more information. That brother of Deng Fang, Deng Yuan seems to be a know-it-all type of character, so I think we can talk to this Deng Yuan first.” Yue Qiang said, “Plus, we need to buy you a new set of clothes. Not only this military uniform is way oversized, it’s completely torn up, not to mention that it’s empty on the inside…”

“If you are not afraid to spend money.” the girl said.

Yue Qiang continued to lead Yin around the old town, and they quickly discovered their target, Deng Yuan.

Their target was simply too eye-catching. He was impossible to miss even if they tried.

As compared to Deng Fang’s desolate stall, Deng Yuan’s was obviously a lot more crowded. His business skills were obviously superior, with a large group of people surrounding his stall and a white cloth beside it as well stating, ‘The Venomous Yuchang Blade That Surpasses Zhuan Zhu’*.

*Zhuan Zhu is an assassin in the Spring and Autumn period. He killed King Liao with a dagger hidden in a fish, and the blade was hence named ‘Yuchang (Fish Belly)’.

Although his writing was as ugly as ever, in terms of loftiness, it was far better than ‘quality guaranteed’.

The Yuchang Blade was a legendary weapon that was rumored to be able to cut through gold, jade and steel like they were mud. In the hands of the assassin Zhuan Zhu, it took the life of a King of State and became very famous.

Yue Qiang’s curiosity was piqued as well, as he pushed his way through the crowd with Yin and looked.

There was a fellow inside the stall who looked like Deng Fang, but was incredibly shifty-looking. What he held in his hand was… a fish bone.

Yue Qiang stared blankly.

If he remembered correctly, the Yuchang Blade was named the way it was because it was hidden inside a fish’s belly, and not because it was made out of a fish bone. Plus, a fish bone was limp, brittle and uncomfortable to wield. Could it really be used as a weapon?

Yue Qiang was even more curious now and paid close attention. While holding the head area of the fish bone, Deng Yuan circled around his small stall once and said,

“Look well, my dear customers! My Venomous Yuchang Blade is a masterpiece that exceeds the Yuchang Blade wielded by the assassin of the previous dynasty, Zhuan Zhu!”

Deng Yuan clasped his fists together and saluted the people wherever he went, looking wickedly pleased with himself, “This fish is extraordinary. It hails from the place of profound ice ten thousand depths beneath the western sea. It is cold and poisonous, and I, the untalented one commissioned a master to use seven-seven forty nine days to finally catch it, and then spend eight-eight six four days to finally refine it into one Venomous Yuchang Blade. This blade is extremely rare, and it will sell for only two thousand knife coins today!”

Once Deng Yuan was finished introducing his fish bone, he continued to clasp his fists and saluted at all directions.

Yue Qiang was completely dumbfounded by his words, when Yin suddenly closed in behind him and spoke in a low voice, “It looks a little like the bone of a bighead carp. I saw it selling at the fish stall just now…”

Both praises and doubts came from the surrounding crowd. A peddler that looked rather rich asked, “May I know exactly how is your blade venomous?”

The wicked pleased look on Deng Yuan’s face grew even more profound as he caught a thin, old dog that was so starved that it was literally skin and bones, saying, “Please observe that this is a strong and healthy mastiff, my dear customers (he raised the thin, old dog into the air and showed it off everywhere). However, I only need to stick my Venomous Yuchang Blade in its mouth before this mastiff will suffocate and die in no time.”

Deng Yuan let go of the old dog once he was done speaking. The old dog that was about to be starved to death sniffed the fishy smell on the bone, quivered, and immediately jumped forwards to bite off a fish bone. Before long, the old dog began to pant repeatedly. Then its limbs went stiff, and it passed away.

The surrounding crowd clicked their tongues in wonder at the sight.

“It truly is extreme poisonous. This dog may not be all that strong and healthy, but it died in no time at all.”

“It is true that it passed away very swiftly.”

“Did you guys not notice that the fish bone is missing a fork…”

Yin, whose eyes were still closed and standing behind Yue Qiang closed in again and said in a low tone, “It probably choked on the fish bone, and choked to death…”

The peddler he voiced his doubts earlier looked extremely surprised by the turn of events and said, “Truly, a rare treasure indeed. I will buy it.” And then he bought the fish bone.

Is it Yin and I having a keen eye, or are these people too stupid?

Yue Qiang looked closer and found that the peddler had bought the fish at 2,400 knife coins.

A thought flashed across his mind, and Yue Qiang clicked Deng Yuan’s avatar to check his stats.

The ability to check one’s stats seemed to have been blocked off partially by the system as well. Now, he could only see Deng Yuan’s stats, but not his skills. Very soon, Yue Qiang found the line he wished to see.

Charisma: 12 (A fellow with a silver tongue)

Yue Qiang made a simple fractional calculation in his head and nodded on the inside as if he realized something.

On the other side, the crowd quickly dissipated after Deng Yuan had sold his Venomous Yuchang Blade. He did not leave the market, and instead bought yet another big fish from the fish stall and waited quietly for a while. Then he switched to another street, put up his sign ‘The Venomous Yuchang Blade That Surpasses Zhuan Zhu’ and restarted his business once more.

Yue Qiang had been following behind him with Yin all this time. When he saw this, he came to a decision and said to Yin at his back, “Do you know how to write?”

“Yes. Are you planning to…?” Yin asked curiously.

“Help me write down a few words then.” Yue Qiang did not answer her question and instead ordered directly, “Write down the six words, ‘Genesis of Bane, God of Spears’.“

Yin pulled a cloth from her body, wrote the words and passed it out to him.

Yue Qiang accepted the written cloth, found a bamboo stick and strung the cloth on it. Then he arrived beside Deng Yuan’s stall, and plunged the stick right beside Deng Yuan’s.

Yue Qiang’s bamboo stick was just a little taller than Deng Yuan’s, and his cloth was just a little longer than Deng Yuan’s as well.

“What are you doing?” Yin grew even more curious. This position was too close to Deng Yuan’s, and the other party’s eyes were already looking at him strangely.

“Earning money to buy you some clothes.” Yue Qiang took out his blackish iron rod and displayed it at the place that caught the most eyes, saying casually.

SPO Chapter 56

Chapter 56: Trading

Before Yue Qiang left, he took the tiger’s broken tail with him. This broken tail didn’t look like much from afar, but when he gripped it in his hands, it was thick and heavy. He put it into his backpack before saying to Yin behind him, “Considering how powerful these two tigers are, I suddenly recall that there are two used S/L Modules on the table. Can it be that these two tigers have used them?”

“That’s very possible. If these two tigers have used the S/L Modules before, then it indirectly proves one thing: it is possible for them to acquire Progress Points, and the amount they got should not be too low.” Yin said, “This will explain why these two tigers have powers that exceeded a normal tiger’s limits. Moreover, there’s also another question regarding your strength, that is your stats. I sense that you have a rare stat, and at quite a high value as well. However, it seems that you can’t use it for combat?”

The moment Yue Qiang heard Yin’s description, he immediately knew what she was talking about.

When he first entered the game, as it turned out he had a rare stat – Charisma.

At the start of the game, he had 8 freely distributed stat points, and he had casually dropped it all under Charisma. He didn’t think much of it at first, but now words could not describe how regretful he felt of his actions. That was 8 freely distributed stat points. If he dropped them all under a combat related stat, fighting mobs would’ve been infinitely easier.

As for Charisma points, he had no idea what they could be used for at all…

As he shook his head slightly and wore a bitter smile at the same time, a thought came across his mind. The game system should not give out a meaningless stat, and one that was crowned a ‘Rare Stat’ no less. Maybe I haven’t discovered the real use behind Charisma yet?

While thinking, he typed a line of inquiry and asked tentatively, “Um… what do you think of me as a person?”

Yin looked a little surprised. After cocking her head slightly and giving it a thought, she said, “Your appearance and image are very average, and there is an unspeakable sense of vulgarity and abjection to you. However… you feel trustworthy. This feeling is a bit contradictory.”

I feel trustworthy? Is that the meaning behind Charisma? Still doesn’t seem likes it’s useful though.

While speaking, the duo walked for a very long time before they finally exited the tiger’s domain. Then, they continued to traverse for a very far distance and ran into a few scattered hunters, before finally figuring out the general direction of the trading market.

According to those hunters, this trading market had a very guileless name called: Green Cow Village Market.

No matter how you looked at it, the name gave off a low class and peasant feeling. But there were no other places where a great amount of people were gathered in this vast area.

After walking again for a very long time, they finally arrived at their destination.

This was a valley. There were several vertical streets inside it, and from the layout, it appeared to be the kind of old town made for tourism purposes. There were a lot of people inside the market, and it was plenty noisy. From time to time, all kinds of people would go in and out of the entrance. A large green stone was erected at the valley entrance, and five large words were written on it: ‘Green Cow Village Trading Market’. There was also a small line beneath it stating, ‘Honor Bound, Fair Trade’.

There was an old man with a white beard at the side. On one hand he held two baoding balls, and on the other he fanned a very strange-looking bamboo fan. He sat on a rocking chair and basked himself in the sun, looking very comfortable.

Yue Qiang found the sight interesting. He was just about to reach the entrance and enter the market, but he was stopped by the old man.

“Admission fee is 100 knife coins.” the old man holding the folding fan said.

100 knife coins for just an admission fee? Isn’t that daylight robbery? Yue Qiang had only earned a bit more than 100 knife coins after playing the game for such a long time, and now more than half of it was gone in an instant. In the end, he steeled his heart and passed out the coins.

The old man beamed at the duo, and his gaze hovered on Yin a little longer than Yue Qiang. He watched her from head to toe, and from toe to head multiple times. After glancing at Yue Qiang again, he said, “Never mind. I’ll just accept 68 knife coins from you. Go in.”

“This is nice. He saw your beauty and gave us a 30% discount right away.” Yue Qiang said.

“I think it’s because of that Charisma stat of yours.” Yin said, “68* over 100 is equal to five eighths. Your charisma is at 16 points. If this old man isn’t affected by your Charisma, 10 over 16 is also five eighths… don’t you think it’s too much of a coincidence?”

*I have no idea how the author counted this but according to the text it should be 62.5.

“Your math is quite learned…”

The duo chatted randomly as they entered the market. Originally, Yue Qiang had planned to roam around gather information with a carefree attitude, but his attention was quickly attracted by a certain person. This because because the person was just too eye-catching in this market.

It was a man selling black bracelets at a stall beside the street. What’s eye-catching was that his bracelets weren’t arrayed on the stall for purchase, but worn on both his arms instead.

Yue Qiang immediately recalled a news he had seen before. There was a man who attempted to smuggle Swiss watches and wore all fifty or so watches on his arms when passing through the customs. He wore long sleeves to hide the goods, but he was ultimately discovered by the police. The picture in the news when the fellow was found out showed that he wore more than twenty watches on each of his arms. It was very comedic, and left him a very deep impression.

This bracelet selling man before him was more or less the same!

There were at least seventy to eighty bracelets packed densely together on both of his arms. Moreover, they were all black in color. From afar, he would look as if he had worn black armor on both his arms. There was also a white cloth erected beside the fellow, written with a trembling scrawl of words: Deng Fang’s products, quality guaranteed.

There was no doubt that this bracelet selling fellow was Deng Fang.

Yue Qiang thought that this fellow was extremely interesting. While holding in his laughter, he walked forwards and asked, “Hey there, brother. I wonder if you can tell me how much is your bracelet, and what effects does it have?”

When he was close, he discovered that this Deng Fang’s looks was incredibly simple and honest, having what would one call an honest fool’s look. Seeing Yue Qiang’s approach and inquiry, and noticing that he was followed by a girl of amazing beauty, his face immediately blushed bright red as he stuttered, “My bracelets can take you into the ground and above the skies; overturn a river and upset a sea. All nine-nine eighty one of my bracelets are completely unique and of infinite variation. You want to know what effects they have? Then please observe these five big words then.” (minus ten thousand ellipses of pauses and stammers)

After finally stammering these words with great difficulty, he stretched his arm and pointed it at the trembling scrawl of words on the white cloth beside him, ‘Deng Fang’s products, quality guaranteed’.

The second he stretched his arm, the bracelets on his arms immediately bumped into one another and causing all sorts of ringing noises. It was incredibly similar to the sound of a waste collecting aunt sweeping clinking glass bottles.

Yue Qiang could hardly hold his cheer as he listened to the advertisement script, and even the calm-looking Yin wore a faint smile on her face.

He walked forwards and said, “Can you tell me exactly how much this bracelet costs?”

“My brother Deng Yuan told me that I should ask for 500 knife coins, even though it costs only 100.” Deng Fang said righteously, “Many customers would try to cut down the price after all.”

This Deng Fang was so cute Yue Qiang wasn’t sure what he should say anymore. After laughing on the inside for a while, he asked again, “Why do you need to wear all… nine-nine eighty one bracelets on your arms? Isn’t it… heavy?”

“My brother Deng Yuan told me that if the bracelets are displayed on the stall, then they would all be duped away in a minute.” Deng Fang said honestly.

This Deng Fang was a weirdo, and his brother was even more interesting. Yue Qiang said again, “Then I suppose that your selling lines and that five words on the white cloth are written by your brother, Deng Fang?”

“That is true. My brother Deng Fang is extremely smart…”

Before he could finish, Yue Qiang took a bracelet off his arm and asked, “Can you help me appraise this bracelet?”

This was the spoils he got when he took down the Zhao Scout. It was black in color and had a passable passive skill as well.

The honest fool Deng Fang accepted it and examined the bracelet for a while. Then, he spoke up suddenly, “This bracelet… t-t-this bracelet is made by my deceased teacher, and is a lot more precious than all the bracelets I have on my arms. Where have you gotten this, young sir?”

Yue Qiang did not answer him.

This Deng Fang might look very foolish, but the bracelets he wore on his arms actually did not look like fakes. From where he stood, he could see that they were very well made, and some were even glowing with a faint light.

This fellow might be a little challenged in the head, but he did seem to know his trade.

After considering for a moment, he suddenly took out yet another bracelet.

This bracelet was green, and there were many simple and unadorned rust spots on it. It looked incredibly dirty. It was the Ring of Earth. Somewhat solemnly, Yue Qiang passed over the Ring of Earth and said, “My brother, can I trouble you once more to appraise this bracelet?”

The moment Deng Fang saw the Ring of Earth, his expression immediately turned serious; far more serious than when he saw Yue Qiang’s black bracelet for the first time. He examined the Ring of Earth closely and repeatedly for a very, very long time before he finally returned it to Yue Qiang.

“I am lacking.” Deng Fang said honestly, “I doubt even my brother Deng Yuan can see for what it is. If there is one person in this market who can identify this bracelet’s origin, then he can only be my grandfather.”

“Your grandfather?”

“Didn’t you see him when you come in? He sits on a rocking chair, and holds a bamboo fan in his hand always.” Deng Fang said.

SPO chapter 55

Chapter 55: Point of Time Confirmed

There was another person Yue Qiang met that was similar to Yin. It was that trader in the Zhao Army, Ai Qian.

By ‘similar’, he meant that they shared the same attribute: Memory Unlock Rate. That guy’s memory unlock rate was 3%, which was slightly higher than Yin’s 0%.

Other than that, the duo also shared another common point: They all showed some traits of modern people.

Yin might not remember what happened to her, but she could understand the gaming jargons Yue Qiang revealed to her. As for Ai Qian, he might be mingling within the Zhao Army’s camp, but he gave off a feeling that separated him from other people. Moreover, this guy also had an item that was obviously of a modern era. It was an inspirational babble type book called ‘The Philosophy of Cockroaches’ aimed at a niche market.

Yue Qiang had a premonition that as Yin and Ai Qian’s memories were gradually unlocked, the truth behind the game would slowly float to the surface as well.

Wait a second, Ai Qian… I think he mentioned about a trading market not far away to the north of Yue Village.

While Yue Qiang was pondering, Yin spoke, “Therefore, your problem is to seek out the main quest, whereas my problem is to attempt recalling what happened to me before, which is to unlock the memory unlock rate you mentioned earlier. The common point between these two problems is that they both need a location where a large amount of information can be sought for!”

“About that, I have just the information.” Yue Qiang said and told Yin about the trading market.

“If it’s titled a market, then there must be a lot of people, and the more people there are, the more information we can get.” Yin said agreeably, “There should be three types of people in this game. One is this world’s NPC characters, which are the majority of the population; next would be a player like you, and you should be the one and only; and finally there are people like me, who have this ‘memory unlock rate’ attribute. This assumption should be correct.”

“Besides that,” she continued, “Don’t you think that the difficulty to survive in this game – or should I say, this world – is a little too high? From your description, nearly every one of your battles were close calls, and the two tigers especially – I cannot find another explanation but a ridiculous amount of good luck to explain the fact that we actually manage to beat them with just our strength alone. Therefore, I am sure that you must have missed something earlier in the game. For example, what are Progress Points used for, and how exactly do you raise one’s stats!”

“You must have missed out on some important ways to increase one’s strength!”

Suddenly, Yue Qiang felt that it was a truly lucky thing for him to have met a girl like Yin. What was a confusing mess of problems was – okay, it was still a confusing mess of problems, but with her logical analysis alone, they had at least found some clues to be used from it. It might still not be able to solve their problems completely, but at the least they had a couple of ideas about the solution now.

Stats, and Progress Points. These things had appeared multiple times as the game progressed, but he never really paid them any real emphasis from the beginning until now. He had been playing all this time with the attitude of a superior elitist, attempting to surpass the obstacles through meticulous control alone.

Now that he thought about it, the battles he experienced earlier were too risky, and his answers to them were too irrational.

“Alright, then let us head to that trading market immediately.”

Yue Qiang helped Yin to her feet, and before he left he did not forget the other ‘S/L Module’. This item was his biggest reward this trip; it was something that could save his life. He picked up the other S/L Module growing with rainbow light and put it into his backpack. When he successfully put the two modules into his backpack, to his surprise a series of system messages were triggered.

System Message: The third stage of the Quest ‘Request Aid’ is complete. Quest ‘Request Aid’ is complete!

‘Save/Load Module’ has been collected!

New Quest ‘Search and Investigate’ has been triggered!

Quest Background: You have received the village elder Chen Zi Han’s quest to request for aid, hoping to seek help from the School of Mo’s Great Camp. However, to your surprise you find that the place has already turned into a tiger’s den.

Quest Objective: Gather information, and through various people investigate the cause behind the change of the School of Mo’s Great Camp.

Quest Reward: The requirements have not been met yet.

Note: A new quest chain has been triggered.

This was great news, since their goal to seek out the truth behind the game and the main quest had coincided with each other. It would seem that their trip to the trading market was now set in stone.

Yue Qiang investigated the surroundings one more time, and after finding that he missed nothing, while supporting Yin, they slowly left behind the small room.

Not long after they left, a family suddenly appeared inside the small and dark room.

The way they appeared wasn’t like how the Zhao Army Scout Zhu Huai had appeared gradually from the shadows. In fact, it was rather similar to Yin’s condition, where they were just abruptly there.

This was a family of three. The husband and wife were dressed sumptuously. The husband was holding the wife’s hand. One of the wife’s hand was completely intertwined with her husband’s, whereas her other hand was holding a baby. The husband looked at the bloodstains and corpses on the floor and frowned, seeming slightly worried that the blood stench would affect the baby. He said to his wife, “I’ll go out and have a look around.”

He returned quickly, and with a slight frown said to his wife, “There were a lot of dead soldiers out there. There’s also a dead female tiger. It has also exceeded its limits just like this male tiger corpse. They probably used the S/L Module.”

The wife did not seem to care too much for these things, and simply looked tenderly at her child. The blood stench in this air was a little thick, and the baby began to cry loudly after smelling it.

Seeing this, the wife hurried untied her clothes and revealed a swollen breast. She pressed the baby’s mouth to her nipple, and while shaking her body slightly and swinging her arms rhythmically, she sang a children’s tune softly,

“Two old tigers
Two old tigers
Run very fast
Run very fast
One of them has no eyes
One of them has no tail
Oh how strange
Oh how strange”

(T/N: The above song translation belongs to Sammy Li Wei Long from this link. I am borrowing it here, and I do not own the song or the translation in any way whatsoever)

After drinking the milk, the baby slowly fell asleep within the wife’s lap. The husband stood beside his wife and tenderly put her clothes back in order, saying, “the baby slept?”

“Mm.” The wife answered softly. She continued to swing her hands gently, and the baby slowly fell into sweet slumber inside her arms. She abruptly lifted her head and said with a hint of worriness to her husband, “Is the point of time confirmed?”

“We can basically ascertain that we are at the end of the Warring States Period. The people who died outside were all wearing clothes unique to the Zhao State.”

“Then… how much longer can we live?” When the wife said this, her tone was a little distant.

“It is not important how much longer we can live, really. What’s important is the hope that our child can live on.”

“Mm, you’re right. As long as our child lives, it is fine.” The wife slowly leaned into her husband’s lap and no longer said anything.

Her husband was also quiet as he inhaled twice swiftly, still appearing to find the blood stench in the air a little hard to breathe in. He waved his hands, and after he made some sort of unknown movements, a bubble-like thing appeared in the surrounding and wrapped gently around the family of three.

“Anyway, let’s go find the others first.” He held his wife’s hand gently, and slowly led her towards the passage’s exit.

Their footsteps appeared slow, but they were gone in the blink of an eye.

Before them, the corpses that might have frightened the child, including the tiger corpse without a tail and the tiger corpse without an eye, had turned into green smoke all of a sudden…

… and vanished.