I eat tomatoes coiling.., p.1
I Eat Tomatoes - [Coiling Dragon 04], page 1
Coiling Dragon (盘龙)
Book 4 - The Dragonblood Warrior
Book 4, Chapter 1
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Book 4, The Dragonblood Warrior – Chapter 1, Coming Home (part 1)
The walls around Alice’s manor were not too high, only around two meters high. Walking to the walls, with a single jump, Linley leapt on top of the walls. Then, with a single leap, he descended in front of Alice, as though he had flown to her.
“Quick, lie down.” Alice urgently tugged at Linley.
Suspicious, Linley obediently sat down.
“Shhh.” Alice cautiously looked around before finally letting out her breath as she turned to Linley. “Good thing everyone’s asleep. If someone saw something, then I would be in for a lot of trouble.”
Linley suddenly understood.
“Let’s sit down. If we talk while sitting down, the wall will prevent anyone from seeing us.” Alice smiled delightedly, like a sly little fox. She casually wiped down the floor with a nearby cloth, then sat down alongside Linley.
Linley was also very delighted to be able to run into Alice again.
“Big brother Linley, what are you doing out here on the streets so late at night? Right, didn’t you say you are a student at the Ernst Institute? What are you doing here in Fenlai City?” In one breathe, Alice asked several questions.
Why was he in Fenlai City?
Linley felt rather awkward. After all, he couldn’t say that he had come here to visit the Jade Water Paradise with three friends, could he?
“I came with a few close friends to have fun in the city. At night time, I thought it was really stuffy inside, so I came out for a stroll.” Linley could only give this rather unclear answer.
“Alice, what are you doing up awake so late at night?” Linley asked.
Alice chewed her lower lips helplessly. “I fell asleep really early, but just as I was enjoying my rest, I got woken up out of a beautiful dream by my father, who drank too much and was totally smashed. You don’t know how excessive my father is. He goes gambling every day and drinking every day. After getting drunk, he causes trouble at home. I’m so annoyed!”
“To have a father like this, all I can say that is that I’m unlucky. How about you, Linley? What is your father like?” Alice was looking at Linley, who was seated across from her.
“My father?” Linley couldn’t help but think about his own father. “My father doesn’t gamble. Although he does drink, he doesn’t get drunk. But my father is extremely strict. He’s been like that since I was young.”
Alice sighed with jealousy. “Big brother Linley, you are so lucky. Unlike me.”
Under the moonlight, a young man and a young woman were chatting happily on a balcony. From the topic of fathers, they switched to education, then to their schools, and then to each other’s friends. Finally, they started talking about things they did with their friends…
Linley was very happy while chatting with her. The more they chatted, the more Linley began to understand what Alice’s life was like.
Slowly, the night wore on, and the first rays of light began to peek out from the east. The entire earth began to be filled up with the fresh morning air. But Linley and Alice, both happily immersed in conversation, didn’t notice the passage of time at all. Only when the sky was bright did the two of them realize how much time had passed.
“Oh, it’s day already.” Only now did Linley notice the time.
Alice finally realized as well. “I’m so embarrassed, big brother Linley. I’ve forced you to keep me company all night.”
Suddenly, Linley and Alice stopped talking. They felt a bit awkward.
“Right. Time for me to go.” Linley could feel that the atmosphere was a bit strange. He couldn’t help but suddenly feel nervous, and so he immediately stood up.
“Big brother Linley, in the future, will you come back to Fenlai City?” Alice asked.
“I will, as long as I have free time.” Gripping the railings with his hands, Linley somersaulted over, landing on the wall, then with a leap, jumped down to the street below, almost ten meters away from the wall.
Linley didn’t look back, just casually, weakly waving goodbye.
Alice watched as Linley departed. Only after he disappeared into the streets did she rather forlornly return to her own room.
The summer sun in August was like a huge ball of flame, baking the land. After having lunch with his three bros, Linley headed directly towards his hometown, Wushan township. He carried with him his backpack with over 70,000 gold coins worth of magicite cores.
“Squeak squeak.” On Linley’s back, Bebe began to excitedly squeak as well.
Linley glanced at Bebe, then began laughing as well. He mentally said, “Bebe, you are excited about going back to Wushan township as well, eh? Right, I’ve never asked you before, but how and why did you appear in my family’s courtyard, back then?”
“I dunno either.” Bebe helplessly shook his little head. “As far back as I can remember, I was there in your family’s back courtyard. I don’t know who my parents are either. But I do remember one thing; a voice, which seemed to say, ‘Stay here, don’t run around.’”
“Stay here, don’t run around?” Linley heart throbbed.
Could that voice have been that of Bebe’s father or mother?
“At the beginning, I just ate rocks. I obeyed that voice, so I didn’t leave your family’s courtyard. But then, boss, you found me and fed me a wild hare. In the whole wide world, there isn’t anybody who treats me better than you, boss. I don’t want to ever leave ya, boss.” Bebe wrinkled his little nose.
Linley, too, reminisced about what had happened before.
Back then, Bebe really did hesitate for a while at the entrance to Wushan township, but in the end, upon seeing Linley really was going to leave, Bebe had made the decision to bite Linley and initiate their soul binding contract.
“Alright, Bebe, we’ll always be together, okay?” Linley lovingly stroked Bebe’s little head, and Bebe, comforted, closed his little eyes happily.
Linley didn’t walk too fast, traveling around twenty kilometers per hour. By the time he arrived at the borders of Wushan township, it was already night. As he made his way into town, he heard a familiar voice…
“All of you, straighten and tighten up those waists! Don’t bend! If anyone’s buttocks touches those branches and gets stained by the dye, they’ll be considered to have broken the rules. Double training for them!” Hillman’s voice could be heard from far away.
Linley stared towards him.
On that familiar, empty field in the east side of Wushan township, next to a row of trees, a group of kids from age six to sixteen were standing in three divisions. Under the strict supervision of Hillman and the other two, they were engaged in tough training. Sweat had totally drenched all of the children’s clothes.
“Back in the day, I did this training as well.” Seeing this, Linley felt very moved.
“Linley?” Hillman saw Linley from far off. After giving some instructions to Roger and Lorry, he immediately ran over towards Linley, immediately giving Linley a big bear hug.
“Uncle Hillman, long time no see!” Linley was very happy as well.
“Haha, let’s go! Let’s go home first. Lord Hogg will be so happy to see you.” Hillman chortled as he spoke, and then led Linley into Wushan township proper.
“Young master Linley.” Roger and Lorry greeted Linley warmly from afar.
“Uncle Roger, Uncle Lorry.” Linley also waved at them happily, and then followed Hillman towards his own manor.
“Linley, you brought a backpack wit
Linley smiled mysteriously. “A present, a present for my father!”
* * *
Book 4, Chapter 2
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Book 4, The Dragonblood Warrior – Chapter 2, Coming Home (part 2)
Within the Baruch clan manor, Hogg was reclining in a chair, carefully reading an exceedingly thick book.
“Lord Hogg, dinner is prepared.” A female servant said respectfully.
Ever since Housekeeper Hiri had gone off to accompany Wharton to the O’Brien Empire, the Baruch clan no longer had any servants in their employ. But Hogg was the clan leader of the clan of the Dragonblood Warriors. He couldn’t do all the servant’s work himself, right? So he forced himself to hire a female servant.”
“Oh.” Hogg closed his book and glanced at the female servant. In his heart, he sighed, “Fortunately, now that these other nobles know that my son is a genius magus at the Ernst Institute, they are willing to loan me money again. Otherwise, life would be even tougher.”
Based on the low taxation rate in Wushan township, Hogg was only able to just barely pay his bodyguard’s salary and also pay his yearly tithe to the kingdom. Hogg felt unhappy just thinking about it. By the time the clan had fallen into his hands, virtually all things of value had been sold off.
He, Hogg, had two sons, two wonderful sons.
“Linley is already a magus of the fifth rank. He will graduate soon. By then, I can hand the position of clan leader to him, and I’ll be able to do some things I have always wanted to do.”
Hogg stood up, preparing to head towards the dining room, when suddenly…
“Lord Hogg, Lord Hogg!” Hillman’s voice rang out from afar.
Hogg looked questioningly towards the main gate. In a short period of time, Hillman ran in, and right besides Hillman was a tall, sturdily built young fellow.
Upon seeing the young fellow, a smile blossomed upon Hogg’s face. Laughing loudly, he advanced. “Linley, you are back. Haha, this is wonderful. This is an enormous surprise!”
“Agatha [A’jia’sa], please prepare a more sumptuous dinner.” Hogg intimately patted Linley on the shoulders. “Nice, kid. You are almost as tall as me now. Oh, right. I thought you were usually only allowed to come back at the end of each year. This time?…”
Linley smiled secretly. “Father, I’ll tell you later, during dinner.”
“So mysterious?” Hogg intentionally frowned at Linley.
Hillman, next to them, laughed, “Lord Hogg, Linley wouldn’t tell me either, but he’s prepared a mysterious gift for you. I asked him what, but he refused to say.”
“Uncle Hillman!” Linley frowned at Hillman.
“Alright, I’ll be quiet, I’ll be quiet.” Hillman laughed loudly.
Darkness fell upon the world, blanketing the earth in shadows, but the Baruch clan manor’s dining room was brightly lit with many lanterns. After finishing dinner, the serving girl Agatha cleared the table, leaving behind only Linley and Hogg in the room. Only now did Linley place the backpack in front of his father.
“This is?” Hogg stared suspiciously at Linley.
“We’ll open it in a bit.” Linley stood up and closed the door to the room. Hogg couldn’t help but chuckle. “As secretive as all that? You even went to close the door.”
Linley sat down confidently. “Father, you can open the backpack now.”
“Hrmph, let me see just what you have in here.” Hogg curiously opened the backpack, but much to his surprise, there was another sack inside the backpack. The mouth to the large sack was closed tightly, and it was bulging with the magicite cores that were hidden within it.
Rubbing his hands against the sack, Hogg said suspiciously, “What a large sack. It doesn’t feel like gold inside. Can it be pebbles?” Hogg didn’t understand what was going on. As he spoke, he opened the sack up.
As soon as the sack opened…
Gaudy, beautiful, multicolored magicite cores all gleamed with rainbow light. Hogg couldn’t help but feel dazed upon seeing them. This sack was filled to the brim with magicite cores. In all his life, Hogg had never seen so many.
“These are magicite cores?” Hogg’s eyes were round, and he stared at Linley in astonishment. And then, he slowly swallowed. Hogg had seen magicite cores before, but he had never seen so many in one place. So many magicite cores in one sack really did have the capacity to astonish its viewers.
Linley nodded. “Right. This bag is filled almost exclusively with magicite cores. There’s a very small number of magestones inside as well. Based on what I read, these magicite cores should be worth a total of around 70,000 gold coins.”
“Seventy thousand gold coins?” Hogg felt his heart pump frantically.
All these years, Hogg had been suffering from the restrictions of money. By now, even if one just wanted Hogg to produce 500 gold coins, Hogg would probably have to go borrow money. One could imagine how dire their straits were.
Seventy thousand gold coins!
What sort of wealth was this? 70,000 gold pieces definitely could keep the entire Baruch clan fed for over a hundred years.
“Of course, 70,000 is just the book estimate, and these prices were previous prices. I expect that this will be enough to reach 80,000 gold prices.” Liney said honestly.
Staring at the gaudy magicite cores, Hogg felt as though he were living in a dream. His entire body was floating.
Hogg took two deep breaths, finally calming himself down.
“Linley, where did you get these magicite cores?” Hogg finally thought of this. He stared at Linley with a deadly stare. “Did you go to the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts?”
Linley nodded. “Yes, father. I got all of these from Mountain Range of Magical Beasts.”
“You…you…” Hogg was somewhat angry now. “The Mountain Range of Magical Beasts is one of the most dangerous places in the entire continent. Entering it is a major endeavor. Why didn’t you discuss it over with me before going inside? Do you know how dangerous it is in there?”
Just as he finished speaking, Hogg began to laugh at himself.
Linley had gone inside, after all. He definitely now knew how dangerous it was.
Hogg lowered his gaze, and was silent. Seeing Linley with an earnest “listening to himself being lectured” expression on his face, he couldn’t help but shake his head and sigh. “Linley, it’s not that I, your father, want to yell at you. But you must know that you are currently a genius magus studying at the Ernst Institute. In the future, your potential will be limitless. The heavy burden of stewarding the Baruch clan will rest on your shoulders. After all, your brother is still young. Who knows how long it would take before he becomes a real Dragonblood Warrior? All my hopes rest on you for now, as well as all of the hopes of the Baruch clan. This is why you can’t treat your life as a joke.”
Linley didn’t dare to speak.
“Take off your clothes. Let me see if you have any injuries.” Hogg suddenly said.
Take his clothes off?
Linley hesitated. Others couldn’t tell with his clothes on, but Linley himself knew very well how terrifying the sight of all the crisscrossing scars on his body was.
Hogg frowned. “Take them off.”
After hesitating another moment, in the end, Linley still undressed, taking off his shirt and baring his upper body. Upon his robust chest, there were countless scars, and even several wounds that appeared to be fatal wounds!
Seeing the terrifying scars on Linley’s body, Hogg could feel his own heart quivering.
Hogg reached out towards Linley’s chest with a quivering hand. Seeing those near-fatal wounds on Linley’s chest, Hogg couldn’t help but feel his heart turn sour. How much pain had his son had to endure, how many near-death experiences had his son experience? Hogg didn’t even want to think about it.
“Father, look, I’m fine.” Linley immediately said comfortingly.
Hogg stared at the pile of magicite cores, which represented a huge sum of money, then turned to look once more at the terrifying scars on Linley’s body. Hogg’s entire body began to quiver.
He was filled with hate!
Hate for himself for being useless, for being incapable!
Taking a deep breath, Hogg finally fell silent, staring at the sky. In the end, he finally said in a low voice, “Linley, you’ve spent an entire day on the road. You must be tired. Go get some rest.”
Linley quietly left, leaving Hogg alone, sitting quietly by himself, in that dining hall lit by candles…
* * *
Book 4, Chapter 3
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Book 4, The Dragonblood Warrior – Chapter 3, Hogg
The next morning, while seated at the dining table in their dining hall, Linley was astonished to see his father looking radiant, with energy levels seemingly like Linley had never seen.
Putting down his knife and fork, Hogg smiled as he looked at Linley. “Linley, this time you should stay at home a bit longer. It’s been quite some time since I have seen you. The two of us, father and son, need to spend some quality time together.”
His father was asking him to stay at home longer?
Linley was a bit astonished. After all, in all these years, his father had never said these type of words to him. Originally, Linley was planning to go back to Fenlai City to stroll about and maybe visit Alice. But upon hearing these, he put all thoughts of visiting her aside.
“Okay, father.” Linley happily nodded.
Hogg nodded with pleasure, but in Hogg’s eyes, there seemed to be an hint of something indecipherable.
This time, Linley stayed for ten full days in Wushan township. Even when the start date for the next semester at the Ernst Institute arrived, he still didn’t go back, and Hogg didn’t rush him either.
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