Chapter 3: If I were to become an expert
Before following Jiang Xiaorou, Yi Yun never expected that “home” would look like this. When Yi Yun originally saw the sword bearer riding that huge beast, he guessed that this world was one filled with flying martial arts experts, with elites from all sorts of large clans.
Having tunneled through mysteriously, if he could be involved in a huge clan or sect, he could even learn martial arts one day. Even if he lacked talent, he would still be able to survive without worry.
But, seeing the ramshackled house in front of him, Yi Yun nearly collapsed.
In the past, Yi Yun had gone to rural villages, the houses he saw there were many times better than the house in front of him now.
This spartan house was made of mud and rocks. Besides a table, two stools, two old beds and a stove, there was nothing else.
Jiang Xiaorou piggybacked Yi Yun into the house. Yi Yun was not accustomed to being piggybacked by a young girl. He had struggled to get down a few times, but his body was just too weak. Just a couple of steps tired him out and then Jiang Xiaorou had to piggyback him again.
Yi Yun felt embarrassed that a man like him had to be given a piggyback by such a young girl.
“Yun’er, you must be hungry…” Jiang Xiaorou said as she placed Yi Yun on one of the wooden beds. Although she was sweating profusely, her face was energetic. She was naturally happy that her younger brother had come back from the dead.
Yi Yun looked at Jiang Xiaorou’s sweaty clothes. Although his body was thin and light, the journey had been at least three or four miles. Jiang Xiaorou, who was about fifteen years old, had to piggyback him sporadically and she did not have it easy.
If it had been a fifteen-year-old girl from Earth, simply walking empty-handed for three to five miles would have tired her out completely, not to mention giving someone a piggyback ride.
“Yea… A… A bit.” Yi Yun moved his parched lips. These were the first words that came out of his mouth ever since he had been transported to this world. He originally thought that using a language that wasn’t his would be difficult, if not impossible. But surprisingly, it was just as easy as using his native language.
“I’ll prepare the meal,” Jiang Xiaorou said with a smile. She delicately wiped the mud from Yi Yun’s face before pulling over a pillow for Yi Yun to rest against and covered him with a thin blanket. She covered Yi Yun in a deft and gentle manner, leaving Yi Yun in a trance.
This girl was clearly not his sister, but due to her giving him a piggyback as well as the meticulous care she gave him, he slowly began to develop tender feelings for her.
Yi Yun wanted to help Jiang Xiaorou light the fire for the stove, but she insisted that he stayed in bed.
“You’ve just recovered from a serious illness, take care to not catch a cold. Lie down here, Sis will be back soon.” Jiang Xiaorou said as she lifted a nearly empty bag of grain.
Fifteen minutes later, Jiang Xiaorou placed the broken wooden table in front of the bed. On the table was a big bowl of rice porridge, two unknown wild fruits and a bowl of boiled wild vegetables.
Yi Yun had been starving for days so his stomach started rumbling the moment he saw the food.
Yi Yun was craving for pork or some roasted chicken, or duck and fish. Just the thought of it churned Yi Yun’s stomach.
How can I satiate my extreme hunger with this?
He wolfed down a large mouthful of porridge. His empty stomach reacted by making him even hungrier.
He ate a few mouths of porridge and some of the boiled oil-less vegetables. The vegetables were so bitter that he even had trouble swallowing more of the food despite his extreme hunger.
As Yi Yun had trouble swallowing such an unpalatable meal, he noticed that Xiaorou was looking at him without eating; he curiously asked, “Why aren’t you eating?”
“I ate just before I found you,” Jiang Xiaorou stammered as she turned white.
Yi Yun paused; he recalled that Jiang Xiaorou was at the graveyard at around three in the afternoon, how could she have eaten by then?
It suddenly dawned on him that even food like this was probably not easily obtainable.
What sort of world is this, with strong experts riding wild beasts, yet there were poor people that starved?
Yi Yun pushed the bowl of porridge forward and stood up to go check the grain bag in the corner of the house. As expected, the grain bag was already empty.
Yi Yun realized that the porridge Xiaorou usually prepared was even smaller in quantity. Because of his resurrection, Xiaorou had purposely cooked more porridge for a weakened him to “nurse him up”.
“I’m full. You have some,” Yi Yun said as he pushed the bowl to Jiang Xiaorou. On one hand, he had lost his appetite, while on the other hand; he couldn’t accept that a girl had to abstain from eating just to feed him.
He lamented in his heart if it was still possible to return to his world from this alternate world. If he really couldn’t, he wanted to find an opportunity to train and become a soaring expert.
But from the looks of it, survival was an issue. He might even starve to death before he researched anything.
“I’m not hungry,” Jiang Xiaorou stubbornly said. “Tomorrow is the day that they hand out rations, we can get a piece of meat then. I’ll prepare it for you.”
Jiang Xiaorou’s face blushed the moment she mentioned the handing out of rations. It was clear that she highly anticipated it.
Yi Yun stayed silent. On Earth, he felt that life was tough. But compared to this alternate world, that sort of life was incomparable. With insufficient food and the constant danger of starvation, life was really tough. It was really torturous to endure hunger.
In the middle of the night, a night breeze slowly blew as frogs hidden within the pond grass croaked. Yi Yun was still awake. He leaned on the bed, immersed in moonlight. He tossed and turned while holding the mysterious Purple Crystal. It was all because of the Purple Crystal that resulted in him climbing out of the collapsed mountain body. This small crystal card was unquestionably a treasure. If he studied it, it could potentially be beneficial in some way.
This alternate world was filled with dangers for normal people. But in recollection, the middle-aged man riding the huge beast in the wilderness had a commanding aura. Compared to the suffering people folk, the differences were like Heaven and Earth.
“If I were to become an expert, I could be free. At the very least, I wouldn’t starve…”
Yi Yun touched his stomach as he recalled how he eventually managed to give some of his dinner to Jiang Xiaorou. As he was still a growing child, the porridge had long since been digested, he was already hungry again.
As he felt the emptiness of his stomach, the smooth and cold Purple Crystal in his hand started to spread a faint coolness, as if…
Yi Yun suddenly noticed something. He bolted up from bed as he stared at the Purple Crystal. An ecstatic smile crept upon his face.
Upon careful examination, Yi Yun noticed that tiny, faint purple dots of light surrounded the Purple Crystal.
These light dots appeared out of nowhere and slowly floated into the Purple Crystal before they disappeared, as if the Purple Crystal absorbed them. This process carried on indefinitely as the Purple Crystal’s glow became a bit more intense.
What is the meaning of this?
This discovery caused Yi Yun’s breathing to speed up.
As the Purple Crystal’s glow became brighter, Yi Yun felt the Purple Crystal turn colder. This unique coolness traversed up both his arms, into all his limbs, as if the miraculous light cleansed his body. It absolutely refreshed him.
Yi Yun remembered this feeling. While he was digging his way out of the cave, he felt this coolness whenever he was out of breath. It rejuvenated him with strength whenever his body was failing him.
Yi Yun knew that, for a person to live and to move, it was due to energy that was provided to the body, allowing it to renew itself.
Without eating, there would be no nutrition. Naturally there would not be energy either, and will in the end result in starvation.
Completing such a long tunnel without eating or drinking for days, with intense labor conditions requires an energy source. This coolness must be the Purple Crystal providing him with life-giving energy.
Thinking carefully, when he originally discovered the Purple Crystal in the cave, the Purple Crystal was emitting a faint glow like a night pearl.
However after tunnelling into this strange world, the Purple Crystal’s glow had weakened. This could have been a result of energy depletion.
But now, the Purple Crystal’s glow was beginning to recharge and grow stronger. What could be the energy source that was recharging the Purple Crystal?
Yi Yun carefully observed and realized that these vague tiny dots formed a surface leading out the window. It seemed like it… came from starlight.
Starlight was the energy source recharging the Purple Crystal?
Yi Yun thought for a while and jumped out of bed. He went to the stove and dug out some burning coal. He lit a handful of grass and watched as the yellow flames danced.
Yi Yun carefully placed the Purple Crystal in the burning fire.
Yi Yun’s theory was simple, if the Purple Crystal could absorb the energy from starlight, it could perhaps absorb the energy from its surroundings?
Fire, which is a form of energy in Yi Yun’s understanding was likely stronger than starlight. If the Purple Crystal absorbed the energy in the flames, it could be faster?
Yi Yun did not once consider the possibility that the flames could destroy the Purple Crystal.
But, no matter how much Yi Yun burned the Purple Crystal, the Purple Crystal showed no change, nor could he feel the Purple Crystal gain any heat.
The Purple Crystal was like a block of ice which couldn’t melt. It was cold to the touch even after the coal fire died down.
Yi Yun shook his head as he abandoned the experiment.
He decided to venture outside the house. The starlight outside would be denser and could provide the Purple Crystal with more energy.
If the Purple Crystal was filled to the brim with energy, what sort of changes could it bring?
Yi Yun eagerly anticipated the thought!
Yi Yun opened the house door and the courtyard door before carefully closing them behind him. He was afraid to wake the sister up in the adjacent room. But when Yi Yun walked into the courtyard, he was slightly startled.
He saw a girl in green, sitting under a tree not far from him. She was carefully polishing an arrowhead.
The cold arrowhead reflected the chilly moonlight onto the girl’s delicate face, as if veiling her in a layer of silver yarn. By the girl’s side flew dozens of fireflies, as if they were surrounding a goddess.
Yi Yun saw a shiny stack of arrows by Jiang Xiaorou’s side. Each arrow was well manufactured with a sharp arrowhead.
Although Yi Yun didn’t know anything about weapons, he could appreciate the elegance of these arrows.
“Yun’er, why did you get up? It’s very moist at night and your body just recovered. Go back to bed quickly,” Jiang Xiaorou immediately stood up with the intention of sending Yi Yun back into the house.
“Sis, why are there so many arrows?” a curious Yi Yun asked. Jiang Xiaorou didn’t seem like she could string a bow.
“This is for the exchange of tomorrow’s rations. It has always been this way…”
Jiang Xiaorou looked at Yi Yun weirdly.
“Oh…” Yi Yun was obviously unaware of this. Mysteriously, he had tunneled into this world, he understood the words and language, but he did not have a single clue about the life of “Yi Yun”. All of his memories were his own.
It resembled people who suffered amnesia after a head injury. Although an amnesiac would lose his memory about events, he would not lose his language skills.
Yi Yun had long thought of a perfect excuse, explaining, “Sis, I died once, so there are some things I can’t remember…”
“You can’t remember?” a startled Jiang Xiaorou asked. Yi Yun had fallen down from a mountain wall while picking herbs and broke his bones. He had then laid bedridden for a while before he succumbed to his injuries. He might have hurt his head back then.
Thinking of that, Jiang Xiaorou’s heart ached and worried. “Yun’er, you…”
“I’m fine,” Yi Yun quickly stopped Jiang Xiaorou. He wanted to stop her worries. “Sis, tell me about this world, and about the middle-aged man who rode that huge beast. What’s happening, there are so many things I do not remember…”