I Just Won’t Play by the Book - chapter 40
The tiger was considered the smartest of the feline family, so after Jiang Beiran had a friendly chat with it for roughly ten minutes, the tiger, with its head full of bruises, led Jiang Beiran to a tallow tree.
“Ow.” The tiger with a white forehead and eyes slanting upwards stretched out its paw and pointed to a location that had obviously been dug up and refilled.
“Mhmm. Good performance.” Jiang Beiran stretched out his hand and patted the tiger’s big head.
“Woo…” the tiger with a white forehead and eyes slanting upwards let out a rumble of enjoyment and rubbed its big head hard against Jiang Beiran’s arm.
“Good boy, good boy. Now go to the side,” Jiang Beiran said.
Pushing the tiger with a white forehead and eyes slanting upwards away, Jiang Beiran walked to the location that had been refilled and squatted down, while two options popped up in front of him.
[Option One: Immediately dig. Completion reward: Green Dragon Out of the Water (Yellow Grade High Tier)]
[Option Two: Make all required preparations before digging. Completion reward: Random basic skill point +1]
Jiang Beiran really hadn’t expected there to be a trap worthy of the system’s pop-up options waiting for him in this pit. After all, the other party was only Level Two of the Qi Refining Period.
‘One really mustn’t underestimate any cultivator. Who knows what strange and big treasure he might suddenly pull out and smash you in the face with.’
Lamenting in his heart, Jiang Beiran took out a piece of Veil of Black Fern with very strong anti-toxicity properties from the storage ring and wore it on his face. He then took out a bottle of Blue Python Juice and poured a little into the soil.
After waiting for about five minutes and putting on the Silk Gloves, Jiang Beiran planned to dig up a bit of soil. It was then that he saw a black and gold centipede as thick as a finger burrowing out of the soil as if it was fleeing for its life.
‘Black Meteor Centipede!?’
Although Jiang Beiran had did not expected to see this thing here, his actions did not slow by the slightest. With a single grab and release, he had dropped the foot-long Black Meteor Centipede into the gourd.
“Nice. It didn’t expect to have a windfall.” Jiang Beiran shook the gourd and smiled.
As far as Jiang Beiran knew, the Black Meteor Centipede was a signature poisonous animal of the Temple of Asura, but generally, only the higher-ups possessed it.
This centipede was extremely toxic. If one was accidentally bitten by it, cultivators below Mystic Spirit level would die on the spot if the injury was serious, or die later if the injury was minor. Meanwhile, cultivators above Mystic Spirit level would not have a good time either if they were bitten.
‘As a mere human trafficker, how could he afford to use such an exotic animal to guard his treasure? It seems that what he said that day about getting the book from tomb raiding was really a lie. It’s good that I didn’t trust him blindly.’
Hanging the gourd at his waist, Jiang Beiran began to dig after he was sure that there should only be this one Black Meteor Centipede around. He soon felt a hard object.
‘There it is.’
The corners of Jiang Beiran’s mouth curled up slightly and he completely peeled away the soil covering it and took out an orange box from inside.
[Chosen Quest completed. Reward: Go Playing +1]
Seeing the system prompt, Jiang Beiran knew that the alarm had been completely lifted.
Dusting off the soil that covered the box, Jiang Beiran looked at the brass lock on it and didn’t know whether to cry or laugh.
‘Dumb*ss motherf*cker… Getting one’s hands on this box meant that one has managed to deal with even the Black Meteor Centipede. Why would this small brass lock pose any difficulty?’
Shaking his head, Jiang Beiran casually inserted a wire into the eye of the lock and moved it around for a bit, then with a “click” sound, the lock opened.
Removing the lock and putting it aside, Jiang Beiran slowly opened the box.
‘D*mn… Is it so profitable to be a minor member for a demonic cult now?’ Jiang Beiran couldn’t help but think to himself as he looked at the three Low Tier Metal Spirit Stones and book of formations in the box.
He had thought that the Low Tier Metal Spirit Stones he had collected last time were already all that the young leader had, but to his surprise, it was only a quarter of it.
‘No wonder more and more young people are now willing to join demonic cults. This is too profitable,’ Jiang Beiran lamented while putting the three Low Tier Metal Spirit Stones into his storage ring. He then picked up the book of formations with [Water Heart Pavilion of Mechanics] written on the cover and flipped it open to take a look. Just this glance raised Jiang Beiran’s interest.
‘Hmm… sixteen earthly branches. It is a formation in the one thousand and eighty combinations. The way it’s written is all over the place. I have to go back and use the simulation to figure this out.’
As he flipped the book to the page in the middle, Jiang Beiran already knew that his trip was not in vain. He would be able to learn a little bit of something new again.
‘It seems that this book of formations and that Black Meteor Centipede have both been given to him by the Temple of Asura. But as an outer disciple, how could he enjoy so many good things? Is the Temple of the Asura that rich?’
For a while, many thoughts popped up in Jiang Beiran’s head. For example, the young leader might be the illegitimate son of some high-ranking person. Or it was also possible that he had stolen all these things from the Temple of the Asura.
‘But it has nothing to do with me after all.’
Ending these groundless speculations, Jiang Beiran stuffed the Water Heart Pavilion of Mechanics book into the storage ring. He then got up and looked at the tiger who had been sitting obediently next to him and smiled, saying, “Do you think I should kill you to silence you?”
The hair of the tiger with a white forehead and eyes slanting upward all stood on end once more as it listened. It hurriedly knelt down and flattened itself against the ground. Its body could not help but shiver.
“A-woo… A-woo… A-woo…”
Regardless of whether or not Jiang Beiran could understand, the tiger with a white forehead and eyes slanting upward kept expressing that it was just an ordinary little tiger and would not be any threat to him.
After another pitiful roar, the tiger with a white forehead and eyes slanting upward carefully lifted its eyes and found that Jiang Beiran, who had been standing in front of it, had disappeared at some point…
The next morning, Jiang Beiran got up early and made himself a bowl of lotus seed soup for breakfast. He left the house feeling refreshed.
Yesterday, he had spent the night learning the formations in the Water Heart Pavilion of Mechanics. He had learned a lot of the way of Qimen Dunjia, so his skill regarding the formations became more and more solid.
Turning onto several paths in a familiar manner, Jiang Beiran arrived at the Pavilion of Blue Heart.
Because it was still early, no disciples were playing Go there at the moment.
Walking to the innermost room, Jiang Beiran joined his hands together in a salute and shouted at the door, “Etiquette Protector Cheng, I’m back.”
As soon as Jiang Beiran’s voice fell, the door opened with a bang. A hand reached out from inside and grabbed Jiang Beiran, pulling him in.
“Come, come, hurry up and sit down. I haven’t played against you for two days. My hands are itching.”
An old man with a long beard and white hair spoke while pressing Jiang Beiran into the seat on the opposite side of the table.
Jiang Beiran didn’t want to spoil the mood of the Etiquette Protector, so he nodded and said, “Then I will take the white pieces and go first. Please be merciful, Etiquette Protector.”
“No, no. I’ll take white this game,” Etiquette Protector Cheng said as he knocked away Jiang Beiran’s hand that had been reaching for the white stone set and took it to his side.
Jiang Beiran was momentarily stunned. As the saying goes, to play white is to be respectful. By taking the initiative to take the white pieces first, he was saying, “I am less skilled than you are in Go, so I should take the white pieces and take the first turn.”
But he hadn’t expected that the Etiquette Protector would disregard these norms and etiquette today and forcefully grab the white pieces.
“It seems that the Etiquette Protector has gained a new understanding.”
Jiang Beiran smiled slightly, took the black stone set, and put it by his hand. He then looked at the board with full concentration, waiting for Etiquette Protector Cheng to play the first piece.