Chapter 257: That Geezer Robber
Translated by Rara of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Blocking in the middle of the path was a strange old man wearing a simple ash grey linen clothes, his hair was somewhat messy and even though it wasn’t that unsightly to see, but no sign of neatness was found. At the moment, he was squatting on a rock and obstructing people from passing. There were a few who tried to force their way in, but for some reason, they were pushed back by an invisible force.
Apparently everyone was in a rush to get to class, therefore, in front of this geezer, their expression was nowhere near happy and foul words kept spitting out of their mouths. On top of that, they didn’t worry that the old guy was some big shot inside the academy, because how could some big shot wear such raggedy clothes and have such a sloppy appearance.
Seeing that class was about to start at anytime, yet this old geezer still refused to leave, people were in such a rush that they started running around in circles. Ultimately, someone decided to came forward. It was a youth with a fair amount of courage, he stood in front of the old man and carefully asked, “Hey old man, we want to go to class, so can you sir let us pass?”
The old man then crossed his leg over the other, and plainly shook his head, “Cannot!”
The youth had to forcibly suppress his anger, “Then what do you want in return so that we can pass here?”
The old geezer raised one finger and very aggressively announced, “The passing toll is one point per person, if you don’t pay up, you cannot pass.” The old man was full of ‘I open this road’ attitude.
Hearing that, people couldn’t control their anger, they had walked this path numerous times before and had yet to encounter such a situation, until this present moment. This was clearly a robbery, and everyone couldn’t comply.
That youth’s expression turned cold as he threatened, “Hey old man, the very reason I can tolerate you is because I respect you as our elder, however, don’t try to push the limit here. Until now, the academy has not said a single word about a toll for passing here, so stop making trouble for everyone without a proper reason. Be careful, or we might inform you to the daoshi and let’s see whether you would be kicked out of this academy.”
“Then let’s start this new rule today, by the way, it will still be useless even if you inform this to the vice dean.” That threat seemed to cause no fear toward the old man. In fact, he looked as calm and leisurely as he could get.
The youth, after hearing the geezer’s words, his hot head was immediately chilled. The first thing came out of this geezer’s mouth had to be the vice dean, perhap he was familiar with the vice dean?
Thinking back and forth, the youth finally came to the conclusion that this old man might know one of the heads of the academy. Judging by his attitude, if they didn’t pay, he wouldn’t let them pass. Well, that geezer didn’t ask for that much points anyway, and the youth certainly didn’t want to stick out like a sore thumb, be late for class or get into trouble, so he straightforwardly paid that one point.
The old man was true to his words, after the youth had paid the point, he really let him pass. Seeing this scene, people hesitated a little, thinking that maybe they should resign to their fate and pay the toll. Their ideas were the same as that youth. There was no need to to offend an old man with an unknown background just for a single point, who knows if he was one of the higher ups. And so, almost everyone compromised and didn’t complain further, as they obediently paid the toll.
You XiaoMo came right on time and saw this whole scene from the beginning. This was the first time he saw such odd old man collecting a passing fee.
However, his opinions were roughly the same as everyone. This old man was blocking the way here and yet no one came over to check, everyone could see that this geezer must have a background attached to his back, or that he had a supporter inside the academy. Since You XiaoMo didn’t want to make a ruckus, he chose to hide among the crowd and silently oversee the progress. Through his point of view, people would definitely compromise in the end, and his expectation did not fail, since not very long after, that youth became the first one to pay the point.
And if there was a first, there was bound to be a second, everyone almost unconsciously lined up and since there weren’t many people here, it was soon You XiaoMo’s turn.
You XiaoMo took out his black card, and when he was about to pay the toll, that old man who had been silent until now suddenly stared at You XiaoMo, and talked using a ‘you cannot refuse’ tone, “You, you have to pay me ten points.”
As those word came out, the others looked at You XiaoMo sympathetically. Since the beginning, they had already felt that this geezer came here specifically just to pester people endlessly. Knowing that You XiaoMo wouldn’t be able to get away and so the people standing behind You XiaoMo, even though it wasn’t their turn yet, their expression was already filled with anxiety, fearing that they would also have to pay ten points.
You XiaoMo paused, raised his head and looked straight at the old man, he nearly thought he was having an hallucination. He quickly questioned, “Sir, what did you just say?”
Without delay, the old man revealed an impatient look, but weirdly enough, he didn’t lose his temper at all. In contrast, he seemed to whisper something and then said, “You have to pay me ten points.”
“Why?” You XiaoMo calmly asked. Why was it that by his turn, it had changed to ten points while the others only needed to pay one point? Was this behavior any different than robbery?
“Why do you ask so much? I demand you to pay, you pay. If you don’t, go somewhere else.” The old man clearly didn’t want to explain, perhaps, he was pulling this shenanigan on purpose. After all, his attitude was so certain as if You XiaoMo would definitely pay.
“But, why is that the people before me only needed to pay one, while I have to pay ten?” You XiaoMo couldn’t figure it out.
“Then blame it on your bad luck, this old man has changed his mind and wanted to increase the toll, therefore, don’t waste my time.” The old man’s logic was undoubtedly on the top level to be able to say something so nonsensical so boldly as if it was his right.
“You are also wasting my time by blocking the way.” You XiaoMo was not happy.
In reality, this was not the main reason for him being upset. If he had a few hundreds points in hand, he might really have gave in and payed it, because in his past life, he had seen a bunch of people just like this geezer. But the problem was that, right now, it was impossible for him to give such an amount, since he had used up all the points BaiLi XiaoYu had given him after he had sold all the magic pills a few days ago, mostly on the rent fee. The reason was that he didn’t want to find Elder Gong every time to renew his lease, so he went and rented for half a month, resulting in only six points being left on his black card. That was why even if he was willing to pay the ten points, he was not able to.
Moreover, he felt that the old man was too overbearing, his presence here and collecting a toll was totally uncalled for, let alone nonsensical.
You really are certain that I would definitely pay, right? Then fine, I will never pay for it!
You XiaoMo’s pride finally kicked in, worse comes to worse, I will fight you to death.
No denying that this would make him late for class, or maybe this would turn into a total absence, but he believed, the daoshi of class three would understand if he knew that some annoying troublemaker jumped out of nowhere obstructing him from going to class. Well, if the daoshi refused to acknowledge, then he had nothing to say back.
You XiaoMo’s defiance didn’t save this geezer any face at all, thus making the old geezer’s beard flare up due to anger, he angrily said, “If you can’t pay, get lost!”
You XiaoMo was hard headed enough that there was no way he would admit defeat so easily, so instead of leaving, he found a remote vacant space, took out from his magic bag a piece of fabric and spread it on the ground, then he sat down on it.
If you have that kind of guts to block the path here, then laozi is free to practice here.
t/n: laozi = contempted way to say I, literally translated as your father
Despite the fact no one knew about the Heavenly Soul scripture, You XiaoMo still didn’t dare to casually practice it in front of other. So, after giving it some thought, he took out his Jin Ming cauldron and decided to refine some magic pills to kill time.
All those times he spent inside the pavilion was to refine level five pills, therefore, the level four herbs Tang YuLin had sent over earlier still remained untouched and were stocked up quite a lot. Luckily, right now was just right for him to use them.
On the other side, You XiaoMo’s behavior had infuriated the old geezer.
That fudging brat dared to defy him so frankly and unscrupulously! But then, he also couldn’t think of anything to say back.
Anyway, You XiaoMo now finally could confirm one thing, that old geezer was unmistakably targeting him, because after his turn, the others only needed to give the old geezer one point.
This was the first time You XiaoMo ever refined pills outside, and whenever he refined pills, his focus stayed fixed. And it didn’t take that much time for You XiaoMo to throw that old man out of his mind. Who cared if that geezer was blowing a fuse? His attention was already focused on the cauldron.
Tossing all eight herbs inside the cauldron at the same time, You XiaoMo then divided his soul force into eight parts and began to distill the herbs, as the “puchi puchi” sound came out of the caudron uninterruptedly.
The old man whose head was cloudy with smoke, after seeing his movement, he couldn’t help but surprisingly make a “hey” sound. To be able to distill eight herbs at once without a change in complexion, this was something not many mages could do. Yet, this little mage could, and looking at his movement, seemed that this was not his first time to do so.
Hence, the old man stopped caring about his rage and he squatted down not too far from You XiaoMo and stretched his neck over to observe.
At the same time, You XiaoMo didn’t know his absence from class had left a bad impression on the teacher in charge and on the other students.
A while ago, when they heard that You XiaoMo, whose potential was much higher than Teng ZiXin, would join this class, everyone was excited to see this little genius with their own eyes, even the teacher was expecting it. But they would never think that, even by the time class started, his silhouette was nowhere to be found, and only by then did they finally realize that this little genius had ditched the class.
First day of class, putting the fact he might just be late aside, You XiaoMo actually cut it!
The other students didn’t have the guts to look at the teacher’s expression, because everyone knew, this teacher was famous for being really strict, he couldn’t even tolerate late students, let alone being absence.
And so, even until the class had been dismissed, You XiaoMo’s figure still hadn’t appeared.