Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Xie Sen felt that the timing and location of the unusual forest was too coincidental, but it didn’t matter if it was coincidental or not, whether it had anything to do with the red energy or not, he had to go there. He asked Maine, “When are you going to go? I’ll go with you.”
Maine frowned, and refused outright. “No. The further into the forest, the more dangerous it is. You can’t go.” He paused and added, like a child, “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
Xie Sen spread his hands. “I have to go. Either with you, or by myself.” He pointed to his right shoulder. “What I said I was looking for before, it sensed it, and it’s in the danger zone in the eastern part of the forest.”
Maine’s brow knitted slightly. “Something to do with this disturbance?”
“I don’t know,” Xie Sen said as he walked towards the kitchen. “I’ll make dinner and talk to you later.”
Maine followed him into the kitchen. “I’ll help you.”
Xie Sen smiled. He knew that he was fine, so he didn’t stop him. When he thought about going to the forest, he was a bit worried. “It’s still 600 or 700 kilometers out of the city. Is there a way to get to the danger zone quickly?”
“You can rent a flying machine to get from the sky to the destination, then you climb the traction ladder to land on the ground. It’s the fastest way, but there will be danger.”
Xie Sen thought that sounded quite reasonable, “Is it quite demanding on personal fitness? Aren’t you afraid of falling down halfway from losing strength?”
Maine’s hand movements paused slightly, and he wanted to laugh. “If you can’t do that, then going to the forest is basically sending yourself to your death. The danger I’m talking about is the possibility of being attacked at any time during the descent. Not only by birds, but also all kinds of huge beasts, such as pythons. In addition to the dangers during the descent, there’s no guarantee of safety after descending due to the unknown dangers below the direct landing zone.”
Xie Sen listened with trepidation, but thought of what Adam had said. He had the aura of nature on him. If he didn’t actively attack animals, they wouldn’t attack him, so he was reassured again.
“Is there any other good way?”
Maine said, “Apart from this, the only way is to rent flying contract animals. But to ensure safety, each contract animal will only take the owner and one guest, and the speed is one tenth of the flying machine.”
Xie Sen thought about flying on the back of a bird without cover, and was already busy shaking his head. Watching it on TV felt very cool, but in fact the airflow generated by the flight process would definitely kill people. Also if he didn’t have a firm grip, and accidentally got blown off that would be really bad.
“Let’s rent a flying machine. Is it expensive?” he asked.
“It’s not expensive. 50,000 a day, so 100,000 for our round trip will be enough,” Maine said. “In addition to transportation, we have to prepare medicine, food and some tools. Also we can’t leave for a few days.”
Xie Sen counted the time. “There are still seven days until your birthday. Why don’t we go after your birthday?”
He could also take advantage of those days to collect energy so that once they were in the forest, they’d have the ability to protect themselves.
Maine pondered for a moment. “That’s fine.”
After he ate, Xie Sen contacted Sun Mao, and asked to work overtime tomorrow so that he could transfer his shift the next week.
Maine sat on the sofa with the coffee table full of various small parts, as he assembled them intently.
Xie Sen didn’t bother him, just went back to the bedroom and opened the System. He thought about it, and exchanged for a meter of watermelon vine.
He needed to understand the characteristics of the watermelon vine, as well as the availability and combat power so that in real combat he could respond quickly. He summoned the watermelon vine, and a meter-long dark green vine appeared straight across his view. In the middle hung a large, round watermelon.
Xie Sen’s eyes glowed and he swallowed silently. He recalled the System’s hint that the key word for watermelon vine was ‘toughness,’ so he gave the command to form a circle. The watermelon vine immediately turned from a straight line in front of him to a circle with its head and tail connected.
He then gave various commands such as coiling into an s-shape, and tying fancy knots. The watermelon vine started very slowly with tying complicated knots, but after a few practice sessions, it became very fast.
Xie Sen smiled with satisfaction, and turned his attention to the water glass on the bedside table. “Tie the water glass and lift it up.”
The watermelon vine flew to the nightstand, and with a ‘bang,’ the watermelon that hung from the vine hit the cabinet door. The round watermelon cracked in the middle, and revealed the red flesh of the fruit.
The watermelon vine didn’t notice anything wrong, and meticulously completed Xie Sen’s instructions, as it tied the water cup and shook it in front of Xie Sen, while it bled watermelon juice on the ground.
Xie Sen suddenly felt the flesh pain, and rushed to hold the watermelon, but before he could move, the watermelon came off the vine and fell into his hands.
Xie Sen knocked the watermelon with his finger to make sure it was as brittle as the ones that grew in the ground. The only offense it had was probably to hit people. As for the melon vine, he had a lot of ideas in his head, but there were requirements for length, and he didn’t have much energy left at the moment, so he wasn’t going to try it for now.
He carefully pondered, and couldn’t help but smile. The vine’s toughness was extremely good, and as long as sharp weapons didn’t cut it, there was almost no loss. He could use the chili peppers as weapons to save energy.
And one energy for a watermelon was really great!
He recalled the melon vine, and joyfully took the watermelon out. He divided the melon into two halves, put half in the refrigerator, then cut the other half in two, so he and Maine each had one half.
“Take a break and eat something delicious.” Xie Sen handed the watermelon to Maine.
Maine washed his hands, then took it, looked at it for a moment and asked, “What is this?”
“Watermelon. Eat the red part in the middle, and spit out the black seeds.” Xie Sen finished, and took a big bite. The sweet watermelon juice filled his mouth, and a light sweet smell ran through his nose. Xie Sen was so moved that he wanted to cry. He hadn’t eaten watermelon since before the apocalypse.
He couldn’t care less about talking. He munched and finished a quarter of the melon in one gulp, then sank down on the couch and rubbed his stomach. “I’m satisfied!”
He looked at Maine, who was eating a little slower than he was, but still eating.
Xie Sen looked at the 2 energy prompt in front of him, and couldn’t help but be surprised. Every morning for the past few days, Maine had given him back 3 energy, and today with this 2 energy, Maine had given him back 5 energy in one day.
Maine followed Xie Sen’s method of eating, and left the green melon rind behind and finished the flesh, then he looked at Xie Sen with glowing eyes. “Very tasty!”
Xie Sen didn’t doubt his evaluation since he gave him 2 energy for that! Enough to exchange for two more watermelons.
Xie Sen laughed, “There’s still half left. We’ll eat it tomorrow.”
Maine asked, “This…Is this also fruit that your contract beast grows?”
Xie Sen nodded. “Yes.”
Maine looked at the melon rind on the table, picked it up and smelled it. “It still smells good. Can’t you eat this one?” He said, and took a bite. It felt crispy and fragrant. “It tastes very good.”
Xie Sen slapped his head. This is the time he actually said not to eat melon rind. Melon rind here was also a good thing, ah! He had heard of a cold melon rind dessert, but had never eaten or made it, but this was a good indication that melon rind was edible. 1
He gathered up his leftover melon rind. “I’m so full now. I’ll take care of it tomorrow and see how we can eat it.”
Maine handed him the melon rind in his hand. “I’m full too.”
“Chirp.” Tuan Tuan flew in through the window, and straight towards Maine then pecked at his wrist. Maine’s hand pulled back. He pecked at the melon rind, pulled out his beak and gave a happy, “chirp!”
Then, its neck was like a motor as it pecked frantically at the skin of the melon.
Maine withdrew his hand, and looked at it with an unpleasant expression. “This is not for you to eat.”
“Chirp.” Tuan Tuan stared at the melon rind. It flew over to try to eat it, but Maine dodged him again.
Xie Sen was a little embarrassed. If someone had told him one day that melon rind would be so popular, he wouldn’t have believed it. He took the melon rind from Maine’s hand, and put it on the corner of the coffee table. “You can only eat this much. Don’t steal it.”
Tuan Tuan nodded, and flew to the corner of the coffee table to eat the snack that was so delicious to him.
Xie Sen took the rest of the melon rind to the kitchen, scraped off the layer he had eaten with a knife, washed the rest and put it in a bowl in the fridge.
When he returned to the living room, Maine had already wiped down the coffee table, and was packing up his parts.
“What are you making?” Xie Sen asked.
“An unmanned probe.”
“Is it similar to the detector on Yu Chu Island?” Xie Sen wondered.
Maine nodded. “I improved it. It has a longer detection distance, and uses a counter-detection and camouflage system, so it’s not easily detected.”
Xie Sen didn’t know much about electronic products, so it sounded very impressive and he didn’t hide his reaction.
The corners of Maine’s mouth curved up slightly.
The next day, Xie Sen added some watermelon rind to the broth in the morning, and found that it was unexpectedly delicious. The fishy taste of the meat was gone, and there was a light fragrance from the melon rind in the soup.
He ate his fill, and went to Gold Medal to work overtime. After he finished punching his card, Sun Mao came over with a teasing face. “There are a bunch of gifts for you at the gatekeeper’s office again.”
Xie Sen was helpless. These days, the number of people who were offering their attention was gradually increasing. He thought that people sending gifts to look for him was disturbing.
Sun Mao took a step closer, and whispered, “I heard a rumor that you are a plant beast master. Is it true?”
Xie Sen looked at him, and didn’t answer. Sun Mao laughed. “No wonder there are suddenly so many suitors, and no wonder your affinity for animals is so high.” His eyes glowed. “Can you sell me a red chili pepper?”
“No.” Xie Sen refused. He had to save energy for the forest.
Sun Mao sighed. “Do you want to save all those fruits as a dowry?”
The corners of Xie Sen’s mouth twitched. “What the hell?”
“Just like the resource type contract beast, ah. From a young age, the contract beast’s output is saved, and then used as a dowry,” he said with a curious glint in his eyes. Then he leaned close to whisper, “I wonder if Manager Yang used to do the same thing?”
“Manager Yang?” Xie Sen couldn’t help but ask, “What’s his contract beast?”
“Long-haired sheep, ah. Its fur is used to make clothes, and it’s expensive and popular. Manager Yang’s partner is so lucky.” Sun Mao sighed. Then he added, “Of course, your boyfriend is even luckier. You have the red chili pepper, an extinct plant that not even the Institute has! No wonder they are pursuing you. Getting married to you is the equivalent to marrying a treasure, ah! Or you giving birth to a bunch of babies is the pot of gold.”
Xie Sen had black lines on his face. “I’m a male. What the hell?!”
“What are males afraid of? I heard that both male and female beast masters of the plant line can produce offspring. It’s really great.”
“No, I’m not. I’m the kind of male who can’t breed offspring!” Xie Sen finished in a firm tone, and decided not to listen to Sun Mao’s nonsense. Who knew what kind of explosive topic would come up next.
After work, he contacted Bai Jiao on his way back to his apartment. He wanted to buy medicine, antidote pills and the stuff he had applied to his body to prevent insects.
After Bai Jiao listened, he asked, “You’re going to the deserted forest?”
Xie Sen didn’t hide it. “Yes.”
Bai Jiao said, “What a coincidence, I’m also going to go. In the past two days there have been more and more reports about the deep forest abnormalities. This afternoon someone came out safely, and brought out a fruit. According to the Plant Research Institute, it is the extinct medicinal herb, wolfberry. I’m very interested.” Bai Jiao asked, “Why don’t we go together?”
Xie Sen hesitated for a moment. “It’s better to have someone who knows about medicine along, but I’m going with Maine, and can’t make the decision alone, so I’ll ask him later.”
“It’s okay,” Bai Jiao smiled. “I’ll send you the medicine you want. As for the price, I’d rather get a red chili pepper. I’ve checked the relevant literature, and it has medicinal value.”
Xie Sen calculated. “Your medicines add up to at least several thousand. If you don’t mind, I’ll mail it to you.”
“Thanks.” Bai Jiao sounded excited.
When Xie Sen returned to his apartment, he saw two people fighting. Long Teng and Maine, while Xu Da was standing not far away. He waved at him when he saw him.
Xie Sen walked over, and Xu Da said, “Teng went to special training for a few days. I thought he had improved fast enough, but I didn’t expect Maine to be as good as he is. As an A class contract beast master, it’s really surprising.”
Xie Sen smiled since he didn’t want Xu Da to doubt Maine’s identity, and praised, “He’s been working very hard.”
Xu Da laughed, “It’s good that young people know how to get ahead. They are both so close to finding a contract beast, and after the bonding, they can still improve a lot.” When he spoke of that, he sighed. “Alas, I only recently watched the news a few days ago. I’ve been studying potatoes and peppers these days, and didn’t pay attention to the news.” He patted Xie Sen’s shoulder. “If you guys have trouble with money in the future, talk to me.”
Xie Sen politely thanked him for his kind words.
It took another twenty minutes for Maine and Long Teng to stop fighting, and they were tied. Long Teng smiled, showed his bright white teeth and took Maine’s shoulder. “You’re good. How do you train?”
Maine slapped his hand down, but he put it up again with a curious look on his face.
Xie Sen answered his question with a calm voice, “Maine trains through hunting.”
Long Teng cocked his head, and looked at Maine in a daze. “No wonder you’re so good at beast hunting.” He popped up in front of Xu Da. “Grandpa, I’m going hunting too.” After he finished, he spoke very fast and added, “By the way! Didn’t you say you wanted me to go deep into the forest to look for flying dragons? I can fight my way there!” He waved his arm as he said that.
Xu Da slapped him on the back of the head. “Do you know how many kilometers it is from the edge to the middle of the deserted forest? You’ll be lucky to survive for a day.”
Long Teng covered the back of his head. “Grandpa, I’m very good!”
“Ignorance is a good thing,” Xu Da spat nonchalantly.
“Grandpa,” Long Teng said, disgruntled. “I get it.”
Xu Da ignored him, and quickly followed Xie Sen into Maine’s apartment, then sat on the couch and looked at Xie Sen, who asked, “Grandfather, is something wrong?”
Xu Da smiled and said, “What did you guys cook this morning? I can smell it. Can you sell me some?”
Xie Sen lost his smile. What kind of nose was this?
He was thinking about how to fool them when he heard “chirp.” Tuan Tuan flew to the coffee table in front of him. Its paws still clutched a nail-sized piece of melon rind. It threw the melon rind on the coffee table, lowered his head to gulp it into his stomach, and then spread his wings, and gave a low, “chirp.”
The corners of Xie Sen’s mouth twitched. What does this mean? Was it telling him it’s done eating?
“Huh,” Xu Da was surprised. “This is a white-headed eagle beast?”
Xie Sen said, “It seems to be.”
“Chirp.” Tuan Tuan jumped on the table, waved his wings and flew to the fridge. It clawed the fridge handle and called back, “Chirp.”
Xie Sen stroked his forehead. Did he think he would get a melon rind every day?
“No more,” he said.
“Chirp!” Tuan Tuan waved his wings, and slapped the refrigerator door. Obviously he knew there was more inside the refrigerator.
Xu Da sighed, “This kind of intelligence, it’s definitely a white-headed eagle beast.” His eyes rose eagerly. “What did it just eat? There should be more in the fridge, right?”
Xie Sen was helpless, but finally took out the melon rind, gave a small piece to Tuan Tuan and reminded him, “This is the last piece. There is no more.”
Tuan Tuan looked at the melon skin, and didn’t eat it immediately, just ‘chirped’ sadly.
Xu Da looked at the rind. “Is this a watermelon? I want to buy it! This seems to be the skin. Where is the flesh of the melon? I want to buy it too!”
Maine, who hadn’t said anything, now spoke up as he said coldly, “Not for sale!”
Xie Sen was amused. It seemed Maine really liked watermelon.
Xu Da was helpless, “Then sell me some of the melon rind!”
Xie Sen cut a quarter of the rind from the remaining half of the watermelon and sold it to Xu Da, who took the rind with a happy face. Long Teng curiously came over and took a bite. His eyes suddenly lit up. “Delicious!”
Xie Sen secretly thought that when he came back from the forest this time, he would sell the whole watermelon to Xu Da. Long Teng, that child, was too soft-hearted.
Xu Da’s purpose of eating was achieved, so then he turned to business. “Have you read the news about the desolate forest? I think this is a good opportunity to find a contract beast. I don’t feel comfortable letting A‘Teng go alone. If you go, take him with you. He has no other abilities other than fighting.”
Xie Sen thought to himself, in fact, the best thing was their luck.
Long Teng was the main character in the book. Although he was always in danger, he was always able to turn the danger into success, and that ability could continue to improve, like good luck to the explosion. However, when he thought about it, according to the time in the book, Long Teng should have gone into the wild forest alone.
Now, everything was different. Xie Sen looked at Maine, and felt at peace.
Although he knew that Maine wasn’t fully recovered yet, and was more sensitive and suspicious than before, Maine was still young, and he believed that he would get better.
Maine happened to look at Xie Sen at this time, and noticed his eyes. His expression softened. “You decide.”
Xie Sen was a little surprised, then he thought seriously. He must rest every eight hours. It would be only himself and Maine when he rested. If they encountered a dangerous situation with only Maine to deal with it, and Maine was distracted having to look after him, it would be too dangerous.
The forest was so big that it was likely that the red energy wouldn’t be found immediately, and it wasn’t convenient for two people to take turns keeping watch.
“I think it’s okay,” Xie Sen said. “I contacted Bai Jiao today and he’s going too. There are a lot of poisonous plants in the forest. It’s safer with a doctor, and we can go with all four of us.”
Maine had no comment. “As you wish.”
Xie Sen said to Long Teng, “We plan to leave on the 26th. Is that a problem?”
“No problem,” Long Teng laughed. “We can go now.”
Xie Sen reminded, “Better be prepared.” He thought about Long Teng’s character, and said, “You don’t need to worry about anything else, just bring more weapons!”
“Yes!” Long Teng raised a big smile and agreed.
After the negotiation, Xu Da and Long Teng left the apartment.
Xie Sen contacted Bai Jiao to explain the situation, and tell him the time of departure. Bai Jiao smiled, “I’m fine, I’ll come to you then. I’ll prepare more medicine in the next few days.”
After he hung up, Xie Sen went to make dinner, and after the meal he and Maine had a big piece of watermelon each, which both of them ate with a satisfied face.
After the meal, Xie Sen asked, “Is there anything else we need to prepare?”
“I’ll get it ready,” Maine looked at him, and his eyes fell on his arms. “You should work on your arm strength in the next few days, and so on.”
He said that, then went into the bedroom, and in a few moments produced a pair of dumbbells, one large and one small. “Use these to practice.”
Xie Sen thought of the need to land from the flying machine, and was busy nodding, but he also felt some concern. He could only practice for a few days?
He took the dumbbells back to the bedroom, thought about it, but still didn’t feel at ease. He looked at his remaining energy. It was a total of thirty-three, of which three energy was from Maine that morning, and the rest of the increase in energy was from work. He gritted his teeth, redeemed two meters of watermelon vine, carefully picked the watermelon, and then ordered the watermelon vine to tie him up and lift him.
At first he was strangled by the watermelon vine. It was very uncomfortable with his feet off the ground, and not long after the watermelon vine fell apart. He tried for a long time before he finally found a more comfortable position to be hoisted where the watermelon vine wouldn’t snap.
If there was any accident in the process of descending, he at least had the ability to save himself.
Over the next few days, Xie Sen actively worked to help more contract beasts in order to get the energy back from their beast masters, and by the 24th, he had accumulated 156 energy.
Early on the morning of the 25th, Xie Sen got up earlier than usual. He exchanged two potatoes, and let them each double in size, then cut one of them in half horizontally, and fired it directly with steam while the other he cut into potato strips and made fries.
Maine’s eyes grew tender as he emerged from the bedroom. The room was filled with the smell of potatoes, so he looked at the closed kitchen door.
Xie Sen carefully loaded the steamed potatoes top and bottom side by side onto a large plate, then turned the cross-section side up, took his chopsticks, wrote Happy Birthday on them and finished with a smiley face. He sized it up, made sure it was okay and walked out of the kitchen with the ‘potato cake.’ He hadn’t realized that Maine was standing in the doorway, and he almost ran into him.
He stopped just in time, and handed over the plate with a smile. “Happy Birthday, brother. I wish you a happy and healthy day!”
Maine stared at him for half a second. The young man’s smile was bright and full of sunshine, and made him feel warm. This warmth reached his heart, and he couldn’t resist. He leaned down and kissed him on the forehead. “Thank you, I’m very happy.”
Xie Sen covered his forehead. He stared blankly at the 3 energy prompt in front of him, as he watched Maine walk into the living room with the plate.
This…was this Brandt Star’s thank you ceremony?
Xie Sen thought about it and felt that this was the only reason that made sense.