Victory of the hoarder
Translator: Mr Voltaire
Wang Lu laughed at himself. There was an old saying along the lines of “a single cent can make things difficult for a hero”. Of course, what it meant was that sometimes even capable people are unable to resolve some small matters. However, it was painfully ironic that this saying literally applied to him right now – things had been made extremely difficult for him by a single coin.
He had taken the coin back at the last second out of instinct, but he did not regret his actions, and felt that he had made the right bet.
What was the value of the proprietress’ coin? Wang Lu had no idea, but its worth probably wasn’t just limited to the Garden of Peaches. Before the black shadow had mentioned the copper coin, Wang Lu had not actually thought of the copper coin from the proprietress – he had treated it as a normal coin. It was only when the black shadow was about to accept the coin as tuition fees did Wang Lu suddenly realise something.
In many games… no, in many adventures and trials, this was how things were done. Items that were acquired early on often played crucial importance at later stages. It seemed that this copper coin was such an item. If he kept it to the end, he might be able to get some big benefits out of it.
The more he thought about it, the more Wang Lu believed that his guess was correct. However, the problem that he now faced was that he still needed a single coin from the mountain. Where could he find such a thing?
Of course, there was a simple answer- just ask the Village Chief. After all, he had maxed out the favourability from the Village Chief; it wouldn’t be too hard to ask him for one.
When the Village Chief heard Wang Lu’s request, he deeply frowned.
“If you wanted anything else, it would be easy, but money… I’ve never seen or heard of it before. This village uses bartering- an item for an item. We’ve never used money.”
Wang Lu clicked his tongue, I knew I wouldn’t be able to get much help from you.
It seemed that he would have to rely on himself.
“Village Chief, it doesn’t matter if you guys don’t have any money. Since things are like this, let’s invent some.”
“Ah?!” The Village Chief gave a cry of surprise.
“Although there aren’t many people in the Garden of Peaches, there are many goods and trades. How about this: as the Village Chief, you use your reputation as a basis for this monetary system, and then start issuing out coins for everyone to use.”
The Village Chief was surprised, “Issue… coins?”
“That’s right. You can use shells, gold, anything like that. If you want, you can even use paper. As long as there is something to guarantee its value, it’ll work. Once there’s a monetary system, the village will become more and more prosperous, and people will be able to buy and sell even more efficiently. People’s lives will be completely changed! And in return, all you have to do is give me a single coin!”
Wang Lu became more and more excited as he spoke. He was overjoyed that there was some way to use this idiot. Who knew where he could find a coin on this mountain- it would be much easier for him to do it this way!
Unexpectedly, after thinking for a while, the Village Chief shook his head.
Wang Lu early jumped up. “No!? What do you mean ‘no’?”
The Village Chief continued to shake his head. “We can’t start issuing out coins.”
“Goddamn it! Why not? Did nothing I just said make sense? No matter, I’ll explain it again…” Wang Lu exhibited extraordinary patience.
“Young man, I understood everything you said,” the Village Chief sighed. “But it’s not possible.”
“…..” The Village Chief didn’t seem to be able to give an answer. Only after a long while did he reply, “We can’t go against the ancestor’s rules.”
“Why can’t you change some rules set out by an ancestor? Are you all constipated or something!?” Wang Lu was furious at this point. [TLN: Ohdearlord, this was a terrible (read: awesome) pun. “Can’t change rules” is “bu ke bian”, which sounds like “can’t take a dump”… so Wang Lu makes a pun on that, hence the “constipated”] “You actually have the dignity to say such a retarded excuse? Does my maxed out favourability mean nothing to you?”
The Village Chief replied, “I know it’s good and all, but I don’t like it.”
“Goddamn it! You are sixty years old and you’re still trying to play hard to get? Aren’t you worried that God will punish you with a heart attack?” [TLN: the Chinese could be interpreted as someone rejecting a confession].
Who knew if the Village Chief would get a heart attack, but Wang Lu was close to having one.
Being someone who seemed to have a lot in common with the designer of the trials, Wang Lu had had quite an easy time on the Immortal Path. However, at this point in time, it seemed that they were completely different, which made Wang Lu feel very bitter.
What was even more painful was that the designer of this trial was clearly cheating. Normally the Village Chief had a pretty good intellect, but now it seemed like he was completely retarded. There was something wrong going on here…
“Alright, let’s stop going in circles. I’ll draw the line here.”
The Village Chief looked very confused. “What line?”
“……” Wang Lu frowned, and remained in silence for a long time. He looked at the Village Chief suspiciously, making him feel very awkward.
“Forget it, just pretend I never came here today.”
At the same time, on the clouds.
“…. I feel it’s not too good to do things this way, right?”
A certain black shadow was watching the scene of Wang Lu talking to the Village Chief.
Next to the black shadow, a certain woman in white clothes coldly laughed. “For children who like to cheat, not killing them is already quite merciful.”
The black shadow couldn’t take it anymore. “You’re saying he’s cheating? It’s obvious that he saw through the flaws in your design, and now you’re trying to cover it up.”
The woman in white awkwardly replied, “What flaws, don’t spout nonsense, little Ling’Er… an Elder’s flaws can’t really be called flaws…”
“Changing the Immortal Path without permission, proudly telling the rest of the Elders that this trial would be on par with the Cloud Wave Map, Nether World Path, and now that there are problems, you’re forcefully trying to cover them up…”
“Oi oi oi , little Ling’Er, why are you standing on his side? We’ve been good sisters [TLN: not literal blood sisters] for such a long time, have you forgotten about all that?”
“Hmph, he helped me win that bet, so of course I’ll stand on his side. Plus, as a dignified Elder of the Heavenly Sword Hall, you should take responsibility for your actions.”
The woman in white instantly became angry from all the embarrassment. “Heavenly Sword Hall? Ha! That idiot Head Elder still hasn’t given me any of the subsidies for being an Elder; why should I act like a dignified Elder of the Heavenly Sword Hall? I’m going to cheat! The time when they give me the money I deserve is the time I change profession to a dignified and righteous Elder!”
“… Although the Spirit Blade Sect is quite large, I’m sure you’re the only person who could say such a thing.” In the face of such shamelessness, the black shadow didn’t have anything to say.
While they were talking, the woman in white had already directed the Village Chief to chase Wang Lu away, and laughed. “I want to see what solutions you have this time.”
Behind them, a cold, elderly voice rang out. “I want to see how you explain this to the Disciplinary Elder this time.”
The woman in white’s smile froze, and she slowly and rigidly turned around. Her smile became incredibly forced and pained. “Aiyo, it isn’t Senior Brother Head Elder! Please excuse my lack of manners for not greeting this VIP guest earlier…”
“VIP guest my ass! This is my home!”
“Really? I always thought it was my home. My Alzheimer’s has been getting worse lately, does Senior Brother want to give me a few ten thousand spirit stones to cure it…”
“Before curing your Alzheimer’s, I want to first cure your reckless and haphazard personality! I decided to overlook your actions in changing the Immortal Path before, but now you even dare to mess with the Immortal Map while I’m gone. Heheh, forget about your salary this year.”
“Fuck, no way!?”
“Like you said, as an Elder of the Heavenly Sword Hall, it’s not good if you don’t receive any subsidies.”
The woman in white’s hopes were reignited. “So…?”
“So you can forget about being an Elder, focus on cultivating at your Inimitable Peak. You can be an Elder again when you reach the Yuanying Stage, and I’ll even give you full subsidy!”
“Fuuuck! Senior Brother, I did this for the good of this Sect, for you!”
“And if you keep going, I’ll even take away your basic living expenses!”
“Senior Brother, you can’t tell good from evil – you’ll definitely regret allowing that boy to cheat!”
After chasing away the troublesome woman in white, the Head Elder turned his head, and found that the black shadow was gone.
The Head Elder sighed, and directed his mind to the Immortal Map. The Celestial Magic Tool that controlled the entire Immortal Path had been thrown into chaos by that woman. The Head Elder stretched out his hand, and the results of the woman in white’s meddling disappeared.
The Head Elder sat in silence for a while, then added some things onto the Immortal Map.
“Even though Junior Sister likes to mess around, if there really are flaws and holes, it would be best to fill them out. Although…why does that copper coin look so familiar? Never mind, I’m not wearing my glasses, let’s forget about it.”
Back at the Garden of Peaches, Wang Lu decided that his sure-win tactic was completely blocked off.
Although he was very bitter about the Spirit Blade Sect using such low-handed methods, but if the easy way out wasn’t usable, then Wang Lu would have to think of another solution.
“In that case, let’s have a think about a direct attack… what’s the way to find money on this mountain? In order to get the money, it must first exist. Could there be some clues in this village that I’ve missed… Goddamn it! There’s definitely none, right!? I’m a professional!”
Wang Lu slammed his fist onto the table, showing his conviction and confidence in his professionalism.
He had prepared for a whole month, and had grasped every single detail. There definitely couldn’t be anything that he had missed. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been able to create his perfect completion strategy. However, it was obvious that he was now stuck. If he couldn’t find a solution, this would be the end of the Immortal Path for him.
“Dammit. Money in the mountain, money in the mountain… where can I find money in the mountain? I’ve looked everywhere in the village, but…”
Suddenly, an idea passed through Wang Lu’s head.
“Hah, I actually forgot about that person. My professional spirit is crying.”
Afterwards, Wang Lu walked out while laughing self-mockingly. Just as he walked out, he saw two of the challengers who had failed.
“Hey, what a coincidence. Oi, your mum…”
Before he could even finish his sentence, a black shadow descended from the sky, and charged with Wang Lu into the room.
“Stop. You don’t need to go and verbally abuse other people every time you want to meet me.”
Wang Lu replied, “Who let the designer of the Garden of Peaches leave such a flaw? It’s not like I want to do things this way either.”
The black shadow nodded in agreement. “Then, what have you come to discuss this time? Have you thought it through?”
Wang Lu smiled. “I guess you could say I thought it through. I’ve found money in this mountain.”
“Heh, from the beginning, I made a mistake by believing that the only money on this mountain could be found in the Garden of Peaches. After a while, I realised that I was stupid, and that the key to the secret quest was you, the only non-resident of the village. Even if the Garden of Peaches has no money, I’m sure that you, who asks for a tuition fee from me, does.”
The black shadow laughed. “Indeed, you’re right.”
“So my job is to get a single coin from you.”
“Mmm. That’s a very clear plan. However, it won’t be easy to get a single coin from me. Even if you gave me ten thousand liang of silver, I wouldn’t trade with you.”
“Don’t worry, right now even if I sold my kidneys I wouldn’t be able to give you ten thousand liang of silver, but…”
As Wang Lu spoke, he took out something from underneath the bed.
It was a red wooden lunch box.
Seeing the lunch box, the black shadow stood there in shock. Seeing this, Wang Lu’s confidence in succeeding went from 80% to 100%.
It seemed that this trial was finally over.
The lunch box obviously was not an ordinary lunch box. Even if the craftsmanship was exquisite, and was an antique from a previous dynasty, it still wouldn’t be worth ten thousand liang of silver, much less be worth a single coin from Spirit Blade Mountain.
In truth, a single coin from the Spirit Blade Mountain was priceless. Let alone gold or silver from mortals, even if Xie Qian Long wanted to trade with his Magical Treasures, the black shadow would probably still refuse.
Thinking to here, Wang Lu quickly realised that only things from the mountain could probably be traded for money from the mountain. Of course, it couldn’t be any ordinary thing either, because ordinary things here wouldn’t be worth much either.
The lunch box just so happened to be an extraordinary item. After food was put inside, no matter how long it was, the freshness, smell and taste barely changed at all. In other words, this was a “super keeping fresh box”. Normally, it would be far inferior to those Magical Treasures, and after finishing the food inside it, it wasn’t worth much to Wang Lu. However, it just so happened that it was the key to passing the trial here in the Garden of Peaches.
When the proprietress had given him the box, he did not realise how special the box was. After thinking about it, he had realised how obvious it had been. After all, she had said the food inside was meant to last them one week… without any special keeping fresh abilities, they’d probably die of food poisoning.
After all, he had completed that chain of tasks, and had helped the proprietress easily win her bet. None of the things the proprietress had given him were ordinary items. If that copper coin was so special, then the lunch box was definitely not ordinary either.
Wang Lu smiled as he patted the lunch box. “I’ll sell this to you for a cheap price, just one coin. You won’t reject this kind offer, right?”
The black shadow stayed silent for a while. Because it was hidden in a dark fog, Wang Lu couldn’t see its expression.
After a while, the black shadow replied. “I never thought you’d actually work it out. I’ll accept it.”
Since the black shadow had accepted it, this meant that Wang Lu had passed this trial. At this point, the professional adventurer couldn’t help but start laughing.
The black shadow also laughed. “I wonder, did you see this coming from the start?”
“Of course not, I’m only a professional adventurer, not a beater [TLN: the word ‘beater’ came from an anime, which is the combination of ‘beta tester’ and ‘cheater’]. I didn’t look at any strategy guides beforehand- who would have thought this lunch box was a key item—I finished all the food inside in the first two or three days, and just forgot about it under the bed for a while.”
“Oh? Since you didn’t know that the lunch box was special, so why did you carry it so far with you?”
“Because every decent professional adventurer is a hoarder.”