Chapter 128: Headache spell
Translator: Legge Editor: Legge
Ren Xiaosu’s motive for rescuing Luo Lan was so they could get into the stronghold through him. Now that his objective was achieved, his wish could finally be considered fulfilled.
As for how Luo Lan and Qing Zhen would convince the Li Consortium and Stronghold 109’s overseer, that would be up to them. After all, the corporations had business dealings with one another all the time, so they would have to give each other some face.
From Qing Zhen’s tone, it felt like it wasn’t a particularly difficult matter to handle.
Nearby, Wang Fugui let out a sigh and said softly, “Some issues can be extremely difficult for us to handle but are only a matter of words for people in their world.”
Luo Lan said, “If we promise you something, our Qing Consortium will see it gets done. Would a large organization need to lie to a few refugees like you?”
All of a sudden, Wang Fugui asked Luo Lan, “Xiaosu saved your life, isn’t that right?”
“Yeah,” Luo Lan said in a surprised manner.
“Boss Luo is a big shot,” Wang Fugui said as his eyes revealed a certain shrewdness. “Since your life is so valuable, it would not be enough to just get us into the stronghold. If this matter gets out, other people will feel that the Qing Consortium is being stingy.”
When Wang Fugui escaped from town with Ren Xiaosu, he had explicitly expressed to Ren Xiaosu the value he could bring to the group. Now was finally the time to show it.
In reality, Wang Fugui knew all about his own shortcomings. He had never seen much of the world before and would appear very crude by bargaining with a big shot like Luo Lan. In fact, Luo Lan might even be mentally mocking him for daring to ask for help when he was not qualified to do so. But that didn’t matter to him. Wang Fugui had to help Ren Xiaosu obtain the most favorable conditions to the best of his abilities. For this reason alone, he was willing to be shameless.
From the conversation between Qing Zhen and Luo Lan, Wang Fugui realized that obtaining legal resident statuses in the stronghold was no big deal for these big shots. So he wondered if they could get even more out of them.
“What else do you all want?” Luo Lan relaxed in the cargo bed and looked at Wang Fugui. “But you had better not make unreasonable demands!”
Wang Fugui felt hopeful at the words. He said, “We want a shop. The Qing Consortium must have a lot of properties in Stronghold 109, so it shouldn’t be a problem to get us a shop!”
Luo Lan downplayed, “My life isn’t worth as much as one shop.”
Old Wang was a little taken aback. Luo Lan was being rather shameless if he put it that way. As a refugee, Wang Fugui could be shameless. But how could a big shot of the Qing Consortium behave so shamelessly as well?
But Wang Fugui didn’t know that the most shameless people in the world were actually those who belonged to the organizations. Otherwise, it would not have been possible for them to make an organization in the first place.
Wang Fugui asked Luo Lan, “Your younger brother just said he owed Ren Xiaosu a favor and a life, right?”
“What is it you’re trying to say?” Luo Lan was feeling speechless.
“Is the favor and the life that your younger brother mentioned worth a shop?” Wang Fugui asked.
Luo Lan went quiet for a long time before answering, “Yes.”
Although he could be shameless about himself, it was not so when Qing Zhen’s name was mentioned.
“I’ll prepare a simple shop for you all.” Luo Lan said, “But our Qing Consortium does not owe you anything more after that.”
“OK.” Ren Xiaosu decisively accepted it. This would be a stable income stream for them in the stronghold. Even if they didn’t use the shop to do business, the rent they could obtain from it would probably be enough for their daily living expenses. Furthermore, he had promised Old Wang he would reopen a grocery store for him.
However, Wang Fugui still seemed unsatisfied. He said to Luo Lan, “How much do you think the lives of your five subordinates are worth?”
Luo Lan got annoyed. “Couldn’t you have finished saying it in one shot? Alright, I’ll give you a big shop that’s in a good location. Don’t ask me for anything more, or I’ll die here right in front of you!”
Wang Fugui wanted to go even further, but Ren Xiaosu tugged at him. It was best to stop asking since they had gotten what they wanted.
If they really made Luo Lan angry, he might just go back on his words after they got to the stronghold. At that time, Ren Xiaosu and the others would not be able to do anything about it.
Ren Xiaosu had chosen to save Tang Zhou and his soldiers because he realized Luo Lan was a little sentimental. Luo Lan would feel grateful to him after he saved them.
Ren Xiaosu suddenly saw Chen Wudi, who was seated opposite him, looking at Luo Lan in a hostile manner. It was as though he wanted to subdue evil right now.
He noticed some changes in Chen Wudi’s appearance, but he could not immediately tell what the difference was. Wait a minute! Ren Xiaosu asked, “Eh, Wudi, is that a golden circlet on your head? Where did it come from?”
Before this night, he was quite certain Chen Wudi did not have a golden circlet on his head.
Ren Xiaosu suspected this item had also materialized out of Chen Wudi’s imagination. But unlike the Golden-Hooped Rod, this golden circlet was different as it didn’t actually disappear.
“The golden circlet was given to me by the bodhisattva. Master, don’t you know that?” Chen Wudi looked like he expected this to be common knowledge.
“…I do,” Ren Xiaosu answered. ‘But that’s not what I was asking!’
Ren Xiaosu intended to make up an excuse to get past his questioning. After all, his current role was Master Sanzang, so how could he possibly not know where his disciple’s golden circlet came from?
Then, Chen Wudi looked at Ren Xiaosu seriously and asked, “Master, do you still remember how to recite the headache spell?”
Ren Xiaosu nearly broken down. ‘How am I supposed to know that spell?!’
In the original text of Journey to the West, there was no mention of the specific contents of the spell when Guanyin 1 taught it to Tripitaka. Ren Xiaosu saw a sparkle of excitement in Chen Wudi’s eyes as he anticipated what was about to come. Ren Xiaosu tested him by reciting, “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers 1?”
“Ahhh!” Chen Wudi clutched his head and cried out, “Master, stop it! Master, stop it!”
Ren Xiaosu sat there with his mouth agape. He thought to himself, ‘Chen Wudi, you’re playing along quite well.’
Ren Xiaosu realized that everyone else was giving him strange looks. Some students even sank deep into thought over this.
This bodhisattva was probably some kind of comedian, right?!
Luo Lan felt like his intelligence had been greatly insulted. He could not understand why a lunatic like Chen Wudi would regard Ren Xiaosu as his master!
If he had to believe that Ren Xiaosu, Chen Wudi, Wang Fugui, and Wang Dalong were the reincarnations of Tripitaka and his disciples, he would rather kill himself by smashing his head here in the truck!
The truck had been driving for dozens of kilometers before they slowly came to a stop. Luo Lan asked, “Can we afford to take a break now? Won’t the wolf pack catch up to us?”
Ren Xiaosu was reminded about the strangeness of the wolves’ behavior. He gave it some thought before saying, “Let’s take a short rest. We only have one driver, so it won’t be good if he gets exhausted. Besides, if the wolves come chasing after us, the vehicle probably can’t outrun them if we keep driving.”
Actually, Ren Xiaosu was constantly wondering in his mind. He had previously thought that the wolves had not attacked the escapees only because they had gone back to what was now the ruins of Stronghold 113.
But by the looks of it, it seemed the wolves had been keeping close to them all this while. There was even a time when the pack overtook their group.
But why didn’t the wolves attack the escapees?
There was no logical explanation for it!
Unless there was someone in the group the wolves were unwilling to attack!