Translator’s Notes: Title refers to the story of Mengzi’s mother slaughtering pig for her son although she was not capable of affording the expense, so as not to deceive him and thus teach him the wrong moral lesson while he was still young.
Chapter 82: Slaughtered Pig For The Child As Promised (1)
“Let us put away the treasure and talk along the way. If you wish to know about General Zhao Yan’s strength, you must first understand a core issue.” Ai Qian said before emphasising the five words that came after slightly, “The upgrading of one’s Heart.”
The upgrading of one’s Heart… Yue Qiang quietly repeated the words inside his heart. At the same time, many extracts of information came afloat in his mind.
If there was one skill in the game that he did not quite understand, then it would be without a doubt the Heart skill.
This was the only skill that he had comprehended completely on his own, but it was also the easiest to learn. At the same time, since it was a skill that could only be learned by maintaining maximum calmness when he was about to die, it could also be said to be a skill with the strictest learning requirements.
If his Wisdom wasn’t as high as 14 points, he one hundred percent would’ve died inside the game and in real life. If he had failed to make a comeback kill with the last of his HP… There were too many ifs. If any one of these ifs were not achieved, he would not have been able to learn this ‘Pure Heart’.
However, while the learning requirements of a Heart skill was so strict, this ‘Pure Heart’ did not display sufficient combat strength that reflected said strictness.
It did not increase his Agility stats like the Run skill, nor did it increase his survival capabilities like Cockroach. It did not provide a choice of promotion like Hunyuan Jin either. It was as if this Heart skill was simply lying there in his skillset quietly and looking completely unremarkable.
No, wait. He did upgrade his skill ‘Killing Style, One’ with his Heart ability before. But that was it.
The upgraded ‘Break Fist – Killing Style, One’ was quickly replaced by the newly acquired skill book ‘Killing Style, Evolved’.
Was this mysterious Heart skill so weak?
Yue Qiang turned his head and looked at Ai Qian. He saw that the man was putting away the treasure after telling him that with great care.
He did not give up on even a single knife coin. Although the various multi-colored pearls, exquisite shells and other treasures were much lighter and a lot more expensive than a knife coin, Ai Qian still took everything that he could see without missing out on a single thing. He carefully inspected every corner of the coffin and used the torch to illuminate the gaps between the wood of the coffin. In order to take a knife coin wedged between two pieces of wood, he did not even notice that the torch had burned some of his his hair.
This level of stinginess was practically insane.
To him, these knife coins were obviously small changes among small changes, but still he wasn’t willing to let go of a single one.
While carrying big and small bags of treasure, Ai Qian wheezed and walked at the furthest back of the group. Yue Qiang walked at the front while taking Yin with him, but he was thinking of Ai Qian’s skill on the inside.
The trader also had a Heart type skill: Greed Clouded Heart LVL 2.
This was a strange title that was no less stranger than his own ‘Pure Heart’. Moreover, what was even more important to note was that it was a level 2 Heart skill.
Yue Qiang had inspected many people’s stats since he started playing this game. He had never since a level 2 Heart skill.
How could a Heart skill be upgraded?
Yue Qiang’s expression was a little heavy when he recalled Ai Qian’s miserly actions. It was the kind of miserliness that compelled him to trade in every treasure from Yue Qiang even though he was obviously suffering a loss, going so far as to use a precious resource like ‘Progress Points’ without any hesitation.
“Do you know what is the relation between Heart skill and one’s strength?” Ai Qian climbed up the vertical stairs before sitting down on his butt while panting heavily due to exhaustion. He said in broken sentences, “Do you know how… a Heart skill can be upgraded?”
“Heart skill is not a skill.” Ai Qian said, “Heart skill is a ‘belief’.”
“The power of belief…” Ai Qian’s voice slowly turned deep and low. He seemed to have become engrossed in his memories, “Didn’t you ask me what I recalled after unlocking my memories? I basically remember nothing from my past, but everything after that was just like yesterday. I can tell you that. I am sure that you will have a direct understanding of Heart ability after you’ve finished listening to my story.”
“It’s been many years since that day. That day, I had suddenly appeared in a wilderness wetland. There was no one around me. The only possession I have was a surgical knife. I was covered in a big white cloth…”
“W-what? Wait wait wait a second.” at first Yue Qiang was still thinking about that Heart skill, but when he heard of the big white cloth his thoughts instantly became jumbled, “What do you mean you suddenly appeared… and you’re covered in a big white cloth? A white cloth??”
This was fucking awkward.
He very naturally thought of Yin.
Back at the Mo Family’s Great Cave, Yin had also appeared into existence abruptly and without any prior signs. These two people both had Memory Unlock Rate and spoke modern vocabulary. Therefore, it was not strange that Ai Qian had also suddenly appeared in this world.
However, what’s with being covered in white cloth?
If it was a girl like Yin, the fact that she only had a white bed sheet wrapped around her and nothing else on the inside would naturally draw many wonderful fantasies in one’s mind. But if the same happened to a man…
Yue Qiang could only feel goosebumps all over his body.
“Skip this part and get to the point.” Yue Qiang typed swiftly, afraid that there would be other weird circumstances at the back.
Yin hadn’t said anything for the longest time while she sat behind Yue Qiang. However, she suddenly whispered him at this moment, “Pay attention to the time he said, ‘many years ago’. This game may have existed a lot longer than we had imagined.”
Yue Qiang noted his understanding and continued to listen to the trader’s tale.
Ai Qian no longer brought up his bed sheet and jumped straight to the main subject, “When I had suddenly appeared in a wilderness wetlands, it was both dark and raining like the monsoon season. I had two skills with me, and they are Keen Eye LVL 1 and Greed Clouded Heart LVL 1. At the time my situation was extremely miserable. I walked for a very far distance, but wasn’t able to find any food at all. I was completely wet and covered in soil and dust. I thought I was going to die. In reality, I could have died at any moment.”
While he listened to Ai Qian’s unlucky business, Yue Qiang could not help but cast a glance at Yin. When she first appeared in this place, she was surrounded by dead bodies and trapped in danger too.
By comparison, the village he was in was practically heaven.
“I didn’t eat anything for a whole day and night. At the time, I almost couldn’t even walk. Thankfully though, I finally reached an uninspiring market.”
“I saw a mother in ragged garment using a worn out loom to spin clothes while carrying an extremely skinny kid with her. I touched my surgical knife and felt energy returning to my body.”
“I hadn’t eaten anything for a whole day and night, but most importantly I was too cold. The rain never stopped. It was as if the sun would never show up again. The dark, rotten, moldy smell of the remain soaked into every inch of my body, causing me to feel chilled nearly all the way down to my marrow. I am a young man. I still have some strength. I want to wear clothes. I want to feel warmer.”
“I do not have money. But I have a knife.”
In the dark tunnel illuminated by a flickering torch, Ai Qian told them his experience when he first arrived in this world word by word. Before he knew it, Yue Qiang had already grown engrossed with his story. He nearly forgot that Ai Qian was in fact, talking about the upgrading of Heart skill.
Ai Qian’s voice wasn’t high-pitched, nor was it manic. However, somehow that calm tone of his was slowly causing a sense of fear. Yue Qiang could not help but imagine the scene at the time according to Ai Qian’s words: Beneath a cold and dark sky, inside an uninspiring market, there was a pair of skinny mother and son, and a pitiful but craving trader. The trader had a knife in his hands.
Suddenly, he placed his hands on the keyboard and attempted to type the question, ‘You killed them?’. But in the end, he did not ask.
He felt that the atmosphere was a little scary.
“I did not kill them.” Ai Qian said.
“That kid, helped me raise my Heart skill by one level.”