Wang Xiaojuan and Bai Jiacao exchanged a glance, and the girl carefully opened the paper crane.
It had been folded decades ago. The paper was very brittle, and the picture had faded away.
Even so, they could still vaguely see a small, smiling star. It hung high in the darkness and protected the carefree girl under it.
“Ah, this is the paper crane the nurse gave to your grandmother when she was young!” Bai Jiacao exclaimed. “Young Juan, you have to keep it!”
Wang Xiaojuan thought about it and folded the paper crane carefully before she stuffed it back into the pendant. She tied it around Big Tooth’s neck once more.
“I think it’s better if I keep it here. This is a fragile thing, and I don’t have anywhere to put it in school. Young Cao, can you keep it for me?” she asked with a smile.
Bai Jiacao panicked a little. She waved her hand and said, “It’s too precious. Can I?”
“If someone like you can’t, what is a crybaby like me supposed to do?” Wang Xiaojuan looked downcast. “Young Cao, my parents are gone, and my grandparents have passed away too. If you don’t help me. I won’t know what to do.”
Bai Jiacao thought about it for a long time. Then, she sucked in a deep breath and nodded somberly. “Alright, Young Juan, I promise you, we’ll guard Granny’s star together!”
Wang Xiaojuan finally smiled, as if she had found her pillar of support.
She promised to go to the Meng family for dinner at night, but first, she had to go back to pack up the thing left by her grandmother.
Bai Jiacao sat by the parterre and stared at the horribly damaged region.
Suddenly, she spoke to Meng Chao, who had been standing beside her. “Big Brother, I don’t want to stay in Dragon City No.1 anymore.”
Meng Chao was taken aback. “What?”
“I said that I don’t want to stay in that stupid Dragon City No.1 anymore. Even if the houses there are big, the environment is good, the facilities are complete, and the spirit energy there smells good, I don’t want to stay there anymore. I just want to stay here.”
Bai Jiacao hugged Big Tooth and said seriously, “Blessed Heavenly Garden is my home. I won’t move from this place!”
Meng Chao fell silent. He saw a notification pop up in front of his eyes.
[Special citizen Bai Jiacao (Dark Witch)’s possibility of being corrupted has been reduced by another 5%. The future of Dragon City has become more stable. Increased contribution points by 1,112.]
He was bemused. ‘What’s going on? I didn’t do anything. So why did my sister’s corruption rate fall by such a large degree? The reduction rate is higher than from the two critical points which would have changed her life.’
His thoughts raced, and the memory fragments of his previous life connected together.
In his previous life, Granny Wang did not die in the monster invasion. Instead, she died in the invasion of the Ghost-eyed Golden Winged Flame Beetle.
The old lady was burned to a crisp by the flames the superbeast spat out along with her Sword-toothed Hunting Dog, so she did not have the chance to join the Eternal Journey.
Everything in the pet’s collar also turned into dust that returned to the pages of history.
No one could see the small star the nurse from Earth drew before her death a long time ago.
Bai Jiacao’s heart was entangled by all sorts of negative emotions, and she sank deep into the dark abyss. In time, she even stepped onto the evil path.
But in this life, many things had changed.
Blessed Heavenly Garden might have been invaded twice in succession, but the residents launched their fierce counterattacks. They obtained a large amount of war resources and fighting experience. They had their very own broken-star superhuman, and the entire region had become stronger.
Granny Wang might have ended up dying, but her corpse remained mostly whole. She then successfully completed the transformation ceremony and turned into an honorable Eternal Being, which meant she would continue fighting to protect her hometown and her beloved granddaughter.
Bai Jiacao was entrusted by Granny Wang with her dying will, and she found a whole new fighting spirit. Granny Wang’s spirit in heaven shone on her, so she should be able to walk down a bright path.
Meng Chao smiled from the depths of his heart.
It was not just because he obtained more than one thousand contribution points.
It was because he finally saw the crystalline butterfly flap its wings to stir up an insignificant breeze. Then, under the amazing effects of chain reactions, that breeze turned into a storm that was about to raze through the land.
But before the storm arrived, darkness would descend upon them. Yet no matter how long the darkness lasted, it would shatter in the end, and they would welcome the brightest dawn.
“Big Brother, I don’t want to learn singing and dancing. I want to train. I want to become stronger. Trust me, I know what I’m fighting for now. I can control the strongest power.” Bai Jiacao stroked Big Tooth’s head with a face full of determination.
Meng Chao looked at his little sister for a long time before he suddenly reached out and ruffled her hair.
“Alright,” he said gently. “You’ll start by practicing your stances for an extra two hours every night. I’ll help you become stronger.”
“Stances again?! Somebody help me!” Bai Jiacao exclaimed.
For the final two days before the national college examination, Meng Chao shut himself in his house to study.
It was almost meaningless to do last-minute preparations. Right now, what he needed the most was to relax his mind and focus so that he could go through his national college examination in his best condition.
The night before the national college examination, another piece of good news brought him great delight.
[Your first healing-type quest has been completed. Elite citizen Ning Shewo’s hands have recovered by 93%. He has recovered the high-grade basic functions of his hands.
[Quest reward: Increased contribution points by 453. Increased Skillfulness with Basic Harvesting Skill by 50%. You have now moved from Specialist Level to Master Level.]
A numb feeling surged through his entire body. It felt as if electricity coursed through his veins.
It went from his central nervous system to the nerve endings. His nerve ganglia and sensory cells continuously split up and propagated. They were like the growing roots of a tree, but they grew at a pace that was a thousand times faster.
His fingertips became so sensitive that it was insane. Even if he just casually rubbed them against a table, he was able to detect a few fine holes.
When he harvested monsters next time, his movements would be even more meticulous and accurate.
But what caused him the greatest joy was that not only had Ning Shewo recovered, he had also won against his junior brother, Poisonous Hands Liao Santong, in the battle.
He saw this news on the largest monster forum in Dragon City.
Ghostly Hands and Poisonous Hands were both very famous people in the harvesting circle. Since they were competing in public, their competition naturally gained the attention of the public. Some people even used unmanned aerial vehicles and their handphones to film the entire process.
Harvesters did not compete using their fists. Instead, they competed with the number of resources they managed to harvest and how the resources looked.
Coincidentally, this time, a pair of Dual Star Crocodiles had appeared in the fog.
These superbeasts were always twins and always moved together. Their size, weight, distribution of organs, and body structure were the same as well. Even their cranial capacity was about the same. That was why they were able to share their consciousness and senses when they fought.
They had a thick shell and layers of bone lamallae overlapping with each other and intersecting in them. Even anti-tank missiles could not pierce them, so the difficulty of dissecting them was very high.
Hence, Ghostly Hands and Poisonous Hands could have a crocodile each. They competed fairly and squarely to see who harvested faster, gathered more resources, and whose rare materials had a better appearance.
Even though these superbeasts weighed several thousands of kilograms and looked like mini tanks, the two masters did not spend a lot of time on them. Their competition ended in a flash.
Meng Chao watched as they swung multi-function mechanical arms and used all sorts of huge saws, chisels, adzes, and axes so quickly that they turned into a terrifying gray blur. The two men seemed to be swinging their tools wildly in a disorganized fashion, but they were so accurate that they should have been wielding surgery knives. They dismembered the superbeasts like a butcher would an ox and opened up the deformed bone lamellae before removing it. As Meng Chao watched them, he knew that he still had a long way ahead of him.
Ning Shewo won.
His harvesting time was faster than his junior brother’s by seventeen seconds. The weight of the resources he harvested was higher by 3.5kg, and he also managed to perfectly extract the Remote Sensory Crystal, which was the most important component in the Dual Star Crocodile’s brain. It was used to share their consciousness and senses, and it was connected with more than one hundred nerves that were as fine as hair.
Poisonous Hands Liao Santong might have also managed to remove the Remote Sensory Crystal in the other Dual Star Crocodile, but he broke three nerves, and its quality became inferior to that of Ghostly Hand’s Remote Sensory Crystal. He had to admit his defeat with a sour face.
[Ghostly Hands won against Poisonous Hands!]
[Didn’t they say that Elder Ning is poisoned and could not be cured even after he sought out all sorts of famous doctors? I thought they said that he could only retire in silence. Why is he still so powerful?]
[Which medical team treated him? He managed to recover so well!]
The monster lovers on the forum cried out in surprise.
What shocked them the most was not Ning Shenwo’s recovery or victory. Instead, it was his actions after he obtained complete victory.
In front of hundreds of his harvesting friends and onlookers, Ning Shewo announced that he would donate half of his money to form Fire Relayer Foundation. It would specialize in helping children who came from poor families but had extraordinary talent in harvesting.
Also, he would set up an online lecture series to teach all that he had learned in his life for free. He would provide guidance to whoever wanted to learn, and he would even share the Seven Dissection Methods Performed in Reverse, which was the most advanced skill in the harvesting field.
After he said those words, the people burst into a ruckus.
The foundation was actually not THAT amazing.
Due to the unique taxation system, many of the powerful and rich people in Dragon City set up all sorts of foundations to help those in the middle and lower classes. This was a legal way to avoid paying taxes.
But what about the second thing he said? He wanted to teach everything that he had learned? What did Ning Shewo want to do?
Even his junior brother, Poisonous Hands Liao Santong stared at him in dumbfounded shock.
“Junior Brother Liao, we’ve been competing against each other for decades. I know exactly what you’re thinking about.” Ning Shewo placed his hands behind his back and said with a smile, “In truth, in the past, I did enjoy competing against you, both in public and in the shadows. As we competed against each other, we managed to gain ourselves the titles of Ghostly Hands and Poisonous Hands. I even felt smug about it for a time.
“But now that I think about it, we’re Earthlings in the Other World. We’re surrounded by monsters, so it’s meaningless for us to fight among ourselves.
“I might seem to be suffering a loss by offering all that I’ve learned to the public, but if more people can learn my harvesting skills and gather more resources for Dragon City, the fighting strength of Dragon City will grow. Our descendants will then be able to live a safer life. Their futures will also be brighter.”
As he spoke, Ning Shewo patted the dumbfounded Liao Santong’s shoulder three times.
“Junior Brother, I know that you have been bothered for decades by how our master taught me the Jade Assessment Skill. I was petty and afraid that you’d surpass me, so I wasn’t willing to tell you about it over the past few decades.
“Fortunately, I was severely wounded some time ago, and it made me think about many things. I also obtained a mysterious senior’s guidance and was enlightened. I was reborn, and I woke up. Later, let’s go aside, and I’ll tell you all the critical points of Jade Assessment Skill.”
“What?” Liao Santong took two steps back. His beard quivered. He could not quite believe what he heard.
The monster forum descended into a complete madness. [A mysterious senior enlightened Elder Ning and helped him be reborn? Just what sort of legendary person are they?!]
Kindling shone in front of Meng Chao’s eyes.
[Ning Shewo’s awareness has increased after he was provided guidance by the Fire Relayer. He has now turned from an elite citizen to a pseudo-heroic citizen. The efficiency of Dragon City’s resource recovery rate will increase as he and more people change. Increased contribution points by 999.]
Meng Chao’s heart surged, and he could not calm down even after a long time.
Suddenly, slight shame rose in him.
He had only begun to make contributions with so much gusto because he was bound to Kindling and could get contribution points.
But Principal Sun, Granny Wang, and Elder Ning were not bound to any system. If they made contributions, they were not able to get any benefits. In truth, they actually had to pay a hefty price for it. i𝚗n𝘳𝙚𝑎𝗱. 𝑐𝗼𝒎
Even so, they did it willingly, and they faced death with a smile.
Compared to them, he was nothing. What right did he have to provide guidance to others so they would be “enlightened and reborn”?
“I should say that Principal Sun, Granny Wang, and Elder Ning have provided guidance to me,” Meng Chao mumbled. “So, the citizens’ units are not fixed. Heroes are not born. All normal citizens can turn into elites, and elite citizens can turn into heroes.
“Then, what sort of citizen am I?”
‘Am I a normal citizen, elite citizen, special citizen, or...’
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