The Great Merchant in the Cataclysm - Chapter 80
Chapter 81: Temptation
When Zhang Mu and his wolfdog appeared within the sight of the survival base, the guard opened the gates to welcome him as though welcoming back a guest of honor. Zhang Mu smiled at the guard when he entered the base, surprising the guard and making him feel honored.
However, the guard was astonished as he saw the hideous wounds on his back. This boss is already so strong. He needed to struggle so hard to win? Thinking back to the calm smile Zhang Mu was carrying on his face, the guard decided to stop worrying. He thought Zhang Mu must have received a huge gain. Since he is back now, he will definitely distribute the rewards.
The guard’s mood immediately lit up. Although he needs to stay within the compounds of the survival base due to his job, his friends can go out. If any of his friends provide news of a mutated animals base, he will most probably gain free meals for the next few days. If more of his friends provided the news, he can save one month’s worth of food supplies.
As the guard was daydreaming about the treats he might get, Zhang Mu had already dismounted off the back of the wolfdog and walked to his house.
He saw Yuan Rui sleeping beside the black cocoon. There were no changes to the cocoon. Zhang Mu’s heart ached. Yuan Rui was still worried about Little Black and stayed by its side. It seems as though she had given some of her life power to it and got too tired, hence sleeping right beside the cocoon.
Zhang Mu slowly walked towards her and pulled out a blanket from his Merchant’s Ring, laying it on Yuan Rui. However, either he didn’t gauge his strength correctly or the blanket was too heavy, Yuan Rui immediately woke up in surprise. She recovered quickly after realising that it was Zhang Mu and was really happy. Rubbing her eyes, she asked Zhang Mu, “Uncle, when did you come back?”
Zhang Mu was really sorry that he woke Yuan Rui up. He said, “I just came back and saw you alone in the house. I was scared that you would catch a cold and wanted to put a blanket on you but instead woke you up.”
“It’s okay, I have been asleep for quite a while.” Yuan Rui shook her hands at Zhang Mu when she heard him apologising. She pointed towards the cocoon and said, “Uncle, I have given life power to Little Black twice today. It seems much better.”
“Thanks for your hard work.”
Zhang Mu moved closer to the cocoon and observed its progress. Although he was not as sensitive to life power as Yuan Rui, he was connected by blood to Little Black. Hence, he was able to detect its power rising slowly within the cocoon. Realising this, Zhang Mu stopped wishing that it would break out of the cocoon soon. It seemed that the longer the Obsidian Beetle stayed in the cocoon, the greater its power would be. Zhang Mu was anticipating the mutation of the Obsidian Beetle. When that happened, his Obsidian Beetle might be the only mutated animal that has reached the second level of Mutation at this stage.
While Zhang Mu was pondering, Yuan Rui noticed the torn clothes and the long wound on Zhang Mu’s back and gasped, covering her mouth in shock while her eyes began watering. Hearing the gasp, Zhang Mu instantly knew what she saw. He didn’t want her to be worried, but there weren’t any clothes that he could change into inside his Merchant’s Ring, and hence, he could only come back like this.
Yuan Rui gently touched the scar on Zhang Mu’s back and asked anxiously, “is it very painful?”
After asking Zhang Mu, she choked and started blaming herself, “If I didn’t use up all my powers on Little Black just now, I could have healed you.”
Zhang Mu saw the sad look on Yuan Rui’s face and immediately comforted her, “Don’t worry about that. I have already drunk the recovery potion which was bought from the red-haired uncle. Although this guy sells at a high price, his items are worth the money. Please don’t worry.” Zhang Mu said finished and showed Yuan Rui that he was indeed okay. Yuan Rui observed that Zhang Mu really seemed healed completely and stopped blaming herself.
“This scar looks so ugly only because it is a new scar. With my recovery speed now, it will disappear soon and might leave my skin smoother than yours. You should really cry if that happens.” Zhang Mu purposely lightened up the mood and finally managed to take Yuan Rui’s attention away from his injury. She cutely bared her teeth like a little kitten and said, “If your skin becomes better than mine, I will scratch it worse.”
He left the house under the pouting gaze of Yuan Rui’s eyes and went to find Wang Liang.
The guards outside Wang Liang’s house didn’t stop Zhang Mu from entering. Who dares to stop the person who feeds them? Wang Liang had already informed them that all the food supplies in the survival base were from Zhang Mu and he even sold it to them at a very low price.
“Brother Mu, you’re back already? How was it? Were there any gains?” Wang Liang put on his gold-framed glasses and stood up.
“I have settled some of it, but most of the places were empty.” Zhang Mu replied in a very calm tone. Wang Liang was unable to catch Zhang Mu’s emotions and thought that he was angry. He immediately said sternly, “I will definitely punish those that gave fake news. They still think that they can get away with it after I have warned them.”
Zhang Mu grabbed his arm and stopped Wang Liang from going out. He smiled and said, “There is no need to be so nervous. It is hard to ensure that there are suitable mutated beasts and the news that they gave me were not fake. It might be that they were too scared and didn’t look properly, after all, I did notice signs of beast activity”
“There is another thing that I want to ask you. Who was the person who said that there were big-sized mutated animals in a village? His news was very accurate and allowed me to have a huge gain. When you pass the rewards out later, tell everyone that I need accurate news, the more accurate it is, the higher the rewards.”
Wang Liang looked at Zhang Mu and asked, “What reward is suitable?”
Zhang Mu stretched and slowly replied, “give the one who gave me the accurate news 500kg of food supplies and 100 litres of drinking water. The other four will get four days worth of food supplies.”
Wang Liang couldn’t contain himself anymore. Zhang Mu had multiplied the rewards for the mission by as much as five times. What’s more, those that offered empty news also got rewards.
“Brother Mu, do you think me and my men could be your followers instead?”
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