"If you weren't a widow and your children weren't orphans, I wouldn't have given you a way out, Aunt Yunying!"
"Look at this! Look at what you've done to this fur coat! You have ruined the lining with your washing!"
"I'm not blaming you, but you are really old. Can't you be more reliable and stop causing me so much trouble?"
Luo Yunyang felt rage building inside him as he listened to these reprimands. Cheng Bapi had stopped by his place.
Cheng Bapi was the nickname Luo Yunyang's sister Luo Dong'er had given the owner of the laundry shop, whose actual name was Cheng Daren. The Luo household had gotten used to using this nickname when referring to their mother's boss.
The sinister fellow always came up with all sorts of ways to make Luo Yunyang's mother work more and get paid less.
This was how the nickname Cheng Bapi had come about.
Luo Yunyang pushed the door open and entered without a second thought. His mother's head was lowered in the dusky, lamp-lit room, and his younger sister looked like an injured quail in the corner.
The sight of them made Luo Yunyang feel very sad.
"Yunyang, you are back! There is food on the stove. Go and eat first!" Shen Yunying told him softly. She seemed a little embarra.s.sed to see her son.
Luo Yunyang did not eat. Instead, he strode over to Cheng Daren. Cheng Daren felt dread in his heart when he saw Luo Yunyang walk over to him.
How can I actually be scared of a half-grown kid? This is ridiculous...
Although Chen Daren could not be considered a somebody in town, he owned a store and had an elder brother who was a martialist. Therefore, his presence in Donglu Town could not be ignored.
"Luo Yunyang, you are back. I heard that your strength tested inferior to young master Lian's by over 100 kilos. He he… If I were you, I wouldn't waste my mother's money."
As Cheng Daren said this, he straightened his back and looked at Luo Yunyang with disdain.
Shen Yunying, who was worried about her son seeing her in this state, changed her facial expression.
"You are lying!" Luo Dong'er seethed. "Lian Yubi tested weaker than my brother by over 100 kilos at the last test!"
"That's old news. Did you know that Boss Lian gave his son a vial of body-forging medicine? That stuff costs 100,000 dayuan!"
Cheng Daren's voice had subconsciously become louder. "The status of a martialist is really high. A poor brat like you could not possibly forge a path through cultivation. You lack a good father figure!"
Luo Yunyang flashed a cunning smile at him and said dully, "Whether I can cultivate or not is none of your business, Cheng Daren!"
Being addressed so bluntly made Cheng Daren shudder.
The man had a very big ego. How dare this little brat address him by his name?
Other people might address him this way, but he wanted to be the sort of man that made others in the village tremble when he stepped in front of them.
What right do you have to call me by my name, you little brat? You…
"Don't give me that smile, Luo Yunyang. This has nothing to do with you." By now, he was brandishing the coat in his hands. "This is worth 1,000 dayuan, Aunt Yunying. Bring the money over tomorrow."
"If the client didn't feel sorry for you, he would have asked you to pay the full price. That would be 10,000 dayuan!"
As soon as Shen Yunying heard this, she got worried. 1,000 dayuan was a lot of money. She had to wash clothes for an entire year just to earn 2,000 dayuan. She would practically have to give up six months' worth of income.
"The fur coat was already like this when I started washing it, boss. You… You can't let me pay for this!"
"If you don't pay, then I'll have to pay. Listen to me, Shen Yunying. There are many people lining up to work at my place!" Chen Daren turned his nose up before adding fiercely, "If you don't bring the money tomorrow, don't blame me for not being nice to you!"
"You claim that my mother washed this fur until she ruined it. Hand it over and let me see." Luo Yunyang did not wait for his mother to say anything else. He had already walked up to Cheng Daren.
Although Cheng Daren didn't want to hand it over, he unconsciously pa.s.sed the fur coat to Luo Yunyang. Luo Yunyang scanned the coat in his hands and noticed that at the top of the purple mink fur was a hole as wide as a finger.
He could not tell what this hole was.
Now that the attribute regulator had forged a path to greatness for him, he didn't think 1,000 dayuan was that much money.
Judging by his mother's expression though, Luo Yunyang could tell that there was something strange about this situation.
He sure wouldn't enjoy suppressing his anger and handing over 1,000 dayuan.
He felt the urge to beat up Cheng Daren, who was falsely accusing his mother of doing a bad job, but even though he already considered himself a martialist, he still had to abide by the Alliance's fundamental rules.
What should he do then?
As he thought about it, Luo Yunyang suddenly remembered something. He quickly opened up the attribute regulator and changed his attributes in favor of the Mind Attribute.
This was the first time he had raised his Mind Attribute that high.
Luo Yunyang was astonished. Suddenly, he remembered that when he had been cultivating the Earth-Splitting Devil Ape Move, his strength had hit 500 kilos.
His gaze travelled once again to the tear in the coat. He realized it wasn't the same. The tear appeared to have gotten a lot bigger, and so had the fur around its edges.
"Whose fur coat is this, Old Cheng? Whoever they are, tell them that they are a fraud. This isn't over. I'm not done with them yet!"
Luo Yunyang then pointed at the tear and said, "This hole was made by an arrow. The traces on the fur and the owner's skin can prove it."
Cheng Daren started trembling. He clearly knew how this hole had come about, and now that Luo Yunyang had discovered it, he felt somewhat nervous.
"Rubbish, you… You stop that nonsense! This was obviously ruined by your mother. I don't care if you want to or not, you still have to compensate the client!"
Although he was puzzled deep down, Cheng Daren still maintained the same stance.
"Get lost!" Luo Yunyang yelled. As he shouted, his eyes flushed red and he felt like a roaring lion.
When he yelled, Cheng Daren felt as if a heavy hammer had battered his heart. His vision seemed to turn a little darker, and he nearly collapsed on the ground.
Cheng Daren only said those two words and then suddenly turned around and ran towards the door like crazy.
The room was dark and the floor was slippery. Cheng Daren was too panicked to look where he was going, so he slipped and crashed against the ground.
The man, who felt as if there was a ghost chasing after him, got up and ran outside in fear.
"He he… He is so mighty! Why doesn't that scoundrel just fall and die?" Luo Dong'er laughed heartily as the little pigtails on her head swayed.
Luo Yunyang lovingly stroked his little sister's pigtails and flashed a little grin.
Shen Yunying smiled as well, but her smile was a little forced, so it was a more unpleasant sight than tears.
The crafty Cheng Daren had been scared away, so there was no need to pay that 1,000 dayuan anymore. They had still offended Cheng Daren though, so she would not be able to return to the laundry shop again. Without her salary, how was she going to raise her two kids now?
"I'm already a martialist, Mother. Let me provide for you and my little sister from now on!" Luo Yunyang knew what his mother was thinking. She was thinking about all the bitter hardships and grievances she had endured without fighting back. Just the thought made her sad. Luo Yunyang squeezed his mother's shoulders in comfort.
As she heard her brother's words, Luo Dong'er stared at him in disbelief. She was unable to speak.
She knew very well what a martialist was. Martialists led the best lives in Donglu Town.
She had always thought that one day her brother would be able to become a martialist, but she had never thought that happiness would come this soon. She felt like she was hallucinating.
"Is that true? This..." Shen Yunying was overjoyed at the news. She didn't dare believe her own ears.
Just like her daughter, she was also aware of her son's strength. Although her son was talented, their family was poor, so she had no way of helping him obtain high-grade food.
The benchmark for martialists was 500 kilos. Her beloved son hadn't even achieved 300 kilos yet.
"This afternoon, I was enlightened by the Ape-Dragon Blueprint. My strength has risen to 500 kilos!" When he saw the look of disbelief on his mother's face, Luo Yunyang recounted what had happened before the Ape-Dragon Blueprint.
Then he extended his hand and picked up a ball from the table, which was missing a leg.
It was a grip ball, the Federation's crudest tool for measuring strength, which only cost 10 dayuan. This particular one had been Luo Dong'er's present for Luo Yunyang's 15th birthday.
"Red, orange, yellow, green, blue!"
Five colors flashed through it before it finally settled on blue. The glittering blue looked dazzling under the lamplight.
"500 kilos? My brother's strength has. .h.i.t 500 kilos. Oh, yeah! My brother is a martialist!" Luo Dong'er cheered loudly, her voice full of joy.
Shen Yunying looked at the brilliant blue ball in relief. However, she still couldn't help but start crying.
"Yunyang, Dong'er! Wait a minute! Mom will prepare something better for you to eat." Shen Yunying wiped away her tears and walked to the makeshift kitchen outside the small house.
After a while, she brought four dishes inside.
Although his mother had tried her hardest to improve their lives, Luo Yunyang's heart surged at the sight of those meager vegetables.
I want to try to improve my mother and sister's lives!
After he ate, Luo Yunyang unfolded his bed in the living room. Their wooden house, which only occupied 20 square meters, had been built about 50 years ago, so the wood in many areas had already cracked.
While they slept, they would hear the sound of wood cracking from time to time.
Luo Yunyang's priority was to buy a larger house. This way, his mother and sister would not need to squeeze into such a small place.
As he considered this, Luo Yunyang thought about his experience that day with the attribute regulator panel. He had no idea where it had come from, but he was already aware of its importance.
This panel would become his greatest weapon.
As he was about to fall asleep, he thought about his experience with setting his Mind Attribute at 3.5.
Not only had he been able to observe even the finest details, but it had also seemed like he had acquired some sort of strength. He just hadn't been paying much attention to it at the time.
He had to adjust his Mind Attribute again!
Luo Yunyang set his Mind Attribute at 3.5 once more.
He immediately felt his surroundings become much clearer. He could even sense a vile mosquito buzzing as it descended towards Luo Dong'er's arm.
When he thought about the possibility of his sister's arm swelling the next day, he instinctively wanted to stop it.
He had just been thinking about it.
He didn't even think it would work, but as the mosquito closed in, it suddenly seemed to encounter some sort of resistance that prevented it from descending any farther.
Luo Yunyang felt something disintegrating. Suddenly, his vision turned a little dark and he nearly fainted.