Chapter 394 – Danger at Sea Pt. 1
Suo Jia locked himself in his room for three days. Although he had already lost sight of that village ages ago, he still couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Bang! Xiang Yun slammed the door open and glanced at Suo Jia before sitting himself down next to Suo Jia’s bed. “Boss, do you have anything you want to say to me? I’ve noticed that you recently haven’t been like your usual self at all!”
Xiang Yun’s question managed to finally force Suo Jia to escape his own thoughts and turned around to glance at Xiang Yun. “Oh! Alright…it’s about time for us to talk a bit. How much longer are we to stay on this ship until we reach the third checkpoint?”
“Huh?” Xiang Yun blankly stared at Suo Jia for a long while before shaking his head in response. “Boss, it looks like there really is something seriously wrong with you! If you continue on like this, you will get destroyed. You definitely need to tell me now, what exactly has been bothering you?”
“Uh…” Suo Jia struggled to reply. “I’m fine, why…is something wrong?”
Seeing Suo Jia refuse to answer still, Xiang Yun coldly responded, “Of course there’s something wrong. You’re the leader of the group, yet you don’t know anything about the third checkpoint. In that case, let me enlighten you: we’ve been at the third checkpoint since two days ago. Moreover…for the next 6-12 months, we’ll remain at sea!”
“What?!” Suo Jia was now completely clear-headed as he exclaimed in shock, “What do you mean? How can that be?”
Xiang Yun tiredly explained, “The third checkpoint refers to over a hundred of islands scattered across the ocean. To pass this checkpoint, we must travel across the ocean and explore its entirety. Only after reaching the end of this checkpoint will we return back on land!”
Suo Jia couldn’t help but fall silent. He knew that having not known what his group would be getting into before leading them here meant that he had completely failed as the boss!
Under normal circumstances, Suo Jia would’ve stayed at the last relay station to gather enough information and go through all of it himself before deciding to head out. But because of that woman, he hadn’t made any preparations for this journey at all. What kind of use was a boss like that?
Seeing Suo Jia’s expression of self-blame, Xiang Yun couldn’t help but sigh. Recalling what Roger had told him a few days ago, Xiang Yun tentatively asked, “Boss, is a woman the reason you’ve been so out of it?”
“Ah!” Suo Jia let out a cry of astonishment. Although he didn’t exactly answer, his facial expression only was plenty clear.
Xiang Yun chuckled dryly and stood up from his seat. “Boss, even heroes have a weakness for the charms of a beautiful woman. It’s not something you should feel is shameful. Tell me, which woman did you fall in love with? Is it Nicole? I can help you tell her…”
“No!” Suo Jia hurriedly interrupted. “No…don’t go, it’s not Nicole!”
“Hm?” Xiang Yun sighed and asked, “If it’s not Nicole, then what’s the issue? We can just immediately turn around and grab that woman for you to ravage however you please!”
“Gah!” Suo Jia let out a strangled cry. “You…how can you say things like that? What do you think of me as? A womanizer?”
“Oh?” Xiang Yun shot back in reply, “Are you telling me that’s not the case?”
“It’s…” Suo Jia hesitated to respond, unable to come up with a rebuttal. Truly…if he wasn’t a womanizer, then why couldn’t he stop thinking about that woman? But at the same time, his desire wasn’t just as simple as wanting to ravage her, he wanted to treasure and protect her!
As Suo Jia once again withdrew deep into his thoughts. Xiang Yun scratched his head in bewilderment. He didn’t understand anything about these kinds of emotions, he was always entirely focused on his martial arts. How could he possibly help with this kind of romance-related situation?
If Suo Jia had feelings for Nicole, Xiang Yun would’ve just helped him speak to her. Although he didn’t know too much about feelings of affection, he knew that if Suo Jia really expressed those kinds of intentions to Nicole, she surely would not reject him.
If Suo Jia’s target was another woman, the situation was even simpler. He didn’t even have to worry about rejection – all they needed to do was capture her and let Suo Jia do whatever he wanted with her. With their strength, any form of rejection was useless.
However, now that it was clear that Suo Jia didn’t want Nicole, yet also was against forcibly seizing the woman on his mind, Xiang Yun had absolutely no way of helping even if he wanted to. After all, he didn’t actually know who Suo Jia’s object of affection was, nor where she was, so how could Xiang Yun seize her?
Xiang Yun tried to keep pressing Suo Jia to tell him, but Suo Jia refused to answer from beginning to end. Eventually, Xiang Yun could only leave the room although he knew that Suo Jia wouldn’t last much longer if this continued. He had completely lost his qualifications as a true warrior. However, worrying about this was pointless; it was something only Suo Jia himself could resolve.
A week quickly passed by, and the small ship was still sailing forwards. Although Suo Jia had occasionally come out on deck a few times in this time, he wouldn’t respond to anyone’s questions. However, it was clear to see that it wasn’t because he was unwilling to answer, but because he was completely unable to even register hearing their inquiries!
Xiang Yun sat cross-legged at the bow of the ship with his eyes shut as he focused on the Hegemon Arts. He’d been stuck trying to break through this bottleneck in his training for a long time now!
As for Roger and Nicole, they were both next to the side railings of the ship. Nicole seemed to be deep in thought as she stared at the golden sun gradually disappearing under the horizon. Meanwhile, Roger was fishing. After all, he was the one in charge of the group’s meals; any fish he could catch tonight would be used for dinner.
After a long while, Roger broke the silence first. He turned to look at Nicole, who was standing maybe five meters away. “Nicole, what are you thinking about so deeply?”
“Nothing…” Seemingly taken aback by the sudden question, Nicole shook her head with flushed cheeks. “Nothing at all, I’m not thinking of anything in particular, was just in a daze.”
“Tch…” Roger couldn’t help but internally rebuke, If you’re not thinking about anything, how could you be in a daze? Being in a daze means there’s clearly something on your mind…
Roger then turned to look at Suo Jia’s securely closed door and casually asked, “Nicole, I’m sure you’ve noticed this too, but there’s been something up with Boss lately. Every time I go visit him, he’s just blankly sitting on his bed and staring out his window. His face is deathly pale and he seems to have lost a good deal of weight!”
Nicole couldn’t help but tremble at these words. She hurriedly turned and rushed back to her own quarters…
After entering her room, Nicole leaned against her door in self-conflict. She felt that Suo Jia’s changes were all because of her, that he stayed cooped up in his room all day because he didn’t dare to face her. The few times he had come out, he wouldn’t look at her at all. It must’ve been because he’d been afraid to accidentally reveal anything!
Nicole closed her eyes with great emotion as she thought how Suo Jia must like her so much , yet not dare to say anything because he was afraid of making things difficult for her. However…how could a girl like her possibly initiate anything in this situation!
In reality, Nicole had been mulling over this for an entire week, and now felt like she could face the situation head-on. As a girl, she was bound to marry someone sooner or later, as embarrassing of a thought that was right now. If her partner were to be Suo Jia, she wouldn’t refuse. Although a bit afraid of the prospects, she also felt expectant and a slight longing for this to happen.
Nicole suddenly stomped on one foot and said out loud to herself with blushing cheeks, “Why can’t that rascal just be a bit more aggressive? If you are serious about it, how could Nicole possibly reject any of your requests?”
While Nicole was letting out her frustrations to herself, Xiang Yun was ashen-faced outside her door, his hand frozen in the air. Just as he had been about to knock on her door, he had overheard everything she’d said through the thin door. He hadn’t ever realised before just how deep Nicole’s feelings towards Suo Jia were, to the point where she would devote her whole life to him. However, Xiang Yun also knew that the one in Suo Jia’s heart at the moment was not Nicole!
Xiang Yun quietly dropped his hand back to his side. He had originally wanted to find Nicole in hopes that she could ease Suo Jia’s worries. However, he hadn’t imagined that Nicole was likewise also trapped in the snare of love. Moreover, her situation was even more worse than Suo Jia’s — while he was simply infatuated, Nicole was already prepared to give her heart over!
If Nicole was the one that Suo Jia liked, everything would naturally fall in place perfectly. They’d all be happy and continue on their journey together. However, the issue was that Nicole liked Suo Jia, while Suo Jia was head over heels for someone else!
Xiang Yun returned to his previous cross-legged position on the bow of the ship. He could already faintly sense the group’s internal relations at risk. A single mishap would cause the entire team to collapse and fall apart!
He spent an extremely long time trying to find some way to resolve it all, but emotions were something that nobody could ever truly master. Moreover, only the ones directly involved could really make a difference!
Xiang Yun let out a helpless sigh. The future really just depended on how Nicole and Suo Jia shaped it. Although Xiang Yun would undoubtedly hate it if the group’s current synergy were to disappear, it would be an inevitable result if the team’s disbandment was what the Heavens had prepared for them.
Xiang Yun couldn’t help but heave another sigh before closing his eyes and returning to his meditation training once more. All he could do was see what the Heavens had prepared for the future!