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Castle Of Black Iron - Chapter 96

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Chapter 96: A Small Figure's Selfishness

Translator: WQL Editor: Geoffrey

On the highest point of Wild Wolf Castle, besides the blue flag, there was

another flag; there was a red flag raised up, which meant that important news

or a notice had been released. Even from several kilometers away from Wild

Wolf Castle, everyone could see that red flag.

On the evening when Zhang Tie had sent back Pandora and a group of girls

who had wanted to form a team with the Hit-Plane Brotherhood to Wild Wolf

Castle, Zhang Tie had already known of the contents of that notice.

Compared to the amazed expressions of the other members of the Hit-Plane

Brotherhood, Zhang Tie had already mentally prepared himself for the arrival

of this piece of news. While everyone in Wild Wolf Valley was noisily

discussing the situation in Blackhot City, not a single one of them knew that

Zhang Tie was the one who had accidentally triggered the entire incident in

Blackhot City. This event was the hottest topic both in Wild Wolf Valley and

Blackhot City. As for the identity of the one that had sent out the letter which

started the entire incident in Blackhot City, nobody was able to give an answer;

however, the government of Blackhot City did exert all their efforts in an

attempt to find this person, but in the end, it was still not enough to reverse

the flow of time back to the day when the mysterious person had sent that

letter through the mailbox by the post office located in the city square of

Blackhot City. It had already turned into a secret that would never be revealed.

It was only when this event had broken out in Blackhot City that everyone

knew that the Red-scarf Burglars, who were well-prepared and were

conspiring with the Niumuen Business Group to take over Blackhot City both

internally and externally, had been lurking in a hidden location that was less

than 150 km away from Blackhot City. When the Niumuen Business Group was

swept out by the army of Blackhot City and had schemes exposed, the Redscarf

Burglars retreated from their hiding spot like a pack of wolves, and when

they had reappeared, they caused a disaster in Lance City and involved the Sun

Dynasty in this chaos, leading them to confronting the Andaman Alliance.

’’Mysterious Warner’’ that was the nickname that Zhang Tie had received

when the incident broke out in Blackhot City. Some said that the ’’Mysterious

Warner', the person who had started the incident in Blackhot City, was a bandit

that was part of the Red-scarf Burglars, some said that this ’’Mysterious

Warner’’ was a top fighter who lived in seclusion in Blackhot City, while there

were also some who said that this ’’Mysterious Warner’’ was a political enemy

of Marshal Lin Changjiang, the governor of the northern border of the Norman

Empire... There were all kinds of speculations about the ’’Mysterious Warner’’;

however, no one had guessed that the ’’Mysterious Warner’’ was actually just

an ordinary youth from an ordinary national male middle school situated in

Blackhot City that was currently attending a survival training in Wild Wolf

Valley. Not to mention, the same youth had even almost destroyed an

influential figure's intention to obtain recovery medication in Blackhot City.

Sometimes, there were rumors that were grounded with strong logic, and there

were also various possibilities that seemed true; however, truth was something

that was always extremely dramatic, as the people's daily lives and the earthly

world doesn't give one the opportunity to be rational and logical. This was just

like a famous story on the well-known Butterfly Effect[1]. There was once a

blacksmith who had dropped a nail on the ground, which later injured a

horse's hoof. Because the horse was wounded, the knight who rode it lost a

battle, which directly influenced the war between two nations, finally leading

to the destruction of a country.

Zhang Tie had learned this theory in science class at school. It was only when

he had heard of the incident in Blackhot City did Zhang Tie realize that what he

had rightly done was drop the nail that wounded the horse's hoof. After

walking into Huck, who had already been killed by Zhang Tie, near the railway

station, he had changed so many things.

The ’’nail’’ had truly changed some of the details and slowed the development

of the situation; however, the Norman Empire and the Sun Dynasty were

already rolling without stop towards the Andaman Alliance and Blackhot City,

much like huge wheels with unstoppable momentum. Just the start of the

huge, rolling wheels had already created great waves in Wild Wolf Valley.

Many of the people here had to serve in the army after graduation, which

meant that they would have to directly face these two huge forces, the Norman

Empire and the Sun Dynasty, and perhaps they may even fight the army of

these two countries on the battlefield, thus all the students attending the

survival training in Wild Wolf Valley felt as if a huge burden had been placed

on their fates. Facing the incoming and uncertain future, many people felt

confused and frightened.

Tonight, with the exception of Zhang Tie, everyone else in the Hit-Plane

Brotherhood was trying their best to cultivate the basic skills of Iron-Blood

Fist. They continued to do so until they were all extremely fatigued and were

gasping as they laid on the grass.

In truth, Zhang Tie could actually stick to it for a while longer; however, when

he saw Bagdad, with eyes fixed on him, practicing the Lying-Tiger Stake as the

blue veins on his forehead especially stood out, Zhang Tie could only pretend

to be exhausted before throwing himself onto the ground. Ten seconds after

Zhang Tie had ’’given up’’, Bagdad, who was no longer able to hold on, also

heaved a deep sigh and ended his practice. For Bagdad, if he couldn't remain

the strongest fighter in the Hit-Plane Brotherhood, then it would be a great

strike to his pride.

Two moons hung in the sky one was a silver crescent, while the other was a

pale blue full moon; one was big, while the other was small. The moonlight

cascaded down and enveloped Wild Wolf Valley with a layer of a beautiful, pale

blue, and white brilliance. Accompanied by the two moons, the stars in the sky

looked particularly splendent, the cicadas on the Dragon-Claw Trees were

chirping, the crickets in the grass were tweeting, while the howls of the

looming wolves drifted over; the entire Wild Wolf Valley was extremely

tranquil.

The members of the Hit-Plane Brotherhood simply laid there and silently

looked at the sky for more than ten minutes.

’’If I was killed on the battlefield, someone who is still alive among you must

remember to hand over my pension to my family since that amount of money

could allow my two younger brothers to live a bit better!’’ Sharwin silently

opened his mouth. Sharwin was good in all aspects, except he was too

pessimistic sometimes.

’’You'd better stay alive. If you die, we would only use your pension to sleep

with women and let your bastard dad and two younger brothers go to hell!’’

Hista cursed.

’’Bastard!’’ Sharwin cursed in a low voice before he laughed out loudly.

’’I heard the Iron-Horn Army Group under the flagship of Lin Changjiang, the

governor of the Northern Border Army Group of Norman Empire, and the

Brilliant Feathers of the Sun Dynasty are both composed of war maniacs and

madmen. Do you think we might encounter them?’’ Doug said dejectedly.

’’Don't be that pessimistic. We should not be that unlucky to have to fight

against the armies of the Norman Empire and the Sun Dynasty. As for the

entire Andaman Alliance, those two countries are two super powers, each of

whom is much more powerful than the Andaman Alliance. Because of this

great gap in force, if there truly is a battle with any one of the two countries,

the Andaman Alliance would definitely lose. Since the wealthy big figures are

definitely more afraid of death than us, I think that a war would not break out.

For the Andaman Alliance, this is a war that they are doomed to lose, and they

would never bet on this war at the risk of their own lives. Two kids with the

same strength might fight over a piece of candy, but a tough man would never

fight a kid, let alone two tough men fighting a kid at the same time...’’ Lying on

the ground, Leit said so.

’’Hmm, I feel that Leit's words are reasonable. We don't need to feel that

stressed!’’ Barley added.

’’Even if a war doesn't break out, the Andaman Alliance would still not have a

bright future. In the history of Blackson Human Clan Corridor, it has always

consisted of at most 70 city-states; however, this number has been gradually

decreasing. In the end, every city-state would see one of two outcomes. The

first would be the emergence of a talented or mighty figure who would unite

them all into a country. The other would be that the city-states would break

apart and be annexed by the surrounding powers. For the Andaman Alliance, it

doesn't have a talented or mighty figure, and under their eyes, the Norman

Empire and the Sun Dynasty would never allow it to become a united country,

thus the final outcome for the Andaman Alliance and Blackhot City might be

being annexed by either the Norman Empire or the Sun Dynasty. Once

annexed, this region would face high coercion for at least the next few dozen

years. If this matter cannot be settled through peaceful manners, then even if

we don't die on the battlefields, we would not be able to live well in the

future...’’ Sharwin continued to speak in a pessimistic way.

Hearing Sharwin's words, everyone became silent once again. No one rebutted,

as they all knew that Sharwin was telling the heaviest and undeniable truth.

’’So you're saying that even if we're not cannon fodder on the battlefield, we

would be slaves after our country dies. Hmm, although the Andaman Alliance

and Blackhot City cannot be considered a country, it's almost the same!’’ Hista

said dejectedly.

’’For this event, I feel... it will be settled through peaceful means!’’ Barley said

in an unconfident and low voice.

’’But, I have always felt that something is off. The Andaman Alliance, the Sun

Dynasty, and the Norman Empire have maintained peace for over half a

century, so why are they giving us trouble now at the same time?’’ Doug

suddenly hit the key point like an idiot.

Not knowing the reason, when he heard Doug's words, Zhang Tie suddenly

thought back to the squirrels that were busily storing pine nuts in the trees to

survive through the winter.

’’No matter what reason it is, if it is related to us, we will know about it sooner

or later. That's why, we don't need to rack our brains on that matter...’’ Bagdad

gloomily said. ’’The most important thing for us right now is to improve our

own strength. As you know, in this age, people without strength will not have

freedom. Only when we have strength could we control our own fate. If we are

well-practiced in the Iron-Blood Fist Skill, then why would we need to be

concerned about these boring questions?’’

’’Bighead, why are you silent? Aren't you worried...’’ Lying on the ground,

Barley turned his head and asked Zhang Tie.

’’I think you are all right. But to tell you the truth, I don't really care about the

future of Blackhot City and the Andaman Alliance too much. Perhaps it is

because I am Chinese, a minority in Blackhot City of the Andaman Alliance. I

am not able to assume any more responsibilities for the fate of the Andaman

Alliance and Blackhot City. My family has already sacrificed one life for the

Andaman Alliance and Blackhot City. No matter what, I do not want my family

to sacrifice another life for them, and neither would I make such a sacrifice. I

only have a few desires in my life. As long as my loved ones can live well, as

long as I have enough money and beloved women, then I will be satisfied...’’

Looking at the beautiful stars in the sky, Zhang Tie forced a smile. What

happened in Blackhot City and the Andaman Alliance really shocked him a lot.

Although he had changed the speed of the development to some degree, he

realized he couldn't change the final outcome. At the very least, the fate of his

loved ones have not changed at all. This was the cause of the feelings of

frustrations and powerlessness that small figures would feel.

Bagdad's words were true. Instead of hoping for the world to develop like your

imagination, it was better to make yourself stronger, as this was true strength.

In contrast, everything else was bullsh*t. For Zhang Tie himself, if he wanted

to become powerful, he would have to depend on the Castle of Black Iron and

the small tree within.

Although Zhang Tie had never thought that he was selfish, sometimes, the

Castle of Black Iron and the small tree brought Zhang Tie a sense of

selfishness. If this age could be seen as a large wheel that was rolling forward,

then Zhang Tie felt that, with the exception of himself, who was someone who

could jump out of its path and stay in his own world, everyone else could only

be chased by the large wheel that surged forth as they oozed sweat all over.

The world where Zhang Tie stayed in was also a wheel that only belonged to

Zhang Tie. Although it was very small, Zhang Tie could happily push it forward

in a speed faster than the others. Soon after, the others would be far behind

him and his world. Zhang Tie felt that he was truly a bit heartless; although

everyone else was concerned about the future of Blackhot City and the

Andaman ALliance, he was just thinking about how many mining baskets filled

with ores he should move into the Castle of Black Iron in order to quickly

increase the amount of basic energy storage inside. While everyone was

worried about turning into slaves in the occupied areas in the future, Zhang Tie

was thinking about his circumcision after the completion of the survival

training. ’’ Damn it! It truly does not feel good to be a virgin among a group of

horny students.’’ Honestly, Zhang Tie really didn't think that the fate of the

Andaman Alliance and Blackhot city was more important than his

circumcision surgery. ’’Am I selfish? If this is being selfish, then I prefer to be

selfish. Who f*cking decided that the future of the Andaman Alliance and

Blackhot City is more important than my future? Who the f*ck decided that the

'se*ual pleasures' of the privileged figures are more important than my 'se*ual

pleasures'? Who the f*ck decided that a small figure like me has to share

difficulties with the big figures, but not the pleasures? F*ck, I will do what I can

do and I will enjoy myself. So what!?’’

In the current situation, it was as if many naked people were struggling to rush

forward in the snowfield in order to escape the snowstorm that was chasing

them. In contrast, Zhang Tie was sitting inside the train and was eating hot

pot, leaving the group of people behind along with the ’’crack crack’’ sounds

made by the moving train. This was another lifestyle that had been brought by

the Castle of Black Iron and that small tree. If he didn't have the small tree and

the Castle of Black Iron, then Zhang Tie would have been just like them; he

would have been a member of the people rushing forward in the snowfield as

they tried to escape from the snowstorm that was chasing them. Fortunately,

he had that small tree and the Castle of Black Iron, allowing him to sit in the

train to enjoy hot pot. If he could enjoy such a good treatment, then why not

enjoy it? Anyone with a normal mind would make this choice!

......

It was Zhang Tie's turn to be on duty for the first half of the evening tonight.

Crouching in a pit on the tree, Zhang Tie watched and listened to the

surroundings while visualizing an abacus in his mind as he practiced mental

arithmetic using the abacus. He practiced various operations. He did addition

and subtraction with numbers between 1 to 1000. He did multiplication with

any two digit numbers, any two digit numbers with three digit numbers, and

any two digit numbers with four digit numbers; he had even done the reverse

with division. Over the past few days, Zhang Tie hadn't give up on practicing

mental arithmetics using the abacus, and as a result, he has made steady

improvements to his calculation skills. Now, with just a glimpse, he would

easily get the answer of any addition or subtraction problem within three

digits, and any multiplication or division problem between two digit numbers.

Additionally, as a benefit of his boring yet self-gratifying training, his spiritual

energy had also gradually increased. Compared to his spiritual energy when he

had started the survival training, Zhang Tie's spiritual energy had already

increased by about 2%.

It was only when Barley had replaced him for the second half of the night did

Zhang Tie climb back into his own hole to sleep. At the sight of Zhang Tie,

Barley was also curious. While the others always looked extremely tired the

morning after their duty, how come this guy becomes even more high-spirited

when he finishes his duty? Could it be that he had adapted to the nightlife?

After he finished practicing mental arithmetic using the abacus, Zhang Tie lied

down, but he did not fall asleep; instead, he silently injected his spiritual

energy into the Trouble-Reappearance Fruit, leading to him entering another

virtual world...

......

It was the same dusk, the same valley, the same path, the same grass where the

wolves had drilled out and charged towards him. Zhang Tie waved his dagger

towards them...

Several minutes later, the three wolves turned into corpses once again.

Looking at that wound on his hand that was left by the sharp fang of one of the

wolves, Zhang Tie shook his head...

Boom...

Everything turned into specks of lights.

......

One minute later, after Zhang Tie injected his spiritual energy into that

Trouble-Reappearance Fruit to activate the same scene once again, Zhang Tie

entered it for the second time tonight.

It was the same dusk, the same valley, the same path, and the same grass...

This time, Zhang Tie changed his ’’trick’’. Before the wolves had drilled out of

the grass, Zhang Tie had already rushed into the grass to fight the three wolves

with his dagger. However, after this trial, Zhang Tie realized that grass was

more restrictive to humans than it was to wolves. In fact, the latter even had

more advantages in the grass. The result of this fight was that Zhang Tie once

again became afraid of death and pain...

......

Zhang Tie then exited the scene and rushed inside one minute later...

Zhang Tie repeated this process until his spiritual energy was exhausted.

When he could no longer activate the Trouble-Reappearance Fruit, he fell

asleep.

......

The other members of the Hit-Plane Brotherhood would never know that this

guy sleeping beside them had already experienced eight life-or-death fights

with three wolves in a hidden place which only existed in Zhang Tie's mind

within half an hour since he finished his duty. Through fighting many times,

Zhang Tie had suffered less wounds than before, and the three wolves had died

faster than before...

Before he fell asleep, one last thought appeared in his mind maybe I should

jump into that deep hole left by the Gold-Eating Boas again tomorrow and see

what kind of feeling it will give...

[1] Butterfly Effect: A small matter triggers successively bigger events. Read

more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect



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