The skull began to faintly emerge from that dark fog, starting to show more and more of its face.
As Jiang Nan looked, a complete skull was about to reveal itself.
But right at this critical moment!
Suddenly, a brilliant and dazzling golden mist began to billow out from Jiang Nan’s back, its color like that of golden porridge.
In an instant, this glittering golden fog expanded outward and surrounded the totem pillar, simultaneously covering up the dense, ghastly air of that skull!
Jiang Nan’s mind went blank.
The officers also began to take notice of this odd occurrence, but they only saw that golden mist, not the object concealed within, or rather, the skull which the golden mist was shielding from the outside.
An officer let out a surprised ‘Yi’ sound, “How strange. I’ve been a totem test proctor for ten-some years already, but have never seen such an unusual sight. Hey, do you know what this means?”
Another officer stared at the distant golden mist doubtfully, “I don’t understand either, it’s so damn weird!”
At this moment, Overseer Ceci was also startled, and walked over in astonishment. He swayed over as he nibbled his fingernail, “Aiyaya, hurry up and let a person see! Exactly what just happened?”
The officer hastily bowed and answered: “Lord Overseer, after this slave approached the totem pillar, at first, dark clouds began to appear, which means that he definitely has some kind of innate totem talent! But after that, that golden mist suddenly appeared and surrounded the totem pillar… Lord, this subordinate truly cannot tell what kind of innate talent this slave has, please be the judge!”
Overseer Ceci was also at a loss. To be honest, he didn’t know what this meant either. However, as a superior, he didn’t want to admit his inability in front of his subordinates.
Hence, he just laughed delicately and lied for the sake of saving face: “Dummy~ this obviously means that… this slave has no innate talent whatsoever, and he’s simply just an ordinary person!”
The officers stared vacantly. However, the superior had already decided so, so they wouldn’t dare to contradict it. An officer rushed towards Jiang Nan and gestured, “Leave the totem pillar then. Overseer Ceci has already said that you have no innate totem talent whatsoever, and are only an ordinary person!”
Jiang Nan was also startled, ordinary person! The result of the test really was… that he was only an ordinary person!
How was this possible? He himself clearly saw that there was a skull!
However, Overseer Ceci was a totem master of the upper echelons, and he probably wasn’t wrong: perhaps that skull wasn’t the proof of innate ghost talent.
Alright then, he was only an ordinary person.
F***, he was only an ordinary person!
Jiang Nan laughed bitterly in helplessness. That he was just an ordinary person signified that throughout his whole life, he would be unable to become a noble totem master, and further meant that in his life, he would have to be a genuine slave that cared for pigs!
Jiang Nan was truly unwilling to be a slave!
Trudging along with a heart full of reluctance, Jiang Nan returned to his shanty.
Because he was one of the last to finish the physical test, and was proven to be an ordinary person for the innate talent test, he had already lost all eligibility to loiter around at the threshing floor.
At this time, Auntie Alisa had just woken up, and she was currently boiling a bowl of porridge for Jiang Nan: golden porridge.
The same color as that golden mist, golden porridge!
“Rodi, you’re not happy? What happened?”
Alisa’s face was quite serene, as though she had never contracted any illness.
Seeing that Jiang Nan’s face was quite downtrodden, she crawled over and touched his forehead.
Jiang Nan squeezed out a sliver of a smile, then narrated what had just happened to his aunt. At the very end, he was still a bit unreconciled, “Auntie, when I was being tested, I clearly saw a skull, meaning that I probably possess innate ghost talent, but right after its appearance, a golden mist just…”
“Rodi, your eyesight must’ve gone bad.”
Alisa’s expression was very strange, and something flickered in her eyes, as though she was avoiding something.
However, Jiang Nan didn’t take notice of his aunt’s expression, and only laughed at himself self-deprecatingly, “Alright then, my eyesight’s gone bad. There was never any skull, and I’m just an ordinary person…”
After saying this, Jiang Nan picked up the golden porridge that was finished cooking and drank half of it absentmindedly.
Although, his face was incredibly unsightly.
Seeing through Jiang Nan’s thoughts, Auntie Alisa began to console him: “Are you still feeling regretful? Regretful that you don’t have a chance to become a totem master?”
Jiang Nan went silent for a while, until he nearly jumped into the air at a determined voice.
“Who says you don’t have a chance of becoming a totem master?”
Alisa’s sudden words were startling!
She chuckled mysteriously, her horrifying face distorting, “The tests conducted through totem pillars are not necessarily accurate, and there are a lot of ways to make the totem pillar’s test err. Rodi, don’t be discouraged or dismayed, and remember Auntie’s words well…”
Alisa’s demonic face abruptly grew serious, and she spoke with extreme solemnity, “When a totem pillar classifies a person as ordinary, there are two situations. The first is that you are truly a good-for-nothing, and the second… that you are an incredibly rare genius that appears only once every ten thousand years! Your innate talent, under the shielding of some kind of object, has already exceeded the limit of the totem pillar!”
Jiang Nan lifted his head, stunned. He clearly remembered that several days before, his aunt had told him after she had caught him about to dissect a corpse that she didn’t understand much about totems. Then now… how could she tell him such specialized info?!
Alisa didn’t see Jiang Nan’s face of astonishment, and instead clapped her hands and giggled foolishly: “Truthfully~ my Rodi is a huge, huge genius, teehee! Sooner or later, Rodi will become a totem master who will shake the continent, hehe. When that day comes, no person will be able to kill my Rodi anymore…”
She was happy to the point that she began waving her arms and gesturing wildly in joy, as if she was seeing a mighty and awe-inspiring Jiang Nan. Suddenly, she saw that Jiang Nan still had half a bowl of golden porridge left.
“Why aren’t you drinking? Don’t tell me that you don’t want to live through people chasing after you to kill you? Could it be, that you don’t want to become a glorious and earth-shaking totem master? If you want to, then finish that bowl of golden porridge!”
At this, Alisa forcibly took the bowl of porridge away and forcefully fed the golden porridge into Jiang Nan’s mouth.
Ai, so it turns out that Auntie just had another episode! Jiang Nan sighed. The things that Auntie had told him, that the totem pillar was inaccurate, that he was a genius, all these words, were total nonsense!
Might as well keep being a slave then!
Golden soil was bitter, the golden porridge was also very bitter, and Jiang Nan’s heart… was even more bitter!
In the evening, Overseer Ceci finally picked out two thousand robust male slaves, as well as two hundred or so female slaves whose physiques weren’t bad and were proficient crafts makers.
On the other hand, there were still sixty-seven slaves who had fortunately passed the innate talent test, and had become lofty and grand soldiers of the army.
And Tom was the luckiest! Maybe it was because he had demonstrated astonishing drive, but he had not only entered the army, but also earned the position of a captain!
Just like that, after Overseer Ceci had finished making a selection, only 2500 slaves remained on the threshing floor, and they were either old and weak or sick and disabled.
During noontime of the second day, Overseer Ceci led the selected slaves and departed.
Right at the time of departure, Tom had even made a solemn vow to Jiang Nan, “Rodi, don’t you know? Once I’ve made enough gold coins from being a soldier, I’ll send money back here and redeem both you and Auntie Alisa! We’ll forever be the best of friends!” (TL: awwww bromance)
Jiang Nan laughed, but didn’t say anything.
What could he say? Just two days before, the two of them were still tending pigs together as slaves, and after barely one session of testing innate talent, one of them had become a lord captain of a big city, and the other was still a slave steeped in the smell of pig dung!
All of this was due to two words—innate talent!
Staring at the distant Tom, Jiang Nan suddenly felt that his cheek had gone cold. Raising up his head, he only saw layers and layers of sparkling, translucent snowflakes drifting down from the sky. It swirled about like rain, as if throwing a farewell party to Tom and mocking his own inability.
This was Flowerstream Era, Year 2143’s first snowfall, and very quickly, the snow blanketed the farm in a huge expanse of silver.
Watching the snow flutter about in the sky, Jiang Nan suddenly felt a strong wave of shame wash over him, and right at that moment, a tiny little seed had begun to grow in his heart.
He told himself, “Fine, I have no innate talent, I’m a slave! But, I’m not willing to be a slave for my entire life! I will definitely find a way, no matter the method, to become a free person!”
Following that, he saw Alisa who was in the middle of dragging her crippled legs across the field and digging out golden soil. “Furthermore, Auntie has given me a new life! I can’t allow her to live the rest of her years in that shanty. I absolutely must give myself and Auntie a new life! And all of this… will begin once I am no longer a slave!”
Jiang Nan silently made this resolute determination in his heart.
However, a question continued to pop up, which was that the innate talent testing was already over, so what other chance would he have to allow himself to discard the identity of a slave?
After pondering a while, Jiang Nan suddenly felt as though everything had become a sheet of white…
He couldn’t think of any way to rid himself of this identity as a slave!
Frustrated, he grabbed at his hair in sorrow.
Right at this moment!
“Rodi! Why isn’t a lowly thing like you going to work, and just standing here foolishly doing nothing? Are you looking to get beat?!”
A furious roar transmitted from behind, followed by the sound of a whip cracking.
Miss Weylin had walked over.
Sun City’s most beautiful woman’s elegant figure, graceful and measured steps, that long, golden hair that fluttered whimsically at her back, as well as that pale blue dress truly set off her beauty, seemingly making her grow prettier by the minute. However, her actions were still so cruel!
A whip lashed against Jiang Nan’s head, and Weylin began to berate him: “You peasant, Overseer Ceci has just taken all the strong male slaves, and the farm is lacking farm hands everywhere, yet lowly scum like you dares to laze around? Do you truly believe that this woman doesn’t dare to kill you?”
“Calm down, calm down, I’m going to go work already. Those obese pigs of a master definitely won’t starve to death.”
Jiang Nan felt the blood left on his head, then turned and started walking. But, right at this moment, a lady of around eighteen or nineteen years of age obstructed him, “Remain standing there! Did the lowly you not hear? Miss Weylin is in the middle of teaching you!”
Jiang Nan sized up this young woman in astonishment. He knew that this young lady was a slave by the name of ‘Lola’.
In the past, Lola would always keep a low profile no matter who she saw, but today… she actually dared to scold him?
“What are you staring at me for?”
Lola’s face expression told him, ‘I’ve scolded a lowly scum like you, what are you going to do about it?’, then she arrogantly said: “You better remember this. Starting today, I’ve been promoted to being Miss Weylin’s personal maid! I have the authority to assist Miss Weylin in managing the farm, have the authority to chastise you, to beat you, and even have the authority… to kill you!”
Weylin also spoke: “Have you heard now? Rodi, you remember this woman’s words. Right now, there are insufficient farmhands on the farm, and you must perform labor worth three men. As to what it is, Lola will arrange it for you.”
After saying this, Weylin called over two overseers, “Lola, from now on, Rodi’s under your supervision. If he refuses to obey…”
Lola answered quick-wittedly: “If he refuses to obey, then I’ll just request of these two brave older brothers to beat him to death!”
Finishing her words, Lola deeply bowed, then laughed sweetly: “Miss, go ahead and receive guests without worry, I’ll handle the situation here.”
Weylin nodded her head in satisfaction, then turned and headed towards the farm gate.
Only after this did Jiang Nan realize that Weylin hadn’t come for the purpose of sorting him out. In reality, there was a guest outside the farm, and when Weylin had gone to meet the guest, she had taken advantage of the opportunity to make arrangements for future human affairs within the farm.
The guest was around thirty years old, and stood at a height of two meters. His physique was slender, and had a head of short, pale black hair. His two arms actually reached to his knees, and his nails were around one or two *chi long, all of them a dark green color!
(*TL: chi = ~⅓ meter)
The guest perceived that Jiang Nan was sizing him up, and icily returned a glare!
“A lowly slave like you dares to measure the high and noble me?!”
From this gaze, Jiang Nan felt a slight chill well from the depths of his heart. Laughing, he withdrew his gaze, although in his heart he exclaimed in alarm, Sauron?! Sun City’s number one totem master, Sauron, actually came!