Chapter 5: Shopping Mall

The dragon cub looked young, but its momentum wasn’t weak, as it angrily flew toward the leopard.
The beast’s limbs couldn’t stop shaking, it turned in the opposite direction to escape.

Ning Chu was stunned, his hand tightly squeezed the folding knife which almost cut into his flesh.
When he loosened his palm, there was almost no feeling.
He looked at the young dragon in front of him and said in a daze, “Third Cub?”

Third Cub put away its wings and crouched on the ground, its round black pupils also looking at him.

That gaze couldn’t be mistaken.
Although he didn’t know how Third Cub suddenly became smaller, Ning Chu was instantly sure that this was Third Cub.
The young dragon crouched coldly in the same place, the pair of claws snapping into the grass and leaves revealed its apprehensive mood.

As soon as Ning Chu entered the forest, he knew.
He didn’t want to appear in his juvenile form, so he followed Ning Chu quietly, wanting to observe this human.
When Ning Chu was in danger, Third Cub rushed out of the bushes in the heat of the moment.

He was a little chagrined that even if he wanted to help this human, he shouldn’t have been so reckless as to expose his secret completely.

Thinking of this, Third Cub’s breath sank slightly, and a hint of killing intent surged in his eyes.
If this human wasn’t Ning… he wouldn’t be able to walk out of this forest today.

However, the next moment, Ning Chu jumped up and hugged him tightly.

Soft clothing against the tip of his nose, Third Cub could vaguely smell the fragrance of grass and wood stained on the fabric.

“So you’re here, I knew it… I thought I wouldn’t see you today,” Ning Chu said, excited, ignoring the pain in his left shoulder, picking up Third Cub and checking him anxiously, “Why are you smaller again? Is it because of your body? Is there anything wrong with you?”

Third Cub’s spine was stiff, he hadn’t been held like this for a long, long time.

Ning Chu still had a lot to ask, but before he could say anything, he happened to glance at a faint mark on Third Cub’s front scales and froze.
He gently touched the mark with his fingertips, and then looked closely at Third Cub’s body, and found a number of wounds of varying shades on its back, wings and claws.

These wounds had long since healed, but the scars remained.

Ning Chu’s eyes were sore.
A long time must have passed between the accident and the time he transmigrated and he didn’t dare to imagine how the little dragon cubs stumbled to grow up after he left, and what aggravation they suffered.
He sighed, “I’m sorry… And thank you for saving me just now.”

Third Cub still looked quiet, not reacting to Ning Chu’s words at all.

Ning Chu became uncertain again and asked cautiously, “San San, you still remember me, right?”

Third Cub’s tail twitched a little, which meant approval.

Ning Chu breathed a sigh of relief and cuddled him again.

The tiny hatchling wasn’t heavy to hold, and Ning Chu was able to easily snag the underside of the dragon’s wings to lift him up, his good-looking face coming closer.
This was his old habit, the game had an interactive action called “face rub”, and Ning Chu usually liked to use it.
After clicking the game character, it would let him pick up the dragon cub, and tilt his head to rub his face against the cub.

When he was still in the game, Ning Chu was expressionless and stiff in the eyes of the dragon cub, but now he looked much more normal and vivid, and his movements were still familiar.
Third Cub watched Ning Chu get closer and closer, and stretched out a front claw to coldly press on Ning Chu’s face to stop his next move.

He wasn’t a young cub anymore, so it wasn’t appropriate to do this kind of thing anymore.

Third Cub showed obvious resistance, so Ning Chu had to give up.
He reassured himself that it was normal to become distant after not seeing him for so long.

He was just attacked by a magical beast, and when he fell, his palm was scraped in a few places.
Third Cub looked down and saw it, sniffed at the skin that was seeping blood, and exhaled a dragon’s breath.
The wound quickly healed with the help of the dragon’s breath, as if nothing had happened.

Ning Chu’s eyes widened as Third Cub climbed back up onto his shoulder, healing the wound on his left shoulder too.

“It doesn’t hurt anymore,” Ning Chu exclaimed as he moved his left shoulder, “That’s amazing.” He said with a slightly lost look, “Unlike me, I can’t even learn the simplest of magic.”

The mall was still unlocked, and the resurrection of Fifth Cub was still a long way off… 

Thinking about this, Ning Chu hesitantly spoke, “San San, do you know where the other dragons and Cubbie are? And, is Fifth Cub…” He said with difficulty, “Not here anymore?”

Third Cub sniffed, looked up and stared at Ning Chu, not letting go of any subtle expression on his face.
The Ning Chu in front of him appeared only a few days ago, he was just an ordinary human, and he couldn’t even beat a small magical beast, so how could he learn that Little Five was no longer here?

Third Cub’s eyes were suspicious, and his killing intent was once again evident.

Ning Chu knew nothing about it, he was a little sad, and his eyes downcast, “What happened? The day I first came here I saw…” He felt that he was too weak, “I have the game still, I can revive Little Five, but I don’t have enough credits… The money I can earn every day is too little.”

Third Cub quietly raised his paws and lowered them again, his eyes round.
He didn’t understand what Ning Chu said about “game” and “credits”, but Ning Chu said that Little Five could be revived.

Third Cub was visibly excited and turned in a circle around Ning Chu’s leg, and even took the initiative to rub the back of his hand.

He confirmed that this was ‘Ning’.
Other than ‘Ning’, who else had such divine power to resurrect the already dead Little Five?

Third Cub wanted to tell Wuuth this information immediately, but remembered that he had already left the Academy today and wouldn’t be back until some time later, and the several other dragons were also away.

Ning Chu, seeing this, curled his lips and whispered, “You miss her too, don’t you?”

He couldn’t communicate with Third Cub directly, so he could only guess, and Third Cub didn’t seem to have any intention to take him to look for other rare dragons.
They were probably not around, or Third Cub didn’t know where they were either.

Ning Chu put aside the idea of looking for other dragons for the time being and let go of Third Cub and got up to pick up the Flocculent Fruits that had rolled down on the ground.
Some of the fruits had broken their skins a bit, and the clerk wouldn’t take them, so he had to search for new ones.

Third Cub watched Ning Chu collect the fruits and heard him say, “Thirty fruits can be exchanged for two gold coins, and when we have 500 of them… Little Five will be able to come back to life.”

He listened silently, and his tail wagged behind him.

Ning Chu was ready to continue picking fruits, he half crouched down in front of Third Cub, “You will not suddenly fly away again today, right?”

Third Cub tilted its head, and after a moment flew to his shoulder and crouched down.

When Ning Chu used to go to the mountains to cut down trees and feed the animals, Third Cub liked to crouch on his shoulder or lie on top of his head like this.
Now that the game had become a reality, Ning Chu raised his hand to squeeze Third Cub’s little paws and carried the sack into the forest.

He didn’t know if it was because of Third Cub, but Ning Chu didn’t encounter any beasts in the forest, and successfully found all the fruits he needed for his mission.
Seeing that it was getting late, Ning Chu said, “I have to go back.
I’m a student at Lance Academy now, and I’m only free every afternoon,” Ning Chu said hesitantly, “I’ll come back tomorrow.
You’re not leaving, right?”

If he could, he would love to take Third Cub back with him, but the school was crowded and Bowen was in the dorm, so it wasn’t very convenient.

Third Cub nodded, confirming that he wouldn’t leave.

Ning Chu immediately smiled, “Then you can wait for me here tomorrow too, okay?”

Third Cub nodded again and raised one side of his dragon wing, touching Ning Chu’s side intimately, “Aowuuu…”

As if Ning Chu understood his meaning, he stroked his head, “I missed you too.”

One human and one dragon said goodbye at the entrance of the forest, Ning Chu waved and watched as Third Cub turned and flew away, disappearing into the woods.
He walked a bit further and took a magical beast cart that he passed along the way back to Academy and went to the commissioning house for his payment.

The staff counted all the 30 fruits and joked, “So you’re lucky every time?”

After the magic dragon appeared, the Academy sent out a notice telling students to stay away from there, and the number of high-level assignments in Enigma Forest was reduced these days.
Only Ning Chu, a first year student, was brave enough to go there for two days in a row without any problems.

Ning Chu responded vaguely, “There’s always a commission for this, right? If I come every day, can you reserve it for me?”

The staff said quickly, “Yes.”

“Reserve what?”

A voice rang out and Ning Chu turned his head to see a familiar face.

It was the same students from the morning practice session, and the leader of the group came forward and raised his eyebrows, “Hugh is taking assignments?”

His eyes went to the commission card on the table, which had a red stamp on it, indicating that it had been successfully settled.

The words “Enigma Forest” were written on the assignment bar, the student’s face changed, and when he looked at Ning Chu again, his eyes were suspicious, “You… Why have you changed so much since you went to Enigma Forest?”

In his perception, Ning Chu probably didn’t even dare to go near Enigma Forest, and during this time there were still magic dragons around, so how could he dare? He even wondered if Ning Chu had picked up some treasure inside that time he went there and quietly improved his strength.

Ning Chu tilted his head and looked at him for a moment, his lips raised a smile, as he said slowly, “Want to guess?”

He stood against the light, teal pupils darkened a lot, this familiar face made a completely different expression from his usual one, looking a little weird.

The student felt an inexplicable chill down his spine and couldn’t help but take a step back.
He didn’t want to talk to Ning Chu any more, and dragged his companion to leave in a hurry.

After they left, Ning Chu collected himself, thanked the staff of the commissioning office, and left.

The next afternoon, Ning Chu arrived at Crow Market on time, took his commission card and went to Enigma Forest.
Knowing that Third Cub would be waiting for him in the forest, Ning Chu was in a good mood.
When he entered the forest, Ning Chu called out, “San San?”

A red shadow appeared in response and flew towards Ning Chu, avoiding the branches.
Ning Chu opened his arms and caught Third Cub, who flew into his arms.
Third Cub steadied himself and flew around him, stopping on a tree branch.

Ning Chu took out a beef jerky from his pocket, “I brought you something to eat.”

This was prepared by the cafeteria for the students, and each person could only take one, so Ning Chu didn’t eat it and saved it all for Third Cub.

Ning Chu said, as if to himself, “Isn’t it a little too big? I’ll tear it for you…”

Before he could say anything, a large red dragon suddenly appeared in front of him, a large tree behind him was crushed, and the air around him became hot.

Ning Chu looked up at the Third Cub, which had returned to its adult form, and said in a daze, “You can tear it apart…”

The dragon looked down and gently ate the jerky out of his hand without even swallowing.

Ning Chu dropped his empty hand, “Okay…”

Third Cub dropped his head again, lowered the back of his neck, and spewed dragon breath from the tip of his nose.

Ning Chu guessed, “Are you… Are you going to let me sit on you?”

Third Cub didn’t move, so Ning Chu tried to touch the scales on the side of its neck, stepped on his front paws and climbed up with difficulty.
Without a tool to hold his body in place, Ning Chu carefully moved up to the top of Third Cub’s head and hugged one of his horns.

Third Cub wouldn’t do this for no reason, he probably wanted to take him somewhere, so Ning Chu hugged his horn tightly, “Ready.”

The dragon’s body temperature was high, and his scales and rough horns were slightly hot, so he took care of Ning Chu and opened his wings to rise very slowly high into the sky.

The woods below were getting farther and farther out of sight, and Ning Chu only looked down before he dared to look again.
His heart was beating wildly, and his excitement came sluggishly as he realized he was really sitting on a dragon’s head.

In the past, he wasn’t very healthy, so he couldn’t do anything physical like sports, and couldn’t do anything too exciting.
As Ning Chu grew up, he had never even ridden a roller coaster.
When he came to this other world, the magical creatures he raised in the game became real and would take him to the sky, an experience that used to only happen in his dreams.

Third Cub flew very steadily, and he could sense that Ning Chu was in a good mood, so he deliberately slowed down his flight speed.
Ning Chu gradually calmed down, as the wind was blowing his hair and robe, he reached out and touched the clouds passing by, leaving a wetness in his palm.

Third Cub took him as far as the center of the forest, where Ning Chu saw a lake at the bottom and a pile of brightly colored objects at the edge of the lake.
When Third Cub flew down and stopped in the open area near the lake, Ning Chu’s expression gradually froze.
He got off Third Cub and looked at the pile of orange fuzzy fruits in front of him and was too shocked to say, “These…”

There were thousands of Flocculent Fruits… half of the forest’s fruits must have been picked.

Third Cub had already become small again and flew to the fruit pile and squatted down, holding his head high and waiting for praise, as if to say, ‘Is this enough money?’

Ning Chu didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as he went forward to check.
Among the fruit were a lot of branches and dirt, and a circle around the pile were all dragon footprints.

In the distance, there were a few ordinary dragons lying under the tree waiting for new instructions, Ning Chu looked at them, “You asked them to help you pick them?”

Third Cub nodded his head.

Ning Chu had mixed feelings and stroked his head, “Good boy, you grew up well.”

Third Cub cocked his tail and gave an “aowu” to the distance, several ordinary dragons got the order and left quietly.
However, this pile of Flocculent Fruits made Ning Chu feel a little worried.

Dragon paws weren’t as good as human hands, so the fruit wasn’t picked properly, a lot was damaged after being picked and carried, so they had to be cleaned up.
And since there was more than required by the commission, he didn’t know whether they would accept all of it.

But the fruit was picked, and Ning Chu couldn’t let Third Cub down.

So he sat in the woods all afternoon, and barely managed to clean out the pile of Flocculent Fruits.
There were more than two hundred of them, so Ning Chu took off his jacket and wrapped them in his clothes.

When he was finally done, Ning Chu leaned back and lay down on the grass to rest.

Third Cub rubbed himself against the side of his neck, and Ning Chu smoothed his spine with one stroke, gently reprimanding him, “You can stop picking so many at once… It’s easy to waste them.”

Third Cub nodded silently, paws flattening the blades of grass and lying down to sunbathe with Ning Chu in the fine breeze.

When Ning Chu struggled to carry a big bag of soggy fruits to the commission office, the staff was surprised, “Where did you…? Where did you get so many?”

Ning Chu smiled shyly, “I accidentally picked too many, can you take them all? Or can you only take the thirty that were assigned?”

“We can take them, but…” the staff member thought for a moment and lowered his voice, “Do you have any way to get other supplies from Enigma Forest?”

He had a hunch that Ning Chu wasn’t ordinary.
Collecting so many Flocculent Fruits, how far would one have to travel to pick them all? Besides, there weren’t only magic dragons in Enigma Forest, there were also many magical beasts of all ranks.
Ning Chu, a first year student, always returned unscathed.

Ning Chu whispered to him, “What supplies?”

“Just… You only need to agree or refuse, this is a high-level private assignment, so I will not ask more questions and will not disclose your information to anyone.

Ning Chu understood what he meant, as he was pondering.
He had Third Cub, he could walk straight across the Enigma Forest without fear of the magical beasts deep in the forest, and rarer supplies meant higher prices.

Ning Chu immediately nodded, “Okay, what do you need?”

“No rush, I’ll make a list and show you tomorrow,” the staff member took the Flocculent Fruits on the table, “Let’s settle these first.”

The part that exceeds the demand of the commission could only be counted as the normal price, which was thirty one gold coins.

With what Ning Chu brought back, he earned a total of ten gold coins in exchange.
This was the first time he got so much money, so he put the gold coins away, and his heavy pockets immediately became light again.

The staff member said, “By the way, a dragon was brought back from Crow Market today, do you want to take a look?”

Ning Chu was immediately interested, “A dragon?”

“Yes,” the staff nodded, “But unfortunately it doesn’t look too good.
The arena is looking for someone who can hurry to take it as a contract beast.”

The dragon was wounded and was very resistant to other people’s contact.
Healing magic would be greatly reduced without contact and if they were to wait for the wound to heal, it would die because of pain.
The contracted beast could rely on the master’s magic power to heal itself, which was twice as fast as direct healing.

But taming the dragon wasn’t so easy, and people could only hope that they could catch the dragon’s eye and it would be willing to take the initiative to submit.

Ning Chu thought about it, asked the staff where the dragon was, and searched for it alone.

There was a small beast farm near the arena, and sometimes some magical beasts were brought in as contract beasts for the students to choose from.
Ning Chu went late and there were very few people in front of the cage, and they left after unsuccessful attempts.

Ning Chu approached the imprisoned dragon, which was very thin, lying moribundly in the cage, the obvious skeletal lines on its spine proved that it had not had a healthy life.
There was a deep wound on its abdomen, and the bleeding had been temporarily stopped.

Sensing another person approaching, it weakly opened its eyes, its gaze wary.
If no one can tame him, he probably won’t live more than three days.

Ning Chu asked, “How do I make it my contracted beast?”

The man in the room didn’t even look up, “Just use your spiritual power to sense it.”

Spiritual power? What is that?

Ning Chu was confused, he recalled the two people who had just left, their movements in front of the cage, so he tried to close his eyes, while extending his hand.

…Nothing happened, the same as the magic he couldn’t use.

Seeing that he had also failed, the man from the farm got up and pushed the cage inside, saying, “We have to let him rest today, so come back tomorrow if you want to try again.”

Ning Chu had to give up, took a few last looks, and turned around to leave Crow Market.

Back at the Academy dormitory, Ning Chu immediately opened《Dragon Island》.
Together with the ten newly recharged currencies today, he could finally unlock the mall.
Ning Chu clicked “unlock” at the system’s prompt, and after deducting six currencies, the familiar purchase interface appeared.

Food, tools, medicine… These three categories were the main supplies needed in the game, Ning Chu looked back and found an additional column,【Other.】He clicked on it and saw that there were only two items he could buy.

【Create a new Dragon Island.】

【Contracts.】

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