Stellaron Hunter Tag-Along (Honkai Star Rail) - Volume 1 Chapter 6
Chu Mu didn’t even raise his head to acknowledge Sampo’s words and calmly said, “There’s a limit to joking. If someone from the Silvermane Guards were to overhear you and take it seriously, they would flay you even if it meant shedding a layer of your skin. You’re digging your own grave, don’t involve me in your mess.”
Seeing this, Sampo immediately nodded like he was pounding garlic. “You’re right, you’re right. I understand, how could I go around spreading such things? Sampo guarantees to keep this a secret! Take care, sir. Remember to visit again! Old Sampo is always ready to welcome your esteemed presence!”
With that, Chu Mu silently stared at him.
“Sir, why are you looking at me like that?”
Being stared at so silently by a child, Sampo felt a bit uncomfortable all over.
“You,” Chu Mu pointed behind Sampo, “haven’t returned my woven bag.”
“Isn’t that something you can find all over the mining area?” Sampo widened his eyes, seemingly encountering such a request for the first time.
“But I need it,” Chu Mu’s tone brooked no refusal.
After all, he didn’t want to go back to the mining area and invite the foreman’s retaliation.
After receiving the woven bag, Chu Mu was about to leave when Sampo stopped him.
“Sir, are you from Rivet Town Orphanage?”
“No,” Chu Mu remained expressionless, but he was internally on high alert.
“Let’s just assume you are. Recently, there’s been a small but significant incident in the upper district. The newly appointed Supreme Guardian, Lady Cocolia Rand, seems to want to adopt an orphan from the lower district and groom them as the next Supreme Guardian.” Sampo shook his head with a smile, sarcastically adding, “This matter has caused quite a stir in the high-level meetings, but there’s no news in the lower district.”
“It has nothing to do with me,” Chu Mu remained poker-faced, unsure why Sampo was sharing this information.
This is a suspicious man!
Sampo, on the other hand, revealed a mysterious smile.
“Although the upper district is still in turmoil, it’s unlikely those old folks can change the decision made by the Supreme Guardian. Within a month, the result will be revealed, and the Rivet Town Orphanage will give birth to the next Supreme Guardian! Hahaha, the first Supreme Guardian from the lower district!”
“Why are you telling me this?” Chu Mu dropped the pretense and asked directly.
“I told you, I see the potential in you to become someone important,” Sampo pointed at Chu Mu with his finger, saying seriously, “After all, if you become the Supreme Guardian, maybe I can become your court jester, amusing you. All day long”
“That’s an absurd idea,” Chu Mu scoffed.
“Haha, if you knew what the current Supreme Guardian is planning, you’d think an absurd idea isn’t so bad after all,” Sampo sarcastically remarked.
“Adopting an orphan from the lower district, isn’t that a good thing? It at least breaks the barrier between the upper and lower districts,” Chu Mu puzzledly questioned.
“You think it’s a good thing, so be it,” Sampo shook his head, “Anyway, I’ve given you the warning. You must seize the opportunity and become the only lucky one in the lower district. You don’t want to spend your whole life scavenging garbage, do you?”
Upon hearing this, Chu Mu sensed an impending storm and asked, “Is the big one coming?”
“The previous information was a friendly gift, but this information doesn’t come for free,” Sampo assumed the demeanor of an information broker, “This information is worth at least nine hundred million Shields.”
“Hah, You might as well go rob Qlipoth Fort!” Chu Mu sneered, no longer interested in wasting time with this rambling man, and walked away.
Sampo stood there, deep in thought.
“The residence of the Supreme Guardian, Qlipoth Fort. How does he know that I’m planning to rob it?”
“When the Supreme Guardian Cocolia comes to the orphanage in the lower district, it will be the perfect time when Qlipoth Fort’s defense is weak.”
“That big brother truly has a keen eye; he can see through my thoughts!”
Instead of immediately returning to the orphanage after leaving the garbage dump, Chu Mu went to the adjacent Boulder Town.
Compared to the prosperous Rivet Town, Boulder Town, although much larger in size, was even more crowded!
It was filled with miners and their families, bustling with activity and an aroma of smoke and fire. The variety of food, drink, and entertainment was much more abundant here.
Chu Mu sniffed the enticing aroma coming from a food stall nearby, and his stomach couldn’t help but growl in hunger.
He had only eaten one meal in the morning and had been searching for work since noon. If he returned to the orphanage now, he would definitely miss dinner. If he didn’t eat anything now, he would have to endure hunger all night until breakfast!
At his age, Chu Mu knew the feeling of hunger all too well. When hungry, children like him could get panicky.
He touched the Shields in his pocket and subconsciously walked towards the food stall. He swallowed saliva and asked, “Boss, what’s the cheapest thing you have here?”
“The cheapest? I have a side dish combo that comes with complimentary vegetable soup. If you buy it separately, one Shield will get you a big bowl!” the stall owner said, pointing to a pot of thin soup.
Chu Mu glanced at it, seeing that the soup was so diluted that it could almost serve as a mirror. But with just one Shield, what else could he buy?
In the lower district, where food wasn’t produced, daily necessities relied on supplies from the upper district. The deep marrow ore they painstakingly mined could only be sold at a low price to the upper district in exchange for food, leading to high prices in the lower district!
A day’s work was barely enough for three meals; that was the norm for residents of the lower district. They earned the least money and did the hardest and most tiring work. The harsh environment constantly gave birth to tragedies, and at this moment, there might be miners lying in hospital beds, tormented by illness until their death.
The average lifespan in the lower district was short due to miner’s disease. Few could live to old age peacefully, which was also why there were so many orphans in the lower district.
Although a bowl of vegetable soup only cost one Shield, Chu Mu would have to risk freezing his fingers and dig in the snow for an hour to earn that one Shield!
Chu Mu thought for a moment but ultimately shook his head with regret and turned to leave.
He understood his own body well enough; he wouldn’t starve from missing one or two meals.
Besides, even if he had three full meals, what use would it be? The next time his illness flared up, he might die.
Chu Mu pressed his stomach and found reasons to justify his decision, trying to resist the hunger in this way.
As he passed a toy stall, Chu Mu’s footsteps halted.
He saw a snow globe.
He picked it up, inside was an unidentifiable white bird soaring in the sky, hunting a rabbit on the ground.
Unfortunately, the circuit inside was already damaged, unable to create a snowy scene or play music. It was probably a piece of junk salvaged from the garbage dump.
“How much?” Chu Mu asked.
“One hundred Shields,” the vendor smiled.
“I’ll give you one Shield at most; that’s a fair price,” Chu Mu calmly stated his offer.
“Hey, kid, you’re cutting the price too much! You’re just wiping out two zeros!” The owner frowned, “This is a treasure from the pre-war era. One hundred Shields is already a significant discount for you. Do you understand the value of this thing?”
“The pre-war era doesn’t mean everything is a treasure; most of it is just garbage left from the war,” Chu Mu looked up at the owner, “I know the prices of the junk in the garbage dump just as well as you do.”
“Heh, you know quite a lot for a kid,” the owner couldn’t help but chuckle, “Alright, alright, you can take it for one Shield. I’m closing up shop soon and don’t want to carry it back. We’ll go with your suggested price. Consider us friends!”
Chu Mu paid the money and carefully placed the snow globe in the woven bag.
He planned to bring it back to Little Bu.
Tn: I’m sure you guys already know, but for those of you who are unaware, in this story, Xiao Bu is most likely Bronya as a child.
That, or she’s Clara.