A Land Of Heroes(2)
A few barbarians were immersed in bitter training in and around Zykrama. Some had dug out caves into the cliffside and secluded themselves within. With nothing but a few pieces of jerky as food and melted snow as drink, they would live in these shallow pits for several months. Others found random cliffs to sit upon, their entire bodies bared except a small piece of beast skin tied around their crotches. The women left their breasts exposed as well, enduring the chilly winds. These people were obviously more powerful than those who needed the protection of the cliffs. Training here would give one a body no weaker than steel.
Everyone present heard the war drums of the Azuresnow Shrine, immediately glancing in the direction of the peak with understanding.
There was a small depression in the absolute peak of Zykrama, the only part of the summit where snow would pile up. The light and rhythmic sounds of snoring could be heard from within the snow that was unbelievably dense after many years of compaction.
The pocket of snow suddenly twitched, a few cracks splitting open on the surface and quickly expanding. *Boom!* Shattered fragments were thrown into the neverending wind, rolling down the distant cliffs to a metallic tune. The ice shards danced in the sky as a seemingly delicate little fist broke out from the snow, turning the firm pocket of snow to dust.
A girl sat up from within, her left fist still raised high into the sky as her right rubbed at her eyes to clear the drowsiness from her mind. She struggled to get her eyes open before looking around in confusion, obviously not completely awake.
Mountainsea swayed as she got up, rubbing her eyes once more before they finally focused on an old man who had appeared in front of her at some point. She suddenly looked down at the string of beast bones she wore, noticing the large cracks in one. When she turned back up, her eyes were filled with joy, “He’s here!”
The great shaman nodded gravely, the wrinkles on his face etched just as deep as the great rifts, “Yes, he’s here. Four years earlier than we anticipated.”
A look of confusion flashed on Mountainsea’s face as she fell into thought for some time. All of a sudden, she clenched her little fists, “Does he already think he can beat me? That’s impossible. Isn’t he afraid I’ll just toss him into the sea?”
A slight smile rose on Urazadzu’s face, “I actually think he’s here to see you, Your Highness. Perhaps he’s been away from you for too long.”
A sunny smile flashed on the girl’s face in an instant, “Does he really think of me that way?”
“There is no other explanation for his presence in Klandor now, even blowing the tooth of the Beast God. I caught wind that time flows ten times as fast on one of his planes, but even so he should be no match for you. It wouldn’t be possible even if he had thirty-fold blessing.” The shaman slipped into thought for a moment, “Back then, Her Excellency Sharon only rated him as excellent.”
Mountainsea pursed her lips, “I’m not that amazing yet. In Norland, my level isn’t that high, I’m just… just… What level was I again?”
The great shaman chuckled, “Who knows? Things like levels aren’t suited to everyone. The people of Norland just like putting things in their own bins. You can ignore them completely.”
“Um, shaman, do you really think he’s only here to visit me?” Mountainsea asked in anticipation.
Urazadzu laughed again, “Won’t you know if you just ask him face to face?”
“How many people do you think he brought?”
“It might just be himself.”
“Himself?” Mountainsea looked surprised and pressed on, “Did he go insane or something?”
“Young people are bound to go a little crazy sometimes.”
“Good!” she said resolutely, “If he really has the guts to come here for me alone, I’ll wait another four years for him and not toss him into the sea.” The girl immediately determined Richard’s direction, starting to charge over.
“Wait!” Urazadzu called out, getting her to stop.
“Why? I need to go!”
“Are you going to leave just like that? Have you forgotten what awakening a tooth of the Beast God does? Everyone already knows you gave one of the teeth to a young mage that you wanted.”
Mountainsea’s head full of braids began to fly in the wind, her little eyebrows slowly rising as her voice grew cold as the mountain wind, “You mean Zawu…”
“Not just Zawu. I imagine the young ones from the other tribes will be eager to see him as well.” The great shaman was always tactful in his words.
Mountainsea’s face was now as cold as ice, “I understand, I’ll take a weapon. I’m a little far from him right now, by the time I rush there he might already… Never mind, I said I’ll avenge him if he dies. I really want to know who would dare to kill my man.” Her voice was calm and cold, making a mere statement of fact just like how the mountain below her had existed for tens of millions of years.
The great shaman sighed, “Prepare your weapons, I will lend you my help.”
The girl slanted her head and thought things over for a while, looking at the mountain below her feet with resolution. She suddenly stomped down hard, causing the entire peak to shake as a thick stone pillar bulged out from the ground. A low cry rang out as she pulled it up with all her might, lifting it a metre into the sky.
Mountainsea’s shouts echoed in the winds as the pillar continued to inch higher. Only when it was about ten or so metres in the air was she satisfied, breaking off with another cry. The moment she used her strength, a faint phantom of an ancient beast appeared behind her back.
The girl then threw the pillar to the ground, looking it over before nodding in satisfaction, “This is it.” Shaman Urazadzu concealed his surprise, tapping the pillar with the long staff in his hands before starting an ancient and cryptic chant. The enormous column sunk bit by bit until it was around a metre long, looking no different from an ordinary rod.
Of course, the only thing that had reduced was the size. Mountainsea picked up the rod and weighed it in her hand, noticeably pleased with the weapon. Tying it to her back with a beast skin band on her waist, she waved the shaman goodbye.
“I’ll be off!” the girl rushed to the edges of the snowy peak, leaping off the steep cliff up ahead before falling to the ground like a meteor.
A dull thud shook all of Zykrama for some time, leaving even Urazadzu trembling as he rushed to the side of the cliff to look downwards as best he could. All he noticed was a small figure disappearing into the distance.
A long while later, the great shaman shook his head and looked back to see those who were meant to be training all present at the cliff to watch Mountainsea’s departure. “What are you looking at?” he asked darkly, “Get back to your training!”
The powerful barbarians trembled, not daring to look further as they all returned to their former positions. Mountainsea was the only one who talked to Urazadzu cordially; with everyone else, he inspired fear.
Somewhere in Klandor, a thousand metres underneath a sea cliff, a young man was standing on a reef with his eyes closed. Only a single metre of this reef was exposed to the surface, vicious waves surging repeatedly and drowning him beneath. The waves would then continue to press forward and crash into the cliff to the tune of an earth-shattering rumble, rendering themselves into a scattered froth.
Eroded by the waves over countless years, the surface of the reef was slick as oil. However, the powerful young barbarian kept his body straight as a spear, not moving at all despite the force of the waves.
He suddenly opened his eyes, staring into the distance as a sinister expression crossed his face, “The promised fellow is already in Klandor? Great! Let Balibali see how amazing you are. A weakling actually dares to want Mountainsea?”
Another giant wave submerged him, but once the crest passed on there was no sign of anyone left on the reef.
At the top of a desolate mountain, a burly barbarian who was sitting very still opened his eyes. He had an extremely unique appearance, that of a beast head placed on a body of steel. He suddenly grinned to reveal a mouth full of crooked teeth, shreds of meat still stuck in from the night before. The youth had tanned skin that was tainted by bloodstains that had accumulated over a long period of time, ghastly white bones littered around the mountain he was sitting upon.
A stark red tongue stuck out of his mouth, licking his lips as he smiled viciously, “The promised person here? Good, let me eat you! Mountainsea will be mine sooner or later anyway!”
He stood up and stretched his body, starting to head down.
In an unremarkable little village, a handsome young man who was noticeably taller and better built than his fellow tribesmen was carrying a log to an open space. He pressed it downwards with a shout, using both hands to bury it into the rock-like clay ground. He then took out some tools hanging at his waist, starting to cut indentations in the long one after the other.
The central log was soon surrounded by many others, helping form a new beast skin house on the vacant land. The youth brought over a bucket of red paint, smearing decorations on the white hide as a group of children helped him where they could.
Once the house was finished, the children erupted into cheers, “We have a place to stay now! Umur is really great!”
The handsome youth chuckled, a hint of bashfulness rising on his face. He scratched his head with no proper response, merely bending down and sending them in with a pat on the buttocks. The children surged inside, so excited that it felt like they would turn the world upside down.
The young man’s smile suddenly froze on his face as he turned to look into the distance, rage flashing in his expression as he almost charged out of the village immediately. However, he suddenly stopped and grabbed at his needle-like short hair, struggling with indecision as he gazed at the empty land next to the new house. A bunch of materials were already piled up for the next house he was going to build; if he left, he would not be able to finish for some time.
He struggled for some time before sighing, bending down to look for what would be the main pillar amongst the pile of wood. He decided to abandon his sleep, working to finish up overnight. Once that was done, he would leave immediately to teach that wretched promised boy a lesson!
In an unknown world with a dark sky and earth, lit only by small spatial rifts wandering about at random, the lifeless ground trembled as an enormous black beast galloped across the lands. Its mountainous body was supported by eight pillar-like legs, two rows of sword-like spikes running across its back that seemed like they could cut through anything.
The incomparably ferocious beast was fleeing pathetically, chased by a young man who was gently flying through the sky. He was wrapped in black beast skin, only revealed to be a barbarian by the three dark blue stripes smeared on his face.
However, he was obviously flying with the power of magic. Balls of lightning were occasionally formed in his hands, lobbed towards the frantic creature. The orbs were nothing more than flies compared to its humongous body, but every impact evoked an excruciatingly painful howl. Still, no matter how much pain it was in, the beast refused to slow down.
The one chasing it was a barbarian mage, an entirely unthinkable combination. The youth looked very relaxed as he continued to follow, confident that the beast would be his sooner or later. One of his goals in hunting was to preserve his strength to the maximum.
However, his expression suddenly changed as his ear twitched. He soon went into a daze, signs of struggle appearing on his face, “The promised person? Isn’t it that kid? What do I do? Hmm… It’s Mountainsea, nobody should actually dare to kill him…
“No, that might not be true. There’s plenty of crazy people back there, and someone could convince a fool to do it for them. Even if they wouldn’t dare to kill him, they could still cut off his limbs… AARGH! Should I take a look? Master doesn’t have that many students, and the kid is the one she likes the most… Damn it!”