Chapter 16 – Mountain Range of Desolation
Snow Eagle Territory, Snow Rock Castle, study room.
Dong Bo Xue Ying was sitting at his desk, Zong Ling and Tong San seated close by.
“Xue Ying, why did you call for us?” Tong San asked, a little puzzled.
“I went to visit the great mage today. He agreed to accept Qing Shi as his personal student, but mentioned two requirements: we must bring him the Silver Moon Wolf King’s heart or 50,000 gold coins. If we satisfy either requirement, he will accept Qing Shi.” Xue Ying said.
“50,000 gold coins?” Tong San scowled.“He is really black hearted., Your parents, Uncle Zong and I risked our lives numerous times, but only obtained few scraps of treasure. If it weren’t for that one big windfall after your mother got pregnant, how could your father possibly have bought the title of Earl and the Snow Eagle Territory? And this great mage dares to just ask for 50,000 gold coins as if it is nothing?”
This amount was truly excessive. Even a Meteor Knight could generally only afford to pay this amount by selling all of his worldly possessions.
Adventurers often visited dangerous places, so the death rate was extremely high. Xue Ying’s parents had the good fortune to survive, and they even managed to buy a noble title and the lands that went with it! The reason that the other nobles in Water Rites Town never dared to plot against the Snow Eagle Territory, despite the possible profits, was that Xue Ying’s parents were adventurers; no adventurer feared death, and all of them were extremely cruel.
“Getting the wolf king’s heart is even more difficult .” Zong Ling said with a frown. “If it was merely a rank four Silver Moon Wolf King, with Xue Ying’s current strength, he could probably take it down if we assisted him.. However, the wolf king leads a big pack of weaker wolves… Their group attacks are far more frightening than the attacks of the king on its own!
The wolf king wasn’t very formidable if fought alone, but its strength lay in the fact that a gigantic pack of wolves followed its every command!
Even though the Silver Moon Wolf King was only a rank four magic beast, its corpse was no less valuable than that of a rank five magic beast!
“I’m preparing to go to the Mountain Range of Desolation.” Xue Ying said.
“It’s way too dangerous!”
Tong San and Zong Ling shouted in unison, alarmed by his words..
What was the Mountain Range of Desolation?
It was the largest mountain range in the world, and connected four provinces! It housed numerous magic beasts and even some transcendency existences. Even after generations and generations of trying, the whole human empire still failed to completely erase this big threat. Additionally, the main defense army was placed at the surroundings of the magic beast mountains! Its troops often slaughtered large scale low rank beasts at the edge of the mountains, so large scale low rank beasts could be sold in markets.
As a result, magic beasts from the first to third ranks were relatively cheap, but from ranks 4 and higher, prices would begin rising exponentially! This was because rank 4 magical beasts couldn’t be killed by ordinary armies. Only the elite of the elites could kill them.
“Even if a large scale army was dispatched, the furthest they would get would be just the outer 1,500 kilometer perimeter of the mountains.” Zong Ling continued to say. “Even Silver Moon Knights and Legend Knights are unwilling to enter the Mountain Range of Desolation. There isn’t much to be gained from the entering the mountains, as the deeper you go, the more likely it is that you could meet frightening magical beasts at any time!”
“That’s right Xue Ying.” Tong San interjected. “In our past adventures, we didn’t even think about entering the Mountain Range of Desolation! We also wanted to kill a rank 4 magical beast just like you, but you might not be so coincidentally lucky as to just encounter rank 4 magical beast; you may even encounter rank 5 or 6 magical beasts! You’ll lose your life for sure if that happens!”
They were both very anxious
The Mountain Range of Desolation?
It was the ultimate nest of the greatest enemies of the entire human race, ‘magical beasts’! To enter it would really be to gamble on one’s life!
“You two didn’t let me finish.” Xue Ying replied with a smile. “I intend to enter the Mountain Range of Desolation, but only the outer 1,500 kilometers perimeter of the mountain range. Hunting magical beasts is merely secondary; my main purpose is to go hunt the Bent Blade Union!”
“Bent Blade Union?” Zong Ling and Tong San both opened their eyes in surprise.
Because the army regularly wiped out magical beasts in the perimeter, the magical beasts were already pushed back. Generally, only a mass of low ranked magical beasts would be left. Every time they were to be wiped out, it was actually a struggle between the army and the beasts, as there was always a never ending flood of low ranked magical beasts.. They would just emerge in greater numbers from the depths of the Mountain Range of Desolation every single time they were being wiped out.
Those 1,500 kilometers were the graves of many fallen soldiers, but they also served to temper the soldiers into formidable experts.
“Bent Blade Union? Those bandits are also hiding in the Mountain Range of Desolation, but they don’t dare to venture any deeper than the perimeter.” Zong Ling lightly nodded. “Moreover, the Head of the Bent Blade Union is a Meteor Knight. He often greedily plunders, so the number of treasures he’s hoarded shouldn’t be small. I’m afraid that the more treasures there are in the bandit’s nest, the harder it will be to attack them.”
“The enemy is out in the open while i am invisible. Uncle Zong, how does my strength compare compare with Ge Bin’s?” Xue Ying questioned.
“You are much more powerful than him. I would be able to stand my ground for only a while if we fought, but if it was you was to fight with me,… with your full strength, even I wouldn’t be able to hold my ground.” Zong Ling said with a bitter laugh.
Normally, Xue Ying had strength that reached that of the peak of a Meteor Knights’.
When he used his burst power, his strength would rise to the realm of a Silver Moon Knight!
His spear technique was approaching the realm of a Great Master, and the DouQi circulations were passed on by the ‘Mysterious Ice Knight’ Gu Yuan Han!
“Your only weak point is that you’ve seen too little blood.” Zong Ling reasoned. “Although you’ve executed all of the criminals within Snow Eagle Territory, you still haven’t experienced enough life or death battles. When you spar with us, it is just sparring after all.”
“I know, which is why I’m going to the Mountain Range of Desolation in search of the Bent Blade Union’s hideout. During my search, I will definitely encounter many magical beasts. This will allow me to temper myself greatly.” Xue Ying said.
“It won’t be easy to find the Bent Blade Union’s hideout.”
Zong Ling felt uneasy. “You’ll definitely encounter many magical beasts during this task… There’s even a small chance that you might encounter a formidable magical beast.”
Although it was the outer 1500km perimeter, those who are insanely powerful-for example a Transcendent! or a rank 6 magical beast would hardly ever appear. However a rank 5 or 4 magical beast… Once in awhile one would definitely appear. The magical beasts would know that they would not stand a chance against the army and escape whenever the army tries to wipe them out. But if it was Xue Ying who went to adventure in the mountain range, the powerful magical beasts would be able to ambush and kill him!
“My luck shouldn’t be that bad.” Xue Ying said. “Furthermore, my spear technique is rather good for defense. It should be able to save my life.”
“Moreover, if I want to earn the 50,000 gold coins….. how else will I earn it if I don’t head to the Mountain Range of Desolation?” Dong Bo Xue Ying said as he shook his head.
If I don’t want any risk?
If a Meteor Knight became a high ranking bodyguard for rich families, he is very safe. However, one’s annual salary was also only about three to five thousand gold coins. If he wanted to get ahold of several tens of thousands of gold coins? Then he definitely had to take great risks.
“Fine then.” Said Zong Ling. “I’ll go with you. At the very least, I’ve been to the perimeter many times.”
“You’ve been there before Uncle Zong?” Xue Ying asked, his eyes wide in astonishment.
“En. After your parents bought Snow Eagle Territory, I went to the outer area of the Mountain Range of Desolation to temper to cultivate myself.” As a Serpentman royalty, Zong Ling possessed his own pride. He was very harsh on himself, and he always wanted to break through from the Heaven rank into the Meteor rank.
“When you go to the Mountain Range of Desolation, you must listen to your Uncle Zong, and don’t be careless.” Instructed Tong San.
After five days of preparations, Xue Ying and Zong Ling brought 100 soldiers and set off in the morning.
The castle’s drawbridge had already been lowered.
“Big brother, come home quickly.” Qing Shi yelled from the hilltop while Tong San stood by his side.
“Qing Shi, don’t worry. Just stay home and obediently listen to what Uncle Tong says.” Xue Ying yelled back from the distance.
“I know already.”
Qing Shi heavily nodded his head, but within his heart he was reluctant to part with Xue Ying.
Ever since he was young, he had never separated from his older brother for too long. This time, his brother had to go out for at least ten days and up to half a month!
However, he didn’t know that this time Xue Ying’s outing was for the sake of obtaining his ‘tuition fee’.
Xue Ying and his cavalry division were very relaxed during their journey. When night fell, they were already only about 50 kilometers outside the edge of the Mountain Range of Desolation.
The cavalrymen began pitching camp.
They started hanging pots to cook.
Xue Ying and Zong Ling were currently with a person whose face was covered in a huge beard. This person was called Yang Cheng. He was an Earth Knight loyal to the Dong Bo Clan as well as the captain of this troop of a hundred men.
Zong Ling said, “Tomorrow morning, lord and I will be entering the mountain range. I’ll leave this camp to you.”
“Master Zong Ling, Lord, you can leave it to me without any worries. I can definitely handle this small matter to your satisfaction, but my lords, you must be careful.” Yang Cheng worriedly said. “When I was in the army, although the army wiped out the beasts in the outer areas, it was an entire army that was dispatched. No one ever went anywhere by themselves. Moreover, magical beasts that could hide the heavens and cover the earth would fearlessly rush forth and kill the enemy… Of the ten brothers who joined the army with me, only three or four safely retired. All of the others perished in the Mountain Range of Desolation.”
Xue Ying nodded.
The Mountain Range of Desolation…… It truly was a forbidden land. Only the army and exiled bandits dared to enter its outer areas. Only a pitiful few dared venture any deeper!
During the morning of the next day, the sun started to rise.
While carrying the weapon box, Xue Ying quietly entered the Mountain Range of Desolation with Zong Ling. It was impossible to ride horses within the Mountain Range of Desolation, because even slight noises from the horses would attract frightening magical beasts.
“My lord, you must be careful!” Captain Yang Cheng and all of the other soldiers anxiously watched the distant figures of the black clothed youth and the silver haired serpent man leave. They continued to watch until the two figures disappeared into the forest of the Mountain Range of Desolation.