Chapter 14: To the Starwood City
It is already dark when the five of them came back to village. The roads are deserted as ever. So, nobody bothered with the Blazing earth Bulls accompanying the five people and a raven. They went to Sam's house and they left the Bulls in the backyard and all five of them entered the house. All of them didn't even say a single word all this time. After all of them washed up Philip and his team mates sat in the living room. They didn't even eat anything as they don't have any appetite. But at their cultivation level, they can make do with not eating for 2-3 days straight. Suddenly Sam, appeared into the living room from his bedroom, in his casual wear. When they saw Sam's sleeveless vest, they were all a bit surprised as they weren't able to find any type of injury on his arms at all. It seems like the injury on the chest is the only injury now, which is just tied up with a gauge. Sam has a big leather pouch in his hands. He walked into the room and just looked at them in silence for a while, Even Philip and his teammates also didn't know what to say. After what seemed like an eternal silence Sam finally spoke.
"Thank you for not hitting me when I am down." Sam said as he bowed his head a bit. All of them seemed a bit surprised from his humble attitude. Until now all they understood is that Sam is cold individual who has no emotions. But now they felt like they didn't know him at all. Then Sam continued. "I don't like to be with strangers often and can't make friends easily. That is the reason why I kept my distance from you. But from now on we can be friends." Sam said slowly. He meant everything he said. Even though he clearly knew that he would be save with help of Yanwu, Philip and his definitely not know of this. So, them being honest and leave the benefits of obtaining the three corpses of the magical beasts is not something anyone can do. Hearing what Sam has to say, Philip and his teammates heaved a long sigh. Then Philip smiled and extended his hand for a hand shake. Sam shook his hand and smiled as well. Then Sam said again. "I don't know how much a corpse of beasts at that level, so please accept these as my compensation." Sam said as he put the big leather pouch on the table.
"You don't need to, you said yourself we are friends right. We don't need those kinds of formalities at all." Philip immediately rejected with a smile. From the side Marvin also spoke.
"Yes, you don't need to do that."
"Please, I insist." Sam said and then turned around and went to his bed room."
As soon as Sam left Philip heard Paul sneering. "How big of a compensation can he give? This bag at most contains a thousand spirit stones, but those bodies at least get us more than 3000 spirit stones." Even though he said that, he was also a bit moved by what Sam did. They certainly can't force him for compensation. But he himself gave it to them voluntarily. As he spoke, he opened the bag and almost dropped it to the floor. Looking at Paul's expression, Philip walked over and saw inside the bag and he was also shocked.
"F-Fire Elemental spirit stones." Paul said in amazement. Hearing that both Marvin and Haley also felt rather shocked and immediately ran over as they wanted to confirm. After some time, all of them came out of their daze and looked at each other. Then Philip spoke slowly. "Right now, the exchange rate in the Starwood city is 6:1 for the fire elemental stones. So, this bag is worth 6000 spiritual stones. Damn he almost gave us double the price." If Sam heard this, he would have felt a pinch in his heart. As he didn't want to lose that much money just after he became rich. But Sam didn't know about this and just slept peacefully after two days.
Next day after sun rose Sam woke up and washed up before he went into his backyard to look at the Blazing earth bulls. But Philip and others already beat him to it. Sam saw Yanwu which is on his shoulders to look at all the other four people vigilantly. Understanding his thoughts, Sam said with a smile. "Don't worry they are our friends now." Sam then walked towards the other four and greeted them.
"Good morning, you guys are early." He said with a smile. Looking at his smile all of them felt stunned because the contrast in his character is too much for them to bear. They came out of their stupor and Marvin asked slowly. "Sam, why did you get these bulls here?"
"Well, you guys already have your own steeds. So, I thought I should get one so that I won't drag you guys down in our journey today." Sam said with a straight face. Hearing this all of them wanted to curse him badly. Using Level 2 beasts is not that uncommon, but only their elders in the family has that privilege, but now a guy whose cultivation level is lower than them has two of them and he is even saying them that he got them in order to catch up to their horses. 'Damn it. Now our horses will be the one that left behind. These beasts are at least 6 times faster than the normal horse. Even if they have a lot of weight on them, they can still manage to run 5 times faster. Normally Starwood city will take at least four days to reach on horses. But from the look of it, they can reach at their destination in one day on these Bulls. But the point is all of them don't have one. Suddenly Philip said from behind. "Sam, I have borrowed a carriage for our journey from my family, since you have the bulls, how about we connect these bulls to those carriage and leave." He asked with some anticipation. Entering the Starwood city with two middle level magical beasts as their carriage steeds. Even his father doesn't have that privilege because generally cultivators tame beasts to assist them in battle. So, nobody would try to use them for carriages. He also felt like Sam might not agree for the same reason. But unexpectedly Sam agreed.
"Sure, you make the preparations and we will set out early." Sam said as left to prepare. All three boys almost jumped in joy. Then they also left to prepare.
After an hour or so, Sam and others were gathered outside as Sam carried big bag on his shoulders while Yanwu is resting on that bag, looking around curiously from a new view point. There is a carriage waiting them which is full green in colour and has a symbol of a tree in middle of the carriage. That is the crest of the Evergreen family. There are two Blazing earth bulls attached to the carriage. Looking at the big bag Sam carrying, Philip said.
"Sam let store these in my spatial ring, it will save some space inside the carriage." Sam nodded and Philip made the bag disappear. All of them boarded the carriage while Marvin took the reigns to drive the carriage. Sam previously let Yanwu command the Bulls to hear every command of Marvin and others. So, they stared their journey. Sam wanted to meet with Michael before leaving, but he was not home. So, he just left a note and left the city. After sometime the carriage left the village through the only gate that connected the village to the cities. As they left the village, a guard immediately hurried over to the village head mansion and informed their departure to the Village head. Village head smirked.
"Now that bastard Sam and those from the City will all die due to an attack from the bandits. So, I don't have to care as that has nothing to do with our village." He said to himself after the servant who reported to him left. "Due to those twerps, I don't even have a single second of rest from the past few days." As he spoke, he glanced at the villagers who are still protesting for their taxes. He completely left the blame for these troubles on Sam and Philip for revealing his scheme. That is the reason he wanted to kill them so badly.
Meanwhile, after Sam and others left the village they are travelling at a significant speed. Inside the carriage Philip, Sam, Haley and Paul sat while Marvin is controlling the carriage. While inside Philip is chatting with Paul and Haley stayed silent. But Sam is looking at a metallic piece of bone in his hands. This is the bone from the skeletal remains of the Golden Blood tiger, he killed yesterday. He examined this bone closely. It has a metallic l.u.s.tre as it is just processed in shape of the bone. As Sam is examining the bone, Philip said from the side.
"Sam, these bones of the Golden Blood tiger are very useful for weapon forging. Even rank-2 Artisan will have a hard time to completely melt the bone. So, they usually use the bones to directly forge the weapons instead of using it for casting. Even though the rank-3 Artisans can melt these bones, these bones are not suitable for rank-3 treasures. So, they won't do with these types of bones."
Sam nodded his head and closed his eyes. Thinking about what Philip said, he started thinking. Artisans are one of the most important professions in this world. Basically, there are two types of Artisans, one type is Weapon Artisans, who are responsible for forging or casting weapons, A rank one Weapon Artisan should have two important qualities first one is they should have to be fire attribute Mage and second one is they should be at least have a cultivation base of Acolyte. The Artisans are respected highly in this world. Even city lord of the Starwood city should treat the rank 2 artisans as his equals. There is another type called Scholar artisans. These Artisans mainly design new things to improve the lifestyle as well as solve various problems. They don't have any restrictions on their certifications, but any design or weapon that they design should meet the standard set by the predecessors. The Artisan guild is in charge of certifying these Artisans. The Artisan Guild is an independent organisation and doesn't come under the jurisdiction of the royal authority. But they won't just recklessly cause trouble. After thinking about this for a while. Sam started concentrating again on the Bone. This bone is the one he broke when he caught the tiger off guard. He slowly started spreading his spiritual energy into the bone and started concentrating on it just like he concentrated on the Bull corpse. He could clearly see the granular structure of the Metallic bone and started observing it closely. After concentrating a little more. He could clearly see the bond between the grains. After observing for a while Sam took out a Fire elemental spirit stone and started observing it the same way. After observing both bone and the spiritual stone, Sam came into a conclusion. The spiritual particles which form the spiritual energy can be classified into four different states. Active, Passive, Stable, Unstable. The spiritual energy in the spiritual stones is in passive state but it is extremely stable. The spiritual energy in the objects like metals and rocks will become passive after achieving an elemental nature and is also extremely stable. If the stability of the Spiritual energy which maintains the bonds becomes unstable, the structure will collapse. After thinking up to this point Sam started to concentrate even more on the bondage between the granular structure and tried to manipulate the spiritual energy just like how he manipulated the surrounding energy yesterday when attacking the tiger. As he increased his concentration, his veins bulged on his forehead as sweat started dripping from it. Other people also looked towards Sam as they observed his condition. Suddenly, the bone in the Sam's right hand turned into powder and fell on the ground. All the other three gasped in shock as they saw the bone turn on to powder. Just then Sam suddenly opened his eyes and also saw the powdered Bone while panting. His mental energy is completely exhausted. He smirked up on realising his conjecture is correct. He involuntarily looked at the spiritual stone in his other hand and a thought came into his mind but he immediately rejected, since, he is afraid of the consequences. He looked at all the other three and didn't say anything and collected the bone powder to a small pouch and started meditating to recover. Philip stopped chatting and just looked at the pouch. After some hours passed, Sam opened his eyes.
"How did you do that?" Philip immediately asked.
"Do what?" Sam asked feigning ignorance. Philip increased his voice and pointed at the pouch and asked again. "That." Sam just shook his head and stayed silent. Looking at this Philip stopped asking. But he still felt restless inside. He knew how difficult it is to cut or melt the Golden blood tiger bone, not to mention powder. Because, he is also aspiring to become an artisan. He is currently trying to be an apprentice of the Head of the Artisan guild in the Starwood city who is a rank two Artisan. Other side Haley also visibly stunned by the feat Sam has done. But she is more stable than Philip. Just as they are in own thoughts the carriage stopped. Marvin's shout came from outside.
"AMBUSH" They immediately jumped outwards of the carriage and looked at two people fully covered in black clothing and wearing masks standing and talking to each other.
"They came early and they have the Level-2 Beasts with them." One guy in black said to other. Sam also came of the carriage and looking at the two assailants he again went inside the carriage, remover the black coat and laid it on the two panther cubs who are sleeping. They didn't open their eyes yet, since their birth. Sam came outside again and looked at the two men in black coldly. These two are at seventh stage of Acolyte and looked at Sam and others and threatened.
"Leave everything on you and we will let you live." One guy in black said. Sam didn't even speak to them and coldly said. "Attack"
"Suddenly both the Blazing earth bulls shot a huge ball of fire from their mouths directly towards the two men. When they saw these they immediately panicked and turned back to flee. They clearly didn't think that the Bulls are of level two middle stage. They thought that they are only at initial stage that is why they tried this ambush. Right now all they wanted to do was curse the village head to death. When the guys are about to follow the two men Sam stopped and said. "You can't capture them, their cultivation levels are higher and we better don't push our luck." All the others nodded. If we push a cultivator to a life and death situation, they might do something crazy which will inevitably cause damage on both sides. So, they continued on their journey. When they boarded back Sam wore the coat again and placed the two little pups in his embrace. They snuggled against him and found a comfortable spot to sleep. Even though the magical beasts will grow up faster, it will still take sometime for them to grow up from the infant stage. During the infant stage the mother will feed the cubs with her spiritual energy until they can grow enough to eat on their own. Right now Sam is doing the same thing and looked at the two cubs with warm smile. Watching this scene Haley's heart skipped a beat. The smile on the Sam's handsome face will make any girl's heart beat faster. Same thing happened to her as she saw smiling like that. His devilishly handsome face with his perfect skin tone and the contrasting black outfit gave him an impeccable look that makes every boy envy him and every girl adore him. At this movement Philip chuckled and looked at Haley with a meaningful smile. Haley immediately got out of her daze and immediately hid her face which is blushing in embarrassment. Sam didn't even notice this as he just looked at the cubs.
Next day in the morning by the time sun rose a green carriage belonging to the Evergreen family could be seen at the borders of the Starwood city. Sam and the others travelled the entire night as Paul took the reign of the carriage in middle of night. Now they can see the city gates from a far.
Soon Sam and the others arrived near the city gate. The guards watching the gates could clearly see the carriage with two level 2 beasts rushing towards them at full speed. They panicked for a moment and looked for their supervisor. By the time their supervisor arrived the carriage reached the city gates and stopped there. The supervisor watched the Evergreen crest and heaved a sigh of relief. The nobles of the Evergreen family are the easiest of all the people to deal with. So, he walked towards the carriage and when he saw Paul at the control he frowned and then he saw Philip and Haley get down along with Sam and Marvin. Philip walked towards supervisor and asked.
"Officer, can you open the gates for me?" Philip asked.
"Young master Philip. I was a bit startled when the guards saw that there are two level 2 beasts used to drag a carriage. Now that I have seen it is you, I am relieved." The supervisor smiled and said. Then he looked at Sam and said again. "Young master Philip May I know who he is?"
"Well, he is my friend, he is not a resident of the city. So, you might not have seen him." Philip replied.
"Young master Philip, you know the procedure right. He should pay the entry fee." Supervisor said as he pointed at Sam. "And for these beasts also, you need to pay."
"Well, how much is that? I will pay." Philip said. now only he remembered about this and looked rather awkward. The supervisor also only asked directly because it was Philip. Philip is known for his humility and friendliness. If it is any other young noble. He would first let them pass through and then send the bill to their steward.
Before Philip could pay, Sam interrupted. "I will pay by myself. May I know how much is it in total for my entry along with these beasts." Sam said as he showed the two panther cubs and Yanwu at the same time along with the Bulls. The supervisor was left in daze for some time as he looked at the number of beasts at same time. Looking at them he gulped and said with shaking voice. "May I know your cultivation?" Hearing this Sam didn't say anything and just released his aura. 'Only at first stage acolyte and he has this many magical beast pets.' He inwardly thought and said to Sam.
"If you are going to stay permanently, you have to pay one spiritual stone for you and two for each of you bulls, one for the bird and one for both the cubs. So, a total of 8 spiritual stones."
"Here" Sam immediately threw two fire elemental spiritual stones towards the supervisor, who immediately caught them and stared at them in shock. Sam didn't care about his expression and spread his hand for the change. The supervisor came out of daze and returned four normal spiritual stones which Sam kept in his pocket. Then Sam got a total of 5 tokens, which he kept in his pocket and boarded the carriage along with others. Soon, they arrived at the Evergreen family house. Since, it is early in the morning, only a few people noticed the carriage with two level 2 beasts. After they got out of carriage, Haley and Marvin left t o their own homes. Only Paul, Philip and Sam entered the Evergreen family house.