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On a dirt road covered with weed, there were puddles of mud. The heavy rain from the previous day had caused the originally dusty road to settle down. This was a road that the Kingdom of Soladin used to travel to the mercenary alliance but the number of traders and travellers using the road decreased following the eruption of conflict within the Kingdom of Soladin, till the current state where weed grew all over the road.
On a tree by the roadside was a grey sparrow, chirping away happily. Suddenly, a wave of loud and rough chanting interrupted the sparrow. The sparrow looked towards the source of the voice angrily, towards a group of weird creatures in the distances that were bantering while walking quickly.
Not having seen such creatures before, the sparrow flapped its wings and curiously flew towards the creatures. Only when it neared the group that the sparrow could get a clear look at the looks of the group of creatures which had a lot of white fur.
The leader of the group had white fur too. It carried a huge lump of metal on its back, giving off a dangerous air causing the sparrow to look away in fear. Closely behind the leader followed a skinny and tall creature with black hair. It looked like the neighbour of the sparrow, a grey-haired monkey, perhaps they were related. The sparrow found it weird and quickly flew higher, remembering how that grey haired monkey was always causing trouble, even in its dreams it dreamt of eating the sparrow. Considering this, the sparrow decided to pay some retribution to the monkey’s ‘relative’.
The sparrow lifted up his butt…
McQueen rubbed his sore legs, staring daggers at Bruce, the cavalier attitude from leading expedition had long disappeared to who knows where. The current McQueen only wanted to find a place to sit down and rest for a few minutes. “Bruce, does the city’s owner not even deserve the right to ride a horse? Get me a horse, I’m dead beat!”
“My castellan, you’ve already said that over 300 times, you’re definitely not getting to ride on a horse. You need to rely on your own 2 legs to finish the trip. The medicine of blood awakening will be the most efficient when the excess energy in your body is exhausted.” Bruce explained patiently without turning around.
McQueen did not care about the efficiency of the medicine and started ranting, “Bullshit! If it really is effective, it wouldn’t need this bit of energy. Don’t try to lie to… Ah, f**k, bleh bleh bleh!” Before he managed to finish speaking, McQueen felt something moist and warm fall into his mouth, followed by a disgusting feeling spreading within his entire mouth.
McQueen had reached the peak of suffering, getting bird shit dropped right in his mouth. He bent over spitting then snatching over Bruce’s water bag and rinsing his mouth over and over. People in ancient times saw dog shit as a symbol of luck, so was this supposed to be a sign of luck as well?
“If I ever catch that bird, I’m going to skin and gut him, then hang him on a tree and roast him for a good long while… Ugh…” The more McQueen thought about it, the more disgusted he felt, before long, he was bending over and puking his guts out.
The sparrow who was flying gleefully felt a chill after hearing such terrible words and flew away in a panic. It was clear just how harsh McQueen’s curses were.
Bruce resisted the urge to laugh, saying seriously, “In another 1 or 2 kilometres, we will arrive at the Rafael Mercenary Town. We can rest there and rest our legs for a bit.”
“Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go!” McQueen spat out a big mouthful of water and hurried Bruce.
“Bruce.” A veteran walked up frowning, asking worriedly, “Does the Rafael Mercenary town still exist? It has been years since mercenary came by, the town should have also fallen into shambles right?”
“It doesn’t matter, let’s get there first. Even if there are no more people left in the town, the buildings would still be there.”
McQueen who had been complaining non-stop focused on walking and did not say anything more. Finally, a town entered their vision at noon while the sun was especially bright.
The town was lined along the two sides of the dirt road, most of the buildings were low stone houses with a few brick houses appearing every now and then. The entire town was quiet without signs of life, emitting an aura of defeat.
“As expected, the town is deserted. Rafael used to be the only resting stop on the road from Soladin to the Mercenary Alliance, it used to so lively with mercenaries from different races and nations gathering. Sigh, in just a short ten years it has become completely abandoned.” The veteran sighed.
“Deco, Charles, Tumen, you guys lead people to search for a well and fill up the water bags. Zaku, Bodhe, Philips, you guys lead people to clean up a house for the Castellan to rest. Drew, Torres, you two are in charge of cooking. The rest will follow me and scout out the town.” Bruce gave out clear orders and the veterans went to work.
McQueen asked while slightly stunned, “What about me?”
“If my castellan still has energy, you can join us in exploring the town.” Bruce said, he had not thought about McQueen’s task. McQueen combat ability was essentially 0, the times he was slapped could probably be counted on one hand, there was not much that he could do in the wild, his role in this trip was essentially to be a piece of equipment.
Similar to mosquito repellant, McQueen was just there to deter the magic beasts…
“Rafael is situated on the edge of the Kingdom of Soladin, will reach the Mercenary Alliance if we continue heading north and the magic cave if we head west. Beside the magic cave was one of the ten largest gathering ground for magic beasts on the Pifa Continent. In the past, the mercenaries who had come to Rafael were here for this.” Bruce explained to McQueen in detail, helping McQueen understand the situation a little better, hoping to increase his ability.
“If the mercenaries dare to attack the magic beast, does that mean that the magic cave isn’t very dangerous?”
“The mercenaries are strong, we cannot compare to them, even then, they only dare hunt on the outer layer, there are no guarantees of safety even if one has overwhelming power once then go deep in.” Bruce explained.
“How is this ability determined? Both for humans and the magic beasts.” McQueen could not contain the questions in his mind and asked. Right now he was interested in information about the world. It could not be helped, he was a bachelor both before and after death, others would not have this problem but it would happen to him somehow.
“My castellan, you sure are a shut in to not know even this.” Bruce thought in his mind but he still answered McQueen’s questions.
There were many races on the Pifa Continent with more than a thousand kinds of intelligent beings. The combat classes were extremely confusing, being generalised as either warriors or magicians. Warriors can be split into swordmen, axemen, hammermen, grapplers, archers, thieves, knights and beserkers. Magicians can be split into mages, summoners, priests, sorcerers, shamans, astrologers, warlocks, blood mages, dragon masters, druids and users of curses. Some are hybrids, being able to combine classes, such as magic swordsmen, magic archers, magic assassins. Anyone with a mount would count as a rider with their abilities determined by the level of the mount.
All classes use the same ranking system, beginner, lower class, middle class, upper class, master class, super class, ultimate class and the legendary god sealer. The magic beasts also fall this system with the highest being the holy beasts. Riders with a holy beast as a mount would be a known as a holy rider. The name of each class’s god sealer rank is different, with the magicians’ god sealer rank being collectively known as the holy magic shooter.
“What’s the highest level the magic beasts of the magic cave?” McQueen asked.
“Legends has it that there is a black dragon living in the magic cave and the mature dragons on the Pifa Continent all have abilities on the level of holy beasts.” Bruce said bitterly. Huge dragons belong at the top of the food chain in this world.
“Are you sure that the black dragon will run away upon sensing my smell?” McQueen gulped. The pressure was immense. He thought that Bruce’s power as a high level warrior was high already but a black dragon on the level of a holy beast would be much stronger than Bruce, just how crazy was it going to get?
“Eh, I’m not sure.” Bruce thought for a bit and shrugged while answering honestly.
“F**k me.” McQueen was speechless. Thankfully he was mentally prepared, thus he did not burst out into curses. Continuing, he asked, “Why did the North and West camp cone to the magic cave?”
“Eh, you don’t even know about this? My castellan, please don’t tease this old man, this old man is already worried enough.” Bruce rolled his eyes and pushed open a locked door. The pitiful door did not swing open but rather was pushed out of its frame and fell on the floor with a thud.
Two veterans headed into the house, searching alertly for any possible threats.
McQueen laughed it off and did not continue asking, he might expose his identity if he continued asking.
The two veterns checked around and returned after not finding any danger. With tens of veterns searching around, the scouting was completed quickly. McQueen followed for a bit and returned to the original house after losing interest.
The house was empty without many pieces of furniture, only a wooden bed. It seems like the owner cleared the house when moving away. The two veterans were in the yard preparing lunch, the aroma from the food drifted around, causing McQueen to topple on the wooden bed, enjoying the smell.
After a whole morning of walking, his body ached and the best comfort would be to sleep. Except that his stomach was rumbling. McQueen held his stomach, how could he possibly sleep when he was so hungry?
His stomach rumbled again, McQueen felt speechless at the fact that he had to stay hungry as the castellan.
As his stomach continued to grumble, McQueen cursed in his mind, willing his stomach to understand that lunch was being prepared and would be ready in a bit.
The sound did not stop. Wait, the sound was not coming from his stomach! McQueen came to his senses, an empty stomach would not grumble like so, only a stomache would cause such continuous grumbling.
The sound was coming from under the bed! McQueen perked up his ears and listened carefully, finding that the source of the sound was under the bed he was lying down on. “Could it be a mouse? No, a mouse would squeak. Is it a pigeon? This sounds exactly like the pigeons I see on television. But there’s no way a pigeon would be hiding here.”
McQueen was at a lost of what to do. The wooden bed was connected to the ground, like the shape of the beds carved into the dirt from the northeast. If he was to find the source of the sound, he had to destroy the floor. However, there was no way McQueen would have the strength to do so with his thin limbs.
“I’ll get a veteren to help me. I’m definitely dragging you out of there. How dare you imitate my stomach grumbling! Come, get someone to come!”