Thanks to the Editor for pointing out issues
Chapter 13: Ruin of the Wind
“My castellan!” Exclamations rang out in the cave as Bruce and the veterans stop caring about safety and slide down into the hole. McQueen had successfully created a sense of excitement with his own actions.
While he successfully managed to create excitement, McQueen himself was suffering to no ends. He had long lost track of exactly how far he had fallen, he only knew that he had already been falling for a few minutes. Due to the curvy nature of the cave, he would change directions every so frequently. As he fell, the disgusting algae kept ending up in his mouth and nose, choking him with the disgusting pungent smell.
After a long time, the semi-conscious McQueen crashed onto the solid group with a “bang”. Feeling the solid and firm feel of the ground, McQueen came to his sense and sat upright. While the fall just now was intense, the thick algae served as protection so McQueen was not hurt.
“Bleh” Spitting out the algae in his mouth, McQueen’s mind was no longer on the disgusting nature of the algae but the stunning sight in front of him. In this gigantic nature cave, a white, glowing, crystal clear river flowed through the cave. In the air were sparkling particles floating about. The walls were decorated of bright gems on them and the floor was covered by pure white grass. It was a scene straight out of a fairy tale.
“It’s like I’m Alice in the Wonderland” McQueen felt like his eyes were lying to him. Such a beautiful world feel surreal as if it was a dream that would shatter in the next instant.
“I’m rich! All of the gems on the walls are at least a hundred times the size of the Heart of the Ocean. Let me count how many of them are there, one, two, three, four… Wow, there’s too much to count, I’m rich!”
In an instant, the exclamation turned into a shriek as McQueen disappeared…
“My castellan, my castellan where are you?” Bruce dusted off his pants and stood up. The ground seemed to be soft so he did not feel any pain.
The rest of the veterans followed closely. A muffled groan seemed to ring out every time a soldier landed.
“What is this, it’s so beautiful.” One of the veterans said as he was captivated by the beautiful sight in front of him.
“Forget about the scenery, we have to find the castellan.” Bruce roared, dragging the veteran back to reality.
As expected of the experienced veterans, they quickly stopped marvelling at the beautiful scenery and started calling for McQueen, “My castellan, where are you?”
“I… am… here…” A broken and barely audible sound was heard.
“Hey, what is my castellan doing lying on the ground? Could it be that you’ve found a magic beast?” The veteran who helped remove the bed before was shocked by the human-shaped thing under his feet. After closer inspection, he realised that it was the castellan. After being a meat cushion for the countless veterans, McQueen was out of breath and pale-faced. Of course, he was smeared with a thick layer of algae.
“Screw… your… mother…” McQueen weakly lifted his hand and pointed his middle finger towards the sky.
“My castellan, it’s great that you’re fine, that scared me just now.” Bruce pulled McQueen up awkwardly. No wonder the ground felt soft just now due to the castellan becoming a meat cushion.
“What’s this place?” McQueen started asking after remaining moody for a long time.
Bruce had already finished exploring the cave. He plucked one of the white coloured grass from the ground and laid it on his hand for a moment before saying, “I’m not sure what this place is either. Take a look, these grass aren’t real and lack the life force that plants should have.”
“Fake? This entire patch of grass is fake?” McQueen too plucked a tuft of grass. The grass was crystal clear, thin and soft like a work of art. If one had to describe it with a word, the word would be “pure”.
“My castellan, team leader, look at this gem. I’ve never seen such a light gem before, it can’t possibly be real.” A veteran had brought it over a bowl sized gem that he removed from the wall.
The gem was shaped like an irregular rhombus, crystal clear without any impurities and had a sense of quality when held in the hand. Most importantly, such a large gem did not feel any heavier than the grass in McQueen’s left hand. “What kind of gem is this, it has to be fake with such a light weight.” McQueen said with the thought that if the grass can be fake, then the gems can be fake too.
“No, this is real, this is a wind gem if I’m not wrong.” Bruce took a deep breath and said with disbelief. Hearing that, the surrounding veterans gasped too. They looked around at the gems on the walls with their mouths opened as if the wind gem is something significantly valuable, valuable enough to cause these experienced veterans to pause.
“Wind gem, a magical crystal of the wind element. All you need is a fist-sized wind gem and you can buy a city like Tos City with enough to spare.” Bruce found it hard to speak and felt that pinching his arm just to ensure that all of this was real. Just how many cities can all these wind gems buy?
“Wow! I’m rich, I’m rich, this castellan has hit the jackpot!” McQueen hugged and kissed the wind gem, looking as if he had gone insane. He was about to escape the tough life after his reincarnation and finally live the comfortable life of good food, good clothes and beautiful women!
“God bless Tos City, the great Arathi, your glory has finally shined upon Tos City!” The veterans kowtowed on the ground and prayed non-stop. With this fortune, there would be no problem in developing Tos City, their lives were about to improve drastically.
“Everyone, please listen to what I’m about to say.” Bruce suppressed the excitement in his heart and said rationally. When the attention of the veterans was on him, Bruce continued with a serious tone, “This is a large fortune. When I first saw it, I was stunned by it. However, this fortune does not belong to us, it belongs to Tos City, it belongs to our castellan, McQueen, it belongs to the hundred thousand over citizens of Tos City. I hope that everything here, everything about this cave will be kept to yourselves when we return safely. Do not tell anyone about it, including your family.”
“Fortune attracts attention. The ability of Tos City is too weak. If anyone finds out, we have no way of protecting what we have found. It might even bring us disaster if it is leaked. After all, humans are greedy, once news of this is leaked, there is no escape. It would only be normal if someone comes after us to steal our treasure. Does everyone understand?”
McQueen also recovered from his excitement after listening to Bruce’s speech. The huge fortune had stunned him but it was manageable due to his identity as a reincarnated person. “Everyone, Bruce is right, we have to guard this secret. Originally, these things would belong to everyone here but that would only bring you guys disaster, it’s a common cliche for deaths to occur in the fight for treasure.”
“To be able to come to the magic cave, you are all the most loyal and devoted warriors I have. In the name of McQueen Thomas Arathi, I swear on the name of my ancestor, the great Arathi, that all these shall belong to Tos City. All the gems will be used to develop Tos City and your families will receive priority as a token of appreciation.”
“When Tos City enters a golden age, you may no longer be alive but please rest easy, your descendants will become the pillars of Tos City and prosper together with Tos City.”
McQueen’s passionate and generous words from his sweet talking skills that he had polished online in his previous life were on full display. Seeing the clear and firm gaze of the veterans, McQueen knew that he had succeeded. Exchanging the present for the future, using fortune to pave the path forward, this would be the obvious choice for the veterans who would soon die.”
“My castellan, please rest at ease, we are all soldiers and citizens of Tos City. No matter how valuable these fortunes are, they are nothing compared to our gratitude to Tos City for raising us. I shall be the first to declare that I have already forgotten everything. This old man only knows about coming to the magic cave to rescue the north and south camps, nothing else. I, Alva, swear to keep all of these a secret.” One of the veterans pulled out his sword, firmly stuck it into the ground and swore as he kneeled on the ground.
“I, Barrett, have also forgotten and has never come to this cave.” Another soldier followed suit.
“I, Jerome, swear to keep all of these a secret.”
“I, Winston, swear to keep all of these a secret.”
“I, Benedict, swear to keep all of these a secret.”
“I, Bruce, swear to keep all of these a secret.” By the time Bruce took his oath, all hundred soldiers were kneeling on the ground, creating an impressive sight.
“Alright, I will not disappoint you guys either. I, McQueen, swear to take care of your family and descendants for as long as I live.” McQueen also dropped to his knee solemnly. Unfortunately, he did not have a weapon that he should stab into the ground and neither did he know if he made any errors on the procedures.
After settling the issue of keeping the discovery a secret, the veterans went to work, collecting the wind gems. Thanks to their sufficient preparation beforehand, they had quite a number of bags which were perfect for bringing back the gems.
McQueen and Bruce started to investigate.
“The reason why this underground river glows is due to the glowing particles in the air that dissolved into the water. These glowing particles are probably due to the high concentration of the wind element here, normal wind elements cannot be seen.
McQueen tried catching one of the glowing particles but the glowing particle swerved away before his end even came close. “Why can’t I catch it?”
“These are the wind elements, they are extremely hard to catch as they will float away upon sensing the wind generated by the movement of your hand.” Bruce saw the reason for that instantly with his vast experience. Then, he reached out his hands quickly in a bid to catch one. Unfortunately, the faster his hands stretched out, the faster the particle flew away.
“What about these grass, what’s happening?” McQueen shifted his attention and started asking about the grass on the ground. The grass was white too, possibly from the wind element.
“I don’t know, I’ve never seen such a thing before and can’t guess either. However, it should not be due to the wind element. The wind element is very light so it would definitely not have such a heavy feel.” Bruce shook his head. After all, it was already an impressive feat for him to recognise the wind element given that he was only a high tiered warrior.
“Let’s leave that topic alone for now and think about how to escape. The cave is so deep, how are we going to climb out of this. Just who was so bored to dig such a deep hole? Could it be that they came to hide the gems?”McQueen suddenly remembered the problem of escaping. They slid all the way down but were they going to have to climb out?
McQueen’s words sparked a thought in Bruce’s mind. He thought of the density of the wind element that could even become wind gems. Add to that the deepness of the location…
“That’s right, this is the Ruin of the Wind!” Bruce exclaimed.