Early autumn approached, casting a faint golden hue on the world.
Leaves danced in the breeze. It was a peaceful remote town close to the Mountain of Lost Souls. Although it was far away, it was very prosperous, because the Mountain of Lost Souls was also called Death Mountain. There were numerous magic beasts and also plenty of precious ores, but wanting to enter to get some easy money was life threatening and extremely dangerous, so many people would make preparations in this small town before entering. Some people would use up almost all their money here because no one could know if they could ever come out again, ever have the chance to enjoy life again. That's why although it was a small town, it had everything you could think of: bars, inns, all kinds of stores. You could buy ore, magic cores, magic beast furs and bodies.
It was a very chaotic place.
"I told you to lick it till it's clean, do you understand?" A vulgar voice sounded from within the bar.
It was followed by a peal of coarse laughter.
The bar was filled and had no empty seats. Sitting in the middle next to a table was a scar faced man pointing at his thigh, bellowing at a waitress who was about to start crying. The scar faced man's thigh was soaked with wine all the way to the groin area.
The waitress was on the verge of crying. She knew that she had run into trouble now. It was the scary looking man who had purposely knocked into her in the first place so that his pants had been soaked and now he was saying such filthy words. Lick where?!
"You slut, you can't understand me? You make my pants wet, now I'm all sticky with wine, how annoying. Start licking now!" The scar faced man started hollering again. He even reached out and pulled the waitress's hand.
Vulgar laughter chorused throughout the whole bar, but no one helped. Instead, they were all waiting to see a good show. The owner of the barshop clenched his teeth, wanting to stand up for the waitress and protect her, but seeing the scar-faced person's warning expression, he started to hesitate. The people there were all unordinary, not someone he, such an insignificant person, could resist against. The other server, a man, wasn't there. If he was there, then the situation wouldn't have been so out of hand.
"I, I didn't mean it, customer..." the waitress sobbed feebly, looking pleadingly at her boss, the owner.
"F*ck, you slut..." But then, when he hadn't finished speaking, a cold light flashed past, followed by a streak of blood in mid air.
"Ah....." The waitress's shriek nearly blew off the rooftop, because currently, the hand that was holding onto her had already left its owner! The hand just held onto her palm limply.
The scar-faced man was staring vacantly at the splash of fresh blood in the air, when suddenly, a flash of pain brought him back to his senses! His hand had been cut off!
A howl immediately covered up the waitress's shriek. The man stared with bulging eyes at a young man who walked coldly past him. The young man strode indifferently to the bar's counter and sat down quietly. "Owner, get me some sweet wine."
The owner was afraid to even breathe out loud and immediately went to pour the sweet wine. He had seen everything that had just happened very clearly! It was this young man who had cut off the scar-faced man's hand with one slash of his sword!
The bar went deathly silent. Everybody froze at the same time. They all stared, dumbstruck, at the young man who had suddenly appeared.
"You bastard! Ah! You actually dare to chop off my hand! Ah... I'll kill you!" The scar faced man hysterical howl sounded once more in the room, bringing everybody who had been staring blankly back to their senses. The young man sitting at the counter didn't turn around, didn't even blink. Instead, he sat there emotionlessly and gracefully sipped the sweet wine that the owner had brought. The scar faced man stood up abruptly, about to dash over to the young man sitting at the counter, but just as he took a few steps forward, a dagger flew, accurately stabbing his foot, sticking him in place. Everybody's ears were pierced, the mournful cry truly painfully loud.
"What a pity, my dagger has been tainted." At this moment, the bar's door was pushed open once more, a golden-haired blue eyed beautiful woman appearing before everybody's eyes, looking regretful.
Everybody turned around to look at the door. Under the harsh light, they could only see that a few people were standing at the doorway. After they could see clearly, they all gulped. A man who looked somewhat similar to her was standing behind the beautiful woman, also golden haired and blue eyed. The two's faces were both ice cold, not a trace of warmth in their eyes, making one's heart shudder. Behind them was a young man whose face was ice cold, a sword strapped to his waist, had a steady gait, and breathed lightly. Everybody could see with a glance he was a warrior of high cultivation. Meanwhile, the black clothed black haired man's expression was overbearing while he emitted a dangerous aura with every fibre of his being. The delicate and pretty man in a long robe standing next to him was also unordinary. He was actually a magician! Only the two girls standing in the back seemed harmless. But once they saw the hands of the girl with the bow on her back, they all changed their minds. An ordinary archer wouldn't have such thick calluses. Only the man in the back with golden hair who kept on smiling looked harmless.
Watching the crowd, he smiled and said softly, "Truly sorry for the inconvenience, my leader is moody today." After the gentle golden-haired man apologized, he strode in swiftly and stopped next to the person whose foot had been stabbed in place. He bent down slightly and pulled out the dagger, and then, without warning, gently sliced the neck of the howling scar faced man. Smiling, he wiped the dagger with a napkin from a nearby table, and then elegantly handed the dagger to the golden haired woman behind him.
The scar faced man twitched as he fell over, blood spraying on the ground into a strange, sinister design.
An alarming chill instantly filled the entire bar. The gentle and elegant man was actually such a terrifying and dangerous person!
Instantly, the atmosphere was so terrifying, everybody in the bar was in cold sweat. Everybody got up one by one quietly, about to escape the place that was so constraining, their minds were about to collapse. Just as some people left their seats, the gentle golden haired man turned and smiled brightly. "Everybody, don't forget to pay money."
Some were unable to bear this kind of pressure, throwing down money and running away while shrieking. They had seen murders before, but not such a graceful one!
"Commander, what were you doing, running here first by yourself and leaving us behind." Camille smiled gently, sitting next to the woman who was pretending to be a man, Claire.
"Humph!" Clare only coldly humphed once and stopped talking. She raised her wine glass and continuing to drink as before.
"You really are hot tempered. Didn't you only just carry the wind leopard for a few Li.1 because you lost a bet?" Li Yuewen sneered as she walked forward. She said righteously, "Not only am I increasing your arm strength, carrying burdens is also another important part of training."
"You cheated!" Claire clenched and gritted her teeth. When she discovered the trick, it was already too late.
"If you didn't discover it, then don't call it a cheat. You still have much to learn," Li Yuewen scolded.
Claire stopped talking, turned around, and sipped her wine. It had always been her riding on Little Leopard, but today, their positions had changed.
"Um, thank you for saving me......" A soft and gentle voice said from in between the two.
Claire turned around, and saw the pale faced waitress who was struggling to smile. When Claire turned around once more, she saw that the dead man's severed hand was still holding onto the girl's palm. No wonder her expression was so unsightly.
"Get it off of her," Claire ordered Jean, who was right behind her, emotionlessly.
Jean obeyed. He stepped forward, grabbed the dead man's hand, then pulled it off.
"Thank you, thank you very much," The waitress thanked them hurriedly.
"You don't have to thank us, it was nothing." Claire indifferently waved for the waitress to leave, then looked at the owner and said, "Owner, do you have any rugosa rose tea?"
"Ah, truly sorry, customer. We, we only have wine and water here." The owner replied shakily. He had just seen the young man's terrifying way of doing things and his companion's gruesome actions, so he spoke more cautiously than usual.
"Commander, such a small place can't have any flowers." Camille softly sighed.
Everybody behind Camille rolled their eyes. It was all because of this guy that Claire had become so evil! Claire simply had to drink rugosa rose tea after venting out her anger, but after searching the entire town, they couldn't find any.
"Um, um I grow roses in my garden. If you don't mind, you can come to my house. I have stored some dried flowers too," the waitress said cautiously.
"Oh, is that so? Then let's go." Claire immediately stood up, about leave.
Li Yuewen rolled her eyes, wanting to scold her, but thinking of Claire's dark mood today, she let it go.
"Owner, my little brother will be back soon, tell him I will first bring my saviors home." The waitress called to the bar owner.
"Okay, okay, okay." The owner hurriedly nodded his head, seeing off the scary group to the distance.
The waitress took off her apron then led them out the door.
"This brat only knows how to live it up." Li Yuewen followed behind, muttering all the while, unsatisfied.
"You have trained her harsh enough recently, let her take a break today." Li Mingyu said, feeling a slight headache. On their journey, Li Yue Wen's methods of training has reached a severe level. Claire had to be on guard even when sleeping, or else her throat would have been slit open. Li Yue Wen often planned surprise attacks at night to develop Claire's alertness. As a result, Claire fought with dark circles under her eyes and resisted her sleepiness as she was constantly awakened by Li Yue Wen's sneak attacks. Her alertness improved, but the dark circles under her eyes became more severe too.
The young girl walked in front, but continuously looked back at the young man behind her. He had golden hair and lovely green eyes. Although his dark circles were a bit severe, they couldn't conceal his peerless aura. It was this young man who had just saved herself from the clutches of the evil person, otherwise, who knows how it would have ended. Her little brother was out too. If it wasn't for this young man, then the result would be unthinkable. The young girl's heart began to beat faster.
Meanwhile, Claire was looking completely unhappy. The wind leopard followed them from behind at the very back. When it was carried by Claire, it had been terrified out of its wits. Now, it didn't even dare to get close to her.
"My family is only I and my little brother. Today, he went to the Mountain of Lost Souls. That crazy little, he said that recently there some kind of strange beast was about to come into being and that he wants to capture it and sell it for money." The girl started to talk to Claire. She didn't know what to say, so she only brought up the topic of her annoying little brother.
"Strange beast?" Camille became interested. He asked, "Did your little brother say what kind of strange beast it was?
"He did, that lying brat, he said it was a deity beast," the girl replied helplessly, feeling a slight headache. "How could a deity beast appear here? And how could he capture it?"
Deity beast? Li Yuewen and Li Mingyu exchanged glances and both saw doubt within each other's eyes.
"In any case, my little brother brags about how he can use a little Dou Qi. He always thinks he's some kind of expert." The girl said exasperatedly as she lead everybody to the edge of the small town.
There was a very small garden, ivy crawling on the wooden fence, the small table and a few chairs under the grape rack in the garden seeming exceptionally comfortable.
"Benefactors, please sit down, I will go make tea." The girl seemed a little embarrassed. "Just sit outside, the rooms are very messy."
Claire lightly nodded her head, and sat down immediately without care for manners. Walter sat down silently immediately after her, because he had noticed there weren't enough chairs. He didn't want to stand, so he sat down first. Camille was smiling as he followed the girl inside to make the rugosa rose tea.
1.li, ancient measure of length, approx. 500 m