"I've got a triple mutated Frost Demon. Are you interested?"
"I'm sorry, not interested."
Lin Huang turned off the black market mission page after replying in a dark forest. At the beginning of November last year, Lin Huang's Life Fire was already burning at its limit of 300 meters high. After more than a month, his combat level completely stabilized in December and he was ready to level up to crimson flame-level. However, it was already February now, yet he had yet to find a tinder monster that was suitable, so his combat level stagnated.
The reason was simple. Lin Huang was picky when it came to choosing tinder monsters. First, it had to be at least triple mutated and there were not many monsters that qualified for that condition in Division 7. It was rare as many Imperial Censor families were after this type of monster as well. Secondly, the monster would be, at best, a holy fire-level, and the highest would be an immortal-level rank-1. To be honest, triple mutated monsters were powerful. He might not be able to handle a monster higher than immortal-level rank-1 if he ever encountered one. If that happened, instead of obtaining tinder, it would become a suicidal attempt.
Thirdly, the tinder would have to cater to his needs. That last condition made the mission impossible. As it was difficult to find the tinder that he desired in Division 7, he had to head to the core zone. The safe zone in Division 3 was 2.4 times bigger than Division 7. The safety zone was much more developed than Division 7. Besides having more powerful monsters, the number of monsters were a couple of times more than the number of monsters in Division 7.
Without compromising the criteria of his tinder, the only way to level up was to look for the tinder in the core zone. As he turned off the black market page, Lin Huang sensed somebody walk into his territory. He smirked as he looked at the person's direction. Soon, Lin Xin revealed herself within the trees. She had a light silver glow under her feet. She had leveled up to silver-level. Although they were in a grade-4 wild zone, she was not as clumsy as she had been before. She had leveled up to silver-level two days ago and she was now on silver-level rank-3. She could definitely fight gold-level rank-3 monsters now.
Just as Lin Xin appeared, a black shadow materialized. It was a lady in a black dress. The triple mutated Wicked Witch looked exactly like a human. She had been familiarizing herself with Lin Xin and Lin Huang recently. Initially, Lin Huang wanted to get Kylie or Tyrant to protect Lin Xin as she was more familiar with the both of them. However, their appearance was too attention-seeking, so he thought that the Wicked Witch would be more suitable for the job. Besides, the Witch could conceal herself in Lin Xin's shadow to protect her anytime, anywhere.
Lin Xin leapt from the branch when she saw Lin Huang and the Witch, landing less than two meters away from Lin Huang.
"Not bad," Lin Huang complimented as he knew Lin Xin could basically protect herself now.
The three of them stepped into the dimensional relic and disappeared from the forest, appearing at their home in the Winter City.
It was the Wicked Witch's first time here. She looked around with curiosity.
"Xin Er, show the Witch around," Lin Huang suggested.
"Brother, are you leaving tomorrow?" Lin Xin looked at the calendar on her Emperor's Heart Ring.
"I'm meeting my friends the day after tomorrow, but I want to go there tomorrow night. It's I who invited them after all. It'd be horrible for them to wait for me. There's still half a month to your winter holidays. Enjoy the holiday or train your gunfighting techniques at home. I've already booked the ticket back to the White Capital for you. They'll confirm your trip with you a day before," Lin Huang said.
"Alright then." Lin Xin knew that Lin Huang was not going to Division 3 this time but to the ruins. He would be back in March, so she was not that upset.
"Witch, let me show you around!" She waved at the Wicked Witch.
It was the middle of the night on the second day at foothold No. 7B51 Laotian City. On the 131st floor in a luxury hotel, Lin Huang gazed at the snow while standing on the balcony with a glass of green juice in his hand. The communication page on his Emperor's Heart Ring was open.
"I'm here. Let's meet at the City Sky Hotel at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Don't be late." He sent the message to four people in his contact book.
Soon, the four of them replied. The next morning, Lin Huang woke up early. It was not even eight when he was done with his buffet breakfast. He checked out at the reception and sat down at the cafe on the first floor. He ordered a black coffee as he read the news. It was less than ten days since New Year's Day had passed. There was nothing much on the news or on the Hunter Forum. Most of the hunters were relaxing during this period, so there was nothing new.
As Lin Huang was bored, he decided to check his social media app. Many friends posted photos of sceneries and food. He snapped a photo of the coffee that he was drinking and posted it on the app. Lin Xin was the first one who liked his photo while Yi Yeyu and the rest followed suit. After turning off the app, he then launched another app called Weibo and started reading news on topics that he was following. He came across a short post by 'theuglytruth'. It was posted before the new year.
"There's a battle of demigods in Division 1. Many of the islands on the quiet ocean have collapsed... It's too far away, so I can only see the blur images."
"A demigod battle in Division 1?" Lin Huang frowned. A person sat across him before he could think any further about the post.
"You sure know how to enjoy life!" It was Li Lang who he had not seen in a while. As usual, he was wearing his boring white suit with a red ribbon around his neck and combed back his hair.
"You're pretty early." Lin Huang turned off the app and smiled at his old friend.
"Of course! I've always been a punctual man! Tell me, are there any hot babes this time?" Li Lang bent down and asked softly.
"Yes, the lady from the Yi family that you've met."
Li Lang rolled his eyes. "Who else?"
"Her brother." Lin Huang grinned.
"I'm talking about ladies!" Li Lang emphasized.
"There's another one."
"Who's that?" Li Lang was excited.
Lin Huang looked up at the hotel entrance. A girl in a white trench coat and sunglasses spotted him at the same time. He waved to her. She nodded and walked towards him.
"This is...?" Li Lang could not recognize her.
As she walked over to them, Lin Huang and Li Lang stood up immediately to offer their seats.
"This is Ms. Leng Yuexin. This is my friend Li Lang," Lin Huang introduced.
"Hi." Leng Yuexin took off her sunglasses and shook Li Lang's hand.
"You're the lady from the Leng family?" Li Lang was stunned.
The three of them sat down. After Li Lang and Leng Yuexin took a few sips of their coffee, Yi Zheng and Yi Yeyu arrived at the hotel. The duo had seen the photo that Lin Huang posted and headed straight to the cafe. Yi Zheng was wearing a slate blue trench coat, looking exuberant while Yi Yeyu wore a navy blue dress under a knitted coat. It was not even 8.40 a.m. when the five of them gathered. Lin Huang was dressed the most casual among the five of them in his regular sports attire. Since it was still early, Yi Zheng and Yi Yeyu ordered coffee for themselves as they chatted after the introduction.
The Yi siblings knew Leng Yuexin as they had met at some events before. Many people in the cafe were looking at them as the five made a handsome bunch.
"Lin Huang, you've grown taller," Yi Yeyu teased.
"Yeah, I'm 178cm now. Maybe 180cm when I'm wearing shoes." Lin Huang nodded. He was not the kid that they knew two years ago.
"I wouldn't have noticed that if you didn't mention it. He was a whole head shorter than I was two years ago, but now he's catching up with me." Yi Zheng had just noticed Lin Huang's height.
The four of them had met two years ago where they recalled Lin Huang's height when they first met. Lin Huang had grown from a teenager to a man.
"But why are you still on white flame-level? I'm already a purple flame-level and Xiao Yu is now a crimson flame-level, going onto blue flame-level." Yi Zheng thought it was odd.
"There's no tinder that I'm after in Division 7." Lin Huang shook his head.
"Did you choose a triple mutated monster?!" The four of them looked at him in shock.
"Yes," Lin Huang confirmed.
"Which monster did you choose to get to white flame-level with?" Now, even Leng Yuexin was curious.
"The Blacksword Killer," Lin Huang told a half-truth.
"You're insane!" Li Lang was shocked. It was difficult for him to kill double mutated monsters, but Lin Huang had managed to kill a triple mutated monster.
As they chatted and got familiar with each other, it was almost 9 a.m. and they had finished their coffee.
"Where's the entrance? How long does it take to fly there?" Yi Zheng glimpsed at the time and realized that it was about time they moved.
"Don't worry about it. I've already pinned the location last night. Just step into the dimensional relic and we'll be at the destination." Lin Huang brought the four of them out of the cafe and summoned his dimensional relic. The five of them stepped into the dimensional relic. As it closed, the five of them disappeared from the hotel.