Book 2, Chapter 10 – Eastmount Marsh
In the mountain forest outside the West Prefecture City.
Ji Ning, Mowu, and his maidservant Autumn Leaf were each seated on a black ferobeast. This beast was shaped like a leopard, and its body was covered with faint leopard-type patterns. It had a single horn on its head. This was an extremely ferocious type of beast. It could clamber up mountains like flat land, and was extremely fast. It was an excellent mount, but of course, it was a bit inferior to a tamed monstrous beast.
Given Ning’s status, he was being quite low-key in riding this sort of mount.
“West Prefecture City.” Ning turned and looked back, staring at the distant, enormous city. He had lived there ever since he was young.
“Let’s go!” Ning shouted.
With a kick to the waist of the mounted beast, the mounted beast immediately leapt forward at a gallop, while Autumn Leaf and Mowu hurriedly rode their own black ferobeasts behind.
Winter left. Spring came.
On a grassy area within a mountain village, there were dozens of fur-clad men moving forward happily, half of them carrying burdens on shoulder poles.
“Uncle Dala!” A clearly inexperienced, spear-wielding youngster called out excitedly, “Before this, you never let us visit Eastmount Marsh, and you said that Eastmount Marsh was extremely dangerous. But this time…we encountered no danger at all, and we managed to catch so many fish. It will be enough for our tribe to eat for a long time.”
A heroic, bear-like figure next to him laughed, “Ah Yi, you brought us good luck. This time to Eastmount Marsh, not a single tribesman died. This is very rare. However, don’t underestimate Eastmount Marsh. Eastmount Marsh is one of the places in this area with the most Diremonsters within an area of ten thousand square kilometers. But of course, the fish in Eastmount Marsh are boundless in number as well.
“Ah Yi, this is the first time you’ve gone fishing with us. After a few more trips, you’ll know how dangerous it is. When we go back, you need to exercise more and refine your ki. Only when you are strong will you be able to live a longer life.” A one-armed man next to them laughed.
“Ah Yi isn’t a child anymore. This time, when we go back, we need to find a woman for Ah Yi. Let’s get some good furs and go to one of the neighboring tribes to exchange them for a fertile woman with big buttocks.”
“Get a few more women, so they can birth a few more childrens.”
The older men were all teasing this youth.
Just at this time, from the brambles and bushes nearby, a monstrous beast with black fur was lying in wait. Its fur was extremely smooth, and the contours of its body were sleek and soft. It seemed like a panther of some sort. A faint hint of green could be seen in its eyes, and its body was nearly seven meters long. Its furry mane was extremely tough, and it was shaped like a ring of circular spikes.
It was waiting. Waiting for an opportunity.
“Don’t worry about that. I’ll find one for myself.” Ah Yi was a bit embarrassed, and his face was turning red. He hastily called out.
“Haha, he’s shy.”
The older men laughed.
“Roaaaar!” A black blur suddenly pounced over, pouncing directly towards the closest tribesman, a man who was holding a carrying pole.
“Monster!” The other tribesmen hurriedly roared in anger, and the spears in their hands thrust out. They had painstakingly trained since their youth, and had been refining their internal energy for dozens of years, and now possessed great strength. “Bang!” The enormous black blur’s claws easily swept aside the spears, knocking them to one side.
The surrounding tribesmen all roared with anger, thrusting out with their spears as well. As a small tribe, they didn’t possess any profound Immortal techniques, making spear and polearm type weapons extremely popular amongst them. So long as they trained a few simple movements every day, after a few dozen years, their power would still be extraordinary.
“Hua!” Stepping on the polearms, the enormous black blur easily leapt up and pounced towards the center of the group of tribesmen.
These tribesmen often went to Eastmount Marsh to fish, and thus they selected a fairly safe return path, one which rarely encountered monstrous beasts. But caution was bred into their bones, and so the tribesmen with the carrying poles were all in the center, while the powerful tribal warriors with weapons at the ready were on the outer perimeter.
“A monster!” The one-armed man called out hurriedly. “Careful.” As he spoke, he brandished his single blade, pouncing towards the massive black blur.
“Monster, die!” The most powerful of the tribal warriors, the bear-like, ‘Uncle Dala’, also brandished his long greataxe as he threw himself towards the black blur.
The nearby tribesmen were all going crazy.
All of them knew how powerful Bi’an Tigers were. Just then, six powerful warriors had surrounded and attacked this Bi’an Tiger, but it had easily stepped on their weapons and jumped into their center, causing them all to understand…that this was most likely an extremely terrifying monstrous beast that had already reached the peak of the Houtian level. Today, it was possible that several of them would die.
“Grrrrrrrrrr.” The Bi’an Tiger roared angrily. Unlike before, where it moved quickly, this time it stayed where it was, attacking wildly.
The one-armed man was sent flying backwards by the collision, while Uncle Dala continued to chop downwards with his greataxe while roaring wildly. The Bi’an Tiger had also noticed that this greataxe wielding human was the most dangerous of the group, and so he didn’t pay any attention to the other tribal warriors, using his sharp claws to smash directly against the greataxe, causing its trajectory to be altered. However, the greataxe still landed on the flank of the Bi’an Tiger, chopping out a massive wound. Only, the Bi’an Tiger’s muscles around its flank tightened, and very little blood flowed out. The main problem was that the greataxe hadn’t landed a deep enough blow. At the same time the Bi’an Tiger batted the greataxe aside, roaring, the Bi’an Tiger opened its massive maw and bit down towards Uncle Dala.
“Uncle Dala.” The somewhat stupefied youngster, Ah Yi, was stunned and called out.
The surrounding tribesmen were all worried as well.
“Shua!” Something flashed past like a glittering meteor from afar, instantly penetrating the Bi’an Tiger’s skull, then flying out from the other side before penetrating into a giant tree…and then shot out from the other side of the tree as well.
Uncle Dala fell to the ground, with the massive body of the Bi’an Tiger on top of him, blood covering Uncle Dala’s face.
“Uncle Dala.” The youngster, Ah Yi, immediately ran over. He was at the verge of tears.
“I’m fine.” That powerful tribesman pushed the Bi’an Tiger off, then stood up while rubbing his face, finding that it was covered with blood. “This isn’t my blood. It is the Bi’an Tiger’s blood.”
The one armed man walked over and took a glance as well, first looking at the corpse of the Bi’an Tiger, and then at the nearby tree. His pupils contracted, and he whispered, “For an arrow to pierce through the rock-hard skull of the Bi’an Tiger, and then through the black arrowwood tree…that’s simply terrifying. In addition, the Bi’an Tiger suffered the arrow in mid-leap. This archery skill…”
“Definitely a godly archer.”
“A godly archer shot this arrow.” All of the tribesmen stared at the corpse of the Bi’an Tiger, then looked afar into the general direction from which the arrow had come from and where the godly archer must be.
Hua! Hua! Hua!
Three figures drew from deep within the mountain forests. The tribesmen watched carefully…and soon, they were able to see them clearly. Three people, riding extremely handsome black ferobeasts. The black ferobeasts moved through the mountain slopes as though they were travelling on flat land, and quickly arrived before the tribesmen.
“Uh….” Seeing the three people in front of them, all the tribesmen were awestruck.
They were riding handsome black ferobeasts, and wore extremely meticulous, beautifully made beast fur clothes. The person in front was a seemingly very young and handsome young man, while by his side was an extremely beautiful girl. The men could swear to themselves…that they couldn’t find such a girl as beautiful as this one in their entire tribe. Although she was dressed in warrior’s clothes, it couldn’t hide her beauty. As for the man on the other side of the youngster, he emitted a fierce, ferocious aura, causing the hearts of these tribesmen to quail.
“Hu.” The older man leapt down from his black ferobeast, walking over to the tall, thick black arrowwood tree, snatching out the arrow.
“Young master.” The man walked next to the youngster, respectfully offering him the arrow.
Ji Ning accepted it.
Although they had prepared many arrows for this adventuring expedition, if they abandoned every arrow they shot out, they probably would run out of arrows soon. These were all extremely good arrows…they could be used multiple times.
“Honored young master.” The one-armed tribesman went forward, respectfully bowing. “Thank you for acting to save us. Might I ask if there is some way in which our Metalstone Tribe can serve you, young master?”
The other tribesmen didn’t dare to make a sound.
Someone who brought a maidservant and a manservant while adventuring…this clearly was no ordinary person. And in addition, he had been referred to as ‘young master’ earlier. Someone who was respectfully addressed as ‘young master’ was generally the son of a tribal chief of a major tribe with tens of thousands of tribesmen. Clearly, this youngster should belong to an extremely large tribe.
“Are you familiar with Eastmount Marsh?” Ning, riding on the black ferobeast, asked them.
The tribesmen looked at each other.
Why was this young master going to Eastmount Marsh? He definitely couldn’t be going there for fishing like they had, right? It would definitely be very dangerous.
“I am.” The powerful, dark-skinned Uncle Dala strode forward. “I have been fishing in Eastmount Marsh for dozens of years now, and am very familiar with this place. Young master, if you wish to go to Eastmount Marsh, I can lead the way for you.”
“Excellent.” Ning, mounted on the black ferobeast, laughed ,and then with a flip of his hand, tossed over a ‘beasthead’ of gold. “Come with me, then.”
Accepting the beasthead of gold, Uncle Dala’s eyes instantly lit up. This beasthead of gold, weighing exactly ten pounds, would be more than enough for his child to live off of for the rest of his life. He immediately gave it to the nearby one armed man. “Help me take it back and give it to my eldest son. If I die, then help me take care of my three little kids.”
“Alright.” The one armed man nodded.
“Report your name.” Ning said.
“Honored young master, you can address me as Dala!” Uncle Dala said respectfully.
“Dala, mount on her black ferobeast.” Ning pointed to Autumn Leaf’s mount. “Autumn Leaf, you come sit with me.”
“Yes, young master.”
Autumn Leaf leapt down, then immediately mounted Ning’s black ferobeast, then held her arms around Ning’s waist. She had served Ning since he was born, and they were as close to each other as real siblings. In addition, as Ning’s personal maidservant, it was essentially determined long ago that she was Ning’s woman, and thus there were no taboos between them.
Uncle Dala, holding his breath, carefully mounted the black ferobeast. He had never ridden on such a fine mount before.
Ning and the others rode the black ferobeasts, quickly disappearing into the mountain forests.
“Uncle Saber.” The youngster, Ah Yi, asked frantically. “Uncle Dala is going to take them to the Eastmount Marsh. Will it be dangerous?”
The one-armed man nodded. “They aren’t like us. That youngsters is definitely the son of a leader of a large tribe, and has received the finest instruction since he was young. That arrow was probably loosed by him. He has most likely come to Eastmount Marsh for a rite-of-passage adventure! He has to kill a certain number of monstrous beasts, but Eastmount Marsh is too large and too complicated an area. Just relying on a simple map isn’t sufficient, so they asked for Uncle Dalat to help lead the way.”
“Rites-of-passage? But that youngster isn’t an adult yet.” Ah Yi said.
“Some people look older than their age, others look younger.” The one armed man said.
Actually, right now, Ning was just eleven years old, although he was already 1.7 meters tall, the same height he was in his past life.
“But that young master was very benevolent.” The one armed man sighed. “Just then, when the Bi’an Tiger ambushed us, if that young master hadn’t intervened…several of us probably would have died, and the first to die would have been your Uncle Dala! Having had his life saved, your Uncle Dala would go guide them, even if it cost him his life. In addition, the young master gave him a beasthead of gold. Ten pounds!”
“Hurry, hurry, hurry.” The one armed man suddenly shouted. “Butcher that Bi’an Tiger’s corpse and take it back.”
One after another pulled out their knives and hatchets, quickly butchering the Bi’an Tiger’s corpse, and then they continued on their return trip.