Book 3, Mountain Range of Magical Beasts – Chapter 9, The Mountain Range of Magical Beasts (part 1)
The Mountain Range of Magical Beasts was vast and boundless.
Within it, Linley could see ancient pines that were centuries or millennia old, blotting out the landscape. All sorts of various grasses filled the land, and thistles and thorns were equally commonplace. Dry leaves covered the land, with each step, they crackled and popped. Ancient vines and weeds could be seen everywhere.
“With all of these weeds, dense vines, and trees which have been around for who-knows-how-long, even if a magical beast were just ten meters away from me, I still probably wouldn’t sense it.” Linley grew apprehensive.
Grandpa Doehring appeared by his side as well.
“Ten meters? Linley, even in the grass right in front of you, there could be a magical beast in wait, such as a giant snake.” Doehring Cowart laughed as he spoke.
Linley involuntarily glanced at the grassy area in front of him, which was almost half as tall as him. Such thick, tall grass really could hide a snake. Taking a deep breath, Linley stood there as he began to mumble the words to a spell.
Suddenly, a gentle gust of wind emanated from Linley, spreading about in all directions before finally dissipating.
Wind-style magic – Windscout!
Generally speaking, a magus of the third rank would be able to execute the Windscout spell. But of course, the more powerful a magus was, the wider an area the Windscout spell could cover. The Windscout spell of a magus of the third rank would only affect an area of around ten or so meters around him, but the Windscout of a magus of the fifth rank had a diameter of over a hundred meters.
“Within a hundred meters, the only magical beasts around are a magical beast of the first rank, a Bubblerat, and a few magical beasts of the second rank, ‘Earth Scorpions’.” Linley said confidently.
The Windscout spell could discern the aura and lifescent of any living creature.
“Don’t be too cocky. A powerful magical beast could burrow under the earth, and some Saint-level magical beasts can even disguise their power level.” Doehring Cowart reminded, but then he chuckled. “But of course, if they wanted to deal with a little fellow like you, would a Saint-level magical beast bother to hide its power?”
But upon hearing these words, Linley grew all the more cautious.
“Ambush through disguising power levels? In some books, it was said that the intelligence of magical beasts rivals that of man’s. Looks like it’s true.” Linley said to himself. Glancing at the little Shadowmouse, ‘Bebe’, on his shoulders, he thought, “This little fella, Bebe, already has a really high level of intelligence. I can’t let my guard down.”
Air swirled around Linley’s feet. This was part of the byproduct of Linley’s ‘Supersonic’ spell.
Linley quietly passed into the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts. He carefully surveyed his surroundings, while on his shoulders, the little Shadowmouse, Bebe, also perked up and stared in all four directions, his beady little black eyes peering about him. Slowly, the two of them travelled deeper and deeper into the mountains.
“The Mountain Range of Magical Beasts is over ten thousand kilometers long, with an average width of seven or eight hundred kilometers. In the outermost hundred kilometer region, the magical beasts are mostly of low rank. If we go more than a hundred kilometers deep, we’ll meet lots of magical beasts of the fifth and sixth ranks. If we go still deeper inside, we will see many beasts of the seventh, eighth, and ninth ranks, and perhaps even Saint-level magical beasts.”
Doehring Cowart once more began to lecture Linley about the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts.
“But of course, nothing is absolute. Perhaps a magical beast of the ninth rank might be bored and go for a stroll in the outer territories.” Doehring Cowart said. “And perhaps you might be so unlucky as to meet with a huge, ten-thousand unit strong pack of wolf monsters. If that happens, all I can say is, you have terrible karma.”
Hearing Doehring Cowart’s words, Linley’s lips pursed.
That went without saying!
The Mountain Range of Magical Beasts was enormous. How could he be so unlucky? But if he was, Doehring Cowart, who survived only as a spirit, would not be able to assist him in any way. A Saint-level Grand Magus without mageforce had no way to attack.
“Grandpa Doehring, I know this already. Be quiet and don’t distract me.” Linley said discontentedly.
Doehring Cowart immediately chuckled. Stroking his white beard, he no longer spoke.
The Mountain Range of Magical Beasts was a place of deep mountains and ancient trees. The trees were so thickly clustered that virtually all of the rain was blocked, with just a few drops occasionally sprinkling down. After walking for a period of time, he realized that this outer region was indeed not that dangerous.
Linley exerted some strength with his legs, and almost as if he were floating, leapt up on top of a seven or eight meter high tree branch as he carefully scanned about.
“Boss, far away to the right, there’s a wild pig.” Bebe’s voice sounded out in Linley’s mind.
Hearing these words, Linley couldn’t help but turn and look. Indeed, approximately a hundred meters away, a wild boar with a single horn was carefully scanning his surroundings. If Linley didn’t have such a high vantage point, Linley perhaps wouldn’t have been able to see this Unicorn Boar.
“Unicorn Boar, a magical beast of the third rank, an earth-element creature. The only technique it has is that of the ‘Earth Spear’ technique.” Some information regarding the Unicorn Boar came to Linley’s mind.
“Even though it’s just a beast of the third rank, at least it will serve for dinner. Boar flesh is quite tasty.” Nimbly and vigorously, Linley crept through the trees as he stealthily approached the boar. Due to the density of the local flora, the boar had not noticed Linley either.
When he got within ten meters of the boar, Linley lay down flat in the grass. Peering through the dense grass, he could still make out the outline of the Unicorn Boar.
Like a serpentine dragon leaving its lair, Linley leapt out from the grass. When the Unicorn Boar turned his head and stared in shock, Linley fell down upon it like a gust of wind. The Unicorn Boar let out an indignant roar, and thrust its long, thick horn straight at Linley.
“Hrrg!” Linley reached out with his left hand and grabbed the horn and gave a tremendous tug.
That huge Unicorn Boar, weighing several hundred kilograms, was tossed up seven or eight meters up into the air by Linley, who then began to fiercely kick at it with his left leg, using it like a giant claymore and slamming it into the boar’s head with thunderous power and speed.
“Thud.” With a sickening, bone-crunching sound, the Unicorn Boar was kicked into a tree. When it fell down to the ground, the very earth shook. The bones of the Unicorn Boar had already been shattered, and brain matter had already begun leaking out from its shattered skull. A trail of fresh blood streamed forth from its mouth. Its four limbs quivered momentarily, then grew still.
Just based on his prowess as a warrior, killing a Unicorn Boar was not a tough feat for Linley.
“Although the magicite core of a magical beast of the third rank is only worth ten or so gold coins, I can’t let it go to waste.” Linley withdrew the straight chisel from his backpack, and with just two or three simple slices, he cut the boar open. An entirely unremarkable earth-colored magicite crystal rolled out. Linley wiped it off on the grass, then placed it in his backpack.
And then, with practiced ease, Linley skinned the boar and cut off the boar’s legs.
After casually chopping down a few branches, with a flick of his wrist, Linley summoned forth a small flame. As the fire began to grow, Linley began to roast the boar legs.
The little Shadowmouse, Bebe, began to drool. His eyes were fixed on the boar legs. “Boar legs are delicious. Boss, hurry up, hurry up. Why don’t you just directly use your fire-element magic to roast the boar, wouldn’t that be faster?”
“Fire-element magic? I only have a bit of fire element mageforce. And what’s more, when it comes to cooking, using higher temperatures isn’t necessarily superior.” Linley smirked as he spoke, withdrawing some coarse salt and other ingredients from his backpack.
When Linley had originally tested for magical aptitude, he had exceptional affinity for both earth and wind elemental essence, but just average affinity for fire elemental essence. Honestly speaking, for an ordinary person, average affinity for an elemental essence was quite good. But for someone like Linley, he couldn’t be bothered to spend time and energy working on his fire magic.
After all, if he wanted his abilities in fire magic to match his abilities in wind and earth, he would probably have to spend ten times as much time.
Thus, Linley would usually just casually refine a little bit of fire element mageforce. He did, however, definitely have enough to generate some fireballs without any problems.
After finishing roasting two boar legs, Linley and Bebe each shared one while Linley began to work on roasting the other two.
“Wow. Delicious.” Bebe chatted while eating enthusiastically. “This wild boar tastes so much better than those farm-grown hogs. It tastes so fragrant. But naturally, your roasting abilities also played a big role, boss.” Bebe was so happy that he even began flattering Linley a bit.
Linley couldn’t help but start to laugh.
“Boss, I want more.” After finishing one leg, Bebe looked at Linley with a pitiful expression.
Seeing Bebe’s sad gaze, Linley didn’t feel sorry for him in the slightest. He sternly lectured, “This boar leg is way larger than a roast duck. One leg is more than enough for you. The other two legs will be dinner.” After speaking, Linley turned away and ignored Bebe’s pitiable face.
After finishing roasting the two legs, Linley used two large leaves to wrap them up, and then placed them within his backpack and began hurrying along the road with Bebe.
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