Chapter 127: Vermilion Forest

Xue Wei and Hei Gou continued to fly for two days straight. During this time, both of them were on constant alert, observing everything around them.

While flying, Xue Wei spread out his spiritual energy to help them avoid all the tribes, but they were still spotted by a few groups of tribe scouts and experts out hunting, that were traversing the Flowing Blood Prairie. 

These people noticed a black blur that rushed past them in the sky, but they did not see what exactly it was. 

Xue Wei and Hei Gou finally relaxed after two days. They had switched directions a few times and were now flying south.

Although there was no mistake that their pursuers knew that they were aiming for the center of the continent, they dared not travel the direct way.

Elder Zhang was aware of their destination, and his flying speed was bound to be swifter than Hei Gou's. 

If they were to fly west, it was very likely that they would be captured rather fast, so they instead opted to move south. 

The south was still a part of the Flowing Blood Prairie, but after two days they had almost reached the end of the prairie and were almost at the kingdom located beneath the prairie and west of the southern territory of the Heping Kingdom. 

This kingdom was almost as unassuming as the Kingdom of Heping; its geniuses were just a bit better than the Kingdom of Heping's, and their structure was similar. 

Children aged fifteen or sixteen were sent to the army where they would undergo training in preparation for the battles against Fierce and Primordial Beasts. The most outstanding amongst them would become Primordial Beast Hunters, while the rest would return to society after finishing their time in the army. 

This kingdom was incredibly small. It was as wide as the Flowing Blood Prairie and only as long as the southern territory of the Kingdom of Heping. 

This tiny kingdom was known as the Vermilion Forest Kingdom, and it had gotten its name from the vermilion-leaved trees that covered ninety percent of its available land in one massive, vast forest.

This Vermilion Forest was not counted as one of the danger zones, but it was still a place that demanded caution once ventured into, and many of those who entered would end up dying, leaving their corpses behind, hidden under the fallen vermilion leaves. 

This Vermilion Forest was Xue Wei and Hei Gou's destination. "We cannot head straight for the center of the continent since they will most likely try to cut us off midway by predicting our path. If that’s so, why don't we just head to another weak country and stall for some time to strengthen ourselves?"

The Vermilion Forest was not as dangerous as the Northern Taiga, but it was still dangerous enough to produce some threats for the two friends, which could possibly force their potential out and arouse their talent and make them step onto an even higher stage.

They descended through the air and landed on the ground. Hei Gou once more took on his human form. The two of them smiled at each other, feeling much calmer due to their plan, and headed straight for the edges of the Flowing Blood Prairie. 

They did not come across any humans or Fierce Beasts. All they came across were skeletons of beasts and humans alike, but none of these remains had any valuables on them. They had already been stripped of all treasure they might possess. 

The two friends were chatting casually while walking forward through the vast expanse of barren land. Their moods had visibly improved, the tension seeping out of their previously stiff bodies. Having escaped the Chaos Vulture Tribe’s confinement, they felt much more at ease. 

"Do you think that the tribe can survive the calamity it was facing?" Hei Gou asked curiously. "I don't know if I want them to be destroyed after treating us the way they did, or if I want them to flourish since they did not kill us."

"Don't think about them any longer." Xue Wei shrugged his shoulders, completely carefree and not paying any attention to the tribe at all. "Although we were forced to stay with them for some time, we benefited greatly during our stay." 

"When we get strong enough, there is no reason to take revenge on this tribe because our karmic ties have already been broken. They helped us, but at the same time they held us captive."

"Now that we have escaped, there is no reason for us to hurry anywhere and risk ourselves. We have nothing urgent to do in the center of the continent, and the geniuses there will be much more domineering and forceful than the ones from a small Chaos Vulture Tribe. If our strength is not sufficient to keep ourselves alive, then we will become some of the youths that lose their lives on their quest to become strong."

Hei Gou sighed. He was naturally arrogant as a beast, but he knew that Xue Wei was correct. Although he was superior to human cultivators, there existed monsters out there who could easily put up a fight against Xue Wei and Hei Gou, especially at their current cultivation level. 

As they wandered through the Flowing Blood Prairie, the landscape started to change. It changed from being dusty ground with sparse vegetation into fertile soil. 

"We ought to use different aliases too," Xue Wei muttered once they had formally moved into the land of the Vermilion Forest Kingdom. "I never thought we would be caught because of our names in the Chaos Vulture Tribe, but that was because I was not careful enough."

Xue Wei glanced at Hei Gou and looked at him up and down before nodding his head. "We can act like brothers from the Flowing Blood Prairie that have come to the Vermilion Forest Kingdom to temper ourselves." Xue Wei decided.

They had been provided with the clothes of the Chaos Vulture Tribe back then and were currently wearing fur clothes that made them seem like real tribesmen. 

"This setup is also able to explain why we aren’t currently serving our time in the army," he continued. "If we wear clothes native to the Kingdom of Heping or this Vermilion Forest Kingdom, then we will only raise suspicion as potential deserters."

Hei Gou looked impressed. "I don't like these fur clothes," he said, sighing, "but I guess it is suitable for us to use it to avoid suspicion." 

Xue Wei said nothing as he continued walking on the fertile soil. Soon, they reached fields that were being cultivated by farmers, and these farmers raised their heads when they saw Xue Wei and Hei Gou. 

They frowned but quickly relaxed after seeing that there were only the two of them. It was not an entire tribe that had come to ravage their land and loot their valuables. 

Xue Wei smiled at the farmers, and Hei Gou quickly did the same. His devilishly handsome face with a blinding smile shocked the farmers into speechlessness, and it was not before fur-clothed youngsters had moved past them that they realized that they had been in a daze. 

"Excuse me, young masters," one of the farmers finally spoke up. "I was wondering if you would honor us with a moment of your time. We are eager to hear news from the Flowing Blood Prairie."

Xue Wei and Hei Gou looked at one another. They had been burnt already and were not silly enough to follow another stranger into a place they knew nothing about so they both shook their heads apologetically.

"We are in a rush," Xue Wei smiled. "We will definitely tell you more when we return, but for now we have to continue our travels."

The expressions on the faces of the farmers turned slightly dangerous for a moment and a cold gleam passed in a few pair of eyes, before rapidly vanishing. 

"I see." the farmer had a smile on his face that seemed heartfelt, but Xue Wei had caught a glimpse of the cold gleam in his eyes and knew that no matter how good an actor this farmer was, he was no innocent soul.

"We have to get going," Xue Wei muttered to Hei Gou with a compressed voice. "Something is off. I think they have some experts living in their village and are waiting for them to arrive. If it is a Sky Warrior, we are safe since you can deal with them, but if it is a Heavenly Warrior, then we have quite a sticky situation."

Hei Gou was alarmed. He had never expected that such a remote place would have an expert hiding amongst them, but when he thought of how they had behaved, he had to agree that it was indeed possible. 

"We will take our leave now," Hei Gou said, the first sentence that he had spoken to the farmers. They all looked at him with panic in their eyes. It was clear that they had not expected such a decision to be made so fast.

“Young Masters from the prairie, the road to the capital is a long one! We are a small village, true, but we would love to host the two of you in exchange for news from your homeland. Please, I ask of you. In fact, we have just finished a new batch of homebrewed wine and were thinking of preparing one of our mortal beasts for a feast. Come join us.” 

Xue Wei and Hei Gou did not pay attention to them and elected to swiftly escape the premises. This village was not very large, and the villagers were all Earth Warriors, but their speed could not follow Xue Wei and Hei Gou, even if they tried their best. 

After Xue Wei and Hei Gou vanished into the distance, a short moment went by before three men arrived. One of them, the one in the middle, was burly and rather short, but the atmosphere around him was cold and filled with killing intent. His brow was furrowed into a frown, and his teeth were being ground against each other. 

On his right side was a young man. He seemed to be around twenty-five and had just gotten out of the army. His entire bearing was casual and calm, his face revealing handsome features. A smile hung on his lips as he looked around. 

The last person, on the left, was a middle-aged man. His hair had streaks of grey, and he had a massive beard that hid the bottom half of his face. This beard also had streaks of grey. When coupled together, the wild beard and the long hair made him seem like a slob that did not care about his appearance at all. 

All three were wearing clothes of decent quality, yet none of them were from the silk, leather, or hide of either Primordial Beasts or Fierce Beasts 

If Xue Wei had been here, he would have been shocked. Although these three were wearing mortal clothes, their clothes had no patches on them, which could be seen on most villagers. Their clothes had not even one speck of dust, and they seemed to be newly woven. It also seemed to be made from silk from a mortal beasts, and although these clothes were below quality of Primordial and Fierce Beast fabrics, they were high above average mortal clothes. 

In the outskirts of the country, seeing someone wearing such new clothes was indeed shocking. It was not something one saw often, and when they did, the owners were not some random people from a farming village but some young nobles from the cities. 

"Tell me, where did they go?" One of the men asked in a deep voice, and the farmer was trembling as he pointed in the direction that Xue Wei and Hei Gou had left. 

"Harrumph," the man who spoke was not in a great mood. "Two kids who have not even grown up wants to escape from us? They are simply playing with fire!" 

"Well, big brother, they are struggling to stay alive! We will hunt them down and enjoy the hunt, and then we will take all their valuables!" 

"They should not be too strong, so catching up to them should not be a problem either. One of them is an Earth Warrior, so it is impossible for them to fly - all they can do is run," the bearded man said casually. The other two nodded their heads before their trio shot out in pursuit of the two stragglers.

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Tinalynge's Thoughts

Sorry for these days without release - my daughter had a surgery Friday and unfortunately it took more time to recuperate than I expected. I owe you chapters, there will be 2 today!

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Book 2 of Condemning the Heavens - Blood of the Army, has been released on Amazon!

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Author: Tinalynge

Editor: Melinum

Betareader: Soultorrent & Norwegian Viking

Proofreader: Tue