Chapter 216 – Howl
More members of the Raizel clan arrived through the portal and gaped with astonishment at the sheer number of ex-slaves gathered outside the city. Their number had already exceeded over five thousand.
Calron hadn’t met most of these clansmen before as he usually only interacted with Asra and the group, so he felt uncomfortable with all the subtle stares thrown his way. Everyone in the clan knew why these ex-slaves were following the Raizel clan. It was because of him.
After a few minutes, Kail and one another middle-aged man came through the portal, before it finally dissipated away. The latter appeared to be Asra’s father and Kail’s younger brother.
The rest of the Elders and the Patriarch must be taking another route.
Calron saw Kail make his way towards him.
“Quite a few showed up, huh?”
Kail whistled while gazing at the people below the hill.
“Yeah… but it’s strange. Why did the King let the ex-slaves leave the city so easily? Shouldn’t he at least stop them at the gates? Also, the Lords didn’t attack the clan as we expected. What’s going on, uncle Kail?”
Calron asked with a troubled face. His instincts were telling him that something was amiss here and things were going too smoothly for them.
“I don’t know, Calron. I thought they would attack us last night as well, but not even a single city guard or assassin neared our mansion. Maybe, they didn’t want to poke the beast?”
Kail joked, but Calron detected that brief moment of nervousness in his uncle’s voice. Kail was also most likely confused by the turn of latest events.
“Anyways, I’ll need you to help me. Father has put me in charge of the expedition, but the ex-slaves won’t listen to me. Tell them that they’re safe now and to follow us into the forest. I’ll assign a guard unit at the back of the trail to make sure no one is left behind and a few more guards at the sides in case something happens.”
“Alright, I can do that. Do you expect an attack on the road?”
“I expect an attack at any time, Calron. Since a vast majority of the ex-slaves are non-cultivators, we’ll be forced to travel at a slow pace. Even a group of low ranked Vajra experts will be able to catch up to us with a day’s lead.”
Kail replied with a sigh.
“I don’t think the King will attack us now. He had the advantage while we were within the city where he could have easily overpowered us with his and the other Tower Lords’ troops.”
This was why Calron was baffled by the King’s silence. The Raizel clan would’ve been at the city’s mercy in their mansion, but out in the open and once the thousands of slaves had gathered together, they were like an army.
“You’re wrong there, Calron. Our high numbers are a significant disadvantage to us now. Do you really think this bunch of slaves can compare to the King’s organized legion that had been training and fighting for years? A single death amongst them and most of the slaves will be scrambling for their lives. Anyways, we have to start moving.”
Kail patted Calron on the back and returned to the clan members to assign them their posts.
Linda came up to Calron the moment Kail left.
“Did you find out why the King let the slaves out?”
“No, uncle Kail doesn’t know either, but he says that we’re still not out of danger.”
Calron muttered, contemplating what Kail had revealed to him. If what his uncle said was true, then the King might try to attack them during their trail.
“I’ll tell the others to keep their guards up.”
Linda nodded and left towards their group.
Meanwhile, Calron started to slowly walk towards the edge of the hill and address the ex-slaves. He did not know what to say, so he decided to keep it simple and to the point.
“Thank you, everyone, for believing in my clan and me. We will begin to move shortly and head to our new home. The Raizel clan will protect you throughout this journey so please follow the head of the trail and listen to any instructions given. Good luck!”
Calron amplified his voice, making sure even the people at the very back of the crowd could hear him. The people cheered when they heard his voice.
“We’ll follow you wherever you go!”
“I’ll fight for you, Calron!”
Calron bowed to the people and left before he felt any more awkward. It was a weird sensation to have the blind trust of so many strangers.
“Good luck? You make it sound like they’re entering a competition.”
A snarky voice came out behind him as Calron walked ahead.
“Oh, it’s you. Haha, I didn’t know what else to say.”
Calron laughed and waited for the person to join him.
“I expected nothing else from a brain-dead idiot.”
Eva commented, flicking Calron on the back.
Calron whispered to himself, rubbing the back of his head. If Eva was here, then Drien and Vala should be nearby as well.
“Eh? What did you say?”
Eva pulled on Calron’s collar.
“Nothing! I think uncle Kail called me, please excuse me.”
Calron immediately broke free from her hold and made his quick escape. Besides, he still needed to know where Kail would assign him.
After today, not only were the slaves freed, but we are free a clan as well.
Calron smiled as he spotted Kail ahead and ran towards him. Even the wind on his skin felt liberating.
It was the day the Raizel city and its name was born amongst the hearts of its citizens.
“You sure that this is the correct path?”
A young male voice sounded inside a desolate canyon.
“I’m sure! Why do you keep doubting me? Teacher Tarnila said I was the best at directions.”
An adolescent female voice countered the first one.
“That’s because the rest of us suck even more than you…”
A thick and lazy voice muttered at the back.
“Tch, I should have left you both at the Beast city. If only I was not caught in the kitchens stealing supplies for the journey.”
The young female voice lamented.
“Bahaha! I caught you munching down on the food, not storing it!”
The first male voice laughed out loud.
The female retorted sulkily. The three continued to walk through the canyon in silence for a few minutes.
“Do you think he’ll remember us?”
The third lazy voice asked softly.
“Of course, he will! We’re family!”
The female replied back, stopping to stare at the clouds above. Memories of him and their journey together rushed into her head, bringing a gentle warmth to her heart.
Lifting her head back, she howled into the sky.
“Avi, let’s go!”
The young meter-tall golden jaguar shouted at the dark wolf behind him. A slightly shorter ape stood beside the jaguar, scratching its back and yawning.
“I was letting Calron know that we’re coming.”
Avi trotted towards them.
“I’m pretty sure he heard you from here.”
The ape snickered and leaped away the moment Avi’s paw was about to strike him.
The golden jaguar sighed and quietly moved ahead.
Only Calron could control them…
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