Chapter 29 – A Startling Hunt (II)
Ye Yin Zhu said, “In other words, our army merely amounts to half of the beastmen’s?”
Oliveira nodded his head and said, “Yes. Honestly speaking, a beastmen’s fighting strength is very strong. They can bring practically the entire nation to arms; with naturally tough physique, it allows the majority of them to be powerful warriors. It’s a pity they’re not good at sieges, and that their intelligence is relatively low. They also don’t have outstanding technology like us. Thus, even if they have greater numbers, it is impossible for them to defeat us.
“Of course, relying on these three main points to stop them doesn’t mean we would want to attack. The Northern Wasteland is a damnable region; only those beastmen with their natural physique can survive there. As a result, we only need to ward off enough of the beastmen’s invasion. Although it is unlikely our temporary location will have conflict, we still cannot relax. A battlefield can experience countless changes, nobody can predict whether they will need us. Is that not right?”
“Yin Zhu.” At this moment, Sura animatedly came running in from outside. “Again, you’re here listening to Oliveira’s lectures! I really don’t understand; you’re a mage, so why are you interested in military affairs?”
Ye Yin Zhu smiled slightly and said, “Naturally, it’s because I feel that military stratagems are also an art! Elder Brother Oliveira spoke of these battle precedents, all of which are so marvelous. It’s like a story.” Since he was a child, every day he would only play the zither. Although he obtained strength that far exceeded an ordinary person’s, he also lost many joys of childhood. Each of Oliveira’s speeches on military matters felt like an action-packed story to him, often causing him to be immersed in the narrative.
“Come on, we can go look around.” Sura tugged on Ye Yin Zhu’s sleeve, wanting to head outside.
“Sura…” Ye Yin Zhu looked somewhat awkwardly at him.
Oliveira laughed loudly and commented, “What Sura said is right. As a mage, it is unlikely you will order troops. Go have fun. In all honesty, I also feel vexed staying here. Elder Brother and Second Brother are both frustrating… throwing me here alone.”
Reluctantly, Ye Yin Zhu followed Sura outside.
“Yin Zhu, let’s go hunting. Although it’s already late autumn, Konya City is still encircled by an alpine region. The mountainous forests would surely have many animals. Let’s go hunt for a few animals to bring back; we can also make everyone feel better with food. What do you think?”
Looking at Sura’s excited appearance, Ye Yin Zhu immediately agreed. Honestly speaking, he was still an immature youngster at heart despite having already broken through to the Pure Zither Heart Realm.
“Okay, but we have to return early. If the others knew I left the group to have fun, it would not be good.”
Sura laughed, saying, “You are captain only in name, that’s all. That day, however, I didn’t expect Old Horse to actually be the the generalissimo of the empire, Maldini. He appears to favor you very much, so from now on, you won’t need to worry about the Violet Clan. Quick, we need to secretly slip away so the others won’t know.”
“What are you two up to?” A pleasant voice echoed out, immediately startling Ye Yin Zhu and Sura. The two of them simultaneously turned around to find that Xiang Luan and Hai Yang had arrived behind them without them noticing.
Xiang Luan was attired in a thick pink fur cloak made of some unknown material. It made her appear delicate and refined, accentuating her stunning looks by making them more prominent and touching. Hai Yang was also attired in a fur cloak, but it was silvery-white in color. Her black hair was bundled into the fur cloak, and her fringe still covered her face.
“We’re not doing anything.” Sura’s face didn’t change as he spoke.
Xiang Luan hummed and said, “I overheard what you guys said, so don’t deny it. Going out to have fun and not telling us, what extremely horrible younger brothers.”
Sura spluttered. “Miss Xiang Luan, we aren’t your younger brothers in the first place!”
Xiang Luan’s charming face reddened as she said, “Nevermind. I’m almost dying of boredom here. If you two go out to have fun, you have to take Hai Yang and I along as well. If not, I will lodge complaints against you two, especially the captain for scurrying off sneakily.”
Ye Yin Zhu and Sura glanced at each other. “We are going into the forest. As mages, your bodies might not be able to endure the trip.”
Xiang Luan smiled cheerfully and said, “We are mages, yet don’t you have martial arts techniques? With you two here, how can we be afraid of meeting with misfortune? If you want to go, then we should quickly go now.”
What began as a two-person trip became a four-person party as they stealthily sneaked out of Konya City, heading north to the relatively flat mountain forest terrain.
When they had just set off, Xiang Luan and Hai Yang were both rather excited as they had been feeling oppressed after several days with nothing to do. A short while later, however, the mages’ weak constitutions made their appearance.
“Let’s rest for a moment, I can’t walk anymore.” Xiang Luan’s frail voice cried out; she was no longer willing to continue walking no matter what anyone said.
Sura unhappily said, “I already said you two should not come, but you didn’t listen. We only just left, and I want to find some wild animals. I also don’t know how long we’ll need to walk. Why don’t you both head back first; there’s still time.”
Xiang Luan glared at him and said, “What? Are you looking down on me?” Her beautiful eyes exuded a trace of hidden bitterness. Ye Yin Zhu was watching on and couldn’t help but be confused. “We already came, so we will definitely follow through to the end. Ye Yin Zhu, you can pull me along; isn’t your dou qi very powerful? It should be no problem for you.”
“I…” Ye Yin Zhu blushed; he didn’t know whether he should agree or not. Xiang Luan had already taken the initiative, however, and had taken his hand.
Xiang Luan’s small hand was soft and warm, her fingers slim, smooth, and tender. When Ye Yin Zhu felt that small hand slip into his, his face immediately flushed a deep red. His heartbeat accelerated, and he nervously stiffened.
Xiang Lian giggled. She deliberately leaned against Ye Yin Zhu as she said, “You truly deserve to be called our Divine Music division’s first innocent shota! Yin Zhu, have you never held a girl’s hand?”
Smelling her faintly sweet fragrance, Ye Yin Zhu guilelessly nodded and said, “Indeed; I indeed haven’t.”
Looking at his honest and embarrassed appearance, Xiang Luan couldn’t help but laugh heartily at the top of her voice. “You really are very cute! It seems that boys like you may have gone extinct. In other words, I’m very honored. Your hand has a very powerful grip for only having four fingers. It is truly peculiar. Hai Yang, I’ll let you have his other. We can continue on the journey.”
Hai Yang lowered her head, but she didn’t say anything. She merely extended her small, ice-cold hand to grip Ye Yin Zhu’s other hand. Her hand was a little smaller than Xiang Luan’s and very cold. When she reached out to grab Ye Yin Zhu’s hand, her small hand trembled slightly, bringing out a person’s instincts to protect her.
Warmth and cold, these two different sensations flooded Ye Yin Zhu’s heart at the same time. For a moment, he was dazed. Although the north region’s late autumn season was very cold, right now his whole body was boiling. He was itching to find an icy lake to jump into in order to feel comfortable.
Sura’s eyes exuded a somewhat peculiar light as he spoke with a little anger, “What are you two doing? My dou qi is also pretty good, so why aren’t you looking to me?”
Xiang Luan smiled. “Because you aren’t as fresh and pure as Yin Zhu! At least I can be certain that he won’t have any impure thoughts. You, I cannot be certain of. Not only that, you are petite, which makes it impossible for you to take both of us.”
Sura argued, “Even if I can’t protect two of you, I can still protect one of you.”
Xiang Luang shrugged. “Sorry, but I don’t want you to take me. Hai Yang, what about you?”
Hai Yang didn’t say a word, merely shaking her head—making her opinion clearly known.