Chapter 5 – The Price of Kindness (IV)
“Hello, I welcome you as a new member to this mission’s team. May I be so bold as to ask, are you really only a Red Rank mage?
Yin Zhu nodded and replied, “Yes! Advanced level Red Rank.” Perhaps because he had to lie, his face immediately flushed red.
Anya did not point out his peculiarity. Instead she smiled and said, “It’s always a pleasure to have such a formidable mage join us.”
Gern said, “Praise Falan. Miss Anya, we are nearly done with preparations. Tomorrow at dawn, we can definitely set off on time.”
Anya smiled and nodded, “I’m relieved. You are busy right now, I will meet you early tomorrow morning at the city gate.” Finished speaking, she gracefully turned around and left.
“Praise Falan, she finally left.” Gern subconsciously wiped sweat off his brow.
Yin Zhu curiously asked, “Uncle Gern, are you terrified of elder sister Anya?”
Gern elaborated, “No, I am not terrified. For some unknown reason, when I’m in front of her, I always feel shameful. She is the most beautiful and noble woman I have ever seen. In all honesty, I even told her I am unable to produce any obscene thoughts of her.”
“Obscene thoughts? What are those?”
“This one……, you’ll understand in the future.”
Yin Zhu’s gaze continued to rest on the city gate. “Uncle Gern, elder sister Anya is also a mage.”
“Eh?” Gern flinched in fright. He stared at Yin Zhu in shock and said, “She can’t be. She’s only a merchant, nothing more.”
Yin Zhu earnestly countered, “She is definitely a mage. Just now, she used spiritual power to test me; It’s unlikely for me to be wrong.”
Gern’s eyes displayed a pondering light. His mind clearly did not resemble his rough appearance. “No wonder she could come out by herself to Rolle City from such a distant region to purchase tea leaves. As it turns out, she is actually a noble mage. Yin Zhu, did you see what rank she was? Stronger than you?”
Yin Zhu shook his head and said, “I couldn’t make out her rank, but I am sure it is higher than mine.”
“So theoretically, she might be an Orange Rank mage.” Gern’s heart was gloomy as he sighed. Fortunately, he did not have any wicked desires towards this female boss. Offending a mage was not sensible. He didn’t know, however, that Yin Zhu’s magic capability was technically Advanced level Yellow Rank. In addition, Anya was obviously not just a simple Orange Rank.
Stemming from his respect towards mages, Gern arranged a single, unshared room for Yin Zhu to rest in. Sitting on the bed, Yin Zhu distressingly reflected. He had already probed out his spiritual power several times in an attempt to connect with his space ring, but he failed. And he had a feeling that the space ring seemed to be getting farther and farther away from him.
“Why? Why did you steal my ring when I had already given you gold? Without my zithers……” Yin Zhu discovered a suddenly vicious longing for his zithers. For 16 years, he had spent almost every day together with his zithers. The zither had long ago become his best companion. Having now lost his zithers, the loss made him feel depressed.
Sitting cross-legged with a straight back to obtain a tranquil heart, Yin Zhu had no other alternative but to practice his Bamboo Dou Qi. Yellow rays of light quietly emitted from his body, enveloping his body in dou qi to form a protective shield. His dou qi continuously circulated through his meridians, the fresh, gentle feeling finally easing Yin Zhu’s restlessness and worry as it sent him into a trance.
Bamboo Dou Qi was subdivided into three layers: Cyan Bamboo, Yellow Bamboo, and Violet Bamboo. Yin Zhu also practiced zither magic equally, its differing color gradation distinct from the Rainbow Ranking System. Each layer had nine levels. Currently his body emitted a faint yellow radiance, indicating that he was at the first level of the Yellow Bamboo layer. Considering his rank, his dou qi was of higher rank than his zither magic. According to the Rainbow Ranking system used throughout the continent, he would be considered a primary level Green Rank, thus an Earth warrior. It was just that he primarily used dou qi as a supplement for his zither magic.
Early in the morning, as the first ray of sunlight illuminated everything on earth, Rolle City was already bustling with activity at the north gate. All 68 members of the Iron Brambles Mercenary Company were ready for departure. There were three carriages; the carriages at the front and back of the company carrying goods while the middle carriage carried their employer, Anya. 20 of the most robust mercenaries and swordsmen guarded the three carriages with archers following closely by their side and 27 spear and shield warriors at the periphery. 10 light cavalrymen opened up the path ahead. The 20 purchased gnu, except for those burdened with the group’s baggage, pulled the carriages. Everything was arranged neat and orderly.
As Ye Yin Zhu was a mage, he was stationed in the middle alongside the carriage, riding a gnu for the first time and feeling both excitement and panic simultaneously. The ride on the gnu was shaky, but the naturally mild magic beast was easily tamed. He rapidly became accustomed to riding the beast. After all, his body was far from resembling his seemingly thin and weak appearance.
At this moment, Yin Zhu stared straight ahead, his gaze brimming with envy and astonishment as he looked at the procession in front of him which was being led by the Iron Branmbles Mercenary Company’s boss, Gern. Gern was not a simple Earth warrior. Rather, he was an Earth knight and rode a tamed dragon. The rank 4 green ridgeback earth dragon had a length of five meters and a height of 2 meters. With relatively small forelegs, it completely relied on its two thick, solid hind legs to support the body which appeared to be dark green. In addition to its strong concussive force, this rank 4 tamed dragon also had excellent defensive ability and could spray a acidic, corrosive liquid. Although the tamed dragon was classified as rudimentary, in comparison to the other rudimentary magic beasts, it was several times stronger. It possessed primary level Green Rank strength, so Gern must also be Green Rank to contend against it. This tamed dragon was the Iron Brambles Mercenary Company’s treasure; at that time, Gern expended a lot of mental and physical effort to obtain it.
All of the mercenaries wore leather armor, so their advancement speed was not slow at all. Before noon, they had already advanced quite a distance away from Rolle City, gradually heading in the direction of the Wavast Kingdom. Speed was their most important objective. With each advancing hour, Gern would issue an order to rest for a while. When the sun hung suspended in the middle of the sky, they simply ate some rations before immediately continuing the journey.
“Yin Zhu.” The carriage’s hanging curtain stirred, revealing Anya’s moving face.
“Elder sister Anya, is something the matter?” Ye Yin Zhu politely greeted the beautiful, aristocratic business owner.
Anya smiled and said, “You are a mage, so why do you bother to ride the beast? It is inferior to riding a carriage. Come, take a seat. Looking at your appearance, this must be the first time you are riding a gnu. I’m afraid that after a long time this would become unbearable to you as we must hurry to arrive at Milan within a month’s time.”
“Good!” Yin Zhu delightedly exclaimed. He immediately jumped down from the gnu to enter the carriage.