Chapter 6 – The Dragon Cavalry (I)
Ye Yin Zhu did not know what courtesy was, nor did he understand the relationship between employer and mercenary. The true essence of the Pure Zither Heart was experience and talent. After riding a gnu for half a day, the novelty wore off. It began to feel dry and dull some time ago, and Yin Zhu couldn’t stand it. The Iron Brambles Mercenaries executed the mission very seriously and rarely talked.
The carriage interior was quite spacious. Since Anya was the only occupant, it appeared absolutely empty. Inside the carriage was a diverse arrangement of food and beverages. The seats were wide and padded with thick cushions that were very comfortable to sit on even after being on horseback.
Anya wore a long, white skirt just like before and leaned on the cushion, her figure exuding a languid feeling. Taking a seat opposite of her, Yin Zhu couldn’t help but breathe in deeply when a fresh and clean aura emerged from across his seat. The refreshing aroma made him feel very comfortable. He sincerely expressed, “Elder sister Anya, you are truly beautiful.”
Anya listened to the praise, but the words from the innocent Yin Zhu’s mouth sounded like it only had one type of meaning. She smiled and said, “Yin Zhu, why did you join the Iron Brambles Mercenary Company?”
Yin Zhu did not cover up the truth, so he retold the events that occurred yesterday once more. However, he remembered Zi’s repeated warnings and refrained from mentioning the five zithers that were inside his space ring.
“So as it turns out, it is like that. You really are an extremely kind-hearted person, Yin Zhu. Actually, in this world, sometimes people cannot be too kindhearted, or they will be bullied.”
Listening to Anya’s console, Yin Zhu couldn’t help but recall that vile, small beggar and hatefully said, “Next time, it will absolutely not happen.” He simply could not express the full extent of his anger.
Anya shot a glance at the mage emblem on Yin Zhu’s chest. Gern and the mercenaries were not familiar with magic, so they did not know what to look out for. But why could she not identify Yin Zhu’s peculiar mage emblem? “Yin Zhu, the design of your mage emblem is strange. What is your mage specialization?”
“I am a Divine Music mage. My emblem is engraved with the design of my musical instrument.”
“Eh? Divine Music?” Anya was speechless and stared at Yin Zhu. Her eyes instantly became strange.
“What’s the matter? Elder sister Anya, why is this strange?”
“Ah, it’s nothing. I was simply baffled that a boy would choose the Divine Music mage profession. I know few Divine Music mages, and all of them have been females only. So explain, why do you not have your own magic beast?”
Yin Zhu replied, “Do mages definitely require magic beasts?”
The surprise in Anya’s eyes quietly disappeared. “Of course. Magic beasts guarantee the best safety for mages. A mage without a magic beast is not very safe. After all, it is a mistake for a mage to be in close proximity to fight. As the most expensive profession on the continent, mages receive the highest respect due to their rarity, even more so if they are strong. It is not as obvious at the primary level, but once you enter the Yellow Rank, a mage could effortlessly deal with several warriors of equivalent rank. As well as insuring a mage’s safety, magic beasts could also serve as a shield for mages, warding off an enemy’s assault long enough for their master to finish casting magic. A powerful magic beast could also collaborate with the mage to attack the enemy. A mage with a magic beast has the strongest combat capabilities. Don’t tell me that you didn’t know this fact?”
“Grandfather also seemed to mention this, but he said that I still didn’t have the fortunate timing to possess a magic beast.” Qin Shang wholeheartedly invested himself into cultivating Yin Zhu’s Pure Zither Heart, so ordinarily he seldom talked about matters apart from the zither.
Anya exclaimed, “That grandfather of yours must certainly be a powerful mage. A mage has only one opportunity to sign a contract with a magic beast in his lifetime. He must want you to be formidably strong and in the future sign a contract with a powerful magic beast. Unfortunately, you are a Divine Music mage.” Yin Zhu clearly perceived her gaze to him softening even more as she explained this. Anya’s gaze towards him somewhat resembled his mother’s.
“Elder sister, you told me this narrative about magic beast, but you don’t have your own magic beast?”
Anya slightly smiled and said, “Naturally, I do have one. Otherwise, how could I have dared to travel to this region on my lonesome. A magic beast is a mage’s best partner. Generally speaking, mages will sign contracts with magic beasts with strong attack and defense. This is to maximize their protection. Among them, avian magic beasts are the most precious because they are capable of gaining mages more time for casting. A mage and magic beast will establish a master-slave contract. In that case, till the end of his life, the magic beast cannot betray his master. The mage also must not renounce his magic beast. Thus, the single opportunity to sign a contract becomes exceedingly valuable. Yin Zhu, I heard on the road earlier today from Gern that you want to head to Milan Institution for Magic and Martial Arts to study there. You call me elder sister, so I cannot be silly. If you want, elder sister would like to give you a magic beast?”
Listening to Anya’s proposal, Yin Zhu instantly appeared excited, but the excitement in his eyes swiftly disappeared. He shook his head and declined, “Elder sister Anya, thank you for your kindness. However, Grandfather Qin said I cannot accept anything from strangers.”
“You already call me elder sister, but I’m still a stranger? Elder sister is giving you a present, it is only natural for you to accept.” Looking at the handsome and pure Yin Zhu, Anya’s favorable impression of him increased. The reason why she wanted to gift Yin Zhu a magic beast was mainly because of his vocation as a Divine Music mage. As a Divine Music mage, the spirit was connected to auxiliary, and their attack power was always neglected. The most important thing to do first was to sign a contract with a magic beast by ambushing and defeating one. If only individual power was relied on, a Divine Music mage would have a difficult time obtaining a magic beast contract. Acting on her favorable impression of Yin Zhu, she wanted to gift him a magic beast so that he had some power to protect himself. This way, her pure-natured little brother would be able to avoid being bullied at Milan Institution for Magic and Martial Arts.
“I really can?”
“Of course. However, elder sister needs think of a good magic beast to give to you. After all, you only have one chance throughout your whole life. In the event that a growth-type magic beast suits you best, wait until after reaching Milan; I will help you look for one.”
Ye Yin Zhu did not know that Anya was de-emphasizing the significance of growth-type magic beasts. Even though rank 7 or higher sentient magic beasts existed, growth-type magic beasts were extremely rare. In addition, any growth-type sentient magic beast in marketplaces had sky-high prices; there was not even a market price. Not to mention, getting a sentient magic beast to surrender was easier said than done.
“Elder sister, is it okay if I see your magic beast?” Yin Zhu’s eyes were brimming with hope as he looked at Anya.
Anya smiled and shook her head. She said, “Not here. Maybe after we go to a place where no one can speak of it. Yi, Yin Zhu, your hands……”
Yin Zhu extended his hands towards Anya, “I was naturally born like this. Grandfather said that being born with eight fingers allows me to play the zither without interferences. Ah! Elder sister Anya, what mage rank are you? Yesterday, when you tested me, I sensed the water element in your body fluctuate intensely.”
Anya was surprised. “You can sense the fluctuations of the water element in my body?”
Yin Zhu nodded and exclaimed, “Yes!”
Anya asked seriously, “Yin Zhu, are you really only a Divine Music mage? Why is your spiritual power so acute?”
Yin Zhu scratched his head, and at a loss, he said, “I also don’t know. I’m just describing what I sensed.”
Anya lightly sighed and said, “You are a foolish little boy. In the future, you cannot ask this same question to other people. Mages, for the most part, have bad tempers and are very peculiar; it’s likely to arouse others’ taboos.”