Long Hao Chen observed the evolution of the Earthfire Lizard carefully; his right hand was clenching into a fist. Despite the fact that his blood was still being drained, he looked quite stable.
Layer upon layer of gold-colored halos were unceasingly cleansing the body of the Earthfire Lizard as it emitted a white smoke, the wounds on its back becoming vestiges of the past. Clearly, the dark energy of this Earthfire Lizard was being attacked by the holy energy, and it looked painful.
If not for the contract of equals between them, the large amount holy energy released by Long Hao Chen’s physique as a Scion of Light would have already destroyed it.
Veins appeared on the Earthfire Lizard’s face; blood was continuously seeping out from its mouth as it violently shivered, its four claws tightly dug into the ground from beginning to end to prevent it from making sudden movements.
It lifted up its head towards Long Hao Chen, and human and beast looked at each other with looks filled with determination and affection. That’s right, their eyes were filled with the affection family members would have for each other.
With his blood still being drained, Long Hao Chen’s face became paler and paler, and signs that he was becoming feebler were appearing. Even though he was already above the 1,000th spiritual energy level, he was still human in the end. If a human lost a third of his blood, he would die, and at
the rate he was losing his blood, it would not be long before this kind of fatality would occur.
Time passed, minute by minute, second by second, and both Ye Hua and the handicapped elder were, at this moment, extremely nervous.
The handicapped elder, guardian of the Sacred Mountain, was not young anymore, and it was not the first time he had seen this kind of situation. It looked like this was likely to be successful. In the first scenario, the Earthfire lizard would not be able to bear the holy blood baptism and would die. In the second scenario, after the holy blood baptism was done, it would become magical beast with a physique of light and Long Hao Chen would have reached his goal. In the third scenario, the Earthfire Lizard would not be able to stand the pain and would run away from the baptism. All of the effort would have been for naught in this case. In the fourth scenario, the one that the disabled elder and Ye Hua were the most unwilling to see, Long Hao Chen would be unable to persevere because of the blood loss. If it got to that point, not only would the Earthfire Lizard’s baptism not be completed, but Long Hao Chen’s life would also be endangered because of the blood loss.
Long Hao Chen’s right hand that was originally steady began to gradually shiver more and more. His fair white skin had already turned pale, the original luster and moisture had disappeared long ago. The speed of the blood flowing in his wrist was also gradually slowing; besides the external harm to his body, he had also lost a large amount of blood.
However, the strange thing was that, right now, the body of the Earthfire Lizard was not shivering. On its originally pitch black colored scales, a faint golden luster was forming little by little. The rotted wounds were healing at an astonishing speed. Clearly, the hard times were over, and its body was transforming at an astonishing speed.
The most peculiar changes were on the contract mark on the bodies of Long Hao Chen and this Earthfire Lizard, simultaneously acquiring, little by little, a purple-gold color. It was already purple-colored in the past, but with the addition of this faint golden luster, the whole mark appeared a lot
more dazzling. The layer of purple mist also became duller, and behind it, astonishingly complex patterns could faintly be seen.
Long Hao Chen’s body shook, almost falling down. &ld
“Keep waiting.” The handicapped elder lifted his hand, blocking Ye Hua from rushing forward.
Long Hao Chen lifted up his left hand, pressing it on the neck of the Earthfire Lizard to support his own body. He was already unable to see anything before him clearly; the blood loss gave him a dizzy feeling that could make him fall down at any time.
Do not abandon, do not renounce. Long Hao Chen gritted his teeth and bore the pain, silently remembering these six words.
Despite the fact that he had not spent a significant amount of time together with this Earthfire Lizard, it was the first time he experienced the effects of this contract of equals. The fact that he felt as familiar with it as a close relative, while hating the idea of having to leave its side, showed that it already had an important place in his heart.
Long Hao Chen had no siblings; these few years, Li Xin was like a dear sister to him. A moment ago, he made this ultimate decision because he thought if such a calamity were to fall upon him, would Li Xin not have chosen to do the same?
Companion, what is a companion? Together in life and in death, that is what a genuine companion is.
Vaguely seeing the Earthfire Lizard in his sight at this moment, Long Hao Chen did not find it ugly at all.
At this moment, more than a third of Long Hao Chen’s blood was already drained out; his situation was critical.
The handicapped elder had stopped Ye Hua, but made preparations to intervene at any time. In the case Long Hao Chen’s vitality was exhausted to the very limit, he would immediately make his move
“HOUU–” A roaring sound full of excitement resounded while a golden luster was being emitted from within the Earthflame Lizard. The darkness attribute aura vanished completely, together with its fierceness.
A golden light shot out from the hands of the elder directed at Long Hao Chen’s wounded wrist, healing it instantly.
Long Hao Chen’s body felt weak: he had already fallen down, but he still did not lose consciousness because he wanted to see whether he had succeeded or not.
A wet tongue was gently licking his face; the pair of red little eyes brimming with health and vigor were just like two embedded rubies.
The gold-purple-colored agreement mark on its back was quietly disappearing, and the wounds on the Earthfire Lizard’s body had already disappeared as its scales took the shape of a shield and a golden luster was being emitted all around.
Ye Hua let out a sigh and advanced at a stroll, with the intent of having Long Hao Chen take some medicine. He knew that Long Hao Chen had succeeded, but he had paid a great price for that. Having lost so much blood, he would, unfortunately, take about a year to recover.
“HOUU–” The Earthfire Lizard suddenly approached Ye Hua, letting out a deep roar and looking at him with its pair of healthy little red-colored eyes. A big fireball was released from its mouth, aiming to bombard Ye Hua directly.
“Mh?!” Ye Hua really did not expect that action as a [Divine Light Mantle] wrapped around him, aiming to block the incoming fireball.
“Let’s not approach him for the moment! It seems like he is trying to do something!” The handicapped elder shouted loudly.
The Earthfire Lizard‘s little fireball stopped Ye Hua in his tracks, and its gaze was directed at Long Hao Chen’s weakened face once more. Right afterwards, a purple-colored brilliance suddenly appeared, emitted from its back and directed at the top of the cave.
This purple ray was aimed straight; it was as if its back was suddenly split open, letting bright patterns appear, before the Earthfire Lizard lifted its head once more. Only, at this moment, a purple-colored brilliance appeared in its pair of red eyes. These purple shrouded eyes seemed ice cold and noble.
Purple-colored patterns extended on its back from its tail to neck, and from there, starting to extend in a non-straight line into two paths: the first one going to the top of its head and the second one going to the bulge above its neck.
A peculiar spiritual energy was calmly undulating. The Earthfire Lizard suddenly seemed to be in pain, but it was mostly excited. Its body started to shake violently. This unstable spiritual energy was still surging out in the shape of purple-colored lines, but the level of these undulations clearly exceeded what an average second step magical beast could do.
“Evolution?! This Earthfire Lizard wants to evolve!” The handicapped elder cried out in alarm. A magical beast evolving was not a rare thing, but generally, only magical beasts above the fifth step had the possibility to evolve. This Earthfire Lizard was merely a second step magical beast, but right after having received Long Hao Chen’s blood, it wanted to evolve!
With a Pu sound, intense purple-colored turbulences suddenly appeared in the air, and immediately, its one meter tall body started to grow at an intense speed that could be seen with the naked eye.
The evolution was not just about the size of its body, the scales also underwent fantastic changes: from their originally flat and slippery appearance, they became sharper and longer, visibly thicker. The most peculiar change was on the bulge above its neck: this bulge, unexpectedly, expanded together with the rest of the body.
With a Puchi sound, the body of the Earthfire Lizard suddenly became stiff, and immediately afterwards, from the bulge on its neck, a brand new head started forming, appearing by the side of its former head. At this moment, its body grew two meters long from its former length of a meter.
A purple light suddenly shone and it was as if everything became motionless. The purple colored patterns extended to its second head, a few traces of bulges forming above this second head; it looked much fiercer.
It seemed that after the evolution, there was no difference between the second head and the first one. The only thing that was not similar was the color of the eyes. This second head had a pair of gold-colored eyes.
After the evolution of the Earthfire Lizard, its four main limbs became much thicker and the shell on its back more resistant. Its new appearance after the evolution, resulting in this pair of heads, did not look handicapped anymore like it used to because of the former bulge on its neck.
After having evolved, by the root of the neck of the second head, a new bulge appeared again. Only, it was not as big as the former bulge, it was just the size of a fist.
“Fourth step middle rank?” Ye Hua and the handicapped elder looked at each other, face to face; in their eyes, there was a look of extreme shock.
Each magical beast step was divided into low rank, middle rank, high rank, and peak rank. To jump from the middle rank of the second step to the middle rank of the fourth step was an eight-stage evolution!
Not even speaking about having seen that in the past, they had not even heard about this kind of phenomenon. Ordinary evolutions of magical beast were supposed to make only a few changes to the body at most, increasing strength by a bit and raising from the middle rank to the high rank. A step evolution was something they never heard of, but it was just accomplished by this Earthfire Lizard before their eyes.
No, it could not be called an Earthfire Lizard anymore: the second head’s attribute was completely different, emitting a holy aura.
A dual-headed dual-attributed lizard race magical beast, what kind of species was that?! In particular, after the breakthrough that occurred during this evolution, the new appearance of this Earthfire Lizar
Ye Hua paid special attention to the new bulge that appeared from its new head; could it be that a third head would appear in the next evolution of this Earthfire Lizard?
Ye Hua swallowed a gulp of his saliva and asked the elder by his side,
“Elder, do you recognize this kind of magical beast?”
The elder bitterly laughed as he shook his head, “Not in the least. There is no one who can identify all the kinds of magical beasts, especially those summoned from different dimensions. It looks like this little guy had picked up a treasure! So long as this lizard can evolve once more, Long Hao Chen will possess an outstanding mount. Yi 1, what is he doing?!”
While they were speaking, the two-headed lizard who just completed its evolution lowered its pair of heads. Long Hao Chen watched attentively, also shocked by the evolution. The long tail was swung from behind to the front and the second head bit into it, effusing an insipid purple colored blood. With this evolution, the color of its blood had also unexpectedly changed.
The agreement mark appeared once more, but this agreement mark on the back of the lizard did not grow bigger together with the evolution; this time, the lizard was the one who triggered its apparition.
The long tail slowly moved forward, purple blood flowing at the edge of its tail, directly aiming for the mark on Long Hao Chen’s forehead.
Long Hao Chen’s body remained stiff as he felt a warm blazing current flowing, pouring into his forehead, and instantly spreading through his entire body.
“Returning the favor. He’s using his own blood to transmit it to Hao Chen.” Ye Hua was amazed at this scene.
The higher the level of a magical beast, the more intelligent it was supposed to be. Magical beasts above the sixth step were supposed to have an intelligence superior to that of humans, but this two headed lizard before their eyes seemed excessively intelligent; it had even learned the method Long Hao Chen used to help him to make up for the deficiency of Long Hao Chen’s blood.
Two heads, four eyes, two red and two golden colored, warmly gazed at Long Hao Chen, the body of the two headed lizard lightly shaking.
Veins started to appear, going from Long Hao Chen’s forehead to the rest of his body; he felt as if his whole body was a kind of forge and was unable to say if he felt painful or comfortable. He could only vaguely sense his blood vessels filling with a scorching hot feeling, undergoing changes capable of turning heaven and earth upside down. His dull feeling gradually disappeared in this scorching hot feeling.
The insipid blood was flowing out from the two headed lizard’s body, taking the shape of a red halo, slowly converging and then gathering into the agreement mark on its back.
Long Hao Chen and the lizard shook simultaneously, and both sides sensing a vague familiar feeling.
“Their blood contract is even deeper than the relation between master and servant.” The handicapped elder involuntarily shouted out, “Starting a blood link to save his master! This two-headed lizard is really repaying Hao Chen for his kindness.”
Ye Hua also knew about the blood contract, a rare kind of extreme contract: as long as Long Hao Chen was the slightest bit harmed, this two- headed lizard would be harmed too. And if Long Hao Chen was to die, then it would undoubtedly die as well. However, if he was the one to die, that would not affect Long Hao Chen the slightest bit.
A blood contract was said to have a lot of other uses: it was even possible for one to transmit his capabilities to his master through it. Though generally, no magical beast was willing to enter this kind of contract; thus,
the mysteries of blood contracts were something known by only a few people.
The handicapped elder took a deep breath, speaking slowly: “Whether this lizard can or cannot evolve once more in the future, he will be far closer to your disciple than any other knight companion. This is, perhaps, something beneficial coming from this setback.”
The radiance gradually vanished and the purple veined patterns on Long Hao Chen’s body were slowly disappearing. The two-headed lizard took back its tail, advancing to Long Hao Chen’s side, using its two heads to gently stroke his leg.
“I have such a great companion! My name is Hao Chen, and I will give you this name, Hao Yue 2”
Ping, ping, ping The door was being knocked.
“Lil’ Bro, we have to set off. Are you ready?” Li Xin was hitting the door in an unladylike fashion as she called out.
“I’m ready, I’m ready.” Opening the door, Long Hao Chen came out from the room.
Li Xin’s eyes shone, “Wah, so handsome.”
Long Hao Chen wore a white warrior outfit, neat and functional. A silver dragon was embroidered on it, covering the two sides of the cloth including the collar. At the center of the belt, a shining stone was inlaid and holy energy was spread around it.
Long black hair was scattered on his shoulder, and it was as if a starry sky could be seen through his limpid golden eyes. Red lips, white teeth, skin emitting a luster of gems and as moisturized as jade, a high nose, and a deep gaze: a single flaw absolutely could not be found on his appearance.
Barely six months had passed but, once again, Long Hao Chen had grown a little: he had a tall and thin build without any excessive fat built up. It was a well shaped and perfectly proportioned body.
Ordinarily, Long Hao Chen’s appearance with regular clothes was already stunning; but now that he changed his clothes into this gorgeous warrior outfit, he could simply make any girl jealous of him.
Long Hao Chen felt somewhat awkward wearing these clothes, “Sis, there’s no need to be dressed so formally. I’m really not used to it.”
These clothes were specially made by Li Xin for him, so Long Hao Chen’s clothes were quite different from the standard clothes of Hao Yue Hall’s knights.
“How can you remain uncomfortable with it? Lil’ Bro, the color white is the one that suits you the best, you are a hundred percent handsome like that! Ai, why weren’t you born a few years earlier? A shame, a shame. We spent a long time together, and this old sis’ range grew bigger. In the future, if I cannot find a man, then I’ll just seize you.”
Li Xin sized Long Hao Chen up with her gaze, as she clenched her fist menacingly at him.
At this very moment, two heads came out from Long Hao Chen’s back, gently stroking his leg, producing a Wu Wu sound with their mouths.
Long Hao Chen bent down, patting the two heads of lizard, “You cannot come tonight, stay home to look after the house. Be obedient, I’ll bring dried fish for you to eat later.”
This two-headed grotesque lizard was clearly the magical beast companion Long Hao Chen had brought home from the Knights’ Sacred Mountain, that was given the name Hao Yue.
Hao Yue became a new species recorded by the Knights’ Sacred Mountain, and half a year had already passed since the time Long Hao Chen had brought him home.
Ordinary magical beast mounts lived in a specific place of their own. Only when the knight needed them would they be summoned from their side through the contract. However, this little Hao Yue was different, he shamelessly wanted to stay by Long Hao Chen’s side no matter what, and whatever he was told, he would remain unwilling to go back to his original place.
Due to the blend among their blood vessels, because of the fact that he did not discard him at that time, because of the feeling of not being abandoned, the degree of familiarity between the both of them had far surpassed the relation between the others knights and their companions.
The first good deed brought by the blood contract was that from the time he came back, Long Hao Chen could already feel that their hearts were interlinked. With an ordinary contract of equals, only the magical beast could sense the feelings and intents of the knight. However, the blood contract brought to each one the awareness o
Hearing the two words ‘dried fish’, Hao Yue’s two heads opened their eyes wide, giving each other an extremely human-like look, raising their noses, and repeatedly nodding while advancing towards Long Hao Chen. It looked like even his saliva was flowing out.
Long Hao Chen held both heads in his embrace, telling them: “Then I’m leaving first, I will return later.”
As a member of Hao Yue Hall, Long Hao Chen received a monthly income of five gold coins, but he had basically no money left because all the money he received was used to buy food for Hao Yue.
This little guy was extremely voracious and especially liked to eat fish, his favorite meal being five spice seasoned dried fish, to the extent that Long Hao Chen became the kind of person who spend their monthly income even before they earn their next salary.
Along with the increase of the duration of contact, Long Hao Chen discovered, to his astonishment, that each one of Hao Yue’s head could actually think on its own. When he just came back from the Knights’ Sacred Mountain, he did not feel it in the slightest bit; but half a year later, he had figured that the nature of the red eyed head was a little more violent, whereas the golden eyed head was a lot gentler.
Obtaining Long Hao Chen’s promise, Hao Yue went back to the room in high spirits, swinging his large tail to effortlessly close the door.
Li Xin said, somewhat envious, “Hao Chen, this Hao Yue is extremely intelligent even if he seems like a kid, sticking close to you all day.”
Long Hao Chen chuckled in great delight: “That’s right! He’s just like my little brother; no, I should say my two little brothers, there’s really nothing that can be done about them. Sis, let’s go.”
The two people left Hao Yue Hall and, while walking on the street, Long Hao Chen asked: “Sis, what is happening today? Why does Uncle want to treat us to a meal?”
ly, when Li Xin gave Long Hao Chen the clothes, she only told him that, today, her father wanted to treat him to a meal and had some things to tell him.
After they spent so much time together, Long Hao Chen already knew that Li Xin’s father was, in fact, Li Ao Xiao, the chief minister of Hao Yue City, and Lin Jia Lu’s father, Lin Yin Jia, was the consulate of Hao Yue City.
All the cities inside of the Temple Alliance had a consulate in charge of government affairs as well as a chief minister in charge of military affairs, two complementary roles.
Li Xin smiled, “It is not only my father who is going to treat us to a meal today. There will also be Uncle Lin, Uncle Nalan, as well as the Hall Master of the branch hall of Hao Yue Mage Temple, Uncle Bai Yu, and finally the Hall Master of the branch hall of Hao Yue Warrior Temple, Uncle Chun Hua.”
Long Hao Chen was flabbergasted: these five people were all extremely important figures of Hao Yue City, filling the most important positions of the city. Hao Yue City was a mid-sized city and, in it, only three of the six great temples had a branch hall established. With the addition of the consulate and the chief minister of military affairs, they handled almost all of the decisions related to the city. These five big figures actually wanted to treat them to a meal; how could Long Hao Chen not be shocked? “Sis, for what reason are we invited?” asked Long Hao Chen, puzzled.
Li Xin answered: “We are obviously convened for the eve of the Demon Hunt Selection Competition. We are all competitors and they gathered us to bother us with their lectures.”
While they were talking, they had already arrived at Hao Yue City’s office hall, and Li Xin led Long Hao Chen directly to the third floor. Specialized staff members welcomed them and guided them inside to a reception hall
When Long Hao Chen and Li Xin arrived, it was already night; dishes were arranged on a round table with only two seats left, obviously prepared for the both of them.
Long Hao Chen swept before him with his eyes, discovering that, among everyone present, there was none he recognized apart from Nalan Shu and this Lin Jia Lu he had formerly dueled.
Li Xin naturally saw her as well. Their eyes met each other and, simultaneously, they turned their head around with an excessive motion, each of them both ignoring the other one. However, when Lin Jia Lu’s look swept past Long Hao Chen’s figure, she could not help but stare at him blankly.
On the seat of honor was seated a dignified middle-aged man who gave a stern look, “Li Xin, you are not allowed to act rudely.” Clearly, he was Li Xin’s father and Hao Yue City’s military affairs’ head minister, Li Ao Xiao.
Li Xin stuck out her tongue before giving her greetings to the others who were already seated, “Greetings Uncle Lin, Uncle Nalan, Uncle Bai, Uncle Chen.”
The middle-aged men nodded in succession and Long Hao Chen called right after Li Xin to these few important figures of Hao Yue City, giving them his greetings.
Apart from these several people and Lin Jia Lu, there were also two sturdy youths present. They took the initiative to give their regards to Li Xin, which led Long Hao Chen to return the courtesy. Between these two youths, one was a little taller and was called Chen Si; the second one, a little shorter, was called Chen Chen. They were a pair of brothers, both from the Warrior Temple.
Li Ao Xiao looked at Long Hao Chen and was very pleased, “I have heard Li Xin mention you before; as expected of a genius, you are so young and yet you look brave and talented!”
In reality, after Long Hao Chen and Li Xin arrived, all the gazes seemed to be focused on him. Li Xin and Lin Jia Lu were beauties, but Long Hao Chen’s appearance was so dazzling that it seemed to conceal them.
“Uncle Li is just flattering me.” Long Hao Chen half rose out of his chair, politely replying.
“Elder Brother Li, we should start the banquet first. Let these children get something to eat before getting to business.” said Lin Yin Jia.
Li Ao Xiao said, “Right, we should proceed like that. No need to be polite everyone, eat without restraint.”
Excluding Long Hao Chen, everyone else knew roughly what would be discussed today; even though the mood was far from being enthusiastic, it was still comfortable. In particular, the two brothers Chen Si and Chen Chen were devouring the food ravenously. Their portion was even more
astonishing than Li Xin’s. Of course, Long Hao Chen would never mention that to Li Xin…
After simply eating and not drinking alcohol, everyone was quickly almost full. Almost the entirety of the food had entered the bellies of these few youngsters.
Li Ao Xiao spoke: “The Demon Hunt Selection Competition is about to start, and you five are the elites of our Hao Yue City that have been selected to take part in the competition. This food has been prepared to nourish you and, at the same time, for us to warn you.”
Now that the time had come, Long Hao Chen put down his hand and attentively listened.
Lin Yin Jia continued: “The Demon Hunt Selection Competition is very important to our Temple Alliance; this tradition has existed for a very long time. It can be said that during these thousands years, our Temple Alliance not being annihilated by the demon race, is due to the benefits of Demon Group Hunts. We will proceed this way: let the three of our branch halls introduce us the circumstances of these children you selected. Elder brother Chen, please.”
The Hall Master of the Warrior Temple was a tall and sturdy middle-aged man. Hearing Lin Yin Jia’s words, he nodded, “Chen Si and Chen Chen, you two have been the elite of our Warrior Temple for these few years. Chen Si will be 24 years old this year, right under the age limit of 25 years old for the Demon Hunt Selection Competition. He’s a second rank War Grandmaster, an orthodox shield warrior with a very good defense.”
The Soldier Temple’s ranking system was similar to the Knight Temple’s, the step of War Grandmaster was the fourth step of the vocation of warrior, equivalent to the step of Grand Knight.
Chen Si and Chen Chen were two brothers who seemed quite straightforward; hearing the word of Chen Chun Hua, they immediately stood up.
Chen Chun Hua was clearly fond of these two disciples, and said very proudly: “Chen Chen is two years younger, Chen Si’s little brother, a berserker adept in offense.”
Li Ao Xiao and Lin Yin Jia looked quite pleasantly surprised. Only youths below 25 years old were allowed to participate in the Demon Hunt Selection Competition, and they had to have reached the third step of their vocation to be admitted. These two youths from the Warrior
To any city, having one of their youths be selected to join the Demon Hunt was a high honor. If he could get a good rank during the selection competition, the consulate, the military head minister, as well as the branch hall masters would be awarded.
Li Ao Xiao looked extremely pleased: “Very good, very good, young and promising. I really wish for you to enter the last stage of the competition.”
The hall master of the Mage Temple, Bai Yu, showed a smiling face: “Fourth step in their vocations, there shouldn’t be any problems with them; with the protection of these two children, they shouldn’t have any problems getting the right to enter the qualifiers. Everyone here should be familiar with Jia Lu, she’s the absolute genius of our Mage Temple. 21 years old, a mage specialized in ice binding, and already a fourth step Grand Mage.”
Although Lin Yin Jia had been trying his best to control his emotions, he could not conceal the pride in his look upon hearing Bai Yu’s presentation.
At his turn, Li Ao Xiao said, “This child, Jia Lu has really a great potential, she’ll absolutely be the future hope of our Hao Yue City.”
Hearing her father praising Lin Jia Lu, Li Xin was immediately dissatisfied and could not help but retort: “Father, please don’t make another one’s spirit seem bigger than it is while lowering your own prestige. In any case, your daughter is already a third step Grand Knight despite being three months younger than her.”
Li Ao Xiao glared at her, “Only babbling.”
Li Yin Jia laughed: “You two girls! Even after such a long time, you could not forget your disagreements in the slightest bit? You have to keep in mind that, this time, in participating in the Demon Hunt Selection Competition, you will have to join forces if you want to obtain the qualifications to compete. It’s really dangerous, so when the moment comes, you cannot let your disagreements hinder you.”
Li Xin and Lin Jia Lu exchanged a glance before suddenly turning their head away with an excessive motion.
Nalan Shu chuckled, “Xin’er has already said everything about her own cultivation, she specializes as a Retribution Knight. As for Hao Chen, I have to keep his cultivation level a secret, but I can tell you his age. Hao Chen will be, this year, 14 years old, specialized as a Guardian Knight.”
“14 years old?” Except from Li Ao Xiao who knew some facts in advance, everyone else could not help but gasp.
Lin Yin Jia’s brows were puckering up as he said in a low voice: “Nalan Hall Master, are you joking? How can we let a 14 years old child participate in the Selection? Don’t tell me that you don’t know that they have to kill at least five demon race soldiers per person to have the qualifications to participate.”
Nalan Shu answered, calm and unhurried: “The teacher of this child is Ye Hua, the zombie face known as Asura Ye in our branch hall. Everyone knows his character, and he said that his treasured disciple was qualified to participate to the Demon Hunt Selection Competition; there is no way he was telling lies. Also, our Knight Temple could not possibly risk the life of such a young genius simply to play a joke.”
Lin Yin Jia’s brows were wrinkling as before,while looking at Li Ao Xiao, Chen Chun Hua, and Nalan Shu without saying anything. Bai Yu calmly looked at Nalan Shu, “Fatty Nalan, you have to know that this doesn’t only relate to his life. If anything holds the team back, it can go as far as to lead to them being wiped out.”
Nalan Shu snorted loudly, before speaking back: “Don’t worry, don’t worry. Even though I don’t know at what level Hao Chen’s cultivation have reached, I can tell you all that he will certainly enter the finals of this Demon Hunt Selection Competition, shining upon the splendor of the Five Great Temples.”
Nalan Shu bluntly said these words without any hesitation, his face showing enormous confidence.
Long Hao Chen sat there without a single word. Ye Hua had warned him repeatedly that he could not easily divulge his cultivation level at the present time, that he had at least to wait for the formal participation to the Demon Hunt Selection Competition to reveal it, so he could currently only shut his mouth.
At this moment, Lin Jia Lu unexpectedly spoke: “Father, Uncles, I believe Uncle Nalan’s words. This is because I have formerly competed against little brother Long. He is very strong.”
Hearing Lin Jia Lu speak in support of Long Hao Chen, Li Xin instantly became on the alert, shifting the chair she was seated in to advance towards Long Hao Chen.
Li Ao Xiao nodded, “I have also heard Xin’er speak about Hao Chen’s strength, and I believe that he really has the ability to participate in this competition.”
“The examination to see if they have the qualifications required to participate in the Demon Hunt Selection Competition is really harsh. If one wants to participate to it, this one has to obtain the right to enter the competition first. A moment ago, elder brother Lin said so. We five have to do our best, join forces, and become qualified to leave for the Temple Alliance to participate in the competition.”
“To make sure that you have the qualifications to compete, the Alliance will be taking responsibility for supervising our group coming from Hao Yue branch hall. During this process, no matter what kind of danger you will encounter, the supervisor will not intervene directly: he will only let things run their course, even if you are about to be wiped out. That is unless you take the initiative to ask for his help. However, in that case, you’ll lose your qualifications to participate this time.”
“Our Hao Yue City is located in the southeast of the Alliance, only roughly 200 kilometers (400 Li) far from the territory of the demon race. A route has already been planned for you to infiltrate it. You have to bear in mind that, sometimes, one has to retreat instead of persevering. If you encounter a crisis you really cannot contend against, in that case, it is preferable to lose your qualifications to enter the competition by asking for the help of the supervisor. Your lives are the highest priority. We have already handed the map to the senior supervisor, so you will set off tomorrow. You are the representatives of our Hao Yue Hall, as well as Hao Yue City. Here, we will congratulate you beforehand and hope you will be able to get great result during this great competition.”
As they were speaking, Li Ao Xiao, Lin Yin Jia, and the three Hall Masters stood up, lifting up the teacups in their hands.
The group of five including Long Hao Chen saluted the five leaders and everyone drank their cups of tea together.
Lin Yin Jia said in a low voice: “Ever since six thousand year ago, when the demon race appeared and we entered the dark age, we, humanity, kept
struggling to prevent ourselves from being driven to extinction. We needed more than 2,000 years for our territory to achieve its current stability. The demon race is our arch-enemy: each enemy killed is a contribution to the safety of humanity. Although our Hao Yue City isn’t really a big city, participating in the Demon Hunt Selection Competition is a major event that occurs only once every five years. This is your chance to easily obtain great achievements at the earliest possible time. And we prepared a few gifts to help you to get great result. As long as you can pass the qualification test and enter the competition, this present will not be wasted on you. Come with me.”
Hao Yue City’s office hall 1 contained a total of four floors. Led by Lin Yin Jia and Li Ao Xiao, the group arrived in a room at the top floor guarded by ten warriors.
There was not a single furniture inside of this room, only a few wide wooden tables with numerous equipment arranged on them.
Looking at the equipment, the breathing of the two brothers, Chen Si and Chen Chen, became hurried. Li Xin and Lin Jia Lu were quite normal: their families were rich, so they were not short on equipment at all. Long Hao Chen appeared pleasantly surprised, but he stayed calm.
ly, Long Xing Yu told Long Hao Chen that, to any powerhouse of the Six Great Temples, equipment was only a part of their strength. Regardless of the equipment, only through relying on one’s own efforts to acquire it could one really treasure it. The Radiant Shield could be considered as the first equipment that was really treasured by Long Hao Chen, but it was clearly the first time such a set of equipment was gathered before his eyes.
On the table was a lot of equipment: there was not only a set per person, but a great deal of choice.
Lin Yin Jia said with a smile: “This equipment is not high ranked, but it is still a lot better than those the public can get on the market. Considering your current level of cultivation, the overwhelming majority of equipment we selected for you is amplification equipment, so that yo
Lin Jia Lu shook her head, saying: “I have my own equipment, no need for me to choose.” As the daughter of the consulate, in addition to the fact that her family owned a magical equipment shop, she naturally did not need more equipment.
Li Xin shook her head as well, at the same time as Lin Jia Lu, stating that she did not need it.
Lin Yin Jia and Li Ao Xiao had guessed long ago that this would happen; this equipment was originally bought for the sake of the preparations of Long Hao Chen and the two Chen brothers.
The Chen brothers were quite impatient, and with the signs of Chen Chunhua, the Hall Master of the Warrior Temple, they both hurried to step forward and choose.
Li Xin bumped Long Hao Chen, hinting that he should make haste to go choose to prevent the others from choosing all the good equipment.
To judge the quality of an equipment, there are three major aspects to look at. First, the quality of the material: the better the material, the stronger the equipment created with it will be. The second aspect is the quality of the fabrication, as blacksmiths of different skills craft items of, more or less, different quality. The third aspect is, of course, the magic aspect. The value of a piece of magical equipment is at least five times that of an ordinary one. If the infused supplementary magic is powerful enough, the difference may be even more considerable.
Equipment was divided into different tiers from bottom to top: ordinary equipment, alloy equipment, magical equipment, spiritual equipment, glorious equipment, legendary equipment, epic equipment, immortal equipment, and mystical tier equipment.
For these few youth to participate in this Demon Hunt, Hao Yue City took out this very carefully selected equipment. They were all magical equipment and, although they had the most common magical amplification properties, any one of them would amount to a hundred of gold coins on the market. A tier above magical equipment, there was the spiritual equipment
that that contained at least a single skill. This tier of equipment amounted to at least 1,000 gold coins.
As a defensive warrior, Chen Si picked, without the slightest hesitation, a heavy armor that covered his whole body together with a thick tower shield. On the armor and the shield were magical patterns that strengthened it, making them, presently, the equipment with the greatest defensive power. The weapon was, however, a lot simpler: it was a long blade with an effect that increases speed.
Chen Chen’s choice placed emphasis on a different aspect of the warrior’s talents, he chose a fire attribute light armor together with a pair of fire attribute long blades. With them, if his spiritual energy was stimulated, his body could emit a blazing aura, enabling him to use fire attribute attacks with a power further amplified because of his offensive specialization of berserker.
Long Hao Chen also chose a light armor made of fine iron and heavy iron alloy, resulting in an extremely thin plate that mainly covered his upper body, elbows, and knees joints. It was a silver-colored armor that did not look overly flashy, but emitted a holy aura around it.
The light attribute magic equipment was harder to find compared to the magical equipment of other attributes; thus, he did not have a helmet. While he was clad lightly and conveniently, he still had a certain defensive power..
Soon after, he chose two heavy swords. Between them, one was a light attribute heavy sword while the second one he chose had a fire attribute.
The appearance of these two swords was not different from the standard appearance of the heavy swords used by knights: on the blades were carved distinct magical patterns, and a core crystal of a fourth step magical beast was inlaid in the center of the blades. These heavy swords weighed between 20 kilograms and 25 kilograms. To Long Hao Chen, who had a 200th level external spiritual energy, this weight was negligible.
Lin Yin Jia showed a curious reaction, “Long Hao Chen, aren’t you a Guardian Knight? Why did you choose to take two heavy swords?”
Long Hao Chen answered, a bit embarrassed: ”I already have a shield, so I wanted to take one more sword. Is it okay?”
Li Yin Jia humbly smiled, “Of course it is okay.”
Li Ao Xiao spoke: “After going back, you will have to familiarize yourself with your new equipment. You will set off tomorrow in the early morning. If you want to accomplish your task and become qualified to enter the competition, you will have to directly leave for the Alliance. Our Hao Yue City will also have a specialist who will arrive at the Alliance in advance to arrange all matters regarding your participation in the competition.”
After returning to the residence, Li Xin repeatedly warned Long Hao Chen to rest well after returning. Long Hao Chen bought 2.5 kilograms (5 jin) of dried fish on the road for his good companion, the two headed lizard Hao Yue, before impatiently trying on the new equipment he had just obtained.
As soon as he put on the light armor, he immediately noticed that the quantity of light element around his body had increased, naturally rotating around his internal spiritual energy. A layer of gold-colored brilliance rippled around his light armor, and although it wasn’t a part of the spiritual energy Long Hao Chen could use to launch his skills, it strengthened his attack as well as his defense.
The crucial point was that this armor was very light and convenient, not obstructing Long Hao Chen’s movements in the slightest.
He liked the large sword even more; as he infused it with his spiritual energy, the two large swords shone brightly. The Light Sword seemed to be very compatible with his natural attribute, forming a bright edge a third of a meter long. The amplification effect of the Fire Sword was only a little lower: fire did not reject light. Pouring in it his holy elemental internal spiritual energy still resulted in at least 80% of the attack power of the other sword.
Long Hao Chen calmly analyzed: the equipment on his body raised his fighting strength a level higher. Moreover, by relying on his ring, ‘Forget- Me-Not’, he could switch between a left handed sword and a shield at anytime, which was the equivalent of being able to switch between being a Guardian Knight and a Retribution Knight depending on the situation.
“Hao Chen.” An ice-cold voice could be heard outside the door.
“Teacher.” Long Hao Chen moved in haste to open the door, welcoming Ye Hua to enter.
On the side, Hao Yue was biting the dried fish. Upon seeing Ye Hua enter, he showed some ill feelings woo woo; he seemed to still hold a grudge against him for the past events.
While Long Hao Chen brought his teacher inside, Ye Hua looked at the light armor on his body: “Hao Yue City is quite big, but they don’t even have a single spiritual tier piece of equipment? What a difference in treatment.”
Long Hao Chen smiled: “The fact I have a set of magical equipment is already plenty. Teacher, didn’t you say that a genuine powerhouse shouldn’t rely on equipment excessively?”
Ye Hua snorted, “That was at the time I was teaching you. The current circumstances are different: the Demon Hunt Selection Competition is not a simple competition, but it can be said to be a real war, with deaths.”
Long Hao Chen said: “Teacher, do you have so little confidence in me?”
Ye Hua answered: “To have confidence in you is one thing, but to prepare for a rainy day is another. You will set off tomorrow, while we will also be leaving for the Temple Alliance, waiting for you to participate to the competition. This is for you.” As he spoke, Ye Hua took out a grey- colored metallic wristguard.
Looking at its outwards appearance, this wristguard seemed pretty ordinary, but as soon as Ye Hua took it off, the wristguard seemed to emit a thin gold color from inside, forming a golden gem at least the size of a hundred grains of rice
Long Hao Chen was not adept at equipment creation at all, but having no idea what the value of this gem was did not influence the value this piece of equipment was to him. In fact, the light attribute emitted by this wristguard was higher than his former equipment.
“Your teacher is poor, so he doesn’t have anything good to offer you. Once spiritual energy is poured into this Divine Light Wristguard, it will create a [Holy Light Mantle], up to three times a day, lasting a minute every time.”
[Holy Light Mantle] was a defensive skill that Grand Knight level Guardian Knights were capable of using. The defensive power was not as great as [Divine Light Mantle]’s, but [Holy Light Mantle]’s greatest benefit
It could be seen as Ye Hua conveniently throwing a very precious piece of equipment towards Long Hao Chen. Every activation was the equivalent of saving 350 units of spiritual energy! In addition, it could be used up to three times every day; having an absolute guarantee to be able to save lives in whichever circumstances was always a good thing. Even among spiritual tier equipment, this one was uncommonly valuable.
“Teacher, this is too precious. I cannot accept it.”
Ye Hua’s face sank, “Not good enough for you? If you don’t want it, just throw it away. I’m heading back.” As he spoke, he stood up and began leaving.
Long Hao Chen said with a helpless face: “Teacher, that is not what I meant. These Divine Light Wristguards are just too precious for me, I…”
Arriving at the door, Ye Hua stopped and immediately interrupted him, “I have no relative, only a disciple.” Having spoken these words, he waved his hands to Long Hao Chen, hinting that Long Hao Chen did not have to send him off, and left by himself.
Looking at the wristguards in his hands, Long Hao Chen felt warmth in his heart, “Teacher, I will not disappoint you.”
Bright morning, Hao Yue City east gate.
This place was where they gathered last night. Li Xin rode her Rose Unicorn, which had grown to the peak fifth step within these two years, heading along with Long Hao Chen to the east entrance.
After these two years, Long Hao Chen was not a child anymore, so he naturally felt too embarrassed to ride a mount together with Li Xin. Also, Nalan Shu gave him a fine horse, so he rode it while advancing by Li Xin’s side.
“Hao Chen, what about Hao Yue, that guy? Where has he run off to?” Li Xin looked all around, but could not find the pair of heads that were usually sticking together with Long Hao Chen all day.
Long Hao Chen smiled: “Sis, he’s around. He will naturally appear once we’ll be leaving the city.”
Li Xin curiously spoke back: “I really think that Hao Yue is a lot more intelligent than my Rose Unicorn, even though he’s only at the middle rank of the fourth step.”
Quickly, sister and brother arrived at the east gate and, at that moment, they saw the pair of excited brothers from the Chen family waiting impatiently, while Lin Jia Lu had yet to arrive.
“Little brother Long, young lady Xin’er.” Chen Si took the initiative to greet them. Both of them held Li Xin in high regard. As for Long Hao Chen, they considered him as a subordinate of Li Xin at most, after Nalan Shu revealed the day before that Long Hao Chen was only 14 this year. What could the ability of a 14 year-old child be? Li Xin was, however, different. Not only was she superior to them in terms of talent, but in addition, she possessed a formidable magical beast such as the Rose Unicorn. This mount was, by itself, superior to these two brothers in terms of strength. The status of knights was also superior to that of a warrior, so they naturally wished to stay on good terms with Li Xin.
To be selected to participate in the Demon Hunt Selection Competition already required outstanding innate talents, but before confronting the test, they needed the cooperation of everyone here.
Li Xin nodded at them, “Lin Jia Lin hasn’t arrived yet?”
Chen Si smiled, “It isn’t the time yet. Let’s wait a moment.”
Li Xin calmly nodded.
Chen Si and Chen Chen were both riding fine horses. While they were speaking, a cart slowly approached, stopping beside them.
When the cart arrived, Lin Jia Lu jumped down from it, and stood respectfully there. Immediately afterwards, an elder came out from the cart.
This elder looked 60 to 70 years old, his grizzled hair were meticulously combed, and he let out a slight fragrance of pomade. He had thick eyebrows and big eyes, his eyes looked a bit gloomy and cold, and his lips were fine and thin. His character was arrogant and noble at the same time, giving people a bad first impression.
He wore a thin blue-colored magical gown, with a material made of golden threads sketching outside, emitting a metallic luster; it seemed that the wind element was gathered around it, revolving around his body. He held in his hand, a dark green-colored magical staff with a pale gem the size of an egg above it.
Lin Jia Lu respectfully told him: “Senior supervisor, please.”
The elder nodded. Looking at her, his arrogant expression became a bit softer, “Go.” Lin Jia Lu accompanied him towards Long Hao Chen’s group.
Everyone hurried to dismount from their horse; without a doubt, this elder was a supervisor from the Temple Alliance, a mage. Although his body did not give off the air of a mage, Lin Jia Lu obviously could not be compared to him at all.
The elder went in front of their group and simply said, in an indifferent voice: “Set off.”
Credits to: -Zeke for having the idea of counting the rice -Paul for having the idea of releasing the counting-rice-image -Toto for counting the rice
“Set off.” The command of the elder who was acting as their supervisor was passed down. At this moment, he waved the magical staff in his hand, covering his whole body in a blue light, and left the ground just like that, floating a meter above the ground while advancing forward.
“You can act as if I didn’t exist, and I will not help you the slightest bit as well, unless you plan to withdraw from this Demon Hunt Selection.” The elder’s voice fluttered in front of them. The blue light suddenly became more intense and, to their surprise, in a split second, this supervisor and senior disappeared without notice.
Upon seeing that this supervisor had suddenly disappeared, everyone else was surprised; only Long Hao Chen’s eyes slightly moved, subconsciously shooting a glance at the rear.
“This is the map.” Lin Jia Lu took out a map made of sheepskin from her bosom, unfolding it in front of everyone. “We will have to head straight to the east before infiltrating the territory controlled by the demon race. This is for you.” As she spoke, she took out five round tiles from her bosom and, after keeping one for herself, she gave the rest to the four others.
Long Hao Chen took the tile and gave it a look. It looked very delicate, was entirely made of silver and had a purple gem inlaid in it. It emitted insipid magic undulations.
“This is the license plate for our participation in the Demon Hunt Selection Competition. On its reverse side is our identity, origins, as well
as competitor number. If we cannot pass the entrance test, the tiles will be retrieved back by the elder. Because of this tile, we will not be bothered by the garrisons of the Alliance, but we will not be able to get their help either. Entering the territory of the demon race, we will only be able to rely on ourselves. The best would be for us to meet patrol soldiers belonging to the demon race. As long as we can kill a total of 25 demons, we will have accomplished our task and will be able to retreat.”
At this point, Lin Jia Lu came to a halt, meticulously sweeping her eyes over Li Xin before continuing: “In regard to our cultivation level, completing this task should be no problem at all. But since we are acting in a group, we will have to display some cooperation. The snake cannot have a missing head. So, before attacking, the best thing to do would be to pick out a leader to stay synchronized when we run into battle.”
Li Xin coldly snorted, “Are you saying that you are intending to become our leader?”
Lin Jia Lu shot her a glance. Without compromising the slightest bit, “Why would it be impossible? I am the one with the highest cultivation level here and, in addition, as a mage who fights at the rear, I have the best position to observe the battlefield, so I am the most suitable to command the team.”
Li Xin wrinkled her brows, pondering a little before unexpectedly nodding, telling her: “Okay, we will follow your directions.”
Lin Jia Lu stared at her blankly. She did not expect to hear those words from Li Xin. She could not help but give her a doubtful look.
Li Xin snorted once more, “What are you looking at? This young lady is dissociating the public from the private; for the sake of keeping my little brother safe, I will not fight with you this time. However, if, on the battlefield, your directions appear to be mistakes, this young lady will not show any restraint in depriving you of your authority.”
Lin Jia Lu directly chose to ignore Li Xin’s threats and looked at the Chen brothers, “Do you have any objections?”
Chen Si and Chen Chen shook their head at the same time. These two brothers were straightforward; they recognized themselves as
“Okay, with it being this way, let us set off.” Lin Jia Lu issued her first command as the leader.
Long Hao Chen stood at the side of Li Xin, a bit depressed and thinking to himself, Why is it that they didn’t even ask for my opinion?!
At this moment, Lin Jia Lu faced him and approached, “Little brother Long, I am wearing a robe so I am unable to ride a horse. Please look after me, I will sit behind you.”
“Ah?” Long Hao Chen looked dumbstruck at the gentle, sweet, and smiling appearance of Lin Jia Lu before noticing that Li Xin, at the side, had become as cold as ice and frost and could not decide how he should reply.
Lin Jia Lu was still smiling and didn’t took a single glance at Li Xin, asking once more: “You are a Guardian Knight! Don’t tell me you wouldn’t ensure the safety of a mage?”
As she spoke, she directly extended her hand toward Long Hao Chen, hinting him to get her on his horse.
“I will ride together with you.” Stretching her hand and pulling Lin Jia Lu directly from the back of her horse; the one who did that was precisely Li Xin!
Lin Jia Lu was surprised and reacted angrily, “Who wants to ride together with you?! You are a Retribution Knight, can you really protect me that well?!”
Li Xin replied very fiercely: “You can choose either Chen Si or his little brother Chen Chen if that’s the case. Don’t try to use my little brother to your convenience. You’re dreaming, I’ll never give you that opportunity.” As she spoke, Li Xin knocked the belly of her horse and the Rose Unicorn
flew upwards, letting Lin Jia Lu resentfully cry out in anger, just like a sort of red-colored arrow launched forward.
Long Hao Chen and the two Chen brothers gave a glance at each other, their faces displaying a helpless feeling, before hurrying to whip their horses, chasing after them. A pitch black silhouette tightly followed after them, sticking to the ground with its two heads following around, showing a very excited expression on its faces.
A distance of about 200 kilometers, to the Rose Unicorn, was at most two hours of travel, but Long Hao Chen’s group could not keep up, with their ordinary horses. After traveling from early morning to late night, they finally arrived at the vicinity of the frontier.
Relying on their Demon Hunt Selection tiles, the five people smoothly passed through the area defended by the Temple Alliance forces, leaving their horses there, and after eating simple meals, they were finally going to enter the territory of the demon race.
To decrease the probability of being discovered, Li Xin had her Rose Unicorn scout in the sky. Taking advantage of the dim light of night, they passed through a hill. They could already saw from afar territory of the demon race.
“Let’s stop here.” Lin Jia Lu called out to everyone to come to a halt and took out her map. Even though she could be considered as having tacitly agreed in riding together with Li Xin, her current face looked unpleased, as before.
Everyone squated down, encircling Lin Jia Lu as she unfolded her map. Pointing at it, she said: “We are currently at this location. The main troops of the demon race are stationed roughly 100 kilometers in front of us. Directly raiding their army camps isn’t realistic, and there will be no coming back if we choose to do so. Thus, we will complete our task by wiping out scouts from the demon race during the upcoming few days. From now on, everyone will have to keep a good formation. Li Xin, you are in the front. Chen Si and Chen Chen, you are on both sides. Little brother Long, you are in the rear, and I will be in the middle of the
formation. In the case we meet the enemy, you will have to listen to my orders, understood?”
Even though her complexion was not good, Lin Jia Lu kept a calm face, her elegant face looking quite dignified.
Including Li Xin, everyone nodded in succession.
After Lin Jia Lu put her map away, everyone stood once more. They could not help but look in the direction of the demon race’s territory. Nervousness, excitement, anxiety; this was their current state of mind, but all of them stood on the alert. On the verge of facing the biggest enemy of mankind, they were filled with heroic emotions that excited, more or less, all of them.
“Hao Yue, please come out.” Long Hao Chen shouted loudly.
A shadow flashed and the two-headed lizard, Hao Yue, came quietly in front of Long Hao Chen, his appearance immediately frightening the hell out of the little group of youths.
“Everyone, don’t be nervous, this is my companion.” Look Hao Chen quickly explained in a low voice.
Everyone could not help but observe Hao Yue’s appearance carefully. The most astonished among them was, without a doubt, Lin Jia Lu. As a mage, her mental capacity was, naturally, much superior to those of close quarters vocations. Her perception was even more formidable, but she completely failed to notice Hao Yue’s existence.
“Is this your companion mount?” Lin Jia Lu asked, full of doubt. Long Hao Chen nodded.
Lin Jia Lu’s eyes were filled with a bit of pity, “Well, his figure cannot be clearly seen at all. Let’s set off for now.”
Long Hao Chen took out the Radiant Shield as well as the Light Sword, silently walking at the rear. The five people formed a rhombus battle formation 1, crossing the hills before finally entering into the territory of the demon race.
There was a wide plain ahead, but their sight did not even reach its boundaries. When wind blew, a faint scent of blood could be smelled in the air.
From the time that the demon race appeared and humanity’s history entered the dark age, 6,000 years had already passed.
Lin Jia Lu held the magical staff that she did not use in the duel against Long Hao Chen, lifting it slightly while chanting a magical incantation. A bird shaped transparent light soared in the sky, flying forward at a high altitude. A faint radiance could be subsequently seen in Lin Jia Lu’s pair of eyes.
[Eagle Eye Method], this magic spell was a required skill for any mage, enabling one to look down from the sky and observe far distances. The higher one’s cultivation level, the further the range of the spell increased.
Li Xin slightly frowned and said: “The terrain is too open. It is unfavorable for us to set up an ambush here. Look for a place where we can hide.”
Li Jia Lu slightly nodded and said: “2.5 kilometers ahead, there are hills at the left. The hills are ahead, shrubs are densely clustered there, we should go in this direction first, slowly advancing. There are no enemies in a 5 kilometers radius around us, let’s go.”
Li Xin lowered her head. Everyone advanced forward at a slow pace under Lin Jia Lu’s instructions.
Long Hao Chen discovered to his astonishment that these two pretty ladies that used to quarrel every day back in Hao Yue City did not show the slightest sign of dispute this time. The party of five was precisely led by the both of them with Li Xin at the front and Lin Jia Lu in the middle of the formation, scouting. The Chen brothers and Long Hao Chen were quite relaxed, they just had to follow after them.
Under the command of Lin Jia Lu and her [Eagle Eye Method], everyone was quite cautious. For a duration of one hour, they made use of the few bunkers on the field that were found approximately every 5 kilometers (10 li) and advanced. Every time they found a place where they could be concealed, Lin Jia Lu would leave a mark on the ground before continuing to head forward.
They entered the route through of the demon race territory that the leaders of Hao Yue City selected very carefully for them. From the demon race territory, the nearest garrison was only 100 kilometers (200 li) away. Although the terrain was not the most favorable, the garrison was quite close, making it very convenient for retreating while maintaining their guard when it is needed.
Night fell little by little, and after continuing to advance for 40 more kilometers (80 Li), Lin Jia Lu found some shrubbery and gave the order to rest here.
“We cannot continue to approach them for now: if we keep going forward, we will enter the range at which the demon mages can detect us.” said Lin Jia Lu in a low voice.
Li Xin nodded, speaking at her turn: “I also heard from Father that the demon barracks contained some powerful mages that have a range longer than 50 kilometers using the [Eagle Eye Method]. If we keep advancing, we will likely be detected, so we should wait here for our opportunity instead.”
They started eating to replenish their physical strength, and calmly waited at this place. All along, Lin Jia Lu unceasin
A full night passed very calmly. The sky was gradually lighting up.
They had already waited for a night, but they did not even spot half of a demon patrol, so the five youth could not help but feel disappointed. It was especially the case for Lin Jia Lu, who was already quite tired because she kept using her [Eagle Eye Method].
“Strange, where have the demon patrols gone?” Chen Si asked in an uncomprehending tone.
The five youths looked at each other in dismay, their faces showing helplessness. They were the best of the young generation of Hao Yue City, but they had never participated in a war before; this task that seemed to be quite easy had become a little more troublesome. To gain the qualifications to enter, they also had a time limit. Altogether, they only had three days. If they exceeded this time limit, they would not have the time to leave for the Temple Alliance to take part in the Selection Competition.
Li Xin frowned and said: “That won’t do. I will ride Rose and enter further, investigating in their range. In that case, they should react to some extent.”
Lin Jia Lu immediately reacted: “Impossible. It’s too dangerous. Your Rose Unicorn is too obvious. If you try, there’s a risk that you attract some enemies that are so powerful that we’ll be completely wiped out.”
While they were talking among themselves about the countermeasures for dealing with the situation, Long Hao Chen who was listening to the surroundings all along suddenly said in a loud voice, “Be careful, there is an enemy!” As he spoke, he held the Light Sword and suddenly lifted it. A gold-colored mantle instantly enveloped the five people inside. It was a [Divine Light Mantle]!
Almost instantly after this, a violent shock was transmitted from under their feet and, with a puhsound, the [Divine Light Mantle] was shattered. Also, at this very moment, another [Divine Light Mantle] was launched right under their feet, obstructing this attack that came from below.
A 1.5 meters tall entity attacking with an extremely thick thorn was stopped by the [Divine Light Mantle] surrounding them; if Long Hao Chen had reacted a step later, they would have endured this attack with their bodies.
It had a total of seven or eight thick and sharp stings. They were purple black colored and emitted faint purple black colored ripples in the air around it.
The second layer of [Divine Light Mantle] was actually not sent out by Long Hao Chen: the time it took him to use the skill twice in a row was not so quick. It was naturally Hao Yue who was beside him, using its gold-color eyed lizard head to spread the skill, perfectly imitating Long Hao Chen’s [Divine Light Mantle] and covering everyone in this defense.
“The Luke Clan.” These five youths were the elite of their generation in Hao Yue City, but they were so shocked that they could not react at all in this brief moment. When Li Xin shouted in a loud voice, a red-colored radiance glinted in her longsword that she used to ferociously stab at the ground.
Long Hao Chen, Chen Si, and Chen Chen reacted the same way. Continuous Pu Pu sounds rang, violently shaking the ground.
Lin Jia Lu lowered the magical staff in her hand a little, shooting a blue ray toward the ground while simultaneously calling out: “Take out your weapons!”
As the thick, bloodied weapons were pulled up from the ground, immediately afterwards, everyone felt a chill under his feet; the ground had already been frozen with ice that was as thick as steel. Lin Jia Lu’s [Ice Wall Method] was directly launched under their feet.
A group of thick and solid sharp stingers encircled the five youths of the group and, immediately afterwards, new figures jumped out from the ground, encircling the group of five including Long Hao Chen.
They had a fierce and evil looking appearance, quite similar to monstrous abominations that were shaped like humans. Their height was roughly 1.7 meters, they were naked, and on the lower part of the body were meticulous black-colored scales. On the upper portion of their bodies, their skin was purple black-colored and the head had three eyes; but the fact they had four arms was the most peculiar. That’s right, each of these monsters had four arms and each of these arms were shaped similarly to a needle: their little arms ended in a point. Their sharp tips of these stingers emitted a cold light.
Despite the fact that everyone in Long Hao Chen’s group had sufficient knowledge in regards to demons, when confronting one for real, they could not help but feel somewhat nervous.
6,000 years earlier, the 72 Demon Gods suddenly descended on the mainland of Shengmo Dalu, leading to the mutation of a great amount of life forms which were mutated into demons of various strength. The demons that appeared before their eyes belonged to the Luke Clan, one of the 20 major clans of the demon race.
Compared to humans, the most frightening aspect of demons was their innate fighting capabilities. Every one of them, without exception, could fight since birth. Their innate talent in this regard was far beyond comparison with humans’; even without undergoing any form of training, they could still become formidable warriors.
The innate peculiarity of the members of the Luke clan was that they had four stinger-shaped hands. Their frontal fighting strength was not too high, but they were experts at mounting sneak attacks. With their four arms simultaneously held high above their head, they were capable of drilling underground with a high speed comparable to sprints. Their attack arrived suddenly from underneath, causing people to be taken off guard and leaving them unable to defend effectively against it.
At this time, Long Hao Chen’s group of five was surrounded by 16 or 17 Luke Clan soldiers. Some among them were, at this moment, lying on the ground. They had clearly perished from being repelled directly to the ground because of Long Hao Chen’s counter.
These Luke clansmen had burst out from the ground, and immediately rushed at Long Hao Chen’s group of five. The warriors looked incomparably tyrannical with their thick and sharp stingers that gave off a cold feeling.
For the reason that the enemies came from all directions, with the exception of Lin Jia Lu, each of the others turned to a different direction to face the incoming storm. Deep inside, they were a little nervous, but having reached the fourth step of their vocation, they had enough experience to
know to not immediately rush into action. They kept their formation, each one brandishing his weapons, protecting Lin Jia Lu in the middle.
The first who acted was the one at Long Hao Chen’s side, Hao Yue. His two heads pointed in opposite direction. Little Flame gathered a small blaze in his mouth and shot forth a fireball. Little Light showed no moment of weakness and shot a very fast bolt of light, even faster than the fireball.
Because each of Hao Yue’s heads could think independently, Long Hao Chen gave them different names according to their attributes, Little Flame and Little Light.
The light arrow that Little Light fired was a third of a meter long, and extremely fast. It was directly aimed at a warrior from the Luke Clan. It did not even have the time to react when, with a Pu sound, its head was already pierced and its four stingers fell down on the ground.
Immediately afterwards, with a Boom sound, another Luke clansman tried to use its stingers to block the fireball and stopped it, but was sent flying away by the explosive force of the fireball.
There was a total of about ten enemies. Long Hao Chen was only facing four of them, and in addition, two of the enemies had already been subdued by Hao Yue, so naturally he did not feel the slightest bit of pressure. He chanted a kind of muffled chant at lightning speed, and lifted up the Light Sword in his hand with an exaggerated motion. A fantastic symbol shone at the top of his head, and as if it was contagious, this symbol immediately split apart, appearing atop the heads of the other four. Immediately following, a golden ring of light undulated under the feet of the five people in its range, causing a faint golden radiance to appear around them.
Before Long Hao Chen completed these two holy magic spells, the two Luke clansmen had already dashed in and arrived close to him.
He held up the Light Sword, but there was also the Radiant Shield in his left hand, and with twopeng peng sounds, the sharp stingers of the two Luke clansmen were blocked by the Radiant Shield.
A golden mark appeared at the top of his head. It was the Guardian Knight ability, [Guardian’s Favor]; when the en
The golden ring turned the nervousness in Long Hao Chen’s group of five into determination, this was the [Faith Halo]. Just like [Guardian Favor], it was a Guardian Knight’s support skill.
While these two abilities were activated, the Light Sword in Long Hao Chen’s hand had started to shine, and a third of a meter long edges of blade made of light penetrated them, easily beheading the bodies of the two Luke clan members. Little Light and Little Flame, who shot once again a fireball and a light arrow, completely getting rid of the two last Luke clansmen. The four enemies Long Hao Chen and his companions were facing were entirely wiped out just like that.
Lin Jia Lu, located at the middle of the formation, had completed a magical spell at the same time; Long Hao Chen was so young that she naturally wanted to take care of the enemies at his side first, but just as her magic was completed, Long Hao Chen had already finished the battle. Not only that, he had also used two area effective assisting skills on everyone.
“[Ice Spear].” Four blue rays were unleashed in the air, falling like meteorites and transforming into four two meter long ice spears that were aimed at four Luke Clan soldiers that immediately fell to the ground, their eyes becoming lifeless.
In the next instant, the enemies on Li Xin and Chen Chen’s sides were also wiped out; as a Shield Warrior, defense was Chen Si’s specialization. However, the aid of Lin Jia Lu’s spears had already settled the fight.
The Luke Clan soldiers’ fighting capability was weak: they were, in fact, like second step first rank human warriors. Without the opportunity of launching a surprise attack, how could they be an opponent for these four formidable fourth step youths?
Seeing the corpses around them, everyone let out a breath at the same time. These enemies from the Luke Clan were just too unexpected. Although they did not have high fighting capabilities, they had mounted a
sneak attack from underground, so if they had not reacted at time, Long Hao Chen’s group would have been bound to have had great casualties.
“Little brother Long, thank you.” Lin Jia Lu told Long Hao Chen with a somewhat pale face. She was a mage with a weak defense; in the case that they did not discover this sneak attack, the most likely to have died would have been her.
The way the two brothers Chen Si and Chen Chen looked at Long Hao Chen completely changed. Although Long Hao Chen had Hao Yue’s help in the previous fight, it should not be forgotten that it was not only him who discovered the enemy, but he had also used three holy magic spells, one more than Lin Jia Lu did as the mage of the team.
[Divine Light Mantle], [Faith Halo], and [Guardian’s Favor]; even though they were all skills used by second step Guardian Knights, he used them in an extraordinary way. In addition, he had also used two clean [Lightning Cuts] to get rid of two enemies. Seeing such a quick link speed, Chen Si and Chen Chen could not help but gasp in admiration. Without a single doubt, Long Hao Chen was already quite strong, he was a Grand Knight and not simply Li Xin’s attendant.
A fourteen year-old Grand Knight! Just by thinking about it, the two little brothers of the Chen family felt a chill in their hearts.
The forte of a Grand Knight was not the continuous use of his skills externalizing his spiritual energy. Although Long Hao Chen did not have this kind of ability, he had, just now, continuously used and combined his skills to the extent that his strength could not be doubted the slightest bit.
While everyone was looking at Long Hao Chen, flabbergasted, Long Hao Chen’s complexion suddenly changed and he shouted once more, “Be careful!” A light glinted: it was another [Divine Light Mantle].
However, this time, the [Divine Light Mantle] was instantly smashed to pieces right after it appeared, and at the moment it was smashed to pieces, everyone could see a lightning fast silhouette appear at Lin Jia Lu’s side. A thick ray of light went straight toward Lin Jia Lu’s neck, about to pierce it.
A surprise attack!
Lin Jia Lu was located at the center of the four-man formation: as her role as a mage, she was the central point of protection of the team. However, at that moment, her partners did not expect this faintly discernible figure to break the [Divine Light Mantle] so suddenly; it had already penetrated the formation, passing through the small gap between Chen Chen and Li Xin.
The speed of this enemy was really too high, the majority of the people here could only stare blankly in reaction. Using the [Divine Light Mantle] was already the most Long Hao Chen could do in this situation: in terms of distance and speed, he had no way to come to the aid of Lin Jia Lu in time.
“JIA LU— —” Li Xin shouted out. But no matter how anxious she was, she needed time to attempt to save her. How could she make it at time?
A cold, sharp blade arrived at Lin Jia Lu’s neck and finally reached her trembling skin; from the moment when Long Hao Chen shouted loudly to be careful, she could already feel this cold feeling. Omitting the fact that she was a Grand Mage, she was, before everything, a vulnerable mage; in such circumstances, there was no way to save her.
Had the time of her death come? At this instant, Lin Jia Lu could not feel anything: no joy, no sadness. Only endless denial. It seemed as if this sharp blade had already cut her throat apart, and all that she could feel was her soul leaving her body…
“DONG–” A clear and loud sound echoed, and just like a rippling wave, a silhouette stood firm, three steps away from Lin Jia Lu’s figure.
What happened? Regardless of whether it was Li Xin or the Chen brothers, everyone had their eyes opened wide because they just saw a scene they could not comprehend at all.
When [Divine Light Mantle] was cast, a white light had simultaneously started to glow from Long Hao Chen’s chest; the light was not intense at all, but it caused this sharp-edged blade to stick at the skin of Lin Jia Lu’s neck as the invisible silhouette suddenly became motionless.
The strangest thing was that a white glow instantly appeared from this figure, exposing its silhouette. The sharp blade slowly receded from Lin Jia Lu’s neck and did not split her neck open at all; instead, it was suddenly aimed at Long Hao Chen. With a Dong sound, Long Hao Chen obstructed the attack with the Radiant Shield, the parry sending out a sound.
“Dong, dong, dong, dong, dong, dong…” The sounds of the parries repeatedly rang from Long Hao Chen’s Radiant Shield. A drizzling white light was propagating on the invisible figure that was launching attacks that were as powerful as howling wind and torrential rain against Long Hao Chen, which Long Hao Chen steadily blocked.
The Radiant Shield in Long Hao Chen’s hand kept parrying, receiving each of the enemy’s frenzied strikes without taking a single step back, just like an insurmountable mountain.
“AH—-” Lin Jia Lu cried out at this moment. Her neck hurt slightly and a little cut had opened, making a few drops of blood flow out of it; but above all, an intense feeling of fear was filling her entire body, making it feel limp and painful. She completely forgot to lead the others. Regardless of whether it was as the genius who showed outstanding performances during her cultivation period in Hao Yue Mage Hall, or as a mere girl who was going to the battlefield for the first time, her mind almost fell apart from experiencing her life hanging by a thread.
The fastest to react was Li Xin. Without the slightest of hesitation, she used an [Instant Blast Cross Cut] from the rear to repel the invisible figure.
This invisible enemy was indeed a terrible opponent: his body slightly twisted in the air, easily dodging Li Xin’s attack. However, it was truly strange. It was as if he only saw Long Hao Chen, aiming all of his attacks at him.
“What are you doing? Attack immediately!” Li Xin shouted with her delicate voice, rousing the two brothers and bringing Lin Jia Lu back to her senses.
Hao Yue, who was under Long Hao Chen’s feet, also attacked: [Fireballs] and [Light Arrows] were launched in succession, immediately exploding on the invisible enemy.
At this moment, everyone could clearly see that this invisible enemy was shaped like a human; besides the ability to make himself invisible, he was not that different compared to a human. Both of his hands grasped similar sharp transparent blades, the first was pointing at the sky and the second one at the ground. All of the attacks shot by Hao Yue’s two heads were repelled by the pair of sharp blades, they were simply ineffective against him.
“[Whirlwind Strike]!” Chen Chen bursted out. Each of his hands grasped a fire attributed longsword, and a whirlwind of fire turned around him as he advanced toward the invisible figure.
Li Xin lept up, performing an [Instant Blast Cross Cut]. The two swords in her hands merged together and then separated as a cross in the sky.
Chen Si was a Shield Warrior, an expert at defense. He moved by Long Hao Chen’s side, attempting to help Long Hao Chen by taking a share of the attacks, but from
During this combined frontal assault, the body of this invisible enemy strangely halted, and his body suddenly erupted, emitting a bloody aura that shone with a dark-red color.
The first to be affected was Chen Chen. His [Whirlwind Strike] intersected with this red colored radiance, and with a groaning sound, his [Whirlwind Strike] was stopped and he fell down on the side.
At this time, the difference in Li Xin’s level of cultivation with the rest of the group manifested. With a Bang sound, her pair of swords ruthlessly chopped at that dark red radiance, and although it clearly hit the target head on, this invisible enemy was only shaken a little.
Taking advantage of this little period, the pair of sharp blades in the enemy’s hands became red-colored. His tiptoe danced on the floor, and like a tornado, he sprinted straight for Long Hao Chen with the pair of sharp pointed blades.
An ear-piercing sound bursted out aloud. If one could see the scene from a distant location, he would see that the invisible enemy had become a sort of dark red-colored bolt of lightning.
Long Hao Chen’s complexion did not change the slightest bit; his handsome face was expressionless and his crystal clear golden eyes looked at the enemy very calmly. He did not look like a 14 year old child at all.
Parrying stance, shield held firmly, Long Hao Chen stood there like a stone.
Dong–, with a violent noise, Long Hao Chen’s entire body emitted a golden light and the invisible enemy was repelled back into the air.
Long Hao Chen then finally moved his right hand that he did not use at all until that moment. The Light Sword shone with a dazzling light and struck down, a golden radiance appearing simultaneously all around his body and instantly pouring into the Light Sword in his hand.
[Bright Vengeance] and [Light Thorn].
Because his attack had just been blocked, the invisible enemy could not make it in time to block the attack with his dark-red blade.
With a Bang sound, the invisible enemy violently smashed down onto the ground, traces of blood appearing on his face. The ground was completely deformed by his fall.
And at the next instant, a ball that shone like the sun appeared behind his back. Shining a rich golden red light, the force of light and fire fell from the sky.
[Shining Sunlight Strike].
“Aaah–” With a scream, everything stopped for a split second. The invisible enemy’s body was split into two by Li Xin’s [Shining Sunlight Strike], a dark green blood splashed in all directions and this formerly invisible being finally became visible.
Chen Si reacted very quickly. He went by the side of the pale Lin Jia Lu, lifting the shield in his hand and emitting a yellow-colored light to enclose and protecting himself and Lin Jia Lu inside.
“What are you doing?!” Li Xin shouted at Lin Jia Lu.
If Long Hao Chen had waited a little more a moment ago, before obstructing the enemy’s attack against Lin Jia Lu, they would have dealt with this invisible enemy even easier.
Lin Jia Lu was gasping for breath, mouth wide opened. She was shaking in fear, but she finally came back to her senses under the effect of Li Xin’s shouting voice.
“Sis, let it be.” Long hurriedly pulled Li Xin back. The crisis was not completely finished. Who knew if another unexpected enemy could suddenly appear?
Li Xin turned around and looked at Long Hao Chen. She was still completely astonished. Without a doubt, if not for Long Hao Chen’s amazing intervention, Lin Jia Lu would have died.
Although Li Xin was the one who finished off the enemy, Long Hao Chen was the one who resisted his all-out attack. If not for his defense, which was as solid and steady as the Mount Tai, and the [Divine Obstruction] he relied on to wound the enemy using his [Bright Vengeance] combined with his [Light Thorn]. Considering the ability of this invisible demon, there was no way [Shining Sunlight Strike] would have killed him like that.
Chen Si silently said: “We don’t have a priest, so we have no way to use a detection eye skill. If another invisible opponent of this kind reappears, it will really become dangerous. What should we do?”
Lin Jia Lu lowered her head, she was completely ashamed. She was not remarkable at all; what had just happened was too unexpected.
“Little brother Long, my mind is already in disorder, I am not fitting to command you. Either you or Li Xin should lead everyone.”
Li Xin answered without the slightest hesitation: “Hao Chen, take the command.”
Age had never been a criteria in evaluating strength. These two times, it was Long Hao Chen who had discovered the opponent first and prevented everyone from being harmed. Although the others did not know how he did, all of them were absolutely willing to obey his orders.
Long Hao Chen did not decline and silently said: “The enemies must have a special method to detect us. This attack was launched by the Luke clansmen, and right afterwards, we were immediately attacked by this invisible enemy. There were 20 demons from the Luke Clan in addition to this invisible demon coming from the Dike 1 Clan. We have already killed 21 enemies, so we only have four left to complete the task. The distance from here to the border of the Alliance is quite far and the enemies have already discovered us. They must already know about the failure and will be bound to dispatch another attack against us. We have to leave and prudently retreat to the direction of the Alliance. If we have a chance to complete the task, we’ll take it. But if we don’t, our priority should still be to head back to the Alliance. We need to find how to keep ourselves safe, before thinking about going in battle.