At night, cold winds blew and snow flew in the air, making people unable to open their eyes.
To go from Amparkland to Lagark, one must pass Extinction Forest.
A carriage was stopped in a small clearing. Seven to eight men in uniforms stood with their backs to the carriage, surrounding the carriage in the middle, watching their surroundings alertly. All of them had swords in their hands, ready to pounce. The carriage was protected in the center.
In the carriage, a middle-aged man hugged two young girls tightly. Both girls were beautiful. One looked to be about seventeen to eighteen, while the other fifteen or sixteen. Both were trembling, fear obvious on their faces.
“Father, can we get home safely?!!” The younger girl asked, trembling.
“What are you afraid of, there are guards outside.” Although the voice of the older girl was also shaking, she tried her best to be brave and rebuked her sister.
“Nothing will happen to us.” The middle-aged man hugged the two girls, but his heart only sank lower and lower. He wasn’t sure at all, if they can make it out safely when a fourth grade lightning leopard was prepared to attack. Lightning leopards couldn’t release lightning-natured magic, but they had lightning speed. These beasts gave people a headache, because people couldn’t even see their figure and movements clearly, not to mention blocking their attacks! And lightning leopards were cold-blooded and ruthless; once they spot a prey, even if they are full, they would still kill every single one!
“Aah—-!” A piercing scream sounded outside the carriage. One of the guards was attacked by the lightning leopard! One arm swiped by a paw fiercely. That arm was basically disabled.
“Father!” Inside the carriage, the younger girl curled into the arms of the middle-aged man, her face full of fear, shaking even more. The other slightly older girl was also deathly pale; she didn’t have the courage to say what she just said again. The middle-aged man was also pale, only pulling the two girls closer.
Even though the rest of the guards outside the carriage saw one of their companions fall to the ground, they did not become a jumbled mess. Instead, they circled the carriage even more tightly. They could not let anything happen to the people inside the carriage!
Inside the carriage, the middle-aged man was full of regret. He shouldn’t have left like this, only bringing eight guards and traveling lightly. His death didn’t matter; but he could not let anything happen to these two children in his arms.
“Father, I’m scared.” The younger girl trembled, lifting her head, her eyes wide with fear.
“Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid.” The middle-aged man could only pat the girl’s back and comfort softly. He regretted even more: why did he refuse to let his daughters learn magic and DouQi? Now there was no change of living. Did the gods really want him to die here?
Another scream sounded outside the carriage.
The two girls curled up into a heap, the younger one already sobbing, “Father, if only Brother was here.”
The middle-aged man remained silent. His son was a genius, so he was now in the Recluse Sect, and hadn’t been home for a long time.
Another scream sounded outside the carriage, along with the painful moaning of those injured.
The middle-aged man closed his eyes, sighing in his heart; was he really going to die here today?
Just then, there was a commotion outside the carriage. The whimpering of beasts, then the exclamations of the guards.
“Sir, we’re safe.” The drape at the carriage door was opened gently, and a young face appeared, full of relief and surprise.
“What happened?” The middle-aged man asked in shock. They were on the brink of death a moment ago, but now they were safe?
“A youth forced the lightning leopard into submission!” The guard answered excitedly, “We didn’t even see what the youth did before the lightning leopard was crouching at his feet and whimpering.”
The middle-aged man got off the carriage hurriedly, and saw a scene that made him dumbfounded.
A youth, dressed in black and wearing a hat, was standing beside that massive lightning leopard, reaching out and stroking its head. The lightning leopard stood there obediently, letting the youth stroke him. And what made the middle-aged man even more shocked was that the lightning leopard’s legs seemed to be trembling slightly! This youth could make that bloodthirsty lightning leopard so obedient, and the lightning leopard seemed very afraid of this youth. This youth, was very strong.
“This little brother, you saved our lives, thank you.” The middle-aged man saluted the youth politely.
“I was just passing by, and needed a mount.” The youth waved his hand lightly, telling him not to worry about it. He flipped onto the back of the lightning leopard and was about to leave.
“Wait, benefactor. It’s already dark, and there are no inns going forward. Why not stay and camp with us? The more people the safer,” the middle-aged man said, glancing at the youth. The youth didn’t bring any extra items with him; in such a cold and icy place, how was he going to camp?
The youth didn’t answer, but didn’t leave immediately either. The hat blocked most of the youth’s face, so no one could see his expression, or guess what he was thinking.
“Benefactor, I haven’t thanked you properly, and I don’t know your name yet. There will be another blizzard tonight, so please stay and camp together. We have extra tents.” The middle-aged man continued to persuade. Such a strong youth, if he could travel with them, there would be no more dangers for the rest of the trip! Although he was traveling light so as to not catch others’ attention, he couldn’t be sure that there won’t be any accidents. If he could get this strong and strange youth to accompany them, then that would be the best. If he could stay now, it will be much easier to persuade him later on. He must tell that madame the information he acquired by accident!
“Okay.” The youth replied coldly, jumping off the lightning leopard. The lightning leopard still stood there obediently, not daring to move.
“May I ask benefactor’s name?” The middle-aged man smiled politely.
“Clay.” Claire replied randomly. In fact, she was thinking that having someone put up the tent and preparing dinner was not a bad thing. That was the trouble with being alone; preparing these was always a hassle.
“I’m Brunn. These are my guards, and in the carriage are my eldest daughter, Jessica, and younger daughter, Mehra,” the middle-aged man self-introduced, “We were going to visit relatives, but ran into a magic beast here.”
“Oh.” Claire replied indifferently, with no extra words.
Brunn didn’t mind. His many years of experience told him that powerful people were all like this. But judging from his voice and build, this youth was young. So young, yet so strong already, was really rare. Such talent might even surpass his genius son.
Some guards started treating their wounds, while others began putting up the tents. Since a while ago, the two girls in the carriage were crouching near the window and looking over, and now walked out to thank Claire. Claire only nodded; she didn’t want to tangle with these people too much. Tomorrow morning, as soon as the sun comes up, she would leave on her new mount. This person, was definitely not a regular merchant or citizen; there was an aura of nobility about him. She did not want to get tangled up with such people.
The two girls kept looking at Claire, wanting to see her face, but unable to because Claire had her hat brim down very low. There was a coldness about her and she never said one more word, looking distant and aloof, so the two girls were shy to go close.
A fire started, chasing away the cold.
Brunn passed the roasted meat and sweet wine to Claire. Claire accepted them with only a quiet thanks.
“Benefactor, where are you going?” Brunn sat down beside Claire and asked carefully.
“The capital of Lagark.” Claire answered simply while eating.
“We’re also going there. If possible, benefactor can travel with us.” Delighted, Brunn asked hurriedly.
Claire frowned, about to refuse, when Brunn added, “Benefactor, camping along the way is difficult, and to reach the capital as fast as possible, I know a shortcut.”
Claire nodded, “Okay then.”
Brunn relaxed. He finally invited this powerful youth to accompany them. And what Brunn said also pleased Claire. Claire had tents and stuff, but she didn’t want to do it herself. There was everything in her storage ring.
After dinner, the tents were already set up. Without any extra words, Claire dove in to sleep.
“Father, this person is so impolite, not even saying goodnight.” The elder daughter Jessica frowned in annoyance.
“Powerful people are all like that,” Brunn patted his eldest daughter’s head, smiling. “Is elder brother also weird then?” The younger daughter, Mehra, frowned and asked.
Brunn had nothing to say, again thinking about his strange son. Calculating the days, there were still a few months before he could return. Once one enters the recluse sect, they cannot get involved in worldly affairs again, but that did not mean they must cut off all ties with family. Disciples in the Recluse Sect had vacations each year to visit their families.
The lightning leopard lay behind Claire’s tent obediently, not daring to go anywhere else.
Claire followed these people through a valley, and sure enough, it was much faster than the large roads she knew about. It cut her travel time by half.
After a few days, they finally reached their destination. In front of them, was the capital of Lagrak.
“Thank you for your hospitality on the way, goodbye.” Claire said to Brunn indifferently, and before waiting for the other’s response, got off the lightning leopard, patted its head, then pointed behind her, telling the leopard it could leave now. The lightning leopard howled in excitement, then vanished speedily in everyone’s view. This shocked the guards once again.
Claire strided forward, not paying attention to the people behind her again.
“Father, this fellow is so rude!” Jessica frowned in anger.
“Okay, it’s already good enough that we returned home safely!” Brunn patted his daughter’s head and comforted.
“That’s right. To think of it, he was the one who saved us.” In contrast, Mehra was very interested in Claire.
“Okay okay, let’s go home. I still have very important business to go about.” Brunn patted his daughters’ heads, extremely hurried, wanting to go the Feng castle as soon as possible and see madame Ann Lisa, to tell her the information he acquired accidentally.
Brunn didn’t even return home first, but went to the Feng castle directly.
While his two daughters returned home.
When they got to the door of their house, they saw a figure that surprised them.
The two girls exclaimed happily and rushed up.
“Jessica, Mehra.” The young man smiled faintly.
“Elder Brother, how come you’re home today? Isn’t there still a few months until your vacation?” Jessica asked delightedly.
Mehra also stood there with her eyes wide open, waiting for his answer.
“This time I came out because the Recluse Sect wants some things done,” the young man smiled, “So I decided to come home and visit you guys.” Of course, the young man would not tell his family what he was sent to do: to find the murderer who killed elder Huo Xiyu! There were already some clues. Someone had seen elder Huo Xiyu appear in Vintage City, and saw him leave the city at night. So he only needed to go to that place, use the Spirit Mirror to find a trace of elder Huo Xiyu’s spirit essence, and then he would be able to reenact the scene and find out who killed elder Huo Xiyu!
He must avenge the elder!