Chapter 8 : Survival in the Wilderness
This chapter is brought to you by AnmesicCat, Masadeer, and StellarAshes.
After having just half a day of class, Liola called in sick for a week. Everyday he laid on a bed with nothing to do, so he meditated. However, even after a week of meditation, he still couldn’t grasp what the magic element was.
Because Kaiser and Purity had both gone to class, he had no one to ask. Nevertheless, Purity could never give a clear answer, and Kaiser, who could give a clear answer, was having a cold war with Liola!
Yes, cold war. Kaiser had said no more than three sentences to him this week, and all three were said when Kaiser and Purity had rushed to the healing room, realizing that he was still alive.
First: Bastard, you think it’s cool to take an attack with your body?
Second: You don’t even value your life, don’t you know that your mom had to be pregnant for ten months to have you, you bastard.
Third: I despise anyone as suicidal as you!
Though Liola questioned whether the guy who wanted to catch a rank-X criminal had any right to say that to him, but he understood Kaiser was being cold to him because of his suicidal actions. Although Liola knew the reason, he did not know how to reconcile with Kaiser.
He had already said sorry, but Kaiser only looked at him coldly. Liola felt that it wasn’t considered as reconciliation.
Just as Liola was getting frustrated, Purity pushed the door open and came in, and put down lunch. Seeing Liola’s knitted brows, Purity asked with concern:
“Liola-dage, what’s wrong? Are your wounds still hurting?”
“No…” Liola sighed, “I’m thinking about how to reconcile with Kaiser.”
Purity replied with “Oh”, then exclaimed: “I think, Kaiser isn’t really mad. As long as you promise him that you won’t be suicidal again, Kaiser should forgive you.”
“Really?” Liola asked skeptically.
Purity didn’t even have the time to respond before Kaiser slammed the door open. Judging from his facial expression, he had been eavesdropping outside. Kaiser didn’t say anything, and simply pulled up a chair next to Liola’s bed, and stared at him.
Liola said awkwardly: “Sorry, I won’t be suicidal from now on.”
Kaiser’s stern face seemed to finally ease up, and murmured: “Good to know you won’t be making any destructive moves again. If I see you trying to kill yourself again, I will kill you myself, you bastard.”
‘If the suicide attempt was successful, how are you going to kill a dead man? Beat on the dead corpse?’ Purity and Liola both thought.
“Ay, Liola, are your wounds healed yet?” Kaiser frowned:
“Barbalis, that old geezer went as far as saying that tomorrow we are going to be starting the wilderness survival! Damn, this isn’t a military camp! Why the hell do we need wilderness survival training in the School of Sorcery? He said we only get a water bottle and a small knife, and we have to survive in the wilderness for an entire month. What’s even more ridiculous was Barbalis said.
‘Everyone who doesn’t survive for a month will be expelled’!
How sad, if you die you still get expelled. I’ve never heard of anything as ridiculous as that.”
“This isn’t that bad, actually.” Purity said with fear: “Before we even had a noble etiquette class. Everyone had to go to class with a book on their head for a month. Those who failed to do so, or if the book fell off, got expelled. And then we had a cooking classes, those who couldn’t cook a full course meal were all expelled as well…”
“Barbalis seems to have some kind of fetish for expulsion.” Kaiser muttered in dissatisfaction.
“Meinan has already agreed to be in our group. If Liola-dage could come with us, we should be able to take care of one another and stay safe.” Though she said that, Purity was still looking at Liola’s bandages with concern.
Having been alone in the dorm for a week, Liola said without hesitation: “It’s okay, my injuries are irrelevant.”
“Good, then us four can be a group.” Kaiser showed a relieved expression: “That old geezer Barbalis also forcefully took Baolilong away. When he forbid us from taking Baolilong, it was rather pitiful. With the presence of a Dragon, no beast in the world would ever approach us. But now that we have Liola, even if the sky falls, he will carry it.”
* * *
A couple days later, the students from the School of Sorcery took off in a large flying Maxun. As they flew, many students were pushed off the flying Maxun. Of course, they had parachutes. Until finally, there were only the four people including Liola.
Barbalis smiled, and said to the four people: “By the way, I forgot to tell you, the place chosen for your wilderness survival, is determined by the strongest person in your group.”
Before the four of them had time to think about what kind of place would be fitting for someone as strong as Liola, they were all pushed off the flying Maxun. What’s even worse was that, when they opened their parachutes and looked at the place where they will be spending their next month, they realized the place was mostly barren with rocks, and there were plenty of strange monsters, some of which even opened their mouth wide as if they were waiting for the four of them to fall into their mouths.
“Hmm, I saw a bunch of beasts running on the ground, and they look like a transformed Baolilong.” Purity cried but without tears.
“They are Earth Dragons.” Kaiser said after his observation.
“Kaiser, what are those ten-meter long snakes with bodies covered in rotten marks?” Liola asked casually.
Meinan asked shakingly: “T-then what’s that flying thing, with thin wings shaped like a bat’s, and with a long face?”
“Is this a Dragon’s nest?” Liola asked with confusion. Why did every creature have “Dragon” in its name?
“This is the Yaron Plains. Danger level rank A.”
There were Dragons in every direction. Judging from Baolilong, Dragons were definitely carnivores.
Liola decided quickly: “I’m going down first. When I land, cut your parachutes, and I will catch you. I’m afraid that we won’t have time to slowly untie our parachutes.”
Then Liola immediately cut the parachute’s strings with Broken Silver. Liola fell from twenty-some odd meters, and luckily, with Blood Fluttering Ki and Windborne Blade, he landed safely on the ground, and shooed off a few Earth Dragons that were closing in on him.
Kaiser also cut off his parachute’s strings, and with Liola’s help, landed successfully. Purity and Meinan also did the same.
Within moments, the four of them had been surrounded by the sub-Dragon species. Facing these Dragons who killed and preyed upon others purely out of instinct, Liola no longer had any doubts as to whether he could kill or not.
He twisted Broken Silver, and unsheathed the dagger within. Kaiser took out two barrels, while the gentleman, Meinan, took a step back, created a defense shield for himself and Purity, and stayed in it for safety measures.
The massacre had started. The originally intended prey; the humans, were the ones covered in the blood of sub-Dragons, instead. Liola’s graceful shadow flew candidly in the midst of all the Dragons, as if he was a gust of wind, but this gust was fatal and sliced through their flesh.
Every time Liola passed by a Dragon, there was a Dragon collapsing to the ground. There was not a single wound to be found with the naked eye. For some of the Dragons, he avoided their ribs and stabbed their hearts directly, while others had a thumb-wide wound on the back of their head.
Kaiser’s victims, however, had obvious wounds. They were all shot in the head, with brain matter and oozing blood everywhere.
When the sub-Dragons’ corpses began to pile up, the Dragons finally got scared and left. They no longer treated the four humans as prey to fill their stomachs.
The four sighed in relief, since they didn’t have to struggle in some Dragon’s esophagus or stomach. However, with the two troublemakers here, surviving in the wilderness would never end so effortlessly.
They felt the ground shaking slightly, and the sub-Dragons in the surrounding area were quickly scattered away.
Liola’s group of four began to consider whether they should start running away with the sub-Dragons. At this time, it was proven that sometimes people thought too much, and it was worse than the sub-Dragons, who relied on their primitive instincts.
Purity’s iris contracted due to fear, and Meinan increased the strength of his magical shield by three fold. Kaiser desperately knocked on the shield, as if he wanted to hide inside, while Liola was a bit upset. His wounds were just starting to heal, and now he had to fight huge monsters.
“THAT’S A HUGE DRAGON!” Purity finally found her voice again, and screamed at the top of her lungs. Her loud scream attracted the Dragon’s attention.
‘Purity, good job, you are now the 3rd troublemaker.’ The other three thought.
Standing about 15 meters high, and 20 meters wide, a huge Dragon dragged its enormous feet and ran toward Liola’s group.
After some observation, Liola decided that Broken Silver’s length probably couldn’t even penetrate the skin of this Dragon. Thus, the four of them decided to run for their lives.
Luckily, there was a strange rocky hill nearby, which had tons of cracks in between. Finding a crack to hide in was what all they could think about. When they finally found a deep crack, Liola ducked while holding Purity, while Kaiser and Meinan went in last to cover their rear.
Things could have ended there, but when the huge Dragon rammed into the rocky hill, the entrance slowly crumbled, and the Dragon was getting closer and closer. So they desperately tried to go further in.
Purity then yelled: “Liola-dage, there’s a hole here.”
Liola looked at the hole on the ground, and went in first. Even if the exit was covered by rocks, he was able to break the rocks to get out. With Liola’s abilities, even if he was carrying Purity, he could jump about 20 meters without getting hurt. But this hole was more than 30 meters deep. However, when Liola realized this fact, he had already reached the ground, and the angle of his body was slightly twisted.
He hurriedly put Purity down on the ground. He determined the direction of the wind, and accurately helped Kaiser land. Then he teleported back to Meinan, and helped him land as well. The four hurried to leave, and dodged the falling rocks from above. The surroundings became quiet, and the four were finally able to relax.
Liola took off one of his long boot, and frowned while looking at his ankle.
“What’s wrong?” Kaiser noticed what Liola was doing and asked immediately.
“Broken ankle bone. This hole was too deep.” Liola calmly stated, as if it wasn’t he who broke a bone.
The moment Purity heard the situation, she immediately ran to a nearby stream to wet her handkerchief and placed it on Liola’s ankle, then asked worriedly: “Can you still walk?”
“Yes.” Liola stated as a matter of fact. Even if his leg bone was cracked, he could still walk. It was just a matter of pain.
“There’s water here!” Meinan excitedly exclaimed: “Good, the most important thing to survival is water. Now our biggest problem is solved.”
“I hope you’re not suggesting we spend the month in this dark hole in the ground?” Kaiser said with disapproval: “What about food?”
Meinan explained immediately: “We could follow the stream. If the water could leave the area, there will probably be an exit. If the area surrounding the exit has a nice environment, we could live there.”
Kaiser looked at Liola, and agreed: “Okay. Since Liola is hurt, then we really shouldn’t go back and fight with the sub-Dragons. Let’s go follow the stream.”
After resting for a while, the four decided to continue looking for a place to live for the next month. Meinan murmured: “Luminescence magic.”
A gentle ball of light appeared in Meinan’s hand and lit up their surroundings.
The four were stunned, not only was the hole huge, it had a lot of tilted structures with very strange architectural style. There were also a lot of pillars, which had patterns carved into them.
The passageways were also quite wide, and were paved with colorful stones. In the center of the hole, about a few kilometers away, the ground was more than 10 meters higher than where they currently stood, and on it, was a huge palace of sorts.
“W-what is this place?” Purity blinked her eyes in disbelief.
“Looks like we’ve found a historical ruin.” Kaiser concluded, but he couldn’t remember what era the style was from.
The four walked curiously on the stone-paved road and occasionally looked around and touched random things they could find. Purity played with strange little toys she found, while Meinan gazed at the beautiful carvings on the stone pillars.
Kaiser focused his attention to see if he could find any gold, silver, or anything else that could reflect light, and Liola started using Heart of Consciousness to scout his surroundings for any living things or traps.
There was a huge palace but it was too far, and was out of range of Liola’s senses.
“Let’s go and see that palace?” Meinan suggested irresistibly. Just looking at the carvings was a feast for his eyes. The magnificent palace made Meinan, who had a passion for art, very antsy.
The carvings were quite strange. Purity noticed a carving on a random sheet of rock, it looked as if some amateur had carved it.
There were many people surrounding one, who had his mouth wide open, as if in huge pain. The surrounding people were reaching their hand out and touching him in various parts of his body, and… She didn’t know if it was poorly carved, or if it had been too long, and the images were blurred.
Many of the people seemed to have missing arms and/or legs. Some were even missing half their bodies.
“Purity, let’s go.” Kaiser beckoned Purity.
“Oh.” Purity put down the sheet rock, and caught up with Liola and the group: “Are we going to that place?”
“Yes, there might be some beautiful (valuable) art.” Two people answered in unison, but their responses differed in only one word.
A few kilometers passed in the blink of an eye, but what was tiring was that, the palace was surrounded by what looked like stairs. Liola and the group lost count after a few hundred steps, and they finally arrived at the gate to the huge palace. Three of them were panting while holding onto their legs.
Liola was, instead, examining the gate. Why was this gate so huge? It was about 10 meters wide, 20 meters tall.
“This gate is huge!” Kaiser exclaimed.
But Meinan shook his head: “This gate isn’t that big. Many ancient ruins have more glamorous doors than this. This gate is completely blank, without even any adornments, and it really doesn’t meet the standards of my splendid aesthetics.”
“Are we going in?” Liola asked.
“We’re already here, so of course we’re going in. There are probably a ton of valuable relics.” Kaiser’s eyes shone with a greedy light again.
“Hopefully the art pieces inside won’t disappoint me.” What he said meant that Meinan had also decided to go in.
“I’m fine either way.” Purity didn’t have an opinion.
Liola looked at the huge gate. The gate wasn’t plain like Meinan had said.
The edges had a strange pattern, and Liola could feel that there were energies oozing out of the patterns, which made him frown. But Liola was confident in his abilities, and even if he twisted his ankle, he still believed that he could handle most enemies.
Liola said: “Then let’s go in.”
Kaiser saw that everyone had agreed to go in, lifted his gun, and set the energy to the highest, and opened fire. He created a large hole on the huge gate, and the deep hole emitted some cold air. The palace that had been neglected for ages, was now waiting for its guests.
But, all of them seemed to have forgotten something. The two troublemakers, along with the third place girl, their combined troublemaking abilities were off the chart…
1. DuanChang Cliff carries the same name as a famous place in a novel, Legend of the Condor Heroes, at the bottom of said cliff, two lovers had agreed to meet again after 16 years. It’s often used to describe a cliff that has heartbreaking scenery. As for why she wanted him to go there and what this cliff actually means, remains to be seen later in the book.
2. This is a play on sounds. His name, Meinan, are comprised of two characters, and other than the stress marks, it sounds identical to what Kaiser is about to think, which means Beautiful Guy