Law of the Devil Chapter 59: The Fate of the Adventurers
The campsite of the Snow Wolf Mercenary Group was above standard. You could see that they were used to living in the wild.
The low level terrain effectively played the role of ‘windproofing’ them. The stiff slopes at the sides played the role of protection. If there was any accident, they only had to protect the gap in the middle, and then the safety of the campsite was guaranteed.
Du Wei and Dadeneier followed Commander Beinlich and entered the campsite. The mercenaries that greeted them looked at them weirdly.
Du Wei estimated that there were almost hundred people in this campsite. They looked different from the private soldier of the noble or the local garrison of the Empire he saw before. They didn’t have a uniform of armor or weapons. Their outfits were very personalized. Some were wearing a leather coat, some were wearing a leather gown, some were even wearing leather armor.
But, since they had to hide in the snow, most of them chose white as the color.
Their weapons were even stranger. They had swords, machetes, axes, short spears…Du Wei even saw one using a mace.
These people seemed very defensive and unruly without exception. When Du Wei entered the site, there were some shining their weapons and looked at Du Wei and Dadeneier coldly.
There was someone yelling, “Hey, commander! Why did you bring a kid! Ha ha ha, is he the one you want to recruit as a newcomer? He seems like he still has his milk bottle!”
Everybody was laughing at these words.
Beinlich was angry and yelled, “Don’t bullshit! Do what you have to do! This is our VIP, behave well!”
It seemed the commander was very prestigious. After his words, everybody shut up although some of them had an objection.
“Sorry, Mr. Magician, these are rude men and don’t know about manners.” Beinlich invited Du Wei to his tent, but Du Wei rejected politely. Afterwards the commander had his men make some space for them to build a tent.
After a while, the commander had his men to bring two thick woolen blankets.
“These people seem to not like us.” Du Wei looked at the mercenary who brought the tent to them and looked back at Dadeneier with a smile.
“It’s normal.” Dadeneier said, “In this kind of team, a newcomer is always hard to be accepted by others. They are more willing to trust an old person who has experienced life and death together before; even in a normal army, it’s the same.”
At night, the mercenaries lit the fires in the campsite and they would sit around the fire and wait for their dinner.
Dadeneier invited Du Wei to join their dinner in person, and squeezed near the fire together.
The mercenaries treated them much better than before. It seemed the commander had announced Du Wei’s identity as a magician. But still some people looked at Du Wei with suspicion…because Du Wei seemed too young.
Not only the mercenaries, Dadeneier was also suspicious about Du Wei too.
Sitting next to the fire, taking off the hat that covered one-third of Du Wei’s face, he looked even younger…Dadeneier could not stop suspecting ‘Is this little kid really a magician?’
Perhaps…even if he was a magician, with his age…he was probably a beginner or Level-one magician?
Magicians were rare. But if he was just a beginner or a level one magician…it was pointless to recruit him.
The mercenaries were isolating all the other things and focused on doing their things. They used some pans and boiled the snow into water, then the two strong men brought something weird out of the tent. Those were the dead bodies of the animals…Du Wei looked at those carefully but still could not distinguish if it was a cow or a sheep. But Dadeneier could recognize it, he whispered, “ Oh my god! That’s snow camel beast, that’s the drilling cow…Oh, there is one Snow wolf beast! God, these are the things you eat tonight?”
Dadeneier laughed and said, “No, we! We, including the two of us! We, will eat these for dinner.”
“The corpse of a magic beast…” Dadeneier sighed.
“Yes, magic beast.” Dadeneier laughed, “In my point of view, these things are the same as a normal beast…at least the taste is similar. They just knew a bit magic before they died. After they die, they become our food.”
Du Wei didn’t say anything. He saw the two men using the sharp knife, easily dissecting the corpse into pieces, and then putting the pieces into a big pan to cook.
The leather of the magic beast had already disappeared, Du Wei saw the two strong men went back into the tent and got more magic beasts out, he could not stop to whistle and he looked at Dadeneier, “Mr. Commander, seems you had a great harvest.”
Beinlich replied plainly, “Living is not easy. We use our lives to fight. You are right, the harvest this time was great. We have been here for five days, and have gotten more than 20 magic beasts, but at the same time, I lost 7 to 8 men. Three died and three more were permanently disabled.” He sighed, “This meat from the magic beasts can be sold at a high price in the south, and their magic core…the magicians are all willing to buy them at a high price.”
Du Wei looked at those magic beast corpses again…
The mercenaries brought out a snow wolf. Du Wei recognized it. Last time when he was teased by the demon in the Half-Angle City, he saw that in the illusion.
But the one the mercenaries moved out were much smaller than the one in the illusion.
The water in the pan was boiling with the tasty meat smell, and many mercenaries could not help but stop to inhale the fragrance.
The commander asked someone to bring some wine from his tent. The mercenaries were very happy; they passed the few bottles around and everyone was able to have a sip. In this freezing weather, it was enjoyable to have some wine for warming the body.
Dadeneier didn’t forget to treat Du Wei. He got a silver bottle from his belongings and said, “This is my private collection, the best wine in the north…Mr. Magician, do you want to try a bit?”
Du Wei had a sip, and then he choked!
“Cough! What is this wine…” Du Wei coughed terribly, and his voice was getting hoarse. He felt like there was fire burning in his mouth!
Du Wei was quick to grab some snow and it into his mouth! He swallowed a mouthful of snow three times before his throat started getting better.
Bieinlich laughed and said, “Dear Magician, this…is a really good wine! I use the magic nucleus from the Flaming rhino to make this wine! When you drink it, you will feel the fire in your throat! It’s so awesome! Especially under this weather, just have a sip, you will feel burnt throughout the whole body! You will be very warm during the night!”
Du Wei squeezed his nose, “Thanks! But I cannot seem to stand it.”
Beinlich laughed and had a sip, then he seemed to feel painful but happy. Then he shook a bit and gasped, whilst at the same time, shouting, and “Awesome!”
Then he gave the bottle to Dadeneier, “Friend, have some!”
Dadeneier hesitated a bit and then drank some. But since his affordability was stronger than Du Wei, after he had a sip, he acted the same as Beinlich, shake a bit with enjoyment. He praised, “Good stuff! My body is getting warm now! Damn, it’s just like there is a fire in my stomach!”
Then, Du Wei tried the cooked magic beast meat, the meat of the Snow wolf was a little bit stiff, with a sour flavor. Du Wei was not used to eating these things. But in this freezing place, it was already a good thing to just have some warm meat.
Last night, when he was with the old magician, he only ate some dried food.
‘Hmm…don’t know if that old man is watching me nearby…I am eating and drinking while that old man was in the windy place, it’s quite nice.’
After Du Wei ate something, he was much more spiritual now. He then tried to drink some Beinlich’s special wine. Since this time, he got prepared, he felt more comfortable for drinking that. Also, this wine was actually quite good. After drinking this, it seemed like there was a fire running over his body inside. The cold had been expelled completely!
“Mr. Magician, you came to this forest probably because of finding some magic beast?” Dadeneier said, “Most of the magicians come to this place because of this reason. If so, maybe we can help each other. Perhaps I’ve got the magic beast you want.”
The two looked at each other before giving a reply: “Mr. Commander, have you heard of the Golden Eye Python?” Dadaneier questioned.
Beinlich was shocked and said, “Golden Eye Python? That’s a strong creature. I’ve seen some Mages catch one before when I was young, but personally, we’ve never caught one… And….”
He hesitated before continuing, “This is only the outer layer of the Frozen Forest. For such a high level magic beast like the Golden Eye Python, you have to go further in, to the inner part. The strong magic beasts are only active in the inner part, you cannot find this thing in the outer part. But if you go further to the inner part, it will be more dangerous.”
“Inner part?” Du Wei laughed, “Please forgive my liberty. This is my first time to come to the Frozen Forest, you see, I am a young magician and I am not familiar with this place. You said the inner part…We have been here for two days already… But we’re still within the outer layer?”
“Of course.” Beinlich shook his head, “Frozen Forest is such a vast place… We can even say that no one really knows how big the Frozen Forest really is. I heard that twenty years ago, there was a great magician bringing some knights from the temple along, who stayed in this forest for a month, and still could not arrive the other side of the forest. No one knows what the other side of the forest looks like. Perhaps, it may be the end of the world. Also, we only have that record. That time, a great magician of the Magician Party and a few Senior Holy Knights from the temple entered into the forest together. But people said that…only the magician could stay alive. In the inner part of the Frozen Forest, people said that there were many high-level magic beasts; even the great magician couldn’t handle the multiple attacks from the high-level magic beasts. The mercenaries, like us, the Snow Wolf Mercenary Group, are mainly active in the outer part. Our longest travel was only nine days…and that happened a few years ago.”
Du Wei was a bit shocked…
A magician and few holy knights traveled for a month but still could not reach the end?
This forest was so big?
Dadeneier felt troubled…if this was the truth, how could they find the Golden Eye Python?
“Let me give you some advice.” Beinich looked serious, “We, the Snow Wolf Mercenary Group have been hunting the magic beasts for many years already. I also met some magicians who were going to find that magic beast. But they don’t dare to go further than “Big Circle Lake”. That was the furthest they went, no one dared to go further. The two of you…I know you are a magician and I respect the talent of magician. But I really advise you, if not necessary, please give up your plan…”
Dadeneier felt bad, he thought a bit and suddenly said, “Mr. Commander. Thanks for your kindness. But I really need to find the Golden Eye Python. Hmm…also…”He suddenly had a weird expression, “I know your group is doing the beast hunt business, if possible, I would like to hire you to help me to find…”
“Sorry, we can’t.” Beinlich rejected immediately, “Although we are doing this kind of business, we understand that the higher the risk is, the more the profit we can have. But if we know that we will die by doing so, then that is not risk, but lunacy. Our Snow Wolf Mercenary Group is not strong enough to enter to the inner part of the forest. So no matter how high you pay, I am afraid we cannot do that.”
Dadeneier sighed. He knew that Beinlich was telling the truth, so he kept his silence and sipped some wine.
Beinich came back to Du Wei and thought for a while and said, “Mr. Magician, I am very curious about you. I’m under the impression there are only a few people capable of acquiring such a status as yourself at such a young age. Over the spans of 40 years in my life, I’ve met countless Mages, but none can match your level of genius.”
Du Wei forcefully laughed a bit…
Genius that you never met?
Du Wei was like a level-three magician now. Compared to the normal people, he could be regarded as genius…but if compared with the two girls he met, there was nothing for him to be proud of.
To get the level-eight magician qualification at 15 or 16! That was real genius! Du Wei even met two at once.
Du Wei and Dadeneier both kept their silence as Beinlich pulled out a parchment scroll.
“Dear Magician, I may have a deal for you, but I need to know if you are interested.”
Du Wei blinked, “What deal?”
“As I know, Magicians are very rich, so if I give you any jewelry, you won’t care about that…so…” Beinlich smiled, my men and I would head to the north for 4 to 5 days and we will go to the Big Circle Lake, then head back. I am thinking, if you and your company also need to head to the North, in the following days, you can join us. My men and I can be your guide, bring you two to the Big Circle Lake. In this forest, it’s easy to get lost without a guide. What do you think?”
Beinlich then spread out the paper roll, “This is the map of the Frozen Forest! You cannot find this map in any market! Even if you want to pay much money to buy it, you still cannot buy it! It is because this is made by me based on my 20-years’ experience with more than 40 times to come to this place. I can guarantee you cannot find another map as detailed as this one within the whole empire.
Du Wei was quite interested in it!
He took the map and expanded it…
On the map…there were many symbols. In the southern part was the entrance to the forest. On the map, there were the marks of the few towns near the south of the Frozen Forest, as well as the checkpoints set by the Northern Storm Troop Patrol team.
Du Wei glanced a bit, and he found the route that he and the old magician came from.
On the map, you could not determine the area of the whole forest, but after the explanation of Dadeneier, Du Wei had some concept about it.
“Here, this place is our current location.” Beinlich pointed at the map with his finger.
On the map, this location was close to the entrance of the southern boundary. Du Wei was a bit frustrated…he had struggled through what felt like hell in these two days, but it was just a little dot on the map.
Beinlich laughed and then pointed at another place on the map, “Here, this is the place we are going to, the Big Circle Lake.”
On the map, it just used a circle symbol to represent to lake.
Beinlich briefly introduced the lake, which was that it was in the forest, making it a forest lake. But the area was quite big.
“The width of the lake is about 5-6 miles…at least. I have been there several times, but I didn’t measure it. In fact, I didn’t even reach the opposite side of the lake. Big Circle lake, is probably the boundary for the adventurers in this Frozen Forest.”
“Why is this?” Du Wei was curious about anything related to this Frozen Forest.
“The boundary of strength.” Beinlich laughed, “Basically, in the south of the lake, it is not too dangerous. People like us can move around here. But…in the northern part of the lake; not many people dare to go there. Of the people who are brave enough to pass this lake, according to what I know, all are among the most famous and strongest on the continent…At least I, Beinlich, is not this type of person. I’ve brought my men here many times, but we never go further to the north.”
After a while, he had a creepy smile, “By the way, in the summertime, I won’t bring my men to the Big Circle Lake. As you know, any place with water can attract many dangerous beasts…same for the magic beasts. Magic beasts also need to drink water and bath. In the summer time, although it is still very cold, it’s not as cold as now. Now is the beginning of the spring, and the water in the lake has not yet melted. The lake surface is still icy. Magic beasts won’t go to the lakeside. But it’s a different situation in the summer time. In the summer, that’s a gathering place for the magic beasts! What the hell…I heard that there were some mercenary groups with hundreds and hundreds of people daring enough to go there, but they were all killed by the beasts that were there! Because of the current season, I’m still willing to go there. If it is in summer, then I would never go anywhere near that lake.”
Beinlich finished his words and then looked at Du Wei, “How is it, Mr. Magician? My deal is very simple: My men and I will bring you to the lake and I will give you this map…although I didn’t go to the northern part before, but I did my research in these years. This is all the information from the strong people who have gone to the north before. I spent lots of money to gather this information! The icons on the map are enough to describe the landscape for 2-3 days after you pass the Big Circle Lake.”
Du Wei looked at Beinlich and asked, “Dear Mr. Commander…I am curious. As long as you don’t plan to go to the north, why do you gather information about the north?
Beinlich seemed a bit regret but he looked sincere and said seriously, “Mr. Magician, please remember, I am an adventurer!
When he said that, his expression was really sincere.
“I am an adventurer! Although…I am doing this mercenary thing, I get the benefit from adventuring in the Frozen Forest! I am not a greedy merchant! Inside my body is the blood of an adventurer!” Beinlich spoke quietly, “I have been in this place for half of my life. When I was young, I always wanted to go to the northern part of the lake in the Frozen Forest because of those rumors. I was always thinking that despite how it looks…but I know that my strength is not as strong as those at the peak. Also…now I have many people following me and I am responsible for taking care of them! But I have my dream too! My dream is…in the future, when I am getting old and at my retirement without any responsibility, I will pass through this lake and go to the North and have a look! My whole life is here! In the future, if I cannot see how the northern part looks like before I die, I will be so regretful! I collected this information for preparing my future! I believe that after I finish my preparation, I will go there alone. I even believe that I will die in the north of the lake! Even if I die, at least I can have a look at the legendary north shore…To die in that place; it is like a completion of my adventurer fate!”
At that moment, Beinlich suddenly said something that earned a lot of respect from Du Wei:
“As an adventurer, to die in bed, it’s a huge shame! As a real adventurer, the place of our death should be at the point of the highest excitement!”
Du Wei took a deep breath, he respected him immensely, and said, “Dear Commander, you agreed to be our guide and give us the map…so what do you want me to do for you?”
“Simple.” Beinlich laughed, “I only want two things. The first one is during our journey, if we have any trouble, like being attacked by someone else or the magic beasts, you, Mr. Magician, please stand on our side and at the right moment, we may need your help.”
“No problem.” Du Wei replied immediately, “As long as we are on the way together, we are allies, that’s reasonable.”
“Thanks. My second thing is…if you finish the adventure and still can go back…touchwood. But I would have you heed my final warning, the north is very dangerous!” saying this, the commander knew that Du Wei would not take his advice, so he sighed, “So…if you can go back, I think, you will be the strongest magician I have ever met…yet you are so young! Talented is the only word I can think about. I believe in the future, you will be a well-known strong person in the continent. If there is a day, I hope that you can remember our name Snow Wolf Mercenary Group…I hope that you can remember we did help you when you were in the Frozen Forest. For this favor, at the right moment, and if you are comfortable with it, please help us and that’s enough.”
This was a smart commander!
Du Wei began to respect this commander very much!
If only referring to the speech of “The fate of adventurer”, he looked like a ideologist…But after knowing the trading condition, it’s obvious that this commander had a long term vision!
In this event, they actually didn’t have any cost…they originally planned to go to the Big Circle Lake, as with a team of hundred people, just two members more, didn’t cost much. Now, they had a magician company.
Apart from that, for the map…since the commander made it, although he gave it to Du Wei, he could easily draw another one. He didn’t have anything lost.
But, he could get a favor from the magician!
On the Roland Continent, Magicians were more precious than gold, more so when it comes to a strong magician! This commander was very smart. Du Wei was so young to be a magician, he might have a bright future…as long as he could stay alive. That meant the Snow Wolf Mercenary Group should establish a friendship with this great magician at any cost!
Someday in the future, they could get the help of a great magician!…An ideologist but with a realistic greed.
This was the comment from Du Wei about Commander Beinlich.
They didn’t talk at the night then.
In the second morning, when Du Wei got out of the tent, Snow Wolf Mercenary Group was ready to go. The warriors weren’t scared of the cold; they used the snow to wash themselves, and some were using their dagger to shave their beard. These guys were used to having an adventure. They were very strong and muscular; they even yelled and called their companions to get ready.
Dadeneier was a little bit down.
Last night, after the Commander introduced the situation about the Frozen forest, Dadeneier understood well that the possibility of catching the golden eye python was very low, almost zero. Even with the Magician Harry Potter, it was still not enough.
Du Wei comforted this loyal warrior from the Lister Family and then followed the Snow Wolf Mercenary Group to continue the journey.
There were many people in the Snow Wolf Mercenary Group; and they were divided into two teams and searched around. In the afternoon, Du Wei learned how they caught the magic beast.
The searching team found a cave of the magic beast. A towering tree had been removed, and there was a giant white bear hibernating inside.
This was a “Roaring snow bear”, which was much larger than the normal bear. It looked like a polar bear in Du Wei’s previous life, but this roaring snow bear could use magic to attack others. Its roar could make a mini tornado.
The Snow Wolf Mercenary Group seemed to have an idea of how to handle this magic beast. Ten of them tied together a rope, then threw a burning pine branch into the bear cave in order to force the bear to come out. Then they used bow and arrow to attack it.
The roar of the giant bear made a mini tornado, and blew two guys into the sky! Luckily they were tied with their companions, and though it was a great pain to fall down, since the snow was thick, they didn’t get serious injury.
The mercenaries used a giant web to catch the bear, and divided into four directions. Each had more than 10 guys pulling.
Finally, the commander carried a giant axe and moved near the bear, around 15 steps distance, then threw the axes towards the bear quickly!
The bear head was cut into two after the attack!
Du Wei was shocked.
The martial art of the commander was really impressive! With the title of one of the three heroes among the north mercenaries, his skill was just as was said!
Du Wei was comparing him with the greatest martial artists he had ever met, including Knight Robert; Dadeneier was much stronger.
If there was anyone who was comparable, that would be Rolynn.
Among the cheer of the mercenaries, they collected the corpse of the giant bear. A leader skillfully cut the bear’s tummy by his dagger. They first got the bear bile, then cut the magic nuclei from its head and stored it.
The remaining, three soldiers cut the bear leather off. The meat was cut into several pieces and carried by several people, and afterwards they continued their journey.
That day, Du Wei saw this kind of scene several times. The Snow Wolf Mercenary Group hunted two Snow Magic Wolves again. But it was so sorry that when they were catching the second magic wolf, one of the mercenaries killed horribly…he was scratched by the claws of the wolves and even his intestines spilled out!
“This is the life style of an adventurer. Adventure every day, sometimes, someone may sacrifice their life.” Dadeneier whispered, “I was living like that before, but I chose to leave.”
Those mercenaries expressed their mourning about the dead company, then buried the corpse and continued their journey…
At dinner, when they were eating the magic wolf meat and drinking wine, Du Wei thought of some details.
There were some mercenaries sitting around the fire who never touched the wine bag.
“Those are the people who are responsible for the safety tonight.” Commander noticed the suspicion of Du Wei, and said, “The night watchmen should stay awake with 100% alertness at night! Because if there is any error, the whole team will die! So, the night watchmen should not drink any wine! But as a reward, for those night watchmen, after they shifted duty the other night, they were allowed to get a double shot of wine as a reward. Also, they get double the spoils.”
Commander also said slightly, “Of course, in case they are still alive when they return.”
After hearing this, Du Wei began to look at those night watchmen with a bit more respect.
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