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Volume 4 Chapter 4: The Mystery of the Bandits
Translated By: Demenious, GX
Edited By: Boon, Lumi, Shiroshiki, Khan, M2t5(Minor Edits)
Because I really could not refuse, in the end, we could only stay here and accept the passionate welcome from the villagers. I quietly ordered all the escorts, “No matter which family’s food you’ve eaten, you must quietly leave gold coins after the meal. We’ve just started to proclaim the Beast God; we must leave the best impression.
When we left, I told the village chief that all the beast god emissaries belong to the Beast God religion, and our totem(symbol) is the Beast God. He said that he will firmly believe in the Beast God, and will become a faithful follower.
The escorts and I came out of the village with full and satisfied stomachs, and not long after we left, Mink ran to my side and said, “Young master, the feeling of helping people is great; just now they all called me an Emissary, expressing extreme respect.” This guy already forgot about the pain after only a short a while.
“You, stay quiet and behave well, especially when you speak. You must act appropriately, and you are prohibited from showing that arrogant and superior attitude before the commoners; do you hear me?”
Mink patted his stomach and smiled, “I understand, young master; where are we going next?”
I glared at him and said, “Inquire less. Remember: stop asking so much about things that shouldn’t be asked. Right, where’s that werewolf? Bring him to me. We will rest at the hill ahead; I want to interrogate him. Also, send the homing pigeons right now, and report the situation here to his majesty. Also, please ask him to quickly send the people responsible for farming and production; they will aid the villagers. Believe me, the villagers here will all be faithful servants of our beast god religion.”
The escorts rested on the ground surrounding the hill. At the peak of the hill, I stood up with folded arms, coldly looking at the werewolf bandit leader, who just had his meridians reopened, recovering his ability to see and hear. Under my dreadful stare, the werewolf’s body was slightly trembling, he said grievingly, “Lord, lord, please spare this lowly life. Just ask anything, Sir; this lowly being will say all he knows and say it without reserve.”
I coldly snorted and said, “This depends on whether you cooperate or not.”
The werewolf hurriedly replied, “Cooperate! This lowly being will surely cooperate.”
I nodded with satisfaction and said, “Well then, you will first tell me, why did the usually disorganized bandits suddenly attack the village in an organized group?”
The werewolf replied without hesitation, “It’s because we received the news of his majesty issuing a decree to suppress us. In order to prevent being annihilated, the bandits from all over formed groups. We are just a small group, and because we didn’t have more than 200 people, we decided to loot some more before we found a deserted valley to hide for a while, escaping from this situation to come out again later…” After speaking up until this point, the werewolf couldn’t beat around the bush anymore.
I coldly snickered and said, “To continue your bad deeds, am I right?”
The werewolf replied in fear, “I do not dare; this lowly being does not dare to become a bandit ever again, and I will surely carry out official duties and become a good person from today onwards.”
“You better talk less about this, whether there will be an “ever again” depends on your performance. I’ll ask you now: do you know something about the other bandit groups near the imperial city, and where they are hiding?”
The werewolf’s face revealed a troubled expression, suddenly, as if he had made up his mind, he abruptly grited his teeth and said, “This lowly being is willing to speak; I shall say everything. Because I am still considered a bandit with some repute around the imperial city, I have made many acquaintances; I basically know all about the things you’ve asked.”
I teasingly laughed and said, “So you are considered someone famous?’
The werewolf revealed a proud look, he stiffened his chest and said, “That’s right. If anyone asked about me, White Eye Wolf, in this area, not a single bandit wouldn’t know.” I almost laughed after listening to him, he’s even self-intoxicated being called White Eye Wolf.
(Tl note,”white eye” also mean supercilious.)
“No more nonsense. This is the map; tell me everything you know. I want every groups’ precise location, and where they will gather. Mink.” I turned around to call my competent underling.
“Young master, I am here.” Mink ran up from the side with his hands holding the homing pigeon, “Please give your orders; I’m preparing to release the homing pigeon.”
I said, “Hold on, don’t release it just yet. This guy knows all the gathering places of the bandits surrounding the imperial city; look after him as he writes it all down, then send it out with the things I previously gave you. If he tries anything funny, you know what to do!”
Mink exposed a fierce looking smile; he heavily patted the werewolf’s shoulder, “Don’t worry, young master. Brat, you’d better be smart and write them down obediently…” I shook my head and found a quiet place to sit down, this debut is going quite smoothly. The beast emperor will handle the extermination of the bandits around the imperial city.
I carefully took out the strand of hair Jiyan gave me, lightly smelling the fragrance that remained; my heart had already flown to where the Jiyan sisters were.
I wonder if Jiyan has already gone back to the capital city of Dragon Empire and explained everything to Jisue. Will Jisue accept someone like me? Contemplating this, I completely fell into a deep memory. I didn’t realise how much time passed; Mink’s voice surprised me and woke me from my sweet dreams, “Young master, young master.”
“Ah! How is it? Is it done?”
Mink nodded and said, “It is done; I have released the homing pigeon. Do you have any questions for him? If not, I’ll take care of him now.”
What he meant by “take care of”, was slicing that werewolf apart with his axe from right to left. This guy, his thirst for blood was even more than mine. “It’s not your concern anymore. Go and find a place to rest. I still have more questions; I’ll call you when I need you.”
Walking back to the top of the hill, the werewolf was still kneeling there. Looking at him, he’s indeed badly frightened of us. He immediately humbly bowed as he saw me, and begged, “Lord, I’ve said everything I know; please release me.”
My expression was somewhat softer than before, I said plainly, “I can do that, but you have to answer one last question.”
The werewolf was stunned. “What question? I’ve already told you everything.”
I asked, “Where do you come from?”
The werewolf replied, “I come from Yuna; almost all werewolves originate from Yuna.” He looked as if I had asked a very stupid question.
“I heard that the bandits from Yuna have the largest organization in all the territories, which is also the most powerful; is there such a thing?
The werewolf, a little ashamed, said, “Yes, the bandits from our Yuna territory are of the highest quality. They are not only bandits, they are also commissioned to work for other territories. They number roughly 3000, and only strong werewolves can join them.
“Then why didn’t you join the bandits from the territory of your race?”
The face of the werewolf became even more ashamed, and he said embarrassedly, “My level was not enough to enter the highest ranked, and largest bandit organization in the Beastman territory.”
“Oh? Aren’t you very famous?” I ridiculed.
“That was only referring to this area.”
“Well, then tell me about the situation of your Yuna bandit organizations. I want to know how great they are, namely, this largest Beastman bandit organization?”
There was a flash of haze in the eyes of the werewolf, again with a bit of desire and jealousy, “That bandit gang is definitely the realm that all bandits dream of; they have militarization management, and compared to the werewolf spear army force, they are much stronger. The experts among them are like clouds in the sky; any normal gang member picked at random would still be stronger than me. Someone once said that only the great Beamon King leading the Beamon army force could possibly exterminate that bandit group.”
I asked, “There is such a dangerous group in Yuna; did the lord of the territory just leave them alone? If he lets them continue to develop like this, doesn’t he fear that he would be robbed of his power?”
The werewolf said with disdain, “The Lord of Yuna is nothing. He does everything in favor of the bandit gang. One time, Yuna offended the neighboring territory Feng Yan. I’m sure you know about Feng Yan territory; it is the territory of the leopardmen. People of that tribe are very rude and unreasonable; it is already lucky if they don’t come out and bully you without cause, let alone after having offended them.
The lord of Feng Yan mobilized the whole tribe in order to suppress Yuna by force. With no other options, the lord of Yuna personally went to seek help from the leader of that bandit group, bringing along some expensive gifts. In the end, due to him being of the same race, the leader of the bandit gang took his place in the confrontation.
Even a tribe as valiant as Feng Yan retreated. Since then, the Lord of Feng Yan never mentioned that incident again; nobody knew what happened. This is a secret I once accidentally overheard as my tribesmen were talking about…” At this point, as if he had said something he shouldn’t say, he suddenly covered his mouth with both of his hands, his eyes full of terror.
“Why did you stop?”
The werewolf suddenly kowtowed repeatedly to me, “Lord, please don’t ask any more. I definitely can’t say more; I will not say it even if you threaten me with death.”
The less he wanted to say, the more it hooked my interest, “You won’t say it… right? How about I let my underlings bring you back to that village from before right now? How you do think the villagers will welcome you? If you want to live, then tell me all you know about this bandit group.” The werewolf lifted his bloody head from kowtowing; his eyes were full of despair as he stared straight at me.
Suddenly, as if he had made a decision, he let out a sad and shrill howl towards the sky. And right after, he quickly stabbed his right hand into his chest.
His actions took me by surprise; it was already too late even if I wished to save him. Actually, what I said a moment ago was just a joke; I didn’t think that someone who was so afraid of death would be so stubborn as to not saying even if it meant death. Blood kept spewing from the werewolf’s mouth, as he said to me with a hoarse voice, “If I didn’t guess wrong, then you guys should be the people sent by the empire to exterminate the bandits. I advise you not to go to Yuna, or else you would die without even having a full corpse left. Uwa——”
The werewolf spewed a mouthful of blood and took his last breath. To the very end, he still wished to protect that bandit group. Could that bandit group really be as dangerous as he described? What kind of a person is that gang leader, to make even a werewolf bandit who was afraid to die, surprisingly commit suicide in order to protect a secret? This mystery gave me a head full of uncertainties.
“Young master, young master, what happened?” Mink ran over to me with some guards.
I shook my head, “It’s nothing. Bury this werewolf, after all, he told me a lot of things.”
As if 3000 bandits could scare me? Absolutely not. I wanted to know who on earth this leader of the Yuna bandit group was. I doubted that there were more than a few among the beastman who could truly be my opponent.
Mink and a few guards came back to me after burying the werewolf and asked, “Young master, are we starting our journey now? Where are we headed?” I looked at the blue sky, and said with resolution, “Yuna.”
There was a fiendish flash in my eyes as I silently thought: Yuna’s mysterious person, I am coming for you. When the time comes, let’s see whether you are more powerful or if I am more tyrannical.
Only when facing difficulties can one gain more experience, and at the same time, it is the best way to train. If we want to reach Yuna, we must go through Sasi territory.
Sasi was the territory of snakemen, and it has gathered a large population of snakemen. Even though the snakemen army could not function properly on a battlefield, no other tribe was willing to provoke them.
That was because the snakemen were very united, and also dreadfully held grudges. They would seek revenge for the smallest grievance, and therefore even a small matter would incur an attack from a large group of snakemen. At the same time, they were feared for their venomous fangs; the brighter the scales on their body, the more dreadful the snakeman would be. If their fangs or claws scratched the skin of an enemy, the venom would immediately enter the bloodstream, and if it was the venom of the most ferocious snakeman, it could kill in an instant.
However this advantage was of no use on the battlefield. Mostly because during war, most army forces wore armour and helmets; how could mere fangs or claws penetrate them?
And like that, we continued our journey under the scorching sun.
Mink walked out front; I could barely see his shadow in the distance. A centaur guard walked beside Black Dragon; he was in charge of my safety. The rest advanced like before, and spread out as they advanced.
I opened the map to look at it, and then asked the centaur, “We should have already entered the territory of the snakemen, correct?”
“Yes, young master. There are not many bandits in the snakemen territory. They are all scattered abroad in order to rob the other territories.”
I snickered coldly and said, “These people know how to protect their own tribesmen.”
The centaur answered, “Yes, the bond of the snakemen is very strong. Their totem of belief is the Nine-headed Sage, which is actually a kind of Lernaean Hydra. Their totem is different than that of the others.”
I asked, “Oh? What’s the difference?”
“Their god really exists, unlike the gods of other tribes which are just myths.”
I was surprised, “You are saying that there really is such a thing like a Lernaean Hydra in this continent?”
The centaur guard nodded seriously,
“They indeed exist. Although their number is small, I heard that the reason the snakemen are unprecedentedly united, is that their tribe leader raised a Lernaean Hydra. This sort of snake is extremely savage; it eats other beastmen, but surprisingly, it doesn’t eat snakemen. Because of this, it made the snakemen believe even more that the Lernaean Hydra is their Guardian God. The amount of food that the Lernaean Hydra needs is huge. If it’s a fully grown Lernaean Hydra, it will need to eat two fully grown bearmen a day.”
After thinking a bit, I said, “So this means that if we want to acquire Sasi successfully, we will first need to kill that Lernaean Hydra.”
The centaur wasn’t expecting me to think this way; he agitatedly looked at the surroundings and said with a low voice,
“Young master, this is already Sasi. Please don’t say things like that. If a snakeman hears it, then the whole tribe would fight us with their life on the line. Didn’t you say that you wanted to take care of the Yuna bandits? Let’s leave Sasi for later; this territory has nothing but mountains, and there aren’t any useful resources either. We just have to follow their rules and they will not bother us.”
Seeing the way this centaur escort acted, it was clear that he was afraid of the snakemen. I secretly thought in my heart,
“Must the Lernaean Hydra really not be killed? What if it is assassinated? What if they couldn’t find the murderer? They couldn’t possibly slaughter all beastmen, could they?
However, the centaur is right; the current task is to exterminate the Yuna bandits. The plains and mineral resources there are very important. Originally, I had thought that annihilating the bandits would be an easy task, but who would have thought that there would be so many headaches among our beastmen…”
Thinking up to this point, I ordered the centaur, “Go and get Wolf; you will take his place after that.” Wolf is the only Werewolf among my 20 escorts.
“Young master, were you looking for me?”
Wolf’s stature was a bit higher than the average werewolf’s. Unlike the other werewolves, his snout wasn’t as prominent, and there was less hair on his face. Like me, he was also a hybrid of human, demon, and beastman.
Although, he wasn’t as lucky as I was. Because of his appearance, which did not look much like a werewolf, he was abandoned when he was still very young. He was later discovered by the Beast Emperor, and taken in.
“Yes, Wolf; I have a question for you. That day, the werewolf bandit killed himself in order to protect the Yuna bandit group’s secret. I’m thinking his actions should be closely related to the contents of that secret. If the secret is not related to things more important than his life, why would someone like him who would do anything to live, commit suicide? I want to ask you, does the werewolf tribe have any totem?”
Wolf thought for a little while and smiled bitterly, “Young master, I am not really clear about these things, because I haven’t lived with the werewolves since I was young. But I did hear from a werewolf I made contact with; we worship a Double-headed Wolf as our god.”
I laughed, “Double-headed wolf? The snakemen tribe are worshipping a nine headed snake Lernaean Hydra, and your wolf god only has two heads; how could he fight their god?”
Wolf recalcitrantly said “What’s wrong with having two heads? He could still bite off its nine heads.”
“How bold. Who dares to be so unbridled.” An unfamiliar but sharp voice came from the skies.
My heart tightened. Originally I didn’t plan on looking for trouble, but trouble found me. I ordered Wolf in a low voice, “Quick, tell the rest to be on guard.”
When Wolf was about to leave, woosh, woosh, woosh, more than ten snakemen jumped from the trees. The three towards the front had exceptionally bright colored scales on their body; with a single look you could tell that they hold some authority amongst the snakemen tribe.
Over ten snakemen surrounded us. Wolf cautiously stuck close to the side of black dragon, and reached for the spear on his back which was he kept in three parts. While observing the opponents, he put the spear together.
The leader of the snakemen swayed his big tail, pointing at Wolf he said, “Just now, was it this chap who insulted our nine headed god?”
I quickly held the impulsive Wolf back, and jumped from Black dragons back. Raising both my hands, I cupped one fist into the other in a greeting.
“I’m really sorry, just now it was my friend who shot his mouth off. I ask for forgiveness from you, leader of the snakemen; we all very much respect the nine-headed sage, so please do not misunderstand us.”
Looking at my humble attitude, the snakemen leader’s expression softened a little, and he nodded,
“Hm, now that’s more like it. How about this, since I’m still quite pleased with your demeanor, leave this guy here and you may go. If one has insulted the Nine-headed sage, one shall pay the price with fresh blood no matter what. He’ll become the food of the nine-headed sage to make up for his heavenly sin.”
I secretly cursed in my heart, but my face was still full of smiles, “Great leader, could you please let it go just this once? We are willing to give you part of our gold coins as compensation.”
The expression of the snakeman leader changed greatly, and he shouted,
“Do you take us as bandits?! We are from the government of the feudal lord. Letting you go is already a great blessing, so stop babbling nonsense! If you dare to say another word, I will arrest you as well. Hurry up and get lost!”
I silently circulated my Mad God Chi and calmly asked, “Your feudal lord government only sent this many people?”
The snakeman with a face full of arrogance, said “What, with this many of us, is it not enough to take care of you? Are you leaving or not?”
I looked back at Wolf and gave him an eye signal. Abruptly turning, with the Mad God chi emitting from my body, I threw both fists forward and shouted, “Heavenly Berserk mode!”
With my shout, a yellow Qi pillar traveled along my fists, heavily smashing into the chest of the snakemen leader negotiating with me.one sec
Even a Fallen Angel wouldn’t feel well after taking this attack, let alone a snakeman with minimum skills. Hong! With an immense crash, not only was the leader beaten beyond recognition, but under the raging Qi, the snakemen behind him were also sent flying by the shock, each of them spraying out blood. It looks like they will not survive that.
Although their scales looked beautiful, they were useless, and much weaker than my Beamon defense.
Wolf also didn’t just stand there and watch, the 12 foot long red spear turned into an uncountable number of red shadows as it shot towards the snakemen. Immediately, three of them were carried up and sent flying by his spear. I shouted with a deep voice, “Focus on assaulting! Do not leave anyone alive.”
The rest of the guards didn’t just rush forward; after hearing my command, they spread even further apart, carefully observing their surroundings.
A moment ago, Wolf had kept the anger pent up within in his chest, but now it had been completely unleashed. There wasn’t even a need for me to move a finger, as the rest of the snakemen had turned into vengeful spirits under the 12 foot red spear in his hands.
The last snakeman, with glamorous scales of color, suddenly leapt towards Wolf from behind while Wolf’s spear was still in the chest of another snakeman in front of him.
At this critical moment the fruit of Wolf’s usual hard work was displayed; his body abruptly bent backwards, and with a waist that seemed like it was going to break, he fell backwards, smoothly pulling the spear out from the body of the snakeman and stitched it upwards. The glamorously scaled high level snakeman had it’s chest opened and stomach torn. What a wonderful Iron Bridge technique.
My expression suddenly changed. Like a flash of lightning, I swayed to the side of Wolf; Black Sable suddenly slashed out and a large piece of flesh was cut off from Wolf’s rigid shoulder. Right afterwards, I continuously dotted his shoulder with the handle of Black Sable, sealing his blood vessels and preventing excessive blood loss. Wolf looked at me quizzically, with his face paling from the great pain.
I yelled towards an escort in front, “Mink, bring some brothers with you and bury them. You must do it quickly.”
Wolf asked arduously, “Young master, did I do something wrong?”
I nodded and sunk my voice, “Your mistake is being too careless and lowering your guard; look at it yourself.” Speaking, I pointed at the piece of flesh on ground that I had just lopped off.
Wolf looked down, and his expression immediately became severe; what was still a fresh piece of wolf meat before, was now a pile of black liquid. Even if he was dumber, he’d still know that I had saved him. He promptly prostrated on the ground firmly, “Thank you young master, for saving my life.”
I took out a healing ointment, and carefully inspected his wound. I said plainly, “Fortunately, the poison hadn’t corroded and spread yet, otherwise, I’m afraid this arm of yours would have been lost. What if you had let them hit your head with their claws? Since you already knew that the enemies were snakemen, and yet, gave them the opportunity to draw so close, what more can I even say?”
While saying that, I tore a piece off of my clothing and carefully bandaged the wound after properly applying the medicine. “Alright, now stay here for a little while, and then follow at the back. Quickly come to me if you feel any discomfort.”
Wolf looked at me with red and teary eyes and emotionally said, “Young master, I….” I scolded, “You what? You’d better remember this: your life does not belong to you, but me. If I haven’t given you permission to die, then you aren’t allowed to die. No matter what kind of fight you face, you must do your utmost. Come see me when we stop to rest this evening. Your spear technique is pretty good, but your Qi is weak; that’s why you weren’t able to make full use of your power. I have a Qi technique which is better suited for your spear technique.”
Wolf raised his hand and wiped his eyes, “Thank you young master, for everything.”
“Ok, you can go to the back. Mink! Are you finished?”
Mink ran to me while swinging his big Axes. He looked a little pale as he said, “Young Master, we are finished!”
I knocked his forehead violently; with anger in my voice I bellowed, “Who is finished?”
Mink stuck out his tongue and said while straightening his body, “Reporting to young master. Yes, we have finished cleaning, and not a single bloodstain is left. But I have failed to discover the enemies in time and it has surprised young master; please punish me.”
I said with a relaxed expression, “It is not your fault, these snakemen are just too crafty; they hid in the trees while relying on the color of their scales. You may stay by my side and let Wolf go to the back and rest.”
Only now did Mink discover that Wolf was injured. Making a fuss over small matters, he shouted, “Oh my, brother, how are you? Is the injury severe? Who is the damned bastard that chopped your… Ouch, Young Master why did you hit me again…” Wolf quickly pulled this brother who was always quite kind to him to aside, and explained everything to him. I continued on Black dragon and gave my orders; no one was allowed to either cause trouble, nor to speak casually. Everything will be done in the manner of the snakemen tribe.
Since my objective was not here, I did not want any more trouble. Mink happily started running to me and followed by my side. He said slightly embarrassed, “Young master, I… I really didn’t mean to offend you on purpose just now, I…”
I gave him an annoyed glare and said, “Enough. And be quiet, I am thinking about some other matters.” Mink followed beside me with an innocent face, and didn’t dare to speak more. On our way, we spoke as little as possible. When we arrived at customs, we offered a few more gold coins, and with that we had smoothly traveled past Sasi.
Actually, when we stopped at a snakemen village, I had thought of using gold coins to bribe the local snakemen to proclaim our Beast God religion. However, they had worshiped their Lernaean Hydra to the degree of becoming blind followers, giving me no chance at all. Without other options, I left this headache inducing matter for later.
In order to avoid trouble, I had specially ordered Mink to make a wig from the fur of a lionman bandit. Although he seemed clumsy and easygoing most of the time, he was quite skilled at crafting. Wearing his custom-made wig, I surprisingly felt very comfortable. And if I didn’t take off my clothes, it would be hard to discover that I was a lionman imposter.
Suddenly, Mink excitedly shouted, “Young master, if we pass that Mountain ridge ahead of us, we will arrive at Yuna.” I nodded, “Good. Tell everyone to take a break on the mountain ridge.”
I summited the mountain, only to be astonished by the sight that lay beyond the ridge. My escorts and I stood there dumbfounded by the boundless farmland, that stretched as far as the eye could see. There wasn’t a cloud in sight, and below, countless werewolves wearing bamboo hats could be seen walking among the crops, busily harvesting crops.
To prove that I was not dreaming, I turned around and looked at the Sasi territory behind us.
Sasi wasn’t a plain, but the land that was connected to Yuna was still quite flat, and both territories are only separated by a mountain. What was completely different was that the ground on this side was infertile and most of it was bare and visible.
I turned around to the Yuna territory once again, thousands of acres of boundless and fine green land were still so vividly displayed before my eyes. I had never thought that there were such hard working farmers in the Beast Empire. “Wolf, come here.”
Even though Wolf was walking towards me, he could not tear his eyes away from Yuna’s plain since the beginning. He was careless for a moment, and he stumbled over a bump on the ground, his body falling straight towards me.
I stopped his fall and said, “Pay attention.”
Wolf showed relish in his eyes, “Too beautiful; our werewolf territory was actually so beautiful.”
Now my mood had hit the bottom; the Beast Emperor never told me that there was such a farming land in the Beastman Country. He only told me that Yuna had quite a fertile land which was also a plain, and that was it.
This proved that he didn’t know about the situation here; the confidentiality of Yuna was too well kept. In one year, a plain this big could could produce enough food to easily sustain a half million man army for a few months at war.
With such a vigorous development of farming in Yuna, what were they planning to do? If they could refine the Dark Iron successfully, then this would become a troop of elite masters. Perhaps they were afraid of the beamon army force and therefore did not make a move. If things went really bad, then we would need to mobilize a large troop of the army to utterly exterminate them.
I ordered the wolfman beside me, who was showing obsession all across his face, “Wolf, go down there. Find a farming werewolf and ask about the situation.” Wolf happily answered, “No problem. Young master, you can leave it to me.” Finished speaking, he immediately ran down with great delight.