With the acidic slimes leading the way, Clyde’s carriage advanced towards Stanley City, where the suzerain’s residence was located. The former suzerain, Duke Andrew, had not died over a hundred years ago but had actually transformed into an existence similar to a demonic creature and continued dominating this fief.
According to these variant slimes, over a hundred years ago, Duke Andrew had been corrupted. At the time, Adrian Empire had thought that this internal scandal must not be spread, and they hadn’t dared to report the circumstance to Light Church, which would risk attracting the Church’s scrutiny. Instead, they had directly sent someone to destroy the only bridge crossing Lawrence River. Now, in addition to the acidic slimes, Duke Andrew had arranged a large number of ambush groups within Steinbeck Fief to deal with intruders.
With the acidic slimes leading the way, the journey was unimpeded and smooth, bypassing many demonic creatures. Lucifer’s bloodkin familiars continuously warned her about the surrounding dangers since she didn’t completely trust these acidic smiles. To avoid the other party leading them to a trap, she continuously made her familiars secretly monitor everything.
Ista also kept a lookout in secret. She did not use any bloodkin familiars, instead employing an exquisite crystal ball. That crystal ball reflected the surrounding scenes. As a witch, Ista had many treasures with various strange functions. The only person who did nothing in this carriage was Princess Saras. She just remained quiet and watched Ista and Lucifer.
Clyde sat outside the carriage to direct its path. The horses that had originally been pulling the carriage along had already been released. Further ahead was the territory of demonic creatures, and these horses couldn’t move due to their instinctive fear. Now, the ones pulling Clyde’s carriage were a kind of variant demonic creature found by acidic slimes. They were skeleton horses; specifically, they were war-horses that had already become skeletons. They didn’t fear demonic creatures. After all, they were the same kind of existence.
Furthermore, the speed of these skeleton horses was not any inferior to normal horses. and they would never tire. They could continuously pull carriage without any rest. Their cost-to-performance ratio was much higher than regular horses. If one could accept these skeleton horses’ appearances, there were really no issues with them. Now, the mercenaries that had been following behind Clyde’s party were already wiped out by acidic slimes. Among the first wave of adventurers exploring Steinbeck Fief, only Clyde’s party was left.
After covering a significant distance, Clyde’s party came to a stop in order to rest and reorganize. Judging by their current rate of travel and his brief survey of the land, Clyde estimated that it would take about three days to reach the deserted Stanley City. At night, many terrifying demonic creatures would become active in Steinbeck Fief. It would not be good to hurry their journey through the night; thus, Clyde’s party could only camp here.
The acidic slimes brought Clyde’s party to an abandoned nameless town before withdrawing. They would reappear the next day when Clyde’s party was ready to set out. This nameless town was in utter ruins after the severe test of over a century. Damaged eaves and broken tiles littered the dirt roads throughout the town. Because this was an uninhabited town, when Clyde’s party first entered the town, they felt an indescribable chill.
Since this town had been discarded for over a hundred years, most of the buildings of this small town were severely damaged and deformed, leaving some buildings that were about to collapse. The former city wall around this small town had long collapsed, and the crumbling remains didn’t serve any defensive purpose. If it were not for not having any other suitable place to stay, Clyde would not have stayed in this kind of ruins.
The only place that could be used in this nameless town was a small deserted inn. Sighing, Clyde stopped the carriage in the courtyard while Lucifer began to clean the rooms. After looking around the town for things that could be used, Princess Saras and Ista also went to help clean-up. Clyde also had nothing to do, so he was prepared to help clean-up, but Lucifer stopped him.
“Big Brother Clyde, we girls are enough to clean this place up. Can you go to the nearby river and get us some water?”
“Eh, why do you want water? Is there no water in the rain reservoir here?”
“Naturally for bathing! As for the water in this place, it has not been changed for a long time, so it’s pretty gross. Help us get the water; I’ll promise not to lock the door to the rooms at night.”
Clyde couldn’t decline Lucifer’s request and agreed to help them get clean water. This small inn’s stored water might not have been changed for over a hundred years. Lucifer and the others had no intention of using that stale water to bathe. Thus, Lucifer entrusted Clyde to go to a nearby river or lake and get some freshwater.
Clyde took a super storage bottle from Ista and went to the nearby small river to fetch water. He was not that interested in the reward offered by Lucifer. Among those three girls, other than Ista, he had already seen Princess Saras and Lucifer in their birthday suits.
Just outside this nameless town was a clear brook. The brook’s water met Lucifer’s demand. The golden super storage bottle Ista had lent him contained a very big space. Such a small bottle could store a lot of water. Clyde took out the bottle, approached the brook, and began to fill it.
“Strange, such a thick smell of human blood. What exactly happened here?”
After filling the bottle with water, Clyde sniffed and keenly sensed the smell of blood in the air. He put the bottle away then observed all around himself. After a little while, he noticed an unusual discrepancy in the environment. Not far away was a discarded temporary campsite. Dozens of tents seemed to have been put up just recently. Examining the tears in the tents as well as those dark-red bloodstains on the ground, Clyde concluded that the master of this campsite had already met with a mishap.
Clyde was not afraid at all. He went over and examined the circumstances about this campsite, looking for some useful goods and materials. He found a lot of military rations. It seemed that the owner of this campsite had not been mercenaries but rather an empire’s army. Because he couldn’t find any flags, Clyde couldn’t determine which empire this army hailed from.
At that moment, heavy footsteps came from outside the campsite. Those footsteps didn’t resemble the footsteps of Human Race. Clyde concealed himself behind a tent and observed. He saw demons with tall and big figures passing near this campsite. They were ogres. Carrying bloody meat cleavers on their shoulders, their blood-red eyes emitted brutal auras.
Clyde estimated that there were over a hundred ogres. Although they still were not his opponent, he didn’t have a hobby of taking the initiative to get rid of others. These ogres also didn’t notice Clyde’s. They had arrived here by following the smell of living people. Clyde, however, was not of Human Race. In their field of vision, he was practically transparent. They talked very loudly, allowing Clyde to hear them from afar.
“It has been a long time since any living person came here. We can finally eat and drink our fill tonight.”
“They are the offerings to His Excellency Suzerain. You better not think about them.”
“Cough, cough. Then, there is the smell of living people in that nameless town. Should we go there and take a look?”