‘I, the great Mo Ke, never leave a name behind when I perform a good deed, thus our departures are always dashing and gallant.’
In actuality, I tried to ask Nozala if he knew about the exact location of the palace of Sable Radiance, unfortunately, all I got was an ‘I don’t know’. To be honest, all the different races in the Remnants of Sable Radiances were kind of like me in the past, a shut-in. Unless something momentous happened, they would basically never leave their territories. After all, there weren’t any merchants here nor was there any sort of common currency here either. With no flow of goods or trade, each race basically holed themselves up and kept a close watch on their own property. There wasn’t any sort of tourism here either…should one accidentally trespass on another’s territory, they would basically be treated as invaders…who knew what would happen then.
Speaking of invaders, there was something that had to be said about the Flamegrass Sasani brought back. It wasn’t, in fact, found by him, rather, it was stolen from Warwraith…
Simply put, that Warwraith was scared off by me so when planning his route, he made sure to avoid us entirely. He knew that we were heading north and that we would encounter that salamander for sure so he purposely took a route off our probable course.
Flamegrass could be a considered a speciality of the Warhorse’s plains, you could call it a treasure of their race too. Thus, they were often guarded by a Wahorse. It was precisely such a Warhorse that got into a fight with Sinmosa when she was out searching for a Flamegrass, and ended up wounding her.
Going back to Sasani’s story…he so happened to chance upon Warwraith while searching for Flamegrass. Upon seeing the familiar Cerberus, the Warhorse elder immediately paled and began shivering slightly, clearly frightened that we hadn’t given up on seeking revenge upon him. However, once Sasani explained that he was here for some Flamegrass, and not to cause trouble for him, that elder immediately handed over said Flamegrass without any hesitation whatsoever…seems like our little encounter really left an indelible mark on him…
“So you already knew that there would be a Warhorse guarding the Flamegrass? Then why did you let Sasani go off on his won?”
“Either way, that old horse already had his bravery scared out of him so it should be fine even if Sasani went off on his own.” Sinmosa confidently stated as if she had already foreseen that all these would happen.
“Then how did you know that it would be that old horse guarding the Flamegrass?”
“Because there’s always a temporary camp set up near the Flamegrass, that’s how those horses operated. It’s more likely that he would encounter Warwraith than not.”
“…” ‘I have to admit, she’s pretty smart, being able to think through all that in such a short time. Still, for Sinmosa to generously offer up her husband’s services like that…isn’t she afraid that he might get into danger?’
Noticing the expression on my face, Sinmosa said thusly: “Honestly, even if he wasn’t able to grab the Flamegrass, he could just as easily have escaped.”
‘That’s true, he could have ran if things go sour…’ No matter what world it was, luring an enemy away from his nest was a valid and well-known strategy. Naturally, those Warhorses were aware of this as well and didn’t dare to chase him too far either since he could have just been a decoy.
Either way, that was enough reminiscing for now. At the end of the day, our final destination was the palace and that should be where we focus our attention onto.
Having split off from Nozala, we continued heading north as before. And just like before, we met a number of Warhorses along the way who also avoided us like the plague, merely gazing at us from a distance away.
Thus, our journey proceeded rather uneventfully for about a month. According to the number of paces covered by Sinmosa, we had roughly travelled over thirty to forty thousand Li and had finally left the Warhorse territory.
The territory we were in now could be considered ownerless. The reason was simple: it was dangerous. There were hardly any fiendish creatures who lived here, let alone those who formed a community.
“Master, she’s still following us.” No.3 reported upon returning from his surveillance mission. His brows frowned as he told me: “Since five days ago, she had been stalking us, I originally thought about speaking to her but…”
The ‘she’ No.3 was referring to was a certain salamander who had just given birth. No.3 was the first one to spot her skulking behind us a few days ago. He had wanted to reach out to her then, but upon noticing No.3, she immediately ducked into a nearby lava lake.
Truly, this was a conundrum for us… ‘Why is she following us like that? And why did she duck away then? Well, since you don’t want to meet us, I’m not going to waste time on this either.’
Just like that, I said to No.3: “Leave her, I doubt she has any bad intentions.” Given how we had just saved her, I doubt there was even a smidge of possibility that she had come looking for revenge. Yet at the same time, it didn’t seem like she was here to thank us either… ‘Meh, it’s not like we’re the ones hiding in the shadows, why should we be the ones fretting instead?’
With that out of the way, we picked a random clearing to rest while Big 4 went scouting ahead, Sasani went hunting for food, Sinmosa took up guard and No.3 continued his patrolling. As for me, I was on storytelling duty with Mo Na and Cinderel. That was basically our daily routine for the past few days. Until the day we reached the palace, this routine would probably go unchanged…probably…
Just as I was about to start telling <<Alice in Wonderland>>, something happened.
The earth itself began to tremble slightly as booming footsteps slowly echoed in the surroundings.
Sasani came galloping back, mouths conspicuously empty…to be exact, he did bring back something…a giant, chipped and single-armed golem…
This newcomer was made out of reddish-black rock that was carved into armor in certain regions, giving it the impression of a heavily armored warrior. However, this warrior had no weapons to speak of and most likely relied on its fists and feet to fight…well, a fist, to be exact. The golem in question sent a powerful punch swinging right towards where Sasani stood just moments ago, destroying the earth in the process and sending dust and soil flying about, as if it had just struck a pile of flour. Missing its target, the golem easily pulled out its fist and continued the chase.
The golem’s speed wasn’t too fast, at the very least it wasn’t up to par with Sasani’s. However, with the way its imposing figure seemed to loom over him, and with how the ground seemed to shake with every step it took, Sasani couldn’t help but feel extremely pressured by the lumbering titan. What was most astonishing was the power it had just displayed –that punch was at least at the level of a Five-stars!
That staggering power was probably why Sasani didn’t dare to pause for even a second as he ran right towards us…
“WOOF WOOOF WOOOF…” Came Sasani’s loud barks. Upon hearing them, Sinmosa’s face immediately paled as she yelled to us: “RUN…that thing is really strong!”
“Master, let me have a go at it!” No.3’s yell trailed slowly behind him as he sped off towards the unknown golem, not caring at all about Sinmosa’s reminder. He had seen that golem attack as well; he knew that it was only at the level for a Five-stars and that stirred his battle instincts.
Like a speeding comet, he dove at the golem with a powerful punch on its head, even without waiting for my prior approval.
As the fiery fist landed on the head of the golem, the sheer impact caused the flames of his punch to scatter about like a deadly fireworks show. A second later, he came bursting out of that conflagration, hand wrapped on the fist he had just punched the golem with. He flapped his wings furiously to try and widen the distance, brows furrowed in pain.
Because he charged in without first confirming the traits of that golem, he ended up coming short in that brief scuffle: “Blast it…why is that big lug so hard…”
Golems, a mysterious construct whose origins were now untraceable. Even though the humans had always insisted that the initial golems were created by them…I believed that as well, given how ingenious we humans were…but upon seeing that golem before me in a place that had been sealed up for 80 000 years…I could safely say that the first golems weren’t created by human alchemists. Most likely, the first alchemists probably copied the designs from somewhere. After all, human history wasn’t longer than 80 000 years, as far as I knew…
Depending on the design, golems could have a wide variety of traits. However, there was one thing in common with all varieties of golems: their defenses were always stronger than their power by at least one whole Star level…in other words, this broken down golem was at least as tough as a Six-stars…for No.3 to try and punch one like that, was there any wonder that his fist hurt so much?
Thankfully, Flame Devils had an impressive innate regeneration ability in the form of their elemental transformation. By turning themselves into elements and then back, they could basically recover from most injuries. The drawback was that such a move consumed vast amounts of mana so it had to be employed judiciously in a fight.
“Master, I’ve returned…” Hearing the commotion in the distance, Big 4 came rushing back just in time to see No.3 fail his attack: “Master, what’s that?”
“That’s a golem…” In the past, Roscar had told me about such a construct. He said that human alchemists loved to use these constructs as guards but for the most part, the ones they created weren’t that high level. A golem at this level could already be considered a high level golem.