Cthulhu Gonfalon - Chapter 15
Chapter 15: Chapter 15
Translator: Nyoi_Bo_Studio Editor: Nyoi_Bo_Studio
The Ash Forest was extremely large, so it took Sui Xiong and Gerrard several days to see the edge of the forest.
On the margin of the forest were the barren mountains called “Badlands”. It was located in the northwestern part of the main continent of this world. On one side, there was the Ash Forest, while on the other side, there was the Meteorite Desert. The Badlands were just like a tall and thick wall, which separated the two from each other. Also, on both ends of the badlands, was the Northern Snowfield and the West Sea. The topography in the badlands was very high and steep, and since it did not rain here very often, both the grass and the trees were quite sparse.
Although the living environment here was less than ideal, there still lived various kinds of war-crafts. If there was anyone who could come and go freely, that someone could only be an adventurer who was much fiercer than the war-crafts.
There was a saying that “Every cloud has a silver lining”.
Luckily, the Ash Forest and the Meteorite Desert were not completely separated, since there were a few gaps along the magnificent terrains. The road that connected the two places was rather bumpy, and to the west of these roads, there were a few villages that were just next to the Ash Villages, and this was the northwestern pole of the world of the continental civilization.
Here, there were many varieties of rare productions, and though the quantity of each kind was not that much, they were all very precious. So there were always some audacious adventurers who thought highly of themselves and came here to see if they could find those precious productions. Most of them lost their lives, but there were also people who managed to leave this place alive and find those precious productions which so many people would envy. Some of them even become millionaires overnight.
Now that there were some adventurers who had made money, then of course there were merchants who would want to put those adventurers’ money into their pockets. Therefore, although these villages were not that big, they had everything a village was supposed to have, and many very expensive items could even be found here. Meanwhile, since these villages were too remote and desolated to be properly ruled, the rule of law had not been fully realized. Because of that, many wanted men would come and hide here, which made this area more chaotic and messy. Gradually, it became a place to shelter evil people and countenance evil practices.
Here, the Good God’s churches were hard to run, while the Evil God’s ones thrived. Those Evil God’s churches were even capable of recruiting wanderers from all over the place on the continent, and then these wanderers were sent to the Ash Forest to exploit and become a part of the strong support of the Evil God’s churches.
For example, the White Leaves Village was one of the strongholds built by the church that belonged to the Dark Night Gods. If this village was not a strongpoint of the Evil God’s church, then why had those villagers not believed in the Goddess Gaia, who promised a good harvest, or the Goddess Hanna, who promised people the health? Why had they chosen the God Wu Mian, a gatekeeper of the Dark Night Gods’ Kingdom, who had nothing to do with agriculture?
“I see…” Sui Xiong thought a while after hearing what Gerrard brought to his attention, “Then I do not think it a good idea to go to the villages, right?”
“Your Majesty, you can not put things like that. These villages are just like wooden cages. No matter who he is, once he is in these cages, he has to be cautious. But Your Majesty, you are a huge dragon! You can crush these cages once and for all with your feet!” Gerrard exclaimed happily, “Besides, judging from your personality and stance, you are bound to have conflicts with the Evil God’s churches. Here, you cannot only increase your influence, but also get the help from the Good God’s churches, or even the neutral ones, which is just as good as killing two birds with one stone!”
Sui Xiong agreed with Gerrard and nodded, with his hill-like body shaking. A gust of wind blew with his every move.
“But, Your Majesty, since your body is too big and tough-looking, you would definitely cause yourself trouble if you directly walked into the village like this. Why don’t you find a place outside of the villages and have a rest, and allow me to do some exploring?”
As a faithful follower, Gerrard was very willing to do things for Sui Xiong, a God he chose to believe in.
Seeing his willingness, Sui Xiong did not want to ask him not to. But he was very worried about Gerrard. Sui Xiong had a feeling that the bald man— Oops, he was not a bald man anymore. He had been given very thick hair, was not that powerful, and would probably mysteriously die on the road the next day if he acted on himself. Thus, Sui Xiong felt he needed to do something to make Gerrard more secure.
After contemplating for a while, Sui Xiong took out a piece of bone blade of the huge whale, which was about one foot long and a half foot wide, compressed it and made it as wide as a finger. Then he bent it into the shape of a bracelet, and engraved a few layer of magic circles on it. Finally he put a small part of his soul energy into it. Now a magic bracelet was made. “Take it with you, as if I were with you. When you are in an emergency, I will take care of it.”
Gerrard knelt down and received the bracelet very respectfully. When Gerrard put it on, he felt it was very cold, and his mind became very clear. Even his vision and hearing was much sharper than before. Also, he had a feeling that the powerful mind of Sui Xiong was with him, which made him feel very safe.
“Your Majesty, what is it called?” Gerrard asked.
Sui Xiong thought for a while, and replied, “‘Void Gaze’, since it is like the extension of my vision, which is it’s basic function.”
Gerrard nodded and knelt again. Then he tried to make his shabby self-made long robe look a bit more decent. He took a parcel with him and walked towards the villages far off in the distance.
Sui Xiong saw him off, then dug a big hole with his tentacles on a flat floor he chose, and lied down in it when he finished. Now his whole body was already in the hole. He then reinforced the soil around him, and shoveled the soil he had dug out for the whole over the top of himself, in a barrier about two meters thick.
The huge jellyfish body was indeed not a very good choice on land, so Sui Xiong decided to take this time to transform his body.
Gerrard arrived at the “Pyroxene” Town with the bracelet “Void Gaze” on his wrist. After passing a commercial corporation which camped outside the town to pay less tax, he walked to the big gate of the busy town.
There were a few soldiers with leather armor, and they not only needed to guard the door, but also collect the taxes for entering the village. They watched Gerrard, who was as tall as the wall, then just let him in and told him to behave himself without daring to tax him.
“I’m being treated much better than the last time I was here.” Gerrard could not help but laugh, “I recall that the time when I came here as a fugitive. I was injured and sick, and those soldiers made things difficult for me on purpose, and I did not get in until I paid extra money.”
“Oh? So do you want revenge then?” Sui Xiong laughed and asked him. Sui Xiong could sense the situation around Gerrard and communicate with him with his mind.
Gerrard shook his head and mused, “I used to think I should teach them a lesson when I become someone of importance, but now I think there is no need to do that. They are just a bunch of small people who have a dangerous job with low income. The reason why they behave so badly is that they have to support their families, so there is no need for me to be angry with them.”
“It seems that you are getting a bit closer to the moral high ground.”
“Now that I have received the power I never thought I could possibly have, and I am even blessed and protected by a great God, what is the point of being fussy about those people who struggle to make a living?” Gerrard scratched his head and laughed warmly.
Both he and Sui Xiong did not notice that there was a middle-aged man walking past him, and that the man stared at his bracelet for a short while with his pupils shrinking a bit when he laid his eyes on it.
The man walked past Gerrard as if nothing had happened. As soon as Gerrard turned a corner and disappeared, the man immediately turned around, hurried to an ordinary courtyard and started to knock the door.
“Who is this?” after taking away the lid from the peephole, the gatekeeper looked through it and asked. Then, he opened the door quickly, and asked, “Vice-chairman? Aren’t you supposed to be in the Gold-panning Town?”
“I have more important things to do.” The old man explained briefly, “Go and inform the best thieves in the town, and the ‘Quick Knife’ brothers to come here… Wait, not the brothers, only the thieves.”
The large gatekeeper was in a daze and did not dare to ask further questions when he saw the middle-aged man’s serious face. He said yes, and hurried to give the order.
The middle-aged man closed the door, walked straight into the inner room, turned the corner twice, and came to a ordinary small room. This room looked quite simple, and there was nothing special about it. But he knew that at least twenty gears were set up and hidden in this room, a room that even a group of adventurers could not get out of safely.
There was a very common old man, who looked like a vendor on the street, sitting on the bed and reading. The old man frowned when he saw the middle-aged man walk in a hurry, and asked, “Grey Eyes, you are supposed to go to the Gold-panning Town to work together with our peers to make preparations for the auction to be held next month, why you are here?”
The old man’s tone was not that serious, but the middle-aged man immediately got startled, and there was sweat beading on his forehead. He quickly explained, “Chairman, I saw a very treasured object when I was walking on the street earlier today! This is really a big deal!”
“Oh?” the old man’s eyes lit up, and he put down his book. He knew clearly that what the middle-aged man, his assistant, was capable of. Although the assistant was not good at stealing or assassinating, and was very cowardly and cautious as well, which made him unworthy of the designation of “Association of Thieves”, but he had really sharp eyes and never failed to authenticate all kinds of treasured objects. Rather, he could always find something valuable from the trash thrown away by the adventurers, and this made him worthy of his nickname which had the word “eyes” in it. Since he was so excited about this object, it must really be something good!
“Sit down, and tell me. There is no need to hurry.”
“Yes!” Grey Eyes sat down and breathed deeply. Then he told the old man what Gerrard like looked in detail, and especially how the bracelet looked.
“Chairman, I swear on my eyes, that bracelet is definitely something special!” He grew very excited again, and exclaimed, “It is at least an advanced magical object… It may be a legendary object!”
“A legendary object?!” Now even the chairman of the Association of Thieves could not help but become excited. He stood up and asked, “Are you sure? What kind then?”
“I am 60-70 percent sure, but I am not sure about it’s kind. While I have a vague feeling that there was a powerful mind in that bracelet, it was probably a holy article worshiped by the people in that giant’s tribe for generations.”
The chairman nodded. A giant was a very strong race in the first place. A holy article worshiped by them generation after generation might be a legendary treasured object. He instantly got very excited as soon as he thought of the phrase “legendary treasured object”.
This world was big, but legendary treasured objects were not that common, and there was always an impressive history behind every one of them. Most of them were in the hands of the powerful, for example, a noble aristocrat, or a famous wizard, or even a leader of a big association… And his own superior, a person of great importance who governed the routine business of the whole Ash Village, also had one.
That object was the Ace card for the superior, and it could save his life when he was in danger. More than once, it had turned peril into safety or turned the tables for him. The old man thought that if he could get one too… Thinking of this, he could not help but sneer.