Book 8, The Ten Thousand Kilometer Journey – Chapter 17, Poison Gas Fluttering in the Wind
The city of Redsand was a small one, and there were only a few tens of thousands of people within it.
When Linley’ s group left the boat, they headed directly towards the prefectural city of Cerre. On the way there, they stopped by Redsand City, preparing to have a quick lunch.
In a private room in the second floor of a hotel, Jenne and Keane both had excited smiles on their faces.
“Haha, by tonight, we will reach Cerre City. By then, we’ll have much fewer troubles.” Keane chortled.
Jenne nodded as well. “Once we reach Cerre, our aunt probably wouldn’t openly move against us, right?”
“Jenne, Keane, things won’t be as easy as you think.” Linley laughed calmly. “Once we reach Cerre, it will actually be even more dangerous. Your so-called aunt isn’t as timid and fearful as you seem to think she is.”
When women decided to be venomous, they could be extremely terrifying.
During his three years in the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts, Linley had encountered all sorts of cruel, vicious people. Jenne’s aunt was totally capable of having Keane killed within Cerre City, and in a manner which didn’t implicate her at all.
“Really?” Keane was somewhat afraid now. After all, he was a fourteen year old boy.
Linley laughed. “But don’t worry too much. There’s no need for us to rush to Cerre City this afternoon. Let’s have a good rest in Redsand City first. Tomorrow morning, we will head out.”
“Tomorrow morning?” Jenne and Keane both looked at Linley.
“If my predictions are correct, the people your aunt undoubtedly stationed at the river have already discovered that we disembarked one harbor early. They should be able to calculate that we would arrive at Cerre City at around nightfall. Thus…there is an 80% to 90% chance that they will be waiting for us there, tonight.”
Linley could easily deduce such simple stratagems.
As long as one could think things through from another’s perspective, one could easily lead them by the nose.
“Let’s rest up and recover our strength. Tomorrow morning, we head out.” Linley laughed loudly. “There’s no rush right now. Let’s have a good lunch.”
Jenne and Keane revealed hints of smiles on their faces.
Indeed, as Linley had predicted, Apothecary Holmer and his group had headed directly for Cerre City. Madame Wade’s people in Cerre City had received this information as well.
On the walls of Cerre city.
Madame Wade was leaning on a parapet, staring outside the city. Behind her were her two brothers as well as Apothecary Holmer. As for the city guards, they had all scattered at her command.
“Mr. Holmer, I’ll have to trouble you to wait here tonight for a while.” Madame Wade turned her head towards Holmer, smiling.
Apothecary Holmer knew his own limits.
He personally wasn’t that powerful. The most powerful weapon available to him was his poisons. Naturally, he wouldn’t want to offend this malicious person in front of him, who was the true power in Cerre city.
“Madame Wade, don’t worry. Those siblings definitely will not live to arrive at Cerre city.”
Holmer was very confident. “Even if they have an escort who is of the ninth rank, hmph. As long as he hasn’t reached the Saint-level, I am confident in my ability to deal with him. But of course…he can’t already know who I am.”
If a combatant of the ninth rank were to recognize him and activate his battle-qi, the battle-qi would be sufficient to easily repel the poison.
“Mr. Holmer, all these years, you’ve resided here in Cerre City. You aren’t a person who likes to show yourself either. How many people could have possibly seen you? What’s more, I’ve heard that you, Mr. Holmer, possess the ability to change your appearance?” Madame Wade laughed as she looked at Holmer.
Holmer laughed happily. Stroking his beard, he said, “Haha. Madame Wade, change my appearance? You praise me too highly. All I do is to use some medicinal concoctions to change the color of my skin and hair. And then a little makeup…even people who know me, as long as they don’t carefully inspect me, won’t be able to recognize me.”
Madame Wade smiled as she nodded. “Then I leave everything in your hands, Mr. Holmer. Tonight, I will stay in the nearby hotel and await your good news.”
Holmer laughed confidently.
But as time went on, Madame Wade, who was in that hotel nearest to the city walls, was beginning to grow confused. Because quite soon, the city gates would close for the night.
The rule of Cerre City was that at ten o’clock sharp, the gates would be shut.
But Jenne and Keane’s group still had yet to arrive. Based on Madame Wade’s information, Jenne’s group had arrived at Redsand City by lunchtime. Even if they travelled slowly, they should’ve reached here by now.
Ten o’clock arrived.
Those enormous city gates began to slowly close as a large number of guards pushed at them. Apothecary Holmer, who had meticulously prepared for this battle, descended from the walls with a belly full of anger. Madame Wade also walked out of the hotel.
“Madame Wade, what is this?” Holmer was truly upset now.
After receiving the news, he had run all the way back from the harbor to the city. The bumpy, long ride was quite miserable for this 300-year old Holmer.
And then, he had stood up there on the walls for half the night, with the icy wind blowing at him the entire time.
And now, the city gates were shutting. But no one came.
“Who knows what is going on with that group of people. I’m afraid they might have taken a rest at Redsand City. Mr. Holmer, why don’t you rest here at the hotel tonight? Let’s see what tomorrow brings.” Madame Wade was not in a good mood either.
“That’s the only option we have right now.” Holmer was extremely disgruntled.
The next dawn, just as the city gates opened, Holmer began to quietly wait for them to arrive. By 9 o’clock in the morning, Holmer was truly furious.
Holmer rushed down from the city walls and charged directly into the second floor of the hotel.
“Madame Wade. If they aren’t coming to us, I’ll go to them.” Holmer said directly. “Give me some men, at least one of whom recognizes those two siblings.”
Madame Wade approved of this idea. “Alright. Then I’ll have to trouble you, Mr. Holmer, to make this trip.”
“This time, I really have to give these people a taste of my power.” Holmer said quietly, his eyes filled with a murderous look.
After purchasing a carriage in Redsand City, Jenne and Keane entered the carriage, with the old servant, Lambert, being the driver. As for Linley, he rode on the back of his Blackcloud Panther, Haeru.
Haeru was more than two meters tall and very broad-backed. His fur was very smooth and soft as well.
Riding on the Blackcloud Panther, Linley couldn’t feel any bumps in the road as well. The ride was far more comfortable than that of a horse or a carriage. What’s more, the Blackcloud Panther ran up mountains as easily as it ran on prairies.
“Big brother Ley. What time is it now?” Keane poked his head out of the carriage and asked Linley.
Linley glanced at him. “Don’t be impatient. It’s only ten o’clock. We most likely will arrive at Cerre City by eleven o’clock.”
The Blackcloud Panther which Linley was riding on was very awe-inspiring. Everyone on the road who saw Linley all moved aside early on to allow Linley the right of way.
From far away, the sound of hoof steps could be heard. Soon, three mounted knights could be seen in the distance, but as soon as they saw Linley, all three were terrified and came to a halt.
“What a massive panther.” One of the knights sighed, staring at the black panther Linley was riding.
“Stop staring. Let’s move.” The other knight said.
Just at this time, another stallion trotted past them. This stallion was ridden by a kindly looking old hunchback with pure white hair. The speed of the old man’s horse was fairly slow, and it clip-clopped its way forward.
“Haha, look at him. He’s so old, but still rides a horse. Haha…” One of the knights laughed loudly.
“Let’s go. We have business to attend to.”
The three knights laughed calmly, continuing on their way. Right at this time, that hunchbacked old man raised his head to glance at Linley’s group. This hunchback immediately understood.
Per their pre-arranged agreement, if they encountered the targets, the knights would say, “Haha, look at him. He’s so old, but still rides a horse.” What’s more, Holmer also knew that the mysterious expert had a black panther as a pet.
“Those three knights don’t have any knightly chivalry at all.” Keane, who had seen all this through the window, said unhappily once the three knights left.
But Linley frowned as he stared at the hunchback.
The hunchback rode the horse in a manner that did indeed inspire concern. Just from the look of him, one could tell that he was extremely old. Although the horse wasn’t moving too fast, the hunchback continued to sway back and forth on the horse’s back, as though he could fall off at any moment. His legs didn’t seem to be too firmly clamped on the horse’s back either.
Right at this moment, a carriage appeared from behind the old hunchback as well.
“F*ck off, you old fart.” One of the knights cursed loudly. The hunchback immediately whipped his horse, moving it to the side of the road.
When the horse was roughly ten or so meters away from Linley’s group, the old hunchback swayed again and fell off his horse.
“The old grandpa fell off!” Keane, seeing this from through the window, immediately pushed open the door to come out and help.
But just as the old man fell off, a light blue wave of gas emanated from his body. That light blue gas was extremely thin and light, so much so that if someone wasn’t specifically looking for it, it would be quite hard to discern.
The wind just so happened to be blowing from the east, and it blew the gas directly towards Linley. But of course, the first people to be impacted by the poison gas was the people in the carriage which had just passed by.
One knight after another collapsed from their horses to the ground, fresh blood leaking out of their noses.
“Hrm?” Linley also felt that something in his body seemed off, and his head felt a little dizzy.
“Not good. Poison.” Attuned to the wind, Linley could clearly sense that a light blue poisonous gas was wafting in his direction. By now, Linley had already taken two breaths of it.
The Dragonblood battle-qi in Linley’s body immediately rose up, absorbing all of the poisonous gas in Linley’s body, with none of it harming him at all.
This poisonous gas was a poison which Holmer had specially designed to be used against humans, based on human biology.
But Holmer could never have imagined that Linley was very different, biologically speaking, from ordinary people. Within his veins was the bloodline of the Dragonblood Warriors, an ancestral bloodline that was many times more exalted than even the bloodlines of magical beasts. In the past, even the magicite core of the Armored Razorback Wyrm had been absorbed and consumed by just the small amount of Dragonblood that was in Linley’s veins at that time.
Normal people simply couldn’t imagine or understand the special abilities and attributes of each of the Four Supreme Warriors.
This sort of poison gas couldn’t hurt a Dragonblood Warrior at all.
Based on his mastery of wind elemental essence granted to him by being a wind-style magus, Linley immediately controlled the air around him to blow the wind backwards. The poisonous gas immediately blew back towards the east. By now, the squad of knights that were between the ‘hunchback’ Holmer and Linley had all died.
The poisonous gas blew back towards Holmer, but he didn’t dodge. He was not afraid of his own poisons. But what he was afraid of…was Linley.
“Giddyup, giddyup!” Holmer suddenly became quite agile, leaping back onto his horse and then sending it galloping east as fast as he could.
“Haeru.” Linley said in a cold voice.
The Blackcloud Panther’s speed was terrifyingly fast, many times faster than an ordinary stallion.
In the blink of an eye, he traversed several hundred meters, and actually passed by Holmer, landing in front of him. All that had been visible during this motion was a black blur.
Seeing Linley suddenly appear in front of him, Holmer immediately grew frantic.
“My friend, I was paid by others to do this. If you are willing to spare me, I will give you as much gold as you wish.” Although Holmer was more than three hundred years old, he didn’t want to die yet.
Thinking back to what just happened, Linley still felt afraid.
Fortunately, he had managed to react in time and blow the poison gas back before it had entered the carriage.
“Poison gas? Are you a necromancer?” Linley looked at Holmer.
“Necromancer?” Holmer was startled, then shook his head. “No. I’m an apothecary. My friend, I am quite wealthy. Ten thousand gold coins? Twenty thousand? Or perhaps, a hundred thousand?” At a time like this, Holmer was still trying to save money.
But Linley couldn’t even be bothered to speak to him.
“Haeru, deal with it.”
Linley hopped off the black panther, heading back towards the carriage. As for the Blackcloud Panther, he revealed his sharp fangs, and then pounced directly towards Holmer.
“Ah! A million! Ten million! Ah!!!!” Before Holmer had even finished calling out, he had been flattened by a single blow from the Blackcloud Panther’s massive paw.