"Can't feel anything," said Arbeni behind his cloak, his expression was almost imperceivable, though his eyes lustered with desire occasionally.
"Liu Sheng?" Turned the masked man to another person, "See anything?" he whispered.
Liu Sheng yawned and tried lifting his drowsy eyelids, "Nope." His lethargic voice trailed off as he went seemingly asleep.
"Dong Mo, Sisko, notice anything?" The masked man seemed very inquisitive at this.
"N...a...h...h...h...," said Dong Mo. Was Dong Mo actually there? The masked man was talking to his stack of afterimages as if. Ye Chong would have probably noticed this anomaly assuming he was right there. The body of this Dong Mo guy was apparently ever-vibrating at a very high frequency, that his voice sounded blurry as his look.
"Tackan, would you stop?" Sisko sounded irritated. The voice was menacing like a condensed fury. Sisko was considerably athletic at his appearance similar to a small hill on the ground, while Tackan was looking merely like the herd down the hill. Sisko's stare was much more fearsome than anybody else.
Tackan showed negligence towards Sisko's annoyance as he turned to the last person of his team, "Kurdi, how about you?"
Kurdi was the only non-combat member among the six of them. He shrugged, "To be honest, I am still out of the situation. So why the panic, could any of you tell me?" his goatee shook as he spoke.
And it was a moment of awkward silence after that.
It took several minutes for the mood to set, "Well, he's strong!" said Tackan sluggishly.
That was when the eyes of Arbeni celestially shone within his cloak. The statement seemed to have captured their attention, even Liu Sheng's ever-drowsy
eyes suddenly went forcibly open and Dong Mo had... accelerated, his silhouette grew fuzzier. Sisko gave a bright smile, with veins pumped hard once on his forehead.
"Very strong?" Kurdi was startled by the mutation of his teammates.
Well his inquiry went unanswered however.
It had been quite some time since Ye Chong felt such unsettling feeling inside him, as he had probably encountered the strongest group in his entire life. The entire team, other than the alchemist, consisted of fighters who very likely had surpassed standard of the Jie experts.
5 Jie experts on the ride. What a trip.
What are they doing here though?
That was the first doubt emerged and lingered in Ye Chong's thoughts.
They are very dangerous.
The instinct had struck the red alert.
Ye Chong was considering quitting the party since their entities were enough threatening to his safety even without having an actual conflict. Ye Chong could just feel death from the gazes of their eyes.
Ye Chong was not sure the performance of an average fighter on Planet Guang Hua but he was fairly certain that these were the top fighters on the planet. The alchemist on the other hand, Ye Chong could not tell just yet, but judging from the fact that this alchemist could remain in their party, he must be something.
Well, if Ye Luo is here, he probably would be hopping around in excitement...
Thought Ye Chong.
It was some nonsense in his head but it helped loosening his nerves.
He had been plotting several escape plans in his mind. These fighters might not impose threats to him if he were to run away. He was pretty confident in his agility after all.
Ye Chong was in a party of 7 and he was treated with good hospitality. Under the constant interaction initiated by Caravan Leader Yu, both the group of mysterious men and the caravan leader grew closer. This was not a good sign to Ye Chong, he became more
more cautious upon seeing how the group was capable of inhibiting their brewing violence, including the giant in their group. He simply did not imagine how the bulky man could put up such a friendly smile whenever the leader approached him. That was a masterly control.
Ye Chong eventually looked like the more antisocial member in the party.
During the journey, the leader started sharing some of the folktales and local cultures he knew. It was rather interesting to be frank.
"I assume all of you have not been there before eh?" asked Leader Yu.
"Mhm, right, our visit this time is to behold the wonder of the city of alchemy," said the goatee guy with an impressed look.
"Hah! Certainly Line Shaft City does not have this name for no reason. Once you've been there you will see how almost everything is of the alchemy, by the alchemy, for the alchemy. I must say, brother, you shall prosper there with your talent! Lots of works to do!" Another cheap compliment from Leader Yu, "Yes, say if you shouted for an alchemist, 4 out of 5 men would be turning back on you. Imagine that strange sight! I too stumbled upon the happening on my first visit. There were simply too many alchemists there. You could see the bum-looking elders sitting by the street, whom you could employ with measly cost for a good whole day. Don't judge them by their apparel though, they are still the top alchemists, when they are outside the city of course. Any top alchemist would only be part of the folks once they stepped into the city."
The leader carried on sharing his tales, while Kurdi flashed his smile from time to time, and gave no comments. The rest of the group was slightly interested in the talk, but Ye Chong was that number one audience to the storytelling.
He did not know much about the city but he would not doubt every statement illustrated by the leader. The city surely had standards since it was the place where
place where Lunatic Guan was trained. She was an insane genius after all, and a place where an insane genius could be trained must be insanely brilliant.
"Every month the market would be a marvel. You could see all sorts of strange, rare materials over the street. As long as you have fortunes, or maybe some connections, there's nothing you can't buy. The marketplace of Line Shaft City is known to have the largest collection of raw materials. We even have our own branch there and not just any merchant could open a store there as they wish. Only the big businessmen would be able to set up their own spot in the market, and only the real deal of alchemy ingredient could stay. Like seriously, no one would be interested on the normal stuffs," somehow the leader sounded proud as he spoke. Then he realized something, "Oh my atrocious memory, I forgot to ask you brother," he looked at Ye Chong and said, "To which part of the city are you heading?"
And Ye Chong suddenly got spotlighted.
"Ridge of May's Night!" Ye Chong remembered his destination well.
The name turned out to be a mood-changer as everyone else's expression changed dramatically, especially Caravan Leader Yu and Kurdi, even the 5 potential Jie experts jerked on their steps almost simultaneously.
Ye Chong saw every detail of the scene, as confused he became. What kind of place is the Ridge of May's Night?
The gazes at Ye Chong turned peculiar, that felt unexplainably uncomfortable.
The leader's face was drained as his muscles seemed tightened. The only thought remained in his head was all the horrified cries demanding him to distance himself away from this very strange young man. Cold sweats had completely wetted his back and Kurdi was not looking good either.
Somehow there was envy, some hostility and bewilderment in his eyes.
"So... how do you get to the ridge?" asked Ye Chong.
The leader was trying to say something but his dehydrated throat held him. He tried spitting something but spitting something but he just panicked.
He is actually a person associated with the ridge? He is one figure that I should never mess with! I thought I only managed to grab a chance to know someone from the city, but no! I've hit the jackpot! And it's the worst jackpot ever! It's somebody from the ridge! The ridge! Thought the leader.
If he knew that Ye Chong was someone of the ridge, he would have summoned a few men to carry Ye Chong on an altar or something. He seriously wondered what bad luck had gotten him into this. The leader could not help but to wail in his mind.
All because of that old man! Why, of all persons, he sent this boy? Curses!
The leader urged himself to say something, yes, the boy of the ridge was speaking, he got to reply, or how ill-manner he would look? He could not mess this up!
Ye Chong once thought the leader had seizures because of the visibly tightened muscles, till he saw the streaming sets over his body.
He said nothing and just stared on.
The leader's sweating intensified!
It took 3 minutes for the leader to say a word, "I don't know!" He screamed, "I know nothing at all!" Caravan Leader Yu thought joyfully that he finally was able to unmute himself, but the first few words he uttered did not seem all that well.
Ye Chong assumed that was a dead-end to his enquiry, so he just turned away and pondered with his eyes closed.
That was a relief to the leader. For once he thought he would be a goner since Ye Chong had not even made a gesture for the past few minutes. At least Ye Chong had ended the conversation himself.
Judging from the leader's reaction, it did not seem to be a good omen. The 5 adepts too reacted towards the place with fear.
But what kind of place is the ridge? Ye Chong got particularly curious.