The golden sunlight scattered.
Amidst the emerald grass, a yellow dirt road curved and winded ahead into the distance.
On the road, three black carriages drove slowly ahead.
Garen sat in the carriage, quietly looking out the carriage window.
On a high mountain far to their left, there was a line of grey fortresses, their serrated surrounding walls wrapping them up in the center. Some parts of the wall had already been knocked down. Everything was silent.
A few huge black bats were circling above the forts, and there was even a black bat flying out from inside the fort.
There was the smell of something burning in a huge fire in the air.
Garen took out his pocket watch to check the time: 3:24.
"Let’s rest for a bit, we’ve already been on the road all morning," he said calmly.
He didn’t speak loudly, but it was just enough for the other two carriages to hear him.
He sat in the middle carriage, and Reylan sat right opposite him.
The carriage in front of them carried Angel and her Hunting Group. Behind them was Lala and some supplies like food and drink that they had to bring with them.
The three carriages instantly stopped at the same time. The three aberrated black horses naturally stopped without requiring anyone to order them.
Garen opened the carriage door and got off the carriage. He raised his gaze to look at the surroundings.
Everything around him was emerald green grass plains, with flower bushes on each side to welcome travelers. The bushes had little red and yellow flowers, unusually vibrant. The breeze made these tiny flowers sway in the wind continuously.
He followed the plains and gazed into the distance. The green grassy plains continued to the fortress at the faraway mountain, with dying yellow weeping willows dotting the large swathe of green in between.
Garen raised his head to look at the fort, frowning slightly.
"These are the private fortresses near Iron Tank City, we haven’t left the governance territory of Iron Tank City yet." Reylan alighted from the carriage behind Garen, her voice deep. "We need at least one more day to leave the territory, judging by our current speed."
"Looks like that fortress has already been conquered," Garen guessed.
"Definitely, the ones flying in the sky are Carrion Bats. These bats come out in the day and rest at night. Unlike normal bats, they only eat rotting corpses," Reylan replied calmly. "Carrion Bats will only appear where there’s no danger, they’re very cowardly. Be it monsters or humans, they’re all things these bats think they should avoid."
She took out a small notebook, and started to carefully note down something. He didn’t know what, and could only hear the scratching of the pen she brings with her everywhere on the paper.
Garen nodded, indicating that he understood.
"How much longer can our supply of food and water last?"
"I’ll call Lala out. She knows the answer to this best," Reylan frowned, and walked directly to the third carriage.
She quickly got onto the third carriage, but he didn’t hear her scolding Lala.
"Brother, come and look. Lala seems to be pretty badly sick," Reylan’s voice came from the carriage.
Garen glanced at the Hunting Group members, who had just gotten down from their carriage, waving as a way of telling them to rest. Striding towards the third carriage, he stepped in from the wide open carriage door.
It was slightly cold and dank in the carriage, all sorts of miscellaneous items in barrels littering the dark interior. The yellow wooden barrels were wrapped into a cross with metal belts. Lala leaned on the wooden barrel, her face flushed and her breath panting.
"Cough… cough…" Lala coughed painfully, the sound of phlegm in her throat. She held her chest with her hand, as though unable to catch her breath. Even when she sat on the ground, it was weakly.
She only wore a grey summer dress, without long socks.
Garen surveyed Lala’s entire body, crouched down, and lightly picked up the cloth on the right shoulder of the dress, carefully taking a black speck off from it.
"I… feel like… can’t breathe…" Lala said with difficulty. Her gaze on Garen was as though she saw her savior, her eyes lighting up.
Garen sighed, pressing her chest lightly with his right hand.
"Brother!" Reylan’s voice came from beside him, sounding unhappy as she grabbed Garen’s hand, "It’s just a servant, it’s fine if she dies, but don’t let her pass it on to you."
Garen glanced at her. Reylan’s pale yellow eyes shone with jealousy and dissatisfaction. She averted her gaze slightly, turning her hateful glare at Lala instead.
"She’s having an asthma attack, it was my fault for not thinking ahead. I let her live for a long time in a place with bad air circulation, and a breeding place for bacteria and other microorganisms as well. She’s just a normal person, it’s already not bad that she managed to stay this long without falling sick."
"Let her die, we don’t have any medicine for asthma." Reylan’s gaze flickered. "I’ll take care of these supplies for you."
"Leave for now," Garen said calmly. "Be a good girl."
Reylan glared at Lala unhappily, before she finally got off the carriage.
Garen turned around, suspending his right palm over Lala’s chest. His fingers expanded rapidly, turning into five thick black steel rods.
His fingers instantly began dotting Lala’s lungs quickly.
"I don’t know the actual healing method, so I can only reduce your symptoms for now. And besides, I’m not really sure that it is asthma," he said softly, looking at Lala relax as he continued his treatment.
Her soft chest kept shifting into different shapes underneath Garen’s hand.
Lala had just recovered when she felt the strange sensation on her chest, and her face flushed again. She turned her head to aside, unsure of how to reply.
On the other hand, Garen was unperturbed. After quickly solving the problem of the blocked blood qi in her lungs, he finally added a bit more force into his palm.
Lala pitched forward, and coughed out a mouthful of black phlegm.
The black phlegm was about to land on Garen’s body, but he flicked his fingers to shoot out a blast of air that shot it out of the carriage and onto the grass far away.
Garen stood, his heart sinking slightly.
"Once you fall sick at this time, under these circumstances, it’s very hard to find medicines to treat you. Right now, all I can give you are medicines to reduce the inflammation and coughing. The rest is up to you."
Lala nodded. "It’s fine, I’ll get better soon." She smiled at Garen, telling him not to worry.
However, Garen frowned. "I found cockroach droppings on your clothes, it’s best if you don’t stay here anymore. Switch carriages."
Lala nodded, she noticed this reason as well.
Garen shook his head and got off the carriage, coming face to face with a thunderous Reylan.
"What’s the matter?"
"You shouldn’t have agreed to let her come along," Reylan said in a low voice. "That person is a burden. She doesn’t have to worry about anything, and now that she’s fallen sick, she can’t do any little thing at all! Why should we keep her?"
"You’re being a little extreme, Reylan," Garen frowned. "Her family died in the previous war, and now she has no other relatives, so she has no choice but to come with us."
"So what?" Reylan glanced at that carriage jealously, "Brother, don’t tell me you want to fuck that whore? Isn’t she just a little prettier, with slightly better skin!? Do you still expect to enjoy yourself under these circumstances? If it was any normal time, I’ll catch as many as you want for you! But now’s different!"
Garen looked at her expression and knew that she was getting more and more jealous of Lala. After her own face was destroyed, she got unusually jealous of other women with whole faces.
"I promised her that if she worked for me, she would get sufficient safety in return. Right now, I haven’t achieved that promise yet," he said softly. "Alright, Reylan, I know you’re in a bad mood, but don’t take it out on others!"
Reylan didn’t say anything else, but her expression grew darker, and finally she turned and left without a word.
Garen massaged his temple, feeling a headache coming on.
Looking at the sun above him, the golden sunlight was bright but not very warm.
Compared to Lala, Reylan was indeed a lot more important. She was still teaching him a lot of basic knowledge on how to study the Derivator. Right now, he had no choice but to rely on her. That was why Garen couldn’t afford to piss her off either.
But her twisted view of the world and values could indeed cause the team a great deal of trouble.
From the Hunting Group’s side, Angel walked over, her expression confused.
"What’s the matter?"
"Lala fell sick, it’s probably acute asthma," Garen replied helplessly. "She’s the only normal person among us, and her body isn’t that strong either, plus she got hurt before. It’s already not bad that she only fell sick now."
"Now what do we do?" Angel also frowned. She also had a pretty good impression of Lala, the dutiful maid. "I still have some Tavinipin here, take it to her and it might help."
"Should be okay."
Garen took the medicine to Lala, and after she ate it, she did recover a little shortly. This sort of medicine was mostly to suppress coughing.
Garen didn’t think too much more about it. He let the Petrifying White Dragon lead the way, and had the Dual Headed Salamander ride two Petrifying Lizards to watch the rear. On the two sides, the Deep Swamp Croc and Resonance Hawk stood guard from a distance. They carried many parasites with them, chasing away any strong monsters that might appear nearby, and only allowing some weaker fellows to enter so Angel and the rest can train.
His potential points kept increasing, but at an extremely slow pace. It was far from his time in Iron Tank City.
They basically didn’t meet any strong characters at all in the wild.
After that, they proceeded for more than another day, all the way until they reached the border of Iron Tank City’s territory. All they met on the way were Form One monsters, with extremely few Form Two monsters. There was no need to chase them away at all, so Garen decided to let his subordinates ignore them all, letting them come in directly.
By now, his potential points had reached an unprecedented 125 points. He had been hoarding them since Iron Tank City.
He planned to hoard more at once, and then focus them into evolving the Black-Striped White Tiger.
The pale morning sunlight shone in from the cracks in the curtains.
Garen slowly awoke from his dreams, massaging the back of his neck, feeling slightly sore. When he opened his eyes, he saw that Reylan, who was lying down opposite him, was sleeping soundly on her side.
Everything was quiet outside, except the occasional snorting of the aberrated horses.
He sat up from the cushion seats, and pulled away the blankets on his body, putting on his leather breeches. He peeled a wooden blank away from the wall of the carriage to their right and let it down, supporting it with two wooden sticks to form a simple table.
Taking up the dried vegetables and beef jerky that he hadn’t finished eating from last night, Garen took two large glasses of water from the water bottle, and tossed the dried vegetables and meat inside.
And then he held one glass in each hand, his palms glowing slightly like red jade.
After more than a minute, the smell of beef jerky and dried vegetables wafted throughout the carriage.
"Brother?" Reylan woke up from her sleep, looking at Garen with blurry eyes. With the table between them, she instantly saw the two large glasses on the table.
White steam floated out from the mouths of the cups, carrying a faint aroma.