Chapter 216: Yue Ye[ref]this name can be literally translated as ‘Moon Night’[/ref] Merchant Group (I)
“Hello, we decided to accept the exploration mission ‘Exploring the Desolate Whistling Cavern’.” Long Haochen said to the man seated behind the counter.
The look this Demon Hunt Squad serviceman gave Long Haochen was full of doubts, while he secretly tried to hide his astonishment. To be able to come to this floor, they had to be a Demon Hunt Squad of general grade, but these children were just too young! They were surely less than 20 years-old, and members of Demon Hunt Squads aged 20 or less were extremely rare. Moreover, the one who looked like he was the captain was even younger than his companions.
Nonetheless, since they were able to come to this place, there was clearly no need to call their status into question.
“Okay. Please display your official captain tile.”
Long Haochen took his official plate out and delivered it, registering his name to the staff member.
As the staff member registered him, the following information appeared: “The 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad will accept the exploration mission ‘Exploring the Desolate Whistling Cavern’. Mission reward, 20,000 contribution points. No penalty for the failure of the mission. 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad, number of missions completed…”
Reading this number, this staff member’s voice suddenly faltered. Lifting up his head in shock, he looked at Long Haochen, “Number of missions completed, 0? How… How is that possible?”
Long Haochen politely replied, “We are a newly formed Demon Hunt Squad of this year’s Demon Hunt Squad Competition. Because everyone in our team has already reached the fifth step, and we have also obtained enough contribution points during the team competition, we were able to promote our grade yesterday. This is the reason as for why we have never completed missions on our own before.”
So it was actually a newly formed Demon Hunt Squad? The staff member warned them with good intentions, “This mission will be quite challenging, you will have to enter over 1000 km deep into the demon territory. On the way, you will have to cross four demon provinces, and although the optimum itinerary is indicated on the map, you will have great odds to run into demon troops. The degree of danger is thus quite important. Furthermore, the Desolate Whistling Cavern is a place of unknown danger. Although the reward is quite generous, this mission won’t be easy to accomplish. Are you really sure you want to accept this mission?”
Long Haochen replied with a smile, “That’s right, we are certain. Thank you for the warning, we will be careful. Until the mission is completed, we will work together with another Demon Hunt Squad. With two teams acting as one, although the danger still exists, we should still have good chances to succeed.”
The staff member opened his eyes wide, “Since this is the case, it should be okay. But you have to bear in mind that to a Demon Hunt Squad, the most important point is self-preservation. Don’t take too many risks for the sake of the contribution points. Let me take care of the formalities for you.” Thinking that Long Haochen’s group was going to do this mission jointly with another general grade Demon Hunt Squad, he didn’t question their choice any more.
The staff members that had the qualifications to work in the Mission Tower were all extremely conscientious. If they believed that a team that wanted to accept a certain mission would be unable to complete it successfully, they could even refuse to let them accept it. This was after all related to the safety of the Demon Hunt Squads.
Having accepted the exploration mission, they also received the mission related goods, a Recording Gem.
This was a small gem with a recording function: after being activated with spiritual energy, it would record the surrounding images in its memory. This Recording Gem was of significant worth: a single of them had a value of 1,000 contribution points. For this Exploration Mission, it would be lent to them for free, but if they lost it, they would have to compensate for it.
At the time the procedures were finished, Long Haochen’s group left the Demon Hunt Squad Mission Tower in excitement. This was their very first mission. As for their preparations before leaving, they did them as fast as possible.
Their prize were after all 20,000 contribution points!
Five days later.
Second floor of the Demon Hunts Mission Tower.
A grizzled haired old man came hastily to the exploration mission counter. Standing there was the same staff member who interacted with Long Haochen.
“Attendant Li Jing, are you coming for another batch of new missions?” The middle-aged man standing behind the counter was clearly quite familiar with him.
He was one of the attendants working in the Demon Hunt Squads’ Mission Tower and was in charge of releasing the missions. And this time, Li Jing clearly looked quite anxious. “That’s not the case, I came to cancel a mission. Please cancel the mission ‘Exploring the Desolate Whistling Cavern’ that was distributed one week ago. According to the newest information, I’m afraid that magical beasts of the eighth or the ninth step would very likely reside in the Desolate Whistling Cavern. It is even possible that some historical remains of ancient times exist there. This increases the mission’s level of difficulty enormously. The rewards for this Exploration Mission have been increase to 200,000 contribution points, and it will be labeled as a king grade mission.”
“What?” The middle-aged man was shocked, “A king grade mission?” According to the ranking of the Demon Hunt Squads, after the soldier grade came the general grade, followed by the commander grade, and then, the king grade. In fact, a king grade mission could already be considered to be a high-ranking mission. As the modification of a mission with an increase of two grades atop of a tenfold increase of rewards, this was an extremely rarely seen situation.
Li Jing smiled bitterly, “The Desolate Whistling Cavern has originally been discovered by a commander grade Demon Hunt Squad. Because they had just completed another mission at that time, two of their members were seriously injured, so they didn’t have the occasion to explore it. They just determined the situation in this cavern with some simple checks. But recently, another general grade Demon Hunt Squad has brought more accurate information back. Powerful fluctuations of spiritual energy were found inside of the cavern, very possibly linked to a formidable magical beast. Furthermore, the demon race has also already dispatched some troops to start exploring it. This is why the degree of difficulty has suddenly been increased to the king grade. If a king grade Demon Hunt Squad handles it, this exploration shouldn’t be too problematic to carry out.”
The middle-aged man seated behind the mission counter revealed a bitter smile too, “But this mission has already been accepted.”
“What? Accepted?” Li Jing was shocked, “A general grade Demon Hunt Squad accepted it? But it’s a mission that requires to enter more than 1,000 km deep into the demon territory, and you’re telling me it has been accepted a few days after the release, just like that?”
“I remember it! At that time, they said they would handle this mission jointly with another Demon Hunt Squad, which is why I let them accept it. What should we do now? I’m afraid they already set out.”
Li Jing’s expression immediately became uglier. To the Alliance, any of the Demon Hunt Squads were most important resources, “We won’t make it in time even if we chase after them now. As a general grade Demon Hunt Squad, they should at least know how to preserve themselves. After sensing something wrong, they should return. What’s more, it’s a cooperation of two teams. I hope they will realize the danger in time and escape with their tails between their legs. Since it was our mistake, we will grant them 10,000 contribution points as reward at the time they return.”
The middle-aged man seated behind the counter still felt hesitant. Long Haochen’s team was after all a newly formed Demon Hunt Squad he didn’t know about, but in his opinion, since they were accompanied by another general grade Demon Hunt Squad, they should sense the fluctuation of internal spiritual energy present in the Desolate Whistling Cavern and retreat after feeling the danger.
Long Haochen’s group had indeed already departed. After accepting this mission, he immediately shared its contents with the 4th soldier grade Demon Hunt Squad, and after two days of preparations, they swiftly left Holy City, following the map they were given. Long Haochen felt some regret about the fact that his teacher Ye Hua was presently undergoing closed door cultivation, and couldn’t see them for this reason. According to Han Qian, Ye Hua’s training speed was extraordinarily quick and violent, just like a volcano that erupted suddenly after having been stifled for some time.
If Shengmo Dalu could be said to be square-shaped, the Alliance Temple would control the square formed at the northwest’s angle while the other ¾ could be said to be controlled by the demon race.
After entering the dark age, the demon territory had been divided into 24 provinces, with a demon god overseeing each of them.
The central part of the demon territory was known as the central province, as well as the biggest out of the 24, where the Demon God Emperor’s imperial palace was located.
The 21st general grade Demon Hunt Squad travelled day and night accompanied by the 4th soldier grade Demon Hunt Squad, and after only eight days of travel, they reached the southwest border of the Temple Alliance.
Long Haochen and Cai’er were seated on Haoyue’s back, Li Xin was carried by her Rose Unicorn, and the others rode fine horses.
From the eight days of uninterrupted journey, they were already somewhat worn-out.
The day the almighty hero Chen Zidian left, Haoyue awoke, and looked now even more robust. His height already exceeded 5 meters, his width was close to 2 meters, and his sharp look gave an especially strong and domineering impression. After three months’ time, he seemed to have already completed another evolution, rising from the middle-rank of the sixth step to the high-rank of the sixth step. This progress speed could be said to be unprecedented for any magical beast.
Long Haochen had Haoyue stop. Gazing at a city that looked quite important, he took his map out of the forget-me-not ring.
“Ahead should be Starseeker City. After crossing 150 km, we should reach the fort serving as headquarters of the Warrior Temple at the southeast. Now, how about we get to the Starseeker City and rest for a while, before heading to the fort?”
This place was already under the influence of the Warrior Temple, so at that time, it was natural that he looked at Wang Yuanyuan as he asked this question.
Wang Yuanyuan shook her head, “I have no objections.”
“Let’s just head to this Starseeker City to rest then.” At this point, a voice burst out from the side of the 4th soldier grade Demon Hunt Squad.
At the time Long Haochen turned around to the side, he remarked that the one who talked was precisely the warrior of the fifth step of the 4th soldier grade Demon Hunt Squad, Dian Yan, who didn’t manage to reach the top 4.
Li Xin wrinkled her brows, looking at Dian Yan, asking him, “Do you have any suggestion, brother Yan?” She addressed him directly by his name, clearly feeling some dissatisfaction. At this moment, their soldier grade Demon Hunt Squad was being temporarily led by Long Haochen. And although Li Xin became the momentary leader of their 4th soldier grade Demon Hunt Squad, she requested her comrades to act according to Long Haochen’s orders. A team could only have a single leader, otherwise, conflicts would be very likely to appear.
Dian Yan replied, “If we stop at Starseeker City, maybe we will be able to enter the demon territory in discretion.”
“Mh? Brother Dian, please tell us more about it.” Long Haochen requested, full of interest.
Dian Yan said, “In the cities located at the borders of our Alliance, there are some groups of merchants known as freelance merchants. These merchants are carrying out shady business between our human side and the demon side. But I can only say that they are the origin of many of our ressources. And it applies for both humans and demons.”