Note: In the title, ‘The Dragon’ (龙/Long) refers either to Hao Chen’s last name, or to a monster they’ll meet, or something like that, I leave the surprise to you.
Chapter 57: The Dragon Rises And Sets Sail (I)
“Set off.” The command of the elder who was acting as their supervisor was passed down. At this moment, he waved the magical staff in his hand, covering his whole body in a blue light, and left the ground just like that, floating a meter above the ground while advancing forward.
“You can act as if I didn’t exist, and I will not help you the slightest bit as well, unless you plan to withdraw from this Demon Hunt Selection.” The elder’s voice fluttered in front of them. The blue light suddenly became more intense and, to their surprise, in a split second, this supervisor and senior disappeared without notice.
Upon seeing that this supervisor had suddenly disappeared, everyone else was surprised; only Long Hao Chen’s eyes slightly moved, subconsciously shooting a glance at the rear.
“This is the map.” Lin Jia Lu took out a map made of sheepskin from her bosom, unfolding it in front of everyone. “We will have to head straight to the east before infiltrating the territory controlled by the demon race. This is for you.” As she spoke, she took out five round tiles from her bosom and, after keeping one for herself, she gave the rest to the four others.
Long Hao Chen took the tile and gave it a look. It looked very delicate, was entirely made of silver and had a purple gem inlaid in it. It emitted insipid magic undulations.
“This is the license plate for our participation in the Demon Hunt Selection Competition. On its reverse side is our identity, origins, as well as competitor number. If we cannot pass the entrance test, the tiles will be retrieved back by the elder. Because of this tile, we will not be bothered by the garrisons of the Alliance, but we will not be able to get their help either. Entering the territory of the demon race, we will only be able to rely on ourselves. The best would be for us to meet patrol soldiers belonging to the demon race. As long as we can kill a total of 25 demons, we will have accomplished our task and will be able to retreat.”
At this point, Lin Jia Lu came to a halt, meticulously sweeping her eyes over Li Xin before continuing: “In regard to our cultivation level, completing this task should be no problem at all. But since we are acting in a group, we will have to display some cooperation. The snake cannot have a missing head. So, before attacking, the best thing to do would be to pick out a leader to stay synchronized when we run into battle.”
Li Xin coldly snorted, “Are you saying that you are intending to become our leader?”
Lin Jia Lu shot her a glance. Without compromising the slightest bit, “Why would it be impossible? I am the one with the highest cultivation level here and, in addition, as a mage who fights at the rear, I have the best position to observe the battlefield, so I am the most suitable to command the team.”
Li Xin wrinkled her brows, pondering a little before unexpectedly nodding, telling her: “Okay, we will follow your directions.”
Lin Jia Lu stared at her blankly. She did not expect to hear those words from Li Xin. She could not help but give her a doubtful look.
Li Xin snorted once more, “What are you looking at? This young lady is dissociating the public from the private; for the sake of keeping my little brother safe, I will not fight with you this time. However, if, on the battlefield, your directions appear to be mistakes, this young lady will not show any restraint in depriving you of your authority.”
Lin Jia Lu directly chose to ignore Li Xin’s threats and looked at the Chen brothers, “Do you have any objections?”
Chen Si and Chen Chen shook their head at the same time. These two brothers were straightforward; they recognized themselves as being inferior to these two ladies, so they naturally did not have any objections.
“Okay, with it being this way, let us set off.” Lin Jia Lu issued her first command as the leader.
Long Hao Chen stood at the side of Li Xin, a bit depressed and thinking to himself, Why is it that they didn’t even ask for my opinion?!
At this moment, Lin Jia Lu faced him and approached, “Little brother Long, I am wearing a robe so I am unable to ride a horse. Please look after me, I will sit behind you.”
“Ah?” Long Hao Chen looked dumbstruck at the gentle, sweet, and smiling appearance of Lin Jia Lu before noticing that Li Xin, at the side, had become as cold as ice and frost and could not decide how he should reply.
Lin Jia Lu was still smiling and didn’t took a single glance at Li Xin, asking once more: “You are a Guardian Knight! Don’t tell me you wouldn’t ensure the safety of a mage?”
As she spoke, she directly extended her hand toward Long Hao Chen, hinting him to get her on his horse.
“I will ride together with you.” Stretching her hand and pulling Lin Jia Lu directly from the back of her horse; the one who did that was precisely Li Xin!
Lin Jia Lu was surprised and reacted angrily, “Who wants to ride together with you?! You are a Retribution Knight, can you really protect me that well?!”
Li Xin replied very fiercely: “You can choose either Chen Si or his little brother Chen Chen if that’s the case. Don’t try to use my little brother to your convenience. You’re dreaming, I’ll never give you that opportunity.” As she spoke, Li Xin knocked the belly of her horse and the Rose Unicorn flew upwards, letting Lin Jia Lu resentfully cry out in anger, just like a sort of red-colored arrow launched forward.
Long Hao Chen and the two Chen brothers gave a glance at each other, their faces displaying a helpless feeling, before hurrying to whip their horses, chasing after them. A pitch black silhouette tightly followed after them, sticking to the ground with its two heads following around, showing a very excited expression on its faces.
A distance of about 200 kilometers, to the Rose Unicorn, was at most two hours of travel, but Long Hao Chen’s group could not keep up, with their ordinary horses. After traveling from early morning to late night, they finally arrived at the vicinity of the frontier.
Relying on their Demon Hunt Selection tiles, the five people smoothly passed through the area defended by the Temple Alliance forces, leaving their horses there, and after eating simple meals, they were finally going to enter the territory of the demon race.
To decrease the probability of being discovered, Li Xin had her Rose Unicorn scout in the sky. Taking advantage of the dim light of night, they passed through a hill. They could already saw from afar territory of the demon race.
“Let’s stop here.” Lin Jia Lu called out to everyone to come to a halt and took out her map. Even though she could be considered as having tacitly agreed in riding together with Li Xin, her current face looked unpleased, as before.
Everyone squated down, encircling Lin Jia Lu as she unfolded her map. Pointing at it, she said: “We are currently at this location. The main troops of the demon race are stationed roughly 100 kilometers in front of us. Directly raiding their army camps isn’t realistic, and there will be no coming back if we choose to do so. Thus, we will complete our task by wiping out scouts from the demon race during the upcoming few days. From now on, everyone will have to keep a good formation. Li Xin, you are in the front. Chen Si and Chen Chen, you are on both sides. Little brother Long, you are in the rear, and I will be in the middle of the formation. In the case we meet the enemy, you will have to listen to my orders, understood?”
Even though her complexion was not good, Lin Jia Lu kept a calm face, her elegant face looking quite dignified.
Including Li Xin, everyone nodded in succession.
After Lin Jia Lu put her map away, everyone stood once more. They could not help but look in the direction of the demon race’s territory. Nervousness, excitement, anxiety; this was their current state of mind, but all of them stood on the alert. On the verge of facing the biggest enemy of mankind, they were filled with heroic emotions that excited, more or less, all of them.
“Hao Yue, please come out.” Long Hao Chen shouted loudly.
A shadow flashed and the two-headed lizard, Hao Yue, came quietly in front of Long Hao Chen, his appearance immediately frightening the hell out of the little group of youths.
“Everyone, don’t be nervous, this is my companion.” Look Hao Chen quickly explained in a low voice.
Everyone could not help but observe Hao Yue’s appearance carefully. The most astonished among them was, without a doubt, Lin Jia Lu. As a mage, her mental capacity was, naturally, much superior to those of close quarters vocations. Her perception was even more formidable, but she completely failed to notice Hao Yue’s existence.