Chapter 21: The Battle with the Girl from Caucasus (Part 2)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
As they walked east, Saleen finally witnessed the strength of the Caucasus people. The cudgel that Sika was carrying was never used. She used a boomerang over one foot in length to hunt instead.
The V-shaped boomerang had sharp edges on both its inner and outer sides. It was kept in a leather sheath when not in use. Sika would hold it in her bare hands, as though the razor-sharp metal edges were nonexistent. Be it wild beasts, demonic beasts, huge trees, or rocks, Sika’s boomerang would hack them in half.
Sika was not afraid of the cold. Her animal skins exposed her belly button and thighs. She did not change her outfit even in this autumn weather. The leather bag she was carrying was at least five times bigger than that of Saleen’s, and was completely filled. Luckily her appetite was not as large, and was only about two to three times that of Saleen’s.
The two of them spent a month in the mountains. It was already winter before they found their way out. They had found out at a village that they would reach Dean City if they continued to walk another two hundred miles east.
Sika was full of admiration for Saleen. It was incredible that this person who did not have any maps was able to find the way directly out of the mountain to the city.
Once they left the mountainous area, there was a more populated large plain to the east. The total population of the four empires was more than four billion. There were more than a billion people in Sikeqinya alone. There were hundreds of cities, and it was a pure coincidence that Saleen had ended up going in this direction.
After more than a month, Saleen had developed a better understanding of Sika. Like most people in Caucasus, she had been born to a poor tribe. Although the tribe was poor, they were very brave. Demonic beasts had not been able to affect the tribe’s increase in population. Every year, many Caucasus warriors like her left the mountain area, just to seek a living.
Sika was very intelligent, and simple. Although she was muddled in some areas, she was outstanding in terms of combat.
No matter how strong they were, such people would find it hard to earn money unless traders did not have bad intentions. Sika used her intelligence for combat. Her body was strong and robust like a magic leopard’s. In terms of managing her money, she was as dumb as a pig. This had caused Saleen to drop his schemes, as he was worried about having to look after her once they were in the city.
Sika was glad to be following Saleen. She was illiterate. Being a Caucasus native, it was already an achievement for her to be able to speak the common language. In being able to follow a learned mage, Sika felt as though she had found treasure.
Dean City’s flourishing locale exceeded Saleen’s imagination. The stores were filled with adventurers and mercenaries. It was already winter but the vibrant atmosphere made it seem like it was mid-summer.
Saleen brought Sika around to a few stores, feeling as though he had a pathetic amount of gold coins. He could not even buy a decent piece of equipment. The goods meant to be used by mages cost a minimum of ten thousand gold coins. Those in the range of one to two thousand gold coins seemed crude to him.
There was another pesky matter. Sika’s looks drew attention from the adventurers. There were even some mercenaries who blocked their path, hoping to recruit Sika. It was rare for anyone to have such a beautiful Caucasus native who was both good-looking and strong, judging by the weapon on her back.
It was fortunate that no one had made any moves. The people here had recognized Saleen’s mage attire, only noting that it was odd to have such coarse speech coupled with his respectful expressions.
Saleen, with a headache, said, “Sika, you should change your outfit.”
“I haven’t got any money. Once I left the mountain, I spent all my money on that holy water.” Sika shook her head matter-of-factly.
At the mention of holy water, Saleen’s eyes started to twitch as though there were still pain. He was uneasy at how the holy water had not had any effect on him. After losing his concentration temporarily, he said, “I will pay for you. You are drawing too much attention like this.”
“Ok.” Sika did not care for formalities. She was irritated by the mercenaries who had impeded them. She was not attracted by their abilities, but being in the city, she could not chase them off too harshly. She also understood that while she was popular with the junior troops, it was difficult for them to earn money. She wanted to earn a lot of money, so that she could buy many things to bring back to her tribe.
Giving consideration to the experience he’d gained in Ceylon City, Saleen brought Sika to a more deserted street and walked into a store at random. It was not a large store, about fifty meters in size, and had stairs leading to a mezzanine.
Upon seeing a mage walk in with a Caucasus warrior, the proprietor welcomed them warmly in person.
“Master mage, what do you need? We can offer you a discount,” the proprietor said with a smile. He was warmer and less hypocritical than those in Ceylon City. It was easy to make money off of mages, as they usually carried large amounts of gold coins.
“I would like some leather armor, suitable for her.” Saleen pointed at Sika.
The proprietor was a little disappointed that he was not here to buy mage equipment. He would be making much less money then. However, he did have quality leather armor and nevertheless, it was still a business deal. He maintained his smile, bowed, and gestured the way to go.
After following the proprietor to the mezzanine, the proprietor asked his worker to bring tea and snacks. He then went with Saleen and Sika to retrieve the leather armor. Being a small store, their goods were not displayed at the counter.
Soon after, two workers brought in a huge wooden case from the warehouse in the backyard. The wooden case had not been opened. There was a company label on it, along with a few slips of paper with a symbol of the location, date, and store.
Opening the case and its cover, a set of leather armor was unveiled under the light of the magic lamp.
Saleen’s pupils shrank. He could sense a slight magic wave movement on the leather armor. This was leather armor that had been treated with magic. There was not constant magic on it but it was of very good quality. It could be converted to magic armor. Such equipment must have been very expensive!
Sika’s eyes lit up. The leather armor was grey, and black floral patterns emerged where it had been treated with medicinal liquid. The patterns were suited for camouflaging in the wild, and were not completely useless designs.
The leather armor was made in Qin Empire style. Although complicated, it was very practical. Hair could pass through the inside of the helmet which protected the forehead. The portion for the chin had a clasp for attachment, which also made it easy to remove.
An additional layer, possibly made of metal pieces or demonic beast bones, had been added to the chest portion of the leather armor.
The arm portions only covered up to the elbows and were then followed by the wrist portions, unlike Tanggulasi Empire armor which had gloves.
There was no metal on the leather armor, and no pins could be seen. It could be bothersome to put on, but once worn, it would be malleable and not affect movement during combat.
This leather armor was similar to the armor made in the Qin Empire, but there were additional attachments in the case. A person could make repairs or changes. As it was a speciality store for adventurers, they also gave out a complimentary leather sack, blanket, and daggers.
Sika turned the leather armor over carefully. There was a leather ring at its back, affixed to the keel of the inner layer and meant for hanging weighty weapons such as sabres. Sika stroked the leather armor and looked at Saleen expectantly.
She also knew that this thing was not cheap, and so was hesitant in asking Saleen to buy it.
“How much is it?” Saleen asked calmly. His eyes were sharp. It seemed as though the leather armor had been made for Sika, down to the size of the boots.
“Nine hundred and sixty gold coins. I have already given you a twenty percent discount.” The proprietor removed a slip of paper from the case and showed it to Saleen. On it was the location where the leather armor had been produced –”Items from Jungle Arms Dealer are quality assured.”
Saleen heaved a sigh of relief. Although it was very expensive, he could still afford it. To think that the original price of the leather armor exceeded one thousand gold coins. He had completely misjudged it. Normal leather armors cost about one or two gold coins, with better ones costing tens of gold coins. Those that cost more than one hundred gold coins were magic armors. This leather armor was quite costly, most likely due to its unique material.
“You accept Qin Empire bank notes here, I assume.” Saleen picked up the small booklet in the case as he asked. The booklet included an introduction of the item. Blinking his eyes, he saw the name “saltwater alligator” inside it.
A Grade 6 magic beast! This leather armor was actually made of material from a Grade 6 magic beast! The saltwater alligator was usually very ferocious, and was frequently mentioned in books depicting magic beasts that Saleen had read.
“Of course, of course I accept them.” The proprietor was delighted. Since the mage had asked this, it meant he had decided to buy the leather armor.
“Um, I also need some materials for making scrolls.”
“Mage sir, if you are planning to use them for practice, the inexpensive kind will do. I will ask someone to prepare them. How much do you need?”
The proprietor was an honest businessman. He could tell that Saleen was only a junior mage, and did not have use for superior scroll materials. Saleen hesitated for a moment. He did not have experience in making scrolls, and only knew the technical knowledge. If he bought too little, they would be useless to him. However, he did not have the money to buy too many.
“I will get fifty blank scrolls, and just one set of a magic brush and dragon’s blood ink. Give me a better magic brush.”
“Eight hundred gold coins,” the proprietor quickly calculated the cost of these materials.
“I also need ten Grade 3 magic nuclei,” Saleen estimated how much he had, and said cautiously.
“One thousand gold coins.”
Saleen felt as though something had been drained from his body, just like how he had bled after falling at some stone steps when he was young.
A quick calculation told him that he was left with four hundred gold coins, in addition to the one hundred and eight gold coins he had. He felt poor once again. He took out the ring he had obtained from Baron Viscount and asked, “Do you accept this?”
The proprietor took an experienced glance and said, “We do not accept jewelry. The ring is gold-plated, though it was set with a diopside stone. Its size is worth one hundred gold coins. If you plan on selling it, I will take it for one hundred gold coins.”
Saleen was frustrated about having misjudged this. It was actually a fake. There were large quantities of diopside stones, and this one had obviously been processed. If it had been a green soapstone, it would have been worth one thousand gold coins.
That damn Baron Minghui. If he had known that this was a fake, he would have bashed his head into a mess.