Chapter 23: Registering as a Mercenary (Part 2)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The Grade 1 mercenary regiment had no name, only a serial number. One could always come up with a name but it did not matter how nice it sounded. It was best if it were not a name already used by another mercenary regiment, as otherwise one could be exterminated.
The mercenary regiment was divided into nine grades; mercenary badges came in three different colors. The copper green one that Saleen had received was a badge for junior mercenaries. As Saleen was pinning the badge on his chest, loud cheers erupted from the center of the main hall. Saleen turned around but only could see hundreds of mercenaries crowding around the counter indignantly, unable to tell what was going on.
Saleen looked at the swordswoman. She shrugged, not knowing what had happened. These mercenaries were usually very down-to-earth, and not boastful.
“Please call me chief in the future. Come, let us take a look,” Saleen interrupted Sika, and dragged her up from the chair. Reluctantly, Sika finished her tea, even down to the tea leaves which she started to chew on.
“What are you doing? This is not meant to be eaten, spit it out.” Saleen patted her back.
“I know, gulp… but this is expensive tea.” Sika forcefully swallowed the tea leaves down, turning a little red in the process.
Saleen could not help but think that it was lucky she did not smoke, or else she would swallow the butt as well.
The two of them approached the front of the crowd. It was noisy. “Hey brother, what happened?”
Saleen found a junior swordsman and questioned him. Seeing that a mage had spoken to him so politely, the junior swordsman was overwhelmed and hurriedly explained, “The union has announced a new mission. A green dragon has been discovered at Kosan Prefecture.”
“Yes. No dragon has appeared in the hinterland of the Myers Mainland for many years now. This time, the union has asked for the capture of this dragon, and is offering five hundred thousand gold coins as a reward. Mercenaries of any grade can take on this mission, which has no deadline.”
The swordsman’s eyes were gleaming. He was an intermediate swordsman, and far from being a swordmaster. Without the sword aura, he would not even be able to pierce the dragon’s scales, so it was not clear why he would be so excited.
“The green dragon is a Grade 6 creature,” Saleen reminded him with good intent. Although the green dragon was the lower grade of dragons in the dragon family, the perception that they gave off was completely different. Creatures like dragons had terrifying defenses, and they could fly. To kill a green dragon would require the help of at least a Grade 7 mage. Otherwise, the green dragon could take flight when defeated, and there would be no way for one to pursue it.
Saleen’s words fell on deaf ears. These mercenaries were illiterate and had not read a single book in their lives. Their understanding of the green dragon was naturally inferior to that of Saleen’s.
The green dragon had a bad temper and would attack anyone. But it was also intelligent and would observe its prey from the dark. Once it felt that its prey could be captured, it would make its appearance. Such a creature feared the strong and bullied the weak, and was more difficult to manage than the explosive red dragon.
Saleen shook his head helplessly. The counter was swarmed. He did not have any space to sign up for a mission. Looking at the situation, he should probably not attempt it within the hour. Sika poked him again. Frustrated, Saleen asked, “What is it?”
He found a positive trait in Sika. She had only needed a brief reminder to know that she should not call him by his name. The bad part was that she liked to greet him with her finger, especially with a poke to his ribs.
“Chief… I am hungry,” Sika answered pitifully. As if for added effect, Sika’s stomach rumbled noisily, causing her to look embarrassed. Saleen felt that he had taken in the wrong person. This Sika could really eat as much as a bucketful of rice. However, Saleen was in a good mood, as it was fortunate that the green dragon had been discovered. At the very least, it meant that in the southeast, the mercenaries would focus on the green dragon instead of the mission to kill him.
Green dragon, please do not get killed soon! Saleen prayed in his heart.
“Hey, gorgeous miss. May I know if you would be willing to join our regiment?”
Saleen raised his head to see an unusually good-looking man who appeared to be in his twenties. His handsome brows and charming eyes did not seem to match his tall, straight nose. However, they came together in perfect harmony to give this man the juxtaposition of feminine and masculine appeal in each and every one of his expressions.
He had purple eyes and light blond hair, as well as patterns in the hollows of his thin metal armor. This man did not look human, appearing as though he were from the legendary Asmodian tribe.
“Sorry, I already have my own regiment,” Sika finally replied after sensing that this man was not lacking in power.
“Then just withdraw. I will pay the fees incurred,” this man persevered.
“Ask him.” Sika pointed at Saleen.
“Mister mage, may I know if you are willing to part with her, and will let her join my regiment?”
“You will pay?” Saleen asked.
“Of course, name your price.”
Saleen looked at Sika, stroking the new armor she wore as though it were a magic weapon. Saleen snorted and asked, “You have a lot of money?”
“Grade 4 regiment. I’ve got some savings,” the man said contentedly, not minding Saleen’s mocking attitude. A Grade 4 regiment would cost more than ten thousand gold coins to register for, and being one of the main forces, could recruit more than a thousand men. Such a regiment could even have a mage in it.
“Since you’re so well off, how about recruiting me?” Saleen was clearly being sarcastic.
“Oh, mages. We have two or three of them in the Falcon Regiment.”
“So you don’t have many swordsmen?” Saleen grew impatient. This bloody man was too self-absorbed to be provoked.
“You have no intention of parting with her!” The man whom Saleen regarded as a demon said regretfully.
“You are wrong about one thing. Sika is not a commodity. I do not have the right to decide whether she should stay. I am, however, her chief, so you’d better give up on trying to poach her from me. Since you are well off, it should not be an issue for you to cheat many other Caucasus folk,” Saleen replied coldly.
This was Dean City. No regiment would dare cause trouble here. Dean City was itself a property owned by a Grade 9 regiment. It was the one and only Grade 9 regiment – the Dragons and Roses Regiment.
“I have been impolite. How about I buy both of you a meal?”
“I do not eat with strangers.”
Saleen’s words had finally caused the demonic-looking man to react. Saleen quickly added, “So I had better introduce myself. Merlin, chief of Regiment 1745360.”
In the distance, a few men who were looking in their direction saw that the man had turned bright red, and burst into laughter all together. The demonic-looking man recovered, took a deep breath, and said, “Yours truly, Canghong, chief of the 10th squad from the 10th camp of the Falcon Regiment. Those laughing away are my men. ”
The mercenary regiments were not like regular troops with a hundred men per camp. A squad had only ten men. The demonic-looking Canghong had a mere four men under him, and had yet to fully assemble his squad.
As Dean City was flourishing, one could still find restaurants to dine at after midnight. There were no restrictions placed on mercenaries, behavior-wise. The city gates did not shut, even at midnight. Although it was near the border, it was adjacent to Loulan Duchy which was under the jurisdiction of the Sikeqinya Empire. The Kaoshan Prefecture where the green dragon was found was within the boundaries of Loulan Duchy.
It was safe here, as no one wanted to offend the Dragons and Roses Regiment. This Grade 9 regiment had twenty thousand mercenaries, which violated the rules set by the Sikeqinya Empire. But even the emperor himself made no mention of this matter.
The two chiefs of the Dragons and Roses Regiment were Grade 9 professionals. One was a golden grand swordmaster, and the other was a Grade 9 black robe mage. With such powers, it would not be an issue for them to even set up a duchy.
Only with strong powers could one protect their prosperity. The southeast frontline was almost completely under the Dragons and Roses Regiment’s sphere of influence. Dean City was in the center, flanked by Didypus to its north and Willow County to its west.
With much familiarity, Canghong led Saleen and Sika to a five-story restaurant. There were seven of them, including his four men, so he requested a single room.
“Mage Merlin, do try the pear wine here. It has been imported from the Qin Empire. One small glass costs a gold coin.” Canghong presented it warmly. His good looks, coupled with his narrow waist and broad shoulders, portrayed him as a man of strength.
“We mages only drink clear water.” Saleen declined his good intentions, emptied the glass, and took out his own metal flask to pour out some restorative water.
Even if one did not have any injuries, it was still beneficial to consume restorative water. Most mages could only produce one hundred grams of it at a time, but Saleen could produce nearly three hundred grams. It was easy to store restorative water, but as it would lose its effect after a month, Saleen decided to drink it as though it were clear water.
He remained guarded about Canghong. Being in Dean City, he may not have wanted to use his weapons, but there was nothing to stop him from using poison instead. Saleen had previously produced all kinds of magic medicine, which were useless on experts but could easily be used on Grade 1 mages like himself.
“What were you laughing at?” Canghong’s face turned stony, and he told his men off, “Do you not know how to introduce yourselves?”
The four of them then started to introduce themselves. The pale, tall, and thin junior swordsman was Pino. He wore a suit of clean leather armor and carried a long, thin sword on his back.
The muscular one with a scar was a commoner, whose weapon was concealed just like Canghong’s. There was only a meaningless syllable in his name – Cook.
Saleen had thought that the lady in a leather mask was a mage, but she was actually a swordswoman from the Qin Empire named Sarah. The youth with a symmetrical body was an archer named Lucas. Barely twenty years old, he was probably the youngest in this team, though his face did not show any trace of his youthfulness. He laughed uninhibitedly together with the rest, making it evident that they enjoyed a strong sense of camaraderie.
Saleen was puzzled. There was no mage in this squad, but Canghong had wanted to entice Sika and had completely disregarded him. The archer could also attack from a distance but he could not replace a mage. A Caucasus warrior was valuable to have, but would never be more popular than a mage.
Could this Canghong have some sort of special mission to complete?
“Both of you, I shall be direct. I had wanted to hire a Caucasus warrior for a mission. It is not a dangerous mission but it will encounter a rare creature. Only a Caucasus warrior will have the best chance of succeeding.” Canghong noted Saleen’s bored expression, and knew that if he did not tell the truth, he would not be able to rope in Sika.
He had also predicted such a result. No matter how junior a mage, Saleen would not bother with a mere squad leader like him. Hmph, as long as he accomplished this private mission, it would not be an issue for him to leave the Falcon Regiment and start his own squad.
At this thought, Canghong’s face revealed yet another charming smile. Although Saleen was inexperienced in his travels, he had been poor since he was young, and so was adept at analyzing people’s emotions from their expressions.
He was unsure of Canghong’s motives, but he knew that Canghong was definitely withholding many things from them. Besides, as a squad leader of a Grade 4 regiment, it was definitely unusual for him to want to hire from another regiment