Chapter 46: Escaping Phoenix (Part 1)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Saleen did not say much. He took Nailisi and Sika and left, not wanting to stay a second longer.
Picasso watched Saleen’s back as he left, sprouting curiosity for this young mage. However, this mage definitely hadn’t lied. Kossain hadn’t been killed by him personally.
Even if it had been him, so what? Kossain wasn’t a descendant of Lord Faka and he had been the one to make the decision to change the route forward. Served him right that he was dead. Picasso gave a cold smile before leaving in the direction of Canghong. Whether those two mercenaries were dead or not was not important. Since he already had the map, what was important now was finding the entrance to the ruins.
Saleen and the others moved as quickly as they could for over ten kilometers before slowing down.
“Chief, that guy won’t go back on his words, will he?” Sika continued holding onto her cudgel, ready to fight. She did not believe the words of the Holy See’s high priests. Back in the Caucasus region, the Holy See had spent a great amount of manpower and money each year in corrupting numerous villages. This had led to her abandoning the natural faith.
With more preachers, it was hard to separate the good and bad, and every underhanded method had been used. Hence, even innocent Caucasus people did not mix well with diviners.
“I have no idea. By virtue, he shouldn’t. We are too insignificant.” Saleen’s hand had been kept in his sleeve, his hand wound tightly over his family badge. This was the only weapon he possessed that could cause damage to the white deacon. Unfortunately, this had to be stuck on and Saleen had possessed no confidence at all, his hands full of sweat.
“Too bad the magic beast soul was killed. If not, we could control a few low-grade beasts to move faster.” Sika was a little dejected. She was too weak and could not help Saleen. Her eyebrows, like a pair of knives, furrowed. She looked miserable.
“Don’t be sad, Sika. I’ll help you find a new magic beast soul. I have memorized the map of that white deacon. From here to the Phoenix Duchy is about five hundred kilometers, and it is the narrowest part of the Chaotic Swamp.”
Sika nodded in a daze. She was terrible at navigation and whatever Saleen had said was useless to her.
“What!” Saleen voice was stern. The imp could not change her ways and it was hard for him to be pleased about it.
“Do you want to move faster?”
“Yes. So what?”
“I can carry you and run. So long as that lady can catch up, we can be about four times faster than now.” Nailisi gave him a pitiful look and Saleen could not help but feel sorry for her.
He had taken advantage of the imp’s misfortune to make it his. If it had been anyone else, they would have been unhappy too. Tempting a human into making mistakes was the nature of demons. He needed to treat Nailisi better.
Saleen thought about it this way not because Nailisi was pretty. He had seen Nailisi’s original appearance, and that image would have surely given many people nightmares. Moreover, Nailisi still was not sure of its gender. Even if Saleen had been yearning, he would not fantasize about it. And most importantly, they were running for their lives now. It was hard for him to express any youthful feelings.
He was purely looking at things in the manner that a mage would look at their pet. This attitude had been influenced by Jason Statham. Even though the two of them had had little interaction, Jason’s words were etched in Saleen’s heart.
Don’t come down with feelings for your pets. It will kill them.
In the end, Nailisi picked up Saleen. She was much taller than him, and carrying someone as big as Saleen was nothing for her. The three of them sped up and fled towards Phoenix Duchy.
Night descended upon the Chaotic Swamp. Nailisi’s instinct for danger was much sharper than Sika’s and from start to finish, they moved carefully, hiding from predators that roamed the night. Nailisi’s long hair was caught by the wind and brushed against Saleen’s face.
Her hair was like silk, making Saleen’s heart flutter.
At the end of the day, he was still an insignificant person. When Saleen and Sika said had said those things, he had not felt much. However, as Nailisi carried him on her back and ran, he was touched.
I must become powerful, just like teacher, Saleen thought as he rested his head on Nailisi’s shoulder and curled up his body. He felt like he had been sent back to the time when he had been the beggar that cowered in the rain, and at that moment, he could no longer hold back his tears.
Master is crying? Nailisi grew excited. Unlike humans, demons never wished for their masters to be powerful. It would be best if all humans were weaklings, and that was what creatures living throughout the many universes hoped too.
“Master, I’ll protect you,” Nailisi said softly as she sped up.
Nailisi’s voice had a certain magic that calmed Saleen down and eventually, he fell asleep. All this while, he had been trying to manage their situation as well as Canghong’s team. While the others had rested, he had been responsible for their safety. While the others had fought, he had needed to deal with the most powerful opponents.
Anyone, no matter how strong he or she was, would get tired, much less a Grade 1 mage like Saleen. If it had not been for the special training with his badge which granted him extraordinary endurance, Saleen would have broken down a long time ago.
Sika tried her best to keep up with Nailisi. The imp seemed to know Sika’s limit and was always a step ahead of her, forcing Sika to run as fast as she could to catch up. Despite her armor being very permeable, it was pooling with sweat and for the first time, Sika felt that it was unbearable to go without showering.
After running for a full day and night, Sika was just about ready to drop dead onto the floor in fatigue. Nailisi stopped at this point as Saleen woke up.
“Nailisi, take a break. Sika can’t go on any longer.”
Sika sat on the floor gasping for breath. Back in her hometown, she had never felt that running was something this difficult. While chasing their prey, Caucasus people could go without rest for tens of hours until their prey ran out of energy. Using this method, they could overpower creatures that were stronger than humans.
However, the imp ran too fast and by Sika’s estimate, the imp could outrun any living thing on the ground with this kind of speed. Sika wordlessly brought out her boots. With a pillow under her head, it only took her a few seconds to fall into a deep sleep.
“Nailisi, how far have we run?” Saleen’s ancient Myers was getting better and he was lazy about nagging the imp to learn the common language. In any case, they had a long way to go and it seemed that they had escaped danger.
“Almost five hundred kilometers. By daylight tomorrow we can leave the Chaotic Swamp.”
“So soon?” Saleen was shocked.
“Yes.” Nailisi did not continue the conversation. She was thinking about the times back at her home when she had always been prey for larger demons. In the times that she had been chased by them, it seemed as though she could run even faster.
Saleen saw that Nailisi was done talking and went to sit beside Sika. He had slept enough and might as well have used the time now to manage his items.
A green dragon magic nucleus to be sent to the Bitter Water Prefecture and a set of empty magic books for him to use in the future. The rest were all gemstones and minerals. Saleen reevaluated his loot, as all of the gemstones were primitive and had not been processed. Many of them still had an outer covering of mineral.
“Nailisi, are you tired?” Saleen was concerned.
“No, I’m not master.”
“Alright. Can you help me get rid of the outer covering from these gemstones? I only want the purest parts inside.” Saleen looked at Nailisi’s snow white teeth and smiled. At least he could save money on processing gemstones next time. He had heard that cutting minerals was an expensive service that was only found in big cities.
Nailisi realized then that Saleen was not concerned about her body. She sighed and sat beside Saleen, starting to use her teeth to process these gemstones. As a demon, she should not have expected anything of him. Humans were greedy creatures.
These gemstones were large and even the smallest ones were the size of Sika’s fist. Once they were processed, they became smaller. Saleen placed the processed gemstones back into the Ring of Gifts and the fragments that Nailisi had bitten off into the leather bag. These fragments were impure, but to a normal mage, they were a dream come true.
“Master, I’m hungry.” Nailisi saw Saleen attentively wiping the gemstones and carefully storing them away piece by piece. She was a little annoyed and wanted to find an excuse to take a break.
“Even I don’t have anything to eat. What are you harping on about? Wait until we get to Phoenix Duchy.” Saleen’s stomach growled. He had thrown out all his dried food back at the temple to fit the gemstones in the remaining space.
Nailisi teared up as she continued processing the stones, not caring about Saleen’s worries.
Saleen certainly was a little dejected. Although Sika was pretty, she was a bulky Caucasus warrior and not many people would have feelings for her. This imp had transformed into the likes of the Myers Goddess and was naturally attractive. With this appearance, they could get into a lot of trouble in the future, and she certainly enjoyed creating trouble.
“Just continue and listen to what I have to say.”
“Nevermind. We will talk about this in the future.” Saleen was a little defeated. He didn’t know how to mentor a demon.
Sika had a beautiful dream where she dreamed that her magic beast soul had been revived. In her dream, she was waving her cudgel and beating the crap out of the Holy See priest she was chasing. In her dream, Sika giggled.
“Keke, I shall let you run. Go die!”
Saleen was feeling more dejected by the minute. He revealed the left hand that he hid under his sleeve. The dried up left hand was almost like the body of a deceased creature. He carefully cast a Grade 1 magic: Restorative Water. Saleen patiently used the water to moisturize his injured flesh.
He might have been rich now, but his skills had decreased tremendously. Before his left hand healed, he could not continue learning Grade 2 magic. From the start, he had needed to use both hands to hold the spell while casting it, and this process would allow him to gradually grasp it. Saleen carefully lifted the index finger on his left hand. The finger bent slowly, and even though it had not been entirely lost, it was possible that it would take up to half a year to heal.
It seemed like a good idea now to look for the prefecture head of the Bitter Water Prefecture for support. Hiding among the wealthy, he could avoid any unnecessary trouble. Now that he had money, he no longer needed to go around risking his life.
It was too bad he had to give up the magic nucleus of the green dragon to do so.