Chapter 472: Spirit Thief
Chapter 472: Spirit Thief
The Razor Territory in Bloomfield Province was one of the influential cities in the Austere-Winter Dukedom.
The locals call it “Razor Ridge”.
This was not because its terrain was like a razor but because a massive dragon called “Barber” lived there.
For the time being, it was still kind to people. It had no particular hobbies and would not wreak havoc on the world. It was unlike Old Grandmother, who would fall into Wyrmrest every few decades and hibernate. Instead, the dragon was like Father Flint, nestled in his home to study.
Dragons were intelligent creatures. They were smart and lived in isolation. Almost no dragons were enemies with humans because they were smart and knew it would disturb their lives.
There were few dragons left in this era already.
It was not because of the lack of magic essence or any other reason. Instead, all the dragons who came to Yaseran back then had become deities before the Third Age.
Dragons were creatures that existed before the First Age. The so-called “First Age” began to exist after the concept of “history” was born in humanoid creatures.
Many dragons who did not become deities died or left Yaseland to the desert for various reasons.
The “living desert” was a deadly natural disaster for elves and centaurs. But to the massive dragons, it was just a terrain challenging to traverse.
In the current world, there were less than ten dragons that had yet to become deities. Seven of them disguised themselves as humans and formed the “Chanter Alliance”, which became the famous idol group in the Papal Kingdom. They also regulated the orders.
Austere-Winter had two dragons.
One was called “Barber”, and the other was called “Graupel”.
The Barber was named so because he would shave the heads of those who offended him. The dragon would shave those who fantasized about becoming a dragon-slaying hero or coveted the treasure in his nest. Then, he would throw them at the Razor Ridge. When someone went bald, the others would know he had done something stupid.
Therefore, Austere-Winter had a proverb, “the man with the shaved head”, which meant the lucky one who survived doing something stupid.
Razor Territory was also the central manufacturing place of Frost Beasts’ products.
That included extracting the Frost Beasts’ blood, making semi-finished reagents or storing them in the freezer, and stripping the furry hides of the Frost Beasts for tanning, dyeing, and processing. All of them were carried out in Razor Ridge.
Although the primary value of raising the Frost Beasts was for their blood and fur, the meat shouldn’t be wasted either—whether it was made into frozen steaks or sausages, it could effectively improve the lack of food in Austere-Winter Dukedom.
These harvested Frost Beasts were not the militarized ones. Instead, the military Frost Beasts were tall, robust, muscular, and large. They were sent to the army with each troop adopting one as a mount and hunting animal.
These militarised Frost Beasts were cultivated with the emotions of felons, death row prisoners, and tortured spies in prisons. The claws were cut off on time, leaving only the ability to swallow emotions. At the same time, these Frost Beasts tend to eat less and grow fat.
Although it sounded like a Dementor  from Azkaban, it looked more like a fat orange cat.
At first glance, it was hard to tell whether they were pigs or cats.
“Oh, so, these are Frost Beasts!”
The person speaking was a kind and cheerful middle-aged man with black hair and black eyes. He had well-defined features. He stood in the crowd, looked at the chubby Frost Beasts being transported in the cage, and couldn’t help but exclaim in amazement, “I can’t believe myself seeing one!”
“Is this your first time seeing the Frost Beasts?”
A well-dressed middle-aged lady wearing the Frost Beast fur asked, “Are you a foreigner?”
“Ah, yes. Gracious lady!”
The middle-aged man extended his hand in a friendly manner, “Hi, my name is Ghirlandaio·David·Buonaro. I just came to this land not long ago. The popular etiquette here is to shake hands, right?”
“Yes, you are right. When shaking hands, it is best to open up the other hand with the palm facing the other party.”
After being flattered, the lady, who looked a little solemn, couldn’t help but raise the corners of her mouth slightly.
After shaking hands with “Ghirlandaio”, she habitually taught him a few words before realizing she was a bit pushy.
She coughed lightly and then introduced herself calmly, “Leona Bunyan. The third daughter of the Bunyan Family.”
“Hello, Ms. Bunyan!”
“Ghirlandaio” smiled happily and referred to her last name appropriately based on the earlier conversation.
He said cheerfully, “How should I put it? At first, I thought that the Frost Beasts were scary creatures like giant wolves! I didn’t expect it to be a little cute. If it weren’t so scary, I would want to raise one. Hahahaha!”
“The vast majority of the Frost Beasts are wolves, but that doesn’t mean they are all wolves.”
Leona smiled helplessly and explained, “It’s just that there are a lot of wild wolves and foxes in this land during the harvest year. So the majority of the Frost Beasts had the common shape of a wolf.”
The Frost Beasts were monsters whose bodies had mutated after being exposed to a blizzard full of curses for a long time and survived. Bear, deer, and badger types of the Frost Beasts also existed.
But no matter what they looked like before mutation and their anatomy, there was only a gap between body size and constitution after becoming a Frost Beast.
The meat taken from them had a dark hue, appearing as dark purple flesh. Even if it were stored indoors, it would freeze by itself. If the meat were cut into slices, it would have a strong fishy taste, and the muscles were so strong that it was difficult to chew. Some gourmets with strange tastes or skilled cooks would try to challenge this rare ingredient.
Of course, when grilled, the Frost Beasts taste almost like tougher beef jerky. The chilly aspect also disappeared.
“Did you know that if you shine an intense light on the juvenile Frost Beast, you can see the opaque blood vessels like tree branches in their translucent bodies? There is a block of shadow just behind the heart.”
Almost all of their previous internal organs had disappeared. In addition to the heart which was several times larger than before and pushed the stomach, there were those blood vessels that connected the skin. Also, there was the ‘heart sac’ hidden behind the heart.
The long convoy transporting the Frost Beasts had occupied the road entirely. Seeing that she couldn’t move, Leona couldn’t help but chat with the kind middle-aged man beside her, “Although the Frost Beasts can feed on positive emotions, they do not consume it by lungs or stomach. Instead, it is absorbed via their blood.”
They absorbed emotions through the skin and stored the positive emotions they feasted in the gall-like “heart sac” behind the heart. The more the emotions were absorbed, the more the fluid clotted in the emotional sac.
If the abdomen of the Frost Beasts was cut open at this time, the crystals in the heart sac could be taken out. These crystals could be used as a powerful curse material, usually referred to as “emotion crystals”. This would make the Frost Beasts weak but not necessarily dead if the wound was well-stitched.
The crystal’s color varied across different emotions. It could be separated by physical means. Crystallized “happy” could be consumed after being processed. It would evoke happy feelings. Similarly, feelings such as “loyalty”, “hope”, and “bravery” could also be sold.
This was a special underworld production unique to the Austere-Winter Dukedom.
That was to steal happiness, courage, love, and hope and sell it to those who need it.
“Ghirlandaio” listened carefully. He responded positively from time to time, replying things like “So that’s the case”, “I see”, “You know a lot. I’m amazed.”, “Ah, I have learned something new today”.
Then, he nodded thoughtfully.