Chapter 161: Dragon Corps’ Lord
”Commander! Commander! I have a message for the Frozen General!” The guard ran inside the Dragon Corps’ main office, his voice hoarse and his appearance ragged. At first the Dragon Corps’ Lord was looking at him with contempt, but moments after the words the flustered guard said made their way into his brain and he realized what was said his heartbeat soared.
“The Frozen General you say?” The Lord confirmed as he leaned back in his chair. On the outside nothing betrayed how his heart was constantly speeding up, his mind unable to make up a decision.
If he were to deliver the stone to the Frozen General but the message contained within was something minor, or maybe even uninteresting to the legendary figure, then it was highly possible that he would end up becoming a new member of the Frozen Brigade; however, if he were to deliver something which genuinely excited him he would be granted as many gifts as he could wish for.
Another thing he had to take into consideration was should he chose not to share the message, then if the man got wind of the face that he withheld information the Lord would be in a very bad situation.
Eventually, the Dragon Corps’ Lord breathed in a deep breath before he accepted the memory stone and with decisive steps move towards the Staircase of Hope.
The Staircase of Hope was located within the Dragon Corps’ main office and was the greatest secret of the Dragon Corps. It was a set of stairs which went deeper into the ground leading down towards the abyss. What exactly was down there was unknown to the Dragon Corps’ Lord, only the President knew and was allowed to descend them.
What the Lord could do was enter the stairs and go up to the Center Palace.
The staircase felt as though it went on forever and ever its size alone made the Lord feel slightly nauseous every time he looked down watch the stairs spiral endlessly into the void. This along with the fact that was still constantly wondering whether or not his decision was the right one caused him to feel sick.
The travel up the stairs took seven hours, and when he finally made it to the surface the Dragon Corps’ Lord found that he was surrounded by black cloaked men. Looking at these black cloaked men it was impossible to discern even the slightest bit about the people due to the masks they had on.
Shivering slightly, the Lord straightened his back and announced with a loud voice, “I am here to deliver a message to the Frozen General. Please allow me to pass.”
As soon as the Frozen General was mentioned the crusaders made a path for the Lord. None of them spoke yet it was clear that they in no way allowed for unwelcome guests to enter the castle above ground, nor were they interested in having the Lord staying around for long.
Trembling slightly the man made his way out of the Center Palace and with his swiftest speed possible he travel towards the ice castle in the Frozen Land created by the Frozen General, himself.
The Frozen Land was a valley deep within the mountain range separating Taiyang Kingdom from Shenyuan. The land was taken over by the Frozen General a few decades earlier and no one dared take it back.
The Frozen General was one of the four pillars supporting their Him. He was the one who also controlled the Crusaders along with the Center Palace. Anything he wished for he could get, his authority was so great that no one dared offend him not even one of the other three pillars.
Thinking about all this, the Lord was even more uncertain about the decision he had made, however now it was truly impossible for him to return to the Centre Palace and the Stairs of Hope unless he first delivered the message.
The trip took him three days, at early noon on the third day he arrived at the valley which as white as soft clouds, white from newly fallen snow.
Shaking slightly the Lord took one step and stopped. After convincing himself to continue he took another and stopped. The speed with which he moved towards the castle was incredibly slow and his heart was filled with fear.
Around him were crusaders who were patrolling the ground, but none of them did anything to the frozen and scared Lord who was making his way towards the Ice Palace ever so slowly.
It took the Lord almost an hour to move from the entrance of the valley towards the castle, an incredibly slow pace which showed just how terrified the Lord was. As soon as he reached the door handle though he realized that there really was no hope of turning back and straightened his back. He took a deep breath before he knocked.
Right after he knocked, the door slowly opened itself, no servants present causing the fine hairs on the young Lord’s back to stand on end. Not missing a beat he kept walking seemingly paying no heed to his surroundings presenting a demeanor fitting a Lord, even though he was inwardly terrified to his core. He stepped inside the frozen castle and followed a set of light stones towards the room where Zhong Fai was seated on his icy throne.
“Welcome to my castle, I do wonder what a Lord from the Dragon Corps is doing here.” He said, a large smile playing on his lips, a smile which was clearly genuine.
Zhong Fai was not dumb. He previously sent Crusaders into the underground world for the sake of hearing news about Hui Yue and now a Lord appeared with a message for him. How could he not guess what the message was about?
Even the Lord knew which was why he feared that perhaps something had gone wrong. What if it was a video showing the death of the Frozen General’s favorite subject? So many thoughts were swirling through his head as he kowtowed in front of the powerful man.
“Milord, I received a memory stone for you.” The Lord said as he was on the ground, raising his hands and the memory stone at the same time.
Seeing the memory stone a flash of impatience rose within the eyes of Zhong Fai, and with a sweep of his hand the stone was sucked into his palm, the smile on his face increased greatly.
“Please stand up dear friend,” Zhong Fai said with a happy voice, and with a clap of his hands a woman appeared by his side.
“Take this man to the treasury and let him pick whatever item he likes,” The Frozen General said as though it meant absolutely nothing to him that his treasures were being taken away from him.
While Zhong Fai seemed impatient to be alone, the young Lord suddenly was impatient to leave the room and enter the treasury. Rushing to his feet, the Lord bowed once more towards Zhong Fai before he turned around and followed behind the silent, frozen woman in front of him.
Being left alone within the main hall, Zhong Fai paid no attention to the two departing figures, instead, he instantly placed the memory stone on his forehead. With an expecting grin on his face he closed his eyes as the recording of the life and death battle began.
The time slowly ticked by as Zhong Fai rewatched the match. Finally, after having watched it multiple times he removed the stone from his forehead.
His face was no longer smiling, instead, it seemed as though it he was contemplating something important. After a few moments a smirk grew on his face it grew larger and larger as the moments went by, and eventually loud laughter rang throughout the icy walls of his Frozen Castle.
The excuse which Hui Yue made for his merged soul was quickly accepted by Xu Piao and after some time the two of them were seated within the main office neither saying anything both enjoying the quietness.
“I guess we should have a look at the different missions available.” Hui Yue finally sighed, “If we can find an escort mission towards the capital it will be ideal, but if we cannot find one, then I guess we will be fine with something towards the next couple of caves.”
Nodding his head, Xu Piao only agreed after a while of searching then he picked up a large book that parchments were falling out of.
“This is the book with all ongoing missions,” Was the answer he gave to the quizzical expression on Hui Yue’s face, “I know it doesn’t look like much,” He continued with a slight embarrassed smile, “But it is the way we have always kept track of the missions.”
Looking through the missions was not as hard as Hui Yue expected. At first, Xu Piao cleared the table and then he took each of the missions out and read through them. If it was an escort mission then he handed it to Hui Yue, if it was not an escort mission he placed it in a pile by his side.
Looking through the escort missions, the majority of them were to escort rich young masters towards academies in other cities in the hope that they would improve and bring honor and fame to the families.
Looking at these escort missions, Hui Yue quickly decided to take on a mission like that, but no matter how hard he looked he could not find a missions that went all the way towards the final cave.
Eventually, Hui Yue picked out four escort missions. All of them were missions to escort a young master to an academy. They all employed at least ten mercenaries in total which seemed to be a standard amount needed for escort missions, and they would be leaving in a few days, giving everyone all the time they needed. Because he knew nothing about the caves they were going to enter, nor did he know which mission would bring them the closest to their final destination he let Xu Piao make the final call.
Hui Yue once more escaped through the window and left the rest of the work to Xu Piao as he rushed back to the room where his friends were still sleeping. The reason they were so tired was because they had stood vigilantly by his side until they finally could not manage any more without sleep, then they literally passed out. Their bodies were exhausted and they needed their sleep.
Back at the office the Guild Master, Xu Piao, looked at the paper in his hand and with a final nod of his head he went towards the door, opened it and looked at the sea of people in front of him.
“I need to speak with the messenger from the Zhang family.” He called out, causing a murmur to instantly break out within the room. This was the first time that the Guild Master called out anyone. Even more exciting was that earlier today, Hui Yue had walked past them all. Was it finally time for the families to meet the elusive young genius?
The Zhong family messenger instantly stood out from the queue in which he was standing and with a slight bow towards the rest of the queue he moved forward, heading towards the office.
Entering the office, the door was closed behind him. The messenger was shocked to see that Hui Yue was not within the room and that the only other exit was a window. The thought of the genius leaving through the window somehow caused the messenger boy to smile a little.
“I have called you in because of the mission your family has requested.” Xu Piao started and the man nodded his head. Even he knew about the escort mission to guide the young heir towards his academy.
“Hui Yue and his group of six members has offered to take six slots in this mission,” Xu Piao continued in a simple matter of fact way, which completely shocked the young man. Only one thought was present in his mind and that was; Is this real?