Chapter 162: Yang Bai
A large ruckus appeared in the capital as soon as it got out that Hui Yue decided to take a mission where he would be escorting a young master from within the city. The biggest commotion was that there was still space for four mercenaries in the mission. These four slots were highly sought after by both mercenaries and family guards alike.
The family guards were not participating because they were tired of their jobs as guards, no they were applying because their families were willing to pay a huge sum of money if they managed to get on mission near Hui Yue.
What was a simple escort mission turned into an elevated and highly sought after mission where everyone applied.
The people who applied had various reasons for why they wanted to join the team. Some wanted to get close to Hui Yue, while others just wanted to see and meet this unrivaled genius. There were some people who wished to challenge the young genius to test their own abilities, and even a few applicants who wished for nothing more than to assassinate the young white-haired man.
This was a mission which soon dominated all conversation in the city and the Yang family greatly benefited from the fame. Families from the entire city went to visit them; everyone brought gifts and some even tried to purchase the final four spots of the mission in question.
The few days while the Yang family enjoyed the fame they had suddenly gained, Hui Yue and his friends spend all their time within the Mercenary Guild preparing for yet another travel.
“Do you think we will meet more assassins?” Deng Wu raised the question which most of them were thinking. Although he asked the question, his face was dark as he already guessed the answer.
Hui Yue nodded his head before he replied, “I think we need to expect assassins to appear anywhere within these dungeons.”
Everyone nodded their heads, a solemn expression evident on their faces as they thought back to the days wasted within the illusion of the endless forest and how Hui Yue had pushed himself to his limits, forcing his way through the illusion.
Everyone within the room all swore that they would increase their strength so that they would never drag down their friends.
Looking at the men in front of him, Hui Yue furrowed his brows slightly, as it was obvious that the Yang family eventually gave in after all the offers to buy the spots on this mission. The four final members of the group were clearly not mercenaries used to living the dirty life within the tunnels, instead, they were neatly dressed and standing at attention.
After looking over them once, Hui Yue no longer paid them any attention before he looked at the one person who was the most important in their group. The young master who was to enroll at the renown academy.
His name was Yang Bai and he was a young man around twelve years of age. On one hand he seemed like your average teen looking at Hui Yue with great respect and amazement, but on the other was a slightly haughty when dealing with the others of the group. The only one whom he seemed to show respect and admiration toward was the white-haired genius.
The mercenaries on this mission were not the only ones around, it seemed as though the entire city had shown up at the Mercenary Guild headquarters to see the entourage off on their journey throughout the next many caves.
The pay for partaking in this endeavor was three hundred demon coins each while the mercenaries had to deal with their own food. Originally not many would take such a long ongoing mission for such a small sum of money but now it was different, and Hui Yue was celebrating the fact that they were being paid to travel the way they planned to go anyway.
As soon as everyone gathered up, the mercenaries were paid half their fee and without any ceremonies the entourage started their trip towards the west tunnels of Demon Dwelling Cave.
Unlike before, this caravan was far more elaborate than anything they had previously seen. Three carriages created from black iron were used to transport everyone that was assisting the young master. The young master and his personal servants along with a butler from the Yang family rode in the first carriage.
The second was filled with guards from the Yang family, and the final carriage was for the mercenaries to use on a shift schedule.
It was the job of the mercenaries to ensure that the caravan got through both the caves and the tunnels unscathed, something which was a lot harder than one would think.
It was early morning as the group departed. On one side was Hui Yue and his friends walking in together while the other side was being looked after by the guards. Whereas the guards were walking with straight backs and looking right in front of them, Hui Yue’s group was a lot more vigilant and their eyes constantly flickered from one side to the other, observing even the slightest movement made around them.
This was one of the most obvious differences between the mercenaries and the guards. Another was that while the mercenaries all wore robes the guards were wearing armor made from shiny reflective materials; their armor, although it looked very good, was not incredibly beneficial when it came to battle.
Their choice of weapons were also different. The mercenary group each had their own weapons and their own specialty, but every guard was using a halberd. A weapon which although it had a good aim was something which required a lot of practice. Practice which the guards did not have.
All in all, Hui Yue did not put much, if any, faith in the guards, and since he was already certain that they were going to be attacked by bandits, along with assassins along the way, not to mention the extra strong hordes of demon beasts, he doubted that these guards would be able to make it through.
While the group of mercenaries felt slight disdain towards the guards who were walking beside the carriage they felt even stronger disdain for the guards within the second carriage. To be a cultivator was the same as to be a warrior, and while it was sometimes nice to relax within a carriage, it would become a death trap should they be attacked. How did they expect to be able to exit the carriage and save their master when they were all inside, much less know what was going on around them.?
Sighing, Hui Yue stopped wondering about the guards and instead focused his entire attention towards the road ahead.
Leaving the city was a lot more nerve-wrecking than he expected. He was perfectly well aware that they were the target of various assassins and bandits, and he was quite certain that they would not hold back even within a city. Because of this the trip which only took around an hour felt like an eternity for Hui Yue and his friends as they were constantly on high alert. They were trying to observe everything which happened around them.
Now that they no longer were within the confinement of the city, the six friends were still vigilant, however, it was in a completely different way. Now they were capable of viewing anyone who approached them, even if it was done swiftly. The open plains allowing for a full visual of what was happening around them causing a strange feeling of safety to float inside their hearts.
Two days of rest in two larger cities were scheduled before the group would have to enter the tunnels. While the group was walking towards the first of those cities, Xu Piao spent the time explaining the two cities.
“The city we are on our way towards is led by an old family. The city was the first to be created within this Demon Dwelling Cave. In every aspect it is similar to that of the capital, except it is not under the control of the Dragon Corps, instead, the family who leads it are like kings and queens of the city. Not people to be trifled with so try to keep your tempers under control.”
Hearing that Hui Yue was about to comment saying that he never was the cause of drama, but drama came to find him; however, he quickly decided to hold his tongue as he saw the expression on Xu Piao’s face, and instead he laughed awkwardly.
The day slowly went from morning to noon then noon to afternoon without the caravan taking the slightest break. The guards who had been so lucky to get the final four slots in the mission were all raggedly breathing and their faces were flushed red, sweat trickling from their foreheads in steady streams.
While they were thoroughly exhausted, Hui Yue and his friends were all walking comfortably their robes fluttering in the slight wind and their faces healthy, not even the least amount of sweat visible on their skin.
As dusk crept up on them, the servant of the young master, Yang Bai, finally opened the door to the carriage and ordered them to hold for the night and make camp.
As soon as the order was given, the guards all instantly sat down and withdrew water from their memory stones to clench their thirst.
Hui Yue and his group had long since become specialists at setting up camp and within half an hour their campsite was finished. Tents having been erected, bonfire roaring splitting the dark sky, stew being cooked on top of the warm bonfire. They all sat still, chatting with one another about their expectations for the trip they were undertaking.
While Hui Yue and his friends were sitting still looking at the delicious food which Wang Ju Long was cooking, the rest of the group was not so lucky.
Although the young lord brought a lot of guards with him, no one knew how to cook proper food, nor were they aware of how to set up tents. All of them had lived within the capital their entire lives. Although the guards who belonged to the Yang family got food as a part of their salary, it was dried meat without vegetables very much unlike someone’s delicious smelling soup.
“Mister, mister!” A youthful voice sounded throughout the campsite where guards from various families were setting up tents. Their eyes instantly focusing on the young master, curious as to whom he was referring to.
The young master left the carriages behind and rushed towards the campsite where Hui Yue and his friends were sitting, enjoying their stew and discussion about how silly it had been to fear an ambush in the city as nothing happened.
“Mister! Can I sit with you?” The young master asked, his eyes almost sparkling with excitement as he looked at Hui Yue as though he was looking at a god.
Hui Yue was slightly taken aback unsure what to say, but after thinking for a bit the young man nodded his head and allowed for the child to sit down and join them.
“One day, I’ll be as strong as you.” Yang Bai said with longing in his voice, “I’m going to study at the Thousand Rivers’ Academy and I have to be better than my peers, or so says my father.” He continued, the mention of his father made Hui Yue smile wryly as he remembered his two fathers. First to enter his mind was the father he had in his old life who had been willing to do anything so the young man’s wishes could be fulfilled. He also remembered his other father, the father who was glowing with pride when he was told that Hui Yue was good enough to attend the Thousand Rivers’ Aacademy.