Chapter 342: Setting Out
Arriving at the castle grounds, Hui Yue saw that everywhere he looked experts were waiting in small groups. Some groups had Emperors as their strongest participating member while others had Kings. Looking around, he saw no Saints; however, he remembered the conversation he had overheard while being at the mansion. All the Saints of the Taiyang Kingdom had been roused for the sake of raiding this Grave of the Unknown.
It was not only the Taiyang Kingdom who had Saints but also experts from the Yueliang Province as well as families in both kingdoms who possessed Saints ranked experts. These families were few, but when all of them gathered together, they really didn’t seem like just a few.
The families who possessed Saint ranked experts were the last to arrive at the castle’s grounds, and as they did everyone who stood in their path wisely parted. They opened up space for them to walk so they didn’t have to maneuver through the crowds like everyone else had done.
Finally, the royal family of the Taiyang Kingdom appeared and by their side was seventeen Saint ranked experts. All of these experts were the cream of the crop. They had been Saints for thousands of years, and they knew just how important they were to the kingdom. It was possible for the Saints to veto a decision made by the King; therefore, they were also very important when it came to deciding the heir.
Behind the Taiyang Kingdom’s cultivators appeared another group of people. These were people Hui Yue had never seen before. They moved with the same kind of grace and attitude that the royal family processed, and he quickly guessed that they were the delegation sent by Yueliang Province.
The entire castle grounds had become silent as the two groups of Saints appeared. Even the families who had a Saint amongst their midst turned quiet. They knew that their family’s strength was nothing compared to the strength these two kingdoms possessed.
The king took a few steps forward and his eyes glistened with excitement. “Everyone!” He called out as his voice strengthened with Qi could be heard over the entire area. “The Grave of the Unknown is quite a distance away, but please follow behind us. We will take you all to the place where it is. Everyone should already know this, but to anyone who wants to enter there is a chance you will never return. It is a grave and therefore it will be filled with traps, inscriptions, and death at every corner. You cannot blame anyone if this place turns into your final resting place.” He said in a strict voice.
Everyone waited to hear what else he had to say, but the King was finished. While everyone was still thinking about what he said someone brought over a beautiful qilin that he mounted. All the experts mounted various magical beasts, but Hui Yue couldn’t hold back his smiled. Part of his daily training was to run, and now that he had no weights holding him down, he was definitely able to keep up with the various beasts. It might not look as graceful, but considering Hui Yue brought no one to look after his mount, the beast would just end up becoming a nuisance. Besides, the young man did not care about what others thought.
Hui Yue was not eager to be in the front of the parade; instead, he stayed in the middle. He was amongst families who had King and Emperor ranked experts as their most influential members. No one seemed to notice this young King ranked expert who joined the fray.
Although the royal family was riding mounts, they traveled at a slow speed as they made their way through the narrow city streets. Everywhere they went, citizens were watching them through their windows, and voices were constantly cheering for and encouraging the entourage they saw traveling towards the grave. Everyone knew that from the people leaving the city not would return; everyone knew how dangerous this place was.
Hui Yue was surprised to see that no groups had gathered and waited to leave together with the royal entourage. But as soon as they left the city, he understood why. The ground outside the city gates was filled with people. It was so packed that it was impossible to see the ground beneath them. Had Hui Yue been flying above, it would look like an ants nest had been disturbed.
This was, however, not the first thing his eyes landed upon. Great shock was evident when he saw someone he recognized. Her snake-like shape and alluring curves caused every man near her to stare agape. They were bewitched and mesmerized by her tiny waist whenever it moved, her beautiful eyes, and beauty.
Seeing Sha Yun amongst the many people who were going to follow the royal entourage, Hui Yue could not help but worry, though he knew that he had no right to tell her not to go.
She was together with a mixed group of cultivators. All of whom were clearly either mixed blooded or fully fledged magical beasts in their human form. Seeing that the group was rather large and that there was an Emperor present, Hui Yue calmed down a little.
Unfortunately, it soon proved that this was not the only surprise waiting for him. After moving further from the city, his eyes landed on a woman he could recognize anywhere. She was stunningly beautiful, and her aloof expression and lack of emotion made her seem even more attractive.
She was wearing a white robe with a cauldron embroiled upon it. She was together with a large group of people who were also wearing white robes clearly from the same fraction.
The cauldron was the symbol of healers, and although not all of them were alchemists, they all have the ability to heal. Knowing that she was with healers, Hui Yue heaved a heavy sigh of relief.
No one would kill healers. Healers were present for the good of everyone; they were ready to heal the ones who experienced bad luck and sustained injuries.
As he kept moving through the many people heading to the tomb, Hui Yue soon found Gao Yan together with the Ma Family where Ma Kong also was present. Seeing them together, Hui Yue could only shake his head and laugh. Now It had become that he expected all his friends to be here. After looking through the people he could see, he found that neither Xu Piao, the Rong twins, nor Deng Wu were anywhere nearby; however, so many people were present that it was impossible for Hui Yue to see everyone. That he had recognized as many as he had was already an incredible feat.
Knowing the allure of this grave, Hui Yue could only sigh as he hoped that his friends took enough precautions and put their lives first. Treasure was only good if you were still alive.
Deciding to not think too much about his friends who chose to join the raid, he decided to just follow the flow of humans which had turned into a long snake-like creature heading towards the Grave of the Unknown. A grave only the royal family knew the position of. Thus they led the horde of humans, and no one dared to rush ahead of them. They kept a slow pace, so no one was left behind. Everyone slowly made their way forwards, and as the day came to a close, the royal family finally made the snake of people halt. Tents were being set up, and suddenly stalls appeared everywhere.
It seemed that not only had fighters had followed the royal family, but many merchants had done the same. Stalls selling food were spread throughout the campground as well as blacksmiths, inscriptors, and mercenaries looking for work. Even some of the mercenaries and adventurers set up stalls where they sold treasures they had acquired from previous trips to various magical forests or mountains. Beast cores were especially numerous at the makeshift stalls.
Hui Yue knew that he was going to spend the night on his own bathing in moonlight as he needed to absorb all the Yin energy he could. Due to this, he was not in any hurry to stop walking around this makeshift marketplace.
While walking through the makeshift marketplace, Hui Yue felt at ease. Many of the cultivators around here were not from Muchuan City, and most were unaware of who Hui Yue was. Although they had heard about the white-haired Grand Marshall of the beast army, none of them would believe that the young man walking around the marketplace was truly him. To the many mercenaries from different cities and countries, to the many merchants and even many to nobles, Hui Yue was nothing more than a young man of mixed blood.
Looking at all the items, he soon reached the stalls belonging to the spiritual blacksmiths and a smile adorned his face as he noticed a person he recognized.
Ten meters in front of him was a shabby-looking stall, yet the items on display brought in a whole crowd; many mercenaries and young masters were looking at items that were for sale. Dealing with all these customers was the young man Fang Wei. Cou Ling was nowhere to be seen at first, but as he drew closer to the stall, he noticed she was laying on the ground behind the stall observing what was happening but not helping to sell anything.
Grinning, Hui Yue went behind the stall. “How can you let poor Fang Wei deal with all those customers alone? Don’t you think he will be swallowed whole by those scary mercenaries?” He laughed, and as his voice drifted into the ears of Cou Ling, a red hue appeared on her cheeks as she instantly sat up, looking indignantly at Hui Yue.
“You cheap b****rd,” She mumbled as she looked at the young man she had not seen for half a year. “Although I often meet with the Ma family, I still expected to see you around from time to time,” She said. “I mean I did decide to help you, but when I went to your mansion, I was turned away because you were too busy training they said.”
Looking puzzled at Cou Ling, Hui Yue was confused. “I never heard anything about you coming to visit me. Had I known a beauty like you took the time to visit me, I would instantly have dropped what I was doing!” He said with an apologetic smile on his face. “Though it is true that I have been training hard to perfect a few skills. I need as much strength as I can get to help me survive in this scary grave,” He continued. “I am just a mere King. If I don’t have enough skills then I will never get any treasures, and more importantly, I could end up dead.” He said with a shrug.
A gentle silence enveloped the two who were seated on the ground as they looked at the flustered Fang Wei who was selling one item after another. After an hour of silence had gone by for the two, the young man managed to sell almost half of all the items they had brought with them.
“Close down the shop for now,” Cou Ling ordered and Fang Wei was almost crying in relief as he apologized to the customers still present before he wrapped all the remaining armors and weapons up in oiled cloth before they were stored within storage stones.
Even the entire stall could be stored within one of the storage stones, and as soon as the stall was gone, Fang Wei heaved a heavy sigh of relief. After which he rushed to Cou Ling’s side and handed her a golden memory stone; a memory stone containing all the gold coins they had earned that day.
Although they only had earned around two or three spirit coins, this was still an incredible haul for Cou Ling in just one day. She was beaming with happiness as she looked at Hui Yue. “I guess you have not had dinner yet, why don’t you stay with us for dinner and enjoy some of the meat I prepared before leaving Muchuan City?”
Being directly invited Hui Yue quickly agreed. Especially after hearing that she had often visited him only to be sent packing without seeing him. Feeling guilty he smiled awkwardly, but he was also glad that the spiritual blacksmith in front of him had not gotten so upset that she had decided that he was not worth her support any longer.
Seeing that Hui Yue agreed so quickly happiness welled up within her and she swiftly started a fire and took out the meat. The meat happened to be deer meat as Cou Ling had completely stopped eating the meat of Magical Beasts. Looking at Hui Yue, she shuddered as she remembered when she last ate the meat of a wolf.