Chapter 317 – Returning Home
Gradually, the day began to brighten, and the morning mist was dispelled by the rising sun. On the towers above the city gates, two soldiers stood at attention. They hadn’t slept, but they still looked spirited, warily watching all directions.
It had been two days since the beast tide outbreak. If the vicious beasts from the depths of the Green Mulberry Mountains had left at that time, it was highly likely that they would begin to approach the outer edges of the Green Mulberry Mountains.
The city gates had just opened, and a crowd fled through them. Men carried dry food and belongings, and women carried crying children. There were richer families who rode away on carriages, big boxes tied to them. There were even some larger and richer families who had some troops accompanying them. They had hired some martial artists, but, if they truly met a beast tide on the way, these martial artists that they had employed for protection would drop like flies.
Those that fled from the incoming calamity only made up a small portion of Green Mulberry City. Fleeing from Green Mulberry City didn’t mean that it would be safe – it might even be more dangerous than staying in Green Mulberry City.
The guards of the city gate had finally reached their shift change, but as the two soldiers on lookout were about to be replaced by two others, at this moment, they saw a vague shadow in the sky, piercing through the morning fog like an arrow. It shot towards Green Mulberry City at an incredible speed.
“Warning! Warning! The beast tide has come!”
The refugees at the city gate suddenly panicked. As the soldiers on the lookout tower were about to sound the city alarm, they discovered that this so-called beast tide was only a single vicious beast. Not only that, but it seemed as if on top of the vicious beast was… a person’s figure?
They couldn’t see clearly because the speed this vicious beast was travelling at was too fast. Could this vicious beast that was as fast as a bolt of lightning actually be a mount? It clearly wasn’t a Heavenly Wind Eagle!
In the minds of the common people, those who could use a Heavenly Wind Eagle as a flying mount were already lofty figures. For instance, the City Lord General might have such a mount, but many prominent families wouldn’t.
The soldier didn’t sound the alarm. Instead, he used a sound transmitting talisman to inform Green Mulberry City’s City Lord. This matter was extremely sensitive. If he sounded the city alarm, it was very likely that the entire city would be thrown into utter chaos. This soldier wasn’t able to shoulder the consequences of this decision.
At this time, Green Mulberry City’s Lin Family.
Half an hour ago, Lin Ming was able to use a long-distance 1000 mile sound transmitting talisman to inquire about the family situation, and the Lin Family Head, Lin Wanshan had obtained the news that Lin Ming would return soon.
This sudden great news caused Lin Wanshan to pop up from his chair in happy excitement; Lin Ming was finally coming back!
At this critical juncture, the Lin Family needed a figure that could stabilize the situation. Although Lin Ming was strong, he wasn’t strong enough to solve the problem of how to deal with the beast tide. Still, as long as he returned, that was enough to give the people hope.
It was not only the Lin Family, but several other important figures of other families had been informed that Lin Ming was returning. At this time, the several great families of Green Mulberry City had banded together in order to ride out this storm.
“Old Lin, is Lin Ming really coming back?”
As several important figures from the other prominent families gathered at the Lin Family residence, this was the first question that the Lu Family Clan’s elder, Lu Wuyin had anxiously asked. If Lin Ming came back at this time, the significance of that was just too great. Although Lin Ming’s own power wasn’t enough to change the outcome, his status was even higher than the emperor of Sky Fortune Kingdom. As long as he stayed within Green Mulberry City, it would be relatively easy to find support.
“Of course. I just received Lin Ming’s sound transmitting talisman; he should be arriving soon.” Lin Wanshan slowly said as he held a teacup in his hand. At this time, he wasn’t in the mood to drink a cup of tea.
“Now that Lin Ming is coming back, are there any masters with him?” The Zhuang Family Head Zhuang Fan asked, his eyes wide. This was the issue that most people were concerned about. In the hall, many other people’s ears pricked up to attention, looking towards Lin Wanshan with eager expressions.
Lin Wanshan sighed and said, “Lin Ming happened to be passing through the southern border. He was near Sky Fortune Kingdom so he was able to arrive quickly, and it’s only him…”
The Seven Profound Valleys was several hundred thousand miles away from Green Mulberry City. Even if the Seven Profound Valleys sent out a team of experts to help, it would still take at least 10 days if they traveled night and day.
As for the army, that wasn’t even worth mentioning.
“Only a single person…” Zhuang Fan sighed, reluctantly smiling. “It’s great that he came back. With one more master, there’s that much more hope.”
It wasn’t wrong to be disappointed. Once the beast tide erupted, there would be armies of tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of vicious beasts. With only a single person, no matter how strong they were, how much could they affect a beast tide? Once the gates of Green Mulberry City fell, Lin Ming would be able to easily leave with his strength, but their families…
At this moment, the people suddenly heard a clarion roar in the sky.
Everyone quickly exited the room, some doubt in their hearts; what sort of beast would make such a cry?
Looking up, they saw that in the skies of the Lin Family residence, a red dragon-shaped creature was flying in circles.
“Mm? What is that?”
Zhuang Fan was amazed. This thing looked like a Flood Dragon that birthed two wings. It had a 70 foot wingspan, and from head to tail was 80 feet long. Its entire body was layered in dark red scales, as if there was a smoldering fire burning on its body.
This aura was not something a Heavenly Wind Eagle could ever compare with.
The red monster closed its wings and dropped straight down. A powerful chilling energy rushed out, forcing everyone to step back.
At a closer look, this vicious beast was even more alarming. When its wings were spread out, they covered over half the garden. Its eyes were a dark glazed gold, it had teeth were sharp, and its scales glimmered with a cold light. It emitted an aura that caused everyone’s hearts to race.
This was clearly a small dragon!
There were a few people present who were Pulse Condensation masters. From the aura that the vicious beast was giving out, they could clearly feel that its strength was at the late Houtian realm, or even higher!
It was impossible to imagine that some godly beast like this could be used as a mount.
Lu Wuyin felt envy in his heart. To have such a grand creature as a mount was an impossible luxury. There was no need to mention its speed or shape, but just its strength alone was at the late Houtian realm or above. Within the entire Sky Fortune Kingdom – not including the Seven Profound Martial House – there was only a hermit hidden off in some remote corner of the kingdom that had barely reached the late Houtian realm.
Even the famous Mister Muyi and State Marshal Qin Xiao were only at the middle Houtian realm! And within all the prominent families of Green Mulberry City, there wasn’t a single one that had an early Houtian master.
A black-clothed figure jumped down from the back of the dragon. This was Lin Ming.
All of those who had seen Lin Ming’s portrait immediately stood up. Although only Lin Ming had come, it was still better than nothing.
“Lin Ming greets the Family Head.”
Lin Ming bowed. He naturally recognized Lin Wanshan. The last time he had seen him was during the birthday of an important family figure.
At that time, Lin Ming had only been a cook’s assistant.
“Nephew Lin, please get up! This ritual isn’t one I can receive.” Lin Wanshan hurried forwards and propped up Lin Ming’s curved body, his eyes full of satisfaction and gratification.
“Good! Good!” Lin Wanshan rubbed his hands over Lin Ming, feeling his solid body. As he said these words of praise, he sighed in his heart. In truth, this was the first time that he had seen Lin Ming. A branch family child had actually been able to come this far, even able to affect the future destiny of the Lin Family for the next several hundred years. The winds of fate were truly unpredictable.
Besides Lin Wanshan, several other important characters of the other families stood far away, not daring to open their mouths and greet Lin Ming. Lin Ming was now a direct disciple of the Seven Profound Valleys, and his status was comparably to a Seven Profound elder or Seven Profound Envoy. He was an existence who was even above Sky Fortune Kingdom’s emperor. The difference between their status and Lin Ming’s was just too great. Lin Wanshan was Lin Ming’s elder, so he could tentatively speak to him, but no one else here related to him. The Seven Profound Valleys did not care about etiquette, only status. Accordingly, they should have kneeled to Lin Ming.
“House Head, have there been any beast tides at nearby cities?” Lin Ming had hurried on his way there, so he didn’t understand the surrounding situation.
“Not right now. Sky Fortune Kingdom is very far from where vicious beasts usually gather, unlike the Eastern Sun Country. I fear over half of their country has already been destroyed.” Lin Wanshan sighed, his voice heavy. The Eastern Sun Country had been an enemy of Sky Fortune Kingdom, but now that they had so tragically been ruined by hordes of vicious beasts, it really made one want to grieve for their loss.
At this time, a maid hurried over, reporting, “Master, the City Lord has arrived.”
“Mm? City Lord?”
Lin Wanshan’s eyebrows picked up; he didn’t expect the City Lord to arrive so soon.
As he spoke, a stalwart looking man in his fifties, wearing a robe with kirin boots strapped to his feet strode in. He was very thin, but his bones were wide. He walked bravely and had a very strong, imposing momentum to him.
As this courageous looking man stepped into the courtyard, he had a bright and respectful smile when he greeted Lin Ming, “Green Mulberry City’s City Lord Zhao Yanming greets Hero Lin.”
As Zhao Yanming spoke, he cupped his fists together and bowed. With Lin Ming’s current status, he naturally couldn’t address him by his full name. But a direct disciple wasn’t an official, so he called him Hero Lin.
“City Lord Zhao, there’s no need to be a stranger; it’s good if you can call me Lin Ming. I grew up within Green Mulberry City, and City Lord Zhao is my elder.” Lin Ming naturally recognized Zhao Yanming. He was a City Lord who had a very just and honorable reputation in Green Mulberry City, and Lin Ming also had a favorable impression towards him.
Zhao Yanming let out a breath, his apprehensive heart calming down. Heaven defying talents like Lin Ming, who were young, amazingly strong, and held high positions, often inevitably also had a very arrogant and reckless personality.
But it appeared that Lin Ming was a very humble and reasonable youth.
As he was about to speak, he inadvertently glanced at the Winged Flood Dragon in the courtyard. Suddenly, his complexion changed.
“This… this is a Winged Flood Dragon!?”
Zhang Yanming called the Winged Flood Dragon by its name, surprising Lin Ming. A vicious beast mount like this was something that the people of Sky Fortune Kingdom would rarely hear about.
“Young Hero Lin… is this a mount that the Seven Profound Valleys’ direct disciples can ride?” Zhao Yanming’s voice trembled. When had been a disciple of the Seven Profound Martial House, he had read about the Winged Flood Dragon in the ancient texts. It said that the Winged Flood Dragon had the bloodline of a Saint Beast, and not even mentioning its amazing speed, its strength could possibly reach the Xiantian realm!
The Xiantian realm! To the people of Sky Fortune Kingdom, a Xiantian master was a mythical figure. Could the direct disciples of the Seven Profound Valleys actually ride such a mount to travel? Or… was this treatment only reserved for Lin Ming?
Lin Ming looked at Zhao Yanming, pleasant surprise in his eyes. He said, “City Lord Zhao is truly knowledgeable. This Winged Flood Dragon is not the Seven Profound Valleys’, but mine.”