Chapter 108: He Has Returned
In the Land of Chaos, Tunsen, Mount Caylon, a man sporting dark orange hair kicked off the corpse he had pierced with his sword, before scattering the lingering blood on it with a powerful flick of the blade. Steam was rising from his reddened body, similar to a cooked crab freshly out of the pot. However, those familiar with the man would know that this was the cost of his transcendent ability.
The man was Rodney, an Origin Level 3 transcendent. He was fairly famous in the Land of Chaos, but at odds with his identity as a high-level transcendent was that he had neither a prestigious occupation nor great wealth.
The reason for that? He was a heretic.
Heretics weren’t welcomed in the stabler major countries where the society had more or less stabilized. The Austine Empire, as a show of defiance against the Theocracy, would still accept some heretics from time to time, but other than this small exception, most heretics were forced to live in wartorn areas or small countries lacking the power of transcendents. Most of them eventually move to the unruled borders of humanity’s territory and survived on their own.
Of course, for a high-level transcendent like Rodney, making a living wasn’t an issue at all. In fact, in his hot-blooded younger years, he had ventured into all sorts of places and did all sorts of stuff. but after he sustained a permanent physical trauma during one of his adventures, he decided to rein himself in and return back to his homeland, the Land of Chaos, and he eventually became one of the village chiefs.
The Land of Chaos, Tunsen, was a very special place on the Sia Continent. The unique environment gave rise to all sorts of demonic beasts in the area, making it one of the rare places for procuring invaluable demon beast materials. Yet, hardly any nobles had considered expanding their influence into Tunsen yet, and those who raised the idea were thought of as lunatics.
It was not without reason that Tunsen came to be known as the Land of Chaos. Chaos was an intrinsic nature of this region, and any noble or even king who tried to lay their hands on these grounds would only be slaughtered helplessly.
For one, Tunsen was home to extremely powerful transcendents. There were many heretics and evil cultists who, for various kinds of reasons, had chosen to settle down in this mountainous region. In fact, it could be said to be the ‘vacuum cleaner of the Sia Continent’, taking in all of those powerful transcendents who had no place to go. Needless to say, there was no way these transcendents would take those attempting to infringe on their sanctuary kindly.
Aside from that, the habitat in Tunsen was incredibly inhospitable too. Only the strong could survive. There was an astounding number of powerful demonic creatures roaming this land, and a stampede would occur once every few years. It was definitely not a place for the weak, as evidenced by how more than half of those still living in the region were transcendents who had survived the cullings of many years of natural selection.
Despite all of the powerful individuals living in Tunsen, they weren’t wealthy. Trying to survive in such inhospitable terrain wasn’t cheap. That’s why the locals would always rip clean the wealth of any outsiders, unless that outsider was stronger than what they could deal with.
It also wasn’t always peaceful among the transcendents living in Tunsen either. These transcendents formed villages based on their faith, and from time to time, there could be alliances and wars occurring amongst them.
While the heretics had beliefs that deviated from the norms, that didn’t mean that they had no sense of morality. Many of them were disgusted by the atrocities committed by evil cultists too, and Rodney was one of them.
Rodney panted heavily to catch his breath after dealing with an evil cultist. One must know that the evil cultist he had just killed wasn’t a small fry but an Origin Level 4 expert.
There was usually a huge gap in strength between an Origin Level 3 and an Origin Level 4 transcendent, but an injury that Rodney suffered in his earlier years had brought about an internal injury that disallowed him from fighting a prolonged battle. On top of that, the enemy he had faced was not just any Origin Level 4 transcendent either.
Rodney looked at the mountainous forest, which looked as if it had been swept by a hurricane, as well as the 10 bodies that were strewn all over the place. All of these bodies had been mutilated horribly, making the scene difficult to look at without retching.
It had been a truly difficult battle.
Unlike the usual reasons, however, this battle didn’t occur due to a conflict arising from a grudge or territorial dispute. The reason was one that left Rodney feeling deeply unnerved—these darned evil cultists were here to steal the Scale of the Snake God!
That was an ancient magic tool which Rodney’s village had been protecting ever since Rodney brought it back three years ago. Indeed, the years that Rodney hadn’t been venturing out in the greater world aimlessly; he had a clear goal in mind.
The Sia Continent was massive, and there were still large swathes of land that had yet to be explored by humankind. However, the humans’ regions of activity had more or less remained constant all this while. There were lots of speculations that these unexplored lands could contain faraway ancient civilizations, the remains of ancient humans, or perhaps the intelligent lifeforms that were often spoken of in the legends.
Even the more recent Ancient Austine Empire, which had collapsed in the Spirit Cataclysm of the Capital more than a thousand years ago, had plenty of valuable things to be unearthed, and they would be considered as priceless treasures in the current markets. The temptation of making a huge fortune drew countless individuals to walk the path of an adventurer, creating their own teams to scour ancient remains in search of treasure.
There were all sorts of characters to be found in adventurer teams. Be they weak or strong, the country they originated from, or the religion they believed in, all of these were of secondary concern as long as there was money to be earned.
In fact, adventuring was one of the few occupations where heretics could possibly strike it rich.
Adventuring uncharted territories came with great risks, and those who lived their lives treading around danger were likely to eventually succumb to it. The young and hot-blooded Rodney believed that his team was somehow different from the others, only to be smacked in the face by cruel reality.
The companions that had accompanied him for many years ended up losing their lives, and Rodney himself barely escaped with severe injuries. However, despite the huge losses, he managed to swipe the Scale of the Snake God from the ancient ruins.
According to the scholar they had in his adventuring team, the ancient ruins they had explored then was built prior to the era of the Ancient Austine Empire, before the Second Epoch. That would mean that the ruins had at least two thousand years of history. The Scale of the Snake God was the treasure worshiped within the ancient remains, so it was estimated to be at least a thousand years older. Just based on the sheer history behind it, its value was already immeasurable.
Rodney could have made a huge fortune by selling it, but having lost all of his companions, he fell into despondence and adamantly refused to sell this final treasure that his companions gave their lives for. So, he brought it back to his homeland, but unexpectedly, this scale actually had miraculous effects in the Land of Chaos.
Ever since he brought back the Scale of the Snake God, the demonic creatures of Tunsen no longer approached the village Rodney was residing in, seemingly fearing it. At the same time, the snake-type demonic beasts around the village increased greatly, and amazingly, instead of attacking the village, these snakes ended up protecting it instead.
Naturally, such a phenomenon swiftly caught the attention of the people in the village. When it was found that this phenomenon was the result of Rodney’s contribution, he was swiftly elected as village chief. Over the next ten years, everything was smooth-sailing for the village, and it began to develop into a mid-scale village.
Under the protection of the Scale of the Snake God, Rodney’s village was set to develop into the largest trading hub within the Land of Chaos within the next few decades, but disaster struck.
For some reason, Tunsen’s Marta Merchant Association, one of the rare merchant associations operating in Tunsen’s vicinity, suddenly turned their eyes to them. On the surface, the Marta Merchant Association appeared to be ordinary merchants distributing the materials harvested from demonic creatures to the other countries, but Rodney and a few other individuals knew that it was actually an organization helmed by evil cultists.
When the Marta Merchant Association first heard of the Scale of the Snake God half a month ago, shortly after the new year, they sent someone over to the village to speak with Rodney, hoping to purchase it at a lowered price. However, when Rodney turned down their offer, they began bared their fangs and attempted to snatch it away by force.
They were probably hoping to obtain the Scale of the Snake God without paying any price, but it was all wishful thinking on their part. How could a village where a prodigy like Rodney originated from possibly be ordinary?
In truth, the village consisted of descendants of the Strength Origin Attribute heretics, which was rumored to have originated from the ancient giants. Their fighting prowess was something to behold, but the price they had to pay for that was brutal too. It was said that their ancestors had once annexed the territories of the Theocracy with their overwhelming strength, only to be driven out due to an incident later on. Their ancestors then fled all the way to Tunsen and eventually laid their roots down there.
Rodney’s village might be small and had few transcendents, but every single one of these transcendents were incredible fighters. The evil cultists had really barked up the wrong tree this time around. The first team they sent was utterly obliterated without causing much of a stir.
Rodney didn’t pay too much attention to these small fries at the start as there were simply too many evil cultists in the Land of Chaos, so these types of incidents were fairly commonplace. He figured that their leader would back down upon realizing that they had picked on someone they couldn’t afford to mess with.
However, he soon came to realize that he was underestimating the severity of this matter. The people who were eyeing them weren’t just a couple of evil cultists or the Marta Merchant Association even. Instead, it was a far larger organization.
Through interrogating the apprehended evil cultists, he learned that someone had offered the Marta Merchant Association a huge amount of money for the Scale of the Snake God in their possession. They had no idea how much money was involved in this trade, but it was definitely a huge fortune far beyond their imagination. That was apparent by the 10 mutilated corpses lying at Rodney’s feet.
One must know that even in the Land of Chaos, Origin Level 4 transcendents were not just pawns that one could mobilize easily. The fact that the Marta Merchant Association went to the extent of dispatching 10 Origin Level 4 transcendents for this mission showed that they expected great returns.
“Rodney, how is it going on your side?”
The voice of an old man sounded on the other end of the forest. Rodney, whose body was still steaming and reddened all over, quickly responded to the call.
“Wood, I’m done dealing with the evil cultists on my side, but I won’t be able to move for the time being.”
“Hold on, we’ll head over right now.”
As soon as those words were spoken, Rodney immediately heard a loud ‘bam’ sound. Following that, he saw an old man holding a wooden staff in his hand soaring high up in the sky as if he was boosted by a rocket launcher. He stopped for a brief moment upon reaching the peak of his trajectory before starting to fall at an accelerating speed toward Rodney’s side.
“Cough cough cough!”
“Rodney, it’s wonderful that you’re alright! I’ve already managed to deal with those who sneaked into the village.”
Amidst a cloud of dust, a gray-haired old man quickly walked over to Rodney’s side with an agitated look on his face. This old man had clear eyes and a flowy, long beard that made him look reminiscent of a learned scholar. His clothes were a little dirty, and there was a small sack hanging around his waist.
“Say, can’t you make a softer landing?”
“Softer? That’s not a word that our people know of! Do you take me as a dancer who prances all around on tiptoes?”
Wood waved his hand impatiently. He raised his staff and summoned a light breeze to sweep away the surrounding dust, which alleviated Rodney’s heavy coughing.
“What are you in such a hurry for if you have already dealt with all of the enemies?”
“Those evil cultists are not important right now! I rushed all the way out here to inform you of major news that I just received!”
Rodney raised his head and looked at the agitated Wood in bewilderment.
“One of our gods woke up last night!”
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Alright, I know the missions are harder this time around, but I swear
there are some really long chapters from this point onward ~~ I've already encountered quite a few 4000 words chapters, and there are even longer ones too.
I'm not intending to split chapters and release them separately, and I can imagine a lot of people calling bull on it if I were to do it, so... (Well, unless they get really overboard, like jumping into >5/6k
Same as usual, there's nothing much that can be done about Quest 14 and 15 (It's more of a milestone mark), whereas Quest 12 and 13 are just incentives to encourage activity on the novel hahaha. It's dah same old bribery.
Also, just advertising my Patreon again hehe:https://www.patreon.com/starvecleric
Translation and editing take a fair bit of work, esp if you want to make it flow smoothly. Additional financial help never hurts given the time and effort put into it @@
If you have spare change, do consider supporting me on my Patreon. There are advanced chapters available for kind donors there hehehe~~
And the usual dropping of Discord link to chat: https://discord.gg/ATHVehx