Early in the morning, a huge group of people were walking through the quiet forest. There were numerous pairs of alert eyes that continued to scan the dark hidden spots of the surrounding forest while hands tightly gripped their weapons tightly, ready to handle any sudden occurrences.
As veteran cultivators that had been hunting in the Green Serpent Mountain Range for many years, even though many of them were cooperating with each other for the first time, they were still able to maintain a basic understanding with each other.
More than half of the group was composed of members of the Misty Leaves Gang and other sole mercenaries who were accepted into the group.
Kallen was carrying the bags of all the members of the Misty Leaves Gang he struggled to maintain his current speed while feeling his legs may break at any time, this because Levi didn't let him remove the handcuffs when they parted, so each time his feet landed on the ground, it would sink into the soft soil leaving a trail of small craters behind him. After travelling a short distance in this manner, he had begun to pant and sweat.
He wiped the sweat off his face and turned around to stare at the heavily guarded members of the Obsidian Pavilion who organized this expedition. After randomly sweeping his gaze over the team, his gaze finally landed on the lady in white at the center who appeared to be their leader and signed in defeat.
'Even when trying to avoid the unfortunate blacksmith's beloved, she would still appear when less expected.'
In the meantime, they met several low-rank beasts along the way. Given the name 'Green Serpent Mountain Range' it was obvious the most numerous species found in this area would be serpent.
Kallen read about this place in the library of the Sacred Soul Sect. In the continent of Esethia, one of the strongest species of beasts known came exactly from this place. The Green-Heaven Serpent, while it wasn't more powerful than other beasts at the same level, its poison could put even an undying lord to bed for months.
Not only that, but even the female attendants and her junior sisters were all great beauties. A slightly handsome, smiling young man walked away from the group of mercenaries of the Misty Leaves Gang. He lowered his head and said something to Erin.
After a brief conversation, the young lady's face turns dark for a second before she simply smiled before continuing the journey on foot.
Returning to the group of mercenaries, the young man let out a faint smile, waved his hand as he called out, "Members of the Misty Leaves Gang, we are now about to mine. Don't screw up!"
"Yes, Young Master."
Upon hearing the young man's call, dozens of huge men surrounding him immediately responded in unison. Kallen, who followed behind them noticed all those men were even stronger than those he met in Ironwood Village back then. This Young man Kallen saw being treated with such respect was none less than Ji Mu, the second son of the Ji Family of VI city and the grandson of richest man in the upper city.
Approaching what looked like an abandoned mine, Kallen was confused as to why they came to a place that was at the border of the mountain range and couldn't even have any powerful beast.
At that moment, the fragile beauty who was known as the little miss of the Obsidian Pavilion had coincidentally straightened her back as she lightly wiped away the beads of perspiration that had gathered on her forehead and passed a few pieces of stone to the female attendant next to her who kept these stones in her pouch. Not only that, as she even picked the pickaxe to help mine a few chunks of ore, her face was slightly red due to the effort of mining which made her even more pleasing to the eye.
Being the treasure of the Pavillion, there was no reason for anyone with her status to participate in such an event, but only she could inspect minerals and ores with enough precision so she had to go as well. Witnessing this famous young Artisan is presenting such an image, some of the surrounding men gained a reckless motivation to protect her from the beasts.
"Hey young man you do look tired, want a little of the wife's tea." A friendly old man wearing an old leather armor approached him. He was one of the cultivators that didn't belong to any force and offered him some tea his wife stored in a special metal bottle with runic patterns to keep the temperature the same within the bottle.
"Thanks." Kallen didn't think a mercenary would treat a non-cultivator porter this good and accepted his good will. Lane, the old man kept chatting with him for a few hours before they were called by the Young Man in expensive clothes.
They were ordered to carry all the ores back to the agents of the pavilion waiting at the city gate before returning. Working the whole day, Kallen could not even remember the last time he felt this tired.
"Don't worry boy, I know how much it is hard to find work these days. Especially when the workers in some of the western countries were already being substituted by Artifacts. " The old Lane patted his shoulder and helped him put the bags on his back and arms.
For some reason the mercenaries that were ordered to scout the way for the workers were all the cultivators that weren't part of the Misty Leaves Gang which made him suspicious of leaving those people alone with the workers of the Obsidian Pavilion and Erin. There's more, Kallen also noticed those were the same people with less experience among the whole group.
Everything was quiet outside of the Mountain Range. However, not long after the Company of mercenaries followed by Kallen left the mines, a small scale attack by the Wild Beasts was cruelly played out before him.
Those six beasts were named Green-Fire Snakes. These Beasts frequently appeared at the edge of the Magic Beast Mountain Range and possessed the fire attribute, they were one of the few descendants of the infamous Green-Heaven Serpent. If It's flaming poison was not treated within half an hour after being poisoned, this poison would ignite the blood within the victim's body and cause an instant combustion.
Those snakes were not small at all, having 20 to 50 cm in length, those snakes surrounded the group and shot themselves towards their group of eleven.
The first one headed straight towards Kallen and the latter was about to summon his knife when he saw a blur and a gush of wind moments before the head of the beast passed by him.
"Weak Beasts." Lane said proudly before swinging his sword three more times and taking three more snakes with it. Looking to the sides, he saw four of the six cultivators sent to protect the porters had already fallen to the beasts.
Kallen on the other side felt that strange sensation of danger from before grow more and more before his senses caught the faint sound of a flute echoing from the distance and his face turned green.
"Lane, hold on! I'm going to try something." Throwing all the bags on the ground, Kallen raced towards the source of the flute brought all his knife and pieced forward with all his straight, his attack happened so fast that the poor guy only realized too late and all Kallen felt was a slight resistance on his knife as a human head fell onto the ground.Cleaning the blood on the knife, he searched the glass and found the same flute he heard before.
"I'm certain this is an artifact." Seeing the artifact, Kallen could already guess everything. The person he just killed was nothing important, just a middle-aged man and his cultivation seemed to be close to completing the twelve layers of the Vital Core.
"Oh? I must return to the mine." Leaving the corpse behind, Kallen brought his hands to the handcuffs and dropped them on the group before his speed suddenly multiplied leaving only a trail of dust.