Volume 3 – When he bravely forged ahead on the sea waves
Chapter VI (Part 2) Travelers from Yunqin
“A pledge is something absolute and sacred for us alchemists, just like it is for you sacrifices. Actually, after searching for the immortal elixir for a thousand years, we knew that His Majesty must have already dissipated into the five elements.” Mr. Xu lifted his hands and put them in front of his face, with his eyes staring at the horizon through the slits between his fingers. There was a sense of loss clearly visible in his eyes.
The intense sea breeze was blowing his robe as if giving a chaotic dance performance with a beautiful horizon in the background.
“I really haven’t heard of the existence of Yunqin Empire in the Eastern Silk Continent. I always thought that the Tangzang Empire was the strongest country in the east because most oriental merchants arrive from there to our Qin Continent.” Hailun was kind of speechless at the moment.
The oath and the reality can never intersect, just like the sea and the skyline cannot intersect, except for the illusion of the two meeting at the horizon; an illusion that was truly the reflection of a noble oath. Hailun finally noticed the symbolism hidden in Mr. Xu’s actions and was moved by his sentiment.
Liu Zhenhan didn’t say anything because he had been constantly observing this mystical oriental elder. He didn’t know why but his intuition was telling him that this old man was definitely not ordinary.
Liu Zhenhan couldn’t help but notice traces of ominous color hidden well, in the depths of the old man’s eyes. Surprisingly, he found it very familiar for some reason.
“We have been learning the language and traditions of the Western continent. This is a complex civilization that we are unable to comprehend no matter how much we try, but we haven’t given up on the pursuit of immortal elixir. All we have is hope! Yes, as long as there is hope, we will never give up. We have been drifting in various seas, struggling to achieve our goal.” Mr. Xu said with a carefree smile: “Sometimes it is also a pleasure to pursue the unknown.”
“I still do not quite understand O honorable elder from the east.” Hailun said: “The sea race is barbaric and domineering, so how can they allow you to sail unimpeded in their territory?”
“Ha-ha.” Mr. Xu smiled and said: “Forgot to tell you about something. Actually, when my ancestors left our native land in search of immortal elixir, His Majesty chose the most loyal and brave Panda warriors as our guards. These Panda warriors are very strong, similar to your Bearmen, but are also blessed with the agility and instincts of cats. They are very skilled at using spears, and can be generally formidable with bows and crossbows.”
The panda sailors were all standing with their hands crossed behind their back at ease; their stalwart bodies appeared like tall boulders lined up on the deck. Although there were only 20 or so individuals, the mighty aura exuding from their bodies was scary enough to send chills down anyone’s spine.
“These Panda warriors are the descendants of those Panda guards. When they saw your bamboo raft drifting in the sea, they couldn’t stop themselves from feasting upon the bamboo shoots. Well, we have been drifting in the sea for a long time and these poor Panda warriors have not tasted their favorite bamboo in ages. Their strange behavior must have surprised you, ha ha.”
“May I ask you something, Mr. Xu? Has Yunqin Empire also conquered the beastman kingdom of the east?” Hailun was curious and asked promptly.
“Well, our Yunqin Empire has far more beastman clans than there are in your Beamon Kingdom. We even have a much longer coastal area which is home to strong aquatic warrior clans, contributing to the main body of our naval units.” Mr. Xu did not conceal his pride as he further explained: “In the past when our ancestors were leaving for the voyage, our guard corps also constituted of naval units, our very own sea clan guards. Our formidable Cartelo clan of Yangtze alligators was known for their bravery and they had signed a treaty with the sea race, allowing our ships to freely sail in the sea without any difficulties.”
(TL Note: Yangtze alligators are also known as Chinese alligators.)
“Holy Campas, so fierce!” Hailun’s perfectly round beautiful eyes opened wide. Beamon kingdom also had naval units in the form of amphibious regiments, consisting of only frogman and turtleman troops. These two troops had ascended to guard the south-west border of the Beamon kingdom; other aquatic clans were either completely wiped out during the Great war of sea and land two thousand years ago, or defected to the sea race’s side but found it very difficult to breed in a new habitat and were soon on the verge of extinction.
Expecting to find Cartelo Yangtze alligator warriors to guard the Emperor was simply wishful thinking. Even the current Beamon King, Gleick Saarland, had only four saltwater crocodile warriors as the guards of honor.
“Unfortunately, since our Cartelo alligator warriors did not bring their families on board because they did not want to risk their lives in the sea, they eventually died out in the course of the expedition, leaving behind only their fond memories in our hearts. Our treaty with the sea race also took a major blow when we no longer had Cartelo alligator warriors as a link to communicate and negotiate with them.” Mr. Xu said in a sad voice.
“Are you implying that your millennium old treaty with sea race is no longer acknowledged by them?” Liu Zhenhan finally said something after having remained silent for a long time.
“You are really a wise sacrifice.” Mr. Xu smiled with genuine respect in his eyes then said: “Your worry is normal, indeed after the Great War was initiated by the sea race; they were unwilling to acknowledge any past contracts or treaties. In fact, even if we had Cartelo alligator warriors on our side, it would be impossible to convince the sea race. However, it just so happens that we had more than one naval unit to protect us during the expedition, the beautiful mussel people of Mushao clan.
“Mussel people of Mushao clan?” Liu Zhenhan was stunned and his gaze immediately moved toward the two mussel pots kept in the turtle shell.
“Mussel people are inborn illusion technique users and are capable of using illusions to protect the entire ship, otherwise, it would have been impossible to keep sailing in the sea and not bump into sea race. Ha-ha, we could rely on the formidable strength of our warriors to protect ourselves on the ship but we couldn’t possibly stop the sea race from destroying our ship. We certainly couldn’t stop them from taking advantage of our weakness- our inability to fight underwater.” Mr. Xu explained in a somewhat lofty manner.
Liu Zhenhan and Hailun also had their doubts initially about relying entirely on the strength of panda warriors to deal with the sea race, after all, no extent of formidable strength was going to work underwater.
But the old man’s explanation made it quite clear that this ship had a secret weapon.
“Illusion technique user?” Hailun looked at Mr. Xu and asked intuitively.
“I guess seeing with your own eyes would be hundred times better than any explanation. I hope my honorable Beamon guests are prepared to see an illusion.” Mr. Xu clapped his hands.
A column of white light suddenly appeared in front of Liu Zhenhan. The fuzzy and twisted image began to emerge out of thin air and cleared up in a blink of an eye. The very next instant, the exact image of Liu Zhenhan appeared in front of everyone.
Liu Zhenhan was startled by this scene.
In the brilliance of sunlight, this seemingly clone of his was actually casting a long shadow on the deck.
Liu Zhenhan’s clone was also clad in a blue wolf skin, had a large stature and prominent muscles just like his own. He also clearly saw that his clone had an overturned big garlic nose, somewhat similar to that of a pig.
Liu Zhenhan was baffled when he saw his clone’s entangled hair, long and chaotic with patches of dandruff here and there, and some sprinkled on the forehead as well. So, he subconscious wiped his own forehead with his palm and then saw traces of dandruff on his fingers.
And then he looked up and saw that dandruff on his clone’s forehead had disappeared as well.
Liu Zhenhan turned toward Hailun and saw her looking at him with her mouth opened like a yawning toad.
Liu Zhenhan even smelled a hint of fox fragrance on his clone. It was the legacy of him staying entangled with her in the raft throughout the voyage, but it was hard to believe that his clone could even replicate the odor that should be unique to him.
“What is this, Mr. Xu?” Liu Zhenhan looked at Mr. Xu and asked.
“Ha-ha” The old man laughed and clapped once again.
From the cabin, came out a beautiful girl who was dressed in a white dress with two transparent clamshells behind her. It seemed as if the sunlight was melting her clamshells, while simultaneously dispersing beautiful and gentle yellow light in the vicinity.
With each step she took, the clamshells behind her would vibrate briskly.
She appeared like a fairy with transparent wings behind her in the form of beautiful and transparent clamshells. She was just like a spring butterfly, having a nimble aura but with an otherworldly magical presence.
“Beautiful!” Hailun murmured. She couldn’t conceal traces of jealousy hidden within the praise.