Chapter 112 - The High Hunt
They finished their heartwarming breakfast.
When Soran came downstairs with Vivian, Gloria came out. She looked at the girl next to him, and moved her lips slightly, but produced no sound. However, Soran heard the words, “Vivian had nightmares again last night.”
Soran nodded in silence. He had a grave expression on his face.
This was already the third time!
Soran could see the signs becoming more obvious. The signs of Vivian being the child of a Deity. Her nightmares were becoming more frequent, and the time interval between the last two nightmares was shorter. Although the little girl often seemed joyful and hadn’t mentioned anything, Soran knew that she must have also figured something was wrong. Vivian had been very smart since she was a child. Although she wouldn’t show it, she wasn’t a simple and obedient girl. A lot of times she was even smarter and sharper than Soran, but because of her age, it did not seem that obvious.
After all, she was only eight years old this year.
As they arrived downstairs, the Halfling came in from outside. Aladdin quietly went to Soran’s side, found a stool, and sat down. Then he whispered, “Last night, the Elven patrol guard was attacked. It seems some Lycanthropes who believed in the Deity of the hunt that did it, but I couldn’t find out what kind of Lycanthropes they were. The Elven patrol guards were angry and were ready to contact other patrol guards to move out.”
It mainly refers to humanoid creatures, such as Gnolls, Taurens, Lionfolk, Centaurs, Tigerfolks, Goatmen, Eaglefolks, Sirens and so on. This kind of creatures had some obvious human characteristics and some obvious animal characteristics. It was said that they were the product of some taboo experiments during the period of the Arcane Empire, and others say that some of them were ancient beings that had existed long ago. Anyhow, these humanoid beasts had existed for a long time, and most of them were scattered around the world in ethnic tribes.
Another kind of intelligent being was the Orc, which had the same origin as the Humans, and not a kind of Lycanthrope.
“Malar, the lesser Deity of the hunt?”
Soran frowned and paused, then murmured, “Are you sure its followers attacked the Elves?”
Aladdin nodded with certainty, “Most certainly.”
“It looks like trouble.” Soran looked up at Gloria and suddenly said to the Halfling beside him, “We’re going to leave soon. Are you going to continue traveling with us or do you have other plans for yourself?”
The Halfling looked at Soran in astonishment.
Leaving so suddenly?
Even Gloria raised her head in surprise.
Aladdin was still puzzled, but the Northern Witch took a deep look at Soran, then nodded gently and said, “Yes. We’re going to continue our journey all the way to the Frost Kingdom.
The Halfling showed a slight reluctant expression then whispered, “Why are you going so far? Isn’t it very cold over there?”
The main door of the inn was pushed open.
A gloomy-faced Elf guard walked in and scanned the people in the room. His gaze stopped at Soran, and then he closed the door and left.
There were no Malarites in the inn!
Soran immediately stood up, looked at Gloria and said, “Pack your things, we’re leaving.”
The Halfling was obviously struggling.
He stood and thought for a long time before he whispered, “I don’t intend to go that far. Why don’t we split here? I’ll invite you to dinner when you have time to go to Hael.”
Soran laughed and replied, “Sure. But don’t you go and meddle with the Malarites, those believers are all insane.”
Soran and Gloria were quick, deciding to leave.
Vivian followed behind them very quietly, and Gloria did not ask much. Only the Halfling remained at the inn, looking at them with eyes of reluctance.
The Rogue and the Witch were not simple people, and the little girl was not simple either. Her talents were undoubtedly very strong. Although the Halfling was not sure about the Witch’s talents, he was sure Vivian was an excellent and talented Wizard. The Halfling glanced hesitantly at the location of the shrine, but he finally remembered Soran’s warning and did not participate in the matter.
Soran is right, those Malarites are definitely insane!
The group had traveled for some distance.
When Soran laid down Vivian to rest, Gloria came over with a solemn expression and murmured, “Why did you want to leave all of a sudden?”
Obviously, her trust for Soran had increased since she had not asked anything until now.
Soran glanced at the village behind him and then slowly said, “The God of Hunting should have gone into a slumber. As a lesser Deity, once he falls asleep, it’s possible that the Priests of the Malarites would lose their divine abilities. So, this sudden attack was probably a High Hunt.”
The Northern Witch was undoubtedly knowledgeable. She glanced at Soran hesitantly and murmured, “You mean, this attack may have been for Legendary Blood?”
Soran nodded silently and murmured, “The God of Hunting is only interested in Legendary rituals of hunting.”
Malar, the lesser Deity of the hunt.
A weak primitive Deity, also known as the Beastlord and a Deity of chaotic evil. It liked bloody killings and relentless hunting rituals. The stronger the target, the easier it would attract its attention. Its body was a creature that looked like an ape but had a fierce face. It had black fur all over and skin that was blood-red. Its face was like an orc, but it had an even more ugly and cruel look.
Many Deities were not Humans nor Humanoid creatures, some were merely just Beasts.
Malar, the God of Hunting, was such a Deity. It was a rare monster but for some reasons, it became a Deity. The followers were mainly evil Lycanthropes, hunters who enjoyed hunting, people with bloodlust and fallen Druid Rangers. Malar was the easiest Deity to awaken. It had a strong desire for Legendary Blood. As long as it was a legendary hunting target, it was possible to attract its incarnation.
Since there were quite a number of Malarites within the Lycanthropes, Soran estimated that it was very likely that the Lycanthropes were performing a ritual.
In a “Legendary Blood” hunting ritual, the Lycanthropes would also hunt many ordinary creatures to add more blood to the ritual. Malar was a strange god; he appreciated the goal of hunting powerful targets. The more powerful the prey, the easier it was to attract his attention. Thus, he would not even care about the killing of ordinary creatures.
These legendary hunting rituals could strengthen Malar’s power!
Thus, in order to please the evil Deity, his followers would try to kill legendary targets.
In the beginning, they hunted beasts, then after some time they even started to hunt intelligent creatures!
The Northern Witch took a deep look at the distance. “There’s a Copper Dragon near here. Would it be the target?” she asked.
Dragons were undoubtedly the most obvious legendary creatures.
Soran thought for a moment then looked at her and said, “It’s not easy to slaughter Dragons. If it’s not necessary, the Malarites would not try.”
Creatures of the chaotic evil camp were more insane.
Because the Malarites were a bunch of nut jobs, Soran was not able to predict what their targeted hunt was. He didn’t want to have knowledge either.
In the dense virgin forest, a dark Gnoll leaped through the woods. It was different from the Gnolls Soran had seen, it was more vigorous and dangerous. Its pupils were dark green, and its figure flew through the woods like a phantom, often in a flash. It was difficult for the naked eye to see its movements.
It was wearing some kind of black leather and had no weapons. However, his claws gleamed with the cold light of steel. Somehow, its claws had been replaced by metal.
An unknown leveled Gnoll landed on the ground. It looked around with green and gloomy and murmured, “The ceremony is about to begin. We must awaken the God of Hunting. Without the protection of our Deity, our tribes would become weaker and weaker, and our prey will become fewer and fewer.”
Heavy footsteps were heard.
A very strong, giant-looking, mixed-blood Orc appeared. His face was grim, and his teeth were exposed. He looked at the Gnoll in front of him and said, “The ritual requires a legendary-grade creature.”
“I am aware that there’s a Copper Dragon nearby, but we won’t be able to kill it!”
The Gnoll grinned, among his teeth, there was a metal one. “There’s no need to kill the Dragon. I know that there is a Son of Fear nearby, whose blood would absolutely attract our Lord’s attention.”
The Son of a Deity?
The Half-blood Orc looked around him. Beside him were many strange-looking creatures. The followers of Malar were very complex. There were Humans, Orcs, intelligent beasts, and Dark Creatures who enjoyed hunting.
The Gnoll looked at the others and murmured, “I’ve seen him use his powers. It looks like he had just woken up. Some of you go prepare the other sacrifices, the rest of you come with me to track down the prey!”
“With the Son of a Deity as the sacrifice, we’ll surely awaken and attract our Lord Malar’s attention!”
Muscular figures leaped into the air. These hunters were at least grade 3. Above, they dispersed into the forest and gave off strange howls. The Gnoll raised his metal claw then made a cut on his face, drops of blood dripped down from the side of his face. The rest of the creatures that were left behind also did the same, making a cut on their faces. The strong mixed-blood Orc cut his forehead with a blade, then kneeled on one knee and began to pray. His face showed a pious yet crazy smile.
The High Hunt!
Has now begun!