Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
The cold air felt like a knife!
Soran also had to put on a cape and cover himself in it. It was colder in the north this year than it used to be. Anyway, Soran remembered that it was not as cold as it was now.
The snow had stopped, but the speed of snow and ice melting was very slow. There were hardly any signs of melting. Ice had begun to freeze on all sides and some rivers had frozen allowing people to pass through.
This was the weather at the end of September, and there were only five or six days until October.
The animals in this icy plain had begun to come out for food. Because the wolves had also begun to migrate in the cold weather, Soran encountered many creatures along the way.
Looking far ahead, it seemed as though the mountain was just in front of Soran. But when Soran walked for some time, he found that it was still a long ways away. Soran had now been walking for half a day and he was gradually approaching the Frozen Valley. There were many ice crystals on the trees around him. The Frozen Valley was the coldest place in the world. The climate there was somewhat special and has not changed for hundreds of years.
The trail of a carriage appeared in the snow. Soran stopped to observe it and found that a fleet was in front of him.
“Who would travel to the Frost Kingdom during winter?”
Soran pushed away the snow and looked at the tracks of the wheel. The cartwheels should have been specially modified to widen its contact area, but it had not been transformed into a sled. It did not look like the people came from the south, but were from the port cities in the central region. It was quite a big group and Soran estimated the size to be at least thirty to forty people.
“There shouldn’t be any caravan coming at this time?” Soran looked carefully ahead and but did not see them. They probably had passed yesterday and were moving slowly in the ice sheet area. Soran figured he would be able to encounter these people before nightfall. He just could not figure out who was going to the north in such a cold time. There were also signs of a bonfire nearby. Some bits and pieces of food were thrown to the roadside. Soran looked at the trash and frowned because he felt that it was not a caravan of merchants.
The ice and snow got thicker and thicker.
As the day grew darker, Soran finally saw a group of people with three modified carriages in front of him.
A Pack Beast was a thick-skinned yak. It had snow-white fur all over its body and has only one horn on its head. These yaks laid around the caravan, blocking the cold wind. This was a team of experienced people who obviously came to the icy terrain knowing how to make themselves more comfortable. Just as people in the desert knew how to use camels to stop the wind and sand.
The domesticated beasts were very docile, and Soran did not see any of the caravan guards nor did he see many mounts. Soran was now sure that the people in front of him were not merchants.
“Who is it?”
A small figure jumped out and squinted to look for Soran. Soran saw a green Goblin. But unlike the goblin he had seen before, his expression was richer. His face was smeared with strange colors, like a clown. As the Goblin shouted, more than a dozen people stood up near the carriage and there were almost all kinds of races, even beautiful Elves standing next to big Orcs.
Soran frowned slightly, came slowly, and smiled, “A passer-by. After knowing you guys were here, I came over to ask for a hot soup.”
The green Goblin looked at him up and down, then showed a funny smile and waved, “Come on. We just set up camp.”
A lone adventurer.
Seemed to be of little danger, at least not to such a large fleet.
Soran approached slowly, not completely relaxed, looked around from moment to moment, then asked, “Are you guys a circus? Are you going to perform in the Frost Kingdom?
There were three large caravans.
Two of them were loaded with a lot of stuff, many of them were tools for performance. The last one did not seem that obvious, but the outside was quite ornate.
“Of course.” A beautiful Elf stood up. She had delicate skin and seemed to have a lineage from the Grassland Elves. She wore a delicate skirt, like a lady’s dress for dancing, but her collar was wide open, revealing her white chest. There was a cut on the side of the skirt which should be held together by buttons on the inside. If they were unfastened, then her snowy-white thighs would be exposed. She looked at Soran with her head tilted and thought he did not look like a bad man. Then she complained casually, “If not for the performance, who would like to come to this cold damn place?”
Soran squinted his eyes slightly, not because of her beauty, nor because of the white chest, but because of the clothes on her body.
In such cold weather, she still wore so little. However, she seemed to be fine.
She must be an advanced profession!
The world’s performers should not be underestimated, because many of them multi-professioned as Bards. This was especially true in circus groups, opera troupes, and performing troupes, where the number of professions may reach half. These performers were like stars of this era. They were welcomed everywhere and a formal performance earned them more than adventures.
Like the green Goblin just now. It should be a special profession Battle Clown which advanced from Bard which is why it could detect Soran so quickly.
As Soran got closer, He saw a badge which was on a shadowy figure with barriers on all sides and colorful veils. He looked at these people in surprise and wondered, “Phantom Circus?”
“Hmm?” The Elven lady giggled then looked at Soran and asked, “You’ve heard about us?”
“Yes, I have.” Soran nodded and slowly said, “You guys are very famous at Port Arthur. I heard that there were some very special and wonderful performances.”
The Elven lady giggled and looked at him playfully. “Those performances are not for everyone to watch!”
Soran slightly shrugged his shoulders like he had no interest in it as well.
The green Goblin stretched out his hand and welcomed him to the campfire. He looked totally different from the Goblins in the wilderness and should be the Goblins near Gravel Harbor. The Goblins there were once the servants of the Arcane Empire. After the destruction of the empire, they still retained some inheritance. Their skin was lighter than other goblins, and they did not identify with the goblins in the wild. They treated wild Goblins as the Africans would treat cannibals, showing no mercy when they went to war.
“My name is Penny. I’m a clown.” The Goblin showed a funny smile and raised the food in his hand and said, “Would you like to try it? Barbecue Ice Toad! We can only eat such a delicacy here. It tastes much better than the other bullfrogs! ”
Soran glanced at the food in his hand and frowned. “Isn’t this poisonous? Eating it will cause diarrhea!”
“It’s all right.” Penny shrugged its shoulders indifferently and said, “Goblins dare to eat anything.”
“Copper likes frogs and is not afraid of poison!”
Around the bonfire, a group of different creatures sat around. There were Orcs, Dwarfs, Elves, Humans, and so on. There were more than twenty people, of whom nearly half were women. Soran glanced at them and found that most of them had an advanced profession, with a high proportion of Bards. The Phantom Circus was an active organization around the harbor region, and there were more members than what Soran saw here. Except for the two who spoke, the others were indifferent to Soran, only minding their own business.
There was a Human girl wearing a doll mask with dozens of flying knives on her waist. She looked at Soran with provocative eyes from time to time.
The Elven lady should be the person in charge around here. If not, the unknown woman in the carriage.
“What’s your name? How could a man come to this cold place?” The Elven lady came over and sat down directly next to Soran. She had a special fragrance which Soran was familiar with. It was a smell that the Priests of the Lustful Mistress had.
Soran smiled and looked at her and said, “Soran. A lone adventurer who wants to see the Frost Kingdom.”
“Where are you guys going?”
The Elven lady glanced at his curved sword and said with a grin, “To Arendelle. Their eldest princess would soon be crowned, so they have invited us to perform.”
Both parties asked probing questions.
The others did not seem to care, but in reality, their attention was all on Soran. After all, he was a stranger.
Soran’s expression was somewhat surprised, as he remembered something. “That place seems to be somewhat special. Didn’t you hear anything beforehand?”
The Elven lady giggled cunningly and said, “What have you heard? We haven’t heard of anything!”
“Have you heard of something?”
Soran looked at her and shrugged his shoulders lightly, and pretended to be unsure, “Didn’t there used to be a legend long ago that the incarnation of the Goddess of Winter was there?”
The Elven lady blinked her eyes several times, laughed, and said, “Really? I haven’t seen the incarnation of a deity yet!”
A clear ringing suddenly came from one of the carriages.
The expression of the Elven lady got serious. She quickly got up and walked into the carriage. The curtain of the entrance was so thick that nothing could be seen from the outside.
After some time, the Elven lady came out again then looked at the others and said, “The leader has asked everyone to have a good rest and to get out of the Frozen Valley tomorrow morning. By the way, your name is Soran, right? You can camp here if you want. If you don’t have anything with you, I’ll ask them to prepare one for you.”
Soran smiled and shook his head indicating that he did not need their help.
As the woman in the carriage spoke, the attitude of others towards Soran got slightly better.
The group began to get busy and Soran also made a simple tent. Outside, the cold wind was still very strong, and the campfire would dim from time to time. Soran glanced at the side of the magnificent carriage. He noticed some special wet marks on the snow, but the cold weather had formed a thin layer of ice on it already.
Those look like trails left by a snake!