Chapter 158 - Over The Mountains
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
The snowy winds became stronger and stronger.
Like Soran’s heavy heart, his steps were sluggish and his heart was heavy.
He had always been a very objective person, but today, his heart seemed to be slightly agitated; some kind of heavy feeling was making him feel a little breathless. He tightened his cloak and continued his journey. The snow fell on him, and soon his shoulders were covered with a layer of snow. Soran raised his hand to clean the snow off then subconsciously turned his head and stared silently at Arendelle’s palace. He stood in an invisible corner for a long time, then turned and entered the white snowy world.
Vivian was still waiting for him.
It was almost impossible for him to marry a Princess of Arendelle, the future Queen, because Vivian was the Son of Fear and may become Fear itself in the future. Unless he was willing to let Vivian face all this alone, he would surely go farther and farther along the path of the Dread Lord; it wouldn’t be surprising if they became enemies in the future. Even if he finally helped Vivian defeat the Dread Lord, his spirit would still infuse into the divine powers Vivian hold. Furthermore, in the future period of transition, the deities of the good alignment would try to eliminate Fear once and for all; that was why Vivian’s road was doomed to be filled with thorns and blood.
Otherwise, Soran would not have made plans to transform himself into a Shadow Lich!
The salute that Soran had displayed was not an answer. It was meant as a promise, a knight’s promise.
A promise that when she needs him, he would always be there!
The snow was still very heavy.
In this snow-covered world, Soran saw two destinies. One rising to the top of the throne to become the ruler of Arendell. Her Majesty the Queen, who would be popular with everyone; the gods would all stand behind her and protect her kingdom. Another would fall into the Abyss; the road he would walk would be covered with blood. The bones of countless enemies would accumulate into stairs. Finally, in the vast white bones, he would step to the bottom of the Abyss where a battle awaits him.
For Vivian, Soran would gladly give up his own life and never cease to battle.
Even though his heart was still heavy!…
The bitter chill hung over this place. Soran’s curved sword shined brilliantly around his waist. When he pulled out the legendary curved sword named Icingdeath, a cold aura diffused from it. It looked so dazzling yet had a very cold feeling.
The mountains in the distance gradually emerged.
Soran’s steps did not stop at all. He traveled quietly through towns and toward the north.
His appearance was completely different from that of the beginning. He wore a black robe with a wooden staff in his hand. He had a wide gray cloak outside which hid his weapons. His face was thin, and his chin had grown some mustache. His pupils seemed deep and silent as he looked ahead with perseverance. He looked like a traveling Wizard, which saves him from most of the troubles as no one dares to disturb a lone Wizard.
Arrendelle was further and further away.
But the girl’s gaze seemed to be still behind him. Sometimes the image of her teary eyes would appear in Soran’s mind.
She was so beautiful!
The idea of marrying a woman came to Soran for the first time. It was hard to describe it in words, but it really moved him.
He crossed a forest, a frozen river, and a towering snowy mountain.
Occasionally, he would be harassed by some one-eyed monster, but they would be killed by magic before they came near. He looked like a real Wizard, traveling along his own path to his destination.
After three days of heavy snowfall, it finally stopped.
Soran had come to the frozen mountains that stretched for hundreds of miles. He traveled along a trail, using Levitate and Fly to cross these dangerous mountains. He did not travel much every day because he met many powerful creatures, Ice Quetzalcoatlus, Drakes which were as heavy as mammoths; Bugbears which were scattered all around, and many more powerful monsters unfamiliar to him.
They were so dangerous and lethal that Soran had to use stealth to escape several times.
The cruel environment allowed them to gather together, where Bugbears can even form tribes with Ice Trolls. Creatures would hunt each other and struggle to survive in the snowy mountains.
The temperature got slightly warmer.
The mountains blocked the cold winds from the Frost Kingdom and greenness could be seen. Soran knew now he was close to the north.
After passing through here would be the Northern Territory; a place where the Witches control.
The woods got thicker and thicker and the mountains were far behind him now. Soran walked in the thick woodland and gradually entered areas that had human activity.
“Who is it!?”
A middle-aged man dressed as a hunter appeared in front. He took his bow in his hand and aimed at the direction of Soran. When the hunter finally saw Soran’s figure, he immediately retracted the bow in fear, then bowed slightly to show his respect, “Your Excellency. I didn’t know it was you. Please forgive me for my offense.”
Here in the Northern Territory, the Northern Witches controlled the territory; here, Wizards were very much honored.
Soran lowered his cloak slightly, glanced at the hunter and asked, “Where is this? I’ve just come here through the mountains.”
The middle-aged hunter looked at the icy mountains in the distance, and the awe in his eyes became more obvious. He whispered, “This is the territory of Dalelands. A hundred miles south from here, you would reach the city.”
Soran nodded gently, passed by the hunter and headed south.
After Soran had gone, the middle-aged Hunter breathed a sigh of relief and rushed toward his village. It was not a good thing to encounter Wizards in the wild. Wizards were a bunch of weirdos; They were very powerful and dangerous at the same time. They could also easily take their lives when they got angry. Since the hunter was just an ordinary man, he would naturally be afraid of the mysterious Wizard, and now he just wanted to stay away from him so as not to encounter any trouble.
Soran came across a river.
The river was not frozen which meant that the temperature of the Northern Territory was not that low.
There were ferry boatmen beside the river. In this era, bridges were relatively high-specification arts of Alchemy, which could only be seen near cities. It’s very troublesome to walk around the river, so fishermen in nearby villages would take on the ferry business in their spare time and earn more money for their children. People there looked at Soran with awe as he walked by; a boatman nervously took him to the fishing boat and carefully rowed across the river.
Soran left a piece of silver Derahl as pay and went onto the other side.
Soran came across plenty of reclaimed farmland now, many villages were scattered in the distance. The land in the north was relatively flat and open, and it used to be very prosperous for a period of time. Because of the climate, the northern land would be cultivated only once a year, and other seasons were used to grow other crops to earn money. But the people here live better than those in the south because the north was still relatively sparse, and many villagers hunt in their leisure time.
The law in the north allowed people to hunt freely, while in the south people had to pay tax for hunting.
The corruption of the aristocrats in the South had become very serious. They were almost doing everything possible to increase taxes. Even fishermen had to bear heavy taxes every year.
Soran finally reached a city.
The guards stood lazily at the gates of the city, questioning the civilians who wanted to enter the city and occasionally extorting money. However, they did not dare to stop the obviously high-grade carriages and would only extort one or two copper Derahls from the poor farmers. When Soran passed, they dared not stop him. Wizards were not someone the guards dared to provoke. Even when the captain gave a look to the other guards, none of them dared to harass Soran.
This city was not very prosperous because there was no trade. Tax money was not enough to maintain the prosperity of the city; the walls had obvious signs of damage and many buildings had been very dilapidated. Hundreds of years ago, there were several mining ventures to maintain the cities wealth, but with the exhaustion of the surface layer mineral, the city had been unable to support deeper mining and maintenance. Underdeveloped roads made trade expensive and some minerals could only be sold cheaply. Nowadays, other nearby cities had replaced this city.
Soran went to the union of mercenaries.
Close to the icy mountains, the union of mercenaries was doing quite well. From time to time, adventurers would come to hunt special monsters for certain commissions. Wizards needed special materials in Alchemy, magic devices, and Scribe Scrolls—many of which came from the bodies of powerful monsters. Soran did not stay too long at the union of mercenaries. He took a turn and entered an alley, then under the watchful eyes of three or five hostile gangs, he entered a shop without a sign.
Soran needed some information.
Thieves were found in almost every corner of the world and they were the main members of the underworld. These thieves may advance to become Rogues someday, but a large portion of them were still ordinary people. Soran didn’t stay in the shop for long. He walked out after about fifteen minutes, but when he came out, he smelled something and his nose moved slightly.
It seemed like something familiar.
It was a scent that he carefully remembered. Only in this way could he make a clear impression. There seemed to be a woman in front, wearing a black headdress and a long black skirt. Her figure looked rather slim and she was still walking out of the alley.
Soran frowned but did not want to chase after the person.
He looked up into the sky and decided he would find somewhere to rest first then go find Gloria.