Chapter 38 - : Sabre
Translator: SaltyTank Editor: SaltyTank
The night passed in the blink of an eye.
When Soran woke up the next day, the merchant squad was just the same as before, but he knew that somewhere else, something had undergone a complete change—such as Amber City.
Perhaps the city would cease to exist from now on.
Soran had finally recalled what had happened in Amber City in the game; it was a battle of legends. Those with Legendary professions came into existence from last night onward, and their battle with the descendants of the gods had just begun. Soran wanted to stay as far away as possible from those dangerous people.
Once a Legendary Rogue himself, Soran clearly understood the huge difference in strength between Legendary and non-Legendary professions. When he became a Level 19 rogue, he was still within the realm of mortals and did not feel a lot more powerful than he had at Level 18, but everything changed the moment he reached Level 20 and became a Legendary Rogue.
Even the spell Dimensional Anchor could not hold him in place.
If not for the restriction which only allowed him to travel to and from the Plane of Shadows once a day, he could have dominated the world with his skills.
Perfect Self (Monk), Legendary Rage (Barbarian), Conjure Celestial (Priest) and many more were all legendary skills or spells which granted the user power close to that of the deities. Warrior was originally deemed the worst profession by most players, but everyone dropped their jaws after witnessing the profession’s complete overhaul when reaching the Realm of Legends. Legendary Endurance allowed them to survive even in magma, and Legendary Toughness granted them the ability to fight massive dragons head on.
It wasn’t just the warriors. For instance, it was also best not to provoke Legendary Wizards. Most of them could cast the spell Time Stop, and only those who were demi-gods or deities could resist Legendary-tier time magic.
Soran wanted to stay away from these people. At the very least, he did not want to have anything to do with them until he got considerably stronger, or else he would just get dragged into their crazy fights and get killed.
Soran was deep in thought, but it did not take long before he was disturbed by a commotion; a single adult saber-toothed tiger appeared near their campsite. Known as the king of beasts, saber-toothed tigers would even hunt drakes (Challenge Rating 10) on their own when starved. They were considered one of the most dangerous felidae species in existence.
The merchants and workers were so extremely terrified that some even lay powerless on the ground in despair. Despite their pathetic appearances, Soran could understand their feelings. The male saber-toothed tiger in front of them was an adult whose body alone reached 4.5 meters in length with a 2.7-meter-long tail. It probably weighed around eight hundred to one thousand kilograms, not to mention its height of over two meters. Saber-toothed tigers looked rather similar to typical tigers, but they had much larger bodies and two characteristic saber-shaped canine teeth. Those canine teeth could be turned into +3 Rare-grade daggers that granted exceptional penetration power after undergoing slight modifications; they were dream weapons for rogues in the early stages of the game.
The king of the wilderness strode toward the lake. With sharp eyes which reflected its intelligence, the saber-toothed tiger stared at the group of humans. After a short while, it lost interest in the merchant squad and lowered its head to drink water from the lake.
The merchant guards were slightly frightened at first, but soon some of them were silently pulling out their crossbows with cautious yet excited looks. Perhaps after eliminating the ankhegs, they had gotten overconfident and thought that a single saber-toothed tiger was something they could kill easily.
“Don’t be reckless!” Soran hurriedly suppressed their urge to fight, turned to the guard leader, and said, “That is a saber-toothed tiger which preys on powerful monsters like drakes. Are you sure you want to let these hot-headed guys attack it?”
A tiger which almost weighed a ton was something unnatural. Perhaps after undergoing further mutation, saber-toothed tigers might become supernatural beasts. Simply put, attacking them was a suicidal act.
Additionally, the one in front of them was no ordinary saber-toothed tiger. Typical saber-toothed tigers were mostly Level 12, but this one was at least Level 16, judging from its looks. Unless the mistress decided to lend them a hand, they had no chance of beating the beast.
“See those glittering sharp claws?” Soran pointed toward the tiger and continued, “They can tear apart chainmail armor like paper. Even the tough scales of drakes can only take a hit or two before getting completely torn apart.
“Don’t disturb it. The apex predator of the wilderness never runs short on prey. As long as we leave it alone, it will leave after drinking some water.”
Soran’s judgement was right on the spot; the saber-toothed tiger quietly left after glancing at the squad. Letting out a sigh of relief, the merchant guard then angrily scolded the men who were about to jump in and attack the tiger before Soran stopped them.
As if remembering something important, Soran had a grim expression while looking toward the forest.
“This is the South. You guys are unfamiliar with this place, so please don’t be reckless!
“Saber-toothed tigers are comparable to winter wolves in the North. Just for your reference, a single male saber-toothed tiger can fight equally against a small pack of winter wolves. If not for the overwhelming numbers of winter wolves, saber-toothed tigers might have taken the North as their territory already.”
Winter wolves were large supernatural beasts. They were as intelligent as humans and capable of communicating in both Common Language and Giant Language. Their ability to use Cold Breath and their keen perceptions which granted them outstanding tracking abilities made them some of the deadliest creatures in cold regions. Their fur and pelts could be sold for 2000 Gold Derahls in the North and could even cost up to 3000 Gold Derahls in the South.
Winter wolves were one of Soran’s favourite types of prey. It could even be said that without them, it would have been impossible for him to become a Legendary Rogue due to the expensive fee required.
Back to the saber-toothed tiger, one of them could be seen as half a Legendary Warrior. However, they were scarce in number and normally did not appear in this region; their natural habitat was the plains where they could feed on large groups of cows.
Did something occur that forced them to leave their territory? Saber-toothed tigers were territorial beasts which seldom left their own territories. Unless something which completely dominated and overwhelmed them appeared, they would even fight against lesser dragons when defending their homes.
“Could it be that…!?”
Soran estimated his current position and suddenly had a cramped look as he realized he was not far away from the location where an ancient red dragon had appeared.
From his past knowledge, the ancient red dragon appeared months later, but that did not mean he was safe; it could have been residing in that location for months before someone discovered its presence. From the looks of things, it seemed that the major incidents had been brewing up for quite some time before they all exploded into one large mess simultaneously.
“Big brother.” Vivian, who had woken up during the commotion, looked in the direction the saber-toothed tiger had gone. Without any traces of anxiety in her expression, she was happily holding Soran’s hand while saying, “That big cat looks really cool and strong! Vivian wants to keep one too!”
Soran could only laugh nervously and pat her head while replying jokingly, “Vivian can sign a pact with a familiar when she becomes a sorcerer. Maybe you really can have such a gorgeous and elegant familiar.”
Vivian did not know much about beasts and monsters. Tigers never appeared near the city, nor had she ever left the city walls, thus it could not be helped if she thought the saber-toothed tiger was just a massive cat. It wasn’t quite far off the mark anyway; the two species both belonged to the felidae family.
The innocent Vivian did not realize Soran was just joking and was looking forward to the future, to the day when she could finally keep a saber-toothed tiger as her pet.
“Really? Then I can ride it everywhere and have fun!
“If someone bullies me, I will tell it to bite them! It’s so big, it must be good at fighting.”
Soran did not interrupt her fantasies, but instead lifted her up into the cart and casually said, “Then Vivian will have to work hard. Big cats don’t obey people that easily!”
Soran proceeded to pack up his tent and belongings, then began to prepare breakfast for the two of them. It would take around four or five days before they reached the city of Whiterun, and he had a premonition that their journey would not be a peaceful one.
Meanwhile, Vivian was sitting on the cart, tilting her head in deep thought.
“How can I make that big cat listen to me? It’s so big, and I’m so small! I can’t fight it! Then what should I do…?”
She scratched her head, but that did not help her find a solution either. Vivian was so focused on thinking how great it would be to have such a huge and fluffy saber-toothed tiger as a pet that she did not notice at all that the mistress of the merchant squad had arrived beside her.
* * *
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*[Long Taos]: side characters in Chinese operas who perform acrobatics and fight scenes
*[12.47 to 13.07]: don’t ask me about the tree sap