Chapter 137: Spring Comes Upon A Withered Tree (IV)
The War Camp was located in the southwest of Waiser Forest. Apart from the local residents, most of the people who came and went were professionals from all over the world. The streets were bustling with the voices of transaction heard endlessly around the place.
Shang Ke wore a gray cloak and walked slowly into town with a basket of fruit on his back. After a short stroll, he found an open space near a pub and placed the basket down. It was better to go to a crowded place for news gathering. Unfortunately, Shang Ke had no money on him so he could only squat and wait on the streets, getting familiar with the environment and earn some tips at the same time.
Just now, he went around a little bit to get an idea of the prices here. The fruit in his basket could earn about ten silver coins. Of course, it didn’t matter if they couldn’t be sold. Shang Ke’s purpose today was just to come out and see the world.
Shang Ke’s fruits were very common in appearance. Only by tasting them could one detect its special features. After an hour’s watch, Shang Ke only made a single deal and sold rose apples.
Just as Shang Ke was wondering if he should change locations, a tall figure suddenly appeared in front of his stall.
Shang Ke looked up. The man was nearly two meters tall with short maroon hair. Most of his face was covered with bandages, revealing only a pair of golden eyes. Although his appearance was very different from before, Shang Ke recognized his identity at a glance.
“Why are you here?” Without waiting for Shang Ke to say anything, he was already asking him a question.
It wasn’t surprising that Shang Ke recognized him, but how did Ivan knew it was him while wrapped in his cloak in the crowd?
“Follow me.” Ivan lifted the fruit basket and motioned Shang Ke to follow him.
Shortly after Shang Ke left, the guy who had bought five fragrant fruits ran back and saw the empty stall. He couldn’t help but stomp his foot and lament, “Motherfucker, I came too late. I was sold spirit fruits as ordinary goods, he could have said something! He did it on purpose didn’t he? How irritating!”
Shang Ke followed Ivan through the alley and into a small inn. Many mercenaries were sitting inside in pairs and trios, clinking cups and sharing dishes. The voices were loud and noisy.
Several half-blood elves were drinking with their companions. Suddenly, they seemed to feel something. Qiqi looked at the door and his eyes rested on the cloaked man who had just entered the store until he disappeared to the second floor’s entrance.
“What’s the matter?” asked the half-blood elf’s companion.
“Nothing,” The unusual feeling suddenly disappeared and after a while, the half-blood elves thought about it a beat more then ignored it and continued drinking with their companions. In any case, they never would have imagined that who had just passed by them was the embodiment of Teldrassil.
Ivan brought Shang Ke into a guest room where there were four people sitting inside. They had been discussing something until they came in.
“Ivan, who is he?” Alvin looked warily at Shang Ke behind Ivan.
“My friend, Shang Ke the Elf.” Ivan placed the the basket down and simply said, “Alvin, Sandy, Morris, and Cassia.”
“Elf?” The four turned to Shang Ke at the same time.
Shang Ke removed his hood and his beauty really astounded them. Although mixed-raced elves were not rare, they were small in number and had excellent magical talents. They were very popular in mercenary circles. Aside from that, all of their physical aspects were similar to that of ordinary human beings. It was rare to find someone with such an outstanding appearance.
The four people relaxed and welcomed Shang Ke’s arrival.
“What were you guys talking about?” Ivan asked while seamlessly blocking everyone’s line of sight towards Shang Ke
“Oh, that’s right! Morris heard some news about the phantom jade.” There was an excited expression on Alvin’s face.
“Oh?” Ivan looked at Morris, who nodded in silence.
Alvin added, “If the source is reliable, the phantom jade should be in the hands of King Jin Yi of the specters. We were just discussing to find allies and work out a plan to steal the phantom jade. “
“I’m afraid I’ll need a lot of oxygen spirit beads. How many can be crafted in three months?” Sandy asked.
“If there is enough materials, about twenty can be made in three months.” Ivan replied.
“Only twenty?” The four were rather disappointed.
Shang Ke was surprised. It was unexpectedly difficult to create oxygen spirit beads. He thought it was easy to make two after watching Ivan craft them.
Shang Ke gave Ivan a single glance. There was no emotion revealed through those strange bandages on his face.
“Ivan, why don’t you teach other alchemists the method of crafting oxygen spirit beads?” Cassia asked, “Although you developed it, we should make a choice in order for the alliance to win.”
Ivan indifferently said, “Not all alchemists can learn how to make oxygen spirit beads.”
“Two if one fails, four if two fail.” Cassia was adamant, “At least one out of ten should be able to learn it right?”
Does this woman regard Ivan as cheap labor force? She thinks he can go teach some just because she said so?
Shang Ke glanced at Cassia with slightly cold eyes.
Ivan ignored Cassia and said, “It won’t be easy to take the phantom jade from King Jin Yi. I’m afraid three months isn’t enough time for preparation. Besides, are you really sure that the phantom jade is in King Jin Yi’s hands?”
“What do you mean?” Four people asked together.
“What is it that the specters are most afraid of?” Ivan didn’t answer the rhetorical question.
“Elves’ natural magic and oxygen elements.” Cassia answered without hesitation.
“Then, how did they seal the Fountain of Life?” Ivan said in a gentle tone, “The Fountain of Life possesses the purest force of nature and oxygen elements in the world, so the specters won’t dare touch it. Even if they had vessels that could seal it, they couldn’t do it themselves. “
“They can force their slaves to do it for them.”
“Yes, if they want to seal the Fountain of Life, they can only rely on the power of other races.” Ivan’s eyes flashed a deadly edge. “The Fountain of Life is like a deadly poison to them. Do you think they would place such a dangerous thing beside them?”
The four of them grew pensive.
Ivan continued, “The alliance has been searching for the whereabouts of the phantom jade for a long time and received a lot of news about it. But each time, it ends up with nothing. I think we should change our thought process. “
“Look for clues from the powerful people controlled by the specters in those days.”
After discussing business, Alvin and the rest warmly invited Shang Ke to join their mercenary group.
Ivan glanced at the sky and said to Shang Ke, “I’ll take you back.”
“Ah, Ivan, you don’t want to join us, but you can’t stop others from joining us.” Sandy shouted.
“Yes, Shang Ke, join us. Our Tears of Blood mercenary group is very famous throughout the continent.” Alvin added.
Tears of Blood mercenary group—just listening to the name made one not want to join it, alright? Besides, Ivan wasn’t a member of this mercenary group so he was even more not interested in joining.
With a wave of his hand, Shang Ke said good-bye to them.
Ivan walked out of the hotel and suddenly stopped. He asked Shang Ke to wait a moment, then turned back to the hotel.
When he came out again, he had an extra basket of fruit in his hand.
Alvin looked at him, speechless, “It’s just a basket of fruit, do you need to be so stingy?”
Shang Ke laughed, “Ivan, give these fruits to everyone.”
Ivan picked it up and handed one to each of them with a certain facial expression.
Alvin: It turns out that he really is such a stingy man…
Sandy: Actually, you don’t have to force yourself to “part with your treasures” …
Cassia: What the hell? I’ll throw it away later!
Morris: No comment.
Ivan paid no attention to their condescending looks, took Shang Ke to the stables and picked a horse. They quickly left the War Camp.
“Tsk, whoever wants to eat can eat this.” Cassia abandoned the fruit in disdain on the table.
“Eat more fruits for beauty.” Sandy laughed while washing the fruit.
At this moment, a man walked into the room dejectedly.
“Hey? Mackey, you’re back? ” Alvin greeted to his companion.
The man called “Mackey” raised his head, saw the sweet fruit on the table and immediately rushed to it like he was infused with chicken blood. He picked it up and smelled it, then said with happy surprise, “Ah, this is it! You guys also bought it? Where did you get it?”
The four were confused, “Where did we buy what?”
“This kind of fruit! Where did you buy it? How many did you buy?” Mackey pointed to the fruit and asked eagerly.
“What are you asking for? Isn’t this just a wild rose apple?” Sandy picked up the fruit, casually took a bite, and then opened his eyes wide.
“This is a spirit fruit! The very rare spirit fruit!” Mackey looked distressed. “Did you guys think this was just a normal wild friot?”
Alvin and the rest finally turned their eyes to the fruit in their hands. Their expressions were skeptical.
“In fact, it’s nothing. It tastes just like any ordinary wild fruit.” Sandy finished eating his and calmly asked Alvin, “I remember that you always don’t like fruit very much, so why don’t you give it to me?”
Alvin chuckled and resolutely stuffed the fruit into his pocket.
Sandy turned to Morris, who was crunching through his.
“I said, where on earth did you buy these fruits?” Mackey couldn’t help but ask again.
Several people exchanged glances and an elf appeared in their minds.
“Motherfucker, Ivan that bastard! He must have known!” Sandy suddenly scolded, “He took the whole basket!”
When the rest heard that, they erected a straight middle finger at the same time!
Ivan and Shang Ke returned to Waiser Forest before nightfall.
The baby elves swished out of the woods and hung excitedly on Ivan.
Shang Ke smiled and went over to pick up the elf hiding behind a big tree.
Ivan saw another baby elf and couldn’t help but ask, “She is?”
“Lorinda.” Lorinda holds the meaning of a flower fairy. Shang Ke hoped that the fire posion in her body would one day be dispelled and she can become a beautiful flower fairy.
“…How many children do you have?”
“Twelve.” Shang Ke smiled, “I’ll introduce you to them later.”
Twelve, twelve … This number went back and forth in Ivan’s brain.
He suspected that Shang Ke may have several wives, otherwise how could he have so many children?
“If you don’t mind, I’d like to meet the mother of your children first.” Ivan said sullenly.
“Keke.” Bubbles blinked and looked serious. “I also want to meet our mother.”
Gray also nodded very seriously.
Shang Ke was speechless. These little guys knew that he was both father and mother but still asked deliberately. They’re simply asking for a beating.
Glancing sideways at Ivan, the man’s eyes sparkled as he seemed to realize that there was no so-called “mother” after all.
“I’m hungry. Let’s go home for dinner.” Ivan walked briskly into their garden house, holding the baby elves hand in hand.
Sarah: this chapter was long DX but lmao at the mercenary group with shang ke’s fruit haha ML finally realizing that there is no rival and is happy with the knowledge lol thank you to the anonymous supporter for the ko-fi!!! Helped pushed me get this release out~ ko-fi.com/sarah_min
SnowTime: I took mild liberties with the third elf’s name because I don’t get the original reference at all lol, so I went with an english(?) one. Her name is based off Lorinda Mae Achillea (I think it’s latin), which references the Yarrow flower and stands for healing and protection. At least it starts with L like the raws.