The Alchemist God: Chapter 40 – Mercenaries Are But Wolves

Chapter 40 – Mercenaries Are But Wolves

“Ah Yu, should we look for the Scorching Wind brigade?” Chu Yao asked hesitantly.

“What do you think, Chu Yao?”

Chu Yao spoke as she furrowed her brows, “According to the original plan, it would be the best case scenario if the two of us can get to Lanyan City quietly. Now that the amount of bounty hunters after us has been steadily increasing for the last few days, in addition to the fact that you’re so gravely hurt, I’m worried that we won’t even be able to fight back if we run into a group of mercenaries. Scorching Wind Mountain is less than one hundred li away, so it might be best to go there.”

“Alright.”

Lin Mu Yu nodded. His injuries had not healed completely, so he could only bring out less than 70% of his strength. If he were to run into a strong practitioner the likes of Ye Liang and Guan Yang, perhaps everything might truly point to an ill omen.

……

Only half a day later, the two arrived at the base of Scorching Wind Mountain on horseback. This mountain was in an active volcanic belt, and one could even see the majestic volcanic eruptions in the distance. When the two were finally met by a pair of bandits, the two were quickly led up the mountain after Lin Mu Yu took out Lei Bai Zhan’s letter.

Rather than calling them a mercenary brigade, calling them a bandit gang hiding was probably more accurate. The mercenaries did not look  like soldiers, instead their shady countenance made Lin Mu Yu and Chu Yao feel slightly uneasy.

“The commander is in the hall. Please wait.” A bandit said respectfully.

Lin Mu Yu unstrapped Prairie Fire from its sheath and firmly gripped onto the hilt. The two cautiously entered the hall, only to see two rows of chairs lined up on either side. Every unit leader was present, while a middle aged mercenary of about 35 years old sat on the commander’s seat and looked sharply at the two guests.

“You are Lin Mu Yu?” He smirked.

“That is correct. And you are Scorching Wind Brigade’s commander, Lei Qian Hai?”

“Yes, This is I.”

Lei Qian Hai walked from his seat as he laughed, “To have slaughtered that pair of tyrannical father and son, Hua Tian and Hua Wan, you are truly a young hero. Come here, please sit. You’re both tired, correct? Tell the kitchen to start preparing dinner!”

Lin Mu Yu instead cupped his hand in salute and respectfully declined, “My senior and I had been hunted the whole way, so I dare not to bother you too much, commander. This meal will have to be at another time. We plan to immediately set off, so if possible, I hope you could dispatch some men to accompany and protect us, sir. We can pay a sufficient remuneration for the effort.”

“What kind of talk is that?”

Lei Qian Hai slapped his chest and said, “If older brother said to protect you, then if I, Lei Qian Hai, were to take your reward, what kind of a man would I be? If you do not wish to stay, that is fine as well, young warrior. I’ll pick out one hundred of the strongest men I have and have them accompany you.”

“One hundred men?”

Lin Mu Yu stumbled in shock for a second, “Don’t need that many men, 20 is enough.”

“Haha, you’re too modest, young warrior. Someone, pick out twenty elite soldiers and have them prepare to set off. Also set aside enough food, water, and horses. You guys must safely protect young braver Lin to his destination.”

As he spoke, Lei Qian Hai suddenly bent down and looked at Lin Mu Yu and Chu Yao with a burning gaze. “I heard that Hua Tian had lost his life because of a book called the <Medicine God’s Index>. I’m guessing that you have already obtained it, young braver?”

Chu Yao was caught off guard by the question as she stared blankly, not knowing what to do.

Lin Mu Yu indifferently replied, “It had been raining heavily when we escaped, and the rain had mixed together with the blood from my injuries. When I finally remembered, the book had been turned into a soggy mess and was no different than a pile of grass paste. As such… there is no such thing as a Medicine God’s Index in this world anymore.”

“Oh, like that…”

Lei Qian Hai smiled faintly, but the disappointment in his gaze did not escape Lin Mu Yu’s eyes. He then looked at the sword in Lin Mu Yu’s hand and his eyes lit up. “This sword… looks like it’s a rare weapon that had been spirit refined. Does it have a name?”

Lin Mu Yu inwardly swore in his heart. This Lei Qian Hai was clearly no saint, and was so obviously a brigand.

“This sword is called Prairie Fire. It’s a gift I had received from Ye Liang of the Seven Martial Saints.”

“Oh? Ye Liang’s gift?”

Lei Qian Hai squinted his eyes, “I don’t think Ye Liang is that magnanimous with his character. To gift someone else his personal treasure sword… Is there possibly some kind of misunderstanding?”

Lin Mu Yu smiled, “Then I’ll explain it more accurately. This is a legacy of the deceased.”

“What? Ye Liang’s dead!?” Lei Qian Hai was shocked as he muttered, “The third ranker of the Seven Martial Saints died…Good heavens. Could it be that he died in your hands, young braver?”

Lin Mu Yu nodded, “He wanted to kill me, so I had no choice but to take his life.”

A hint of alarm dashed past Lei Qian Hai’s eyes. He looked at the highest ranked mercenary captain and said in a clear voice, “This mountainous area is far too dangerous. Xing Lan, why don’t you accompany the young braver to the north?”

In the crowd, a spear-wielding general stood and saluted, “Yes, commander!”

Lei Qian Hai smiled humbly, “Braver Lin, Xing Lan is the best spear wielder in our Scorching Wind Brigade and is also one of the best at mounted combat. He is a level 46 Battle Master, so I believe that he should be good enough to help you and Miss Chu get through your troubles!”

Lin Mu Yu took a deep breath, “Thank you Commander Lei!”

Chu Yao looked at him. A hint of wariness dashed past her eyes, but how could Lin Mu Yu not be worried as well. The greed in Lei Qian Hai’s eyes was too obvious. The more men he dispatched, the clearer his intentions of obtaining Lin Mu Yu’s treasures. Lei Qian Hai was even looking at Chu Yao with a strong rapaciousness. This mercenary commander was seemingly already confident in obtaining the beautiful Chu Yao.

The reason why he didn’t act on the mountain was probably because he still had to take care of the reputation of the Scorching Flame mercenaries. Making the move down mountain would allow him to push the blame onto someone else.

This was Lin Mu Yu’s only chance. After getting down the mountain, perhaps he might still have a chance to live against these 21 strong warriors. Compared to the 2000 or so mercenaries in the stronghold, the chance of winning was far greater.

……

Lei Qian Hai also prepared a horse for Chu Yao, but it looked sickly and crooked. The 21  accompanying mercenaries also mounted their horses, but did not looked to have brought much food or water. They clearly had no plans to leave for too long; perhaps they planned to act right away once they got down Scorching Wind Mountain.

“Forgive me for not sending you off too far!” Lei Qian Hai cupped his fist in salute and laughed aloud.

Lin Mu Yu returned the salute as he tightly clutched Prairie Fire and whipped his horse into action. The 21 mercenaries immediately followed like hunters tracking prey. Hooves sounded as the group descended the mountain.

Not far from the base of the mountain, Chu Yao’s sickly horse was quickly unable to move anymore. Lin Mu Yu had thought of Lei Qian Hai’s vicious intent. If Chu Yao couldn’t escape, then he would not run either. In addition, if the two were to share a horse, then they most definitely won’t be able to outrun the mercenaries.

Glancing past each of the mercenaries, the strongest one was the level 46 Xing Lan. Other than that, a few were level 30 Battle Adept, while the rest were Battle Spirits or Battle Warriors. That alone was nothing to be afraid of, but the thing that made Lin Mu Yu secretly grumble was that every single one had a bow hanging on their saddle. This was enough to dissuade him of running away. He had to kill this group of mercenaries, otherwise he would have to leave behind Chu Yao, Prairie Fire, and his life.

……

“Young braver Lin, what sorts of things were recorded on the Medicine God Index?” Xing Lan suddenly asked.

“I don’t know. It’s master’s book, I’ve never looked through it.”

“Oh, so it’s like that.”

Xing Lan looked at the distance and said, “On the Fierce Wind Ridge before us lives quite a number of Swift Wolves. These wolves are run wild at night, so maybe we should make camp under Fierce Wind Ridge, then set off tomorrow morning?”

“Below the ridge?”

Lin Mu Yu frowned, “Not necessary. I think we should just stay on track and make it over Fierce Wind Ridge tonight, or else the bounty hunters behind us would only increase in number. I’m also worried for you guys in case accidents happen.”

“Ah…” A sliver of killing intent slipped past Xing Lan’s gaze. Smiling, he said, “Alright then, let’s just cross over Fierce Wind Ridge then. We have a large party so those Swift Wolves probably won’t dare to attack, or else we’ll just have to beat them until their teeth break, hahahaha… Oh right, young braver. Are you sure that the Medicine God Index is completely ruined? It ought to have left at least a few legible fragments, right?”

“All ruined, can’t read a single word. It’s also covered in blood stains.”

“Oh…”

Xing Lan was able to continue asking, but Lin Mu Yu had already whipped his horse into action. Reaching out, he grabbed hold of Chu Yao’s lean waist and carried her in his embrace before speeding on ahead.

Chu Yao’s heart warmed but she alerted softly, “Ah Yu, they’re about to make their move.”

“Aye, I know.”

Lin Mu Yu lowered his voice and said, “Once they attack, immediately sprinkle a bottle of Intoxicating Breeze and I’ll hold them off. They are nothing compared to Ye Liang, so the drug should take effect quite swiftly. But before they act, we can’t be the first to strike, because we don’t really know if they will actually attack us. We can’t be accidentally killing good people.”

“Okay.”

……

The two were quite slow because they shared a horse, so they were quickly caught up by the mercenaries. 5 men on the right, 5 in the front, 5 on the left, and once more 5 in the back. The mercenaries immediately surrounded the two in a circle. This kind of indicator was quickly becoming very apparent.

“Young braver, we’re almost at the Swift Wolves’ gathering spot!” Xing Lan laughed.

“What about it?” Lin Mu Yu asked coldly.

“They’ve been hungry for a long time.” Xing Lan’s smiling expression became even more sinister as he said, “Young braver punishes the strong and helps the weak, so you should know what <Cut Meat Feed Wolf>¹ means, right? Hahahaha, they really are hungry…”

The surrounding mercenaries one by one drew their weapons, a few of them even had their arrows ready and pointed at Lin Mu Yu. Xing Lan raised his iron spear in the air and laughed heartily, “Lin Mu Yu, your head is worth 100 thousand gold Yin, so don’t blame us for this!”

“Now!”

Lin Mu Yu insipidly said. Chu Yao quickly sprinkled a bottle of Intoxicating Breeze onto the ground.

At the same time, the Green Gourd materialized through Lin Mu Yu’s body and transformed into a complete gourd-shape encasing the two riders and their horse. Ebony Scales also formed around it, blocking off the streams of arrows.

Xing Lan leapt up into the air with both hands gripping his spear. His martial spirit appeared through his body as rows of icicles formed on the iron spear. Xing Lan stabbed the spear down with his full strength onto the Ebony Scales!

Boom!

The icy crystals shattered into pieces as Xing Lan was thrown back by the rebounding force. However, Lin Mu Yu was not much better off, as the attack had his blood boiling vigorously within. Flicking his hand, Sonic Blade shot out with a shrill whistling sound. In the next second, two mercenaries let of a blood-curdling scream as they were quickly killed.


TL Note:

1: <> is somewhat related the Buddhist story about a king who cut his own flesh and fed a hawk who was a god’s transformation.

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34 thoughts on “The Alchemist God: Chapter 40 – Mercenaries Are But Wolves

  1. Well, that’s what happens when you act stupid for no reason. After you realized they were bandits you should have killed the first two and stayed away from them.

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    • Huh? Why? They already knew whom they were meeting. They just wanted to verify – what if they were of real help instead.

      I get it when you (reader) know what happens afterwards, you would like to say, they should be careful.

      But the MC is not stupid, he has no choice. This is situation where there is danger everywhere. It is choice of best of the worst.

      Killing 2 bandits would not have worked. They were in their territory, it would result in them being chased by thousands of them. Also there are other complicated reasons, too hard to explain.

      PS: Don’t say no reason.Put yourself in the situation, see what option you have (read properly what MC says in this CH) and choose.

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      • They are encouraged to go meet some mercenaries (i.e. people to whom money is the most important thing) they have never met before, while having an astronomical bounty on their heads as well as there being rumours of them carrying priceless treasures (the Medicine God’s Index).

        You’d have to be a bit of an idiot to not see the risks involved in that.

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      • As I said before they already know. Don’t assume they don’t. It is already said by them they know all risks.

        They see the risk but they have to give it a try. As I said it is about choosing best of worst.

        Can I ask, is my English bad? Are my sentences confusing? Please some tell me. Maybe I am not able to tell people about my views in English.

        PS: What if they had gotten proper help (yes this was never going to happen). But would you still say the same things? ie “they should not have went to meet them”. If YES then you Win the argument.

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      • Your sentences seem, at times, a bit broken but it is still understandable. There may be words you can use to better get your meaning across but if your first language isnt English then it cant be helped. English isnt a hard language to learn compared to others but the structure of sentences and its intricacies are annoying to deal with. And i agree that they know the risks. This MC is indeed not an idiot. He is actually quite cunning and does not easily trust people he doesn’t know. It can even be said he is also a good judge of character. Making the usual MC mistakes– such as being deceived by swindlers or taken advantage of by other people –is not something that he would do. In all he is a textbook example of an awesome MC, a MC all other MCs should strive to be. He isnt too vicious, he is kind yet shows a firm will when he makes a decision and although he gives no mercy to his enemies he is not cruel towards them. He gives off a “strong,reliable MC” type of feel. Like Rain from the manga by his own name or Yun Che from ATG. At least they seem similar to me in that aspect. Personality wise they’re fairly different.

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      • @Cupcake Ninja – Yes English is not my first language. It is my 3rd/4th Language. Thanks for the input. Will try my best to improve. BTW could you please make paragraphs in your comment. Too hard to read.

        I do agree he should not have gone there, since it was a obvious trap. I never disagreed. His decision was more or less influenced by Yao and also his injury.

        But if you were to ask me to put myself in that situation and say what will I choose.

        It would be 2:8 choice of going vs not going in similar situation (injury) without influence of Yao.
        With Influence of Yao and injury it will be 3:7.
        While it would be 0:10 if I was not injured (even under suggestion from Yao).

        PS: Don’t ask me why I say 3rd/4th both at the same time.

        PS2: My decisions are first person based and not simply as a reader. Ohh and I was taking into consideration char of MC and whole situation. I have similar thinking.

        Damn! First time me commenting so much (this is not supposed be to be proper sentence)

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      • @My Comment.

        Your english is fine, and if you took my “You’d have to be an idiot” comment personally then that is a misunderstanding. I was meaning that Lin Mu Yu and Chu Yao have to be idiots to take the risk not even knowing the reputation of the mercenaries they are encouraged to get in touch with.

        They opted not to continue their journey alone – why? They now have a horse. Lin Mu Yu is not at his best, but that applies also if the mercenaries turn out to be bad (as seems the case). Rather than walk into possible danger, the best decision would have been to just continue as they were.

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      • @Duck of Death – No no I didn’t take your comment personally. These are just my opinion. If I took it personally I would just sprout rubbish and swear at you.

        BTW you didn’t answer if you would still say the same if they did receive proper help. Your opinions are based on end result mine are not.

        To me it doesn’t matter if they were walking into trap or going to receive proper help, in this particular situation where there is danger everywhere no matter where they go, I would give % to every choice. Meaning if given 10 chances there is possibility of going to bandits thrice out of 10.

        Yes I am sounding too much robotic (as in logical) but I am kinda that person probably not much different from MC.(You are free to say MC is different, I won’t argue on that)

        But do remember 7 out of 10 is not going [Includes Continuing, Running Elsewhere and Hiding there etc choices as well]. My choices are regardless of end result. Even if help was recieved, it would still be going there 3 out of 10 times. That is all I am saying.

        Think of my opinion as descision made at when Lin Mu Yu says Alright.

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    • I think the guy who sent the letter did not mean it to be a trap. If he did then the leader of the mercenary group would have used the full 2000 mercenaries to try and kill him instead of trying to pass it off as an accident. The fact that the leader was trying to pass off killing a WANTED man as an accident means that some one higher up(the one who sent the letter) wanted the mc to live.

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      • Yup. It’s like that. Greed makes things worse. To top it off, they are mercenaries (bandits, in MC’s opinion). With such bounty on their head, well… It’s already a luck that MC is not apprehended directly by the bandit leader

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