Dragon Blood Warrior - Volume 7 - Chapter 2
Volume 7 Chapter 2: Who's the Friend? Who's the Foe?
The carriage driver was still waiting within the courtyard;it wasn't that he hadn't tried to escape, but rather, he was being blocked by Plum's servants.
’’Use my carriage!’’ Plum said.
’’Use mine instead! I don't go out ordinarily,’’ Sheila responded. She wished for Aiwa to use her carriage instead.
She really wanted to do something for this man, who had brought such happiness to her.
’’Hehe, it's the same. How much?’’ Aiwa laughed.
’’Who wants your money! I've already given my body to you, would I still be afraid of losing a single carriage?’’
Plum believed him to be teasing her.
’’No, this is an official errand, payment is to be given for sure. Moreover, I needn't pay as he will be doing so.’’
Aiwa pointed towards the carriage driver.
’’I ... I don't have money!’’ The driver was persistent.
Aiwa advanced forward, fished out a purse from his bosom, and counted over 1000 gold coins.
He concurred them to be the reward for injuring him. Aiwa took out an additional 100 coins from within and gave them to Sheila: ’’Take them! Plum, you won't mind it, right?’’
’’Do as you wish, I only want you to visit whenever you have the time.’’
Though a bit unwilling in her heart, Plum didn't reveal it on her face. Her second mother and she had now both boarded the same ship.
They accompanied Aiwa till quite a distance from the village, before reluctantly turning around once they had lost sight of the carriage.
As soon as they left the village, Aiwa let the carriage driver take over. They started to gallop towards the ravine.
By the time he arrived, he could see the two soldiers at the bottom of the valley in dredges.
Aiwa first tied up the driver to the cart. He then tied the long rope he had received from Plum to a huge tree and threw the free end down.
The soldiers climbed up using the rope and glared at the driver. Just catching a glimpse of him almost made them want to chop him up.
’’Stop! We still need him to deliver me to the base. You can hand him over to Lovna after returning back, she'll handle things properly.’’
Aiwa never believed Lovna had hired the driver to injure him, it definitely had to be the design of someone else.
The soldiers received their weapons backs and followed Aiwa on the carriage.
Due to the delay at accompanying Plum, a night had already passed by the time Aiwa's carriage had reached the Mandeff base.
While they were traveling, Aiwa noticed a giant windmill a kilometer away from their destination.
Aiwa felt curious and immediately sprung down the carriage.
’’Seems to be a windmill of some sorts,’’ The soldiers replied.
As the three of them were attracted by the giant windmill, the driver suddenly jumped off the carriage and made for the grove on the wayside.
He knew that the moment they reach the base, it would spell his doom. If he hadn't run now, there would be no more chances. The soldiers planned to chase after him when they saw his actions but Aiwa stopped them.
’’He won't be able to escape.’’
Aiwa raised his hand and threw two bamboo needles towards the driver.
He dropped flat down just as he was about to disappear into the woods.
’’Search him! He had a lot of gold coins on him!’’ Aiwa ordered them.
The soldiers immediately hurried to search his body for the purse.
’’Captian, this ought to be yours.’’
They didn't dare to be greedy, handing it over to Aiwa.
’’Consider it as your reward. Tell Lovna after returning back that I made the driver stay behind.’’
They were naturally happy for receiving such an amount and immediately asked if they could do more for him: ’’Captain, do you have any other commands? Please order us.’’
’’Return the carriage.’’
Aiwa gave them the location of Sheila's village. He originally wanted to order them to protect Lady Plum and Madame Sheila but since they both were also members of a rich family, they must have had their own laws, being able to stay safe for so many years. Therefore, he just ordered them to return the carriage.
The soldiers boarded the carriage and made their way towards the Hohfeld Headquarters while Aiwa traveled to Mandeff alone.
The windmill seemed to grow larger as he neared the base.
He was surprised to see no sentinels visible anywhere near the base. He had imagined the place to be heavily guarded, a guard at every five to ten steps.
Aiwa looked around;only wilderness came into his view. Even the lookout posts seemed devoid of any person as the damned place wouldn't have any visitors.
After entering the base, he discovered that the colossus constituted of not only a windmill but also a wheel, fitted with several gears underneath. Several poles seemed to have been locked onto the giant wooden wheel securely, even a powerful gust wouldn't cause them to shake at all.
Aiwa pondered for a moment, but he still couldn't figure out its purpose.
He continued to walk inside and noticed a huge drill ground nearby, a squadron wearing a special attire were currently being admonished by someone. He deduced it to be the one Lovna spoke of;the Demon Instructor Cartel.
He walked over towards Cartel at the drill ground, but he acted as if Aiwa wasn't there at all, continuing to admonish the soldiers with an arrogant manner.
Aiwa arrived aside Cartel, waiting for a long time, still hadn't he paused to look at him.
’’Excuse me, Instructor, I have something I need to speak to you about.’’ Aiwa helplessly called out.
’’Who are you?’’
Cartel paused, taking a look at Aiwa, his pupils seemed to look right at his eyes.
His sight then quickly flashed by Aiwa's shoulders and then behind him. Cartel's stature was larger than Aiwa had imagined.
He asked: ’’Did you come by carriage?’’
’’I'm Aiwa, from Hohfeld.’’
Aiwa took the recommendation letter Lovna had written for him. Cartel's two fingers caught the letter from his hand and took it. Aiwa was baffled as to how he was able to easily open the envelope and take out the letter with those thick gloves on his hands.
Cartel casually glanced over at the sign at the lower right, Lovna's sign made his eyes brighten up and then made him quickly go through the letter.
’’Haha, a graduate from the East Empire?’’
Cartel glanced at Aiwa once more but Aiwa couldn't pick out anything from his expression.
’’Yes, Instructor. I'm your junior!’’
Hearing Cartel mention his experience of studying abroad, Aiwa inevitably felt proud.
’’Junior my ass! Once you're here, you're my student. Nothing more than that!’’
Cartel seemed to have transformed into another person suddenly. Aiwa could only react after some time, his proud expression immediately becoming rigid.
Apparently, he seemed to be quite the eccentric. He simply couldn't be considered human, with the lack of emotions shown.
Aiwa originally wanted to form some kind of relation with Cartel but he had instead been humiliated by him, causing even his subordinates to burst out laughing.
When Cartel had humiliated him, Aiwa only felt awkward but he now felt furious.
He thought: ’’Haven't you only got a few more years of experience? How could I let you humiliate me when I don't even know your skill? For what reason did you feel that you had the right to do so?’’
Aiwa corrected his manner and his eyes swept through the twenty or so students around there. Giving out an angry laugh, he purposely said to Cartel: ’’Captain Cartel, I merely said I'm your junior, not your father, why are you so angry?’’
When had Cartel ever received such a blatant provocation? He suddenly grabbed Aiwa's wrist and grappled it upwards instantly.
If it were not for Aiwa jumping timely, his wrist would have snapped off. At the same time, he also amassed his Dou Qi and curled his legs, shooting them towards Cartel's abdomen. No one could have imagined that Aiwa's attack would just repel off, almost as if his abdomen was a huge air ball. Cartel squeezed his hand and threw Aiwa back as if he was nothing.
Aiwa's body smashed onto a soldier behind him. Though it would appear as if Cartel hadn't used much strength, he still felt cold sweat down his back. If not for using the Dou Qi barrier to defend himself, his organs would have surely turned into mush from the oscillations of the impact.
Even then, Aiwa still experienced a violent pain.
’’Hah ... that throw almost killed me ...’’
Aiwa was no doubt exaggerating the pain he felt but it couldn't be concealed from Cartel's keen gaze.
Cartel laughed heartily.
’’Brat, you have the nerve to use Dou Qi to attack me? I'll let you know, just pick any random student from the base and their Dou Qi would be no lesser than yours. You unexpectedly want to show off with Dou Qi! Who wants to punish this brat? Remember, Aiwa, be sure to accept it, if you dodge it or use Dou Qi to resist, there will only be two consequences Get lost from the base or let everyone here piss in your mouth!’’
’’Pienne wishes to punish this youngster for daring to offend the Instructor!’’
Aiwa still hadn't stood up when the soldier who had been knocked down by Aiwa just now came out from within the ranks.
Pienne received the Wolf Teeth Mace from Cartel, its thorns were quite hard and sharp. Aiwa could imagine the flesh easily lacerate from being hit by it.
Pienne played with the mace, hitting it lightly against his hand, as he made towards Aiwa with a sneer: ’’Brother, I don't want to damage your higher grade Captain army clothes, how will you endure the cold weather without them? I say you should strip them off! I don't have the money to compensate for them even if you ask me!’’
’’What bullshit Captain? Even a Colonel will have to do as I say here!’’
Cartel spoke with much loathe in his tone.
Not only had Aiwa not received any preferential treatment for his relation with Lovna but instead was being used as an outlet by Cartel for his grievances against her. Aiwa regretted giving the recommendation letter to him now.
Aiwa slowly straightened his body and calmly removed his shirt. He quite cherished his shirt symbolizing his Captain army rank, he had been bestowed with it after a valiant fight.
He gazed at Pienne coldly as he stood up, cursing him within his heart: ’’Brat, you won't have a good end for acting against me!’’
Aiwa still hadn't prepared to receive a beating when the mace smashed against his unprepared abdomen. He bent over immediately and then his back suffered another hit soon after.
He was about to straighten up again when he felt a violent stab of pain at his chest, but his developed muscles immediately returned the mace backward, with a high speed, smashing towards Pienne's face.
At that moment, Pienne felt the sky spin, all he could see was stars. A few bruises had formed at his face due to the mace that had rebounded back towards him.
None knew that Aiwa's body had an innate counter capability, no matter how much of a strong power smashed over at him, it would be rebounded back all the same, especially his chest region. Moreover, it was a kind of conditional reflex and he didn't need to be conscious about it at all.
Pienne amassed 80% of his Dou Qi in a rage and kicked towards Aiwa's crotch with all his strength, with the objective to cripple him.
Aiwa but practiced a special Dou Qi, the Yin-technique. His se*ual organ not was resilient against all poisons but also especially capable of enduring any hit.
However, the others were all stupefied at the scene of Pienne kicking towards Aiwa. Without any defense or evasive maneuver, this heavy hit was sure to make him unable to use that organ anymore.
At the critical juncture when his foot had reached Aiwa's crotch, Pienne's body suddenly turned to the side, kicking towards the void before falling down to the ground.
’’Inform the Captain that this brat resisted!’’
Two tall guys came out from the ranks, they gaze filled with hostility towards Aiwa.
’’Did I allow you to speak?’’
Cartel coldly gazed at them. Their bodies immediately shrunk by a third under that gaze.
They replied together.
’’Both of you slap yourselves 100 times!’’
They didn't dare to delay any longer and immediately began slapping each other.
Aiwa was baffled. He hadn't resisted at all just now and had merely implemented the Yang Protection technique of the Yin-technique secretly. Why had Pienne suddenly turned to the side?
It was only possible if a huge force had changed his direction. But who had helped him?
They had no benefit from doing so, making Aiwa want to find out who this friend among the ranks was, not ready to let him be hurt.
This base consisted of a small society, he had to enter it before discerning allies from foes.
As his sight passed by the faces of the soldiers within the ranks, he noticed a pretty and delicate, somewhat familiar face near the end.
Aiwa's heart trembled, that face immediately gave him a sense of Déjàvu, but he couldn't remember where had he come across it before.
His gaze didn't stay on that face for long as he didn't want Cartel to make out which person had helped him. Seeing his nature, he would no doubt mete out a harsh punishment if discovered.
Aiwa stood here, without any defense like instructed. He knew, relying on his ability, Cartel could easily figure out whether or not he had evaded, resisted or used Dou Qi. Cartel was not an ordinary character, if he couldn't make even this out, there would have been no point him being stationed at this base.
Cartel also took a glance at that soldier at the back but then quickly shifted his gaze away.
Right now, the two people slapping each other had blood flowing out from the corners of their mouths. Aiwa couldn't help but feel cheerful as they had courted it upon themselves.
They swung their palms to slap each other nonstop, so that it may numb the pain.
They called out the number of slaps with each slap.
When only one slap had remained for both, Cartel ordered them to stop: ’’Leave that last slap for me, I'll award it to you when my mood is good.’’
Cartel turned towards Aiwa, saying: ’’Your woman seducing skills are pretty good! Even a woman like Lovna had agreed to be your sponsor so that you can cultivate here. Do you know much the tuition fee for a month at here is?’’
Aiwa shook his head, Lovna had never mentioned this matter.
Cartel extended five fingers out.
’’5000 Gold coins?’’
’’Dream on! It's 50,000 Gold coins.’’
Cartel laughed proudly. He wasn't happy only due to Lovna taking out such an amount of pay for a month but also because his disciple had subdued Lovna.
Aiwa was unable to understand. How could a Captain's salary cover such an expensive fee? Perhaps, she had a prominent family backing her?
He had only now become conscious of how important a place he held within Lovna's heart. However, he was still stupefied by hearing such a massive figure, his mouth had dropped wide open in front of everyone there.
He turned around to look at the soldiers' faces, it seems none of them were ordinary persons. They must have surely some kind of background to be able to afford such an expensive fee, no wonder they dared to jeer at him.
Actually, many families didn't approve of General Kyle's eminent position. The Holtzer family wasn't illustrious at all, Kyle had relied on his own strength to achieve his current position. After Aiwa's battle with the Wolf Kingdom's battalion, some of the other prominent families naturally felt envious.
Moreover, beforehand, Aiwa was an unknown character, his name known to but a few, they believed his feats weren't a match to his identity.
’’You're an official student at the base from today onwards!’’
Cartel's gaze had one kind of unusual implication, this declaration gave rise to a subtle commotion between the students. Among the 20 or so of them, only a few had been designated as an official student, the others were still on probation and could be kicked out at any moment. That pretty boy from before was also among the official students.
’’Thank you, Instructor Cartel!’’
Aiwa immediately responded with a standard military salute.
’’Only, I'll be conducting a test for you. Come with me!’’
Cartel walked over towards the giant windmill.
Aiwa followed behind. He winked at the pretty boy as he passed by him, indicating tacit understanding between the both.
When they had reached there, he had discovered that giant windmill was situated within a pool.
’’Go up and grab onto that flagpole.’’ Cartel ordered.
Aiwa looked at the giant windmill, it was no doubt that death would be the end if anyone fell from atop, no wonder it was surrounded by a pool.
’’Tony, come over.’’
Cartel shouted at that pretty boy.
Tony immediately ran over. He began to release the ropes holding the windmill in position without Cartel's instructions, pushing that pole to make the wooden wheel revolve.
When the small wheel started to revolve, the twenty feet long windmill soon followed after.
Aiwa wrinkled his brows. The windmill was completely damp after making a rotation, it wouldn't have been easy to hold onto those poles in the first place, let alone now that the entire windmill was wet!
He had figured out Cartel's character, cursing him within his heart, but didn't dare to speak out, afraid of receiving his retribution. He walked forwards to start scaling up the pole level by level.
The flagpole was placed at the summit of the windmill, climbing up till there would require some strength, being careless would immediately lead to slipping down. Aiwa had experienced this first hand, slipping once along the way, having his body plummeting downwards due to the force of gravity, his efforts to quickly climb to the top were almost for naught. Fortunately, he had reacted in time to grab another pole during his fall downwards.
Aiwa turned to look down, falling into the water here would no doubt freeze a person to death! He didn't dare to hurry again and went forward step by step, making sure to have a firm grasp each time.
Below, Tony had also raised his head, observing each and every movement of Aiwa, his palms turning sweaty due to being clenched.
He relaxed once Aiwa had firmly grasped that flagpole.
’’Aiwa, keep holding onto it, I'll be revolving it now!’’ yelled Tony.
Aiwa grabbed onto it tightly after hearing him, his legs tightly pressing against the board, if not, he would surely be thrown down as the windmill rotated. Dropping into the water would freeze him to death while he wouldn't be as lucky as he had been at the ravine if he fell towards the ground once again.
Cartel stood beside Tony, who was unable to show any consideration due to this, but he still started a bit slow, to allow Aiwa to adapt to the situation. Cartel had seen through Tony, and yet he feigned ignorance, merely standing there with arms crossed.
With every passing rotation of the wooden wheel by Tony, the windmill turned faster and faster. One rotation and Aiwa thought the speed was bearable, but once it had rotated four to five times, he wasn't able to bear the increasingly substantial velocity of the windmill. However, he couldn't do anything at the moment! The best he could do was to try grabbing onto the flagpole tightly, his legs also didn't dare to loosen up lest he is thrown out.
With each passing revolution, Aiwa would go through the water, his clothes completely drenched, the cold wind making him cough.
’’I'm at my limit, can't hold on anymore!’’
Aiwa knew he would definitely fall down if this keeps on going, he wouldn't have any means to control his direction if that happens.
’’I think you can still go on!’’
Cartel laughed. Although the windmill turned quite rapidly, he could easily figure out the expression on Aiwa's face by relying on his eyesight. It still hadn't reached the stage where Cartel wanted it to reach.
He gave a meaningful look towards Tony. Tony accelerated the speed, Aiwa could clearly feel the change in speed now.
After passing through the gears, the speed at which the windmill revolved was 10 times the speed at which Tony had revolved the wooden wheel. Aiwa felt his vision go blurry, he didn't dare to open his eyes wide, lest his blurred vision debilitates him.
Cartel could clearly see that Aiwa was using all his strength to grab onto the flagpole but still didn't reveal anything on his expression. ’’This brat is really stubborn, not yelling again!’’
Cartel's seemed to be soliloquizing but it was meant for Tony to hear.
’’Shall I stop? Captain?’’
Tony had already begun slowing down as he questioned.
Cartel nodded. He had never seen any student bear such a high speed for so long but Cartel didn't want to test his limits right now.
’’Let him descend!’’
Tony slowly let the windmill come to a stop, making it so that the flagpole stopped nearby the ground. This would make it easy for Aiwa to descend even if he was disoriented, also making it unlikely for him to fall into the water.
Tony sympathized with Aiwa because he was the first one among the student to ever provoke the instructor. He also admired how he had bared Pienne's attack. Tony was one of the students who had joined quite early but he had never seen anyone resist so much like Aiwa.
’’Don't meddle in others affairs next time! If he doesn't even have the minimum defensive capability, it only proves that he didn't have the qualifications to enroll at the base.’’
Cartel said coldly.
Aiwa grabbed the flagpole and only opened his eyes after some time, he still felt dizzy. He had even stepped onto air a few times and was unable to walk on the ground properly.
He helplessly decided to jump down to the ground from atop the windmill, he didn't crawl up for a while after doing so.
’’It's not over yet. See that? You have to run through that tunnel, the quicker you are the better.’’
Cartel arrived at the bulwark after saying so. The tunnel there was two meters wide, and around forty to fifty meters in length.
Aiwa crawled up with difficulty;nausea was bubbling up from within his stomach. He braced himself to endure it but still couldn't do so, ending up with him vomiting.
He had blitzed towards Mandeff from Hohfeld and simply hadn't eaten much, what he vomited out was mostly digestive fluids.
However, Cartel acted as if he hadn't seen the scene at all and continued to explain: ’’This tunnel is filled with holes in all directions, wooden poles appear out from within them irregularly. Don't try to disregard them, as each stick carries a force of almost 80 pounds behind it. You'll have to bet on your luck and hope they don't hit your head.’’
Even though Aiwa was out of strength right now, he knew he couldn't argue with Cartel about it.
He forced himself to stand up and slightly arched his body, slowly trudging towards that confined tunnel.
Cartel himself was a skilled Machinist, he liked to design crazy things. This tunnel was one of the things he had manufactured to train his students.
Each small hole was equivalent to an attacking point, those wooden sticks could stab out any moment. If enough strength wasn't used to resist it, a single stab from one of the sticks would leave any person breathless.
By the time Aiwa had walked over towards the entrance of the tunnel, Cartel had already placed his hand on the power switch: ’’You can first observe it.’’
He pressed down;Aiwa immediately heard a few heavy machinery sounds from within the tunnel. At the same time, an arms-length and thick wooden sticks shot out from within the small holes, although the speed wasn't that fast, it still didn't give a person inside much space to dodge, a fatal wound could be dealt at any moment.
Aiwa placed his hands on his knees, adjusting his breath, he closely watched that fifty-meter long tunnel.