The Ultimate Evolution - Volume 6 - Chapter 4
Chapter 4: The lost maiden
Edited by: TN and ELkassar
Faced with Reef's questioning, Sheyan released a breath and replied.
’’Brother, our goal is to survive not to explore. That arrowhead wouldn't simply appear for no reasons here, most probably it was left while the hunter was pursuing a certain prey. Moreover, the direction it was shot at was towards the mountain top. If we headed up instead, it seems that we may avoid conflict with the orcs below, but it may mean encountering that fearsome arrow guy. I don't reckon that he would welcome us with amicable arms, and invite us for steak and wine.’’
Reef being enlightened, immediately took the lead in rushing down. Upon seeing their prey not escaping but rushing towards them, the orcs roared ecstatically as they raised their weapons;stomping their thick legs ahead. Who knew, after the first human arrived and counter roared at them furiously instead, the surrounding dried leaves spiralled about chaotically, as the 4 brutal orcs felt their feet not responding to their mind. Their sky spun and earth revolved*, unable to proceed a single step and could only fume in anger as they watched their prey escape.
(TN: Feeling tremendously giddy)
Sheyan's agility was 28 points and Reef's was probably 30 points. Apart from physique it was his second main attribute, hence they easily dodged and fled. Actually his attribute composition had a different tune playing towards the same skill as Sheyan. Sheyan relied on perceptive sensing for any forewarning, while Relf concentrated his agility to dodge and evade. As they frantically sprinted forward, Sheyan even drank from his soul equipment to increase his movement speed. Naturally, they easily tossed the orcs far behind.
They followed the ridge line downhill. The intervals between trees inside the spruce forest widened up, providing a suitably safe environment for them. If it was a densely packed forest, those countless shrubs and vines would certainly pose a huge problem. The two sprinted speedily leaving dried leaves scattering in their tracks, as they continued to advance swiftly along the nearly dried up valley.
Their principle was this - As long as there was a distinct route, they wouldn't take it. That was probably trampled out by orcs. Although the occasional tumbled boulders blocked their path, but as contestants, they easily made it through them.
In this situation, Reef was obviously faster than Sheyan, even if there wasn't a concrete pathway for them. Sheyan carefully observed Reef's motion patterns. He discovered they were simple and relied on quick-witted intuition;easily analyzing the eccentric terrain and obstacles, finding cracks amidst the thick undergrowth and continued forward.
After asking, Sheyan finally understood. Actually, Reef's basic footwork had already reached lvl 7. Moreover, he selected the option of not having his speed affected by nasty terrains (Desert, swamps...). No wonder it seemed like he couldn't catch up to Reef.
Even though their bodies were digitized, long extended periods of sprinting still came at a cost;that was their HP would slowly decline. Hence after determining they had shrugged off those pursuing orcs, they two slowed down their pace and drank some water to replenish their physique.
The Misty Mountains valley wasn't like the mountain ridges above, it didn't only possess seasoned lofty trees that acclimatized to the higher altitude and harsh temperature. Because of the humidity from the water source and sunlight, the banks grew shrubs and vegetation. Sheyan observed a layer of hazy dust covering these vegetations, it was like the malicious aura of the orcs had polluted them. Suddenly, Reef halted his steps, and took guard. The shrubs ahead suddenly shook, before a nimble figure leapt out.
A slender and alluring maiden. Apart from the grass weaved around her chest, her upper body was stark naked. A red moon was painted onto her left arm, carrying an exquisite bow behind her, a mildly yellow grass necklace strung across her neck, wearing a makeshift hide skirt. She was holding onto a dusty black wooden spear, and had a pair of beautifully toned legs. Sheyan couldn't resist the urge to check her out. Her skin was fair, her lips tightly pursed. Even though she seemed young, she gave off a fresh and determined temperament.
Her sharp pointy ears finally betrayed her race. Her pointy ears were linked to her temperament, giving off an immature freshness. Even though it was winter, an ordinarily undried green leaf necklace slung around this elf's neck, weaved with branches and leaves. Sheyan and Reef sensed a natural energy emitting from that leaf necklace, it was obviously not an ordinary accessory.
The elf maiden didn't expect the suddenly appearance of two uninvited guest. She was like a startled deer as she retreated a step backwards, executing a battle stance. After affirming the two ahead weren't hostile, she suspiciously asked.
’’Humans? What are you doing here at the Misty Mountains?’’
Reef respectfully stepped forward, placing his left hand against his chest as he humbly bow and spoke.
’’Heir of the virtuous spring goddess, please accept his Gondor human's sincerity and fellowship.’’
The elf maiden loosened her breath, anxiously glancing backwards as she hastily replied.
’’We must leave now. The demons are catching up.’’
As she spoke, she started to lead the way. Sheyan and Reef glanced at each other. They were both completely unfamiliar with the Misty Mountains, running aimlessly about like a headless housefly. Why not follow this elf maiden who was seemingly familiar with the terrain.
Besides, the dangers in Misty Mountains were not limited to the orcs. There were still golems, shape shifting beasts, evil slimes, and the inescapable departed souls. Any of those creatures were immensely powerful, and there were probably legendary creatures lurking around.
From their current perspectives, at least they could still deal with the orcs through brute force or strategy (Fleeing). But if they encountered any other creatures, even fleeing may not be a possibility. As the elf maiden sprinted with them, she suddenly grabbed against the air;as though there was something there. She then sniffed her palm, finally stopping as she patted her chest.
’’The winds are telling me, we have lost those filthy demons for now’’
Sheyan tried to summon for Jinkuang, but realized he couldn't do so;but this was only to be expected. If Jinkuang could surface, the advantages Sheyan received were too ridiculous. Furthermore, the nightmare realm probably felt whatever loot that goblin acquired here, would be hard to retrieve back.
At present, Reef who was borne of european nobility and well versed in medieval culture, was already getting along well with the elf maiden named, Mist Melody. He easily discovered that this innocent maiden hailed from Rivendell, the last elvish shelter to the east of the Misty Mountain ocean. She had ventured out far away from Rivendell in search of certain tree seeds, she accidentally encountered hostile orcs.
Sheyan and Reef also realized from her, recently these orcs had suddenly turned much more violent and even learned how to cooperate with each other. They had started to explore the Misty Mountains, contaminating the area. They even assaulted other creatures, and some Rivendell elves who had probed deep into the Misty Mountains had been kidnapped;nobody knew where they were taken.
Because of that, the furious elves from Rivendell had dispatched an investigation squad, but the sheer quantity of orcs were overwhelming. Although they weren't a match for the investigating elves, they could flee in all directions. When the elves mobilize a huge team, the orcs easily dug a tunnel into the ground;the elves who were lacking in numbers and didn't possess capabilities for a drawn out battle, were unable to pursue and round up the orcs. Hence, their efforts to annihilate them were futile. Thus, the elders could only warn the elves not to go too far from Rivendell. However, Melody had found several precious seeds, while following the trail she got careless and left the boundaries of Rivendell. Finally she was forced here by the orcs.
Sheyan and Reef called themselves adventurers, seeing out dwarves here in the Misty Mountains. They planned to purchase some rare minerals like Black Iron, Secret Silver and other rare gems, in hopes of making a profit from selling them. Instead, they got ambushed by orcs after getting lost. With such an ambiguous half-hearted explanation, the innocent elf maiden didn't hold a thread of suspicion. After they rested for a while, Melody continued to lead the way, occasionally detouring around several orcs and other magical beasts;so far, they met with no dangers. If it had been just Sheyan and Reef, they would have incurred a calamitous trouble long ago.
The trio continued to infiltrate through the valley. The sky was still polluted with lead colored gloomy clouds, but the light rays were turning brighter. Thin shadows formed against the shrubs, the atmosphere still pure and cold. The chilling rigidity permeated their lungs with every breath, capturing the subtle freshness of the vegetation. According to Melody, they were approaching Rivendell soon.