”The last time we met, I had mentioned a few ingredients that could boost her growth and help her breakthrough to the next stage. ”
”However, from her current growth rate, development and perceptivity, I think she will greatly benefit if we add in another factor, ” Seraphina explained.
Liam ’s interest was immediately peeked and he rubbed his clean-shaven chin. ”Oh, what is this new ingredient? ”
Seraphina ’s look immediately turned serious as she replied. ”There is a village in the east named Javi. It is unusually cold and often times the weather is unbearable. ”
”My Lord ’s strength should be barely sufficient to deal with the strong and powerful creatures there. ”
”So if you manage to reach that place, the village chief there should be able to give you clues about an ancient spirit beast ’s flame fragment. ”
”I have been meaning to visit the place myself but I am tied down to the capital city with too many duties. I hope that my Lord can visit this place and acquire the flame fragment. ”
”Here is my token. ” Seraphina handed over a small silver ember. ”My Lord, the chief will trust you easily if you show him my insignia. ”
”I wish you good luck. If you can acquire this flame, then Luna ’s potential can truly explode using both the flame fragment and the nine-colored divinity stone. ”
[Ding. New Quest available]
[Ding. Obtain the ancient eternal flame from Javi village]
[Ding. Reward – Beast Master Seraphina ’s recognition and assistance; Reputation with Beast Master Seraphina]
[Ding. Do you wish to accept the quest? Y/N]
”Yes. ” Liam quickly accepted it.
It was truly surprising for him to see that even though he was a Duke and he had an item in his possession that the loli badly wanted, she still did not recognize him!
But it did not matter, once Luna ’s evolution was completed, with her and the two golems he could power level by grinding invasions back to back.
So he needed to finish this as soon as possible and head to the nether realm.
”Shall we? ” Liam looked at the little fox who was curiously listening to everything with big round eyes. It looked like she had a strong desire to become powerful.
Liam scruffed the fox and then walked out of the beast hall.
The duo headed out of the city and getting Talon, they started their journey to the east of the kingdom without any further delay.
The village was located slightly towards the south in the eastern part of the Kingdom and because of the Seraphina ’s quest, the exact location was marked on the map.
So Liam did not have any difficulty in getting near the place.
However, before he could reach the actual village, they came across mountainous terrain with strong cold winds. The entire place was covered with snow and it was freezing cold.
Talon couldn ’t bear to fly in that kind of atmosphere and his stamina rapidly dropped.
”Alright. Stop here. It looks like we have to go by foot after this. ”
Liam left the bird here, remembering the location on the map, and then proceeded to hike up the snowy mountain with Luna on his back.
The spirit beast as well was not doing that great in the weather so she huddled up close to him, nuzzling inside his shirt, only her little red head peaking out.
Liam took out another cloak and wrapped himself with it. The duo then braved the terrible freezing cold and walked up the hill to search for the village settlement.
”Hmm… Luna… This village is located in such a remote place even though these conditions are terrible, so… will the village chief really give us this flame fragment? ”
Kyuuuuu… The fox blinked.
”Maybe we have to take it by force… ” Liam muttered, answering his own rhetorical question. ”In any case, let ’s first find the village and then have a chat. ”
The two of them hiked all the way up, bearing the biting cold, and finally reached the small settlement in a couple of hours.
The journey would have taken a lot longer but thanks to Liam ’s current level and high stamina, he was able to keep up with the cold and reach the place.
In front of them was a small and isolated settlement that could only be barely called a village.
There were literally just a dozen or so yurts and a couple of kids dressed in thick furry robes running around here and there.
In such a small place, Liam ’s presence was immediately noticed. Not long after an old man walked out of an yurt and approached him.
”Young adventurer, have you lost your way? ”
Liam smiled politely and shook his head. ”Greetings Chief Daka, I am a Duke of the Gresh Kingdom. Beast Master Seraphina has sent me to help in your endeavor. ”
”Oh, that young lady? ” The old man looked up at him and nodded, but he still looked a bit hesitant as if he did not believe him.
Liam then took out Seraphina ’s insignia and handed it over to the old man, whose eyes instantly widened in surprise.
”This is indeed her token. Lord Duke himself has arrived at our small village to help us. We are truly blessed! We are truly blessed! ”
The chief now started grabbing Liam ’s hand and crying. It was a complete 180 change in attitude. Liam chuckled inwardly and waited for the man to speak up.
”Lord Duke, our village is suffering. We desperately need your help. ”
”A few miles away from our village, there is a huge glacier cave and inside that cave, our ancestral heritage is being held captive by a bunch of strong and powerful monsters. ”
”They are treating our prized treasure as a mere fireplace and using it to warm their bodies in this cold weather. ”
”Not only that they are also continuing to attack and plunder our village as they please. ”
”Because of their terrorization, we are being forced to flee and hide in these mountains moving our village ever so often. ”
”This all started only this year and already the number of people in our village has dwindled to this extent. We have lost several of our capable men and women to those monsters. ”
Liam heard the old man explain his plight. ”Why don ’t you move to another village, Chief Daka? ” He then asked.
”There are several more convenient places past these mountains, more habitable and less cold. Why must you all stay here and suffer in these horrendous conditions? ”
”Ah… that… ” The chief hesitated to answer.
Liam smiled and did not force him. Also, he could easily guess the reason.
These guys most probably did not leave this region because they were trying to fight back and get the flame fragment.
If it belonged to an ancient beast, then it was a truly powerful treasure. How could they simply leave it in the hands of the enemy?
But the real question was… would the old man be willing to part with the flame once he retrieved it back?
Liam had to think about this.
The people in front of him were struggling in cold harsh weather just to have a chance to fight back, perhaps raid the cave when the monsters were no longer inside or something like that.
Would such people really just hand it over to him? No way!
Irrespectively, he decided to worry about this part later and first find out the whereabouts of this cave. He also needed to find out just what sort of inhabitants were present inside.
Luckily, the old man was able to help him out in both aspects.
Liam chatted with him for a bit more and then hurried over to the spot where the cave was located.
About an hour later, they arrived in front of a huge towering cave, one that was not made of stones, rather out of sparkling crystalline ice.
Stalactites and stalagmites were littered around the cave and the entire place looked breathtaking as if someone had purposefully chiseled a beautiful ice sculpture.
Surprisingly, the weather here was also somewhat bearable when compared to the nearby areas.
”This flame fragment has such a big impact? ” Liam was amazed.
Now that he was in the vicinity of the cave, he quickly activated [Stealth] and only then proceeded towards the cave opening.
But he suddenly stopped, noticing another problem. Luna ’s small figure was stood out like a sore thumb. She had nowhere to hide in this icy mess.
”This is not good. Hmm… Wait, this place is not too cold. Can you try hiding in between these ice spears? ”
Both Luna and Liam looked inside the cave and saw that the cave had a lot more stalagmites near the wall than in the middle pathway.
There were also huge footprints in the middle pathway. Clearly, the ice formations were not there here because of the constant usage of the path.
However, walls were barely used so that part was rather cluttered.
Luna quickly hopped over and dove in between the stalagmites hiding her small figure easily.
Liam nodded and then walked in slowly and cautiously in the middle passageway with this [Stealth] activated, while Luna twisted and turned her body slipping in between the ice spheres.
The two had only barely entered the cave when their first opponents promptly showed up.
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