Dragon Mountain Calendar, Year 9616. Winter.
Tranquil Sun Province, Azure River County, within the Water Rites Town.
An eight or nine year old boy with red lips and white teeth dressed in exquisitely tailored clothes made of white fur carried a sack on his back. He was currently dashing nimbly through the mountains. In his right hand he held a short spear of black wood as he chased a panicked and fleeing wild deer. The leaves of the surrounding trees shook off some snow, which gently drifted down.
The boy suddenly hoisted up the short spear. His body tilted slightly backwards as strength flowed from his waist to his right arm, and he gave a ferociously throw!
Shua! [Ed. note: this is a sfx]
The short spear in his hand flew through the air, hitting a few tree leaves as it covered a distance of 30 meters and scraped past the rear of the wild deer. Then, it stabbed into the depths of the snow, barely leaving a trace of blood on the wild deer’s behind. The wild deer immediately ran even faster with all of his might towards the depths of the mountains. Just as it was about to run out of sight…
Suddenly, with a whoosh, a rock flew out.
The rock turned into a ray of light as it traveled through the mountains, flying over 100 meters. With a thump, it pierced through the trunk of a large tree and precisely shot the wild deer in the head. The wild deer’s skull could not block it. It swayed from side to side as its momentum carried it forward 10 more meters before it crashed to the ground.
“Father.” The boy turned his head and looked into the distance, as he helplessly said: “Don’t help me. A little more and I would have hit it.”
“If I had not helped, that wild deer would have run off. Your short spear’s accuracy while dashing at high speeds is still a bit off. Tonight, go back and practice using the short spear another 500 times.” The forceful voice arrived from far away. In the distance, two figures walked side by side.
One of them was a rather sturdy middle-aged man with black hair and black eyes who carried a box of weapons on his back. The other figure was even bigger and sturdier. He stood over two meters in height, with arms thicker than most people’s thighs, but his head was that of a lion. He really did have a lion’s head and a human’s body! With his messy yellow hair draped over his shoulders, he was clearly one of the seldom seen “lion men” of the beastman race. He also carried a box of weapons.
The middle-aged man spoke with a smile: “Tong San, old friend, see how formidable my son is? He’s only eight years old this year, yet he already has the strength of a grown man.”
“Yes, Xue Ying is pretty good. In the future, it will not be a problem for him to grow stronger than you,” teased the brawny lion-man.
“Of course he’ll be stronger than me. When I was eight, I was still laughing around and playing with the village’s children. I didn’t understand anything. Only after entering the army did I have the chance to cultivate Dou Qi!” The middle-aged man sighed in regret. “As a father, I’m unable to provide perfect conditions for my child. But for the ones I can give, I’ll do so with great effort and train him properly.”
“Dong Bo, for you to become a Heaven Rank Knight after starting off as a commoner, and to even be able to purchase your own territory to become a lord is already very impressive.” The brawny lion-man smiled.
This middle-aged male was precisely the lord of a territory encompassing over 100 square kilometers: Baron Dong Bo Lie!
Baron was the lowest title of nobility in the Xia Dynasty’s Long Shan Empire. When the empire had first been established, the awarding of noble titles was very strict. The current empire had already existed for 9000 years. This colossus had already begun to decay so much so that the buying and selling of some low noble titles were all permitted by the government.
[TL Note: Order of nobility — Duke > Marquis > Count > Viscount > Baron]
At that time, Dong Bo Lie and his wife had decided to buy a noble title only because they had a child. After buying a piece of land, they had named the territory Snow Eagle Territory! It shared the same name as their son and clearly displayed their love for this son.
Of course, this was only a small piece of land in Yi Shui County.
“I only started cultivating Dou Qi when I was 20 years old. But my son is different. This year, he’s only eight. I estimate that once he’s around 10 years old he can begin cultivating Dou Qi. Ha ha, he will surely be more powerful than me.” Dong Bo Lie looked at the boy, his eyes filled with a father’s love and expectations for his son.
“Seeing his strength, 10 years old is about right.” The brawny lion-man also approved.
With their countless experiences, their foresights were naturally accurate.
“Father, you were able to throw a rock through that thick big tree from that far away?” The boy was currently standing next to it. His two hands hugged the tree but were unexpectedly unable to completely wrap around it. Its trunk had a huge hole. “For a tree this thick, ah, if you were to let me slowly chop it down, it would take a very very long time.”
“Now you know the power of a Heaven Rank Knight,” said the brawny lion-man. Dong Bo Lie also gave out a laugh. As a father, he still liked to show off in front of his son.
“As powerful as a god?” the boy deliberately curled his lips in a devious grin.
Dong Bo Lie and the brawny lion-man Tong San were suddenly silent.
The Long Shan Empire’s founder, the Long Shan Heavenly Emperor, was a formidable god. This was knowledge that almost all of the people in this world knew. Dong Bo Lie could be considered a brave individual within the army, but compared to a god? There was simply no comparison.
“It looks like tonight, practicing with the short spear another 500 times is too little. Yeah, go practice another 1000 times.” Dong Bo Lie licked his lips.
“Father!” The boy opened his eyes wide. “You, you… …”
“Looks like you still dare to argue with me! Remember, when arguing with your father, you will definitely suffer losses. Alright now, go back, go back.” Dong Bo Lie said.
The brawny lion-man ‘Tong San’ took out a flute from his neck, put it in his mouth and played a few low sounds. The sounds spread throughout the mountains.
Soon 20 armored soldiers rapidly rushed over.
“Take the hunted animal back.” Dong Bo Lie commanded.
“Yes, m’lord.” The soldiers respectfully responded.
Dong Bo Lie and the brawny lion-man brought the boy Xue Ying to the peak of the mountain. A large number of horses and approximately 100 soldiers were gathered here. On the spacious snow lay a huge white blanket on which sat a mysterious purple-gowned lady. Next to the purple-gowned lady, a child of two or three years of age ran and jumped around. The soldiers held a look of reverence for the purple-gowned lady.
Because this purple-gowned lady was a powerful mage!
“Pebble, come look who’s here,” said the purple-gowned lady with a smile. The two or three year old child immediately turned his head to look and his eyes brightened.
[TL Note: Kid’s actual name Qing Shi means bluestone, so Pebble is kind of like a nickname]
“Carry me, brother. Carry me, brother.” The child turned around and dashed over.
The purple-robed lady also smiled at this scene.
“Pebble.” The boy Xue Ying immediately walked to the very front and crouched down. His younger brother Qing Shi threw himself into his embrace: “Carry me, brother. Carry me, brother.”
Xue Ying carried his younger brother and kissed him.
“Pebble, I hunted a wild deer today. Look.” Xue Ying pointed to the wild deer being lifted by the soldiers behind.
“Mild veer? Mild veer?” The little brother Qing Shi opened his crow-black eyes wide as his mouth let out an unclear sound.
The little brother ‘Dong Bo Qing Shi’ was only two years old. Even though he tried hard to speak, his words were still unclear and he also didn’t really understand their meanings.
“It’s a wild deer, a type of animal found on the back slopes of our family’s mountain.”
“Xue Ying, why don’t you give me your little brother.” The purple-robed lady also got up and walked over.
“Yes, mother.” Xue Ying handed over his little brother.
The purple-robed lady said, “I brought some sweet olive cakes that are still hot. They’re in the basket, why don’t you hurry up and eat them?”
“Cake?” Xue Ying’s eyes brightened and his mouth watered. Realizing that he was drooling, he immediately dashed over.
“I want to eat. I want to eat.” The little brother Qing Shi immediately struggled from his mother’s embrace. He became most active whenever the phrase “eat cake” was mentioned. Otherwise, he was usually disobedient when eating.
“Of course there’s some for you, you little glutton.” The purple-robed lady saw Dong Bo Lie and the lion-man Tong San, “You two hurry up too, I also prepared some food for you to eat.”
“Ha ha … … Master is not only powerful in magic, but also in the kitchen,” said the brawny lion-man.
This lion-man had once been a slave when he was little, and had gone from being the purple-robed lady’s servant to one of her followers. Even though many years had passed and their relationship had grown to become like that of family, the brawny lion-man insisted on calling her “master”.
Once Xue Ying had his fill of food and drink, he looked into the distance. Because their camping spot was at the top of the mountain, he could see a few mountains and some farmland with a single glance. Everywhere he looked was his family’s territory. His mother and father, because of his birth, had stopped their days of adventuring, purchased the title of a noble, and bought a large piece of land. The entire strip of land had taken the name of Snow Eagle Territory!
Dong Bo Xue Ying did a big stretch, his face full of happiness.
He had a mother and father who loved him dearly. He had a cute little brother. He had the many kind people of his territory.
With this type of life, Dong Bo Xue Ying was extremely satisfied.
The only thing that gave him a headache was that his father’s training was too painful.
“Practicing with the short spear another 1000 times in addition to the original 500 times … … and the more important marksmanship, and the… …” Dong Bo Xue Ying’s face turned sour.
Nightfall, under the waning moon.
The wind whistles.
1000 meters above the ground, a giant bird flew quickly, looking like a black cloud.
This giant bird had four wings with a wingspan of over 20 meters. Its flying speed almost reached the speed of sound. It was the extremely tyrannical and terrible demon beast, the Four-Winged Vulture. On its back, two silhouettes sat with their legs crossed. One was a silver-armored man, while the other was robed in grey and carried a purple staff.
“Where are we?” asked the grey-robed person.
“Master, we have already entered Yi Shui County. I estimate that we will arrive at Snow EagleTerritory in half an hour.” The silver-armoured man looked downwards with an ice-cold gaze, clearly distinguishing his lower position.
“In another half an hour, I will finally see my sister.” The grey-robed person’s voice was complex. “You really are quite capable of hiding. Even when pursued by our family, you were able to hide for no less than 15 years… …”
In the darkness of the night, the Four-Winged Vulture headed straight for Snow Eagle Territory.