SYS (Novel) Chapter 173

                       


C173 - Mirages of the Great Mythra Desert (1)


According to the Watertail beastman, the Orange Tiger Tribe seemed to be taking over the Land of the Beastmen recently.

The Orange Tiger Tribe usually treated other tribes with contempt and had been stealing gold and valuables from passersby as a ‘toll’.

 

“Those. Evil. Bastard. Get caught. You’re done.”

“What do you mean by ‘toll’? That renowned combat tribe is doing some back-alley gangster shit.”

“Anyway. You lucky. You met us.”

 

Jin previously planned to enter the Land of the Beastmen through the forest where a branch of the Kinzelo Group resided. Had he not met the Watertail Tribesman, many problems would have arisen.

 

“It seems the Orange Tiger Tribe doesn’t know the path you take?”

“Don’t know. Definitely. Follow. Me.”

 

Other than the Isolated Craftsmen Tribe, the Watertail Tribe was known to be the most evasive from predators.

Jin bantered a little while walking with them. Most of the conversations were him making bad excuses or explanations on why he was going to the Great Mythra Desert.

About two hours passed. He crawled out of a hole that the little tribesmen dug, and Jin could only let out a big sigh after crawling out of the tight passage.

At the end of the tunnel, a waterfall roared.

 

“New. Water, drink.”

 

He filled his water bottle with fresh water.

Past the waterfall was another tunnel leading to a rocky cave. However, compared to a normal cave, he couldn’t even count the number of paths within it.

 

“You dug this?”

“No. Craftsmen, dug.”

“I see.”

 

The Craftsmen Tribe’s cave was a maze. It was obvious that they wanted to mislead strangers. Each path led to a completely different set of paths. From thousands of possible ways, there was only one correct exit.

Like a game, they went through dozens of seemingly random paths. 

Near the end of the cave, there was a group of beastmen about the size of the Watertails—reaching only Jin’s waist—gathered and napping.

Little furballs with rat-like faces—the Gold Snow Tribe.

 

“Hey, hey, what? Why did you bring that thing here?”

 

As a tribe that specialized in trade, their words were well enunciated and spoken quickly.

Then, the Watertail Tribesman and Gold Snow Tribesmen conversed in both an understandable language and their tribe’s native language. Jin thought it was cute.

The conversation ended with a Watertail Tribesman lending a small gem.

 

“Ah, your business in the Great Desert isn’t really our problem, but I wish you luck, Human.”

 

They passed the little furry creatures, and a big wooden door emerged. 

 

“Behind. This door. Desert. General market.”

“General market?”

“Gold Snow’s. General market. Outside. Yuka-yuka, a marketplace.”

“Ah, the cave is connected there.”

 

The Yuka-yuka Market was where all of the beastmen bartered. 

It wasn’t any different from a human marketplace. However, they offered ‘guidance’ for explorers. Since many human explorers visited, every marketplace in the Land of the Beastmen had guides for those who explored.

 

“Guidance. Gold Snow recommend, their own. Gold Snow guidance, bad. Ignore. Use, Canus Tribe. Honest. Work hard. No scam.”

“I am very thankful. Before we part, how about you tell me your name?”

“Me, Darkflame.”

“What?”

“Darkflame. My name.”

“Fascinating. You won’t go telling my name to everyone?”

“No worry.”

“Alright. In that case, I will repay the favor as a Runcandel.”

 

Creeeaaaak.

As soon as he opened the door and left, Jin was met with the inside of the marketplace—just as Darkflame said. A Gold Snow Tribesman, who looked like the owner, escorted him.

Jin ignored the owner and immediately went towards the area with the explorers’ guides. Many other humans were in the market, so he pulled up his hood. 

Locating the booth with the big Canus Tribesman wasn’t too hard.

Soon, Jin traveled with them to the Great Mythra Desert, and he didn’t encounter any Orange Tiger Tribesmen. Instead, he saw humans who were definitely members of Kinzelo. They had the organization’s symbol—a broken sun—on their clothes.

In the mainland, with those clothes, they would immediately be captured or dragged away by patrols. They weren’t famous, but most areas considered the Kinzelo Group a terrorist organization.

And since they were active in the Land of the Beastmen without any consequences, Jin felt it strange.

 

‘It’s possible that the White Wolf Tribe aren’t the only ones affiliated with Kinzelo, but also most of the beastmen are.’

 

The Canus Tribesman arrived at the entrance to the desert, and then promptly returned to the Yuka-yuka Market. For a while, Jin just stared at the empty, barren desert.

Trekking a desert alone required a lot of courage. 

Leaving his first footsteps upon the sand of the Great Mythra Desert, Jin felt more pressure than ever before.

Jin had the confidence for combat against a strong opponent as well as fighting for his life. However, against no enemy, under a cloudless sky, and in the presence of a sea of sand with no answers, Jin felt like he was suffocating just by staring into the vast emptiness.

 

‘If I die here, no one will find my body.’

 

Even indigenous beastmen wouldn’t leave a single bone when they lost their way. Jin remembered the awe of the explorers who trekked the Great Mythra Desert.

 

‘So the Shadow Blade’s land of inheritance…’

 

The sensation he felt when he lacerated Myuron’s hell’s gate as well as the time he split Goltep’s hammer. The sensation of becoming one with his blade and spiritual energy, and chanting the spell.

That sensation was called ‘Shadow Blade’, a unique technique used only by Runcandel magic swordsmen.

The Illustrious Legend Tribe—thought to be extinct—first created and passed down this technique. Somewhere in the desert was a location where their special tasks to fully inherit the skill could be found.

How did the Illustrious Legend Tribe become the ones to develop such a skill?

There was an inscription regarding their background, unknown to the world.

—The Illustrious Legend Tribe didn’t believe in any god. So they challenged them and miserably failed, ultimately leading to their extinction. Five thousand years ago, they yearned for total reign, but got wiped out.

—In a day?

—Kiddo, how did Quikantel react when she saw the Demon God’s Orb back when you fought Andrei?

—She trembled in fear.

—Even as the Orb of Origin’s cheap duplicate, the Demon God’s Orb is powerful. The difference is that the Orb of Origin is made from the power of gods. Their power is like that. When the Illustrious Legend Tribe challenged the gods, the Orb of Origin was already destroyed. But they still didn’t stand a chance.

When the gods cooperated to destroy the Illustrious Legend Tribe, there was only one god who treated them with pity.

—Solderet saved a small minority of the Illustrious Legend Tribesmen and turned them into humans. I don’t know much about their agreement, but you can’t learn the way of the Shadow Blade from anyone other than them. Temar learned it from them as well.

Looking back on the discussion he had with Murakan before leaving on his journey, Jin remembered that Temar Runcandel mastered Shadow Blade from them.

 

‘I might hear stuff about the first patriarch.’

 

Temar Runcandel.

Despite being the first patriarch, there weren’t many records of his history. 

All that could be found on him were him bestowing the name ‘Runcandel’ upon his followers and founding a clan, taking down Murakan, and his precious sword, Barisada.

Furthermore, his name didn’t have a spot in the mausoleum in the Garden of Swords despite being the dawn of the clan and the greatest hero.

Because the Zipfel Clan erased all records of Temar.

Sssssss, ssssss. Splish…

Whenever Jin took a step, the water inside the canteen on his side sloshed. He would last a few days, but he would never know if he could get a refill at an oasis once his canteen emptied out. 

He didn’t even pack a compass in the first place. If his compass worked properly in the land, the indigenous beastmen would have never gotten lost. 

He just had to look forward and walk.

And he walked for hours.

As his head began to clear of all thought, he looked back. The scenery behind him looked no different than the front. The trees and forests that he saw from the entrance completely disappeared.

 

‘Not even my footprints are here.’

 

The sand in the Great Desert shifted even to the slightest of winds. The sand hills far away would suddenly collapse or move away. Footprints disappeared without a trace like a ripple in a lake.

If he were to give up now, would he even be able to return?

Impossible.

Quickly coming to that conclusion, Jin shrugged. He felt a little excited at the fact that death was a natural and common occurrence in the desert.

He took a deep breath and continued forward.

The first night was brutal, and the next day’s sun was scorching.

It took a week until it became December 1st of 1796. His canteen no longer made a splashing sound as it dangled on his waist. No oasis in sight either. 

A normal human—an average explorer—would have died. 

The despair he experienced in the Kollon Ruins before Kullam’s descent was worse. Remembering that he succeeded back then, Jin remained determined to walk forward.

—When the third mirage ends, release your spiritual energy. Then, the Illustrious Legend Tribe will appear. 

Enduring the Great Mythra Desert was a trial to inherit Shadow Blade. Fighting against nature inherently meant that he was fighting against a god. Jin realized what this ‘test’ truly meant. 

He only had a few drops of water left, and each step felt heavier and heavier. 

However, he continued to pace forward.

 

“Huh.”

 

The first mirage appeared when he completely emptied his canteen. Not a single drop remained. 

Could he even say that was a mirage?

 

“Nice to see you, Brother. You finally found us.”

“Man, I wanted to see you so bad. Without you in the main house, our life was so boring…”

 

Out of nowhere, he heard the Tona Twins. Their voices were so clear that he couldn’t treat it as a hallucination. 

 

‘It’s just some tricks. It’s fake.’

 

Just a few seconds ago, his surroundings were only filled with sand and sky. It was impossible for the Tona Twins to appear before him. The only other plausible explanation was that he was faced with a hallucination.

However, the Tona Twins walked towards him, leaving clear footsteps in the sand. 

Moreover, the colossal sword and chainsword that they wielded emitted aura alongside their killing intent towards Jin.

 

‘Oh, so it wasn’t just any mirage… It’ll be difficult if all three mirages are like this.’

 

Jin slowly drew Bradamante and gathered his aura.




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