As one glanced over the endless plain as far as the eye could see, there was only a monotonous black color. Against the background of the somewhat dark sky, a depressive atmosphere that caused one to feel fretful shrouded the plain. In this somewhat strange place, it was little wonder why those chaotic rules were born.
A black shadow suddenly shot out from the distance on this quiet plain. The speed of the black shadow was extremely quick. As it flashed, it appeared to be teleporting. However, each time a foot landed on the ground, it would bring about a muffled thunder explosion. The explosive sound formed a ripple shape that spread on the plain, and gradually became distant.
While the human figure ran at his maximum speed, he suddenly lifted his head slightly and revealed a delicate and handsome young face. He was Xiao Yan who had shuttled from thousands of kilometers away. The current him was frowning as he watched the vast plain. He softly muttered, “This damn place really causes people to feel constrained, but why is it that I have yet to see anyone after having entered into this plain for such a long time?”
“Continue heading forward. I think that it is likely that Hai Bodong has never come here before. Therefore, the map which he gave you does not have the exact route on the Great Plain of the Black Region. Now, we can only enter some small town on the plain and then purchase a map of this place.” Yao Lao said somewhat uncertainly. He was similarly unfamiliar with this place, having only heard some information about it.
“Yes.” Xiao Yan helplessly nodded and could only continue burying his head and hurrying along bitterly.
“That’s right, little fellow. I will remind you once again. In this ‘Black-Corner Region’, don’t have too much compassion. In here, that thing is something which is thrown into the smelly gutters. If you have it, there won’t be even the slightest bit of benefit for you. Instead, it will drag you into a quagmire.” Yao Lao suddenly reminded him once again.
“Killing a chicken to warn the monkeys is the best tactic here.”
TL: Killing a chicken to warn the monkeys – Hurting someone to set the example so that others are warned.
Xiao Yan smiled faintly and said, “I am not some excessively good person, neither am I a saint who is full of compassion. It is not my turn to perform those great things like rescuing the suffering of the world. I am only thinking of letting myself become stronger and then go and protect the people whom I should protect. I am in no mood nor am I qualified to bother about others.”
“That is the best attitude to survive within the ‘Black-Corner Region.” Yao Lao smiled upon hearing this as he sighed in relief. He similarly did not hope that his student was that kind of soft hearted saint. This was because he knew that these kinds of people were those that would most likely not live for long.
Instead of becoming a saint with a short life, he would rather Xiao Yan be an evil person who would choose to use vicious, and all sorts of underhanded means in order to protect the people whom he should protect.
Xiao Yan sighed. He continued to lower his head and charge forward. After continuing to run for nearly half an hour, a small black dot faintly appeared within his sight. As he moved closer, this black dot also gradually expanded. Bits and pieces of white colored tents appeared within Xiao Yan’s sight. The place was actually a small sized tribal camp.
As he heard those sound of people faintly being transmitted from the tents, Xiao Yan sighed in relief within his heart. His feet pressed gently on the ground and his body was like a black shadow which ran over toward that small tribal camp.
After running for nearly two to three minutes, the tribal camp finally completely appeared in Xiao Yan’s eyes. He gradually slowed his body down and slowly walked toward the outside of the main entrance of the tribal camp.
Xiao Yan’s gaze swept all around him when he came into such close contact. He realized that this tribal camp was actually not very small. There were nearly one hundred large and small tents placed one after another. Hearing the noise that repeatedly sounded from within it, the human traffic here appears quite good.
Xiao Yan walked closer to the main entrance of the tribal camp when his expression suddenly changed. His feet abruptly took one step back as a long arrow abruptly broke through the air and shot over. It was violently inserted into the grass in front of him. From the tail of the arrow which was swaying repeatedly, one could see that the person who released the arrow definitely did not have any intention of leaving anyone alive.
After Xiao Yan dodged the long arrow, a soft surprised ‘hey’ sounded from the fences of the tribal camp not far away.
“I am only passing through here and planning only to restock my supply. What do you mean by this?” Xiao Yan coldly glanced at a certain spot at the fences and coldly cried out.
“Chi, don’t tell me you are a novice who has just entered the ‘Black-Corner Region’? You actually don’t even know the rule that you must hand over the road fees one hundred meters away before you enter the tribal camp?” A human figure leaped onto the top of the fences. When he heard these words of Xiao Yan, he was initially startled before he immediately appeared to have understood something. He raised his eyebrows and a strange expression swiftly flashed across his eyes.
Xiao Yan frowned, road fees?
“Five hundred gold coins. Hurry up. Don’t act so slowly and waste my time. Don’t tell me that you cannot even afford to pay for the road fees?” Seeing Xiao Yan’s hesitating manner, the strange expression in that man’s eyes grew even more magnificent. His voice was instead a little slower as he urged.
“What a strange rule.” Xiao Yan sighed in his heart. He flicked his hand and a bag of gold coins appeared in his hand. After which, he threw it over to the man. The latter hurriedly received it. He carefully counted once before waving his hand and cried out in a dry voice, “Open the gate.”
Upon hearing this voice, the broken wooden door of the tribal camp immediately began creaking as it was opened. It revealed the road within it and the human flow coming and going.
“Come in, novice fellow.” That skinny man parted his mouth and laughed as he spoke with a smile.
Xiao Yan frowned slightly. It was really as Yao Lao had said. This ‘Black-Corner Region’ did not have many ordinary people. His hand held the hilt of the ruler on his shoulders and he raised the caution in his heart as he slowly walked toward the main entrance and before striding in.
Once he entered the tribal camp, the roads which were formed by the tents appeared in his eyes. There were various different kinds of booths that were displayed outside of the tents with many strange and unique items placed on them. At this moment, there were also quite a number of people carrying weapons in their hands as they walked around the place.
“I should first go and find if there are any maps being sold.” Xiao Yan repeated in his heart. He had just entered the street when a human figure flashed in front of him. Immediately, three men carrying shining knives in their hands blocked him while wearing a thick dark smile on their faces.
“Hei, I will tell you, novice who has just arrived at the ‘Black-Corner Region’. Today, let me teach you the first rule within the ‘Black-Corner Region’. That is don’t let others easily see that you are a novice who has just arrived.” An awful trumpet like laughter sounded from behind him. Xiao Yan turned around to take a look. The skinny man who had shot the arrow from earlier was holding a bow and arrow in his hand. The sharp arrow on the bow was aimed at Xiao Yan from a distance.
“Hand over all the things on you. Your money, weapons or any other things. Hand over everything you have. If my mood is good, I may only keep one arm of yours as a price for you making a mistake.” The skinny man parted his mouth and laughed.
“It is indeed worthy of being the ‘Black-Corner Region’. It is just unfortunate that no matter how a group of grasshopper jumped, they are at the end of the day still grasshoppers.” Xiao Yan’s gaze swept over the street in front of him and spoke. At the moment, the group of people on the street has also discovered the situation here. However, there was not a single person who stepped forward to help Xiao Yan ease out of the situation. Instead, each and everyone hugged their arms. Their faces were mocking as though they were watching a performance.
“Little fellow, you have finally understood after experiencing it personally, right? What that fellow said is correct. Don’t let anyone see your background or bottomline within the ‘Black-Corner Region’. In this place there are no so called good people so don’t hope that those in the audience would step forward to help. It is already very unexpected that they didn’t add insult to injury by coming over and hacking at you a couple of times.” Yao Lao’s voice sounded in Xiao Yan’s heart.
Xiao Yan nodded slightly. His hand slowly gripped the hilt of the Heavy Xuan Ruler.
When they saw Xiao Yan’s action, the faces of the three people blocking in front of Xiao Yan immediately turned cold. They did not say any unnecessary words. The knives in their hands directly hacked ferociously toward Xiao Yan’s neck in front of them. Their attacks were extremely vicious.
“Bang, bang, bang.”
The sharp blades had yet to reach their targets when a black shadow suddenly flashed passed. The dark and cold expressions of the three people instantly became pale. Their bodies appeared to have been smashed by a huge hammer as they were suddenly smashed into a tent behind them. Fresh blood dyed the white-colored tent until it was extremely eye-piercing.
In a split second, three of his companions were struck heavily. An appalled and ruthless feeling flashed across the eyes of that skinny man. The bow in his hand was about to move when a black shadow suddenly appeared behind him. A thick low voice softly sounded, “In the future, before you strike, you better clearly distinguish the gap between both parties. However, I think that you may not have a next time.”
“Glug!” As the words fell, the black ruler heavily smashed into the back of that man. Immediately, a mouthful of fresh blood mingled with internal organs which had been shattered by the enormous force was vomited out.
Xiao Yan’s expression was indifferent as he eyed the person who fell down softly. He flipped his hand and inserted the Heavy Xuan Ruler onto his back. After which, he slowly walked on the street. The faces of those people in the human crowd which were originally filled with ridicule suddenly became dull for an instant when they saw him enter. They then hurriedly hid their expressions, and allowed the human figure carrying some scent of blood to float past in front of them.
Only when Xiao Yan slowly disappeared around the corner of the street did the crowd here recover the liveliness from before. They smiled as they eyed the corpses which were plummeted at the main entrance. There was no pity within their eyes. They simply praised, “Hei, this young man is really ruthless enough. He acted decisively, and actually did not have the slightest hesitation when he killed people. He’s man enough. Looks like he will be able to live quite comfortably within the ‘Black-Corner Region’.”
At this moment, Xiao Yan naturally did not know that due to his ruthless means, he had won such high praise. It looks like the flowery words that Yao Lao had mentioned were indeed true.
After Xiao Yan walked along a few streets which were not considered to be too long for a couple of times, he was disappointed to realize that this small tribal camp actually did not have any maps being sold.
Xiao Yan shook his head, feeling depressed. Just as he planned to find someone to ask for a rough route, a somewhat fat human figure suddenly appeared in front of him. The man’s face was full of smiles.
“Mister, you are intending to buy maps, right? Earlier, I saw you inquiring all the way here.” The fatty smiled and spoke in front of Xiao Yan.
“You have one?” Xiao Yan glanced at this fat stranger and asked blandly.
“I am a merchant who walks on this Great Plains of the Black Region. Naturally, I must carry the most precise map.” The fat man smiled again as he replied.
“What’s the price?” There was still not the slightest fluctuation in Xiao Yan’s voice. In this ‘Black-Corner Region’, there was no free lunch.
“Ke ke, I will tell Mister something honest. In this Great Plains of the Black Region’, even if you possessed a map, you would also have difficulty finding your exact destination. This is because there will occasionally be a Black Storm that covers the sky and blots out the sun occurring on the plains. During such times, a map is useless. Only those people who have great experience can successfully walk out of the Black Storm. However, I think that Mister, being a newcomer, should not have such experience, right?”
The fatty shook his head and said with another smile, “I shall not beat around the bush with you. Earlier, at the entrance to the tribal camp, I notice that your strength is not bad. Therefore, I want to hire you to be a guard of my mercenary group. If your aim is to pass through this Great Pains of the Black Region, and enter into the inner ‘Black-Corner Region’, you can accompany me on the journey. However, as the compensation for leading you out of the Great Plains, you must help out a little when my mercenary group meets some trouble. What do you think?”
Xiao Yan knit his eyebrows slightly together when he heard this. In his heart, he cautiously asked, “Teacher, is it really as he has said?”
“Uh. The Great Plains of the Black Region is indeed known for its Black Storm. People without great experience will really lose their direction. It is said that an unlucky fellow back then was hurrying on with his journey within a Black Storm. In the end, he moved over half a circle around the Great Plains and ended up dying of fatigue.” Yao Lao hesitated for a moment before continuing, “If you want to pass through the Great Plains of the Dark Region, you can really save a lot of trouble if you travel with an experienced merchant group.”
“Ke ke, the destination of our mercenary company is the ‘Black Mark City’ within the inner part of the ‘Black-Corner Region’.The annual Great Auction Fair will be held the day after tomorrow at that place. Therefore, I need to increase the strength of my defense and seize the time to hurry over. Otherwise, I will also not find an unfamiliar person.” The fatty smiled and explained the somewhat presumptuous action of his.
“Great Auction Fair?” Xiao Yan’s heart moved slightly when he heard this name. The most attractive thing within the ‘Black-Corner Region’ were those mysterious items that left people speechless. Each time the auction was held, it would attract a countless number of people to bid for the items.
Xiao Yan once again mused for a moment in his heart. He then ceased hesitating and nodded.
“Let’s have a pleasant collaboration. You can call me Duo Ma.” Seeing that Xiao Yan nodded his head, the fatty immediately sigh in relief. He smiled extended his hand toward Xiao Yan.
“Yao Yan.” Xiao Yan careless shook the other person’s fat hand as he said indifferently.