With everything taken care of, I said "I'm leaving now. Take care of yourself, and train well. I will find you, when I come back". Crow smiled, and replied "I will manage. You take care of yourself. Although you broke through your Inner Limits, don't try to act invincible. You always had a knack for getting into trouble. Watch out when you go back to the South". I nodded, and waved my hand, then left.
My journey in the North ended, at least for now. 'Time to go back, and deal with the stuff in the Great Forest' I thought, as I left Olrad. My journey back to the Great Forest, was very peaceful and quick. I no longer wasted time, wandering around the North. I soon saw the borderline, that separated the North from the South. "It's been a while, since I last appeared here", I said to myself.
I walked up to the barrier, and extended my right arm. I could feel some disturbance, but my arm passed through it, without much of a struggle. After my arm, followed my whole body. A glaring sun hit my face, and brought back many memories. 'That's right, there is sun and moon here. I haven't seen them in a very long time' I thought, and marched forwards. My destination this time, was the village my mother came from, the Asturb Village. 'Time to pay a visit to my family' I thought, and speed up towards my destination.
I was about 3 weeks worth of travel, away from Asturb Village. With my current pace, I would get there in about two weeks. I was much faster than any horse could be. So it was pointless for me to even own one now. Having a horse would be nice in the past, but I would have to care for it. Feed it, let it rest when it got tired, and so on. Especially since I carried so much stuff with me. 'Which horse could even carry all that weight? No wonder I never got a horse. Now, it's completely pointless anyway' I thought.
After about a week of travel, I encountered a Human camp. They were probably heading towards the North, but it was none of my concern. I sped past their camp, and disappeared in the distance. Someone tried to follow me, but with my speed, nothing or no one who didn't break through their Inner Limits, could. I found a few more of such camps on my way. 'Weird. In the past, there didn't seem to be so many people here. Why are they here now?' I thought. As I was approaching another camp, I decided to slow down, and find out.
I slowly walked towards the camp, and noticed a few Humans sitting there. They were resting, eating food and whatnot. When they finally noticed me, one of them shouted "Who goes there?!". I smiled, and replied "Don't worry, I have no ill intentions. I only want to ask something". All of them stood up, and the leading person, which was a woman, asked "What do you want to ask?".
I asked "I don't remember seeing so many people in these parts, in the past. Did something happen?". She looked at me confused, and asked "You don't know?". I smiled, and said "I was busy, it's how I can put it. I have no idea why there are so many people here". She thought about it, and said "I can tell you, but you will pay for the information". I waved my hand, and said "I'm not that interested". Then walked towards my destination.
One of the people from that group shouted "Did you perhaps return from the North?". I didn't stop, and simply continued on my way. I was only curious a bit, it didn't matter to me that much. I soon encountered another camp, and thought 'It wouldn't hurt to try one more time. It's on my way as well'. I approached the group, and asked the same question. This time, the male leader said "You don't know? There is a huge competition. If you come from that direction, then you must've encountered other camps". I asked "What sort of competition?".
The guy said "The Royal Family issued a sort of challenge to us, the younger generation. Those who stay in the North for two months, and return with significant trophies, will be recruited to the Royal services. There are many roles to choose from as well. Even the ability to train as Royal Warriors. That is the main prize, where only a couple of teams, will be able to get that opportunity. Everyone is mostly aiming for that".
I asked "What sort of "significant trophies" are we talking about?". He replied "Stuff like currency of the North, their techniques, tools and so on. Even wild beasts are counted. Their skins or more valuable parts can be exchanged for points. As long as something is of value, it is counted towards the overall score". 'Interesting. I wonder why the Royal Family would do that now. I have a hunch as to why, but… it might be wrong' I thought. I decided to ask for a reason. "Any reason for such competition?". He nodded, and said "Yea, the Royal Family will be choosing the new Emperor next year. All the princes are looking for good people to support them. They also need warriors, assistants and so on. That is why, the competition happens now".
'There is more to that, than simple competition. But, it doesn't really concern me. It's good to know that anyway' I thought. I remembered something, and asked "What's the current date?". The guy looked at me confused, and said "It's year 619 of the Endrosian Calendar. Today is the 12th day of the Spring". I smiled, and thanked him. I then took out a Black Hal, and said "Catch", then threw it to him. He caught it, and said "This is... ". I started walking, and said "Have a nice trip to the North".
'I'm almost 29 years old. I've been to the North for almost 5 years. Time passed so quickly, when there was no sun and moon around' I thought. When I thought about it, I almost became a middle aged man. Although I still looked quite young. My beard and long hair, didn't help my young man image. Of course those things could be trimmed, and I would look like any 20 year old youngster.
'I wonder if Trek is still alive?' I thought, as I increased my pace towards the Asturb Village. I travelled like this for over a week, until I was quite close to the village. I decided to rest just in case, and go inside the next day. I woke up the next day, and walked straight into the village. Some villagers tried to stop me, but were unable to.
5th chapter of the week, and a new Volume. Hope you enjoyed the novel so far, and stay till the end.
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