"A year ago, I could carry you on my back." Iver hears Kresi say to Kyo. "Now, you are shooting up at a scary speed. There is no rush to grow that tall."
Iver look at Kresi. Has she looked at her reflection lately? Before entering the cursed realm, she looked around 13 or 14. Suddenly, she has more womanly curves. Her hair is also long. She looks around 20 now. Ehr has changed her body. She has grown into a full adult. She is a little taller too. How much time did they spend inside the cursed realm?
Deia hasn't changed at all. It's not surprising. The cursed realm cannot affect the people who can't channel the ehr. Just like that, he hasn't been affected either. Time stops for people who can't manipulate ehr inside the cursed realm. Time races for people who can channel the corrupted ehr inside the cursed realm until they become insane and become a warped creature. He has seen that happens a lot of time. Even those who get tainted outside the cursed realm show similar symptoms.
That means both of them have absorbed the corrupted ehr.
He scrutinizes both figures walking side by side. His gaze lays down on Kyo's right arm. What are these two?
"I am tired." Deia turns around and shouts at Iver. "Hey, we have been walking for a while. It's snowing now. We are still humans. I don't want to get buried under the snow. How far is it?"
Iver sighs. This Seer is an annoying one. Was she raised like a princess or something? He is surrounded by little complaining teenagers and an ugly spirit beast that only sees him as food.
"The cities are beneath our feet."
When they hear him, their eyes turn downward. There is only snow beneath their feet. A distant loud howl startles them all. They look into the darkness. The howl is followed by the grumbles of their stomachs.
"They caught our scent." Iver wonders if it could get any worse. "We have to find the entrance soon."
"Yay! Food!" Mogrok jumps around in happiness. "Master, can I go and hunt down a few? We can cook them and eat before we go further."
"That sounds like an excellent idea." Deia claps her hands. "Mogrok, I am starting to like you."
"I want to catch them for my master." He snarls at Deia. "You can eat snow."
"Kresi." Deia looks at Kresi, teary-eyed.
"Wait a second." Kresi turns to Iver. "How far is the entrance to the city?"
"I have never been to this area of the middle realm." Iver can't see any trekking mark. It's probably the eastern side that's full of the wild ice type beasts and spirits. They are coming for them as they speak. Why is he not afraid when he should be? He glances at the most excited member of their group. The little spirit beast's eyes are flaming with excitement.
"Usually, people come to the middle realm through gates. There is only one working gate currently in the centre of the 9 underground cities. The couriers have created a small gate in the southern part of the middle realm. We have to walk for two days o get to that gate."
Three teenagers stare at him with blankly. Everyone has this question in their eyes. 'Two days of walk on the land full of snow and no sunlight?'
Mogrok squeals in happiness when he sees the big delicious beasts running toward him. "Master, can I?"
"Go ahead," Kresi tells him with a tired voice. "Catch the good ones."
Sitting around the fire, four humans and a spirit beast are eating the meat of the ones who made the howls in the dark.
Iver picks up the horn of the mid-ranked ice type spirit. "We can sell it in the middle realm."
Kresi glances at Mogrok. He has cleaned up the area and eaten all the cores of the spirit beasts. He didn't leave one for Kyo. Kyo doesn't like eating meat as much as he likes eating the cores. Mogrok doesn't think of anyone when it comes to food.
"Master, can I go and eat more?" Mogrok licks his lips. "I will gather more horns."
"Just sit here and eat quietly." She glares at him. "Aren't you full already? How many did you eat?"
"Only 156." He gnaws on the rib bone. "Mid ranked beasts are better than low graded humans."
Deia wonders if there is any spirit beast left in the area. If he goes again, he might eat all the spirit beasts of the middle realm.
"Iver, which part of the city is beneath us now?" Kresi asks an odd question. Iver takes it as a childish curiosity.
"It should be either the 3-star city or the 5-star city." He pauses for a moment. "We are closer to 3-star city, I think."
The underground cities are ranked by stars. Each city specializes in a specific trade. 1-star city is the main city and home of the lord of the 9 cities. It's famous for entertainment. 9-star city is the slave city where they make slaves fight each other. The 3-star city is the casino city and the 5-star city is the city where they sell spirit beasts and humanoids creatures.
"Ah, I see." She stretches her arms. A cunning smile creeps up on her face. Iver doesn't like that look.
"Why do you ask?" Iver has a bad feeling in his heart.
"You said that it's beneath our feet." She stomps her feet on the snow a few times.
"It is beneath our feet, but we can't break through the ground." He laughs at her. "Don't even think about it."
It's impossible to break through the ground into the city. It's the underground city of Lord Bagoodi. Even if they make a hole through the ground, there are countless spells on the roof of the underground city.
"Kyo, move back."
Kyo nods and steps away from her. Sensing something is going to get crazy, Deia also moves away from her.
"This is stupid." Iver laughs at her foolishness. Even if she is a Mirin, she is only a little girl. There is no way that she can make a hole to underground cities.
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