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130 – Strange Calls
Two days pa.s.sed in an instant. The knight squad set out once more, heading towards the north of the Thorns Ridge. The successful suppression of the south of the Thorns Ridge roused the moral of the team. The young and tender faces of the retainer knights even carried a trace of killing aura.
However, the main force of the suppression team were not the retainer knights, nor Marcus or Liszt. Instead, it was Tremblingwoods.
It turned warlike and energetic, almost tireless. Whether it was something as small as a squirrel or as big as the magic beast Ice Tree Frog, all were trampled on by it.
The low-ranked magic beast Ice Tree Frog, in particular, crouched on a tree branch as it released its magic, ‘Iceblades’, and randomly bombarded Tremblingwoods. However, Tremblingwoods even climbed up the tree, which it learned by itself. Even with the Ice Tree Frog jumping madly about, it was still caught by Tremblingwoods and bitten to death. It didn’t even have to use Rockthorns.
The graceful bearing of king of the Thorns Ridge’s had already taken form.
“Even if Tremblingwoods isn’t a mid-ranked magic beast, it isn’t far away either. Sir, It’s fighting strength is getting stronger and stronger, I feel like it’s still growing stronger.” Said Marcus in admiration as he watched Tremblingwoods hold the Ice Tree Frog between its fangs. While wagging its tail, it eagerly placed the spoils of war beside Blackdragon.
Raising a strong, loyal, and brave magic beast was indeed practical.
Liszt happily threw Tremblingwoods a fried cutlet as reward. Tremblingwoods was a picky eater. It didn't eat anything raw. It like fried food the most.
“At first, I thought that the Bloodline Fruit failed to change its bloodline, that it was still a Violent Dog. But now, things don’t seem that simple. Teacher Marcus, don’t you think that over the past two days since entering the Thorns Ridge, Tremblingwoods has become a size bigger?”
“It really is a size bigger. Currently, Tremblingwoods is as big as a tiger.”
An adult Violent Dog could at most reach the size of a leopard. However, Tremblingwoods was now as big as a tiger, and it still was growing.
Liszt waved his hand and Tremblingwoods scurried away, continuing with the hunt.
“In any case, Tremblingwoods is only half a year old, it still hasn’t reached adulthood, yet it’s already this strong. Once it reaches adulthood, magic beasts below the mid-rank might no longer be a match for it.” In general, although magic beasts developed faster, yet Tremblingwoods was clearly developing even faster than normal. Liszt had never maltreated it or skimping on its meals.
Compared with ordinary magic beasts in the the woods, which ate raw food to satiate their hunger, Tremblingwoods had been eating cooked food, which had a higher nutritional efficiency. When it was less than three months old, it could release its magic, and when it was half a year old, it could best adult magic beasts. After eating the Bloodline Fruit, its body swelled and its magic power surged. It could trample on low-ranked magic beasts.
Once Tremblingwoods reached adulthood, apart from the Purple Sand Crocodile, no other magic beast of the Coral Island would be its match.
As they talked, Tremblingwoods found yet another magic beast. It was a huge Thundertusk Boar followed by four small Thundertusk Boars.
In all likelihood, the Thundertusk Boar they met in the south of the Thorns Ridge was part of this family.
Faced with Tremblingwoods, the big boar was quite violent, yet Tremblingwoods was far more cunning than imagined. It rushed into the midst of the small boars and unleashed a ma.s.sacre.
It didn’t confront the big boar head on.
After the big boar depleted its magic power from indiscriminately unleashing its magic Thunderbolt Flash, Tremblingwoods started to hara.s.s it by releasing Rockthorns. Eventually, it found the opportunity to knock the Thundertusk Boar to the ground. It followed up with a Rockthorns, impaling the Thundertusk Boar’s leg, before reuniting it with the rest of its family.
Marcus had his bow drawn, yet he didn’t got the chance to use it: “The timing of magic release is just right. Tremblingwoods’ intelligence is very high. Sir, your training is very effective.”
Liszt also had nothing to do: “It’s indeed very clever. Magic beasts rely on instinct, while it relies on its brain.” He was getting more and more satisfied with Tremblingwoods.
With Tremblingwoods, the clean-up mission was child’s play.
Marcus didn’t let the retainer knights stay idle either. When they met a lone Windblade Wolf, he asked Liszt to call Tremblingwoods back before having the retainer knights surround and attack the Windblade Wolf: “This is an old, weak Windblade Wolf. Its fur started to fall off. It should have been driven away by its wolf pack and delivered to you.”
Eventually, after three retainer knights sustained injuries, the ten retainer knights killed the Windblade Wolf.
After suspending the game from a tree, the team continued onward.
Seeing as they were going to reach the seaside, it implied that the suppression of the north of the Thorns Ridge was nearing its end. This time’s harvest wasn’t too bountiful. They only managed to hunt one big and four small Thundertusk Boars, one Ice Tree Frog, and one Windblade Wolf, for a total of seven magic beasts. They had also hunted a lot of beasts, but Liszt wasn’t interested in them.
After getting used to magic beast meat, beast meat started to be regarded as subpar.
“Unfortunately, the thorns woods are about to disappear. There is no place for magic beasts to stay in the Flower Town. Afterwards, in order to get magic beast meat, I will have to purchase it from outside.”
Magic beast meat harvested from the suppression of the Thorns Ridge would last him for about half a year.
After finishing it, he would have to spend a lot of money to purchase magic beast meat.
Marcus looked on the bright side: “When the Thorns Ridge is cleared for cultivation, the castle’s tax revenue will increase by a substantial margin. Sir will naturally be able to afford magic beast meat. Besides, at that time, the two kinds of magic ingredients, the Black Tulips and the Flame Mushrooms, will also bring a substantial income. The Flower Town will become more and more prosperous.”
“It’s still necessary to establish more sources of income. In the future, we’ll not only need to eat but also to nurture the knight squad.” The successful hunt of magic beasts left Liszt with ambitions. “I hope that come next expedition decree, my knights will be able to achieve true glory for me! A lord needs more land!”
Marcus’s eyes lit up: “I’m willing to serve Sir!”
Tremblingwoods suddenly called, interrupting the beautiful vision shared by lord and knight.
Liszt seized the opportunity to release Magic Eyes and take a look around. In the distance, he saw a sign of magic power. A magic beast was hiding not too far away.
“I didn’t expect to reach the seaside so soon. We even discovered a magic beast. Tremblingwoods, go.”
After receiving the order, Tremblingwoods lunged towards the magic beast. Evidently, it sensed the magic beast ahead of Liszt.
Liszt and others followed in a measured pace.
From time to time, Tremblingwoods’ and another dog’s calls could be heard.
“I didn’t expect there to be another Violent Dog.” Marcus inferred from the noise that the magic beast was a Violent Dog.
“It’s only normal. For the Violent Dogs to breed in the Thorns Ridge, there cannot be only two or three of them. In fact, I think that there still might be some that slipped through the cracks. It’s impossible for the Thorns Ridge to only have one Shadow Snake or one Ice Tree Frog. There even might be some Wind Peregrine Falcons in the vicinity.”
Liszt continued after a pause: “Of course, that’s only my speculation. Eighteen years ago, before the Flower Town was built, there was a forest there, which was then cleared by the Coral Island Knights. The Shadow Snake and the Ice Tree Frog may have slipped through the cracks at that time… After all, magic beasts can live for a long time.”
Magic beasts had a longer lifespan than ordinary beasts.
In theory, it was possible for them to survive until now. Violent Dogs, Windblade Wolves, and Thundertusk Boars had all found mates and could reproduce. The Shadow Snake and the Ice Tree Frog, their kinds would very likely go extinct, yet their bloodline could still be pa.s.sed down as they could mate with beasts.
There was no absolute reproductive isolation between magic beasts and beasts of the same kind.
Magic beasts could force themselves on beasts. The birth of magic beast type beasts was quite common. Take Liszt’s mount Firedragon as an example, it was the offspring of a magic beast Flame Horse and an ordinary horse.
The reproduction of species had ups and downs.
At times, they would evolve, at other times, they would decline. Magic beasts didn’t always stay magic beasts.
Suddenly, Liszt felt that something was wrong. He didn’t hear Tremblingwoods’ calls. He only heard the other Violent Dog’s calls, yet they seemed a bit strange. The calls did sound wretched, yet they were prolonged, unlike the usual calls of magic beasts being hunted by Tremblingwoods.