Chapter 704 – An Egg’s Fate
The egg passed through the black smoke and dust formed from the volcanic ash and hurled into the air. Its upward velocity gradually decreased before finally coming to a halt and falling downwards into the embrace of the earth.
With a bang, it smashed into the grey, rocky ground, leaving behind a ditch.
A few hours ago, the volcano subsided, the lava slowly cooled, and the volcanic ash settled down. The egg laid quietly in the ditch.
Smack! A droplet of water landed on the ground. Swish! A storm descended.
White mist from the rainwater permeated the surroundings. When the rain fell into the crater, it evaporated into steam. Streaks of white steam and smoke emerged from each volcano, like warning beacons.
The volcanic cluster that originally symbolised terror and destruction actually possessed a wondrous, otherworldly aura, except the air became even stuffier and more humid than before.
When the rain let up slightly, over a dozen figures appeared on the ground. They only wore shorts, their exposed figures strong and robust. Their yellowish-brown skin was covered in colour. Who knew whether they were tattoos or drawings, giving off a savage and wild aura.
The Mist province had always been known as the land of the southern barbarians, and the people who lived in the jungle of the Mist province were obviously known as barbarians. All of the barbarians carried a basket on their backs. They held a long pole in their hands, where the tip was a metal hook.
At first sight, they seemed like a group of scavengers; this was not far off from the reality. However, they did not scavenge garbage or trash, but the rocks that erupted from the volcanoes.
The “scavengers” scattered, having a separate region to themselves. They all bent over and widened their eyes, searching across the ground. They used their poles to pry around before scooping items up and rubbing them firmly. If they were regular rocks, then they would directly cast them aside. If they possessed a shine or a sparkly gleam, they would beam with joy and toss it into the basket on their backs.
The volcanic cluster was a dangerous land of death, but there were many precious mineral resources too. Metals that the flames of the earth had smelted were materials for forging powerful weapons. They could even potentially find priceless items like fire spiritual stones and fire crystals.
At this moment, a young barbarian in the distance discovered something strange. The thing was only the size of a palm, and it felt weightless in his hand. There were some strange patterns on its surface, like a bundle wrapped in flowery cloth. The strangest part about it was fire could not burn it, and water could not wet it either. Not even a speck of dust stuck to it.
Even a barbarian with limited knowledge could sense how special it was—it was the Asura Field. The Asura Field had been close to the phoenix egg; both had erupted out from the volcano. However, the Asura Field could truly be considered as a proper arcane treasure now, with its wonders withdrawn and hidden away. Let alone mortals, even regular cultivators might not necessarily be able to see through its functions.
“C’mere, c’mere. Look at what this is,” the young barbarian called out.
The tone of his voice was strange, but the language he used was no different from the one in the Green province. Although this world was much vaster than Earth, there were not that many languages. Even daemons spoke the same tongue.
A group of barbarians huddled over and expressed their opinions about the Asura Field, but they were unable to tell exactly what it was either. Someone suggested to the young barbarian to pry it open and take a look. Perhaps it was hiding something good.
The young barbarian refused, afraid of breaking it, but he gave into everyone’s urging and pulled at it gently. Obviously, nothing happened to the Asura Field. It led to a roar of laughter, laughing at how he could not even pry apart a bundle and how useless he was.
“All of you, shut up!” The young barbarian gritted his teeth and used all the strength in him to pull, but still nothing happened to the Asura Field. The laughter became even more intense.
“Let me!” The sturdiest barbarian snatched the Asura Field over. His face reddened like a tomato, but the end result was no different. In the end, several barbarians worked together, but they were still unable to do anything to it, which confirmed that it was something extraordinary. Eventually, they returned it to the young barbarian. Everyone was envious of his luck.
The oldest barbarian said, “Kiddo, hang onto it. You might be able to exchange it for quite a lot of good things.”
The barbarians returned and continued their search. They all widened their eyes a little more, hoping they could have the same luck. A while later, another person called out, gathering everyone over.
The barbarian had discovered a strange rock. The rock was even larger than a person’s head, and it was round like an egg.
“Isn’t this just a rock?” a barbarian said unhappily.
His luck had not been too good. Not only had he failed to discover anything strange, but he even happened to collect the fewest amount of minerals.
“No, this is an egg! When I first picked it up, it even moved!” The barbarian who discovered the rock said with the utmost confidence.
The two of them bickered, almost breaking out into a fight. In the end, they asked the old barbarian to appraise it. After holding and examining the egg for a while, he concluded from his many years of collecting rocks that this was a regular rock hardened from lava. It only happened to be shaped like an egg.
“Kiddo, you better save your strength! Toss it away!”
Everyone scattered in a hubbub. The barbarian looked at the stone egg in his hand and still felt it looked like an egg. At the very least, it was an egg before it became a rock. However, since the old barbarian had said it was worthless, he hesitated for a moment before tossing it back into the ditch. If he brought this stone egg with him, he could not take a lot of minerals with him.
A while later, the earth shook. Another volcano nearby began erupting, and the barbarians all dispersed from the region. The barbarian who had picked up the stone egg earlier passed by the ditch again. He glanced at it and stopped, picking up the egg again.
The barbarians retreated down the mountain. Unfolding before them was a boundless blue sea. The rising and falling terrain were like waves in the sea, while this barren cluster of volcanoes was a lone island in the ocean.
They arrived on the “coastline” and dove into the seawater, crossing through like fish that had returned to the ocean. They moved through the jungle briskly, parting the annoying wide leaves and following a tiny path that was enveloped in greenery, almost indistinguishable from the rest of the forest.
There were very few proper pathways in the Mist province. Most of them were like this tiny path. Even if the obstructing plants were hacked away, they would grow back in just a few days. If a path was not frequently travelled, the greenery would quickly swallow it again.
Very soon, a village surrounded in wooden stockades appeared before their eyes, and they all eased up. There were always various dangers among the trees. The village still brought the most relief.
The stone egg and the Asura Field laid in separate baskets, entering the barbarian’s stockaded village.
Several days later, a ground of several dozen people arrived before the village. They were armed with weapons and dressed in the same manner as regular barbarians. They tied a bandana to their heads, and they had a pouch over their shoulders. They gave off a feeling that they were highly capable.
They sat on top of over a dozen pack animals that resembled oxen and horses. The powerful animals emerged from the jungle on a path with ease. In particular, the leading pack animal was the tallest and sturdiest. The person who sat on it was the leader of these people.
He seemed to be forty or fifty years old. His coarse face was weather-beaten, while his grizzling hair had been tied into a huge braid. His eyes shone brightly, and the large pair of glistening, golden earrings on his ears were particularly eye-catching.
“Open up! Goldie is here!”
“Gold earrings” called out like he was singing. His voice was extremely penetrative, reaching across the entire village very soon.
“The merchants from Goldie fort are here!” “Open the gates!”
A series of yells rang out of the village, and the gates opened loudly. People lined the streets to welcome them as the merchants entered proudly.
The barbarians who collected rocks a few days ago all laid out their rocks, inviting the merchants to pick through them. The merchants took out various goods for exchange.
Gold earrings was currently drinking with the old village head when a subordinate suddenly entered and said to Gold earrings, “Sir, please go and take a look. They’ve discovered a wondrous item.”
“Oh? What wondrous item?”
Gold earrings stood up immediately. Some precious minerals would appear from the volcanic cluster from time to time. His mission was to travel around the volcanic cluster and visit over a dozen villages before transporting everything he had exchanged for to the Fragrant Flower market to be sold. Once he completed this trade, he could make a tenfold profit. However, during the several decades he had spent in this business, there were not a lot of items that could be described as wondrous.
“I don’t know. It seems to be made out of cloth… but no one is sure… They don’t know its function either!”
Gold earrings was taken aback. The men under his command could be regarded as knowledgeable and experienced, yet they could not even identify what it was made of, so he could not help but have his interest piqued. He went over to take a look, and his eyes immediately lit up. He did not know its function, but from the material alone, it was anything but ordinary. Was it perhaps a spiritual artifact?
Despite his well-established inner force, he was unable to see any glow at all, but he was prepared. He took out a tiny insect from the pouch on his waist, and the insect flew over to the Asura Field, but it did not respond. He immediately became disappointed.
The young barbarian held a demonstration in a hurry. He swung the blade he carried on his waist at the Asura Field a few times, and the Asura Field obviously remained unscathed.
“To be wrapped in such great cloth, there must be something good inside. It’s worth a lot of money!”
Gold earrings hesitated, but he still ended up paying a pot of salt and a blade for the wondrous item of unknown function. The wondrous item had definitely been refined through special means. Perhaps it could fetch a great price at the Fragrant Flower market. And, even if that failed, he would not be incurring a loss with how much of a smooth talker he was.
The barbarian accepted the pot of salt and the blade happily. When the merchants were about to leave, a barbarian rushed over to the front and raised the stone egg high into the air.
“It’s a good egg! A good egg! I don’t want any blades, just salt!”
He had brought back this stone egg after so much difficulty, but in the end, he was unable to sell it. Seeing how his fellow villager had obtained a pot of salt so easily, how could he simply accept this?
Gold earrings accepted the stone egg and took a look. There were no signs of polishing; it was as if it was naturally formed. He placed it by his ear and listened before tapping it a few times. The sound was dense, so it did not seem to be hollow. Even if it really were an egg, it was a dead egg.
“This was found with the bundle. It had erupted from the volcano. It’s definitely something good. It’s a loss if you don’t buy it!”
Gold earrings made up his mind and ordered, “Give him a pot of salt!”