The white snows keep falling but since there is Elementalist among them, the snow around them is not that harsh compared to the other part of the Mountain.
White wolves could be seen running around on top of the mountains while the Bears and other monster stay on their caves.
The mountain was high and harsh with white snow colder than ice, and monsters that hides deep beneath the snow.
But this expedition of men did not wander far or high. Not everybody is an Energy Disperse stage expert.
Most of the people in the expeditions were Orb Condensing Stage user. But each of them is fearless and valiant, each steps are like giants, moving with discipline.
They are the military. They are soldiers who followed their revered Emperor.
Jean and his army has been wading the Ice Region with his expedition for three days and now they are walking back home to the base.
In the Westernmost part of the new continent lies a huge mountains of ice with cold energy coiling around the mountains day in day out.
Jean with his power as a Time Lord and once the Emperor of France lead his people and his army to hunt and foraging near the mountains.
Near the foot of the mountains there are some odd looking fruit but can be eaten and there is also some odd looking trees.
But that is only true around the foot of the Mountain.
The top of the mountain is inhabited by high leveled monsters and hordes of wolves and flying creatures that could strike terror in the heart of any man.
In the foot of the mountains there is also some game. Red Horned Rabbits that can endures the cold.
White Horned Chicken with meat as tender as it could be, making anyone drooling saliva if they roast it.
And there is many other types of monsters with meat that can be eaten, roasted, grilled, stew and many other ways to make it edible.
Monsters that can be eaten and not poisonous were stripped for meat while any herbs that they found were stored inside ether bag of holdings.
The base for these expeditions is the Revolutionary Army base. In the front leading the men was Jean.
He was wearing purple armour. On his left finger was a ring that emits heat making his body not affected by the bone biting cold.
Jean was tall for his age. His hair was long reaching his neck with kind of a wavy style. His eyes were blue and his face was pale white.
With each steps, confidence oozes out from him.
And his charisma outshines any other. His face also becomes a lot rugged than the first time he began to live in this world.
The stubbles around his chin only add to his manliness. Behind him was a woman. Paulette the Sniper.
Paulette was strapping herself with her sniper and was guarding her surroundings.
Wearing a combat boot and black knives strapped at her ankles, she looks like a military brat.
And like always she looks as sexy as ever. Usually at camp, her cleavage can be seen. She always wears tight clothing.
Not that jean was complaining. But here at the foot of the mountains, she was wearing thick clothes.
She was not like Jen who has a ring that could dispel cold and it’s not like Jean have that kind of ring lying around.
Her hair is cut short but it didn’t make her look like a man. If anything, that turns on Jean even more.
Jean looked behind him and realized that Paulette is still tense. Well, encountering a 15 foot bear have that kind of effect.
‘You don’t have to be so tense. We are out of the danger zone.’ Jean said as he tossed a flask to her.
Paulette grabbed the flask and then open it and take a sip. Her face scrunched up. Clearly, it was hard on her throat
‘Vodka? Where did you get it?’ She said surprised.
‘Boris.’ Jean replied shortly.
‘Heh. Still tastes like puke. But better than nothing’ she chuckles. And she takes another gulp.
Then she looks in front of her at the falling snow and feel the cold that bites her skin.
She was shivering but she keeps walking. It’s not like she is about to die. With Jean, Paulette doesn’t really have to worry.
They got each other’s backs.
‘Cold?’ Jean said as he notices Paulette shivering.
‘Nothing I can’t handle’ she said as she moves faster.
Jean just chuckles a bit.
‘You. Haish’ he just shakes his head as he moves closer to her and sneakily hold her hand. Paulette realizes that Jean was holding her hand but she did not push it away.
Warmth filled Paulette bodies as she could energy is transferred inside her body, enveloping her skin and dispelling the cold.
Jean realizing that Paulette did not push his hand away smiles likes an idiot.
And then seeing that Paulette is still trying to maintain her calm he planted a surprise kiss on her cheeks.
The soldiers behind them just try as best as they could to try not to see that their Emperor being so intimate with his members of his ministers.
Paulette is after all the Emperor right hand woman and was with him from the beginning when he fled from Marseille and went to conquer Paris.
The Emperor also concocted the plan to conquer Europe with Paulette. Paulette as she felt the warmth on her bodies also began to redden with shyness.
‘Hey!’ Paulette said her voice cracked a bit.
‘People are watching Jean.’
‘Let them watch’ he said smiling. Then Paulette looks at him with a surprised expression. And then she chuckles like she found something interesting.
The snows still fall down heavily, and the wind is still cold like before, but for Jean, his heart is warm as he holds her hand. It’s something he could not explain.
‘What?’ Jean said as he felt that her gaze is a little different from before. Paulette smirked.
‘Hoh. I didn’t know you’re that kind of guy?’
‘What kind of guy?’
‘You like people watching huh?’ Paulette said while smirking naughtily. Then Jean finally understand and his cheek beginning to become red.
‘No, I don’t!’ he said flustered and his men who were behind them were holding in their laughter but smiles could be seen on their faces.
Jean face turned red.
‘You!’ He said.
‘What? You can tease me but I can’t tease you?’ And she chuckles again and make Jean face becomes even redder.
Jean just shakes his head again but not before he was surprised when suddenly she kiss him on the cheeks.
Then she flashed him the most wonderful smiles.
‘Just be patient. When we get home –‘ and she let her words trail off while smiling .
‘What happens when we get home?’ He asked. She closed her distance with him and nibbles his ears and then she whispers at his ears
‘More of this’ and then she moves back from him and moves forward letting go of Jean hand as she walk fast in front.
Jean was smiling and whistling. He and Paulette have been dating since before he became the Emperor of France.
At first they were just sleeping with each other. The sex was great. At first, both of them don’t want to ruin it.
Then they began to develop feeling for each other.
And so, they take a bet. Betting that their relationship can be more. And they both won the bet. Jean did not know what he would do if Paulette is not by his side.
And till now, it has been great. Other than he loses his palace, his whole army, his territory. But, all of that, he can start again. Rebuild.
Holding her hand, he believes in that dream.
A new beginning.
A clean slate.
Here in the westernmost point of the continent, in the coldest region out of all the region in this new brave world, with snows pouring every day, and cold that bite the bones, he believes he can start anew again.
With her by his side, he has hope.
Chasing her in the snow, Jean was determined to carve a new story for him in this place of ice.
THE PLAINS REGION
The whispers of the wind can be heard clearly in the plains, with the wind blowing the tall grass.
The wind on the pains was not harsh like the ice region or bringing insufferable heat like the wind in the desert region.
The wind in the plains is soothing brining the smell of the grass and could cool the body after a day of hunting.
In the middle of the plains, there was about a hundred tent was being pitched. Horses fill the area of the tent with some of the men in that are bringing their horse to rides across the plains.
The tent was simple and rudimentary showing that whoever is the leader of this caravan did not want to stay long here.
Fire pit is everywhere around the tent as the evening is approaching.
Some of the men in that area were practicing swordsmanship, swinging their swords with swords essence flying in the skies
Sometimes laughs could be heard among the soldiers as they joked among each other. In a place near the soldier’s tent, is a ring for people to wrestle.
Some of the soldiers in this group come from Mongolia and some of them are versed in Mongolian wrestling, Bokh.
Some practice their spearmanship, their stabbing motion creates winds and sounds akin like of the wind ripped apart by a powerful force.
Other practices their fighting in horseback.
Looking at their actions and behavior they seem like an army with experience and experience grueling experience.
In the middle of the area was a large tent that could support ten people.
Outside the tent were a few guards. Patrolling the tent making sure no danger will come to that tent.
As they were patrolling suddenly a person came out from the tent.
The man was blonde, blue eyes, lanky and wears a weird kind of robe that reminds them of a magician.
‘Lord Loki’ one of the patrol men was about to accompany Loki when Loki waves his hand to gesture to the patrolmen not to follow him.
Then another man comes out from the tent.
The man was bulky. His face has strong features and he has a beard. His armour was the War God Gold Chain Armour emitting a powerful energy.
His boots was the Cloud Walking Boots.
And at his head was the Phoenix Feather Cap. Inside his ear was the Ruyi Jingu Bang shrinked so that it could be stores there.
‘General Wang!’ The patrolmen also come closer to accompany him but like Loki he waves his hand and said.
‘Return to your post.’ They nodded and return to their post. They all speculated something inside the tent.
There is only two large tents in this area. One of them belongs to General Wang and Loki. The other belongs to Lady Sofia and Lady Sina.
Wang Jian looks at the back of Loki lonely back.
Then he flies using his boot to join Loki. Loki was sitting on large stone nearby a stream. His feet touch the water as the small fish’s plays around his feet.
Loki was depressed after hearing what has transpired these past few weeks.
‘Tch’ he snorted. History is changing too much.
Too much and too fast for him to react.
But then he was reminded something of what the Prince once said to him about time paradox.
All of this has happen before, all of this will happen again.
It was the Prince favorite quote from a TV show that he liked to describe Time paradox.
It might happen faster than it supposed to be but something always stays the same. The time might change but the events remains the same.
Loki after the White Explosion happens was in a daze and confusion, anxiety and nervousness.
Feelings rushed over him like a surging tide.
The white explosion did happen…..but not this fast. It only happens after the Yrinia Event.
And the only reason it would happens if there was something or someone endanger the World Orb.
This is its preservation mode
To be honest, Loki doesn’t know that much about the World Orb. The only one he knows that knows a lot about the World Orb is the Prince and he’s not here.
Loki has prepared very well for the eventual return of the Prince. He has prepared a Civilization Seed for when the Prince would return.
It’s the reason why he sweeps the World Government vault clean. It’s the reason why he grabs all the gold of Yue and Wei.
To buy a Civilization Seed. Actually, the gold was for the preparation after he got the Civilization Seed.
In the future where he came from, the Prince was alone most of the time.
He never establishes any city.
But Sofia in the future stress that he needs to. The only reason that Azief did not become a Sovereign faster was because of his lack of resources.
But the Prince in the future overcomes that lack of resources by becoming robbers and thieves.
Considering that at the time World Government and Revolutionary Army desires to monopolize all the good hunt sites and resources, Azief was backed into a corner.
When he has enough money, he become something of a concierge of crime where he makes people disappears from the clutches of those two organization and brokers jobs for thieves, assassin and criminal organization.
At the height of the World Government power and Revolutionary Army influence the Prince had many clients all of which is notorious criminal and psychopath.
It’s not very noble of him, and he has to do things against his conscience but he did what he had to do to become strong.
The Prince is many things. Brave. Fearless. Powerful. But kind isn’t one of them.
When Azief first become the Sovereign, being able to split the seas and render the heaven apart, he sent his Wraith to capture all those people he used to help.
And he refined their soul to become Dark Knight that guarded the outer entrance of the Underworld.
Some he tortures in his Hells. But that is the Prince of his future. Sofia…doesn’t want him to become like that.
Not if they have the chance this time. From what Loki can tell about the Prince, he seems to be regretting it too, later in his life.
So, he bought the Civilization Seed a long time ago.
He also chooses a perfect place to create city and recruited an army for Azief. The White Tiger army is one of the elite’s cavalry army of Yue and now it belongs to Azief group.
All seems to be well and accounted for.
But then the white explosion happens and all of his plans went down the drain. No one could understand what he is feeling right now.
He was flustered in the few days after the explosion but after that he began reconnaissance with Wang Jian as their scouts.
Since he could fly he could went around the regions. But that takes days for Wang Jian to flies around the region since this continent is absurdly huge.
Fortunately, Loki also has other ways of knowing things. So for a few days, he gathers information with his own way and then he discovers something
It was then that he knew something is terribly wrong.
In the future, Raymond becomes the King of United States. He conquered all the states and become the undisputed ruler of America.
It was that foundation that carves his name in history. The same applies to the other.
Like Jean the Emperor of France or the Tiger of Kai and Dragon of Echigo which was the two undisputed ruler of Japan and even manages to usurp power from the Shogunate and the Imperial Authority.
Then there is Katarina and Boris which created the new Russian Empire. But, this time everything is turned into chaos.
Now countries don’t exist anymore.
Only factions lead by people strong enough to claim the land.
From what he has learned Athena of Athens was seen battling Freya the War Goddess of Norway in the Fire Region on the Mountains of Flame.
They tied against each other and form an alliance to go to the Ice Region where the Oracle is residing now.
The only reason they become leader was because of the death of their leaders.
Rollo and Odin died fighting a Flame Dragon that was startled when Odin and Rollo group was transported there.
In the Ice Region, Bradheim was executed by Katarina because of offending her a year ago.
David the Iron Lord was killed by Boris as David tries to instigate the divide of the Revolutionary Army.
League of Freedom began baring its fang as the leader Narleod was able to create a city in the Forest region.
He has also been recruiting new members.
Fire Arrow Frieda, Warp the Teleportation Master and Water Princess Erin has joined him. This is the same lineup of the League of Freedom in the future only this time, Narleod recruited them faster.
‘Hah’ he sighed as he looked at the setting sun.
Then footsteps could be heard approaching him from behind. The footsteps come near him and stopped.
‘Wang Jian, come to accompany me, looking at the sunset?’ Loki heard a chuckle and Wang Jian sit beside Loki.
‘What are you worrying about, Loki? These past few weeks you keep having the same expression of worry. Sina and Sofia is worried. And I’m worried too. You seem listless. Sina even brew you a Potion of Calmness to calm your nerves.’
‘Are you afraid it would affect my decision making or something?’ Loki said as he chuckles a bit.
‘No…that’s not what I mean. I’m just worried. You can talk to me. If not, you can share with Sina.’
Loki chuckles a bit.
‘Men do not share. They keep their feeling bottled up and die of a heart attack at 40’ and he chuckles as he make a joke.
Wang Jian just shakes his head. Loki always does this.
Wang Jian does not know Loki that well, but from what he knows of Loki, he knows Loki always hides behind his jokes and vague words.
Loki was about to say something but then he shakes his head. Then he release a long sigh like he hold the weight of the world.
‘Just…that…..things didn’t happen the way I wanted to. And that frustrates me. All that planning and it turns to dust’
Wang Jian thought Loki was talking about the heist a few days ago where they were ambushed and outsmarted by the Seven Fairy of the Plains.
‘Hahaha. Rarely things happen the way we wanted it to happen.’ Wang Jian said.
‘That’s true.’ Then for a while both of them just look at the sunset. Loki coughed a bit and then he ask
‘How’s Sofia? Did she improve? She insisted so much, it would be a pity if she did not improve even a bit’
‘Yes. She is a good study’ Wang Jian replies. Then Wang Jian begins complimenting Sofia.
‘I can’t teach her archery since that is her specialty but I could teach her spearmanship and swordsmanship. Having variety of skill is better than having nothing.’
Loki nodded in agreement.
‘True. In the early stage to learn some normal skill you don’t have to do much. You just have to buy the skill at World Orb shop. But as you level up miscellaneous skills like swimming or archery doesn’t really appeal anymore. as we get stronger our ability to learn thing become faster. Not to mention that when we reached a higher stage, we need to imbue our attack with our attributes.’
Wang Jian just nodded. In this group of vagabond, there are only three Energy Disperse Stage users.
Loki is an Energy Disperse High Realm expert with Nine Opening Purification body refinement stage.
Loki decided to forego the other stages since it would take too long.
The only reason he manages to reach that kind of body refinement was because of herbs, pill and consumable artifacts.
If not it would take him two years and a half.
Sofia is also an Energy Disperse Stage High realm expert with Divine Meridians. She has decided to breakthrough to Seed Forming at this stage.
To expend more EXP on her body refinement would be a waste of time. It would take too long.
Wang Jian is an Energy Disperse Stage Middle Realm expert with Titanium Bones body refinement stages.
After Loki fed him pills from Sina he manages to raise his level of Body refinement.
Sina however is still stuck at the Orb Condensing Stage but her path is different from them. Sofia is archery. Wang Jian is spearmanship though now one could say he is using the stick more.
Loki is dark magic.
Each one of them has their own path to walk, their destinies are different. There is no need to envy or be sad about.
But, in the world right now, other than large factions or the World Government and Revolutionary Army they are not many Energy Disperse Stage gathering together in one group.
This is why Loki group is such a headache to the large factions and the World Government and Revolutionary Army.
Since they didn’t have any permanent place, the forces that hunt them can’t really ambush them at their house since they are always on the move.
Loki and his group even robbed other robbery group and once tangled with the 51 Bandits of Aegean.
Their group is formidable. And Loki troublemaking skills are legendary. His Yue and Wei fiasco event is still talked about till this day.
Then Wang Jian touches Loki shoulders.
‘You will join the festivities tonight, right? Zhang Ye caught a giant cockatrice yesterday. The meat is like chicken. Nie Feng knows how to spice the meat. It would be delicious.’
Loki contemplates a bit. Cockatrice sound delicious.
‘Do you have some wine?’
‘How about Baiju?’
‘Sorghum wine? No, thank you.’ Loki face immediately scrunched up. Loki once tastes Wang Jian Baiju.
It has strong fragrance, sweet tasting, unctuous in its texture and mellow.
Not his style.
Anyway, when the sun was about to sets fully Loki gets up.
He then said at Wang Jian while smiling.
‘I don’t like your wine but I do like Feng cooking. Let’s go.’ He said as he pats his buttocks as grass fall out from his pants.
But just before he wants to jump from the stone a sky quake happens in the sky and it was like someone sets of a bomb in the sky.
The wind changes direction and the clouds dissipated.
Loki was startled and almost lost his footing because of the shocking sound. If not for Wang Jian holding him back from falling forwards, his face would be smacked down on the grass.
‘What the hell?’ Loki said as he looks at the sky.
Loki is not the only one. Sofia who was taking a nap inside her tent with Sina concocting medicine at the army tent also was startled.
Sofia rubbed her eyes and then rushed outside, preparing for war, as she slings her bow behind her back.
Sina also comes out of the ten with guards all around her. They could not let the Genius Alchemist be harmed if this was the attack of their enemies.
The soldiers who were ready for the festivities tonight also turns vigilant and they looked at the sky.
Loki faces of annoyance changes. Sofia expression of alertness also disappears changing to a look of happiness.
Sian on the other hand almost drops her newly brewed potion as she was so shocked.
There, up on the sky, as the dusk of the sun is setting, a man clad with black attire, floating above the area, like an all seeing God.
Celestial Presence wafted around him, energy ripples beneath his feet; the sun could not cover his brilliance, and his eyes scans all the living things.
All the Energy Disperse stage user in the camp, like Loki, Wang Jian, and Sofia, all felt their bodies trying to force them to kneel down.
They even feel the energy is gathering inside their core trying to demote itself back to Orb Condensing. Energy Disperse Stage means disperse the energy to the body.
If it gathers, then it would create an Orb which defeats the purpose of Dispersing the Energy.
For the Orb Condensing stage, their Orbs rotated with high velocity trying to dispel the unintentional pressure emitted by the being in the sky.
For the Pillar Forming Stage, their pillars cracked but did not shatter.
If the being in the sky truly emits his pressure, Pillars will crumble, Orbs will be shattered Energy would be gather and the Path to Seed Forming will be severed.
Wang Jian realizes that Loki was not wary even though the pressure is truly oppressing. But Wang Jian is feeling wary.
After all, he does not know who that guy in the sky was.
And the power that man emitted, even though, that man was so high and far from them, the pressure is suffocating.
But looking at Loki face, it was like he was seeing a friend.
‘Loki, who’s that?’
Loki smiles as he answers
‘An Old friend.’
And as the man in the sky floats down, Loki quickened his pace to meet him with smiles on his face.
Sofia was running across tents to reach him first.
She passed by tents and soldiers all were captivated by her expression. The Divine Archer who rarely smiles is smiling, like a flower blooming in the spring, a smile that could melt any man’s heart
Sina was calm as she did not run.
But traces of many emotions could be seen on her face. Shock. Longing. A feeling of meeting an old friend.
Azief has returned this is the thought of all the three people bind by destiny.
He has returned!