“Senior Ines, if the Himmel Empire is to the south, the Lantis Republic to the east and the Kori Federation up north, what is to the west? Isn’t Frie Mountain in the west of the Himmel Empire?”
Junius, unable to contain his curiosity, raised his hand and asked the middle-aged lady giving them a lecture on world history.
“Perfect Junius, you know quite a bit. That’s where I’m going with this. When the early cartographers were exploring the world, they found an endless rainforest filled to the brim with wild beasts. Every single expedition sent into the woodlands turned out fruitless as a majority who ventured in never made it out. No one truly knows what lies in that bizarre place. Some speculate hoards of primordial beasts that survived since the prehistoric age lived there. Some even say that the rainforest was a gateway into a mystic realm. Nonetheless, since no one really knew, that patch of land remained unmarked in the final version of the world map.”
“In modern times, we call that place the Uncharted Wilderness. It is estimated to span over fifty million square kilometres covering the entire west of the Terre Continent. Ever so often, hordes of beasts would infest the land thus there is a need for the Himmel Empire to protect their western cities. A series of military posts are stationed in front of the Uncharted Wilderness to prevent high-level beasts from terrorising the citizens of the empire. The strongest of which is called Aldrich’s Keep.”
“Named after one of the most famed generals in the history of the Himmel Empire, Aldrich’s Keep is the foremost defender of the western front. With twenty thousand citizens living there, half of its populace are elite soldiers of the Himmel Empire. Till this day, Aldrich’s Keep has never been breached, making it one of the strongest fortifications in the empire.”
“With such a large number of fighting men and women, it comes as no surprise that a substantial amount of supplies would be needed to maintain the keep. The capital frequently sends provisions to the fort via supply convoys, but the expedition to Aldrich’s Keep is no simple task. To increase the efficiency of travel, multiple waypoints were constructed with the idea of speeding up supply delivery. And the nearest waypoint to the keep is our destination, the Chilyoja Waypoint.”
Up till now, Shin and Junius were clueless about where they were being stationed at. The First Elder didn’t even give a cursory explanation of their destination. Hence, hearing Ines talk about Chilyoja Waypoint really opened their eyes.
“Coincidently, Chilyoja Waypoint is also rather close to Frie Mountain, only twenty kilometres away. With the aether car, we should be able to reach there by late evening. At the waypoint, we have an anchor store that will serve as your future home.”
After speaking so much, Ines felt that her throat had become somewhat dry. Reaching into her back pocket, she brought out a silver vial containing her favourite liquor. Pulling out the cork, the brunette lady drank a mouthful of fluids, emptying the flask of alcohol.
“Aahhh! That hits the spot! So, do you two have any questions for me? I know it’s a lot to digest so take your time. It will take us a few hours to reach the waypoint anyway.”
Ines sat comfortably back in her chair as she stared at the two orphans, encouraging them to ask as many questions as they could. Although she had recently met Shin and Junius, her interactions with them had been quite positive thus making her feel a small sense of kinship with the duo.
“Ermmm, Senior Ines. Do you know how we are going to be training from now on?”
Being the cultivation junkie that he was, Junius asked the question that has been plaguing him since he heard that they were being relocated.
“Ah, Junius. I’ve heard that to love to train… Looks that the rumours were true huh? Mr Fought off three Spirit Apostles…”
After the assassination attempt, two prevalent tales emerged. One, the Second Elder had sent someone to kill the talented young orphan who had awakened The Sovereign Koi. Two, the orphans had a genius disciple who single-handedly fended off three Spirit Apostles without regard for his own life. With that, both Shin and Junius had become infamous overnight. Shin was publicly recognised as the victim of the whole ordeal while Junius became the knight in shining light.
Of course, people from the Second Elder’s division saw his strength as a potential threat, but the rest of the clan thought otherwise. His camaraderie and loyalty to his junior made him somewhat popular within the Frie Clan.
“Please, the rumours about me are not deserved…”
It was true. Only through the collective effort of the twins and himself did he manage to fend off three Spirit Apostle assailants. Furthermore, the assassins were unable to use their Spirits with the fear of exposing their origins. But the details were lost as the word spread from mouth to mouth.
“There’s no need to be humble… Anyway, you will be assigned to the Mayor’s office to work as an apprentice constable. You will learn the ropes of being a police officer at the waypoint and maybe eventually, climb up the ladder.”
“A constable? Me?”
Using his index finger, Junius pointed to himself as he questioned the First Elder’s decision. No matter how he saw it, he did not think that he could be part of law enforcement.
“Haha! What’s so surprising about that?! In fact, it might be the perfect role for you!”
Seeing the confused young boy, Ines laughed out heartily as she gave a playful wink to encourage the youth.
“Then Senior Ines, what about me? Will I also be an apprentice constable?”
Fearing that he would be tasked with the burdensome job of being a police officer, Shin nervously asked the lady who was chortling uncontrollably.
“Nope. To become an apprentice constable, you must at least be a Spirit Apostle. Not only are you not one, but you have also just awakened your Spirit. Furthermore, your first spiritual ability is not combat capable. How could we expect you to apprehend criminals?”
Although Ines seemed to be demeaning Shin’s abilities, the boy did not feel insulted. Instead, he heaved a sigh of relief. Being stuck together with Junius training to be a constable could only result in long hours of torture.
“Hey, don’t be relaxed just yet! You might not become a constable, but your training might be even tougher than Junius’.”
“What?! I mean… What do you mean by that Senior Ines?”
Accidentally raising his voice, Shin quickly realised his mistake and reverted back to his polite mode. He did not want to unintentionally face the wrath of the famed Frie nutcracker.
“Haha, even I’m not sure about what kind of training you would get. It’s inconvenient for me to reveal to you where you will go. For now, just anticipate your arrival at the waypoint.”
Hearing the grim words of Ines, Shin had a premonition of imminent disaster.