In fact, Roland didnt think that the adventure would be dangerous.
However, the secrets of the Reed family were involved. It was fine for Roland to join in because he was very close to Andonara. Besides, had it not been for Roland, Cage might not have learned about the blood at all.
Therefore, Cage brought Roland with him.
The three of them left the village. This village was actually quite beautiful, with fruit trees next to the road.
However, the excrement of sheep and cows and the smell of human urine completely ruined the peaceful, idyllic atmosphere.
On their way out, they happened upon some villagers, who all greeted Cage warmly.
Cage replied to them delightedly too. There was no sense of separation between them at all, as if they were equal.
Some of the older villagers greeted Andonara too. "Young Anna, its been a while."
Andonara reacted with a sweet smile too.
Roland took a long breath when he was out of the village, as the stink in the village was rather suffocating to him, who loved cleanliness.
There were two roads extending from the north of the village, one leading to Winterwind and the other to the top of the mountain.
Goats could be vaguely seen on the mountain in the distance.
Taking a deep breath, Cage said, "According to the manuscript, the three bottles of Phoenix Blood are hidden in a cave on the mountain, but they may be tricky to get."
"How exactly is it tricky?" asked Andonara voluntarily.
She was wearing soft brown leather armor that was rather tight, making her look neat and perky.
Cage said, "Our ancestor said that, in case anyone accidentally breaks in and takes the bottles of blood, he had set up some traps in the cave, which are easy to pass for the members of our family, but impossible for outsiders."
Roland remarked quickly, "The exorcising effect of the Hero bloodline power? Some kind of devil must be watching the cave."
After a moment of shock, Cage shook his head and said, "Are all Mages as smart as you?"
Roland said with a smile, "Its just a simple deduction. Anybody couldve guessed that."
Andonara said, "I couldnt have thought of it at all if you hadnt told me."
Roland was lost for words. He didnt know what he should say about Andonara. She might seem slightly silly, but Roland felt too great about himself under her admiring eyes to dislike her. He even found her cute.
Cage chuckled and said, "Do you have to do this in front me in the early morning? Do you have no respect for me as an uncle?"
Both Roland and Andonara smiled awkwardly.
Cages wife had been dead for years. He couldve remarried but he didnt, fearing that his new wife would mistreat his son. So, he simply visited Winterwind every fortnight to communicate with the most beautiful escort in town.
"Lets go." Cage led the way to the foot of the mountain.
Roland and Andonara immediately followed him.
Roland climbed the mountain with ease in the beginning, but halfway through the climb, he found that he had problems.
This mountain was desolate. Behind the trees were thorny bushes or vines. Wearing his long robe, Roland was hindered by the thorns now and then.
That was not all. He could deal with the hindering thorns, but the rugged road made Roland extremely uncomfortable.
The mosses were so damp that he might easily lose his balance and fall.
There were quite a few places that required a jump. While Cage and Andonara could make it easily, Roland had to climb with all fours.
As a Mage, Roland did not have as much stamina as the two Warriors did. He soon began to sweat.
Andonara leaned close to him and said gently, "Ill give you a hand later."
Cage was walking in the front. He turned back and said with a smile, "This is normal for Mages. They may be good in battle, but they will be burdens in long journeys. I saw this a lot when I used to be a mercenary. Rest assured, well wait for you."
Cage was describing a rather common situation among the Mages.
It was true for most Mages and Warlocks. The real capable spellcasters who were above Master level were as rare as pandas and would never appear in any place other than their own towers or the dinner parties of the nobles.
Therefore, mercenaries always carried the stereotype that spellcasters were destructive but vulnerable.
Roland stopped and caught his breath, before he said, "Theres no need to wait. I can handle it."
"Theres no need to play tough." Cage smiled gently. "Mages cant do everything."
"Im not playing tough." Roland sighed and said, "I was only stupid just now. Instead of following your pace, I decide to use our tricks."
Cage was rather confused.
Roland began to snap his fingers nonstop, and halos of magic emerged around him.
"Extreme Body Fortification."
Then, two Hands of Magic helped him clear a path among the bushes.
Also, when he had to climb again, Roland simply used Teleportation. After all, a close-range Teleportation was not costly. He could replenish his magic power with Rolands Zeal, which doubled mana regeneration.
It was Cage who was lost for words now.
Watching Roland who was flashing easily here and there, he couldnt help but ask, "Why are you capable of so many spells when youre still so young?"
"I learned them."
Moving the grasses aside with the sheath of his sword, Cage asked, "As far as I know, learning spells can be costly. How much money have you spent?"
"Not counting the spells that I sold" Roland thought for a moment and said, "Ive paid almost two hundred gold coins for spell models."
Cage looked back in surprise. "Wait, why are you so rich?"
As the leader of a villager Cage lived a rather extravagant life, but he couldnt compare to the real grand nobles.
It wouldnt be bad if the taxes of the whole village could surpass one gold coin each year.
Most of his current savings were earned when he still worked as a mercenary.
Mercenaries didnt really make a lot of money. After ten years of hard work, he made no more than forty gold coins, and that was not counting the maintenance cost of his weapons and armor as well as traveling fees.
Deducting all the expenses, he had only made some twenty gold coins after ten years as a mercenary, but he could already be counted as a rich guy.
His brother made more money as a merchant. After ten years of business, his brother had made a net profit of more than a hundred gold coins.
But the real estate in the capital was expensive. The two manors almost cost all of his savings.
Therefore, Andonaras father was still busy making money as a traveling merchant.
Roland, in comparison, had spent almost two hundred gold coins on spell models.
Cage couldnt help but click his tongue. "No wonder people say that Mages are a class that is both wealthy and poor. I didnt know that a Mage could spend hundreds of gold coins without batting an eye."
Although Cage was a mercenary for a decade, he had never really talked to any Mage expert.
The best Mage he had met was an Elite who was not much higher than Rolands level.
Also, to be honest, the Mages and Warlocks who hung out with mercenaries were mostly poor.
If they could afford magic materials and spell models, no spellcaster would risk their life making money.
But of course, the players were exceptions.
For the players, being a mercenary was not only profitable but also a good way to level up.
With its missions and intelligence, the Guild of Mercenaries was the best training ground for the players.
After the exclamation of amazement, Cage shook his head and continued the journey.
While he was free, Roland cast Extreme Body Fortification and Floating on Andonara and Cage too.
Immediately, they moved much faster over the terrain.
Zigzagging through the woods, Cage finally stopped somewhere near the summit.
Before him was a pile of stones.
Recalling what he read last night, Cage said, "According to the manuscript, the secret chamber is right below the stones. Lets see if we can clear them."
Roland stopped Cage, who was about to roll up his sleeves, and said, "Wait. Let me do some reconnaissance first."
Then, Roland closed his eyes and unleashed his enormous mental power into the mountain.
Roland controlled his mental power well and did not touch Cage or Andonara at all.
Still, Cage felt that he was surrounded by heavy pressure, which was rather uncomfortable.
Andonara felt differently from Cage. Sensing that Roland was close around her, she couldnt be more reassured.
About three minutes later, Roland retracted his mental power, face pale, and said, "Theres indeed a secret chamber down there, but its occupied by some repulsive stuff that seems invisible. I dont feel happy about it."