Unexpectedly, Kairos realised that having the frost and fire Ki dragons within him has already brought his Ki centre to the limit. In his eagerness, he had confidently purchased the storm palm manual, planning to use it to augment his technique, but when he attempted to form a lightning rune within his body it backfired and nearly destroyed his newly formed C rank.
“Seems like I will need to enter B rank before attempting another element”
Right now, Edward, Tommy and Alan surrounds the precious skill manual with wide grins on their faces, while a despairing Kairos sat at the side watching them. Looking at their faces, it would be surprising for a stranger to believe that those are young rascals planning something evil.
Alan, who do not have affinity with any of the 3 elements of nature, had unintentionally benefitted from this skill because of how the skill targets a cultivator’s weak points. Not only does the manual has a detailed picture of a person’s body with all the meridian points, the storm palm also taught them a way to become more sensitive towards static electricity. They infuse a bit of lightning Ki within their eyes, and with it they could feel the electric currents naturally occurring within their opponent’s body.
It is a cheat-like martial arts that allows them to tell if their foe is gathering power. A technique to sense what is within another person that even their soul perception is unable to. When Alan first learnt of this, he became tremendously excited, the impasse of his acupoint martial arts finally have a new route.
The 3 of them learn what they could from the manual, and incorporated the elements they understood into the formless style. Their martial art is formless, therefore they do not memorise the stance, but the spirit of the skill instead. Any technique they discover, they realise it could be made into their own. This is the purpose Kairos chose this art.
While they are uncovering this new move, Jim is on the side studying his grandfather’s technique and the rest of Snowdrifts focused on improving their current soul force. Kairos took a quick look around and a smile danced lightly on his face then said, “Guys, we must part now. Remember your missions”
They had travelled from the east-most edge of the Silent Lamb Empire, Vox Shalua, and reached a crossroad. Most of them from the Snowdrifts bided farewell and left to their mission destinations.
Kairos now turned his attention to the beast tamer’s glove. It is his plan to learn how to use mana by getting an artefact like this, and though rare outside of the southern nations, it proved not too difficult to find. This is not his first time attempting this, having purchased a small rod from the south before. Unfortunately, his research could not be completed and the artefact was destroyed during the last battle against the storm wolves after absorbing excessive amounts of lightning.
In fact, it is his choice selection to pick an artefact that requires mana infusion to be powered, and bring him towards the first step of learning this secretive form of energy. No matter how he imagines the situation, if Lord Yue decides to personally act against him, there is not even a little chance for his survival.
Minutes turned to days, and they quickly arrived at the outskirts of the frontier city where Jones should be held. Aurolia, the city of light. Unfortunately, he once again failed discovering the method to use mana. By now, Kairos and all his friends reached Mid C, thanks to the extremely high quality cultivation pills from Fritzgen. They were surprised at its potency, but it wasn’t as easy as they thought. Even though the Origin cultivation method speed up their cultivation speed immensely, it also required them to take at least 3 times the amount of cultivation pills to supplement their growth.
Instead of heading straight into Aurolia, the group instead went towards a small settlement outside of the city. At that village, Kairos looked for one of the head guards and flashed him the token. Almost immediately, the one that saw it, stood up and saluted, showing their loyalty and respect to Rielon.
“What a popular guy this King of Thieves is”
They arranged for fake passes as well as new identities, and a master disguiser came to aid each of them to change their appearance. Now instead of looking like a group of young kids with one adult, they turned to look like a group of refugees, depending on what is the most suitable disguise for each person. Once that is done, to fill up their numbers and make the excuse that they prepared more believable, a few of the guys from the thieves’ guild joined their party and together they went towards Aurolia.
This time, for this operation, Kairos had to pay the expensive fees of 300 blue silvers, a price that set Kairos back at least 2 months of his shop’s profits.
They soon reached the checkpoint by the gates of Aurolia. A grand entrance, with a heavy portcullis and two iron doors. The guards briefly checked everyone in the queue in front of them with a glance and simply let them in. But when it come to their turn, they were stopped at once.
“Where did you refugees come from?” The guard spoke sternly at them.
The one from the thieves’ guild replied, punctuating his own words with frequent coughs, “S..sir” he said while trembling, “Our small village up in the mountains near Vox has been raided by bandits, we are hungry and cold, please let us in. We have some cloth we produced to trade with” He pointed at the bundle that Kairos is carrying.
The guard went forward and sliced open the cloth bundle, revealing beautiful handwoven cotton cloths within.
“Why don’t you go to Vox instead then?”
“S..sir *Cough*, we tried going down to Vox, but the bandits seemed to have a base there and we were turned away, please.. *cough* please.. let us in”
The guard thought for a while. It is true that Vox Shalua is an open secret, and there is no surprise if bandits would make a nest in that filthy place. The story sounded even more believable because who and what is within Vox Shalua is the true secret that outsiders would never find out.
If the one from the thieves' guild had arranged for them to enter Aurolia with a story of being attacked by bandits from a nearby village, this reason would never hold water, because the guards are very familiar with the surrounding outlaws.
He looked at them one more time, completely disgusted by the flying splittles at him, and unable to find anything wrong with their story, extended an arm.
The thief who spoke, placed a still-trembling hand into his robes and took out a small pouch. He opened the pouch and reached for a few pathetic green coppers and tried to place them into the outreached hand.
The guard immediately fumed with anger, and revenged by spraying spittle all over on him, as he reprimanded his lack of ‘sincerity’ then promptly snatched the entire pouched away.
He took a while to count his loot and then seemingly satisfied, allowed them entry.
“Of course, you’ll be satisfied you official knave bastard. We prepared the whole pouch for you” He thought mentally, noticing once again how the biggest crooks aren’t thieves.
When they entered through the gates, Long and John left the group together with most of the thieves. Their mission is to prepare a way to smuggle everyone out of the city.
Sasha and Silvers moved in to one of the inns preparing for a long stay. The two of them took the largest amount of supplies among everyone else, and by Kairos’ advice, each of them picked out a powerful defensive artefact from Fritzgen for their own protection.
Now, only the 5 of them and Vouno are left, and they followed one of the thieves towards a private shed near the outer walls.
They entered the place, and continued down a flight of stairs into a hidden basement, before they felt safe to remove their disguises.
“Young master, I will go through everything you need to know to extract your friend, but afterwards it is completely in your hands” The thief said as he rolled out the city’s blueprint. “Over here is the royal dungeons. The path of the patrol is marked in blue. The first patrol will end over here at the cross to hand over to the second patrol team. The time in-between their change of shift is literally, nothing.
However, they will leave this part, marked with a circle, as a blind spot during this time. To fix the blind spot, their patrol squad’s leader will be there will be there as a lookout. We will be diverting him away, over to this place, marked with a square.
You will get 3 minutes and nothing more. So far are you with me?”
“Yes” A simple answer. There is no need for him to go through the plans again after looking through just once.
“Alright, the hard part comes afterwards. Within the dungeon there will be a squad of prison guards. They are all around C ranks, with their head at B rank. However, because the one you wanted to extract seem like a high value prisoner, I wouldn’t be surprise that there will be stronger practitioners as his guards”
“No matter, we will be getting him out tonight. I trust you have the frost cloud powder I requested?”
“Yes, it’s all ready. Are you sure it’d be enough?”
Kairos nodded and indicated they should set off immediately.