In a tent in the middle of the camp stood several men, one of which was looking upon a makeshift bed, on which Bastian was sleeping. The man had a rough face and a set of eyes permeating with greed, he studied Bastian’s body, as if he was looking at an object, one which could make him a lot of money.
The tent was quiet, so quiet in fact that some men didn’t even dare breathe in too deeply, afraid of gaining the ire of the man standing next to the bed. At this moment a doctor carrying a small box filled with medical equipment walked in. The doctor walked towards the bed and started examining Bastian’s body. The rough faced man looked at the proceedings nervously, hoping that things weren’t too serious, he eyed the doctor at his work.
After the doctor had finished his examination, he said that Bastian was fine and everyone sighed in relief. He told the rough faced man that the boy had just fainted and that he should be awake in a few hours, after some rest. After thanking the doctor and leading him out, the rough faced man sighed and slumped into a rather big chair in the middle of the tent.
He looked towards one of the men and said “Ben, judging from his appearance, can you tell where he is from?” The man referred to as Ben shook his head, “I’m sorry Captain, normally people with traits like these, especially purple hair, come from the Southern Grasslands, and purple hair is a sign of nobility there. Being the frivolous people that they are, it’s not surprising that they have planted many seeds in many sub regions.”
After hearing Ben’s statement the majority of the men in the room smacked their lips in jealousy, having enough wealth to sleep with many women was one of the many desires these men have, to some it was actually their primary objective.
The rough faced man (the Captain), furrowed his brow in thought.
Ben is right.
Although Ben wasn’t a particularly high ranking man, in this camp he was one of the most intelligent and had travelled far more than any other person. The Sovereign Continent was extremely massive, so large in fact that it would take you a thousand years of continuous riding on a horse to span over one major region. This was why the use of airships and teleportation circles were an utter necessity here. Both these things however were under the control of major powers, thus very expensive.
These circumstances meant that it was very rare to see someone who had travelled across two regions, let alone the whole continent, and Ben just happened to be one of them. He used to be a slave who lived in the Southern Grasslands, thus he was a well-traveled man. His intelligence, coupled with his sharp memory and eyesight, made him a valuable asset in the company.
Although his rank wasn’t particularly high, his words were respected and held a lot of weight. Being the wise man that he was, the Captain took his words very seriously. “There is something else worth noting,” the moment Ben said this, the captain, along with everyone else in the tent, turned their attention to Ben.
After noticing he had everyone’s attention he continued, “We all know that on this continent power is everything, and cultivation is power,” everyone nodded in agreement, “nobles especially value this, thus they cultivate their children from a very young age, and they also provide the best possible cultivation resources and conditions. Ensuring that their offspring retain power in the future. This boy however has never cultivated, I’m sure everyone has noticed this.”
Every person in the room was a cultivator, identifying one another wasn’t too difficult. When one cultivated, regardless of what kind or type you were, World Energy was used. World Energy was the energy that naturally existed in nature, it was also what cultivators absorbed and used to fuel their abilities. With the boy unconscious, it was easy for the other cultivators to see whether or not the body had World Energy or not.
Since these men were from the higher ranks of the Mercenary camp, they were all cultivators, and likewise sensed that this boy was just a normal human. “What does this mean? Are you saying he isn’t a noble?” said one of the men in the tent. “I have a theory as to who this boy is but… Captain you’re not going to like it!” Ben had a very grim expression as he spoke.
The captain waved his hand for Ben to continue, all the while hoping that Ben’s news won’t be as bad as the look on his face, “Most noble families have very powerful bloodlines, the main reason for this being that only the most talented of their young are chosen as successors. Age and sex have nothing to do with it, if a child is deemed to be too weak to cultivate, they are either kicked out of the family and taken somewhere far away, or disposed of quietly, and I suspect he is of the former. Usually this occurs only when someone in the family, usually the mother, cannot bear to see their child die, thus in order to keep the bloodline strong the family exiles the child. This usually occurs when the child is around six years old, the age when cultivation talent can be tested. This boy is around 12 years old and has no World Energy, so he was most likely exiled and left to die. This would explain the state in which we found him and is the only explanation I can think of.”
After hearing Bens theory the Captain sighed in resignation. At first he thought this boy was from some nearby noble family, thus he thought he would be rewarded handsomely if he returned the boy, which is why the Captain had told the guard at the tent to be very courteous, but now that plan is in the dust! Although Ben’s theory had a few holes in it, it was the best explanation they had.
Since the boy had no value, the Captain had no idea of what to do with him, “Ben do you have any idea what we can do with the boy?” The Captain asked, looking at Ben with a pleading stare. Normally under such circumstances he would have the boy become a servant, or force him to become a soldier in his camp, if he had potential.
After hearing Ben’s monologue, those options became impossible, because he was still a pampered noble, neither task was something he could do, worse still he clearly lacked the talent of cultivation.
Listening to the Captain’s plea, Ben but both hands behind his back and walked towards him, and with a devilish grin said “My dear Captain, have you perhaps forgotten the most prosperous method of making money in these lands?” After hearing what Ben had said the Captain looked as if he had been given a second chance at life. He stood up and patted Ben’s shoulder, moments like these were when Ben truly showcased his value. The Captain made a mental note to reward him heavily.
He looked towards another one of his Lieutenants and said “Go to the city and summon Marcel, tell him we have some new ‘goods’. Make sure you catch him before he leaves the city.” As if he understood his superior’s intentions the man smiled, and raced out of the tent with a youthful fervor unbefitting a man of his age. The majority of the other men in the room also showed looks of understanding after hearing their Captains orders.
“OK gentlemen meeting adjourned. Marcel will soon come with new treats. Those who want to follow me come, it is time to prepare ourselves, so we can celebrate our good fortune. Ben I know you care little for such things, so I will leave the boy in your capable hands.” When the Captain said these words his men whistled in delight and followed him, only Ben and one other man stayed behind in the tent.
“Ben who the heck is Marcel?” Ben looked towards his companion with a childish grin on his face and said “Marcel is a rather unique slave trader.” The soldier quizzed “What’s so unique about him?” Ben responded, “Marcel rarely ever buys slaves with money, unless they are women, young, attractive women! If he is buying slaves other than the women I just mentioned, he will buy them off you using the women I just mentioned. Get it?”
“Ahh!” the man suddenly understood what had happened and chased after the others, leaving Ben alone with Bastian. Ben chuckled and shook his head.
The men had assumed that Bastian had still been asleep throughout the entire discussion. Little did they know that he had been awake for most of this conversation…