“Why didn’t you bring them, Yoko?” Lau Hui asked.
“If I brought them with us, there’s a ninety percent chance they’d die.” Cheng Yang said. “It would also slow us down, which might mean us dying as well.”
Liu Wei and Lau Hui exchanged a meaningful glance. They weren’t much stronger than ordinary humans, so if Cheng Yang was scared of death, that meant this journey was more dangerous than they initially thought.
They were currently traversing a narrow stone pathway along the side of a mountain that was nearly eight hundred meters long. It had no shrubs or trees growing on it, so the group was able to reach the end in just a few minutes.
This path seemed to be a dividing line as the monsters on the other side were far stronger than those from whence they came. High-Grade monsters were common, and the occasional Pinnacle-Grade monster could be seen leading a horde.
They weren’t a threat since Cheng Yang could deal with them. However, it would be a different story if they were ambushed since Lau Hui and Liu Wei were defenseless against numbers.
“Cheng Yang, let’s go find the treasure these monsters were guarding!” Liu Wei said after Cheng Yang defeated one such horde.
“Unfortunately, they probably don’t have anything.” Cheng Yang said sadly. “Maybe they would if we were closer to Cloud City, but out here, only Mature monsters will be guarding treasure. It’s possible that even they won’t have anything if there are any monsters in the third stage of evolution nearby.”
“Yoko, could there really be monsters that strong out here?” Lau Hui asked nervously. There was a deeply ingrained fear in his voice since even a High-Grade Immature monster could easily kill him.
“It’s not a high chance, but there is a chance.” Cheng Yang remembered the dragon he saw while he was in the Mystery Gate when he said that.
Lau Hui was nervous for a moment before reconciling his fate. If he met a monster that strong, he would probably die instantly. Since that was the case, there was no point in worrying.
The group continued onwards for another eight kilometers, all while killing High-Grade monsters that roamed the area. Three times they encountered large hordes. Twice they were able to hide, but they needed to battle the third.
By now, they were only fifteen kilometers from Yicheng and twelve kilometers from the nearest Territory Altar.
In Cheng Yang’s previous life, an intuitive person noticed a certain pattern. Even if there wasn’t a safe zone, monsters near a city would be stronger than Pinnacle-Grade Immature. This “beginner-area” extended outwards around three kilometers, but after that, you could encounter monsters of any level.
As such, Cheng Yang was incredibly tense. That’s why he was able to notice something was amiss.
“Stop!” Cheng Yang suddenly hissed.
“Did you see something?” Lau Hui whispered as he ducked behind some brambles.
“There’s a fight going on ahead of us.” Cheng Yang said after listening for a few moments. “It’s faint, but it sounds like a massive hammer striking a piece of metal.”
“A fight? Maybe Yicheng had a safe zone after all.” Lau Hui commented.
“Maybe two monster hordes are fighting over territory?” Liu Wei guessed.
Cheng Yang shook his head. “That’s not possible. I’m certain there isn’t a safe zone, and monsters can’t aggro each other.”
“Who’s fighting then?” Liu Wei asked.
“I don’t know.” Cheng Yang frowned. “Stay here. I’m going to investigate.
Liu Wei and Lau Hui nodded. They knew that if they tried to follow, they’d be dead weight.
After the two were hidden, Cheng Yang swiftly ran forwards.
Two hundred meters later, Cheng Yang stopped. The crashing sounds were defending and interspersed by animalistic growls and hisses.
Creeping forwards a bit farther, Cheng Yang was able to witness a fight between giants.
On one side was a gigantic black python. Its body was over a meter thick with fangs as long as Cheng Yang’s arms. Its body probably had the power to crush tanks into scrap metal.
On the other side was a pure-white tiger. If not for its massive size, it might be mistaken for a cute housecat. It was over two meters tall and three meters long, but compared to the python, it seemed small.
Cheng Yang didn’t know what level these creatures were, but he was sure they were both Mature monsters.
Cheng Yang motionlessly watched them fight, but even ten minutes later, they showed no sign of stopping.
The python tried to bit into the tiger’s flesh but ate a mouthful of dirt after the cat nimbly dodged its attack. Not to be outdone, the python smashed its opponent with its tail, sending the tiger flying.
The tiger wasn’t an easy opponent, however. It bounced back immediately and used its sharp claws to shred the python’s scales.
The battle continued for a few more minutes before the python tipped the scales of victory in its favor.
After allowing the tiger to dodge a bite attack, the python turned its head to the side and sprayed the tiger with a dark green mist. Cheng Yang couldn’t see it, but the tiger’s blood began to boil and dissolve.
While this happened, Cheng Yang pondered as to why these beasts were fighting. Sometimes powerful monsters would fight over treasures, but there were none to be seen.
As the tiger swept past Cheng Yang’s hiding spot, he noticed something about its eyes. There were crystal clear.
Monsters were usually in a constant state of frenzied rage, which manifested as dark red eyes. The stronger the monster, the deeper the color. The tiger, however, didn’t have the slightest tinge of red to its eyes.
This could only mean one thing. The tiger was an Ascendant.
But what was an Ascendant doing so close to Cloud City? The odds of it spawning here were frightfully low.
It goes without saying that even though the current situation was dangerous, it also represented an opportunity. If he could make this Ascendant his Pet, it would be an enormous boon. There were only a hundred people with Pets in his previous life, so obtaining one now would help to solidify his power.
Since the tiger was an Ascendant, Cheng Yang desperately wanted to tame it. Who knows, maybe it would be the only Ascendant he meets in this life.
The only problem was that Cheng Yang had no way to do that. His only chance was to hope the Ascendant won its battle with the python but was too injured to resist Cheng Yang.
Suddenly, a massive energy spike pulled Cheng Yang out of his thoughts. The tiger had opened up some distance between itself and the python earlier and was now preparing an attack.
Within a few short seconds, a ball of blinding white energy filled the tiger’s mouth. Then, in the blink of an eye, it was fired as a beam at the python.
When it did, the python’s scales melted off, and the smell of seared meat filled the area. It let out an earsplitting hiss as its tail was nearly severed.
At the same time, the tiger flopped powerlessly to the ground.
Unfortunately for the tiger , the python was still able to move. It slithered towards the tiger with ridicule filled eyes.