Chapter 1204: The Ridge of the Continent
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
The temperature in the mountain range soon dropped after the sunset.
"Time to find a place to spend the night," Lightning thought. The temperature here varied dramatically between day and night. It was scorching during the day, and she would get burned easily if not covered with anything. When night fell, the wuthering wind would take away all the heat, and she would have probably been frozen to death if she had continued to sleep in trees like she had done in the Misty Forest.
Therefore, Lightning must find a shelter before the darkness pressed in.
"Let's call it a day," Lightning spoke over the Sigil of Listening. "I'll find a shelter and you go bring some food."
Maggie could not respond when she was flying, but Lightning knew she heard her.
She then dropped and flew very low above the ground. Agatha had reminded her several times before she had left Neverwinter that when she was looking for the demons, she had to either fly very high or very low to avoid trespassing God's Stone mines. It was also not advisable to change routes very often. Otherwise, once entering the God's Stone mines, nobody would be able to save her.
Lightning strictly followed Agatha's instruction. In this undulating mountain range, she could rely on nobody, so she must take good care of both herself and Maggie.
Since they had paid particular attention to possible shelters while she had been conducting the search, Lightning soon found a cave halfway up the mountain. A forest of stones stretched away below her, each stone the size of Neverwinter. Lightning suddenly had a strange feeling that these stones and mountains were sculpted by a giant visible hand.
Streams were interspersed between the mountains, which torrented down upon a heavy rain or flood. The weather varied significantly in this mountainous area. More often than not it was clear and sunny on one side and stormy and gloomy on the other. Inexperienced explorers would be very likely flushed away by an unexpected flood at night if they pitched their tents on the mountainside. Therefore, it was very important to pick a highpoint of the land to spend the night.
Lightning had witnessed several floods since her entry to the ridge of the continent.
Further, unlike other mountains that were usually comprised of sharp and steep precipices, the mountains here were mostly composed of boulders with many holes in them, as though these rocks were some solidified fluids.
Fortunately, round as they were, the stones were still robust enough to form a shelter.
The cave she discovered this time was pretty big, around 100 square meters, littered with twigs and weeds, which Lightning inferred were the remains of bird nests. After confirming there was no potential danger in the cave, Lightning informed Maggie of her location and started to tidy up the cave.
When the darkness became impenetrable, Maggie, in the form of a snowy owl, fluttered into the cave and restored its human shape. She held up a package aloft like offering a present and said, "Look what I've got, coo!"
Lightning took the package and found a chicken and four giant bird eggs in it , a very rare finding in the Impassable Mountain Range. Even Maggie, an experienced hunter, would not always return with such fruitful results.
Lightning stroked Maggie's head who returned a triumphant smile, "Haha."
A bonfire soon sprang into life. Lightning built a stove with the mound of earth collected from the foot of mountain to shade the firelight, covered the chicken with mud and then tossed the whole creature into the fire along with the bird eggs.
Dinner was ready 30 minutes later.
They had cooked like this numerous times in the Misty Forest and were now quite good at it.
The rich flavor of the chicken immediately escaped as they broke the hardened mud.
A sheen of oil glazed off the chicken, and the aroma of the spices filled the entire cave. After removing the skin, they saw the tender chicken meat beneath. The chicken was not overcooked at all, its meat white and juicy.
The pair devoured the bird eggs and the chicken ravenously and even ate the chicken bones.
Maggie belched in satisfaction and said, "Nothing could be better than eating our own food, coo."
Lightning cast Maggie a glance. She still remembered Maggie's indignant protest against her "eating a bird" in the beginning.
Lightning shook her head in amusement and asked, "Any luck today? Except for food though."
"Well, no, coo... the landscapes are quite the same here. If there were demons, I would spot them immediately, coo."
It would be really hard to spot God's Stone mines buried deep down underneath the ground from above. Lightning wondered where the supporting God's Punishment Witches currently were. If they could point out a rough direction for her, it would make her life a lot easier.
She pointed at the cave and said, "Well, since you had no discovery, make me a bed then."
"OK, coo," Maggie replied as she paced to the designated location with her long white hair streaming behind her and then turned into a Devilbeast.
Lightning then extinguished the fire and lay down on Maggie's stomach. Compared to a sleeping bag, Maggie was a better shelter. Her stomach, as warm as a furnace, could shield her from cold winds and keep her warm during the night.
The only drawback of this method was that the skin of the Devilbeast was a little scruffy compared to Lorgar's soft fur.
"Are you not sleeping?" Maggie asked as she saw Lightning take out the Stone of Lighting.
"I need to make a journal entry to record our journey today. It won't be long. You sleep first."
"Alright," Maggie answered gruffly. After a long silence, she suddenly mumbled, "You're going to take me with you for the future exploration, right?"
Momentarily stunned, Lightning said in a gentle voice, "Yes, of course."
"I'll take care of you since Ashes is already gone," said Lightning within herself.
Maggie finally fell asleep after receiving an affirmative answer.
Lightning sat there for a long time before she took out her journal out of her bag.
It had been ten days since they had entered the mountainous area in the north of the Kingdom of Everwinter. They had covered a distance of 120 kilometers. The deeper they probed into the Impassable Mountain Range, the smaller she felt. This was an area never intruded by human beings, and it was in here she had seen a breathtaking view. The forest of stones as vast as the Fertile Plains, the icefall, which was a sheer drop from Heaven to the ocean in the northeast, the sea of clouds that spiraled up, as well as the great rapture in the center of the ridge of the continent... Lightning now came to the realization that the Impassable Mountain Range that separated the four kingdoms was simply a branch of this mountain range. Those incredible scenes, all hidden behind the crests of the mountains, were inaccessible unless she flew over the steep cliffs.
Lightning now understood why her father was addicted to exploration.
Human beings were too little and insignificant compared to this world. She could only become stronger by getting to know more about it.
To become an explorer was the best decision she had ever made in her life.
Of course, she could explore the whole world later. Lightning knew she was now on a mission. If she flew too far away from the Kingdom of Everwinter, she would not only hinder the exploration but also cause unnecessary trouble to the supporting team. The "Roland" should have now almost reached the port of the Kingdom of Everwinter.
Lightning cast a glance at her hand drawn map and rested her eyes on the great rapture.
It seemed to be a protruding plain in the middle of the stone forest, but it was hollow inside, so Lightning was not sure how deep it was.
She could discern the fault underneath the crust.
If she still could not find traces of God's Stone mines or the demons, she would probably return to the Kingdom of Everwinter and meet with the supporting team to discuss the next step.
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