They walked until dusk came, then just like usual they stopped to rest in a rather open clearing. Eric drew out his sword and chopped the long grass growing on the ground. After clearing it up, just when he was about to set down the box from his back, his movements suddenly paused for a moment.
Yi Longlong felt his shift in demeanor, her head popped out from within the leafy clothing that covered her body. She asked with confusion, “What’s wrong?”
Eric had a moment of silence, as if he was confirming something. After some time, a smile appeared. “Someone’s heading in this direction right now.” He added on, “Around ten people… no, eleven. One of the people have very light footsteps.”
As light as a cat walking on a cushion.
Yi Longlong also became silent for a moment. “Hey, Eric, should we go hide ourselves?”
Although she really wanted to see other living people, there were so many coming all at once. She was still a bit instinctively timid. Should the opposing party harbor ill intentions, they would definitely be the ones suffering if a conflict arose.
Eric warmly laughed, then touched her head with a fingertip. “No need to be afraid, humans aren’t that bad, you should interact with them more.”
When the two were conversing, the other party was already closing in. The first one to emerge from the forest was a purple haired youth wearing light leather armor. Yi Longlong quickly shrank back into the leaf, her eyes assessing the incoming people through a gap.
That youth looked around the same age as Eric. A dagger hung by his waist, a crossbow and backpack on his back. His was thin but not frail, his movements extremely alert. He had dark purple short hair. Beneath his long narrow eyes was a vertical scar. At first glance it seemed like a long trail of tears, but his sharp eagle-like expression made him not look like the type of person to cry.
When he stepped out from the forest, his footsteps produced no noise at all, well at least Yi Longlong couldn’t hear it. Seems like this is the person with very light footsteps that Eric had mentioned before.
Seeing Eric, the purple haired youth was taken aback, as if he had never expected to see another person in this type of place, but he reacted quickly, his sharp expression was instantly swept away and replaced by a courteous look of goodwill. The change was so quick it nearly made Yi Longlong think that everything she had seen just then was all an illusion.
The purple haired youth lifted a hand, placed it on the other side of the shoulder and saluted with a nod towards Eric. “Please forgive my rash intrusion; we are travelers passing by this place. May I ask if you are in the company of others?”
Eric smiled and replied in the same manner. “No, there’s only myself, and also the little fella on my back.”
The purple haired youth also felt there was something hidden in the box of leaves on Eric’s back, but he thought it was just an animal and didn’t place too much importance on it. Hearing that Eric was by himself, his movements slightly relaxed and said, “I still have companions at the back. Would you mind letting us rest in this place?”
They had walked all this way and only seen this place with a wide patch of clearing. If they were to keep moving forward, the dark night will greatly inconvenience them.
Naturally Eric smiled and said he didn’t mind.
Receiving his approval, the purple haired youth speedily returned to the forest, and then a while after that, he once again came back leading a group of people.
When she saw this group of people, Yi Longlong came up with a thought: Ah! A palette.
There were a total of eleven people in the line, five standing in front and six at the back. The six people at the back all had the same outfit and carried heavy items on their backs. Judging by their humble expressions, they were most likely followers or servants. As for the five standing at front, each person had a different hair and eye color. Other than the purple haired youth Yi Longlong had seen at first, the rest of the four were distinguished as: blond hair blue eyes, red hair fiery eyes, grey colored hair and eyes, black hair green eyes.
Each person’s colors were different, colorfully standing together simply just like an art palette.
When these people stood together, Yi Longlong could tell with a glance that among them, the blond blue eyed youth was the leader of this squad. It wasn’t because he was the handsomest of them all, and not because he wore the most extravagant and finest clothing on his body, and especially not because the sabre by his waist was fully inlaid with bright sparkling jewels, and absolutely definitely not because he had the same colored hair and pupils as Eric.
-It was because of his slightly arrogant elegance coming from his body, a concealed dignity.
A moment later, that youth signaled to the purple haired youth with a nod of his head. The purple haired youth immediately obeyed and came to converse with Eric, firstly expressing his gratitude for willingly sharing this clearing with them, followed by the exchange of names and identities of both parties.
The purple haired youth called himself Roland1 and was a rogue, employed by that blond youth named Easley Heine2. Of the remaining three people, the redhead youth was Easley’s friend, the grey haired lad in his early twenties was a priest invited by them, and the black haired youth was Easley’s follower.
The six servants were all attendants from Easley’s household, accompanying him everywhere on his travels.
Roland particularly highlighted, Easley was a nobleman.
In comparison to the endless introduction from Roland’s side, Eric simply stated his name. “Alvin3.”
Yi Longlong gave him a strange look. Wasn’t his name Eric?
To sum it up, this was an adventure squad formed by the children of nobles. Because there were just too many people, Yi Longlong couldn’t momentarily remember them all, and so simply referred to them as the palette squad.
Once the palette squad arrived, those six servants accompanying them promptly began to make their moves. They retrieved foldable tents and various equipment from the massive luggage on their backs and began to busy themselves at the center of the clearing. The person putting up the tent poles put up the tent poles, the person setting the chairs set the chairs, the person refilling the water refilled the water. Although it was busy, it did not appear to be disorderly.
Yi Longlong bit back her tongue: Did these guys come out to have an adventure or have an outing ah.
Not daring to speak in front of other people, Yi Longlong reached out a paw and pulled on Eric’s blond hair. The latter person immediately understood and said to Roland, “I need to go gather some firewood, I’ll be temporarily gone for a while.”
Before Roland could even nod his head, the first to speak up was the young noble Easley at the back. “Can I trouble you, good sir, to help us gather some along the way as well?”
His clear voice, although modest in tone, didn’t seem too humble at all, like an upperclassman being lenient on a lowerclassman, giving people the feeling that helping him out was a type of honor and not something exhausting at all.
At this time Eric had let his hair down again, blotting out his eyes and half of his face. Other than his head of blond hair being overly beautiful, Eric looked just like a dejected wandering swordsman.
Eric laughed and agreed to it. He carried on his back the wooden box and the Yi Longlong on top of the box and walked into the woods.
He casually chose a tree with a thickness that a person could fully embrace. Eric pulled out the long sword by his waist and was about to cut down at the branch sticking out from the lower part of the tree, when suddenly his blade stopped just an inch off from the tree. He raised his head and looked to the top.
Following his gaze, Yi Longlong could see a tiny tree hollow just above the branch. A brown furry head poked out from within the tree hollow, watery black eyes looking at Eric with timid curiosity. Eric placed his sword down with a smile and waved his hand at the head. “Sorry about that, I won’t disturb your home, I’ll change trees.”
Finishing his words, he walked a bit further, chose a tree without a tree hollow, and with a light swing of his sword the blade sliced through the thigh-thick branch as if it was tofu. Not even a bit of sound was made. With a twist of his wrist, the green leaves fluttered down en masse and the branches were separated into strips of equal thickness.
Yi Longlong wasn’t interested in watching him log trees. She shifted her body up onto his shoulders, her paws poking at Eric. “Hey, do you owe lots of money outside? Or done a lot of bad things? Or cheated on a relationship?”
Eric didn’t have any reasons to provide a false name to a baby dragon. Then clearly, him using the name of Alvin was because he didn’t want to tell his real name to the palette squad.