The rays of morning light gradually brightened. The redcaps were gone without a trace and only some ashes remained from last night’s bonfire. Roland dug a hole in the ground with the dagger and carefully buried the ashes in it. Although there was no need to hide the tracks in this type of isolated place, leaving behind any traces would make Roland feel uncomfortable all over as a result of his profession.
After last night, in contrast to Yi Longlong’s cheerful look, Roland had a completely cold demeanor. After burying the ashes, he then used the dagger again to carve out a pair of rugged wooden clogs to give to the bare-footed Lin Qi to wear.
When Lin Qi was brought out from the tower by him, his feet didn’t have shoes on. When he had taken a hurried glance inside the tower, he didn’t find shoes that he could give him to wear. Roland then spitefully conjectured, has Lin Qi never left the bed before?
Although Lin Qi was fortunate enough to have avoided stepping on pointy objects up till now, it didn’t mean it will also be like this in the future. Roland wasn’t doing this out of kindness but instead out of consideration for his own interest. If Lin Qi injured his feet, it will hinder their journey.
Not long after preparations, two people and a dragon then set off just like that. They entered the thick forest; the cascading branches almost blotted out the entire sky. Only a few sparse rays of sunlight scattered through the gaps, casting specks of light onto the floor.
Roland walked in front and Lin Qi at the back with Yi Longlong sprawled over Lin Qi’s shoulder. Her little white claws tightly clutched onto Lin Qi’s massive robes, her body bobbing along to Lin Qi’s footsteps while a pair of blue eyes curiously looked left and right.
Without a say, in regards to wilderness survival skills, Roland was so many more times better at it than Eric. Whether it be finding the way or searching for sources of water, or even scavenging for food, he was exceptionally adept at all of it. It was as if this forest was his backyard; there was no sense of any unfamiliarity at all.
He could name any plants or animals they saw, and even talk about their growing environments or living habits. He could also extract information from subtle traces and know what sorts of animals were nearby, or determine the water source from the level of moisture in the soil. Not even half a day later, under Roland’s lead, they found a small stream and briefly rested there.
Before the break, Roland had already collected quite a number of plants and even a pair of wild pigeons and a few pigeon eggs from a nest.
With a practiced hand, he picked up the slabs of stones by the stream and placed them into a circle. He loosely spread the firewood into it and used a flint to ignite the deadwood that was picked up along the way. When the stones were baked red, Roland took out a small knife and deftly skinned the wild pigeons he had caught on the road. After cleaning them in the stream, he chose a meaty cut and sliced it into one-inch squares of meat that were approximately half a centimeter thick.
He first sprinkled a layer of some nameless leaves onto the slabs. Through the conduction of searing heat from the stones, the leaves dispersed an exceptionally rich aroma. Following that, Roland placed the slices of pigeon meat on top of the leaves, took out a small bottle of spices by his waist and carelessly scattered some powder.
The leftover cuts of meat were sliced by him into narrow strips, spread with salt and wrapped up in leaves, then stuffed into hollow tree branches that were picked up on the road.
The fiery glow lit up the face of the purple haired rogue. He had no expressions, displaying an especially stern sense of estrangement.
Not long afterwards, a layer of glistening oil seeped out from the thin slices of meat. The meat juices trickled onto the stone slabs, producing a sizzling sound. The aroma travelled into the noses of two men and a dragon. The purple haired rogue held a small knife between his fingertips and flipped over the slices of meat in rotation. Soon after, he dexterously selected a morsel, took a moment to carefully study it, and then handed it over to Yi Longlong.
The meat slice was very thin and cooled very quickly. When it reached Yi Longlong’s paws, it was already at a suitable temperature to ingest. Yi Longlong held the slice horizontally next to her mouth with her two paws and took a small bite; the deeply aromatic meat juices spilled from the opening – Roland had sliced the meat according to his own customs; they were still a bit big for Yi Longlong.
The next slice of pigeon meat was passed over to Lin Qi. Lin Qi looked at Yi Longlong and also copied her; he took it with both hands, placed it next to his lips and nibbled at it like an ant.
With the meat finished roasting, Roland put out the fire and pushed aside the ashes, then buried the hollow branches stuffed with meat and the pigeon eggs into it, planning to continue utilizing the remaining heat from the ashes.
Yi Longlong ate two slices of meat and already felt almost half-full. After that she waited for the pigeon eggs to be cooked. Yi Longlong reached out and grasped a piece of leaf and carefully wiped her mouth while expressing her gratitude towards Roland as per custom.
“There’s no need to thank me.” Roland pushed aside the ashes and coldly said, “I will look after you on this stretch of the journey, when we exit the sea of trees, you will then resent me.”
Yi Longlong was taken aback. She, who sensed danger, quickly hid behind Lin Qi. “You, what do you want?”
She finally felt threatened by this point of time. Although Roland had been previously discriminated by her based on his profession and had later on helped her attract the redcaps over, this did not imply that Roland was some kind, friendly person.
Within the tower, he was even about to capture her.
Roland didn’t care that Yi Longlong was hiding behind Lin Qi. He estimated the cooking time, pushed aside the ashes and salvaged the remaining pigeon meat and eggs. After waiting for it to slightly cool down, he gave half a share to Yi Longlong and Lin Qi. “You think, I will easily let go of the value of a dragon? But I also know, if I have you by my side, it will bring in quite some troubles. By comparison, trading you in to the Heine family is probably not a bad option at all.”
Yi Longlong jumped in fright after hearing this. She subconsciously turned to flee, but before her stubby little legs managed to run a few steps, she saw Roland, who was initially behind her, was already blocking in front of her at some unknown point of time. Seeing his relaxed posture, it seemed as if he had long been waiting there for her.
Roland sharply stared at her and sluggishly opened his mouth. “Your only second option, is to follow me of your own accord, or be tied up by me and brought away.”
He was not worried about Yi Longlong escaping at all, and so told the facts of reality in her face.
With his senses and capabilities, Yi Longlong would have no means of leaving, even within sleeping dreams.
Observing the dark shadow hanging below Roland’s purple hair, Yi Longlong was instantly filled with great terror. Now that Eric was not here, she was completely defenseless. Lin Qi also could not be completely counted on…
To be sold off and maybe caged up as a pet, or perhaps used for other purposes.
When she thought of the various possible impending situations, Yi Longlong felt her future was bleak.
The eyes of the little snowy white dragon brimmed with moisture, however this sad pitiful look could not sway the rogue at all. He revealed a wicked smile, drew out his dagger and waved it in front of her, warning her not to attempt an escape, then promptly turned around and returned to his seat.
Yi Longlong resentfully bit on her claws.