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7 Group Investigations

    In a courtyard outside of city limits was a small training field. Littered around it were barracks and target dummies. Villagers were peddling along the road bringing various good with them to the city. From the city came various men and women wearing armors.

    With a very small few dressed in gothic robes, they all seemed to be gathering at the courtyard. Many of the people seemed to be in their young adulthoods, but not all of them were young. A few looked as though they had 1 foot in the grave.

    One such person was a man in a chared black armor and tattered robes, he had graying facial hair that touched his arm and a bald head.

    Next to him was a young man in blue cloud robes, his face was filled with solemn power as people parted from his advance.

    "That's the third prince Han Yi, why would he join the investigations team?" A young man in light armor mumbled.

    Han Yi entered the courtyard and seated himself near a tree. The wind rustled the leaves as the shadows seemed to dance below him. The old man stood behind Han Yi not making a sound or a movement.

    As the third prince sat in meditation, a woman dressed in an alluring black dress walked up to him with a demure expression.

    "My dear prince, what are the duties that lured you here today?" She said with an enchanting voice.

    Opening one eye the prince looked upon the beautiful visage of the woman in front of him. Her delightful curves well fitted by her tight dress. Yet his calmness never flitted for a moment as he looked towards the barracks.

    From it emerged 12 men dressed in full black knight armor, each carrying a lance as they walked in a formation. Their carefully guided formation brought them in front of the group in moments as they stood stalwart and intimidating.

    "You can ask the Assignment Officers over there." The third prince said with a playful tone, the woman in front of him was known to play with weak-hearted men, and he had no intentions of falling for it.

    "Fine suit yourself." She coyly said as she pouted her lips, she sat down near the prince as she stared at a figure that approached the courtyard.

    He was a large and stalwart man who wore no shirt, his rippling muscles only partially obscured by the satchel for his greatsword on his back. His serious and calm gaze landed on the various warriors gathered in the courtyard and his intimidating presence scared people out of his way.

    He made his way near the tree as he sat in front of Han Yi. He took a gourd from the satchel on his waist and put it in front on the ground in front of him.

    Han Yi looked curiously at the gourd in front of him, before he picked it up and turned it over. On it was a 9 pointed star with 9 different colors along the edges. With that sight, the prince's eyebrows furrowed in doubt.

    "What happened to Gulan?" Han Yi asked inquisitively

    "You can ask the man who turned in this gourd. He should be here soon." The stalwart man said as he turned to the entrance into the courtyard.

    Coming at that moment was a young man with cascading black hair dressed in black robes. Both his hands held a pink bamboo umbrella. His elegant steps attracted attention from the people within the courtyard.

    "Robes?"

    "Is he a foreigner?"

    "Wow, how elegant!"

    Multiple people whispered among themselves, their soft voices were still heard by Ye Yuyan who stood unperturbed.

    "It's him? Are you sure, Yunshi?" Han Yi asked without ever taking his gaze on Ye Yuyan.

    Ye Yuyan's eyes flitted across the Third Prince when he noticed his gaze. Their glances met, the soft yet ethereal eyes of Ye Yuyan met the cold and domineering eyes of the Third Prince. The dichotomy of their characters on full display.

    Ye Yuyan's mouth moved into a breezy smirk, that soothed the senses with aesthetic beauty. Ye Yuyan's light steps lead him towards the prince.

    "Is he a foreign guest of the prince?" Someone questioned from Ye Yuyan's motions.

    But to their surprise, Ye Yuyan crossed past the prince and laid back against the tree. He looked up at the sky with an almost childlike wonder. The prince, old man, warrior, and demoness' eyes gathered onto this young man.

    "Nature is quite a wonderful affair, isn't it your majesty?" Ye Yuyan said in a jovial manner.

    "Only through the hands of men is the disorder and ugliness made into a true beauty." Han Yi said dismissively.

    "I beg to differ, nothing made by the hands of men can equal heaven. Heaven unequaled stands above all." Ye Yuyan rebutted

    "The paths of Chivalry, Sealing, and Bloodline were made by the men. Our cities and formations were built by men, and aren't these the pinnacle?" Han Yi returned

    "Heaven unequaled your highness, Heaven is unequaled." Ye Yuyan said with an even tone.

    "Hmph, how narrow of you." Han Yi snorted

    "Enough of the chatter." An assignment officer roared, at the front of the triangle formation the man took off his helmet. What was revealed was a middle-aged man with scarlet hair and a curved red goatee.

    "Knighted Vermillion..." said the tattered old man next to the prince, he cupped his fists in respect.

    "Knighted Maven!" responded the scarlet man, he cupped his fist back as he turned his attention back to the crowd.

    "You have been gathered here to do some investigations of the Desolate Range." As he spoke the 11 other officers walked in front of him one by one, each holding a different poster. The posters had various rewards on the bottom with photos of various beasts.

    One such beast was a serpent with 4 wings, another was a red-eyed minotaur, and various other strange and mystical beasts.

    "Each of these beasts has emerged from the valleys and attacked the various villages." He said as he pointed out each beast.

    "It is your duty to slay these beasts and find the root cause of all this. As members of the Order, Sacrament, and even the Verulyim Origin you must uphold the righteous path." The scarlet man said as a warning.

    "No one is exempt regardless of their standing." He said as his eyes flitted past the Third Prince and his cohorts.

    "Get into groups of 4, 2 from the Order and 1 from the sacrament are a requirement. Some of these quests have cultivation requirements. You can test your cultivation with any of us otherwise proceed as you please." As soon as he finished talking, various people quickly gathered together in haste.

    'It seems groups were formed far before this...' Ye Yuyan thought as he watched them flock like geese.

    Cliques form quite easily but under life and death conditions they become much stronger. They could have been cooperating together for years and building their own dynamic. Making any attempts to join an established group unrealistic.

    Ye Yuyan and the people around him gathered near the various posters held by the Assignment officers. The one Ye Yuyan got close to was about a frost demon. This wasn't just a beast, it was a powerful Fiend that escaped from over one of the uncanny valleys.

    In the desolate range was many mountains and in between, there were forests and plains that the humans lived.

    On the mountains were a mix of humans and beasts, and within the valleys were powerful demons. In certain valleys existed powerful devils which ruled supreme, they barely if ever left their valleys it was completely unheard of.

    Ye Yuyan noticed that Han Yi formed a group with the demoness, old man, and warrior. They approached him with the Third Prince at the front.

    "We never got your name." Han Yi asked as he looked at Ye Yuyan. Even within his words, you could feel the royalty.

    "It's Ji Shu, may I presumptuously ask to join you?" Ye Yuyan said with a smug expression.

    "I was going to ask anyway, I've heard that you came from the village we are investigating." Han Yi said with a probing expression.

    "I was merely passing by." Ye Yuyan said with a calm voice.

    "Anyhow you can guide us right?" Han Yi said with a smirk.

    "Of course, anyway I could be of service." Ye Yuyan replied with a concerted manner.
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