Seeing as Nicole wasn’t willing to say, Suo Jia didn’t bother asking any further. He trusted Nicole’s words completely; even if he didn’t believe Nicole herself, Suo Jia couldn’t possibly find reason to suspect her family, which had produced 10 Legendary ranked and 1 Epic ranked heroes.
Under Nicole’s lead, they experienced an arduous journey passing through three countries. Finally…three days after Suo Jia’s 16th birthday, they successfully reached a small country with a population of only a million…Banja.
Banja was a country founded by warriors. Although there were only a million people, the country had never been destroyed. It wasn’t that others hadn’t tried to seize Banja’s territory, but because all the powers that attempted to invade were all punished severely. After suffering from major losses, they were all forced to miserably retreat.
Although Banja’s million citizens couldn’t be said to bring the entire nation to arms, they could gather 500,000 men within a few days once a war started. The men, women, old, and the young, were all exquisite experts in the military arts.
While their numbers were small, their reputation wasn’t at all. Historically, Banja had always produced Advanced Warriors, as well as a large bunch of renowned, Legendary ranked heroes. The amount of Epic ranked heroes even numbered more than one could count on their hands. Moreover…these heroes were all warriors without exception.
In reality, Suo Jia also knew Banja’s unique trait. However…since Suo Jia wasn’t very familiar with the locations of the various countries, he didn’t realize how close Banja was, and that it could be reached so conveniently.
Nicole led Suo Jia to the capital of Banja: Banja. The country of Banja was actually just a large city, and the vast territory around it. Strictly speaking, the country of Banja had 5 cities, but these 5 cities were all connected. Thus, in Suo Jia’s eyes, it still counted as one city.
Among the five cities, Banja City was the one right in the center. The other four surrounded it, forming a huge residential area. Due to the buildings being somewhat scattered, the city ended up blending together with everything else. After thousands of years of development, the boundaries between the territories had long since disappeared.
According to its reputation for producing warriors, the country didn’t establish any unions for mages, thieves, or other occupations. It could be said that all the citizens were warriors. All the males, females, old, and young on the streets wore warrior’s armor, with blades and other weapons hanging from their waists or on their backs.
Suo Jia sighed in admiration at the people walking around the streets. Suo Jia had never seen so many warriors before in his life. Every single citizen here was a warrior.
Nicole excitedly said, “Suo Jia, a week from now, Banja will have its annual warrior competition. Hehe…if you want to find a companion, going there would be the best place to go.”
“Oh.” Hearing Nicole’s words, Suo Jia’s eyes couldn’t help but light up. Since ancient times, the warriors of Banja all said that if one could invite the annual champion of the tournament to accompany them onto the Greater Trade Routes, hehe….
“Thump…thump…” As Suo Jia was thinking this, the low sound of footsteps came from behind him. At the same time, he could sense an oppressive aura coming from the same direction. For a moment, Suo Jia felt as if he was suffocating.
Suo Jia turned around in shock, glancing behind him. He saw a figure that wasn’t very tall and sturdy, yet wasn’t weak and frail either, currently with their head lowered as they gradually walked over.
Robust and sturdy were both adjectives that didn’t seem very fitting to describe this fellow’s body. While he wasn’t very tall, he stood very straight. He didn’t seem that sturdy, but quite elegant. Moreover, his entire body emitted that stifling aura that made it hard for others to breathe.
These things weren’t the things that had caught Suo Jia’s attention the most. What had left the deepest impression on him was that while this guy was wearing light armor, he was carry numerous weapons on his back.
That oppressive man had already passed by Suo Jia. At such close range, Suo Jia had finally gotten a good glance at those weapons. In that moment, he couldn’t help but gasp.
After carefully counting, Suo Jia concluded that there were seven weapons on the man’s back. The largest one was a large, inverse crossblade. The blade shaft was half a meter long. While on his back, the long hilt poked out from behind his head, and was clearly over half a meter long.
It wasn’t just the height; this large blade’s handguard was the shape of a cross that stretched out on both sides for over 10 centimeters. At first glance, this guy seemed to be carry a heavy cross, or perhaps…he was even tied to the cross.
There were three sheathed blades hanging on either side of the crossblade’s handguard. Because the sheathes were covering the weapons, Suo Jia couldn’t tell if they were sabres or swords. However, he could say for certain that these weapons were all different sizes.
If one looked from left to right from behind with the large crossblade as the center point, one could see six other sharp blades hanging down. The leftmost one was smallest in size, while the rightmost one was largest in size.
The figure slowly turned around the corner, disappearing from Suo Jia’s line of sight. At the same time, Nicole’s voice rang out, “Suo Jia, did you see that strange person? God…to think that he was carrying so many weapons. What do you think he does?”
“That…” Suo Jia bitterly smiled and shook his head, replying, “I can’t possibly answer your question. Who knows what he does? Unless…you do?”
“Mhm.” Nicole nodded with certainty and grinned, “According to laws of this country, those carrying one weapon on their backs are Warrior Trainees. Those that carry two are Advanced Warriors, three are Peak Warriors.”
“Oh.” Suo Jia stared in shock in the direction that the guy had disappeared in and sighed, “That fellow just now was carrying seven weapons. That means…”
Nicole laughed loudly at replied, “What are you talking about? Let me tell you, carrying three is the limit. Any more means the person is definitely weapons trafficking. That’s why I can tell you for sure that the person just now was definitely peddling weapons.”
“No way!” Suo Jia cried out in astonishment.
Nicole proudly straightened her back and chuckled, “This is something I definitely wouldn’t mistake. Using my special thief abilities just now, I carefully checked him; he doesn’t have any magic power or battle qi on his body, so he can’t be a warrior or a mage. In that case, what could he be aside from a weapons peddler?”
The more Nicole explained, the more confident she began to feel in her answer. She firmly continued, “He definitely procured some weapons to come and sell them here after hearing how Banja was a country founded by warriors, where all of its citizens are warriors as well. This is definitely the case.”
After hearing Nicole’s words, Suo Jia looked into the distance thoughtfully. He couldn’t bring himself to believe Nicole’s words. The stifling atmosphere the warrior had given off just now was still fresh in his mind. That wasn’t something any normal person could emit.
However, Suo Jia obviously didn’t retort. Based on his understanding of girls, any guy that tried to argue with a girl about the truth was an absolute idiot. Even though there was some reasoning behind his thoughts, he couldn’t explain it clearly either. After all, Suo Jia’s opinion was based off his subconscious feeling. He didn’t have any actual proof.
Suo Jia and Nicole found a hotel together. Since there was still a week before the annual competition, the two began closed door training in the meantime. Since they were going to go on the Greater Trade Routes, having the slightest bit more strength would increase the chances of them staying alive.
Their training time passed very quickly, and a week’s time passed in the blink of an eye. The day of the competition, Suo Jia met up with Nicole to prepare to go watch the competition. However, they soon discovered a problem.
The great competition was held at Banja Arena. Spectating was fine, but it required the purchasing of an entrance ticket. However, Suo Jia and Nicole had been immersed in their closed door training this whole time, and had completely forgotten about such matters.
By the time Suo Jia had rushed to the outside of the arena, the competition had already started. Originally…Suo Jia had only planned on watching the finals portion of the competition. After all…neither he nor Nicole were warriors, so watching any more wouldn’t be beneficial. But the problem was, without the entrance ticket, they couldn’t even enter the arena.
Suo Jia helplessly said, “It looks like we won’t get a chance to watch the competition. But it’s not that big of a deal, once the competition ends, we’ll know who the champion is. Then, we can just directly look for that person, and invite them to join us.”
Nicole reluctantly nodded and replied, “Sigh…I guess that’s the only thing we can do now. Let’s go…the results of the competition won’t be out for another three days. We should just continue training.”
During the next three days, Suo Jia and Nicole continued to stay shut inside. Soon…the three days had passed, and the great Banja competition had finally ended. The champion had been properly declared as well.
Without even needing to leave the hotel, Suo Jia had already heard who the champion was. He’d even managed to learn of where the person lived. Without wasting any time, Suo Jia quickly led Nicole to buy a large pile of gifts on the street, and rushed over to the champion’s home.
While on the way, Suo Jia had also bought some pamphlets announcing the champion. When he read it closely, he learned that this year’s competition champion was a swordsman who was 44 years old this year, in his prime. His strength was extremely great, and he definitely had the qualifications to adventure through the Greater Trade Routes.
They swiftly continued on their journey, before the two of them finally arrived in front of a large house. When they saw the great gates, as well as its imposing courtyard, it was clear to see that this ‘Picolo’ person wasn’t some new figure. Otherwise, he couldn’t have advanced so smoothly.
Under Suo Jia’s suggestion, Nicole walked up and knocked on the door. After handing over the presents, she stated the purpose of her visit. Of course…Nicole didn’t say that she’d come to ask Picolo to join a group. This was something that she couldn’t possibly tell the guard. Nicole only said that she’d long heard of Picolo’s fame, and wanted to meet him once.