Alex took a deep breath.
Killing a bunch of kids?
Alex's mind went back to the bandit he had run over on the way to the Central Wild. Alex still felt uncomfortable whenever he thought about that event.
However, he hadn't killed them on purpose, and even more, he couldn't even have stopped the sled wagon if he wanted to. They had essentially thrown their own lives away.
Yet, this time, it would be different. The lives of these newbie bandits would be in his hands.
"Thank you for the advice. I'll keep it in mind," Alex said.
The guard captain nodded. "No problem. You can't travel to Blizzard's Edge in one day anyway, which means that you have to camp on the way there. If some bandits decide to strike, it will be in the night."
"Thanks again," Alex added.
The guard captain motioned for Alex to enter the town with his head. "Don't make a mistake. It's your life or theirs."
Alex nodded again and entered the town.
There wasn't anything special in the town, and Alex simply passed through it in silence. Several merchants were asking him to buy stuff, but Alex ignored them.
A couple minutes later, Alex exited through the southern gate of the Southern Wild.
"Is it fine if I stay near the walls of the city for the night?" Alex asked the guard captain of this gate. "I don't have any money to stay in the town, and I don't want to stay two nights on the road from here to Blizzard's Edge."
The guard captain looked at Alex with a bored expression. "Sure. Bandits won't dare to come this close to the town. Just don't make too much noise."
Alex nodded. "Thanks, I won't."
The guard captain nodded back and went back to his job.
Alex pulled the sled wagon to the side of the road and stretched.
Alex pulled out his sword and started his training.
After hours of training, Alex stopped when the sun went past the horizon.
Night had arrived, and Alex decided to sleep. Alex had already skipped a night of sleep on the way to the Southern Wild, and he didn't want to feel tired for the journey to Blizzard's Edge.
'I've traveled quite a bit in the last couple of days,' Alex thought. 'First, I went from Duke Whirlwind's garden to Coldew Village. Then, I went from Coldew Village to the Central Wild and from the Central Wild to the Southern Wild.'
'Tomorrow, I will start the two-day journey to Blizzard's Edge. After that, I should be pretty close to Warrior's Paradise.'
Alex's gaze traveled to the northwest.
He couldn't see any big mountains in that direction.
'I can't even see the plateau anymore.'
Then, Alex looked at the sled wagon behind him.
'No wonder people pay a lot for Ice Wood in Warrior's Paradise. I haven't seen Ice Wood Trees ever since exiting Coldew Village, and the journey from Coldew Village to Warrior's Paradise is dangerous and long.'
'Even a carriage pulled by horses will probably take two to three days to get to Warrior's Paradise from Coldew Village. Even more, the merchants have to hire guards if they want to save on travel time.'
'If they traveled through the night, a carriage would probably only need about 24 hours for the journey, but they would need guards to protect them.'
'Without guards, I think a carriage would leave Coldew Village at dawn and spend the night in the Southern Wild. After that, they would travel to Blizzard's Edge and spend the night there. Lastly, they would probably directly travel to Warrior's Paradise.'
'One day of journey with guards or three days without guards. I guess it depends on the goods if it's worth hiring guards or not.'
Alex's mind wandered to many places as he slowly succumbed to sleep.
This night, Alex slept on the ground while leaning his back on the sled wagon.
The night passed without any incidents.
Alex woke up when it was still dark, but his inner clock told him that dawn would arrive soon.
'Alright, let's go.'
And thus, another exhausting day of travel started for Alex.
Alex pulled the sled wagon for over twelve hours.
Tens of carriages had already passed him, and Alex had also seen some camps of people traveling without carriages.
'It's a feast for bandits.'
By now, Alex could see no more snow or mud. There were even some trees with actual leaves on them. Alex had almost forgotten what they looked like since he had been around nothing but conifers for months.
The temperature was still a bit cold, but it wasn't freezing.
If Alex had to put a month to the current weather, he would say march.
The winter was at its end, but spring wasn't fully there yet.
When night arrived, Alex jumped onto his sled wagon and closed his eyes in meditation.
Alex didn't want to train right now since he had to be in his peak condition for any eventual attacks.
The entire day, Alex had felt uncomfortable, and it had only gotten worse the closer night came. Alex wasn't afraid of the bandits, but he was afraid of having to kill some kids.
Alex was in the body of a teenager, but he had actually been a young adult in his past life. Many teenagers thought of themselves as adults, but when they actually reached their twenties, they realized the difference between teenagers and actual adults.
There was a certain aura of confidence in adults that was nearly impossible for teenagers to emulate.
A slight wind blew through the surroundings, and Alex felt the gentle movement of his hair in the wind.
Everything was silent.
Alex felt a bit hungry, but he could get through a day without eating.
Alex focused on gathering Mana in his meditation, and time passed rather quickly for him. It was like he was half-asleep and half-awake.
Suddenly, Alex opened his narrowed eyes.
He had heard the sound of movement in the distance.
Alex looked over, and he saw a shadow dart behind a tree.
The bandits had arrived!