It Starts With A Mountain – Chapter 1

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Chapter 1: Lead the Horse and Set Out’

Black Bull Mountains, Toad Peak, Toad Camp.

There were several well built and red faced men.

“Our Toad Bandits were so prestigious back when the boss was alive. Back then, all the bandits on the entire Black Bull Mountains had to listen to us. Now that the boss is dead though, all the men either died or ran off. We’re all that’s left now.”

“The government army’s going to be subjugating us soon. Just the few of us remaining is nowhere near enough to defend against them. Better just get out while the getting is good.”

“Damn it! The boss died, and the young master left behind is only 18. Yet despite that, you’re all planning to run away? Fine, anyone who wants to run should get lost. As for me, I’ll… Get going first.”

“Let’s go then. All of us together.”

Up on a chair sat the young master of the Toad bandits, Cheng Dalei. He looked around him woodenly with a confused expression.

“Did I transmigrate or something?”

Chen Dalei was just a normal college student in his previous life. He had been playing a strategy game called back in his dorms when he suddenly fainted. By the time he woke up, he was in this world. Now, he’s here within this ruined bandit camp, in this dirt house, as the young master of the bandit group.

Since he’s here, he’s just going to have to live with it.

That was only thing that Chen Dalei’s could use to comfort himself.

The memories in his head hold Chen Dalei that the country he’s in is the Wu Dynasty. The Wu Dynasty’s been around for about 120 years, covering 13 provinces and 108 cities. It’s mastered the seas and had no rivals at the borders. That said, that was all in the past. The current dynasty’s central authority had greatly weakened. Every area had basically independently raised their own forces and are fighting it out among each other.

Wars raged across the lands. The citizenry suffered under adverse conditions. Those who couldn’t live on normally could only chose to go into banditry. Thus, this was a world filled with bandits and robbers.

Cheng Dalei’s Toad Bandits was one of them. Back when the old boss was around, the Toad Bandits had made a fair name for themselves on the Black Bull Mountains. However, the old boss died a bit ago and pretty much all the men under him either died or ran off. Thus, the camp basically only had just Cheng Dalei himself.

“Young master. Young master.”

A voice broke Cheng Dalei out of his thoughts. When he came back to himself, he saw a middle aged man with a goatee before him.

“Strategist Xu. You actually didn’t leave…”

Cheng Dalei paused for a moment. He was actually a bit moved. The memories in his head told him that the man with a goatee was named Xu Shenji. He’s the strategist for the camp. Despite that though, his actual intelligence wasn’t much to write home about. He never gave a single good idea, although he did throw out quite a lot of bad ones. Previously, Cheng Dalei rather hated him, but he never imagined that when the group was about to disband, he alone stayed behind.

“Truly, loyalty only shows under adversity.” Cheng Dalei tightly grasped Xu Shenji’s hand, “Strategist Xu, I’ll remember this favor.”

“Ah, this is a misunderstanding.” Xu Shenji pulled his hand away, “Young master, those guys have pretty much taken everything left in the camp. All that’s left if that skinny horse that no one wanted. In that case, can I take it?”

It was like a bucket of cold water fell on Cheng Dalei. He just leaned on his chair and resignedly waved his hand.

Xu Shenji left the room, overjoyed, “Linger, get the horse. When we get down the mountain, we’ll need to rely on it for our meals.”

Cheng Dalei gazed at the empty room. Back when the Toad Bandits were in their prime, they had something like five, six hundred or so minions. The main hall had chairs for the 12 captains, 8 guardians, the strategists of the left and right… They strode across the Black Bull Mountains, unrivaled. But now, all that’s left is a single chair as well as he himself.

How’s a guy on his lonesome supposed to establish himself in this foreign world?

Beep. Activation condition met. Heart of the Bandit initializing.

Beep. Heart of the Bandit currently loading

Beep. Heart of the Bandit, loading successful…

Eh? Cheng Dalei opened up his eyes and a bunch of information appeared in his mind.

Toad Camp: Nearly abandoned beginner level camp

Owner: Cheng Dalei

Numbers: 3 (Boss 1x, Strategist 1x, Stablehand 1x)

Oh motivated youth, you shall start from here and build the strongest mountain bandit fortress. From there, you shall enter the chaos of the warring times and leave your legend in this world.

T-Those chuuni-ish and game-like words. Isn’t it from the strategy game that he was playing just before his transmigration! It looks like not only did he transmigrate into this world, he even brought the game’s system with him.

Beep. Current population is 3. When the population drops down to 1, the main quest will have failed and the Hear of the Mountain Bandit will shut down.

Beep. New quest [Retain the strategist and stablehand]. Your strategist and stablehand are about to leave. Keep them from going by using the most sincere method you can.

After finally getting the system initialized, there’s no way that Cheng Dalei could let it shut down so soon. Thus, he sped out of the room and reached out toward Xu Shenji.

“Strategist, wait up.”

Xu Shenji and his daughter Xu Linger were just about to leave. His heart shuddered and he kept himself between Cheng Dalei and the horse, “Young master, you’re not taking back your words now, are you?”

Cheng Dalei’s gaze however was first drawn to Xu Linger though. She looked about 16, with a cute face and bright eyes. She was unbelievably pretty.

“Strategist Xu. This one is…”

When Cheng Dalei’s focused his attention on Xu Linger, a message popped up in his head.

Name: Xu Linger (stablehand)

Age: 16

Skill: Horse tending

Due to a father’s intuition against people lusting after his daughter, Xu Shenji vigilantly blocked the way to Xu Linger, “This is my daughter, Xu Linger. The entire time, she’d been in the back end of the mountain taking care of the horses. That’s why the young master has never met her before.”

Cheng Dalei had never thought that someone as ugly as Xu Shenji could have fathered such a pretty daughter. With a daughter like that with him, even Xu Shenji’s ugly face looked a fair bit cuter.

“Fath- no, Strategist Xu. I just had a thought. You’ve been a part of our group for all these years now. It can be said that without you, there’s no way that our group could have gotten to where it is today. I can’t just let you leave the mountains all alone.” Cheng Dalei was so excited that he almost spoke the truth from his heart.

That said, it’s not like he was lying either. Without all those terrible ideas of Xu Shenji, there’s no way that the Toad Bandits could have fallen this fast.

“I’m reluctant to leave the camp myself, but given that I’m just an old bag of bones here, I don’t want to end up a burden on the young master and end up making more trouble for the camp.”

“Burden! This, Strategist Xu, is an insult to me! If you didn’t say that, I’d have let you leave without an issue, but now that you’ve said it, I can’t possibly let you go just like that. From now on, so long as I’m alive, I won’t let you two go hungry.” Cheng Dalei spoke without a hint of guilt. Xu Linger was right at the age where she needed lots of nutrition too. He then sharply changed the subject, “Besides, just where is Strategist Xu going to go after descending the mountain anyways? The land below is filled with the chaos of war, and what other camp is recruiting strategists currently?”

Those words stabbed right into Xu Shenji’s heart. His reputation as a terrible strategist had already spread all across the Black Bull Mountains. No camp would be willing to take him. If there were, he’d have left a long time ago rather than waiting until today of all days. There’s no peace to be found in the lands below either, so the father-daughter pair would have a hard time finding a place to live. If they ended up encountering some army somewhere or highwaymen, they may very well be killed the first day down the mountain.

“But can we really live on with just the three of us here?”

“What are you so afraid of? We can easily live off the land. Now bring me my weapon, I’m going down the mountain to do some robbing.”

Xu Linger headed into the house and brought out a greataxe. It’s single edged and around 50-60 pounds. Cheng Dalei raised the axe wordlessly with complicated feelings. Is this really my previous self’s weapon? Given my looks and atmosphere, shouldn’t a sword be more appropriate?

A scholarly youth in white robes, crossing the world with but a sword in hand. When he encounters a girl, he will elegantly speak, “Might I know the young lady’s age, and whether her marriage has already been decided?”

With that axe in hand, he’s likely only be able to meet matrons, and the words out of his mouth will instead be something rough like “Oy, lady. Got some bread?”

Beep. [Retain the strategist and stablehand] quest complete. Reward: Secret Manual – Triple Axe 1x.

Triple Axe: An axe martial style created by Cheng Yaojin. Supposedly, some divine figure granted it to him in a dream. Composed of the techniques [Head Spliter, Tooth Brusher, and Ear Ripper].

A message popped up in Cheng Dalei’s mind. With it, he completely comprehended those three techniques.

“Young master, it’s too dangerous for you to go down the mountain just by yourself.”

“No. It’s not just myself. You’re coming with me.”


“What, any problem?” Cheng Dalei had his axe set on his shoulder. The axe really was heavy quite heavy, to the point where there’s no way he’d have been able to carry it with his body before his transmigration.

Looking at the axehead that’s a good two times the size of his own head, Xu Shenji wisely kept his mouth shut.

Cheng Dalei got on the horse, axe still set on his shoulder, “Lead the horse and set out.”

Beep. Quest received [First Robbery Before Sunset]. Quest reward: Reward draw 1x. Quest failure: Death.

Beep. Oh motivated youth. Robberies are the start of any proper mountain bandit. Bravely take your first step forward. Countless wonders await before you.

Sigh. Those chuuni words again.

The sun was leaning slightly to the west. An old man, a skinny horse, and a young man with an axe set forth as the setting sun elongated their shadows.

“Young master, we…”

“No.” The young man interrupted the old man. “Call me boss.”

Facing the setting sun, the young man suddenly raised up his axe and roared out.

The horse raised its head and neighed in tandem.

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