Following the completion of the floating bridge, the joint exploration mercenary group stepped into Steinbeck Fief. Clyde’s carriage also entered Steinbeck Fief via the floating bridge. Considering that these mercenary groups had helped him build a floating bridge at their own expense, Clyde didn’t fuss about their invasion. In any case, if something went wrong later, then it would not be too late to get rid of them all.
Because Steinbeck Fief had never had anyone manage it for a long period of time, forests covered the land as far as the eye could see, and weeds covered the original roads. As a result, the carriage could only travel at an unusually slow speed. Very quickly, the allied mercenary groups gained a large distance on them, but Clyde remained calm and composed. He leisurely advanced while guarding those three girls within the carriage.
Allegedly, the final suzerain of Steinbeck Fief, the former suzerain who had ruled this area just before Clyde’s party, Duke Andrew, had died an unnatural death more than a hundred years ago. As if cursed, all the people in the suzerain’s residence had died a tragic death overnight. From the cursory initial reports, it appeared that some kind of demonic creature had raided the suzerain residence, and all the corpses were found gruesomely beheaded. Later, Adrian Empire sent troops to investigate, but they also suffered heavy causalities to unknown causes. Afterward, the findings of the investigation were permanently sealed by the Adrian Empire.
Clyde didn’t care about that. Whatever curse and demonic creature were not terrifying to him. In addition, in this carriage, other than Princess Saras, the other two were also not normal people. They were immune to these things on the whole. The mercenary group also didn’t seem to be afraid. After all, it was a matter of over a hundred years ago. Even if such a terrifying existence truly existed, it was very likely that the other party had already change its location.
The atmosphere in the carriage was not tense at all. Lucifer rested, nestling in Princess Saras’s bosom. Ista quietly browsed through a magic book. Everything appeared very harmonious. After Ista had hired Clyde’s party as her bodyguards, she had never asked about where they were going. She left everything to Clyde. Thereupon, Clyde decided to bring Ista to his territory. After all, Steinbeck Fief was comparatively safer.
This vanguard joint mercenary group was a temporary group composed of mobs. Their mercenary rank was not high. Overall, they were C-ranked or below. Those high-leveled mercenary groups who had informed them about the hidden treasure were clearly using them as cannon fodders to initially explore the way. Those A-ranked and S-ranked mercenaries were cunning. They swindled these juniors to throw away their lives.
“Big Brother Clyde, stop the carriage. There is some trouble ahead. We don’t want to lose our horses, right?”
“Sister Lucifer, what did you discover?”
After advancing for a little while, Lucifer, who had been napping in the carriage, suddenly opened her eyes. Yawning lazily, she warned Clyde to pay attention to the front. Before Clyde had time to ask Lucifer what was wrong in front of them, the mercenary group exploring in the front was ambushed, and terrified creams resounded from within the trees. Those mercenaries seemed to have stepped into a trap, and their figures disappeared.
At that time, screams came from behind too. The members of the mercenary group behind Clyde’s carriage also suffered a tragedy. A mysterious power pulled them underground, and they could no longer be seen on the surface. Over one hundred mercenaries were thoroughly wiped out. Only Clyde’s party was left alone here.
The attackers didn’t immediately attack Clyde’s party. With some kind of intuition, they noted that other than a human woman in the carriage, the other three were existences of different races. At this moment, Clyde finally saw the attackers. They were a group of strange demonic creatures composed of mucus. Just a moment ago, those mercenaries had not truly been pulled into an underground world. Rather, they were directly dissolved.
“Big Brother Clyde, they are acidic type slimes. Take note, and don’t let them damage our carriage.”
After hearing Lucifer, Clyde learned what these mucilage demonic creatures were. They were a kind of variant slime. Unlike other slimes, these acidic type slimes were more dangerous. Their mucilage bodies were so corrosive that any being of a normal race, as long as they were touched, would find it hard to avoid the misfortune of being dissolved.
The acidic slimes surrounded Clyde’s carriage. Although they instinctively knew that they were no match for Clyde, they were unwilling to retreat. It appeared as if they wanted to swallow those war-horses and Princess Saras in the carriage. As for the other three, they could only accept that there was nothing they could do. After the two sides silently confronted each other for a while, those acidic slimes transformed into a humanoid appearance, wanting to negotiate with Clyde.
Those humanoid forms were close to the height of a regular Human Race but had no facial features. They looked like faceless people. Although they had no mouth, they could speak and converse with Clyde. They should be using another place to produce sounds.
“Honorable Supreme Existence, can…”
“No, it’s impossible to give you anything in the carriage. You all have already eaten many human mercenaries.”
“No, we wouldn’t dare to touch your things. We just hope that you will help us with a matter.”
After listening to the request of these humanoid form acidic slimes, Clyde finally understood their objective. As it turned out, these acidic slimes were under the control and enslavement by an even stronger dark existence. After being lorded over for over a hundred years, they were dissatisfied with their ruler. At this time, they had just happened to encounter Clyde’s party, so they hoped that Clyde’s party would help them drive out the original dark ruler.
From the aspect of strength, Clyde could completely crush that dark existence behind the scenes. Therefore, these acidic slimes planned to surrender and request Clyde’s help. In the beginning, Clyde had no interest, but after hearing the identity of that dark existence behind the scenes, he couldn’t ignore this matter. Otherwise, the purchase of Steinbeck Fief would certainly be in vain.
“Are you certain that the former suzerain, Duke Andrew, has not died, but rather continued to control this fief for over a hundred years?”
“That’s absolutely true, Your Excellency. That suzerain has already become a demon like us demonic creatures. The human heroes wouldn’t believe us; thus, even if we want to request heroes to come and exterminate him, it’s impossible.”
“Lead the way. It seems I need to make him abdicate. No, completely disappear from the scene.”
According to the humanoid acidic slimes, the former suzerain Duke Andrew who should have died over a hundred years ago had actually not died, but rather turned into a monster and continued to rule Steinbeck Fief. At that time, Adrian Empire’s army, which had come to investigate the event, was nearly wiped out under his ambush. Thus, Adrian Empire’s Emperor could only order the army to seal this territory in order to protect the empire’s face. Now, the empire was truly too poor, so they had desperately devised the idea to take out this piece of forbidden land to sell.
Clyde’s party couldn’t not care about this matter as the former suzerain still existed to claim the position. Now that they had already purchased Steinbeck Fief, whether the former suzerain was a human or a demon, Clyde would obliterate it and officially take over Steinbeck Fief.