What?! → Shen
My eyes shot up from shock.
Oh, f**k no, I won’t let those two priceless golems of mine to get blown up just like that! Isaz, Kenaz! First prior order, get back here right now! → Shen
Both golems answered back in irritation.
“Da F**k…?” → Shen
I was so baffled I actually spit the question out-loud. Then my temples throbbed from irritation and tiredness. I commanded again while this time using power words.
[I command you, Isaz, Kenaz: Get back now and follow your master’s orders!] → Shen
My shout was loud enough to let even the warriors from the other part of the fortress to hear me.
“Huh? What was that?” → Shiroko
Shiroko looked toward the North while carrying the corpse of a demonic wild huge boar. After she saw smoke rising from the North she panicked and asked again.
“S-seriously! What the Hell is going on there?!” → Shiroko
“Miss Shiroko, please calm down. Mister Shen is taking care of the guests on the other part of the fortress. He should be able to take care of his own. As for what we heard just now, I think he was simply summoning back the two golems.” → Gregor
Gregor answered in a cool tone while carrying a huge Rainbow-Tailed Snake of rank C with his one arm.
“Eh? That Shen?! Why haven’t I heard anything about this? And what guests?” → Shiroko
“I can’t really answer those questions yet. It seems some stuff was kept secret for now. But I’m sure we’ll get an explanation after everything is settled.” → Gregor
Shiroko wasn’t quite happy with the idea of having such important secrets kept from her, but she simply sighed for a moment then got back to work.
In truth, she slowly sneaked away from the group and ran toward the Northern gate on her own to find out what was happening.
“…Should we follow?” → Bernard
Bernard asked a little bit tired after seeing Shiroko sneak away on her own.
“Fufufufu~ I’d say to let her do as she wishes for now. Shen said he can do it on his own, but I don’t think that some help would harm him either.” → Bonny
Bonny giggled and just continued to heal the ones transported by Tama from Shen’s command. Everyone was passed out, but the most dangerous injuries were just some broken bones which were already healed by Bonny and her group of healers in less than a few minutes. Other than that, nothing life-threatening.
Even though slightly disturbed by her calm demeanor, he still agreed with her words and thought of what they should make for a meal this time.
This wave had especially big Wild Boars. Maybe some grill would make for a good feast this time.
As everyone observed the smoke and thought “this is fine” while carrying the edible meat inside the Southern chambers; outside the Northern Wall Isaz and Kenaz suddenly froze mid-combat.
Zhin was just about to be struck by Isaz’ tail while Amalia by Kenaz’ claw, but both of them simply turned around and left, not before growling threatening words with killing intent.
[Next time you’re dead. Warrior woman.]
Afterward, both of them turned into two pillars of light and shot out toward the fortress.
The group remained dumbfounded for a moment, only Yuri had cold sweat drop from his forehead. With his Soul-eyes, he was able to see a huge wave of energy engulfing everything on an area of more than 10 kilometers from the fortress. Right after the wave passed, commanding words resounded which struck only the two golems.
W-what was that wave just now?! Oh my God. Are you telling me that the one who shot out that spell had the power to instantly command anyone on an area of 10 kilometers around him?! Dangerous, dangerous. Nope, we must leave. I don’t want to stay here even for a second more. → Yuri
He misunderstood my command over the golems for a spell that could control any being on an area of 10 kilometers around myself and because of that, Yuri’s will to fight just dropped from Sky-high to rock-bottom in seconds.
“…I don’t know what was that about, but I think we should follow. We better get our teammates back before anything else happens.” → Caila
The wild-cat woman named Caila said while sweating profoundly. Destroying the golems wasn’t really that hard, but defending against them was a feat close to impossible. Their destructive might was ridiculous even for them. If they didn’t retreat then she would’ve needed to give out the offensive command, destroying them then flee after grabbing the heroes by force.
“Tsk so much trouble just because of some snotty brats. Alright. We shall go now.” → Zhin
Zhin snorted unhappily then without wavering, he shot out toward the fortress.
“Eh? Now?” → Yuri
Yuri was still confused and looked at everyone with big eyes. He really had no wish to approach the fortress any longer now.
“Yes, sir Yuri. We need to get everyone back then flee as far away as possible. For this, we might need everyone’s combat might, especially yours.” → Caila
Caila smiled at Yuri with a knowing glint in her eyes.
If we measure everyone just from raw and spiritual power, then Stefano would be the strongest. However, if we compare by combat might, then Yuri could take even two or more of us together. His eyes are almost all-seeing. → Caila
“Ugh… Okay, but I’ll need someone to remain with Leorio in case of-“
“There is no need.” → Leorio
Suddenly Leorio got up while breathing roughly from the pain. Even though he wasn’t fully healed, his injuries were already at the superficial level. Yuri was healing him until now and his skin turned to normal almost completely.
“I’m more or less fine by now. We shall go together, no man left behind.” → Leorio
Leorio then took off his cracked armor and stood only in a tattered black shirt with brown leather pants. Happily, the armor took most of the damage from Ken’s fire breath.
With him in front, everyone shot out toward the fortress for the heroes.
Back to where I was still locked in a gazing confrontation with Darius, after hearing my command he was shocked by my strong and imposing tone.
W-what was that?! I almost felt like going toward him only from his words!… As I thought, I shouldn’t be tricked by his power rank. It might be a disguise. → Darius
After calling back the golems I looked back at Darius. I felt already quite annoyed, but now I was straight out irritated and ready to burst.
“Before I snap more than this, why don’t you call out the rats in hiding? Not knowing that they’ve been discovered after so long makes me almost feel like pitying them.” → Shen
Darius was shocked once again and asked me unintentionally.
“Since when…?” → Darius
“Since you said that the others found out about my troops. It wasn’t that hard to find them after a little searching.” → Shen
Darius felt frustrated then he rose his sword in the air. Not even a few seconds passed and another four silhouettes appeared right beside him with the same design for their armor.
“Mister, can we ask how you found out about us? Even though our hiding skills aren’t something to brag about, we can still call ourselves above average in this area.” → Tom
A young blonde man asked with a smile while slightly bowing. He was Tom, one of the twins.
Ho~ polite, not overbearing but not servile either. This brat has a nice character. → Shen
I tried to remember the face of the one who just talked then I made a slight smile and summoned a blue stone in my hands.
The group of five tensed up after seeing me take out something unknown from the Inventory then Tom talked again while showing both his hands in front in a form of unwillingness to fight.
“Sir, if possible, we would like not to resold to violence. Please. Let us have a peaceful talk to quickly undo our misunderstandings.” → Tom
“Calm down. I’m just showing you what helped me to detect you guys. This stone did the trick for me, pinpointing your location without a problem.” → Shen
I made the stone levitate and spin beside me while letting the five of them observe the stone with wide-open eyes.
“T-that stone did?”
“No way… How can a stone discover us? Is it some kind of detector?”
“There must be some hidden magic behind this.”
They tried to understand the properties of the stone and while they were distracted by it, I took out another 20 stones of different elements.
“W-wait, there are more?!”
The lightning fairy asked shocked after seeing more and more stones appear from inside my inventory.
“Exactly~. Every stone has an element inside them. By activating one stone, the respective element inside them will take form outside. And if I combine the elements I can even create such skills~.” → Shen
While explaining, I inserted a Fire Stone and an Earth Stone inside the earth, then the next second right under the five of them the ground started to quake.
“Dodge!” → Darius
Darius shouted in panic and everyone fled from where they stood. Right after they did so, a huge lava geyser shot out more than ten meters in the sky, looking exactly like the Infernal Gorilla’s [The End] skill. After dodging the initial geyser, they had to dodge the raining lava or activate a strong barrier around themselves. Some drops still struck their mark, making them hiss in pain.
“Listen up, you retards.” → Shen
My voice turned from friendly to menacing instantly. Two pillars of light landed to my right and left the next moment and the two golems I summoned appeared right beside me. I threw some energy stones for them to eat and they gulped them instantly. Even though the missing parts weren’t recoverable anymore, the dented or cut armor still self-repaired instantly.
“You broke into my house, wrecked everything and almost killed my people. The first thing you did after discovering our place was to strike one of my kingdom women then attack the messengers. You did so many wrongdoings and now you come here with a group of 15 elites between Grandmaster and Great-Saint, and tell me is just a misunderstanding?!” → Shen
“W-wait! 15? What do you-“ → Tom
Just as Tom wanted to continue asking, he heard a loud, aged and forceful voice from above.
“Darius! Tom! Everyone, are you alright?!” → Alfarr
He looked up and saw his other companions he left behind come toward them in a hurry. The one who shouted was the old dragoon named Alfarr.
T-this is really no good now. → Tom
Tom sweated bullets then looked my way again.
After making eye contact with me, he felt his cheeks burn, too embarrassed to continue talking anymore.
The others landed right beside them then looked at me with suspicious eyes.
“Darius. Where are the others?” → Caila
In the end, Caila asked while taking out her daggers, starring at me warily.
“… I can’t find Stefano and Cecilia, but I supposed they both were taken out by him the same he did with the other three.” → Darius
“Taken out? Only by him?! How?” → Caila
“I don’t know. What I can say for sure is that he can use multiple elements and techniques at the same time. His power-rank can’t be detected while his aura is the only thing which talks about his combat powers.” → Darius
“I see… This might be even more troublesome than I thought.” → Leorio
Leorio said while taking out his sword.
“I think the only way to save the foolish heroes is by defeating him and making him spit out their location.” → Leorio
Everyone prepared for combat with the exception of Yuri. He looked at me confused and a little bit shocked.
What is that thing? Hmm~ I never saw such a thing before. → Yuri
Seeing how everyone prepared for combat, my spirit ignited again and I started to circulate the Energy Stones through my body.
The pain made me grit my teeth but I had to endure it if I wished to go against warriors with ranks around Saint.
“W-wait! You’ll kill yourself, stop!” → Yuri
Yuri shouted at me with a worried face. At his words, everyone, I included, froze in place.
“S-sir Yuri? What happened?” → Leorio
Leorio asked a little bit baffled while the others looked at him just as confused and shocked.
Is he able to see through my circulation? It seems he has different [Soul Eyes] from Sylvia. → Shen
I thought to myself while observing the guy named Yuri a little bit more intently.
“H-he tried to circulate the energies from those stones through his body. But that energy suddenly started to corrode his body from the inside! A-also, there is a pillar of golden light filled with geometrical forms from the sky which heals him every time, but I don’t think the healing is fast enough to keep up with the corrosion. Besides, it looks damn painful! I think he feels pain comparable to having ants eat you from the inside!” → Yuri
Yuri explained everything to the others while making me look at him with wide-open eyes in shock.
W-who is that b*****d? He just blew two of my secrets in one go! Holy s**t, I need to get rid of that guy first! → Shen
I was feeling more nervous than irritated now. He was able to see through my Energy Stone union and through the main reason of my immortality. Even more, he was able to see the geometrical forms found inside Prana. If he continued to look at me, who knows what other secrets he would discover.
“Brat. You already know more than you should. Just close your eyes for me.” → Shen
I united with the Dark Stone and turned into a shadow. Just as I disappeared I reappeared right behind him through his shadow.
The others finally reacted but just as I was about to land a punch behind Yuri’s head, he suddenly turned around and grabbed me with both his arms. He made an over-the-shoulder throw and slammed me on the ground hard.
I looked shocked at the night sky illuminated by the fire from the destroyed buildings. Then another wave of anger struck me and grabbed him by the head.
“You damned. I’ll crush your head!”
I shot up from the ground while clenching his head in my hand, but I suddenly feel my arm numbing then letting him go completely.
I looked at my hand which was completely numb, hanging beside my body as if lifeless.
Acu-point strike! → Shen
It was the exact same move the golem who absorbed knowledge about martial arts from me used that one time inside Gabriel’s Mountainous Valley. Because of the [Soul Eyes] Yuri was able to do the same with ease.
“Strike now!” → Leorio
Leorio shouted then everyone did just that.
However, just before anyone could land their strikes on me, I used a wind-stone to spin like a tornado and make all the strikes ricochet on my armor.
“Everyone, retreat!” → Yuri
Afterward, I focused primordial energy on my two arms and slammed the ground, using it all. The ground dented and created a shockwave of debris and boulders all around us. However, because of Yuri’s timely shout, everyone was able to retreat in time.
I was already sweating profoundly from the pain. My body trembled while my vision became more blurry. The others regrouped again in the distance 10m away from me while looking at me in tension. The speed at which everything happened was mind-twisting even for Saints. If not for Yuri’s shout, that shockwave would’ve injured their internals.
“P-please wait, uhm… sir!”
Yuri raised his hands in the form of giving up then made a few steps in front of the others.
“Wait? Wait for what? I’m already good enough that I’m not calling my troops here to decimate you all.” → Shen
My voice was hoarse while my eyes were already blood-shot. Darkness flickered from the cracks inside my body, like fire through burning wood.
If I force myself, I might be able to use Draconic Materialisation again… In the end, I have no choice. → Shen
“Please stop!” → Yuri
Just as I was about to summon some primordial power, Yuri appeared right in front of me while grabbing me by the wrist.
When did he?! → Shen
I took a step back by reflex then looked at him with confusion.
Wait a moment. He had the possibility to strike me down a moment ago… What is his goal? → Shen
I freed the energy from inside my body and had the stones levitate around my body. I stood tall with the 20 energy stones around me while at the same time doing nothing, waiting curiously for his next move. Showing such combat might, he had at least this much right. However, something still pestered me.
“Mind taking your hands off?” → Shen
Seeing how he was still holding onto my wrist gave me a hard time not punching the day out of him. Hearing my annoyed voice, Yuri let go in haste with a troubled face.
“Y-yes! Sir, uhm… May I first know your name?” → Yuri
“…Shen. One of the lords” → Shen
Hm? Where have I heard of this name before?… W-wait, lord?! → Shen
Everyone looked stunned at me but Yuri tried to continue without giving it too much mind.
“S-sir Shen, I understand your rage, but please understand that we don’t want to start any kind of war here. On the contrary! We just wanted to know why no waves are invading from this region. If we could collaborate together, then I’ll be sure that all the loss this place suffered will be paid in full, together with it, a nice award for your indirect help to the Victoria Kingdom.” → Yuri
Yuri tried to persuade me with a nervous face while I was looking at him unamused and already quite irritated.
“I-if this is still not enough, we could also sign a contract for-“ → Yuri
“How about your name, mister?” → Shen
I stopped him from continuing and asked my own question.
“I already said my name. But how about you? I still don’t know your name.” → Shen
“Y-yes! Of course. My name is Yuri, one of Victoria’s elites and her highness aide-in training.” → Yuri
In training? → Shen
While calling out his own title with some embarrassment, I felt quite amused by his own reaction, then got serious again.
“Listen up, Yuri. I think you already know about this, but this world works by the rule: The strongest has the right to talk, while the weak will listen. If you wish to persuade me, why don’t we have a duel? Like this, no side will cry over the fact that they were outnumbered.” → Shen
I asked for a deal right from the get-go.
Yuri looked at me with a dumb smile. He couldn’t understand how a peace-talk turned into a duel just from me opening my mouth twice.
“W-what are you asking?!” → Susan
Susan, the female twin asked angered while looking at Yuri with worry.
“A duel? Alright, let me take part in that!” → Zhin
Zhin smiled while pulling out his sword.
“No. Let me. I will make that brat listen to Yuri’s offer.” → Alfarr
The huge dragoon named Alfarr stepped forward while taking out his ax.
Everyone made a commotion over my words, then Leorio and Caila talked out one after the other.
“No, I think a duel is the most peaceful way to resolve this. But Yuri is-”
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“Yes. And Yuri is also the best candidate to partake into this.”
Just as the others wanted to rebuke what Caila said, Shiroko shot out from behind more rumbles.
Everyone hastily turned their gaze at her with their guards prepared. Only after a while she became conscious of our stares and looked back, completely frozen in place.
W-what terrifying pressure. → Shiroko
She suddenly couldn’t move from the pressure. Seeing her ridiculous appearance I couldn’t help but stare somewhat annoyed.
“…Is this cat another one of your group?” → Shen
I asked with a plain face while pointing at her. Even so, Yuri shook his head in a hurry.
“Huh? I thought she’s with you?” → Yuri
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