Chapter 66: Preparations (3)

“Not you specifically, but I had a feeling a guest would soon arrive.”

The tall man in rich looking regalia rubbed his chin while muttering to himself, “This young man shouldn’t be underestimated.”

“I am Archbishop Ragnir, perhaps you have heard of my humble personage?”

Aleks gave the Archbishop a passing glance without replying which angered the two brutes who were beside the Archbishop.

“Why are we wasting time with this nonsense? Didn’t you bring us two brothers here to knock some skulls in? Hmph, the only way to get through to fools like this is through strength. You dare show such disrespect to the Archbishop? You, a mere mortal and frail boy whose balls haven’t even dropped yet? Hah! I’ll kill every last one of you bastards.”

The twin brothers were incessed and aggressively grabbed their huge two handed axes. Brock immediately moved between them and Aleks, his rapier already at the ready.

Archbishop Ragnir chuckled once more. He showed no anger at the disrespectful behavior of Aleks who hadn’t even risen from his throne to greet the Archbishop. He barely even gave him a passing glance when speaking with him. He was the clear model of a spoiled young brat.

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“Now, now. Calm yourselves Grigor and Toran. We have not come to cause an uproar, but to offer a great opportunity and partnership with our young noble here.”

Aleks scoffed at the Archbishop’s words and said leisurely, “Opportunity? Partnership? Truly such frivolous words. You entered my war camp causing a commotion, disturbing the peace and brought these two brainless muscle heads to intimidate us. You only wish to discuss a partnership? What great words, I am truly inspired by your methods.”

Aleks had barely finished speaking when a murderous aura spread outwards from the twin brothers. Their bloodlust had reached a crescendo and they were prepared to immediately pounce. Their anger had almost driven them beyond reason, but they had yet to attack and waited for the words of the Archbishop.

“Interesting… I came bearing a great gift, let’s not speak words that might lead to misunderstandings. Do you really wish our relationship to sour as such? My people have been forthcoming with you and have shown you respect. You know very well why we are here today, I don’t think words are necessary. You should understand why our actions are not unwarranted. Be thankful I only came with these two and not with an army.”

Aleks finally turned in his seat and sat facing towards the Archbishop giving him a long look before saying in a sonorous tone, “Is that a threat?”

The Archbishop’s eyes narrowed, “If necessary. Or take them as wise words in parting.”

“Hmph.” Aleks sneered.

“I’ve had enough of this! I don’t care why we came here, we two brothers will smash these fools!”

The aura’s of the twin brothers spread out aggressively sending the servants all to their knees in fear. They could barely retain their consciousness in the face of such a murderous and powerful aura. The only people who seemed unaffected by the auras were Aleks, Brock, and Nelay. Brock had already released his aura and was standing in front of both Aleks and Nelay so it wasn’t clear whether they were unaffected because of hidden strength they possessed or because Brock was shielding them.

Brock didn’t hesitate and quickly rushed towards the twin brothers, his sword flashing rapidly. However, it was two on one and he was having some difficulty in holding the two back. A fierce battle broke out between the three and Brock was clearly on the defensive and unable to gain any advantage. Nelay, who was standing beside Aleks, suddenly disappeared without anyone noticing. Grigor soon felt a sense of danger and his senses were telling him that if he didn’t quickly dodge he would suffer an injury. He was shocked by this because he hadn’t sensed any other combatant initially and he didn’t react in time. Nelay quickly struck, using all of her offensive stealth abilities causing a good deal of damage but it wasn’t nearly enough to severely injure the man.

So, the maid was the assassin. She’s quite powerful.’ Thought Archbishop Ragnir surprised by her entrance into the battle. He hadn’t even been able to sense her or see her movements.

Even though Nelay had joined the battle, it hadn’t taken much pressure off of Brock because Nelay was still only an advanced class being. The two twin brothers were not only powerful, but fought well together. The inside of the tent soon became a chaotic battleground as the four viciously fought throughout the interior. Thankfully, the tent was especially large and resembled a grand hall rather than a mere tent. Towards the entrance, the Archbishop merely looked on with a satisfied expression as he watched his two subordinates fight. He would occasionally throw a glance towards Aleks in hopes of seeing a look of concern on his face, but Aleks was eerily calm which the Archbishop couldn’t understand. Aleks continued to sip on his wine and hadn’t even paid one glance towards the battle taking place in the tent. It was as if there were nothing going on at all.

The servants had already fallen unconscious, no longer able to handle the stress of the powerful auras which were being thrown around the interior and the chaos of the battle. If nothing changed, it was clear that Brock and Nelay would lose. However, soon another aura burst through the entrance of the tent and Lenia came charging through with her sword and shield quickly stabilising the battle. Her aura abilities boosted the defense and offense of her allies and Nelay and Brock found themselves quickly strengthened. The battle became a stalemate with the three holding off the two brothers. They fought fiercely however and they could only fight them to a stalemate for a short period of time. Lenia did her best to tank the two brothers while Nelay and Brock swiped at them from their flanks. It was a grueling battle which found all combatants becoming increasingly fatigues from the use of abilities and the damage taken.

Suddenly, Brock pulled back slightly and raised his blade upwards and held it in front of his face. He became calm and poised, like a sharp blade which was about to be unleashed. A great sense of danger, that the two brothers hadn’t felt since the battle had begun, fell over them as they cautiously eyed Brock in the rear. A flash of light began to spread from the rapier in Brock’s hands and he suddenly flashed in and out of existence as he moved forward rapidly. A bright arc of sword light pressed in on the twin brothers, bypassing their defenses and sending them sliding backwards. Two large cuts had opened on each of their chests and blood was dripping violently from their exposed wounds. The two brothers were shocked greatly by this as they had been caught completely unaware by this strange and powerful ability.

They each eyed the other and nodded. Just as they were about to howl ferociously and begin their transformation the Archbishop suddenly spoke, “Grigor, Toran, that’s enough. I believe we have each showed our hands sufficiently.”

The twin brothers almost choked while forcibly stopping themselves from howling and transforming. They glared at the Archbishop and grumbled unhappily from being restrained. It was something which was clearly not in their nature. Of course, the Archbishop had stopped them for just that reason. If they had been allowed to complete their transformation, they would have definitely overcome their foes but the problem was that they wouldn’t have stopped until they tore each and every one of them apart. This wasn’t the Archbishop’s intention in coming here. He only meant to show off their power, not kill potential assets like Brock and the others.

“Indeed. Brock, Lenia, Nelay… that’s enough.”

The battle had finally calmed down, but the tent was in shambles and all of the servants were unconscious and sprawled about the place.

“I hope this little spat didn’t sour your mood. Let’s just chalk it up to hot bloodedness, hehe.”

Archbishop Ragnir said that, but he hadn’t stopped the fight until almost the moment of no return. Aleks wasn’t a fool, he knew very well why the Archbishop had acted in such a manner. Even though his subordinates would not have won without his intervention if the two brothers had transformed into their werewolf forms, they had put up a good fight. This also showed the Archbishop their worth. It was a game and Aleks was playing along for the time being. He was patient and knew that in time, all would be his. If he had to pretend for a while, it wasn’t an issue at all. No one but him would have the last laugh.

“Haha, of course. I hadn’t even noticed as I was busily enjoying this fine wine. Let us talk over a cup and perhaps some refreshments. Brock and Nelay, don’t be rude. Welcome our guests and invite them in. Perhaps we can work together after all.”

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