Chapter 14: Roadblock
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They remained in the room until morning fall to depart. She spent the night watching the squad converse and make leisurely conversation. He was observing their demeanor, and what she could find out about them. The man, Silverstar had a mouth like a sailor.- And an temper higher than hers to boot.

 

The other two were Giren and Horas. Giren seemed to have a good grip of himself and often spoke as the leader of the group. The others heeded his words as well. Horas seemed to be incompetent as well. He rarely thought for himself and just seconded whatever it was that Giren says. 

 

The last one was the man who attacked her earlier, Vein. Vein seemed to be pretty pissed off by the events that had occurred earlier thus he just stayed silent glaring at the witch.

 

The others picked up on his recklessly callous glare and realized what it might have been about. “Oh by the way, what was that earlier?  Do you have skin made of steel or something? “

 

“Ah that? It’s a passive skill of mine. It basically means, I’m a walking shield. I know I may not look like much since I am just a porcelain rank adventurer, but I was able to defeat Nuon in combat.”

There was a look of disbelief and doubt amongst all of their faces “Erm were you there in the city? Did you see it? How did Nuon die?”

 

“I’m certain he went out like a legend, truly deserving of his rank.”

 

Too many questions at once. She had lost interest in the chat already. She yawned. “I’m going to head to sleep now”. She lay on the floor as if she was a dead body, completely still and unmoving. 

 

The group watched awkwardly before continuing on with their conversations. 

By the time she had woken up, she was earlier to rise than everyone else there. They slept with their blades in hand, almost as if they couldn’t trust each other. Or maybe they were more on guard against her. Though truthfully, what could they do should she decide to slaughter them all.

Her eyes turned around the room and focused on the young girl that had just passed out the previous night. She was the only one awake, still curled up in her fetal position. Tears continued to stream from her eyes and she had been sobbing silently. She noticed the woman looking at her and averted her gaze, staring back into her lap.

Jeez… what's with this brat? “Hey, you… what’s your name?”

 

She seemed to grip her head tighter, covering her ears. The tears kept on flowing and she refused to look at her. The witch clicked her tongue. So it’s like that hmm? Why Nuon would accept a mission this annoying is beyond her. She couldn’t wait to get it complete and leave things alone.

Out of all things, she truly did hate dealing with arrogant children the most. Especially if they were the whiny type that disobey adults. She shrugged. She wasn’t here to make friends with any of them anyways, it was solely to complete her first mission and move up in rank.

Reaching into her void [Unexpendable Pocket], she gathered a couple of things before going to the bathroom and showering off all the blood that was on her. She wiped herself dry with a towel and gathered the rest of her belongings from the void. This time she was equipped with a blade. She was not going to use magic too much in this mission. It had allowed for things to be too easy. What if she accidentally kills someone with the gift to end her?

They looked at her in confusion. She donned an outfit similar to theirs in appearance. She did not have the robe she had on earlier, nor the gown that she had on before either. Instead, her hair was tied back by a red sash. She wore leather chaps and a leather cuirass. Each plate was adorned with a metallic armor over them until they individually made 5 plates down her stomach. 

She smiled, awaiting their many compliments but quickly grew disappointed by the unusual glares they were giving her. She did not look threatening in the slightest. Of course, beforehand, the young girl looked even less threatening. 

They set off at around mid-day, with the young girl hidden by her hooded cloak. At the entrance of the village, there was a horse stable farm which had a carriage already awaiting them. They mounted the carriage with Giren and Horas taking the reins. And so, they left for the next country. They city of New Godon, was approximately 880 miles away from where they were. They were going to have to travel a considerable number of days.

She could have probably utilized a teleportation ability that she had created, but that was no longer an option. To teleport one would have to know where they were heading to and unfortunately, over the past 200 years the world had changed tremendously. She remained in the back of the horse and they rode in silence for several hours at a time. 

 

She was actually impressed by the stamina of the horses. They had been running at full speed now for several hours without slowing down or tiring. Though the back of the carriage was a little awkward. The girl continued to look down only sobbing and still avoiding eye contact with her. Just as she was about to spark up some stupid conversation, the carriage stopped. 

The mercenaries immediately got tense.Lusha had prepared to get up when they stopped her and hopped out instead. “Don’t bother. Just stay with the girl.” Vein leapt outside and got immediately shocked. 

A force of 30 men greeted him. They all had emblems from the country of Ururuk. These aren't your typical brigands. Instead, they were extremely well trained warriors all disciplined by military training, and provided exemplary equipment.

Their emblem crest contained the crest of a dragon eating its own tail, a classic symbol of the Oroboros. In the center was a star colored in gold. With steel plated armor and shields adorned with their crest, they looked very much ready for combat.

One of the men came to the forefront of his group. “Hand over the merchandise.” The man demanded in a calm voice. Almost as if he was certain they had goods within the wagon. However, the man seemed to get the wrong idea. They were not in possession of anything except for the duo within.

“I did not imagine the knights of Ururuk would resort to banditry. Alas, we have no goods you will be interested in unfortunately. All we have in the back there are the two daughters of nobility.”

The Knight Commander put his hands to his face and sighed. “So we’ll have to do this the hard way then. Swords out. You’ll either hand her over, or die and have her plucked from you.” The rest of the soldiers unsheathed their blades. 

Giren sighed. “Hey, Horas, do your thing.” Horas got off the horse and stood behind them all, raising his sword up as if he had just declared war on the sky. The other men got in formation in front of Horas. 

 

In this world, if one was to be a warrior, they would be heavily outclassed by the users of magic. Due to that, it was usually required that one can learn at least some fundamental magic abilities that boost one’s skills or attacks. Usually, this is known as Manipulation Magic.

When faced with an enemy that is a magician, there were ways to accommodate their shortcomings by utilizing what they call Combat Skills. It was a system utilizing stamina and health aside from Mana. For those with such low mana pools, they can sacrifice a lot to accommodate their techniques. 

But if one were to use it well, they could even replenish their stamina and health via their small pool of mana. 

He channeled all his mana to his blade. Manipulation Magic [Divine Light]. Just like that, the blade vibrated greatly, letting out a sharp shrill of a noise so loud that it hurt the eardrums of those who heard it. The second aspect of the technique was the most dangerous.

A powerful flash of light beamed up to the top of the sword. So powerful was the light, it could highlight the two figures within the carriage. If one were to look at their hands, they could see the bones sticking out from within them. This technique was sure to blind someone for an entire minute.

But an entire minute was all that they needed to thin out the numbers. Vein, Giren and Silverstar all sprang to action. They utilized various Combat Skills to thin the herd. Lusha watched with amusement from within the carriage. It was a clever way to utilize the move. So long as they stand in front of Horas, who remained disorienting the enemy, they would not be able to see the group.

So long as the vibration from his sword continued on as well, they would not be able to hear any commands from the leader, nor hear their footsteps. This was a fine display of teamwork.

Vein dashed at one of the guys utilizing his signature move Frenzy. The move had allowed him to identify each precarious target that was unprotected by armor and visualize their most likely movement pattern. With that in mind, he could bypass many fighter’s reactions and still land his strike at the right target.

The very favorite position he was going for, of course, was the arm holding the shield. With one rapid and fluid movement, he had ducked underneath the shield, almost touching the very ground itself. Before pushing himself up with his other hand and sticking the blade under the man's chin. 

 

His next flow of movement, he pulled the dagger out and threw it up, taking his sword and cutting through the defenses of the next man. Upon the dagger falling, he caught it and shoved it nicely into another Knight’s eye sockets. There were no pauses in his movements. He had all predesignated targets completely chosen and thus could rapidly continue his onslaught.

Silverstar laughed and performed his technique as well. Manipulation Magic [Aura of the Former]. His blade spanned a radius of almost 20 feet long. It seemed completely unorthodox to wield such a weapon like that. But just like before, the blade was weightless. This was the same technique Nuon had used. It must be quite a popular technique.

Combat Skill [Surgical Blade]. There was the same buzzing noise that Horas had caused. If one really focused, they could see the blade vibrating at immense speeds. The same time, the aura around the sword itself was also vibrating. In one fell sweep, he slashed his weapon towards the group of ten that stood in front of him, shielded up and kneeling to prevent injury.

The energy part of the blade went right through their shields as if it was only pure energy. Thus, when he drew it around the entire group, there were no physical injuries or noise. They all just simply died. The blades' highly concentrated energy was ripping them apart from within, ignoring all defense and armor.

Then there was Giren, who rather than utilizing manipulation arts, decided to attack head first. He had made iit behind the ranks of men and just lightly stuck his dagger in the necks of the fellow soldiers. This wasn’t quite as flashy, but proved to be very efficient.

By the end of the bout, not even the commander remained alive. Horas put down his blade and deactivated his technique. One could tell that he was extremely tired now, panting heavily and immediately reaching into his pouch for water.

“Jeez. What the hell was with all that fodder?” He spoke, wiping his sweating brow. They were substantially weaker than the ones that had come after them the last time. However what Giren said next made everyone pay attention.

“Do not let your guard down. I fear we’ll be met with a true resistance fairly soon.” 

 

Vein scoffed. So that was the case. They had sent this inadequate force. They were being observed. Most-likely the next enemies that appear will be much more skilled than the ones here- And now, they know information about how each of them fight. 

“The men were dressed well, but there was no training behind them whatsoever. The real units will probably arrive in the next hour. No… we can’t even be sure that the units aren’t here alread-”

The sounds of blades clanging interrupted his conversation. Vein had appeared just in time, saving Giren from sudden death. The assailant? A Man that came from underground, rising up as if he was made partially of mud and grass

“Haha, you guys are good! Nicely done.”  The man grabbed onto Vein’s sword with his bare hands. Vein let him keep it, crouching below and moving to strike the man right under the armpit which held his sword. Then...he did something strange.

The man holding Vein’s sword by the blade, brought its pommel down on top of his head. So strong was the force that Vein got up and pulled back. With each step he took, it was apparent that the move had done a considerable amount of damage. Actually, Vein was pretty much finished. His skull had a conclave and his eyes turned blood red. He definitely was suffering from a haemorrhage.

“We’re done here. Our gratitude for the gift.” They were confused by what he meant. At first they had thought he meant Vein’s sword, but that wasn’t the case. He slipped into the mud and reappeared behind the carriage with two other fleeing figures. 

In one of their arms was the child that they sought to protect so much. They had used the confusion and sudden surprise attack to steal the child. How could they have been so naive! To take both a loss this heavy and lose the child was unbecoming of their team.

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