Chapter 93: Battle with a Shape-shifter
A few hundred meters away from Fennelis's group, a young male stood on a building's rooftop and watched the entire battle with widened eyes through a magical telescope. He had pale skin, hooded jade eyes, and curly chestnut-colored hair. He wore a red robe with the nabla symbol engraved on it and appeared like a high-class noble. He was none other than lean guard captain Piers, whom Fennelis and Roysia had met before.
"I didn't expect the beast from the oracle would be this much strong. Tch, those adventurers also joined them and made the plan more complicated. For now, I will report it directly to His Excellency, Rafe. These two beasts didn't find a single clue about me. Let's see if she really has the power to pose a threat to His Eminence." He said with a cold smile and then patted the little white mouse on his shoulder.
"Kill all of them. But bring both beasts' bodies back. We need to extract the divine essence from their bodies." Piers ordered. The next instant, the mouse let out a squeaky sound and changed into a bat-like appearance. After that, it flapped its skinny grayish wings and flew after them.
Meanwhile, Fennelis and others arrived near the northern gate and looked warily around the surroundings. But they didn't go towards the entrance. Instead, they moved to the three-meter high wall and climbed up. It didn't take long for them to cross the wall without alerting anyone.
'We have to hide our identity for the next few days and see what happens next. If the enemy is a smart guy, he will not put any bounty on us. Because placing a bounty on us not only expose his identity but attract attention from many people.' Fennelis thought.
'But if the enemy puts any bounty on us, then we have to return to the Peral kingdom and ask Nicolaus's or the Half-Elf kid's help.'
After thinking for a while, she sighed heavily and asked Hooker about the Keris kingdom.
"Mr. Hooper, can you tell me which place is the safest in this kingdom? The enemy may have underestimated us last time, but I don't think they will make the same mistake twice. Now they knew about our identities, our strength, and weaknesses. I wouldn't be surprised if they are watching our movements right now." Her words made adventurers, and even Roysia startle a little.
"Then we should better move to Silverland city, My Lady. That city is filled with adventurers and always crowded with more people. Almost half a million peoples are staying in there to save their lives from the current civil war." Hooper's words surprised both Fennelis and Roysia.
"How come that city is not affected by civil war?" Roysia asked in surprise. This time, Selma chuckled and responded with a bright smile on her face.
"Well, that's because the Silverland city is under mage Sean's control. I heard he is a roaming mage from the north and staying there for the last two decades. Because of his presence, no one has any guts to make trouble inside that city." She paused for a second and added,
"He is a second-tier mage."
Her words made both of them to breathe out a sigh of relief.
'Hmm, I also have to give the letter to Siverland's adventurers' guild, right? That makes my job easier.' Fennelis thought to herself.
After some discussion, the group moved on the mud path and followed the route towards Silverland city.
"How many days will it take to reach Silverland city?" Roysia asked while knitting her eyebrows.
"It will take five to six days, My Lady. We may also meet bandits on the way." Smith warned everyone.
The group continued their journey smoothly. When the dawn light illuminated the world, Umi also woke up from the exhaustion. They met a few obstacles from time to time, but they manage to arrive near the Silverland city's domain.
During the past few days, they noticed that the farming lands were filled with greenery. But instead of those agricultural plants, all the places were covered in weeds and poisonous vines.
Due to the civil war, most farmers didn't plant anything and migrated to town areas to protect themselves from thieves and bandits.
The farmers knew once the war started, these crops would be the first ones to get destroyed. All those farmers were waiting for the result of this civil war. As Fennelis's group arrived in a random village, they started to notice strange gazes from everywhere. Without minding those gazes, the group soon entered a small merchant shop.
Their expression stiffened up a second later as they noticed Umi's wanted poster on the notice board. It was the picture of Umi releasing the Ice elemental spell while freezing hundreds of soldiers. At the bottom of the wanted poster, 100 white gold coins were written as bounty amount. Near to her wanted post was others' wanted posters, and each of their bounties was around 20 white gold coins. But what made their expression gloomy was that they saw the Light Church's Nabla symbol at the corner of those posters.
"Damn it! The enemy used the Light Church to make a move. I didn't expect the enemy would put my daughter as a primary suspect." Fennelis muttered in a shocking tone.
'But why did the enemy put such a low amount on our heads? Is he afraid of alerting the Light Church's higher-ups? From the poster image, I can guess the enemy must have watched the whole incident from afar.' She thought to herself and asked Roysia with a frown.
"What should we do now, my friend?"
Roysia stood there with a gloomy face and shook her head after a short pause. Meanwhile, Hooper glanced around the surroundings and said.
"If we had known this earlier, we could have escaped to Peral kingdom. Now, I don't think the enemy will let us escape that easily." Hooper paused for a second and continued. "We have now left with a single option. We must go to Silverland city and hides there until everything soothes down."
"That's the only option." Roysia nodded with a grim tone and quickly walked out of the merchant's shop. They didn't stop anywhere and continued to move towards Silverland's direction hastily.
The dusk arrived after some time, and the group chose to camp near the large paperbark maple tree. Surrounding them were lands filled with weeds that grown near to a youthful river.
As they about to get ready to build tents, Umi and Nadine stood up abruptly.
"Enemy?" Fennelis, who had always been on high alert, asked and unsheathed her weapon.
Nadine nodded with a solemn tone and gripped her dagger tighter. At the same time, Roysia, Hooper, Selma, and Smith also became startled and ready for any surprise attack.
"Umi, take out your scimitar. The enemy might try to kill you first." Fennelis said with a grim tone. Umi nodded her head and instantly took out the scimitar from her small backpack.
Simultaneously, Umi noticed a ray of the invisible blade was moving towards her head from the sky.
"Grrrr." An irritating growl came out of her mouth. A second later, she gripped her scimitar tighter and started to transform into her beast form. In an instant, her body began to grow taller and formed into an actual fox-like appearance. Her body was covered in golden fur and appeared like a legendary magical beast.
The next instant, she squatted lightly and shot towards the sky while avoiding the invisible air blade in mid-air and thrust her scimitar towards the sky.
A spark appeared up in the sky along with a clanging sound. A second later, everyone saw a two-meter tall humanoid figure with bat wings was blocking her scimitar using a black sword. After that, Umi and the humanoid figure backed away and soon landed on the ground, leaving everyone dumbfounded.
Before the adventurers' squad could get into a formation, they saw another silver-colored humanoid fox figure sprinted towards the bat-winged creature, leaving blurry images behind. It was Fennelis. With a single glance, anyone could tell that her speed had almost reached the same as a sixth-tier warrior, causing them even more perplexed. Except for Roysia, all of them wore a shocking expression on their faces.
"Let's go." Roysia glanced at them and urged. All of them regained their senses and nodded their heads.
As they were about to join the fight suddenly, an echo sound came out from the bat-winged creature's bracelet, causing everyone to fell on the ground. A moment later, all of them felt their heads became dizzy and headache starting to appear. But the ones who got affected mostly were Umi and Fennelis.
Both almost fell unconscious and barely manage to move their hands. Fennelis felt intense pressure over her head and tears starting to pour out from her eyes. Resisting the pain, she looked upward and saw that the humanoid creature was moving towards her child with a wicked grin on its face. A second later, its humanoid bat figure changed into a creepy looking black thing with two empty white eyes.
'NO! It's going to kill Umi!' Panic appeared on Fennelis's face as she stared at the Shape-shifting creature's bracelet hatefully.
'Something is odd about that bracelet.' She squinted her eyes.
Within two seconds, the shape-shifting creature arrived in front of Umi and thrust its sword towards her heart at high speed.
But just as the sword was about to touch Umi's body, an icy needle flew from Fennelis's silvery hand and directly collided against the creature's bracelet. When Fennelis saw the strange bracelet earlier, she instantly thought of breaking it using her innate spell.
The next instant, the bracelet broke into multiple pieces.
Simultaneously, Umi broke free from the invisible power and dodged the sword swiftly.
Everyone felt the crushing invisible power disappeared and started to recover their senses.
Meanwhile, that shape-shifting creature also turned invisible after noticing that the bracelet was obliterated.
In a blink, Fennelis stood up and arrived near Umi's side. Then, she glanced vigilantly at the surroundings for a moment and checked Umi's health condition.
Once she noticed there was no wound on her body, she heaved out a heavy sigh. Meanwhile, Roysia and adventurers arrived near to them and looked vigilantly at the area where the shape-shifter disappeared before.
In the meantime, Umi opened her eyes with an icy look and pointed her forefinger towards her right side. The next instant, ice-elemental energy condensed into a piece of needle-like ice and moved like a bullet.
The needle-like ice moved at high speed and exploded onto an invisible creature, sending snow-like powders everywhere. A second later, everyone saw a creature covered in white snow and grinned.
Simultaneously, everyone instantly sprinted towards the half invisible humanoid creature and attacked one after another from every direction.
As the shape-shifting creature noticed its' assassination plan was ruined, it started to back away and began to change its appearance once again.
Slowly, its blackish creepy smiling face began to change, and soon that creature's whole body started to expand like a balloon.
A second later, its creepy face changed into a green lizard-like monster with two dark green wings. Its body also turned into a lizard one, and slowly it transformed into a large Wyvern. It stood there ten meters away from them with a domineering expression and let out an angry thundering roar.
The whole area shook due to the sudden roar, causing others to grip their swords tighter. All of them heard about wyverns many times but never even seen them in real life. Only Fennelis and Umi showed calm expression.
'Really troublesome. It can even change into a wyvern, huh. But why didn't it transform into some mythical dragon?' Fennelis furrowed her eyebrows and quickly dashed forwards. Unlike the undead Wyvern from the undead plane, this was a duplicate one. So, she wasn't afraid of this shape-shifter.
"Umi, observe my every movement. It will help you when you are facing enemies alone." Fennelis said and quickly arrived in front of the three-meter tall lizard, leaving blurry images behind. Even in the darkness, her every action became visibly clear to everyone. In a blink, she jumped up while avoiding poison breath from the Wyvern's mouth and landed behind the creature's back.
Without hesitation, she slashed her icy coated sword at the Wyvern's right-wing and directly cut it.
"RAAAWWWW!" It wailed in pain and turned its massive head towards Fennelis to rip her off. But, Roysia and Hooper arrived in front of the Wyvern's neck and directly thrust their sword inside. Two swords filled with fire and darkness elemental energies made a ripping sound and entered its tough skin. Red blood splattered on the ground from the Wyvern's neck. It let out another painful roar while turning its head towards both of them angrily.
But before it could open its mouth to attack them with poison breath, Smith arrived from the right side while holding a war hammer in his head and smashed on its head. But that's not the end. Nadine and Selma flew from the sides and directly thrust their weapons towards its eyes and blinded the Wyvern in a blink.
Before that creature could think what had happened, everyone pounced on to the large body and made it immovable.
After a constant attack from everyone, the enormous creature's body fell onto the ground, leaving a thudding sound behind.
"Damn, this is the dangerous monster I ever faced in my entire life," Selma said with a trembling tone. Selma breathed heavily and noticed her legs were still trembling due to this fight. Letting out a bitter smile, she moved near to Umi and sat near to her with an exhausted expression on her face.