Chapter 104: The Insidious Abyss Mages
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Nolan's blade sliced cleanly through the withered necks of the Hilichurl Shamans, meeting scarcely any resistance.

The speed of the slash was swift, not even bringing forth a drop of blood.

As Nolan moved away from them, heading towards the next Hilichurl with a bow, they only just noticed him due to the attack. They hurriedly turned around, but it was too late...

In the split second they turned, the force sent their unsupported heads flying.

[+254 Adventure EXP] 
[+246 Adventure EXP]

With Princess Fischl's suppressive fire holding the rampaging Hilichurl Chieftain's undivided focus, the scrawny lesser Hilichurls proved utterly defenseless against Nolan's stealthy encroachment.

Lacking in strength, agility or any means to resist, they could only crumple as the Dull Blade pierced flesh with whisper-quiet lethality.

[+162 Adventure EXP] 
[+171 Adventure EXP] 
[+146 Adventure EXP]

After Nolan dealt with all the ordinary Hilichurls, he looked at the situation on Fischl's side.

To his surprise, the Hilichurl Chieftain was pierced by several flashing arrows of lightning, but they weren't fatal shots, so he hadn't fallen yet.

It seemed that Fischl was intentionally holding back.

"It appears my stalwart retainer has some fixation with slaying foes by his own hand," Fyshelle remarked archly, using one delicate hand to brush aside the golden tresses framing her face. "Very well, I shall leave the final honor to you."

Ever since their journey began, she had harbored a lingering curiosity about Nolan's insistence on personally defeating their adversaries, initially dismissing it as mere playful competitiveness.

But as time passed in his company, she sensed something...faintly strange in his motivation. Could her ever-dependable attendant perhaps be afflicted by an eccentric urge to...how did the saying go? 'Steal kills'?

After thinking for a while, Fischl finally found the appropriate adjective and nodded satisfactorily.

Nolan delivered the final blow that rendered the Hilichurl Chieftain powerless, piercing its head from behind with the Dull Blade.

[Defeated A Powerful Enemy, Obtained 503 Adventure EXP.]

"Haha, Princess, if you're curious, I'll tell you. Actually, I have a talent that allows me to grow stronger every time I defeat an opponent!" Nolan confessed with a joking tone.

Most people would probably be suspicious, like Ellin, who had a look of "You really are a strange person."

But for Fischl, Prinzessin der Verurteilung, her fair face showed a sudden realization, fully believing without reservation.

After all, as the ruler of the Immernachtreich, effortlessly traveling through various worlds was easy for her. As her reliable attendant, having a bit of extraordinary talent wasn't surprising.

"Ah, I see now - no wonder you wield such formidable prowess despite lacking a Vision!"
Fischl put away her weapon, her fair arms crossing over her abdomen covered in mesh black stockings, slightly raising her chest as she spoke with understanding.

"Miss, perhaps Nolan has a good talent that allows him to gain more insights from defeating opponents!" Oz reminded helplessly.

In its understanding, what Nolan said was similar to saying, "Every time you defeat an opponent, you can see a stronger self," which was a motivational statement.

"Hmph~ As the most reliable attendant of this princess, having formidable talent is only natural!" Fischl lifted her face, the golden tips of her hair covering the black eye patch on her forehead, and lightly shook her head.

[Fischl Has Developed Good Feelings Towards You, Obtained 150 Affection Points. Current Affection Level: Lv. 8 (310/800)]

It seemed that because Fischl felt the trust from her reliable attendant in revealing his secret, she slightly increased her affection towards him.

"Um, should we get rid of these slimes?"

Ellin pointed at the flames beside the bonfire where the fire slimes were showing signs of reactivation.

"Well, considering the rain outside, we probably won't be able to go back for a while. How about we use some rocks to trap them in a circle, then cook something on top of them? We're all pretty hungry by now anyway!"

In fact, Nolan remembered seeing the Hilichurls using fire slimes to cook in their camp earlier, and he found himself intrigued by the idea.

"That's not a problem. However, I suggest we block the entrance of the cave with something simple, to prevent any more monsters from coming in!"

Oz the Night Raven, who flapped his wings, said after some thought.

It wasn't a difficult task, as the cave entrance appeared to be only a little over a meter wide and less than two meters high.

Using the already dull iron shovel, they dug up some soil to pile up half a meter high, then camouflaged it with branches. It wouldn't take much time.

Just as they were about to start, a strange, sinister laughter suddenly came from outside.

"Kekeke, that foolish dragon thinks it can shake us off with the rain, just delaying the inevitable!"

Another voice followed:

"But, that pyro mage actually got knocked out cold by the rain. What a nuisance. Let's wait here for it to wake up before we go after that dumb dragon!"

It seems like an Abyss Mages?

Nolan and the others immediately associated these inhuman voices with those strange guys.

It was Ellin who seemed puzzled this time. Just as she was about to speak up, Fischl quickly covered her mouth.

Ellin widened her eyes in confusion, and Nolan gestured for her to keep quiet. They were at the end of the cave, some distance from the entrance, so the Abyss Mages hadn't noticed them yet.

If they made any noise, it could easily carry outside, just like how they heard the voices at the entrance clearly.

From their scheming words, it seemed these maleficent beings harbored sinister designs involving the wind dragon itself.

With his foresight, Nolan knew that the Abyss Order indeed wanted to control the Wind Dragon to help overthrow the Seven Nations.

He hadn't expected them to start scheming so soon after the Stormterror's awakening.

"Hehe, there seems to be firelight here. Could there be humans hiding here?"

The subsequent words from the Abyss Mages made everyone slightly startled. They hadn't extinguished the flames on the small bonfire, so it was unsurprisingly spotted.

"Perhaps it's the Hilichurls. We just told them to make some food for us. Hehe."

One Abyss Mage chuckled.

"Indeed," another rasped, its unsettling tones dripping with sadistic relish. "And if they prove to be mere humans, we'll simply bind them for that idiot dragon - let it defile its own sacrosanct principles by devouring its former wards! Its final defiance shall crumble, and it WILL submit to our dominance! Kekekekeke!"

The other Abyss Mage said sinisterly.

Nolan frowned deeply upon hearing their words. He hadn't expected these two Abyss Mages to come up with such a deceitful plan.

Seeing the impending danger, Nolan signaled to the others.

Then, he activated his skills to enter stealth mode, preparing to recreate the surprise attack he had performed on the Abyss Mages in the secret realm earlier.

He had heard one of them mention that the shield of the pyro mage had been broken, so there was a good chance.

Taking out one of them first was the priority!

The tunnel in the cave was not long, only a few dozen meters. Nolan soon saw the Abyss Mages in the middle, and his eyes lit up as he let out a sigh of relief.

(End of Chapter)

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