Chapter 18: In Exile After the Killing (Part 1)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Decca saw the other party rush forward. He disregarded his injury, lifted his dagger, and charged at the swordsman. Even though the other party had not called upon the sword aura, his sword still knocked Decca’s dagger into the air. Decca’s wrist bled profusely, and he was unsure if his muscles and bone were hurt.
With this block, Saleen had finished chanting his spell. In his hand, a strong green light lit up, and a trace of a white line shot out into the air towards the swordsman’s face.
The swordsman lifted his sword with difficulty; the stainless steel sword was broken with the sound of a click. The icicle pierced his head, and exploded behind him. The chilly trail dispersed all around. The young nobleman was stunned momentarily.
The green light in Saleen’s hand did not disperse, a second icicle shooting out even more swiftly. The young nobleman opened his mouth, looked at the gaping hole the size of a bowl in his chest, and collapsed.
A familiar voice sounded out, but it was too late. The heart of the young nobleman had ruptured, and not even deities could save him now. Saleen felt someone approach him from behind. Decca fell to the ground. He struggled to get up but to no avail.
Saleen turned around, the green light on his finger lit up again. However, it was not Icicle Magic this time around, as there was no time to prepare it. Saleen could only quickly prepare Acid Sputtering, but was not confident he could stop the person who was approaching.
The sharp growl drew near, Saleen’s wrist suffered a heavy blow, and the magic instantly dispersed. Someone grabbed Saleen’s shoulder, and Saleen could feel pain in the muscles all over his body.
“Come with me.”
Only now did Saleen see clearly that it was Ulysses, the swordsman from the House of the Lord, who had captured him.
In the battle, Saleen had badly mauled three swordsmen. The procession had become a big mess. Ulysses kicked Decca’s waist. Decca gave a grunt and looked at Ulysses as he got up.
Ulysses looked at him coldly, then cast a glance at the three injured swordsmen lying on the ground before dragging Saleen off. Decca broke into cold sweat, instantly understanding what Ulysses meant.
Decca withstood the pain as he produced a second dagger from his chest. He then added another stab to the necks of each of the three injured swordsmen.
Ulysses brought Saleen into a pitch black alley, let him go, and started by saying, “Saleen, you are in trouble.”
“Who was that person?” Saleen asked in a low voice as he struggled to calm himself down. Decca had stumbled into the alley by this time and stood in front of Saleen.
Ulysses saw that Saleen’s appearance had changed. His mind was racing as he thought about how to deal with this. Swiftly, he made a decision and said to Saleen, “He was the son of Earl Sufonso from Yaoyang City. You had better leave the city. Your teacher will not be able to protect you. Buy a horse and go as far as possible.”
Saleen felt as though his heart had been dealt a blow. He had killed the son of an Earl, and it was the Earl of Yaoyang City. Yaoyang City was considered the biggest city within these several thousand square meters. Earl Sufonso had a large army. Even worse, just outside of Yaoyang City was a magical tower with a Grade 6 mage.
Regardless of whether this Grade 6 mage would help the Earl kill him, his own teacher would definitely not be able to protect him, lest he ended up angering another senior mage.
There was chaos in Saleen’s heart. He was unable to accept this truth. When he had nearly been on the proper path to begin practicing real magic, he had suddenly landed himself into such big trouble.
Yaoyang City was certainly not a small place like Ceylon City. There were many swordsmen there and at least a few hundred had attained the grade of swordmaster. While Saleen had just killed an elementary swordsman, their death had to be attributed to Saleen’s precise control of distance. Ulysses was also an elementary swordsman, but had seized him with just one move.
Decca knelt down with a flop, and said with his head lowered, “Saleen, I’m sorry.”
Ulysses drew his long sword with force, intending to silence him. He had wanted to kill this bandit earlier, but as he had needed to flee the scene, he had left the dirty work to this bandit.
Saleen extended his hand to block Ulysses, and said, “This is my friend. I trust him.”
Decca lay on the ground, looked at Saleen, and did not get up for a long while. He forced back the impulse to cry. Saleen had said he was his friend. Since he was young, no one had ever looked him straight in his eyes, except for Saleen. After Saleen had become a mage’s apprentice, he had thought that Saleen had become like the people of Ceylon City. Now, Saleen had not only stopped the swordsman from killing him, but had also said he was his friend.
The term “friend”, to many people, was used for betrayal. However, to others, friends were people to whom you could entrust your life.
“You go. I can’t put all the blame on you. I was too rash,” Saleen finished saying. He turned to Ulysses and bowed, then said, “I am unsure why you are willing to let me off. One fine day, I will return to thank you. Please tell Lord Viscount that I am terribly sorry to have taken his money without being able to get the job done. I will not let his money go to waste. I shall set off now. What about you?”
“Earl Sufonso is currently a guest at the House of the Lord. You had better leave as soon as you can. I will go back to report that you killed someone. However, since your appearance has changed, I will only describe your past appearance since no one in the house knows about this. Before you go, it is better that you inflict it on me too.”
Ulysses pointed at his own arm. Saleen knew that he could not delay any further, gnashed his teeth, and released an Acid Sputtering spell. Ulysses groaned as the acid instantly burned his arm, white smoke rising.
After Ulysses left, Saleen said, “Decca, let’s go.”
Decca lifted his head, guilt written all over his face. “Saleen, if I had been caught, I would not have survived. I will not breathe a word regarding your affairs. If I escape, I will go to the Tanggulasi Empire and never return to Ceylon City.”
Decca finished speaking, pressed his head hard against the ground, and then left.
Saleen was distraught as he pulled out a face towel to mask his face before exiting the alley. He headed directly eastward, escaping Ceylon City in a hurry. Having rushed back to the ancestral house, Saleen stood outside Jason’s laboratory. He hesitated for a moment but still knocked on the door.
Ulysses slowed down as he headed back to the House of the Lord. As he entered, he sped up, and dashed into the living hall straight away. He then shouted loudly, “Master, something has happened!”
Viscount Gugger had been speaking with Earl Sufonso when he saw Ulysses rush in with his clothing disheveled and his arm obviously hurt. Instead of reprimanding him, he asked gently, “Ulysses, how did you get hurt?”
Ulysses knelt down immediately, but faced Earl Sufonso. “Lord Earl, something has happened to your son. I had arrived late and was unable to protect him…”
Gugger and Sufonso were both stunned. Earl Sufonso was not much older than Gugger, and was about forty years of age. However, he looked slightly younger than Viscount Gugger.
Earl Sufonso had a pair of pitch black eyes, his irises appearing as though they were masked with a layer of mist. This was a result of him acquiring a certain level of his family’s traditional practice of the sword aura. Upon hearing that something had happened to his son, Earl Sufonso’s body instantly flared with powerful killing intent. If Ulysses had not knelt down earlier, he probably would have had to get down on his knees now anyways.
“What happened to him?” Earl Sufonso gave Ulysses a deadly stare, the mist in his eyes increasing.
“The young master was killed by a mage. I witnessed it when I went there, and also suffered a spell.” Ulysses fearfully pointed at his arm.
“Where did it happen?”
“The east entrance of square number 12.”
“Bring me there,” Earl Sufonso stood up, towering like a mountain.
“What is it?”
“I know the mage who killed him.”
“What did you say?” Earl Sufonso grasped only empty air but had actually lifted Ulysses up. His black irises quickly shrunk, and stared into Ulysses’ eyes.
“Lord Earl, hear me out…”
Ulysses was unusually shocked. Earl Sufonso’s sword aura could not only overflow in vitro, but could control objects. Had he become a swordmaster? Had Ulysses chosen poorly in letting Saleen off? However, because it had already happened, he could only grit his teeth and endure it to the end. If they were seen through, he would need to shoulder the blame and avoid implicating Viscount Gugger.
He tried to narrate Saleen’s background as quickly as possible. After Earl Sufonso heard that Saleen’s teacher was a Grade 5 mage, he put Ulysses down gently, and pondered.
He was no match for a Grade 5 mage. He had not brought along that many guards this time. If a conflict were to arise, he would be on the losing end. But if he were to return to Yaoyang City to request for the great mage to write a letter, that murderer would have escaped by then. Would Gugger be willing to offend a Grade 5 mage on his accord? If Gugger would help him gather Ceylon City’s army and troops, it would be possible to kill that mage.
A scowl appeared on Gugger’s face. He was good at calculating. The moment Ulysses had said he was related to the matter, he had nearly guessed what had happened. He did not think that a mage’s apprentice could kill four swordsmen and then escape. However, as Ulysses had already let him off, he did not have to pursue the matter any further. Ulysses was doing him a favor.
He coughed, disrupting Earl Sufonso’s train of thought, and said, “Let us not speak of this. Ulysses, go and manage the scene. Chris, bring all our people and lock the city gates. If you see Saleen, kill him straight away if he resists. Lord Earl, I will go with you to see the mage, and explain the situation to him.”
Although that was what he said, because Ulysses had taken half a day with his narration, Saleen had most likely escaped from the city by now. He had redeployed his people so they would not have to face the mage directly. He would go with the Earl to see the mage. The mage had lived in Ceylon City for three years, and since Gugger had not offended him, it was unlikely that he would lose his life.
The outcome would not have anything to do with him.
“Many thanks. Snow, bring our men and follow me.” Earl Sufonso suppressed his anger temporarily as he called out to the person who had been standing behind him all this while.
This man by the name of Snow looked pale, his eyebrows drooping. The ten fingers on both his hands were pitch black. He was thin, and was not wearing any armor. Upon hearing Earl Sufonso, he turned and vanished outside the living hall. An experienced assassin! Viscount Gugger felt a chill behind his back, as well as an inexplicable uneasiness.
In battles, there were not much use for assassins. However, during normal times, these assassins were most lethal. In a one-to-one face-off, a swordsman would be no match for an assassin, even if they were of the same grade.
Viscount Gugger nonchalantly followed beside Earl Sufonso as he weighed his gains and losses. If he helped the Earl apprehend Saleen, what benefits would he obtain?
No! The few thousand gold coins from earlier plus Ulysses’ favor would definitely reap more in the future. As long as Saleen was not an utter blockhead, he would certainly get his returns.
If he killed Saleen, Mage Jason would likely vent his anger out on him. Even if Earl Sufonso were to compensate him, he could not possibly move the magical tower over from Yaoyang City.
It was still best to go with the current course of action. Viscount Gugger heaved a sigh of relief in his heart.