Chapter 35: Advancing (Part 2)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The bandit holding the dagger knew he had been duped. Saleen had appeared in an unforeseen manner. He had made a grave mistake in not attacking him immediately. Now that Saleen had finished deploying his spells, their tactics had failed completely.
The swordsmen that had been surrounded were wearing stainless steel scale armor. With their movements slowed, all they could do was fight recklessly with the bandits. It was advantageous for the swordsmen in stainless steel scales to be slashing blindly, as the bandits had only leather armor. There were immediately screams heard everywhere, leaving only five on the battlefield – the Qin swordsman holding the eight-faceted Qin sword, the chief of the bandit gang, Saleen, Sika, and Canghong.
After the insane attack, there was blood all over the Qin swordsman. The most deadly attack on him had been a metal spike that was stabbed into his crotch. It was the bandit gang’s unique weapon which was laced with poison. In an instant, he had killed the six bandits who had surrounded him, but had not been able to prevent this lethal strike.
Canghong’s condition was slightly better. A heavily-armored swordsman had kicked him in his abdomen and sent him flying into a large tree. He did not collapse, but instead again exerted force and stabbed his entire three-edged dagger into the stomach of the heavily-armored swordsman.
A vicious expression was displayed on Canghong’s handsome face. He had attacked with all of his might. This kick had been a very hard one. The boots of the heavily-armored swordsman weighed more than ten kilograms, and there were metallic spikes on the surface. The swordsman had not put up any defense, and his aim had ensured the death of this heavily-armored swordsman.
Saleen smiled at the chief of the bandit gang and said, “So chief, will you run off or do you want to challenge me? I have more men than you.”
The masked bandit suddenly removed his mask, revealing his face.
“Little mage. You have no magic chords left and you are trying to scare me?”
This bandit was very experienced. He could tell that Saleen was just a Grade 1 mage and that based on the number of spells he had deployed, he had probably exhausted his magic chords. However, this youth was very courageous to actually try and scare him. It was a pity that such a promising mage…
“You’d better remember whose hand you are dying by.” The bandit did not finish his sentence and had already charged towards Saleen.
The Frost Array was practically ineffective on him. In the blink of an eye, he had moved more than ten meters and had his longish dagger at Saleen’s throat. Saleen could nearly feel the razor sharp dagger cutting into his skin and causing blood to gush out.
Sika’s humongous cudgel swept over. Dang! The cudgel was knocked aside by the bandit’s dagger. Saleen panicked, as Sika’s impairment was more serious than he had expected. That holy master’s attack had dispersed the soul of the magic beast in Sika’s cudgel, and Sika’s energy level had gone down ever since. For such a heavy weapon to actually be knocked aside by a dagger!
He could ponder it no further and prepared to deploy his spell immediately. This was his only Grade 2 spell – Ice Arrow.
The bandit’s dagger turned and blocked the path of the ice arrow. He had actually used a normal weapon to block the attack of a Grade 2 spell. Only a senior swordsman could possess such force.
As the speed of the spell’s deployment could not be captured by the naked eye, this block had been entirely based off of his sharp perception in deducing the route of attack in advance. He had also been given a bad scare, given that the mage had actually released a Grade 2 spell. His misjudgement caused him to suddenly back off.
Given that the other party had a Grade 2 mage and the battle had just begun, he might have been in the more advantageous position. However, the other party also had a Caucasus warrior. Sika pulled out her boomerang at this time and looked at him fiercely. She could no longer lift up her huge cudgel, and depended on her boomerang to engage in battle.
Saleen grunted, his body falling lifelessly to the ground.
The bandit gloated. This little mage had seemed ferocious in appearance but was in fact feeble in essence. He had nearly been tricked.
The boomerang cut through the air. The bandit did not retreat but instead advanced forward. The dagger was thrown into the air and struck the center of the boomerang. The boomerang could no longer fly and fell to the ground along with the dagger.
The bandit gave a grim smile and pounced, his left hand already fitted with a glove. At the tip of the metal glove were three sharp juts, and they were headed straight for Saleen’s throat.
In close range battles, mages were always scum. The bandit felt ease in his heart. The battle was finally about to end. The most difficult opponent, the swordsman, was still standing but was unable to attack. As for that Caucasus warrior, she was not a match for him. As long as he killed the mage, his mission would be considered accomplished.
What could be more exciting than killing a mage?
Saleen’s magic chords were indeed almost exhausted, and he was unable to cast any Grade 1 spells. He was, however, not panicking, as his hand discreetly held onto his family badge and was ready to counter the bandit’s blow.
The bandit bent over with no intentions of changing his stroke. He wanted to completely destroy the mage with this strike. Competing with him in body strength? The bandit had already summoned the sword aura. This strike would break even a rock up into powder.
The sound of a very dull impact. The bandit’s fist hit Saleen’s badge. Saleen had deployed a Grade 0 spell. Instantly, all of Saleen’s remaining strength had been absorbed into the badge. The bandit had not escaped. Saleen’s fingers were bleeding from the impact, and his gloves were stained red.
Without any warning, his power was instantly absorbed into the seal.
The two of them were stuck together. The bandit felt as though his entire body had been frozen solid. A fire burned in his body, and both his eyes had lost their vision. He felt drumming in his ears as well as visceral colic and muscle paralysis. There seemed to be tens of thousands of insects flying inside of his head.
All of these negative conditions afflicted the bandit at the same time. Saleen had taken a few years to grow accustomed to it, but the bandit had not had the chance to do so. His body slowly weakened. Saleen shouted loudly, “Sika!”
Sika pursed her lips, retrieved her boomerang, and forcefully cut off the head of the bandit.
This bandit had died unjustly. What was left of Saleen’s magic chords could barely sustain a few Grade 0 spells, and would not have been able to cause him any harm at all. If he had only not touched that badge or let Saleen’s blood stain his gloves, the ending would not have been as such.
A fluttering sound was heard. Saleen and Sika startled. It was that Qin swordsman who had fallen. He had seen the bandit chief’s head being severed and fallen to the ground, unable to hold on anymore.
“Help me over,” Saleen called out to Sika, bearing with the discomfort in his body. They came to the side of Qin swordsman, and Sika fed him with the restorative water.
“Master mage, I cannot hang on anymore.” The Qin swordsman opened both of his expressionless eyes. It was already a miracle that he had withstood the suffering from the Red Line bandit gang’s lethal poison up to now. The restorative water had only been made by Grade 1 magic, and was inevitably not the cure for everything.
“What can I help you with?” Saleen allowed Sika to help him sit opposite to the swordsman.
“Master mage, can I trust you?” The Qin swordsman’s voice was getting softer, the vitality in his eyes quickly fading away.
“Trust me. I am not saving you for money,” Saleen replied sincerely. He was truly not after the money. In saving this squad, his motive had been to connect with the people of the Qin Empire. Unfortunately, he had underestimated the strength of the Red Line bandit gang. These bandits had still been able to deliver fatal attacks after being struck by spells.
The Qin swordsman could sense the sorrow in Saleen’s eyes. He smiled sadly and said, “Take my badge and box, and go to the Bitter Water Prefecture… pass the box to the Viscountess and tell her I can no longer protect her.”
The swordsman’s head slumped down. Saleen grew anxious, and said, “How about the reward? This, why are you dead…”
The Qin swordsman’s death had been swift. He bled from all his orifices, and the blood that emerged was black.
Saleen was speechless. He had done them a huge favor which now amounted to nothing. Looking at his appearance, this Qin swordsman must have been the henchman of a Qin royal. Based on Saleen’s understanding of the nobility, if he carried out the favor for the Viscountess, it was possible that it would not mean anything. Should he pocket the swordsman’s possessions or head to the Bitter Water Prefecture?
Saleen hesitated, giving up the plan to pocket the items. He was a mage, not a bandit. He should still have this little pride. If he pocketed the items of the swordsman and his teacher learned of it, he would regret having taken in such an apprentice.
Furthermore, there would likely be good rewards in cleaning up the battlefield. It was a pity that he could not return to Sikeqinya. Otherwise, with so many bandits, the selling of their heads alone would have provided him with handsome rewards.
“Sika, go get Sarah. Don’t let the beasts eat her.” Saleen closed his eyes after he finished speaking. He needed rest. Regardless of how well he could tolerate the negative effects of the badge, he had lost his ability to fight and thus needed to be cautious. Canghong’s injury was not minor. They needed to leave this place as soon as possible. If the men of the Holy See came near, all of them would be doomed.
The sun’s rays shone down through the treetops. Canghong could now stand straight. He saw Sika placing Sarah next to Saleen and felt a little reassured. This mage had no intentions of silencing them, and that was the only good sign.
They had killed the oracle of the Holy See and wiped out a small squad of the Red Line bandit gang; these past two days had been more exciting than his life as mercenary before. Damn, I cannot believe I hadn’t crossed this hurdle!
The box of the Qin swordsman was removed along with his badge. These Qin Empire swordsmen were all donned in stainless steel scale armors which were worth a few hundred gold coins. Unfortunately, they were too cumbersome to be brought along. Saleen’s ring could not store everything. The space in the ring consisted of only about a few dozen square feet. Sika and Canghong had each grabbed a bundle to be carried on their backs.
There were numerous bank notes on the bandits. Altogether, there were more than two thousand gold coins. There was a bank note worth about one thousand and five hundred gold coins as well as some gems on the bandit chief.
“This box, do you really plan to send it to the Qin Empire?” Canghong had finished searching the battlefield and grudgingly asked this to Saleen as he leaned against a tree to rest.
“Hmph, if you wish to leave, I will take your share.” Saleen dispelled Canghong’s idea.
Canghong licked the side of his mouth and said, “At least open it up and see what is inside?”
Saleen thought to himself, If you were not around, I would have opened it to take a look. He sighed. “I’m afraid that no one will be able to resist the temptation once the box is opened.” As he said that, there was a flash of white light on his hand and the box which had been the size of two books disappeared.
Canghong felt a chill in his heart. It was Saleen’s warning to him. Since the mage had now recovered his magic power, Canghong lost all confidence in his chances of peeping at the treasure.