The enemies, sensing their failed attempt at persuasion, grew more desperate. Rayna, her voice dripping with disdain, attempted one last effort, “Think of what you could achieve. Together, we would roam deeper in this realm.”
Lucia laughed defiantly. “You’re merely wasting your breath. It seemed to me that you’re scared of facing us.”
With each word spoken, Golden Phoenix’s resolve was unshakable. They stood united, a beacon of unwavering friendship, ready to face their adversaries head-on no matter the outcome.
The enemies, realizing their attempts had failed, gritted their teeth in frustration. The battle continued the clash of steel and the eruption of magic filling the air.
Golden Phoenix fought with an indomitable spirit, strengthened by their unbreakable bond. They were determined to prevail and bring down Fate Alliance and Great Dynasty.
But without Lucia’s help, their strength greatly diminished.
Just as Golden Phoenix seemed on the brink of defeat, a sudden surge of energy crackled through the area. Ren appeared in a blinding flash of light, his robes billowing through the air.
“You!” Silvia was shocked.
“You!” Dimitri and Hugo frowned.
“Ren . . . ,” Roni muttered sourly in strangled words. Some old wounds never truly heal and bleed again at the slightest word of a name.
Ren’s presence alone ignited a newfound hope within the hearts of Golden Phoenix and dreaded in the hearts of Fate Alliance and Great Dynasty.
The battle stopped, and both sides were curious as to what Ren, the Host, was doing in here.
Dimitri forced an amiable smile even though all he wanted was to kill every Ren he encountered because of his past bout with the Ren in his school. The name made his mouth go sour, and he disdainfully looked at him.
“Well . . . isn’t it Ren? Our dear Host,” Dimitri started. “What brings you here?”
“I’m here to offer my services,” Ren said straight to the point. “Whoever pays me the highest, I will help in this fight.”
“. . .”
“. . .”
Ren could taste it, a nervous tension that came perilously close to fear, and the silence grew ever so still. He was planning to help Golden Phoenix in the first place, but he wouldn’t do it for free.
What Silvia didn’t lack was money, and he knew that she would pay the highest out of this bid. Hugo of Great Dynasty and Dimitri of Fate Alliance might be rich, but they didn’t hold a candle against the Rutherford empire. If not . . . he would help Silvia anyway and get her money.
A win-win situation if he said so himself.
“You’re asking . . . money?” Pamela was baffled.
“Why not?” Ren shrugged. “I had auctioned the ticket in the first place. Why not my services, right?”
Silvia recovered, and though she was dismayed that Ren didn’t help, she stifled a laugh because it reminded her of his encounter with the Ren back in Euclid Village when she was having trouble with those bunnies.
The Ren back then also helped her – for a price, of course.
Come to think of it . . . Silvia ran her eyes at Ren . . . could it be possible that he was the same, Ren?
It was so long ago that she forgot what he looked like. There were many players she encountered with the name Ren and she didn’t want to assume without making sure first.
“Well?” Ren urged.
Dimitri laughed, which was borderline sneering. “Payment? I think we’re more than enough to defeat them. We don’t need to pay you to help us kill them. We got it.”
“Maybe . . . but what if I helped them? You’ll definitely lose.”
“So arrogant,” hissed Hugo. “Even you can’t defeat five of us. Our ATP is nearing 200.”
“Is that right?” Ren merely said.
“I’ll bid a hundred thousand,” Silvia declared, changing the topic.
Pamela was quick to her side and whispered in her ears, “What are you doing? We’re overboard in the budget for this expedition already.”
Silvia forced a smile with sweat at the side of her face. “We’ve already spent millions; what a few millions more?”
“Ugh . . .” Pamela gave a wry smile. She could do nothing when she saw that stubborn jut of jaw. There was simply no changing her mind.
Everyone was shocked, and there was disbelief in Hugo’s face when he spoke. “Don’t lie. You should be in the leaderboards if that’s true.”
“There’s an option to not publicize your stat. And I chose that option,” Ren answered simply.
“How do we know that you’re telling the truth?” Dimitri said.
“Being the first to explore the Elven Realm and gaining access to the Fey Realm should be proof enough. Not to mention that I’m venturing alone in here. Don’t you see my full HP and MP?”
Though most of it, he owned to the Princess, but they didn’t need to know that. “Anyway, if you’re not going to bid, then I guess Golden Phoenix wins.”
“Wait . . .” Dimitri stepped forward and cockily grinned. “I bid one hundred thousand and one.”
He was mocking Ren, and everyone knew it.
“Two hundred thousand,” Silvia said, and Hugo only smiled again and added another dollar to the bid.
Fate Alliance and Great Dynasty snickered, but when Silvia raised the bid to five hundred thousand, they were no longer laughing.
“Really, Silvia? Are you going to pay half a million? You’re that desperate?” mocked Rayna.
Silvia only raised her head high and answered, “One million.”
Ren held it together not to laugh out loud when the other’s faces contorted in both shock and disbelief.
“Go on,” Silvia challenged. “Raise it again, and I’ll match it.”
Hugo and Dimitri couldn’t speak. One hundred was already enough. Two hundred was negotiable but half a million?! That was more than they could afford to pay for just a single fight.
“I guess we have a winner,” Ren said and faced Fate Alliance and Great Dynasty. “Any last words?”
“Don’t be so arrogant!” Roni stepped forward and spat, voice laced with venom, “You can’t take all of us–!”
Roni’s taunting words hung in the air, his voice dripping with venomous arrogance. Before he could finish his sentence, a sudden surge of flames erupted around him, engulfing his entire body. The flames, born from Ren’s spell, blazed with an intensity that seemed to consume Roni’s very essence and he turned into particles just like that.