Chapter 4: Underground Killer
The battle started quickly, and ended as quickly. The entire battle did not even last for more than three minutes.
None of the members in our group died. Though, some people did receive some flesh wounds at the beginning of the battle, the rest weren't injured in the slightest.
The quiet forest once again regained its calm after a short battle, though, there was now a slight smell of blood in the air.
Tusk stepped across the corpse-filled ground, and walked to the bandit leader whose leg was injured. Pointing his longsword at him, Tusk asked.
"Where did you receive the information that a merchant convoy is going to pass by here? The places nearby are possible routes as well, so why did you people ambush the convoy here?"
"Tch. The matter regarding this route taken by your convoy, isn't it informed by the head of your merchant group yesterday?"
Tusk's expression instantly turned dark, and he tightly frowned. A moment later, he grabbed onto the person on the ground, and loudly roared.
"Just where did you people receive this information!? That clearly was instruction passed down by the higher-ups through a secret channel, so you people..."
"Hahaha! In this day and age, as long as you have the money, forget about your route, we even know about the goods you possess, and how much they're worth. Don't worry. We're only here to inspect the place. If we don't return, the remaining people will definitely seal your route completely! We shall meet again in hell! Hahaha!"
"Hurry and release him!"
An attack warning flashed in front of my eyes. I was wondering what it was, but after looking at the direction where the attack warning was coming from, I instantly understood.
The moment I warned him, with[Quick Steps], I charged towards Tusk's back, grabbed him by the back collar and jerked him back. At the same time, I shot out an [Ice Totem] and sent the bandit leader flying away!
A terrifying explosion resounded through the sky. The bandit leader had directly exploded into pieces in the air, turning into fragments as they fell down.
Pieces of his armor fell onto the ground, making clanging sounds. Fortunately, his corpse did not fall down in pieces, otherwise, it would have definitely been disgusting as hell.
"Ah, Mr. Sol. Thank you for saving me."
After I released Tusk, he immediately bowed to express his thanks.
"No problem... Alright, let's not act courteously here. Since you're the leader of the group, you will have to now make a decision. Our enemies have already said that there's people waiting for us at the front, and his earlier self-explosion has already signaled his companions. In other words, we don't have much time left."
"That's true, we indeed do not have much time. But if we make a detour... I don't know which path is best for us either. Because other than this route, the only route left that intersects this place is the abandoned road next to Doge Military School."
Tusk muttered to himself, but, the Archer we have introduced earlier, who was standing next to him, suddenly spoke up.
"There's a possibility that the reason why that person told us our road ahead is sealed, is to have us take another route. And just as Mr. Tusk has said, we're only left with the old road next to Doge Military School that is available to us. They might be waiting for us over there."
"He's right. No matter which route we take now, there's risks attached to both of them. So, Tusk, you have to think carefully now."
Tusk sunk into a dilemma. However, taking this opportunity, I looked towards the other six Mercenaries who were above level 20. At this moment, I then realized they were actually looking at us as well, but their eyes were filled with strange glows.
Could it be that my spell usage earlier had aroused their suspicion? Well, it doesn't matter. In any case, being exposed is something that will happen sooner or later. After all, I'm not completely used to sword techniques.
But, at the very most, I will explain that I failed in magical arts, and decided to learn sword techniques instead. Hence, I will be able to use some regular magic spells. After all, there are some precedents like this as well. In the past, there were several Magicians who transferred to Doge Military School after a month.
The other Mercenaries did not dare to make a sound either. The battle earlier had clearly made them realize the huge difference between us and them. The expressions they were using to look at Hei Luoli now were filled with fear. After all, she killed more than ten enemies as though she was a turret earlier.
"Alright, I have decided. Let's continue walking on the same route then. After all, this way, we can cover more ground a little faster. There's no other choice either. After all, there's the risk of encountering enemies on both routes, so it's best that we choose the route with the most advantages for us."
Hearing Tusk's explanation, everyone nodded.
I, however, don't really mind. After all, our goal is to simply reach our destination. As to how the journey in the middle is going to be, it actually isn't a problem to any of us.
Just like that, we once again travelled through the designated escort route in the quiet forest. However, for safety reasons, we extinguished all the flames, and we had several Assassins and Archers to become scouts, so they were now walking at the very front of the convoy.
And as their strongest Assassin, Oyado's naturally walking at the very front of the convoy as well.
However, Oyado's green name was very obvious at the center of so many blue named group mates, so there wasn't a need to worry.
And, according to Oyado's movement ability, if any danger were to occur, with Oyado's speed, it would probably take merely a second for her to reach my position from the very front.
Though we have quite a considerable number of people, our movements however, were seemingly noiseless. Everyone was a Mercenary who had often experienced the outside world, so things like concealing their presences and movement traces were commonplace to them.
However... it's very frustrating for Bai Yueguang and I. Because we could only constantly tap on the [Presence Concealment]skill. After all, this skill actually only lasted for thirty seconds, hence, we had to constantly tap on it to use it.
Although Assassins or similar classes of higher levels are able to obtain presence concealment abilities that are better and last longer, they're mostly skills which come along with advancing to the classes themselves, and it's very rare to be able to learn them directly. This is also why I haven't been able to encounter such a skill until now, and I have yet to learn such a thing.
As we walked, I suddenly thought of something, and with a very soft voice, I said.
"Don't you feel something is strange?"
"Un. We have already left the commissioned road for a very long time, and we have never produced any fire. In that case, we should have long encountered monsters or beasts. However, in our present situation... We have yet to encounter any, right?"
"And those beasts shouldn't be scared off by the number of people we have either. After all, with so many scouts at the front, we should have long encountered them."
"So, what are you trying to say?"
"Most probably... there's an even more incredible monster which had taken over this place. Usually, that's the situation in most games..."
Just as my words fell, a Mercenary not even three meters in front of us, had his body pierced by a tentacle which came from the ground. He was skewered before he could make a single sound, and the scattered blood splattered onto the Mercenary at the side, frightening him to no end.
"Watch out! The enemy is underground!"
The black-armored Swordsman loudly shouted, and the surrounding Mercenaries instantly scattered with the dead Mercenary as the center.
The monster underground charged right out from the ground, and countless tentacles spread out like scattering flower petals.
"This... A Hellspider Flower?"
I looked at the monster's name, and muttered it out with a bitter smile.