Hiller put down the weapon in his hand because he had identified the two men who were walking in front of the group. The first man was the one that he had dispatched to seek the Mercenary Association's assistance and the other was the Starlight mercenary group leader, Rhode.
Why was he here?
Hiller's first thought was that Mercenary Association had received their reinforcement request and sent Starlight over. However, he quickly erased that speculation because the time was too short. He has sent his people a day ago; no matter how fast, it was still impossible for them to arrive at Deep Stone City and ask for reinforcements. But Hiller didn't say anything and put down his sword while looking at his subordinates with interrogating face. He knew that his mercenary would definitely gave him a complete answer.
"It's like this, leader." After looking at Hiller, the mercenary hastily said. "When we left, we were attacked by a group of Wind Snake. We didn't have the time to escape, including me... Fortunately, Mr. Rhode's Starlight mercenary group happened to be there and saved me. After hearing our circumstances, they volunteered to help us..."
After listening to his subordinate explanation, Hiller slowly looked toward Rhode. He extended his hand and heavily patted his shoulder. "Thank you."
These two words completely explained Hiller's feelings in this moment.
Since they were in the middle of escaping, naturally they wouldn't have the time to drink and talk to get to know more about each other. Soon, Lize and Lapis were sent to help heal the injured and disinfect the poisoned. At this kind of time, the benefit of having spirit masters could clearly be seen. Although huge mercenary groups like the Burning Blade also had spirit masters, Hiller usually didn't bring them on a mission, given their characteristics. It was both to protect the mercenary group's valuable assets and prevent danger in these kinds of emergency situations.
While Lize and others were treating the wounded, Rhode began to discuss the problem with Hiller. Or to be exact, Rhode was discussing with Hiller's adjutant because in many cases, Hiller rarely spoke. His adjutant would have to help to convey his meaning. Except saying yes, Hiller would only occasionally shake his head to say no, and didn't seem to be planning to talk at all.
If Rhode's expression was like an iceberg that couldn't be melted, then Hiller's silence was like a-thousand-year-old rock. He only stood quietly while aging and almost never expressed his own opinion. But even so, people still couldn't ignore his existence.
"We also tried to break the Wind Snake's encirclement and did succeeded several times, but ultimately still failed in the end. The Wind Snakes were not that difficult to deal with, but they have a commander-level lord, which is really troublesome."
"Was there many commander-level lords?" Rhode asked sharply.
"Yes." The adjutant nodded.
"There were a total three Wind Snake Lords. No matter where we went, they would block us and... We were occasionally attacked by magic. I think there is someone manipulating the Wind Snakes from behind... No matter what, his purpose is to trap us here. Although we don't know who exactly the opponent is, but he seems to be a very dangerous guy." Having said those words, the adjutant looked up at Hiller, to which Hiller slightly nodded.
"By using a gas element precipitation potion, ordinary Wind Snakes shouldn't be able to get close to us. The abnormal changes in the Wind Snakes must be caused by the Wind Snake Lords. I think those guys should be on their way here at this moment. That's why we must immediately move and leave this place."
Rhode opened his bag and took out four bottles of potion. "These are for you. To use it, just open the cap and hold it in your hand. The element precipitation will make ordinary Wind Snakes unable to come close. As for the Wind Snake Lords, although they are a little bit trickier, without help from groups of Wind Snake group, it shouldn't be too hard to finish them with our ability. The only trouble is that mage..."
Rhode frowned. It's not like he didn't think of the possibility that the opponent had noticed them and was trying to kill all of them here. Although the idea was very commendable, it didn't mean that he would willingly became the sacrifice of this conspiracy.
"Do you have information regarding his level?"
The adjutant glanced at Hiller and uneasily said.
"We are not mages, so we don't really understand these things. But I can only say that the first time, we were sent back by a tornado, and the second time, there was a lightning bolt barrier that spread to the surroundings. These two times made us very terrified. We also tried again several times, but we never encountered any magic after that since we were already exhausted and blocked by the Wind Snake Lords."
"We don't have much time now." Hearing this, Rhode thought for a moment.
"Get ready to fight, we will move on right away. What do you think, Mr. Hiller?"
Hearing Rhode's inquiry, Hiller stood up and replied shortly, though with a determined tone. After that, he patted Rhode's shoulder, then pointed toward the mercenaries behind him and made a hand gesture.
"... What leader mean is, we'll all listen to you." Have to say, translating was really tiring.
"I hope we won't need this messy communication during the battle."
Faced with Hiller's attitude, Rhode helplessly rolled his eyes.
Soon, under the crowd's urge, the Burning Blade mercenary group quickly packed their luggage and dragged their weary bodies to follow Rhode on the way back.
The black-robed mage opened his eyes. "Interesting."
He quietly floating in the night sky, looking at the forest from afar. As a mage, it was basic to not expose himself to danger. It was especially for a contracted mage because contracted mages mostly only learned how to tame boss-level monster, so their magic level was a lot lower than that of average mages. Although the black-robed mage was considered strong, he was still reluctant to take the risk. He relied more on his skill in commanding rather than brute force-that was kind of thing better left to his subordinates. In his opinion, if a mage was already forced to the point that he couldn't help but face the opponent up front, then it meant that he had already completely lost.
That was why unless it was the last resort, he definitely wouldn't expose himself.
At this moment, with the power of his magic spell, the black-cloaked mage could clearly see what happened from afar.
"Those barbaric idiots actually didn't lose. It's really beyond my expectations. And uninvited guests has broke in... Hm?"
Through the manipulated object's eyes, the black-cloaked mage carefully looked at Rhode, then he closed his eyes and pondered.
"Speaking of it, that guy looks a little familiar. Ah, that's right, yesterday Frank asked me to... the target seemed to be that guy. Really unexpected that he actually take the initiative and come here by himself!"
The mage talked to himself, madly laughing, and lifted his right hand. He seemed to be muttering something. After hearing the spell he had casted, the surrounding Wind Snakes once again issued sharp cries, then rushed forward in union!
"Get ready, go!!"
The group of Wind Snakes didn't seem to affect Rhode. On the contrary, facing these terrifying monster, he was rather calm. After that, he took the potion from before and threw it aside. Soon, a pungent stench spread around and made people wanted to throw up,
The original advancing Wind Snake completely lost their previous demeanor. They fell to the ground one by one like a meteor. The Wind Snakes that lost their gas elemental support were unable to control themselves. They rushed towards sharp branches and splitted into two without mercy.
Upon hearing Rhode's order, Marlene was already prepared and immediately raised her wand. Soon, a brilliant lightning bolt flew out from her wand and swiftly flew toward the group of Wind Snakes. Followed by the continuous sound of explosions, the stench of blood from the Wind Snakes also spread around the forest. Mixed with the pungent stench from before, it was really disgusting.
Noticing that his attack failed, the black-cloaked mage frowned. He closed his eyes, then revealed a trace of joy on his face.
"I didn't see that coming; there's actually a person who could think of such tactics. Not bad, it seems that this kid is smarter than those barbaric idiots. Then next... how will you deal with this?"
After mumbling by himself, the black cloak mage put his finger inside his mouth and whistled. Then...
Sharp, loud roar echoed. Three huge, six to seven meter-long white Wind Snakes suddenly appeared from the clouds. Their red eyes were full of killing intent and anger. They quickly fluttered their wings and rushed forward.
"They're lords! Be careful!"
Hearing the sharp and loud roar, Rhode hurriedly raised his sword and quickly reminded others. At the same time, the three huge figure hovered down and blocked the path in front of them.
The powerful force overwhelmed even the oldest trees. With a gentle toss of a Wind Snake Lord's tails, dozens of trees were sheared off. They hissed, then lower their heads, preparing to attack their prey.
At this moment, Rhode finally issued an order.