Gillian's crude remarks gave Rhode an idea.
An idea that he didn't consider feasible.
That wasn't odd. In previous battles, Rhode acted based on his experience when it was still a game, thus, he subconsciously didn't put much effort to think of new ideas.
He turned his head upwards towards the ceiling of the tunnel and noticed the decaying wooden beams supporting the entire tunnel. It seemed as if it would collapse if someone just shouted at the top of their voice. All the dust and sand leaked out from the earth above.
Previously, in the game, Rhode had never paid attention to these elements before since they were just special effects and ambiance, only being there for the player to immerse themselves in the game. For example, a mouth-savoring fruit couldn't fill the stomach because it was never real, to begin with.
However, now it was different.
And this allowed Rhode to envision an idea he would have never thought of before.
"Celia, I have a plan..." Rhode whispered with a serious expression on his face.
The innocent battle angel didn't know why but it at that moment it seemed as if his deep, black pupils shone with mischief and hope.
"... and that's how we do it. Understood?"
Rhode's explanation of plan wasn't too long-winded. He explained it within a few sentences. Celia wasn't an idiot either, she nodded her head when she caught onto the plan. Although she may be stubborn, her brain wasn't bad. She felt like it was slightly odd because Rhode suddenly came up with a random idea, but does it even matter?
This was nothing compared to the other tasks from Rhode.
"I understand. Master" Celia immediately agreed with Rhode's plan without any objections.
Meanwhile, the mercenaries were anxiously checking their surroundings for sneak attacks.
They followed Frank's plan to scan the tunnels, but after a long time, they couldn't even spot a shadow of the perpetrator. This situation made them keep up their guard 100% of the time and caused them to be slightly irritated with Frank's ambiguous command. Although they listened to him due to many reasons, these mercenaries originally had lazy attitudes. Tolerating it for a while was alright, but forever? No way.
The seeds that Rhode planted finally started to sprout. His plan was starting to bear fruit.
"You gave us a command to find this threat, but we have no idea how many there are, whether they are female or male, human or non-human. How do you expect us to find something we don't even know?" The mercenaries couldn't hold it in any longer and roared at Frank.
The man knew that borrowing this "mysterious" power had repercussions. So he knew how his men were feeling. But he didn't care. His men defeating the mysterious enemy? That never crossed his mind at all. He clearly knew the standard of his men. Even though the Jade Tears Mercenary Group seemed to be labeled as a "strong" mercenary group. Mass recruitment had caused unhappiness among his senior mercenaries because they felt that Frank was trying to maintain power by pushing out the old and welcoming the new.
The new recruits were naturally lacking potential, which angered the senior mercenaries even further. The situation was like: when you are used to living in your house, then one fine day, multiple guests barged into the room, smoking, and drinking without manners or qualities, destroying the warmth of the home and leaving a terrible feeling at the end.
As a result, many proper senior mercenaries chose to quit, leaving behind those fresh and green mercenaries. On the record, they have more manpower, but overall less battle strength.
Frank did not stop them from leaving. Rather, he couldn't wait for it to happen. He was very clear that his mission to Deep Stone city wasn't to build up a righteous mercenary group. Those with a high sense of responsibility and ethics were better off somewhere else. After all, his plans were to create chaos in the Paphield Plains, and it wouldn't be successful if he relied on those righteous seniors.
No matter what they fought for, this place was still their homeland, and they wouldn't just stand to one side while all hell breaks loose. Only these new fresh idiots and trash don't give a damn about these things. To them, the most important things were money, beer, and women. Therefore these people were the most suitable to carry out Frank's plan.
This was the main reason why Frank would even bother rallying up these mercenaries to attack the Starlight Mercenary group. If it was any other group, they would definitely be suspicious or even betray the leader. Frank's mercenaries just happily discussed about the beauties in the Starlight Mercenary Group and fantasized about making them their playthings after defeating them. Righteousness and rules? They threw it out the window.
And that was the reason why they were bait. No matter their combat strength, they were still mere baits. As long as the fish takes the bait, what comes after, he would be able to settle it.
No matter how much of these trash died, Frank doesn't a damn - At most he could just replenish them by recruiting.
The mercenaries were totally unaware of how Frank regarded them, but they appeared to have reached their limit.
"Damn it, I quit!" One of them punched the wall heavily and grunted.
"We didn't even find anything after searching for so long! Why the hell are we still here? Are we here to dig gold? I've had enough!"
Every one of the mercenaries kept their silence, as if wordlessly agreeing with him.
At this moment, a white figure flashed.
Despite having bad human qualities, they were still mercenaries after all. Moreover, the white figure was just too darn obvious in the dark and narrow tunnel. They immediately swore as they ran towards the figure while unsheathing their weapons.
They were stunned at what they saw.
In front of them was a floating angelic beauty, expressionless and cold. It was Celia. As an angel, she sensed the filth in their souls. The impurity within them was almost suffocating, thus, Celia would never have a good impression of them.
But this time, Celia held back and didn't strike them down. Instead, she glanced at everyone and spun around, flying off into the distance.
A sudden shout awakened them from their stupor. They raised their weapons in the air and chased the angel. The thunderous sound of them beating their weapons together reverberated along the narrow tunnel, finally venting their anger that they had stored for so long.
The mercenaries weren't afraid of losing sight of Celia. She wasn't flying incredibly fast, and the shining holy aura that emitted from her wings brightened the whole tunnel like a firefly in the night. Moreover, they were getting excited because they realized that the angel was actually flying towards their companions!
Soon enough, another group of mercenaries arrived to the front and blocked the path. Witnessing this, Celia was surprised. She immediately changed direction and flew to another tunnel. The mercenaries, however, weren't in the least bit worried because there were more people waiting for her in that direction as well!
Eventually, the mercenaries managed to trap the angel in the tunnel.
One group closed off her front and the other two groups obstructed her escape from the back. Now, once they created a blockade, they could finally feast their lecherous eyes on the angel. Even if the holy aura surrounding Celia made them slightly uncomfortable, they were still captivated by her beauty. Especially when she was trapped alone, without any room for escape, the mercenaries were compelled to fulfill their sexual desires.
So what if you're a highly regarded angel? Now you're trapped underground with us! Where can you run to?
Heh heh heh. We will let you taste our might after we capture you!
Fantasizing about the pleasures that yet to come, the mercenaries could feel their crotches twitching in eagerness.
If they could force the angel to the ground and rape her, even death would be worth it!
Celia could sense the insidious thoughts of the mercenaries. She frowned and flew into the nearest tunnel she could find.
This time, the mercenaries didn't rush to chase her because they knew that it was a dead end.
This time, you got nowhere to hide, Missy.
The mercenaries smiled lewdly and walked in.
They were right. Soon, they saw the helpless angelic woman at the end of the tunnel.
Although she was in danger now, but her expression did not change at all. She stared coldly at the humans in front of her, her sword in her hands were in position for an attack.
"You can give up now, Missy."
One of them stood in front and laughed cheekily. His greedy eyes were darting up and down, sexually violating this woman in front of him.
"You made us spend so much time to find you... Get over here! Come with us! You wouldn't want us to harm you, right? If you come with us, I can't guarantee you will come out unharmed."
Celia did not reply.
She quietly lifted her head and gazed beyond the crowd and into the other end of the tunnel - Rhode was already creeping in quietly, blocking the exit. He felt Celia's gaze and gave a slight nod.
Rhode raised his sword.
Spiritual energy started rising up from his sword. It gathered quickly at the tip of the blade, forming a shining ball of light. And at this moment, the mercenary at the back felt something was amiss and spun around. However... it was too late.
Rhode swung his sword downwards, smashing it onto the ground.
The ball of light had disappeared, but the ground where the sword struck was in chaos. A large, circular imprint appeared on the floor as if a gigantic hammer smashed onto the ground. Spider web-like cracks spread towards all directions, causing the decaying supporting beams to tremble. Finally, it could not withstand the impact any longer, and the earth above came crashing down. Within a few seconds, the whole tunnel was buried under sand and stone. Thick dust and sand filled the air, blinding everyone momentarily.
"What are you doing!!" The mercenary that spotted Rhode bellowed.
He attempted to attack Rhode, but at Rhode already retreated to the back. A huge chunk of mud and rock came crashing down, thoroughly separating them.
"What the hell happened?!"
All the other mercenaries turned around to face this "accident", but what they saw was a cave in.
"Damn it! We are trapped!"
"This was a trap!! Damn that angel..."
The mercenaries turned back to the angel, but Celia was nowhere to be seen. Instead, a hound with flames all over its body took her place and it charged towards them.
"What is this goddamn thing?!"
The mercenaries that stood in the front raised his sword as he struck towards the Black Hound.
When the blades sliced into the Black Hound's body, they felt no resistance at all.
And at the very next moment, a bright red flame erupted...!