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 "Hold up. Where do you think you're going?"

Marlene stretched her hand out with an expression as cold as ice.

"And who are you supposed to be?"

The militia captain stared at the maiden with a frown.

"That's none of your business. Buzz off, woman. This is something between me and that little slut!"

As the militia captain yelled, he attempted to push Marlene away with his arm. Then, he threw his fist toward the little girl standing just behind Marlene.

At that moment, he heard a cold, threatening growl.

"Back off!"

As soon as he heard those words, he suddenly felt a mighty gust. Before he had any chance to react, the wind had already lifted him off the ground, and like a cannonball that left the chamber, he shot and smashed into a wooden door at the village entrance. The thin wooden door couldn't withstand the impact and immediately shattered.

"Woman! What do you think you are doing!"

His men started unsheathing their weapons, but before they were able to display their rage, countless of 'sword icicles' fell from the sky and pierced into the ground just beside them. Their blazing fighting spirit was extinguished immediately.

"Absolutely. Rude."

Marlene gripped her staff and walked out from the mass. She glared coldly at the militias who were all stunned at the scene, and her eyes revealed a clear sense of disgust.

"Mere pheasants... Not only did you not answer my question, but you also tried to lay your hands on me. How dare you!"

The whole place fell into a deafening silence, only the chilling echo of the young lady could be heard ringing throughout their ears. Those children who were playing far away ran back home with fear. The villagers gathered around but didn't know what to do. They looked at the ice-cold swords pierced at the gateway and the militia captain who was moaning on what remains of the door. They had never encountered such a thing and were completely confused.

A few brave young men were about to step up and protest, but as Marlene's sharp eyes swept over them, they quickly froze and lowered their heads as if a sharp knife was against their throats.

Not only the villagers, but the mercenaries were also stunned. They didn't spend much time with Marlene previously. Marlene had always treated them with a peaceful demeanor, and that was why they thought the maiden was a gentle person. But now, the maiden's eyes were filled with aggression, and it completely subverted their views. They had never seen Marlene's arrogant side. The maiden slightly lifted her chin and stared down at the villagers as if they were a bunch of ants.

And that was why I said this to you earlier. "By then, even if I don't ask you to, perhaps you would have done the same."

Rhode smiled inwardly. He was the one who interacted with Marlene first, so he knew how arrogant this missy was. Do not be blinded by her friendly appearance. She would only treat those of equal status well. As for others, although she wouldn't show her displeasure in her eyes, she'd just treat them as usual unless they provoked her. To be able to handle people peacefully and not bully them, were the right behavior for the nobles. Of course. If she accepted their personality then there wouldn't be any problem. But, if she didn't accept them... She wouldn't see the need to accommodate them.

And now, regarding the villagers who weren't willing to accept her, Marlene didn't need to be polite to them.

At this moment, an old man hurriedly ran over with a soldier dressed in ornate gold armor. Judging from his equipment, he should be someone of some status.

"What's happening? What's happening?!"

The old man separated the crowd and quickly saw the disturbance at the village entrance. He angrily waved his wooden stick around and stared at Rhode's group.

"Are, are you people trying to rebel? As mercenaries, how dare you lay your hands on civilians. What do you people want!"

The old man pointed his bony finger at Rhode. At this moment, Rhode took a step forward and stopped Marlene.

"We didn't intentionally cause any trouble. Instead, it was these violent militias that were rude. As nobles, we weren't able to tolerate such actions... Or maybe, you don't respect the nobles at all?"

Rhode shrugged.

"N-Nobles?"

The old man subconsciously took a few steps back and scanned Rhode.

"Aren't you people mercenaries?"

"That's right. We are mercenaries, but we are also nobles. Is there a problem with that? If it wasn't for Sir Klautz's request, we wouldn't even come to such a poor area. I thought I would at least witness minimal friendliness, but never did I expect to get treated this way... I'm sure you know what's the consequences for disrespecting nobles. Right, old sir?"

After hearing Rhode, the mercenaries were surprised and immediately reacted.

Yes, that's right, this mercenary group leader wasn't an ordinary man. Both that maiden and him were born nobles! How could I forget such an important matter?

The mercenaries felt excited as they watched the villagers fading off with pale expressions.

The Munn Kingdom was a very hierarchical country. Although on the outside, all levels could peacefully get along, however, it was much stricter than it seems. For example, without the permission of nobles, civilians could never touch any part of a noble, they could never talk to a noble, and even never raise their head to look at a noble. These are the privilege of nobles since their identities are above the common rabble and are distinguished people in their own rights, naturally, they must be higher than the rest.

Of course, if any civilian broke any rules, the nobles have the authority to punish for being disrespectful. The severity of the punishment varies from light to heavy. Heavy punishment could lead to hanging while light punishment might just be a dozen of whips. Although the nobles didn't mind these rules too much in their daily lives, just like Rhode and Marlene, they don't usually care, but when it comes to situations like these, the rules come in handy.

"T-This, this..."

The old man stuttered and couldn't finish his sentence. He didn't believe Rhode's words but the truth seemed to be telling him otherwise. Rhode wasn't wearing the iconic leather armor that usually signifies them as a mercenary, but instead, he was draped in a long, black cloak with a bright red sword hanging on the side of his waist. He had the features of a wealthy son who was out to play. And for Marlene, there was no need to mention her noble identity. Just by the staff that the maiden held, it made the old man feel uneasy - In some situations, a mage could be harder to deal with than a noble.

Why did this happen? I thought Sir Klautz ordered a group of mercenaries to help but why did they turn out to be trouble?

The old man gripped on his stick uneasily, not knowing what to say at the moment.

"Village chief, don't be afraid of them!"

And at this moment, a young man finally jumped out and stood in front of Rhode without any fear, staring straight into his eyes.

"Don't believe his lies. These mercenaries are lying! How will real nobles come and do dirty low-line business? They must be imposters!"

Facing the young man's impulsive glare, Rhode returned his gaze with coldness in his eyes.

"You dare to stare at me without my permission? Impertinence. I will give you ONE last chance to apologize for your boorish behavior. Now. Kneel. And beg for forgiveness."

"Hmph... Dream on!"

The young man raised his head and stared at Rhode with contempt.

"You think I would listen t- ... ahhhhhhh!!"

The young man was in the midst of finishing his sentence when suddenly, a bright red light flashed. Two slash wounds appeared on his knees. The young man screamed and kneeled on the ground in reflex as he lost strength in his knees.

"I said. Kneel."

Rhode stared contemptuously at the young man without any expression. His blade absorbed the fresh blood and started to release a dazzling gleam.

"You... dream o-..."

The young man supported his body with his arms and lifted his head slowly. He stared at Rhode with unyieldingness in his eyes and gritted his teeth as the pain was unbearable.

But his struggles were all for naught. Soon enough, another sword blade flashed, and the young man's hands immediately lost strength causing him to plummet head first to the ground.

"Argh!!"

Rhode put his right foot on the young man's head and coldly swept his gaze at rest of the villagers. Those who caught his attention turned pale and lowered their head in fear.

"I'll repeat my words once more. We are here, by request from Sir Klautz, to solve your request for the elimination of the undead creatures. In other words, we are your saviors and I hope you can treat your saviors with the utmost respect. Do you understand me? As the civilians, and the 'rescued', I hope you can understand your current plight and place. Don't make me remind you again."

Rhode then turned and faced the soldier beside the village chief. He noticed a "guard" mark on the soldier's armor.

"Especially you, mister. I hope you don't make any unnecessary movements. If not, I will inform Mr. Delano with regrets that he needs to change his guard captain."

"Stop watching and move! Don't block their path!"

The soldier in armor quickly understood what he should do. As a guard captain, he was familiar with nobles as he often dealt with them, unlike these villagers. And he dropped all suspicious of Rhode's identity, especially when he had correctly named his immediate boss' name. After serving the military for so many years, he had seen many brainless colleagues offending nobles and lost their lives as a result. He didn't want to be one of them.

That was why, after he dispersed the villagers, the guard captain immediately ran towards Rhode with a smile.

"Sir, Madam. I'm very sorry that both of you witnessed such a mess. I can guarantee to both of you that this was all an accident, just an accident..."

"Alright, I have no time to listen to your crap."

Rhode gestured with his hand and broke the guard captain's sentence.

"We need somewhere to rest. Remember to clean up the place first. Also, since we are here to carry out a mission, go and get those villagers here, I need to ask them about the undead creatures incident. Hopefully, those scums wouldn't be dumb enough to lie. And one last thing..."

Rhode pointed to the little girl who was looking at himself uneasily.

"I hope you can get someone to explain to me, what happened to that girl?"

"That girl? Are you referring to Christie?!"

The guard captain sulked.

"Sir, how did you know her? She's a devil's child!"

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