Under the bright light in the square, everyone could clearly witness the village head's face swollen with bulging blood vessels. It spread out on his face akin to a spider web. After discovering the abomination of a face, Anne couldn't help but scream and took two steps back, protecting the little girl behind her back. Everyone could comprehend that this old man wasn't normal. Not to mention the black tattoo-like odd symbols that appeared on his neck.
It was the imprint of a devil.
When he heard Rhode call him out, the old village chief remained silent and stared coldly at the man in front of him. He then rotated his eyes to observe the surroundings.
"I'm sure you are very clear about your situation now," Rhode said emotionlessly.
He drew his sword along the village head's neck. The cold blade sent chills down the old man's spine, but he continued to clench his teeth, refusing to speak. Perhaps, he had nothing left to say? Or did he feel that there was no use in saying anything?
"If you have nothing to say... I do."
Rhode wasn't surprised at all with the village chief's reaction as he shrugged his shoulders and sighed. Afterwards, he gave an odd but firm command.
"Get your monsters to stand down."
Upon hearing Rhode's command, the old man finally laughed with a hint of ridicule in his voice. Soon enough, the old man shook his head and clicked his tongue subtly. Although he didn't directly respond to Rhode's threat, his actions could be regarded as an answer as the undead creatures became increasingly aggressive in their attacks.
"Of course I know what you're thinking."
Although this action was akin to slapping Rhode's face, he didn't get mad. Instead, the corner of his mouth raised and revealed a hint of laughter.
"Since I've reached this point, and I have no more aces up my sleeve, why not just grab as many people as I can to go down with me?" Rhode spoke the man's inner thoughts out loud with ridicule in his tone.
Then he laughed and continued, "That's what you want me to think? Hmph. Dream on. You still carry that slim hope that your filthy monsters would break the encirclement and rescue you. I think you should know that is just your idealized perspective of the situation. You should clearly recognize the severity of your position. If that Shadow Devil was still around, perhaps you would have a minuscule chance of survival... But it's a pity, you've already lost your only chance. So, I'll say it once again. Dream. on."
Hearing the words "Shadow Devil", the old man was stunned, but he kept the smirk on his face. He sized up to the man with a serious gaze despite having no intention to speak. However, to Rhode, it wasn't any difficult for him to make someone speak.
"But I think you aren't afraid of death either. As a person who sold his soul to the devil, even if you die, your spirit will never return to earth, but instead, you will descend to hell as a servant for your master. However, I am indeed curious... where did you the courage and motivation to do this? I'm sure you've realized that the Devil has no sympathy towards losers, or do you think he would generously console you and not turn you into a petri dish for bugs?"
Rhode spoke with a steady tone, mixed with some sincereness. However, the old man opened his eyes wide in shock and stared at the young man with fear and suspicion for the first time. He didn't expect this person to understand the devils so much. Who exactly is this person? Not even a devil worshipper would have information about all these. He only got to know the devil's secrets after fighting for his master for 40 over years, so how did this young man get all these insider information?
Could it be that he was also a devil worshipper? There's a possibility of that. After all, even in hell, the devils didn't necessarily like one another. Besides, this mission was critical to master that there's no guarantee that the other devils wouldn't be up to no good. But soon enough, the old man denied this thought. A devil worshipper wouldn't have an angel as an assistant. If this ever happened, it is either that the devil had gone mad or the angel's intelligence quota had a negative score.
So, could he be... a Spirit Knight?!
The old man's face paled instantly with this thought.
The Spirit Knight was the strongest military force within the Church. They did not participate in battles between mortals as their focus was on expelling and exterminating those spirits who fell into the depths of darkness. The reputation of Spirit Knights wasn't significant to most humans because they were seclusive and had no impact on the lives of ordinary people. They wouldn't maintain social security, nor protect their land. They would hide in the shadows and wipe out every evil being secretly and swiftly. As a result, their name wasn't well known. But within the ranks of the evil devil worshippers, the Spirit Knights' name was even more frightening than the devils. The Spirit Knights had an abundance of knowledge about the devils. Not only that, it was rumored that mighty Spirit Knights often had help from the gods.
The old man suddenly realized his guess might be the truth. In the end, an average mercenary wouldn't know all these secrets. Just look at that dumb maiden at his side. Her silly expression just showed that she couldn't understand what the young man was talking about.
Finally, he felt a sense of fear.
Rhode's sharp eyes noticed the change in the old man's expression. That was the reason why he had purposely said all these. Now that the old man had fallen into his trap, he could move on to his next step. In fact, Rhode's understanding on the devils was way more than what the old man understood. Before killing the Void Dragon, Rhode led his men through the depths of hell to seek for godly equipment. A solid foundation always guarantees a victory.
And this gave Rhode even more confidence to face anything. After all, in the game, the most powerful enemy he faced was the five creator dragons, but the chances of meeting them were minimal. The Country of Darkness led by the Dark Dragon was powerful. Those idiots of the Country of Light council, in the name of 'eliminating conflicts', sent the Dragon of Light to the Country of Darkness. In the end, not only did it result in the Dark Dragon's strength increasing, it also caused the light dragon soul which encompassed the Country of Light's skies to disappear entirely. And the Country of Light was decimated by the Dark Dragon soon after. Rhode used this opportunity to finish off the council and led his men to the Country of Darkness. As a result, the Dark Dragon was baited and eventually killed after a tough fight.
That was why Rhode wasn't worried about the Judgement & Ruling Twin Dragons. These two dragon souls had always been guarding their Country of Law's without causing trouble. The life and death of others had nothing to do with them; thus, Rhode couldn't find a reason to get rid of them, so he left them alone. Immediately after the demise of the Dark Dragon, a new chapter began. The Void Dragon led its army to destroy the whole continent. And this was the only time a creator dragon soul declared war on the players.
And according to the ranking in the game, the strongest in the Dragon Soul Continent was the heir of the five dragons which created the eras. The next would be the second level of each class. They were the 3 Archangels, 5 Elemental Lords, 4 Legendary Generals and the 6 Devil Wardens respectively. The 3 Archangels belonged to the Light Dragon soul, the 5 Elemental Lords were in a neutral position, the 4 Legendary Generals were 4 army chiefs that commanded the Dark Dragon army, and the 6 Devil Wardens were the guardians of the linkage between hell and earth.
And as for Rhode, he had killed an Archangel, the 3 Elemental Lords, all the 4 Legendary Generals, and although the 6 Devil Wardens didn't have any conflicts with Rhode, to hunt equipment, Rhode brought his men continuously into the devil's blockade, straight into hell.
Rhode shook his head and threw these memories to the back of his head. He eventually studied the old man with a funny expression, slowly admiring his face which quickly changed between red, pale white and green. That was the first time Rhode had seen a person's face transform so many times.
"Although I think you may be very passionate to return to hell, but actually leaving you behind may be a good option. As a devil worshipper, you must have heard of the 'Song of the Appease', am I right?"
Upon hearing the familiar term, the old man suddenly screamed. Because what Rhode had just said, was the most terrifying punishment to all devil worshippers.
In the world of Dragon Soul Continent, whether it was humans, angels or other races, after they die, their souls would return to earth, fall into deep sleep, and slowly blend into the world. Just like water that evaporated, begone without a trace. And this was the most frightening point for the devil worshipper. In fact, many of them tried to escape this consequence, so they turned to the devils for help. If they became a devil worshipper, and once they die, their souls will not disperse but will go to hell. Although this was a root of pain in many legends, these devil worshippers thought otherwise. Those were just the ending for some dumb humans who got lied to by the devil. However they're different, there's someone behind their back! And once they entered hell, they will continue to serve their respective master. Maybe one day he could grasp a chance to be an actual devil and also become one of them who controlled others from behind the curtains. There were some devil worshippers which succeeded previously, so that meant they had the chance too right?
To the devil worshipper, this was considered immortality, which was the most important hope for them. But angels were able to destroy this dream through the 'Song of the Appease'. The song would forcefully seal their souls and blend them into the world.
This was never tolerable for any devil worshipper because that meant all their hard work would be for naught. Why did they do the things they do? To give up their human dignity, feelings, and everything just for this? Didn't they do this to gain immortality? Now that I have worked hard for so many years, you want to make them all go to waste?
No one could take this blow.
The old man finally stopped resisting, his expression dulled as his head drooped and looked to the ground after realizing he had no way out.
"... Ask what you want. Kid..."
"You can make your creatures retreat now. To tell you the truth, although they aren't strong, they are very annoying."
Rhode observed the surroundings and noticed that his men were almost at their limits. Although after killing the Shadow Devil, Marlene, Celia and Lize once again got into the battle, most of the mercenaries were starting to show signs of fatigue after battling the undead monsters for so long.
This time, the old man no longer resisted. He opened his mouth and let out a weird, hurried and low shout. Upon hearing, the undead creatures quickly returned to darkness and disappeared.
"Good. It seems like we will have a good time working together."
Although the old man acted obediently, Rhode still kept the smile on his face and looked even more intimidating. Christie who had been hiding behind Anne finally relaxed a little and loosened her grip on Anne's clothes. Although the smile on Rhode's face looked pleasant, the little girl felt scared instead. Although Rhode had a stern face, the little girl thought he looked much kinder previously.
"I hope you can seriously answer my every question."
Rhode put down his sword.
"Firstly, I hope you can tell me, why did you want to capture Christie."
Upon hearing Rhode's question, Christie opened her eyes wide with surprise and blinked rapidly at the old man in astonishment. Previously, Rhode only told her that he was worried that she might face danger at night, so he brought her here. Now she just realized that she was the target all along.
This time, the old man's expression sunk. He knew he had failed badly. Previously, the old man thought Rhode didn't know his true intentions, but through his question, the old man realized that Rhode already knew what he wanted to do... Thinking of this, the old man clenched his teeth before giving out a hopeless sigh.
"This is my master's order. If it's not for his order, do you think I will want to raise this girl?"
Upon hearing his answer, Rhode frowned.
Rhode suddenly had an awful feeling. Previously when he discovered about Christie's life experiences, he heard that no one wanted to adopt her when she was still a baby. Eventually, the village head took her in and brought her up. Initially, he thought that was the responsibility of the village chief. Now he realized things weren't as simple as he thought.
"Your master made you adopt Christie?"
Could it be the devil behind this village chief, had something to do with Christie?