When the armored mercenaries appeared, Rhode immediately shifted his body in front of Anne. The mercenaries didn't seem to realize the situation after rushing in with their heads low. And once they spotted Rhode and Anne, they drew their weapons with caution. Thus, both sides went into a deadlock.
Rhode reacted calmly. He knew where these people came from. The Black Pine Ruins had six mazes, and there were naturally six tunnels. Judging from the direction where the mercenaries came from, they must have entered from the 'front' door, whereas Rhode entered from the 'back' door.
These mercenaries stared blankly at the duo, totally unaware of what happened. They originally thought that they were the only adventurers within the ruins, but now it looked like things didn't develop as they imagined. Instead, the situation appeared to be heading in a direction they didn't fancy.
"What? What happened?"
As both sides were in a deadlock, a deep voice sounded. Subsequently, behind the mercenaries, a burly man geared in full heavy armor stepped out from the back. When he spotted Rhode and Anne, the man was slightly surprised. Immediately. his expression changed into a frown.
"Who are the two of you."
"That's none of your business."
Rhode raised his sword and answered casually. The man clucked coldly after hearing Rhode's nonchalant response. Apparently, he wasn't pleased with this arrogant young man. He let out a cough, and all the mercenaries immediately fanned out and surrounded the duo.
"I don't care who are you, kid," The man said with a cold tone. "I will give you one chance now to put down that thing so both of two might have a chance of survival. If not, you two can stay here forever." As though they knew what he was going to say, the mercenaries pointed their weapons at the duo, poised for attack.
A soft chuckle escaped from Rhode's curved lips.
Rhode revealed an attractive smile in the eerie Mystery Hall, the magic lights which shone from his back, drew a brilliant silhouette around his body. Rhode didn't seem to notice the gaze from everyone and merely continued to smile while sizing up the man in front of him with a contemptuous expression.
"I'm afraid I didn't get what you just said. Your Nimus Language was so terrible that I couldn't understand your intent. If you can hide your barbaric expression, then maybe I can force myself to understand you."
As a veteran player of the Dragon Soul Continent, Rhode was very much familiarized with all the people from various regions. He knew what people from each region like or dislike.
To the people from Leilakala region, the one thing that they hated the most was when someone treated them as barbarians, and the second most hated thing was when someone accused them of their incoherent language. When the people from Leilakala region speak, their accents were very heavy, which not many could understand. And it was like a taboo to them, just like when someone stuttered, the more you laugh and make fun of them, the more they will stutter. Leilakala people hated anyone who claimed that their Nimus Language was terrible because this made them seem like they claimed to be very good themselves, but were actually villagers who walked out of the wild.
Rhode's insult was ingenious and killed two birds with one stone. Two of the most obnoxious things that the Leilakala people hated came together at once.
Indeed, after hearing Rhode's insult, not only did that man's face turn black, even the mercenaries staring at Rhode started to boil in anger. But in his eyes, they were nothing. Rhode felt no threat whatsoever from these shrimps. He didn't even consider these people as human, so what were they?
Enemies and EXP.
Since sooner or later these walking EXPs will belong to himself, so why would he need to bother who these people were? Rhode decided not to care about them and started the insulting. This way, it made things convenient for everyone. I will kill you fast, and all of you will die fast, so it makes it easier for everyone, right?
After coming to this world, Rhode had killed many people. But unexpectedly, he felt that there weren't any obstacles in killing people. From many online novels that he read, many main characters had cold feet after killing somebody, but Rhode didn't harbor such thoughts before. Perhaps because Dragon Soul Continent was incredibly realistic, he got used to such killings. Now that he had entered this world, deep inside his heart, maybe he treated this as an enhanced version of the game that came with extra features such as increased pain, terrifying screams, and corpses with special effects.
Many novels would try to justify the main character raising his weapon and killing someone by having a flashback: This man also had family and friends, wife and children. If I killed him, then this man also had a family, had friends, children and wife. If I killed him, then wouldn't his close ones be utterly devastated? Would their life be the same again?
But to Rhode, he had never carried such thoughts. In the game, who would be so bored as to think of the NPC's past that he was going to kill?
If Rhode returned to earth, maybe he will immediately be in the headlines for: 'University student obsessed with online game confuses reality with games, and has no remorse for killing people. A new generation of education once again prominently highlighted the lack of institutional reform. Urgent reflections needed.'
But there were no 'ifs' in this world, so this topic wouldn't be possible.
"Then let's fight!" The man commanded his men to fulfill their duties, whereas Rhode imagined that his EXP bar was already increasing rapidly. But alas, this man didn't react to how Rhode expected him to. Instead, the man gestured for his men to calm down.
From the start, the man was furious when he spoke to Rhode, but as a mercenary leader, of course, he wasn't some brainless idiot. So soon enough, the man realized something odd.
Where did these two come from?
The man understood the situation on his side. The two of them definitely didn't get ahead of them after breaking the seal. For this mission's sake, he had already set up a comprehensive plan, with many people stabilizing the rear. If they received any ambush, then he would have definitely heard the news. But up until now, he wasn't notified of any changes. So that would mean that these two arrived from another route. If not, it wouldn't be possible as they had rushed over here immediately after defeating the Guardian Golems.
So those two of them came from another tunnel?
This conclusion was logical. And after seeing the six huge doors in the Mystery Hall, the man felt he should be right. Previously his men had notified him that there were several entrances, just that these areas weren't too safe, so he decided to choose the most reliable route.
If it's really like this, then things were going to be troublesome.
Thinking of this, the man looked over to Rhode and Anne. He noticed visible battle scars on them which explained that they might have fought their way through. If that's the case, then he will need to re-evaluate both of their abilities. He brought over sixty people, and he lost almost half of them in order to reach this place, so what were they going to do? Were the two of them the remaining of a mercenary group? Or did the two of them began this adventure from the start? The man felt it was the latter because Rhode and Anne seemed very relaxed, and didn't appear like they had lost any comrades.
If it's the latter, then the two of them must be incredibly powerful.
"I am the Diamond Mercenary Group's leader, Carmen."
Thinking of this, the man started to introduce himself.
"Diamond Mercenary Group from Leilakala? No wonder I couldn't understand anything you're saying."
Rhode's insults didn't go easy despite the man's mannered introduction.
"But to be frank, that name is kind of vulgar. No wonder you guys were only left with money..."
Carmen clenched his fists in anger. He couldn't wait to land a punch on this pretty boy's face. But in the end, he tolerated Rhode's taunts as his mission was of highest priority right now. To mercenaries, missions were prioritized over personal feelings. This was their professional ethics.
"I am Deep Stone City's Starlight Mercenary Group's leader, Rhode."
Rhode raised his head slightly and said. He looked at Carmen as if a rich man was peering down on a beggar.
"I hope you can remember my name. Don't forget it. Mr. Carmen."
Anne suddenly laughed. She didn't understand much of this language confrontation, but she knew that Rhode had always been mocking the man. Anne was already used to such remarks like, "You, this bastard..." or "I'll kill you!". Compared to those typical antagonistic lines, Rhode's newest insults was packed with freshness.
Anne's laughter brought a lot of hatred in the mercenaries. Already a few of them started waving their weapons and stared at their leader, expecting the command to kill this arrogant little white face and to let them taste their strength!
Carmen decisively disregarded Rhode's provocation. He was equally furious, but deep inside, his senses warned him to remain calm as Rhode was acting too abnormally. They were only two people. Even after being trapped in an encirclement by his men, this young man didn't seem to comprehend the danger and continued to provoke him repeatedly as if he was not afraid of death. If this was only his reaction, then maybe this young man had a screw loose somewhere. But since this maiden tagging behind the young man was also indifferent to the situation, then that explained everything.
Are they really that strong, or are they just trying to deceive us?
Carmen decided not to entangled himself with this question and got to the main point.
"We are entrusted to complete a mission."
He pointed to the Sphere of Mystery on Anne's hands.
"We spent a lot of time to reach here just for this little thing. If possible, I hope you can hand it over to us. I guarantee, we Diamond Mercenary Group will certainly repay you generously."
Carmen took out a money bag and showed it to Rhode. Even though it wasn't that bright, but Rhode could see clearly that the bag contained gold coins and diamonds.
"If you could pass that little thing to us, then all of these are yours."
Rhode laughed at Carmen's words. He softly shook his head and placed his right hand on his waist ---- this motion immediately made everyone tense.
"Just that little amount of money and you wish to buy this Sphere of Mystery? Mr. Carmen, do you think I'm an idiot?"
Rhode shrugged his shoulders.
"I'm sorry. This thing is mine, and I will not give it to anyone. If you want it, then come and get it."
Rhode abruptly stretched his hand and opened his spatial bag.
Hearing Rhode's command, Anne immediately tossed the Sphere of Mystery into the spatial bag.
"Capture them! Get that sphere!"
The negotiations broke down. Carmen couldn't tolerate this white devil any longer. He drew his weapon and immediately gave a command.
The mercenaries who had been stomaching their anger finally shouted and raised their weapon while charging towards Rhode and Anne.
And at the same time, the spatial bag in Rhode's hand suddenly expanded and swallowed the Sphere of Mystery.
The room that was illuminated with magical lights suddenly fell into total darkness.