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 Carmen didn't have it easy either.

His men were utterly suppressed by Celia, Anne, and the Centaur Knight. And he was no different. Although he was significantly stronger than his men, to make it to this room, he had still lost half of them while Rhode made it here with only Anne and himself. The difference in the gap of strength was wholly apparent.

Since the beginning, Carmen dismissed Rhode as a mere pretty boy and wasn't fearful of him. But after the first clash, Carmen immediately removed this thought from his head. The impact he felt from Rhode's sword was as though waves in a stormy sea came crashing onto his pathetic fishing boat. If it weren't for Carmen's rich battle experiences, he would have already died under Rhode's blade.

He had already gave up fighting Rhode in a direct clash in and joined with his mercenaries to attempt to take Rhode down with numbers. Carmen truly didn't expect to kick such a hard rock in such a deserted place. Meeting a random duo in a cave that was supposedly a secret? What are the chances! And the other party's strength was even stronger than theirs. Now Carmen only had two choices. First, he could admit his failure and immediately flee to as quickly as possible. Or, by any chance, he could capture this young man as a hostage and end the fight. This way, he could still accomplish his mission.

Instinctively, Carmen wanted to escape. He believed that even if he retreated, his men wouldn't have rejected because the other party had the help of an angel, which was a significant factor that they couldn't ignore. But the idea of obtaining immeasurable rewards after completing this mission clouded his rationality and survival instinct. Carmen couldn't bear to give up and go back empty handed like this. High-risks yielded large rewards. He already fought so hard and lost many good men just for this? How could he just surrender and escape?

Thus, Carmen wasn't ready to give up just yet. While Rhode's strength was clearly superior, it wasn't at the point of absolute suppression yet. Judging from the way Rhode dodged within the crowd proved that he wasn't strong enough to take on a whole group single-handedly. Therefore, if he could seize the opportunity and strike when the young man wasn't noticing, then he could still have a slim chance of prevailing. Also, he had neither heard of Rhode's name nor his mercenary group before. This proved further that they were just a small mercenary group from the Paphield Region and if he offended them, he wouldn't be worried that they would come back for revenge. Unless they were troublesome like the Burning Blade Mercenary Group or Dark Fang Mercenary Group, then they needn't be too careful.

Thinking of this, Carmen regained his some of his confidence. If everything proceeded according to plan, then even sacrificing more people would be worth it. As long as he could accomplish this mission, even if his mercenary group fell apart, he could still use the rewards to rebuild an even stronger mercenary group!

Rhode's stance shook slightly as he parried an imminent strike from a nearby mercenary. He swung his Crimson Blade in front of himself and formed a defensive barrier to defend against the continuous attacks. But Rhode had yet to go on a killing spree. Instead, he silently observed for an opportunity to sweep them all in one go.

The reason why didn't Rhode display his real power just yet was to mislead his foes to believe that he wasn't all that powerful. In the face of overwhelming strength, people would naturally flee when they discovered that they didn't even possess a slim chance of victory. Thus, Rhode tried to search for an opportunity to wipe them out all at once.

Thus, no one noticed that he was slowly inching toward the route of retreat for the Diamond Mercenary Group. As long as he successfully blocked it, then these people are doomed.

Just a little more.

Rhode shifted his body ever so slightly and dodged a thief's backstab skill within a hair's breadth. He immediately used this chance to take two steps back quickly and appeared somewhat desperate, which aroused the excitement of the mercenaries. Compared to the other three, the mercenaries didn't fear this white-skinned sissy. Rhode didn't appear strong, yet he was extremely arrogant. Ever since he made those insults, every single one of the mercenaries wanted to tear him limb from limb, and now that the lamb had come for the slaughter, they were elated with anticipation.

"Heyah!!"

A nearby mercenary couldn't hold in his excitement any longer and struck forward with his sword.

This time, Rhode finally put his scheme in motion.

He was in position.

Rhode didn't attempt to dodge the attack. Instead, a brilliant light erupted from the tip of the Crimson Blade!

Advanced Swordsman!!

The bright light immediately blinded the surrounding mercenaries. Previously, Rhode didn't display his skills and had only defended while dodging attacks with ordinary methods. Sometimes he would use the 'Shadow Flash' to dodge more threatening attacks, but it still gave the mercenaries the impression that 'this kid can only escape and do nothing'. But now, they finally witnessed the tip of the iceberg of Rhode's true power.

In an instant, various thoughts swirled into their minds. However, unknowingly, their perception of fear was secondary to their astonishment.

How is this possible? If this kid had the powers of an Advanced Swordsman, he could massacre us all from the start. So why did he become purposely deceive us with that poor performance?

But no one would be able to answer that question, as right now, the time for Rhode to make his move had arrived.

Facing the mercenary that charged towards him, Rhode casually swung his sword horizontally. The mercenary had no chance to change his direction and could only watch in dread as the blade of death approached him. The next moment, he felt a faint sensation on his neck, and then his vision went pitch black.

Just as the mercenary's corpse landed on the ground, Rhode dashed through the void in a blink of an eye and appeared in front of the passage entrance. The two mercenaries who guarded the entrance with the torches on their hands could only stare blankly at him, not knowing how this man appeared before them.

Carmen was the first to react. As soon as he spotted Rhode standing at the entrance, he knew something bad was going to happen.

So that's why!!

"Go forth, kill him, quick, everyone!!!"

Carmen pointed his weapon towards the entrance and commanded his men to kill Rhode. Meanwhile, Rhode responded by extended his arm, and a pitch black card manifested on his palm, floating gracefully.

"Fuu!!"

As the card disappeared, the mercenaries could feel an eerie chill in the wind that blew across their feet which made them pause momentarily. When they resumed their assault, a cold and peculiar sensation from their lower limbs utterly frightened the mercenaries. They looked down and immediately turned pale in horror.

"Oh my god, what is this!!"

Under the mercenaries' feet were countless of dense, pitch black tentacles appearing from their shadows. The tentacles slithered like snakes, entangling their legs and bodies. At the same time, it slowly extending their reach above.

"Damn it. What is this!! Get lost!"

"Help!! What the hell is this thing!!"

The sudden appearance of the tentacles brought horror and shock to the mercenaries, causing them to lose their cool. They lifted their weapons and slashed the tentacles on the ground. However, not even Celia could easily break the defense of these tentacles, so what more could these mercenaries do? Soon enough, the mercenaries lost their weapons and mobility.

The greatest fear in humanity was the unknown. And this ghastly creature seemed like something that came out from nightmares. As a result, all of them forgot about Rhode's presence, including Carmen.

But this didn't mean that Rhode stopped.

The trap had been completed. Next, it was Rhode's showtime. Right now, everyone in the Diamond Mercenary Group had lost their ability to battle and had nowhere to run.

No one noticed Rhode lifting his sword. On the Crimson Blade, spiritual energy started to congeal along the edges of the blade, forming a layer of pure white mist.

Once the skill was ready, Rhode narrowed his eyes and slashed his sword forward.

The brilliant sword light then transformed into a meteor as it shot straight towards them.

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