Based on the current conditions, it was impossible for the whole mercenary group to get destroyed. After listening to Shauna and Kavos' report, Rhode took his time to scan the area. The Druids were now in the tunnel, avoiding attacks from the mercenaries. This scene was similar to when they were attacked by the Lizardmen previously on the tall platform. Whatever the outcome, the mercenaries were still more intelligent than the Lizardmen. Besides, although the Druids didn't have any extremely powerful men of their own like Rhode, they still had a few strong units. However, before they were able to fight back, Celia had forced them away.
Although the battle angel seemed honorable on the surface, Rhode immediately realised Celia's selfish calculations. She was a summoned spirit, so she wasn't afraid of death; at most, she would force it into a situation where neither sides won. Whereas, although the Druids were the rogue mobsters of the forest, they were still wary of the angelic race. Even though Celia was willing to throw away her life, they didn't want to kill an angel. No matter what, the angelic race was respectable and was the emissary of the five Creator Dragon Souls in the legends. A group like the Druids, who respected traditions, wouldn't be that foolish to lay their hands on them. Although the Druids wanted to limit Celia's movements and trap her before taking care of the rest...
There was a saying that went: We know that we want to capture the target alive, but the target doesn't know it...
It was due to this that their fear of Celia that left them helpless and unable to display any threats. It was especially so now that they were trapped within the small and narrow tunnel, without any space for them to show off their proud prowesses. They had initially decided to start capturing the mercenaries, but the mercenaries weren't idiots either. How could they be captured so easily after being mercenaries for so many years?
Under such circumstances, if they wished to destroy the whole mercenary group, that would be too difficult. Rhode had initially decided to find an excuse to kill the BOSS. As the mercenaries who weren't too familiar with it, they naturally wouldn't raise any doubts. But now, with Lapis around, Rhode had already killed it before he could use the BOSS as an excuse. If he killed all the Ophenians, it would be too obvious.
There was a certain way to destroy groups. In the game, sending spies to another guild and making them fail their missions was a commonly used tactic. However, it needed to be done in ways that nobody would be suspicious of and they had to even feel that they did wrong or maybe had bad luck. If they realised that this random man in the guild had suddenly gone crazy and committed suicide... this spy would be too inferior...
Rhode had his own ideas. He didn't want to involve his men in this. According to Shauna and Kavos' report, the damned Druids had taken three lives from their ambush, which pained Rhode's heart. In this world, the dead couldn't be revived. They were the guild's resources, and he definitely didn't want to have such things happen...
However, soon enough, Rhode found another solution.
"I will go for those guys; all of you get prepared to charge!"
Rhode gave his orders and shot Gillian a look. The fire elemental lord nodded and quickly left. As for Lapis, she had been treating the wounded mercenaries since she returned. Although she didn't have the healing technique of a cleric, she brought along many healing potions with her. It seemed that this maiden knew it would be adventurous for her to challenge the central control room. Her tiny bag was filled with over a hundred healing potions, which caught Rhode between laughter and tears... The extent of Lapis' fear of death had reached another level.
"Notify your men to get ready. Wait for my signal and immediately rush through the tunnel. No hesitations, get it?"
Everyone quickly worked as they were ordered. Shauna approached the Ophenians and told them to follow closely with them. As for Kavos, he waved his weapon and yelled for his men to buck up and get ready to attack. Rhode carefully observed for movements of the Druids, waiting to strike at the best opportunity.
Rhode had decided to not face these Druids with full force because he wouldn't be able to have a reason to kill the Ophenians by then. However, there had to be quality and talent in order to put up a good show and not everyone had it in them to tell great lies. This was why after Rhode had decided, he didn't command Celia to back down because he was clear that Celia's righteous character wouldn't allow her to do that. Instead, he chose to assign that task to Gillian. Anyway, it was nothing for this sly fox-eared young lady to frame others.
The enemies' weakness would be their advantage.
It also worked the other way around.
Soon enough, Rhode realised that there was someone who required attention.
That was a Druid.
On the surface, this Druid appeared the same as the rest. But, shortly after, Rhode realised that the battle style of this Druid was a little strange. The battle styles of the other Druids were pretty decent, however, this particular Druid was much more aggressive. Almost like as Celia, this Druid rushed straight to the frontlines. If not for Celia's powerful abilities, with this Druid's odd movements, the mercenaries might not be able to handle him.
What was with this Druid? It seemed like he had a deep vengeance against Starlight.
In the end, Rhode made up his mind.
He found the final point of penetration.
After making this decision, Rhode hesitate no more. He immediately leaped down from the tall platform and into the crowd after transforming into a shadow.
"Celia, lead everyone and get ready to break out of this place. Leave this to me!"
Rhode commanded. He drew his sword and ran forward. Along with the blade rays, multiple glaring meteors appeared in midair, slicing off the menacing vines extending from the tunnel walls.
Celia reacted swiftly. From the previous battle, although she was still alive, she was already wounded by her self-destructive battle style. Her armor was filled with cracks, the white cloth was torn apart, spots of blood were visible on her shoulders and thighs, and even her wings had balded with almost half of her feathers were ripped away.
Celia wasn't a member of Starlight as she was just a spirit under Rhode. So, strictly speaking, when Rhode wasn't around, Celia didn't need to be responsible for the mercenaries at all. However, when the mercenaries faced the ambush, she immediately negated the Druids' attacks without caring about her injuries. In a few hours, Celia's standing within the Starlight mercenaries' hearts had blown off the charts. This beautiful angel maiden was actually willing to fight for ordinary mercenaries like themselves and even sacrifice her precious wings?
This moved the mercenaries and at the same time motivated them. This was the reason why the mercenaries could stay determined when facing Druids who were obviously stronger than them. If they didn't have the faith in the battle, then no matter how brave Celia was, she herself wouldn't be able to defeat all the Druids.
However, no matter how much Celia had moved the mercenaries, she couldn't be compared to the support that Rhode had given them. After seeing their leader finally returning and getting into action, some of the mercenaries, who had lost all confidence, stood back up again. They yelled out battle cries and got into position hurriedly.
On the other hand, the Druids were at a loss. Rhode wasn't aware that these Druids actually only devised this attacking plan at the very last minute. He made a heartwarming and decisive choice for them.
After his blade rays sliced through the vines, he scuttled into the tunnel with the Crimson Blade in his hand. As he dashed forward, three of the vines lying the ground rose abruptly and attempted to bind down the intruder.
They struck through Rhode's body-they hit an afterimage.
At the same time, a mournful scream filled the tunnel and a figure flew out from behind a boulder by the wall and landed on the ground heavily. His round eyes and mouth were wide open with fresh blood gushing out of the slashes on his chest. It was a ghastly sight.
What's going on?! Who's attacking?!
The Druids who were hidden in the dark were stunned to see their companion's death. However, before they could come up with any ideas, another painful scream rang in their ears. Along with the splash of blood, another corpse flew from out the shadows and collapsed lifelessly on the ground.
The remaining Druids had decided. Now that the enemies had another attacker among them, it wouldn't be any good if they continued to stay in this place. Although leaving this place now would mean facing the Elder's furious reprimands, it was still better than dying here, wasn't it?