"Who are you?! You dare to poke in our business?"
The shout echoed through the quiet town. Rhode narrowed his eyes. But Matt who was standing beside him felt weak and fell to the ground.
What a brave fellow!
He knew just how powerful Rhode actually was. He could see the difference between Rhode and the two guards. It was practically heaven and earth. It would only need few minutes to defeat those two. Even though killing people in this small town was impossible, but with Rhode's identity, if someone angered him, killing one or two people wasn't a big deal.
Although the law on Dragon Soul Continent was very strict, the class difference was also equally strict. If a civilian or slave murdered people, it would be a death penalty. But if it was those young nobles, unless it was low-class noble, no one cared if they killed people.
Putting aside the fact whether Rhode was an easygoing man or not, Matt wasn't clear because he rarely smiled and he always displayed a calm and indifferent expression. But whenever he spoke, there was always some kind of pressure. It may seem as if he was joking, but perhaps it was a threat. Generally speaking, he was just a young man in his twenties. No matter how calm and stable he was, he should still be somewhat outgoing. But Rhode was always quiet, and people were not able to figure out what he was thinking. However, one thing that Matt understood clearly about Rhode was, he wasn't a young man that would endure insults with no reason behind it.
As such, Matt was initially surprised because Rhode did not get angry. He just glanced at the two and turned to speak to Matt.
"Mr. Matt, we should get going."
"Okay, Mr. Rhode."
Matt's heart was lifted. Even though he did not see Rhode's ferocious side, but him ignoring the other two insects made his day. He immediately spoke loudly and told the coachman to move the carriage.
"Get ready! We are going."
At this time, the young man that had not said anything until now suddenly spoke.
"This carriage, I want it."
"We have already paid the money, you..."
Matt began to argue but was interrupted by Rhode.
"Mr. Matt, it's getting late."
"Yes, Mr. Rhode. I'll go now."
Rhode was not willing to waste his time in this pointless war of words. Even if there was no reason, somehow people still wanted to fan the flames. They could spread rumors, reverse black and white, exaggerate facts. He'd just waste his time if he entangled himself in useless conflict. In the game, even unfair equipment distribution would waste one to two hours among players. As a guild leader, he'd often encountered things like this. If he personally settled these issues one by one, then he was the big idiot. That was why he always ignored these meaningless wars of words.
But this action of his was seen as cowardice in the eyes of the three men. They did not know what was the relationship between Rhode and the fatty merchant, however, since they walked off without giving them a glance, naturally, they would feel mad. The young man's face sank and he took out a bag of coins before throwing it in front of the coachman.
"Fifty gold coins. I want it this carriage!"
The coachman's face showed some difficulty when he saw the gold. Fifty gold coins wasn't a small amount to someone of his caliber. But the problem was that he had already agreed with the other party and taken the fee. The villagers in this town were simple, honest people, so he would not go back on his word so easily. But he also wasn't stupid. Those three men were people he obviously couldn't afford to offend lest he may get beaten to death without even knowing why he died.
"Hey! What are you doing! Quickly get ready and go."
After Rhode appeared, Matt suddenly became confident and took the carriage intending to leave.
The guard's face finally turned cold.
After shouting, the two guards raised their sword and tried to attack Matt.
But they did not succeed.
A sudden chirp rang out.
Followed by a breeze, a green bird flapped its wings and flew towards the two guards. When they noticed the strange bird, their face started to change. They attempted to swat the bird away, but the Spirit Bird speed was faster than them. When its wings flapped, a breeze hit the other two and sent them flying away.
Staring at the Spirit Bird that was sitting on Rhode's shoulder, the young man's face suddenly changed.
He never thought that he would encounter such a troublesome opponent.
Was the opponent actually a mage?
He thought for a moment before suddenly realizing something wrong. He knew how mages summoned monsters, but they usually need to cast a spell. However, the man called Rhode in front of him dressed like a young noble, so how could he be a mage? Not to mention the fact that he didn't even chant.
It seemed like the opponent was not someone ordinary.
After thinking carefully, the man decided to withdraw. After all, he was only accompanying his family's young miss to play around in the mountains. He did not want to anger any important people. He was just a small guard, protecting young miss was his primary concern. If he provoked someone he shouldn't have and ended up implicating young miss in the process then he'd be dead anyway when he went back.
His face began to ease up, and he waved his hand to signal the two guards to stand down.
"Sorry to disturb both of you."
He came forward and shifted to more respectful tone.
"On behalf of my two guards, let me apologize to the two of you. They...they were too reckless and offended you. I hope that the two of you won't mind them."
"It's not a big deal," Rhode answered.
He did not continue to say anything more and turned around, waving his hand, signaling Matt to prepare and leave. When the man watched them leave, he grew increasingly anxious. The young miss promised master and mistress that she would not secretly go out and play anymore. If they could not get back to the town in time and they found out the young miss yet to get back, they were going to be angry. And if the young miss got scolded, she would definitely blame him...He initially thought that in the small suburb town like this, they would not encounter any problem. But he did not expect such a person would suddenly appear...
Still, he could not help try and remedy the situation as much as he could.
"Pl-Please wait. I still have something to ask." the young man asked politely.
"What is it?"
When the prideful guy lowered himself to speak so politely to Rhode, Matt felt somewhat gleeful.
So this was the feeling of being under the protection of a person with power and influence...
At first, he was planning to curse more, but when he saw Rhode not saying anything, he decided to forget about it. The man could also see that Rhode didn't even put them in his sights. If still decided to not going to let the carriage pass, then it would make Rhode unhappy. So he decided not to say anything anymore and directly ask Rhode.
The young man looked at the carriage and thought for a while.
"Yes, if the two of you don't mind, I hope we can go together."
Matt and Rhode could not help but glance at each other.
"Yes. Judging by your looks, your destination it must also be Deep Stone City, right? We also have important things to do there, so we must go back as soon as possible. I apologize if I offended the two of you on impulse. But... It is really urgent, so..."
This time he did not take out his money anymore. He already knew that the fatty's identity was a leader of a Merchant Association. But that wasn't important since it was just a small merchant association, and the nobles don't care much about them.
But Rhode was different. Usually, nobles were not strong, but this young man finished the two guards in one move. Even though the two of them were not considered powerful, but comparing them to the average noble, it was considered to be sufficient. To be able to subtly pressure them using such a strange move...Who knew what his background was?
Moreover, the merchant was so respectful towards him, it was obvious it was a superior-subordinate relationship. He might be a high noble. It was better not to mess with these kinds of people. Luckily, looking at Rhode, he did not seem to bother about his rudeness from before. If he encountered a petty person, then it would be big trouble.
"But our carriage can only fit four people...and we still have one more companion."
Matt furrowed his brows. He was already reluctant to bring these guys along. Just by looking at them made his mood turn sour. But since Rhode did not mind, he could not refuse. Even though this carriage was rented by Matt, since he wanted to get closer to Rhode, he did not mind Rhode making the decision. Moreover, he was supposed to be a man of virtue, Matt could not directly refuse it. Since it appeared like they were nobles, he was already content enough by swearing at them before. He would be labeled as uncivil if he kept pushing on this matter.
"There's no problem. Only one of us will ride this carriage, and the rest will ride a horse."
Upon noticing that the other side was being amiable, he was also pleased. The reason he needed to rent a carriage was because of the young miss. If not because of her, then riding the horse back to the city would be faster.
Matt did not answer and glanced at Rhode to make the final call.
But it was clear that he did not bother about small matters like this.
As long as it wasn't troublesome, he did not mind if one more person tagged along. So he just nodded and said."Well, we'll meet at the town entrance in 15 minutes. If you guys do not arrive on time... then it's not my problem anymore."
Since Rhode did not mind, Matt could only nod and agree.
"Please rest assured, we will definitely make it."
15 minutes wasn't that long, and the first one to arrive was Lize.
"Ah, Mr. Rhode, Mr. Matt!"
Holding a travel bag, Lize's face lit up and ran to both of them.
Lize had a gentle aura around her; perhaps it was because she was a half angel, even if she stood quietly by the side, it would still give people a lively and cheerful sensation. The way she spoke also matched with her appearance. Rhode didn't dislike this girl at all. In fact, it wasn't a bad thing having someone like her in the group to liven up the atmosphere. As a former guild leader, Rhode knew how vital a harmonious group was.
From a certain point of view, mercenaries and players were quite similar. Quest, adventure, exploration, battle; it took a lot of time and effort to do all of these. Under constant pressure from fighting, over time, if the group did not communicate well, it might cause internal conflicts.
Whenever he looked at the blonde girl before him, she reminded him of a female mage in his guild, 'Canary.' Not only her skill was top-tier, but as her name suggests, she was a talkative girl. She loved to joke around and gossip about the latest happenings to everyone. The way she articulated her stories was also very exaggerated. She could even turn ordinary, mundane things into something that would make everyone laugh.
At one point in time, when the whole guild was at the Wasteland Cemetery dungeon, they faced continuous physical and psychological pressure. Rhode made use of her talent and asked her about interesting things, and she would gladly whip up a playful story which made everybody laugh. It made the pressure on them lessen a great deal as long she was around. In that dungeon, many players had better equipment and higher levels than them, but they still lost in the end due to the prolonged pressure on them.
Furthermore, online games were still games at its core; and cannot be mistaken for reality. Many people have various problems in real life that gave them stress; thus, they play games to relax instead. Many players in Rhode's guild had stress in real life as well as in the game, but they did not avoid playing games. On the contrary, they would allocate some online time to listen to the female mage's funny antics to relax. They could feel their burden decrease. In the end, they won the control over the Wasteland Cemetery. Though the female mage wasn't the strongest player in the group, from a certain point of view, she was indubitably an irreplaceable part of the team.
The girl in front of him also gave the same 'lively feeling'. But she was not as talkative as the female mage; but instead, she was loyal and calm. Whenever people look at her face, it would make them relax.
"I'm ready. Are we going right now?"
"Wait for a while; someone else is coming with us."
"Heading in the same direction?"
Lize asked curiously. Her ponytail swayed, following her head movement. She did not continue to ask and took out a black cloak from the bag instead.
"That's... Mr. Rhode?"
"What's the matter?"
"This, please accept it."
Lize spoke with a tinge of red on her face. She lowered her head and handed over the cloak.
"This is ..."
Looking at cloak, Rhode was surprised for a moment.
"...The wind currents in the mountains are very strong, and the night is cold. Your injury had not healed yet, if you catch a cold... you are going to get sick. It will be very bad for your body. So, I bought a cloak to keep out the cold. It is made from deerskin, breathable and very comfortable. Please accept it... "
Lize lowered her head, causing Rhode to be unable to see her face. But he was aware that her voice was slightly trembling. He did not say anything and took the cloak.
"Thank you for your kindness."
"You're welcome. This is something that should be done."
Looking up, Lize exposed a brilliant smile. Her bright expression made the merchant that has been standing aside quite surprised. He had known this girl far longer than Rhode, but he never saw her smile like this. But...
The fat merchant first looked at Lize, and then he looked at Rhode.
It seemed like something good might happen.
Meanwhile, while Matt was enjoying the sight in front of him, suddenly a high-pitched voice screeched.
"Who is the b*stard that took my carriage?!"