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 The situation turned chaotic in an instant.

As they say, an idiot comrade does you more harm than a powerful enemy.

From Rhode's perspective, these attackers were akin to cannon fodder. Even if was a 1vs4 battle, he would still have the confidence to win. But as for Ben and his guards, they neither had the experience nor the ability to deal with the surprise attack. The two other guards yelled as they waved their swords at the black-cloaked men, entangling with them in a melee faceoff. Frankly, the presence of the guards made the situation slightly more challenging for Rhode.

But, in the end, it still wasn't a problem for him.

*Swoosh!*

His white sword flashed across the night sky. Rhode activated his Shadow Flash and slashed at a black-cloaked man nearby. He flipped his sword and hacked in a downward arc. A fountain of blood sprayed from the black cloaked man's neck, and the body soon fell to the ground silently.

By the time the corpse's body touched the ground, Rhode had already withdrawn and left. He stretched out his left hand and a green card appeared on his palm. Rhode then clenched his fist and shattered the card.

"---!!!"

A chirping sound echoed through the forest, followed by streaks of green light flashing in the night sky. It transformed into a beam and rushed forward.

The men didn't expect that Rhode would kill them without hesitation. When the beam of light flashed past them, they were subconsciously stunned for a moment, but before they could react, a violent storm engulfed them, followed by the whistling sound.

"Whoa!!"

"Ahhh!"

The four victims that were caught in the storm screamed in horror. They staggered and were forced to separate into two sides. Rhode didn't waste any time. He transformed into a shadow and swooped in for the kill.

Compared to professional thieves, rangers or spies, Rhode's stealth ability can't be considered top notch, but it was more than sufficient to deal with enemies of this level. His victims weren't fortunate though. By the time the raging storm ceased, three black-cloaked men had already collapsed to the ground, dead. Without confirming his kills, Rhode's shadow suddenly flashed and appeared before the guards.

Rhode waved his hand.

"Don't waste time here. Go protect the carriage."

"Ah, yes!!"

After being reminded by Rhode, Ben suddenly recalled his purpose here on this trip and quickly signaled his men to run back to the carriage.

Once the guards ran off, Rhode finally felt the movement of the shadow at the rear.

-

This was the best opportunity for Orlando.

After sending his subordinates out, Orlando had prepared to make a move, but never did he expect Rhode's strength to exceed his expectations once again. Even four Level 10 swordsmen could not endure his attacks. Fortunately, they still played their role, and now, it was time for him to take the stage!

When Rhode killed the three men, Orlando had already emerged from the bushes and ran past the carriage. After observing the battle from before, he could finally grasp his opponent's strength. Other than the young swordsman, the other three guards were all useless as he expected. The Cleric wasn't inexperienced, but ultimately it was still a non-combat profession. As long he was quick enough, he could kidnap Ms. Helen and use her as a hostage to turn the tables on them.

"Who's there!"

As a thief that was almost at the advanced level, Orlando's speed wasn't slow. Apart from Rhode's keen senses, the only other person who noticed him was Lize. She quickly cast a shield on herself in reflex, but Orlando's target wasn't her, so he dashed past her and closed in on the carriage.

"Help!!!"

In an instant, Helen's scream rang out from the carriage.

Helen had already woken up long ago when the battle started, but she wasn't clear of the situation outside. Lize had merely reminded her to lock the door and hide inside without making a sound. That was why Helen crouched down at a corner of the carriage and covered her ears. Once the battle commenced, the sounds of weapons clashing, deathly throes and voices of rage, all scared her out of her wits. One had to realize that this was her first time facing this kind of situation, and her being locked in a carriage without any way of checking on the surroundings only further intensified her confusion, which eventually added to her fear.

Suddenly, without any warning, a shadow appeared in the carriage, and she couldn't help but scream in terror. Yet, before she could react, the man had already covered her mouth and carried her out from the carriage.

At this time, Rhode had already led the others to surround him.

"Don't come near me!" Orlando spoke in a low voice as he took out his dagger and placed it against Helen's neck.

His left arm grabbed onto Helen's waist tightly and stared at Rhode with vigilance in his eyes. After realizing that she'd been taken as a hostage, Helen's fear slowly caused her go into shock, so she could only stand rigidly like a statue.

"Let go of the young miss!!"

Once they saw her being taken captive, Ben and the other two guards understood that they had made a grave mistake. If they had not foolishly rushed forward, how could the young miss be taken as a hostage that easily? Now that Helen's life was at the mercy of the enemy, what should they do?

"Hmph."

When he found out that the crowd finally stopped advancing, the pressure within Orlando's heart lifted slightly. Next, he would move to the next step of his plan. As long he had Helen as a hostage, he could easily escape into the forest and throw these guys off his trail. However...

There was a problem.

Damn this fatty. She's so goddamn heavy. How many pounds does she actually weigh? Weren't rich, noble ladies supposed to be slim and light?

They're supposed to look like that cleric over there. How can this Helen appear like a pig! It is really tough to drag her around. Is she even the daughter of the Keller family?

After dragging her a distance, Orlando had some thoughts of giving up. He'd never expected her to be so fat. When he received his mission to capture the daughter of the Keller family, he didn't think much of it. It was assumed that it would be another weak noble daughter of a wealthy family.

However, in the end, things always didn't go as planned. In fact, when he dragged her out from the carriage, he already felt something was amiss. The thing on his arm that he had been grabbing... wasn't a human!

It was a f*cking brick!

"S-S-Save me!! Ben!!! You b*st*rd, what are you doing over there! Quick come and save me!"

At that moment, Helen suddenly broke out of her stupor and started to react as she cried for help. But before she could finish her sentence, she could feel a cold, steel dagger on her neck.

"Shut up, fatty! Otherwise, I will take your life!!" Orlando snapped angrily.

Helen instantly shut her mouth in panic once she heard those threatening words. All her pressure and stress seemed to rise up to her puffed up face and watching her round eyes starting to water, it somehow appeared quite interesting.

"D-d-dear Sir!"

Ben was extremely tense. He hurriedly strode to Rhode side and begged him to help.

"Please help me out... Please rescue the young miss from him! Miss Helen is the last descendant of the Keller family, if she died..."

Rhode waved his hand and gestured for him to stop. As for Ben's next words, Rhode was already clear what he was implying.

Ben saw this as a negative sign, and he tried to rack his brain while begging Rhode.

Orlando did not understand the meaning behind Rhode's gesture, but at the very next moment, a green light flashed through him.

This is bad!

Orlando's first thought was to dodge, but the very next second, he felt an invisible force crashing into Helen who was standing beside him. In reflex, she bent her body downwards in pain.

"Ahh!!"

Under Rhode's command, the Spirit Bird collided with Helen. Even though the blow wasn't too heavy, it was definitely not light either. Right now, she was suffering terrible pain, and at this point in time, she did not think about the dagger as she subconsciously bent down her body.

Orlando's eyes were quick to follow her movement and it caused him to be startled for a moment. After all, his contract wasn't to kill her. The order from above was to capture her alive. What made him doubly shocked was that Rhode did not hesitate to do so, as if he did not worry about her death at all.

He reacted to Helen's subconscious reflex by shifting his dagger, so that the blade wouldn't kill her. After that, he made another action to position his dagger to her neck once again.

But he wasn't able to achieve his goal.

A faint, golden barrier appeared suddenly and blocked Orlando's action.

Protection Shield?!

Orlando grimaced as he raised his head and glanced towards the cleric. His forehead was filled with sweat because he knew that he was in trouble.

And at this moment, Rhode made his move.

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