Home
Home ->Summoning the Holy Sword ->397 A Surprise

 Even though half a day's time seemed really short, it felt endless for the mercenaries as they anxiously stood around and curiously scanned the surroundings for any changes. The more one is denied of something, the more one desires it. This was a human characteristic which everyone was showing right now. Some of the mercenaries even secretly planned to take a peek at what exactly was happening on the other side. If Rhode caught them peeking, they were prepared to back themselves up with a logical reason. They would say that they were worried that Rhode had gotten into some trouble because of the loud rumblings they heard before. Although there were many mercenaries with such intentions, none of them took actions. The reason was very simple. Rhode's reputation and deterrence within these people were too powerful and most importantly - Marlene was looking over everyone.

Maybe Rhode's intangible deterrence wasn't enough to prevent everyone from peeking, however, the stares of a powerful Mage was enough to halt them in their tracks. Furthermore, Marlene's deterrence wasn't lacking from Rhode's. After all, in any other days, this young lady had strong dignity and once she flared up, any ordinary mercenaries wouldn't even dare to lift their heads to face her. It could also be said that within all the mercenaries, Rhode and Marlene played the role of strict parents, whereas, Anne and Lize played the role of villains.

As they were anxiously waiting, the long-awaited promised timing finally arrived.

"Alright! Everyone, let's go! We shall see what surprise Sir is gonna give us!"

After Marlene retracted her gazes, Joey immediately jumped up and beckoned for the mercenaries. The anxious mercenaries cheered and followed Joey towards the direction of the Fortress.

"Hahaha, I'm the fastest!"

As a Thief with nimble stature and speed, Joey was the first to overcome the steep slope. He turned around and showed off towards the mercenaries struggling to chase him.

"I'd like to see what Sir had prepared for us..."

And Joey's words ended here.

He stared blankly while maintaining his celebrating posture. As if struck by a petrifaction spell, his eyes widened to sizes of copper bells. At this moment, Joey's jaw subconsciously dropped itself. His breathing began to hasten and even became a little flustered!

"Why did you run so fast for, kid? Can't wait to die?"

And at this moment, the mercenaries finally caught up with him. Another Thief class mercenary who was close friends with Joey threw a playful punch. However, facing the fist of his peer, Joey didn't react at all. He was like a puppet with no will on his own as he continued to stare blankly towards the scenery before his eyes.

"What's wrong? Are you alright?"

The other mercenaries sensed Joey's odd behaviors. Astonished by his reaction, the mercenaries turned their attention towards the direction of Joey's gaze...

"Oh my god!"

A mercenary screamed in shock and tumbled to the ground by his unsupportive softened legs. Whereas for the other mercenaries, they seemed to fall under the same petrifaction spell as they stood stiffly on their ground. They stared with pale expressions at this scene which they had never imagined before.

Under the bright, afternoon sun, a majestically huge Fortress presented itself in grand fashion. Pitch-black, 10 meters tall thick walls twisted and turned. Looking from afar, it seemed that they had blended with the steep mountain as one. On the outer side, there's a wide moat river flowing while letting out sounds of a refreshing water stream. The conical towers stood within the walls and pierced through the skies like a rising spear while projecting a slim, long shadow. One could even see a great abundance of buildings behind the walls.

At this moment, everyone was baffled and their minds couldn't register what their eyes had witnessed. Oh lord! What is this thing? A Fortress? Why would there be such a gigantic Fortress here? They swore to god that this had never ever seen a Fortress here! That is absolutely true!

"I must've slept too much. This is an illusion, everything definitely is an illusion..."

One of the mercenaries lowered his head in panic before slapping himself a couple of times. But, even though his cheeks were already swollen, there's still no signs of him 'waking up'.

"Wha-Wha-What exactly is going on! You guys saw it too right? Hey! You guys knew there wasn't such a thing here before right? Right?!"

One of them even grabbed his companion's arm and tugged as hard as he could. That companion of his didn't respond as he stood there mindlessly like an idiot. Only after a few seconds, he dumbfoundedly turned around to look at his companion before turning back again to face the magnificent Fortress.

"Oh lord..."

On the other side, the group led by the Mage Maiden were kneeling on their feet and saying their prayers. Almost everyone right now was suspecting there was something wrong with their memories. How could such a huge Fortress appear here? Could it be our hallucinations?

It's no wonder that these mercenaries were doubting their own eyes. After all, no matter what, it was impossible for them to not notice such a huge Fortress from a logical perspective. Furthermore, to build such a Fortress would require at least two to three years. Yet, this Fortress appeared itself within a span of half a day?

Is this logical?

Of course, it wasn't logical. So, did that mean that they were wrong? Or was it the world that was having problems?

At this moment, there was utter chaos in the mercenaries' heads. They didn't even know what kind of expressions and movements they should reveal to express their emotions. Because right now, they couldn't even figure out what reactions they should even have!

On the other hand, Lize was equally bewildered. However, as she was mentally prepared for a huge shock from Rhode, she was able to quickly recover her usual calmness. Surprisingly, even Marlene managed to keep her cool even though there was a trace of oddness that flashed in her eyes after she witnessed the Fortress.

"It really turned out this way..."

The maiden mumbled to herself. As the others were immersed in shock, no one heard Marlene's words. After Marlene finished her sentence, she observed the surroundings before letting out a cough to drag everyone back to reality.

"Alright, how much longer are all of you going to stand here? Mr Rhode is still waiting for us inside."

Hearing this remark from Marlene, the mercenaries snapped out of their reveries. They shook their heads and pulled themselves to their feet before shifting their respectful gazes towards Marlene - A Mage indeed is a Mage who indeed is experienced and knowledgeable. Even such an astonishing scene wasn't able to sway this young lady!

"Mis-Miss Marlene."

At this moment, Joey put on a brave face and approached Marlene. He softly asked.

"We-We aren't dreaming, right? That really is a Fortress over there? And not anything else..."

"That indeed is a Fortress."

Marlene slightly nodded and lifted her chin.

"Didn't Mr Rhode say that he will be giving all of you a surprise? So, what do you think of this gift?"

"This... is amazing!!"

Joey finally returned to his senses and shrieked in excitement. He quickly turned around and beckoned to everyone.

"Let's go check it out, brothers!"

"Yea!!"

The mercenaries instantly agreed and began to dart towards the Fortress impatiently. Observing their backs, Marlene displayed a bitter smile and shook her head helplessly. Then, she shifted her gaze onto Lize's eyes.

"What's wrong, Lize? Is there a problem?"

"Marlene, you're really calm... Even I was so shocked."

"Ah, you're talking about this?"

Marlene chuckled in a ladylike manner upon hearing Lize's laments.

"No matter what, I'm a Mage that had been through the education structure in a Magic School. Lize, Mages are beings who can accomplish many incredible things. I have once seen a powerful Mage who did similar things like this before. From the start I was really baffled, but now... I'm kind of used to it."

Marlene flashed a smile to Lize.

"You should also bring the others to look around. I will catch up soon."

"Alright, Marlene."

It was evident that Lize was impatiently waiting to explore all of this Fortress. So, after their conversation, Lize revealed a trace of anticipation and hurriedly scuttled towards the Fortress. Right after Marlene had confirmed Lize's departure, the maiden then took in a deep breath. She stretched her arms frontwards and her arms that were hidden under the sleeves peeked out. At this moment, the maiden was clenching her fists tightly. Her long nails slightly pierced through her fair and delicate palms and fresh blood was dripping willfully.

Marlene took in a few deep breaths and her arms were slightly shivering. After a few moments, she struggled to release her fingers. The maiden carefully reached out into the fold on her clothes for a handkerchief to wipe off the bloodstains on her palms. After struggling for a few moments, she finally wiped them off.

"Hu... Although I was already expecting this, I didn't expect it to have such a magnificent sight..."

Marlene gasped in admiration before quickening her pace towards the Fortress.

When Marlene arrived at the large doors on the Fortress, the mercenaries were already lined in one row and facing Rhode with utmost respect and worship. Noticing Marlene's arrival, Rhode nodded in acknowledgment.

"Welcome to our Fortress... Miss Marlene."

Rhode gave a gesture of invitation towards Marlene before he squinted his eyes and scanned the surroundings.

"So... she's the final one... Eh? Why am I missing one?"

PreviousNext