On the second morning, the mercenaries had gathered and followed Rhode's lead to the Frozen Lake. It was exactly the same as the rumors. A thick layer of ice spread above the lake and the bright sun rays reflected off its surface, forcing everyone to squint. The wintry coldness sent chills down their spines as though it wasn't early autumn anymore.
There was no one in sight apart for two men in fur coats. They were a part of the conditions that Rhode and the Mayor had discussed the day before. The Mayor had requested to send observers for the battle so they could inform the residents of the Greenery Town immediately if anything had gone wrong. Of course, Rhode didn't believe that he would lose. But since the Mayor didn't trust him, it was better to have the observers around to witness with their own eyes.
The two men approached the mercenaries hurriedly. The man in front was the Law Enforcing Officer of the Greenery Town and he gazed at the arrival of Rhode's group anxiously. The man behind him was the young man who had bumped heads with the mercenaries. Both of them seemed alike, as though a pair of father and son.
"Hi there, Mister." The Officer saluted to Rhode.
The Officer had heard from the Mayor about the respectable identity of this black-haired young man. If the Officer was facing a mercenary, he wouldn't have greeted with such mannerism. Since he knew that this young man was a noble, he had become more cautious with his words. The reason why the Mayor had agreed and allowed Rhode's group to arrive at the Frozen Lake was that Rhode revealed his identity as a Baron. Got to say, hierarchies in the Munn Kingdom were strictly respected. The residents of the Greenery Town were speechless in the face of a noble and they accepted their fate helplessly. If not, the Greenery Town's troubles wouldn't simply revolve around the monster in the Frozen Lake only.
Rhode nodded slightly in response. He lifted his head and gazed at the Frozen Lake before him. It was the same as he remembered. The Frozen Lake emanated a brilliant, flickering radiance under the beaming sun. However, Rhode knew that a massive murderous intent was hidden within this beautiful place. On the other hand, not everyone was in awe by its beauty. Some were simply born without any aesthetical cells.
"There's nothing here," Anne looked over the Frozen Lake with her shield hung behind her.
In her imagination, she was expecting a terrifying monster baring its fangs and brandishing its claws. But there was nothing at all, and Anne was rather disappointed. She pouted her little mouth and grumbled softly to Rhode. "Leader, is the layer of ice thick enough? Will Anne smash it easily?"
The mercenaries around her revealed worried expressions because they knew how strong this innocent young lady was. Although the layer of ice on the surface seemed solid, no one was sure that it wouldn't crack if Anne smashed it with all her might.
On the contrary, the young man standing behind the Officer let out a snort after noticing the mercenaries' expressions. He did notice Anne carrying a heavy, steel shield behind her and it was apparent to him that she was really tough for a slim young lady to move about with it unaffectedly. However, even so, the young man grunted and mocked her. "Don't worry about that, Miss. Plenty of Guilds have been here and among them were powerful Mages and they weren't able to destroy this ice surface. I think you can stop worrying about such an irrelevant problem."
The young man lifted his head and swept a glance at the mercenaries. "Besides, I'm very curious as to how you people intend to defeat that monster. Those mercenaries before you failed before even catching a glimpse of that monster. Just look at how many people you have with you now..."
"Hey, Kid...!" The mercenaries flexed their arms and wanted to teach the rascal a lesson.
However, Rhode extended his arm and gestured before turning to the young man. The aggressive young man suddenly felt as though an invisible hand had grabbed and choked his neck.
But Rhode had no intentions to lay hands on him. He shrugged and said. "That's right, the Ice Devil isn't an ordinary monster and it isn't easy to awaken and enrage it completely. Ordinary mercenaries naturally can't do it, but an expert can."
"Expert?" the Officer and the young man exchanged looks.
Got to say, they were also curious about Rhode's words. After all, no one had seen what the monster looked like and Rhode seemed to be really confident. But Rhode didn't explain much to clear their doubts. Instead, he turned around and a few figures emerged from thin air.
The Officer instantly paled like a sheet of paper and the startled young man flinched a few steps back before landing on his bum. He pointed his trembling finger forward and yelled. "Oh, Lord! What's that thing?! What kind of monster is that?!"
It was no wonder that both of them had such reactions because it was Agatha and her fellow Ocean Elves. Their blue body and countless tentacles-formed hair were entirely different from humans'. The countryside residents of the Greenery Town had always been seeing only humans in their daily lives and they would treat any visiting Dwarf or Elf as bizarre presences. Even though the Ocean Elves had delicate and adorable appearances, their entirely different body structures were enough to scare the country bumpkins out of their wits.
The mercenaries burst into loud laughter after witnessing the young man's frantic and desperate behaviors. They were furious that this young man had treated them as idiots. But now, they felt incomparably pleased to see the rascal almost peeing his pants after meeting Agatha and the Ocean Elves.
"Haven't seen the world yet, eh? Kid? She is Miss Ocean Spirit from the Water Plane of Existence. Well, I guess you wouldn't know about her, anyway."
"Yea, you think that we're those idiots from the past who try our luck here without knowing anything? How is it possible that our Guild Leader will do something as dumb as they did?"
The mercenaries took their 'revenge' by mocking and ridiculing the young man. However, they were, in fact, nowhere better than the young man when they first met Agatha and the Ocean Elves. Some of the mercenaries had even tried to attack these mysterious creatures when they first met. However, the mercenaries had a higher level of respect for Rhode after learning about the background of Agatha and the Ocean Elves.
After all, they had traveled extensively and seen much of the world. It was extremely normal to have powerful presences supporting the formidable forces. We, Starlight Guild, have Madam Canary and Madam Bubble and apart from them, we have these exquisite and mysterious Water Elemental Spirits. Do you even have any?!
In the beginning, the mercenaries kept a respectful distance from the Water Elemental Spirits. But due to their adorable appearance, 'pure-heartedness', and likable personalities, they were quickly welcomed by the mercenaries despite their somewhat non-human looks.
Rhode summoned Agatha and six other Ocean Elves through the Plane of Existence Portal to awaken the Ice Devil. The Ocean Elves and the Ice Devil were creatures of the Water Elemental Plane. However, both sides were entirely different. The Ocean Elves were docile and belonged to the Order camp while the Ice Devil was violent, barbaric, unreasonable, and belonged to the Chaos camp. Both sides would often break out into fights in the Water Plane of Existence. Although the gentle, fragile Ocean Elves didn't stand a chance against the high, mighty Ice Devil, they did have a way to protect themselves.
And this was the key to luring out the Ice Devil.
Rhode gestured with his hand and turned to his men. "Get ready to battle. Lize, Anne, Marfa. All of you have been through Bubble's training so perform accordingly. Understand?"
"Yes, Sir!" the mercenaries kept their smiles and nodded sternly. Although they wouldn't be hurt in the mirage that the Sphere of Mystery had created, they could never forget the fierce battles. The mercenaries got into position within their formation swiftly and marched toward the Frozen Lake. Meanwhile, Agatha and the Ocean Elves followed Rhode's lead and headed downward.
Rhode stepped onto the ice surface and an ice-cold wind rose from the ground suddenly.