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 The trio turned around the corner and spotted a dozen men who looked like mercenaries wielding their swords and confronting one another. Rather than saying it was a confrontation, it looked more like a group of mercenaries surrounding six to seven bloodied mercenaries in the middle. The mercenaries in the middle leaned against one another's back and gritted their teeth as they stared at the other party. A young man in his teens and clad in noble attire was protected them.

"Morris! You bastard!"

One of the burly mercenaries trapped in the middle yelled at a man dressed like a Thief in the encirclement and the latter laughed grimly while hiding behind another mercenary. He fiddled with the nifty dagger in his hand and gazed at the burly man in disdain.

"You can't say that, Leader. I've my difficulties too."

Pah!

The burly man spat his saliva and glared so fiercely that his eyes almost blasted flames. He never expected that there would be a traitor in his team. Another man standing beside him with a sword and shield in his hands berated furiously.

"Stop finding excuses, you bastard. If Leader didn't rescue you back then, a scoundrel like you would still be fighting hooligans for bread in the dark alley! Damn it. I must be blind to not see how ungrateful you are!"

"Your bad judgment is to blame then, Brother Wood."

Instead of showing some signs of remorse, the Thief let out a mischievous laughter.

"To be frank, I didn't intend to do this either. But who else should we blame for being useless? After mixing around for so many years, you aren't even capable of forming a mercenary group and you're still a lackey for some young nobles. Don't you think you're being a worthless loser? Honestly, I can't take it anymore. You're lucky that this Sir here offered shelter to you. Of course, the premise is that you must be willing to work for him. But it's a pity that you aren't willing to accept his kindness. That's only your opinion and I've had enough of wandering about in the streets."

"You..."

The leader of the group puckered his brows.

The Thief was right. His group of men had formed a mercenary team for six years now. Although they wished to become an official mercenary group, reality was too cruel for them. Their years of hard work wasn't able to bring them success and they were still struggling strenuously. This time, they were entrusted by a young noble to search for his missing elder sister in Grenbell. However, they didn't expect to face an ambush from a group of men, demanding this young noble. Moreover, they were surprised to find that their companion actually turned against them at this moment?!

"I will kill you!"

The burly man charged forward with a raised sword and slashed with all his might, sweeping up a powerful gust. The mercenary standing before the Thief dodged swiftly and revealed the Thief. The Thief's expression twisted in fear, but his reaction was quick. He threw a sharp dagger that pierced the burly man's shoulder. However, that wasn't enough to stop him. The burly man pounced forward like an injured beast with bloodshot eyes and brandishing claws!

A ghastly whiteness spread over the Thief's face and suddenly, a Mage donned in black cloth behind the group pointed a finger forward. Then, a green ray of light shot out from his fingertip and struck the burly man's arm.

"Argh!"

The burly man let out a blood-curdling screech. In the blink of an eye, his arms melted like butter and his ruptured flesh corroded at a rapid speed, revealing ghastly white bones. The pitiful man succumbed to the piercing pain and fainted on the spot.

"Oh, Lord!"

The surrounding mercenaries were stricken into silence. They stared in disbelief at the black-clothed Mage. Even though they didn't know his name, they already knew his identity.

He's a Necromancer!

"Morris, you have even ganged up with a Necromancer!?"

"Heh, that's right, Leader."

The Thief restored his pleased smile. He tidied his attire and looked at his past companions.

"I'm still young and I don't want to die anytime soon. If I follow this powerful Sir here, not only will I survive, but I will also receive a gift that you can't receive in your entire life-and that is an eternal life! You are aware of the enemy you're facing now, so I advise you to hand over that little rascal obediently if you don't wish to bring trouble to yourself. Besides, if you're willing to serve this Sir here like me, I might even put in some good word for you."

"..."

The mercenaries fell into deep silence. Then, the young noble protected by them gazed at the black-clothed Mage in terror and ordered frantically. "Q-Quick! Kill that Necromancer! H-Hurry up! Didn't I give you money to protect me? Kill him right now!"

The group of mercenaries by the perimeter burst into laughter and even the Thief swept a glance at the young noble as though he was an idiot.

"Leader, that's the little bastard's attitude for you. He is staring death in the eye and still behaving like an arrogant ass. Pah! I look down upon him. What right does he think he have to order us like his slaves, even with his filthy money! I can't tolerate it anymore, even if you can! I've suffered enough from this bastard. I do want to see how much longer can he maintain that disgusting arrogance of his before the great Sir here! I can't wait to hear his sorrowful laments!"

The leader of the group pondered in silence. Then, he turned to the young noble with a complicated expression. The latter sensed his gaze and panicked instantly.

"Hey! What are you looking at! Attack and kill them all! Didn't you say you were powerful when I hired you guys? Why have you shrunk after facing just this small group of enemies?! Attack!"

"..."

The mercenaries standing nervously around the young noble revealed discontent expressions while their leader's expression remained unchanged. After a few moments, he let out a long sigh and raised his sword at the Thief before him. The Thief was astonished.

"Leader, you can't be for real, eh? What is so worthy of this little brat that you're willing to sacrifice your life for? Isn't it just for a sack of gold coins? You are also aware of his attitude toward us along the way! And now, why are you..."

But before the Thief finished his sentence, the leader interrupted firmly.

"I know what you're thinking about, Morris. I admit that you're right."

Then, he shot a glance at the young noble with an ashen expression.

"But I'm not fighting for him. Just as you've said, we don't need to. But we're mercenaries."

The leader lowered his gaze and quickly lifted his head up as though something cropped up in his mind.

"We're mercenaries and mercenaries work for money, which is the most natural thing to do. Indeed. We can hand him over right here and end everything and nobody would know as long as we keep this a secret. But I won't do that because this violates my principles..." The leader turned around and gazed at his subordinates.

"You guys can surrender. This is my choice and I won't force you if you aren't willing to."

The leader waited for a response, but no one left his side. Shortly after, the mercenary holding a sword and shield beside him let out a chuckle.

"Leader, it's rather disappointing that you don't seem to trust our moral qualities. Indeed. None of us thought that this kid here was likable. But I would rather die than to violate a mercenary's faith and become the accomplice of a Necromancer!"

"You guys..."

The Thief sulked instantly. He turned to the Necromancer and gritted his teeth before extending his arm forward.

"Go to hell then!"

He swung his arm down and the mercenaries beside him charged forward with their menacing swords. It appeared that a bloodbath was unavoidable at this stage.

At this moment, a cheerful, effortless remark captured their attention.

"Woah, what's the situation? PK? Group assault?"

The attacking mercenaries turned to the voice and even the trapped mercenaries in the middle stretched their necks curiously. This might be their only chance to escape this predicament!

It was three young people. One of them was empty handed and wore a noble attire. The two young ladies beside him were also without any weapons on them and wore plain robes and cloaks. It seemed that the trio was a group of nobles on an excursion, and their appearances were quite striking. Although Canary and Bubble didn't look stunning, their beauty still stood out. Moreover, they brought along an entirely different aura that didn't belong in this world like a smear of vibrant colors that forced all attention to them.

Several mercenaries licked their lips instantly, fantasizing the scenes after they dragged them over for a wild time. How satisfying would that be? The mood of the pitiful men surrounded in the middle sunk all the way to the bottom. Judging from the trio's appearances, it was apparent that they were nothing more than nobles without any fighting strength and had perhaps secretly slipped out of their homes for some pointless adventure. Just look at how idiotic they were to not bring any weapons in the wild! The black-haired girl with two ponytails even made a huge fuss. Can't she figure out the situation here? Does she think that this is just a street fight?

Mini Bubble Gum indeed was in the mood to enjoy watching a bustling scene.

She couldn't be blamed since this was a habit of players. In the game, any conflicts between players were great sources of materials. If they were civilians of this world, then it would be better to stay out of trouble and keeping oneself clean. However, it was different for the players. Such conflicts might possibly bring them new missions from new forces that players couldn't join or attain through formal channels. If players chose to help in these situations, perhaps they might get their hands on some admission ticket to some organization or something...

Although such a scenario was common in the game, it was even more fascinating for Canary and Mini Bubble Gum, who had always been 'imprisoned' in the Land of Atonement. This was also why they chose to walk to Grenbell on foot instead of instantly teleporting themselves here, wishing to reminisce about the history of the game as players: roaming on the big map while looking to meet some hidden NPCs, triggering special missions, killing rare monsters, uncovering treasures and weapons. This was the nature of players. A game was meant to be entertaining, after all.

And Mini Bubble Gum had the means to treat this as entertainment, of course.

The black-haired girl skipped forward and waved toward the group of people.

"Hey! The people in there! Need any help?!"

Help?

No matter the group of mercenaries who were by the perimeter or those who were trapped, they stared blankly at the unarmed and defenseless black-haired girl. She must be crazy. Can't she figure out the situation just by looking? What is she? An idiot?

"Capture them!"

The Thief finally yelled out a command. He gazed at the black-haired girl with avaricious eyes while licking his lips. In an instantly, the dozen brawny mercenaries turned around and pounced toward the trio.

"Be careful! Run!"

The trapped mercenaries yelled helplessly. They couldn't help them and could only watch the hungry, wolf-like mercenaries pounce at the fragile guests. However, the trio didn't move an inch at all as though they were frozen to the spot. Some of the trapped mercenaries turned around as it was too unbearable for them to watch.

At this moment, a crisp, loud voice echoed in their ears.

"You're asking for death!"

Boom! An ear-deafening explosion numbed their ears instantly and airwaves blasted at their faces. The air had as though solidified and stuffed their nostrils and mouths, flustering the mercenaries. When the crowd widened their eyes and witnessed the scene before them, they were petrified.

The dozen mercenaries surrounding them had collapsed to the ground with twisted, ashen expressions, and crimson blood gushing out of their nostrils. More importantly, they weren't breathing at all! They were all dead!

What exactly happened?!

The mercenaries looked up and the trio hadn't shifted an inch. The black-haired girl who asked if they required any help was tidying her attire aggrievedly...

At this moment, a faint green radiance flickered and the Necromancer extended his arms forward. Then, an enormous green sphere exploded from between his palms and a dark, gloomy cloud of smoke shrouded forward. In an instant, the aura of death pervaded the air and the grass withered rapidly before their eyes.

Suddenly, a vibrant, red radiance flashed.

"Arghhhhh!"

Without any signs of warning, the cloud of smoke lit up in flames and engulfed the Necromancer. The Necromancer was like ignited firewood as he exploded in the merciless flames that devoured his body. In the blink of an eye, there was nothing left apart from a pile of pitch-black ashes.

The group shivered as they turned around. However, the only thing that they saw was the glaring red brilliance flickering between Canary's fingers.

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