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 Pure white snow covered the contrasting black mountains. Rhode stood by the window and admired the snowflakes falling gently. The crackling fireplace behind him warmed the entire room. He turned around and gazed at the black-haired man donned in a Mage's skin tight robe instead of the usual wide coat. The black-haired man had an extraordinary sword by his waist. It had a long sword hilt, which was almost as long as half a magic wand. On the contrary, its blade was extremely short and was slightly longer than a dagger's. This was the unique weapon of the Battle Mage Group. Its design not only guaranteed Mages a convenience in spell casting, but also ensured the usage of menacing swordsmanship techniques.

"I know the reasons the Battle Mage Group has for breaking free of the Mage Association, Mr. Buster. The ancestor of the Battle Mage Group chose an unimaginable path in search for the integration of physical body and spells. He believed that the origin of spirits were unanimous and it was the same for spells and swordsmanship, apart from the way they displayed themselves. He longed for the integration of both and formed a new faction and would have succeeded were it not for the eruption of the Creation War. It was a pity that the ancestors of the Battle Mage Group weren't able to survive after the long and drawn-out war. The members left one after another and the Battle Mage Group went through intense unrest. It was due to this reason that this staff the Battle Mage Group created through gathering the knowledge and intelligence of their ancestors disappeared to nowhere. It recorded the knowledge of the Battle Mage Group's founder, Gran Berros, and his wisdom on the ultimate path. It was due to this that the Battle Mage Group has always been in search for the staff and longed for their past glory. But it was a pity that you guys haven't been able to find it."

The black-haired man twitched his brows, sitting up straight on the chair like a javelin. His imposing manner made him look more like a strict, disciplined soldier than a Mage who sat in the library reading books all day. He stared at Rhode and emanated a solemn aura.

"Sir Overlord, I know that you understand the history of our Battle Mage Group after reading your letter. But I never expected you to know the details in depth. Frankly speaking, I even suspected if you were a member of our Battle Mage Group."

"I wasn't able to join the Battle Mage Group, but I have some insights."

Rhode replied calmly.

"Just as I've mentioned in the letter, I know your Battle Mage Group has been searching for the 'Soul Road' Staff. But I've my own conditions too..."

"Join your army and become your subordinate?"

Buster interrupted and placed his hands on his knees, lifting his head to reveal a razor-sharp radiance from his eyes.

"Sir Overlord, since you understand the origins of our Battle Mage Group that well, I think you're also aware that our Battle Mage Group has always been searching for the coming of honor and truth. It is due to this that we have fought against the Skeleton Creatures in the Eastern Plain for years. Although we haven't given up in the search for the staff, we haven't received any clues regarding it yet. And now, what kind of evidence do you have to prove that you know where the 'Soul Road' is?"

Rhode's expression remain unchanged to Buster's overbearing inquiries.

"I don't need evidence. All I need is a promise."

"Promise?"

Buster frowned dubiously.

"That's right, a promise, Mr. Buster. I can tell you everything you need to know about the 'Soul Road' now..." Rhode reached into the fold in his clothes and retrieved a stack of parchment papers. "... And you can lead your members to search for it there. My only request is that if the Battle Mage Group finds the staff, I hope that your group will join my army and become my subordinates. Your group will vow your loyalty and devotion and fight for me. I know the battle strength of the Battle Mage Group, Mr. Buster. Also, do you think I invited you all the way here just for fun?"

Rhode placed the stack of papers on the table before Buster and the latter gazed silently.

Unlike the Demon Hunter Squad that was at the end of their ropes, the Battle Mage Group was living freely in the Eastern Plains. In fact, just as Rhode had mentioned, even though the Battle Mage Group's main goal was to search for the 'Soul Road' Staff, they didn't forget about their honor and that was to integrate their bodies and spiritual powers into one though endless battles and investigate the mysteries of the supreme spirits. It could also be said that if Rhode didn't mention that he had clues to the Soul Road in the letter, the Battle Mage Group wouldn't have sent someone out of the Eastern Plains and negotiate with him all the way in the Land of Atonement.

Of course, Rhode understood the current situation of the Battle Mage Group. As a player who had his prestige at the 'Worship' level in the Munn Kingdom, he had interacted with all sorts of different forces and he knew their weaknesses and distinctive features. After the years, the search for the Soul Road Staff was no longer just the simple recovery of a legendary artifact to the Battle Mage Group. Instead, they regarded it as a sign of their supreme belief, which Rhode trusted that they would take the bait.

Indeed, After a few moments, Buster lifted his head and nodded in agreement.

"No problem, Sir Overlord. If your information helps us to recover the Soul Road, our Battle Mage Group will fight for you until the very end."

"Alright then, that's a deal."

The glint in Rhode's eyes flashed. He extended his hand and pushed the stack of papers to Buster. The latter took it over without any hesitations and scrutinized the contents. His eyes widened in astonishment after reading the first two lines.

"Sir Overlord, this is..."

"I guarantee that every single word written on it is true. You can check it out if you don't trust me."

Rhode knew why Buster was so surprised because the content explained the specific location and attacking strategies which included the positions, routes, kinds of monsters, and BOSS's weaknesses. This was the first time his calm, relaxed eyes revealed complex uncertainty because no matter how he got his head around it, he couldn't understand how Rhode was that familiar with the details..

"Sir Overlord, but... how did you..."

"This is a trade secret, Mr. Buster. I can guarantee the authenticity of everything that's written. You don't have to know where I got my hands on the information."

"... I understand, Sir Overlord."

Buster stood to his feet. Although he had the frame of mind to test the authenticity of Rhode's words when he arrived at the Land of Atonement, his opinion had completely changed now. If what Rhode had written was all true, Buster would have no doubt that this young man wasn't that simple in his identity. Even though Buster skimmed through the rest of the paper, he was no longer dubious of the authenticity of the information because it contained insider's information that only the Battle Mage Group knew and such information couldn't be fabricated based on one's understanding of them. Besides, Buster suspected that there might be some secrets to Rhode's true identity. Although he knew that Rhode came from the Eastern Plains, ordinary nobles weren't too sure about the history of the Battle Mage Group as everything was kept strictly secret to the outside world. Moreover, the details revealed were only known to the higher-ups of the Battle Mage Group. Therefore, there were two possible scenarios: first, one of the higher-ups of the group had betrayed and leaked the secrets, or second, the young overlord had a close relationship with an ex-higher-up of the group.

No matter which possibility it was, Buster couldn't keep calm. He tucked the stack of paper into the folds of his clothes and bowed solemnly.

Rhode gazed at Buster's hasty departure on his horse and smiled with his eyes. He was sure that the Battle Mage Group had taken the bait completely.

At this moment, the room door opened and Rhode heard Marlene's voice behind him.

"Mr. Rhode, how did it go?"

"Everything's great, Marlene."

Rhode turned to the young lady and shrugged while the latter faced him with complicated emotions. Rhode had explained to her why he wished the Demon Hunter Squad and Battle Mage Group would join his army, but she couldn't accept his explanations as she couldn't understand why Rhode would take this dangerous risk as an overlord. The dangers of leading a team of elites and penetrating from the enemy's rear was much more dangerous than leading a whole army of soldiers attacking upfront. Not only that, but Rhode was still the overlord and his identity didn't belong just to himself. If an accident happened to him, it would mean that everything would be destroyed. Therefore, Marlene objected to Rhode's risky tactics.

"I still don't agree with your method, Rhode. Such a risky way isn't suitable for an overlord or noble."

"But we have to do this for the sake of victory, Marlene. We will lose our lives if we fail. My territory will be razed to the ground. My people will be slaughtered and I will also be murdered. If we fail to secure ourselves the victory, the end will never change."

"But... I'm still worried..."

Marlene pressed her hand on Rhode's chest.

"Do you really think this is fine, Rhode?"

"Don't worry, Marlene. I won't fail."

Rhode stroked her soft cheek gently and lowered his head.

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