This was too much of a humiliation...
Sauss could feel the veins on his forehead throbbing, as the situation was really unbearable. The Viper Nest had occupied the Poison Fog Canyon for an entire decade, and no force had ever dared to force their way in. But that Mafa Merlin decided to invade the Poison Fog Canyon because of five Apprentice Alchemists and a few carts of alchemy items.
This was too brutal...
He wasn't putting the Viper Nest in his eyes at all!
"Mafa Merlin, you are courting death!" Sauss was already completely enraged. His normally pale face flushed red as the table shook under his hands.
"..." The Great Swordsman in the sickbed started shivering.
Rios wanted to warn Sauss that he shouldn't say something like that...
But seeing Sauss' ruddy face, the Great Swordsman tactfully decided to remain silent and just let things play out.
"Let's go, I want to see how bold this Mafa fellow is!"
Sauss left the wooden house with Bell following just behind. He raised his head and saw numerous arrows flying out of the sentry towers on both sides of the Poison Fog Canyon like a swarm of locusts. A formation of twenty mages was already covering the entrance with spells. Over a hundred elite fighters holding weapons were standing behind them, ready to charge at the enemy anytime now.
"Reckless fools!" Sauss snorted after exiting the wooden house, his expression slowly easing up. The Viper Nest he had been painstakingly building all these years finally got to show the results. These elites were able to organize themselves when facing the sudden attack of a Great Mage without anyone panicking.
Indeed, the Viper Nest had stayed low key for the last few decades. But just because they remained relatively inconspicuous, it didn't mean that they were easily bullied. 'That Mafa Merlin was overexcited from wielding his powers as a Great Mage and, in a moment of foolishness, decided that my Viper Nest was an easy target. Now it's time to make him pay for underestimating me...'
Seeing the valiant fight put up by his subordinates, Sauss' flushed face finally cooled down. He looked at the battlefield and focused on the entrance.
A rain of arrows and spells fell onto the entrance. Every corner of the entrance was hit by that frightening firepower. Dozens of corpses were lying there, blood filling every hole in the ground, and most of the soil was now dark red. They were taking no chances with this foe.
"I want to see how many people this Mafa Merlin brought here to die."
"B-Boss.." The mage who had burst in and brought the terrible news earlier once again said something dreadful. "That person... is alone..."
"..." Sauss' face instantly froze. 'Mafa being alone... Doesn't that mean that all those corpses on the ground are my subordinates?'
"Fuck..." Sauss suddenly cursed.
But just as he said that, the mage next to him cut in, stammering, "Boss, Boss, look!"
"What?" Sauss gave him a fierce glance before following his finger and catching sight of a silhouette walking from the entrance of the Poison Fog Canyon.
From their location, that silhouette didn't seem very tall. It could even be said to be thin and weak. It felt delicate, standing amidst the rain of arrows and spells covering the sky, as if it would be crushed in an instant.
But that delicate silhouette was slowly walking in from the entrance of the Poison Fog Canyon. Whether it was the arrows or the spells, they didn't seem to exist in his eyes. He unhurriedly plodded along, as if he wasn't entering the deadly Poison Fog Canyon, but instead just going for an afternoon walk.
The only difference was that this silhouette was surrounded by blue and red lights.
Even under the bombardment of spells, those two lights were exceptionally dazzling. Sauss could clearly see that the two lights were fluttering at an astonishing speed, and that every flicker would stop an arrow or a spell. That silhouette was relying on the protection of these two lights to enter the Poison Fog Canyon unharmed.
"This... This is the Ice Fire Shield?" Sauss looked at the two lights as if he had seen something unfathomable.
The Ice Fire Shield wasn't an earth-shattering, heaven-defying spell. It wasn't even a spell from a neglected branch of magic. It existed in almost every Great Mage's spellbook.
The Ice Shield blocked all physical damage while the Fire Shield erased all magical attacks.
Because of its efficiency, it could be said that as long as there wasn't an extremely significant difference in power, nothing could pass directly through the Ice Fire Shield, whether it was a physical or a magical attack.
Furthermore, after the Ice Fire Shield was initially cast, there was no need to focus on the mana supply. As long as there was enough mana left, the Ice Fire Shield would remain channeled. For most Great Mages, the Ice Fire Shield was a must-know protective spell.
But very few Great Mages would spend too much time under the protection of the Ice Fire Shield.
The weak point of the Ice Fire Shield was very obvious...
It was a channeled spell, so whether it was the Ice Shield or the Fire Shield, they both needed to be personally controlled by the Great Mage to be able to block all attacks. Without sufficient reaction speed and control, those two lights would only be mere decoration.
Changes would happen every so often during battles between those as powerful as Great Mages, and no one could guarantee that they could keep controlling the Ice Fire Shield with the necessary precision when distracted. After all, Great Mages were people, not machines.
But now, Sauss really felt that he was facing a machine...
"Bell, is this really a 5th Rank Great Mage?"
"I don't know..."
"..." Sauss gulped nervously.
As the leader of the number one underground force in Thousand Sails City, Sauss had seen true powerhouses like the Sage Tower's three big shots, the Silver Moon Mercenaries' Sasu, the Black Horn Auction's Cadgar, and the one standing behind him, Bell. Who among them wasn't a powerhouse whose name shook through Thousand Sails City?
But Sauss had never seen a Great Mage that was able to manipulate an Ice Fire Shield to this extent...
He could see the arrows fired from the ten sentry towers and the spells showering down from two dozen mages, yet this young Great Mage was still able to enter the Poison Fog Canyon uninjured.
'He... Is he truly a 5th Rank Great Mage?'
This was the first time Sauss had doubted Bell's judgement...
'What can I do...'
Sauss' breathing gradually became rough, his face becoming paler and paler as Lin Yun slowly approached.
Sauss was clearly aware that his elite subordinates couldn't keep blocking this young Great Mage. If the fight continued, it would inevitably end up in a one-sided massacre.
The power shown by this young Great Mage had already far exceeded what he had estimated. Against this kind of a powerhouse, his elite subordinates were nothing more than cannon fodder. In the entire Viper Nest, maybe only Bell could fight this intruder.
But even if Bell made a move, he might still not be able to kill his counterpart. And if they were only able to force the opponent to retreat, nothing would stop him from coming every so often to toy with the Viper Nest...
'Or, I could accept it... Two million gold doesn't seem to be too much after all...'
As Sauss was hesitating, a rumbling sound echoed in the distance. Sauss' eyelids twitched. He clearly saw that young Great Mage throw out a Flame Burst, exploding a sentry tower.
"Damnit, quick, quick! Everyone stop, now!" Sauss no longer hesitated. He immediately told the mages to transmit his order as he hurried a few steps toward the center of the canyon, waving his hands while loudly yelling, "Great Mage Merlin! Please stop, this is a misunderstanding!"
"Hi Leader Sauss~." Lin Yun replied to Sauss cordially while at the same time firing off another Flame Burst. Moments later, a rumbling sound echoed as another sentry tower exploded.
"This... I'm sorry, it slipped..."
"It's alright, it's alright..." Sauss lowered himself while giving respect to Lin Yun as an ugly smile appeared on his face. "Great Mage Merlin, can we have a discussion?"
"Of course, I wouldn't dare to offend Leader Sauss." Lin Yun was also smiling, but another Flame Burst was already prepared in his hand. Just as he was about to continue "slipping" again, he felt a familiar mana fluctuation from the depths of the Poison Fog Canyon.
At this instant, Lin Yun's expression changed a bit, but he quickly covered it up.
At the same time, he chose not to let that last Flame Burst "slip" this time.
He was secretly paying attention to that familiar mana fluctuation...
"That's great..." Sauss didn't notice Lin Yun's expression. After seeing that Lin Yun had stayed his hand, Sauss quietly heaved a sigh. He greeted Lin Yun enthusiastically while turning to berate those fighters who were poised to charge. "You scoundrels, hurry up and put down your weapons. Great Mage Merlin is our Viper Nest's precious guest. If a single hair on his head is harmed, I'll feed you to the magic beasts in the Poison Fog Canyon!"
"..." One after the other, the fighters let go of their weapons. But they couldn't stop cursing inwardly, 'How can we even touch a hair with those lights circling around him? He could surely kill us all without losing a single hair....'