Chapter 10: Departure
Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
Rhode sighed when he looked at the girl in front of him.
“Lize, the person you’re supposed to worry about is yourself. You’ve not gotten even a little rest since last night.”
Hearing the word ‘last night,’ she shivered as if she had once again recalled that incident. Nevertheless, she still stubbornly bit her lips and shook her head.
Lize hadn’t finished speaking when Rhode suddenly raised his hand and slapped her face.
What the heck?!
Holding her red cheeks, Lize stared wide-eyed at Rhode in disbelief and shock. But the young man just watched her.
“I know how you feel.” He said expressionlessly.
Hearing him speak with a quiet and indifferent tone, anger immediately out-broke from her heart. She put down her hand and clenched her fist. Just as she was about to flare up in anger, Rhode’s next sentence completely drenched her from head to toe.
“You feel that you’re guilty to have survived just because you were born different. As a mixed race—or should I say, angel—that kind of thinking does not seem to be correct though.”
Lize was completely stunned. She gasped in shock and took a few steps backward until her back was against a tree. But even so, she chose not to say anything for a while.
How did he find out?!
No, that’s impossible.
I’ve never told him before—even in my mercenary group, the people who knew about my race were only a few…
“How do you…”
Rhode pointed out his finger to his eyes.
“Your irises exudes a golden light—a clear sign of a ‘messenger,’ and also a special trait unique only to angels. However, you are different from the pure-blooded angels… The reason why the golden light is slightly dimmer is because of your mixed human blood, right?”
The girl did not speak.
Although there was no answer, Rhode had confirmed that he hit the mark. The girl standing in front of him was indeed a half-angel. In fact, he had already observed Lize for a while.
As a top player, in his long-term game career, Rhode had long familiarized himself with the existing equipment and used it to determine the opponent’s attributes. This allowed him to develop the most appropriate tactics in the boss battle in the shortest possible time and also enables him to make preemptive strikes in PvP battles. It could be said keen observation skills were mandatory to all of the senior players.
When he was rescued, he began to consciously observe her and soon became aware of her true identity. Although she was a half-angel, the angel’s powerful healing ability and the ability to resist injury did not disappear, which was one of the main reasons why Lize could survive after being thrown out from the floating ship.
Lize must’ve been aware of this; that was why she was so depressed.
“That was why I said I know how you feel.”
Rhodes shrugged his shoulders.
“You know the reason why you survived. It was not because of luck, but because of the difference between you and the others. That is why you cannot accept it… If you could, you’d rather wish that you were just an ordinary human and died together with your comrades.”
Lize lowered her head, her hands clutching her skirt.
“But that is not something you can decide.”
Looking at her slightly trembling shoulders, Rhode’s tone soothed.
“You cannot decide your own birth, neither can you stop the things that had already happened. It is all beyond your limit. Don’t regret something that you can’t control.”
Lize finally spoke.
“…What should I do?”
“This is your path. You should decide it yourself.”
Hearing this sentence, Lize was silent for a moment, then she looked up.
“I understand. Thank you, Mr. Rhode.”
“You are welcome.”
“…However, that slap was really painful …”
Although there was some ‘violence’ in the process, in the end, Lize had finally let go of the shadow of her self-blame and the pain of losing her comrades. On the next day when the sun rose, Lize had completely moved on from, her face replaced with her usual warm smile. This caught Matt by surprise, who did not know what happened. He constantly shifted his gaze between the two of them, and then finally turned his direction towards Rhode, smiling wryly at him. As for its meaning, no one really knew.
However, before the fat merchant could finish satiating his curiosity, Rhode’s words immediately made his heart sink into the abyss.
“I think it is time for us to depart.”
Those words set off all the alarms in him. His content face and casual burping all disappeared; he just remembered that he was not in his warm, comfortable room, but inside the forest with endless danger…
Right, we were not here for a vacation. That damned Wind Serpent and that damned captain… Just forget it, saying this now is meaningless. The most important thing is… how do we get out of this damned forest?
Thinking of this, Matt quickly stared at Rhode. Since this young man said he had a way, then he must have got a plan. After all, they were still stuck deep in the mountains. One wrong step and they might be lost forever, not to mention that there were so many beasts lurking around. How would they escape from them? Survival skills were essential knowledge to traverse the wilderness. They had to really pay attention to the little details. If he died here because of his own negligence, then he would have lost everything he had worked hard for in his life.
Holding this idea, Matt forcefully slapped his face. His sleepiness disappeared as he carefully watched as Rhode stand up from the ground, casually pat the dirt off his leg and casually stretching his arms before gesturing to him and Lize to move.
“… Wait, Mr. Rhode. Please wait!”
The fat merchant suddenly jumped off the rock he sat on.
“Where are we going?”
“Northeast, there is a small town there. As long we arrive there, our next journey will be a lot easier.”
“Is there no need to pay any special attention?”
“No, there is no need.”
It wasn’t surprising that he said that. After all, in the Dragon Soul Continent, this was the place where the newbies gathered. All the areas of the Paphield Region had been explored by the players.
Near the beginning of the game, many players intentionally went to isolated places and explored dangerous areas that were difficult to reach—trying their best to obtain the game’s legendary artifacts. Once they had those magic weapons, they would be invincible and would unite the continent…
But of course, the reality is always cruel.
Although the players’ tireless efforts had indeed led them to find some rare, decently stat weapons, unfortunately, no one could claim that they achieved the: ‘With this artifact, the world is mine’ kind of item.
After all, those items were just too rare.
To Matt, this place was full of danger, and every step was like betting his own life. But to Rhode, this place was like as his own backyard.
In the game, as a guild leader, he had helped countless groups of newbies togrind 1 levels here. The places with high or low monster population, what kind of quest was suitable for which job, what kind of attributes were needed to train more effectively, etc… He was extremely familiar with these things, so even though he was thrown in the middle of nowhere, he could still find his way around.
As for Matt? Rhode had already done so many escort quests to protect a merchant in the game. Perhaps even a thousand times at least. So what’s the difference between then and now?
Hearing Rhode answer, Matt’s chubby face immediately turned into a frozen eggplant that had wither up. He absolutely did not know why Rhode was so confident.
The fat merchant began to regret the decision he made. After thinking to himself for a while, he seemed to recall that the young man was seriously injured on the mountain before…
If he wasn’t injured, then perhaps his words would be more persuasive… But the fact that he had been injured in this very forest… by saying something like this, isn’t he courting death?
Though there was a little regret in his heart, this was the so-called ‘riding a tiger to the south’; for him, there was no other way. He couldn’t help but clench his teeth and follow the two of them towards the depths of the forest.
Under the bright sunshine, Silver Forest was terribly quiet. The sunlight permeated through the gaps of the leaves, illuminating some spots on the ground. There were sounds of chirping birds, and in the grass, traces of hares could be seen. The scenery in front of them seemed peaceful, therefore, the previously nervous fat merchant gradually relaxed and was no longer as suspicious and restless as before.
Rhode walked in the front. Although walking in a forest without road was not easy, but seeing his figure making his way through the vines and plants, it was difficult to imagine he was seriously injured before.
He was followed by Lize, whose speed was also fast; it was clear that she had been accustomed to this field of action and life. Although wearing a long dress wasn’t the best for forest trekking, Lize still followed Rhode’s pace and walked closely behind him. From time to time, she also reminded the fat merchant to be careful.
The more they went in depth, the more surprised Lize became.
It seemed that the direction Rhode took was quite random since he did not choose to go straight, sometimes he even turned left and right. Occasionally, he even went around in circles. But she had noticed that the forest that was quite dense before, slowly turned into a flat road, as if it were hidden in the forest, waiting for people to find its existence.
Lize had once heard the leader speak of it before; it was a high-level skill. After all, for ordinary people, it was difficult for them to find their way in the forest. Only those who lived in the harmony with the elves and often went to explore the mountains were able to master this skill. She had previously witnessed this skill once. At that time, her team was lost in the forest, and the elf that was sent to help them did not use the usual road in the forest, instead, the elf chose a completely opposite direction. Back then, Lize was also very worried, but in the end, they managed to get out of the forest without a hitch. It was also at that time that her leader told her about this skill, however…
Looking at Rhode’s back, Lize felt a little puzzled. According to the leader, that skill could only be used by experienced elves and Rangers. Elves were able to communicate with nature, but there was no way for people like her to use this skill. But Rhode did it so easily. He did not even stop to interact with nature, which was proof that he was not an elf, but… looking at him, he did not seem to be a Ranger either?
Even though she barely met any Rangers, she knew that their main weapon was a bow. However, up until now, Rhode had never used a bow.
Who is he actually?
Right now, Lize was getting even more puzzled.
Rhode suddenly stopped in his tracks.
Through the shrubbery, he could clearly see a lake from afar. That place was the center of the Silver Moon Forest—the Moonlight Lake. In the game, this place was regarded as one of the field camp destinations.
Looking at the clear lake, Matt subconsciously licked his chapped lips. Even though this incident had not happened for too long, but to the usually pampered merchant, these days were extremely difficult. Looking at the resting place in front of him, he immediately took a big step forward. Just when he was about to move, Rhode placed his hand on his shoulder.
The fat merchant was puzzled. He looked at the young man, but Rhode did not say anything. Rhode extended his finger, made a ‘no’ gesture, and pointed to the front. Then Matt looked at the direction Rhode pointed to and his face suddenly turned extremely pale.
In the shadow of the lake, a giant Silver Wolf was quietly resting there with its eyes closed.