Chapter 70: Dilemma
Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
Both of them went silent.
Rhode stood in front of Marlene, raising his sword and groaning inwardly. He was afraid of facing advanced level enemies. The fact that they were of an advanced level meant that their level was beyond the average human’s standard and that they had officially entered a superhuman state. Although spies were not known for their strength, it did not prevent them from being powerful. Not to mention, a spy’s speed was extremely fast: most people wouldn’t be able to react to it. Moreover… it was a human this time. It would have been better if the enemy was only an alchemical creature who had a little bit of wisdom.
But now, there was no use regretting it.
“Marlene, always pay attention. Don’t give him any chance to attack, understand?”
“I will try.”
Upon hearing Rhode’s command, Marlene, who was always brimming with confidence, also became cautious. She had never seen such speed—plus the enemy could even get rid of her magic protective shield. This made Marlene sense danger. She took a step back and calmed down before raising her wand.
At that moment, the spy also made a move.
In a blink of an eye, Rhode could see the dagger had already arrived in front of him. He was surprised and turned his sword around to block the dagger in front of him.
But then, he felt a huge force surge from the sword which sent him flying a few meters back, causing him to heavily fall to the ground. Even though the attack had dealt a very heavy blow, he still clenched his teeth and stood up. He brandished the sword in his hand and once again blocked the spy’s dagger.
Rhode’s body lost its balance and genuflected on the ground while the magic equipment in his hand issued a hoarse sound like a longbow.
Is he a barbarian or a spy!?
One of Rhode’s hands was holding the sword’s hilt while the other hand was holding the sword’s body. He groaned inwardly.
This guy is really difficult to handle. His speed and strength are far beyond mine. If not for my experience, I would already be a goner.
Looking at Rhode’s miserable state, the spy was puzzled.
He was not underestimating Rhode. From the moment his two subordinates were killed in silence, he had seen that the young man was brave and had fighting experience. Rhode actually could feel his presence and dodged his surprise attack. This meant that the young man was not easy to deal with. That was why he was at a loss when his first attack failed and decided to leave the outcome to fate.
He never imagined that this young man’s performance was completely beyond his imagination once he attacked again.
He actually was incapable of blocking his attack?
Looking at the young man who was resisting his attack, the spy was puzzled. Naturally, he knew a person who was not even able to block his attack definitely was not an advanced level. But how did a swordsman who had yet to enter the advanced level kill his two subordinates in silence? It was just too strange.
Generally, a person’s combat experience and strength were bound to each other. When a person has a lot of combat experience, his or her strength would also be powerful. But although this person had a lot of combat experience, his strength was very weak. Why was that? The black-cloaked spy of course did not know that Rhode had gotten his combat experience from a totally different world. As a spy, being cautious was his nature. Since something was out of the ordinary and his enemy was acting so decisive and resolute, the scene before him might be fake. That’s why he needed to be careful to not get caught in the trap, or it would be troublesome.
Thinking of this, the black-cloaked spy could not help but use less of his strength.
Aware of it, Rhode quickly reacted. Although he did not know why would the spy do something like that, he couldn’t afford to let this opportunity slip away! Opportunity only knocks once.
He stretched out his left hand and directed it towards the sword.
A bright, red flame suddenly appeared from Rhode’s hand and rushed towards the spy. Followed by the sound of a roar, the black hound once again appeared out of the flame, opening his mouth and rushing forward.
“What the hell is that thing!!”
Looking at the flame before him burning relentlessly, the spy was stunned. He quickly retreated to escape the flame attack. But the Flame Killer did not wait until the spy recovered from his surprise, appearing out of thin air and opening his mouth. His sharp, white fangs had also made the spy secretly stunned. But as an advanced spy, he still wasn’t at the point of being afraid of this thing. Facing the black hound, the spy only coldly snorted. He waved his hand and two bright lights flashed through and slashed the Flame Killer body.
The spy moved his hand, intending to dodge the black hound corpse. His choice was correct, but he had only taken the Flame Killer’s characteristics into account…
A violent explosion ignited from the ground. Bright red flames emitted smoke and spread around; even the palace began to shake in its entirety. The spy miserably retreated, no longer as calm as before and his eyes even showed a little panic.
As expected! This young man is indeed strange!
He threw away the dagger that had already melted in his left hand and clenched his teeth. He had never seen such a strange summoning spirit spell. It could be directly launched without any chanting and preparation. Moreover, the summoned spirit could produce such a result?
Is this the power of some kind of magic equipment, or his own ability?
While the spy was busy speculating, a sharp light pierced the smoke and fly towards him.
It was a pure white sword!
The black-cloaked spy had been through countless battles. He knew the situation he was facing had turned adverse as his opponent attacked him mercilessly. Moreover, Rhode’s strange way of fighting also made things even more difficult. He brandished the dagger in his hand and threw it to block the incoming sword, then quickly backed down. Right now, the spy had given up on the offensive and temporarily focused on defending and retreating. There was still time; after all, it was impossible for them to stay here for long!
But at this moment, an unexpected occurrence happened once again.
When his dagger was thrown to block the sword, the sword suddenly transformed into a green, translucent bird. It floated in the air, then circled and rushed towards him.
What the f*ck is that thing!!
Even if he had gone through countless battles, he was completely stunned because the scene that presented itself before him was beyond normal. A summoning spirit that was able to explode, then a bird that was able to turn into sword? Or a sword that was able to turn into bird? Holy soul bless me, can it get even weirder?
Although he was getting very depressed, he did not show it. This was because he could clearly see that not far from the bird, Rhode’s figure had passed through the smoke and rushed towards him with a sword.
At this point, the spy no longer hesitated. His left hand drew a dagger from his waist and threw it at the Spirit Bird while his right hand clutched another dagger in front of his chest. After the confrontation from before, he had learned a lesson. If the bird he summoned was also able to explode like the hound from before, then would he not be very unlucky?
Rhode was joyful when he saw the spy’s reaction. When the spy retreated, Rhode was a little bit puzzled about him not taking the opportunity to kill him. Rhode thought that he liked to play with his prey. But now he finally understood: the truth was that the opponent was afraid of him!
Or to be exact, the opponent was afraid of how he fought.
With this in mind, Rhode immediately made a decision. After all, opportunity only knocks once. Since the opponent did not understand how he fought, he definitely had his considerations. In this world, there was no Summoning Swordsman, so they naturally did not have the experience of fighting one. It resulted in his constant hesitation. But it was definitely a good opportunity for Rhode: if the enemy had him figured out, then Rhode’s death was only the matter of time.
Rhode was also not stupid; since the spy was very wary of him, he would not attack him directly. Rhode stopped and threw the red sword in his hand forward.
A light pierced through the darkness and flew forward.
What is he doing!?
Looking at Rhode’s sword, the spy immediately threw the dagger in his hand.
Sword condensation, separate attack! He’s clearly an advanced swordsman! I was deceived!! Look at his act, I almost fell into his trap!
With this in mind, the black-cloaked spy broke out in sweat.
Does this young man have a hobby of playing with his prey?
His speculation was the exact same as Rhode had thought of him a minute before.
Such a beautiful misunderstanding.
Facing the sword condensation, the black-cloaked spy went as far as blocking it with his bare hands. He jumped back to escape the attack, but the sound he heard after that had made his blood run cold.
Because at this moment, Marlene had finally locked onto her target. She raised her wand and pointed it to the front!
Invisible wind blades appeared out of thin air and flew towards the target.
A deep grunt sounded.
Although the black-cloaked spy’s skill was not bad, his speed was limited as a human. He tried his best to dodge Rhode’s surprise attack. Facing Marlene’s wind blade, he no longer had the power to resist; the only thing he could do was roll on the ground and desperately try to dodge it. Even so, he was still hit by some blades.
When he stood up, his body was already covered in wounds. Even the black veil on his face had fallen off to the ground.
After clearly looking at the spy face, Marlene was dumbfounded.
Because what hidden behind the black veil was actually a girl’s face.
Currently, her pure white face wore a livid expression. Her blue eyes were burning in anger, unwilling to accept that her true appearance had been exposed. The spy no longer thought of retreating. She shouted and, holding a dagger, rushed towards Marlene!
Although she had heard Rhode’s command, and her magic had also gathered in the center of her wand, she was unable to raise her wand when she saw the girl in front of her. It was as if her short wand weighed a thousand kilograms that she could not lift.
That was a girl almost the same age as her! Do I really have to kill her?
This thought flashed through her mind and made her lose her concentration. In these few moments, Marlene had lost the best opportunity.
Like a leopard, the black-cloaked spy had appeared in front of Marlene, shouting loudly while lifting her dagger.
Seeing the scene before him, Rhode clenched his teeth. He did not run towards them, and instead took a step back.
Next, the darkness engulfed his shadow.
The girl’s angry roar and the cold wind the dagger brought jolted Marlene to her senses. Although she tried to focus her attention, she saw that the grim reaper’s scythe was already before her.
Waiting to take her life.
At this moment, Marlene’s blood ran cold. She closed her eyes while tightly holding the wand in her hand. Her mind was completely blank.
Am I going to die?
That was Marlene’s only thought at the moment.
The dagger had fallen to the ground and pierced through the shield, followed by flesh and blood.
But Marlene could not feel any pain.
Am I dead already?
She opened her eyes in surprise. The first thing that appeared before her was a big hand and a sharp, cold dagger that had penetrated the hand.
There was only one owner of the hand.
Rhode’s one hand was blocking the spy’s attack. He coldly snorted and waved his other hand that was holding a sword.
The girl’s expression was unwilling and angry and her eyes bloodshot. Then, a crescent moon-shaped light flashed by her and her head fell heavily to the ground. The body that had lost its balance also fell to the ground. Bright red blood was spraying out from the neck, and the corpse did not stop twitching. The body looked like a dead fish, struggling to live with no more hope.
Only when he saw the enemy fall was Rhode finally relieved. He kneeled to the ground while clenching his teeth. Then he pulled the dagger out from his hand forcefully. After that he turned around and angrily stared at Marlene.
“I told you to attack, why didn’t you move!”
She had never seen Rhode angry. In the past, Rhode’s expression was mostly calm, and at most he just frowned his brow and snorted. But this time, he was clearly very mad; his beautiful face looked somewhat ferocious, and his two eyes reflected coldness as they pierced towards her.
Marlene felt that she was really useless, and facing Rhode’s anger, she was speechless. If she followed Rhode’s order at that time, then she would not have faced any danger. But she lost her focus and was unable to make any response. No matter what, it was her fault, and this had made her feel a deep frustration, a feeling that she hadn’t felt for a long time.
“I… It’s all my fault…”
Marlene lowered her head.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Rhode. I shouldn’t have dozed off…”
“It’s not like I don’t know what you were thinking. But you have to know, at this kind of time, if you hesitate you might lose your life!”
As for Marlene’s apology, Rhode did not verbally accept it, but neither did he verbally reject it.
“Fortunately, I am prepared, but what if it was Lize? What if the enemy’s target was Lize? The moment you hesitated was enough for you to hold her dead body to cry for a lifetime!”
Marlene shrunk her body and could not say anything.
“…Since you know that you’re wrong, I will be meting out punishment. You will accept it, right?”
“Of course, Mr. Rhode. What do you want me to do!?”
Upon seeing Rhode give her an opportunity to mend her faults, Marlene hurriedly looked up and asked. But the next thing Rhode did was give her a sword.
“Use this sword and behead those two corpses, then burn them.”
“If you are not used to killing people, then you can first kill dead people as practice.”
To Marlene, it was indeed a very difficult to do. She hesitantly looking at the sword that Rhode given to her. She trembled while reaching out for it. In the end, she clenched her teeth and took it over.
“I hope that you can remember. If you don’t kill them, then the head that is now on on the ground would be yours or your friend’s… I hope that you remember this point.”
Seeing Marlene take the sword and walk towards the two corpses, Rhode finally sighed. He leaned to the pillar and sat down while clenching his teeth. I have to say that it really hurts. The dagger was piercing through his palm. The intense pain was really hard to endure, and moreover the dagger was coated with highly poisonous toxins…
Fortunately, my vitality is high.
Rhode raised his left hand and saw a shocking dark-green color in the middle of his palm. He took a deep breath. He had seen the system information indicate that he had completely resisted the toxins. If not, he would not be so stupid as to waste his time to teach Marlene how to kill. Instead, he would have cleared the toxins.
But neither Rhode or Marlene noticed that the blood dripping on Rhode’s left hand had fallen into the slate. But it did not dry like ordinary blood. On the contrary, the blood seemed to have a life of its own. It flowed to the sides of the palace lake and quietly spread forward.
Shrouded in the darkness, a place where no one could see, an invisible force had attracted the blood. It flowed upstream, ascended the stairs, pillars, and finally in the altar, it condensed and converged…
“M-Mr. Rhode, I’m done.”
At this time, Marlene had also completed Rhode’s command. Her face was pale, it could be seen that it was a hard blow to her. But Rhode did not say anything. He looked at the three corpses not far before him and stood up, then nodded towards Marlene.
“Well done. Make a preparation to leave this ghostly place; there are still two people outside, and we must finish them. Remember, do not do the same mistake…”
Rhode did not finish his sentence. The scream from afar had interrupted him.
Rhode vigilantly looked towards the source of the voice: it should be from the secret passage. Were two other spies killed? What was happening?
“Be careful, let’s go!”
He no longer cared about bandaging his wound; Rhode immediately pulled Marlene and planned to leave. They had not gone far when suddenly a golden light flashed.
A mysterious and strange character appeared out of thin air, forming an indestructible wall that sealed all the passages. At the same time, Rhode saw that the two statues on both sides of the pillar were emitting magic light!
What the f*ck is happening…
As if they were replying Rhode’s thoughts, the statues turned towards Rhode and raised their swords!
After that, a deep voice sounded in the air.
“Descendents of the Guardian Knight, have you finally come to accept the test?”
Rhode and Marlene glanced at each other.
“I-I read some information from the pillars just now, Mr. Rhode,” Marlene stammered.
“It seems like this place was used for a knight to pass a test. They came here to train, then when they were acknowledged, they would be given a title of guardian… I don’t know what are they guarding, but it seems precious…”
“No matter what are they guarding, it has nothing to do with us.”
The pain in Rhode’s left hand was excruciating. Lize was not here, so it could not be taken care of. Although Rhode had bandaged himself, but it was barely better than not treating the wound. It seemed that this was a hidden quest, but with Rhode’s current condition, he was not interested in challenging it. He was injured and had wasted quite a lot of power battling with the spies from before. Not to mention, he had used the Dark Soul ring. In this kind of situation, no matter what test, he would have to refuse it.
“I’m sorry, we went the wrong way,” Rhode said while patting Marlene’s shoulder. “Let’s go.”
But no voice replied Rhode’s answer. It only paused, then continued to say.
“As long as you are able to defeat the divinity, then you will take over their power and responsibility before inheriting the title of guardian.”
…Isn’t this a real world? Can’t it be humanized? Must it be done like computer game graphics?
Even though he was criticizing, but Rhode also knew that this voice was probably left by damn predecessors and it was useless to talk with it.
“Marlene, activate your magic equipment. Let’s go,” he said, holding Marlene’s hand.
“Sure, Mr. Rhode.”
After she listened to Rhode’s words, she nodded her head and closed her eyes. She stretched out her right hand and placed it in front of her chest. Soon, a white light appeared and wrapped them inside… But then, it suddenly dissipated and returned to nothingness.
“The space is sealed! Mr. Rhode, this space is being sealed!”
Marlene became nervous, uneasily lifting her wand and vigilantly looking at the surroundings, not knowing what to do. At the same time, the voice rang once again.
“Accept the trial, Descendents of the Guardian.”
Following the voice, the two statues pressed forward. Each statue held a sword in one hand, with the other reaching out.
Wait, wait, this gesture is…
Rhode’s expression changed.
As if it was replying Rhode’s thoughts, a mysterious magic circle suddenly appeared from the hand of the statues. The two then began slowly rotating in the air.
Next, the statues growled and held up a card!
The dust whirled around in the air, and two statues resembling cheetahs appeared from the ground, surrounding Rhode and Marlene. With widened eyes, they stared at Rhode intently.