Merlin said in a soft voice. He was able to know about any movements in the mountain forest due to the outward radiation of his Mind Power. His voice fell when, as expected, there were bursts of rustling noises coming from within the forest.
Very soon, a few hundred knights darted out from the forest. Although these excellently-equipped knights had traces of exhaustion upon their faces that they could not hide, they were immediately on alert when they saw the knights led by Old Wilson. Every one of them drew out their greatswords, making the atmosphere turn fierce immediately.
Only knights like these were the true elites. They had experienced numerous battles and slaughters, so they were able to face any situation that arose out of the blue.
"Princess, Your Highness, be careful! There are traps!"
The burly Commander Mance was extremely vigilant; he immediately commanded the weary troop of knights to assemble into a charging formation quickly, all the while glaring like a tiger at Old Wilson and the heavy armored knights behind him.
These knights of the Firebird Legion were the most elite amongst the elite, therefore they could naturally perceive how powerful Old Wilson's heavy armored knights were with just one glance. With that, they did not dare to underestimate them. Both parties immediately stood facing each other.
"They aren't enemies!"
Princess Charise slowly walked out from the midst of the crowd. She was also wearing an armor, with her long, golden tresses bunched up behind her head. They had already become somewhat withered and yellow, perhaps because she had not cleaned or washed them for a long period of time.
Although Princess Charise's face looked exhausted, her voice was still very steady and firm.
"Who are you people?"
Princess Charise swept a cool glance over Old Wilson, Baron Parman, Merlin, and the others, before letting her eyes set upon Old Wilson.
This was not because Princess Charise had some brilliant insight. Instead, it was because Old Wilson was just too unique. It was impossible for him not to attract the attention of others.
Old Wilson was almost two meters tall, with a stout and strong body; there were traces of blood stains all over the armor on his body, and his entire body emitted a terrifying aura like that of a wild beast. Anyone would feel a sense of danger upon laying their eyes on Old Wilson.
Suddenly, Commander Mance, who was next to Princess Charise, drew out his greatsword. An earthy, yellow light began to flash from the blade of the sword.
That represented the Earth Element; Mance was a powerful Third-level Earth Swordsman and was much stronger than Baron Vingult of Blackwater City.
It was obvious that Commander Mance had felt Old Wilson's dangerous aura. Therefore, it was natural that he did not behave indifferently when he saw how Old Wilson who kept on walking forward in such a direct manner.
Commander Mance bellowed. His sharp eyes fixed directly onto Old Wilson.
"No mistake about it, they're indeed the knights of the Firebird Legion!"
Old Wilson halted his footsteps and took a deep breath, before kneeling down before Princess Charise and placing his right hand upon his chest lightly. This was an extremely solemn decorum for an aristocrat.
"Baron Wilson Lehman of Blackwater City. I offer my sincerest regards to Your Highness. May I know which Highness is before me now?"
This great salutation by Old Wilson immediately loosened up the tensed atmosphere between the two parties.
Watching Old Wilson, who was down on one knee, Princess Charise could feel the loyalty, determination, courage, and righteousness in Old Wilson's eyes. This was a standard knight, a knight who was loyal to the Royal Family.
There had been simply too few of such knights the moment the church had launched their attack. Most of them had thrown down their weapons and believed in the church.
"Baron Wilson, please rise. I'm the sixth princess of the Royal Family, Charise, and this is the seventh prince, Benin."
Charise was very satisfied with Old Wilson. In addition, Old Wilson's actions earlier had caused her heart to warm up slightly; it seemed that there were still many who were loyal to the Royal Family in the entire Kingdom of Light.
"So, it's Your Highness, the sixth princess. Back when I had been conferred the title of a baron and personally-received by Prince Frederick, the commander of the highest position in the Firebird Legion had been Prince Frederick. I wonder how the Prince is now?"
Old Wilson seemed to have received some favors from Prince Frederick back then, so he was extremely grateful to the Prince.
Princess Charise's expression darkened. She then shook her head, sighing softly as she spoke, "I'm afraid Uncle Frederick had been put in a really bad situation because he wanted to cover and protect Benin and me when we left..."
Hearing the news that tragedy had probably befallen Prince Frederick, Old Wilson's expression darkened slightly. In actual fact, he was not surprised. As the commander in chief of the Firebird Legion, Prince Frederick would definitely have received a heavy blow from the church. The chances of him being able to survive were slim to none.
"Your Highness, how many members of the Royal Family have managed to escape?"
Merlin suddenly stepped forward and asked. His eyes did not stop flashing as he fixed his stare tightly upon Princess Charise.
"Members of the Royal Family... Benin and I have been lucky enough to escape until here. As for the other members of the Royal Family, perhaps a few have been able to escape as well..."
Charise spoke in a tone that showed how unconfident she was. She had seen the horrifying white curtain of light that had covered the sky over Light City back then. There had been a destructive force within it; under such a power, practically no one would have been able to escape.
Perhaps, only the two of them, Benin and herself, were left of the entire Royal Family of Light.
Hearing how Charise divulged such confidential matters before everyone, Commander Mance could not help but shake his head. Charise was still too young, after all. There were many things that she had not given full consideration to yet.
How could she speak out about such private issues so easily? Was she not attacking the prestige of the Royal Family by doing this? If people were to know that only a few members of the Royal Family had been lucky enough to escape, then would their situation become extremely precarious?
Having been given a reminder by Commander Mance, Charise came to her senses. She looked at Merlin, her eyes flashing with a hint of fury.
Merlin ignored Charise's fury, however. He lowered his head slightly and murmured in a thoughtful manner, "Looks like the Royal Family of Light is completely hopeless now. With only a few of them left, they can't pose a threat to the church at all!"
Merlin had no inherent sense of respect toward the Royal Family. In Merlin's eyes, the so-called princess and prince before him were not different from other ordinary people. In fact, it was even because of the special identities they held, they would be in a very dangerous position.
Old Wilson frowned. In a deep voice, he said, "Merlin, you mustn't be rude to the Princess!"
After reproaching Merlin, Old Wilson stood up and gave a slight bow. He spoke in a grave tone, "Your Highness, my knights are ready to serve you!"
"Wilson, are you mad?"
Merlin and Baron Parman shouted at the same time. There was a great anxiety on their faces.
Baron Parman walked over to Old Wilson's side in great strides, suppressing his voice to speak, "Wilson, have you really gone mad? Let's not even talk about the fact that the identities of these people are unclear, the so-called titles of 'princess' and 'prince' are just one-sided terms, and even if they really are members of the Royal Family, the church would definitely be focusing on them greatly under the current situation. Aren't we just looking for trouble if we stay with them?"
Merlin advised him as well, saying, "Father, Baron Parman is right. We can even provide them with some food and drinking water, but we absolutely cannot be with them! The entire fate of the Wilson family rests with you, Father. You must not act rashly."
No matter how Merlin and Baron Parman tried to persuade him, there was not the slightest bit of change in Old Wilson's expression. Merlin, who was familiar with Old Wilson, knew that this was his decision, and it would not be easily changed.