"Didn’t you want to go to Forest of Death? Why give up now?" Hui Wei replied lazily.
"Answer my question."
"It is Blackwater. Why would I lie to you?" Hui Wei shook his head positively. "Normally, the mages would choose a lesser populated area when making a scroll of temporal teleportation in order to avoid portals overlaps and accidents. We can still see Blackwater from here, though."
"Riska, prepare to begin," Anfey said, handing the scroll over to him.
Riska took the scroll and moved to the side.
"Anfey, the tunnel is sealed," Zubin walked over and said. "The orcs are all working and you can’t tell if anything is off from the outside."
"Great. Tell them to gather in the cave. Is everyone ready?" Anfey asked.
"Ready," the group replied. Niya and Shally looked the most excited. When Shally heard they were going to Blackwater City, she had asked the group to buy her food as soon as they got there. They had treasured Shally the way they had treasured the young unicorn, and would of course grant her wish.
After a few moments, the orcs gathered in the cave. They knew the mages were leaving and were beyond happy, their eyes glittering with joy. They had closed the tunnel and had worked efficiently, but they would open it again as soon as the mages left.
Anfey’s eyes swept across the cave. Everyone was accounted for and they had brought everything they needed. After he made sure nothing was amiss, Anfey turned to Sante. "You can start," he said.
"Alright." Sante walked over to the mouth of the cave, and whispered a spell. He then called, as loud as he could, "We’re leaving, goodbye, goodbye, see you all later."
His voice was amplified through his magic, and his voice washed over the forest like a tsunami wave. The forest hummed with the vibration caused by the magic. His magic was limited, and his voice could only spread for a dozen miles, but it was enough.
"Riska," Anfey called.
Riska tossed the scroll. A wave of blue light appeared, and it opened slowly like a large eye. After it opened into a full circle, the gate stopped wavering and the ring of light became more stable.
This was Anfey’s first experience with a portal, and he thought the bright blue was beautiful. There were some faint white streaks surrounding the portal, which appeared mysterious and beautiful.
"Suzanna," Anfey said.
Suzanna glanced at him and walked towards the gate along with Zubin and Sante. The three of them stepped into the portal and disappeared. Christian, supporting Riska with his shoulder, crossed with his team. Niya, Shally, and Feller followed. Soon, the only ones left were Anfey and Blavi.
Seeing they were the only ones, Anfey nodded, and Blavi began whispering a spell. The orcs around them were waiting for their departure, and didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t until Blavi finished his spell that they realized something was off.
A wave of flame appeared and swept across the orcs. The orcs were standing in rank, and it was almost impossible to avoid the attack. The flame washed across the orcs. Some screamed and were rolling on the floor, but others simply fell down without a sound. When the flame swept their ranks, some of the orcs were breathing in and the heat incinerated their lungs. Even if it didn’t kill them instantly, they still would not be able to make a sound.
Only about a dozen orcs survived the flame. Unfortunately for them, Anfey was on the move as well. While they were looking for anything that could be used as weapons, Anfey was already in front of them. A female orc encountered him first. She flailed around like a madman, but Anfey stepped around her and stabbed her in the neck with his sword.
No matter who he was fighting, Anfey would always attack three points on the body: the neck, the head, and left chest. The neck was the most vulnerable part of the body, and every time Anfey aimed there, he would succeed.
An old orc found a piece of rock, but before he could do anything with it, Blavi’s fireball hit him. He was thrown into the air, slammed into a wall, and fell to the ground.
"Anfey!" Blavi called.
Anfey jumped off of the ground, and a wave of lightning spread across the ground.
Anfey landed and struck an old orc on the back of his head. He became a blurred shadow as he sped through the remaining orcs, his sword splitting the air.
If Suzanna was here and saw his moves, she would receive new inspirations for her own sword skills.
Anfey’s sword struck out towards air, but he would step aside and slash at an orc’s throat. For a normal swordsman, moving and attacking were two separate movements. For Anfey, however, moving was attacking. He could hit his target no matter from which angle he struck.
His movements were fluid and strange, and none of the orcs had any time to react before falling to the ground.
At first Blavi tried to cooperate with him and attack with magic, but by the end he was just watching his companion move.
"Blavi," Anfey said when he cut down the last orc. Blavi nodded and began a spell. The cave shook violently, and the roof began caving in. Rocks fell down into the cave. Before the cave collapsed completely, Blavi and Anfey had already crossed through the portal.
Anfey felt a flash of coldness when he crossed. He heard Christian’s voice as his feet hit solid ground. "What took you so long?"
"Had to tell the orcs something," Anfey said, smiling. He was a cold person, but he had no prejudice. He would not classify a person as an enemy because of the person’s appearance. In his mind, there were only three kinds of people. Enemies that would threaten him, friends that deserved his assistance, and the rest, who were irrelevant to him. Before the orcs attacked them, he did not dislike them. After he had conquered them, he still did not dislike them. After he had seen their greed, however, he knew he had to do something.
It wouldn’t matter what he told them. The orcs would still try to take treasures after he left. He didn’t care much about the gold, but what if the orcs tried to tamper with the chest and triggered the element lock? Surely they would not heed any of his warnings.
"I thought Phillip was mad. You’re even more so," an old man standing on a tree branch said.
"I’m always like this." Ernest shrugged and said, "Thanks for saving me."
"You swordsmen are so headstrong," Steger said. "Retreating this way. So reckless. If I’m right, Niya went the other way."
"You mages are so smart," Ernest smiled. Steger did not kill him and did not try to track down Niya because he had already picked sides.
"By god I hate this forest, but at least we have an explanation," Steger said, shaking his head. He was too old for the trials of the Magic Beast Forest.
"An explanation for Yolanthe or Saul?"
"His Majesty? He’s already…" Steger said, trying to find the right words.
Just then, they heard the faint sound of yelling from the other side of the forest, "We’re leaving…"
"Amplifying magic?" Steger frowned and asked.
"They’re leaving? To where?" Ernest frowned as well.