Chapter 98: Hunters and Prey
The Wilder Plain was covered by six foot tall grass. Whenever the wind was strong enough to part it, it would reveal thousands of boarbeasts. These animals were native to the Wilder Plain, and was the food source for most carnivores living there. Boarbeasts were very mild in nature, and rarely attack other animals. Whenever they were attacked, they tended to run instead of fighting back. They were herbivores, and reproduced very fast to prevent extinction. If there were no boarbeasts, the other beasts would starve to death. If there were no other beasts, the boarbeasts would destroy the plain.
The Wilder Plain was large, but for the mercenaries that depended on this plain for a living, they already know the plain like the back of their hands. They were very familiar with things like where the high-level magic beasts resided and where they should not go. Only powerful people dared to go to the plains, because if they were not powerful, they would simply become another body in the plain.
With Vonmerge as their guide, Anfey and the group did not waste much time looking for their target. It was a nine-person mercenary team made up of seven men—six swordsmen and one mage—and two women, a mage and a priestess. With the Eyes of Sky they could see that this other team was harvesting the magic beast’s body.
Anfey approached them quietly. He was good at disguising himself, and did not worry about being seen. When he was close enough to hear the mercenaries’ voices, he took out two top tier magic crystals and knocked them together.
Soon the mercenaries heard the sound and began making their way over. "Hey, kid, what are you doing?" one of them asked.
Anfey turned, acting like he was surprised by them and had forgotten to put away the crystals.
"You…" the man who was speaking stopped mid-sentence, his eyes falling on the crystals. Their team was only mediocre, but they had seen top tier magic magic crystals before. The man’s eyes gleamed with greed.
Five other people came through the grass, and all of their eyes were immediately drawn to the crystals in Anfey’s hands. Magic crystals meant wealth. It meant that they could live like kings and have something to brag about later. There were so many mercenaries that never get to touch top tier magic crystals.
"Where did you get that?" one of the men asked. He nodded to the others, and they began surrounding Anfey.
"I’m not obliged to tell you," Anfey said, taking a few steps back.
"Don’t worry, friend," the man said. "We are part of the Tiger of Tawau Mercenary. Our lord is about to marry, and we must come up with some gifts. If possible, we hope to buy your crystals. Five thousand coins, how about that?"
Five thousand coins was a fair price, but the man looked like he was worth not even ten coins, let alone five thousand.
The group kept smiling and surrounding Anfey. Anfey took a few steps back and kept a certain distance between himself and the mercenaries. "What do you want?" he asked. "These belong to my friend. I cannot sell them."
"What is his name? Maybe we know him," the man said. His smile was wider now, but his forehead was covered with sweat.
Anfey placed the crystals into his pocket and ducked into the grass.
"Don’t let him get away!"
"Sir, let’s contact the main group. We gotta catch the kid!" one of the men called while pulling out a scroll from his ring.
Larger mercenary legions had the advantage of numbers, and each member had the same scroll in case backup was needed.
"Idiot!" the first man barked. "No! How will we divide up the crystals then?"
"Yeah. The kid had no combat power. He won’t get away."
A small search quick ensued. The two mages lifted themselves into the air with levitation magic, searching for Anfey’s trail. The others fanned out and began searching. In the face of the
temptation of top tier crystals, they had already forgotten the low tier crystals they were harvesting. If they took those crystals, they could live for a few years with no financial troubles.
Anfey walked through the grass quietly. He had brought the entire group to the plain, but he had sent them away before he approached the mercenaries. It didn’t matter how good the plan was, they could still fail. If the men had used their scrolls, and the men from Tiger of Tawau had surrounded them, he could ensure his own escape, but not everyone’s. Plus, Tiger of Tawau would not be the only mercenaries coming. The larger mercenary legions all had treaties with each other, and would lend each other help. This place was far from Blackwater City, and if someone used a scroll, there would be thousands of mercenaries here within minutes.
Anfey stopped backing away and crouched in a bush. He removed the top layer of his clothes and revealed a layer of clothes made for easier movements. It was in fact a military-style camouflage suit with a hood made by Anfey himself. People could get as close as fifteen feet without noticing him.
Anfey retrieved a dagger from his dimensional ring. It wasn’t made by Hagan. Instead it was made by a blacksmith Anfey found in the city. Swords were made for fighting in places like this, and using the altered dagger was too much of a waste.
The sound of boots on ground was getting closer and closer. Anfey picked up a small stone and waited until the man was close enough. He flicked the stone out and hit another patch of grass. The man turned his gaze towards where the stone landed.
Anfey jumped out of his hiding place and dashed towards the man, his dagger swiping across the man’s throat.
The man fell to the ground without making a noise. He slumped on the ground, but was still alive. He dug his bloodstained fingers into his wound in a desperate attempt for air.
Anfey returned quietly and buried the dagger into the man’s chest. Humans had big hearts, and someone as well trained as Anfey would never miss it. The man was still before Anfey could pull the dagger out.
Anfey listened for a few moments before approaching the second man. Before he could approach him, however, the man began screaming.
"I see you, kid!" the man called. "Get out here before I burn you out! Kid, this isn’t a fun place! You’re gonna get eaten by beasts!"
He was loud enough for his friends to hear, and if his voice disappeared, his friends would be suspicious. Anfey turned to look for another target.
These mercenaries thought they were the hunters, but they did not know they had already became the prey. Anfey’s presence was too undetectable, and the mercenaries thought he was just a normal kid. No mercenaries would be too concerned about a normal person.
The man’s target was focused on something straight ahead, and he did not pay attention to movements around him.
As soon as he was close enough, Anfey reached out and, covering the man’s mouth and nose with his hand, slit the man’s throat with his dagger. The man’s body spasmed and fell still. Anfey placed him on the ground softly. The two mages flew by, but the grass was too tall for them to see anything.