Rhode looked at the four mercenaries standing nervously in front of him . Although Old Walker did remind him that they were newbies, he didn't expect them to be that nervous .
"Hel, Hello, Mr . …Rhode . "
The Ranger finally understood why Shauna reminded them that Rhode was a man . Honestly, if Shauna didn't inform him beforehand, it would be difficult for him not to call Rhode a 'beautiful young miss . '
Once he did that, it would be the end of him .
"Welcome, Anne informed me about the four of you . "
Rhode nodded towards them as a greeting .
The Ranger stood straight and began to introduce themselves .
"Yes, Mr . Rhode . We are Ms . Anne's subordinates . I am Randolf Cary, and this is my sister Lapis, we're both Rangers . The one who is wearing heavy armor is Andon, and the one beside him is Joey, although he looks like that… he's a trustworthy thief . "
"I know . "
Rhode said after Randolf introduced the others .
"Anne's testimony of the four of you is quite high, but I still need to witness your performance personally . I'm going to conduct a trial for the four of you; as long you can pass, I will permit you to fight alongside the rest of us in the frontlines . However, if you are unable to pass, I will assign you to some other task . Alright, you can prepare as and when you wish from now . "
"Yes, Mr . Rhode . "
Randolf finally felt relieved . Rhode was just as expressionless as Shauna had said, but at least his tone wasn't cold .
"Mr . Rhode, is Ms . Anne here? It's been so long since we saw her…"
Randolf asked curiously .
Rhode went silent for a while, then he nodded .
"I can bring you guys to see her . But you must understand that she's in the middle of a punishment, so she can't go outside . "
They glanced at each other nervously .
What kind of punishment did Anne get?
Why did she get punished?
It wasn't difficult to imagine why she was punished . Back in Mark White, Anne was often penalized because spoke her mind and always did things at her own leisure . Therefore she often caused trouble in the group, but all of these were small matters since the old leader could cover up for her . However, once the old leader died, the trouble she caused went out of hand and was often punished for it .
Randolf thought that perhaps Anne would behave better in a newer environment, but it seemed like that was not the case . . .
What did Anne do to make Rhode angry?
Is she okay?
At that moment, these kinds of thoughts crossed their mind .
All of them were worried about Anne's situation . They imagined her being imprisoned in a cold and dark underground cellar . If she was treated like that, how could they possibly stay in this mercenary group in peace?
But they were left dumbstruck when Rhode opened the door .
Both of her hands were tucked in as she sat on the edge of the bed, bored . When she heard the door open saw Rhode, the girl immediately bounced up and ran towards Rhode .
"Ah, leader, you finally came! Is it time for me to go out now???"
Randolf and the others stared at the girl with their mouths wide open . If she had a tail right now, there's no doubt that it would be wagging intensely .
Still, Rhode seemed unaffected by her natural charm . He pointed at the clock and said, almost emotionlessly .
"No, 12 pm tonight . "
Eh, that's . . . punishment?
"Anyway, your friends came to see you . "
Rhode lightly caressed Anne's head and pointed to the people behind him . Anne popped her head to the left and saw the four mercenaries behind Rhode staring blankly at her .
"Ah, Randolf, Lapis, you guys finally came!"
Lapis who was hiding behind her brother's back rushed and hugged Anne . Anne rubbed her head and smiled just like Rhode before .
"Lapis is still a scaredy cat like always~ You cannot continue to be like that, okay? You are a mercenary now! If you're not brave enough, you'll be laughed at by others!"
"I-I'm not scared! I'm just nervous!"
The girl quickly raised her head and tried to defend herself, but her face still flushed red .
"Ms . Anne, I'm happy to meet you once again . "
Randolf and the other two also walked towards Anne and greeted her .
As for Rhode, he had already made himself scarce . Clearly, he was giving them privacy for their reunion .
"Randolf, Andon, Joey . You guys look like you're doing well . "
Looking at the three of them, Anne laughed and said . But then her tone suddenly turned serious .
"But, in Starlight, don't call me Ms . Anne anymore . I'm just an ordinary mercenary here, so just directly call my name in the future . You must remember that this mercenary group belongs to Mr . Rhode . Don't get it wrong now, okay?! Otherwise, I'll get really mad!"
The four of them was mildly surprised because Anne rarely got serious .
"Of course, Mi… no, Anne . "
"Ah, Sister Anne, what actually did you do to get punished? Did that person bully you?"
Lapis raised her head and asked curiously .
"It's not that serious . . . "
Anne's expression turned awkward when she heard Lapis' question . The four of them looked at her strangely . They had followed Anne for a year, so it could be said that they understood her relatively well . Even when dealing with the old leader, when Anne was at fault, she rarely acknowledges it . However, she was actually hesitating now!
"It's just that . . . I didn't follow my leader's command in our previous mission . That's why leader is furious and told me to reflect on my mistake . I don't understand what exactly he wants, but that was what I was told to do . Hmph! Leader is too strict!"
Looking at the girl who sat on the bed twitching her mouth dissatisfyingly, the four looked at each other and smiled wryly . They never knew that Anne had this side of her . She had always been so unafraid of everything . What did Rhode do to cause Anne to turn so docile?
Since they couldn't find the answer to this question, they proceeded to the training field in the courtyard, with Lize leading them, of course . In the beginning, they viewed Rhode as tyrannical and powerful, but now they saw him as friendly and mysterious . They were relieved when they found out that Rhode was rather caring towards his subordinates .
When they reached the training field, they saw Rhode and Marlene standing next to each other .
"That's the four?"
Marlene frowned, evidently dissatisfied with their bearing .
"Frankly, they don't look like they can fight well . "
"It's okay as long as they have the potential . "
Rhode shook his head .
"With our current situation, it is impossible for us to hire people with powerful abilities . Since we lack manpower, they will have to suffice . Moreover, it's not like they're totally powerless; with training, I think that these guys still can make it . "
After saying that, Rhode walked towards the four of them . In their eyes, Rhode saw hesitation, uneasiness, and expectation . It made him reminiscence of the game days when he brought newbies on a mission just after forming Starlight . At this moment, these four mercenaries somehow resembled those players .
Well, since it's like that, he would just test them using the same way .
"The test is simple . As long as you can injure my summoned spirit, it means you win . You can do whatever you want; I just want to see your real strength . "
Rhode said as he took a step backward . Then, a black card appeared on his palm .
Without waiting for them to react, a huge Centaur Knight rose from the fog . It lowered its head and gazed at everyone with its bloodshot red eyes before roaring menacingly .
What is that? Where did it come from?
They were shocked at the sudden appearance of a monster . But before they could say anything, Rhode snapped his fingers and spoke .
"The test begins now . "
The Centaur Knight roared . It lifted the spear on its hand high and swung it in a downward arc .
Randolf quickly rolled to the ground to dodge the Centaur's vertical attack . Then he promptly equipped the bow from his back and drew an arrow, aiming towards the Centaur Knight .
"Everyone, prepare for battle formation, Lapis!"
Lapis who was hiding behind stretched out her hand to take an object from her body and threw it forward .
Both Rhode and Marlene raised their brows at the same time . They saw her throw two small glass bottles with a translucent liquid inside . When the bottles hit the floor, it broke into many tiny fragments and the liquid inside blended together . Then, out of a sudden, the liquid that seemed harmless turned into a sharp blade made out of ice and shot forward!
At that moment, Marlene who was standing by the side spoke with surprise in her voice .
"Elemental Fusion… It's alchemy . "
Rhode said .
He, too, was looking at that girl in surprise .
Did he unknowingly pick up a treasure again?