"Kacha . "
Accompanied by a crisp sound, the collar that was bound tightly to the girl's neck was finally fell to the floor . Lize carefully removed the leather mask from her face .
"Don't worry; nothing will harm you here . "
The girl's eyes revealed fear and anxiety . Lize displayed a reassuring smile while Anne couldn't wait to serve the piping hot food .
"Let me! Let me! This is an apple pie~ I haven't eaten such nice food for a long time! Come, have a taste . "
"No, Anne . She'd been hungry for far too long . She needs to drink some water to warm herself up first . If she eats something now, it will hurt her body . "
Holding a cup of warm water filled with droplets of honey, Marlene tried to move one step ahead of Anne . She stirred the drink with a spoon and passed it over to the little girl .
"Slowly drink, don't rush it . "
The little girl sat on the bed blankly, observing everything in front of her, not knowing what reaction she should make . Since birth, she had never been treated so gently before . As soon as she could remember things, all she remembered was torture, hate, abuse and everyone she met wanted her dead . They never showed her what a smile looked like, only hate and fear . Just like tossing away a piece of rubbish .
The little girl was already used to such treatment . Maybe in her world, love and care were nonexistent . When Lize and the rest appeared, they did not scold her, kick her or hurt her in any way . It was because of this that she felt a sense of uncertainty . She feared not knowing what to do . It was strange at first, but warm at the same time .
" . . . "
Crystal clear tears started falling from her eyes, slowly trickling down to the ground .
"Ah, why did you cry . Do you feel uncomfortable anywhere?"
"Gosh, was the drink too hot?"
The three maidens started panicking . Marlene started to blow the teacup, trying to bring down the temperature . Anne quickly put down the hot apple pie and squatted in front of the girl, not knowing what to do . While Lize took a handkerchief and lightly wiped the tears from her face .
"Don't cry… slowly, let us know what's wrong… eh?"
Just as Lize was cleaning the little girl's tears, she suddenly let out a soft and surprised cry . She stared blankly at the little girl's face .
"What's wrong? Lize?"
Anne and Marlene turned around out of curiosity to glance at the face of the little girl .
This was the first time they saw her face .
Due to an extended period of malnutrition, the little girl's face was thin . Heartbreakingly pale white face . Her delicate features were as if it was a beautiful artwork sculptured by an artist . She had light pink lips and a pair of lake-like clear eyes . The most prominent feature was her achromatic eyes . Her left eye had a normal blue shine, but her right eye that hid behind her long fringe was shining like a purple gem .
But the three of them weren't too concerned about them . Rather, they were concerned about her looks; she appeared to be somewhat familiar to them .
"This face… have I seen it somewhere?"
"… Anne too, finds it so familiar…"
Anne twirled her hair and closed her eyes while pressing her petite eyebrows together . Then she suddenly punched downwards with her small fist .
"Yes! Isn't she the leader's…"
Anne suddenly stopped . The three of them looked at each other, not know what to say at all .
That's right, no matter how you look at the little girl, other than the hair and eye color, she resembled exactly like Rhode . The only thing different was that she's younger than Rhode by quite a margin . And between her eyebrows didn't have the cold feel like Rhode; instead, she was filled with a cuddly charm . Even the three of them as females, couldn't help but want to hug the little girl in their arms and gently care for her .
But… what's with this similarity?
Lize, Marlene, and Anne looked at each other in confusion . Although Lize and Rhode knew each other the longest, even she never heard Rhode speak about his family members . Naturally, Anne and Marlene wouldn't have known too .
"So what now?"
Marlene frowned and asked .
"This… maybe we can get Mr . Rhode to see for himself?"
Lize spoke with uncertainty . It isn't common to meet your doppelgänger every day; thus, naturally, she wouldn't know what to do other than inform the leader . The first time they looked at the girl, they suspected if Rhode and she were related . However, Rhode didn't seem to recognize her at the cave . This made the three of them full of doubt but didn't know what to say .
"Let's call Mr . Rhode here, besides…"
Marlene stopped and eventually sighed .
"Anne, could you get Mr . Rhode here?"
"Sure, Anne will go now . "
After hearing Marlene's question, Anne immediately jumped up and burst out of the room .
Meanwhile, Rhode finished listening to the village chief's report on the undead creatures .
The villagers indeed did meet with some troublesome matters . Those undead creatures will appear once it hits midnight . They would float within the village and find their prey . The village resistance was insignificant and the villagers had no choice but to remove late-night guard duties . And when you thought that matters couldn't be worse, rumors started to spread, and it started to deter merchants from using this business route . It caused the villagers to lose their primary source of income . Despite inviting help from those acolytes from churches, but their strength was limited and eventually failed .
After 'interviewing' the village chief, Rhode confirmed the undead's identity ---- the Spectre . They were ghosts who were once human, awakened from dark magic pollution and then manipulated by an invisible evil entity . Rhode also confirmed their identities ---- Spectre . And just like what Marlene had predicted, the main reason may be due to a hell chasm somewhere within the village which polluted the dead spirits, converting them into Spectres .
The Spectre's most prominent feature would be belonging to the category of 'non-physical creatures . ' Other than magical and elemental weapons, other types of weapons will not be able to threaten them at all . They would only pass through their bodies and not deal any damage . Not only that, Spectres could easily phase through walls, in other words, they could attack from anywhere . This wasn't something any ordinary militia could handle .
On the other hand, the Spectre's level wasn't very high . Most of them were merely over level ten . Periodically, some elites that were over level twenty would appear, but they wouldn't exceed level thirty, which was their limit . However, with Celia around, Rhode believed they wouldn't be the true troublesome foes .
The upcoming battle with the Spectres' could be treated as training . Although its attacking power isn't high, their sudden, omnidirectional ways of striking would be a good test for the mercenaries . Of course, to Rhode, as long as he had the holy sword in hand, even a hundred Spectres could be easily dispatched by him alone . However this time, he intended to use this as a live training session for his mercenaries . So after listening to the village chief's explanations, Rhode decided to observe the battle by the side . His only duty was to be in charge of drinking tea .
"I've understood the situation . But how I will handle the upcoming issues is all up to myself . You have no rights to ask . My only promise to you is that we will remove all the undead creatures . But I hope that you can restrain your group of idiots . If I meet anyone who tries to provoke my glory, I won't be able to guarantee their life . "
Rhode easily made another threat, and stood up after sending the sweaty old man and guard captain out of the pub . Initially, Rhode intended to explore the surroundings, but this village made him lose all interest in sightseeing . Just as Rhode was deciding what he should do next, he saw Anne hurriedly dashing down the stairs .
"Ah, Leader, you're still here! Great!"
Rhode asked, wondering what was it that made Anne fluster like this . But to his surprise, Anne did not answer his question immediately as she just stared at him in a daze . After some time, Rhode woke her up with a clap .
"Hmm… Anne isn't too sure…" Anne tilted her head as she scanned Rhode's features from top to bottom .
"Leader, Sister Marlene wants you to see for yourself . "
Facing Anne's attitude, a huge question mark appeared in Rhode's brain . He had never seen this straightforward maiden this hesitant in her words before . But he didn't overthink and followed Anne up the stairs to the guest room on the second floor .
"Ah, Mr . Rhode . "
Noticing Rhode's arrival, Marlene and Lize hurriedly stood up . Rhode looked at the two maidens and frowned . He could sense the awkwardness from both of their expressions . This surprised Rhode, and after confirming that the three of them didn't have a quarrel, he asked .
Facing Rhode's question, the three maidens exchanged looks at each other . It wasn't long before Lize finally bit the bullet and stepped out .
"Mr . Rhode, we would like you to look at her . "
"Her? What's wrong with her?"
Rhode asked curiously . He turned his head towards the little girl who was slowly sipping a teacup by the bed edge .
The moment he had a clear view of her face, Rhode felt the blood in his body stop flowing .