Under the thicket, Orlando frowned when he noticed that the guards had their heads lowered down.
"Are you certain that's the carriage?" He whispered to the person beside him.
"Yes, my lord. We had been following them since their arrival in Riverwood Town. You can rest assured that Ms. Helen of the Keller family is indeed in this carriage."
"Then explain to me why does the number of people in the carriage seem to be inconsistent with your initial report?"
"My lord, the other three are travelers on the carriage. Although we aren't clear on their identities, they should be unrelated to the Keller family, and their strength isn't anything spectacular."
"Very well then. Remind the rest to be on guard and ready to attack. Failure is unacceptable."
Orlando did not continue speaking after that. Once he received intel about Helen's departure from the city, he was overjoyed. They finally had the opportunity to capture her alive. To Orlando, this task wasn't difficult at all.
"Yes, my lord."
The man turned around and quickly disappeared into the foliage. Occasionally, Orlando would raise his head out from the bush and peek at the carriage, but this time, the carriage door swung open and a young man emerged from the carriage.
Orlando furrowed his brows. He couldn't understand why he felt that something bad was going to happen.
Rhode walked out from the carriage.
Under the light, the distant forest appeared darker than usual. He glanced in the direction of the noise, and his face turned serious.
Some people are hiding there.
Truth to be told, when he discovered that he was being spied on, the first suspects that came to his mind were those people in the Twilight Forest. But after thinking carefully, if it were those people, then he wouldn't be able to detect them this easily. After all, the spy was an advanced profession. No matter how high his initial attributes were, it can't be compared to an advanced profession. The only possibility he could think of was that they were careless.
After walking out of the carriage, Rhode confirmed his speculation. Since his senses could lock on their location without any difficulty, it revealed that the ambush wasn't orchestrated by a spy - or another high-level profession at the very least.
Nevertheless, it was still a bizarre situation. Ever since Rhode appeared in this world, he had not provoked anyone on purpose. Perhaps the target wasn't him?
"What happened, Mr.Rhode?"
The moment Rhode stepped out of the carriage, Lize opened her eyes. As a veteran mercenary, she had developed an inherent nature to upkeep a certain level of vigilance.
"Just some rats," replied Rhode coolly.
Lize was faintly surprised at Rhode's calm voice.
"Was it those people that chased after us before?"
Rhode shook his head. "No, these people don't appear to be targeting us."
Lize was surprised, but before she could reply Rhode, a guard came up to both of them and asked,
"Hello, Sir. What's the matter?"
After traveling for a day, Rhode naturally recognized the guard captain of Ms. Helen's garrison, which was Ben. Even though a skilled individual should hold the appointment of guard captain, it was clear that Ben wasn't very skilled. According to the standards of this world, he would be rated as a Level 7 swordsman who had just ranked up from apprentice swordsman. The reason why he managed to grasp this position was because of his family, which had served the Keller family loyally for many years. As such, rather than fulfilling the role as a guard to the young miss, it could be said that he was her follower instead.
To Ben, Rhode was a figure of respect. Although his first impression of Rhode was negative because of his beautiful face, which led him to the conclusion that he was a playboy, Rhode's display of strength left him utterly speechless. At his age, it was common knowledge that most young nobles couldn't even wield a sword, not to mention fighting with it. However, Rhode sent two guards flying through the air empty-handedly. It didn't matter how he did it, but this young man's power was beyond his imagination. Even after living in Deep Stone City for 20 years, apart from the young heir from the Felix family, he had never seen such a skilled person like Rhode.
Deep in their hearts, every man dreamed of being strong and powerful. And Ben, without a doubt, was no exception to this. In the Dragon Soul Continent, only the strong were respected. Thus, although he wasn't happy because of the dispute with Rhode, after experiencing Rhode's overwhelming power, his attitude immediately changed and became respectful.
Facing Ben's courteous behavior, Rhode just waved his hand to beckon him to stop talking. Within the thick foliage, he could sense seven people lurking around in the vicinity.
Two on the left, right, and front. One at the rear.
Rhode easily revealed their ambush positions. However, he had some difficulty tracking the movements of the person at the rear. His movements were somewhat erratic, as though he might disappear any moment. As for the others, he could effortlessly pinpoint their locations when they were on the move.
It seems like that person at the rear is the strongest among the seven.
Rhode pondered for a moment, and suddenly, an idea struck him.
"Get your people to retreat."
Ben heard Rhode's words loud and clear, but he could not react in time before Rhode unsheathed his sword.
The Star Mark appeared.
A divine, white light pierced through the dark sky and an attack formed as a crescent moon, descended from the light. Ben felt a beam of light passing through him before permeating the depths of the dark forest. In a split of a second, the leaves from the surrounding trees churned violently as though a whirlwind swept past the area.
The two poor men clothed in a black cloak didn't anticipate the enemy to launch a pre-emptive attack. When they regained their clarity, it was already too late as the Moonbeams swept past their frozen bodies.
Like the gentleness of a spring's breeze, the Moonbeams passed through them noiselessly and disappeared into the depths of the forest.
Two shadows fell back into the bushes like a puppet whose strings had been cut.
A deafening silence fell over the forest. Orlando, who was lurking at the rear, was stunned speechless by the attack.
Their opponent was an advanced swordsman!?
Someone who was able to condensate sword energy to launch an attack was not easy to deal with. Usually, people who used this kind of skill were someone of high standing - someone powerful enough to enter the advanced stage. An example was the nobles from those large families. It didn't matter which one was it, no matter what, it wasn't someone that they could afford to provoke.
Multiple scenarios flashed through Orlando's mind as he racked his brain to find the best solution to this problem. He really wanted to slaughter the man who gave him the false intel. That man even dared to tell him that their strength was 'nothing spectacular.'
What the heck? Nothing spectacular?! My *ss is spectacular. Telling me that an advanced swordsman isn't anything I should be concerned with?
It wasn't that Orlando was exaggerating, after all, in the Dragon Soul Continent, NPCs and players were fundamentally different. When an NPC hits Level 10, they would unlock their Level 10 skills. But players were different. They could use skill points to improve their skill proficiency. If a Level 10 player worked extremely hard, they could attain advanced proficiency. There were even some hardcore players who had achieved advanced proficiency and master level skills altogether. Now, it was widely known that the higher the level of the skill, the more power it would consume. That was why, when people managed to obtain a master level skill but did not have enough power to use it, they would make an absolute fool out of themselves.
The sudden deviation of the situation caused Orlando's original plan to crumble. His original plan was to send his people to kill the three weak guards and kidnap Ms. Helen before leaving without a trace. However now, even before he was able to make a move, he had already lost two of his men. To make matters worse, his opponent was an advanced swordsman. Despite not being weak himself, but he had yet to reach the advanced level threshold. Thus, his opponent's actions made him break out in cold sweat.
"Ahh, whatever! I'm going to fight!!"
Orlando bit his lip and put two fingers in his mouth, blowing a long, whistling sound.
Immediately after that, various shadows jumped out from the bushes and dashed past the carriage!
"Protect the young miss!" Ben shouted at his men.
Though he was taken aback by Rhode's odd command, after realizing what was happening, Ben acted at once. He yelled orders while unsheathing his sword and the two other guards rushed towards the carriage at full speed. Lize didn't hesitate as she responded quickly by casting a shield to protect those three guards.
Lize's protective shield enveloped the three men. Not long after she cast the shield, five to six arrows flew from the bushes and struck the defenseless guards. However, before the arrows could penetrate their bodies, once it touched the golden protective shield, the projectile immediately lost its acceleration and fell to the ground.
"En Garde! Be careful of the hidden archers!"
Ben was nervous even though he shouted loudly. This was the first time Ben had encountered an enemy ambush in the wilderness. Most of the time, Ms. Helen was always at the Deep Stone City, so he was never afraid that something like this might happen. At the moment he traveled outside the city, he unexpectedly encountered this kind of situation. Such bad luck!
However, complaining about his current plight was a meaningless act. He glared at the black-cloaked assailants who was rushing towards him.
Ben clenched his teeth and yelled as he charged towards them as well.