Grendy ran wildly as the screams behind him turned clearer and clearer . He turned back only to find the young lady, as pale as a sheet, gasping for air . Her expensive robe was torn, revealing bloody gashes on her soft and delicate skin . As they dashed through the pitch-black forest, the bright flames behind them were vaguely in sight and the echoes of dogs barking were getting increasingly closer .
“Hurry up, Natasha . ”
“I-I can’t do it, Grendy . ”
The struggling young lady named Natasha followed closely and clumsily behind Grendy . Even though she was on the verge of collapsing, she tightly held the wooden box in her arms with no intentions of letting go . Grendy knew she was almost at her limit . Without any choice, he grabbed her right hand .
“Follow me, Natasha . We will have a chance of survival once we pass through this forest and swim to the other side of the White River!”
“I… I don’t think I can swim, Grendy . It’s better if you go alone!”
“What are you talking about?! How can I leave you behind?”
Grendy sulked at her selfless answer . He slowed down his pace and lifted the young lady on his back . However, at this moment, a huge black hound howled and leaped out of the bushes which left Natasha screaming in horror . Grendy swiftly turned around and slashed his sword at its skull . After the hound collapsed to the ground, the young man stomped on its body angrily before booting it back into the bushes .
Although this ambush happened in merely a few seconds, it allowed the flame torches to catch up significantly . Not only that, both of them could sense that the danger fast approaching as the rustling in the bushes and roarings of the hounds became louder .
Grendy struck another hound with his sword . This young man knew that he had lost precious time and opportunity to escape and the chances of him escaping from these people were next to nothing now . Even so, Grendy continued to push on with his companion . As they ran, he brandished his sword at another hound that was darting towards him . But, to his surprise, another hound had pounced over from his back and bit his arm .
Natasha screamed as blood flowed from his arm . Grendy steadily flung his arm to shake off the hound and at the same time, he pierced the sword in his right hand into its skull . The unfortunate hound howled in grief and landed heavily on the ground . Then, a voice sent chills down both of their spines .
“I found them! They’re here!”
“Sh*t! Go go go!”
Grendy was gobsmacked . He took off frantically with the young lady before he could attend to his injured left arm . Although Grendy knew that the chances of survival were next to nothing, his human instinct for survival continued to support him .
However, it was this moment that Grendy witnessed a few flame torches in his escape path .
Are we surrounded by them?
Grendy’s heart sank . He knew he had no other choice but to brandish the sword with his life and dart out of this forest with the young lady .
“Come on, you…”
Grendy was only halfway through his sentence before he realized . Those people before him weren’t the fully-armored soldiers on the chase to capture him .
What was revealed in his eyes was the peaceful flowing White River and its crystal-clear water letting off a dreamy reflection of the moonlight . A merchant-looking chariot was parked beside the river and there were three people sitting by a nearby bonfire . Right before him, a senior chariot driver startled by Grendy and Natasha darted out of the bushes, stumbling to the ground .
Is this the commerce road?
Grendy couldn’t believe his eyes after turning over and witnessing a flat commerce road . He knew that this was the road that one must take, in order to reach the White River Valley and it was also a preferred resting point for many merchants . Grendy didn’t expect that their frantic escape would lead them here so soon .
However, this wasn’t the time to lament on how much potential humans could erupt in the face of danger . Before Grendy could react, a group of fully-armored soldiers had charged over . They instantly surrounded him and blocked off all his possible escape routes . At the same time, the soldiers raised their bows and aimed towards Grendy and the group of travelers .
Grendy swore in his head and guarded the young lady with his body while taking a few steps backwards . The soldiers standing before Grendy moved to the side and made way for a fully-armored soldier to step forward .
“Hide and seek is over, kid… Eh?”
The man paused and shifted his attention to the group of people by the chariot .
Grendy’s heart sank as he knew clearly how vicious these soldiers were . As he didn’t wish to implicate those innocent people, he hurriedly stepped forward and said as he trembled in fear .
“They got nothing…”
“We have nothing to do with them . ”
However, before Grendy could finish his sentence, one of the three travelers by the bonfire turned around and interrupted .
“I don’t know and don’t care who you guys are . I also do not wish to get involved with your affairs . So please go ahead if you only wish to capture those two . We will act as though we never saw anything . ”
Grendy’s words were stuck in his throat and even the man was slightly surprised . Never did he think that there would be such a self-righteous person who dared to announce that he was only a passerby… Heh heh . It seems that these people are kind of interesting too . However, it’s a pity that no one should be aware of this matter . Since all of you witnessed it, you all can only blame yourselves for being unlucky!
The man lifted his arm .
“Kill them all!”
The soldiers instantly raised and aimed their arrows towards Grendy and the travelers . Grendy’s heart sunk to the bottom because he knew all that he could do was to hopelessly brandish his sword to protect Natasha against all the incoming rain of arrows .
However, it was this moment when an accident occurred .
As the soldiers locked on to their targets, their arrows erupted in bright, scorching flames which instantly overwhelmed their bows . The soldiers shrieked at the intolerable heat and tossed their weapons to the ground .
“W-What is going on?”
The man who seemed to be the soldiers’ commander was astounded . He observed the surrounding for answers as he had never met such an odd occurrence before . Before his questions were answered, one of the three travelers by the bonfire stood up .
Everyone managed to catch a glimpse of her looks under the bright flames . She was a beautiful young lady who had a full head of pink tied into a vivacious ponytail . A pair of fluffy ears and a large, bushy tail swaying from her back revealed her identity to the group of soldiers .
“Aiyo, what a pity… Master has given all of you a chance to not mess with him . If you refuse Master’s kindness, you’re gonna lose out, okay?”
This is… a Mage?
The man froze in terror and forced two steps back before cautiously gazing at the group of people behind Grendy . After witnessing their amazing feat, he was at a loss for words because he had never seen any Mage who possessed the ability to burn all the soldiers’ bows without hurting them .
Damn my luck!
The man was somewhat regretful . He reckoned that he should’ve been more cautious when the three of them were so calm in voicing their disinterest in involving with their matters . However, he wasn’t too concerned about this problem because of his persistence in completing this task . After all, the identity of his target was way too sensitive and there would be major issues if this news was leaked out . So even though the group of travelers had declared that they didn’t wish to get involved, he didn’t want to take the risk .
But now, he realized that he had made a wrong choice .
Since they destroyed their weapons in a split second, would they also instantly turn them into a barbeque pit too?
The man was quick to his feet and took a step backward in a fluid motion before bowing respectfully .
“I’m very sorry for disturbing everyone . We will be leaving with these two right here immediately!”
As the man beckoned for his soldiers to capture Grendy and Natasha, suddenly, a wall of flames rose from the ground . In an instant, as though the wall of flames was under a mysterious guidance, it extended in both directions and covered their way of retreat entirely .
The man’s expression sunk instantly as he knew the situation was turning grave . It was obvious that the other party wasn’t letting it go just like this .
The young lady with a pair of fox ears cupped her delicate hand over her mouth elegantly, letting out an adorable chuckle .
“Aiya, didn’t I tell you that Master didn’t want to invite trouble? It’s a pity that you guys refused his kind intentions . Now, it seems that we have no choice but to clean this mess up . ”