It was an equally disturbing night for Michael .
The senior read the report with bloodshot eyes and thick eyebrows that were knitted together . He slammed his fist on the table and the loud impact numbed his ears .
“Damn it!” He glared at his pale-faced subordinates . “Why am I only notified of such important news now!”
Michael learned that seven border patrol teams consisting of 140 militias had gone missing yesterday night . He was furious that no one had reported to him when it first happened…
Damn it, what have this bunch of bastards been doing?!
Michael wasn’t aware that these Border Officers treated the countryside militias as unorganized and undisciplined, so it wasn’t anything alarming to them since the militias could have gone home without informing then . However, they were worried when the teams failed to return one after another and they dispatched a few patrol teams to search for them . In the end, none of them returned!
Due to the lack of manpower, the 5th Division assigned the local militias to the Grosso’s periphery and the militias’ parents were distraught when they knew about their disappearance . They checked in with the 5th Division anxiously and the 5th Division reported frantically to Michael after realizing that the situation was beyond their control .
“A bunch of worthless crap! Crap!” Michael punched the table to vent his anger . He knew that the situation on hand was no longer repairable… Although the Grosso’s border area wasn’t important, there would be an internal riot if seven patrol teams disappeared just like that, not to mention the currently sensitive situation…
As a Southern Legion Commander, Michael wasn’t in favor of the Reformist Party’s declaration of independence because he knew that this wasn’t the solution to resolve issues and their military strength was weaker than the King’s Party . Michael didn’t resist like his fellow colleagues who ended up in prison . He was equally unwilling to risk his life on the front lines clashing with his old compatriots, which was why he had been appointed for garrison duties . He was prepared to face misfortune of illnesses and wild animals in Grosso because it was located in the Southern hinterland and he was confident that the King’s Party wouldn’t dispatch manpower to destroy Grosso that easily . But he didn’t expect that this would happen…
What is going on?
The senior ruminated on this unusual case . It would be too high-profile if it was the King’s Party who dispatched their people to stir trouble . If there were only one to two patrol teams that had gone missing, it can be explained that they were silenced by the invaders and even dummies would stay vigilant after so many patrol teams were annihilated . Until now, the frontline hasn’t informed us of similar news and the invaders must be professionals since they were able to get through the multiple layers of defense .
But, who would they be if they weren’t sent by the King’s Party? Wild animals? How is it possible that wild animals would kill so many militias secretly? Even though the militias were inferior to the soldiers, they have also gone through military training and they wouldn’t all perish no matter how strong the wild animal was . Besides, I haven’t heard of wild animals emerging by the Grosso borders…
Michael had made his decision . He dispatched his adjutant to lead an infantry column to investigate the causes and also increasing alert for the Grosso to prevent further accidents . This was the best and only solution that he could think of for now…
While Michael was troubling over this matter, victory was within grasp for Rhode in the nearby Grosso mountain forest . He scrutinized his palm and counted 60 leaden, marble-like Soul Cores .
It was a surprising night for Rhode as he didn’t expect to kill so many people . He anticipated that he could destroy up to three night patrol teams and extract their spirits using the [Hell Lord] talent tree to prepare for his plans . However, after getting rid of the fourth, the enemy actually dispatched another patrol team to search the area… Rhode kindly accepted their offering .
Compared to the Soul Cores that Rhode had used, these ‘shoddy’ products were inferior in terms of shape, color, and size . But Rhode wasn’t mindful of that .
Let’s begin .
Rhode shut his eyes and a summoning ritual circle emerged on his palm . The array of blue spiritual radiance spread apart line by line and the 60 pearl-sized Soul Cores hovered around him .
[Soul Core detected . To awaken?]
Awake them all .
Rhode answered with no hesitation . His body trembled slightly and freezing cold air erupted around him .
The Soul Cores surrounding him shattered into powder subsequently and white, thin mist fluttered . In the blink of an eye, the mist condensed and flew towards him .
[Received Undead Fighter 1/1]
[Received Undead Warrior 1/1]
[Received Undead Archer 1/1]
The system prompts emerged before him while the condensed mist formed into three cards that appeared above his palm . These cards were average in stats with between 1 to 3 for both offense and defense and they were inferior to even the Spirit Bird in its pre-advanced form . Also, these cards didn’t possess any unique skills and even their descriptions were basic one-liners .
However, this result was more than enough for Rhode .
Because they were only ‘Sub Cards’ .
A Spirit Swordsman’s summoning deck was divided into the ‘Main Library’ and ‘Sub Cards’ . The ‘Main Library’ referred to a perfectly equipped summoning deck while ‘Sub Cards’ referred to those cards with a single attribute, type, and functionality .
In the world of the Dragon Soul Continent, it could be said that the summoning card used by a Spirit Swordsman could form a miniature version of a world . A perfect ‘Main Library’ would require the combination and mutual support between multiple card types .
Firstly, the ‘Core Creature’ of the Card World was required—the Dominator, which was the most important card .
Secondly, there must be a Venue Card to project the Card World into reality . Next, two or three spell cards were needed to provide detailed interpretations of the Card World .
Finally, the necessity of various creatures living in the Card World .
The summoning card closest to achieving the ‘Main Library’ in Rhode’s possession was the ‘Red Lotus Card Deck’ where Gillian resided . He had obtained the Core Dominator in the form of ‘Gillian’, the detailed description of the Red Lotus Rule in the form of ‘Seven Hells’ and ‘Sulfur River’, and the Fire Elemental Creature in the form of ‘Flame Killer’ . He was lacking the ‘Venue Card’ to complete a ‘Main Library’ .
On the other hand, the ‘Army of Abyss’ was a ‘Sub Card’ Deck that had five cards . According to the ‘Soul Hunter Knight’ and ‘Nether Tentacles’, this was a Dark Attribute deck and its distinctive feature was its strong defense and weak offense—this was the characteristic of all the ‘Sub Card’ Decks .
As for the ‘Sky Deck’, Rhode possessed only the ‘Spirit Bird’ and only God knew when he would be able to collect the other cards to complete its set .
The ‘Holy Sword Card Deck’ troubled Rhode the most because he couldn’t figure out if Celia and Celestina were solely weapon presences or spiritual presences . If they were weapons, the ‘Holy Sword Card Deck’ should belong to a subsidiary of some ‘Main Library’ and if they were spiritual presences, it would mean that there should also be a ‘Core Dominator’ and ‘Venue Card’ in the ‘Holy Sword Card Deck’ .
Only a perfectly completed ‘Main Library’ could display its true formidability . When top Spirit Swordsmen dueled in the game, the completion of their ‘Main Library’ was above everything else because it was as though they were launching attacks on another world with a world of their own, attempting to destroy and conquer each other . Apart from the Spirit Swordsman’s individual technique and swordsmanship, they needed to depend on who grasped the most number of Main Libraries and the higher the level, the more powerful they were .
Rhode used to possess a top class, completed ‘Main Library’—the ‘Dark Ceremony’—in the game . All he needed to do was to fling out the ‘Dark Vortex’ Venue Card and his enemy would be thrown into a world of darkness . The darkness couldn’t be repelled by spells and the enemy could see nothing in the darkness . The creatures residing in the ‘Dark Ceremony’ would be buffed multiple times in their damage, critical attacks, and curse chances while Rhode could observe the enemy’s every movement .
A Mage could cast the ‘Eternal Glory’ Legendary spell to eliminate the darkness or perhaps the opposing Spirit Swordsman could summon another equal-leveled Venue Card of another Attribute to dispel this boundless darkness .
Only the Spirit Swordsmen with the [Hell Lord] talent tree would use a worthless ‘Sub Card’ like the [Undead Fighter] . ‘Sub Cards’ couldn’t be added to the ‘Main Library’ and they could only act as support . Moreover, their attributes were basically useless and were only good in terms of their frightening quantities…
Rhode had no intentions of using it and he awakened these worthless cards just for the sake of this mission . He would obliterate them all after the mission was completed and this would save him from wasting additional spiritual energy from summoning a bunch of weak critters when he used [Legion Horn] in the future .
“Master, I don’t understand . Why did you awaken this load of crap?” Celestina grumbled . After tormenting countless militias for the night and enjoyed a feast of blood, screams, and wails, she was on cloud nine . If Rhode brought her to the nearby village for a massacre tour, perhaps this young lady would bury the hatchet with Rhode .
“It’s to put on a show . ” Rhode kept the cards and retrieved a black robe from his spatial bag . He put it on and covered his head with the hood before wearing a white bone mask . “Celestina, from now on, I’m a Necromancer and you’re my partner… Do you understand?” Rhode said as he conveniently picked up a putrefying wooden stick .
Celestina gave a chuckle after scrutinizing his black robe and mask . “Huhuhu, that’s interesting, Master . I didn’t know that you have such a fun side… Not bad, I like this suggestion . No problem . ”
She expanded her graceful, black wings fully and her dark feathers were strangely dull under the bright sunshine . “Now, I can’t wait to see their pitiful expressions…”
After half a day, the team that Michael dispatched arrived at the borders . His adjutant who led the infantry column instantly realized that this was an extremely troublesome and strange mission—no villagers knew about whatever happened last night and none of them heard anything out of the ordinary . All patrol teams were ordered to whistle sharply to signal any accidents . However, no villagers heard any whistles and the patrol team disappeared mysteriously in the darkness .
There’s no time to lose .
Even though they had just arrived, the adjutant sprang into action quickly as the surrounding conditions worsened . He had intended to rest and reorganize his team and head out the next day to search for the missing militias and investigate the happenings . However, he changed his mind after witnessing the worried, anxious, furious faces of the female villagers who had lost their partners and sons—for safety’s sake, he kept the team as a whole to prevent similar tragedies .
As an official military troop, the infantries performed much better than the militias . They spotted signs of battles in the forest and a massive amount of blood which proved that the patrol teams were indeed raided .
But strangely, there weren’t any corpses at all . If the militias were attacked by wild animals, it wouldn’t be possible for them to be devoured that cleanly . If they were attacked by enemies, why would the enemies even be that kind to bury their corpses? It wouldn’t be possible for them to bury over a hundred corpses in one night even if they wanted to .
Where exactly did their corpses go to?
The sky was getting darker and they arrived at another crime scene .
The adjutant squatted down to inspect the crimson soil .
This is strange . Why didn’t I discover a single corpse? What exactly is happening? There shouldn’t be a lot of enemies based on the footprints so how did they silence the militias this secretly?
The adjutant looked at up the dimming sky and an odd thought cropped up in his mind .
Could it be… Wait . It shouldn’t be…!
The surrounding got increasingly dimmed and he felt ill at ease . He stood on his feet and beckoned to the soldiers hurriedly . “Alright, that’s all for today . Let’s head back now and leave the rest to tomorrow…”
A mournful scream sounded in the nearby forest for a couple of seconds before stopping abruptly . The soldiers were stricken into silence as they stared toward its direction . They unsheathed their weapons swiftly and got into formation while scanning for any strange activities—they had seen the bizarre consequences of the militias with their own eyes . Was it finally their turn?
The soldiers clasped onto their weapons and as sweat dripped from their foreheads—they could finally see the true faces of their enemies .
The forest was a horrifying silence with the leaves rustling in the wind . A shadow emerged gradually and it was a man in a black robe and white bone mask . He swept a glance around him and let out a snort . “Heh heh heh… I see it’s just a bunch of prey… I didn’t expect anyone would be searching for death here… This is interesting…”
The man’s hoarse voice was unpleasant to their ears and something else caught their attention . Cold sweat trickled down their cheeks as they widened their eyes at a young lady with black wings hovering behind the man—white skeletons emerged from the bushes one after another with weapons in their bony hands . Green spiritual flames ignited in their empty eye sockets and an aura of death spread throughout the forest . The soldiers felt an ice-piercing coldness in this blistering hot autumn and the adjutant froze to the spot as his biggest and wildest fears had come true! He finally understood what happened to the patrol teams .
Oh my God!
It’s a… Necromancer!