Rhode's overwhelming charisma and confidence rendered Shauna completely speechless. As the saying goes, give him an inch, and he'll take a mile. Shauna assumed that they were merely in a cooperation-relationship, but when Rhode delivered those overbearing words, wasn't it the same as demanding them to be his subordinates?
Though everyone else revealed a different reaction in response to Rhode's exclamation.
Old Walker placed his hands on his chest, watching the fun that was about to ensue from the sidelines. During the arduous journey, he had witnessed and personally acknowledged Rhode's capability in commanding others. He could tell that Rhode's knowledge and resilience were top notch. It was a pity that his only flaw was his sharp tongue. If he said one, then it'll be one. If he said two, then must be two. He will not give others the opportunity to refute him. Rhode made it clear to Shauna and her team that they were too weak, and he did not believe in them. It was better to leave everything to him.
Although there was nothing wrong with his sentence, the way he said it was just like a slap in the face...
Compared to Old Walker who preferred to watch the scene unfold from the side, Marleen genuinely thought that it was only natural that Shauna should concede her party to Rhode. She did not understand how things work between mercenaries, but she knew that with only four of them, they were able to reach the depths without breaking a sweat. It wasn't like Shauna and the others. Though they had more manpower, they still fell into such a tragic state. Thus, wasn't following Rhode's commands the most logical thing to do? As for their numerical advantage...? Eh... mages had never considered numbers as an advantage.
Lize, on the other hand, felt rather awkward. She was the only one who was well acquainted with Shauna's team. And right now, her friends suddenly turned into subordinates. Furthermore, Rhode's straightforwardness didn't leave them with a speck of face. This left Lize confused about her next action. Nevertheless, she wasn't stupid, and at this time, she understood that it was better for her to stay silent.
As an experienced mercenary group leader, Shauna knew she had to respond quickly, and she looked at Rhode before her. However, she still remained quite hesitant.
The truth was simple; she didn't want to agree with this condition! Since both of them were from two different groups, and her people might be employed as meat shields. But recognizing Rhode's determined attitude, he made it clear that there was no room for compromise. If she did not agree right here and now, then the next road might lead to a dead end.
When Shauna fell in deep thought, a voice sounded beside her.
"Hmph, why should we listen to your command! Bis sis, don't listen to him! We have more people than them; it should be them who needs help from us!"
A young mercenary donning a leather armor and a two-handed sword jumped out from the rear. Then he glared at Rhode unhappily.
"Barney, it's not your place to speak."
Hearing the outburst of this young mercenary, Shauna began having a headache. She waved her hand, indicating him to stop. But it was clear that the young mercenary named Barney did not intend to stay silent there.
"But, big sis, this guy, he is too much... He just made it clear that we were going to be their meat shields and they will just snatch the rewards later! This kind of despicable person, we..."
Rhode wasn't mad, but Marlene on the other hand, couldn't hold her rage in anymore, and she flared up.
"So that's how mercenaries treat their benefactors?! If it weren't for us, you've already died in this ghastly place!"
"Even without you guys, we can still survive!"
Barney clenched his teeth and answered. Marlene snorted coldly and lifted her chin, no longer looking at him. In her opinion, as a noble, she did not need to waste her precious saliva in a mouth fight with an uncouth mercenary like him.
Marlene's arrogance angered the young mercenary. He spat on the floor and opened his mouth to say something. However, Shauna finally became angry.
"Shut your mouth, Barney! If I hear one more word from you, you can help yourself to leave the group."
Looking at the furious Shauna, Barney felt extremely wronged.
Who cares if they're a noble?
It took so much effort to get to this place, and yet these despicable people were trying to use us as meat shields?
We mercenaries also have our own pride, how we can we just let trample all over us?
Maybe big sister is afraid of these nobles, but I'm not!
Even though they have power and money, I will still fight with them with whatever I have until the end!
"I agree to your request."
Shauna finally made her decision. After all, the undead were too difficult for their group. Furthermore, she was also still pondering on how to beat that damned necromancer. Since this young man is confident, then it would be the best to leave it to him.
"I need everyone to follow my commands unconditionally."
After receiving Shauna's acknowledgment, Rhode began to speak again as he stared at the mercenaries behind her with his usual calm expression.
"If you obey my commands, I assure you that I will try my best to keep your lives intact. Otherwise... your life will be irrelevant to me."
When he paused his speech, Rhode studied the young mercenaries' expressions behind the red-haired female swordsman.
"If there's anyone who is not willing to listen to my command, you can stand up now. I don't want any trouble in the battle."
Barney was aware that Rhode was eyeballing him. Thus, he merely snorted and refused to move. In his opinion, this cunning noble was trying to use the threat of death to split the team. So, he would definitely not leave. Once he found sufficient evidence of the young noble's scheme, he might be able to stop it.
No matter what you want to do, I won't let you succeed!
The young man clenched his fist and swore secretly to himself.
Ever since the addition of Shauna's team, the group's clear speed became evidently faster. Soon, they found themselves at the bottom of the underground cemetery.
"Boom! Boom Boom!"
Followed by streaks of lightning, many undead creatures were sent flying, and their fragments soon fell to the ground, no longer presenting any threat.
Indeed, they are strong...
As she stared at the young mage, who wielded her wand as easily as breathing, and the young noble Rhode, who calmly commanded at the front, Shauna's initial doubts began to diminish. The combination of the powerhouse Marleen and Rhode's flawless command was the epitome of perfection. Those undead who once caused Shauna and her team to struggle for survival were wiped out as easily as sneezing.
There is no doubt, they ARE strong...
Shauna couldn't help but stare at the black hound following behind Rhode. While she was present on the day of the mercenary assessment, witnessing Rhode's prowess firsthand in a dungeon was always clearer than being a mere spectator.
"We're about to arrive."
Unlike the distracted Shauna, Rhode never stopped focusing on his opponents. After clearing out another wave of undead, he scanned his surroundings vigilantly. Then, he whipped out a ring from his pocket and wore it on his finger. The Soul Binding Stone which he obtained from the haunted house was engraved on the tip of the ring. Rhode had cut the stone into three parts which he inserted into a silver ring he had bought. While his alchemy skill was rather lacking, he could still do something basic such as this.
The size of the Soul Binding Stone could decide the level of the soul it could bind. For example, a small stone was unable to bind a strong soul, but if the stone was too big and the soul was small, then it would be a waste. Right now, the size was just right. And the reason why Rhode brought out his Soul Binding Stone right now was clearly that of one thing.
A dense fog billowed out of nowhere, clouding the sights of everyone.
When the smoke dispersed, a moment of eerie silence fell upon the group. Suddenly, a black shadow emerged from the ground, swiftly rushing towards them. If it were before, then everyone would be surprised by this sudden attack. But Rhode had already made the necessary preparations, thus, the enemy's ambush failed to harm the group. Marleen was chanting furiously; she conjured a whirlwind which engulfed the team and barred the black shadow from entering.
A pile of bones slowly formed into a sharp silhouette.
At the same time, a cold and crisp sound echoed from all directions, followed by an aura of evilness and death.
"I truly did not expect that you could break into my chamber..."
Shauna growled in a low voice; then she raised her sword. Shortly after, a crimson flame emerged from her sword which soon engulfed her blade with fire. This fire attribute magic weapon was something she looted from a long time ago. It was called the Burning Blade.
"Listen to my commands, and don't forget my words from before."
Compared to Shauna's tense expression as though she was facing her eternal nemesis, Rhode was clearly much calmer. He held the Star Mark on his hand and narrowed his eyes to scrutinize each changing detail in his surrounding. The darkness became increasingly thick; it was like an invisible, heavy curtain that shrouded everyone within. As their world plunged into pitch darkness, nobody knew for certain where the next attack might come from.
However, only Rhode knew what was going to happen.
He majestically raised his sword over his head.
In the next moment, everyone discovered that Rhode's sword was emitting a brilliant light which pierced through the darkness like a lighthouse in the night.
Akin to an opening of a stage play, the curtain of darkness suddenly parted, and a Necromancer who was wearing a black robe miserably retreated to the back. In his hand, he held a gruesome looking staff formed with bones. Right now, he stared at Rhode with a surprised expression.
How did this young man see through his art of darkness?
But how could Rhode give the necromancer time to find out the answer? In the next second, Rhode raised his sword once more and slashed downward.
"Follow the plan!"