People who associated with Rhode would undoubtedly know this one thing about him.
He absolutely hated to be mistaken for a woman.
After having interacted with Rhode for a period of time, Lize was naturally informed of his reverse scale. As for Marlene, after some time, she eventually realized as well. Even Old Walker did not dare to joke about it, because he knew that it was a boundary that he shouldn't cross.
And now, this unfamiliar girl had called him 'big sister' in a casual tone.
The icy-cold air made the three shiver.
"... I beg your pardon, Miss," said Rhode softly, "but I'm a guy."
Surprisingly, Rhode didn't blow up like they had thought he would. Instead, he just shook her hand.
The girl was equally surprised. "A guy?"
She began to inspect Rhode carefully while maintaining an innocent smile on her face.
Then she patted Rhode's shoulder and said, "Big brother, I didn't see that coming! You're too beautiful."
The faces of the trio paled further. The girl had progressed deeper into the land of no return when she called him 'beautiful.'
"Anne. Anne Georgia. You can just call me Anne, big brother." The girl called Anne introduced herself.
"Then, Anne…" Rhode placed his hand on his forehead and paused for a while before continuing, "Although I've instructed Old Walker to recruit you, I've yet to accept you as a formal member of my mercenary group. First, you must pass my best, and only then would you be able to join. Otherwise..."
Rhode turned his head slowly and glanced at Old Walker who began to shrink back.
"I will cut his wages to make up for the loss."
Whether or not the girl heard him, or perhaps did not plan to hear him, she immediately agreed to Rhode's conditions. Then she tapped the shield on her hand gleefully, revealing a confident smile on her face.
"Anne will accept no matter what kind of test it is!"
Rhode nodded, then he turned around and glared coldly at Old Walker once more whose face became increasingly paler.
"Then, Mr. Walker, you don't mind helping me, right? This is an order, by the way."
The old man rolled his eyes.
Since it is an order, why bother even asking me in the first place?
Rhode's test was simple. He asked Anne to protect Old Walker for a period of time. She would pass the test as long as she could hold out until the end. Of course, Rhode had his own reasons for doing this.
After arriving to this world, Rhode noticed that a lot of skills had subtle differences as compared to the game. For example, the tanking class. In the game, as long as the player used Taunt, the monsters would obediently follow them to their deaths. However, in this world, it wasn't as easy as before. Even low-leveled monsters would be drawn towards the person who dealt the most damage, and that didn't include beings of higher intelligence.
A good example would be the fight with the Necromancer. Rhode attempted to get the Red Hawk's tank to draw the Necromancer's attention. Unfortunately, no matter how hard he tried, the Necromancer wouldn't even look at him. Instead, the Necromancer focused on Rhode. Rhode didn't deal the most damage, nor was the most threatening in that battle... This meant that reality was somewhat different from the game although it did share some similarities.
Therefore he concluded that a tanking class in this world wouldn't be as effective as before. No matter if it was in current times or back in the game, a tank's job was to focus on defense. In the game, the tank could taunt the monsters so that he or she would receive damage instead of the team. However, currently, the tank could only act in a defensive role. This meant that they must have good reaction speed, good defensive capabilities and the ability to adapt to situations Otherwise, no tank would be able to live after their first few encounters.
And this was exactly what Rhode wanted to test.
"Hey, kid! You ordered me as a pretext to settle the grudge!!"
Old Walker face was pale. But Rhode had clearly made his decision, and no one could say no.
"This is a very fair arrangement, Mr. Walker. This young lady was chosen by you, so you must believe in her strength. You should just relax and let her do her job."
"Don't think that you can deceive me by using those sugar-coated words! Your wicked kid!"
Old Walker waved his fist angrily at Rhode, but in the end, he still shifted his gaze nervously to Anne who was standing in front of him with the shield on her right arm.
"Little brat, I'm leaving my life in your hand, you must protect me!"
"Rest assured, old man. There would be no problem. Probably."
"What?! Probably?! You better take back that word since I trust you this much!"
However, Rhode did not wait for Old Walker to finish complaining and made the first move.
He stretched out his arm and materialized three cards before him. The cards floated mysteriously in the air, and a summoning formation expanded below Rhode. In an instant, the Centaur Knight, Flame Killer and the Spirit Bird appeared at the same time.
"That was so cool! What are they?"
Anne stared at Rhode in disbelief; her widened eyes almost gave Old Walker a heart attack.
"Brat! Don't get distracted! That fellow only knows petty tricks. Jus focus! Don't touch that black dog; it can explode!"
"You have three minutes. As long you can hold out for three minutes and prevent Old Walker from getting injured, you'll pass the test."
After his explanation, Rhode glanced at Marlene and said,"Help me count."
"Yes, Mr. Rhode."
Marlene nodded and fished out a pocket watch. Then, Rhode snapped his fingers, signifying the start of the test.
The three spirits immediately rushed forward upon receiving Rhode's command.
As usual, in the vanguard, was the brave Flame Killer. After self-detonating so many times, it appeared to have developed some kind of masochistic personality. The poor dog now had an excited expression on its face when it faced its death. If the Flame Killer were a human, then it would probably be best to send him to see a psychiatrist.
Meanwhile, the girl who had been smiling throughout finally withdrew her grin and became serious. She bent her body and placed the shield in front of her, adopting a standard blocking stance. Then, followed by a 'clang,' multiple sharp hooks jolted out from both sides of the shield, reflecting a cold, hard light. The black hound acted as though it hadn't seen it and rushed forward menacingly.
Anne made a warcry and propelled herself forward, charging towards the black hound like a train.
The massive shield that weighed more than 10kg was swung with one arm as if it was light as a feather. However, the impact sound proved that the shield was indeed heavy. The Flame Killer didn't expect that the opponent would be so agile, and it was soon sent flying. It whined in agony as it soared through the air, and when it finally landed on the ground, it made a heartwrenching yelp.
At the same time, the Centaur Knight already made its way in front of her.
It swiftly lunged its pike forward, but before its weapon could collide with Anne's shield, she suddenly tilted her body and avoided the Centaur Knight's attack. Anne did a spin and followed up with a bash, which smashed into the Centaur Knight's flank as it was launching its pike towards Old Walker, causing it to stagger. The impact also caused the Centaur Knight's pike to miss its target.
Although the immediate danger had been removed, Anne didn't lose focus. On the contrary, after disarming the Centaur Knight, she immediately pulled her shield downwards and plunged it into the ground.
Kacha! The whole shield transformed; it expanded and wrapped around her body. At the same time, the Centaur Knight, who also possessed a shield in its other arm, used it to bash against Anne's bulwark.
Bang!! A deep sound caused their heart to jump slightly. The impact caused the Centaur Knight to take a few steps back. Meanwhile, the girl also backed off. But unlike the Centaur Knight, she had a different agenda.
The Spirit Bird who had been hovering in the air finally swept down.
As a wind elemental summon, the agility of the other two Spirits couldn't be compared to it. Only a flash of light could be seen shooting towards Old Walker.
This is the end.
Upon discovering the Spirit Bird shooting to his location, Old Walker knew that something bad was going to happen, but he wasn't able to stop it. After all, the Spirit Bird was way too fast; even if he wanted to react, it was impossible. At this moment, Old Walker was already crying inwardly.
Are my wages going to be cut?
Suddenly, Anne appeared and grabbed Old Walker's collar, pulling him to the ground. Then she used her shield to block his front.
Old Walker had no time to react; at the very next second, he realized that he was lying on the floor. However, this action caused the Spirit Bird to lose its target, though it did not immediately give up. Instead, it whistled and conjured a whirlwind to crash into the shield.
Old Walker felt a huge impact coming from the other side of the shield. The vibrations caused by the impact eventually traversed through the shield, to Anne, and finally to himself. The poor old man felt like a piece of flattened meatloaf as his breath was constantly being taken away. When he wanted to cry for help, he suddenly felt his body lighten. At that moment, he realized that the girl had already jumped up.
Time seemed to slow down. The girl was suspended in the air, her face dead serious. She faced the three summoned spirits and stretched out her left hand, revealing the secondary shield embedded in the Charge Shield.
Woo!! The sharp blades on the shield began rotating at high speeds, then it soon formed a whirlwind barrier which completely blocked the three summoning spirits.
Looking at this scene, Rhode frowned. Then he unsheathed his sword and rushed forward.
A light flashed, the silver sword pierced through the night sky and straight towards the whirlwind.
Followed by a loud burst, the sword also stopped moving.
Old Walker took a few steps back and plopped to the floor, the fright on his face was evident. Just next to him was a deep crevice with lingering traces of sword condensation.
In front of him, the girl still held her shield up, but he was shocked when he discovered the scars on her body.
At the same time, Marlene raised her pocket watch.
The three minutes was up.
"Not bad, Ms. Anne."
Rhode put away his sword.
"I have a rough grasp on your strength. Frankly, you've already met my requirements. But this is just a test, I hope to witness your performance in actual combat."
"Don't worry, big brother."
The girl put away her shield, and the energetic smile on her face emerged once again.
"I will not let you down!!"
"I hope so."
He nodded and turned his attention to Lize.
"Lize, let her choose a room. Marlene, you can go to rest. As for you..."
Followed by a pause, Rhode stared at Old Walker who was getting up from the ground.
"Mr. Walker, come to the study room later. I wish to hear your recruitment process."