Tabik took one last look at his surroundings just before he leaped forward. It seems that the Gold ranked marksman is awake... But he's just looking over here and haven't manage to react yet. The Josk was still actually seated as if he didn't care about protecting his lord and unexpectedly laughed out loud when he noticed what was going on...
The two guards behind the Norton Family leader was also laughing out and weren't inclined on protecting their dominion lord either. What if this guy isn't the real family leader of the Nortons? No matter what Tabik suspected, he felt that since he had taken action, he might as well hold that person hostage first and see what would happen next. Since the youth had insulted him, Tabik was intent on making him pay and teaching him a lesson that a Gold ranked knight should not be so easily provoked.
One more step, and I'll be able to get hold of that kid's shoulder. There's nothing much an Iron rank like him can do once I restrain him. Let's see if he dares to insult another Gold ranked knight like me in the future once this matter is settled... However, Tabik noticed that the Norton Family leader didn't even make any moves and merely stood there like a log. Shouldn't he be trying his best to flee now? Wait, he's actually smiling. Has he turned silly from the fear?
Tabik lashed his hands out to grab at the man, only to notice that he had grasped nothing but air. That kid's shoulder was previously right in front of him! Thinking that he probably saw mistakenly, Tabik reassured himself that the youth would no longer be able to escape his grasp the next time.
Right after Tabik swung his hands forward once more, somebody was caught. But Tabik's expression was that of surprise and terror: he had not actually caught Lorist by the shoulder. Instead, his right arm was clasped tightly in Lorist's hand. A sudden pain burst forth from Tabik's arm, causing him to scream out loud in pain. He could clearly hear the crisp sound of the bone within his arm cracking. After the jolt of pain, Tabik could no longer feel his right arm.
Having discarded the notion of taking Lorist hostage, Tabik pushed his left hand outwards and tried his best to get away from him, only to have his left arm held again...
"Aaagh!" Another cry of pain louder than the former rang out as Tabik witnessed Lorist somersault a few times in the air before his left hand lost all feeling as well.
At that moment, the Gold ranked knight's mind was completely blank and he couldn't feel either of his arms and was only barely standing. However, Lorist didn't spare him just yet and rammed his knee against Tabik's stomach and all of the stuff he had eaten just before were expelled with a loud barf, staining one side of Lorist's pants in the process.
Within the next few moments, Tabik's chin, left cheek and right cheek turned numb all of a sudden before he spat out a mouthful of teeth. As Lorist continued kicking, he roared, "Gosh, why did an idiot like you have to ruin my pants..."
Tabik currently felt like he had become a piece of metal on an anvil that was being hammered nonstop. Right before he lost all consciousness, he finally understood why the Gold ranked marksman and the two other guards were laughing. They were mocking him for jumping straight into boiling water without knowing any better.
Baron Camorra witnessed with fear the scene of the Gold ranked knight Tabik being pummeled by Lorist like a sandbag looking as helpless as a damsel who had run into a group of ruffians whose cries were unheard by anyone else. That was something the baron had not dared to conjecture even within his wildest dreams. While he knew that Tabik hand a fond distaste for him and frequently called him a clown, there was nothing the baron himself could do about it as he was merely an honorary noble while Tabik was one of the five Gold ranked knights working for the duke. He had no other choice but to endure Tabik's harsh treatment.
But currently, Knight Tabik was completely powerless against Lorist. Back when Tabik launched himself towards Lorist, the baron secretly praised that act as once the family head was captured, the Norton Family would definitely cooperate with whatever demands they had. But the scene following that had quickly extinguished the baron's previous excitement, causing him to see Lorist as a being that was even more fearsome than the fiercest high-ranked magical beasts.
Even though the baron felt some sort of pleasure from seeing the knight who had so often berated him being beaten so badly, as the ambassador of the duke, he still had to do something to stop the current commotion lest all negotiations break down into full-blown conflict. But by the time he finally decided to take action, Tabik had already turned into a lump of mud beneath Lorist's feet and was blissfully out cold, no longer having to feel the pain Lorist was causing him.
Baron Camorra then watched Lorist bend down to his knees and search the fainted knight in a practiced manner. Taking out a heavy beastskin coin pouch, Lorist opened it before he tossed it to one of the guards behind him and said, "Take it and give it to Supervisor Spiel for him to log it into the accounts later. Let's consider it compensation for the table and the cutlery he broke."
Feeling a chill run down his whole body, Baron Camorra noticed that his knees were shaking uncontrollably. This... What kind of upbringing did this family leader have? He robbed Tabik like it was the most natural thing to do in the world and even seemed to be able to justify his banditry with perfect conscience! The baron knew well about Tabik's beastskin pouch as he had heard the knight brag about it once before that it stored the 60 plus gold Fordes that he had managed to earn over the years. He took all that as compensation? With that kind of money, he could fill the whole castle full of tables like the one Tabik broke!
Loud clanging sounds suddenly filled the hall as the 20 Silver ranked knights who had accompanied the baron and Tabik flipped their tables and kicked away the benches before they drew their swords and prepared to engage...
The battle before had happened too quickly for the Silver ranked knights to react in time. By the time they turned their heads over, the scene of their boss, a Gold ranked knight, being pummeled like that had shocked them completely as they had never seen a Gold ranked knight looking that pathetic all their lives. By the time all of them snapped out of their trance, Tabik was already slumped at Lorist's feet completely out cold. The 20 Silver ranked knights all had a joint thought that if word of their boss's defeat and their inability to do anything about it got out, they would definitely turn into laughing-stocks when they return. So they decided to avenge their boss in front of everyone present within the hall so that someone would witness them correcting the wrong.
"No, you guys,,, Stop..." said Baron Camorra hastily. But nobody paid him any heed. The knights had all heard their boss Tabik call the baron a clown too often and naturally didn't even bother to listen or even consider what the baron had to say.
"Reidy," Lorist called out.
Reidy removed the quiver of javelins that was slung on his back and put it in front of Lorist.
Following that, six javelins were launched flying through the air in a mere moment before they landed in a neat row all spaced out evenly in front of the 20 knights to form a barricade.
"Anyone who walks past the javelins will be killed without a doubt. I have with me 18 javelins and your lot has 20 people. Let's see which two of you will be fortunate enough to survive and return to report this incident to your duke..."
While Lorist wasn't the least bit loud when he said that, his voice resounded clearly through the ears of everyone that was within the dining hall.
Everybody present within the hall all quieted down and only Baron Camorra's ragged breaths could be heard. Even he couldn't do anything about this indifferent subordinates of his.
The few knights who were standing behind the javelins had a change in their expressions as the blade glows on their blades flickered unstably while they hesitated on whether to cross that barricade of javelins. After that, a hoarse voice sounded from behind them and broke the silence of the hall. "Why should we be afraid?! Come on, all of you! Let's cut that twerp into pieces!"
"Kill!" The Silver ranked knights at the forefront raised their longswords and no longer hesitated to cross the barricade of javelins.
The javelins shot out like lightning bolts and struck the knights who had just went beyond the barricades. Within moments, agonized cries filled the whole hall...
One Silver ranked knight quickly retreated two steps back and went behind the barricade once again. 7 of his comrades had already fallen in front of him with all of them having a huge javelin pierced through their chests and nailing them to the ground. 4 of those men were still alive and spitting out mouthfuls of blood as they struggled in pain.
The knight who stepped back suddenly noticed that his teeth were chattering uncontrollably as his whole body shivered from immense fear. It had all happened too quickly: the knights who went beyond the javelin barricade were less than ten steps away from Lorist, and yet that small distance was the difference between life and death. The fastest of his comrades just now had only taken four steps before he was nailed to the ground and the shivering knight would have become the 8th person to share the same fate had he not hurriedly stepped backwards after witnessing the death of one of his comrades directly in front of him.
It was extremely fortunate for him to have dodged backwards without a moment's hesitation the moment he saw his comrade dying. The knight who had barely escaped the clutches of death felt all the energy seep out from his body before he noticed a distinct stench wafting through the air and heard a sound of trickling water. Taking a slight glance to his side, he noticed that the knight beside him had been so terrified that his bladder let loose involuntarily.
"Who was the one who shouted just now? Step out this instant." Even though Lorist said that in a casual tone, the javelin he held in his hand seemed to indicate his intention on taking care of the guy who instigated the knights' charge.
The Silver ranked knights were all very clear on the identity of the one who shouted out loud in the beginning as they were all quite acquainted with the voices of their own comrades. A few of the Silver ranked knights standing at the front backed away and revealed a large, man with a goatee and moustache who was holding a longsword in his hand.
That burly man didn't expect that his own comrades would back away to reveal him like that. Faced with Lorist and the javelin in his hand, the burly man screamed before he dropped his longsword and dashed in the other direction.
Just before Lorist threw the javelin, a green arrow whooshed past him and sent the burly man flying through the air and nailed him to the wall, causing him to struggle and expel his last breath within moments.
Josk said, "You want to escape? I'm afraid you'll need the permission of my bow..."
It was at that moment when the knights remembered the presence of the Gold ranked marksman. Now that their own Gold ranked ally, Tabik, had been utterly defeated, the remaining 12 Silver ranked knights didn't dare to make a single sound lest they drew the attention of the two fearsome beings within the room.
"Joe you bastard, taking my spotlight again..." Lorist complained before he looked at the remaining 12 knights who instantly lowered their heads the moment Lorist's gaze fell on them.
"Alright, I can spare you guys and forgive you for your rude transgressions. However, you must compensate for the trouble you have caused. I want you to cast your weapons down on the floor and line up over there. Reidy, Patt, collect their weapons as well as their money pouches..." Lorist said.
"You! This is pure banditry! I'm going to complain about the shameless acts of the Norton Family in front of all the nobles if you do this!" Baron Camorra could no longer stand it and accused Lorist in a fit of rage.
"Banditry? Shameless acts? Lord Baron, don't compare us Nortons to your Lord Duke. I'm ashamed to be praised so highly by an ambassador of the duke, the incarnate of banditry and shamelessness himself. Did you come here with the holiest of intentions in mind? Even though I treated you as guests with the finest food I had, you didn't give the host, me, any amount of due respect at all. Not only did your men attack first, the guy just now even shouted his intentions to chop me into pieces! Don't tell me that we have to let ourselves be killed just because you're our guests?" Lorist said.
The pitiful Baron Camorra instantly got 12 glares of hate from the surviving knights.
Reidy came over and said, "Milord, here are the 12 money pouches."
"Have you turned into an idiot too?" said Lorist as he slapped on the back on Reidy's head. "There are 7 more on the ground and another nailed onto the wall! Go clean those up. Since they're all dead, they won't be needing their stuff anymore, so strip them clean..."
"You! Lord Norton! They are already dead, show them some respect! They are after all courageous warriors..." Baron Camorra could no longer hold back. If the flames of anger in his eyes were real, Lorist would have been burned to ashes already.
"So you're implying that the ones who died are heroes while those who survived are cowards?" Lorist asked as he pointed at the 12 surviving knights.
The baron once again got hated stares from the knights.
"I... did not... mean it like that..." stammered Baron Camorra.
"I understand what you're trying to say. They are courageous alright, but more than that, they are idiotic. Their deaths are one thing, but they also broke so many things and dirtied the floors of my hall. I need to pay somebody to clean it all up you know; manpower is pretty expensive after all. If I don't clean it up properly, I'll be reminded of their corpses every time I smell the stench of blood and that would definitely affect my appetite when I eat. Should that happen, then I would fall sick and need to spend even more money to get medicine. And you know that medicine isn't cheap in the Northlands. That's why I have decided to take all their belongings as compensation for my loss..." Lorist reasoned.
As Baron Camorra reached into his robes, Lorist stared at him curiously and thought, if you manage to take out an AK47, I'll kneel down in front of you and surrender immediately...
However, the item the baron had retrieved was his own money pouch which he tossed forcefully to Lorist, who caught it with relative ease.
"I'll pay you back with my own money! Now everyone of us who are still alive have given you our money pouches! So, as a noble, can you show the dead the least bit of respect they deserve?" pleaded the baron as he bowed deeply.
"Alright, sheesh. Why am I such a soft person?" Lorist said before he turned to face Reidy who was searching the bodies of the dead knights. "Alright, just take their weapons and money pouches. Why would we need their smelly socks anyway... It's better to just buy new ones than to let our workers wash them clean. Put it back onto their feet. Same goes for the shoes, we don't need it."
Baron Camorra sat back down on his chair powerlessly and thought, Lord Duke... You've finally met your match...