Book 2, Chapter 136

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All of a sudden, Sinclair gasped in surprise and reined in the manticore, looking at the woods by the road. A humongous wolf was pacing back and forth there, its eyes vigilantly fixated on this group of soldiers of strange shapes and sizes. She felt extremely uneasy, as though she was being watched.

She instantly leapt off the manticore, wrapping herself up with her cloak as usual before vanishing into the night. The huge wolf was evidently startled, displaying a degree of intelligence that wasn’t typical of most beasts. It retreated cautiously, only managing to take two steps before Sinclair silently appeared behind it. She sent her two blades into the creature’s neck, sending it to the ground with a thud…

The light from one of the wind wolves was extinguished in Richard’s mind, causing him to stand abruptly and hurtle towards the window, drawing the curtains open in a flurry. It was a tranquil night, a gentle breeze blowing as moonlight shone upon the lake. Everything seemed serene and beautiful, without any indications of an impending fight…

Having sliced the wolf’s head off, Sinclair returned to the manticore. The creature sniffed the air and continued on its way, no slower than the flight of a magic bird. It was like a black current surging towards Twilight Castle.

They didn’t move far before Sinclair reined it in once more. She pointed at a bush not too far away, with another huge wolf crouched as it calmly observed the group. This wolf looked exactly like the one earlier. Seeing the group stop in their tracks, it immediately turned and ran off, but a bearguard knight had already flung out his axe. The axe spun through the air with a terrifying whistle, hitting the creature’s waist in a split second before slicing it apart.

The knight then had his mount move over to the wolf’s corpse to retrieve his axe, also picking up the body as per Sinclair’s orders to bring it to the manticore.

“These wolves are rather odd. Come, my darling, devour it and let’s see what it knows.”

The manticore let out a deep howl in response to the command, reluctant to get to work. Soul reading was an exhausting affair, and it had only ate half its fill earlier. If it had to examine another soul, its stomach would be rumbling with hunger again.

However, Sinclair would not tolerate such lazy behaviour. She shoved the creature’s head down, pinching it vigorously. The manticore let out a begrudging roar, lowering its head as it slowly gnawed on the wolf’s carcass. It was extremely unwilling.

Although the wind wolf was much bigger than other similar creatures, it was extremely small when compared to the manticore. Sinclair’s contract beast gobbled it down completely, laying on the ground unable to move. It only managed to get back on its feet after a full ten minutes, shaking its head forcefully as it let loose a listless howl.

“It doesn’t have a soul?!” Sinclair was taken aback. Without a soul, the manticore naturally wouldn’t be able to scout out any memories. However, every wild animal should have a soul. Even contract beasts were no exception; the only animal without a soul was those summoned with magic that were made of pure energy. However, such creatures wouldn’t leave behind a corpse either.

One reason why the manticore couldn’t find anything from the wind wolf was the possibility that it didn’t have sufficient ability to examine the creature’s soul. However, that was extremely unlikely. Even in Norland it was a rare and formidable creature, with soul reading being its innate ability.

Despite this small episode, Sinclair wouldn’t delay their journey just because of a wolf without a soul. Faelor was a new, foreign plane; anything could happen here. A huge soulless wolf was nothing in the grand scheme of things…

As the second wind wolf was chopped in half, another beacon of light dimmed and vanished in Richard’s mind. But this time, it had transmitted a clear image of Sinclair and the bearguard knights to Richard through the broodmother.

“The Schumpeters!” Richard instantly identified the group in the image. He opened up his map, examining it under the moonlight. If one connected the locations of the deaths of the two wind wolves, the path clearly led towards Twilight Castle.

He gave it some thought before ringing the bell in the room. A gentle sound resonated in the distance through a tube, and not long later a maid knocked on his door. “May I know what you need, Sir Richard?”

Richard opened the door and went straight to the point. “I want to see Baron Fontaine immediately! Tell him it’s very important!”

“But… Baron Fontaine is likely asleep at the moment. Would it be possible to call on him tomorrow morning?” the maid replied awkwardly. She was sleepy as well; it was currently one in the night.

“It’s very important!” Richard emphasized. Although the maid was extremely tired, she wasn’t foolish. She immediately went to call the butler. Regardless of the reasonability of the request, it wasn’t something she could decide on herself. She didn’t have such authority.

The baron’s family had a long history, making it comparable to some of the more wealthy and influential families of the empire. This also meant there would be relatively stringent regulations. Richard wasn’t going to wait for the maid to pass the message through the hierarchy, giving Gangdor a command through his mind that caused the brute to radiate an intense killing intent. The sheer aggression bubbled up like a current, engulfing half the building like a violent tide!

Baron Fontaine was a level 14 swordsman, making him extremely sensitive to murderous intent. This would surely be more effective at waking him up than anything else.

As expected, it took only five minutes before the casually dressed baron appeared before Richard with his sword. Seeing the mage and his entourage already armed to the teeth on the other side of the corridor, he immediately narrowed his eyes. “An enemy attack?” he asked with a sharp gaze.

Richard nodded, “A fierce battle between the alliance and the demonic invaders occurred not long ago at the Bloodstained Lands. I assume you heard of it, my Lord?”

Fontaine replied with a nod. This battle was the most significant event in the Sequoia Kingdom this year. The allied armies had suffered a crushing defeat, with nearly half of them completely annihilated. Neian’s church lost more than half its power in the kingdom, while two other nobles were greatly humiliated. This event would be followed by a period of political unrest.

Richard said solemnly, “One of my subordinates just passed information to me in secret that Sinclair, the leader of the demons, is rushing towards Twilight Castle at full speed. She’s brought along her heavily armed knights and the two mages, already having passed Bran. We have little valuable time to prepare our defences!”

This was a shocking piece of news; Fontaine almost couldn’t believe his ears. “She’s launching an attack on the Sequoia Kingdom!”

“She wishes to attack the entire plane,” Richard replied.

“But… Alright, I’ll prepare everything I have right away!” Having said that, the Baron turned to the butler who had just arrived in a hurry, “Call the captain on duty. There might be an enemy attack tonight!”

As the butler dashed off in panic, Baron Fontaine turned to Richard and spread out his arms helplessly as he asked, “Thank you for the prompt warning, my friend. Now…”

“My men and I will certainly stay behind to help you resist these demons!” Richard replied.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: XH

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA