Book 2, Chapter 176

Catching The Prey(2)

A while before the first light of dawn, Richard sat up from a blanket spread on the ground, ending a half-hour nap. He cleaned up his armour and equipment, calling on his party to separate from their army. He then mounted his horse, leading them on a full-speed charge into the night. A large group of desert warriors and barbarians crawled up from the ground below, continuing the chase of the Viscount’s army under the lead of an elite wind wolf.

Richard was practically pressed into the back of his horse. It was still night, and at the speeds they were travelling at the frigid wind was painful. The team followed his mental route at breakneck speed; if nothing went wrong, he would intercept them in half an hour. The Viscount would be left with only his personal guard when they caught up; most of the soldiers would be lagging behind to stop the bombardments of the advancing throwers.

Richard’s party was quite small, with only a few important people. There were already dozens of wind wolves lying in wait at the interception point, and even if Zim showed heaven-defying ability and somehow broke through the ambush, the broodmother was waiting only a few kilometres away. The Viscount’s fate had already been decided.

……

Dawn had just arrived when Zim caught sight of Richard. The Viscount’s face paled, his lips trembling without the ability to say a word. The guard captain beside him grimly shot a glance at Richard’s small party, and his eyes suddenly twinkled as he whispered into Zim’s ear. A bright red immediately rose on Zim’s face, and his signature piercing voice rang out, “Right! He doesn’t have a lot of people anymore, and our numbers are several times of his! There’s no need to fear him, CHARGE!”

Richard looked to his left and right in an easy-going manner. The only ones with him were Gangdor, Waterflower, the two trolls, Flowsand, and four of the strongest barbarians.

While it was indeed difficult to find mounts that could carry the trolls and barbarians, both races grew in the wilderness. They had amazing stamina that didn’t lose out to that of a horse in a long-distance run. Zim had assumed Richard would be slowed by his footsoldiers, but this was an infantry that he could never catch up to.

Zim still had nearly 30 personal guards by his side. His captain was level 10 as well, and judging by the huge advantage in numbers he decided to give it a last shot, going all out to carve a path of escape.

Richard gazed calmly at the Viscount’s distorted expression. The strength of his perception allowed him to hear Zim’s battle cry, “We have the numbers! Go, destroy them!”

He couldn’t help the smile on his face at that. The Highland Unicorn wasn’t completely stupid after all; knowing he could not win in speed, he decided to fight straight on and use his numbers to attain victory in a single go. Showing one’s back to a great mage was a terrible idea; magic was always faster than humans.

But… does he really have the numbers? Having reserved most of his mana for this battle, Richard naturally had absolute control over the battlefield. He dismounted calmly, taking out the Book of Holding and casting the two grade 6 Nature’s Beckon spells stored within. A wave of magic passed through the battlefield, spawning twelve direbears between him and the Viscount.

Seeing the sudden appearance of the twelve direbears, Zim suddenly felt his mind go blank. Twelve direbears needed at least four or five grade 6 spells to summon. A great mage who could cast that many spells in one go was only one step from becoming a grand mage! Was this frontier knight he had been chasing all this while actually be a powerful grand mage? The Viscount decided to punish his intelligence officer the moment he returned to his territory, and officially ask for reinforcements from the family.

However, the nightmare had yet to end. More magic flashed, and Zim now found six direbears each on his left and right. Now, there were a total of 24 direbears surrounding his personal guards. Just that alone would require great effect to overcome, but on top of that there were still Richard’s fierce subordinates to consider.

When the bears began to growl at him, the Viscount did the only sensible thing— he fainted.

Zim was actually lucky. He hadn’t noticed the dozens of wind wolves appearing behind his men.

The captain of the guard noticed the pack of wolves that had just appeared around them, instincts telling him that these were Richard’s summons as well. He then took a look at the unconscious Viscount, quickly choosing to surrender. Thankfully the wind wolves and direbears were all under Richard’s control, or it would be a one-sided massacre.

……

When Zim slowly opened his eyes, the first thing that entered his vision was a face that he had seen in his nightmares in recent times. He immediately screeched loudly, his voice so sharp it was like that of a little girl being raped.

The sudden, resounding cry left Richard shocked, causing him to split up in laughter as he watched the man crawl backwards. Seeing the terror in that expression, Richard couldn’t help but touch his own face and wonder if his Archeron bloodline had awakened. Did he now have the face of a demon lord?

“Don’t– don’t come over! Don’t remove my clothes!” The Viscount’s shouts caused Richard’s expression to change rapidly. The man’s enslaved guards and even Richard’s own entourage started to look at him with an unknown meaning in their eyes.

The nobles of Faelor normally played with every kind of thing in their youths. One of the freshest things to play with was people of the same sex. This wasn’t the only interpretation of the scream, but it was one of a select few. Had Richard been screaming, things would have made sense. However, Zim’s shrieks made his personal guard think Richard’s tastes were rather unique.

They couldn’t help but think back to when Zim had returned to his territory. He had gathered his personal forces as fast as he could, too impatient to wait for the powerhouses sent by his family. This current behaviour only cemented a few of the guesses these people had made as to the interaction between the two. Zim had already executed the entirety of his escort from that day in secret, so nobody knew the true situation.

Richard didn’t need to turn back to know there was a half-smile in Flowsand’s eyes. Feeling slightly embarrassed and angry, he yelled for Zim to shut up. However, that caused the Viscount to just grow louder.

He promptly made a decision, having Gangdor lift the Viscount and tie him to a barren tree. The guards, who were about to see everything, started to look terrible as they began worrying for their lives.

Zim kept shouting, scolding, threatening, and begging throughout the entire process. “You can’t kill me, Richard!” was the most common sentence, “I’m the Highland Unicorn…”

Eventually realising that those claims had no effect, Zim then started to bring up the statuses of his mother and father. When Gangdor began to strip him of his clothing, he completely broke down and started mentioning Duke Grasberg. He promised Richard that, as long as he would let him go, the Duke would give him more benefits than the Direwolf Duke. In his anxiety, he even promised the position of a Marquess.

However, Gangdor had already prepared the whip and opened up the wine pot by his waist, soaking the whip in alcohol.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA