The battle with the treants ended soon after Richard’s powerhouses arrived. However, the battle had left a logging team of 200 men with less than 50 survivors. Richard himself only managed to make it to the location afterwards, unable to help but sigh at the aftermath.
Pamir was squatted beside the corpse of one of the treants, examining its rings. He stood up soon after Richard’s arrival, “All of them are level 14, elites even in Norland. If only they were two levels higher… Tch, they would have had hearts.” The grand mage had a look of pity on his face.
The saint Scherr kicked the corpse of one of the treants, “These things are valuable anyway.”
Treants were moving treasuries, their core wood one of the best choices when creating superior-grade longbows. At level 16 they developed hearts where their life essence coagulated; these hearts had a wide range of uses, making them more valuable than the rest of their bodies combined. Still, even these corpses would be worth at least 10,000 gold each back in Norland.
A big part of the reasons humans in Norland had attacked the elves was to obtain high-quality hearts. They were so powerful the heart of a legendary treant could be used to formulate medicine to increase one’s lifespan. This was a temptation enough to drive anyone crazy; unlike the randomness of the Eternal Dragon’s divine grace, alchemy had known effectiveness.
Nyris approached Richard’s side, looking at one of the corpses, “So many treants were sacrificed to capture a single hostage, the elves are really going all out. It seems like that little druid isn’t as simple a character as we thought.”
“Mm,” Richard nodded, “Have Olar monitor him carefully, and get a priest to watch over so he doesn’t kill the boy off by accident.”
Nyris fell into thought for some time before asking, “The elves should ask to exchange hostages soon. Is your knight… Erm… Important?” The implicit meaning was that they could take action while exchanging hostages, but that would put the knight’s life in danger. Of course, such a sacrifice was worth it in the eyes of the Fourth Prince; he had no lack of level 11 knights.
“Whether he’s important or not depends on how you look at it,” Richard replied profoundly.
Nyris frowned, unable to understand what that meant. He decided to just ask directly instead, “Are we taking action when the elves come to negotiate?”
“No, we’re taking action now.” Richard’s words caused Nyris to look at him with anticipation, and he smiled in response, “Go, gather your men, but don’t bring more than thirty. We’re leaving soon, and we need to stay flexible.”
“No problem!” Nyris answered. As a prince in the running for the throne, he had a lot of competent subordinates. Besides, he had Agamemnon as well.
It didn’t take long for a small troop to be assembled in the city square. Richard took Lina, all of his followers, and all five of the rune knights along, while Nyris and Agamemnon brought Scherr, Pamir, and a selected group of guards that were all level 14 at minimum. This squad had the power to fight their way out even if they were surrounded by a big army.
Richard was not anxious to set off, instead meticulously checking on everyone’s equipment and rations. He then mounted his unicorn, “Be prepared, we might have to spend a few days in the forest.”
At that moment, a slender silhouette suddenly ran towards the square, “Wait! Bring me along!”
Seeing Demi’s fiery figure, Richard’s face sank, “I’m attacking the elves’ nest directly this time. It will be extremely dangerous, this is not a joke!”
Demi’s face lit up, “When have Archerons ever been afraid of danger!”
“You don’t have the ability, and there’s nobody willing to take care of you. This is not an excursion.”
“I’ve been in many wars already, I don’t need a caretaker. I’m an Archeron, not a little chick that needs its mother all the time!”
Seeing her refuse to back down, Richard couldn’t find it in himself to be annoyed. The girl had outstanding strength, progressing rapidly during their numerous battles back in Faelor. As a cursemaster her defensive abilities were already great as well. It was just that there was still a little bias deep in his heart. With Gaton having disappeared, he didn’t want the man’s children to suffer from any mishaps. Even if they grew to be a pride of tamed lions, it was better than them dying on another plane. Even amongst powerhouses, less than half of those who spent a long time in planar war survived. There were many who died in foreign lands before they even had that chance.
Demi’s persistence reminded him of his younger self. He sighed, “If you want to go, then go get changed out of these red robes. I don’t care where you get the new clothing, but you have five minutes to do it.”
The girl didn’t hesitate, rushing out immediately. Looking at her departing figure, Richard sighed a little. If a lion didn’t want to enjoy the safety of its cage, then it had to be returned to the magnificent danger of the savanna.
Most of the soldiers were out patrolling the city, but three warriors were sitting around lazily as they talked about home. They were shocked when Demi dashed into their room in the barracks, but immediately stood up to salute her. They knew that this fiery young lady was Richard’s blood sister.
Demi sized the three of them up, suddenly pointing one out and saying with a sweet smile, “You, come closer.”
The warrior pointed to immediately moaned, “Me?”
“Who else?” she maintained her expression, pulling down on her collar to reveal almost the entirety of her breasts. The soldier immediately walked over without even thinking about it, the fair skin the only thing on his mind. His heart was beating so fast it was ready to spill out of his mouth. He didn’t see the pommel of a dagger smashing into him from behind.
The warrior swayed, eyes rolling back as he fell to the ground in disbelief, and Demi immediately started to remove his clothes. The other two soldiers were dumbfounded, unable to comprehend what they had just witnessed. However, they didn’t think Demi’s attack was an act of hostility. Thinking she just had some unusual preferences, they started looking forward to the scene they were about to witness.
One that never materialised. Once done stripping the warrior down to his underwear, Demi cut a big hole into her skirt. Raising her head to see them still looking at her, she cast a pair of fear spells that sent them running with a cry. Not bothering with them any further, she tore off her skirt and quickly changed into the soldier’s uniform before dashing out of the room and the barracks. The unconscious soldier wouldn’t know until he woke up that Demi had chosen him merely because of their similar physiques.
Still sitting on the unicorn, Richard was silently counting the seconds as they passed by. He knew Demi loved red, and also that she hadn’t prepared any clothes for this expedition that weren’t robes. In the jungle where mobility was paramount, one needed to be dressed in trousers to be fully effective.
There were exceptions to this, of course— Lina was so powerful normal terrain posed no obstruction to her regardless. However, he himself had switched out of his robes as well. Five minutes wasn’t enough time to borrow any clothes, it wasn’t even enough to explain the situation to someone.
Richard knew that people would die in this battle. His ultimate hope was that Demi wouldn’t tag along. Four and a half minutes, he silently counted in his heart. However, he could already see a silhouette dashing over from afar. Demi’s silhouette.
The girl rushed up to his unicorn, panting as she said intermittently, “I… did it… Five…”
He nodded, turning to Tiramisu, “Give her your horse.”
“No problem, boss! I like running!” the ogre said loudly. His mount was the drone specifically designed for him, more than two metres tall with its legs as thick as an elephant’s. This unit was also a magical beast that could burst forth with astonishing power, protecting Demi if needed. The steed was so large Demi had to spend quite a bit of strength even mounting it, making her look small and delicate on its back. In reality, however, the girl was already six feet tall with an athletic figure to boot.
Nyris’ expression was quite wonderful to behold; the clothes Demi was wearing were the military uniform of the royal guards. The fact that he didn’t say anything proved just how far his patience had advanced in his time here.
The troops left the city one after the other, embarking on an expedition into the unknown.
As the squad continued to move forward under Richard’s guidance, Agamemnon fell a little behind to Demi’s side. He took a glance at her and asked, “Where did you get the uniform?”
Demi raised her brows, “I found an unlucky guy who couldn’t take his eyes off my chest. I hit him unconscious and his clothes wound up on my body.”
The taciturn youth gazed deeply at her in response, revealing a smile that was rarely ever seen, “Impressive!”
“Thank you!” Demi started beaming.
Nyris, who wasn’t far ahead, gnashed his teeth and tore the reins of his horse apart. He vowed to teach the pervert in his army a lesson.
Agamemnon spoke up again, “If we enter battle, don’t stray too far from me.”
Demi’s eyebrows instantly locked together, “Hey you have to charge ahead!”
That prompted a laugh, “That’s nothing!”
Nyris suddenly turned around, looking at his friend in astonishment. It was as though he had seen a monster.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Mel
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA