Richard gazed at the hunter captain and smiled, “Not interested. What are you going to do, use force?”
“Do not challenge my patience, outsider!” the captain exclaimed.
“Took the words right out of my mouth.” Richard hushed Melia who was about to come forward. The Greenleaf Tribe was already ignoring her wishes, so the only way for her to resolve the situation would be force as well.
The captain immediately drew his longbow, pointing it at Richard, “I dare you to resist!”
Still holding Melia back, Richard smirked, “I dare you to shoot.”
The hunter couldn’t hold back any longer, letting go of the taut bowstring. The long arrow shot straight for Richard’s shoulder; although it wouldn’t be fatal, it would still leave him with serious injuries. Although a little surprised at the sheer audacity of the man, Richard just shook his head as sparks burst forth from his body and formed three shields that comfortably blocked the blow.
Before the captain could even blink, Richard was already right before him. He tried to parry the incoming blow with his shortsword in a hurry, but before his movements were even half complete the image in front of him suddenly dissipated before his eyes. Just as he realised that it was only an afterimage, a strong force pulled him off the ground.
Richard had grabbed the hunter by his long hair, pulling him all the way over to a nearby tree and slamming his face into the trunk. The man let out a muffled scream as blood started dripping down his neck, but a few more dull thuds stopped his movements entirely. Richard turned around and sent a few grey balls of light into the sky, sending their energy rippling into all of the hunters nearby. After only two waves they had collapsed to the ground, wasting the next three.
He snorted at the sight. If these fellows were too weak to resist even a few fear spells, their wills were likely as fragile as glass. A single soul attack could kill them all. Still, he flashed back in front of Melia with only two steps, starting to drag her into the forest.
It took the girl until they were a few kilometres away to finally speak, “Hey, what are you doing?!”
Richard didn’t slow down at all, continuing to drag her behind him, “Escaping.”
“Why?” she tried to struggle her way free.
The girl had surprising strength for her frame, but Richard just added a bit more mana into Mana Armament and continued to drag her along, “What, you want to stay and reason with them?”
“But it was their fault!”
“Of course it was, but then one of them shot at me! I’m in no mood to explain myself to those old coots right now, and they obviously have no reason to want to speak to me.”
“Wait, wait! The Greenleaf Tribe is very important, they’re our only possible ally!”
“Are they?” Richard asked, leaving her speechless. Her mind finally returned to how she had been treated by the council, and she began to ask herself whether allies really would do such a thing.
Even a few kilometres later, her struggles to escape continued to fail. Melia was seriously starting to doubt herself; how could a druid have more physical power than a hunter like her? Of course, she didn’t know of Richard’s freakish physique or Mana Armament that gave him a saint’s energy. While she was at a saint’s level herself, that was partly from the support of the will of the forest; he could neutralise a lot of that power with his own comprehension of the laws of life.
She eventually went quiet, but a short while later Richard broke the silence, “They wanted the same thing from you as the Duskwords?”
“How do you know?” the girl asked, berating herself right after.
Richard smiled, “Not hard to guess. They’re a bunch of buffoons who don’t know the first thing about bloodlines.”
“Huh?” Melia frowned, “What do you mean?”
“Just mating two powerful bloodlines doesn’t ensure they merge. There are so many more factors to consider, and the offspring might even be weaker than any of the individual parents.”
“How do you know?”
“Feel free to guess. Seriously, why is it that the locals value you children of the forest so much? You have literally nothing special outside of battle.”
“Hey!” Melia pouted, but after some hesitation she chose to answer the question, “It’s because of the trees of life. We children of the forest are a token of approval from the will of the forest; the more of us there are, the easier it is for a tree of life to advance. The natural enemies they face won’t be as numerous, nor will they be as powerful. Our numbers don’t grow quickly, so we depend on the children of the forest to drive evolutions.”
Richard nodded and came to a stop, “We should be far enough now, we can take a bre—”
“No,” Melia interrupted him, “they’re still on our tail! I can feel Fenur’s aura!”
He stopped, his face turning pale as he asked, “They want to kill me?”
She shook her head, “No, they should be chasing after me. These people have given up all pretences.”
“Then let’s split up.” He immediately chose a direction and rushed into the forest, disappearing in the blink of an eye. Melia groaned and chose a different direction, starting to run away.
A few minutes later, Fenur squatted on the ground and glanced at the footsteps below, smelling the wind before pointing in the direction Melia had escaped, “She’s this way!”
All children of the forest had a vague sense of the location of their peers, so this was a reliable choice. However, one of the two elders looked at the diverging footsteps and frowned, “What about the outsider?”
“Doesn’t matter, we have to catch her first. We can go looking for him later, she’ll escape!”
“Why go looking for me? I’m right here.” a soft voice suddenly rang out from the canopy. Just as the three looked up, they were blinded by a dazzling flash of light.
This wasn’t nature magic! Fenur quickly drew on his nature energy, restoring his vision. However, the pure white was only replaced by a bright green. A barrage of attacks covered his vision, forcing him to use everything he could to resist. A number of small wounds immediately racked up on his body, but he managed to join with the other two elders and stand back to back.
They were three saints, but two of them had barely survived Richard’s attacks. “OUTSIDER!” Fenur roared, “The Greenleaf Tribe will never let you go!”
The druid quickly cast a spell, turning into an enormous direbear and screaming as he swatted down at Richard. However, Richard just looked at him calmly and raised his blade, the elven longsword screeching as it slashed out.
Fenur sneered as he continued to attack. His bear form was strong and resilient, a mere sword couldn’t do anything to him. Even if the slash hurt, he could just kill the outsider first and recuperate later. His paw that could crush even an iron knight of the invaders came crashing down.
“DODGE!” a voice rang out in the forest, but before Fenur could even process those words Richard’s sword was already at his body. The weapon seemed to break all laws of time as it just flashed to the other side, facing no resistance from him at all. Looking at the few inches of blade that stuck out from his gut, the bear roared in shock; Richard’s sword had been a metre and a half long!
The palm struck down long after, but all it caught was dirt and stones. Richard had vanished like a ghost, even the sword nowhere to be seen. The giant bear immediately stood up, but right after it came to a stop and lowered its head with a weak groan. At its waist was a thin line of red.
Fenur didn’t even dare to breathe, but his body started trembling uncontrollably from the fear of death. The red line also expanded to reveal a terrifying incision, revealing the hair, skin, fat, muscles, and even bones within.
A few seconds later, the bear erupted into a rain of blood and flesh.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: OMA
Edited By: Theo