Chapter 133: Trike (1)

While Milton was fighting against the Republicans, Siegfried was fighting against Marquis Bologna and his men at the same time. As soon as Siegfried realized that Milton wasn’t at the fight, he tried his hardest to end the battle. 

“All of you, advance! Archers, don’t try to save arrows and keep shooting!”

There was no need to be careful now. Once he realized he had been tricked, Siegfried decided he needed to end the battle as soon as possible and catch up to the other half of his army. 

‘Nathan’s in charge of pursuing the retreating enemy and there’s no way he can deal with Milton Forrest.’

With those thoughts, he tried his hardest to finish up the battle, but there was something Siegfried didn’t know. While he had been encircling his enemy to hasten his victory, someone was carefully approaching the battlefield. 

A red-headed man with a large longbow on his back mumbled to himself.

“Is that Siegfried?”

Trike had appeared. 

***

When Viscount Sabian promised Milton they’d hit Siegfried hard, that hadn’t been a metaphorical expression; he meant that literally. He had to trouble Jerome into luring in Siegfried, how could he let Siegfried go with just the defeat of 20,000 men? That wouldn’t balance the books. If he thought about the 50,000 men previously lost at Litinque Castle, then this was nowhere enough. That’s why he had given Trike a separate order — follow Marquis Bologna from afar and when he had the chance, shoot at Siegfried.

[I’ll leave the when and how you shoot him to you. You might not want to, but please do this for me.]

Because Viscount Sabian’s order was basically an assassination, a knight might be hesitant to accept it. That’s why he had carefully approached Trike.

[Leave it to me.]

But Trike had been very composed. 

A knight’s honor. While Trike might now be a knight, he had originally been a mercenary. But more than that, his main weapon was a bow. What’s wrong with fighting from a distance? What’s wrong with shooting them secretly? After all, that’s how a bow was originally used. Trike didn’t have a moment of hesitation. Why? Because a thought was running through his mind. 

‘There’s no one else who can take this role but me.’

Trike dismounted from his horse and stood on the ground. He took out his bow and placed an arrow on the string. 

“I don’t have any animosity towards you, but you should disappear.”

Trike’s target was busy organizing and commanding his troops. Not only that, but Siegfried was in Trike’s line of sight and there was no one nearby who’d block Trike’s arrow. Siegfried was quite far away and there was a bit of wind, but that wasn’t a concern for Trike.

“Go.”

Zing!

Trike’s arrow flew through the air with a clear sound. Without a single flaw, that arrow struck the back of Siegfried’s throat. The very moment the arrow flew perfectly through the gap between the helmet and the armor…

“Gak?!”

Swish!

Siegfried quickly twisted his body to the side. His danger sense warned him and his body moved according to that warning before he realized it. 

Trike’s arrow just grazed Siegfried’s neck.

“Secretary Siegfried?”

“Are you alright, sir?”

Siegfried’s officials only discovered the arrow after seeing blood flowing from Siegfried’s neck.

“I’m alright. It missed my arteries.”

Siegfried’s voice was very calm as he replied. No one could tell that he had almost died just then. However, different from his outer appearance, Siegfried’s brain quickly understood what happened. 

‘The arrow flew from the opposite direction of the enemy without any indication… in that case?’

Turning around, Siegfried’s eyes could make out a man standing next to his horse in the distance. His eyes turned cold.

“That’s…?”

Siegfried had intelligence that Milton had a tremendously talented archer under his command. Siegfried had also been informed that even though the archer was a mercenary, because of his skills, the archer had become a Knight. That archer’s name had been…

“Wasn’t it Trike, Trike Low?”

That man in the distance was most likely Trike. Siegfried’s eyes twinkled. Milton wasn’t here and neither was Jerome, but if he let Trike escape right now, then knowing how talented Trike was, it would only get more tiresome later on. 

“Ghosts Group 1, follow me! We’re going after the enemy!”

Having made up his mind, Siegfried spurred his horse towards Trike.

***

“He dodged that?”

Trike was extremely surprised. This was only the second time he had missed his target on the battlefield. The first had been Milton Forrest, his current Lord. This was the second time. The opponent was his Lord’s main trouble, Siegfried himself. 

‘I shot that arrow completely out of his sight, but he still dodged it. That guy… he might not be an Expert.’

Trick’s eyes narrowed his eyes. At this very moment, the enemy was charging straight towards him. If he planned to retreat, now was the time. Thankfully, for his mission, he had been assigned the very best horse of the Destroy breed. It was possible for him to get away if that’s what he decided to do. But, Trike made a different decision. 

“I didn’t get permission but…”

He put down his bow and from his horse, Trike took down another bow he had prepared. It was a similar size to the bow he normally used but it wasn’t a nameless bow that he could casually just switch out. Actually, it wasn’t a nameless and unknown bow at all; it was the complete opposite. 

“I can finally use this.”

How long had he been waiting for this moment? Maybe it was because he was so excited? The corners of his mouth quirked up

[Trike]

Knight LV. 4

Strength — 84         Command — 90

Intellect — 50                 Politics — 17

Loyalty — 94

Special Traits — Farsighted, Snipe, Rapid Fire

Farsighted LV. 9 (MAX): Improves eyesight. Possesses vision that surpasses ordinary humans and is second only to hawks.

Snipe LV. 8: Power and accuracy of arrows does not decrease as the distance increases.

Rapid Fire LV. 9 (MAX): Increases the speed of firing consecutive arrows. Accuracy does not decrease even as arrows are fired in succession.

This was Trike’s status window. 

When he had first met Milton, Trike’s Strength was only 79, but now, he had risen to 84. Usually, that stat would make him at least an intermediate Expert, if not dipping his toes into being a high level Expert. However, even if Trike held a sword, it was impossible for him to exude an Aura. Not only did Trike have little training with the sword, but an aura didn’t naturally exude from him. If Trike used a sword, then he was capable of fighting two, maybe three, regular knights. But if he fought against an Expert with a Strength stat in the low 70s, then that gap was very large. 

Milton couldn’t hide the fact that he found that to be very strange. Trike’s Strength stat was easily over 80. Even if Trike couldn’t exude an Aura from his sword, something was still very odd. 

So, Milton had discussed it many times with Jeromes and after a couple experiments, there was one result. Trike was already an Expert. He just couldn’t outwardly exude an Aura but there was a sufficient amount of energy and strength within his body. Otherwise, it wouldn’t explain his extraordinary archery abilities: being able to continuously fire a bow that strong young men can’t even pull on and being able to perfectly control where the arrow would land on a target without being off by even one millimeter. This wasn’t something a normal person would be able to do. 

The problem was that the bow wasn’t a good weapon for drawing out that same energy from within him. This was where Milton and Jerome were stuck. It’s not like Milton and Jerome didn’t use a bow, but compared to Trike, they might as well have never touched one. They had also never questioned, ‘How should I try to exude my Aura using a bow.’ Trike’s situation was really a unique case.  

However, it was Bianca who came up with the unexpected answer.

“So all yah have to do is pull out yer energy to the outside? Then there’s a way.”

Then, Bianca shoved a thick piece of hardwood into Trike’s hands. The wood piece was as thick as a person’s thigh and was too rough to be considered lumber. The interesting thing was that the wood had clearly been cut quite some time ago, but it still seemed alive. 

“What is this, Miss Bianca?”

She answered Trike’s question.

It’s a Dryad wood.”

“Dryad? Is it…”

Dryad was known as the spirit of a tree. It’s said that the spirit would seduce travelers by showing them beautiful women and slowly sucking their life force out of them. Although that’s what is said, that was only something that could exist in a fantasy. No one had actually seen one in person and they only existed in old stories. But, depending on who tells that story, the credibility of it changes. A magician was someone who dealt with the mysterious and the magical. So when Bianca said it was a Dryad, Trike believed her.

“Really? Something like that really exist? This wood piece is possessed with that spirit?”

Bianca burst out laughing. 

“Oh, ya dummy. The stuff that ya heard… have ya ever seen one?”

Trike looked embarrassed. 

“But did you just say Dryad, Miss Bianca?”

“Tsk, tsk. ’Tis all a misunderstanding. A Dryad is a…”

According to Bianca’s explanation, a Dryad wasn’t a spirit but a type of parasitic plant in the backwoods of the Southern Continent. It had a pheromone that would attract other living organisms and would absorb the life force out of that organism. While it was a rare tree, it wasn’t a spirit.  It’s also said because its vitality is so strong that if you cut off a branch from it, it’ll stay alive for years as it absorbs the life force from its surroundings.

This particular Dryad wood was something that Bianca had gathered. A magician gathered and collected random bits of goods from all over the world and experimented with them. That’s why she had a piece of a Dryad.

“I see. So, what is this odd piece of wood going to do?”

Bianca clicked her tongue at his questions.

Ya ever heard of elves?”

“Elves? Do you mean that legendary race?”

Trick was startled. 

“That’s right. They’re rare in the Southern Continent but they do exist.”

“Have you ever seen them, Miss Bianca?”

“I’ve seen them just once before.”

“Oooooh…”

Trike was impressed to hear that a legendary race like the Elves existed. 

“What do ya think of, when ya hear Elves?”

“That’s obviously their beauty.”

“……”

“When God created them, he created Elves to be the most beautiful. I wonder how beautiful they really are.”

“……”

“Do you know any female elves?”

Bianca gaped at Trike who seemed like he would ask her to introduce him to a female Elf at any moment. 

“Ya… ya…”

“Ah, what’s wrong, Miss Bianca? Any man would want a beautiful wo…. guh.”

Shat up!”

Bianca used her wand to smack Trike upside his head. 

“Ow… why’d you hit me?”

“Forget it. Ya just keep quiet and just listen.”

Bianca sighed then continued her explanation.

“When ya think of Elves, it’s bows. Ya can’t compare their archery skills ta humans.”

“Ohh… they’re better than me?”

“I don’t know that either. But I do know that they can exude their Aura even with their bows.”

“……”

Trick had been competitive, but at that, his face hardened. Did that mean there was precedent to his current problem?

“How can they do that, Miss Bianca?”

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Palico & Yojj's Thoughts

Trike + Bianca is even better than just Bianca