The azure blue sky was covered with white clouds, and there seemed to be no end to this wonderful sight.
Beside a ramrod straight street, a winding, clear stream flowed. On the bed of the creek white pebbles and green fish could clearly be seen.
“As long as we go through this Pome Alley, we’ll reach our destination. It’s an entrance to Eternal River Plain's secret plane located in Marat Canyon. It only takes a day for us to get there, so we can afford to stroll there! Should we find a place and take a rest?”
George looked at the yellow map drawn on parchment paper and produced a compass. He checked his bearings and spoke to Leylin and the others as he looked back.
“Stop? If it’s that near, then wouldn’t it be better if we went and rested there?”
Sheira glared at George.
This situation had already occurred multiple times within this small group. Every time George had a suggestion, Sheira would vehemently shoot him down, and George would usually automatically give up.
It was such a regular occurrence that even Leylin had become used to it.
Perhaps only this kind of woman would be able to control a playboy like George. Leylin noted that George seemed to be enjoying this situation.
Bessita, on the other hand, had been silent the whole time. She did not give her opinion on anything, and were it not for her being the only level 3 acolyte from Wetland Gardens Academy, she might have been forgotten.
“Alright, alright! Let’s be on our way!” Just as expected, upon hearing Sheira’s voice, George quickly raised both his arms and surrendered. Leylin rolled his eyes at him.
Leylin was a little surprised as he looked at the other route in front of them.
With Leylin’s current spiritual force, he could clearly tell that not far away, there was a team of acolytes. They were rushing in their direction and seemed to be heading for Marat Canyon as well.
Based on their speed, it seemed that they were going to encounter Leylin’s group soon.
Their might was obviously greater than George’s group by one or two levels. Leylin could also feel the undulations created by magical artifacts on the leader’s body.
Although it was just a low-grade magic artifact, that alone was already very valuable.
Only truly talented acolytes and the successors of large families were in possession of magic artifacts. The battle might of these acolytes was definitely at the peak of level 3, and besides official Magi, they feared no one!
About three minutes later, Sheira’s face changed.
“Be careful! Bourbon discovered that there are acolytes nearing us!”
As the one in charge of long-range attacks, Sheira was naturally also the sentinel. Bourbon was an unusual owl that she was raising that could share its field of vision with her within a specific range.
George’s expression darkened and he cursed. “F*ck! I hope our luck isn’t that bad. Alert!”
Meeting foreign acolytes in the open wasn’t something that could be ignored. There was a possibility that conflict between them could occur, and in such a scenario, the weaker party would usually be the victim.
George issued an order; Bessita and the others quickly understood that they were in danger.
They gathered together and a few of them set up a simple defensive spell formation. The entire process was executed smoothly, indicating that they must have prepared and practiced beforehand.
While the acolytes were waiting nervously, a cloud of dust was nearing them.
Along with the sound of footsteps from several horses, a team of five people appeared in Leylin’s line of sight.
The leader was dressed in a white robe and had a broadsword on his back. Leylin found that the undulations emitted from a magic artifact originated from that large sword.
“It’s such a large magic artifact. Interesting!” Leylin stroked his chin.
Usually, magic artifacts were much smaller due to the precious resources they had to be constructed from. Though this huge magic artifact was only of a low grade, this was Leylin’s first time seeing one that was so large.
After recognizing such an eye-catching signature item, Bessita, and the two other acolytes from Wetland Gardens Academy first had an expression of disbelief, and then shouted, “It’s Jamu! It’s Senior Jamu!”
“Oh! Are you acolytes from Wetland Gardens Academy?” Leylin glanced at the three acolytes who left the defensive spell formation and went to receive the newcomers.
A hint of a smile appeared on Bessita’s face.
With the added bonus of her natural beauty, her smile caused the acolytes behind Jamu to be stunned for a moment.
The group pulled on their reins, and with a wave from their leader Jamu, the five dismounted; their actions were precise as if they were from the military.
“Are you acolytes from the academy?”
Jamu, the leader, was a tall man with fair skin. He was a head taller than George and had blue hair. There was a red mole between his brows.
“Yes! Senior Jamu, we even met once at Professor Clarentino’s cocktail party...”
Upon seeing such a famous character, Alexander and Lana were rendered speechless and could do naught but hide behind Bessita.
Bessita, on the other hand, was very enthusiastic and chatted with Jamu, occasionally pointing towards Leylin and George.
Ten or so minutes later, Jamu approached George and Leylin.
“George! And this is Sheira…?”
Jamu raised his chin, arrogance evident in his eyes, “I’ve heard about you from Bessita. As thanks for helping them, I permit you to follow behind us to Marat Canyon.”
Jamu looked at them condescendingly, as if pitying them.
“Senior Jamu is one of the ten strongest in the academy in terms of battle power! With him around, we don’t have to worry about our safety!”
Bessita was boasting about his strength at the side, her entire body almost pressed against Jamu’s.
“You…” George still had his own pride after all and immediately wanted to say something, but Sheira stopped him.
“He’s right! Pome Alley has always been an area where bandits are frequently seen. Without Bessita and the others, I doubt we’ll be able to get through safely.” Sheira murmured into George’s ear.
After hearing his love’s words George became gloomy, and he eventually forced a smile, “In that case, thank you Senior Jamu!”
“Hmph!” Jamu nodded reservedly and looked at Leylin.
“As for you, the dark Magus from before! During these sensitive times, our group does not welcome you!”
“You can’t do this! Leylin is an acolyte from Four Seasons Garden, and has long since broken all ties with Abyssal Bone Forest Academy!” George hurriedly brought up.
“What credit do magicians who grew up in that sort of environment have to speak of? Who knows, perhaps his status as an acolyte of Four Seasons Garden was gained with unethical methods!”
Jamu laughed icily.
“I do think there’s a large chance of him being a spy deployed by dark Magi, and we need to check his belongings!”
Behind Jamu, a freckled acolyte yelled.
“Bessita! What do you think?”
Leylin watched her with a hint of interest.
“I’m sorry Leylin! Though we once walked the same path, the safety of our companions is the priority now.”
Bessita seemed to be in a tough spot struggling with this decision.
“Do you have anything else to say?” Jamu crossed his arms.
While Alexander and Lana didn’t think Leylin was an enemy, but in front of Jamu, they didn’t dare say anything.
As for George, Shiera had pulled him back.
“For some useless revenge?” Leylin stared at Bessita. “How stupid!”
“But it seems like I don’t have to take care of you myself!”
“What do you mean?” Jamu was confused by Leylin’s words and Leylin’s attitude irked him. A bright radiance caused by magic appeared instantly from Jamu’s body, which made the atmosphere become serious.
An acidic flying dart shot out, striking the arrogant freckled acolyte.
Along with the terrifying sound of corrosion, the acolyte melted into a pile of flesh, and red and green liquid under the gaze of the surrounding acolytes.
In the middle of the pile of flesh, several broken pieces of bones stayed upright.
“An enemy attack!” Bessita’s flustered voice sounded, and because it was so piercing, she sounded a little hoarse.
*Swish! Swish! Swish!*
In no time, Jamu, Leylin and everyone else were surrounded by around twenty bandits.
“Akai!” “You hateful brute!” “I’ll kill you!”
The three acolytes behind Jamu were outraged at seeing their companion die in such a tragic manner. Several waves of magic rushed towards the robed bandits.
The leader of the bandits stepped forward, a ring of black light dispersing from around his body.
The acolytes used their spells against that black light, but like soap bubbles colliding against each other and bursting, their spells were all deflected..
“A magic artifact! A defensive magic artifact!”
Jamu narrowed his eyes at the realisation and stood in front of the three acolytes, protecting them.
“They’re not people you can deal with. Retreat first!”
“I am Jamu! What is your name?”
*Clang!* Metal scraped against metal as Jamu unbuckled the broadsword from his back. He held it with one arm and faced the robed bandit leader and asked for the enemy’s name.
Amidst strange giggles, the leader made his move.
*Boom!* A layer of the ground separated; soil and rocks were suspended in the air, converging into the shape of a beast. Its jaws were wide open as it snapped at Jamu.
A silver-white light flashed in the air as Jamu waved his hand.
A single line sliced towards the beast!
The surrounding greenery was destroyed in an instant; a gap separated the trees into two groups.
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