The flame of a thick wax candle flickered within the tent, illuminating the area brightly. Leylin, Rafiniya and the other team leaders formed a circle with Aulen in the captain’s seat. The map of the Moonwood was hung on one side of the tent.
“This mission is going to be quite difficult. Do any of you have viable plans?” Aulen furrowed her slender brows, but the responses disappointed her.
“Leylin, what do you think?” She looked over to Leylin expectantly. As an army wizard, he held a remarkably high position. Besides, he had already proven his ability before; he was second only to herself in the team.
“There have been no further intelligence reports. I only know their rough position and the presence of high-ranked werecreatures within their team. In this situation, we can only reinforce our security and wait for the right opportunity to grab them by the throat.”
Although what Leylin said made sense, it wasn’t enough to satisfy her. Aulen knitted her brows once again. Leylin naturally understood her worries; he did indeed have a plan. However, it required Tiff and the devil worshippers, so he naturally couldn’t tell Aulen and the team.
She looked around the room disheartenedly, before waving her hand to dismiss them, “Well, alright then. I’m sorry to have interrupted your dinner, let us end the meeting here.” Despair was evident in her face.
“Don’t worry, sister Aulen! Justice always prevails, those damned werecreatures will not win against us!” At this point, the only one left who was full of confidence was of course the young female knight.
Ultimately, this was still a world led by physical strength. Rafiniya only attended the meeting because she was a high-ranked knight: it afforded her a position equivalent to a military officer who was a low-ranked captain.
“I trust you.” Aulen smiled helplessly, unable to find the strength to respond to Rafiniya in any other way.
“Leylin! Why did Aulen look so dejected towards the end?” Rafiniya wasn’t able to contain her curiosity after leaving the tent, “Is the mission too challenging?”
“No idea,” Leylin shook his head, and realised that the girl hadn’t been changed at all by prior experience.
“The fish broth is done, miss.” Rafiniya’s servant brought up two bowls of fish broth and the staple white bread, not forgetting the wild berries they picked along the way.
“Woo!!” Rafiniya cheered and began digging in.
Leylin laughed mindlessly at Rafiniya and tore his bread unhurriedly before dipping it into the broth and sending it into his mouth. He only called out to her as they were about to part, “Rafiniya!”
“Yeah? What’s the matter?” There were still leftover crumbs on the side of her lips, and she resembled a gluttonous little kitten.
“Nothing, I just have a premonition that tonight won’t be peaceful. Keep your weapons close.” Leylin notified her.
After going their separate ways, Leylin looked around to make sure no one had their eyes on him before sneaking into Aulen’s tent…
The silver moonlight was exceptionally dull this night, broken only by a few lone storm clouds that passed the region every once in a while.
The winds howled and temperatures dipped, and everyone else but from the patrolling soldiers had long ducked into their respective tents. Only the unfortunate soldiers on night duty were left to fend for themselves as they cursed at their luck.
Out of nowhere, a thick dark cloud floated across and swallowed the moon whole. The moonlight disappeared completely in the span of a second, and the only remaining light was from the handful of bonfires around. The guards’ line of sight grew hazy and they could only see things within 5 metres even if they sat by the bonfires.
“What a dark night… And such dense fog!” A patrol soldier grumbled.
“Come on! I’ve seen even scarier fogs in the endless wilderness, to the extent that you can’t see your fingers even when you’ve stretched your hand out.” Another patrol soldier replied with disdain.
“Well, you’re right!” The younger soldier nodded his head, but then he tightened his grip on his weapon, “Who’s there?”
A shadow approached them in the fog. “It’s me!” it spoke with a familiar voice.
“Oh, it’s the captain. Ma’am!” The patrol soldiers saluted immediately. However, in the instant they bowed, a few slashes flashed coldly in the night.
“Ack-” Fear and confusion brimmed their eyes as they tightly pressed their hands to their necks for dear life, blood seeping through the fingers. The collapse of both their bodies attracted no unwanted attention.
The hazy shadow seemed to let out a sigh of relief before arriving in front of another tent.
“Who’s there?” Leylin asked from within the tent.
“It’s me, Lanshire.” The shadow sounded calm.
“I see, is there anything? Hold on, I’ll deactivate the alarm!” The tent lit up for a brief moment and Leylin lifted the entrance open with confusion written all over his face, “Come in!”
Walking into the tent, the bright light carved out the figure of the shadow. She was slender, as thin as a thread, and wore a mask that covered half of her face. It was the scout of the team—Lanshire
“It must be urgent for you to visit at such an unearthly hour.” Having shed his wizard robes and wearing only a plain white shirt that revealed his firm chest, Leylin exuded masculinity.
“Well.. I have an idea with regards to the mission.” Lanshire’s voice was rather strange.
“Idea? Why didn’t you bring it up during the afternoon meeting? Was something preventing you from mentioning it?” Leylin’s expression turned dark and he took a step closer to her.
“Um, actually…” Lanshire lowered her voice causing Leylin to move closer towards her in an attempt to catch what she said.
Something unexpected happened at that moment. A bright silver dagger appeared in Lanshire’s hand out of nowhere as she mercilessly slashed at Leylin’s throat, the moment he was completely defenceless.
Given that she was a high-ranked assassin, there was only one way for this to end. Leylin would die.
*Pew!* The dagger cut into Leylin’s throat without difficulty, but the situation was different from what Lanshire had expected. Instead of having blood splatter all over, Leylin’s body turned into a huge soap bubble, burst in front of her and left nothing but a strong gale in its wake.
“This must be… High-grade illusion!” All colour drained from Lanshire’s face upon realising that the Leylin she had just encountered was just a fake. She fled from his tent.
But things did not go well for her as she walked out into a group of people surrounding her. The real Leylin was wearing his robes neatly and was already aiming his staff at her, with a fully-armoured Rafiniya by his side.
And in the midst of them all, Aulen looked at Lanshire in disbelief and, of course, disappointment.
“Lanshire! I can’t believe it’s you. We’ve already been friends for more than 50 years, and you still couldn’t resist the temptation of having power!” Aulen looked sorrowful.
“Friendship? Really?” Lanshire removed her mask to reveal a youthful face, but the remnants of a scar were still evident on her left cheek. It was like a flaw on a piece of art, completely destroying her beauty and rendering her rather ugly.
In a world of divine powers, scars like these would be easily healed. But the people who had gifted her this scar back then left a destructive power in the wound that deterred the healing abilities of any divine powers.
“Since that night, I’ve never been the same!” Lanshire laughed coldly before putting her mask back on with hatred-filled eyes.
“I see, you’ve never been able to let it go…” Aulen said in a sorrowful voice, “Who are you working for exactly? The werecreatures? Or another faction?”
Leylin couldn’t care less about emotional entanglements like these. He stood out from the crowd and sent orders to surround Lanshire completely. Anyone who fought him was an enemy, and if they could not be roped in then he could only kill them. This was the code of law in the World of Gods!
“Kneel and confess all your sins! This is your last chance of survival!” Leylin stated fiercely, but he knew a surrender from Lanshire was almost impossible. She was a particularly determined avenger with a strong will. People like her could even drag others to hell with them just for revenge.
Leylin was familiar with unmoving fellows like these, thus he sent the command just as Lanshire smiled: “Kill!”
Magic and vindication clashed in the blink of an eye. Lanshire was just a high-ranked assassin, and though she could certainly bring much trouble to Leylin and his team if things were done in the dark, an open face-off like this was obviously not a strength of hers.
Having cast Slow and with Rafiniya’s help, Leylin brought Lanshire down in no time. She was stabbed in the abdomen by two enormous steel swords, and hot blood trickled from her wounds.
“Cripple her of all fighting ability! Jinx, treat her!” She was Aulen’s friend, after all, Leylin still had some sense in him.
“Hah! I’d rather die than receive treatment from you! And do you think this is over?” Lanshire’s mask had fallen off long ago in the middle of the fight. Blood trickled from the corners of her lips, and she looked even scarier than before with her menacing appearance.
“What?” Aulen’s expression didn’t look too good.
“Cap- Captain!” Just then, Ogg who had originally been in charge of planting traps and exterior defenses was carried in by the others, and it was clear he had suffered an attack.
“It’s the werecreatures! Their abilities are beyond what we’ve imagined!”
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