14 Preparing to Breakout

 Annie and the other Assassins looked dumbfounded at Link's question about their plans.

They had no plans. The outpost only had five Assassins left. With so many Dark Elf Assassins surrounding them, and having lost the ground floor, the room on the second floor was the only other place they could go to.

Honestly, they were just waiting for their deaths.

They couldn't even hope for reinforcements. As the foremost intelligence agency in the Norton Kingdom, no one knew the situation in and around Gladstone better than they did.

The Dark Elves had planned their ambush for a very long time. From what they knew, Gladstone's defenses had all collapsed.

The powers that were within the city were doing their best just to save themselves. Frankly, even that would be a blessing. There was no way they'd spare the time to save others.

The room was silent for some time. Then, Annie, blushing slightly, shook her head. "Mr. Link. We want to break out of here. But as you know, there are too many enemies out there."

They hadn't thought of another plan other than to fight to their deaths.

But Link had come here just to save them. There were many Dark Elf Assassins out there, but he was confident that he could help the human Assassins out with his magic.

He pushed on, "If we managed to escape, what would you do next?"

Annie paused, pondering the question. "If we manage to get out of here, then I'd go to the city guard's barracks. There are more than 1,500 soldiers stationed there. If we have the city guard on our side, then we'll be able to suppress the Dark Elf Army!"

The commander of the city guard was called Carlos. He was a powerful Level-4 Warrior. However, he had passed away after a brief battle with an illness last night. Considering tonight's events, it was more than likely that he'd been poisoned by the Dark Elves. The city guard, merely a disordered pack of armed men without their leader, were completely incapable of maintaining the law and order of the city. Annie believed that as the daughter of the Iron Duke, so long as she managed to reach the barracks, she would be able to seize control of the city guard!

Link nodded. Instantly, new notifications appeared.

Part One of Rescuing the Legendary Assassin: Find the Legendary Assassin-completed.

Game Player receives 10 Omni Points

Begin Part Two of Mission: Breakthrough!

Mission Details: Break through the siege of Dark Elf Assassins!

The 10 Omni Points had come at just the right time. Link, who had been left with 15 Omni Points, now had 25 Omni Points. He now had more resources to fall back on.

He also had 65 Mana Points. Of the Assassins around him, two were heavily injured while another two had suffered only minor wounds. He walked over to the heavily wounded Assassins. "Don't move. I'll heal you."

Annie was apprehensive. She had never heard of Magicians performing healing magic before. At a glance from her, Ardivan explained, "Mr. Link's healing magic is very effective."

Annie relaxed.

Link then cast the spells. There were two flashes of light as he cast Elemental Healing on each of the heavily wounded Assassins. For that, he used 12 Mana Points.

Upon the completion of the spell, the Assassins' breathing slowed and steadied as some color returned to their ashen faces. The changes she saw made Annie sigh in relief.

"They should be able to move in half an hour's time," Link said quietly. Just then, the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. Something wasn't right! Right away, he lifted his wand and pointed it squarely at the door.

"Who is it!"

A shadowy figure appeared on the wooden stairs right outside the door. At the sight of Link's wand, it flitted to the side, blending into the darkness.

"Who's there?" Link was somewhat shaken up. Such quick movements most likely meant that the Dark Elf Assassin was powerful. He might have even mastered Battle Aura.

For a Magician, an Assassin who has mastered Battle Aura was a huge threat, ten times more so than a Warrior of the same skill level. This was because they were too fast, too agile for Magicians to predict what they would do next. Magicians needed to predict their opponents' movements because spellcasting took time. Even Link was unable to cast a spell instantaneously. A Level-0 Spell needed 0.1 seconds, a Level-1 Spell needed 0.3 seconds, and a Level-2 Spell needed a full second. If the Magician was unable to predict his opponents' movements accurately, he would have to rely on sheer luck.

But you lived only once. How could one rely on just luck?

Annie turned and shielded Link from what lay beyond the door. Her expression was serious. "It's the Dark Elf Assassin Leader. He's Level-3!"

A Level-3 fighter who had already mastered Battle Aura. He was formidable indeed.

Because Annie stood right in front of him, Link easily saw her information.

Annie Abel

Level-3 Elite Assassin

Battle Arts: The Shadow Form

Battle Skills: Speed Burst, Dagger Storm, Shadow Dance, Strangle.

After reviewing her information, Link felt slightly more at peace. As a Legendary Assassin to be, Annie Abel was probably just as strong, if not stronger than the Dark Elf Assassin Leader. Otherwise, the MI3 wouldn't have been able to keep the large number of Dark Elf Assassins at bay.

If Link, with his current strength, had to face the Dark Elf Assassin Leader alone, he would most likely be killed within a single second.

Assassins were also known as Magician slayers. Worse, the Dark Elf Assassin Leader was already 2 skill levels higher than Link. Alone, Link didn't stand a chance. But now, he had teammates. That made all the difference.

One century ago, a Magician of the Norton Kingdom once said, "If you give Magicians enough time to cast their spells, they can create wonders."

With teammates, Link would surely have enough time to cast his spells. At that thought, he felt his spirits lift.

More confident, he nodded. "I'll be careful."

He looked at the Assassins he had healed. Their bodies were much stronger than he had expected. Though they still looked weak, they were much better than before and had even managed to sit up on their own. Their conditions were improving rapidly.

"We'll break through in another 20 minutes," Link said quietly. The two Assassins should be able to fight by then. He would then take the time to replenish some Mana.

"What should we do?" Annie couldn't think of a way to break through the hordes of Dark Elf Assassins surrounding them. Not even with a Magician added into the equation.

But Link already had a plan in mind, he just didn't say it out loud to avoid being overheard by the enemy. Instead, he looked around for a different means to communicate. Seeing some graphite sticks on the table, he picked one up and began writing on the stone floor. "First, we kill the Dark Elf Assassin Leader!"

Annie disagreed. Taking the graphite stick from him, she quickly wrote, "Even if we manage to kill him, we'll still be surrounded. The fountain square is too wide and they've nearly put out the flames. We won't be able to avoid the attacks from their archers."

Link frowned. "Doesn't this building have a secret passage?" he wrote back.

How could information agencies like the MI3 have just a single exit? It should have multiple.

Annie smiled bitterly and went on writing. "The escape passage was found out. They bribed one of our external Assassins. The passage collapsed-they bombed it."

That was unexpected, but it made sense. Otherwise, Annie and her team wouldn't have been stuck on the second floor like that. Link thought it over and came up with a different plan. "My magic can handle their arrows, so we'll only need to deal with their close range attacks. I should also be able to stop them from getting close to us easily. Do you think you'll be able to fend them off like that?" He scribbled hastily.

His initial plan had been to use a Level-1 Lesser Whirlwind Spell to defend against the arrows. But now that he had 25 Omni Points, he planned to purchase a Level-2 Spell.

Level-2 Spells were far stronger than Level-1 Spells. They would have higher chances of escaping successfully if Link used Level-2 Spells.

Annie's eyes lit up. "We'll definitely be able to break out of here!" she wrote back.

She had complete confidence in her own skills. All she had been worried about were the Dark Elves' arrows.

Link nodded. "That's good. Now, let's think of a plan to get rid of the Dark Elf Assassin Leader."

"What should we do?" asked Annie. Without her realizing, the Magician who had appeared out of nowhere had become the cornerstone of their little makeshift team.

Link smiled as he wrote back a response. "Can you pinpoint the Dark Elf Assassin Leader's exact location?"

"Yes! I can feel him!" Annie nodded earnestly. Powerful Assassins had an awareness of each other. It was rather easy for Annie to locate him because she was, though just by a hair, stronger than he. Further, his appearance earlier had narrowed down his possible whereabouts.

Link was thrilled. "Draw out the layout of the first floor and tell me where he is!"

That was easy. Sketching was a basic but important requirement of being an intelligence agent. With just a few strokes, Annie produced the first floor's layout. She then went on to produce a 3D plan of the first floor from a 45-degree angle, showing the structure of the floor quite clearly.

Link examined it for a few seconds before closing his eyes to recreate it in his mind. "And where is he now?" he scribbled.

Annie cocked her head and listened closely. After about three seconds, she tapped the 3D plan lightly before writing, "Not far. He's on the stairway landing. The location I give you won't be further off than two feet!"

Link's skill with mental images proved its usefulness as he imagined the Dark Elf Assassin Leader's location. Nevertheless, he was quite aware that he wouldn't be able to take out the Dark Elf Leader on his own. Level-0 Spells wouldn't stand a chance against an agile Level-3 Assassin, and Level-1 Spells used too much Mana. He needed to save as much Mana as possible for later, so that wouldn't do. He needed someone to cooperate with him!

"If I use magic to hinder his movements, what are your chances of killing him?"

Annie looked up towards the ceiling, pondering. After a couple seconds she replied, "If none of the other elves interfere, I will kill him!"

Link nodded. "Don't worry. They won't."

There was just one stair landing where the stairs took a turn. It was a small, tight space. His Fireballs would be enough to keep the other Dark Elf Assassins at bay.

"Then, we'll begin once your injured Assassins are able to move properly!" Link scribbled, finalizing it.

By this time, the light from outside the window had dimmed as the Dark Elves had put out most of the flames. The chaos earlier was also in the midst of settling.

As the time passed, the Dark Elves grew more restless, attacking them from time to time. Their patience was obviously wearing thin.

The injured Assassins recovered much faster than Link had expected. They were able to stand and walk after just another ten minutes. Though still weak, they had regained some combat capabilities.

"Commander, we're still recovering but we're good enough to set out," one of them said.

Annie looked at Link, who had his eyes closed, conserving his energy. Though his Mana had only recovered by 3 Points throughout this time, he now had 58 Mana Points. It was enough.

Even with his eyes closed, he could feel Annie's gaze on him. The strength of his soul, fortified by The God of Light, made Link's senses exceptionally sensitive. Opening his eyes, he nodded.

Let the escape begin!