152 The Flaming Hand (Part 6)

 The Morani family's castle.

Clyde was in a state of depression when he came out of the dining hall.

While it looked glamorous being a Kingdom Knight, a knight with a noble background had to pay for his own armor. In order to preserve the reputation of the Morani family, the old Duke spent a huge amount on his set of magic armor.

When he started using this set of armor, Clyde indeed received stares of admiration. However, as his military achievements had not been outstanding these five years, he did not receive many rewards for his actions, and was thus still wearing his old armor.

The magic formation on his armor had lost its effects a long time ago. Furthermore, the armor also looked dilapidated from all the repairs and wars it had been through these years. Clyde looked nothing like a Knight of noble descent wearing it.

But he still had to wear it, making him a target for ridicule.

His years of experience on the battlefield had allowed him to ignore these condescending stares and voices. Putting those aside, he had been looking forward to returning home, hoping that his family would make him feel better. Little did he expect that his family was also in shambles.

His elder brother was only concerned about his inheritance and position, his younger brother had become defiant after learning magic, his sister was not sensible and his father was on his deathbed. These series of unfortunate events weighed on Clyde's heart like a heavy stone. He wished to find something that he could release his rage onto.

He continued moving forward past the courtyard to the outer plaza and then climbed the castle wall. It was snowing, causing the air to be cool and refreshing. Looking out from the highest point of the city walls, a panoramic view of Puffer County could be seen.

Clyde took a deep breath and immediately felt better.

At that moment, he saw two horses riding towards the castle in the distant. Who would visit at this hour? As he thought to himself, the two figures quickly arrived at the suspension bridge.

"Open the door, we are special envoys from King Leon. We are here to find Magician Link." A voice rang from below the suspension bridge.

The castle guards looked at Clyde, waiting for his approval.

While Clyde had his doubts, they were merely two individuals. Furthermore, they were acquainted with Link and claimed to be King Leon's envoys. There should be no harm in letting them in. If they were lying, the over 200 soldiers in the castle would be enough to give them a memorable lesson.

"Open the door," Clyde ordered.

With the clicking and clacking sounds of the wheels, the suspension bridge was slowly lowered. The two figures waited patiently for the bridge to be completely lowered before making their way in.

The clatter of the horses' hooves became more prominent as they traveled on the bridge into the castle. Everything looked fine.

Quickly, the two figures reached the gear hinges of the suspension bridge.

At that moment, everything changed.

A wooden stick suddenly appeared in the hands of one of the figures. As he pointed it at the hinge, the gears around it shattered. The suspension bridge now could not be closed!

This was a Magician. He destroyed the bridge with his spells!

Clyde was horrified and immediately unsheathed his sword, yelling, "Infiltration!"

His years of fighting experience had told him that Magicians were the hardest to deal with in battle. One must never lose focus when fighting against them. In order to secure a victory, one should either plan a sneak attack or wait till he exhausted all his energy. Now that the sneak attack was impossible, they had to go with the latter.

He immediately ordered, "Shoot your arrows! Kill them!"

The enemy was at the plaza, surrounded by the tall castle walls. There were no lesser than 50 soldiers on the castle walls raining arrows down on them. This would surely deal some damage to the enemy.

However, the moment Clyde gave his command, one of the figures was suddenly enveloped in a blue light. This light was peculiar. It started as a soft hue enveloping the Magician before spiraling outwards in a radius of 15 feet. At the 15 feet mark, the light stabilized and many mysterious patterns could be seen flowing in the light dome. These patterns were similar to thorns but were more exquisite and abstruse.

When this light appeared, the two figures accelerated and went across the 90 feet plaza in a second. In the blink of an eye, they reached the gate leading to the courtyard.

The speed was so fast that they managed to dodge all the arrows fired by the soldiers. The inner gate leading to the courtyard was also left wide open as they had no time to close it.

Clyde's eyes widened at this sight and had a look of disbelief. "It's the Blue Thorn Battle Aura!"

The Ice Blue Thorn Battle Aura was a Legendary style that originated from the book, Battle Tactics of the Blue Thorn. It was a secret trade of the Silver Moon Dark Elves, specifically the Norigan Familia.

This Battle Aura was extremely powerful and would surround the user with a halo of thorns. This halo had two functions: one was to greatly increase the speed of the user and his comrades, while the other was to repel the enemy's attacks.

Warriors who mastered this battling style would be able to face five other Warriors of a similar level without getting defeated. The more allies the user had, the stronger the battle aura would be. If there was a Knight in the Calvary team who had this Battle Aura, the combat strength of the entire troop would increase exponentially!

That was the reason why Battle Tactics of the Blue Thorn was termed as one of the ten Legendary Battle Aura books of the Firuman Continent.

It was rumored that there were several versions of this Battle Aura. However, they all shared a similarity which was that this Battle Aura itself was extremely selective. This was true even for the most basic version. If the soldier was not talented enough, forcing the Battle Aura on him would not only be ineffective, but also damaging in some cases. It was said that even the eldest daughter of the Norigan Familia did not make the cut to learn this Battle Aura.

The person in front of him was exactly the unique talent that managed to master this art.

Clyde felt a chill down his spine the moment he recognized this Battle Aura. "These two people are definitely Dark Elves. But why would such powerful Dark Elves appear in Puffer County?"

He had a premonition that the Morani Family would not be able to escape their impending doom.

The moment this thought surfaced in his mind, hysterical screams echoed through the castle. Clyde spun his head and saw a shadow moving at an unimaginable speed through the mist. When he swept past a soldier, the soldier would either grab his neck or heart with a pained expression before collapsing. Despite the lack of light, Clyde could still clearly see warm blood gushing out of the wounds.

"It's an Assassin!" It was too late to stop the two figures that charged through the plaza. He hollered and rushed towards the direction of the Assassin.

His entire family would be killed if he continued to stay out of the fight!

He unleashed his Battle Aura and reached the Assassin within three charges.

At this moment, he saw a black aura enveloping the Assassin, whose hands were already stained red from the countless lives he took. When Clyde reached his side, he had just removed a dagger from a soldier's heart. The blood spurted a distance of three feet and some of them even splattered onto his face. He licked the blood off his face with a bloodthirsty gaze.

"Go to hell!" Clyde growled and swung his sword.

There was no collision. The Assassin was extremely nimble and managed to dodge his attack with ease. He then charged forward, aiming his dagger at Clyde's heart.

Clyde immediately retracted his sword to defend himself.

The collision still did not occur. The Assassin spun the dagger in the middle of the attack and Clyde felt a blow to the back of his head. He instantly felt dizzy and lost all strength, staggering forward for a few steps before collapsing onto the ground.

A raspy voice sounded behind him, "You will die, but not now."

In order to exact revenge for the princess, he would kill the Magician's family members right in front of him!

Clyde was horrified. He felt extremely weak, so much so that he couldn't even move his fingers. This should be due to the effect of his opponent's Battle Aura, which destroyed his bodily functions.

He could only lay helplessly on the ground as he watched the Assassin massacre the soldiers. He even saw the two figures who charged through the plaza.

They had already reached the castle courtyard, where more screams of terror could be heard. They were merciless and extremely efficient, evident from the frequency of the screams.

Clyde was trembling when he thought, they are here to find third brother. But how did brother provoke the Silver Moon Familia? To think that he attracted such powerful enemies. Will this be the end of the Morani Family?


The Dining Hall

Link and Wharton immediately stood up upon hearing the warning siren.

Wharton shouted, "Bring me my sword!"

He was a Level-4 Warrior, a powerful foe by normal standards. If anyone was insolent enough to attack his castle, they would have to bear the brunt of his sword.

The servant immediately brought him his sword. It was an intricately designed sword decorated with rubies as large as pigeon's eggs.

Wharton heroically rushed out of the castle the moment he got the sword.

Link felt strange. The terrifying amount of screams suggested that the enemy was strong. Link then turned around and ordered Housekeeper Trevor, "Bring mother and sister to the wine cellar."

Trevor hastily replied, "Yes."

Lilith threw a worried glance at her son and said, "What about you?"

"There is an infiltration. Naturally, I will have to deal with them. Don't worry mother, they are not strong enough to defeat me."

"But you have only studied magic for a year." Molly was still pretty knowledgeable. According to normal standards, one year was barely enough to lay the foundation for the practice of magic.

"Stop babbling! Quick! Move!" Link's face sank.

As the two women were fairly soft-spoken and meek, they immediately gave in to Link's pressure and followed obediently behind the housekeeper to the cellar.

However, they barely walked a few steps before a scream sounded at the entrance of the dining hall. Following which, a figure flew into the room. This unexpected event caused the two women to scream subconsciously.

Link stared at the figure and was surprised to find out that it was Wharton.

The elegant robe he had worn was now tattered. He suffered many injuries on his arms and legs and was drenched in blood. Every single attack seemed to accurately sever his arteries, causing huge amounts of blood to gush out from the wounds. He could only helplessly lay on the ground and moan in pain.

Link frowned and materialized his staff before heading out of the dining hall.

Two figures appeared at the front door. More accurately, it was the two Dark Elves. One of them was a Warrior, while the other was a Magician. The Warrior's sword was stained with blood. It seemed like Wharton's injuries were caused solely by him.

"Leave! They are extremely strong!" Wharton shouted. He seemed to still have a conscience in times of emergency.

Link pretended that he did not hear Wharton. Sensing no eagerness to attack from his opponent, Link maintained his sitting position and placed his Wand of Constellations on the table. He then spoke coldly, "Two distinguished guests, would it be possible that I move my family to a safer place?"

The Dark Elves were definitely here for the incident of the Silver Moon's Three Musketeers. This battle would not end until one side was completely eliminated. From the tactics they used to torment Wharton, it could be seen that they harbored intense hatred towards Link and had great confidence in their abilities.

Since he was their target, the opponent probably would make him their first priority. It hence did not matter if his family were to be moved to a safer position until he was defeated.

Sure enough, the Dark Elf Warrior nodded, "It is possible. However, they cannot leave this hall. We have to let them view the glorious sight of your demise."

Link still maintained a calm expression and waved his hands at the shivering servants behind him, "Help the master up and bandage his wounds."

The servants immediately did as they were told.

At this moment, another Dark Elf appeared at the dining hall entrance. This Dark Elf was an Assassin and carried a person in his hands. It was his second brother Clyde.

Link then pointed at him and said, "Let him view the battle from the sidelines."

The Assassin looked at his comrades with a puzzled expression. Parsons then said, "Throw this person to the corner. Let him use his full strength."

Their aim was to defeat Link even when he was giving his all. Only then would he suffer true despair.

Hedel nodded and threw Clyde more than 60 feet away with just a slight fling of his hand, all the way to the inner wall of the inner hall.

Free of all constraints, Link could finally battle with ease.