A bizarre madman, a ridiculous imbecile, riding a horse alone into the cove then beginning to insult and ridicule their leader-who could stand for that?
"Kill him! Kill him!"
"Shoot him with the arrows! Turn him into a porcupine!"
"Skin him alive! Teach him a lesson that he'll remember into his next life!"
The expanse of the cove was large, and the trees were all cut down. The cove's land was oval shaped, and the perimeter was lined with rows of wooden huts, about twenty or thirty of them; it seemed like a small village. In the middle of the cove was a clearing, and right in the middle of the clearing was a cave.
Jacker's shadow avatar stormed into the clearing and stood there as he banged the metal shield with the war hammer in his hand. "Viktor, get out of that cave! If you've got the balls get out here and let's have a duel!" he yelled.
The avatar continued to spew out more insults, enraging the robbers even more.
Dark Brotherhood members slowly continued to trickle out from the wooden huts around the clearing. They only stood there surrounding the avatar, not one of them making a move.
These bandits were all carrying impressive weapons. The ones nearest to the avatar held single-handed swords and a shield. From the shine, they must've been made from steel. They also wore good quality black leather armor and protective metal plates which had both aesthetic and practical value. The bandits furthest from the avatar wore the same leather armor, but they were holding longbows in their hands, and their arrows were all aiming towards the intruder.
There were about 70 or so robbers there, but none of them hurried to make a move.
One with double swords in his hands walked out from the crowd. He sneered at the avatar and said, "Our leader won't stoop to accept anyone's challenge. If you want to fight him, then you have beat us first!"
The bandit was wearing leather armor of a higher quality than those around him; he also wore a helmet. He must've been a lesser chief amongst the bandits in the cove.
The avatar made no answer, instead, he only positioned himself into a defensive stance.
"Ha! You really are an idiot after all!" The lesser chief went back into the crowd.
There were 75 of them all around the intruder, their arrows nocked and ready. Even if the intruder was a Level-6 Warrior clad in full-body iron armor, he would still come to a sorry end when all the Archers shot their arrows down at him.
Just as the bandits' attention was focused on the avatar, Gildern asked in a low voice, "Attack now?"
Link shook his head, "No, wait for the moment the avatar makes a move. Gildern, your target is the small chief. Kill him with one arrow."
Just after the first wave of attacks came to pass, there would be a break before the next attack. This gap was the safest window of time for them to retaliate. If they attacked now, the risk of being hit by a stray arrow would be too high.
The three mercenaries had plenty of combat experience-their only reply was a gentle nod of the head.
Link breathed in and his whole spirit was calmed. His gentle demeanor was gone without a trace, and now he only looked solemn and still.
In that instant, he focused all his energy and entered a state of absolute tranquility in preparation for spellcasting.
In that moment, everything in Link's surroundings melded together like the flow of water. Every emotion in him was gone, and all he could see and think of now was the target in front of him. The flow of time seemed to slow down; the preparation for the spell was done.
His eyes focused solely on the ring of bandits. The shadow avatar in the middle of their enemies immediately lowered its head and made a move as if to charge.
"Kill him!" the chief bandit ordered.
The strum of bowstrings rang out, and at least forty arrows were shot towards the avatar, his whole body quickly covered with the wooden bolts.
But the avatar did not fall. The magic structure inside his body remained undamaged, and he kept on propelling forward.
The bandits all stood in shock, none of them fully understanding what they were seeing.
A moment later, one of them suddenly noticed the slumped body of their chief. An arrow was shot through one of his eyes and pierced right through his brain. He was dead. The bandits grew even more alarmed.
Did someone misaim and shoot the chief instead? But they were shooting at such a small distance, how could anyone make such a stupid mistake? the bandit thought to himself.
Then, suddenly, rapid successions of explosions resounded throughout the cove.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
After each explosion, an Archer would fall.
The faces of these Archers were a horrifying mess of flesh and blood. Their noses, eyes, and lips were an indistinguishable muddle-they were completely destroyed.
Such a frightening attack came from nowhere, and the bandits began to panic. Each of them suspiciously eyed left and right for the unseen perpetrator.
After about two seconds, the most perceptive of them identified the attackers' location. The assailants were hiding behind a wooden hut-there were four of them. Behind a huge figure who looked very familiar, a quick series of fireballs flew out. There were close to 20 fireballs released within a single second, each one aiming at a different Archer.
In just two seconds, 40 small balls of fire shot out and exploded on impact. Immediately afterward, all of the Archers fell, their faces totally obliterated. It was clear by the looks of it that not one of them survived.
After the Gladstone experience, Link was accustomed to sights of blood, murder, and death. He felt no mercy for these bandits either; they were just villains anyway!
The Archers were all dead and only the bandits with swords and shields were left standing. Now they had no means of long-range attacks.
"What the hell just happened?" one robber said out loud.
The pupils of the mercenaries shrank in size at the horrifying sight before them; they were simply dumbfounded.
In their eyes, they saw the tough Archers drop one by one like flies, like rows of wheat cut down by the scythe of the God of Death himself, each death insignificant and meaningless.
Was this how magic really was? Was this how powerful Magicians truly were?
Even though Link had explained that if he was given two seconds to cast his spells he could eliminate all of their strongest enemies, they still weren't prepared for the gruesome sight. It left a huge impact on the three mercenaries. It was just dreadful!
"Go! Charge forward!" Link whispered urgently. In his head he was thinking about how tedious low-level spells were. With higher level spells, such as a Level-4 Lightning Storm or a Level-4 Flame Blast, facing that many opponents wouldn't be an issue.
Jacker charged forward without thinking, Lucy and Gildern followed him. Like the bandits, they were scared out of their minds.
The bandits quickly came to their senses, however.
"It's a Magician! Take cover!" someone amongst the robbers shouted. But just as he finished his words, a dim glass orb shot through and hit the bandit's face, leaving a beautiful but deadly trail of light.
Bang! The crash was so loud that it could topple over a large tree. Just like that the bandit's face was blown clean off.
Without a sound, the bandit fell to the ground.
The other robbers were so shocked they were stunned motionless. They covered their faces with their shields and cowered themselves away from Link in terror. Some of them ran towards the huts, some towards caves in deeper parts of the cove, all to escape the terrifying attack.
The events went just as Link had expected. He had chosen to use the spells to scare the bandits and make them panic.
In two seconds, he cast 40 glass orbs, each one hitting its target accurately. Link felt tired from his mental exertion; his head started to ache, so he had to decrease his spellcasting speed.
But even so, in one second he still managed to cast seven to ten fireballs.
To ensure that his mental fortitude wasn't damaged any further, these fireballs were only aimed to hit the body of the bandits, rather than using more energy to focus on headshots. Even if it didn't kill them, that was okay because the orbs could deal some serious damage, enough so to render them motionless.
Gildern would then shoot an arrow at them, finishing off the already injured bandit.
The panicked robbers did not retaliate much, instead, they were too busy frantically hiding and attempting to escape. But no matter how fast they were, their feet couldn't match the speed of Link's spells. Having already lost 40 of their Archers, there were just 35 of them left.
Five seconds later, the last bandit running towards the cave fell as the back of his neck was hit by Link's glass bead, and his head was blown off his shoulders.
The cove quickly returned to its normal calmness. A gentle breeze flowing through the air bringing with it the heavy stench of blood. The whole cove had become a mass grave.
Jacker gulped nervously, and Lucy was silent and deep in thought.
"Just what kind of creature have we gotten ourselves mixed up with here?" Gildern muttered under his breath.
They had been mercenaries for many years, so it's not that they'd never seen a Magician cast spells before. In fact, they had worked with a wandering Magician's Apprentice once. They'd relied on him to open locked doors, but that Magician needed at least three seconds to cast a simple spell like Candle Light. At that time, the Flamingo Band of Mercenaries thought that this was how all Magicians worked. But now, their initial impressions had been turned upside down.
Link's skills in magic were so powerful that in the moment it took to utter the words of the spell a life was instantaneously destroyed. It was unnervingly fast; it churned their stomachs in fear.
Could I ever survive being hit by such an attack? the three mercenaries asked themselves.
They were sure they couldn't, not even if they were prepared for it.
As he saw the three standing idly at the mouth of the cave, Link furrowed his brows and said sharply, "What are you waiting for? Get inside the cave before Viktor escapes!"
"Eh? Ah, right!" Jacker quickly snapped out of it and was the first to storm into the cave.
Link followed him, and then Lucy and Gildern.
Link had sensed their fear of his magic, so in a low voice, Link said, "I'm a bit tired right now, I need to rest for a few minutes. I'll leave the rest up to you all."
Showing your weakness at the right time can calm others.
As expected, the three mercenaries noticeably relaxed as soon as Link said that. Their clumsy movements had become sharper.
He's just a normal person, after all, the three simultaneously thought.
Nonetheless, this did not make them respect him any less, in fact, they respected him even more now. Not only did he eliminate the biggest threats of the mission at the cave entrance, he had also geared them up with magic buffs. If they still couldn't deal with the bandits in the cave, then they'd better not call themselves the Flamingo Band of Mercenaries anymore.
They' weren't too shabby themselves after all!
Just as the shadow avatar stormed into the cove, the crystal in Viktor's room glowed with a dim red light. The magic crystal that Viktor had spent a fortune on had worked just as expected.
Red light, that meant intruders. The light was very dim, signifying that the number of intruders was small, probably less than ten.
Some mercenaries too greedy for money to fear for their lives, probably, Viktor thought amusedly.
Viktor didn't bother to move from his chair, he just sat there and continued to sort out his papers.
As the leader of a big brotherhood, he was too busy to deal with trivial matters like that. He would just have to leave the intruders to his underlings. He was sure they would bring the attackers to him in a moment.
Whether they brought in a living body or a corpse, it didn't matter to him.
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