41 Lightning Intrusion!

 The bandits in the cave had long heard the cries and commotion outside the cove. But they hadn't expected the intruders to be able to get inside so fast. When the three mercenaries emerged at the cave entrance, the bandits were completely unaware. They were impossibly fast!

Between the cries outside and the arrival of the intruders, no more than three minutes had passed. It was so fast that they had no time to draw up a plan.

Facing two strong guards at the cave entrance, the mercenaries noticed that the two bandits were clad in a different armor than those inside. It was noticeably of finer quality. In the dim lights of the cave, they saw that the weapons in their hands also glowed with a dim light-they were boosted by magic!

This made the three mercenaries hesitate, their charging footsteps slowed down at once.

These were magic weapons, and magic weapons were extremely expensive. Not only that, but the power of these weapons were not to be underestimated either.

They'd always known that Viktor, the leader of the Dark Brotherhood, was very wealthy. They'd heard that even his sh*t was gilded with gold. But they never expected him to be so opulent to the extent where he would arm his guards with magic gears and weapons!

Link was shocked too. A real magic sword was worth at least 100 gold coins. Viktor was, after all, just the leader of a pack of bandits-where did he find all that money?

He examined them closely, then a mission notification popped up on the interface.

Silent Cave Guard

Level-2 Elite Swordsman

Main gear: Silent longsword

Link then averted his attention to the Silent Longsword, and the gear's description appeared on the interface.

Silent Longsword

Quality: Average

Material: Hundred Layered Steel

Effects: Lesser Sharpness Potion

After reading these notifications Link breathed a sigh of relief. The lesser sharpness potion was one of the cheapest alchemy potions in the game. In fact, Link's body's original owner had a relevant memory of it too. This weapon potion, made with wild Steelbloom, would cost one gold coin per bottle, and each bottle could be used five times, the effects lasting for an hour.

As the name might suggest, the potion could enhance the sharpness of weapons. For such a low-level potion, even if the effects were small it was still very effective.

Link saw how the three mercenaries were reluctant to make a move, so he assured them, "They're not real magic weapons. Those swords were just doused with an alchemy potion. It's nothing to worry about. Go!"

The mercenaries trusted Link's knowledge, so when they heard his affirmation, their doubts cleared. The Warrior Jacker roared out a battle cry, then lifted his thick heavy shield to protect his body as he charged towards the guards like a bull.

Lucy followed closely at his heels, but Gildern stayed behind to guard Link. At the same time, he kept his arrows nocked, ready to shoot.

Jacker was a Level-3 Warrior; he emitted Combat Aura when he charged forward, his shield was shrouded in a hazy earthy yellow light, and he stood at nearly seven-feet tall. All this combined to make Jacker's assault a wild and brutal one.

The two swordsmen didn't even dare to block the attack, they bolted to the side to evade instead.

These two were Elite Swordsmen, so their limbs were decidedly agile. They could predict the direction of the attacks and successfully escape from being hit.

"Have a taste of my hammer!"

Jacker's other hand held a war hammer. The moment he saw the guards evading his attack, he flung his hammer at one of them.

Clang! Bash! The swordsman attempted to block the attack but to no avail. The force of Jacker's hammer was just too ferocious to counter. With a swing of the hammer, the sword in the guard's hand was sent flying, and without any hesitation, Jacker swung the hammer again at the guard's chest.

On impact, the swordsman's chest was instantly dented, and he was flung back about ten feet. He was dead before he even hit the ground.

The other bandit did not retreat, but he used the opportunity to charge towards Jacker with his sword. Just as his sword was going to cut Jacker's waist, it was suddenly blocked by another sword-Lucy's.

The bandit was stunned, and in that moment Gildern saw the perfect opening. He shot his arrow, then, whoosh! The arrow hit the bandit in the face, and he fell backward, instantly slain.

The three mercenaries worked together seamlessly. Those two Level-2 Elite bandits were both killed in a single joint attack.

This was not out of Link's expectation. These mercenaries had been working in the North and therefore could not have been mediocre people. Those who had average skills would have been killed long ago, it would have been impossible for them to survive up there.

Link saw Lucy trying to raid the belongings on the bandits' corpses, so he urged her in a low voice, "Not now, go on forward!"

Jacker added, "We must kill Viktor first! We can't let him escape!"

Fine, thought Lucy. These men don't appreciate how much these expensive things are hard to come by. Hesitantly, Lucy left the dead bandits, stealing a lingering glance at a perfectly good longsword that lay on the floor before following Jacker into the cave.

On their way, they met with more elite members of the Dark Brotherhood, but the cave's passage was narrow and so the elite bandits could only attack them, at most, four at a time. They, like the guards, did not expect these intruders to reach inside so quickly, so they were all caught off guard and hurried out with absolutely no preparation. The mercenaries, on the other hand, were ready for anything that came at them. Their attacks were fierce, violent and decisive.

When the opposing sides converged, the bolder side won. In a short period of time, the elite bandits dropped like flies.

During the battle, Link did not lift a finger. The only move he made was to cast a Physical Avatar on himself, and so in the cave, there were two Links. He did this to prevent Viktor's sneak attack.

In the game, Viktor was a Level-3 Assassin and the Silent Cave was a dark, dimly lit place. That would certainly give him an upper hand because Assassins thrived in the darkness. Therefore, it would be foolish for Link not to use extra defensive tactics.

The only problem was the fact that controlling this Physical Avatar required his full concentration, otherwise, it might even attack the mercenaries.

Not long after defeating the onslaught of bandits, they reached a large underground hall.

This was a spot in the cave gouged out to make room for this large meeting space. The ground was paved and leveled and covered with wooden planks making the top smooth and flat. The four walls around it were deliberately cut too, and on the ceiling, there were a lot of candles which brilliantly lit up the whole hall.

There was a long table in the middle where there were platters of untouched food. A man of about thirty years of age sat at the table. He had striking features, and his brown hair was combed back neatly. He looked to be slightly over six-feet tall and was clad in a jet black armor. When closely inspected, the surface of the armor seemed to glow in a very dim red light. He was using a steak knife to calmly and carefully cut the piece of smoked deer on the silver plate. He took a bite, seemingly oblivious to his surroundings.

He saw Jacker, who was the first one to reach the hall. He was unperturbed, though. He even waved his hand and greeted them, his face impassive and expressionless,

"Hello, there. You people sure are quick."

News of these intruders had reached him from the bandits outside.

"Who are you?" Jacker stood at the hall entrance, thoroughly scrutinizing the opponent.

"Me? I'm Grinth, the biggest and strongest Warrior to serve our leader Viktor." As he said it, Grinth's free hand reached for a white handkerchief, which he used to carefully wipe his lips and the grease on his fingers. Then, he took his time donning the thick leather gloves that were on the table.

These mannerisms were typical of nobility. Grinth's great-grandfather had been a knight, so he declared himself to be a noble and took great care to act in a particular way that he saw befitting of his class.

He was exceedingly confident too. He knew that with his strength and his magical gear, no one in the western part of the Girvent Forest could ever defeat him!

When he was done with his grooming, he then picked up the double-handed heavy sword that was lying on the table.

It was a black sword with blood-red lines running through the length of the sword's blade. Like Grinth's armor, the whole sword emitted a dim red light, and it looked terrifying.

Link peered through behind Jacker, and on the interface, a notification about the opponent appeared.


The Dark Brotherhood's Number One Warrior

Level-3 Elite Heavy Sword Warrior

Main Gear: Fire Warrior Armor, Blazing Sword

Review gear, Link said in his mind.

Fire Warrior Armor

Fine Quality

Effects: Accumulates fire elements. When attacked, fire elements flow into the opponent's weapon, causing it to be unbearably hot.

Blazing Sword

Fine Quality

Effects: Each attack will bring a sputtering of flames that will cause further damage.

Now, this was true magical equipment. These two weapons probably cost at least 300 gold coins. It seemed that Viktor had spent a lot of money on this Warrior.

"He has real magical equipment," Link murmured. At the same time, he began to use Omni Points to purchase a protective spell-Lesser Protective Barrier.

Lesser Protective Barrier

Level-1 Spell

Effects: Protects from magic attacks. Especially effective in blocking attacks from Elemental spells.

In Gladstone, the Dark Elf Magician Holmes had used this spell to block Link's Vector Throw. The downside of the spell was that it was useless in blocking physical attacks, so it did not get much use. But this didn't mean that the spell was useless, as long as the circumstances were right for it, it could be used to great effect.

Link waved his wand at both Jacker and Lucy, and instantly the two were shrouded in a layer of vitreous light. Inside the haze of light were countless magic runes constantly popping up and disappearing, like flowers blooming and falling, it was a remarkably beautiful sight.

"Go on, his magical gear can't hurt you now," Link said with a smile.

It was true that Grinth's magic gear would be very effective on normal people, in fact, it would have terrifying power. Imagine if your weapon gradually became doused in flames during battle, how could you continue to fight if that happened?

When the opponent's double-handed sword was swung down violently, the back of the blade would flare up in flames. Even the sight of it could make a normal Warrior panic and their courage waver.

But the advantage gained when an average Warrior was armed with magical gear only worked when he fought with other average Warriors. If faced with a real Magician as an opponent, this kind of low-level magic equipment was as futile as fighting a seasoned Warrior with a makeshift axe!

The magic runes that flowed slowly across Jacker and Lucy's armor reassured their confidence. Jacker strode forward, his thick iron shield protected his body, and the aura covering his body glimmered. At that moment, Jacker looked just like the Warrior of the Gods.

Grinth's face changed, he stumbled backward subconsciously, the aristocratic air he had on just now was gone without a trace.

"How could there be a Magician with them?!"

Shouldn't a Magician be hiding in a tall magic tower researching spells? Why is he running around here in a bandit's lair? How could he possibly fight them now? Grinth was completely dumbfounded.

Then barely half a minute later, there was a clang, Grinth's double-handed sword was sent flying by the impact of Jacker's big iron shield. Then he was stabbed viciously in the knee by Lucy's sword.

Thud! Grinth couldn't stand on his feet, so he toppled down, kneeling on the floor.

He had planned to kill them all, but in the end, the magic gear that he was relying on so much was swiftly obliterated, just like that.

Grinth lamented, "No! I can't lose! I am the strongest Warrior in Girvent For-"

Thud! Grinth's sentence was abruptly cut short.

It was the sound of Jacker's war hammer hitting squarely on Grinth's face.

"A lowly bandit that pretended to be a noble, these kinds of people are the scum of the Earth!" Jacker toyed with the bloody bits of flesh stuck to his war hammer. He stood over the corpse of Grinth, whose handsome face was now just a ghastly mess.