471 Are We at a Dead End Already?

 Chapter 471: Are We at a Dead End Already?

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

Crack, crack, whoosh, whoosh.

In the mountainous forest, one man and one woman flew by, one after another.

It was Kanorse and Annie who had just left the fortress. They'd already run more than ten miles and were panting for breath, but they didn't dare slow down.

"Hurry, Annie. They're catching up!" Kanorse urged from the front. He was a Level-9 Warrior and was much stronger than Annie, a Level-7 Assassin. He was in better shape.

However, he was totally out of breath too. When they faced those scouts from the MI3 earlier, he'd blocked almost all of the arrows. At the last moment, he even activated Battle Aura to escape with Annie. This used up a lot of his energy.

Annie didn't speak. She maintained her breathing pattern and sped up slightly.

She was in bad shape. Her leather armor had split open, revealing many injuries. The deepest wound was at her waist. She'd been sliced by a dagger, and the blade had dug in half a centimeter. Every step sent pain flaring up her side.

After sprinting for half an hour, they burst free from the forest and returned to the main road. There were no soldiers here. They began sprinting again.

Tut-tut, tut-tut. Clattering of hooves sounded before them. Shaken, the two hid behind a tree and listened closely.

They heard voices.

"It's so tragic. The epidemic appeared in Gladstone too."

"They're done. The Bloody Butcher is coming for a massacre again."

"Ah, the world is becoming messier and messier. How are we supposed to live?"

"Let's not care about all that. We'll go south after getting our reward. I heard that Ferde is good right now. There's a Legendary Magician protecting the place too. I bet it's safe."

"That's right."

The voices got closer. "They're mercenaries for hunting demons," Kanorse whispered. "Two of them. Judging from the sounds, their horses are good. Rest here, and I'll go steal their horses."

Annie nodded. She really couldn't keep running. It would be better with a horse.

Kanorse ran out. After a while, Annie heard some muffled sounds and then a whistle. She walked out and saw Kanorse leading two horses over. Not too far from him, the two bruised mercenaries rolled on the ground in pain.

"Get on," Kanorse called. He gave Annie a black horse that was more muscular of the two.

They mounted the horses. When they passed the mercenaries, Annie tossed down some gold coins. "Don't go north. It's not safe. Take the money and hurry to the South!"

The two mercenaries had thought that they had the worst luck and were about to cry. Seeing the money, their bruised eyes brightened. They immediately flipped over and fought for the coins.

After that, Kanorse and Annie urged their horses forward and galloped southward on the road. They only slowed down after half an hour when the horses were tired and changed to a trot.

By now, the strong tonic Annie had drunk earlier went into effect. Her side wound had closed and was both numb and itchy. It didn't hurt anymore.

"Why would the general try to catch us?" Kanorse asked the question that had been bothering him.

Annie was drinking water. Hearing this, she answered coldly, "He went mad... I can feel that it's not my father inside that shell. It's a demon!"

"Your Highness, are you sure?" Kanorse was in disbelief. He thought Annie was just saying things out of anger.

Annie sighed. "It's what I suspect. Earlier, he gave me a letter to send to the South. He specifically said that even if he sends someone to take it back, I should ignore it. He seemed conflicted when he said that as if there was another soul inside him."

Kanorse was terrified at this. The venom of the Dark Serpent had invaded him before so he could relate to this feeling. At that time, there was another consciousness fighting for control of his body. When he lost control, it would be like he was asleep. He wouldn't know what he did at all.

But when he had been controlled, he emitted strong dark energy. The general didn't. The priest in the fortress said he was very normal.

So what was going on? Kanorse didn't understand.

The two were quiet after that. They both had heavy thoughts.

After around half an hour, they reached a boulevard with trees on both sides. Here, Kanorse's ears suddenly twitched. He pulled the reins immediately. "Stop."

"What's wrong?" Annie already had a crossbow in her hands. She looked cautious.

Kanorse also grabbed his lightning magic sword. "This road isn't normal," he whispered. "I think I hear something odd."

The two looked around cautiously.

Cuckoo, cuckoo. A bird sang loudly in the forest, and a few birds flew into the sky.

Scritch, scratch. A few squirrels jumped around on branches and fought with each other. They looked normal.

After a while, Annie shook her head slightly. She didn't find anything wrong.

Kanorse also looked unsure. He really had felt something weird, but he couldn't pinpoint it. Giving up, he kept up his guard while saying, "Maybe I heard wrongly. Let's go."

Annie grasped her automatic crossbow too. This crossbow was custom-made and very powerful. Link had personally modified it for her too. It had Level-8 strength. She kept looking left and right, fully alert.

After a few hundred feet, nearly solid, white fog suddenly appeared before them. It was evening now, and the temperature was dropping. It was quite normal for fog to appear in a northern forest. However, they were being chased, and the fog would obstruct their vision. It was quite scary to walk in like this.

"What do we do?" Annie asked.

As soon as she spoke, there were short consecutive sounds. She could see something moving around in the trees.

Annie was on high alert. Hearing the noises, she raised her crossbow and pressed the trigger. Bang, bang, bang. Arrows shot forward.

Argh! There was a sharp cry, and a wild boar ran out. Its stomach had a gaping hole, but it was still alive and ran away crazily.

Seeing this, Kanorse sighed in relief. "Oh, it's just a wild boar... careful!"

He saw a black shadow suddenly appear behind Annie's horse. They'd found a great location-it was Annie's blind spot!

Seeing that the man was about to attack, Kanorse unsheathed his sword with a clang. Power surged into it, and there was a loud crack. A bolt of lightning struck towards the shadow.

He was now at Level-9 and could instantaneously cast Level-9 lightning attacks. As long as the opponent was below Level-9, they would all be defeated with one bolt of lightning.

But this shadow wasn't!

Dark red light glowed around him. When the lightning struck, the white light enveloped him like a silver web. It looked beautiful but was stopped outside the red glow. The man wasn't hurt or obstructed at all.

However, Kanorse's attack reminded Annie. She didn't know where the enemy was, so she didn't attack. Instead, she activated an Assassin's Battle Technique: Instant Step.

Gray mist flashed around her, and she teleported 30 feet, appearing behind a big tree. Then she reached out and located the enemy according to sound. She shot arrows continuously at the black shadow.

The enemy's red glow was highly effective against pure magic attacks, such as lightning, flames, and wind knives. However, it was nothing against solid attacks like these arrows. These attacks could only be defended with battle armor or specific spells. He didn't have any of these.

Faced with the powerful arrows, the black shadow dodged quickly. This was the best time for an attack.

Kanorse jumped down from his horse and pounced towards the shadow. But when he was in mid-air, he heard the triggers of a crossbow and whistles in his ear.

"Another Assassin!" Shocked, Kanorse waved his lightning sword, blocking the arrows. He blocked nine in one second and landed on the ground.

Once he landed, he charged towards the shadow that attacked Annie. At the same time, he yelled, "Your Highness, be careful! There are two of them!"

Behind the tree, Annie had already emptied a quiver. She took out a new one and reached out, shooting towards the other shooter without hesitation.

Kanorse was dealing with the black shadow. Annie was sure that, if one-on-one, Kanorse could definitely defeat him. She just had to create this situation for him-if only for one second.

Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. Arrows flew through the forest and then Annie heard crisp clangs. The enemy had blocked her arrows. Judging from the sounds, they did so easily.

So powerful and fast! Annie was shocked at this. Her arrows were Level-8 and could pass through Level-8 material. If the enemy was so casual, they must be at Level-9.

The shadow had blocked Kanorse's lightning bolt earlier. He must be at Level-9 too.

These two Level-9 fighters had popped up out of nowhere and even had automatic crossbows that were solely for the army. Who were they? Where they her father's lackeys?

These thoughts flashed past her mind. At the same time, she emptied another quiver and pulled back to refill it. Then she heard Kanorse yell, "Your Highness, move!"

What accompanied his voice was a wild whistling sound. Annie knew immediately that it was a Level-9 attack!

In danger, she activated the Instant Step again, jumping away from the tree. Almost at the same time, the tree she had hidden behind was shot through with a glowing red spear.

The spear was extremely powerful. It didn't hit Annie, but while passing through the tree, the air current and wooden shards crashed into Annie. Her body shook in the air as if something dug into her back. She lost balance and crashed onto the ground.

Boom! She fell around 60 feet away into some bushes. Then she got up to hide behind another tree. As soon as she got up, her legs lost power, and she lost control, falling to the ground.

Now, she felt extreme pain from her back. She reached behind and discovered her armor had been ripped apart. It was warm and wet, covered in blood. She seemed to feel some bloody holes too.

Then she realized she couldn't move at all. Her entire body seemed to be broken.

"Your Highness!" Kanorse exclaimed. He grabbed his sword and fought with all his might. One second later, he was stabbed in the side, but he beheaded the enemy.

Yanking out the spear in his waist, he threw it towards the other Assassin without thinking. Without looking at the result, he sprinted into the forest and grabbed the heavily wounded Princess Annie. He activated the Battle Aura and ran into the dense forest.

He could feel blood flowing down his waist and his energy disappearing. Princess Annie's breathing was weakening too. After a while, he heard noises behind him. The Assassin had caught up.

They seemed to have come to a dead end.