472 Trouble Ahead

 Chapter 472: Trouble Ahead

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

The Assassin was getting closer behind them. Six hundred feet, 500 feet, 400 feet-the distance between them began to shrink.

He had taken severe damage to his abdomen from the enemy, who was also a Level-9 Warrior like him. Only death awaited both him and Princess Annie if he were to go up against such an adversary head-on.

He ran through the woods, looking left and right frantically for a safe place to hide themselves.

Huge globs of fresh blood flowed out from the open wound and spattered on the ground. Kanorse felt himself growing weaker by the minute. Suddenly, he heard Annie's weak voice from his arms.

"Kanorse, leave me... I... can't go on. Take... the letter, go north, give it to Link."

Annie's hand was dripping with fresh blood, which had also stained the letter itself. Her face was deathly pale at this point, and her eyes were noticeably dilated. Kanorse began to panic at the sight of this.

"Hold on, Your Highness! Hold on!" Kanorse gnashed his teeth and exerted the last of his strength to widen the distance even more between themselves and the Assassin.

He was a Warrior, and he would be damned if he were to let Princess Annie die here with him!

But as determined as he was, there was no point in resisting the inevitable.

Kanorse's burst of speed did not last long. Three minutes later, exhaustion finally caught up to him. Due to the intense exertion, the wound on his waist had opened up even more. Half of his body had gone numb, and both his legs had turned to lead. At this point, it was like wading through knee-deep mud.

In his arms, Princess Annie had gone silent. She seemed to have passed out, though she clutched tightly still Link's letter, which was now crumpled into a ball and soaked in her blood.

There was still nothing but the forest in front of them, which began to grow denser as he ventured deeper into it. His senses sluggish, he had lost all sense of direction and now ran in whatever direction the path in front of him took.

Before long, his vision began to blur. He laughed somewhat bitterly to himself, "Is this it for me?"

A few seconds later, something incredible happened.

Kanorse saw his body running on ahead of him. Like an observer from the outside, he was now looking on as his own body bolted straight on without him.

This was too unreal.

He looked down at himself, and saw that his limbs had become transparent, along with Princess Annie. It was like holding air in his arms.

Kanorse stopped running. "Am I a spirit? Am I dead now?"

As he stopped to wonder at his current state, a voice called to him from behind a tree, "Don't just stand there, come over here!"

Kanorse turned to wherever the voice came from, but could not see anything. He realized then that this must be the act of a Magician.

He walked over to the tree, and saw to his surprise three people squatting behind it.

He instantly recognized Skinorse among them. The other two were a young woman with wavy hair and a middle-aged man wearing a grey wide-brimmed hat. Judging from his appearance, Kanorse reckoned that the latter must be a Magician.

He opened his mouth to speak, but then Skinorse pressed a finger on his lips. "Shh, not a word."

Skinorse then took out Annie's spatial bracelet from her wrist and brought out her crossbow from the bracelet.

"This is good stuff!" whispered Skinorse in admiration, and then from the spatial bracelet he took out the crossbow's quiver. He turned to his companions and spoke, "Alright now, the Assassin's approaching. Make sure she doesn't see us."

Kanorse held his breath, one hand gripping tightly on his sword.

A while later, the Assassin ran past the tree without even noticing them behind it, as she intently pursued the magical illusion still running up ahead.

Looking at this, Skinorse gave the Magician a thumbs-up, and mouthed out his words noiselessly, "Morrigan, your spell worked like a charm!"

The Magician grinned back at him, apparently pleased at this as well.

The Assassin had now disappeared off into the depths of the woods in pursuit of the magical illusion.

Skinorse stood up and said, "It's not safe here, we'd best get a move on. Give me the princess, Kanorse."

Now extremely weakened from the loss of blood, Kanorse handed Annie over to him.

Giving the princess a glance, Skinorse frowned and said to the young woman beside him in an urgent tone, "She's badly injured. I can barely feel her heartbeat. Moya, quick, she's in need of an emergency divine spell!"

The young woman did not need to be told twice. Her hand was already holding a white globe of light, which she pressed against Annie's chest. Kanorse could see clearly that Annie had begun breathing even more deeply.

It was definitely a good thing they had a priestess in their midst.

Skinorse then waved a hand at them. "Alright, let's go. The Naga may be back for us soon."

Saying this, he began leading the way through the woods. He seemed to be the most familiar with this stretch of the woods. After walking along a narrow pathway through the woods, the sound of running water finally reached their ears from up ahead. After a while, in front of them appeared a cliff, which was a hundred feet drop to the ground. A waterfall thundered down along the cliff face.

"This way, everyone this way. Morrigan, you're up."

Skinorse then tied a rope around everyone's waist, while Morrigan began casting Levitation on each member of the party.

"Now jump!"

Skinorse was the first to jump down the cliff, and his two other companions followed suit. Still having his reservations about this, he jumped after the others nonetheless.

The five of them started free-falling along the waterfall. When they reached 50 feet off the ground at the midsection of the waterfall, Morrigan released a Level-3 Gale spell.

With the sudden gust of wind, all five of them were blown towards the waterfall while floating in mid-air. Just when they were about to collide against the waterfall, Morrigan gave his wand another flick, and from the water jutted out a rock which split the downward current of water in half. A two-foot-high, three-feet-wide hole had appeared below the waterfall.

The group floated into the hole, and the rock closed up behind them, bringing the curtain of water back down against the cliff face.

The cave that they found themselves in was around 100 square feet, and the air inside was somewhat humid. With a wave of his wand, Morrigan gathered all the water in the air into a small sphere of water. He then guided the ball of water out of the cave back through the hole beneath the waterfall with his wand. In an instant, the cave felt drier and more comfortable than before.

With a laugh, Skinorse explained, "This is a hiding hole carved out from the cliff face with stone magic by Morrigan himself. It's pretty handy. With the waterfall outside cloaking our presences, the Naga should not be able to find us here."

While saying this, he placed Annie on a stone platform, letting the priestess to begin treating the princess' wounds. Kanorse let out a sigh of relief and took out a bottle of Greater Healing Potion to drink from it.

"If I were you, I wouldn't start drinking potions now," said the priestess Moya all of a sudden without looking at Kanorse. She was slowly extracting out the broken pieces of wood from Annie's back with a silver scalpel.

Somewhat surprised, Kanorse put down the potion. "Then what should I do?"

"Lie down there. I'll heal you after this," said Moya reassuringly.

She seemed to be an expert in the healing arts among the group. Kanorse shrugged and found another stone platform to lie on.

Skinorse gave Kanorse a wide grin, pointed at Moya, then gave him a thumbs-up. He whispered, "She's the leader of this group, her word is law here."

Kanorse smiled weakly back. He knew that he could trust Skinorse, despite his treasure-hunting tendencies. He relaxed himself on the stone platform.

"Morrigan, I need some clean water," said Moya.

"Coming." Morrigan went to the waterfall and filled a silver dish with water from it. A fireball appeared from the tip of his wand and melted into the water, which then began to boil violently. About ten seconds later, Morrigan drew out the fireball from the water, bringing the water temperature down in an instant. All impurities had been removed completely from the water as a result.

Morrigan then brought the water to Moya. Looking at Annie's back, he sighed. "Her wound looks deep."

Moya washed the silver scalpel in the water and continued cleaning Annie's wound. "It's truly a good thing none of her vital points were hit. The biggest hurdle here is removing every single piece of broken wood from her body. If I miss even one, there may be complications."

Moya once again conjured a ball of light in her hand and began repairing a broken blood vessel.

As she treated Annie in concentration, on the other side of the cave, Skinorse and Kanorse had begun a conversation with each other.

Skinorse asked, "Why were you being chased by those Nagas?"

Kanorse was somewhat confused. "Nagas? You mean those two Assassins?"

"Of course, didn't you notice how supple their bodies were? We had crossed paths with them a week ago... I would have surely died right there if I had not run fast enough," said Skinorse, still looking tense from the memory.

"Tch, I was the one who saved you. You even tore a big hole in the crotch of your pants," added Morrigan.

Skinorse blushed furiously. "I just couldn't use my portal rune in time. Do you guys even have one?"

He took out a red runestone and began brandishing it in the others' faces.

Kanorse asked, taken aback by this, "Wasn't this given to you by Master Link?"

"He cheated it from him!" Morrigan interjected.

"To deceive others is a talent in itself, and sadly, not many are gifted in it," said Skinorse slyly. He put back the runestone, and then asked, "I see that both of you are heading south and that there's a letter in Princess Annie's hand. Whose letter is it, if I may ask?"

Skinorse brought out the letter that was drenched in the princess' blood.

Kanorse did not bother hiding the truth. "We were to send it to Master Link on the marshall's orders... Seems that the marshall has come across some problems."

"I see. Well, let's have a look at the letter then, shall we?" said Skinorse.

"No, it's only for Master Link's eyes... Ah, you..."

Skinorse had already torn open the envelope. "Don't be such a stiff, Kanorse. I'm just taking a peek at the letter, it's not like I'm going to swallow it."

He took out the letter, and after reading it a few times, he frowned at it, clearly troubled by its content.

When he had finished reading the letter, Skinorse gulped, wet his dried-out lips with his tongue, and stared at his companions. "There's gonna be trouble, people!" he said hoarsely.