-Chapter 17, DGM-
Glaston city, flower garden district.
A snorting sound could be heard from the warm breath of the earth hound as it sniffed the streets. Behind it was the dark elf magician Holm and a dark elf assassin.
The art of pursuit was a careful craft. The earth hound could not be rushed as it could follow the wrong scent toss all their efforts would go down the drain. Naturally, the speed of the pursuit could not be increased. A full hour went by before a group of dark elves finally traced the dock at which Link entered the river from.
After this, a huge incident happened; the trail of scent was broken.
The large earth hound incessantly circled on the docks, letting out low roars. It looked like it was helpless.
“Senior, he definitely used a boat. What should we do?” Terry asked.
“Rubbish!” Holm coldly snorted, standing on the edge of the docks. He looked at the water, pondering for a while before the outlines of a plan formed itself in his head. “Follow alongside the river downwards to search for him. It is impossible for him to always be on the river; he must have landed somewhere.”
“Senior, what if he swam upstream?” Terry hesitated.
Was this dark elf a retard? Holm shot him a sidewards glance. “Rowing a boat upstream. The amount of magicians unable to do that outnumber the ones able to by a hundred. You tell me, should we search upstream or downstream?”
“Downstream.” Terry was thoroughly convinced. Indeed, rowing a boat counterstream required both technique and strength, which even he, as a warrior did not possess. There was no need to mention the scrawny body of a magician.
A group of dark elves landed, scouring along the river. Throughout the entirety of their passage, they ignored all the troublemakers scattered about flower garden district. Truth to be told, nobody dared to find trouble with them either.1
After walking for a solid 20 minutes, the massive earth hound suddenly let out a low growl. It quickened its footsteps, lowering its enormous head to sniff the ground.
“Found him!” Holm was delighted as his heart let out a whoop of glee. The pursuit this time was a gamble. Before this, nobody could guarantee they would succeed in picking up Link’s scent again. Contrary to their expectations, he had succeeded.
Holm could sense the gazes of admiration and respect from the surrounding dark elf assassins, and he reveled and bathed in it.
Unconsciously, he stuck out his chest more, his nose raised the highest in the air.
This was the entrance of the business district. Although the streets were bleak and desolate, there were a few stray fleeing figures. The populaion mass here was economical compared to flower garden district. Scouring Link’s scent here was much more manageable. The earth hound begin to pick up the clip of tracking.
After another hour, Holm and his band of dark elf assassins found themselves at the entrance of the old city district. The orange hue of the sun was already dawning.
“This is worrying. Don’t tell me he traveled to the old coty district to save that female captain from the third miliyary department?” Holm’s eyebrows contracted. He knew that one of the main missions involved female captain. She was a cut above ordinary fighters, and they had to capture her alive to boot.
“Step up the pace!” Holm ordered. He had a premonition something bad had occurred.
There were even less people in the old city district. The earth hound’s speed picked up again. Within 10 minutes, Hom had reached the vicinity of the plaza fountain.
The situation in the plaza made the jaws of the dark elves drop.
All the buildings lying in the vicinity of the plaza had been reduced to burning crisps and smothered ashes, leaving only detritus and ruins behind. Wisps of black smoke rose from the ruins, showing that a large fire had just been put out.
A dozen grosteque and mangled corpses lay openly in the plaza. Although it was difficult to identify them, it could be inferred that these were dark elves upon closer inspection of their builds and the tattered remnants of their garments.
Holm’s sharp eyes spotted the damp condition of the ground. Stretching out his hand, he felt the frigid moisture. There were even some melting slags of ice on the ground.
“This is secondary hailstorm…he was here!” Holm’s face contorted, not only because the magician had passed here, but also because he understood the strength of the magic spell.
Secondary hailstorm was a level 2 magic spell. This young magician brat was unexpectedly a level 2 magician and not the level 1 he had initially assumed.
Now that his level was on par with Holm’s, this issue had gone slightly out of hand.
However, Holm had unshakeable faith in his own magic ability. ‘The opponent is young and lacking in experience. Even if he has learnt this magic spell, he definitely lacks the technique in fighting. If we fight straight, I’ll definitely be able to defeat him!’
Holm had immersed himself in magic for years, and had developed his own unique understanding of magic. This was the impetus for his confidence.
Footsteps sounded out from behind him. It was Terry.
Terry approached Holm with another dark elf assassin. Holm’s astonishing memory allowed him to recognise this dark elf had not joined the pursuing troops of dark elf assassins. This meant that this dark elf had witnessed the fight at the plaza.
“Exactly what happened here?” Holm enquired.
The dread in the assassin’s voice was palpable as he spoke. “It was sorcery, diabolical sorcery! He summoned a storm of ice and snow, and slayed the captain, escorting Annie Abel away.”2
“Which direction did they head too?” Holm hurriedly asked.
“No clue, they escaped to the nearest tavern. We traced them there, but didn’t even find a shadow. We suspect a secret passage’s situated in there, but we couldn’t find anything.” The assassin wore a helpless expression with a hint of dread. The entire mission had went south and shit had hit the fan. He was definitely receiving harsh military punishment.
“There is definitely a secret passage there!” Holm glimpsed at the distant tavern before glancing at the two meter high hound beside him. He swore terribly. “This accursed tavern!”
The frame of the massive earth hound dwarfed the small tavern door. There was no way to squeeze it into the tavern.
However, it wasn’t like Holm’s bag of tricks was filled with only air. He pondered a countermeasure. ‘The construction of the secret channel underground must have been extremely difficult. It can’t stretch on for too long, or it would lose its meaning. The best bet is that it stretches for over 200-300 meters underground.”
He paused, turning towards the assassin. “How many people still remain?”
“76.” The assassin replied.
“They have all dispersed to find others.”
“Perfect.” Holm paced around for a few moments before an idea popped up in his head. ‘Why must I always chase their backs from behind? When they escape, what would the best way to block them? Why can’t I simply corner them from ahead?’
Now, a new question had entered the picture. Where was the most likely place the opponent would run to?
The question was answered almost at the same time it was asked.
“The place the opponent has the most chance of going to is the city army barracks. Once they possess the authority of commanding the soldiers, it won’t be as simple as them trying to escape, but the turning of tables! This is a crisis – I have to prevent that if it’s the last thing I do! Fuck!’
Holm’s heart burst into palpitating fear. He had realised that with the young teenage magician and Annie Abel cooperating, whether they made their escape was not of significance anymore. What took the cake was maintaining the chaotic state of affairs in the city army barracks.
Granted, once that magician, the captain of the third military department along with the army barracks entered the fray, that would be like a tiger with wings.3 The dark elves that had infiltrated the city would get decimated and they would die a pauper.4
“Immediately assemble everyone, we’re heading to Halsey castle!”5
Hasley castle was the city master’s, Earl Hossein Holtz’s, family’s castle. It was reposed in the middle of a ravine in the west of the city. It was towards the extreme north of this old city district.
Presently, city master earl Hossein Holtz was already finished. His lecherous nature had proved itself as his deadly flaw.
Three hours ago, he had been slain on the bed. His killer was a beautifully groomed human assassin they had meticulously trained for over 10 years. All personnel within Halsey’s castle had already been killed.
The city barracks lay near the Hasley castle. The city guard commander had been poisoned to death a day ago, along with almost all the officers being assassinated. At this moment, the city guards were like a flock without a dragon to lead them.6 Perhaps a person would try to step up to restore order, but these people were incompetent and unable to even remotely threaten the dark elves’ plans.
However, now that the magician and Annie Abel had entered the scene, things were completely. They had to be stopped.
Whether it was the dark elves or the humans, the positions of magicians in both races were all highly regarded. Although Holm wasn’t the nominated operation commander, when the captain died he automatically took his place as the leader of the troops present.
The dark elves had found themselves a backbone. Within 10 minutes, they had all obediently assembled. Totalling the assassins Holm had brought with him out of the academy, the number tallied up to 150 men.
This was already a large figure; more than half of the total assassins that had infiltrated Glaston city. With a level 2 magician taking the reins, they were equivalent to a formidable power.
“Pick up the pace! There’s still enough time!” Holm commanded in a harsh, grating voice. He snapped his fingers. The earth hound lowered its body and he clambered onto its back. The earth hound then bounded away in great leaps.
The dark elf assassins raced behind the earth hound.
The earth hound was fast. Too fast. Within moments, Holm had already abandoned the assassins at his back. Although his actions were rather rash, he did not care. If he could handle that magician, why fear his assassin comrade?
However, the dark elves who were passionately attempting to intercept Link and Annie had overlooked something. A scrawny figure peered at them cautiously from a remote nook in the fountain plaza area while they were assembling.
It was the assassin Jasmine whom Link had saved with element remedy on his way to the headquarters. After resting for half an hour, she had recovered a great deal of her strength.
“Not good, captain and that magician are in danger. I need to immediately notify them!”
Jasmine discreetly entered the tavern, entering the wine cellar. With practiced movements, she swiftly found the secret path, rapidly racing ahead. She arrived at the home shortly.
A young couple in the home stared at her with flabbergasted faces.
“Did Captain pass here?” Jasmine was frenetic.
The young husband nodded. “They did. They left not long ago. I’d say 3 minutes.”
“Not too sure, but I think they headed towards the north.” The young husband was unsure. As a lowly ranked member of the third military department, he never asked questions.
“Got it. Immediately block the secret channel. If anybody arrives from there, they are an enemy.” Jasmine emphasised ‘enemy’.
The wife nodded agitatedly.
Jasmine raced out of the door. She more or less knew the route that Captain would take. When she entered an alleyway, a figure suddenly darted out from the shadows and pressed a knife against her throat. However, the knife was retracted almost immediately. An astonished voice could be heard. “Jasmine, it’s you?”
Jasmine immediately sighed in relief. “Captain, I have extremely important intelligence!”
-Chapter 17, end-
First arc is ending soon…I think?