Chapter 40: One Wave

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-Chapter 40, DGM-

A mysterious lunatic and a ignorant freak who singlehandledly broke into their valley and insulted their boss till he could not be insulted more. How could this be taken?

“Kill him! Kill him!”

“Archers! Archers! Turn him into a hedgehog!”

“Peel his skin, and turn him into a saner person his next life!”1

The interior of the valley was wide with open space as all greenery had been deforested. The shape of the inside of the valley was an O, packed with around 20-30 wooden houses, which looked like a mini-village. In the middle of the valley was a plaza, and in the centre of the plaza was an abandoned ore mine.2

Hank’s figure dashed to the middle of the plaza, slamming his warhammer against his shield, grating out a terrible dissonance. “Witt, get the fuck out here! If you have a dick, then come out here and duel with me!”

The substitute was still screaming madly, instantly receiving the enmity and hate of all the bandits.

Bandits of the dark brotherhood poured out endlessly from the wooden houses around the plaza. They did not act immediately, instead forming a ring around the substitute.

Unexpectedly, the equipment of the bandits were top-notch. The closest bandits held one-handed swords and shields. From the lustre of their equipment, they were probably forged out of excellent steel. They wore fine black leather armour adorned with steel buttons, both aesthetic and practical. The bandits further away from the centre of the ring wore the same leather armours, but they held nocked bows and arrows in their hands, the tip of every arrow aimed at the substitute.

The bandits numbered around 70 in total.

A bandit wielding a double-handed sword walked out from the ring, sneering at the substitute. “Our boss won’t possibly just come out and accept your challenge. If you wanna challenge our boss, you need to play with us first, hehe.”

This bandit’s leather armour was more exquisite than the others beside him. He even wore a helmet. Obviously, he was the chieftain of the bandits in the valley.

The substitute didn’t reply, instead adopting a defensive posture.

“Ah~ really stupid.” The chieftain returned to the ring.

They had 75 people surrounding this idiot, with the arrows already nocked and ready. Unless this guy was clad in full steel armour, or he was a level 6 warrior, he would have a tragic end under the downpour of the arrows.

Just as all eyes were on the substitute, the archer Greedin softly asked, “Do we start attacking!”

Link gently shook his head. “No, wait until the moment they attack the substitute. Greedin, your target is their chieftain. Can you guarantee his death in one arrow?”

After the bandits made their move on the substitute, there would be a gap in their attack. This gap was the time they would be able to safely attack.

If they attacked now, the archers would simply change their targets and shower them with arrows. This would be extremely dangerous.

The three mercenaries all had their fair share of battle, and they nodded in agreement. They quietly waited for the bandits to make their move.

Link sucked in a breath of cold air. His entire person seemed to turn calm abruptly, his lighthearted expression disappearing without a trace, only leaving behind indifference and calmness.

In that moment, he had concentrated and entered his calm state of mind used during battle.

Link felt like everything around him had faded like receding waves. The fleeting thoughts in his mind faded into numbing oblivion. In his eyes, there was nothing else save his objective in front of him.

The elapsing time seemed to slow to a crawl. All preparations for his magic had been completed.

Link rigidly eyed the ring of bandits, controlling the substitute. The surrounded substitute immediately lowered its head, assuming a charging position.

“Kill him!” The chieftain immediately ordered.

“Beng~ beng~ beng~” the bowstrings of the archers twanged in unison. At least 40 arrows arched downwards, black against the dimming sky. In an instant, the substitute’s body was bored with arrows like a hedgehog.

—and yet the substitute did not fall. Its crucial points of the magic structure within its body had been unscathed. Its charge unimpeded, it continued moving forward.

“…” a stupid expression formed on the bandits’ faces as they struggled to understand what was going on.

In the next second, someone had found the still body of the chieftain fallen on the ground. An arrow was deeply embedded into his eye. It had entered his eyeball, piercing through his brain and exiting his head. The chieftain was no more.

“…” the stupid expression deepened.

Had someone misfired and shot the chieftain dead by accident? But the distance was so short and they were not bad shots. How could have an amateurish mistake like this been made?

At this moment, the valley was lit up with the unceasing sounds of explosions. The sounds were concentrated and rapid. With every explosion, an archer’s life was claimed.

The archers’ faces were badly mangled, their noses, eyes and mouths having been melted off like putty. It was a horrifying sight.

Against this sudden and scary ambush, the bandits were confused, frantically searching the valley with their eyes for their ambushers.

After two seconds, the bandits with the quicket reaction had identified the position of their ambushers. Their ambushers were four people who had taken cover behind a wooden house. Behind a very familiar giant, dim balls of light shot out without interruption. Those stuff were extremely concentrated, with at least 20 balls of light discharged every second. The target of every ball was an archer.

In the short span of two seconds, 40 balls of light had been fired. 40 miserable cries and sounds of explosion wrecked the valley. All the archers dropped to the ground, their faces mincemeat.

From the looks of it, not a single one had survived.

After the incident with Glaston city, Link had become immune to fresh blood and slaughter. Towards these bandits, he did not feel a shred of pity. After all, they were bandits.

The archers had been wiped out, leaving behind only the bandits wielding their swords and shields. Any form of long-range attacks had been disabled.

“…the hell happened?”

Up until now, some bandits did not understand what was going on.

The pupils of the members in the flamingo squad had also constricted to the size of needles. Their hearts beat wildly. Whatever had just happened was simply too scary.

The archers that were difficult to deal with had just neatly collapsed, like the grim reaper had harvested their souls like wheat with his sickle.

Was this magic? Was this the power of the magicians?

Although Link had told them beforehand that he could slaughter a large amount of bandits if he had two seconds, it was much different when seeing it in person.

Terrifying!

“Go, charge!” Link lightly said. If it were high leveled spells like the level 4 ‘lightning storm’ or the level 4 ‘flame burst’ against a concentrated hoarde of people like this, it would only take one spell to do the job.

Hank begin to advance, with Lucy and Greedin behind him. Like the bandits, they also found the scene hard to believe.

Finally, the bandits reacted.

“Magician! Take cover!” A bandit screamed.

Before his voice faded, a ‘glass pearl’ traced a beautiful arc of death in the air, slamming into his face at a high speed.

“Boom!” The power of the glass ball which could bore a hole through a fully grown tree tore off the bandit’s face.

The bandit slumped wordlessly to the ground.

The other bandits were frightened stiff, covering their faces with their shields. As if mad, some bandits started running torwards the wooden houses, while others started sprinting towards the abandoned ore mine, just to escape from the frighting attacks of Link.

This was all within Link’s expectations. The reason why he had used a high casting speed like that was to destroy the courage of the bandits in a single move.

In two seconds, he had discharged 40 ‘glass pearls’, with every ‘glass pearl’ accurately hitting its target. Link felt that he had used up too much mental energy, a slight ache beginning to take over his mind. He had to decrease his rate of casting.

Even so, Link could still burst out 7-9 fireballs in a second.

To maintain his mental energy, Link did not control every shot of the fireballs to shoot accurately, allowing them to strike other parts of the bandits instead of just their vital points. As long as a ‘glass pearl’ struck a human body, it would definitely leave a bloody hole, which was enough to render most people incapable of action.

The archer Greedin would then follow up with an arrow to take the maimed bandits’ lives.

The bandits who were scared stiff did not even attempt retaliating, instead hiding, fleeing. Although they were fast, they could not outrun magic. Their numbers were also not many. After losing 40 archers, there were only 35 bandits left.

After 5 seconds, the last bandit scampering towards the abandoned ore mine fell to Link’s ‘glass pearl’. The fireball had entered his nape, shattering his cervical vertebra.3

The valley had regained a catatonic silence. A gentle breeze picked up, carrying the thick waft of blood and charred flesh into their nostrils. The entire valley was littered with corpses.

Hank swallowed his saliva. Lucy remained silent. Greedin lowly muttered, “What have I been traveling with?”

In their many years as mercenaries, they had seen magicians in action before. One time, they had even collaborated with a nomadic magician apprentice before. They had planned to let the magician lead the way, and the magician spent 3 seconds to cast a light magic that gave as much light as a candle. At that time, the flamingo squad had all felt that if magicians’ casting speeds were all on his level, then magicians ere actually nothing much.

But now, their impressions towards magicians had been thoroughly debunked.

Link’s magic was fast. Fast enough to kill people before they knew what had happened. Fast enough that in every blink, lives would be lost.

Fast enough to chill the hairs at the back of one’s neck.

‘Am I possible to evade an attack like this?’ The three people asked themselves in their hearts.

The answer was no. Even if they had made preparations beforehand, the answer would not change.

Seeing the three mercenaries standing at the abandoned ore mine’s entrance in a daze, Link frowned, pointedly asking, “What are you waiting for? Quickly enter, or Witt’ll get away!”

“Ah? Ah — right.” Hank caught himself, entering the abandoned ore mine (or also the cave).

Link followed. Behind him were Lucy and Greedin.

Looking at the three mercenaries who were shocked by his own magic, Link thought that it was not quite beneficial for teamwork. Link then remarked lowly, “I’m a little tired, and I need a few minutes to rest. I’ll be counting on you from here on.”

By exposing a flaw, he would be able to stabilise the power gap in the party as well as stabilise the mercenaries’ minds.

Sure enough, as soon as the words left his mouth, the three mercenaries lightly sighed. Their stiff movements had become much more relaxed.

‘So he’s still human.’ The three mercenaries thought.

But this thought had not undermined their thoughts of Link, instead producing more respect. Link had eliminated the biggest barrier to the abandoned ore mine, and had cast powerful spells on their body. If they were still unable to handle the bandits in the abandoned ore mine, then they did not deserve the name of ‘flamingo’.

They too, were not to be reckoned with.4

At the same time the substitute entered the valley, the crystal ball in Witt’s room begin to glow faintly with red light.

The crystal ball was bought for a hefty sum by Witt, and obviously, did not let Witt down.

The red light signified that someone had intruded the valley. The red light was also dim, signifying that the people who had crossed the detection spell were not many, probably lower than 10 people.

“Probably a few mercenaries in need of money who don’t want their lives.”

Witt did not budge, instead taking a seat in front of the table, going back to arranging his files and documents.

As the boss of a huge organisation, he was very busy. As for the intruders of the valley, it was best to leave things to his subordinates to handle. In a few moments, his subordinates would be bringing the intruders to his face.

As for whether the intruders would be brought alive or as a still corpse, Witt did not care.

-Chapter 40, end-


Tler’s notes:

Lost half my draft so it took me extra long.


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