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114 Behind The Ambush

 To Old Walker, Rhode was a very contradictory existence.

Usually, he's always firm, stubborn, even sometimes quite tough, violent, mad, and even brave enough to kill people in front of Mercenary Association. In Mercenary Joint Meeting he didn't even try to conceal his intention of wanting to destroy a mercenary group. This made Rhode looked like a madman, but on the other hand he was also cautious, even a little timid. This time, they traveled to the Twilight Forest and Rhode asked Old Walker to explore the surrounding to see whether if there were any anomalies around them. Clearly, this time they didn't come here to complete a mission.

Old Walker also knew that it was reasonable for Rhode to worry since he completely antagonized Jade Tears during the joint meeting. In Deep Stone City, Rhode had no need to be cautious as the Mercenary Association was watching them, but it was hard to say the same when they were in Twilight Forest. If Jade Tears secretly decides to launch a surprise attack, all of them could die here. Even if the Mercenary Association wanted to investigate, they wouldn't be able to find concrete evidence.

That was why Rhode asked them to stay alert. Old Walker couldn't help but admire this part of him and felt relieved because Rhode's actions proved that he wasn't a reckless b*stard that only cared for himself. If he created enmity with Jade Tears just because he felt like it, it meant that Rhode was just another scum who acted on instinct without thinking of the consequences. If he was truly like that, then things could really be very troublesome.

But Rhode didn't only remind him verbally, he even specifically pointed out several directions to him, so he could be more cautious. This made Old Walker surprised. He couldn't understand how a person in his early twenties could be so skilled in underhanded tactics.

And something really happened from the direction Rhode previously mentioned.

"There."

While hiding in the bushes, Old Walker pointed towards the faint black spot from afar and said to Rhode. Rhode looked towards the direction and after a while, he spoke.

"How many people are there?"

"About six to seven people."

"Have they discovered us?"

"I think they followed the tracks we left behind."

Old Walker said confidently.

Since tracking and counter-tracking was a Ranger's ability, if he couldn't even do that properly then it was better for him to retire and go back home.

"How about other directions?"

"There's no other movement for now."

Old Walker looked at Rhode as he spoke.

"What are you planning to do?"

"What am I planning to do?"

Hearing Old Walker inquires, Rhode only snorted and answered in an 'as a matter of fact' tone.

"Of course I'll kill all of them. Since they all dare to come here I definitely won't let them go back."

Saying until here, Rhode stopped.

"I need your help. Inform Shauna and Randolf to increase their vigilance. Furthermore, tell Randolf to set traps five meters around the base camp."

Old Walker was surprised.

"Just the two of us? How about the others..."

"They don't have to know."

Rhode shook his head. He wasn't planning to let the newbies join the battle. Firstly, they were not strong enough and secondly, Rhode hadn't trusted them yet.

One has to realize that battles between two mercenary groups were different from killing monsters. Most people would feel guilty after killing another human. Perhaps after facing many different trials and dangers would they gradually accept it, but it didn't mean that they would enjoy it. Moreover, they were still in the 'prohibition period' set by the Mercenary Association, so he didn't wish to see a time bomb within his group.

"That's why this matter is only known by you and me."

"I will stay here and observe their movements. You can go ahead and look for Marlene and Shauna. In addition to informing them, I need you to observe other areas. I'm quite certain that Jade Tears wouldn't be stupid enough to think that these people were enough to finish us. I suspect that they are planning something so I'll leave the scouting to you."

"No problem."

Hearing Rhode has assigned him the task, Old Walker nodded solemnly.

"I will go now."

Night fell.

A bright flame lit up the base camp. From afar, one could catch a whiff of a wonderful fragrant aroma arising from a large pot.

The mercenaries who had been tired all day couldn't help but drool when they saw the delicious meal. However, they couldn't help but contain their urges when they saw the person sitting on the rock at the edge of the base camp.

Lize was feeling under the weather.

Her gloomy expression wasn't due to the previous incident, rather, it was because Rhode hadn't shown up yet. Back in the afternoon, Old Walker had relayed Rhode's words to her informing that he wouldn't be back tonight because he had something to do. He even asked Marlene and Shauna to increase their vigilance and also sent an unexpected person to join their camp...

Lize lifted her head and looked at a lonely figure.

The angel girl sat silently on a rock. Her white wings softly fluttered in the night breeze as though she enjoyed basking in the moonlight. Both of her eyes were closed and her face was equally emotionless. She appeared like a sharp sword, giving people a feeling of coldness.

She was familiar with the people who had joined the fight in Silent Plateau and knew that the angel girl was one of Rhode's subordinates. But as for Shauna and Randolf who had yet to meet the angel girl, they felt incredible shock when they first caught sight of Celia.

Angels were noble beings who rarely ventured outside. However, a distinguished being such as Celia was actually a subordinate of Rhode and was commanded to protect them. They couldn't help but feel shocked.

Because of this, many people who acted unscrupulously before calmed down. Although Celia didn't seem to bother the humans around her, they couldn't help but feel an invisible pressure on them as though they were a bunch of crooks.

Legends said that angels were the messengers of the five dragons. Although that era had long passed, the legend still left a deep impression on the people.

Still, the mercenaries were mostly baffled over why a noble angel such as her was under Rhode.

Randolf and the other newbies couldn't help but feel slightly scared. Even Shauna who had interacted with Rhode before also felt shocked. She knew that Rhode was a noble, but she didn't expect that he would be able to recruit an angel as a subordinate.

Just who is this man...?

At that moment, not only were they stunned, they were also feeling relieved of their choice to join Starlight. Although in theory, joining Jade Tears would be more rewarding, but following this unpredictable young man was proving to be more promising.

It just that, different from others, towards Celia, Lize always felt a little bit puzzled.

Lize felt that this girl named Celia showed up too suddenly. She had never heard Rhode mention that he had an angel as a subordinate. So Lize was very curious about her origins.

Where did she come from?

Who is she?

In the mercenary group, only Marlene knew about Celia's real identity but she wasn't a blabbermouth. She knew that Rhode didn't want to spread this matter so she didn't tell the others about it. This matter could be considered as a tiny secret between them...

As for Anne, she was as energetic as always. When she saw Celia again she ran towards her and held the angel's hand. Moreover, she even dared to touch Celia's wings. Many people were shocked and even afraid that the noble angel would get angry, but fortunately, the angel didn't seem to mind.

Lize sliced a few pieces of tender grilled hare meat and offered it to Celia.

"Ms. Celia."

Hearing someone calling her name, she opened her eyes and turned around. She saw Lize standing beside evidently feeling quite uneasy while handing the plate towards her.

"That... are you hungry? Do you want to eat something?"

"I'm not hungry."

Celia shook her head and quickly answered. This made Lize feel a little bit awkward. She stood beside Celia just like that, not knowing what to say. Before, Lize only did it on a whim because she suddenly wanted to talk and understand her better. However, she didn't think that things would turn out this awkward...

While Lize was in a dilemma, Celia suddenly opened her eyes again and stared at Lize.

"I can feel my bloodline run in your veins..."

"Eh?"

Lize couldn't help but gasp and take a step back. She lifted her head and looked at Celia, waiting for her to continue.

Unexpectedly, after saying those words Celia once again closed her eyes to enjoy her 'moon-bathing' as if their conversation has ended just like that.

"..."

This made Lize want to cry.