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372 Who Are They?

 As Rhode walked down the stairs, he saw Sereck sitting in the hall. The man revealed a smile and stood up when he saw Rhode.

"I didn't expect to be called out at this hour..."

"I'm sorry to disturb you, Mr. Sereck."

Rhode nodded and apologized to Sereck. Sereck's complaints were not unreasonable as during the day he had been with the Old President, but Rhode did not mention anything about a mercenary assessment.

However, Rhode couldn't help it because Canary and Mini Bubblegum weren't registered yet. If they wanted to become members of the guild, they had to register. Otherwise, there would be a lot of trouble in the future.

And, in a way, it was also good for Sereck.

"You don't have to apologize to me, Mr. Rhode."

Sereck shook his head and smiled at Rhode.

From his sources, the Swordsmaster knew that Rhode was probably the most powerful in the Paphield Region-both in strength and status. It was especially so when Sereck heard that Rhode could beat Barter one-on-one, but he didn't believe that Rhode had reached Legendary. Still, this spoke much about his strength as he didn't have to be at Legendary tier to become the strongest in the Paphield Region.

While it was uncomfortable for him to acknowledge a person who was much younger to be stronger than himself, Sereck didn't resent it at all. On the contrary, he felt a little happy. As a Swordmaster originating from the Paphield Region, he was once the pride of the people. But as he got older, his rate of improvement slowed down, causing him to feel slightly discouraged.

In the Dragon Soul Continent, where the strong ruled the weak, it would be best if there was someone powerful to protect them. Unfortunately, for a period, the Paphield Region had no such person, that was why they were bullied by others. Sereck understood that he could do anything he wanted within Paphield, but he had little influence outside.

Hiller's Burning Blade mercenary group had been promoted several times to a guild, but they always relegated back soon after. This proved that Hiller's experience was insufficient and his ability was average compared to the people outside of Paphield. It saddened Sereck that there were no strong warriors in the Paphield Region for years and was quite worried about the country's future.

And that's when Rhode showed up.

Although he wasn't a native of Paphield, he had definitely earned his rights to be one now. From Mobis, to Barter, to Waltz, and to Rosen, Rhode defeated them all at the midsummer festival. This young man's strength and future were limitless; all Sereck had to do was to build a good relationship with him so he would protect Paphield when the time came for it.

Thus, even though Rhode commanded him around like a servant, he didn't mind it. Knowing that this young man was Paphield's future was more than enough for him.

"I'm just saying, hahaha, actually I'm not busy, but... I'm a little curious, how do you recruit these two members, Mr. Rhode? "

"They are my former subordinates who just arrived this afternoon. Frankly, they came out of the blue and I was also surprised..."

Rhode made a gesture and beckoned Canary and Mini Bubblegum forward. Canary saluted Sereck politely, while Mini Bubblegum waved her hand as if she was saying hello.

"Oh?"

Sereck eyes lit up. Although they weren't as eye-catching as Marlene or Gillian, their looks were far above average. Moreover, they had a unique and indescribable aura. They seemed to be filled with mystery as if they were from a different world.

Sereck then shifted his attention back to Rhode. He felt the same aura from Rhode before. A person's aura could reflect their personality, but if several people shared the same aura, it is highly likely that they have grown up in a similar environment.

Looking at the two girls, Sereck surmised that they must've come from the Eastern Plains as well. Only the people who originated from that isolated place had this unique air around them.

But...

"Are these ladies your subordinates, Mr. Rhode? You really do have a good eye. "

Sereck said as he observed them carefully. But he couldn't find anything out of the ordinary. They wore shabby cloaks and weren't wielding any equipment. They were just... empty handed.

Are these ladies truly his former subordinates? Or...

With a laugh, Sereck shook his head and left those thoughts behind him.

"So, are we going to do the test here?"

"No, in the courtyard."

Rhode thought that it was funny that Sereck suggested taking the test here. So if this place blew up, would he offer to pay up for the damages?

When they arrived in the courtyard, it was already late at night. However, it wasn't dark because of the torches that lit the stronghold. At this time, most mercenaries had already returned to the stronghold and many of them were chatting noisily with each other. They learned that two more members were joining Starlight when they saw Shauna inviting Sereck into the stronghold. They wanted to watch how the two newcomers fared, so they decided to hang around the courtyard.

However, after seeing the appearances of Canary and Mini Bubblegum, the mercenaries felt somewhat disappointed. They heard that both of them were Rhode's former subordinates, so they had high expectations. But like Sereck, many of them didn't believe that the two girls who didn't even possess any equipment could fight.

The mercenaries who were watching by the sidelines started gossiping, but Rhode didn't seem to mind. He nodded at Sereck and turned towards the two girls.

"Which of you will go first?"

"I'll go first."

Canary discussed with Mini Bubblegum for a moment. Then Canary came forward with a gentle smile.

Rhode had to admit that her smile was really charming. As she walked forward, the noisy mercenaries began to quieten down. They looked curiously at the mysterious and strange-looking girl.

Sereck had already drawn his sword from his waist. Then he raised his sword and nodded to Canary.

"We can start the assessment whenever you're ready, Miss... The rule is simple, as long as you can pass my test, then you're qualified, do you understand? "

"Yes, I understand, thank you."

Upon hearing Sereck's words, Canary smiled. Meanwhile, Rhode gestured to Marlene and spoke.

"It's better if you observe carefully.."

"Eh? Ah, I understand. "

Marlene was dozing off by the side. But when she heard Rhode's voice, she quickly nodded with a serious expression. She understood what Rhode wanted to say. Being strong wasn't a matter of merely learning new skills, but watching how powerful and experienced individuals battle was also part of the learning process. Canary was already monstrously strong in the Phantom Space, and now that her full strength had been unleashed... how powerful would she be now?

It wasn't just Marlene who'd thought of this. The other mercenaries thought the same. They didn't know how strong Canary was, but they wanted to see how she would face a Swordmaster with bare hands. And as for Rhode, this was the best way to verify the Phantom Guardian's function.

Canary maintained her smile as she faced Sereck who was currently poised for battle. From this point, it could be seen that she and Rhode were very similar, the only difference was Rhode's indifferent face and Canary warm gentle smile.

Then she reached out her right hand.

Suddenly, a raging wind swirled from all directions and condensed at her fingertips. Then, a wisp of flame emerged.

For a moment, many mercenaries felt the temperature around them rising, but before they could say anything, they were stunned speechless by the next scene.

The raging wind enveloped her body and congealed into a pair of blue wings which stretched out to the sides. At the same time, the tiny wisp on her fingertips flared up into a blaze, forming a long wand.

"!!"

Sereck's eyes widened in shock as he stared at Canary. The mercenaries couldn't keep quiet any longer and were discussing loudly.

"What in the Holy Soul..."

Sereck muttered to himself in disbelief. As an experienced Swordmaster, he knew what was happening before him.

Dual Element Integration-Legendary tier.

For a moment, Sereck's mind turned blank.