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522 Rhode’s Plan

 "Ah!"

The pale-faced Garrison Officer was slammed to the ground heavily and the pool of putrid blood assailed his nostrils. He couldn't stop biting his lips because he was surrounded by severed limbs and disemboweled stomachs. His life was at its limit as the solid, ice-cold barb on the whip ripped his skin apart.

All my men have died in less than 20 minutes. Who exactly is this young lady?

As the Garrison Officer shuddered and waited for his death, a black figure emerged silently. Rhode gazed at him through the strange white mask and he swept a glance at the bloodied earth. "You seem to be having a lot of fun, Celestina."

"Phew..." Celestina's complexion wasn't as ashen and she gave a chuckle while lifting her proud chin. "Hmph. Slaves existed for their master's entertainment. Even though the happiness that this sounder of swine gave me is almost insignificant, listening to their sorrowful wailing and begging for forgiveness really cheered my mood..."

"Surely you haven't forgotten about your proper business, right?"

"Of course not." Even though Rhode interrupted her, she surprisingly didn't bicker with him. She snickered while strolling elegantly toward the final survivor and pushed her heel against his chin to force his head up. Her scarlet pupils once again sparkled. "Look into my eyes and answer my question, slave. You're not allowed to hide anything from me. Do you understand?"

"..." The scarlet, burning radiance of Celestina reflected in the Garrison Officer's pupils. He nodded stiffly and with a hoarse voice, he said, "... Yes... Master..."

"That settles it." Celestina lifted her head proudly and gestured to Rhode. Rhode approached the Garrison Officer who had been completely enticed by her. Judging from the bloodstain on his body and his ashen complexion, this man couldn't hang on any longer. But Rhode wasn't concerned about his well being.

"Which army do you belong to?"

"... Grosso Militia..."

"What are the current battle preparations for Grosso? Which regiment is responsible for

supervising the garrison?"

"Everything as per normal... The regiment responsible for supervision is... the 5th Division."

"Who is the Commander?"

"Sir Michael Hans..."

It's him?

Rhode recalled that this Commander was a kind senior with ordinary talent in military affairs. He was loyal, obedient, honest, and cared for the civilians a lot. He was also often praised by the public and was highly reputable. Many players had received missions from him that concerned annihilating bandits and demon creatures in the southern Munn Kingdom.

A gentle personality that cared for the people, a lack of personal opinions, and ordinary talent in military affairs-this was Rhode's overall generalization for Michael.

But this was extremely good news for Rhode...

Rhode had received every information he needed after the interrogation. Just like he had predicted, even though the Grosso's military strength was stronger than usual, it wasn't overly powerful. Grosso had two infantry teams and one archer team which combined to less than a thousand soldiers. According to the Garrison Officer, the 5th Division's main focus seemed to be the front line and no extra military strength was dispatched here. This was why these militias had joined in to patrol the surrounding. However, this place was still the border area of Grosso and instead of saying the patrol here was to guard the place, they were better off described as a usual practice because, after all, no one thought that the King's Party would dispatch men to get through the defensive line and penetrate deeply into this hinterland.

Of course, this was purely targeting the 'King's Party'.

Pow! Celestina crushed the Garrison Officer's skull with her heel and she turned towards Rhode curiously with folded arms. "Master, have you come up with a plan?"

Rhode squinted. "I came up with a plan before coming here... The information that I just heard only enables me to grasp the situation more clearly..." Rhode extended his right arm and a ritual circle formed on his palm. Faint radiance emanated from the piled up corpses and they transformed into light beams that fluttered towards his palm. The radiance faded gradually and dull, gem-like white stones laid in his hand.

Five Soul Cores.

Rhode nodded in satisfaction. This was the first time he used the [Reaper Song] skill of the [Hell Lord] talent tree to extract Soul Cores in front of someone. After all, only Undead Creatures of the Country of Darkness would use a spirit extracting skill. It was fine if one defeated a BOSS and looted a Soul Core, but one would be an enormous trouble if one brazenly extracted the souls of corpses to create Soul Cores. If one was discovered for doing so, one's family might even be exterminated if the consequences were serious.

This was also why Rhode took on this mission alone. He couldn't do it with Celia around, but he believed that Celestina wouldn't mind as a Demon.

Another reason why he didn't use this skill was that the Soul Cores extracted using the [Reaper Song] would usually have a single attribute and were usually weak. He wouldn't be able to summon spirits and upgrade their levels like he usually did even after he awakened it. The only advantage was that this skill consumed less spiritual energy and also enabled the holder to summon more spirits. But this characteristic caused Spirit Swordsmen with the [Hell Lord] talent to be very passive in duels. Even if Rhode built purely on either one of the [Summoning Master] or [Soul Messenger] talent trees and didn't possess any spirit cards like Celia, Celestina, and Gillian, a Spirit Swordsman who built on the [Hell Lord] talent tree would need to summon at least 100 Undead Spirits in order to stand a chance against him. After all, players weren't lacking in skills of mass destruction and Rhode could destroy all the Undead Spirits of the [Hell Lord] talent tree just by summoning the Spirit Bird only.

High in quantity but extremely fragile. The [Hell Lord] talent tree itself wouldn't upgrade much of one's stats and therefore, it was rare for Spirit Swordsman with the [Hell Lord] talent tree to be on the PVP rankings. But this talent tree was considerable valiant in another aspect, and that was SOLO.

NPCs weren't as strong as players. Besides, in terms of equal level, the spiritual energy consumed from summoning spirits wasn't a lot. One could use an unending stream of spirits to bury an NPC alive with proper spiritual energy replenishment. With decent equipment, a level 40 player with the [Hell Lord] talent tree could solo his way through all the dungeons ranging between level 35 to lvl 39. After reaching his peak, the player could also solo all the dungeons apart from those that required more than 20 team members.

This talent tree was well-liked by players who despised group raids-of course, due to the individualistic nature of the [Hell Lord] talent tree, many groups and guilds didn't have openings for them.

But now, it was a great opportunity for Rhode.

He came here to clear a mission alone and these unremarkable Soul Cores in his hand were his support.

"Let's go, Celestina." He kept the Soul Cores in his pockets and gazed at the dark sky. "It's gonna be a busy night."