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828 Order Refugees 1

 "Deal."

Rhode nodded firmly while the leader gestured for his two men. The two men went up to the chariot with weapons in hand. Joey and the others clutched their weapons vigilantly. Then, Rhode waved his arm and had them stand away from the chariot. One by one, the two men threw every single item on the chariot into the sack in their hands. However, even though their sacks weren't too huge, they easily contained all the items, which surprised Marlene and Lize. They instantly realized that the sacks weren't ordinary and were likely rare spatial bags. How was it possible that these two men who looked like refugees possessed one each?

The two men were quick in their actions and shortly after, only three empty buckets were left on the chariot. One of the men opened the lid and looked inside curiously. Then, everyone witnessed an unprecedented joy on his face.

"Big Brother! It's water! Water!"

"Oh?"

Their leader knitted their brows slightly and strode toward the wooden buckets. He stuck his finger into the liquid and tasted it. Then, his eyes glinted in delight and he nodded in satisfaction. He ordered his men to store the buckets of water into the sacks before heading toward Rhode. Rhode swiftly shot a look to Lize and Marlene, asking them to stay away. The two young ladies quickly kept a distance away and gazed curiously at the man.

"It is... quite a... good deal." The man said in a deep voice with stutters and mispronunciations.

"I hope... we can... work together again. Next time."

"Me too."

Rhode said and nodded slightly. Then, the man continued to gaze at him for a few moments before turning around and leaving the place. His two men followed him as they disappeared into the other side of Chaos.

"Phew... Rhode, who are they?"

Marlene let out a sigh of relief. She looked into the Chaos and turned her head away in discomfort. Just a few moments ago, she clearly smelled a stench exuding from them! If it weren't for the chilly winds that eliminated a part of it, perhaps she would have fainted on the spot. She was sure that even the lowliest scum didn't smell this disgusting. Now she finally understood why Rhode made them step away. If not, the situation would have turned awkward if she puked on the spot.

"You wanna know?"

Rhode shrugged. At this moment, everyone had gathered around him and waited anxiously for his explanation. After all, this trip was just too strange. Rhode had them prepare chariots stacked with food, water, and weapons. Then, they came to this ridiculous place and even met these mysterious men for a transaction. Until now, the group hadn't figured out what the items poured out from the leader's sack were. They seemed like a worthless collection of plant roots, stones, bones, and some unrecognizable items-they didn't come all the way here just for this junk, right?

"Store these things away in the chariot. I will tell you exactly what they are for."

Rhode said and turned to Joey.

"By the way, Joey, 15 days from now, I want you to come here once more. Bring the same goods and accept whatever they offer. Don't get into any fights with them even if they used their weapons to rob you. Just let them do it."

"... Yes, Sir."

Although Joey didn't understand why Rhode gave him such an odd order, he nodded in response. Then, the group began returning to the fortress. They gathered around Rhode and asked anxiously.

"I really don't get it, Sir."

Joey spoke. Even though Rhode always appeared cold and unfriendly, the mercenaries knew that he wouldn't refuse to answer their questions, as long as they didn't ask wrong questions at inappropriate times-like "Sir Overlord, what time did you sleep last night after the wild 'battle' with Miss Marlene?"

"Who are they? They look like barbarians judging from the way they speak. Besides, how did they come out alive from the Land of Chaos? No one should be able to come out of there alive, isn't it?"

"That's right. That is indeed the truth for ordinary people."

Rhode nodded.

"You people haven't experienced what it feels like entering the Land of Chaos-there are only broken, tattered rules. In other words, without proper protection, you will lose all your sense of direction. Trust me. The temperature and seasons change randomly just like what you witnessed earlier on. One moment you're in a steamer and another moment you're freezing to death. This is the reason why ordinary people can't survive the Land of Chaos."

"It is really that scary?"

Everyone revealed horrified expressions and felt a shiver down their spines.

If we land ourselves into Chaos...

"But aren't those guys fine?"

Lize asked with knitted brows.

"If you look closely, you'll find that they were holding onto the Order torches. The flames burning on the torches allow them to stay in a limited range of Order where they can retain their sense of direction and won't be badly contaminated by Chaos. This is also why they put the goods away into their spatial bags because if they drove the chariot into the Land of Chaos, perhaps the food would have turned to stone or water turned into black, viscous liquid. The power of Chaos is massive inside the Land of Chaos."

"But Rhode, who are they exactly?!"

Marlene shifted her gaze away from the pile of 'broken' items and stared with widened eyes.

Oh my goodness. Dragon Root Grass, Moon Crystals... and even the Heart of the Sun! I've never seen such precious magical materials, not even in the Mage School. Where exactly did they get the materials from?!

Marlene exclaimed while lifting a piece of the ordinary-looking, gray-colored stone. But after taking a closer look, one would discover that this stone was made entirely out of fog where it wasn't as solid as an actual stone. It was called the Fog Stone. Marlene remembered that she saw this magic stone once during an auction when she was a young child. Back then, the Fog Stone was sold for a heavenly price of 30 million gold coins despite being in the size of a fingernail. On the contrary, the Fog Stone in her hand was as huge as an apple! The Fog Stone was useful in many aspects and worked incredibly well in magic. Marlene knew that the reason why Fog Stones were this expensive was because they could contain up to half of the holder's soul. With the Fog Stone, the holder could revive with the remaining soul that was stored as long as the holder's body was still intact. The amount of soul that the Fog Stone could store was based on its size. One the size of a fingernail could only ensure that the holder would revive. But with one in the size of a palm, it was guaranteed that the holder could revive in perfect condition. Of course, the Fog Stone was meaningless when it came to dying of old age.

This Fog Stone might cost up to hundreds of million gold coins... And yet, they tossed it to the ground like it was a worthless stone? How did those people get their hands on one?

Rhode turned to Marlene.

"They're the Order Refugees," he said.