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831 Into Chaos

 "Are we really heading to the Land of Chaos? Mr. Rhode?"

Lize asked as she gazed worriedly at the surrounding. It was the third midnight and also the time for their meeting with the Order Refugees. But this time, there were more members joining Rhode. In the past, it had always been experienced mercenaries like Randolf and Joey leading the teams in place of him. But today, apart from the mercenaries there was also Marlene, Anne, Gillian, Orchid Heart, Randolf, Joey, John, Sol, and Sovann. It could be said that all the higher-ups in the fortress were here. According to Rhode, they were about to be heading into the Order Refugees' refuge in the Land of Chaos. Rhode would be using this opportunity to strengthen them against the threats of Chaos.

Lize realized that this situation wasn't simple based on the arrangements. It had been awhile since so many members joined Rhode in an operation. Even Randolf and Joey had stopped joining him ever since they had their own elite teams, not to mention Marfa, Sol, and Sovann. But now, this move impacted the operations of the fortress to a certain extent. Not only that, but Rhode had also gotten Lapis to produce spatial rings for everyone for the purpose of storing food and water. Fortunately, there weren't many problems in creating this spatial equipment as Rhode received plenty of precious magical materials from his transactions with the Order Refugees.

Canary and Mini Bubble Gum remained responsible for the Land of Atonement's stability while Marlene and Lize temporarily handed their duties to their assistants. Marlene passed down the fortress's operations and management to Ann. Although Ann wasn't as impressive in terms of politics and observations, she was the best fit for the temporary job. As for John, he initially wasn't willing to join this adventure as the cavalry leader. No matter what, he was a soldier and not a mercenary who was interested in adventures. However, since this was Rhode's order, he had to abide. But how effective could cavalrymen be without their horses?

"Of course."

Rhode nodded. He turned around and clapped his palms together to gather everyone's attention. Shortly after, everyone looked at their mighty overlord. Judging from their expressions, they were equally as doubtful as Lize. After all, this was the first adventure for most of them. Moreover, with the recent influx of refugees to Paphield-Grenbell, they were fully occupied with duties and yet, Rhode suddenly gathered them and got them to prepare one month's worth of food, water, and tents. Not only that, but Rhode also gave them spatial equipment and told them that they would be entering the mysterious Land of Chaos, where legend had it that no one returned safely.

"I know what you're thinking."

Rhode said. He clearly saw the fear and doubts on their faces. unlike Anne who was as excited as ever. Marlene appeared oddly calm and didn't seem anxious. Back then, Rhode was concerned that Marlene would object before he raised this suggestion. After all, he was also aware that this would severely affect the operations of the Land of Atonement. To his surprise, Marlene agreed swiftly.

"That's right. I've gathered you because we're entering the Land of Chaos and I guess that you're already aware of this. Three days ago, I was here for a transaction with the Order Refugees. If they agree, we will enter the Land of Chaos, head into their refuge, and negotiate with their elders for the coordinates of the tinder. But..."

Rhode put up a stern expression.

"... I have to make this clear. The path ahead isn't easy. I can tell you that in the Land of Chaos, the power of Chaos is much stronger than you imagine! You may die without battle. This time, the reason why I gathered you here is to accumulate your experience in dealing with Chaos. If you aren't willing to, you can back out now."

"..."

Everyone exchanged looks. They had heard of countless reasons on how mysterious and horrifying the Land of Chaos was and it was due to this reason that Rhode informed the public that they were going to attend to something important. If not, the entirety of Grenbell would be in chaos if they knew that they were entering the Land of Chaos. When that happened, no one would believe that they could return safely.

Although most of them were afraid, they were also rather excited. If it were others who suggested this, they would have turned away instantly. It was especially so for Sol and Sovann because the future of the Half-Demons and Battle Mages would be entirely doomed if something bad were to happen to them. But now, they had chosen to stay because of one reason. The person who suggested this was Rhode.

In everyone's eyes, Rhode was almost omnipotent. At least to them, there was nothing that Rhode couldn't do. He attained glorious achievements from defeating the Duke Fiend and Undead Army. Moreover, they believed that since he was confident, there wouldn't be any problems.

We're heading into the Land of Chaos! After the Creation War ended, I've never of anyone entering the Land of Chaos!

Although Rhode didn't clarify his intentions, most of them understood that he intended to develop the Land of Chaos when he mentioned the tinder.

This would be an achievement that no one has accomplished before! Back then, after the Creation War ended, which heroes who raised their flags high and developed new territories didn't turn into powerful historical beings? Although they knew that they wouldn't be as honored as the overlord, they could still become the new legends of this continent! This is a gamble. We will all die if we lose. But if we win... This supreme honor will be written in the historical records! When that happens, won't all the reputation, status, and wealth be readily available to us?!

No one had the intention to leave with this thought.

"Good."

Rhode nodded in satisfaction. He knew that not everyone stayed because they were purely loyal. However, he heaved a sigh of relief because blind loyalty might be more of a hindrance than help at times. It was most important that one was clear in his thoughts to make the best judgment and decision.

"Don't be too nervous. We're only heading into their refuge to seek the location of the tinder. We will only enter the depths of the uncivilized territory later on. This time, you'll be experiencing the power of Chaos and it won't be too late to back out thereafter. But there are a few points that I want to clarify."

Rhode raised his voice.

"In Chaos, nothing is more dangerous than acting on your own. I hope that you can stay together and not separate from one another. No matter what you see, don't be attracted by it. I will take the lead. Anne, you're responsible for the central section. Gillian, the rear is yours. Also..."

Rhode shifted his gaze to Lize, Marlene, and Sol.

"... If you're attacked by Chaos, use low-level magic spells and spiritual spells to protect yourself. Chaos will destroy any spells belonging to Order and the strength of your spells will be entirely different. A basic illumination spell may erupt with the power of an enormous fireball. Lize, if you can't cast your healing spell properly, you may even kill the victim. It's the same for you, Sol. I know the Half-Demons are strong, so you need to be cautious when applying your strength."

"Yes, Sir."

Sol said hurriedly. At this moment, Marlene and Lize put up solemn expressions. As spell casters, they definitely knew the consequences of their spells going out of control.

"Good."

Rhode nodded and extended his right arm.

His arm guard flashed in a dazzling, silver radiance. In the blink of an eye, thousands of silver threads formed a large barrier that shrouded everyone within. At the same time, indistinct flares emerged in the Chaos before them.

Three men walked out of the Chaos. They were the ones who had been transacting with Rhode. However, they were surprised because they didn't expect that Rhode would bring so many men this time.

"It seems like. You are. Ready."

The leader knitted his brows and gazed at the group with a complicated glint. Under the night sky, the translucent barrier shimmered in a mesmerizing brilliance. It was apparent to them that Rhode possessed a broad-scale 'protection of Order'. The leader scanned Rhode from his head to toe. Although he had transacted with this black-haired young man several times, he didn't expect that he actually possessed such formidable strength. It was certainly rare to see someone from the outside world who understood the situation of the Land of Chaos this well...

"Please lead the way."

Rhode extended his arm and gestured. The leader pondered for a few seconds before nodding firmly. Then, he shot Rhode with a sharp gaze.

"I will. Lead. Way. But. You don't. Cause trouble! If not. Die!"

The leader yelled and swept a look at the crowd behind Rhode. Anne bent her brows instantly. She almost jumped out and argued with that big blockhead. Fortunately, Marlene held her back by tugging her arm. Although the others also didn't appreciate the big guy's attitude, they knew that they weren't in any position to retort as Rhode's henchmen.

The leader nodded in satisfaction at the silence. Then, without speaking a word, he turned and gestured to his two men.

The trio stood before the fog of Chaos and beckoned to Rhode.

"Let's go."

Rhode raised his arm and a spotlessly white sword emerged in his hand.