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Chapter 196: Rival

 Chapter 196: Rival

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

Before the Shansa soldiers could surround him, Anfey jumped out of the circle and chased the group of seven mercenaries. The soldiers were never his targets. His target was the seven mercenaries.

Anfey did not try to focus on details and forget his goal. His enemy was an entire empire, and if he killed ten soldiers today, there would be a hundred soldiers sent after them tomorrow. It was impossible to frighten a country, at least not yet. Even if he fought the soldiers now and left all of them in the forest forever, nothing would change.

Anfey did not know why the seven mercenaries would choose to work with the Shansa soldiers, considering the anti-Shansa sentiment common among mercenaries at that time. Maybe it was because they were not from the area, or maybe it was because they needed the money. Anfey didn't want to know why, he just needed a result. He saw how Suzanna was effected by his decision to leave, and he wanted to do something to lift her spirits.

A lot of people imagined themselves to be the undetected hunter that followed their prey's every move. They would calculate and plan, but never expect there would be someone else observing them as well.

Anfey followed the seven mercenaries, waiting for his opportunity. Unlike the soldiers, the mercenaries made Suzanna feel uneasy. Clearly they were powerful enough to be a threat. One or two of them may even be senior swordsmasters. Anfey could not get the information from Suzanna, however, because Suzanna was very brilliant, despite being inexperienced. She would figure out exactly what he wanted to do as soon as he asked the question.

Anfey's personality might change, but the way he worked and acted would not change. Those were the things he figured out after countless encounters with death, and he was still used to facing his enemies by himself, no matter how powerful his enemies were.

There was a small hill up ahead. The seven mercenaries did not notice Anfey. They were too focused on the two sides and in front of them. Seeing the mercenaries disappearing behind the hill, Anfey retrieved an arrow from his Dimensional ring.

Anfey was very good at learning from his mistakes. The male mage immediately noticed something was wrong when he was trying to make an element arrow. This time, he would not make the same mistake. Even though he was far enough from the mercenaries, he still wanted to be careful.

As the last man made his way up the hill, Anfey's arrow was already aimed at his back. Suddenly, the man turned around and scanned the forest behind him. Two other figures joined him, and all three men looked very nervous.

Anfey knew he had made a mistake. He closed his eyes and tried to make his mind peaceful and happy. In the past, his instinct had saved him multiple times. Sometimes he could not see or hear the danger, but he would realize something was wrong. Since Anfey could detect danger, other people must be able to detect it as well. Even if he could not explain it, Anfey knew that enmity could sometimes be felt.

The three figures on the hill did not see anything. After a few moments, the three of them turned to walk down the hill.

As soon as the figures turned away, Anfey released the arrow.

The arrow flew towards the figure. Before the arrow could hit, the man sensed the danger and turned around. However, it was too late. The arrow pierced through his body and exited beneath his right rib. The man's body stumbled and fell to the ground.

The forest suddenly grew very quiet, as if the murder did not happen. However, Anfey knew the six remaining mercenaries had spread out around the hill.

They looked angry and sad, which was logical. Their friend had just been murdered, and anyone would be upset. However, they did not do anything meaningless. They did not even turn to look at the man's corpse. It was as if looking at their dead friend would be a distraction.

Anfey frowned. It was as if he wasn't fighting mercenaries in a world of magic, but instead fighting ruthless modern mercenaries. The mercenaries' reactions took him by surprise.

The rest of the mercenaries made a mistake. After they entered the forest, they split up and searched through the forest silently. This was perhaps because they trusted their companions too much, perhaps because there were only six of them.

For Anfey, this forest was his domain as long as he had the leaf. He could see everyone's movements clearly. Anfey slid down the tree and disappeared into the forest.

One of the mercenaries stalked through the forest. This mercenary was very cautious, and would stop every three or four steps. A pair of pointed ears indicated her identity as an elf.

She held a dull longsword in her hand. The sword looked unsharpened, but it was sharp enough to shear a leaf in half.

She had advanced a few hundred feet, but already took a good amount of time. She did not appear irritated by how slow she was going.

Anfey reached down from a tree's crown and flicked a small rock on a tree about a hundred feet away. The rock hit the tree trunk with a faint thud and landed on the ground.

This was a forest, and it was filled with the sound of insects and birds and the howling of wind. The sound of the rock hitting the tree was very faint. However, the elf's ears flicked and she clearly heard the sound.

Anfey slipped out of the tree and dove towards the ground. He tried to control his speed, because if he was going faster, his body could cause wind. It could alert the elf to his presence.

When he was about ten feet away from the elf, she suddenly sensed something. She whipped around and swung her sword upwards. The sword bursted into light and met Anfey's dagger.

Metal clanged against metal. Even though Anfey was very practiced at close combat, he was in the air and his movements were limited. His hand was numbed from the clash, and his body stopped moving forward.

Anfey lunged forward at the elf's face.

His attack changed too quickly and the elf had no time to block it. She took a step back, but Anfey's knee caught her in the chin. The elf grunted in pain and jumped back. Anfey landed on the ground and launched himself forward. His right hand raised into the air and aimed his dagger at the elf's throat.

Anfey's movement was very fast, but the elf wasn't slow, either. Even though she was injured, she could still fight. She lashed out with her sword, and caught Anfey's dagger, which was only half a foot away from her throat.

Anfey's right arm flew back and he lashed out with his left, his fist aiming at the elf's face. Even though the elf was not trained for close combat, she was still very fast. Her left arm reached out to block Anfey's attack. Pain tore through her left arm and she groaned in pain.

Anfey jumped towards her. Even though both of his attacks were blocked, he was still very fast. He threw his head back and hit her with his head. The elf did not expect such a bizarre attack. Usually, the head would be protected and not used as a weapon. She was dazed by the attack and stumbled in pain. However, she did not forget she was in combat. She raised her leg and kicked towards Anfey.

Anfey did not expect that she could still attack after her injures. He was also exhausted by the fight. He quickly summoned fire elements and hoped to shield himself. However, the elf's attack was much faster than the shield's formation. The elements were dispersed by the elf's kick before it could form. Anfey felt a sharp pain on his chest, and his body flew upwards.