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170 Splitting Up

 "Thanks for your aid, good sir. There's no telling what would've happened to us otherwise."

The noblewoman did her best to not let on while she curtseyed perfectly at the middle-aged man who was dressed rather ruggedly.

Meanwhile, both battle-maids appeared nervous the moment they saw Mufasa. They started to sweat over their brows, the hands they held their swords with shaking ever so discreetly even as they instinctively shielded their mistress.

But unlike the noblewoman who knew Mufasa had killed a baron, their reaction was solely because they felt a strong pressure from Mufasa's mere presence!

A person's aura was as vague as it was illusory, but it at least exists in this world, and was a quite common phenomenon for mortal champions.

Such was the case for the Players-who were also completely unaware that their repetitive triumphs over all enemies and levelling up had gained them a certain level of aura. However, because their strengthening was rather simple, the formation of their aura was very crude and hard to detect.

Moreover, all Players essentially develop along multiple skill branch, which makes their aura not quite pure. Therefore, others would only feel that the Players had a 'special sensation' to them.

As such, the first reaction of many champions in this world when they encounter any Players would be to think of them as weaklings. Taking their own auras into account, such champions would actually be convinced that they could fight ten Players at once, and would only promptly think 'oh no, I've been had! How can these people be so strong without aura!?' when they really came to blows, before the Players turn the table on them and reduce them to EXP.

Only Players of Mufasa's style were different: be it out of class defect or the Player's personality, they would give up on skills of other branches and focus their training on a single skill branch.

Without the complements of skills from a different branch and having to fight in completely different environments and conditions, such Players would have to persistently train and improve their craft. In the end, they would become like the grandmaster swordsmen of old-as they gained a profound individual understanding of swordplay and skills, their aura which they had developed over innumerable trials between life and death would be much more solid than other Players, allowing them to assume a path that even people not in the Church of Games could sense.

That was the case in this very moment: because the two battle-maids had their own accomplishments in swordplay, they sharply detected the aura over Mufasa's body. Hence, their scalps were becoming numb while their bodies slowed as if they had fallen within an icy cavern-it was a warning from their very instincts, similar to the danger sense that animals have when a predator on top of the food chain had their eyes on them.

They even felt more pressure from Mufasa than when the human-faced fish monster leered at them.

There was some truth to that as well: against the fish monster, the battle-maids were confident that they could react no matter how fast the beast could move, or at least would not be devoured like the hunting ground garrison without knowing a thing.

On the other hand, even as they watched Mufasa right now, the experience and swordplay training they gained over the years told them that in the split second they fought him as an enemy-or indeed the split second they aimed their blades at him, was the moment they die.

Naturally, Mufasa wasn't aware of any of that, just as he didn't know how strong his aura actually was. All he could think of was that the noblewoman's maids were too frightened, and were still cowering even with the human-faced fishes wiped out.

"No thanks necessary, it's no trouble at all."

'And the human-faced fishes also give surprisingly high EXP,' Mufasa said inwardly.

"May I ask what are your plans, sir?" The noblewoman asked politely then.

For his part, Mufasa assumed that she was still petrified by the human-faced fishes, and was asking to see if his party could escort them back home.

"Where are you from?" He asked, curious to know if they were heading to the same place.

'Could it be that he intends to find out where we live, and decide where to go from there?'

All at once, the noblewoman decided that revealing her identity could lead to Mufasa holding them hostage to demand a ransom from Corinth, mayor of Lancaster.

After all, this was a man who could assassinate a baron back in Lancaster and then disappear without a trace-it wouldn't be a stretch for him to go even further.

"I'm from the Miel family, of Codo Bosra." The noblewoman decided to give her maiden name after brief thought.

That way, she wasn't lying, and any divine lie detector wouldn't react even if he had one. It was also acceptable to head to Codo Bosra to obtain some ransom-it would be fine if her reputation was besmirched, as long as her daughter Gwendolyn came out alright.

"Codo Bosra? That's quite a detour." Mufasa scratched his head.

Codo Bosra and the Seira Marshes were in two completely directions from the hunting grounds. And with Mufasa's past experiences, if he escorted the ladies back to Codo Bosra, the Wild Boss at the Seira Marshes would have been slain even before he could head out from there.

After all, unlike the Bosses that would spawn continuously in the dungeons that the God of Games prepared, most Wild Bosses were existences like no other and gone once killed. It is also universally acknowledged that Wild Bosses had the most rewarding item drops, and the only know Legendary weapon 'Giant's Toe' was an item drop from the defeat of the Barren Giant, another Wild Boss.

"Well... we could go by ourselves?" The noblewoman asked tentatively while repressing her own excitement.

Mufasa, however, misunderstood that she was still very frightened as her facial expressions kept changing.

It was not too hard to understand her either: the swamp fishmen were still at large nearby, and it was just as likely for the human-faced fish to appear out of nowhere.

After considering it for a while, Mufasa made his choice.

"Simba, you three will send them back to Codo Bosra. I'm going to the Seira Marshes alone."

Moreover, the fighting just now had him realize that Simba's group was still weak in ability, having just recently become Players.

Even with him covering them, the children almost had the tables turned against them against one of the human-faced fish, which meant that they were definitely going to die if they went to the Seira Marshes, even killed gruesomely and repeatedly by the Boss. If a Cleric Player raised them without knowing that they did not have enough EXP, they would really die if they died again...

With that in mind, he decided to have the trio accompany the noblewoman to Codo Bosra, which basically was escorting them anyway.

"Eh? Are you going to be alright, sir?" Simba could not help asking worriedly. "Wouldn't you have a hard time without AoE skills if you run into a pack of swamp fishmen?"

After all, the children had learned things about Kengyoku after becoming Players, understanding that most of the class skills were only greatly effective in one-on-one duels.

"I'll be fine even if you're not! Did you think I was just fooling around alone in dungeons when nobody partied with me? I'm used to fighting dozens by myself!"

"That's clearly bragging, but why does it sound so sad...?"

That being said, Simba and the others agreed to Mufasa's request to split ways, leading away the noblewoman's group even as she tried to refuse but did not know how and headed out for Codo Bosra.