Chapter 344 – Keeping Count
But Zhao Hai didn’t go and save Ruyen right away. He didn’t want to expose his true capabilities this early. These people wanted to use Ruyen to threaten him, so she shouldn’t be in immediate danger.
The attacks of the mercenaries were very fierce, moreover you can see that they coordinate with each other pretty well. What’s more important is that from their movements it seems like they were true mercenaries, not disguised soldiers.
Regular soldiers and mercenaries were on two different sides. Soldiers generally fight in a battlefield during wars, so their combat methods were very specific. They generally would use their weapons to kill the enemy as soon as possible.
Mercenaries were somewhat different. The enemies mercenaries meet were most often not other humans, therefore they would use all means to deal with the enemy. And even if they couldn’t kill them, they would at most wound them heavily.
Zhao Hai looked at the situation in front of him and couldn’t help but feel anxious. He didn’t want to get tangled with these mercenaries for a long time, so he and Meg immediately began to attack with magic.
This time, Zhao Hai decided to use wind element magic. Wind spells were quick, and was very effective inside a small space like this. Meg also happens to be a wind element mage, so naturally she would use spells of this element. Since Shun couldn’t go out and see Ruyen, he decided to fight as well.
At this moment, Zhao Hai alse came to know how fierce Shun was. Just like what Shue said, Shun really lived up to his name of Eight-Armed Demon. One after another, an uncountable number of hidden weapons were thrown out. And these hidden weapons were doused in poison, giving these mercenaries a lot of difficulties.
With the help of Zhao Hai and Meg’s magic, these mercenaries slowly got taken out one after another. When the ‘drunk’ mercenary saw this, he immediately called out, “Retreat!”. Then he ran away along with the other men.
In a blink of an eye, all the mercenaries in the dining hall vanished. There was nothing else left but shattered chairs and tables as well as Shun’s hidden weapons lain across the ground.
At this time, the manager who was hiding behind a door approached while trembling, he looked at the situation at the dining hall. He stared at the dining hall blankly and went to see Ruyen’s situation. Zhao Hai stopped him and said, “No need to see them. The guards are gone, all of them are dead. Go tidy up here, don’t worry I’ll compensate you for the damages done. Also, please remember to bury the guards. I’ll pay you later.”
The man’s expression turned better when he heard Zhao Hai’s words. He immediately nodded and began to clean the hall, but before he could do so, Shun stopped him. He first needed to retrieve all of his hidden weapons, otherwise the manager and his attendants would get unnecessarily injured.
It was the first time that Zhao Hai saw Shun retrieving his hidden weapons. He became curious when he saw Shun take out a few stones and placed them all on the ground a few steps away from each other. Then those hidden weapons were immediately collected and stored.
Zhao Hai understood what Shun was doing, The stones that Shun used were certainly magnetized, therefore he could easily collect his hidden weapons. Moreover, Zhao Hai also noted the unnoticeable gloves that Shun wore which were tight fitted to his hands.
It was only noticed this time when Shun was retrieving the weapons. No wonder Shun didn’t get affected by his own poisons, it turns out that it was because of this glove.
After his task, Shun wasn’t asked by Zhao Hai to help tidy the place up. Then the group immediately went to their rooms. Zhao Hai also asked the manager to deliver their ordered dishes to their room as he gave a hefty tip, making the manager very happy,
Zhao Hai looked at the escort guards who were killed. Their injuries were very simple, it looked like they were killed without resistance. They were all killed with a single slash, it also seemed that they were eating when they were ended.
Looking at the situation, Shun paused for a moment before he said, “Young Master, they seemed to be poisoned before they were killed.”
Shue nodded and said, “Killing all these guards with a single slash isn’t a simple thing to do.
Zhao Hai also nodded, then he turned his head to Shun and said, “Go and see whether what they ate was poisoned.”
Shun agreed and took a quick look at the dishes that were still present. Then after a while he shook his head and said, “Young master, the food was not poisoned. It should have been administered through other means. The poison used was something that could knock them out for a short period of time. It may be because of this short time that the mercenaries chose to kill all of them.”
Zhao Hai nodded, then he asked Cai’er about Ruyen’s situation. But Cai’er told him that the mercenaries have already left the monitoring range. This made Zhao Hai quite disappointed.
After the group returned to their suite, Laura asked Zhao Hai with a calm face, “Brother Hai, do you think Grand Duke Lionheart may have a hand in this?”
Zhao Hai nodded, “Definitely, we didn’t have any enmity with any other person inside Rosen Empire. So it could only be Grand Duke Lionheart. I just didn’t expect him to resort to such methods.”
Shue seriously responded, “Young Master, this is not strange. Grand Dukes tend to control a few mercenary groups. Even though these groups do ordinary mercenary work, when tasked with a certain order, they would immediately execute it. The group this time seems to belong to Grand Duke Lionheart.“
Zhao Hai nodded, at this time it was Meg who worryingly said, “Young Master, we should go look for young lady Ruyen, for her to fall to their hands, who knows when an accident might happen.”
Zhao Hai felt that what she said made sense, so he immediately had a Blood Hawk carry the Ghost Staff and go search for Ruyen. The city wasn’t that big, if they couldn’t find Ruyen then the mercenaries could only have gone out of town.
The hawk flew out the city and followed the road towards Carson City. Zhao Hai believed that the mercenaries would certainly bring Ruyen to Carson City, Moreover, they had quite a few wounded among them so they should be moving slowly.
What Zhao Hai didn’t expect was the amount of preparation that went to this operation. The mercenaries have already prepared ten large carriages to carry them and were fast approaching Carson City’s direction. Zhao Hai immediately had Laura and the others enter the Space as he went towards the Ghost Staff’s location. He appeared in front of the mercenaries’ route, then waited for them.
The mercenaries also knew that the task was quite hard, so they decided that the faster they could move, the soon they would be able to ask for reinforcements.
As they were hurrying along, the road in front was suddenly blocked by two giant Stone Golems. The two were taller than seven meters, and completely blocked the whole width of the road, giving the mercenary convoy quite a bit of pressure.
When the mercenaries saw the two golems, they knew that Zhao Hai had certainly come. They already received Intel about Zhao Hai so they knew that their opponent was a tri-element mage. The convoy immediately stopped as some men fetched Ruyen to come over.
The mercenary who tried to touch Laura’s face back then looked at Zhao Hai who was standing behind the stone golems and said, “Wales, be obedient and stay put, otherwise don’t blame me for being impolite. Do you know who this is? It’s Purcell Family’s young lady, being a man of the Purcell Duchy, if something happened to the young lady, what would you do?”
Zhao Hai looked at the mercenary and showed a faint smiled, “It seems like you really looked into my affairs. But did you find out that I don’t have any relatives inside Purcell Duchy? This time, I came to Rosen Empire in order to settle here and not go back to Purcell Duchy. Even if you kill the young lady, it wouldn’t have anything to do with me. Purcell Duchy is only a mere territory, it couldn’t reach its arms toward Rosen Empire. And now you’re using the Duchy’s young lady to threaten me? You’re being too laughable.”
The mercenary’s complexion sank. He didn’t think Zhao Hai to be so uncaring about Ruyen’s life and death. The mercenary also didn’t know whether ZHao Hai’s words were true or not. So he immediately retorted, “You’re just deceiving me, come with us without a fight, or else I’ll kill them right now.”
Zhao Hai calmly replied, “Go on, kill them, I won’t block you. These past few days, the young lady had been quite bothersome anyway. If you kill her, I would be relieved. But since I still have an obligation to the Purcell Duchy’s Grand Duke, if you kill her, then it wouldn’t have been good for my reputation to break my commitment with the Purcell Grand Duke. So I won’t forgive the people who made me break my promise, thus you have to die. Not only would I kill you, I will look for a Dark Mage and turn you into an Advanced Undead to ask about all of you people’s families. Then I would have the fates of your families compensate for my loss.”
Upon hearing Zhao Hai’s words, the mercenaries couldn’t help but shiver. They didn’t expect such words to come out of Zhao Hai’s mouth. But they didn’t doubt him, there were some people who would actually do those things, and they never wanted to cross those people. Such people were the least likely persons that the mercenaries would offend, because such people were much more devious than mercenaries.
The mercenaries looked at each other, they knew that using a hostage wasn’t enough to deal with Zhao Hai. What they didn’t know was at this time, Zhao Hai suddenly made his move. Four vined appeared under Ruyen and attacked the mercenary holding her. The mercenary fell to the ground letting go of Ruyen.
When the other mercenaries managed to respond, Ruyen’s body was already wrapped by the vines. When the mercenaries rushed in, the Stone Golems also attacked. At the same time, Zhao Hai’s magic fell on the opposing group. The mercenaries had no chance to escape and was immediately killed by the spells. Then Zhao Hai waved his hand as the ground below the four captives fluctuated, dragging their bodies underground.
As the other mercenaries were absent-minded, Zhao Hai immediately executed his plans, first he had Cai’er attack the mercenaries with vines then had Ruyan and the others dragged underground using earth element magic with little to no injuries.
Regarding the hundred or so mercenaries, Zhao Hai turned them into undead. WIth what these mercenaries did, killing them would be too cheap of a punishment, so he turned them into his eternal servants.
After killing the mercenaries, Zhao Hai didn’t care about their carriages and instead went straight back to the hotel and then placed Ruyen and the others to their rooms.
Ruyen’s group suffered the same fate as her escort guards, poisoned to faint. And since the other three were of some status, the mercenaries didn’t kill them but instead had them captured too.
Just as Zhao Hai’s group returned to their rooms, a knock could be heard from the door. Shue immediately went and prepared his axe as he asked, “Who is it?”
Outside, the manager’s voice could be heard speaking. “Guest, were here to deliver your meals to you. It has already been prepared.”
Shue looked at Zhao Hai, Zhao Hai nodded. Then Shue opened the door for the manager. The manager bowed to Shue and walked in, behind him were a group of people lifting tables, chairs and also some dining cars with covered dishes on them.
The people immediately went busy as they entered the room. Looking at their movements, it seemed like they very well trained, they moved like clockwork. They place the tables and chairs, arranged the tablewares then the dishes. When they were finished, Zhao Hai had Shue give them a tip, then the group sat down to have their meals.
Zhao Hai looked at the people at the table and said, “Let’s eat, just wanting to eat isn’t easy nowadays, there would always be some bothersome things happening.”
Laura and the others smiled, to be honest, they were already expecting an attack. But they didn’t think that the enemy would go too far as to kill the escort guards.
Because of this, the group seemed quite sad. Zhao Hai also saw this, so he cracked a few jokes and after a few moments, the mood became very cheerful.
Just as Zhao Hai had forked some vegetables to his mouth, the Space prompted, “Toxic substances have entered the host. Weak toxin, can make people faint for a short time. Host is already immune to such toxins due to long-term consumption of space water. No need for detoxification.”
Zhao Hai was surprised then his expression sank. He looked up and said, “Stop! Don’t eat anything. These things are poisoned. It seems like there’s some problem with this hotel.”
Laura and the others froze, they didn’t think that even he hotel was a problem. The group immediately placed their utensils down. Laura looked confused at Zhao Hai, “How can this hotel also be trouble? Even if Grand Duke Lionheart knew that we would be staying at this city, he certainly wouldn’t be able to know that we would stay at this hotel. What’s happening?”
Zhao Hai smiled faintly, It seems like we underestimated Grand Duke Lionheart’s strength. Our attention had totally been consumed by those mercenaries.”
Shue nodded, “It seems to be like this. The mercenaries attracted our attention so we didn’t consider the hotel staff to be any threat. Ruyen’s group might have drank the hotel’s poisoned water. While we checked the food as well as the tea and wine when we first came here. It seems like an insider managed to swap these beverages with poisoned ones.”