Download our Sponsor's game to support RLN!
LATEST UPDATES
Download our Sponsor's game to support RLN!

Paragon of Destruction - Chapter 111

Published at 12th of August 2019 08:28:09 PM

Chapter 111



"I still don't see why—" Snowcloud said .

"Quiet!" Arran hissed .

They were hiding in the brush just over a mile from the fortress, along one of the few footpaths that ran from the fortress's gate . Arran had guessed that this would be one of the routes the patrols would take, and now, it appeared his guess had been correct .

Approaching their location were half a dozen men, fighters all of them, with the rough look of bandits or mercenaries . They were wearing ragged armor and carrying weapons, and as far as Arran could tell, none were mages .

"Remember," he whispered, "only intervene if any of them turn out to be novices . "

Snowcloud nodded, although her expression made it clear she wasn't happy with the situation .

Arran took a final deep breath, then left the brush and stepped out onto the road, a short distance ahead of the men .

"Hey there!" he called out as he walked toward them .

They eyed him somewhat warily, but none replied . Instead, their hands moved toward their weapons .

"Thank the gods I found you," he began . "I lost my way some days ago, and if I hadn't found this footpath—"

"Get him," one of the men said, drawing his weapon . The others quickly followed his example .

Arran sighed . "So that's how it's going to be?" He drew his own weapon as well, and prepared himself for the attack that was coming .

The first of the men reached him and attacked immediately . Arran only barely parried the blow, and that his counterattack struck the man's neck seemed more like luck than skill . Still, the man fell to the ground, and Arran remained standing .

The next two posed a bigger problem . Although Arran thrust his sword through the chest of one, the other scored a shallow blow to Arran's shoulder, leaving a thin trail of blood dripping down his arm . Yet the attack left the man exposed, and a moment later he fell to the ground, screaming as he grabbed his half-severed leg .


Only three remained, and Arran rushed forward, ramming the pommel of his sword into the face of the nearest one . But even as the man collapsed, his companions finally seemed to have understood that their opponent was beyond them, and they made a run for it .

Arran did not pursue them . Instead, he picked up the unconscious man, then threw him down next to the injured one . The unconscious man came to a moment later, only to see Arran's sword pointing at the two of them .

"How many mages are there in the fortress?" he asked the man with the maimed leg .

The man did not respond, seemingly overwhelmed with pain — and from the look of him, Arran thought he was already close to bleeding out . With a thrust of Arran's sword, he died instantly .

Next, Arran turned to the other man, pointing his bloodied sword at the man's chest .

"How many mages are there? Or do you want to accompany your comrade?"

"Five!" the man exclaimed in a panicked voice . "There are five of them!"


"Are you sure?" Arran asked, moving his sword closer to the man's chest .

"Yes!"

Arran nodded, then stabbed the man through the heart . Briefly, he had considered asking about the mages' power, but then, a common thug wouldn't be able to give a meaningful answer to the question .

"You can come out now!" he called to Snowcloud .

She emerged from the brush a moment later, her face even paler than usual as she stared at the corpses littering the ground around Arran .

"You killed them," she said, a shocked expression on her face .

"That was the idea," Arran replied .


Sponsored Content

"But those two…" She gestured toward the final two men Arran had killed . "They were defenseless, and you butchered them . "

"Would you have preferred if I gave them time to recover?"

"But you let the other two get away . "

"That was necessary," Arran said . "I needed two of them to carry word back to the fortress . But these two… they knew I was looking for mages . "

Finally, Snowcloud relented, though she still looked upset . But then, she glanced at Arran's arm .

"You're injured," she said, some concern showing in her eyes .

"I had to sell the story," Arran replied with a shrug .

The entire thing had been a ruse, of course — had he wanted to, Arran could have killed all six men in the blink of an eye . But then, his real goal was to draw out the novices, not to kill their henchmen .

By hiding Snowcloud and pretending to be weaker than he was, Arran hoped he could fool the novices into underestimating the threat . If they thought their thugs were only barely outclassed, they would hopefully send only a single novice to deal with the problem, rather than attacking with their full strength .

And now, it seemed that the decision to be cautious had been the right one .

"There are five mages," he said .

"I heard," Snowcloud replied, though she was still looking at the corpses on the path with wide eyes . This caused Arran some concern — there were other battles to be fought, and Snowcloud needed to be focused if they were to win .

"We need to get in position," he said . "There will be others soon . Do you remember what to do?"

"Hide until they pass me, and don't attack if there are more than three novices," Snowcloud said . In a quiet voice, she added, "And don't let any of them escape . "

Arran nodded . "Remember, you can't show them any mercy . It's a favor they won't return . " And if she wavered, he thought, she wouldn't be the only one who paid the price .

Sponsored Content


They took up the positions they had agreed on earlier, Snowcloud in the brush along the footpath, and Arran between some shrubs on a small hill two hundred paces away from her .

In his hand, he held the dragonbone bow Lord Jiang had given him long ago . e hadn't been strong enough to draw it fully at the time, but now that he could, its arrows struck with enough force to shatter even the thickest oak .

A single arrow should be enough to kill even a powerful novice, provided they were distracted . And unlike magic attacks, the arrows could only barely be Sensed .

Now, all he could do was wait . If his plan had worked, their enemies' numbers would soon be halved . And if it hadn't… well, best not to think about that .

He didn't have to wait long .

Just a few minutes after they had taken cover, a group of some two dozen men and women appeared in the distance . Arran could feel his heart pound in his chest as they approached — everything would depend on the next few seconds .

Yet a moment later, he let out a deep sigh of relief . Within the group, there were two robed figures, a man and a woman, and he knew that these would be the mages . The plan had worked .

Arran waited impatiently as they came closer . When they reached the brush that held Snowcloud he felt a moment of fear, but they passed it without noticing anything . The trap had been set, and now, all he had to do was wait for Snowcloud to emerge .

But she didn't .

Ten paces, twenty paces, thirty… Arran cursed under his breath when Snowcloud didn't appear, even as the group moved further along the path . Fifty paces… just a little longer and they would be halfway to Arran .

Finally, when Arran was already beginning to think of ways to escape, Snowcloud stepped onto the road . She raised her hand, and at the same moment Arran could feel Essence gathering within it, the two mages in the group turned around as one .

At once, he loosed an arrow . At this distance it struck almost immediately, hitting the robed woman in the back with such force that it tore her body in two .

A second arrow followed a fraction of a second later, but already the robed man had ducked aside, and the arrow instead ripped through two of the mages' henchmen before hitting the ground .

Before Arran could fire another arrow, a massive fireball came soaring his way, and he had no choice but to drop the bow and throw up a Force Shield . The fireball hit the Shield with such force that it threw Arran off his feet, but the Shield held up, and he was unharmed .


Sponsored Content

He got to his feet in an instant, and already, he could Sense that the robed man was preparing another attack, while several of the fighters were running toward Arran .

And still, Snowcloud had done nothing .

Arran cursed loudly as he rolled to the side, only just avoiding the impact of a second fireball . Fortunately, his opponent wasn't too strong, but he could not let this continue .

He drew his sword and dashed forward, his blade cutting through four of the mages' thugs in rapid succession as he prepared to attack the robed man .

Yet then, suddenly, he Sensed a massive surge of Fire Essence from Snowcloud's direction . A moment later, what looked like a streak of yellow-white lightning burst forth from Snowcloud's hand toward the remaining mage .

The man was still turned toward Arran, and the attack struck him in the back of the head, the yellow-white lightening bursting from his face as he died instantly .

But it didn't stop there . The lightning lashed out again, and again, ripping through the bandits like a scythe through wheat . Before the robed man's body even hit the ground, all the remaining bandits were dead .

Arran let out a deep sigh . The fight had been far closer than it should have been — Snowcloud's hesitation had nearly cost him his life, and it was only his opponent's weakness that had saved him . Had the mage been stronger, he knew the battle would have ended differently .

He approached Snowcloud, anger building inside of him as he realized how close they had come to disaster . Yet just as he was about to shout in rage, she turned toward him, and her appearance almost caused him to stop in his tracks .

She was pale and trembling, eyes filled with tears . As Arran approached her she gave him a despairing look, and she seemed on the verge of breaking down .

At this, Arran hesitated . If he exploded now, he feared it might break her spirit . With another battle still ahead, that was something he could not allow .

"Does it get easier?" she asked after some moments, her voice soft and unsteady .

Arran could not answer her question . In truth, killing had never been hard for him . Even if hundreds of people had fallen to his hands, he hadn't lost a single night's sleep over any of them . He would have preferred for them to stay out of his way, but he felt no guilt for their deaths . Yet he could not tell Snowcloud that — if he did, he knew she would think him a monster .

Instead, he reached out and silently hugged her . For several minutes, she cried against his chest, until finally, she looked up at him with red eyes .

"I suppose we should prepare for the last ones," she said quietly, clearly trying to put on a brave front .

"We should," Arran answered .Please download our sponsor's game to support us!


COMMENTS