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Paragon of Destruction - Chapter 52

Published at 12th of August 2019 08:29:13 PM

Chapter 52

Arran's first instinct was to flee the castle immediately . Although he did not know how many enemies there were, he knew that once they realized Senecio was gone, they would return . When that happened, Arran would be forced to face them .

While Senecio had said he should be able to handle them, he had little interest in finding out if the old man was right .

Yet as he looked at the treasures that filled the room, he could not bring himself to leave them behind .

There were weapons and armor, paintings, jewelry, scrolls, herbs, metals, and numerous other things . Even if Senecio had probably taken the most valuable items, what was left was still a fortune the likes of which Arran had never seen before .

After a moment's hesitation, he began to grab random items from the room, stuffing them into the empty void bag that had once belonged to Stormleaf . He did not bother to inspect the items as he gathered them, instead simply taking as much as he could, all while keeping a close eye on the doorway .

It did not take him long to fill Stormleaf's void bag, and as he put it away, he saw that even now the room was only half empty . Thinking of all the treasure he would gain today, he could not help but grin in excitement .

He eagerly took out his own void bag, then began to fill that as well . If the castle's inhabitants could take a little longer before finding him, he thought, he would have enough treasure to last him a lifetime .

Arran had already taken most of the goods in the room when finally, a man appeared in the doorway . As soon as he saw Arran, a look of fear appeared in his eyes .

"He's here!" the man called out at once .

At the same time, Arran fired a blast of Air at him . It slammed into the man with a loud crash, sending his body flying back into the hall . Arran cursed under his breath when he realized he had been a moment too late .

He cast a last glance at the treasures that remained in the room, sighing wistfully at having to leave them behind . Then, he drew his sword and headed toward the doorway .

As soon as he moved into the large hall, a handful of armed men hurried toward him . Without hesitating he threw a large fireball at them, then rushed after it, sword ready to finish off the survivors . Yet the fireball left none of them standing, and he understood that they had not been mages .

Quickly, he headed toward the exit, but before he could leave another man emerged . This time, it was a mage — as the man approached he formed a head-sized fireball in his hand, which he launched toward Arran .

Arran responded with a powerful blast of Air that wiped out the fireball in mid-air . Before the mage could launch another attack Arran leaped forward, thrusting his sword through the man's chest .

The fight was over in seconds, and Arran was startled at how weak the mage had been . He did not pause to consider it, instead hurrying to the exit .

He finally emerged from the castle, stepping into the courtyard . As soon as he did so, he groaned in frustration . At least two dozen men were waiting for him, weapons drawn, with more approaching in the distance .

For a moment, they all stood there in silence, as if none of them had expected to suddenly stand face to face with the enemy . Then, one of the men thrust his hand toward Arran, and Arran could sense that he was using Wind Essence — although it seemed unusually weak .

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Before whatever technique the mage had used could reach him, Arran countered with a strong blast of Wind . The two attacks collided, and the other man was sent sprawling to the ground almost instantly, his attack overwhelmed by Arran's .

At the same time, several of the other men charged toward Arran, swords drawn and ready to strike . Arran raised his sword, prepared to strike once they came within range . From their movements, he could already tell that they were too weak to pose a threat to him .

Just as they were about to meet, a voice suddenly called out, "Stop, you idiots! You can't take him!"

At those words, the men rushing toward Arran promptly stopped in their tracks . After a moment, they stepped back, warily eying Arran .

Another man stepped forward from the group, and Arran was puzzled when he saw that this one seemed familiar . With a start, he realized that it was one of Captain Yang's guards .

On seeing Arran, the guard looked just as surprised as Arran was .

"You!" he said, looking at Arran in shock . Then, with a loud voice, he called, "Step back! He's not the one who killed the Herald!"

"You…" Arran looked at the man in confusion .

"Why are you here?" the man asked .

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"Because Captain Yang sent me, remember?" Anger welled up in Arran as he understood that Captain Yang had indeed deceived him .

The man frowned . "He sent you here to have you join us," he said . "But you appeared with a mage who killed the Herald . Who was he, and why were you with him?"

Although Arran was puzzled at the man's tepid reaction to the Herald's death, his anger rose now that he knew he had been tricked into coming to the castle .

"Have me recruited? Captain Yang sent me here to take care of a group of bandits! I was about to attack the castle when some old man appeared and killed your Herald!" By now, Arran's voice had risen to the point of shouting, and inside, he raged at the deception . "Good thing he did, too, or I would have had to face that monster myself!"

"You would not have been harmed," the man said calmly . "Our men had orders to welcome you peacefully . "

"And now what?" Arran asked, face grim . He imagined that after the Herald's death, the men would want revenge . With his current mood, he would be more than happy to give them a fight .

"Now, I suggest you leave," the man said . "I will escort you . "

"You… will escort me?" This response had not been what Arran had expected, and he found himself at a loss for words .

"The Herald's death isn't your doing," the man replied . "And even if it was, I doubt any of us could do much about it . "

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Arran did not respond, wary of trickery .

"All of you, leave!" the man called out . "Before the Academy arrives!"

The other men looked at him, then at Arran . They seemed unsure of what to do, but after some moments a few hesitantly walked off, with the others following moments later . Within minutes, the courtyard was empty except for Arran and the man he had believed to be a guard .

"Follow me," the man said to Arran . "There are quite a few of our men in the surrounding area, and although they pose little danger to you, I would prefer them not to be slaughtered . "

"Why should I trust you?" Arran asked .

"There is nothing I could do to harm you even if I wanted to," the man replied . "But if you come with me, perhaps I can offer you some explanations . "

He gave Arran a long look . "There's a war going on, and you don't want to find yourself on the wrong side . "

Arran nodded . Although he did not trust the guard, he had enough confidence in his own strength not to fear him . That, and he was curious to see what the man had to say for himself .

"Very well," he said . "But if you betray me, it will be your life . "