They felt dozens of killing glares on their necks. The feeling made Kieran squint.
Seeing the defending troops in front of them rushing towards them, he pressed down on his saddle with his right hand and lifted himself up. Then he threw himself towards the rushing crowd and unleashed double kicks on them. After a half-moon kick and a series of heavy cracking sounds, at least a dozen defending troops were kicked off and fell backwards, dragging the rest down with them like bowling pins.
Within a breath, a path had been carved out before the trio.
Lawless, who was riding past Kieran, extended his hand to grab Kierans right hand.
Kieran did a flip in mid-air and landed on the saddle again safely.
Lawless rushed the horses with a big shout, and the horses sprinted even faster.
"Arrows! Let them loose!" the defending troops attracted by the small commotion shouted loudly at the archers.
Arrows poured down like heavy rain.
Lawless did not have the slightest intention of slowing down though. He wielded the long sword in his hand, blocking the incoming arrows as much as he could. Arrows were cut down left and right amid his frenzied wielding, the sword flashing around as shadows formed an alternative barrier, blocking the trio from the arrows.
Most of the arrows were blocked off.
He had an advanced skill!
Kierans quick glance told him that Lawless was using a skill that surpassed common skills.
Its level could not be that high though, otherwise he would have blocked off every single arrow, not just most of them.
He had still lightened Kieran and Hanses burden though.
A couple of arrows that slid past were easily blocked by the duo.
Kieran had grabbed a long spear on the way and Hanses was using a standard-issue sword Lawless had given him earlier.
Unlike Lawless, Kieran and Hanses relied on their sight and judgement to block off the arrows. Although it was not as effective, it was enough under the circumstances.
The three horses sprinted through the rain of arrows.
Kieran even jumped off his horse to clear some obstacles a couple of times.
It didnt matter if it was defending troops or rebels. Kieran kicked every single one of them off.
Lawless took full advantage of the sword in his hand and formed the best shield hey could muster up, leading the three of them to the castle gate after a bumpy ride.
The castle gate was shut tight though, and there were dozens of defending archers on top of it, ready to rain down more arrows on them. The trio shared the same frowning expression.
The castle was in chaos, yet there were still soldiers that held their positions, despite everything.
There were only two possible explanations.
One, defending the castle was a cowardly excuse to avoid fighting the rebels.
Two, those men never panicked or lost their head in a chaotic situation.
Kieran leaned towards the latter after seeing the archers calm, steady faces.
This was no reason for them to give up on escaping from the castle though.
"Cover me! Ill go open the gate!" Kieran shouted before jumping off his horse once again and sprinting towards the castle gate.
As soon as Kieran started running, Lawless jumped up on his horse and started blocking all the arrows targeting Kieran, making a safe path for him towards the castle gate.
The gate was formed by two major structures.
One of them was a traditional gate mechanism formed by two pieces, each piece three meters wide and almost as tall as four grown men.
It would require the strength of at least three grown men to push it open.
Despite his injuries though, Kieran could still open it.
He opened one of the gates easily.
Meanwhile, Hanses dragged the horses over and hid in the hole below the gate.
After opening one side of the gate, Kieran realized the next obstacle they needed to overcome. There was a hanging bridge.
The bridge was controlled by a millstone-sized metal capstan. A metal handle as long as a grown man's arm was jammed in the middle of the capstan, locking the bridge firmly into place.
Kieran walked over to the capstan quickly.
If he wanted to roll up the hanging bridge, it would cost him a lot of time and energy, but pulling it down was a simple task.
All he needed to do was pull the rough metal handle down.
Just as Kieran was a few steps away from the capstan and the metal handle though, a familiar ear-piercing whistling sound was heard.
Kieran quickly rolled to the side.
A refined metal arrow landed at the spot he had just occupied, forming a tiny crater on the ground.
Half the arrow was plunged deep inside the ground, but its tail was still trembling.
The Bestowed Squad!
Kieran took a glance at the arrow before turning around to look.
Captain Jorque was rushing towards him, the magic bow in his hand already reloaded with another arrow and the string pulled into a full moon.
The arrowed was fired like a comet, heading straight for Kieran.
Kieran clenched his spear in his right hand, his eyes locked on the incoming arrow, trying to predict its trajectory.
The arrow was not just fast. It also had a quiver to it. As it gained more speed, layers of shadows formed around it, turning it from one arrow into three.
The illusion made Kieran confused and unable to guess its trajectory.
He had no idea who it was aiming at. Him? Hanses? Lawless?
"Careful!" he shouted at his teammates in warning as he rolled to the side again and hid behind his horse.
Suddenly, the arrow that had been flying towards them disappeared.
As soon as it came into contact with the war horse, it disappeared like soap bubble.
It just burst into thin air.
"An illusion? Sh*t!" Kieran was struck by panic as he realized the trick behind it.
The captain had had no intention of attacking. He had just used an illusion to delay their movement and prevent them from releasing the hanging bridge.
Kieran raised his head and saw that Captain Jorque was already before him. The mockery on his face was very clear.
"Release the bridge!" Kieran yelled at Hanses before stepping forward to face Jorque.
Someone had to stall Jorque while someone else released the bridge.
Although Kierans left hand was almost crippled, and his weapon was a long spear that he was not familiar with, he was still a better candidate to face the captain compared to Hanses, whose life was hanging from a thread and whose stats had dropped significantly.
Kieran swept his spear across, producing a strong wind as he looked fiercely into Jorques eyes. His move was full of flaws, fueling Jorques mockery even more.
Jorque knew that Kieran was not a spear user. He was a little faster and stronger than most people, but there was no technique in his moves at all.
He was just a boorish criminal.
Jorque felt relieved as he evaluated Kierans strength.
The earlier battle with the armored rhino had exhausted most of his strength and energy. If it hadnt been for the Grand Dukes orders, he would not have left his subordinates to stall the rhino and went after the thieves himself.
He realized his decision had been the right one though. Jorque was highly respected because of his technique, and he was used to dealing with boorish fellows.
He bent his waist to the side like a snake, avoiding Kierans sweep.
Not only did he dodge the attack, but as Kieran was resting after it, he threw the magical bow in his hand like a rope, forming a tangle with the bows body and string and catching Kierans spear with it.
Jorque clenched his palm and used its strength to pull himself towards Kieran, using the body of the bow. The string followed his movement, slashing towards Kierans spear-wielding hand.
Before the string could touch his hand, Kieran could already feel a burning sensation on his skin.
Jorque used the tensile string, turning it into a cutting line as sharp as a blade.
If it came into contact with his flesh, Kierans right hand would end up like his left one.
Kieran dropped his spear without hesitation and took a step back.
Jorques mockery was almost palpable as he watched Kieran drop his weapon.
From his point of view, Kieran's crippled left hand and the other injuries he had suffered made him a very easy target.
He was not even worth mentioning.
Jorque wanted to end it quickly, as Hanses was already close to the metal handle.
He took a step forward and turned the bow around Kierans neck skillfully. He was holding his strength back, so the move was not powerful enough to kill Kieran. It would be enough to knock him out though.
Jorque took out an arrow with his right hand, his gaze locked on his next target, Hanses palm, which was about to touch the metal handle.
"You shall not succeed!" Jorque declared, just as he always did.
The magic bow slid past Kierans hair a little though. Jorque was so stunned by the sudden loss of weight that he missed his target.
Jorque looked at Kieran in surprise.
He could not comprehend how Kieran, a boorish criminal without the slightest technique, could dodge his skillful attack.
Even more surprises followed.
Kieran was ready for his attack. Half-squatting down, he touched the ground with his right hand, bent his waist, and stood on his hands.
He aimed his kicks at Jorques chin and face, suddenly straightening up like a spring and driving hard towards his target.
His thunderous power and lightning speed sent Jorque flying with a precise kick.
Meanwhile, the capstan made a screech. Hanses was putting all his effort into pulling down the metal handle.
When the handle was moved from its original position, the capstan started spinning swiftly.
The heavy chains rattled against each other, producing a loud noise.
Suddenly, there was a loud boom, and the hanging bridge was lowered down, making the ground in the area tremble.
Their escape path had been carved out with blood and sweat, but there was a human figure standing at the end of the hanging bridge.
The man's white mask was glinting under the moonlight like cold, hard ice.
It was the masked man!
Anyone can guess who the mask man is?