It was the masked man!
Hanses could not help but draw in a cold breath when he saw the menacing figure.
He instinctively wanted to warn Kieran and Lawless, but before he could open his mouth, the masked man had already crossed the bridge and dashed past him.
The man headed straight towards Kieran and Jorque, who were fighting, without leaving the slightest sense of presence behind him.
He was like a cool night breeze that no one noticed.
Hanses was slightly stunned. The feeling that he got from the masked man reminded him of another person. It was impossible though.
He quickly collected his thoughts. He hadnt forgotten what he had to do.
"Careful!" he shouted loudly at his teammates.
Jorque, who was floating in mid-air, felt a tremendous pain above his chin. He suddenly felt dizzy. As he was sent flying, he still did not understand how Kieran had hit him so easily.
A second attack followed tightly, Kieran hunting his prey like a jaguar.
His kicks caught up with Jorque quickly. They were so fast that even their shadow became a blur. The next kick struck Jorque hard on the waist.
His body suddenly switched direction in mid-air after the second kick.
Kieran would not have minded following up with a third one, but when he heard Hanses shout, he changed his mind.
He had originally intended to kick Jorques left leg, but he hit his back instead.
He kicked him from below, aiming straight up.
His face was facing down, and his chest was parallel to the ground, his eyes focused on the reason Hanses was shouting.
The masked man!
Kieran was not sure whether he had been the one who had caused the massacre in the Church Hall, but one thing was clear. He needed to be cautious around that man.
Kieran forcefully retracted his left leg before it could hit Jorque.
A glaring sword flash proved that he had made the right choice.
If he had not retracted his leg, the sword might have crippled him completely.
The rebounding force made Kieran wobble. His chest had originally been facing the ground, but hed had to turn his back towards the ground instead.
From the looks of it, he was about to slam hard against the floor.
Suddenly, the masked mans sword chimed lightly. It was driven straight towards Kierans head, but a half-moon shaped force crashed the mans sword first.
After forcefully retracting his left leg, Kieran did not stop there. He diverted his strength and turned it into a roundhouse kick.
His backflip kick triggered the qi wave of the [Blade Kick], crashing the masked mans sword.
The wave collided with the blade hard and dispersed shortly after the crash, but the blade was prevented from advancing any further.
With a great deal of his stamina gone, Kieran could not afford to rest.
He quickly rolled away, putting some distance between himself and the masked man.
Then he rolled straight towards the castle gate, stood up and panted hard.
The masked mans gaze followed him, filled with surprise.
Even though the mans eyes were hidden by black gem glasses, everyone present had sensed his shock.
"Not bad!" a rough voice said from under the mask, admiring Kierans abilities.
The man turned his attention away from Kieran and looked at Jorque.
"Captain Jorque, head of the Bestowed, one of the strongest forces Grand Duke Morko relies on," the masked man said in his altered voice.
"Who are you?"
Although Jorque was still suffering from the dizziness caused by Kierans kicks, he had noticed the sense of danger coming from the masked man. He had the intuition of a war veteran, and it always served him right.
"Who am I? I am the man who will kill you!"
The masked man laughed in an sinister tone. His altered voice was sharp and irritating, covering his original voice completely.
"Kill me?" Jorque replied with a cold laugh himself.
As the captain of the Bestowed, he was very confident of his abilities and strength.
Jorque did not think that the masked man could kill him, even though the sense of danger around him was overflowing.
This was Jorques turf after all. He had a lot of assistance within the castle.
Although part of his squad was still dealing with the rebellion and the armored rhino, some of his men were still in reserve, on the lookout for such a situation.
A red tube was pulled in the air, firing a red flare and dying the dark sky bright red for a moment.
After a while, Gradon arrived with a couple of squads of fully armed soldiers.
He saw Kieran and co, but the masked man in the middle was more eye-catching than the three thieves.
"Gradon, the Grand Dukes best knight, the Western Commander of the principality! If I could kill you too, that would be even better!" the masked man said lightly in his rough altered voice. He did not seem nervous about being outnumbered and cornered. His tone sounded casual and relaxed.
"Whats going on? The masked man did not even prevent Jorque from releasing the flare. It seems like he does not care how many troops surround him!"
Kierans mind suddenly filled with questions about the masked man as he stood in front of the castle gate.
The man was very strong.
Kieran could not deny it. The fact that it had only taken a casual wield of his sword to beat his [Blade Kick], even after the [Bide] power-up, was proof enough.
However, that did not mean that he was so ridiculously strong that he could ignore his enemies number.
There were at least sixty to seventy defending troops before him, including the Bestowed Captain, and there were many good fighters among them.
Kieran did not believe that if everyone attacked him at the same time, the masked man would be able to handle it.
"He has something up his sleeve! What is it though?"
A loud, sonorous howl came out of the mans mouth.
Kieran quickly scanned his surroundings with a frown.
He was hoping to see what the masked mans backup plan was, but what he saw instead was Hanses strange expression.
Kieran wanted to ask what was wrong, but a sudden tremble shook the ground and the huge figure rushing towards them broke him out of his thoughts.
The rhino! The scaled armored rhino!
Kieran finally understood why the masked man was so calm, even though he was obviously outnumbered. The rhino was charging towards them like a speeding tank.
With the help of the rhinos brute force, the man did not need to worry about the men before him.
The armored rhino had initially been brought to the castle by the rebels, but had fallen under the masked mans command.
Were the masked man and the rebels related? Were they on the same side?
A theory suddenly bloomed in Kierans mind before he frowned even harder.
The Church Hall massacre!