Beside the townsgate, there were two fresh bodies hanging on a beam, like Chinese sausages.
Kieran did notice the bodies before he arrived.
He originally thought it was just to scare off robbers and bandits from this old, broken town, but after the leader rider's words, it made him understand he was not the only one who received the help request from Swusters Castle's owner.
Other than that, not only had Swusters Castle's enemies left behind troops to block reinforcements, but they were a step ahead of Kieran. It was not a good news to Kieran.
Although the main mission was "Locate the missing imperial envoy in 7 days", but the owner of Swusters Castle was closely related to the missing incident. Without the owner, Kieran might not even know whether the envoy was a man or a woman, let alone finding him in 7 days.
"I need to make haste to Swusters Castle!" Kieran told himself, but he didn't leave recklessly.
He knocked out the leader rider with a kick and probed for more information from the other riders. After interrogating each and every one of them and confirming the leader was not lying, Kieran got the location and route to Swusters Castle from the fifth rider.
Kieran then killed all the riders with the sword in his hand. Kieran never showed mercy to his enemies, especially towards those that were related to his dungeon rewards.
Kieran wished to avoid running into any more accidents on the journey to Swusters Castle.
Although the riders didn't seem to possess any long range communication abilities, Kieran chose the easiest way to deal with it since he was running short on time.
The five riders didn't drop any items after they died.
Kieran ignored the bodies' ugly expressions and since he was not a newbie anymore, he searched thoroughly with a familiar hand through every inch of their body that could hold a secret. Though he didn't find anything else.
"I might find something there! But"
Kieran turned his eyes to Tita Town. With his abilities, it was too easy for him to infiltrate for an investigation but he was running out of time.
According to the dead leader rider, that Duke Sergourney had departed in the morning. With the distance between Titan Town and Swusters Castle, that duke could reach the castle before sunset.
The sun was leaning towards the west. Kieran couldn't guarantee whether the duke would capture, imprison or kill on sight when he located the owner of Swusters Castle.
If it was capturing alive and imprisonment, there were was space for turning back, but if it was the latter
"Hope I can make it!"
Kieran picked two war horses from the rider and rode towards Swusters Castle with haste on two horses.
After two hours of riding, Kieran passed the big flat route that the captives mentioned and entered a smaller jungle path. Grand Master [Riding] allowed Kieran to perfectly control and ride in union with the two war horses. Even in a small jungle path, he could maintain an average speed.
Suddenly, Kieran pulled the rein hard and flipped off the horse.
Within the thick jungle, on top of a brilliant green tree, a dash of red mark caught Kieran's attention. That mark was smeared on a tree trunk. Other than the bright red mark, there were other long, thin cut marks on it.
Based on the tree trunk's height and a handprint on a side, Kieran could easily reenact the incident that happened after activating [Tracking].
A rider was riding his horse through the path and was suddenly shot with an arrow.
The powerful impact pierce through the rider's shoulder and toppled him off the horse. The rider's other hand was waving unconsciously, and his wound accidentally touched the tree trunk.
Kieran's eyes were sweeping the tree trunk and scanning its surrounding. There were still footprints left behind on the ground; they was emitting a white shine under [Tracking].
He estimated a number of 20 men traveling in a neat and organized manner.
Seemed like after the ambush, the squad of 20 made the best reaction and limited the ambusher's victory.
The ambusher's goal was met and he successfully slowed down the squad! Otherwise, that sudden arrow could very well kill that rider. The ambusher missed on purpose!
His goal was to increase the injured and make the injured a burden to the squad. One needed to know, taking care of an injured personnel in the jungle was not an easy task!
"Seems like the owner of Swusters Castle know a thing or two about the enemy! And even had a nice counter procedure!" Kieran speculated while touching his chin.
The battle that appeared in this small path that led to Swusters Castle, both parties were easily identified. The ambush must be from Swusters Castle's owner and the squad of riders should belong to Duke Sergourney.
The battle marks that appeared along the way confirmed Kieran's speculation more.
Inside the small path that took less than an hour to go through, Kieran had discovered at least five ambushes from Swusters Castle.
Kieran couldn't speculate how much time that Duke Sergourney wasted to escape from the jungle, but surely, it must be more than he expected.
It was a good news to Kieran.
Kieran whipped his reins and disappeared within the jungle.
"Faster! Faster! I want to reach Swusters Castle before dark! I will catch that bitch and let her know what will become of her when she offends me!"
Duke Sergourney, with burnt hair and a body of scraped clothes, shouted with a shabby face.
His shouts were filled with rage and killer intent. He had forgotten his original plan after being blinded by rage; all he wanted now was to kill the person who did this.
Though he wouldn't mind torturing her before ending her life.
"Yes, my lord!" The soldiers around him replied in a loud voice.
Similar to their duke, the soldiers were also infuriated by the relentless harassing from the opposite. Especially that tall and robust man with an iron plated armor; his reply were even louder than the others.
This tall and robust man had a buffed physique as well, holding a two handed great sword and walking beside Duke Sergourney. Although the rage in his heart was like magma erupting from a volcano, but Gorl's eyes were still scanning the dense jungle around them, preventing anymore sudden ambush. After all, he was the knight and guardian of the duke.
"We are here!"
A soldier in front suddenly shouted while pointing at the tower on top of the cliff opposite them.
Then the voice was silenced out all of a sudden.
An arrow was fired from the tower on the cliff and took the soldier's life.
The tower was built on the edge of the cliff and was connected by a hang bridge to the land.
After the arrow, the 20 meter long hang bridge was retracted, leaving a bottomless abyss in its spot.
However, Duke Sergourney was looking at the scene with contempt. He didn't even care about his men dying; all he wanted was to kill the person opposite.
"Gorl!" The duke said.
"Yes, my lord!" The man wielding the great sword moved out of the squad swiftly.