Looking at the subtle changes on the face of the young girl across him, he knew that she had already put the pieces together and guessed his real purpose. Before, when the Divine Warriors mentioned that the Steppe Barbarians had been keeping their noses clean these few years, he could roughly guessed that the new King must be not fond of having clash of conflicts with the Alpine Barbarians. In that case, even if his rhetoric was a little far-fatched, with the Divine Warriors backing him up, he was certain that the other side would be unlikely to refuse his request.
As he expected, the outcome was exactly how he predicted. After a short moment of hesitation, the Barbarian King finally opened her mouth, "Yes, our Warrior Gala does not discriminate against outsider. If all of you really came with the intention to observe, then without a doubt, I will welcome you with my open arms."
Since she could not refuse them anyway, she might as well allow them to come in and join the festival. There were hundreds of different-sized clans that had countless of gallant warriors under her command and on top of that, she had her War God's Sword with her too. Why would she need to be afraid of the four people standing in front of her?
After getting the answer that he wanted, Baiyi put on a smile on his face and said, "Oh, not for the sake of observation only. I really want to participate in the Warrior Gala. I heard that the champion of the festival will get a generous reward right? If I win, would I be able to take this reward away with me too?"
Then, he turned his head towards the Divine Warriors standing beside him before he added, "And of course, don't you worry. They're not going to participate."
It was obvious what Baiyi's real intention was now. Hearing that, the King tightly gripped the sword hilt by her waist and after a slight pondering, a smile appeared on her face again, "If you are able to last till the very end, then yes, of course you'd be able to take your reward back with you. We are not stingy towards a true warrior."
The reason why she dared to say such words was because the War God's Sword had just told her that the man wearing a full armor was actually not that strong. According to the Southern standard, he was probably just an Advanced Level being, a level that she had no reason to fear. There would be many other strong warriors participating in the festival and it was not a place for a feeble person like him to blow his own horns.
Now that they had reached an agreement, the Barbarian King left with some cavalry guarding her, leaving the rest of the cavalry behind to show Baiyi and the other three into the King's compound. Unlike the grand manner of a human's palace, the tipis were just a little bigger than an ordinary barbarian's tipis. After all, they were a nomadic ethnic tribe that lived on grazing grasses. They simply could not afford to have a huge grand palace.
The ruling system of the Steppe Barbarians were clearly different from the ordinary human dynasty feud system. Instead of a hereditary system, they followed a treaty of alliance that was set up thousands of years ago. Whichever clan that had most Khans and the strongest horse will become the King, in which all of the other clans would have to swear their allegiance to him. However, this so-called King did not have absolute power and his main function was to just restrain the other clans from robbing lands from each others or to just act as an authoritative judge to arbitrate the disputes between clans. As a matter of fact, each of the tribes would still act according to their own rules. Whether the King was respected or not actually depended on the size and strength of his own clan. If the King's clan was powerful, the other tribes would obey him but if it's the other way around, then, the King's orders would most likely be unheeded.
However, there was one exception, and it was the War God's Sword. If one could get the recognition from the War God's Sword, then the whole grassland would acknowledge and swear their allegiance to him willingly. Still, generally, the War God's Sword would usually choose a Khan that had strong and powerful capabilities, transforming him into a shark with frickin' laser beams attached to its head.
Along the way, the group passed by many campground of the other clans, all of them were watching the four dissimilar people with vigilant eyes, sizing them up viciously from head to toe. Looking around, Baiyi discovered something interesting. Enthralled, he said in the Void, Looks like this time the War God's Sword has chosen the wrong master?
When they were walking, they passed through several campground of the other large clans, the number of the tipis there were more than the tipis in the King's compound. There were a lot of strong and robust men at the campgrounds as well and those were only the few who came to participate in the Warrior Gala, there were probably more of them at the main base camp. Clearly, it proved that the clan of the current King was actually not very strong, it was most likely the clan was much more inferior than the other big clans.
"No wonder it was so easy to strike a deal with her! Looks like it's because she doesn't have much support from the other clans," The Thane chirped in, "In my opinion, she must be suffering a lot trying to govern her tribe."
With the ruling style of the Steppe Barbarians, if the clan's strength was not strong enough, even if one was chosen to become the King by the War God's Sword, it was most likely that his ruling power would be extremely limited, not mentioning the lack of respect from the other clans. It was also probably why the current King seemed to be so friendly and amiable.
"No wonder the border is so peaceful these few years. Having such a peculiar King had probably given rise to many civil disputes among themselves. By my reckoning, many of these clans must be actually secretly accumulating their strength and preparing themselves to overthrow her. That is probably why they no longer waste their energy provoking the Alpine Barbarians. As for her, well, I'm sure she'd be even more afraid to do that. Look at the size of her clan! If there were more casualties in her clan, she'd be overpowered easily!" The Archmage who used to be an Emperor himself, made some simple analysis on the situation.
"I'm curious though, what would happen to her if she suddenly lost her War God's Sword?" The Lich suddenly queried out of the blue.
Instantly, Baiyi cast a Silence Spell on those five people. Even an ero game doesn't have these settings all at once, okay?
After he had made sure that the five of them could no longer make any sound, he replied, Probably nothing much. She would likely step down from her throne and bring her tribe away to start a new life. Their treaty of alliance protect those abdicated Kings and his clans. After all, not everybody can guarantee that their clans can continue to prosper for eternity, right? However, it's a whole other story whether the clan would be able to rise again or continue to decline till they're finally annexed by some other clans.
"Then, let us just go snatch the sword from her," The Lich continued to say, "Now that we're out for so long and wasted so much energy, we need to get some benefits for ourselves too! I'd heard some rumors before saying that the sword is actually quite powerful, too."
Relax! The sword chose its own master remember? How is it possible for us to just snatch it over like that? And so what if I really succeed in doing that? Do you expect me to become their King? Baiyi chuckled at the thought of it.
"I don't think you'll have to worry about that. They have so many people anyway. I'm sure many of them would be happier if the sword disappeared," The Lich laughed.
Oh? Somehow you have a point... But let's just put this matter aside for now and focus on rescuing the hostage first, shall we?
After they had entered the King's compound, many other Steppe Barbarians quickly rushed out from their tipis to have a good look at them, pointing their fingers and whispering at the same time,
"A-Are those the cannibalistic Alpine Barbarians? Oh, my goodness, just look at those rock-like muscles! Oh, sh*t, they are scary..."
"Would you look at that strongest one over there? He's so colorful! That's so hilarious!"
"Why do the goats look so creepy? W-Wait... Are they t-the legendary mountain goat? How did they grow to become this big?"
Hearing all these, Zar'Zar and Char'Char became particulary enraged by those people. The spears that were in their hands were actually throbbing with thirst now. If it wasn't for the Barbarian King who managed to arrive in time to break the crowd up, Baiyi's plan would most likely have already gone south.
Now that all of the onlookers were shooed away, the four of them were arranged to stay at a remote tipi far away from everybody. The location might seemed a little quiet and peaceful but in truth, it was a low-lying land where the marsh land was situated. That place was convenient for the cavalry to surround and charge at them if there was a slight movement, at the same time, it was easy for them to keep the four uninvited guests under surveillance.
"These tiny ants are so annoying! Don't they know that their strength and their weapons will not cause any harm to us? "Zar'Zar complained the instant he entered the tipi, "If it wasn't for Bro Hope's plan, I would already kill them all by now!"
Although they were slightly exasperated, the Divine Warriors were not some pea-brained creatures. At the very least, they still know how to behave and control their words and behaviours. During the whole journey, they behaved pretty well honouring the promises that they had made to Baiyi.
By the time the King ordered a few servants to serve them food, a sumptuous one that included a whole barbecued cow calf, the anger in the Divine Warriors finally subsided. Quickly, they surrounded the food and like a starved person who had not seen food for weeks, they tore the calf apart and devoured all of the food like monsters. The servants were so petrified by the sight in front of their eyes that they hastily scurried away.
It's a good thing they didn't serve a whole barbecued goat! Baiyi could not help but admire the cook's wit.
When nightfall arrived, Baiyi took out his storage pouch and proceeded to rummage inside it till he pulled out his old armor from that pouch, that classic militia body armor. Switching his soul into that old armor, he laid the sorcerer armor nicely onto the animal hide carpet to assume a sleeping pose and cast a spell on it. The spell made the armors chest rose up and down as if he was breathing.
"Bro Hope, how did you do this?" Zar'Zar lowered his voice down and whispered curiously.
"I'll explain to you in details later," Putting the black curtain cloak on his back, he once again transformed into a mysterious person fully cloaked in black. "Wait for me right here. Don't do anything reckless no matter what. And remember, DON'T kill anybody, okay?"
"You don't have to worry!" Huskar patted his chest and gave his words.
Baiyi nodded his head and immediately used the hidden skill of the Assassin, Sneak, disappearing right in front of the eyes of the three barbarians in front.
The two young Divine Warriors widened their eyes in shock. Astonished, they whispered, "W-Where did he go?"
"What a mysterious brother! No wonder he could get the recognition of our ancestors," The Huskar mused to himself.
Baiyi who had used Sneak walked out of the tent quietly. Within just a few steps, he found a few guards hidden behind the tall grass. It seemed like the King was quite afraid of them. Then again, with their ability, it was impossible for them to see through the skill of the Shadow Assassin. They could not even sense anything at all when Baiyi walked directly pass them.
Just like that, Baiyi easily slipped into the King's compound without any obstacle at all.
The first step of his plan! Checked!