Now that it had come to this, Baiyi could no longer act as a bystander. He had to save them!
He had to save the city’s guards and sorcerers, for they did not know how close to death they were!
‘If your opponent is some who could punch an enormous city off its hinges, should you not be a little away of the disparity between your strength and theirs? Do you think this gap can be easily bridged by throwing numbers at it? Well, too bad; the number of people you have here is not enough to fill their dentures.’
Baiyi thought weakly. He charged forward, imbuing his dash with every speed-boosting spell that he knew, and rushed towards the centurion. The centurion, who was frowning at the intruders, swung his arms to authorize an all-out attack.
Right as the arm was about to complete its descent, Baiyi caught it in mid-air, and the soldiers froze.
“Where has this soul armature come from, and how did it stop our superior abruptly?”
The centurion was also shocked to see soul armature. He examined Baiyi for a moment and almost shrieked “Assassin!!!”. This was because Baiyi, who was hovering in mid-air, had covered his helmet with a scarf, making him resemble a bandit from the Wild West. However, Baiyi stopped the centurion from screaming by saying, “Calm down! I’m here to help.”
He let off the centurion’s hand and floated to the ground. Seizing the rare moment of stunned silence, Baiyi identified himself to the flabbergasted crowd. “I’m Hope. And these three here are actually my good friends. It was all just a misunderstanding, okay? Lemme work it out.”
“…Hope? That Master Hope?” The centurion blabbered. He looked at Baiyi even closer and recognized the Emperor’s old possession on him the Sanctus. This was enough to verify Baiyi’s identity for there was only one Sanctus in the Northern Land.
After he had verified Baiyi’s identity, the centurion placed his men on standby and asked, “Alright, Master Hope. Now, you called these six monstrosities your ‘friends’, right? The issue here is that they have forcefully barged into the city, destroyed the gate, and incited chaos. This”
“ will be monetarily compensated,” Baiyi interrupted and tossed a storage pouch to the centurion; it was filled with gold coins. “Believe me, the real problem is the language difference… and their lack of understanding of our customs. They really meant no harm to you, for if they really did well, you wouldn’t be here to talk to me right now. ”
Although Baiyi had been indirect with his words, he still wanted to let them know of the strength that these three Divine Warriors possessed. If they had not come in peace, the city watch would not qualify as a warm-up for them; instead, the guards would have been decimated, and the city would have been run to the ground.
The centurion put away the pouch, but he still held reservations about Baiyi’s elucidation. He looked hesitantly at the unwelcome arrivals.
Baiyi spotted the look and flew over to him. He firmly clapped the centurion’s shoulder and exhaled. “These people are Divine Warriors, who had been living deep within the Eol Mountains for generations. You may not have heard of them, but I would encourage you to do some research on them. I can assure you that you will be very, very relieved that you made the smarter choice today.”
Then, ignoring the centurion’s bemusement, Baiyi flew back down to the ground and walked towards the center of the defense perimeter.
“Let him through,” the dumbstruck centurion ordered, caving into Baiyi’s request out of respect for his identity. That was only natural because the soul armature was one of few people the Emperor actually respected, so he would have nothing to gain by tricking the centurion.
The stunned shoulders made way for Baiyi as he walked towards his friends, who he had not seen for a while.
When the three Divine Warriors noticed Baiyi approaching, the Huskar’s face turned gloomy, and he muttered a warning to his brethren in the savage’s language, “Be careful. This one’s threatening.”
“Brother, at peace! It’s me, Hope.” Baiyi immediately introduced himself in their language. The last time they saw Baiyi, he was still in the standard sorcerer’s armor, so now that he had switched into the Sanctus, they had not recognized him.
“Brother Hope…? You mean, that Brother Hope who is really good at tossing a javelin?” Zar’Zar immediately spoke up.
“…Yes, it’s me, Brother Zar’Zar,” Baiyi replied, with a sigh. He could not fathom why Zar’Zar only remembered him because of his javelin toss, which he did only once. Baiyi began to exude the Divine Warrior’s unique scent.
One of the muscular mountain goats was the first to react to it. It snorted, trotted to Baiyi’s side, and gently nudged him.
Seeing the beast recognize Baiyi, Husker realized that was actually Baiyi, so he lowered his guard. He approached the soul armature him and began to study his new armor. “This… is Brother Hope’s scent, but what happened to your looks?” He asked.
“He became stronger, but also uglier,” Char’Char said, finally getting a chance to speak.
“Where are your hideous lady friends? Are they not with you?” Zar’Zar asked.
‘You dare to call my daughters hideous?’Baiyi thought, feeling displeased, but he remembered that the barbarians’ brains were wired differently than the brains of humans, especially when it came to appearances. Baiyi knew that if he uttered just one word of reprimand,he would have lost right there and then1.
“It’s a long story… one that we can talk about somewhere else,” Baiyi replied. He did not think it a good idea to talk about all that while being surrounded by soldiers, who were all on high alert.
“I agree! It’s annoying to be surrounded by ants without being able to smash them!” Huskar replied.
They shuffled out of the soldiers’ encirclement, without giving any of the guards a passing glance. The soldiers, who were embarrassed at the gesture, turned to their superior for orders.
The centurion was just as helpless. He paused for a bit and waved his arm, commanding the soldiers to let them go.
The soldiers relented, albeit reluctantly. However, one soldier decided to show a bit more “backbone”. He ignored his superior’s orders and did not sheath his steel blade; instead, he extended it to block Baiyi and the warriors.
Baiyi almost laughed out loud at the soldier’s childish antics. To him, this only highlighted a lack of discipline within the city watch. However, he did not feel like he had to do anything because this was not his show.
Thus, he stepped out of the path and walked past the blade.
The Divine Warriors, however, did not seem to care a whit for the glistening blade. They walked right into it, letting the edge make contact with their arms.
However, the rebellious soldier felt as though his sword was trying to slice a stell boulder, and all he could hear was the sounds of metal on metal. An immense forced traveled up from the blade to the hilt, and the soldier was forced to drop his sword.
The soldier hurriedly picked the sword back up, and to his horror, he noticed that the edges of his blade had been chipped so much, it now resembled a saw. That blade had been made from the finest steel!
‘What sort of monster would be able to meet a knife with their own body like that?!’The soldier thought, as beads of cold sweat dripped down his spine.
Since the Divine Warriors were a proud bunch, they would not let that act of aggression go unpunished, but instead taking actions themselves, they let their mountain goats handle it. One of the mountain goats turned around to face the city guards, who were riding horses, and gave a loud bleat.
The surrounding instantly descended into chaos. The horses raised their hooves and neighed in terror. Ignoring their riders, they began to bolt in different directions. Nevertheless, none of the terrified horses ran close to the mountain goats. Some bolted into the houses of residents, and some ran into the soldiers. The entire snafu was akin left the soldiers reeling.
Baiyi and his friends quickly left the scene with wide strides.
When the centurion finally managed to calm his skittish steed, he looked in the direction that Baiyi and his friends had gone, then he looked back at the mess they had left behind. The floor was littered with debris and some of his soldiers, who were rolling around in pain from injuries inflicted by their horses. The similarity between the scene and the scene of losing a battle gave him a migraine.
‘How did it even come to this?’The centurion thought helplessly.‘They didn’t even make a move, right? So why did our horses suddenly go hysterical?’
The more the centurion pondered, the more he was sure that he had indeed made the smartest choice. What he was seeing was just most minimal of losses.
Baiyi led the three Divine Warriors and their three goats to the royal manor on the outskirts of the city. Along the way, the group had attracted a lot a lot of uncomfortable stares. They were even stopped by the guards on patrol a couple of times, but Baiyi identified himself, and they were let go.
When they finally reached the manor, the Fifth Walker heaved a sigh of relief. He brought them to one of the empty gardens and sat on the floor. He summoned a maid and asked her to prepare some food. The mountain goats busied themselves with the grass in the garden.
“It would be great if you could get us a pig and a bull; roasted, off course! If you could get more, then that would be even better!” Baiyi told the maid.
The maid eyed him and his friends skeptically before leaving.
“I’d ordered something for you, my brothers. It should be ready in a short while,” Baiyi said, in the barbarians’ language.
“What a generous brother you are!” Zar’Zar exclaimed, with a thumbs-up.
“Ah, it’s nothing. But before we start to eat, may I know why are you here?” Baiyi asked the one question he was most interested in.
“I thought I’d told you before I wanna see the part of the sky where the outsiders see, and I wanna taste the land the outsiders live,” Huskar replied. He pulled up a handful of grass, stuffed it into his mouth, and began to chew slowly.
Suddenly, he furrowed his eyebrows, turned to a side, and spat it out.
His spittle surged like a projectile and struck a vase, and the vase shattered into pieces.
“Pfft. It’s sour and bitter at the same time! How do you even breed grass like that?”
‘… Tsk. Perhaps you should cosplay as aHydralisk2, man. If you had gotten into a fight with those flying sorcerers, I’m sure you would have used your spit to shoot them all down, right?’Baiyi sighed in his heart.
“Traveling isn’t the main reason, of course, ’cause the reason why we left was that our Ancestors asked us so. They also pointed us to here,” the Huskar turned back around to face Baiyi. Then, he shook his head sideways and said, “But this place is bad. I don’t like it here.”
“The Ancestors brought you here?!” Baiyi repeated, in surprise. Could the Divine Warriors be interested in the Book of Servitude as well?
‘What would they even use it for? They can’t even perform a single magic spell!’To them, the book would only serve as something to place underneath a table so that it would become taller…