Travelling on this desolate road, Shaq, the Second Prince of Fenlai, was bitterly cursing at these magical beasts. Off in the distance, Linley quietly removed the interspatial ring from his fingers and placed it within one of his pockets.
“The royal clan of Fenlai divided into several squads when they left. No doubt, they had made prior arrangements for where they would meet up.”
Linley was worrying about where he would find Clayde, but now that heaven had delivered Shaq and his squad to him, how could Linley not be overjoyed? In addition, Linley could guess…that when he had tried to assassinate Clayde, then been captured by the Radiant Church, the Radiant Church had originally still planned to make use of him and thus had most likely had ordered Clayde to keep silent.
“Perhaps this Shaq doesn’t yet know that the ‘demon’ who tried to kill his father was me.”
As he was thinking these thoughts, Linley began to walk in Shaq’s direction.
Linley had another thought as well. “If Shaq knows that I tried to kill his father, then none of them will be spared!” Shaq’s men were powerful in comparison to most magical beasts, but compared to these two freaks Linley and Bebe, they weren’t much at all.
“Second Prince! Your Highness!”
Linley called out in a loud, friendly voice.
Shaq, who had been eating roasted meat while cursing, started upon hearing Linley’s shout. He swiveled his head over to look at Linley. As he did so, Linley and Bebe both watched him carefully, paying attention to his every facial expression and to his gaze.
“If anything seems off at all, first we capture, then we kill!” Linley carefully watched Shaq’s eyes and face.
Upon seeing Linley, Shaq excitedly jumped to his feet. He charged over, his burly body two meters tall, and immediately pulled Linley into a massive hug. In an overjoyed voice, he said, “Lord Linley, you actually made it out safely! This is wonderful, wonderful!”
“I am very happy to be able to see you here as well, Second Prince!” Linley didn’t detect any falseness in Shaq’s eyes or expressions. He nodded to himself.
Linley’s guess was spot on. Clayde had been instructed by the Radiant Church to remain silent, and that he could not, no matter what, reveal that the ‘demon’ who had attempted to assassinate him was Linley. No matter how daring Clayde was, he wouldn’t dare disobey the direct orders of the Radiant Church.
“Lord Linley, have you eaten yet? Come, come eat with us.” Shaq warmly said.
Right now, Shaq had no idea that he was walking on a fine line between life and death. If just now, there had been anything wrong with his facial expressions, he would’ve died.
“Lord Linley, please don’t blame my royal father for not rescuing you. Those hordes of monsters came too quickly. My royal father had no choice. He didn’t even bring most of his royal consorts, only just the most important ones.” Shaq explained on behalf of his father.
“I can understand.” Linley nodded while walking towards their camp.
All of those elite knights reminded Linley of the Wildthunder Regiment knights he had fought back when he attacked Clayde at the royal palace. The knights in front of him had a very similar aura and bearing to those knights back then. Aside from those thirty or so knights, there was a slightly older lady, and a little girl who was only five or six years old.
“My respects to you, Royal Consort. My respects to you, Princess.”
Linley immediately bowed towards those two women.
The very beautiful, refined-looking consort was over forty years old, but she looked as though she was barely thirty. She was an alluring, attractive woman. The consort immediately laughed. “Linley, when his Majesty left, he was in a terrible rush. He didn’t bring a single magus with him. And, he felt confident that the Radiant Church would rescue you, thus…”
Both Shaq and the consort immediately made explanations for Clayde.
Both Shaq and the consort felt that it was very important to have good relations with Linley. They didn’t know the real relationship between Linley and Clayde.
“I understand.” But in his heart, Linley was laughing coldly. Earlier, when he was battling with Clayde’s men in the palace, Linley had already noticed that the guards consisted solely of knights, and that no magi were present. Similarly, there were no magi present here in Shaq’s squad either.
Clearly, when fleeing, Clayde hadn’t had time to look after his magi at all.
Although magi were very useful when it came to doing battle, this time they were engaging in flight, not in battle with magical beasts. Bringing a magus along would actually slow things down. How could a magus travel as quickly as a powerful warrior? Some of the more powerful warriors could run like the wind even if they had no horse. But magi?
On this desolate road, Shaq and his squad continued to hurry forward nonstop. Some of the formerly prosperous villages on the way had already been reduced to ash, and rotting corpses were strewn everywhere. In this wasteland, magical beasts could often be seen roaming about singly or in pairs.
Those lucky humans who had manage to escape the first massacre would eventually all be chased down and eaten by these roaming magical beasts.
“Our Kingdom of Fenlai is finished.”
Shaq, riding side by side with Linley on their horses, said with a sigh as he looked off into the distance. Occasionally, a magical beast would launch attacks against them, but the Wildthunder knights would easily dispose of them. Shaq and Linley’s conversations weren’t disrupted at all.
“Most likely nine out of ten citizens of the Kingdom of Fenlai are dead now.” Linley’s face was full of sorrow and despair as well.
Shaq nodded slightly.
In his heart, Shaq was also in mourning. The destruction of the Kingdom of Fenlai meant that his clan was no longer a royal clan. When there was no kingdom, how could there be a royal clan?
“Fortunately…” Shaq’s thoughts turned to the five magicrystal cards in his bag. With these five magicrystal cards, even though the royal clan of Fenlai no longer had a kingdom, it wouldn’t be too hard for them to become a powerful clan again, thanks to their thousands of years of accumulated wealth. Linley suddenly said, “Second Prince, where will we be meeting with his Majesty?”
The purpose of Linley travelling with Shaq was to learn of Clayde’s whereabouts.
Shaq said with resignation, “Lord Linley, my royal father and I originally didn’t expect the scope of this disaster to be so wide. Thus, the two meeting points we had originally designated were within the Kingdom of Fenlai’s borders and are now useless. Right now, the only thing I can do is follow our original plan and keep heading north. When we reach one of the cities that was designated by me and my royal father, we will stop, if the city is safe.”
Linley instantly understood.
Clayde and Shaq had designated more than one city as possible rendezvous points. They most likely designated a string of cities heading north of the city of Fenlai. Whichever city was safe would be the city they would stop at.
“Which cities did you and his Majesty designate as meeting points?” Linley asked with a laugh.
Shaq wasn’t suspicious at all. He immediately said, “There were quite a few cities. Some were within the Kingdom of Fenlai, while others were in the kingdoms and dukedoms to the north. We even designated a city within the O’Brien Empire.”
“The O’Brien Empire?” Linley began to laugh.
Shaq said, somewhat embarrassed, “My royal father was worried that these magical beasts might take over the territory of the entire Holy Union. If that was the case, we would be forced to flee to the O’Brien Empire. The O’Brien Empire is the empire with the strongest military force in the Yulan continent, and definitely would be able to stop those magical beasts.”
Linley knew much more than Shaq did.
The O’Brien Empire didn’t just possess a powerful military. It also had War God O’Brien.
As long as the War God was present, even that ‘King’ of the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts would have to seriously consider whether or not attacking the O’Brien Empire was a good idea.
“No need to over-think it. We’ll just continue to make our way forward. When we reach a safe spot, we’ll find the nearest city that my father and I designated, then we’ll rest. Lord Linley, let’s speed up. Giddy up, giddy up!” As he spoke, Shaq sped up as well. Their hoof steps speeding up, the squad of knights quickly made their way through the wilderness.
Travelling with Shaq and his squad, Linley no longer had to personally act when they were attacked by magical beasts. Those Wildthunder troops disposed of all the attackers.
Three days later.
“Two kingdoms and three duchies have collapsed.”
Shaq and Linley had passed the Kingdom of Fenlai, the Kingdom of Hanmu, as well as two duchies. They had just entered the Dukedom of Ligaode, but here, too, no humans could be seen.
Such a huge swath of territory had fallen. This really was an astonishing event.
After all, the Holy Union only had six kingdoms and fifteen duchies to begin with.
A series of growls from magical beasts could be heard from far away, mixed with the shouts of men. Hearing those mixed sounds, Linley and Shaq immediately knew what was going on.
“There’s a battle between humans and magical beasts going on up ahead.” Shaq frowned. Rubbing his chin, he said, “Everyone, be careful. Let’s go around them.” “Yes.” The members of the Wildthunder squad said respectfully.
Leading his men, Shaq carefully circled around the area in front. But when they got close to the combat area, Shaq suddenly stared at the battlefield. “Prince Louis [Luo’yi]?”
Linley also turned to pay attention to that battlefield. Another elite squad of knights was there, but unfortunately, this squad had terrible luck. They had run into a pack of Fire Lions.
Fire Lions were fire-element magical beasts of the seventh rank. They could easily blast fireballs from their mouths, and their bodies were wreathed in flame.
Although they were ‘only’ magical beasts of the seventh rank, magical beasts naturally were more powerful than most humans of the same rank. Even a warrior of the eighth rank would usually have to expend some effort to kill a fire-element magical beast of the seventh rank. But clearly, within that elite squad of knights, there were very few warriors of the eighth rank. The majority were of the seventh rank.
Over half of this squad of knights had died as a result of this battle against nearly twenty Fire Lions. Only a third of the Fire Lions had perished.
But although half of the knights had perished, none of the warriors of the eighth rank had. Thus, in reality, the squad of knights had only lost a third of its total combat potential.
“Stop.” Shaq ordered.
The group of knights were startled, but they all nodded. The power of the Wildthunder squad, when added to Prince Louis’ forces, should be enough to kill those Fire Lions without too much trouble. But what surprised them was that Shaq didn’t permit them to do battle right away.
Another half of Prince Louis’ men had died or been injured, including two warriors of the eighth rank. Half of the Fire Lions had died as well. Only now did Shaq give the order.
“Let’s go. Rescue Prince Louis.” Shaq suddenly ordered his men.
Instantly, the Wildthunder squad began to charge. With the added strength of these thirty-plus warriors, ten of them of the eighth rank, five of the Fire Lions were instantly killed. The rest, seeing the writing on the wall, quickly turned tail and fled.
“Prince Shaq, thank you, thank you!”
Prince Louis was an extremely handsome young man, but right now, he looked to be in a very sorry state. Upon seeing Shaq, Louis was so grateful that he ran over to hug him.
“Prince Louis, alas, I saw your squad of knights attacked from quite far away, but due to self-preservation considerations, I hesitated for a while. Only after I saw it was you did I order my men to come attack. I hope you won’t blame me.” Shaq said very ‘honestly’. He regretfully added, “If I had come a bit earlier, you would’ve lost fewer men.”
Earlier, Shaq and his knights had waited far away for quite a while. How could experts like Louis and his men not be aware?
In his heart, Louis had borne a grudge towards Shaq, but now, hearing him say this, Louis somewhat believed him.
It made sense.
After such a disaster had occurred, who would go rescue someone who had no relation to one’s self?
“Prince Shaq, no need to say such things. I am already extremely grateful. If it weren’t for you, most likely only two or three of us would be remaining. Hey, no need. We can take care of our own people’s corpses.” Seeing one of Shaq’s men actually go and remove the bags from the corpses of their own volition, Louis shouted out at them.
As soon as the Fire Lions had fled, those few lucky survivors of Prince Louis’ force immediately went to remove the bags from the corpses of the deceased, then put them on.
This naturally raised Shaq’s suspicions.
Why bring the bags of the deceased? Thus, he ordered that man to go remove some of the bags. Indeed, it had agitated Prince Louis. “Alright, here you go.” Shaq’s knight immediately handed the bag over. When Louis’ knight received the bag, he glared angrily at Shaq’s knight.
Seeing this, Shaq only laughed coldly in his heart.
This was too easy to guess.
Very few royal clans were in possession of an interspatial ring. The royal clan of Fenlai had only managed to acquire one through great luck. Now that disaster had struck, naturally these royal clans would want to take the treasures in their treasuries with them. Without interspatial rings, the only option was to carry them in bags. For Prince Louis to be so agitated about these bags most likely meant that he was having his subordinates carry important treasures of the Kingdom of Hanmu.
“Not too many men left. 100% chance of success.” Shaq looked at Louis’ men. He had already made his decision.