The Black Dagger (part 1)
The fifty first day in the mountain ranges.
“Do all of these killers think that I’m easy meat?” Linley glanced at the corpse of the female assassin, dressed in black. This woman only was a warrior of the fifth rank. Assisted by his magic, Linley was able to kill her by himself.
Doehring Cowart laughed. “Anyone who sees you will be able to tell that you are just a kid, a stupid kid who doesn’t know how high the heaven is or how deep the earth is, a kid that dares wander these mountains alone. Why wouldn’t they want to get an easy kill like you?”
Linley felt helpless.
He was still just fifteen. Despite having the physical size of a fully grown man, his face still betrayed his youth.
“This woman wounded me as she died. It’s not a big deal that I have another scar, but she ruined my clothes as well. Now I only have one set of clothes remaining.” Seeing the giant, gaping hole in his clothes, Linley didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry.
Linley had managed to acquire several sets of clothes from attempted assassins, but he had lost even more, here in the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts.
“Boss, the magicite cores in this person’s bag are worth a couple thousand gold coins. Can a set of clothes be worth that much?” Bebe immediately argued.
Hearing these words, Linley laughed.
After having spent well over a month in these mountains, the scars on his body had grown more and more plentiful, but so too had the number of magicite cores in his backpack.
“Forget it. From now on, I’m going naked from the waist up. I’ll save my last set of clothes for when I go back. No one will see me anyhow, here in these mountains.” Linley determinedly tossed aside the ruined set of clothes, going bare-chested. His black dagger in hand, he marched onwards.
During this period of time, this black dagger had provided quite a bit of assistance to Linley.
After walking for a while, Linley began to casually murmur the words to a spell. After a short moment, a gust of wind began to swirl around the area, with Linley at the center. This was the Windscout spell once again. In an area with a diameter of 300 meters centered on Linley, nothing could escape Linley’s attention.
Generally speaking, after walking for an extended period of time, Linley would be cautious and cast the Windscout spell. After walking for a while, Linley once again cast the Windscout spell.
“Ah, a group of people? Why are those people hiding on top of that tree?” Linley felt curious.
At this moment, about a hundred meters south of Linley, around ten or so people were hiding on top of an enormous old tree, with a girth so wide that seven people had to link hands to surround it. Curious, Linley couldn’t help but quietly sneak closer.
Slowly, carefully, Linley crept into a patch of tall, thick grass, from whence he had a vantage point to peer at the ten people on the tree.
Those ten or so people were all wearing black clothes, and each of them had a black dagger sheathed at their waists.
“Black dagger?” Linley’s gaze fixed upon one black dagger in particular.
In terms of both shape and coloration, it was identical to the one in Linley’s hands. In addition, the ten or so people hiding on top of the tree gave Linley a similar, sinister feeling, very much like when Linley encountered that first assassin.
“The same black clothes, and the same black dagger, and…” Linley noticed that the backs of all of these men were bulging slightly.
Linley couldn’t help but think back to that first assassin, who had his backpack tightly strapped to his back, beneath his clothes. It was only because Bebe had ripped the assassin’s clothes open that they had discovered the backpack.
“They belong to the same organization.” Even an idiot would come to this conclusion.
Linley’s heartbeat involuntarily began to speed up. At this point in time, the people hiding on the tree were talking in a low tone.
“Why haven’t #18 and #7 come back yet?” One of the black-garbed men said unhappily.
“Possibly dead.” Another black-garbed man said coldly.
“Watch the time. We’ll wait until night falls. If they aren’t back by nightfall, then regardless of whether or not they are still alive, they will be considered to have failed.” Another black-garbed man said coldly. Hearing his words, the other black-garbed men fell silent.
Hidden within the grass below, Linley could guess that the person who had just spoke was the leader of this group of black-garbed men. He felt secretly startled. “The person who tried to kill me originally was a warrior of the sixth rank, specializing in the darkness-style. Most likely, their leader is even stronger.”
Linley immediately moved to retreat, but after just taking a few steps back…
The leader suddenly frowned and swerved, staring directly at Linley.
A black blur shot out at Linley at high speed, shocking Linley. He realized, “I’ve been exposed!” He immediately utilized the wind-style Supersonic speed, and at the highest speed he could muster, fled deeper in the forest.
As far as Linley was concerned, the deeper one went into the mountains, the more dangerous it was. The opponent, upon seeing him run into the deep, dangerous mountains, might hesitate and refrain from chasing him. Linley had already made up his mind that after going a bit deeper in, he would change directions and leave.
Seeing the black backpack on Linley’s back and the black dagger in his hands, the expression on the face of the leader of the group changed.
“#2, deal with him.” The black-garbed leader ordered.
The higher the ranking number was, the stronger one was. The leader had already been able to accurately gauge Linley’s strength from Linley’s movements just then.
“Yes, lord.” One of the black-garbed men immediately jumped down from the tree, and began to pursue Linley with astonishing speed. But because Linley had a significant head start, and was quite far from him to begin with, the two of them started off at a 70 meter distance.
But this black-garbed man really was very fast, seemingly a bit faster than even the first assassin.
“What astonishing speed.” Linley agilely made his way into the mountains, sometimes crawling, sometimes jumping.
But from behind, the black-garbed man continued to coldly pursue, and the distance between the two continued to shrink. 60 meters. 50 meters. 40 meters. 30 meters. The longer Linley fled, the closer the pursuing assassin got.
10 meters. 9 meters. 8 meters. 7 meters!
Apparently terrified out of his wits, Linley headed directly for the deepest parts of the mountains.
“Wind-style magus?” The black-garbed man could tell that Linley was being aided by wind magic. “Even aided by wind-magic, he’s so slow. Looks like he’s a warrior of the fourth rank, at most the peak of the fourth rank.” Totally confident in his ability to kill Linley, the black-garbed man continued to draw closer.
On the surface, Linley seemed terrified, but in reality, he was quite calm and steady.
“We’ve run a few kilometers. Those ten assassins shouldn’t be able to see us from here.” A cold look suddenly flashed through the fleeing Linley’s eyes, and at the same time, the little Shadowmouse, Bebe, which had been crouched over, ‘terrified’ on Linley’s shoulders, suddenly moved.
The little Shadowmouse suddenly expanded in size before the assassin’s eyes, and in the blink of an eye reached him. The assassin could clearly see the little Shadowmouse’s fiercely sharp teeth…