He shook his head at how his day has been going. Nothing was proceeding how he had wanted it to proceed. His temper was rising by the minute. He clenched his fist as tight as he could. He could not revert back to his old ways. He was done with that life after the adversities that he had been through. How could he throw away his life that he had built just because these insignificant beings had tempered with his life. Although, perhaps these assassins will leave him alone if he cooperated with them.
“Hand them over, you peasant!”
Just as Max was about to greet his visitors, the assassin at the front of the other four commanded.
“By the order of the high being, you are to surrender those two fugitives behind you.”
Max observed these five people that had rudely barged in and broke his door. The one who had shouted had an aura that is unusual to the other four. Max noticed that the leader was trying to suppress Max through his aura. Though the power was weak, Max decided to stagger back and fall to one knee.
“B-By all means, they are yours.” Max replied and crawled to the side, beckoning them to seize the two girls. Max had pretended to be weak so as to drop the leader’s defenses to take advantage later. This was also useful as the sooner they apprehend the two girls, the sooner he can get back to his normal life. The leader held his head high, believing that he had successfully tamed Max, and walked slowly towards the two girls. It was as if he was parading his might towards the audience there. Watching this facade, Max was impressed by his acting skills. How had he not realised this talent sooner when he was little simply was mind-blowing.
When the leader finally reached the two girls, his eyes were gleaming looking at the two girls. “I could not wait for my reward. Perhaps I should have fun with the both of you before the high being gets to.” He drooled while looking at the two girls. He was captivated by the beauty of the two girls in front of him. Looking at the tattered clothing of the two girls, his mind had wandered elsewhere.
“Leader! That would not be wise!” One of his lackeys ran up to behind him and exclaimed.
“It would be a satisfying death, no? You would even get to enjoy them to yourselves after me”
While they were bickering amongst themselves over the two girls, Max looked at the two girls. Fear had overcome them and they were shivering. They hugged each other as best as they could, as if trying to find solace in each other’s arms.
Out of nowhere, Lucy stood up and shouted. “Wait! We know where the legendary sword is. We will take you there if you spare our lives!” She tried to plead for their lives.
The leader stopped in his tracks and thought about it. He turned around and walked out of the door, motioning to his team to watch the three people. The girls looked at each other, a momentary relief overcame them as they had barely made through that ordeal without sacrificing themselves. What would happen next would depend on the enemies’ decision.
Max was slightly surprised at what had just happened. ‘Just what could the legendary sword be?’ He thought to himself, trying to figure out what kind of sword it was. Given a few minutes to
themselves, they could not do anything under the gazes of the remaining four assassins. Max was growing weary and was almost going to stand his ground before noticing the two girls crawling discreetly towards him.
“Don’t do it, Max. These are very dangerous people. They are considered one of the top assassins in the country and they would kill without mercy. The one who just left was Daniel. He was a criminal back then, wanted in many different countries before the change in management. Now, he reigns supreme over the majority of the nobles. He was known for his notoriety, some of the rumours indicated he is proficient in torturing his victims as he enjoyed the wails of his prey.” Sandy warned him, her voice filled with the mixture of concern and fear. Lucy nodded along to confirm what Sandy had just said.
Max felt conflicted inside, arguments were taking place inside his head. On one hand, he was touched by the sentiments of these two girls. They were willing to warn him of the danger ahead, risking their lives in doing so. Not many people have this mindset and it was refreshing to see it happen upon his first contact with humanity after so long. On the other hand, he swore to himself never to be fooled by the antiques of humanity. They will always prioritize their safety, sacrificing others if need be. He nodded and decided not to do anything as he wanted to find out more about the mysterious legendary sword. Part of it was because as far as he knew, there was no such thing as a sword that is able to reach legendary status.
The one named Daniel walked back into the house and had a complicated expression. He looked towards the girls before ordering his men to round the three hostages up.
“You’d be wise to show me the location of that sword without any tricks. Or you would wish that there was a shortcut of a quick death.” Daniel warned the two girls.
From the tone of his voice, Max was sure that whoever Daniel was reporting to had given a command Daniel was unhappy with. They left the house and began walking under the guidance of the girls. They had to walk cautiously in these parts of the forests as the monsters here were bred different from what they were used to.
The monsters here were vicious and known for killing men at an abnormal rate. There was once a greedy king who wanted a rare monster only to find it in the forest, and sent his army to capture that monster alive. However, not even weeks passed, they came across one of the more dangerous creatures which had massacred the entire army. The general of that army immediately left the forest and reported back to his king. The king was furious, yelling all sorts of profanities before taking it up to himself to find and subdue whatever the creature was. When the king reached the forest, he saw another creature that was different to what the general had described. News of the king’s death spread like wildfire and the kingdom had set up exaggerated defenses, fearing that whatever was inside might come out to hunt them. Hence, from then on, people had not been entering the forest, fearing for their life.
The more they walk, the more Max realizes that the girls had been bringing them circles around the forest. He had seen the same tree over and over again and was beginning to wonder if the girls actually know the location of the sword. He looked towards Daniel and saw that he was not looking too pleased at the progress. Max did not want to say anything as he was really curious about the sword. As someone who grew up in the way of the sword, he had to find out what was unique about the sword.
“ENOUGH!” Daniel bellowed after walking a few more hours. He walked towards the two girls and grabbed Susan by the neck, “You don’t actually know where the sword is, do you?” He asked even though he roughly had known the answer.
“N-No. I am sure it was somewhere around here.” Sandy stammered as she struggled to answer. She could not let them know that she was just dragging them around. She wanted to tire them out, hoping for a miracle that would come and save them. Though a miracle happening is not favourable, she did not want to fall into despair by giving up any small hope she had left.
A few more kilometers of walking, she was scanning the area to maybe find any situation that could help them escape. Right in the corner of her eye, she saw what seemed to be an entrance to a cave. She thought that if she could lead them into the cave, she could trap them in and run amidst the chaos that would ensue. She started to formulate a plan inside her head, but due to the fatigue, she could not complete the plan as there were many flaws. Despite not having a solid plan, she decided to go through with it as there was a slight chance of success.
Upon reaching the entrance of the cave, Daniel commanded them to stop and turned towards the girls. His gaze was menacing, making the girls flinch. His men wondered why they had stopped abruptly in front of the cave. However, they knew better than to question their leader’s orders hence they stood there silently waiting for the next orders.
“Are you sure the sword’s in there?” Daniel asked. He was sceptical and thought that it might be too much of a cliche that a sword just happened to be inside a cave where there was only one entrance and exit to the place.
Sandy nodded her head in confirmation while Lucy on the other hand, was clinching on to the other’s sleeves. Seeing this, Daniel was unsure that going in a group was wise. Hence, he separated the group. Daniel brought along three of his men along with Sandy and Max. He left behind the remaining number of guys with Lucy. This is because he wanted an assurance that neither of this trio could try anything out of the ordinary. Having one hostage outside would prevent any thought of rebelling.
Sandy knew this was going to happen so for her plan to succeed, she needed the cooperation of Max. She looked at Max, hoping to get at least an eye contact. However, Max was uninterested as their gazes never crossed path once. Sandy was at a loss for words. She thought at least Max would look at her or something yet Max was interested at the cave more. She sighed to herself but she knew she could not give up. Giving up here would end her life forever. Dying here would be a better solace than ending up in the hands of Goliath or, even worse, Daniel. There was not much she could do as she reluctantly entered the cave with the group.
Max looked around the cave to see if there were any signs that could indicate the presence of a legendary sword. His curiosity had peaked when they had hinted there might be a sword in this cave. Throughout his search, he had noticed Sandy’s gaze honing in on him. He felt uncomfortable and tried to avoid her as much as he could. He did his best avoiding her and walked further back in the group, hoping that she would take the hint. What amazed him next was the size of the cave. No one would have thought that the cave which could be found in a small mountain could contain a cave this huge.
As they continued walking forward, the people at the front of the group shouted in fear. The more they went in the cave, the darker it got hence their visibility was getting impaired by the minute. It was almost automatic that all of them flicked their fingers, to summon a mini fire that spawned right beside them to light the space surrounding them. The more they walked in, the eerier it got. It felt as though it was devoid of life. The air got thinner and soon, they had to rely on one of them to keep the light supply on as they did not want to extinguish their air supply. They treaded carefully, not wanting to take any wrong steps. One of the men gasped, before turning to whisper to them.
“There is a tunnel going down just ahead. There is also a weird statue right in front of the tunnel.”
Without sacrificing his men, Daniel shoved Max forward. It was better to let this unimportant side character be the bait to attract any traps compared to letting his men or the girl lead. It was better to sacrifice this peasant rather than the girl whom the lord had his eyes on. If he were to return with the corpse of the girl, he fears the consequence that would befall on his family.
Max raised both of his arms in surrender and started walking. He wanted to know what secrets lie in the cave hence he continued pretending to be a frail villager that seemed to be easily bullied.