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“Go!” Medium Rare grabbed a table and threw it behind him. His tremendous strength turned even the blunt edge of the table top into a terrifying blade.
The faces of the hunters changed. They jumped out of the way one by one, not one having the courage to receive the blow. They knew all too well how terrifying the power of an enraged troll could get.
The a.s.sa.s.sin stuck close to Medium Rare, his actions practised and skilful. Using the whirling table as a blind spot, his dagger left a frightful wound on the troll’s enormous body.
The muscles around the injury squirmed non-stop, as if trying to close the wound. However, it was to no avail; a stream of blood poured out, as if a wine barrel had been smashed open against a counter. Even the troll’s powerful vitality could not stem the blood flow; the dagger clearly was enchanted to enhance its cutting power.
Medium Rare turned around, howling as he threw a punch at the a.s.sa.s.sin. The nimble killer seemed to turn into a shadow as he avoided the heavy blow, once again plunging his blade into the back of the troll’s knee. It left behind a wound that was at least ten centimetres deep.
The troll roared in pain. The tendons in his right leg had been broken, leaving him unable to support his body as he landed heavily on his knee. The brief exchange proved that the a.s.sa.s.sin was at least level 14, and even the others disguised as bounty hunters were level 11 or above.
Olar’s face paled. For a split second, he entertained the thought of escaping alone.
This was clearly a planned a.s.sa.s.sination. Given his ability, if he stayed he would undoubtedly die. However, that hesitation was fleeting. He clenched his teeth, quickly starting a spellsong. Sadly, there were few spells he could use in this situation, and they were all weak. Neither his skills at archery nor his warsongs were useful in an indoor melee. Facing many high-level opponents, he knew that these grade 3 spells couldn’t do much. Still, this was the only way he could help Medium Rare.
Phaser stood up, but she remained in a strange curled posture as she tried her best to reduce her size as a target. Her gaze was fixed on the tavern boss. He looked like any other old man to the ordinary eye, his expression one of panic, but in her vision he was lighting aflame as he prepared for battle. His internal energy was murky and thick, putting him at level 13 at minimum!
“Careful of the boss!” she shrieked urgently. Her sharp voice pierced everyone’s ears like a needle, stopping them in their tracks.
Originally driven insane by the alcohol and acute pain, Medium Rare immediately sobered up. A dark silhouette flashed behind Phaser only moments after her shout, a jagged armour-breaking sword entering her back. Even her natural armour could not hold out against the sharp blade, an ear-splitting crack ringing out as the weapon pierced straight towards her heart.
Medium Rare started howling once more, his skin quickly turning red. This was a sign of him going berserk. The troll swung horizontally, sweeping his fist towards the tavern boss who was making his way towards him. The boss paled in shock; the air blown towards him was bitingly cold, holding overwhelming might. There wasn’t enough distance to dodge; he could only erect a barrier of energy as a last-second measure before crossing his arms, doggedly trying to fend off this attack.
Cracking sounds rang out as the man’s bones were shattered. He was flung away by the punch, sent flying through two walls before cras.h.i.+ng outside the tavern. Even though he had level 14 energy, he was only an a.s.sa.s.sin; he was bound to be injured in a direct confrontation against someone with extraordinary strength.
With that done, Medium Rare slammed into the wall. The wood collapsed like cardboard, the broken piece fished out by the troll and thrown towards the crowd of a.s.sa.s.sins. A fierce whistle rang out as the wall smashed towards their head, powder flying everywhere. Even the level 15 a.s.sa.s.sin didn’t dare try and block it.
One of them was a little too slow to dodge the attack. The edge of the broken wall knocked into him, sending him flying into the distance.
On the other hand, their leader had fallen to the ground in a flash. Moving like a lizard, he made it to Medium Rare’s feet in the blink of an eye. Using a dagger that was as wide as an axe, he sliced into the troll’s foot and cut off two of his toes.
“ARGH!” Medium Rare howled in pain, punching the floor with his huge fist. The blow smashed a deep pit into the floor, the explosive wind coming from the outburst blowing away some of the customers who could not get away in time. The snake-like a.s.sa.s.sin was long gone, even having left another wound on the troll’s elbow. This cut was too hurried to make it to the bone, but the diagonal slash exposed red and white tissue to leave blood splattering everywhere.
On the other side, Phaser’s body trembled as she swept her left arm behind her. However, the a.s.sa.s.sin only smiled s.a.d.i.s.tically as the dagger in his hand pulled out and stabbed her twice more. His level was so much higher than her’s that her actions were extremely slow in his eyes. There were numerous flaws in her defence, and even after the two extra stabs he could calmly stretch out his left hand to grip her attacking hand’s wrist.
This exchange was enough for him to learn of her strength. His hand was like a steel vice, and he had full confidence that it would shatter her wrist.
And indeed, her left hand fell into his, but he didn’t feel like he had grabbed a wrist at all. He could feel a blade’s edge within, and given how much force he had exerted that one grip stung his palm hard enough to reach the bone.
The a.s.sa.s.sin felt enraged at losing to this hidden weapon, immediately drawing his sword to stab Phaser’s heart again. However, a strong wind blew in his face as a huge fist entered his sight! He hadn’t thought that the troll, injured as he was by his comrades, would choose him as the target. Only able to use his arms to block, he was sent flying by Medium Rare.
“Go! Quickly!” The troll scooped Phaser up, tossing her out through the hole in the wall. He then reached out and grabbed Olar, throwing the bard away as well. His actions were violent and sudden, interrupting Olar’s spellcasting.
“You’re more important to Master. Go quickly! I’ll stop them!” Medium Rare yelled, using his huge body to plug the hole in the tavern’s wall.
The face of the a.s.sa.s.sin leader fell. He waved his dagger and charged forth like a shadow in the wind, every flash leaving deep wounds in the troll’s head. Rare’s heavy fists did not hit him at all. The troll was covered in wounds that severely slowed him down, only relying on instinct to throw punches just to buy time. How could such random attacks. .h.i.t a level 15 a.s.sa.s.sin?
However, the leader’s expression only turned colder. His dagger flashed faster and faster, basically splitting Medium Rare apart until there was no more blood to spill, but the troll remained standing as he threw punches that were each stronger than the last. A momentary slip up could spell lethal danger. Trolls were indeed tenacious, but this was unheard of. The most wretched thing was that the thing had sent away its weaker companions! Was this not just cruel stupidity?
Outside the Pub, Olar and Phaser had fallen to the ground. The bard turned over and got up; there were no thoughts in his mind outside of saving Medium Rare. His vision red, he stared at the tavern and started das.h.i.+ng towards the troll who looked like he was made of blood. However, his feet were suddenly pulled back and he fell again.
“Escape.” Phaser only said this one word, her tone inhuman. She then paid no more attention to him, jumping up from her spot and rus.h.i.+ng off into the dark night. She shrugged off her robe, exposing her body completely as she melded into the darkness in a few steps.
Being sent to the cold ground calmed Olar down. He finally understood clearly that rus.h.i.+ng back would not save Rare’s life; it would only add to their own casualties.
Medium Rare was originally the most likely one to escape. An enraged level 12 troll was someone perhaps only a saint could stop without getting hurt. However, he still chose to let the weaker Olar and Phaser escape. In his simple mind, he only knew that they were more important to Richard.
He raised his head to look in their direction one last time. The troll’s large body was like a firm mountain, blocking the hole in the wall. Blood, flesh, even his organs constantly spilt out from his sides, but his humongous body stayed still to the end.
Olar turned around and flew out, not daring to look back even if the pain in his chest screamed for him to take it out on someone. He was scared of attracting the attention of the a.s.sa.s.sins; they had already managed to get to the small window in the kitchen and jumped out to attack.
His steps felt far heavier than usual. He knew that he now carried the weight of the troll’s original responsibilities on his shoulders.