[Riders] took the opportunity to shoot him. His Ring of Protection activated as a barrier around him absorbed three [Lightning Bolt] Spells and snapped multiple crossbow bolts. Ridi had tapped a stone on his belt that had sent a simple magical signal to the other [Mercenaries] that had been hired, letting them know their location.

Not a [Message] Spell, but a simple [Signal] Spell that lit up the receivers signal stone calibrated to tell a rough direction. ”I see that you
e not interested in my offer. ” Already, his five bodyguards were retreating inside the house, where their horses wouldn fit. Jascias pulled out a magical scroll encased in gold from his pocket, and the adversaries had already felt the mana buildup as he unfurled it. From the magic circle within the parchment made from a magical beast, six lances of brilliant blue ice homed towards the riders. Most of them evaded it, but one of their horses was struck on his hooves. The frost had spread throughout the horses body, immobilizing it and slowly killing it. Its rider dismounted, staying away from the frost that spread throughout the grass. The projectiles that missed and hit the ground had created an area that freezes anything within its radius, and it had kept spreading.

The [Riders] wary of the Tier 5 Spell had stayed clear of the ever-expanding area of ice magic that threatened to freeze them. A Tier 5 scroll that costs around 60 gold, around the price of a small home with land. The [Captain] of the [Mercenaries] wondered for a bit who did he work for before he became an [Merchant] of goods and information. Their employer didn tell them much, and it doesn matter to him. 300 gold coins for his death and 700 if he was kept alive. Enough for him and his company to grow fat for two decades or less. Eight of the men and women that he brought with him are injured or dead from that forest of traps. He deduced that the cost was more than worth it. He guessed that he was a retired [Spymaster] from some Yhrilian kingdom, and was quite good.

”Use enchanted bolts, Spells, and Feats. ” One of the two [Lieutenants] of the group ordered. Six of his [Riders] were unleashing precious enchanted bolts against the Golems unaffected by the frost spell; only freezing the surface of their stone, staying clear of their expanding radius. Their bolts were enchanted to puncture even low-grade enchanted armor, and boosted by Feats. Pieces of the Golems broke as they were under a barrage of [Acid Arrows], [Stone Darts], and conjured [Iron Darts] as they charged towards them. They were smart regardless, as they targeted the joints of the golems. They are, rudimentary compared to the Golems in the market today, and so they fell, shattering the frozen ground, but not destroyed, only immobilized.

”Sixteen of you, dismount. Rest of you, secure the perimeter. This is going to be difficult. ” Ridi ordered his subordinates. Twenty-four had survived, but the battle was going to be inside the manor. Not like they were slouches in dismounted combat, only that they are good with their mounts. Jascias was running within the manor. He knew that they got this house surrounded, and the emergency exit was out of the question as he already heard fighting downstairs, so he hid and waited for the right time to escape.

Since the [Riders] entered the east side of the manor, they climbed up the windows. They broke the shutters with their weapons and climbed inside. One was pierced by an arrow from the inside. The smart ones raised their bucklers to block them. A group entered one of the bedrooms, but their [Dangersense] blared within their heads. Someone charged through the wooden walls and pulverized two people with a shield charge. Their bodies were limp on a hole in the wall in front of a tall man with a round studded shield dripping blood and a sword turned towards them. The Human [Onslaught Shieldbearer] with a burnt face from an [Acid Orb] from the past drummed his shield, echoing fear within the surviving invaders.

A group of five entered the kitchen. One of them was stabbed in the back six times within two seconds. A woman with long tusks disappeared from the shadows. They were spooked, waiting for the [Assassin] to appear, even after minutes had passed. The [Shadowstalker Terrorblade] was not there. She skulked within the shadows with her Feats while keeping them frozen in terror as she eliminated officers from the shadows. Their objective was to buy time so that their employer and friend can escape.

The [Archer] who had drawn the first blood within the manor was holding down a group from a doorway under a hail of arrows in a room on the ground floor. They hid under a conjured barrier of light as the others escaped from the windows. Even as he took a break and lowered his bow, the Elven [Phantomvolley Bowmaster] had deployed his [Cordon of Arrows] in that room. He left the room and searched for enemies to eliminate as his ghastly arrows still kept them out in a conjured volley.

Some had already jumped and entered the second floor, but a [Glass Shard Volley] had blinded their teammates in front. A white-bearded Dwarf with most of his body petrified with age had conjured webs to tie them down.

”Don make me waste mana on you. ” He pointed towards the five people trapped in his [Sticky Cocoon] Spell. He pointed to his ironwood staff and [Runes of Stone Spray] were etched on their bindings so that they would activate whenever someone tries to free them.

The [Warmage Staffwarrior] whirled his staff and crushed the skull of an enemy behind him. He casts his gaze downwards at the wide space of the living room from the wooden railings. The majority of them were in the living room and dining hall. The [Onslaught Shieldbearer] led them to the dining hall, taking blows and slashes yet he never yielded, thrusting his sword at the foolish ones who dared to get close. A Dullahan, a species of people who wear armor at all times since their bodies were akin to slime and shellfish, prone to drying and infection. Yet he tossed his head to the high ceiling and let it float, using their species innate telekinesis that only applied to their bodies. His disembodied body, wearing a worn stylized gambeson under an enchanted cuirass walked towards the [Mercenary Captain] with a graceful spring on his step. The blue gambeson held a faded sigil from his past. He held odd long swords without a point with only one single edge. They were executioner swords, sharpened until they cut parchment with a touch.

”You asked me if I would follow you even if you were wrong. Die for you even if you were dishonorable. Our [Prince] was saved because you halted my mistaken blade. Of course, I will, because we will make sure that you shall never walk your lonely path again. ” He audibly mumbled to himself; his enemies heard his monologue, looking upon him in awe and confusion, but his Aura threatened to make them kneel and let them cut their heads.

The five people that protected the manor each have a reason that they risk their lives. The [Shieldbearer] swore to protect his friend for he was grateful for what he had done for him. The [Shadowstalker] still held on to a faded love. The Elf wishes to perish in battle before his friend does of old age. The Dwarf wanted to see how his friends past schemes will bite him back. The Dullahan was his oldest living companion before he moved to this continent, following him because he still owes him.

The Dullahan disembodied body bowed for a bit, showing the pale fleshy stump where the head was supposed to be. A few had let loose bolts and spells towards the floating head, knowing how to defeat Dullahans, but his helmet already had a Gem of Protection embedded in it. Broken bolts fell pathetically on the wooden floor.

”Wash your necks. ” He spoke an [Executioner]s idiom. He was one in the past, albeit disgraced. Yet Jacias had given him an opportunity, and his Role had evolved. The [Mercenaries] charged towards them, but his [Aura of the Executioner] had stopped them, making them kneel. They struggled to stay standing up.

”[Extended Reach: Six Feet], [Guillotine Arc]. ” The [Beheader Blademaster] flicked his blade. A sharp arc curved through the air and cleanly beheaded many of the [Mercenaries]. Those who have the ability and levels above the rest of their group had narrowly dodged the Feat. For a second, it resembled a guillotines blade flying through the air. Ridi gripped his spear tightly and used one of his Feats that still worked in dismounted combat and he thrust with a blur. It simply grazed the Dullahans pauldron as he turned slightly.

A [Force Wall] Spell from the Dwarf on the second floor kept the other survivors from helping their captain. Their employer didn tell them that he had high-level bodyguards. Even back when their [Scouts] spotted them, they didn detect their true Roles and Levels. But they were only the first wave. Three different mercenary groups were already marching towards the manor.

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