Chapter 319: The art of shapeshifting
“Who was that just now?” Han Shuo didn’t forget to ask Emily about the identity of the middle-aged man as they hastily fled.
Emily arrowed out of the small river, her dripping wet body enveloped in a deep black mist. She revealed only her flawless face as she quickly caught up to the group behind Cecilia. Cecilia was walking quickly in the front, Emily and Han Shuo were side by side in the back, and low rank Dark Mantle members brought up the rear.
Emily turned to glance at Han Shuo and explained, “That was Kassel, a great druid who betrayed the Druidic Order and a terrifying powerhouse in his own right. Even though he’s betrayed the Druidic Order and can no longer utilize the force of nature, he can still skillfully use the shapeshifting art of the great druids. That transformation back then was him turning into an earth bear that can utilize the art of gravity. Taking him head on like that, your strength is becoming more and more impressive.”
Upon hearing that his counterpart was a great druid, Han Shuo suddenly remembered great druid Caspian. He subconsciously compared them and felt that Caspian was much weaker in strength.
“Caspian is also a great druid. Why isn’t he as powerful as Kassel?” Han Shuo frowned and inquired, inwardly doubtful.
Emily casually arranged her messy hair. She glanced at Cecilia in the front before continuing to explain, “The great druids can train in the various magical arts of the Druidic Order. The majority of them master the method to manipulate plants. According to the legends, this is the ability that the Goddess of Nature has bestowed upon them.”
“However, the art of shapeshifting isn’t as easily mastered. Only a few great druids with extraordinary talent can successfully grasp it. It looks like Caspian hasn’t fully mastered it yet. Otherwise, he couldn’t have been so easily captured last time in Valen City.”
Han Shuo had to muse on Emily’s words for a moment before he could understand them. He thought it to be quite an irony that Caspian, who’d always served the Goddess of Nature, couldn’t learn the art of shapeshifting, while the traitor of the Druidic Order could learn it.
“Right, what mission brought you guys to the Dark Forest this time?” Han Shuo leisurely followed Emily along the way into the lush forest. He continued to ask her about their purpose.
Cecilia was leading the way at the front. She suddenly tossed her long, beautiful hair and sent pearls of crystal clear water rolling down. She turned her head to direct her bright eyes at Emily and let out a faint snort, “We still could have left safely even without your help. This mission is under my charge, and even big sis Emily has to listen to me. Your name isn’t listed in this mission, so you don’t need to know.”
Emily had been about to answer, and couldn’t help but feel apologetic towards Han Shuo for Cecilia’s words. She said to him with a wry smile, “Since Mistress Cecilia has spoken, I’d better not say anything.”
“Big sis Emily!” Cecilia stared at Emily with rebuke in her eyes, saying softly, “We have to be clear about work and personal matters.”
“I know, I know!” Emily cried out before smiling at Han Shuo , “Alright, you shouldn’t ask too much. We’re fine. If you have matters to handle, go quickly. No need to worry about us.”
Cecilia had obviously created the space door through the magic scroll. However, since she possessed the scroll, it meant that even without Han Shuo’s appearance, Cecilia could still have brought Emily and the group to safety with the scroll. Therefore, it didn’t quite count as Han Shuo having saved Cecilia.
Even though Han Shuo was still worried about Emily, it was obvious that Cecilia didn’t want him to be involved, so he didn’t say anymore after hearing her words.
Han Shuo was planning to say a few words to Emily when he suddenly realized that he’d arrived at the forest trolls’ territory while following Cecilia’s group. At first sight, a dozen blue-green troll warriors hurled their axes straight at Cecilia without a word.
“Hateful forest trolls, why are their weapons getting more and more sophisticated lately?!” An arc drew across Cecilia’s chest and triggered a magic formation, spilling liquid into the air before coalescing into a magnificent, blue ice crystal shield.
The axes thrown by the troll warriors created clanking sounds upon hitting the ice shield. They only left some faint marks on the surface and simply couldn’t penetrate the defense of the ice shield.
“This is the territory of the forest trolls. Let’s first hide in here. Once the Redbud Knights enter this area, these greedy, idiotic forest trolls will definitely risk their lives to attack them. Even though the Redbud Knights are one of the top ten knights of the continent, their power will be greatly restricted in this forest. The forest trolls’ tribe isn’t small either, so they will definitely cause some trouble for those knights. Even if the Redbud Knights do destroy all of the trolls, it can be considered eliminating a harmful element of the Dark Forest.”
Cecilia coldly narrated as she watched the forest trolls run away after throwing their weapons. She then turned to the masked Dark Mantle members and ordered, “Destroy the forest troll scouts in front. Once they’re provoked, they’ll definitely attack with all they have when the Redbud Knights arrive. Not only can we take this opportunity to escape, we might even come out on top.”
Several Dark Mantle members had already rushed out as soon as Cecilia’s words sounded. These folks had at least the strength of senior swordsmen. A few mere forest troll scouts absolutely had no way to resist them.
At this moment, Han Shuo suddenly blocked their way with a darkened face and commanded in a low tone, “Find another way. You guys cannot touch these forest trolls.”
The forest troll race could be considered a force in Han Shuo’s hand. They treated the little skeleton as their god Datara. This force was completely under Han Shuo’s control and heeded his orders without hesitation. He’d be using them a great deal from now on, so he certainly couldn’t let Cecilia borrow the Redbud Knights’ power to exterminate the tribe.
Any of the top ten knights in the continent would be veterans who’d been through numerous battles. Since the Redbud Knights were on this list, they would only need a hundred of their fellows to slaughter over five hundred forest trolls.
Han Shuo had precisely heard of their reputation, which was why he was absolutely against Cecilia doing so. Otherwise, the only thing awaited the forest trolls would be genocide. This was something completely unacceptable to Han Shuo.
“They’re only some greedy forest trolls. Why are you protecting them? You’re crazy aren’t you!?” Cecilia wrinkled her delicate brows, looking unhappy as she coldly rebukedHan Shuo.
“Hurry up and take a detour. I can feel the Redbud Knights close behind. These forest trolls are of use to me, and no one can touch them. Otherwise, don’t blame me for offending you as your subordinate!” Han Shuo said frostily, looking at Cecilia in a manner that brooked no room for discussion.
“You are obstructing our mission. As a member of the Dark Mantle, do you realize that I have the right to punish you?!” Cecilia was also angered by Han Shuo. She glared at him, her voice rising in anger.
“Detour! Otherwise, don’t blame me for not being polite!” Han Shuo wasn’t scared at all, instead stressing his words.
“Little sis Cecilia, how about taking a detour? Consider giving me some face!” Seeing the two locked in an argument, Emily hastily tugged on Cecilia’s clothes and asked in a pleading tone.
Cecilia had just witnessed Han Shuo fight fearlessly against the transformed big earth bear, so she knew full well that his power was absolutely unfathomable. The knights chasing after them could arrive any moment now. It was pointless to be locked in an impasse with Han Shuo now.
Cecilia was caught between a rock and a hard place. Upon hearing Emily’s pleas, she swept a cold glance glance at Han Shuo, “I will demand an explanation from that old fox Candide about this. We go, let’s take a detour!”
After her words finished, Cecilia turned around and led the way. Emily threw a glance at Han Shuo before hurriedly chasing after the angry Cecilia. The Dark Mantle members participating in Cecilia’s mission also glared at Han Shuo in an ill manner as they left one by one.
“Datara, Datara!” After Cecilia’s group had left, the forest trolls suddenly surrounded Han Shuo when they saw him.
Han Shuo was taken aback until he heard the sounds of footsteps fast approaching. He hurriedly led the forest trolls away from this place.
The traitor of the Druidic Order, great druid Kassel, burst onto the scene with roughly sixty Redbud Knights shortly after Han Shuo had left. Even though he’d betrayed the Druidic Order, his experience in forests yet remained.
Looking at the two paths of footprints in front while sniffing the scents in the air, Kassel pointed at the direction where Cecilia’s group had left, “Chase after them for me, they have indeed run in this direction. Humph! No one can evade the pursuit of me, Kassel, in the forest.”