Chapter 54: Dog eat dog
Because of Felix’s words, the originally smoothly cooperating warriors and mages, that were defending against the orc wolf riders, abruptly sank into panic. People started becoming distracted from defense and instead frantically contemplated their means of escape.
In the span of a moment, an impregnable defense collapsed. Apart from the warriors in the front, who were fighting as they retreated, the mages and the archers panicked and escaped in all directions.
Han Shuo had grabbed Fanny and Lisa’s wrists and was forcefully hauling the two with great haste to where the battlesteeds were stabled. Behind Han Shuo, Gene directed the other necromancy major students to follow closely behind him.
After a few rounds of life and death battles, Han Shuo was no longer naive nor terror stricken when faced with danger. He quietly thought of what actions he should take next as he calmly sped forward.
Also retreating with Han Shuo and the others, like tidewaters, were a few other mages and archers. If these people blocked Han Shuo’s forward movement, they would’ve been shoved to the side without a moment’s hesitation.
The archers and mages were hard pressed to increase their speed in the chaos of the crowd. Somehow, with Han Shuo as a meat shield, they managed to rush to the front after a moment’s work.
After fifteen minutes, Han Shuo had finally hauled Fanny and Lisa to where the battlesteeds were stabled, with Gene and the others following far behind. The master of the place had also gone to the southern streets to observe the earlier events and had only left a servant inside to watch over the horses. Han Shuo directly broke down the door and pulled Fanny and Lisa in the direction of the stables in the back.
“What are you doing? Just what are you doing?” The elderly servant immediately stood up in a panic when he saw Han Shuo break down the door and rush towards the stables. He yelled angrily at them.
“The orc wolf riders have already fought their way here. If you continue to stay, you’ll face only death. We’re here to pick up the battlesteeds that we’ve stabled here. If you want to live, then hurry, choose a battlesteed, and flee!” Han Shuo explained calmly as he rushed towards the stables.
The elderly servant had already heard the chaos and commotion from outside at this time. He blanked for a second and then also made swiftly for the stables. It looked like he’d accepted Han Shuo’s suggestion.
Han Shuo finally released Fanny and Lisa’s little hands and his eyes made a desperate sweep of the surroundings. His eyes landed on a handsome battlesteed and vaulted onto its back without another word. He landed on the back of the horse in a second, swung the dagger in his hand, and slashed through the ropes that restrained the battlesteed.
He turned his head to find that Gene and some of the light major students had also made it to the stables. All were panting and joined Fanny and Lisa in looking for the horses they’d stabled here last time.
“Are you all idiots? The orc wolf riders will be here any second, what are you looking around for? Not to mention the battlesteeds we stabled last time were all inferior beasts, there were only six of them… do you want to die?” Han Shuo could finally hold in his impatience no longer and suddenly yelled out upon seeing that these people were still looking amongst the crowd of stabled battlesteeds.
Han Shuo’s violent roar sounded throughout the stables. The necromancy students and teachers, who were looking for their battlesteeds, were all lectured. They all froze in that moment — Han Shuo had called them idiots! It was a bit tough for them to accept that!
“Then what do we do?” Lisa froze and then asked Han Shuo as she looked at him.
“Choose the best, strongest battlesteeds. We’ll each take one. The lives of others have nothing to do with us. If you all want to die, then continue looking for the inferior battlesteeds that we had!” Han Shuo’s face darkened as he resolutely called out.
This was originally a simple concept, but the pity was that these necromancy students and teachers had always functioned in the necromancy major that encompassed a multitude of rules and customs. For them, following the rules was the natural thing to do. They hadn’t thought at all about the fact that all rules could be broken in times of crisis.
These people’s faces all froze beneath Han Shuo’s curses of “idiots”, which then changed to contemplative frowns as Han Shuo continued in the vein of paying no heed to the lives of others. His words caused another round of impact to these students and teachers who were used to following the rules.
The commotion outside grew bigger and they made swift decisions when faced with a crisis of life or death. They no longer hesitated and ran over to the fiercest and most valiant battlesteeds with looks of resolution.
When the necromancy students and teachers had all occupied the best battlesteeds in the stables under Han Shuo’s urging, they rushed out of the stables. This was when the light major students from the Academy and other clearheaded mages and archers finally made their way to the stables.
“Damnit, they’re riding our battlesteeds.” Irene’s sharp eyesight immediately discovered that the handsome battlesteed, that Han Shuo was currently riding on, was the one that she had ridden just days before. She immediately voiced a loud complaint.
However, at this moment Han Shuo and the others were already riding on the fiercest battlesteeds in the stables and had rushed out with due haste. They ignored the curses from Irene and the others and only left behind silhouettes that moved further and further away.
“Bryan, where should we go now?” Fanny immediately asked Han Shou as soon as they’d left the stables and made it onto the chaotic streets.
The warriors had already retreated into the town of Drol and the orc wolf riders had rushed into town. Whirling their longswords mightily, the defenseless merchants were the first ones to suffer as they often lost their heads when the swords chopped down.
Because these wolf riders were riding giant wolves, they were in no hurry to immediately pursue the escaping warriors and mages. They only followed the street and starting looting the first stores they found. There were large bags hanging from the bodies of the giant wolves and the resources of all the surrounding stores made it into the bags of the giant wolves.
“As long as it’s not in the direction of Zajoski City, it doesn’t matter where we flee to!” Han Shuo surveyed the surroundings and swept a glance at the eastern street. He noticed that there were fewer people fleeing on the northern street, and called out after a moment’s thought. “Follow me, we’ll head north.”
Because the town of Drol was about to fall, the most heavily fortified city in the southern part of the Empire, Zajoski City, became the ideal target in the hearts of the frantic escapees. Han Shuo observed for a moment and noticed that seventy percent of the people from the town of Drol were fleeing in the direction of Zajoski.
However, out of this seventy percent, there were only ten or so on battlesteeds. When the orc wolf riders had finished raiding the town of Drol, their first target was sure to be this crowd of people.
With giant wolves as steeds, the wolf riders’ speed was sure to be faster than those who were still on foot. Because the flow of people was seventy percent of the town’s inhabitants, the orcs were sure to send the most wolf riders after them. In this way, the ones most likely to die were the seventy percent of people escaping in the direction of Zajoski.
As soon as he’d started his calm deliberations, Han Shuo immediately realized that his thoughts were very clear. After a brief consideration, he immediately led battlesteeds with Fanny and the others racing to the northern street.
With the convenience of battlesteeds, Han Shuo and co. moved exceedingly fast. Han Shuo met two swift wolf riders, who’d come to the northern street, along the way. The bags on their giant wolves were bulging. They ignored Han Shuo’s crew and were about to rush into another store to loot.
Snorting coldly, Han Shuo lifted the reins and directed the battlesteed beneath him to change its direction, charging towards the two wolf riders, who were raising their longswords with no abandon.
The two wolf riders started. It seemed that they hadn’t thought that someone would dare to take the offensive towards them. They withdrew the longswords that they’ve planned on slashing down on the shop’s merchant and turned their bodies, abruptly splitting up. They waved the longswords in their hands and chopped towards the quickly approaching Han Shuo.
“Bryan, are you crazy?! Run!” Lisa, off in the distance, saw that Han Shuo’s battlesteed had suddenly changed direction and was rushing towards the two wolf riders. She screamed out in panic and drew the attention of the necromancy students and teachers. They all involuntarily turned their heads and looked in Han Shuo’s direction
Wielding a dagger in his hand as his horse charged, Han Shuo quietly chanted a magical spell, and a bone arrow abruptly materialized in midair, whistling as it flew towards one of the wolf riders. As the wolf rider waved his longsword to defend himself, the dagger in Han Shuo’s hand was already rushing towards the other wolf rider.
The dagger drew a cold arc of light as it slashed the air and sank into bone with a soft sound. The dagger had passed through the longsword’s defenses and pierced a bloody hole in the wolf rider’s chest. At this moment, Han Shuo’s battlesteed had arrived in due haste. He clawed at the reins and the horse abruptly halted in the midst of violent whinnies.
Han Shuo’s left arm reached out and yanked up, suddenly dislodging the longsword from the orc, who was already dead. Wielding the longsword, Han Shuo’s right hand sank down and a bloody hole suddenly opened in the head of the agitated giant wolf. The rioting giant wolf suddenly ragdolled as it fell to the ground.
With a flick of the sword, the large pocket hanging on the giant wolf suddenly shot out from the fallen wolf, landing directly on Han Shuo’s battlesteed. Afterwards, Han Shuo’s battlesteed changed direction and he charged with a face of cold cruelty at the other wolf rider, who had just pulverized the bone arrow.
“Oh my word, did I see incorrectly? Bryan just cast the bone arrow magic. What the hell is going on?” Gene pulled tightly on his battlesteed’s reins and called out in with shock. The other students also bore a dumbfounded expression like similar to Gene’s, looking dully at Han Shuo like it was the first time they were meeting him.
“Damnit, what is Bryan doing?” Fanny had known that Han Shuo could cast bone arrow magic and thus wasn’t too surprised. What she was surprised about was that Han Shuo’s current actions were robbing the wolf riders after they had looted the stores.