Kurdak's blade rammed against the cage and let out an ear-shattering sound which put a look of doom on Alan's face.
There were two things he hadn't considered. The first was that most assassins were lightweight and agile people who didn't have that much strength, but Kurdak wasn't that. He was a high-powered, strength-based warrior that had lucked out and managed to sneak in so far without being discovered.
Second, given Alan's experience, the ones who wanted him dead would at most hire a mid-order assassin, but this guy was no normal warrior, he was a high-order warrior! While his agility might not be able to rival an assassin of the same order, his damage would only be inferior to a magus's.
The cut caused a visible mark to appear on the cage.
It's him! He's finally here! Alan shouted, finally realizing whom Kurdak was, "Men! Help me!" as he ran for the door.
But Kurdak merely smiled sinisterly. He raised Lava Blade and surged his impetus, covering it with a crimson redness before swinging it towards the cage.
The hard steel bars were sent flying and zipped towards Alan. Despite how hard the 20-year-old man tried to evade it, one of them still slammed his upper thigh.
Alan cried out in pain and fell to the ground.
Kurdak raised his leg to give the bars a few more kicks to get them out of his way and walked out of the hole with Lava Blade.
"Come with me!" He slung his sword over his shoulder and grabbed Alan with his left.
Alan seemed surprisingly calm. While his face was wrecked and pale from the pain and covered in sweat, he didn't struggle unnecessarily. He limped and walked with Kurdak.
There were quite a number of servants gathered outside, but they were just normal servants without any combat training. They were no different from helpless sheep for a high-order warrior.
"Get back! Get back!" Alan cried for those pathetic servants of his to back off. He knew that they could only piss Kurdak off further and perhaps cause him to kill him.
"Why aren't you a cooperative one?" Kurdak muttered. Since Alan knew the ropes, he had a rather easy time leaving Alan's mansion. He took out a few smoke bombs from his dimensional pocket and flung them at the crowd.
When the smoke scattered, the two were nowhere to be seen.
"Don't move!" Kurdak brought Alan into a cold and dark alley. He decided to rest in the shadows for a moment before making up his mind. The streets were getting noisy from the kidnap of the governor.
Kurdak roughly pressed Alan's face against the wall and searched him.
He wanted to make sure Alan didn't have anything that could allow him to escape. If he really did vanish, Kurdak wouldn't even know who to cry to.
Alan had been dragged out of bed, so he was still wearing pyjamas. He shivered from the cold air outside and being touched all over by Kurdak's rough hand only caused his butt to clench.
The pat down didn't last long. After Kurdak made sure he had nothing on him, he breathed a sigh of relief.
"Do you think I should cut your tongue off to keep you quiet?" he said with his dagger in hand.
"You should know that would decrease my value. That way, you won't be able to ransom me for what you want, right?" Though pale, Alan still kept a good head on his shoulders.
Kurdak smiled. "Well, I'm glad that you're a smart guy."
"If I were, I wouldn't be captured by you. You want to use me against my uncle?"
"How did you know?" Kurdak asked, surprised.
"Because I'm certain I haven't offended any high-order people in my current state," Alan replied seriously, "You can take me to the one who hired you, but I will try to dissuade him from doing something so impractical as to threaten my uncle with me."
"May I ask why that is?"
"It's impossible." Alan laughed coldly. "I know full well the kind of person my uncle is. There are few things in this world that can be used to threaten him, and I'm not one of them."
"He has to think for the household, right? You're the heir of House Rolin. Can he really ignore you like that?"
"The heir? As long as Uncle is there, House Rolin will never fall. While others might think I'm important, I know full well that I'm of no consequence to him and the household. There are countless young folk from the new generation, but my uncle is irreplaceable."
"Don't think I'll let you go just because you said that."
"I've never entertained the thought. I'm just curious about what kind of person would hire you. How did that person even get a grudge against Uncle?" Alan asked.
"After all the things he's done, you're surprised someone has a grudge against him?" Kurdak looked at him weirdly.
"No, you misunderstand me. Uncle has always been discreet at dealing with things, you see. Apart from someone with the clout of Manhattan, those my uncle has wronged should be dead already. My uncle doesn't allow grudges to fester like that. Dead men bear no grudges, after all."
"I didn't think you'd have that good a view on that old bastard." Kurdak felt a little nervous and felt that something was wrong.
"Based on what I know, my uncle never misses anything and everything should be within his predictions."
"Exactly." The moment he finished, footsteps sounded near the alley. A few seconds later, the quiet alley was filled with fully armed Hockian soldiers.
"How did you send a signal?" Kurdak barked with his hand around Alan's throat.
"Shouldn't you be considering how to escape right now?" he said calmly.
"So you don't care about your life?" Kurdak tightened his grip.
"If you had asked around, you'd have heard something about me."
"What is it?"
"I'm really afraid of death."
"So you'll help me leave here?"
"No," Alan said with a smirk, "Because I'm afraid of death, I have lots of contingencies, you see. The cage was only one of many."
Kurdak felt his hand catch the wind. Alan had vanished just like that!
"Darn it!" he cursed. He didn't think that Alan had a magic item with him.
"Kurdak Wedwin, commander of your independent brigade of the Hockian army, deserter, and kidnapper of the governor of Phandar, Sir Batir… I am from the garrison and I'm here to arrest you. Here is the warrant. I hope you don't resist," a squad leader said as he waved a goatskin warrant around.
"You even got a warrant? That old fox really is a schemer…" Kurdak sighed, but he didn't choose to surrender. Vera's situation was still unknown. Even if he was to die, it had to wait until he saved her first.
So, he raised Lava Blade and charged at the hundreds of soldiers.
Alan was now back in his own bedroom. He called for a few servants to get them to treat his injuries.
His most serious wound wasn't on his thigh. Even though the flesh had been torn and further damaged from the tugging by Kurdak, it was far better than the injury on his back.
Alan's blue sleeping robe was covered entirely in blood.
The servants carefully cut the robe open. The sight of his back made onlookers gasp.
The flesh on his back was so mushy they mixed together. A closer look made the wounds out to look like a diagram.
It was a magic formation which could be triggered through sheer will. It was a relatively rare spatial spell that allowed the target to be teleported into a predetermined space. However, a magic formation alone couldn't trigger the spell. An energy source was also required.
To solve that problem, there was an additional odd carving on the formation on Alan's back to allow for the spell to draw energy from his body. There were many kinds of fuel for magic and living cells were one of them.
Alan could only teleport by burning away his bodily cells as energy, so he wouldn't use it unless absolutely necessary. This time around, his trump card caused Kurdak magnitudes of trouble.Previous Chapter Next Chapter