"Huh?" Leguna stared at the man who entered, confused. Even though he was tall and seemed attractive to most women, Leguna didn't think he would catch even Bjord's attention.
All of a sudden, he recalled rumors he'd heard among city folk that some nobles were known to be attracted to people of the same sex. He felt a little disturbed. Like he was bathed in slime and looked at Bjord weirdly.
So is he gay? wondered he.
He wondered whether he should leave. While he would've loved seeing how men and women did it, men doing the deed with each other wasn't exactly his cup of tea. However, he didn't dare leave just like that. Since he'd gone through so much trouble, if he didn't investigate the matter thoroughly, it would be troublesome when he submitted his report. Should he say that Bjord's paramour was actually a man? He decided to confirm his suspicions before heading back.
It didn't take long for him to realize his assumptions were mistaken. Bjord didn't make any weird advances, he simply talked with him after showing him in. As the conversation developed, Leguna listened on in surprise.
"Then, what demands do you guys have this time?" asked Bjord.
"Sir Balor has already begun sowing the seeds of hatred among the orcs. Now, we need the humans to be enraged as well," said the man.
"Get to the point. Tell me what he wants. I have no time to figure out your little riddles," Bjord cut him off, annoyed.
"As you wish. Sir Balor requests you began to stir up hate and anger amongst the humans against the orcs. If you're able to create public discord, it would be ideal," said the man.
"Isn't it enough that the Eye is acting against the orcs? They've already eliminated five elite orcish scout parties in Nightsong Forest," questioned Bjord.
When he heard this, Leguna immediately smelt something fishy.
Ever since he had arrived in Starfall, the reliable Kurdak had been the one to deal with the smaller details of large and small matters. While Leguna couldn't be bothered to meddle with these, it didn't mean he was completely ignorant. Though he couldn't be considered mature after his many years in the slums, he was rather familiar with people's capacity for evil. The moment he left Nightsong Forest, he had begun to suspect the sudden appearance of orcs.
According to Kurdak and Vera, the orcs had been rather docile in the four recent years and there hadn't been any attacks. There was also the fact that the orc parties he saw in Nightsong weren't there to raid or pillage. It bothered him for quite a while and he believed Kurdak had his own opinion on the matter which he didn't share. After some fruitless pondering, he'd had no choice but to let the matter go. A small fry like him couldn't deal with the orcs' plots anyway. It would do him good to stay out of it instead of risking his life trying to restore it.
And now, he had unintentionally found the potential source of the problem: the man called Balor. According to the conversation between the two and the information he heard from the Eye's party, he quickly deduced that the man called Balor had begun instigating conflict between orcs and humans for some as yet unknown reason. The orcs in Nightsong were investigating the matter as well. Since there were provoked first, they had no scruples with attacking any humans they came across. His party was just one of their unfortunate victims. As for the humans, perhaps as the result of Balor's actions, the Eye sent their men over. Unfortunately, it only intensified the conflict.
Now he had a rough grasp on what was going on, he was complete hostile towards Balor. It was because of him that Vera and Leguna had experienced so many dangers, not to mention the curse Kurdak bore and Cyranos's death.
While it wasn't necessarily Balor's intent, every time Leguna thought about Cyranos's death, he felt a raging fire burn in his heart. Fueled by the anger, Leguna began to breathe more heavily. He stared at the four men in the building, annoyed that he couldn't take action. He could take out Bjord. While he had received some martial training, his subpar skills weren't even worth Leguna's consideration. However, he suspected the two attendants beside Bjord weren't just normal servants. He didn't doubt Bjord wouldn't bring along two people around with him all the time for no good reason. It still wasn't the most troubling though, however. Leguna was most wary of the last man to enter the building. He had a subdued, but unmistakable, smell of blood which reminded him of the cold and insidious Orwen. While he didn't seem as threatening as Orwen, Leguna was definitely incapable of dealing with him.
As he was pondering the new information he had, he didn't pay attention to the rest of the conversation. The moment he turned his attention back to the conversation, the four stopped talking all of a sudden.
"Mister Bjord, did you bring anyone else with you?" asked the man after some thought.
"I didn't. Why'd you ask?"
"I believe you should be more careful in the future so something like this doesn't happen again."
The man's words made Leguna start with shock. All of a sudden, he could feel a cold awareness locked on him. Realizing that he had been discovered, he ran towards the skylight unhesitantly. However, the sound of a throwing knife cutting through air forced him to dodge and miss his opportunity to escape.
"Such a young boy?" mused the man, surprised, when he looked at Leguna.
Leguna stared back at him without a word. His anxiety increased. All the experience he had with a fight with his life on the line was the time with the quickshadow drakes and the time he helped Kurdak defeat the orcs. In the former, the enemy wasn't as strong and Kurdak was there to provide timely support. In the latter, he was doubtful whether the one who killed the orcs was really him. Seeing the killing intent ooze out of the man, Leguna feared he wouldn't get off easy. The two attendants also quickly approached. They looked at him cautiously, they weren't surprised at his age, though. Drawing Flameblade, he decided to fight even though he knew he didn't stand much of a chance. He stared coldly at the three before he launched his attack.
He let his 6th-stratum impetus explode wildly, the gust that ensued greatly surprised the three fighters in the room. He threw out three impetus-infused throwing knives. Infusing weapons with impetus was a skill he had always known. And, after perfected it with Kurdak's help. The knives would easily pierce a human body.
The three men dodged, terrified. In that instant, Leguna leaped again, not for the skylight this time, but for the floor below. He quickly decided there was no way he could escape through the skylight. His only hope was to hold Bjord hostage, which was why he jumped downstairs the moment he flung his knives. The three fighters downstairs were veterans filled with actual fighting experience, however. They had already prepared to deal with his plan. When he landed, the man who entered last already stood guard before Bjord. At the same time, the other attendants blocked the entrance and sealed off all avenues of escape. The three didn't care about his identity and attacked the moment they surrounded him. They didn't even bother to say anything.
Four different impeti crossed the building. Regardless of how nimble Leguna was, he quickly revealed an opening under the pressure. He suffered a slash across his back. Fortunately, he had managed to dodge barely and avoided losing his arm. Terror filled his mind. He didn't think a stalking mission would end up with him trying to escape death. Regardless, it was too late for regrets. The three didn't seem intent on giving him a chance to explain and only wanted to silence him. Each and every one of their strikes was cruel and merciless.
His wounds gradually increased, but he still didn't know how he could exit the building. Eventually, he started to lose the will to fight. One of the attendants grasped the opportunity to harness the most of his impetus and infuse it in his longsword during his horizontal slash. Leguna waved his dagger to block right away. While Flameblade was an enchanted weapon, its reach was far too short and all he could do under the combined attack of the three was block and fight defensively. He began to panic when he realized there was no way he could hold on for long. The horizontal slash traveled so quick he wasn't able to evade in time and was forced to raise the dagger and circulate his impetus in an attempt to block. However, while the attendant was a warrior of the sixth stratum with impetus on par with his own, his muscles were far more developed. There was no way Leguna's thin limbs could block the strike completely. He lost his balance. As for the attendant's longsword, it snapped in half when it clashed against Flameblade. The two other enemies swooped in. One aimed to strike Leguna down immediately.
A dull sound rang out from the man's head as he felt as if he had knocked his head against the wall. The man's head felt wet. He reached up and touched the spot. When he looked at his hand, it was crimson. The two attendants quickly realized something was amiss and stopped their attacks. They stared at the wounded man. Before they realized what was happening, the front door had been opened. Outside, a blue-haired girl of impeccable beauty looked at them coldly.
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