262 The Blood Guards
"I finally have a new dagger"
Michael has a huge smile on his face as he played with a dagger on his hand, but then his expression turned into a frown and looked at Miya, who is playing with a black cub full of fluffiness in front of the cabin of Sonya's home.
'Why does she get a pet and I don't?'
'A panther, did that old woman even has panther? Where did she get it?' Michael thought to himself. After all, he hadn't seen a single tamed beast around her.
Michael can't help but admit that he's a little jealous of Miya right now. After all, the only thing he got was a new dagger and compared to Miya's pet, whose grade is a Divine Beast, just below his pet rabbit, Aran, who is an Empyrean Beast.
What he got as a reward wasn't worth it at all as the dagger would slowly lose its value as time goes by, unlike the Cloud Panther Cub whose potential is limitless, especially during the later stages of the game.
And the most confusing thing for him is that the quest of procuring food wasn't even something which would be worth it enough to reward you a tamed beast with a grade of Divine Beast, which is suspicious and confusing for Michael.
After all, it wasn't a good trade-off for Sonya who only told them to procure food for the villagers, and if it was him, then he would only give Miya a similar grade of a weapon like Michael.
'I wonder what Sonya was thinking when she gave that panter cub of that caliber to Miya'
'She's not planning to do something bad to her, right?'
Then Michael shrugged his shoulders at that thought as Druids are known for having magnanimous hearts, but at the same time, the people and players had also dubbed them as Asuras, as they can also become very evil if they are provoked.
Their personalities are almost the same as Moniker, the Asura Monk of The Continental, whose personality changes every time he's hunting for a "prey".
That's the reason why the Church of the Wild is one of the most dominating groups in the continent, they are people that shouldn't be easily offended, lest you not only be bringing trouble to yourself but also to your family.
"Kyaa! You are so...cute!!!"
Miya hugged the little critter in her arms lovingly.
As the night slowly sets in, Michael can be seen stirring a ladle in a huge pot.
"Wow, it's really surprising that you know how to cook"
Miya suddenly came over to his side after she grew tired of playing with the village kids, and took a peek at the food that Michael is cooking.
Michael slightly turned his head towards her and said, "Why do you think so?"
Miya put on a thoughtful look and then said, "Well, considering that you have a pretty neat face and a kind of a brute sometimes. You...can say that I didn't think you can cook...at all?"
Michael continued stirring the pot, but a clear look of anger is plastered on his face, and he has this urge to smack the ladle on his hand to someone.
"Give me that! I want to give it a taste!" Miya suddenly snatched the ladle from Michael, and took a spoonful of the soup and put it inside her mouth.
'This woman!' Michael groaned inside.
"Oh my! It's so good!" Miya put her left hand on her cheek and exclaimed in surprise when she finally got a taste of the soup that Michael is cooking.
"Of course it's good" Michael said as he snatched the ladle back from Miya.
"Get out of here, and don't bother me while cooking!"
Miya just smiled and said, "When are you going to be done? Look at the people around you, they obviously can't wait for it"
Michael looked around him, and saw that almost all of the villagers are looking at the pot in front of him with shining eyes filled with anticipation, and when Michael's eyes met theirs, they quickly looked to the side, a bit embarrassed at their behavior.
Even the village kids just stood on their spot and didn't dare to go near Michael, fearing of disturbing him.
Michael just laughed inside as he could see them swallowing their saliva, and seeing their behavior made him a little bit smug about.
'Damn, I was too engrossed into cooking that I didn't even notice them'
Michael just showed a stiff smile, and him not being able to notice them is because he wasn't in a place that he needs to always keep his senses up, so sometimes he would just be lost in what he is doing, knowing there isn't anyone who would able to hurt him.
Before, Michael couldn't always focus much on cooking because he was constantly on guard towards his surroundings, but when he reached Snow Village, only in this place that he was able to cast aside his worries and focus on cooking.
And as a matter of fact, his ability to cook probably wouldn't even lose to those people who had studied culinary for years, because he was able to hone this ability during his life as an assassin.
And sometimes, the results of the food he makes would even turn out to be better because of the added effect of the 'Cooking' skill.
Then a few minutes later, the village folks started gathering at the place where Michael started cooking, which is in the center of the village.
"Line up in a single file! Kids and pregnant women should go first! The rest should be in the back!" the village chief yelled as he started pouring some food that Michael cooked in the bowls of the villagers, as the latter group of people surprisingly made an orderly line.
"Uwah! It smells really good! It smells heavenly, even better than the one he had cooked before!"
"Right!? It's been a really long time since we had eaten meat, and the first time we had one in three years was when he first got here!"
"Meat is the best! All this time, the only things we had eaten are the vegetables from the garden and tree roots"
"We've been eating meat since Michael arrived in our village, it's like he was heave's sent!"
"Exactly! He's really a good person as he even went with his friend to hunt some game and even cooked us some good food with it!"
"Just thinking about the days that we had to starve just to save food is already making me cry!"
"Stop! Don't cry, how could you cry in front of the children!? It's disgraceful for a man! *Sniff!*"
Michael and Miya are standing from a distance and watched the men stifling their cries with a dumbfounded look on their faces.
"I never knew watching men cry would be so disgusting" Miya said with a blank look on her face, looking at the burly men who have tears flowing from their eyes.
"Anyway, you must have spent a lot with the spices, right?"
Miya eyed Michael, it was because she knew how expensive and rare spices are in the game, and no one in their right minds would use it just to feed a group of people who are literally strangers to him, much less from people who are just made from codes.
"It's fine, it's not like I'm lacking in any gold, but I do am lacking in spices now though"
Michael wasn't really concerned about his expenses in Everwinter, but what worries him is that he's slowly running out of spices, and it was because they are very important to the effects of the food he makes.
And without them, the food would only turn out to be "ordinary" with small buff effects.
Then Michael suddenly noticed that Miya's face turned dark.
Miya sighed and looked at Michael, "I have both good news and bad news, what do you want to hear first?"
"Give me the bad one first" said Michael.
"My sister and the others got ambushed by members from Kunlun Guild when they were traversing the road towards the Town of Suaron"
"There was a spy among them?" Michael was startled at that news that he can't help but stretch his head towards her.
Miya shook her head and said, "That's impossible, everyone signed a contract with impossible penalties that could leave them..every single one of them penniless if even one of them leaks any information about the Everwinter Expedition to anyone"
"Then how did that happen? There's no branch of the Kunlun Guild in Cympyr Dukedom" Michael said, and at the same time, he thought that it be would very stupid move for Kunlun Guild to ambush the expedition team all the way to Cympyr Dukedom where they don't have a guild branch, and could have confronted the expedition team when they were passing through the neighboring kingdoms of Cympyr Dukedom.
"They also don't know" Miya also didn't know, even Dylan and her sister didn't know how the Kunlun Guild knew about their movements.
"Tsk, are they finally making a move? Isn't it a little bit too early for it?" Michael clicked his tongue in annoyance.
"What are you talking about?" Miya looked at Michael, a bit confused.
"Ohh...it's nothing" Michael quickly said.
Even though Michael wasn't playing Fate Online back then when he was still an active assassin, there was one news that really made an impression on him back then regarding the game.
And it was about the alliance called Council of Elders, whose members are the Kunlun Guild, Illusionaire Guild, and Blackskull Guild!
Because from what he could remember, five months from now, this alliance of three guilds would raise a rebellion in a small kingdom called Pan Kingdom, which is also a neighboring nation of Cympyr Dukedom.
And the appearance of members of the Kunlun Guild in Cympyr Dukedom means that its either they learned about the expedition of the Flame Rose Guild and set up an ambush, or...they are finally making preparations for their planned rebellion.
But Michael wasn't sure if that was the case as he wasn't a player back then, and he didn't even hear about a guild called Flame Rose back then, where the latter is now considered a small thorn for the Kunlun Guild.
Michael just lightly shook his head as that event wasn't even something he's related to.
"What about the good news then, and how many did they lose during the ambush?" Michael said to Miya.
Miya then smiled and said, "They have already arrived at Orlborg Mountains, and they plan to depart tomorrow, and they didn't lose anyone during the ambush"
Michael quickly gave Miya a skeptical look. After all, an ambush is something where the ambushed group would suffer huge losses during that event, and now, Miya is telling him that the expedition team of the Flame Rose Guild didn't suffer any losses from it!
"Geez, don't look at me like that" Miya laughed, as she could already make a guess on what Michael is thinking just from his expression.
"The reason why they didn't suffer any losses is that a group of soldiers came to their rescue"
A little over three hours earlier.
"Armored type players with me! Make circle formation with the clothed type players in the middle, protect them, and don't let any of them get killed!"
Maverick quickly gave an order to his members when a group of players of similar size suddenly jumped out from thick bushes from both sides of the road and blocked them from moving forward.
The other players didn't panic and quickly executed Maverick's orders, and players such as Tanks and close combat players like sword wielders or ax wielders quickly made a circle around the clothed type players who are easy to kill.
The people that stopped them on their path didn't even bother to talk to them for a second before all of them quickly rushed forward as they brandished their weapons, with everyone oozing with killing intent.
"Shit! They are players from Kunlun Guild!" Maverick yelled in anger when he recognized one of the players.
"Kill them all! Fireblast!"
Dylan yelled as he waved his wand and sent three fireballs at the incoming enemies, and the three fireballs blasted towards two enemy players, which sent them reeling back!
"Assassins, take out their healers fast!" Minerva yelled as she pulled on her bowstrings and shot towards a chanting Wizard, but before the arrow could even reach its target, a player suddenly appeared on the trajectory of the arrow and blocked it with his shield.
It was chaos!
Spells of different elements are flying everywhere!
The sound of metal clashing with each other along with the shouting and yelling of players!
The sound of arrows piercing the wind, and multiple shadows flashing around the chaotic battlefield!
Rumble! Rumble! Rumble!
But the confrontation of the two guilds didn't even last for a minute when the rumbling sound of the ground quickly startled all of them, forcing them to stop as they turned their attention towards the direction of where the sound is coming from.
And what they saw shocked them, especially the players from Kunlun Guild, as their faces were quickly covered with fear and horror when they saw the group of people heading towards them!
"It's...it's the Blood Guards!"
No one knew who shouted those words, but members of Kunlun Guild quickly disengaged from their opponents and hastily tried to flee towards the forest.
"Block them! Don't let them get away!"
Maverick quickly noticed that this is a good chance to chip away at the power of Kunlun Guild, so he quickly ordered his men to block the retreating players from Kunlun.
"Oh no, you won't!"
"Bas..bastard! Get away from me!" a player from Kunlun shouted in anger at the player who blocked him.
"Kill them all! Kill these motherf*cking bastards from Kunlun!"
The members from Flame Rose quickly blocked the retreating Kunlun players, and because of it, the Blood Guards quickly caught up to them, and their eyes are already brimming with killing intent!
The person leading this group of Blood Guards yelled angrily towards the red named players of Kunlun Guild.
Every single one of them is riding on the backs of huge wolves whose fur is a combination of black and red.
"Kill these criminals! Leave none of them alive!"
They unsheathed their weapons, picked their own prey, and rushed towards them like bloodhounds who had smelled prey!
A player from Kunlun Guild uttered a despaired yell before a spear impaled him on his chest, and the Blood Guard behind the spear pulled his spear back and rushed towards another prey.
And weird thing is, that player who had just died didn't disappear like how it should be. Instead, the player's body was kept intact.