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63 Things Are Not Always as They Appear

    It took more than one week for Daniel and the rest of the group to reach the borders of the Krehan empire.

    Signaling the border, was a small city called Jeah.

    In order to avoid their castle from being spotted in mid air while crossing the border, the group had no other choice but to hide it into a deep lake situated only twenty kilometers away from the city.

    They then traveled the rest of the road on foot.

    When Daniel and the rest approached the city of Jeah, they noticed various columns of grey smoke rise from it, and merge into a large cloud of smoke.

    After a moment of hesitation, the seven of them proceeded towards the city.

    Screaming noises, along with sounds of clashing metal weapons, resounded in the air, becoming louder the more they came close to the city walls. The guards that were supposed to guard the gates lied unmoving on the ground instead, and their bodies were covered in shocking wounds.

    On the ground, along with a dozen dead city guards, was a strange looking corpse.

    Daniel had never seen a body like it.

    The body had a humanoid shape, and was muscular and tough looking. Its skin was dark red, as if covered in dried blood. One of the ears on the sides of the head had been cut off, and it didn't appear to have been done recently, as the wound had long cicatrized. The mouth didn't appear to be different than that of a normal human with thin lips, but between the two opened lips, a set of pointy and sharp teeth could be seen. The eye color of this humanoid was bright yellow and his nose was quite large.

    "An Asum.." Said Heimart in a low and unsurprised voice.

    Daniel turned towards him and asked "Do you know what that thing is??"

    "Yeah.. You don't?" Asked Heimart curiously. Then, after recalling that Daniel wasn't from this area, he continued "The asums are one of the humanoid races that live in this continent. They are divided into tribes, which inhabit the territory immediately west from the Krehan Empire. They are generally hostile in nature, and their primary way of obtaining resources is to raid the cities placed in their borders."

    Daniel had never heard of Asums, or any other type of humanoid races, but he understood what the informations Heimart had given to him meant. "The city is being raided.." Daniel muttered in a low voice.

    "Definitely. We should leave before we get spotted." Said Heimart with a hint of urgency in his voice.

    "Shouldn't we lend a help?" Asked Daniel as he heard Heimart's words.

    Heimart shook his head and said "There is no point. These small cities at the borders are only inhabited by slaves, bureaucrats and small level guards. I don't think they can stand a chance against an Asum's raiding party.. If we join in the defence, we will likely end up fighting for the losing side."

    The group was about to leave, when suddenly, a party composed of nine large asum warriors appeared from behind one side of the gate. Some of them held long poles in their hands, on which several severed heads had been impaled, while the others were dragging chained humans and large sacks.

    Daniel's group was immediately spotted by the party, and before they could attempt to turn around and leave, they heards a few incomprehensible words coming from the party of warriors.

    "Kur lja prie vje tshe!.. Gurr huia.." Said one of the asum warriors with a deep and hoarse voice. The nine of them immediately let go of what they were holding, and unsheathed the blades they carried on their backs.

    "Does any of you know what that one said?" Asked Daniel curiously.

    Imblen's voice came from behind him and said "Just know that, before unsheathing their weapons, they called us 'fresh meat'.."

    The nine warriors were only a small part of the raiding party. Their martial cultivation level wasn't high, as their entire job was to kill unranked humans, and pillage the city while the strongest members of the party would held the city's highest ranking human cultivators back.

    Their average cultivation level was at the late fourth rank, with only two at the early fifth rank.

    Unfortunately for them, they had appeared at the wrong moment and picked on the wrong people.

    A sword suddenly appeared in Daniel's hand, and before any of the asum warriors could react, Daniel disappeared from the spot he was standing on.

    When he re appeared, he was in the middle of the group of asum warriors. His sword had already separated one of the warrior's heads from the rest of his body, and without stopping, it approached a second warrior.

    The group quickly came out of their shocked state, and those who were standing behind Daniel immediately tried to slash at his back.. but before their blades could reach Daniel, two small lightning bolts came out of his back and struck the two warriors dead.

    The slashing motion of Daniel's sword was interrupted when the blade got stuck into the second warrior's spine. Daniel gave up on the sword, and while turning around, he threw two knives which sunk deeply into the skulls of two more warriors.

    Scared out of their wits, the remaining three started to run away, but before they could go far, various small spikes rose from under their feet and nailed them to the ground.

    Panicked and in pain, the three tried to free themselves.  The very next moment, a horizontal bright light blue colored line passed through their bodies, splitting them into two parts.

    The entire scene had happened in less than ten seconds.

    Without a single drop of blood staining his clothes, Daniel walked amongst the corpses of the nine warriors and freed the chained humans.

    "Please.. Please help our city.. They are killing the kids and the elderly.." Said a woman in her mid thirties amongst them.

    Unwilling to leave things as they were, Daniel turned to look at Heimart.

    Heimart immediately understood Daniel's intentions. After thinking for a minute, with a resigned expression he said "Fine.. Asum raiding parties usually are composed of cultivators below the sixth rank. If there are any at the sixth rank or above, they will be distracting the mining companies guards, highest ranking military, and finally, the city lord. As long as we avoid large parties, we shouldn't be in any danger."

    Satisfied by Heimart's response, Daniel lead the group into the city with a faint smile on his face.

    Under the guide of one of the people they had rescued, Daniel and the rest roamed within the small city, killing off any small party of raiders they found.

    -----

    Just two hours after their arrival, night enshrouded the city in a darkness in which only the faint lights of the fires were allowed to dance into.

    Sounds of fighting could be heard all around the city, followed by screams and begs.

    Daniel and the rest had just finished exterminating a relatively big group of warriors, when suddenly, they heard deafening sounds of metal clashing against metal coming from somewhere nearby.

    While Alis and the rest accompanied a few survivors to safety through the path they had cleaned, Daniel approached the area where the fight was taking place.

    After he turned to the last corner, what appeared in front of his eyes surprised him greatly.

    A teenager boy was wielding a blade similar to those the asum warriors carried, and using it to fend off the attacks of at least thirty warriors by himself.

    This teenager boy had an athletic build, and his muscles were very well defined. His figure was extremely similar to Daniel's, except for the fact that Daniel was a little shorter due to the younger age. His hair were of a golden blonde color, which he kept to a semi-short length. His plain and tattered clothes were in complete contrast with his proud and cold demeanor showed by his expression.

    Daniel could see his cultivation rank clearly. He was a peak rank 5 martial cultivator, which was an impressive feat for a kid which looked to be no older than eighteen.

    Above this young man's head, Daniel could see a red 429, which indicated his bad karma.

    What left Daniel confused, was the small group of children crouched behind the man. They were hugging each other and crying loudly.

    One after another, the young man deflected all of the large group's attacks, and in time, he even managed to kill a few of them. His expression grew increasingly more tired the more he fought.

    After a couple more minutes of fighting, a loud voice resounded in the air.

    "Tra sje yea nunghe tria Phjor!.."

    As the warriors heard this voice, they immediately stopped fighting. The blonde young man wasn't an exception. They then split into two groups to form a path for the voice's owner to pass through.

    Daniel turned to look at the source of the voice, and what he saw, was an extremely large asum warrior, which held a massive blade on each of his hand.

    The young man looked back at him, and said in a proud tone "Tu nin vje sid phjor.. Krirj tu nin stah yea!"

    The large asum warrior's face twisted in anger. He pointed his two blades at the young man, and then rushed at him.

    From the outburst in speed, Daniel could see that the large asum warrior was at least an early sixth rank martial cultivator.

    Once the two started to engage in battle, the young man immediately found himself on the losing end. Thankfully, his agility helped him avoid most of his opponent's attacks.

    The rest of the warriors didn't join the battle, and instead, stayed away from the two and approached the group of children.

    The moment the warriors started to walk towards the children, the blonde young man turned his attention away from the large warrior, and slashed at the back of one of the warriors.

    His action costed him a bloody injury on his back, as the large warrior showed no mercy and attacked the very moment the young man's attention moved away from him.

    There was no way for the young man to protect the children alone, and yet, he acquired injury after injury by the hands of the larger warrior, each while trying to defend the kids from the group of warriors.

    Learning from their previous mistakes, the remaining warriors approached the kids from another side, preventing the young man from supporting them.

    Once the warriors arrived next to the group of crying children, they all lifted their hands, and just as they were about to slash downwards.. They noticed a large pool of water form from out of nowhere, and expand at their feet.

    Before they could even guess the possibility of an enemy attack, the water started to crawl over their bodies, and slowly sunk into the pores of their skin. It then cooled down at an extremely fast rate.

    The cold water pushed through their blood vessels, joined their bloodstream and, after reaching their heart, solidified it into a frozen state.

    Only five fifth rank warriors had survived the attack by creating a ki shield right underneath their skin, and preventing the water from sinking deeper into their bodies.

    The remaining five warriors turned around, and looked for the attacker. What they found, was a young man with his back pressed on a building, as if he was resting.

    The large warrior and the young man noticed Daniel as well.

    With an enraged tone, the large man looked at the remaining five warriors and shouted "STAH-HIE!"

    After hearing the large asum's words, the five ignored the crying children and immediately rushed at Daniel.

    Just in time, the rest of Daniel's group had returned from accompanying the survivors to a safe zone in the city.

    They immediately engaged against the five warriors, and in about a two minutes, thanks to their advantage in number, they took care of the five.

    Ligart noticed the ongoing battle between the blonde young man and the large asum warrior. He then looked at Daniel and said "Aren't we going to help him..?"

    Daniel didn't respond, and instead, looked at the young man carefully.

    It had been the first time he had seen someone with a red name do something good, so he wasn't exactly sure on how to proceed.
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