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[Vol 2] Chapter 17: Holding Out

Willard could feel the tense atmosphere at the moment. The men were staring at him with sinister blood thirsty looks. Unlike earlier, these men did not take him to be a threat, but right now they seemed to have acknowledged his existence. Without making any sudden moves, Willard was staring at the man who was holding a bow and arrow. That bow and Kota represented the most danger to Willard right now.

“Whoosh” the man with the bow, started shooting his arrows at Willard. It took the combination of quick reflexes and earth natural energy, for Willard to evade and block some of the arrows. Before Willard had any time to think of a counter measure, Kota had already arrived within an arm’s length of Willard. He attacked in a slashing motion towards Willard’s body. Seeing this, Willard immediately used the blade he got from their dead companion to defend Kota’s sword attack. As both swords crossed paths, momentary sparks could be seen for a split second before Kota’s sword started slicing through Willard’s blade, like a hot knife to butter. Willard quickly utilized his martial movement technique to evade the momentum of Kota’s sword.

Willard was shocked and at the same time, seemed to have figured out something. He finally solved the puzzle that had bewildered him the whole time. How did Kota discover his presence? Now he finally understood how it was possible for Kota to have discovered him. Kota was at the elemental energy level and specifically trained in the wind element to a very high degree. Amongst the elements one could train in, wind and earth are unrivaled in their ability to monitor their surroundings. Wind elementalist could monitor their surroundings for any unnatural resistances in the flow of the wind. The really gifted ones, could take this a step further and completely draw a mental map of their surroundings, detailing the different things around a certain radius. Gifted earth elementalist could accurately sense the vibrations on the earth. They could easily tell what was natural and what was unnatural, like the movement people and animals, through the rhythm of the vibrations they sensed. This special effect made it especially difficult for anyone to easily ambush people that trained in these elements.

Knowing Kota could sense him through the wind was a major problem for Willard. It meant that Kota had trained at least to the 5th level of wind elemental energy, and that a one on one battle would be severely disadvantageous to him. “Swoosh” another arrow was fired straight at Willard’s heart. The arrow seemed to contain the vast energy of the world, it was extremely fast and left Willard with no time to react. The arrow connected and cleanly hit Willard to the chest. The energy of the arrow flung Willard directly to the floor. Willard was laying lifelessly on the floor. His attire was bloodied and he had an arrow protruding out of his chest.

“Go get ready to ambush the carriage.” Kota said to his two remaining companions as he rushed to confirm Willard’s death and get rid of both his dead companion and Willard’s body.

The two of them were making their way to the bushes at the side of the road while Kota was heading straight for Willard. As Kota was reaching in to check Willard’s pulse, he suddenly sensed something was wrong and made a backward movement. Willard’s hands shaped like a knife was thrusted straight at Kota’s heart. Luckily enough for Kota, Willard had missed his heart and instead hit him in the abdomen. Kota had never completely let his guard down and continued monitoring his surrounding with the wind. That was how he was able to quickly detect Willard’s movement and save his life.

Willard had a look of displeasure in his eyes. ‘Why won’t this Kota just die’ he thought to himself as he tried to continue his attack. That was the perfect opportunity he had to finally kill Kota, but somehow Kota still managed to survive. Unknown to the group, Willard had utilized the earth elemental energy and completely made his body as valiant as a rock. Although the arrow was powerfully shot and connected with him, it wasn’t strong enough to completely penetrate through his body when he enforced it with natural energy. That was Willard’s final trump card, he knew he was at the end of the ropes here. He did not have much natural and elemental energy left, he only had enough elemental energy to last less than a minute.

The other two that were heading straight for the bushes both turned to see what the sudden noise was. To their complete surprise, Willard was standing, while Kota was bleeding. They couldn’t understand what had happened as they were all but certain that Willard was dead. They had witnessed the arrow plunge it’s metallic head into Willard’s chest, and yet that same Willard was still standing right in front of them.

The man with the bow, took out an arrow from his sack. His aim was directed at Willard. He arced the bow to its fullest, forming a perfect crescent shape. Willard seeing this knew exactly what was about to happen. After all, he had taken one of such shot and had barely managed to survive it. Seeing how fast his earth elemental energy was dwindling, Willard knew he couldn’t withstand another arrow attack and by all means he had to evade this arrow.

“What do you think you are doing?” A voice interrupted the scene that was unfolding. Looking to the direction of the voice, Willard and the assassins saw a tall, muscular, warrior come out of a stopped carriage. The warrior had an insignia of a white lotus flower embroidered on his outfit, which signified he was from the Gerret family. It was abundantly clear who was in that carriage now. It was Sebastian Gerret. This was the opportunity Willard had been hoping for. He had managed to hold out long enough for the assassins to shift their target away from him, and he also had the opportunity to gain a lofty backer.

The man with the bow immediately pointed his arrow at the tall muscular warrior and immediately shot at him. Willard used the last ounce of strength he had to seize this opportunity and dashed towards the bushes behind him. The assassins couldn’t be bothered to chase after Willard because their main job was to kill the master of that carriage.

The sudden attack from the assassin caught the warrior by surprise. Although the warrior was able to preserve his life by avoiding a fatal attack, the arrow none the less still hit his left shoulder. At this point, it was abundantly clear to the people in the carriage that these people were aiming for them. Three other warriors came out of the carriage and took defensive stances. These warriors seemed quite experienced in this sort of matter. Almost as if they had revised such a scenario a hundred times.

While all of this had happened, Kota had used the opportunity to stop his bleeding. He immediately took to the front lines to join his companion in attacking the warriors from the carriage.


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