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On the road to the south.
It's been two days. Rody and the others had never been so miserable.
Since the injuries, Rody had not completely recovered his earthshaking strength. Although he had rested for two days, he felt that his fighting energy, from head to toe, seemed to have been bound by a weird force. The current Rody, notwithstanding his domain powers, was at most a tall and big man only. It looked like the fierce battle two days ago had left him with a great deal of damage. After he seriously overdrew on his energies, Rody had temporarily lost his combat effectiveness.
Sith's condition was almost similar to Rody's. During the battle at the domain powers level, the old sorcerer did not seem to have the ability to defend. In addition to that, he had overexerted himself in using the 'Reshape Origin' to cure the big Hakone Serpent. That resulted in him over using his magic and exhausting his strength. At the moment, as Sith had completely used up all the magic gems that he had for replenishing his magical power, Sith was unlikely to restore his strength in less than ten to fourteen days.
Nedis' situation was much better. In the course of that fierce battle, she basically had not fought. Besides that, with her negligible capability, there was no room for her to intervene. Therefore, she was the one who was least affected.
Rody and Sith were temporarily cultivating as they had both lost their combat effectiveness. Therefore, of the three of them, the originally weak Nedis had become the strongest.
The capital city of Hakone Kingdom, Kyoto, was blown into a canyon and the sacred mountain was razed into a level plain. As for the palace, with God's blessing, most of the royal family members of the Hakone Kingdom had perished in that explosion.
They then traveled south from Kyoto city. At the moment, their destination would require them to pass through the southern part of River Home to find the Sauron Kingdom army and converge with them. Under the current situation where two out of three of them were injured, that was their only way out.
All the way south, they noticed there were tremendous changes in the Hakone Kingdom. Obviously, the aftermath of that battle had caused a great deal of catastrophe to the Hakone Kingdom. The whole city of Kyoto was destroyed overnight. The sacred mountain which was a symbol of the dwarves' kingdom was gone...The dwarven race was defeated in one fell stroke!
The turmoil was just beginning.
As they traveled south, they discovered that the place seemed very chaotic. Numerous civilians had to flee because they had to protect and care for their families. There was a long queue on the road leading to the south. Those people originally lived near the vicinity of Kyoto. However, within one fearful night, Kyoto city and the sacred mountain were gone. Almost all the people were terrified. They thought that it was a punishment by God and so, they could only flee blindly.
'Where are they going to flee to?' Rody could see that those dwarves were at a loss and distressed.
The south? The war was going on in the south. The army of the Roland Continent was fighting, from day to night, in the south. 'Is going south, the right way out?'
During the time of upheaval, there would definitely be darkness. All along the way, there were robbers. Many of the discharged warriors simply turned into robbers, where no capital was required. Rody and the other two were traveling amongst those fleeing people. Nedis spent some money to buy a shabby carriage.
That carriage cost almost all the material possessions the three of them had on them. During such a hellish time, a carriage would actually fetch an astronomical price. As Nedis put it, the money used to buy this carriage was enough to buy a small farm in her village. The price quoted by that scoundrel dwarf for the shabby carriage with a limping old horse even gave Nedis a kind of misconception. 'It is such a waste that this dwarf is not a vampire!'
In normal times, they would have just directly grabbed the carriage and horse. However, based on the current situation, Rody could not fight, Sith was just a weak old man and the remaining person, Nedis, would not dare cause trouble. After submitting to humiliation and paying a hefty sum of money, the three of them finally was relieved from the pain of walking.
That evening, Rody secretly estimated that, based on their current traveling speed, they would reach River Home in the south in two days' time.
There was a larger town in front of them. From a distance outside the town, there were some dwarven soldiers patrolling back and forth. Rody felt a little strange.
All along the way, they did not see any dwarven army. That massive explosion at Kyoto had completely wiped out the civilians, nobles, and armies. Now that they were approaching the south, they finally saw the dwarven army again. Rody's heart sank. The three of them were not in good condition and he hoped that they would not get into any trouble.
Rody took a deep breath while sitting in the carriage. He felt that he still could not summon the fighting energy in him. That was a familiar feeling. When he was in the Northwest, he had used a gem from Old Mark. That gem enabled him to have an unlimited fighting energy for a short period of time. The tired and empty feeling he had all over his body after using that gem was similar to the feeling he was having now.
In fact, Rody should really be happy. That night, the number of times Rody had used the 'Mystic Dragon Purge' was way too many. In such a short time, to have used such a powerful skill so excessively would normally cause great harm to his body. If Rody's body had not been strengthened by the blood of the Mystic Dragon but was still that of an ordinary human, he would have died from the rupture of all the blood vessels in his body.
"Attention! Attention!" Five patrolling cavalrymen rode along the main road filled with streams of people. The leading cavalryman shouted, "Everyone, listen carefully. There is an order from His Excellency the Thousand Rider General!"
'The Thousand Rider General.'
Rody and Nedis subconsciously exchanged looks. Rody immediately tightly held on to the reins in his hands to slow down the carriage. Sith at the rear also drew open the curtains to spy on with his head. Obviously, he also heard the ranger shouting.
'Oda Nobunaga? Didn't he die in Kyoto?'
That cavalryman and a few of his subordinates were extremely capable of their actions. When they saw that their shoutings had attracted the attention of the stream of people, they simply went across to the middle of the road. After that, a few of his subordinates threw down a few big bundles from their horses on to the ground. Everyone cried out in alarm.
The contents of those bundles were all food. Although they looked like only rough wheat bread and flatbread, all those were enough to make the eyes of those hungry refugees glow.
That stream of people immediately stopped. They rushed forth towards those few cavalrymen.
The leading cavalryman suddenly pulled out his long sword and loudly shouted, "There is an order from His Excellency the Thousand Rider General! To all those loyal to the Royal Family, immediately go to Kashima Town ten miles ahead. Lots of food has been prepared there. For those who want to live, proceed to Kashima Town."
That cavalryman was obviously assigned to perform that task. After dropping off those stock of food, he and his subordinates continued riding nonstop from behind the stream of people. As they rode, they shouted.
Soon the stream of people moved even faster forward.
Rody had some doubts. He looked at Nedis. Nedis frowned. "Kashima Town? That place does not lead to River Home. There is a forked road in front. The left leads to River Home while the right leads to Kashima Town..."
The three of them had doubts. However, since they could not understand the situation, they decided not to think about it.
After walking for half a day, there was a team of cavalrymen blocking the road. The cavalry unit was quite big. There were about two hundred men. Those men were holding some signs on the road. Beside them were some plain-cloth soldiers. There were also people wearing different attires gathered around them.
Rody already heard someone shouting from afar, "One warrior, two gold coins! Two gold coins! His Excellency the Thousand Rider General has an order. One warrior, two gold coins! In the event that the person provides outstanding military service, he will be rewarded. Those who wish to get rich, come quickly."
There was a group of warriors in tattered clothes standing around that soldier. A person beside him recorded their names, one at a time. Another person gathered them into groups.
Those cavalrymen moved, in twos and threes, around the stream of people. Occasionally, they would stop some strong young men.
It then dawned on Rody. He could not help but whisper, "This guy is recruiting soldiers and buying horses."
Nedis nodded and smiled, "He is merely picking some able-bodied men. We don't have to bother."
Rody said with a smile, "You are not in the army and therefore you will not understand. Since they are picking able-bodied men, it is not safe for us to go over."
Sure enough, as they moved forward, the stream of people started to disperse chaotically. Whenever some of the cavalrymen saw young men among the stream of people, they would stop them. Without allowing those young men to say anything, they would be pulled to the roadside. They would forcefully intercept the stream of people and gather them together. If any of those men resisted, they would immediately be punched and kicked. Some of the cavalrymen would even, on the spot, draw their swords and swing down...
Rody looked at the distant scene and whispered, "It does not seem right."
Nedis was somewhat angry. "Don't be bothered by him. We charge ahead. I believe these little fishes cannot stop us."
Rody sighed. "It's alright. Let's get off the carriage. Let's avoid the main road. I probably need a few more days to recover. Master Sith is also not feeling very well. With you alone, I am afraid we cannot dash through safely."
Nedis opened her mouth but still nodded her head. She was only a small vampire. Although her 'Blood Escape' technique was powerful, it could only hide her own trail. She was not effective in a direct confrontation.
The three of them hid among the stream of people. While still a distance away, they jumped down from the carriage. They surreptitiously used the wild vegetation by the roadside to escape. At that moment, the sky had gradually darkened. Among the stream of people, nobody noticed them.
At the side of the main road was a wood. Even though they were fleeing in the woods, they dared not drop their vigilance. Suddenly, they heard a burst of whistling sounds coming from the distant road. After that, they only heard the sound of horses' hooves. Another group of warriors, on their horses, had charged over towards the stream of people.
Those warriors, their faces filled with murderous aura, were shouting. They were waving their long swords in their hands. The stream of people immediately ran helter-skelter. With a loud rumble, everyone was running everywhere. Rody faintly heard those warriors shouted, "Oda traitors, quickly surrender."
The first group of cavalrymen immediately mounted their horses. They held onto their weapons and directly charged forward.
A melee broke out on the road. For a while, they were scuffling in a confused mess.
The melee spread from the main road to the woods at the roadside and eventually they were all entangled together.
When Rody and the other two looked at that, they felt strange. It was obvious that both sides were the dwarven armies. Why were they fighting against each other?
Nedis suddenly cried out. Looking a little surprised, she suddenly pointed toward the distance at a warrior who was fighting with the cavalrymen. "That guy looks like..."
Rody looked and frowned. "Ah, that guy looks familiar...He is Hideyoshi! He was the warrior we bought at River Home after robbing Kikukawa Yukinari."
Sith also shook his head and said, "Why are they fighting each other?"
Nedis rolled her eyeballs and suddenly smiled. "I understand. Did you not hear Hideyoshi's men shouted 'Oda traitors'? Most probably it was because Yukinari did not die and has brought some men to fight against Oda Nobunaga's men."
Rody replied indifferently, "Let them fight. It has nothing to do with us. Let's go."
The three of them dared not use the main road. They went southwards through the wilderness. After they lost their carriage, they also did not have any food with them. They traveled for a while before rejoining the main road to continue their journey. However, they were more vigilant and paid more attention to any movements around them."
Suddenly, they heard the sound of hurried hooves and a warrior rushed up from behind. Half of his body was covered with blood. There were two cavalrymen chasing him from behind with the intent to kill him.
It was Hideyoshi!
Rody was the fastest to respond. He had already pulled Nedis and Sith a few steps to the roadside. They then lay down on the slope by the roadside waiting.
Hideyoshi was seriously injured. Only half of his warrior's sword remained. At that moment he was using that broken sword to fiercely whip his horse's buttock. He was in a sorry state.
"Ah, this guy is really useless. With so many men, he was still so badly defeated." Nedis pursed her lips.
Rody smiled and said, "This is something you do not understand. Although Hideyoshi had many warriors, they are mostly mobs. Those cavalries are standard soldiers. During a fight, team effort is very important. Even when the mob has more men they are absolutely unable to defeat those trained soldiers."
Hideyoshi rode quickly past the three of them. The two cavalrymen continued to pursue from behind and they had gradually approached.
Nedis suddenly said, "I am going to help that guy."
Rody frowned. "No nonsense."
Nedis shook her head and quickly said, "It is not nonsense. I am taking this opportunity to grab two horses. This will make it easier for us to travel faster."
After she finished speaking and before Rody had enough time to pull her, Nedis had already charged out and carefreely stood in the middle of the road.
Hideyoshi was busy running for his life and did look behind. Of course, he did not realize that someone was helping him block off the pursuers. When the two pursuing cavalrymen, from behind, saw a person suddenly jump out from the roadside, they subconsciously pulled the reins and the horses slowed down.
After all, they were professional soldiers. They were a little startled, but they brandished their long swords and rushed towards Nedis. Their mission was to kill their enemies. Regardless whoever blocked their way, they would just chop them down.
Nedis' body suddenly drifted up and charged into both the cavalrymen galloping towards them. One of the cavalrymen felt a sharp pain in his chest. He flew up into the sky and, after a miserable cry, fell down.
The other cavalryman was horrified. He ran a few steps and immediately held tightly onto his horse's reins.
He then changed the direction of his horse's head and turned back to look.
Nedis had already landed on the ground. She stood beside the injured cavalryman who had fallen off his horse. Placing a foot on the chest of that cavalryman she exerted a little force with her foot. The cavalryman immediately felt like he was being crushed by a mountain. However hard he struggled he could not get up.
The other cavalryman was a little frightened, but when he saw that his opponent was alone, he plucked up his courage and drew his long sword.
Suddenly, two other people jumped out from the roadside. One of them was a tall young man, with a scimitar in his hand. The other one was a kind-looking old man.
Nedis shouted at the cavalryman, "Dismount! Hand over yoür weapon and horse."
The expression of that cavalryman changed. He shouted, "Who are you? Are you the traitors from the Kikukawa family?"
When Nedis heard the statement 'traitors from the Kikukawa family', her heart stirred. She immediately understood and shouted, "I am not bothered whether traitors or not traitors. I just want your horse and weapon."
"You are not traitors?" That cavalryman immediately felt a little more relaxed and a little more confident.
He shouted, "We are the cavalry of His Excellency the Thousand Rider General. Which family's warriors are you? If you do not have an owner, perhaps you will go back with me. His Excellency the Thousand Rider General is in the process of gathering men and horses in preparation for cracking down on traitors. You are in an advantageous position with your skills."
Nedis did not want to say much more to him. She first kicked and knocked out the cavalryman she was stepping on. She then walked in big strides towards that person opposite her.
That cavalryman immediately became wary. He raised his sword and said, "Are you tired of living? You even dared attack the men of His Excellency the Thousand Rider General!"
When he saw that Nedis did not respond and was approaching closer, his eyebrows were raised and his eyes revealed a murderous aura. "What do you really want?"
The good-natured and compassionate looking old man suddenly spoke, "Oh...do you still not understand? We are robbers!"
Rody was impatient and strode forward in big steps. That cavalryman shouted and swung his sword down at Rody. Rody frowned and he voluntarily raised his arm to resist.
That person immediately felt a little strange... 'Is this man crazy? He actually used his arm to block my sword.'
However, he immediately realized something was wrong. That slash he made with his sword had not cut into Rody's arm at all. Rody had already grabbed one of his legs with his hand. With one forceful tug, the cavalryman immediately fell down off his horse.
Nedis caught up with a few steps and kicked the sword from his hand. She then gave him a cold look. "Hey, do you want to live or die?"
The eyeballs of that cavalryman rolled wildly. He could not figure out what was the intention of those three people.
Nedis gave Rody an eye signal. Rody sighed and with big strides walked to the roadside. He brandished his scimitar and a bright light flashed from the blade of his scimitar. With a loud crashing sound, an ironwood tree which a person could not completely embrace was cut off in the middle.
Although at that moment, Rody's strength had been not fully restored at least he was still comparable to a high-ranked warrior.
The tree trunk came crashing down. That cavalryman immediately turned pale and he repeatedly shouted, "Want to live...want to live, I want to live."
Nedis gave a satisfied smile and said, "It's not difficult to want to live. Just remove the armor and clothes you are wearing."
"Ah!" That cavalryman froze for a moment.
Nedis' eyebrows were raised as she shouted, "Undress!"Although it does not sound right or logical, the raws is indeed as follows: the royal family died with God's blessing.户川市 is actually Togawa City, but in a previous chapter 川户, River Home had been mentioned as one of the cities whereas Togawa City was not mentioned at all. Therefore I assume that the author meant 川户, River Home.