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4 Strange Cloaked Man

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With only one functioning arm, it took Kyran quite some time cleaning his wounds and dressing them. He could not remember how many times he almost passed out from the pain and exhaustion.

After more than an hour, he was finally done. He then carefully changed into a new set of clothes.

Now there was one last thing he needed to do. And that was to drink the white potion.

Kyran's knowledge in Alchemy was mediocre. It was at least enough for him to recognize most potion's grades and effects.

Now, if other alchemists knew Kyran's standard of mediocre Alchemy knowledge, they might have to start reevaluating what they had been doing all these years. Because to recognize a potion's grade and effect without testing, it needed years of experience and exposure in alchemy.

However, Kyran thought his knowledge was mediocre because he knew few herbs and had no experience in potion-making or even its application.

For example, he knew that this white potion was a mid-grade healing potion. And while he could have chosen a more high-grade healing potion in the pouch, he chose this one because of its effect. This potion could heal low to mid-level wounds as well as mend broken bones.

But while he knew this, he was not sure if he should drink all of it or just a portion. And if it was a portion, how much was a portion?

Kyran frowned and looked at the potion. He hesitated for a second but steeled himself and finally unscrewed it.

He took a sip and was surprised to find the taste a little sweet. It also had a bitter aftertaste, but it was tolerable.

After sensing the potion entering his system, Kyran closed the potion's lid and decided to check its effect first before drinking more.

After a quarter of a minute, Kyran suddenly felt a burning sensation spread from his chest to every part of his body.

The first wave was okay. But after another quarter of a minute, the burning feeling intensified.

Kyran groaned, feeling his bones crackle from the heat.

"Argh!" he crouched on the ground. His bones and skin sizzled as the heat finally spread all over his body.

'N-No… how could the effect be so strong? I just took a sip. Was it too much?'

Kyran turned his attention at the trench of water near him. The heat was getting unbearable, and he even had a scary thought that he would melt if he could not alleviate the heat.

Kyran mustered all the strength he could and dragged his body into the small trench.

As soon as he plunged into the water, the heat coming from his body made the water sizzle. He thought the cold water could counter the heat from his body, but instead, the water's temperature instantly dropped to a boiling point.

The water drowned Kyran's scream. He could not believe that after managing to survive until now, he would still end up dying.

What was worse, he might end up dying by drowning!

====================

Early morning at the Mercenary Guild, a  group of mercenaries had gathered around the high-profile bounty board. All of them wanted to confirm the rumor that had spread late last night. Now seeing the new poster of a young man not even in his twenties, with a million high-grade spirit stones as a reward, the crowd could not help hissing.

Spirit stones were extremely valuable to them. Even a low-grade one could fetch a high price in the market. Not to mention, it was considered an alternative currency to most establishments.

Aside from that, spirit stones had so many uses. Whether that person had magic or not, they could boost their strength with spirit stones by absorbing it or integrating it into a magic item, even using it as a catalyst in creating weapons.

"He looks young."

"That's a high-grade spirit stone! It even skipped the mid-grade reward!"

"A million of high-grade spirit stones… that's equivalent to a hundred million mid-grade spirit stones or a billion low-grade spirit stones…. And if we exchanged it to gold coins…."

Each mercenaries' eyes glinted greedily.

One low-grade is equivalent to two gold coins. If they exchanged it, they could happily retire and live in luxury for the rest of their lives.

"Hehe, you're missing the whole point here."

A man in his late twenties approached the crowd.

"Huh?" the mercenaries turned to glare at the man, but then all of them trembled after seeing who he was.

The man had long silver hair and light blue eyes. He was clad in a very elegant white coat and a silver-blue thin sword fastened at his waist. He had the air of nobility from the way he carried himself, and his handsome face could easily attract any woman.

"It's Silas the Crystal Swordbreaker!"

lightsΝοvel

The mercenaries immediately gave way.

Silas approached the bounty board. He stared at the new bounty poster with a faint smile and said, "The point here is never the reward. But the question, how did this young man receive an outrageous bounty?"

He then looked at the information at the bottom of the poster and smirked, "They also want him alive. Interesting."

"You mean troublesome!" a strong, loud voice spoke from behind him.

Silas's eyes narrowed as he turned to look at the huge man approaching from behind.

The man was bald, and he had different scars all over his head and across his nose. His eyes were deep red. His bare top showed off a very toned and muscular body, while his fur pants also hugged his big strong legs. He also had two huge axes hanging at his back.

"Gage," Silas greeted indifferently.

"Look, it's the Twin Axe Titan, Gage!" someone exclaimed among the mercenaries.

Gage stood beside Silas and looked at the poster.

"Looked skinny and fragile," he snorted.

"Humph," Silas turned his attention back to the poster. "Ruffian. You only notice unimportant things."

"Huh?" Gage glared at him.

"The fact that they requested a bounty meant that this boy is capable."

"Humph, it doesn't matter. If I see him, I will break his legs. Then he would not be able to run."

"That's the thing. I am sure whoever requested this bounty already thought of that, but still, that boy escaped. The boy's background… there might be more to it."

Just then, a hand appeared between the two and snatched the poster.

Both Silas and Gage froze. They had not felt this person approach from behind.

"I'll be taking this," a deep voice said.

Silas and Gage turned and looked at the owner of the voice.

He was smaller compared to Gage, but he was still huge. However, because he was wearing a big dark cloak, they could not identify or guess who he was.

The cloaked man did not wait for Silas or Gage to respond and turned to leave. But after taking three steps, a big hand grabbed his shoulder and stopped him.

"Hey."lightsnovel

It was Gage who stopped him.

The cloaked man stopped and slightly turned his head as if looking at Gage.

"That bounty is mine," Gage growled.

The mercenaries around felt the temperature drop between the three and immediately retreated.

Silas's eyes narrowed as he looked at Gage. Before he could claim that he was the one who saw the bounty first, the cloaked man spoke.

"Is it?" the cloaked man looked at the poster and turned it around as if inspecting it. "I didn't see your name on it. Oh right, I don't know your name. I could be mistaken. Who the hell are you?"

The spectating crowd held their breath.

This cloaked man was bold!

"Punk!" Gage roared and instantaneously balled his fist and attacked the cloaked man.

"Tsk." Silas immediately retreated.

The spectating mercenaries gasped as they watched Gage's fist hit the cloaked man.

However, the cloaked man simply stepped aside and easily evaded Gage's attack.

"Humph," the cloaked man snorted, and a fog-like shadow seeped from under his cloak.

'Shadow?' Silas's eyes narrowed, and he unsheathed his sword at once.

Gage growled as the fog-like shadow enveloped him. He grabbed his twin axes and swung them at the cloaked man.

The cloaked man simply jumped back to avoid Gage's attack. He urged the fog-like shadow, and it immediately wrapped Gage's legs. After that, he slipped a hand inside his cloak and took out a crossbow, and aimed at Gage's head.

Gage growled and intercepted the arrows using his axes. He stomped his left feet, and the fog-like shadow binding him was destroyed at once.

"You're asking for it!" roared Gage.

A dark red magic array appeared and circulated Gage's twin axes. The blades turned ablaze, and he rushed at the cloaked man.

The cloaked man smirked, the fog-like shadow seeping from under his cloak became dense and black spikes appeared from it aiming at Gage.

"Stop, you two!" Silas's voice sounded. A light blue magic array circled the blade of his sword. Swinging his sword at the space between Gage and the cloaked man, Silas summoned his magic and created an ice wall.

However, the black spike from the cloaked man's attack penetrated this wall and went straight at Gage.

"Such penetrating power!" Silas was shocked.

"Rawrgh!" Gage also simply swung his axes at the incoming black spikes planning to shatter them by force.

However, the black spikes also penetrated the axes' blades. Gage's eyes almost popped as he watched the tip of the spike neared his face.

"Enough!"

A powerful force erupted, and all summoned magic vanished.

From the floor, a large yellow magic array appeared.

It was the Mercenary Guild's large anti-magic array.

Silas, Gage, and the cloaked man stopped at once and looked at the middle-aged man who appeared at the second floor's gallery.

He had grayish shoulder-length hair and light brown eyes. He wore a long white coat with gold linings. Pinned on the right sleeve of his coat was a diamond emblem of the Mercenary Guild.

"Grandmaster Soren," Silas was the first to bow toward the middle-aged man.

"Humph," Gage grunted, but he put away his axes.

The cloaked man remained silent and simply looked at Soren.

The spectating mercenaries held their breath. The Grandmaster of the Mercenary guild rarely appeared. On occasions where he did, it normally did not end well.

Contrary to their expectations, Soren simply smiled at the three.

"Hahaha, gentlemen. Please, it is not necessary to fight for a little 'poster'," he said and walked down the stairs. He looked at the three once again.

"The bounty is open to all mercenaries. Taking the poster does not necessarily mean that the request will be exclusive to the taker," Soren added.

Silas felt his strength left him.

They should have made that clear early on!

"Well," the cloaked man suddenly spoke. "I know that."

Almost all spectating mercenaries fell.

Silas and Gage also looked funny.

"If you knew then why you didn't say it?" Silas reprimanded.

"Did you ask?"

This guy!

Gage frowned as well, "Why the hell did you take the poster if you already know it was not needed."

The cloaked man suddenly slouched and seemed to stare at Gage. "Are you an idiot? Of course, I took it because I need it."

"You!" Gage growled.

The cloaked man turned at Soren. "It's okay to take it, right?"

"Well, yes. It is not exactly prohibited to take the poster. But if you do, then others might think you are up to something."

"Nope. No hidden agenda whatsoever. I am just not good at memorizing people's faces, so I need this. Anyway, I'll be leaving now if there's nothing else."

With that, the cloaked man turned and left.

The whole Mercenary guild fell silent.

Soren, Silas, and Gage had perplexed expressions.

Such a strange man!