There were two enemies monitoring the lodging facility.
Both of them were standing very still. Like statues.
We Shadows had already climbed over the wall on the other side of the facility.
Our plan went like this.
First, I would approach them while melting into the shadows, and eliminate the enemy magician.
I knew I could handle one of them. With the other, it would probably turn into a fight.
The other Shadows would be waiting behind the building.
I just needed to survive long enough for them to arrive.
“Still, I’m not sure. They look very professional.”
I had a decent amount of experience, but I was nothing compared to my father.
What if they were as strong as him?
I had an idea of how the fight might go down, but who knew how it would be.
Well, there was no point in thinking about it.
And so I sank into the shadows and slid towards the grove.
One of them was lying on his stomach near the roots of a tree. But his eyes were fixed on the lodging facility.
The other was crouching in a dense thicket a short distance away. He was scanning the area to see if anything unusual was happening.
“It will be a pain if he sees me and calls out for help. I guess I’ll take that one down first.”
The one in the thicket turned wide eyes towards the sky and up ahead, but didn’t seem too wary about anything being behind him.
Perhaps that meant there was a detection barrier.
I moved behind him and came out of the shadows while still erasing my presence.
The enemy still hadn’t noticed me.
My dagger was already in my hand as I took a step forward and cut open his throat.
Blood burst from his neck. But before he could do anything, I quickly moved away.
He would die if I just left him there. I needed to prepare for the other… It was when I was thinking this. I saw that the other one was no longer there.
That was a quick decision. He hadn’t even hesitated for a second.
Then there was a sound. So, he had escaped into the part of the grove that was the densest with trees.
The sounds of grass underfoot grew farther away.
When had he run?
Probably as soon as he saw me.
And just when I was thinking that this was easier than expected and that I could do it all on my own.
I had assumed that he would attack me. But now that I thought about it, there were also people guarding the rocky mountain.
He probably went to alert them.
“If he gets out of the grove, then our ambush will be exposed.”
If there is even a small chance that they could lose, they won’t even try to fight.
It was the kind of quick decision a professional would make.
If I let him go, our plan would be ruined.
As for the Shadows who were supposed to support me, they wouldn’t reach us in time.
“I’ll have to chase after him then.”
And so I melted into the shadows.
The enemy was much faster than I expected.
I couldn’t hesitate.
I needed to stop him before he was out of the grove…
And it wouldn’t be enough just to stop or slow him down. I had to kill him.
I rushed through the shadows and came out in front of him.
The enemy was so startled that he stopped in his tracks.
Without a word, we held our swords up in front of us.
I didn’t want to have to fight a professional. But I had no choice.
I just hoped he wasn’t as strong as my father.
I lowered my stance and moved closer.
Just before our swords were in range of each other, I prepared to throw a knife with my hidden left hand.
But then the enemy jumped to the left as if to dodge it.
Did he know?
There were too many trees now, and I couldn’t throw the knife.
I should just put it away and fight with my sword.
As I considered this, the enemy took a few steps back to gain some distance and turned to run away.
“You almost had me there.”