468 Reinolt vs Zuran
Coming through the rift, Rydel's party found themselves on a hillside clearing commonly found in Reinolt.
"The battle's just beyond that grove," Eedaj stated, not wasting a moment as he had seen the drastic difference in military strength. "I'll be honest. Unless Jin and I stepped in, I'm not sure if you'll be able to hold them off beyond a few battles."
"It's that bad?" Rydel asked while bringing out Ayden.
Eedaj nodded and explained. "Most of the army is below your level or equal to you. But I'm sensing some high-level combatants mixed in with the low-level and mid-level soldiers. That's why I say that."
"And ya won't get involved?" Maynard asked, looking to Eedaj and his master.
Jin shook his head. "I'm just here for Tyres for our promised duel. Eedaj, don't interfere."
"I won't, not unless Tryes cheats you again," added the Mind God, surprising the mortals around them.
"Then you'll have my thanks."
Eedaj mentioned, "We won't get involved with mortals so simply, not when we have no clear reason to and our appearance will only cause other gods to arrive and wreak havoc."
"Fair…" Rydel sighed. "Maynard, Trax, hop on. We need to find Tridon and fast."
"Is there a place where I can find only enemies?" Karronteel asked Eedaj.
The Mind God smiled and shared his God's Perspective with Karronteel, letting the Spectral Dragon find exactly what he was looking for. Without hesitation, Karronteel took off with incredible speed, matching those with wind or lightning magic. It was as if his god sliced through the air to decrease his wind drag to zero, showing off his physical form's natural prowess and the strength of the spatial energy he wielded.
With a dragon headed for the rear of the Zuran army and a huge Wind Roc headed for the front, everyone on the battlefield was immediately alarmed. No one understood whose side they were on, hoping they were friends and not foes.
But when the twenty-five-meter tall dragon dove into the Zuran army with his spectral breath attack, it was clearer than a cloudless noonday sky. Most of the hidden high-level soldiers rushed back to face the beast, even though they had no clue what level he was.
The Wind Roc carried three passengers and two of those passengers were shooting down at the Zuran soldiers below. Both Rydel and Trax showed off their archery skills as they sniped soldiers with pinpoint accuracy. Rydel in particular showed off, taking far-off shots with his roc-like eyes, something he learned to control after practicing with the bloodline skill.
Maynard impatiently waited as they searched for the man who had summoned them in the first place.
They quickly found some of the strongest Zuran forces about to breach Reinolt's front line of defense. Finally, it was Maynard's time to act.
Maynard leaped off of Ayden and brought out his Thunder Cat, named Raiton. As Maynard activated his bloodline skill, the duo bolted through the battlefield and tore into those attempting to break out of the battle.
While Maynard kept them at bay, Trax descended and joined the samurai in defending. Rydel allowed Ayden to join the fight while he rushed to aid an old acquaintance.
Being tag-teamed, King Leodoro refused to let the front line fall. With his control over lightning, the king kept himself from receiving any grave injuries while attempting to stave off two of the strongest opponents there. However, as both were warriors, the moment they got close to Leodoro, they gained the advantage.
As they were overwhelming the lightning mage, an arrow whizzed by. One of those combatants heard it but didn't think anything of it as they were on the battlefield. The other shouted in pain, reaching for his knee.
Both warriors backed away as they spotted the arrow that went straight through the man's knee, from the back to the front.
But neither Leodoro nor Rydel took it easy on they both targeted the weakened, crippled warrior. A flash of lighting rained onto the barbarian while three more arrows lodged themselves into the same spot.
Completely unable to use his right leg, the barbarian howled in pain as he threw his axe in rage at the mage. The other barbarian charged at the nearing hunter, who had already put his bow away and wielded twin, purple daggers. He could tell that the hunter before him might actually threaten his life, unlike the winded mage.
Noticing who it was that saved him, Leodoro was taken aback and struck dumb. But he didn't have time to question why Rydel had appeared. He had to finish off the crippled barbarian.
With a few spells, Leodoro's lightning roasted the barbarian, letting the king witness Rydel's fighting prowess first hand.
What Leodoro didn't know was how Rydel had learned how to fight hand-to-hand with Trax's and Maynard's help, adjusting their fighting styles to his knives. That was one of the key things that they had done during their time clearing Sunset Valley. It was the same for Trax and his archery, which was scrutinized and polished by Rydel's teachings.
Though the barbarian had the advantage in reached and size, Rydel made perfect use of his wind magic to nimbly avoid each swing of the barbarian's greatsword.
Rydel was patient. He evaded calmly, waiting for the perfect moment to strike a single crippling blow. Only when the greatsword was too close for comfort did Rydel use a knife to parry the attack. But Rydel was shocked.
The hunter found guiding his enemy's attack too easy. Instead of feeling the effects of the barbarian's superior strength, Rydel felt his own strength to almost be on par with the barbarian.
With that in mind, Rydel chuckled. He wouldn't waste any more time.
Parrying another attack with even more force, Rydel swung for the barbarian's neck with his free hand.
The barbarian tried to sidestep but was caught off balance. He did, however, manage to keep his neck out of reach from the blade. That was until Rydel used the swing of his arm to throw the knife into the barbarian's throat, trusting that he could give up the knife and have no need to parry a second attack.
Quickly removing the knife from the barbarian's throat, Rydel ran to Leodoro. "Where's Tridon?"
"You… He's further south," Leodoro stated, grasping hold of the situation and ignoring his desire to inquire more about the hunter's arrival and unexpected strength. "Tridon wanted to attempt a flank but… you brought a dragon?!"
"I'll explain later…" Rydel turned and ran toward Ayden, who picked Rydel up and carried his to the south end of the battlefield.
Rydel asked telepathically, 'Tridon where are you? Don't flank them or you'll get caught in our attack.'
'What?!' Tridon shouted. 'I'm in the forest, about to attack when a dragon arrives and attack's Zuran soldiers. Is that your attack?!'
'That's Karronteel. I'll introduce you two later. For now, come back and help us clear the battlefield,' Rydel explained. 'You'll only get in Karronteel's way, so don't even think of joining him. You're too low-leveled for that.'
'What do you mean?! I'm lv. 44 now!'
'And I'm lv. 48, but he's almost lv. 80. So, in other words, don't even think of pissing him off by trying to fight by his side,' reasoned Rydel, forcing Tridon to admit his weakness.
'You're what?! No way!'
'Just hurry out and joining the fight like the rest of us," ordered Rydel, taking charge even though he was no longer an official soldier of Reinolt.
Further west a few people stood atop a hill overlooking the battlefield. They were shocked by the arrival of a powerful Wind Roc and the men on its back. Of course, the arrival of the dragon was the most jarring thing for them. As the one's coordinating the Zuran Empire's forces, they were enraged to see that they would need to take drastic measures.