The interior of the magic war chariot was spacious, it was much more comfortable than the tents. As the torrential downpour continued, Lex and her entourage did not get down, they remained in the chariots. The drivers were the war puppets, so they did not need to hide from the rain.
“Viscountess, the small duke is here,” a swordmaster standing outside the chariot announced. A radius of ten meters around the chariots were dry despite rain. The depletion of such a spell was only grade-1 magic nuclei, and this was also an advantage of a magic war chariot. It was not affected by any weather changes.
Lex frowned and glanced at Saleen. Saleen laughed and said, “Let him in.”
Saleen thought to himself, “Come up here and let me study you, it will be easier for me to kill you in the future. Bifano doesn’t know what’s good for him, he still wants to pester Lex. After the Pink Army’s secret base is located, I should just kill Bifano and seize the temple.”
When the chariot’s doors opened, Narnia cast a spell, alarming Bifano. He was on the verge of wielding his sword already. Following that, the water on his body evaporated, drying his drenched armor.
Originally, the chariot contained six people, and it still felt spacious. As Bifano scanned the chariot, he noticed two beautiful women sitting on either side of Saleen, while Saleen was seated across from Lex, causing his mood to brighten up.
Lex pointed to a horizontal bench to her right, then said, “Small duke, please take a seat.”
The astonishment in Bifano’s heart was not exposed. It was only after coming onboard that he realized that this chariot had been transformed into a magic war chariot. Which meant that the other chariot had to be a magic war chariot too. “The Qin people are really wealthy. In the aspect of magic, the Titan Duchy can’t even compare to Lex’s county.”
Bifano was thinking too much. This magic war chariot was crafted by the allied states in the eastern sea, it was just that Saleen had pillaged a group of them. Lex also did not have any spare money to craft such items. Daily maintenance was already an issue, and the speed of the magic nucleus depletion was quicker than ten mages combined.
Shamelessly, Bifano said, “Lex, this chariot is warmer than a tent.”
With a partial smile, Saleen said, “Bifano, I guess you are already a grand swordmaster.” As he spoke, an Ice Bomb had appeared on his finger, twirling around the tip of it. Only a sorcerer possessed the ability to control the elements in this manner, but some talented grade-6 mages could also barely accomplish it. Currently, Saleen could control water magic at will. At the very least, he could control spells he was familiar with at the standard of a sorcerer already.
“Mage Saleen, you have such good judgment,” Bifano complimented.
“My judgment isn’t great, but all mages are very sensitive. When a grand swordmaster gets too close, they will get uneasy.”
No matter how shameless Bifano was, he could no longer hold it in. He was going to blow his top already, but then Lex said, “Saleen is right, this chariot was prepared for mages only, even my men aren’t allowed in here.”
Saleen sneered. In a single action, he grabbed hold of the Ice Bomb on his fingertip and pinched it, causing it to disperse into thin air.
Even though Nailisi and Sika were beside him, Saleen was still very vigilant. There was little leeway in the chariot, and he was indeed uncomfortable in the presence of a grand swordmaster. Saleen also did not need anything from Bifano, so he was not afraid of offending him. Bifano was the one begging him to resolve the Pink Army issue.
Saleen was no longer an insignificant mage, he did not have to treat himself unjustly.
The moment Lex opened her mouth, Bifano lost all courage to unleash his rage. Suppressing his fury, he said, “Mage Saleen, I need to speak to Lex.”
“Then say it. This chariot is mine, you won’t be able to make me leave.” Saleen leaned backwards, he did not even bother looking at Bifano’s face.
Bifano had lost once. Previously when he tried to spite Saleen, he lost five-hundred warhorses. This time around, he could only tolerate it, pretending not to hear Saleen.
“Lex, if this rain gets too heavy, it will affect our journey.”
“In this season, it won’t rain for consecutive days, right?”
“Actually it won’t, but Titan has been experiencing terrible weather for the past two years. The rain is unpredictable, even the mages can do nothing about it. The crops are frequently destroyed.”
“Do you want to alter the route?”
“Yes, we will go to the Stone Statue Castle. There is a metal bridge there which will not be affected by the heavy rain.”
“You can make the decisions alone, why discuss it with me?” Lex asked in bewilderment. She had a crystal clear memory of the map. If the route was changed, they would go to one less town, which meant one less treasury. This held no significance for Lex.
“The earl of the Stone Statue Castle is an ally of the Cloudflow emperor. I want to kill him along the way.”
“If there is an earl, then there will be five emblem groups alongside another few hundred private soldiers. You don’t have sufficient manpower,” Lex said slowly.
“That’s why I wish to borrow your mages,” Bifano said with no change in expression. He was trying to kill the earl using Lex as a medium. By conquering the Stone Statue Castle, Lex would suffer a loss in power. By then, Bifano would not need to worry about Lex falling out with him at the pink army’s base. This time around, he felt that he had lapsed. He thought that he could control the entire situation by inviting Lex over. Unexpectedly, Lex had two magic war chariots, and another six subordinates who were all grand mages.
“What for? You have decided to give up anyway, and that was your father’s intention too. Did you just think of this plan?” Lex did not accede immediately. It was too difficult invading an earl’s castle, it would be good if she had brought along the swordsmen’s camp from Bitter Water Prefecture. She did not feel confident now that she had to rely on Bifano’s soldiers.
If the earl was from Qin, there would not be so many troops. In Titan, an earl possessed a great deal of authority.
“My father allowed me to make my own decision. If it wasn’t for the downpour, I wouldn’t want to make a detour. If we do not make a detour, downstream of the Red River the bridge might be destroyed. When that happens, our convoy will not be able to pass through anymore.”
“Your father is still in Cloudflow. Aren’t you worried something will happen to him if you kill the earl?”
“The Stone Statue Castle doesn’t have a teleportation portal. Information is sent via messenger pigeons, which will take at least half a month to reach Cloudflow. By then, my father will be back.”
“If you can deceive them to open the gates, I will do it. Everything in the castle will belong to me though.” Lex did not continue refusing. After listening to Bifano, she realized that Titan and Cloudflow still enjoyed cordial relations on the surface. If she killed the earl in the castle, the level of difficulty would be greatly reduced. Since the Stone Statue Castle did not have a teleportation portal, it also meant that it would not have a magical tower. Even if there were mages, they would not be greater than grade-6.
“Of course. Everything in the castle will act as compensation for your mages.” Seeing that Lex had agreed, Bifano could not conceal his jubilance.
“Is there anything else?” Seeing that Lex had agreed, Saleen felt embarrassed to continue objecting. That being said, he really did not want Bifano to stay in the chariot any longer.
“Nope. Before arriving at the castle, I will inform everyone in advance.” This time around, Bifano had no reaction to Saleen’s words. Grinning, he disembarked from the chariot and left in the rain.
When the doors were closed, Nailisi said, “Master, this person harbors ill intentions.”
“Humph, of course he does.” Lex snorted, then said, “The Stone Statue Castle doesn’t have a magical tower, but there is a batch of Stone Statue Ghosts left behind from a long time ago. A low grade mage will be able to control them. If you are not cautious, those thing can even harm a mage.”
“Stone Statue Ghosts?”
“They’re like the abyssal creatures, I think there are some in the demonic plane as well. Usually, they will be in the form of a stone statue. They are quite troublesome to deal with, and there are many of them.”
“I know, I was just thinking that Bifano isn’t hospitable at all!” When Saleen made that claim, he had forgotten how he treated Bifano earlier on. Saleen treated Bifano even more poorly, he did not even bother concealing his contempt for Bifano.
“Never mind, my swordmasters are equipped with miniature alchemical crossbows. Each one of them has twenty explosive arrows.”
Saleen chuckled the moment he heard that. An explosive arrow was a high level alchemical equipment, it should not have a problem terminating the Stone Statue Ghosts. Lex had made adequate preparations, it seemed like she already had the intention to guard against Bifano for a long while.
A grade-6 mage was minimally required to manufacture explosive arrows, and Lex had a pathetically small number of grade-6 mages around her. A protracted duration was needed for her to produce two-hundred explosive arrows.
“If the Stone Statue Ghosts are below grade-4, then you don’t have to waste the explosive arrows.”
“I don’t intend to use them, they are acting as a precaution. Saleen, you shouldn’t treat Bifano in this manner, at least before leaving Titan that is,” Lex lamented.
“If I don’t act as the bad guy, he will pester you every day, aren’t you annoyed?” Saleen pointed out the root of the problem directly. Lex’s face turned scarlet, but she did not dispute.
Lex and Bifano were not at the stage of falling out yet. If Saleen did not act this way, she would not have to patronize him.
“Forget it, I have seen through him. I am just afraid that he may harm you.”
“Lex, you don’t have to rush to gain allies, we should manage the north first. Anyway, the riders from the Holy See will not arrive in the next one or two years. This Bifano will not accomplish much. In my opinion, you should seize his items. Titan will be obliterated sooner or later anyway, this place will be under Cloudflow’s jurisdiction in the future.”
Lex frowned and said, “If I take his recourses, who will want to form an alliance with me in the future?”
“If our capabilities are inadequate, no one will form an alliance with us no matter how good our reputation is. If he dares to harm me, I will strike immediately, he will not get a second chance.”
“Viscountess, I concur. When he tried to borrow your mages, he wasn’t harboring any good intentions,” Narnia agreed. The other female mage also nodded in agreement.
“That is logic, but he has planted five-thousand men in Fire Dance City. Do you think we can deal with five-thousand elite soldiers? Don’t forget our agenda on this trip. If we kill him, the later tasks will be fraught with difficulties.”
Saleen thought to himself, “I am not afraid of five-thousand elite troops as long as there are no sorcerers. Before entering the Purgatory Desert, I really cannot create too much trouble. This place isn’t too far from the Tanggulasi Empire, it will be disastrous if I run into the Holy See’s people.”
The few people chatted aboard the magic war chariot freely without any restrictions. Even if there were mages outside, they would not be able to eavesdrop. The downpour had gotten worse. Obscure thunderclaps emanated from the sky, suddenly becoming very ferocious.
Lex softened her tone, and said, “Saleen, listen to me this time around. You have heard it too, everything in the castle will belong to me. Aren’t you curious to find out what in the castle has tempted me?”