While all these events unfolded, a group of five shadows cloaked from head to toe sat on top of one of the buildings that towered the square, watching the party gather the innocent citizens, healing them and protecting them behind the meat walls of the whale.
Three of these shadows smiled, scoffing at this display, while the other two stood behind them, worried looks plastered on their faces as these shadows were the elven assassins sent by Malum to kill Pravus and the party.
The two that stood behind them were none other than Lucian and his sister, who watched in worry over their future prince as he sat behind a cover that wouldn't last for much longer.
They wanted to interfere in this battle and save Pravus, but stood in the way of their mission were the other three assassins.
"What should we do, Lucian?" A woman with the same facial features as Lucian asked in a low voice, trying to hide their conversation from the three dark elves that stood in front of them.
"What can we do but improvise, Lucia." Lucian told his twin sister who gazed at her brother with a bit of surprise as her brother was usually the sensible twin of the two.
What she didn't know that after Lucian's conversation with Pravus something inside him changed, he used to want to protect the kid, even shelter him away from conflict like his father had wanted.
But now and after he saw the flames of determination that flickered in Pravus's eyes when he announced that he would become king and change their corrupt elven society for the better, he decided upon leaving the kid to his own machinations, watching him grow from the shadows, believing in his claims of a brighter future.
This was something that he didn't tell his sister about, something that he decided upon after meeting the young prince, something that he settled on not for his own dreams of a brighter future for his race but to allow the kid to experience the outside world away from the corruption that coated Orchidia.
Hence this was the last time he would help the prince, the last time he would protect this kid even though he might be breaking the promise he made to the king, he wanted to let the kid grow away from the burdens of his royal lineage, and so approached the three assassins the stood in front of him.
"We need to step in!" Lucian stated to the three dark elves that turned around, surprised at this sudden statement that they viewed as stupid and crazy.
"What, why, we can just sit here and watch the prince get killed without breaking a sweat!?" One of the dark elves retorted immediately, trying to calm Lucian down.
"But the prince told us to kill him, not watch him get killed!" Lucian shouted, grabbing the elf from the shoulders.
"What are you a f*cking assassin or a god damned coward!" Lucian said as all the dark elves looked at Lucia, trying to prompt her to knock some sense into her brother, only for her to try to convince them as well.
"Think of all the glory we will get if we killed a prince!" Lucia stated, following in her brother's lead.
Lucian didn't wait any longer for the three to respond, not because he didn't want to but because the shadow that his prince was taking cover behind was starting to disappear slowly into particles of darkness that faded into thingness.
He jumped from his high building and landed in the middle of the square, right next to the wooden tower where Tylor, Axel, and Dominic's doppelganger stood.
The moment Lucian's feet touched the ground, the storm of bullets that lasted for the last ten minutes halted into a deathly silence as both Axel and his men looked at the green light armor wearing elf that appeared out of nowhere holding two long daggers.
This scene only lasted for a few seconds before the men started firing again, trying to hit this elf that suddenly landed from the sky, but every time a bullet almost landed, it would suddenly disappear which confused the men until one of them shouted words that weighed heavily on them.
"He's a C Rank!" The man holding the rifle shouted as the men stopped firing, looking quite scared not because of Lucian but because four other elves appeared out of nowhere, standing next to right next to him, and all of them were C rank.
"Why did elves suddenly appear?" Axel asked Tylor, who looked quite troubled himself, unaware as to why or how elves came to be here.
"It doesn't matter, you need to stall them!" Tylor said, handing his cute little sheep to Axel the confused Axel.
"Now blackie, go help this man with the beautiful wife." Tylor whispered to his sheep as Axel stared silently at Tylor, a bulging vein threatening to burst at any moment from his head.
"And where exactly are you going?" Axel asked, looking at Tylor's back, watching him step down from the tower slowly.
"I need to report this to the higherups." Tylor stated, not looking back at Axel, who instead of continuing to pester Tylor, jumped down from the platform, right in front of Lucian and the other assassins, examining them one by one.
"So the famous mirage assassins of Orchidia." Axel laughed, examining the famous class of assassins of the elven race since mirage assassin was a class exclusive to the elven people due to their special connection to mana.
Mirage assassin was a class that allowed the user to move at great speeds, going so far as to create illusions behind them, but that wasn't the most fearsome part but the class's main ability, which allowed the user to bend surrounding light, becoming completely invisible in the process.
"You've got balls to stand against five c ranks alone even if you are one yourself." One of the three dark elves shouted, looking at Axel, who calmly placed black down, muttering words that confused the assassins.
"Who said I was alone?" Axel said as Blackie suddenly began to grow in size, slowly reaching the height of a small building, standing on two of his black hoves as horns grew our from its head swirling around like that of a ram.
His black wool gave way, receding to his arms, neck, and waist circling around them, giving way to a muscular chest, leaving his dark glowing eyes that glared at the five shocked elves.
Vapor white as fog slipped through its small nose as it slowly opened its mouth, bellowing loudly, causing all to block their ears, and when it did so, it revealed a terrifying sight, the sight of its rows of sharp pointy teeth.
Axel didn't stand idly as Blackie turned into its battle form, but he got his treasured weapon from his inventory, a large Axe made out of both iron and bronze with a large rusty gear hanging behind the blade with multiple small pipes scattered around it.
The moment Blackie finished its transformation, Axel shouted for his soldiers to start firing again while he engaged with the three dark elves, leaving the other two for Blackie.
The moment the sounds of rifles echoed through the square again, the twins rushed the black beast as they deflected the mana bullets with their daggers while Axel dashed towards the three dark elves who dodged his strikes swiftly.
While all this happened, the party watched with shock, looking at Pravus, who they found surprised at this turn of events himself as even though he knew that Lucian was supposed to protect him, he also knew that he was ordered to assassinate him.
Pravus was confused about what he was supposed to do, but he was more inclined to trust Lucian for now, hence he advised the party to wait for the opportunity to escape with the people around them.
As for Blackie it continued to occupy the attention of the two light elves who were suffering against it because of Blackie's passive ability [Black Wool], which caused black wool to surface on its body each time it was attacked, absorbing the damage in the process.
This ability was coupled with Blackie's fast reflexes and large attacks, the only silver lining was that each time Blackie attacked he would have to release a large amount of steam which was a side effect of its transformation.
This fight was a perfect presentation of the difference in power between ranks as when two E ranks or D ranks fought, their battles would be that of attrition with minimal collateral damage due to the small scale of their attacks.
But fights between C ranks could destroy a whole village, and the collateral damage would only scale up as a person reached higher ranks, although the higher rank a fight, the more fatal a mistake was.
Seeing that their fight with the beast was getting nowhere since they couldn't take advantage of their class's ability in such a situation, Lucian nodded to his sister, allowing himself to get hit by Blackie's massive fist which sent him flying through one of the iron walls and into multiple buildings.
With half his HP gone, Lucian coughed up a large amount of blood on the debris-filled ground, forcing his bloody broken body to stand up once more, dashing from the crater that his body had made home and running back into the fight once more.
His objective from getting hit was to create an opening for Pravus and the rest to escape but what he didn't expect was that through this act of self-sacrifice, he would uncover something that shocked him to his very core.
All these men that stood on top of the walls were normal people, and none of them held any class to speak off, yet they still were able to use these weapons that even though didn't do a lot of damage when alone, held a terrifying power when used in large numbers.
"I need to report this to the elven council!" Lucian muttered, grabbing one of the rifles and returning to the square where his sister was dodging the attacks of Blackie with great agility.
He watched as Pravus called out to the people who stood behind the whale, pointing at the opening in one of the walls, firing multiple Flash arrows towards the sky, successfully blinding the shooters as he ordered the people to start moving towards their escape while shadows appeared out of nowhere protecting them from the stray bullets.
"He still has a long way to go." Lucian thought to himself as he nodded to Lucia and started retreating himself, leaving the three dark elves to fight the combined force of Blackie and Axel.
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