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Chapter: 71


Isaac and Ian used their short swords to cut the vegetation to create a path. They were paying extra attention to their surroundings as they moved with caution.

Est had a frown on his face as he walked in the rear of their formation. They had already been walking for an hour, and they still hadn't encountered a living beast within the Dark Forest. He couldn't even hear the sounds of birds or the buzzing of the insects.

The forest seemed to be devoid of life, but it only made him more wary.

Suddenly, he heard some snapping noises around them. Isaac and Ian immediately rushed to his side and formed a protective perimeter.

It was at that moment when something sprouted out of the ground and grabbed hold of Isaac's ankle. The boy immediately looked down and saw a hand made up of bones holding his ankle in a firm grip.

Ian immediately stomped on the hand, crushing it to pieces and freeing his twin in the process. To his dismay, more hands sprang up from the ground and latched unto them.

"Hah!" Est, Ian, and Isaac released a shout and a powerful shockwave blew the skeleton arms off their bodies.

"Climb the tree, hurry!" Est ordered.

The three children hurriedly ran towards the nearest tree and climbed as high as they could. Not long after their climb, the ground started to shake.

"An earthquake?" Isaac asked.

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"No," Est replied. "This is not an earthquake."

"It's something worse," Ian's face paled as he watched hundreds of skeleton warriors rise up from the ground. Some of them were wearing light armors and carrying steel weapons in their hands.

The sounds of bones snapping reverberated in the forest as more Skeletons rose up from the ground. The forest that was once devoid of life was now teeming with the undead.

William clicked his tongue as he watched the event that appeared in front of his eyes. He was currently on top of a tree and watching the three children from afar. Due to his skill Eagle Eyes and Vulture Eyes, he was able to see up to 1,100 meters in front of him.

Eagles Eyes (5 / 5)

(Passive)

-- Able to see farther than regular eyesight.

-- Increase Vision +100 Meters

-- Dexterity +10

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Vulture Eyes (5 / 5)

(10 Mana Points)

-- Lock on to your target from a great distance.

-- Increase vision +1000 meters.

-- Skill Duration: 20 minutes.

He could clearly see over a thousand skeletons encircling the tree where the three children were perched. The bad news was that the number of skeletons was still rising at an alarming rate.

'Should I help them?' William thought. Although he couldn't fight off the skeletons, he could easily help Est and the twins to break free from the encirclement.

While William was still pondering on what to do, Est and the twins had already made their move.

'Um? Why are they… oh fck! The bastards are headed in my direction!' William cursed internally. 'Oh sh*t! The skeletons are also headed in my direction!'

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William's eyes widened in shock when he saw the sudden turn of events. His eyes unconsciously darted to Ian's no-good face. The red-head boy could see the devilish smirk plastered on the hateful boy's face which made his liver itch.

'I'm itching to beat the crap out of this bastard,' William gnashed his teeth as he watched the three children jump from tree to tree while heading in his direction.

Their movements were quite fast and, within a minute, they landed on the tree opposite of William's.

William ignored the three children and focused his attention on the skeleton army. He gauged that it would still take the skeleton army fifteen minutes to arrive at their location. That was more than enough time to have a chat.

"Fancy meeting you here," Ian said with a sneer. "What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?"

"Fancy meeting you here," William replied with contempt. "What's the matter? Did you come here to beg this Sir to help you?"

Ian's face darkened, but he couldn't find any words to refute William's claim. Earlier, he had sneakily used his ability to mark William by using his anger as a medium. As long as his anger for the boy remained, he would be able to locate him wherever he was.

This was an ability he had awakened a few years ago. It was an ability meant to track his enemies, giving them no place to escape his pursuit. Never in his wildest dreams did he think that he would have to use his ability to seek the help of the person whom he hated the most.

William leaned against the tree bark in a carefree manner. He was the one who had the advantage in this negotiation and he would be a fool to not use it to his advantage.

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An internal struggle was currently happening inside Est's mind. Although they did manage to escape the skeleton's pursuit, it was only a matter of time before they caught up to them. The burst of power they had displayed a while ago had a time limit and they couldn't keep their Sword Aura active for very long.

Even now, they only had five more minutes before it lost its effect. Est knew that with every minute that passed, the danger they would face would grow exponentially.

With a sigh of resignation, he looked at the carefree shepherd in front of him and admitted defeat. If he wanted to succeed then he had no choice but to compromise. It was at that moment when he remembered the Goddess' words back in the temple.

"I only look at the results, Est. not the process."

For the first time in his life, Est was forced to take a step back and swallow his pride. He even had to compromise and lower his head to someone who was not his equal. Since he had made his decision, he no longer hesitated and took the initiative to ask for William's help.

"I agree with your condition," Est said. "Please, lend us your strength. I need to clear this quest no matter what. The Fate of the entire…"

A hand covered Est's lips as Isaac stood beside him.

"I'm sorry, Young Master," Isaac whispered. "Please forgive me for my transgression, but we can't let anyone know about our mission. This was the warning that the oracle gave us before we left the capital."

Est's eyes widened in shock as he realized that he almost told William the reason for undergoing the trial. The sudden attack of the skeletons had clouded his mind and made him lose a bit of his composure.

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After taking a few deep breaths to compose himself, he tapped Isaac's hands to assure him that he was now in control of his emotions.

Isaac removed his hand from Est's lips and bowed his head in apology.

"You are not at fault," Est said as he addressed Isaac. "I promise that I will be more careful in the future."

"As long as the Young Master understands, this servant is willing to be punished."

"There will be no punishment. Just focus on the task at hand."

"Yes, Young Master!"

William watched the exchange with an amused expression. He didn't really want to pry, and he was really not interested in knowing more about their mission. All he cared about was the completion of the trial so his own mission would be completed.

"Let's go," William ordered as he jumped towards another tree.

The three children followed behind him and they returned to the outskirts of the forest where Ella and the rest of the goats were waiting for them.

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It might have taken some time, but William had finally accomplished his goal to take command of this party. Even the annoying Ian kept his mouth shut and simply followed behind him.

Half an hour later, a herd of goats darted across the forest floor. The skeleton army had been long left behind in their dust. William kept his attention on the map as he gave minute orders to the goats.

Est, Isaac, and Ian were currently riding Aslan, Chronos, and Echo. After careful consideration, William decided to conserve the three children's fighting strength. This would help them deal with any unexpected surprises that they might meet along the way.

"Stop!" William ordered and the goats immediately stopped in their tracks.

They were only two thousand meters away from the golden blinking dot on the map, but they couldn't advance any further.

Regardless of what path they chose, they would be forced to fight with one of the five purple dots guarding each of the five entrances that led to their destination. William had already used his ability to look ahead of them and found no other way forward, except for a direct confrontation.

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