Cohen was in a terrible condition, his face and body were filled with bloody whiplashes.
His broken leg from last time didn't even recover but instead, it had gotten worse, to the point that he had to walk in crutches.
Cohen was on his last breath, allowing the guard to throw him into a wagon.
Kieran frowned hard because based on his knowledge, Cohen, Joanna and Harold should have left Herl City and even the whole of Langdon.
"Did some accidents happen?"
Kieran looked at the escort wagon and quickly followed up with hastened steps while staying hidden.
Aside from the information that Cohen might hold, their friendship alone in the past was enough for Kieran to save him.
Kieran glanced over the escort squad. Other than the two who drove the wagon and another two in the carriage, there were two more on the left and right, making for a total of six men the formation; two in front, two at the back and one on each side, escorting the prisoner.
Each of them was equipped with a flintlock rifle and another flintlock pistol and sword on their waist.
Their eyes were sharp and serious, despite the wagon having traveled for quite a distance, their expression stayed the same and their breaths were still calm.
They were elite soldiers! Similar to the ones Kieran saw just now but then it struck doubts in Kieran's heart.
"Elite soldiers were needed to escort Cohen with such bad injuries?"
Kieran looked around the area.
The darkness didn't obstruct Kieran's sight at all and with SS+ level Intuition, it was enough for Kieran to see through common darkness and his ears even captured the slightest bits of sound.
Harold who brought along three bodyguards was lowering his body and arched his back like a cat behind Pierre. His palm with the flintlock pistol was drenched in a nervous sweat.
Although he had prepared himself sufficiently, while facing the real thing, the young student was still not used to the tension during the situation.
Worries and anxiety filled Harold's heart but when he thought about his friend being captured, Harold clenched his teeth hard.
He couldn't just stay back and watch his good friend stay a captive and being interrogated endlessly because he knew how ruthless his enemy was.
If he didn't seize the chance to rescue his friend, then it might really be Cohen's end this time!
"Harold, you bring two men and cover us! The remaining one will come with me!" The butler of the scholar said in a heavy and firm tone.
Pierre's old mercenary life of a decade's time had made him used to such situations, even though he was facing an unprecedented enemy, nothing would change.
Bang Bang Bang!
Just when Pierre's voice subsided, he fired at the escort convoy further way and it wasn't just a single shot to test the waters.
Pierre's hands were like magic, not only were they fast but outstandingly nimble as well.
All Harold saw was flintlock pistols appearing in Pierre's hands one after another, and after four continuous shots, the two driving the wagon and the two in front of the convoy fell to the ground after being shot.
Pierre then charged towards the wagon swiftly after drawing his sword out and the other bodyguard who moved with Pierre acting as cover by holding up a shield, dashing upfront.
Harold and the other two bodyguards who stayed back quickly fired their guns to cover Pierre and the other bodyguard.
Though compared to Pierre's shooting skill, Harold and the other two bodyguard couldn't hit anything.
The moment the shots were fired and the sound was heard, the escort soldiers had reacted to the situation.
The remaining soldiers quickly searched for cover and started their counterattack.
Although they didn't kill anyone, Harold's blind sudden fire has bought Pierre and the bodyguard with shield some time, allowing them to charge towards the wagon swiftly.
As the two of them approached the wagon, they were placed under heavy fire by the remaining soldiers.
Dang Dang Dang!
The iron pellets clashed with the shield, igniting sparks that flew everywhere yet it didn't stop Pierre and the bodyguard with shield's advancing steps.
Then, Pierre seized the chance and dashed out from behind the shield as they were close enough. He didn't just dash out in a straight line but he tumbled across.
After 10 years of mercenary life, it allowed Pierre to know what would be the right choice for him to make at that moment.
While Pierre tumbled out, he jumped up like a flying fish and stabbed the neck of the soldier in front him, at the same time he disarmed the soldier and took the pistol, firing it at the other one beside.
Another soldier has fallen together with the shot.
Six soldiers just died like that under Pierre's hand and the entire 10 men squad has lost more than half of its manpower.
Though the four remaining soldiers didn't just give up like that, especially the two soldiers who were responsible for guard duty, they caused quite the headache for Pierre after that.
Although when the soldiers locked on to Pierre, he quickly rolled away effectively, the iron pellet still grazed his shoulder nonetheless. What worse was the bodyguard with the shield was taken down by a lucky shot.
"Pierre!" Harold cried out in screams and pulled the trigger again.
Bang! Bang Bang!
As the smoke from the fire powder coiled up, the three who were responsible for cover fire fired again, shooting out muzzle flash from their gun barrels.
Harold once again missed his target but the other two bodyguards hit something this time.
One of them nabbed a successful kill and the other wounded one of the soldiers.
Pierre then followed up with a stab of his sword, ending the wounded soldier's life.
Immediately, the soldiers outside the wagon were swept clean but Pierre and Harold weren't delighted at all.
As shots were fired, soon there will be more enemies arriving because of the commotion.
The two remaining soldiers inside the wagon were relying on the wooden carriage to put up a hard line of defense.
Harold and Pierre were running out of time!
Pierre clenched his teeth. He seized the opportunity while the soldiers were reloading by stabbing through somewhere near the handle of the carriage door.
Wood chips burst out and a small hole was embedded on the carriage but compared to its solid wood structure, a small hole was nothing.
Pak Pak Pak!
Pierre then followed up with a flurry of stabs and slashes like a madman, a dozen more full slashes caused Pierre to pant heavily but the carriage door was also failing.
The final strike then broke open the wooden door and when the flintlocks were extended from within the carriage, Pierre quickly rolled under the carriage.
Bang Bang Bang!
A series of shots were fired.
Harold who charged up together with the two bodyguards exchanged fire with the two remaining soldiers who had lost their cover.
The two bodyguards and the two soldiers died together. While Harold was unharmed because the bodyguards instinctively protected him.
After thanking the two dead bodyguards in his heart, Harold quickly went up to the carriage.
"Cohen! How are you, my friend!?"
Harold dragged and carried the unconscious Cohen out of the carriage.
"Hurry, we need to leave now!"
Pierre quickly said while helping Harold and Cohen up but before the three of them could walk further, they were halted.
Or more precisely, they were surrounded!
Hundreds of soldiers appeared and pointed their pistols at the three of them.
"All we had to do is to leak the bait out and more fish will come willingly! After all, the world is never lacking idiots!"
A middle-aged man walked out from the crowd. The stripes and badges on his shoulder represented the certain rank that he possessed.
"Though, I really need to thank you, idiots. If it wasn't for you people, I still wouldn't know how to lure that 2567 out into the open!"
The middle-aged man looked at Pierre and Harold with a hideous expression, he then waved his hand.
The hundreds of soldiers then instantly stepped up.
The unified steps of hundreds of soldiers sounded like battle drums. It made Pierre and Harold quiver and step back unconsciously but where else could they retreat to?
They were completely surrounded!
Helplessness rose in their hearts.
Harold apologized to Pierre since he was the one who suggested the operation.
The old butler shook his head and gripped the sword in his hand tighter.
He was ready to risk his last breath to kill a few enemies, dragging them down with him.
As for the possibility of being captured, Pierre knew clearly—sometimes death was better than staying alive.
Harold seemed to have noticed the unusual look on the old butler's face.
The smart young man instantly caught the thoughts in Pierre's head.
He too lifted the pistol in his hand with slightly shivering hands. The young man was ready to risk his life as well, despite his heart being filled with the fear of death and his body trembling hard.
Harold had the experience of being captured once and he would not want to experience it again.
"Still putting up a stiff resistance eh?"
The middle-aged man sneered and mocked them with laughs without holding back and after that, he gave the orders to his man to capture them alive.
The middle-aged man knew although it might waste some efforts, it would be worth it.
One needed to know, the three before his eyes represented his future in the military.
When he thought about the delights of his promotion, the middle-aged man couldn't help but laugh louder.
But his loud laughs was interrupted by the sudden caw of a raven.
Gawk! Gawk Gawk!
The black raven with a dash of red opened up its wings under the moonlight.