Following Rio’s instruction, Christina-tachi started crossing the small bridge at breakneck speed .
The surprised voices of assailants could be heard from the shadow of trees and rocks around them .
For some reason their ambush had been detected which in turn delayed their reaction . . There was no way that they wouldn’t have been surprised .
But, there was someone who had regained his calm first in the midst of that situation .
「CHASE THEM! 」
Arein ordered the others with a flustered voice .
Although the assailants exchanged glances and were about to chase after their target, their movement was slower than the target . That’ was just natural since was not the kind of movement that could be pursued by running on foot normally .
Since no one amongst them could strengthen their physical ability, Christina-tachi kept widening the gap between them .
「CHE, LUCCI! 」
In response to Arein, both Lucci and Arein started to chase after their target . They suddenly became very fast, but they hadn’t chanted any spells .
In doing that they shortened their distance between themselves and Christina’s group in a matter of seconds .
After Rio, who was running at the back confirmed the situation with a glimpse which cause him to squint his eyes .
（They’re fast . It’s not a speed that can be achieved by only using 《Hyper Physical Ability》）
When Rio saw them, Arein and Lucci were moving at a speed that surpassed the limits of human flesh .
Maybe they were using some sort of magic to strengthen their own flesh . But the possibility of them using spirit arts was not zero .
（Though I wanted to pull them away a bit more from the other assailants, I guess this is the limit huh）
Judging so, Rio slowed down his speed . After coming to a complete stop, he turned around as he drew his sword from the scabbard on his hips . （I’ll leave senseis protection to you, Aisia . ）
（Understood . ）
Aisia replied immediately when Rio said so to her via telepathic communication . Aisia then chased after Christina-tachi in her spirit form .
And then, after Christina-tachis backs had become specks of dots on the highway, Arein and Lucci finally arrived at Rio location .
Arein-tachi stopped in the middle of the highway and together faced Rio .
「What’s your business with us?」
Rio asked them with a slightly vexed tone . Hearing that, Lucci showed a daring smile on his face .
「Do you remember me?」
「Yeah, aren’t you that savage man who tried to pick a fight with us back in that mountain pass?」
「You bastard……… . . 」
Lucci grimaced when he heard Rio replied with a provocative ton .
Seeing their exchange, Arein laughed as if he had just seen something interesting .
「Don’t laugh at me, Arein!」
「Don’t sulk like that . His description matches you very well, Lucci . 」
「Hmph . . 」
After snorting, Lucci glared at Rio .
「So, in the end, what’s your business with us? Going to the point of hiring bandits and broke mercenaries to ambush us . 」
Rio repeated his question as he looked at the others r who finally caught up to them while being out of breath .
「Well, don’t be in such hurry . We have some business with you and the Bertram kingdom princess who is with you . 」
Arein said so with narrowed eyes .
「Your business with me aside………… . I don’t remember being with the princess of Bertram kingdom . 」
Rio tilted his head and kept playing the fool . He had a splendid poker face .
「Well, I did not think that you would be obedient and willingly answer our questions from the start . You are an escort of the princess after all . As expected of one of Strahl regions major power, even if they’re rotten, they still assign excellent subordinates to royalty . 」
Arein was impressed by Rio as he gazed at his face, hidden by the hood .
（I’m not the princess’ escort though . ）
Rio unintentionally smiled wryly as he heard Arein’s remark which was far from the truth .
「The matter regarding the princess aside, you came at the right timing . I also have some business with you guys―― The matter about Lucius . 」
After Rio said Lucius’ name, Arein-tachi’s expression turned vigilant .
「,,,,,,,,,,, Arein, the situation is a bit outside of our expectations but, it is not that significant . Leave him to me . You go for the princess . 」
Lucci drew his sword from his waist and whispered those words to Arein .
「Don’t kill him . I want to get more detailed information from him . 」
After saying so, Arein suddenly broke into a run with minimum telegraphing . He ran at breakneck speed trying to circle around Rio .
Rio reacted instantly and tried to interrupt Arein . But, Lucci stood between them, blocking Rio’s path .
Rio stopped his foot and heaved a sigh .
「My bad . I already said it right . I’m your opponent . HEY, STOP RIGHT THERE! LET ME FINISH MY WORDS! 」
Rio made use of the gap created by Lucci when he started talking to chase after Arein again .
Even though Lucci had let his guard down, he managed to recover and quickly chased after Rio . . He took out a knife from his pocket and threw it at Rio’s back .
Rio dodged that knife by jumping to the side, it was as if he had a pair of eyes on his back .
「HAH, are you using a magic artifact or an ancient artifact class demon sword? That speed isn’t possible with the magic that is present in the current era!」
Lucci said so to Rio who stopped for the second time .
It’s as he said, there were indeed ancient artifacts which were loaded with a superior body reinforcement magic than 《Hyper Physical Ability》 .
But, since Rio had strengthened his body with spirit arts, Lucci’s conjecture was completely mistaken . But there was no difference in the phenomenon that was created .
「Unfortunately my sword is loaded with the same kind of magic . We’re standing on even ground . You won’t be able to free yourself from me . 」
Lucci said so to Rio with a triumphant face . As this was happening, the distance between Rio and Arein kept increasing .
(This guy talks too much . )
Rio heaved a sigh . And then in the next moment, Rio’s figure suddenly vanished from Lucci’s field of vision . What remained in his place was a gust of wind .
「WHAAAT! ? 」
Lucci started looking around in panic . Then, he found the figure of Rio leaving him behind and circling around and arriving in front of Arein .
「!!!!! ? 」
Arein barely dodged the incoming attack after hearing Lucci’s scream .
「Our talk hasn’t ended yet」
Rio slashed at Arein as he said that .
Arein smacked his lips and drew his sword . He received Rio’s attacks as he retreated . . Though their swords crossed each other countless times, within a moment Arein was on the defensive . He was obviously being overpowered by Rio .
Arein’s body was blown to the back after receiving Rio’s roundhouse kick with his arm as it came the instant there was a gap in his gaurd . Though he tried to gain his balance as he landed on the ground, Rio was already coming at him to finish him off .
「DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME!」
At that time Lucci interfered forcing Rio to backstep and make some distance .
「LUCCI, LET’S ATTACK HIM TOGETHER! THIS GUY IS ON THE SAME LEVEL AS OUR LEADER! HE’S TOO MUCH FOR EITHER ONE OF US . 」
「CHE, I KNEW THAT! 」
Lucci reluctantly agreed with Arein . Then, the two of them started cooperating to defeat Rio .
「Be careful, Arein . I don’t know why but this guy can accelerate without any prior movement . 」