Chapter 28: Resolution, Heart And Mind
Settling for now the topic of compensation, Colonel Rijok unfolded his arms and looked to Cattelin. “Apprehend the criminal”.
At last, being given the permission to act as she so much desired, thrilled and gratified, Cattelin strengthened the grip on the shaft of her scythe with one hand and with the other saluted. “Thank you, Colonel Rijok!” An ebullient fiery aura emerged around her like volcanic eruption.
Receiving a slight push from Colonel Rijok’s mantle, Cattelin dashed toward Zax while holding her scythe combatively. “Hahaha”, a vicious laughter rolled out of her throat. “We finally get to meet again, Musclehead, for our initial encounter, I’m going to make you excruciatingly miserable before dealing with the midget!”
An ugly expression was plastered on Zax’s face. He could not come up with any method to escape from this perilous predicament. Moreover, at the speed Cattelin approached him, he had barely time think.
The scythe’s crescent blade slashed downwards and Zax evaded by half a step.
“Hahaha!” Cattelin laughed and swung horizontally.
Having experienced one failure against him, she, of course, was not going to repeat the mistake of underestimating Zax due to his injuries. Conversely, she was certain that a little bit of extra caution than before is all she needs to suppress and torture him slowly.
A series of bombardments at the Mo’s Pyramid formation’s external layers reverberated within, until another, small, section of its base was breached and two figures strode in, while similarly to Helev Hetra, sealing the opening after them.
“Humph!” One of the figures snorted, and the entranced Cattelin with ripping Zax piece by piece, felt every cell in her body shiver before halting in place.
“Presumptuous!” Colonel Rijok rebuked and emitted a countering pressure to liberate Cattelin.
“Hahahaha!” A strong, vigorous voice echoed in jubilation and brimming presence from the second figure. “Great joke, hahahaha! Can there really be someone more presumptuous than the five powers? Hahahaha!”
The two new figures were clad in loose garments, a seemingly middle aged black skinned, black short haired man, and a middle aged olive skinned, brown long haired woman.
“Rockwell ... and when I heard the blows on the Mo’s Pyramid formation, I was anticipating that old fogy from the Mercenary Association. Never I would have imagined that your Sinister Chain is so brave, to dispatch two of its members to the gathering spot of four of the five powers!” Helev Hetra said in disdain and a tad of disappointment. Ultimately, facing Colonel Rijok would have been simpler with the aid of the Mercenary Association’s experts.
The black skinned man, Rockwell, smiled. “What, Helev Hetra, you think that my Sinister Chain’s members will fear other experts of the same cultivation level, just because they outnumber us?”
“Sinister Chain, you dare show yourself before me!” Colonel Rijok aura bellowed, the pressure of his aura intensified, brushing off easily that of the Peak first level Martial Mortal olive skinned woman.
“Let me, Riv”. Rockwell told the olive skinned woman, Riv. She understandably complied, withdrawing her green aura, following which, a stout brown, earth hues aura gushed from Rockwell, confront Colonel Rijok’s and actually reached a stalemate with him.
“Nothing less from the undisputed strongest second level Martial Mortal”. Rockwell smilingly said with a minute frown. He was perfectly aware that it looked like they were equally matched only due to the unique traits of his attribute.
“Earthly attribute...” Colonel Rijok mused. “So you are Rockwell of the Vanished Meadow, it appears that the rumors are true and you do possess the rarely seen earthly attribute”. He withdrew his aura.
“Vanished Meadow...” Rockwell hissed, for the first time his pleasant countenance lost all affability. “When you wonder why my Sinister Chain is so opposing to the five powers, remember those two words you just spoke!”
“Enough talk!” Boolian impatiently roared. “The perfect dark attribute’s essence, if the scythe woman cannot force the boy to hand it over, I’ll do it myself!”
Before Zax was able to react, Boolian appeared next to him and swung his tail.
“Still intact!” Boolian could not believe. His aim was Zax’s left arm, to severe it for the spatial ring, where he guessed the dark attribute’s essence was kept.
The force of the blow sent Zax flying uncontrollably. He felt the bones in his arm shattering to thousand fragments, piercing his tendons, muscles and skin. Some of his ribs also broke, yet to a lesser extent and luckily did not harm his internals.
If Boolian put just a bit of effort and did not take Zax’s bodily refinement technique as a mediocre one, safe to say this strike, even though blunt, would have definitely done the job.
“Riv, after me!” Rockwell yelled hurriedly.
“Boolian, adhere to our agreement!” Helev Hetra shouted angrily and tossed Fengar.
She, the Pink Eyes Agama and Colonel Rijok agree to engage only after the perfect dark attribute’s essence would be revealed. Cattelin was supposed to relinquish it right after taking it out of the spatial ring, and let them, Martial Mortals, contend for it.
“Darvajka, protect Cattelin”. Colonel Rijok commanded and also moved.
Zax crushed down after slamming into the Mo’s Pyramid formation’s barrier. His vision out of focus, he crawled on his feet and chin as his left arm dangled without an ounce of strength in it. Bearing Boolian’s tail whip drained him from the last bit of vitality he got from Murreta’s pills.
When the five experts of the third realm accelerated toward him, his mind was only able to register a fleeting instant of colorful illuminations.
‘Am ... I ... about to ... die?’ Even when said inwardly, he felt too tired to sentence his words.
‘Wake up, boy!’ A domineering voice rang in Zax’s sea of consciousness.
Zax’s eyes snapped open as he abruptly felt every fiber in his being resonating in response to the imposing manner of the voice.
His pupils, as if not his own, were moving in search of something, attracted to the back a shape that suddenly appeared before him.
“Rockwell, you dare face us, three second level Martial Mortals, with a first level woman?!” Helev Hetra chided.
The fastest to reach Zax were actually Rockwell and Riv, but what surprised Helev Hetra, Boolian and Colonel Rijok, was that instead of trying to take the spatial ring from Zax, the two actually turned around to face them with their back to the actual target.
“Helev Hetra, do you remember why the members of Sinister Chain place much importance to always and only travel in pairs?” Rockwell snickered as he saw realization within the eyes of the three opposing Martial Mortals.
Brown and green shades mixed together as Rockwell’s and Riv’s mist energies rose and merged. Rather than the dull muddy green expected to appear, the combination of the hues brought forth a vibrant, invisible, mighty aura that encompassed both experts.
“Companion’s Links formation!” Colonel Rijok grouched as if encountering the only thing that could allow Rockwell, an Advanced second level Core Master, to match and even surpass him.
“Hahahaha! Exactly!” Rockwell leaned his head back and laugh and Riv, who stood centimeters to his left, did the same, even having the same expression and spoke at the same time!
‘Boy, answer me without delay, the perfect dark attribute’s essence is really on your person?!’ Rockwell’s voice resounded in Zax’s mind.
‘Dark attribute’s essence... ‘ Zax’s consciousness, little by little, stabilized.
‘Yes! If you’re willing to offer it to my Sinister Chain I’ll help you escape and even recuperate!’
‘Escape?!’ The notion sounded like something so out of reach that he almost wholeheartedly accepted as infeasible.
‘Dammit, brat, give me a straight answer, already! Four out of the five powers are out to get you. If you want, I can also arrange a test for you to join my Sinister Chain. Also, don’t think that I need your permission to take your spatial ring or even disintegrate your body until I’ll find the dark attribute’s essence. Seeing your potential and the fact that we have common enemies, take it as my magnanimous offer to your pitiful state’.
‘O ... kay’. Zax hesitated for a moment, before shutting his eyes, aggrieved that in the end he could not keep the dark attribute’s essence.
‘Hahahaha! Good choice!’ Rockwell said happily and shifted his attention back to Helev Hetra, Boolian and Colonel Rijok, with which he and Riv were at a deadlock.
Moving in union, Rockwell and Riv clenched their right fist and punched forward. Invisible force shuttled through the air, causing it to vibrate, and split to three beams that targeted the three enemy’s experts.
Helev Hetra extended her arms, floating in front of her palms were seven pebbles, World Gathering Bone, that erected around her a net shaped cocoon defensive formation.
Being hit by the beam, her formation absorbed roughly eighty percent of the impact while the rest pushed her hundred meters or so back, with slight pain in her arms.
Boolian spewed an unending current of flames at the incoming beam.
The beam penetrated two thirds into the current of flames before exploding and the recoil pushed Boolian forty meters before his claws grabbed hold of the ground.
Colonel Rijok’s weapon was a war hammer. Swinging it with both arms, the flat and shiny surface of the war hammer clashed with the beam.
Grating sounds ensued.
“Haaa!” Colonel Rijok roared, his purple aura expanded, electric mist energy swirled around him and infused with the war hammer.
The two forces climaxed and burst simultaneously.