Joseph, loaded the gun, a look of determination on his face.
"We need to stop them! They are planning to hold a grand hunting ceremony tonight at midnight sharp. We have to be there before then or else the whole Pinehill City will be in danger!"
Under the yellow lighting of the basement, there were two others, one female and the other male, armed with guns looking at Joseph.
"Have you gone nuts, Joseph!!" Johnson’s eyes were filled with both shock and worry. "The central building will be fine. The police have already sent people there in case anything would happen…"
"Listen, my partner!" Joseph raised a hand to his shoulder. "Do you trust me?" He stared directly into Johnson’s eyes.
"Of course! We’ve been by each other since we were kids, and you’re the best friend I have!" Johnson replied with affirmation
"No one believed me! Not a single one!" Joseph took a big breath. "I know this is absurd. I beg you Johnson, my best friend, and Annie, my beloved! Just for this night. We need to stop them tonight!"
"Stop what?" Annie butted in. "I believed in you Joseph but what can we do for you?!" Her eyes overwhelmed with worry and love. "You’re not shouldering this on your own! You still have us!"
Joseph took in a few lungfuls of air and whipped out three small brown leather pouches from his waist. He gave everyone one each.
"Bring this with you! Remember that! Do not let this pouch leave your side no matter the reason! Bring it with you whenever and wherever! Do not lose the pouch! The enemy we’re facing is nothing like we have ever faced before! No one can go against them without this!"
"What is this"? Annie asked as she shook the pouch. She could barely hear some water sloshing inside.
"This is holy water. We can restrain them with it. If we have this with us, they’ll be weakened if they come within 10 meters.. Please do not leave this without you at all cost! Please!"
"Are we entering some horrifying Sci-Fi novel?" Johnson joked. "Do you need me to gather a few more people? My cousin is a professional boxer! Ameteur level six! He’s the local’s boxing association’s vice president, too!"
"It’s no good. I’ve tried getting help from others but it’s no use." Joseph shook his head. "They’re not human…" A bead of cold sweat escaped his brow as he recalled the scene.
Annie and Johnson looked at each other; they both knew, from Joseph’s voice, the pain he was in.
It was the afternoon, and the sky was grey and cloudy.
The green mountains and hills covered the landscape like a carpet, and in between was a river flowing freely, just like yellow silk across the land, stretching to the distance.
A white, four-winged plane glided serenely above the greenery, its engine producing an incessant rumbling sound.
The airplane flew over a waterfall at the river mouth; the roar of water crashing into the valley below echoed above, shooting large amounts of vapor so high it seemed like it could brush the plane’s bottom hull.
The airplane’s side door was ajar and in it was Garen, wearing a T-shirt and jeans, looking at the river below.
"Where is this?" He asked loudly.
The pilot was, surprisingly, Su Lin. He had styled his fiery red hair into ordinary bangs, and he had a golden earring on one of his ears. He was whistling a melody that was slightly off beat.
"We’re just outside Sin Gerro. There’s a private rest stop half an hour away from here and we can take a rest there, and at the same time refuel the plane."
"It’s so beautiful…" Celine looked down at the giant waterfall from the other door. "Is this the Great Waterfall Shifariya? The one located on the borderline of the Federation and Sin Gerro?"
"That’s the one. Based on our current speed, we still have about three hours before we reach the place Duskdune Shura was last seen; Black Rock City." Su Lin replied.
"You don’t have to come with us, you know. This operation is highly dangerous." Garen said as he looked at Su Lin.
"Don’t worry. Don’t you look down on me. Although I’m not as strong as you, I’ve no problem running away when my life is in danger!" Su Lin smiled, rows of white teeth lining his mouth.
"I can smell the scent of the Slash team." Celine twitched her nose and said suddenly, "It’s fresh; the Slash team left was less than half an hour ago. They should have taken off again based on the height of the smell. Judging from the timeline of our path, they should havetook off from the place Su Lin mentioned, 30 degrees North East from us."
Su Lin whistled and said. "Are you that accurate? Looks like the puppies ought to be ashamed!"
"Go to hell!!" Celine shouted in anger as she choked Su Lin by his neck.
The airplane jerked up and down violently for a moment.
Garen shook his head calmly throughout the exchange, choosing to remain silent.
Since their journey from the manor, Su Lin and Garen witnessed Celine’s true ability. She had an amazing sense of smell.
Celine had memorized the scent of all the members of Slash and Duskdune Shura, hence there was no need for them to tail the team from behind too tightly. She could smell them as long as they were not an hour or a specific distance apart from each other. In addition, they also knew the Slash team’s route, so it was impossible to lose them.
As Garen had gotten tired of the view below, he closed his eyes and started his breathing technique for the Red Jade Palm, and begun his practicing his secret technique once more.
If he could obtain more attribute for the Red Jade Palm he had learnt yesterday, he could greatly enhance the effect of the Red Jade Palm to an unimaginable level. This was the only thing Garen was excited about.
Recently, he realized that superimposing low grade secret techniques was not necessarily a good thing.
He managed to obtain another secret technique, be it the lowest grade, from Celine. It was a secret technique that involved kicking. Regrettably, this secret technique required a body with high flexibility. Although Garen had learnt the technique, it was merged together with the Mammoth Secret Technique and there has been no change since.
He suspected that it was because these two techniques were of opposite nature, or most of the techniques were the same, which had no help to the Mammoth Secret Technique.
Garen then went to Celine again and ask for secret techniques that were body enhancement in nature but to no avail. There were little secret techniques that did not require external assistance. It was impressive of her to be able to recall so many from her memory. Garen had no choice but to go inquire about one at the Southern Sky Holy Fist headquarter.
"But before all that, I need to obtain the Golden Sword Throne." Garen eyes were brimming with fire. "The Golden Sword Throne is useless to most people since it would lose its primary purpose upon usage. I might be able to get my hands on it when the Slash team is dealing with Duskdune Shura. But first..."
He clapped his palms and they were bright red for an instance.
"I have finally learnt the Red Jade Palm. With the body enhancement from the Mammoth Secret Technique and the effects from the Red Jade Palm, I really want to know which one is stronger when we clash, my Mammoth Secret Technique with the Red Jade Palm or your Seven Dragon Gate!" It was without a doubt tempting to every fighter to challenge a Grandmaster of Combat of the highest level from the previous generation.
A fighter’s aim was to be able to improve, to evolve and constantly challenge the limit of one’s own body. This was what it meant to be a true fighter.
Garen was no different. There were too little people who could go up against him, and Duskdune Shura had showed him the power of the ancient and mysterious secret technique, the Seven Dragon Gate.
As both of them were strong in body hardening technique, Duskdune Shura had a much softer strike than his. Although the Seven Dragon Gate was not that strong, the crazy ability to stiffen others was definitely the big killer.
Garen’s main plan was to go head to head with the Duskdune Shura. He wanted to see how strong his Mammoth Secret Technique’s maximised body hardening technique superimposed with the Red Jade Palm and the enhancement of the Dark Crimson Technique was. Furthermore, he had added 0.3 agility points into his attribution. Garen clearly felt that he could keep up with Duskdune Shura’s attacks now.
Duskdune Shura’s attack was not considered fast among the Grandmaster of combats. He didn’t have strong powers and high defense as well. However, as every aspect of his attributions were moulded together, it reached such a perfect balance that there were practically no flaw in it.
He was faster than the strength based fighter, and stronger than a agility based one. He also had techniques that could bypass any defense.
However, no matter how strong he was, he was too old to fight for any extended period of time. Even in this state, Garen was not confident that he could win against his opponent. He wouldn’t dare to fight against Duskdune Shura if Celine hadn’t taught him a little trick to counter the Seven Dragon Gate.
Half an hour later…
The white airplane descended slowly as it landed on a strip of parking apron caked with mud. It slipped on the brown mud for a few hundred meters before finally coming to a stop.
The airplane’s propeller spun its final rotations with a whiz before coming to a halt.
The parking apron was a gigantic reddish brown circle. Soldiers in dark green uniforms came rushing into it to the airplane. One of the soldiers had a small notebook on his hand and he seemed to be noting down the airplane’s serial number of sorts.
Another soldier dismounted his horse, and hurried the still running soldiers rushing to the plane.
"Sir, how much fuel do you need?" He ask Garen, who jumped off from the airplane.
"Ask the person behind me. I know nothing about these things." Garen shrugged his shoulders.
Su Lin was the next one who jumped down from the plane.
"Glenz number 7, max it out as, we will be heading off shortly. Do you have any food here?"
"Definitely, but we only have local dishes here." The soldiers grinned as he rubbed his hands and said, "We can find a couple of native girls as well..."
"Native? Are there still native people here?" Celine jumped down from the airplane shortly after as she combed her long hair.
"Yes. The Surian Forest is huge, and there are a lot of primitive tribes living in it. We managed to capture a few native women…" The soldier shut his mouth up as soon as he saw the little girl.
"I will go and settle the preparations..." He smiled embarrassedly and turned away.
Su Lin nodded his head as he looked at the soldier walked away.
"This parking apron is built by Sin Gerro and the Edge Security Company. It looks quite fancy here."
Garen looked at Celine.
"What , have you notice anything?"
Celine looked confused as her nose twitched again.
"Which direction?" Garen asked further.
"Slash and Duskdune Shura have separated. Both of them are heading to different locations." Celine looked up at Garen’s face. "Who should we follow?"
This was the time for the strongest, Garen, to lead the team.
Su Lin looked at Garen, as if he wanted him to make the decision as well.
"We’ll follow Duskdune Shura." Garen hadn’t expected this at all. He took a deep breath and said, "The Slash team will definitely realize this sooner or later. We will definitely gather together if we follow Duskdune Shura now."
Both Celine and Su Lin agreed to his proposal.
"Let’s move once we had something to eat and finish refuelling" Su Lin immediately arranged the plan. "Let’s catch up to Duskdune Shura before the sun sets."
"Is that even possible?" Garen looked at him skeptically.
"No problem! This plane is my beloved limited edition collective series number 1043,
Daphne!" Su Lin’s smile was so bright that even his teeth peeked out from behind his lips.
"How many limited edition items do you have?" Garen was speechless.
"This will never be revealed to the public, just like a girl’s age." Su Lin patted his shoulder as he walked towards the row small houses next to the parking apron.
"Are you guys going to call some girls later?" Celine asked Garen.
"Give me two of them as well."
Garen was lost for words as he looked at Celine, who then jumped onto Su Lin’s shoulder.
"Just joking. Haha…" Celine burst out in laughter the moment she was far enough away from Garen.
Hopeless, Garen started in the same direction.