"Clark…" He was not sure what Clark is like as an enemy.
"I heard he’s the strongest Grandmaster of Combat in Red Sand Sword’s history," Jack sitting in the navigator seat said. "Boss, I checked the info, before he defected to Behemoth Gate, this Clark had suppressed the Celestial Circle Gate by himself. When he defected, he took one of the core Martial Arts of the Red Sand Sword Gate. As of now, his power should be close to Duskdune Shura’s."
"Close to Duskdune Shura’s, which means he’s still weaker than him?" Garen stated calmly.
"Uh, yeah, sure." Jack nodded, "Duskdune Shura used to comment about this. He said among the younger generation, Clark was the only one who can elicit a sense of threat to him."
"Very high evaluation, however, he still put himself at a higher pedestal with that comment. Which would mean, it was only a sense of threat." Garen shook his head. "Very well, at least I can gauge how strong I’ve become."
"Boss is of course the strongest." Jack whistled.
About a kilometer from Red Sand Sword’s main branch, the car stopped in an obscure street.
Garen looked upon the upper regions of Red Sand Sword Gate. One of the Eighth Hoop’s men were there, waiting for Clark and Rosetta’s appearance.
The bright sky, ever so slowly, dimmed to a shady gloom. Rain drizzled down the street in the afternoon, casting the already vacant street into a chilly disuse.
The driver from Golden Hoop glanced at Garen through the rearview mirror.
"Sir, do you want anything to eat?
"I’ll go get some snacks." "I brought some beef jerky, spicy beef flavor, it’s nice." Both Cynthia and Jack had their plans.
Garen asked the driver for four hard boiled eggs as dinner.
Lake Shore West City was three times bigger than Huaishan City, but the population was only half of it, pretty sparse. It took the driver a while to find a place that sells hard boiled eggs, so he bought eight at once.
Having their dinner casually, the sky finally darkened completely.
Above Red Sand Sword’s main branch, a white light clicked into existence like a glowing mushroom.
Garen’s eyes focused on the white light.
He exited the car, followed by Cynthia and Jack after they prepared their firearms.
"Hide yourself." Garen unhurriedly gave them an order, and hasted toward Red Sand Sword.
Two clashes of swords, Clark straighten up his body slowly, his fine sword retracting with the same pace.
At his side, two elder men stepped back respectively, their swords splitting into two. The two men were stunned.
"Double Sword Strike! You mastered the Double Sword Strike!"
One of them stuttered, his voice quivering as he spoke.
Red Sand Sword Gate Master stood in the middle of the courtyard of the main branch, accompanied by the elites in the Gate.
Clark smirked and glanced at the anxiety-ridden Red Sand Sword Gate members.
"Give me the thing, it’s not yours to keep."
His sight fell on the two police behind the Red Sand Sword Gate Master.
The two were as pale as ghosts, eyes drooping. After being on the run for such a long time, they damaged their bodies beyond what would be called "normal".
The situation in the courtyard was awkward, to say the least.
Clark and Rosetta were both surrounded, at least a dozen of Red Sand Sword Gate members were beaten to the ground, no one else dared to advance to attack, holding their ground.
Outside the Red Sand Sword courtyard, there was another circle of people in black uniform. These people were all dressed in black, but they weren’t from the same faction, differentiated by the crests they’re wearing. The white arcs, they were from the Behemoth Gate. The others were wearing black crosses, those people were from the Black Mark Association.
The people from the Black Mark Association were lead by two people, a middle-aged lady and a towering man. They stood side by side, observing the situation in the courtyard.
Red Sand Sword Gate Master scanned at the outer circle.
"Clark, you brought people from both Behemoth Gate and Black Mark Association, were you trying to threaten my sect?
The situation was truly unusual at this stage. Black Mark Association weren’t wholeheartedly trying to help Clark, they wanted the secret scroll too, coming as a separate entity on their own.
Aside from the Behemoth Gate, represented by Clark and Rosetta, the Celestial Circle Gate had alse had people dispatched after Red Sand Sword Gate informed them about their situation.
As long as anyone can thwart Clark’s advance, the secret scroll can be saved.
Red Sand Sword Gate Master was still wearing his confident smile on his face. Whether he is actually confident is another matter, he has to show enough confidence to assure the disciples in his sect.
He glanced at the two Elders not far from him. Both of them were bleeding from between their thumbs and index fingers, having hurt themselves by the countershock when they tried to sneak attack from behind.
Clark didn’t even turn behind, he only needed to brandish his sword to block the full strength attacks of them both combined.
"If we can’t sneak up on him, we’ll swarm him! I don’t believe he has the power to walk out of here unscathed." Gate Master* blinked and sneakily caught a glimpse of the people from Black Mark Association.
He pressed his thumb and little finger together and flicked.
A sudden, yet uniformed set of steps sounded. The four people in the forefront of Red Sand Sword Gate, together with the two who were hurt, all charged at Clark.
Gate Master waved his arm, throwing a black scroll a dozen meters into the air. That was the scroll Behemoth Gate wanted to destroy.
People from Black Mark Association started rushing for the scroll, as well as those from Behemoth Gate.
In the darkness, there were sounds of fabric being rustled by the wind, two other elites blitzed at the scroll.
All eyes were concentrated on the scroll in the air.
"King of Fist Leo!" "Sky Warrior Corbella!"
Some people in the crowd yelled in surprise.
They recognized the two Grandmasters of Combat.
One of the three Kings of Fist in Black Mark Association, Leo, and Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate’s Sky Warrior Corbella.
Two massive Braveries clashed in mid-air, everyone felt as if a hammer hit them on their heads and started having vertigo.
They seem to be able to hear an eagle’s scream and a tiger’s roar.
With a heavy thud, both the fighters in the air fell backward.
King of Fist Leo fell into the Black Mark Association crowd, while Sky Warrior Corbella stumbled into the Red Sand Sword crowd.
Red Sand Sword Gate Master roared. All the Red Sand Sword disciples and Elders, as well as elites from each branch lunged at the Behemoth Gate followers.
Some of them even brought out their guns and started shooting. However, untrained shooters cannot harm the extreme agile martial artists.
It really was quite a scene.
Some five people from Red Sand Sword Gate carried their submachine guns and shotguns, and opened fire at Clark wildly.
Intense clink-clanking sounded non-stop all over the battlefield.
Sparks enveloped Clark as his sword arm disappeared into thin air, forming a protective barrier with his sword to deflect every single bullet that had been shot his way.
The deflected bullets avoided followers of Behemoth Gate as if they’re conscience, and sped through the air toward disciples of Red Sand Sword Gate. Just a moment after, flocks of Red Sand Sword disciples were hit.
Bubbled within a barrier of sparks, Clark’s cheek glowed a sickly crimson.
"Fighters relying on firearms, Red Sand Sword Gate has really rotted to the core."
Seeing the ineffectiveness of firearms, Gate Master gritted his teeth and charged into the fight with the four Elders.
The five of them surrounded Clark, striking frantically with their swords, as though there were five fiery snakes circling him. The blades of the swords started heating up due to the friction between the metal and air. The swords, made with special materials, have extremely high heat conductivity. The swords soon became red from the heat, so much so that whenever they tapped on their opponent, they had the added effect of piercing and burn damages.
The swords strikes left behind red blurs like red sand pouring through the air. This is how Red Sand Sword got its name.
With five top fighters joined forces, even Clark was having troubles fighting them off. No one even dared to be near them within a dozen meters.
Six of them were in the same sect, they were so familiar with each other’s fighting styles, they have practically no secrets from each other in terms of their strengths and weaknesses. In this fight, one side will eventually win out of sheer power and groundwork.
On the other side of the battlefield, King of Fist Leo from Black Mark Association and Sky Warrior Corbella from Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate started fighting each other again. Like Red Sand Sword and Clark, both of them knew each other’s fighting styles so well, they were not able to tell if one is stronger than the other in such a short time.
The other less experienced fighters also battled against each other.
Rosetta fought against one of the four branch chairmen. They were both top fighters who are close to being Grandmasters of Combat. The branch chairman’s sword had less intense red blur, but the speed is still not a normal fighter can keep up to. This is a first grade Secret Martial Art, it’s what Red Sand Sword could become the leading sect once upon a time.
Even though Rosetta joined Behemoth Gate, her training for a stronger Secret Martial Art is still too little. If it wasn’t for her opponent constant distraction at the Gate Master’s direction, she had already lost.
"Tsk tsk… Rosetta, have you not already beaten your opponent?" A coquettish voice appeared behind Rosetta.
"Angela! Mind your own business!" Rosetta’s face darkened, becoming impatient, her Fist Technique disturbed by the interruption.
Her left shoulder was scraped by her opponent’s sword. A scalding sting pulsed from her shoulder.
Her opponent was already stronger than her, coupled with her natural disadvantage as a Fist Artist against a Swordsman who wields Red Sand Sword, a speed-focused Sword Art, even a slight distraction would cause a burnt mark on her skin.
"As expected, you were only paired up with Clark because of your junior brother, Sky Warrior Garen’s fame. The higher ups had such high hopes for you, but you were disappointing. You think you are good enough to match Lord Clark with your junk skills?"
The woman behind Rosetta was dressed flirtatiously with on her shapely physique. Her hair was short and pale green. A short spike in her hand danced around, poking bloodied holes into her enemies. To her, strolling past the elites of Red Sand Sword Gate was like taking a walk in the woods.
Rosetta gritted her teeth, trying hard to focus. When Garen became famous, the higher ups raised her to an impossibly high position, going on missions with Clark. Obviously, from being a normal member, her promotion to such a high position made other elites in the Behemoth Gate less than happy. Everyone thought she was basking in the light of Sky Warrior Garen.
As Sky Warrior Garen’s senior sister, her power could only be stronger than her junior brother. However, no matter how much effort she puts in, her strength only increased slowly. Sometimes, because of overtraining, her injuries even sets her back in strength.