The arena was silent, most of the members of the Crimson Sand Sword were sighing breaths of relief, so many had died on the arena, and all of them were their own. They all came from simple families, with ranks in the army, all loyal members to the sect. Now that the enemy of the Behemoth Gate had appeared, they were no longer the main attraction of the opponent.
Members of the Black Mark Association however, had their eyes on the King of Fist, Leo, whose eyebrows were locked together tightly. When Garen started relaxed for a bit, Leo turned his attention to the Sky Warrior Corbella.
Who knew whether if Corbella would be on Garen’s side, even the usually fearless Lord Clark was retreating in fear upon sensing Garen’s aura, even he was intimidated by the last Sky Warrior of the Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate.
Leo had originally thought that the Black Mark Association and the Behemoth Gate were sure to win, but who had expected this sudden change and interruption.
No, Lord Clark must’ve anticipated this right?
Leo turned his attention to Lord Clark and the two women behind him. The members of the Behemoth Gate that stood behind the trio didn’t seem too surprised by Garen’s sudden appearance, but were more shocked by Garen’s true power.
The other Sky Warrior Corbella looked at Garen from afar, he squinted, and crossed his arms as if he was thinking of something in the corner.
"Garen Lombard," Lord Clark stood still as ever, his face finally returning to normal,"shouldn’t you be in Galantia? What business do you have coming here?" He seemed to have forgotten the shameful exchange earlier.
Garen usually operated out of Galantia, where he was the most powerful figure, a position that was recognized by everyone within the region. The Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate had noticed that Garen had no plans to expand beyond Galantia, and had since recognized the entire state as the property of the White Cloud Gate.
Almost everyone in the martial arts world knew that Galantia was White Cloud Gate’s Garen’s territory.
Garen took a sweeping look at the entire arena.
"Looks like nobody is listening to me huh? Is nobody going to pull out?"
"Wait wait!" The leader of the Crimson Sand Sword yelled,"we the members of the Crimson Sand Sword are willing to grant this territory to White Cloud Gate’s Garen as the venue for him to settle his vendetta, we pull out!"
Reaching a situation like this, the Gate Master no longer cared about the reputation of his sect. Despite being usually proud, in the face of a life threatening situation, everything else was secondary.
Once upon a time when Lord Clark betrayed his original sect and got the Celestial Circle Gate knocking on his door demanding an explanation, he had given way then, hence there was no hesitation for this time as well.
Four of the elders alongside a few of the leading members of the sect yelled, their faces turned a gloomy grey, as they clenched their fists in anger. The rest of the members and followers however just stayed silent, only a few felt ashamed and angry.
On top of letting someone else invade their homeground, they now had to cede their land for the invader to settle his vendetta?! In the world of martial arts, this was a shame beyond description.
"Say no more!," The groundsman of the Crimson Sand Sword sect suppressed the anger of the followers,"retreat!"
Garen watched as all the members of the Crimson Sand Sword retreated hastily, even attempts to pick up corpses were halted by their founder.
Behemoth Gate’s Lord Clark and its members, alongside followers of the Black Mark Association didn’t stop their retreat, they merely stared at Garen.
As all this was happening, members of the Black Mark Association and Behemoth’s Gate silently surrounded Garen.
"I thought I could have a fair fight with you, but looks like that’s impossible now." Lord Clark’s face was sinisterly peaceful,"Garen Lombard, you grew too quick! You really thought nobody would ever discover your secret huh?"
"Hmm?" Garen’s expression turned into a confused gaze,"secret?"
"Hand over the secret technique to brewing the Blood of Secrets," Lord Clark’s sword suddenly started vibrating violently, turning from black to a bright red, like a high temperature piece of metal.
Garen was stunned, these idiots actually thought his rapid growth was because he had used the Blood of Secrets. For a moment he thought that Lord Clark had discovered his bizarre secret when Clark made that statement.
"Looks like you will never be satisfied unless I destroy you," Garen’s said with an expressionless face, Lord Clark smiled coldly and clapped his hands.
Two men of dressed in black cloth suddenly walked out from a corner of the courtyard, holding some sort of a weird blue machine gun in hand.
Upon seeing these two individuals, the other Sky Warrior’s expression changed, he tapped his foot on the ground rapidly, and instantly leaped to the side of Garen.
"I am Sky Warrior Corbella, be careful of the gun in the hands of those two men, that’s a specially made Ming Wen Gun, it uses the most powerful purple gunpowder!" he explained softly.
Garen looked at him.
"This is the Killer Hunters Squad! Lord Clark is a member of the Killer Hunters Squad!" Sky Warrior Corbella seemed to have suddenly remembered something important.
He wasn’t exactly quiet about it either, everyone in the courtyard heard him, even the Gate Master who was about to leave stopped in his steps.
"Killer Hunters Squad? What’s that?" Small Policeman Jia Ning stood by a side wiping his sweat.
The expressions of the Gate Master and the elders around him looked horrible.
"Killer Hunters Squad….is a collaborative effort between the Behemoth Gate and the Weisman Empire. It is responsible for the hunting and elimination of highly skilled fighters within the Confederation. While most martial art practitioners are vulnerable against firearms, skilled fighters are not threatened nor afraid of firearms at all. Hence the Weisman Empire created the Killer Hunters Squad with the sole purpose of reducing the potential threats within the populace of the Confederation!"
"Clark’s group was never here for the scroll, instead they just wanted to bait Garen. As soon as Garen left Galantia, they were awaiting him with a plethora of traps!" The Gate Master of the Crimson Sand Sword suddenly felt defeated, just like the days when he watched as Lord Clark slowly gained influence and strength, while he watched on powerlessly.
The once proud and self thought to be powerful Crimson Sand Sword Gate was now reduced to just bait and venue providers in the face of these true masters.
"What a grand setting…," he turned his head to look at the courtyard, the sky there was being occasionally lit up by brighter and brighter balls of light,"Behemoth Gate, Black Mark Association, they have both sent their best fighters here today. I reckon that most of the best fighters of the southside are gathered here today, whatever that transpires today will define the southside for years to come."
"Gate Master...what should we do then?" among the crowd, one of the elders inquired.
"We continue to retreat."
Members of the Crimson Sand Sword continued to retreat in an organised manner, everyone was filled with a good amount of angst inside their hearts.
"Killer Hunters Squad..."
Small Policeman Jia Ning seemed to only roughly understand the situation. He lifted his female colleague in one hand, comforting her, while he looked onto the courtyard.
"Mister Gate Master, so you would say that this Killer Hunters Squad is incredibly powerful?"
"They are VERY powerful. They might not be too strong alone, but if they were to group up, the threat they pose overpowers any top fighter." the Gate Master nodded.
"In that case, the man named Garen earlier must be in danger then?" Jia Ning asked softly.
"This is a trap set just for him, an entire nation’s resources pitted against him. Without a doubt, he will die here today." the Gate Master nodded again.
Jia Ning laughed,"I don’t know much about fighters or martial artists, that is your world," he rubbed his nose,"I only know that if it wasn’t for Garen earlier, we would all probably be dead already."
"What do you want to do?" his female colleague asked him,"Jia Ning you better not be having some stupid brainy idea again!"
"I’m not having a brainy moment!" Jia Ning laughed,"In the east we have a saying: ‘A man’s got to do what he’s got to do.’ Just now Garen saved me, now it’s my turn to save him."
He pushed his female colleague aside, and took big strides towards the courtyard.
Members of the Crimson Sand Sword looked at him stunned, at a loss for words at sight of his act.
"You will not save anyone by doing this! You’re just walking into certain death!" the Gate Master bellowed, his face confused.
Jia Ning stopped for a bit,"Didn’t you say earlier that they are weak alone? Who know if I could disrupt their formation somehow?"
He sped up and ran towards the courtyard, disappearing into the shadows.
One of the leaders couldn’t help but yell.
The Gate Master lowered his head,
"What I’m doing…..is for the sake of our entire sect!"
Everyone was silent now, as they recalled how they were all ambushed by Lord Clark’s people earlier.
Garen squinted his eyes, staring at the two individuals who had just walked out. He wasn’t certain how powerful that gun really was, but since the enemy was poised in such a formation, it was obvious they had studied his methods before this.
"A trap set just for me?"
"The Weisman Empire’s Killer Hunters Squad, paired with Behemoth Gate’s best fighters, we’re in some hot soup this time," Sky Warrior Corbella felt the situation not in their favour. Although he too was a top classed fighter, and had been a practitioner for many years, but against a setup like this, even he was in a bad spot.
Within the courtyard, Black Mark Association’s King of Fist Leo and the Killer Hunters Squad stood by a side.
On the other side, was Behemoth Gate along with Lord Clark, Angela and Rosetta. The courtyard was split into three distinct groups.
The two sects surrounded Garen, in a tight formation, as they fought the soldiers Garen brought with him outside the formation.
But anyone could tell that those normal soldiers stood no chance against these two major sects. The situation was not in Garen’s favor at all.
"Weisman Empire’s Killer Hunters Squad?" this was Garen’s first time hearing about them,"are they very powerful?"
Sky Warrior Corbella nodded,"Insanely so! They are as good as the best marksmen in the Confederation, selected as a few out of the five million strong army of the empire. The best of the best!"
"Garen, just hand it over. That technique is wasted in the hands of you alone. As long as you hand it over to us Behemoth Gate, we guarantee that you will receive an even greater amount of resources to build yourself. We can finally cut off The Immortal Palace Alliance’s monopoly! We will be able to those terrorists that dare to drive the government. The Empire will also take you in as a citizen, with at least a Baron or above as a title to start." Lord Clark’s lip turned into a sinister smile,"in fact, weren’t you almost killed by the Immortal Palace Alliance’s Sylphalan? Don’t you want revenge?"
"You know that too?!" Garen was shocked. He was having fun leading these people on their own mistake, or else it would be really hard to explain his rapid growth.