He had heard of how Garen fought and won against a massive group once, but he has never seen it in person before so he never really felt the impact, but now, he could really feel goosebumps.
Now, he was personally there, and really close to the moment Garen killed someone.
The way Garen killed someone was like squashing an ant, an air of death and murder surrounded Garen.
This speed! This strength! The Eighth Loop now knew why the Behemoth’s Gate and Black Mark Association fell under his hand.
Against someone like Garen, one could only feel threatened and unsafe around him, if Garen were to expense his full arsenal, one could not even imagine what would ensue after.
Garen continued walking silently behind the warden. He could feel that despite the fact that his strength had not made significant advances, his speed had increased significantly, in turn this increased his explosive abilities, and the high speed also brought terrifying impacts. He had not implemented any secret abilities, just the mere increase of speed and strength, the metal bar gave and killed the prisoner.
"Unknowingly, I have improved to this level," He felt the cold, solid ground under him and smelled the scent of blood in the air. Very soon, Rosetta’s silhouette appeared on the right up front.
A group of people stood in attention by Rosetta’s cell. Joshua was guarding the cell, and he sat on a chair by the entrance. Once he saw Garen arrive, he slowly got up.
"Garen, you came," Joshua looked incredibly tired, like he had lost a whole lot of weight, his eye-bags were a dark black. Obviously he had not been resting for the past few days.
"Go rest, third brother," Garen said,"you’re just torturing yourself like this."
Joshua looked at Rosetta in the cell, and nodded.
"Go ahead an interrogate her then, she won’t say anything."
"Leave her to me," Garen nodded.
Garen turned around and said something to the Eighth Loop, then the latter left.
The Eighth Loop knew Garen wanted a private interrogation, and so he knowingly distanced himself and went to inspect the other parts of the prison.
The warden too, moved all of his minions away, himself included, he did not want to spend another minute close to Garen anymore, what happened earlier was enough to reinforce his fear for good.
Very quickly, the corridor was emptied, except for the inmates in their respective cells, there was only Rosetta and Garen left.
Rosetta still wore her black cloak, and was sitting cross-legged on the floor. Her brown long ponytail sat beneath her head, her face was peaceful, her eyes expressionless.
"Where’s second brother?" Garen looked at her and said,"tell me you have news about Farak."
"Farak?" Rosetta slowly lifted her head, blankly said,"if I tell you, will you promise to not kill me?" Her voice had an angry undertone.
Garen looked at her, and didn’t say a thing.
Rosetta smiled bitterly,
"I never thought I would see the day where I regretted the things I did. Farak…..he’s dead."
Garen stared at her, although he saw this coming, but hearing the news from the horse’s mouth, he still felt a little sad.
Farak was one of the most important guides and influences when Garen was still training his basics, he constantly pointed out and corrected Garen’s errors during training. Farak was one of those people who looked dangerous, but was actually warm and easygoing.
"How did he die?"
Rosetta smiled, "When I left White Cloud Gate, Farak caught up to me, and we fought for over thirty rounds, until I slashed his throat with my claw."
"What about the elder?"
"Dead too, I wanted to look for something in the archives. That old bastard actually had the gall to stop me! He was asking for death with his "wise-old-man" stunts, so I killed him with one palm technique," Rosetta explained casually.
Suddenly she lifted up her head, and made a sad smile.
"When it all ends, the victor becomes the king, and the losers vilified. I always knew someone was going to come after me, I just never thought it would be you."
"Is there anything else you would like to say?" Garen said plainly.
"So this is how fear feels like…" Rosetta lowered her head and continued laughing in sadness and desperation. Her body shivered as she said,"What do you plan to do to me?"
"According to the rules of our sect," Garen turned to leave with those words.
As he was walking, he could hear Rosetta humming.
"The boat shakes, and shakes….the water’s green, and green….you are here by my side….standing by the lotus leaves…"
That voice, that song, it was nostalgic, it made Garen think of Farak.
"You really liked Farak didn’t you?"
The singing stopped, Rosetta sat upright silently, and suddenly her whole body fell to the ground. In the darkness, sounds of her choking echoed through the cells.
Garen closed his eyes, his heart rippling with emotion.
He didn’t want to dwell on his thoughts anymore, and took big steps towards the exit.
Perhaps Rosetta regretted. Perhaps she regretted joining Behemoth’s Gate in pursuit of more powerful forms of martial art, regretted killing Farak and the elder, and regretted betraying her own sect family. Between her and Farak existed many stories that nobody will ever know, along with their deaths, these stories will flow away with time.
Garen didn’t inquire about it, and would not inquire about it.
His master passed away due to an extended coma that caused his body to be unable to take in anymore nutrients. His last wish, was for Garen to kill Rosetta.
He didn’t cite any reason, and Garen didn’t want to ask too much. Whatever it is, this situation has concluded. Perhaps someday in the future he might follow the seas eastward and find the roots of White Cloud Gate. But for now, everything was over.
"There are a lot of contradictions in life, that child did the wrong this, so she paid the price for it."
On the left side, in a solitary cell, a white haired old man spoke,
"Take it easy kid," the old man’s eyes seemed to reflect some sort of helplessness, perhaps Rosetta’s singing stirred up memories in him too.
"Who are you?" Garen stopped and turned to look at this man.
"I’m just an old man waiting to die. This is the Golden Hoop’s prison, and also the prison of the Confederation’s most wanted criminals." the old man responded.
"I’ll remember you," Garen could feel that this old man was not simple. Although he looked friendly at first glance, he was surrounded by an aura of death and murder. Garen took note of the cell’s number: 12.
Leaving the area, he continued walking forward. There were absolutely no guards in this part, even the bravest guards were afraid of this section. Two days ago the Eighth Loop had introduced this place to Garen, it had some terrifying inmates, some could even kill with a simple spit. Many of them have been locked up in here for god knows how long by the Confederation that they’ve become old men themselves. All of them had been convicted of some heinous crime so terrible that even if they were to die a dozen times over it still wouldn’t be enough. For that reason, they’ve stayed here all the time, as the guards and wardens changed generations after generations, these old prisoners continued to stubbornly stay alive.
Garen found Black Mark Association’s Leo at the Number 10 cell. Behemoth Gate’s Angela was locked up in a nearby cell as well. They were locked up here not because of their abilities, but because of how important they were.
The both of them were cuffed with massive black cuffs, as they saw Garen arrive, they both looked up from their seated positions at him.
"Garen Lombard! If it is possible, I wish to serve you!" King of Fist Leo seemed to be passionate towards Garen as a person,"In search of the pinnacle of Fist Skills, I killed my first man when I was only 15, by the time I turned 20 I had already killed a thousand! For the sake of finding more powerful secret martial arts, I joined the Black Mark Association! For the sake of more resources, I became the bond between Black Mark Association and Behemoth’s Gate! Yet despite all of that, I have gained nothing! Until today!"
He suddenly stood up, his metal cuffs making loud clangs.
"I am unsatisfied with just demonstrations of martial arts! I want to prove that martial arts too can fight firearms!! Now, this is possible, I have seen the light in you!!"
"What do you really want to say?" Garen frowned.
"I want to follow you!" Leo said passionately, his cuffed hands moving about,"you are destined to become a historical figure in the world of martial arts!! The direction you’re headed to has been my lifelong dream!"
"You madman!" Behemoth’s Gate’s Angela cursed,"why don’t you think about how Black Mark Association and Behemoth’s Gate is going to come after you instead?!"
Garen never would’ve thought that Fist King Leo was actually someone like this, this guy was obviously one of those people driven by the singular passion of finding purer and stronger forms of martial arts. These people have always existed in the martial arts world, although they’re just a small group, they’re very traditional and would give anything to achieve the pinnacle of martial arts mastery. Looks like Leo was one of these people.
But Garen still wanted to observe for a while, to see if Leo was truly sincere in his words of surrender and following. Should someone as powerful as Leo truly serve him and White Cloud Gate, it’ll be no small help. Afterall, a man such as him was at the peak of physical conditioning.
Settled on his thought, he turned to look at Angela.
"Why….why...why are you looking at me? I don’t know much about Behemoth’s Gate, we’re not members of the higher echelon, and only members of the higher ups are given access to information about other members. The organization is arranged in independent cells, each cell has no idea what the other cell is doing."
Angela seemed to shrink, and took a few steps backwards, obviously there was still fear from what she saw Garen do the other day.
"Then what use are you to me?" Garen frowned.
"I….I….I too can serve you! Serve the White Cloud Gate!" Angela phrased it in such a way that she would serve Garen first as an individual, then only White Cloud Gate.
Influence was just a means of getting resources and intelligence to Garen, he was more interested in improving himself, elevating his abilities, and becoming better at martial arts. Everything else, was secondary to him.
"There’s still more?!" Angela was a smart girl, she quickly analyzed Garen’s personality and intentions, so she thought a while and suddenly said,"I have news about the Blood of Eternal Life!!"
"Blood of Eternal Life?"
"Word is that after the Blood of Eternal Life flowed from the hands from Duskdune Shura, some parts of it was taken by the Poker Organization, the other part was taken by our people," Angela studied Garen’s expression carefully upon saying this, afraid she might lose her only lifeline.
"Taken by your people?" Garen was visibly shocked.
"Yes, some of the lower level people sent it to our middle level operatives, that’s why the leaders from the upper level wanted to get the brewing technique from you."
"Where is that part then?" Garen was lazy to talk bullshit with her.
"In somewhere secret," Angela hesitated.