As he left the guild, Garen walked from the narrow street into an alley. Whore houses were abundant on both sides of this alley, and beautifully made-up women leaned against the doorways of shops, illuminated by red light, as they stroked their hair flirtatiously and exposed their legs to passersby from time to time.
A few guild members walked out from behind him, and stumbled drunkenly into one of the prostitution joints.
Garen picked up his pace and exited this street. From far away, he could see the high, white walls of Iron Tank City standing up straight in the distance.
He stood underneath one of the street lights to avoid blocking the people who were coming out from behind him. He began to recall the contents of his last quest.
"Looks like I’ll need to go back and return with some help. A totem user with four totems cannot be defeated easily."
He arranged his shirt collar properly, and began walking in the direction of his newly rented house.
It was located in the same location on the outskirts of the city, and the distance between here and there was not far away.
Two hours later.
Outside Iron Tank City, on a lane a few kilometers away from the city area.
A bloody corpse was pressed against the ground underneath the claws of a Black Clouded Leopard. The Clouded Leopard was biting and tearing the skin off the corpse’s neck. Blood flowed out of the neck wound and hot white steam began to escape from it.
Moonlight fell on the clouded leopard’s fur, and reflected rays of pale, silvery light.
A voluptuous woman in red stood beside the clouded leopard, as she played with a frayed silver badge in her hands that had been stained red with streaks of blood.
"How many have there been?" she said softly, in somewhat incorrectly accented Kovitan language. "Why are there always so many who like sentencing themselves to death?"
"Sentencing themselves to death? Haha," said a black silhouette as he walked over slowly and stood in the moonlight, finally showing himself. This man was tall but his body seemed skinny and frail.
A White Python was coiled around his body, and it stuck its tongue out frequently.
Instantly, following his appearance, a few more human figures walked over from the side, and surrounded the woman. Alongside them were two Black Wolves, a Leopard and Brown Bear.
The Brown Bear let out a low growl and eyed the Black Clouded Leopard by the woman’s side ferociously.
"Therese Angel, we’ve renounced your ranking," announced the person who was controlling the Brown Bear. She was a petite young woman with a strange sounding laugh.
"What a cute little girl. I’m going to rip you up into shreds and cook your flesh into soup for
me to enjoy slowly later…" said Angel as she stuck her tongue out and licked her fingers.
"How repulsive," said the young woman as she removed her purple cloak and step backwards. "Go!"
Two Black Wolves and the Leopard charged in front at the same time, but were dragged down in mid air by three Black Panthers. They rolled on the floor as they fought viciously.
The White Python and the Brown Bear charged forward at the Black Panther from two different directions respectively.
"Destroy her totem!" yelled the petite girl. Both her hands flew upwards at the same moment as she drew a shapeless gesture in the air. "Go!"
Suddenly a glowing grey dot flew from her fingertips and merged into the body of her Brown Bear.
The Brown Bear roared loudly and stood up on its hind legs. Its movements speeded up suddenly as it dashed towards the last Black Panther on the field.
"Grey light?" The black clothed woman looked slightly astonished, but did not show any signs of panic. Her slender fingers drew a line in the air at lightspeed, as a green flame ignited on her fingertips, and danced in the air like fire.
At the same moment, the claws of the four Black Panthers that she controlled also began to glow green as well.
The Black Clouded Leopard used its claw and scratched a line across the White Python’s body, and the wound immediately began glowing green.
"Speed up the elimination. She has poisonous toxins!! The reports were false! Fall back!!" yelled the petite woman with a panicked expression on her face.
"Trying to escape?" The woman in black glanced at her lightly. "The War Guild here is apparently really weak."
Ten minutes later…
The ground was covered in severed limbs and bloodied flesh, as blood began to seep into the grass and ground and dyed them red.
The woman in black, Angel squatted in front of the girl’s dead body and stuck her hand into her collar and pulled out a pendant.
"One of the Duke’s people, huh? The nearby area must be the White Dragonhawk’s territory then, right…" she said as she knitted her eyebrows together.
She stood up suddenly and looked towards the forest that was not far away.
"More people from the War Guild again. You guys really have no fear of death, huh. I never expected that the central War Guild would be so weak. They don’t even make up half of the northern territory. Even if you guys aren’t bored yet, I sure am."
A man with a shining bald head walked out of the forest slowly. He removed his black cloak, and the contrast between the colour of his shawl and his milky white skin became very obvious.
"Is the central War Guild really that stupid? One dies,
dies, and two more arrive. Two more die, and the third one comes along," Angel mocked.
"I’m not the same as them,"
"The three people before you said that too," said Angel impatiently as she took a few steps forward. She continued to hold the pendant from earlier in her hand lightly. "Every one of the people I killed had the same kind of self-confidence. Unfortunately, they were all idiots. Do you know? In my eyes, you and the stupid pigs in your garden are one and the same. You’ve never seen the outside world, and you think you’re the greatest thing in your small town."
The bald man smiled, and reached his hand out.
A Black-nailed Crocodile crawled out slowly from behind him, while three Grey-feathered Hawks descended from the sky and began flying circles around him.
"The number of my totems are the same as yours, a perfect pair for each of them."
"Idiot," said Angel as she rolled her eyes. "Out of the totem users that I killed, five of them were so-called geniuses who had more than four totems each. If the number of totem keys were equivalent to the quality of totems, then everyone would just stockpile them and that would be it. Whatever, I don’t have time for your nonsense," she said as she took out a gold pocket watch and looked at the time. "We’re almost out of time."
"Almost out of time for what?" asked Garen as he looked at Angel curiously.
The thing that he was actually relying on was not the totems, but the Form one totem. Any stronger and it would not be a threat to the current him at all. As he currently possessed Form two defense strength, he was now standing in undefeatable territory for now. He had brought the totems along with him for a different purpose, to see if there was really a difference between primitive totems and Silver Totems if they both belonged to the Form one category.
"It’s the totem cooling-off period, you idiot!" Angel grinned. "Moments ago my quick-acting poison was still in its cooling-off stage, but since you didn’t make a move, I’m afraid it’s too late now."
Her fingertips were lighted with a green flame again, as she suddenly pointed towards Garen.
In a blink of an eye, the four Black Panthers beside her leaped upwards suddenly and became like four black lines that dashed towards Garen’s myriad of totems. Their speed was much faster than earlier, and they rushed towards him like arrows, bringing a hissing sound with them as they tore through the air.
"Bringing along a totem of no quality is like carrying a burden, idiot," Angel said as a mocking expression appeared on her face.
Suddenly, the Crocodile and the Clouded Leopard squared up against each other, while the three Grey-feathered
three Grey-feathered Hawks went up against the three Black Panthers. One of the Grey Feathered-Hawks got scratched, and a big pile of feathers had now fallen unto the floor.
Garen scrunched his eyebrows together and attempted to speak. Suddenly, Angel’s expression changed and the green flame on her fingers lit up again, before the four Panthers leapt back to her side.
"Count yourself lucky today! If only…" She had yet to finish her sentence but cut herself off abruptly, before climbing onto the fastest Clouded Leopard and turning in the other direction.
In the sky above his head, a strange noise began calling out in the air. It sounded like a cow’s moo, but at the same time felt as if something was quaking.
Garen lifted his head and looked at the giant white bird circling above his head.
"White Dragonhawk?" he said as he furrowed his eyebrows.
Inside the forest, shards of moonlight scattered into pieces and fell unto the grass and the tree trunks.
Angel rode the Clouded Leopard and raced frantically through the forest. She was going at an incredible speed, and the trees on both sides of her had now become blobs of blurry black shadows. Nothing could be seen clearly, except for the scene before her that continued to grow bigger the nearer she came.
"I’ve gotten rid of him," said Angel when she finally felt as if the feeling of someone staring into the back of her head had disappeared. She sighed in relief.
Suddenly her eyes widened in shock. She stared at the trees surrounding her, and stopped her Clouded Leopard instantly.
The remaining three Black Leopards stopped as well, and deep skid marks appeared on the ground. They kept watch at her side, looking on vigilantly at the forest before them.
"What did you want to say just now?" Garen’s voice rang from in front, tinged with a sense of doubt.
"Although I don’t know how you managed to catch up to me, but it seems like you’re really looking to die… Apparently you didn’t even bring a single totem with you," said Angel in a low voice as she glared at the bald man in front of her.
"Go!!" Once again, the green flame lit up her fingertip.
The three Black Panthers sped up and formed three black lines that rushed towards Garen. Six pairs of sharp claws were pointed towards Garen’s throat.
After the three Black Panthers had undergone skill improvement, their venomous claws became a part of their totem Light defense. They were also able to use corrosive Totem Light, which would then increase the speed of their defenses.
Angel rode the Clouded Leopard to the field, and looked at Garen with a pitiful expression.
"I had originally planned to spare you, but you chose to die on your own…" on your own…"
A dull crashing noise suddenly rang through the air.
Angel widened both of her eyes, and an unknown sense of fear began to grow in her mind. She stared dreamily at the figure before her with a shocked and dazed expression on her face.
Garen moved his right leg backwards as he looked at the two leaping Black Panthers. His right hand grabbed one of the Black Panthers by its throat, as if he was holding a little chick in mid air.
The Black Panther tried to escape by scratching at Garen’s arms wildly, but it was utterly useless.
"Its speed isn’t bad, and it almost caught up to me," said Garen, full of praise.
But before he finished speaking, he noticed that there was now no one in front of him.
Angel desperately commanded the Clouded Leopard she was riding to run faster. She kept turning back to look behind her, afraid that man had finally caught up once again.
Her forehead was dripping with sweat.
"Where did this monster come from?! A totem user who went up against a totem in direct combat! I’ve definitely just seen a ghost!"
In most cases, although a totem user possessed a Totem Light to protect themselves from getting injured by totems, their own speeds and strengths were greatly different from the totem’s own, and they were of a whole different level.
Of course, those who practiced martial arts may have been able to keep up, but since totem users were already racing against time to study and evolve their totems, who else had the time to study these low-levelled martial arts like wrestling?
Activities like wrestling were equivalent to sailing against the current, it was something that would not benefit you, but was more likely to push you backwards. In that sense, a totem user’s control of a totem and understanding of fighting skills also held the same principle of sailing against the tide, and was something that would result in regression if the totem user lacked concentration.
Only those who did not have Luminarist qualifications would practice wrestling. The rest were individuals who were not qualified, or those who came from poor families.
Angel frantically ordered the Clouded Leopard she was riding to run to the point where it reached its limits. Her mind continued to flash images of the scene she had just witnessed before. She was too afraid to believe what she had seen, and continued to speed up her Black Panther, worried that it would be sent flying or captured by the totem user from earlier.
"Skills of that degree would only belong to someone who was at least General-level! But how could a General-level totem user be that young? This world is starting to become insane…