"Such a sharp hand knife! My body has already reached the second stage of Explosive Fist Arts. From head to toe, my skin is rougher than a bull and is hard to pierce even with a dagger knife, but one move from his hand knife could leave a red imprint on my skin! This means, if he pierced at the same spot again, he could penetrate my defense!"
Garen was in shock. This attack was too fast, he could not react swiftly enough. He was blinded for one second, and the next thing he knew his left arm was hit.
When Garen looked at No.101 again, he already stepped back three meters and was staring at Garen coldly.
"Another speed type?" Garen’s expression fell.
No.101 was actually the one who was really in awe. Unbelievably, his hand knife failed to cut through the opponent’s skin.
"This level of defense! This level of Body-Hardening Technique! I have not encountered this for years! This person has a strong physique! I need to attack his vitals, or else he will not even feel an itch let alone feel pain."
"His speed is definitely not as fast as me. I could run around and test to see which area is his weak spot!"
After making a decision, No.101 again stood in his attack stance. He pushed himself forward with one foot and dashed toward Garen. His right hand, hand knife, instantly turned into a red shadow and disappeared before him.
Garen’s right arm was also hit. He extended his arm to grab the opponent, but he only grasped onto air.
A pinch on his back immediately followed. He was deeply stabbed.
"Die!" he bellowed. Both of his arms roused as his muscles expanded.
His two arms, like two elephant trunks, flung to the right side and formed into a rotation posture.
Garen circled on the same spot, but the two arms he was swinging failed to land. Below his feet, his boots scratched out a clear black circle.
The agitated air around them from the fight blew in all directions, forming a gentle breeze.
No.101 backed up another two meters. He had taken a short break before he threw himself forward again. The red shadow flashed and ruthlessly stabbed Garen’s lower belly.
"I will find your weakness!!"
The hand knife slashed upward and ripped open Garen’s clothes.
Garen’s two arms again failed to grasp onto anything. His vision blurred as the red shadow flickered. His lower belly was again pierced by the hand knife, and a wave of dull pain started to emerge.
"I’m hurt!" He could picture the damage on his lower belly. Even though it was not deep, his skin definitely tore.
"I must find a way to stop his speed! Or else it will be hard for me to win no matter how good I am at defense."
His thoughts were interrupted suddenly. His lower left arm felt a pinch of pain. He was hit again.
"F*ck!" Garen was getting angry, "If only I had practiced my Shot Form to a point where I could utilize it however I wish… you bastard, kill yourself!!!"
He viciously threw a punch.
No.101 dodged. His fist hit a wooden board instead.
The wooden door from a closed shop on the side of the road was punched through. Yellow wooden dust spattered
Another loud noise, Garen missed again and instead smashed a rock wall. A bowl sized crack bulged in.
"Is running away like a bug the only thing you can do!! You goddamn monkey!" Garen yelled angry as he threw another punch at No. 101. He dodged easily by lowering his head.
Pain shot up his right wrist, Garen was getting even angrier.
"You goddamn gray fur monkey!"
He missed a step and landed on the concrete, and instantly, a little hole formed. He swung both of his arms and hit the lamp post No. 101 was hiding behind.
The thigh-ticked concrete lamp post shook after the Swing Form punch. From its center, thin cracks began to form and spread. Small chunks of concrete flung off the post.
Everyone around them was silenced. More than 10 of the Golden Hoop members were shivering like cicadas. Looking at Garen’s bear like destructive behaviors, their legs felt weak.
A few of them were already hidden in obscure spots, ready to run away from this place.
The two youths who were still circled watched the fight between Garen and No.101 in awe.
"This person’s physical abilities are too strong..." Silvica mumbled, "His muscle defense is horrifying. His body is completely fine after hitting a concrete post! This is terrifying!"
The girl Eve had secretly sat down beside the boy when the others were too busy being shocked.
"This person seems to be the rival of the Golden hoop. His strength and defense attributes are way too strong. He probably practiced some sort of Body Hardening Technique or other forms of Arts. Too bad his speed is slow, he cannot move fast enough to catch up with his opponent. We better hide for a while then run away when we see a chance."
Another shop’s metal iron door was hit and bulged in a round shape.
No.101 stepped back at lightning speed and distanced himself by two meters. His face was full of sweat, and blood was seeping out of the tip of his nose. It was scratched by a splattered cement piece.
His chest was violently moving up and down, and his lung was gasping for oxygen. His sweat was rolling into his eyes, but he was too afraid to wipe it off. He gazed at Garen in a deadly stare, terrified that the opponent would find a chance to attack.
"One punch!" His heart was pumping intensely, a reaction to his need of blood, "If he hits me with one punch!"
"I will die!"
"What’s wrong? Gray-furred monkey?"
Garen inhaled deeply and walked forward with a cold smile.
"Are you done already? But I haven’t used up all my strength!"
His two fists bumped each other, creating a clashing sound similar to two pieces of wood hitting each other. It was as if his fists weren’t made out of skin and bones.
Suddenly, a gunshot reverberated through the night sky.
Everyone fell silent.
The boy and the girl covered their own mouths as they watched the situation unfold before them.
Members of the Golden Hoop were also observing the scene with a dumbfounded face.
No.101 had a cold expression on his face. He slowly let go of the silver gun in his hand. White smoke was still dancing around the muzzle.
"Sorry, I’m not merely a Martial Adept."
Garen lowered his head and stared at his chest. There, a clear and charred bullet was stuck in the left side of his chest where his heart was.
He covered his wound with his hand, and his fingers buckled around the bullet.
A yellow bronze bullet fell to the ground, creating a soft noise.
Everyone held their breath one by one in astonishment.
"He… He blocked a bullet!" Silvica watched with his eyes and mouth wide open, "Did I see it wrong?!"
"No… No…" The girl Eve was also in shock, she had no idea how to react, "I have heard that Martial Adepts who have reached the peak stage of martial arts were not scared of guns. But…"
"You mean his martial arts skills have reached the peak!?"
"No, that’s not it. This person’s Body Hardening Technique is too horrifyingly strong!" Eve swallowed her saliva. Her voice was shaking because of how surprised she was.
"You… you bastard!!!" No.101’s whole body was shuddering. His expression became twisted as he staggered back even more.
Bang, bang, bang, bang!
Then it was just the clicks of an empty gun. There were no more bullets.
No. 101’s face was pale. He still crazily pulled the trigger.
Garen looked down at the five holes in his chest. He flexed his muscles, and the four other bullets were squeezed out and fell to the ground.
"This is it."
He fiercely marched forward. After a dull sound, he flung forward, and with one punch, his fist landed on No.101, who was still pulling the trigger continuously.
No.101’s head exploded like a watermelon. His brains splattered out and formed a perfect fan shape behind him.
Because of that one second of distraction, No.101 wasn’t able to utilize his speed. On top of that, he was already exhausted from the fight before, he did not have enough explosiveness and was therefore knocked out with one punch.
"He… he exploded!"
A member of the Golden Hoop was shaking from head to toe. He stepped backward.
"Ah!!!" everyone screamed.
Every member of the Golden Hoop scattered and ran away.
The girl and boy watched every moment of the fight. They were in complete disturbance from the bloody scene before them.
A giant hand gently covered their eyes.
Garen withdrew his fist and calmly looked at No.101 who was on the ground.
"I killed someone again."
This was not his first time killing someone.
After his first accidental kill, he felt like his view on life became foggier and foggier.
"Every time I see those around me with soft necks and other weak body parts, I realized that if I’m not careful, I can gently squeeze, and a life will fade away. Humans have been living so peacefully in such weak shells. Just like ants, even though they are weak, they still have a division of labor."
He could feel that there was something strange happening to him.
"Young man, that was not true martial arts!"
A deep voice appeared from the side.
Garen turned his face and saw a pair of clear black eyes.
"Your fist techniques, they have entered the demonic path ."
It was a healthy looking young man with golden locks. His short hair was like a burning gold flame, prancing in the night wind.
The young man was wearing all white. His two hands covered the children’s eyes, and he was staring at Garen intensely and calmly.
"Demonic path?" Garen froze.
He looked at No.101’s headless corpse.
"Someone did once say to me that my martial arts have diverged from the righteous path. But what is the righteous path? What is the demonic path? Who draws the line between them?"
"To pursue strength unscrupulously is the representation of demonic." The blonde man turned the children around and stood up, "Martial arts were a terrifying murder technique created so humans could fight against creatures that were stronger!"
"It was not meant to be used between the same species! It was not meant to hurt and kill species of your own!"
"I was defending myself," Garen composed himself and said softly.
"But you had no need to kill him! You could’ve just wounded him so you could control him!" The girl Eve suddenly turned around and screamed.
"Eve! Don’t anger him!" Silvica shakily grabbed the girl’s arm out of fear.
"The martial art you used was created purely with the intention of murdering others. Who is your teacher?" the blonde man asked.
Garen did not answer. He simply stared at the three of them then walked into the alleyway he came from before disappearing into the darkness.
The blonde man observed the scene around him. Suddenly, his gaze froze when he saw the concrete lamp post that was almost broken into two.
"This fist art… Behemoth Gate!"
An image appeared in his mind. He suddenly remembered the silhouette of the devious and horrifying woman he encountered a couple years back. The woman’s naked back had white tiger tattoos that seemed to be roaring. The tattoo was so vivid it was as if the white tiger was going to lunge in his face.
"In the future, don’t provoke that person!" the young man returned to reality and whispered to the two children.