Garen was strolling through the empty areas when his phone beeped suddenly. He took it out and glanced at the screen before noticing that it was Mike, the chatterbox he had met on the road once.
"Hey, handsome. Where are you? At school?"
"Yeah. I'm just strolling around the school out of boredom." Garen stopped walking and looked at an older female student who was currently practicing her mock interview not far from him while he replied his text messages unenthusiastically.
"No wonder you're an outstanding student… Do you want to come out for some drinks? I have some top quality girls with me here~~~"
"Drinks? Alright, I'm so bored." After Garen had entered the university, he came in contact with Mike frequently. This fellow was naturally friendly and would message or call him randomly to chat about his university troubles. In short, he had thought of Garen as his personal 'venting machine'.
"Are you bored of girls too? Did you join any clubs? I heard that the music club in your school is not bad."
"That's even more boring…" Garen leaned the back of his head against the library wall and noticed that the senior sister who was practicing her interview now had a frustrated expression on her face before she picked up a notebook thing and read it carefully.
"Hey handsome, why does everything bore you? Your life won't be fun that way. You know Kelly, right? That eastern girl from last time? If I hadn't helped her that time, she would've been tricked into having sex with that pervert. This time, she came out especially to thank me…" It ended abruptly as if the phone call had been cut off suddenly when someone snatched his phone away.
"Please don't mind what he said earlier." A text message came through at once suddenly. "Kelly is pure. She's still pure, I swear!" The other side of the conversation sounded somewhat chaotic now.
Garen smiled silently. He imagined that Mike was being beaten up badly by his wife Jelal now.
"Do you want to go out shopping together anytime soon? To buy some stuff downtown?" Garen pondered for a moment, realizing that it was time for him to buy some clothes.
Nottingham's weather and temperatures would vary greatly at different times. Sometimes, it would be sunny and the temperatures would be thirty-something degrees in the morning, but when it rained in the afternoon, the temperature would decrease. Although his body was physically strong and it was unnecessary for him to be concerned about keeping warm, suitable clothes were still important, as long as he did not have an excessive amount.
Garen was still very much an eastern person to the bone, despite experiencing and living in a western style world twice.
"Alright. My housemates and I were just planning to buy some toilet paper, a microwave oven, and a little fridge. How about we set the date for next week? Michael Selay's concert tickets go on sale next week and I absolutely have to snag one."
Once he finished replying the text messages, Garen waited for a few moments. When there were no more messages, he kept his phone.
He walked past the senior sister who was still practicing and passed the library area before a little zig-zagging, clear river appeared in front of him. It was seven to eight meters wide and flowed from left to right.
Thin shafts of golden sunlight reflected off the surface of the water faintly, while a few old men and women sat on the riverbank and fished quietly while listening to the radio.
There were sloping green lawns on both sides of the river. White granite benches were even placed in certain areas. He could see students holding books while sitting on some of the benches that were further away.
Garen walked by the riverbank, crouched down, and stuck one of his fingers into the water, stirring it gently.
There were a few stalks of aquatic plants that were growing beside his hand that moved along with the ripples that formed when the water was stirred, while shrouds of hot and humid air drifted over the surface faintly.
On the right, an old man who was fishing narrowed his eyes and glanced at Garen before turning his head and resting again. He seemed to be half asleep and was just waiting for a fish to take the bait.
Garen crouched on the riverbank and stirred the water with his left hand slowly before a few bright little silver fish swam over and nibbled his fingers gently.
The moment the little silver fish touched his fingers, it's body stiffened before it stopped moving completely. Its nimble little body froze and it died immediately while it sank into the depths of the river mysteriously.
Garen narrowed his eyes slightly and observed a black crab that was crawling bossily out of a crack between some rocks on the riverbank. The crab waved its nail clipper sized claws at Garen's fingers and attempted to clamp down on them.
Strangely, when the crab's claws touched Garen's fingers, its whole body stiffened before it collapsed and sank into the bottom of the river.
After witnessing this scene, Garen began to ponder deeply.
When his Slaughtering Hand entered level three, the frightening aspects of this Secret Technique began to gradually show themselves.
Most living creatures, especially the smaller and weaker ones, would only need to touch him before their Life Forces would be absorbed. The slightly larger and stronger ones would require strength roadmaps that utilized the flow of Secret Techniques.
The Slaughtering Hand was an extremely mysterious Secret Technique exercise as it didn't possess any specific power or energy. However, it resembled the Form 6 Totems of the Totem World which had a specialized energy because of the Living Secret Technique's fusion powers. On its own, the Slaughtering Hand could adjust the muscles in the user's body, as well as bioelectric currents, nerves, and hormones. It would produce a web of force pathways that were either exposed or hidden, and these forces would form a mysterious, complicated picture or image before finally forming a strange force that would attract Life Forces.
That was how Garen described both of his hands.
Recently, when the time he spent in level three increased, mysterious powers began to form throughout both of his hands slowly. It had a strange but beautiful charm that he could not resist. He would look at both of his hands carefully from time to time, and would unconsciously be drawn to it, making it impossible for him to tear his eyes away.
This was very odd.
Garen glanced at his Attribute Pane.
Strength 2.8. Agility 2.7. Vitality 2.9. Intelligence 2.4. Potential 558%. Soul Limit 30.
Seed of Soul: Northern Trident Frost-Fire True Water Evil Technique.'
'Violin grasp: Second, proficient level. (Three levels in total)'
'Slaughtering Hand: Level three: Bloodshed. (Four levels in total, can derive and evolve to higher levels)'
Next, he looked at the information regarding Demon King Black Sethe.
'Black Sethe, one of Ancient Ender's 42 Demon Kings possesses an indescribable killing talent. The soul of anything that he gazed upon would disappear immediately. Legend says that his hands were able to return everything to eternal silence, regardless whether they were living things or non-living things…'
"His eyes and gaze were enough to make souls vanish… Legend says that he was able to return everything to eternal silence. Does that sentence mean that this Secret Technique's roots belong in the eyes and hands?" Garen seemed lost in thought.
Strange changes had occurred in his hands now, causing him to unconsciously make guesses of that sort.
He considered his hands carefully.
He had ten, well-balanced and slender fingers. There were no unexpected water chestnut-like marks on his joints, making them unusually delicate-looking. His hands seemed like they were made of high-quality white jade as they were smooth and glossy, without any blemishes.
Suddenly, the skin on the palms of his hands began to sink inwards slowly, before two pits of the exact same size appeared there as if the flesh of his palms were caving into an abyss.
The depressions grew deeper and larger, and within a few seconds, the depressions on his hands had almost reached the back of his hands.
The depressions in his palms rotted away until two holes remained. There were now two bloody holes at the center of his palms that allowed him to see the surface of the water below.
However, Garen did not feel any pain in his palms.
He was slightly shocked. Before he could react, new changes began to form throughout his hands again.
Numerous white dots that resembled age spots appeared on the back of his hands slowly. His skin began to wrinkle quickly, before shriveling up and turning old.
Meanwhile, his fingernails turned black slowly while the skin on the spaces between his fingers began to rot, causing small holes that made it possible to faintly see his white bones inside.
A sticky noise that sounded as if someone was stirring slime could be heard suddenly.
Pieces of pulpy rotten flesh fell off Garen's hands before falling into the water below and making whooshing water noises.
Beep beep beep…
A crisp text message notification noise could be heard.
Suddenly, Garen returned to his senses. He was blinded for a moment but soon realized that his hands were perfectly fine and that the rotting sensation from earlier was merely a hallucination.
After moving his hands for awhile, he suppressed the uncertain and shocked feelings in his mind. He took his phone out and glanced it before realizing that it was just a message that his phone provider had sent to promote some services.
Garen kept his phone and checked his hands once again, confirming that there were no injuries.
"These hands seem quite dangerous…" He was on high alert now. If his own mind had almost been stirred up by his hands, other people would definitely fall into this trap easier. The most important part was that there was no way to weaken this strange magic, as this was a special characteristic that these hands naturally possessed.
He vaguely guessed that the principle of the Slaughtering Hand was to constantly decrease and dilute the Life Force in his hands, or perhaps remove it directly to form a Life Force hole in the world, maybe even a vacuum.
This way, the Life Forces in the surroundings of his palms would naturally travel towards an empty space with a lower Life Force density. In other words, it was the same as constantly removing air from a specific area. When the empty spaces in that area came close to becoming a vacuum, as long as a small hole was opened when needed, the hissing sound of flowing air would be heard. That phenomenon occurred when the air from the outer world was naturally compressed and pushed so that it would fill the empty space.
When the same type of substance was in a specific space, the substance would naturally disperse from a place with a higher density to another area with a lower density evenly, before eventually achieving a balanced state.
Garen's mind interpreted it that way, as it was the simplest principle of diffusion.
He did not know how the Slaughtering Hand formed a diluted Life Force region. However, this meant that as long as he continued practicing Demonic Techniques with these hands, he would inch closer to reaching a true Life Force vacuum.
"Perhaps I should find something to cover it…" Garen stuffed both of his hands into the pockets of his pants so that other people would not be able to see them.
He stood up and walked towards the left side of the riverbank slowly.
He walked for a while before reaching the grassy lawn. After browsing through a few little roadside shops, he finally walked out with a pair of black gloves on his hands that wrapped them up snugly. His wrists and even half of his inner arm were completely covered by these black silk gloves.
He found the gloves in a cosplay shop. There were strange dark gold lines on them, and although Garen did not know which character they were made for, he could not deny that they looked very cool.
Garen wore the gloves and hid both of his hands below his long white sleeves to make them less eye-catching.
He looked at the time and realized that he had unconsciously spent two hours hanging around. It was almost 4 o'clock now.
He decided to just turn around and walk towards the combat club's activity area.
He remembered that there was an eastern restaurant there with a menu outside that listed all kinds of eastern dishes, and decided to go there and try it.