In a custom suite in a South African hotel.
"Idiot!!" Garen furiously slapped the Baldy across the face.
Baldy's body flew across the room, crashing through numerous tables and chairs in the process. With his body still half-lying down on the floor, he didn't dare to stand up. Neither did he dare to wipe off the blood dripping down from his head.
"Thinking you had enough strength to fight everyone at once, it's because of your arrogance and pride that caused this small issue to spiral into so much trouble!" Garen said coldly.
The Baldy looked down, not daring to make a sound.
The remaining members of the Nighthawk were all petrified, the room was completely silent, with the only audible sound being the rapid heartbeats of the people there. All the members were soaked in cold sweat, their muscles twitching every so often, some even started bleeding from biting their lips, yet no one dared to move even a muscle.
"Can't even complete such a simple task, bloody useless fools!" Garen was furious, although he didn't teach too much to this group of elites, no matter what, they were still one of the best groups in the mercenary world, with the addition of the secret skill - Shooting Shadow, they should be considered the elites of the elites. Yet they were still defeated by a bunch of humans with no supernatural abilities whatsoever.
This completely tarnished his pride.
While the punishment had already been given, but there was still the matters at hand to be taken care of.
"Prepare a list of the organizations that participated in the effort of stopping you guys for me."
After saying this, he walked out of the room with his arms crossed.
"This is no longer just about the Stone Clock of Fortune."
Garen moved his fist around, it's been such a long time since he had to take matters into his own hands, he wondered if he was rusty.
He went back to his own hotel room, looking down at Noordia city from his room window.
The numerous red and yellow lights were placed closely, and when linked together it looked like a river of light, outlining the long road. From afar, at the center of the road, there was a huge red circle of light slowly moving forward, it was a large number of cars slowly moving along the roundabout.
Standing in front of the window, Garen gently took off his new custom-made black gloves, revealing an eerily white pair of hands with a perfect complexion.
They were pale white and thin, almost as if they were intricately carved out from Jade. The palms and wrists had no signs of any flaws, to the point where even hair follicles couldn't be seen, it was truly perfection. Under the yellow room light, it looked mesmerizing, as if it had a demonic attraction.
That was the soft glow from his hands.
"Slaughtering hands…" Garen slowly felt the effects of this demonic technique on his body.
He did not resist it, allowing it to merge with him. He'd tried to completely manipulate the demonic technique's innate nature, but the prerequisite for that was to allow it to merge with the wielder. He could feel the changes of his mind and body through the influence of the demonic technique. However, if he wanted, he could reverse the change, though he wasn't against this kind of change.
He noticed that the secret techniques of the Ancient Ender's 43 Demon Kings were the complete opposite of the Living Secret Technique.
We could say that the Living Secret Technique used the practitioner as a base, and would change itself to become more compatible with the practitioner's body and form a completely unique secret technique.
On the other hand, Demonic Secret Techniques would be making the practitioner's body more compatible with the secret technique, slowly adapting the human body to the best possible conditions for the secret technique.
The two were completely opposite but were two of the possible ways secret techniques could evolve.
What was different from normal secret techniques was that normal secret techniques did not have the ability to change. If it wasn't appropriate, there was nothing you could do about it.
Compared to a normal secret technique, a demonic technique had so much more advantages and strengths, with high practicality and a low prerequisite.
As long as it wasn't a body that was extremely incompatible, it could be transformed by the demonic technique, allowing one to successfully train and attain its potential.
However, this kind of potential would lead a person with a weak will to lose their mind, eventually falling under the control of the demonic technique and becoming nothing but a mindless slave, a killing machine.
Hence, although Demonic Techniques were the easiest to attain for beginners, it was the most dangerous secret techniques to learn. The changes in one's will can't be easily changed by other parties, and it has to completely rely on the practitioner's perseverance, only then can one guarantee that they won't lose their way.
This was definitely one of the most dangerous secret techniques.
Garen gave a definition to the Slaughtering Hand in his mind.
When he was merging with the secret technique, he took note of the innate nature of the technique. This type of completely different path was extremely beneficial for its style of martial arts and his development.
"Stone Clock of Fortune, give me a surprise."
Looking down at the night view of the city, he slowly shifted his focus to his secret skills.
In another high-class hotel in the same city.
A few young people dressed in office attires were gathered around, playing cards. The table was piled with dollar bills, with more being thrown around from time and time.
Under the warm lighting, a bespectacled man in a grey suit was puffing on a cigarette, exhaling whiffs of smoke into the room.
"What now?" He said in a weird French accent.
"What do you mean?"
"We spent so much effort to damage the Nighthawks, removing one of our biggest rivals, we should at least get some benefit out of this, right? We even suffered countless casualties." The bespectacled guy said with the cigarette still in his mouth.
"Levi from the Black Uniforms isn't here, if you want benefits, go talk to him about it." The office lady in the black skirt sitting across him replied.
"How long have our two groups been waiting here? Has it been 10 days? I think it definitely has. Why has there been no updates?" The black man on the side impatiently said.
"Aren't we just waiting for the updates? What's there to rush? No matter if it's Kenna or Levi, if they want to find out about that secret, they will eventually have to come here. Our men are already stationed everywhere in this area, there's no chance they can escape." The office lady answered.
"As long as Vincent hasn't left, we just need to keep our eyes on him. Levi definitely already gave the stuff to him." The black man said.
The room door was suddenly knocked open.
A burly white man walked in.
"I think we have a problem."
He looked at the 4 people in the room.
One of threw his cards on the table and stood up.
"Trouble? We even defeated the strongest group in this area, the Nighthawks, what other trouble would there be?" The black man asked, leaning on the leather chair.
"Unfortunately, it is the Nighthawks." The white man replied softly.
The atmosphere in the room suddenly became chilly, although some of them were still forcing a smile, their eyes show that they were on high alert.
"I just got the latest news, the real boss of the Nighthawks is here." The white man slowly said.
"Real… Boss?" the bespectacled man placed his cards face down on the table. For some unknown reason, the people in the room felt chills down their spine when they heard this statement.
"If I remember correctly, the Nighthawks should be the strongest mercenary group in South Africa, right? Their leader had always been the bald guy, the one they call the African Hawk." The man adjusted his glasses, "Now you're telling me, after all this time, that they had another boss? A boss controlling everything behind the scenes? Will, please tell me you're joking."
His hand pressing on the cards of the table started to turn pale without him even noticing.
Under the cooperation of their mutual groups and Levi's scheming, through multiple sacrifices, they'd finally managed to defeat the Nighthawks, even blinding one of the baldy's eyes.
The Nighthawks lost half of their men, losing a lot of their power, finally coming down from their throne as South Africa's strongest mercenary group. All their enemy and rival groups of the past would definitely take this opportunity to strike them while they're down.
It could be said that at the moment the Nighthawks got defeated, they were at their weakest and while in that state, in the world of mercenaries, it was a death sentence.
But now, a guy just came in and said that the Nighthawks had another leader all along, the real boss, someone who was the mastermind behind them.
"How funny, isn't that right, Casey? The Nighthawks were the strongest mercenary group in Africa, who has the authority to be their boss? This has got to be the joke of the century!"
He did not notice it, but his hands were trembling uncontrollably, his face turning paler and paler, even his voice started to shake.
He started to laugh, trying to lighten the situation.
No one else in the room laughed.
Seeing that he was the only one laughing, he slowly stopped and sat back down.
"I think we're in a lot of trouble…" The office lady said softly.
"We need to first work together to get some information on the guy's background."
"My recon team couldn't get any info on him." The white burly man walked through the door, then turned around and locked it.
"Yea, work together."
Everyone took out their laptops or their phones, moving swiftly.
However, the bespectacled man kept pressing wrong keys, he felt that his fingers were so slippery he couldn't even type properly, so he looked up at the others. The office lady was acting calmly, but her beads of sweat from her forehead leaked her current feelings.
The black man had a calm look on his face, but his feet was uncontrollably shaking.
"Got it!!" The black man suddenly yelled.
"You got the info?" "Come on, spit it out!"
Everyone immediately started glaring at him.
"N-no… I mean I've got a plan!" The black man softly uttered.
"Get Vincent and work together! The groups that defeated the Nighthawks wasn't just us. Even if he's a person from 'that world', he wouldn't dare to take on so many people at once, right?" The black man said.
They all understood, in "that world", those who had power and influence were frequently not your average person. This kind of being wasn't something they can fend against.
"Vincent himself no longer has much power, but rumor has it that there's still a being standing behind him from 'that world'. A very strong being."
"I found it…" The office lady said, his face showing visible signs of relief.
"It's still fine, the person is not a being from 'that world'. He's just a martial artist, a normal human."
In that instant, the entire room breathed a sigh of relief.