Chapter XIV
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A truly grotesque creation. What was meant to be a spear came out as more of a long mace. It's blunt tip was covered in minuscule blades, reminiscent of the thorns of a rose, which seemed to be made only to draw out more pain from its enemies. The wood, coated in a layer of black iron, was now a deep black as the tip with irregular spikes growing all around its surface. Break the bones yet leave the for bleeding. If William's weapon was cruel this one was meant for torture.
Arun himself was taken aback by his creation. But as he stared at it and weighed it in his hands one thought came to mind.
* Black rose. You will aid me. *
Walking down a familiar road, Arun could feel his blood starting to boil all over again. It was the same alley where he got ambushed by the gangsters. A sudden feel of regret passed him. Had he known they were capable of this, he would've found a way to finish them than and there. But even now, while faced with the facts, he could not understand why, why would people go so far. Maybe they weren't human. Maybe they were beasts which needed to be culled before they cause more chaos, more grief. He would decide this once he came face to face with the murderers.
The main Street branched off into a bunch of back-alleys. While walking trough them he could not help but compare the whole place to a maze. Arun knew his way around the slums, especially the well known areas such as the market but he never explored these parts much, considering how dangerous they were.
Finally, a sign of life around the area. He could hear loud laughter and chatter in the distance. After a few more corners the men came into view.
There were 5 of them, all of them engaged in a wrestling competition outside of a stall which seemed to be recently vandalized. The owners were nowhere to be found, hopefully they got out before things got ugly. Unfortunately he could not appraise how strong they were because of his lack of ki, but judging by Paradox's reaction they were at most medium human state.
" Gentleman. I'm in need of directions. " Arun made himself known, a fake, wide smile that looked more menacing than welcoming decorating his face.
" Beat it kid or well beat you. " one of the thugs said with a laugh, than turned his attention back towards their little competition. They seemed eager to see who was more macho.
" Hold on now, this might be entertaining. " one of the fighters, a somewhat familiar figure, stopped to get a better look at Arun " I believe I know this here kid. Quite brave you are to come here after the stunt you pulled little fella, especially considering your level of cultivation. You are just begging for a beating! "
Arun's smile contorted in anger. It was one of his assailants of that night, that talkative thug...
" You... I am in luck to find one of you so quickly. You will pay for what you did! " as he was saying that Black rose materialized in his hands, pointed straight at the enemies.
The thugs, who were amused by Arun's appearance just a moment ago didn't find the appearance of Black Rose so funny. They immediately jumped and armed themselves with whatever they had available, be it knifes or brass knuckles.
" What are you scared of? He's just a kid, get him! " the talkative thug ordered. Seems like he was the leader of this particular group.
" Paradox don't interfere... let me have this. "
Paradox wasn't too pleased with the order. He was worried about his master, but he couldn't exactly go against his orders. So, he found a middle way and cast his aura around him. Arun felt the electricity flowing trough him as sparks went off around frame and on his weapon.
" Huh... I didn't know you could do this. "
Unexpected, indeed, but no more time to wonder about it now. One of the more fearless thugs was rushing him with his knife. A poor choice of action against a spear to be sure. Arun waited until he got in range than he quickly thrusted his spear into his belly. The momentum of the thug turned against him as he was sent tumbling on the ground. He landed right at the feet of his colleagues, a whole ripped in his clothing and electricity sparking from his unmoving body.
* It seems like Paradox's aura is burning up the wounds that Black Rose opens immediately * Arun noted as the gangsters were piecing together what just occurred. This wasn't the outcome they expected.
" C'mon guys he's just one surround him before you attack you bafoons! "
The shout from their leader made his remaining underlings come to their senses. Two of them were trying to use the wide street to their advantage by moving in for a flank outside Arun's reach while another one faced him, ready to pounce on him if he atacked one his allies.
" Like I'd let you! "
If he had some spare ki he would have just hurled a normal technique at the enemy but he'll have to make due with what he has. Those combat classes sure come in handy. Switching his stance, he grabbed the spear from the very bottom with one hand and swung vertically. The sudden increase in reach took the enemy, who were thinking to be safe, by surprise. Two of them manage to dodge it by a hair but one of them didn't react in time and was forced to block the strike. Unfortunately for him, Black Rose doesn't have any mercy and it's fangs buried into his flesh, followed by Paradox's thunder.
" *#*# it ! " he shouted as he was sent into the nearby wall. He won't be using his arms to great effect any more.
Two more remaining, but they learned from their mistakes and were well outside his reach now. Well, if you don't come to the mountain, than the mountain will come to you. Arun switched stances again, this time gripping Black Rose like a staff.
Closing the distance with one of his opponents Arun telegraphed a large overhead swing which didn't quite hit its mark but made his target retreat. Before the motion ended however he followed up by thrusting his spear backward. The second thug, who was trying to take advantage of Arun turning his back to him, found himself surprised by the attack. He was brought on his knees only to be hit again without mercy by a rotating strike and knocked out cold.
Faced with the prospect of 1v1ing the monster that easily took out his companions, the remaining thug took the same course of action that his buddy that got his arms injured took a while back: fleeing at top speed.
* Now where's the one that ambushed me. I have questions for him. *
Arun looked around for the talkative gangster but couldn't find him. Did he run away? He did not. Unfortunately for the kid his lack of ki meant he only realised what happened after the thugs hands wrapped around his neck.
" Invisibility technique " Arun struggled to mutter while his feet were dangling off the ground. He now remembered that this one was a mid-human stage, much more powerful than the current self.
" That's right kid. Gotta say, you put on quite the show. Quite a sting from such a little and frail bee " his grip tightened. Arun was now grasping desperately for air. " Oh, little bee wants to say something. Well don't be shy, say it! " the grip tightened again and his vision started blurring.