Sensing a sudden surge of spiritual power, Gawil raised his eyes from the innocent store manager, who was sprawled out on the floor. Glancing forward, he saw two little humans, no more than ten-years-old, each wielding their own Spirits while staring him down. Furrowing his brows, Gawil probed the two minors by sending a wave of spiritual pressure down their way.
Once the spiritual pressure began to mount, Shin immediately felt his legs go wobbly as he struggled to stand still. Bending his knees to lower his centre of gravity, the black-haired boy tried to fight the spiritual pressure and was barely able to maintain his posture. Meanwhile, Ariel used the handle of her Lava Warhammer to support herself by poking it in the floor, like a walking stick.
“What’s this? Some weakling Spirit Users think that they can stand up against me? How cute…”
Through his probe, he was able to tell that the two children were nowhere near his match. He had only used a fraction of his spiritual pressure, and they were unable to take it. If they genuinely fought, even in his vulnerable state, he would be able to wipe the floor with Shin and Ariel.
“I have no business with you retards, but since you’re in this shop at this time, count yourselves unlucky.”
As he said those words, a torrent of spiritual energy burst forth. Mint-coloured mana light filled the empty room as the spiritual pressure being sent forth by the decrepit man increased exponentially. Exposed to the direct wrath of Gawil, Shin and Ariel found that the air had become much thicker making it hard to breathe. Cracks started to form on the wooden floorboards surrounding the insane man and when the pressure reached its peak, the light settled and congregated into a lizard-like figure.
The Blorgte Chameleon in Gawil’s hands was a rarely seen Spirit in the Himmel Empire. With its mint-coloured scaly exterior and enormous black eyes, the reptile seemed to be an innocent critter, incapable of causing the brutal damage that was inflicted on Andrew Watkin. Waving its tail back and forth, the Spirit lazily stared down Shin and Ariel, as if indifferent to their existence.
“*Cough!* *Cough!* ARGHHHH!!! Fuck this…”
Summoning the Blorgte Chameleon out in his current state evidently had its drawbacks. Every single part of his body ached in torment when he circulated his mana, forcing out a mouthful of blood.
“Fifth time today… Hahaha, looks like the constables have finally found me.”
At the same time he brought out his Spirit, his senses caught a note of the numerous amount of new spiritual energies arriving outside of the store. The constables had surrounded the Watkin Shoebox, evacuating nearby civilians in preparation for a raid.
“My light ends today… But before it disappears for good, let me bring down one more memory of that bastard Andrew!”
Bringing the Blorgte Chameleon closer to his chest, Gawil willed for the apathetic lizard to enter his body. Transferring all its energy to the broken-down man, who could barely walk, the Blorgte Chameleon turned into a ball of light and merged its entirety with Gawil. The next instant, mint-coloured scales begun to form on the yellowed skin of the man and a thick, meaty reptilian tail grew out from Gawil’s behind.
“Spiritual body enhancement! Damn it, we need to stop him!”
Both Shin and Ariel recognised the ability that Gawil was employing. Most commonly found in Spirit Users with beast Spirits, the spiritual body enhancement allows the Spirit User to adopt the characteristics of their Spirits, significantly heightening their combat strength. Ines was a great example. Although she had a womanly constitution, in her spiritual body enhancement mode, not even the Instructor would be willing to fight head-to-head with her.
Raising up her Lava Warhammer, Ariel bolted straight towards Gawil, who was currently in mid-transformation. After she had awakened her Spirit, the Frie Clan had provided her with the best teachers and training partners. Typically, when training a novice Spirit Practitioner, the clan would group up other Spirit Users of similar levels and let them spar. But for Ariel, the Frie Clan had prepared various Spirit Apostles of varying strengths.
Therefore, the fiery little girl was no stranger to fighting against Spirit Users well above her level. Swinging her Spirit straight at Gawil’s abdomen, Ariel attempted to further deteriorate the damaged man’s condition by aiming at his infected wound.
A sharp voice echoed out as Ariel put all her weight behind the swing. The Lava Warhammer started to glow in a dim red light and put forth a low buzzing sound. Unfortunately for Ariel, just before her hammerhead made contact with Gawil, the man suddenly opened his closed eyes.
Swinging his weighty tail, Gawil effortlessly dispatched the little girl who was charging straight at him. At the same time, his hands, which had turned into claws, reached out and gripped onto a nearby pole that supported the building.
Gathering all of his might, Gawil clenched his open claw to crush the wooden pillar. Dust and splinters flew everywhere as the building started to shake from the impact. Gawil’s plan was simple. Since he was going to die anyway, he might as well go out by burying the Watkin Shoebox with him. By taking down all the pillars and trashing the store, eventually, the building would collapse taking him down with it.
As for the collateral damage inflicted for his revenge, he cared nought.
“We can’t let him destroy the store!!!”
At this point, Manald, who was lying on the floor in fear until now, called out. He felt ashamed that he had to request two ten-year-olds, who were wholly unrelated to the store, to help him take down the madman.
“Ariel, distract him for a moment!”
Shin shouted out as he gathered his mana. The Sovereign Koi flapped its adorable fins in excitement as more and more spiritual energy was supplied to it. Seeing that Shin was preparing to do something, Ariel acknowledged his request with a slight nod. Bringing up the Lava Warhammer overhead once more, the scarlet-haired girl charged forward, aiming to crush Gawil’s skull.
“Again, if I’m not bothering you, FUCK OFF!!!”
Clearly irritated that a mere child Spirit Practitioner thought that she could deal with him, Gawil spun around twice, letting his massive tail spiral round. He intended to heavily injure Ariel the moment she got near. But Ariel’s plan wasn’t to get near to him.
Just before she got into range of the chameleon-man, Ariel immediately halted her steps. With her Lava Warhammer overhead, she bludgeoned down the bloodthirsty Spirit straight to the innocent floorboards. At that time, the primal markings on the Warhammer brightened up in a reddish-orange light forming a pool of lava that begun to spread aggressively, melting anything that came into contact with it.
When he saw the pool of lava, the store manager started to feel faint. He had requested for the Spirit Users to prevent Gawil from destroying the building, not to help him demolish it. But as he was lost in his agonising thoughts, a stream of pale blue water slithered rapidly through the air.
Taking advantage of the time when Gawil was mesmerised with the lava pool, Shin created a string of pure water and directed it straight at the open wound of the Spirit Core cultivator. Like a serpent stalking its prey, the stream of water twisted and turned past the obstacles hindering its path and eventually…
Gawil fell down in agony once the foreign fluid invaded his body through the opened wound. Tears started to drip out of his pain as his claws grabbed a nearby stand. Rolling around on the floor, Gawil attempted the pull the ‘snake’ out from his body, but when he felt that he could not grab the thing invading his body, he immediately tried to locate the source of the water stream.
“FUCK YOU, BASTARD!!!”
Tracing the stream of water back to Shin, Gawil let out a desperate roar and darted towards the black-haired boy. Showing off his claws that were as sharp as an eagle’s beak, the frenzied man threatened to rip Shin’s head off.
“Oh no, you don’t!”
Thankfully, Ariel was barring the path to Shin. Swinging her Lava Warhammer once more, the little girl managed to catch the chest of Gawil, who was unable to think straight. Getting hit by the full brunt of Ariel’s Warhammer, the damaged man flew horizontally towards the nearby wall, like a baseball when hit by a professional hitter. At the same time, Shin cut off his mana supply to the water stream, making it lose its form.
“Shin, what did you do?”
Surprised that the boy was able to seriously injure the Spirit Core cultivator, Ariel questioned Shin with a tinge of awe in her tone.
“How do I put this? Ariel, remember that time when you got the scrap on your knee during one of our sparring sessions?”
“When the First Elder applied water to your wound to clean it, how did it feel?”
“It hurt like hell!!!”
“Exactly! It was painful for you, even though it was a small wound, so what about him? His infection was left alone for such a long time, and his wound was never properly treated. So can you imagine the pain it would feel if I invaded his body a stream of pure water?”
Shin patiently explained how he brought down Gawil. He had managed to come up with this plan after remembering the medical text on how humans with infected wounds react when getting treated. Luckily, he had become extremely proficient in controlling his first spiritual ability. Otherwise, he would be unable to pull it off.
“Urghhhh!!! I see! So that’s how!”
Enlightened, Ariel put on a jubilant smile after seeing Shin’s growth. Looks like his time away from the mountain had not been a waste.
“Alright let’s finish him!”
After she managed to land a successful hit on the lizard-man, Ariel got much more pumped up to do battle. Directing her attention back to Gawil, who was pinned to the wall, the impassioned little girl placed her Lava Warhammer on her shoulders as she prepared for the final blow.
Grasping his left stomach, Gawil tried to suppress the overwhelming pain that Shin had inflicted on him. At his cultivation level, he could naturally deduce what the youth had done. He could even feel the remnants of the foreign liquid lodged deep inside his wound.
‘I underestimated them…’
Gawil thought. After the two consecutively damaged him, he felt his strength leaving his body at an exponential rate. If he faced them head on once more, he would most likely suffer a defeat.
‘What was I thinking? Going head to head with them… That’s not my speciality anyway!’
A wry smile crept up his lips as he thought of those words. His Spirit was the Blorgte Chameleon, it was never a pure fighter type Spirit.
“Let me send you to hell!”
Like a wild lioness hunting her prey, Ariel pounced at the weakened man who was lying stationary on the floor. But before she even managed to get near…
Clapping his hands together, Gawil circulated his mana and almost instantaneously, his form disappeared completely.
Losing sight of her target, Ariel was forced to bring her assault to an abrupt end.