Undisturbed by the blood, bone fragments and minced meat, Nulivs closed her eyes and obediently fell asleep.
Similarly to the lass, but for the complete opposite reason, everyone in the cave also turned quiet, roughly five thousand prisoners!
Barov Do Loyndez, Junper, Dolev and Kouweel’s pupils contracted as they glared with killing intent at Zax, yet remained fixated to their places.
Other prisoners had the same hostile gleam in their eyes, more so because the violent spectacle had triggered their bloodthirstiness, than they cared about Misha’s death.
The largest group of prisoners to follow the same conduct was the thousands that got frightened by how easily a Peak second level Core Master such as Misha lost his head, both figuratively and literally, for messing with a madman like Zax, whom they hastily distanced themselves from.
“Kouwee, inform Biton that a new prisoner killed Misha, go!” Barov Do Loyndez barked, her muscles tensed.
“Right!” Kouwee jumped to the air, transforming to seventy centimeters tall demonic wolf bat with cat’s eyes and ears.
She itched to vent, to shred Zax for as many pieces as there were cells in his body. She held back only because she knew even with Junper and Dolev, they are not his opponents.
“Who is that old man?” A humanoid beast with an emerald lion’s head asked Yimin.
There were quite a few of the Ercas Mir and New Earth’s survivors currently resting in the cave in small groups. Most chose to keep apart out of caution, as they did not want to draw attention by converging a hundred and forty nine on their first day – Zechariah’s quarters were with the B ranked prisoners.
Due to the commotion just created, they, too, were staring at him with mixed emotions.
“A bodily cultivator…” Yimin murmured. “Without bringing out his ability to a deeper extant, I can’t deduce his refinement technique”.
“Should we help them?” The lion’s head humanoid beast asked.
“I would like to, also have a talk with him, but we can’t be hasty, Souri. First send someone to notify Zechariah and let’s see who will respond to this fuss”.
A brawny, three meters tall man with granite for skin separated from the crowd. He leaked a third level Martial Mortal’s aura as he walked and stared down on Zax.
“Do you know what you just did?” His voice sounded like two stones rubbing against each other. “You are new, but it can’t help you. On the contrary, Guard Chou Ferk should have warned you not too long ago not to cause problems. Killing a fellow inmate is A problem”. He spoke slowly, as if he struggled to pronounce in the common language, Netherling.
“He”, Zax, placidly, raised a shriveled finger and pointed at Misha’s corpse. Next, his arm drowned a diagonal line as it gestured over at Barov Do Loyndez, Junper and Dolev. “They… and the one that ran away. Four more problems”.
The granite man frowned and not so far from them, Barov Do Loyndez, Junper and Dolev displayed ugly expression.
“Four more problems?” The granite man asked. “Are you saying that you intend to kill even more?”
Zax unhurriedly nodded. He did not emit a trace of killing intent, yet his manner was so detached it made one’s hair bristle.
A loud crash blasted gravel at the entrance to the cave, even though the entire Seventh Post was made of the same tough that soil prisoners exhausted themselves daily mining.
A fat, four armed, tailed woman with an A rank band furiously entered the cave. Behind her was Kouwee in his humanoid form.
“Barov Do Loyndez, who was it?!” Bellowed the woman, Biton. She was Misha’s backer and in return to support in certain dealings, she relied on his submissive exterior to haul attractive prisoners, mostly fit for entertainment, before the cronies of other A ranked or Elite ranked prisoners.
Biton flaunted her fourth level Martial Mortal aura, projecting it at Zax after Barov Do Loyndez showed her the culprit.
The granite man moved aside, to avoid getting caught in the conflict if Zax shows no signs of seeking help. However, before he vanished in the crowd, he heard a voice whispering to his earless head. “Sixth problem”.
“C rank, come here immediately!” Biton ordered Zax. Seeing him not complying or influenced by the pressure of her aura, she was inwardly surprised. “Humph!” She snorted disdainfully and suddenly her colorless basic Martial Mortal’s aura started to radiant in earthly hues.
It is very risky utilizing attribute energy in the Rakmon Penitentiary Star. Due to the restriction on the worldly energies of the planet and law of the Plain it is extremely arduous to accumulate again and has limited practical methods for usage that all deplete rapidly.
The earthly attribute fluctuation forced the crowd to further distance themselves or leave the cave altogether. Many among them felt longing to the power of attribute energy upon witnessing it, many others were disgruntled for not daring to employ their so extravagantly. The weakest, first level Core Masters just hoped to pass this day alive.
The Mass Nature of the earthly attribute made Zax feel uncomfortable, not that he showed it. It would take much more to bring out his locked emotions. But eventually he did react, driven by an instinct.
He got up, carrying Nulivs in his arms, yet she could not feel a scrap of the indomitable heavy pressure. Thus, remained asleep.
Dark spot gradually covered Zax, blackening his skin, hair and eyes.
“He is using dark attribute energy with his body? A bodily cultivator!”
“A band less cultivator merging attribute energy with his physique…”
“The counterforce his raising… this level of understanding of the dark attribute is way higher than the A ranked’s earthly understanding”.
If it was any other Plain, his performance would have not been something to boast, but in the U Plain’s Rakmon Penitentiary Star it spoke volume of Zax’s capabilities, as well as his stupidity for contending with an A ranked prisoner.
In the Seventh Post, only A and Elite ranked prisoner can afford attribute’s essence.
“A bodily cultivator and a user of the dark attribute…” Yimin’s heart thumped, and so did everyone else present from Ercas Mir and New Earth. “Is it the Bone And Muscle Transformation?” He speculated.
If the old man is Zax, there is no other technique that can disguise him so remarkably.
Biton’s mood became serious. Zax exuding dark attribute energy was one thing that she did not really mind. But his profundity was another, it casually brushed her earthly attribute energy!
She grinded her teeth and pounced, exploiting the disparity in their realms to initiate a melee fight – prisoners were not allowed to have weapons and again, in the Rakmon Penitentiary Star Mist Users were limited with the use of attribute energy and mist energy alone was too frail, in this situation.
Zax’s legs were rooted to the ground. He was not really in a fighting mode, in a state where he can employ more than a tenth of his actual understanding or muster his elemental or even dark attribute physique. Even his earlier comments to the granite man were more of a reflexive response.
The fist issued a series of sonic booms, its trajectory Zax’s face.
With an indolent motion Zax raised his arm, palm open to receive.
The shook was absorbed in his arm before a whiff of undulation could spread, but the force behind it was not completely unstoppable.
His legs carved two shallow lines in the ground as Biton pushed with muscle, mist and the rippling of the Gravity Property.
Zax’s pinky closed on the back of Biton’s fist.
His ring finger clenched.
Three, four, five!
Middle, index and thumb seized and Biton’s momentum subsided to a halt.
His fingers dug past her skin, spilling green blood, but that was also the best he could do.
Biton’s three other arms and tailed hurled.
He could not block them, yet for Nulivs’s safety could also not let them hit.
“Don’t… lay a finger on her”. For the briefest of moment a cold sensation traveled from his dantian, accelerating his perception, cracking a slit in his dormancy. He shook his arm, sending a tremor to Biton’s restricted fist.
“Pouh!” Biton flung back, causing green blood with an incredulous plastered on her face.
She slammed into the cave’s wall, which not even the direct attack from a fifth level Martial Mortal in the Mortal Enlightenment state can break.
“This level of power!” The granite man, Yimin and the rest of the onlookers that could barely keep up or just register the sequence of events from the outcome all stared agape.
“This… got to be him, right, Yimin?” The lion’s headed beast, Souri, asked.
“If it is… what happened to him?” They all experienced the same catastrophe, but the old man had to be utterly devastated to justify this degree of lassitude.
Zax stepped forward, in a blink appearing beside Biton and thrust his hand like a spinning spearhead.
“Stop!” A roar reverberated from the cave’s entrance. “I said stop!” A man, human, with short orange hair, black skin and outwardly looking in his fifties erupted with an aura of a fifth level Martial Mortal and earthly attribute energy and dashed for Zax.
“Oh?” The new arrival attracted Zax’s attention. “Seventh?” Biton was spared.
“Argentine, apprehend him!” A commanding voice ordered… The incensed Guard Chou Ferk descended the crevasse.
To hasten the descent he had to deactivate several of the formations within the crevasse and to do that he had to get permission from Head Guard Umber, in other words, bother a Heavenly Immortal!
Argentine, the human Elite ranked prisoner retrieved from his spatial ring a brown gem. He clapped it in his hands, crashing it to dust and, and blew it on Zax.
“Surrender or I’ll generate a gravitational force that might not harm you, but will kill the girl you are holding”. Argentine threatened.
“Later… she?” All he meant to do was to protect Nulivs as Vimov told him. Although he was spiritless, Zax was not stupid and could still prioritize.
“She…” Argentine glanced at Nulivs and then Guard Chou Ferk. “Is an innocent bystander. No harm will befall her, if you’ll obey”.
“I saw everything. She’s indeed innocent! It’s you, shameless bastard, who dragged her into this”. Yimin intervene from the crowd. “Release her this instant and go bow before Sir Guard!” He hoped that even if the old man was not Zax, he would at least recognize him as someone from the group of survival and feel relieved to hand over Nulivs.
“We worked our ass, barely scrapping a hundredth of an Ever Pure Solid’s gram, and when he finally rest a murder shows up! Please take him away, Sir!” Souri assisted and accompanying him and Nulivs more of the Ercas Mir and New Earth survivors appealed to Guard Chou Ferk and discreetly to Zax.
Guard Chou Ferk was not a fool. He knew the faces of all his sector’s prisoners and those who yelled were of the last and same group as the old man. Nevertheless, he allowed the pretense to continue if it could help him catch Zax without losing more free labor…
Just as it manifested, the black darkness on Zax receded. He let Nulivs down, walked to Guard Chou Ferk and offered his wrists to the shackles.