To most people Zax was an anomaly. As such, the Derneldar founder could not comprehend him properly, yet he still thought that he figured him out. Don, too, thought like that at first, but then Zax broke her strongest defensive formation.
The strong do not give much credit to the weak until they are defeated.
The cries of all the retreating Derneldar Mist Users resonated all at once.
A mouthful of blood gushed up and out from the Derneldar founder’s throat to the ground. Just a bit faster before the he, too, met the ground while his body convulsing.
‘Terrifying!’ Zax extricated the stone blade from the bones in his hand and threw it to the side. ‘If I didn’t counter with the Kinetic Force this knife of his would have sliced me as if it was passing through water…’ He thought as his heart was pounding and he stared at the Derneldar founder in his last moments.
“Bastard! You dare injure my founder!” Suddenly, the Core Master named Lu Gan yelled in rage and many of the Mist Users seemed to emphasize, releasing their auras with vengeful spirits.
“Hmph!” Zax snorted. “Come at me if you don’t know what’s good for you”. He said in an indifferent tone.
How many he killed did not bother him, but wasting his time on weaklings was meaningless, which is why Zax did not attempt to pursue. His sole concern was the Derneldar founder, and now that death was approaching the old man, no one but his two targets was important.
“Everyone, we must save the founder!” Lu Gan yelled. The other three Core Masters shared the same thought along with their handpicked Mist Users that they assembled for the failed trap to restrain Zax.
“Fools…” The weak voice of the Derneldar founder spilled out with the stream of blood that continually flowed out from his mouth. He saw his blood related Core Masers, the last pillars of his family, and the men and women his family cultivated for tens of years, willing to throw away their lives for him and he could do nothing but gaze at them with grief in his blurred eyes. Who better than him knew the state of his body right now? The explosive strike of the young bodily cultivator blew his heart. If it was not for his high level of cultivation, he would not even stayed alive to watch all he built falls and crumbles.
“Han Pei, Lu Gan, I will obstruct him while you two take the founder to the second escape route!” Del ordered and without waiting for the other two’s approval, he set his azure aura ablaze and bolted toward Zax.
“Hurry! Support elder Del!” Those at the Mist Lord level led the rest of the remaining first realm Mist Users after Del.
“Damn it, you all!” Han Pei roared. At this moment, position, status and cultivation were all secondary to the preservation of the Derneldar family.
Due to the great and many losses the calamity known as “Zax”, caused to the Derneldar family, every one of the surviving Mist Users on scene was of outmost importance for the future of the family. Though most of these men and women were, up till now, part of the private military force of the Derneldar family, they all had the potential to branch out in other significant fields that could benefit the family.
Han Pei and Lu Gan had no choice but to accept Del’s sacrifice, but they were reluctant to have further losses.
“Fall back!” Del shouted at the following Mist Users. “Wolerbeng, initiate the residential defensive formation!” His command reached the ears of the leading Mist User, a tall, blond haired Mist Lord.
“Del Ram!” Wolerbeng halted, spreading his arms to the sides with golden light forcing everyone behind him to stop as well; he looked at Del’s back in bitterness. “Initiate formation Red Lines!”
Everything took place in a matter of couple of seconds. Zax, next to the Derneldar founder, stood and watched with expressionless eyes the Core Master, Del, commanding and bolting toward him with the resolve to confront him at the cost of his life.
Behind Del were the other two Core Masters, the only ones that still advanced to his direction.
“Useless, the old man is dead whether you like it or not”. Zax said, not caring if they listened to him or not.
He knew just as good as the Derneldar founder the current state of his body. Even if his heart was pierced, being a bodily cultivator or not, he would also have nothing else to do but patiently wait for death.
A terrifying sound suddenly resonated as Del’s aura burst out like the roar of a mighty beast.
“…?” Zax frowned.
Del’s speed and intensity of mist energy suddenly surpassed his peak and his skin began to flash in azure luster.
The smooth cement ground torn under Del’s furious steps as the violent and bellicose eruption of mist energy continued to grow stronger.
A pulse released from Del’s body and the distance between him and Zax shortened to little over a meter.
Zax clenched five fingers and Del raised his right arm to defend from the Kinetic Force.
The left fist landed and let loose the Kinetic Force. Del gritted his teeth as his right arm collided with the fist. An extraordinary power stunned Zax as he felt his fist and Kinetic Force being parried.
Despite Del’s efforts his right arm shattered to smithereens.
“Ahhh!” Del bellowed. He caught Zax with his left hand and actually pushed him back.
“What?!” Zax could not believe Del’s display of strength.
When Zax probed him with his Soul Sense, he found out that Del’s level of cultivation was at the Beginner phase of the first level of the Core Master realm. Now, though, it was beyond his previous estimations. It was as if he was forced back by the all out attack of an Intermediate, no, Advanced phase first level Core Master. Standing firmly was not enough to resist.
Dragging Zax tens of meters from the dying founder, Han Pei and Lu Gan arrived next to their family founder and picked him up carefully with their mist energy.
‘From where, in the name of the Supreme Rulers, his power is coming from?!’ Zax had a bad premonition as he felt odd fluctuations radiating from every pore of Del’s body.
His palm struck Del’s left arm and it exploded, but Del just bit his lips and slammed Zax with his chest, taking him outside of the Derneldar residential area.
As they exited the residential area, behind Del’s back and in front of Zax’s eyes, spiraling red lights condensed around each of the twelve villas.
“Let me go!” Zax aimed both of his hands to crush Del’s skull.
“DIE!” Drawing Zax farther, Del yelled as his body released a blinding azure glow from his dantian.
‘Not good!’ Zax eyes widened as the first rays of azure mist energy pierced through Del’s abdomen. Instantly he drew back his hands and clenched his body.
A ball of fist size azure magmatic flames expanded from Del’s dantian to a diameter of hundreds of meters like a scorching blue sun.
The explosion shook the ground to a distance of several kilometers from the blue ball of flames and produced strong turbulences that could topple buildings for hundreds of meters.
Around each of the twelve villas the spiraling red lights, the Red Lines formations, absorbed the shock waves of the explosion with immense difficulties.
One minute, two minutes, three minutes… Eight minutes had passed before the ball of flames began to subside. Three minutes later, where Del ignited his mist energy, a two hundred and forty two meters deep crater was formed.
From a distinct spot inside the crater, next to the boiling rocks, hidden inside a cloud of steams, a lone figure could be seen.
“GRAAH!!!” A voice carrying an indescribable pain wailed from the mouth of the red steaming figure. “GRAAH!!!”
The red naked figure was none other than Zax.
The explosion was unlike anything he experienced before or anything he thought it would be when he realized what Del was trying to do. Its power engulfed Zax with the destructiveness of the second level of the Core Master realm. There was no way for him to use the Kinetic Force to completely defend himself, it was only a momentarily solution to hinder the first and most colossal shock wave from hitting him. The rest of the shock waves that followed struck Zax and fractured many of his bones while the azure flames bathed his body.
The explosiveness of Del’s sacrifice buried Zax deep into the ground as the ball of azure magmatic flame expanded. The heat it generated burnt his skin and hair completely, leaving him a red figure of red and black flash. In an attempt to regain his senses Zax pounded his ears, but he could not hear anything, he scratched his eyes, but all he could see was blackness.
“GRAAH!!!” His body was healing in a slow pace when the ball of flame shrank and he exited its scope. Because of this, Zax became sensitive to the pain and screamed madly.
‘TH… THERE…!’ With rage fueling him, Zax activated his Soul Sense. It was his only means of observation, his only option to locate the Derneldar forces. “GRRR!”
After the explosion the Red Lines formations collapsed along with the formation that obstructed Zax’s Soul Sense from probing the twelve villas.
Out of the twelve, ten accommodated the serving personal of the Derneldar family with a few of the Mist Users that engaged in the fight with him.
In the largest villa, in an underground lavish room, Zax detected nine people, two women and seven men, one of which he identified as his target, Binjo!
In the most western villa were Han Pei and Lu Gan, the dead body of the Derneldar founder and many other Mist Users. They were franticly digging an underground path that seemed to be sealed due to the earthquakes and stretched beyond the reach of Zax’s Soul Sense.
‘HIM!’ Zax madly announced in his mind. A series of cracks sounded from his body as he rose up. Using the Kinetic Force was too risky and without it he did not feel that he had the strength to fight with the two Core Masters. He came to this conclusion after he discovered Binjo.
The vile youth and the people by his side felt the explosion and were anxiously waiting for rescue. Finally finding Binjo aroused a clearer and definitive judgment of what he has to do that overpowered his desire to do what he wanted.
Zax climbed out of the crater, fighting the urges of his weakened state to rest and heal.
The scenery was vastly different after the explosion. The splendor of the Derneldar territory turned upside down to drabness. Only the twelve villas remained intact and no one dared to go outside.
Zax broke through the largest villa’s walls, right into the fancy reception hall. His ferocious entry blasted a few of the artworks and furniture, but from the start he treated them all like air. Other than Binjo and whoever might be his brother among the six men with him, Zax cared for nothing.
Zax sped across the villa, breaking walls instead of wasting time by taking turns. The air itself amplified his pain, waving his fists to break down the walls was agonizing in a whole other level. Still, he welcomed the pain. The more he felt it the more intensely his body worked to heal and the stronger the rush he felt. He advanced in rapid speed, about to make his goal, his promise to Anet tangible.
His two feet slammed the floor and with the foundation and pearl tiles he descended to the underground floor.
“Ahh!” Someone shouted in a high pitched voice.
“Third brother!” Another voice called.
“Kinua, protect us!” A stern and hoarse voice demanded.
Zax landed right in front the nine people. A cloud of dust hid his scorched figure, behind him where the staircase to the villa’s ground floor.
In but a few breaths the dust settled and the blood of all the nine people drained from their faces.
“A demonic beast! It’s demonic beast!”
“Kinua, kill that creature!”
As the group of people saw the heavily panting red figure of Zax, none was able to keep his or her calm. Of the two women, one helped the more mature elderly one who had unsettling eyes to the back of the spacious room. Six of the men clustered together after the women and one man, an Advanced phase Mist Lord, was facing Zax in insecurity and lack of choice.
‘Binjo! Binjo! Binjo! Binjo!’ The name repeated in Zax’s mind in succession.
As for the others, some had similar external traits as Binjo. One of which was too old and looked to be his father rather than brother and the other one was the elderly woman. The remaining four, who had certain similarities to Binjo, were four twenty to forty something years old men with cultivation between the Earth’s Core Holder level and the Mist Lord level. Lastly, there was the other young woman and the Mist Lord who was on guard. Both, Zax assumed, were attendants.
Taking a step forward, Zax’s red lips stretched and his white teeth were shown clenching.
“Kinua, what are you waiting for? Stop him!” The older of the men, Dureil, yelled at the Mist Lord guard, Kinua.
Kinua used his Soul Sense to assess the level of cultivation of the creature before him, but a surge of killing intent washed over him, as if a soul attack impaled his soul. Frozen in place, Kinua even held his breathe as Zax walked past him.
“Kinua!” Dureil and his sons staggered backward. If their Mist Lord guard did not dare act against the demon, who of them could?
“You! Who are you? What do you want from us?!” The second Mist Lord, Dureil’s third son, inquired.
Zax stopped and exhaled from his nose couple of times before slowly opening the blockage of his teeth for the one word to go out unhindered.
He allowed them to hear the name for two seconds, enough to curse the poorest choice in their life.
Zax threw his hand straight and his hand cut halfway through Binjo’s third brother’s head from above before it halted.
“Yaaah!!!” The young female attendant screamed in fright and fainted.
Dureil along with his four sons cried. Only his wife and their mother watched quietly as if she was mute.
Binjo stared at Zax with tears in his eyes and trembled uncontrollably. “I was wrong! I’m sor-”
Zax’s left hand grabbed Binjo’s throat, his right hand firmly balanced on his shoulder.
A faint indistinct smile appeared on Zax’s face and his healed eyes narrowed like two crescent moons.
He crushed Binjo’s spinal cord and ripped it out.