Book 5 – Horns, Chapter 2 – Fifty Three Regrets

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Zetsa’s dark gold aura began to emit wild contrasting temperatures, like oil and water, cold and heat that exchanged places unceasingly.

Though she made progress in the past three years and advanced to the Advanced phase of the Mist Lord level, Zetsa was still stuck in the Radical Fiery Icy Provocation Qi refining technique’s last phase of the third stage. However, by taking a step farther from the first to phases of the third stage and reaching the state of merging the characteristic of cold and heat with her body, Zetsa could finally perceive the bottleneck of the last phase of the third stage. Now, it was only a matter of time before she would attain a breakthrough to the fourth stage of the Radical Fiery Icy Provocation Qi refining technique.

Sensing the two temperatures radiating from Zetsa, Gaklin clenched his fists in the long sleeves of his fur robe and beads of sweat littered his face while his eyes exhibited disbelief. ‘Impossible! These fluctuations of mist energy are not possible within the first realm regardless of the mist refinement technique!’

Zetsa did not have the natural affinity to the Radical Fiery Icy Provocation Qi refining technique; therefore she struggled to overcome her deficiencies with years of bitter and rigorous training, not to progress as a Mist User, but to comprehend the technique she practiced. All of this was just so she could reach her current accomplishment in the Qi and mist refinement technique that her Master taught her and in the span of time that he dictated.

As for the “good” and the “bad”… The drawback was Zetsa being stuck in the first realm for longer than she had to, if she otherwise trained in a more suitable mist refinement technique. But, the advantage afforded her mist energy and mist channels peerless foundation that would profoundly transform her dantian when she will cross to the second realm.

Gaklin was astonished from Zetsa’s exploits that even affected her body, but that was all. In his heart he believed that once he would change to his animalistic form, Zetsa will not be able to keep up with him and it would be his choice, if to withdraw before Raroen’s return, or stay to cripple Zetsa and bring her to the tribe leader.

Zetsa’s response to his previous patronizing query still vibrated in the air, and after considering his choices, Gaklin’s brows knitted and his thin lips stretched backward, showing his human form’s sharp fangs.

“Incompetent woman!” Gaklin retreated several steps and as Zetsa finished summoning the two extremes in her mist energy, he transformed back to his yellow fox form with his fur robe tied to one of his tails.

WHOOSH!

Once their preparations were complete, Zetsa and Gaklin simultaneously turned into two blurs, aiming to strike before the other.

Azure aura shone and fox claws sliced toward Zetsa’s abdomen.

CRACKLE!

Zetsa bent her legs and the claws tore through her shirt and scratched at a thin and flexible, yet very durable layer of ice that covered her skin.

Three long white scratch marks appeared on Zetsa’s chest. Gaklin felt the tough surface that his claws failed to penetrate and bad premonition filled his heart.

‘If her attack is strong as her defense…!’

WHOOSH!

Gaklin’s aura burst as he utilized all his strength to avoid Zetsa’s accumulating attack.

WHOOSH!

Zetsa shot forward after him through the dense vegetation, to a meadow that stretched out to dozens of kilometers.

Killing intent reflected in her eyes. The marks on her chest already vanished, but the painful sensation lingered. Her transformation was not perfect and only enchanted her external traits. If she moved slower and Gaklin’s claws hit her lower stomach, even if he failed to penetrate it, her internals would have still suffered greatly.

“You can’t escape!” Zetsa roared. She did not predict Gaklin’s nimbleness when she previously intended to collide with him. Her fists held up her mist energy, not wishing to miss in the confrontation, she halted to usage of her mist energy and changed her technique before unleashing it.

Seeing that he cannot lose Zetsa despite his innate speed, Gaklin cursed her inwardly. ‘She was hiding her true ability!’ The target that he considered as his prey turned out to be more formidable than he anticipated. ‘What’s up with this human woman? How many profound techniques does she has?!’ He realized that Zetsa was keeping up with him by exhausting a movement technique.

“First Hoof!” Zetsa murmured. She opened her left palm and icy ray of light shot from it, surpassing her and Gaklin’s speed.

Gaklin sensed his back and tails tingling. ‘Not good!’ It was too late to escape. His mist energy surged to his six tails and they all squirmed defensively.

Clenching her left thumb, Zetsa called deeply. “Thrust!”

The icy ray of light converted to a huge icy stag’s hoofs that struck against Gaklin’s tails.

BOOM!

Four of Gaklin’s tails split open and blood sprout on the ground. Gaklin groaned in pain. That was it for him. He wanted to end this fight and escape. This human girl he looked down on was still not an equal to him in his opinion, but she had too many scary techniques that his tribe’s heritage could not compete with.

Knowing who her Master is, he cursed him even more.

“Mm?!” From to collision of the icy hoof with his tails to the outcome and Gaklin decision to flee, only one breath had passed. Gaklin was about to retreat when he suddenly could not feel his hind legs.

Turning his head back, Gaklin discovered that frost covered his hind legs and the ground his stood on and held him in place.

“Eh!” The mist energy in Gaklin’s dantian sensed terrifying fluctuations of mist energy hovering above him and he raised his head up.

“Second Hoof!” As he could not move, Zetsa jumped twenty meters into the air and when a straight line formed between her and Gaklin on the ground, she murmured.

Her right palm opened and a fiery ray of light shot down at Gaklin.

“Stomp!”

A flaming hoof converted from the fiery ray of light and rained at Gaklin stunned figure.

BOOM!

The explosive sound overwhelmed the sounds of breaking bones and crackling flames.

Zetsa landed, staggering one her feet. She was able to exceed Gaklin by so much only because she utilized her maximum ability.

The effect of cold and heat dispersed and her skin tone mostly returned to be olive. Only, due to her last attack, she felt as if her body was slightly burning and so some red was also apparent in her skin tone.

Before leaving the burnt figure of Gaklin and returning to Tularg, she used her mist energy to extinguish the fire from the meadow.

A glimpse at the approaching floating dragon was enough for the fifty two pursuers to first, halt, and then stumble backwards.

“Chaoyue! Chaoyue third level Core Master beast!” Some of the Basement Floor humans were trembling and calling in fear for their companion to help them decide what to do.

Not everyone knew the connection of Raroen to their targets, and so, some hopped that this is just a passing expert who show off his deep cultivation.

“Silver Horns Dragon Raroen”. In contrast to the human experts, the Core Masters of the beasts’ side were perfectly aware of the identity of the gigantic dragon.

“Everyone, this is a high class target of our tribes’ leaders”. A man in skin cloths and long orange hair informed everyone while paying special attention to the Basement Floor humans. This man was one of the Core Master beasts in his human form, one of the top three among the original fifty three.

“Sajar Nam”, a bald burly man in wearing a black suit, turned to the orange hair human form beast. “Our contract mentioned only peak first level Core Master or below!”

“Nash, organize your humans if you wish for your group to keep your lives. In a moment, Raroen will arrive and by then what was agreed in the contract won’t matter!”

Upon listening to the two’s conversation, the direness of their situation became clear to everyone among the fifty two, be it Core Master or Mist Lords.

“Everyone, talks won’t help us against this target! Concentrate your attacks on the same place to take him down; the weakest spot on the animalistic form of the Silverhorned tribe is in the scales between their lower jaw and neck!” Sajar Nam described calmly to keep the others in line. As for the other two experts who were on the same level as his, he counted on them to survey the hired experts and fellow tribesmen and stop any attempt to flee.

Decelerating above the group of fifty two pursuers, Raroen’s voice resonated in Zax’s head.

“Watch carefully, little brother Zax”. As he spoke, azure mist energy wrapped around Zax and lifted him from Raroen back to a fixed spot midair.

Unable to nudge even a figure or even speak, Zax could not help but comply with Raroen. ‘Big brother Raroen not even going to let me participate in the fight…’ He was a bit disappointed.

Zax resented anyone who sought his life. Even if not real graveness has been done, the experts below were not just his big sister’s Master’s enemies, but his Master’s enemies, too.

Still, watching Raroen descend, changing to his humanoid form, arouse an excited feeling in Zax heart. After his enlightenment, Zax felt like his eyes were opened. His mind was in a state of famish, yearning to comprehend and evolve. And by spectating at the coming fight of Raroen and the fifty two experts, he was unknowingly going to nourish it and build up on the insights he gain from the enlightenment.

Like an arrow head splitting the wind, a green silhouette cut through the air and crushed in the midst of bewildered experts.

Raroen in his humanoid form appeared standing in a small crater of his creating and the crumpled figure of the Mist Lord he stepped on.

More of half of the remaining fifty one experts stared slack jawed, pondering now where to attack when their target changed form.

“Fools! He is a lot weaker now in his humanoid form, just combine you long range attacks!” Sajar Nam exclaimed. Immediately after, his human form transformed to an orange eagle owl with wings span of eleven meters.

Following Sajar Nam, every beast among the fifty one experts transformed to his or her animalistic form. In an instant, thirty one various beasts, along with twenty humans, encircled Raroen.

Eagle owls, yellow foxes, three horns bulls and large canines let loose their auras of golden and azure colors.

Up in the sky of the beasts’ cave, Zax furrowed when he saw the canines. ‘They are from big brother Carl’s tribe…’ Only one canine was in the Core Master realm, and his animalistic form was all the more similar to Carl’s and captain Kane.

He stopped paying heed to the canines when Raroen’s voice reached to his mind. “Don’t miss any of my movements”.

Finished speaking, Raroen made the first move and charged first at one of the six three horns bull Core Masters.

“Uoo!” The three horns bull mooed. His three horns shone with his concentrated mist energy and their ivory color changed to dark blue.

BANG!

Raroen effortlessly and redirected the three horns bull’s horns attack to the ground.

SWHOOSH!

He beheaded the bull with a swift arched movement of his hand, with pure body strength.

A first level Core Master three horns bull was not so simple for even a third level Core Master to behead it without using the superior mist energy. The strongest part of the three horns bulls was the neck, second were the three horns and third was the skull. Nevertheless, in his humanoid form, Raroen was able to chop his head from the neck as if his hand was passing through water.

Instantaneous panic began to spread around the remaining fifty, even the three strongest.

“Dammit with you, Sajar Nam! Damn your arrogance! We should have dispersed the moment Raroen showed himself!” A three horns bull, a bit larger than the one Raroen decapitated and one of the three strongest experts, cursed and glared at Sajar Nam.

“Thi-This… without even using his mist energy…” Sajar Nam’s head spun. He actually made the same mistake as Gaklin, only his was inexcusable since from the very beginning he knew that Raroen’s status and level of cultivation far surpassed theirs. Then again, when Raroen appeared, their only options were to either run away, which would still results with the majority of them dying, or jointly attack him in hopes of reaching a standstill with the advantage of their numbers.

“Sunflower retreat!” Nash called to the other nineteen Basement Floor humans. The twenty humans released their aura and utilized their mist energy to execute their personal movement techniques in order to escape to different directions.

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“The humans abandoning us!” The weaker of the beasts noticed and hate bubbled inside them.

“Raroen will hunt only us if the humans will leave! We can’t beat him, run, everyone!” The three horns bull who rebuked Sajar Nam ordered.

Zax watched as the fifty made their mind and turned their back to the menacing Raroen and wanted to ask to this new Martial brother of his to stop standing idly and at least kill as many enemies as he can.

Raroen, however, looked unruffled and did not respond as Zax wanted him to or Sajar Nam thought that he would in the case of them running away.

With a gratified smile, Raroen finally released his azure aura. He bent on one knee and cupped his hands in the soil.

CRACK!

CRACK!

CRACK!

CRACK!

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Tremors passed in the earth. In a circular motion, fissures began to spread in the earth, and in a few breaths they reached farther than any of the grounded escapees.

FRURURU!

A wall of azure membrane erupted from the earth, surrounding all the escape routes and kept rising up to form a dome.

The eagle owls, the only ones who could and fled through the air, were indifferent toward the grim fate of the grounded beasts and humans, up until the rapid growth of the membrane surpassed their flying speed and the dome was near completion.

WHOOSH!

Two of the eagle owls were Core Masters with greater speed than their accompanying tribesmen. The increased their speed to the utmost of their powers, but the speed of the membrane growth was akin to Raroen’s flying speed.

VUM!

A low sound echoed when the two eagle owls slammed against the complete dome. Other than emitting the sound, the dome did not react.

Raroen pupils contracted as he looked above at the useless attempt of the eagle owls the break the azure dome.

Seeing that his sealing formation worked, he first let out a chuckle. Everything worked as he planned. To kill every one of his Master’s enemies, he had to confine them to one place, otherwise, even he will not be fast enough to prevent everyone from escaping.

He landed in the center of their group, and killed the nearest to him and one of their strongest Core Masters with a show of force to help them realize their chances against him.

As he hoped, to escape they, the remaining fifty scattered with some flying away. That was precisely what he wanted. If they aimed their attack at the same spot, his sealing formation would have break easily, but now, with their egocentric strategy of fleeting, much like the dome, their fate are sealed.

As for escaping by digging, when the dome closed it became too late.

“Grab the boy!” Sajar Nam madly screamed at his group of eagle owls. Failing to create a breach in the dome, he understood that unless he will come up with a way, Raroen will kill them.

WHOOSH!

The other members of his tribe were not stupid and figured his intention to trader their lives for the boy’s.

‘Raroen…’ Since Zax was within the dome, he could perfectly see the group of eagle owls speeding to snatch him with their talons. If them trying to grab him was the only problem, than Zax would not have cared, but being confined by Raroen’s mist energy he was basically a piece of meat, waiting for the eagle owls to do as they wished.

BOOM!

Raroen kicked the ground and like a streak of green and a bit of purple, jumped toward the leading eagle owls.

BOOM!

BOOM!

BOOM!

Constant explosions resonated accelerated.

‘Kinetic Force!’ Zax wanted to yell, but was unable to make a sound. “Raroen is using the Kinetic Force!”

Sajar Nam was less than two meters form Zax, his beak large enough to bite off his head.

WHOOSH!

With his back turned to Zax, Raroen came between him and Sajar Nam.

BOOM!

Throwing a punch forward, Raroen’s fist connected with Sajar Nam’s head and utterly destroyed it.

‘Watch’. The one word kept reverberating in Zax head.

Like a kid who was about to get the toy he dreamed about, Zax obeyed with excitement oozing from him. He picked up something when Raroen punched Sajar Nam, something that was missing from his own usage of Kinetic Force, and this small discovery, which is still did not completely fathom, somewhat felt like the greatest present he ever received!

Seeing Sajar Nam’s demise, the other eagle owls promptly deviated in shock.

BOOM!

With only his body’s strength and Kinetic Force, Raroen chased after them. Several punches and kicks later, the fifty pursuers reduced to forty one.

Hearing the explosive strike of Raroen and watching as one after the other eagle owls fell with mutilated bodies, the grounded escapees lost their ounce of remaining hopes of staying alive.

“This job was supposed to be easy…” The Basement Floor humans whined.

“It’s all because of the accursed tribe and the greediness of the tribes’ leaders and elders!” The beasts blamed.

At first, they were confident fifty three. Now, they are disheartened forty one. Soon, will all be dead.

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