Chapter 86 – Main Branch

Ayer’s Enforcer Team left almost immediately after gearing up early in the morning, with the captured murderess in tow. Micheal sat in the background for most of the action, letting Ayer handle the required communications and preparations.

Just like the Godfather Organization, the Angels Arcadia had their own form of long-distance communication networking. While they didn’t have a sweeping and closed network that anyone could access, they did have a type of sector-wide Communication Array.

The Communication Array was hooked up to a series of other relays that allowed its range to expand to the entire territory of the Angels Arcadia. It was, essentially, like a large satellite that provided coverage, but operating from the ground, or something along those lines. Micheal was unsure on the specifics.

The only way to access this network, however, required a functioning Emblem with the correct permissions.

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‘Normally, an Emissary’s Emblem would grant full access.’ He sighed ruefully. His Emblem was fake, at its core, and he wasn’t exactly a pro-hacker. He had no idea how to re-create the function to access the Arcadia Network.

‘Still, letting them handle everything is fine for now. When push comes to shove, I’ll deal with it in the future.’ He put the thought to the side for now. There was nothing he could do to change it without exposing himself, he would handle any issues when the time came.

“Sir, we’re ready to head out! I’ve sent our report ahead to the Iron Eye Branch.” Ayer came up to him right before they left, his voice full of respect. The Enforcer had reported their movements ahead, mentioning that a powerful Emissary was accompanying him.

‘I will eventually be exposed as a fake… but it should take quite a bit.’ He thought, rubbing his thumb against his finger as he thought over Ayer’s words briefly.

‘As long as I don’t commit any major crimes, reporting my whereabouts will be quite low priority. I should have at least a month before I get exposed, plenty of time to act.’ The thought was one he’d reached a conclusion on earlier, giving him the confidence to move forward with his plans.

Everything depended on him remaining undetected, for now.

If he got caught in his infiltration plan before he was done… all of his plans would take a nosedive and he would have to adapt on the spot.

‘However, I need to get in with the higher-ups of Arcadia, at least high enough that I can find intel on where my target is. I’ll need to create a bigger impression of myself to Ayer and his men.’ He frowned.

‘Even the best plans will require risks. I’m running on limited time and my body’s state is only barely edging up towards the higher end of C Class, though I’ll break into the Peak of Mortal Tier Ki Cultivation tonight.’ He sighed.

‘Whatever. I’ll make it work.’ The longer he took to take action, the more and more innocents would die, and the greater chance the Nightrunners would begin their vast slaughtering plan. He needed to act now, even if it made things harder.

They were currently all standing atop the rooftop of the re-supply station. The sunlight gleamed in at a slant, the morning light dazzling the slowly filling rooftop. Micheal had headed up top as he saw Ayer’s men finish their preparations, wanting some time for himself.

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In the background, Ayer’s men all filed out onto the roof, armed to the teeth. They moved as a cohesive unit, as one, their training showing through. While the apocalypse may have only started a few years ago, the people that lived through it adapted at a remarkable rate.

“Acceptable.” Micheal turned and gave a slight nod,

“Let’s move out.”

Just like that, they set off traveling across the Main Cluster.

Ayer and his men were very familiar with this area. They took a direct route, jogging through dozens of skyscrapers with impunity.

In that time, Micheal got to see a little slice of the life of the Main Cluster.

He saw at least 8 distinct teams of people purposefully drawing Morenkai towards them on various skyscraper roofs. They would usually try to limit the number of Morenkai they would draw to not get overwhelmed, each team working carefully. The unsettling sight of Morenkai swarming up a skyscraper wasn’t a rare sight here at all.

‘It’s just like I remembered.’ He thought with a sigh.

The people in the Main Cluster typically were all more prepared, determined, and stronger than those in the side Clusters. It took a certain level of commitment to cross the Great Bridge, not just everyone could bring themselves to do it.

Of those 8 teams, at least 3 of them functioned with unique powers. One was a team of Lesser Vampire Types humans, using some type of red colored Artifact claws to tear the Morenkai to pieces. One was a team of humans dressed in sets of grey, plate armor acting like knights out of a story, slaying Morenkai left and right with greatswords. The last team was a group of women dressed in tight leather outfits, sending out small blobs of darkness that wrapped around the Morenkai, restricting their movement while they came up behind and stabbed them.

‘Tens of thousands of small teams exist, apart from the Big 3. Even the small teams can rarely have A Rankers and uncommonly have B Rankers among them. The Main Cluster is home to a decent number of experts.’ He felt his heart lift slightly. Seeing how strong humanity was and knowing how much stronger he could help make them was a good feeling.

‘But these are only the teams on the surface.’ He nodded.

While he might’ve seen 8 distinct, powerful teams duking it out with Morenkai so far, there were still many more people that hid in the refuge of the skyscrapers, hunting only when they had to.

‘When an Abnormal appears, it will take a huge amount of effort from a small team to safely take it down. Stronger Abnormals are bound to appear here in the Main Cluster, meaning the overt hunting methods used by those 8 teams can only work for teams that are very confident in their strength.’

‘And if a Monster Class Morenkai appears…’ He shook his head.

Humanity was both strong and weak. It was a conundrum, but he would fix that, one step at a time.

Ayer’s men handled any stray Morenkai that attacked them. After crossing several dozen skyscrapers, they were attacked 11 times by shambling Morenkai. Such a number of attacks would’ve been extreme in the side Clusters, but was considered normal in the Main Cluster, where Morenkai thronged.

At one point, they were also attacked by an Abnormal.

They were crossing over a rickety rope bridge when it happened.

A blue-skinned Morenkai shambled into view, coming out of an entry-shed atop the skyscraper they were moving towards. The moment it appeared, it instantly turned and zeroed in on Ayer and his team. The freakish creature broke out into a sprint, its feet smashing down hard as it thundered toward them.

The moment Micheal saw it, he instantly made a snap judgement.

‘This is a perfect opportunity.’

“Woah! We’ve got an Abnormal!” One of the men called out, his voice echoing.

“Maintain your balance, Kyle get to the front! Deploy the Tank Shield! Don’t let it knock you off!” Ayer immediately took command as he saw it, issuing orders.

“We will focus fire on it and slowly retreat off the bridge! Do not put yourself at risk!” Ayer’s men immediately reacted, bringing weapons and shields to bear as they prepared for combat. The momentum of the group stalled as they stopped moving forward, and began to fall back.

They were forced to move single file along the bridge due to its shaky and small nature. As a result, the Enforcer Team was spread out loosely and unable to create any sort of solid formation. They had found themselves in a rather precarious position as a result.

“I’ll handle it.” Micheal’s words cut through the chaos like a knife, his cool voice full of dark authority. He was standing near the rear of the group, behind most of the others.

When he spoke aloud, half the members turned to look at him in confusion. It wasn’t exactly easy to maneuver on the bridge and he would have to move past all of them, by which point the Abnormal would’ve already arrived.

In a single motion, Micheal bent his knees slightly and jumped up into the air.

WHOOSH

His body flew up several meters, far higher than looked natural. Beneath his feet, a set of dimly glowing Life Orbs floated and then vanished before anyone saw them. He used them to propel himself upward, absorbing them back in as soon as he gained enough momentum while using his Cloud Stepping Shoes to make a few minor adjustments.

It took him only a split second to rush past overhead, landing on the rickety rope bridge in one large pounce, his right hand resting on his Spatial Ring.

“What?!”

“Huh?!”

“How-?!”

The unnatural looking jump took everyone by surprise, all of them looking at ‘Emissary Heron’ in shock. Such movements looked physically impossible, yet he made them almost too casually.

By this point, the sprinting blue-skinned Abnormal had almost reached them. The creature held nothing back as it threw itself forward, its body shivering. It was easily a meter taller than Micheal, with lanky, sinewy arms that blurred as they lashed at his head.

“Careful!”

“Shoot it righ-“

“Wait! Don’t shoot the Emissary!”

Confusion swarmed across the Enforcer Team as Micheal’s actions threw them into disarray. They all watched helplessly as the Abnormal Morenkai’s attack was unleashed, unable to take any action in time.

Instead of advancing forward or trying to dodge, Micheal did something completely unexpected.

He fell backwards, as if he had tripped.

The movement looked incredibly casual and was so smooth, most of the onlookers blinked, not believing their eyes.

The abrupt fall apparently even took the Abnormal Morenkai by surprise, causing both of its sinewy arms to miss, lashing through the air where Micheal’s chest had been just a scant moment ago.

The momentum of the Abnormal was not lessened as it continued to barrel forward, even if its main attack missed.

As it charged at Micheal, Micheal’s abrupt fall came to an even more abrupt end.

From the perspective of Ayer’s Enforcer Team and the Morenkai, it was as if Micheal had forcibly stopped falling in mid-air, his entire body freezing up impossibly.

Hidden beneath the suit he was wearing, 3 Life Orbs were currently supporting his back and frame. He had the Ability to emit his Life Orbs past his clothes, but he could also cause them to form under them.

Those three Life Orbs abruptly shot upward.

Micheal’s body flew upward with them, bouncing back from falling in mid-air in an instant. Once again, the unnatural reversal looked inhuman to the onlookers behind him.

At the same time, two Kouki Daggers appeared, one in either hand as he let go of his Spatial Ring. He held the daggers in a secretive manner, hiding them in his palms.

Both of his arms blurred as he slammed the two daggers forward, coating them in a layer of Sword Energy and taking the Abnormal Morenkai by complete surprise. By the time it realized that Micheal had bounced back upwards, it was already too late.

SHKK

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—- Points Obtained —-

Points: 156

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Micheal turned his body to the side as the Abnormal’s body knocked into him. He shifted most of the impact away from him, causing it to fly forward and crash into one of the Enforcer Team members, a bulky man that was wielding a large, steel shield.

“Watch o…” A hurried shout trailed off as everyone stared at the Abnormal that had slammed into the leading man.

It wasn’t moving. In fact, after it collided with the first team member, its body tumbled down and collapsed, lying still.

A dead silence took over the Enforcer Team as they all got a good look at the blue-skinned Abnormal.

Its head was no longer attached to its body.

Slowly, they all stared and looked back at Micheal in complete shock and awe.

Lying on the ground near him was a blue-skinned Abnormal head, black blood pooling out of it and dripping off the edge of the rope bridge. Micheal stood cooly over it, his hands empty as he nonchalantly wiped a drop of Morenkai blood from his shoulder.

“My God…”

“He ripped its head off with his bare hands…”

“What the f**k…”

The entire Enforcer Team was stupefied. Even Enforcer Ayer, a strong B Ranker that could face off against an Abnormal one on one and win, was amazed.

‘What the hell… He’s got to at least be an A Ranker, and a strong one on the Main Cluster Ranking List. Thank God we didn’t offend him…’ Ayer’s face paled as he looked at Micheal, making the decision then and there to show the Emissary the maximum amount of respect.

‘When we get back to base, I’ll be sure to introduce him to the Commander…’

In terms of power, Micheal was far from a true-blue A Ranker. His physical stats were far lower, and the number of Abilities he held much smaller. Most A Rankers had a diverse range of Abilities that boosted them in multiple ways, especially A Rankers in the Main Cluster. Micheal depended on his experience and exquisite skill, as well as the trump cards he held in store.

While he couldn’t match an A Ranker outright, he could still make it look like he was one and, with enough preparation, take out multiple A Rankers like he did with the Black Flag Pirates.

“It’s handled. Let’s keep moving.” Micheal’s voice spread out as he turned around, moving ahead confidently. His every step gave off the aura of a profound expert, something that wasn’t far from the truth given his future experience.

After exchanging awed glances, the Enforcer Team quickly followed, and their journey continued…

.. .. .. .. .. ..

Some amount of time later…

In front of Micheal was an enormous skyscraper, one that took up the space of 4 regular skyscrapers and was at least 20 meters taller than the surrounding skyscrapers. A huge, behemoth of a skyscraper, far larger than normal ones on Earth.

It was a Tower.

Atop the Tower, more than two dozen figures could be seen overlooking the four bridges, armed to the teeth with various weapons, powerful Rankers of considerable strength. This elite guard troop was far stronger than any other guarding force he’d seen before. At the bare minimum, there were multiple B Rankers among the guards, and this was just the outside guarding force alone.

Shigun’s Stardust Godfather Organization Branch had used B Rankers as his elite subordinates. Here, B Rankers could be seen operating as mere outside guards. The full power of the Angels Arcadia was on display.

When he saw all of this, he smiled slightly.

He’d arrived at the headquarters of one of the 64 Main Branches of the Angels Arcadia, the Iron Eye Branch.

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