Unaware that they had been noticed, the presences in the surrounding area remained hidden even after Vahn entered a combat state. Vahn turned his head and saw two men behind him as a group of three appeared at the opposite end of the alley. Seeing their predatory eyes and attempts to appear intimidating, Vahn had no illusions that the men weren’t enemies. He transformed into his Báihǔ form and the men started laughing as the largest enemy in front of Vahn crossed his arms with an evil grin on his face.
The man was around 180cm tall and looked to weight around 230lbs of pure muscle. He had brown hair and purple eyes and his entire body was covered in battle scars. He looked at Vahn like he was appraising a piece of meat in the market and opened his mouth and said without a humorous tone, “So, this is the famou-” Before the man could finish speaking, Vahn had leaned forward and rapidly closed the distance and tried to sink his claws into the man’s stomach.
Unprepared for the sudden attack, the man barely managed to cross his arms to receive Vahn’s blow. He could feel the bones of his body creak and he was sent back several meters before he was able to regain his footing. He had a grim expression on his face as he prepared to threaten Vahn, but the words got stuck in his throat when he saw the sight in front of him.
After failing to incapacitate their leader, Vahn immediately attacked the two men that had been at the scarred man’s sides. They were also caught unprepared by his sudden attack as Vahn gripped their wrists and crushed the bones as he twisted his body and slammed them into the walls opposite of where they previously stood. Vahn then crouched low and stared at the man that had blocked his previous blow with a cold and emotionless look on his face.
The scarred man immediately realized that Vahn wasn’t the easy mark they had thought, but didn’t lose his confidence as he unsheathed a knife and got into the stance of a veteran knife-fighter. He held his left hand out and low in a loose position while holding the knife near his hip to allow for an optimal thrusting angle. Staring at the tiger-like boy in front of him, he displayed a somewhat crazy expression as he threatened, “You’ll pay for that, kid.”
At this point, the other two men at the opposite of the alleyway had closed the distance between Vahn with short metal clubs in their hands. Vahn scanned his vision over the two enemies before turning his attention towards the roof where there were three more enemy signatures. He had marked everyone on his map and could easily track their location within 300m from his current position. Satisfied with the result, Vahn smiled at the scarred man before disappearing from the spot when the two men had tried to attack the back of his head.
All three men’s eyes widened as the entered a cautious state, but they were still unable to respond to Vahn who had appeared from behind them. Even though he hadn’t mastered Shundo, his increased agility and perception in his Báihǔ form while having his domain active allowed him to cover short distances in an instant. The moment they tried to attack him, Vahn used Shundo and disappeared through the small gap between their bodies and used his superheated claws to reach forward and stab into the spines of the two assailants. They immediately dropped to the ground paralyzed and unable to even scream out from the intense pain.
Having dealt with four of the thirteen enemies, Vahn turned his attention back to the scarred man who had been too afraid to move forward after watching another two of his companions fall in such a cruel manner. Even though he was a Level 3, he had absolutely no confidence in being able to outmaneuver Vahn given the speed he had displayed. As soon as Vahn leaned forward slightly, he shouted out, “Don’t f****** move another step unless you want those two cat bitches to suffer!”
The moment Vahn heard the man’s words, his mind blanked and the cold feeling in his mind reaching an absolute low. Seeing Vahn’s ‘hesitation’, the man showed a cruel smile as his confidence began to return. However, before he could even utter another word he felt Vahn’s killing intent lock onto him as the burst of a golden aura spread throughout the area. Without being able to react in the slightest, the man felt a powerful impact through his back as he saw a resplendent golden chain pierce through his body and penetrate into the ground.
After being pierced by [Enkidu], the man vomited blood and nearly collapsed forward but his body was being held up by the perfectly rigid chain. He turned his head to find the source of the unexpected attack and saw golden ripples in mid-air less than a meter behind his back. Gritting his teeth, the man took a deep breath and shouted, “Beat this mother f***** to death!!”
The scarred man had a crazy look in his eyes as he held onto the chain penetrating through his gut and tried to forcibly remove it. He imaged that, any second now, Vahn would be assailed by the rest of his comrades and they would be able to get their revenge before forcing him to listen to their demands. However, today didn’t seem like the scarred man’s day, since the chain in his stomach seemed indestructible. He couldn’t even make it wiggle a single millimeter and no matter how much time passed, the allies that he had called out for never showed up.
Vahn immediately closed the distance to the man and placed his red-hot hand on the man’s chest and burned a hole clear through the fabric of his clothes before leaving a burned palm print deep into his flesh. Even though there were pedestrians in the area, most of them had run away while some brave ones had even left to retrieve the guards. Vahn paid them no mind as he stared coldly into the eyes of the man and asked, “What…did…you…do?”
Even though he had just screamed out like a pig when Vahn burned him, the man still had a crazy smile on his face as he spat a mouthful of blood toward Vahn which evaporated before it got anywhere near him. He said in a low and cruel voice, “After you pulled this s***…expect them to suffer…I hope you’re satisfied!!!”
All the man got for his troubles was Vahn reaching forward with his index finger before planting it into the man’s deep purple eye. The scarred man squealed in a pig being slaughtered as he began cursing out and yelling, “WHERE THE F*** IS EVERYONE!?” So much time had passed, but none of his companions had shown up. He was completely unaware that Vahn had detected the men with his domain and had also impaled each of them with one of the chains. Though it took a major tole on his energy usage to summon them, keeping them out cost next to no energy. Because of this, Vahn was able to pin all nine of the remaining men for later questioning.
Vahn explained in a cold voice, “Tell me what you wanted to accomplish here unless you want to lose your other eye.” Finishing his words, Vahn lifted his index finger that radiated a fierce heat and pointed toward the last eye of the scarred man. As the finger inched ever closer, the man finally couldn’t bear the pain and suspense he was experiencing as he groaned through bloodied teeth, “They’re our hostages…if you want to see them…you’ll do as we say…”
Vahn’s brows furrowed a bit, but he didn’t stop his finger as he asked in a cold tone, “Who sent you? Why?” Since his finger wasn’t far from the man’s face, he was trying to arch his body back to avoid the approaching finger. Each of his movements made the wound in his stomach worse as the man vomited a second mouthful of blood. He gave Vahn a fierce look and said, “If you don’t..f****** RELEASE ME…expect them to die!”
Unimpressed by the man’s threat, Vahn swiped his hand in a blurred motion that sent the right hand of the man, where he was hiding his knife, flying through the air. The scarred man screamed out again and felt like he was about to pass out from shock and blood loss. Vahn noticed this as well and dispelled the heat from his palm and began closing the man’s wounds without removing [Enkidu] from his stomach. It nothing else, it would buy Vahn a few more minutes to get the answers he wanted.
Vahn warned in a cold and emotionless manner, “I will ask you one last time before I decide you know nothing and move on to the other nine men that I captured. I’m certain one of them will be willing to answer my questions.” He then absorbed fire elements into his hand before preparing to blind the scarred man’s second eye.
After hearing Vahn claim to have captured the nine hidden people in the surroundings, the man finally became truly afraid of the young boy before him. He was far crueler and resolute than any of them had expected before executing this operation. Given that his mind was also being suppressed by the effects of [Will of the Emperor], he could no longer resist the coercive nature of Vahn’s threats.
Seeing that the man had broken down into tears and started narrating the events that had transpired, Vahn waited patiently for him to explain the situation. The more he heard, the angrier he got, but Vahn’s expression didn’t change in the slightest. The only thing he could feel in his mind was a shockingly cold sensation that forcibly kept his mind clear and focused.
According to the scarred man, who Vahn learned was called Macker, they had been keeping track of his movements ever since he left his house on Saturday. Since Vahn had dropped Tina off before leaving, they assumed she was someone important and confirmed their assumption when Vahn had returned in the evening. With such an easy mark like a mother and her daughter, the man just had to wait for Vahn to leave again before capturing the two. Even though Milan resisted, since she was a Level 3, they quickly forced her to concede after they captured Tina.
From there, they trashed the Hearths Embrace and set fire to it before kidnapping the two girls and keeping them in a safe house nearby. They were planning on moving the two girls in the evening and intended to use them as barter for forcing Vahn to take a vow. Macker claimed to be unaware of the greater plan even after Vahn broke several of his fingers while watching the changes in his aura. After that, Vahn asked for the location of the safe house but Macker refused to tell him unless he made an oath to let him live.
In response to his request, Vahn pulled out one of the nondescript black swords that he had forged inside the orb. It had a simple name, , and was part of the mass-produced series of blades Vahn had forged recently. At this point, the series had grown to  and Vahn decided it was more than the man deserved as he stared in disgust at the head that he had just sent flying through the air. With his black aura and the fact that he had kidnapped Milan and Tina in order to blackmail him, Vahn had little patience for the scumbag’s request. Even though he obtained a bit of negative karma for torturing the information out of him, giving him a merciful death had more than made up for it.
Vahn simultaneously removed [Enkidu] from the other eight men before retrieving their bodies and healing their wounds to an extent where they would not die from blood loss. It wasn’t long before the City guards showed up and tried to surround Vahn, but he revealed his relation to the Hephaestus and Loki Familia and explained the details behind the ambush. Though they wanted to take him in for questioning, Vahn refused and gave them each cold looks before telling them to look for him after contacting Hephaestus. Every minute he wasted dealing with their b******* would be another minute Milan and Tina weren’t safe.
The guards wanted to detain him regardless so Vahn just disappeared from the location using Shundo before they could even react. Even if it caused him problems later, Vahn wasn’t going to waste time trying to explain the situation even further. He had already informed the guards of the kidnapping and burning of the Hearths Embrace, and they could investigate themselves later. Vahn wasn’t going to wait idly by for the results of their investigation and jumped to a nearby roof before finding a safe spot and entering the orb.
(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Author-Style, Cliff Summoning Jutsu!’,’Vahn Gives No F****’,’Unstoppable [Enkidu]’)
(A/N: As a bit of clarification, the $640 is the amount that needs to clear at the end of the month, not the amount that is displayed on the ******* xD. I’ll increase the number of chapters I release starting Monday, but I still hope there are more people willing to support me in the future <3)