Chapter 30:

Volume 2, Chapter 6-2: Unrelenting Rage

Heroes of the Past

Stacia glared at Zhuyu with vitriol. The man ignored it. I noticed bandages wrapped around his left fingers. Had he injured them during training? A golden glow emanated from Stacia. Zhuyu’s expression shifted to one of annoyance. He ran through his hair with his left hand, giving a sigh.Bookmark here

“What’s going on?” I asked Kisai.Bookmark here

“Not sure. Her powers are different than her sister’s. It looks like a barrier of some kind,” Kisai replied.Bookmark here

“How is that dangerous?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Zhuyu will definitely get his ass kicked. His zero vector power is useless against Stacia,” Kisai answered.Bookmark here

“I don’t really understand,” I remarked.Bookmark here

Stacia gave a cocky smile, once the glow from her body subsided. Zhuyu remained stationary, a thoughtful expression on his face. Stacia snapped her fingers, generating a loud pop. Zhuyu rolled on the ground, clutching his right arm.Bookmark here

“You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for this. I trained to hone this power, after hearing about my sister’s loss to you,” Stacia said, snapping her fingers again.Bookmark here

“I can’t keep dodging your attacks, so I’ll have to go on the offensive, for once,” Zhuyu said, dashing to his left.Bookmark here

“That’s a pretty good idea, but it won’t be enough,” Shan remarked.Bookmark here

“I don’t get it. Isn’t he tiring himself out?” I asked Shan, watching Zhuyu run in a random pattern.Bookmark here

“Oh, he’s trying his best to counter her. Stacia’s power appears to rely on disruption of molecules in the air. When Long runs, it throws off her timing, and disrupts the air. She has to readjust, but Long can’t do it forever,” Shan explained.Bookmark here

“Kind of logical, even for magic powers,” I noted.Bookmark here

“Where’s your sword? Stop stalling and use it already! Do you think I’m not good enough?” Stacia demanded.Bookmark here

“I don’t have those powers anymore,” Zhuyu revealed.Bookmark here

His breathing grew sporadic. He clutched his right arm, gritting his teeth. Zhuyu fell to the ground, after consecutive pops. A line of blood trickled down his face, hitting the ground.Bookmark here

“This isn’t fair. This isn’t what I wanted! You lied!” Stacia accused him.Bookmark here

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, but you need to calm down. You won’t be able to control your powers,” Zhuyu warned, coughing up blood.Bookmark here

He wiped it away with his palm. Stacia kept snapping her fingers, paying no attention to Zhuyu’s suggestion. Kyoi finally made her move, standing in front of Zhuyu, with a lopsided smile and her twin swords.Bookmark here

“Alright, you’ve had your fun. It’s my turn now,” Kyoi declared.Bookmark here

“You’re in my way! Get away from him!” Stacia screeched, staring down Kyoi.Bookmark here

Kyoi only smirked in response, daring the woman to do something. I looked around, expecting someone to step in, but no one moved. Zhuyu coughed up more blood, but no one took any action. Were they all heartless humans, devoid of emotion?Bookmark here

Kyoi swung her left blade downward. Tess finally interrupted the dangerous situation. Stacia gave Tess a scornful look, snapping her fingers once more. Tess clicked her tongue and chains burst out from the ground. They wrapped around Stacia, squeezing her. Stacia struggled, letting out a stream of curses at Tess.Bookmark here

“Stacia, calm yourself. Your sister would be ashamed,” Tess said.Bookmark here

“As if you know anything! Damn you, Gatekeeper, don’t think you’ve bested me!” Stacia shouted.Bookmark here

“Lilith, take care of your own,” Tess said, looking over her.Bookmark here

“I’ll make sure to reprimand her,” Lilith responded.Bookmark here

Tess released Stacia from the golden chains. Stacia looked at Lilith and then charged at Zhuyu. The artificial dimension shut down and a woman walked through the front door.Bookmark here

She grabbed Stacia, throwing her down to the ground, glancing at Lilith. Lilith acknowledged the newcomer with a nod.Bookmark here

“Your sister beat me,” Zhuyu said.Bookmark here

“Yes, but not with you at full power. She has potential. You’re out of shape, Long,” the woman remarked.Bookmark here

“Yeah, looks like I’ll have to try harder. Kaze, how did you know about this?” Zhuyu asked.Bookmark here

“Tess texted me earlier. Your foresight is good as ever,” the woman complimented Tess.Bookmark here

“Tomo, this is Ruiqi Kaze, Stacia’s older sister. She was the former second-in-command of Lilith’s team,” Tess introduced.Bookmark here

“You’re in a tough position, Tomo Yuki. I apologize on behalf of my little sister,” Ruiqi said, giving me a smile.Bookmark here

“I guess you heard about me from Tess,” I said.Bookmark here

“I’m still in contact with Tess, despite not being a hero anymore. I heard about the death of your friend, you have my condolences,” Ruiqi said.Bookmark here

Lilith bent down, checking on Stacia. Ruiqi joined her, assisting the woman. Lionel glared at us, not doing anything. He restrained himself, probably out of respect for Ruiqi.Bookmark here

“Long, what happened to your left hand? Did Feng train you that hard?” Ruiqi inquired, grabbing Long’s hand.Bookmark here

“No, I cut my fingers learning how to cook the other day. I should be more careful,” Zhuyu replied, pulling his hand away from her.Bookmark here

“Let me take a look. You probably didn’t even bandage it properly,” Ruiqi demanded, refusing to let him get away.Bookmark here

“It’s fine, don’t worry about it,” Zhuyu declined.Bookmark here

“If I recall correctly, you still owe me a favor,” Ruiqi threatened.Bookmark here

“Fine, do what you want,” Zhuyu relented.Bookmark here

“Everyone, this wraps up the meeting. You can all head home,” Tess declared, turning off the television screen.Bookmark here

“Are we playing that game?” Shan asked Ichaival.Bookmark here

“No. I’m going to the gym, once you drive me back, so maybe later,” Ichaival responded.Bookmark here

“I guess you’re walking home,” Shan decided, heading towards the door.Bookmark here

“You can’t do that. I’ll just ask Long,” Ichaival countered, a triumphant smile on his face.Bookmark here

“Please, you think you can even approach him now? It’s Feng and Kaze. You can try, if you’re brave enough,” Shan pointed out.Bookmark here

“Well, Jin’s here too,” Ichaival said.Bookmark here

“Sorry, Darryl, I have work. Can’t give you a ride today,” Jin revealed.Bookmark here

“You’re out of options now, Darryl. You don’t have a choice when you get home,” Shan remarked.Bookmark here

“Alright, I was the one who suggested it,” Ichaival gave up.Bookmark here

“That’s what I’m talking about,” Shan said.Bookmark here

Everyone was pretty good friends. En and Shui spoke with each other, while Ruiqi inspected Zhuyu’s hand. Tess picked up her tablet from the table, walking over to me.Bookmark here

“Are you ready to go?” she asked.Bookmark here

“Yeah. Is it okay for you to leave before everyone else?” I asked, motioning toward Lilith.Bookmark here

“They can’t use their powers, and if they try anything, it’s all recorded,” Tess explained.Bookmark here

“Hey, Tess, I’ve been thinking. How come Lilith hates you guys so much? Did you do something to her?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Not in a direct way. It’s more of a Lilith only issue, but it applies to the ones she leads as well,” Tess responded.Bookmark here

“Lilith’s the leader, huh? If Ruiqi was the previous second-in-command, then was Lilith the leader too?” I asked.Bookmark here

“No, but Lilith was a member back then. As for her grudge, it is because of our actions. She doesn’t agree with them,” Tess replied.Bookmark here

“What did you guys do? From what I’ve seen, everyone seems pretty lazy. That can’t be the only thing, right?” I pressed Tess for more details.Bookmark here

“I can’t deny your observations. Unlike Lilith and her comrades, we are unorthodox. I mentioned previously that calling us heroes is an incorrect classification,” Tess elaborated.Bookmark here

“What does that make Lilith? A model hero?” I questioned.Bookmark here

“Lilith follows the creed of a traditional, typical hero. She adheres to a certain ethic. Most of our actions unsettle her. That’s the main divide. We still cooperate despite our differences, even if it doesn’t seem like it,” Tess said.Bookmark here

I said nothing afterwards, letting Tess’ words sink in. In addition to their lazy natures, they weren’t the most righteous people either. Would I regret being a part of this group now?Bookmark here

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