Chapter 13:

Chapter 13: Assault

A Black Market LitRPG

A few days later…

“Boss, all our men are waiting for your orders.”

“Good.” Wrent nodded his head, wearing his reddish armour set. He strode out to the training yard, where more than forty members were all lined up in formation under the evening sky. They each had a light armor set, though only four of them had any arctech on them, serving as the squad leaders. Each squad had ten members standing in neat rows.

“The Seven Snakes have been growing far too rapidly over the last two weeks. On top of that, they are still holding onto our men! As such, from today, we will be entering a state of war against them. Each squad is to target one of the major businesses immediately.”

Wrent held up a printed paper with a rough sketch of Kyle’s face. “If you encounter the leader of the Seven Snakes, Kyle, retreat at once. Do not attempt to engage alone. The objective is to wear them down and split their forces. He is the only competent one among them that has some sort of combat training. The rest are weak idiots.”

Wrent knew this war had a chance of being dragged out. If they failed the first assault, they had to wear them out slowly over time.

The Red Lions had been using the Stamina Recovery Potions, but not all of them. Wrent kept more than four hundred of them behind in a protected area near the armoury.

However, he was not worried about any attacks on the base, seeing as he was here to defend it. This allowed him to maximise his attacking force, which he needed if he wanted to hold a numerical advantage over the Seven Snakes.

He passed out a single arctech radio to each of the squad leaders. “These are precious equipment loaned to us by the main base. Don’t you dare lose it? Even if you die, your ghost must return this to me. Understood?”

The squad leaders nodded grimly. This way, Wrent would be able to monitor the situation, and the squad leaders could convey information to each other. Information was the key to winning everything – Wrent knew that well.

“A few days, a week, two weeks. We will not rest until Seven Snakes have capitulated and returned our comrades. The Red Lions never falter in the face of adversity. BEGIN!”

“Yes, Boss!” The squads began to move out, heading to their designated locations.

Wrent smiled to himself as he retreated into his office. You may be smart, but the nail that sticks out will get hammered down first. It’s just business. He was already internally salivating at the thought of taking over their potion production process, wondering what other secrets the Seven Snakes held on to.

An hour passed, nearing dusk, as the arctech streetlights began to flicker on, their bright blue lights illuminating the dusty cobblestone roads. The first squad reached the brothel first, but they soon noticed that the Seven Snakes associates were already out in force, with seven guys guarding the nearby streets.

[Boss, they seemed to be onto us.] A squad leader reported through the radio.

“It’s expected.” Wrent was calm, expecting Kyle to be prepared in advance. “When all squads are in position, we attack simultaneously.”

Another ten minutes passed before all four squads were in their various positions. The brothel, two pubs and a restaurant were being targeted, but all four squads reported seeing associates of the Seven Snakes in the vicinity.

“Any sign of Kyle?”

[No, boss. However, there seem to be more associates than the twenty expected. It seems closer to thirty or even more now.]

This did not faze Wrent at all. If I’m right, he’s probably waiting at the base or somewhere in the middle where he can rapidly respond to any attacks. And the new recruits barely had a week or two for training. “Move in now.”

The squads began slowly moving into the district, positioning aggressively and standing near the targeted businesses. The local customers who were initially beginning to queue up or head in that direction began to scatter upon seeing the threatening Red Lion members stare at them from a distance. Word began to spread around like wildfire – it was a turf war.

“Hey! What are you Red cunts trying here? You’re fucking scaring them off!” One of the Seven Snakes’ guards began to confront them.

“I’ll stand wherever the fuck I like. Why? Does your father own these streets? Didn’t know this was your grandfather’s road either. Mind your own business.”

“You better fucking move, or-“

“Or what? Run and hide under like you always did with Ulon? Once a bitch, always a bitch.”

All over the district, confrontations like this were beginning to drive the tension even higher. The Red Lions were provoking the Seven Snakes to attack first. It was all a childish back-and-forth of who attacked first and who was in the right, a game of public perception as a few brave onlookers watched the arguments get even more heated.

In a matter of minutes, it won’t matter who started the fight or waved the biggest stick – only who won. Wrent was about to lean back into his comfortable office chair, waiting for the inevitable victory, when he suddenly heard a loud thud in the training yard before a metal door was cracked open with a repeated hammering sound.

The grating metallic sounds pierce the air, prompting Wrent to exit the office to see who was attacking immediately. A lone man was smacking away at the hinges of the armoury door with a neon-red arctech hammer. The hinges of the armoury door soon gave way, causing the armoury door to slam onto the ground with a large cloud of dust.

“KYLEEEEEEE!” Wrent lunged at him, retrieving his ruby-engraved sword from its sheath and swinging wildly, but the arctech shoes on Kyle’s feet glowed yellow and allowed Kyle to move slightly faster than expected, barely dodging the ferocious attacks. Kyle quickly ran into the armoury, glancing around at the numerous racks of weapons and armour before spotting the potion crates.

A tingling sensation ran down Kyle’s spine as he instinctively dodged downwards, a red energy arc slicing through the air where he was previously standing. The red arc crashed into the potion crates with a loud explosion, sending dark yellow liquid spiralling into the air. That’s new.

Kyle glanced behind to see Wrent’s ruby-engraved sword glowing with arcia, a pipe connected to his waist belt as the fuel pack churned. “So, you’ve come to your death then. Were you planning on raiding the armoury and stealing our equipment?” Wrent grinned, blocking the only way out of the armoury.

Without a word, Kyle ran deeper into the armoury instead, much to the surprise of Wrent.

“COME BACK HERE YOU CUNT!” Wrent roared as he charged through the armoury. Kyle quickly used his hammer, smacked the intersections of a few empty armour racks, and tossed training weapons to stall Wrent. The well-organized armoury started collapsing, the metal shelves and cupboards being overturned.

Wrent’s armour set prevented him from moving as fast as Kyle, rendering him unable to keep up. Kyle leapt over him with one swift motion, landing into a roll before recovering and running straight out of the armoury. “STOP RIGHT THERE!” Wrent yelled.

Kyle didn’t reply, only showing a small smirk before leaving, which infuriated Wrent even more. Wrent glanced around the room, seeing only an utter mess. No critical equipment was being kept here; all of it had already been distributed to the attacking squads. He tried to figure out the objective of Kyle, who was clearly avoiding a fight with him.

The dark yellow liquid oozing on the floor suddenly made him realise he had lost the entire stash of potions. The loss of the Stamina Recovery potions weighed on him, but his pride mattered even more. How could he have failed to capture the enemies’ leader when he was right there? He ran back to the office and grabbed the radio.

“Cease the attack and converge back on the base – Kyle is fleeing back through our district! Cut him off!”

[Boss, we can’t. We’re right in front of them. If we back off now, we will lose our reputation!]

“Aren’t they pushovers? Just attack first, knock out a few of them and then catch the leader!”

The Red Lion squads were now torn between leaving a confrontation they started with the Seven Snakes gang members and closing in on Kyle, who was escaping their base. “Fuck it, if Wrent ordered it, we’ll do it!”

They began to attack the Seven Snakes out of nowhere suddenly, but none of the Seven Snakes were surprised, knowing their plan had succeeded. “Hold as many of them here, don’t let them cut off our leader!”

Battles erupted in the street, the flickering of the arctech neon signs serving as the backdrop to dozens of men that fought in the streets in a rough melee brawl with fists, gauntlets, knuckle dusters and pipes. Blood, screams, and the twisting of limbs became a common scene all over the cobblestone ground, fighters grappling and ganging up on targets. Everything was fair game.

Much to the surprise of the Red Lions, the Seven Snakes were suddenly much better at fighting than expected, able to dodge and parry effectively to a certain extent.

It was not only the effect of the homemade Strength Potions that boosted them. They had undergone a physical and combat training routine since Kyle took over, which was now close to a month for the original members, much like a boot camp. Any of the Red Lion members who tried to leave to carry out Wrent’s order were immediately stopped by the Seven Snakes to the best of their ability.

However, the Red Lions still had the edge in arctech equipment and experience, allowing them to inflict more damage on the Seven Snakes as the battle continued. The battles were brutal, with both sides suffering injuries and broken limbs that stacked up over time.

[Boss, they aren’t that weak; we can’t beat them instantly like we expected!]

Wrent cursed and slammed his office table, cracking it in half. “ARGGHH! SEVEN SNAKES!” He could not leave the base lest Kyle was performing a feint – there were still plenty of high value resources that Kyle could quickly return to ransack.

The scale of the fights began to escalate slightly, with exhaustion beginning to set in. However, the Seven Snakes were far more tenacious, gritting their teeth as they pushed back against the numerical and equipment disadvantage. “This is nothing compared to our training!”

The next hour was harrowing as the fights dragged on. Wrent impatiently tapped the table, waiting for some good news over the arctech radio. However, suddenly, one of the lights indicating an active connection to a squad dimmed. Shit, one of the squads had their arctech radio broken?! It has to be Kyle!

With a squad out of contact, it meant that the net he had set up around the Seven Snakes district had fallen apart. Wrent’s brow furrowed intensely as he contemplated for a minute whether to enter the battle himself in order to counter Kyle’s combat ability. However, he instinctively knew that he was now one step behind – entering the battle would be playing right into the enemies’ hand.

“All squads retreat now!” Wrent immediately ordered, aiming at conserving his forces. I must cut my losses and reorganise before it’s too late!

The Red Lion squads were more than happy to comply, immediately retreating and limping away. All of them had suffered some form of injury in one shape or another.

The Seven Snakes, however, did not chase them, letting them retreat slowly. The Seven Snakes themselves did not go unscathed, having suffered a few injuries and concussions themselves, far worse off than the Red Lions. The stamina potions helped them possess the grit to stay standing after the brutal clash.

Should I call for reinforcements from the main base? The brief thought flashed past Wrent’s mind as he realised he was now on an even playing field with the Seven Snakes, having potentially lost. Even if half of them returned, he had no Stamina Recovery Potions left to give to them.

However, he instinctively shuddered when he thought of how the top boss of the Red Lions would react if he asked for help.

The main base had problems of their own fighting other gangs, and if Wrent admitted he couldn’t handle a small-time gang like the Seven Snakes, he could forget about climbing the ranks any further. My position as the Left Paw would be stripped regardless of victory. No, I’ll have to do this myself.

Eventually, the squads returned, including the one that had lost the arctech radio. They had to leave three of their members behind while the other squads all returned intact but still covered in bruises and wounds.

“Wha-what happened to our Stamina Recovery Potions?!” Upon seeing the mess of broken crates and dark yellow liquid on the floor, one of the returning squad members exclaimed.

Wrent didn’t reply, only internally cursing himself for not protecting it carefully. He immediately took out a secret stash of Health Potions, giving them to the squad leaders first and distributing them.

“One squad will keep guard and patrol the district lest the Seven Snakes try to attack now while we’re weak. Rotate every eight hours. All other squads are to sleep.” Wrent knew they needed to rest if he wanted to have a shot at winning at all.

With the assault failing, they had now entered a protracted conflict stage.

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