Chapter 11:

Rat Hunting (1)

Mad God


“Master.” Zern bowed as soon as he saw Ren arrive, then gave a similar greeting to Leinor, “Prince.”


“See? He can call me that. Why can’t you?”


“Because you’re my fiancé.”


“What brings you here?” Zern asked, now much more relaxed than the years before.


When Ren shared her and Leinor’s experiences with him four years ago, he was utterly baffled by it, and when he started to follow their examples, he realized this was a way he could improve himself as he felt stuck at the third refinement before. Now, after four harrowing years, he was already at the fifth. He reached it around a month ago, shocking his father and everyone who knew his rapid advancement, which was unheard of. After signing up for the upcoming competition, he was one of the main favorites to win it.


“We came out to have some fun. Also, please, sign me up for the Emperor’s Day competition.”


“Ugh… Master, you want to participate?”


“What, do you think I'm being unfair to you? Then step back from it.”


“No, I didn't mean it that way. I was just… surprised.”


“Stay strong.” Leinor sighed, patting Zern’s shoulders


“Prince…” Zern looked at him pleadingly, but he knew if Ren wanted to do something, she would just do it. One way or another.


“And now kiss~” Ren giggled before changing the topic. “We are here to patrol the city with you. Are there any cases that need some solving? Gangs, that need stomping? Killers, that need beheading?”


“You have never killed before either.” Leinor said, rolling his eyes.


“You neither, but that's beside the point. So?”


“Honestly, there isn’t much, especially now, in the winter. If you must, then I can take you two to the Cheese District.”


“We have a place called that?” Ren tilted her head.


“That is what we call it in the City Guards.” Zern explained, “It’s the oldest part of the city. It is filled with more rundown houses than other districts. With homes that were built when the city was made into the Capital. They are filled with holes and hiding places for bottom-class people and outlaws. That's why we call it the Cheese District.”


“Nice! There should be enough rats there to train a little.” Ren grinned, cracking her knuckles.


“I guess I don’t need to call my patrol squad, and we are going to be enough!”


“Yup! Good apprentice~.”


“I fear you will hog all the fun from us.” Leinor lamented, shaking his head


“Who knows! Onwards gentlemen! It’s time to play! Nyahahaha!”


….

…..


“How’s today's haul?” asked a raspy voice in a small room lit by the orange light from the fireplace. The room was decorated with rugs made from skins of wolves, and on the walls, different swords and maces were hung up; clearly, battle trophies as they were chipped, broken, or the dried blood wasn’t washed off of them.


A bear of a man sat in his giant leather chair, smoking from a pipe, wearing well-made fur clothing, while on the desk before him laid a half-eaten pig’s remains and an almost empty wine jug. His bald head was shining, and his black eyes were calm as he listened for the answer while he played with his long, braided black beard.


“Acceptable.” came an answer from a woman who wore a red silk dress that stuck to her body, outlining her mature curves and ample bosom, especially the latter one, as it had a heart-shaped cut-in at the top. Her red, curly hair dropped down to her shoulders while she was leaning onto the table, holding some paper in her hand, checking the numbers on them with her emerald eyes. “Some girls had fewer customers the previous week, but it’s mostly because of the weather, they have fallen sick.”


“Make them work extra hours then when they come back! If they want to continue living the way they do now, then don’t fuck up my business! If not, then they can get the fuck out of my streets! I told them hundreds of times, if it’s cold, fuck only in the rooms and dress up afterward, but they keep lying around naked dumbfucks….”


“Understood, Boss! It’s not like they can leave for other streets. They are all marked and would be killed on the spot for spying by rival gangs. They work or die of cold and starvation.”


“Good. I don’t feed and shelter lazy pigs. I want them to be filthy but not sick! Understood?”


“Clearly.”


“What about the patrols?”


“Nothing major. The City Guards are always stretched thin. They let us police our streets as long as we don’t make too big of a mess.”


“What about that young chap? What was his name?”


“Zern Unth. He is… manageable. He is a little stuck up but doesn’t have enough power in the force, so his voice gets drowned out by the higher-ups we pay off.”


“Keep it that way or pay him directly. I dislike people who think they are heroes and are here to save and liberate everyone and only leave chaos behind in their wake! Places like this need order. Never forget that! Heroes, at the end of the day, get jack-shit.”


“I won’t, Boss.” the woman nodded while placing down the papers and lifting the wine jug, taking big gulps. “The problem is, he doesn’t take bribes. We tried.”


“If money doesn’t work, pay with women. Weapons. Armors. There is always something that someone wants. Just find out what it is.”


“Geez, you didn’t tell me you were offered money! You should’ve accepted it! My Mom keeps me on short funds all the time! You don’t want it, then pass it to me!” came a sudden, bright voice from outside the room.


“Ugh… Master, that was too loud.”


“Who’s there?” the woman screamed, standing up straight, and her body was instantly covered in a hazy, red aura, emitting heat while the man just sat up, holding his chair’s armrests.


Soon the door leading into the room opened, and to the surprise of the two, a small girl dressed in violet winter clothes walked in, followed by two men. Behind them, in the corridor, lay the few guards, knocked unconscious without a sound.


“Is it him?” Ren asked, sizing up the man in the chair


“Yes, Master. Boursat, the leader of the Wildcats, the woman there is Isha, second in command and Madam of the whore houses in the gang’s territory.”


“You are Zern Unth, I assume,” Boursat said, knocking his pipe at the table. “But I don't know who you two are….” His eyes stopped briefly, scanning Leinor.


“Nice place.” Ren whistled, looking around, ignoring them like a kid who lost interest in a new toy. “I didn’t know the sex business sells this well.”


“Master…” Zern tried to say something, but Leinor stopped, shaking his head before stepping forward.


“Should I deal with them?” Leinor asked.


“Sure, impress me enough, and you may call this a fine date, fufufu~.”


“Don’t. Ignore. Us!” Isha screamed, punching out towards Ren, who didn’t even flinch because Leinor already stood in front of her, meeting her fists with his own.


When the punches met, hot air blew outwards, sending the papers on the desk into the air as the surprised Isha’s eyes almost bulged out. She was at the sixth level with her arms and the fifth with everything else, a powerhouse in her rights, but the man before him casually met her punch, without flinching, surrounded by a white aura. Boursat’s eyes immediately shrank. The aura Leinor was emitting was something he had felt a long time ago, and he knew it only spelled out trouble, not because of its intensity but because of its nature.


Leinor wasn’t done with only the punch; he went to grab onto her arm, clamping down with both hands like steel bars, then kicked out, landing his foot deep into her stomach. The force transmitted through her body made Isha vomit out her lunch, but Leinor wasn’t finished; he yanked on her hand when his kicking leg landed on the ground, took a firm stand with it, and sent forward the other, kneeing into the woman’s chest who was launched ahead by the force of his pull. When his second kick landed, everyone heard a crack, and Isha only vomited out again, but now it contained blood and saliva before slumping sideways, her eyes rolling to the back of her head. As he let her hand go, Leinor’s eyes were coldly watching the unconscious woman who dared to try to lay her hands on Ren.


“That's it? She was weaker than I thought. Boring!” Ren sighed, coming next to Leinor, patting his lower back which she could reach without stretching. “Poor, poor dear, you have been sullied by stinky fluids, yucky!” she said while holding back her laughter.


“What can I do to thank the Fourth Prince and the Young Lady of the General’s house for their visit to my humble abode?” Boursat asked, who by now realized their identity as he stood up. He towered over them by his height of 200 cm and almost 160 kilograms.


“Oh, so you know us? We are famous or something?” Ren said, turning her head towards him, amused by his words


“We keep track of famous people in the City to not offend them in any way, My Lady. I assume you are not here for a pleasant business trip. If you are, I'd like to ask you to take a seat. We can do something about that too.”


“Oh? I’m listening. But I’ll be honest, we didn’t come for sweet talks.” she stared at him, a bit surprised, and her interest was greatly piqued by now.


“First, I don’t want to fight a lost battle,” Boursat said.


“That's smart. You are not our match.” Zern nodded and stood at the doorway, blocking the only way out


“No, you misunderstand, young Captain.” the man chuckled, releasing his aura that shook the building like an earthquake.


“Ooh, a Harmony Expert! At what level did you harmonize? You are weaker than my Dad… mm… Seventh?”


Another surprise came over Boursat, and now he was sure he couldn’t read the small, young girl in front of her. One thing was certain; he shouldn’t count her as a kid as he was confident the trio’s leader was exactly this little demon whose aura gave him the chills… even though she was just standing there.


“You… are almost right. It was the sixth.” Boursat nodded.


“Now I want to fight you,” Ren murmured, as her eyes spewed small lightning bolts, quite literally as her silvery hair started to rise by the electric current surrounding her body.


“I would rather not,” Boursat said immediately, massaging his head. “If I do something to any of you, I need to abandon everything and go into hiding before the Emperor’s or the General’s men find me. I bet I would beg for death, but it wouldn’t come. That's what I don't want to experience.” he sighed as he came forward, crouching beside the unconscious Isha, pulling her up and laying her on the table, checking out her body, clearly transmitting his dark red energy in light.


“The smell of blood is pretty strong.” Leinor sniffed, watching as the giant man slowly healed the woman’s injuries, but she still didn’t regain consciousness.


“My affinity is exactly that. Except I use it for healing and not for fighting. But if you wish, I could still go berserk.” he said, looking up at them and his eyes went blood red for a few seconds before returning to calmness.


“Fuck. I just can’t take it anymore!” Ren laughed while Leinor only got himself ready, and as soon as he moved his first muscle, Ren immediately shot out, aiming a punch toward the man’s giant belly as her little hands were covered with coiling, dragon-like sparks.


“You crazy mini-bitch!” Boursat shouted, gulping down air like a whale as his stomach inflated, taking in the punch like a balloon. When he exhaled, the rebounding force shot out Ren, who Leinor caught, but both slid backward, leaving marks on the floor.


Boursat, when exhaling, also vomited out a mouthful of blood, but it separated in the air into little droplets as they turned into arrowheads, shooting out, flying towards them.


“What the, is this a vomit-fetish brothel or what?!” Ren moaned while in Leinor’s arms.


“Master!” Zern jumped in, crossing his arms, standing as a shield before them, taking on the arrowheads.


His body lit up in a yellowish light as the attack splattered on his body, tearing open the clothes and the metal handguards, leaving minor wounds on his skin but nothing major.


“I just told you I don't want to fight you, you ignorant little shits!” Boursat roared as his eyes were blood red, running at them like a freight train. He grabbed onto Zern first and soon slammed against all three of them, crashing through the wall like it was made of paper.


A moment later, the corridor’s wall got smashed open, and the trio landed on the ground, sprawling out on a stone floor as the bull that was Boursat still kept running forward, taking a long turn, keeping his momentum, rushing back towards them.


“What the...” Ren moaned, standing up while Zern could only hear ringing in his ears and couldn’t find a stable footing, wobbling around as he took most of the impact.


“He is like a raging bull.” Said Leinor standing up, as he was the first to recover and shot out to meet the meat mountain.


Now they were fighting in an underground bath that had multiple pools. Naked women and men were screaming as they tried to rush out, holding onto their little towels to avoid getting caught in the battle. That was when Boursat crashed into Leinor, who was mustering all his strength to stop the raging man. His whole body shone in white light as the flesh on his arms constantly tore open before closing up, the same with his legs as his shoes evaporated in the clash. While he was pushed backward, tearing up the massive stone floor tiles, everything rumbled around them. He didn’t utter a word, just held his ground with an ice-cold face, and his eyes looked into his opponent’s unyielding, fearless. Boursat felt like looking into the sight of a Death Soldier tasked to protect the Emperor at all costs.


“Nice!” came a laugh just then, and a bolt of violet lightning struck right on Boursat’s face, and it materialized as Ren’s fist. Sadly the giant of a man only flinched as his head turned back and stopped his advancement, but his hands grabbed onto Leinor’s, quickly lifting him and smashing Ren with him, like swatting a fly. Zern, who only just now regained his composure and hearing, only saw as Ren and Leinor flew into him like a cannonball sending the trio into the thick wall, cracking it before they slid down to the floor.


“Fuck…” Ren spit out a clump of blood as she stood up


“A Harmony Expert… is a Harmony Expert… even though he advanced at the level as we are now. His abundant energy will outlast us.” Leinor said, completely calm while he was bleeding from the nose and mouth but stood before Ren. “So... do… that.”


“That? You sure?”


“I can take it.”


“Heh…” Ren chuckled, looking at the back of Leinor. “I’m starting to fall for you.”


“Just now?” she smiled as he looked back.


“No~” she replied softly, then she put her hands on his bare back, where the clothing already tore apart, and soon Ren’s energy started to flow into him, making rounds faster and faster, flowing back to her. In a second, the violent, lightning-filled energy was making eight shaped rounds in her and Leinor, fed by both of their powers, flowing like water. It went through the nodes of Ren’s arms and chest flowing into Leinor’s body, doing the same rounds repeatedly as he held his palms together like a monk praying. It was like a hurricane building up, excruciating for Leinor, who didn’t have Ren’s dual affinity, but he was the only one who could take it and repair the damage as soon as he suffered it, bolstering the ‘storm’ between them.


Meanwhile, Boursat was hesitating. He didn’t know what the kids were planning, but he felt it wouldn’t be good.


Kill them or not? What the… fuck this day, fuck this city and fuck everything!


The day that started like any other soon turned into a nightmare because of a crazy little imp’s wish to fight. He felt like crying. The feeling he got from the duo soon made him choose to flatten them and flee the city. When he started to rush at them, his blood was pumping, sending energy to his legs and arms, which he held in front of him like a boxer focusing on defending. Zern, still shaken, rushed forward, sending his body in the way, into the bulldozer, successfully stopping him for a few steps.


“Fuck this! Move, move, move!” Boursat roared, finally trampling over Zern, sending him to the ground like a stampeding rhino, continuing to aim for the young duo.


“He’s coming,” Leinor murmured as blood spurted out from his spores, watching the roaring flesh train closing in.


“One more round and toss me!”


He didn’t say anything, but as soon he felt all the energy rushing back to Ren, he grabbed her arms and flung her out like a bullet. Every last bit of energy left his body by then, and he collapsed onto the ground, exhausted, panting heavily, but still trying to sit and see her soar through the air.


Ren looked like a flash of lightning, followed immediately by thunder as she collided with Boursat. The energy contained in her petite figure burst like a bomb exploding in every direction. The pool water splashed and churned like the ocean in a vicious storm, filling the air with water vapor. The thundering sounds echoed through the bath, giving everyone the feeling of being in a hurricane. Ren’s small body soon flew backward, landing on the ground hard and rolling a few times before stopping. Her skin was still flashing with tiny sparks of electricity as she gasped for air.


Boursat didn’t have it easy, as all the destroying energy coursed through his body, using his blood as fuel, drumming up another storm inside of him, making the meat tower stumble and spit out some blood with chunks of viscera inside it.


If my affinity would be different, I would die in a day or two… FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, WHAT THE FUCK!” Boursat screamed inside his head like a madman trying to calm down his body and energy.


“Did it work?” Leinor gasped for air, trying to push himself up and stand before the equally exhausted Ren.


“I hope so… I’m spent…” Ren moaned with a wide grin on her face. “This is what I’m talking about… ah… this feels so good….”


“Idiot…” Leinor murmured with a small smile while Zern could only groan at the other side, still trying to roll over to see what was happening.


“YOU. LITTLE. SHITS.” Boursat said, word by word, spitting out bloody air that was still sparking with electricity as his eyes turned toward Ren


“Ahaha… we lost….” Ren moaned, still holding a wide grin as the monstrum stopped trembling and started to stand erect like a statue.


In the air, the blood on the floor quickly started to congregate towards Boursat, be it his or the kids, forming a halberd in his hand. His fat slowly evaporated into a kind of bloody, gas-like energy that surrounded him, and there he stood, tall, firm, looking like a god of slaughter stepping off from the painting on Hell’s Door. His dark, red eyes were watching them silently, holding his blood weapon while everything went to silence in the giant bath…