Chapter 12:

Rat Hunting (2)

Mad God

It was painful waking up, every fiber in her body was screaming not to move, but Isha forced herself to sit up on the desk. It was hard to breathe, and she still tasted the blood in her mouth.

“What… happened? Where’s the Boss?” Isha moaned as she got off, almost falling over but soon she felt Boursat’s aura rippling out not that far away. “Boss!” she cried out, trying to hurry her legs to run to where the aura was coming from, but they felt like giant lead weights, taking all her efforts to start moving.



“The Blood General…” Leinor murmured, seeing the now muscular, tall Boursat, who looked at them calmly, while bloody air swirled around him, still filled with little sparks that he expelled from his body.

“Oh? Are there still records of me? I thought they were all expunged.”

“Who is that?” Ren asked, now sitting cross-legged, looking pretty calm.

“He was the General of the Vanguard when Aerthus VII ruled the Empire. He was named the Blood General while he led them, but later, when my grandfather was still only the Crown Prince, he was disgraced, stripped of his powers, and exiled.”

“That was my reward.” Boursat snorted. “How’s Lil’ Carthus doing?” He asked after a short pause.

“I only met my grandfather once. We didn’t talk.”

“I see. He was a good kid, smart too. I heard he corrected my brother’s mistakes; the same goes for your father.”

“What are you two talking about?” Ren blinked her eyes, slanting her little head.

“I should’ve realized; it’s just… I never immersed myself into our family history more than what was required by my tutors.” Leinor sighed. “He was exiled because he killed his brother.”

“He was a monster.” Boursat replied coldly, “I passed up the throne because I'm not a smart man, and my family’s proud affinity wasn’t pure and complete inside of me. I can only manipulate the life force in my blood; it’s only half of what was expected of an imperial bloodline. But it wasn’t enough. Erterion would’ve led the Empire down the wrong path! He tried to send me and my unit into a death trap because of a rumor I may change my mind about who should sit on the throne. Yet he was already sitting on it for 20 years by then!”

“Wait…” Ren said, surprised. Her little eyes sparkled like the night sky. “Airpuss VII was killed? And he was your brother?”

“Hah!” Boursat chuckled. “Yes… yes, he was.”

“Damn, then you are family! You are the great-granduncle of Leinor!”

“Was.” he looked at them calmly, swishing his halberd once, leaving a deep gash on the floor. “I was exiled; I have no more connection to the imperial family. I’m just a gang leader, and I'm fine with that. So, what now, kids?” he asked, looking directly at Ren, assaulting her with his aura, but she remained unfazed.

“Well, it was my fault. Could you let go of the other two?” she asked smilingly, blinking her eyes like a child caught doing something bad.

“Nope,” Boursat answered before the other two could open their mouths, protesting Ren’s idea.

“Then I can only use this.” she sighed, pulling off the belt of her waist and dangling it in front of her smiling face. “I guess you know of my father.”

“Yes…” Boursat nodded with eyes that now looked serious and a bit wary.

“Good. In short, this belt is filled with 30 coins!”

“You three will die too.”

“Probably.” nodded Ren

“I hate people like you.” Boursat groaned.

“Well, we can-”

“You come into my place, beat up my apprentice, then attack me when I offer a peaceful solution, and now you want to waltz out? Were you hit on the head after birth?”

“Um, I don't remember.” she said; she showed a face that was hard to recall. “No, I wasn’t. Anyway, you said it yourself. You are a gang leader. Bribing officials, running an underground business, doing who knows what behind the scenes… some points are still a crime by definition of the law.”

“This mini-bitch…”

“Hey, you are still standing strong; we are defeated. I admit that I was wrong. I would accept punishment, but you wouldn’t let go of them when they only followed my lead, so be it then! I choose mutual destruction! Now it’s your turn. Choose!” Ren sighed, wiping the smile off her face, looking dead serious at the end.

“You brats wasted hundreds of years of accumulation of mine. You are grinding my gears, you little shits. Every time I just think about what happened, I want to batter you until not even your mothers recognize any of you!” he roared as he made another swish with his weapon, cutting one of the pools at the side into half, letting the water flow down the cracks “Fuck, my beautiful bath is ruined!”

“That wasn’t us now.” Leinor added suddenly.

“Fuck you, it was!”

“Hey, so what do you choose?” Ren cut in, flicking her belt, which made a clunking noise

“Maybe I’ll just get rid of you before you can toss it out.”

“I see.” Ren nodded, then, without hesitation, she tossed the belt at Boursat, surprising the old warrior, with how decisive she was.

What caught him off guard was that all three of them suddenly tried to move backward, like it would have any effect, as Boursat himself started to release all of his energy to form a protective bubble around his body, trying to survive the blast that was coming.

“Nooo! Boss!!!!” came to a scream suddenly, and a red shadow flashed, jumping in front of him as the belt flew through the air.

“Isha!” Boursat shouted, but it was too late. He had already erected his defense, transforming even his halberd into a sphere-shaped shield around his body, and now he couldn’t help her.

The sudden interference even stunned Ren, who was now holding a coin between her fingers that was covered with a thin layer of lightning, and the same kind was in the hands of Leinor and Zern, ready to throw it out, but now all three of them stopped and just watched on with wryly smiles. The belt landed in Isha’s face with a resounding thud, as if she was hit in the head by a revolving door.

“Nyauh?!” she moaned painfully as she landed on her butt, with a fresh bump on her forehead that started to grow bigger and bigger as the belt fell over with another thump, but no explosion came.

“Huh?” Boursat froze in place, stopping his extreme energy output and looking at the belt, which was filled with only a few metal chunks worn for training exercises. “A dud?”

“Haaah… we have really lost now!” Ren moaned, sprawling out on the ground. “We hoped you would spend all your energy when you believe the explosion comes as it hits you. Then bombard you with the real coins when you lower your energy and are still dazed about the missing “kaboom.” That's all we had! But you probably still have enough power, and we lost our chance. Do what you will!”

“It almost worked.” Zern laughed a little.

“I’m sorry.” Leinor whispered, which made Ren laugh in turn.

“For what? Both of you should be mad at me. Don’t worry; I'll make it up for you two in the next life.” Ren sighed before closing her eyes.

“You. Are. Really. Pissing. Me. Off.” Boursat gurgled, huffing and puffing, not knowing anymore if he was angry or just surprised into a cardiac arrest, but what he did know was that he punched out toward Ren, sending a shockwave forward.

Before it could reach her, a tile from the ground shot up, blocking it, and an old figure in butler attire appeared before Ren, blocking the attack.

“Sorry, Mr. Boursat, but the Young Lady can’t take more punishments, or she will be seriously injured.”

“Hmf. Hal. I knew you would be around somewhere here. From General to butler. Tsk.”

“A simpler, more fulfilling life than wasting lives on the battlefield. I’m content,” he said smilingly as he picked up Ren, who was already unconscious as she had spent all of her energy long ago.

“Hmf. They are lucky.” he snorted loudly, and soon his aura receded completely. “They owe me.”

“Oh? They do?” Hal smiled. “I may be weaker than you, but I could kill you now. Do you think the Emperors let you build your little place here just because they don’t want trouble or don’t know about you? Even you are not that stupid. We are going, and they do not owe you anything.” He said, looking deadly serious while going around, picking up Leinor and Zern, too, like sacks of wheat.

“Fuck… just… go!” Boursat murmured, grinding his teeth while Hal just smiled and soon disappeared.

“Boss…” Isha whispered as she went beside him, but he just sighed, looking around the ruined hideout.

“A kid played me. Damn, this is frustrating!” he laughed loudly. “She would be a great gang leader! Come, we got a lot of work to do… damn! This will also cut me back a hundred years of money to fix!”



“Ugh… where…” Ren moaned as she sat up, looking around her dark room. She felt weak; besides that, she wasn’t hurting anywhere. “I’m not dead?”

“No, but I guess we can change that. You were out for two days.” came an ice-cold voice next to her bed.

“Ah… Mom… I-”

“Silence. I heard everything from Hal.”

“Are they... okay?”

“They are.” Anya nodded, and when she saw Ren relaxing, hearing her answer, she looked at her more warmly, but soon the coldness returned to her eyes. “From now on, Hal will follow you openly everywhere. Can’t leave the house. If you try anything funny, I ordered Hal to break your legs and arms and tie you to your bed. I’ll take care of you then, just like when you were a baby, until you learn your place. Are we clear?”


“Good. When your father comes home, he will punish you separately, so don’t think this is over, and I won't care if you are punished two years from now or more.”

“I understand. It was my fault. Can you tell this to the Emperor? And Zern’s family? They shouldn’t be punished for my mistake.”

“Too late. Zern probably is out of the City Guards because acting without an official order from the top is a serious offense. And besides… they followed you by their wills. They deserve the punishment they get. Some institutions, Ren, need strict rules that MUST be followed. About Leinor, I don't know, probably house arrest and a beating from his father.”

“Oh…” Ren whispered, looking down at her bedsheet

“You need to learn self-control!” Anya sighed, sitting on the edge of the bed, patting her head. “I know how it feels to be young; your body is changing, and your blood is boiling for excitement, but this was way too dangerous!”

“I… I have no excuses. I’ll need to make it up for Leinor and Zern first.”

“Yes, you should. I permit you to leave the house if you want to meet with them and compensate Zern’s family. Of course, it’s from your pocket! I can loan you money, but you need to pay it back. Got it?”

“Um. Fair.” she nodded with a sad smile, and Anya only now realized her daughter could show a face like this as she was used to her cheeky, impish attitude. “I forgot my place and overestimated my powers. Sorry, Mom… I made you worry.”

“It’s good that you know.” Anya whispered, hugging her before getting up from the bed. “Rest. You are weak. Tomorrow you can go out with Hal. You will have exactly 4 hours to do what you need to do, and then you are confined to your room.”




“Master! Are you okay?” Zern said, rushing towards her when he saw her standing at the door of their residence “Mr. Hal.” He cupped his hand when he saw the butler following behind her. “Thank you for saving us.”

“Don’t mention it.” he smiled kindly, returning the greeting.

“Mr. Hal. Young Lady.” came out a middle-aged man, looking 70% just like Zern, only his hair had many gray strands mixed into it.

“Mr. Ortern.” Ren bowed, “It was my fault.”

“Please, Young Lady. My boy can make up his own decisions. What happened, happened. He needs to deal with this himself; he is an adult by law. I know his advancement is thanks to you. I’m just happy that I raised a loyal son.” Ortern looked at Zern with proud eyes, “He was a little too stiff for guard duty anyway. I just hope-”

“Don’t continue, Mr. Ortern. My family will hire him as my bodyguard. Hal brought the official papers.” Ren said instantly, while Hal gave the papers to him. “It’s just the pay is less, but it’s only for now, after I secure more funds, it will change!” she murmured with a tinge of remorse.

“Master! You needn’t-”

“Yes, I do. End of discussion. Thank you for receiving me.” Ren said firmly, then gave a bow to Ortern. “I won’t take up your time, and to be honest, I’m still in house arrest, ahaha~.”

“Ah, Master, here!” Zern said, giving a parchment to her, “The registration to the competition.”

“Oh, thank you. I hope I can participate! I’ll need to ask Mom.” Ren smiled, but she seemed unsure now.

“Did you meet with the Fourth Prince?”

“Couldn’t. I went to the palace in the morning but was denied entrance.” Ren sighed, shaking her head. “Anway, we will speak soon! Recuperate until then because if I can participate in the competition, I won’t go easy on you~.”

“I wouldn’t want that, Master, especially after the previous fight. I feel I might just advance a tier!”

“Good! Good! Ahaha, now that's what I call good news!” Ren laughed before leaving.

“We should return home,” Hal said after they walked away from the Unth household.

“I’d like to visit the Wildcats.”

“Young Lady?”

“I won’t cause trouble. Promise.”

“Mm... “ Hal thought a little, looking into her clear eyes before finally nodding. “Okay. Let’s visit them.”