One of the most hated Professions by the ones who are not affiliated with evil powers and dark organizations. They kidnap and enslave Spirits when they are mostly young and weak, and then sell them to the highest bidder. Usually, the winner of these auctions is a twisted person who will have no remorse and may even rejoice in experimenting, taking the vital energy, or just plain torture these poor baby Spirits.
As a response to such people, all the kingdoms in the Superbia who are part of the Light Side or even on the Neutral Group has made this Profession illegal and whoever still works for such organizations will be given extreme punishments such as execution or life sentences. Even so, because of the lucrative price of Spirits, there are still quite a number of people who still pursue this Profession.
A few days ago, such people came to the Spirit Zone.
Although Mother Spirit is in a critical condition due to her advanced pregnancy, she still was able to deal with those Spirit Merchants. Luckily, they were still in their First Awakenings.
But the price for successfully scaring them was severe. Her pregnancy entered a dangerous phase and she can no longer move freely. She can only do communications and use a minute amount of mana or risk losing the children in her womb.
This puts the Spirit Zone in a dire situation. As it is still young, it has not yet managed to develop properly and raise another strong spirit that can fill the job of a guardian. There was no one who could protect the place at this moment.
It seems that those Spirit Merchants are well aware of this fact as well.
'But how did they found out?' The Mother Spirit thought in desperation as she stared at the scene through her connection to the Spirit Zone. A dozen of people wearing black clothes of the same style were chasing after the small Spirits and stuff them into special cages.
'Furthermore, considering the fact they all have the same black clothes, the same power level, being at peak First Awakening with only difference in rank and the way they are moving in an organized, well-trained way, there is only one conclusion. They are part of a strong force.'
The Mother Spirit is in low spirits as she couldn't do anything but analyze the situation. She was still trying to soothe the painful clenching of her heart when she suddenly saw a flash of light appear at the scene.
In the next moment, two of the Spirit Merchants' head fell and the cages they held all broke. The baby Spirits confined in them were released which alerted the other Spirit Merchants.
"Nex!" Mother Spirit cried as she saw the silver-haired man appear. Her joy dimmed afterwards.
'He's still at the early level of First Awakening, even though he has a terrifying Soul Depth and has already managed to kill two of the Slave Merchants, the rest are far stronger.'
As if sensing her thoughts, Nex turned to the point she was watching from and gave her a reassuring smile.
"I already said that you don't need to worry. All you need to do is watch."
After saying those words to the Mother Spirit, Nex then turned back with a completely different expression and stared at the Spirit Merchants who looked at him warily.
6 [Spirit Merchant(Rare) LV : 25]
3 [Spirit Merchant(Elite) LV : 25]
1 [Spirit Merchant(Elite - Boss) LV : 25]
Every one of them is right before their Second Awakenings.
Nex's face held a flinty expression and his voice is glacial.
"I don't care who sent you, nor do I care for their strength. All that I want to know before I kill you all is how did you know the state the Mother Spirit is in."
The Spirit Merchants, who were still slightly on guard after the death of their comrades are now much more relaxed after confirming the strength of this intruder.
The closest one to him, a Rare ranked one, even began laughing while walking towards him.
"How can a weakling like you say that you will kill all of us? All that you can do is watch while we take those little brats---"
Nex didn't even give him a glance and swung his sword slowly at him even while he was still at a distance away. It was done so casually that it seems there was not any strength or mana behind it.
"Why you! Do you think that you could actually do something to---"
The man became furious at Nex's response, but before he was able to finish his words and take a step forward, he suddenly froze in place. Without any further warning, his body was separated into two parts and fell to the ground with a dull thud.
"How did he do it? I felt no mana from this attack!"
"It doesn't matter! Kill him now!"
While the Rare ranked Spirit Merchants were shocked, their superiors were able to keep cool and one of them quickly gave them an order and then charged at Nex himself with his heavy sword.
Facing the incoming enemies with stats higher than himself, Nex's cold expression didn't change. He stared at them like they are already dead before saying a chant in a language different from the one he usually uses.
In Perias' Spirit King's Language he said…
"[Spirit and Body Fusion]"
His eyes and hair began to glow and turn to a mix of green and silver as all the Spirit energy and Nature forces around him were drawn towards him.
And then he disappeared.
"Where did he go to?"
"Search for him! Quick!"
"Wait! I think I saw some---"
They haven't even began to spread and look for Nex and one of them fell to the floor with a stab wound in his chest, right where his heart is. Almost right after that, another one fell down.
And another one…
And another one…
It didn't take long before all the Rare ranked ones were slain. The Elite ones haven't even noticed it.
In order to find Nex, he swung his sword down to the ground, causing it to shake and even break the nearby cages, releasing some of the Spirits. When he looked around, he saw that Nex was still nowhere in sight.
"You idiot! Above you!"
He suddenly heard his leader yell at him. And right before he could react to the warning, a shining wooden sword flew at a speed that couldn't be produced by those of First Awakening. His head was completely destroyed.
But before the wooden sword can hit the ground, Nex who was still in mid-air, twisted his body while swinging his sword, parrying a spear that was aimed at his direction at the very last moment.
Flying slightly back from the force of the attack, he then landed on the ground and stared at the owner of the spear. The guy was also thrown back from the force of Nex's counter and is now struggling to regain his footing.
To survive a hit from the current Nex, even as a peak awakening Boss, this man should have a good position in his organization. He soon retracted those thoughts upon seeing the ring on the man's finger.
'So that's how it is.'
Meanwhile, the Spearman fell back to where his two remaining subordinates were. Ignoring the numb feeling in his arms, he issued his instructions.
"I need you two to distract him while I am sapping his stamina. For someone at his level with this kind of power, he must be using a secret medicine or a forbidden skill that can't last for a long time."
The previously terrified Spirit Merchants regained most of their confidence after hearing their leader's logical explanation. With renewed spirits, they began to charge at both sides of Nex while their leader took the front.
"Too bad for you, guys..."
Nex swung his sword at a wide arc. A large crescent blade made out of semi-transparent energy was shot. It sliced through anything it passed through, with the exception of Spirits and trees of the Spirit Zone.
"I already got what I needed."
He then sheathed back his sword as he watched the falling halves of the Spirit Merchants, who died without even seeing the blade that was coming for them. He then immediately went to the body of the leader and took his ring.
"I know that you are listening to me." Nex said without preamble.
"Since we are both aware of each other, please make my life easy and just tell me where you are, so I could come and kill you."
To the third person, seeing Nex talking to a ring will come to the conclusion that he looks half a bit foolish. If not, then he must have lost his sanity.
Out that ring though, a giggle sounded. It was all weird as the voice seems to belong to an old man. A giggling geriatric ring? That's just plain creepy, if not for the frightening aura that spread in every direction, causing extreme pressure to everything in Nex's surroundings, including the small Spirits.
"Hihihi… To think that a kid only at First Awakening could be so capable! To even use a unification technique without another being! You are definitely worth to be researched on!"
"They say that patience is a virtue but unfortunately, it's not one of mine. I hate waiting so don't even try and make me." Nex said with indifference and waved his hand.
In the same language as before, he uttered another word.
Almost instantly, the entire aura that stretched out of the ring came back and concentrated around Nex.
"Hihi… These chants again!"
It was still in a playful tone but his next ones were spoken with malicious intent.
"Tell me, Kid! What kind of language was that? To command spirit power and nature forces in the surroundings like that! I have to know! Tell me!"
Nex just ignored the wicked inquiry and just repeated his earlier probing.
"One last time, tell me your location."
"Hihihi… You're still about that? It's no use, Kid! You can't kill me with your scanty strength. All you can do is wait until I arrive and take you along with all the other experimental specimens! To think that I would get to finally experiment on a pregnant Mother Spirit! I can't wait to see the inside of her soul---"
"[Soul Art : Immolation]"
Nex didn't let him finish his disgusting delusions and used a [Soul Art] on the ring, or more exactly, the part of soul that was inside it. This caused to ring to burn in a silver-black flame.
"Hihihi… It's pointless, Kid!"
"This weak flame can't hurt my soul…"
"W-what is this flame?!"
"A [Soul Art]! Argh! How could you know how to use such thing when you're not even thirty?!"
The voice was jeering at first. Then it became cries of pain. In the last moment, it became realization mixed with disbelief.
"How sure are you that I am under thirty?"
It was Nex's turn to mock.
"Argh! Then what is your real age?!" The voice had a hard time resisting the pain but his curiosity won't let him stop speaking.
"It doesn't matter anymore. What matters is that thanks to you being a chatty Kathy, I had ample time to analyze your soul, enough to find it with ease. So be prepared, because I will come to you one day in the near future. And when that day comes…"
Nex's shining eyes become even brighter as he poured soul force to the ring, causing the silver-black flame to blaze to the maximum. The ring burned to ashes slowly, taking the small part of the soul that was linked inside.
"To mess with what I, Nexus, holds dear, you will know the consequences."
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