"Is that all you've got? You had quite the spirit earlier. What? Are you tired now?"
Nex yawned and stretched lazily.
"Damn it, you bastard!"
The disheveled Sean spat dirt and tried to lift himself back from the ground.
"How many times was it?"
The Thief girl asked as she nibbled in delight on a piece of roasted meat and watched her team leader being beaten like a ragdoll.
"13 since I woke up. But forget about that! This meat is awesome! I have never tasted something this tasty without it being cooked inside a proper kitchen!"
The Mage answered as she ate a piece of well-cooked meat and watched the show.
Which is also "that's right" in mouth-full-of-food-language.
The Thief and the Shield Bearer agreed with her zealously. All of them grew up in a wealthy environment and got to eat high-class meals of various kinds and different cuisines. But this simple-looking roasted meat that this silver-haired man gave them was the best they ever had when it comes to field cooking!
And while they were enjoying the food, the poor Sean was once again smashed into the ground, only to stand back up right away.
"How do you do it? My raw power and skills are both greater than yours. How can you easily deal with my attacks and hit me back?"
Sean's voice was filled with fury as he yelled. He couldn't understand how such thing is possible. It's simply illogical.
"There you go again, crying. The way you move is too obvious. How do you think that I won't be able to do something about it? Anyway, I need to go back on my way soon, so let's finish it for now, okay?"
Sean lifted his sword once again as he voiced out his objection.
"No! Not until I defeat you and prove that you aren't strong enough to defeat those Demons and that you are not worthy of saying that you are the one who did it!"
Nex thought for a few moments and came to a conclusion.
"…So all I need to do is show you some firepower, is that right?"
He entered a battle stance, something that made the kids become tense as they hadn't seen him using one until now.
"Since I showed you what you can do without using much force, this time I will show you what will happen when you use all of it."
He began to stream mana to his sword and focused his vision to where Sean, who was in the middle of charging at him, was.
'[Soul Sword Zero Art : Unsheathing]'
"W-what is this sword?"
The Mage who had the greatest senses amongst the group began to mumble in fear as she saw the beautiful silver sword that kept sending her danger signs.
Sean stopped in place and shivered in fear but Nex ignored him. He readied his sword for a slash while taking a deep breath like he was breathing everything around him into his body, mind and sword.
'[Fusion Art : Glacial Eclipse]'
He made his move but all one could see was nothing but black and all one could feel was a piercing chill.
With the speed that he used, they knew something came and it disappeared just as quick, like it never was there.
"W-what did just happen?"
The Thief asked weakly, trying to recover from the shock.
At her words, the other two started to recover and look around. Their eyes widened in terror upon seeing the scene around them.
Every tree in over 100-meter radius had numerous black lines around it that continuously spread a chilling feeling like one would get frostbite just by looking at it.
"How can a First Awakener have this power? It's impossible…"
While the three were busy watching the horrifying scene, Sean, kept mumbling nonsense. He felt the attack power the most but he was trying to deny what he had just experienced.
"Well, since you saw what you needed, it's time for me to go."
Nex put the wooden sword back in the inventory and began to move his shoulder as if he was trying to relax a stiff muscle.
He then threw a large bag over to the three that woke them up from their daze.
"There is more food there. Give some to that kid when he returns to his senses."
And with those words, he disappeared from where he was.
The three ran to their team leader. Once Nex left, he lost his consciousness and fell. Before they got close, someone got to him before them.
"He is just like his father. They have too much pride in their blood for their own good. It's a miracle that they and their ancestors didn't die from it when they were kids."
The three cried in joy.
"You brats! I told you not to call me like that outside of home!"
The Guard Captain smiled at them with fondness.
"Uncle, you were here all this time?"
The Mage ignored his words and started discussing more pressing issues.
The face of the Guard Captain, Orvil turned serious as he shook his head.
"I arrived just before that man unleashed this… thing."
He looked around in trepidation at the trees. Before anyone of them could notice, these trees had turned black and stiff from where the lines were.
"Uncle, do all the Masters and Paragons have this kind of level of strength. Are all of them like this?"
The Thief asked with curiosity written all over her face. To be that strong, and he isn't just the only one. The different skills they have and how powerful are those. If those can compare to what they had just seen. Countless of thoughts ran through her mind. Anyone would understand her interest.
"Isn't it obvious? Other Masters and Paragons might be able to fight and defeat people who are an Awakening higher than them, but this?"
Orvil had a bitter smile as he gestured to their surroundings.
"To do this with his level of strength, he can't be any less than a freak!"
As if on cue, not just the trees, but also the ground began to crack and shatters like a block of ice that someone tried to slice with a sword! Not only that but also the entire area began to get covered in a layer of frost that spread in all directions. Strangely enough, the frost stayed away from the inside area, where Orvil and the kids were.
Orvil watched the now totally ruined area and sighed.
"And one heck of a freak at that…"
"I am too soft-hearted to kids…"
Nex sighed bitterly as he thought back on the last day.
Whether it's Elise or Sean's group, instead of just shooing them off, he instead trained and helped them. Especially with Elise, whom he agreed to take as a student; he may have done it before but only on extremely rare occasions.
"Forget it. It will pass when I get used to my emotions."
When Nex sealed his emotions, he didn't completely seal them but instead lowered their function levels. If before, they were at 100%, then after sealing, they were at less than 5%. Furthermore, the part of the emotions that were sealed did not stay in the same state and for some reason even returned to how they were when Nex was in his teens and twenties!
So when Nex unsealed his emotions, the part that was not sealed and grew along with Nex for a long period of time in Perias was mixed with the "youthful" newly unsealed ones. It made Nex's state of mind become somewhat unbalanced.
Thanks to his battle-hardened mindset, he will not be affected during crucial moments. The countless years of battling were deeply ingrained in him that he need not think of anything more but the next offense he has to make. No amount of sealed or unsealed emotions can make a dent on this kind of fortified habit.
But during normal times, where nothing special happens, his behavior will sometimes be a little erratic, childish, hot-blooded or moronic.
Luckily, there are things that he will act strangely only for the first time. For example, when he first saw Elise, he was slightly stunned by her beauty. Immediately, he has managed to recover his bearings and has adapted his usual behavior in these kinds of situations. When he met Jane, who was at least as charming as Elise, he acted normally and not like a dazed youth.
"Never mind that now. I should increase the pace and catch up with my schedule. It's just the first day and I am already lagging behind! Eddie will be disappointed if I will be late and maybe he'll think I have bailed on them. That would make him sad and Jane will kill me for it!"
A chill ran through his back as he thought of an extremely beautiful face turning into Demon-like ones. He increased his speed and quickly vanished into the horizon like he was running for his life.
Inside the Southern City Adventures Guild, the Guild Master was staring solemnly at the pictures that were being shown to him through a crystal ball he held in his hand. Among the pictures was a picture of a massive amount of dead Demons, three corpses of high-ranked Demons known as Fiends and one of them clearly was a Boss. A hand that had strange tattoo that wasn't clear aside from a small mark at the corner. Finally, a newly sent picture of a completely ruined place that once was a lush part of a forest.
"Just where the hell did this bastard came from?"
The Guild Master massaged the bridge of his nose and sighed at the incoming headache he could feel.
"To do all of these while he wasn't even near the peak of First Awakening. If I didn't feel his mana signature myself, I would have thought he was just pretending and his real strength and age are at least on the level of a high ranking dragon!"
"I am quite sure that he came from the village of that annoying old man."
A voice was heard. If Nex was here, he would have recognized it as the voice of the Guard Captain, Orvil.
"I heard from an old friend who lives there about a similar young man. In addition, that old man is the only one who can give a crest amongst the villages that the Travellers start at."
"That makes sense. Yes, he would have come from there. I will send that geezer a message about---"
"No need. I'm already here."
An aged voice cut him off and made him smile both bitterly and fearfully. Turning around, he bowed respectfully towards the old man who suddenly appeared in his office.
"Greetings, Master Nicolas. How was your vacation?"
After all the words that pertain to this man have been spoken out loud, it wasn't a surprise that he became awkward at this unexpected turn out of events.
The old man named Nicolas smacked the Guild Master's head as if he was a kid.
"You brat! Don't think I didn't hear what you two just said!"
"…Sorry! I have to go! We are entering a---"
After a moment of silence, Orvil's frantic voice was heard and before he finished his words, the signal was cut off.
"Hmph! I will deal with him later!"
Nicolas snorted as he took the orb from the Guild Master who was trying to recover from the surprisingly strong smack.
"To massacre all those Demons and even kill three Fiends, this boy sure is good!"
Nicolas nodded approvingly as he watched the pictures. That was until he saw the later ones.
"This damage to a cavern is large… What exactly did he fight there?"
"[Proof of Devil Slaying]?! How the hell did he manage to do that?"
"…Please tell me that this destroyed forest area isn't as big as I thought."
The old man put down the crystal ball and began to massage the bridge of his nose while the Guild Master who has now recovered, looked at him with sympathy.
Nicolas then opened his mouth and started talking.
"Did you know? After this… "thing" left the village, I asked around to see if he is known amongst the rest of the Travellers. Do you know what the answer they gave me?"
"…What did they say?"
"They never heard of him. Although that man said he was powerful in his original world, no one has ever heard about him or knew his name."
He then shook his head and stared with a smile towards the north-west, where the Western City, StarShine was.
"But if the rumor I heard was true, then soon enough, that bastard will be Joseph and Frank, those brats' problem and not ours!"
Author: matanman. Proofreader: bet2z.
Open to any review and will be open to questions on my Discord channel: https://discord.gg/TXFKER6.
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