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Chapter 21: Bruises

Key couldn't help feeling thankful for their last beast encounter as he made his way to the Hill tribe's location. During their final beast kill, it had led them to a small water source. After inspecting it, it turned out to be a small pond.

With the enormous amount of blood on the animal skins he had and himself since he was new at it, he wasted no time cleaning himself off as much as possible before doing the same to the animal skin. Black and Donn chose to stay out after seeing the pond become pink by the time Key was done.

Ford, on the other hand, was smart. He chose to wash himself off at the same time as Key while avoiding the after mess that followed.

Soon after that, they each had animal skin draped over their shoulders or being used as a belt. The animal skin that really stood out was Key's. Unlike the others, his pelt had the giant polar bear's head still attached.

From the nose up, the face of a bear could be seen while the mouth was missing. Key wore the pelt with the head resting on his head, and the body draped over his back. This look gave him a ferocious demeanor, especially with the small blood stains on his clothes.

For the others, Black was standing straight with a lion pelt over his shoulders, making him look sturdier than his tall, and large stature already appeared.

For Donn, he happened to have a silver wolf's pelt that seemed to match his hair and character of a lone wolf.

Last was Ford who had a pelt wore like a belt that was brown while complementing his tree style theme he was sporting.

This appearance was also the sight all the tribes happened to see when the four made it back to the Divine Door area of the Hill tribe. Following their strange dress, the tribes began to wonder who they were and what were they wearing.

Key and his group didn't give the confused tribes any attention. What he was more focused on was the view of the area laid out before him. It was a sight of the Hill tribe being in a small space while a tribe of people seemed to occupy the three built green houses in the area.

Did the other tribes really take the house away? Did they not understand the situation? He was sure the giant wolf spider would have informed them of what was going on. And yet, to still cause trouble knowing that their whole lives were on the line was worrying.

It was like saying that they didn't care for the others or themselves. If this was their attitude, keeping them apart of the soon to be village might be more harmful than helpful. Key was well aware of just how cruel humans can be to their self and their own kind.

Making sure to catch every one of their figures, Key signal for the group to follow him to the Hill tribe standing in a corner as if they were afraid to move a certain distance away. The first thing he needed to do was make sure everyone was okay and then find out what was going on.

Once he noticed everybody was alright if a little haggard, he gave a small smile to Skyla. "It looks like your days have been rough while we were gone. How is everything? Is everyone really okay or did I miss something?" Key asked.

"Hmph! You took long enough. Those arrogant jerks bullied us out of our homes when they arrived. We even let them be and decided to continue the plan, but they took over the other two houses too. So we had to stop building, or they would just keep taking them. They even forbid us from stepping too close or else." She said madly.

Key was about to ask more questions when he noticed the big bruise on the side of her face. It wasn't visible a moment ago because her hair was covering it up. But the moment she moved her head, her cheek was shown to the group of four.

Key's and Black's eyes turned cold while Donn showed an interested expression since there might be a fight instead of the boring scare tactic. He wasn't a fan of acting. He much rather preferred to demonstrate as it got the message across better.

On the side, Ford was confused. What was they all making a fuss about? Didn't you need to beat the other person up if you wanted to take something from them? He was completely not seeing the problem.

Key's look just kept getting colder as the images of what could have happened to cause this situation. What made him angrier was that he had an idea of how strong the offender was to leave a mark on an Adapter who healed faster than an average human.

The blow would have to have been strong enough that a regular human would probably still be unconscious and severely injured. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that if Skyla was not an Adapter, the offender could have killed her.

"Who did it?" Black asked since Key looked like he would explode at any minute. Before she could respond, the old man who sat on his chair spoke instead. "The Rainfall tribe. They believe themselves to be as strong and aggressive as the raging rainfalls. The leader Jagger also happens to be a strong two-star Adapter." He explained.

The old man was not being held up by his four carriers. Instead, the chair was placed on the ground with the four carriers not too far away battered and bruised. The reason was that Jagger didn't want anyone sitting high up and over him. It was like he was being looked down upon as far as he was concerned.

"Only a two-star Adapter and he still acting like he's a boss or something? Sweet! You guys don't interfere! I finally get a chance to put someone in their place, and I don't want to miss it!" Ford said enthusiastically.

It was time to let the world know who Ford Sterling was.


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