AOH – Chapter 16

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CHAPTER 16: CRUELTY

1007 AF SEEDMONTH DAY 24
The chamber rang with our clanging of swords.
I performed Slashing Tiger in the Woods, a circular motion slash that wounded any bandits that tries to come near.
Helia already joins the battle. Lisa is petrified on her spot looking at her hand. I was too naïve.
I was accustomed to killings but they are kids. This is their first kill. No wonder they are shaken.
But I don’t have time to console them or give them encouraging words. Now 40 bandits are hell bent on killing us after seeing their comrade dead on their deathbed.
“Kyle you watch the front. I’ll settle the back” I yelled.
Kyle nodded
We take our position and began executing our swordplay. I stepped left two steps dodging a slash from a bandits with a thin physique who tries to slash me.
Another tries to take the opportunity to strike me again so I shifted another two steps and I began traipsing around in the chamber dodging the strikes and slash.
I envelope my weapons with Cold energy making it sharper and stronger.
Another tries to hack off my head.
I duck and following the concept of Attacking and Accuracy, I performed Fox Piercer at the same time I parry the swords making the bandits unwillingly change direction and chopped off the head of his own comrade.
Then I change my stance to blocking.
I blocks and blocks using mostly my internal energy to deflect attack making most of the bandits thrown away.
My internal energy is massive. I’ve been training since I was a baby. This is the time for me to test how strong I have become
Kyle was attacked vigorously in the front with Helia and Lisa stand back to back in the middle killing anyone who successfully pass Kyle and Arial blockade.
They were in encirclement but that does not matter. They are pushing back.
At this time, a tall black man, his hand bigger than Kyle head, come rushing with a club as big as Kyle himself and is coming to smash Kyle to the death.
I saw this, so I quickly performed Fairy Steps and rushed to Kyle rescue, jumping in the air, but not without already thinning the crowd at the back.
A little help for Kyle
The tall man clubs was inches from Kyle head but I block it with my sword and the sword shatters.
Damn this man is strong and this time I shot out energy from my palm performing Dragon Regret directing the force towards the man chest.
It is one of my powerful techniques. Technique that was was modified from the Northern Badger.
The man flew to the chamber door; his broken bones can be heard breaking. The bandits were shocked and for 1 second they stopped.
Then they became angered.
Another man yell and jumped to the font while yelling
‘My name is Vargi the Human Eater, fight me”
I yelled to Kyle “attack the back”
Now I will handle the front while Kyle handle the already the already weakened back. Then another crowd surge out from the back chamber and joined the fighting.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING LISA! YOUR BROTHER IS IN DANGER! HELP HIM” I had yelled and that wake her from her daze.
She nodded from her dazed state and then gripped her sword tighter, determination shone in her eyes, and she joined the battle.
Helia was about to help me but I yell
“HELP THE SIBLINGS. I CAN HANDLE THIS” She was hesitating but then she nodded and rush to Lisa and Kyle.
The one called Vargi is already at the front of him
‘HYARGHH!’ the man attacked Arial with three strokes of Snake Venom technique. It was a stabbing motion executed very fast that look s like an image of a snake when it is biting its prey.
This technique? I was shocked of course seeing this technique. Is this the Western Serpent technique? I could not believe that this man in front of me is one of the disciples of the Four Immortals
But when I think about it, of the 4 Immortals, Western Serpent is the most dishonorable among them.
And the most cunning.
I blocked the attack by changing the direction of the sword attack to other direction with my profound internal energy.
The swords clangs and sparks was produced lighting the chambers for a few seconds.
The look of shock in his face was priceless. Then his face turned red with anger and frustrating and dread welled up seeing the young boy in front of him.
The boy hair was white and his eyes were piercing blue, and there is a hint of condescending attitude towards him.
Vargi could see the boy eyes was calm even when facing him. This boy is not ordinary. Then a movement caught Arial attention.
Another man calling himself Aragir the Sadist rushed from the back of Arial and Vargi smiles an evil smile but his smile quickly faltered.
He sees the boy smile a confident smiles and the boy turned backwards like he has eyes behind his head.
I who have already sensed it quickly turned and use Tiger Bite to grab the enemy sword. Then I pushed him with my internal energy.
Vargi attacked again but this time I accelerate my speed and I severed the man arm.
“Ahhhhhh” the man scream in pain, his scream reverberates in the chamber intensifying the feeling of everyone in the chamber.
He then slashed blindly
“ Vargi don’t lose your temper” Aragir said 6 feet away from the battle after being pushed by the sheer energy of Arial internal energy.
The other bandits gasped while their morale beginning to waned.
Aragir and Vargi is one of their strongest comrades.
Vargi is one of the Four Immortals disciples before he was excommunicated by Western Serpent
They don’t know what is going on. Their confidence shattered. When they saw they were fighting kids a while ago, they were confident they can handle this.
They never fight strong people like the Arathorne Brothers that roam the martial art world, and they would never raid or attack caravans in the places that Northern Badger rumored to be in.
They chose city that has low security and no threats.
But these three kids have proven to be quite the pesky little brats.
Even the kid guarding the back is persistent, his strike strong while the girl strikes with accuracy and another throws hidden weapons.
But the most dangerous is the kid at the front. He flies around the battlefield like lightning. The moment you noticed him, you’re dead.
Now he is fighting both Vargi and Aragir to a standstill.
Then both Vargi and Aragir began their combination attack that they developed years before.
They fly around Arial trying to strike Arial blind spot.
But something weird happened.
Using the sword, knowing that if he channels to much energy to the sword it will shatter, Arial performs Wind God Dance.
By using his sword he moves like winds, diverting all attacks towards him onto someone else.
After some clashing the other bandits that are being pushed back can see from the distance that Aragir and Vargi were colliding numerous times but not once it hit Arial.
Aragir yelled
“Change our positions” Vargi began changing his positions blood still pouring out from his arm.
But no matter what they do, Arial skillfully and gracefully diverts the sword direction to themselves.
“It’s like a dance” Helia said seeing Arial.
The back is nearly settled with only a few bandits are alive. The other is dead, slash mark on their neck.
Then a sound can be heard.
A big man with a nose ring, the man they saw during the first time they enter the tunnel finally showed himself.
The other bandits stopped. It is their leader, Arial presumed
“If swords won’t work, then use your fist” he yelled to Aragir and Vargi
They throw away their swords and began attacking with their fist.
Aragir missed but his fist hit the brick of the mines and the chamber shakes, the brick crumbled and a big hole can be seen in the shape of his fist.
The leader also came to join the fighting and began throwing his fist.
But no matter how they try, they could not touch Arial who moved like the winds fast and unpredictable.
Sometimes his attack is slow another time it’s fast baiting the opponents and pulling and pushing.
The bandits in the back are repressed and already surrender but in the front a fierce battle still ensue.
The other bandits did not try to interfere the fight, so instead of fighting they just watch the kid and their bandit leaders, Larale, Aragir and Vargi having a battle shaking the chambers each time they punch, while the kid slipped over and over again from their grasp.
Hundreds of strokes and technique employed while Kyle and Lisa and Helia watch the back worried that the surrendered bandits will suddenly do a surprise attack.
Sparks sometimes fly, lighting the chambers and they could not even see the fast movement these people executed.
It was a high level battle.
Helia could not contain her admiration, while Lisa could not help but be impressed of her childhood friend. From the beginning he was different than me she mused.
On the other hand, these three people in the midst of these life and death battle, all have almost reached their limits.
At this point the three of them realizes it is harder and harder to win as time passed.
Aragir jump suddenly and from his sleeve a hidden weapon shot out.
‘TAKE THIS, BOY!’ He yelled
Arial turned sideways to dodge it, while Vargi sensing the opportunities, his sword came at Arial.
Arial realized what Aragir intended so he pull Larale with his internal energy and pushed him in the way, who also incidentally got hit by the hidden weapon and blood spluttered from Larale eyes screaming his heart out.
ARGHHHH! His scream reverberated in the chamber, inciting fear in the heart of the bandits who have surrendered.
Seeing that nothing can be done about Larale , Vargi and Argair attacked from other directions believing that this time the strike will connect.
But then Arial performed the 8 Stance Of Wind God Dance, Song of Winds, both of his feet left the ground and flipped smoothly in the midair, landing far away.
‘What is that technique!’ Kyle said in shock as he look at Arial like a flying bird. Lisa and Helia also curios of the technique.
Vargi and Aragir rammed into each other both stabbing each other in the neck. Trace of regret and disbelief could be seen when they realize they are stabbing each other. Arial has managed to slip out from them in the last minutes.
Bloods spurted like a fountain while a look of disbelief is still in their face. They were on the ground, the moss surface turns red.
The other bandits know that if they try to fight this kid they would also share the same fate.
Larale is crawling in the ground yelling, screaming while trying to feel his eyes.
The bandits kneeled as fast as lightning
“Spare us, kid. Your martial art is incredible” the other followed
“We have never seen anything like that in our life. We surrender.”
Lisa and Helia tie them with the ropes while Kyle stands by to watch.
I scanned the bandits. They are not that dangerous. I guess the only one that is dangerous is those three.
I have already killed the bandit leader. After he was blind, he was easy to kill. He has quite he internal energy but his swordplay is not even at Kyle level
I enter the back chamber after being told by the bandits that surrendered that t Engel the Surgeon is here.
From the story Arial head that Engel is also a wanted man.
I might solve 2 quests at the same time. I enter and the wind blows bringing within it the smell of rotting flesh.
Arial gaze upon the insides of the chambers and Arial could see a naked woman with maggots on her stomach eating her meat, while she could also see another woman naked in a cage.
She met my eyes. Her eyes looked fearful. Then the man finally realized me.He turned around and looks at me.
I glanced what he was doing and I saw the corpse on the stone table.
The woman have her internal organ removed, her reproductive organs were cut, her breast burned, while her cheeks have been slashed.
Another stone table also shows almost the same injury.
But this time this woman has her eyes removed, her fingers were cut in an odd manner and her lower body has disappeared, her arms has a big gash, her stomach innards were twisted and can be seen touching the floor.
The surgeon just smiles and laughing maniacally. Arial expression turned ugly.
Arial without further ado, cut off the man hand and it flew. The surgeon screams in pain, but it looks like he enjoyed the pain.
Disgusting Arial mused.
Arial quickly execute a spinning movement with his sword, his sword moves like lightning to the surgeon head his head flew, and blood spurted from the decapitated neck.
 “Are you alright?” Arial said releasing the girl from the cage
She is crying and then informed me there are many more girls captured in the inner chamber.
I then sent her to Lisa and Helia and remind them to take care of her while I save the rest of them.
I went to the chambers and release about 10 more of the victims. We went out of the mines with 11 survivors and 15 bandits.
Actually they were about 40 that surrendered but after seeing what the surgeon has done, to ease his anger he killed the other 25 bandits until Kyle stopped me.
The other bandits do not dare try to disobey my word after that.We then went to the city and come to the city parading the bandits.
“Thank you. Thank you” a father thanks me while hugging his daughter.
The other families are also informed of their children condition. Some cried hearing that their children has left the world, while some was crying tears of joy in knowing that their children and loved ones has been saved from the clutch of the bandits.
There were mixed emotions.
The bandits are being jailed and will be tried by House Rodan.
“You did it” the mayor said. He comes immediately after he heard the stories.
“You have done this city a great service”
He signed our completion quest card with the addition of killing Larale, Vargi, Aragir and Engel the Mad Surgeon all wanted man, all dangerous man.
“Son of Aries? House of Vermont?” he asked seeing the ring on my finger.
“Yes, I am”
“Your father is becoming a merchant prince did you hear that? There’s talk in Dented Shield that Hadrian Alan is fond of giving him the title Count to govern that abandoned county.”
“Is that so?”
“He would be proud to know that his son is an accomplished Knight. He always said that his son is stronger than anyone else, I never believed him but I guess my doubts have been dispelled.”
“Thank you for your kind words”
We were already ready to leave this city and report back to the academy when the mayor said that they have prepared a feast for us for ridding the bandits and saving their townspeople.
I guess the town also needs to heal. Feast and celebration somehow the townspeople believe will heal the wounds.
But Arial knew. Some wounds and scar do not heal. Not truly. Those who survived have seen unspeakable horror.
Some are lucky and can forget. Some will not. What happen in this city….If only I was faster?
If I didn’t stop riding could I save at least one more girl? Or two? I was half a mind to reject but he insists.
It would be rude to reject so we accept.

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