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181 One Finger

 "So you can talk after all. What are your demands?" Alpha One said as he tried to keep "Carnage" occupied while he thought of a plan. He had already called in for backup, however, they would not be here for another ten minutes.

Although ten minutes may not seem like a long time, it currently felt similar to an eternity. Could they truly stall ten minutes against this monster? Alpha One understood that the chances of succeeding did not look good at all.

But, he was the commander of his squad and could not show any signs of weakness or panic. If he did, then it would cause a ripple effect and he could potentially lead everyone to the grave. He stayed calm and focused, waiting for an opportunity to strike.

Now that Marian was dead, they no longer had to stay confined to this room. At the moment, it was incredibly dangerous to be close to Carnage. Alpha One knew that if he wanted himself and his squad to survive, he had to find a way to create and maintain distance between them and Carnage.

"Maneuver ten." Alpha One said in a low voice so that only those around him could hear. As he gave the order, he slowly reached his right hand towards his tactical belt and pressed a button located on a small circular disk.

Carnage rushed forward at an incredible speed with his crimson sword in hand. He refused to listen to Alpha One's idle chat and chose to take action instead. After all, there was an old saying, actions speak louder than words.

"Now!" Alpha One yelled the moment he realized that Carnage decided to charge them without delay. Alpha One and the other Valiant members clicked something on the side of their goggles.

After doing so, the night vision feature was turned off and it was replaced by nothing but darkness. At the same time, the back part of the goggles positioned near their ears extended downward and covered them.

Alpha One tossed out the circular disk that was attached to his tactical belt up into the air.

BOOM!

A brief flash of blinding light followed by a deafening sound reverberated throughout the entire room.

As soon as it finished, Alpha One and the Valiant members acted quickly and switched their goggles back to their normal mode. While doing so, they retreated back towards the door and into the hallway as they opened fire on Carnage.

Carnage, on the other hand, was caught off guard and was temporarily halted by the device Alpha One used. However, even while in his currently dazed state, he was still capable of deflecting the rain of bullets with his crimson blade. The amazing thing was that the bullets seemed to be drawn to his crimson blade before bouncing away at the very last second.

By time Carnage finally managed to become completely disoriented, he found that there was no one left inside of the room. A strong amount of bloodlust filled his eyes as he dashed towards the exit. However, as soon as his foot brushed past the doorway, he heard a rapid beeping sound.

Beep... Beep! Beep! BOOM!

A sensor based explosive device went off and caused the entire top floor to shake violently in the process. It had been placed there by Alpha One during his retreat as a means to slow down or ideally eliminate Carnage.

When the cloud smoke cleared from the explosive, a drop of red liquid fell to the floor. Carnage stood in the doorway with parts of his cloak in tattered pieces.

However, there was black skintight clothing that he wore underneath which appeared to have protected him from most of the explosion. But, it was still able to cause some damage to his left arm.

Meanwhile, Alpha One and the Valiant members positioned themselves all the way at the left end of the hallway behind the split corridor.

Alpha One remained silent and gave a few hand signals to his squad after he saw that Carnage survived such a powerful explosion at close range.

Though just as they were getting ready to open fire, they saw a young man turn around the corner from the opposite end of the hallway. Alpha One immediately held his hand up signaling to delay his previous orders.

"This is bad." Alpha One said to himself as he furrowed his brows. That young man who appeared to be in his early to mid-twenties was in immense danger! That was because if he kept blindly walking down the hallway he would eventually run into Carnage at the door.

Why isn't he turning back? Doesn't he hear the sounds of a battle? Doesn't he see the damage to the hallway? How did he make it up here with the security restrictions in place? Those were some of the few questions going through Alpha One's head.

However, the most important question was what should his next course of action be? If he yelled to warn the young man, he would not only be putting himself at risk but also the safety of his squad and the valuable data from the Orion Corporation.

On the other hand, even though his number one priority was to protect data in his hands at all cost, he still had a set of morals. Could he truly let such a young man die when he could have easily prevented it?

But, Alpha One could have never predicted what was about to happen next.

"Hey, do you know where I can find someone with the name Marian Dubois?" The young man said calmly as if he was unbothered by the destruction and death around him.

Alpha One was shocked. That young man had actually approached Carnage by his own free will. Not only that, he happened so fast that he did not have a chance to even ponder his previous choices. He realized that he may have been too absorbed in his own thoughts and ended up missing his chance. It was too late to save that young man now.

Carnage did not even look at the young man who spoke to him and simply swung the crimson blade in his hand at an incredible speed. It was aimed right at the young man's neck as if to give him a quick and painless death.

However, the young man moved his head back slightly just before the crimson blade was able to make contact with his neck.

Carnage finally turned his head to look at the young man with bloodthirsty red eyes. He was already in a foul mood due to Alpha One's petty tricks. Now, this brat had managed to dodge his attack? It must have been idiotic luck.

Carnage swung his crimson blade again, however, the same exact thing happened. A few moments later, a deep cut appeared on the side of the wall as if it were cut by something with a powerful force behind it.

'So this is the one using Minor Sword Qi? Interesting.'

Of course, the young man that stood before Carnage was none other than Jin!

When Alpha One saw that Jin was still alive and speaking in such a casual manner to Carnage, he was dumbfounded. Why was it that Carnage had not made a move against him?

However, Alpha One was incapable of following Carnage's crimson blade with his eyes and could not tell that he had already attacked Jin twice!

"Who are you?" Carnage growled in a low tone as his gaze was now locked onto Jin.

"Where did you learn how to use Minor Sword Qi?" Jin asked while ignoring Carnage's inquiry. To speak frankly, it should be virtually impossible for mortals to learn Minor Sword Qi given this world's almost nonexistent spiritual essence.

'Although one does not necessarily require spiritual essence to learn Minor Sword Qi, it would be more difficult than scaling a mountain with one's hands and feet bound without it.'

Carnage narrowed his eyes when Jin mentioned Minor Sword Qi.

"Minor Sword Qi? Never heard of it." Carnage said as he once again swung his crimson sword towards Jin. However, this time he felt his crimson sword become heavy and soon enough he was unable to move it.

Jin caught Carnage's crimson sword between the palm of his hands. He canceled out the Minor Sword Qi from the crimson sword with his very own Minor Sword Qi. Even though Carnage could use Minor Sword Qi, Jin was also capable of using it himself.

Not only that, but he possessed a much stronger and concentrated version of Sword Qi, the Sword Qi contained inside of his First Baneful Sword: Destruction alone was more than enough to neutralize and even overpower Carnage's Minor Sword Qi.

Alpha One had a baffled expression on his face when he saw that Jin caught that crimson sword with his bare hands. He could not even follow Carnage's movements and yet that young man was able to effortlessly catch his sword!

"Who is that young man? Could he be the reinforcements sent by the Zi Family?" Alpha One said to himself. Even though he was young in appearance, that did not mean Alpha One would underestimate his abilities.

"Release it." Carnage said as he tried to forcibly pull his crimson sword away. However, Jin kept a tight hold on it. He then tapped the very bottom of the hilt of his blade using his pinky and caused the blade on the crimson sword to vibrate rapidly.

The sudden burst of vibrate loosened Jin's grip for a brief moment, however, it was long enough for Carnage to pull his crimson sword back as he leaped backward to create some distance. He decided to no longer underestimate the young man before him. For some reason, he felt naturally threatened by Jin.

'A fun toy. It appears to be made out of the same material as those metal spikes. However, that crimson sword is of a much higher quality.'

Jin looked down at his hands and saw that there was actually a small bruise left behind by the crimson sword.

"Alpha One, what are your orders?" One of the Valiant members asked.

"Hold position. Let's see how this plays out. I don't know who that young man is, but he may be reinforcements sent by the Zi Family. However, even if he isn't reinforcements he seems capable of buying enough time until they do arrive. Until the situation is clear, we will refrain from interfering." Alpha One said.

Jin suddenly kicked off his back foot and struck out with one finger at Carnage. But, it was not just a simple attack. There was a high concentration of power at the tip of Jin's fingertip as it pierced through the air.

Carnage reacted swiftly and moved his sword in front to block the attack.

Ding!

Jin's finger collided with the crimson sword. The moment it did so, Carnage's body was sent flying back and tumbling across the hallway.

BOOM!

Carnage's body crashed into a wall and left behind an imprint. He coughed up a mouthful of blood as the crimson sword in his hand fell to the floor.

One finger! Alpha One and the other Valiant members were stunned. The monster they had so much trouble dealing with had been taken care of with a simple finger?

"I'm not sure if we should be thankful or terrified." Alpha One said to himself as he released a deep sigh. One after another these bizarre people appeared from out of nowhere. Now that Carnage was taken care of, he had an even bigger headache to deal with if it turned out that the young was an enemy.

Woosh!

"Do you all know where I can find Marian Dubois?" Jin said. He had suddenly appeared in front of them which caused Alpha One and the Valiant members to be shocked!

So fast! That speed was not natural at all!

The Valiant members got ready to fire by instinct, however, Alpha One held his hand up to stop them.

"What is your purpose here?" Alpha One asked cautiously.