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329 On the Crane, The Start of the Fight Between the Powerhouses

 Day 54 - 10:51 AM - Management Office Building, Industrial Area, South District, Bay City Settlement, Parañaque City, Metro Manila

"Hey Dopp, we have some pests lurking outside. They seem to be helping the military. The shadow people we had are being taken out one after another."

Flam called out in a playful manner as he gazed at the jib of the tower crane in the center of the Industrial Area. Although he could not see anyone on the jib of the crane, he could faintly see the very streaks created by the sniper bullets that were travelling in a very fast speed. All of those streaks appeared out of nowhere which made him conclude that the enemies were most likely to be concealed in some way.

Hearing those words Senator Estrada was surprised. He had total trust with the abilities of these people especially since they were not human at all. Although they were not omnipotent, humans and even most Mutators were still weaker than a normal shadow person in this organization. The soldiers might be able to put up a good fight with their training and experience but that was it. They would be wiped out after some time.

On the other hand, Devon and Dopp looked rather interested. To be able to take out their shadow people was already a feat for a human. Being able to kill their subordinates that belonged to other races were one thing but to be able to kill the shadow people, it would surely be an interesting event.

"Where are they?"

Dopp asked which made Flam point his finger at the crane.

Of course they all could not see anything. Although they could see the same streaks left by the fast moving bullet, they could not see the source or hear the sound of the gun being shot.

"It's a concealment psychic ability."

Devon spoke. As he was also a psychic ability user, he could faintly detect it now that they managed to pin point the exact location where he needed to concentrate his senses.

Dopp on the other hand had his eyes change color. His light blue colored eyes turned crimson.

"There are four life signs there. It's hard to tell what they could be though."

Now that it was really confirmed that there was someone there, Flam was getting agitated.

"Hey Dopp. Let me deal with those pests."

Flam seemed to be itching for a good fight.

"I don't mind if you want to deal with them but don't forget why we are here."

Dopp agreed but strictly reminded the easy going guy.

"Geez, I know! Just let me have some fun without thinking about these things, its already driving me nuts!"

Without waiting for any reply, Flam charged out of the windows. This room was in the third floor and normal people would likely get injuries jumping out of there. However, the moment gravity caught up to Flam, a burst of flames exploded under his feet which sent him flying towards the direction he wanted to go.

"That guy..."

Dopp watched Flam jump out of the window with exasperation. But he could only scratch his head under his hood. It was true and their current mission was rather annoying but they had no way to refuse it.

"Devon, you really have no idea? It's your men who had contact with the Great One for the last time."

Dopp turned to Devon and asked him the question that was already asked several times since they arrive. Although Devon already shared what he knew about the abduction of Mei Xiao and the [Ritual of Blessings], there were still issues that had no answer.

Apparently, there had been no further contact with the Great One since the mission was concluded. As one of the people at the top of the Auraboros, the Great One would constantly contact the headquarters. He would also report things like this that changed the goals of the mission their subordinates were tasked with. Yet, the Great One failed his duty for the first time.

"This country sure is troublesome." Devon complained. "First, we lost contact with that International Drug Lord and then, the Great One. Now, you failed on penetrating this settlement from the shadows and needed to use force with our help. These things only happen in this country. We already got control of several settlements in other countries without problems aside from more difficult ones with secret backgrounds."

Devon then walked and stood in front of the window.

"Now, tell me. What the hell is wrong here? This third rate country should not be able to do much trouble to us."

His voice was getting agitated. Like Flam, he really hated troublesome things that were no obvious answers. It was more like that these issues appeared to be coincidental. The biggest issue was their loss of communication with the Great One. Even the [Ritual of Blessings] have failed to open a portal to contact him. Without that, more than half of their operations in South East Asia were paralyzed.

"Sir Devon, I really have no idea."

Devon was starting to sweat profusely. If he was asked of one thing that he did not want to happen, it was for this guy to become agitated. Dopp might sound like a lame name and his personality was nothing else but dandy, but he was one of the most influential figures in the organization. Not only that he had private organizations around the world, the number of his men even outnumbered the main members of the organization.

Furthermore, he was a powerful being.

Ignoring Devon's silence, Dopp called out.

"Shade."

A robed shadow person emerged from the shadow behind him.

"How are the preparations?"

"We still lacked a hundred and seventy-two people to start the ritual."

"Then use stop trying to abduct the soldiers silently. Bring out everyone and use force."

"Yes sir." Shade answered but the shadow person did not leave immediately. "Sir, I have something to report."

"What is it?"

"One of our people found something odd at the church outside this settlement."

Shade then proceeded with his report before vanishing into the shadows and follow Dopp's instructions.

"A sylph, several strange creatures, an [Alpha Infected] and five humans mingling together, how interesting."

Dopp's interest was piqued. Specifically because of the existence of the sylph that was a very elusive race of spirits.

"Devon, send someone to investigate. If we can get those creatures to our side, even if we fail the mission in this settlement, it will be worth it."

Of course, Devon and Senator were displeased hearing that. This settlement was Devon's mission and the senator wanted to rule over it. If they failed both of them would be bound to a large setback. However...

"Yes, Sir."

Devon could only reply subserviently like that.

***

"Well good, they really took the bait."

Mark smiled sensing that one of the most powerful figures emitted a powerful aura and his will to fight eagerly. He was rather surprised though as he saw the figure of the enemy flew of using combustions of flames underneath his feet.

He had let Mei kill the enemies below with this intent, although he did not know whether it will work or not. He was not sure about the number of enemies that would come either. However, what he was sure was that these people from Auraboros really liked to underestimate humans to the extent that they only see humans as tools and sacrifices.

Mark and Mei stared at the figure that was charging towards them. The enemy was still covered with his hooded robe but from observing his body shape, they could conclude that he seem to be in an age that was between a high-school student and an early college student. Aside from his lean body stature and hood, the thing that was the most eye-catching on the enemy was the sheathed sword on his back.

The sword was oddly sized. The scabbard seemed to be four inches wide and the length was about a little less than four feet. The handle that could be seen above this shoulder seemed to be of medieval origin.

Mei could not see anything else aside from that. Mark however whose body was fused with miasma could tell something else. The sword was emanating a sinister aura that was no less than the Deity of Bloodshed Mark encountered before.

The sword aside, Mark could tell that there were two consciousness that reside on the enemy's mind. One was active while the other seemed to be in complete isolation.

As the enemy landed on the crane facing them, Mark cancelled the [Optical Camouflage] revealing their figures.

The enemy seemed surprised and scratched his head.

"Dopp said that there's four, I can only see two here."

It was a rather childish demeanor but Mark and Mei were not letting their guard down.

"Well, no matter. Hey, who are you two? Why are you wearing our organization's robes?"

The enemy questioned but rather in a malicious behavior, it was nothing more than just pure interest.

"Give me a reason why should I answer that?"

Mark asked while he continued to size up the enemy.

"Hmmm?" The enemy was confused. "It should be the proper etiquette in a battle right? Ah, right, I forgot I'm not in that era anymore."

He then stared straight at Mark.

"Still, I can't just leave things hanging. I don't really have a name but they call me Flam. Even if you two don't want to answer me, I can't just let you two die without me knowing at least your names. I'll just leave it for later then..."

"When you two are at the verge of death."

Finally, the enemy released malicious intent. It was no less than the animosity Mark felt from the Deity of Bloodshed.

"Another demon..." Mark finally realized. It was not the human though but the sword on his back.

When Mark was just about to jump forward to fight, Mei spoke.

"Gege, can you let me try alone first?"

"You sure?"

"Yes."

Mei then put her sniper rifle on her back and took out a short bladed Katana, a wakizashi, Mark made for her. She held the wakizashi on her left hand and held a .45 caliber pistol on her right.

Since Mei wanted to try to fight herself, Mark would just let her. In any case, Crimson was hiding behind her in his mist like form while Amihan was hiding inside her robe. This was the reason the sounds of her sniper rifle could not be heard from below. Of course he made the little sylph hide since her existence would likely be more of an easier target for the enemies once she was discovered. A sylph's stature might be too small of a target for ranged weapons but just one lucky hit would kill her for the same reason. Unlike the shadow people that had ethereal bodies, Amihan's was a physical one.

"Hey... You two should come together you..."

Flam was still underestimating the two for sure and tried to made them fight together but he was not able to finish his words.

CLANG!

At that moment, Flam became wide eyed as he immediately defended himself. He felt an impact on his back as he shifted his body in order to use the sheath of his sword to block the attack.

Mei who was just in front of him suddenly appeared behind his back and stabbed her sword towards his left shoulder bone aiming for his heart. Missing the first attack, Mei shifted her sword and slashed horizontally aiming for the nape of the enemy.

Sensing the attack, Flam lowered his body making the slash miss and counterattacked with a foot sweep.

Mei jumped to evade the sweep but another attack came as Flam tried to grab her neck while she was midair. The hands of Flam could easily grab her in that condition but...

Her body vanished and appeared behind Flam once again and immediately attacked. This time, the attack was not with her sword but with her pistol.

BANG! BANG! BANG!

CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!

Mei shot in three different directions but all were blocked with the metal scabbard of the sword on Flam's back. It was as if he had an eye behind him that was able to see the attacks and blocked them with great precision.

Amihan already stopped muffling the sounds to hide her existence. It was this moment that the sounds of gunshots Mei made alarmed almost everyone in the vicinity.