Ray had learnt the way Freya fight.

The scene from when Freya won against Dunnford passed through Ray's mind as one of the six men surrounding him charged towards him. He had learnt two things from that fight: slow movements could be fast as long as they were efficient and take the shortest path; and that in a fight, any move was allowed. Hitting the temple, for example, was a good attack to make the opponent lose balance. An attack which Freya used against Dunnford. Thus, Ray tried it for himself, with variation of his own.

Before the attacker's knife was able to connect to him, he grabbed the beer mug from the bar counter and swung it to the man's temple. He knew that he would be faster. The glass mug then shattered after it hits and the man dropped down to the ground with blood dripping from his head. Ray's action would have caused a ruckus in a normal bar, but in that particular bar, fight was a daily occurrence. One down, five more to go.

The five men was stunned for a while, but they proceed to gang up on Ray. 2 of them pulled out their knife while the other 3 wore their metal knuckles. Ray had decided to dress in a thieves apparel to avoid unnecessary attention. Meaning: he didn't bring his sword with him to the bar. He kicked the chair he was sitting on to separate the 5 men.

Seeing that one was further than the rest, Ray leaped to action. He approached that man and evaded his punches. Ray grabbed his opponent's head and gave him a push. He slammed him down to the wooden floor and broke the wood with a bam. 4 more. 2 of the men thought that Ray was open, as he had to check on whether or not the person he just slammed was conscious. However, he wasn't an amateur to forget his other opponents. He had expected their attack and countered with a high front kick to the face. That kick pushed the man behind, along with another man, and they crashed into a table. 2 more to go.

1 of them ran away while the other attacked him. The person who ran away must have known that Ray was strong and he wanted to call for back-up. The one who went towards him must have wanted to stall. Cheap tricks, but that was a good trick for thieves, Ray admitted.

The guy he fought was wearing metal knuckles on both his hand. Although his fighting form was unorthodox, it was good enough to cause problems for Ray. His jabs were sharp and fast. With those metal knuckles equipped, Ray couldn't possibly block those punches unless he wanted broken bones. He dodged those quick jabs, some almost connected but almost meant that the punches missed their targets. If only the man was slightly faster, Ray was sure he would get hit by one of those nasty punch. Knowing the rhythm of his opponent's punches, he slipped a counter punch to the face and the opponent fell unconscious.

Tidying his own clothes, Ray got himself a seat at the bar counter again. He had completed his part of the deal and it was the owner's turn to complete his.

'... Do you need ice for your hand?' Pall gestured at Ray's knuckle which was red from landing a counter.

'No big deal. What I need is information.'

'Very well. Have a drink lad, on the house,' Pall offered a glass of wine. Ray gladly accepted and drank it. After the situation had calmed down, only then Pall felt like sharing what he knew. He rubbed his mustache and opened his mouth: 'Those guys who you beat just now, are also responsible for the burning of libraries. I do not know how their group steal the books from the libraries, but I know that they burn the libraries by force. Their group is called Skulls and they are newly made. They appeared 2 months ago and are already at the pinnacle of power among bandits. They're-- different from the rest.'

'They stole the books right?'

'Yes, but I do not know how they do it.'

'Do you know where their base is located?'

'I do, it's not like they hid it. They announce the location of their base to show their power. As if saying: try if you can. I can jot the address down for you.'

Pall grabbed a sheet of small paper and wrote on it with ink. It was the first night and Ray seemed to be successful in gaining information. Not to mention, since back-ups were coming, that would mean that Ray would be able to interrogate them. He was that confident at winning. Especially since he had a knife for a weapon now. He had taken the knife of the man who attacked him. However, he was taught not to be over-confident when it comes to fighting because of the existence of Special Magic. Situational magic such as that could easily turn the tides.

'Here's the address,' Pall finished writing. 'Be careful.'

'I will. Here's your payment owner,' Ray gave to him the pouch full of gold coins. He didn't have any intention to give it at first, but seeing that the man was sincere, he decided to relinquish his gold. 'Speaking of which, why do you say that Skulls are different from the rest?'

'Because--' Pall was about to explain, but he stopped talking upon seeing the man behind Ray. Curious, Ray looked back and was greeted by a man full of tattoos. There were tattoos on every surface of his skin, including the face. The tattoos weren't of images, but rather of symbols, of letters Ray couldn't read. The tattooed man took a seat beside Ray.

'Because we are different from the rest Ray,' he said while gesturing with his hand to Pall for a drink. 'I am stronger, faster, better than other normal thieves. My leader is even more powerful than I am.'

Pall gave the man the drink he ordered. The man had ordered a glass of rum and he chugged it all down in one go. 'Strong in drinking you mean?' Ray said.

The man laughed hearing that and gave Ray a pat on the back. The tattooed man patted patted lightly, but it took Ray all his strength to withstand it without falling from his chair. The man had absurd strength. 'You're a joker! I like it! However, I do mean what I said seriously.'

The air surrounding that man was heavy. Ray's own instinct was telling him: that man was strong, perhaps stronger than him.

'Tell you what,' the man said, 'I'll give you 5 seconds to get out of my sight and I'll let you go. I'll forget what you did to my underlings and treat it as if it never happened. Not a bad offer I think! What do you say?' Ray felt as if his pride was struck.

'You can waste your time counting,' he retorted.

'You'll regret your decision Ray,' the man said.


About the author

Novaldy Felix

Bio: Any form of reviews or critics, kind or unkind, is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Things happens, updates Freya at least once a week at EST Saturday 19:03. (If I don't get the timezone wrong)

Oh hey, speaking of which:
Some stuff arises during the holiday, things I need to deal with.

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