The day in Albrook was slowly coming to an end but the sun was still out. Chatters and laughs that were previously prevalent in this establishment went silent the moment an unknown person walked in through the saloon-like door.
He was larger both in height and stature than the average human male. This wasn’t what made this person stick out like a sore thumb. The armor that he was wearing was dark crimson, mana stones, and runic symbols adorned it from head to toe.
The people in this place belonged to a more rough element of the city. This place was one of the cheap pubs where they could spend their hard-earned coin. A chunk of it procured through less than stellar means. Thieves, rogues, and con artists were all here and they could tell that this unexpected ‘knight’ was here to cause trouble.
It was abnormal that someone with that amount of gear would show his face around here. Most people here were already inching away after the armored man looked to the side and started approaching one of the tables in the back.
“Hey, isn’t that Devyn and his chums? Did they do wrong to some high ranking adventurer?”
An old-looking dwarf asked while taking a swig from a pitcher filled with alcohol. The person sitting next to him was a human of similar age. The man rubbed his chin but soon he shrugged.
“No idea, though Devyn and his boys aren’t pushovers. This might be interesting. I’ll put two small silvers on those idiots...”
Both of the men grinned at each other while continuing to drink their booze. They were far away from the spot those men were sitting in and wanted to see a good show. It was quite normal for bar fights to break out in a place like this and just as normal to put bets on them.
It was something that was welcome amongst the ruffians living here. It was seen as a form of entertainment to spice up the monotonous life. With the lack of modern-day entertainment what was left was fighting, gambling, sex, and drinking.
“Hey Garlen, get a load of this guy.”
Devyn , the leader of the group was in the middle of drinking some cheap booze while glancing at the busty bar wench. He looked to where his buddy Garlen was pointing to spot a strange armored man.
The man was wearing a full suit of plate mail armor. On his back was a kite shield and to his side an arming sword. Devyn was a bit drunk already and he was together with four other party members.
Even if the man was armored and armed this didn’t pose much of a threat. The people here also had their weapons ready, some strapped to the sides just as the knight while others had them placed on the table directly. In this neighborhood, there was a need for the protection of one's life. Having people fighting with drawn weapons wasn’t as rare as some people might think.
“You think you’re scaring anyone with that fancy armor, fuck off.”
The other four men laughed while looking at the crimson armored man. This wasn’t the first time someone tried starting things with them. It was the first one that someone in a fancy armor like this though. Devyn was already thinking about how much he could get for this piece of equipment if this man actually tried something funny. Before the laughing stopped the man in crimson pointed to something behind them and spoke out.
“That doesn’t belong to you, return it.”
Devyn’s face twitched in anger slightly after hearing the person speak. He had quite the condescending tone and Devyn was a person that despised getting ordered around. Before speaking out he glanced to where this person was pointing.
“The backpack? Did that idiot Bernir send you here?”
“Bernir? Maybe we were too lenient with him, next time we should break both his legs.”
Garlen said from the side while the other party members started to laugh again. Even though they were laughing they were all slowly reaching for their weapons. This person was an unknown element that they haven’t seen before. The only reason they attacked Bernir was that they were sure that he didn’t have anyone backing him. Now this man showed up which made their previous assumption null.
“Give it back…”
The man took a step forward while not letting up. The four members from Devyn’s party stood up with weapons in their hands to protect themselves. They knew that the one that struck first had the advantage and they wouldn’t let this person deliver a blow while they were sitting down.
“You’re brave my friend, but also stupid. How about this, I’m a generous man. You can take the backpack for let’s say…”
Devyn had a big smirk on his face while talking slowly. His men were ready to strike and he felt confident that this person wasn’t a tier 3 class holder. The man had a certain skill akin to the analysis skill to sense his opponent’s strength.
The man in red was clearly someone at tier 2 but he didn’t out level his party by that much. If he fought them one on one then he might have stood a chance but with all of them ready to strike there was no way of them losing this battle.
“Ten gold coins does sound reasonable, doesn’t it?”
Everyone that was looking at this play out gulped hard. Ten regular-sized gold coins were quite a big sum. A person could buy a house with that or even a set of enchanted items. The man in red armor didn’t answer this proposal. It seemed like he was examining the situation before making a decision.
“Ten gold too much for you? How about you leave us that armor of yours along with your shield and sword?”
Devyn grinned some more, he didn’t think that the man would go for the trade but he didn’t care. If he attacked them, then they would have the right to strip him of all of his belongings. The city guards didn’t come here and no one in this pub would snitch. It was an unspoken rule among the people living here. Everything would be taken care of between them without involving the nobles.
“What, don’t have it?”
The man in red remained silent without answering. Devyn’s grin started fading as getting ignored was also something that he disliked. The man showed up out of nowhere and wanted to take Bernir’s backpack back. Inside of it, they found some change and blacksmithing materials. There wasn’t much but they could pawn the large storage bag at the auction house later.
He would certainly not give something like that away for free, even less likely after the armored man showed up. If they gave in to his demands it would make him and his crew seem weak. A person of crime had an image to uphold, if they didn’t every two-bit crook would try to screw with them.
“So, you won’t return it?”
“Are you an idiot?”
Devyn replied with a glare, the man seemed to ignore his previous proposal. It was as if bartering for the item was out of the question. Then the man did something strange, he moved his hand into a smaller spatial bag. This prompted Devyn’s men to get ready but instead of any weapons, he pulled out a round orb.
This peculiar orb lit up in blue color and projected an image of some dots. It was clearly a magical device but the use was unclear.
“Good… empty alleyway, no one there…”
“What are you mumbling about? Devyn, this guy is pissing me off, let me…”
Before Garlen could reply the man in the crimson armor moved both his hands forward. He wasn’t holding any weapons, just pointing with the flat side of his palms at them. It looked like he was trying to push an invisible wall. They realized too late what he was up to as his whole armor lit up like a Christmas tree with the focus being his hands.
A massive ball of green energy formed in front of him before being shot out. It was a massive burst of wind elements that pushed all five of the men back against the wall with a staggering amount of force.
The shabby wooden walls of this pub weren’t able to support this attack and crumbled. All of Devyn’s party members, including him, were sent through this wooden wall and fell out on the other side.
Everyone that was watching this from the side was astonished by this development. The armored man looked like he had some enchanted armor on but no one had ever seen someone use it like this.
Mostly the enchantments would be buffing spells or defensive ones. Active magic spells burned through the caster’s mana by too much. Unless someone was a mage they wouldn’t be able to handle prolonged use of such gear. Even then mages would use special magic wands or staffs for such things and not bulky armor that slowed them down.
The fight continued while people scattered to the sides even more. Now they realized that the fight had some kind of crazy magic involved. There was now the possibility of being involved in some wide-area magical blasts. No one was willing to stick too close to a caster that was using runic weapons.
Devyn spat out some blood as he was hurled all the way on the opposite side of this alley and into a stone wall. His party members were all close to him while one of his men was still hanging out of the wooden wall.
“Wait, look out!”
With a sudden blurry movement, the man in red armor was now upon the man that was covered in splintered planks. He was grabbed by the neck from behind and promptly lifted up, then the armor started glowing in a blue light before another spell was discharged.
It was a lightning spell. The man was being electrocuted before their very eyes. It was clearly a higher-tier common spell that packed quite a punch and was fast. After the crimson man injected their party member with high voltage he was promptly tossed to the side, his body limp.
The fight was taken outside of the premises of this pub. Some of the people that were on the inside decided that this was enough and it was time to run. There were a few that remained in place, interested in this man’s capabilities.
It seemed that he was able to repeatedly cast spells which was the forte of runic spells. This came at a large cost that a lot of people knew, the high loss of MP was seen as problematic. Thus it was surprising that this person was continuously producing magical effects. The armor’s mana stones were even shining making people believe that he was constantly burning through his mana.
“Get him, he can’t keep this up for long…”
Devyn knew the downside of using runic weapons. They only needed to prolong this fight and their enemy would run out of steam sooner or later.
A flat pillar of rock collided with Garlen’s belly. He was the group’s tank and also larger than this enemy that they were facing. He had managed to grab his shield and ax before being sent out through the wall.
The problem was that the attack came from below and not from in front as he had expected. The man’s right boot looked to be the magical device that activated this earth base spell that connected with his liver and sent him to his knees.
More screams filled the alleyway as the magical spells continued to be discharged. It didn’t seem like the person casting them was having a tough time with his MP. With an ice blast, another man fell, and now the only person that remained was the ringleader.
“Don’t think that you’ll get away with this you shit! You think you can just waltz in here and…”
Before Devyn could finish the sentence a blast of magic energy connected with the ground right next to him. He moved to the side to evade it but it seemed that this was just a faint that the man in crimson was waiting for.
The armor glowed in green light and he appeared right to the side. Without having time to react and in a panicked state, Devyn received a clean shot from the man’s fist to the chin. His teeth and blood flew up against the stone wall as he crumbled like a deflated balloon.
“You could have just returned the backpack but you had to make it difficult...”
Before Devyn could reply he saw a blood-covered armored fist flying towards his face again. With another hit, he tumbled onto his back and into some garbage on the side. The man that assaulted them walked towards him with slow steps and placed his foot on his chest to hold him down.
“I don't particularly enjoy stuff like this... but I'll have to make an exception for you.”
"Whait, whet ar' you doin?"
Devyn's vision was blurry and he had blood in his mouth and no strength to fight back. He saw Roland leaning down and grasping one of his legs below the knee, the mana stones on his armor glowed in red as the man felt pressure being applied to his shin bone.
"S-stop you b-bastard, noooo..."
A faint crunching sound could be heard by Roland as the shin bone snapped in half. He felt that the eye for an eye approach was the right choice here. The potions could heal the broken bones as well, so this wasn't even that harsh of punishment in his mind.
Before passing out the last thing that Devyn remembered seeing was a discharge of electricity coming from the very gauntlets that broke his leg. It had actually been quite the merciful gesture from Roland as the man was knocked out cold almost instantly and didn't need to suffer through the pain of a freshly broken shin.
Roland removed his foot from the man's chest and glanced at the broken leg for a second before turning around. The battle was won quite easily but he had used a large amount of mana to hasten this process. He took a mana potion out from his storage bag and drank it before turning around and heading back into the pub. The entrance that he made with his wind blast was still there.
On the inside, he could see half of the people missing while some others looking at him with interest or fear in their eyes. While walking the chipped wood started cracking under his feet. He looked to the side to where the backpack was sitting and moved over to it. This item was mostly undamaged with some chunks of wood here and there.
‘Well, that was easier than I expected…’
Roland wanted to pat himself on the back as he decimated a party of lower leveled tier 2 warriors. They were all below his level with the leader being at the 68th one. They were close to each other in that regard. He was wearing his necklace that blocked part of his status but the leader from this group looked confident in their fighting capabilities.
There could have been other ways unknown to Roland to measure the strength of the opponent. Though this might have been just a sense of the level difference without an in-depth look into the stats.
He grasped the backpack and carried it with one hand while still having the shield on his back. Everyone that he fought was left alive with mostly minor injuries that could be recovered with the help of potions. Before leaving he moved over to who looked to be the bartender in this pub. The man was an old muscular man past his forties.
“What do yer want?”
Even though the man witnessed him take out five people with spells he didn’t look that scared.
“Here, this should cover the cost for the destroyed walls.”
Roland reached out and dropped a couple of small gold coins on the bar counter. The old man raised an eyebrow at the large sum of money and then to the large hole in the flimsy wall.
“Hey brother, if you want there ye another wall on the other side…”
The man grinned while quickly swiping the coins from the bar counter. Roland just turned around without replying and went for the exit. He had gotten what he came for and it was time to leave.
There was a small crowd at the regular entrance now thus he decided to use the one that he made with the windblast. While stepping through it he could see most of the assailants still on the ground and out cold. One of them was crawling out through the alleyway to safety. He only broke the party leader's leg while the others were left with bruises and broken teeth. Thus it was normal for one of them to attempt to flee.
The person that was crawling away was Garlen, being the tank he did have the most resistance and hit points from the group. He could see Roland walking out of the hole in the wall again which prompted him to quickly try to escape. He had already seen Devyn's broken leg and was not willing to follow receive the same treatment.
“H-help, he is crazy!”
Roland could hear Garlen call out to someone from afar. It looked like he was grasping for straws and trying to ask the passersby for help. He didn’t think that anyone would actually help some thug like this guy but to be sure he drank another potion to recover more of his mana and stamina.
“Hah, someone done you idiots in? You probably deserved it!”
While walking forward Roland heard a familiar voice that made him stop in his tracks. He tried looking at the source of that voice. Doing so made this person spot him as he was walking out of the alley.
‘What is this guy doing here?”
What Roland saw was a familiar face of a man he once fought. It was the guild instructor that was unhappy with the results by the name of Armand. He was standing there with two women, each one was clinging to one of his muscular arms and looking in his direction. For some reason Roland didn’t like the look in Armand’s eyes, it seemed as if the fight wasn’t quite over yet...