I could see it clearly now. Soaked in the blood of my victims, my body felt reborn like the bliss of a phoenix rising from ashes. Oh, I had given them their due; I had avenged her, and never ever shall they sully Earth with their filthy breath more poisonous than any snake could ever be.
Ah, the smelly wind in Khalut, a district full of rot and evil, I shall never forget whence I came. My knife I held in my hand whispered to me for more bloodshed. It wanted to celebrate my awakening. My newfound strength.
As I walked in my tattered clothes in some alleyway, a man in a red suit obstructed my way.
“Your eyes are more beautiful than the shimmering of hundreds of pearls; your temper is less tempered than an angry volcano. Your –
I facepalmed and ruined my face with blood. “Speak. On point. Now.” I glared at him and hoped this fool would cower.
But, he only bowed. “My business card.”
I grabbed his card, but it was blank. He fumbled in his pockets and took a white, transparent stone out.
“I see.” Indeed, now the card actually displayed letters. Alvis Gibson. Information Broker. His address was shown as well.
So, how probable was it that an information broker visited you by chance after you had killed a bunch of people and awakened?
He smiled like a good mommy boy, and said, “Alvis Gibson, always at your service.”
My intuition, which had to lead me through my years in the streets, told me that this man was playing the fool to let my guard down. However, this type of man was usually very competent in what they did, and a double-edged sword: although they might take advantage of you, you would still profit in the end.
“What would be your offer?”
Now the air around changed and he grew serious. “I could sweep your deed under the table. Heroes hunt criminals down even if the crimes are committed in villain controlled regions.” That was a good point. “Furthermore, I shall help you in the future. Meaning, I allow you to trade with me.”
I looked sceptically at him, “Aren’t there many other information brokers? I don’t have to trade with you.”
Relaxed, he stretched his hands as if was sure, he was already dominating the conversation, “Of course, you don’t have to. But, how many information brokers do you know that deal with S-ranks?”
“Prove.” He could talk as much as he wanted, but he needed to show me.
With his index finger, he pointed towards the transparent stone. “This stone and the business card are made by an A-rank crafter.”
What an A-rank crafter? I carefully observed the crystal-like stone. Ripples of a domain-imbued force washed over my skin, tearing it appeared, or so it felt. What a frightening artefact. Since I was now an Empowered, I had access to greater opportunities, it seemed.
“Why me?” A-rank crafters were far rarer than S-ranks.
“Because I bet on the future.” He leaned on a street lamp and continued, “I have good reasons to believe that you’ll become powerful in the future.
“This explanation isn´t enough.” In no way would I believe everything he had said. There were several villains who could become a high-rank, why me in particular?
“I shall grant you a free lunch, call it bait. But from reliable sources, I know that the younger generation will surpass the older one; this is set in stone. And I know as well what is needed to advance, for I am the most distinguished information broker in this city.” He fixed his suit and showed his polished teeth.
“In the future, you’ll ask for help on behalf of your friend; at that point in time, I’ll grant your friend an audience and shall consider helping her for a little price. If you do this, your debt is paid.”
Essentially, he wanted to be in contact with one of my friends. Does he mean Laura? Perhaps.
“I agree, though we should make a contract.”
He bowed again, “I`m no Empowered, a contract wouldn’t be binding. However, I swear on my honour as a trustworthy broker that I shall never take more than I demanded in the first place.
I agreed. I had nothing to lose, right?