29 Expert Challenge
Kamryn and the three remaining guards were tongue-tied with what they saw. It was not even three minutes and six more of them were already down for the count.
'I haven't even registered much fluctuations in his mana output which means that they were wiped out by pure body movement.' Kamryn now knew the terror of body cultivators. With the exception of the tenth guard, who was at the third level of the Initiate realm but had weak skills, everyone in their entourage was exceptionally skilled in their corresponding classes despite their weaker cultivation.
"Guard Number One, what the heck is going on? I was told that you were exceptional and yet your entire team is on the verge of being wiped out." Kamryn thought of this chance to reprimand the guards while feeling apprehensive when facing the calm Aster.
Guard Number One felt his ego drop from being called 'Guard Number One' by their young master. He blamed Aster for influencing Kamryn to call him that. "Don't worry about this, young master. Even if he already knocked out most of us, the three of us are capable enough to defeat him."
"Quite confident, are you?" Aster overheard their conversation and could not help but voice out. "Try me."
He was basically in a high from being able to experience the joy of battle. He would always be at the receiving end of the beat down and now the tides have turned albeit they are not his past bullies.
His enemies were in it to kill him but he responded with a softer approach of just simply knocking them out. Escalating it by killing would simply do him no good at the moment.
"Don't be cocky, brat." Guard Number One held a knife in both of his hands while signaling to his companions. "Let's flank him. Number Two, you take right. Number Three, you will be on the left."
It was at this moment that they realized that assigning themselves with numbers was relatively easier for issuing commands than using their own names. They decided to not mind it and instinctively follow One's words but in their heads they were complaining. 'Why does he get to be Number One though when we're at the same cultivation level?'
Aster straightforwardly dashed forward to reach the readied-up One. Number One was practically over the moon from seeing his charge towards him. 'I am not dumb enough to perform another Cross Cut so that you will dodge and smack me.'
Number One sought to time his movements with his dashing enemy and just as expected he appeared in a blink of an eye due to the smart use of his speed.
Aster was greeted with slashes that were perfectly matched with his arrival. 'Too bad that my body cultivation art is filled with the absolute fundamentals of high jumps.'
With a slight tap of Aster's shoes on the ground, he had already propelled and right above Number One's head.
One's knives did nothing but attack thin air and just as he was wondering where Aster was attacking next, he had already passed out from receiving a kick from the top of his head. Aster leisurely reached Kamryn that was near the newly passed out guard and said. "Shall we put a stop this, Young Master Kamryn?"
Kamryn Valentine never felt so stifled at this moment. Being hailed as a genius who would follow the footsteps of his infamous brother was somewhat useless when facing the handsome Aster that leisurely defeated the guard group.
'This man is like a beast in human form just as how one would describe body cultivators. He is the perfect bane for a weak-bodied wizard like me or pretty much the terror of mana-dependent cultivators that never trained their body.' Kamryn was pretty much convinced that this should be the time to stop. Aster was practically lenient on them by not retaliating from their successive killing moves.
"Let us go." Kamryn relented while ordering the stumped Number Two and Three. If things were to escalate any further, there is no doubt that they would truly be down for the count as well and even Kamryn would be in trouble. The two of them were practically left out from the action but was feeling a bit luckier from not receiving a knockout.
It did not take long for them to curse Aster again in their heads though because they were the ones designated to carry the wounded.
Number Two, the speech-giver, was shooting glares towards Aster. 'You could have knocked us out as well so that we don't have to carry our battered up companions. This brat must have planned all of this.'
Aster found his actions funny and said. "Weren't you the one that gave the speech that you leave no men behind? Don't just stand there and get to work. Haha!"
While mocking, he already headed inside through and ease the shocked triplets. They were practically there to watch the whole procession and can't help but find Aster charming beyond compare and at a greater level than how they saw him before.
They were women and previous princesses, the combination practically made them susceptible to falling in love with unrivaled heroes. Aster also noticed the love reflected from their gazes and found that their Sentiment Meter went up another notch.
"Did you find your handsome and devilish lover to be so hot?" He joked while expecting praise from the love-struck harem members but he was only given a simple and coordinated reply of rejection. "No!"
"Eh? I am practically your knight in shining armor though that unreasonably bedded you just after having met you for about two days." Aster joked again while proceeding to not care about the stifled Two and Three.
The triplets did not find his joke funny and even had a feeling of guilt inside their hearts. Aria was about to steel up and proceed to tell him some of the information they kept from him but was interrupted by a deep voice. "Youngster, you really did a beating on my recruits."
They could hear grunts and bodies thudding as a person threw the guards down in an agile fashion.
Aster sighed in frustration from his foolish actions. 'Now then, I got a bit cocky and attracted the attention of a big wig.'
When he turned back, the beaten-up guards were already piled up to a far area which left the front of their gates as peaceful as it used to be. Kamryn was still in his spot but a noble-suited man was accompanying him. Aster did a quick deduction in his mind and thought. 'This must be the secret and more powerful guard that only appears when their client is truly backed in a corner. Judging from his clothing, he must be a guard that has proven his worth to their Kamryn's parents or something.'
"I am here to seek vengeance for them and putting you in place from disrespecting the Valentine name. Nice to meet you, my name is..." The man elegantly explained but Aster cut off his arrogant speech by completing his sentence. "Guard Number Zero or Eleven, I guess."
"Kamryn Valentine, I think that we already have settled this. I was practically being lenient on your guards by not killing them. You are technically burning down bridges I am making to complete the infamous phrase." He turned to the Kamryn, who had turned silent from an internal struggle.
Zero or Eleven felt curious and asked. "What infamous phrase is that?"
"Let us make peace and let our disagreements be water under the bridge." Aster shrugged while explaining.
The man that he designated as Zero or Eleven laughed and interpreted his actions as a sign of fear. "Haha! Young Master Kamryn, don't worry about making peace with this brat. Making peace is a sign of weakness and a cowardly move on his part because he knows that he can't beat me."
Kamryn had basically gotten back his shattered confidence from the logic of the man. Aster's great feat had thrown Kamryn's belief of talent to crumbles but good thing that the man was there to give enlightenment. "Haha! Sorry for you but I will have to go back on my words and let you taste the retaliation of Valentine."
Kamryn was actually guilty from going back on words that have been uttered but no matter what this new guard would still attack the enemy whether they formed a truce or not.
"Nice words, young master. You don't have to show leniency to those who have crossed you." The man praised while looking at Aster with animosity. Kamryn and Glenn were the pride of their family and for one of them to become downcast by another person is unacceptable.
Aster was really filled up with the noble family pride and surname shmuck. He knew that cultivation somewhat improves your souls and spirit which makes cultivators a bit smarter than what they initially are. 'It is the reverse for nobles and arrogant bastards, they somewhat made themselves dumber and fail to see the bigger picture. I guess I am somewhat dumber as well from stooping to their level.'
The man readied himself and unleashed a gush of red mana from within him. One could already figure out that he is a fire cultivator at the Expert rank.
"Brat, you rudely interrupted me before but hear me out now. I am Garth Valentine and the Expert Flame Warrior of the Valentine Family." Garth basically wasted his time by making a grand show of his prowess and was expecting to stun his opponent.
Unfortunately, Aster was still calm as ever and his glorious moment was ruined. "Brat, we are known to follow a duel etiquette of knowing our enemy's name. State yours before it would be destined to be gone from this day."
The triplets were worried for him but kept quiet from seeing Aster being calm and unhurried. They loved him and in turn trusted him as well.
'There are really a number of strange cultures in this world that even a family is dumb enough to announce their name in a fight. What are they playing at? Are they supposed to be some chivalrous family of knights? What would they do if they fight an entire army? Do they have to know everybody's identification?' Aster really had his head hurting from the turn of events. "You are literally the ones that came ringing the doorbell for a fight. You even had the gall to order your numbered minions to take over my house. People would naturally lean towards self-defense and when you were beaten, you pass the blame on me like it is my fault and not yours. What shitty etiquette are you playing at?"
"Since your fucking unreasonable characters, I'll treat you as unreasonably as I can then." Aster's temper flared and felt the need to vent it. "I'll play with your noble code of nonsense as well."
"I am someone that named myself as Aster." With a fake bow, he decided to contradict his playful name and become the disaster that the Valentine duo would meet.