Garth Valentine was at ease because it is an unwritten rule that the Expert ranks tend to overpower tons of Initiates. He is only at the 1st level of the Expert rank though but he was sure that he can end the brat in a matter of a move. 'I am a true fighter who has grown mana and expertly control it.'
"I never really realized that body cultivators are freaking empowered like beasts. How about you show me how fearsome you are then?" Garth said to him because he saw the whole procession of events where the youth in front of him practically mowed the floor with mana-skilled guards. Aster felt the urge to puke from his words that hid contempt.
"Uncle Garth, be careful. He can practically knock you out with a single blow if you are not careful enough." Kamryn advised seeing that Garth Valentine was being complacent.
Garth laughed it off. "Don't worry, young master. He is practically a one-trick pony that depends too much on close-combat. Even if he comes in contact with me, an Expert's body is already strengthened by a bit of our mana cultivation, so it won't matter much. I would be scared though if he is an Expert as well but it is clear to see that he is only at the first level of Initiate in mana and body cultivation."
Garth was truly looking down on his opponent and giving nonchalant comments in ease because he saw his enemy's eyes close for a while. 'This Aster is practically waving a white flag with him closing his eyes like that. It is like a person in a death toll and is closing his eyes in wait of the blade of his executioner.'
What he did not know was the fact that Aster was conversing in his head with the system and is buying a skill to put him in somewhat of equal grounds with an Expert.
By the time Aster opened his eyes, the Valentine duo felt a wave of killing intent. Their spirits waned as they had a sensation of how a predator looks to his prey. They were the prey while Aster was the murderous predator that is ready to claim a life.
'Feel my murderous intent, Valentine.' Aster thought but the duo somewhat understood what he meant through his gaze.
The experienced Garth and the prideful Kamryn experienced a decline in their thoughts of winning and their instincts were telling them to run. Garth had basically erased his arrogance and his heart was beating fast. 'This is not any different than how those experienced killers that have slain hundreds. I better get the young mistress out of here.'
"Young Mast..." Before Garth could warn Kamryn to run, Aster had already reached in front of him within a blink of an eye.
"Hello, the one-trick pony is here to prove that he has other tricks." Aster's intimidatory glare coupled with the Space Skip made him an inexplicable person in their eyes. The shocked Garth had no time to defend himself and could only take Aster's punch head-on.
The arrogant man was flung backward and only regained his bearing five meters away from where he previously stood at. His mediocre looks really took its toll and he could now be considered ugly with how weird his nose was bent. Aster laughed at him with a mocking sentence. "You were right in saying that Experts can really take a punch. Haha! You are the perfect punching bag."
"Wai... staap!" Garth was ready to concede but was disconcerted by how his speech was being delivered. He did not notice but Aster and all other spectators could see his front teeth being broken weirdly. It had not fallen off but was still intact with his gums. Only that it was like a broken jar that had no way of being fixed. It broke down even more with every move of his mouth with blood spilling from it.
"Please stop! Aster right... we will let water under the bridge. Water under the bridge!" Kamryn was panicking from how Garth was being beaten down in an instant and from the killing pressure that Aster exuded. Regret flashed back in her thoughts and wished for him to stop already.
To think that their gloating expressions were overturned in an instant.
"Did your femininity suddenly change your mind, miss Kamryn?" Aster's words sank the duo in despair again and Garth can't help but shout audibly. "Haaw ded yoo know?"
Kamryn was practically using a fabled treasure that hides her true looks and gender from even King rank experts. Her looks and physique were practically different than how one should perceive. Given that Glenn was known as the Romance Tyrant, he did not want his beautiful little sister to be the target of all the men he has ired and had her use a disguise.
"Not telling." Aster smiled while looking at them mockingly. Being able to tell that Kamryn was a woman was courtesy of his Sentiment Meter, of course. The meter is truly biased on reading women's sentiment that it even bypassed some sort of treasure they are using. "Why are you worried about me finding out? You should be worrying about how you can take my beatings."
"Pleese, we were in the wong. Let as gow." Garth pleaded again because of the intense fear he is feeling and the risk that Aster posed towards the young miss. What he never knew was that Aster was actually wary of his attacks?
Aster had not much firepower to beat an Expert. This was a psychological battle that used a human's fear of the unknown. All of his actions such as sudden teleportation, killing intent, and finding out about Kamryn's gender was further enforcing the illusion in their minds that he should not be messed with.
'This poor bloke named Garth is actually quite gullible and should be an unfortunate Expert ranker that is to be felled by someone who is an entire realm lower than him.' Aster decided to finish it all of. If Garth was calm enough, he would notice that he could fight back with him in a fairer fashion. Unfortunately, ifs would not be able to change the facts.
Aster sensed space mana by Garth's side and connected with it like a pinpoint mark. With a flash, he arrived in a fashion of teleportation via Space Skip. He formed a fist with a prominent knuckle and targeted Garth's left elbow. An audible crack could be heard as bones protruded from his skin.
"Eeeh!!!" The arrogant man shrieked like a woman as he saw his left arm bend to the extreme. The arm and forearm angle is only meant to form within the range of a zero to one-hundred eighty degree angle, however, Garth's did a full 230 degrees.
It looked wretched beyond compare but Aster was not done with his attacks and did another Space Skip to quickly do the same on the right elbow.
"Noooo!!!" Garth issued another scream of dispair while standing in place. Aster was not done yet again as he eventually faced the crippled man in straight into his despairing eyes. Garth took the full brunt of the scary intent and wanted to faint from doubled despair. His mental and physical state was in assault but it only went to the very worst with Aster kicking both of his prominent knees.
It had basically gone overboard with Garth's legs form being similar to how birds are angled while his arm formation was like a weird wing.
"I have essentially discovered or made a new species of bird named Garth. Your scientific name should be italicized into Arrogantus garthus." Aster said while rubbing his chin like a nerd. 'Hay! The creator was essentially right that I was suited for being a killer. I was practically merciless and unfeeling in beating this man up.'
'I have also mastered the Murderous Intent skill in this fight. System, please designate lust points for me to buy Envious Mana Refiner.' The system did just as told and insights filled Aster's thoughts. This skill allows him to absorb the mana that is cultivated by his target and makes it his own. It is not contradictory to his lust point cultivation upgrades but a skill catered to give him discounts.
Envious Mana Refiner. Enables cultivators to absorb the refined mana of the target. Works with Lust Exchange System for a discount depending on how much mana the host has absorbed. 5,000 lust points needed for mastery insights.
This was a devil technique that the Suns clan took from a devil cultivator. It had many loopholes and drawbacks that it was essentially unusable but the system perfected it for use and made available to Aster. This goes in a pair with the previously mentioned Murderous Intent.
Murderous Intent. A spirit cultivation technique that lets the cultivator to amass and produce a powerful killing intent. 1,000 lust points needed for mastery insights.
This was a relatively weaker spirit art that was discarded for being impractical but Aster thought otherwise and wanted to improve it to usable standards. Who would've thought that it came in handy with his current situation?
'Sorry for you, Garth. I need the mana you've saved up for discounts in my breakthroughs.' Aster offered a fake apology in his thoughts while absorbing the cluster of mana that belonged to an Expert cultivator.
The process was relatively long and gruesome because he was getting used to it but his target had long passed out while the crossdressing Kamryn had also passed out from the disbelief of what she saw.
"You can continue on, girls. Don't let Jade and Monet go outside to see this." Aster said to the quiet triplets and they eventually followed. Things were already passed the point of reconciliation and they decided to support Aster all the way.
Roughly five minutes later, Garth was drained but not crippled to being a mortal. The skill just technically emptied out his tank of mana and gave it to Aster's system to be inexplicably processed as discounts. He did not go to true crippling because he needed to lighten the confict a bit.
He eventually surveyed the surroundings and felt that trouble is doomed to approach. Glenn Valentine is sure to investigate things and prying eyes might have seen all the events from afar without him noticing. 'It is quite frustrating to not be able to kill these guys but at least I have vented out my latent frustrations.'
Garth was eventually thrown into the pile of guards that he made himself while Aster had to be a bit gentler in approach towards Kamryn.
Plans were being formulated in his thoughts while the Romance Tyrant would eventually come ringing the doorbell for another round of trouble.