"Boss! What are we going to do now?" Tank asked out. They were just informed of the debacle and had not prepared much for the incoming threat.
"I guess we will have to flank that monster in two battles. From what it seemed, he cares or works for those weak siblings." Cinder was still adamant about using the girls as a bargaining chip while Rat sighed and said. "There is nothing much that we can do except to scare the guy away with our numbers or make peace. Not that any other solution is a win, it is just our best bet."
"Alright, men! Keep our guards up and intercept in however way we could intercept. We could not let some unknown person get in the way of our fight against society. Women, money, and power are what I promised you and that is what we will get. The incoming brat is just another hurdle for us to overcome so that we can achieve our goals. Are you with me?!" Rat might act benevolent but he actually called for everyone to suffer the same fate. 'If I die because of some backlash of a freaking task, I will bring you guys down. There is also the option in which I run away while the guy is busy with cleaning up with you.
"YES!!!" Shouted the thugs in unison. One could not deny the leadership and charisma vibe that the ratman had. It was hard to imagine that from a rat head with an intricately designed hairstyle that fit him.
'Never judge anything by how it looks. One should always take into consideration the intrinsic properties it hid under its exteriors.' Aster said in quote while he swayed himself up above in the ceiling. The distance from the top to the bottom was too high that everyone else failed to notice how he had already snooped inside. Even Rat's inhuman senses could not detect him. Factors such as height and the accumulated stink in the factory might have been the reason for that.
'At least, the guy could not render the spying of mine obsolete or he might just be acting.' Aster was still apprehensive due to Rat's sensitive nose's exploit in the Dren conference room.
With a couple of teleportation towards the sky, he reached the roof. With careful deliberation, he teleported through from the roof and to the inside by bypassing the hindering cemented roof. Eventually leading to where he is now, as he quietly listened in with a sway of blood embedded into the roof like a quiet chandelier.
'I guess it is time.' He dispersed the blood formation as he dropped to the ground in increasing descent. Anyone else with weak cultivation and improper methods could die directly from the impact of the floor and the descension. He had no worry about that as he teleported to cheat the deadly fall and carefully trod the ground as if he did not just undergo a deadly stunt.
The group of low-level thugs was still in their cluster and they failed to notice the arrival of the very person that they were trying to stop from entering directly.
It is different for the vice leaders and the boss who stood on the platform. The trio who had seen his face before was too shocked that their eyeballs might just burst out of its sockets.
Rat shouted subconsciously and blurted out. "We were just FUCKING talking about you! Are you going to kill us with a heart attack?! FUCK!"
"Hello." Aster waved as if he were meeting acquaintances that he would get to know. Cinder shouted in alarm. "Fuckin' dummies, get out of the way! That freaking brat is here."
The head of the pack was clueless but they were pushed along as those near Aster can already see the person that their boss was afraid of. They back off from and treating him like someone who is a source of a deadly plague.
In haste, the goons parted sideways and formed an incomplete square. The side missing is where Aster stood.
The weird set-up was being made while every thug felt apprehensive. The enemy youth was quiet all the while and questions where being formed in the moment they were doing so. Did the youth feel afraid from seeing their sheer number? Did he have some sort of plan from being too passive? Did he come to make peace? Was he just trolling with them? Or was it an entirely different thing?
Rat was twitching his brows plans to escape in the battle had become minimally low. He even considered the fact that the brat directly opposite of him was somewhat able to read his mind. The smirk that he is showing in his face made Rat irritated and apprehensive at the same time.
"Eh! This is the guy you were afraid of? He does not look like some devil to me." Batter was stunned at first but he looked at the exaggerating trio in sarcasm. "Oooh! I am scared of a brat. Hahaha! How low you guys have fallen?"
"Shut your yapping mouth, Batter!" Cinder was getting irritated with the greatest asshole of their group while he looked towards their enemy in apprehension. "What are you thinking? What is with your unnatural pause?"
Aster shrugged and said with a condescending smirk. "I wanted for you guys to take the first punch. I never thought that you had to back off and even position yourself like a marching band. What are you guys really? A ragtag group of criminals or a group of musicians that form a square to sing off?"
Everyone who was listening in felt humiliated especially Rat because he could have ordered the group to swarm Aster sith their sheer thousandths in manpower. Rat hid his embarrassment by scorning his men. "What the fuck are you fools trying to accomplish? I had just even given you a speech about defending our den and here you show me your incompetent will by making way to our enemy like some very important person (VIP) guest."
Aster sighed inside from seeing their disorganization. 'What have I gotten myself as enemies? I really thought that they would go for the arrogant route and find power in their numerical advantage.'
He felt cheated by the novels where every villain would showcase unnatural pride in their base. The goonies by the side would be blindly in faith with their leaders and say some lines like 'this guys is just coming for death', 'our boss is a master in the arts of something and something', and 'this guy would die from seeing our trump cards'.
Rat had his senses come back to him and looked at the infiltrator. "Is there any way we can resolve this? After all, apologies and mercy are an integral part of life."
"Sorry, no can do. I just used up my mercy card by not killing everyone in the corrupted Dren household. I would be pissed with myself if I had to be lenient on thugs just because they ask me to." Aster had gotten bored from realizing that he could not go for disproving arrogant gang members and leaders. 'I just enjoy shooting down arrogant people with my own arrogance. It is the hypocrisy that I realize on this very day.'
"How about you guys kill this boring display you are showing to me? There would be mercy cards for all that can go through with it?" He eventually smiled because he found the perfect idea to kill the time before lunch arrives and motivate the enemy who has too low levels of morale.
"How do you propose we do that?" Rat felt humiliated but he also found some sort of leeway. Aster replied by saying. "We would have some deathmatch on the square area that you twats formed. Me versus one of you guys."
Despite his doubts on the matter, Rat had a slight glint in his eyes because the idea was not that far from his earlier plan. 'There is a thousand of us and he would surely run out of steam when facing such numbers. I could stretch out every fight and make this monster run out of steam. I can escape with him being weakened while there is also the option of killing him if he has lost too much of his inexplicable abilities. I could also learn a thing or two about him and form countering strategies to snuff out the smug life out of him.'
"Boss, this is too shady. The brat is planning something I am sure of it. Let us just get on with it and fight to the death." Cinder and his expected paranoia was there and gave out the best possible advice he could give. "What if his backing is surrounding us as we speak and this is just a facade to kill this arrogant brat's time? We may already be caged without us knowing about it."
"Yep, you got me. This is the greatest bust operation by the local powers to eradicate you, ratty scums. Maybe I am just the cheese that lured you and a little snap of the rat trap is enough to behead your infected heads. Hehe!" Aster said in sarcasm while knowing the reason for their apprehension. 'They actually think I have a backing. Poor dudes are overthinking things for too much. Well, it plays out nonetheless. There are a lot of means but they will die either end. I will just scrap the whole tournament of death scenario and I guess and the all-out brawl is what would happen.'
The poor grunts were stagnant on the sides and had no guts to decide on their matters. They follow whatever their leaders say because that is what kept them alive for quite some time. All other vice leaders were already gearing up as Rat contemplated on the best course of action.
Anyone else who would see this would find that only one person was controlling and influencing the whole scenario because whatever choice they made was already inforced with the fear of him they had already registered. Frankly, Aster was always on the true weak end of the spectrum but he had means to make those disadvantages into his own strengths.
It was another Garth battle for him were psychological tactics were at play. The guard could have overpowered him but he got turned into a bird due to carelessness. Alioth could have decimated him with coolheadedness but his frenzy and instability from having his sons killed were what eventually led to his downfall.
The same could be said with his current enemies. If they were effective enough on their strategies and played by their strengths, Aster might just face the fight of his life. In the same disappointing and regretable fashion, a massacre might just occur due to carelessness.
The best workout he might have just undergone is with massacring those thugs and servants on the meadow. There was psychological play in place but it was a true demonstration of fights where the difference in levels of power was justified. He was not a battle maniac but he wanted to at least experience getting hurt in a fight. This would at least give him the satisfaction of a life and death battle instead of just growing his tendency to slaughter mercilessly. Aster monologued himself while he waited for the long debates that he had assigned the thugs. 'I guess I would have to plunge myself in erotica and women to drown out my heartless and asura tendencies.'
Rat and his gang eventually came into a decision and felt pressured with the unknown trap they were in. They were too panicking about nothing at all and that had just led them to fight it out in full like how Aster subconsciously wanted it to be.
"Alright, brat. Game on!" Rat had newfound resolve and his charisma of a true leader was evoked. "Instead of you against one of us, we will go with you against all of us."
Aster that was lost in boring contemplation listened to those words and smile genuinely. "You guys might just not disappoint me after all."
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