'To think that this man is no man at all but an existential spirit of a cigarette or something. This dude was able to bloat his stomach and make poisonous nicotine rain, a completely inhuman feat for an Initiate ranker. It just goes to show the mysteries of the world.' Aster commented as he observed the cut-down cigar that had long lost its light. "This man is basically hard to kill if one would carelessly attack the ash-like body and thinking that his viral parts are there. It was just a way to make me look cool by cutting the cigarette but who knew that this would happen?"
He looked towards the only remaining rats and said with killing intent. "I hope that you guys are not something like this cigar guy. It would be quite redundant if I have to slice up a bat and your body would become baseballs. Haha! As a matter of fact, I feel that situation would be hilarious."
"Let us test it out, shall we?"
Batter was now close to shitting his pants because Aster's words meant that he was next. In a state of panic, the ponytailed man stepped back and yelled in disagreement. "No... you better fucking get back! You better... fucking do what I say or..."
"Or what?" The one he is threatening jokingly asked. Batter also knew that he had nothing to bargain at all and just dashed towards him in madness. "Die! Exallos beizmpol!"
Batter was registered as a long-distance attacker in Aster's point of view but his movements at the moment made him realize that the ponytail man is actually a master of brawls like how a true gangster would be.
The dented metal bat glowed with metallic luster as Aster felt the heaviness that every strike towards him was enough to potentially incapacitate him.
It was a heavy-hitting and uncharacteristically fast mode of attacking that truly signified a Baseball Rampage. The metal weapon meant for sports was literally giving a striking sound to the base of the rats.
It is said that the sound that a batter makes when they make contact with their target would mean different things. A loud one is meant to be something that practically hit something.
PING! PING! PING!
The ping in the air while Aster dodged it meant the very skill and dedication of every swing to decimate him. Unfortunately for the rampaging Batter, his target's dodging skill was more profound than all of his mindless angle of striking and swinging.
Aster just had to step back or hop to the side and repeat the whole process. They had already moved about six meters as the dodge and hit process underwent. Batter's more than a hundred strikes were met with Aster's more than a hundred eased steps and hops.
"Aaaaaahhhh!!!" Batter felt the sheer mockery in the grin that Aster was showing in front of him. The intensity and magnitude of the consecutive strikes were increased while Aster was slowly feeling the pressure.
'Well, this must be Rat's Desperation!' Aster knew the trick behind Cinder's Nicotine Rain and Tank's Moldable Ground. They were moves beyond their cultivation level and they gained that power by virtue of this very skill that Batter is currently using. 'If this man would be unleashed to a crowd of rival gangs, he could literally wipe them down to blood and guts. The sheer quality of his power is enough to ground and crush bodies to bits.'
"Die! Die! Die! Die, you fucker!!" The speed of the stikes became faster by the second as shockwaves that moved stationary air with violent gusts could be felt. His two hands gripped the handle as he tried to liken his target to a mole that would move up and down of a hole in an arcade.
It is supposed to be a simple game but one would completely lose his temper if he failed to score even a single point.
'This man should really turn down his curses. He only knows the words related to 'fucking' that I somewhat feel he is sexually retarded.' Aster was just leisurely killing the time with his dodging with degrading comments towards his opponents. He was now using Space Skip to extricate himself from the straightforward attack.
The straightforwardness just played to Aster's advantage as the supposedly powerful man had no time to defend his back. Before a literal backstab could be given to the ponytailed man, Aster's murderous spirit felt the pesky rat move towards him in demonic speed.
He reappeared but had to disappear again from that spot. Rat's supposedly dismembered left hand was now replaced with a dark amalgamation of mana that resembled claws. Batter was spared but the floor behind him was scraped with deep claw marks.
"Batter! Snap out of it." Rat touched his only remaining comrade in the back. He was facing a freaking monster in human form and to vanquish it, he needed every helping hand he could get. He looked like an abomination himself but his rat monstrosity could not even be compared to the youth that just leaked killing intent.
"Ha... ha... ha...!" Batter eventually snapped out of his rampage state but his mana reserves and bodily integrity made him gasp for breath weirdly.
Aster took this chance to kill the man but he had to stop himself due to the incessant claw strikes that Rat unleashed to Batter's proximity. The boss man found the move to have outsmarted his enemy and he said mockingly. "Come on, devil! Teleport closer if you want. No one is stopping you!"
This may have been the only time that Rat felt his cunningness win against his current aggressor and cherished the chance like a crazed psycho.
"Oh well. There are other ways to kill Initiate rankers." Aster calmly proclaimed as an iconic shotgun made from blood materialized into his hands. 'I could go for the no gun route of shooting but that would not be gunmanship at all.'
The hardened barrel of blood pointed towards the duo as Aster pulled the trigger from a distance.
One shot and a spread of killing bullets attacked them.
"Hmmph! I now know your damned lies!" Rat was smart enough to realize now that covering himself with condensed Expert aura was enough to shield himself from the attack. Blood bullets only gave him pained stings as he used his strong mana as a barrier to deflect them.
"Aaahh!" He was smart to defend himself but he was too dumb to realize that Batter already experienced a hit. Rat could not help but blurt out. "Shit!"
Too bad for Batter, Rat's mentioning of feces and poop could not stop what was about to happen next.
Two shots were sent out and Aster did not have to be truly accurate with his makeshift gun because the blossoming spread of his magical and bloody shotgun was enough to riddle the ponytailed man with holes.
The baseball player and his thug life ended with his dropping his metal bat to the floor while his body lopsided to the side. Since Aster shot from his right, the force of the shots forced Batter to drop to his left.
"It is a shame that he did not turn into baseballs." Aster said with his nasty remarks that put a mockery to the death of the thugs he killed. He looked towards the already shocked Rat and muttered to magically include himself in sorcery. "Dual Shotgun. I summon you."
A direct replica of the blood-made shotgun appeared on his free hand and his dual weapons pointed towards the only one left to die. "Come on, Mr. Rat. Show me the true meaning of unkillable!"
The cunning boss eventually lost all of his men and it made him look back on the past. Maybe he was feeling sentimental and all as his eyes slowly dimmed. Aster did not even shoot out yet but the boss man looked like he died.
"Eeeeeeeeekkkkkkkk!!!" The dead-looking rat suddenly shrieked wildly that Aster's were ringing with the stinging sound.
The rat head remained the same but frizzy and black hair grew all over it. Originating from the hair on his head, the overgrowth eventually started to happen to his body as the ratman's clothes become frizzy and stretched from the hairy accumulation.
The hair was not the only one that diversified as his physique eventually reformed itself to something akin to a giant rat. A naked tail swung behind him as it grew slowly to lengths proportional to his current size. The rat monster in front of Aster was now twice larger from Rat's original height.
Feral eyes and sharpened teeth with two front teeth was the prominent one whose form was an adjacent version of the saber-tooth cat's prominent feature. From a rat-headed man, Rat became the very description of a wererat but with an amputated left arm.
The youth was too shocked by the quick change in attitude that he could not help but joke. "Is this the Legendary Super Rat foretold by the prophecy?! The very being who empowers himself by eating all sorts of cheese!"
"Very funny, devil!" Rat in his new form still retained his human logic and communication. His voice now became deep and monstrous as he said. "You wanted to ask for an Unkillable Rat, you now got one!"
"Tsk! To think that you are actually a wererat. A wererat that transforms without the mystical full moon." Aster clicked his tongue from seeing the great surprise in front of him. "You must be some half-blood or something like that!"
Rat's sense to kill had clouded his thoughts as he rushed towards Aster on all fours. Murderous Will became useless or motivation to him as a prey trapped by his predator could only fight for his life.
Aster retreated to whatever space he could back into as he shot his shotguns towards the charging Rat. The hair or fur was now akin to a defense mechanism that rendered his bullets obsolete. It was not completely ineffective though because Aster can see the slight bleeding by Rat's head. 'From a mana Expert, this guy turned into a complete monster who relies on body cultivation.'
Anyone else weaker in cultivation than Expert 1 could only run or die when faced with a monster that uses both its body and mana. Thankfully, Rat only chose the body route as his animalistic tendencies got the better of him and the exquisite handling of mana became inhibited. However, instincts and experience would eventually enable the feral wererat to learn to use mana and bodily strength at the same time.
'It would be best to end this quickly or this guy can turn me into rat chow.' Aster's shots focused itself on the head as he slowly accumulated blunt hits that would bruise the skull.
With a blink, Aster reached the air and floated there to rain bullets overhead.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Some bullets that showered made contact with the tail and weakened its foundation towards the caudal end of Rat. With a few more rounds, the tail met its expected fate as it fell with blood.
"Squeeeeekk!!" Another pained squeal of the wererat was heard and it became more frenzied than ever. It clawed through the wall in a hurry and jumped off it to reach the floating gunner. "Raaaaaahhh!!"
Of course, only a fool would not be able to read such tactic as Aster just teleported out of the way while shooting blood bullets towards it.
The duo continued with their own tactics for minutes that the giant rat buckled and whimpered in weakness. Any other rat in nature would have scampered off to survive but the killing intent that washed over it functioned as a natural suppressor that made it lie weakly on the ground and waiting for its end at the mouth of its hunter.
It was the complete opposite of Rat's earlier desire to run all the while. His wererat form just made him fight when under pressure and surrender when beaten.
"This is somewhat exhilarating and anti-climactic at the same time." Aster sighed as he compared this hit and dodge boss fight to the relatively large scale vice fights.
"Keee..." Rat was too far deep into his transformation that his shivering and the whimpering sound was the only sound of pleading that he could give towards its hunter.
"You rats are killable, after all." Aster remolded his shotgun of blood into a spike that pierced through Rat's right eye and into the other eye. With the brain damaged beyond revival, the wererat form reverted into a naked semi-human form of Rat with spike embedded into his rat head.