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[Vol 5] Chapter 67: The First Flame

Hearing the words of their leader, the Bastich warriors that were surrounding Ahmed, quickly moved towards Lydia and the two other strangers beside her. One of the guards with an unkempt bushy eyebrow walked forward and stared angrily at Lydia. “You are wanted for crimes against the Kahn household. Submit or die before our blades,” he said as he slowly approached them. Although he gave the impression of being confident, in reality, he was far from that. He was in a perpetual state of deep fright, which could be seen as beads of sweat formed on his face. Inwardly he caused at the fact they were fighting people as strong as Ahmed.  “Step back Lydia,” Baya said as he moved towards the guards. From the sides of his waist, Baya pulled out his twin daggers.


Ahmed who was currently staring at Willard and Baya frowned as he heard Baya’s words. It was as if anything Baya said directly insulted him.  At this particular moment, it could be said that he had reached the precipice of his anger. “Not only did you disturb my peace, you stupid **** dared to lump me together with that man.” He said in an uncontrollable fit of anger “I will not rest until I skin you alive.”


Ahmed picked up the two parts that made his spear and quickly coupled them before connecting a metallic chain to it. He rushed towards the leader of the guards, Moore, with the same savage look he had. After his fight with Willard, he quickly learned something valuable, which was not to casually throw his weapon at his opponent. Ahmed thrust his spear in a savage motion aiming directly for the head. He was going for the kill but also wanted to use the opportunity to feel out his current opponent.


Moore defended against the strike with some difficulty as he slided a couple of steps backward. To his surprise, a small crack appeared on his blade. From this exchange, he could tell that Ahmed was definitely physically stronger than he was. And plus the fact that Ahmed had already shown he was in the elemental energy level early. “Very strong. Hurry up and get here Oaklif.” Moore lamented as he composed himself.


Ahmed was lashing out his spear attacks like a viper on the attack. It took quite a bit of effort for Moore to defend the frenzied attacks. Moore was completely shut down with the share ferociousness of those spear attacks. He wasn’t given the slightest bit of an opportunity to counterattack once. “You have some skill,” Ahmed said as he stretched his neck producing a loud cracking sound. “Good. I don’t want you to die easily.”


From the center of Ahmed’s palm that gripped his spear, violet lightning cracked outward, flowing through the metal spear. Some of the lightning randomly congealed to a strange liquid lightning form that fell from the tip of Ahmed’s spear and scattered across the ground. Baya who was some distance from Ahmed had a contemplative look on his face as he stared at Ahmed. “The angrier he gets the more lightning essence he is able to condense and use.” Baya softly said to himself. From watching Ahmed, he had just gained some minor clues on what he could focus on while he trained.


Moore who was at the receiving end of Ahmed’s wrath, grunted as he condensed some flames around his swords. Afterall, Moore himself was at the elemental energy level. He knew Ahmed had finally gotten serious with their battle. The restaurant at this point had been completely emptied. None of the people that worked or earlier dinners were within twenty feet of the inn. The fact that two elemental energy experts were fighting signaled the need to run for their lives.


As Ahmed continued his barrage of attacks, Moore was forced backward, time and time again, directly forcing him out of the restaurant. Ahmed ran towards him, trying to quickly close their distance and continue the assault. Although Ahmed had a clear advantage, he still wasn’t able to truly harm Moore and put him in a dangerous situation. “Is that all you know how to do?” Ahmed angrily yelled, “Since that’s all you know how to do, just stand there and receive my spear.” He continued as he switched from a thrusting motion to a sweeping one applying, even more, force than he applied previously, which knocked Moore a couple more steps backwards.


With a savage look to him, Moore swung both his blades in a direct and emphatic manner, in what was a rare attack coming from him. From both blades, came two streams of fiery red serpents that congealed from the surrounding natural energy and flew directly towards Ahmed. Moore had been biding his time to give Ahmed a surprise attack, and that opportunity came when Ahmed swung his spear in that sweeping motion. Watching the fiery serpent make its way towards him, Ahmed gripped his spear even more tightly, gathering even more lightning elemental energy to the spear, before throwing it towards the incoming fiery serpents. As the spear made contact with the fiery serpents, a loud explosion was seen. Ahmed was able to quickly withdraw his spear, as he yanked the chain that was connected to the spear towards his direction.


Baya on the other hand was having an even more difficult time. Although his opponents were not as strong as Ahmed and Moore, a couple of them were at the tenth level of natural energy just like he was, which proved to be quite the challenge for Baya. It must be noted, that these men were elites from the Bastich household that were stationed at the city of Kahn. As his battle continued, Willard sat on a chair and casually watched. His expression was still the same one of indifference. As the battle played on, Willard’s expression gradually grew more irritated. Baya was rapidly being forced to a position of pure defense. “Why are you holding yourself back Baya?” Willard casually said as he continued watching from his seat.


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Lydia who was still in panic at the current events that were playing out, turned to stare at Willard with a look of disbelief. She knew Willard’s personality at this point, but couldn’t help stare in shock at his complete disregard for even Baya’s safety. “The way you fight is quite annoying.” Willard continued. Baya who was in the heat of battle couldn’t even spare a moment to think of a response. “Why don’t you help me out then,” Baya inwardly thought as he focused on defending the swarm of highly trained guards.


At this moment, three men casually walked towards where the fighting was going. “You seem to be having some trouble Moore.” One of the men said as he broke into a soft laughter, which followed the laughter of the man next to him. The introduction of those people temporarily put a pause to the fighting between Ahmed and Moore. The man that had spoken had a slender body structure with a scar across his forehead. “Luckily for you, Oaklif here had asked us for some help.” the man with the scarred forehead said as he looked towards Oaklif who was the third person in their group. Although Moore was glad to be getting some re-enforcement, he did not particularly have a good relationship with the two experts that had come to aid him. Right now, all he could do was awkwardly smile and stare at them. “He is quite strong.” Moore said as he backed out some more. “Probably at the fourth level of elemental energy.”


The three were surprised to hear Moore’s warning. Usually experts at that level of power were famous and illustrious. How was it they had never heard of this short bulky man before? “Interesting! No wonder Oaklif was willing to pay that much to get our help.” The man with the scarred forehead said.


“No no no!” An angry voice came from within the inn. The angry voice was none other than Willard’s, who was angrily instructing Baya. “You should not be waiting for them to strike first. You should be the one attacking.” Willard continued as he casually sat on the chair. The guards that were currently fighting Baya were quite astonished at the current situation. Willard had been seating the entire time complaining about the way Baya fought, without even lifting a single finger to help him out. From their perspective, it was one of the most bizarre thing they had seen. And this wasn’t exclusive to the guards, both Baya and Lydia felt the same exact way.


“How do you not understand this simple concept yet? Feel the various elements surrounding you. Channel it through a medium and release it.” Willard said with an apparent look of frustration.


Over at the corner, where Ahmed was fighting Moore, the two experts that had come to aid Moore, had a look of confusion as they heard Willard’s words. “Let’s quickly finish this and go stop the rest of them.” Moore said with an impatient tone. The three experts began fighting against Ahmed by himself. Although they were not individually stronger than Ahmed, but the addition of two extra elemental energy level experts greatly reduced Ahmed’s advantage. The fighting scale shifted from a one sided battle to one that could not be easily predicted. They were able to successfully defend and counterattack Ahmed, making the fight much more difficult for him.


Finally, Baya gave up all sense of cautiousness. He decided to attack with his all, even though that went against all his experience and fighting style. Baya rushed in with a complete disregard for defence. He passionately attacked one of the guards with his dagger, swinging across the chest of the guard. Unfortunately for Baya another guard used that opportunity to stab at his arm, injuring him in the process. Another guard quickly rushed in to use the current opening to go for the kill.


Suddenly, Willard smiled as he stared at Baya. Willard noticed faint changes in the natural energy surrounding Baya. At that particular moment, it was like time had come to a halt for Baya. He couldn’t help but replay the scene of Ahmed controlling the lightning element in his anger, in his mind. In his moment of peril, Baya seemed to have gotten an epiphany, which caused the stimulation of natural energy around him. “It not anger or emotions. It is your state of mind.” Willard thought to himself. The guards surrounding Baya did not notice anything different, and in fact, no one else but Willard and Baya had noticed anything different. To the guards, the slight increase in temperature they felt, was nothing more than the heat their bodies generated while they fought.


“That’s it, don’t hold back.” Willard silently whispered as he watched the situation play out, as a single flame surreptitiously appeared in the area where the guard, that had been rushing to quickly kill Baya, was in. Although the flame surprised the guard, he notwithstanding was still able to easily bypass the flame and attack Baya. In the moments just before he could strike Baya with his blade, a gravitational force, applying almost ten times his weight, fell on him. This incident was not isolated to the guard that was about to strike Baya, the gravitational force wasn’t discerning, it affected everyone within that general location, including Baya himself.


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As waves of the gravitational domain spread around, the fighting outside the restaurant had stopped. Followed by agonizing screams. All parties, except for Ahmed who had experienced such a thing, turned around to and stared in surprise. “What the hell is going on?” Moore asked in a somewhat astonished tone.  Although Ahmed, was able to keep himself safe all this while, he was inwardly glad to see Willard had decided to act. His situation was starting to get even more serious. Ahmed couldn’t help but think back to his first encounter with Willard.


After a few seconds, Willard walked out of the inn, followed by Baya who had some flesh wounds and Lydia to his side.


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