Chapter 30 – The Beginning Of The City Plaza Battle
by lemuel moo
Assassins rarely expose themselves to the public or under broad daylight. SPAW operatives would rush to the scene and attempt to capture or kill them, and since assassins usually act alone, they wouldn’t put themselves in such risks.
That was why Gale was confident in bringing Raine out for a date.
However, Gale misjudged the situation. Lucy was only going to be weak for a month, and she was one of the strongest fighters in the world. The rewards weighed heavier than the risks for many criminal syndicates who wanted to bring Lucy and her Black Diamond Syndicate down.
Moreover, Gale knew from Agatha that Dylan had been feeding information about Clere and him to Lucy’s enemies with his mole. The moment he saw Dylan, Gale knew he should’ve texted Agatha and quickly leave the area.
However, it was too late. Twelve assassins surrounded Gale, Raine, and Rei at City Square in Aelfsige City. It was a public space for people to walk, and onlookers were staring blankly at them because Gale drove his [Fire Cloud Fist] into one of them, and the latter crashed into a wall.
Gale’s [Fire Cloud Fist] was a unique set of combat skills which he created when he was ten. He could cloak his arms and fist with flames, and his punches resembled flaming fireballs with trailing clouds of black aura. Flaming fists of energy would fly from his punches, and the assassin would’ve lost his head if Gale’s power weren’t inhibited by the [Silver Needles Training].
As Gale glared at the enemies in front of him, he felt massive waves of pain and strain on his right forearm. He needed to remove one of the silver needles in his forearm to use his [Fire Cloud Fist] properly, but he wasn’t going to allow anyone to touch Raine.
Suddenly, men in black suits drove into City Square with thirty cars to cordon off the area. The onlookers tried to take videos and photos while they were forcibly removed, but their phones were jammed and refused to work.
Gale observed that the men-in-black were only tasked to keep traffic away and they were much weaker than the assassins in front of him.
One of the assassins stood forward and smirked. “That’s not a bad punch, but that’s not going to stop us. You can either struggle in vain, and I’ll make sure you suffer, or it can be easy for all of us if you come quietly.” He had a pale green suit with twin spears, one in each hand. Each spearhead was shaped like a snake.
Rei recognized the assassin as the leader and said, “this man is Serban the Viper, one of the Animal Zodiacs Assassins. The rest of the assassins should be his lackeys.”
Gale nodded in acknowledgment. The Animal Zodiacs were well-known in the underworld, and they were notorious for conducting large-scale heists against mega-corporations. Once, they broke into a national bank and stole twenty thousand tonnes of gold. SPAW sent an army of agents to recover the gold, but the Animal Zodiacs successfully repelled them and hid the gold away.
Serban licked the tip of one of his spears as he looked at Rei and Gale realized the spearheads were coated with poison.
“If you know about me, it means you’re familiar with the underworld. Which organization or lynchpin do you report to?”
Rei looked at Serban and shook her head. “Neither. I’m only a student from Aelfsige Academy.”
Serban didn’t believe Rei, but his business wasn’t with her, so he let it go. Turning to Gale, Serban asked, “do you want to come quietly, or are you going to choose pain?”
Gale was undaunted by his enemies in front of him, but his main priority was Raine’s safety. After observing Serban’s lackeys’ breathing patterns, Gale surmised that the rest of the assassins were only ‘B’ or ‘C’ class assassins.
Gale then turned his head slightly and asked Rei softly, “Raine can’t fight, and we are surrounded. I know I’m asking a difficult request of you, but could you protect my sister for me?”
After hearing Gale’s request, Rei rubbed her shoulders against Gale’s back and whispered into his ear. “I want to play with your body. Could you give me that in exchange?”
A bead of sweat flowed from Gale’s temple to his chin. “…Play? What do you mean?”
Gale couldn’t believe Rei could think about sex at that point of time and his mouth gaped in silence. Raine was horrified and yelled before pulling Gale’s left arm, “NO!”
One of Serban’s men saw that Raine held Gale’s left arm, and so he lunged forward to attack Gale with his sword. However, Gale could block flash floods with only a single hand with his quickness and strength from his arms. In a flash, Gale landed three strikes in quick successions on the assassin’s hand, arm, and hip. The assassin couldn’t hold his sword and fell backward as a result.
The rest of Serban’s men attacked Gale in every direction, but Rei unleashed her powers, and a red aura enveloped her. From the center of her body, Rei released an energy shock wave, and the rest of the assassins were forcibly pushed back.
Serban stood quietly to observe Gale’s and Rei’s fighting capabilities.
Rei resumed her conversation with Gale and stretched out her palm towards Gale. “Would you sign here for me with your blood? It will make a blood covenant between you and me, and I will protect Raine in exchange.”
Rei’s hands glowed and a magic circle formed at the center of her palm. Gale was extremely reluctant to sign on Rei’s palm, but it wasn’t the time to debate or reject Rei’s offer. Thus, Gale promptly bit his index finger and signed on Rei’s palm in blood.
“There. That should do it, isn’t it?”
Once Gale signed on Rei’s palm, the magic circle glowed, and Gale felt a strange sensation in his heart. Rei promptly licked Gale’s blood and shouted out to Yumiko.
“Yumiko! This is your only chance to seal Gale’s heart! We’re never going to do this again!”
At once, Yumiko came crashing down from a great height and shouted back. “Wait! Don’t lick it all up! Leave some for me!” She was held back by Dylan, and they almost fought. However, Dylan saw several cars speeding to where Gale was, and he quickly retreated. Yumiko saw how Rei and the rest were surrounded and climbed on a building to monitor the situation from above.
Several men in black suits attempted to block Yumiko’s path, but Yumiko pulled out her bow, aimed at her opponents and struck the string. Yumiko had no arrows to shoot, but electricity concentrated on Yumiko’s enemies, and a bolt of purple lightning from the sky struck them from above!
A couple of men-in-black attempted to block Yumiko from reaching Rei, but thin light arrows formed from her bow with her magic and she shot the bolts into the ground. Upon impact, the bolts erupted into a cylinder-shaped light pillar that enveloped the men and scorched them!
Serban realized Yumiko and Rei were extraordinarily strong, so he motioned his men to be careful and not to make unnecessary movements.
Yumiko’s eyes were affixed at Gale’s blood on Rei’s palm as she approached the trio, but she also noticed that Gale’s index finger was still bleeding. Without a word, Yumiko skipped past Rei, took Gale’s finger and sucked happily. Gale was so astonished that he couldn’t react!
“My gosh, Gale! Your blood is so tasty! There’s power in it too!”
Gale attempted to pull his finger away, but Yumiko stopped him as she pulled his finger back into her mouth. As Yumiko played with Gale’s finger with her tongue, Gale became weaker and weaker since his weakness to girls kicked in.
“Your blood is full of aphrodisiacs! I love you more and more, Gale!”
Raine couldn’t take it anymore and pushed Yumiko away from Gale. “What are you doing to my brother?! Why are you sucking his blood?!”
Yumiko licked her lips and said, “Blood covenant completed. Thanks, Rei! You can have the rest of his blood on your palm.”
Gale felt another strange sensation in his heart, and Rei proceeded to lick the rest of his blood on her palm. Raine and Gale were too bewildered to respond to Rei and Yumiko, and Raine checked Gale’s body to see if he’s alright.
“What are they doing to you?! Why are there magic circles on Rei’s palm?”
Gale didn’t understand what was happening either, but he knew that wasn’t the time to mull about it. Gale held Raine’s hands and smiled. “I need you to leave with Rei and Yumiko.”
Raine was having none of it. “NO! How can I leave you here alone against so many enemies?”
But Gale placed his hand on Raine’s hand and answered. “If they managed to make you a hostage, it will be complicated to fight them. Moreover, I need you to get help when you’re safe. Could you do that for me?”
Raine realized Gale wanted her to call Agatha Sigrun, so she bit her lips and nodded. “Okay, I will get you some help.”
At that moment, thirty-six other assassins appeared around them, and Gale knew he was running out of time. He hurriedly looked at Rei and Yumiko, who nodded in reply and pulled Raine away from Gale.
“Reinforcements are coming in fast. We’ll need to hurry!”
Raine could only peel herself away from Gale as the latter gathered his strength from his breathing techniques to prepare for battle. A black aura enveloped Gale and concentrated on his palms.
Serban snickered at the group as they readied themselves to break out of the siege. “Just what do you think you can do now? Give it up. Do you think I’ll let you all go?”
Yumiko readied her bow and replied. “Try me.” Her arms fastened onto her weapon and it began to glow.
Gale turned to Yumiko and asked. “You look adept in long-range battles, Yumiko. I’m going to send all of you in one direction. Which direction should it be?”
Yumiko didn’t understand what Gale was trying to do, but she promptly replied, “north-east.”
A gust of wind began surrounding Gale as he inhaled deeply. Using his [Fire Cloud Fist] techniques, Gale was able to gather wind with his [qi]. The assassins saw that Gale was about to unleash a technique and readied themselves, but the latter paid no attention to them.
Gale lifted his right palm, and Raine, Rei, and Yumiko were lifted off their feet by a cushion of air! With a sudden swing of his right arm in the north-east direction, Gale thrust the trio in the north-east direction, and they flew several hundred feet off the ground!
Several assassins gave chase and attempted to block the trio, but Yumiko had her bow ready. She shot arrows of light and burned eight of them as the arrows of light exploded upon contact. The assassins saw Yumiko had a clear advantage in reach with her bow, and the assassins allowed the trio to escape.
Gale was relieved that Raine escaped safely, but he bled from his mouth from overexertion as the silver needles pressed against his energy channels within his body. Gale began to pant heavily, and Serban mocked, “we haven’t begun fighting, and are you already exhausted?”
Gale steeled his will and assumed a combat stance. His air of confidence didn’t waver one bit as he glared at his foes. Immediately, Gale’s killing aura erupted and weighed heavily against the other assassins. The atmosphere became dense and heavy, and the assassins knew Gale wasn’t the average fighter.
“I have a question before we begin. The reason why you’re doing this in broad daylight is that you’re confident that the SPAW operatives wouldn’t be activated at all, isn’t it?“
Serban answered. “You’re not as dumb as you look.”
That moment marked the beginning of the City Plaza battle in Aelfsige City.
Jacinta was watching TV at home when Cindy called her. Upon seeing Cindy’s number on her phone, Jacinta looked around to see if anyone’s watching her before she picked up the phone.
“Why’re you calling me at this time?! You know you shouldn’t do that unless it’s emergency!”
“It’s an emergency! Your precious Gale is in trouble!”
Jacinta perked up and demanded an explanation. “What do you mean?”
“Hunter and I received a command not to deploy any of our SPAW operatives in the City Plaza area! From our reports, many assassins are targeting Gale this very moment!”
“WHAT?! Why aren’t we deploying SPAW operatives when there are assassins?!”
Cindy explained. “The World Alliance heard a rumor about Lucy Adamas’ weakness, and both of us know that Lucy is one of the top threats of SPAW. The upper echelons intend to use this opportunity and allow Gale to be captured so that they can destroy Lucy and the Black Diamond Syndicate!
We are not to deploy any operatives until the battle is over!”
Jacinta was immensely furious, and she yelled into the phone. “DON’T THEY CARE ABOUT THE INNOCENT BYSTANDERS AND THE COLLATERAL DAMAGE THEY MIGHT CAUSE?! Didn’t the World Alliance want to earn the respect of the public?!”
“…You know how our organization goes, Jacinta. Rage all you want, but I’m only telling you because I consider you as a friend.
And I’m telling you to stay out of it! Colonel Jack is on this matter too, and he won’t forgive you if you intervene.”
Cindy ended her call and Jacinta slumped into desperation. Jacinta quickly considered all her options, and she knew she could only do one thing.
Jacinta took her outer coat, left her mobile phone behind and rushed out of the house. She spotted a public telephone, put in a coin and immediately dialed numbers.
A lady on the other side picked up the phone. “Hi, this is Sigrun’s residence. Who are you looking for?”
“I’m Jacinta, one of SPAW’s spies, and I’m looking for Agatha Sigrun. Can I have a moment with her?”
“… You’re pretty desperate when you introduce yourself as a spy from SPAW. Tell me, what is it regarding?”
“Gale is in trouble at City Plaza! Assassins are attacking him right now, and SPAW operatives are forbidden to deploy to help him!”
“…Understood. Would you mind coming over to the Mistress Of Secrets’ Residence? By the way, leave your mobile phone behind when you do come.
I will inform the Mistress Of Secrets about your arrival, and she will pick it up from there.”
“Definitely! I left my mobile phone behind, and there are no tracking devices on me! I’ll come over this very instance!”
Jacinta put down the phone quickly and immediately sprinted towards the Sigrun’s residence.
Athena and Clere were out shopping together in the suburbs. Since Gale was out on an exclusive date with Raine, the sisters took the chance to bond.
Suddenly, both Athena’s and Clere’s phone were ringing, and it came from their mother. Perplexed as to why Agatha would do a conference call with them, they picked up their phones and greeted their mother.
“Yes, Mom? We’re out shopping. Is there anything you need?” Athena asked.
“Athena, hold Clere’s hand and make sure she doesn’t run off mindlessly.”
Athena and Clere looked at each other in bewilderment, and Athena grabbed Clere’s arm tightly.
“Okay, Mom. I am holding Clere’s arm right now.”
“Thanks, Athena! I need you both to calm down while I reveal the reason why I’m calling the both of you.
Jacinta called me and said that Gale is under attack in City Plaza right now.”
Clere and Athena were shocked in disbelief. “What?! Don’t they fear SPAW operatives from hunting them?”
“I’ve verified Jacinta’s words, and indeed from my sources, what she said was true. Besides that, we’ve intercepted a phone call that commanded SPAW operatives not to deploy at City Plaza.
Gale is in grave danger.”
Clere pulled violently away from Athena, but Athena held her down firmly. “DON’T! Didn’t you hear what Mom said?! What’s the use of you going there right now? Hear to the end and don’t be impatient!“
Clere bit her lips and tears started to form in the corner of her eyes. Athena then beckoned to Agatha to tell them more.
“Okay Mom, so what’s next? Anything we should do?”
Agatha replied. “I’ve contacted the Black Diamond Syndicate, and Selphie said she would be sending their assassins to help Gale, but I’m afraid their reinforcements will be hindered by other assassins as well.
Athena, I need you to send our agents and make sure the Black Diamond Syndicate’s reinforcements reach Gale unimpeded. He’s not facing a couple of assassins, but a whole army of them, so he’s going to need every single help he can get.
Once you made sure those Black Diamond Syndicate’s assassins are unimpeded, do as you will and join in the fight. Do not merely prepare an escape route for Gale, because this is going to be an all-out war. The World Alliance and SPAW are in cahoots with these assassins to bring down Lucy, so hiding him wouldn’t help.
They could only fight for a day before the general public knows what is going on. The police and SPAW operatives can only suppress media coverage and social media platforms for a limited amount of time, so as long as the battle can drag without losing Gale, we win.”
Clere couldn’t hold back any longer and started bursting out. “Mom! What does Gale have that they want?! I can’t believe they are willing to war to destroy him!”
“They are not looking to destroy Gale. They are looking for Lucy’s whereabouts, and they think Gale holds the information to that.
However, as I have said before, Lucy’s kiss was a distraction and a diversion. Gale doesn’t have any idea where Lucy is, and even if he tells them he doesn’t know, they aren’t going to relent until they torture him to death first.
I know you’re anxious to save Gale, but I’m calling you too because you have a part to play. Call Zeel and tell him about the situation. His biker gang will give Gale temporary relief until the Black Diamond Syndicate, and our agents can get to him.
But I don’t want you to join Zeel in the first wave of attack! If you were kidnapped in the midst of the chaos, then everything will be lost. You are to accompany Athena instead, and she will guard you while both of you help to liberate the reinforcements from enemies.
I will be strategizing and find other avenues to help Gale while making sure no one can find Lucy. If things get worse, I will join in the fight as well. I’m not prepared to lose Gale as I won’t be able to face May.”
For Agatha Sigrun to join in the fight, the sisters know that their mother means business. Clere clenched her fists tightly and asked, “Mom, with your estimation, how long do you think Gale can last without help?”
Agatha answered, “Actually, I’m more worried that Gale would get out of control and start a massacre. It will be a tremendous headache to cover that up.
In any case, it doesn’t take anything away from the fact that Gale is in grave danger, but he’s probably going to outlast them before he goes down unless the mastermind has other cards to play. We need to know who is behind this war, and what other cards could the mastermind play that could undermine Gale or our efforts. Because there are too many unknowns, we have to be cautious, and that’s the only reason why I’m staying behind to find out more.
Gale is tougher than nails so don’t worry too much, but do what I tell you first and I will update both of you if the situation changes.”
Once Agatha ended the call, Athena licked her index finger, and it was covered in [Cursed Ink]. Athena then drew on Clere’s arm with the word “封” , and immediately the shadows of Athena and Clere merged.
“Sorry sis, but I can’t have you run away to Gale when I’m unaware. This seal will tie you to me at a range of a mile with our shadows.
Let’s hurry and do our parts before the situation gets worse.”
Clere could only obey Athena as she dialed in her phone to call Zeel.
Sunny spent her morning exercising in her house. Zeel built a private gym, and so she usually spends some time to work out before tending to the rest of the day.
As she was doing some bench presses, her phone began ringing, and she picked up to hear sobs from the other end of the call.
“Raine?! Why’re you crying? Aren’t you supposed to be out on a date with your brother?”
Raine bawled even louder as Sunny tried to calm her down. ”What’s the matter, girl?! Did Gale bully you or something?”
“G-Gale is in trouble! We were out on a date, and suddenly a group of assassins surrounded us! Gale hurriedly got me out of harm’s way, and now he’s fighting for his life!”
Sunny was alarmed, and she quickly got up. As Raine gave Sunny details of what happened in the morning with Gale, Sunny hurried to her room to find her weapons and tools.
Raine continued, “…I’ve called Aunt Agatha, and she told me she knew about it and they are doing the best they can to help my brother. Aside from waiting for news, I don’t know what I should do. Sunny, what do you think I can do?”
“Well, you did the right thing by calling me. I’m going to get my brother, and both of us will rush down to help Gale.”
Raine was alarmed that Sunny was joining the fight. “Wait, I didn’t call you so that I can put you in danger! Why are you going down to fight?!”
“Because I can fight! Trust me, I’m not weak, and I believe I can help.
Gale has helped my brother and me countless times, and it’s only natural for us to help him when he needs it.”
Raine didn’t expect Sunny’s response, and she yelled into her phone. “IT’S TOO DANGEROUS! Before I left Gale, we saw forty-eight assassins who surrounded us! What can you do there? Don’t go!”
“Believe in me, Raine. I will bring your brother back, and I love him too. Bye for now.”
Sunny hurriedly got dressed and rushed to the front porch of her house. Her neighbor, one of Zeel’s biker friends, was rushing to his motorcycle and suddenly their eyes met.
The friend said sheepishly, “h-hey Sunny?! I-It’s a nice day, isn’t it? A-Are you going out shopping?”
Sunny knew that the friend was rushing to find Zeel, so she asked. “My brother told you to keep it a secret from me, isn’t it? You’re rushing off to help Gale.”
“What’re you talking about — “
Before the friend could finish his sentence, a dagger appeared near his throat, and Sunny whispered to his ear behind him.
“Talk. What’s happening?”
The friend suddenly regurgitated everything he knew. “Zeel called me about five minutes ago that our biker gang is activated, and we’re to gather weapons, and charge into City Plaza! It’s going to be a war against assassins, so no weaklings who are afraid of losing their lives are to join him!
He told us to keep it from you too!”
Sunny heaved a sigh and replied. “My stupid brother never learns. How can he leave me out when we are going to save our sworn friend and my future husband?!
Bring me there right now.”
Sunny knocked the friend on his head and shouted. “MOVE IT! Precious time is wasted because you’re idling around!”
The friend had no choice but to allow Sunny ride behind him as he sped away to find Zeel. In a few minutes, they were at Zeel’s garage, and when Zeel saw Sunny riding behind him, Zeel went to his friend and knuckled his head.
“Franky! Didn’t I tell you not to tell Sunny?!”
Sunny knuckled Zeel on his head fiercely.
“Didn’t you promise me back at the Babel Square Tournament that we are going to get through things together?! If you break your promise ever again, I’m going to tell Dinah!”
Both Franky and Zeel were holding their heads in pain, while the rest of the bikers were trying not to laugh. Knowing that they were running out of time, Sunny pushed Zeel to get started, and Zeel addressed his biker gang while standing on his motorbike.
“I’m going to help a friend who risked his life to save both Sunny and me, and I owe so much to him that I wouldn’t hesitate to give him my life right now.
As you all know very well, this friend is Gale.
We are fighting against assassins from some unknown lynchpins, and to make matters worse, Dylan is partly behind it. If Gale loses his life today, I’ll never be able to forgive myself.
So I’m prepared to fight to the death. I’m not sure you should join in too because it’s going to be brutal, but I call you my buddies who stuck with me through much pain, and we have created this excellent garage for our survival.
If you have no qualms in putting your life on the line for my sake and help my brother Gale, join me and let’s kick their asses!”
No less than two hundred bikers cheered, and they raised their weapons for a battle cry! These bikers were former delinquents whom Zeel had helped and raised to become good citizens to society. Many of them suffered from broken homes and poverty, but Zeel’s contribution to their lives outweighed the risks they were about to take.
Sunny was moved to tears with her brother’s speech, and everyone was galvanized to fight.
Zeel yelled, “LET’S GO!”
Engine noises filled the entire neighborhood, and the bikers rushed together to City Plaza to save a single soul.
[Fire Cloud Fist] is derived from [火云拳], or [huǒ yún quán].
 封 means “to seal”.