Max gritted his teeth in anger as he slowly felt his strength slipping out. He tried to move his left hand onto the ring on the right. It was his only chance even if he had to end up in sewers after random teleportation, it was still better than dying.
" You should have just stayed back. I will eliminate anyone who comes in my Master's way.", the man in the black cloak said as he loaded an arrow on his bow.
' F*ck!! This man was insane. Wasn't he the one who attacked? How did he come in his way? Besides, who was this master he ended up offending?'
Several questions popped up in Max's mind as he looked at the man pulling the string.
As if the man had understood his feelings, he spoke, " Don't tell me you forgot? We met earlier today. And sadly, it looks like this will be our last meeting."
And he released the arrow, Max felt as if the time had been slowed down. He looked at the arrow approaching and felt.
' Ah! I f*ck*d up! "
But, when the arrow was only a few inches away from Max, something unusual occurred.
A sword came flying through the air landing right in front of Max's face.
The arrow struck the sword and grazed past Max's right cheek leaving a slice on his face.
The incident alerted the man as he immediately pulled another arrow from the quiver hanging on his waist. He wanted to quickly finish Max and leave the before the new guy arrived.
But as he loaded the arrow, the sword in front of him bursted out in flames.
The flames formed a layer of protective wall in front of him.
The man knew he wouldn't be able to kill the guy. Besides, he had ended up giving a hint about his identity. If now he was caught, it would be a disaster. So, he immediately retreated. He didn't want to take any chances as he had no idea how many people were coming.
As the guy left the flames slowly subsided and Max released a sigh of relief. He could guess that this guy was definitely that Blacksmith's man who challenged Ryan today.
But, the more important thing was, who saved him. Max still couldn't move around. But he felt that the effect would be dissipated in 5-10 minutes.
He looked at the sword in front of him and found it to be familiar. But he couldn't remember it clearly.
" Look at you. Getting your ass kicked by a random thug.", a familiar voice sounded in the alleyway.
Max could clearly feel a presence behind him. And his face had really darkened. He couldn't forget this guy's voice with whom he had a death fight and they almost ended up killing each other.
The person slowly walked and came in front of Max and pulled his sword out of the pavement.
Max could clearly see his face and his guess was right. It was Derek.
" Tsk. I can't believe I lost to a loser like you.", Derek spoke in disdain.
" Why did you save me?", Max asked as he stared at the guy.
The effect of the drug had started to weaken and his hand had slowly reached the ring on the other hand.
He could leave anytime he wanted. But he really wanted to know what this guy was thinking.
" How can I allow you to die? You are mine. I will kill you with my own two hands.", Derek said with a smile as he got onto his knees and stared at Max.
Only at this moment did Max notice that the guy was covered in bandages. He seemed to be heavily injured.
" You don't need to worry. I won't kill you now. I will kill you at your best. You better prepare yourself."
Hearing the noise, Max frowned. It was Ryan and Vin. He didn't want them to come in front of this guy.
But luckily, it seemed that Derek too had lost interest in toying with people. He just gave a look in the direction of the voice before speaking.
" We will meet again. Don't you dare to die."
And then he vanished.
Ryan and Vin finally entered the place and came running when they noticed Max on the ground.
" Max!!! ", Vin screamed as he saw the wound on Max's back and face. He was the type to freak out easily.
But, luckily Max was conscious and spoke to calm them down.
"I am fine. It's just some paralysis poison. I should be back on my feet within a few minutes"
" Let's get out of here first. We don't know if the enemy has left or not", Ryan said as he moved to get Max up.
With him and Vin supporting Max by his shoulders, they carried him out of the alleyway.
On the rooftops of one of the buildings.
Derek stood there as he watched the two guys take Max out.
As they left, he turned his head. There was a fierce gleam on his face, as he took his left hand out of the cloak.
And surprisingly, it was a mechanical arm. He tried to perform some simple actions. But his face twitched in pain as blood started to flow out his hand. His wound was not healed.
" I will return this pain a hundred folds. I will definitely kill those bastards and also take revenge for you Master. I will erase seven sins from the face of the Mistellin Continent."
Iron Smithy, Old Town
" Are you an idiot? Surviving the attack was not enough for you that you chased him to get yourself killed.", Ryan shouted in anger.
Max didn't have anything to say as he kept his head down. After all, he really acted foolishly and had really learned his lesson. From now on he would go all out even while killing an ant.
" Yes, we are blacksmiths, a supporting group. Don't do anything foolish like this again. We do not fight. If things like that occur, just report them to the union", Vin too spoke but he wasn't harsh.
" Do you know why there is no union or thing like that for Supporting groups. Because we don't need to have things like that. Mages need us. They will protect us and not mistreat us as we are very important for them. That's the reason, Mage association and Guild union have departments for Blacksmith, Formation Master and Beast Tamers. Even though we are not famous among masses, we are really sought by Mages. Don't do anything foolish like that.", Ryan said in anger.
At this moment, the Old Man entered the shop.
" Why are you shouting early in the morning? ",
Hearing him, everyone exchanged gazes. Max felt that he was going to get something. But luckily his seniors didn't give up on him.
Ryan enacted the entire story except for the part where Max chased after the attacker.
Seeing them covering up for him, Max felt a warmth spreading up inside him.
On the other hand, the old man frowned. Someone really dared to make a move on his disciples. It looked like people were really forgetting about him just because he didn't show his face.
It looked like it was time for him to get back out after all the wielder of the hammer had appeared too. If the prophecy wasn't wrong, the world would soon fall into chaos. And he would need to be out there and support the right person.
But..before that, he needed to do something.
He looked at the three people standing in front of him.
" From now on, no one will leave the shop for the week. The next batch of equipment to be crafted is canceled too. Go and get all the stuff you need and report back in an hour.", the old man said with a stern face before turning around and going upstairs.
On the other hand, Max and others were surprised by this sudden change of events. The old man canceled the production of the next batch of equipment. The man who loved money more than anything did that.
" Am I dreaming?", Vin slowly murmured as he pulled his cheeks.
" I don't think that two people can have the same dream at once.", Max replied.
Only Ryan felt that something was wrong. But he didn't think much about it as he only had an hour to stockpile the food for the week.
" Let's go, I can't bring everything on my own.", Ryan said as he walked out of the shop.
Listening to him, Max and Vin followed behind.
On the other side, the old man dialed a number on his phone.
" Beep!.. Beep!.. Click!.. Hello! Master, It's rare for you to call me. How is Max doing? ", Stark''s voice sounded from the opposite side.
" He is more talented than you think him to be. Besides, I haven't called to talk about that. I heard you were going to the capital."
" Yes, I didn't think you would call to encourage me. After all, your disciple is taking the 8★ test.", Stark said in happiness.
" Tsk.. I just want you to pass my message to the Association"
" Oh! What is it, Master? ", Stark asked.
" Tell them, I am coming back."