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I could see that he was aiming for my stomach with a fist charged with green light. However, I could not let go of the deathgrip I had on his hair.
[You have used Gaia’s Will.]
The punch was like a blade in my stomach, and I endured the pain with clenched teeth. I then yanked his head down to the floor, and his head slammed against the tiles. I now had a free hand and used it to punch his neck, and I felt his spine crumble. When I was about to land the final hit, I fell down on broken concrete. The first evil had disappeared after using the F class Teleportation insignia.
“Who the F&ck are you?”
The black man had to be a lower floor resident, and he had come rushing into his bathroom at the noise. Since I had a mask on, he had come in with a baseball bat while yelling what would probably be the names of his family members, to stay in their rooms. I then saw two other masked faces looking down from the hole in the ceiling above me and shouted my orders.
“He couldn’t have gone more than a twenty-meter radius. One of you go to the rooftop while the other goes to the basement. I will go to the street. Hurry!”
I stood up with my hand on my stomach as the pain was spreading. I then threw a wad of hundred-dollar bills to the owner.
“It’s yours if you keep silent. Out of my way.”
My body was heavy as the poison spread through it. The man plastered himself on the wall as I walked by, and while I saw several people, probably the homeowner’s family, as I walked through the living room, they dared not approach me.
Some neighbors had come out to check on an unconscious agent outside the villa. When someone had been about to remove his mask, another masked man came running to take him away. People stepped back when they saw blood, which was the last I saw of them since I had to check the nearby streets, despite being nearly sure he had gotten away.
Others were still searching, and only John Clarke was waiting for me. We both had our masks down, as we could not stay masked in front of the police. Now, the First Evil’s Adversity Overcomer effect would have ended.
“…What are you guys?”
He was trying to stay calm but looked haunted. I ignored his question.
“How many men can you call immediately?”
His voice was small and looked like he was about to break.
“It’s not enough.”
“I can bring in non-combatants.”
He flinched as I raised an arm, but I only placed it on his shoulder.
“He will likely be unconscious somewhere and increase the search radius to the distance where one can go in five minutes by car. Search all stores, hospitals, and residential areas.”
We spent the night searching for the First Evil. The next day, I saw strange men who wore street clothes but had bulk and wore comfortable shoes. They walked in two’s and looked exactly like street cops. They eyed me with suspicion.
On the one hand, the poison had stopped spreading in my chest. While I could not move well, it would disappear over time. I had gone to where John Clarke had given me the address, and it was an old house with a small yard. He explained the place to me.
“We’re using this as our temporary headquarters.”
“Let’s eat first. Do you have anything?”
We went to the house, and it looked like it had been abandoned for a long time. A man was standing there, and I saw that it was Tiboy. He gulped at seeing me. While all of them had violence in their daily lives, what they had seen yesterday was from another world. The First Evil had only stumbled after being shot multiple times with three guns.
I saw fake ID cards on the table, ranging from the FBI, DEA to government institutions like the Internal Revenue Service. John’s people were fast. We ate simply in silence, and I moved to the room where they had placed the dead body. I knew that he died from a simple punch by the First Evil. The corpse’s eyes were wide open in shock, as we had been too late. I asked John some questions after covering the corpse.
“What is his name?”
“Does he have a family?”
John Clarke waited for Tiboy to answer, and he did so with hesitation.
“He has a daughter, who his divorced wife left behind.”
“I will make a trust fund company for your team after things wrap up. So let’s focus on chasing and killing the target and talk afterward.”
However, the deadline passed. We had spent a week searching Brooklyn. If he had a revival attribute, he would have been able to move after a few days like Yeonhee Woo. However, I made him use two insignias. I stayed calm, thinking even the First Evil would be bitter about losing the 13,500 points they were worth.
I met John Clarke again in a Brooklyn restaurant, and he seemed to have thought things through about what he should and should not do. Therefore, he did not say anything about what he had seen but only reported he had done what I had asked. He gave me the key and the warehouse address where he had stored everything in the First Evil’s villa. I spoke as I placed the key in my pocket.
“You need a full organization. Do you need help in setting up?”
John Clarke raised his head.
“How do we catch the cat? Can we do it?”
“Your priority is to report to me as soon as you find him. Don’t approach him, but do not lose him.”
However, if things didn’t go according to plan, they may have to act.
“He becomes stronger over time, and after a while, he would be able to face armies. However, if we are fast enough, we can catch him.”
John Clarke’s eyes grew fierce.
“Forget what you had seen before, as guns should work next time. However, you will need a more focused and if necessary, explosive methods than before if I’m not there yet, and don’t forget to pack enough ammo to sustain those methods. Anyway, report and wait for me first and foremost. It’s better for you, and no matter who kills him, you will receive a billion dollars in the end.”
John Clarke did not look happy yet, as the astronomical amount was only a mirage for now. He needed to finish making his new organization ASAP.
“Report regularly. I will prepare a hundred million for you for payroll and expenses, and the same amount for the trust fund. You have free rein over it, and that’s it.”
I went out of the restaurant to the warehouse and saw that the First Evil had not owned much. He had been writing an anonymous letter to the ADA (Assistant District Attorney) who had prosecuted his case. The letter obviously threatened the life of the ADA, but was cleverly worded in such a way it couldn’t be used to investigate and prosecute the sender. I did not like it, as the letter showed a high degree of legal expertise and the cunning to exploit the loopholes in the Criminal Code.
The prosecutor had presented evidence that the victim was a twenty-eight-year-old man who had known the First Evil through the internet and had played online games with him. The subpoena for the chat logs had shown that the First Evil threatened the victim with death unless he cooperated. The First Evil had murdered the victim and had gotten free because the prosecutor could not prove possession of the murder weapon and crack his alibi. Was the victim another prior awakened? Maybe… (EN: Obviously the ADA couldn’t know the First Evil was using a teleportation insignia to establish an alibi. @[email protected] )
When I put the letter down, I found a small badge the size of my fingernail. Then, I saw a message pop up.
[The Badge of the Sensitive (Item)
Effect: Raises Perception rank by 1
He had one of the best items one could get from a Bronze Box.
[Your Perception rank has increased by 1.]
There were no restrictions, and items that raised Perception were rare beyond words. While it was limited to a single rank upgrade due to the item class limit, I could strengthen this item to make full use of it until I became stronger.
Edited by Userunfriendly