Chapter 689: Wakttark City’s Backdoor
“Get a move on!” A middle-aged man, his face covered by a strip of cloth spoke sharply, kicking a couple of captives, “Move it, buffoons.”
“P-Please, spare us!” One of them, an old man in his late seventies pleaded, hoping to be freed of this torture when a whip slapped his face, causing a large gash mark as the middle-aged man’s angry outburst resounded.
“Slaves like you are no longer considered human. You’re just meat, get it? Meat!” He lashed out the whip on the ground, shattering a rock from the impact as the sharp sound caused the people to flinch in response.
The group of captives consisted of thirty humans, the majority of which were old people. The remainder were cripples, with none having the capability to fight against the armed guards escorting them.
Even though there were just six armed guards, with the leader being one of them, the captives didn’t dare resist. For, all six were Invokers, possessing Human Invoked Spirits at that.
Currently, they were passing through a forest stretch, soon arriving at a haphazard clearing where an old well was situated. The pulley in the well was attached to a chair of sorts, meant to transport the captives using it.
The well was empty and actually led to an underground tunnel. It had been cleared out just for this purpose, the dried-up underground stream now turned into a canal that led into the city. It was through this channel that they trafficked people in and out of the city.
Currently, the captives originated from a village situated thirty kilometres away, captured following a plague the village faced. They were being transported for the sole reason to be turned into human Invoker Crystals.
Wakttark City was one of the largest cities in the region, home to reigning Clans that dominated the political sphere of the place. And the grander the city, the deeper its murkiness.
Operating at the bottommost rungs of Wakttark City’s society was Hitlawn, a criminal organisation that involved itself in drugs, human/animal trafficking, brothels, liquor, Invoker Crystals, assassination, information exchange, etc.
Hitlawn was a pretty powerful organisation, having branches in more than ten cities and at least in three major cities like Wakttark City.
The middle-aged man threw an old man into the chair, ringing a bell as the chair began to descend into the well, the empty chair returning after a good couple of minutes had passed. One after another, the middle-aged man sent the people into the well.
He had sent around ten people when suddenly, a couple of the guards took up arms in alarm, glaring at their surroundings.
A feline leapt out, breaking a tree branch in response as its jaws clenched shut, crushing the branch. Spitting out the pieces, it pounced upon the closest guard.
The guard shouted in response, “It’s an Inferior Grade Invoked Spirit!”
The tattoo on his forehead shone before disappearing as a humanoid entity appeared beside him, looking no different to a human. The only difference was the mysterious set of garbs the Invoked Spirit donned, wrapped from head to toe in bandage over which a cloak stuck tight.
Wrapped around the hand was a set of chains, resembling a large drum due to the sheer volume they occupied. It was an Inferior Grade Invoked Spirit.
The eyes of the Human Invoked Spirit glinted as it stared at the feline creature, spreading its feet apart to suddenly jump up like a spring, casually covering a height of two metres like it meant nothing.
The chains on its hands unfurled, ones that danced like snakes as they lashed out onto the feline like whips, keeping it at bay.
In response, the second guard brought out his Invoked Spirit too, one that resembled a four-year-old girl, sporting an innocent face and a pitiful expression.
The girl’s fearful eyes stared at the feline before she let out a high-pitched scream, the sound undulations causing blood to bleed from the captives.
The feline felt difficulty in moving for a moment as the bandaged Invoked Spirit slammed into its sides, sending it flying into a tree.
It then leapt forward, causing its chains to curl around the feline creature, tying it up to the tree, and preventing it from escaping.
“Heh, you should stop this futile resistance and come out, my lady.” The middle-aged man smirked casually, aware that only those backed by a Clan could become an Invoker.
It was because only an Invoker could create Invoker Crystals, a necessary ingredient for the emergence of Invokers. And since the feline Invoked Spirit already took action, he was baiting its Invoker to step out.
There was a rustle among the bushes nearby, spurred by his words as a figure rushed out, running away from the place.
The middle-aged man relied upon his sharp sight to notice that the Invoker was only a teenager, someone that took flight upon seeing that his plan went to bust.
He clapped his palms, causing his Invoked Spirit to return, bringing it out again as he jumped onto it and rode it to flee the place.
The teenager didn’t even understand what happened, noticing that he was on the ground now, shocked to see his Invoked Spirit lodged into the trunk of a tree that it had crashed into.
He focused on its hind legs, noticing a hook pierced through it, the cause that tripped it, sending it flying into the tree trunk. The hook was connected to a fishing rod by a long, strong string.
The fishing rod was held by a man—Human Invoked Spirit—that bore a close resemblance to the middle-aged man. Upon staring at his Human Invoked Spirit, the teenager shouted in rage, “You bastard didn’t even let go of your family?”
“My family?” The middle-aged man tilted his head before realising what the teenager was going on about, replying nonchalantly, “They asked me to choose between living as a cripple or being banished from my Clan for using a Human Invoker Crystal to become an Invoker.”
“So…” He grinned in response, “I used them as the material for my Nascent Soul, and formed the strongest Invoked Spirit that’s the perfect fit for me.”
“Inhuman bastard!” The teenager glared as his Invoked Spirit propped him up, having disappeared once to reappear again. Though, even after this, the injuries it sustained remained on its body.
If it were to get seriously injured, it might be destroyed, which was what happened with Pilkan’s Eagle Invoked Spirit.
The bandaged Invoked Spirit and the child Invoked Spirit were rushing at him as the latter’s wails only caused a headache for the teenager, making it hard for him to concentrate.
This meant that his control over the feline Invoked Spirit faltered, making it easy for the Human Invoked Spirits to gain an advantage.
“Gah!” The teenager slipped and fell to the ground, clutching his head as a ringing sound resounded nonstop in his head. This was the ability harnessed by the child Invoked Spirit.
Non-combative it might be, but it was heavily disruptive in nature, especially against Invokers and Invoked Spirits, which formed the greatest constants of their world.
So, they were pretty effective against the teenager that hadn’t ever fought against a Human Invoked Spirit before, quickly placing him at a disadvantage before he was captured by the bandaged Invoked Spirit.
“Now, who do we have here? By how stealthy you acted, I assumed you were a girl. My bad though.” The middle-aged man smiled casually, only happy at the fact that he captured an Invoker.
There were many ways in which someone like that could be used in their organisation. As not a single captive was killed, the middle-aged man simply treated this as a blessing in disguise.
“You’re…evil!” The teenager spat out in response before collapsing to the ground, feeling his head spin due to the sounds emitted by the child Invoked Spirit.
The feline Invoked Spirit had already returned to his Dreamland, unable to exist in a manifested state with his concentration broken.
“Hahaha!” The middle-aged man laughed in response, mimicking his actions while pointing at a guard, “You’re…evil!”
“Boss, why don’t you leave him in my care?” One of the guards said, “Given his way of life, his Mental Fragments would prove beneficial for my growth.”
“Huh? Are you mad?” The middle-aged man snorted in disdain, “Your limit is being an Inferior Invoker. It’s too much of a waste to consume this boy’s Mental Fragments. It’s better to sell him to our superiors and rake in some cash.”
“Isn’t that better for us?” He said, “The lot of us are bound to be Inferior Invokers for the rest of our lives anyway, so might as well focus less on it and enjoy life.”
“Sure, you can go ahead and enjoy.” Suddenly, a mocking sound resounded, following which the figure of a boy sauntered in, his gait confident, oozing a sharp gaze.
“Another rat daring to act like a hero?” The middle-aged man snorted in response, intending to command the guards to capture him too when he noticed in shock at how the boy continued to walk calmly, as if he owned the place.
“Lead the way, or die.” Pilkan said in all seriousness as a spear flew from the woods and slammed into a tree next to the middle-aged man, piercing through it easily, startling everyone as Pilkan’s voice echoed, emanating killing intent, “Don’t make me repeat myself.”