"You are going back on your commitment?" Kaden was incensed.
To get their hands on the money they have betrayed the four who had originally hired them. But now that man is saying he isn't going to pay them?
Were their efforts for nothing?
"Think what you want," Zed said in a lazy tone, "You truly think I would care about the thoughts of idiots?"
How can he actually give money to those who were here to cripple him? While he didn't knew what they have in plan after crippling him, he could pretty much guess it was nothing good.
He was being magnanimous by actually playing a game with them and sparing their lives. For this, they should thank their lucky stars for the presence of Jessica and Loren. If not they would have joined a long list of people in the underworld.
"What did you said?" Kaden slowly took steps towards Zed.
"You seem to have hearing problems," Zed looked at Kaden with plain disinterest, "Anyways, you are idiots if you believe you would be safe after thrashing those four fools."
Kaden has a frown on his face. He was pretty sure he could handle the law situation since police officers and the government officers would get their fair share from what he earned today.
As long as the gangs don't overstep the limits, they were always blessed by the political class. In fact, most of the organized crimes in the world were backed by the ruling classes.
If not, then there would be no organ harvesting, nor forced prostitution nor the criminal activities of the mafia. It was similar to how the overlords in the slum were backed by the city corporates and officials.
Kaden believed at most he and his gang would be imprisoned for few months till the matter settled down or maybe shift to a new city. In the worst case scenario, one of the gang members would take the entire blame and rot in jail for years.
This wasn't as bad in their line of works for the rest of the gang would make sure the imprisoned member's family is taken care of.
"You truly don't know, do you?" Zed continued with a smile, "I guess those four didn't tell you otherwise you wouldn't have accepted their proposal."
"Know what?" Kaden stopped his movement. He was having a feeling he wouldn't like whatever Zed has to say.
"You can get away with petty crimes since you satisfy the police and city officers with money and their other needs," Zed patiently explained, "The catch is that it only works in petty crimes provided the matter doesn't become big."
Kaden obviously knew if a matter gets too much publicity then there would be no mercy by the police. At such times the police have to show their true worth to let the masses know they are in safe hands.
"Still don't understand?" Zed gave a deep sigh, "Those four are the children of top government officers."
Kaden's eyes turned wide as the realization of the matter hit him. It was a different matter if they have attacked a rich kid, but it was totally another matter to offend someone whose parents were having influence in government.
The criminals were given the blessing by politicians and government officials. But if the victims of the crime were government officials, then the criminals would definitely be severely punished.
"Let me give you a good news," Zed said.
"Good news?" Kaden was startled.
"Yes," Zed said, "There parents have arrived in the city only a few weeks ago."
"Ah!" Kaden felt there was hope. The new officials wouldn't have that much influence in the city. As long as they run away now they would be safe.
"You want to hear another news?" Zed asked.
"There is another?" Kaden was pleasantly surprised.
"Yes," Zed nodded his head and said, "The parents of those fools are investigators from the government on a special mission."
Investigators would have a high connection with police in all the cities!
Kaden and others felt as if they were drowned in the cold sea. This was a terrible news!
There was nothing good in it! But then they remembered Zed has only said 'news' instead of 'good news'.
"Fucker! You tricked us!" Kaden and others were looking at Zed with bloodshot eyes. If not for him, they would not have crippled the four.
"I didn't," Zed shook off his head, "I only told you to do what they asked you to do, but on them, instead of me. Never asked you to cut off their limbs"
"You knew their background!" Kaden said.
"Yes, but who told you to not enquire about their background?" Zed slowly asked, "Who asked you to leave your non-existent brains at home before coming out?"
"!#$%~" Kaden shouted a lot of curses.
When he thought over it, he felt it was indeed their faults for not checking their background. They have readily agreed since good money was involved.
The four offered them a good cash to cripple Zed so who cared about their background? Later on, Zed offered them even higher amount so there was no thought of checking up further.
"It is basic common sense to know the master of a dog before kicking it," Zed felt he was wrongly blamed. He actually felt great respect for Irina who has done her homework unlike this gang of idiots.
Out of the 'four fools', three were conscious so they clearly heard Zed's words.
We are not dogs!
It was just that they were in no condition to open their mouths much less speak so they could only curse in their hearts.
"Hmm?" Zed felt the glances of the three fools so he turned towards them, "It is your fault for not informing them about your background when they were beating you. You could have saved your legs."
Son of a bitch!
We tried to tell them about our background but they didn't listen!
"Human beings will die for riches, just as birds will for food," Zed remembered the famous idiom about the greed.
Zed then walked towards his car.
"Where are you going?!" Kaden finally gripped with reality.
"At my friend's house," Zed answered as he opened the door of his car, "I am expected for dinner."
"You think you can leave after creating this mess?" Kaden felt rage burning inside his heart.
"Yes," Zed nodded and said, "You should leave while you still can."
"Son of a bitch!" Kaden was angered.
Without caring about anything, he bounced towards Zed with the scales of his hands aimed at Zed's throat.
"Watch out!" Jessica shouted.
The corner of the scales was pointed like a sword. She could imagine the damage they could do.
"Never let anger take the best of you," A ball of fire flew from Zed's hands and rapidly dashed towards Kaden who was in mid-air.
Kaden twisted his body in mid-air to dodge the fireball but then his eyes turned wide. Another fireball, this time larger in size, was rushing at him with a far greater speed.
He couldn't twist his body again in short a short time to dodge so he covered his face with his hands.
Kaden fell on the ground over his knees. Except for some black burn marks over his scales, he was fine.
"You are weak---" Kaden turned his face up to insult Zed but then his eyes almost popped out of their sockets.
A large column of fire was rushing towards him. The intensity of heat he felt from the column of fire was dozens of times stronger than the fireballs.
He now realized the previous attacks were just flashy attacks with no real power. His opponent was just toying with him earlier to enjoy his reactions.
"Damn!" Kaden leaped high in the air to dodge the column of fire but much to his horror; the horizontal column of fire changed its direction and dashed towards him in the mid-air.
"Ahhh!" Kaden's entire body was covered with scales but under the high-intensity fire; the scales started melting just like wax.
With a loud explosion, he crashed on the ground in the shape of 'X'. The scales continue to melt while another column of fire dashed towards him.
"Help me, idiots!" Kaden was rolling on the ground trying to free himself from the fire.
What angered him more than the powers of Zed was the response of his gang! They were standing there with their mouth wide open while he was wriggling like a snake under the onslaught of fire!
"Ah!" The gang members finally stepped out of their trance-like state after hearing the abuse from their boss.
Six of them dashed towards Zed while the remaining four rushed to rescue Kaden.
"I would handle him," A man named Finlay said, "You just follow behind to see how I play with him."
His hands transformed into stone hammers. It was possible to see that the visible skin on his body was covered with a layer of stone as well.
"Good, fire can never defeat stone," One of the remaining five said. They followed behind him just in case to provide support.
"Zed!" Loren and Jessica were worried. They wanted to help but the other five were eying them.
"Why isn't he using a fire domain?!" Jessica thought.
Under the domain, its wielder is the god. She believed he would have a chance to at least escape if he startled everyone with his domain.
Zed continued to stand in front of his car. His expression was still relaxed with no sign of panic.
"Is your entire body made of stone?" Zed asked in a curious tone.
"Why do that matters to you?" Finlay asked with a smirk, "My hands are enough to send you the next life."
"It doesn't matter to me," Zed answered with a smile.
"Then why ask such nonsense question?" Finlay leaped forward with both the stone hammers aimed at the face of Zed.
"I thought it would matter to you so I asked," Zed said as two streaks of fire released from his back.
"You are looking to die!" Finlay was annoyed.
Zed has earlier used large columns of fire to defeat Kaden but for him only two streaks?!
Two minuscule streaks of fire against stone hammers?!
It was simply courting death!
Finlay has a devilish smile as the two streaks of fire and stone hammers were about to collide. He was in the mid-air, just two meters away from Zed, and he was sure of what was going to happen in the next moment.
Suddenly his expression changed and the smile faded.
"What?!" Finlay shouted in panic as the two streaks of fire passed by his stone-hammer hands without colliding, and instead, they rushed to lower parts of his body.
The two streaks of fire landed on his jewels!!!!
"No!" Finlay screamed in horror as the raging fire started burning away his crotch.
He stumbled down on his knees with his eyes wide with terror. He quickly transformed his stone-hammer hands back to normal self in order to clear out the fire.
The fire showed no sign of stopping and instead his hands were covered with fire.
Finlay ignored the burning pain from his hands and continued to try his best to wipe out the fire from his crotch.
Alas, all his efforts proved futile.
"Noooo!" Finlay shouted blood-wrenching screams as his entire crotch melted in oblivion.
The fire scorched his hands and was spreading further throughout his body now that he wasn't covered by a stone shell.
The mental and physical pain of losing his jewels made him numb to everything else. He continued to stare at his crotch where there was nothing but burned flesh.
Zed waved his hands and the fire on his Finlay's body disappeared. Finlay's face was already white like a paper and in the next moment, he fainted.
"Sighs~ Good intentions are never appreciated in today's age," Zed said with a deep sigh, "I even asked him whether his entire body is covered by stone but he chose to not answer me."
Behind, Jessica and Loren were struck on the spot.
"He won just like that?" Jessica asked.
She was worried it would be impossible for a fire Elementalist to win against stone transformation mutant. But to her pleasant surprise, Zed defeated his opponent without any efforts at all.
"I guess that man's entire body wasn't covered with a layer of stone," Loren answered unaware of the deep meanings of her words, "No wonder that man was easily defeated."
Some distance away, the other five were rooted on the track with their backs drenched with cold sweat. None of them dared take another step forward.
Their throats were completely dry seeing the condition of their friend. Each of them was violently shaking in fear thinking what their condition would be if they had gone ahead instead of Finlay.
They have always believed nothing could be worse than death, but today the reality has taught them how wrong they were.
Finlay was alive but none of them wanted to be in his shoes even if the choice was between death and living like him. Death was definitely a better outcome.
"Sieur, you go ahead," one of them said to the person next to him, "I will provide support from behind."
"No!" Sieur refused without the least bit of hesitation, "You are the strongest of us so you should be in front!"
"...This is an order!" the one from the before said.
He felt he was abusing his authority but he didn't mind as long as he can save himself from that demon. He didn't want his jewels to be burned away!
"I refuse!" Sieur refused again, "I want to father children!"
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