Chapter 19
Zephyr turned back to look, seeing two silhouettes race up against him, their true energies bursting at the seams. The silhouettes morphed into snake-like beings, and dodged in and out of sight with deadly intent. “If I want to trail Kerr, I must first kill his lackeys!” Zephyr turned around, focused his energy, and disappeared deeper into the Forest.

“Son of a b*tch! The runt’s got a few tricks up his sleeve, we’ll have to split up!”

“We have to get him! No one can know of master Kerr’s presence here! No one!”

“Indeed, we must kill him!”

The two of them then splitted up, taking wide angles on Zephyr’s trajectory…

Zephyr’s speed increased with each passing moment until he was nothing more than afterimages, and zoomed through the Forest. After a while, he slowed down and came to a halt, deep within the trees, hoping to have lost his pursuers. However, Zephyr knew that the two hunters were powerful, more powerful than he was; they would catch up soon. ‘If I have to fight, it would be a tough one. However, were I to retreat, I would never get better!’ Zephyr thought frustratingly. “Both of them are tough, but if I took them on one at a time, maybe I could do this!” Zephyr frowned, he suddenly remembered a certain skill and proceeded to invoke it.

“Ha! There you are!” Suddenly, a cheery chuckle came closer and closer. One of the hunters appeared before Zephyr, his energy manifesting itself as a serpent and took on the silhouette of a cobra, staring Zephyr down. “Hmph, what’s there to brag about? I wasn’t even running!” Zephyr retorted with a smirk. Before he even finished, Zephyr had already pressed the assault. “Heh, a measly Strength of six dares to attack first? Why, aren’t you a suicidal one!” Seeing Zephyr’s challenge, the hunter immediately changed his tune. He raised his right hand, and sent forth serpent-like energy which spiraled towards Zephyr.

A loud hiss scathed through the trees, the attacker’s energy instantly surrounded the area in a smokey dome. “Earthquake Fist!” Zephyr was not retreating, he steeled himself, he was not backing down. Although Earthquake Fist was a common technique, in Zephyr’s hands, it was a force to be reckoned with.

The two matched blow after blow, within the dust cloud, only shadows could be made out. Anything bar the large, the deafened sounds of their blows that connected were hard to discern. The trees which surrounded them shuddered at each blow. “A Strength of level eight sure is something… I’m having a hard time taking him on!” Zephyr started to balk; he felt his hands going numb from the volley. Regardless, he would not back down at all. All this while, his Earthquake Fist was entering a new stage, he felt as though the technique had more to give, but needed one last shift, Zephyr had an idea…

“You’re just a pesky Strength of level six, yet, here you are, withstanding me… you sure are something else!”

“Were you to continue your training, I bet you’d be limitless! Alas, you just had to p*ss me off!”

The man flashed a small smile, and put his hands together, a look of decisiveness fell on his face. “This is where it ends boy!”

The man summoned his true energy, and manifested them into two great snakes — almost life-like. He swiftly followed up with precise movements, much like how a snake would coil about its prey, frighteningly quick. The man decided then and there, Zephyr would be no more. Zephyr felt a great force as it came down upon him, yet he disregarded it. Despite the crushing pressure, his mind was calm, and his heart was solid.

Zephyr harnessed Earthquake Fist for a counterattack, but in that moment, he realized something…

“Die!” The man’s smile became larger, in his eyes, Zephyr had just been crushed by the snakes he conjured, but before he confirmed his kill, Zephyr broke free from his restraints, bright streams of light were pulsing out of his eyes.