A large convoy was driving along a relatively empty, two-lane highway, away from Topeka. There were two huge black main-tanks, one was at the back and another at the front. However, both of them had severe battle-scars; there were gashes and claw-marks, along with several places where horns or ‘stingers’ had penetrated deep into the steel plating.
Then there was a singular, enormous truck, pulling a long semi-trailer. Screams, yelling and crying were constantly coming from inside the metal container, along with incessant banging noises.
Aside from that, there were also a handful of motorcyclists, wearing black helmets and their entire bodies were covered with ebony leather. They were trying to do all they could to avoid mana-exposure, but it was obviously a futile struggle.
Mana radiation affects people differently, depending on three factors: their soul, their DNA and most importantly, their desires and ‘will’. For those who vehemently fight against it, instead of transforming in a beneficial way or becoming more powerful, they would actually grow weaker and eventually die.
Underneath those dark helmets and leather clothes, those five men had rashes, boils and black spots covering their deathly pale flesh. The Hispanic woman who was driving that tractor trailer was in constant pain from what appeared to be severe sunburn on her face, neck, arms and hands; however, even though she was suffering, it would take a long time for it to prove fatal.
Her brown eyes were wide open and she had loud ‘metal’ music blasting, so she couldn’t hear the noisy prisoners in the crate behind her truck. Yet, she still managed to notice the deep and horrifying sound of a colossal fiery dragon, streaking across the sky at mach-three.
It was far ahead of them and didn’t actually cause any damage to the vehicles, but she still screamed “Ah?! What in tarnation was that thing?!” A moment later, she saw a small golden rabbit leaping out of the forest on the right side of the road; it seemed totally insane, as the little metallic creature jumped under the front-most tank’s treads.
As the beast’s durable body was crushed, there was a small explosion; the huge, heavily armored vehicle, was flipped over on its left side and skidded across the street. The asphalt was covered in a decent amount of water and they were all traveling around forty miles per hour, so it wasn’t surprising that the tractor-trailer couldn’t brake in time and slammed into the bottom of that tank.
One of the motorcyclists was smacked by the giant crate and knocked flying dozens of feet into the woods, being impaled by a tree-branch through his lower-abdomen. Another was crushed underneath the treads of the tank that was taking up the rear, as it immediately attempted to stop and avoid hitting the back of the truck. A third man was thrown off of his bike and slid across the ground, but didn’t sustain any serious injuries. The last two motorcyclists had managed to go around the collision and continued driving without stopping; they received orders to return to base and request reinforcements.
However, as they were approaching the large intersection up ahead, they noticed a high-pitched and extraordinarily annoying ‘roaring’ noise. There was a glowing pink motorcycle soaring across the dangerously wet street at nearly one-hundred miles per hour.
It wasn’t very difficult to see the rider through the darkness, since he was wearing a crimson robe that seemed to be radiating just as much light as his vehicle. His arms and legs were highly-reflective, as if they were made out of bronze and gold respectively.
The most disturbing aspect though, was that he didn’t even bother wearing a helmet. Not only that, but he couldn’t even keep his eyes open from the ridiculous wind-pressure and was literally driving blind.
“This fucking nyan-monster accelerates too goddamn fast! Oh shitsauce?!” Michael only had a second to suck the vehicle back into his inventory, before his heavily armored right elbow plowed into someone’s helmet-covered face. The man was totally decapitated and the Nephilim still tumbled through the air and stomped down with his golden left foot, crushing the other person’s chest into bloody paste; his heel proceeded to pierce into the engine of a black cruiser.
That bike was completely broken in half, as Michael smacked his right knee and both of his shiny bronze gauntlets onto the wet asphalt, skidding for at least thirty meters and subsequently rolling across the ground ten times. Miraculously, he managed to stand up immediately afterwards and even turn around to watch the two wrecked vehicles and mangled corpses, continue to travel forwards for a few seconds.
He frowned, muttering “Ugh, I really hope that they were horrible people… Well, on the positive side of things, it ain’t like I’m gonna get arrested for manslaughter, hehehe~. Hmmm, what the hell is that?”
Michael walked over to the headless, twisted-up corpse that was crushed underneath a burning motorcycle and noticed a peculiar odor wafting out of the roasting flesh. Using a bit of strength, he casually lifted the bike and actually threw it a few meters away, without even pulling any muscles.
Then he reached down and plunged his claw-like right hand into the man’s upper-back, rooting around for a moment, before yanking out a small piece of metal. After staring at the bloody coin for a few seconds, he grumbled “One fucking copper… I guess this was one of the bounties, huh? But still, only a single copper? Did I really just get spinal-fluid and heart-juice all over hand, for what is basically just a magic penny?”
Considering that every copper is equivalent to a million mana-points, most Psychers would gladly kill for one. However, since he already had over four-hundred and fifty thousand gold, it wasn’t surprising that he didn’t feel that collecting copper was worth the effort. Not only that, but when he pulled out his ‘Whisper Booster’ with his non-bloodsoaked hand, the message told him “You have gained two Arcane Favor.”
“Yep, the rewards are definitely meant for super-noobs who haven’t even started playing yet. I mean, it’s not like I really have anything better to do… and even if it isn’t much, it’s still better than nothing I guess?” After that, he walked over to the pile of meat that didn’t even resemble a human anymore and sent out a bit of his aura from his right palm; it acted like a magnet and the small coin flew up into his hand.
He sent both the magical cell-phone and those two coppers into his extra-dimensional bag-space and turned towards the south. A mile or so down the road was a black-tank, which was on its side and a tractor-trailer was flipped over, laying on the grass next to the highway; the front was completely totaled, but the crate it was pulling was relatively intact.
Without putting much thought into it, he started walking towards the wreckage at a fairly slow pace. Michael grumbled “I’m starting to get pretty exhausted… After this I should probably find a house to live in for a while. I’d return to Linda’s place, but ugh, I don’t want to accidentally get all of those guys killed.”
The back of the flipped-over tank opened up, along with the cannon’s hatch and a handful of injured people crawled out. They were wearing bulletproof vests and most of their bodies were covered by military fatigues; their faces were protected by either gas-masks, re-breathers and goggles or fire-fighter helmets, along with oxygen canisters on their backs. To them, the air was poisonous, but so was the light and just about everything else, since there was mana everywhere.
Even though some of them had broken bones and others had gashes that were bleeding, they were still fairly heavily armed. A tall woman with an assault rifle that had an infra-red scope was the first one to notice the approaching individual.
She struggled to stand and a green laser was immediately flashing in Michael’s eyes, as she yelled “Stop! Identify yourself! Don’t come any closer!”
It was then that a fat man with a shotgun crawled out of the back of the tank and started shooting slugs towards the ‘enemy’, without any reservations. However, the first three shots completely missed and the fourth nicked his left shoulder, producing some sparks and making a horrible screeching noise.
Unfortunately for them, the Nephilim just shrugged it off and wasn’t even slightly fazed by the light graze. He shouted “Oh hey~, aren’t you guys part of that ‘Humanity’ organization thing?!” as he pulled out his ‘Whisper Booster’ and actually downloaded an ‘app’, while multiple people were shooting at him.
That woman screamed “What do you want from us, monster?!” Then she sent a burst of rounds into his chest; yet, the moment that those bullets made contact with his magical robe, three fiery explosions erupted and molten metal splashed a few meters in front of where he was walking. Even if Alice was barely conscious, she was still an extraordinarily powerful being, who could manipulate Fire, Water, Wind and Earth more easily than breathing.
Once the application was downloaded and installed, Michael held the phone in front of him and activated it. Even though she was wearing a gas-mask, he could see a picture of her face floating around the girl’s head and even the amount of Favor her life was worth: only a single point. When he aimed it at the shotgun wielding fat man, he sighed, wondering “What kinda horrible, fucked up shit did this asshole do to have such a high bounty? Welp, in the end, they’re all just trash mobs, hehehe~…”