BIOLOGICAL SUPERCOMPUTER SYSTEM -
Chapter 324 The Red Lotus Lounge (19)
Erik stood in the middle of the room, searching for all his friends while smoke filled the dancefloor. The club was in flames, and the air was thick with smoke, making it hard to see more than a few feet ahead.
Behind him, he heard the muffled sobs of Martha. She was scared, but Erik couldn't blame her.
They had just been through hell together, and now they had to escape this burning building before it was too late. The young woman saw many people die today, and despite her best efforts, she couldn't help them.
Erik scanned the hallway, his eyes stinging from the thick black smoke. He could barely see a few meters ahead of him, but he knew they had to get out of there fast.
"Amber!" he called out, his voice hoarse from the smoke. "We need to head for the main entrance!"
Amber, who was a few meters away, looked at him with urgency on her face. "I know, but it is hard! Should we wait for Mikey's mother?"
Erik shook his head. "You heard her. We can't stay any longer. The fire is spreading too fast, and these people are too strong for us. They'll catch up if we hesitate. We have to go now."
Amber wavered for a moment but then nodded in agreement. "Okay, let's go."
Erik led the way, weaving through the smokey hallway toward the main entrance. The heat was almost unbearable, and Erik could feel his skin starting to burn. Not only his friends started following them, but also the remaining students, Brittney, Patricia, Jacob, Enya, and Stella.
Erik avoided a sudden attack by one of the thugs, and then one of the parents rushed to his aid, preventing further attacks from reaching him.
"Are you okay?" Amber asked, looking at him with concern. Erik nodded, gritting his teeth. "I'm fine. Just keep moving. Come on, guys," Erik said, trying to sound confident.
They all nodded, and together they stepped forward through the hallway. The air was hot and suffocating, and the flames finally spread inside the dance room, getting closer with every passing second.
Erik led the way, trying to find a path through the wreckage left during the fight and the many bodies littering the ground. The sound of the fight going on in the room they just left was deafening, and it was hard to hear anything else over the sound of clashing weapons and Carl's explosions.
Erik couldn't help but take in the destruction around him as they moved through the club. The once-luxurious décor was now reduced to ruin. The walls started to blacken with soot, and the air smelled of smoke and burning wood.
Aaron and Mikey were behind him, their faces etched with sorrow. Their parents were alive, but Mikey's mother decided to stay back and sacrifice herself in order to make them run away; besides, Anderson died so Erik could understand their current feelings. He, too, was grieving at the moment.
The awakener and the others made their way through the smoky hallway, coughing and wheezing as they struggled to breathe.
But despite the thick smoke and debris, they managed to make it to the entrance without any major obstacles, thanks to the parents fighting behind them.
The problem was that Matthew sent someone to block their way. In fact, as they arrived, they found five figures standing in their way as they approached the exit. Erik tensed up, ready for a fight, but as they got closer, he may be in more trouble than he assumed.
"Fuck!" Erik shouted, his eyes narrowing as he took in their rough appearance.
One of them stepped forward with a sneer on his face. "You're not going anywhere. The boss wants you dead."
Erik's heart sank as he realized they still needed to fight. He knew they were in serious trouble. This whole situation ended badly.
Where the hell were Caiden's men? Why didn't things go his way? Was saving the parents the right thing to do? Would it have been better to wait for Caiden's men to take action?
But what if they didn't arrive in time or Matthew killed the parents as soon as they saw Caiden's men?
Since it was impossible to know what would have happened, Erik didn't linger on that thoughts for long. The only thing that mattered now was to get the hell out of there and to do so, they had to defeat these five guys.
Erik scanned them with his analysis and saw they were mostly at the level the guards at the entrance had, aside from one man at the MI level, so it was definitely possible to kill them. The problem was that they didn't have the advantage of surprise anymore, and killing them would not be simple.
Amber looked at Erik; fear etched on her face. "What do we do?"
The awakener knew the only thing they could do was fight. There were 13 people on his side, while Matthew's men were only five.
Regardless of the chances to beat them, they couldn't just stand there and wait for Matthew's men to attack. They had to make their move.
"Get ready to fight," he said, his voice low and urgent. "Martha, you fight with me; Aaron, you go with Gwen and Amber; I want you to deal with that guy! The others can do as they see fit."
The other group members looked at him in surprise, but they didn't question his reasoning. They knew that Erik was their best chance for survival. The awakener quickly told the others who to target, and like that, they readied themselves.
The young man's goal was to fight against a guy with a bow and mana arrows since he was the most dangerous one and he was the only one who could more or less match his speed, the best thing to do would be to neutralize the only ranged unit so that his friends would be safe.
The problem was that during the previous fights, he was constantly aided by many people, and this time he wasn't sure only Martha's help would be enough. He needed more mana, so he finally decided to use the status points he had collected during the past few months.
That way, he would replenish his mana reserves, be able to fight for longer, and use his powers better.
<System, use all the available status points on Energy>
[UNDERSTOOD, 35 STATUS POINTS SPENT ON ENERGY. CURRENT ENERGY POINTS: 72]
Suddenly, it was as if he was connected to a boundless well of Energy. He felt invigorated, powerful, and more alive than ever before.
He had never felt such a rush of Energy before. His heart was pounding, and his veins were filled with adrenaline. As he waited for the process to complete, he could feel the others looking at him, their eyes wide with surprise and confusion. They must have felt the change, too, but it was like a sort of miracle for them.
Suddenly, it hit him. His mana had increased. He could feel it surging through him at a level he had never felt; it was like a river rushing through a narrow canyon. It was more powerful than anything he had ever experienced before.
[CONGRATULATIONS, HOST. YOUR BRAIN CRYSTAL JUST REACHED THE D LEVEL. HOWEVER, I STRONGLY SUGGEST YOU LEAVE THIS PLACE, AS YOU BASICALLY REVEALED THE BIOLOGICAL SUPERCOMPUTER EXISTENCE.]
That wasn't exactly true. The others didn't know what was happening exactly, so they didn't know what this phenomenon was due to. The problem, though, was that if Amber and the others felt the mana surging, then even the five thugs felt it.
However, at least he was out of the parents' and the other thugs' range. Though the awakener grinned in triumph, feeling the power of mana coursing through him.
"Are you okay? What is happening?" Amber suddenly asked, clearly worried about the situation, her eyes wide with concern.
Erik nodded, but he couldn't hide the exhilaration he felt. "I'm fine," he said, "but I can't tell you more now." He felt like a different person like he was more than just himself. It was a thrilling yet terrifying feeling. 𝚒𝓃𝘯𝙧𝚎𝗮𝚍. 𝒄𝐨𝓂
Erik looked down at his hands, still buzzing with Energy. He knew that this was just the beginning. His mana had never felt so potent, and he was eager to explore what he could do with it.
"I don't know what you've just done, but we will find out," one of the five thugs said. "I bet the boss will reward us well if we bring you to him alive."
Erik's heart hardened, though there was nothing he could have done in that situation. Their only chance to escape was for them to fight; if he didn't, they would all die. It was better to reveal he had some secrets than die, and since he couldn't count on Anderson's father or Mikey's mother to save him anymore, contrary to when he was in the dance room, the only thing he could do was this.
Erik, full of Energy, unsheathed his Flyssa and channeled mana through his neural links to use Nathaniel's and the sharpening power.
"Martha, try to apprehend him!" Erik shouted, and then a massive number of thorny vines sprouted from the ground and searched for their target, the archer.
Erik charged at the man, and the other students did the same. Amber couldn't still use her power; hence, she was full of mana, but she planned to use it if the opportunity arose.
The amount of mana Erik pumped into his neural links was twice as strong, so thanks to Nathaniel's power, he gained an insane amount of speed and was able to match the archer's speed. That clearly left the man surprised, as he was at the MI level.
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