It was around 4 p.m., Kyoto's streets were as crowded as usual. Luke and Ruster were walking casually among the locals, acting as if nothing was suspicious.
"We're being followed?" Luke whispered. "Are they your followers form back then?"
"Apparently..." Ruster answered distractedly, he was thinking about a lot of scenarios at once. "How did they locate me so fast... can they track the stone jumping location as well?" He asked himself.
After he escaped to the human world, Ruster had a simple plan in his mind, he wanted to figure out a way to jump back safely to his world, meet his friends, and then destroy the stone. But now if he gets caught, he may face serious troubles.
"What should we do?" Luke asked.
He glanced at Luke with worried expressions and told him."I just need you to stay calm, okay. They probably don't know that we've sensed them yet...". One of his biggest concerns was that he was not alone, Luke was there as well.
Ruster was becoming intense and worried, he put both of his hands in his pocket and walked silently while observing the surroundings."Ghost, did you pinpoint their exact locations?" He asked.
"Not yet Master..." Ghost answered.
He wasn't visible but Luke could still hear Ghost talk, his voice was being heard from within Ruster's body.
"I can sense two different energies following us, but there are so many people here, I can't locate them easily..."Ruster said. He didn't know if they were in front of them or behind them, but he was sure that they were very close and had fixed eyes on them.
Ruster was still uncertain about how did they locate him this soon. When he stole the stone he was 100 miles away south of the city of Nava in Kathala. If someone jumped from there, he would spawn somewhere in the UK, because it is Nava's correspondent location in the human world. But the stone teleported him randomly to Japan, which is correspondent to somewhere within the Denmen lands in the wardoks world.
Their world is mostly land, so the road from Kathala to Denman wouldn't require any sailing. Ruster knew that it would take about one day from Nava to reach Denmen lands and then jump to Japan, but unexpectedly they managed to make it here in under 8 hours. Still, this wasn't his main concern. "How did they know that I've jumped to Japan? They were even able to locate me in this particular area of the city! " Ruster wondered.
Most of the details about the Cluster stone were confidential to the squadron leaders. Ruster was an ordinary squadron leader, he participated in numerous missions to the human world involving the stone, but he didn't know all the information about it. It's usually a Charter who manipulates the stone and he is not allowed to discuss details with them.
He had one single explanation for all of this. "They can trace the stone activity!" Ruster thought. "If that's it, then I'm in serious trouble, I won't be able to use it without revealing my location in both worlds."
They kept walking while Ruster was still trying to identify his pursuers. Luke could see that his companion was becoming more and more stressed as time went by, but he didn't talk; he just kept observing him.
Ruster looked back to the moment when he arrived in the human world, he didn't sense any wardoks nearby, not until he brought out the stone in the restaurant. "It must be it! They can trace the stone activity!" He said. He was sure now, he didn't sense anyone before, they must've been searching the city for him, but since he brought the stone out, he was detected. "Damn it! I was careless and thought that I've lost them for good!" He said.
Ruster could sense two different energies. He guessed that they must be squadron leaders, he could take them down easily, but there was something else that was bothering him. "No squadron leader masters the jumping technique... So a Captain must've brought them here!" Ruster said inside his mind.
From a young age, the wardoks soldiers take different paths, either they become jumpers, trained only to master the jumping technique, or become warriors, battle, and fighting specialists. But among them, some prodigies exist as well, a handful of soldiers with extraordinary talent and a huge amount of energy that let them become both jumpers and warriors. Those prodigies usually become the Captains.
A wardok Captain is a high military status, it reflects great wisdom and strength, they are usually way stronger than the squadron leaders and can jump to the human world with their own energy.
Ruster was sure that none of his current pursuers was a Captain, but they must have informed the one that brought them here about this current location. If Ruster runs into a Captain right now, that captain would instantly teleport him back to his world with a simple touch. The only way to counter that is to restrain his Ki, but that's impossible in the present circumstances because he needs his energy to maintain his human form.
"Master! I've located them" Ghost shouted.
"Perfect!" Ruster responded, "Where are they?"
"One of them is on the same street side as us, about 15 meters behind." Ghost answered," The other one is on top of the building across the street, he is observing us from the roofs!"
Ruster took a glance at both of them, they were on their human forms as well, two adult men, but he couldn't identify which squadron leaders they were. "Damn it! if I know their identity I can think a lot more clearly!"
He was worried about the Captain that brought them here, "I hope it's not Captain Loopy!" Ruster thought.
Captain Loopy was one of the strongest Captains in Kathala, he was the best user of the jumping technique, he was the only wardokian capable of teleporting 10 warriors with him to the human world. He proved his strength and might in the last war, he killed around 100.000 wardok alone. He was the kind of person you don't want to mess with and that was making Ruster go crazy. Ruster was terrified of the idea of facing Captain Loopy, he was under his command and he knows his real strength.
Ruster started brainstorming the options he had. He thought about using the stone to jump to another random location within the wardoks world, this option seemed the easiest, but it had two flaws; the first is that he may teleport to a location within enemy territory, that would be even worse for his cause, the second was that he can't take Luke with him, and if he doesn't he'll certainly be a target. Ruster thought about running away now, but could he ditch them here?
It's been 5 minutes of complete silence, Ruster was sweating a lot, he was in some kind of panic attack, and he felt out of options. All that he could tell himself was "Think! Think! Think!..." But he doesn't seem to reach any suitable solution. His eyes widened, his face became pale and he was breathing like he just finished a marathon, he felt completely hopeless.
Suddenly a friendly hand tapped on his shoulder again, and he could feel the positive energy from it, then he heard. "Ruster! Calm down... are you okay?"
It was that aura again, that steady and calm aura that made him respect its owner the first time, it was Luke's aura. Ruster kept observing Luke with surprised eyes, just moments ago he told him to remain calm but he himself panicked. Luke kept his cool this whole time even if he never experienced something similar. "You can't think straight if you are panicking!" Luke said.
Luke was very good at guessing what people were thinking, he spent the last two years observing and learning about the human body language, so he could tell why Ruster was panicking. "You don't have to save me... if you think you can run away now, you can do it! Don't care about me!" Luke said. He knew that Ruster was struggling because he thought that he couldn't protect him.
What shocked Ruster the most was that Luke knew that he was in danger and stayed calm, he never told him that the wardoks killed the humans that knew about them, but somehow he guessed it. " Why do you think you are in danger?"
Luke made a slight smile and answered. "You are telling me about a world that is unknown to us, where the wardoks live in, a world the same size as ours and yet humans never knew of its existence... It only means one thing, the humans who somehow found out about you guys are being silenced... or I rather say, killed!"
Ruster was astonished by Luke's deduction, he got it perfectly right.
"Even you... you were about to kill me this morning... but for some reason, you decided not to..." Luke said confidently.
Ruster completely forgot about his pursuers and the Captain, he just listened to Luke continuing his speech.
"But mostly, you pursuers will be pretty sure that you told me about the invasion, so I'm definitely going down!" Luke explained sarcastically.
Ruster felt more relaxed after Luke talked to him, he thought about the first time they met, and the strange way it happened. The stone teleported him directly behind Luke, and that never occurs. It was like if the stone wanted him to meet Luke, like if it was something destined to happen and planned by faith. At that moment Ruster felt that he must do anything to protect his friend.
Ruster made a strange smile and he adjusted his weird hat and shouted. "Ghost! Search the area for a location where no humans are around!"
"I'm on it, Master!" Ghost answered.
Luke was curious about what Ruster was planning so he asked him. "What are you going to do?"
"It was an option I always had, but somehow I forgot I did!" Ruster said. He brought out his right arm, and clenched his fist and shouted with great dedication. "We're going to fight!"
Luke was a bit worried about all of this, but he saw the determination in Ruster's face and he decided to trust him completely.
They kept walking casually while keeping an eye on their pursuers. Ghost was searching for an empty place to engage in combat with them.
"If you knew I was going to kill, why did you welcome me in?" Ruster asked suddenly.
This question made Luke look back into the past 2 years, he was very lonely and sad, he managed to endure it, but he always felt empty. After meeting Ruster, he instantly felt like he knew him from long ago, and that made him immediately comfortable around him. " I just needed a friend..." Luke answered timidly.
Ruster didn't expect an answer as simple as this and he said inside his mind. "Is that it? That's his reason..." He made a friendly smile and pointed to himself with his thumb and shouted. "Well, congratulations! You are now a friend with THE RUSTER!"
Luke didn't expect that so he was shocked at first but he smiled right afterward, it was a nice feeling that he almost forgot, the feeling of having a friend.
Ghost suddenly interrupted their friendly talk. "Master! I've found a suitable location, I'll lead the way."
"That's great, it's showtime!" Ruster said with confidence.
As they were walking, they reached the entrance of an ally, it was empty. Ruster quickly pushed Luke into the ally, so that they won't be seen by other people. He lifted him on his shoulders, Luke's head was facing Ruster's back. Ruster then looked up and kneeled down a bit as if he was ready to jump, and then he performed a very high jump, four floors into the sky until he landed on the next building's roof, and then he ran north. Luke was making loud wow sounds of surprise, he didn't expect things to go this way.
Ruster continued running fast until he reached the roof's edge, he set his foot on the extremity of the edge and performed another high jump to the next building. As Luke was holding tight on Ruster's back, while he was jumping from building to building real fast, he opened slowly his eyes and noticed two other human men who were jumping from building to building exactly as Ruster was doing, they were following them with evil smiles.
This jumping sequence continued about two minutes until Ruster made a very high jump, in which Luke felt that they finally landed on the ground afterward. Ruster put Luke down safely and slowly and then made some steps upfront with angry eyes. Luke was on his knees on the ground, he started to look around, trying to figure out where they were, he immediately realized that it was a junkyard, the perfect place for a fight. Luke continued looking around until his eyes spotted two men, one was on the ground in front of Ruster, and the other one was sitting on the top of a junk mountain behind the first man.
The two men were both adults, they didn't look like they were members of some sort of gang or a mafia, they looked like ordinary men, the ones you usually see on the bus every day going to work, they were smiling as they looked directly towards Ruster.
Ruster was standing in front of Luke facing the other two men, it seemed that a fight was about to start.
"Bring it on!" Ruster shouted.
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