A Dud

"I'll show you creeps the power of a true hunter!"

Mysty swung her blade forward with full force. Ryker sidestepped her thanks to his boosted reflexes.

She clicked her tongue and went further with her assault. Not dialing down a bit, she continues with a flurry of swings yet Ryker avoided each one with little to no difficulty. 

Mysty gritted her teeth. "How are you doing that?" 

"Are you getting scared?" 

"Scared?" Mysty scoffed. How dare a measly C-Grade talk to her like that. "I will make your death slow and painful." 

She swings her sword again with more ferocity than before. 

'Everything feels so slow.' He was amazed by his newfound abilities as he avoids her attack once again. 

Ryker smirked seeing the agitation on Mysty's face. He was enjoying the way he was tormenting her. 

"What's with the smug on your face?" A vein had popped on the A-Grade's face. 

"This?" Ryker pointed to his face. "Oh, nothing. It's just... I am loving the face you're making. It's the same face I had when you were killing my comrades. It's the same face your subordinates had when I cracked their heads." Ryker smacked his lips. "Fear. That's what it is." 

Mysty felt like screaming from the bottom of her chest. There were already a lot of things going on in her mind. 

How did a C-grade hunter develop black astral skin? 

"What would the flag master do if he finds out that one of the trash he asked me to dispose of survived?" She muttered to herself. 

A chill ran through her spine on the mere thought of what her superior would do to her if he were to find out that she did a sloppy job. 

"I plan on rectifying that error, by taking your head. And then, I'll come for you!" She declares pointing her blade at Jackal who was now lying on the floor with a handful of popcorn. 

"Woah there missy," He waved his hands after stuffing his face with popcorn. "Shouldn't you focus on the task at hand?" 

"Huh?" 

"Bind!" 

"Ack!" Ryker trapped Musty with his whip. 

"You'd attack an opponent when she wasn't paying attention?" 

"Are you really going to lecture me about etiquette? You, the same woman who ruthlessly killed innocence?" 

"Tck," Mysty's astral skin thickens as she forced herself out of the bind. 

Ryker withdrew his whip back to its compartment. 

"You use such a pathetic Astro tech." 

She cuts forward but once again, Ryker sidestepped her. This time, he had no intention of toying with her. He threw a fast jab that connects with her face. 

Mysty was sent flying with his punch as she crashes into the wall. 

Ryker widened his eyes. His body had started getting used to his new powers thanks to the B-Grades he used as a punching back. 

The punch he threw just now however was more powerful than anything he'd done. 

"Is it because..." He looked over at Mysty who had gotten back to feet. 

Ryker shrugged as he wore a grin on his face. Not wasting any more time, he sprinted to the dazed A-grade. 

"Take this!" He threw another punch with more tenacity. Mysty yelled and ducked at the nick of time as his fist smashed through the wall. 

"Oy!" Jackal jolts up. "Be careful would ya? I won't forgive you if you hurt Stally!" He warned while waving his fist angrily in the air. 

Ryker paid no heed to man as he was focused on his hand. 

"Just right now, this feeling..." He was further understanding his new power. 

"There was a faint glow whenever I throw a punch. The astral around my knuckles thickens before making contact." 

Ryker bursts into a stream of maniacal laughter as Mysty looked on with horror. 

'H-he punched a hole through the wall of the Stallion! On the reports, it was stated to be made with one of the hardest metals known, Fellium!' She gasped. 

'I can't do that. Not even with my Astro tech!'

Ryker focused his sight back on Mysty. She takes a step back as he creeps forward. 

His demeanor was terrifying. She was frightened by his power. 

"One punch." She muttered to herself. "If I take one hit from him, I'm dead!"

Mysty had faced countless criminals with unique abilities and strengths but she had never witnessed a power like this. 

She scurried to the other side of the room until her back was against thr wall. 

"Nowhere to run now." Ryker grinned as he balled his fists. 

"Clench your teeth," He said to her before leaping forward with his knuckle. 

"No!!" Mysty cried from the bottom of her lungs. 

"Ebon Bash!" He shouted as his fist made contact with her face. 

Thud! 

"Huh?" 

"Eh?" 

"Oh, my," Jackal uttered while raising his head. "This is bad." 

Mysty was perfectly fine. 

Ryker had a puzzling look on his face as his punch did not hurt the woman.

"Eh!?" He exclaimed after looking at his body. The black energy coating that had engulfed him was completely depleted. 

"My astral skin, it's gone!" He panicked. 

Mysty was glued to the wall as she tilted her head in confusion. She didn't know what had happened but she was certain, Ryker's attack became a dud. 

"What's the matter?" Ryker raised his head to be met with the murderous look on Mysty's face. 

He began sweating bullets and before he could move... 

Bam! 

Her fist flashed before his eyes as he was sent flying to the other side of the room. 

"That was for earlier." She cracked her knuckles. Mysty wore a malicious grin on her face. It was time for payback. 

She sprints forward. Picking her sword, she charges at the stunned Ryker. 

"Ming." 

"Yes, captain!" 

Clank! 

Ming moved blinding fast and caught the blade right before it could slash through Ryker. 

 "Tck, stupid bo-" Before she could finish, Ming struck her on her solar plexus knocking her out in the process. 

"Nice work, Ming!" Jackal gave the android a cheerful thumbs-up. 

"What do we do now captain?" 

They glanced over at Ryker and noticed that he had lost consciousness. 

"That power wore him out." He pointed. 

"It's remarkable that he lasted that long while in that state. It was his first time too." 

"Yup, he might not look it, but he has potential." 

"Are you sure it's not his rage that drives him, captain?" 

"Who knows, we'll find out soon enough." He looked at Mysty. "Tie her up and toss her in the cell room." 

"What about the other bodies sir?" 

Jackal wore a malicious look on his face. His usual cheerful demeanor was completely gone. 

"Toss them overboard, but strip them of their Astro techs first." 

"Yes, captain." 

Jackal walked over to Ryker and picks him up. "Let's get you to a room where you can rest up. I've decided, I'll have you accompany me, snow-white."

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