The audience was split in their reactions toward Dustin’s victory. Cheers exploded around Dustin, but some spectators seemed sour at the outcome.
“Fuck! Who’s that guy? How could Tatum lose to him?” a surly and fearful Brody hissed.
“Whoever he is, let’s get out of here before he notices us!” After the initial shock, Luther dared not stay a minute longer and planned his immediate escape.
“Stand still!” Dustin turned around and instantly spotted the few suspicious-looking men. “Luther Williams, did I tell you to leave?”
“Dustin Rhys, I’m the second-in-command at Boulderthorn. You’d better steer clear of me!” Luther warned him with a stern look. At the critical moment, he had no choice but to use the
Boulderthorn name as protection.
“The second-in-command? Hah…” Dustin scoffed and remarked, “Do you think I’d be scared of the second-in-command when I couldn’t care less about the guildmaster?”
“What do you want?” Luther’s expression sank.
“Give up your practice, and I’ll spare your life,” Dustin suggested calmly. He had to teach Luther a grave lesson for being a hypocrite who self-professed as a teacher and claimed the moral high ground.
“Dustin Rhys, that’s too much!” Luther’s face was scrunched up. If he gave up his practice, he would have no purpose and reason to exist in the martial arts field.
“Too much? Did you ever consider the consequences when you were fucking around without conscience?” Dustin showed no respect for the old man.
“You” Luther gritted his teeth and tried to hold back his temper. “You shouldn’t burn your bridges. Aren’t you worried you’d become a common enemy of our field if you force me to the wall?
“Courtesy is useless when confronting trash like you. If you aren’t doing it yourself, I will do it for you.” Dustin refused to engage in further conversation and bent his fingers to send a silver needle into Luther’s abdomen. Luther promptly yelped and collapsed onto the ground, grimacing.
“Maximus, I’m done destroying his core. I’ll leave his fate in your hands.” When it came to ending Luther, Dustin allowed Maximus to make the decision. After all, Maximus was the one who had a grudge against Luther.
“It’s fine. Since he’s basically paralyzed, I shall spare his life.” At first, Maximus lifted his sword, but he finally put it down after some thinking. He wasn’t doing so out of mercy. He knew very well that Luther had made countless enemies and would be a hot target after his core was destroyed. In the future, Luther’s life would be a living hell, and that was the best punishment for him.
“Consider yourselves lucky. Get lost now!” Dustin softly chided the Boulderthorn men. Upon hearing that, Luther and the rest immediately scampered away, leaving behind only the lady in white.
“Max Caitlyn went up to Maximus with a feeble look on her face. “I’m sorry, I said those cruel
words because I was under pressure. Please forgive me.”
At present, Maximus was stronger than Luther and had a bright future ahead of him. It was clear who she should suck up to.
“Forgive you?” Maximus snickered. “How dare you ask for forgiveness after what you’ve done?”
“Max, I know I’m in the wrong, but I had no choice. It’s hard for a weak woman like me to stand on my own feet in the martial arts field. Plus, Luther has gotten something on me. I couldn’t fight back. I am a victim too…” Her voice faltered and turned into a sob.
The way she cried softly would melt the heart of anyone watching, but Maximus said to her coldly, “Don’t put on a show in front of me. That’ll only disgust me.”
“Whether or not you believe in me, I do love you a lot. I’m willing to run away with you and live like nomads!” she pleaded, tears glistening in her eyes.
“Did you say you love me?” He sneered. “Would you have said that if my core was destroyed? Would you have apologized if I hadn’t defeated Luther Williams? You do not love me for who I am- you’re only after my power, my potential, and my social status!”
“That’s enough. I do not want to hear any explanation. From now on, you and I shall go separate ways. There’s nothing left between us!” He wore a steely expression.
“Max, I know I don’t deserve you, but I’ll still pray for you. When you’re alone in the night, I hope you think of me, your mentee, and the beautiful memories we made in the past. I’ll leave now and never show up in front of you. I wish you a great career ahead…” With that, she left with tears in her eyes
He opened his mouth but said nothing. He felt both love and hatred for Caitlyn, and he knew very well that they could never get back together. Once bitten, twice shy!
“Let’s go. Time to drink.” After settling the trouble, Dustin and Maximus left in no time. The battle started abruptly and ended in a similar fashion. Through this incident, Dustin’s popularity skyrocketed, and he was known as a martial arts genius. Many believed that the martial arts field in Balerno would be shaken up with the arrival of Dustin Rhys after this battle.
“Mr. Dunn, if I recall correctly, Dustin Rhys came here with you, right? Does that mean you have laid claim to him?” a middle-aged martial artist from the crowd threw out a question.
“Well…” Ralph felt the eyes on him and forced a smile. “Since you found out about it, I shall not keep it a secret. To be honest with you, Dustin Rhys has become the principal disciple of the Steel Legion!”
His claim prompted a collective gasp.
“What? Has Dustin Rhys joined the Steel Legion?”
“My goodness! Mr. Dunn, you hit the jackpot!”
“Mr. Dunn, you hide your talents well. How did you manage to scout a genius like him? We’re envious!”
Congratulations, Mr. Dunn. Do remember me if you have anything good to share with the community.”
The martial artists started flattering Ralph and currying favor, especially the hot-blooded teens
who were itching to join.
“Mr. Dunn, do you still take in disciples? I want to join the Steel Legion!”
“Me too! Count me in!”
“The Steel Legion must have a solid foundation to nurture a genius like Dustin Rhys. I want in too!”
The young martial artists around them were a bubbling cacophony; each worried they’d be one step behind
“That is always open to consideration. The Steel Legion always welcomes upstanding men who fight for justice!” Ralph was beaming merrily at the enthusiastic response. He was taken aback by the effectiveness of name-dropping Dustin, which immediately garnered the interest of many young martial artists. If the trend continued, he believed the Steel Legion would prosper under his wise and courageous leadership!
“Uh…” Abby had a funny look on her face when she witnessed the crowd’s eagerness. Her grandpa’s brazenness came as a surprise-he wanted to associate the guild with Dustin, even though Dustin had clearly turned him down. She wondered, “Is this what they call the ‘real world’?