Jack couldn't believe it. Was this guy planning to pick a fight wherever he went? His act of saving him might prove to bring more trouble than good.
As Bowler continued to berate the gangsters, the leader made another gesture to the white-robed Magician. The Magician came closer and used his Inspect skill on Bowler. He then whispered something to the leader. The leader made a disdainful smirk before nodding to one of his subordinates.
The subordinate pulled out his longsword and came forward while uttering, "If you want to be a hero, at least make sure you are strong enough, for God's sake. I hate people with a big mouth like you."
The crowds separated as the gangster with the longsword came forward, allowing Bowler and him to see each other. Both their eyes went wide.
"It's you, the loudmouth fool!" the gangster shouted.
"It's you! You motherf***er backstabbing prick!" Bowler yelled back.
With the two of them pointing and cursing at each other, it was obvious that they knew each other. Another person from the gangster group came out as well.
"Unbelievable! How can you still be alive?" he said. "You must have a shit load of luck to be able to get away from those Goblins."
"Yeah, my bad luck had been wasted when I met you two traitorous asses!"
From their exchanges, Jack figured that those two were Bowler's old teammate who tricked him in becoming bait and then abandoned him.
The gangster with hatchet approached. "You know that clown?" He asked.
"Yeah, he was the fool that we mentioned, the one we used as bait."
"Didn't you say he was dead?"
"That's what we thought. We couldn't understand how he managed to escape from that group of Goblins."
The man with hatchet spat, "well, then go finish what you've started. Take it as an initiation for you two in joining our gang. Our Weary Wolf gang doesn't take in members who do things halfway."
The man with longsword gave a savage grin. "It will be a piece of cake," he said.
His partner took out a dagger and chimed in, "actually, I was glad he managed to make it. I have been awfully annoyed with him during our time together. Now I get the chance to vent out that frustration."
As the two of them walked forward with menacing glares, the man with hatchet yelled out, "those that are not involved please step aside, or else we will not be responsible for any harm that is inflicted on you!"
The crowd moved away further after hearing the threat, creating empty space between Bowler and the two incoming gangsters. Jack found it funny and sad at the same time. These people were hollering about the unfair treatment a few moments ago, now that someone stood up for them, they instead acted as if this had nothing to do with them. He figured this was one of the reasons why weak people were easy to be bullied.
Bowler, on the other hand, didn't show any sign of backing off. He took out his staff and said, "we are gonna settle our score today. You think I'm afraid because there are two of you? I also have my brother and sister here."
As Bowler said his word, the two approaching men realized that there were still two people near Bowler who were not stepping aside. Jack looked at Bowler with an exasperated look. So he had intended to involve them from the start? No wonder he acted so courageously.
Fierce Flame, however, was not about to let herself get dragged into the mess, she moved away and said, "I'm not involved in this."
Bowler looked at her and said, "sister! How can you be so heartless? I thought we have started to grow on each other?"
"Grow your ass!" Flame denounced it with disgust. How could this guy be so shameless?
Jack applauded Flame for teaching this shameless guy a lesson. He, however, didn't move away. He might not have many friends, but the one he had, he never left them in their time of need. Although he had not completely trust Bowler yet, since he had only met the fellow two days ago, but Bowler had also not done anything that made him a bad friend. Thus, he would consider Bowler as a friend and would stick with his code of not abandoning a friend in need.
The gangster with the longsword laughed with contempt, "Heh, trying to act tough. Even if you have helpers, don't think that you will get out of here alive. And you there!" He looked at Jack, "if you interfere, don't blame as for showing no mercy."
The gangster's leader called for the white-robed Magician, "check his level."
The magician did as told, but after a while, his forehead formed a frown. "I can't see his level," he said.
"How can that be?" The leader asked.
"Well, if based on my experience, there were two possible reasons. One is his Inspect skill is higher grade than mine, or he is at least two levels higher than mine."
"Isn't your level already 10? Are you saying he is level 12? How can that be? We have continuously hunted monsters together in a group, they are only three people. Two if considering that loud mouth used to be those jokers' mate. How could they grind monsters better than us?"
"Then his Inspect skill must be already Advanced Apprentice," the magician shrugged. "How he upgraded his skill so fast is also an equally intriguing mystery."
"Never mind. Fox, be ready to cast your spell to assist when needed," the leader said to the Magician in black robe by his side. "We can't afford to let these people see us as weak."
The magician called Fox nodded, and got into a line of sight that allowed her to interfere when needed.
When the two approaching gangsters were within five meters from Bowler, he cast Energy Bolts. He had the advantage of long-range attacks, he would not just stand there and waited for those two men to came to his melee range. The four bolts scattered out, two bolts headed to each of the men.
The Fighter with the longsword simply barreled through the bolts, they caused less than 20 damage each. He had been aware of Bowler's damage since they had traveled together, and completely unafraid of his spell. The other man with the dagger did a roll on the ground instead. The bolts missed due to the roll, the target seeking mechanism of Energy Bolts couldn't do sharp turn hence they expired after a while without managing to hit the Ranger.
The Fighter who had made a forced advance had gotten to the front of Bowler before he knew it. Bowler was completely panicking and made haste to retreat.
"You can't run away!" The Fighter shouted as he used Power Strike. His longsword swung in an arc that targeted Bowler's head. But before the weapon connected, a loud clang sounded. The longsword stopped just a few inches from Bowler, who was having a cold sweat.
Jack had extended his hand and stopped the longsword with his black sword. The Fighter was using his two hands to push his longsword forward, but Jack's extended one hand was completely steady. The Fighter felt like he was pushing against a solid wall. Not managed to move forward, he broke away and retreated two steps.
"Who are you? Do you really intend to make enemies with our Weary Wolf gang?" He yelled.
Instead of replying to the man, Jack turned to Bowler and said, "move back. Attack when you find the opportunity."
"You are the man!" Bowler said with gratitude and retreated several steps back.
The Fighter, angry for being ignored, bellowed, "so you are really tired of living already! You will regret your decision today! No, you will not have long to regret your decision!"
Jack looked at the Fighter as if looking at an idiot. "How noisy! If you're going to attack, just attack already. What are you blabbering your mouth for?"