1

It felt a little uncomfortable as Austin was standing next to Vlad. The strange smoke that was coming off his body, as it touched his skin it was giving him a slight tingling sensation, but from looking at the new group of people that had arrived, Vlad thought that they might need as much help as they could get.

‘Vere doesn't look like she’s in any condition to help, but it doesn't matter. I said that I would be the one to solve this thing, so I’ll solve it!’

Austin charged forward, steam coming out of his nose, and his speed was explosive when doing so. With each step there was great strength. The steps were heavy and anyone who was within a few meters could feel it.

“Are you some type of rampaging bull?” Kon smiled. “I guess you're pretty confident in your strength, but so are we!”

Kon’s body had already transformed, with the two antennas on his head, his eyes becoming bigger in size, and his forearms becoming larger with a dark brown outer skeleton on it that looked almost black.

Then, out from his back, similar to Vlad, thin wings spread out from his back, and he flew forward at a fast speed. Both of them, as they approached each other, threw out their fists.

They collided knuckle to knuckle, seemingly not one being a winner or loser, until it looked like Kon was actually being pushed back. His wings started to flap faster, trying to give him more power but it wasn’t working as Austin took another step.

“I have to admit you're stronger than I thought.” Kon said, as he quickly pulled his hands back, and swung them out again, changing from a fist to grabbing onto them. It allowed Austin to push forward, but he didn’t get a hit off.

“You're not a bull are you, could it really be, is this already your full Altered form? Are you a Mythical type Altered?” Kon smiled because it didn’t matter.

From the back, two of the retriever members flew in and pushed right into Kon’s shoulder giving him a boost of power, pushing him forward. With the three of them, they had greater strength than Austin and he was now the one that was being pushed back.

‘This is a first for me.’ Austin thought. ‘I’m losing in a battle of power and strength?’

“You idiot, behind you!” Vere shouted, holding onto her side of her rib. She only had the upper half of her body off the ground.

Turning his head, it was too late, another one of the retrievers was already by his side and delivered a powerful fist right to Austin’s face. It swung to the side, and at the same time, Kon let go.

“It’s an old fashioned beat down!” Kon said with a smile and all three of them started to punch Austin at an incredible speed. Their hands were going back and forth like some type of machine as they hit Austin in the head, the body and all over.

The hits weren’t weak by any means, as they hit Austin’s body, loud bangs were heard making it sound like a gun was going off in the room. The hits were hurting and in a desperate attempt, Austin threw out a fist trying to hit something but he just hit the air and then was quickly hit by two more.

His face, even in its minotaur and bull-like appearance, was starting to swell up.

“A mythical type certainly is fun! You are already lasting a lot longer than the people before you, let’s see how long your able to last!” Kon said.

The four retrievers were flying in and out from different directions, they had Austin surrounded and would hit him from one side or the other. Once in a while Austin would throw out a punch but he was unable to do anything.

“Freaking hell.” Killer said, watching the whole thing from behind the table they had propped up on the side. “Who are these guys… they're a lot stronger than the other Altered. Big Mask had dealt with all the Altered from before with ease, but he can’t even land a hit on them.”

Killer didn’t know why, but he actually felt a little disappointed. It was almost as if the one he was rooting for was Austin.

‘What is wrong with me, do I like getting beaten up by that guy or something?’ Killer shook his head. ‘It's not that, this just feels unfair. I saw his strength from before. If he was to take them on one on one, then I’m sure he would be able to find a way to beat them, but their teamwork is crazy.’

The Strike force was one of the very few retriever teams that always worked together. Retriever groups were usually a mix of people all from different cities that would get called in at times to fight the dangerous beasts.

However, with the Strike squad working for NIRV directly, they always did tasks together. Each one of them had even received the same type of Altered solution, and when together. It would be harder than fighting most B rank groups.

Killer looked around the room, because there was one person who was by his side that should have been able to help, it was Vlad. However, Vlad had ignored what was happening to Austin, and had gone straight for Nox.

One of the retrievers had stayed by his side, and was now in battle with Vlad. Similarly though, the fight wasn’t going Vlad’s way. It felt like he was a step slower, the two seemed to have similar Altered base types, but the retriever was faster, stronger, and more skilled at fighting, allowing them to give Vlad a beatdown.

The only thing was, every time Vlad would be knocked on his back, he would get up immediately as if he hadn't been hit at all. Almost like an obsessed zombie.

‘Crap, the two of them are getting a pounding, I have to do something to help, but my whole body, it hurts too much.’ Vere bit the bottom of her lip, as she felt hopeless in this situation, everything was going so well and now it was going so wrong.

The pounding continued on Austin, the hits were getting to him and he felt the walls of muscle on his body breaking down, and the shock was going to his very bones.

Kon flew in and threw a deep below right into his gut, pushing forward, nearly tearing his insides out. Blood spilt from his mouth, shooting out onto the floor. Austin went to grab Kon, but he missed again.

“Haha, this is amazing, you’ve lasted so long. I don’t think anyone’s ever stayed standing for this long, we should begin making out bets!”

The pounding continued from the others while Kon was looking for a more vital blow.

Vere, still watching, couldn't stand it anymore.

‘I have to… I have to get up!’

The sound of rapid footsteps was heard from her side. She glanced in the direction of where they were coming from, but a blur had soon gone past her.

One of the female retrievers was flying in, going for a kick toward the back of Austin’s head. While mid air though, she felt something grab onto the back of her head.

A whole large hand, with sharp fingernails, appeared at the side of her face.

[Lethal pounce]

The retriever's face was slammed into the marble flooring, her teeth shooting off into the air and the marble breaking underneath.

“Don’t you dare touch him!” Gary said, his eyes narrowing and glowing red.

****