Taio’s apparent poker-face could not disguise the burning rage in his eyes. A casual observer could easily realize that he was here for revenge and revenge alone, and whatever motivated it had to be leviathan.
Liam, Holden, and the rest of the Insurgent Trifecta felt Taio’s burning bellicosity and bloodthirst assault on their senses. Understandably, their hearts began to pound against their chests.
Taio Cruz was the lead combat instructor of Insurgent Duofecta. The fighter was so powerful, his exact potency was unascertained. At the very least, the man had attained the fourth tier of the superior class.
Even Joe lacked the ironclad confidence to go toe-to-toe against Taio, and there was no doubt that he would lose as well. Let’s not discount the fact that there were several powerhouses standing at the ready behind him too.
Joe and the others caught on quickly. The surveillance footage Taio provided showed Zayn was the one who killed his people, and that it had to be the impetus behind the man’s roaring revenge!
Being a fourth-tier superior-class fighter would not help guard Zayn’s future at all, even if he had become a fourth-tier superior class fighter.
It was due to Taio’s fame and influence being too widespread, and not the least because of the sheer number of his students. Zayn would not be able to beat a figure like him, not even at the fourth-tier.
Joe answered him right away and replied with a smile, “Well, Sergeant Cruz! I’m afraid I have no idea who this man is.”
Taio sneered loudly. “Drop the act for Christ’s sake, Director Pennywise. None of us are idiots. That murderer in the video, he’s your new instructor, isn’t he? He must feel real good about himself killing off the meek and defenseless, doesn’t he?”
Joe’s smile did not falter at all, even if it did not reach his eyes. Still maintaining his noncommittal grin, he rebuffed, “Now, now, Sergeant Cruz. You know what they say, better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”
“All we can see from your ‘incriminating’ video is the murderer’s back. Isn’t it a bit of a stretch to accuse one of the Insurgent Trifecta’s combat instructors of murder?”
“Listen, Sergeant Cruz? The Ambrosia Fruit is about to ripen anytime now. Are you sure angry finger-pointing is the best thing to do right now?” Liam chimed in, stepping in.
Taio scanned their faces before breaking into laughter. “I heard you’ve gotten yourself a new addition to the crew. A very young man who isn’t even thirty, yet he’s already managed to reach the fourth tier of the superior class,” he began anew, changing tact.
“I heard he’s a prodigy foisted upon the world, the man who silenced assassins like the Fool, Satan, and the Scarlet Witch. He even single-handedly protected Marissa Bell so well that she proceeded to invest a whopping 46 billion dollars into Rheasia. What a national hero! I wonder where this up-and-coming combat instructor is, it would be such a pleasure to meet him in person!”
Again, his real intention was not at all lost to the people: Taio had instantly recognized that the man in the video was Zayn Larson himself.
The fact that this could happen at all laid completely outside of their expectation, who would have thought he would offend someone as big of a bad news as Taio Cruz?!
“Sorry, but I’m afraid you’re out of luck here. Sergeant Larson isn’t with us at the moment,” Joe replied, still grinning.
Taio’s eyebrows furrowed before he snickered in tranquil fury. “Oh, is that so? Well, I guess I could rework my schedule and pay the Insurgent Trifecta a visit instead,” he said, putting emphasis on the word “visit”.
“No time like the present!”
He began to strut toward the building while a dozen of powerhouses followed in with the aplomb of a serious procession.
Despite being similar organizations, the Insurgent Trifecta and Duofecta had always been bitter rivals locked in a perpetual competition.
The only thing that could make the two collaborate was a common mission; otherwise, they rarely interact with one another. And right now, a vengeful man and his posse was about to barge into the Insurgent Trifecta. How on Earth was Joe and the rest possibly willing to let them in?
He quickly blocked the man on his way. “I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to halt, Sergeant Cruz. This is not a good time for a visit.”
Taio’s lips broke out a twisted smirk. “What if I insist?”
A new veneer of frost had begun to seize Joe’s expression. “I suggest you don’t, Taio Cruz. We, the Insurgent Trifecta, do not welcome your presence.”