38 The 3 protectors of the bridge
Crouching behind the cars of the barricade at the level of the windows, everyone had their mouths wide open in surprise except Ewan who had got a little more used to what he was seeing.
Gabriella's legs began to shake and she fell on her buttocks, she couldn't help but whisper with wide eyes, "It wasn't fake."
Being herself awakened, she had half believed in the stories of yesterday's battle told by the awakenees who had been on the front lines at that time. She didn't want to believe that there was such a huge gap between her strength and those of the top awakenees.
However, she couldn't help but believe that there was some truth to what she had been told because there hadn't been any loss yesterday and now she had confirmation that nothing had been exaggerated.
She didn't try to get up and she curled up on herself, ashamed of having recently set herself the goal of being one of the most powerful awakenees, 'She must be of the same caliber as them.' The face of a particular person came to her mind.
The person she was thinking of while biting her nails because of her disillusion was a well-known and respected awakenees in the organization.
It was a woman whom she considered to be her role model even if she had only seen her from afar and never talked to her. This woman has been nicknamed the 'Goblins Nightmare' because nobody knew her real name and because she single-handedly got rid of at least a fifth of those sneaky bastards who killed, tortured and even raped humans all over Manhattan.
The multitude of goblin corpses behind the barricades were her work by the way. They had been considered as a farewell gift of the 'Goblins Nightmare' by the awakenees who had found them since they were killed by her easily recognizable golden arrows and that the bridge after the barricades permit to leave the city.
Living in Manhattan since her birth, Gabriella admired this woman who had helped save her borough so much, especially since she could relate to her since they were both archers. It was this admiration that gave her the ambition to equal this woman, an ambition that seemed to her very stupid and childish now.
Judith looked away from beyond the barricades and saw Gabriella's distress, worried, she brought herself to her level, "What's your problem?" She told her while slightly shaking her shoulders.
Gabriella lifted her head and looked at Judith with a bitter stare, "We're not like these guys, that's my problem."
"Of course we're not like them, what level do you think they are after killing so many monsters." Judith was saying this as if it was obvious.
Gabriella slapped herself, 'I'm only at level 3... Of course it's because of the level difference! If these guys can do this it's because they haven't stopped fighting from the start. I was stupid, I should have volunteered yesterday to fight on the battlefield. If I want to become strong, I must give myself the means.' She stroked her cheek to ease the pain, got up and went back to look through the window.
Judith also returned to her car window to observe, "Anyone know who they are?" She asked while watching the giant guy catch his breath.
"They just jumped over the cars and slaughtered everything on the other side." Ewan saw fit to interfere in the conversation since he was aware of something, "The people here told me that the 3 guys on the other side of the barricades had already done this yesterday."
Gabriella nodded and pointed at the giant, "It's because of him that our boss saw fit to put 2 times less awakenees at this bridge compared to the other entrances to Manhattan. It's Bruce, the strongest awakenee in the organization."
When she saw that Judith was looking at Bruce as a modern day hero, she felt compelled to add, "Don't approach him, before him I've never seen such an explosive mixture of stupidity and egocentrism."
'It was sure that the strength of this guy was exceptional considering what he had just done but wasn't it exagerated to say that he was the strongest.' Judith thought while looking at the 2 other men.
They were a little less easy to see than Bruce, from where she was Judith could see one of the men holding a spear in one of his hands and the other... nothing? The one who was unarmed was talking to Bruce... and not in terms this one seemed to like.
"FUCK YOU!!!!!!!" Bruce screamed, his barbaric scream echoed from hundreds of yards away. Everyone watching thought Bruce was going to pick a fight but contrary to what they thought, he headed straight for the barricades.
As the colossus approached, everyone stopped observing and tried to appear to be doing something that wasn't eavesdropping.
No one understood what that noise was until they saw a shadow above their heads.
Bruce had jumped over the barricades instead of bypassing it and fell back into the midst of all the awakenees behind it.
Judith was the closest to where Bruce had landed, the dust emerging from the cracked asphalt made her cough, "*Cough*, *cough*, son of..." Before she had time to insult him Josh covered her mouth.
When Bruce turned to her, she could see how much she had just made a mistake in speaking without thinking.
Seeing him closer he looked like a bloodthirsty barbarian. He appeared to be in his early thirties, had long, loose brown hair partly hiding his face, and ragged clothes revealing an excessively muscular body.
Bruce eyes were bulging with rage and he was sending out such an intimidating aura that no one, not even Gabriella, Judith's brothers or Judith herself moved when Bruce raised his club in the direction of Judith's head.
Drops of sweat were beading on Judith's face, she had never been so scared in her life and it wasn't even a monster that made her feel that fear.
Ewan and Josh weren't in a better condition, they felt helpless. Josh was crying like a baby and Ewan was bitting the inside of his cheek so that the pain help him move but it wasn't helping.
"Just let it go." A firm male voice with a strong Korean or perhaps Japanese accent was heard from above the barricades.
Bruce stopped his gesture but didn't lower his club as if he was still hesitant to kill Judith, "Gnargh." He growled in anger but eventually lowered his club and turned around.
"Fucking weaklings..." Said Bruce in a calm voice as he left.
Judith and the others still couldn't move until Bruce was gone far enough, then, when the shock was over, Judith hugged Josh and cried with him, "I'm so sorry, I couldn't do anything!" Said Josh without being able to stop crying.
On his way Bruce banged the windows of every car he came across to calm his anger which startled Judith each time even if after several times she knew he was going to continue.
Ewan didn't join the hug, he stepped back a bit to see the person standing above the barricades. That was a man who seemed not even to have started his twenties, an asian with very fair skin. He had an oval face with a lot of charm, short hair brushed back and brown light eyes.
Considering his physical appearance alone, no one would believe that he made Bruce leave with his tail between his legs. He was 1 foot smaller than him and had very light muscles.
However, his stern gaze, the dangerous sensation the spear in his hand gave and the blood on his shirt that didn't seem to bother him, showed that he wasn't the type of person who didn't know how to impose his will on others.
Ewan ignored the man's psychopath appearance and bowed down to thank him, "He would have killed my sister without your intervention, thank you very much!" He shouted to be heard clearly. Deep down he was ashamed to have to thank someone for something he should have done himself.
This sarcastic and intentionally ridiculous applause came from behind the barricades, "Damn, he's going to make me cry. Not you, mate?" It was an robust yet enchanting male voice. The man talking hadn't the American accent, nor English it sounded like a Scotsman or an Irishman.
'Who is this asshole!?' Ewan was stung by this stranger reflexion but didn't voice it to prevent something like what happened to Judith from happening again.
The expression of the man with the spear grew gentler, "I apologize in advance for the odious behavior my partner is going to have." He turned to his partner who was visible only for him and apparently still behind the barricades, "I'm warning you. I will not wait for you."
Judith had separated from Josh and took a look at the man who had just saved her life. She was of course very grateful but there was something weird about this man, her instinct was screaming at her to put some distance with him, 'He gives me the same feeling as him.' The same uneasy feeling as the man she and her brothers had met at the gas station.
"Spread." After saying that, the asian man disappeared in a green fog and reappeared 20 yards behind everyone.
Everyone noticed that he had teleported behind them and looked at him leave, they were wondering what he had just done.
"Awakenees can do that?!"
Except Ewan who was only paying attention to the man who was no longer behind, but in front of the barricades.
"If I was one of you, I would be ashamed." Everyone was called out by the theatrical voice of the man from earlier, "Not just by your weakness but also by your lack of balls."