Ability Wielders 49 Missing

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2:00 AM, January 3, 2057, Hayden woke up full of energy. Reaching for his phone, he died inside as his phone wasn't at its usual place. Remembering that he stored it in his s.p.a.ce Ring last night, he sighed a heave of relief.

Suddenly, his phone vibrated with tons of messages. The first thing he checked was if he missed one from Eun-ha, fortunately, he didn't. Calming down, Hayden saw messages from two Ident.i.ty Numbers.

Opening a random one, it was apparently from Scarlet. "How the h.e.l.l did she find my Ident.i.ty Number?"

He disregarded this as even Christopher found his Ident.i.ty Number, much less Scarlet, someone who his best friend liked… Wait, correction, only friend.

Accepting the request, Hayden read the partial messages that went in just now due to his phone being stuck in the limbo that is the s.p.a.ce Ring.

"What the…" Hayden was confounded. These messages were… "Freaking unhelpful! Clearly, there's an emergency, yet she didn't think to text what's the emergency?"

From the usage of the exclamation points… Tons of exclamation points… It was obvious that something big or urgent has transpired, but "Hayden" was all Scarlet was sending, as if he could hear her.

Shaking his head, Hayden called the number, and a few seconds later, Scarlet picked up. "You have the guts to accept a mission, put your phone in the s.p.a.ce Ring, and disappear off the grid while your best friend was kidnapped?"

"Kindly explain?" Hayden was getting ticked off. Daniel? Kidnapped? That guy? On a mission that he can do alone with ease? Daniel wasn't that weak. He fathomed that there was something deeper happening here.

Of course, as the organization that sent him a.s.sa.s.sins, each stronger than the previous, his main speculation was Kamay ng Lagim.

"He met with an accident. Go call Zeke, he'll explain." Scarlet was similarly annoyed with Hayden as he sounded as if he didn't care at all, so impa.s.sive, his tone even rather leisurely.

With that, she cut the call off. Hayden rolled his eyes, checking the other message from the unknown Ident.i.ty Number. "At least this is informative…"

Hayden coughed, accepting the communication link request and initiating a call as he had to admit that this was an urgent matter. "Hey, um, is this Zeke?"

"I got to talk to you. In person." Zeke a.s.severated. Despite not meeting Hayden, this was a matter of utmost importance, dropping formalities. "I'm still at Liwayway Hotel, where've you been anyways? Doing your mission?"

"I'm coming over, meet me at the cafeteria." Hayden didn't tell Zeke anything, dropping the call off. Brus.h.i.+ng his teeth, taking a brief shower, dressing up with a white t-s.h.i.+rt, blue denim jacket, and simple jeans, Hayden drove the SUV.

Driving a few minutes, Hayden put the car on automatic driving mode and whipped out his phone. "Her flight's 8:00 and will arrive in Manila at 12:00, gotta pick her up at about 1:30 then? That works, I can still do a few things."

He had to take the SUV as he was going to shop ingredients for lunch later and would prefer not put it inside his s.p.a.ce Ring. Also, if ever something unexpected occurs, he can pick Eun-ha up directly.

At 2:20, Hayden arrived at Liwayway Hotel, driving into the bas.e.m.e.nt and accessing the Puting Araw secret facility rather hurriedly.

Inside the secret facility, he went straight to the cafeteria and saw, well, a copious amount of people who were night owls. Many wielders disliked sleeping regularly as their Abilities cannot be blatantly used in broad daylight.

Anyhow, with his Divine Perception, he tracked the two people down within a fraction of a second, finding Scarlet sitting with the man who was walking hurriedly back in the hallway. The two's eyes were restless, filled with worry and anxiety.

Walking up to them, the two looked at him for a second and nearly shouted. He noticed Scarlet's eyes were a bit watery. "What happened?"

"Daniel has been kidnapped by someone…" Zeke basically repeated his text, causing Hayden's face to twitch subtly. "Daniel said that he faced a Level 3 mind controller and mentioned your name, telling me to find you. He wouldn't tell me to go find you if you weren't related to this."

Sitting down, the gears inside Hayden's mind spun, the two people on the table staring at him intently. A few seconds later, Hayden came to a conclusion. "There's only one possibility that Daniel would mention my name, and that was to warn me of something to come. His words 'Also, go find Hayden,' which was cut off abruptly has this foreboding sense that he was going to say something important afterwards. The question is why does he want to warn me…"

At that moment, the puzzle pieces clicked in Hayden's mind. His face contorting into that of rage. His first suspicion was confirmed. "Son of a b.i.t.c.h…"

"What? Why?" Zeke asked, confounded with Hayden's rage. When Hayden walked here he appeared to be composed despite the fact that Daniel was kidnapped, yet now he was swearing and making a face that was seething with rage?

"I think I have an idea of who did this." Hayden smacked his lips, anxiety filled his eyes. "The question is why would they do this? I have to make a call, wait a sec."

"You have…" Scarlet didn't get to finish her words as Hayden fished out his phone out of his pocket and shushed her. This almost caused her to go insane and have a mental breakdown right that instant, though Hayden seemed nonchalant of this fact.

"Hey, Christopher." Hayden called the person he had a connection with that was the closest with Kamay ng Lagim, Christopher, aka Kidlat. "How's the house?"

"It's pretty good, I've moved in the guest room. Come on, we both know that you wouldn't call if you don't need something. What is it?" Christopher got straight to the point.

"Is there someone who can control minds in Kamay ng Lagim? Particularly a strong one?" Hayden similarly wasn't reserved as he was paying Christopher.

"There… Is no one…" Hayden didn't get the expected answer. That was until Christopher remembered something alike. "Though there is an individual wielder with a very specific set of Abilities that is quite dangerous, especially for men of your age, who are the peak of p.u.b.erty and is a ma.s.s of raging hormones."

"Do tell." Hayden's heart skipped a beat. "Is her Ability related to seducing or something?"

"That's actually… Pretty accurate." Christopher was a bit impressed that Hayden worked that out so quickly. "Her moniker is Crimson Enchantress, a dangerous Level 3 wielder that I stay away from for the sole reason that she can wrap me around her little finger and I wouldn't be able to do anything about it."

Hayden s.h.i.+vered. The pa.s.sive of his Indestructible Devil, the Devil's Persistence, simply granted him the power to resist mental and spiritual attacks from Abilities. That didn't mean that it gave him immunity, with the effects of attacks from Level 1 merely weakened by 25% and delayed by five seconds, while from Level 2, a delay of three seconds was the single thing present. Regardless, it was useful in its own way, more so as Hayden can practically identify those attacks and nullify them within a few seconds by killing them or knocking them out.

"Anyhow, this Crimson Enchantress is vicious." Christopher remembered the time he first met Crimson Enchantress, and that feeling of overwhelming l.u.s.t. "I don't know the name of her Ability, however, I can tell you one thing… Just by seeing her, you'd lose your mind to your venereal desires. Her voice, her eyes, and every action of hers enthralls you. Ultimately, when she activates her Ability, this l.u.s.t is amplified to extremes. That's really all I can tell you as I only interacted with Kamay ng Lagim as a mercenary and a.s.sa.s.sin."

"Thanks, that's enough information." Hayden was satisfied enough, bidding goodbye to Christopher. Hayden was also satisfied of Christopher's not questioning why he wanted this information. 'Good subordinate.'

"What's with this Kamay ng Lagim?" Scarlet asked, her face frosty. Hayden didn't exactly lower his voice.

"You know something about them? It looks like you know something about them." Hayden didn't answer the question, returning the question back to Scarlet.

"I… Kind of ran into them a while back. I was hunted as I awakened the same age as you guys." Scarlet candidly answered. "That was until they stopped as they noticed that my Ability is a trivial summoning one. I was pretty lucky to hide from those a.s.sa.s.sins… Now, answer the question, Hayden."

"You two know I'm rich." Hayden smiled faintly and said, his whole person emitting pressure. "I've been hunted in South Korea and I counteroffered the a.s.sa.s.sin that Kamay ng Lagim sent with double the price of my a.s.sa.s.sination bounty, pulling him into my side. There's that."

The two went wide-eyed with Hayden's answer. How rich exactly was Hayden to pay off an a.s.sa.s.sin to pull him into his side? Of course, if they knew the entire story, they would be shocked to the point that their eyeb.a.l.l.s would feasibly pop out of their sockets.

"With that in mind, that guy is literally a gold field for information relevant to Kamay ng Lagim." Hayden continued, locking eye contact with Scarlet who remained astounded of the fact that Hayden was this stinking rich.

"Wait, wait, wait." Zeke interjected to Hayden's dialogue. "Who is this Kamay ng Lagim? Why are they hunting people? And why are they hunting you?"

"Kamay ng Lagim is a rival organization full of psychos." Scarlet answered in place of Hayden. Well, not like Hayden could answer as he has no knowledge of their motives at all. "They hunt talented people from Puting Araw to, obviously, whittle down the future generation of Puting Araw. They hunt us because we're talented and awakened young… Wait, they don't normally hunt people with Abilities that have your nature…"

"Don't forget I can fight." Hayden squinted at Scarlet, puzzled that she forgot how fast he beat her. "Also, you were the one to recruit me, why do you think I'm alive although Asw.a.n.g was sent to kill… Or jeopardize…. My life."

"Oh, right…" Scarlet seemed to shrink away when she heard this. She forgot these pieces of details when she was preoccupied of recalling the pursuits of Kamay ng Lagim. "Continue, please…"

"Anyhow, since those questions are answered." Hayden gazed at Zeke, asking if he had more questions. Zeke shook his head. "That guy informed me that there is this woman dubbed as Crimson Enchantress…"

Hayden notified the two of the information pertaining to Crimson Enchantress that Christopher reported to him.

"That's… Terrifying…" Zeke s.h.i.+vered of Crimson Enchantress' feats. Scarlet was horrified and repulsed of Crimson Enchantress' Ability, incapable of imagining on possessing that kind of Ability.

"Again, the big question is…" Hayden sighed, his head aching as he remembered he concurrently had three things to prioritize. "What is the purpose of kidnapping Daniel. Deducting from Daniel's words, they're either targeting Daniel on top of me, or they're planning to do something with me utilizing Daniel…"

These were the two most probable a.s.sumptions that Hayden can form with the information he had at hand. Needless to say, there were others, but the chances were too minuscule, hence, he didn't mention any of them.

"That makes sense." Zeke was impressed of Hayden's sound a.n.a.lyzations. "So, what's your plan?"

"Nothing." Hayden breathed out deeply, letting his killing intent spilled out in the case that the two retaliate of his decision. As Hayden expected, the two people in front of him, who were preparing to speak out, shut up as they felt Hayden's killing intent. "You must be wondering why? Daniel's my best friend, wait, correction, my lone friend, and I'm not going to do anything?"

The two bobbed their heads meekly, avoiding Hayden's raptorial eyes that frightened them out of their wits. In truth, even while they were not making eye contact, they remained afraid of Hayden. More so with Scarlet, whom experienced Hayden's killing intent in a fight personally.

"Because I have no power to do anything." Hayden sighed. "First, we don't know where this Crimson Enchantress brought Daniel. Second, this Crimson Enchantress is a Level 3 wielder, I wouldn't be able to go toe to toe with a seductress of that apt.i.tude. Lastly, I don't have authority over this, I'd definitely become deadweight for people who are investigating this. I don't waste my time on things that would not result to anything."

"How can you say that wanting to find Daniel is a waste of time!?" Scarlet lost it at Hayden's last statement, standing up, choking back her tears and a scream. Those three previous statements would have sufficed, yet Hayden had to add that. Zeke felt the same way. "You're his friend and you're not worrying about him? If anything, you should be the person who should be worried about him the most! He brags about you all the time, he says you're his best friend, and you say this regarding finding and rescuing your best friend!?"

"And tell me… What's precisely the use of worrying over a missing person that we have no leads on other than where he disappeared?" Hayden glared dead straight into Scarlet's soul. Despite s.h.i.+vering, she stood her ground. Hayden had to commend her for that. "You know, Scarlet, there's no point in worrying. I may come off as an aloof and standoffish person, but I just compartmentalize, I remove my feelings from any matter. I want to find him the most, however, do we have the power? Additionally, the world is big, what if Crimson Enchantress brought her to some foreign country? Or another continent? Besides, Anthony literally asked you to not tell anyone, right?"

"How…" Zeke gulped. He didn't mention Anthony ordering him not to spread word around. Before Zeke could continue, Scarlet interrupted him.

"How can you say that?" Scarlet sat down, unable to refute Hayden's words although she endured being adamant that not showing a sliver of worry at all was inhumane. All this while, her eyes were watery, threatening to spill tears. "What if Daniel's… Dead?"

Hayden's eyes narrowed into slits. 'd.a.m.n, when Daniel's back he'd be surprised when I tell him this story…'

Regardless, as the wielder of Divine Perception, Hayden had multiple reasons not to dwell on this matter at all, other than Divine Perception keeping him calm of course. He had faith that Daniel would return alive… He just knew it.

"This is because Puting Araw's formerly boasted upon iron-clad security is breached. Specifically, Ghost Unit division." Hayden raised his eyebrows. "You can connect the dots yourself. Besides, Daniel will be safe. If they wanted to kill Daniel, they would have sent in a Level 3 wielder that can kill and not someone that can seduce and control a person. Daniel would've been dead at Paraiso if Kamay ng Lagim truly wanted to kill him."

The two turned their heads towards Hayden, their expressions filled with incredulity. "Ahh, yes, I forgot to tell you. The a.s.sa.s.sin they sent me in South Korea? He was a Level 3 wielder."

"Oh…" The two made instantly 'made sense' of why and how Hayden was so complacent with all the things occurring. If Hayden could read their minds, he would shake his head and leave. Both of them thought that Hayden was so complacent due to the reason that a Level 3 wielder was protecting him.

"That's all?" Hayden's emotionless face returned, removing this matter on his mind. "I'm heading out. Puting Araw has cordoned off the area in Paraiso, right?"

"Yep." Zeke replied. He was stunned of how different Hayden and him was. Respect was slowly budding within him.

On that note, Hayden left without saying a word. Within 10 minutes, Hayden has already gained everything he needed from the two, construed everything to form a logical argument, compartmentalized his emotions, rea.s.sured the two that Daniel was safe, and left without saying a word.


A few hours ago, Mindanao, Metro Davao, the main headquarters of Kamay ng Lagim. Black Devil was sitting in a huge office underneath the earth.

Beside him was a black portal he conjured up. A few seconds later, out came Crimson Enchantress, Daniel towed by her side.

"That was fast." Black Devil's delighted voice rang out. "Got a good look of his Ability? Can he defeat Hayden?"

"I'm sure he can…" Crimson Enchantress has a huge smile plastered on her face. "Howbeit, I take it that we can use him for something huge… This kid's quite powerful for a Level 2 wielder, taking down that useless Butcher under the estimated timeframe that you set for me to appear."

"He took down Butcher?" Black Devil's tone contained a hint of amazement. "G.o.ddammit, we lost another talented person… Well, at least we have our gains. What do you mean we can use him for something huge?"

"You know that plan we've been working on?" Crimson Enchantress leaned on Black Devil's desk. "We can use this kid as a distraction, you know?"

"What? No! That's suicide!" Black Devil raised his voice, his tone asking if Crimson Enchantress was crazy. "There's still the three powerhouses of Puting Araw! Plus, all of the Walong Sinag ng Araw is having a gathering. They got wind of their allies' downfall in Indonesia."

"That's why I purposely left behind bait." Crimson Enchantress flashed a shrewd smile to Black Devil. "They would think that there would be a mole in their ranks. Did you know that I had one of our powerful illusionist cover up Butcher's body to glamor him up? I made him a handsome young man."

"Where are you going with this?" Black Devil sat back down, his interest piqued by Crimson Enchantress' words.

"I may have used a bit of a bait. I knew that the Walong Sinag ng Araw is having a meeting, and now that this kid's partner went back to Puting Araw, they doubtlessly know by now that the Butcher described in the rumors are not him…" Crimson Enchantress was cut off by Black Devil.

"Ahh, I see…" Black Devil was an intelligent and cunning person, he has already finished Crimson Enchantress' plan in his head. "Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. That fatso Butcher was useful… Let's make sure that the Concepcion Family gets a worthwhile prize out of this… As for you, Crimson Enchantress, I didn't know you had it in you."

"All in a day's work." Crimson Enchantress smiled, delighted that Black Devil praised her. "As for the distraction… I propose attacking an old military base here in Mindanao, what do you call that?"

"The Camp General Basilio Navarro? Indeed…" Black Devil was impressed of Crimson Enchantress' line of thinking. "We may have made another advancement in conquering our own country! That Pangkat Anino wouldn't interfere with us as long as we don't cross them, and their presence are too small to reach Mindanao… Yes, yes, this may just work…"

Black Devil evilly smiled. "Be prepared Puting Araw… The rise of Kamay ng Lagim is inevitable… Give word to everyone, Crimson Enchantress."

"Yes, boss," Crimson Enchantress bowed. "Follow me, Daniel."

Ability Wielders 49 Missing

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