Serialized Science Fiction.

Strange Origins
Tom Haynes

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exhausted his reserves, so he climbed a tree to recover the Spiritual Qi.

As he revitalized himself, he heard a high nasally voice, "Can you believe this fool is only taking the Beast Cores? Not only does he leave a fortune in body parts, he also ignores the Spiritual Treasure the beasts are guarding. Can you imagine someone dumber?"

Instead of getting emotional, Arthur composed himself further. He made sure he wasn't leaking any Spiritual Qi and he warmed up Stone Fist.

"Look, a Green Checked Flying Feral Moggy - do you know how much that fur goes for? And it was probably level 3, Celia, you look for some Spirit Herbs."

They were pretty much below him, Arthur was ready to spring his ambush and then he noticed, well, they were probably all of 13. In a way, it made sense, your normal third level Martial Refiner was a young teenager. And the only ones bending over to pick up free level two and three Spirit Beasts were third level Martial Refiners. Otherwise, it just wasn't worth the time to bend over.

"Sweet, I found a 100 year old Pink Mystic Valerian. And it is about to bloom. The Green Checked Flying Feral Moggy must have been going crazy waiting for it - the stimulation would have pushed it to a level four Spirit Beast." said the girl, it must be Celia.

"Let's wait - the Sect will grant us a great reward for it - I hear Sect Head has problems sleeping. You know it works differently on humans, right?", said the unknown boy as he was busy skinning the Green Checked Flying Feral Moggy.

"No duh!", yes, definitely teenagers.

Arthur relaxed and settled down, no need to fight a couple of kids.

"Anyway Marty, that kill looks real fresh, let's allow the moron time to kill some more beasts for us to harvest. And to gather more cores for us!" said the not-so-cute girl.

Arthur both tensed up and snorted. Perhaps the snort would have been missed, but the "Creeaak" of the branch was like a stone flying out of a sling and smacking a wall.

Both kids looked up - right at him, he couldn't resist, "Who's the idiot now? Don't you know to look up in the woods?"

Marty sneered and flipped the skinner up, then launched it. The slightly curved knife flew straight at Arthur. "Thunk," it rebounded off of the Stone Fist.

"No good, no good, he is a body freak!", yelled Celia and she started to run over to Marty, who cupped his hands down low. As she stepped gingerly into the hands, he launched her up.

He cheered, "And it is a fastball special!" as the girl flew at Arthur.

Arthur really wasn't expecting this, and he certainly wasn't expecting the girl to flip in the air, lash out with the right leg, and smack the snot out of him. "Die for me body freak!"

He fell out of the tree and saw her bounce off of the tree, flip again, and follow him down. As he barrel rolled out of control, he had just enough time to see Marty swing a huge stick at his head. He barely had enough time to block it with the Stone Fist. Damn, that one hurt.

He was launched back up into the air and towards Celia. Marty exclaimed,

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