Chapter 27: Forced Bond
A notification screen had appeared in front of Gary, one containing new unfamiliar terms, but blinded with rage he ignored it, as he continued to hold onto Barry’s wrist. Slowly his grip was getting tighter and tighter.
‘Sh*t, my wrist is starting to feel a little numb. How much power does that onion head have?’ Barry thought.
“Hey look, it’s Mr Root!” Tom suddenly exclaimed, making Barry let go of him.
Both Gil and Barry turned around and in that moment Tom grabbed his friend and quickly pulled Gary away dragging him down the hallway and into one of the other classrooms. Since it was still break, it is currently empty.
“Are you alright now?” Tom asked, as he could even feel his heart settling. ”It looked like you were ready to jump that guy.”
“I don’t know, man. I just got so angry when that guy grabbed you. Who the hell do they think they are? It’s one thing to go after me, but you have nothing to do with it!” Gary answered, clenching his fists again.
Tom knew that Gary had a tendency to be hot headed, but this seemed to be a bit out of character even for him. He was normally the guy who would try to run away from a confrontation, but now he seemed to be actively seeking it, making Tom fear that his werewolf self might have already started to influence Gary.
‘I’ll need to keep an eye on him. This time his aggression might have been triggered because he wanted to protect me, but what if it becomes worse? Who knows what he’ll do if there is nobody to stop him?’ Tom worried.
“Look, it’s over. I’m fine, right? We both are. Those guys were just two assholes, heck the world is full of people like that, but we can’t just go around beating them all up. Even if you are stronger than them.” Tom stated, before he added jokingly. “I mean if you tried you would be busy 24/7, then you wouldn’t have time to impress a certain someone.”
Hearing this, Gary started to calm down a little, as he realised that Tom was right. The second part especially helped his best friend get into a better mood, although Gary’s heartbeat was now rising slightly for a different reason.
If word got out about what Gary could actually do, then it wouldn’t just be the Underdogs gang after him, but whoever had asked them to deliver the suitcase in the first place. Now that he had calmed down a little, Gary went on to check just what that message from before was.
[Forced Bond has been activated]
[1/5 Marks have been assigned]
[A Forced Bond is put on a target when enough bloodlust is dedicated towards a certain person, making them a hunting target.
Those that are marked are given a unique scent, allowing the user to track them down at any point in time.
Additional stats will be awarded if one manages to successfully hunt their target down!]
[Those marked due to a Forced Bond will be the first people to be targeted during a full moon.]
Gary’s eyeballs widened as he read the screen and came to a few realisations. The Forced Bond seemed to be a different subtype of his Mark skill. He had already encountered the Bond Mark, which allowed him to mark certain people based on agreements, whereas the Forced Bond seemed to be automatically assigned based on pure bloodlust.
Both types of bonds seemingly occupied one of Gary’s five slots. He was unsure whether there was a maximum of any one type of bond. Although, he felt like it didn’t matter how much he had of one or the other. The major difference seemed to be that a Forced Bond directly designated the other party as a hunting target, whereas the Bond Mark only did so, in case of a broken promise.
The most worrying thing of all was the fact that the message had warned him that those that had been marked would become his target during a full moon.
Gary gulped as he thought of what could possibly happen.
‘If I really do turn in twelve days’ time, doesn’t that mean I’m going to kill Barry if I don’t learn how to control myself?’
He couldn’t be too sure until it happened, but it was something he didn’t want to risk. ‘Screw this, if I can assign these Marks, then there has to be a way to get rid of them, right?’
Exiting the room, the two boys were now ready to head back to class, and finally participate in their normal school day. Fortunately, they didn’t run into any more trouble along the way. As Gary entered the halls he noticed something. He could see a strange lingering red marking in the air, and it wafted into his nose making a particular smell. It smelled similar to the scent of raw food.
It was faint, and as he followed it, it took on a stronger shade of red. It looked like a strange floating red fog. He looked at Tom, but the other appeared blissfully unaware of what Gary was perceiving.
Following the marking quickly, it led to a certain classroom, and as Gary looked through the window he could see where the red smoke was leading to… right to Barry who was now sitting in his seat.
‘Is this what the marking does? Does it leave a trail so I can find them around the school? Maybe I should try to activate a Bond Mark on Kai after all. It would be handy to be able to find him whenever I need, and I would also instantly know if he broke the promise.’
‘Sh*t, but if he does, then that would make him another hunting target! Or maybe this thing only follows things that are meant to be hunted.’
Still in 12 days time, if he didn’t find a way to remove the marking Barry might be in trouble.