Gary read over the message a few times because he wasn’t sure if he had read it right. The system was giving him two options. One was to kill Billy, which was their original plan, but there was also an option to invite him into his pack. Whatever that meant.
‘Oh yeah, the system did give me an Optional Quest to accept him into my pack, but it never told me what it was for. Is a Werewolf pack the same as a Wolf pack, like Tom told me about? A collaboration where they would go hunting together?’
For once, as Gary thought about this, the system decided to bless him with an answer.
[The defeated Werewolf was at the Pawn grade. As a Knight grade Werewolf, you’re able to invite lower ranked Werewolves into your pack. By creating a pack, you will automatically become an Alpha wolf and receive certain benefits from the system]
‘An Alpha wolf? So it really is like Tom had explained… but what kind of extra benefits would that be exactly?’ Gary wondered. Unfortunately, the system had seemingly exhausted its helpfulness and remained quiet.
Nevertheless, it had left the high schooler with some valuable information. It had pretty much confirmed that those chess themed grades were following a hierarchy, and that he was ranked above Billy.
Alas, that thought wasn’t exactly calming. He might outrank Billy for now, but the other Werewolf’s overall strength had nevertheless surpassed his. If he was allowed to continue to grow, it would only be a question of time until Billy surpassed and usurped him. Gary felt validated in his choice to fight him now rather than later.
‘If I remember correctly, at any point and time, any member from the pack could also challenge the leader for their position. If that’s also true for Werewolves, it’s pretty much a given, he’ll try to betray me at some point. No matter the benefits, I don’t want to associate with someone like him.’ Gary made up his mind, but just when he was about to select the first option, the system revealed more information.
[Accepting the Omega into your pack will classify one as a Beta wolf. Beta wolves must do the Alpha’s bidding. A challenge for the Alpha seat can only be initiated once a month. Becoming a Beta wolf also prevents other Alphas from inviting him into their packs, and Omega wolves from forming a pack of their own by subduing him.]
‘Do my bidding? Did the system read my thoughts and concerns and try to explain to me? Well, that’s the first time it's ever done that. So as a Beta Wolf, he’ll have to listen to me… at least as long as I can outgrow him and best him in a fight once a month.
‘Why does the Werewolf System seem so keen on me inviting Billy to join my pack? Is it all because of that Optional Quest… or is there something special about him?’ The whole thing sounded too risky, but there was a reason why Gary was contemplating it. It was because he feared that at some point he would have to go against the Underdogs. Gary might not like him, but having Billy’s strength on his side would be needed in such a scenario.
“I didn’t want to kill them…” Billy spoke up, his mouth dripping with blood, yet the large teenager understood that his life was in the hands of Gary and Blake. “The hunger… My Mum and Dad got into a fight… he hit her with an ashtray… I just wanted to protect her… and everything went wrong. I attacked him, yet she still defended the scumbag, I don’t know why… before I realised it, I'd killed them both. I didn’t do it on purpose. It was as if the hunger and bloodlust took over me!”
Hearing Billy tell his sob story, Gary wasn’t sure how much of it was true, yet it made him hesitate. It might very well have been the truth. His parents had always been the outliers on his personal vendetta list, and they had been the first reported killing.
Before the green haired teenager could make his decision, though, he saw that Blake had recovered and started to walk over to the two of them. Gary was about to ask his schoolmate for his opinion on what to do, but the Altered Hunter hadn’t come over to join them in their discussion.
A stream of blood splattered onto his face. When Gary looked at Billy now, he could see that his human-like head had been sliced off, his blood all over Blake's sword.
Without a second thought, Blake lifted Billy's head, and checked his mouth. It seemed like Billy's transformation hadn’t completely reversed, as the dead Werewolf still had two large fangs in his mouth.
“We came here to do a job, Gary, to kill the Werewolf. You saw what he did to that girl. He can’t control himself. He wasn’t like you… at least that’s what I like to think.” Blake stated.
[The Omega has perished]
[Options are no longer available]
[Consume Werewolf flesh to gain ‘One: Pawn point’’]
Rather than look at the message, Gary couldn’t help but look at Billy's head. He was the one who had turned the large teenager in his first underground fight. Part of him knew that he was responsible for Billy, for all his actions, as well as today’s outcome. Nevertheless, Gary couldn’t help but feel relief at the Omega wolf’s death. It was as if this huge weight had been lifted off from his shoulders, something he no longer would have to worry about.
Blake’s action was justified, Billy was a murderer. Even if he hadn’t been in his right mind when he had killed his parents, what about the next two murders? What about the time he had attacked Innu in the middle of the day in his own school? What about when he had attacked Gary’s friends in the park?
Most importantly, just minutes ago, he had killed an innocent woman just to survive. However, although Gary had yet to kill anyone innocent to survive, the teenager felt like he was walking on a tightrope.
“We should leave this place. I’ll be taking the head with me as proof to show my father that I completed the job. I’ve left our calling card for the police to find him. This way, they’ll believe that the Altered Hunters are behind this, and hopefully you won’t get involved any more than that.
“Our collaboration ends here, Gary, and I hope it's the only time you see me like this.” With that, Blake placed the gadgets, broken parts of his sword and everything else he needed into his strange advanced backpack and was off. Leaving Gary behind, staring at the body.
Looking at it, Gary started to think about the message that had arrived not too long ago.
‘I consumed bodies before… and I need to keep getting stronger.' He thought as he lifted part of the arm and took a bite out of it.
The high schooler had transformed his head to make it easier, and in case anyone happened to walk down again, but no one did and after a few bites the message had appeared.
[One Pawn Point has been granted]
[Pawn Points can upgrade your body into the next Grade.
Points can also be used to upgrade skills and for stats.
Warning; Once Pawn Points have been assigned, it’s impossible to revert the change!]
‘Evolve into the next Grade? Does that mean, I’ll have to keep hunting Werewolves if I want to become something like a King or Queen Grade Werewolf? But what's the point in that if I can just use it to upgrade my stats. Who cares what Grade I am?’ Gary thought, scratching his head.
The system only elaborated that little, leaving it to Gary to fill in the blanks. With everything over, Gary quickly put on the spare clothes he had brought with him. He was happy that he had been prepared this time.
Grabbing his personal belongings, Gary eventually picked up his phone, ready to put it into his pocket. Staring at the screen, he nearly dropped it to the ground as he read through Amy’s message.
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