After changing his clothes and not forgetting to bring his newly bought mask, Max hurried to the specified destination.
In a matter of a few minutes, Max reached the location where the guy said there was a fight between two Awakeneds.
Buildings after buildings stacked beside each other were presented in front of him. This was the abandoned region close to the dangerous areas with thugs, gangs, prostitutes, and thieves.
All of the properties share one similarity, which was all of them were old and dilapidated. No one was bold enough to try their chances of living in it, fearing that it would collapse any time.
Since the guy didn’t mention where the fight was, Max ran from building to building to find any signs of battles.
Below each building was a vast barren lot with scraps scattered all over the place. Though it has enormous spaces, big enough for long battles, Max wasn’t hopeful in finding them in an open area.
Currently, Max was in a black and flexible suit. Everything he had was black, including his mask. This was what he got himself so he would not need to always use the Face Mask item from the Store.
Inside the mask was another mask tightly covering all his facial features except his eyes. Though there is a chance for him to be identified with his eyes, the outer mask completely covers everything with a special screen.
Max bought it from an Awakened online with his phone, and the mask was said to be made specifically for Awakeneds.
Not a lot of them would have Face Mask consumables that would change their facial features, so Max was able to choose from a variety of models that were popular and effective with Awakeneds.
It was especially popular for those who wanted to do things that they don’t want to be identified with and from the good reviews and series of tests, Max chose a pitch-black color, capable of blending in the night.
However, even with all that, Max was still ready for any unexpected dangers, always being prepared to buy a Face Mask and other necessary items when needed.
His suit was also the same, bought from the same person. Nothing was unique with it; only the color pitch black that perfectly covers him entirely when it’s dark.
Moving in broad daylight as the Shadow Thief was not going to happen. Today was the only exception since Max wanted to test it out and also he wanted to see how the puppet works.
Not long after searching for Awakeneds fighting, Max heard an explosion and walls being broken down on the other building.
The sound wasn’t loud enough that if Max weren’t close, he probably wouldn’t have heard it.
Now knowing where they might be, Max ran down, going directly to the other side, not wanting to miss it.
Once he got in, Max easily blended in the shadows. Since only the windows were broken with remaining shards swinging each time the wind blew, the rooms with broken lights were covered by the shadows of the structures.
Like an abandoned and haunted building, leftover materials and broken pieces of equipment were left sitting around collecting dust.
Slowly and cautiously moving up, closing in on them, Max was starting to hear sounds of violent clashes and splashing water hitting the walls.
It seemed to be more serious that Max initially thought, wondering about the reason they were fighting at this place.
When he was able to reach the scene, Max was greeted with a seemingly ordinary man with a face that he could see on the streets and a humanoid puppet that was entirely different from what he was expecting.
The puppet looked more like a human than an actual puppet made from commonly known materials.
It had realistic skin that Max couldn’t distinguish if it’s real or fake. The puppet was also wearing regular clothes, making it look like a real person.
The only reason why Max was able to know that it was a puppet was the face, especially the eyes.
They weren’t moving.
The face makes it look like Max was looking at a 3D image. The body was agile, and there were no flaws in its movements, smooth and lifelike, but the face never once moved.
If the puppet had a mask, it could’ve tricked others into thinking that it was a real mute person.
However, Max was proved wrong when something unexpected happened before him.
“Who are you? Why are you targeting me?”
“I need something from you.”
The puppet spoke! It replied with a creepy sounding voice like a clown laughing at the helpless man in front of it.
From how the face stayed unmoving, it can be confirmed that someone was controlling it somewhere.
Very interesting was what Max thought. The puppet should be controlled by someone possibly far away from here.
While Max was on his way to this scene, he didn’t forget to use his Status Checker to see whether there was anyone else around them.
Along his way up, Max never detected anyone with it, but that didn’t necessarily mean there was no one.
Though there is the possibility that they might simply have some skill to counter his, effectively hiding from any of his detections.
The chances of the puppeteer being inside it were zero unless the puppet master was as small as a baby.
Looking at their clashes, with the puppet on the offensive and the water skill user on the defensive, Max thought while watching closely,
‘What kind of skill is that? Is that a skill about controlling an object? Or a skill that summons and controls a puppet?’
‘From the well-designed puppet with the lifelike appearance and all, maybe it’s a skill about summoning a puppet? How strong is that puppet?’
‘I’ll try to see if I can have some time to look at it closer.’
For now, Max stayed in the shadows, his eyes focused on the two individuals, waiting to see how would this all go.
“What is it? We don’t know each other!”
The water skill user said as he used a wave of water to surround himself, blocking the powerful kicks and punches of the puppet.
Understanding that his physical attacks weren’t effecting in hitting its target inside a cocoon of water, the puppet stopped, and a voice spoke from within it,
“We don’t need to know each other. I only need something, and you are unlucky to come across me. Now just give up. You know you are too weak against me.”
“What do you need? I’ll give it to you. Just let me go!”
The water user tried to negotiate with the unknown figure that randomly attacked him out of nowhere.
He was initially ecstatic about finding this area, knowing that he will be rich from the number of equipment he could sell.
After a few days of experiments, he found out that the water from his skill had magical properties that can restore metals, turning it into something new.
From all the leftover materials everywhere and the buildings full of metals, it was a gold mine for someone with his skill.
But his initial happiness turned into unease when he got attacked by this being without any reason.