A trembling man stepped forward from the crowd and raised a small pouch out in front of himself.
"Here you go. Five gold coins as promised."
The scar faced man looked at the pouch before responding with disdain in his voice.
"I've just decided, the price has gone up. I'll be taking ten gold from now on."
"Ten!" the trembling man responded in shock. "We can hardly afford to give you five gold coins. There's no way we'll be able to manage ten. If you don't accept five, then we'll just have to hire someone else to defend our town"
The scar faced man spit on the ground before responding
"Defending your town from beasts is hard work. It'll be ten gold coins...or you can offer something else as well" the man said with a sinister smile while eyeing a young girl at the front of the crowd. He continued "Besides, if you refuse me right now, there won't be a town left to defend, let alone a need to hire new guards."
The trembling man cried out, almost at the verge of tears "Please no. One moment." The trembling man walked back to the crowd before talking to several people at the front. After much arguing, the man turned around.
"I apologize, but none of us have any money left. We'll make sure to get ten gold for the next offering."
The scar faced man took the pouch, at which point he violently slapped the trembling man. Blood flew everywhere as the man was knocked backwards.
"I said I want ten gold coins, so I want ten gold coins. If you can't provide me that, then I'll be taking other things." The scar faced man looked towards one of his men behind him, at which point that man walked forward towards the young girl in the crowd. She appeared to be around eighteen years old, and was quite pretty. She struggled, but was unable to free herself from the man.
"No, pweaase!" the trembling man had just managed to stand up when he saw what was going on. He pleaded with a broken jaw as he saw the man drag the young girl back with him.
"If you don't want this to happen next time, then have ten gold coins ready" responded the scar faced man with a sinister smile on his face.
Although the villagers were trembling in rage, there was nothing that they could do. Not one of them was a cultivator. They had originally hired these men to guard the town, but had never expected them to be so vile. As a result, every month the men would return to the town and demand a tribute. This had been going on for quite some time.
"I guess I see why the innkeeper told me to stay elsewhere. These men are quite vicious." thought John as he watched everything happen.
"Although this is mostly a problem for the town to solve, I can't just sit around and watch that girl get taken."
The crowd helplessly watched the girl get dragged off with the men before they heard a loud sigh behind them.
John sighed out loud as he thought to himself "I shouldn't even be interfering with this. This town needs to learn a valuable lesson about obtaining strength to defend themselves. Only with strength can they stop something like this from happening. Even if I help them out now, it won't solve their problem in the future."
The six men heard the loud sigh, at which point they turned around and saw a young boy donned in a fine black robe walk towards them. The leader of the men squinted his eyes before laughing sinisterly.
"And what do we have here?" said the man as he watched John approach. When John was close to the man, he felt a small amount of energy pass over his body.
"He must have just used his divine sense to look at my cultivation level" thought John.
"I'll give you the five extra gold that the village is missing. Just leave the girl behind" John said to the man. Sending his own divine sense out, John noticed that five of the men were early Mist Creation realm cultivators, with the leader being a middle Mist Creation realm cultivator.
The man was slightly shocked at John's response before he started laughing out loud. The five other men also started laughing. ...
"Hahaha, I don't know where you're from kid, but you clearly have no idea how the world works. How about this, you give us everything you have, and we'll leave you with your life" responded the scar faced man while laughing.
"Who is this kid. He seems like some pampered and naive child. He must have some pretty decent items on him" said one of the other men.
"He's probably some spoiled brat" responded another.
It was at that moment when one of the men stopped laughing as a shocked look appeared on his face.
"Boss" he cried out.
"What?" asked the scar faced man.
"His robe, that insignia on the shoulder of his robe…"
The scar faced man hadn't looked closely at what John was wearing, but after one of the men brought it up, he looked at John's robe. A shocked look appeared on his face.
"That's…The Fenix Clan insignia" the scar faced man cried out in shock.
"What the fuck have I done, did I just threaten a Fenix clan member?" thought the scar faced man. From what he knew, the Fenix Clan had a phoenix as their insignia. The clan was one of the strongest powers for thousands of miles, and was not something that they could afford to antagonize.
The man was about to apologize when a thought appeared in his mind. Fear was quickly replaced with a relaxed smile once more as he said to John.
"I don't know where you got that robe, but I'm guessing it's either a fake or you stole it from a Fenix Clan member. From what I've heard, all young masters of the great clans are pampered. When traveling the world, they'll ride in carriages and be escorted by a bevy of guards."
The man looked around in every direction, at which point his smile grew larger.
"I don't see anything of the sort here. Which means my guess must be right. Tell me, is that a fake or did you steal the robe?"
John was quite shocked at the man's horrible guess. His shocked expression only served to make the man more certain that his guess was right.
"This is my robe, but I don't care if you believe me or not. Like I said, I'll give you the five extra gold, just return the girl" said John with an indifferent expression.
The man ignored what John had said and stared at the robe once more. His smile became even more sinister.
"That robe is quite luxurious. Luxurious to the point that I'm believing it's authentic, which means you either stole it, or killed the person wearing it...either way, you should have quite a lot of treasures on you."
John narrowed his eyes slightly. He had an idea of where this man was taking the conversation.
"I changed my mind" said the scar faced man. "You'll give us everything, including your life."
As soon as he was done speaking, John found himself surrounded by the five other men.