Looking in the direction of his home, Noah saw a group standing outside with angry looks, apparently looking for someone. He knew those people very well, since they were the reason he had been to the hospital a few times.
Even today, after finally receiving a Blessing, Noah was still a little intimidated when he looked at them. After all, spending years being beaten up if he didn't get enough money had generated some mental scars on the boy.
When Noah had just become a Blessed One, he was still a very shy and fearful boy. In the first Fortress he invaded, he certainly hindered much more than he helped. However, in addition to the suffering that was him trying to survive without power inside the Fortress, being humiliated and hurt by these people also had a great influence on his personality change.
Over time, realizing the cruelty that people had inside a Fortress, most of the time caring only for their own survival at the expense of other people's lives, in addition to also being abused for being weak on the outside of the Fortresses, these things forced Noah to transform from a shy young man into a man who needed to bear the burden of his own family, mainly because the family were the ones who were doing this to him.
Removing the headphones, Noah approached the house with a cold look as he faced the three people.
"Why, it looks like our prince has finally appeared!" said a tall man with a big nose and his right arm tattooed.
"Finally! If you made us wait any longer, we would have had to teach you a lesson so you could learn not to repeat it again." said a woman in business clothes while staring at Noah with a cold look through the glasses she wore. After so much technological advancement, surgery to correct vision problems was extremely common, but some people still continued to wear prescription glasses to maintain an air of culture and intelligence.
"I was breaking into a Fortress. Today was my day," Noah replied in a seemingly disinterested voice, but if someone more sensitive had paid attention, they would notice a slight twinge of anger contained in his words.
"Great! Unfortunately you are just a Blessed Rank F, so a single Fortress will not be enough to pay the interest that accumulated this month. You better have money to pay, or else..." The woman said in a cold voice, and with an even cooler look, "... you will be visiting your sister in the hospital earlier than planned."
Hearing what the woman said, the two men next to her opened a small smile on each of their faces and unconsciously put their hands together and cracked their knuckles.
Noah seeing this scene felt the return of bad memories. Being just a Blessed Rank F who didn't even have a proper Blessing, he suffered a lot at the hands of these two Blessed Rank E men since the day of his mother's death.
The woman was Noah's uncle's secretary. Before becoming a Blessed, Noah lived with his mother and younger sister. His father had died when he was very young, and as he worked hard, Noah had almost no recollection of his father, so his mother had to raise her two children on her own.
She may not have had many talents in her life besides being a very caring mother, but she had a great talent in the kitchen. The dishes she made were praised by everyone who had ever tried them.
Unfortunately she worked only as a chef at a small local restaurant, but despite the delicious dishes she made, it was not enough to maintain her establishment that had no control over any kind of profit management until the restaurant closed.
Without a job, she tried to apply for any work she could find, but having worked at a restaurant that went bankrupt, it ended up closing many opportunities she had available, and in a moment of despair, not knowing what to do to support her small family, she decided to ask for help from her older brother.
The older brother was a wealthy man who already knew the gift his sister had and made himself available to help. As she wanted to open her own restaurant, he offered her a loan, however, with high interest rates.
Noah's mother knew very well how abusive the interest was, but having to take care of two children who required a lot of resources, there was nothing she could do but accept what her brother proposed.
However, shortly after she accepted this abusive agreement, Noah's younger sister was diagnosed with a rare disease. This disease was eating away at the cells of her body little by little, but it was fortunately curable, however the treatment to cure the girl was very expensive.
Being a mother, she obviously couldn't let her own daughter go through such difficulties, so using the money she borrowed from her own brother to open the restaurant, she started paying for the girl's treatment.
She knew that without the profit the restaurant would generate for her, it would be impossible for her to pay the interest that that loan would charge, but she had no other choice available. When her brother found out that instead of using the money he gave her to open the restaurant and generate more money to pay the high interest for him, she was using it on a hospital bill, he was pissed.
Knowing that she would not be convinced to do what he wanted, he tried to forcefully make her return the money. So he sent his secretary along with two security men he trusted to get her to return the money or pay the interest.
The problem was that because she had already gone through so much suffering in her own life, the woman could not stand to be humiliated and threatened by the secretary and the men, until one day she fell asleep never to wake up again. According to doctors she had a heart attack due to stress and died.
Noah was 16 years old when this happened and Lucifer's blessing had just awakened, but he still had no power at the time. His uncle's men never beat his mother, but with him the story was different. Whenever they came to collect the debt, they tried to force Noah to return what was left of the money or pay the interest that the loan had generated, forcing him to invade more Fortresses than a normal person would invade in order to get enough money to pay the interest.
When he didn't get their money, his fate was to be beaten. Once, they beat him so badly that one of the boy's arms was broken. Fortunately, medicine had already advanced enough that his arm was healed in a few days, but he still remembered the pain and humiliation that was lying on the floor with his aching arm while the three stood and stared at him mockingly.
That was the day Noah realized that people did not see themselves as equals. As long as someone had the strength, that person would feel superior to the other. And from there he swore to himself that he would be stronger, whatever the cost. Even if he had to kill other people, as long as they were not innocent, he would kill.
Looking at those three, the anger that Noah was having a hard time suppressing started to grow again.
Without anyone noticing it, his hand which was lowered was now emitting a slight glow, as if a small flame was floating there ready to attack.
"I have enough money. Don't you dare threaten me again." Noah said in a disinterested voice, trying to contain himself. Even though he knew that the money he paid was not fair, his mother signed a contract. If he failed to pay what was agreed in the contract, his uncle could take the house which was used as collateral.
The problem was that sometimes, even though Noah paid how much he was supposed to pay, they still came to beat him.
But feeling that feeling, so warm and familiar, in the palm of his hand, Noah knew it wouldn't happen again. Not today.