Seth wore a generic, monochrome black villain mask to conceal his identity as he flew straight to Haven.
At top speed, he could make it to Haven from Blackwater in just five minutes.
He pierced through the night sky clouds as he shot forward at sub-sonic speeds.
Seth slowed down once he got near the site of destruction. He looked down from cloud level to see the giant manta letting loose ghostly wails as it rained down another volley of lightning bolts, destroying a dozen more buildings.
The manta had just passed Haven's Eastside harbors, destroying boats, warehouses, apartments, and the general livelihoods of countless dock workers. It now ate away at Eastside's residential district as sirens blared.
Up this high, Seth could make out crowds of tiny little people and cars and heroes all panicked and running away. Lots of corpses buried under bloodied rubble.
He could care less about them.
What he did worry about was where the manta would go from here,
Once the variant reached the city center, it would probably slow down its warpath significantly.
The city center where the wealthiest of Haven lived had EMP-protected walls with enough firepower and mercenaries hired by rich folk to easily stall out the thirty or so minutes it took for AA and Panopticon reinforcements to arrive.
The issue was once the manta found the walls too difficult to breach, it would find somewhere else to go, and then it was a 50/50 chance whether it would go to Northside's manufacturing districts or Southside where, most importantly, the Red Circle was.
Seth was not about to wait and find out. He took aim at the manta and then flew straight down with his fists planted in front of him. In seconds, he smashed through the manta's back, tearing through the flesh like a living missile before ripping through to the other side.
The manta wailed in pain as it started to lose altitude from the lethal wound.
Just like that, Seth ended the threat instantly.
After all, he was the son of the S-rank hero Solomon Solar.
A B-rank threat was nothing to him, even if it was a disaster level variant.
Seth landed on solid ground and shook off the disgusting, fishy mess of entrails and blood on his plain black bodysuit. This suit was a covert operation one that lacked any insignia that tied it to Blackwater.
In an instant, Seth found annoying lights from news drones shining down at him. Did the media never give up? There were countless news drones fried from EMP exposure scattered all across the ground, and yet they kept sending these drones and field reporters to die.
Fucking waste of resources.
Seth could not use his solar powered eye beams here to gun down the drones. It would make it far too obvious to draw a connection to the Solar bloodline.
"You, hero, what's your name!" Gladiator shouted as he hobbled up to Seth. His legionnaire armor was chipped. A burnt red cape trailed behind him. His gladius sword was snapped in half.
"Fuck off before you get hurt," said Seth as he hovered in the air, ready to leave now that his job was done.
"Wait! The variant has regeneration! You need to destroy its head!" said Gladiator.
Seth growled in annoyance. He looked up at the manta as it regenerated the hole in its spine and floated in the air. It wailed before raining down a volley of lightning bolts at Seth.
Over twenty bolts surged down at Seth and exploded in a brilliant blue blast wave that decimated everything in a forty-meter radius, frying news drones, smashing buildings, and sending Gladiator flying from the impact.
Seth took in a deep breath as he stood in the mist of a smoking black crater, practically unharmed. Only a few hairs on his head were singed. He bent his knees, took aim at the manta's head, and then shot upwards.
Instead of smashing through the variant's head as Seth expected, he instead felt massive impact against him as he shot straight back down like a pinball, digging out a deep crater in a concrete sidewalk. This time, he felt solid pain,
Bruises around his fists and rattling in the bones of his arms. His attack's force had been reflected against him.
Seth immediately flew out of his crater, his expression twisted in rage behind the mask. He saw a translucent blue, crackling barrier around the manta now. The barrier was generated by threads of blue energy generated by its spines, and notably, while it maintained this barrier, it did not rain down lightning bolts.
"Fucking barriers! I hate this sh*t!" said Seth as he had immediate flashbacks of punching himself with his own tremendous strength against Mel's golden barriers. He watched as the manta wailed again and started to fly away, down south, wanting to avoid Seth.
Down where the Red Circle was.
Seth grimaced as he thought about what to do.
That was when he heard a familiar voice call out to him.
"Throw me up there, Seth."
"Who the fuck-," Seth started in alarm as someone identified him. He turned to see a young woman with long, golden hair tied into a ponytail and golden eyes that shone through a mask fashioned into the shape of a horned demon.
She wore a grey-white motorcycle jacket and form fitting pant leggings that tapered down into mechanical greaves.
She held a mid-length sword with a pure golden blade in her right hand.
"Mel? The fuck you doing here?" said Seth.
"Same as you. Saving the city. Now throw me up there."
"I'm not saving sh*t," began Seth, but then he stopped. Mel could punch through that barrier. Her own barrier power directed vector forces, and if she contacted the manta's barrier with her own, she could break down the manta's barrier by scattering the flow of energy that comprised it.
She would do all the hard work for him. "Whatever."
Seth held out his arm, and Mel gracefully jumped on his hand before crouching into a compacted ball. He briefly considered trying to kill her right then and there, but he held back his jealousy and cocked his arm back before throwing her with immense force.
She shot straight up, spinning in the air as a golden barrier clung around her skin.
Her golden blade shone even brighter, almost appearing to be made with pure energy.
Right when she contacted the manta's blue shield, she struck with her barrier coated sword. At first, her strike did nothing, but in the next instant, the manta's barrier started to break apart from the point of impact against Mel's sword, creating a gap through which she could move through.
Mel's greaves then released thrusters that shot her forward as she sliced into the manta's brain from below using a flurry of expertly trained slices, using accelerated force vectors on the barrier coating her blade to make it impossibly sharp.
Seth watched and scoffed at this gesture of heroism. Once, there was a time when he also wanted to be a hero like that. When he was young enough that he thought his life was his own to live.
But that sh*t was for idiots who didn't know how the world really was.
For carefree fucks that actually had a choice.
Seth lingered, watching Mel kill the manta, but all of a sudden, the manta faded away. Its body started to spatially collapse into itself, as if it was being sucked into a black hole. Mel, in surprise backed off, using the thrusters on her greaves to stop herself from free falling.
In the next instant, the manta just disappeared. It had teleported. Seth checked his Eye-Phone where the AA kept a map with live satellite tracking on the manta. It did not pop up anywhere in Haven.
It had completely fled.
Good. Then his job was done here.
Plus, Mel could handle this on her own. And he did not want to waste time so that news drones could capture more video of him.
Seth floated for a moment, then sped off in, disappearing into the sky as he turned into a speeding black blur shooting through the clouds.
"How interesting," said Aldrich as he watched the entire battle through the eyes of his [Grave Ward]. He had only ever heard of Seth Solar's power, but now, he had seen it himself.
The rumors were true. Seth Solar truly was an immense threat. Overwhelming strength that could instantly punch through the hide of a B-class disaster variant. Not to mention that he had not even used his solar beams.
Aldrich noted curiously that his active quest for vengeance changed upon these observations.
[RECALCULATING REWARDS FOR QUEST [VENGEANCE] BASED ON HOST EXPERIENCES…]
[Death of Seth Solar: 1000 EXP, 800 Coin ] 20,000 EXP, 15,000 Coin]
"Defeating that human will be…difficult," said Valera. "I have not seen strength of that magnitude in quite some time. It rivals that of top class warriors from our old world."
"Yes," said Aldrich. "But don't worry, Valera. I'll be dealing with him quite soon. And all the rewards and satisfaction his death will offer will soon be mine. Hm."
Aldrich noted the presence of Mel Morales, current rank 1 A-class student. She had no incentive to be at the attack site, and yet, she was there to fight the manta. Not only that, but she now worked at ground level, guiding civilians to evacuation zones while cutting down leftover slimes.
Soon, though, once authorities and heroes caught up to the scene, she would probably leave.
He wondered about her. Her motives. Her purpose.
Perhaps, in the future, when it came to destroying Blackwater, she could be an ally of some sorts.