Legends of Gods. Tale of Vjaira. (B3.Ch98 up!) (REWRITE FINISHED, YAY!)

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  • Thanks for the comment! :) As for your question (you stole my often used phrase! xD), it will be explained much further into the story :)

    You want to try writing? Mm, writing a story is super time and effort consuming, though. I know that best, haha. :) Well, give it a try! It's always good to try new things.
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • Yes I know :D I wrote one chapter as pilot but its grammar was bad, I am trying to improve it now and write it later, as for time I hopefully will have it: d anyway I really like your story and hope you will have more time to write more, I already can't wait for next chapter: dd
  • edited November 2015
    Yea, i will give my best to update more often. I also want to keep going with this story :) By the way, my advice for you would be to start posting your story right now and improve as you write. Be it grammar or anything else. It's the fastest and most effective way to get better at writing ^.^
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • Well I posted it some time ago. I didn't liked the names I picked or story telling: ( so to be blunt I have storyline in my head but can't tell it well and I can't name characters good: dd after I finish my midterms will post it a new ^-^
  • thanks for the chapter
  • Thanks for the chapter! It was awesome! Can't wait for the next one
  • Thanks for the chapter as always and let´s see what happens to Laien but one thing is for sure...
    the first prince will regret threatening Laien (most probably expulsion?) in the distant or even near future 
  • gotta kill 'em all gotta kill 'em all Poke- wait this ain't Pokemon!
    Thanks for the chapter!
  • Could you include your site or wordpress if there is for your novel? So it would be easier to access the chapters you'd want to.
  • edited November 2015
    I do not have my own site, neither do I post it with wordpress~ Here is the only place you can find my novel. I will probaly take care of posting it on other sites and through wordpress when i finish book one and get into a steady release schedule, hopefully. ;)
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • edited December 2015
    Book 1. Knowing oneself.


    Chapter 41. Friend.


    Laien was sitting cross-legged on top of a bed, meditating in the room he was confined in. The place he got placed at wasn’t all that uncomfortable; the room was warm and the bed was soft. Laien’s belongings weren’t taken away from him, either. However, that much was only normal, since he wasn’t an average ‘criminal’ but someone who was to be judged by a Grand Viscar at the Royal Court. Remaining optimistic about the case and knowing that Siana was safe, Laien decided to focus on training, instead of worrying about what had happened and what could happen.

    After properly entering the tranquil state of meditation, Laien moved his consciousness into his Spiritual Core. As he was sinking deeper beneath the layers of Spiritual Energy, Laien finally reached the very center of his Spiritual Core; the place where his soul was. He could already sense the characteristic auras of the Aspects of Tranquility and Wrath emanating from his very spirit. With each passing moment, he was getting closer to the two mysterious orbs floating deep within his soul.

    The two omnicolored orbs were now complete. Their appearance was quite peaceful, despite one of them being an essence of the Aspect of Wrath. The two orbs were still orbiting around each other, although much slowed compared to before. Flowing slowly, the numerous thin threads were endlessly exchanging miniscule amounts of energy between the two orbs.

    Simply by focusing on the existence of the two omnicolored orbs, Laien felt his insights growing at an astonishingly rapid pace. Compared to his old rate of improvement, he was now understanding the properties of the Aspects of Tranquility and Wrath tens of times faster. If he were to trust his instincts, if he completely focused only on training those two Aspects, he would master them fully in just ten or so years. Even now, Laien could feel the great power which those two orbs provided him, being less than half complete.

    If he were to now compete with an average expert at the first Realm of Heroes, Laien was confident about winning at least once out of every three times. Compared to before, when only a stroke of luck could gain him victory, it was a huge improvement.

    After some time, Laien’s focus turned to an entirely different thing. He began observing the third omnicolored orb which was beginning to take shape within his soul. The process was undoubtedly occurring at a snail’s pace. It took Laien a long time to even notice that it was progressing in any way.

    After concentrating on the occurring process, Laien discovered that the unique essence, which was radiating all colors imaginable, was actually seeping into his soul from his Spiritual Energy. The essence, although faint, held the characteristics of the Aspect of Awareness.

    Having discovered that much, Laien began pondering on the origin of those omnicolored orbs and the reason they were appearing.

    “I couldn’t properly sense my soul until now, so I can’t be sure… But, those orbs… They should represent the ‘foundation’ of an Aspect, right? Back then, two years ago when I gained my first insights into the Aspect of Tranquility, I felt as if something was created within me. Then, it was completed during the Vision the same night… I’ve begun to comprehend the Aspect of Wrath during my fight with Anatis and at one point, its power surged significantly. It was when I understood and imbued the pure ‘anger’ and ‘wrath’ I have sensed from Anatis into my feelings… The second orb was half-translucent at first…” Step by step, Laien was forming a theory and was about to try and confirm his assumptions.

    Laien knew that he had completed the second orb, the orb holding the essence of Wrath, just a few hours ago. This event was most likely triggered by extreme emotions he was going through at the time. In the case of the Aspect of Wrath, it was hatred and anger towards Luren which completed it… The anger resulting from his care for Siana, from his concern about someone else. Laien felt that those specific feeling were the key which then unlocked the door to completing his foundation of the Aspect of Wrath. The first part of its foundation was pure anger, the second was anger for another one, not for oneself. At least, that was how Laien understood it.

    The fact that the Aspect of Awareness was forming ever so slowly, and the shape of an orb was nowhere to be seen, was enough proof for Laien to believe his theory about foundations was right. Or, at least that it wasn’t totally wrong.

    If he focused on comprehending the Aspect of Awareness, the process of gathering essence would slightly speed up. However, even when he was actively working on the Aspect of Awareness, his progress in understanding it was hundreds, if not thousands times slower compared to his speed of comprehending the Aspect of Tranquility and the Aspect of Wrath.

    Laien frowned in his heart. Even if he were to wholeheartedly ponder on the insights regarding the Aspect of Awareness, it would probably take him hundreds of years to reach to master it. Using so much time and effort, at this point, simply wasn’t worth it.

    Instead of feeling bad about the Aspect of Awareness, Laien turned his attention to his other insights. Maybe, if he discovered something new, he would find a way to once more improve his strength drastically.

    “How come the Principle of Energy is nowhere to be found in my soul? I thought I understood it quite thoroughly… The same with the Elemental Laws, they are not here. Well, as far as they go, I’ve only touched the surface of understanding them, it’s pretty normal for them to not have taken a form… No, wait, what is this?” While focusing one the two Elemental Attributes of Water known to him, Laien discovered that a change was occurring in his Spiritual Energy.

    According to his will, the Spiritual Energy in his Spiritual Core would automatically attune itself to the corresponding elemental attributes! Since Laien’s insights into the Elemental Attributes of Water were miniscule, the effects weren’t big, just barely noticeable. However, just imagining how his Spiritual Energy might change in the future through the use of for example, the Elemental Attribute of the Storm, made Laien tremble with excitement of anticipation.

    “But that’s still far away, probably many decades away… For now, I should focus on the two Aspects I am most compatible with, the Aspects of Tranquility and Wrath. As long as I devote time to studying them, I am guaranteed to become much stronger. As for my other insights… I will leave them alone for the time being and only train them a little.” After he decided, Laien promptly put his plan to life. Not noticing the passage of many hours, he kept meditating on top of the plain bed, his insights improving greatly with each passing minute.

    Laien opened his eyes hearing somebody entering the room. He saw Sinra, whose expression was pretty grim. “Bad news first, please.” Laien said with a light smile. Although he was worried, he was far from panicking. At worst, he would be punished by exile after being made a criminal. Although he wouldn’t easily accept such an outcome, it was still better than being put to death and likely, creating even more troubles for Rudford… At least, that was what Laien was telling himself since the beginning of this affair.

    “If only there was a good one to tell you about, eh.” Sinra smirked self-mockingly and sat on the bed at Laien’s side. “After twelve hours, the situation looks more or less like this. Obviously, all people who saw the battle in the north-eastern part of the Two Weeks City went crazy. They were thinking that an internal war erupted in our kingdom… Well, they weren’t that far off the mark.” Sinra shook his head, not smiling anymore. After taking a short while to find proper words, he continued.

    “The problem is, this event was just too grand. All those have seen how many well-known, powerful Martial Masters began slaughtering each other. Of course it caused a huge commotion… Right now, the main points of focus are the Red Dragon School and the Twin Phoenix School, which fought in the most spectacular manner. The Elders of those two Schools pushing back three hundred ‘unknown’ Martial Masters with ease, then the Great Masters Einrah and Ninrah fighting the Great Master Qin; and Rudford chasing at great speed after the Clan Leaders of the Great Families… Those news probably traveled through the kingdom faster than wind. I wouldn’t be surprised if even our neighboring countries already knew of this matter… Haha…” Sinra’s expression turned very serious. He took a deep breath and said in a low voice.

    “What we have underestimated, was how terrifyingly effective and well-crafted the net of influence of the Cail Family turned out to be in reality. Before any news from our side could be spread, it was already announced that the origin of conflict was ‘the disciple of the Great Master Rudford, who fell into a conflict with the Cail Family’. I won’t be going into the details, they basically accused you of starting a fight out of arrogance with a group of their youths… Then apparently they tried to peacefully restrain you, but you somehow notified Rudford and asked him for help, lying to him about what had happened and ‘making it Cail Family’s fault’. It’s nothing but a load of horseshit, but many people believed it… They intend to make you a scapegoat and paint the Red Dragon School and the Twin Phoenix School who helped you as unreliable and easily fooled, to not say ‘as your accomplices’.” Sinra shook his head again. Now that he thought about it, he really should have stopped the fight from breaking out.

    At the time, Sinra felt confident. Too confident. He even allowed this bit of arrogance lurking inside him to surface and cloud his reason. He was sure that his camp held an absolute advantage and as far as martial prowess went, it was indeed true. However, when Sauras got involved, joining Fohan’s side, everything changed. It became impossible to threaten the Sword Alliance with power, since it would equal threatening the Royal Family and the Heavenly Flame School. Of course, neither could the Sword Alliance pressure them by force since that moment for the exactly same reason. Regretfully, it was an inconsequential. The Sword Alliance wouldn’t have been able to put any pressure through strength on their camp to begin with.

    On the other hand, when fighting was forced into a status quo, the strong points of the Great Families were enabled to shine with their full potential on display. The Great Martial Schools had no means of competing with the Great Families in a political war. They were worlds behind in things like information control and were clearly inferior as far as the sheer number or people supporting them from behind the scenes went.

    What’s more, the formidable influence of the first Prince, in comparison to the nonexistent foundations of Sinra’s camp in the Royal Family, only tipped the scale further in Fohan’s and Sauras’s favor.

    Rash and stupid! Sinra understood very well what he did wrong. If it was possible for him to redo the events of last night, to correct those mistakes which all coincidentally led to the unexpected outcome, how great would it be! However, what was done was done. It was impossible to change the past, not matter how hard one wished to do it.

    Laien swallowed his saliva, feeling as if a bulb of some kind was stuck in his throat. After listening to the news brought by Sinra, he lost his composure and appeared to be calm only on the outside. Laien gave his best to suppress his nervousness and convince himself that everything was going to be okay. That he doesn’t care about the possible outcomes of the case at the Royal Court and everything would somehow work out. “What will they be asking for? Do you know?” Laien asked in a breaking voice. After he realized how his words must have sounded, he looked away, ashamed of himself.

    Why were tears appearing in his eyes? Why was he about to cry over such a thing? All Laien knew was that he was feeling incredibly bad; he was anxious, full of worries, regret and misery. He felt like he was about to throw up. Those emotions were horrible, nearly unbearable. For Laien, it was the first time in his short live when he was met with his own failure and the need to accept its consequences. He wanted to calm himself down and begin to think clearly, but he just couldn’t settle down.

    To acknowledge those feelings and live with them? To stop caring, just like that? Of course, he couldn’t do it!

    This train of miserable thoughts in Laien’s head was abruptly stopped by an arm which placed itself over his shoulders. ‘Move away, leave me alone’ were the first things which appeared in Laien’s mind. He tried to scuffle away, but after a few seconds, he gave up and instead looked down at his feet, confused and resigned about everything and anything.

    “Don’t beat yourself over it.” Sinra reassured in a gentle voice, gazing at Laien calmly.

    For a long minute, Laien kept staring down, not moving or responding at all. However, Sinra didn’t mind and did not try to push to start the conversation with Laien. Sinra simply sat there and waited patiently, with his arm remaining put over Laien’s shoulders.

    “How can I not beat myself over what I did? It’s all so screwed up… I hate it…” Remaining in a bent position, Laien raised his head and looked at Sinra. Embarrassedly, he wiped a tear from under his eye, trying to not cry. When he thought about being labeled as criminal, about being forced to leave all his friends and important people… Knowing that he might need to leave the place he loved living at, how could he not care? How could he remain indifferent?

    Sinra was silent for a few seconds, but then he spoke up, reminiscing his past. “You know, once, when I was seven or eight years old, I have sneaked away from my room in the Royal Palace. I remember that day before, I was punished for staying out too late and being unruly… But, I promised my friend to meet with him, so I sneaked out. He was a kid of one of the many families working for the Royal Palace, but I liked hanging around with him… That night, we went to the city and had a lot of fun. It was great, really. But…” Sinra’s gaze moved somewhere far away, he took a deep breath and continued speaking. His voice, however, was not as collected anymore.

    “It turned out that my disappearance caused quite some chaos in the Royal Palace and even a big search for me was organized… And you know what? In the end, I only got scolded and got told I would need to train more as punishment. However, the boy and his family got thrown out of the Royal Palace, just so the kid wouldn’t be there, since he ‘had a bad influence on me’… Ha… What do you think I found out three or four months later?” Sinra smiled sadly and after a short break, answered his own question.

    “The family happened to be attacked by some minor bandits on their way to another city. For the few coins they had on themselves, they were all killed.” Sinra laughed bitterly, still feeling horrible every time he remembered this history from his past. Usually, he preferred to not think about the bygone days at all. As one of the many Royal Children, he didn’t have easy or pleasant childhood. He also experienced much more saddening and unpleasant things than most people would have been able to bear. This story was only one of the many, but since it resembled the current situation of the two of them, Sinra decided to tell Laien about it.

    After a short break, Sinra pulled himself together and brought up the conclusion to this old story.

    “Maybe it’s not up to me to be saying that, but back then, when I closed myself off in my room and kept crying, Injar taught me something very important. He said that it’s good if I am sad. Rather, were I to not be bothered by what had happened, he would have been furious with me.” Sinra chuckled soundlessly. Remembering this lecture from years ago was a surprisingly nostalgic, pleasant experience for him. Although Injar told him many wise things about life, it was so easy to forget about them when it mattered…

    “He told me that it’s fine to cry if I am sad. He repeated many times that it’s important to recognize if I did something bad and that I should learn from it. He said I should calmly think everything through and after I ponder on my mistakes and try to learn from them, it would be fine to stop thinking about the incident. He also brought up being careful about not getting too caught up in worrying about the things I had no control over… He told me that after thoroughly thinking everything through, it would be fine for me to live on, with my head up high and with a smile on my face.” Sinra smiled at the clear memory, and added a frivolous comment with a quiet laugh.

    “Although, he was so awkward and nervous when explaining it to me… He might have been more stressed than I was. Honestly, it was so hard to understand what he was trying to say.” Sinra smiled at Laien, catching the eye contact with him. Finally, he managed to get a light smile out of Laien. The atmosphere in the room instantly became much better.

    “At least, sure took you some time. Feeling better, or do you need another lecture? I do not lack for those stories~” Sinra quickly returned to his usual, carefree self and moving behind Laien, he choked Laien’s throat with his forearm in a playful manner. The two boys started struggling against each other, making it seem as if the depressed mood from a moment ago was a lie.

    “I’m fine already, spare me, please!” Laien called out through a laugh, unable to withstand the ticking on the side of his stomach. After Sinra grabbed him in a hold, he couldn’t free himself no matter how hard he tried. For the time being, he was at the mercy of his playmate.

    For the two, Laien and Sinra, it was the first time they played in this manner. They have known each other for only for a week. Up until now, there was still some distance between the two of them. However, right now, it has completely disappeared. The two felt comfortable in each other’s company and were able to act according to their true characters, instead of hiding behind a mask of political correctness.

    At the moment, they weren’t a Prince of Sarkcente Kingdom and a pupil of the Great Master Rudford, but rather, just two twelve year old kids wrestling on a bed and having fun.

    Suddenly, the energy gathered in Laien’s Qi origin started rolling around and transforming, entering the late stage of the fifth Mortal Realm. With this little bit of physical activity, it actually pushed through the barrier between middle and late stage of the fifth Mortal Realm!

    In the recent week, after all the dangerous and exhausting battles Laien had been going through, his natural reservoir of Qi naturally advanced very rapidly. Since the first five realms of the martial practice were based solely on one’s natural talent and were progressing regardless of one’s will, it wasn’t too strange for Laien to not notice how close to the advancement he was. It just so happened, that as Laien was playing with Sinra, he actually advanced to the late stage of the fifth Mortal Realm! Now, in just a few days, he would be able to try and create his own Martial Art!

    “Oh, you broke through? That must be a good sign~” Sinra commented happily, releasing Laien from his hold and sitting casually on top of the bed.

    “Yeah, you guessed right. I am now a step away from the sixth Mortal Realm in my martial practice. Ahh, maybe everything will really turn out okay? I sure do hope so.” Laien said, laying down and waving his legs up and down from the side of the bed.

    “Guessed?” Sinra gave Laien a meaningful, self-satisfied smile. “Come on, do you think Injar would let me slack off in my training? Although I am still only at the eighth Mortal Realm, I can at least use Battle Sense to check the level of your martial cultivation.” Sinra chuckled, pleased by the surprised look on Laien’s face. At least for once, all this tedious training proved to be good for something. Usually, he wasn’t allowed by Injar to stir troubles and had no need to protect himself, so all this effort was seemingly good for nothing…

    Seeing how Laien was about to start questioning him, Sinra promptly interrupted. “Yes, I practice the Heavenly Flame Art just like Injar. No, I am not a monster like you, Anatis or Yin… I have no idea how can all of you gain insights into those mysteries so easily.” Sinra sighed, somewhat jealous of Laien and the others. Although his talent was definitely very great, it couldn’t be considered to be quite at the monstrous level represented by Laien and the others.

    “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” Laien asked curiously. He really had been caught off guard by this piece of news. He never thought of Sinra as of someone weak, but for him to actually be so outstanding… If he were to ever begin comprehending the Aspects and various other insights, wouldn’t he turn out to be stronger than him?

    “You never asked.” Sinra replied plainly. Anyway, why would he ever show off his cultivation and Martial Arts, if he was weaker than Laien who was the same age as him? It would only have made him feel bad about himself. It was fine for Laien to learn of it now, but a week ago, when they just met? Sinra didn’t want to brag about something not outstanding enough to impress his peers.

    After looking outside the window, Sinra stood up and stretched briefly, getting ready to leave. “Okay, I think I should get going. There are still some things to do before the afternoon, when our case will begin. You should get some sleep while you can, you probably didn’t sleep the whole night and kept training, huh?” Sinra guessed effortlessly. After all, when he entered the room, Laien had been in the middle of meditating. Judging from how much Laien had cracked up after they started talking, he probably didn’t think much about yesterday and did nothing but train the whole time.

    “Sin, wait a second!” As Sinra was about to open the door and leave, Laien called out unexpectedly, stopping him in his tracks.

    “It’s just… I wanted to say, thank you.” Laien said, looking somewhere to the side and scratching his head. “You ended up being the one cheering me up, but because of me, you are in a tight spot, too… You didn’t need to stick in for me, but you did. So, I just wanted to say… thanks…” Not used to thanking people, Laien managed to make his words sound quite funny, what only added to his embarrassment. He felt stupid to be so nervous about thanking Sin, but he couldn’t help it. Just like he couldn’t do anything about his face growing red from shame.

    “What, are you confessing your love or whatever reason you are blushing so much?” Sinra chuckled, hiding a wide smile behind his hand. From how Laien usually behaved, it was probably quite rare to have such a nice chance to tease him a little. How could he allow himself to miss the opportunity to see Laien squirming around, not knowing what to say? After enjoying himself for a few seconds, Sinra decided that it was enough to be worth it and relieved Laien from his suffering.

    “Don’t worry about it. There’s no need to thank me, I only did what I wanted. If I didn’t meet you, I would have most likely been forced to leave the country anyway. Since we have an opportunity, we might as well put everything at the stake and finish it with a bang! Hehe.” Despite his words, Sinra was actually very happy to have heard a ‘thank you’ from someone he really wanted to see as his friend. Even if he didn’t want to think that way, a part of him had been whispering to him how selfish and inconsiderate of others Laien was, behaving the way he did. However, after watching Laien thank him in an honest manner, this part of Sinra was no longer there to whisper ominous things to him. Its voice was now completely gone.

    “See you soon.” Sinra said with a smile and exchanged one more look with Laien before he left the room.

    Feeling strangely exhausted, Laien instantly fell on the bed and closed his eyes. A big part of the emotions he had been keeping in himself has been released after he talked with Sinra. In one way or another, as he was falling asleep, Laien came to terms with his feelings. He became more aware of his shortcomings and also of, as Sinra said, the events which he held no control over. It truly was a peaceful, soothing feeling, to finally be free from this heavy burden.

    Unknowingly to Laien, yet another change occurred in him. Precisely, in the center of Laien’s Spiritual Core, within his soul, the previously loosely connected strands and hairs of an essence slowly began taking shape of an orb… Although even half of the foundation of the Aspect of Awareness haven’t yet formed, the process of its creation has certainly been started.



    This chapter was proofread by Sitrix!

    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • edited November 2015
    Author's Note:

    We are closing onto the end of Book one. The next chapter will be a special, 2-part super long release. I will give me best to write it by tomorrow! :) Cheer me on! Send me your energy and comment! xD
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • Thanks for the chapter! I assume I'm gonna have to PR that too.... I guess we're both gonna have to dig in and do it. But your job is harder haha :D
  • nice chapter as always and I´m eager to see what awaits us after Laien got judged
  • Hi, thx for the chapter =) yesterday you asked if someone posted something about u. Well there is!! And that's thx to him that i'm here.
    Omgitsaray said on his website :"If you haven’t gone to wuxiaworld and read some of the original stories there, try Legends of Gods – Tale of Vjaira. It’s long and entertaining!"
    https://omgitsaray.wordpress.com/

    Btw, I really like your story!!
  • thanks for the chapter
  • edited November 2015
    Oo, I gotta thank the guy ^.^ Thanks for info, Soiichiro! (geez, his site is worldpress.com supported. No account there... Sigh. Gotta create smth later.)

    And thanks for commenting guys! As i always keep saying, even simple 'thanks' gives me a lot of motivation to keep writing :)
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • *sends power for next chapter* Thanks for the chapter!
  • +1 sending power to write) )))) cant wait for next one
  • waiting 2 days for this, can't wait any longer :DD
  • ty. Love it. Pls gimmie more chaps
  • edited December 2015
    Book 1. Knowing oneself.


    Chapter 42. The verdict. Part I.


    In the early afternoon, Laien was led to the provisory building of the Royal Court. Laien’s lips curved into an amused smile when he thought how two Martial Masters under direct orders of the first Prince were made to watch over him and make sure he wouldn’t escape. Judging from their expressions, they really were quite displeased with being used for a task of this kind. “No wonder, I would have been just as angry, if I trained for more than a century and then was used to guard a kid…” Laien chuckled, thinking quietly. After he woke up, he was in a really good mood. Somehow, he came to believe that everything was going to go well.

    Why or how? He had no idea, but… “Even if I end up being exiled, I can just train to become strong enough to come back as fast as possible, right? I was supposed to go abroad to learn Magic pretty soon anyway. Worst case scenario, I will treat it as an early leave to a faraway academy.” Laien smiled to himself. This time, he wasn’t trying to convince himself to something he didn’t believe in; those thoughts were his true feelings.

    “You sure seem to be in a good mood, for a person who is about to be made into a criminal.” One of the two crimson-haired men said in a neutral tone. The man wasn’t making fun of Laien or speaking sarcastically, neither was he pitying him.

    Laien looked at the man, thinking how his hair weren’t as bright in color as those of Sinra. Shrugging his shoulders, Laien commented briefly. “We still don’t know what will happen. Also, there’s no point in worrying now, when I can’t change anything anymore.”

    The man raised his eyebrows and then, a light smile appeared on his face. “I saw your fight in the semifinals. You’ve got talent. No matter where you go, you will live a good life, as long as you keep training.” He said quietly, feeling some regret about his homeland losing a youth with potential because of some stupid quarrel between influential people.

    “Why are you speaking as if it’s already decided?” Laien asked, since the man didn’t look like a blind sheep to him. He most likely had some reason to be so sure of the trial’s result.

    “You know that you will be judged by all three Grand Viscars, right? Just to make it clear, don’t expect them to be objective. They are only going to be there to make the trial appear more realistic in the eyes of commoners…. This time, the sides involved are way above their status, they don’t have the authority necessary to pass judgment on the Great Martial Schools or the seventh Prince, since that’s what this is going to be all about.” The crimson-haired expert explained, even himself unsure why was he doing it. Perhaps, the man wanted to ease his sense of guilt and decided to give Laien an advice? Whatever his reasoning was, the man continued speaking.

    “Most likely, both sides will argue over the consequences which will apply to you and your allies. You being deemed guilty is a foregone conclusion… I’ve seen many people doing stupid things when they were met with similar situations… Kid, don’t go doing anything reckless. Give them a reason and they won’t hesitate to make the lives of people who are helping you as miserable as possible. You aren’t the main point of focus here… You were just unlucky enough to become a center of a battle for influence.” The man advised while explaining the matter thoroughly. Having said all he wanted, he fell quiet. He was looking straight ahead with a complicated expression on his face.

    Laien remained quiet, pondering about what he just heard from the crimson-haired man. The more Laien was thinking about his words, the more he was agreeing with them. “Why did you tell me about that?” Laien asked, thinking how Sinra’s version matched up, while being more optimistic, as to not rob him of hope.

    The man thought for a short moment and in the end, answered honestly. “Maybe I am just tired of seeing this depressing side of our world…. You seem to be a good kid, so I gave you a little advice. Try to not waste it.” The other guard who was listening in gave his partner a short glance and looked away, sighing. Just like his partner, he also saw no point in those internal struggles in their country, but he didn’t feel responsible enough to take any action and abandon the comfortable life he was living right now.

    “Mm, thanks, I guess.” Laien said, not sure how he was supposed to feel about a subordinate of the first Prince helping him. He was grateful for the warning, though, so he thanked the man.

    “You are welcome.” The man chuckled helplessly. It felt strange, to have been leading a conversation like that. His talk with Laien, however, managed to change his mood for the better.

    “It’s the place. Go in.” Laien looked at the man, then swept the surroundings with a quick glance. The building itself and the area around it was guarded by multiple experts from the Heavenly Flame School. Most likely, the nearby buildings were all filled with experts of the three Great Families… “They sure prepared well… No surprise though. They are dealing with four Great Masters on our side, after all.” Laien smiled at the thought and after taking a deep breath, pushed the massive door open and entered the Royal Court.

    Immediately, Laien found himself being looked at by hundreds pairs of eyes. He felt a chill, seeing the numerous unfamiliar faces staring at him with disdain and malicious intent. His body froze in place for a second. “It’s much worse than fighting in front of a huge audience… It feels like everyone is against me.” Releasing a ragged breath, Laien stopped himself from reaching for his Spiritual Energy and the Aspect of Tranquility. What use would it be, if he never learned how to face stress without artificially suppressing his emotions? With a strong resolution, Laien walked forward, to the lone chair placed in the center of the Royal Court.

    “It’s similar to the Royal Arena, only the seats are less numerous and don’t reach as high into the sky. Well, there’s also the thing that I will be the main attraction, instead of some duels.” Laien tried to occupy his mind with those thoughts, while giving his best to not shrink under the new to him kind of a pressure. From the looks of it, the heads or representatives of pretty much all significant noble families, martial schools and other organizations present at the Grand Gathering were invited to witness his case. The worst of it was that the crimson-haired man from before seemed to have been right. In those people’s eyes, he was already deemed guilty.

    Sensing a familiar presence, Laien looked at the specific spot in the crowd. As their eyes met, the two boys smiled at each other. Laien chortled with a big smile, stopping himself from laughing out loud. He just felt a surge of energetic and optimistic emotions being transferred to his mind through the Spiritual Link. He could easily imagine Yin thinking something like “Don’t worry! It will be ok! Give your best!” at the moment. In contrast with the tense atmosphere, this message was just so out of place that it managed to blow Laien’s awkward mood away.

    “Siana, Sin, Anatis and Nila… All of them came. Elder brother, Injar, even Einrah and Ninrah… Oh, even this haughty Princess who wanted Anatis to join her side when Sin brought us to the Royal Palace. And that’s the one who fought Anatis. How was he called? Aslan? O! Alex and all the girls from back then are here too? This blond woman with them, she is one of the Princesses, right? Haha, there’s quite some people I recognize.” Although he was still fairly nervous, Laien collected himself and sat at the chair. He looked straight ahead and up, at the three Grand Viscars.

    “Ah, How was this one called? I forgot… He probably still hates me for this incident with his son in the red district… Lamuel, I met him at this party before the tournament. Can’t really tell what he is thinking, though. Never seen the third one, he sure is old though… Is he actually sleeping?” A few quick and brief thoughts went through Laien’s head.

    After Laien’s appearance, the rumor in the hall subdued momentarily, but now it again began to rise. As if awakened by it, the really old Grand Viscar opened his eyes a bit wider and spoke in a surprisingly strong voice. “Quiet! We are beginning the trial. Firstly, may the prosecutors speak. Prince Sauras, Clan Leader Fohan Cail, if you please.” The nearly thousand influential characters quieted down. From amongst the seats, the first person to speak stood up. It was a young man around twenty years of age - the first Prince, Sauras.

    “In this case, as a representative of the Royal Family and on behalf of it, for the crimes of the person accused, I demand for the punishment for treason of state to be executed.” Even before Sauras finished his words, a wave of astonishment spread through the audience. Requesting for a twelve year old to be punished according to the martial law? Such a thing has never happened! Punishment for treason was only one level below the capital punishment! Even if Laien’s crimes were great, many nobles and practitioners present felt that it was too much.

    “Don’t screw with me!” Rudford roared furiously, raising to his feet and frightening people near him out of their minds. For the very majority of the audience, the presence of a Great Master alone was hard to stand. When Rudford’s natural aura turned into raging killing intent, those who were unlucky enough to be close to him began trembling uncontrollably, about to piss their pants from fear.

    Rudford turned to look at Fohan, his eyes seemed to be yelling “That’s not what you promised!”. Fohan only raised his eyebrow and smiled a little. Indeed, he promised something like that… But, wasn’t it before all the other parties got involved? As Fohan saw it, those words were invalid. And as for whatever Rudford decided to imagine… It wasn’t really his problem.

    At a moment like that, the Grand Viscar leading the trial would usually speak up and remind the person to not speak up unasked, however… The person was Rudford! Undoubtedly, one of the very strongest experts in Sarkcente Kingdom! Neither of those Grand Viscars wished to offend him or to cause his anger to be directed at them.

    In all honesty, the three of them felt rather oppressed by any of the people involved in today’s trial. The Great Masters from the three major Martial Schools, Clan Leaders of the three Great Families… Out of which Fohan Cail, who took over the clan from the Valius Family in the recent days, was definitely the scariest… And even two Royal Children, the first and seventh Princes…

    Just one word spoken rashly might end up offending either of those two camps. Normally, they would be scared to anger any one of those people, but now they were in danger of offending many at once. In which world would they be brave or stupid enough to involve themselves in this conflict?

    If they could, they would have rather never participated as judges in this trial to begin with! The whole experience was simply too nerve-wrecking.

    “Master Rudford, because your disciple deceived you, over a hundred Martial Masters of our kingdom were killed. You tell me, would simply exiling him be any punishment at all? The boy would just live without worry somewhere else in the world and would perhaps seek revenge in the future, given how talented he is. We’ve spoken about it and already decided to give you, Master Rudford, a lot of face by not requesting the death penalty. Are you perhaps saying that if someone is affiliated with you, then he should be pardoned for any crimes he might have committed?” Sauras spoke calmly and eloquently, quickly convincing most of the audience to his point of view.

    Those people, having heard some rumors which were vaguely spread by the Great Families, originally thought that although Laien was somehow involved in the whole situation, he was only a ‘cause’ of the conflict. Hearing about the boy deceiving his master, they started changing their point of view.

    Rudford barely held himself back from roaring again. He had enough of listening to those shameless lies, especially when something as ridiculous as punishment for treason was requested. “You are speaking as if Laien was guilty! We both know that this story of yours is made up! Do you believe I will stand and watch as Laien’s cultivation is being crippled and he is exiled from the country?! Something must be wrong with you head!” In the end, Rudford raised his voice, unable to contain his emotions. His behavior thus had the very opposite effect to the one he desired.

    “Are you trying to say that the deaths of the Martial Masters of the Great Families and destruction of a whole district of the Two Weeks City is… a lie made up by us? You even threaten to not stand to the verdict of the Royal Court, shall it not happen to be to your liking, Master Rudford? I can’t help but see your behavior as unfitting a man of your position. No matter who a person is, he can’t be allowed to arbitrary oppose the Royal Court and the law of our country. I must ask you to take your words back, Master Rudford. Unless you really meant what you said?” Sauras manipulated the crowd with ease, long since used to dealing with politics. After he gave voice to the exact thought of the audience, who felt threatened by Rudford, he was met with a strong support to his statement.

    As the argument between the two was occurring, Laien was staring at Sauras with a blank gaze. At first, he didn’t realize what the punishment for treason meant. Only when Rudford said it, did Laien become aware of the horrifying possibility. A punishment? It was the worst kind of torture! Not only would his future be destroyed and all prospects for good life he had shattered, his lifespan would also be greatly reduced! As a powerful Martial Master, he could maybe live for two thousand years. As a Magus, possibly up to three thousand years. But without his cultivation? He would be lucky if he didn’t die before his sixtieth birthday!

    Such a life… It wouldn’t be a life at all! It would be a nightmare! The worst nightmare possible!

    “Take my words back? Maybe you want me to apologize too? What is this farce? You know very well that your people set this whole incident up! Had I come a second later, Laien would have been killed and the ones responsible would be nowhere to be found!” Rudford claimed with disdain, not shouting as loudly as previously.

    “My people? I don’t believe that anyone under my direct orders was involved in the beginning of this event. Also, the boy would have been ‘killed’? Master Rudford, that’s only your interpretation. The Martial Masters of the Cail Family were indeed fighting the boy, but they were only attempting to apprehend him. Perhaps you, Master Rudford, are still under the assumption that your disciple had told you the truth and you refuse to think or recognize the obvious facts. Why don’t you allow our side to finish properly, and then continue our discussion?” After Sauras finished speaking, yet another time his words were met with a strong supportive murmur from the people present.

    For the audience, it basically looked like Rudford was behaving in an unsightly way and kept refusing to discuss calmly. Naturally, when those people tried to confront what they have heard objectively, they came to a conclusion that Rudford was only using his power and position to enforce his mistaken convictions on others, while Prince Sauras was explaining everything calmly and thoroughly. From the point of view of a bystander, it made much more sense to side with Sauras.

    Rudford frowned, cursing in his heart. He wasn’t clueless enough to not notice how he was losing more ground after each exchange with Sauras. Gritting his teeth, Rudford sat down with a lot of force, causing a dull sound to resound through the court. He decided to bear with it, until it will be his side’s turn to speak. Then, he would explain everything from the beginning. Since there was no solid evidence against Laien’s supposed crimes, it would be word against word. Rudford reassured himself, doubting that the Grand Viscars will uphold Sauras’s demanded punishment in this case.

    Sauras gave Rudford a long look before following suit and sitting down. “Went better than I thought it would. This damn geezer was right, Rudford gets overly emotional when this kid is involved... Oh well, the first act is over. For the time being, I can calmly enjoy watching the show…” Having seated himself comfortably, Sauras relaxed and allowed a slight, barely noticeable smile to appear on his face. “Originally, I thought I would be competing with the damn geezer. Who would have thought we would become allies in the end? If anything, I should rather be thanking this kid.” As he was looking at Laien, Sauras prevented his lips from curving up in a smile. Fohan just began telling his story, so he needed to keep the act up and not show inappropriate expressions at a wrong time.

    Laien tried to calm his ragged breathing and the madly beating heart with all the willpower he could muster. “Come on, I broke down once today, not again!” He pleaded in his mind, concentrating on taking slower, deeper breaths. Surprising even himself, Laien managed to regain his cool. Although he was still nervous, he could think normally, without panicking.

    After listening to Fohan for a short while, Laien became aware that what Sinra said about the ‘official’ version of events was spot on. While taking notice of Fohan’s speech, Laien turned to take a look at expressions of his friends.

    And just as he did, the Spiritual link which connected him with Yin became stronger. From the looks of it, if the two weren’t concentrating on each other at the same time, it was hard to even feel each other’s presence from a distance greater than a hundred meters.

    It was hard for Laien to tell what Yin was thinking or feeling at the moment. Neither his facial expression nor inner feelings were simple. They were like a chaotic mess, which contained fair share of anxiousness, optimism, anger and helplessness… Truly, an unusual mix. Experiencing it partially through the Spiritual link, Laien became quite confused.

    Before Laien had time to properly gaze at everyone else, Fohan finished speaking and the very old Grand Viscar spoke up, saying that it’s now defending side’s turn to speak.

    At this point, virtually everyone who didn’t know Laien personally and was present in the Royal Court, was convinced of him being guilty. The people who saw the proposed punishment as too harsh changed their minds too, after Rudford’s aggressive and unreasonable behavior and Fohan’s smooth speech. The audience composed of the hundred influential people from all over the country, it all labeled him as criminal and stared at him with disdain.

    Laien exchanged a look with Sinra. Despite everything, Laien wanted to speak up for himself. He felt that if he wanted to prove his innocence, he needed to say the words by his own mouth, and not rely on others to cover for him every time. Sinra seemed to have understood Laien’s intentions. He nodded and didn’t try to stand up, letting Laien do as he wished.

    Gathering his courage, so very different compared to the one needed to fight, Laien spoke; at first in a somewhat unsteady voice. “Do you all really believe that I have done all those things? Why would I forsake my everything to attack some young master in the middle of the night? Foha-… The Clan Leader claims that I left the mansion of the seventh Prince ‘To look to avenge my old grudges, acting out of arrogance, having far surpassed in strength and social standing the person I had grievances against.’ Why? This matter has already been settled years ago. What’s more, the reason I left the ground of the Royal Palace was entirely different! They… The Cail Family abducted my sister and threatened me!” Laien failed to keep his emotions under control and shouted, looking hatefully at Fohan Cail. This old man… His subordinates… Cail Family. He would never forgive them for what they did!

    A shocked rumor rolled through the seats when Laien accused the Cail Family of kidnapping his sister and possibly, setting the whole event up. Many of those influential people were infuriated and taken aback by, as they saw it, the shameless attempt by the boy to push the responsibility over on the people who wanted to punish him for his crimes.

    For the very majority of audience, it was the first time they have heard of anything like that. It couldn’t be helped that they were filled with disbelief. This fact, however, only proved how proficient and strong the ability to control information of the Great Families was. Nearly no one, despite Sinra’s and Rudford’s efforts, were aware of the existence of a second version of events!

    Some of those who had made up their minds about Laien’s guilt loudly voiced their dissatisfaction with his baseless accusation of the Cail Family. After all, what kind of a reason would the powerful Family, which overtook the seat of Leaders of one of the biggest Clans in the kingdom, have to plot against a young boy? From what they have heard, Laien never involved himself with politics or matters of his Valius Family. He never offended the Cail Family, neither did the Red Dragon School.

    Then, just for what sake would the powerful Cail Family act against him? It didn’t make any sense!

    Laien used his Spiritual Energy to amplify his voice, speaking over the loud clamor. “This letter was delivered to the mansion previous night along with the interspatial ring of my little sister.” He produced the piece of paper with on his right hand and raised it up, showing the letter to the audience. Given the eyesight of those who practiced the Martial Arts, it wasn’t hard for many to briefly skim through the short content of the letter, which contained but a two phrases.

    The audience was astonished. If what the boy was saying proved to be true, wouldn’t it mean that in reality, it was the Cail Family who tried to wrongly accuse an innocent person?

    However, Fohan’s response was quick and effective. He calmly raised himself from his seat and spoke, purposely filling his voice with disdain and resignation. “What proof is a letter without the seal of my Family? Writing a few words on a sheet of paper and making up a story to defend yourself with... Understandable. All criminals try to grab at every opportunity to lie their way out of being judged by the law.” When those words were spoken, the lingering doubts of the gathered people were extinguished. What were they thinking, believing what the kid said when there was not even a seal on the letter? The Clan Leader of the Cail Family was right - anyone could fabricate the context of this level.

    After this failed attempt, more and more nobles and various influential people started looking down on Laien. To be a criminal is one thing, but to cause a major affair by lying and then to keep making up the facts at the trail… Those straightforward, proud people of the martial-focused Sarkcente Kingdom couldn’t stand such behavior. In their eyes, it might have even been worse than committing a crime directly. Deceiving people, lying, then not admitting it… What could be worse than that?

    Laien felt as if his blood was boiling from anger. Like Rudford said, this whole trial was a damned facade! No matter what was being said, it was being countered by Fohan or Sauras. It would be one thing if the consequence was only exile… Then, gritting his teeth and bearing with those accusations would be doable for Laien. But now when Sauras demanded the price as heavy as his life! Only now did it truly start sinking in Laien. Were they to lose this trial, he would really be…

    “Then what about the moment before the battle started? After elder brother saved me, you said that I lied to him and in result, the experts of your family were attacked. But, wasn’t the Twin Phoenix School also there, fighting? How come that, since I supposedly lied to them all, no one took time to listen to your version and didn’t talk things out? Why would they attack you and your people without listening if I was already safe at that time? Obviously, they did it because you forced their hand with your dark schemes and plots!” Laien brought up another point which he considered sketchy in Fohan’s version, hoping to arouse suspicion of the audience in the Royal Court.

    Laien realized that neither side had any reliable evidence in this trial. It was a battle of words against words. If he only managed to make enough people doubt Fohan, then perhaps the verdict wouldn’t be as harsh as demanded by Sauras. In the end, it wasn’t about the opinion of Grand Viscars, but rather about who the people would view as ‘the bad one’ after the trial.

    Per Laien’s reasoning, since the Cail Family and first Prince were making a grand spectacle out of the trial, they wanted it to become known throughout the country. Thus, the overall verdict would be heavily influenced by the public opinion, of which what the important, rich people thought mattered the most. And where those influential people were today? Right here, in the seats of the Royal Court.

    This time, Fohan didn’t hurry with his response, instead letting the people present talk the matter over with their friends and acquaintances. He wasn’t too worried and rightfully so. The two Great Masters of the Twin Phoenix School were always viewed as rash, bloodthirsty people. As for Rudford, after his outburst of anger at the beginning of the trial, it wasn’t certain anymore if he did or didn’t let his emotions take over at that time.

    This argument of Laien’s worked better than the previous one, but regrettably, it still didn’t change much. A words of a youngster accused of serious crimes weren’t really trustworthy enough to make people change their point of view, even if they made some sense.

    A hundred Martial Masters of their country were killed! Thus, somebody needed to be punished. If it wasn’t the boy’s fault, then whose? The Cail Family’s? It would be rather unbelievable. It made much more sense, even if some facts were arguably inconsistent, for Laien and the misunderstanding with the Great Martial Schools to be responsible.

    Laien had no idea what else was he supposed to say. He tried speaking the truth, tried pointing out the holes in Fohan’s story, but both attempts failed. Refraining from shaking his head , he looked in the direction of Sinra and the others. If there was something that could save him from the horrible fate, then it was them.



    This chapter was proofread by Sitrix!

    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • edited December 2015
    Book 1. Knowing oneself.


    Chapter 42. The verdict. Part II.


    Sinra nodded at Laien, giving him a light smile. From an ignorant person’s perspective, perhaps Laien’s struggle seemed to have been pointless, or even disadvantageous to him. However, as some who was brought up in the true Royal Palace in the Royal Capital, as a prince of a kingdom, Sinra understood much more than an average person. Certainly, Laien trying to prove himself innocent wasn’t futile.

    It was important for those people to have listened to him speaking, to have interacted with him and in result, recognizing that he was an actual, living person with emotions . Not just some random criminal without a personality about whom they would feel nothing and likely forget him after a few days.

    Had it not been good for Laien to speak up, Sinra would have stopped him or advised him beforehand not to. When Laien showed his determination to defend himself with his own efforts, Sinra had been very happy. Although Laien didn’t manage to accomplish anything immediately, it made his - Sinra’s - job quite a bit easier.

    “Everyone, you have listened to my friend’s words. If you please, I’d like to ask you to also hear out what I have to say regarding this case.” Sinra began after standing up, gently drawing attention of the audience. The present clamor quickly died down and after a few seconds, everyone’s eyes were turned at Sinra.

    Already after those first words of Sinra’s, many of the gathered people grew excited in their hearts. The fact of the seventh prince calling Laien ‘his friend’ caused them to instantly reevaluate their assumptions about the verdict of this trial. Originally, they had thought that Sinra was only giving Laien and the Red Dragon School face, since the boy represented him in the tournament the day before. However, it certainly wasn’t like that. Since the seventh prince called the boy his friend, he wouldn’t be willing to give up on him that easily! This trial actually might have once again gotten interesting.

    “Laien brought up the matter of the letter. At that time, during the night after the great tournament, I had been resting in the same room with Laien and had seen the exact moment when he received the letter.” Sinra spoke in a calm and collected voice, sweeping the audience with a cold gaze which was capable of bringing ordinary men to shivers. Without the need to use unnecessary words, he made it very clear that he was angered at all of those people for not believing the words of his friend.

    After a few seconds, however, Sinra took a deep breath and sighed. The sigh couldn’t be counted as a loud one, but in the deathly silence which fell in the Royal Court, it was easily reached everyone’s ears. The audience breathed with relief, seeing that Sinra’s expression returned to a neutral one. If anyone asked them, they wouldn’t have been able to explain why were they so scared of Sinra. It was hard to describe, unless one experienced it himself.

    In fact, some of those with royal blood flowing in their veins just had this specific aura about them, which would naturally cause everyone else to submit and respect them. Without doubt, Sinra was one of those blessed with the innate ability to rule over others.

    “The second matter.” Sinra stressed the sentence, causing those influential personas in the audience to unconsciously straighten their backs and look at him apologetically, as if they were kids waiting to be scolded by a parent. “My Guardian personally delivered the news of the Cail Family threatening Laien after abducting his sister to Master Rudford. There was no possibility of misunderstanding the situation on Master Rudford’s behalf. I quite understand his anger at today’s trial. Master Rudford probably never imagined that there was anyone who could lie in such a shameless way. For the Clan Leader to have even deceived my dear older brother into aiding him, after Sauras graciously intervened and saved those who deserved to be punished.” Sinra gazed at Sauras with a sad look in his eyes. He appeared to be disappointed, yet his look was that of one caring for a family member.

    Indeed, Sinra’s acting abilities weren’t one bit inferior to those of his older brother.

    “I hope you won’t blame my older brother for his goodwill. He had arrived late at the scene, unaware of what was happening and what were the circumstances. If I were at his place, I’d also probably take the side of my former teacher.” Sinra said, holding back a victorious smile from appearing on his face. When saying the last sentence, he turned to look Sauras in the eye. Witnessing his older brother’s expression sinking and eyes widening in surprise was quite pleasant in itself.

    “You’ve hinted your past relationship with Fohan Cail, what, did you think I’ve spent a sleepless night on dilly-dallying?” Sinra thought with a chuckle, feeling quite satisfied by his performance. He needed to stop himself from looking all around, to admire the shock and astonishment of the whole audience. Judging from the excitement which his little performance managed to birth, the tables have been turned.

    Sinra sat back down, letting people engulf themselves in the shocking news. “It went good, but you won’t let it end like that, right, older brother? You wouldn’t be the strongest candidate for the next King if this was enough to put you down.” Sinra sighed. When he told Laien that most likely, they will lose this case, he wasn’t by any means underestimating his own abilities. It was just that… He was aware of the gap in resources he and his brother occupied. To make the matters worse, Saura’s was in no way inferior to him. Perhaps, only his rare shows of arrogance were his only flaw. Apart from that, he was older by nearly a decade than him. There was no way Sauras would let it end like that and peacefully go down.

    Aware that many gazes are on him, Sauras shook his head resignedly. He reluctantly stood up and began speaking in a saddened voice. “Little brother, It’s true that Fohan Cail used to be my teacher, but I’ve never imagined that you would bring personal matters into the Royal Court. Just like everyone here, I hoped that you only wished to give the necessary face to the Red Dragon School… But alas, you…” The suggestive narration quickly swayed the audience, making them interested about what the first price was speaking about. What did he mean by what he said? Did he perhaps imply…? They were all focused on his words, eager to find out.

    “I’ve intended to settle the matter of the Royal Family within the Royal Family itself, but you aren’t giving me a choice, little brother. You should understand that after what you did, you have left me with no other means but to aid the Great Clans. Tell me please, why did you accept making up the truths to protect a disciple of the Great Master Rudford? Do you really desire the throne so, that you would break the ancient traditions and side with the Great Martial Schools to obtain it? Nevertheless, that’s not a problem in itself. The fact that you decided to lie for their sake is what disturbs me.” This time, it was Sinra’s expression which turned ugly. He didn’t think Sauras would focus on attacking him to shake the reliability of his words, instead of focusing on making Laien look like a criminal.

    Out of the two, both approaches were viable for Sauras to take and would result in him winning the trial. However, the one taken by Sauras made sure to not only get rid of Laien, but to thoroughly shatter any connection which Sinra might have had with the Great Martial Schools! Only now, after thinking about the possible reasoning behind Sauras’s choice, did Sinra truly understand his older brother’s motives. Because of his lack of experience, he failed to notice it sooner, but from the point of view of an outsider, the current situation between him and two of the three Great Martial Schools looked oh so very different!

    In truth, Sinra didn’t consider himself and the Red Dragon School or the Twin Phoenix School to be on too good of terms. After all, he was only good friends with Laien, who in turn was friends with Anatis. His actual connection to the Red Dragon School and the Twin Phoenix School wasn’t that strong. However, it was only how it looked from his point of view.

    Would Sauras or anyone else actually believe that the two genius disciples from the two Great Martial Schools would appear in front of Sinra right before the tournament, befriend him and help him gain connections and reputation by accident? They wouldn’t! An event like that, how likely was it to happen? It was actually more natural for the various people to assume that Sinra had been scheming with the Red Dragon School and the Twin Phoenix School in secret since a long time.

    Additionally, the two Great Schools were on bad terms with each other to begin with. Then, why would the two of their top disciples suddenly join hands in helping Sinra? To those who were looking at the situation from afar, it made completely no sense whatsoever. Of course, unless it was Sinra who had connections with both of those Great Martial Schools and asked them for help.

    If this line of reasoning, clearly suggested and brought to light by the first prince, was to be considered true, then again the story of Fohan Cail would make complete sense. A disciple of Rudford’s getting too over his head after his good performance, getting into a conflict with a group he had an old grudge against… Then, having Rudford help him. The Great Masters and Elders from the Twin Phoenix Schools helping an outsider, what’s more - a disciple of Rudford. It started making sense, too.

    Originally, it was unclear. Why would the Great Masterss Einrah and Ninrah go to help a person from the Red Dragon School? If it was because the two Great Martial Schools have joined hands in the camp of the seventh prince, then it all began looking like a complete, logical whole.

    “Crap, what do I do now? Say the truth? Who would believe the truth anyway? It’s more reasonable for Sauras’s version to be correct than mine. Do I make something up? Damn, I didn’t think they would attack me openly like this… What should I do?” Sinra found it hard to find any reasonable excuse. The audience going crazy over the news wasn’t helping him to concentrate either.

    Suddenly, an angry Qi-amplified voice resounded within the Royal Court, causing Sinra and all those people discussing what they’ve just heard to stare at the speaker with an honest loss for words, thoroughly flabbergasted. “Big brother wasn’t lying! Prince Sinra wasn’t either! We’ve met Prince Sinra for the first time a week ago, when a duel between my Big brother and Anatis happened! Many people saw it! Just go around and ask, if you don’t believe me!” The little girl yelled angrily. The honest, child-like manner of her speech caused those who just were accusing Sinra of lying for his own gain, to itch in their hearts. Could a little girl like this one, who was speaking up for her big brother with tears in her eyes be lying?…

    In the eyes of those people, for Siana to be making anything up was rather unlikely. And above anything else, wasn’t it only needed to confirm whether she was speaking the truth and then everything would be solved?

    “I’ve heard about it from my servants! That a duel between those two boys who appeared in the tournament had happened a week before the tournament itself! The story was quite exaggerated with a prince and an expert wielding the Heavenly Flame appearing, so I didn’t believe it at the time… But it seems to have really happened! This girl is speaking the truth!” One of the nobles proclaimed loudly, causing a dozen or so more people who have heard of the duel to remember it and similarly give voice to their opinion.

    “Don’t simply trust everything that is being said, only because a little girl is saying it!” Prince Sauras nearly shouted, speaking in a high voice. “So what if their first actual meeting was a week ago? Those were the disciples of the Schools, not their actual heads! What’s more, they dueled with each other, yes? A friendly sparring before the main tournament, to settle which one is superior to the other? It would fit the image of the Great Martial Schools very well.” Sauras frowned secretly. He wasn’t aware of this little fact, so he didn’t expect for his story to be so easily discredited, but a little girl, no less.

    Sauras, just like those people who he convinced a moment before, was sure that Sinra had been conspiring with the Great Martial Schools for quite some time. He didn’t bother checking whether some strange events happened around Sinra in the recent days. One could say, that Sauras was too smart for his own good. He noticed a ‘conspiracy’, but failed to consider a plain, stupid option to be the truth behind the scenes.

    “So you are saying, older brother. But aren’t you just speculating a little too much? Do you have any actual proof of the things you are proclaiming to be true, of me working to take the throne with the Red Dragon and the Twin Phoenix Schools? Do you have anyone who can reliably confirm your story about Laien? After all, you weren’t there when it happened, now were you? You and your subordinates arrived at the very end and you’ve heard the whole story from the Clan Leader of the Cail Family. Don’t you think it’s a little too convenient, that the person who Laien supposedly went to take revenge against died along with all of guards, in the middle of a district controlled by the Cail Family?” Sinra quickly retorted, leading the case back on the tracks of logic. Thanks to Siana unexpected intervention, the mood in the audience changed and he had some additional time to calm down and decide what was the best way to answer Sauras’s accusation.

    As the two Royal Children were speaking, the audience kept whispering and exchanging opinions in low voices. From the looks of it, about a third of the audience wasn’t so sure about credibility of Fohan’s words and Laien’s guilt.

    Although it was more likely for one to agree with the version of prince Sauras and given the influence the Great Families held in the political scene, a third of people present to side with Sinra was completely unforeseen and unexpected. However, one important thing shouldn’t be forgotten here. A word of a noble weighed a lot, and moreover, claims of a Royal were of even greater importance!

    In this world, where face mattered greatly, if one was to be caught and proven to have been lying on important matter, he would lose all credibility. No one would believe his words anymore and he would be looked down upon! That was the weight a word carried in the world where verbal promises were treated very seriously. Today, Prince Sinra was claiming for the accused to be innocent and from what he had been saying, he was personally involved in the events. Contrary, Prince Sauras was only giving face to Fohan Cail, who also seemed to have been his teacher at one point in the first prince’s life…

    At this point, it wasn’t a confrontation between one prince and the other, although two of them were the ones arguing. It was a standoff between Prince Sinra and Fohan Cail!

    “Still going better than expected. If we were to end the trial here, Laien would at most get exiled. Maybe it will even come to only paying a fine by the Red Dragon School and the Twin Phoenix School. It shouldn’t have been everything, right, older brother?” Sinra asked the wordless question, awaiting his older brother’s reaction. Today, the two of them failed to consider the extreme possibilities regarding each other’s situations. In the end, however, with a little luck Sinra managed to come out on the top of their last bout.

    At Sauras’s side, Fohan felt like making fun of his old pupil for underestimating the seventh prince. If it wasn’t for him preparing for the worst possibilities, then a chance of the Grand Viscars siding with the seventh prince would have become a real threat. However, Fohan knew that such a possibility didn’t exist. Letting Sauras suffer the uncertainty for a while longer, Fohan mused quietly “This kid still didn’t learn to properly prepare for every possibility, not only for what he assumes will happen. He can usually predict everything perfectly… But those rare occasions when he fails, always end up costing him a lot. Silly kid, he always was too talented for his own good. He can’t help getting overconfident… He needs to be taught a good lesson soon. But not this time, it wouldn’t be worth it.”

    Fohan smiled lightly. He looked at the three Grand Viscars, ascertaining that the men remembered their talk from before the trial. Element of randomness would always be present in cases like this one, even if the opposing side got decimated in the argument. Thus, directly pressuring the Grand Viscars and reminding them who is the one they should fear more was a natural choice for Fohan. From the very beginning, this show’s ending was determined. For Fohan, this case was only a means of putting a dent in the reputation of his future opponents and getting rid of a troublesome kid at the same time. He took enough precautions that there was no risk involved.

    Coincidentally, Fohan’s goal had already been achieved. The people would learn of today’s trial and would begin speculating about the theories presented here. With a bit of truth mixed in and the aid of his information network, he would be able to control the public opinion with ease. At this point, everything that needed to be said had been said. If one tried to push further, he would only meet with a wall. So, it was a good time to end this show.

    “Everyone, I believe that all of us who wanted to, have already spoken their mind. Unless there is anyone else who wishes to speak, I would like to ask for the Grand Viscars to voice their opinions and make the final judgment.” Sauras stared at Fohan wide-eyed, but then quickly guessed that his old teacher surely had something up his sleeve. He didn’t object, somewhat unwillingly coming to content with the result. He would have preferred to crush Sinra thoroughly, but he failed.

    For Sauras, the worst of it was that he didn’t understand why he had failed. He was vexed, since his subordinates hadn’t found any proof of Sinra’s relation to the Red Dragon School or the Twin Phoenix School. In the end, he was forced to rely on half-measures and hope for Sinra to collapse under pressure, or for the Great Masters to make a commotion after joining the argument… But, a damned little girl managed to render his words worthless. It truly was hard to accept for him.

    The three Grand Viscars gave the sides and the audience a dozen of seconds before determining that it’s indeed the time to end the case. Out of the three, Lamuel who was more or less acquainted with Sinra and met Laien personally, couldn’t help but have regrets. He was about to sever the hope the young ones ignited in themselves through the developments of this trial. It had been made very clear to him what would happen if he refused the ‘request’ of the Sword Alliance. Although he pitied his nephew and his friend, Lamuel wouldn’t stick his neck under an axe for their sake.

    The eldest of the Grand Viscars spoke out of the blue, very shortly and emotionlessly. “Guilty of the treason.” After uttering the words, the grey haired old man closed his eyes. Although no one could see, under his long white robe his hands were clenched to the point of bleeding. The old man had a big family and was responsible for them. Throughout his life, he always abided by the honor and justice. Only this one time, for the sake of his family, he decided to go against his own principles.

    Before a rumor in the audience could start, another of the Grand Viscars took his chance and proclaimed. “Guilty of the treason!” The man’s voice was filled with grim satisfaction. He had been bestowed a blessing by the Heavens! Not only could get back on the kid who humiliated him and his son, the Great Clans came asking him to do just that! He used his chance perfectly and got the Fohan Cail to owe him a favor, by pretending to be hesitating about breaking the law.

    There was no better prize for the man than the look on the brat’s face which he could enjoy right now. Disbelief, shock, despair! The moment when all hope proves to be but a lie and is exchanged with hopelessness! It was extremely satisfying to watch.

    “Guilty of the treason.” Lamuel said in a low voice, resigning himself to amplifying it with Qi. Even if he wanted, he wouldn’t have been able to force out those words loudly through his throat in a natural way.

    After a two or three seconds of complete silence, an excited and astonished roar erupted in the Royal Court. The hundreds of people were surprised by the harsh verdict, after the trial went like it did. However, the final decision wasn’t up to them, but the Grand Viscars. Perhaps, the three wanted to make an example of out the boy, since a huge amount of experts of their country died this time. Although the punishment was cruel, they felt that it was justified. After all, there was no clear winner in today’s trial. Then, what the Grand Viscars decided to do with accused was completely up to them and their subjective feelings.

    “No… I…” The quiet words escaped Laien’s mouth. His body trembled, his mind went completely blank. Without thinking, he started yelling at the three Grand Viscars. “I didn’t do anything! You can’t sentence me to something like that! What proof do you even have?! They’ve only been speaking all this time! You want me to lose everything because of their claims?! Living with all my cultivation crippled forever, I’d rather die! I’d rather die than suffer like that!” Laien looked back at the door behind him, thinking about fleeing. However, before he could even more a finger, the exit was blocked by a two red-haired guards.

    “Impudent! You want to question the judgment of the Royal Court? We’ve listened to both sides and came to a verdict! You have no right to challenge it! As per the law, you will now be put into the seclusion to await your punishment! Guards, take him away!” One of the three Grand Viscars, whose name Laien forgot, called out angrily and ordered for him to be taken away.

    “No, not this time! You are not taking anything from me ever again!” Rudford roared, jumping down from the seats and landing right next to Laien. “I dare you to force me! If there is anyone who has any objections, he can come!” Rudford swung his longsword in the air, his whole body already leaking the blood-red Qi and emanating a powerful and furious murderous intent.

    Throughout this trial, after he exploded with anger at its begging, Rudford had been thinking what would he do in the worst case scenario. If he needed to choose between his reputation and well-being of his Red Dragon School, and Laien. He thought about it long and hard, he had wondered about something like that for the whole previous day, too. However, he couldn’t find an answer. Deciding based on logic, at least for him and in this case, was impossible!

    That’s why, after hearing Laien’s painful cry, Rudford let his emotions take over his reason. He had listened to logical arguments once in the past and up to this day, he never stopped regretting it! Never again would he let some group of people take away someone important to him for their own personal gain!

    The nearly audience numbering nearly thousand people was about to panic and flee the Royal Court. They have had nothing to do with it! If Rudford decided to go crazy and would start a fight with the experts from the Royal Palace, then the tiniest backlash from their fight would be easily capable of kill them in a batches of a hundred!

    “Hmph.” Fohan snorted, using all his strength to conceal his happiness. He secretly hoped for Rudford to react in this way, after he saw how much the Great Master cared for his little disciple. Such development, it was ideal! It would save many years of work in a few minutes. After an event like that, subduing the Red Dragon School will be many times easier in the future! “Master Rudford, regain your senses! Do you intend to betray your own country? You should stand down, unless you want the guards to subdue you!” Fohan said loudly and decisively, keeping up the act of a righteous person.

    Rudford clicked his tongue. He could threaten those people, but he couldn’t attack them! He was perfectly aware of how many hidden experts were waiting outside. If he started an actual fight, he wouldn’t be able to protect anyone but himself. With complicated feelings, Rudford looked in the direction of the two brothers from the Twin Phoenix School and the seventh prince.

    Ninrah noticed Rudford’s look, he also saw Anatis’s expectant gaze. However, not this time. He wouldn’t start a war with the Royal Family for the sake of a friend of his son, who he have known for barely a week. Even if Anatis would be angry with him afterwards, there was no way Ninrah would accept this request. They were asking too much. The golden haired man closed his eyes and shook his head, giving the two a clear answer.

    At the same time, Sinra looked at Injar with the intention of asking for help. Maybe even taking Laien with them right now and running from the country. Yet, Injar also refused to aid Rudford. As he saw it, there was a big difference in abandoning a country and fleeing from it as a criminal. For him, Sinra’s safety was the most important. He wouldn’t agree to a request like that, no matter how much Sinra asked.

    A deathly, strained silence fell in the Royal Court. The dozen of experts under Saura’s orders surrounded Rudford and Laien in the middle of the Royal Court. For the longest short while in everybody’s lives, only the sounds of breathing could be heard. No one moved, or made a sound, scared to trigger a catastrophe.

    Those experts, although obeying orders, weren’t anywhere close to eager to fight Rudford. They knew better than anyone else, that if this monster went crazy, had they killed the boy he was protecting… There wasn’t an expert strong enough and willing to aid them in the range of one thousand kilometers who would be able to stop him from slaughter.

    Injar surely wouldn’t aid them. The ancestor of the Fire Serpent School, even if he happened to care, was at the second end of the country, far in the east, more than two thousands kilometers from the Neil City. As for the Royal Capital and the Heavenly Flame School… One thousand kilometers of a distance. If more than a half of people who would need to flee from Rudford survived until there, it would be a miracle.

    As the silence was becoming unbearable, as it was becoming more likely for someone to snap and attack Rudford, pressured by his powerful aura and killing intent, suddenly, a merry, but resigned voice came from outside the back door to the Royal Court.

    “Oh come on, just let me enter, won’t you? I actually overslept so I can’t really waste time to deal with a mindless pawns like you… I am in a hurry, you get it? ‘Nicely please’, now is it fine, can I go in?” The voice argued in a ridiculous manner and got refused by the guards outside. Then…

    The massive door broke as a body of one of the two guard flew into the Royal Court. Intuitively, Rudford pulled Laien by shoulder, moving him out of the way of the Martial Master who smashed the chair he had been sitting on and continued to fly onward, only to stop at the stone base of the audience seats.

    “As impolite as ever, damned royals and their dogs. Oh, there you are, boy! How are you doing?” The man placed the shaft of his spear at his shoulder and asked with a broad smile, as if he didn’t understand the seriousness of the current situation at all.

    Laien stared at the man, his mouth hanging open. The guard who flew by him was an expert at the fifth Realm of Heroes from the Heavenly Flame School! One of the elites under the first prince! But, he… Trashed him instantly, like it was nothing?! Flabbergasted, Laien called out the man’s name.

    “Master Shire!” He shouted with disbelief, looking at the figure of his master.



    This chapter was proofread by Sitrix!

    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • edited November 2015
    Author's note:

    Sorry i was so slow! This got much longer and complicated than i thought it would. I am going to write the third part and release it today, so enjoy the cliffhanger! I will get those two babies PR'ed when some of my PR'ers come back home~ Didn't want to wait for them, so forgive me for the possible mistakes! :P

    PS: You might have noticed i am experimenting with which words i capitalze and which i don't. Sorry for the inconsistency, i will do a proper check-up of all chapters to standardize it when i have some spare time :)
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • thanks for the chapter.. what a great chapy... cant wait for more... lol

    anyway, when did cail family subdue laien foster family again? or did I miss it somewhere?
    Life is a series of choices that makes who you are today and thread your path ahead.

    ~~Branzel~~
  • edited November 2015
    It had happened in the back scenes, the exact event wasn't described in the chapters :) If you paid attention, then you will know that the 'letters from the clan leader' which Laien had been receiving, were from Genzie, not from Garon from the Valius Family. Laien didn't mantain any proper connection with his foster family, so he naturally wasn't aware of what happened, especially since Fohan subdued the Valius Family very easily, all the while maintaining secrecty :)


    And thanks for support! ^.^
    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • Moaar please )))) thanks a lot
  • yeah, I noticed about genzie was the one who send the letter to laien way back when he talk to his uncle. but I thought they was still in the procces of taking over the family even when the nether serpent school or something come to help fohan and talk about the aliance...

    so yeah, kinda surprised to know that cail family already took over the valius family.

    anyway thanks for the great story, even thou I rarely commented on your story, just know that I always lurk around and in my heart, it is one of the best story on this forum... mwahahahahahah
    Life is a series of choices that makes who you are today and thread your path ahead.

    ~~Branzel~~
  • edited November 2015
    Thanks ^,^ I will try to finish the part III today for 'moaar' chapters xD Althoughr i am super tired. Most likely i will write a half of it and complete it when i wake up.

    PS: Mm, the Valius Family was basically taken over around that time, literally few hours earlier. ;)


    If you'd like more chapters of ISSI or Tales send me a note on patreon!
  • whatttttt? How'd he of all people get here? :-/ I kind of forgot about his existence *cough cough* Thanks for the chapter!
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