Book 2. The outside world.Chapter 31. On their way to Eulean Union.
“Pretty strange?” Yin replied uncertainly,
transforming back into his human form.
you will be feeling strange. It will take time for you to get accustomed to
using a martial realm instead of a martial art. I’d advise you not to try and
use any significant amount of Qi until your body gets used to its new power.
It’d also be good if you held yourself back from using your strongest green
lightning and stuck to the normal one for the time being.” The blue-haired
youth explained. He stood up, but staggered and nearly fell. Despite that, he
smirked and gave Laien an amused look.
grateful, damn scoundrel. Just as you wanted, I created a martial realm for
your friend using all of my ability. Even without the heavenly emerald
lightning, it’s as strong as an ordinary ‘Absolute Lightning Realm’. With the addition
of it? It surely tops the ‘Absolute Water Realm’ you are capable of using.”
Listening to the bragging blue-haired youth, Laien smiled and asked with a
laugh. “Weren’t you supposed to not tell us anything else? What’s up with this
‘heavenly emerald lightning’?”
blue-haired youth shrugged his shoulders and replied resignedly. “It’d pain me
if you were to call my creation by some stupid name, so I just lent you a hand.
Listen well, the martial realm I imprinted upon your friend should be called ‘Heavenly
Lightning Realm’! It’s definitely of the highest quality and stands above even
the likes of ‘Absolute Realms’, while the normal martial realms aren’t even
worth mentioning in the same breath.” The youth smirked again, proud of his
heart, the blue-haired youth went as far as suspecting that even if Yin
belonged to ‘that’ clan, the heavenly lightning realm he created for him would
topple ‘that’ clan’s ancient manuals. After all, the realm had been perfectly
adjusted for a specific person’s use! In result, it would be extremely
compatible and would allow for a whole new level of strength to be called
lightning realm… Heavenly lightning realm…” Yin repeated quietly, a chill of
excitement going down his spine. He couldn’t stop himself from pulling a bit of
his Qi and transforming it into lightning, covering his hand with it. The
sparks danced happily, threatening to kill anyone below the realm of heroes upon
mere contact with his body.
powerful…” Yin exclaimed, feeling the qualitative change in his Qi. The
difference between the top-level martial art he had been using and the martial
realm gifted to him by the blue-haired youth was like the distance between
heaven and earth. The two were absolutely incomparable.
Yin glanced at each other, both of them smiling happily. Compared to three days
ago, they became significantly stronger. They were very satisfied with the
things they obtained and to top it off, they were taught a little about the
elements and the ‘profound mysteries’ connected to them.
it should be enough, right? Let’s get going.” The blue-haired youth urged,
walking up to his big sister. “Mm, you are right. We did everything we needed
to.” The red-haired woman agreed, then stepped forward and crouched in front of
Laien and Yin.
“Be sure to
survive and come meet us in the higher realms someday. Big sis will be waiting
for you.” The red-haired woman said and hugged the two youths at once. After
holding them for a while and causing the two to grow more than a bit
embarrassed, she stood up and gave her little brother a meaningful look.
blue-haired youth sighed, scratching his head. He approached Laien and looked
him in the eye, then extended a hand to him.
back from appearing too surprised and shook hands with the blue-haired youth.
Yin did the same afterwards.
before you leave… What are your names?” Laien inquired, having been curious
about it since the beginning. Normally, he would have asked the question long
ago, but when talking with these two, he felt subconsciously pressured. The
siblings were just too strong, well beyond all imagination.
red-haired woman and the blue-haired youth exchanged a glance, then with but a
smile, joined hands and disappeared in a conflagration of fire and water.
as the siblings vanished, Laien and Yin fell into the water. The two of them
quickly surfaced and exchanged a look. They really managed to forget they’ve
been standing and sitting on top of the lake this whole time? The two of them
chortled, then began laughing. They might have not learned the names of those
two siblings, but they would surely not forget about them anytime soon.
to the shore, then got out of the lake. Laien concentrated and carefully
removed water from his clothes, making them dry in an instant. After he
repeated the process on Yin’s clothes, the two of them headed out of the
everything but one path is covered in a gray mist. What do we do Yin, wait here
for a bit until they come to speak with us?” Laien asked in a relaxed tone,
looking around while holding his hands crossed behind his head. “Yeah.” Yin
replied, looking at the destroyed portion of the village. “This protective
formation of theirs was partially broken, huh?” Yin mused, then chuckled seeing
that Laien took out a piece of fur and laid down somewhere on the grassy side
of the street. That unconcerned behavior really was just like him.
you two doing here?” A man carrying a black staff in his hand asked, appeared
from within the gray fog.
wanted to throw some sarcastic comment, not too fond of this village’s people,
but honestly couldn’t be bothered. He didn’t feel like getting involved in this
scratched his head, not feeling like telling the whole story either… but as far
as short, somewhat rude remarks went, Laien was much better at throwing them
In the end,
sensing how troubled Yin was over this stupid matter, Laien sighed and commented
straightforwardly. “The Divine Seal is broken, the demons are gone. Your High
Priest and the bunch that came with him are all dead. Before we leave, we’d
like to have our horses back and Yin wants to speak with that kid, the Holy
Priest.” Laien exclaimed in one breath without rising from the ground or
looking at the man he was speaking to.
In turn, the
staff-wielding man stared at Laien with wide eyes, unable to comprehend what he
was just told. As for Yin, he suppressed a sigh and smiled helplessly. It would
have helped if Laien was a little less blunt about the whole thing, but he was
the one who asked Laien to speak in his stead so he couldn’t really complain.
want to confirm what Laien said, send somebody down. It’s safe there. But could
you first get us our horses and bring the ‘Holy Priest’ here? I’d like to talk
with him.” Although Yin spoke calmly, the man listening to him appeared to be
startled by his words. “Y-yes, I will go inform the captain Vanlan and ask him
about those two thing. I will b-be back soon.” The man stuttered a bit, for
some reason shaken just by looking and speaking with Laien and Yin. He
hurriedly retreated into the mist, nearly tripping on the straight road.
“So now we
wait. Think it will take him long?” Laien thought aloud, yawning a little. He
only now found out that he was quite sleepy and could definitely use a good night
of rest. “I hope not.” Yin said and sat down at Laien’s side, waiting patiently.
minutes passed, Yin also started getting sleepy. Martial practitioners or not, he
and Laien were still young and certainly needed to let their bodies rest and
recover regularly. Thankfully, before the two of them fell asleep, the six year
brother Yin? Ah, big brother Laien finished his training too! But why are you
here?” The familiar childish voice rang out as the six year old ran up to Laien
and Yin. The six year old crouched at Yin’s side and smiled, repeating the
question with his gaze.
something we needed to tell you before we leave.” Yin began saying and quickly
followed up with his statement. “The curse of your clan is gone. The seal and
the demons are gone, too. There is no need for you to be sacrificing yourself for
anyone’s sake.” Yin said, maybe a bit too straightforwardly, given that he was
speaking with a child.
old blinked a few times, looking as if he didn’t quite understand what Yin just
told him. - What happened? The demons and the curse was gone? But when, how? - He was thoroughly confused, but he didn’t
think Yin was making anything up.
are the horses.” Laien’s unconcerned statement threw the six year old off a
brother Yin, you aren’t lying? What happened? How can it all be gone? Can I
really do what I want now?” The six year old barraged Yin with questions,
overwhelming him to some extent. Yin could only smile helplessly, seeing as
Laien had no intention of helping him with the explanation. “Should I tell him
the truth…?” Yin wondered quietly.
After a few
seconds of thinking, Yin decided that it would be for the best if he told the
six-year old what really happened. Thus, he took two or three minutes to tell
him the story.
expected that the listening in group of guards would be angered when he
mentioned Laien breaking the seal and releasing the ‘demons’, or that they
would express their disapprobation or even attack them when he mentioned the
death the High Priest and the people who accompanied him, but surprisingly,
they took it without making a fuss.
guards were saddened to lean of their fellow clansmen deaths. They were angry
at the two outlander youths who caused their friends and family members to die.
However, in their hearts, they were also overjoyed to have finally regained
their freedom. To have learned that their children and all the future
generation would be able to go into the world and live freely, instead of rotting
away in this forsaken by the Heavens place.
Laien and Yin to gain some ‘revenge’? Naturally, this thought occurred to them,
but everyone pushed it away without hesitation. What they gained was too
precious for them to bear a long-lasting grudge against Laien and Yin. They
were all grateful to the point that one of them even spoke up, expressing these
No, boy. If what you are saying is true, then no matter how it happened, our
clan needs to offer the two of you its gratitude.” The man who appeared to be
the temporary leader of the village spoke and bowed his head. “If you wait for
the men who went to the temple to confirm your words, then our village shall
offer you and your friend anything you may desire.” The man stated generously
and bowed before Yin and Laien - who by the way was still laying down.
man’s proposition, Yin looked over his shoulder and exchanged a glance with
Laien. Neither of them lacked wealth and they didn’t really need anything
specific. At first, Laien was interested in the strange concealing technique
the people of this village used to hide their strength, but by now, he came to
understand that he can achieve the same by strictly controlling the energy in
his body. All he needed to do was to concentrate and prevent it from leaking,
while forming a protective ‘layer’ of his own aura around himself… Well, it
wasn’t like he could actually do that just because he knew what to do, but at
the very least, he understood the theory.
“I don’t think
we need anything. Thanks, but we will be going.” Yin answered with a smile,
surprising all the guards. They found it hard to believe that there existed
somebody who would decline an offer to be rewarded, but having heard the answer
in person, they were forced to admit the fact.
are going already?” The six-year old moaned. He really would have liked to
spend more time with Yin and to chat some more with Laien.
want to, you can go with us to the borders of your village. Our escort should
be waiting there, it’s been three days, after all.” After saying so, Yin
suddenly began to worry whether the seven guards of theirs were fine. The place
they were supposed to wait for them should be dangerously close to the path the
bandits took to go in and then retreat…
okay, probably.” Laien said, baffling everyone but Yin as to what did he mean
by that. “That masked man wouldn’t bother with them, not with how moody he is…
Well, probably.” Laien laughed, making it seem as if he didn’t care. He looked
away though, somewhat embarrassed to know that Yin can read his true feelings.
chuckled and chose to not tease Laien about this particular matter, at least
not now. “Want to ride with me?” Yin asked the six year old, moving his gaze to
the still unnamed horse of his. “Can I?” The six year old jumped up excitedly.
He had never ridden a horse before and surely not one as big and impressive as
“So we are
going?” Laien half-asked half-stated, standing up and collecting the fur into
his interspatial ring. He quickly mounted his horse and trotted ahead, followed
by Yin who rode out a few seconds later. The men watched the two departing
youths, only after a while realizing that it would be a good idea to send
somebody to take the Holy Priest back after he would separate from Laien and
The road to
the borders of the village passed in the blink of an eye. The six year old
chatted with Yin, while sometimes exchanging some words with Laien, who in the
end suppressed his sleepiness with the aid of Qi. It wasn’t the healthiest
thing to do, but he wanted to chat with the six year old, instead of being
half-asleep the whole time.
saying the last farewells, the six-year old reluctantly jumped down from Yin’s
horse, not too happy about parting with his ‘big brothers’. He forced a smile
to appear on his face, watching the two riding away.
brother Yin, brig brother Laien, thank you!” The six year old called out,
tearing up a little, but not crying. “Let’s meet again!” He shouted, waving his
hands. “Sure!” Yin yelled back, while Laien only looked back over his shoulder
two completely disappeared from his eyes, the six year old sat down on a nearby
stone. He looked in the distance, a clear dream of adventuring the world
forming in his mind. He clutched his little fists, deciding with a strong
resolution to make the best use of the life that was gifted back to him.
those two are fine…” Ruan said for the hundredth time, nervously fiddling the
handle of the broadsword in his hand. It was well over the agreed time, not to
mention the wave of bandits that appeared out of nowhere. The seven of them had
no trouble fighting them off, but killing a few hundred of small fries
certainly didn’t ease their worry about Laien and Yin.
be. They are monsters who are strong as you while at the age of twelve. Who
could possibly harm them?” Liza snickered, checking out the interiors of the
interspatial rings she had collected from the bandits’ corpses. “Tch, they are
all so poor. Being a mercenary is much more profitable.” She pursed her lips,
disappointed. “At least the rings themselves are worth some penny…” She added,
his head and refrained from commenting. It nearly sounded that if being a
bandit yielded bigger profits, Liza would have become one. “This woman,
really…” Ruan sighed for probably the thousandth time in the last half of the
day. If Laien and Yin weren’t fine, then not only would he feel extremely bad
about letting them go to this hidden village, but his reputation would be
tarnished… However, that wouldn’t be his biggest problem. Given how many
influential and powerful figures were behind those two youths backs, he would
be very lucky if he would still retain his life after such a major screw-up…
moving!” Laien’s sudden shout startled everyone. “Are they any inns or normal
villages nearby, Ruan? I would love to sleep in some inn…” Laien yelled again,
shattering the heavy mood among the group of seven escorts in an instant.
laughed quietly, shaking his head. Why did he even worry about these brats?
They were fine after all… and Laien was still as blunt as ever.
aren’t any villages I’d recommend in the Anarchic Lands, unless you want to be
robbed and killed… But I know a good, safe place for a camp two hours of gallop
away from here.” Ruan replied, aiding himself with Qi and making his voice
louder. It was a more comfortable thing to do compared to shouting, at least in
then lead us there!” Laien yelled, urging them to get moving. With a few quiet
complaints about Laien’s attitude, the seven set out, joining Laien and Yin.
With Ruan leading the way, the nine of them rode to the west, getting ever
closer to the southern kingdoms of Eulean Union.
Book 2. The outside world.Chapter 32. Nightmares, again.
being only a dream, Laien could have sworn that he held his breath in
amazement. Laien trembled the moment ‘he’ swept the ten thousand men with his
aura. “Martial masters! Spiritual masters! All of them are at the realm of
heroes!” Laien cried out in his mind.
of these men had strength comparable to the early realm of heroes, around three
hundred of them were stronger by yet one level, while ten or so were as strong
as late-stage practitioners of the realm of heroes! Such an army of ten
thousand soldiers was definitely impressive, but ‘he’ felt nothing but contempt
and disdain while looking at them.
was pretty surprising for Laien, considering that ‘he’ didn’t seem to be as
invincible yet. In truth, the feeling of ‘his’ cultivation base wasn’t that
different from Laien’s own. “Does he intend to take on this ten thousand strong
army of experts alone, at his current level?” Laien swallowed at the thought.
If it was him, he definitely wouldn’t dare to try doing something bordering so
close to impossibility. He had gotten quite a bit stronger recently, true, but
against an army of martial masters and spiritual masters? He wouldn’t stand a
wasn’t worried about something like that. ‘He’ was feeling pretty confident and
even a bit excited. ‘He’ swirled the glaive in ‘his’ hand and lowered his
stance, then unhesitatingly charged at the ten thousand soldiers.
gathered army noticed a person running towards them, they at first thought it
might be some kind of a messenger. They never would have thought that a lone
youth who appeared to be maybe sixteen year old would actually want to fight
them. However, when the better informed officers saw how that youth looked,
they instantly began rallying their men. ‘He’ was but one man, but they knew ‘he’
definitely wasn’t to be underestimated!
suddenly flickered, closing in the remaining few hundred meters in the blink of
an eye. The first ranks of the soldiers tried to face ‘him’, but proved to not
be ‘his’ match at all! ‘He’ swept with his glaive, killing many men with each
stroke of his weapon. He kept attacking relentlessly, the blade of his glaive
slicing through the enemies’ weapons and armors with ease, taking their lives
by the hundreds.
constantly, without stopping for even a smallest amount of time. ‘His’
movements were like flowing water, or perhaps a beautiful dance. He never
blocked the blows, somehow aware of everything happening around him. ‘He’ was
dodging everything, moving out of the harm’s way, predicting the possible
attacks and acting accordingly, making it difficult for anyone to find an opportunity
to strike him.
importantly, ‘he’ killed. ‘He’ kept killing and never would ‘he’ exchange blows
with any man. When striking with his glaive, he would without doubt kill whoever
he targeted. Despite using his energy sparsely, ‘he’ was stunningly effective,
always adjusting the strength necessary to deal with the ones he attacked. Be
it the early martial masters whom ‘he’ cut down like grass, the middle-level
martial masters against whom ‘he’ would engulf his glaive in scorching flames,
or the few powerful experts against whom he would instantly burst forth with
all his power, he would always kill in one strike.
thousand strong army soon found out that it was unable to overwhelm the
monstrosity that attacked them with numbers alone. In but a few minutes, they
achieved nothing except losing two high-ranked officers and nearly thousand regular
soldiers. The remaining commanders tried to employ tactics and attack the sole
cultivator with arrows or kill him with magic, but they never found a right
opportunity. The man would always be in the middle of their ranks, engaging in
entity far different from a professional army, these solders were incapable of
making a quick and ruthless decisions of bearing with friendly fire and using
large-scale magic to take their lone opponent down. When some people began bringing
this idea up, terrified by the rate at which the young man was slaughtering
them, it was already too late. Having lost over three thousand men and with
their morale having hit the bottom, the soldiers became too powerless and disorganized
to stop ‘him’ from targeting the groups of mages.
thinking at all, instead absorbing the incredible experience. This dream was
much clearer than the previous ones, to the point of making Laien feel as if it
really was him who was doing the killing. By now, he had no delusions about
being stronger than the current ‘him’. Even if their cultivations were
comparable, ‘he’ was just too talented of a fighter. Honestly, it was scary how
ridiculously suited for battle ‘he’ was. In a time as short as ten minutes, ‘he’
all alone scattered a ten thousand strong army, sending the two or three
thousand soldiers who escaped with their
lives fleeing in every direction.
smiled, hitting the ground with the shaft of his glaive. ‘He’ achieved the goal
and now could take care of all other pressing matters…
suddenly blurred, making Laien think that the vision was about to end. Nothing
more false; but the next moment, everything returned. The time itself froze for
a few seconds, letting Laien recognize the situation. To his disbelief, Laien
found out that he was standing amidst the ten thousand strong army, holding his
own spear in his hand. “No… You must be kidding me…” He thought, but actually
heard himself saying. He then tightened his grip on the spear, confirming for
sure. “There’s feeling in my hands… I can feel everything as if it was real…
Please, no…” Laien pleaded quietly, but to no avail.
flowing and Laien found himself fighting the ten thousand strong army. Of
course, he failed miserably and died a painful death… Only to have the dream
return to the starting point, forcing him to go through the same hopeless battle
over and over again…
Laien!” Laien gasped a mouthful of air, waking up to the sound of his name.
Squinting his eyes to see better, he looked at Yin. He saw Yin’s worried
expression and as he tried to sit down, felt his hand on his shoulder.
he moved, Laien realized that his whole body was covered in cold sweat and that
he was trembling like a leaf. Recalling the endless cycle of battle and death
from his dream… from his nightmare, made the blood drain from his face. Feeling
nauseous, Laien covered his mouth with a hand, trying not to vomit.
finally woke up… What happened, was it another vision of yours?” Yin asked,
pouring Laien a cup of hot tea leftover from the dinner and handing it to him.
calm his breathing, Laien took a sip of the tea. After a while of silence, he
replied to Yin’s question. “A vision? It was a damned nightmare… How long was
I… you know?” Laien asked in a roundabout way, looking around and seeing that
everyone else in the camp was still sleeping.
long… Less than ten minutes. I think I woke up right away when you started groaning
and throwing about.” Yin replied quietly and smiled, watching how Laien uses
water magic to refresh himself and clean his body in the span of a few seconds,
then exchanges his set of clothes for a new one. If he could care for things
like these, then he was probably alright. “He is much calmer now. Even though he
was dreaming, it was scary to feel his emotions through our spiritual bond…”
Yin thought quietly, happy to see that Laien recovered so fast.
minutes, eh… How many times was it, a hundred?” Laien shook his head. Just recalling
the terrible dream made a chill run down his back. “It was horrible… I was
thrown into some ridiculous battle from ‘his’ life and made to fight it myself
over and over again… It was way too realistic, all the way to making me feel
pain when being cut... I lost count of how many times I was killed and brought
back to fight again and again… Probably over a hundred…” Laien pursed his lips,
about to throw up. He took a moment to get ahold of himself and added with a
everything I could to survive, but I couldn’t defeat those ten thousand men
like ‘he’ did. At most, I managed to kill a few dozen before I was taken down.”
Laien trembled, wondering if the same dream is going to return tomorrow when he
goes to sleep. He hid his face in his hand and asked helplessly. “Ten thousand
enemies, all with the strength of the realm of heroes, both martial masters and
magi… How am I supposed to beat them?” Laien groaned helplessly. He was holding
it in, but his emotions were on the verge of exploding. The experience of dying
multiple times was too much for him, he really needed to put a lot of effort into
not breaking down in tears.
learned what Laien’s nightmare was about, Yin was thoroughly shocked. Battling
ten thousand enemies? All of whom were at the realm of heroes? It was hard to
imagine how strong one needed to be to actually pull it off and survive.
Neither he nor Laien would be able to do that as they were now, but… There was
one thing Yin suddenly thought about. “Have you awakened your battle sense yet?”
He asked quickly, wondering if that changed or not after Laien’s recent
raised his head and looked at Yin. He was confused by the question, but quickly
caught onto what Yin meant. “I didn’t… The last time I had a vision so strong,
it wanted me to push through and comprehend the foundation of the Aspect of
Tranquility… You think that this time, the goal isn’t to make me win versus
this army, but to force me into awakening a battle sense?” Laien wondered
aloud, forgetting about how nervous he had been a moment ago. If there indeed
was a purpose in this madness, then he could somehow deal with it. At the very
least, awakening his battle sense was a lot more realistic goal than getting
strong enough to battle and win against ten thousand experts.
might be that. Your spiritual sense is potent and in one-on-one fights can
rival battle sense, but in a huge melee? There is no way you can concentrate
hard enough to sense all the minute details. Battle sense is more like an
instinct, it doesn’t require thinking… You just ‘know’ what to do. The conditions
might be a bit extreme, but there probably is no better method to forcefully make
someone awaken battle sense than the one from your vision.” Yin commented
bitterly, but didn’t mention the question that came to his mind.
sighed and said, guessing what Yin was thinking about. “I pretty much panicked
the whole time… I didn’t do well. I hope that’s why I failed to rouse my battle
sense, not because I am incapable of awakening it…” He finished with a nervous
chuckle. It really would be horrible if was like that, he would very likely go
crazy if he were to experience this nightmare thousands times over without
being able to break free from it…
“You know any other good way of awakening
battle sense?” Laien asked, worried about keeping his sanity. He sighed,
knowing that he would find it hard to fall asleep the next night. The prospect
of this dream repeating itself whether he wanted it or not really was a very
thinking for a good while, Yin shook his head and said. “I don’t know about
anything you haven’t tried before. I am not used to my martial realm yet,
either, so I can’t go all out when sparring with you to help either… Sorry…” Yin
groaned very quietly. He began considering going against what his body was
telling him just to help Laien train, but these thoughts were quickly cut off
think about overexerting yourself to spar with me. I don’t want you to damage
your cultivation base. I will manage, somehow.” Laien said with a light smile.
He was grateful for the feelings, but couldn’t allow Yin to harm himself only
to spar with him. After a second or two, Yin nodded, not saying anything else.
The two of them could understand each other well enough through their spiritual
bond, especially in the situations like these.
still some time till down. Want to lay down until then?” Laien suggested, laying
back down and stretching himself. “Sure.” Yin replied shortly and rested on the
furs. The two of them simply rested liked that for half an hour, relaxing and
enjoying the moment of peace.
and nothing. Maybe it won’t be coming back anytime soon?” Laien hoped silently,
thinking back to his nightmare. He shook his head, reminding himself that there
is no point in worrying about something he has no control over. He pulled
Bellicose to the right and slowed down a bit, lining up with Ruan and asking.
close to Eulean Union, right? What kind of place is it? You know, apart from
the fanatics General Agnes mentioned.” Laien asked loudly, speaking over the sound
of whistling wind. He raised his eyebrows and laughed a little, seeing that
Liza led her horse more to the left, making place for Yin to join on Ruan’s
left. Recently, his bad impression of this woman began changing for better. He
very much appreciated the small things like this one, so naturally, he warmed
up to her.
thought you’ve had enough of my lectures?” Ruan asked with a laugh, aware of
his own tendencies to speak in too much detail. Seeing that Laien rolled his
eyes and gave him an urging look, he laughed again and started speaking. “The
southernmost country of Eulean Union is Faren Republic. Its territory is more
or less comparable to that of Sarkcente Kingdom, while its population numbers
five times as much. In other words, Faren Republic has three hundred million citizens.
It’s capital city is called ‘Palee’ and that’s where we are currently heading
to. It’s a huge city with over ten million inhabitants. If you exclude the
religious and ethnical problems it has, Palee City is a great place to stay in.”
Ruan bit his tongue, holding back the endless current of words escaping his
mouth. He looked at Laien, trying to sense whether he should stop here, or if
he can continue feeing him information.
about me. If I get bored, I will pretend to be listening. Keep going, keep
going. Since we will be passing by so many places, it would be a pity if I didn’t
learn anything about them.” Laien commented, actually flabbergasting Ruan for a
good while. “What’s up with this change of heart?” Ruan couldn’t help but ask.
For Yin to be listening to him was one thing, but for Laien to be actively
asking for a lecture? Strange, it was definitely strange!
nagging me! I just thought it would be good if I learned a bit, okay? You don’t
need to be telling me anything if you don’t want to.” Laien replied angrily,
annoyed by Ruan’s questions. He frowned, hearing Ruan and Yin burst into
laughter. However, instead of getting angry, he sighed and smiled. “Yeah, yeah.
Let’s go back to the topic, okay?” He pleaded, feeling a little embarrassed.
you think Faren Republic, with its three hundred million citizens, is stronger
or weaker than the sixty million Sarkcente Kingdom?” Ruan began by asking. As
time went, he learned that it was easier to keep Laien’s interest going if he
included him into the conversation, instead of one-sidedly feeling him everything
he knew about the subject.
have any top-level martial arts, do they? They must be weaker. Don’t know if by
much, though.” Laien answered quickly. “I haven’t heard of any top-level
experts at the late stage of realm of heroes from Eulean Union, either. Even
with their numbers superiority, our Sarkcente Kingdom should be stronger.” He
mused, curious how it was in reality.
right about that, they are weaker. However, not by a little. With as much
internal problems as Faren Republic has, they wouldn’t stance a chance against
Sarkcente Kingdom in a war. To being with, martial schools and magic institutes
aren’t that popular in Faren Republic. Unlike in Sarkcente Kingdom, their whole
military power is fragmented between hundreds of nobles, who more often than
not would rather fight against each other than to stand side by side. If not
for the existence of Eulean Union, which as a whole isn’t that strong either,
Faren Republic would have crumbled a long time ago.” Ruan spoke in one breath,
feeling quite good about praising his homeland and bragging to the young ones
how well it does compared to other nations.
have something to do with what General Agnes mentioned? You know, those fanati-…”
Laien began saying, but was forced to stop as he saw a group of few dozen
riders blocking the road five hundred meters ahead. He pulled his reins,
slowing down with everyone and just barely stopping in front of the group of
entering the territory of the New Eastern Republic of Eulene! State your faith
in the Great Halla, or pay the tribute for crossing our lands as infidels!” The
bearded man shouted really loudly, ignoring the fact that the people he was
speaking to were only a few meters away. “Halla the Great!” He called out,
raising his fist. “Halla the Great!” The forty men around him shouted in unison,
staring threateningly at the newly arrived group of nine.
Book 2. The outside world.Chapter 33. Madness. (Part I)
what do they mean by this ‘New Eastern Republic of Eulene’?” Laien spoke again,
throwing the question up in the air, not directing it to anyone specific.
forty-something foreign riders, the bearded man in the front frowned, greatly
displeased with Laien’s behavior. “You infidels are the ones who entered our
country. You will obey the Hashar Law, or you shall turn back and return where
you came from!” The man began speaking calmly, but ended up roaring in a spout
of religious fervor.
did the Faren Republic turn into an Ikarian Republic?” Surprisingly, Liza spoke
up, not concealing the apparent anger in her voice.
Republic?” Laien murmured, exchanging a glance with Yin who shrugged his
shoulders. He also didn’t know what Liza meant by saying that.
the race, majority of the followers of Nasharu are of Ikarian race.” Ruan
explained in a low voice, then quickly turned his attention to the already
ongoing conversation between Liza and the bearded man.
long since been land of our people. Hundreds of millions of us live here, it’s
only normal to change the old, inadequate name of the country.” The man explained
proudly, proud of the achievements of his fellow brothers in faith. “Now do you
understand, infidels? If you want to pass through our land, convert to the only
true faith, or pay tribute in gold.” He spoke, then once again shouted the
words ‘Halla the Great!’
Great!” The forty-something men behind the bearded man cried out, as if in some
kind of a religious trance.
do we need to pay?” Ruan spoke quickly, seeing that Liza is on the verge of
exploding and attacking the group of Ikarians. Were they still in the boundless
forests of the Anarchic Lands, he wouldn’t mind as much, but in an open field,
in the middle of a large road? It wasn’t worth the risk. As much as Ruan hated
to pay up for a ridiculous reason like that, he avoid trouble with the
followers of Nasharu if possible.
One, two… four… six men, two kids and one whore… Ten gold coins should be
enough.” The bearded man said so casually, that it took everyone a while to
understand what did he exactly just say.
you calling a whore, you goatfucker?!” Liza shouted, brimming with killing
intent. Only because Ruan managed to hold her by arm in time, she didn’t ride
forward to punch the bearded man in his face.
man’s face twitched. He rebuked angrily, not picking his words at all. “I
tolerated when your infidel whore asked me a question, but she won’t be
insulting me! Cover the body of your bitch properly if you want to ride through
our country!” The man roared, addressing Ruan and completely ignoring Liza’s
presence. He remained blissfully unaware of the fact that the woman he called ‘whore’
and ‘bitch’ could kill him as easily as squashing an ant.
frowned a bit, confused by this strange development. He glanced at Yin, who
similarly had no idea what this argument was even about. Liza’s clothes? Apart
from the somewhat revealing cleavage, there wasn’t anything in her
brown-leather suit that could be considered indecent. True, she was looking
good, but how in the world would that be a reason to call her a whore and tell
her to cover up?
bastards…” Liza spewed through her grit teeth, for some reason showing
restraint and not attacking the bearded Ikarian. She cursed one more time and
made a brown cloak appeared over her body. Her eyes were brimming with fury,
but she held it in, albeit just barely.
she has? A woman shouldn’t be showing her face or hair either, unless her goal
is to seduce the proper men. Make her wear a Ghjar or something. I can sell you
one, if you are willing to pay, infidel.” The bearded man spoke contently,
pleased that ‘the woman’ is listening. His attitude changed by one hundred and
eighty degrees and now he was smiling and speaking in a calm, amiable tone. “Add
one piece of gold and you can have it. Eleven gold coins in all.” He stated the
horrendously high price for the right of passage and for the ‘Ghjar’, or
whatever the black piece of cloth he took out from interspatial ring was
scratched his head, moving a bit further to the back and stopping his horse at
Yin’s side. “Sure are strange people, huh?” He said just loudly enough for Yin
to hear him. “I wouldn’t want to be a woman in their company.” Yin commented
bitterly. “If all those ‘Ikarians’ are like that, then traveling to the north
won’t be too pleasant.” Yin added, still speaking in a low voice.
Ruan asked carefully, unsure whether she will be able to bear with this farce. A
woman of a more submissive character might have not cared, but one of Liza’s
character? It was already a miracle that she didn’t beat the crap out of this
random bearded man.
me that shit and let’s hurry up.” Liza growled, staring hatefully at the group
of Ikarians. Ruan nodded and rode forward, then exchanged eleven gold coins for
a written permission of passage and a black piece of cloth.
later, Liza snatched the cloth from Ruan’s hand and tied it over her head in a
surprisingly skillful manner. However, from the looks of it, she was quite
disgusted to be placing something like that over her head.
may pass, infidels. I will pray to Halla so you can see the mistakes of your
ways and convert to the only true faith.” The bearded man said with a smile and
commanded his men to make a path. His eyebrows furrowed when Liza rushed ahead
of the men in her group, but this time, he didn’t say anything. He couldn’t be
bothered to give a chase after he already received the gold.
you in such a hurry?” Ruan asked, catching up with Liza who was charging
forward at top speed. “I must check if my friend in Palee City is safe. I’m
worried about her. There will probably be trouble, so you can feel free to not
tag along if you don’t want to.” Liza replied loudly enough for everyone to
hear. She rushed her horse, urging him to go ever faster.
go.” Laien decided instantly. Yin didn’t oppose either, so Ruan could only sigh
and agree to do what the two youths wanted. He obviously didn’t know how the
last time he let do Laien and Yin do as they pleased ended, so he wasn’t set on
making them avoid each and every risky situation. Had he known, he would have
argued with them, but since he didn’t… There was nothing he could do about
their whims but to go along with them.
After a moment
of silence, Liza spoke up, for once calling the two youths by their names. “Laien,
Yin. The two of you need to be careful in the City of Palee. Those damned
lunatics who worship Nasharu don’t only treat women like shit, they might also
have some ideas about the two of you. It’d be best if you wore your cloaks and
put hoods on, especially you, Yin.” She warned seriously, with a stern
expression on her face and a cold grudge hiding deep in her eyes.
even compare it to the stupid idiocy Jin was doing… They won’t be playing
around, they will straight up go and capture you and make you into their slaves.
Trust me, you don’t want to have anything to do with those crazy goatfuckers.”
She added, eyeing Jin with reprimanding gaze.
”You’d be a
little safer if you claimed to be of their faith… but it wouldn’t help much, honestly.
It could only make things worse as you don’t know anything about it in case
they asked…” Liza mused loudly, then shook her head and stopped speaking.
Yin looked at each other. They were a bit surprised, but they complied with
Liza’s advice and put on their cloaks, choosing the most regular, brown ones.
was in a hurry, after riding for a hundred kilometers, the main road got
crowded, so she and everyone were forced to slow down. They couldn’t charge at
the breathtaking speed of two hundred kilometers per hours anymore and needed
to reduce their speed by more than half. All in all, it took their group of nine
nearly three hours to cross the distance of two hundred kilometers from the southern
border to Palee City.
were traveling the last few kilometers and could already see the walls of Palee
City from afar, Laien and Yin began chatting with each other.
pretty hot, but so many people are wearing those strange black… cloaks? I don’t
know how to call that… You can’t even see their faces, only eyes…” Laien said, discontent
with what he was seeing. “They are all women, right…? No man is wearing
anything so strange.” He stated quietly, knowing that their group of nine
riders was attracting quite a bit of attention of the passerby because of their
impressive war horses.
even girls, too.” Yin added with a quiet sigh. He noticed a fair amount of
female children wearing this strange black full-body cloak and honestly, didn’t
know what he should think about it. In his heart, he found the fact
called Shijar. The thing that covers face is Ghjar.” Liza offered an
explanation, then added. “We are nearly at the gates. Ruan, you speak.” She
said in a low voice, then gave Laien and Yin a quick look. Obviously, she
wanted them to keep their mouths shut and not attract unnecessary attention.
of bored guards at the large city gate livened up, seeing a group of
mercenaries riding war horses approach from the road. They wouldn’t stop
regular citizens, but a party like this one definitely needed some special attention.
look like you are from here. Travelers, perhaps? What’s your purpose coming to
the Palee City?” One of the men asked, gesturing the nine riders to move over
to the side of the road. From the look of it, he wasn’t quite at the martial
master level, but his cultivation approached the peak of the ninth mortal
realm. He was a clear cut above the thug-like Ikarians patrolling the southern
from Sarkcente Kingdom, we are traveling north and we wanted to rest in this
city for a few days.” Ruan answered vaguely, careful to not reveal anything
that could be treated with suspicion or curiosity by the guards.
with a neatly cut beard swept the group of nine with a quick gaze. They didn’t
appear all that suspicious, it was pretty common to see groups of mercenaries
around here, well, maybe not ones as well equipped and dressed as this one, but
still. He wanted to say that they can go ahead and enter the city, but finally
realized what felt wrong in this image he was seeing and asked disdainfully. “Why
is a woman riding such a good horse?” Frowning, he brought the ‘problem’ up.
looking for a good way to answer, but couldn’t quite find anything to say. He
was beginning to grow nervous, seeing how the guard’s expression is turning
worse, but then Jin cut in with his comment.
didn’t, she’d slow us down.” Jin declared indifferently, as if the matter was
the most obvious thing in the world. “Anything else? We are tired and want to
rest already.” He shrugged his shoulders, considering the matter to be over.
the guards at the gate acknowledged it to be a sensible explanation. Their
captain only mentioned. “Have her get down and lead the horse inside the city.
You won’t be able to go any faster on the crowded streets anyway.” He said and
gestured them to go ahead and pass through the gate.
immediately slid down from her horse and grabbed it by reins. Content, the
guards made no further inquiries, allowing the group of nine to enter the city.
are we going?” Laien asked amidst the noisy and somewhat… no, quite badly
stinking outskirts of Palee City. He quickly pulled out two necklaces, handing
one over to Yin and wearing the other himself. The golden jewelry on the
necklaces lit up with a dim glow, preventing the bad smell from reaching Laien
and shook her head disbelievingly. She knew these two were rich, but to casually
pull out high-grade magic equipment worth hundreds of gold coins like it was
nothing special? If only she could partake in this wealth of theirs…
an inn in the inner district of the city. It’s still quite far.” She answered Laien’s
question and would have rather remained silent, but Laien kept inquiring. “Is
this Faren Kingdom, or whatever it’s now called, your homeland?” Sighing, Liza
answered very briefly. “It’s not my homeland, but I lived here when I was
young. Enough, we can speak later.” She concluded coldly, worried that a woman
chatting with a male youth will cause some of the followers of Nasharu to grow
however didn’t understand Liza’s reasons, so he only pouted a bit when she cut
him off without any apparent reason.
time, they managed to arrive by the inn mentioned by Liza without any
complications. Judging by its appearance, the inn was a middle-class one, able
to house around two hundred people while offering fairly good quality of the
service. Regrettably, there was no place to leave the horses nearby nor within
the inn, so somebody needed to stay behind and look out for them.
were left behind were the three guards from the Valius family - whose names
Laien tended to often forget - and the black-cloaked man from the Cail family,
who didn’t appear to want to tag along at the moment.
You here?” Liza called out loudly, startling the Ikarian man at the reception. “You
can’t just have a woman yelling if you are looking for somebody, dear
customers.” The man reprimanded, of course addressing Ruan and Jin while not
sparing even a look at Liza.
owns this inn, what’s the damn problem with me calling for her, eh?!” Liza
shouted again, finally unable to hold back any longer.
that is.” A well-built and dressed in white clothes Ikarian man spoke calmly, approaching
the reception from inside the inn. “That woman refused to convert to Shaari, so
now she is working here as slave.” The man explained calmly, with a light smile
on his face.
need something from her?” He asked, but then yelped as Liza grabbed him by his
throat and slammed him into the wall. Having not suspected the woman to possess
such strength, the white-clothed man could only struggle helplessly, incapable
of forcing Liza’s hand away at all.
“I swear, I
will rip your fucking balls off and force them up your throat if did anything
to her!” Liza roared furiously, clenching her hand with more and more strength,
leaving the man gasping for air and unable to say anything.
man’s face grew deep red, then began turning purple. He was on the verge of
being suffocated, when…
go, you dimwit!” A woman covered in black clothes, in the ‘Shijar’, yelled angrily,
running into the reception room.
hearing the familiar voice. “Claire?” She asked, releasing her grip and letting
the barely conscious man fall down to the floor.
It seems like an extreme Muslim community that continues to practice Slavery.
Book 2. The outside world.Chapter 34. Madness. (Part II)
impolite to be probing others with your aura without their permission, don’t
you think?” She mentioned, quite amused by the two men’s expressions.
couldn’t help but smile and exchange a glance with Yin. The two of them of
course sensed how Ruan and Jin tried to probe the woman and ended up failing. However,
their own auras enhanced by the properties of the Aspect of Awareness went
unnoticed and they easily peeked at Claire’s cultivation base. Impressively
enough, she was a dual expert, a martial master of the fifth rank and a
spiritual master of the second rank!
had been worried about somebody so powerful… Could it be that she was unaware
of this ‘Claire’s’ strength?
Yin startled a bit when Claire turned her gaze towards them at the exact moment
they were thinking about her. They could swear she was smiling under this black
piece of cloth covering her face. “The young ones you brought with you seem to
be amused by something, but what could it be?” Claire teased in a playful
voice, but the look of her eyes made Laien and Yin unconsciously put up a guard.
This woman was trouble!
‘little pupil’ of yours, Claire? May Nasharu bless me, she has quite some
strength in that beautiful hands of hers.” The white-clothed man laughed
helplessly, massaging his neck. “You will be taking them inside, right? Then
hurry up, I will take care of explaining this commotion to the guests.” He
reassured and stood up, then gave Claire an expectant look.
Sharu.” Claire said, expressing her honest gratitude. She then turned around
and walked inside the dining hall, gesturing Liza and the others to follow her
with a nonchalant flick or her hand.
to have forgotten the tongue in her mouth, flabbergasted and thoroughly confused
by what just happened. In result, with her mind blank, she simply followed when
Laien and Yin nodded to each other and went after Claire. Ruan and Jin
hesitated for a second, but also headed inside.
leading them to one of the few rooms on the ground floor, Claire shut the door
tight and waved her hand, causing a runic formation to lit up on the floor,
revealing a ladder leading underground. “Go in and wait for me.” Claire stated
very clearly, then swept everyone with her gaze, making sure that they
in my runes?” She asked, seeing the two youths who were crouching and looking
at the shining, circular runic formation. Habitually, she extended her aura to
gauge the talent of the potential students of hers and the very next moment,
her eyes went wide with astonishment.
impolite to be probing others without their permission?” Laien chuckled, regretting
that he isn’t yet nearly enough proficient in concealing his strength to
prevent the woman from taking a look at his cultivation base. Now that would
have been something fun, seeing an even more surprised expression than the
current one of hers.
mere fact that Laien noticed the presence of her aura already gave Claire a
little fright. The only explanation was that he possessed a battle sense or a
spiritual sense and from the looks of it, the other boy wasn’t oblivious to her
aura either. Just how special were these two boys, to be reach such a level at
will need to tell me who for the love of God are these two kids are as soon as
we get down there.” Claire shook her head, smiling wryly. If either of these
two boy had any potential towards using runes, she wouldn’t hesitate to make
him her successor.
couldn’t help but chuckle, seeing the challenging and satisfied expression of
the black-haired youth. This boy sure had some ‘problems’ with his character,
but she didn’t dislike that. After all, the same thing could be said about her.
pretty nice, but not as impressive as that temple.” Laien commented randomly,
intrigued by the shining runes on the walls. He and Yin had tried to take a
look at the runic formation back in that village, before they left the temple,
but since they couldn’t approach it, they gave up. Now, seeing the engraved runic
patterns from close up, Laien felt as if there was something extremely familiar
about them… As if he could touch them and…
up and backed off as the rune he touched suddenly conflagrated, then broke down
into pieces along with a portion of the wall. His heart beating wildly, he
recalled the sensation accompanying the surge of energy in the rune. “It was
drawing energy from the air, from the walls… It was drawing upon the natural
energy itself. It can be set up in this way? But now?” He began musing, turning
blind eye to the fact that he startled everyone.
impatient brat, aren’t you? I can teach you later if you want, don’t go around
destroying my place.” Claire clicked her tongue, seeing one of her runes of
light destroyed. “Come, we were in the middle of a meeting when you interrupted
us.” She said with a sigh, leading the group to a spacious room hidden deeper
inside the cave.
brought so many people in? Are you sure we can trust them, Claire?” One of the
six women sitting in the armchairs frowned, seeing a group of unknown outsiders
being led in by Claire. Unexpectedly, Claire herself tilted her head and
murmured absent-mindedly. “Uh, haven’t thought about it… I just assumed…” She
sighed and waved her hand, dismissing the matter. “We can always kill them if
they can’t agree to keep everything secret or seem too suspicious.” She
commented merrily, but somehow, her words didn’t feel like a joke at all…
woman who spoke at first shook her head, saying resignedly. “You always were an
air-head… It’s not something time can cure, huh.“ Despite saying so, she smiled
and waved her hand, causing the seven armchairs to move further away from each
other and create an open space in the circle. “You don’t need me to bring
furniture, do you?” The elderly woman asked with a smile, impelling Claire to
do something about the seats for their guests.
for us.” Laien stepped forward and raised his hand, making a nice, high-quality
sofa appear from within his interspatial ring. He glanced at Yin, then the two
of them sat down, excited to learn what’s up with this secret meeting and
what’s going on in the City of Palee.
smiled disbelievingly. That black-haired youth really was something else, to
ignore his companions and prepare a sofa only for himself and his friend. She
waved her hand lazily, making three armchairs appear for the remaining three
guests of theirs.
black-gold interspatial ring, right? And a high-grade one at that. You sure
have some nice things on you…” A childish-looking girl, maybe sixteen year old
girl asked energetically. She was sitting in a quite peculiar way, with her
legs pulled up to her chest, not quite fitting into the mood of this secret
wasn’t really sure how to follow up on this comment, or whether he should be
following up at all. He nodded, deciding to keep quiet. After all, it wasn’t a
right place or time to be bragging that he had a top-grade interspatial ring
hidden inside this one.
who the hell are you?” Liza asked out of the blue. It took her a good while to get rid of the
shock, but now that she could think more or less clearly again, she realized
how little she understood about her friend. For example, now she could tell
that Claire was a practitioner, one at the realm of heroes at that, but how in
the world had she failed to notice it until now?
her pupil but you don’t know, big sister?” The childish-looking girl laughed,
gazing at Liza and not bothering to conceal the ridicule in her eyes.
teasing our guest, Annie.” One of the women reprimanded half-seriously,
chuckling more than a little herself.
of seven woman making fun of her caused anger to sure up within Liza’s heart.
It certainly didn’t make things better that she could notice Laien’s and Yin’s
amused expressions from the corner of her eye, either. “Yes, I spent three
years here and visited Claire a few times and didn’t notice anything. Yeah, so
funny. Now, can you answer my question?” Liza groaned loudly. She now
remembered just why she disliked Claire so much and why had she not come to
visit her in over a decade. That woman was always teasing and making fun of
her, as if she was the superior one… The newly acquired awareness that it
indeed was true made Liza feel all the more angry about everything.
Can’t you see that’s the very reason I haven’t taught you anything? When things
go your way, you act all cool, but when they don’t, you immediately get mad.
That’s not an attitude I’d want a disciple of mine to have.” Claire smiled and
held back a laugh, seeing Liza pout and look away in a child-like manner.
“She’s nearly fifty, but she’s still such a kid.” Claire thought quietly,
sparing Liza from hearing this comment.
“As you can
see, I’m a leader of a knitting circle of housewives. Do you want me to
introduce you to everyone?” Claire asked playfully, happy to see the twitching
eyebrows and a look of disbelief on Liza’s face. She also quite enjoyed the
sight of two youths chuckling at her little joke.
you need to stop that, too. You’re going overboard. I know you want to loosen
up the atmosphere, but really, it’s not a right time for that…” The elderly
woman reprimanded, despite smirking a little. “Hurry up and explain everything
to them, or should I do it myself? Don’t forget we are in the middle of an
important meeting… If we don’t find a way before it’s too late, those two will
experience true hell…” The grey-haired woman released a long, pained sigh and
looked Claire in the eye.
reminded of the current situation of theirs, Claire and the other five women
quickly calmed down, serious expressions returning to their faces.
fine… Let’s make it so all of our guests get a gist of situation, shall we…?
Liz, you know well what this country had been looking like for the last thirty,
forty years, don’t you?” Claire smiled bitterly and seeing that Liza wasn’t
going to speak up, wanted proceeded to explain the situation to the other four newcomers,
but got interrupted by one of her friends.
be aware that most of the followers of Nasharu are of the Ikarian, sometimes of
the Tennian race.” The elderly woman brought up and recognizing that the two
young ones didn’t quite follow the subject, explained. “You young ones look
like you are from the far south, you have characteristics of the Liuanni race.
In the south, there are much less racial conflicts and people don’t
differentiate as much, so it’s no surprise if it’s the first time you are
hearing about it. Don’t worry if you can’t keep up with all the nomenclature we
will be using, you will learn in time if you stay here for long enough.” Saying
so, the elderly woman smiled warmly at Laien and Yin. The two boys very much
reminded her of her great grandchildren. Because of that, she couldn’t help but
speak up instead of letting Claire finish, despite tasking her with explanation
a second before.
habitually, Laien and Yin exchanged a glance. Yin smiled, understanding what
Laien was thinking about. The two of them unbound the strings of their hoods
and removed them, then gave the elderly woman one more look.
Green hair? They don’t seem to be dyed… You have some features of the Liuanni
race, but they surely don’t tend to have green hair…” As the elderly woman paid
mind to details, the remaining women all fawned, seeing a beautiful young boy
right in front of them. It went without speaking that in a few more years, this
kid would turn into a spectacularly handsome adult.
“You don’t seem to be just a Liuannian either?
Your features are a bit harder, they are similar to how people from the far
north-eastern countries look… A half-breed perhaps?” The elderly woman mused. She
hadn’t had many opportunities to meet people from the opposite end of the Starlight
continent, so naturally, she couldn’t be sure. “This one might not be bad
either…” The grey-haired woman rolled her eyes, hearing an indecent comment of
one of her friends. She coughed twice, then said. “Getting back to the topic…” After
giving her younger friends a moment to pipe down, she proceeded with the story,
her mood quickly turning sad and melancholic.
began around fifty years ago… Fifty short years. It’s all it took for the once
mighty Eulean Union to be no more. For Faren Republic and many other countries
to fall one after another…” As she was speaking, her gaze went absent.
Recalling all those events filled her with indescribable anger and suffocating
feeling of powerlessness. Overcome with emotions she had been bottling up for
months, she suddenly raised her voice and cried out. “And all of that, is
because of those devil’s spawns of Nasharu!” She yelled, clenching her firsts.
A powerful aura of bloodlust emanated from her body, pure hatred glistered in
her eyes, while her face was overcome with madness.
Yin, also Ruan, Jin and Liza; they all shivered under the powerful killing
intent of the grey-haired woman. Her cultivation base of the fifth realm of
heroes surged, filling the room with a thick spiritual energy. Only after a
good ten seconds passed did the woman regain her senses and lean back in her
armchair, closing her eyes and trying to calm down.
her, she lost too many relatives… Just like every one of us here.” One of the
women spoke calmly, however with an apparent anger in her voice. In the end, it
was Claire who picked up the sad story, as to put a stop to the prolonging,
know how many followers of Nasharu are in the Faren Republic?” She asked, not
expecting to hear an answer. “More than two hundred million.” She said
bitterly, then after a moment, asked again. “Up until early spring this year,
five months ago, there was just as much of us, native Caradians. Do you know
how many are alive now?” Claire pursed her lips. Even for her, with her
naturally strong and cheerful personality, it was hard to suppress the grief
and speak about those events.
we roughly estimated, around half. In other words, one hundred million, mainly
men of all ages, be it elderly, children or mere babies… were killed,
slaughtered in the purge carried out by the followers of Nasharu. It wasn’t a
battle, it was one-sided slaughter.” She uttered in one breath, terrified by
her own words. After all, she was there. She saw everything with her own eyes… She
saw the massacre in Palee City and could only watch helplessly. With all her
strength, she saved but few people… To what did it amount in comparison to the
millions who died in Palee City alone? A memory of those days of endless slaughter…
It often showed up in her nightmares.
realize how this country looked when this madness was at its peak?” She
continued, her voice trembling from painful emotions. “The ground was soaked
with enough blood to make rivers turn crimson and to pollute the wells. If you
were to go to the west, to the coast, you’d probably still see mountains of
rotting corpses even today…” Claire closed her eyes, trying to control herself
and not crack up completely. The other six women appeared to be even worse off,
some of them rubbing their teary eyes while emanating a menacing aura. Without exception, all of them wished for
a bloody revenge. Regrettably, they weren’t anywhere close to strong and
numerous enough to face the might of the religion of Shaari and its fanatical
followers of Nasharu.
hundred million?!” Liza cried out, standing up at once. “You must be wrong, how
could something so ridiculous have happened and not been huge news throughout the
whole continent?” She argued, smiling with disbelief. Although she had long
since began living as a mercenary, the Faren Republic was still a place she considered
to be her homeland. For a massacre on this scale to have happened here… It was
surreal. Completely unbelievable.
not, it’s up to you. You can always go around and confirm whether we are lying
or not, little miss.” The elderly woman rebuked, staring at Liza with cold
eyes. “You’ll probably be caught by the prosecutors and killed if you start
inquiring about the purge, though, but feel free to do whatever you want.” She
added disdainfully, dismissing Liza’s words with an impatient wave of her hand.
Claire shook her head and said, greatly disappointed. “Do you think we’d be
lying to you about something like that? It’s not only our Faren Republic… The
whole Eulean Union has crumbled. I wouldn’t be surprised if over a billion of
our people were murdered… Do you remember Al, the boy who you used to play with
when you were younger? Or Aubin, the man who trained you in sword...? They are
dead… Just like many, many others…” Claire trembled, then swallowed her salvia
and murmured quietly.
sister and her husband were killed five months ago, too. Yesterday, my nephew
who I’ve been taking care of has been abducted along with Flora’s great
grandson… You tell me, do I look like I am making fun of you?” Claire asked in
a breaking voice, tears flowing down her cheeks. Usually, she was holding it
in, she knew she needed to stay strong or else she would fall into despair, but
now… She just couldn’t not become emotional and start weeping helplessly.
Liza opened and closed her mouth repeatedly, unable to say anything. She fell
down onto the armchair and lowered her head, slowly coming to terms with the
Any community that goes astray can do a lot of bad things. Let's leave it at that ^.^ I am about to finish the wedendsay's chapter and post it, should be done in an hour or so~~ Keep your eyes peeled if you are interested in it, hehe : )~~ Finished writing it, now only to edit it to the best of my ability and will post the chapter ~
No community, race or any other group consist of 'mainly' extremists. If they did, the word 'extremists' would lose all sense. ^.^ While it's wise to keep in mind that not all the germans were 'extremists' either, right? Oh well, let's not get started here ^.^ It's a fiction of mine, after all. It's pretty subjective. ~~I don't really want to start a serious argument about religion in the story thread... So If you want to have a chat, we can speak some in the private messages or through some other things like skype etc. : )
Book 2. The outside world.Chapter 35. Madness. (Part III)
his head, Laien peeked at Yin, who similarly remained pretty calm. It didn’t come
as a surprise for Laien to see Yin like that. After all, as far as being
concerned about other people… The two of them were pretty similar. They cared
more about their friends and acquaintances than the people they knew little
about. Because of that, they weren’t frightened when they heard about the huge
purge in Eulean Union. Rather, they were only surprised by the news.
that someone was abducted yesterday?” Yin broke the unpleasant silence,
directing the question to the elderly woman. Compared to the news of
mass-slaughter and possible reasons behind them, he was more concerned about
those two kidnapped youths.
grey-haired woman, Flora, looked at Yin and then gazed at Laien. She was
surprised to see that the two youths were so calm. However, she could somewhat
understand why they weren’t as shocked as your average adults would be, so she
didn’t make a huge deal out of it.
taking a deep breath, Flora answered Yin’s question. “That’s right. Two of them
were captured yesterday. Claire’s nephew, Louis, and my grandson, Nathan.
You’ve already heard we were in the middle of an important meeting, didn’t you?
Until you bunch made ruckus up there, we were discussing how to rescue them.”
Flora sighed quietly, pushing away the dark thoughts about her deceased
relatives. What mattered right now was the present and the lives she could
still save, not the unchangeable past.
as the seven women focused on the current situation, the gloomy atmosphere in
the room relaxed a little.
You have a plan how to save them or not?” Laien asked casually, happy to talk
about something that actually had an actual importance for him. In result,
intentionally or not, he managed to tick off some of the women by his carefree
attitude. Especially the long-haired woman who looked like she was in her
mid-twenties reacted very emotionally. In her eyes, to be acting all
happy-go-lucky immediately after they finished speaking about a great homicide
was very inappropriate and disrespectful to those who lost their lives. Thus,
she cut in and brought up angrily.
I’ve been keeping quiet about it since Claire’s little pupil brought you with
her, but how about showing some proper attitude? Even if you don’t care about
people from a foreign country, behaving like you are is beyond rude.” She commented
on the spur of the moment, not thinking whether she is being unreasonable or
to the woman, Laien smirked and was about to say something, but held back after
being hit in the side by Yin’s elbow. ‘What, am I supposed to apologize?’ He asked
with his eyes, exchanging a glance with Yin. In response, Yin could only smile
awkwardly. He also was unsure how to go about talking with that woman. He
didn’t feel like apologizing either, however, at the same time he didn’t want
to start a fight with her…
raised her eyebrows, observing the two youths. She couldn’t help but smile,
seeing how well the two understood each other. “I’m envious, you two seem like
a very good friends. Have you known each other for long?” She asked, straying from
the topic completely.
The young, long-haired woman frowned a bit, confused by out-of-the-blue
question of her friend.
month?” Laien answered with a smile. Out of the seven women in this group, this
grey-haired old woman gave him the best feeling. She was straightforward with
her emotions, appeared to be wise and most importantly, it looked like she was
taking their side.
month? You aren’t lying to this old woman, are you?” Flora chuckled, raising
her hand to hide her broad smile. “You seem to understand each other without words,
but if it’s really only been a month… Should I say you are compatible with each
other, or should I say I am curious if something happened that made you so
close… or perhaps, if there’s something entirely else, some secret of yours…”
She spoke calmly, looking Laien in the eye. She chuckled again, seeing a
reaction towards the end. “Or maybe it’s all just a delusion in this old head
of mine.” She added lightheartedly, trying to smoothen Laien out.
apparently people tend to go senile with age.” Laien blurted out, a little
angry that the old woman read him like a book. Of course, with his behavior, he
managed to once again irritate the other women, but Flora laughed his comment
off, giving her friends no chance to speak up.
“You are an
interesting one.” Flora said with a warm smile, then asked. “What are your
names, little ones? As you already know, I’m Flora. Unfitting name for such an
old lady, right?” She unconcernedly continued her conversation with Laien, dismissing
the baffled and angered looks of her friends with a carefree flick of her hand.
women, including Claire, all pursed their lips and stayed silent. Although
formally, Claire was their leader, in truth Flora held a higher position in the
hierarchy due to her age, experience and strength. If she wanted to go about
something her way, they really weren’t in a position to oppose her.
Laien.” Amused by the direction this conversation was going into, Laien
answered quickly. He couldn’t have not noticed that the elderly woman was in
fact the one holding the reins, so he also loosened up considerably. She was a
bit tricky, but Laien had a feeling he could trust her to act reasonably. “I’m
Yin.” Yin said briefly, letting Laien continue his talk with the elderly woman.
and Yin.” Flora nodded to herself, then asked tactfully. “Would you mind if
this old woman took a look at your cultivation bases?”
that she would ask, Laien replied straightforwardly. “I don’t mind, but granny,
aren’t you a spiritual master? Will you be able to tell how strong Qi inside
our bodies is?” He inquired, unintentionally stirring up the whole room with
the one word he used to refer to Flora.
right, Ruan who until this point was trying to keep a low profile, couldn’t
help but chuckle helplessly. It was so Laien-like to call a woman he just met -
and who by the way was a spiritual master of the fifth rank - a granny. The
unfortunate wording, however, was met with a harsh disapproval coming from the
women - excluding Claire and the sixteen year old girl, who in turn was holding
back from laughing too loudly.
smiled at Laien, then explained patiently, as if she was talking with one of her
own grandchildren. “You are from the south, so it can’t be helped that you are mistaken
about how aura works. I bet you are confusing it with spiritual sense and
battle sense, aren’t you? Don’t worry, I will be able to tell. Now, if you
excuse me…” Flora concluded and extended her aura to Laien and Yin, gauging
their strength. The next second, she cried out with praise.
“Oh my! A
dual expert at the peak of the seventh mortal realm at your age?” She declared
loudly, shocking everyone but Claire, who was already aware of Laien’s strength.
“Your friend is pretty impressive too, being a martial practitioner of the
eighth rank… But not quite as much as you, I must say.” Flora mused aloud,
taking a look at Yin, then returning her attention to Laien.
didn’t quite expect, was that Laien’s expression would suddenly sink and that
he would rebuke her with a frown. “Yin is stronger than you think, so don’t go
claiming otherwise if you don’t know anything about us.” After saying so, Laien
felt like cutting this talk at this very moment. He didn’t care whether he was
being childish or not, but seeing Yin smile at him meaningfully, he cooled down
and looked at Flora, waiting for her to say something.
what good friends you are. I admit, that boy might be as strong or even
stronger than you are right now… but as a dual practitioner, you will sooner or
later surpass him by a large margin. Magic is, after all, full of boundless
possibilities…” Flora approached Laien patiently, however, as a Magus, she
couldn’t help being biased towards spiritual practice. Additionally, at least
as far as common knowledge went, she was right about dual practitioners being
vastly superior to normal practitioners.
kept talking, Laien’s mood continued to worsen. He was about to get into an
argument with her, but just like previously, the spiritual bond he shared with
Yin came in handy. He looked at Yin, who gave him a calm, unconcerned smile. As
for Yin, he didn’t care about Flora’s opinion at all. She didn’t know anything
about them, so whatever she would say wouldn’t mean much to him. Having
understood that, although he was still a bit grumpy, Laien sighed and let the
seeing the two behave in this way, Flora for once began feeling annoyed. She
was wise enough to tell a lot from the youths’ expressions and she was quite
sure that Laien didn’t calm down because he admitted the truth. Rather, on the
contrary, a look of contempt appeared in his eyes. Moreover, something was
telling her that Laien didn’t react this way because of ignorance, but because
he knew something she wasn’t aware of. This fact proved to be quite a pain for
her to accept.
moment of silence to join the talk, Claire decided to inquire Liza about Laien
and Yin. “Liz, just who are these two boys? They are so talented and are
traveling with an escort of many martial masters. Won’t you tell us already?”
Claire asked openly, causing Liza to be troubled over how to respond.
pretty sure that revealing the real identity of these two boys would only bring
trouble. Although she trusted Claire, the same couldn’t be said about the other
six women, so in the end, she shook her head and said. “Ask them directly if
you want to know. I can’t tell you anything.” She stated with a bitter smile. She
would have liked to do Claire a favor, however in regards to this one thing,
she couldn’t comply.
a pity…” Claire moaned, putting her hand on her cheek and tilting her head.
“How about it, will you tell us?” She asked, this time speaking directly to
Laien and Yin.
smiled sarcastically and replied with a question of his own. “You said you will
kill us in case we can’t be trusted… and you expect any answers?” He asked,
raising his eyebrows questioningly. He didn’t even know all these women’s
names, not to speak of trusting them. Why would he need to tell them about his
background in this situation?
became momentarily speechless, mainly due to being taken off guard by Laien’s
blunt attitude. He was right in saying what he did, but… She didn’t expect a
youth like him to behave in this way, not in a place filled with experts he knew
next to nothing about.
expect any answers for that very reason, has it ever occurred to you?” The
young, long-haired woman went out of her way and butted into the conversation. “You
decided to come here with Claire, so the fact that we can dispose of you at any
time should be something you are aware of.” She continued saying, threatening
Laien and adopting a scary expression. She gave the youth a cold stare,
expecting him to shrink away in fear and apologize… But of course, she couldn’t
have been more wrong with her predictions.
you can kill us?” Laien said with a laugh, not intimidated by the woman’s
threats in the slightest. Facing a spiritual master would be a first time experience
for him, but in a confined space like this one, Laien was quite confident in
having an upper hand. He refused to believe that this woman was a monster at
the level of that masked man, who was apparently nicknamed ‘Shade’, as he
the woman’s response, Laien smiled confidently, wondering if this pulsating
vein on her forehead is going to burst if he provokes her some more…
one arrogant kid, eh?” A dangerous look appeared in the long-haired woman’s
eyes. She actually raised her finger and created a fireball, intending to
intimidate Laien. “How about big sister toasts you a little, you rude kid?” She
asked with a hint of recklessness in her voice, suggesting that she might
really attack if Laien’s doesn’t pipe down.
sister? Aren’t you too old to be called that?” Laien teased, releasing his
spiritual energy and forming seven spikes of ice in the air around himself. “She
isn’t anything special, I got nervous for nothing.” He thought to himself, not
all that impressed by the strength of the woman’s fireball.
And with the guardian spell at that! My!” Flora called out merrily, clapping
her hands. “But, no fighting, okay?” She asked nicely, eyeing her friend and
Laien. To back up her words, she controlled her spiritual energy, instantly
creating two powerful runic formations in the air. The mysterious symbols
shined in a gold light, pulling in an enormous amounts of wind-type elemental
energy and threatening to release a devastating magic.
great the danger was, Laien quickly withdrew his spell, a cold chill running
down his spine. If that granny were to release those two spells… He would surely
be turned into mincemeat without being able to put up a slightest bit of
resistance. This strength definitely wasn’t something an average spiritual
master had, not even the one who reached the fifth realm of heroes.
woman backed down just as fast, letting the fireball dissipate naturally. There
were few people she truly feared and respected, but a serious Flora definitely counted
amongst this group.
nodded, seeing the two calm down. She waved her hand and dispelled the runes,
then said resignedly. “Good God, you weren’t so impulsive in the past, Marcia.
Did you really mean to start a fight with a kid because of some argument?”
Sighing, Flora added unenthusiastically. “I am quite sure we can trust these
young ones and their comrades to not reveal anything about our group. You don’t
need to worry about that.”
clenched her hands and looked down, staring at the floor. With just one serious
rebuke from Flora, she reverted from being a menacing adult, to a timid
student. “And how can you tell that, Master?” She asked with a little frown,
failing to understand Flora’s reasoning.
it been ages since you last called me that?” Flora chuckled, then kindly enough
explained her very deep and complicated thought process that led her to believing
they could trust the other group by saying… “How can I tell? It’s my woman’s
intuition.” The words were like a dropped bomb. They exploded, stunning
everyone present; and then there was an utter silence.
left eye began twitching y as she was spontaneously reminded why dealing with
Flora could be so utterly exhausting… At
the moment, she truly didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
“My, have I
killed the mood?” Flora giggled, totally destroying the remaining bits of her
dignified appearance. “I apologize, but what were we talking about before this
whole mess started?” She asked openly, but stopped smiling when she remembered.
Nathan and Louis…” She said quietly, a look of worry returning to her face. She
looked at Laien and Yin, feeling guilty because of the idea that formed in the
back of her mind. She hesitated whether she should even bring up the matter of
her grandson and Claire’s nephew anymore, but recalling the images of those two
kids in her head, she couldn’t stop herself from asking for the impossible.
little ones… I will understand if you will want to not involve yourselves after
hearing what I am about to ask you to do.” Flora stated weakly, her voice
filled with uneasiness. “Truth to be told, you didn’t interrupt our meeting. We
were out of options to begin with. By ourselves, there is no way for us to
rescue those two…” Shaking her head and watching the confused and troubled expressions
of the two youths, Flora kept speaking quietly.
those two were captured by the ‘Nasharu’s Guardians’ at the marketplace. Later,
we learned that the temple issued a hunt for young boys in ‘celebration’ of a
High Priest coming for a visit from their homeland to the far west, all the way
on the other side of the sea of betrayals. From what we know, this High Priest of
theirs should be arriving tomorrow.” Flora gave Laien and Yin a heartbroken look
and asked. “Do know for what purpose they are abducting young boys?”
in this way, Laien and Yin both recalled Liza’s warning and the reason why the
two of them concealed their faces when walking into the City of Palee.
Suddenly, as they realized the purpose of those abductions, they began feeling really
sick. The perspective of being captured and made into a sex slave was enough to
fill them with hatred towards anyone who would engage such a hideous activity.
reaction, I assume you know. As the smart youths you are, you should also be
able to guess what this horrible old woman wants to ask you to do.” Flora
forced herself to say, then lowered her head and going against her own
“I know it’s
risky, dangerous and completely unreasonable of me to be asking you to do that
for someone you don’t even know… But please, I beg you, help me save my
grandson. He is the only family I have left… I will give you anything you want,
just please, try saving my grandson from that hell…!” Flora begged repeatedly,
too ashamed of herself to raised her head and look at the children she was speaking
to. Despite the grey hair covering her face, one could see tears falling from
her eyes and sinking into the white robe she was wearing.
finished speaking, Claire stood up and walked up to her side. She gazed at
Laien and Yin, then bowed deeply and said. “I’m asking you, too. We will do
everything we can to make it as safe for you as possible and will aid you in
every way we can. Please, help us save my nephew and Flora’s grandson. We truly
have no other hope…” Realizing that indeed, Laien and Yin were the only chance
for her nephew to be rescued, Claire trembled. She couldn’t believe she was
pleading kids who were of similar age to Louis to save him, but here she was,
an expert who trained her whole life, unable to even protect the ones important
atmosphere having turned really heavy, the secret room once again filled with
silence. Everyone anticipated what Laien and Yin were going to say.
Book 2. The outside world.Chapter 36. We'll help.
“I sure hope
that you has some real plan for us, not just ‘go and do your best’ kind of
thing.” Yin mentioned up in the air, giving Flora an anticipating look. The
elderly woman, however, needed a moment to collect herself before she could say
Claire looked like she didn’t know what to say. She had long since recognized
that Laien and Yin weren’t just any average children, so she didn’t expect them
to agree to participate in a dangerous plan just like that. Especially Laien…
She didn’t think he would be so easygoing about accepting their request without
even asking what exactly can he get in return; not after he displayed his
fairly domineering character when facing off with Marcia.
I’m sorry, it must have been unpleasant to look at a crying old woman.” Flora
said with a smile, having wiped the tears off her face. “Talk about a group of
emotionally unstable women, huh?” She added, laughing a little.
Laien smiled meaningfully. He would be unable to deny even if he wanted to. During
the last ten minutes, these women went from being merry, to serious, easy
going, then furious… crying… and being happy again… “They are even worse than
Nila was with her ever-changing moods… I wonder how she and Anatis are doing,
though…” Laien wondered silently, missing the time when he was fooling around
with everyone in Neil City.
at me, now I am getting into a stupid mood.” Laien reprimanded himself and
shook his head. “So, do you have any specific plan for us in mind, or are we
going to be planning everything now?” He asked, getting back to the point.
let’s not waste any more time for idle chatter.” Flora nodded, regaining her
usual fervor. “Since we will be working together, I will first tell you
everything we know about the harem and the Holy District. Then, I will proceed
to ask you a few questions. Finally, you will ask about anything you might want
to know. By the time we finish, we should have a fairly clear image of what we
need to do.” When she finished speaking, Flora gazed at Laien and Yin, asking
wordlessly whether they are fine with it. The two appeared to be content, so
she went on.
there’s nothing much to know about the Holy District of Ikarians, so it’s not
going to be a long lecture… There are only a few basic facts that you need to
remember. The building of harem that interests us is located just east to the
middle of the Holy District itself. It should be easy for you to navigate due
to the tall tower that is in the center of the Holy District… By all means you
should end up in the building of harem, but it won’t hurt to know its location
just in case.” Despite assuring that it’s going a short lecture, Flora totally
got into a mood of an old academic. Without paying much attention to her surroundings,
she continued pouring the information onto the two youths…
of Nasharu, where all the priests and experts reside in, would be the complex
of buildings in the western part of the Holy District. Currently, as far as we
know, around five thousand experts at the realm of heroes reside there. What’s
important for you to know is that the usual routine for the warriors and magi
who reside there is to train and party throughout the day and wander to the
various harems in the evening. The priests are less predictable, but since they
need to lead praying ceremonies five time a day in the whole Palee city, they
won’t be visiting harems in large numbers during the daytime.” Flora kept
speaking slowly, without hurry, just like one would imagine an old magician do
when lecturing his pupils. Sometimes, Flora’s expression flicked when she
thought about her grandson, but she didn’t let it interrupt her train of
youths captured for the High Priest are usually treated better, you shouldn’t
need to worry about yourselves too much. It’s unlikely that you or those two
will be touched before the man arrives in person and has a chance to take a
look at you… But it’s not entirely impossible either… It will be up to you how
to react if that happens.” Flora stated bitterly, in the back of her mind
concerned about the fate of those two boys of hers and Claire’s. Were they
fine? Or had they been hurt? Or maybe some priest roughed them up so much that
it was decided it’s better to dispose of them than to show them to the High
Priest? Or to throw them into the city harem, available to anyone willing to
trembled a little, pursing her lips tight. She took a deep breath, then
proceeded with laying out the details and information about her plan.
time comes, I would need you two to take our children and fight your way out of
the Holy District. I am sure no true experts would stand in your way, after
all, those proud masters wouldn’t lower themselves to playing the role of a
simple guard. Nevertheless, that’s where the problem comes…” Flora shook her
head, then explained hesitatingly. “Can you do that? Fight your way through at
least few dozen guards along the way and flee, protecting our two kids at the
same time?” She asked straightforwardly, knowing that if Laien and Yin weren’t
confident… Then she would probably need to call the rescue off. However, she
was ready to bear with it. She wouldn’t force two children into a fight they
couldn’t win for the sake of her grandson and Claire’s nephew.
smiled reassuringly and seeing Flora’s expression, hurried to answer. “As long
as we have our weapons, it should be simple… But is there a way for us to carry
our interspatial rings inside?” He said and began musing aloud, showing no hint
of concern about facing guard who were but at the mortal realm. In truth, both
he and Yin appeared so confident that Marcia couldn’t help but speak up her
appreciate that you are helping us, but you shouldn’t be over-exaggerating your
strength. There’s no point in empty bragging. Even if you two are geniuses and
young masters of some great clans, how much experience in fighting can you two
have? Just so you know, a life-or-death battle is incomparable to any sparring
you two might have had with your masters.” Marcia spoke in a typical to her,
aggressive manner. She could admit that Laien and Yin were talented, but she
couldn’t believe they would be a match for trained adults. She even doubted
whether asking them for help was a good idea at all. In her eyes, Flora and
Claire were clinging to some unreasonable hope, as these two were pretty much
destined to fail.
think you need to worry about that.” Liza suddenly brought up with a laugh,
joining the conversation. By now, she managed to collect herself and once again
was behaving like she always did. Confidently, brashly… and somewhat cunningly. “We traveled through
the Anarchic Lands to come here, you know? These two did their own fair share
of fighting and killing. From what I saw, despite their age, it didn’t look
like it was a first-time experience for them either.” Liza stated openly, her
words smelling of ridicule from a smile. For her, it was killing two birds with
one stone. She could both annoy the woman she never liked and get on Laien and
Yin’s good side. There truly was no better way to relieve some stress.
really mean what you are saying? How old are these two,? Eleven, twelve? How
can they be used to fighting and killing people?” Even though she heard it from
Liza, Marcia refused to take her at word. She turned her gaze to Laien and Yin,
further reassuring her doubts. All she could see were two brats who probably
spent majority of their lives playing without a worry.
looks like even the ‘billion’ deaths didn’t cure your idiotic beliefs, ‘Miss
Marcia’. It’s because your Faren Republic refused to fight for itself when it
still could and kept teaching its children to defend themselves with flowers
instead of swords that this disaster happened.” Liza blurted out without
thinking twice about what exactly she was saying. She might have been pretty
much spot on with her argument, but… She certainly didn’t choose the best way
or time to deliver it.
Marcia boiled with anger, seemingly on the verge of exploding. However, at the
same time, something deep inside her cracked. She knew that Liza was speaking
the truth, she also remembered her own words from the past… It was all rooted
inside her too deeply to change in the span of a year or two. Feeling disgusted
with herself, Marcia suddenly went silent. She lowered her head and didn’t say
anything else. Liza’s word proved to be a painful blow, exactly because they
were harsh and true at the same time.
there were less people like her in the past, and more people like Liza or
Claire, then the Faren Republic wouldn’t have perished so pitiably… Having
brought genocide upon itself, having been blind until the very moment when it
was already too late…
yourself over it, Marica. Nothing will change if you do. You are here with us
now, that’s what is important.” Flora spoke soothingly. “We mustn’t forget this
painful lesson, but there’s no need to be bringing it up only to hurt one
another.” She said, disheartened.
Let’s get back to the point.” She added after a few seconds of seemingly very
are strong.” Jin suddenly decided to speak up, feeling like saying a word or
two about Laien and Yin. “We all saw these two sparring with each other many
times. I exchanged a blow or two with Laien, too, and I don’t think I am his
match.” He reminded, massaging his wrist that had nearly been broken by Laien
at that time. “It wouldn’t be too much to say that they are as strong as
martial masters of the second rank. Some guards who aren’t even at the realm of
heroes will be a piece of cake for them to deal with.” He topped it off by
saying so, making the seven women dumbstruck, at the very least.
boys who looked eleven or twelve year old were as strong a martial masters of
the second rank? With their cultivation bases being around seventh and eighth
mortal realms? It was utterly inconvincible. If Liza and Jin didn’t appear to
be serious while saying so, they might have thought of it as some ridiculous
shocked expressions of the women, Ruan couldn’t stop himself from adding. “That’s
right. These two are monsters. They both possess powerful arts and techniques…
Their innate talent is off the charts, too. Any average martial master of the
first rank is no match for them.” He assured with certainty. Little did he
know, that for current Laien and Yin… perhaps not now, but after a month or two
would pass… even ‘average’ martial masters of the fourth rank would be no match
anymore. Unless one wielded top-level art, was a highly talented magi, or
possessed other, special talents or unique abilities… He would definitely be
unable to stand up to those two youths.
Laien and Yin were both self-aware of this fact. However, they only listened to
all the praising with smiles on their faces. They felt no need to brag - or at
least, not that much, in Laien’s case. After all, it would be too troublesome
to explain why exactly do they possess
such strength. The existence of the Aspects, of the Principles, of the
Profound Mysteries they were only beginning to grasp… Of each of theirs
heritages and abilities. There would be no end to it and what’s more, they
didn’t feel like revealing it to just anyone.
promising youths… How many centuries had it been since our Faren Republic
produced geniuses like that, with potential to reach the late stages of the
realm of heroes?” Flora said bitterly. In contrast to everyone, she had been
alive for far longer and had seen many things. She didn’t find it as unbelievable
for the most supreme talents of the young generation to be comparable to some
of the weaker experts of the old generation. In truth, she had seen such
peerless geniuses before; ones originating from noble families, attending the
greatest schools on the continent. However, she wouldn’t have ever dreamed
about Laien and Yin actually belonging in the ranks of those peerless
“My, I said
I’d grant you anything you desire… but does this old lady even have anything
worth your attention?” Flora mused aloud, becoming more and more aware of how
strong and wealthy the powers hidden behind Laien and Yin must be. For her to
offer anything fitting as a reward for them… She doubted whether she truly
possessed such a thing.
have something. I am interested in runes, so you can teach me how to use them.”
Laien replied quickly, recalling the impressive runic formation that Flora used
to intimidate him and Marcia. The power displayed by this spell really made a
huge impression on Laien and made him even more eager to learn how to use
if that’s what you wish, I will teach you the basics and provide with materials
for self-study. If you decide to remain here for longer, I will teach you
personally.” Flora promised with a warm smile. However, she groaned silently,
turning her eyes towards Yin. “Runes can be used only by magi, so I fear I have
no suitable knowledge to offer to you, young one…” She said apologetically, a
bit worried how Yin would react. The two might have already agreed to help, but
the possibility of them withdrawing was still there.
Laien would say, you will just owe me a favor.” Yin chuckled, exchanging a
glance with Laien, then giving Flora a smile. He nodded lightly and reminded. “So…
what about our interspatial rings? Will we be able to bring them with us”
smiled helplessly and like Yin asked her to, clarified some things. “We have a
trusted ally who is pretty high in the hierarchy of Ikarians. He will surely
lend us a hand. Since you won’t be caught on the streets by some random Guards
of Nasharu, but delivered as a gift, they won’t suspect that you are carrying
anything dangerous. Adding a few other rings to your hands will be more than
enough to disguise your interspatial rings.” Having said so, she gave Laien and
Yin a look, waiting to see if they have any questions.
really trust that man you mentioned? If he betrays us, we will be screwed.”
Laien questioned, not too inclined to get screwed over by a person he knew
doubt we can trust him. He helped us greatly during the great purge. I
certainly wouldn’t be asking him to aid us if I weren’t sure of his intentions.” Flora stated
outright. “Anything else?” She asked patiently. Laien shook his head, Yin
appeared to have no questions either, so after thinking for a second, she
returned to telling them about the last few things they needed to know.
your escape. We will keep watch on the Holy District and the moment you are
discovered by the guards, our ‘alliance of the seven mountains’ will launch an
attack on the western walls of the Holy District. We can muster at least
hundred people, so we will be sure to make raise some big ruckus. The Ikarians
won’t be able to stand an open provocation when their High Priest is about to
pay them a visit. I wouldn’t be surprised if their whole army rushed to chase
after us. Even if somebody happened to tell them about slaves escaping from the
harems, at most a few would turn back to chase you, if anyone at all.” Flora allowed
herself to release a little sigh. That part of the plan would be most dangerous
for her and all her colleagues. She could only hope that they would be able to
retreat and flee in time, before any of them would be killed or caught.
think it makes sense… As long as everything works as you are saying…” Laien
murmured, then nodded strongly, deciding that Flora’s plan is good enough. “How
are we supposed to find those two? Nathan and Louis, right? How do we recognize
them? Also, do you have any information how the building of harem looks from
inside, where are we likely to be placed?” He asked about the things that came
to his mind and soon enough, he received an answer.
the man who we are going to ask for help - had been to the harems in the Holy
District, so we know pretty much everything. As gifts to the High Priest, you
will be placed in the central building, most likely in one big room with the
other kidnapped, ‘gifted’ or bought boys… In case you aren’t…” Flora shook her
head, pursing her lips. “Then the only option left for you will be to search.
However, don’t try to get information out of the guards. They will sooner cry
out in alarm than tell you anything, even if you threaten them to kill. If
possible, dispose of them before they have a chance to raise an alarm.” Flora
looked like she had something else to say, but for a moment, she went silent.
Then, with a pained expression on her face, she spoke quietly. “If you can’t
find those two and the situation escalates beyond what you can handle…”
before she could finish her sentence, Laien interrupted her. “It’s not going to
happen, so don’t worry.” He reassured in a lighthearted tone.
“I truly do
hope so.” Flora forced out a smile and fell silent for a period of time. In her
heart, the debt of gratitude she owed Laien and Yin her grew even bigger
Book 2. The outside world.Chapter 37. The one who brings Shaari.
finished speaking, Claire didn’t wait long and also told Laien and Yin
something about her nephew. “Louis is eleven, he is as tall as either of you
are. You will spot him easily, he has long light-brown hair reaching halfway to
his back. His eyes are also light brown… He is a martial practitioner of the
fourth rank.” She concluded swiftly, speaking at a much quicker pace than Flora
should be all from our side…” Flora mused aloud after having Laien and Yin
repeat the descriptions of Nahan and Louis to see if they remembered
everything. “We need time to do a lot of preparations, so we will begin the
plan tomorrow morning. Until then, you can rest in Claire’s inn or if you must,
you can go and take a look at the city… Remember to conceal yourselves through,
like you did before coming here. Also be sure to go in a company of at least
one your male guards. It would be a disaster if Guards of Nasharu captured you
by some stroke of bad luck.” She warned wisely, wary to avoid the worst
be going to the city, right?” Yin said with a light smile, gazing at Laien out
of the corner of his eye. “Yeah.” Laien confirmed with a nod. The two of them
didn’t find the atmosphere in Palee City to be enjoyable, so they didn’t feel like
wandering about it either.
don’t have any questions… then for now, take that.” Flora threw a golden
interspatial ring to Laien and explained briefly. “There’s all knowledge of
mine about the runes in this ring. Although it will be harder for you to learn
without a teacher, from the looks of it, we won’t have much time to use for teaching.
I might as well give you it in advance.” She said with a meaningful smile,
reluctantly parting with her precious manuals, scrolls, books and many other
things necessary for learning the magic of runes.
I nearly forgot… After we escape from the Holy District, what then?” Laien
asked, suddenly remembering about this ‘obvious’ matter that they somehow
managed to not talk about.
be received by Claire and one other of our dual experts. If possible, you will
disappeared in the city. If not, we will make sure to help you to escape out of
it along with your companions.” Flora explained briefly. “If you get out of the
Holy District, then the rest will be easy for your side.” She reassured,
predicting that the attention of the majority of Ikarian masters would at the
time be focused on chasing her seven mountains alliance.
Laien shrugged his shoulders and turned to look at Claire. “Can you take us up?
We will probably just rest in our room until morning.” He asked expectantly.
gazed at Flora and only when the elderly women nodded lightly, did she say.
“Fine, let’s go. I will accommodate your escorts, too. I guess the two of you
prefer a two-person room?” She brought up somewhat teasingly, guessing from the
way Laien decided to seat himself and Yin; separately from everyone else.
“Yeah. That would be nice.” Laien affirmed, not too concerned with Claire’s
teasing. He gave the remaining six women one last look, then turned and left
the secret room with Yin and the other three.
luxurious, but still better than the one in the Iron Fort.” Laien mused,
caressing the blankets on his bed. They were quite soft and they smelled nicely,
the room was warm, too. There really wasn’t much he was dissatisfied with, only…
There was no a proper washroom, but perhaps that would be expecting too much. At the very least, there was one in the
do we do? Are you going to study runes?” Yin asked, seating himself
cross-legged on top of the second bed. “Nah, it looks too complicated. I would
need some peace and quiet to study them. I will just train until evening and
then go to sleep.” Laien replied lazily and laid down on the bed. Were he to
try and improve his basic cultivation level, or like Yin, would need to
carefully make sure that his body gets used to its own newly gained power, he
would probably choose to sit down, but since that wasn’t the case, he could as
well train while laying down.
Let’s take another look at this Profound Mystery of Inferno…” Laien thought
quietly, submerging into the depths of his consciousness. He carefully
approached the spot where the Profound Mystery of Inferno had been engraved
upon his soul and very slowly, reached out to it.
caution, he began merging with the very surface of the powerful mass of
he was forced rely on the Aspect of Tranquility to prevent all the energy in
his body from going berserk. He was entering a dangerous territory, going
beyond the powers that he could naturally control. However, by straining
himself like this… He was making a considerable progress both in comprehension
of the Aspect of Tranquility and in understanding the Profound Mystery of
Inferno. Although his current progress in the later one felt like pulling a
drop of water from a sea, he could tell how great of a power this one drop
provided him with.
like that red-haired big sister said, everything is connected. Aspects,
Principles, Profound Mysteries… Now if I only can create a suitable technique
or spell to use along with the borderline uncontrollable Profound Mystery of
Inferno…” Laien allowed his thoughts to wander freely as he focused his whole
attention on comprehending his insights and searching for a way to put them to
a practical use. Just like that, time passed by at a quick pace..
we are about to come ashore.” A man with the top of his head wrapped in white
cloth reported respectfully, falling down to his knees and putting his forehead
against the wooden deck.
The man wearing white clothes decorated with many golden armaments ordered, not
sparing even one look at the servant.
When he was
left alone, the man in white-golden cloth frowned and murmured angrily. “A
month on this damned ship, sailing the sea of betrayals… What was the Great
Prophet thinking, sending me of all people to the lands of infidels?” The man
cracked his fingers, unable to prevent some of his powerful Qi from leaking out
in anger. In the luxurious cabin, the air itself stirred, responding to the
overbearing wind-element energy of the middle aged man. The power of the
seventh realm of heroes filled the room, but was quickly withdrawn just as
quickly as it appeared.
I shall see for myself how do our newly gained lands look. If they prove good
enough, I shall govern them for a decade or two and then return to our
homeland.” The white-golden clothed man decided, coming to terms with the task
bestowed upon him by the Great Prophet.
moment, he was in no hurry to leave the ship and wanted to lay back down onto
the bed of pillows, but suddenly, he sensed a presence of a person approaching
are in the Eulean Union, right?” A four or five year old youth called out
merrily. He ran up to his father and hugged him, sitting down on his lap. “I
want to go sightseeing. Can we, can we?” The youth asked energetically, looking
up at his father’s face with a wide smile on his face.
white-golden clothed man laughed, then patted his dear son’s head. “Fine, we
will go. Do you have everything you need with you?” He asked in a gentle voice.
“I do!” The boy answered and nodded lightly, without ever taking his eyes off
get going!” The man held his son with one hand and stood up, then walked out on
the board of the ship with the youth in his arms. He ignored the kowtowing
servants and subordinates and walked up to the wooden bridge leading down from
the ship to the coast. His son, who he held against his chest, looked around
excitedly, eager to see the land of another country.
At the very
moment the white-golden clothed man’s figure appeared, the hundreds of
thousands followers of Nasharu fell to the ground and cried out in one, united
voice. “Iratzu Shaara! Iratzu Shaara!” Their cry shook the heavens and caused
the earth to tremble. As the unending chant continued to grow stronger and
stronger, the youth in the man’s arms kept smiling and waving his hand to the
huge crowd of people. The boy’s eyes seemed to glister, filled with awe and
pride coming from having such an amazing father.
white-golden clothed man looked upon the gathered followers of Nasharu with no
particularly positive or negative feelings. He wasn’t too excited at the sight,
having seen much greater amounts of people back in his homeland. However,
seeing that his son was enjoying himself, he took his time and walked down
Yimar, your servant greets you in the lands converted to the might of Halla,
the only true god!” A man wearing a white robe greeted the the white-golden
clothed man. Bowing, he asked courteously. “Does Mustafa the Humble, the right
hand of the Great Prophet, the Great Yimar of Manakke, have any wishes to make
of this humble servant?” Waiting for an answer, the white-robed man raised his
head slightly. He trembled, overwhelmed by the majestic presence of the Great
be the Yimar assigned to this kingdom. What’s your name?” Mustafa asked calmly,
paying little to not attention to the overbearing clamor caused by the hundreds
of thousands of people. “This humble servant’s name is Sharu, Great Yimar.” The
white-robed man answered hurriedly, so nervous that he was about to fall down
to his knees and kowtow.
“I wish to
see the most beautiful and bewildering these lands have to offer. You shall be
my guide, Sharu.” Mustafa stated his desire, to which the white-clothed man
responded in kind.
Yimar. It shall happen as you say. A great welcome had been prepared for you in
the capital city of Palee. After that, I shall personally take you to see all
the best these lands have to offer.” The white-clothed man, Sharu, bowed even
more deeply, fearful that the Great Yimar might find his proposition not satisfying
Is it similar to our Holy City? I want to see!” The youth in Mustafa’s arms
called out, startling Sharu pretty heavily.
will go there. But you will lead the procession with me during the whole way.
It’s a ride of over one thousand kilometers, can you do it, Arslan?” Mustafa
asked his son with a laugh. “We will ride together in the front?! I will!” The
five year old didn’t betray Mustafa’s expectations and agreed eagerly. Of
course, he was aware how hard it would be for him to keep up with his father’s
pace for so long, but he didn’t hesitate to take on the challenge for even a fraction
son!” Mustafa laughed loudly, already walking out of the crowd and heading in
the direction of the thousands Hisan horses waiting for him and his personal
soldiers. The swift light-brown steeds were being led out of the ships en
masse, each of them comparable or better in quality to the best of war horses
from the central and southern parts of the continent. The sight was truly
astonishing to behold.
need to speak out and ask for it, two servants led two pure-white Hisan horses to
Mustafa and Arslan. One of the steeds was full-grown, while the other was
obviously still pretty young and a size smaller.
year old Arslan looked at his father, who nodded lightly with a smile on his
face. The youth pushed himself away and jumped down from his father’s arms. He
then ran up to the one and a half meter high horse and in one leap, seated
himself in the saddle. He quickly looked at his father, looking for a praise
chuckled, mounting his own horse. He gave his son an encouraging look, pointing
at the road they were going to take with his eyes.
Arslan called out merrily, kicking his horse’s sides lightly. The white steed
obediently trotted forward, reading his master’s intentions fairly well.
Yimar, Mustafa, also rode forward. He gazed briefly at the thousands of his
private troops who without any delay mounted their horses and followed him and
his son. Satisfied with what he was seeing, Mustafa relaxed. Maybe the time he
would need to spend in those faraway lands wouldn’t be that bad, if he could focus
more of his attention on his son; or so he came to think.
that a bit… too much?” Laien asked helplessly, his eye twitching from
stop moving! Do you want start be starting all over again?” The sixteen year
old girl from yesterday’s meeting reprimanded in a jokingly angry tone, all the
while holding back from giggling.
groaned silently, promising himself to somehow get back at Lina if a chance
ever appeared. He agreed to help Flora and Claire to rescue those two… but this…
so angry, you look cute~” Yin chuckled, sitting on the side and watching how
Lina was putting makeup on Laien’s face.
about to start sulking, but then Lina commented in his stead. “Don’t worry, it’s
your turn next~” She said with a wide smile and giggled, seeing Yin’s troubled
found some interesting children.” The Ikarian man leaning against the room’s
wall said with a laugh. “I’m sure they will be a big hit in the harem~” He
added jokingly, meaning no harm, but still causing Laien to get angry at him.
finished. Now you can frown all you want.” Lina nodded to herself, taking a
long look at Laien’s face. Since Laien’s features weren’t that of a typical ‘beautiful
boy’, she refrained from using any powder and only oiled his skin a little bit.
For the same reason, instead of making his lips brighter with a crimson lipstick,
she chose to intensify their natural color with more toned shade of red… What
required most effort from her was making Laien’s eyelashes and eyebrows more
distinct while keeping the ‘strong and serious’ feeling to them, but in her own
opinion, she did really well with that, too. She had even combed Laien’s
neck-long black hair properly, as originally, they were a complete mess…
opened his eyes and looked at her, Lina found herself in bit of a daze and began
daydreaming a little. “Waa, he sure looks good…” She suddenly caught herself on
thinking and shook her head, her cheeks blushing red.
luckily for her, Laien wasn’t paying attention and already walked off to the
side, she sighed with relief. “Come, now the other one.” She said eagerly, patting
the pillow in front of her and chuckling, watching how the two boys exchange a
look. “They sure are cute, squabbling like that.” She mused quietly, already
wondering what kind of makeup should she do for the exceptionally good-looking
Yin. “Mm, gotta try my best. It’s a rare chance, after all.” She said to herself,
making sure to enjoy the carefree moment.
started taking care of Yin, Laien turned his eyes to the Ikarian man and asked
with some suspicion present in his eyes. “So… You will take us to that harem in
the Holy District?”
be exact, not me, but my men.” The man said with a smile. “It would be bad if
after your escape the Holy Palace connected me to the two of you, don’t you
think? So please mind yourself to not mention my name. I’ve been told Claire explained
to you and your friend how to behave, so I hope you won’t screw anything up.” Having
said so, the man smirked, getting Laien quite angry. For ‘some’ reason, the two
of them just didn’t mix too well with each other…
rather worry if we can really trust you. What reason do you have for helping
these women and their organization anyway?” Laien questioned, unable to shake
off the bad feeling about this man. Although Yin assured him that there’s
nothing wrong with this person, he just naturally couldn’t bring himself to like
personal grudge.” The man answered, his expression turning serious. He nearly
made Laien’s opinion of him turn for better, but then… “Nothing that should
interest a brat like you.” He added, causing Laien to roll his eyes and start
ignoring him from this point onwards.
Book 2. The outside world.Chapter 38. Bestiality.
A gift for the Great Yimar from the Kashii Sharu from the Deren Kingdom?” The
arriving chamberlain asked, not too convinced. “What is he thinking, a Kashii
sending only two of them… what a disgrace. Does he want to make a fool of
himself?” The brown-clothed chamberlain frowned, giving the man who brought
Laien and Yin a scornful look. He understood, however, that he was looking at
but a servant of the Kashii Sharu, so he couldn’t be bothered to waste any more
breath on the man.
whatever. Show me how these two look. If they are good enough, we will accept
them.” The chamberlain said and walked up to the closer youth, then
unceremoniously removed the hood from his head. He lazily moved his gaze down
to look at the boy, who at the same time looked up right into his eyes…
Halla!” The chamberlain cried out, causing the nearby guards to turn their
heads and look curiously. Even the few nearby serfs wandering around the
outskirts of the Holy District stopped to take a look, wondering what could
have surprised the chamberlain so much that he would shout.
brown-clothed chamberlain took a deep breath, staring at the black-haired youth
in front of him. “Rakcha Bazi…” He said with a smile and commented aloud. ”He
truly has a disobedient, strong look to him. Great, great. I never thought that
we would receive a top-quality Rakcha Bazi today. Kashii Sharu really found
something nice.” As he was praising, the chamberlain moved over to the second
youth. “Let’s see what we have here…” He mused expectantly, removing the hood
from Yin’s head.
Bazi!” A few surprised voices cried out at the same time as the chamberlain
gasped in astonishment. In his life, he had seen more beautiful boys than he
could hope to count, but he had never seen a boy as marvelous as the one that was
standing before him right now. For a second, a desire to take this youth for
himself appeared in the chamberlain’s heart, but as soon as he remembered about
the imminent arrival of the Great Yimar, he threw that idea away.
Halla, I’ve never seen anyone deserving to be called ‘Sari Sasra Bazi’ more
than this youth. The Great Yimar will surely be extremely satisfied with him.
You can go back and tell your master to expect to be rewarded greatly.” The
chamberlain spoke without taking his eyes off Yin. But then… He suddenly felt a
cold chill and started looking around. Confused, the chamberlain could have
sworn that he felt a powerful bloodthirst from somewhere nearby, but no matter
how hard he searched for the source of this killing intent, he couldn’t quite tell
who might have been its owner. “I must be seeing things.” He deemed in the end,
letting the matter be.
these two to the main harem. If anyone touches as much as a strand of hair on
their heads before the Great Yimar sees them, he will be beheaded. Understood?”
The chamberlain warned very seriously, giving the few nearby guards a stern
men who the chamberlain spoke to, seeing their superior act like this, threw
away all the lewd thoughts they might have had about playing with the two boys
or feeling them up before leaving them at the harem. They fell to their knees
and lowered their heads, displaying their obedience; only then did the
chamberlain’s expression smoothen out and did he allow them to take the two
precious boys away.
will be staying here.” One of the three gate guards said bleakly, an obvious
note of frustration present in his voice.
guard at the door raised his eyebrows, pretty impressed with the looks of their
new acquisitions. “Don’t go making a ruckus. You will be punished if you do.”
He reprimanded very simply, opening the door to the large chambers and
gesturing the two youths to go inside.
and Yin walked into to the dark room, lit with but a few olive lamps here and
there, the heavy door was shut behind them.
Laien’s eyes got used to the dark, he saw around half a hundred boys between
the age of six and fourteen. The boys were all wearing pure white robes and
were sitting or lying down on large white pillows. The floor itself was covered
with countless furs of exotic animals, while the air reeked of some nauseously
sweet smell. The boys weren’t talking or doing anything else; the atmosphere in
the room was filled with the silent despair which many of the youths had
already accepted as inventible reality.
bodies are…” Yin said in a low, somewhat trembling voice. He could see much
better in the dark than Laien, so he quickly spotted the minute details. Around
half of the youths in the chambers, perhaps those who had the misfortune to be
here for longer, were in a horrible state.
Were it only for the wounds, neither Yin nor Laien would be shaken by the sight
alone. It was the awareness of how these wounds must have been inflicted that
caused rage to boil in both of their hearts. All these kids weren’t hurt while
fighting, but were tormented for the fun of it… Restrained, unable to fight
back, experiencing despair and hopelessness over and over again… Then thrown
back into this room without being treated at all, left to die in excruciating
After a few
seconds, Laien spotted Louis - the boy with long brown hair - and when he did,
all the blood drained from his face. Countless bruises and blood stains were
visible on Louis’s body, it was hard to tell from a few dozen meters away, but
he truly was in a dire state. Seeing the especially large crimson stain on the
white robe below the eleven year old’s back made Laien imagine how this heavily
bleeding wound must have been created…
stand it anymore, Laien leaned forward and threw up, both horrified and
infuriated by the grotesque perspective.
men standing silently in the four corners of the large chambers glanced at
Laien very briefly, then returned to staring blankly into the space. A sight
like that wasn’t all that uncommon here, so they paid it no mind. Later, a
servant would come and clear the mess, so it wasn’t their business…
out the remaining vomit from his mouth and smiled weakly, feeling Yin patting him
on his back. He didn’t need to look to know that Yin was just as, if not even
more furious than him. Without wasting any time, Laien spread his aura
throughout the room and confirmed the cultivation bases of the present guards.
As expected, they were mediocre, if not to say - low. The four men were all at
the sixth mortal realm as martial practitioners, so they weren’t anything
the furthest two guards were more than a hundred meters away from Laien, it
didn’t change anything. They were just too weak and too relaxed. Virtually at
the same time, the four of them slid down along the walls they were resting
against and fell to the floor, dead. Were one to look closely, he would notice
a few centimeters long spikes of ice sticking out of their respective foreheads.
In dark room, not being vigilant in the slightest, about to fall asleep form
boredom… There never was a possibility of them surviving a sudden assault.
gotten rid of the four pests, Laien quickly approached Louis and kneeled down
at his side. He put his hand at the youth’s back, all the while listening to
his weak and ragged breathing. “Both arms and wrists dislocated… he is bleeding
inside his stomach… his ribs are shattered… and he is torn down there, too…”
Laien said aloud, already using his water-element magic to heal Louis’s
injuries. A colorless layer of water engulfed Louis’s body, causing the many
bruises to disappear in the span of few seconds. The remaining wounds, however,
took longer and required more effort take care of.
As far as
healing a simple sword wound wasn’t that hard, getting rid of heavy internal
injuries was something on an entirely another level of difficulty. The magic
called forth couldn’t simply regenerate the wounds, it needed to remove the
excess blood, dissolve the dangerous remains of shattered bones and only then
return the internals to their original state. Were it not for the purity of
Laien’s spiritual energy, he would have needed to use up all his energy just to
heal Louis. In the end, Laien expended around a third of spiritual energy -
still a very considerable amount.
“It sure is
harder to heal someone else, especially when he is in such a state…” Laien
murmured, wondering if a ‘real’ and not self-created healing spell would have
had a better effect and been more efficient. He really could use getting a
teacher… but it wasn’t the right time to be thinking about that.
all of them will be…” Laien groaned, exchanging a look with Yin. It really
couldn’t be helped. Even if they wanted to cure only those who were in as bad
of a condition as Louis had been in, it would be impossible. Using up all his
spiritual energy to mend everyone a little, so they wouldn’t die… Was out of
the question, too. No matter how vexing it was, Laien felt that he couldn’t
afford to expend all his spiritual strength for them, not when he needed it to
safely escape this place.
think there is a way to get them all out of here?” Yin asked quietly, thinking
about the same thing Laien came to consider doing. “Not one that I can think
of.” Laien replied with a sigh. It would be risky enough to run with two kids, but
to lead out a whole bunch of them, while half can’t even walk by themselves?
Impossible. Maybe if he was at the spiritual master level and could easily
stabilize enough water to lift them all high into the air… But something like
that would make them an easy target for the practitioners gathered in the Holy
District… While some kids fleeing by the ground during a commotion might be
overlooked, something like using magic to float with a large number of people
would attract way too much attention.
said… I don’t see the other one anywhere. Nathan, was it? Are we going to need
to search the building after all?” Laien mused aloud, giving up the thoughts of
rescuing everyone. Before Yin could say something, the two of them heard a
groan coming from the awakening Louis and turned their eyes to look at him.
long-haired eleven year old tried to raise himself up, but started coughing out
the blood leftover in his throat. Feeling weak, Louis rolled over on his side.
“Don’t try to stand up yet. I healed you, but your fatigue is still there.”
Laien explained patiently, holding back from flooding the half-conscious Louis
year old squinted his eyes, then rubbed them, all the while trying to calm down
his shallow breathing. He didn’t quite understand what was going on, but
everything slowly stated coming back to him. Involuntarily recalling the hell
he went though, Louis began shaking all over his body. He was so scared that he
peed himself, but despite that, he still kept his mouth shut tightly, too
terrified of what this man would do to him if he were to cry out.
moment, the disgust Laien and Yin felt towards the majority of Ikarians had
already reach the level of hatred. Seeing a kid their age in this state moved
them much more than being told about a purge that happened in Eulean Union a
few months ago. At first, it all felt distant, even unrealistic. However now,
all the events they heard about became painfully real in their hearts. Just
imagining the horrifying things that the hundreds, or perhaps thousands of
slaves in the harems, both children and women alike, must be going through
every day was making Laien’s and Yin’s blood boil.
a deep breath, trying to regain his composure. “We’re here to save you. We will
get you out of here, but first, we need to find your friend, Nathan.” He tried
to reassure Louis, but to no visible effect. Yet, when he mentioned Nathan’s
name, Louis’s eyes suddenly regained focus. Although he didn’t stop trembling
and the tears kept flowing from his eyes, the eleven old managed to utter.
“He-e’s .. still with… h-him… H-he’s g-going to d-die…” Having forced the words
out of his mouth, Louis gave Laien and Yin a desperate, pleading look. If
nothing was done… then Nathan would surely be tortured and raped to death…
cursed quietly. He exchanged a glance with Yin; the two of them nodded at each
other. Immediately, Laien released his aura and stretched it as far as it could
surprise, his aura didn’t stop expanding when it reached the distance of one
hundred meters. It kept stretching out even further with each second and didn’t
seem like it would stop anytime soon. Two hundred meters, three hundred, five
hundred… Finally, it engulfed the whole building, creating a sphere with a radius
of over eight hundred meters!
Laien a good moment to discern all the various presences and find the person he
was looking for. He managed to pick out a young, weak life force of a spiritual
practitioner and the presence of a some grown-up man the same room. “Four
guards in my way. The man is a martial master of the second rank…” Laien
thought to himself, then glanced at Yin. The two of them didn’t need to speak,
they understood each other well enough without words and if that wasn’t enough,
their spiritual bond made it fairly easy to tell each other’s intentions.
up to the door, trying to be careful to not make his footsteps too loud. He
made use of his aura and by focusing on one specific place, he made out the
exact location of the guard at the door. He controlled his spiritual energy,
creating a spike of ice and sending it toward the man’s neck. He killed him at
the spot… or rather, should have killed him on the spot, but failed, because the
man actually noticed the forming magic out of the corner of his eye.
such a rush, Laien screwed up and allowed his target to retaliate. He was too
hasty, too careless… However, the guard also made a mistake. Startled as his
was, he never would have expected to be attacked all of the sudden in such a
bizarre manner. He instinctively dodged by stepping back, but in result, slammed
right into the sturdy door. Before he could yell out, the spike of ice sliced
his throat and made him unable to utter anything apart from some bulging
second, a good dozen more spikes of ice, this time much bigger, appeared in
front of the man and impaled him onto the door, killing him for good.
damn it. If I do as bad with this martial master of the second rank, I will
have the whole army chasing after me in the next instant.” Laien cursed in his
mind, all the while using his magic to quietly shatter the lock and open the
door. He slipped away, wondering why was it that no boys in the room made any
ruckus after seeing the corpse nailed down to the door… But perhaps it was too
late to hassle about something like this.
same time, on the main avenue of the City of Palee, a great crowd of many
million people gathered to greet the arriving Great Yimar.
well to last so long, stop sulking.” Mustafa said with a smile, finding it
pretty amusing that his five year old son was grumpy because he managed to last
‘only’ for one thousand kilometers of the ride before taking a break for few
hours and completing it right afterwards anyway. For a five year old this was
already amazing enough, but despite that, that son of his still wanted more?
“Really, what a handful kid.” Mustafa mused quietly and laughed to himself.
wanted to get it all done at once… and then ask for a present…” Arslan pouted
quietly, not expecting that his father would hear him through the deafening
well enough to ask for something.” Mustafa declared, completely satisfied with
his son’s performance. “Is there anything you want?” He asked encouragingly,
ready to grant any wish that his dear son might have.
“Then, I want
to keep spending time with you, father! In our homeland, you were always too
busy… Can we?” Arslan asked a little nervously, appearing somewhat shy about
this request of his.
son’s words, Mustafa couldn’t help but start laugh loudly. “Of course we can!”
He said merrily, coming to see more and more benefits from making this trip to
the lands of infidels. “Want to race to the gate? We can see it already.”
Mustafa suggested, being in a truly wonderful mood.
managed to contain his happiness, Arslan smiled mischievously and kicked his
horse’s sides, rushing ahead first in a bit of a false start. “I’m going to be
first!” He shouted to his father, smiling from ear to ear. Mustafa chortled and
followed in suit, chasing after his son. “What a handful boy” He said to
himself once more, watching his young son’s back with a smile on his lips.
Yimar! We greet you!” The brown-clothed chamberlain shouted loudly and kneeled
down. “We greet you, Iratzu Shaara!” The five thousand experts of Palee City
cried out in one voice, each of them falling to his knees and lowering his
however, did only as much as nod briefly, paying the men no attention at all.
At the moment, he was busy chatting with his son and teasing him about losing
the race even after he cheated. He simply couldn’t be bothered to pay any mind
to his subjects.
the Great Yimar was absorbed in talking with his son, Sharu approached his
chamberlain with the question. “Has everything been prepared?” He asked in a
Sharu. Everything is ready. Also, I have an interesting piece of news for the
Great Yimar, if he wishes to hear it.” The chamberlain declared and purposely
raised his voice so Mustafa could hear him say so. He care little about making
his current master anger and the scornful look he was giving him. If he could
get on the good side of the Great Yimar, his status would immediately rise by
many levels. Although he might not necessarily be comparable to Yimars, but he
would no longer be in a position to be ordered around by them either.
interesting?” Arslan picked up, confusing the chamberlain. Only when the man
realized that the boy must by Great Yimar’s son, did he quickly lower his head
and answer respectfully.
now, a few moments ago, we got ahold of two very unique youths. The lowly me
dares to say that both boys have exquisite looks, truly comparable ‘Rakcha
Bazi’ and ‘Sari Sasra Bazi’. They are quite a sight to behold.” Chamberlain
spoke quickly, a bit nervous that Yimar Sharu is going to cut in and take the
credit for himself when he realizes what is going on.
“A cool boy
and a beautiful boy form these lands? I want to see them! Can we go take a
look, father?” To the chamberlain’s joy, Arslan’s curiosity was easily piqued and
Yimar Sharu had no time to talk at all as the Great Yimar immediately agreed to
his son’s request.
you waiting for? Lead us to these youths.” Mustafa urged the chamberlain,
seeing that the man had fallen into some kind of a daze.
yes! Please follow this humble servant. I shall show you the way, Great Yimar.”
The chamberlain said hurriedly, rejoicing in his heart. Without any further
delays, he led the Great Yimar and his son to the harems.