Chapter 28: Backstory

Let’s rewind time a bit to just before the second exam started. The location to be examined is a private viewing room overlooking the exam.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yet it is always still dependent on who the beholden is. Currently,  there was a certain man, if it would be appropriate to even call him so, sitting among the many observers present at Darius’s trial. He had a beauty that was unbecoming of a man. He had big round eyes, a skinny well-defined and pointy nose, and big reddish lips that could make even the most enchanting women in the world full of envy. His pale white skin made him seem otherworldly, like a mermaid. It was almost as if the man were made out of the purest jade and sculpted by the hands of Mother Nature herself. His long black hair draped over his shoulders, cascading down like an unfettered waterfall. His hands were not rough and huge like those of a typical man, but soft and quite nice-looking instead. He wore an army green blazer with numerous golden buttons sewn on its front. On his shoulders were a cluster of badges, enough for one to think that this man had conquered the world. He wore pointed tan shoes that gleamed like sunbeams as if they had been dipped in a tub of cooking oil. He was clearly a man from his dress and disposition, yet his feminine beauty made him seem otherwise.


Beside him sat a burly, bearded man. This man was the epitome of masculinity at its finest. Were Darius here, he might have mistaken them for husband and wife. He had wide, broad shoulders and eyes that made it seem like he was bred to dominate and overcome any obstacle life would bring his way. The man had eyes that gave straight piercing looks and attested to his authority. His temperament alone made it impossible for those of weaker will to be anywhere near his presence. One look at him was enough to intimidate anyone. His fiery red hair made him resemble a blazing fire.

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“Old friend, do tell me what you think of this young man. I am quite curious to know your thoughts on his performance so far,” said the bearded man to his feminine counterpart.

“Well, we are not here to sightsee. We are here to observe our future empress’s performance,” replied the feminine man.

The bearded man crossed his arms and snorted, “Hmph! We are men of the military, not tourists. Anything that concerns the military might of our country will definitely catch our attention. Granted, the princess is impressive, but her partner has outshone her in terms of martial skill. Have you forgotten  how our nobility was chosen long, long ago?”

The feminine man could not help but squint his huge beautiful eyes. His bearded partner did indeed raise a very good point. He sighed heavily, looked up, and straightened his body like a person being asked difficult questions in an interview. He seemed to be deep in contemplation as if this were a matter of life and death itself.

Many a century ago, the entire world experienced a major transition in terms of how it was structured due to the arrival of the Spirits. One’s ability to fight became more important than anything else. This ability was often passed down from generation to generation through genetics. It was a priceless and valued inheritance that had to be maintained over an endless time span.  Thus, at that point in time, those who had powerful bloodlines came to become the rulers of the world. In exchange for their power and nobility, these families were obligated to vehemently protect all those under them and fight against different kinds of spirits. While a mere simple feudal system, it had worked.

Thus, such families were always the first to arrive in battle and were always the last ones to fall at the hands of the enemy. It was clear from the way Darius was handling himself that he must have some powerful bloodline flowing inside his veins. That was the only logical explanation for his previous performance. However, it was clear the boy had never had any training because his movements were haphazard, impulsive and often uncoordinated, and he usually seemed to feel true surprise at his success.

Those with powerful bloodlines were blessed due to many factors: the most prevalent one being that they didn’t need to train as much as others and would still reach the same heights.

From the feminine man’s point of view, Darius was fighting as if he were a rich, talented, foolish, young noble. Little did the feminine man know that he could not be further from the truth. It was only just before Darius and Lara were about to perform the second test that the old duo received information on Darius’ history.

Both men had very high positions in the military. Their positions were even more powerful and influential than that of the young lady hosting the exam. It would not be a stretch to say that even the Emperor would have to be courteous when talking to these two men, so learning of Darius’s history was an extremely simple task for them.

When the duo learned of Darius’s history, they were utterly flabbergasted. Their reactions showed their different personalities. The large burly man swore multiple times and spewed profanities while the feminine man crushed the armrest of his seat.

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The burly man was an expressive human being, one who did not inhibit himself in any way. More often than not, he did not care about what other people thought about him. He was not bothered by how he was seen through the eyes of others; in essence, it would be fair to say that this man was solely concerned about his own perspective toward himself, the true definition of arrogant. Speaking in a vulgar manner and acting like a ruffian were staples of his character.

This was Donald McLeod, a man’s man, or at least, that’s what he thought he was.

Kylian Laporte was the name of the effeminate man standing next to him. Kylian seemed conservative by nature, which often fooled people into misjudging his true nature. Kylian was actually quite sadistic and egocentric in terms of his character. He was one of those soldiers who wouldn’t think twice about stabbing someone’s heart with a sword if there were a need and couldn’t care less about the dying orphans in the streets.

He had a stone-cold, frosty, hard, and unbreakable kind of disposition. He thought the world revolved around himself even though he adamantly shirked from displaying his true feelings in public. He had an ego bigger than an avalanche. He only cared about himself and his duties.

Kylian had gained these traits because he was raised in a militaristic family that had a strict set of morals, one of which was self-restraint.

The combination of self-restraint, his effeminate appearance, and his intellectual ego resulted in many people completely misinterpreting him. Nevertheless, he had an even shorter temper than Donald, but he just didn’t show it most of the time.

Donald knew Kylian’s true character, so when he saw the latter’s reaction,  he instantly knew what was on the other’s mind.

“Well, it’s rare to see someone ruffle your feathers to this extent, old friend,” laughed McLeod. Kylian said nothing and merely continued watching over the proceedings.

It was at this point that Darius and Lara were about to face the two serpents.

Although McLeod had just mocked Kylian, regarding Darius, he was just as perturbed as his friend was. A boy with no history and no nobility actually possessed such monstrous talent. The idea in and of itself was absurd. He was completely stunned.

- my thoughts:
I thought I published this :/ Sorry.
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