Yuri asked back confused. Seeing how they didn’t know her either, I frowned then shouted irritated.
“What are you staring at for?! Identify yourself!” → Shen
“Y-yes! My name is Shiroko! The leader of Fire-wings clan and deep ally of the Antara Kingdom!” → Shiroko
The girl’s fur stood on ends from the shock and spat out the information in a straight position.
“Fire-Wings? Ah, the allied clan, yes. I do remember you guys.” → Shen
While I thought to myself, Shiroko just woke up from her frightened state.
W-who is he?! How can a guy who looks not even 20 to seem so scary? This would be the second time I was so startled by a player… The first being King Ryu. → Shiroko
“Huh? Antara? So this place is actually a Kingdom?!” → Leorio
Leorio asked shocked.
“U-under what empire?” → Leorio
“… We’ll talk more about this later. And you! What the hell are you doing here? I thought I made myself clear when I said that no one shall take a step into these parts without my accord!” → Shen
I roared at Shiroko threateningly as I felt more tired, barely able to control my own emotions.
I can barely deal with them alone, now if I get someone to take care of I will go down the drain in seconds. → Shen
“E-excuse me, but I never heard of anything like that?… Wait, are you Lord Shen?” → Shiroko
Shiroko finally figured out something after seeing my imposing spirit. At this moment she had quite mixed feelings.
Flying stones around him, imposing air, battle-ready aura. He’s exactly how the others described him, but… Rather than a God, he seems more like a Devil…? → Shiroko
She looked at me with a complicated gaze, then she observed the others who had ranks around Saint or more.
W-who are they?! How can he keep them on hold by himself? → Shiroko
Seeing her with her guard down, Darius shot out toward her thinking of taking her as a hostage.
“D-Darius?!” → Yuri
“Bastard!” → Shen
Both Yuri and I shouted at the fairy, unable to move while we both held ourselves in place. Just as the fairy was about to land a stunning strike with the reversed part of his blade at Shiroko’s head, the tiger-woman suddenly turned and with a trained roundhouse kick she pushed Darius back, making him block the strike and fall back.
“Damn it!” → Darius
“Fast-thinking is my forte, little fairy~.” → Shiroko
Darius groaned in distress while Shiroko smiled with a confident smile. Even I was left impressed by her fast and precise responses. Shiroko then dashed by my side beside the other two golems which stood in standby, ready to take action in case of another surprise attack. I glanced back at her and observed her composed air and ready-for-battle aura. I nodded surprised and said:
“Not bad at all. Well done, beast-woman.” → Shen
“I’ll accept your praises, but please call me Shiroko from now on.” → Shiroko
Shiroko smiled back and talked confidently, making me respect her strong spirit even more. On the other side, Darius returned to his group and was questioned by Leorio somewhat shocked by his actions.
“Why have you done that, Darius? You normally don’t react like so without thinking twice.” → Leorio
Darius then scratched his head distressed and said agitatedly.
“I know better than anyone just how foolish my actions were, but I simply couldn’t keep my cool. That Shen already took down five of our teammates in less than a few minutes, if I was able to at least take that woman as a prisoner then maybe we could’ve bargained our safety. But I think that just worsened the situation. I’m extremely apologetic for what I’ve done. Now if things go for the worse then it’s entirely my fault.” → Darius
“Oh, you bet! You f***** us all good now.” → Zhin
Zhin said with a calm expression as the others looked at him with wide-open eyes.
“S-sir Zhin, no need to be so severe with Darius now-” → Leorio
Leorio tried to mediate the spirits between the two but Zhin simply continued without giving Leorio no mind.
“Now with your intervention, we might actually be able to have some action. Even though we won’t get outta here uninjured, there’s no time for us to cry over spilled milk, is there? Man up Darius, and prepare for combat.” → Zhin
“… Yes.” → Darius
At his brute words Darius was momentarily dazed, then while clenching his sword, he stood straight, ready for the worse. The others did the same and waited for the final decision between Shen and Yuri.
Seeing how I already had someone else at my back on which I could count, I tried to put down some more cards and continued to talk, ignoring the little event that just happened.
“So mister Yuri. I suppose you agreed with the duel, right? Now, let’s discuss the rules, rewards, and punishments.” → Shen
I continued talking with a composed smile on.
“W-wait, huh? Punishments?” → Yuri
Yuri asked with big eyes while the others tensed up again.
“But of course. This duel is a replacement for an all-out war, forgot? You attacked us in cold blood after all.” → Shen
I gazed at everyone with cold eyes and made Yuri sigh in distress. After hearing this, Shiroko was also extremely shocked at wanted to ask some more questions, but feeling the tension, she chose to keep quiet. Ken and Isa simply stood to the side while gazing with malice at the other party, making the tension only to rise.
“F-fine… What are the rules?” → Yuri
The weight on Yuri’s shoulders only grew, feeling already like a mountain was resting on his back.
“Great! Now. First rule: This will be a one on one duel between me and you. My golems will be sure no one will interfere while we fight and the arena will be outside the Northen wall. Far away enough so this place won’t suffer any kind of damages.” → Shen
“How can we be sure that your golems won’t interfere?” → Yuri
“Because you guys will also choose two people to stay close to us. The job of the four referees is not just to strike at the interferences, but to also name the victor when one of us gives up, can’t fight anymore, or simply dies.” → Shen
“… So it’s a Deathmatch?” → Yuri
“There might be accidents.” → Shen
I said while waving my hands without giving it too much of a mind. However, Yuri’s face paled and his hands were trembling.
“The others can look at us from atop the wall if they wish to be spectators. As for the rewards, we will name them ourselves. First: If I win, you guys will indeed pay for the destruction you caused, but you’ll also open a trading road between Antara and Victoria kingdom, buying the items we gathered from the monsters two times the market price for a period of time of at least 10 years. After this time expires, you will continue the trade with normal pricing. Also, you’ll permit someone from my kingdom to work inside the Victoria’s School or King’s court. As for punishment, I’ll have the five bastards that broke into my Kingdom to shatter their own Dantians!” → Shen
I enumerated everything I wanted then said the punishment with a red glint in my brown eyes.
Yuri had conflicted feelings. Most of what I said he already named as things he’ll do if they simply buried the shovel, but the punishment was still too cruel and this made him think that was the main reason why I wanted a duel while trading the raw materials at double the market-price made him even more against it.
It must be because of ‘that’… Let’s see if I can help with something. → Yuri
His eyes became more resolute while his trembling stopped completely. A strong spirit now shone into his gaze.
Oh? → Shen
I was quite surprised. I was curious about what he was thinking at that moment.
“Alright. As for what my reward will be: I want every tiny bit of information about this place you have, the reason why it was built, how everything started and the background of the two lords. For the Antara Kingdom to ally with our Victoria Kingdom under friendly terms and beneficial for both champs and for your Antara Kingdom to never unite with the Urius Kingdom. As for the punishment: you’ll let me work inside your circulation system however I see fit.” → Yuri
The rewards were reasonable, however, nobody thought that Yuri would ask for such a punishment. If someone knowledgeable were to work with a living being’s circulation system, they could as well have their life in their hands, together with the direction in which the respective person will grow in the future; risking of growing with an unstable mana or chi base and risking mana/chi deviation. Even more, they can also control the emotional outburst of the victim so they could summon dark thoughts inside one’s mind; this way controlling not just their emotions, but their thoughts as well.
“I see now~.” → Shen
My aura leaked to the outside as my blood boiled. I felt excitement all-over while a wild grin surfaced on my face. The last time I felt such excitement was when I fought against the five Imperial Guardians, feeling like my life was placed on the line once again. Even though I felt no fear of death, the excitement and adrenaline-rush was still there and true, making for my heart to resound like a drum in my ears.
So his goal is to kill me? Then that means he already found out that I’m an immortal now. Good, good! Let’s dance, shall we? → Shen
The Prana energy was circulating through my entire body by using another kind of circulatory system. The living body had a lot of systems and channels still undiscovered even by this world’s researchers through which a more sensible and pure form of energy is circulating. Prana circulates through such sensible channels, named also as Divine Circuits. If Yuri was really able to identify these sensible channels, mostly invisible even for the spiritual eye, and mess around with them to his own liking, then my immortality would simply be no more and he could kill me right away.
“I agree-” → Shen
Just as I was about to shake his hand, a loud and domineering voice resounded from the sky.
“Every Antara warrior shall marsh to the Northen wall right now! One of the lords is in danger.”
I looked upwards with a grave face after hearing another voice of a woman, giving the command for gathering our troops.
“What is the meaning of this, Ryu, Bonny?” → Shen
“W-who are they?” → Yuri
Yuri and the others felt more nervous. The pressure coming from Bonny and Ryu was nothing they felt until now.
“Victoria Kingdom. For almost killing the residents of Antara, destroying our property and now endangering one of the founding lords of the kingdom, you all shall be sentenced to death while the external connection between Antara and Victoria will be that of all-out WAR!” → Ryu
Ryu shouted out furiously from up in the air beside Bonny. He deactivated levitation and landed on the ground with an unnatural weight, forming a deep crater from his landing alone while quacking the entire great fortress. Bonny landed slowly like a feather but still remaining in levitation, looking divine and elegant. The two of them looked like the beast and the beauty, while both of them exhumed ridiculously domineering auras like those of emperors.
I-is he a dragoon? No, I think he’s more than that! He even has wings! → Yuri
Ryu was in his dragon-like form with wings, dark scales on his arms, long fangs, sharp eyes and two little wings behind his back together with a thin tail. Even so, he was breathing roughly while sweat was falling down his neck.
“H-he’s injured…?” → Yuri
Yuri asked confused while looking at Ryu with his [Soul Eyes].
I looked at both of them with some irritation and then before I could say something, Shiroko stepped forward and bowed her head.
“King Ryu. My group is on their way here.” → Shiroko
“Very good. In case anyone tries anything funny, kill with no doubt.” → Ryu
His cold tone made Shiroko freeze for a moment then bowed her head again.
“Understood.” → Shiroko
Both lords are incredibly scary when it comes to invaders. → Shiroko
She felt like shaking her head but she still complied with what Ryu ordered.
“W-wait! Have I heard the word ‘King’? And ‘founders’?!” → Kuma
Kuma finally asked incredulously with wide-open eyes.
“You don’t even know against who you’re facing, brats.” → Bernard
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