“Who then left, never to be seen again…” Supreme Ruler Ar Yen listlessly continued Elijah and proceeded to lift Yimin on his shoulder, inquiring. “Now for the other one or do you want to deal with Yurnal and Kartion separately?”
“Kartion is too weak to pose a threat in a united front with Yurnal, however, we aren’t baiting for a fight. It’d be easier to convince one and then have him assist us convincing the other”.
“Understood. Let’s pick up Yimin’s bodyguard and go”. Supreme Ruler Ar Yen said committedly.
The hardest part in the plan was about to unfold and he needed his mental fortitude to be in peak performance.
A brown skinned, short haired middle aged woman and a tall, blue eyed hazel skinned middle aged man walked hand in hand, chatting and laughing among the wild vegetation.
Yurnal gently gestured and the wind he generated extended a clearing to his and Savir’s path.
Since the pathway to Ercas Mir was sealed and everything official was settled, the pair decided to alleviate they daily boredom by traveling across New Earth. Scouring Valgarel was their first goal, for this was Yurnal’s birthplace.
“Here used to live the Longed Legged Moose tribe. They were Shenghuo type beasts like me. When I was young and unable to transform to my human form, I was chased one day by human cultivators as sport. The Longed Legged Moose’s tribe leader, a Mist Master at the time, noticed the commotion and saved my life by choosing to interfere. Afterwards, I stayed in the tribe for two to three years before leaving in pursuit of my Martial path”. Yurnal narrated in a reminisce tone.
“If possible, I would have wanted to pay my respect to the kind tribe leader”. Savir crouched beside a pile of broken wooden beams that was overtaken by the shrubbery, grief in her eyes.
“It’s the way of Valgarel. The beasts here don’t have a common nemesis, such as the Deformed Beings of Ercas Mir, that compel them to harmonize with each other. As a result, Tribal skirmishes are frequent occurrence”.
“Do you know who eradicated the Longed Legged Moose tribe?” Savir solemnly asked.
Yurnal shook his head. “I never thought of taking revenge so I never inquired”.
“Aren’t you angry?” Savir probed. She took his hand and they walked through the wreckage of the tribe.
“If for tribes to exterminate tribes is a crime, then the Longed Legged Moose tribe had its fair share of expansions at the expense of other tribes. So they were willing to live by this practice, they should have been willing to die by it”.
“You are too cold”. Savir rebuked. “I saw how the sadness in your wrinkles, stop acting tough in front of me!”
Yurnal smiled. “It’s not act. But I’ll tell you this, if the Kingdom Earth’s humans were responsible for the Longed Legged Moose tribe’s demise, then I’d have sought revenge”.
“I’m a human!” Savir reminded.
“The first one on my list that I came to like”. Yurnal pinched her cheek, kissed her forehead and then her lips.
‘What’s this?!’ Yurnal’s eyes suddenly snapped opened with a fierce glint, while still kissing Savir. He hurriedly calmed down, to not distress her, and opened the transmission his communicator just received from a secure channel.
‘Yimin is in the former abode of the Red Rose Beaks tribe. Come pick him up, alone’. He read.
‘Who can it be?!’ His mind whirled by a multitude of thoughts that he was half a second late to feel the absence of Savir’s lips.
“Yurnal?” Savir felt a slight change in his mood.
“I have to go”. Yurnal’s brain strained in an effort not to lie or babble something that will worry Savir. “I received a transmission of an acquaintance in need of help. I’m not certain about the details. Will you be mad…”
“Of course not. A friend needs you! We both know you don’t have many, so you must take care of the few you can bear that coarse mug of yours!” Savir teased.
“I’ll accompany you back home first”.
“Well of course, I’m your wife!” She laughed.
‘I sent Mernug with Yimin. A third level Martial mortal, even one with outstanding understanding of the worldly attribute, would not defeat Mernug before he could report me. The kidnaper has to be a fourth level Martial Mortal and someone who can get secure channels for communication…’
He promptly compiled a list of suspects. Those who fit the description were very few in number, but at the same time their identities were awfully alarming.
Right now New Earth had around twenty to twenty five fourth level Martial Mortal experts and one fifth level Martial Mortal, Supreme Ruler Ariel Dauch. Any of them could subdue Mernug before he could message him, if they surprised him. Assuming Mernug was caught unprepared, the list could only be minimized by counting those with reach to the communicators’ secure channels.
‘But why would any of them want to lure me and in to what?!’
The technology needed to create secure channels for communicators on the level that he was contacted with had high requirements. Of the possible twenty five, less than ten could get their hands on it.
The Supreme Rulers, Gid Chu, Huland, two of the organization leaders who immigrated from Ercas Mir and Yurnal’s eldest apprentice.
‘It can’t be any of them… there is a shadow of a person I’m still missing’. He brooded over, yet no other face resurfaced and in the end he also decided not to dwell on it. ‘Regardless who it is, I must save Yimin’.
The unification of two species, beasts and humans, for the birth of a joint progeny was extremely strenuous. In New Earth, Yimin was the sole being with a human mother and a beast father and to Yurnal and Savir he was the only child they perhaps will ever have.
Yurnal flickered and landed on the crown of a red leaves tree, atop one of the mountains in the former cave of the Red Rose Beaks tribe. He still maintained a human form. Although beasts were at their strongest in their animalistic form, he, as the creator and participant of Infinite Transformations Altering Body, had no limitations to his power, no matter how he looked before battle.
A few hundred meters ahead, on the crown of a different atop a different mountain, stood a figure in camouflage uniforms concealing everything but its so familiar eyes.
“We all thought you left the planet with the forces of the Golden Desert Fort, Elijah”. Yurnal squinted.
Elijah removed the head cover of the uniforms. “Forgive me; I had no intentions of hiding my identity to you”.
“You are the one in the shadow…” Yurnal remarked, his mind connecting the dots. “Who did you convince?”
A ripple of mild fluctuation was carried from the north. In an almost identical background a third figure showed up, removing the head cover from its face. “Me”. Supreme Ruler Ar Yen confessed. At the base of his mountain, two men lay on the ground, Yimin and Mernug.
‘They aren’t hurt’. Yurnal’s Sublime Soul Sense scanned the two, before raising his gaze. “Gid’s heir…”
“Greeting, Senior Yurnal”. Supreme Ruler Ar Yen cupped his hands.
“You actually have the audacity to display your respect!” Yurnal snorted, shifting his attention back to Elijah. “Do you force my hand?” He asked, having in mind the reason for their scheme.
“Initially, you did not receive my invitation because of my position in the five powers. I was dejected, but ultimately accepted your stance. At the present the five powers are gone, yet I selected to be here. Would it be fine, now, for us to sit and have a mutual exchange?” Elijah was not servile or conceited. He mentioned the past as something already behind them and asked in a direct manner whether they can move forward.
“My reason was not only your affiliation to the five powers”. Yurnal said earnestly. “So long as my Infinite Transformations Altering Body can mature on its own, I’m not interested in implicating it by mucking my view with others. In other words, Now is not the time for me to seek a mutual exchange”.
“Now, however, is the time for me”. Elijah said with regret. “So will you?” It was not a request, but not a threat, either, at least not until he will say it, again, directly.
“My son and apprentice?”
“No harm will come to them. In fact, even if you will refuse, I won’t touch a hair on their heads”. Supreme Ruler Ar Yen assured.
“If you are removing your edge, why should I agree, then?” Yurnal frowned.
“Because I can’t speak for him…” Supreme Ruler Ar Yen pointed at Elijah, who insisted on silently waiting for Yurnal’s reply.
“You obviously now that my son is worth to me more than my technique”. Yurnal gave his answer. “What will happen to us after you’ll get my insights?”
“I’m also in need of Kartion’s insights… Until I’ll receive his, you can temporarily draw back and take my word that your son will be okay or you can swear on an Oath Parchment, not to act upon nothing that transpired today. Which do you prefer?”
“Ar Yen”, Yurnal glared at him. “If my son and apprentice will not return sound and safe, I swear! I’ll slaughter your entire Takeda family and even old patriarch, should he dare obstruct me!”
Supreme Ruler Ar Yen felt his body turning limp from the acute hostility Yurnal, the third strongest cultivator in New Earth, projected. For a fleeting instant he wanted to take back everything, but then he steeled his heart.
Yurnal chose the first option for the sole purpose of executing revenge in the future. Both men knew it, but they were ready to affront the entire populace of New Earth, much less one person. Tying his tongue was only a short term measure to but time.
“Senior Yurnal”, Supreme Ruler Ar Yen pleaded as Yurnal traversed slowly toward Elijah’s mountain. “If you please listen to Senior Elijah’s reasoning-”
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