“Wait, senior, please excuse my, Vobar’s, impertinence!” The white Stone Clawed Bear, Vobar, wanted to retreat, but he was already caught by Sister Beatriz’s green mantle.
Not just on Vobar befell a dire sense of nervousness. Many of the experts who were after the wraith that Sion’s party captured, were trapped by the green mantle. Furthermore, discovering that it was raised by a third level Martial Mortal has gone beyond their expectation. Those who could stay hidden did so readily. Those who could not, backed as far away as possible, praying for this calamity to pass.
Sister Beatriz ignored Vobar.
“The Almighty is fair”. His Young Eminence said as he slowly advanced forward, spreading his arm to the sides in a welcoming manner, while having a solemn expression. “Defeat me and you may live”. His last words finally caught Vobar’s attention.
“You?” Vobar was about to sneer in contempt. Just because he had operated a flying technique, the Peak second realm cub thought himself on the same caliber as a Martial Mortal. Then again, it might be his opportunity to live, and he would not even need to risk using the double edge sword, his clan position in the Violet Scaled Troops, to make the others reconsider. “Are you sincere, senior? If I’ll make this child to submit you’ll let me go?” He cared more about Sister Beatriz’s affirmation than His Young Eminence’s promise.
“Silly bear, why would you avert your gaze from His Young Eminence? The battle already started”. Sister Iaura, who floated next to Sister Beatriz, said earnestly. Although a bit disappointed for not being able to test herself against Vobar, she did not despise him for his behavior nor wanted to see him waste the benevolence The Almighty conferred through His Young Eminence.
“Pitiful heathen”. Sister Beatriz shook her head, at the same time she lowered the green mantle.
Vobar paid no heed to Sister Iaura’s remark, as he was more baffled with why he was suddenly let go. Thinking that Sister Beatriz’s action was a gesture of good will, validating the deal, he turned to face His Young Eminence.
“When did he?!” Vobar’s red eyes widened, without him noticing, His Young Eminence arrived to his side.
His Young Eminence seemed to move casually, still in the same posture, a shining white aura engulfed him and in both hands he held a plain looking wooden staff. “Wretched are the careless”. He said and thrust.
The chopped end of the staff raptured the shielding dark aura and hit Vobar’s chest.
Bones shattering sound reverberated. Vobar, in all of his weight and great size, was thrown back hundreds of meters before managing to stop his descent.
‘How… Is this really a light attribute?!’ Blood trickling from his mouth and his chest slightly caved in, the mindset of Vobar was in a state of disarray.
Even those spectating were shaken by the attack power of His Young Eminence, a Peak second realm cultivator.
Vobar stared from afar at His Young Eminence, the redness in his eyes intensifying. Yes, in terms of mist energy he was superior to His Young Eminence, but somehow, perhaps by the grace of The Almighty, the cub he underestimated had achieved the unimaginable and obtained insights into the light attribute in his soul and dantian!
Up in the sky, His Young Eminence’s aura shone bright as the sun. Looking down on his opponent, he directed the end of his staff at Vobar as if it was the barrel of a shotgun.
His speed was comparable to a Beginner first level Martial Mortal, another product of his profound knowledge and excellent usage of his attribute.
“Roar!” Dark aura burst, Vobar’s fur turned gray and his stone claws enlarged.
The two’s collision sent devastating shockwaves.
Within seconds thousands of blows were exchange and with each strike, staff against claws, the landscape was reshaped.
His Young Eminence’s staff pierced through Vobar tough paw, so swiftly and sharply that there was barely a sound.
Black claws, the size of a grown human being, slashed.
His Young Eminence withdrew his staff and thrust through Vobar’s shoulder, obliterating bone, nerves and muscles, neutralizing the incoming attack midway.
“I!” Vobar’s bellowed, gaining control and retracting his left arm. “Vobar of the Stone Clawed Bear clan, won’t be a measly Core Master’s, a human’s prey!” His aura erupted, the full extent of his strength, of which he did not expect to display in a fight with a mere Core Master.
Black images of bear’s claws materialized around Vobar and fused with him. “Receive my Stone Claw!” His right, injured paw swung with the heaviness of a mountain. No use of its claws was made, as the whole arm became the ultimate claw.
The clouds split and dispersed. The earth parted and crumbled.
Vobar was elated; his paw felt contact with the opponent. “Mm?” Something was not right; the immense power he channeled failed to reach its climax following the impact.
“Misguided heathen”. A voice whispered. His Young Eminence blocked the Stone Claw attack with the end of his staff!
Having his life on the line, Vobar could not afford to be shaken by the capabilities of his opponent anymore. His animalistic nature stepped forward and like a wild beast he forced out every ounce of energy, be it mist or physical.
The two forces’ deadlock birthed high pitched grating sounds.
Shrilling scream resounded as wraiths were attracted from afar to the chaotic battlefield.
“Your Young Eminence”, Sister Beatriz was the first to notice the arrival of the damnable creatures. “We can’t stay here anymore, please hurry and finish the fight”.
Knowing all too well where they are, His Young Eminence did not need Sister Beatriz to reason her request. “Witness the Pillar of my Belief, let the wretched receive retribution by the shining light of The Almighty”. It was not clear if he made a prayer or lectured Vobar, it also did not matter.
“Roar!” The white fur, red eyes Stone Clawed Bear spewed blood and bared his teeth. A sense of impending danger drove him to demote his sanity into savagery.
His Young Eminence’s staff glowed white and expended. What looked before as nothing more than a stick, has transformed to a heavenly column.
An indomitable force invaded, breaking Vobar’s bones in succession, starting with his right paw.
The enormous physique of the Stone Clawed Bear convulsed and his dark aura vanished. White vapor emitted from his pores as his insides turned to seared mush and he began to fall from the sky.
His Young Eminence was panting. For him, a Peak Core Master, to defeat a Martial Mortal was an unheard of feat, one that depleted every bit of his energy, one that through its spectators will certainly resonant in all corners of Ercas Mir!
“Splendid! You were so gallant and splendid, Your Young Eminence!” Sister Iaura shouted in excitement, approaching alongside Sister Beatriz.
“Here, Your Young Eminence”, Sister Beatriz presented him with a small pellet.
Shaking his head, His Young Eminence rejected the pellet. “The Almighty has accepted me as his vessel, what great sin it would be should I hurry to relinquish this grace”.
“That’s right, His Young Eminence is wise!” Sister Iaura nodded vigorously.
Retrieving her hand, Sister Beatriz saw to her mistake and lowered her head. “His Young Eminence is wise”.
“Suffice. We should leave”. His Young Eminence waved his hand, beads of sweat sliding down his face, he truly was spent.
“Back home?” Sister Iaura asked. They obtained a dark attribute’s essence and no more were available to extract as the wraiths all over the ridge awakened and merged with their peculiar Cores. Nevertheless, she was still dispirited, for they only have one dark attribute’s essence and an imperfect on at that.
“No. There is still the commotion Sister Beatriz sensed earlier”.
“You mean…!” Sister Iaura clapped joyfully.
“With devotion to The Almighty, we shall press forward”.
“Is this him?”
“Yes, sir, his name is Fengar”.
With his mist energy sealed in his dantian and beaten to the ground, Fengar gritted his teeth and glared at the experts who confined him, as well as at those commanding them, the Pink Eyes Agama and towering woman.
Of the five powers’ groups, Helev Hetra and Boolian were the first to make it to the scene where Zax escaped with the dark attribute’s essence. Upon their arrival they met with two scout parties of their respectable organizations. By then, Fengar was already caught by the quick witted experts who noted his connection to Zax, and after hearing a short summary of what transpired, he was brought over in front of the two second level Core Masters.
“Get up”. Helev Hetra ordered Fengar. “The rest of you, spread and find the one who got the dark attribute’s essence, as well as any cultivator who harvested a dark attribute’s essence. Follow them and report their identities to the army and troops the moment they exit the ridge”. She instructed the two scout parties.
“Yes!” The leader of the Blessed Army’s scout party replied, while the leader of the Violet Scaled Troops’ scout party complied only after Boolian gestured for him to go.
“This should be made clear from the start”, Helev Hetra resumed her attention on Fengar. “Refusal to cooperate with the Blessed Army’s and Violet Scaled Troops’ personal in the Western Continent is akin to treason in one’s homeland. Are you aware what the punishment for treason is?”
Fengar opened his mouth, wanting to curse, but did not dare. His body shook in frustration, his inability to retaliate made him vexed. He swallowed his ego and nodded.
The punishment for treason or any sort of offence toward any of the five powers was well defined for someone with Fengar’s status or lower. More often, the family and friends of the perpetrator would be sought, caught and executed. Should the perpetrator be a cultivator, her or his cultivation would be crippled, reducing them to an invalid and then be made as an example. Should the perpetrator be a normal human or beast, they would be executed on the spot.
“Good, seeing that you are being sensible, I will refrain from exposing you to further violence. That said, I advise you to beware, the tiniest grievance will be treated in a manner the likes of you won’t be able to brave”.
“I understand”. Fengar succumbed to Helev Hetra’s pressure. His soul was as frail to her manipulation as Zax’s was to Supreme Ruler Ariel’s.
“Helev Hetra, Boolian”, an imposing deep voice called.
The two raised their head, their faces suddenly changed countenance.
“Rijok”, Boolian hissed.
“The Golden Desert Fort decided to send you…” Helev Hetra frowned.
Colonel Rijok descended from the sky together with Cattelin and Darvajka. His gaze scrutinized the two, writing Fengar’s presence.
“The wraiths’ slumber is over and all the dark attribute’s essences are gone, until the next event, that is, yet the two of you are still here, messing about with some random Core Master”. Colonel Rijok said in contempt. From his standpoint, it should be beneath any Martial Mortal to bother themselves with cultivators below the third realm, particularly for members of the five powers.
“Eh?! You are that midget!” Cattelin exclaimed before Helev Hetra and Boolian could respond.
Hearing the familiar, wicked voice, Fengar recognize it instantly. If things were bad for him before, now they, in his words, should he dared saying them out loud, “F****** ATROCIOUS”.
“You dead midget!” Scalding flames erupted and Cattelin crazily pounced at Fengar.
“Stand back!” Boolian whipped his tail, avoiding Cattelin but cutting her path, forcing her to fell back, while his profound killing intent diminished her bold demeanor.
“Behave yourself, Cattelin!” Darvajka grabbed her hand and forcefully pulled her back, behind Colonel Rijok.
“Da- Dar- Darvajka, it’s him! He and the other one where the two who robbed me of my spatial ring!” Cattelin resentfully said. “Colonel Rijok, I know I’m at fault, but he and his friends, they made me bring contempt on our Golden Desert Fort!”
Figuring the cause of the outburst, Helev Hetra realized that the arriving three may possess a pretext to claim her and Boolian’s captive, which she could not allow to happen before they get the dark attribute’s essence from his escapee friend.
“Rijok, this man was captured by us and is now under the jurisdiction of the Blessed Army and Violet Scaled Troops. Control your people!”
“Under your jurisdiction?” Colonel Rijok said peacefully, seemingly unruffled by his subordinate’s action or Helev Hetra’s allegation. “For what crimes?”
“Do I have to answer you?” Helev Hetra scowled.
“Golden Desert Fort, Blue Sea, you said the wraiths’ slumber ended, it would be best for you to depart, now!” Boolian’s temperament was innately ferocious, more so when it was related to others’ indiscretion toward the Violet Scaled Troops. This time, enough for him to disregard the power differences between him and Helev Hetra against Colonel Rijok.
“A threat? Are you willing to go that far for some Core Master?” Colonel Rijok said. “Fine”. His next word caught the two unprepared. “The five powers’ rules must be respected. I won’t prevent you from taking this cultivator. But, according to my subordinate, he does have an accomplice. Your Blessed Army and Violet Scaled Troops permitted limited access to the Western Continent for my Golden Desert Fort and Blue Sea and in our stay, a transgression against my subordinate was committed. This gives us the right to act independently on the Western Continent and apprehend the criminal at all cost!”
“Good, Rijok, very good!” Helev Hetra muttered. “You are well versed with the rules, more than I care to admit”. It was about time for the pretense to end. “You want him”, she pointed at Fengar. “And his friend? You can have them, but the two are not why you are here…”
“At last, being frank…” Colonel Rijok sneered. “Exactly, here was harvested the first wraith, the only perfect dark attribute’s essence. Your conduct let me know that this Core Master, probably his companion, obtained the perfect dark attribute’s essence. If so, let’s do this, in my possession are two dark attribute’s essences and I’m certain you two are not empty handed. The five of us will collaborate to trade the perfect dark attribute’s essence from this Core Master’s companion and whoever get a hold of it will compensate the other party with one deficient dark attribute’s essence and a million Splinters”.
Helev Hetra and Boolian were not quick to agree. Weighting their options for a few second, they decided.
“It’s a collaboration”.
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