Indignation, resentment, hate, an oath to return.
Flying as a black streak above Monivore city, going as fast as he can, Zax frantically sought a thread of lifeline that he could use to escape while being consumed by turbulent emotions.
No matter how far, to which direction and how many quick turns, he had the constant feeling that the orange haired man can stretch his hand and catch as easily as picking up an ant from the ground.
Twenty five seconds left.
After making up his mind Zax decided to leave the city, but when he reached its farthest border from the orange haired man, a beastly killing intent was radiating from afar, giving the impression that it will arrive Monivore city before his thirty seconds are up.
‘Who is that?!’ The killing intent was acute and malevolent, slightly superior to the orange haired man, not much below that of the two Overlords.
Thinking up the answer as quickly as the question was raised in his mind, Zax guessed that if the approaching expert did not belong to one of the five powers, he or she was still definitely arriving because of him.
‘Two… Two adversaries!’ The peril he was in aroused the fresh memories of his experience in Demirva Ridge and then the even newer memories of his short journey on sea. ‘Two adversaries!’ The second time he repeated a flash of insight shone in his eyes and his state of mind submerged in hasty determination.
‘Entering the sea without proper arrangement will evoke the fury of the two Overlords!’ His idea was to set up the orange haired man and the other person approaching against the two Overlords, however, simply leaving the continent in the same manner he previously did will only be provoking death one too more times.
‘He sensed her killing intent, stopped and turned toward the harbors. Is he thinking that he can get away on a boat? Absurd, even if I’ll do nothing the Overlords’ disposition is off. They will not care for the protective formation… In this particular occurrence it would have been less stupid to just alternate between flying and swimming’. The orange haired man sneered at Zax’s behavior and continued to count down, now and then averting a more concentrated gaze at the incoming killing intent and changing his countenance from smugness to seriousness.
Unlike the beaches, the harbors and ports were crowded by people and humanoid beast. Most where crew members of some ship, be they sailors or experts responsible for maintaining the ships’ protective formations, etc. others were docks’ workers and concerned city officials, there to discuss when the embargo will be lifted.
‘I knew it!’ Restraining the urge to cry in happiness, Zax kept a stiff expression while hovering above a harbor pecked with stocked crates, ready to be boarded the instant it will be safe to sail.
He got there so fast, many of those who followed his exploits since creating a stir in the police station lost track of him, locating him again when he stopped above the city’s harbors while simultaneously being noticed those already there.
“L- L- Liminton, it’s him!” The tanned youth, Bin Bin, burst into a small cabin aboard a large ship, breaking the door lock in the process.
“Yaah!” A feminine shouted in surprise and a delicate figure, clearly a human, ran out of the cabin, covering her naked body with a female sailor uniforms!
“Dammit, Bin Bin!” Liminton yelled, getting up, naked, from the one person bed. “I told you not to interrupt my, you shitty brat, do you think it’s easy to seduce those sailor girls and convince them they will not lose their job if they’ll bring a man to their quarters?!” As it so happened, Liminton the beast had no apprehensions from being with a human woman.
“He is alive, Liminton!” Bin Bin ignored the scolding. “The one creating troubles in the city, he returned, alive! Here again!”
“Returned? Who?” Liminton was confused, inwardly weighting the good some beating will do to the inconsiderate punk. Releasing his Sublime Soul Sense he got the answer before Bin Bin replied.
“That guy from two weeks ago who-”
“Idiot! Don’t you feel it?!” Liminton silenced him. “Out, get out!” He roared, grabbed Bin Bin by the collar of his shirt and pulled him after him, still naked.
Dark attribute domain unleashed, spreading in concert with Soul Sense.
‘There they are!’ Zax noted the spots where the ships and boats protective formations were embedded. The formation relating to the Horned Eel was etched to either the keel or turbines of each vessel. The formation for the Four Wings Stork was engraved on the funnel or stitched to sails.
Taking a step forward, Zax descended, appearing in front of a confused old bearded man and throwing his arm in a swift snatching motion. Retracting his arms and opening his closed hand, a coin with two sigils, each emanating an almost indiscernible fluctuations, was resting in his palm.
‘Back then, despite the protective formations, they were afraid of me boarding because I didn’t have this thing’. Zax now understood why although the crew on the fishing boat had the good intentions of warning him, they were hesitant of to allowing him on the boat. ‘I can feel similar fluctuation to those of the ships’ protective formation, but nothing further. It can’t even be drawn to a spatial ring… If I bet right, this will eventually only work in my favor, I guess…’ Finally he had the confidence to grin, even though rage brew in his stomach, even if by doing so the orange haired man will be forewarned.
Sending repels through his dark attribute domain, Zax resumed his flight in high speed across the harbors and ports.
Successive shattering sounds echoed from the pockets of every person that was within the radius of the dark domain.
“My Voyage Charm!”
Using his dark domain, Zax destroyed all the coins with the double sigils, all the Voyage Charms. Surprisingly they were more fragile than he anticipated and less or not at all protected than he thought they would be.
‘There aren’t anymore’. He inspected all the humans, beasts and establishments near the harbors and shores and done so quickly, concentrating on so many Voyage Charms and destroying them in one go squandered almost ten seconds of his precious time.
“Blessed Army”, at last permitting his temper to erupt, Zax shouted, addressing the orange haired man and through him to the power behind him that circuitously contributed to today’s loss. “For forcing me to run and threatening my life… I swear, such opportunity will not come to you again! Should I see any member of your power whose cultivation I can manage, with no exception and until I’m satisfied, all I’ll kill!”
His voice thundered in the ears of everyone in the city, that he could due to his physique alone, but to deepen the impression on the orange haired man and all the other adequate cultivators in the vicinity, especially the one which killing intent he could feel penetrating him from afar, he amplified each word and syllable with the dark attribute worldly energy.
“Crazy! Someone is actually waging war on the Blessed Army?”
“Stupid cultivator, does he has a death wish?”
“Yeah, how many perished under the overwhelming strength of the Blessed Army or any of the other four powers?”
“Well… He does seem strong”.
“He is, but how many like him are within the ranks of the Blessed Army?”
“I think it’s the guy that assaulted mayor Deg and made a mess in the city”.
“Blast it! Is the city and all its residents going to become a warzone because some reckless guy is board to the point of challenging the strongest force on the continent?!”
The ones conversing in agitation and mix feelings where the second realm experts and up who currently dwelled in Monivore city. Anyone below the second realm could not be anything but docile in front of the trace of pressure rooted in Zax’s voice. Yes, those second realm experts and up knew that Zax was not just run of the mill cultivator, probably not even among Martial Mortals, but to almost all humans and beasts in Ercas Mir the ridiculous notion of standing against any of the five powers was a pipe dream only someone delusional would have.
In another place…
“Liminton, my Voyage Charm is torn to pieces!” Bin Bin said alarmingly. “Wait, was it him, this mad fellow?!” The two were on the deck, Liminton in his humanoid form, just about the same height as he had been in his human form, but instead of skin he wore a coat of gray fur with silvery patterns. Two long, wiggling tails extended from his lower back and atop his neck was the head of a feline beast, the like of which never was seen in a place such as New Earth.
Watching at Zax departing toward the sea, again, after finishing his speech, Liminton’s mouth opened but no words came out in the first few seconds. “He is an Ascended Elite? No, the understanding required for such control over the attribute…!” His spoke solemnly, in a barely audible voice, before turning to his young companion. “Let’s leave, Bin Bin, there is no point staying here”.
“What? Why? If take another route we might end up arriving late!”
“Doesn’t matter, if my prediction is correct, no boat or ship will set sail from Monivore city for a long time after today… We should find some other safe way to reach the Eastern Continent or take the risk of crossing it without a vessel after getting new Voyage Charms”.
“Crossing the sea by what, flying? No! No way! Without the protective formations, the sea Overlord will not sanction passing through the Emerald Cross, we will have to go around it, and unless you intend to carry and protect me at the chance we’ll encounter Deformed Beings or get caught in a storm, there is no way in hell, and be certain that no God can make me, that I’ll-”
“Alright! Alright!” Liminton felt the veins in his head throbbing irritably. “I’ll speak to the others and see what they suggest, just keep your mouth shut for a while”.
“Thank you, uncle Liminton, you’re good sport!”
“Please shut up…”
“Impudent filth!” The orange haired man was aghast by Zax’s boldness and livid when he figured his ploy. This sort of behavior immediately turned the offer he imposed on Zax null. His aura flickered in earthly brown and he dashed after.
“She accelerated”. He noted of the distant figure with the unbridled killing intent, aware that her previous moderate speed was out of deliberation because of him, but now that Zax came up with a probable escape, moreover exhibiting no reservation of making one of the five powers his enemy, she wholeheartedly invested herself in the purpose of her arrival.
Ignoring her and searching the city for an intact Voyage Charm, the orange haired man grimaced.
The Voyage Charms were not cheap or expensive and usually acknowledge the Fee of the Sea, because without purchasing and carrying them the Overlords would definitely attack anyone that enters they territory. Because the embargo and the proximity the two Overlords maintained to the content in the past several weeks, manufacturing of Voyage Charms was put on hold and already existing charms were those bought to be used before Zax riled the Overlords.
Now, with these remaining charms being destroyed out of the blue, the manufacturing of even one would take about half a day, a time neither the orange haired man nor the murderous woman had to waste if they wish to catch Zax.
He could tell they are on his tail even without using his Soul Sense, the orange haired man and another person. “Mm? These auras are of the so called ‘Overlords’”, Zax held an irreconcilable grudge against them, too.
Changing flight direction, he bolted toward the area the cold and burning aura where at.
A tens of meters long lance flung from behind. Zax avoided it; the orange haired man was too far to make it a surprise attack. However, when the lance rammed the surface of the sea water, a gravitational force exploded, expending in a giant dome like range of influence and with a pull five times stronger than that of the orange haired man’s former lance attacks.
‘His speed is only slighter faster than mine, but his gravitational attacks diminish my speed by sixty to seventy percent, and it did not even hit!’ Cold sweat dripped down Zax’s back. ‘A woman, no! She is a beast! Violet Scaled Troops?’ He got an idea from where came this bent on killing woman. She had a mixed coat of yellow fur and pink feathers. Her head and entire structure looked humanoid yet Zax intuition told him that it is her animalistic form. She was tall, a bit more than him, and did not have tail. ‘An ape type beast?’ She appeared more refined than that. ‘Doesn’t matter, she is three times faster than him!‘ He knew he must reach close enough to the two Overlords and arouse their attention in hope his pursuers really do not have Voyage Charms and so they will clash with them.
Three more lances were hurled. The orange haired man urgently expended the range of his gravitational attack more than trying to hit the small and evasive Zax, otherwise he will get entangled with two adversaries he rather not ever meet.
“What are you waiting for, Ulvi? You know what will happen if you keep linger behind”. The orange haired man shouted along with transmitting his words via Sublime Soul Sense to the yellow furred, pink feathered beast woman, Ulvil.
‘I can’t maintain my top speed in your Gravitational Prison, Debuk Jin, and though I have an account to settle with him, it is the Blessed Army which he threatened. He must have a Voyage Charm, if you don’t want to lose him, how about revealing your Crescent Limestone before it’s too late’. Ulvil responded unemotionally. As much as she wanted to catch Zax it was not her mistake that allowed him this opportunity to escape, but the orange haired man’s, Debuk Jin, desire for vengeance. She knew it because she felt the same way while receiving similar orders.
The sky filled with scorching redness, the sea froze, becoming white ice.
They were in a stalemate for weeks; such were the repercussions of every occurrence that brought them together.
Three intruders breached their territory, one of which possessed their seal of approval yet not their sign of protection, although in their rage it was not of their concern what he had.
Zax could sense the heat from above the crimson clouds and the cold beneath the frozen surface of the sea.
Blue rays of light and red pillars of flame were in his way, colliding, shattering and issuing fiery and icy fluctuations.
This catastrophic vista he needed to pass through in order to completely escape. ‘He stopped throwing his lances’. Zax felt himself gaining speed.
Debuk Jin indeed stopped attacking and even chasing, Ulvi the same. They were too late and alert of the moment in which the Overlords will cease the assaults on one another and target them. Till then, while not straying too far from the continent, they kept their eyes fixated on Zax, watching whether he will be obliterated by the torrent of sky splitting, sea parting attacks, or live to come back another day.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.