Zechariah, Linor, Rockwell, Riv, Giant Havreim, Varinka, Xiao Kirin, Gadgel.
Of the twelve Gid Chu sent, he made sure all those members of the chain Zax got along with, even a little bit, and had no misgivings toward him, were present.
Bonjier, Kloky, Soybam Peter and Lili were the remaining four, while Figed Esgad and Donkey – apparently a fixed nickname – were the members stationed in Selivereb and New Earth.
In terms of cultivation, Bonjier and Kloky were the strongest, third level Martial Mortals. Soybam Peter, Lili, Rockwell and Riv were next as second level Martial Mortals. Zechariah, Linor, Giant Havreim and Varinka were the only ones still in the second Core Master realm, but at its Peak. The rest were between the first to second Martial Mortal levels.
Communicating on the same frequency with the commanders of the operation, Bonjier and Kloky, allowed Zax to catch up with the group of twelve in no time and together head with them to the Western Continent, as usual, prudently and through the Earthly Crater.
“Mommy, mommy”, a young girl’s voice cracked in innocent wariness. “What’s wrong, mommy? Who is this man? Why are you packing?” Little Liz clung to her mother, Laylen, while sneakily peeking at the brawny man at the opened entrance of the home, who was even bigger than her father and big brother and had a grim face with probably scary eyes behind those black spectacles.
Half an hour earlier…
The former mentioned black suited, bald man appeared in her Pre Core school and picked her out in the middle of class against the objections of her confused teacher. Even her school principal, who everyone said to be at the incredible Core Breaker level, when he heard that some stranger showed up and, in a manner that more resembled a broad daylight “kidnapping”, took one of his school’s student, when trying to stop the black suited man, by a mere glance his expression turned pale and he passed out, which only added to the fear of little Liz, as to begin with she had no means to call for her super strong and mighty big sister and big brother, her pillars.
Telling, or more accurately “compelling” her to enter his black vehicle, little Liz’s mind was in a state of half panic, half muddleheaded, especially when her little lips muttered the names of her big sister and big brother, which only caused the black suited man to smirk.
It was only when the black vehicle parked at the sidewalk, in front of the apartment building she lived with her parents, that she calmed down by a bit.
The black suited man said nothing but indicate for her to come out of the vehicle as he intended to escort her up the stairs to the family’s apartment.
When her parents came to view inside the apartment, it was as if a curtain was lifted from her eyes and she became somber again. She cried, running to her parents, not noticing the two more black suited men who were already together with her parents in the apartment, nor when they left, leaving behind only her black suited man.
Back to the present…
In all honestly, neither Laylen nor her husband, Marco, knew what to say to their youngest daughter that would not be a lie.
And the black suited men came to their workplaces; they concisely informed them that someone they are related to has made terrible enemies who soon might come for them and that they are to follow them home to pack their stuff and leave New Earth. They also briefly said that their daughter, as well as members of their extended family are currently being round up and will also join them.
Meeting at home, the black suited men did not prohibit the pair from talking, so long as they are hurrying. Thus, with what little registered in their brain under the urgency of two expert they could not opposed, Marco and Laylen assumed that the person related to them was their son, while both mistook the incomprehensible notion of leaving New Earth with leaving Kingdom Earth to the beasts’ territory, where their eldest daughter was supposed to be.
“We are going on a trip, sweetie”, Laylen falsified.
“And I’m your travel guide, honey”. The black suited man who picked little Liz from school said in somewhat joking, somewhat cynical tone. “So hurry to get everything you would like to take with you”.
Hearing his tone, although Marco and Laylen did not like it, from what little they grasped, to their understanding even if that person was not genuinely amiable, he was still there to safeguard them, well… if they were not being lied to.
“Go help her, Laylen”. Marco sent his wife and daughter together to Liz’s room, not wanting for either of them to be alone with these men.
The black suited man detected Marco’s apprehension, but did not seem to mind it. He closed the door behind him and turned to the kitchen. “I’m going to make myself a cup of coffee. When I’ll finish we are leaving regardless if there are things left. From what I was told about your situation, I’ll suggest you pack for the long term. Frankly, I can’t imagine you ever returning”. He was decent enough to let his voice reach only Marco’s and Laylen’s ears, sparing the little one.
Six minutes later the black suited man entered the living room, drinking from a small cup, apparently intending to finish its hot and bitter content in one gulp.
“That’s it”. He placed the cup on the cabinet where the Screen stood, since whether it was left there, in the sink or washed did not matter anymore. “We need to go”. His face returned to be stern. Keeping up with schedule was of utmost importance to the operation.
“We have another daughter. She isn’t here, she won’t know-”
“Someone was sent to retrieve her”. The black suited man interrupted before Marco could complete the sentence. “Well?” He turned his head as his back was to them. There was no going back after exiting the apartment and he saw Marco’s and Laylen’s internal struggle reflecting from their eyes. “Out, now!” Mist energy was embedded to his voice, with a hint of a threat, again, that only Marco and Laylen could perceive. He was there to deliver them and if, for the sake of punctuality, a show of force was required, then so be it.
The same event took place throughout Kingdom Earth, specifically in El-Eden. Men and women in black suited and awful temperament rounded up every member of Zax’s family, any friend and family of friends with deep enough relations that could be used to extort him. Even Zetsa’s Tal, the bewildered Take Edomachi, who Zax had not seen for the longest time, his wife, son, daughter and couple more family members were picked up by experts even the main branch of their family will not hastily revolt against, and escorted to unknown location.
“This is all I know, ma’am. We were merely told that a risk from outside New Earth is about to descend for your brother’s relatives and friends and our job is to lead you out from below the ground to meet another group of people that will take you someplace safe. As for his Martial family, we were told that it has nothing to worry about so long as they remain in His Valor Ozeyn’s Valgarel”. A black suited woman with hanging black spectacles on the left pocket of her jacket respectfully narrated to Zetsa and the rest of the Martial family, excluding the absent Mes and Raroen, outside Grandmaster Kartion’s cave.
Feeling the agitation causing her heart to throb in restless pace, Zetsa state of mind momentarily regressed to capacity of non cultivator and everything she heard was processed slowly. After a few minutes, a period of time that could be counted as hours for someone at her level of cultivation, she gradually collected her thoughts as her sea of consciousness resumed the transcendental perceptiveness of a second level Core Master.
“Master”, Zetsa turned to greet his animalistic form, as well as the animalistic forms of all the present members of the Martial family, and her words got stuck in her throat.
When they initially stepped out of the tunnel to Grandmaster Kartion’s cave, they all accompanied her in their human and humanoid forms. Without her paying attention, somewhere down the narration of the black suited woman, they all transformed as if their belligerent, feral spirit was roused.
The black suited woman, who introduced herself by the name “Molian”, before commencing the narration, instinctively stumbled back. Drenched in cold beads sweat, her heart also pulsated from having to bear the multiply ominous hostile intents she just so happened to be in their range.
While to Molian the hostile intents felt like being naked in a blizzard and unable to generate mist energy to shelter herself, to Zetsa they felt like a protective embrace.
“You can’t!” The first words to come out were a protest toward her Martial family’s clear objective. “Have you forgotten Zax’s stories? The world above ground is abundant with Martial Mortals and first level Martial Mortals are typically the lowest standard for the title ‘Expert’. It will be okay, I need to go, but you don’t have to come with me!” She pleaded.
In the Martial family her Master and Martial uncle were known to have the strength to rival first level Martial Mortals. These days, her eldest Martial brother, Raroen, also was assessed with having this kind of strength despite being at the Peak of the second realm as mist cultivator and the Peak of the first realm as bodily cultivator.
Although in Valgarel and even on a wider scope, New Earth, the Martial family was not a force to be trifled with, considering the stories and events Zax recounted, with three experts comparable to first level Martial Mortals, they at most could enjoy scraping the bottom of the barrel for proper status in the world above ground.
“Zetsa”, Grandmaster Kartion used to stiffly said her name, instead of referring to her as “Martial daughter”, when he was adamant with his decisions. “Danger lurking for my daughter, would I stand still on the side?” He lost one son for grievance that spawned from him, even if he was not entirely to blame for it. Knowing that his daughter‘s life is in risk was all the pretext he needed to act in spite of what may be the consequences.
“Martial niece, someone wish to harm sole son, do you expect me to hide behind His Valor Ozeyn?” Kartius stomped and tore the earth.
“Martial sister Zetsa, you can’t sway our resolve”. Simel professed.
Stumped for response, Zetsa impetuously veered to the step by step retreating Molian. “Can a fight definitely be averted?” She asked. Simultaneously she had in mind to remind her Master and the rest of the Martial family Laivien’s condition and whether the household had enemies or not, she could not be left unguarded, but eventually revoked the idea. If a threat was imminent, then it was not like during the conflict with the Black Horns tribe, which could be protracted. Humans, with no exception, would never have the chance for His Valor Ozeyn’s benevolence. Besides, such argument will only be treated as an insult by the household. “Well?!” She urged Molian to answer.
“Y- Yes”. Molian said in a shaky voice, meanwhile inwardly cursing her sexist boss for sending her to fetch Zetsa because “Strong women easily relate”.
“Elaborate!” Zax demanded. A mere “Yes” will not convince the household.
“Yes”, Molian repeated, slightly aggrieved. “Should the operation to transport everyone function with full cooperation, then I was told that no risk will befall upon you. Additionally, the experts that will escort you above ground are of uncanny caliber, even as Martial Mortals”.
Hearing the three words “Escort” and “Martial Mortals” in the same sentence, Zetsa heaved a deep sigh of relief. “You see, Master, Martial uncle, everyone? Zax even had Martial Mortals to work as protective escort for us. And you know Zax, he would not leave anything for chance. If there was a risk that even one person will die at the move, then he will rather sacrifice himself to appease the hatred of his enemies”.
Grandmaster Kartion mused. It was not a consideration of avoiding a fight or not, but whether the measures Zax took are really sufficient to ensure the safety of his loved ones.
“It is fine, then. However, you will not go alone. I’ll accompany you and your family along with the escort above ground!”
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