Lakshman woke up feeling really tired. He sat up with a small groan and looked around. It was early in the morning as sunlight streamed through the closed curtains. That was when he realised he was in their hotel room.
It had almost been a week since the attack of the demon army. In this week, the capital has begun its repairs. It seemed the north side of the capital took most of the damage while south side only had minimal damage.
During this time, all traitors from the Phoenix Clan were rounded up and judged guilty. The Phoenix Emperor, Felix, judged them guilty and executed them. Lakshman protested against it, but Felix was convinced it was the only way to solve matter.
“If we let them live, they will eventually turn against us and use the deep knowledge of the Phoenix Clan to strike back!” Felix said and that was that.
While the repairs were happening, the charges against Felix were also removed. It seemed the traitors had created an illusionary vision record which shows Felix talking to a Serprad Demon Clan member.
The king, Bernard IV Sargold, deeply apologised for not believing in his innocence. Felix did not care about the apology and only told him to fix his mistakes. Then he and everyone got back to conducting repairs of the capital.
Several hours later, everyone was awake and were having breakfast. A few minutes later, Felix arrived through the Phoenix Portal along with Rasha, his wife and his daughter, Sasha. After finishing their breakfast, they sat around and talked about the future events.
“Bernard IV Sargold has opted to step down as king for his mistakes,” Felix informed them.
“Huh? He’s going to step down?” Wolfenstine asked while looking shocked.
“Is he serious?” Rumble asked with an eyebrow raised.
Felix nodded at them and said “He is and thinks it’s the only way for him to atone for all his mistakes.”
“Rubbish… He’s solve nothing by stepping down. Instead, he’ll give chance to an unworthy ruler to take over!” Darian said in annoyance.
“We know and that’s why the Phoenix Sage, Dalban Manjes, is talking him right now. He’s trying to convince him to not step down.”
“I hope he doesn’t step down. He made his mistakes as a ruler, but he’s the best ruler we can have right now. If he steps down, it’ll be really hard to find someone as strong and sincere as him!” Marilia said in sad voice.
“I’m also opting for him to stay, Marilia. He’s the best ruler Floria Kingdom’s got right now,” Rasha said with a smile on her face.
Darian sighed and asked “How goes the repairs?”
“They’re going along well. The north side’s taken a lot of damage and much of it was due to the battle between Lakshman and Halquza.”
At Felix’s words, Lakshman looked uncomfortable. Seeing this, Sasha smiled and said “It’s not your fault, Lucky. Father says you had no choice, but to go that far to defeat the Demon Emperor!”
“Thanks for the support, Sasha,” Lakshman said and he rubbed her head which she enjoyed.
Halquza was destroyed by his own attack which Lakshman had punched back at him. Not a single thing remained of him except the battle scars he left behind.
The Grobula Demon Clan broke free of the mind control the Demon Emperor had placed the under. After sincerely apologising for their actions, they were escorted to the Teleport Zone and they departed back to the Demon Continent.
The people of the capital wanted to punish them, but the Phoenix Emperor was against it. He labelled The Grobula Demon Clan innocent because it was the Demon Emperor who mind controlled them into fighting. He knew the Grobula Demon Clan had no interest in war or fighting, but will defend with all their might if they have to.
“Master…!” Tetra said quietly.
Lakshman suddenly was brought back to reality and he looked at the girls. Ondine, Tetra and Emilia were all staring at with glints in their eyes. For some reason, he had a dark promotion and he decided to stop rubbing Sasha’s head.
At that moment, Rasha turned to him and asked “Lucky. Why didn’t you use Restoration to restore the damage done? That would’ve been a lot quicker to fix the damage, right?”
Lakshman looked at her and nodded. Then he said “True and I did think of using it, but the Decisive Player told me not to.”
“The Decisive Player?” Rasha asked and she looked puzzled.
“It’s the Voice of the Phoenix which Lucky calls the Decisive Player,” Felix informed her with a sigh.
“Oh. So what did he say?” Rasha asked while looking annoyed as she looked at Felix.
“Ah…” Lakshman began and hesitated before closing his eyes.
He was standing in the dark space again as light shone around him. Standing in front of him with his face and body was the Decisive Player.
“They’re asking me about why we didn’t help out.”
The Decisive Player chuckled and folded his arms. Then he said “Tell them what I told you. It’s as simple as that.”
“B-But it’s rude though…” Lakshman said nervously.
The Decisive Player shook his head with a serious expression on his face. Then he said “You’re the Phoenix Titan! Now isn’t the time to be feeling innocent and weak. Go on! Tell them!”
With those resounding words, Lakshman opened his eyes. Then he looked at Felix and said “This whole mess happened because of the slackness of the Phoenix Clan. They are supposed to be the peace keepers between races, yet they turn stupid once the Phoenix Emperor goes missing.”
Felix looked surprised by his words and said “It couldn’t be helped though…! I was attacked by the Demon Emperor and—!”
Lakshman pointed his finger at Felix and said “It was your fault for dropping your guard and getting cursed! There is no excuse big enough to cover that mistake! Because of it, you were unable to counter the actions of the traitors in your clan. This eventually led to the mess that’s happened right now!”
Lakshman sighed and said “Remember! Your duty is towards the people and my duty is towards the world! It’s because you failed that I was forced to fill in your duties!”
Felix looked at him with wide eyes. Then he dropped them and sighed with a sad expression on his face.
“You’re right. I… am ashamed of how things turned out…”
As he looked really sad, Ondine looked at Lakshman and said “Master… That’s hard to say it like that…”
Lakshman opened his arms out helplessly and said “I know, but the Decisive Player told me to say it like that. Being innocent and weak won’t help anyone or hide the problems! Facing them head on and solving them is the only way mistakes won’t repeat.”
The room got a little gloomy from their exchange. Even Sasha was looking unhappy as she looked at them.
Just then, Felix suddenly grinned and said “Oh well! Mistakes can’t be helped and they always happen. It’s only natural. But the most important thing is that we learn from our mistakes and makes sure they don’t repeat!”
Everyone around nodded in agreement with his words. Mistakes will continue to happen, but only by learning to change will they never repeat. Even if they repeat, making sure the minimal damage caused by the mistake was better than not stopping it at all.
A day later, Felix came back and informed them about something which surprised them.
“Bernard’s decided to stay as king from the numerous protests he’s received,” Felix informed them and they were relieved. Then he smiled and said “Also, he and the royal court wants to award the Sword King, Monkey King, Scientific King and the Phoenix Titan for their efforts.”
“Ha?! He wants to award us?” Wolfenstine asked with a surprised expression on his face.
“An award? What is it? Is it food? What sort of food is it? Is it beef?” Rumble asked eagerly.
Darian turned and glared at him as he said “What the hell are you thinking?! A reward is not going to be food!”
“I want it, I want it, I want it!” Rumble said energetically with a big grin on his face.
“Stop that!” Darian said and he banged him on the top of his head.
Darian turned to him and said “Why does he want to do that? He should know we don’t like that sort of thing.”
Felix smiled and said “He knows and that’s why he’s not requesting… He’s ordering you to come to it!”
“Gah… I hate it when he does that…” Darian said and he looked very irritated.
Marilia chuckled and said “What’s so bad about going and receiving a reward for your effort?”
“I didn’t fight so that I can be awarded for my efforts! I did it because I wanted to do it!”
“So? What’s that got to do with going and receiving the reward?”
“No buts! Just go and get it over with! Stop making things complicated for yourself! Just go, smile all you like!”
“I won’t smile!”
“Fine! Go and show them your grumpy expression like this!” Marilia said and she made a grumpy face which looked funny.
At seeing the funny face, everyone burst out laughing. So all three of them went out the next day to buy some knightly clothes. Lakshman was eager, but Rumble was not because he was told to wear a shirt.
“I don’t wear shirts!” he complained, but they were ignored.
Marilia bought a good looking knightly suits for Darian and Rumble. Darian was quite pleased with his pick, but Rumble was not. His dislike towards wearing shirts.
“Stop being an exhibitionist! You look much better with full clothes!” Marilia praised him.
“I don’t wear shorts!” Rumble complained with a crying face, but they were ignored again.
Ondine, Tetra and Emilia carefully choose from the various in the shopping district. All three of them argued for several minutes before finally they came to decide on one. When Lakshman tried it on, the girls let out shrieks of joy. Lakshman was quite pleased how smooth the cotton felt to the touch.
Just like that, two days passed and the day of the awarding ceremony arrived. They were performing it outside the castle for everyone to see. The towns’ people had quickly constructed a raised platform so the awards can be presented. Several chairs have been placed there
So the people gathered there just before lunch. Darian, Rumble and Lakshman were with Felix and he informed them about how it was going to be performed. An hour later, everything was ready and the guards came out.
The king, queen and the princess came out wearing majestic clothes belonging to the royal family. The crowd clapped and cheered at seeing them walking fast as guards barded both sides. Once they reached the platform, they went up the stairs and sat down.
Once the crowd settled down, the king got to his feet and addressed everyone.
“My dear people! Only recently we have witnessed the scars of destruction due to the attack of the demon army. Many of you lost your homes, buildings and properties. However! We have survived due to the efforts of three mighty warriors!”
He indicated towards the back of the crowd. As the crowd parted to give way to them, the king said “Let us welcome the Sword King, Darian Ronald! The Monkey King, Hanuman Monkaggy and the mighty Phoenix Titan!”
As they reached the front, Darian was the first to walk up the stairs. Then Rumble followed as he forced a smile on his face to hide how much he disliked wearing a shirt. Next came Lakshman who was closely followed by the Phoenix Emperor, Felix.
The crowd cheered when Darian and Rumble went got on the platform, but they were surprised when Lakshman got up there. The people were muttering to each other when they saw him stand next to the two tall figures.
“That’s a kid!”
“He’s the Phoenix Titan?”
“I don’t believe this!”
They were not the only ones curious at why Lakshman was there. The king, queen and the princess were staring at him with puzzled expressions on their faces.
“Um… We were expecting the Phoenix Titan. Where is the Phoenix Titan, Phoenix Emperor?” the king asked Felix.
“Uh… He’s right there, your majesty,” Felix said and he indicated towards Lakshman.
“R-Really? I was expecting someone with blonde hair and crown shapes eyes or so I was told,
the king said and the people nodded their heads as if they were expecting the same time.
“Oh… Just a moment then,” Felix said and he quickly walked towards Lakshman.
“What is it, Felix?” Lakshman asked curiously when he got near him.
“Lakshman, can you transform into the Phoenix Titan for us?” Felix asked him instantly.
“Eh? Felix… You know that power is…”
“I know, but these people won’t be satisfied unless they see the man himself! So just transform!” Felix said as he urged him into doing it.
Lakshman looked puzzled for a moment. He looked at Darian and Rumble and saw them nod their head at him. He sighed inwardly because he did not like showing off, but it looked like he had no choice.
He became very serious and clenched his fists tightly. He suddenly began to surge with power and the wind began to blow faster. Then he screamed “UUUUUUUAAAAAAAAA!!!”
In an instant, his black hair turned blonde and his eyes changed as well. Now they had red crown like triangles with a centre black dot. The surge of power caused the people to get buffeted before they saw him transform.
The crowd let out voices in awe when they looked at him. He looked like a completely different person with the change in his appearance and power.
The king, noticing the stunned silence, smiled and said “Well then! We have all three warriors here before us! Now it is, with my utmost pleasure, to inform that these warriors, for all their effort in saving our kingdom, we reward them with ten-thousand gold each!”
At his words, the mass of people let out shocked voices. Then they began clapping because they felt the three of them deserved that amount of money.
The king indicated to the princess, Venezuela, to hand the money bags to them. She smiled and gracefully rose to her feet. Felix followed behind like her attendant with the three bags of gold. She went to Rumble first and handed him the bag of gold. Then she went to Darian and also handed him the bag of gold.
Princess Venezuela finally reached Lakshman. She looked at him and found that he was really handsome and took note that he was around her age. Then she realized the warrior going around as the Sacred Armored Phoenix Titan must also be him.
She smiled at him and he returned the smile. Felix gave her the bag and she handed it over to Lakshman. He thanked her for it, but she was not done.
She leaned closer to him and muttered “Thank you for saving my life, Phoenix Titan.”
Then, without warning, she kissed him on the cheek. The crowd let out voices of awe as she straightened up. Lakshman blinked at her in surprise as she smiled and walked back to sit beside her mother.
Down below, amongst the crowd, were Ondine, Tetra and Emilia. They saw the princess plant the kiss on Lakshman’s cheek and became really angry. Lakshman jumped a little in front from suddenly feeling their bloodlust, but he did not know whose it was at that time.
Once the princess sat down, the king said “Now please put your hands together to these magnificent warriors and their brilliant effort!”
The king was the first to start clapping. Then people began to clap and cheer for the three warriors. Lakshman was startled at how loudly they were cheering. He did not know yet that everyone was cheering mostly for him. The return of the Phoenix Titan, after eight-thousand years, was something that made them feel really happy for.
Thus, from that day on, in every region on the Human Continent, Lakshman Chand became known as the Phoenix Titan.