Departure for Training
Lakshman found himself standing in a place completed covered in white. He realised he must be inside his mind after the prolonged battle when his exhausted body finally gave in to fatigue. This was caused due to him powering up so many times and pushing the limit of his body by fighting in the Power Mode. The quick drain of his energy left him feeling really weak.
“Ha…” he sighed tiredly. “That was one hectic battle.”
“You’re right; it was,” said a voice from behind him.
Lakshman widened his eyes slightly in surprise when the unknown voice spoke. At first, he did not recognise the voice from the numerous of people he had known for his life. Then, he wondered if it was Decisive Player, but the voice did not belong to him and he knew Decisive Player had gone away for good.
“So, you’re the Voice of the Phoenix,” he said with narrowed eyes.
The Voice of the Phoenix chuckled and said, “You know, your tendency to give your opponents chances is not good. Finishing them off in one blow is the correct idea.”
“I see. Unfortunately, I have to disagree with that. Anyone, whether they are good or evil, deserves chances to redeem themselves and deserves chances to make that happen.”
“You say that, but you also were angry that you let that guy have so many chances. If he had used that cursed sword properly, you’d be dead right now.”
“Is that why you tried to interfere with my battle with Adebola?” Lakshman asked sternly. “When I launched the Positron Burst Cannon, you jumped in and pushed more power into it. You did it again when I released the Spirit Burst Cannon. Your interference to add more power in seems to me as if you don’t believe I am using enough power.”
The Voice of the Phoenix chuckled and said, “Hahahaha…! Yes because you are more concerned about the damage that is done by using that power instead of looking at the result.”
Lakshman sharpened his eyes angrily and said, “You sound like Razzel, as if the result matters more than the process. I won’t let you turn me into one like the previous Phoenix Titans!”
“Oh, really? What are you going to do? Lock me away? Seal me away? You fool…! Your guardian had spent the last sixteen years suppressing me, but now he is gone and there’s nothing that stands between me and you!”
Lakshman did not say anything, but he looked down at his feet. He was puzzled to see a dark space connecting to the white space and he turned his neck a little. Behind him, stood a man that looked exactly like him, but with his back to him. From the side view point, the two of them stood back to back; one stood in the light and the other stood in the darkness.
“I will not fall victim to your mind games,” Lakshman said firmly. “My duty is towards the world and I won’t let you or anyone interfere with my job!”
The Voice of the Phoenix chuckled and said, “The last Phoenix Titan said the same thing and look what happened to him? He eventually gave into his feelings and began relying on me. Together, we did good things to the world.”
Lakshman stepped away and turned to face him with a disgusted expression on his face.
“Good to the world? You controlled the Phoenix Titan into starting a world war between the different races that eventually caused the continents to get destroyed and be split away from each other. Now, the only thing connecting each of the continents are the Teleportation Gates. You brought destruction into this world and turned the once peaceful world into what it is now.”
The Voice of the Phoenix snorted as he turned around while being covered by the darkness. Even though the shadows hid his appearance, Lakshman could tell he had the same appearance as him. Then, he was startled to see something strange about the man’s eyes; they were red star shaped eyes. This puzzled Lakshman because knew the Phoenix Titan’s eyes were red crown shaped eyes.
“It seems the Decisive Player passed on all the knowledge he had to you… Well then, listen you young fool. For the warriors of this world, war is their means of living. Otherwise, we’d be counting out fingers while waiting for the time when people start fighting again. This world was built to be fought upon, not to compel this ridiculous peace. You gain nothing by peace, except arrogance and hatred.”
Hearing those serious words, Lakshman slowly nodded and said, “As I thought… A Phoenix Titan is the embodiment of light and hope, but you are the embodiment of chaos and destruction. The ancient text about you being wise and knowledgeable were actually referring to the Decisive Player.”
“Haha. The ancient text does indeed refer to the Decisive Player, but it was always easy for me to supress him,” the Voice of the Phoenix said and his suddenly gleamed dangerously. “But that stupid ex-god received the support from the God of Life and with that support, he easily suppressed me!
That idiotic then took change and because of that, you grew up being a stupid idiotic brat with a brain damage instead of the flashy youngster that you were meant to grow up as. In trying to keep me at bay, he let you grow up like an innocent sheltered guy with the brain of a three year old! How can you defend him with his stupidity?”
Lakshman did not reply immediately as he thought about it. Then, he took a deep breath and said, “That sounds bad, even for any sheltered child, but I believe he did the right thing. Unlike the other kids, I had a poisonous creature conscious existing in me. Additionally, I had a role to fulfil when I grow up and he had no choice, but to let me grow up like a child.
Although I was angry upon learning the truth, I now fully understand the toughness of his decision. He kept me safe from you and in doing so, gave me the necessary tools required to keep you at bay!”
The Voice of the Phoenix made an evil smile and said, “You called me a poisonous existence… Then, shall I corrupt you…?”
As he spoke, the darkness began to swirl and creep forward into the light. However, Lakshman’s firmness made the light stay strong and firmly repelled the attempts of conversion by the darkness.
“You will never break me!” Lakshman said with a serious expression on his face.
The Voice of the Phoenix snorted and said, “We shall see about that.”
Just then, the light began to glow brightly and they both realised that Lakshman was waking up.
“Fine. I’ll take my leave, but don’t forget my existence. If even for once you let your guard down, I will snatch you and you’ll never escape from my grip!”
Lakshman smiled at him and said, “Good luck,” before everything vanished in a bright glow of light.
He opened his eyes and stared up at the ceiling, which was he realised he was finally awake. For a moment, he registered that he was lying on top of a comfortable bed inside a grandly constructed room. It was obvious that this was not his room at Astral Academy, but an unknown place he did not know about.
While he was getting accustomed to his situation, he heard the sound of footsteps leave the room hurriedly.
“Mmm… Seems like, someone had been watching me sleep,” he thought.
He turned slightly and saw the light streaming into the room through the open windows.
“Judging from the light, it must be morning, but I don’t have any means of judging the day or time…” he muttered tiredly and he fell back on his pillow.
“I wonder how long it’s been…” he muttered before sighing again.
Just then, there were the sounds of footsteps coming from the open doors. Then, Venezuela, Ondine, Tetra, Emilia, Silvera, Erza and Cantia, who was in her human form, walked into the room. When he saw who it was, he smiled and greeted them casually.
The girls let out girly cries that surprised Lakshman and they rushed towards him. Without seconds, he found himself being hugged by multiple bodies as the girls hugged him tightly.
“Ladies… Stop…” he said weakly as he felt he was being crushed by the hugs.
Once they moved away, they began speaking at the same time and confused the heck out of Lakshman. Their voices overlapped each other and everything they said became blurred to the point he had to raise his voice to stop them.
“Girls, calm down!” he shouted and stunned them into silence.
He sighed when he heard the sound of laughter from the door way. The girls made room for him to see and they saw Felix standing at the door way. The Phoenix Emperor was grinning broadly as he observed the girls surrounding Lakshman’s bed.
“Good job, Lucky. You’re learning to be a man of the family,” he said with a smile.
“Felix!” Emilia and Venezuela said indignantly at the same time, causing him to chuckle.
“Hey, Felix,” Lakshman said with a small smile on his face.
When Felix got to the bed side, he looked down at him and asked, “How are you?”
“Ah… I thought I was going to die from the hugging frenzy,” Lakshman muttered and made the girls looked around in embarrassment.
Felix chuckled and said, “That’s what happens when you have too many girls loving you.”
Lakshman shook his head wearily and asked, “So, mind telling me what’s happened so far?”
“Well…” Felix began as he took a seat and sat down on it. “You’ve been out for a weak. The doctors tell me you pushed your body beyond the limit by doing something crazy they did not understand about. Mind telling me what you did for that to happen?”
Lakshman smiled and said, “I simply overexerted myself by fighting in the Power Mode for too long. Then, before my body could recover from it, I began fighting again with the Demon Dragon King, Razzel and that bastard, Adebola.”
Felix nodded in understanding and said, “Yes and the people are quite impressed that you defeated them both of those evil knuckleheads.”
Lakshman sighed and said, “Ha… Yeah, I may have been able to do it, but I realised I am weak. That’s why, I’ve decided to go visit the Phoenix Training Sanctuary to get stronger.”
Felix’s eyes widened in surprise and he said, “Huh? You want to go there and train? Why? You’re strong enough as you are right now!”
Lakshman shook his head and said, “No, Felix. I’m not as strong as I believed I was. Yes, I know I’m not as powerful as you, but I was strong enough to be proud about it until I struggled to fight against Razzel and Adebola. The battle, which I thought would be easy, turned into a rough battle and I had to fight really hard to win! That’s why… I must go and train.”
“If you’re going to go and train, then we’re coming with you, master!” Tetra said immediately.
“Yes! You can’t leave us out when you are training!” Ondine told him firmly.
The other girls were also thinking the same thing as they nodded with Tetra and Ondine. Lakshman looked at them wearily, but it was Felix who spoke to them sternly.
“Sorry girls, but only Lakshman and Tetra are allowed to go there,” Felix told them.
“Huh?!” all the girls, except Tetra, exclaimed in disbelief.
“Why her? Why not the rest of us?” Cantia demanded indignantly.
“Because I’m a Phoenix Blade related to the Phoenix Clan!” Tetra told them firmly. “Also, master is the recognised Phoenix Titan even if his power is actually nowhere near where a Phoenix Titan should be. So, it’s only natural that he goes and trains his hardest.”
“That’s not the only thing,” Felix added as he spoke to them seriously. “Only members of the Phoenix Clan are allowed to go there and train. It’s a sanctuary specially built for the training for the members of the Phoenix Clan.”
“B-But master is—!” Silvera began with a puzzled expression voice.
“Being a Phoenix Titan, he is technically recognised as part of the Phoenix Clan,” Felix said resolutely.
“Then… Um… Why don’t we get permission from you to go there? You’re the Phoenix Emperor!” Venezuela said firmly.
Felix shook his head and said, “Like I said, that place was created for the purpose of the Phoenix Clan members. It doesn’t take requests and doesn’t accept permissions because it is not under my control. The Spirits of Nature control its functions and they clearly don’t want anyone other than the Phoenix Clan members going in to train.”
“Dammit…!” Venezuela said angrily.
Emilia looked at Lakshman and asked, “But master, what about your studies?”
Lakshman shook his head and said, “No, Emilia. I don’t have any plans to study anymore, but I want the rest of you studying while I and Tetra leave for two years.”
“Two years?!” they all exclaimed in a shocked voice.
Lakshman nodded and said, “I have a lot of training ahead of me and I estimate it will take two years before I can complete it. In the meantime, I want the rest of your focusing on finishing your education at Astral Academy in the two years.”
“B-But… Master…” Silvera said unhappily.
He smiled at them and said, “I think this is a great opportunity for you to study together. I know you have amnesia, but that isn’t enough to stop you from learning new things about the world and stuff. Unlike me, who’s basically really smart, you girls will need it.”
Felix narrowed his eyes and said, “I got the feeling you just surrounded arrogant about it.”
“No, I’m not arrogant, but I do have a lot of knowledge,” Lakshman said and he explained everything about the Decisive Player’s sacrifice and the knowledge and wisdom that got passed onto him.
“Wow…! That was brave of the ex-god of wisdom,” Felix said in an impressed voice.
Lakshman nodded and said, “Yes and that’s why, I don’t want to waste his sacrifice. That reminds me, what happened to the war after I collapsed?”
“Yes. That war’s over, but there’s no victor since Mardana’s King had been killed by the Phoenix Titan. Instead, we made connection with their people and are not working together with the Sword Titan to help them recover.”
“Ah. Dom must be happy that the Phoenix Clan is helping out!” Lakshman said happily.
Felix nodded with a smile and said, “Yes. The Sword Titan was worried when he learnt that you collapsed, but stayed confident that you will recover quickly. Anyway, the Mardana Kingdom will recover soon and then a new king will be elected.”
“I hope those people take note from this time’s failure…” Lakshman said quietly.
“We can only hope,” Felix said simply.
For a few seconds, there was quiet within the room and it was broken by Lakshman asking another question.
“So, what happened to… you know… the king? Um…” Lakshman said hesitantly as he turned to look at Venezuela.
She was surprised to see the worried expression on his face and she realised he was worried if he was going to hurt her feelings. She reassured him by smiling softly while nodding at him with her eyes closed.
“I see… She must’ve gotten accustomed to the fact that he was gone,” he thought sadly.
“Yes. Well, we held his funeral two days ago and we did it grandly. It’s a pity you weren’t there to see it,” Felix said and he shook his head. “Really… If he was alive as a spirit, I’m sure he would’ve yelled at us for making his funeral so grand.”
“Yes. Knowing dad, I’m sure he would’ve done exactly that,” Venezuela said with a small smile.
Lakshman looked at them and seriously said, “Yes. He died because of a cursed wound that none of us were able to cure. That’s why, I will use these two years of training to master a variety of spells! I promise that, when I return, I will be Emperor ranked!”
Felix grinned and clapped him on the shoulder as he said, “That’s the spirit!”
“Ouch!” Lakshman winced when the impact from the hard clap on his shoulder hurt him.
“But, before that, I think you need to rest and recover,” Felix said and everyone laughed.
It took Lakshman two whole weeks to fully recover. During this time, he had trouble moving around, so he was given the luxury of being fed in his bed. The ones to feed him were his lovers and they were more than happy to feed him. Initially, the girls got really jealous when Venezuela was the only one feeding him and so, they arranged a daily rotation where each of them got the chance to feed him. Lakshman did not like being fed like a baby, but he did agree that he liked being fed by the girls he loved.
After two weeks, he was finally ready to make his journey to the Phoenix Clan’s home where he will enter the Phoenix Training Sanctuary. He knew the portal to the training dimension was located somewhere up in the mountains, which he knew how to get there due to his knowledge. He and Felix talked about it more alone and the plans were made for his two years of training.
In the past two weeks, students from Mardana Kingdom arrived at Floria Kingdom to enrol at Astral Academy. At first, they were dismayed by the really difficult enrolment test they must pass to get enrolled into such an elite academy.
That was until Lakshman banged on Felix’s door and demanded the academy to be changed into a normal school. Felix was acting as the temporary king of the Floria Kingdom until the time of the elections to decide the next king. Many people wanted him to be king, but he openly refused the idea. On the other hand, he just could not drop the temporary role while the elections were being conducted.
“I don’t want these people going home empty handed when they came all this way to learn!” he told Felix firmly.
Felix’s desk was full of mountain load of paper and he was not looking pleased about it.
“Lucky, I understand what you’re saying, but we need to keep a firm appearance,” Felix told him wearily.
Lakshman looked at him with an annoyed expression as he said, “Oh, really? So, you’re going to convey that message to the rest of the world that Astral Academy is only for show and it’s a good-for-nothing kind of school?”
Felix’s eyes widened in surprise and Lakshman hammered it home by saying, “That’s what those people will say once they go back home.”
Felix realised what Lakshman was saying and he immediately acted on changing the rules.
Thus, the elite school became a normal school that accepted people, but there was still a minimum requirement of taking a simple test. This was a test that was actually created by Lakshman by using the various knowledge he had acquired from the Decisive Player. Sometimes, he would feel lonely without the constant chatter box of wisdom, but he was still happy to be of help while, at the same time, he made sure the questions on the test would not be really difficult.
On the day of the departure, he was outside the gates leading to Astral Academy. Tetra, who had transformed into the Phoenix Blade, said she was going to sleep and he sheathed her into her cover. The girls were not looking happy that he was going to leave them for two years and he knew it. There was little choice there for them and he wanted them to complete their education.
“Do we really have to study?” Ondine asked unhappily. “I mean. I’m best suited to the battlefield.”
Lakshman shook his head and said, “That’s exactly why you need to learn and acquire the knowledge to live in society peacefully. Okay, I’m aware that danger can spring from any direction, but we need to live a civilised lives until then. When I come back, I’ll get us a home and we’ll start living there.”
“R-Really?” Emilia asked with glittering eyes of hope.
“Yeah! No problems!” Lakshman said as he gave her a wink. Then, he turned to Venezuela and asked, “Vena, how’s your mother been?”
Venezuela chuckled and said, “Actually, she’s been dull since dad died, but she’s slowly recovering. Now, she keeps pestering me to learn cooking from her and all! Something about ‘being a proper wife that a husband will cherish’ or something.”
Lakshman laughed and said, “Well, you better do a good job juggling your studies and cooking lessons.”
“I’ll also be helping out, so that’s no big problem,” Emilia said cheerfully.
“I’m also going to help!” Ondine quickly said, but Emilia suddenly glared at her sternly.
“You focus on studying! Out of all of us, you’re the slowest in getting anything into that think skull of yours!” Emilia said forcefully.
“What?!” Ondine said indignantly. “I can study! Just watch me! I’ll get better marks than all of you and Lakshman will praise me for the effort!”
“Alright then! Prove it with actions instead of words!”
“Yes, I will! I’m going to enjoy watching you burn with jealousy!” Ondine said confidently and Emilia scoffed in disbelief.
While they were looking at each other sternly, Cantia moved forward and asked, “How will you eat while you’re away, Lucky? Do you know how to cook?”
“Felix offered to have the Phoenix Clan feed me, but I declined the offer because I want to cook. For one thing, I am currently good at fighting and using magic spells to cause damage. That’s why, I want to start doing things that’ll let me start living on my own without constantly relying on somebody else. It’s time I take charge of my life, especially when you I marry you girls later on.”
All the girls were stunned into silence by his last words. They could not believe what he just told them. For a moment, they cleared their eyes, pinched themselves and poked each other to test if it was a dream. With them realising it was totally real, they blushed wildly and looked really embarrassed.
Lakshman hoisted his bagpack over his shoulders and said, “Alright, girls. Have a good time studying together and I’ll see you in two years.”
He waited for a few seconds for them, but they were so embarrassed that they did not hear him speak. Sighing in resignation, he turned around and began walking away. Only when he was several meters away the girls recovered and saw him leaving. The girls began shouting their farewells to him and he turned around one last time to bid them goodbye.
“See you later!” Lakshman shouted with a wide grin on his face.
So, Lakshman set off for his training up in the mountains where he was going to train at the Phoenix Training Sanctuary. For the next two years, he was going to train in there and when he returns, he and everyone was confident the powers they have seen today will be nothing compared to the one two years from then.
End of “Arc 09: Capturing”
There is still an extra chapter for this arc which will include the list of all the power levels of every character that has been introduced in the story so far. I am doing this because people have been requesting time and time again on how powerful the characters are. So, if people want to see more in the extra, please comment and I will see if I can do it.
Thank you for reading Phoenix Rising so far! Truth be told, I never believed I would be able to come this far, but it’s thanks to everyone’s eagerness in reading the story and the encouragement I received that brought the storythis far. I sincerely thank each andeveryonefor their support thus far and I hope to see you again!
Till next time when phoenix rises and soars through the skies!”