Lakshman breathed in deeply and closed his eyes to let himself feel with the nature. It was a wonderful sensation to be back in this world after training continuously for two years in the Phoenix Training Sanctuary.
“Ah… It’s nice to be out and about,” he said as he began stretching his arms and legs.
Just then, he heard a voice in his mind say, “Really, master? I feel that you probably should’ve taken the time to come out for breaks.”
He chuckled and said, “I wish, but my training was pretty intense to take breaks, except when I slept to recover.”
“Yes and that’s why, your spiky black hair became straight and grew to waist length,” Tetra told him in exasperation. “If someone comes here and sees you, I’m pretty sure they will think you’re a wild man of the wilderness.”
Lakshman became annoyed and said, “Tetra, that’s not funny even if it’s a joke,” to which, Tetra chuckled. “Anyway, this mountain is protected by the Phoenix Clan, so I doubt any stranger will wander in.”
“You know that there’s a possibility of trespassers, right?” she asked curiously.
“If the clans is slackening their duty, I’ll go and fix them up,” he said firmly.
“Well, it’s a good thing the training area is protected by a portal lock.”
“Yes,” he said in agreement.
Lakshman turned around and with his hand raised towards the white hole, he said, “Portal Close.”
In an instant, the hole shrunk and disappeared from the face of the rock. There was a sudden burst of light that was very difficult to look through, but it vanished a few seconds later. Lakshman opened his eyes and saw that nothing had been disturbed by the light. He tentatively walked forward and patted the wall and nodded in satisfaction when he was the portal had closed.
“Good. Now, time to go pay the girls a visit.”
“Yes and I’m sure they will be very angry to see you.”
“Huh? Why? Wouldn’t they be happy to see me after these two years of separation?”
“About that…” Tetra said slowly. “They did want to see you a while back, but you told Felix you didn’t want to see them. I’m sure they will be unhappy of your wish to not be disturbed by anyone.”
“Oh, come on, Tetra,” he said reasonably. “I was in the middle of training and I was badly wounded later because of it. How can you expect to see the girls looking like that?”
“Yes, but you expect they will be happy to see you wearing such worn-out tight clothes?”
“That’s why I’m wearing a cloak to cover myself up,” he said confidently.
“Master, you grew taller, grew your hair really long and even packed on a few kilos.”
Lakshman shrugged his shoulders and said, “It can’t be helped that I’m still in the growing stage.”
He heard Tetra sigh before she said, “Really… You need new clothes immediately.”
“I’ll worry about that later, but these will do for now,” he said firmly.
“Go ahead and do as you please,” Tetra told him in resignation.
He chuckled and said, “I don’t need you telling me that. Anyway, time to go and pay them a visit.”
“And where are you planning on going to see them?”
“Uh… Master, they probably would’ve graduated by now, you know? Maybe, we should just visit the Phoenix Clan first, get new clothes and then go pay them a visit.”
He looked annoyed as he said, “I told you I’m going to visit them first.”
He raised his hand in front of him and said, “Now then… Phoenix Portal!”
In an instant, a black energy formed in front of him and created a vertical circular hole in front of him. The Portal grew wider to match his height and became stationary while dark energy swirled around it. He breathed a sigh before walking forward and stepping into the portal. A moment later, he stepped out into bright sun light and ahead of him were the gates leading to Astral Academy.
At first, he thought he ended up at the wrong location when he recognised the surrounding landscape. Then, realising he was standing several meters from the gates, he exclaimed in surprise. The guards, who were guarding the gates, looked at him suspiciously with their spears at the ready.
“Wow…! The academy seems bigger than the last time I saw it,” he said while looking surprised.
“It seems the academy had built more buildings in these two years. I am also sensing a lot of people inside the academy grounds.”
“Yeah, I’m sensing them too,” he said quietly as his eyes narrowed. “I think there’s more than a thousand people inside. What’s going on?”
Lakshman walked towards the gate, intending to go inside, when he was quickly stopped by the guards. When they saw him walking towards the gate, they gripped their spears firmly and barred his way by putting their spears in a cross-connection.
“Only the invited are allowed to enter,” the guard on the left said firmly. “Please, leave.”
“Ah. You see, I know some people inside and I wish to talk to them,” Lakshman told the guards.
The guards shook their head together and the guard on the right said, “I’m sorry, but a creamy is being held right now. All invited guests are already present and you don’t seem to have been invited. So, please kindly leave.”
Hearing the guards telling him so firmly made Lakshman feel a bit unhappy. He could sense the presence of Ondine, Venezuela, Emilia, Erza, Silvera and Cantia inside the academy. However, it appeared that only the invited are allowed to enter while others are barred from entering.
He inwardly sighed and thought, “Damn… I guess I’ll have to talk to them later.”
To the guards, he smiled slightly and said, “Alright then. I’ll speak to them at a later time.”
The guards nodded in confirmation and Lakshman turned to walk away from the academy. He felt disappointed at not getting the chance to see the girls the moment he came out after spending two years away on training.
After walking for a while, he found a sitting bench and sat down to rest. Passer-by’s eyed him curiously and muttered to each other, but he did not listen or care. For the moment, he had his head down and the ragged out cloak gave him an extremely shabby appearance.
“Those stupid guards…! Don’t worry, master. It’s not your fault,” Tetra told him soothingly.
“Don’t blame them, Tetra. They are simply doing their job. I just forgot the required steps to get into the academy now that I’m no longer its student,” he thought unhappily. “Damn…! Where is Felix when you need him?”
“He’s probably busy doing stuff, master,” Tetra told him uncertainly.
He chuckled and thought, “Tetra… I was just asking without expecting an answer. You didn’t need to answer me like that. Besides, that answer is no use to me right now.”
“Oh, right… Sorry, master,” Tetra said apologetically.
“It’s okay. Anyway, things look peaceful around here,” he thought as he lifted his head to look around.
Everywhere he looked, he saw the happy expressions of the people while they walked along the streets. The air itself was dancing with joy from the happiness of the masses. It seemed that none of them had any worries or troubles.
“I can feel the spirits of nature dancing from the joy of such happiness,” Tetra told him in a surprised voice.
Lakshman nodded his head and thought, “Yes. You’re right. It appears the people have calmed down after the dreadful war that took place two years ago. I believe, they’ve set aside the past and made attempts to return to the peace before the war, but I feel a change. There’s more energy… more substance to them than before. It must be the doings of their new king, whoever that might be.”
“You’re right, master. Their new king must be a king, generous and peaceful person to let the people flourish like this,” Tetra said in an impressed voice.
They remained in silence as Lakshman observed the situation from the bench that he sat at. Seeing all the happiness and the feeling the joy, he closed his eyes and leaned back. The wind blew smoothly across his exposed face and he felt cooled by it. After enduring two years of intense training, he was slowly adapting to the practicality of the outside world again.
“Master!” Tetra said suddenly in an alarmed voice.
“I know. I sensed it too,” Lakshman said as he opened his eyes.
At that moment, he had sensed the presence of danger with his Elemental Sense. Through his rigorous training, he had mastered the use of Elemental Sense to detect and alert him. He also became extremely skilled in keeping it activate at all times without costing him excessive energy.
Now, that skill came in handy when he sensed trouble brewing nearby. While he sat there, he saw people rushing towards in the direction of danger.
“Well…! Looks like there’s trouble,” he said before slowly getting to his feet.
Lakshman quickly walked and turned a corner to see a crowd gathering. Loud shouts can be heard and the voice of a man barking orders in a rough firm voice. Narrowing his eyes, Lakshman walked through the crowd and watched what was happening.
Right before his eyes, there were roughly fifteen strong looking people going in and out of a house. These people were carrying the furniture and other equipment form the house and throwing them out. Standing aside and shaking with fear was a woman in her mid-twenties with two children at her side. She was crying freely as she hugged her scared children tightly.
“Throw them out! Come on, empty the house!” a man ordered loudly.
The owner of the voice was a man with a bald head, read moustache on his face and well-shaped muscles, visible by the sleeveless shirt he wore. Just one glance at him made Lakshman recognise the fact that he was really strong. Also, he was slightly surprised to see the man had a tail sticking out of his back.
“One of the Beast race…” Lakshman muttered under his breath. “Mmm… Those ears and that tail isn’t like Cantia’s… Must be one from the Deigra Beast Clan.”
“I suspect that you are correct, master. That type of ears and the business of that tail is seen only in the Deigra Beast Clan.”
“Oh..? So, you do remember some things then?” he asked in his mind with a small smile.
Tetra sighed and said, “Oh, please… I only forgot what happened before the unknown events 8000 years ago. Don’t make it look like I’m totally clueless. The real one that’s clueless is Silvera.”
“You’re right, but I’m sure she’s learnt a lot in these two years and I’m sure Erza’s the same,” he thought confidently.
Just then, he was brought back to the present when the owner of the house began pleading with the bulky beast man.
“Please…! I just need one month to clear the debt! Please… Just one more month…”
The beast man looked at the man and snorted angrily.
“Yeah, right! That’s what you said the last time when we were lenient. Now, time’s up and you got your debt to pay!”
“B-B-But the sales for my goods haven’t been doing that well due to the summer season. In a few days, winter will start and I know they will sell well!” the man said desperately.
“You had your chance! Now, the Slavemancer decreed that you be evicted and be sold into slavery!” the beast man said firmly.
“No!!!” the man cried out and the wife became shaking with fear.
Lakshman narrowed his eyes and thought, “Slavemancer?”
“The title means that it’s someone that enslaves people,” Tetra told him informatively.
“Tetra, I know what that title means! It’s just that I’ve never heard of anyone by that name,”
“Probably because people don’t want to talk about him master…”
Lakshman was not happy from hearing such an ill named title. Although he did not know who this ‘Slavemancer’ was, but he was sure it was someone with great capacity. The fact that this cruelty was being conducted with the Phoenix Emperor meant he the person had great authority and power.
Just then, the beast man looked at the man’s family and slowly said, “Well… I don’t know how much you and your wife will sell for, but your children will probably be sold at high price, especially the girl.”
The little girl shrunk into the safety of her mother, not knowing that her safety flew out of the window. Now, she, her brother and the rest of the family are about to face real trouble as they were going to be sold into slavery due to their debt.
Their father fell down at the beast man’s knees and began to beg, “Please! They are just children!”
“Get off my lovely shoes!” the beast man said and he kicked the man aside. “Your children that were put into their situation by your incompetence!”
The man was clutching the injury the brutish beast man dealt him. Watching this, all his family could do was watch helplessly as their family head lost all his power. They were left there as the beast man ordered his fifteen men to empty the house. The crowd did nothing, but watch this unpleasant events unfold before their very eyes.
Lakshman looked at the crying family and he was instantly reminded of Emilia. She was his lover and she is also his Human Slave. Due to certain events that could have been dangerous for her, he doubt her and he had treated her like a lover ever since. Now, he was reminded of Emilia being a Human Slave and he instantly recognised the kind of treatment she had faced when her parents were killed and all their debt fell on her head.
Sensing this, Tetra immediately said, “No, master! We mustn’t get involved in this matter! We have no right to interfere.”
He narrowed his eyes and thought, “There are people crying helplessly while thugs vandalise and destroy their property. Sure, I can understand them being in their situation because of the foolishness of their family head, but this sort of behaviour is wrong!”
“B-But, master…! This is the system of this world. You can’t change it because of your feelings.”
“Tetra, I was forced to realise the true form of slavery when I was tortured constantly by the Demon Dragon King’s experiments. I can never forget how draining it was for me to mentally retain my reason and reality to continue living. I’m sure Emilia also faced the same situation, but in a more psychological way than me. That’s why, I cannot overlook this matter anymore!”
With that, he stepped out of the crowd and walked over to the wounded man. He had coughed out some blood, which meant he was injured by the rupture of a damaged internal organ. Lakshman looked down at the man with narrowed eyes and felt sadness for him. Kneeling down, he gently placed a hand on his body, causing the man to nervously look up through unfocused eyes.
“Lie still, I will heal you,” Lakshman said with a small smile.
Just then, the beast man turned around and saw Lakshman kneeling beside the man with a smile on his face. Looking closely at the cloak Lakshman was wearing, he gave off a very shabby appearance and caused the beast man to laugh.
“So…! The garbage guy found a friend with another garbage? How nice!” he asked in a carrying voice.
Lakshman’s finger twitched as he thought, “Did he just call me… garbage?”
“Yes…” Tetra said hesitantly.
Lakshman sighed and with a wide grin on his face, he said, “Funny how that’s coming out of the mouth of a wild animal!”
The beast man widened his eyes in shock and he began to shout, “You—!”
“Would you please be quiet as I heal this man?” Lakshman asked loudly. Then, facing the injured man, he smiled and said, “Healing Harmony.”
In an instant, the injured man’s body was surrounded by a bright dim light. The blood slowly flowing out of his body quickly began to heal and the pain also slowly reduced.
“Hey! Hello…? I’m talking to you!” the beast man shouted at him.
When he did not receive a response, the beast man looked at one of his henchmen and gestured towards Lakshman. The henchmen nodded and he let the box he was carrying drop with a crash before walking towards Lakshman.
“Hey, you! The boss is trying to talk to you, stupid!” the henchmen said as he grabbed Lakshman by the shoulder.
Lakshman, who was healing the injured man, muttered, “Discharge.”
There was flashes of lightning, which erupted out in bursts before enveloping the henchmen.
In an instant, the henchmen began screaming at the top of his voice as lightning surged into his body through the contact on Lakshman’s shoulders. The shocking attack immediately paralysed his movement as it shot the nerves of his body while making sure that they left him alive. However, the longer he stood there grabbing onto Lakshman’s shoulders, the worse it got. Unfortunately, his paralysed body did not listen to his commands and he did not have the will to move his body to save himself.
Everyone watching the man literally get surrounded by zaps of lightning backed away with fright. Even his comrades stopped what they were doing to watch with wide eyes. Even the beast man was left speechless as he watched his men getting zapped by numerous bolts of lightning surging through his body.
Finally done with the healing, Lakshman smiled at the previously injured man and said, “You’re all healed.”
“T-T-Thanks…!” the man said while blinking at him in disbelief.
Lakshman stood up and turned around suddenly realised the henchmen was still grabbing onto his shoulder.
“Let go! How long are you planning on standing there while taking my electrical attack, idiot?” Lakshman asked as he pushed the henchmen’s arm of him.
His arm finally free from Lakshman’s shoulders, the henchmen just stood there haphazardly with his mouth open slightly. Then, he collapse to his knees while shaking uncontrollably before falling to his side. He lay there and twitched without any control over his body due to the electrical attack.
Lakshman looked at the man in surprise and said, “Oh… Oops! I only used a Saint ranked lightning attack, but I guess it was a bit too powerful for the guy to handle, especially by an Emperor ranked person like me. Oh well… He’s still alive and breathing, but it’ll probably take him a while before he recovers completely.”
“RRRRAAAAYYYY!!!” screamed another henchmen.
Seeing his comrade go down by electrocution, he pumped himself with pure energy and charged towards Lakshman. As he rushed towards him, he took his right arm back as it began to glow as energy built up into it. The plan of attack for this henchmen was to deliver a quick and powerful blow to Lakshman’s chest, causing immense pain and suffering from the blow.
Lakshman turned his attention towards the second henchmen just as he reached him. The henchmen let out a battle grunt and brought his fist towards as he aimed at Lakshman’s chest. Just before impact, Lakshman stepped aside and easily dodged the fist. For his turn, he simply brought his right hand across and slapped hard against the henchman’s face. The force of impact from the slap was so strong, it blasted the henchmen downward and he smashed hard into the ground.
“I just finished talking and another man goes down… Oh dear…” Lakshman said in a dull voice.
For a moment, the remaining thirteen henchmen looked at their fallen two comrades. Then, they charged towards Lakshman by building themselves up with energy while letting out monstrous roars. Lakshman quickly dodged them all and began walking forward. For each of them, he delivered what appeared to be a single punch straight into their guts. Like flies, the thirteen henchmen collapsed and lay unconscious on the ground behind where Lakshman stood.
“Seeing everyone lying unconscious about him, Lakshman sighed and said, “I don’t believe this. It hasn’t been an hour and I’m already back in combat.”
The beast man was looking at each of his fallen henchmen with eyes of disbelief.
“You… You beat them all with one punch?” the beast man asked him in disbelief.
“That’s all it looked to you?” Lakshman asked while looking surprised. When the beast man nodded, Lakshman sighed and began pointing at each of the thirteen fallen henchmen while saying, “I hit him twenty times, seventeen times for this guy, eighteen times for that guy, nineteen for this guy…”
Lakshman told everyone the numerous times he had punched each of them. When he finished speaking, he smiled and said, “So, yeah… An average of twenty blows per person, but for them to look as if I only delivered one blow… I guess training at 1,500 times gravity has that kind of effect on normal observers.”
Everyone, who heard the amount of his training gravity, exclaimed, “Training under 1,500 times gravity?!”
When Lakshman nodded at them, they all stared at him in disbelief. They could not believe what they just heard and considered him to be a monster. At that moment, the beast man began to chuckle darkly, causing Lakshman to look at him.
“To be able to make numerous punches look like a single blow… To train at 1,500 times gravity… Ha! Nice try at bluffing, vagabond!”
Lakshman’s jaw dropped in disbelief as he could not believe his was just called a vagabond.
“First garbage and now a vagabond?!” Lakshman though indignantly. “This pup really needs a beating!”
The beast man pointed at Lakshman and said, “That bluff may have worked on normal people, but I’m not normal! I’m a Sage ranked beast warrior of the Deigra Beast Clan!”
As he shouted out the clan which he belonged to, he instantly was covered by a bright glow of light. The brightness caused everyone to close their eyes for fear of losing their eyesight. Lakshman shaded his eyes because he thought this flash of light was just an illusionary distraction for the real attack. When the light vanished, he was surprised to see the beast man had transformed.
The beast man was no longer human looking like before. Instead, he had the appearance of a beast dog that was standing on two hind legs as it stared at its prey. The face was beastly shaped with fang like teeth that could crush meat fairly easily. Even the man’s hands have changed to become sharp claw like hands and his legs also became lethal clawed feet.
At that moment, he opened his mouth and let out a roar that scared people in all directions. It was indeed a beastly howl of a dog that had gone mad with rage. Now, that enraged dog had taken on the form of a humanoid dog with a thirst for destruction.
“How do I look, fool?! Do I scare you now?!” the beast man asked loudly.
He noticed the fearful expressions on everyone’s faces from his roar earlier and he was not lying when he stared about his rank being Sage ranked. Now, he focused attention on Lakshman and was startled to see him look unperturbed.
Lakshman nodded and said, “I thought you were from the Deigra Beast Clan and that howl was so much like a dog. Really, I think I should just refer to you lot as the Dog Beast Clan, right?”
“Master, that’s rude…!” Tetra told him sternly.
“Yeah, I know, but for this once, I’ll put aside my manners to take care of this beast!”
The beast man became enraged and screamed, “Don’t insult my proud beast clan, you blood freak!” Then, after roaring again, he said, “Time to slice you apart!”
“I’m not an onion to be sliced apart…” Lakshman said in a dull voice.
“Whatever!” the beast man shouted and he lunched at Lakshman. As he did, he shouted, “Beast Claw!”
In an instant, his claws began glowing brightly and appeared to have become sharper. The strength of those claws were so strong, Lakshman knew they could tear a limb apart easily. However, that did not apply to him as he easily evaded the attack of the beast man. Continuing to dodge like this made the beast man really angry.
“Stop dodging and die!” the beast man roared angrily.
Lakshman shook his head and said, “You’re so much like a wild animal, I should probably start calling you Beast Man the Wild Dog!”
The beast man got very enraged and he roared as he began attacking Lakshman furiously. Lakshman, for his part, simply evaded them easily. He felt the beast man’s strength and realised he was strong, but it was nothing compared to how strong Lakshman was.
After dodging several times, he Lakshman sighed and said, “Time to wrap this up.”
When the beast came for another strike, Lakshman easily dodged it and turned around. Then, he delivered a powerful elbow into the beast man’s chest. He followed this up with bringing up his left arm up and slammed the fist into the beast man’s face. Finally, Lakshman completely swung to the front and he delivered a powerful uppercut at the beast man’s jaw. The powerful impact blasted the beast man up into the air with incredible force.
“Oh! Oops!” Lakshman said in a surprised voice. “I put too much force into that punch!”
Lakshman looked up and saw the beast man become a star high up in the sky.
“Oh… He became a star…” Lakshman said in an impressed voice. Then, looking puzzled, he asked, “Wait… How high did I punch him?”
“As far as I can see… No! I can’t see him!” Tetra said in a shocked voice. “Master! You punched him too high!”
“Yeah… I realise that…” Lakshman said in a slow voice. “Oh, wait! I see something…!”
Just then, the beast man appeared in the sky and he flew straight down before smashing heavily onto the ground. The dust that erupted from the crash, slowly cleared to reveal a deep hole in the ground. There was a movement from within it and the beast man slowly climbed out.
“Oh. I’m glad you’re still alive, even though you’re badly wounded,” Lakshman said in an impressed voice. Then, he leaded forward and said, “Just for your count, that was just three blows.”
The beast man looked at him and wearily asked, “Who… are… you…?”
Lakshman raised his eyebrows and asked, “So… You fight first and ask questions later?”
“Just answer the damn question…!” the beast man said tiredly.
Lakshman chuckled and smiled as he said, “Well then…! Sorry for the late introduction. My name is Lakshman Chand, but everyone calls me the Phoenix Titan!”
|Character Name (s)||Power Counter (s)||Rank (s)|
|(the beast man)||300,890,900||Sage|
|Lakshman Chand||1,398,278,700[Base form]||Emperor|