Freedom & Justice
A portal opened within the castle walls and Lakshman walked out of it before it closed behind him. He straightened up and looked around to see that he was all alone. Nodding in satisfaction, he began walking along the empty corridor as he sensed the presence of Phylex and Draga nearby. As he focused on locating them, he found them in the backyard of the castle, lying down and fast asleep.
“I guess they’re taking a nap,” he thought before smiling.
Just then, he turned a corner and almost walked into Felix, who was looking frantic.
“Hey, Felix. What’s up?” he asked him curiously.
Seeing him, Felix breathed a sigh of relief and said, “That goodness I found you. Come this way, quickly!”
Felxi began jogging away and Lakshman jogged after him with a surprised expression on his face. For some reason, Felix was unusually tense and it made Lakshman be on high alert. There must be a strong reason to make Felix feel this tense to make him search for him desperately.
They walked for a while before turning a corner and arrived at a meeting room. Felix opened it and as he went in first, he spoke to the people Lakshman could not yet see.
“I’ve brought him. Now, you can discuss the matter.”
Lakshman walked through the open doors and arrived in a spacious meeting room. He immediately noticed Ondine, Tetra, Silvera and Cantia seated behind the large chair that was seated by Venezuela, Emilia and Erza. He immediately sensed the tension in the air and realised the girls were very anxious. Looking towards whom they were facing, he was startled to see several people wearing orange robes. Six of them stood behind a seated person, who he supposed was their leader.
The girls turned around and made relieved expressions on their faces when they saw him. Ondine, Tetra, Silvera and Cantia wore relieved expressions upon seeing him, but Venezuela, Emilia and Erza did not turn to look at him. When he got closer, he saw the seriousness on their faces and it was mirrored in their eyes as well. He immediately realised this must be a very serious matter for them to not take notice of him.
Felix sat down on a chair that horizontally aside from them. He positioned himself there so that he would immediately step in to stop any unnecessary actions. At the same time, he edged his chair slightly towards the girls to clearly state whose side he has picked to side with if the choice was even asked.
Lakshman sat down between Venezuela and Emilia before facing the orange robed men with a firm expression on his face. He observed the men shift slightly when they looked at him through the eyeholes through the cloaks on their faces, which hid most of their face. Then, he saw the emblem embedded on the chests of their cloaks and he immediately realised who he was dealing with.
“Master, these people are from the Shambasa Religion,” he heard Tetra say in his mind. “They’ve come today to speak to you about our marriage.”
“I understand,” he replied without changing the firm expression on his face.
The seated man bowed slightly towards him and said, “My sincerest greeting to you, Phoenix Titan. It is an honour to meet you here today.”
Lakshman nodded once and simply replied, “Yes, I’m sure.”
“My name is Revan Telipad and I am associated with the Shambasa Religion,” the man introduced himself to Lakshman in a clear voice. “Currently, I am here on behalf of my religion to speak to you about something concerning your marriage with these young ladies that sit with you.”
“What about it?” Lakshman asked calmly.
Revan nodded and said, “In the customs of our religion, we do not allow for the marriage between multiple women and one man. This has been followed for generations and those that crossed that line became the victims of the hand of justice our god dealt them.”
“More like the handy work of the people from the religion,” Lakshman thought while he kept a straight face.
“The God of Justice, Sangrahan, is a compassionate god who upholds the values of justice. His greatness in creating the law and order that which binds us has allows the people to flourish. As such, we follow his teachings through the ages and we refine what we learn from the experience that life as taught us.
However, your desire to marry multiple women has become a thorn in our quest for world order. The God of Justice never allowed the marriages between multiple women and he will see this as a treasonous action against his teachings. As his believers and followers, we advise you to cut your ties with the women and happily wed with the queen.”
Cantia and Ondine clenched their fists together angrily. They were upset by the words the religious believer just uttered in front of them and they did not hide the anger shown on their faces.
“Why you…?” Cantia began angrily and she tried to get up, when she was stopped by the hand Lakshman raised.
He raised his hand and indicated for both Cantia and Ondine to stay seated. Heeding his indirect gesture, they stayed seated while continuing to glare at the religious people. For their part, the orange robed men with their religion crest on their chests did not do anything, but stay where they were. It was obvious to Lakshman that disaster would occur from his side rather than their side.
“This is tricky… I’ll have to choose my words carefully…” he thought slowly.
There was a moment of silence within the room as the people remained silent and still. The tension in the air slightly thickened as the two sides eyed each other cautiously. Lakshman had closed his eyes to think about what the man had just said to him. After nodding several times, he opened his eyes and began speaking to Raven.
“I see the God of Justice has some really sincere followers. That is good to see,” Lakshman said and Raven bowed in appreciation. “However, I am not a follower and nighter are the people sitting with me. We know and understand the laws the God of Justice maintains to keep order in the world, but I believe that order is also dependent on the free willed choices that people make.”
Raven’s face was hidden by his mask so his expression could not be seek, but Lakshman saw his eyes flicker slightly. From this small movement in their eyes, he realised he had made himself a bad name amongst these people.
“I do not understand what you are trying to say,” the man said slowly in voice that did not show his emotions.
Lakshman sighed and leaned back on the chair as he said, “Well… For starters, you are completely ignoring the God of Freedom and his many teachings. Sure, he is not as well-known as your God of Justice, but I believe the free will allows man to do whatever they please, so long as the justice is kept intact.”
“That perhaps is the case, but the God of Freedom is also known to be a trickster, prankster and one who does whatever he pleases. In recorded history of his presence known to man, he has had multiple wives, but none of them have ever experienced true happiness,” Raven replied in a calm voice.
“How do you know that?” Lakshman asked immediately. “I am also aware of the multiple goddesses whom he wedded, but as far as I am aware, there is no record that suggests his wives are unhappy with the marriage.”
“We… We have them recorded in the history of our religion—,” Raven began to say, but he was cut off by Lakshman’s quick response.
“Which is questionable because it is your religion and your history. It’s what your so called Shambasa Religion has decided to keep while throwing away anything else it did not deem worthy to retain. As such, it becomes questionable whether you speak the true facts or the facts that mostly favour you.”
Lakshman spoke calmly with a small smile on his face, but the firmness of his words left no doubt that he did not believe in anything Raven told him so far. Raven understood this and he nodded his head to convey that he understood the underlying message Lakshman had passed him along with his words.
“Are you perhaps calling us as liars?” Raven asked finally and there was a hint of anger in his voice.
Lakshman shook his head and said, “I’m not calling you people ‘liars’ specifically, but I do believe it makes you and your teachings questionable. One might even argue that you deceive the followers of the God of Justice, who upholds the mantle of responsibility to keeping order in the world.”
Raven went to speak, but Lakshman did not give him an opportunity and kept talking.
“I also believe you’re spreading the wrong message with your teachings. The God of Justice created order in this world that brought balance to it. However, he left the mantle of responsibility to the creations of the God of Life and God of Fertility. He left us to keep the order in the world, which is why we are unable to see him, feel him or contact him.
This is where the God of Freedom comes in as he dictated free will and gave all life a mind of their own. Instead of making us function in similarly, he gave us our own will, our own emotions, feelings, minds and beliefs. Using this, we are left in charge to keep the world going while retaining the slowly dissolving order around the world.
Finally, you people need to get out of your narrow minded beliefs of your teachings and look at the world around you. Two years ago, Floria Kingdom and Mardana Kingdom experienced great pain due to the war and it was not stopped by the gods, it was me who defeated Adeboal and Razzel. It was me who restored the destroyed land and restored everyone back to full health.
Always keep in mind that freedom and justice play an important role in keeping the world in order. If even one of them shifted in the balance of power, you will face utter chaos around the world. Which is what I, the Phoenix Titan, stand for. After all… I am a phoenix who rises from the ashes in the name of freedom and justice.”
There was a stunned silence within the room once he finished speaking. Felix and the girls were shocked by his powerful words of wisdom that carried a great amount of power and force. The firmness in which he spoke clearly stated how strong his beliefs were. Felix was looking aghast as he stared at Lakshman and the men in orange robes.
Raven’s men were unsettled by Lakshman’s words because they completely defeat the purpose of their teachings. They are hard followers and their beliefs run deep, to the point that they were shaking with anger. Lakshman noticed the anger, but he pretended to not notice with his eyes closed.
One of them took a step forward and with a shaking clenched fist, he asked, “You… dare to call our teachings as lies? You portray our hardened beliefs as a waste of effort? What do you know to say something like that? What do you understand about our religion to speak about us in such a way?”
“That’s enough,” Raven said quickly as he realised the situation was escalating to the point he was losing control over his followers.
Lakshman just shrugged his shoulders and said, “I sure am clueless about your religion, but I think freedom and justice should go hand-in-hand in keeping peace around the world. Of course, you shouldn’t need a youngster like me to tell you right? Or, am I correct in thinking every one of you are just the regular dumb believers of religion?”
“Stop!” Raven said in a more firm voice, but it was too late.
“Why you treasonous vermin!” the follower shouted angrily. “I‘ll show you the firmness of our belief in our god!”
The next moment, he leapt forward and quickly charged towards Lakshman. Felix tried to get up, but the movement of the orange robed man was quicker than him. The girls tried to get up to stop him when they were suddenly forced back down by a pressure from Lakshman. He opened his eyes and saw the man lugging towards him with his fist raised, which was glowing brightly with energy.
“Hpmh… Foolish,” he muttered with a sigh before activating his powers.
In an instant, fire erupted form where he sat and quickly surrounded him and the girls. He raised his hand and as he did, the flames extended a flaming hand out. Using the flaming hand, Lakshman controlled it by using his left hand and grabbed the man in mid-air. The robed man attempted to break free, but he began screaming in pain when Lakshman began to close his hands and tightened his grip on the man’s body.
Raven and Felix jumped to their feet in shock at the display of power as Lakshman easily gripped the man tightly, causing him to moan painfully. He was not crushing him, but the firm grip from the flames was causing the man to feel the heat and the pained compression his body was going experiencing.
Lakshman looked at Raven and spoke in a powerful voice.
“You see, follower of Shambasa Religion… I love these women and I decide with my will alone. Nothing will make me change from who I am and who I will always be!”
The next instant, he turned the man around with his flaming hand and slammed him hard onto the ground. He used his left hand to relax his flaming hand and bring the hand back to create a shielding flames around himself and the girls sitting with him.
“I decide however I will want to live my life and so will the girls that deeply love me. Believe what you want to believe because the God of Freedom gave you that freedom, but know that I will show no mercy if you try to get in my way! I will face you at any time at any place regardless of the circumstances because I am always ready!” Lakshman told him fiercely.
At that moment, the flames began to take on the form of a warrior as it surrounded him and the girls. Raven, his men and Felix saw the flaming armoured body of a warrior with a phoenix head that was shielding the people within its protective coat of flames.
Raven took one glance at Lakshman before turning around and walking towards the exit. His followers quickly helped their unconscious comrade and followed right behind. One of the followers quickly went ahead and opened the door for his leader to pass through. At the door, Raven stopped and looked back at where Lakshman sat while being surrounded by the flaming warrior.
“Those are strong words, but let us hope you do not come to regret them,” Raven said before he and his followed exited the room.
Once they were gone, the girls breathed easily again and they got up to move out of the flames. Lakshman remained seated with his eyes closed as he calmed his racing mind.
“I-It’s like an extension of a warrior from within,” Emilia said quietly as they saw the armoured body of a phoenix warrior the flames took the shape.
“Yeah… It’s amazing…” Ondine said in awe and Cantia nodded her head energetically in agreement.
Lakshman let out a deep sigh and deactivated his magic, which caused the flaming body of the phoenix warrior to immediately disappear. He leaned back and stretched his arms to get the sudden stiffness out of the muscles.
“Fascinating how he’s using the flames as a protective shield,” Venezuela said as she was intrigued by the magic technique. She turned to him and asked, “What was that just now, Lucky?”
He looked at her and said, “It’s called the Elemental Coated Armour.”
“What?!” Felix exclaimed in disbelief. “That’s the Emperor Ranked Elemental Coated Armour?!” When Lakshman nodded, Felix’s jaw dropped in utter disbelief.
“What? You know what it is, Felix?” Emilia asked him curiously.
“Yeah because I never heard of it either,” Venezuela said and the girls turned to look at him.
Felix quickly recovered and coughed before saying, “Well… The Elemental Coated Armour is as you saw, it uses the energy of the user and takes on a physical form of their inner strength. Of course, it depends on who uses that technique because it can change its shape depending on their inner will.”
“So, Lucky had a fiery strength and a strong will, which made it take on the form of a fiery armoured phoenix warrior,” Emilia said and she nodded in understanding. “That makes sense.”
“Yes, it does, but what I don’t get is how you knew about it!” Felix said to Lakshman. “It’s a secret technique that only very few people know about and that includes the Nine Pillars of Power. However, I don’t remember telling you about it and I certainly don’t think anyone would’ve blabbed about it either. So, how did you…?” As soon as he asked that question, Felix widened his eyes in realisation. “No way…Is it… your knowledge…?”
Lakshman nodded and smiled as he said, “Yes. I was drawn to a question: how do I face opponents with swords when I don’t have either Tetra or Silvera with me. So, I searched for a solution and the answer came to me in the form of the Elemental Coated Armour magic spell. With it, I am able to fight using the extended form of my inner will and I can also create energy swords to use in battle. It’s a powerful technique, so I mainly learnt it to use it for self-defence, but I’ve managed to master it quite a bit.”
“Yes… It’s an amazing feat that you mastered it within the two years of your training!” Felix said in an impressed voice.
They looked at each other and smiled with respect, which got interrupted by Ondine asking, “Um… What do we do about that religious guys?”
“Leave them alone,” Lakshman said flatly. “I said the truth and it’s up to them to face the facts. They can’t always run away and hope their so called god will provide them with answers. Unfortunately, freedom and justice play a powerful role in keeping this world together, keeping us together and the connection that links all living creatures to one another.
So long as they keep lying to themselves and run away from the truth, they will never escape the endless cycle of fear. Their fear of their god, the fear of change and the fear of difference. All of this will add up and will eventually lead to a result that we will not be happy with.”
“You’re right, but they will become desperate to silence you, Lucky,” Felix said in a serious voice. “You better be careful from now on. They’ve realised that you are a heretic in accordance to their religion and like so many others that defined them, you will also be attacked and most likely eliminated.”
“How about we eliminate them?” Ondine asked as she casually placed a hand on the hilt of her sword.
“Yeah! Get rid of them and problem solved!” Cantia said in agreement with Ondine.
“Honestly…! You two…!” Venezuela said crossly as she turned to look at them. “What are we, killers to go around killing people just because we don’t like them?”
“Uh… I just thought it would solve all of our current problems,” Ondine said and together with Cantia, they hung their head in sadness.
“I for one don’t want to take the easiest option of killing them,” Silvera said firmly. “After all, we’re living beings like them, so what gives us the right to kill them? I mean, we’re not their creators, we’re not their saviours and we’re certainly not their relatives. I just don’t think killing is the right option.”
“I agree with you, Silvera,” Lakshman said in a firm voice. “We’re not killers and we’re certainly not assassins. Let’s not go so low as to contemplate killing before giving them the chance at redemption. Everyone deserves that chance, regardless of the kind of actions they committed in the past. That’s the difference between killers and heroes.”
The girls nodded in agreement, but Venezuela looked at him intently and asked, “Is that why you had such a tough time taking out Razzel?”
Two years ago, after he left for his training, they were visited by the Sword Titan, Dominic Rutherford. He informed them of Lakshman’s actions in giving Razzel the chance to change himself. When the attempt back fired, Lakshman was left with no choice, but to utterly destroy the Demon Dragon King and let the Serpent of Revenge do the rest.
Lakshman sighed when he remembered the past events and said, “Look… I will admit that I may have him given him unnecessary amount of changes, but he was filled with the savagery of revenge. I thought he would change if I made him think about all the lives he killed and absorbed. Ultimately, I was forced to put an end to him once and for all.
Even after all that, I still wish to give chances to my enemies to make change. That is, unless I am perfectly certain they will never change because of who they are. Remember ladies… I’m not a killer, I’m a protector, a defender of the world and the creatures that live in that world. They make up the world and without them, the world will collapse. That’s why, I do this without regrets.”
The girls looked at him for a moment before looking back at each other.
“Well, if that’s how it is,” Emilia said with a smile.
“It can’t be helped,” Venezuela said with a sigh.
“No worries,” Erza said and she winked at him.
“That’s good,” Tetra said and she nodded at him.
“Keep it up, master,” Silvera said and she gave him a thumps up.
“You’re awesome!” Cantia said cheerfully.
“I proud of you!” Ondine said proudly.
Hearing their different response made Lakshman laugh heartily and it had been a while since he laughed like this. The girls looked perplexed by his sudden laughter and they looked at each other to wonder they knew. Lakshman noticed them looking at each other and correctly understood what they were wondering.
“Hearing such different response form you make me laugh,” he told them as he chuckled. “Seriously, I never expected you ladies to give me such variety responses.”
“Well… I don’t know what to say to that, but oh well. At least, you’re happy,” Erza said and the girls nodded at him. “Anyway, we better get going and prepare the royal marriage ceremony, send out the invitations and get the scheduling for the marriage date ready.”
“I think there’s an open venue next week if you want to try for that, Felix suggested and Erza nodded at him.
“That’s good to get this done and be over within one week. What are your thoughts, Vena?” she asked as she turned to face Venezuela.
“I think that’s fine, but are you girls absolutely sure you want me to go marry him first?” Venezuela asked and she looked at them uncertainly. “You all were aiming to be his first wife…”
The girls looked at each other and shook their heads at her.
“I did try hard to be the first since I was the first person he met since he was just a kid,” Ondine said and she smiled slight. “However, I quickly realised that no matter who got to marry him first, we’ll all be his wives and that means we’ll be sisters to each other. That’s why, I dropped the thought of wanting to marry first.”
“I’m the same, although I never exactly wanted to be first anyway,” Cantia said and she nervously fidgeted with her fingers. “After all, marriage is very new to me and I’m unsure how it’s proceeded and everything.”
“I don’t know about the past, but I’m looking forward to getting married together,” Silvera said brightly. “If we follow along Ondine’s logic, we’re going to be like sisters and I have no problems with that! So yeah…! Go get married first, Vena!”
“I will support you,” Tetra said firmly with a smile on her face as Emilia and Erza nodded in agreement.
Vena looked around at the girls and smiled happily at them.
“Thank you everyone,” she said thankfully to them all. Then, brightening up, she smiled and said, “Let’s make this grand!”
“YEAH!” was the reply of all the girls within the room.
Felix remained silent, but he was grinning broadly as he watched the enthusiasm of the girls. Lakshman was the same before he leaned back on the cough and breathed with a small smile on his face.
“Good for them,” he muttered and he closed his eyes before falling asleep.
And so, Lakshman and Venezuela married a week later grandly with the entire Floria Kingdom cheering for them, which was the 8099PX, 13th of Shadien. It was indeed a great day to celebrate the marriage of the queen of Floria Kingdom with the Phoenix Titan, now the king of Floria Kingdom. Some objections were raised by the Shambasa Religion, but they were ignored as the kingdom celebrated the rise of a new king and queen.
Several days after their marriage, which was the 8099PX, 20th of Shadien, things began to settle down and that was when a quiet wedding was held for Lakshman to marry Ondine, Tetra, Silvera, Emilia, Erza and Cantia. On that day, they were in the presence of Lakshman’s family, Venezuela’s mother, Dominic Rutherford, Felix Phoron with his family along with several other diplomats of the royalty. These people were also present during the royal marriage as well, but were hardly seen due to the amount of crowd amassed at the castle.
Thus, Venezuela, Ondine, Tetra, Silvera, Emilia, Erza and Cantia became part of the ‘Chand’ family with their marriage of their lover, Lakshman. With the marriage complete and his position as king firmly implanted into the hearts of the people and the kingdom, Lakshman was ready to move on with his plan to help his kingdom and the world.
I’m giving people the option of whether they want to read the wedding in the side special chapter 243.5 because I feel this one is left up to the reader’s choice. Normally, I would’ve written the side special, but I feel it’s up to the people to decide whether I spend my time writing the side special or just get on with the story. So, it’s up to you, my wonde