Clash of Opinions

 

 

Lakshman quickly finished his plate of food and got away from the crowd. Dominic, Darian, Rumble and Felix were still eating their food while being talked to by the people. Although the guests showed interest in Darian and Rumble, they quickly turned their attention to Dominic and Felix. He watched as they struggled to eat and talk at the same time.

 

“I’m sorry you guys,” Lakshman muttered while wearing a smile on his face. “Thank you for your sacrifice.”

 

Earlier, he had sensed the shift in attention towards him, but he pretended to ignore it. He knew they had simply waited for him to complete eating, but Lakshman did not wish to talk to them. So, he used the four of them as bait to draw the attention away from him before getting away from there. Now, he used Duplifier to lower his presence from the place.

 

“Um…?” said a voice from near him.

 

He turned and was surprised to see Shalany standing there with a glass of water in hand. It appeared that she had finished eating earlier on before everyone else. This fact did not startle Lakshman because he was well aware of the amount of food a girl can eat compared to a man.

 

“Did you want to talk to me or something?” he asked her curiously.

 

She nodded and looked intently at him for a moment without saying anything. Her continuing silent stare made him feel uncomfortable, which she quickly realised.

 

“Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t meant to trouble you,” she quickly said, “but you looked like someone I knew in the past. You even have the same name as my childhood friend.”

 

“A childhood friend?” he asked curiously and he wondered if it was about the time they used to play together.

 

“That’s right. That boy had features like you and I often played with him at a young age. He left on a journey and made a promise with me. When I looked at you, I thought you looked just like how he would look once he grows up.”

 

He chuckled and with scratching the back of his head in embracement, he said, “Actually… I’m that kid from five years ago, Shalany.”

 

“Huh?” she said with a surprised look on her face. “Y-You’re that boy from back then?” She suddenly looked happy and said, “Really? Wow! You became the Phoenix Titan and now crowned the king of a kingdom in five years! That’s amazing!”

 

He chuckled and said, “Back then, I was on a journey to Floria Kingdom to help Felix out. Then, a lot of things happened and I because I got distracted by them, I completely forgot about our promise to meet again.”

 

“Oh… I thought as much…” she said in a slow sad voice. “He was the only person I got to play with other than my brother and an outsider at that. Father—I mean, the king never let me meet strangers that easily, but that boy happened to be the companion of the Sword King, Darian Ronald. So, you are him.”

 

“I’m really sorry I forgot about that promise,” he said honestly. “Actually, that’s part of the reason why I came here; it’s not just to attend the party, but to also see how you are doing. So, I was pretty amazed when I saw you attending the party with your father.”

 

“I see…” she said with a nod of her head in understanding. “He’s my fiancé.”

 

“He’s your what?” he asked in a surprised voice.

 

She nodded and said, “That’s right. Father thought of forming friendly relationships with the Slavemancer, so it was decided that our marriage will do just that.”

 

“It was decided for you? Did you have no say in the matter?”

 

“There’s not much of a choice and it’s not like I dislike him either. So, I agreed to the marriage.”

 

“What about your brother? The last I remember him, he’s always stick his face in the books, but he really cared for you though,” Lakshman said and he chuckled as he remembered the past events.

 

Shalany hesitated for a moment before saying, “Brother… Ah… Yes, he also accepted it since it will form a friendly relationship with the highly influential person like the Slavemancer.”

 

“Okay,” Lakshman replied simply as he looked at her.

 

She was not looking at him and instead was looking out into the garden of the starry night. There was a sad expression on her face and he sensed something was not right. He also believed her words were mixed in truth and lies, but he did not want to question her here. However, it made him become suspicious of her behaviour and the nervous energy she radiated earlier while she stood next to the Slavemancer.

 

“Something doesn’t feel right about this. If she really did like him, she wouldn’t be so nervous around him. There is something going on here, but am I allowed to know about it? To her, I’m a complete stranger, but all people in the world matter to me because they are part of this world. After all, the world will be safe if they are safe.”

 

He opened his mouth to speak, but she suddenly asked him, “You really grew tall in five years. Did you know that?”

 

“What?” he asked in a distracted voice. “Oh. Yeah! My wives commented on how big I grew and even my parents couldn’t believe it. Well, both of my parents were tall for their age, so I guess I inherited it from them, although I think I got some from my family line.”

 

Shalany nodded in understanding before a voice was heard from behind them.

 

“My, my! What could my future wife and the Floria Kingdom’s king be talking about?”

 

Lakshman and Shalany turned around to see the Slavemancer walking towards them with a smile on his face. Seeing him approaching them, Shalany became tense for a moment before quickly relaxing. Lakshman, on the other hand, smiled while staying on his guard to defend himself against that man’s Demon Eyes: Controller.

 

“How do you do? My name is Rakuzen Sambire and I carry the title of Slavemancer,” the Slavemancer said as he introduced himself.

 

He held his hand out before they shook firmly. Once their hands were released, he turned to Shalany and asked, “What were you talking to him about?”

 

“I was just talking friendly with Lakshman,” Shalany said quickly.

 

“Oh? Addressing the king of a friendly kingdom by his name?” the Rakuzen asked in a surprised voice. “My future wife really has some nerve to do that.”

 

“We’re childhood friends and Lakshman wouldn’t be angry because of that,” Shalany said firmly and Lakshman laughed.

 

“You were childhood friends with the Phoenix Titan? I didn’t know about this.”

 

“Well, when word reached the castle about the rise of a new Phoenix Titan under name Lakshman Chand, I became suspicious. At first, I thought it might be him, but we were the same age and I thought it could possibly be him. However, the news was vague and the rumours that soon followed were slightly hard to believe.”

 

“Rumours tend to blow out a lot of details to make it seem impressive,” Lakshman said with a smile.

 

“Of course,” the Rakuzen said with a nod. Then, he gestured towards a table and asked, “Would you mind sitting with me to chat? Standing around like this can get tiring.”

 

“Sure,” Lakshman replied.

 

Together, they walked over to the nearest table, where Rakuzen gestured for a waiter to come closer. After instructing him, the waiter nodded and left before returning with two chairs. As the two sat down to sit behind the table, another waiter arrived at their table with two glasses of water. Rakuzen sipped a little from his glass while Lakshman quickly drank all of his because he suddenly felt thirsty.

 

“So, Phoenix Titan… How is my party so far?” Rakuzen asked curiously. “I’ve set it up pretty well, right?”

 

Lakshman nodded and said, “You certainly did. Although there were many guests here that I’ve never met before, it still feels pretty welcome.”

 

Rakuzen laughed and said, “That’s natural. Any party would be feeling welcoming to their guests or rather, are you saying you’ve been to parties that the feeling as if you weren’t welcome there?”

 

“No, but I had heard so much about you and from that, I was a bit sceptical about the party. However, after coming here, I quite liked it and I believe it turned out well.”

 

“That’s good to hear,” Rakuzen said with a wide smile on his face.

 

While they were talking, the crowd of people heard them speaking and walked over to them. Lakshman, Rakuzen and Shalany were soon surrounded by a crowd of guests that curiously listened to what they had to say.

 

Darian and Rumble appeared at the front of the crowd and observed with curiosity. Felix appeared and stood on Lakshman’s right while Dominic appeared to stand near him, which was also near Shalany. Lakshman turned to look at each of them and he paused when he saw Shalany looking strangely up at Dominic. His attention quickly returned to Rakuzen as he began speaking once again.

 

“Yes… You heard a lot about me, but I’ve also heard a lot about you,” Rakuzen said coolly. “You are a hard worker, not one who orders his subjects around like a typical king, firm with your methods and there is this sense of rulership you possess even though you’re only eighteen-years-old.”

 

“That’s true, but I have to quickly grow up to take charge because of my position,” Lakshman replied with a smile on his face. “A kingdom relies on its king to make the correct decisions for it and its people.”

 

Rakuzen nodded and said, “Good answer. However, your kingship isn’t the only thing that reached my ears. It seems that there is rumours going around about you intending to abolish the slavery system. IS that true?”

 

There was a sudden silence within the open space and everyone gulped as the tension in the air began to thicken. Rakuzen had his hands together as he observed Lakshman intently with his eyes. Lakshman, for his part, remained cool headed and smiled back at him.

 

“That’s right. My plan is to abolish the slavery system,” he replied in a cool, but firm voice.

 

“Why is that? Is there something about the system that you dislike?”

 

“Fundamentally, the slavery itself that displeases me. Who are we enslave someone for the rest of their lives for whatever reason? We are not their creators and we certainly don’t own their life in any way.”

 

“That is true, but slavery is like a punishment for those wrong doers. They are enslaved because that is the price they paid for sacrificing their freedom,” Rakuzen said through narrowed eyes. “There was one time where you beat up my men when they were in the process of taking over a man who didn’t pay back his debt. I think you think yourself as a hero for saving them, but you only saved them from their consequences.”

 

“Saved them? I think you’re mistaken there, Rakuzen,” Lakshman said with a shake of his head. “I saved them from slavery, but not from the law. The price of not paying back debt is punishable by law and that’s to put them in prison.”

 

“Isn’t that similar to slavery?” Rakuzen asked curiously. “After all, you’ve taken their freedom away and locked them behind cold bars inside a prison. In slavery, they at least are useful to others that buy them. Rather, it is better to be enslaved by somebody rather than spend your life behind bars.”

 

Lakshman shook his head and said, “I don’t agree. Not being able to pay off debt is a punishable crime and the law must act, which is agreed upon by the people of this society. Law and Order are placed so as to keep the society and its people safe. At the same time, it acts as a symbol of justice to punish those that broke those laws and created problems.

 

Slavery is not accepted by everyone, but it is there to keep those in need of them satisfied. Their lives are treated as dirt and they are used for various purposes without any reward. At the same time, I am aware that there are other masters who have treated their slaves as friends, which I’m not saying is bad. However, enslaving life that we have no right to is wrong.”

 

“Mmm…!” Rakuzen made an irritated noise from his mouth. Then, he asked, “You saved a family from enslavement, but have you ever considered what would happen to their lively hood? Did you even consider that they might escape from the kingdom in the middle of the night and go somewhere far away to avoid facing the unfair charges of your policies?”

 

Lakshman raised an eyebrow in amusement because of what he just heard. It was clear Rakuzen was attempting to indirectly blame Lakshman and his policies of creating problems. Lakshman had already thought about this and realised the implications of such an action, but there was something else before that which he could not forget.

 

He took a deep breath and said, “There was a young girl living near a village that was attacked by a large monsters. Her parents and relatives were killed in the attack before the Sword Titan arrived on killed all of them. Because of the debt her family was in, she was sold in slavery and was toyed around like an expendable doll. In the end, her life turned into a nightmare because of the enslavement she was put into.

 

Her suffering did not end there as once she had served her purpose, she was sold back into slavery. Another master took her in and her life was once again become the toy of their enjoyment. Like this, the girl was enslaved over and over to masters who did not give a damn about her life, treating her as someone that is meant to be used and thrown away like a ragdoll.”

 

There was a collective gasp of shock from everyone listening. Felix and Dominic made an angry expressions on their faces while Darian and Rumble, like so many others, looked uncomfortable. Felix felt such anger was because the story was real and it was about one of Lakshman’s wives; Emilia Serabell.

 

“By the time she was saved, her age was thirteen and half her heart was void of emotions. The one who saved her… was myself!” said Lakshman as he gestured to himself with his thumb finger. “I used Memory Lane to see her memories and I have seen the pain she felt, the torture she endured and the humiliation she faced. I could’ve easily wanted revenge on the people that did that to her, but she didn’t want me to take revenge. She simply wanted me to make sure no one becomes a slave and experience what she did. That’s why, I’ve decided on abolishing the slavery system once and for all.”

 

Rakuzen nodded in understanding, but he suddenly laughed and said, “I thought you had a powerful reason to be wanting to destroy the slavery system so badly, but I didn’t expect that.”

 

“Is something wrong?” Lakshman asked with a frown on his face.

 

Rakuzen shook his head and coolly said, “Yes. You’re doing all this over the fact that this one girl you saved suffered like hell?”

 

Lakshman was shocked at how coolly the man in front of him spoke those words. He looked around and saw the people around were looking uncomfortable and were doing their best in avoiding his eye contact. They agreed with his sentiment, but were fearful of showing it directly in front of the Rakuzen, who was the Slavemancer. They feared his retribution as past experiences have taught them well.

 

Sudden, Dominic lost the control over his temper and he shouted, “You fool!” He pointed a sharp finger at Rakuzen and said, “You foolish Slavermancer! How dare you speak in such a way about that one person? Forget about her being a woman, but someone with life! How could you talk in such a way after hearing about her suffering?”

 

Rakuzen shrugged his shoulders and said, “I’m being quite honest here. I mean, going through all this trouble and struggle just because you believed one girl was tormented—!”

 

“That alone is enough to make any man boil with anger, you fool!” Dominic shouted at him. “Life is a valuable jewel given to us by god! No one has the right to play with it or use it however they want! If it were me, I would’ve killed those bustards in the name of justice!”

 

“Dom, calm down,” Lakshman said quickly and he rose to his feet to pat his shoulder.

 

Dominic turned to him and angrily said, “Lakshman, how can you just sit there quietly and listen to the nonsense of this heartless bastard?!”

 

Rakuzen laughed and asked, “Heartless? I believe it’s called being focus on doing your business instead of letting your feelings interfere. Of course, I don’t expect the Sword Titan to understand. After all, you’re just a beast.”

 

Dominic became enraged and he started forward, but Lakshman stepped forward and held his hand out to stop him. Dominic turned to him angrily, but was taken aback when he saw how angry Lakshman was by the expression on his face.

 

“I agree with what you have to say there, Slavemancer,” Lakshman said quietly. Then, he surprised everyone when he said, “It’s better to be a mindless beast than a heartless monster like you.”

 

In an instant, lots of things happened that shocked Shalany into clutching her mouth with her hand. Rakuzen became enraged at being compared to monsters and beasts, he activated his control magic. In an instant, the mass crowd attempted to move forward to attack without volition, but were stopped when magic swords flew into them and stopped them in their tracks.

 

Those swords were created by Dominic, who had reacted in an instant to whip the Destiny Sword out. Now, he swung around and clashed swords with Darian, who was making a pained expression on his face. Rumble also came to attack and Dominic easily overpowered him before bring him down with his left hand. Like that, he fended off the Sword King and Monkey King.
“What the hell are you doing?!” Dominic exclaimed as he clashed swords with Darian.

 

“I… I’m not doing it!” Darian replied in a struggling voice. “My body is moving on its own!”

 

“Same… here…” Rumble struggled to reply from where Darian was holding him down with his left hand.

 

While that was happening, the people were shocked to find themselves pierced with swords in their stomachs. They began screaming in shock and attempted to move, but were frozen to the spot like stone statues.

 

Shalany, who was standing near Dominic, was shocked and she turned to him before saying, “You stabbed them with your magic swords. You killed them…”

 

“Those are Paralysing Swords. They act by stunning the person and freezing their movement, paralysing them in the process,” Dominic told her. “If I was serious, they really would’ve been dead! Lakshman! Are you okay?”

 

He turned his head slightly and was surprised to see the position he was in. Lakshman had knocked down his chair and quickly grabbed the involuntary punch that Felix threw at him. After grabbing it, he raised his hand and quickly charged it with an energy ball, which he was aiming straight at the Slavemancer.

 

“Yeah. I’m perfectly fine,” Lakshman replied to Dominic’s question without looking at him. “Anyway, I see this is how you used your controlling magic powers on the people and used them to attack me. Seems like quite the handy magic you got there, Slavemancer.”

 

“L-Lakshman… I’m not doing this by my will…!” Felix said through a struggle as Lakshman held him at bay.

 

“I know,” Lakshman said without turning to face him.

 

Rakuzen simply sat there without bothering to raise his hands up like so many would in that situation. He had a cool expression on his face as he stared directly at the ball of energy that Lakshman had gathered and was aiming straight at him.

 

“You plan to murder me here and now?” he spoke coolly to him.

 

Lakshman shook his head and said, “No. Like I said, if I had wanted revenge for what happened to that girl, I would’ve killed everyone who had a hand in her enslavement, including you.” He deactivated his energy and let the energy flow away while continuing to hold Felix off. “Besides, killing you is not important, killing your bad habits! If I kill you, someone else will rise up to take your place like as if your dead served for the greater purpose of those that want slavery to stay intact.”

 

“Hmph! You’re weak,” Rakuzen said and he deactivated his control over the people.

 

Through the Phoenix Eyes, Lakshman saw the control over the people get released. He sighed and let go of Felix, who began flexing his hands and arms. He then proceeded to tell Dominic to release the people from the Paralysing Swords, which he did and the people were glad to see they were safe.

 

Lakshman looked back at the cool looking Slavemancer and said, “Today, we meet as host and guest, but the next time we meet, it’ll be as enemies.”

 

Rakuzen did not say anything, but he nodded in understanding while he continued to smile. Lakshman turned to Felix and said they were leaving, to which Felix agreed to. He and Felix bid their farewell to Shalany, Darian and Rumble before turning away to leave. At that moment, Dominic went after them with a firm expression on his face.

 

“I’m coming with you,” Dominic said firmly to them.

 

“You want to, but aren’t you now based in Mardana Kingdom?” Felix asked curiously. “What will your king wonder when his trusted warrior didn’t return after a party?”

 

“Actually, I already told him I’d be leaving for Floria Kingdom since I want to be with my friend,” Dominic said with a shrug of his shoulders.

 

Lakshman smiled and said, “I’d be happy to welcome you into the kingdom. You’d also be a great teacher in teaching my soldiers the fight well with the sword and the other weapons as well.”

 

“Then, I will do my best,” Dominic said and he clapped his chest.

 

After nodding at each other, Felix opened the Phoenix Portal and the three of them walked through it before it closed behind them. After they left, the other guests slowly left with each of their escort and the final to leave was the king of Rodfox Kingdom and his daughter, Shalany. They all left and it was finally the Slavemancer alone in that open area.

 

Rakuzen was sitting in the same position on the chair from before. He smiled and bid his farewell to all the guests as they left. Even after the king and his daughter left, he continued to sit there and smiled for reasons unknown. A while later, the beast man came up the stairs to check up on his master.

 

“Um… Master?” asked the beast man after walking to his side. “All the guests have left.”

 

Rakuzen did not say anything and simple sat there, smiling as he stared ahead. The beast man became worried at seeing his master sit there silently and smile for apparently no reason at all.

 

“Master… Are you perhaps unhappy from the Phoenix Titan’s behaviour?” he asked tentatively.

 

“Unhappy…?” Rakuzen said slowly and his smile slowly faded off his face. “No… I’m ABSOLUTELY FURIOUS!”

 

He screamed the last two words and he began surging in violet Elemental Glow. The floor made large cracks and it quickly spread everywhere and cracks appeared on the walls as well. The beast man was shocked by the tremendous surge of power from his master. Then, all of a sudden, he was grabbed by his shirt front and he was forced down to his knees to stare fearfully into the mad eyes of his master.

 

“DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW FURIOUS I AM?!” Rakuzen bellowed and another wave of energy exploded from his rage. “THAT BASTARD THINKING HE IS A BIG SHOT! I, THE SLAVEMANCER, AM NOTHING COMPARED TOP HIM?! SO WHAT IF HE IS THE KING OF A KINGDOM? I SPENT LIVING FOR OVER 100 YEARS WITH THE HUMANS FEARING ME! NOW, HE PLANS ON BEING A BIG SHOT BECAUSE HE IS A KING OF A KINGDOM AND A PHOENIX TITAN?! DO YOU KNOW HOW HUMILATING THAT WAS?!”

 

The beast man felt like wetting himself from how dangerously mad his master was. His energy was flowing around wildly and it was destroying the open area little by little, causing the furniture and construction to get demolished. A while later, the flow of energy began to calm and settle down as he quickly released all pent up anger. However, the mad rage in his eyes did not fade and he looked at the beast man with utmost anger on his face.

 

“I want you to message all the kingdoms…! Let them know that if they dared to assist the Phoenix Titan, the newly crowned king of Floria Kingdom, dared to do anything with their assistance, they will pay it with their lives!”

 

“A-All the kingdoms…?” the beast man asked uncertainly in a fearful voice.

 

“ALL OF THEM!” Slavemancer bellowed and frightened the beast man further. “While you’re at it, I want the head of the Phoenix Titan at my feet! Do whatever it takes, I don’t care! His head has to me at my feet! You got that?!”

 

“Y-Yes!” the beast man replied quickly.

 

He was finally let go and he staggered to his feet before bowing to his master. Then, as quickly as his legs could carry, he got away from there and away from the mad rage of his master. Once he was gone, the Slavemancer clenched his fists tightly and gritted his teeth with uncontrollable rage.

 

“Get ready, Lakshman…! I WILL DESTROY YOU!!! UUUURRRRRAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!”

 

With a roar of rage and power, his power surged to the surface with wild winds being blown around the open area by his raging energy. There was a sudden flash of light and the next moment, an explosion resulted with the destruction of the open area he was sitting at. A while after the dust cleared, he was standing around the rubble with a mad expression on his face before roaring in cold mirthless laughter and they echoed around the area under the starry night.

 

“HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!”


Author’s Note

 

I know it’s a little overboard with the capitals in the last few dialogues, but Slavemancer was really bellowing at the top of his voice.

 

Character Name (s) Power Counter (s)
Slavemancer Base form — 4,925,793,600
Max Power — 108,367,459,200

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