Lakshman and Insekmund glared at each other with their fighting stances ready with their energy gathering around them. The watching spectators of the village remained far away them so as to not get injured by accident.
Sumara straightened up and looked between the two a concerned expression on her face. The two men she healed have already recovered and they stood behind her with apprehensively looks on their faces. Although they were healed, their near death experience left them feeling a little weak. So, it them why a human, such as Lakshman, was going to fight that insect man.
Back when he was a kid, she remembered him charging into danger regardless of whether he lived or died. That recklessness was spurred on by his strong desire to fight for good and his firm belief in defeating evil.
“Damn… He’s as reckless as ever…” Sumara muttered and she looked unhappily in his direction.
Lakshman and Insekmund remained standing there in their fighting stances as time slowly passed. Then, the wind suddenly started blowing slightly and this caused a small pebble on the ground to make a small inaudible noise when it rolled over. It acted as the signal because, at that moment, Insekmund roared and he charged straight at Lakshman.
“HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIII!!!!” he roared as he rushed towards his enemy.
He quickly covered the distance separating them and he began lashing his six arms out at an incredible speed. Lakshman immediately reacted and he began dodging all of the quick attacks from his enemy. For several seconds, Lakshman dodged the volley of fists before bringing his right hand forward and halting Insekmund’s middle right arm.
Insekmund was surprised that his strong fist was stopped in its tracks and he quickly followed up by lifting his large leg upward as he aimed at Lakshman’s jaw. Lakshman saw this and he instantly moved aside to let it pass harmlessly in front of him. He quickly pushed Insekmund’s arm away and launched his left fist into his enemy’s body. However, this move was quickly countered when Insekmund moved his body away and delivered a power punch straight at Lakshman’s face with his top right arm.
Lakshman staggered backwards and Insekmund saw his opportunity. He quickly dashed forward and began raining blows down on Lakshman’s body at an incredible speed. Lakshman’s body was riddled with punches as he had his eyes closed and he gritted his teeth.
“Damn…! This isn’t good…! If this keeps up, I’ll really lose!” Lakshman thought unhappily.
Just then, Insekmund kicked him in the chest and blasted him for several meters. Lakshman crashed on the ground and stopped a second later with his face down on the ground. He slowly pushed himself off the ground and coughed what appeared to be blood from the damage he took.
“I’m bleeding from just that much? Dammit! Looks like my body hasn’t recovered the amount that I was expecting! Plus, my reaction speed’s completely slowed right down and I’m having trouble focusing my energy. Curses… Looks like I’ll have to fight him using manual fighting style now,” Lakshman thought as he slowly got back to his feet.
He was standing facing away from his enemy and Insekmund charged towards him as he shouted, “Say goodbye!”
Upon reaching him, Insekmund lashed out the right and left of his two fists towards Lakshman’s face. At the last second, Lakshman ducked the arms and he quickly turned to place both of his hands on Insekmund’s chest.
“Not so fast!” Lakshman shouted angrily. He quickly gathered energy and shouted, “Focus Blast!”
The gathered energy was released as a powerful force of wind that pushed against Insekmund’s body. He was pushed back by the unleashed incredible force and his feet got dragged on the ground. Insekmund attempted to break away from the force of attack, but the force was strong and before long, he disappeared into the forest.
Lakshman watched him get pushed into the forest and was surprised by how powerful his attack was.
“Dang… I didn’t intend to use that much energy, but who cares! I got the necessary time to focus my energy now…!” Lakshman thought as he formed a small smile on his face.
He clenched both of his fists and he began powering up, which caused him to be surrounded by golden-red aura. His radiating energy was so out of control, the wind began blowing faster and wilder as it threatened to destroy the buildings within the village.
Lakshman closed his eyes and said, “Focus Energy.”
Focus Energy is a Fighting Force technique of the Energy Force, which helps the user focus their energy and harnesses it to maximum control. Under normal circumstances, his energy would already be under control, but right now it was in imbalance and this made him have to forcibly focus his energy to keep it together.
With the technique activated, he opened the palm of his left hand and placed his right fist. With the palm and fist touching each other, he began focusing his energy into his control. He was really amazed at how wild his energy had become when it was not in normal state. This process took him several minutes, but the end result was worth it. By the time Insekmund arrived out of the forest, he had regained seventy percent full control over his raging energy.
Insekmund was momentarily surprised to see Lakshman radiating in golden energy before smiling and saying, “You used Power Up-hai? I can do the same-hai!”
He quickly shouted, “Power Up!” and in an instant, he began radiating in blue aura that surrounded him. The watching spectators were surprised to see him radiating in blue colour, which was quite the opposite of the personality he had shown them. It greatly puzzled everyone watching this because it did not make sense with the difference in the outward and inward personalities of the insect man.
“Ready or not, here I come, blood freak human-hai!” Insekmund shouted before he kicked off the ground and rocketed towards Lakshman at high speed.
Lakshman remained standing there with his arms together with his eyes closed. He was attempting to regain control of five percent more of his power, but he realised he was out of time from the way Insekmund was charging at him at high speed. He sighed before opened his eyes to look at the charging energy that was flying across the ground and straight at him.
“Fighting Force!” Lakshman said quietly.
In an instant, his eyes suddenly changed to red crown shaped eyes and his energy began to warm itself around him. With that, he released his hands and held them ready to resume their battle. He could sense the increase in Insekmund’s power level with his Elemental Sense, but it was not enough to defeat him at his current state.
“HAAAAIII!!!” Insekmund roared as he reached Lakshman.
He instantly lased out his fist and delivered a power punch to Lakshman’s face once again. Without stopping there, he quickly moved forward and delivered several more power punches to other parts of Lakshman’s bodies. The watching crowd could not believe the human was getting beaten up without doing anything and they believed the battle was over.
A minute of punching and kicking at Lakshman, Insekmund finally delivered a powerful kick to the side of Lakshman’s face with a shout of, “HAAAAIIII!!!”
In a slow motion, Lakshman was seen with his eyes closed from the impact, causing him to step back. However, he quickly recovered and he turned his head back to face his opponent as he wiped the blood off his face. Insekmund was surprised to see him recover quickly, but he quickly took on a fighting stance to continue fighting with Lakshman.
“My turn…” Lakshman said slowly as he straightened up to face his opponent. “I’ll finish this in 200 blow!”
With that said, he rushed forward and soared towards Insekmund. When he reached his opponent, Lakshman easily avoided Insekmund’s six arms and landed a powerful blow to Insekmund’s gut.
If Insekmund had human eyes, his eyes would have popped out from the shock of receiving such a powerful punch to his gut. The single punch carried a lot of force and the impact was so shocking, Insekmund let out a large cloud of steam in shock. However, the punishment had only begun as Lakshman continued forward with his assault.
He brought his left fist forward and landed another power punch to Insekmund’s gut. Like this, he delivered countless blows into Insekmund’s gut, causing the insect man to blow large clouds of smoke with each hit. Insekmund used his arms several times to grab Lakshman and tried to put him into a choke hold, but a powerful kick into his stomach caused his arms to suddenly go weak, letting Lakshman go free and resume attacking Insekmund.
Lakshman stopped is assault and let Insekmund take several steps backwards from the shock of receiving so many powerful blows. It was not pretty to have their stomach being the punching bag of an assault, let alone be the area to receive such powerful punishment.
“That was hundred blows just now,” Lakshman informed him in a cool voice.
Insekmund was shocked of how blows were landed on him, let alone the fact that Lakshman track of all of them. The watching spectators could not believe a human could move at such a speed that Insekmund failed to retaliate at. Sumara had her jaw drop and her eyes were wide with shock at what she just witnessed. She could not believe at how fast Lakshman had moved within a matter of minutes to deliver so many blows on his opponent.
“He’s gotten so strong… He truly is one that belongs with the Nine Pillars of Power,” she muttered in a shocked voice as she watched Lakshman stand at ease.
His wives were happy that their husband was bringing the punishment on the arrogant insect man for his treatment of the Manjuvad Demon Clan people. They had worried earlier when Lakshman was receiving so much damage and him not putting up any defence, but they now understood it was him getting the hang of the battle. It also made them realise that he had a hard time focusing his energy so as to not let it become his failure in that fight.
“Damn you-hai!!!” Insekmund shouted at Lakshman and he began surging with strong energy that caused the wind to blow stronger than before.
He brought his six arms together and formed a circle with them. Then, he began gathering energy into the palm of his hands as he prepared to fire it directly at the man standing in front of him. Lakshman stood there and watched Insekmund gather energy into the middle of the circle of hands he formed. Soon, a large violet ball of energy formed there and it grew bigger and bigger until it was finally reach to launch.
“Insectoid Drive Cannon!” Insekmund shouted and he launched it into a large beam cannon.
The beam soared across the ground and headed straight towards Lakshman. The light coming from it was dazzling dark to the eye, causing people to hide their faces to avoid seeing what might happen. However, there were a few that bravely held their eyes open and watched the beam travel the distance and reach the place Lakshman was standing at.
Earlier, when Insekmund launched it, Lakshman had folded his arms as if he did not expect much. Now, as it soared at him, he casually lifted his right hand with a flip, he deflected the beam energy up into the air. It soared into the air and travelled some distance before finally exploding, causing a strong wave of wind to blow in all directions.
Insekmund was shocked that his powerful energy cannon was so easily diverted up into the air. He was a Sage ranked warrior and within the continent, only his master is strong enough to ever beat him down if he ever wanted to. So, it came to him as a shock when a human would defeat his strongest technique with a mere flick of his hand.
“Anymore techniques you want to use on me? I’m ready for them all, so bring them on,” Lakshman told him casually.
Insekmund became so angry that he let out several clouds of smoke out of his holes in the side of his face. Then, he roared like a wild animal and he kicked off the ground to rocket towards Lakshman, who did nothing as he stood there with his eyes closed. When he reached him, Insekmund attempted to hit Lakshman, but was shocked when his enemy suddenly disappearing from right in front of him. He did not see Lakshman duck away before his punches.
“Slow…” Lakshman muttered and Insekmund blew a one large cloud of smoke in shock as he looked down to see Lakshman ducking down.
Lakshman immediately made his move by first delivering a power punch into Insekmund’s gut and then with his left hand, he launched a powerful uppercut at Insekmund’s face. The shock from blow in the guy shocked him and the heavy impact of the uppercut launched him into the air. Lakshman, who had jumped up slightly to deliver the uppercut, slowly landed back down before activating his next technique to finish the fight.
He quickly turned around and launched himself up into the air to reach his stunned enemy before beginning to deliver uppercut after uppercut at Insekmund’s face. Insekmund was totally beaten and broken, with purple blood streaming out of his body in all sorts of places that Lakshman had punched him at.
Lakshman reached another set of hundred blows with his fist that he delivered in mid-air, which sent them higher and higher with each blow. Then, he soared a little above his badly wounded opponent and put his hands together before bringing them down on Insekmund’s head. The shock of impact immediately knocked him out and he soared downward at high speed before smashing heavily on the ground.
A great wave of dust rose into the air from the shock of impact, sending it in all directions. By the time Lakshman soared back down to land, the dust had already settled. Insekmund was knocked out cold as he lay there on the ground, which had a slightly dip in the ground where he lay. His mouth was slightly open with his tongue protruding out of it at an odd angle.
Lakshman walked normally over to his fallen enemy and checked his pulse and was satisfied that he was alive.
“I’m glad he’s alive because I became worried that I might’ve overdid it just now,” he muttered sheepishly. Then, in a loud voice, he said, “Phew! That’s a relief! Now, I just need to drag this heavy body back to his master to prove my point about never messing with me.”
The members of the village watched him speaking with shocked expressions on their faces. They could not believe of how calm he was from the way he talked. They all knew Insekmund was a Sage ranked warrior and was quite strong enough to be a danger to most warriors. Several times, Sumara wanted to take him down herself because she had the skills and power to do so, but her people pleased with her to not do that because it would upset the master and then they would be in trouble.
“U-U-Um… What have you done?!” the elder asked Lakshman in a voice that was heavy with nervousness.
“You can tell with just once glance,” Lakshman said coolly as he gestured towards the badly beaten Insekmund. “I knocked him out cold with just two hundred blows! Normally, it would take me less than a hundred to take out embezzles like him, but this guy’s strong. So, it took me a little more of my power than usual to take this insect man down.”
A crowd began forming around them and he looked around at them all. For some reason, they were looking at him with really angry expressions. It seemed that what he did by beating up Insekmund was a bad thing in their minds.
“You… Do you know what you’ve done?!” someone suddenly burst out angrily.
“You’ve ruined us all!” another person shouted at him.
“We’re so damn screwed…!”
“The land master will get rid of us… Ah…!”
“Dammit! Even if we escape, we don’t know where to go to live from here!”
“Ah…! We’re so done for…!”
“Sumara…! Why did you bring this guy back and heal him…?”
“I know you know him and everything, but look at what he just did…! He’s gotten us into deep trouble!”
Lakshman was surprised when the anger was suddenly shifted towards Sumara, who had done her best in helping Lakshman recover. She looked around at them and shrugged her shoulders as if she did not care about their anger.
“For that matter, I approve of Lakshman’s actions!” she said in a loud clear voice as she gestured towards Lakshman. “You all know that I had initially wanted to put an end to this guy’s arrogance, but you all stopped me by pleading at my feet! It’s because of that, I held back and just bowed my head when it made me really angry to bow my head down to someone as arrogant as the lord of this land.”
The village people were shocked by her words and they quickly turned to complain to the elder.
“Did you hear that?!”
“She’s so arrogant!”
“She’s going to doom us all!”
“Get her to leave the village!”
“Make her leave!”
Hearing their words made Sumara felt a deep sadness in the pit of her heart. She had known this day would come when her strong beliefs would eventually put her against the rest of her own people. The elder remained silent with his eyes closed as the people continued berating him for letting her return into the village, forgetting the multiple times she helped them without asking for anything in return.
At that moment, they heard the sound of someone laughing nearby and they all turned towards Lakshman. He was laughing freely, but there was no humour or anything funny about his laughter. It confused the people as they looked at one another before looking back at him. After a moment of laughter, he quickly calmed down to look at them all.
“I’m not laughing because I’m happy… Rather, I’m laughing because of how much of a fool I’ve become…” he said and surprised everyone listening to him. He looked around at them and asked, “Don’t you get it?”
They shook their heads uncertainly and he smiled widely at them, even though there was no such emotion in his eyes. The red crown shaped eyes were cold and dark, which made them feel a little nervous by staying around him.
“You see… I’m a fool because I wanted to save you people from tyranny by asking nothing in return. I now realise it was a foolish move to do so in the first place because all of you are nothing, but cowards and I can understand why. If there’s one thing I learnt in a history lessons is that cowards will always remain as cowards while the strong become stronger. However, there will come a time when the strong eventually turn their strengthened claws and aim them at the cowards.
I didn’t like it, so I chose to help you from that eventuality, but like all typical cowards, you are pointing your fingers at us. You will never realise your mistakes till it’s too late! By then, you’ll all be either dead or turned into slaves at which, not even I will be alive to save you!” He looked at Sumara and with a sad smile forming on his face, he said, “I’m sorry Sumara, but I’m disappointed in your people because of how cowardly they are…”
At that moment, a brave Manjuvad Demon Clan woman spoke up and said, “We might be cowards, but there’s no choice for us in that matter! We are always surrounded by strong people and they keep dominating us and either they kill us for disobeying or use us to their advantage. We want to survive… We just want to live… That’s why, we do what we can to keep on living.”
“Yes, that you do by bowing your heads down to the strong, which I don’t really call ‘living.’” Lakshman said in a flat voice. “That’s the kind of attitude that Calamity Titan will most certify hate and it won’t be long before his people come and destroy you for good.”
Hearing him say that man’s name so shocked everyone and they quickly backed away from him. At that moment, there was a loud roaring sound in the sky and a bolt of lightning suddenly came down from the clouds and struck Lakshman dead centre. For a few seconds, he was surrounded by a powerful lightning that could have instantly killed anyone, but it was him.
Focusing his energy, he screamed, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!”
With his power alone, he destroyed the lightning that was attempting to shot all of his nerves until he was dead. The people widened their eyes in shock at how easily he had destroyed the attack when it would have killed them effortlessly.
He breathed a sigh and looked up at the sky as he said, “Really…? They seriously thought that leve of attack would be enough to kill me?”
“That was impressive, Lucky!” Sumara said to him in an impressed voice.
“Thank you, but really… Whoever that’s attacking is seriously not caring about whom they kill!” he said before sighing and turning to look at Manjuvad Demon Clan before saying, “Anyway, I won’t waste my breath trying to convince you people about this matter because I’m just not interested in you anymore. However, I will make my thoughts perfectly clear to this guy who rules the land you all live in!”
“I agree…! I believe it’s time for that arrogant man to receive the punishment he deserves!” Sumara said in agreement with a nod of her head.
That was when the elder finally spoke up for them all to hear.
“Very well! I agree with the young man with his firm beliefs!” he said and stunned all of the village people into silence. “He speaks the truth and although we have done our best to survive so far, I believe it is high time that we start changing. We cannot hide in our cowardice forever and very soon, it will be our descendants that will pay for the penalties of raising them to only be cowards. The world is changing to suit the strong and we shall meet that challenge as well!”
The village people looked at each other and muttered before asking him, “B-But, elder… How are we supposed to get stronger?”
The elder tapped his stick on the ground and said, “We do it by stop being cowards, start using weapons and train to become stronger. That is the only way we will ever reach the kind of strength that will make us truly formidable to contend with by the standards the strong have set themselves. Otherwise, it will be your future children that will suffer the consequences of your actions.”
“Oh…!” the villagers looked at each other as they realised the obvious.
They started to encourage themselves speaking differently to each other. Lakshman watched the atmosphere change dramatically by the words from the village elder. It seemed the village elder carried a weight of words that caused them to automatically believe and follow him in. They began moving away from there as they began talking about what they must do to reach the level of strength the elder spoke of.
“Young man,” the elder began as he approached him with a smile on his elderly looking face. “I am highly impressed by the level of your power that you’ve displayed here. Were you perhaps…?”
He faltered slightly and looked intently at him, which caused Sumara to panic.
“Maybe, you were a really strong fighter from when you were travelling with those young ladies by your side?”
“Huh?” Lakshman said and he looked surprised. “No. Actually, I’m—!”
He began to say something, but he was quickly pushed aside when Sumara took his place and said, “He’s just a wandering warrior with great fighting skills. Together with the young girls, he was travelling around the world to become stronger by learning through encounter and experience.”
“Ah. That makes sense,” the elder said and he nodded before slowly walking away to his house.
Once he was gone, Sumara sighed and Lakshman asked, “Why did you lie about me, Sumara?”
“I did it to keep your identity safe!” she told him sharply and startled him. “Think what would happen if word quickly travelled that the Phoenix Titan, who should’ve died ten-years-ago, is still alive! A whole lot of mess will happen and Calamity Titan will personally visit to take you down once and for all.”
“Ah… Now that you mention it, that would be the case, wouldn’t it?” Lakshman said and he blinked in surprise. “It was a mistake on my part to not consider that at all until you mentioned it. Thank you very much for thinking so far for me, Sumara. I really appreciate it!”
“That’s fine,” she said with a smile on her face before saying, “Anyway, earlier, your wives woke up and I had a good chat with them. I’m really happy that you married seven fine women.”
“T-Thank you very much…” he said slowly with a surprised expression on his face as he made a small smile on his face.
She smiled one last time at him before turning her attention at the badly wounded Insekmund. She began using her magic to cast suppression type magic on him to make sure he would not easily escape and start hurting them in revenge. Lakshman watched her at work
Then, he thought, “Damn…! Sumara is the eighth Destiny Queen, which explains why I feel so attracted to her whenever I’m close to her. The problem here is that I have absolutely no clue how to bring her into feeling the same way about me… Oh well… I’ll think about that later. Tomorrow, I’ll go and meet this lord of the land.”
With the determination and his next goal set, he looked up at the sky and clenched his fists tightly.