Lakshman was currently seated on the seat the tree had made within the forest. The location was the place he had originally met the Goddess of Time, Tintika. After their, he never saw her again, but that did not stop him from coming here. The sole reason he was there was to concentrate intro focusing his energy to regain the full control he once had.
Currently, he was sitting on the seat with his legs down and he had his hands joined together. He focused his energy by closing his eyes and concentrating solely on his energy flow. It was then that he discovered how truly difficult it would have been to fight under the state he had been in these several weeks.
“I’m glad I finished the job with a fist fight yesterday,” he thought while he sat there calmly. “Who knows what could’ve happened if I had used a cannon attack or something stronger. Heck, I could’ve killed him and maybe destroy the whole forest in the process.”
He shook his head slightly and came back to concentrating on bringing his full energy back in control. Meanwhile, he was being watched by his wives and Sumara cautiously. They stood there behind the trees and remained silent so as to not distract him by making noise. Earlier, when he went into the forest, they quietly followed him using the Sneaker spell, which is a Saint ranked Sensor Magic Type that enabled them to follow him without making any sound.
As they watched him sit there with his eyes closed, they could sense the flow of energy in the air change slightly. It slowly headed towards him and began circling around him in a slow motion. That was what they imagined his energy would be doing from the way they were able to sense it. Unlike Lakshman, they did not possess the ability to use Elemental Sense to get a clear picture on the flowing energy.
“He’s been sitting there for over thirty minutes now. I wonder if he’s done yet,” Ondine said impatiently.
“Be patient, Ondine. It’s his energy he’s focusing to regain control over. After ten years of deep sleep, his energy is slightly out of balance and it’s causing him trouble. Give him time and I’m sure he’ll be done soon,” Venezuela said and Erza nodded in agreement.
“You’re right-nyaa… Still, I wish he’d hurry up so we can go and beat this land lord guy some sense-nyaa!” Cantia said and she formed a beastly grin on her face.
“Hey… That’s his job, not yours and he already told us not to come,” Emilia told her sternly. “He’s already told us to stay here and protect the village in case the guy sent men to attack the village.”
“Yes and in the meantime, he and Sumara go and take care of matters up close-nyaa! So not fair-nyaa!” Cantia said unhappily and she made a pouting face.
“Ah… Come on, Cantia. He left you, his wife, with such an important task while he headed straight towards the enemy. I’m sure he has high hopes for you to do your job right,” Sumara told her slowly in a reasonable voice. Then, with a small smile, she added, “He’s even attacking him front because he is relieved it’s you and his wives that’ll be protecting this place.”
“R-Really-nyaa? Lucky things that way about us-nyaa?” Cantia asked and Sumara nodded. “Nyaa! I’ll do my best to not disappoint him-nyaa! Nyaa!”
All the girls smiled at seeing Cantia suddenly become energetic all of a sudden. All except Ondine and she looked dully at her before muttering to herself.
“She’s so simple to believe such words…” was what she muttered, but nobody heard them.
At that moment, they heard Lakshman’s voice say, “You girls… You need to learn to keep your voices down if you’re planning on talking here while I’m focusing…”
“Huh?!” was what the girls exclaimed in shock when they heard him speak.
They slowly walked into the clearing and saw him looking towards them with a smile on his face. It seemed that he had finished his training that he was sitting there and watching them come closer to him.
“Are you done with focusing your energy?” Tetra asked curiously.
“Yes,” Lakshman said and pushed off the seat to land on his feet.
He stood there for a moment with his clenched fists at his side. Then, as he raised them slightly, he began charging with powered and soon, he began to radiate golden-red aura that surrounded him. As he surged with power, the wind began to flow faster and faster all around him. The hairs of the girls got buffeted by the wind as they stood there and watched him power up.
“Amazing…! So, this is what it would feel like when you’re in total control…!” said Sumara in an impressed voice.
“Finally! I was starting to feel annoying with your energy, but this is good!” said Ondine happily.
“Awesome-nyaa!” said Cantia enthusiastically.
“Good. The imbalance in your energy is back to normal now,” said Emilia as she nodded in satisfaction.
“Quite the raging power you got there,” said Tetra before winking at him.
“Simply cool! Now, you’re pretty much in full form!” said Silvera in a voice full of relief.
“This is perfect. I like it!” said Erza with a satisfied smile on her face.
“I know right, but I feel it’s a little better than it originally was,” said Venezuela in a surprised voice.
He laughed heartily and said, “Thank you very much, girls. Although, you all said different things, it came down to the same point. Haha. I still appreciate it.”
As he continued radiating in golden-red aura, he looked down at his hands and flexed them numerous times. This was a simple procedure to test his strength and he bent down to pick up a rock before crushing it by simply closing his hands tightly around it. This made it positive to him that he really had regained his full form and he was confident he can fight like usual now.
A while later, Lakshman and Sumara were headed towards the location the lord of the land lived at. They were travelling on the road in a carriage that Sumara borrowed from her village people for this occasion. This was because they were carrying a heavy luggage at the back or more precisely, a large insect man tied up with restraining magic.
Insekmund was totally unhappy with his predicament and he struggled to break free from there. However, Sumara used Restrainer, a King ranked Defence Magic Spell that locks the movement and stops the victim from powering up, which disturbs their energy flow and makes it useless. This would only work on those that are King ranked or below ranked, but would certainly fail if it is used upon an Emperor ranked or higher ranked warrior.
“Oh, shut it you! We’ll be there soon!” Lakshman said angrily and he banged on carriage wall.
When Insekmund went quiet, he turned to Sumara, who had the reigns to the two horses in front.
“I’m quite surprised you were to use such a powerful spell on him,” he told her while sounding impressed.
“Of course. I’m a Magician King or does that mean you didn’t read my letter?” she asked him with a shrewd expression on her face when she turned to look at him.
“Ah… Hey! I did read your letter, although it was two years afterwards,” he said with a sheepish smile.
“Two years later? What do you mean?” she asked curiously and he began telling her about the events of the past, his battle with Adebola and then the two years of training he underwent.
Once he finished, she slowly nodded her head as she said, “I see… That makes sense why you received the letter from Indra two years after I already have left the Human Continent. But still, I’m not surprised that you chose training over studies. Even back when you were a kid, you often hated the studies, but loved to train a lot.”
“What can I say? Physical work seems to be more enjoyable than sitting in one place and constantly studying what’s in the books!” replied Lakshman with a chuckle. “Anyway, thanks to the Decisive Player’s sacrifice, I obtained a lot of knowledge and with that, I made my decisions.
“Decisive Player? Who’s that?”
Lakshman looked at her and hesitated for a moment whether he should tell her or not. However, he knew she was the eighth Destiny Queen and as such, he felt she had the right to know about it. Thus, he informed her about the Decisive Player and all the things he had done to keep him, Lakshman, innocent and soft hearted, unlike his previous reincarnated lives.
Sumara listened intently all the while he spoke and was momentarily surprised before putting her normal expression back on. When he finished, she remained silent for a few seconds as she thought about it. He worried whether he upset her by the things he told her.
“I see. You were the reincarnated Phoenix Titan all the time and a lot of things happened behind the scenes… So, that’s why you had been so innocent and soft hearted right from childhood. It also explains why it took five years for me to drill the basic magic stuff into you before making you take the Saint Magic Test. I initially thought I lacked the skills needed to teach you properly.”
He was surprised to hear those words and seeing her put on a sad face, he instantly said, “No way! Your explanations were excellent, Sumara! There is, without a doubt, you were one of the greatest teachers I ever had!”
She looked at him and formed a small smile as she said, “I see. I’m glad you think so. As for this Decisive Player, I should be getting angry at him, but I just can’t after knowing why he did it. I don’t know how you were like in your past lives, but I believe in the Decisive Player for his sacrifice to turn you into who you are today.”
“I’m glad to hear it, Sumara,” he said happily, happy that she was not angry at his guardian.
She nodded before making a frown and saying, “However… These Destiny Queens… There are nine of them in total and you married seven of them so far? Do your wives know about this fact?”
“That’s right and yes, they do. The God of Energy, Engraut visited out home to inform us about it and reveal a more detailed information about my past lives.”
“I see… You were visited by a Divine Being as well… I’m impressed,” said Sumara in a quiet voice.
The two of them fell silent for a few minutes as they thought about what just happened.
“So, there are still two more Destiny Queens for him to marry… I wonder if I’ll have a chance of being one of them, but still… What are the chances that one of them is me? I’m practically asking for a miracle to be a Destiny Queen, who is destined to marry Lucky. Still… I wonder if I can ask him about whom the other two are…?”
While Sumara thought like that, Lakshman’s thoughts were running along similarly to her.
“Dear or dear… I finally told her about the Destiny Queens, but this brings up a problem; how do I tell her she is the eighth Destiny Queen? Perhaps she won’t believe me and might even think I’m making it up to marry her. Should I proceed by telling her my feelings or maybe start off by informing her about her position? Ah…! This is becoming so complicated or maybe I’m just thinking too much into this…!”
Both of they had troubled thoughts and unable to form those into words, both fell silent as the carriage continued to travel along the road.
It took almost an hour of travel along the road to reach their destination. After crossing the deserted country road, they had to turn several more times before finally arriving at the lord of the land’s place. All this time, Lakshman watched as Sumara steered the horses in the direction they should go while he was prepared for any sort of trouble they might encounter along the way, which proved to be smoother than he anticipated.
Four Insektand Demon Clan guards stepped forward and in rough voices, asked them what their business there was. Lakshman reached into the carriage and brought the still bound Insekmund out, much to the surprise of his people. He was one of the strongest warriors amongst their race and it surprised them to see him being put upon by restraining magic.
“We will force our way into the place if you plan on fighting,” Sumara told them in a cool voice.
“Hai… Please, wait here while I inform the master-hai,” said the guards and ordered one of them to go inform the master
After nodding once, the lone warrior rushed away as fast as his large legs could carry him. It was a few minutes since he disappeared into the mansion and he soon exited the mansion. He finally reached them while breathing heavily, all the while blowing white spoke out of the holes on the side of his mouth with each breath that he took.
“The master wants to see you,” he finally said and the guards nodded in acceptance.
“Very well, but please leave your carriage here. Also, please lift the restraining magic from our comrade,” the guards said as he eyed the still restrained Insekmund.
“We’ll do it later,” said Sumara and Lakshman nodded approvingly.
“MMM!!” said Insekmund angrily as he struggled to break free before being whacked on the head by Lakshman.
After parking the carriage nearby, Lakshman was joined by Sumara and the two of them walked through the opened gates. Insekmund was walking forwards slowly because Sumara only released the magic slightly to allow him to move on his own energy. It took them a minute to cover the distance to the mansion, which surprised Lakshman by how large it appeared from the outside.
Upon reaching the front, there were more guards and they bowed to them slightly as they passed them. Lakshman noted how these guards were several times stronger than the ones at the gates and mentally noted himself to quickly take them down if a battle arose.
Once they stepped in through the entrance, he was amazed by how magnificent the mansion was. The walls were coated with white paint while the decorations were everything about the Insektand Demon Clan. There was even a picture of what appeared to be an Insektand Demon Clan man shaking his large hand with the Calamity Titan, who appeared to be smiling. This caused Lakshman to narrow his eyes and made him become really serious.
“So… He and his people a supporter of the Calamity Titan…” he thought quietly.
There appeared to be people wearing what looked like the uniform of butlers, but there were no maids around. This surprised Lakshman because he believed almost every mansion should have maids around to keep the place surrounded by the women’s aura.
The insektand butlers gestured for them to sit down while Insekmund remained standing. He was a proud warrior and sitting before his master sits was something he simply could not do. After a while of sitting there, the lord of the man appeared through a room on the top floor of the mansion. Lakshman looked up and saw that the man’s appearance was similar to the rest of his clansmen, but was larger than most. He was also carrying a huge amount of power within him, which Lakshman could sense easily.
Seeing him step onto the bottom floor, Sumara almost rose to her feet as she also felt his power. However, Lakshman placed a firm hand on her shoulder and sat her back down quickly before it was noticed. The insektand lord of the land slowly walked towards them and sat himself down by occupying two chairs by his large size.
“Welcome, my guests. It’s interesting to see a Manjuvad Demon Clan magician followed by one a blood freak human,” he said before he turned his attention to Insekmund. “What happened to you?”
Insekmund attempted to speak, but he only let out moaning sound and that was when Sumara released the magic spell. He flexed his arms and legs before speaking
“I… I lost to that blood freak human, master…!” Insekmund said indignantly. He turned and glared angrily at Lakshman as he continued to say, “Master! Please, give me the order and I, along with the guards, will take this bastards down!”
Lakshman looked coolly at him and said, “Try if you can.”
“Why you—!” Insekmund began angrily.
“That’s enough!” said the sharp voice of the master of the mansion. He seemed to be glaring at Insekmund and seriously said, “They might’ve been your enemies previously, but they are our guests now. Learn to show some curtsey, your overgrown idiot!”
“I-I’m really sorry, master!” Insekmund replied instantly in an apologetic voice.
Lakshman and Sumara were surprised by the behaviour of the master by how he spoke to his men. Initially, Lakshman had the impression that their master would be somewhat demanding and arrogant, but he seems downright pleasant from the way he was treating them like guests.
“Are you pretending to be pleasant by treating us nicely?” Lakshman asked curiously and used his Elemental Sense to detect whether the insect master speaks the truth or not.
“Certainly not,” the insect master said and surprised Lakshman. “You came all this way without bringing a single weapons that I could see and I can sense the great power the blood freak human possess. So, it’s natural that I’d be treating you like guests when you certainly didn’t come here to fight.”
“Really? Because, I get the impression you are quite rude with calling Lakshman ‘blood freak human’ so many times,” Sumara said and she looked very unhappy.
“I am sorry, but that’s been a habit for us right from birth,” the insect master said apologetically. “Anyway, you should already know my name and if you don’t, it’s Insekren. I already know Sumara Manjuvad, but who is this young man sitting beside you?”
Lakshman opened his mouth to introduce himself, but Sumara forestalled him by saying, quickly “He is Lucky Straigun.” Lakshman looked at her in surprise as she continued to say, “He and his company was wounded previously by the monsters you set on attacking our people.”
“Ah. I see. He was one of the victims of my order to attack you’re the Manjuvad Demon Clan people,” Insekren said and he nodded in understanding.
“Even so, why’d you make the monsters attack the people and kill them?” Lakshman asked indignantly.
At his question, Insekren placed his right hand on his face and as he sighed, a large cloud of smoke bellowed out. He slowly lifted his head and looked towards Sumara wearily.
“Sumara… If you please…” he asked in a low voice.
Sumara nodded and she placed a hand on her chest before saying, “Ballistic Time Stop.”
In an instant, a barrier appeared to form around them as the time got stopped for everything outside it. Lakshman sensed the barrier and when he looked around, he noticed that the butlers all frozen in mix-action. He finally looked at Sumara with surprise in his eyes.
“Wow! Sumara! You mastered such a complex barrier spell that stops time for everything outside it?”
“Yes… However, I am unable to keep it up for too long because it’s a heavy burden on my weak body,” Sumara said in a strangely strained voice as she kept her hand pressed to her chest.
“Yes, it is difficult, but it helps to converse like this without being observed by unwanted eyes,” said the voice of Insekren and surprised Lakshman by the sudden change in his tone. “I want to express how sorry I am at attacking your village people, Sumara and also to you, Lucky.”
“W-What?” Lakshman said as he could not believe what he was hearing. “W-Why are you speaking as if you’re a completely different person now?”
Insekren sighed heavily and said, “The fact is, I’m being watched by the followers of the Dark Emperor.”
“You’re being watched? What do you mean? I thought you were someone who supported him, judging from how you placed the photo that you and he had taken shaking hands,” Lakshman said as he gestured up at the photo.
“I put it there because I had to, not out of choice,” Insekren said in an unhappy voice. “The truth is that I’m simply doing this so as to not give the Dark Emperor.”
“Oh… Wait! Why are you calling him ‘Dark Emperor’?”
“It’s because his original title is tabooed, which causes Death Lightning to erupt out of the sky and kill most people that were foolish enough to say it out loud. At the same time, I didn’t want to call him the ‘Emperor of the World’ because it felt wrong, so I refer to him as the Dark Emperor.”
“I see. That actually makes perfect sense, but the lightning actually didn’t kill me yesterday when I said his title out loud,” Lakshman said in a casual voice.
Inskren was startled by hearing that and he asked, “Seriously? You said his title out loud and the lightning didn’t kill you? That’s amazing… You’re truly someone that’s stronger than the King rank that I currently am.”
“He naturally will be since he is the Phoenix Titan,” Sumara said proudly.
Insekren became shocked and he exclaimed, “Phoenix Titan?! Seriously? But, I thought he died ten-years-ago at the hands of the Dark Emperor.”
“Many things happened, but I’m alive and am seated in front of you,” said Lakshman and he smiled. Then, his smile faltered as he slowly said, “However, Sumara said I should lie low for the moment before making my presence known to the world.”
“That is a good plan, very similar to what I am doing currently,” said Insekren in an understanding voice.
“What do you mean?”
“The Bazaraka Continent is divided into three sectors. The first sector is controlled by the Orcana Beast Clan, the second sector is ruled by the Simhara Beast Clan and the third sector is overseen by us, the Insektand Demon Clan. Each of us are given the duty of overseeing our lands and making sure the occupants behave properly by the rules that were set.
Weekly reports of such get sent to the Demon Continent to check the details and then judge whether they were satisfactory or unsatisfactory. From my sectors, last week’s report had ben disapproved and because of that, I had to use the monsters to attack the people for causing that to happen. I truly did not mean to bring harm down on the people living here, but I had to do it so as to keep those demon satisfied since they had eyes and ears all over the place.”
Hearing this, Lakshman gritted his teeth and said, “Damn…! That bastard’s certainly leading a well organised dictatorship.”
“Yes, but we’re able to live our lives peacefully so long as we don’t do anything to upset him.”
“Oh… Is that why you choose to appear as a rough person with some manners and such when you meet people?”
“That’s correct. There’s nothing else that I can possibly achieve by going against the Calamity Titan because of how powerful he is. Which is why, I suggest that you return and remain silent for the time being to become stronger, Phoenix Titan. If he learns that you’re still alive, he will hurt you down to the ends of the world!” Insekren told him in a warning voice.
Lakshman formed a small smile and said, “Perhaps… I’ll think about it later, but tell me… Was there a ruler before that controlled the entire continent?”
Insekren nodded and said, “Yes, there was. It’s believed the Magic Titan, Amaranda Lefrity, was the one who ruled over the Bazaraka Continent. She is part of the High Elves of the Demi-Human race, however she was rumoured to have been caste out due to possessing white hair.”
“That’s what the rumours say, but we actually don’t have anything to prove it,” added Sumara as she strained to keep the magic going. “Also, I’m losing my power to keep the time stopped for any longer than a minute. Please, hurry up with your discussion so we can settle matters properly with others watching us.”
“Good plan,” said Insekren with a nod at her. “Well then, I wish to speak to you again in time when we aren’t being watched.”
“Yeah… Sure…” Lakshman said unhappily and he nodded in agreement.
With that, Sumara deactivated her magic, which immediately removed the barrier from there. In an instant, time returned to normal and the butlers continued from where they were frozen for a few minutes. Sumara breathed a deep sigh before returning to normal.
Insekren looked towards Lakshman and he answered the question before the time barrier activated.
“I did it to punish stupid people that don’t pay up for the price of staying here.”
Lakshman blinked in surprise and he asked, “What?”
“What? Are you deaf, blood freak human?” asked Insekren in an arrogant voice.
Lakshman was startled by how rough his voice was and he suddenly had an arrogant air about him, leaving no trace of the friendly atmosphere behind.
“Oh…!” Lakshman thought as he realised that the lord of the land changed his tone so as to make appearances without blowing his cover by whoever was watching and listening. “Wow…! Damn…! This’ll take time getting used to…!”
He inwardly sighed as he realised the difficult task of redirecting the attention by pretending to be someone they are not.