“What are you doing, Felix?!” Indra demanded as he glared at the stranger.
The stranger, named Felix stopped in his tracks with a puzzled expression on his face.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“Stop pretending!” Indra shouted. “You fired that energy wave at us, didn’t you?!”
“I… don’t know what you’re talking about,” Felix said and he started whistling as he looked away.
With powerful force and whooshing sound, Indra rushed at him. Once he reached Felix, Indra grabbed him by his shirt front and glared at him fiercely.
“Don’t play dumb with, you big idiot!” Indra shouted.
At his shout, Felix covered his ears as if his ears hurt. A moment later, the removed his hands from his ears and looked at Indra with a hurt expression his face.
“Don’t shout so loud,” he said. “My ears hurt!”
“Your ears hurt?” Indra said incredulously. “It would’ve been far worse for us if I hadn’t cut that wave, you stupid idiot!”
“Ah, come on Indra!” Felix said and he clapped Indra on the back. “You cut down the attack. Nothing terrible happened. So, chill out.”
“Chill out?!” Indra bellowed and Felix covered his ears once more. “How can I chill out?! Do you have any idea what Lakshmi would’ve done to me if anything had happened to Lakshman?!”
“Let‘s see… she would slap you like anything, kick you around like a football,” Felix said loftly. “It doesn’t sound that bad to me.”
“Goddammit!” Indra retorted angrily.
“At-least, you aren’t getting done in every day,” Felix replied. Then he smiled as he said “Oh wait, she already does that, doesn’t she?”
“Don’t point it out!” Indra said in annoyance.
“At-least, she isn’t like my wife. Rasha would castrate anyone who dared to lay a finger on our daughter!”
“That… oh…” Indra began to shout, but suddenly hesitated. “Oh yeah… Rasha would do that, wouldn’t she?”
“She certainly would,” Felix said with a nod. “Lakshmi may love your son and all, but Rasha loves our daughter to the point that she is overprotective of her!”
Indra chuckled as he said “You got it rough, man.”
“Yeah… I’m envious of Lakshmi. Mind swapping wives?”
“Tell her that, but I think she will kill you!”
“Oh yeah… Well, wouldn’t it be nice to see her angry?”
“You say that like it’s a good thing.”
“It is!” Felix said adamantly. “It’s fun to see her chasing me around, trying to kill me and all!”
They looked at each other before roaring in laughter. A few seconds later, Indra let out s sigh and he looked at his friend with a smile on his face.
“So then, what brings you here, Felix?”
“You want to hold that thought,” Felix said and he looked over Indra’s shoulder. “Before you ask me more questions, I think we should clue in your people. They look a bit lost to me.”
“Huh?” Indra said and he turned around.
Indra saw Lakshman staring at him and Felix with an expression bordered on curiosity and confusion. Looking around, he noticed Ondine with a raised eye brow, staring at them. Only Sumara watched them with wide eyes, her eyes set upon Felix.
“Oops, completely forgot about them!” Indra said and he rushed over to them.
A few minutes later, they all gathered and walked with Indra to meet Felix. Felix was smiling at them as they reached him. Ondine’s expression change to that of amazement and Lakshman eyes him curiously. Sumara, however, stared at him with wide eyes in disbelief.
“So everyone, I’d like you to meet my friend! This is the Phoenix Emperor, Felix Phoron!”
Indra gestured at Felix who made a small bow.
“As my friend said, my name is Felix Phoron. I am also called the Phoenix Emperor throughout the world, but please call me Felix. Being called by my title is a bit… embarrassing,” Felix said and he grinned.
“Phoenix… Emperor?” Lakshman said, sounding confused.
“Oh? So you’re the Phoenix Emperor,” Ondine said, as if realising who he was for the first time.
They turned and saw Sumara stuttering as she looked at him with wide eyes. Seeing her, Felix blinked and tilted his head curiously. Something about her made him remember something.
“Y-You’re the… P-Phoenix Emperor…” Sumara finally said weakly, still staring at him with wide eyes.
“What’s the matter, Miss Sumara?” Lakshman asked, surprised to see his teacher stuttering awkwardly at the sight of the man.
“Oh… I am just… surprised,” Sumara said and she lowered her head.
“Ah!” Felix exclaimed brightly. “Would you possibly be a member of the Manjuvad demon clan?”
“Eh?” Sumara responded in surprise.
“Yes, yes!” he said, nodding at her as if deciding it. “People of the Manjuvad demon clan are the only demon race with blue hair and blue coloured eyes!”
“What?” Sumara said, not sure what she just heard.
“On top of that, your higher than average tall figure… there is no mistaking it. You are a member of the Manjuvad demon clan!”
This time, Sumara was staring at him with her mouth hanging slightly. All her rich thoughts about him suddenly burnt into ashes. She did not understand what he was doing. He was acting like a detective, identifying something interesting.
“Oh!” Felix said in surprise and looked around at them. “Was I talking out loud?”
“You sure were,” Indra said and sighed heavily.
“Oh… oops!” Felix said and he smiled awkwardly at Sumara. “I’m sorry if I sounded rude, I tend to think out loud from excitement.”
“Oh… I see…” Sumara said as she stared at him incredulously.
“Anyway, it’s nice to meet a Manjuvad clansman!” he said and grinned as he extended out his hand towards her. “What’s your name miss?”
Sumara hesitated for a few seconds, staring at his outstretched hand nervously. Then she grasped it with her own and they shook.
“It’s a… um… pleasure to meet you. I’m Sumara Manjuvad, sir.”
“Sumara Manjuvad… nice name,” Felix said smiling at her. “Hmm?”
Then his smile vanished as he realised something. He looked at her in surprise.
“Did you just call me ‘sir’?” he asked her.
“Well…” she started nervously. “You just said you do not like being called by your title. So, I thought I should call you respectably.”
“Miss Sumara, do please call me by my name,” he said exasperatedly.
“Sumara, just call this idiot by his name,” Indra said as he placed an arm over Felix’s shoulder. “He doesn’t like it when things are professional.”
“Says the guy placing his hand over the shoulder of the Phoenix Emperor,” Felix said, eyeing Indra sullenly.
“So what? You’re my friend!” Indra said firmly.
“People seeing you doing this won’t care about our friendship, you know.”
“I don’t care what they think!”
Felix suddenly laughed and he shook his head at Indra.
“As usual, you never cease to amaze me!”
Then he turned to look at Sumara.
“Well anyway, call me by my name Sumara.”
“Um… sure,” Sumara mumbled incoherently.
Then they made their way towards the location their horses were tied up to the trees.
“So, did you go home first to see us?” Indra asked.
“Yeah, but Lakshmi told me you were away,” he said. “So, I started searching around, but I didn’t want to draw attention to myself.”
“So, how did you know to come here?” Indra asked. “Lakshmi told you?”
“No, I felt your energy!” he said grinning broadly. “I can sense you from miles away!”
Then they laughed as the group reached the tied up horses. Indra and Felix got on one horses and other three got on the other. Together, they rose towards the city. On their way, Lakshman, Ondine and Sumara watched Indra and Felix talking to each other happily.
“They seem to know each other well,” Lakshman said.
“Indra did say, they were friends,” Ondine replied, staring at them with amusement.
“I am surprised though,” Sumara said.
“What about, Miss Sumara?” Lakshman asked.
“How come your father knows the Phoenix Emperor?”
“Eh?” Lakshman said, sounding surprised. “Is it that big of a deal?”
Ondine stared at Lakshman’s back in disbelief.
“Are you saying you don’t know who he is?!”
“Well… I take it he and dad are friends, but… I don’t know what this Phoenix Emperor you keep calling him by,” Lakshman said apolitically.
Ondine eyes him in surprise and shook her head incredulously. Sumara simply smiled at Lakshman’s obvious confusion of not knowing about it.
“Phoenix Emperor is the title granted to those that are extremely powerful,” Sumara said.
“Really?” Lakshman said in surprise.
“Do you remember the ranks?” Sumara asked.
“Yes,” Lakshman said with a nod of his head.
“Remember the rank, Emperor?”
“Yes. Isn’t that the rank just below the Titan rank?”
“Very good!” Sumara said and smiled. “Now, Felix is Emperor ranked.”
“Oh wow!” Lakshman said in awe in realisation. “So, he’s more powerful than dad…”
“He is actually more powerful than all of us combined!” Ondine said with a small smile.
Sumara nodded at her response. Then she noticed the expression on Ondine’s worried face.
“What’s wrong, Ondine?”
“I was thinking… why is such a strong person suddenly here?” Ondine asked nervously.
“What do you mean?” Lakshman asked, but Sumara understood.
Ondine was nervous. A very powerful person was suddenly amongst them. This person was so powerful he is more powerful than all of them combined. It naturally made her feel unease.
“Well… I think we will find out soon enough,” Sumara said reassuringly. “Besides, he seems to be good friends with Indra.”
“Oh yeah,” Ondine said with realising and she finally relaxed.
“Miss Sumara, I have a question,” Lakshman asked.
“What is it, Lucky?” Sumara asked.
“Um… why is his title called Phoenix Emperor? Is there a magic or sword type called by the term
“No, there is no such type,” Sumara said as she shook her head. “He is a member of the Phoenix Clan, which is why he is called Phoenix Emperor.”
“So you’re saying…”
“I’m saying that, he is an Emperor in all magic and sword types while referred to by his clan name.”
Lakshman stared at Felix in awe. He did not fully understand the significance of the term, but he did understand the significance it had. Felix was an extremely important person in the world. He also has authority to back it up apparently.
“I wonder if I will ever reach his level…” he muttered.
“You can if you keep working hard,” Sumara said softly.
Then they became silent and rode on their horses until they got home.