The day started out to be beautiful with the clouds covering the most of the sky high above. Sunlight still streamed through the clouds, but only gently to keep the land warm. The wind breezed through and cooled the surface of the world slightly with its blissful air.
In a certain forest, four people stood back-to-back while staring around into the shadows. They could hear the rustling noises of the trees as the bushes got moved forcefully. These were not the natural causes done by nature and the four people sensed that there were quite a few people behind all this movement.
“I sense around thirty men,” said the voice of the man as he looked around.
“Looks like we’re surrounded,” said a female voice quietly.
The second woman grinned and said, “Great! Let’s kill them all!”
The third woman sighed and calmly said, “Ondine, please behave yourself.”
As the gentle light from the sun streamed through the forest tops, it lifted the gloom in the forest area and revealed who the four people were. Lakshman, Emilia, Sumara and Ondine stood around with their back to each other as they faced around the forest surrounding them.
The noises from the shaking leaves grew louder and suddenly, all became still and silent. The four of them tensed up and prepared for battle when, all of a sudden, a man walked out into the sunlight. He appeared to be wearing rough clothes and seemed to be carrying two swords. From the way he was holding them, it was pretty obvious he was skilled in wielding the sword.
“Hello there. Did you need something from us?” Lakshman asked tentatively when no one made the first move to talk.
The man nodded once and pointed his swords at them before saying, “Drop all of your possessions and surrender peacefully. If you do so, then I may think of sparing your lives.”
Lakshman blinked at him in surprise and inwardly sighed before thinking, “What the hell…? I never thought the day would come when we’d be robbed like this. In fact, how did we even end up in this situation?”
On top of the Eternal Turtle and inside the training building, Lakshman and Ondine were sparring against each other. She was fighting while duel wielding while Lakshman fought her while duel wielding Phoenix Blade and Demon Slayer. Ondine was fighting her hardest and moved as fast as her body would let her under the weight of the Gravity Rings she was wearing. Lakshman gave them to her to train her at 500 times gravity.
“Fighting at this gravity is tough!” Ondine complained through gritted teeth as the two moved away from each other.
She was breathing very quickly and her body fluids slowly seeped out of her and formed into sweat. Lakshman, on the other hand, was barely breathing quickly with how calm he was. He was also wearing the Gravity Rings that he had picked up from the top of Labyrinth Towers that he previously visited and conquered. Unlike Ondine, he was training at 1600 times gravity, which slightly slowed down his movement, but his strengthened body was able to handle it well.
He breathe out a sigh before smiling at his wife and asked, “What’s wrong? Don’t tell me you’ve had enough already?”
“Not yet!” Ondine shouted and channelled Weapon Force into her sword, making them glow dimly.
He lunged towards him and began swinging her sword at him as fast as possible while being weighted down by the intense gravity. After several swings at him, she began spinning round and round like a circle while swinging her sword dangerously. Lakshman easily avoided them and kept his distance before moving in and breaking her spinning slicing attack by simply causing the ground to shake.
“Come on, Ondine! You have to keep your balance under any and all conditions!” Lakshman said to her cheerfully.
Ondine breathed quickly and shouted, “I’m trying!”
She indeed was trying her best to balance her body while being weighted down by the intense gravity. It was a difficult task and Lakshman understood this as he also once struggled to fight under such intensity. However, for her to truly achieve her greatest, he knew this had to be done.
From nearby, he heard a familiar voice telepathically say, “This is… tough! I never knew training under increased gravity could be so tough!”
Lakshman turned and saw the Magic Titan, Amaranda Lefrity struggling to get her body moving. Seeing how she is a complete novice in the art of training, Lakshman started her off with 100 times gravity using Gravity Change technique. However, it proved to be really difficult. All she could do was muster all her strength to keep standing, which was exactly what he told her.
“Don’t try to move! Try to get the hang of the gravity by adjusting your body to the sensation,” said Lakshman to her in a stern voice. “Moving too soon before your body adjusts can cause your muscles to strength and it won’t be pretty. Believe me, many numskulls attempted to increase their gravity by carrying rocks and brings over their backs, only to end up having shoulders and muscle pains!”
“I… I’m aware…!” Amaranda replied telepathically in a tired voice as she tried hard to stand straight.
Watching her struggle, he heard Tetra and Silvera speak softly in his mind.
“Aren’t you being a little bit hard on her? I can understand that she’s a High Elf and is better adapted to training at this than most humans. Still, did you have to start her off at 100 times gravity?”
“Maybe, you should’ve gotten her to start off at ten and then slowly go up? That seems more reasonable to me.”
Lakshman sighed and said in his mind, “She’s already accustomed to training at around twenty times gravity. So, to push herself, I’m getting her to train at 100 times gravity. It’s not as tough as Ondine, who’s training at 500 times gravity, but this is better for her. Don’t forget that she’s a Magic Titan and she has to be strong to ever hope to reach the same kind of power as the previous Magic Titans from the past. Besides, she wanted to do this on her own. I didn’t force her into doing anything here.”
“I see… Still, I feel she’s pushing herself a little too quickly, but that’s just my assessment of the situation,” said Tetra and he understood what she meant.
Originally, when the gravity was set to 100, Amaranda was shocked when she collapsed to her knees and had trouble standing back up. It took her almost fifteen minutes to finally manage to stand, but that was all that she could do so far.
“I’m impressed that she managed to stand up in fifteen minutes, much quicker than it took me when I trained at 100 times gravity. Well, there’s no point in me comparing myself to her anyway since she’s Amaranda Lefrity and I’m Lakshman Chand.”
At that moment, Ondine shouted at him, “Here I come!”
Lakshman turned around and saw Ondine charging herself with energy while radiating in blue aura that surrounded her. As she charged up her energy, the wind began to blow faster and buffeted him and Amaranda. Currently, they were the only ones in the training building as he would rotate around to train his wives and others at different times to give them plenty of rest.
When they asked him why, he simply said, “Train hard, eat and sleep plenty. The right way of doing anything!”
Ondine let out a loud cry and charged at him at high speed before swinging her sword at him. With the energy surging through her, she had increased her speed dramatically and was much faster than before. Lakshman quickly moved various times to avoid being hit by her duel wielding swords. However, he got a cut across the face and this caused him to smile with pleasure.
Lakshman raised his swords and caught her swords before bringing himself closer to her.
“Ondine, well done! You’ve certainly improved your speed dramatically, but that’s enough for today. Let’s continue again tomorrow,” he told her in a firm voice.
“Eh? No! I can still go on…!” she told him fiercely with a firm look in her eyes.
Lakshman instantly detected that she was lying and looked down at her body, which was slightly shaking. It was obvious her body had reached the limit that allowed her to move in that intensity. He looked back at her face and saw a very determined expression on her face, thwarting any attempts for anyone to convince her. However, he trusted his ability to convince his wife to think differently of the situation.
“Come on, Ondine. If you don’t rest now, your body won’t settle down and that would mean, you getting hurt. I don’t want that, okay? I want you to get strong, but I don’t want you pushing yourself and hurting yourself. It’ll make me feel really bad since I am training you like this…” he told her and he made a sad expression on his face.
“Ah!” she said as she was startled at seeing him looking so sad. “Um… Okay… I’ll rest, so you can stop looking sad now, but I’m only doing this for you!”
With that said, she deactivated her powers, the Gravity Rings and sheathed her swords. Inwardly, he sighed before hearing the voices of Tetra and Silvera in his mind once again.
“You trickster. Lying to her like that and faking your sadness,” said Tetra accusingly.
“If words couldn’t convince her, then you should’ve knocked her out at the very least,” said Silvera in a stern voice.
He smiled slightly and thought, “Hey now! I’m not a deplorable husband that would go and knock his wife out!”
“You did slap me in the face a while back,” said Silvera in an unhappy voice.
“I remember you were desparately trying to commit suicide and I had to do it because you were being too stubborn to listen to reason!”
“Well, it’s only because you just lacked the niceties on being nice to women,” said Silvera sternly.
“Ah… Well… I was a bit rilled up with you going on constantly about killing yourself and all, but whatever. The past is the past and I don’t plan on hitting anymore women in my life again. It’s an unpleasant experience to go through and I don’t want to go through it again!”
“Good,” said Silvera and she appeared to be satisfied by his reply.
Lakshman breathed out a sigh and he dropped his power before turning towards Amaranda to tell her to stop training. When he saw her, he was startled to find her doing a strange pose that totally made his jaw drop in shock.
After quickly recovering, he pointed at her and shouted, “What the hell are you, a chicken trying lay an egg?!”
“I… I’m trying to get stronger…!” Amaranda telepathically said through great difficulty.
Lakshman sighed and he walked over to her and aiming his hand at her, he said, “Gravity Change: Return!”
In an instant, the gravity acting around her disappeared and the gravity returned to normal. She sighed contentedly before slowly falling sideways, but was quickly caught by a fast reacting Ondine. She clutched Amaranda while chuckling at seeing how worn out the Magic Titan was.
“That was a nice effort, Magic Titan. Now, get some rest,” she said before turning her attention to Lakshman. “I’ll drop her off in her room before I come back, okay?”
“Alright,” said Lakshman and he nodded once before watching Ondine carrying Amaranda out of the room at high speed.
Once they left, Tetra and Silvera transformed into their human forms and looked up at him sternly.
“The Magic Titan is off limits,” they said together in stern voices through narrowed eyes.
“W-Why…? Why am I suddenly guilty? I’m not guilty of anything!” Lakshman exclaimed desperately.
Lakshman had walked over to the place where the Manjuvad Demon Clan warriors were training rigorously with their swords as hard as they could. They received strict training instructions from Ondine and they were following them well, even though they were a bit over the top. Lakshman wanted to stop them, but after seeing how determined they were, he simply smiled and kept walking on.
Just then, Sumara Manjuvad appeared out of the house that she was staying in while carrying what appeared to be a bag. He was surprised when he saw her appearance, which had changed greatly. She no longer had diamond shaped eyes or blue crystal embedded on the centre of her forehead. Instead, she had clear black eyes and her beautiful blue hair became black flowing hair. With just one look, he almost mistook her to be someone else, but she appeared to be so human-like.
“Um… Sumara… Why do you like a human?” he asked her curiously.
“Ah, Lucky,” she said and she smiled brightly at him. “You see, I’m now heading over to the nearest town that is on the way the Eternal Turtle is moving towards. I wanted to go over to there and buy whatever I can to resupply with our slowly depleting supplies we were able to bring with us from my village.”
“Huh?” he replied and he looked very surprised. “Sumara, that’s dangerous! Surely, the Demon Squad and the other races living on this continent will surely be hurting the Manjuvad Demon Clan! I’m certain there’s a great bounty placed on all of you because of our actions from a few days back.”
She nodded in understanding and said, “I know. That’s why, I’m using an illusion magic spell to make myself look human. So? How do I look?”
As she asked him, she swirled around and her dress slightly spun around her like a doll. The sudden change in her appearance was a bit unsettling for him, but imagining how she would normally look on that dress, he smiled and nodded before stating his thoughts to her.
“Yes. You look fabulous.”
She was slightly taken aback by his simple, but amazing response. Truth to be told, she had expected that kind of response from him, but had quickly pushed it away as she thought she was being a bit too wishful. However, hearing those exact words really surprised her and she automatically blushed with pleasure.
“Oh… You’re so sweet,” she said and she slightly blushed.
“He thinks I look fabulous in this dress… Ah… That makes me so happy, but… I feel like mine is an unrequited love. He spends so much time together with his seven wives that it makes me feel really jealous of their relationship with him. However, I doubt I have that chance of being together with him since he is destined to be together with these Destiny Queens. I don’t know who the remaining two are, but still, I like that he praised me about my appearance.”
Lakshman was surprised by her as she continued smiling at him while blushing slightly.
“Wow… She looks really cute when she is blushing, but… why…? Why is she blushing? Girls usually blush when they’re in love…? Eh? She’s in love? Eh?! With whom?! One of her own clansmen? Oh, goddammit… goddammit…! What do I do…? What should I do…?” Lakshman thought in a shocked voice, but kept his outward expression the same.
Just then, Emilia walked over to them while wearing what appeared to be a different kind of dress than the one she normally wore.
Lakshman became surprised by this and he quickly asked her, “What the? Where did you get that dress from?”
“During my time at Astral Academy, I often worked on my utility magic to let me stitch clothes since it’s cheaper to buy the string and make clothes myself. I stored many of them in my Item Box that I received at my graduation from the principle for receiving the highest marks the academy had ever seen,” said Emilia with a charming smile. Then, she twirled around and asked, “Well…? How do I look?”
Lakshman chuckled lightly and said, “That’s good and yeah! You look great!”
She beamed at him and said, “I’m so happy to hear it.” Then, over his shoulder, she asked Sumara, “What’s wrong, Sumara? Is something the matter? Your face looks troubled.”
“No… It’s nothing…” Sumara said slowly with a stricken expression on her face. “A-Anyway, let’s get going, shall we?”
“Yes,” said Emilia and she walked over to Sumara.
“Are the two of you going together to the nearest town?” Lakshman asked and they nodded at him.
“That’s right. We’re going into town to buy the supplies for food, equipment and anything else we could bring with us. Oh and before I forget, can you lend me some of your money, Lucky? I want to buy some clothes and stitch them up for the girls to wear.”
“Eh? Buy clothes to stitch them up? What for?” Sumara asked curiously.
Emilia smiled at her and said, “You see, the girls have been wearing the same kind of clothing ever since we woke up from deep sleep. So, I thought I, Vena, Erza and Cantia will do our best in stitching up new clothes for them to wear.”
“Eh?! That beast girl knows how to stitch clothes?!” Sumara exclaimed in disbelief.
Emilia chuckled and said, “Actually, I couldn’t believe it either when she showed great skill in stitching them up. However, she doesn’t use much magic and often does it purely by hand. It’s a rather old-fashioned way of making clothes, but she seems to excel in them greatly.”
“T-That’s amazing…! I always thought she was the fighting type like Ondine, but who would’ve guessed she actually knows how to stitch clothes? Now, I have more respect for Cantia than ever before!” Sumara said brightly.
Emilia chuckled and said, “Yes, but please make sure Cantia doesn’t hear it. Otherwise, she will get really upset over it.”
“Of course,” said Sumara and the two women beamed at each other.
“Well then,” began Emilia as she turned to look at Lakshman once again. “Please lend me around 500 gold so that I may buy the clothes in addition to the other supplies.”
Lakshman did not immediately respond and instead, appeared to be thoughtful as he thought about it. Then, coming to a decision, he spoke to them in a firm voice.
“Since you’re going, then I’ll accompany you.”
The two women blinked in surprise and said, “Huh?”
“There’s really no need for you to accompany us, Lucky. We’re quite capable of bring the stuff over here on our own,” said Emilia quickly to change his mind.
He firmly shook his head and smiled at her before he said, “Ever women needs a male escort and when my wife is going to leave the safety of the Eternal Turtle to go shopping, I must come along as well. With me around, there’s no way any fool would dare to try and bring harm to you.”
Emilia looked troubled, but Sumara appeared to be glad to hear that he wants to accompany them and she supported it greatly.
“Of course! You’re welcome to come along with us since the stuff we buy might be too much for us to carry.”
“B-But, we can just put the stuff inside our Item Boxes,” said Emilia quickly.
“Don’t you want me to come along or you don’t want me to be with you?” Lakshman asked and he made a sad expression on his face.
Emilia instantly became worried and she quickly said, “Ah…! That’s not it! I just didn’t want to pull you away from training everyone.”
“There’s no harm in them not being trained for one day and besides, they already know what to do. Ondine has done an excellent job in making them memorise the training they should follow daily,” said Sumara in support of Lakshman accompanying them.
Emilia finally sighed in resignation and said, “Oh… Alright.”
Lakshman quickly formed a smile on his face and said, “Then, it’s decided! I’m coming along!”
At that moment, a familiar voice from behind said, “Then, I’m coming along as well!”
The three of them turned and were surprised to see Ondine standing there with her arms folded and a determined expression on her firmly set face.
“How long have you been there for, Ondine?” Emilia asked in a surprised voice.
“For a while now and I heard everything you three said while ignoring my presence,” said Ondine in an annoyed voice.
“Ah! We didn’t meant to ignore you, but you barely made any noise when you got here,” said Sumara as she was worried that they might have offended her.
“Whatever! Anyway, if Lucky is going, then I am also going! I want some fresh air!” Ondine said firmly.
“You’re already in fresh air. What kind of extra fresh air do you need?” Lakshman asked with a grin on his face.
“Ah! I meant fresh air away from this place!” Ondine said quickly while looking indignantly at him.
“Shouldn’t you be taking some rest? You finished training a few minutes ago,” said Lakshman and Ondine quickly shook her head.
“Feeling the air and being somewhere else is the right way of feeling rested,” said Ondine brightly and caused Lakshman to chuckle heartily.
Emilia sighed once more before saying, “Fine. You can come along as well.”
“Yeah. There’s no problem in having more helping hands with our purchases,” said Sumara brightly and Ondine cheered up happily.
“So, how are we going to get there? I don’t exactly know the location of the place, so I can’t exactly use Phoenix Portal…” said Lakshman unhappily.
“Cheer up. We were originally planning on flying over there, so let’s stick to that original plan, okay?” Sumara asked and the other three nodded in agreement.
“Okay. Let’s go before it gets dark,” said Emilia with a small smile on her face.
The four of them began surging with powers while radiating their respective Elemental Glow colours; Emilia’s and Sumara’s Elemental Glow is green, Ondine’s Elemental Glow is blue and Lakshman’s Elemental Glow is golden-red. With them charged their powers, they kicked off the ground and rocketed into the air before soaring in the direction of the nearby town.