Rivals of Love
Lakshman and the girls hurried through the forest as fast as they can and headed towards the location the smoke was rising into the air. They were at quite the distance from where the town is, so the people in town would not feel the force of the explosion. The most they would think, from the rising smoke, that there had been a fire in the forest nearby.
As they ran, they heard many more explosions coming from nearby that made the ground shake slightly. This caused them a bit of difficulty in getting their footing right due to running at full speed through the forest. Even though he was in a hurry to get to the location the explosions were originating from, he stayed with the girls and ensured their safety.
“It’s pointless if I save someone else, but can’t save my own girls,” he thought unhappily as they moved through the forest.
Several minutes later, they finally reached the edge of the forest and looked on at the clearing. Just before reaching it, they stopped and looked at each other before nodding in simultaneous agreement. They slowly walked towards the edge of the forest when, all of a sudden, they heard a loud arrogance voice of a woman speaking to them.
“Stupid vermin human, you never learn your place, do you?”
Following up the words was yet another explosion that shook the ground violently now that they are so close to it. Lakshman and the girls slowly crept forward and peered through the trees to see a clearing that was smoking from several places where explosions had taken place.
There appeared to be ruined buildings that were smoking with people collapsed on the ground. The leader thief and his henchmen stood facing what looked like a dozen Grobula Demon Clan warriors. Standing at the head of that group was a woman with long black hair and currently was looking at the human thieves.
“You…!” the leader thief shouted at her angrily with his weapon at the ready. “How dare you attack my people here?”
“Well, naturally I would, considering you lot are nothing more than vermin on precious land,” said the woman in a lofty voice and she waved a hand at him. “However, I was going to overlook it since the Dark Emperor is busy right now, but you haven’t paid your dues yet! Now, I’m here to get rid of you for good!”
“Oh… So, that’s why these numbskulls attempted to steal from us…? They wanted our money to pay off their dues to that demon rudeness over there,” Lakshman thought to himself and his eyes narrowed as he watched the proceedings.
The thief leader gritted his teeth when an elder man stepped forward to speak.
“We are aware of that issue, but we are currently running low on creating the herbs the Simhara Beast Clan prefer to eat. Due to that, we haven’t been able to sell much because the herbs cannot be found in this season. Please, reconsider your actions…”
The elder man’s voice was soft and tentative as he appealed for the demon woman to understand. If it was Lakshman who the man spoke to, he would have given them more time to get stuff ready and maybe, provide support for it. However, that woman was clearly different to him as she looked at the elder man with an unimpressed expression on her face.
“Excuses! Excuses!” she said irritably. “Seriously…! You humans are very good at making excuses!”
As she sighed disparagingly, Lakshman’s eyes widened in shock when he saw what happened next. The woman extended her hand towards the elder man and quickly gathered energy before firing a large ball of energy at him. The elder man was old and weak, so he did not have time to avoid it and took it full in the face. With a shout of pain and agony from the attack, he fell backward and dropped to the ground before desperately rolling side-to-side.
The woman suddenly chortled with laughter at his actions and said, “Good! Good! It looks like you’re not so old that you’ve forgotten how to put out the fire on your face! This is quite the unexpected entertainment.”
“Chief!” the leader thief shouted and he quickly rushed over to him to put the fire out.
The fire subsided and the elder man appeared to be fine, but he groaned faintly from the pain. The woman and her henchmen laughed heartily and the leader thief glared at her fiercely.
“First, you attack my village, next you hurt my sister and now you attack the chief?! You’ve gone and crossed my limit, you witch!” he bellowed at her furiously.
The woman and her followers stopped laughing and they glared at the men angrily as well. The leader thief took a fighting stance with his men right behind him as they shared his feelings of anger and hatred towards the demon woman and her men.
The demon woman suddenly smiled and said, “Since you appear to be so confident, why don’t you just try and touch me?”
“What?” the leader thief asked in surprise with a suspicious expression on his face.
“After all, you’ve gone and called e a witch, so I have to praise you for your bravery. So, I’m giving you a chance to escape from my wrath just this once if you’re able to touch me. Of course, I promise it upon the name of my master, the Dark Emperor. What do you say?”
The leader thief gritted his teeth and clutched his weapon tightly while his men looked at him with worried looks on their faces. He knew very well that the woman was tricking him, but the fact that she swore upon the name of her master made him take her offer anyway.
“Fine! Let’s do this!” he shouted before he and his men charged forward while roaring loudly.
The woman formed a wide smile on her face and she raised a hand in the air before bringing it down. It was a signal to her men and they nodded once at her before extending their hands forward and launching a violent array of energy blasts at the charging men. The men tried to fight back with their energy barriers, but it was no use against the power of the attacks they received.
Smoke filled the air and covered the view, but the leader thief continued charging at her as quickly as he could. Lakshman watched the man wincing from time to time with each step he took and realised he was badly wounded from his battle with Ondine. In his weakened state, he was having difficulty deflecting the attacks while quickly making his way towards her.
After receiving many energy attacks, he suddenly bellowed, “That’s enough!”
He channelled Weapon Force into his sword and swung it towards the woman and her men. In an instant, a strong slicing wave of energy got unleashed and it surged towards the woman. As it reached her, she disappeared and reappeared once it passed using an amazing quick movement skill. Her men quickly got out of the way before it reached them and caused an explosion.
Taking the momentary distraction of her men, the leader thief charged forward while roaring at her.
“I got you!” he shouted as he reached her and attempted to cut her down.
“Good, but not good enough,” she said with a confident smile on her face that surprised him.
She extended her hand towards him and gathered energy before releasing a beam cannon at him. Shocking and unable to get around it, it slammed hard into his chest and began pushing him back. He got carried away several meters before he smashed into the buildings of his village. His men shouted his name in shock, but were too badly wounded themselves to go give him a helping hand.
“You see. I may be a woman, but I’m not weak enough to get touched by a mere human! So sorry to disappoint you, but did you think it was that easy to touch me? My beauty will be ruined if I ever get touched by the likes of you! This beauty is reserved for my one and true love, the Dark Emperor.”
As she said that, her eyes began twinkling and she seemed to look at the sky with a longing expression on her face.
“Ah~! Where are you my dashing handsome king~! I miss you so much~!”
It appeared as though she was daydreaming and it caused her men to become worried.
“Pull yourself together…”
Hearing the words of her men from behind, Serabella snapped out of her reverie and came back to reality. She coughed forcefully and patted herself to check that nothing had changed in her appearance. Once she was sure of it, she cleared her throat loudly to get the attention of everyone there.
“So sorry about that, buy my undying love for my lord takes me to a wondrous land where he stands. The likes of you can never come near enough to touch his feet, let alone be used as his stools to rest his legs on! That’s why, it is better for everyone that you vanish completely from this land!”
Lakshman and the girls watched from the clump of trees as the Serabella ordered her men to destroy the village and everyone there. He had watched in amusement at her rather funny behaviour, but as things were becoming serious once more, he decided it was high time he stepped in to stop this.
“I’m going in,” said Lakshman to Emilia, Sumara and Ondine in a quiet voice. “I know they are thieves that tried to rob us of our possessions, but I can’t allow this to go by unnoticed. It just isn’t in me to ignore this that’s happening right before my very eyes!”
“Did we tell you to ignore this?” Emilia asked him lightly and he looked at her in surprise. “We know what kind of person you are and it’s your duty to keep peace around the world. So, I believe you’re doing your duty by intervening on in something like this.”
“Yes. I completely agree with Emilia and besides, I feel it’s wrong to ignore this as well,” said Sumara with a serious expression on her face.
“Yeah! So, hurry up and go so that I can take care of that annoying woman!” Ondine said as she seemed to be glaring at Serabella.
Lakshman was happy to hear the responses from Emilia and Sumara, but was taken aback by the response from Ondine. Her rather different kind of response to the one he expected surprised him. He quickly shook his head to clear away unnecessary thoughts and he quickly rushed out of the trees just as the demon warriors launched several black energy waves of destruction at the human villagers.
Quickly arriving in front of them, Lakshman extended his hand out and said, “Maga Distrab!”
As the wave of destruction reached him, there was a moment of pause where they stopped in their tracks. The next instant, the waves exploded into tiny particles of energy before vanishing into thin air. The demon warriors appeared to be surprised that their attack had failed and the woman looked at him through narrowed eyes.
“Mmm… Another human…” she said in a rather tired voice. “You humans seem to always crawl out of nowhere like the ants that walk beneath us! It’s so annoying that I wish the master would just order us to destroy the Human Continent for good!”
Lakshman appeared to be surprised by her words for a moment before smiling at her as he crossed his arms on his chest.
“That guy might be an idiot and all with his desire to control the world, but he’s not stupid enough to go and destroy an entire continent!” Lakshman told Serabella confidentially.
Serabella appeared to be shocked by his words and it caused her mouth to open and close repeatedly a few times before she was able to speak to him properly.
“You dare to call my beloved… the man whom I cherish so deeply… an idiot?!” she exclaimed in a slow voice and she began surging with power while radiating in pure blue aura. “You! I’ll destroy you!”
Just then, Ondine walked beside Lakshman and shouted at the woman, “Who do you think you’re saying that to, fool? It can’t be my beloved husband, right? Right?!”
“Husband? That fool of a human is your husband?!” Serabella exclaimed in a shocked voice. Then, she laughed forcefully before saying, “No wonder he has a stupid expression on his face.”
It was Ondine’s turn to get angry at her and she began surging with power while radiating in blue aura.
“You wench! How dare you call my husband a fool?!”
“Of course he is! The writing’s all over his face! Unlike my handsome and dashing beloved Dark Emperor, that human you married to is so lacking in many qualities!”
“Ha…? Did I hear you just right? You’re saying that idiot of a calamity crap is handsome and dashing?” Ondine asked before roaring with laugher. “That’s the most hilarious thing I’ve ever heard! Honestly! Compared to him, my husband is by holds the superiority in being dashing and totally handsome!”
“You… You dare call my dearest—!” Serabella began in an angry voice, but Ondine cut across her in an instant.
“Of course! I will dare to call him that!” Ondine said and she hugged Lakshman by his right arm tightly. “Compared to that calamity crap, my husband is the best!”
“Why… You… Little… Stupid… Girl…! The Dark Emperor is far superior in every way compared to your useless husband of a human!” Serabella said and she stormed towards her.
“Don’t you dare call my husband that way, you wench!” Ondine shouted at her and she also marched towards her.
“I will call him however I will like! You can’t stop me!” Serabella shouted at her.
“Oh yeah? Then, I will call that Dark Emperor however I want! Calamity trash! Calamity trash!” Ondine yelled at her.
The two stepped in front of each other and began glaring into each other’s eyes fiercely. A lighting got protected to be seen as it depicted the clash between the two women. They were also surging with power that just seemed to increase the angrier they became.
Lakshman stood there and watched the two of them clash with words and force with a strange expression on his face. After several minutes of this, he finally sighed and muttered what he was thinking aloud.
“I don’t know if this is seriousness or comedy anymore…”
It’s okay, Lucky. It’ll get serious in the next chapter.
To readers: I’m still looking to try and write some sort of special once I hit 300th chapter. Of course, it won’t involve me writing “mature” content that a few had suggested earlier. On the other hand, if you want a special teaser like the one I write for Phoenix Rising: The Rising Guardians, I can manage that as well since it’ll give you some heads up on what’s going to go down later in the story.