“T-Thank you for saving us,” said the elder man of the village to Sumara nervously. “Also, thank you for taking the time to heal us of our wounds and repairing our homes.”
Emilia smiled softly at him and said, “That’s okay. It’s my job to heal people of their wounds.”
Sumara chuckled and said, “Although, most of it was his doing after all.”
The three of them turned and looked towards the buildings of the village. Lakshman stood there with a firm expression on his face as he used Restoration to repair the homes of these villagers. Initially, he did not want to do it because he felt angry towards them because they attached his group earlier, but Emilia convinced him otherwise. To her, the destroyed reminded her of the death of her parents, which was what spurred him into restoring their homes completely.
The villagers all watched in awe as he effortlessly used Restoration with only one hand extended towards the buildings. In the meantime, the elder man spoke to Emilia, Sumara and Ondine, who was healed earlier by Lakshman after he collected himself off the ground.
“Why do this? You guys tried to steal our money and belongings!” Ondine said angrily to them and she turned to the elder man. “With all due respect, you guys did the wrong thing and the right thing to do is turning you lot in!”
The elder man looked really sad by her words and slowly said, “We had been on shortage for the supplies that regularly pays us good by the Simhara Beast Clan. However, the season isn’t right and the herbs we need don’t grow that often.”
“Excuses—!” Ondine began irritably, but Emilia cut her off with a sharp glare.
“W-Well… Due to the depletion of the supplies, our payment also dropped, but I believe the Simhara Beast Clan understood our predicament. I really did not expect them to report us in and lead our situation to its current predicament,” finished the elder with a pain expression on his face.
“I’ve heard of the Simhara Beast Clan being very honourable and don’t like to cause trouble to anyone, so I doubt they did anything to make this happen,” said Sumara in a thoughtful voice.
“I feel there’s an external hand playing in this matter, but I don’t know that clearly about it,” said Emilia and she placed a hand on her chin with a thoughtful expression on her face.
At that moment, a finger poked her on the forehead and surprised her. Patting her forehead, she turned to see Lakshman standing there with a small smile on her face.
“When did you creep up on me?” she asked him in a surprised voice.
“I did no such thing,” he said and he raised his hands innocently. “I simply walked over and saw you looking older by the second. So, I thought I should fix that and I poked you on the face.”
“Very funny,” said Emilia and she made a pouting face, making him smile even wider.
“How goes the repairs?” Sumara asked him curiously and he turned to nod once at her.
“It went well. See?” he said and he gestured towards the newly rebuilt houses.
The elder man and his people were very surprised and impressed by the look of the houses, which appear to be the same as previous ones. It was even more surprising for them to see that all of their belongings to be in perfect shape inside the buildings that they each lived in. After hearing the word from the people, the elder man turned back to Lakshman and put his hands together in prayer.
“Thank you very much… Thank you… I-I really don’t know how to repay this debt…”
Tears of happiness were dripping from the eyes of the elder, causing Lakshman to quickly grab his hands and pleasantly say, “Ah… Please… Don’t do that. It makes me feel bad… Please… Wipe those tears away. As for the debt, there is no need for it. I gain nothing by making you pay and it’ll only make me feel worse after you cried like this.”
“B-But… You saved our village from certain destruction… We owe you our lives…” the elder man said, making Lakshman’s smile to falter slightly.
“Fine. The thing that will make me happy is for you and this village to prosper. That’s my only condition for saving your village. Understood?” he said in a rather firm voice.
The elder man looked at him for a moment in surprise and then, nodded in understanding.
“It will be according to your wishes. We will do our best,” the elder man said just as a few men walked over to them.
Lakshman nodded in acceptance and he turned his attention towards the few men that had approached them. He immediately recognised the one in front to be the thieving leader that had attacked him, Emilia, Sumara and Ondine. Seeing him approach them, Ondine instantly made a furious expression on her face.
“Look…! It’s the thieving thug!” Ondine said angrily and she folded her arms tightly.
“Ondine…” Lakshman said wearily and she looked at him irritably.
“I’m just calling him by the name that refers to his actions!” she said to him firmly.
“Fine,” said Lakshman and he let out a sigh of resignation.
Once the thieving leader and his few men stopped in front of them, they simply stood and stared at them. The next moment, they bowed their heads down deeply in what appeared to be an apologetic gesture.
“We are deeply sorry!” the thieving leader said altogether, surprising Lakshman and the girls. “We know we did you wrong and for that, we are truly sorry!”
“Hah?!” Ondine exclaimed angrily. “That’s it? A simple ‘sorry’ is going to make us ignore all the crimes you’ve committed, you thieving thugs?!”
“I-I know that cannot be forgiven and you would likely want to hand us over to the authorities, but please… We had our reasons… We had a village to feed and protect… Please… Find it in your heart to forgive us…”
“Ugh… This is so annoying…! It’s much easier to just throw them with the trash in prison!” Ondine said angrily with her arms folded to her chest and she glared at the bowing figures of the men.
Lakshman watched the men apologise as well and looked towards the elder man, who seemed to be very unhappy by the situation. These men had good intentions of helping the village survive from the wrath of the demons.
“I wonder what Dominic would’ve done in this situation…” he thought to himself and a small smile crept onto his face with the answer that came to him.
He closed his eyes momentarily before opening his eyes and looking at the men before him. By this time, the other villagers had gathered there and were also bowing in apology. Emilia and Sumara were feeling uncomfortable of being bowed to, including the elderly people of the village. Even Ondine was looking uncomfortable from all of this, which made Lakshman chuckle.
“Fine. I forgive you for all the things you’ve done so far,” said Lakshman and surprised everyone there, including Ondine.
The people of the village were really surprised to hear him forgive them so easily and they looked at him in wonder. Emilia appeared to be relieved and Sumara nodded at him in satisfaction while Ondine appeared to be overly surprised by his decision.
“Are you sure this is okay, Lucky?” Ondine asked and he nodded at her.
“Yes. I can feel it. They are really earnest about it and I don’t like seeing people getting hurt,” said Lakshman and he smiled at her.
“Right…” she said weakly before sighing in resignation.
The thieving leader, now to be referred to as the head warrior, looked up at him with a surprised expression on his face.
“R-Really…?” he asked nervously and Lakshman nodded at him.
“Yes, but come closer. I want to speak to you personally,” said Lakshman to him.
“Yes,” said the head warrior and he straightened up and walked in front of Lakshman. “Is here fine?”
Lakshman nodded once and said, “Yes and thank you, but this will hurt, so I’m sorry.”
“Eh?” the head warrior said in a surprised voice.
At that moment, Lakshman raised his hand into the air and instantly dropped a karate chop on the head warrior’s head. The impact caused the man to instantly widen his eyes in shock by the stunning blow. Lakshman kept hitting him on the head between each phrases he spoke to him.
“Do you… have any idea… how annoying… it was… to be attacked, and then… to be attacked again…?”
After landing the final blow, the head warrior clutched his head and whimpered softly as he looked up at Lakshman. The head warrior was around 170cm in height while Lakshman was standing at 184cm, making the man and all the villagers having to look up to Lakshman.
Lakshman crossed his arms and said, “Seriously… You should feel more ashamed as a warrior to sinking as low as to become a thief with the potential for sword skills that you possess right now. It’s a waste really… To use all that potential on becoming a lowly thief. You’re lucky the Sword Titan isn’t here right now. Otherwise, he would’ve beat the crap out of you before he’s done fixing your character.”
All the villagers looked extremely surprised by his words and the head warrior asked, “Eh…? You know the Sword Titan?”
Lakshman nodded at him and said, “Yes. I know Dominic Rutherford since I’m the Phoenix Titan.”
For a moment, the villagers all blinked at him in surprise. Then, all at once, they froze in shock of discovering who he was and the elder man propyl went white in the face before collapsing on the ground. The head warrior’s jaw dropped in shocked disbelief and he starting uttering strange sounds out of his mouth that were incoherent.
At seeing their reaction him revealing his identity, Lakshman blinked in surprise before turning to look at the girls.
“Um… Why are they so surprised?”
Sumara gave him an incredulous look before she said, “Naturally, they would be when you so suddenly drop your identity in front of them like that! Think of it… You’re the mighty Phoenix Titan and on top of that, you’re supposed to have died ten-years-ago! Remember?”
“Oh… Right…” Lakshman said and he nodded in understanding before turning back to face the head warrior. Seeing him frozen in shock, Lakshman raised his hand into the air and dropped yet another karate chop that surprised head warrior into reality.
“Y-Y-You’re the Phoenix Titan?! H-How is that possible? The last one died a long time ago! How can you be him…? It doesn’t make sense!” the head warrior said to him in a shocked voice.
Lakshman chuckled lightly and said, “It doesn’t matter, but what you should be worrying about is how I will forgive you for your actions.”
The head warrior looked up at Lakshman and began by saying, “I…”
Lakshman looked at him hesitate for a moment before sighing and saying, “Look. I don’t need apologies. Anyone can apologise, but never make the necessary change. In this case, I want you to prove that you’ve changed from being a lowly thieving thug to a proud honourable warrior through your actions.
Your village is in need of money and such, which I won’t provide, but you’re going have to do it yourselves. How will you do that when the season isn’t right for the herbs to grow? You simply give up and become a thief like everybody else? It just proves you’re no different to the trash of society.
Rise above them and make a difference! Instead of focusing on the negatives, try thinking positive for a change. Go do other work that you can find elsewhere, which would mean that you travel long distances for work. Most adults do that and although work will be difficult to find, giving up is the last thing a warrior must do! Remember… You’re a warrior on the inside… Bring him out and face the world fearlessly!
Right now, I’m very rich, but I did not become rich from the salary I received from my rulership of Floria Kingdom. Most of my richness came from me attacking and reaching the top of a Labyrinth Tower. I’m not telling you to go attack a Labyrinth Tower like me, but if that’s the only option you got, then go do it! Don’t takes the easiest option of becoming a lowly thief that sneaks around and acts dishonourably by robbing others of their possessions. Don’t make me regret sparing you today.”
Lakshman had said all of this firmly to him with a very serious expression on his face. The head warrior listened intently to everything and once he was done, he nodded at Lakshman with a look of understanding on his face.
“Yes. I understand the error of my ways and I will definitely make a difference as you wished! I will prove to you, through my actions, that you did not make a mistake in sparing me. Thank you! I appreciate your words of wisdom and I will follow to them with truth and honour!” the head warrior said and Lakshman nodded approvingly as he did not detect any lies in those words.
Lakshman placed a hand on the head warrior’s shoulder and gripped it firmly with a smile on his face. Then, he released the arm and turned to his women, who were smiling at him pleasantly. He could sense the doubts within Ondine, but he knew she will come around to accepting this in time.
“Right. I think its best that we get going,” said Lakshman to the village at large. “I think a squadron of Demon Squad members will be heading out upon the orders of the Calamity Titan.”
When he called out his enemy’s name, the people gasped in surprise and quickly looked up. There was a strange roaring sound form the sky and a bolt of lightning descended towards where Lakshman stood. Lakshman sensing it and he smiled before firmly clicking his fingers.
In an instant, a barrier formed around the entire village and blocked the lighting from penetrating through it. The villagers were very surprised and as it vanished, they turned to look at him with eyes of wonder.
“You really are the Phoenix Titan,” said the head warrior in a surprised voice.
To that, Lakshman merely shrugged his shoulders and said, “Anyone capable of creating a Power Barrier is able to block that sort of attack. They really think a technique of that level can do anything to someone of my level.”
He chuckled to himself and the villagers widened their eyes in surprise by the words he spoke to them. This raised their impression of him greatly and smiled began appearing on their faces.
“Anyway, they will most likely come here to seek me and my companions out. If they do, please ensure to inform them that I am headed for the Teleportation Zone. It will match their records and they will not harm you in anyway before going on their way to meet us there,” said Lakshman in a cool voice.
“Ha…?” the header warrior exclaimed in surprise. “You’re telling us to just blatantly tell them where you’re headed? Are you crazy?”
“He’s been crazy since he was just a kid, so there’s no surprise there,” said Sumara with a smile on her smile, causing Emilia and Ondine to laugh heartily.
Lakshman also laughed before he said, “Yes. I want you to inform them exactly where I’m headed because, for one thing, they will think that you will try to protect us. If that happens, you will all be in danger and I don’t want that. I don’t want you getting in harm’s way because of me. Got it?”
“W-Well…” the head warrior began hesitantly.
He turned to look at the villagers. They seemed very hesitant about the decision, but with Lakshman’s set expression, they had no choice about it.
He turned back to Lakshman and firmly said, “Very well. Since you’re so insistent about it, we understand and will act accordingly.”
He smiled at him and Lakshman smiled in return from the satisfaction of knowing nothing bad will happen to them.
“Good. I appreciate it,” said Lakshman appreciatively. He turned to the girls and said, “Let’s go.”
“We’re ready,” said Emilia and the other two nodded in agreement.
He nodded back and momentarily closed his eyes to locate the location of the Eternal Turtle. When he sensed its location, he opened his eyes and made a surprised expression on his face.
“Wow. It travelled quite the distance. Anyway…”
He extended his right hand out in front of him and said, “Phoenix Portal.”
In an instant, a black circular hole appeared and grew larger while creating black streaming energy all around it. The villagers were surprised at first, but were slowly getting accustomed to the kind of techniques Lakshman was using, starting from Restoration and going right down to the Phoenix Portal.
As Emilia, Sumara and Ondine bid their farewell to the villagers and walked into the portal, Lakshman turned one last time back at the people of the village. He smiled at them and spoke to them one last time.
“Thank you and I’ll… see you in the future,” said Lakshman and he waved at them once before stepping into the portal.
Once he stepped in, the portal slowly closed and vanished into thin air. The villagers watched in awe as the portal vanished before muttering to each other. By that time, the elder man had slowly regained conscious and was informed of what had happened during the time he had collapsed.
“I see… So, that great Phoenix Titan had left…” he muttered quietly. Then, he tapped his staff down on the ground and said, “I have come to a decision. From this point onwards, we shall rename this village and name it in the honour of our saviour. The new name shall be the Phoenix Village!”
Hearing those words, the villagers all looked at each other and muttered excitedly.
Then, the head warrior stepped up in front of him and said, “Yes. I agree with the new name of our title.”
One by one, the villagers coursed their approval of the new name for their village. They all smiled happily at each other and excitedly chorused the name loudly in energetic voices.
From that day forth, that village had been renamed the Phoenix Village. They do not know it yet, but their village would become famous in the future. It was here the next Phoenix Titan will be born, who will later reunite the Nine Pillars of Power and save the world, but that story is for another time.
Thank you for reading the chapter everyone. I think many of you have guessed from this chapter, it’s leading to The Rising Guardians. Still, that story is for another time because I have this story to complete first.