Lakshman walked along the lit path in front of him while surrounded by darkness all around him. He knew everything outside it was just space and he will be trapped for life if he ever fell off the path of light he walked on. That still was impossible to do because the portal carried a barrier that kept the people from falling in, which is what makes Phoenix Portal so special than the regular Portal spell.
Up ahead, he saw an opening and he walked through it to find himself standing atop a moving ground. He quickly realised it was the Eternal Turtle moving beneath him and he breathed a sigh of relief as the portal closed behind him. Waiting for him on the other side were Emilia, Sumara and Ondine, whom he saw smiling in his direction.
“What are you sighing about?” Ondine asked him curiously.
“Oh… I’m just glad I got the Phoenix Portal to take us to the correct location,” he said to them while smiling. Then, he scratched the back of his head and said, “Truth to be told, the Eternal Turtle moved quite a distance than what I predicted, so I was worried that I might get the location wrong.”
Ondine appeared to be surprised while Emilia and Sumara looking at one another before turning back to face him.
“And… What would’ve happened if you had failed with the right location?” Sumara asked him nervously.
Lakshman pointed his finger to high above and said, “Most likely, we would’ve ended up appear in mid-air above the location that I specified.”
“Appear in mid-air?” Emilia asked in a surprised voice. “I thought the Phoenix Portal would fail in activation and you would simply walk out of the portal you went through.”
“That is the case, but when the location is nearby, the portal keeps letting us exit in mid-air. I tried to see if there’s any way to fix that issue, but I couldn’t find any.”
Ondine clapped her hands together and with an anxious expression on her face, she said, “Thank goodness that didn’t happen…!”
He smiled at her and reassuringly said, “Don’t worry. We might be free falling from that great height, but a barrier will activate around us to slow our fall upon reaching the ground.”
“Huh?” Ondine said incredulously. “We’ll be like screaming half to death before we realise we’re safe from the barrier slowing our fall…”
“That sounds more like a prank than a safety precaution,” said Emilia with a light chuckle. “I doubt I would enjoy it, but I can understand the joke in it.”
Ondine turned to look at her in exasperation before saying, “Come on, Emilia! There’s no joke in free falling from such a height!”
“You just need to be positive about it, Ondine,” said Emilia in a cool voice. “Besides, we can fly unlike most people, so it doesn’t really cause us any problems.”
“Oh really? I doubt anyone would be able to keep their cool to suddenly find themselves falling from such a great height!”
“Yes. I’m certain some won’t after seeing your reaction.”
“Gah! Dammit! Don’t turn my own words against me!” Ondine said indignantly, causing Emilia and Sumara to chuckle and a smile to appear on Lakshman’s face.
“That’s okay. I won’t let us encounter such a problem,” said Lakshman reassuringly and he placed a hand on her shoulder. “Now, let’s go pay the girls a visit to let them know we’ve returned.”
As Ondine nodded at him in agreement, Sumara told him, “Very well. I and Emilia will head over and start making dinner before people start complaining.”
“Oh… If they do, make sure to inform me because I feel I should fix their manners,” said Lakshman and he flexed his hands experimentally.
“Lucky, violence is not a solution, it’s a problem starter,” said Emilia sternly to him and he chuckled before nodding in agreement.
“Alright. See you two later then,” said Lakshman and the four of them bid farewell before they each went on their way.
Lakshman and Ondine walked up the stairs and walked some more minutes before reaching the building that they are staying in. The quarters of the Manjuvad Demon Clan were on the down level of the Eternal Turtle, so Lakshman and his wives were the only in a room inside that building.
As they neared the entranced, they could hear voices from the inside drawing closer. He instantly recognised the voices of his wives mixed with two other voices he did not recognise. Feeling a strange feeling, he immediately went on guard and Ondine, seeing him stop, looked up at him with a surprised expression on her face.
“What’s the matter?” she asked him, but he simply shook his head while looking intently at the entrance.
A few seconds later, his wives walked out and they were smiling happily and they were soon followed out by two phoenix masked warriors. Lakshman looked at the two of them in surprise and instantly recognised them to be the Phintex Rajas.
The two Phintex Rajas saw him and reacted simultaneously by disappearing and reappearing in front of him. He had slightly lowered his guard, so Lakshman did not instantly fight back due to them suddenly appearing in front of him.
“Damn… I nearly punched them,” he thought to himself while signing inwardly.
The two Phintex Rajas knelt down deeply and said, “Your majesty! Lakshman Chand! Phoenix Titan! We are glad to see you safe and healthy.”
Lakshman’s eyes instantly dropped a little as he said, “Yes… I’m sure you do after reminding me my own name and title as if I needed a reminder. So, what brings you two here?”
“Yes. The Phoenix Emperor, Felix Phoron has requested for us to check upon you and then, escort you safely to the kingdom.”
Once again, Lakshman made an exasperated expression on his face and said, “Yes… I really needed a reminder of who the heck the Phoenix Emperor is. So, he could only spare you two for this mission?”
“Unfortunately, yes. After the war ten-years-ago, the numbers of the Phintex Rajas have dropped considerably.”
Lakshman was surprised by the word ‘war’ and he sharply asked, “What war? What do you mean?”
“Yes. Ten-years-ago, after your disappearance—!”
“On second thought, don’t explain it!” Lakshman said quickly as he cut across the Phintex Raja’s explanation. “I’ll make him explain it.”
“Y-Yes. Of course,” said the Phintex Raja in a slightly nervous voice.
“What about the kingdom? How are my people fairing right now?”
“Yes. The kingdom has been safe for the last ten years due to the great barrier invention that the great Scientific King, Wolfenstine invented. The people of the kingdom, on the other hand, have been in low spirits ever since they learnt of your apparent death ten-years-ago. However, after hearing that you’re alive, they are feeling in high spirits and are feeling ready to take back their world and peace!”
Lakshman silently listened to what the Phintex Raja had to say and once he finished, he nodded in understanding.
“I see. So, Wolfenstine finally completed making the Phoenix Sanctuary Barrier Generator, which kept the kingdom and its people safe. The spell keeps the area covered by the barrier off the map and untraceable, making it difficult for anyone to locate them, just as it is difficult to locate the Phoenix Clan and the Dragon Clan.”
Lakshman suddenly furrowed his eyebrows and said, “I’m glad to hear they are feeling lively now that I’m alive, but I’m not ready to fight the Calamity Titan!”
“Eh?” the two Phintex Rajas said together in voices filled with surprise while their expression remained covered by the phoenix masks they wore on their faces.
“What?!” Ondine and Cantia exclaimed in shock.
“Mmm?” Silvera said and she blinked at him in surprise.
“You’re not ready?” Erza asked him while looking puzzled.
“What do you mean by ‘I’m not ready,’ Lucky?” Venezuela asked through narrowed eyes.
Tetra did not say anything, but she also looked at him with a curious expression on her face like the others.
Lakshman smiled a little at their reaction as he looked around at all of them. He had his reasons for not being able to fight the Calamity Titan at that moment, but he felt insecure of speaking it in front of the Phintex Rajas.
“I’ll tell you all later,” said Lakshman and the girls appeared to be surprised by his words.
“I’ll tell you girls later, but first, I’ll have to get the Phintex Rajas going before I speak about it,” thought Lakshman as he finally came to a decision.
He turned to the Phintex Rajas, who were still kneeling before him and said to them, “You two, I’m ordering you as the Phoenix Titan to return to the Floria Kingdom and inform Felix to not do anything rash. Also, make sure to inform him to tell the Sword King to not act on his own, unless he wants to get beaten up by me that badly!”
“Eh?” the two Phintex Rajas said in surprised voices before looking at each other. “But, sir—!”
“This is an order!” Lakshman said fiercely and surprised everyone there as he sharply looked down at the two Phintex Rajas.
With no other choice, but to obey, the two Phintex Rajas bowed their heads down and said, “Yes. We will deliver your message immediately and hope for your safe return.”
With that, the two warped out of there and disappeared in an instant. Lakshman knew the Warp spell cannot take them across continents, so they most likely had travelled to the Teleportation Zone to return to the Human Continent.
After checking that they did not remain there undercover, he sighed deeply before looking at his wives.
“What was that for, Lucky? That’s unusual of you to give orders like that,” said Venezuela with a perplexed expression on her face.
“Yeah! It’s a bit sad to see you talking so sharply to the people that were willing to risk danger to come all the way here for your sake,” said Erza with a sad expression on her face.
Lakshman raised his hands in front of him and said, “Calm down, you two. I just wanted them to go that I can speak to you freely.”
“Hmm… Well, whatever! I’m glad you’re back!” Cantia said and she rushed over to give him a grand hug that surprised the other girls.
“Hey! Cantia! Let him go!” Ondine said sharply and she quickly came over to try and pull her off of him.
“I don’t want to~!” Cantia said as she acted like a stubborn child not wanting to let go of something she liked.
“Oh dammit…!” Ondine said in annoyance and she finally pulled her free with brute force.
“It’s a bit delayed, but welcome back,” said Erza and she hugged her husband softly.
He chuckled and as he hugged her, he was slightly surprised and he asked her, “Hey. Did you lose some weight? You seem a little slimmer than the last time I hugged you.”
“R-Really?” she asked him in a surprised voice.
“Yeah! No doubt about you! You look like you’ve lost weight.”
“Oh… Lucky…” she said sweetly.
She separated from him and gave him a sweet look that was full of love and happiness. Looking at her from top to bottom, she indeed lose some weight, which was mainly due to her regularly exercising by constantly moving her body. He never thought about it, but after hugging her this time, he really noticed the great change in her appearance and how cool she looked now.
“Hey? What about me? Have I lost weight?” Cantia asked him eagerly.
“Of course! You’re looking great!” Lakshman complemented her and she became so happy that she immediately took on her humanoid cat form.
“Nyaa~!” she said happily.
“What about me? Have I lost any?” Ondine asked him nervously while trying her best to look slim.
Lakshman noticed her efforts and chuckled before he said, “Ondine, stop that. You’re already a perfect beauty without any need for a weight loss.”
“Ah!” Ondine said in amazement and she began grinning happily.
“What about me?” Silvera asked, but Tetra quickly spoke before he could say anything.
“Silvera, stop being such a child. We’re both Sacred Spirits and although our gender is female, we can control our appearance at will. So, that question really doesn’t apply to us,” said Tetra sternly with her arms folded across her chest.
As Silvera appeared to be disappointed, Venezuela smiled and said, “It must be great to be Sacred Spirits to be able to change your appearance at will.”
Lakshman smiled and said, “Yeah. There was this one time when I was still a kid where Tetra had to increase her weight to make my training tougher.”
As Tetra appeared to be shocked by those words, Ondine suddenly grinned and said, “Oh yeah! I remember now! While Lucky was training under the Sword Titan, Tetra had to increase her weight and become fat like a pancake.”
“No…!” Tetra suddenly wailed unhappily at being reminded of that. “Don’t tell them about that! It’s shameful for a Sacred Spirit, such as me, to increase her weight! It’s shameful!”
She quickly moved her hands to cover the shame faced expression on her face while all the girls laughed.
While chuckling, Venezuela moved over to Lakshman and quietly asked him, “How do I look?”
Venezuela was an interesting character and initially, Lakshman found it difficult to understand her properly. However, married and always loving each other, Lakshman came to understand her a little more. So, he understood what she meant by that question and instead of answering with words, he showed it by spreading his hands out and hugging her tightly, much to her surprise.
“Vena… You are a cool beauty that doesn’t need to lose anything!” he said happily to her while hugging her firmly.
Venezuela was taken by surprise at him suddenly hugging her, but she reacted and hugged him back while saying, “Oh… You and your silver tongue…” Then, nestling her neck on his shoulder, she whispered in his ear, “Welcome back. I missed you.”
He smiled and quietly said, “I’m back.”
Just then, he heard the clash of sword-on-sword and he looked around to see Tetra and Ondine fighting each other with their respective weapon; Ondine with her two swords and Tetra using her Stab Swords, which is a sword magic spell.
“Fatty Tetra—!” Ondine called out to Tetra while keeping her distance with her swords in hand.
“I’m not!” Tetra shouted at her as she fired more swords out of magic circles.
Seeing how Ondine was teasing Tetra out for having to increase her, he decided to change the topic.
After separating from Venezuela, he turned to them and said, “Anyway, let’s get inside and talk about the matter from before.”
“Sure,” said Venezuela instantly as she quickly understood what he had in mind. “Let’s go.”
Tetra was grateful for the change in topic and she, along with Ondine and the others, walked behind Lakshman and Venezuela into the building. However, she and Ondine continued to bicker until Venezuela turned around to look at them sharply in order to stop them from going at each other continuously. Finally going quiet, they walked into the building and disappeared into the darkness.
Thank you for reading thischapter, everyone. This isn’t exactly a serious chapter, but more of a cool off chapter for me and everyone. The seriousness will continue from the next chapter. Once again, thank you for reading and see you next time.