The start of a day will usually be bright and sunny, but it was not so on that particular day. There was no trace of the sun while light continued to penetrate through the moody clouds in the sky. It looked like there will be rain coming down soon with how murky the clouds were.
On the surface of the world, a procession was being conducted with a large group present. They were all dressed in black and wore expressions of great sadness on their faces as they observed the procession. Many of had their eyes cast down while others looked fixedly at a photo of Felix Phoron.
It was a funeral procession for Felix Phoron and attended by many of his followers and supporters. Up front, a procession of people walked along the open plains that was owned by the Phoenix Titan. They were slowly moving towards the location where they will be cremating the picture in his memory.
Leading the procession was his daughter and her husband, Sasha Phylon and Zen. The two of them looked very upset with Sasha trying her hardest not to cry. Zen had an arm placed around her shoulders to keep her consoled the best that he could.
Following behind them were Felix’s wife, Rasha, who was looking very sad while constantly using a kerchief to wipe her tears. Coming after her was the Sword King, Darian Ronald, Monkey King, Hanuman Monkaggy and several of Phoenix Sages. Following after them were the Sword Titan Dominic Rutherford, his wife Shalany along with many of the nobles.
Bringing up the rear was the Phoenix Titan, Lakshman Chand and his wives, Venezuela, Emilia, Erza, Cantia, Silvera, Tetra and Sumara. Walking beside them were Lakshman’s twin sisters, Indira and Priya, along with their house maid, Mariana. The ladies were wearing expressions of grief as tears flowed down their faces while feeling the loss of the Phoenix Emperor. He had been very helpful to Venezuela, Emilia, Erza and the twins in the previous years, so it saddened them greatly at his passing.
Lakshman walked behind the group with an expression that stated the loss he felt. He liked Felix greatly and looked up to him as a person that fights for justice while supporting freedom. It was also him who taught Lakshman the way of fighting and various other techniques that he improved om his own later.
So, to Lakshman, it felt as though he lost a teacher and sniffed once as he remembered the close friendship that his father, Indra and Felix lead. Still, he had hope as he remembered what the illusionary Felix had told him to spur him into fighting the twisted being called the Voice of the Phoenix.
“It is your duty; your responsibility for the world.”
Lakshman nodded his head once as he remembered those words spoken by the projection of Felix.
“I promise, Felix. I will ensure that past mistakes will never be repeated!” thought Lakshman in a firm voice and he looked ahead as the procession continued to move forward.
While near their house in the open plains, Lakshman watched with the group as Zen and Sasha used their magic to create a large stone. With the stone firmly erected near the house, Sasha stepped forward and gently attached the photo of Felix Photon onto the stone wall. They did not have his body to cremate him, so this was the alternative method that Lakshman and Dominic chose.
The moment that Sasha stepped back, she burst into tears and began crying in earnest. Zen quickly walked to her side and tried his best to console her. At the same time, the other girls of the group also started crying as if Sasha’s wailing was the trigger. It was a time of tears and crying out loud as the funeral procession came to an end.
Lakshman watched the proceedings and thought back to the past events in the last few days.
It had been ten days since Felix Phoron had been killed in the line of duty, facing the all mighty power Calamity Titan. The news of his passing had devastated the entire Floria Kingdom and there was a time of uproar, but it had quelled within these ten days with all the effort that Lakshman, Dominic, Venezuela and their supporters put in.
On the day of the funeral service, Dominic suggested the idea of creating a stone tomb near Lakshman’s home on the open plains. It was quickly accepted, but an argument was sprung when Sasha suggested that they do the funeral march through the city for everyone to bid their farewell to their favourite Phoenix Emperor.
Lakshman and Dominic immediately disapproved it, fearing another uproar might happen. The ladies disliked their negative view on their idea and the whole topic turned into an argument. After several hours of shouting and tears spilling from many girls in the meeting room, it was Zen who suggested that they do the funeral march in the early hours of the day.
The idea was to put the entire kingdom to sleep while the march was conducted so that they do not disturb them. This was unhappily agreed upon by the ladies, who still felt the funeral march should have been done through the kingdom.
That was the first meeting between the new Phoenix Emperor and the Phoenix Titan, with Lakshman observing Zen carefully. He instantly liked the young Phoenix Emperor and felt sure that Zen Phylon can live up to and even surpass Felix sometime in the future.
“I see why Felix chose him and I now, it’s my job to ensure he will become a great Phoenix Emperor,” thought Lakshman firmly as he nodded approvingly at Zen.
Without further arguments, Lakshman, Dominic and Zen worked on the preparations for the funeral march. While they were doing that in secret, their wives kept Sasha and their family company to console them. Just like that, in a matter of days, the day of the funeral arrived and Lakshman using a wide range sleeping spell to put the entire kingdom to sleep.
Several hours afterwards, the funeral procession came to an end and Lakshman ordered the Phintex Rajas to escort the members back to the kingdom. In the meantime, Lakshman, Dominic, Zen, Shalany, Sasha, Indira, Priya, Venezuela, Tetra, Ondine, Sumara, Cantia, Silvera, Emilia and Erza headed into Lakshman’s home located nearby.
The reason Lakshman picked that spot to locate the tomb was because he felt half responsible for Felix’s demise. It was his duty to attack the Calamity Titan in Felix’s part, but the Phoenix Emperor did it and paid with his life to spare Lakshman of that duty. So, Lakshman was sad, but at the same time, grateful for Felix’s sacrifice and wanted to keep his tomb nearby to feel that he was still with them.
Once they entered the house, the ladies walked upstairs and disappeared into the master bedroom. While they headed upstairs, the men sat down on chairs facing each other. For a few seconds, they sat in silence while looking at each other and blinking constantly.
“I’m glad it’s done,” said Dominic before sighing heavily.
“I agree,” replied Zen with a hand placed over his forehead. “Watching my wife crying constantly was a nightmare.”
“That’s true,” said Lakshman as he remembered how tearful Venezuela was at her father’s death. “It can be quite difficult to calm down someone after losing their loved ones.”
“No joke!” Dominic exclaimed while staring fixedly at Lakshman. “You sure nearly self-destructed upon learning of your parents’ deaths!”
“Ugh…” Lakshman groaned as he remembered the events of several days ago.
“Ah!” Zen said as he also realised what Dominic was talking about. “You had us all fearing for our lives when we felt you were releasing all of your power all at once!”
Lakshman sighed before he replied by saying, “I’m sorry to worry you all about it, but Dominic… Why did you hide the fact that my parents… my parents had died?”
“Uh…” Dominic began hesitantly and gulped once.
While looking at him seriously, Lakshman slowly asked, “Are we not best friends…?”
Zen turned his attention towards Dominic, who was blinking rapidly at Lakshman. He was taken aback at the serious look in Lakshman’s eyes, but he knew it was only reasonable for hiding these facts.
He finally sighed in resignation and said, “The truth is that I actually did want to tell you. Hiding these facts from you did not serve my justice well, but Felix forced me to keep my silence. He felt that telling you about their deaths will sadden you greatly and might cause you to make reckless decisions!”
“Ah,” said Zen and he nodded in understanding. “That’s reasonable considering what happened after he found out about their deaths.”
Lakshman made a noise with his mouth and eyed the new Phoenix Emperor with a serious look on his face. Zen quickly realised what he had said and thought the Phoenix Titan assumed he was being rude to him.
“Please, pardon my words,” said Zen quickly as he retraced his words, “but, I was just supporting Felix’s concern for you…”
Lakshman continued to look at him for a few seconds longer before he nodded in acceptance.
“Yes. He’s always had a good grasp of my mind and how it worked,” said Lakshman and he smiled. “It’s like, he was my guardian that my parents never really appointed.”
“I’m sorry for your loss,” said Zen in a sad voice and Lakshman simply smiled sadly at him.
Dominic looked at the two of them before turning to ask Lakshman, “By the way, what happened with the Calamity Titan?”
“That’s right!” Zen said as he also included himself in the conversation. “You did say something about him challenging you or something… What was that about?”
Lakshman made a thoughtful expression on his face and chuckled, which caused the two men to blink at him in surprise. Due to being busy with the funeral preparations and attending the needs of the kingdom, Lakshman only informed the officials about the challenge the Calamity Titan issued to him.
“Well… You see…” Lakshman began and he informed them about what had taken place after Felix used Light Wiper.
It took Lakshman a few minutes to retell the events, but the expressions on the men’s faces changed. Dominic wore an expression of extreme anger while Zen looked very astonished by the events that took place on the Demon Continent.
“That bastard!” Dominic exclaimed in a powerful voice while clenching his fists tightly. “Doing that to a woman… Unacceptable! If the hand of justice was in my hands, I would’ve courted him death!”
“Hey, hey!” Zen said rapidly with a stern look on his face as he turned to look at Dominic. “Stop saying such nonsense. Be practical about our situation.”
“I am being practical!” Dominic said with a menacing look on his face. “With my Destiny Sword, I’d be able to—!”
“Do nothing,” said Lakshman as he cut across Dominic’s speech. “Listen, Dominic. In my rampage after the release of my full powers, I ended up destroying the Demon Continent. Yet! It only wounded him and did nothing to beat any sense into him!”
“So? He’s just gotten stronger in these ten years that you’ve gone, but I’ve gotten strong as well!” Dominic said fiercely with a look of determination on his face.
Zen sighed and Lakshman shook his head before he said, “I don’t know how strong you think you’ve gotten, but it’s still no good. He’s much too strong for you to fight on your own.”
Dominic knitted his eyebrows together and said, “There is no defeat to those who follow the path of justice!”
Lakshman blinked at him in surprise and Zen groaned loudly in exasperation.
“Just for saying that gave Felix the courage to fight and what was the result? Rodfox Kingdom got destroyed and we lost more than half our fighting strength in the war ten-years-ago,” said Zen with a look of frustration on his face. “So, please spare me the ‘path of justice’ nonsense because it won’t do us any good!”
Dominic jumped to his feet angrily and while staring fiercely at Zen, he asked him, “Are you doubting my justice?”
“I’m not,” said Zen with a sigh of annoyance. “All I’m saying is that justice alone won’t prevail. We need something… more…”
With a look of resignation on his face, Dominic sat down heavily on the chain he was sitting on previously. He has a strong sense of justice and will always blindly follow it, but hearing Zen’s words made him rethink. It was difficult for him to imagine that anyone who follow justice won’t receive the correct results.
Lakshman looked at the two of them for a moment before he said, “Anyway, that guy’s challenged me and the entire world. All we can do now is accept the challenge and prepare for it because, in two years, he will return, more powerful than ever and bring along an army to wipe us out! Our fate will be the fate of the world.”
Dominic and Zen looked at one another and nodded in agreement to Lakshman’s words. They understood clearly just how dangerous their situation would be in two years’ time. During these two years, they have to become stronger than they are currently.
“What’s your plan, Lakshman?” Zen asked Lakshman with a serious expression on his face.
Lakshman took a deep breath and slowly released it in a smooth flow. Then, he began to inform the Sword Titan and the newly instigated Phoenix Emperor of his plan for the next two years.
“My first priority is to gather the Nine Pillars of Power that have been scattered to places around the world.”
“Oh!” Zen exclaimed with a look of astonishment on his face. “The Nine Pillars of Power! Together, I’m sure we will have a chance of defeating the Calamity Titan once he returns, stronger than ever before!”
“Yes! That’s what we need!” Dominic said energetically with his fist raised in the air. “Together, with the strongest warriors in the world, we can defeat that tyrant ruler once and for all!”
Lakshman nodded at them with a serious look on his face when, all of a sudden, the expression changed to a frown.
“Yes, but he didn’t seem all too worried about them,” he said and surprise the two of them. “It’s as if he has plans to deal with the Nine Pillars of Power in some way. The question is… how…? Where does he get such confidence…?”
“Maybe, he’s just bluffing to scare us?” Zen suggested hopefully, but Lakshman shook his head firmly.
“No way… I know him well and knowing him, I’m certain he is very serious about taking on the Nine Pillars of Power,” said Lakshman with an extremely serious look on his face. “That’s why, it is best to gather allies that will fight together with us against him. Having allies that will help us as backup won’t hurt us.”
“Yes. That’s understandable,” replied Zen with a nod of his head.
“I also agree to this plan,” said Dominic said in agreement.
“Right,” said Lakshman and he nodded at the two of them. “Now, here’s the deal. Zen!”
“Yes!” Zen replied firmly while sitting up straighter in his chair.
“After receiving the Sword of Justice, I want you to focus on informing the rest of the world about the upcoming Phoenix Calamity War,” instructed Lakshman in a firm voice. “In the meantime, I and Dominic will focus on gathering the Nine Pillars of Power.”
Zen blinked at him in surprise and then said, “Right. I’ll do it, but what will the two of you do?”
“Yeah. What can I do to help you out?” Dominic asked in a curious voice.
Lakshman chuckled and said, “It’s an easy job; use the Destiny Sword to locate each of the Nine Pillars of Power. Once you locate them, let me know of their whereabouts so that I go and pay them a visit.”
“Pay them a visit?” Dominic asked in a puzzled voice. “Do you mean to say that you’ll visit them… personally?”
“That’s right,” said Lakshman with a nod of his head. “As the leader of the group, it’s my role to play in gathering them. All I want from you, though, is just their locations. If you can do that simple job for me, it’ll be wonderful.”
Dominic looked surprised for a moment before he recovered to quickly say, “No problems! I’ll get the job done!”
“Thanks,” said Lakshman in an appreciative voice with a smile on his face. “I knew I could count on you.”
While the two of them smiled at each other, Zen watched them with a puzzled expression on his face.
“I don’t mean to interrupt you two, but I’m confused,” said Zen with a confused expression on his face. “I mean, why send Dominic to search for their whereabouts when you can easily do that job on your own? Instead, wouldn’t it be more productive if he helped me out instead?”
Lakshman nodded at him in understanding before he said, “You’re right in thinking that way and rest assured; Dominic will come to assist you once he’s completed his little task I gave him.”
“Oh… But then—?” Zen began, but he stopped when Lakshman raised his hand to stop him.
“I’m making him track them down because I will be very busy with something else,” said Lakshman and the two men blinked at him in surprise. “Once my business is over, it will take me longer to track them down and that’s why, having Dominic perform that task in the meantime saves time.”
“Oh!” Zen said with a look of amazement on his face. “That makes sense!”
“Yeah, but what business will you be busy with?” Dominic asked curiously.
“Something really important,” said Lakshman vaguely. “In fact, I’m waiting for them to arrive right now.”
“Huh?” Dominic and Zen said together and they looked at one another before looking back at Lakshman.
“You’re waiting for whom?” Dominic asked with an eyebrow raised.
Lakshman casually waved a hand and vaguely said, “Just someone from high above…”
Zen looked at Dominic once and looking back at Lakshman, he slowly began to ask, “Who—?”
He only uttered that one word and then stopped as he suddenly sensed something that caused his eyes to widen. Dominic’s eyes also widened in surprise as he also sensed the exact same thing as Zen did. Lakshman, on the other hand, formed a smug smile on his face as if he had been expecting to sense the exact same thing.
“What timing,” thought Lakshman in a satisfied voice. “I was thinking about them and they came like I expected.”
“What is this that I sense…?” Dominic asked cautiously. “I’ve never sensed this presence before…!”
“Me neither!” Zen added quickly with his eyebrows knitting together.
At that moment, there was a display of blinding light that was aimed directly at the house. The open door and the windows allowed the light to pass through and hit the men’s eyes directly, causing them to blink in shock and pain.
“What’s going on?!” Zen exclaimed sharply while jumping to his feet with his eyes desperately covered with his right arm.
“Is it an enemy attack?!” Dominic exclaimed angrily as he also covered his eyes while trying to see who it was.
Lakshman also rose to his feet and stood firmly while keeping his eyes narrowed down to see into the light. A few seconds later, several shadows of beings with what appeared to be wings appeared to block the light. As the shadow figures with wings appeared to slowly descend outside the house, Lakshman smiled in satisfaction.
“About time they showed up,” he said and smirked as he continued to smile at seeing the winged figures land outside the house.
“Who?!” Dominic and Zen demanded in a loud voice while also trying to see who Lakshman was looking at.
Lakshman remained smiling for a moment before he said, “The angels… The angels have descended!”
Hello my dear readers and thank you for reading this chapter! I hope that you liked the chapter because it took me a few days of constant work before I got some free time to write this chapter and I feel the chapter is a bit short since the first half was just descriptive. Anyway, I thank you for patiently waiting for each chapter release and I hope that will remain patient for the next chapter as the story continues!