After walking the light stairs for several hours, Erza, Cantia, Tetra and Lakshman reached the top of the continent. The three girls were the first to reach the top and they bent over to breathe try and restore their breathing to normal. They were joined by Lakshman, who finally arrived at the top several minutes after their arrival and he was also looking tired.
“Finally… Reached the top…” muttered Erza wearily while she breathed tiredly.
“Is… Is this the… top…nyaa?” Cantia asked without bothering to hide her humanoid cat form.
“I suppose it is since… we’re not climbing anymore… stairs…” Tetra said before heaving a huge breath in recovery. “Anyway, I still think it’s ridiculous that they made us walk all the way to reach this flying continent.”
“Yeah, but where… are we…? This doesn’t appear to be the top of… anything,” said Lakshman with a a sigh while wearing a perplexed expression on his face.
He was right because the place they were standing at was not the top of anything. There were no clouds, no grass and certainly no angels to be seen. Instead, they appeared to be standing in what appeared to be a dimly lit room that was mostly dark. There appeared to be no entrances or exists from what Lakshman noticed as he observed the location that they were in.
At that moment, the light stairs disappeared and a moment later, they heard a smooth voice say, “Welcome to Heaven Continent!”
Tetra, Cantia, Erza and Lakshman turned to look at the speaker, who turned out to be another angel. This angel also had an attractive face that caused Erza to raise her eyebrows in surprise. Standing behind him were a slightly large group of angels with helmets to cover their faces and spears held firmly in their hands. The only thing common about them was their similarly coloured blue wings sprouting out of their backs.
Erza observed the angel’s smiling face for a moment before noticing something odd. She turned to Lakshman and questioned him about it.
“Lucky, did you deactivate their Angel Glow or something?”
That was her first question and it startled Lakshman greatly, he quickly shook his head and said, “I haven’t done anything!”
“Really?” Erza asked with a hint of doubt in her voice. “I could’ve sworn the angels had white glowing lights behind them to blind us or something.”
“Really! I didn’t do anything!” Lakshman protested with a look of surprise filling his face.
Seeing this exchange before him caused the angel to chuckle, making them turn to look at him once more.
“Please believe in your husband, madam,” he said to them in a very friendly voice. “We angels only possess the Angel Glow upon entering the land of the Physical Plane, but up here, in the domain of the sky, we appear very normal. Those glowing lights signify that we have purity in our very existence.”
“Pure? Mmm… I don’t know… No matter how you think about it, angels are not normal,” replied Lakshman with a raised eyebrow.
The angels with the helmet seemed to dislike his words and turned slightly as if they were staring at him. He looked back at them without a hint of fear or hesitation, but with an expression of surprise on his face.
The leader angel smiled and said, “Perhaps, but that still doesn’t answer a question of mine; why did you walk? I was certain the Phoenix Titan, if not his companions, would know how to fly.”
There was a moment of pause before Tetra, Cantia and Erza responded at the same time while blinking in surprise.
Lakshman narrowed his eyes instantly at his words and asked, “Then, why were the light stairs created for us?”
The angel turned to Lakshman before answering his question.
“We created the light stairs in case any of the Phoenix Titan’s companions do not know how to fly.”
Lakshman and his wives looked very surprised by his words before looking at each other. With one single nod of their heads at each other, they came to the same conclusion.
“We’ve been tricked-nyaa!” Cantia burst out angrily and she began to flare up in rage.
The angels with the helmets quickly brought their spears to point dangerously at the angered Cantia. At the same time, Lakshman stepped in front of her and stared at them fiercely. For a moment, there was a flash of invisible powers between the two forces; the phoenix force and the angel force.
“Stop!” the handsome faced angel said sharply while glaring at them angrily. “We are here to escort them; not attack them! Now, stand down before you invoke the wrath of the phoenix!”
The helmeted angels were hesitant in their movement, but with a firm look from their leader, they returned to stand at ease. Even so, the air around them was filled with hostility as they were prepared to attack if anything went wrong.
Lakshman also relaxed and turned to place a calming hand on Cantia’s shoulder. She was quite hot to the touch, but upon him touching her, she began to cool off with steam emanating from her body.
“Calm down, Cantia,” he told her with a smile on his face.
“Calm-nyaa?!” Cantia exploded angrily, flaring up once more. “How can I be calm when they tricked us-nyaa?!”
“Who tricked you?” the angel leader asked her curiously in a gentle voice.
Cantia looked around Lakshman and glared at him before she said sharply, “You-nyaa! Your people did-nyaa!”
“Us?” the angel said in surprise while the helmeted angels were also surprised and confused. “What do you mean? How did we trick you?”
Lakshman sighed and turned around before speaking to the escort leader angel.
“Actually…” he began and explained all about what happened hours earlier.
After being informed of what the prank the angel messenger pulled on them, the escort angel leader instantly looked shocked. Even the helmeted angels began to mutter to one another in voices filled with surprise.
“They did that…?”
“To the Phoenix Titan…?”’
The escort angel leader bowed slightly and apologised to Lakshman.
“Please! Find it in your heart to forgive them for their foolish actions. It seems that they have taken great dislike of you and decided to pull a prank on you. That is all. Please, don’t take out your anger for such a simple thing.”
Lakshman, Erza and Tetra blinked at him in surprise because they did not expect that sort of response. They were expecting more of arrogance from the angels and their stupid pride in supporting their own race instead of believing in what another race said. Instead, they were taken aback at how humble the angels were at knowing that one of their own kind had done something bad to somebody else.
“Wow… Now, this brings back memories of how humble natured the angels were back then,” thought Lakshman while looked surprised at the still bowing angel without a helmet. “Despite being full of themselves as the perfect beings created by gods, they still managed to be humble to others. Looks like, all these years of being separated from others has caused a great shift in their attitude. Well, it’s not unexpected, but I’m still glad to see there are still those that are humble enough to accept the mistake and apologise for it. Anyway, this is my chance to make a good impression on them.”
He smiled and said, “No. It’s totally—!”
“—not alright-nyaa!” Cantia bellowed as she cut across her husband’s dialogue and startling them all. “Do you have any idea how difficult it was to climb all this way on those stairs-nyaa?! It took hours and hours to get here and by the end of it, my legs are screaming at me-nyaa! Do you honestly think a simple apology like that will work-nyaa?! I don’t think—!”
At that moment, she was forcefully silenced in mid-sentence by hands placed over her mouth. The hands belonged to Erza and Tetra as they quickly acted on the look that Lakshman gave them. While Cantia struggled to continue speaking, the two of them dragged her away to calmly speak to her away from the earshot of the angels.
Lakshman watched them go and quickly turned to speak to the angel, who was looking very dejected.
“I’m really sorry for what my wife did, but we just arrived and are really tired. I think it’s best for us to take some rest before doing anything else.”
The angel, while still looking dejected, nodding in understanding.
“You’re right. It was my mistake for not realising how tiring it would’ve been for you and your wives,” said the angel in a sad voice.
Lakshman smile shrink as he said, “Well… The main fault might be mine for using Flash Out to hide their Angel Glow.”
“Maybe, but why did you do it?”
“I did it because I wanted to see whom I was speaking to,” said Lakshman with a firm look on his face and caused the angel to look surprised. “It is common curtesy to speak to someone while looking directly into their eyes. Otherwise, it’d be very disrespectful of me to cover my eyes or look elsewhere to avoid looking at their Angel Glow.”
“Mmm… I see…” said the angel slowly as he placed a hand on his chin.
The escort angel absorbed the words and thought about them for a moment. It seemed that he was coming to a decision about something related to it. Finally coming to a decision, he looked at Lakshman with a firm expression on his face.
“I cannot say what you did was wrong, but I cannot agree with the trick the messengers pulled on you. As it is right now, we cannot put the blame on anyone. So, I believe it is better for us to let this go and move on,” he said with a hint of finality in his voice.
Lakshman smiled, but inwardly heaved a huge sighed in relief. He feared that this matter might escalate and cause this group of angels to also develop dislike towards him. With the decision that the escort angel made, even the helmeted angels appeared to heed it by nodding their heads at his back.
“Yes! That is a wise choice,” replied Lakshman with a satisfied smile on his face.
The angel nodded in agreement and said, “Very well. We will return in an hour. Until then, please rest here. We will provide you with the comforts to get refreshed. Please wait a few minutes for their arrival.”
“That would be excellent. Thank you,” said Lakshman with a smile on his face, thankful for their hospitality.
Nodding once at him, the angel turned around and began walking away with the rest of the angels following right behind him.
After ensuring they were gone, Lakshman breathed a sigh of relief just as his wives returned to his side.
“Lucky, why’d you forgive them-nyaa?” Cantia asked him with a curious look on her face. “This isn’t like you-nyaa.”
Turning to face her, Lakshman sighed heavily and said, “Cantia, you almost ruined our first impression!”
Cantia blinked at him in surprise and asked, “First impression-nyaa?”
“Yes. The first impression that would put us in their good books,” said Lakshman while he slowly rubbed his forehead. “The Phoenix Clan and the Angels race have always been against one another in almost everything we did in the past. Now, I’m trying to break that mould by trying to form an alliance, but that won’t happen if we keep getting angry at silly things.”
“Silly-nyaa?” Cantia asked with a look of alarm on her face. “We just walked several hours up those light stairs just to get to this place because of a stupid prank-nyaa! How can you—?!”
“Cantia!” Lakshman said sharply as she cut across her. “This isn’t the time to be fighting against one another over small things like that. We have a greater goal at hand and to reach that goal, we must make some compromises where necessary. The goal is for the angels to become our allies and fight together with us against the Calamity Titan two years from now!”
Cantia and Erza looked surprised while Tetra nodded in understanding of his plan.
“I see. So, that’s the plan,” said Tetra and she made a thoughtful expression on her face.
“It’s not a plan, but it’s something that must be done for the greater purpose,” said Lakshman with a smile on his face.
Tetra nodded once, but a moment later, she suddenly made a frowning expression on her face
“While it sounds good, I think it’ll prove to be a much more difficult task than you envisioned,” she stated in a slightly worried voice.
Lakshman nodded and responded by saying, “You’re right, but the more difficult it becomes, the harder we try to achieve it. Giving up here is not up for debate anymore because the fate of the world is riding on our shoulders.”
Erza and Cantia stared at him in surprise while Tetra smiled at him.
“This reminds me of a young kid who foolishly proclaimed that he will be a hero. Remember?” Tetra asked him with a cheeky smile on her face.
Lakshman smiled in return as he did remember of such an event taking place many years ago. It was in the presence of the Death Titan, Sevedant, that Lakshman stated that he will be a hero to a question that Sevedant had asked him. Thinking about his response so long ago almost made him want to laugh.
From the way Tetra phrased her words, Erza and Cantia realised just who she was referring to.
“You said that when you were a kid…?” Erza asked him with a look of amazement on her face.
“What’s wrong with that statement-nyaa? He’s a hero-nyaa!” Cantia said proudly.
Lakshman chuckled and shook his head as he patted Cantia and Erza gently on their heads. They looked up at him in surprise, but said nothing as they enjoyed the patting of their heads.
“No, Cantia. I was young and immature when I stated those words, but really… I did become a hero; I’m the hero of our family and now, I’m also the hero of the world.”
All three of his wives looked amazed at the strength of his words, but did not get the chance to reply to them. This was because, at that moment, several angels appeared out of the shadows to bring them a tray full of food, drinks, tissues and towels to dry themselves.
“Let us enjoy the meal and get refreshed before we see what the angels have in store for us,” said Lakshman and he smiled happily at them.
Silently, they looked at each other before nodding at him and then followed him towards the tray to have their meal.
Hello my dear lovely readers and thank you for reading this chapter. The truth is, I completed writing this chapter yesterday, but I felt there were mistakes with the content (grammar is hard for me to fix alone), so I took my time to fix them up to make the chapter better. So, I hope that you liked the chapter and hope to read the next chapter as the story continues!