An hour later, the escort leader angel and the helmeted angels returned to where Lakshman, Erza, Tetra and Cantia were. By that time, the four had finished eating their meals and were sitting on chairs provided by the angels standing some meters away from them It appeared that the angels stationed there to watch them were there to ensure the group do not do anything suspicious.
With the arrival of the escort group, the watching group bowed before leaving the area. While the girls were busily combing their hair, Lakshman rose to his feet to greet the escort group.
“I hope that you enjoyed your meal?” the helmet-less angel asked him with a curious smile on his face.
Lakshman nodded and said, “Yes. The meal was lovely. We thank you for it.”
“Thank you for providing us with such an amazing meal,” said Erza as she rose to smile at the angel.
The angel smiled and said, “It’s the least I can do for causing you unwanted trouble.”
“Nyaa…” Cantia said as she watched him through narrowed eyes.
Unlike the other three, she has not forgotten the trickery the messenger angels played on them. As such, she has some animosity towards the angels standing before them. Still, she did enjoy the meal and was grateful enough to keep her silence. Meanwhile, Tetra was watching her closely and was ready to interfere if the humanoid cat let her anger out.
“Still, I think Emilia’s cooking is better than the cooking of these angels,” thought Cantia and she inwardly smirked at the angels.
Lakshman did not hear what she thought, but sensed her animosity and instead, focused on moving the topic forward.
“So, what’s the plan from here?” Lakshman asked the escort angel curiously.
“In an hour, you must attend a trail regarding what has happened recently. In the meantime, we will escort you to the place you will be staying for the duration of the trail. That is where your wives shall stay while you attend the trail.”
“A trail…?” Erza asked and she suddenly looked worried as she turned to look at Lakshman. “Is it like… court hearing type?”
“That’s right,” relied Lakshman in agreement.
“Oh…” Erza said slowly while continuing to look worried.
The escort angel looked at her and said, “Your husband will not be in danger because it is just a trail where he will be questioned about the recent events that have taken place. The Angel Council and the Nine Commandments of Light will be present to conduct the trail.”
“The Nine Commandments of Light… I better not upset them…” thought Lakshman in a slightly serious voice. “The Angel Council do make the official moves, but it’s the Nine Commandments of Light that make the final decision apart than the Angel King.”
“Now then, is everyone ready to go?” the angel asked while looking at everyone.
“We’re ready,” replied Tetra with Erza and Cantia nodding in agreement.
“Yeah. Let’s go,” said Lakshman with a smile on his face.
The escort angel nodded back and said, “Very well. Please, this way.”
He began walking in front and he was followed behind by Lakshman, Erza, Tetra and a cautious looking Cantia. Bringing up the rear was the group of helmeted angels with spears held firmly in their hands. They walked a few minutes in silence into the dimly lit area before reaching a pair of stairs leading to the top.
As they began walking up the stairs, the escort angel looked over his shoulder at them.
“I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but we must travel several more stairs to reach the top of the continent,” he said with an apologetic tone in his voice.
“Climb more stairs-nyaa?” Erza Tetra asked with a puzzled look on her face. “I thought we were already reached the continent-nyaa.”
“Yes!” the escort angel thought in satisfaction. “I finally got her to talk to me in a voice other than anger.”
“You did reach the continent, but where you arrived is the underground shelter. This is the place that we angels would use in case of emergencies,” he explained to them. “We had this underground shelter in the ancient times, when our cities were under attack, but now they just serve as a storage facility.”
“Oh!” Lakshman said with a look of surprise on his face as he found the answer to a very old question of his.
“So, this is where the angels used to hide themselves when the we were at war with each other,” thought Lakshman and he looked around at the underground facility with a look of amazement on his face. “Now, it makes perfect sense as I often worried, back then, for the safety of the innocent people.”
At that moment, the escort angel said in a serious voice, “Once we reach the top, the Phoenix Titan must go hide his presence and go invisible. For this, we prepared a special transport in which we will be travelling once we exist these stairs.”
“Huh?!” Lakshman and the girls exclaimed at the same time.
“Why go invisible?” Erza asked curiously.
“Yes,” replied the escort angel with a single nod of the head. “It’s because of the destruction of the Demon Continent. News of its destruction spread quickly and it shocked many to find out the one to destroy the continent was the Phoenix Titan.”
“T-That’s…” Erza began and hesitated as she did not know what to reply to it.
The escort angel noticed her hesitation and smiled slightly as he said, “There’s currently a split opinion as to who really destroyed the Demon Continent. Some believe it’s the Phoenix Titan after the things that was done in the ancient times while others firmly believe him to be innocent.”
“Really?” Lakshman asked and he sounded impressed.
“Yes. The majority believe that you are innocent and that, someone else did it by either masquerading as you or controlled you into destroying the continent,” replied the escort angel with a smile on his face. “Still, there are those who feel they should take care of you immediately instead of putting on a trial.”
“Nyaa! If they trouble my husband, I’ll take care of them by grounding them-nyaa!” Cantia said sharply with an angry look on her face.
There was a moment of silence to this before Tetra replied, “If you do that, then this hand will land vertically on your head and then, it’ll be you rolling on the ground with pain.”
Cantia’s eyes widened slightly and she turned to stare at Tetra, who was walking beside her. Tetra’s face appeared to be smiling, but the look in her eyes was filled with firm anger. She was upset with Cantia’s behaviour and
Erza, on the other hand, found Tetra’s dialogue a little interesting and she asked her, “If I’m not mistaken, what you just did was verbally threaten her, Tetra.”
“No. I call it the disciplinary anger management control,” replied Tetra in a voice full of satisfaction. “It’s what people do in order to tame really angry people.”
“Nyaa…” Cantia purred while looking sad. “I was only trying to help…”
“No… What you’re doing will start trouble!” Tetra said sharply and caused Cantia to look even gloomy. “Lucky is not a child that needs our protection all the time. So, instead of worrying about how to help him, try to be useful by thinking of how to keep the peace around you!”
“Nyaa…” Cantia purred once more and fell silent while looking really gloomy.
“That’s harsh,” suggested Erza while staring at Cantia’s sad expression.
“Maybe, but it must be done to make things clear,” replied Tetra in a firm voice.
Tetra knew she was being harsh, but she had no choice in the matter because of what was at stake. If the opposing angels heard Cantia’s words, it would cause some sort of problem that would eventually lead to the act of violence. That was something Lakshman was trying to avoid and in wanting to fulfil his wishes, she was putting her foot down at any negative thing their side does.
Erza understood this and that was why she stared at her for a moment in silence before sighing deeply. The helmeted angels looked at them and then at each other as if they were confused by the whole thing. Lakshman was the only one who felt a little embarrassed by their childish behaviour, but he still enjoyed the scene.
“You have some very interesting wives,” complimented the escort angel with a keen smile on his face. “Their behaviour is a bit childish, but there is fun in it. Quite interesting to say the least.”
“Thank you,” replied Lakshman as he accepted the compliment.
There was a moment of silence before Lakshman nervously asked, “Um… Do you… also being that I… destroyed the Demon Continent…?”
Lakshman spoke nervously as he was not sure by how the escort angel’s treatment was towards him. The angel, however, smiled smoothly up at him as he clearly understood the nervousness Lakshman was feeling.
“No need to worry. I also don’t believe that you would destroy an entire continent. The Phoenix Titan I was lead to believe stands for freedom and justice. Such a man would never do something as evil as destroying an entire continent and killing all inhabitants on it. Even the escort that are with us today believe in your innocence.”
Lakshman was very surprised by that and he around at the helmeted angels escorting them from the rear. All of them almost simultaneously nodded their helmeted heads at him in agreement. Seeing their attitude towards him, he suddenly developed great respect for them and the escort angel leading this escort group.
Smiling happily, replied by saying, “I thank each and every you for putting your belief in me. I never got the chance to ask what your name is. Would you mind telling me?”
The escort angel winked quietly replied, “Atem… Atem Pollux.”
“Atem Pollux,” repeated Lakshman as he mentally stored the name into his memory bank. While holding his own hand out, he introduced himself by saying, “Atem. My name is Lakshman Chand, also known as the Phoenix Titan. It’s nice making your acquaintance.”
Atem blinked in surprise at the extended hand of Lakshman’s before looking up at the man. Then, with his smile spreading across his face, Atem extended his own hand and shook firmly with Lakshman’s hand.
“Yes. It’s a pleasure meeting you Phoenix Titan— I mean, Lakshman Chand!” Atem said and the two exchanged smiles at one another while the rest of the group watched with satisfied smiles on their faces, including the helmeted angels with their smiling mouths visible through the mouth holes.
After that, they fell silent and continued walking up the stairs to reach the top of the continent.
It took them almost an hour to reach the top of the Heaven Continent. When they reached the surface, Atem stopped them in their tracks by raising a hand into the air. With the signal given, the escort angels also came to a stop behind them and stood at attention while firmly gripping their spears.
“What is it? Aren’t we going to the surface?” Lakshman asked curiously.
Atem shook his head and said, “No. That is an ill choice to make due to how heavily you are being treated outside. Instead, we will make use of a quick method to get you to the guest quarters.”
Without saying another word, he turned to face the front before raising his hand and extended it out in front of him.
For a moment, nothing happened with them standing around and doing nothing. Then, a magic circle appeared beneath Atem and it soon expanded out to cover them all inside it. The magic circle began to glow brighter until it encased them in a brilliant glow of white light. A second later, the glow disappeared and they suddenly found themselves in a location different from before.
The girls exclaimed in a shocked voice as they looked around where they were. They were standing in what appeared to be a brightly lit living room. Surrounding them were entry ways that seemed to go into another room. Directly in front of them was a small corridor with a door at the end of it.
“This is where you’ll be staying till however long the trial will last,” stated Atem as he turned to face them. “I hope that you will find it to be comfortable.”
“Yes…” Erza said slowly in a distracted voice while looking around.
Tetra had already gone through another entry way into what appeared to be the bedroom. Erza soon followed her while Cantia slowly walked around and looked at everything that she could lay her eyes on. Lakshman, on the other hand, ignored all of this and turned to speak with Atem.
“Earlier, you stated that you have a ‘special transport’ prepared for us when we reach the top. Is that ‘special transport’ the Angel Transport technique?” Lakshman asked him with a look of interest on his face.
Atem looked amazed and asked, “I wasn’t aware that you would know such a technique. How did you come to know about it?”
“I have my ways,” said Lakshman vaguely as he was not willing to reveal the information about the Decisive Player. “Still, I’m impressed that you were capable of using such a difficult spell.”
Atem shrugged his shoulders and said, “It was not difficult to master; just need the time to practice it and perfect it.”
“Indeed,” said Lakshman with a nod of his head while smiling at him. He suddenly became serious as he said, “If you guessed wrong and transported us to a wrong place or even got my wife hurt, I sure wouldn’t be happy with you.”
Atem quickly waved his hand at Lakshman and said, “No, Phoenix Titan! I do not make such errors and if I did, I wouldn’t be in my current job.”
“Yea, but as far as I can tell, your job is not something you earned; it’s more like something given to you. Any reason for that?”
“Oh…” Atem said shortly.
In that split second, Lakshman thought the escort angel looked really sad, but the next moment, he was smiling again as he responded to the question.
“I… I don’t know how you realised it, but that’s not important. So, please, do me a favour and forget about it,” said Atem with a smile that seemed to be really painful for him to make.
Lakshman suddenly realised he had offended the escort angel and he quickly said, “Oh! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to offend…”
“Not at all! You didn’t offend or anything!” Atem replied quickly in a firm voice to cancel away any worries that might plague Lakshman’s mind. “It’s just something… personal… You don’t have to worry about it since it won’t do you any harm.”
“I see,” replied Lakshman and he nodded once in understanding.
“Anyway, your trail is scheduled in seven hours’ time. Until then, please stay here and rest,” said Atem to him while the helmeted angels gathered behind him. “If you need anything, just say the command ‘angel assist’ and one of the observing angels will arrive to help you. Is that okay?”
Lakshman nodded while looking puzzled, which caught Atem’s attention.
“Is there something wrong in what I said,” asked Atem curiously.
“No. Everything’s fine, except one thing,” said Lakshman and he paused dramatically before talking on. “It’s about the schedule of the trail time. Why is it scheduled in the evening and not immediately? For that matter, why did you let us have our meal in that underground storage facility place instead of eating here? I want to know the reasoning behind this confusing plans.”
Atem slowly nodded his head in understanding and made a frowning expression on his face. It looked like something was troubling him, but he was wondering where he should share it with Lakshman or not. After a few seconds of silence, he let out a deep breath in resignation and began telling Lakshman about it.
“Yes. You’re right in saying these plans are confusing. In fact, a lot of things were happening rapidly behind the scenes. This all happened because you came the moment we called.”
Lakshman blinked in surprise and asked, “Was I wrong in not coming the moment I was required to be here?”
Atem quickly shook his head and said, “Not at all, but we thought you would take a few days before coming here. In addition to that, you’ve arrived with a small party consisting of only yourself and three of your wives. We were expecting you to bring along a delegation, the Phoenix Emperor and the Sword Titan as your backup. As for why we served the meals early… The messengers told us you were walking up the stairs and it made us realise that you will be really tired and need an immediate meal to recover and refresh.
So, you see, we did not predict any of this and had to drastically change plans to meet the situation. That was why we left you to your meals to inform the Angel Council and the Nine Commandments of Light of your arrival. We did not do this to purposefully confuse you or anything, but we just had to arrange it on the run.”
Lakshman finally understood what had taken place behind the scenes, causing him to chuckle.
“I see. So, that’s why I felt something was strange with how we had our meals there and the length before my trial. All the things happened without my knowledge, now I finally understand,” said Lakshman with a heartfelt smile on his face.
“I’m glad you do, but everyone’s curious about why you came with such a small party,” said Atem with a questioning look on his face. “We were expecting a delegation or maybe, the Phoenix Emperor or the Sword Titan. Instead, you brought along only three of your wives that our messengers allowed entry.”
Lakshman smiled and spread his arms out as he said, “I’m all that’s needed to prove my innocence. My wives just came along to accompany me because they wouldn’t let me go alone. Besides, the Phoenix Emperor and the Sword Titan have more important tasks to perform than this. So, in the end, it’d be just me coming to face my trial all alone if it weren’t for my wives coming along.”
Atem looked at him with a surprised expression on his face before he said, “Aren’t you the least bit concerned that you’re at a disadvantage when you’re alone? Do you never worry about the opposition outnumbering you or having the odds against you?”
Lakshman began to chuckle to himself as he slowly walked to the nearest chair and sat down on it. Putting one leg over the other in a king style, he faced Atem and the escorts that were still standing as they faced him.
“Whether it’s one, hundred or million, I’ll still manage to even it out. The only one who can truly challenge me now is the Calamity Titan. So, anyone that are not him are welcome to challenge me anytime. After all, I’m a phoenix who rises from the ashes in the name of freedom and justice; the Phoenix Titan!”
As he spoke, golden-red aura seemed to automatically radiate from him as he stared firmly into them. While he could not see their faces, Lakshman’s eyes pierced through their wiser and hit them full in their eyes. The air in the room became tense with the pressure thickening to match the intensity that Lakshman was releasing.
The helmeted escorts seemed to have took a simultaneous intake of breath at the powerful works spoken by Lakshman. Atem shared their reaction and was staring at the confident Phoenix Titan with awe. In that instant, he developed a great level of both fear and respect for the confident man sitting in front of him.
“That confidence, that pure power and that attitude…! Yes…! He’s truly the Phoenix Titan…!” Atem thought in awe as he stared at Lakshman as golden-red aura was seeping from the sitting Phoenix Titan.
He suddenly shook his head in shock and thought, “Wow! What was that? I almost lost myself from staring at such a powerful figure! Anyway, this makes it certain that he really did not commit that atrocity of destroying a continent! There’s just no way a man, such as him, would do it!”
With that firm thought in mind, he nodded once and said, “Very well. We will return in seven hours’ time to escort you to your trial. Please be ready by then and if you need change of clothes, please inform us and we will ensure to get them for you since you are not allowed to leave till your trial is over.”
“Oh! I can’t leave until the trail is completely finished?” Lakshman asked with a surprised expression on his face. “I didn’t know that.”
“Yes. I believe the messenger forgot to inform you of it,” replied Atem with an annoyed look on his face. He quickly recovered his expression and smiled before he said, “Anyway, we will make sure to get a change of clothes before the trial. If there’s anything you want done while we visit your home, we will try to fulfil them.”
“Yeah. About that…” Lakshman began slowly as he thought about the request he had in mind. “Would you mind informing my wives about the situation and the Phoenix Emperor? It’s alright if you don’t inform the Sword Titan because I’m sure he’ll be busy with the task he’s been given.”
“Is that all?” Atem asked and when Lakshman nodded, he nodded back before saying, “Alright then. We will get it done and be back very soon! Until then, please relax and rest! Perhaps, sleep is the best solution since it also acts as a medicine.”
Lakshman chuckled and said, “You don’t need to tell me that.”
Atem silently nodded his head and performed the same movements as before with his arm to activate the Angel Transport spell. A magic circle formed underneath him and expanded to surround the entire escort group. There was a moment of glowing light that surrounded them before it disappeared in a flash, leaving Lakshman alone in the room.
Sighing deeply, Lakshman leaned back on his chair and thought, “Finally… Some peace…”
He remained silent for a moment before he thought, “Seven more hours before the trial. Perhaps, sleep really is the best thing I could do right now.”
With his decision made, he made himself comfortable on the chair and closed his eyes. Before he knew when, he had quickly fallen into a blissful sleep.
Hello my beloved readers and thank you for reading the chapter! It’s been a wonderful three days before I managed to write this chapter to be submitted on here and my two other blogs (main and backup). The reason it took me three days was simply due to family business, going out and doing some important stuff. They took almost the whole day, so I managed to squeeze this chapter in until it’s finally done! So, I hope that you really enjoyed the chapter (after fixing the mistakes) and I hope that you will want to read the next chapter as the story continues!