While in the middle of sleep, Lakshman suddenly felt a strange sensation to the side of his cheek. It was as if someone was poking at his cheek, but it did not seem the person was an enemy. If they were, he knew his Elemental Sense would trigger an alarm that would prepare him instantly for battle.
“It must be Cantia poking at my face at usual. She must really like my sleeping face,” thought Lakshman with an inward sigh.
He slowly opened his eyes and squinted at the dazzling light that met his face. After blinking a bit, he turned his face to the side and saw Cantia sitting there with a bemused expression on her face.
“What are you doing?” Lakshman asked her before yawning hugely.
“Nothing-nyaa,” replied Cantia simply while staring at him with interest. “You sleep like a baby-nyaa.”
Lakshman raised an eyebrow and said, “We all do. Well, you sleep like a cat, so that’s different.”
Cantia smiled widely and said, “That’s true, but you look cute when you sleep like that-nyaa.”
As she finished, she winked cheerfully at him. He blinked at her in surprise before chuckling happily.
“You silly cat,” said Lakshman and he grabbed Cantia by the head and began caressing her gently. “That isn’t exactly a compliment a man should receive.”
“Nyaa,” purred Cantia smoothly in happiness as she enjoyed his caressing very much. “You’re special-nyaa.”
She lifted her head and stared into his eyes intently before she said, “You’re special because… you’re my husband-nyaa.”
Her words caused him to raise both of his eyebrows in surprise. A moment later, he laughed and kept caressing her as he said, “Yes. I suppose that does make me special.”
“Nyaa,” replied Cantia happily as she enjoyed how smoothly he caressed her hair.
After he caressed her hair for a few seconds, Lakshman sat straighter on his chair before getting to his feet.
“How long have I slept?” he asked her while he stretched his arms and body.
“Nyaa,” began Cantia and hesitated for a moment to think about it. “About six hours-nyaa.”
“Mmm!” Lakshman said in a surprised voice. “I slept that long? Wow. I guess walking for hours on those light bridged stairs is really tiring. Where are Erza and Tetra?”
“Sleeping in that other bedroom-nyaa,” replied Cantia promptly. “After those angel guys left, we saw you sleeping and decided to sleep as well-nyaa.”
“I see, but why did you wake up then?”
“Bored-nyaa,” replied Cantia as she also stood up to stretch her body with him. “I want to see what kind of place this continent is-nyaa.” I heard that it had been constantly moving in the air since the ancient times-nyaa. So, I’m curious to see in what kind of society these angels live in.”
“Ah. I understand. If we get time, let’s all four of us go,” said Lakshman brightly before winking at her. “Of course, this’ll mean that you let go of your anger on the messenger that tricked us.”
Cantia smiled at him and said, “Don’t worry-nyaa. I’ve already forgotten about it-nyaa. Besides, those other angels got us such a comfy place, I don’t have any reason to be angry anymore-nyaa.”
Lakshman inwardly sighed in relief as he sensed that there was no lie in her words. Cantia was someone who easily forgets her anger when something good to her liking happens. It seemed that she really liked the place that they were staying at, which Lakshman was glad to see. He also liked it since he was able to sleep comfortably
At that moment, Lakshman sensed a strong power approaching them and he realised it belonged to the escort angel, Atem Pollux. A moment later, a magic circle appeared on the floor in the middle of the room and there was a flash of light before Atem and the escort angels appeared. Atem appeared to be holding a bag of clothes containing Lakshman’s change of clothes.
“Phew. Made it with one hour to spare,” stated Atem proudly while breathing in relief.
“Welcome back-nyaa,” said Cantia as she greeted them politely. “Did your journey go well?”
Atem was surprised and he was not alone as the helmeted angels also looked at each in surprise. None of them expected such a greeting from her when, not so long ago, she was raging at them.
Quickly smiling, Atem hurriedly said, “Yes. No problems. Now, please get changed quickly or you’ll be late for your trial.”
“Okay, but before that, answer me this,” said Lakshman in a serious voice with narrowed eyebrows. “Were there any problems when you visited my family to inform them and get my clothes?”
“None at all!” Atem replied in a firm voice, but he could not hide the hesitation before his reply. “Your wives greeted us respectfully and I think her name was Emilia… Yes. She even gave us some cool drinks to relax before we departed from there. I’d say the wives of the Phoenix Titan are as well-mannered as their husband; the Phoenix Titan.”
Lakshman did not change the expression on his face as he continued to stare at Atem. The reason for this was because he sensed that Atem was lying to him. The escort angel was trying to hide something and it was most likely something serious for him to be this desperately faking his attitude.
“No… You’re lying. Something’s happened and you’re hiding it,” said Lakshman with a serious look on his face. “I don’t like it when people lie to me. So, answer me truthfully right this instance before I force it out of you!”
The last few words were said with a powerful voice and with them, his power began to flow out automatically. The atmosphere in the room changed to that of high tension and the pressure rose sharply. It was a tense moment between the Phoenix Titan and the angel standing there facing each other. Cantia remained standing beside her husband, just in case she needed to calm his anger.
The helmeted angels were looking at each other with an air flowing with worry. Atem was the only one who looked calmly back at the angered Phoenix Titan.
“Is there a problem? Yes, but your trial takes precedence first,” said Atem firmly and he forcefully handed the bag of clothes to their owner.
Lakshman looked surprise for a moment at the bag in his hand before he looked angrily at Atem.
Seeing this expression, Atem said, “Please, Phoenix Titan. You can deal with that problem at a later time, but if you don’t attend your trial, you’ll be in a really dangerous situation. Please understand!”
“How can I understand when you don’t give me a goddamn reason!” Lakshman shouted at him in frustration. “How am I supposed to attend the trial when there’s something clearly wrong happening with my wives.”
“No! They are not in any danger! I can assure you that on my life!” Atem said and caused Lakshman to look astonished. “Please… Believe in me. You can handle that problem later, but your trial is more important!”
The two of them stared at each other for few seconds in silence with firm expressions on their faces. The helmeted angels were surrounded by an aura filled with worry while Cantia moved a little closer to Lakshman as she was concerned about what Lakshman might do in his anger.
Finally, Lakshman gave in and sighed before he said, “Okay. I believe you.”
Atem looked mightily relieved by those words and he quickly said, “Thank you very much for believing in me! Now, please hurry and get changed for the trail. We don’t have time to lose!”
Lakshman, inwardly, sighed and thought, “If I keep this up, I doubt I will get anything out of him. Instead, it’s more productive if I ask him coolly once today’s trial is over. For now, I’ll believe in his words since my Elemental Sense didn’t detect any lies in his words. Anyway, this way, I can build a god face with him and his followers for the future alliance between our races.”
“Alright,” replied Lakshman with a nod of his head before he headed over to the bathrooms to have a shower and change into his new clothes.
After having his shower and changing into a new set of clothes, Lakshman walked out of the bathroom. By that time, Cantia had woken up Erza and Tetra to say goodbye to him. Seeing them, Lakshman raised an eyebrow in surprise before realising why they were awake when they normally would not.
“Cantia… Why did you wake them up…?” he asked himself in his mind with an inward sigh of exasperation.
The three of them stood and watched him approaching them with a look of awe on their faces as they marvelled the clothes he was wearing. He was wearing clothes had a brilliant appearance and looked to be very professional. They immediately thought that it was, most likely, Emilia that had added these clothes for him to wear for his trials.
When he stood before them, Erza looked at him up and down before complementing him.
“Wow… You look magnificent in them!”
Lakshman widened his eyes in surprise and asked, “You woke up just to complement me?”
“No!” Tetra said quickly and she turned to look at Cantia. “Cantia woke us up because you’re leaving for your trial.”
“Of course-nyaa!” Cantia said in a firm voice. “It’s natural for a wife to say goodbye to her beloved husband when he is going out to do something really important-nyaa.”
Erza and Tetra nodded their heads in agreement with her words. Hearing those words made Lakshman feel really happy with her. He looked at all three of his wives that were staring at him with a loving expression on each of their faces.
“Anyway, the clothes you’re wearing now really suit you!” Erza said as she, once again, complemented him with a loving expression on her face.
He chuckled and said, “This isn’t the first time you’ve seen me wear these.”
“Yes, but they never cease to amaze me just now marvellous they make you look in them!” Erza said and Tetra nodded in agreement, causing Lakshman to laugh.
At that moment, Atem stepped forward and said, “Um… Sir… It’s time to leave.”
Lakshman looked coolly at him with a small smile before he said, “Alright. Let’s go.” He turned to his wives and waved a hand as he said, “See you later.”
He turned around and was walking towards Atem when Tetra suddenly called out from behind.
“Go safely and return victorious!”
He stopped in his tracks and looked over his shoulder at her with a surprised expression on his face.
“Of course,” replied Lakshman in a reassuring voice with a smile on his face. He turned to Atem and said, “I’m ready.”
Atem nodded in response and extended his hand out before activating his magic. In that instant, a magic circle appeared under his feet and expanded to cover both the helmeted guards and Lakshman inside it. The next moment, they were surrounded by a flash of light and it disappeared, taking them with it.
Lakshman was being moved through space and time by the Angel Transport magic spell surrounded by a blinding light. A moment later, the flash of light disappeared and he found himself standing in what appeared to be a hallway. It was slightly dark in their current location, but he could see light several metres ahead.
“Are we directly in the trail room?” Lakshman asked curiously.
“Nearly,” replied Atem with a frown forming on his face. “We just have some walking to do before we reach the Disciplinary Department.”
“Good,” responded Lakshman with satisfaction. “Let’s stop waiting and start walking.”
“After you,” said Atem and he, along with the helmeted angels, parted way to let the Phoenix Titan walk in front.
Lakshman looked perplexed for a moment as he said, “Okay…”
He began waking in front with Atem and the helmeted angels walking up right behind him. They walked for a few minutes in silence and their footsteps echoed in the empty corridor. As they reached the entrance way leading into the light, Atem and the helmeted angels came to a stop behind him. Noticing them stop, Lakshman turned around to face them with a questioning expression on his face.
“What’s the matter? Why are you stopping there?” he asked them.
“From here, you’re on your own,” replied Atem and he pointed towards the light. “We are your escorts and don’t have the right to come along with you. Of course, if you feel uncomfortable going in alone, we could accompany—.”
He was stopped by a hand raised by Lakshman, who was shaking his head with a small smile on his face.
“That’s alright. I understand your situation and don’t worry, I don’t fear being alone,” said Lakshman in a firm confident voice. “Well then, I’ll see you once the this is over.”
“Yes and best of luck,” said Atem and he held his hand out.
Lakshman shook hands with Atem before turning around and walking into the light through the entrance way. The moment he stepped in, however, the doors closed with a bang behind him. He blinked twice in surprise, but other than that, he did not show any signs of being afraid. Instead, he focused on trying to make out where he was.
It appeared that he was in a very large room that had a very high ceiling and wall that were forming a wide circle. The floor was solidly build with what felt like marble that seemed to shine in the light, which was being shone from somewhere in the high ceiling.
He was looking around when the light slowly dimmed to reveal a brightly lit room. As he had guessed, it was indeed a very large room that was meant to hold many people. It surprised him to see how the brightly light from before masked the lights lighting up the room that he was in.
Just then, he heard a voice say, “Welcome to the trial room, Phoenix Titan.”
Lakshman turned around and saw people were seated high above behind desks. There were a total of fifteen people sitting there and all of them had their eyes turned towards him.
Nine of them were seated in a row at the front, whom he guessed were the Nine Commandments of Light. The five seated behind them were, most likely, members from the Angel Council. The one to sit right at the top appeared to be someone of great importance. He was wearing a king’s crown on his head and was carrying a majestic staff of rulership. Standing beside him appeared to be his guards, stationed there to protect their ruler from harm.
He was observing their faces to see what their reaction was like when they saw him. Some of them had expressions of curiosity, some had expressions of boredom and some had expressions of dislike as they looked down at him from their desks on raised platforms.
“Interesting,” thought Lakshman in a curious voice as he stared around at their faces “The Nine Commandments of Light, five members of the Angel Council and finally, the ruler of the Angel race. Things just got really interesting.”
“We are glad that you have come when we called you,” spoke the owner of the voice, who turned out to be the Angel King.
Lakshman smiled slightly as he said, “It’s natural to come when something as serious as this might’ve had my hand in it.”
The king slowly nodded his head several times in understanding before he said, “Well, to start off the introductions.
I am the kind of my race or also known as the Angel King. My name is Zex Angloid. The five sitting below me are members of the Angel Council and they are here to observe you. Sitting below them are none other than none of the finest warriors among the Angel race; the Nine Commandments of Light!”
“That’s quite enough of an introduction, Zex. We’ll take it from there,” said one of the Nine Commandments of Light in an arrogant voice as he was looking directly at Lakshman with a serious expression on their face.
As the king shrugged his shoulders and sat straighter on his chair, Lakshman looked at the man who spoke just now. The man was making an arrogant expression on his face as he stared at Lakshman, who was suppressing most of his power while smiling smoothly back at him.
“I didn’t want to believe it at first, but… Atem was right. The king really doesn’t have much power against the Nine Commandments of Light. It’s them that I must entertain now and keeping my powers suppressed from them is the best way to go about it,” thought Lakshman seriously in his mind while wearing a smiling face on the outside.
The arrogant man pointed his thumb towards himself before he said, “The name’s Ford and I’m the Commandment of Justice!”
The girl, sitting next to him, smiled happily and said, “I’m the Commandment of Happiness. Call me Happy!”
Lakshman was surprised, but he continued to keep a smiling face as he thought, “Wow! Quite the literal name!”
The man, next to her, nodded and said, “Yes. She is happy and I am Ben; the Commandment of Benevolence!”
Like that, Lakshman continued to listen to the names of each of the Nine Commandments of Light. Some of their names were literally named while others did not seem the least bit related to their title. Even so, Lakshman continued to smile and nod at each of them in greeting for introducing themselves to him.
“Hey there. My name’s Alan and I’m the Commandment of Balance,” said the man with the spectacles perched on his nose.
“Comfy; Commandment of Comfort,” said the girl in a lazy voice with a bored expression on her face.
“Hi!” A girl said excitedly with great energy. “I’m Hip; the Commandment of Friendship! It’s a pleasure seeing you here, Phoenix Titan!”
“Nice to meet you. I’m Reece and I carry the title of the Commandment of Respect,” said a man with a warm smile on his face.
“Good to see you, Phoenix Titan. I’m Hope and I am the Commandment of Hope. Good luck,” said a girl with a hair tied up like a ponytail.
“Welcome. I’m Free because I’m the Commandment of Freedom,” said a man who was smiling slightly at Lakshman. “Feel free to speak your mind in this trial.”
“I will! Thank you for introducing yourself to me!” Lakshman said firmly with a smile on his face.
The Commandment of Justice, Ford, looked keenly at him before he asked, “We introduced ourselves, but how about you introduce yourself now? Don’t you know the term ‘give respect and take respect’?”
“You already know who—,” began Lakshman when Ford held up his hand to stop him.
“Yes. We know who you are, but it’s better manners for the person to introduce themselves to us,” said Ford with a slightly crooked smile on his face and startled Lakshman. “Isn’t that giving common curtesy to us since we introduced ourselves to you,”
Those words and that crooked smile instantly caused Lakshman to become cautious of that man.
He nodded in response and said, “Of course. I didn’t mean to be disrespectful to you all.”
Seeing the satisfied look on Ford’s face, Lakshman and thought, “He’s trying to put some pressure on me and make me go defensive on them. I’ll have to be careful, otherwise, it’ll cause me big trouble later.”
Lakshman faced them all and cleared his throat before he said, “I am Lakshman Chand and I am the Phoenix Titan! I’m currently eighteen, but don’t judge me by my age because I’m currently the King of Floria Kingdom in the Human Continent.”
The Commandment of Respect clapped his hands and he was joined by the Commandment of Happiness, Commandment of Balance, Commandment of Benevolence, Commandment of Hope and Commandment of Freedom.
“Excellent! I think that should satisfy you, Ford,” said Free with a wide grin on his face.
Ford grunted with a look of distaste on his face as he stared at his fellow members of the Nine Commandments of Light. Only the Commandment of Friendship and Commandment of Comfy did not seem all that excited about the Phoenix Titan’s introduction.
“Yeah, yeah…!” Ford said forcefully in a voice filled with annoyance. “Anyone can introduce themselves like that; it’s no big deal.” He turned to Lakshman and asked, “Putting your introduction aside, I want to see your true self, Phoenix Titan!”
Lakshman blinked at him in surprise and asked, “True self? Are you saying this is not my true form?”
Ford shook his head and said, “While that is your true normal form, we want to see your Phoenix Titan form! Show us the power to transform into the powerful being known as the Phoenix Titan!”
The room became silent with every face turned to look intently at Lakshman as they waited for his response. Lakshman looked up at them and briefly wondered if it was alright for him to transform in front of them. He firmly believed his powers should be used to do good or to punish evil, but it seemed that he had no choice, but to reveal the transformation to them.
“I suppose I’ve got no choice, but to go along if I want to please these people,” thought Lakshman with an inward heavy sigh. “This also gives me the chance to try out the transformation after finally acquiring my full power!”
“Very well,” replied Lakshman in a firm voice.
He instantly saw smiles appear on all of their faces, even on the lazy Commandment of Comfort’s face as well and they waited for him to transform.
Lakshman clenched his fists tightly and took a deep breath before smoothly letting it out. The next moment, he began to release his power, causing the ground to quake and crack from the sheer weight from the pressure. This shocked the onlookers because they did not expect him to be this powerful.
As his powers got released, he was surrounded by an Elemental Glow of golden-red that represented his nature. It took him a few seconds to bring power from within himself before powering up and in doing so, he screamed with power.
There was a violent flash of light within the room and it caused everyone to avert their gaze or cover their eyes. Lakshman disappeared in the flash of light and no matter how hard they tried to see, it was difficult with how glaring the light was. It lasted for a few seconds before slowly dimming out and returning the room back to its original glow. They turned to look towards where Lakshman stood and were very surprised by what they saw.
Lakshman stood firmly with his fists clenched tightly while he surged with power that caused him to radiate in golden-red aura that surrounded him. His hair and eyes, however, were exactly the same as before. Instead of the spiky blonde hair and red-crown shaped eyes, his hair and eyes were normal looking.
“Hey… Look at that…”
“Yeah… I’m looking…”
“He looks normal…”
“Normal…? Not… you know… transformed…?”
“You mean the spiky blonde hair and red-crown shaped eyes?”
“Yeah! He doesn’t have them!”
“This means… he didn’t transform!”
“Did the transformation fail or… is it something more…?”
While the large room was filled with their talks, Lakshman ignored all of them as he stared at his raised hands. An expression of shock was covering his face because he did not know what just happened. He felt he was transforming when something caused the transformation to fail and make his appearance look normal.
Ford began to laugh loudly and caught the attention of everyone in the room. Lakshman powered down and looked at him curiously before the man began to speak loudly to all of them.
“I was expecting the Phoenix Titan transformation, but what do I get? A transformation that looked as if he did not change one bit! Sure, his power spiked up substantially and with that, his hair and eyes should’ve changed, but they didn’t! I guess he’s not a Phoenix Titan without his transformation!”
Once again, Ford laughed and he was joined by the Angel Council members in the laughter. The Angel King looked disappointed as he stared down at Lakshman, who was looking crestfallen. The other Nine Commandments of Light members, on the other hand, were looking unimpressed as they stared at their supposed leader.
“Ford! That’s not very funny! You can hurt people’s feelings that way!” Happy said with frown on her face.
“That’s right, Ford! There has to be a limit to everything!” Ben said sharply with a serious expression on his face.
Ford calmed down quickly and said, “I’m sorry, but the fact that he cannot transform means that he is no longer a Phoenix Titan!”
Lakshman was sad at those words as he tried hard to keep a straight face, but failed miserably.
“Who cares?!” Free shouted and stopped Ford from smiling. “Who gives a damn if he’s the Phoenix Titan or that he cannot transform? The fact that he has this much power at such a young age proves the point that he really is a naturally born gifted warrior sent by the gods! You know that from what he God of Justice informed us!”
Lakshman blinked at him in surprise while Ford looked disgruntled by those words.
“Anyway, what reason did we call him here? It’s to testify whether he is guilty or not for the destruction of the Demon Continent ten-days-ago; not check if he can transform or not!” Free shouted and he looked menacingly at Ford.
“Keep that in mind, Ford! You’re crossing your limits!” Alan said as he stared seriously at him.
“Right…” Ford said shortly and he shrugged his shoulders in resignation.
Reece looked towards Lakshman and politely said, “Please, forgive his rudeness. He’s a man who doesn’t understand the rules of giving curtesy to others, especially to members of other races. On his behalf, I ask you to please forgive his rudeness towards you.”
“T-That’s alright,” replied Lakshman with a smile forming on his face from happiness. “There’s no need for apologies since the fault lies on my end, but oh well. Let’s just get this trail started, shall we?”
“Yes! Please, take a seat over there for us to start the trail,” said Reece and he pointed to a char stationed a few meters from Lakshman.
Lakshman turned and was surprised to notice a chair there, which he did not realise was there until now. He quickly walked over to it and sat down before waiting patiently for his trail to begin.
Hello my awesome readers and thank you for reaching this long chapter! It took me a few days to write this chapter because I was being, you know, busy with life and everything. Still, I managed to squeeze time in and write this one out, so I hope you liked it very much. Anyway, life sure is busy for everyone, but we never give up to have fun every now and then! So, until next time when I release the next chapter, have fun and I hope to see you again as the story continues!