“Before we start the trail, you must know a few rules that must be followed at all times!” Reece said to Lakshman in a serious voice. “If you break any of them, they will be courted against you and the final judgment might not favour you.”
Lakshman laughed a little before he replied by saying, “I’m not some little kid, who breaks rules for the fun of it. Please, go ahead and inform me these rules that I must follow.”
Ford scowled disapprovingly at Lakshman’s easy manner, but Reece nodded approvingly and began to inform Lakshman of the trial rules.
“Firstly, you must not use magic during your trial without proper authorisation, which is mainly from us. Next, you must speak truthfully, otherwise, we will know as we possess skills that detect lies.”
This caused Lakshman to raise both of his eyebrows in surprise and he thought, “Wow. I suppose they would possess some sort of skill similar to my Elemental Sense.”
“Finally, your manner of speech and attitude must be kept under check at all times; negative behaviour will not be tolerated. I take it you understand what I’m implying.”
Lakshman nodded his head in response and said, “Rude behaviour, speaking negatively to people and recklessly looking down on anyone is what you’re saying.”
Ford snorted and said, “At least, you know that much, continent destroyer.”
Lakshman looked sharply at Ford and said, “Look, Ford—!”
“Commandment of Justice!” Ford said sharply as he cut across Lakshman’s dialogue. “You are not my friend and I’m not yours! As such, we will refer to each other by our given titles!”
Lakshman was frowning as he thought, “This guy is starting to annoy me and it hasn’t even been ten minutes since I met him!”
Sighing inwardly, he looked at Ford and calmly said, “Look, Commandment of Justice. I’m did not destroy the Demon Continent!”
“So you say,” replied Ford in a firm voice, “but why is it that our sensors detected your power radiating from there?” He looked at his comrades and asked, “I’m sure we all agree that there is only one person with such a unique phoenix power, correct?”
The eight of them nodded in agreement and Hope said, “That is correct. The phoenix power, one who fights for freedom and justice, is unmistakably belonging to the Phoenix Titan.”
“Yes and there’s only one Phoenix Titan we all know of,” said Ford and he turned his face back to Lakshman with a serious expression on his face.
Lakshman stared back at Ford with a serious expression on his face as his frown deepened.
“With such simple reasoning, you’re blaming me for something that I did not do? Is this what you call justice?”
Ford looked stricken by his words while the others slowly nodded their heads in understanding.
“He has a fair point,” said Happy casually while smiling happily.
“It really will be a stretch to think the great Phoenix Titan would go and destroy a continent!” Reece said firmly.
“That might be right,” began Comfy in a lazy voice, “but explain why?”
They all looked puzzled by her question and Alan gently asked, “Explain why…? You didn’t finish your sentence, Comfy.”
She shrugged her shoulders and lazily said, “Too lazy…”
Her comrades were taken by surprise and Lakshman almost fell over from his chair in shock at her words. He could not believe the Commandment of Comfort, who usually preferred to sound themselves with comfort, would be this lazy. He was marvelled by her laziness and he stared at her in disbelief as she yawned nonchalantly.
“Comfy… This isn’t the time to be feeling lazy…” said Happy with a cheerful grin on her face. “There’s a trial going on and everyone’s trying to be serious. You should be serious as well.”
“When you can’t be serious, why should I?” Comfy asked lazily and caused Happy to smile sheepishly. “Anyway, I’m feeling lazy and I’m going to be lazy.”
Alan sighed heavily and said, “There has to be a balance to your laziness and activeness, Comfy!”
Ford was looking perplexed as he thought about her words from earlier. As his mind clicked, he suddenly got an inspiration and he inwardly smiled as he turned to look seriously at Lakshman.
“Continuing from what Comfy asked… Explain why we sensed his powers, explain what he was doing there and explain why the hell he was there in the first place!”
He turned to stare fiercely at Lakshman as he finished by saying, “Explain all these questions and I might be satisfied.”
There was a moment of silence in which Lakshman stared seriously at Ford while the rest of their focus turned towards him.
“He’s right,” said Ben and he gestured at Ford. “Please, explain yourself, otherwise, we will find it suspicious.”
“Speak freely and truthfully because, remember, we will know if you lie,” said Free in a serious voice.
Lakshman remained sitting in his chair and kept his silence for a few seconds before nodding in response.
“Okay. I’ll tell you everything that led me to be there,” said Lakshman as he looked at each of their faces.
He began explaining to them about the events leading to Felix’s death, the breaking of the last seal and the battle for control of his power against the Voice of the Phoenix. Once his story telling came to an end, the room remained silent for several seconds as they digested all that they heard.
“I see. So, it was the doing of the Voice of the Phoenix…” said Ford slowly in a serious voice as he rested his chin on his hand.
“So, that was the so called ‘evil bring’ that lurked within the Phoenix Titan,” said Alan with a nod of understanding. “You say that, in your rage, it took control of your body and powers, which was why the Demon Continent was destroyed.”
Lakshman nodded his head in agreement and said, “Yes and it was for that reason the Calamity Titan decided to wage war against me in two years’ time.”
“That makes sense,” said Alan with a small smile on his face. “It isn’t unheard of where a curse takes on a conscious form and slowly corrupts its victim, then possessing them and doing evil for the glory of destruction.”
“You’re right, Alan,” said Reece in agreement with his friend.
As they were all in agreement, Ford suddenly raised his voice and said, “Hold up!”
“What is it, Ford? Is something wrong?” Happy asked with a curious look on her face.
Ford nodded slowly and while staring at Lakshman, he asked, “While everything you said is good and everything, but… where’s the proof?”
Lakshman was taken aback by his question and he made a puzzled expression on his face as he asked, “Proof?”
Ford nodded and asked, “Correct. We cannot simply go by the story you told us, which might just be a fictional as far as the truth is concerned.”
Lakshman blinked in surprise and he began to say, “But—!”
Ford cut him off by raising a hand before he said, “You can say what you said was true and there was no lie in it at all, however, there is a problem right there. You might be using your magic without our notice to fool us into thinking what you said was true!”
“What?!” Lakshman exclaimed sharply while everyone else looked surprised.
“What are you saying, Ford?” Free asked incredulously. “You heard him, we heard him and the observers also heard him. None of us, including you, sensed the activation of magic in all this time.”
“That’s my point!” Ford said firmly with a small smile on his face. “He could’ve activated an illusionary magic right before he entered the room or maybe, he had it active all this time. We know the Phoenix Titan is extremely powerful, so it shouldn’t be that difficult for him to fool us, right? After all, he’s facing death sentence for the destruction of a continent and the murder of countless of its inhabitants.”
Lakshman stared at him in disbelief as anger caused him to bunch his hands into fists. He could not believe what the Commandment of Justice was saying. Everyone was looking at each other with doubtful expressions on their face as they began doubting Lakshman’s words.
“Even so, Ford, we all heard his testimony and the observers did not detect any sort of magic coming from him,” said Alan with furrowed eyebrows.
“I also don’t believe the great Phoenix Titan, who fights for freedom and justice, would do such a thing!” Reece said sharply while shaking his head in disbelief.
Ford looked at them seriously before he said, “Okay. Fine. Believe his words if you want, however, without solid evidence to back up his words, they are not believable!”
Ford suddenly waved his hands in the air and said, “Unfortunately, the main culprit, the Voice of the Phoenix, cannot provide testimony because a certain someone made sure to destroy him!”
Lakshman was shocked at what the Commandment of Justice was saying to convince them. They were ready to believe in his words and were even more convinced when they sensed the truth in his words. Sadly, all of that appeared to be futile by how convincing Ford was with the way he creatively made Lakshman out to be a criminal minded brute.
Barely able to contain his anger, Lakshman thought, “This is injustice…! Injustice…! In fact, what would Dominic do if he faced this kind of situation?”
He thought about it for a moment, but there really was no need due to how easy the answer was. The Sword Titan would have become enraged, taken his sword out and place it threateningly near the neck of Ford while shouting for justice.
“No. That’s going too far, which I’ll keep as last resort. I’m trying to make friends; not enemies. Yes. For now, I’ll try appealing for the injustice part,” thought Lakshman with his mind made up.
He looked at them and said in loud voice, “This is injustice! I do not accept this!”
Ford looked at him and showed great anger on his face as he said, “You shut your mouth and accept our verdict!”
Lakshman narrowed his eyes sharply and said, “You ae not my judge; the God is,” and he pointed his finger above his head and shocked everyone in the room.
“What… did you… say…?” Ford asked slowly in a voice filled with anger as he stared furiously at him.
“You heard me,” replied Lakshman curtly as he no longer had any room to speak respectfully to Ford. “Anyway, I have the ‘right of free speech’ to make myself heard and you have the obligation to hear me out!”
Ford snorted loudly and he rose to his feet before he said, “We have no obligation to hear you and while I’m at it, I proclaim you… guilty! Guards! Imprison this mass murderer!”
The remaining members of the Nine Commandments of Light were shocked by his verdict. The Angel Council members, who had been observing in silence, began whispering to each other quickly. The Angel King sighed deeply and slowly rose to his feet to leave.
“Ford, I think we should—,” began Free, but he was stopped in mid-sentence by the sharp glance Ford threw at him.
“I am the leader of the Nine Commandments of Light and as such, my word is final!” Ford said sharply and his comrades looked uncomfortable before nodding their heads in agreement. “Guards! Hurry up and drag this destroyer to face his sentence!”
He clapped his hands twice and in an instant, a group of seventy angel guards appeared in the visible light of the room. They each were wearing a helmet and carried a long spear that they held firmly in their hands. Unlike the Nine Commandments of Light and the King, the colour of their wings was Crimson, which was different to the blue coloured wings Atem and his escort group had.
After bowing to Ford, they quickly marched towards the location Lakshman remained sitting at. The Phoenix Titan had his head bowed slightly and he stared at the open palms of his hands. He felt a rush of sadness for them not taking his words seriously and anger for labelling him a mass murderer for something that he did not do.
As the guards neared him, Lakshman asked in a carrying voice, “You still believe I am guilty, even after hearing my story, knowing about Felix Phoron’s death and the war against the Calamity Titan scheduled in two years’ time?”
“We will pay our respects to Felix Phoron because he such a great person and we will handle the matter regarding the war against the Calamity Titan!” Ford said loudly in a firm voice. “As for you and your made up story to cover your mistakes, there’s hope for you, but face your sentence of death! At least, this way, the deceased will be appeased by the death of their killer!”
Lakshman clenched his fists tightly and caused the sleeves of his shirt to tighten sharply. With his anger reaching the surface, his power automatically began to be released. There was no wind in the room, but it began to blow faster and faster, surprising everyone in the process. The Angel King, who was about to leave, stopped and turned back to face Lakshman with wide eyes filled with shock.
At that moment, the seventy guards suddenly came to a stop and dropped their spears as they grabbed their necks desperately. They were having difficulty breathing by how much pressure Lakshman was putting on their necks with his energy, shocking the Nine Commandments of Light, Angel Council members and the Angel King.
Lakshman, who had his head bowed, began to speak aloud and surprised everyone by what he said.
“I am partially guilty for allowing the Voice of the Phoenix to take control of me and causing such mass destruction! Even so, I cannot let myself lose my ground here because I made a promise; a promise to my parents, to Felix, to my childhood friend and to everyone that I couldn’t protect. I am their hope and I will not allow myself to perish by a one-sided judgement from an arrogant man who delivers injustice!”
He applied more of his power and caused the angels to stager backwards and away from him while still clutching their throats. Lakshman was not trying to crush their necks, but was using his energy to choke them. It was a warning for them to not get near him as he slowly rose to his feet and face Ford.
“I’ve heard enough!” Ford shouted angrily and he stepped out from behind his desk. “Leave this murderous bastard to me!”
As the angels backed away in relief, the remaining members of the Nine Commandments of Light quickly rose to their feet. Comfy attempted to raise to her feet, but felt extremely lazy to apply her muscles. So, she remained sitting and watched the proceedings take place.
“Ford! We need to talk this through!” Free shouted at him in a firm voice.
Ford shook his head as he stared at Lakshman and said, “No more talking! It’s time to deliver the judgement!”
He began surging with power that caused the ground to quake violently, causing everyone to almost fall. While surging with power, he was surrounded by a golden-blue coloured aura, which was his Elemental Glow and represented his nature. With the nature of justice driven recklessness, Ford face Lakshman with a fierce expression on his face.
“In the name of justice, I bring you the judgement of death!” Ford bellowed and he charged at Lakshman at high speed.
Lakshman saw the Commandment of Justice flying towards him at high speed and remained motionless. As Ford reached his prey, he instantly pulled his sword out and attempted to cut Lakshman down vertically. At the very last second, Lakshman moved an unbelievable speed and dodged the swing of the sword before bring his right arm forward and grabbing Ford’s neck firmly.
“GAAFFFF!!” Ford exclaimed sharply and he dropped his sword from the choke hold Lakshman had him in.
The angered Phoenix Titan was holding the restrained Commandment of Justice in a tight choke hold in front. Ford attempted to free himself by trying pry free of the hands holding his neck tightly. Unable to make them budge, he attempted to attack Lakshman with various techniques, but the Phoenix Titan wordlessly activated Maga Distrab to counter them all.
Lakshman gave Ford one long powerful glance before throwing him aside as easy as throwing a rock. Ford flew away at high speed from the throw and smashed heavily into the side of the room wall. He lay in the rubble before he pulled himself out and staggered to his feet while rubbing his neck. Lakshman looked at him with a face filled with anger before turning to stare at the shocked members of the Nine Commandments of Light.
“I’m sorry that I used violence, but I was left with no choice,” said Lakshman and he sighed heavily.
He paused for a second before he spoke seriously to all of them.
“I came here to make friends with the Angel race that I foolishly fought against and pushed away in the ancient times. Yet, I came all this way to see that the angels still hold a great grudge against the Phoenix Clan for our mistake so long ago. On behalf the Phoenix Clan and all those that hurt you so long ago, we are truly sorry! Please! Find it in your hearts to forgive us of our mistakes made so long ago!”
All the angels in present were very surprised and so were the ones that were not visible. Lakshman did not know it yet, but everything happening there had been transmitted magically to the populace of the Heaven Continent. They were taken aback with surprise and were really not sure what they were supposed to do.
“Now, coming back to the point, I really don’t know how to prove myself, other than sharing my memory with all of you!” Lakshman said and shocked everyone present.
“What?!” Ben said in a shocked voice. “Share your memory… with us…?”
Happy suddenly looked alarmed by his words and she quickly said, “Please, don’t do that, Phoenix Titan! The God of Justice forbid the use of looking into one’s memory!”
“He forbid your race from using it, but not me!” Lakshman said sharply and surprised them all.
Before anymore objections could be raised, he clapped his hands together and loudly said, “Multi Cast: Memory Exchange!”
In an instant, their present view changed and they began to see streams of images fly in their minds. One by one, the images showed the pain, the struggle, the battle and the dialogues exchanged between the Voice of the Phoenix and the Phoenix Titan. Once they were over, they saw the exchange between the God Slayer and the Phoenix Titan, revealing the hand played by the mysterious God of Power.
Once the memory exchange finished, their view returned to normal and their eyes looked straight at Lakshman. They were very shocked at knowing of the support that the Phoenix Titan has from the God of Power. Only the angels, watching from their viewpoints at the broadcasting image, did not know what just happened. All they saw was them standing there, as still as statue, for a few minutes in silence.
“You’ve seen my memory, you’ve see what has happened and now, the judgement is up to you,” said Lakshman and he spread his arms in surrender. “As for me, I must leave and attend to my wives as something serious might be happening and if so, then they will need my assistance.”
With a slight bow of his head, he turned around and began walking away to the entrance way he entered through. Just before he left the room, he stopped and turned around to face them once more.
“I may make mistakes in trying to do good, but if there is hope, even if it’s a dying one, I will keep on fighting for it!”
With his last statement said and done, he turned around and left the room, leaving everyone in silence.
Hello there everyone and thank you for reading this chapter! The truth was that I was really sick yesterday and had to sleep almost the entire day because of it. Now, I’m feeling much better and I released all of my pent up energy on here. So, I hope that you liked the chapter and will want to see more as the story continues!