“A god is controlling my brother?!” Lakshman exclaimed sharply with a shocked look on his face. “What’s his name and where can I find him?!”
Engraut remained silent for a moment before replying, “Mmm… I suspect two gods being involved actually.”
Lakshman gritted his teeth in anger upon learning that there were two now and Dominic asked, “Two of them? Who are they? What are their names? Please tell, God of Energy. We beseech you.”
Seeing pure honesty from Dominic made Engraut smile as he replied, “Sure. I suspect the God of Trickery, Levi tricked your brother but I firmly believe it’s the God of Calamity, Climax that really controls your brother.”
The Phoenix Titan clenched his fists tightly and murmured, “Climax… Levi…” A moment later, he looked back at Engraut and asked, “Are they in the God Realm? Perhaps I can free him by defeating them!”
He immediately rose to his feet while saying so, but Engraut quickly waved him down with a serious expression on his face.
“Now you’re being stupid,” he said and surprised Lakshman. “Have you forgotten your experience after fighting the God of Justice? He beat you fairly well because he is stronger than you and even as you are right now, you’ll only end up facing the same predicament as before.”
“So what? My enemy isn’t the God of Justice and it shouldn’t involve him,” said Lakshman flatly.
Engraut shook his head and said, “That’s not the point.” He sighed and as Lakshman sat down, the God of Energy explained, “The God of Justice is certainly stronger than you, but Climax is far stronger than Sangrahan and you can’t even define the difference in their power levels!”
This small piece of information carried a lot of weight and it shocked Lakshman into widening his eyes. He could not believe such a god existed that even the God of Justice was no match against. It made him realise how weak he was and Engruat nodded his head in understanding after seeing his silent reaction.
“That’s why. Focus on gathering the Nine Pillars of Power and defeating your brother and his group of allies; the Nine Testaments of Darkness! You can take your anger and revenge against those two later,” Engraut said, firmly.
Lakshman nodded silently and remained motionless for a moment before asking, “How? How did they control him? That’s what that doesn’t make sense.”
Engruat shrugged his shoulders and replied, “I’m sorry, but I don’t know.” When Lakshman looked surprised at him, the God of Energy raised his hand in the air and said, “Hey. I’m just the God of Energy, not the God of Wisdom that should know such things. In fact, I doubt even the God of Wisdom would know about their techniques being they had never shown themselves to the rest of us.”
“They never did?”
“Yes. Including the God of Death, God of Power, Goddess of Destiny, The Creator and The Destroyer. None of them have ever made themselves known to us, other than the actions and legacy they leave behind in their wake.”
“Mmm… Must be trying to keep a low profile…” muttered Lakshman in a quiet voice.
Engraut smiled and decided to change the subject by asking, “By the way, I was under the impression that you are preparing for the soon to occur battle by gathering the Nine Pillars of Power. I thought you’d have gathered them by now.”
Lakshman looked up and smiled as he gestured at the seven as he said, “They are in this room the entire time.”
Engraut widened his eyes in surprise and turned around to take notice of each of them. Indeed, he was amazed at himself for being unable to detect how powerful they were, or that they were sitting with him the entire time. This caused him to chuckle with laughter before looking around at them all.
“I’m sorry everyone. I must be too focused on Lakshman that I totally missed you all,” he said apologetically and startled the others while Nara and Lagron remained unmoving in their frozen state. “My name is Engraut and I’m the God of Energy. How do you do?”
Sevedant nodded and replied, “I’m Sevedant. Death Titan.”
“I’m Ash and I go by as the Demon Titan,” replied Ash nervously as sweat began to appear on her skin.
“Hello, God of Energy. I’m Amaranda and I’ve been given the title of the Magic Titan,” said Amaranda telepathically in a very respectful voice.
“I’m Dominic Rutherford and I’m the Sword Titan,” said Dominic with a grin on his face.
Engraut looked around at them while they introduced themselves to him and nodded in reply while smiling at them. When the introduction ended with Dominic, Engraut pointed his finger at the two frozen warriors with raised eyebrows.
“That’s Nara, the War Titan and the arrogant one is Lagron, the Dragon Titan,” said Lakshman as he smirked at the end of introducing his rival.
“Hey! What do you mean I’m arrogant?! I’m awesome! You didn’t tell him how awesome I am!” Lagron said telepathically in an irritated voice.
Lakshman chuckled and said, “Introduce yourself with your self-proclaimed title, knucklehead.”
“How do you expect me to introduce myself staring at this stupid beast man?!” Lagron demanded telepathically and caused both Lakshman and Dominic to chuckle with laughter while making everyone else smile a little.
“Well! This group is certainly full of strangeness,” said Engraut and he winked at Lakshman before clapping his hands to get to the point. “So you’ve gathered seven so far. Does that mean you haven’t visited the Spirit Realm?”
Lakshman shook his head and said, “No. I was actually learning about what I must do when I meet the Spirit King. I just hope he isn’t the kind of person who’ll test me in my powers, or give me puzzling questions to answer.”
Engraut widened his eyes in surprise before bursting out in laughter. While everyone looked confused by his reaction, Engraut took a moment to calm down before being able to speak again.
“That’s funny. Yeah. He isn’t the kind to make you do battle against him because he’s weak and all, but he certainly does ask you trivia quiz about the creation of the world, regarding the planes, name all the gods in existence and answer several questions that makes you feel like you were in hell.”
Dominic and everyone were taken aback by his words and Lakshman asked, “Huh? That’s what he asks?” He groaned and muttered, “This is going to be tough.”
Engruat chuckled and said, “Don’t worry. I’ll help you out.”
“You will…? You’re a god though…” said Lakshman slowly with a concerned look on his face.
“What’s the hesitation for?” Engraut asked with a cheeky grin. “It’s not always one gets an active supportive help from a god.”
“Mmm. Actually, I’m happy you offered your help because it’ll speed things up,” said Lakshman and the two of them smiled at each other before rising to their feet.
“You’re leaving right now?” Dominic asked, rising to his feet with the others.
“I am so that we get this over with while he’s with us,” said Lakshman with a smile.
Dominic nodded in understanding and Lagron telepathically said, “Release me before you go!”
“No,” said Lakshman shortly.
“Dammit! Release me! I’m getting hungry!”
Lagron was getting frustrated and telepathically asked, “Why?! What did I do wrong that I deserve this kind of punishment?!”
Lakshman turned around and walked around to face him before he severely said, “You dared to power up inside my house! Did you even think how much damage this place would’ve taken?! I can forgive Nara for reacting the way he did because you were insulting his friend, who is also my best friend!”
Lagron seemed to be glaring at him from his frozen state as he telepathically replied, “Like I give a damn!”
“With that attitude, I doubt I’ll let you go!” Lakshman said and he instantly released Nara, who was caught by Dominic, before turning around and walking over to Engraut.
“Hey! Come back! Dammit! Stop!” Lagron shouted telepathically in a panicked voice as he realised his rival was really going to leave him like that. As Lakshman paused and turned around, Lagron seemed to hesitate for a moment before he telepathically said, “I’m sorry…”
Lakshman turned around and stared at him disapprovingly as he was not happy with the apology, but Dominic was satisfied and said, “Come on, Lakshman. Free him. He apologised to me after all.”
“Not the way I wanted him to apologise,” said Lakshman irritably.
Seeing his friend nod encouragingly at him, he sighed and released Lagron from his freeze state. The Dragon Titan sighed deeply as he fell forward and knelt on the floor of the house. He remained like that for a moment before clenching his fists in rage and turning around to leap towards his rival.
As he soared through the air, Lakshman moved quickly forward and grabbed his face with his hand and raised him up a little before slamming him hard onto the ground. A loud smashing sound was heard followed by the house shaking violently as the floor gave under the force of impact. The Dragon Titan lay there and moaned softly as he tried touching his back because of the pain.
“You better fix this up before my return!” Lakshman said in a powerful voice.
“D-Damn… you…” whispered Lagron as the stinging pain in his back had a slow recovery.
Lakshman ignored him as Sevedant spoke by saying, “Calm down. He’ll do it. You can go.”
“Thanks, Sevedant,” replied Lakshman with a smile and he walked over to Engraut before asking, “So, how are we going to the Spirit Realm? Should I open the Spirit Gate or something?”
Engraut winked and said, “No need. Just grab my shoulder and I’ll get us there faster than going through the Spirit Gate.”
“Oh,” responded Lakshman while looking surprised.
He merely placed a hand on his shoulder and was surprised when the two of them turned into light. Those lights transformed into blue butterflies and they quickly flapped their wings to fly out of the house and soar high into the air at great speed. It took them several seconds to pass through each and every plane before entering the Spirit Realm.
The butterflies soared towards a platform and gathered together to change into the forms of Lakshman and Engruat.
“Here we are. The Spirit Realm,” said the God of Energy brightly to Lakshman.
“Fascinating,” said Lakshman slowly in awe as he stared around the place. “We got here faster than I thought.”
“That’s God Speed for you,” said Engraut with a chuckle and made Lakshman smile.
The place they were at was the entrance and behind them was the vast space filled with white clouds and starry sky. A moment later, a few guards wielding tridents walked towards them and knelt down before Engraut as they knew he was a god.
“Take us to the Spirit King.”
Without another word, they rose to their feet and quickly walked forward with Engraut and Lakshman being right behind them.
At that moment, he telepathically connected with Lakshman and said in his mind, “Listen. When I meet with the Spirit King, make sure you don’t talk at all because I have a feeling we’ll end up in an argument and your support might just jeopardise my efforts being mortal and all.”
Lakshman was momentarily surprised before he smiled and thought, “I understand.”
While they walked through the hall, Lakshman was looking from side to side at the marvellous beauty and decoration that the place was decorated with. Meanwhile, small spirits kept passing by and some even nudged Lakshman in the face and he happily sent them onward.
The guards stopped a minute later in front of large pair of doors and pushed them open to allow them entry. Walking in, Lakshman felt a tremendous amount of spirit power circulating the hall and he looked towards the front to see a man, dressed in golden spirit armour, seated atop a large throne like chair. Hear had a long white beard and moustache with golden glowing eyes while he wore a golden crown on his head.
“Yo, Spirit King!” Engraut said casually and surprised Lakshman in the process. “How are you?”
“I am quite well. Thank you for asking,” replied the Spirit King and he had an impressive voice that was deep and resonating while he was looking at them. “What brings you and… the human here?”
“Human?” Engraut asked while laughing. “That’s funny. He’s actually the Phoenix Titan.”
“So I see,” said the Spirit King in response while he peered curiously at Lakshman. “What brings the both of you here?”
“Actually, we came to bring the Sun Titan and the Storm Titan with us,” said Engraut with a smug determined look on his face. “I suppose you’ll call them now to meet us up with them?”
The Spirit King narrowed his eyes and asked, “Pardon my rudeness, but what makes you think I would willingly let two of my strongest warrior go over to you? What possible reason is there for me to listen to your request in the first place?”
Lakshman narrowed his eyes suspiciously as he thought the Spirit King did not seem willing to listen to them. Engraut, also realising this, kept up an energetic smile as he responded smoothly.
“Their presence is needed because an important battle for survival is going to take place in two years. It’s a battle involving the Calamity Titan and the Phoenix Titan, but there’s more. The Calamity Titan is gathering the Eight Disasters and will surely enlist them into a group and help him fight against the Nine Pillars of Power.”
“Sevedant said their group is called the Nine Testaments of Darkness,” added Lakshman and Engraut nodded at him approvingly.
The Spirit King looked at the both of them and said, “I understand, but I cannot just let them come with you. The Phoenix Titan must prove himself worthy of being acquainted with them for they are strong, special and unique.”
At that moment, Engraut groaned audibly and said, “Seriously? More of your ridiculous riddles and questions? Come on. Can’t we just do something simple to speed up the matters?”
The Spirit King grew cross with Engruat and replied, “Protocol must be followed to the utmost and you must understand that being a god and all.”
His words were met with a serious attitude from Engraut as he replied, “I could simply go over to them directly and convince them without the need to follow these rules. If you say I’m breaking then, then perhaps I am because you’re being nit-picky about them. Rules are meant to be broken at the right time and place. This is the right time and if I must, I’ll happily break them.”
“Even if that means you make the God of Justice upset?”
“You’re wrong if you think he’ll get upset over something this simple. Throughout history, the God of Justice had breached many of his own rules for the greater good of the results. So, he will support my actions because I am doing what is necessary to help gather the Nine Pillars of Power that the Emperor of the World started!”
There was silence within the room with the Spirit King staring at Engraut and the God of Energy staring back at him. Lakshman looked between them and felt the intensity of their exchange as it made him smile a little.
“Very well. I will take your word and believe he is indeed worthy of having them in his presence,” said the Spirit King and with a wave of his hand, a white light meateralised within the room and it transformed into a kneeling man. “Bring me Azar and Tempest.”
The man nodded and disappeared in swirling white light in an instant. There were several seconds of silence in which nothing happened before the white light reappeared. As the man came into shape, two more lights followed behind; red and blue. They took the shape of two tall figures wearing impressive red and blue armour to match their element.
“You called us, Spirit King?” The two warriors asked him curiously.
He nodded at them and gestured towards Lakshman saying, “Yes. Tempest. Azure. Meet the Phoenix Titan, the leader of the Nine Pillars of Power.”
The two turned towards him and blinked in surprise while Lakshman responded by smiling at them. They turned their attention towards Engruat and were so surprised that their eyes widened in shock and they quickly walked forward to kneel before him.
“God of Energy! We are surprised that you are here,” said the blue armoured warrior.
“If you had called, we would’ve come immediately,” said the red armoured warrior.
Engraut chuckled and said, “That’s fine. You’re here now and it satisfies me to see you two. Please get up and introduce yourself to him.”
He gestured at Lakshman, the two of them nodded before rising to their feet and looking at Lakshman.
“Greeting, Phoenix Titan. I am Azure and I’ve been granted the title of the Sun Titan,” said the red armoured warrior with a firm look on his face.
“Hello, Phoenix Titan. My name’s Tempest and I’m the Storm Titan,” said the blue armoured warrior with a smile on his face.
Lakshman nodded at each other them and said, “Hello you two. My name’s Lakshman.”
He extended his hand out as a greeting and the two warriors stared at it in surprise. A moment later, they stepped forward and each shook hands firmly with him before stepping away. Lakshman was a little confused why they initially hesitated to shake his hand, but it pleased him to see them shake his hand as he understood that they accepted his gesture of friendship.
“Okay. I think everything is done and we can go back now,” said Engraut and Lakshman nodded at him.
Azure and Tempest turned around to face the Spirit King and said, “We’re leaving.”
The Spirit King nodded at them and said, “Okay. Take care of yourselves and perform your duties to the utmost! Never fail the pride of the spirits!”
With that, the four of them left the room and were escorted to the outside of the Spirit Realm platform before bowing to them and leaving. Engraut asked the three of them to just place a hand on his shoulders and they did before they transformed into lights of butterflies and soared quickly towards the Physical Plane. It took them several more seconds before reaching their world and arriving at Lakshman’s home.
“Phew! Thank goodness nothing terrible happened,” said Engraut after breathing a sigh in relief after they turned back into their forms.
“Yes. You did a good job. Thanks,” said Lakshman as he complemented the gods before looking at the two spirit titans that came with them.
“Wow… So, this is the world of the Phoenix Titan…” said Tempest while looking around with interest.
Azure, on the other hand, faced the direction of the sun with his arms wide open and breathed deep before saying, “Incredible. The power of the sun is so great! I can feel new energy coursing inside of me!”
“That’s good for you,” said Tempest, jokingly with a smile on his face before turning to Lakshman. “Phoenix Titan. I like this scenery of peace and harmony. Reminds me of our home in the Spirit Realm.”
“I’m glad you think so,” replied Lakshman with a smile. “Also, call me Lakshman or Lucky. I really don’t like my allies or friends constantly referring to me by my title.”
“Oh… Then… Lakshman… Um…” said Tempest slowly as he could not make up his mind on how to call him.
“Why the name ‘Lucky’? Is there a meaning or influence behind that name?” Azure asked after turning to face him.
“Yes. It’s the literal definition of my name and most got accustomed to calling me that since it’s a little easier to call than my name.”
“I see. Then, I will call you Lucky. Feels easier when you compared to the difficulty of pronouncing your name right,” said Azure and he returned the smile.
“I also agree,” said Tempest, nodding his head in agreement.
As Lakshman smiled at them, Engraut chuckled and said, “Well, Lucky does suit him because he’s been lucky in almost everything he’s been through.”
“Yeah. Somehow,” said Lakshman and he smiled while shrugging his shoulders. “I really don’t know why I’m so lucky to be honest. Maybe it’s to do with the Divine Protection that several gods blessed me with, or that I have a truly gifted life with great wives and sisters?”
Engraut smiled and stated, “Just call it destiny. It’s your destiny to be lucky for all the good deeds you’ve performed. Uniting the world by stopping war, sacrificing your life in the past and again repeating the process without looking back. It takes a strong and iron will to do what you do.”
“Mmm,” said Lakshman and he merely smiled without saying anything.
At that moment, Sumara, Ondine and Sonia walked out of the house to welcome them with smiles on their faces. Lakshman looked at them and he smiled warmly back at them as seeing them made him feel instantly happy. Engraut noticed this and smiled at them as well before walking towards them with the rest.
“That was quick,” said Sonia with a surprised look at them while Sumara eyed the two strangers behind their husband.
“When you have a god on your side, things are easily completed with little effort,” said Engraut energetically with a grin on his face.
“Who are they?” Sumara asked curiously, staring at the strangers as they stared back nervously at her.
“This is Azar, the Sun Titan and this is Tempest, the Storm Titan,” said Lakshman, introducing them to his wives and the two warriors politely greeted them before his wives greeted them back in equal politeness.
Ondine turned to Engraut and thanked him by saying, “Thank you for your help. It means a lot to us.”
“Your welcome,” he replied with a smile before sighing deeply. “To be honest, my wife, the Goddess of Love, Jena, was not all that happy that I was coming here to help you. She seriously worried my actions in helping your husband out will change all of your fates set by the Goddess of Fate.”
Ondine blinked in surprise as Lakshman asked, “Wait! Then, doesn’t that mean it’s a serious offense?”
Engraut shook his head firmly and stated, “There is nothing wrong with lending you all a help since the enemy is being aided by a god as well.”
“I see your point,” replied Lakshman with a smile on his face.
“Mmm and with that, I’ll be taking my leave,” said Engraut and surprised everyone.
“Already?” Sumara asked with a bewildered look on her face.
“Can’t you stay a bit longer and have some of our cooking? You haven’t even eaten anything the last time you visited us,” said Ondine with a sad look on her face.
Engraut smiled softly and replied, “I wish, but my task is done. I’ve told you all that I know and I must leave. The Creator didn’t allow the gods any more time than that to stay, unfortunately. Besides, my wife would be expecting me to be back soon and I don’t want to alert the others of my presence here.”
“Mmm,” said Lakshman, nodding in understanding of him indirectly referring to the evil gods.
“It’s rude to send off our guest without feeding them… Mmm… If that is the case, then promise you’ll visit us more often so that you can try out our cooking,” said Ondine, holding her hand out for him to promise on.
He was surprised by her words and he stared at her hand for a moment before shrugging his shoulders and placing his hand on it. At that moment, a powerful magic was invoked and an energy band wrapped itself around their hands before tying itself on top of their hands to seal the promise.
“What just happened?” Sumara asked with a puzzled look on her face.
“When a god makes a promise, it becomes an unbreakable promise that must be kept at all costs,” explained Lakshman with a smile on his face while remising his past. “I once had it done by the God of Wisdom, Whamana, promising me he would teach me about the world after defeating him.”
Sumara looked very amazed as Sonia said softly, “Interesting.”
“Okay. As per my promise, I’ll come by for some of the delicious cooking,” said Engraut and he winked at her. “Now, I will take my leave.” He turned to Lakshman and said, “Good luck. I’d like to see how far you’ve come the next time I visit.”
Lakshman smiled and in a firm voice, he replied, “Sure.”
With a nod at him and a smile, Engraut transformed into light butterflies and they looked at them slowly soar into sky and a few seconds later, they increased their speed and disappeared.