The sun was shining high in the sky with only few clouds to obscure it every now and then while the wind blew gently around. On the surface of the world, the wild creatures stayed away from attention and moved cautiously because they could sense the tension in the year. Two years had gone by and the promised Phoenix Calamity War was about to begin, causing the animal sensors to ring with alarm.
In these two years, the warriors prepared themselves with intensive training and advancing their skills. The Phoenix Titan tired his best to ask help from every race possible and only a handful of races to fight against the common foe, which includes:
- Phoenix Clan
- Dragon Clan
- Floria Kingdom
- Ashtra Kingdom
- Mardana Kingdom
- Monkaggy Beast Clan
- Deigra Beast Clan
- Camdra Beast Clan
- Simhara Beast Clan
- Orcana Beast Clan
- High Elves
- Forest Elves
Cantia travelled around the Human Continent together with Ondine and Sonia to rally the surviving Camdra Beast Clan and the Deigra Beast Clan, who luckily escaped from the destruction of the Rodfox Kingdom. Ondine went with her, hoping to find other of her Water Spirits, but was gravely upset upon discovering that they got caught up in the destruction. Though they did not treat her properly, she still felt they were a part of her family because of the original Ondine spirit infused within her.
Sumara travelled with Lakshman to the small island that the Manjuvad Demon Clan were moved to for safety sake. While there, she was happy to see them again and found that they had really grown in defending themselves, making her smiles proudly at them. After the welcome speech was done, she asked them curiously if they would be willing to join the war effort and was surprised to meet many willing to go along with her. It was, however, the Clan Chief who stated that they cannot participate.
“I’m sorry, Sumara,” he had said, looking sadly at her. “I wish we could help, but we’ve only mastered our skills enough to hunt for fish and protect ourselves. There is no way we could do much in a situation like war and we might even become a burden to you.”
With those words, he held his head down in shame, shocking her for a moment before she quickly replied, “No! No! Not at all! You aren’t that terrible, chief! Please, don’t put yourselves down like that.”
“Yes. Please don’t do that because it won’t help your morale,” said Lakshman, stepping in to support his wife with a smile on his face. “I do understand what you mean and you don’t to worry about it. I’m not forcing anyone to join, but I am requesting those with the capability of making a change to lend us a hand so there is no shame in accepting one’s weakness.”
While everyone smiled at him and nodded head in understanding, the clan chief chuckled and replied, “You are as kind as ever. I must thank you, once again, for bringing us to such a safe and wonderful place to live at.”
Lakshman placed a hand on his chest and said, “You are the family of my wife and you automatically become my family as well. It’s my duty to protect my family.” As they smiled at him happily, he sadly thought, “It’s the least I can do because of the real family that I failed to protect.”
Rumble and Darian Ronald visited the Monkaggy Beast Clan and quickly got them to join the war effort, but they still held their resentment towards Rumble for deserting the clan tradition. Rumble did not care much for their words and only came along because Darian forced him.
“The Strength Ring is a sacred artefact of the God of Strength whom we worship,” the chief said angrily while staring at Rumble. “You are, like everyone in our clan, was given one to serve a great purpose of and you showed it off by fighting in the Human Demon War! After that, you lost yourself in your arrogance and engaged in unworthy activities that completely stopped the ring from functioning! You’re a disgrace!”
“Look, old man! I may have been a bit reckless then, but I’ve changed! Can’t you tell?” Rumble asked, looking very annoyed with his arms folded.
The old Clan Chief furrowed his eyebrows and said, “No. You are still the same reckless man that you were back then! If you did change, then why is it that you aren’t wearing the Strength Ring now?!”
“That’s because he gave it to me,” said Darian, cutting in between Rumble and the Clan Chief. “He said it’s better that I hold onto it since it doesn’t seem to work for him, except in times when there’s danger and he needs to grow to a massive size.”
“What?! It doesn’t function like that!” the Clam Chief exclaimed, sharply. “In the old scriptures, the ring bestows upon the righteous warrior of our clan the gift from the God of Strength! You don’t just grow big; you acquire increased strength, speed and stamina that you we could never achieve normally!”
Rumble snorted and said, “There’s some truth to it, but not all of it and do you know why? It’s because… the ring only acts as a medium to allow us to grow to really large size. After that, a special incantation is needed to activate the hidden powers of the ring, giving us exactly what you stated. The ring is magical, but the gift it bestows upon is not really true since it requires magic words for activation.”
When the Clan Chief continued to look disbelieving, Rumble sighed and said, “Don’t believe me? Ask the Phoenix Titan and he’ll confirm it since he used magic words on the ring and it increased my strength and speed by a certain amount! Anyway, just watch me fight and then, believe it!”
With that, he began to walk away and left Darian sighing to himself while the Clan Chief stared after him in disbelief.
The Magic Titan, Amaranda Lefrity, left on her familiar, the Spirit Turtle, and arrived at an undisclosed location where the High Elf Kingdom was located. Her people feared her because of the title she carried, but it also allowed her immediate audience with the High Elven King, whom she informed about the incoming war. He was a bit sceptical and asked that he meet with the Phoenix Titan, to which she agreed.
Sonia briefly left her home and headed up to her previous home, the floating continent known as the Heaven Continent. Arriving there, she was greeted by several guards that allowed her to immediately meet with her Godfather, Evander Megalos, who was the current Angel King. She informed him of the upcoming war and he quickly agreed to provide support.
“The thing is, the Angels are a little divided right now whether to trust or fear the Phoenix Titan from the recent actions. I’m still focused in deep paper work and meeting to try convince the leaders of each area of his trustworthiness,” said Evander, sighing as he looked at the pile of papers on his desk.
“Then, what about a peace meeting?” Sonia suggested, making him blink at her in surprise. “Listen, godfather. We could, you know, simply arrange for a peace meeting with the Phoenix Clan and publically announce the friendship that you’re trying to forge with him. I’m sure my husband will agree to this peace meeting since he’s changed a lot since back then and will surely make a good impression so that the people can put trust in him.”
“Mmm… That’s an interesting idea, Sonia. Well done!” he said, congratulating her with a few claps of her hand and making her laugh. “Okay. I’ll arrange for a peace meeting and global announcement of our partnership for the upcoming war!”
“Sounds good! I’ll get going now and inform him about this,” she said, smiling sweetly.
He looked surprised and asked “You could stay a little bit? It had been a while since I last saw you…”
Her godfather missed her company and wanted to sit down to talk to her about the events down on the ground. Unfortunately, it looked like his reunion with her would have to wait because she shook her head with a sad smile on her face.
“Sorry, godfather, but I have to return. My home is down there now so I can’t really stay here, but you’re free to come by anytime. Everyone will be pleased to meet my godfather after experiencing a nasty meeting the last time.” As he chuckled, she curiously asked, “What about… father? How is he?”
Evander shook his head and sadly said, “Sorry, Sonia. There’s no recovery. The doctors are saying there is no recovery when everything is empty in his head.”
“Oh… Well, I suppose that’s the punishment he received for acting so badly,” replied Sonia, who looked saddened by the news.
She did care for her father, who was the only directly related family to the angels she had other than her godfather. Despite his wrong doings, she still felt it in her heart to forgive him because of what he had become after experiencing a complete wipe-out. After smiling at her godfather one final time, she turned around and was escorted back so that she could return home and inform her husband of the plan.
The Orcana Beast Clan were brought into the fold of the war by a visit that Sumara and Lakshman made after their visit to the island inhabited by the Manjuvad Demon Clan. They sea-land dwelling creatures proved to be a quick study and said they understood what was to come before challenging both of them to a battle.
It seemed the Clan Chief of the Orcana Beast Clan wanted to test the two and deem them worthy to follow them. The two of them quickly showed off their skills by defeating various warriors of the clan and winning their respect. In the end, they decided to do their own training on Bazaraka Continent by themselves and join them during the war, to which the both of them agreed.
Finally, the inclusion of the Mardana Kingdom, Dragon Clan and the Simhara Beast Clan to participate in the war came out from a strange twist of fate. The truth of the matter of making them join had come down to three people Zen Phylon the Phoenix Emperor, Lagron Rodraigun the Dragon Titan and Nara Simhara the War Titan.
“What?! You want me to go to my clan and ask them to join our cause?!” Nara asked, looking shocked.
“Why would I bother going back to my clan to make them join when I don’t care about them anymore?” Lagron asked, flatly with his arms crossed.
“Um… I don’t know how I could convince them when you failed, Lakshman,” said Zen, looking hesitant at the prospect.
All three of them sat on chairs facing Lakshman, who was wearing a disgruntled expression on his face after receiving their responses. He knew from the start that he might have to deal with recruiting those specific three groups, but he could not because he had to concentrate on his training and meeting with several officials from the other races.
He sighed wearily and said, “Listen, you three. If I had the time, I could go personally to get them to join us, but I’m busy! Why do you think I’m having Cantia, Ondine, Amaranda, Rumble, Darian and even Phintex Rajas scouting for warriors capable of helping through the war?!”
“I don’t know…? Probably because you’re weak?” Lagron suggested, sneeringly.
Lakshman glanced at him irritably and replied, “I’d like to see you do my job.”
Lagron laughed and said, “No thanks.”
His rival stared at him for a moment in silence before he addressed the three by saying, “Anyway, I’m buys guys and you’ll have to take up the mantle of responsibility of convincing them to join us.”
“Oh. I can understand how busy your schedule is, but to ask me to go meet up with the Mardana Kingdom’s officials?” Zen asked, looking nervous. “They showed little interest, or even regard for joining up with you since they think you’re a mass killer for destroying the Demon Continent.”
Lakshman smiled a little and said, “Mmm. They do and it’s our job to change their minds.” His voice changed to somewhat serious as he continued to say, “Think of this as practice for you to grow up as the Phoenix Emperor, Zen. How did you think Felix progressed and kept friendly relationships while I was not here? How did he keep the peace around the kingdoms even before I was born? See what I mean?”
At his words, Zen slowly nodded his head in understanding and replied, “You’re right. Felix did possess a great about of authority and power as well as influence over others. Since I’m just newly given that right, I need to improve myself to, hopefully, be like him one day.”
“Also,” added Lakshman and Zen looked at him curiously as he said, “remember that when I’m not here, the Phoenix Emperor is the leader of the Phoenix Clan. That means you. See?” Zen widened his eyes in shock at the daunting task put on his shoulder and Lakshman smiled reassuringly as he said, “This might be lot to ask for from someone inexperienced, but it’s your duty as the Phoenix Emperor.
Felix entrusted you with the role before going off to face our enemy and I believe in his judgement. He saw the potential in you and now, it’s your turn to prove him right. Besides, I requested the King of Ashtra Kingdom to lend you a hand to convince King of Mardana Kingdom so you’re not alone here. Okay? So, be confident and achieve success as the Phoenix Emperor that you’ve been entitled with.”
Zen remained motionless for a moment in silence before he nodded quietly and said shortly, “Okay.”
Lakshman smiled before turning towards Nara, who was looking sulkily at him, and asked, “Nara, I don’t know what happened between you and your clan, but we need their help. It’s necessary.”
Nara furrowed his eyebrows with seriousness and replied, “They killed my parents and even tried to kill me. How can you expect me to go back to convince those… savage people?!”
His demanding words were met with an understanding look on Lakshman’s face, who replied, “Their savagery is in you and it won’t go away because you came from that clan. Dominic told me about how you once lost yourself in your rage at childhood and almost killed the kids that bullied you. It’s pretty much the same.”
Nara looked unhappy as he furrowed his mouth, making Lakshman smile smoothly at him as he spoke words of encouragement.
“Let me give you an advice; keep the mistake on the other foot. Let the mistake be on the other side. You say you don’t like to go back, but you’re repeating the mistake of your clan. They hate you for your savagery and you hate them for their savagery. As far as I am concerned, you’re repeating what they did to you. Instead, become the change and make your people understand you so that you get along.”
The War Titan looked at him in surprise while Lakshman looked back at him with a smile before Lagron said irritably, “Idiot, they’re your clan and from what I’ve heard, you maintained discipline for some time in it after becoming the Clan Chief. That’ll make things easier and also, express yourself to your clan instead of keeping it to yourself and maintaining secrecy. I think you see why the Phoenix Clan obeys this idiot so easily despite him being a failure of a leader!”
“Knucklehead…” said Lakshman, looking wearily at his rival. “I made mistakes in the past and I resolved to not repeat them again this time, which is why I’m trying to maintain as much friendship between each other.”
“Didn’t look that way with your conversation with the Mardana Kingdom in the meeting a few days ago.”
“We… have a negative history because of the war they threw at us a while back, costing Venezuela her father and the king of Floria Kingdom. Anyway, I didn’t do anything and just told him to not get in my way and now, I’m asking Zen and the Ashtra Kingdom to help out forming good relationships with them.”
Lagron snorted and said, “That’s going to be easy.”
Lakshman stared at him seriously and said, “Yes. Which reminds me, you still need to bring your clan along.”
“Didn’t I say earlier? I don’t care about my clan anymore. I’m just part of this Nine Pillars of Power now. Besides, aren’t you forgetting the Dragon Clan hates the Phoenix Clan? What makes you think they’ll come anyway even if I commanded them?”
His rival smiled and replied, “The Four Dragon Kings will see to it that the Dragon Clan will come helping out in the war. All you got to do is head over to your clan, reveal the truth of your exile and change their minds about the Phoenix Clan being enemies and the Four Dragon Kings will do the rest.”
“I already told the Four Dragon Kings the truth,” said Lagron and Lakshman looked surprised. “Their king, a descendent of mine, was waiting for us to ambush us and kill u, but I easily beat him up and told the Dragon Kings the truth.” He spat with an angry look on his face and clenched his fists before he said, “Still, my own descendent got defeated by me so easily…! They’re weak! Pathetically weak and they’re supposed to be the strongest warrior clan around!”
“Times have changed and the people gotten softer over the years,” said Lakshman with a smile. “That’s why, everyone must train for the next two years to become as strong as possible. We have to do everything with our powers to make everyone come together for one sole purpose; saving the world!”
Lagron stared at him unhappily and sighed before he said, “Fine…! I’ll go, but just this once! Next time, when you want something done, go do it yourself!”
“Thanks, knucklehead. I appreciate it a lot!” Lakshman replied, appreciatively before turning to Nara. “Do what you must to change the mind of your people to come to accept you as being one of them. It isn’t hard.” While Nara nodded in agreement wordlessly, Lakshman turned back to Zen, who was still looking nervous and said, “You’ll be fine, Zen. Just go along with the people that come from Ashtra Kingdom.”
“Okay, Lakshman. I’ll take your word,” said Zen, finally managing to smile at him.
With that, the three of them went over to convince their individual parties so that they join their war. For Lagron, it was surprisingly easy as the entire Dragon Clan was informed about the circumstances from the Four Dragon Kings and they, in turn, looked towards the Dragon Titan for leadership.
“Get me to become the leader of the Dragon Clan again?!” Lagron exclaimed, sharply in shock. “You got to be kidding me! I specifically left the clan because I didn’t want to rule you guys again! So, why?!”
“Please, sir. You are the only one whom we can rely on now that the present king proved to be a misguided,” said the Water Dragon King, Waddit, looking imploring at him.
“It’s part of your duty as the one that once led the clan to take over the charge when the duty of another king fails. Isn’t that part of the tradition?” Gurret, the Earth Dragon King, had telepathically asked.
“Quite frankly, I’m not pleased to elect you since you don’t seem to care, but it’s to meet the needs of our clan!” Fizard, the Fire Dragon King, said in an irritable voice.
As Lagron continued to hesitate, Aidek, the Air Dragon King, spoke up by saying, “They wanted to elect me for the role, but I’m not worthy of it. I’m just a Dragon King and there’s nothing more that I wish to become. So, please… You are the worthy leader, ruler and master of the Dragon Clan as you once were in the ancient times!”
The Dragon Titan was surprised and he momentarily turned to look at the Air Dragon King with an impressed look on his face before he smiled proudly and said, “Why not? You’re all literally begging me and refusing would just, you know, make me seem more like the bad guy. So… yeah! I’ll happy retake my role as your ruler!”
Meanwhile, the task of changing their minds for Zen was proving to be a task requiring a lot of patience. They held another Kingdom Kings Meeting and in it, the Ashtra Kingdom King did his utmost to convince the Mardana Kingdom King, who seemed to be less than enthusiastic about the partnership.
“I thought the Phoenix Titan would show up and instead, we get this guy again?” the king had asked, eyeing Zen with a look of utter disinterest.
Zen looked uncomfortable when Venezuela nudged him from the side and muttered, “Stay strong! You’re the Phoenix Emperor! Exert your presence more and show them your authority!”
He was a little taken aback and was reminded of the encouraging words from Lakshman, which made him braver as he opened his mouth and said firmly, “I’m sorry if my presence here is making you uncomfortable, but the fact is our leader is a very busy man with much more important jobs than you don’t realise.”
“Like what? Training? Exercising? Going around and blowing stuff up?” the Mardaba Kingdom King asked, sarcastically while looking annoyed.
Zen flinched at his words, but he managed to retain his cool and replied, “No. He’s attending a meeting with the Angel King and the High Elven King for peace meeting and partnership for the war.”
His words were met with surprise from the other party while the Ashtra Kingdom King smiled knowingly, who was informed before the meeting. He was very amazed at how much connection and power of authority the Phoenix Titan had to be able to speak with people from those races. This caused him to respect the Phoenix Titan even more for the achievements he was achieving compared to so many others.
“He’s meeting up with those two…? Seriously…?” the Mardana Kingdom King had asked, looking mightily surprised. “Now, I would really like you to think about the future of our world and help us through the war because all the help we can get will surely supress the enemy’s advance!”
Afterwards, it became pretty easy to convince the Mardana Kingdom King, who seemed to be overwhelmed by the fact of the Phoenix Titan meeting with the Angels and the High Elves. It seemed that, even without him being there, his actions carried a lot of weight and helped Zen form the Union of Humanity to fight in the war.
Nara, on the other hand, was facing a bit of dilemma in trying to get his clansmen to understand the situation. He had gone to meet the Simhara Beast Clan in the village with Dominic accompanying him because he felt his friend needed company for support. Upon their arrival at the village, the clansmen went into a rage and tried attacking him only to wind up getting beaten up pretty badly.
While the families of the beaten warriors converged to treat their wounds, Nara took a stand and shouted, “Listen! I didn’t come here to fight; I came to make you join something,” and he explained the situation to them in a loud clear voice.
Once he was finished, there was complete silence within the area before someone asked loudly, “Will be strong enemies to do battle with?”
“Certainly!” Nara replied, rolling his eyes in exasperation.
“How strong is the enemy?” someone else demanded.
“Very, very strong!” Nara stated, flatly.
“The enemy’s going to be strong!”
“This is exciting!”
“From the excited looks on their faces and shouts, it was pretty obvious that the Simhara Beast Clan would be joining the war. The enthusiasm lasted for almost a minute before people slowly turned to face him with looks of seriousness on their faces.
“We will join, but… will you also be there…?” one of them asked, suspiciously.
“Naturally! I’m part of the Nine Pillars of Power!” Nara replied, looking irritably at them. “So, don’t interfere or get in my way! Also, I’ll come every now and then to check on you to see if you’re getting stronger since you guys like to train by yourselves!”
The one, who asked the question, blinked in surprise and asked, “Why? We hate you and you hate us!”
“I certainly do, but,” began Nara while Dominic blinked at him worriedly, “I’m still part of the Simhara Beast Clan and if it weren’t for the clan, my parents wouldn’t have been born and I certainly wouldn’t have been born.”
The clansmen looked surprised as he continued to say, “Seriously, though, I hate this clan because you had my parents killed for the punishment of my savagery, then what about your savagery towards me?! I was soft, weak and always kept to myself until I was pushed over by the bullies and I showed them how savage I am!”
He pointed a finger at all of them and said, “You feared me, hated me and wanted to get rid of me because of almost killing the kids! If that’s the case, then I can do the same to you for what you’ve done to me since my childhood!” He waved his hand around and bellowed, “Every damn idiot in this entire clan should just face my kind of situation and understand how I felt way back then!
Still, I didn’t want to become like you when I finally got released from my isolation for ten years! I wanted to be different and that’s why I defeated the rulers, all the warriors and reigned as the strongest warrior in our clan and for what? To keep you all under leash? Yes, to a certain extent, but I wanted to try get along with you all because I know that’s what my parents would’ve wanted from me.”
Everyone blinked in surprise and shock after hearing his heartfelt speech, including Dominic who stood slightly behind him. The feelings he was feeling were genuine as he truly had wanted to get along with his clan, but they turned a blind eye to him and only followed him because of his strength. The Simhara Beast Clan were not heartless; they are just that much more focused on themselves way too much.
Nara looked at Dominic briefly before turning back to face everyone and said, “So, while I do hate you for what you’ve done to me, I still wish for your safety and victory in the coming war.” He turned around and said, “So, till next time, train hard and become stronger than what you are currently. It’s the least I can hope that you accomplish for the sake of yourselves and the world.”
With that, he turned around and began walking away from the village quickly with Dominic right behind them. For some reason, instead of flying away, Nara chose to walk away from the village as fast as he could. A few seconds later, Dominic caught up with this friend and noticed the conflicting feelings being shown on his face.
“That was an amazing speech!” Dominic said, encouragingly. “It looked like all of your feelings came out at once.”
Nara nodded and said, “I’m sorry that I shouted at them when I came here to get them to help out in the war, but I sort of lost myself to my feelings and shouted at them. I hate them, but I… I don’t hate my clan because I’m part of it and that’s what defined who I am. Still, I couldn’t take their reckless attitude anymore and release some of my feelings though shouting.” He sighed deeply and asked, “I wonder what Lakshman would think after learning about my shouting.”
“Well, at least we managed to brighten up their spirits to look forward to war with the demons,” said Dominic, encouragingly with a smile on his face. “Plus, you told those people how you were feeling and that’s understandable. We’re not dolls to work like we were made to; we’re living beings with feelings and emotions so I’m confident Lakshman will not be all that upset.”
Nara glanced sidelong at his best friend’s smiling face and simply replied, “Thanks, Dom.”
A while later, the Phoenix Titan visited the Angel King and the High Elf King, declaring his peace with them and agreeing to the terms of declaration for participating in the war. Lakshman accepted the terms easily, which was mostly about sharing resources and the final term the disbanding of the alliance once the war ends regardless of how it ended.
“Mmm. I still think this alliance should continue after the war,” said Lakshman to his wives, looking a little disappointedly when he returned home a week after attending both meetings.
“It is good that they agreed to help out,” said Sonia, reassuringly with a soft smile.
“I think I can understand why they’d want to keep to themselves considering both are pretty special,” said Erza, looking understandingly at the situation. “After all, one is a race of Angels and the other is a race of High Elves. Both sided secluded to themselves for a long time from what I’ve read in historical books.”
He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Oh well. At least, we managed to gather a lot of allies with some about of difficulty. I mean, it’s actually not bad since we’ve finally reached this point.”
Thus, these events eventually led to the formation of the World Alliance consisting of multiple races and clans across the world. At the head of them was the Nine Pillars of Power as the symbol of hope and resistance against the evil that was going to threaten the safety of their world and so the training began.