Three Days Later
Lakshman found himself lying in bed. It was a few minutes earlier when he finally awoke. At that time, he blinked several times in confusion as the sun streamed through the curtains. He gingerly sat upright and, looking around, he realised where he was; in his room.
He sighed and rubbed his eyes, feeling drowsy. Then he wondered what he was doing in bed. Thinking back, he remembered cutting up the monster into pieces and incinerated them with a mighty energy beam cannon.
“I must’ve slept off after that,” he muttered.
Then he turned and looked at the closed curtains. It was bright outside, but the closed curtains allowed a soft glow of light to penetrate through them. He sighed once more when he realised just how powerful the technique, that he used, was.
Just then, the door to his open flung open. Looking around, he saw Ondine walk in with a concerned expression on her face. However, it quickly by a bright smile once she saw him sitting up on bed.
“Master!” she said excitedly and she quickly moved over to him.
“Ondine,” he said and he smiled at her.
She continued to smile once she reached him. Then, slowly, her expression changed to utmost anger.
“You are such an idiot!”
Lakshman winced when she suddenly shouted at him. He reflexively brought his hands up to cover his ears as she continued shouting at him.
“I heard from Felix about that technique you used! Seriously?! What were you thinking?! It was so powerful, it almost sucked up all the energy you had and that also included your spiritual energy!”
“C-Calm down, Ondine,” he said, attempting to stop her, but she went shouting on.
“On top of that, there was the risk that you might have died if anything went wrong! Do you not care about your life that much?! Is dying just to fulfil your pride is all the reason to using it?!”
“Ondine… please…!” he finally said loudly in a pleading voice when he could no longer take her shouting.
She stopped speaking and looked surprised. Then, realising what she had done, she quickly sat down on the chair and bowed deeply.
“F-Forgive me, master!” she said apologetically with her head bowed. “I-I didn’t mean to… uh… speak to you in such a… um… manner! I-I was very… worried when you didn’t wake up for a while!”
“It’s fine,” he said softly. “It just goes to show how worried you were about me.”
Still looking upset, she nodded wordlessly at his words. Smiling, he moved his left hand and started rubbing her on the head. Previous experience told him that she liked being rubbed on the head like this.
“So… How long was I sleeping for?” he asked as he took his hand off her head.
She looked up and faced him before saying “You’ve been asleep for nearly three days, master.”
“Wow! Three days?!” he exclaimed in surprise at her words. When she nodded, he said “Wow… I must’ve been really out of it for these last three days…”
“Everyone has been really worried when you didn’t wake up, even a day after being healed by Felix.”
“I see,” he said thoughtfully as he looked down at his hands. Then he looked up at her and asked “How is everyone? Are they okay? Are they safe?”
“There was minimal damage and, thanks to your efforts in defeating the monster, no one was killed,” she said reassuringly with a bright smile.
“That’s good,” Lakshman said with a smile.
Seeing how happy he looked, Ondine suddenly made a frown on her face as she asked “Master, why did you use that technique? Didn’t you know it would do what it did?”
“Well… sort of,” he said hesitantly and he scratched the back of his head uncomfortably. “You see… I didn’t know what the technique was until I was about to use it.”
“Eh?!” she exclaimed in shock. “B-But then… how did you…?”
“I heard it from Tetra as the only solution in that situation.”
“Tetra?” she asked, puzzled by the name. “Who’s that?”
“That’s the short name I call her by, but I think she is also called the Phoenix Blade.”
“Oh… The Phoenix Blade,” she said and her eyes narrowed. “I don’t like the fact that she did not tell you what might happen!”
He simply smiled as he said “I believe she just didn’t think it would be advisable to tell me. I mean, I might panic or refuse to use it.”
“Even so…” she said with complicated expression on her face.
“Anyway, what’s the time? I’m hungry!” Lakshman said with a grin in his face as his stomach suddenly growled loudly.
“It’s past morning, but Lakshmi will make your favourite food if you hurry,” Ondine said, smiling at his stomach’s growl.
He tried to get out of bed, but found that he could not move. He found that he could not move his right arm. Then he tried pulling, but he could not budge it. It was as if something was holding his arm down.
“What’s wrong, master?” Ondine asked, watching him tugging at his arm.
“Um… my arm… I can’t move it,” he said while he continued to tug his right arm.
Then they heard a small moan from underneath the bed sheet. Looking puzzled, Lakshman lifted the covers and was shocked by what he found.
There, lying on the bed asleep was a girl. The girl was wearing a gown that fit her body which was similar in height to Lakshman. She was sleeping peacefully with her red hair lying beside her while holding his arm tightly to her chest.
“Um…” he said and hesitated, unsure about what to do.
“Master…? What is… the meaning… of this?” Ondine said in an ominous tone.
“Um…” he said and hesitated when he turned to look at her.
Ondine was wearing a mysterious expression on her face, but the aura surrounding her suddenly became tense. For some reason, he was feeling killing intent emanating from her. Startled, he looked at her, then at the sleeping girl and then back at Ondine.
“I… I’m not sure,” he said while he smiled as if not sure what else to say.
Truthfully, he did not know who this sleeping girl was. He does not remember who she was or what she was doing in his bed. Moreover, he could not remember ever letting such a girl sleeping beside him.
The girl suddenly made a noise and she slowly sat up on bed while still holding his arm. She blinked a few times and then yawned widely with her hand covering her mouth. Then her eyes remained half open as she turned to look at them.
“Oh…?” she said when she first laid her eyes upon Ondine who had a complicated expression on her face. Then the girl suddenly smiled brightly when her eyes lay upon Lakshman. She suddenly pressed his arm tightly against her chest as she said “Good morning, master!”
“Eh?!” Lakshman exclaimed, looking bewildered at what she called him by.
“Master?!” Ondine said incredulously at the girl. “What do you mean ‘master’?!”
Ignoring Ondine, the girl continued to stare at Lakshman with eyes brimming with excitement as she earnestly said “I had been waiting to meet you at last, master!”
“W-Were you…” Lakshman said uncertainly.
“Yes!” the girl said excitedly. She made a sweet expression as she said “You were so gallant, I felt my heart racing and I want to meet you!”
“O-Oh…” he said, still not sure what to say to her.
Then he felt a strong aura emanating from behind him. Slowly turning around, he looked aghast when he saw Ondine with her weapon at the ready. He did know how, but he suddenly felt he was in danger.
“So master… you were playing around with this innocent girl when I believed you were sleeping from exhaustion!” Ondine said and her killing aura became stronger.
“W-Wait a second, Ondine!” Lakshman said as he gestured at her with his left hand. “You’re mistaken!”
“Oh? How am I mistaken, master when she seems to know you well!” Ondine said with a smile, but it looked more like a menacing smile.
“I-I don’t even know her!” Lakshman said desperately, confused as the events quickly proceeded in a direction that caused him to feel dread.
“No more excuses!” Ondine shouted, drowning out his voice. “While everyone was worried about you, you were playing with this girl! This requires punishment!”
With that, she began to charge energy into her sword. His hair standing at the back of his neck, Lakshman continuously gestured at her separately.
“Wait a minute, Ondine! Listen to me!”
However, it was too late. Ondine raised her sword above her and took the form of an executioner. She glared at him menacingly as she swung her sword down.
There was a bang followed by a mighty explosion that rocked the house. A few seconds later, black smoke began to pour out of the window from the room where the explosion originated from.
A while later they were in the dining room. They sat behind the dining table eating food from their plates. Ondine sat on a chair and kept her distance while Lakshman and the girl ate food from their plates.
“This is delicious!” the girl exclaimed happily and she continued to eat more.
“I’m glad you think so,” Lakshman said with a smile while he continued to eat his own. “Mum is a great chef!”
“Um… master?” Ondine said nervously to catch his attention.
“Mmm?” Lakshman said with his mouth full as he turned towards her.
“A-About earlier… um… I’m truly sorry!” she said and she bowed her head.
Lakshman stared at her and swallowed the food. Then he said “its fine. After all, I had no idea what was going on in the first place as well.”
“Y-Yes, but… to jump to a bad conclusion like that is…” she said uncertainly as she looked depressed.
“I said its okay,” he said with a smile. Then, his smile faltered as he muttered “Although, I don’t know how good it is to attack someone who was just badly injured not too long ago.”
Ondine’s eyes widened after hearing his words and she quickly bowed her head while shouting “I’m sorry!”
Lakshman could only eat and watch as she continued to apologise. He finally told her to be quiet since her continuous apologies are making the food taste bad. Tears began to flow down her face at his words and she ran out of the room.
“Aren’t you going to go after her, master?” the girl said as she blinked at him after Ondine left.
Lakshman sighed and said “She’ll be fine after a while.”
“I’m sure she will once she settles down,” said a voice from the entrance.
Turning around, they saw who the voice belonged to; Felix. He smiled at them as he walked over and sat next to Lakshman.
“It’s good to see you up and about,” he said with a bright smile on his face.
“I’m also glad,” Lakshman replied cheerfully.
Felix nodded and turned his attention towards the girl. The girl finished eating her food and leaned back on her chair with a blissful expression on her face.
“Still… I can’t believe the Phoenix Blade… is this little girl,” he muttered as he continued to stare at her.
“I couldn’t believe it either,” Lakshman said with a nod of his head as he turned to look at her.
Earlier, when he came down for breakfast, everyone was startled to find him covered in smoke. They were even more surprised to find a young girl holding onto his arm tightly. Then they understood what happened when they saw the depressed expression on Ondine’s face.
Then Felix, took once glance at the girl and informed everyone the girl is the Phoenix Blade’s manifested form. They could not believe it and he went onto explain more, but, at that moment, Lakshman’s stomach growled loudly which signalled for him to have breakfast.
“But still… I never thought a spirit could eat food,” Lakshman said when she patted her stomach with a hearty smile.
“The different types of spirits have different life styles,” Felix told Lakshman. “The Phoenix Blade is a Sacred Spirit and such it is capable of eating human food and stuff.”
Once Lakshman was done, he picked up the bowls and took them to the kitchen. There, Mariana, the house maid, greeted him warmly and took the plates from him. Then she informed him that everyone is waiting in the living room.
Walking into the room, Lakshmi and Indra quickly greeted him with happiness and relief. After hugging him, they sat back down with Lakshmi sitting beside him while the girl sat on his other side. For some reason, the manifested form of the Phoenix Blade, Tetra, did not wish to part from him.
“So then,” Felix said in a business-line voice. “Let’s get down to business!”
“What business?” Rasha, his wife, said with a laugh. “We’re more or less just going to talk openly here.”
“Ah, I’m trying to sound cool!” Felix said with a smile and a wink at his wife.
Then they informed Lakshman of the events following the battle. Felix used a King Ranked magic spell called ‘Restoration’ to restore all damaged buildings and structures. The spell was powerful enough to heal all wounds and damage taken by anyone unfortunate enough to be involved.
A few hours later, Indra woke up and they all assisted in explaining what took place to the officials. Everyone was shocked to learn that the Phoenix Emperor was among them. Most of them fainted while others stood there, too stunned to do anything.
Since then three days passed and Lakshman finally woke up. Reaching the end of his explanation, Felix sighed and smiled as he looked at everyone in the room.
“Have I missed anything?” he asked and everyone shook their heads. “Good!”
“So… What next?” Lakshman asked uncertainly.
“Hmm… yes. The next plan is… to return to the capital of Floria region immediately!”