Departure and Determination
A few hours later, Felix, Rasha and, their daughter, Sasha, were outside. They were standing with Indra, Lakshmi, Lakshman, Ondine and Sumara. Their luggage, comprised of two cases, was vertically standing.
“I hope this mess blows over quickly for you guys,” Felix said when he gestured at the still remains of destroyed parts of buildings. “I may have used Restoration, but it’s only an imitation.”
“I know, it’s a difficult spell even though its Emperor ranked magic spell,” Indra said in understanding. “Reminds me the numerous times you attempted it and failed badly.”
“Instead of repairing, it caused more damage,” Felix said while he nodded at Indra. “It took me years and years of careful training that I managed to master it by this much.”
“Ah well,” Indra said with a smile. “The spell that you used may be an imitation, but it still did fix most parts.”
“At-least, people are not homeless thanks to your effort,” Lakshmi said, nodding in agreement with her husband.
“You’re right,” Felix said with a nod.
Then they stood in silence, staring at each other. They simply smiled at each other while they gathered their thoughts. The silence was finally broken by Rasha when she turned to speak to Lakshmi.
“Thank you again for the hospitality, Lakshmi,” she said and smiled brightly.
Lakshmi waved her hand in rejection and said “No way. You guys are our friends and you are always welcome!”
“Yeah!” Indra suddenly said brightly. “Think of this as your second home!”
“A home… in the middle of nowhere…” Felix said in exasperation.
“Hey, stop that!” Indra said indignantly. “This place will be known now that a gigantic monster went on a rampage!”
Felix laughed and said “That’s true!”
Rasha turned to him and placed her hands on her hips and made a frown on her face.
“You need to learn to be polite, Felix!” she said sternly.
“Oh, what are you? My mother?”
“No. I’m your wife!”
“That’s not an excuse to give me a lecture!”
“As your wife, I have every right to lecture my husband!”
Felix and Rasha eyed each other with firm stances. Then he closed his eyes and sighed before looking at Lakshmi.
“Hats off to you, Lakshmi,” he said with a small smile. “You’ve successfully became the influence on my wife!”
“Oh?” Lakshmi said with a smile, but a dark aura began emanating from her. “Do you want an early grave?”
“Wa?! That’s a compliment!” he quickly said and he turned to Indra for help. “It was, wasn’t it?”
Before Indra could say anything, Lakshmi intervened. She tilted her head slightly and looked at him scornfully.
“Why does it sound like you don’t know yourself?”
“Oh, come on…” he said before sighing in defeat. “I’m sorry.”
Lakshmi blinked in surprise before smiling and she relaxed. Indra looked at him, then at Lakshmi and back before shaking his head.
“You must really like getting scolded,” he said to Felix.
“Give me a break! It wasn’t on purpose this time!” Felix said, looking annoyed.
“So… you do it on purpose most of the time…” Indra said with a small smile.
“Ah!” Felix said as he realised what he had said. “I-I don’t do it on purpose!”
“Then… what could be the meaning of your words just now, I wonder?”
“Argh!” Felix said in frustration. “Stop putting me on the spotlight!”
“I hope you appreciate bad attention is bad news!” Indra said and he began to laugh.
Then he winced as Lakshmi jabbed an elbow to his side. Clutching his side and wearing a pained expression on his face, he turned away. Felix looked at his friend in surprise as Indra slowly took a few steps away from them.
“Still as painful as ever,” he said when he turned to Lakshmi.
“Always,” Lakshmi said with a wide smile on her face.
Felix laughed half-heatedly at her response. Then he noticed the strange expression Lakshman wore on his face. Wondering what was bothering him, he went to speak to him.
“What’s the matter, Lakshman?”
“Um…” Lakshman said and hesitated for a moment. Then he said “I was wondering about, you know, the Phoenix Blade.”
“Oh? What about it?”
“Shouldn’t you be… taking it with you?”
“What?” Felix said, looking surprised. “Why would I do that?”
“Doesn’t it belong to you?” Lakshman asked curiously.
“Eh?” Felix said in amazement. “What made you think that?”
“Well… you know… because it’s a… um… Phoenix Blade…”
“What?” Felix said, looking confused.
He did not understand what Lakshman was saying. Rasha, on the other hand, seemed to have understood something.
Looking at Felix, she said “He must think it belongs to. See… Phoenix Blade which could be interpreted as ‘The Phoenix’s Sword’.”
“Oh!” Felix said, finally understanding when Rasha elaborated. “I see what you mean.”
After nodding at her, he turned back to face Lakshman as he said “No, Lakshman, it doesn’t belong to me or anything.”
“B-But… the title…” Lakshman said, looking surprised.
“The original title for that spirit is ‘Sacred Spirit’, but it became known as the ‘Phoenix Blade’ since she was wielded by only one master in history. I think you know who that is… right?”
Lakshman nodded as he said “The Phoenix Titan.”
“So… what do I do with her?” Lakshman asked with a confused expression on his face.
“Deal with her like just you how you deal with Ondine,” Felix said simply.
“Sorry?” Lakshman said, unsure about what he heard.
“Tetra, I think that’s what you call her now. She is your contract spirit.”
“Eh?!” Lakshman exclaimed in amazement. Then he said “M-My contract spirit?”
Felix picked up Lakshman’s right hand and pulled it up to look closely at it. Smiling, he released his hand and gestured at it. Everyone turned their attention towards Lakshman’s hand and was amazed to see something that wasn’t there before.
A symbol like marking was glowing on the back of his right hand. It was round and glowing in red colour with three lairs of circles. Then a marking of a star shaped connecting the circles. In the inner circle are four shapes that of flames.
“That marks the contract between a Contract Spirit and its master,” Felix said as he glanced at his hand.
“Um… what’s the difference between a Slave Spirit and Contract Spirit?” Lakshman asked with a puzzled expression on his face.
Felix sighed before he began to explain.
“There are no physical markings to indicate ownership of a Slave Spirit. However, they are bound by the Spirit Slave Commands which are absolute unless they are inappropriate. A Contract Spirit has physical markings on the owner, but they will not obey them unless their bond is strong and they trust each other.”
“Wow…” Lakshman said in awe when Felix finished explaining. “You know them quite well.”
“Naturally!” Felix said proudly
Then he suddenly blinked as if he realised something. Then he looked aghast as he stared at them.
“What the heck am I doing explaining things just before departure?!”
“Don’t look at us. You were the one doing it,” Indra said with a small smile.
Felix sighed and they began to laugh. After a while, they checked if everything was present. Then, Felix turned to Indra and his family for one final time.
“You guys make sure to be safe! I won’t be around the next time to save your necks!”
“Oh?!” Indra exclaimed with his eyebrows raised. “You say that, you will be in the middle of problems far worse if things don’t go well!”
“That’s true,” Felix agreed with a shrug of his shoulders.
Indra walked to Felix and placed a hand on his shoulder and he looked seriously at him.
“Be sure to be safe and if you need our help, we’ll be there for you!” Indra said with a smile and a wink.
“Well…” Felix hesitated and he looked at Indra’s firm glare and he cleared away all doubts in his mind. Then he said “I don’t know how much of help I can count on you for, but thanks. I appreciate it.”
Indra released him and they smiled at each other. After saying their farewells, Felix and Rasha picked up the cases and walked out of the gates with Sasha following right behind. Then they stopped before Rasha placed her hand on his shoulder while he held onto Sasha’s hand.
Turning around, they waved at Lakshman and group and they waved back. Then Felix turned around and energy began to flow around them as he prepared to use a technique.
As he shouted the command, a red hole appeared right in front of them.
“Wha?!” Lakshman exclaimed at the sudden appearance of the black hole.
Felix and his family walked into the black hole as if it was some sort of door. Once they disappeared into the black hole, it closed up with a small pop sound. Everyone turned around and walked back inside the house, everyone except for Lakshman and Ondine.
He continued to stare at where the black hole was moment before with his mouth open. Ondine looked at him with an amused expression on her face. Then she sighed and closed his mouth for him. This snapped him out of his reverie.
“W-What just happened?” he asked when he turned to look at Ondine, looking confused. “What was that?”
“I guess it’s some sort of portal gate that enables travel between long distances,” Ondine said with a shrug of her shoulders.
“Wow…” he said and he turned back to staring at the same location. “That makes traveling long distances easier.”
“Yes…” Ondine said in agreement. Then she turned to him and tilted her head curiously as she asked “What’s next, master?”
“Hmm?” he said, blinking at her in surprise. “What do you mean?”
“I am asking you what you will do next.”
“What I will do next…?” he said thoughtfully. “Let’s see…”
The attack of the monster made him realise how weak he was. Now he was resolved to training harder to become strong. At first he wondered if he needs to become stronger if he remains safe. Unfortunately, the world he lives is as random as it can be.
He did not truly understand the significance of Felix returning home so quickly. However, he did grasp the fact that there will be danger in the future. He knew something bad might happen sometime in the near future.
It was a wakeup call when he nearly died. It was left helpless when he was beaten badly by the monster. If it weren’t for the help of the Tetra, the Phoenix Blade, he and everyone else would have died. He knew it and he clenched his fists in frustration.
He snapped back to the present when Ondine questioned him. Ondine was looking at him with a worried expression on his face. Realising this, he quickly smiled and reassured her. Then he heard the voice of someone familiar.
Tetra ran out of the house and quickly reached him. When she reached him, she hugged him. He was surprised, but he smiled as he looked down at her.
“I’m bored, master!” Tetra said while she continued to hug him. “Let’s do something!”
“Do something, eh?” Lakshman said slowly and his face broke into a grin. Then he looked at them and said “Let’s become strong!”
Hearing his words and the firmness of his determination, Ondine nodded vigorously.
“Yes!” she exclaimed happily.
Lakshman nodded at her and, together, they walked back into the house while Tetra was shouting “I’m bored!”
Lakshman looked at the sky. The sky was bright and blue for now, but the future looks grim. However, knows he will be there to protect and fight for what is right. With that, he smiled as he walked into the house.