When Azief landed on the ground, the whole area was silent. He retracts his aura the first moment he saw his friends.
The land scrunched up because the force of his landing.
He then straightens himself up and looks around the area. A large wide plain are with a lot of camps.
Not far away from him, he could see a cook looking at him with spatula in one hand while looking at him with an expression of anxiety.
It seems they are preparing for some kind of banquet. Azief could smell the spices even from where he is standing.
He has been doing many things before coming here.
Fighting a frickin battleship, the tangle with a giant octopus and then even accidentally crashed to a Gigantic Eagle.
He is hungry after all that battle.
And then something barged at him and Azief smile a half smile as Sofia hugged him. Then she immediately release her hug and with her mouth pouting a bit she said
‘Heh. Sorry. Run into a few problems’ he said
Not far behind Sofia was Sina as she nodded as she looked at him and Azief nodded back. Sinan has always been the calmest in the group.
Loki is just mischievous.
Then a shrill voice greeted him from behind and Azief turns back.
‘You sure took your time.’ Loki said while smiling the way he always do that makes people quite annoyed at him.
‘You seem well’ Azief said without emotions.
‘You seem disappointed.’ Loki smirks.
Then Loki comes closer and hugs him with a brotherly hug.
‘It’s been a long time, old friend’ Loki said when he hugged Azief.
‘You too’ Azief said as he breaks the hug. Another man follows behind Loki who cupped his hand and said
‘Greetings, Lord Shadow. I heard a lot about you from Loki.’ Azief just look at the man with a confused expression on his face.
Then Azief look at the area while looking at the crowded people around the place. Loki realizes Azief confusion.
He comes closer and pats Azief back while chuckling and said
‘There is a lot you need to catch up on, Azief.’
‘Yes’ he nodded.
‘Let’s talk at tonight festivities. Wang Jian brings out the brandy and ale we robbed form the Pirates last time.’ Loki yelled jovially
Wang Jian then yelled to one of his subordinates
‘You heard what he said.’
Then the men cheers
‘HOOHH!!’ As they began running to the Storing Tent.
Sina who was far away has finally reached the area with the guards around her still guarding her. She dismisses them as she comes closer to Azief.
She was calm and composed.
Then smiling, she said
‘Welcome home.’ This was the only words that she said but he was filled with warmth. The word home hit him.
Azief could not hold off his smile and said
Sofia who felt that she was left out from the conversation quickly grab Azief arms and drag him to the fire pit as people could hear that Sofia is actively explaining about what happens as she keep talking and holding Azief arms like she would never let go.
Sina just chuckles away looking at Sofia obvious feelings while Loki was smiling but his head was full of calculation.
Sina could see the look on Sofia eyes. She was smiling, her whole being seems like she was refreshed.
She was a girl in love. The phrase Absence makes the heart fonder do have some truth in it, Sina thought to herself
Loki on the other hand was already thinking the next plan. The formation of the new city. The threats of doing it.
The fact that they are the first one that will use the Civilization speed and is one step ahead from others.
This time history will be different. He will make sure of it
Wang Jian on the other hand was already motivated after seeing that Lord Shadow was very strong.
He is definitely a Seed Forming Stage. That means Sasha Makarov isn’t the only Seed Forming Stage in the world.
A Seed Forming Stage existence could destroy a city alone; their prowess could destroy ten thousand Pillars, pressure thousands of Orb Condensing Expert and overwhelm Energy Disperse Stage so much that they could Sever the Seed Forming from Energy Disperse Stage expert.
Wang Jian has the most awkward position in this group even though he taught Sofia swordsmanship and is friend with both Loki and Sina.
And even though he is friend with both Sina and Loki, Sina treats him more like a subordinate and he also knows his position in the group.
Loki was more cordial but Loki always has his secrets.
Sofia was the only one that opens her heart to accept him as her friends. The others all have weird quirks and baggage from their past.
Lord Shadow even though he never met them before, it is clear to Wang Jian and his troops that the true leader of this group is Lord Shadow.
He also seems to be the reason why such contrasting abilities could work together with such harmony even though they all have their own thoughts and goals.
For the months that he followed Loki into battle and raids, they heard many stories about Lord Shadow.
It astounded him that the reason that three contrasting personalities could work together so well is because an absent person.
They all seem to be waiting for him. Waiting for him, almost like they were sure that he wouldn’t die and that he would keep his promise.
They all have different gaze when talking about Lord Shadow. Sina when he talks about Lord Shadow, her gaze seems to be soft and calm.
When Sofia talks about Lord Shadow, her eyes were filled with longing and there is love in those eyes.
For Loki however, his gaze was complicated.
Wang Jian did not know how to describe it. It looks like he was an enemy of Lord Shadow but there is also regret and sorrow in his gaze.
But still, these three powerful people with all different personality to follow one man, this is shocking.
Loki. He’s a snake. Manipulative, cunning and never shows his whole card. Always a scheme somewhere.
Even when you thought it was over…there might be a scheme left hidden.
Even with people life on the line he scheme. Not many could stand being in a group with him which surprises him about his cooperation with Sofia.
Sofia might not be soft hearted but she is not heartless.
To put it simply, Sofia is a lot like Wang Jian. She’s straightforward and doesn’t like to scheme.
She prefers taking the direct approach.
She plans by putting her people out of the danger zone while Loki plans sometimes make his people the bait or even the central focus of the plan as the target as long as his objective is accomplished.
Sina on the other hand, is calm, quiet and rarely interferes in the decision making of the group.
She offers advice, and is the spiritual support for both Sofia and Loki.
She could be described as timid but also a little bit crazy when it is about medicine and pills.
As Wang Jian look at the retreating figures of the four friends, Wang Jian felt a bit envious of their friendship.
It reminded him when he was friend with Yue Xing. He shakes his head and bitterly smiles.
Separated by thousands of miles, bitter memories still not forgotten. What a pity! What a pity!
In his eyes right now, he could see that Lord Shadow is being dragged around by the enthusiastic Sofia but Lord Shadow doesn’t seems like hated it.
He even seems to enjoy it.
Behind them, Loki and Sina were conversing about something, sometimes Sina will chuckles hearing Loki lewd jokes.
Wang Jian hopes of reviving the White Tiger army might not be long now.
If it’s them, maybe he could put his trust on them. Then as they move far away, Wang Jian began to walk to join them, with a smile on his face.
THE PLAINS REGIONS
The camp atmosphere tonight is very festive. Soldiers could be seen sharing drinks with each other.
Some of them trade battle stories while some other just bragged about their prowess and some even open a betting bet whether the strongman Zhang Ye is stronger or Nie Feng the Cook is stronger.
But even though it was festive, there are still people who drafted lots and have to patrol.
After all, the very notion or armies is that they must be disciplined.
However near the large tent of Lady Sofia was a fire pit and surrounding the fire pit were five people all is sipping tea from a very beautiful tea set.
The coffee weirdly enough blend well enough with cockatrice meat and give a very hard feeling, and making the people drinking it feel very refreshed.
Sitting surrounding the fire pit was the five most powerful and influential people on the camp.
Lord Shadow. Loki the Trickster. Sofia the Divine Archer. Sina the Genius Alchemist. Wang Jian the White Tiger.
Wang Jian did not do much.
He just accompanied the group and he rarely talks. He is not a talkative man, rigid and much disciplined.
Loki was listening to Azief story of his experience in Earth Two after Sofia has finished talking to Azief about all of the things that happens in Earth prime.
‘So, let me get this straight. In that world, you are super strong. You can fly. You have heat vision. You have freeze breath. You save people. Aren’t you Superman?’ And Azief chuckles.
‘It does feel like that’ He replies as he also laughed a bit
Sitting beside Azief was Sofia. But when Azief looks at her, there is a complication in his heart.
To them, to all of them, he has been gone for only over six to seven month. For him however, years have passed by.
Even though he told his story, he didn’t tell everything.
He doesn’t even know why he refrain himself from telling the whole story.
After he got out from Earth two he ended up in another world which he spends another two years, stranded there.
In that two years he could finally moved on from Na Eun.
But now…..seeing Sofia looks at him…and remembering his complicated past and relationships, he….wavered.
Because he knows her feeling.
Azief is not dense. Of course he knows that Sofia likes him. Even before he went inside the Universe Orb he knows that.
But at the time, it was only a budding romance and there was also their friendship to think about.
‘Me and you against the world’ those words echo in his mind.
And they were too busy trying to survive that both of them never broach the subject and no one take a step forward and in the end, the words was left unsaid.
Then he went to Earth Two and for years he didn’t have anyone beside him until Na Eun come along and came inside his heart.
The heart wants what it wants. Azief falls in love with Na Eun, separate with her and he is already moving on.
And he’s not ready for a new relationship.
So, he turns to look at Loki on his left side and pat his back
‘You have done well in my absence.’
‘This is nothing’ Loki said as he laughs.
‘How about you Sina?’ Azief said she he turns to look at Sina.
‘Anything interesting happens when I was gone?’ He asked. Sina nodded.
‘I had to make sure that Loki doesn’t go over his head and restrain Sofia from always getting into fights.’
‘I did not!’ Sofia said defiantly as she pouted at Sina. She almost got up from her seat but Azief grab her arm and Sofia was frozen.
Azief lightly smiles and Sofia blush a bit and sit back down.
Azief after coming back home doesn’t just become taller and handsomer but he also had that air of maturity.
Azief also realize that not only Sofia become taller, her face was clear and without any imperfection, face as clear as water, eyes that seems like the stars, and every time he sees her face, he could not help but to let his own heart skip a beat.
With tall stature and perfect body, she looks like a supermodel
Sina just smiles lightly.
‘What do you mean?’ Azief asked
‘She fought with Athena of Athens because of a Pegasus. Pick a fight with Freya the War Goddess of Norway because she disregards her and tries to raid the Seven Fairy of the Plains warehouse because they insulted her. Your friend here is quite the brawler.’ Sina said as she takes another sip of Azief personal brewed coffee.
Maybe, she becomes confident of herself after becoming an Energy Disperse Stage expert Azief mused.
Azief knows that as long as you improve yourself and got past the stages, you will fill with confidence and positive thoughts.
Or dark thoughts. It depends on the person. Like magic.
It will be like changing a personality. That is the price of power.
Like Azief. Azief was not also the type of people that stands over the masses. The more he becomes stronger, the confident he became.
‘All which I know nothing about’ Azief replies but he laughed as he said
‘But, from hearing their name they seem to be very powerful. If I only heard their name.’
‘Are you not tired?’ Sina asks.
‘I can manage’ Azief said as he takes another sip from his coffee cup.
Wang Jian who was beside Loki nudges Loki with his fingers who seems intoxicated with his wine. Loki manages to mix gin and coffee and called it wine
‘Ah’ Loki suddenly remembered as he tap Azief shoulders.
‘Since you are not tired, then what about the Seed? You would do it tomorrow right?’ Loki ask
Sofia who was listening then glares at Loki and Wang Jian.
‘He could handle it tomorrow. Tonight is a festival. Why bother him tonight?’ Sofia was worried that Azief is tired.
Sofia had time for a year to figure out her feelings and she realizes she likes Azief.
But, she doesn’t know how much she likes him.
Now, that he has returned home, Sofia wanted to see if she and him….whether they work together. Whether, they could be something more.
Or…they better are left as friends.
Of course it is embarrassing for her to ask him out and normally she wouldn’t do it. She would rather bury the feelings deep inside her heart
But the thought of not knowing…what her true feelings are and letting that go away…she can’t do it.
At least, now that she has finally decided to muster courage to take that one step forward, she doesn’t want to take a step back.
She……wanted to be honest to her heart.
Sina also has always been encouraging her to take that one step forward. Her relationship with Sina has deepened and they were like sister.
They share stories with each other. Laughed together. Cry together. She was her family, her older sister that always pushes her to be braver.
And as Sofia thinking all of this, she looks at Azief with fiery gaze, hoping for him to notice.
Azief however did not notice the fiery gaze of Sofia and was thinking about the Civilization Seed.
From what Loki has explains to him, it is a city which speeds up the building of a civilization and the Seed has special features.
Anyone could buy the seed from the World Orb but to buy it one does not use gold. They use materials.
A Greensnapper Root. Pistils of the Golden Demonic Flytrap. Heart of the Violet Grizzly Bear. Pair of Eyes from the White Horned Hart.
And the Seven Petals of the Life Orchid.
Loki manages to gather all of it either by trading or hunting and manages to buy the seed before anyone else.
Azief then nodded towards Loki and replied
‘I will settle it next morning.’
‘Good’ Loki said as he smiles towards Wang Jian direction and Wang Jian cupped his hand towards Azief and Loki.
Azief who was looking at Wang Jian gesture nodded.
Loki sure does attract weird chap.
First there was Sina. Now, there is this Wang Jian who looks like he would do everything by the book style of guy.
Then they all trade stories until deep in the night. Loki tells a few stories about his meddling in Yue dynasty.
Sina tells the story of how she nearly got bitten by a gigantic Flytrap.
Sofia tells of her battle with the Athena of Athens. Azief tells the story of how he met a Russian in Earth Two that believe in ghost but doesn’t believe in the afterlife.
One by one, they began to go to their respective tents to sleep. First it was Wang Jian who has to organize his troop for tomorrow.
Then Sina who was yawning already dismiss herself to rest. Sofia also seems tired since she was practicing all evening.
She and Sina both went to sleep. The fire in the fire pit crackles as the wood is about to all be devoured by the fire.
Loki put a few more woods inside the fire pit. Azief use his heat vision to instantly create fire inside the pit
Now, they are only both of them. The wind blows like the sound of a lonely flute at night. The plains are quaint.
No hooting of the owls or the shrieks of apes, or the howling of the wolves.
Only the sound of the soothing winds could be heard and the beautiful illuminating moonlight shining the camp even as the darkness falls.
Loki finished his last bottle and then smiling in satisfaction he got up.
Azief was still looking at the moon, reminiscing something or thinking about something.
Loki never knows what to think if he judged only at looking Azief facial expression. He might not even be thinking of anything.
‘I’m going to get going. Early day tomorrow’ He turns his back and was about to walk when Azief said.
‘Loki. Wait.’ Loki turns back and looks at Azief.
‘Take a seat. We need to talk.’
‘That doesn’t sound good. Are you breaking up with me?’ He said while making a joke.
‘Not funny’ Azief said coldly.
‘Alright, fine. Don’t be so serious.’ He said while he chuckles a bit.
Slowly Loki seat himself back near the fire pit.
‘What?’ He asked.
Azief look at him, up and down like he was scanning him, then he closes his eyes and sighed.
‘You know, there is always something wrong about you. I felt it the moment I saw you a year ago. Something that is not quite right. I was always filled with doubt. I never understand what it was that makes me to be so guarded against you.’
And then he opens his eyes, and in this gaze contains the ferocity of a Seed Forming Stage as Loki could feel his Energy almost gathers back and sever his own energy.
‘What?!’ Loki was alarmed.
There is killing intent in that gaze a moment ago.
‘Now, I understand. If I think of it like that, then all the actions you have done makes sense. It would even be logical. It is surprising that I have to entertain such absurd ideas before reaching the conclusion.’
‘What are you talking about Azief?’ Loki ask
Azief then smiles bitterly as he said
‘I see it you know?’
‘I see the threads of time around you. Or to be more accurate, I could feel it around you, almost choking me.’
And hearing this, alarms ran inside Loki mind.
He felt the laws already? What monstrous perception!! No wonder he became the first Sovereign.
Then Azief gaze turned deadly as he looks at Loki and energy roils out around him but constricted into the area of the fire pit making sure nobody knows about what is happening right now.
The area was as calm as before, the wind still blows as smoothly as before and silence filled the area but inside Loki mind was the sound of rumblings and Loki could feel that if he tries to flee, Azief would immediately constrict him with the suppression of his stage and he would be a fish in a chopping block.
Then Azief asked, with voice as cold as ice, and a tone that as severe as his gaze, he ask
‘Who are you, Loki?’
IN A GALAXY FAR AWAY
SOMEWHERE IN THE YRINIA STAR SYSTEM
A Battlestar could be seen hovering around a destroyed planet. Corpse filled the orbits and traces of civilization could be seen floating in dead space.
The warrior looks outside the Battlestar at his shattered planet. He was alone in the universe.
His home planet was destroyed and all he could do was weep its end. Fir Her Waz is the strongest warrior of Yrinia.
They live far away from the Olympians. They battles Asgardian for one of the Nine Realms during the Titanic Era.
Their history is longer than both of those Civilizations. Fir Her Waz was not only a warrior. He is also a high ranking official in the Yrinia Military.
A few months ago, the Unholy Destroyer awakens from its slumber. Its eyes open and hundreds of worlds are shattered.
The Seers screams, the Oracles weep and the universe was in a state of disarray. No one knew what brought awake the Destroyer from His slumber.
He was sent to the Jade Palace to ask help from Emperor Yu Wang.
But the moment he arrived at the Jade Palace, he was informed that his planet was already destroyed by one wave of the Unholy Destroyer hand.
Judgment came and it came swiftly. The End is coming and it will devour everything on its path.
Yrinia was on its path.
Then, Yrinia has to be devoured. The Destroyer was simple. Its directive is clear. The Destroyer lives to destroy.
For what reason? Only the Elder of the Universe knows.
Fir Her Waz just looks in the starboard side of his Battlestar looking at his planet. Blue tears running down his eyes, his hands tighten so tight that yellow blood comes out from his palm.
He gritted his teeth in anger and he could not accept. Millions of years civilization destroyed by a wave of a hand.
I could not accept this! He wanted to defy the Universe. His family, his friends, his children’s.
Just because the planet was on the Unholy Destroyer path.
He closes his eyes but the tears keep running down. Yrinian like Fir Her Waz has green color body but their physical features is not that different from humans.
There are not like Garlhalinian race who is only a blob of consciousness or parasitic like the Zexerxian race.
It was then, he remember something.
The All Source.
The Source of all energy in creation. There was something he heard about the All Source before and as he remembers the lore, his eyes brighten and hope filled his heart.
The All Source contains the Life Formula.
It could revive almost anything in the universe even a planet. If the Destroyer has the Death Formula, then the All Source has the Life Formula.
“Then, I have to find it! For Yrinia!” He declared by his lonesome as he gritted his teeth in defiance.
He then began his journey to search for the All Source.
First stop, he must gather information.
So, he set his coordinates to the Merchant of Sarens, the largest merchant consortium in all of the known Universes.
Thus, another alien race is coming to Earth.
Weronians who wanted to conquer Earth and remodeled it to their own planet. The Annihilator that came from a mistake.
And now, a survivor of the Yrinia Disaster.
Storms are coming.