It was the morning. Dawn to be exact. The sun just began showing its face. The dew of the morning drips steadily from the tip of the leaves.
The rooster crows from inside the forest region. Azief open his eyes. On his body is a blue blanket.
He smiles a bit. He knows that Sofia is the one who cover him with the blanket.
He was sleeping by leaning on a huge tree instead of returning to his tent.
He did not sleep because he needed to sleep but because he wanted to just close his eyes and forget for a bit.
Opening his eyes, he remembers again.
He steels his heart and got up. His long hair was swaying as the winds of the plains pass by. His face shows no fatigue but his heart is in pain.
He did not even wash his face yet his face was as flawless as before. They are some perks when leveling up. Azief have no impurities in his body or bones making him almost like a sacred being.
Not far away from Azief, was the sound of the troops packing their bags.
The troop is ready as each and every one was on the standby as they wait for orders. To ride home.
‘All the troops are accounted for, my lord’ as one of the officers reported to Azief when Azief arrived at the open space where the troops are waiting
Azief look at Wang Jian troops and he smiles weakly
Some are eager to start the journey home. It will take them months to ride out from here, the edge of the Plains to their village again.
Wang Jian has already sent sound transmission to the 200 hundred approaching troops from Eden to turn back and protect the village.
It is fortunate that the 200 troops did not yet travel far.
(Remember, Wang Jian has three hundred troops. 100 was teleported with Teleportation stones by Loki and Sofia while the other 200 hundred rides the plains)
Azief have no problem as he could fly.
He even wanted to fly and deal with the Seven Fairy alone but he was reminded of the ten thousand troops that they possess.
From what Loki told him the Seven Fairy can fight Sasha to a standstill but that was before. The Seven Fairy might have improved since then.
Even though Azief is confident he can defeat the Seven Fairy, could he defeat the Seven Fairy while ten thousand people were attacking him simultaneously?
Who’s to say, that among the ten thousand people, some of them may wield unusual abilities?
Azief is done underestimating his enemies. Sasha will be his reminder.
Wang Jian then came towards Azief.
‘My lord the troops are ready. Give your order and we will start riding home.’
Azief look at his troop and nodded.
‘General Wang Jian, order the troops to move out first. I will wait for Arrayist Lee Sangmin to negotiate for something. Sofia will be going home with me. We will meet at the village. Loki will accompany you in the journey.’
Loki who was just coming down from the hill was shocked to hear this but he smiles bitterly.
Azief might have accepted his proposition but that doesn’t mean he likes it, especially being order by Loki.
In a way, this serves as his punishment.
Well, in a way, this is also one of the characteristic of the Prince.
Egotistic and arrogant.
‘The Pegasus?’ Wang Jian inquires.
‘The Pegasus will still be Loki but he is to accompany you home.’
What Azief means is that Loki must not think to fly the Pegasus and instead accompany Wang Jian in his journey.
After all, two Energy Disperse Realm experts is a guarantee that the hundred troops will be safe in their journey home.
‘I accept your order, my lord.’
Then Wang Jian move back to his position in the lead of the troops as he jump to his Fire Horse and he yelled his voice reverberated in the area.
‘We will start moving. Men, we are going home!’ he said as he pointed his staff to the sky.
The other soldiers cheered, whistles and patting each other the back as they began riding towards home.
Sofia smiles looking at this and he waves his hand until the last silhouette no longer could be seen from the distance.
‘Now what?’ Sofia said as she asks Azief.
‘Now, we wait for Lee Sangmin to come’
It was an hour before someone from the fortress announces the arrival of Lee Sangmin with much fanfare.
A thousand troops take their station around the edge border of the barrier, looking at Azief warily.
Sometimes, Sofia flashes a rude derogatory sign with her fingers like goading them to come outside.
Anuta self-control is impressive to say the least. His face was red, but he sure does know when the circumstance does not favour him.
So, even though Sofia was acting like an asshole, he just keeps his calm.
There is also the towering monstrous existence of Azief that prevent him from having any funny ideas.
Even though Azief himself could not enter the barrier because of his level restriction, from what Anuta learn from the released prisoner, one swish of his hand manages to pressure them to submission.
They also describe feeling their Pillars cracking, their Orb almost shattered, and their fear overwhelmed them, like they were face to face with a being so outside their comprehension that render them useless.
One of the officers then come in front of the assembled troops and with his voice, he announce the arrival of Lee Sangmin.
‘Announcing the arrival of The Arrayist Master, the High Lord of the Lords of the Forest, from the Central Forest Region, High Lord Lee Sangmin’
A carriage then was brought out from the fortress, with the carriage itself emitting an ancient aura, as arrays upon arrays was carved up on its doors and windows.
The carriage is being hold up by ten golden gilded men. No, Azief mused as he looked closer.
Human puppet with arrays embedded on their head and chest.
‘There is also a Puppeteer inside the Forest Region’ Azief thought to himself.
Azief did tangle with a few puppeteers before and Azief could not say the experience was a pleasant one.
They are not strong in direct combat but they are as slippery as a loach.
It seems that Lee Sangmin might have used other people Human puppet and embedded arrays inside them to make it under his control.
The arrays seem to give this mindless human puppet some trace of independent thoughts.
The carriage then stopped and was put down just a few meters from the barriers as a man slowly steps out from the carriage.
Coming out from the carriage is a man with slender and lanky physique, his head has some crown made by some unidentified metal, his hair was straight and short.
His face was white pale and he was holding onto a rod carved with weird symbols.
The man then smiles as he bows a little towards Azief.
‘I have long heard of the Lord Shadow prowess. I have never thought I could meet such expert here. I always never care about anything outside the Forest Region and did not know outside matters. My subordinates inform me about the matters and because of my late response, it has inconvenience Lord Shadow.’
Azief on the other hand did not have time to trade pleasantries with him and he was already and enough that he couldn’t find any trace of Sina so he just said.
‘Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? I will station my troops here after I handle my matters. I warn your people not to capture Sina or harm her. If you harm even one hair from her, I don’t know how, and I don’t know when, but someday, somehow, I will come here again and I will break this barrier and I will exact my wrath like a punishment from heaven.’
Azief did not mince words or trade any greeting. He quickly seizes the opportunity to warn the Forest Region.
From the first word to the last, it was filled with orders.
Considering his strength he has the qualification to boast like this.
However, hearing this kind of provocation, Lee Sangmin did not turn angry or even a shade of flustered expression.
Instead he laughs.
‘Why are you laughing? You don’t believe he is capable?’ Sofia asks as she could feel this Lee Sangmin does not feel even fear from Azief threats.
Even Anuta at the back is flushed red in anger.
‘Oh, no, no. Don’t misunderstand me. I do fear Lord Shadow. I just think that Lady Sofia and my lord will not have any reason to come here again.’
Hearing this Azief is puzzled.
‘And why is that?’
Lee Sangmin then look behind him and then he ordered his human puppet
‘Bring them out from the carriage.’
Then the puppets enter the carriage and then bring out two people from the carriage, each one on its shoulder.
Sofia looking at the two people could not help but feel shocked and happy as tears of happiness pour down from her eyes.
Azief was also overjoyed. There is a slight smile on his face
Slowly the puppet brings the person to Lee Sangmin and Lee Sangmin orders his puppets to bring the woman outside the barrier.
Then the puppets slowly step out of the barrier and put both of the women down in front of Azief like an offering.
‘Return’ Lee Sangmin ordered.
Then as the puppet return, Lee Sangmin still smiling then said as he open his arm wide and pointed to the girl and he said
‘This is my gift to you, Lord Shadow. The Genius Alchemist and Nightingale Sasha. The only thing I would ask of you is that you will never again involve the Forest Region with your enmity. Nor, will you threaten the people of the forest. The people of the forest, the highest of them are only Energy Disperse Stage High realm. They are not your match. It would be bullying and it is beneath you. As an expert of the generation, Lord Shadow should not be so petty.’
However, Azief no longer heard what Lee Sangmin said and already rush to Sina.
As he scans her with his eyes, he could see that most of her external wound was healed. On her chest is an array.
Azief look towards Lee Sangmin and he said
‘Release the binding array!’
Lee Sangmin nodded
‘Release!’ He said and as he said this the array on Sina chest and Sasha chest glows and faded away.
Then slowly Sina opens her eyes.
‘You’re ok?’ Sofia asks as she was already kneeling beside Sina body.
Sina takes a while to register what is happening and then she smiles. She looks at Sofia and Azief and she knows she is safe. Sofia hugged her then she said
‘I’m banged up, but I’ll be better in a few hours.’ Then she looks at Azief and she said
‘Build back my alchemy lab ok? I need to finish my experiment’
And Azief hearing this laugh unrestrained. Laughing with tears in his eyes.
‘I’ll build a hundred lab if you want’ he said as he hugs Sina.
Then as quickly as he hugs Sina he pushes her back.
‘My God, you smell like urine.’
‘There is a funny story about this. Come on, stop gawking and bring me home. I need a bath. A long relaxing bath.’ she said and Sofia and Azief both laugh at the same time.
Azief then look towards Lee Sangmin and then he nodded.
‘I, Lord Shadow will not forget this. I owe you this one’
Lee Sangmin bow a bit and then he said
‘Then, one day I will come to collect.’
Then he turns back and he orders the troops in the forest with his loud voice, reverberating around the area
‘I’m going home. Reduce the troops stationed here as Lord Hamad needs some of the troops to fight with the Demon Ape in the Western Forest.’
Then Lee Sangmin shows a green command medallion and a scroll parchment and then he read the sentence written on the parchment.
‘By the decree of the Lords of the Forest, General Anuta is to lead the Western Forest Troops to contain the Demon Ape. General Anuta, receive the decree’
Anuta then come in front, kneel and accept the decree.
‘This lowly one has received the decree and will quickly march.’
Then Anuta began retreating with two thousand troops, while another thousand is left on this edge of the border.
Lee Sangmin is about to enter his carriage when Azief suddenly ask.
‘Lee Sangmin. You…..did you see it?’ And Lee Sangmin steps halted. He
He then turn back to look at Azief who was on the outside of the barrier, separated by a translucent barrier and then he ask.
‘The World Orb.’ Azief spoke almost indignantly as he said World Orb
Lee Sangmin smiles bitterly and with a look of reminiscence he said
‘Then this barrier….is it its construct?’ Lee Sangmin looks at the sky and nodded.
‘Everything has its purpose. Since, my lord asks this then my lord must have guessed the purpose of this barrier.’
Azief also look at the sky and he nodded
‘Then, there is nothing else to be said. I just hope that Lord Shadow will no longer involve your battles or matters with the Forest Region’
‘It is a pity’ Azief suddenly said.
‘Of what, Lord Shadow?’
‘That I will never see you outside this barrier. This barrier prevents me from going inside, but it prevents you from going outside. Your life is bound to it…..a pity. I could feel it. The aura of this barrier is the same as your aura. A bird cage. Is this the price you pay?’
Lee Sangmin smiles bitterly
‘Every magic has a price.’ Azief nodded in agreement. In this matter, Azief has always known.
Great magic requires a steep price.
Then Azief said, his tone a bit gentler and full of compassion and one could even sense a trace of pity inside his voice when he talks to Lee Sangmin
‘For this goodwill you have shown me, and your dedication to help humanity, I, Lord Shadow will respect you. I will not meddle in your forest region matters as long as you forest people do not meddle with the other regions. I give you my word.’
Lee Sangmin laughs.
‘That is all I need. Thank you’ and saying this he enter his carriage and with his entourage he moves away from the border line as Azief look at the weak Sasha.
His eyes look at her menacingly and his knuckles crack as energy inside his body surged up, and the wind around him disperse away.
His aura rises up as the air around him turns suffocating
The woman has already opened its eyes but she look weak, feeble, and Azief could feel the woman is just a Pillar Forming High realm now.
Sasha looks at Azief with a face of resignation. Azief look at her and each moment that passed, his heart become more stoked with anger.
With one grip of his hand, he could manipulate His Immortal Presence and choke the life out of Sasha.
With one stomp of his feet, he could shatter her every bones. With one punch, he could end her life as easily as snuffing out a candle.
As he looks at Sasha, his killing intent rises.
Azief does not like leaving a root of problem behind.
Azief was about to strike her down when suddenly Sina shouted
‘NO!’ and she manages to shield Sasha body with her own so Azief quickly stop his hand else he would crush Sina to pieces of meat.
The wind parted and the wind gales pass by Sina face as the ground behind her get sliced into two and soils rises up in an explosion.
Her cheeks got scratched and blood slowly drips down from her cheeks.
‘Sina, what are you doing?!!’ Azief shouted in shock as Sina looks at the weak Sasha, lying on the ground gasping for air and then she looks back at Azief and said to him,
‘Let’s bring her home with us.’ Azief hearing this was dumbfounded and he was stunned for a moment before looking at Sofia by his side.
Sofia was not any better.
This time it was Sofia turns to blow her top.
‘What the hell you’re thinking?’ She shouted. Then Sina said
‘Sasha saves my life inside the forest region. Spare her. For me’ and saying this both Azief and Sofia look dumbfounded on how to respond.
Azief looking at the determined Sina, and he sighed.
She will not budge Azief mused.
That day, Azief decided to spare Sasha as there is a new person accompanying Azief, Sina and Sofia home to village.
All the while, the threat of the Seven Fairy is approaching.
Today is a double release. Hope you like it. Praise me. Leave many comments. And the Seven Fairy arrival is approaching.
There is some secret that Lee Sangmin possesses. And Azief in a way understand a little bit about the World Orb.
And any donation is appreciated. Next chapter in a few minutes.