LORD SHADOW CHAPTER 113: STORMS

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Bricks imbued with magic. That is the first thing he realized when he steps into the pavement.

Azief immediately could feel the magic the moment he steps into the pathway.

The wind of the seas nearby blows inside when the gate was open carrying with it the scent of the ocean.

If not for the terrible business Azief come here to conclude, this place could be considered heavenly.

With the wind streaming this tunnel-like pathway and the sweet calming sound of the waves, the scent of the spring Azief really like to relax and kick back.

The walls of the tunnel beneath the Wall Ramparts are brown color mud but there is magic in it too. Reinforced and strengthened.

The alarms on the background have been turned off.

The people on the wall have now moved to the other side to wait for Azief to come out from the other end of the pathway that leads Azief straight into the World Government headquarters.

Azief was walking relaxingly, like he was in his own turf, no fear could be seen on his face under the hood.

His eyes show no nervousness and a valiant aura could be felt from the way he carried himself.

Like a King parading his own city, he walks unafraid and free. The feeling he gave off is like the feeling of ‘nothing could stand his way’

He is walking beside Raymond. Raymond when stand side by side were not losing in appearance or charisma.

Both are great men of this generation.

Raymond admires Lord Shadow strength and the way he behave, frank and straightforward.

Azief on the other hand admires Raymond bravery, unafraid of the strong, relentless and confident.

When he steps to the ground ripples of energy was released into the ground and it was like a sonar scan, scanning the entire island.

The energy was infinitesimal and could only be used for surveillance and it takes only two seconds for all the surroundings of the island to be imprinted into Azief mind.

When the ripples of energy dissipated Azief smiles mysteriously. He could not feel Will on the surface.

Which means he is underground. Which means Hirate would not expect what he is about to do.

Underground and warded from him also means that Will is also warded by that damned array in the sea bed.

Raymond also felt jolted by the energy ripples that Azief release in that split second. Maybe other people wouldn’t felt it but he did.

Because everything under Earth, is his domain and that is the Domain he wanted to form someday.

To form a Domain that covers everything on Earth, its soils, its land. And ultimately Earth itself.

He will take root, like an ancient tree, weaving and sewing his root to all life on Earth. One day, if he could reach a level like that, he would form the Domain of Earth.

What Raymond is thinking was exactly what he had done in Loki timeline.

It was also the reason why no Sovereign tries to kill him. Killing him was equivalent to cripple the Earth.

It was only in the final battle that he was killed and with it Earth slowly dies.

They were walking calmly, a five kilometers walk and Azief said

‘People rarely walk before the Fall’ he states and Raymond nodded.

There was silence and then Azief ask looking at Raymond arms.

‘Did Earth provide you energy? It baffles me how you did not gained much more injuries than I expected. I might have held back but I didn’t hold back that much’

The reason why Azief ask this is because when he exchanges punch with Raymond he was actually intending to put Raymond down.

Of course he held back but that doesn’t mean Raymond was fit to exchange punches with him at his current level.

He was puzzled and the only explanation is that he uses external source to make up for the lack of his strength.

The energy Azief felt coursing through Raymond hand when they exchange punches was the same feeling he got when Will uses the Speed Source to contend with people stronger than him

Raymond smiles.

‘Yes. I did use the power of the Earth to supplement my strength. I discover that as I level up, I could borrow some source of energy deep beneath the Earth. I call this energy source, Terra Force.’

Azief nodded

‘So you’re like Antaeus.’ Azief said chuckling

‘Antaeus?’ Raymond said looking at Azief in a puzzled expression.

‘The half giant son of Poseidon and Gaia in the Greek mythology. He is invincible as long as he remained in contact with the earth. Kind of like you.’

Raymond nodded and they walk again in silence, only the wind keep whistling through the tunnel-like pathway.

Raymond look at Lord Shadow and then look at the remaining distance before Azief would arrive at the end of the pathway, and he knows he needs to try to persuade Lord Shadow to not truly start this war.

And then Raymond asks.

‘If I may ask, who is Will to you? And before you say only your spy, know I would not believe that. If he were really only your spy, I don’t think you would come here personally.’

‘Heh’ Azief chuckles and he nodded

‘Yes, he is not only a spy. He is a brother, Raymond. My brother’

‘Hmm’ Raymond nodded. There is not many that need to be spoken. Raymond finally understands why Azief was so intent on getting Will back.

After all, Raymond too, had a brother once.

On the other hand Azief did not slow down his feet instead walking more determined to quickly reach the World government city

Raymond then ask, following Azief side by side

‘Is it worth it?’

‘What is?’

‘Doing all this? I thought out of all people you understand how important World Government to Earth. What it represents and why it is crucial that it exist.’

Raymond said passionately

‘I do understand why it is important. Why do you think I let you live?’ He said coldly.

‘I let Oreki and Hikigaya to bow out in dignity. I let the other survives without too much injury. I have given you respect that you do not deserve. And it is not because I fear you, or because I respect you. Because I deemed you necessary for the Wars to come. Raymond, do you really think that if you exchange punches with me the worst you come out is having a mangled hand? I could disperse your Red Palace to dust, and then when you revert to Orb Condensing, I could crush your Orb with just a thought.’

And he takes a breath before saying

‘Tell me again Raymond? Do you think I don’t understand? Or is it you that don’t understand?’

‘What do you mean?’ Raymond asked

‘I wanted my brother and you won’t give it to me. This is why this battle must be fought. Not because you injured my pride. Because you don’t want to release my family.’

‘Hirate wouldn’t let him go. The World Government couldn’t afford letting him go’ Raymond said

‘And that is why he must fight this battle. Why the World Government has to fight this battle. Not because you World Government could not let my spies free or because of your reputation. Because Will knows what you hide in the Closet. And where it is.’ Azief said summarizing the problem

Raymond nodded in agreement

‘And you don’t want me to find out. Even if I say I have no intention of using that information to destroy the World Government but Hirate would always wonder wouldn’t he? What if one day, I decide your organization has had its run? What if one day, I really go mad and crazy and destroy the very foundation of this organization. What if? Right?’

‘You understand all this yet you still come here?’ Raymond asked.

‘Raymond, I am prideful, yes. But I am not unreasonable. My request is that you release Will. How many times do I have to repeat myself before knowing that Hirate already made up his mind to pursue this war?’

‘But we cannot give him to you just like that. Not when you are a threat’ Raymond said patiently.

‘And thus I cannot stop.’ Azief reply calmly.

‘You will sacrifice all the preparations that we have in store for the threat that will come from the stars just for a man?’

‘Yes. And not just for any man. You are talking about my brother. You are talking about family. I don’t leave my brothers behind.’

‘The world could burn, the world will burn’ Raymond said trying to persuade Azief again.

‘Let it burn’ Azief replies.

‘At least my brother is beside me at the end. Even if the world burns, at least me and my brother will burn together’ Azief said in his calm tone like he truly doesn’t care much about the fate of the world.

He will cross the bridge when he has to, if it comes to that. To sacrifice the present for the future, to Azief, that is stupid.,

Chasing an uncertain future instead of fighting for the solid present, only fools would do that

Raymond grudgingly agreed in his heart.

Raymond even though he could not see Azief expression there is something frank about his declaration that Raymond could not help but chuckle.

It reminds him of the Raymond before Leonard betrayal. That Raymond was as straightforward and frank.

The Raymond who will sacrifice everything for his brothers, who will not doubt them, who will follow them into the darkness itself.

That Raymond has died the day Leonard betrayed him. Looking at Azief, there is a seed of admiration for him sprouting inside Raymond heart.

Raymond could see why Sofia like him.

There is three more kilometers before Azief will arrive at the end of the tunnel and Raymond then asked

‘What do you think of this organization?’ He asked because he was truly curious how Azief views the World Government

‘Cruel’ that is the only word he uttered to describe the World Government. Raymond are not shocked but he was also not pleased.

After all, Raymond believes that what he is doing now is good. They are helping people, saving those who could not save themselves.

‘Why? We protect humanity from the threats of monsters, gathered talented people to safeguard Earth and save millions of life. We stand stronger, united. This is why the World Government is formed’

‘You could not see it, could you?’ Azief said chuckling. And then he began explaining to Raymond

‘The premise which this organization is built is a noble one. The intention was pure. In the beginning it is always like this. But do you really think that it will always be that way. Once the threat is neutralized what then?’ He asked and Raymond was jolted as he could sense the killing intent inside those words.

‘You mean what exactly?’

‘What happens then?’ Azief asked

‘What happens when there is no longer a threat to Earth? What happens when the monsters could be controlled and eradicated? What happens when the threats that you fear is neutralized? What will happen to this organization? Will it just close shop? Give back the freedom it takes from humanity?’

Raymond also doesn’t know how to answer this question.

‘Right now, you decide who to become what. Hunters, gatherers, magicians, builders. You decide their classes for them and those who did not want to comply will be evicted or worse executed. And they follow not because they fear you but they fear the threats outside the reality of the World Government influence. They follow you because you offer them security, you offer them peace. You might have a good PR team, but I know all about what happens behind the scenes.’

Raymond could not say anything about this since he knows what Lord Shadow is talking about.

‘Let me ask you Raymond, when you choose your class, did anybody told you what you had to be? You didn’t’ he answers the question he asked and Raymond nodded.

‘You chose a Unique Class like mine, accept the risk, succeed on the Test and you become the man you are now, just like me. A man…chooses, Raymond. Only slaves obeys.’

Raymond then tries to refute Azief words

‘But the World government provides safety and security. Not all men are like us. Not all men are lions. And I’m not saying this because I look down on people. But, I’ve seen enough to know that there is strength in numbers even for sheep.’

‘And are you the shepherd?’ Azief asked as he chuckles.

‘I try to be. You also seen it don’t you? Some people are content in being protected, in being sheep. The World Government for all its flaws provides safety and security, and in turn we ask them only to comply with our laws and rules.’

Azief snorted in derision.

‘A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves’ he replied.

For a while there is silence as only the sound of their footsteps could be heard but then Azief began speaking

‘There is a fine line between security and control. I have never seen a government that does not desire control over their countrymen. Your people are provided with the illusion of security in order to mask your true intention to control. ‘

‘I did not!’ Raymond denied

‘Maybe. But Hirate surely is.’ Azief said as he looked at the frustrated expression on Raymond face.

‘Fear mongering. Hate tactics. Conflicts with the Revolutionary Army. The threats of monsters. The promise of security. All I see when I stepped on this island is uniformity. A disturbing and disgusting uniformity. In a world like ours right now, at such a chaotic times, to see such uniformity….is unnatural. To perform only what is required of them isn’t this Hirate words?’

The reason why Azief say this is because the reason why he possessed the power he had now is by challenging the common normal thinking.

Doing the same thing that other people doing and expecting a different result is madness.

‘Heh’ Raymond snorted

‘I guess Will even reported you our meetings.’ Azief do not respond on that matter since it is a moot point by now.

‘How could you step into the starry sky and peer into the path of the Universe if you do not let your heart be free?’ He asked Raymond and Raymond did not say anything

‘And your army how is it any different than ours?’ Raymond asked

‘Did I force them?’ Azief asked.

‘They can leave if they wanted to.’ Azief reply seeing that Raymond could not say anything

‘How about the rules you enacted?’

‘They can break it if they want only there will be consequences’ and Raymond becomes frustrated.

‘You punish them for making choices aren’t that the same as us?’

‘Did I say choosing comes without a price? Everything comes with a price. Did you somehow think making choices doesn’t come with consequences? Where is such a good deal in this world?’ Azief said

‘Then where is order if your laws could be flouted?’

‘There is none’ Azief said with matter of fact tone.

‘I don’t limit their choices. It is they themselves that limited their thinking. Just because I made a law, does that means they have to follow it? Just because I set up a punishment system do they have to fear it? In the end, choices are made by people. There is no right and wrong choices. There are only acceptable and unacceptable choices.’

‘But you are stronger than them, of course they would follow!’

‘Of course? Is it?’ Azief throws back the question to Raymond

‘I’ve met many stronger people in my journey. Do I bow to them? If I bow to someone and if I follow someone, it is because my heart desires to and not because I am forced to. Until you come out of that line of thinking Raymond, you could never surpass me.’

‘There is never an order in this world. It might seem like that, but it never has. Within the apparent randomness of chaotic complex systems, there are underlying patterns.’

‘Hah’ Raymond sighed.

‘In the end, is this the only answer we can come up with. War?’ Raymond asked, his eyes tries to see the expression of the face under the hood

‘After all is said and done, more is said than done. Like I said, if you want a war to stop, both sides have to be willing to find peace. This you did not do. I see no action of reconciliation from your part’ He said in his deep voice.

Then Azief said

‘Hirate couldn’t trust me so he will not release Will. I could not let my brother rot in your Prison so I could not back down. In the end, this is our positions and we both couldn’t budge. It is a game of chicken. Hirate is betting that I wouldn’t kill all the people inside the Island just to save my brother. He is betting that I could see pass this one transgression and think about the bigger picture. And I’m betting that if I damaged this island bad enough, he had no choice but to hand Will to me. So, the battle must be fought. But one question remains. How many had to be sacrificed?’

By now Azief is only one kilometers away from the end of the tunnel pathway.

‘You know, if your troops started attacking me, I will have no choice than to rain upon them my wrath. And millions will die.’ He stated it as a matter of fact.

‘You know this? Fighting you five didn’t even make me sweat and I didn’t even use my full power.’

Lord Shadow stopped and looks at Raymond underneath the covers of his hood.

He paused his words and take a deep breath, as he was about to warn Raymond of something very important.

‘Tell your troops to run. Warn your loved ones, warn your people. If Hirate wanted to use that Eight Energy Disperse Stage to delay me fine. I could feel that there is no life in them. Killing them would be a great exercise for my sabers. It has been a long time since they felt blood on their steel’

Azief face at this time has changed from his cold expressionless face. Underneath the hood, his face turned furious and fierce.

Raymond nodded as he knows what those Eight Energy Disperse Stage users are but he doesn’t understand what Azief is getting at.

‘I will leave you with a promise.’

Then with his face fierce like a predator he look towards Raymond and Raymond could see his face underneath the hood.

An intense feeling of danger filled Raymond heart and mind. And Azief said

‘I will burn this Island to nihility. Because, I will no longer restrain my power. The moment I stepped out from this tunnel, I will demolish your Quorum Council, your buildings and your villages. I will burn…..and destroy. I will engulf this island into flames. I will burn and burn until only ashes are left. Until I see my brother. Until my anger are sated. I will consume this island and people will know…..that I was here. That I….am not to be provoked.’

‘I will destroy your pride. I will crush your arrogance. I will bring you down to your knees. And the world will see my power when I lay my vengeance upon you. This…. is my promise.’

Then Azief look at the remaining path he has to walk.

Azief is now 500 meters away as he slowly walk to the end of the road. Raymond no longer follows.

He stops at his positions and produces a Sound Transmitting Stone and records his orders then he breaks the Stone.

Inside the recording he orders that all military personnel must immediately powered up the Emergency Teleportation Formation.

With Executive Authority he enacted Emergency Protocol and the people underneath the Quorum Building began relaying orders to power up the gigantic teleportation array underneath the sea bed.

Azief keep walking and the light is blinding as he come closer to the end of the tunnel.

Then he reached the end and he stepped out from the pathway and he could see with his eyes Eight Bald Men with a piece of necklace in their necks waiting for him on top of eight buildings.

All in line on a narrows street, standing there with their robes. This Eight Energy Disperse Stage is all bald and all have the same face.

They are muscly and their posture is sturdy, their face is clean and there is even some sacred aura around them, making them look like a holy monk.

These eight men then put their hands together and then hummed indecipherable words that turns into a solemn song before their body turns golden.

Tempest of wind formed around them, destroying the building around them as they were floating down to the ground, as the roof of the building gave out and was swallowed by the tempest.

When they reached the ground, they stomped their feet and the tempest exploded and their body turns golden and their golden light pierces the clouds above their heads creating a cloud circle.

Haloes as large as a mountain formed behind them as tribulation lightning gathered around the island and begun roaring.

The lightning then strikes towards this Eight people, the haloes destroyed and the tempest stand still,.

BOOM the sound of the thunder shocked the sky.

But when it reached twenty foot near the Eight people, the Song that the eight holy monks hummed produce a gentle wind that soothes the lightning and the lightning slowly dissipated and the tribulation clouds dispersed as the haloes shines brightly again behind them

Eternal Spring Body Stage, just like Azief was when he was in Energy Disperse Stage. Their body could not be destroyed by normal means.

And the Song is weird. Like it could hold off Tribulation Lightning.

But Azief only harrumphed. After all if he is still at Energy Disperse Stage he might be afraid but he is now at Seed Forming.

He knows now that while ordinary means of destroying a body of Eternal Spring Body will not work, there are things in the universe that could destroy such physique.

If not why does people still have to reach to other level if Energy Disperse Stage Physique body is really that wonderful?

Azief was limited in his knowledge before and truly thought he as invincible as he possesses the Eternal Body Physique but then he knows it is only because he was limited in knowledge and wisdom.

There are so many godlike beings in the vast universe that could destroy such physique either by manipulating the mind or using some special means.

With Azief divine sense he could feel and see that millions of people in the residence area on the other side of the island are running, leaving only the military to guide the Quorum Building pass this street.

‘I guess I could let loose now!’ He shouted before the barrier on top of the Island is vibrating and the clouds over Azief head exploded into mist.

Golden colors enveloped Azief as he as glowing in golden color. His light emanates to the surrounding making him look like a Divine Warrior from Heaven.

The sky was illuminated by golden colors and people look up and was awed by the phenomenon. Without no light source, the sky turns golden.

Mammatus clouds were formed, as the clouds turns odd shaped as a herald of a great thunderstorm

BOOM! Fire whirls appeared from behind Azief back as the pressure and heat generated from his body created a fire tornado destroying everything on ten kilometers radius.

Then an illusory image of Azief began to appear behind him. It slowly gets bigger and bigger until there is a giant illusory image of Azief behind him.

This illusory image of Azief was twenty feet high, bathed in golden light and was exactly like Azief.

The power emanated from Azief golden images shakes the island and droning sound filled the entirety of the island, causing those who have Pillars Forming level immediately felt their pillars cracked while the Orb Condensing Stage user was shocked to find out that their Orb stopped rotating and unable to move.

And this was at a considerable distance.

Azief aura rose up to the clouds ,creating a weird phenomenon of weather as golden lightning covered with sharp gales terrorize the sky.

Because of the energy surging up to the sky, pyrocumulus clouds was form from the fast and intense heating.

The golden giant image of Azief also had the ten rings in his fingers, emanating ancient power that surpassed mortal understanding.

Its face was expressionless and cold. His head was only a few inches away from te barir on top of the Island.

The people in the Wall was already kneeling in fear, and some was crying.

They all ask themselves How could they defeat such monster? With such imposing height and size, human instinctively felt small and intimidated.

Even Raymond who was inside the pathway, looking at the entrance being destroyed by the fire whirl was already shocked to the extreme.

The Wall however stand strong.

Right now, Azief really look like an ancient God descending upon the mortal world to exact divine punishment.

The giant image then spoke.

Two words were uttered from the giant golden image.

‘SEAL!’

At the same time the first word was uttered, the Teleportation Formation was activated as all the people that wanted to teleport from the island was bathed with silver light and disappeared from the island in the split second the giant golden illusory image spoke the word Seal.

Humming sound could be heard and a sealing force locked down the very space of the island as the second word could finally be heard

‘SPACE!’

Azief Ring of Ultimate Sealing shines with blue colors and Azief could feel his Seed almost bursted out and exploded as the Price using one of the Eternal Rings

The island was enveloped by a blue aura that seals the island from teleportation to other places or people transporting themselves to here.

Azief cut off any possible reinforcement from outside and cut off any possible way for Hirate to teleport Will.

Even though Azief knows that Will could not be teleported in his underground prison because it is warded, but Azief knows, given enough time, Hirate could plan to bring Will on top and teleport him way.

By sealing space, he had trapped everyone that is not teleported there with him.

Hirate is of course shocked at this development because he didn’t think Azief could seal space itself.

Hirate was already at the first floor of the Quorum Building after coming out of the underground prison.

All of the military has also teleported under the orders of Raymond and the civilians has also been teleported when that giant seal the island.

The only one left in this island right now is the Eight Energy Disperse Stage, Hirate and the people working underneath the underground prison and Will.

Of course Hirate doesn’t know about the Immortal Couple.

Since they were in the underground prison, teleportation does not work on them since the Underground  prison is warded from teleportation.

DEATH! Azief said  and the radius of his destruction increased to fifteen kilometers as it envelops the Eight Energy Disperse Stage monks.

They all retreated without fear in their eyes but one of them ws late and was engulfed by his killing energy .

That one monk melted under the pressure and died. The moment the monk dies, it turns into an orb of light that rushes into another of the monks. There is seven monks now.

The golden giant shrinked and Azief stand atop rubbles.

‘So, that how it is’ Azief said to himself, chuckling.

‘Interesting. No wonder, Hirate chose this Eight. I can have some fun if this is the case.’

Behind him, the fire whirls, on top of his head, the clouds churned, and lightning roared. The wind howled and thunderstorm is forming.

Azief then laughed.

His laugh pierces the sky; his hair fluttering because of the wind, his hood was opened, showing his stony face.

‘COME!’ And he produces a saber from his hand. Now….the battle begins.

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Azief talking opinions with Raymond. Raymond remembering Sofia. And the battle is beginning.

Could not show you immortal couple POV this time because I’m having a bad fever. Anyone want to help me pitch in to buy a new monitor. You all can donate a few bucks. My eyes is getting bad because of the monitor.

Anyway, hope you like this chapter. Leave some comments and your opinion for the chapter.

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Bricks imbued with magic. That is the first thing he realized when he steps into the pavement.

Azief immediately could feel the magic the moment he steps into the pathway.

The wind of the seas nearby blows inside when the gate was open carrying with it the scent of the ocean.

If not for the terrible business Azief come here to conclude, this place could be considered heavenly.

With the wind streaming this tunnel-like pathway and the sweet calming sound of the waves, the scent of the spring Azief really like to relax and kick back.

The walls of the tunnel beneath the Wall Ramparts are brown color mud but there is magic in it too. Reinforced and strengthened.

The alarms on the background have been turned off.

The people on the wall have now moved to the other side to wait for Azief to come out from the other end of the pathway that leads Azief straight into the World Government headquarters.

Azief was walking relaxingly, like he was in his own turf, no fear could be seen on his face under the hood.

His eyes show no nervousness and a valiant aura could be felt from the way he carried himself.

Like a King parading his own city, he walks unafraid and free. The feeling he gave off is like the feeling of ‘nothing could stand his way’

He is walking beside Raymond. Raymond when stand side by side were not losing in appearance or charisma.

Both are great men of this generation.

Raymond admires Lord Shadow strength and the way he behave, frank and straightforward.

Azief on the other hand admires Raymond bravery, unafraid of the strong, relentless and confident.

When he steps to the ground ripples of energy was released into the ground and it was like a sonar scan, scanning the entire island.

The energy was infinitesimal and could only be used for surveillance and it takes only two seconds for all the surroundings of the island to be imprinted into Azief mind.

When the ripples of energy dissipated Azief smiles mysteriously. He could not feel Will on the surface.

Which means he is underground. Which means Hirate would not expect what he is about to do.

Underground and warded from him also means that Will is also warded by that damned array in the sea bed.

Raymond also felt jolted by the energy ripples that Azief release in that split second. Maybe other people wouldn’t felt it but he did.

Because everything under Earth, is his domain and that is the Domain he wanted to form someday.

To form a Domain that covers everything on Earth, its soils, its land. And ultimately Earth itself.

He will take root, like an ancient tree, weaving and sewing his root to all life on Earth. One day, if he could reach a level like that, he would form the Domain of Earth.

What Raymond is thinking was exactly what he had done in Loki timeline.

It was also the reason why no Sovereign tries to kill him. Killing him was equivalent to cripple the Earth.

It was only in the final battle that he was killed and with it Earth slowly dies.

They were walking calmly, a five kilometers walk and Azief said

‘People rarely walk before the Fall’ he states and Raymond nodded.

There was silence and then Azief ask looking at Raymond arms.

‘Did Earth provide you energy? It baffles me how you did not gained much more injuries than I expected. I might have held back but I didn’t hold back that much’

The reason why Azief ask this is because when he exchanges punch with Raymond he was actually intending to put Raymond down.

Of course he held back but that doesn’t mean Raymond was fit to exchange punches with him at his current level.

He was puzzled and the only explanation is that he uses external source to make up for the lack of his strength.

The energy Azief felt coursing through Raymond hand when they exchange punches was the same feeling he got when Will uses the Speed Source to contend with people stronger than him

Raymond smiles.

‘Yes. I did use the power of the Earth to supplement my strength. I discover that as I level up, I could borrow some source of energy deep beneath the Earth. I call this energy source, Terra Force.’

Azief nodded

‘So you’re like Antaeus.’ Azief said chuckling

‘Antaeus?’ Raymond said looking at Azief in a puzzled expression.

‘The half giant son of Poseidon and Gaia in the Greek mythology. He is invincible as long as he remained in contact with the earth. Kind of like you.’

Raymond nodded and they walk again in silence, only the wind keep whistling through the tunnel-like pathway.

Raymond look at Lord Shadow and then look at the remaining distance before Azief would arrive at the end of the pathway, and he knows he needs to try to persuade Lord Shadow to not truly start this war.

And then Raymond asks.

‘If I may ask, who is Will to you? And before you say only your spy, know I would not believe that. If he were really only your spy, I don’t think you would come here personally.’

‘Heh’ Azief chuckles and he nodded

‘Yes, he is not only a spy. He is a brother, Raymond. My brother’

‘Hmm’ Raymond nodded. There is not many that need to be spoken. Raymond finally understands why Azief was so intent on getting Will back.

After all, Raymond too, had a brother once.

On the other hand Azief did not slow down his feet instead walking more determined to quickly reach the World government city

Raymond then ask, following Azief side by side

‘Is it worth it?’

‘What is?’

‘Doing all this? I thought out of all people you understand how important World Government to Earth. What it represents and why it is crucial that it exist.’

Raymond said passionately

‘I do understand why it is important. Why do you think I let you live?’ He said coldly.

‘I let Oreki and Hikigaya to bow out in dignity. I let the other survives without too much injury. I have given you respect that you do not deserve. And it is not because I fear you, or because I respect you. Because I deemed you necessary for the Wars to come. Raymond, do you really think that if you exchange punches with me the worst you come out is having a mangled hand? I could disperse your Red Palace to dust, and then when you revert to Orb Condensing, I could crush your Orb with just a thought.’

And he takes a breath before saying

‘Tell me again Raymond? Do you think I don’t understand? Or is it you that don’t understand?’

‘What do you mean?’ Raymond asked

‘I wanted my brother and you won’t give it to me. This is why this battle must be fought. Not because you injured my pride. Because you don’t want to release my family.’

‘Hirate wouldn’t let him go. The World Government couldn’t afford letting him go’ Raymond said

‘And that is why he must fight this battle. Why the World Government has to fight this battle. Not because you World Government could not let my spies free or because of your reputation. Because Will knows what you hide in the Closet. And where it is.’ Azief said summarizing the problem

Raymond nodded in agreement

‘And you don’t want me to find out. Even if I say I have no intention of using that information to destroy the World Government but Hirate would always wonder wouldn’t he? What if one day, I decide your organization has had its run? What if one day, I really go mad and crazy and destroy the very foundation of this organization. What if? Right?’

‘You understand all this yet you still come here?’ Raymond asked.

‘Raymond, I am prideful, yes. But I am not unreasonable. My request is that you release Will. How many times do I have to repeat myself before knowing that Hirate already made up his mind to pursue this war?’

‘But we cannot give him to you just like that. Not when you are a threat’ Raymond said patiently.

‘And thus I cannot stop.’ Azief reply calmly.

‘You will sacrifice all the preparations that we have in store for the threat that will come from the stars just for a man?’

‘Yes. And not just for any man. You are talking about my brother. You are talking about family. I don’t leave my brothers behind.’

‘The world could burn, the world will burn’ Raymond said trying to persuade Azief again.

‘Let it burn’ Azief replies.

‘At least my brother is beside me at the end. Even if the world burns, at least me and my brother will burn together’ Azief said in his calm tone like he truly doesn’t care much about the fate of the world.

He will cross the bridge when he has to, if it comes to that. To sacrifice the present for the future, to Azief, that is stupid.,

Chasing an uncertain future instead of fighting for the solid present, only fools would do that

Raymond grudgingly agreed in his heart.

Raymond even though he could not see Azief expression there is something frank about his declaration that Raymond could not help but chuckle.

It reminds him of the Raymond before Leonard betrayal. That Raymond was as straightforward and frank.

The Raymond who will sacrifice everything for his brothers, who will not doubt them, who will follow them into the darkness itself.

That Raymond has died the day Leonard betrayed him. Looking at Azief, there is a seed of admiration for him sprouting inside Raymond heart.

Raymond could see why Sofia like him.

There is three more kilometers before Azief will arrive at the end of the tunnel and Raymond then asked

‘What do you think of this organization?’ He asked because he was truly curious how Azief views the World Government

‘Cruel’ that is the only word he uttered to describe the World Government. Raymond are not shocked but he was also not pleased.

After all, Raymond believes that what he is doing now is good. They are helping people, saving those who could not save themselves.

‘Why? We protect humanity from the threats of monsters, gathered talented people to safeguard Earth and save millions of life. We stand stronger, united. This is why the World Government is formed’

‘You could not see it, could you?’ Azief said chuckling. And then he began explaining to Raymond

‘The premise which this organization is built is a noble one. The intention was pure. In the beginning it is always like this. But do you really think that it will always be that way. Once the threat is neutralized what then?’ He asked and Raymond was jolted as he could sense the killing intent inside those words.

‘You mean what exactly?’

‘What happens then?’ Azief asked

‘What happens when there is no longer a threat to Earth? What happens when the monsters could be controlled and eradicated? What happens when the threats that you fear is neutralized? What will happen to this organization? Will it just close shop? Give back the freedom it takes from humanity?’

Raymond also doesn’t know how to answer this question.

‘Right now, you decide who to become what. Hunters, gatherers, magicians, builders. You decide their classes for them and those who did not want to comply will be evicted or worse executed. And they follow not because they fear you but they fear the threats outside the reality of the World Government influence. They follow you because you offer them security, you offer them peace. You might have a good PR team, but I know all about what happens behind the scenes.’

Raymond could not say anything about this since he knows what Lord Shadow is talking about.

‘Let me ask you Raymond, when you choose your class, did anybody told you what you had to be? You didn’t’ he answers the question he asked and Raymond nodded.

‘You chose a Unique Class like mine, accept the risk, succeed on the Test and you become the man you are now, just like me. A man…chooses, Raymond. Only slaves obeys.’

Raymond then tries to refute Azief words

‘But the World government provides safety and security. Not all men are like us. Not all men are lions. And I’m not saying this because I look down on people. But, I’ve seen enough to know that there is strength in numbers even for sheep.’

‘And are you the shepherd?’ Azief asked as he chuckles.

‘I try to be. You also seen it don’t you? Some people are content in being protected, in being sheep. The World Government for all its flaws provides safety and security, and in turn we ask them only to comply with our laws and rules.’

Azief snorted in derision.

‘A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves’ he replied.

For a while there is silence as only the sound of their footsteps could be heard but then Azief began speaking

‘There is a fine line between security and control. I have never seen a government that does not desire control over their countrymen. Your people are provided with the illusion of security in order to mask your true intention to control. ‘

‘I did not!’ Raymond denied

‘Maybe. But Hirate surely is.’ Azief said as he looked at the frustrated expression on Raymond face.

‘Fear mongering. Hate tactics. Conflicts with the Revolutionary Army. The threats of monsters. The promise of security. All I see when I stepped on this island is uniformity. A disturbing and disgusting uniformity. In a world like ours right now, at such a chaotic times, to see such uniformity….is unnatural. To perform only what is required of them isn’t this Hirate words?’

The reason why Azief say this is because the reason why he possessed the power he had now is by challenging the common normal thinking.

Doing the same thing that other people doing and expecting a different result is madness.

‘Heh’ Raymond snorted

‘I guess Will even reported you our meetings.’ Azief do not respond on that matter since it is a moot point by now.

‘How could you step into the starry sky and peer into the path of the Universe if you do not let your heart be free?’ He asked Raymond and Raymond did not say anything

‘And your army how is it any different than ours?’ Raymond asked

‘Did I force them?’ Azief asked.

‘They can leave if they wanted to.’ Azief reply seeing that Raymond could not say anything

‘How about the rules you enacted?’

‘They can break it if they want only there will be consequences’ and Raymond becomes frustrated.

‘You punish them for making choices aren’t that the same as us?’

‘Did I say choosing comes without a price? Everything comes with a price. Did you somehow think making choices doesn’t come with consequences? Where is such a good deal in this world?’ Azief said

‘Then where is order if your laws could be flouted?’

‘There is none’ Azief said with matter of fact tone.

‘I don’t limit their choices. It is they themselves that limited their thinking. Just because I made a law, does that means they have to follow it? Just because I set up a punishment system do they have to fear it? In the end, choices are made by people. There is no right and wrong choices. There are only acceptable and unacceptable choices.’

‘But you are stronger than them, of course they would follow!’

‘Of course? Is it?’ Azief throws back the question to Raymond

‘I’ve met many stronger people in my journey. Do I bow to them? If I bow to someone and if I follow someone, it is because my heart desires to and not because I am forced to. Until you come out of that line of thinking Raymond, you could never surpass me.’

‘There is never an order in this world. It might seem like that, but it never has. Within the apparent randomness of chaotic complex systems, there are underlying patterns.’

‘Hah’ Raymond sighed.

‘In the end, is this the only answer we can come up with. War?’ Raymond asked, his eyes tries to see the expression of the face under the hood

‘After all is said and done, more is said than done. Like I said, if you want a war to stop, both sides have to be willing to find peace. This you did not do. I see no action of reconciliation from your part’ He said in his deep voice.

Then Azief said

‘Hirate couldn’t trust me so he will not release Will. I could not let my brother rot in your Prison so I could not back down. In the end, this is our positions and we both couldn’t budge. It is a game of chicken. Hirate is betting that I wouldn’t kill all the people inside the Island just to save my brother. He is betting that I could see pass this one transgression and think about the bigger picture. And I’m betting that if I damaged this island bad enough, he had no choice but to hand Will to me. So, the battle must be fought. But one question remains. How many had to be sacrificed?’

By now Azief is only one kilometers away from the end of the tunnel pathway.

‘You know, if your troops started attacking me, I will have no choice than to rain upon them my wrath. And millions will die.’ He stated it as a matter of fact.

‘You know this? Fighting you five didn’t even make me sweat and I didn’t even use my full power.’

Lord Shadow stopped and looks at Raymond underneath the covers of his hood.

He paused his words and take a deep breath, as he was about to warn Raymond of something very important.

‘Tell your troops to run. Warn your loved ones, warn your people. If Hirate wanted to use that Eight Energy Disperse Stage to delay me fine. I could feel that there is no life in them. Killing them would be a great exercise for my sabers. It has been a long time since they felt blood on their steel’

Azief face at this time has changed from his cold expressionless face. Underneath the hood, his face turned furious and fierce.

Raymond nodded as he knows what those Eight Energy Disperse Stage users are but he doesn’t understand what Azief is getting at.

‘I will leave you with a promise.’

Then with his face fierce like a predator he look towards Raymond and Raymond could see his face underneath the hood.

An intense feeling of danger filled Raymond heart and mind. And Azief said

‘I will burn this Island to nihility. Because, I will no longer restrain my power. The moment I stepped out from this tunnel, I will demolish your Quorum Council, your buildings and your villages. I will burn…..and destroy. I will engulf this island into flames. I will burn and burn until only ashes are left. Until I see my brother. Until my anger are sated. I will consume this island and people will know…..that I was here. That I….am not to be provoked.’

‘I will destroy your pride. I will crush your arrogance. I will bring you down to your knees. And the world will see my power when I lay my vengeance upon you. This…. is my promise.’

Then Azief look at the remaining path he has to walk.

Azief is now 500 meters away as he slowly walk to the end of the road. Raymond no longer follows.

He stops at his positions and produces a Sound Transmitting Stone and records his orders then he breaks the Stone.

Inside the recording he orders that all military personnel must immediately powered up the Emergency Teleportation Formation.

With Executive Authority he enacted Emergency Protocol and the people underneath the Quorum Building began relaying orders to power up the gigantic teleportation array underneath the sea bed.

Azief keep walking and the light is blinding as he come closer to the end of the tunnel.

Then he reached the end and he stepped out from the pathway and he could see with his eyes Eight Bald Men with a piece of necklace in their necks waiting for him on top of eight buildings.

All in line on a narrows street, standing there with their robes. This Eight Energy Disperse Stage is all bald and all have the same face.

They are muscly and their posture is sturdy, their face is clean and there is even some sacred aura around them, making them look like a holy monk.

These eight men then put their hands together and then hummed indecipherable words that turns into a solemn song before their body turns golden.

Tempest of wind formed around them, destroying the building around them as they were floating down to the ground, as the roof of the building gave out and was swallowed by the tempest.

When they reached the ground, they stomped their feet and the tempest exploded and their body turns golden and their golden light pierces the clouds above their heads creating a cloud circle.

Haloes as large as a mountain formed behind them as tribulation lightning gathered around the island and begun roaring.

The lightning then strikes towards this Eight people, the haloes destroyed and the tempest stand still,.

BOOM the sound of the thunder shocked the sky.

But when it reached twenty foot near the Eight people, the Song that the eight holy monks hummed produce a gentle wind that soothes the lightning and the lightning slowly dissipated and the tribulation clouds dispersed as the haloes shines brightly again behind them

Eternal Spring Body Stage. Their body could not be destroyed by normal means.

And the Song is weird. Like it could hold off Tribulation Lightning.

But Azief only harrumphed. After all if he is still at Energy Disperse Stage he might be afraid but he is now at Seed Forming.

He knows now that while ordinary means of destroying a body of Eternal Spring Body will not work, there are things in the universe that could destroy such physique.

If not why does people still have to reach to other level if Energy Disperse Stage Physique body is really that wonderful?

Azief was limited in his knowledge before and truly thought he as invincible as he possesses the Undying Body Physique but then he knows it is only because he was limited in knowledge and wisdom.

There are so many godlike beings in the vast universe that could destroy such physique either by manipulating the mind or using some special means.

With Azief divine sense he could feel and see that millions of people in the residence area on the other side of the island are running, leaving only the military to guide the Quorum Building pass this street.

‘I guess I could let loose now!’ He shouted before the barrier on top of the Island is vibrating and the clouds over Azief head exploded into mist.

Golden colors enveloped Azief as he as glowing in golden color. His light emanates to the surrounding making him look like a Divine Warrior from Heaven.

The sky was illuminated by golden colors and people look up and was awed by the phenomenon. Without no light source, the sky turns golden.

Mammatus clouds were formed, as the clouds turns odd shaped as a herald of a great thunderstorm

BOOM! Fire whirls appeared from behind Azief back as the pressure and heat generated from his body created a fire tornado destroying everything on ten kilometers radius.

Then an illusory image of Azief began to appear behind him. It slowly gets bigger and bigger until there is a giant illusory image of Azief behind him.

This illusory image of Azief was twenty feet high, bathed in golden light and was exactly like Azief.

The power emanated from Azief golden images shakes the island and droning sound filled the entirety of the island, causing those who have Pillars Forming level immediately felt their pillars cracked while the Orb Condensing Stage user was shocked to find out that their Orb stopped rotating and unable to move.

And this was at a considerable distance.

Azief aura rose up to the clouds ,creating a weird phenomenon of weather as golden lightning covered with sharp gales terrorize the sky.

Because of the energy surging up to the sky, pyrocumulus clouds was form from the fast and intense heating.

The golden giant image of Azief also had the ten rings in his fingers, emanating ancient power that surpassed mortal understanding.

Its face was expressionless and cold. His head was only a few inches away from the barrier on top of the Island.

The people in the Wall were already kneeling in fear, and some was crying.

They all ask themselves how could they defeat such monster? With such imposing height and size, human instinctively felt small and intimidated.

Even Raymond who was inside the pathway, looking at the entrance being destroyed by the fire whirl was already shocked to the extreme.

The Wall however stands strong.

Right now, Azief really look like an ancient God descending upon the mortal world to exact divine punishment.

The giant image then spoke.

Two words were uttered from the giant golden image.

‘SEAL!’

At the same time the first word was uttered, the Teleportation Formation was activated as all the people that wanted to teleport from the island was bathed with silver light and disappeared from the island in the split second the giant golden illusory image spoke the word Seal.

Humming sound could be heard and a sealing force locked down the very space of the island as the second word could finally be heard

‘SPACE!’

Azief Ring of Ultimate Sealing shines with blue colors and Azief could feel his Seed almost bursted out and exploded as the Price using one of the Eternal Rings

The island was enveloped by a blue aura that seals the island from teleportation to other places or people transporting themselves to here.

Azief cut off any possible reinforcement from outside and cut off any possible way for Hirate to teleport Will.

Even though Azief knows that Will could not be teleported in his underground prison because it is warded, but Azief knows, given enough time, Hirate could plan to bring Will on top and teleport him way.

By sealing space, he had trapped everyone that is not teleported there with him.

Hirate is of course shocked at this development because he didn’t think Azief could seal space itself.

Hirate was already at the first floor of the Quorum Building after coming out of the underground prison.

All of the military has also teleported under the orders of Raymond and the civilians has also been teleported when that giant seal the island.

The only one left in this island right now is the Eight Energy Disperse Stage, Hirate and the people working underneath the underground prison and Will.

Of course Hirate doesn’t know about the Immortal Couple.

Since they were in the underground prison, teleportation does not work on them since the Underground prison is warded from teleportation.

DEATH! Azief said and the radius of his destruction increased to fifteen kilometers as it envelops the Eight Energy Disperse Stage monks.

They all retreated without fear in their eyes but one of them ws late and was engulfed by his killing energy.

That one monk melted under the pressure and died. The moment the monk dies, it turns into an orb of light that rushes into another of the monks. There is seven monks now.

The golden giant shrinked and Azief stand atop rubbles.

‘So, that how it is’ Azief said to himself, chuckling.

‘Interesting. No wonder, Hirate chose this Eight. I can have some fun if this is the case.’

Behind him, the fire whirls, on top of his head, the clouds churned, and lightning roared. The wind howled and thunderstorm is forming.

Azief then laughed.

His laugh pierces the sky; his hair fluttering because of the wind, his hood was opened, showing his stony face.

‘COME!’ And he produces a saber from his hand. Now….the battle begins.

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