He walks slowly to the man waiting for him. He swished the sleeve of his robe and dust off the dust and ashes from his chest and hips.
He sighed and then he smiles like a big burden being lift off from his shoulders. He moves the boulders and wood structure in front of him using his telekinesis.
But even as he is walking his mind is fast at thinking. What went wrong? He shakes his head. He knew what went wrong.
Hirate possess a lot of abilities. He possesses vast telepathic powers, and is among the strongest and most powerful telepaths in the world.
Hirate would not deny he found some other levelers that were like him.
But his Unique Class made him unique even among telepaths.
Like Raymond who is different than just an Elementalist and Sina who is different than just an alchemist.
Hirate could perceive the thoughts of others or project his own thoughts within a radius of approximately 50 km.
If he could reach the peak of his evolution and transformation he could maybe even use his telepathy to cover the entire world.
Now that he is in Energy Disperse Stage his psionic powers enable him to manipulate the minds of others, warp perceptions to make himself seem invisible, project mental illusions, cause loss of particular memories or total amnesia, and induce pain or temporary mental and/or physical paralysis in others.
Within close range, he can manipulate almost any number of minds for such simple feats.
At least at this moment in time he could only do this.
But Hirate is confident given enough time and resources he could train his mind to become the most powerful weapon in the world.
One of his abilities is that he can perceive the distinct mental presence or brain waves of other people within the radius of his power unless his ability is amplified which is why he valued The Inventor.
The Inventor creates a thing for him to be able to amplify his mind to search for people.
It is the reason he could recruit many talented people during the early formation of the World Government.
Hirate prided himself as a great tactician and strategist, effectively evaluating situations and devising swift responses.
But now as he walks step by step approaching Lord Shadow, he almost wanted to laugh at himself.
He was wrong in his evaluation of his enemy. He did not devise a plan if Lord Shadow seals the space of the Island.
That was the first miscalculation.
Buy now, the blue seal of the Ring has disappeared. It disappeared along with the splitting of the island during Lord Shadow last attack.
When Lord Shadow was contending with the Monk, Hirate has tried countless times to penetrate Lord Shadow mind.
Nothing but glimpses.
Considering that Lord Shadow was a whole realm above him, it should have been obvious that he could not read his mind.
The suppression of energy when facing with another user who is on another higher realm than you is no joke unless you have some external source or some divine artifacts.
Second miscalculation. Hirate overestimates himself and underestimate his enemies.
From a far Hirate could see Lord Shadow. He was standing there, hand crossed, his robe like attire billowing and his hood is no longer covering his face.
His long black hair freely waves with the wind, his face was of manly features and his posture is the posture of a man confident of himself.
His eyes are piercing, like he could see through almost everything.
With high waves rocking behind him and the scene of destruction stretches as long as the eyes could see, it almost looks like Lord Shadow was destruction embodied.
He embodied at this moment, fear and chaos. His shadow seems to be elongated like his presence covering this whole island under his shadow.
He was too….big. He was more than just a man.
Hirate has on occasion stressed to the Council many times, of how dangerous it is to let Lord Shadow and his group to grow.
At the time, who would have thought a ragtag bunch of an archer and a trickster could be such a dangerous entities?
And when the Council keep conceding to Lord Shadow demands and fear his retaliation, Hirate could already see the decline of the World Government as a force that should have control the world.
Lord Shadow has become more than just a man. He has become a symbol. A symbol of resistance, a symbol of freedom.
A symbol is given power by people. Lord Shadow may not believe what people believe of him but it doesn’t matter.
Before his rise, the World Government possesses almost an unbelievable influence in dictating certain matters in the world.
The Revolutionary Army was nothing more than the confederation of the weak and the dispossessed.
If not for Jean and Katarina, the Revolutionary Army would not possess any threats at all. But Lord Shadow poses a more grave threat.
He became a symbol for anyone that dislike the rules of the World Government.
And because he becomes a symbol; he becomes more than just a man.
And that was exactly what comes to the minds of his enemies. Lord Shadow…..becomes something larger in their minds.
The fear he inspires and the strength he has demonstrated gives him leverage and influence over people.
When people saw him, saw the hooded figure, saw the black attires, hear the thunder screaming and the wind howl, they feel fear.
They know that he has comes. The thunder announces his arrival; the howling wind signifies his anger.
He makes speeches. He warned the people he is going to kill. Like a showman.
All part of a larger agenda.
All part of his theatricality to enlarge his image in the minds of his opposer.
The thunder that come preceding him, the shaking of the earth all gave him the image of an all-powerful god.
All part of the theatricality. All Seed Forming User could summon the thunder and quake the earth but none do it so artfully like Lord Shadow.
He embraces the persona people give to him. As a savior. As a judge. As an executioner.
But Hirate knows who the man behind the hood is. He is a man. Powerful, yes…..but still a man.
He bleeds like the rest of us. Only differences is that the people that is able to fight him in equal terms does not exist yet.
Hirate wanted to know what happens in the one year that Lord Shadow disappeared.
From the reports he reads about Lord Shadow, there was a period of one year that lord Shadow wasn’t anywhere to be found.
Even using the Mind Enhancer Helmet he couldn’t find him. It was like Lord Shadow vanished from the face of the Earth.
As he walk closer and closer to his supposed execution, Hirate could not help but remember the city before Lord Shadow come.
Hirate remembers the morning before the battle. He was having a tea in the Underground Prison chatting about nonsensical thing with some of his officers in the break room.
He remembers last night when one of the villages in the periphery of the island held a feast after managing to capture a gigantic fish.
People were dancing across the fires, singing and rejoicing.
Hirate remembers a week ago when a new construction was scheduled for some of the residential district in the center of the island.
He remembers the prosperous cities that once stand mightily on this island. And he sighed again. This must be his second sigh by now.
Now all he could see and smell was dust and ashes. He could see parts of what used to be a residential region being flooded by the rushing seawater.
He could see hills falling down into the sea.
Even now as he was walking he could feel the movements of the waves under his feet churning something terrible.
A tsunami is about to steer itself to this island. His mind was filled with the cacophony of minds screaming in pain.
He could feel and hear the distress of life forms under the sea. Even after all of this destruction it seems the world is not done with the World Government.
Disaster will land upon this already battered island. Lord Shadow was truly a man of his word.
He has broken the World Government. He risk everything even the world safety for a man. To Hirate this is a selfish decision on Lord Shadow part.
He could have sacrifice Will for the greater good. He could have closed one eye to Hirate decision.
But he could not.
‘Because he is a man’ Hirate mutters under his breath
His plans to use the formation he embedded deep inside the island was crushed the moment Lord Shadow spliced the island.
Then there was another plan. The plan to try to pierce his mind also doesn’t work. His mind control couldn’t even pierce any important memories.
Hirate was beaten…..so thoroughly that he didn’t even have the strength to complain.
The closer he comes to Lord Shadow the larger Lord Shadow seems to him. There is sweat forming on his foreheads. His hands trembled involuntarily.
The feeling of powerlessness.
And then before he knows it he only a couple of meters from the man. And he stopped. Amidst the sweating and the trembling he was in front of the man.
Then as calm as he can he said
‘Lord Shadow’ Still there is nervousness dripping all over his words. And Hirate was sure that Lord Shadow could hear his heartbeat jumping like jackrabbits.
Lord Shadow looks at him with a scowling expression or was it disdain. Hirate couldn’t remember and he couldn’t be sure.
Nervousness filled his mind and his heart.
‘Ashikaga Hirate. I never liked you’ that was his first word and with each word it was pressuring.
His voice was deep and powerful. Dark shadows surrounded him. An aura of darkness rises up from his feet.
All serves to enhance the fear in the hearts and mind of his enemy.
Imposing. Intimidating. Dark.
‘Don’t be so nervous’ Lord Shadow said, yet his assurance did not calm Hirate.
‘I said we need to talk.’ Lord Shadow said before he turned back and looks on the distance at the Dark Speedster.
Hirate notices that the man propping the Dark Speedster from falling to the ground is Oreki.
Hirate doesn’t know the scheme of the Thunder Lord but whatever it is Hirate hopes that it would save his life.
Then Lord Shadow look back at him and said
‘It is fortunate for you that Will is alive. Hah’ Lord Shadow sighed, as he uncrossed his arm and come a step closer to Hirate.
The heat and power coming off from him was suffocating to Hirate. Hirate was only an Energy Disperse Stage Middle Realm.
Confronting a Seed Forming High Realm like Lord Shadow was like trying to withstand the pressure of a mountain.
Lord Shadow needs only to exert his Seed Forming pressure to gather back the dispersing energy inside Hirate body and reverts Hirate back to Orb Condensing.
Hirate was not like Raymond who can withstand such pressure with his Terra Force or Oreki and the other heroes and generals in the World Government.
Hirate was not a fighter. Not in this new world. Then Lord Shadow spoke after ensuring the safety of his brother
‘Why…why did you force me to this, Hirate? I’ve ben thinking of this matter from the beginning of the battle. First, I thought it was about the thing in the Closet. But even if it’s about the thing in the Closet, I doubt you would be this stubborn.’ Hirate didn’t reply or give any response. He just listens.
‘I didn’t reach this conclusion until I fought the Monks. You…..were truly going all out. You use the World Government last lifeline to make sure I didn’t break Will out of your prison. Which prompts me, to question the very motive of such foolhardy decision, so unlike you.’
‘You….might have assessed me wrongly’ Hirate replies trying to appear unafraid and unruffled.
‘Heh’ Lord Shadow snorted.
‘I’ve….kept my eyes on you. After my battle with Sasha, I realize I know too little about this world and who runs it. My intelligence on you was numerous. You are a schemer. Logical. This battle…..smells desperation. And I would like to know what would make you desperate. So, we’re going to have a real talk’
And Lord Shadow calmly waves his hand as his telekinesis ability forms a long table from the marble stones of a nearby destroyed buildings.
Another wave of his hand and chairs are formed.
‘That’s why’ Hirate thought inside his mind.
Hirate finally understand why he couldn’t truly pierce Lord shadow mind. It seems Lord Shadow also possess certain psionic power.
But it is not his class job.
More like an abilities.
‘Skill book’ he muttered under his breath.
Considering Lord Shadow was one realm above him, his psionic power must have been powerful, easy enough to withstand even the most masterful of telepath.
If only Hirate was at least in Seed Forming Low Realm, his advantage as a Mind Master would broke the psionic power of even a Seed Forming high Realm who was not specialized in psionic power.
But this what if situations does not benefit Hirate at all.
Smiling Lord Shadow gestured for him to sit on the other end of the table
‘Sit, Mind Master. Let have our talk’ Lord Shadow said as he sit on the stone chair on the opposite side and Hirate sits on the other side, looking at each other from a confortable distance.
A tsunami is coming to the island, waves rocking over the boundary of this spliced land, mini quakes keep happening as the weather on top of their head were in chaos as thunders still screaming.
But, here they are. Lord Shadow and Mind Master. Inarguably the two most influential people in the world right now, is sitting having a chat.
This would surely be labeled as a great event to commemorate in paintings and poems. As destruction of the powerful World Government headquarters is approaching, this two man calmly putting away their squabbles for a while to talk.
Smart people don’t have to talk much.
Both Lord Shadow and Mind Master know why the battles had to be fought but both also know the effect of their battles and what it meant for humanity.
It’s the reason why Lord Shadow didn’t immediately decapitated Mind Master on the spot regardless of how angry he is.
And why the Mind Master didn’t kill Will the first moment he get even though a spy sentence was a death penalty in the World Government.
They both understand that there are bigger threats. And they both understand how important the other strength to repel this other threats.
Hirate needed Lord Shadow strength when worse comes to worse. And Lord Shadow realizes he needed the influence that the World Government possesses.
Strength and power is good but it is not everything. The World Government captures the mind and heart of the normal people.
Of people believing in order and laws and the World Government provides. A necessary evil.
Lord Shadow doesn’t like the World Government and does not agree with their ways of doing things but people are entitled to live their lives however they want and believe whatever they wanted.
Some people likes to lives in an orderly world while some are like him. It is why this talk could happen. Because they are both smart men.
But the reason why this talk and their sit down could be labeled as a momentous event is because of what the content of the talk reveal.
In the distance Will is coming closer to Lord Shadow while beside him Oreki keep talking to him.
‘You must convince Lord Shadow to see the pros and cons of my proposed plans. I save you.
‘Because you have no other choice’ Will replies. Behind them the Immortal Couple is guarding their rear from any threats.
‘Still, didn’t change the fact that I save your ass. If not for my assistance, Heaven Flute and Celestial Painter would have died in the 12th floor.’
Will look at Azief sitting in a stone chair.
Then he looks at Oreki and asks
‘What do you hope to gain from my brother?’
‘Safety and security from his persecution.’ He shamelessly ask
‘I thought you were loyal to the World Government’ Will ask.
‘To a point’ Oreki replies before sighing
‘I already tried to convince Hirate to shares the secret of the thing in the Closet to Lord Shadow.’
‘Hah’ Will snorted.
‘And you think my brother would have agreed….like lee Sangmin.’
‘After knowing the true function of the items in the Closet? No, I don’t think your brother would agree’ Oreki replies smiling
‘You don’t care?’ Will was puzzled.
‘I do care. Precisely because of that I wish your brother would be the one to do it. Raymond agree because he was too softhearted. He views this….’and Oreki look at his surrounding and said
‘As a sanctuary. But I know. I see. And I understand. This…all of this is temporary reprieve. One day it would blow up on our faces and by that time, we would not be ready.’
‘Then why didn’t you try to anything?’
‘I protested, you see. I was the one who found it in the first place. I felt its raw power coursing through me and it almost kills me. I protested to Hirate and the few who knew of that thing existence and function. But no one listened. So, I bided my time. And when Raymond was inducted to know the secret I was aiming to won over him. Yet, he too was convinced that the current situation was better.’
‘So, you do nothing’ Will snorted in disgust.
‘What would you do in my position, Will? I do not possess your brother strength or power. My influence while big it will not be able to contend with the World Government. Should I then forsake the people who believe in me just because I need to open Hirate eyes?’
Will did not answer…because he didn’t know how to answer. Will knows how many people relied on the Thunder Lord and the heavy responsibilities he has on leading the Japanese people.
He and Hikigaya is the representatives of the Japanese population in the World Government.
Through them, the safety and the welfare of Japanese is protected in the World Government.
‘I did what I had to do. I go with the flow.’
‘Then why didn’t t you follow my brother when he first raises his banner?’ Will asked again.
‘Would you trust a man who so easily changed their allegiances? Especially a man as cautious as your brother? I think not. And also because I was accustomed to our world now. But in a way, you are right. I have no choice now. I made my decision when I saved you back then. At the Underground prison, I could have let you and the Immortal Couple get injured and put you back in your prison. I could negotiate your safe returns to your brother in exchange for peace between our two factions. I could have done that. But I didn’t. A token of trust’
‘No, your sister.’ And Oreki handed a fifteen centimeter small pagodas that could that looks like a small replica to Will.
‘Inside it is your sister. She is safe and healthy. Unconscious but healthy. I secure her long before I secure you.’ Oreki said telling Will the happiest news he heard today.
Oreki wiped out his consciousness mark and give control of the Pagoda to Will. Will quickly check inside the pagoda using his consciousness and verify Oreki words.
Lily was sleeping on a comfortable bed and breathing. There are no scars on her or any visible injuries.
She seems to be drugged but Will could wake her by using normal herbs. Seeing his sister fine his consciousness comes out of the pagodas
‘Satisfied?’ Oreki ask and Will just nodded silently
Will wanted to ask Hirate where he hidden his sister which is why he did not give up to reach the surface even after all the difficulties he faced going up but now that seems pointless.
‘In exchange for your safety.’ Will said as he put the pagoda into his hidden pocket of his attire.
He felt relived now that his sister is safe.
‘And the secrets I know.’ Oreki added.
Will did not reply as he was thinking of other things. What people don’t seem to see was lightning flashing inside his eyes.
The Speed Source is already working
What people don’t realize is small static beginning to get discharge from Will feet.
Will was thinking of something else. Even as Oreki keep mumbling about his plans his mind was focused on something else….his sister, Lily.
He thinks of hundreds of plans but there was only one way to secure his sister safety. Even after all the plans he had in his mind, he knew there was only one way.
A way he promises never to use. He made this promise with Azief a long time ago. But it seems that today, he has to break his promise.
A sigh comes out from his breath
‘I’m sorry, brother’ he said in a whisper.
Still need people for my ARC team. Please apply to help me. And if anyone could donate for me to buy a monitor that would be highly appreciated.
What is Will planning to do? What secrets do Oreki the Thunder Lord knows? What will Lord Shadow and Mind Master talk about?
Next chapter will show what Morgana has been cooking up. She surely will not make it easy for Azief to reach the top.
And the reaction of the various power after hearing the destruction of World Government Headquarters.
And also in the next chapter, Loki is building a sarcophagus. Anyway in Malaysia right now it is Eid.
Other people are going to their relatives, visiting their neighbors. I….stay at home writing. My friends are at other state, I’m not that close with my neighbors and all my other relatives lives very far from my state.
So, for this past few days I’m bored as shit. Anyway, just a rant since Im so bored.
Leave a comment (seriously, I love reading comments and I love answering question. It made me feel like people read my work)….or question. Thanks for reading and peace off.