Chapter 9:

Leinor & Ren

Mad God


“Please take this,” Anya said to Zern, who was now holding a little box containing ten coins.


“Lady Anya, this-”


“It’s nothing. It’s for your and your father’s protection. Use them well; you only need to inject energy into them and toss them out. On impact, they will explode. Easy to use, but beware, the blast radius is around 15 meters. Don’t use it inside buildings or you risk collapsing itself.”


“Thank you, Lady Anya!”


“Don’t mention it.”


“My Lady.” Hal suddenly appeared with a strange expression that caught her off guard.


“I’ll be going.” Zern bowed, not wanting to be in the way as he left. After he closed the door of the study, Anya raised her brows questioningly at Hal.


“What did she do now?”


“I think you should go to the bath and quickly. The Young Lady wants to… take a bath.”


“What's so weird about that?”


“With the Prince.”


“Oh.” Anya nodded, but soon she froze like a statue. “What?!”


“I came as soon as-,” but before he finished, Anya had already stormed out from her study “-possible.”


….

…..


Anya very quickly arrived near the mansion’s owner, giant bath, which would be more correct to call the family’s own hot spring in the basement. She had already heard her daughter's words when she was nearing the double-sided, sand-colored wooden door. It was laid out with fine, polished lilac marble all around, and in the middle, there was a circle-shaped pool filled with fresh, hot spring water that significantly rejuvenated the body.


“Come on, don’t be a crybaby. Just take it off. I already did! It’s not a big deal; we will marry in half a dozen years anyway!”


“But Lady Ren, this is… this is immoral!”


“Lady-lady, zip it, and take it off! Or do you take baths while clothed?! Idiot! Come here!”


“Nooooo~”


“Don’t struggle! It won’t hurt! I'll just feel you up in the water to check if your energy points are at the same place as mine, don’t worry; I’ll be gentle!”


“Hauh! Nooo! I’m not ready!”


“Stop kicking! Damn, I'll need to discipline you, it seems! Be a good husband and get in the water and start meditating!”


Anya was frozen at the spot, but soon her face betrayed her amusement at how wild Ren can be. She quickly shook her head, storming in with a loud bang, and found the two kids on the ground next to the pool, wrestling for Leinor’s trousers. Ren was already free of clothing and sat on top of the Prince, trying to pry it off his legs.


“Ah. Mom.” Ren gulped as seeing her mother’s eyes. She knew she was in trouble.


“Off. Now.”


Ren slowly let go of Leinor, who scrambled behind Anya with a completely Red face, hiding his head in his own hands but still took some peak between his fingers at Ren.


“It just looks worse than it is. Ehehe… Mom?”


“I should have done this before. It’s my fault.” Anya sighed, then with a step, she was already behind her, bending her forward and then… “THWACK”


“YEAOOOOOW!!!!! Don’t use your stre- YEAOOOOOOW!!!! Stooooooop!!”


“THWACK, THWACK, THWACK!” came the sound again and again while Leinor just turned his back, crouching, not daring to look, only listening to Ren’s cries.


“There. Now in!” Anya shouted and threw her daughter into the water.


“YEOOOOW!!! It stings! It stings!”


“You stay there! I'll be back in a minute! We go another round if I find you out of the water!”

Ren only nodded, shrinking back into the water while Anya escorted Leinor out of the bath, soon arriving in the guest bedroom.


“I’m sorry, Young Prince.”


“N-no worries, Lady Anya… um, it’s my fault….”


“That's true. You should control my daughter more. She resembles her father, don’t let her take advantage of you like this! Smack her on the bottom, tie her up, and throw her out into the rain when she acts like this!”


“Ah… She… she is stronger than me….” Leinor blinked his eyes, trying to decide if what he heard was genuine, as he did not expect this kind of an answer.


“Then train twice as much! If that's not enough, then thrice! You are the boy. You will be the head of the family and hopefully even the Empire!” Anya scolded him then she left without waiting for an answer.


Leinor just stood there blinking before bursting into laughter. Since arriving at the General’s Mansion, he has never had this much fun. His Eldest Brother and Second Brother were utterly different in personality. The eldest, Feynor, was kind and always spent time with his younger siblings at home, but Lacuss, the second prince, mostly ignored everyone and acted as cold as an iceberg. Even towards his parents. The middle child, Reignar, was more like his father, a bit of a wild card, as he was talented in cultivation, and paired with his good looks and title as Prince, many women were guests in his bedroom. It’s a miracle there is not a horde of bastards waiting to be accepted into the royal family wherever he went.


“Lady Anya is so much nicer than Mom…” he sighed with a bit of sadness as he took off his remaining clothes and got into the guest room’s bathtub.


Meishan, the empress, had a strange relationship with her sons. She never was close to any of them and kept some distance from them, which was apparent by the time Leinor was born. The only one she was focusing on was her husband, the Emperor. She often reprimanded him if he made some mistakes or acted… out of line. She always followed every instruction he made and even helped regulate and choose members for the harem he kept.


….

…..


“Tsk… it still hurts…” Ren whispered as she squirmed at the dinner table while eating lunch with Leinor, who had now changed into a more comfortable white shirt and trousers.


“Ah… um…” Leinor blinked his eyes, not knowing what to say to that, only stifling a little laugh.


“Laugh if you want. I won’t be mad! Anyway, next time, you won’t escape.”


“Hmf.” Anya cut in with a snort, silencing her daughter yet again.


“I thank you for the lunch Lady Anya, and the companionship, Lady Ren,” Leinor said after finishing his meal and fixing his clothes. “I don’t want to intrude anymore, but I wish to visit more in the future.” The Little Prince bowed towards them.


“Sure! And we can train and fight. It will be fun!”


“Ren, continue eating. At least while your mouth is stuffed, you are silent.” Anya scolded her immediately.


“Ehehe, thank you again, Lady Anya.” Leinor giggled, bowing again while she only smiled at him.


“Come, Prince, I’ll escort you out,” she said as she stood up, and soon Ren was left alone in the dining room while outside a storm was brewing, coloring the skies gray, and the wind brought distant sounds of thunder with it.


“Nice weather,” Ren murmured, and a slight smile crept up on her face while her eyes started to shine. “This is an opportunity… I should head out, and while I'm out there… fufufu, you won’t escape again. I’ll check out your body; I NEED to know if these energy points are the same in you as in me… if yes, then I can devise a completely new system for body refinement!” she giggled as she disappeared. Soon she was in her room, changing clothes and disappearing by the open window.


After lunch, the weather soon turned from bad to worse as a wild storm struck the Capital. The clouds lit up with blueish lightning bolts, continuously striking down everywhere, and thunder repeatedly rumbled like war drums. The wind was howling, and the rain poured from the skies as if someone had turned the showers onto maximum force and left it alone.


“Where were you?” rang out a cold voice when Leinor returned to the palace. “And what is this you're wearing?”


“Ah, Mother!” Leinor bowed. “Lady Anya gave it to me as my formal wear got… dirty.”


“By that slut?”


“Mother?! How can you-” Leinor said with a shocked expression, but Meishan’s only answer was a hard slap on his face.


“Don’t utter that bitch’s name in my presence! She dared to refuse the hand of the Emperor and tried to cuck him with that buffoon of a man!”


He just stood there confused, as if it wasn’t her mother before him. Soon he realized maybe the reason she was especially cold towards him and quickly reprimanded him for every little mistake since he could remember was his engagement with Ren. He held his burning face where the slap landed, and tears welled up in his eyes, trying to hold them back. The slap itself didn’t hurt. Meishan was only a mortal, never learned to cultivate, and never had the affinity or talent for it. She was kept young by only the powers of the Emperor. If one day he decided not to supplement her with his energy, she would wither and die in a few days as she long outlived any mortal’s lifespan. Leinor’s pain came from the heart. He couldn’t put it anywhere, and his mind became hazed and messy, and he only wanted to cry, but not in front of Meishan. Not in front of the Empress.


“Go to your room!” Meishan ordered, and Leinor just wobbled away, his good mood crushed to pieces while he returned to his room in the side palace, ordering every servant to leave and let him be alone for a while.


He was walking through the open path between his small garden and his abode when a thunderbolt lit up the skies, illuminating his pained, little face that was wet with raindrops or tears. Nobody could tell by then. That was when a loud thump was heard, and a whisper came from behind him while small hands firmly hugged his waist. Ren was dressed as an assassin, in tight black clothes that stuck to her body from the wetness.


“Gotcha~” Soon, he was lifted in the air and landed on the jade tiles of his roof. Then with another jump, they were already out of the palace. He immediately knew by the voice who it was, and his body went limp while whimpering sadly, surprising Ren. “Woah, Woah, don’t cry, it’s me!” she stopped with a panicky face as they stood on the roof of a building. She hurriedly put down Leinor, patting his shoulders.


“I-i know…” The Young Prince could only sniffle now, looking fragile and hurt, trying not to cry but to no avail.


“Did something happen?”


“No…”


“Liar. A bad one at that. If you don’t want to tell, then don’t!” Ren sighed, but then she hugged Leinor in the rain, holding him close and stroking his head. “Cry. It’s good to cry. You need to let the emotions run wild once in a while. If you bottle it up, it will destroy you from the inside. Just cry, let it all out; I'll hold you.” She whispered, and soon a loud, wailing voice could be heard mixed in the thunderstorm’s symphony.


Leinor didn’t know how long he cried, but when his emotions slowly resided, both of them were already wet to the bones, but Ren only smiled at him before kissing his forehead.


“Crybaby.” She whispered, making Leinor blush


“Why are you here?”


“To abduct you and make secret, evil experiments on you! Nobody would expect me to do it! The perfect crime!”


“Okay.”


“Wait, what?”


“I said okay, let's do it.”


“I… I was joking….” Ren blinked her eyes, astonished by his quick answer.


“I know.”


“Oh… OOOOOH! Youuuu! Good one, you are a quick learner!” Ren grinned, and Leinor himself let out a small laugh.


“So… what are you doing out here?”


“Training. I have a dual affinity, lightning from Dad and water from Mother. Thunderstorms are my jam!” she said while stepping back theatrically, stretching her arms out while giving a pirouette as her whole body lit up with a violet hue and sparks were dancing on her body.


“Dual… affinity... “ Leinor whispered as his admiration just grew again toward Ren.


“Yup. It’s my secret, so don’t go spreading it, okay? Or I’ll spank you~.”


“I won’t. I’ll die first before betraying you!”


“Woah, Woah, who wants you to die for me? If someone threatens you, just tell them! Idiot!” furrowed her brows, giving a small flick to his forehead.


“I won’t. I’ll become strong and protect you!”


“From what?” Ren said, rolling her eyes but seeing Leinor’s earnest face in the rain, she smiled warmly at him. “Give me your hands.”


He didn’t even think about it, just stretched them out, and soon they were holding hands in the rain, standing on a rooftop.


“I’m going to advance my whole body to the third refinement.” Ren said, and before the shocked Leinor could say anything, she continued, “I worked on this for a long, and I found a way. It is harder. It is dangerous but much quicker! So bear with it… the first time always hurts.”


Just as she finished her words, a lightning strike struck exactly on her head like a tribulation. Her body greedily absorbed the energy, like a whale gulping down water, cruising through every vein in her body, traversing every synapse inside and through her hands. It found a way into Leinor’s body, making a complete revolution there too. Only this came from the clouds...


“Ugh!” flinched the young boy, but he only bit his lips, letting out tiny drops of blood but enduring the painful feeling as Ren’s lightning-filled energy coursed through him before being absorbed back into her.


He could feel Ren’s constitution as he saw it inside his head, like an X-Ray scan, and soon he could pinpoint tiny, sphere-like points in her. Two in her hollow of the knee, two in her elbows… soon there appeared one below her belly button, two on her chest, forming a triangle, then one in her neck, and the final one in her head where the brain is located. They radiated power through her whole body, washing it with energy and electricity, flowing like raging rivers, then passing over into his body.


Soon he could see himself before his mind’s eye, and the same minor, sphere-like points showed up exactly where they were in Ren, only they were more minor. For now. “Success,” Ren whispered as she stopped cultivating and opened her eyes which shone like otherworldly amethyst crystals while her white hair stuck to her face.


“I… I saw it. I felt it!” Leinor said excitedly as he realized he had also reached the first refinement in every body part he had.


“Now you know, fufufu~ This is what I realized! We are talented, Leinor. We can do this! We don’t need to take the time to cultivate them individually. We need to strengthen them and attack the next level in one go! I need to consolidate my third level and prepare for the fourth one. There won’t be thunderstorms to help me out every time, so I need to figure out other ways, but now you will be here to help me!”


“I’ll do my best!”


“You should! You need to solidify your new powers, try to work out how to train with your affinity, and we can share experiences! Also, those… let’s call them nodes, I found, they are also capable of directing your inner energy and releasing it outwards. That's why I could perform that thunderkick back then. We must figure out how to use them and create new techniques!”


“You are a genius Ren… a true genius….”


“Not really. Others would call me mad.”


“Because they don’t know you.”


“And you do?”


“Ah…”


“Easy, don’t tense up, it was a joke~ Ahaha, I like you, you are fun!” she laughed loudly, giving big slaps on his shoulder while her face radiated genuine happiness.


Leinor only heard it until the words ‘I like you,’ and he almost blanked out after that. He felt his heart palpitating, almost bursting out of his chest, and he knew, come storms and winds… he won’t abandon Ren, no matter what happened in the future.