Chapter 20:

Emperor’s Day (7)

Mad God


“Big brother, big brother!” came a childish, loud voice from outside while Saynur was dusting inside his general goods shop. When his little brother, only 10, rushed in, he almost bumped into one of the display shelves.


“Easy there, Frenir, you will knock over the goods! What happened?”


“You should come! Quick!” he said, excitedly grabbing onto his arm, trying to pull him out of the shop.


“Wait, wait, what happened? Is it Mom? Has she gone into labor?”


“Into what? No, It’s not Mom!”


“Dad? Is he back from the road? It should still be two weeks….”


“No! The competition! The final match is starting soon. My friends and Mom are holding our place. You need to come quickly!”


“Oh… I thought it was something important. Who cares about that? It’s just some brawl to appease us while the winter passes, and most people have nothing to do. I’m not interested.”


“No, you are wrong! You never saw something like this! It’s amazing! There were flames, lightning, and everything! It’s like in the tales Dad told me when putting me to bed!”


“Huh? What are you talking about? Experts of that level shouldn’t be fighting, especially here. They belong to the battlefield.”


“Ughh… Just come! Close the shop and come. The young Prince and a young girl are going to fight!”


“What? How is that allowed?!”


“Hah, I think the Prince will lose! You didn’t see, but that girl is strong! She could blow away your store with a breath!”


“Yeah, sure… I’m not going.”


“Come on! Nobody came in today yet, no? Everybody is there watching! We even were let up to the wall! We can see everything from there, come! Hurry!”


Saynur wouldn’t say, but he was curious why his usually reserved little brother was enthusiastic about a fighting tournament. It was also true that since that morning, barely anyone had come in, and even the streets were quiet. It may be winter, but at least a dozen people should’ve come in by now.


“Okay, I understand. I’ll go. You can stop trying to drag me out. Let me get my coat and keys, and let’s go!”


“Yey, hurry!”


….

…..


As Saynur was climbing up the stairs on the Capital’s wall, he could see violet lightning strikes flashing from the ground upwards to the skies, giving a strange feeling, seeing something in reverse instead of the natural order.


“Hurry, hurry! They already started!” Frenir cried out, skipping steps as he rushed up.


When his brother reached the top and looked over the wall, he was stunned as around the arena, sparks flew everywhere as thundering booms resonated in the air when the two young bodies clashed against each other.


“Wha… what is this?” his brother stuttered, completely stunned, as before this when a similar event was held, nothing like this ever happened. The most he saw was sweating strongman fighting and wrestling, sometimes even using weapons.


“I told you! You have never seen something like this! So cool!” his little brother laughed with shining eyes. “I’ll become someone strong too in the future!”


….

….


“I think that was enough of a warm-up.” Ren giggled, stretching as the arena’s floor was marked by scorches from her powers.


“I agree. Come!” Leinor smiled, provocatively gesturing towards her “Attack, and let me see if you are faster than before.”


Ren’s answer was only to shoot out like a flash arriving behind Leinor and directing a kick toward his spine. Her leg ruthlessly smashed into him, sending him forward but after only one roll, Leinor was already back up, completely healed.


“Careful!” Ren cried out, clapping her hands, manifesting a spear from pure violet electricity, stabbing towards Leinor.


Both of their eyes were filled with a fighting spirit and shone like stars in a bright night sky, and while Ren’s stabs were aiming for his torso, Leinor always narrowly dodged her moves. The years of constant dueling together made them so in sync that neither of them needed to think, just react to each other's movements by instinct.


“Is she trying to murder him? If one of those strikes hit, I don’t think the boytoy will survive.” Isha gulped, surprised at their violent outbursts.


“He probably would,” Zern added, shaking his head.


“Is the prince that strong?” Poli asked, clearly surprised.


“He is. He may punch softer than I and slower than Master, but he lasts longer than any of us. I trained with him when we focused on getting his regeneration speed up… He took punches for 3 hours straight….”


“Harsh. That's why I say he is a boytoy.” Isha snorted.


“He could go longer, but I was out of energy.” Zern added.


“Monster…” Poli murmured.


“Ahaha, don’t say that to his face. He is still a Prince.” Isha giggled, teasing him.


“Ugh… true… thanks.”


That was when a tearing sound resonated as Ren stabbed through Leinor’s side with her lightning spear, holding onto it with her tiny fingers and sending through a lot of energy. The feeling she got was as if every drop of energy she sent to numb Leinor’s body was simply thrown into the deep abyss, disappearing, cutting her off from manipulating it. Yet she still furrowed her brows.


“Hah… you sneaky bad boy!” Ren laughed as she let go of her weapon, jumping backward.


It happened instantly as Leinor fully absorbed the spear, which shrank down and disappeared before one could even blink, letting her energy flow through him like it was nothing. His wound quickly closed up, even faster than before, and he was again full of energy. Still, now Ren’s energy only made some rounds inside him before he punched out, letting all the electricity back out through his fist. It was exactly like their combined attack on Boursat. Ren was still in the air as she received the attack that blew her upwards with a loud booming sound—letting out a painful moan as the rebounding energies ravaged her insides, making her spit out blood. She felt her energy rebounding into her, sending everything into turmoil, even making her head dizzy and her ears ring.


“Geez, your insides are completely immune to me by now, eh?” she giggled, licking off the blood while she reached the maximum altitude just to start falling back. By then, her whole body was surrounded by electricity as she shot down like a bullet, trying to send out the now chaotic energies inside her, purging everything.


“You know… I have a new trick!” Leinor smiled, and his legs moved, lighting up with a violet hue, and used the same speed as Ren, dodging the oncoming attack, utilizing her absorbed energy. In a flash, he appeared behind her, grabbing onto her petite frame and pinning Ren down on the floor.


“You still have some… leftover… energy? Wha-” she said, surprised, but then she felt Leinor as he pinned her down, grabbing onto her wrists, leaning closely, and out of the blue, he just kissed her neck from behind. “Kyah~” escaped a small cry from between her lips. Her body shivered as if it was an unexpected but very good feeling.


Suppose someone in the Harmony Realm would look closely, they could see purple-colored energy leaving Ren’s body, spiraling into Leinor’s, dissolving into pure, white lifeforce as soon as he absorbed it. Or at least that was what others saw. In reality, Ren felt Leinor’s teeth sinking into her as he drained her energy at an astonishing speed. Although some blood did start to drip out of the tiny wound, what left her body rapidly was her energy that filled up Leinor with renewed powers.


“Damn… you bad… bad… boy…” she giggled, softly moaning as strength left her body. She tried to get out from under him, but the feeling of tiredness quickly came over her. The whole thing felt eerily satisfying, and she just got.. sleepy.


“So, this means I won?” Leinor whispered to her ears after giving a lick to her bite wound on the neck, making it close up, sending a shiver down her whole body, shaking her out of the tiredness instantly as Leinor’s power revitalized Ren.


“Yeah, LeiLei… you won~” Ren sighed surprisingly happily.


When Leinor let her go, she just turned onto her back, laying there exhausted, looking up at Leinor, panting, but it seemed it wasn’t from exhaustion and more from excitement.


“That was dirty.” Ren grinned, not even angry.


“S-sorry…” The Prince murmured, turning completely red, starting to feel ashamed about what he just did, kneeling next to her.


“Ahaha, no worries, I liked it! When did you come up with this?”


“When mother slapped me.”


“Huh?”


“She has been kept alive and young by my father’s powers, although she is not a cultivator. If we can share lifeforce with others… can’t we also take it back?”


“Ooooh… nice thinking!” she laughed while sitting up, showing her thumb to him. “And it seems your body is greatly compatible with mine, eh? See? That painful training day by day, enduring my lightning inside you, made you defeat me finally! Nyahahaha!”


Leinor smiled at her happily, stroking her head, then picking up the now feeble Ren.


“I like it when you hold me like this~” Ren giggled, snuggling up to him, and that was when the crowd cheering finally reached them, even though a lot of people were clapping with weird smiles on their faces.


“You taught him that?” Carthus asked with a stern, cold voice, his fingers crushing the wall’s masonry.


“No.” Dermitos replied with an equally dark expression, “It was erased from all records. You killed every person who knew about the technique of Erterion’s... Aerthus VII’s.”


“Make him come to me in private. This technique must not see the light again. Got it?” he looked into his son’s eyes with a murderous glint.


“Father!” Dermitos protested, now fearing for his own son’s life.


“I won’t kill him. Relax. He is a prodigy of our bloodline! But he can’t take the same road as your grandfather.” Carthus said, standing up and then disappearing from the wall while Dermitos was looking down at his son with a complicated feeling bubbling in him.


“You should show a happier face,” Anya said, coming closer, leaning at the wall, watching the kids in the arena with a half-smile.


“You’re right. That stupid son showed his embarrassing side in front of half the Capital.”


“Ahaha, Ren can take half of the blame.”


“True, she corrupted my adorable little boy!”


“Yeah, sure, it’s not like his father can say no to his crotch every time he sees a fair maiden.”


“Ugh, your tongue is still as sharp as ever, I admire Xendar, really.”


“Hmf. Anyway, we will be seeing you in the evening! Don’t even think about letting the kids meet you and your father without my supervision.”


“Good. I hoped you would come!” Dermitos nodded with a relieved face before opening his arms, addressing everyone, closing the Emperor’s Day celebration, and announcing the competitors’ rewards.


When the people started to go home, everybody felt like what they saw today would be remembered for a long time and subtly thought a new chapter had begun to reveal itself to the people of the empire, maybe ushering in a new golden age, just like after Aerthus the Conqueror established the Empire.