Chapter 53:

Probing

Mad God


"Leaving? What are you on about?! You can leave if you are afraid!" Yurik roared as he stood before Sentios.

"It is your choice if you want to stay and die. But I'm leaving." Sentios repeated.

"I now see why they are calling you a coward." He spat at his foot.

Sentios just looked over the others, finally settling his sight on Astair.

"The operation is a complete failure. They are onto us; carrying them out is no longer feasible. We greatly underestimated the validity of the rumors and paid too little attention to the younger generation when planning this out. The fault lies with me." He said, speaking to Astair.

"I think you overestimate them." Yurik laughed, feeling a bit happy as he could rise over Sentios. "Also, when we return, I'll report your attack on me to the King! Don't you think you can do this even if you are his hound!"

"You won't be able to report back if you stay here. She is maddened by her love for my nephew; this could be a trap."

"Hah. Coward!"

"I'm going back with you," Astair replied suddenly.

"You-" Yurik turned around, flabbergasted.

"I'm weak, Uncle. I would be in your way anyway." He said calmly while Sentios nodded and left right that night with Astair, leaving the few Naulin experts with Yurik.

"We are still missing Feyn. He has not come back yet." one of the followers came up, reporting to Yurik.

"Mmm… he may have been captured." Yurik thought loudly, tapping on the table, being in a good mood for the first time since they arrived here. "This is good. We can use it to our advantage. One of us went missing; we can drum up a great outrage and command an investigation. It would be best if we find him in the hands of that bitch of a sister of mine…." He laughed as he planned what to do next. At the same time, Astair was following Sentios on the road, already far away from the capital, when the sun came up.

"You really think they will die?" Astair asked, with doubt in his voice.

"They are already dead; they just don't know it yet." Sentios nodded. "An opponent like that girl is dangerous. You can predict how others will react based on their social status, rank, or other position of theirs in society. But…”

"But?"

"I saw someone who ignores it and does whatever she feels like. You can't predict people like her. Plus, she has the power to back it up. There is a difference between people who act like this, relying on outside power, and the so-called silk pants you are familiar with back home. Or people who genuinely can back it up. Take away their influence or background powers, and they will turn from tigers to cats. But someone who has power, you can't turn them harmless… only if…."

"Only if they… die?"

"Or you cripple them. Break them. Or you get stronger."

"You have a plan?" Astair looked up at him.

"Not yet. I need to consult with the King. Let's hurry back and report everything. That girl must be put on our priority list to eliminate, or she will be more dangerous than Aerthus in the early days of the Kingdom."


….
…..

"So he is our surprise guest?" Ren laughed as he walked into one of the guest bedrooms, where one of the Naulin experts was tied to a chair, still numb, as electricity was running through his body once in a while, clearly the work of Xendar.

"Yes, Young Lady." Hal smiled as only they were present now.

"Is he conscious?"

"Yes, the Lord's powers only prevent him from moving his muscles."

"Let's take it off!" Ren clapped with a smile.

"Young Lady?" Hal looked at her, a bit unsure.

"Relax, he is not a match for me." She walked up, poking the man's chest as her father's energies flowed out, forming a blue "storm ball" in her hand that she had just absorbed.

As Feyn regained control over his body, he looked at Ren with an expression that could eat her alive.

"What, no fighting back?" Ren asked, provoking him a little.

"I'm not stupid; your father must be near even if I fight back. I would be at a disadvantage."

"True. But you could cause a ruckus drawing attention here."

"I don't want to die yet."

"Ahahaha, you are really not as stupid as that Uncle of mine."

"What do you want?" He asked, averting his eyes.

"Hey, that's my question!" Ren laughed again, grabbing a chair and sitting in front of him. "But if you wish to know, I want the technique you guys used and messed up a little orphan's mind."

"..." Feyn looked on without any change in his expression but deep inside, he already cursed his companion for not disposing of the body like they usually did to be a hundred percent sure.

"Don't play stupid. I know it was one of you!" She smiled, licking her lips. "We can do this the hard way or the easy way. I recommend you work with me, and then it will be over in a jiffy, and you can be on your way!"

"..."

"The silent treatment, huh?" Ren sighed after waiting for a minute. "Okay. Uncle Hal. Please."

"As you wish, Young Lady." Hal nodded as he went out, and soon the room fell into darkness as it became covered in a prison of earth, covering the walls, ceiling, and floor.

The darkness was suffocating as no light came in from anywhere, plunging it into a silent abyss. It stayed that way for a long minute before a humming, buzzing sound filled the room, raising Feyn's hair on his body towards the ceiling. A second later, violet electricity started to flicker and blink before him as Ren's figure became visible again, outlined by flashing lightning bolts, swirling and snaking around her, reflecting in her eyes.

"You know, I healed the girl. Overwrote your technique." Ren said with a whisper, "Still… I'm glad I have a living guinea pig to play with now. I don't need to be as careful with you as I was with her. And just so you know… I like it rough." she licked her lips, walking close and finally sitting in his lap. Feyn had never felt this fear before, yet he was a battlefield veteran. He tried to resist but found out he couldn't gather his energies.

"W-what are you doing? I… I am a member of the royal family! You can't do anything to me!"

"Royal family? You are mistaken. You are my prisoner now. Only my test subject! Nothing more. You come here, hurt our people, looking at them just as discardable tools? It's a worse offense than trying to insult me or planning to assassinate my friends. At least we could fight back! But laying your hands on people and children without cultivation? You are just scum hiding behind your so-called bloodline. Don't worry! I'll help my mother to cleanse the bloodline of my family. Starting with you!" Ren leaned closer as their faces almost touched.

"D-demon… you are a demon… a mad demon!" Feyn tried to scream, but he felt numbed by only being in close contact with Ren and her powers, as electric snakes bit onto his flesh, burrowing themselves under his skin.

"Yeah, once I was called that… now that you mention it…." Ren giggled as she placed her fingers on his head, making him squirm and grit his teeth as stinging electricity flowed into his brain. "Don't worry, I'll be gentle. I want you to enjoy it! Oh, and it's my first time doing this~, But I'll get the hang of it quick, promise~ Now enjoy; you will never forget this, I guarantee you that!"


….
…..

Hours later, Hal felt a tapping on the wall that he recognized as Ren's signal. He quickly drew back his earth prison, letting her out. When Ren walked out of the room, she was wet from perspiration, her silver hair was messy, sticking together, and her clothes were almost transparent from being soaked. Looking into the room, Feyn was sitting on the chair, leaning back; his body was soft and limp, and his head was tilting sideways, eyes wide open while drool dripping from his open mouth. His lungs were letting out whistling sounds from his throat every time he breathed. He was clearly struggling with it while his skin was still releasing white smoke, filled with flashes of electricity from time to time.

"Thankfully, he was a Harmony Expert." Ren stretched, taking a towel from Hal and wiping her face.

"Did the Young Lady learn anything?" Hal asked with a smiling face.

"A few things. Their energy point in their head has mutated, affecting their brains and eyes."

"Mutated?" He asked with a thoughtful expression.

"Mutated may be the wrong word. It's modified. Cultivated with a special technique. It's an interesting concept, but I'll need to study it more to understand its functions and how to replicate it. Also, I'll need to cultivate now; I'll probe my own, see the similarities and differences, and try to work on it myself."

"Please be careful Young Lady."

"I'll be. As for him, he probably will be out for a few days. Still, please watch over him; I'd be sad if my new friend here wanders off."

"Of course." Hal smiled, bowing to her.

"How're the others?"

"Prince Leinor went back to see his father and check on the Third Prince. The Lady is out with the Lord; they should be back tomorrow only."

"Good, Mother needs some downtime; she has been on edge since those idiots arrived here. What about Niji and Emi?"

"Ambassador Niji is meeting with the Emperor and going over the contracts that arrived already."

"Huh, he really takes this ambassador title of his seriously."

"Emissary Emi is out with Poli."

"Again? I hope they aren't fighting or something."

"If I heard correctly, they are competing in different skills; today is… fishing?"

"Tsk… and they didn't ask me to be the judge? I'll have a talk with him soon~."

"You were occupied with the interrogation, Young Lady."

"Hey, when did you start taking their side?"

"Just saying, Young Lady." Hal smiled at her warmly.

"Got it, got it; they can have fun, but if Poli loses, he can look forward to his next training regime."

"I'll relay it, Young Miss."

"Thanks! I'll go take a bath and then sleep a little. I'm beat!" Ren waved as she strolled down to the bathroom, enjoying the hot water, going over, again and again, the discoveries she made when probing Feyn's mind.


….
…..

"Easy, no hurry. You are not healthy yet." Reignar said as he spoon-fed warm soup to the small girl who still couldn't hold it by herself as her hands were trembling uncontrollably.

“T-thank… you…” The little girl murmured, with a quiet, weak voice, tears in her eyes as she tasted the rich flavors of the soup, savoring every second of it.

"It's unexpected to see you like this!" Leinor sighed but had a smile on his face, standing beside the window, watching his brother taking care of the girl.

"What kind of image do you have of me?" Reignar asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Pervert. A fiend. Praying on girls and boys of all ages."

His words made the little one tremble, looking at Reignar with a bit larger eyes, but he continued to take the next bite as he raised the spoon.

"Don't give her the wrong impression!" Reignar pursed his lips.

"Ahaha, okay, okay. So. Do you remember your name?" He turned to the girl, asking with a soft, kind voice, crouching down at her bed.

"Orsi." She nodded.

"What is your last memory, Orsi?" Leinor continued while Reignar hand-fed her.

"I… I don't know." she shook her head with fear. "It's… everything is so jumbled." she sniffled as she tried to remember, but a searing pain struck her as she grabbed onto her head. "I can't remember anything… only pieces… my name and… not much…."

"Relax, it's okay!" Reignar put down the food, stroking her head, massaging it, slowly making Orsi's face relax again. "You don't need to think too hard!"

"I… don't?" she asked with fear as she felt like if she didn't answer the thing they wanted to know, she would be thrown out, and it was a gut feeling of hers… to never want to go back from where she is from.

"Yup. You don't. Just relax; you were… very sick. You need to recover; it will come back to you later." Reignar calmed her down.

"Than...thank you… um…”

"Call me Reignar."

"B-but… um, this place looks… expensive, um, you are… nobles?"

"Kinda." Leinor chuckled.

"T-then I'll call you… Young Master…" she murmured. "I… I'm… poor?" she thought with a confused face as she didn't remember where she came from, but the feeling she got was as if she was an ant before their presence, yet they were taking care of her.

"Do as you wish. Don't force anything." Reignar picked up the food again. "Come, let's continue; you need to regain some strength.

"Mm. I'll go back now and tell Ren everything." Leinor stood up.

"Did you meet with father?" Reignar asked as Leinor was almost out of the door

"No. But I met with my grandfather. He said he would be back to the wedding, but something came up recently."

"I see. Well, you should be ready. After you place the leash on your neck, there is no turning back."

"See? I told you he is a freak." Leinor rolled his eyes, looking at Orsi before leaving, while the little girl just blinked her eyes, not really understanding what they meant by that.

"Don't even listen to him. He will marry soon, losing all of his freedom." Reignar sighed.

"Marry…? When I grow up, I also want to marry… Why is it bad?" Orsi asked with a confused expression. "It means you have a family… I… I…" furrowed her brows, looking up at Reignar with innocent eyes and clearly not understanding her feelings right now. "I always… wanted a family…?"

Reignar could only sigh as he stroked her head.

"Well, if you get better, you can follow me for a time."

"R-really? Really, really?"

"Yes. Until your memories are completely back."

"Thank you, Young Master!"

"No need to thank me. Come, some soup is left; I won't read you a book if you do not finish it all!"

"Yes!" she nodded happily as she bit onto the spoon with the happiest expression Reignar ever saw on someone, evoking a strange feeling deep inside him he couldn't put his finger on.