Chapter 59:

Unfortunate Encounter

Mad God


"Isn't it a bit tight at the top?" Isha asked while she was still fixing her new outfit that was made of a black, soft, silk-like material yet also strong enough to stop any mortal weapon, as demonstrated by Aerthus when he gifted it to them. They were waiting for the others at the side of the main pond. The sun was just sending its first rays above the horizon, painting the sky orange; meanwhile, itself was yet to arise.

As she was adjusting the outer black robe on herself, with the same amethyst-colored belt everyone was wearing, her ample breasts were fighting to get free from the inner purple robe, only held in place by constantly tightening her belt.

"I think the uniform is fine; it's just… you got bigger." Zern helped her out, fixing the wrinkles on her clothing.

"Huh? Impossible. I stopped growing long ago! But you may be right; sometimes they feel heavier than before." She grumbled, jumping around a little, letting her soft curves dance freely in the new uniform, making Zern scratch his throat. "It's not bad, even though I'm not used to long dresses, but it's surprisingly easy to move around in it! I like how sparkly the trims are." She checked her sleeves, endings, shoulder pieces that all had to shine, and violet-colored lines decorating the traditional, long uniform presented to them by the Sect Head.

"It reminds me of Master's lightning." Zern nodded, who was also wearing a similar-looking outfit, only he had no problem with the chest piece.

"Ugh… now I don't like it."

"Ahaha! Don't need to be jealous!" Ren came up wearing the same outfit, making Isha laugh as it was too big for her. The bottom pieces were dragging on the ground below her like a mop while the sleeves were hanging loosely. "I'll adjust it later; we don't have time now!" She snorted, rolling her eyes, pouting.

"Why are yours different?" Zern asked, holding back his chuckle. It seems like when a child dresses up in her parent's outfit with a shoulder cape, it was like if she just threw a blanket over her shoulder.

"It's to distinguish the ranks." Ren explained to them, ignoring their looks, telling them the same way she was told by Aerthus, "What you and Isha wear are the Core Disciples' outfits. The purple inner robe, covered by the black outer one, is the same as the Inner Disciples', but yours have the shinier belt, sleeve, and shoulder decorations. The Inner Disciples won't have those. Also, the Outer Disciples' clothes will be completely black and only have a purple belt."

"And the Elders have this cool black shoulder cape with purple inside!" Poli came up proudly, flaunting his new looks that, if one was honest… really fit him well, making it feel like he was a prince charming himself.

"At least it covers your missing arm." Isha retorted as it was clear Poli was here to show off his higher position in the Sect.

"Ouch, that was harsh, my dear… Disciple~" Poli grinned.

"You!"

"Enough, Mr. Elder." Ren rolled her eyes. "I still am your Master, so don't tease the juniors."

"You too!" Isha stomped on the ground while Zern hugged her from behind.

"Relax, we will advance, and I'll help you spank that sword for brains." He whispered into her ears, quickly calming her down and giving her a peck on her face.

"Nice!" Ren winked at him proudly.

"I like the new design." Leinor appeared, too, wearing the same outfit as Zern and Isha.

"Mine is the same as the Grand Elder's," Ren explained, stretching her arms, as it was similar to Poli's, only her shoulder cape was decorated with the motif of a lightning bolt that looked lifelike. "Every Grand Elder has their signature style etched onto the cape and a medallion showing which Department they are affiliated with. Of course, I don't have the latter as I am still a disciple, only with privileges as one of the Head Disciples."

"What about the Core Elders?"

"Same getup as Poli, only they have the Department's emblem sewn on it, not their signature skill. You need to distinguish yourself to even have the chance to rise to a Grand Elder's position."

"Yeah, but you already have a cape like that? I call it favoritism!" Isha said, crossing her arms under her bulging chest.

"Don't worry, mine could be taken away if you catch up and show more talent than me! If you replace me as the Head Disciple, I will get my shoulder robe removed. Bummer. A Grand Elder, even if he or she resigns, keeps their own symbol as it showcases a talent of his or her generation! So raise to the rank, and you will have your names recorded in the history books of the Sect and can design your own crests, nyahaha~."

"So it was you who designed it?" Isha raised her red eyebrows.

"Yup."

"Yet it is like you are wearing an oversized towel," Isha smirked.

"Ugh… there wasn't any in my size yet! Master didn't expect someone with my perfect, petite frame to be so talented!"

"You should work her more at night. She still has the same ego as before. Hell, it has grown!" Isha said to Leinor with a lazy expression.

"I hope you had your fun." Carthus's voice came as he arrived where they were gathering, wearing his outfit prim and proper, and his shoulder cape was decorated with the purple symbol of an even scale. "Sect Head said he felt six experts flying towards us, coming from the east. We are to go out and meet with them."

"What about those who can't fly?" Leinor asked.

"Elder Xendar will pilot the… Skyshark... and bring the rest along." He said while looking at Ren as the others followed his gaze.

"What? I think it's a cool name! We can't always call it to ship this and ship that. It needed something that shows force!" She spread her arms innocently.

"Those who can fly follow me; we will intercept them until the rest backs us up." Carthus said, levitating off the ground and soon Ren and Poli followed him out. While Ren flew by on her own, Poli was standing on his sword with a grin, winking at the others, imagining himself stylishly riding out on his sword.

“That pompadour fuck.” Isha grumbled again, "Damn, he knows it looks cool, but he doesn't need to rub it under our nose!"

"He needs that fox girl back." Leinor nodded.

"Agreed. She can keep him in check." Zern looked at the shrinking figures. "Let's go; Elder Xendar is probably already waiting for us!"

"Yeah, if we let that lucky idiot bag more achievements, we won't have a calm day ahead of us!" Isha turned around, hurrying to the ship, followed by the rest.

They were long gone when a sleepy-faced Reignar stumbled out from nowhere, rubbing his eyes.

"Where is everyone?" Reignar yawned, still struggling to fix his belt, and the new clothing on him was even put on backward. "The sun is not even up… why the fuck do we need to get up this early… If I sleep alone, I can't rest… ugh…" he groaned with half-closed eyes, staggering all around like a zombie, trying to find the rest of the group.


….
…..

Arriving at the scene, the trio stood before six men who wore standard leather armor, usually prevalent in the army or nobles' private forces. All of them were standing in the air, clearly in the Harmony Realm, but as Ren scanned over them, she felt they were not at a high level when they advanced. In return, the six men also looked at them with fear, especially after they saw Ren's hair and eyes, not knowing what to do for a moment.

"Oh." Ren realized the misunderstanding and chuckled, looking at Carthus. "Should I…?"

"Do as you wish."

"Hehe~" She stepped forward, then raising her voice, she turned towards them. "What are you doing here?" She asked in a commanding voice.

"We are servants of the Elroth family, friends of the Qun family. We came here because of the disturbance on the island, tasked with checking it out." their leader replied with an unsure voice.

"Well, you did. Now you can leave." Ren signaled with her hand as they just looked at each other, hesitating.

"Can we ask your name, Young Lady?"

"Do I need to introduce myself to anyone who I come across? Who do you think you are?" She snorted, flaunting her hair.

Her words immediately silenced them as they hesitated, speaking between themselves via voice projection.

"What should we do? She is clearly from that lunatic bastard's line! Just look at her hair color!"

"Maybe, but I never heard of someone as young looking as her to be among their experts."

"You think someone at our level is privy to their secrets? I call bull! We should just go back to report it and let the nobles handle this between themselves."

"If we go back just yet, we will be penalized by the family, even dismissed… and that means nobody will employ us again. Ever. They are probably from the Empire." their leader looked over, scanning them again. "Don't just focus on the girl; see the other two? They don't look like any family I know about, and their clothes are foreign too! I don't think they are from the Kingdom or from Rorik."

"That's more of a reason to go back!" one of them panicked while another gulped loudly, speaking up without voice projection.

"It's too late…."

It was that moment when the Skyshark appeared as it slowly approached from behind Carthus and company, circling around, cutting off their retreat route swiftly, way faster than any of the six could match.

"What's the meaning of this?" The leader shouted.

"Nothing. As you don't wish to leave, we'd like to invite you then." Ren answered with a smile.

"You are not part of the royal family..."

"Took you long enough to realize it! But still, you stayed. Now please… board the ship."

"We go, now!" their leader shouted, but as his voice fell, Ren was already between them, smashing into his chest, sending him flying backward, crashing onto the Skyshark's deck.

The following person who made his move was Poli as he was still standing in the air, now stepping off his blade that flew out, obstructing another from fleeing.

"What are your plans?" Carthus asked calmly, who wielded a saber as his energies billowed out, suppressing everyone around him. He was yet to make a move, but his blade shone in a strange, dark color, emitting deep bloodlust.

"LeiLei needs practice. They are going to do fine with that! They are just scouts anyway; if we take them, someone from the higher-ups will come to investigate! Then you and the Elders can take care of that. Or we just send them back and go by messaging each other this way? They would think we are afraid of this level of strength. What kind of image would that give about our Sect?"

"Your tongue is more dangerous than your skills." He sighed, shaking his head. "You heard her!" Carthus spoke to the mercenaries, "Land on the ship peacefully, and we will guarantee your safety. When your owners come, they can pick you up."

"Ouch…" Poli laughed at his words that were uttered so calmly and matter-of-factly, making their "visitors" tremble with anger yet unable to retaliate.

"There are only three of them! We get hold of one of them, and we are free!" one of them screamed with panic all over his voice, trying to muster all of his bravery, attacking Poli. Attack at once! Seeing how Ren sent one of them flying, the next logical target was the young man with only one arm.

Poli's sword, only by going its owners' thought, circled around and, with one swift swing, following his eyes trajectory, decapitated the soldier on the spot, releasing a fountain of blood that splattered down below them right into the water.

Ren just watched on calmly, looking at Poli, sensing how his energies worked since the injury, and it seemed he had significantly recovered by now. When the sword, a moment ago, just sliced into the mercenary's flesh, Carthus also moved. The other two, trying to help their companion out by attacking Poli in tandem, suddenly felt lighter than before. It didn't take long to realize why as they looked down at their bottom half, falling into the river, being washed away. To their horror, their guts were hanging out in the open, slowly falling downwards. They forgot to scream at the sudden change and watched as Carthus' blade going from left to right, sweeping motion, changed to an upside-down swing, cutting them into half again, now vertically.

Three were dead in a second, and that only left two standing in the air, paralyzed, realizing that all of their enemies are someone who is not just in the same realm… no, it dawned on them, THEY are not in the same domain as those three. The strongest of the six-man group was the first who blasted away, being someone who advanced to the Harmony Realm at the sixth level, while they were only at the fourth or fifth when they finally took the chance and survived the tribulation.

It was now all for nothing, as they died miserably as if they were only clay figures in the hand of a kid playing in the backyard. Carthus was indifferent, gazing at the remaining two, who immediately raised their hands.

"That was a clean move." Ren giggled as she looked at both of them, but only Poli answered.

"By now, it's as if the sword reacts to my thoughts. I just need to think about what I would do, and it does it perfectly. Honestly… I should've lost my arm sooner."

"Idiot." She smacked the back of his head. "How's your energy points?"

"Still numb a little. I use my affinity as little as possible; they can handle it, but not for long. I don't want to stress them more than I should."

"Good. Finally, you are growing up. Come, Carthus already left us standing here like two idiots!" Ren patted his shoulder, flying towards the Skyshark, followed by Poli.

As they landed, the remaining three scouts were surrounded by a disappointed trio of Zern, Isha, and Leinor.

"Good job Grand Elder." Xendar nodded as Carthus landed on the deck, returning his greeting.

"Sorry guys, you came late." Poli laughed, floating down with a wide grin.

"You-" Isha snorted but held back her words as Carthus was there, and badmouthing an Elder… was not something he would take lightly… probably.

"Don't worry; our three buddies here will help you train. It's a good opportunity for all of you." Ren stretched lazily. "I also need to get the others here from the Capital…." She murmured, "Now that they lost their value, they can be used for the same thing."

"If you want to torture us, then just kill us instead!" the first guy moaned, recovering from Ren's numbing impact.

"Torture? No, we are not that kind of a Sect. You will fight with our disciples, you are allowed to use your full powers, and don't worry, you won't be killed even if you injure them. When your superior comes, you will be handed back to them." Xendar answered with a calm voice.

"Why should we believe you? The others got slaughtered like pigs…."

"You shouldn't have attacked." Poli rolled his eyes.

"Let's go back." Carthus stepped next to Xendar. "I'll report this to the Sect Head."

"I'm first," Isha said suddenly, loudly, raising her hand.

"Huh?" The others looked at her.

"I said, I'm first! When we get back, I want the first match. I'm tired of being left out of all the fun!"

"Sure!" Ren laughed. "Let's do a tag team, you and Zern, against two of them!"

"Fine by me." Zern stepped up, standing shoulder to shoulder-with Isha.

"Good, the third will go to Leinor and Reignar… wait… where is Reignar?"

"I don't know where he is." Carthus answered, "But I know where he will be when we get back."

"Ugh…" they looked at each other "I'm glad we woke up early…." Isha murmured, leaning close to him. "Thanks…" She whispered to Zern.

"Anytime." He chuckled while the same scene was happening between Ren and Leinor, leaving out only Poli, who just shrugged, caressing his sword.

"At least you are always with me." He whispered to it with a depressed expression.