Chapter 94:

Treasure Hunt (1)

Mad God


The sun just rose in the east, waking Ushtagat’s citizens up. That was when Yanda also arrived back at the front gates. Just as he walked past, under its archways a grinning Lulu greeted him.


“It seems like you lost~” She licked her lips.


“...” Yanda just looked at her with a calm expression, not bothering to refute, crossing his arms as he scanned Lulu who was really out of breath. She was trying to look calm but it was clear as the sky she just got back, maybe only minutes before him.


“What~? You want out?” Lulu asked with an even wider grin.


“I’m not like you.” He shook his head.


“Ouch, hey, I wouldn’t bat an eye if you would have won! Be a man!”


“That is good.” Ren’s voice came, who appeared beside them. Lulu and Yanda quickly stood straight, cupping their hands, greeting her at the same time.


“Master.”


“Both of them are your slaves for a day!” Ren stretched, ignoring their looks “When you get back to the Sect, that is.” their Master said with a grin as a sleepy faced Kyu walked out from behind her, still barely able to open her eyes.


“Yey!” Kyu yawned, smacking her lips “You are the best Master!” she hugged her waist, rubbing her face into her body.


“Master… you did not… bring her back, yes?” Lulu asked with a wry smile.


“Me? I would never cheat like that.” Ren answered with a smile but it alone was telling enough.


“Ugh…” both of her disciples sighed at the same time.


“I already spoke with the City Lord.” Ren continued, rubbing Kyu’s head in the meantime “You did good, for the most part. You are going to receive your contribution points when you report back to the Sect. Until I am back, you are taking care of Kyu!”


“Understood.” Yanda nodded, regaining his calm expression in the end.


“You are not coming?” Lulu tilted her head, quickly accepting her situation as a babysitter.


“No, I am going to meet up with the Emperor. Oh, yes, when I’m back we are going to go over some things you screwed up, while doing your task!”


“You were watching?” both of them asked at the same time.


“I am always watching~” She giggled and her body slowly disintegrated into small strands of lightning, dispersing into the air while Kyu fell over, still trying to hug her.


“Huh? Yummy, breakfast!” Kyu blinked her eyes a little as she tumbled forward. She just slurped up the residue energy of Ren’s clone with a happy expression while Lulu and Yanda twitched their eyes with a weird smile, how quickly she ‘abandoned’ them.


Far away, at the imperial palace Ren just twitched, feeling her clone’s left over energy being devoured by Kyu.


“That gluttonous bastard…!” Ren chuckled while Feynor, who welcomed her warmly and was now having breakfast with her.


“Was it your pet again?”


“Yeah… be glad she is not here, you would be eaten out of your wealth!” Ren munched on her scrambled eggs.


“Then we are truly lucky!” Anniel smiled while sitting next to her husband.


“Nah, I am the lucky one that you are willing to look after my brother!” Ren shook her head.


“He is a good boy and good friend of Sylas.” She tilted hers with warm lights in her eyes.


“Are they still asleep?” Feynor turned towards her and when Anniel nodded he just sighed again “No wonder, I caught them sneaking around the previous night.”


“Again?” Ren asked as she raised her eyebrows “What were they up to this time?”


“Nothing major, Sylas came up with the idea that the palace has a secret room that opens up only at night and contains wealth from the Forefather’s time! Hidden away, waiting for the worthy to find it!” Feynor rolled his eyes which made Ren laugh out loudly.


“That would reeeeally catch Valen’s imagination! He always liked listening to legends and fables. Tsk-tsk… But let me ask Master!” She whipped out a communication crystal and soon Aerthus’s face emerged above it, in a hazy, mist like picture.


The sudden appearance of his made Anniel almost fall back, jumping up hurriedly, bowing deeply towards the half-transparent image of his.


“Relax…” Feynor whispered, calming down her wife while Aerthus’s face turned towards Ren.


“What?” The Sect’s number one cultivator yawned tiredly. “ If this is about asking for more CC forget it! Did I not tell you to only use this in emergencies? This is not a toy!”


“But this is an emergency Master!” Ren pleaded.


“Mmm? What happened?” He asked, not really convinced.


“Your wealth is in danger, the secret room inside the palace has been found and robbed clean!”


“What?!” He roared at the other side, almost shaking them off of their chairs even though they were separated by thousands of kilometers, surprising even Ren “Damn it! I’ll be there in a moment!”


“Wai-w-wait! Wait!” Ren cut in quickly “You really have treasures hidden here?”


“Huh?” Aerthus stopped and slowly sat back at the other side, looking at Ren with a serious expression “Of course I have. My most important and my most dearest things are hidden well enough there, preserved for a time when I can finally… let go. Of course when I did that I was only at the first stage of the Harmony Realm… so it could be… Infiltrated. I expected it wouldn’t be disturbed there but… tsk… It finally happened!”


“Woah… call me turkey and stuff me fully, I never expected it to be true!” Ren murmured under her breath.


“Wait… you played me for a fool now?” Aerthus realized it.


“Kinda. My lil’ brother and nephew are looking for a secret room, left behind by you, filled with your treasures!”


“I see… they may have found some clues, hah! Only a child, with undeveloped affinity would be this sensitive to the flow of energy I left behind back then. They are still pure in body and spirit...” He sighed, leaning backwards in the image “So they are the ones who sensed it. Explains a lot.”


“Soooo…” Ren asked with already sparkling eyes.


“Keep an eye on them.” Aerthus ordered.


“Are there any dangers?” Anniel asked with a weak voice as Ren turned the crystal towards her so they could see eye to eye.


“No, there is not, the defensive spells I left behind are harmless; they are there for preserving the room in perfect condition only and not to cause harm.” he answered, shaking his head.


“Thank the Gods!” Anniel sighed with relief.


“So if they find it…” Ren continued.


“You can go in and take a look around. If they see something they find fancy and want to keep, they can take it away. But only one thing per person!”


“And…” She licked her lips.


“You won’t find anything worthy of you there.” He rolled his eyes “You are just like your pet! No wonder she picked up her mother’s style!”


“Ahaha, you know what they say, a pet takes on his or her master!” Ren laughed, not denying it.


“Then why are you not more like me?” Aerthus snorted at the other side.


“Because I am not your pet~ That honor goes to LeiLei~” She giggled without shame, prompting Feynor to stifle a laugh too.


“Touché.” Aerthus just rolled his eyes, not really mad at her “Anyway, your father arrived back, good job with your part! Your servants already started to interrogate them”


“Oh? 01 and 02 are back? Good! They got pretty good at using their gift by now. If they can’t deal with the fatty, wait for my return. I'll make him squeal like a pig, very quickly~ But tell them, don’t break my new toys! They can get jealous if they think a 03 is on its way but reign their powers in!”


“It’s not my problem.” Aerthus replied with a teasing voice.


“Maasteeeer~”


“Enough. Only call me if it is an emergency!” He added with a stern tone then terminated the connection as the crystal went dim once again.


“Hmm, I wonder what would be hidden away by Forefather.” Feynor scratched his chin.


“Probably some ancient artifacts or techniques that are irrelevant by now. And gold. Jewelry. Old weapons of sentimental value.” Ren listed, counting on her fingers as she spoke.


“It is good to be a kid… haahh… If I would be younger I would be already on the hunt by now!” Feynor lamented.


“True, I heard from LeiLei you were obsessed with history and archeology.” Ren giggled while Anniel also smiled, looking at her husband as it was one of things that brought them close. They met in the city's public library. Back then Feynor searched for clues, old maps, fairy tales, anything that could lead him to a lost ruin of a kingdom, preceding the Empire.


“I can't deny that! But since I became Aerthus X, I was unable to enjoy my hobby.”


“Don’t worry, there should be less problems from the south! Not just my disciples, but a dozen or so inner disciples are also cracking down on the growing gang activity. It is going to be curbed as much as possible if not weeded out completely!” Ren said with resolution in her eyes.


“It’s not enough.” He rubbed his temple “It seems like the whole Empire is under attack! All members of the Agency are working overtime, the Shadow Corp is stretched thin as it is… I envy my father having it so easy! I’ll be honest with you Ren, I feel this is not an ordinary “rumor spreading” anymore, but a coordinated attack!”


“Hey, you are doing great and we are here to help, don’t worry!” Ren stood up, trying to ease his worries. “This is just some annoying shenanigans from the Kingdom. The majority of people are on your side! Especially now! How many people have a better life thanks to your new laws? The opportunities presented by the multiple trading roads towards the north? There are always those who cling to the old ways, refusing to let in the new but you can’t stop progress!”


“She is right dear, so don’t worry…” Anniel nodded, gently stroking his tired face.


“Sorry, it’s not befitting me to whine like this!” Feynor chuckled and suddenly a loud, childish voice shouted behind Ren, running up to her, jumping onto her, hugging her from behind.


“Ren!” Valen screamed, who still wore his pajamas, a blue onesie with stars on it.


“Ahaha, there you are, you sleepy head!” Ren laughed, helping him up to sit in her lap as she started to fix his bad bed hair. “Where were you in your dreams? Lost in a forest? You look like you were chewed out by a bear!”


“Teehee, we were up late!” Valen grinned happily and proudly while some of his milk-tooth were missing from the front.


“I heard! Father too, you know! A spanking is in order for you, don’t tell me you didn’t think about that when you were doing your evil deeds, mister?”


“Uuu… You are going to protect me… no?” He asked with a soft voice, looking up with puppy-like eyes, melting Ren’s heart.


“I’ll see what I can do kiddo~” She smacked a big kiss on his forehead.


“Yey! That is why you are the best!” He clapped happily, leaning back on her with a satisfied expression.


Valen’s face took after his father’s appearance, inheriting his blonde hair and deep, blue eyes yet his body was more like Anya’s as he was short, even for a 6 year old and thin like a girl, with sparkling, pure white skin. It even made Ren think; Maybe it was her mother’s side that made her into an eternal teen and not her own cultivation.


“No wonder he turned out like the little devil he is!” Feynor chuckled but got scolded by Anniel.


“You can’t say a word.”


“Ahaha… true… true!” He smiled at his wife.


“Speaking of the devil, what about my adorable, little nephew and niece?” Ren asked, looking down at her brother, while she fed Valen with her own breakfast, really spoiling him to the core.


“Sylas is still sleeping, Elyse is meditating!”


“Oh? She is?” She asked with surprise, looking at Feynor and Anniel.


“You are her idol.” Feynor shook his head “She wants to be like you, even though she has not awakened anything yet! She always tries to meditate and cultivate.”


“Since when?” Ren tilted her head, blinking her eyes rapidly as she did not know about this.


“Since a year ago when you were visiting with Leinor and held that little showcase in the city, promoting the Sect.”


“Oh my… why was I left in the dark?” Ren laughed happily.


“She is shy!” Valen grinned. “She doesn’t want you to know because she is not there yet!”


“Hah! She wants to work her way up, eh? Without shortcuts? I can respect that.” Ren nodded with a flicker in her eyes “You could learn from her a lot!” She looked down on Valen, flicking his forehead.


“Ouch! Ehehe… but I like playing more!”


“Haahh, I know, I know. Still! A little bit of restraint would look good on you.” Ren said while putting another bite into her brother’s small mouth.


“Restraint?” He tilted his little head, chewing, with confusion “Like when Uncle Leinor tied you up?”


“Ugh…” Ren flinched while Anniel’s face became the shade of a ripe tomato. Feynor was also coughing, almost choking on his food. “Why do you know about this?” Ren twitched her mouth, grabbing onto Valen’s cheeks, pulling them apart. “Huh?”


“Oiweee, Heeeen, Phewaaaaasee! I whasn lhoookihng!”


“Yeah, sure you weren’t, you little…!” She let it go as his cheeks just sprang back like a rubber band while Valen started to rub his face with tears in his eyes.


“I went to see if you were up but you were still sleeping, and tied up in a weird way… what kind of game was that? It looked scary!”


“No game you should have knowledge about!” She scolded him once again.


“Hauh… o-okay…” He pulled back his neck, looking down, playing with his fingers.


“All will be forgiven, just keep your mouth shut. Got it?” She patted his head while he just nodded fervently “Good kid! Now go, wake up Sylas and tell Elyse to meet me after breakfast!”


“What are we going to do?” He turned towards her quickly in her lap, with bright eyes, ready for any adventure his elder sister makes up.


“We are going on a treasure hunt, you little imp!” She giggled, making Valen cry out with excitement, hopping out of her lap. He was quickly running away to wake up his best friend and get ready for the best day ever as it isn’t just going to be a fun adventure, but he can spend a whole day with his sister.


“Restraints… huh?” Feynor chuckled when Valen was out of the room.


“Ehehe… what can I say… your youngest brother does resemble the third when he gets carried away… or drunk…”


“Ahaha!” He laughed loudly, wiping his mouth with a napkin “I won’t pry any further! I assume you are going to take care of the kids for today?”


“Yup. Sure thing. Leave them to me!”


“Thanks.”


“No problemo! You two also need some downtime anyway!” She grinned, making the just calmed down Anniel turn beet red once again.