Chapter 122:

Preparations

Mad God


It was early spring, the snow had already melted. The temperature was getting warmer and warmer, the trees and flowers were beginning to bloom. Ren was sitting inside the Sect’s library, on the top floor, surrounded by towers of books. She was reclining backwards on her chair, nibbling on her pencil while reading an old, yellowed book, held together by an unseen miracle. She has already regrown most of her skin. From the outside, nobody could tell she was completely disfigured a few months ago and her silvery hair was back to shoulder length.


“This also isn’t it…” She moaned, closing the book in her hands, throwing it onto the table before her, rubbing her forehead.


“Come, you should get some fresh air!” Leinor walked up to her, bringing a mug of hot tea for his wife.


“That sounds good!” Ren smiled, taking it from him, looking over the thousands of books inside the room. “I went through every book your brother brought back, translated those that were hard to understand but I only had a little progress on how to solve Orsi’s problem!”


“Maybe you just need not to overthink it! The best ideas can come by chance.” He encouraged her.


“Maybe. Or maybe our next outing is going to bring the solution for it!” She smiled, putting down the tea, stretching with a loud moan.


“With Heaven's Gate?”


“Yep! I collected some ideas from these texts and the way my dear family cultivates these eyes,” Ren pointed at hers “could be the answer to the problem.”


“Sounds logical. But I hope you are not planning to fight someone from the 2nd stage of Harmony, just so you can let them use it on you, so you can steal it!”


“Nope.” She shook her head with a grin. “At least not if I can help it! But on the other hand…”


“I may regenerate quickly but…” He hesitated immediately at the notion that this conversation was going towards. And how Ren looked at him.


“No, no, no!” Ren laughed, hugging his waist. “I meant there is going to be trouble anyway! Why not come out with riches on top of it then? If they provoke us, let us bet on it!”


“Oh! I see! That sounds way better!” He sighed, letting out his sudden nervousness.


“See? I also told my disciples, if they are challenged, don't accept it for free!”


“What if they lose?” He asked.


“Geez, you sound like Ariana! She asked the same question. I will tell you what I told her! Just don’t lose!”


“Very helpful!” He rolled his eyes, patting her head. “How’s her training coming along?”


“Good! Very good! She built up a very strong foundation, she is at the 4th stage yet her energy is as abundant and solid. She feels and looks like someone in the 5th stage. What about yours?”


“5th. Both of them. Wyland has lost a lot of weight, still a chubby guy but at least he can see his own feet by now.”


“And here I am… being called a devilish Master!” She poked fun at him with glee.


“Surprisingly no, I wasn't called that! He never once uttered a complaint, not even when I worked him, right until he fainted. He may be socially awkward but he is shaping up to have a very strong will of his own!”


“He and Ariana should go on a mission together. My girl could help with his darker feelings when interacting with others.” Ren mused to herself a little.


“I’ll think of something.” Leinor nodded, liking the idea. “But we should focus on what is before us!”


While they were talking about their disciples, Ariana, Toobu and Wyland were gathering on the training field, fighting against Yanda in a 3 vs 1 situation. The three of them wielded their weapons. Araina was stabbing out with her spear, going through the stances Ren taught her. Toobu was holding onto a greatsword, while Wyland had metallic gloves on, with small spikes covering his knuckles.


Yanda was standing there calmly, while water droplets orbited around him like planets around the sun. When Ariana’s spear aimed for his chest, one droplet turned into a whip, grabbing onto her weapon, flinging it away with the young girl still holding onto it, with all her might. Another drop turned into a thin yet giant tower shield, blocking Toobu’s greatsword, without Yanda even looking in his direction.


“Damn, it’s like being stuck in mud!” Toobu groaned, fighting to tear away his sword that was being gobbled up by the water shield.


“L-l-l-let m-m-m-me!” Wyland shouted, arriving quickly, throwing out a punch. When it landed on the shield, it sent ripples everywhere, finally letting Toobu free his sword.


“An opening!” Ariana thought as Yanda’s attention was drawn by the two boys, seemingly forgetting about her.


Yet when her spear aimed at his back, two other droplets formed a trident, blocking it amongst its three prongs, locking Ariana’s spear in place.


“Now!” Ariana shouted. Toobu flicked his fingers as he produced an Instant Fire, igniting the talisman in less then a second.


Ariana only jumped back, abandoning her spear at the last moment. When the fireball blasted out, hitting Yanda directly, it produced a violent explosion as flames danced everywhere, scorching the ground. When the smoke settled, Yanda was still standing there, covered in a bubble while heavy ripples ran alongside it constantly.


“Hm?!” Yanda grunted, snapping his head upwards but Wyland was already descending onto him like a meteor, holding his hand together. He was smashing down with all of his might as his hands were burning in dark, crimson flames. They were emitting dreadful, depressing feelings. “Disturbing my concentration… nice…” Yanda thought, letting Wyland’s feelings wash over him.


Before it could land, Yanda finally summoned his real trident, blocking Wyland’s attack. His bubble burst apart, splashing water everywhere. It was already weakened by Toobu’s attack and only his trident could push back Wyland. Yanda was snuffing out his flames with his water as the boy landed on his back, skidding backwards.


“O-o-oouch…” Wyland moaned, getting up after finally stopping, wearing a weak smile. “W-w-we w-w-won!”


“Hahahaha, they did!” Lulu laughed loudly, sitting not far away, clapping heavily as the trio gasped for air with a proud expression.


“Haaah, you did!” Yanda chuckled, putting away his weapon as their spar was based on him not using it. “Although you didn’t train together, you have pretty good teamwork! I am proud of you as your Senior Brother!” He clapped too, prompting Toobu to laugh out heartily while Ariana just blushed a little, same as Wyland.


“I know it wasn’t a fair fight,” Toobu said while helping Wyland stand up. “But you made the rules, Senior Brother, not us!”


“I know~ You can be proud! Give it a few years and you may catch up to me!”


“N-n-n-no w-w-w-way!” Wyland shook his head. “W-w-w-we h-h-have m-m-much t-t-to l-l-learn!” He said, cupping his hands.


“Yes, if Senior Brother would fight seriously, we wouldn’t have a chance!” Ariana nodded, picking up her spear, folding it and putting it on her back.


“You don’t need to be humble about it!” Lulu walked closer by then. “Or we are going to be stepped on next time!”


“Next time?” Ariana asked as she looked at her, tilting her head with question marks in her eyes.


“She means our next mission.” Yanda explained. “And she is right. Every one of us needs to be sharp and ready!”


“Are we really expecting trouble?” Toobu asked while he crossed his hands. “Are they that stupid?”


“Stupid? No. Confident? Yes.” Lulu answered, looking at him. “Our Master killed a prominent figure from the Naulin bloodline, yet no messenger came to us or either to the Empire. They either don’t know it or we are going to hear about it. When we arrive.”


“Tha…thsat…” Wyland stuttered, biting on his tongue, shaking a little. “Sc-sc-scawry…” He murmured, gulping loudly.


“Relax!” Toobu grinned, slapping on his back, almost making him fall forward. “You are strong, grow a backbone already! Geez, when you are not in battle mode, you turn back into a rabbit! But when it comes to fighting, you are a lion! What’s up with that?”


“I-i-i D-d-don’t k-k-know…” He said as he lowered his head, making the others chuckle.


“Heeey, ‘sup kids?” cut in a female voice and when they turned, Eisen was approaching them. She was wearing a loose, black overall. She let the top part hang around her waist, tied up with its sleeves, showcasing the scarred and tattooed upper body of hers. while only wearing bandages around her chest, covering up her breasts.


Since Eisen and Sezel were brought back to the sect, Dermitos nursing them back to health, they were living amongst them. True, both of them were mostly put under the supervision of one of the Elders. Eisen quickly stood back up to her feet and even though she suffered serious injuries and was weakened, she was moving around after a week or so. Sezel on the other hand, was still bound to her bed as she only regained consciousness a month later.


“Oh boy…” Toobu sighed, as Eisen often found them for “fun”, being bored out of her mind inside the Sect.


“Did I miss the fight?” She laughed as she got closer.


“You did. Thankfully.” Lulu answered.


“Oh, come on, relax a little, I won’t steal your boy~” Eisen winked at her then looked over the rest. “If you are finished, why not go out and have some fun with me? Visit a few bars? Get drunk or do some drugs and have a party? We could also fuck like rabbits!”


“No, thank you.” Everyone answered at the same time, even Wyland, failing to stutter while saying it.


“Fuck, you are no fun!” Eisen groaned as her expression turned desperate. “I’m going mad inside here, come on! Throw me a bone! I can’t go out without supervision! I know I am jailed here, but damn it! I want to at least get drunk and pick up some dudes or girls for a night! Spare me an evening guys! Please! Take me out for a walk! You can put a leash on me if you must! I can bark too! Woof-woof!”


“Why does she sound familiar?” Yanda whispered, looking at Lulu who just returned his gaze with a deadpan look.


“We are sorry, but it is my Master’s instructions! You can move freely inside the Sect but can’t leave it.” Ariana spoke up respectfully, cupping her hands. “Wait until Sezel recovers, just as you, and Master will give you new orders.”


“Tsk!” Eisen spat sideways, frustrated to all hell, which was easily picked up by Ariana’s powers. “Should’ve just died back there.” She grumbled like an old man. “Girl… please?” She switched again, right into pleading mode, almost kneeling before Ariana. “Pretty please? I can lick your feet if you want! Or anywhere else! Just take me out for a day… pleeeease! I want to visit a city, gamble, drink, fight and fuck! I want my life of fuuuun baaaack!” She truly groveled before her, already crying, hugging Ariana’s legs. Those were real tears and snot, staining Ariana’s uniform.


“Ugh, no, I… No I can’t! Hey! Stop it!” She tried to push her off but she was powerless against her. Even though Eisen did not use any strength, she was still a Harmony level cultivator.


“Sometimes I do feel sorry for her…” Toobu sighed with admiration, while Wyland just nodded, agreeing with him.


“Just don’t.” Ren’s voice arrived as quickly as she, landing behind Eisen. “Let go of her. Act like an adult already!” She scolded Eisen, pulling her off of Ariana by the hair.


“I don’t wanna!” She sat up, throwing a tantrum like a child.


“So you want to play, huh?” Ren smiled as her disciples looked at each other, already recognizing that expression on their Master’s face. “Okay! I’ll take you with us.”


“Really?!” Eisen exclaimed and the rest of the group just repeated her words.


“Yeah.” Ren nodded, looking into her eyes “I’ll need a scapegoat to cause some trouble.”


“Will there be chaos?” Eisen asked, with fire in her eyes.


“Maybe… and maybe you will be my little wild dog, let loose upon some unsuspecting idiot.” Ren said as she crouched, patting her head. She only had a black stripe of hair in the middle, worn in a ponytail, reaching towards the middle of her back, while the rest of her head was shaved down completely.


“Sounds fun… will you protect me?” Eisen answered, flashing her white teeth.


“If you are a good dog, yeah. I will.”


“Awesome! Just point me the way then!” She laughed, giving some proud ‘woofs’.


“Good girl~ Now go back to Sezel, take care of her! I’ll call you when we are leaving!”


“Oookay! See ya~!” She stood up, clearly happy and satisfied, rushing away excitedly.


“Master…” Yanda spoke up, voicing everyone’s concerns. “Is this a good idea?”


“I don’t know, but she is not part of the Sect.” Ren smiled, looking at the leaving figure of Eisen. “Not everyone fights fair and square. I want to have a backup at hand.” She crossed her hand behind her back. “Go and start preparing. A few days and we are off! Let her be my problem.”


“Yes!” They cupped their hands towards Ren before leaving and getting ready for meeting the world’s Second Sect.