Chapter 130:

Aerthus’s Advice

Mad God


Under the cover of the night, Gilgan and Seq were meeting up at an old lumber mill, that was abandoned years ago.


“I have a strange feeling that we are being followed.” Gilgan said as he looked around but couldn’t feel any presence besides theirs.


“Me too.” Seq nodded. “We are also without weapons… I don’t like this. Both of us can’t be wrong…” His son whispered, constantly scanning the surroundings. This was what saved his life as just at the last moment he could raise his hand to block an incoming attack from the darkness of the night.


The air pressure passed by him, blowing his hair backwards, as five fingers, ending in long, claw-like nails swiped at him. Seq quickly jumped backwards. The clothing and the skin on his hand burst open, splashing blood everywhere, while his father was punching towards his attacker. His fist only hit a blackish mist as the figure retreated into the darkness. Gilgan could only see two, shining, golden eyes. They were like a cat's.


“Not good!” He tried turning towards his son but before he could, a blue lightning ball hit him in the back making him stumble forward. Before the second lightning strike could land on him he had already formed a greenish, half-transparent shield that blocked it.


“Poison, huh?” Eisen snorted as she stepped out into the moonlight. Bluish sparks flashed around her arms, flexing them a little. “Well, maybe I’ll get a sniff or two of it~ I have been sober for far too long!” She chuckled before placing her hands together and blasting out multiple, smaller balls of lightning, striking at Gilgan’s shield.


“Father!” Seq groaned and tried to go after Eisen but before he could step two spaces forward, the previous claws came for him again, aiming at his eyes. “Fuck!” He groaned, stopping his feet, forced to block once again. He suffered deep cuts all over his arms once more. His recovery was something similar to Leinor’s, but compared to him, Seq’s wounds left behind ugly scars and closed in way slower.


“Well I’m not as strong as Boss…” Eisen murmured to herself. “But I also think you are nothing special.” By the time her words escaped her mouths she was flashing closer to Gilgan, going inside the cloud of poison he surrounded himself with. She was able to exchange moves directly with him. Eisen ignored the dangers of the poison and she just smashed into the shield with her body, cracking it into greenly smoking pieces.


“You willingly touch my poison? Are you mad?” Gilgan blinked his eyes, not believing what he was seeing but Eisein just took a deep and weirdly satisfying breath.


“Fucking yes… YES! Did you not know that the best stuff that makes you see some real, gnarly hallucinations are made from poisonous plants? I loved experimenting and coming up with fresh stuff! I got pretty good at filtering out toxins with my body!” Eisen laughed even more loudly. She was completely fired up and her attacks were becoming wilder and stronger.


Gilgan never met with anyone who would be insane enough to inhale his poisonous fumes but here she was, laughingly dancing in the green cloud he released from his body. She was fighting wildly and erratically, with no rhyme or reason behind any of her attacks, making it hard for Gilgan to predict what comes next.


“Boy, I really like you! Do you have a wife or a mistress? Don’t you want to join me?” Eisen grinned. “We could have insane parties with this stuff of yours!”


Just as Gilgan was thinking about breaking off the fight and finding a way to escape he heard his son shout out to him.


“Behind you!”


But it was too late. Kitten’s figure appeared from the darkness and her claws scratched at his back, tearing off multiple layers of flesh, so deeply, his spine was showing at some points.


“Run, now!” Gilgan screamed, trying to help his son. They were ganging up on him and Seq had the chance to escape now.


He stole only a look at his father before turning around to speed away. Just as he took the first step, something flashed behind him and a purple spear went through his chest, burning off the blood that stained it.


“How did this… get here?” He wondered with surprise, looking down. He was not feeling pain or anything at all, yet he saw it sticking out from his own heart. Just then, the rumbling of thunder finally arrived, deafening him, bursting his eardrums. Yet he still could hear the cold whisper that resonated within his soul.


“This is… how you assassinate someone… you fucker…”


It was Ren, who stood behind him, holding her energy spear, twisting it and sending a violent blast into Seq’s body, blowing it to pieces. He only left behind two, smoking legs, standing rooted to the ground. White, broken bones were sticking out at the top, while flesh and internal organs rained down around Ren. Hearing the demise of his son, Gilgan just sighed, knowing his time was also up. He was giving up all defense while Kitten punctured his skull from behind with her claws, killing him quickly.


“Damn… now the fun is over…” Eisen groaned, patting her hand but then after a shrug she was grinning again, turning towards Ren. “Yo Boss, that was quick! I thought we should capture one alive and you would praise us… but you arrived way faster than I anticipated!”


“No. They escaped once, and should've cherished their luck. Yet the father went after my mother and his son after my disciple.” She shook her head then turned towards Kitten who was standing there, licking her now normal looking fingers.


“Mmm? Yes?” She tilted her head, clearly a bit nervous by Ren’s gaze. Kitten just shook her head quickly, trying to remain calm and unbothered.


“Nothing.” Ren walked closer in the end, pointing at the head of Gilgan. She blasted it apart with a lightning bolt. “Just make sure they are dead. I am not in the mood to see them a third time.” She flew up, leaving them behind, clearly still in a bad mood.


“Boss can be scary huh? At least I know if I can be useful to her I’ll be protected! Ahaha, nice!” Eisein laughed, looking at Kitten who quickly recovered from Ren’s look.


“I see.” She scanned the corpses. “I was wondering who would be stronger… Ren or Nameless…” She whispered, while her eyes flashed a little before calming down completely.


“I don’t know who that guy is, but from what I've seen so far, Boss is capable of killing pretty strong guys. So I vote for her. By the way… Were you scared?” She smiled with glee.


“Scared? Why would I be?” Kitten tilted her head.


“Because of what happened. Maybe she is going to kill you if you make the wrong move?”


“Maybe. But it was not my or my Master’s fault!” She raised her hands with a shrug. “But I am not someone you just go and… kill.” She said as she flashed a smile, revealing her sharp canines.


“Whatever. Let’s follow her back!” Eisen rolled her eyes as they also left the bodies or what remained of them. Letting nature to claim them as they flew off.


….

…..


It was nearing dawn when Aerthus, Dermitos, Ren, Leinor and Frenir were sitting inside the captain’s cabin on the Skyshark.


“This happened way faster than I anticipated.” Aerthus sighed after a little silence.


“You mean the assassination?” Ren asked as she raised one of her eyebrows questioningly.


“Yes and no.” Aerthus answered, tapping on the table. “I was sure that Zelig is going to resurface and follow whatever I do. He always was like that. I was expecting others to also copy me of course, for different reasons. But not this soon! Even stepping up to us and not hiding until they are ready? Seems rushed to me. I was thinking maybe after a few hundred years after I came back, they are going to appear. Yet here we are, already having a third sect announcing itself?”


“I don’t think I follow you, Sect Head.” Leinor interjected, raising his cup, sipping on the hot tea they were having.


“It’s the assassins. You could call them a guild or a sect, their function remains the same.” Aerthus explained.


“You mean at the other side of the desert, there are sects focused on assassinations?” Dermitos asked , surprised at the notion.


“Yes. Their formation was the same as what we see now. A group, be it a nation, a destroyed sect or family. Or just oppressed cultivators, coming together, forming their own group. Usually it is motivated by revenge at first, but it gets perfected and polished over the years. By the end, they are no longer motivated by taking their revenge but perfecting their art of killing. Most of the dark sects that are present there have a similar past as to why or how they came to be.”


“And they are left alone? Just like that?” Dermitos shook his head with disbelief.


“Sometimes when they cause too much trouble, they are beaten back or hunted down but they could never be eradicated. Some even have such strong cultivators in their ranks they operate above the table and are hired by other sects.” He smiled, explaining it to them. “When we get back, I’ll need to issue a Sect wide announcement of the upcoming competition and also the dangers of a dark sect appearing.”


“I’ll also send a letter to my son about them.” Dermitos added. “He needs to keep an eye out before they infiltrate the Empire and take root there.”


“They already did.” Aerthus smiled softly. “Who do you think caused problems for your son in the past years? If they are under Rudrick… You can guess the rest. When I came back, I knew I'd bring changes to the land. It could even mean the end of the Empire I built up all those years ago.” He sighed with a hint of nostalgia in his voice. “Only time will tell!” He clapped, not thinking about it anymore. “You all are going to learn to let go, after living for so long! Nothing is permanent, everything is changing! If you are stuck in the past, you won’t reach the future… and without the future you are nothing more than a ghost, drifting through time, stuck in an agonizing state of existence.” He looked over at them and said, “This is my lesson for you.” After that, he stood up slowly as the dawn’s first rays filled the room with warm light. While everyone left, Ren remained there, holding her cup that had already gone cold. Leinor stayed with her, accompanying his wife silently.


“I don’t think I can do what Master said.” She said after a long silence, leaning backwards on her chair, blowing out air through her nose, closing her eyes for a few seconds.


“Which part? Letting go?” Leinor asked, leaning close, holding her hands, gently caressing them, drawing little circles on her skin with his finger.


“Yeah.” She nodded with a small smile. “Thinking about it, I just couldn’t. Dozens of years? Hundreds? Thousands? I just don't like the thought of it! Be it good or bad… Maybe I’m a petty person… or a horrible one, I don’t really know. I just can’t let things go!”


“I think I know what you mean. I also couldn’t let you go.” Leinor smiled.


“Smooth~” She giggled, leaning closer, kissing him. “I just refuse to let go!” She stood up, stretching, already in a good mood. “Not you, not my family, not my disciples, not my friends, nobody! I’ll carry all of you with me to that future that Sect Head mentioned!”


“Ahaha! I think we expect nothing less! And don’t worry, you don’t need to drag us forward, we are right beside you!” He stood next to her, watching the rising sun as they arrived back to their Sect.