Chapter 136:

The Winds of War

Mad God

In the courtyard of Reignar the snow filled ground was shining under the morning sun. Orsi was standing in the middle of it, her eyes shut tight. She was concentrating on her breathing, taking deep and slow breaths. She has already grown up to be a beautiful young woman, blessed with curves that were rivaling Isha’s. No wonder she had multiple suitors inside the Sect, yet she politely refused them all. Lucky for them, she was taking a different approach to it than Ariana did. It was no wonder she was considered one of the ‘Fairies’ of the Sect. Her long, black hair was let loose behind her and its strands were gently dancing in the morning wind. Suddenly a snowball flew towards her head but before it could land an invisible net stopped it. It was stuck in the air, still spinning, floating, when four others came towards her from different directions. No matter how many came, their fate was the same as the first one, unable to reach her at all.

“There…” Orsi whispered, with her eyes still closed, flinching a little. The snowballs swirled around her, lining up in a row as they stopped their spinning. With one thought of hers they were shot out with an incredible speed and accuracy.

“Ahaha, good one~” Reignar laughed as he appeared from behind a tree, letting them land on his chest. “You got sharper~”

“Young Master!” She opened her eyes with a smile, hurrying towards him, hugging Reignar with all her strength, snuggling up to him happily.

“Good girl…” He whispered, stroking her head, watching Orsi’s shining, silvery eyes.

Her change happened 8 years ago, when she started cultivating Ren’s new method. After 2 years of intense pain, taking in energy from the world, washing her soul and mind with it, her eyes lost their colors and she went blind for those two, agonizingly difficult years. Reignar was always with her, taking care of her, especially when nobody could tell if she would survive it or not. Finally the pain and suffering slowly faded away and disappeared as her soul got refined and changed. It was getting stronger by each session, finally stopping its slow decay. It was the 3rd year when her vision started to slowly return and her eyes got their light back. Yet when it happened they remained completely silver, shining like stars in the night sky.

“How’s your little pumpkin on your neck?” Reignar chuckled, playing with her cheeks, pinching them and pulling them apart

“Uuuu! Younfh Mafhtef stooophf!” She protested, stomping on the ground before he released her with a grin. “Also, don’t call me that!” Orsi grumbled, fixing her clothes as her ample chest bounced up and down. “I’m not that puffy… am I?” She asked with a troubled expression, checking out her own waist.

“Yes you are! You’ve become the most beautiful girl I have ever seen!” Reignar laughed.

“Hauuuh…” Orsi just turned completely red, looking down at the snowy ground but smiling happily and innocently.

“So? How’s your thinkingbox doing, hm?”

“It’s fine!” She looked up at him as she only reached up to his chest. “No headaches since last year! Even then, it was very weak! Now I only get any, if I overuse my mind! So I try to think less~” She joked around with her pink tongue sticking out.

“That is good to hear! I mean the not overusing part! I mean… damn… you know what I mean!” Reignar laughed, rubbing her head, watching her enjoying it like a small puppy.

“Young Master, I want to take on a mission already! Like the other disciples!”

“Absolutely not!” Reignar’s immediate answer came faster than he could open his mouth.

“Eh?! Why?!” She puffed up her cheeks. “Everyone is doing it! I am being left out of the fun!”

“Because you are weak!” He countered.

“No I’m not!”

“Yes you are!” He flicked her forehead strongly, making her let out a cute little yelp. “Your body is weaker in terms of strength than someone at the 2nd stage of the Body Refinement realm!”

“But I can protect myself!” She stomped on the ground as multiple snowballs formed and levitated around them, before falling back to the ground.

“This is still nothing.” Reignar argued. “If you overdraw it and you hurt yourself or even make yourself faint, you are finished! Too risky. Request denied!”

“But… but… but!” Orsi tried to gather her thoughts as her eyes became watery. “Not fair Young Master…!” She sniffled. “You always go out for weeks! I bet you go and have some fun without me… I am your maid, I should be the one to take care of you!”

“You are my disciple now Orsi, not a maid. Even if you call me Young Master…”

“No, that came second! I was your maid first! Or… you don’t… want me anymore?” She asked with such a voice that melted the snow around them immediately.

“Silly girl…” Reignar whispered, leaning down, caressing her cheeks and sharing a passionate kiss with Orsi. “I already told you, I’ll be with you, always. When you confessed to me I did not lie to you. I’m not going out to fool around with other women. Nor men!”

“Good!” Orsi nodded, licking her lips, now much more relaxed. “You are only allowed to fool around with me, Young Master! Or when I am with you!”

“Heh… but you are not allowed to fool around!” He flicked the tip of her nose. “You must work on your cultivation!”

“But I want to travel a little, like when we did so, when I was a kid!”

“I took you around everywhere because I wanted you to experience the world as much as you could before…” He whispered, but then trailed off, not wanting to finish it.

“Before I die. I know… I’m not a clueless kid anymore!” She held onto his hands. “But even Valen has gone on his first mission already!”

“Look.” Reignar said as he shook his head. “Let’s make a deal, what do you say?”


“Wait, wait! You don’t even know what it is about!” He laughed, shaking his head at her eagerness. “You stay inside and cultivate as hard as you can for the upcoming two years! All of the elders in the Sect were surveying the disciples in the past 8 years. We are watching who we are going to bring to the competition against Heaven’s Gate.”

“Really?” She asked with enlarged eyes as she was not expecting to be graded by the Elders. Without her knowing about it.

“Yeah. But don’t spread this, okay? It is not something I should’ve spoken about!” He winked at her. “We are evaluating everybody in the Sect and those who are in the top 100 are going to receive some privileges when we conduct the next disciple accepting ceremony. So it’s not just about who goes to the competition. What I want to say is this; Get into the top 100 in the next two years, okay? If you do, I’ll let you go on missions with others. Deal?”

“Deal!” She laughed happily, hugging him once again, rubbing her face against his chest, enjoying the scent of her Young Master. She always found it the most relaxing feeling, unable to sleep comfortably without clinging onto him.

At the other side of the Sect, in the main building, some Elders were having a meeting. Namely it was Anya, Xendar, Isha and Dermitos, sitting at a table, discussing the upcoming competition.

“Father compiled another list about disciples who should be kicked out.” Dermitos said as he placed a thick document on the table. “It contains every information on them, detailing every time they broke the Sect’s rules. Some even leaked techniques back to their families.”

“There are always some, in almost every year.” Xendar said, shaking his head with a frustrated voice. “They were warned… they could get branded by Sect Head as a punishment, losing their cultivation they built up throughout the years…” He murmured as he flipped through the document with a disappointed light in his eyes.

“Oh? I see some Inner Disciple names here too…” Anya said as she was greatly surprised by the information. Since she was nursed back to health, she finally recovered to a level she could help out the others but it was evident, her body suffered irreversible damages. By the words of Aerthus, she had no hope to advance her cultivation anymore. Xendar was even more devastated by his words than his wife. In the end it was Anya who consoled her husband, taking the news without issues.

“I don’t get it…” Isha sighed, leaning back on her chair. “I always stress this to them when I hold a public lesson. It's just not worth it!”

“It’s not your fault.” Anya smiled at her. “They knew the risks and they are going to face the consequences.”

“Yes.” Dermitos agreed. “I already notified 01 and 02 to keep an eye out for some, as those with the smaller crimes are going to be mind wiped of our techniques but can keep their cultivation before being kicked out of the Sect. The more serious offenders are going to get their achievements taken back by Sect Head, before being sent away. Soon, everyone will realize it is just not worth it.” Dermitos said. “This time it is going to be much more impactful as even Inner Disciples are going to be thrown out of the Sect.”

“What about the families that got their hands on some manuals?” Xendar asked, closing the report.

“Disciples from the Disciplinary Department were sent out to retrieve them. Also 03 and 04 are outside, overseeing the operation.”

“Honestly…” Isha chuckled. “I can’t understand why those two girls joined up with her!”

“Ren has… an interesting kind of charisma floating around her.” Her father said as he twitched his mouth but his eyes were filled with pride nonetheless. “What about the list of the top 100?” He turned towards Dermitos.

“It’s still being compiled. The top 50 are already set in stone, we expect no changes there. What is constantly changing is the bottom 50 as there are some late bloomers. We are going to wait for the last 6 months to finish the list.” Dermitos explained.

“I agree.” Isha nodded. “There are still a lot of good seeds amongst the Outer Disciples… They just held back by their age. Most of the teens are more interested in others than cultivating.” She chuckled, making Anya also laugh out softly.

“We can’t blame them for it.” Dermitos tapped on the table with a smile.

“Well, you clearly can’t!” Anya nodded, looking at him, making him flinch a little.

“Let it go dear…” Xendar patted her hands. “He was not the first Emperor to keep a harem.”

“Yeah, it’s not like you married me.” Dermitos countered. “So it did not affect you. At all.”

“I’m just worried about the disciples if you teach them any funny things when conducting lessons to them. Just look at your son Reignar and his ‘disciple’. They remind me of you and your maid.”

“Okay-okay… let’s drop the disciples' love lives!” Isha cut in with a laugh. “We should start making a list of the ten who are going to the competition.”

“Sect Head said we should make sure we don't just focus on the strongest disciples.” Dermitos explained. “He wants us to present a list with widely different talents on it. Go by a disciple’s intuition and willingness to carve out their own path and not by how high his or her cultivation is.”

“It won’t be easy…” Isha sighed. “How are we going to do it?”

“Every Elder is going to submit 5 names.” Dermitos continued. “Then we are going to discuss it, until we narrow the list down to 10 names. The time limit is one year from now on. I’ll notify the others who are out of the Sect like Lacuss, Zern or Poli to make their way back home and participate in the selection.”

“Sounds good.” Isha nodded her head. “I already have some names in mind.”

“It is going to be a major event.” Xendar said as he looked at them with a serious expression. “It won’t be just a competition but also a major chance for Ironclaw. We must be ready for an ambush.”

“I heard there were already wars erupting between some small kingdoms along the river?” Anya asked with a bit of uncertainty.

“Multiple in fact, yes.” Dermitos nodded. “All was traced back to assassinations. They are destabilizing the border on both the Empire and the Kingdom’s side… When a small kingdom is in trouble and their backers, be it the Empire or Kingdom don't act, it results in even more problems. So there were skirmishes fought by both sides already.”

“Are we preparing for war?” Isha asked with a serious tone.

Both Xendar and Dermitos fell silent, not knowing how to answer it but in the end everyone felt the fragile peace that was going on for many years may crumble around them at any moment.