Chapter 162:

Meeting of Four (1)

Mad God

Rumira arrived not long before noon, and as she descended from the sky, everyone just stood there, watching her beautiful figure. She was like a goddess, floating downwards, landing between them, wearing only a thin, silk, white dress. Her smooth, sparkling, porcelain-like skin, her fluffy, nine fox tails behind her swaying in the wind, all of this awed the demons looking at her. Her white hair and gentle expression gave her an otherworldly feeling that they couldn't resist, and she was watching everyone with a motherly smile, which further stunned the onlookers. The first to regain her composure was Emi, who rushed forward, kneeling before her with teary eyes.

"My Queen!" She sniffled, happy to finally see her out from her own prison.

"Ahaha, rise, please~" She caressed her face with a gentle touch, lifting Emi up. It was the first time that the young fox girl did not feel any urges to pounce on Rumira and become one with her. She could stay clear-minded, even as she was holding her face.

"I told you once that you look more beautiful in the sunlight than hiding inside your cave!" Ren arrived with a chuckle, and as her aura swept around the rest, everybody regained their composure. "What are you all gawking around? Go, continue what you were doing!" She looked around as most of the demons bowed their heads with flushed expressions, scurrying away very quickly. Only Ariana, Poli, Tylvana, and Uhure remained, coming next besides Ren.

"It's okay, I am used to it~" Rumira smiled, walking before Ren as her eyes turned towards Poli. She was clearly seizing him up, making his heart flutter, but after a deep breath, he just bowed respectfully, quickly finding his composure. "What a promising young boy! You have good eyes, Emi!"

"Hauh… L-l-lady Rumira… please… not here!"

"Ahaha, we are family here, no?" She chuckled as her eyes were drawn to the jaguar general. "You must be Tylvana, yes?"

"Correct." She nodded, showing a calm expression. Yet deep inside, she was terrified. Even as Rumira was holding her strength back, she could feel that it was just as immense as the Tiger King's.

"I'm glad that you came to your senses!" Rumira said to her. "What Harimau does is not beneficial to your people. You should act as a family, not as servants to the strongest." She shook her head.

"You know his true name?" Tylvana asked with a surprised voice because she did not even know what the Tiger King's real name was.

"Of course!" Rumira chuckled, covering her mouth. "He tried to woo me when I was young, but I refused him!"

"He did?" Ren asked with a curious look as this was something new and juicy. The rest of the demons were also silently edging backward, listening like children to the tales of their parents, wanting to hear more.

"It happened a long time ago!" Rumira thought back with a small smile. "Both of us were just young demons, not yet powerful enough to make a difference. My tribe was still living amongst the wolves in those days. It was the beginning of everything when we were getting slowly pushed down south as they came out as the dominant species in the north. He was captured by the wolves in one of their hunting excursions into the east, looking for food."

"What… he was… captured?" Tylvana exclaimed, unable to believe what she was hearing. What they knew was their own legend only; How one day, the powerful Tiger King appeared and unified every and all tribes living in the east.

"We were still only kids back then." Rumira shook her head. "Nobody starts out as a strong person. He was kept in captivity for years! As our battles with the wolves got more violent, my original tribe was also captured and enslaved by the Moonwalkers. I was given as a gift to the young heir to their tribe, Chono."

"Lady Rumira… you… were a… slave?" Emi stuttered, not even being able to fathom what it was like back then. "Why did you not say it before?!" She shouted sharply as she blew out steam from her nostrils.

"You never asked!" Rumira giggled, stunning Emi into complete silence as they slowly sat down. Ariana, by her nature, had already brought tea to them and coffee to her Master, standing behind her respectfully as they listened to Rumira's tale. "It happened a long time ago. That is where I met Harimau, who was also a trophy of his. Or, more precisely, a trophy for the tribe entrusted to the young prodigy to hone his skills on. I was his for the night, Harimau for the day. For different… battles." She smiled, running her finger around the edge of the teacup.

"Unacceptable!" Emi shouted once again, boiling with rage, while Poli placed his hand on her shoulder, trying to hold her back.

"It wasn't that bad." Rumira shook her head with a soft smile, trying to ease Emi's mood. "He was gentle. He wasn't only concerned about his own pleasure, but he was concerned with mine, too. I know it sounds weird, but it was thanks to his actions that I got my true awakening and started to rise in strength. Before that, I was just like the rest of my tribe; A weak little fox with strange, white fur. Without this happening, I would've never even dared to dream about where I am now. The same is true for Harimau."

"What do you mean?" Ren asked, curious.

"He was Chono's practice partner, so to speak. He used him to train himself and even others. I educated him, took him to skirmishes, and let him fight against my people to gain experience. He even let him lead other captured groups into battle. If I want to be blunt, Chono was the one who set Harimau on the path to becoming the Tiger King and taught him how to 'rule' over the weak."

"How did you two escape?" Uhure blurted out the question that everyone had in their minds.

"It was an almost suicide raid on the Moonwalkers home. Many tribes were desperate back then. A coalition of foxes, coyotes, and jackals launched a devastating attack on their home, deep into the wolf's territory. More than 2000 demons against the Moonwalkers. It was thrice the size of the Moonwalkers' numbers. Yet only a 100 made it out alive." Rumira sighed with tangible pain in her voice. "The coyotes and jackals were finished after that. Their tribes died out, but they were proud as they dragged the Moonwalkers with them into their graves. It was a massacre that I am not proud of, but there is nothing to be proud of when it comes to war." She shook her head while Ren felt a hand touch her shoulders, making her tremble a little. She felt Leinor's presence, but the hand belonged to Ariana.

"They deserved it…" Emi said with gritted teeth.

"No!" Rumira scolded her with serious eyes. "It was a shame of our species as foxes! They did not spare anybody that day! Not women, not children… Nobody was let go, only their slaves! That was not revenge… but a brutal massacre! Harimau and I were freed amidst the battle. It created such chaos nobody paid attention to us, and we ran for it. We fled towards the south, reuniting with the remains of my people. We slowly took on leadership roles, and when I was wielding the strength that no others could match up to, the war finally came to an end."

"What about the Tiger King?" Poli questioned her, listening to her with great interest.

"I don't know if it was always in him or made itself manifest by my growing powers. I had less and less control over it, and in the end, he tried to conquer me. Again and again. When the soft, civilized approach did not work, he switched to a more dominating one. He was a bit brutal to my taste, so I never accepted his advances, and in the end, he left after I beat him. I did not hear about him after that. Not until the rumors resurfaced with this so-called Tiger King. The rest… you already know."

"I did not expect this to be a family reunion…" Ren murmured, drawing out a loud, chiming laugh from Rumira.

"Yes, yes, it is going to be one!" She nodded, emptying her teacup.

"You can control your powers now…? We won't be… affected?" Ariana asked.

"I can, for a limited time. Two days at most." Rumira nodded without taking offense to it. "It is thanks to Aerthus." She smiled with a tender look. "He is the only person I have met who can resist me when I am… myself… And he does not just resist the effects, oh no! He can share his own power with me, and that eases my own! I discovered that being together with him does not subjugate my own affinity. It is the opposite! It nurtures it and smooths it out for me! Such a wondrous affinity he has! Since we realized it, we started to share beautiful moments with each other! I can walk amongst you until his affinity gets completely absorbed by my body." She explained with an honest, happy expression while everyone else turned almost tomato red except one person.

"Lucky bastard!" Ren clicked her tongue, and her voice drew out stifled laughter from the others, trying not to be too rude. "Wait… So you were with him?" She raised her eyebrows. "He sneaks out from the Sect in the night, like a teenage boy? Hah!" She laughed, imagining it.

"Yes!" Rumira also giggled with sparkling eyes. "He visited me last night and left before the first rays of the morning sun~ He can't stay for long now because of that other human you call Zelig." She shook her head. "I'm glowing because of him~ Fufufu, he knows what a woman likes!"

“M-my Queen… please… you… hauh…” Emi pleaded with steam rising from her blushing face.

"What?" Rumira patted her head with one of her tails. "Isn't it natural? The same instinct that drives us to eat, drink, and sleep is also responsible for our bodily needs! Why do you think it can feel the same as thirsting for water on a hot summer day? Why mask it? Why hide it? If you can't face it openly and without shame, how are you going to keep a balance between your mind and body? Enjoying life with all of its beauties is a natural thing to do! How do you expect to survive the tribulations that life throws at you if you can't face your own desires?" She asked, and it was her honest thoughts, sharing them with everyone present.

"I see you did not change a bit." A voice traveled towards them as two wolves arrived. One was standing 3 meters tall, while the other was 4 meters tall, both of them in their original forms. One wore black fur with now graying strands mixed into it, while the other was a completely gray timber wolf.

"Maybe I didn't. I can't tell you that with honesty… As it was such a long time ago since we last met." Rumira answered with a smile while everyone parted ways as the wolves turned into their human forms, walking up to the table.

"Trust me, the look in your eyes is the same," Chono said. "The only thing that changed is the fact that you are even more beautiful than before!" He smiled, nodding towards her before scanning the rest, finally stopping his eyes on Ren. She was just sitting in her seat, sipping her cup of coffee. She was also checking him out but with a much more carefree look. "You are smaller in person," Chono said.

"..." Ariana quickly blinked her eyes, standing behind Ren, almost not believing what she was hearing. She was twitching her mouth while Ren's hand stopped mid-air with her cup, once again scanning Chono up and down.

"I'm a compact, fun bag," Ren replied after a brief pause. "But once I start going, it's hard to stop me. Usually, my bouncing lasts until I run out of energy."

"Looks can be deceiving." Chono nodded, ignoring her playful grin. After sitting down, Luto stood behind him, constantly watching everyone as the rest of the demons quickly left. They were following Ren's instructions as to what to do when everyone had arrived. "Everyone is present?" Chono asked as he looked around, seeing the fourth, lonely chair on the other side of the table. Behind Rumira stood Emi and Poli, while behind Ren stood Ariana, Tylvana, and Uhure.

"Not yet." Ren shook her head. "But he is almost here."

Just as she said it, Chono trembled, quickly snapping his head towards Rumira, who remained calm and wore a soft smile. From the distance, a dominating tiger roar traveled towards them. A human appeared on the horizon, closing in exceptionally quickly. He was almost 3 meters tall, muscular, and only wore a loincloth while his body was covered in tiger-like fur.

Landing beside them, his chiseled body was perfection itself, presented in human form. A young-looking head was resting on the top of his neck, with a charming face and curly, long, reddish hair. His deep, golden eyes glowed with power, and his aura suffocated some of the weaker demons. Even if they were already far away, heading down from the hill. Behind him, two other tigers landed in their human forms, yet they were reaching up to his chest only. Even though they radiated a strong warrior's aura, it was nowhere near the Tiger King's. Their bodies were hiding behind scale-like leather armor. They were clearly newly crafted, worn by them to showcase their wealth. Only their faces were left free as they stood there as bodyguards, with crossed arms before their wide chests.

"I am not late, am I?" Harimau laughed as he walked to the empty chair, smashing it to pieces. After he did so, one of his bodyguards produced a giant tree trunk from nowhere, placing it down so his King could sit on something that could support his weight. "Good! I see everyone is here! I hate waiting!" He grinned as four different auras clashed above the table while they looked at each other.