To Mies’ knowledge, Star ranks were the most powerful existences in the Lava World.
He, who had not seen much in the world, was not aware there was an even more powerful realm after the Star rank.
However, just one Star rank was enough to cause their leader, Schiker, to be heavily injured, and Sky ranked experts to die in large numbers. If another one had appeared? Mies didn’t even want to consider that.
“Has his Grace, the Northern Duke, arrived?” he guessed.
Well aware of all that was going on and actually the main offender himself, Leylin had a serious expression, “I’m afraid not! I’ll need to see the instructor!”
On the way, Leylin met Loke again. However, the man seemed to have much on his shoulders, and he could not tell if this was real or a pretence.
“Reporting in!” Leylin and Loke shouted outside the door.
“Come in!” Schiker’s slightly weary voice sounded from within. After entering the room, Leylin’s nose twitched, the smell of disinfectant and ointment filling his nostrils.
Schiker was still looking like a mummy, but looked to be in a better mental state. He could now perform simple actions.
“Did you feel those undulations too?” Schiker asked with his eyes unfocused, watching a gigantic white tree whose light yellow flowers were blossoming.
The undulations from a Star rank battle were as dazzling and bright as a torch in the dark night. Most likely, all the Earth ranks in a 500km radius around them had sensed it at as well. Leylin and Loke nodded.
“Sigh… Looks like one more powerful person has appeared apart from the previous Morning Star… The situation does not look good. Ley, send down the directive. Our Special Task Force is to wait for orders. Do not act recklessly!”
“I know!” Leylin apprehensively did as he was asked, but seemed hesitant.
“What is it?” Schiker asked. Seeing Leylin this way, he found it funny.
“Actually, instructor, I actually went into the battlefield in secret…” Leylin mumbled.
“What…” Schiker’s mouth went wide, as if he had just seen a rare beast.
Just a single stray wave from a Star rank battle could easily cause serious injuries or even death to Sky ranks. And this fearless fool had actually rushed in?
It was not only Schiker. Loke who was at the side was also stunned, feeling like he had to refamiliarize himself with this ‘Ley’.
“Hehe…” Leylin touched his head, looking embarrassed.
“I heard about what happened to Instructor and went to take a look and search for trails of that Star rank. It was in preparation for the arrival of His Grace, the Northern Duke…” With Leylin’s hot-headed displays in the past, this was a very plausible situation. Hence, Schiker merely nodded, not doubting anything at all.
“You…” Schiker had no idea what to say. “He must have thought little of a Sky ranked kid like you. On top of that, you must have had enough luck to come back safely. If not, we’d only be seeing your corpse now. No, we wouldn’t even have seen your corpse…”
“Your courage is really one of a kind...” Schiker nodded. “Well then, what did you see?”
“This is the report I prepared. Sir, take a look!”
Leylin immediately produced a sketch with two faces on it. The first sketch was someone Schiker did not recognise, because it was a portrait Leylin had drawn of nobody in particular. The other image, however, had Schiker’s eyes turning red, his throat letting loose a roar, “It’s him! He’s the one who attacked me!”
“Quick! Tell me everything you saw!” Schiker’s remaining arm held Leylin’s tightly, eyes hopeful.
Leylin narrated the story he had come up with previously. All of it was the truth, though he took himself out of the equation.
“In that case, the Star rank who attacked me was defeated, and you remember which direction he fled in? You did well!”
The ruthlessness was apparent in Schiker’s eyes. He could sense that this could be his only chance at taking revenge.
*Thud!* A stack of documents fell to the ground, and Loke who was at the side cried out in surprise.
“What’s wrong?” Leylin watched Loke, who had panicked, and found the situation hilarious as he went forward and asked in concern.
“N-Nothing. I was just shocked!” Concealing the panic and anxiety well, Loke regained his previous demeanour.
“Oh, is that so.” Leylin nodded. He could now confirm that Loke was most likely a spy sent in from the Mobius Organisation, and his superior might very well be Collins.
He obviously knew where Collins was hiding, because he had done something to Collins’ body. Only Leylin, who had the A.I. Chip, was able to place an imprint that would determine Collins’ location without arousing suspicion.
Of course, he wouldn’t be so stupid as to reveal he had placed some symbol on the other party’s body. He just needed to point in a direction, and with this important clue, finding Collins was a simple matter with the entire Atlan Union working on it.
“Calm down, calm down!” Schiker stood and began to pace around the room. His face was flushed as he cursed.
After standing straight for a long while, Schiker lay back down, disappointed.
“No! Even a heavily injured Star rank isn’t someone we can just walk up to!” After calculating the power he had at hand, Schiker announced that he was giving up. Only his tightly-clenched fists signified unwillingness and desire for revenge.
“Sir, are we going to let him off like this?” Leylin seemed to be extremely impulsive as he yelled.
“Yes! Instructor, we can’t just let them off like this!” Loke relaxed inside, but shouted along as well.
“I know, but…” Schiker smiled bitterly.
“There’s no ‘but’s!” A resolute voice sounded from outside, and the door was pushed open. A tall, sturdy Emberwing walk in, dressed in military uniform. “Schiker, I will help you take your revenge.”
An intense aura took over the room, and the atmosphere grew as heavy as lead.
“Thank you so much, Uncle Martin!” Schiker’s eyes turned, looking ready to cry. This was the first time Leylin and Loke had seen such an expression on him, and their eyes grew wide as they watched on in surprise. When would they see Schiker, who had gained repute for his tenacity, having such an expression?
If not for pinching himself firmly, Loke would think he was dreaming.
Compared to Loke, Leylin was more focused on the energy undulations. “Fireplume, the tenth level of Fireplume! He must be the special commissioner, the Star rank Northern Duke!”
This was the first time Leylin had seen an Emberwing at the Star realm. He did not dare let down his guard and hid his point mass and soul energy completely and leaving only Fireplume operating outside.
“You must be Ley, right? Not bad! You’re brave! If you ever go to the Thunderoll Legion, remember to look for me!”
Martin extended a large hand that was like steel and patted Leylin’s shoulders, eyes full of praise. “Now, bring me to the place where they battled…”
A surging bloodlust was present in his eyes.
“Understood, sir!” Leylin sounded excited as he yelled, though he was actually giving a long sigh inside. “Luckily, he didn’t see through my pretence. Looks like a high-levelled Fireplume and the concealed strength of my point mass is enough for me to get away with this situation even in front of a Star rank Emberwing…”
Having ascertained this, Leylin now had more confidence in sneaking into the Atlan capital, Tylasus.
“Let’s go!” Fiery-red flames lit up, and Martin and Leylin left before Loke could come back to himself.
“In-Instructor, he’s…” Loke was tongue-tied.
“Haha, he’s the Northern Duke. A Star rank who once killed 18 fire elemental commanders in the Death Grand Canyon!”
A flush appeared on Schiker’s face from his elation; he was extremely excited.
“I heard from Father that even among Star ranks, Uncle Martin is still the best. The other party is now injured, and if Uncle Martin finds him, he definitely won’t be able to escape!”
He ferociously punched forward, hope and carefreeness in his expression, “My revenge will be taken quickly…”
Schiker went on and on excitedly, not noticing the hint of concern in Loke’s eyes.
Days later, a piece of shocking news spread through the eastern region of the Atlan Union. There were even indicators that this news would be spread to other countries. A patriarch of the Mobius Organisation, who was a terrifying being at the Star rank, had been killed by the union’s Northern Duke, Martin!
In that instant, the Northern Duke Martin’s reputation spread throughout the eastern region, causing many rebelling organisations to be panic-stricken. However, few knew that Leylin and two others had been adding fuel to the flames.
The fall of a Star rank was a huge blow to the Mobius Organisation. Ever since Collins’ death, the progress of the purging operation in the eastern region was lightning quick.
The squadron that Leylin led showed no mercy as they uprooted all organisations and strongholds that had anything to do with the Mobius Organisation. Such a fierce method instantly netted a favourable evaluation from Schiker, and with the intel from before, Leylin sensed that Schiker now treated him as a trusted aide.
As for Loke? That kid had been restless nowadays, and was not as enthusiastic in his missions. This had resulted in Schiker’s dissatisfaction. Of course, Leylin knew the reason, but he would not make it known.
A month had passed by in a flash after the large-scaled purging missions were over. The most magnificent and important festival of the Emberwings was now fast approaching — Holy Solar Festival!
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