“What’s with that guy?! Just because he’s a mayor doesn’t mean he’s omniscient! He should at least consider my words!”
After the dreadful encounter with Mayor Nadeo, the Instructor stormed out of the office building with Junius and Lewis in tow. He had come with good intentions to warn the man about the possibility of the Allfather being a Spirit Saint, but the mayor just disregarded his theory altogether.
“You just caught him on a bad day, Lou. Usually, he’s not that bad. There have been too many mishappenings in the town, and Nadeo has been swamped with paperwork. I think he had been holed up in that room for a solid two weeks.”
Lewis attempted to calm the Instructor down. He was in a somewhat awkward situation. Being constable captain, he was close to the mayor and was even on a first-name basis with him. However, he had been buddies with the Instructor ever since their younger days. Caught in the middle, Lewis wished to speak up in favour for his boss, in hopes that the Instructor would not hold a grudge.
“So what?! Being cranky doesn’t give you a pass to be unreasonable!”
“Why don’t we try again when Nadeo is in a better mood? The constable headquarters are getting quite close to apprehending the Watkin murderer. When that’s done, we can deliver the good news to Nadeo, alleviating one of his worries. And at that time, you come in and pitch your idea again.”
Lewis suggested the Instructor wait for a few days before trying again.
“Forget it, it’s not like I need to report my hypothesis to him. I have other ways to contact high command of the Himmel Empire. But first, I will need to report to my clan. I hope you wouldn’t mind me taking back some of the Dalits for interrogation?”
The Instructor relaxed his muscles, which had been tensed from the earlier stress, as he stared at Lewis. Initially, he had the full intention of surrendering all five of the Dalits so that he could assist the constable office. However, after his bitter experience with the mayor, he decided that it was better for the Frie Clan to investigate from their end.
“Mind you, I will be reporting to not only the First Elder but also the Clan Master. After all, our precious convoy was targeted by the Black Masks. They would want to personally see those Dalits for themselves.”
Putting on his most menacing glare, the Instructor pressured Lewis with the names of the big shots in the Frie Clan.
“Fine… Fine… You win! You can choose two Dalits to bring back…”
Not willing to begin a fight, Lewis unwillingly acquiesced to his demands.
“Now that’s better… Let’s visit the constable headquarters… Over there you can test Junius for his abilities.”
Glancing over to the youth, who had been silent for the entire time, Lewis gave a mental sigh. When he first read the details about Junius, he was amazed by the boy’s cultivation level at a young age. And when he learned his Spirit, he could guess the reason why Junius was sent to Chilyoja Waypoint and why the Instructor wanted him to become a constable.
Junius’ Azure Water Blade was extremely compatible with his own Emerald Jade Gladius. Lewis theorised that the Instructor hoped for him to coach Junius. Eventually, the Instructor would have to leave Chilyoja Waypoint, and he had hoped for someone to look after Junius when he was gone.
“I’m of the same mind as Nadeo. This boy here will be welcomed anywhere in the empire with his capabilities. So I will keep it short. Let’s just do the evaluation here.”
The Instructor and Junius opened their eyes wide after hearing Lewis’ suggestion. They were currently right in front of the mayor’s office, at the heart of the town. Although the pavements were clear because civilians were not allowed to tread too close to the building, there were still many onlookers.
“Why not? You wanted to show Nadeo your pupil’s ability right? Our current location is visible from the top of the building, where Nadeo’s room is. Furthermore, there is no need for meticulous testing. I will go easy on him.”
To become a constable, one had to pass a series of fitness tests and examinations regarding their Spirit. However, since Junius was from the Frie Clan and the Instructor had rigorously endorsed him, Lewis didn’t think that there was a need for Junius to undergo all those tests.
“Fine… Junius, just accompany Lewis here for a while. Don’t hold back.”
The Instructor accepted Lewis’ terms. He wanted the mayor to personally test Junius, but since that man was a prick, he didn’t really care who tested his pupil. After all, he had the utmost faith in Junius’ abilities.
“If you say so…”
Junius replied in a monotonous tone, but deep inside his eyes, one could sense an endless drive to succeed. Apparently, the Instructor’s words before they entered the office had inspired him to do better. He sauntered slowly forward as he mentally chanted his cultivation technique. A torrent of blue elemental energy enveloped the youth as the mana being released from his body gradually became much stronger.
The blue aura that Junius emitted was as cool as an ocean breeze, making those who witness it fall into a state of comfort. Slowly, the aura expanded until eventually…
Raising his right hand upwards, the blue aura, that could not have harmed a fly, turned into an intimidating, piercing one as Junius congregated all of his mana. In his raised hand, an azure sword formed. Consisting only of a blade and a hilt, the Azure Water Blade reflected all light that came into contact with it. As Lewis looked at Junius’ Spirit, he could not help but smile in admiration.
Junius’ summon time, stance and mana were all spectacular for someone of his age. If it were not for business, Lewis would have been tempted to immediately accept Junius as a disciple. But unfortunately, the seasoned constable knew where the youth’s loyalties lied. Hence, he could only give up on his delusions.
‘I thought that I should pull my punches, but it seems that this boy might be tougher than I initially thought.’
After Junius had summoned his Spirit, the bystanders on the road immediately felt the surge in spiritual energy. Curious, they stopped what they were doing to check the commotion. The guards in front of the mayor’s office were also startled. Usually, if there were a fight anywhere near the building, they would move to subjugate the troublemakers. However, one of the troublemakers were the constable captain that they served. Thus, they were unsure if they should make a move.
From the precipice of the edifice, a brooding figure eyed down the town square. Noticing his trusted subordinate and his two earlier guests at the centre of the commotion, he gave a dry smirk. Having held office for so many years, he naturally knew what his deputy was trying to do.
Both the Instructor and Lewis felt the strong gaze directed their way and looked up at the building. Meeting eyes with the mayor, the Instructor bit his lip. He had got the mayor’s attention, now all that mattered was Junius’ performance.
‘Don’t let me down, Junius!’
“Senior, whenever you are ready!”
Straightening his back, with his sword pointed straight at Lewis, Junius assumed a basic swordplay stance. His eyes burning with a hot youthful passion, the orphan was ready to do battle.
In that split second, from the depths of Lewis’ body, an emerald light shot out, forming a jade gladius, sharper than the best blades forged by any of the empire’s blacksmiths.
“Come at me!”
Holding two fingers up, Lewis gestured for Junius to begin his attack.
Kicking himself forward, Junius propelled his body straight for the meaty body of Lewis. Determined to show his capabilities, the youth held nothing back. The constable captain, on the other hand, wore a calm expression, as if he was walking down a park, admiring the environment.
Even as the blade of Junius drew ever closer to the bulky man, Lewis still remained stationary.
Seeing that Lewis had not moved even an inch, Junius was having doubts on whether he should follow through with his assault. However, the Instructor’s words of encouragement repeated through his mind, and he decided against it.
Initially, Junius was aiming for Lewis’ head, more specifically, the space between his eyebrows. But afraid that he might actually harm the meaty man, who looked like he wouldn’t be able to dodge a slow-moving turtle, Junius changed his target to a non-vital area.
In less than two seconds, when Junius was close enough to smell the bad breath of the constable captain, the youth slashed his Azure Water Blade down, aiming to sever Lewis’ dominant hand.
Junius’ Spirit started to glow a rich azure colour as the sharpness of his sword increased exponentially. As he swung his sword, from the bystander’s standpoint, it seemed like the blade had disappeared, leaving only a trace of azure light. If Junius’ opponent were an average Spirit Apostle, at this range, his hand would have been cleanly removed from his body. However, the one Junius faced was no Spirit Apostle.
Lewis’ inflated figure suddenly disappeared from Junius’ sight as his Spirit cut the empty air, where the obese man should have been.
With no target, Junius’ body temporarily lost control as the forward momentum pushed him a few steps. Regaining his senses, Junius raised his blade up as scanned the surroundings.
‘Where did he go?!’
For a full four seconds, Junius lost sight of Lewis. If this situation was replicated in a lawless setting, Junius could have been beheaded by a counterattack. However, just before the fifth second, the youth heard a screeching sound overhead.
Looking up, Junius saw a round, plump man, eclipsing the afternoon sun. Diving down with his emerald sword pointed at Junius, Lewis’ ‘aerodynamic’ body glided straight towards the youth.
Pivoting his ankle, Junius waited for the right moment to move. If he ran too early, Lewis would be able to change his trajectory mid-flight, causing him to be locked-on. If he moved too late, he would be pierced by the ornate sword, not to mention the tonnes of fat that Lewis had. Hence, Junius had to have the most precise judgement on when to evade.
When the emerald sword was a metre away from Junius, the youth used all of his energy and thrust himself outwards.
A deafening sound blasted through the quadrangle as the constable captain made contact with the cemented floor. Performing a flip, Junius gasped for air after that close shave with death.
“Not bad… You dodged that one.”
Grinning broadly, Lewis put his pearly white teeth on full display.
Gaining back his bearings, Junius took a deep breath to slow his heartbeat. He had thought that Lewis was underestimating him before, but as it turns out, he was the one underestimating Lewis. Being in the same cultivation realm as the Instructor, there was no way that the meaty man standing in front of him was weak. Calming himself, he made a mental note of being more cautious.
‘I should show off my abilities…’
Bending his waist down, Junius pointed his Azure Water Blade straight at Lewis. Gathering his mana, Junius pumped spiritual energy into his Spirit, in preparation to launch his ability.
With a shout, the Azure Water Blade elongated at a blinding speed. No slower than a bolting arrow, Junius’ Spirit lusted for fat lard of Lewis.
Stroking his double chin in admiration, Lewis marvelled in the talents of the youth. But at the same time, he effortlessly sidestepped the lengthened sword.
“How about this?”
After evading the sword, Lewis dashed straight towards the exposed Junius. Having fought multiple enemies, the constable captain could calmly analyse an opponent’s techniques during battle and find an exploitable weakness. Thus, he could accurately determine the drawbacks of Junius’ first spiritual ability, Pierce.
Once his Azure Water Blade was elongated, Junius would be exposed to enemy retaliation. It was a fact that both he and the Instructor were well aware of. Hence, to counter that…
The sword that had been stretched to over ten metres in length became droplets of water as the mana supply was cut off by Junius. In his hand, the original Azure Water Blade, shined brightly once more as Junius turned around, leaving a ring of water.
The sharp aura from his Spirit was duplicated in the water ring as the currents in the ability grew faster and faster.
At its peak speed, the ring of water enlarged itself, faster than the fastest arrows. And at this moment, Lewis was only two metres away from the water ring.
“Hahaha! So that’s it!”
Lewis’ bulging belly trembled as the man laughed out loud. The reason why Junius was taught the elemental ring was precisely due to the weakness of his first ability. Once the Instructor had viewed Junius’ ability once, he immediately explained to the child its strengths and weaknesses. He also planned for Junius to inherit one of his spiritual abilities to overcome the glaring drawback that was evident to everyone.
Through that one move, he was able to change Junius’ greatest weakness, to one of his most valuable assets. Imagine, in battle, if an enemy thought that when Junius’ sword was elongated, meant the perfect opportunity to strike but instead, all he gets is a water ring to the face.
Nine times out of ten, this method would immobilise the unsuspecting enemy. However, if the opponent was a veteran with a much higher skill level…
Kicking off the ground, Lewis performed a somersault, something phenomenal given the size of his body, and bypassed the ring of water. The next second, he landed behind Junius and pointed his Emerald Jade Gladius at the nape of the young orphan.
At this range, Lewis could just let go of his sword, and Junius head would roll on the floor. However, instead of feeling disappointed, the constable captain could not hold back his beaming smile. The Azure Water Blade, which should have been pointed forward, was currently aimed right at the meaty man’s heart. While Lewis could behead the youth, Junius could also merely use ‘Pierce’ to end his life.
“Guahahahahaha!!! You pass!!!”