“Senior Vellan! We have completed all the preparations! The Spirit Beasts are on standby!” Fendry knelt down before an armoured Black Mask Brahmin, who was still in the middle of fully equipping his body, reporting the situation of the army.
“How many men did the Allfather send?” Vellan’s voice sounded out from beneath the mask, casually putting on an obsidian gauntlet in the process.
“Twenty-four, sir! We have ten Shudras, eight Vaishyas and six Kshatriyas. Of course, the one leading them is…”
“Brahmin Malgen… Yeah, has he arrived?” Remembering the Spirit Emperor that the Allfather sent, Vellan cringed.
Being a new crime syndicate, the Black Masks had a severe lack of talent. The most nefarious and ancient of crime organisations all had at least one Rank 80 Spirit Venerate leading them, but the Black Masks had absolutely none. Of course, using the Allfather was in a realm of his own, however, for some reason, he had an apparent disdain of showing his true self. Up till this day, not a single member of the Black Mask syndicate knew the true identity of their mysterious leader. Therefore, to deal with the deficit of manpower, the Allfather recruited rogue Spirit Users from all over the continent.
Wanted murderers and disgraced members from fallen clans all joined the budding organisation, tempted by the sweet whispers of the Allfather. Promising power and the ability to grant the wishes that they had, the enigmatic leader brought in some of the most notorious felons that had ever existed.
The most famous one of which was Malgen Chaxrala. Once the leader of a top sect in the Kori Federation, Malgen was slated to be one of the best earth elemental Spirit Emperor that was currently alive. His might was not only recognised by the country that he was in, but by all the other two great powers in the modern day. However, that all came to a close when the Kori Federation opened up an investigation when they had received evidence that Malgen’s clan was performing revolting acts against humanity, under their clean, shiny exterior.
As it turned out, Malgen had been bringing in young Spirit Users, who were lured by the prestige of the clan, and used them as live test dummies or punching bags for his core disciples to train with. His philosophy was that the best way to develop his students for battle was to provide a live specimen for them. Naturally, the fate of those that he brought in never ended well. Either they had been played to death, or they took their lives themselves to rid themselves of the misery Malgen had put them through.
Once the Kori Federation found out about how much of a devil Malgen was, they immediately decimated the clan and placed out an order for the heads of Malgen and all of his core disciples. They would even put out monetary rewards that would even tempt Spirit Emperors to go after the criminal that was Malgen.
It didn’t take long for Malgen to be backed into one corner. Although he had yet to be found, Malgen could be caught at any moment. Unwilling to give up on his life, the Spirit Emperor tried his best to find ways of escaping, and in his moment of weakness, a dark voice beckoned to him, promising Malgen safety and power.
Without a second of hesitation, Malgen joined the Black Mask syndicate to become the strongest human cultivator that the Allfather had ever recruited. Even till this day, his might towers over the other Spirit Emperors that had joined the ranks. Although Vellan should be glad about having a mighty Spirit Emperor on board for such a precarious mission, among all of the other Brahmins, the ex-Awter Clan general disliked Malgen the most, primarily due to the differences in their beliefs.
Malgen thought little of the other Black Masks, considering of them as tools for him to grow stronger. Vellan, on the other hand, wanted the Black Mask to act like a family clan, just like how the Awter Clan was. Furthermore, Vellan had many subordinates who were remnants of the Awter Clan, and he didn’t like how Malgen would treat them as mere tools to be used.
“Brahmin Malgen has just arrived and is currently residing in the main tent!”
“Okay, I’m going there now… Fendry! Don’t let anyone from my division venture anywhere near that putrid person! Especially Junius!”
“Y-Yes, sir!” Saluting the fuming Vellan, Fendry promptly retreated to inform the other Awter Clan survivors of their senior’s orders.
After donning on his full gear, the bulky man heavily stomped in the direction of the main tent, where the Spirit Emperor was currently residing. Trying his best to place his feelings aside, Vellan put on his most professional face, careful not to displease Malgen. Pushing aside the fabric flap that bar his path, the bulky man cautiously entered into the Spirit Emperor’s abode.
Inside, a scrawny man, who looked like in he was in his mid-sixties, was seated in a lotus position atop the commanding throne. Lacking any visually breathtaking muscles, the grey-haired man seemed to be as brittle as glass in which Vellan could shatter with just a slight movement of his fist. His bronzed skin lacked any moisture, making it look like it could tear at any moment. Beside him, the twenty-four Black Masks sent by the Allfather all lined up into two rows, akin to that of an imperial procession.
“Brahmin Malgen, thank you for accepting this mission!” Vellan gave a regal bow towards the bony man that sat upon the throne. As much as he disliked the guy, Malgen’s powers were the real deal, and with him leading the army, the chances of eradicating the Frie Clan was much higher.
“There’s no need for thanks. I’m just doing what the Allfather ordered.” Nonchalantly brushing off Vellan’s gratitude, the Spirit Emperor waved his hand.
“No. I must still thank you for accepting such a dangerous mission! With you around, completely wiping out the Frie Clan would be a piece of cake!” Vellan mindlessly stated, ecstatic that the vengeance of the Awter Clan could finally be completed. However, instead of the usual reply that he was expecting, an awkward silence hung over the air.
Perplexed, the muscular man pivoted his head about to watch the interactions of the other Black Masks. For some reason, they were looking at him as if he were a madman, forcing Vellan to utter the words: “What’s wrong?”
“Haven’t you heard? The objective of the mission isn’t the complete annihilation of the Frie Clan. We are to rescue your brethren that are trapped inside and deal as much damage before the two High Elders return. We are not to expend too many resources in this fight.”
“WHAT?!” Ignoring all forms of formalities, Vellan hollered out in shock. All this while, he had the firm belief that today would be the last day of the Frie Clan. However, it seems that the Allfather has other plans.
“Vellan, to completely wipe out the Frie Clan, we would need to bring in much more manpower and resources. Not to mention the damages that we would incur from the battle… The only reason why the Allfather was gracious enough to even agree to this mission was because of his promise to you guys when you first joined…” Clearly, Malgen wasn’t pleased to accept the mission, as he clucked his tongue in annoyance.
“But… Didn’t…” Incoherent with his speech, Vellan’s voice wavered. “Didn’t the Allfather bring down Aldrich’s Keep so that we could use the beast horde in this operation?”
“What? Who told you that? The reason why we brought down Aldrich’s Keep was to bring terror to the Himmel Empire. Using the tens of thousands of Spirit Beasts, we could easily topple a few clans and major towns. There’s no way that we would use all of them just for the sake of the Awter Clan’s revenge.” Taking one hard look at the petrified bulky man, Malgen calmly explained.
“Listen, Vellan… I feel your pain, and I know how much you want to decimate the Frie Clan, but get your priorities in order. You are no longer the general of the Awter Clan, but a Brahmin of the Black Masks. Your personal vendettas are nothing compared to the will of the Allfather.”
“T-That!!!” Vellan tried his best to keep his emotions in check as he knew that Malgen was merely speaking the truth. No one truly knows what goes on in the mysterious Allfather’s mind and all that the subordinates of the organisation could do was follow his instructions.
“Alright, go and collect yourself before we start the mission. Remember, we only have a limited amount of time, so focus on retrieving your brethren first. After that, use whatever pent-up anger that you have to inflict as much damage as you can before the two High Elders return.”
“I don’t get it! Why would the Allfather not want to destroy the Frie Clan? Why does he only want to brew conflict?!” Finally at his breaking point, Vellan screamed out at the Spirit Emperor.
“Like I said before, Vellan… The will of the Allfather is unfathomable to us mortal beings. All that we can do is follow his instructions to the letter. Or are you perhaps, displeased with his orders?” Raising his eyebrows, Malgen softly accused the bulky man. Sensing displeasure from his words, a chilling cold ran up Vellan’s spine as he hurriedly fell to his knees.
“N-No! I would never dare!”
“That’s what I thought… You are dismissed! The assault will begin in fifteen minutes. The Frie Clan bastards have already manned their positions, so prepare for a hard early fight.”
“Yes, sir!” Rapidly moving backwards, Vellan left the main tent, leaving the main tent for the other Black Masks that were not members of the Awter Clan.
“Brahmin Malgen, is it wise to leave Brahmin Vellan in that state?” A nearby aide of the Spirit Emperor spoke out, concerned that Vellan would do something foolish.
“There’s nothing to it. For him, it’s a personal matter, but for us, it’s just another mission. Speaking of which, I do not want anyone of you to overexert yourselves, trying to kill the members of the Frie Clan. Target destroying their buildings and whatnot. We’re trying to harm their foundations to breed conflict. Try to avoid the elites and kill the weak. If you think that you might be at risk, don’t force yourselves. To be honest, I would much rather we take the orphans and leave, but the will of the Allfather is absolute…” Grumbling about the Allfather’s orders, Malgen shook his head.
“Remember, we have the advantage going into the battle, but that won’t last very long! Once the two High Elders return, which I presume to be fairly quick, we must make a prompt retreat! So during that time, cause as much damage as you can. I’ll be tying down that bitch Enfen, so there should be no other threats that could kill you!”