“Child?” Lady Seph furrowed her brows in displeasure while Shin’s face furiously blushed. “Shin’s still a child! Why are you even discussing this matter now?”
“Ara? You haven’t planned his future?” The Saint of Time was mildly surprised. She assumed that the Himmel Empire would have one or two girls lined up for Shin to procreate and leave a line of spectacular genes for themselves. Fortunately for Longyu Tian, Lady Seph hadn’t planned that far.
‘If that’s the case, should I plant some Longyu Clan girls by his side? Judging from Shin’s story, he has lost his first love and has yet to recover. If I can use someone to capture his heart, won’t he leave the Himmel Empire of his own accord? Would Ying’er be suitable? No, she’s almost twenty-five… Wait does Shin like older or younger girls?’
The Saint of Time. A Spirit Saint that had washed her hands off all mortal affairs. A Saint that would even spit in the Himmel Empire’s Emperor’s face if she really wanted to. That very same lofty Spirit Saint was now planning the sex life of a mere Spirit Core cultivator.
“Saint of Time… That’s a condition that I’m not willing to accept.” Saint Firebird instantly saw through the conniving Spirit Saint’s plan.
If Shin had children and had to raise them in the Lantis Republic, it would make sense for him to stay in the nation for extended periods. Once his children got assimilated into the culture and life of the Lantis Republic, Shin would become more attached to the archipelago rather than the Terre Continent. Eventually, the little patriotism that he had for the Himmel Empire would vanish, and Shin would ultimately become a Spirit Saint that lives and breathes for the Lantis Republic.
“If Shin were to have any children, it should be on Himmel Empire grounds.”
A vein popped in Longyu Tian’s forehead. She had laid down straightforward terms, and yet the Himmel Empire wasn’t willing to accept. “And why would I let you do that? The Lantis Republic has the best resources to offer when it comes to raising a Scion of Water! Shin’s children would be well-served in our country.”
“What makes you think that a child of Shin’s would awaken the Sovereign Koi?” Saint Firebird replied with fervour. “Let’s say he mates with our Empire’s Kanari, won’t his children awaken something else other than the Sovereign Koi?”
“…” Shin’s face continued to flush. His lips pursed and eyes quivering, the young boy couldn’t take it anymore. Why the hell were two Spirit Saints arguing about his sex life?!
“I’m sorry, can I say something?” Shin meekly raised his hands. As much as he wanted to look away from the angry stares that were sent his direction, the boy felt like he needed to get a word in, or else the misunderstanding between the two Spirit Saints would continue to intensify.
“I don’t plan on getting married or having children. My main focus is to concentrate on the Black Masks and obtaining immortality.”
It wasn’t strange for Spirit Users to remain celibate all their life in the pursuit of greatness. The monks from the Shaolin Temple were the best examples of that. They abstain from almost all of the world’s greatest pleasures and continue to become Spirit Emperors and Spirit Venerates regularly. Thus, it wasn’t strange for Shin to want to pursue that path. Unfortunately, the two Spirit Saints had different plans for him.
“Shin. I know that you’re still heartbroken over the loss of Ariel, but your future is important. Having a family is an essential part of being alive. To have the urge to protect the child you create, to leave the world in a better state than it was so that their future is secure, that is an essential desire that would aid in your cultivation as well.” Longyu Tian sweetly explained. “You don’t have to rush into a relationship right now. Just wait until you’re in the Lantis Republic. I’ll explain everything to you then.”
“Hey! I said I didn’t agree with the last condition!”
“Instead of arbitrarily deciding my disciple’s own freedom to procreate,” Lady Seph did her best to hold back her anger, tightening her fists and biting down on her lower lip didn’t work though. Her voice was thick, and each word was enunciated. “Let Shin decided on his own personal life. We don’t have any right to decide any of this for him!”
“Lady Seph has a point.” Prince Koshaku spoke out in protest as well. For the Himmel Empire, the ideal situation was for Shin to marry someone of considerable lineage and to leave children behind where the Himmel Empire could use to tie him down. However, ultimately, it was up for Shin to decide. “The boy has the freedom to choose whoever he wants to settle down with. History has shown that forcing someone into love or marriage typically leads to undesirable consequences. Furthermore, he’s just sixteen. Let’s just wait until he’s in the Spirit Spectre stage before we bring this matter up again.”
“Hmmm… Whatever.” Longyu Tian shrugged her shoulders as if she had given in to the demands. However, god knows what diabolical plan she had concocted up in the depths of her soul.
“I agree with the terms that have been laid out. The Lantis Republic will provide a hundred thousand troops as promised, and we will participate in whatever activities that pertain to the Black Masks. The Grand Council did want me to tell you this though. If you’re trying to attack the Black Masks through the ocean route into the Uncharted Wilderness, the Lantis Republic won’t comply. It’s far too dangerous after all.”
“Finally, we agree on something.” Seeing the light that was at the end of the tunnel, Prince Koshaku beamed happily and walked over to the Lantis Republic representatives. Extending out his right hand, the Royal hoped to end the fortnight-long standoff with a smile. “For now, let us seal the negotiations with a verbal agreement. Peace?”
“…” Zhangyu Yaoguai waited for Longyu Tian to give the signal before he stood up and accepted the handshake. “Peace.”
“Good! We have finally reached a true milestone in human history!” Through this handshake, the Summit truly came to a close. The Lantis Republic, the Himmel Empire, the Kori Federation. The triad of superpowers that dominated the lands had finally merged to form an Alliance that would take on the Black Masks.
The following hours became the most hectic time in the history of the Summit. Now that the Himmel Empire and the Lantis Republic had finally sought peace, there was now a bunch of paperwork to be completed. Leaders from the Kori Federation, Blacksmith’s League, Mercenary Guild and Healer’s Association all gathered together to iron out the details of the agreement and finally sign the first ever Alliance treaty.
A shared intelligence agency had been formed and was headed by the Guild Leader of the Mercenary Guild. A central weapon and armoury hub was created by the Blacksmith’s League to help facilitate the distribution of ammunition to combat the Black Masks. The Healer’s Association was also given permission to open up Healing Wards in any strategic locations that would expedite the recovery of the fallen soldiers. And finally, a strategic council was formed where each entity got a vote each to decide on future operations, and the same representatives that participated in the Summit were all offered a seat on the table.
Things moved so quickly that no one slept a wink as the contracts were drafted and completed in the middle of the night. There was a slight hiccup in the process when it came to choosing a figurehead to represent the Alliance as none of the trio of superpowers were willing to abscond that seat. However, when the Spirit Saints found out about the issue, they directly ordered the most neutral person for the job, the Healer’s Association Head, Raphael, to claim the seat as the top person for the Alliance.
The commotion continued on through the bright moonlight and into the dawn of a new day as if signifying the advent of a new beginning for mankind. Just like his seniors, Shin had barely slept as he spun around on his bed for the entire night. He had got what he wanted. A chance for baptism in the Celestial River and a dual-citizenship with both the Himmel Empire and the Lantis Republic. However, it didn’t come with no cost.
The attention that he drew to himself in the process would never go away, even if he jumped into the Celestial River to wipe himself clean of his sins. Excluding the screaming fanatical zealots that were wailing outside, within the Himmel Empire’s procession, there were already many who treated him differently. Whenever he walked out of his room, stares from the Luminaries and various talents would sting through his skin, forcing Shin to hide his face in shame.
Eikyo, the Young Drake Duke, had even snorted in derision as if he were looking at the worst filth that ever existed when he happened to walk past Shin during breakfast. Before, Shin could easily have walked over to random members of the Himmel Empire and strike a cordial conversation with him. Now, whenever he walked into the room, the whole crowd would turn silent and their hearty laughter would turn to whispers of apprehension.
Fortunately for Shin, his immediate clique didn’t treat him too differently after his bout with Lukman. Ignoring Ella and Emma, who would stick to Shin no matter what kind of monster he had become, Kanari, Elrin and Shizen all treated the boy the same. If anything, they were thrilled that Shin had shown such a spectacular sight.
Elrin once again extended an offer to Shin, hoping that he would join the Zedcris Conglomerate as a future esteemed guest. The Zedcris Conglomerate may be one of the wealthiest merchant companies in the world, but even they couldn’t afford to invite a Spirit Saint to guard over their riches. However, if Shin matured into a Spirit Saint right before her very eyes, when Elrin eventually takes over her father’s business, she would be able to expand the Zedcris Conglomerate in ways that her father never could.
Shizen was likewise thrilled that his friend had grown once more in power. However, that was mostly because for some reason, Shin’s ‘juice’ became much sweeter than it was before, bringing out hearts in the Freak of the Dundlewood’s pupils whenever he laid eyes on his favourite black-haired boy.
Finally, Kanari just puffed out her chest in pride. She was the one that first approached Shin out of everyone in the academy and now that he had become even more of a star than herself, Kanari couldn’t be happier.
After breakfast, Shin had taken some time to stroll in the courtyard of his hotel, alongside his academy friends. Since he wasn’t allowed to leave the premise of the Himmel Empire, Shin could only admire the beauty of the floating Citadel from the lush flower garden in his backyard.
“I never thought that the Summit would end this way…” A piece of Shin’s soul flowed out of his mouth as he hunched his back forward on the stone bench at the centre of the courtyard. “I just wanted to get baptised by the Celestial River…”
“Haha! Don’t get depressed! At least you got your wish!” Elrin laughed off the young boy’s depression. “Look at the bright side! You are the first person to get dual-citizenship in the Himmel Empire and the Lantis Republic! No one else in history has ever gotten that privilege!”
Based on what Longyu Tian and Lady Seph had told him, Shin would be treated as an honoured member of both nations, and wouldn’t be discriminated against when it came to bestowing merit or owning land. In fact, they encouraged Shin to buy a property within the countries so that he had an anchor to the nations. Furthermore, the Lantis Republic, or more specifically, the Longyu Clan, seemed willing to splurge on the youth’s cultivation and had already started to prepare mentors and resources to tutor him when he arrives at Longyu Reef five years from now.
Five years seemed to be along time for a youngster like Shin, who had only lived over three times that amount, but for Longyu Tian, five years was akin to a blink of an eye. During that time, she would make sure to prepare the best facilities and resources that the clan could possibly cough up in the hopes of making Shin into the future Spirit Saint of the Longyu Clan.
“Hah… It really has been a wild ride.” Kanari shook her head. The Summit was supposed to be a casual affair for the youngsters, as they were only here to be spectators. Yet, Shin and Kanari were forced to take centre stage among the Rank 40 Luminaries.
“Speaking of which, Shin! How different do you feel? After the match against Lukman?” Kanari questioned.
“It’s weird…” Shin bitterly smiled and summoned out the Sovereign Koi. At the same time, a ball of water instantly formed. Moving his fingers about erratically, Shin manipulated the ball to change into a pyramid. And then to a miniature-sized tower. He even changed it a sharp needle that replicated his Yellow-Eyed Dragon Needles. “The system that I had grown up learning is no longer the same. Lukman’s methods were far superior and I just… copied it. However, I don’t really understand how I should proceed from here.”
Ignoring the mayhem concerning his citizenship, the most significant change to Shin’s life was his control over his innate spiritual ability. Lukman had shown him a better path and Shin was clueless as to how he was going to proceed from there.
“If only I get to meet with the Prince of Sand once more…” After being shown Lukman’s expertise, Shin started to realise how lacking he really was. He really wanted to spend a little more time with the notorious Sandman, in hopes of improving his overall ability. Even if it’s just by a sliver of a percent.
“If you want to meet him, why not ask?” Kanari giggled. “In the Summit, there are thousands of people queuing up just to catch a glimpse of you. If you invite Lukman, I’m sure that he’ll agree to meet you.”
“You think?” Tempted by Kanari’s sweet whispers, Shin perked his head up, his face brightening immensely.
“Of course! Just say the word, and I’ll get it done.”
“… Fine. Then I’ll have to bother you Kanari.”
“Hehe, don’t mention it!”